With the Winter season underway, white, glistening snow covers the ground. Like children, dogs seem to have a certain fascination with the snow. I have dogs that roll in it, play in it, dig in it, and even eat it!
But, it can be a little concerning when your dog eats something other than treats and dog food. Today we’re going to talk about whether or not it’s safe for your dog to eat snow, and what it could mean for your pup.
Yes – Snow Is Usually Safe To An Extent
Snow, in and of itself, is typically safe for dogs to consume, if you’re monitoring how much of it they’re eating. After all, it is just frozen water vapor. However, experts have said that dogs that eat too much snow can undergo stomach upsets – which is no fun for anybody!
No – When Dogs Eating Snow is a Concern:
Where it can start to get dangerous is if your dog is eating other things HIDDEN in the snow. It’s not good for dogs to eat rocks, twigs, or certain plants, which can frequently be found in snow. So, it’s fine if you’re allowing your dog to have a taste of the snow, just make sure you keep track of how much they’re eating, and what may be concealed inside it.
Is Your Dog Getting Fresh, Cold Water?
Some dogs eat snow because they are unhappy with the quality of their water. I’ve heard stories of owners thinking it’s acceptable to not change a dog’s water for a few days – but this is not the case!
Dogs are just like humans in that they need fresh, clean water to survive. You wouldn’t want to drink a three day old glass of water, right? This is why it’s very important to make sure you’re changing your dog’s water once a day at the minimum. Dogs that aren’t happy with their water source will eat snow in order to hydrate themselves.
However, snow doesn’t contain as much water as one may think. In fact, snow is only about five to 10 percent water. So, your dog would have to eat A LOT of snow to get the same benefits from drinking water – which means stomach upsets! If you’re positive that you’re practicing good upkeep on your dog’s water and they’re still eating excess amounts of snow, this could mean other problems are present.
When’s The Last Time Your Dog’s Seen A Vet?
If your dog is consuming (or trying to consume) lots and lots of snow, it may be time for the trip to the vet. It’s always good to consult a professional when you believe your dog is exhibiting out of the ordinary behavior.
Experts say that when dogs are eating large amounts of snow, it could be a sign of kidney failure, Cushing’s Disease, or other endocrine or hormonal diseases. These conditions cause dogs to have increased water intake, which may explain why they are eating so much snow.
But again, talk to the experts to be sure. Nobody will know better than your veterinarian why your dog may be displaying new behavior. The important thing is to stay calm and not panic.
Snow is Generally Okay for Your Dog
The Winter season can bring loads of fun and good times for you and your dog, but it’s important to remember to stay safe. Never stay out in the cold longer than appropriate, and keep a close eye on what your dog might find to eat in the snow.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to not only take your dog to yearly veterinarian checkups, but to bring them in if anything seems out of the ordinary. Dogs are not as different from people as we may think, they need doctor’s checkups just like us to stay healthy and safe!
Just like children, pets cost money. You can’t get around the fact that you need to be able to feed them, at the very least. Some pets may be cheaper than others to care for, depending on their needs. However, it can be hard to predict whether a pet might one day have more difficult and more expensive needs. Nevertheless, there are ways of making pet ownership more affordable. You can take excellent care of your pet and still manage to save money. Getting the balance right can sometimes be a little tricky, though. Keep reading to find out how to do it.
Buy Supplies in Bulk
Every pet needs to everyday supplies for a happy and comfortable life. Some need bedding, others need litter, and they all need food. The first thing you need to do is identify the brands you want to use. For many pet owners, this is a balance between budget and what’s best for the animal. For example, many owners will choose food that’s not top of the range, but not the cheapest option. Once you have preferred brands, you can start buying things in bulk. This makes it cheaper to buy all your usual supplies, and you’re always going to need them. Of course, there’s always the risk that your pet might one day turn their nose up at their favorite food.
Image Source: Pixabay
Be Prepared for Illness and Injury
No one wants to think of their pet being ill or injured. However, it is something that can happen and often when you’re least expecting it. There are two ways you can prepare for these situations financially. The first thing you can do is have an emergency fund. This is a pot of savings you can build up to use if your pet needs to see a vet. You should also know that pet insurance is essential, especially for more expensive pets. For example, exotic animals or large animals such as horses will have high vet bills.
Make Your Own Toys
Pets love playing with toys, but you don’t have to go overboard. Have you ever bought an expensive item for a cat and found that they preferred the box? Toys for your pet don’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, you can often make them yourself. Boxes and other cardboard items are useful to create toys for cats, ferrets, hamsters, and other animals. You can find ideas for creating toys online, with videos and instructions.
Do Your Own Grooming
Many pet owners take their pet to be groomed by a professional groomer. However, you may be able to do some things at home instead. For example, you could learn to give you dog a trim around their face, so their fur doesn’t get in their eyes. You can learn about how to tidy up their fur or to do something a bit more dramatic. It’s worth learning simple tasks too, such as has to clip claws safely.
Owning a pet does cost money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save some. Just make sure that your pet still receives good care.
If you live in the colder states and experience the crazy winter weather, then you must ensure your dog is nice and warm. In fact, he just might need a winter coat!
Just because dogs have fur that does not mean they are safe from hypothermia. Your dog has a normal body temp of about 100.5 to 102 degrees. If a dog’s body temperature dips below 95 degrees, they can die. While there are a small handful of dogs who are a bit better equipped naturally to handle cold weather, many breeds do require a tad additional protection from the elements. It has nothing to do with trying to make your dog look cute, it really is necessary sometimes.
When is it appropriate to consider additional winter protective gear?
- Keep these guidelines in mind as you ponder whether or not your dog needs a coat.
- Senior dogs or dogs with a compromised immune system or any dog with a pressing health concern.
- Dogs with short coats, such as the greyhound, or those that are naturally from warmer environments.
- Dogs that have been shaved – even if they are customarily cold climate dogs, such as the Saint Bernard or Husky.
Toy, teacup and other small or thing dogs as they don’t have enough body fat to keep them safe from the elements.
When shopping for the best fit, because there are many options out there, you really need to try the coat on your pet before buying. The coat needs to be comfortable. This means that it should allow for easy movement and not impede with their ability to breathe or move around. If you live in a more “soggy/wet” environment you will want to look for waterproof attire. Something with more insulation is what you will need when living in a harsher, snow, freezing temp environment.
Not sure where to start?
Below are a few options to get you pointed in the right direction.
- PC Panache Polarfleece
- The Snuggie
- Hurtta Ultimate Winter Coat
- Italian Greyhound Winter Coat by Chilly dogs
- The Quinzee Insulated Coat
- The Standard Dog Parka by Avery Sporting dog
So, no matter your budget or climate, there’s a coat our there for your dog. Do you have any current favorites? Tell us! We’d love to hear how you keep your dog warm throughout the winter.
As dogs are man’s best friend, we need to do our part too and make sure that we look after them to the best of our abilities. Check out the dos and don’ts below for some tips on how to do this.
Do train them as a puppy
It’s essential that you take the time and effort to train your dog, while they are still young. A lot of unwanted behavior can be avoided by correctly teaching a dog how to behave and who is in control. Remember dogs are pack animals and they will do their things unless you show yourself to be the one in charge.
Training them to sit, lie down, roll over and fetch are all basic moves that are within the capability of any dog to learn. Puppy training will also help to stop them becoming bored and misbehaving as they will have something to tire them out and occupy them.
Don’t use force as a deterrent
If you want a good relationship with your pet, then using violence as a deterrent is not a good idea. Dogs are quite capable of learning without the use of unnecessary force. Just make sure that you are aware of the skills you will need to manage them.
Do tailor their food
It’s important to get the right type and amount of food for the breed of dog you have. Each breed will need a different amount of food per day. An example of how this works is available at the link feeding schedule for German Shepherds.
More active dogs like Greyhound and German Shepherds will need food denser in energy than a lap dog like a Pug or Min Pin. The amount of food they will need will change as they mature too. Firstly increasing and then decreasing when they reach old age.
Don’t forget to have water on offer
Remember just like humans dogs need to keep their bodies hydrated to be healthy. But unlike humans, they can’t go and get a glass of water whenever they feel like it. So make sure that they always have access to fresh water through the day and on walks.
Do exercise them thoroughly
Don’t forget that whatever breed and size you dog is they will need to be exercised every day. This will ensure they live long healthy lives, and minimize the risk of them developing a weight problem. It’s good to walk them twice daily, and also allow them off their leash in a safe place to play fetch and run around.
Don’t over feed them treats
Dogs can have issues with weight gain if there are fed too many treats. Try to restrict the amount of treats you give to your dog, to the portion state on the packet. Avoid giving them scraps of human food as treats. This is because some human food like chocolate and cheese can be harmful to dogs, but they don’t realize this and will gobble it up excitedly. Leaving you to clear up the mess later.
Dog lovers are often animal people, meaning that you might want to have multiple pets in your home. Do dogs get along with other pets? Here’s what you need to know about introducing additional pets to your dog.
Dogs Do Get Along With Other Pets
In short, many dogs can get along with other pets just fine. Dogs have been known to cohabitate with cats, rabbits, other dogs, and even birds quite peacefully. However, a proper introduction and training needs to take place in order for a dog to live with other pets.
It’s important to remember that, even with proper introduction and training, each dog is an individual. Some dogs simply may not get along with certain pets. If you’re bringing a new pet into a household where a dog is already present, then it’s best to do so on a trial basis, just to make sure that everything works out between your dog and your new pet.
Introducing Other Pets to Your Dog
When you bring a new pet into your home, you need to make its introduction to your dog a slow one. Keep the new pet in a separate room from your dog for a few days, and then start making short, supervised introductions. Make sure that your dog is securely leashed for these introductions, and have multiple family members available to help. Try to introduce the new pet during times when your dog is already relaxed, and have your dog sit to meet the new pet. If your dog gets too excited, end the meeting and try again later.
With time, you can lengthen the duration of these introductions, and can begin to teach your dog about how to behave around your new pet. Much of your approach will depend on the type of pet that you’ve added to your home. Be sure to pay plenty of attention to your dog while the new pet is present so that he doesn’t feel left out or ignored.
Training Your Dog to Get Along with Other Pets
Even once your dog has gotten used to the new pet, you will need to train your dog about how to interact with your new pet. Dogs instinctively chase prey which runs from them, so you will need to teach your dog a cue for sit and stay. It may be a good idea to enlist the help of a dog trainer during this time.
Keeping Your Dog and Other Pets Safe
It’s important to always remember that your dog has natural instincts which can override his training in some instances. If you have small pets, like hamsters in the house, then it’s important to always be vigilant in supervising the pets when your dog is around. In the case of small pets, it may be simpler to not allow the dog in the room when the pets are out. Make sure that cages are securely closed and out of the dog’s reach.
Does your dog live with other pets? How did you teach your dog to behave around the pets?
Your dog’s tired and it is time to lie down, but he doesn’t just curl up and lie down. Instead, he turns in circles again and again and again before finally curling up. Sometimes he even digs at the carpet before lying down. The behavior that you’re seeing is both common and natural. But just why do dogs circle before lying down?
The Origins of Circling
The circling behavior that you see is an instinct which remains even in today’s domesticated dogs. The instinct has likely been passed down from wolves, which dogs have descended from. The truth is that no one knows the one single reason behind dogs’ circling behavior. In fact, there are likely multiple reasons why your dog circles before lying down.
When your dog circles, he may be making a nest for himself. In the wild, dogs would lie down in snow or tall grasses, and this circling behavior would help to arrange the area into a comfortable nest. Much of the digging or rooting behavior that you see as your dog pushes pillows or blankets around may be his attempt in making his sleeping space as comfortable as possible.
Remember, too, that wolves lived in packs, and would lie down together. Your dog’s circling would be an effective way to mark his spot so that no other pack member claimed it.
Your dog may circle around as a protective measure, too. By circling repeatedly over a patch of grass, a wolf’s motion would scare away insects and snakes. One he finally laid down, his spot would be free of animals which could potentially hurt him.
It’s also possible that the circling behavior allowed a wolf to check on the other members of the pack before lying down. For wolf packs, there was safety in numbers, and circling around would reassure a wolf that his other pack members were close by.
Dogs may also circle around in an effort to regulate their temperatures. In cold temperatures, dogs will make themselves deep nests in the snow and will curl up into a small ball to keep warm. In warmer temperatures, dogs may circle about and push as much bedding away as possible before flopping down in a stretched out position. This position helps to keep them cool in the heat.
So, while your dog’s repeated circling may drive you crazy, know that there are several potential reasons behind it. After all, your dog is just listening to his instincts and doing what he thinks he should do.
What are your dog’s rituals when it’s time to lie down to take a nap?
All dogs lick. Maybe your dog licks your hand lovingly as you pet him. Or, maybe he can taste the leftover particles of that piece of pizza you just finished. Dogs lick for many reasons – some good and some not so good.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons dogs lick:
Mmmm…something tastes good!
Does your dog hang around the kitchen when you’re making dinner? Or, maybe he waits eagerly at your elbow when you’re having a snack? Dogs will lick just because they like the taste of something – like that spaghetti sauce that just slipped to the floor from the stove. Keep an eye on your dog, however, because sometimes that food he’s licking – like the chocolate sauce that has trickled onto the kitchen counter or on the floor – might, in fact, hurt him.
Time for grooming.
The type of dog breed you have really determines the type of grooming and how frequently your dog should be groomed. A long haired dog, for example, may require frequent grooming from a professional groomer. A short haired dog, on the other hand, may only need brushed several times a week to keep his coat healthy and shiny. Dogs also lick themselves to keep themselves clean.
I love you!
Licking is a way for dogs to show their affection to those whom they love. Does your dog jump up and lick your face every time you walk through the door after a long day away? Or, maybe your dog cuddles up close to you when you’re feeling blue or sick and licks you in an attempt to make you feel better. Licking is a popular way for dogs to communicate with others – both human and canine.
However, if you don’t like it when your dog licks you, you can easily curb that behavior. Every time he begins to lick you, stand up and move away from him. With time he will begin to associate licking with you leaving.
I am soooo bored.
All dogs show boredom in their own ways. Some dogs may dig. Others may become destructive. Still others may begin to excessively lick and bite their paws and other body parts. If you don’t know why your dog is licking, could it be because he’s bored? Does he have enough to keep him mentally and physically stimulated every day? Does he get plenty of walks? Do you give him plenty of attention? If not, try giving him more toys, taking longer walks, and spending more time with him to see if the licking slows down.
Maybe it’s time to see the vet.
A dog may begin to excessively lick himself, perhaps maybe the same area compulsively. Compulsive licking could be a red flag that something is wrong with your dog, especially if you have ruled out boredom and the other common causes of excessive licking. Excessive licking can result in bare spots in your dog’s fur. Make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to pinpoint the reason for the compulsive licking.
Why do you think your dog licks?
Your dog runs up to greet you, tail wagging enthusiastically. Later on, you notice that he wags his tail differently when he’s playing with his canine friend. Tail wagging is a common dog behavior, but why do dogs wag their tails?
Dogs Wag Their Tails to Communicate
Tail wagging is, at its very base, a communication method. Dogs also communicate through many different body language techniques, such as raising or lowering their ears, curling back their lips, and altering the overall position of their bodies. While these body language techniques can be subtle, wagging a tail isn’t – tail wagging is a vivid and noticeable communication technique.
Dogs wag their tails to communicate with humans, other dogs, and other animals. Tail wagging can be used to communicate excitement, but it also means much more than that. Many people have come to understand tail wagging to mean that a dog is happy, but a wagging tail can also indicate that a dog is frightened or uncomfortable.
Dogs Wag Their Tails to Communicate Excitement
Many times, your dog will wag his tail to communicate excitement. This is the tail wagging that you see when you arrive home from work, when you ask your dog if he wants to go for a ride, and when you hold up a ball when preparing to throw it. This tail wagging is intended to tell you that the dog is excited about what will happen next.
When your dog is communicating excitement by wagging his tail, his tail will usually be lifted up while he wags it. Your dog will wag his tail quickly, and may wag his tail so enthusiastically that his whole back end starts to wag with it. An excited dog may dance about and run around as he wags his tail.
There’s another subtle way to tell if your dog is wagging his tail from excitement. When dogs wag their tails in excitement, they tend to wag them more to the right side of their bodies than to the left. This may be hard to see unless you can look down over your dog.
Dogs Wag Their Tails to Communicate Fear or Discomfort
The second, lesser recognized reason for a wagging tail is that a dog is uncomfortable or even frightened. It may initially seem difficult to be able to tell the two types of tail wagging apart, but tail wagging to communicate discomfort is actually marked by some notable characteristics.
When a dog is wagging his tail to communicate fear or discomfort, his tail will generally be lower to the ground. The wagging itself will be slower and cautious, and it’s unlikely to see movement in the dog’s hind end. Your dog’s tail wagging may be accompanied by stiff body language and a lowered head. Your dog may also lick his lips.
In contrast to how the tail tends to wag to the right from excitement, dogs who are uncomfortable tend to wag their tails more to the left.
With practice and increased awareness, you can learn to interpret what a dog’s tail wagging means. If you ever see a strange dog wagging his tail, remember that the dog may be indicating fear instead of excitement.
When does your dog wag his tail the most? Has he ever wagged his tail to communicate that he was uncomfortable?
All us dog owners know what it means to have a dog in our lives, and we all agree that a life without a dog is really not a life that has been lived to the fullest!
Dogs make our lives all that much better. We obviously give them the homes, love and care they need to live happy lives with us. Have you ever thought of the effect that our dogs are leaving on the environment around us?
Well, as this article about going green with your dog suggests, we as dog owners must take into consideration the fact that our dog is just as capable of having a positive effect on the environment just like us.
To make sure that you are an environmentally friendly person and your dog is an environmentally friendly living being as well, check out the following points and keep them in mind, for tomorrow’s another day that’s waiting for you to start making a difference from!
Infographic Courtesy Of UltimateHomeLife.com
You’re all ready to go for a walk and you turn around to find your dog asleep in his dog bed….again. That’s the fourth nap that he’s taken today – is it normal? Let’s take a look at how many hours a day dogs sleep.
Dogs Sleep a Lot More Than Humans Do
Adult dogs typically spend between 12 and 14 hours over each 24-hour period asleep. This exact sleep requirement can vary according to the dog, his breed, and his age. As your dog ages, he may need more sleep than he did when he was younger. Puppies tend to need between 18 and 20 hours of sleep, though their needs for sleep decrease as they age.
Your dog will spend most of the night asleep, and then he’ll catch up on the sleep he missed with naps throughout the day. Dogs can sleep when things are boring, and can quickly be awake if a fun activity, like a walk, arises.
How to Help Your Dog Get Better Sleep
There are a number of ways that you can help your dog to get better quality sleep. Discomfort can disturb your dog’s sleep, so provide him with a soft spot, like a dog bed, where he can sleep. It’s also important to position this bed in an area where your dog feels secure. Putting the bed in a corner or other area which is somewhat secluded and which the dog sees as “his” can allow him to feel secure in going to sleep.
You can also help your dog to sleep better by providing him with lots of activity and exercise during the day. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise on a particular day, he may have a harder time staying asleep because of his excess energy.
If your dog is suffering from a condition which causes discomfort, like arthritis, then the quality of his sleep may be affected. If you notice that your dog is sore or uncomfortable, take him to the vet for evaluation and treatment.
Signs That There’s Something Wrong With Your Dog’s Sleep
Dogs sleep a lot, but sometimes things go wrong. If you notice that your dog is suddenly sleeping much more or much less than he normally does, there may be something amiss. Other reasons to be concerned would be if your dog breathes unevenly or moans heavily in his sleep.
You will also want to keep an eye out for unusual lethargy. If your dog is suddenly reluctant to get up from a nap to go for a walk or have his dinner, it’s time to take him to the vet. Lethargy can indicate any number of illnesses and ailments, and it’s a symptom that you should never ignore in your dog.
What are your dog’s sleeping habits like, and what have you done to help him get better quality sleep?
Your dog’s birthday is an important event – he is a member of the family, after all. If you want to make the most of your dog’s birthday, then here are some great ideas on how to celebrate.
Go Out for a Special Drive
Does your dog love car rides? Then take him out for a special drive on his special day. Crack the windows a bit so that air can come into your car (but don’t let your dog stick his head out of the window). Drive to some of your dog’s favorite spots and take him for a walk, let him visit with his dog friends, or treat him to lunch on the road.
Take Your Dog Swimming
If your dog is a fan of water, then he’d probably love to go swimming on his birthday. Find a nearby lake or pond and let your dog be a water dog for a while. Bring along a ball to throw out into the water for a fun game of fetch.
Take a Long Hike
Plan to take a long hike with your dog for part of his birthday celebration. Are there trails nearby that you’ve been meaning to explore? This might be the perfect day to check them out.
Host a Dog Party
If your dog has other canine friends, then invite them and their owners over for a dog party. Offer refreshments for dogs and humans, and let the dogs have some fun time together. Try to limit the party to five dogs or less so that you can keep things under control. If any of the dogs get too excited, then remove them from the group until they’ve quieted down enough to return.
Give Your Dog a Special Treat
Food is often the path to a dog’s heart, so consider giving your dog a special treat on his birthday. Maybe you can treat your dog to a small piece of steak or chicken that he’ll love. You can also pick up something at the pet store – maybe a new toy or treat is in order?
Buy a Birthday Biscuit
Have you seen the gourmet dog treats that are quickly spreading through pet stores everywhere? You may be able to find a special “happy birthday” biscuit just for your dog. If you can’t find a special biscuit, then maybe you can give your dog a special dog treat or a bit of peanut butter for his birthday celebration.
Don’t forget to take photos of your celebration of your dog’s birthday. It can be fun to look back on photos of your day’s activities. If you celebrate your dog’s birthday annually, then make sure to take photos every year. You can collect these together into a photo album which will serve as a great reflection of your dog’s life.
What creative things have you done to celebrate your dog’s birthday?
Have you ever wondered just why your dog has such long, coarse whiskers? The truth is that whiskers serve multiple important functions for your dog. Let’s take a look at whiskers themselves and the reasons that your dog has them.
A Detailed Look at Whiskers
In order to understand why your dog’s whiskers are important, you need to understand a little bit about how the whiskers are built. Your dog’s whiskers are called vibrissae. These vibrissae are long, coarse and rigid hairs which are located along your dog’s upper and lower jaw, eyes, and nose. The vibrissae are embedded deeply into your dog’s skin, and he can control them using small muscles near the surface of his skin. The follicles at the base of the vibrissae are full of nerve bundles, meaning that your dog has excellent feeling of when the vibrissae move or are vibrated by a touch or the wind.
Whiskers Enhance Your Dog’s Sight
Whiskers’ main purpose is to enhance your dog’s sight. Dogs don’t have the greatest of eyesight. To top it off, a dog’s long nose partially obscures his vision of objects that are right in front of him.
That’s where whiskers come in. Your dog’s whiskers help him to tell just where he is in space, so that he doesn’t bump into things. As your dog feels vibrations from his whiskers, he can tell where the wind is coming from or if there is an object close to his face. Think of the accidents that might happen if your dog couldn’t tell that there was a desk corner right by his eye and turned around quickly at a surprising sound or smell.
Whiskers Help Your Dog Find Small Objects
Whiskers are also great at helping your dog to locate small objects. Your dog can’t see what’s directly in front of his nose, but his whiskers can tell him how close he is to the food in his bowl or to the edges of the bowl itself. If your dog is trying to pick up a rope toy from the floor, his whiskers can help him locate just where that toy is without having to move his head around too much to properly see the toy.
Whiskers Help Your Dog Navigate
Whiskers serve a third important purpose: they inform your dog when a space is too small for him to squeeze through. Whiskers extend to roughly the width of your dog’s shoulders, the widest point in his body. If he feels the edges of an area on his whiskers, this can tell him that he shouldn’t try to go into that area. If he did, he might get stuck, and he certainly won’t be able to get through.
All in all, whiskers help your dog to better live his life. He can see, locate objects, and navigate more smoothly thanks to the help that his whiskers give him. Because of their multiple purposes, it’s best to leave your dog’s whiskers intact and untouched.
Have you ever noticed your dog using his whiskers to better “see” an object?
Any dog owner will already have thought of the basics when it comes to keeping their pooch safe. You’ll know to regularly vaccinate, take for health check ups and your garden is likely secured with a few fences and other obstructions.
While cats are known as the most inquisitive creatures on the planet, their canine counterparts can more than keep up. Dogs like to explore and follow scents, and that can mean that basic measures aren’t quite enough to control their inner Columbus. From a ground point, there’s always room for improvement, so here’s some ideas you might not have considered.
Many people see harnesses and think of them as the reserve of only powerful or badly behaved dogs. This is a stigma that needs to die out. Harnesses offer better control of a dog should he decide to rush off to investigate something while on a walk. They also have the added bonus of not applying pressure directly to the neck. Instead, they spread your commands through your dog’s torso and breastplate.
A well-fitting harness is worth its weight in gold. You might think that your dog is immune from rushing off without your say so. Unfortunately it only takes only particularly enticing rabbit to bring out their wolf streak.
Dogs are diggers. Any gardener with a pet pooch has likely experienced this painful realization. Usually it’s when they see that their flower beds have once again been disturbed. This desire to dig and hide things can cause problems for physical barriers erected in a back garden. A clever dog is going to be able to get beneath them, and then, the world is their oyster.
One solution to this problem is invisible fencing. This is exactly as it sounds. An electrical charge is run around the perimeter you wish to secure. Should your dog try to cross it, they receive a painful but harmless shock of electricity. This will teach them where they can and can’t go. Importantly, there’s no digging beneath an electrical charge! Look for specialist installers such as http://www.atkinsinc.com/invisible-fencing/ to ensure the job’s done right.
GPS might be something you more associate with helping you navigate on road trips, but it has a few more uses. Attachments to collars can be purchased which allow you to always know where your dog is. This is particularly useful for times when you might let your dog off the lead so he can explore by himself. Even the most well-trained of animals will have moments of rebellion. Luckily, if he goes out of sight, one of these little devices will help you find him in half the time.
Dog coats do have other useful functions such as protection. Take care if you’re treating your pooch to a long woodland walk. He might come into contact with brambles and thorns that can break the skin and cause serious wounds. A coat over the most exposed parts of his body should help control this risk, limiting the concern over infections and further issues.
The vast majority of dog owners can all add a little something extra to their armory when it comes to ensuring their dog is safe. Not only does your dog benefit, but you do too- from the extra peace of mind.
If you have been trying to find a way to get your dog drink more water, as well as ensure they have plenty available while you are away from home, you may want to consider investing in a water fountain for pets. Believe it or not, there are some dogs that really don’t make a habit of meeting their daily intake of water. This can be dangerous in many cases. It is very, very important to ensure your dog is drinking enough fresh water.
The benefits of keeping your dog hydrated are:
- Helps prevent urinary tract issues.
- Maintains healthy kidney function.
- Helps keep their energy up.
- Maintains temperature regulation, especially on hot/humid days.
There are many different models of dog fountains to choose from. It all depends on your preference and budget. Dog fountains are made out of different materials, too: Plastic, Stainless Steel and Ceramic to name a few. If you are considering a plastic fountain, be sure to look for one that is made of BPA-free plastic as well as dishwasher safe. Stainless Steel fountains are popular because they go well with most kitchen decor and are often recommended by vets as one of the safest to utilize. Ceramic fountains are generally an attractive fit for most kitchens because they come in so many different styles, plus they are very easy to keep clean.
So, which do you choose?
Look below for a few highly rated models, however as always, I suggest you do a search via the internet as you will see for yourself the wide variety to choose from.
- PetSafe Drinkwell Original Fountain
- PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Fountain
- PetSafe Drinkwell Stainless Multi-Pet Fountain
- Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain Raindrop Design
- Drs. Foster & Smith Westport Ceramic Fountain
- Aspen Cool Flow Pet Fountain
While each model will vary with regard to Pro versus Con but, a few of the major points to consider during the selection of your model should be:
- Most are extremely safe to use.
- The constant flow / circulation helps keep bacteria at bay, inhibiting its growth.
- Easy to clean.
- The flowing movement of the water can be an attraction to your pet, making drinking interesting.
- Many do not come with a reservoir or large bowl.
- Have to fill more often.
- Many are not suitable for outdoor use.
- Many will not allow more than one dog at time.
- Your pet may not like it.
- You need to ensure the size will be good for your pet, you don’t want it too small or too large.
If you’re in the market for a dog fountain or have ever considered trying one out, we hope you have found this article as a great starting point. Do you already have a dog fountain? Which one do you use?
Before buying or rescuing a dog, every smart owner knows that what is ahead isn’t that easy. Your beloved pet will need feeding, cleaning, walking and loving. It will cost you money and time. However, he or she will repay you with big rewards, and incredible loyalty. Articles like “10 Reasons Your Pet Makes You Healthier” also explain how. Plus, what makes a better companion than a dog?
So, we know it won’t be easy. But that doesn’t mean it has to be really hard! In fact, there are lots of ways to make having a dog more manageable. Wondering what these ways are? Read on to find out…
Hire a dog walker
If you have a demanding job or one that requires you to work irregular hours, you may struggle to walk your dog. It is crucial to remember that taking your dog for a walk is not optional. It has to be done, in order to keep the dog healthy. Keeping he or she cooped up indoors all day is not good for their mental state either, and may lead them to bad behavior. If taking them out daily is getting too hard, hire a dog walker. Have a second walker’s number in your phone in case you need help last minute and the first is busy.
Get the kids involved
It may be that you have children. It may also be that they were the ones who convinced you to get a dog in the first place! If this is the case, divide the jobs related to your pet new between everyone in the family. You could take it in turns to do each job, and set up a rota. One child could be in charge of cleaning them for a week while the other is in charge of taking them for a walk. Then, the next week, they swap. Alternatively, everyone could be given one task that they have to stick too. So, one person takes on all feeding duties. Another takes on all cleaning duties. Another takes on walking duties. You can share the loving and playing duties out between you, of course!
Make their bed covers washable
Whether big or small, hyperactive or docile, your dog won’t always be entirely clean! Save yourself valuable hours by getting a bed cover that you can wash. Bed covers from the likes http://barkbedcovers.com come in a range of colors and fabrics, also.
Arrange a monthly delivery of dog food
If regular trips to the shop for dog food is taking up too much time, or becoming inconvenient for you, there is another way. Set up a recurring monthly delivery. Some pet supplies stores can do this for you. Otherwise, arrange delivery from your local store. In some cases, you may be able to get free delivery at a time that suits you as long as you order above a minimum amount. You can re-order the same things each month. Plus, if you have a big dog, it saves you from carrying huge boxes of the stuff yourself! You can find more tips on looking after a larger dog at www.findosavy.com.
Playtime is important for every dog. Play gives your dog exercise and entertainment, which means that he’ll be less likely to exhibit destructive behaviors out of boredom. And most important of all, playtime is fun for your dog. Here are some fun games to play with your dog that you can both enjoy.
Fetch is a great game to play with any dog. Fetch can be played on many different levels – you can toss a toy across the room and teach your dog to retrieve it, or you can throw a ball as far as possible while outside so that your dog gets some quality exercise in the process. Many dogs adore playing fetch.
Playing Frisbee is a fun takeoff on fetch. Make sure that you find a soft, flexible Frisbee, and throw it high in the air so that your dog has the chance to catch it before it lands. With a little practice, athletic dogs get incredibly good at making impressive leaps to snatch the Frisbee out of midair.
If you live near a lake or pond, then dock diving may be an option for you. Dock diving is similar to fetch, but instead of racing after a ball in your yard, your dog chases the ball into the water, diving off the dock. Dock diving is actually an organized sport, but you can always play it for fun, too. Water-loving dogs are sure to have a great time with this game.
Hide and Seek
When you’re stuck inside, teach your dog to play a game of hide and seek. Have your dog sit and stay, then go and hide somewhere. Once you’ve hidden, call your dog. You may have to call a few times when teaching your dog the game, but when he finds you, make a big deal of the accomplishment and praise him. Your dog will quickly get the hang of the game.
There are many fun games involved in the sport of agility. You don’t have to train to compete, but can use the games for fun. Teach your dog to jump over obstacles, to weave cones, and to balance on a teeter totter and you’ll have more than enough games to entertain you both for quite a while. For added fun, try to see if your dog can navigate an entirely agility course.
If your dog loves treats, then he’s sure to love this game. Hide small treats around the house, then tell your dog to “find the treats.” Your dog’s sensitive nose will quickly lead him to the treats, and he’ll get the hang of this game with little to no training.
What are some of the games that you and your dog like to play together?
According to NBC news, pet owners were expected to spend 60 billion dollars on their dogs for the year 2015. Are you surprised? We’re not! With these figures in mind, it’s no surprise that naming a dog can become quite the adventure and a very important one at that! Not sure what to name your dog? Or maybe you’re just kind of wondering what other people were naming their dogs last year? Take a look at these “Top” lists that we’ve compiled for you.
Top 10 Male Dog Names
Top 10 Female Dog Names
For the complete list of the Top 100 Dog Names for 2015, head on over to the American Kennel Club!
Maybe, you’re looking for some, not so ordinary inspiration. Check out this wacky list of dog names! Amusing, but we’re not so sure how we would feel about shouting these names out at the dog park…
Top 10 Wacky Dog Names of 2015
Before we continue, let me assure you that these are in fact REAL dog names. Learn more about these wacky named pets over at PetInsurance.com!
- Baron Von Furry Pants
- Artoo Dogtoo
- Rosie Picklebottom
- Parker the Barker
- Abigail Carmichael Spartacus
- Smiley Cyrus
- Nutmeg Spice O’Paris
- Abraham Lincoln Continental
- Bizkit Au Chocolat
- Scuddles Unterfuss
How do our dogs let us get away with these wacky names anyway? Dave Barry said it best: “You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!'”
You know the sound all too well. Paws scratching at fabric. Maybe it’s the fabric of a brand new sofa or your favorite blanket. Your beloved pup is at it again – digging. And, while your dog is having the time of his life, you’re becoming stressed, maybe even angry and frustrated. The key to calming the situation is to understand why dogs dig.
Why does your dog dig? Well, it could be one of several reasons, including:
It’s a natural instinct.
Domesticated dogs still have some of their wild counterpart’s traits in them. Digging is simply a natural instinct. You can ensure your dog doesn’t engage in destructive digging by providing him with plenty of toys and taking him on several walks daily to provide him with the mental and physical stimulation that is necessary to keep him happy. Some people block off a space in their garden with fencing and allow their dog to safely dig in that space to satisfy his natural urges to dig.
He’s a born hunter.
Some breeds – such as the terrier and the dachshund – are born hunters. They put their nose to the ground wherever they go outdoors in an attempt to pick up the scent of prey. Oftentimes their prey is burrowed deep in the ground requiring the dog to dig to get at it. Your dog may dig because he smells the scent of prey.
Dogs are a lot like people. Boredom can result in both dogs and humans turning to destructive behavior. In your dog’s case, that behavior may be digging the furniture, the carpets, the back garden, anywhere your pooch can relieve his frustration through digging. Make sure your dog has plenty of toys, a lot of attention, and sufficient exercise to help prevent him from becoming perpetually bored.
He just wants to be with you.
Those dogs who suffer from separation anxiety may dig to try to escape the house when their family leaves. Let’s say your dog has separation anxiety. He may follow you to the door when you leave the house. After you close the door behind you, he may begin to dig at the carpet,and the door, whining and crying as he tries to reach you. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the most effective ways to deal with separation anxiety.
He wants to escape.
Dogs don’t always like being confined for too long, especially if it is in a small space. Your dog may start digging to escape his surroundings. Or, if he’s playing in the garden, he may see another dog walk by or a cat dart past him and he just wants to get to that dog or cat to check her out.
If you want to curb your dog’s digging, start by determining why he is digging. Once you know why he’s digging, you can find an effective way to deter that behavior by redirecting his attention elsewhere.
Does your dog dig? What does he like to dig?
Most dog parents, at least once or twice, have been startled awake by a cool, wet nudge to their face. Sometimes it tickles. Sometimes it stuns. But, it’s always a sign that your dog loves you. But, why exactly do dogs have wet noses?
Well, there are several reasons dogs have wet noses, including:
Your dog’s nose is so lick-able.
Have you ever stopped to watch how often your dog licks his nose in one day? Try keeping track one day. He probably licks his nose much more than you would think. Dogs often lick their nose multiple times when eating and drinking, to grab those final stray crumbs or dabs of water after a meal. Dogs typically lick to keep their noses clean.
Your dog picks it all up.
A dog’s nose isn’t just lick-able. It also picks up plenty of dirt, debris, and moisture – rain, snow, water from puddles – from the ground. That’s also another reason your dog has a wet nose.
Your dog is cooling himself down.
Dogs, unlike people, cannot sweat. Instead, dogs cool themselves down in several ways, such as panting and releasing moisture through the paws. That moisture is also released through a dog’s nose. If your dog’s nose is wetter than normal on a hot day, he may just be trying to cool down.
Your dog may be sick.
A wet nose may be normal. But, does your dog also have discharge coming out of that wet nose? If he does, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. He may be sick.
Alternately, your dog’s nose may signal that there’s something wrong even if it is not wet. If your dog’s nose is uncharacteristically warm or if it is wet and has cracks in the skin, he could be sick.
Your dog may be tracking something.
Dogs, especially those with the hunting instinct, use their noses to track scents. That’s why bloodhounds and other breeds of dog are trained and used to track the scent of missing people and to find illegal drugs. Some experts assert that the dampness of a dog’s nose helps enhance the dog’s scent.
Your dog’s nose is covered with mucus.
Sure, it may sound, well, kind of gross but the mucus on your dog’s nose is necessary. However, it is not there all of the time. When your dog is tracking a scent, his nose will automatically create a light layer of mucus. The mucus makes it much easier for your dog to smell because it allows the nose to absorb the chemicals in scents.
A dog’s nose has a lot of responsibilities. It helps regulate the body’s temperature. It offers warning signs that there may be health issues and that nose of your dog’s could very well save a missing person.
If your dog begins to show signs of illness – a warm nose, a cracked nose, or lethargy – head to the vet as soon as possible.
Does your dog have a wet nose or is it dry most of the time?
Okay, so maybe watching a dog chase her tail can be rivaled by very little when it comes to cuteness. But, do dogs chase their tails for a reason or is tail chasing just a natural instinct that all dogs have?
Not all dogs chase their tails but those that do may be chasing their tails for one of several reasons, including:
What is that back there?
Have you ever seen a puppy chase her own tail? She catches sight of her tail out of the corner of her eye and begins to spin in circles, trying to catch her tail. Puppies, at least when they are very young, don’t know they have a tail. So, when your puppy discovers her tail, she is going to want to catch it and check it out. Tail chasing is typically just a phase that most puppies grow out of as they get older. If your dog does not grow out of the tail chasing, she may be chasing her tail for another reason, which may or may not be quite as cute.
Is your dog sick?
Sometimes a dog chasing her tail is an indication that something is wrong health-wise. Your dog may be suffering with painful flea bites or worms or she may have some sort of illness. If you notice your dog constantly chasing her tail and trying to bite it, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Someone’s bored and/or frustrated.
Does your dog spend a lot of time locked up in a crate? Does she spend a lot of time in a confined space? A dog confined for too long and too often may become bored and frustrated. That boredom and frustration may present itself as your dog chasing her tail. If you think your dog is chasing her tail because she’s confined to too small of a space, give her more space to see if the behavior decreases.
A bored dog, who simply doesn’t get enough mental and physical stimulation, may also use tail chasing as a way to combat that boredom. Does your dog have enough toys? If she does, try rotating her toys. Give her a few one day. Take them away the next day, replacing them with other toys. That may just help with the tail chasing.
Someone’s a clown.
Sometimes there’s absolutely no negative reason your dog is chasing her tail. Maybe your dog is just a clown who likes to see you laugh. If your dog gets a positive reaction when she chases her tail – such as laughter or applause – she may just love all that attention. So, when she sees you or wants some positive attention, she may just start chasing her tail to see your reaction.
If your dog chases her tail on a regular basis, try to figure out why. If she’s not a puppy who has just discovered her tail or she’s not just a clown, you may need to take action to determine the cause and to find a solution.
Does your dog chase her tail?
Every dog pants. A dog has to pant to maintain her temperature and to help prevent overheating. Heavy panting, however, is a different story. Knowing the common reasons dogs pant will help you determine if your dog’s panting is normal or, if it’s not, what may be causing the panting.
Why do dogs pant? Let’s take a look:
Your dog may be sweating.
Dogs sweat differently than humans. The majority of their sweating, in fact, comes when they pant. Panting helps your dog cool down and regulate his temperature. Help your dog cool down by ensuring he has a shady place to sit, if he’s outside, and by offering him some cool water to help bring down his temperature.
Your dog may be suffering from heatstroke.
Your dog can easily be overcome with heatstroke, especially if she’s been outside in the heat without access to shade or to water. Some dogs, due to advanced age or health issues, may also be more prone to heatstroke. If you notice your dog is panting excessively and appears to be in distress, take immediate action by removing her from the heat and taking her to the veterinarian right away. During the ride to the vet, turn on the air conditioning while keeping the windows down to allow the cool air to circulate. If you do not immediately treat your dog, she may fall unconscious, suffer from long-term health issues, or die.
Your dog may be afraid.
Everyone shows fear in their own way. Dogs may yelp, put their tail between their legs, or attempt to hide. Your dog may also pant if she is afraid. Perhaps a larger dog coming toward you during a daily walk scares her or she may be afraid, like many dogs are, of thunder or fireworks. Help your dog calm down by talking calmly to her, petting her, and, if possible drowning out the sound of thunder or fireworks with music or the television, if that’s what’s scaring her.
Your dog may be sick.
Heavy panting could be a sign that your dog is sick or is suffering from a chronic health issue. Common health issues that may result in panting include Cushings Disease, pneumonia, lung problems, and heart failure. Your veterinarian may put your dog on medications if she has a chronic illness, which may reduce the heavy panting.
Your dog may have been poisoned.
Heavy panting could indicate that your dog has ingested something poisonous. If you dog is panting excessively but does not appear to be suffering from heat stroke, fear, or excitement, consult with a veterinarian immediately. Failure to get immediately treatment could result in death.
Your dog may be excited.
Not all instances of your dog panting have to be negative. In fact, your dog might just pant because she’s really, really excited. Perhaps a family member, who has been gone from home for a long time, has just returned? Your dog may bark, run around, and pant because she’s so excited.
When does your dog pant?
Most people tend to think they’re doing their pets a favor when they take a puppy in to live with them, but have you ever stopped to think that maybe it’s the other way around? There are actually quite a few scientifically sound reasons to think your pet makes you healthier.
To keep things short, we’re just going to list 10.
1. Pets are good for your heart.
Researchers at the American Heart Association have discovered that owning a pet actually reduces your chance of cardiovascular disease.
2. Pets increase mood and support mental health.
Ever talked to your pet about your day or tell him/her about the pesky co-worker who keeps stealing your lunch? Pet therapy is actually a very real method of treatment used to reduce anxiety, pain and depression. Having a pet can be a very cost effective means of staying mentally healthy and stable.
3. Pets keep you moving.
There aren’t too many dog owners who would call taking their canine out to poop a privilege, but the little physical exertions pet owners undergo to take care of their animals adds up over time. The level at which pet owners physically benefit from these activities differs from pet to pet, but on average pet owners remain much more active than people who live without animal companions.
4. Pets can help you quit smoking.
Sure, this is a little nit-picky and smoking has been harped on to death, but it’s true. A 2008 study found that 28 percent of pet-owners were willing to quit smoking after they found out second hand smoke was harmful to their pets.
5. Pets can detect life threatening health hazards.
Dogs in particular have been trained to detect everything from cancer to extremely small amounts of peanuts in order to keep their owners healthy and safe. They’re so effective that researchers are considering the use of dogs as early cancer detection systems, and various other species are capable of similar lifesaving results.
6. Pets help you develop stronger social relationship with other people.
A study conducted at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University discovered people with a “strong attachment to pets reported feeling more connected to their communities and relationships.” Looking to save” Looking to save your marriage? Maybe try getting a dog.
7. Pets can calm you during high-stress situations.
We’ve already covered that pets help your overall stress levels, but they also prove helpful in calming you down in the moment. Ever notice how your dog or cat somehow just knows when you’re upset and appears at just the right moment? Always helps, doesn’t it?
8. Children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop pet allergies.
Research has shown that children who grow up with pets are much less likely to develop various kinds of allergies as they mature. How does this help you? A healthier child means a less stressed, healthier you.
9. Pets help you recover quicker.
Pet owners have a much faster recovery rate from injuries and illnesses than people who don’t own pets. Who wouldn’t want a faster healing factor?!
10. Pets keep life interesting.
You’ll never die of boredom with a pet in your life, and isn’t boredom the most dangerous health risk of all?
How has your pet made your life better? Tell us!
There is no standard definition of the term “dog park bully.” However, when you are at the park and there is a particular dog that seems too aggressive when playing with other dogs and also refuses to stop when the other dogs attempt to move away, you just might have a bully situation on your hands. Dog bullies can be found everywhere—at daycare centers, shelters, training classes, on your street or even in your own home. As a dog owner, knowing how to handle them will determine if you will have a peaceful home or one where the dogs have to be treated for wounds every other day.
There are no physical features that can aid in the identification of a potential dog bully. As a matter of fact, any dog can be a bully or be bullied in different situations, regardless of their size, breed, age, gender or temperament. Most dog park bullies are recognized when the other dog (the one at the receiving end) does not reciprocate their playful motions. There are situations where dogs playfully bite each other or exhibit some seemingly aggressive motions towards each other, so, it is not just enough to pull a dog back simply because it appears a bit more aggressive than its contemporaries. Their actions go from being playful to being called bullying when the other dog cowers in fright, runs back to their owner or lashes out with a sharp bark or by baring their teeth. Then, it is necessary that the owners of both dogs pull their dogs back to avoid unpleasant situations.
It is not entirely correct to refer to dog bullies as bad dogs. They are dogs that do not possess the dog etiquettes necessary to coexist with other dogs in an off-leash environment. This may be due to a poor development of social skills while the dog was growing; perhaps the dog was denied adequate interactions with other dogs. Thus, it was unable to learn what actions are acceptable and which ones are perceived as discourteous. The tendency to bully may also be as a result of genetic inclinations to ignore usual social skills.
How To Spot a Dog Park Bully
The first thing you should do as a dog owner is to know what level of “rough play” your dog can take part in before they lash out or run away. If your dog can cope with the exuberances of another dog, it is okay if you leave them to sort it out. However, if your dog cannot take much of the hard wrestling, jumps, nips and playful bites, and gives warning signs to that effect when playing with another dog, it is considered a bullying event.
What To Do About Dog Park Bullies
The best thing you can do as a dog owner is to be proactive. First you need to watch out for your own safety while rescuing your dog at the same time. If the dog seems too aggressive, you can make certain hand motions or throw harmless objects like dust to get the bully off your own dog. When you and your dog are safe, leave the area and report to the appropriate authorities.
In most situations involving a truly aggressive dog, the owner or caretaker is usually very close and so they can get their pets under control before it escalates into something more serious. Most importantly, never take chances with your dog. If the situation doesn’t feel right, remove your dog from the situation.
Photo Credit: www.dogpartnership.co.uk