What Dog Food Ingredients Should You Avoid?

You are what you eat. And that expression applies to our fur-legged friends too. Some dog food brands skimp out on the actual healthy ingredients (chicken, beef, etc.) and replace these proteins with fillers. Fillers do not add much nutritional value to what they are eating and, overall are not recommended. Current research is bringing to light that many of these unhealthy ingredients can trigger allergies in your dog as well.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid?

Butylated Hydroxyanisole, also known as BHA, is a chemical preservative found in many dog foods and treats. It is used to preserve fats and oils. The CDC lists this ingredient as a known carcinogen that has negative effects on the liver and kidneys of animals. Some countries actually banned this substance due to this. Although the effects might not be noticeable in small quantities, over a long period of time, feeding your dog food that has BHA in it can contribute to health issues.

White Flour

White flour is usually used as a filler and binding agent in dog food. It is a bleached flour that contains little to no nutritional value. White flour has even proven to cause spikes in blood sugar. This means it may make your dog feel full, but not for a sustained period.

Unspecified Meat or "Meat Meal" With "unspecified" meat in your dog's food, what it is can be a mystery and risky. These meat meals are usually low quality, leftover meats with minimal regulation and or control of quality. Although these products are in many dog foods, try to avoid them. At the very least, pick a dog food where the specific type of meat is listed.

Artificial Colors and Flavorings

Artificial coloring and flavors are added to dog foods to create a more appealing appearance and smell. They are usually listed specifically, and the most commonly found dyes in dog foods are Red 40, Blue 2, and Yellow 5 and 6. These artificial ingredients are simply unnecessary and have been linked to hyperactivity, hypersensitivity, and allergic reactions to foods.

MSG

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is not usually listed on pet food ingredient lists. It is more often found in autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein, calcium caseinate, protein isolate, texturized protein, natural flavors, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extracts, soy extracts or concentrate, sodium caseinate, monopotassium glutamate, glutamate or glutamic acid, or disodium inosinate or guanylate. These ingredients are used to enhance the flavor of dog food but are not necessary.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a concentrated sweetener that is derived from corn. It is inexpensive to produce and is often added to processed dog foods to add flavor without costing a lot of money. Corn syrup, like white flour, causes your dog's blood sugar to spike, which is not healthy and known to cause health issues down the road.

Farmed Salmon

Farmed salmon refers to salmon that is grown inland in artificial habitats. These are not fish in the actual ocean, have never seen or been in the ocean, and are grown specifically to be harvested for food. If they are found in your dog's food, they will be simply listed as salmon, salmon meal, or salmon oil. If the salmon in your dog's food is wild-caught, it will be listed as so. Farmed salmon is not nearly as nutritious as wild-caught salmon.

Nitrates

Nitrates, more specifically sodium nitrite, is a common preservative found in dog foods. It is used to preserve meat products. This preservative, although currently deemed safe to be used in dog food, has been linked to a blood disorder called methemoglobin as well as cancer.

STPP

STPP, or sodium tripolyphosphate, is a common ingredient in laundry detergent that softens the water. In dog food, it is used as a preservative. Since it is an actual chemical that does not contain any nutritional value, it is best to avoid it in your dog's food. Taking the time to shop for quality dog food will yield a better long-term health outlook for your dog. Just because an ingredient is approved for use in dog food does not always mean you should use it. Natural ingredients are always recommended and should be looked for.

Puppy Accidents and How to Clean Them

Accidents happen... All puppies, from time to time, don’t make it outside before they do their business. If your puppy, like most, has an accident indoors, don’t overstress. It is important, though, to realize that indoor puppy accidents can cause your carpet and furniture to smell or even be destroyed. The key is to cleanse the area as soon as possible. This is important for two reasons. The first is because the waste left on the carpet or furniture can absorb into the fibers which makes removing the odor very difficult. The second is because once these odors remain, regardless of how slight, your four-legged friend may return to the same area and relieve himself there again.

How to Prevent Indoor Accidents

Being consistent with your puppy’s potty-training routine is key. Also, providing your puppy with ample outdoor potty time is essential. For those who work all day, considering a daytime pet sitter to stop over and allow your puppy a potty break also will help the issue. Using positive reinforcement is always more effective than using discipline in this process.

How to Get Urine Odors Out of a Carpet

Dog urine gets absorbed into the carpet as an acid that causes damage to the carpet’s fibers. Upon the urine drying up, it results in an alkaline residue. If urine salts are not cleaned with a professional pet cleaning product, this may result in a foul urine smell building up over time. Absorbing the wet urine with a dry rag, followed by washing the infected area, will help to remove the urine and smell. At times, this process may need to be completed two or more times.

How to Get the Urine Smell Out of a Couch?

If your pup had an accident on your couch, professional cleaning products should be used to cleanse the area. After the couch is cleansed, keep your puppy away from it until the area is complete and the odor is completely gone. Dogs tend to remark the same spot over and over and detect this area by smelling where they previously went.

At Home Cleaning Products

Did you know that you can naturally clean pet stains and odors using commonly found items in your pantry? Ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, vodka, orange, lemon, and salt to clean pet urine work well. You can neutralize and clean surfaces by using a combination of these products. The issue with using a synthetic cleaner on a carpet is that it can damage and remove its color and add unnecessary toxic chemicals to your home. By utilizing more natural ingredients, especially things like enzymatic cleaners with essential oils, pet owners can keep their homes safe from the buildup of harmful fumes and chemicals that can make their pets sick.

Before Using Any Cleaning Product

Before applying any cleaning solution, you should always test it on a small area of your rug or furniture to ensure it won’t do any damage. Once the ingredients demonstrate that they are working and not causing damage, be sure to cleanse the area with a copious amount of the product and thoroughly scrub the infected area. Dog urine can be very difficult to clean fully and, if not removed, can cause more issues down the road. Regardless of what products you use, all puppy owners need to remember that their puppies are still learning and want to make you happy. Being patient, using positive reinforcement, and taking the time to train your four-legged friend right will yield positive long-term results.

Type of Service Dogs

Service dogs are well-trained professional dogs that help to those who need them. Each service dog has a specific set of skills that require training and testing to master. Service dogs perform impressive tasks such as leading the blind, assisting with day-to-day tasks, and providing comfort and companionship. Actual service dogs are backed and protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Some of the most common services provided by service dogs include:

* Guide Dogs
* Autism Service Dogs
* PTSD Service Dogs
* Hearing Dogs
* Medical Alert Dogs
* Diabetic Alert Dogs
* Seizure Response Dogs
* Allergy Detection Dogs
* Mobility Assistance Dogs
* Medical Alert Dogs

There are other types of service dogs, and if you have a condition that is not listed above, you may still be able to apply for a service dog.

Common Breeds of Service Dogs

Although service dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds, the following list of dog breeds tends to be the most common. These breeds generally have very caring and outgoing demeanors with outstanding personalities. They also tend to train with ease and enjoy companionship. Most service dogs show little to no signs of aggression and have very warm and approachable demeanors.

Labrador Retriever – A very smart and personable breed of dog that has a loving and outgoing personality.


German Shepherd – A loyal and alert dog who enjoys the company of his family. This breed loves outdoor activity time.


Golden Retriever – A loving and gentle breed of dog who is exceptional in all family shapes and sizes. This breed also does well with other pets in the home.


Poodle – This breed is considered the most intelligent breed of dog in existence. They train with ease and enjoy and thrive off of human interaction.


Bernese Mountain Dog – An alert and active dog that is known to quickly bond with his family. They train with ease and are eager to please.


Great Dane – A large and loving dog that is known for its loyalty and caring personality. They tend to make great service dogs, especially for those who suffer from PTSD and anxiety.


Saint Bernard – By nature, this breed is a service dog. They have a long history of helping mankind and generally have very protective and loyal personalities.


Pomeranian – Small and lovable. This breed of dog does well in smaller homes. This breed is patient and caring and very loyal to its family. They specialize in a variety of service dog tasks.


Boxer – This breed is alert and loyal and enjoys assisting his human counterpart. They are smart and agile dogs with great personalities.


Border Collie – A very loving and caring dog that tends to stick by your side. This breed is also smart, which makes training easy. They are eager to please and tend to be happy when you are. They also tend to do well in households that have children.

Is it Mandatory to Register Service Dogs?

No. Registering a service dog is not required in the United States under law, but it is suggested. Doing so it will help to eliminate any confusion or restrictions you may run into in the future. Unfortunately, there has been a rise in fake service dogs, which is why it is essential to make sure you and your dog are adequately protected. Properly being registered will make things easier. Many private businesses have rules against non-service animals entering their establishment, which is a primary reason to have your service dog registered.

Where Can You Register a Service Dog?

There are a few organizations that offer service dog registration. These organizations will require that you describe your disability and or need, what tasks your dog is capable of offering, and the specific training your dog completed. These options include websites such as Service Dog Certification, United States Dog Registry, and USA Service Dog Registration.

Service dogs have made a positive impact over the years and have validated the expression “man’s best friend.” Through proper training and care, the services that these amazing dogs are able to provide continue to get better and better. Doing the appropriate research before getting a service dog will help you find the best breed for your specific needs.

Dog Harnesses

Are you considering making the transition from a basic dog collar to a dog harness? Many people have made the switch because a harness offers more control of over a dog which is especially important on outdoor walks. Harnesses also prevent neck discomfort that standard dog collars cause. Despite dog harnesses being the best choice for our fur-legged friends, they must fit your dog properly in order to be most beneficial. In this blog, we will explain the importance of proper harness sizing for pups and help you determine your dog’s accurate harness measurements.

First, let’s review some of the primary benefits of a dog harness.

Less pulling on walks: A dog harness is positioned along the dog’s back and chest, which makes it more difficult for a dog to take his owner for a walk instead of his owner taking him for a walk. Unlike a typical dog collar that allows a dog to securely plant his feet on the ground, gain traction, and pull forward, a harness gives the dog’s handler more control of their entire body. This will prevent a dog from taking over on the walk and allow his handler better control.

Less pressure on the dog’s throat and neck: The design of a dog harness allows for the pressure points to be on his chest. This prevents your dog’s neck and throat area from being constricted, which is more comfortable and much safer than a standard dog collar. A dog harness is recommended even more so for dogs who suffer from disc conditions and arthritis.

Much better control of your dog: Some dogs can slip out of standard dog collars, which only offer one point of security around their necks. It is improbable for your pup to accidentally slip out of a properly fitted dog harness, even if your dog is a master of escape.

Basics Fitting a Dog Harness

As great as a dog harness is, it is only effective when it properly fits your dog. The harness must be secure against a dog’s body and should not allow for any slipping or rubbing against the skin. Harnesses that are too tight may cause discomfort for your pup. Harnesses that are too loose on your pup increase the risk of them slipping out of it and running off. This is why assuring the harness is placed properly over your dog is key.

The Two Finger Rule

When determining if your dog’s new harness is right for them, you should always follow the two-finger rule. This means that you should be able to place two fingers snuggly under the harness when it is secured. More than two fingers mean the harness is too loose. Less than two fingers mean the harness is too tight. This amount of slack allows for comfortable movement for your dog while also preventing him to be able to escape it.

Properly Measuring Your Dog for a Harness

Pet supply stores generally have a sizing chart for each product sold. This chart will provide measurements and specifications of each dog harness for sale. Comparing this size chart to your dog’s size is very important.

Measure Your Dog’s Neck Girth

You can use a flexible plastic measuring tape to measure your dog’s neck. Measure the area around where a collar would typically be placed. Remember to use the two-finger rule in this measurement, as some slack is necessary. Make a note of this measurement by writing it down.

Step 3: Measure Your Dog’s Chest Girth

Next, you will measure your dog’s chest girth by using the same measuring tape and measuring the widest portion of your dog’s rib cage. Be sure you measure around completely, with the end of the tape coming together on the top of the dog’s back. Make a note of this measurement by writing it down.

Step 4: Measure Your Dog’s Body Length

The last area measurement needed is your dog’s body length. Using the same measuring tape, measure your dog from his neck to the base of his tail. Certain dog harnesses require this measurement which is good to have just in case. Make a note of this measurement by writing it down.

After taking these measurements and writing them down, you will be able to compare them with the sizing chart for your harness of choice. It is also recommended to talk to staff at the pet supply store who can address any questions or concerns you may have before buying the harness.

Getting Adjusted to Using a Dog Harness

Getting adjusted to using a dog harness (for you and your pup) is generally an easy transition. Many dog owners find that once they start using a harness for their dogs, daily walks become easier and more enjoyable. Taking the time to find the proper dog harness will yield years of safer, more comfortable, and more enjoyable walks.

Top Dog Training Collars

Training your dog is essential for many reasons and is something that all dog owners need to focus on, beginning when their dog is a puppy. A properly trained dog will be easier to live with and will help keep him and your family safe. Positive reinforcement training techniques tend to yield the best long-term results, and one of the tools many dog owners rely on is training collars. Training collars can assist in getting your dog comfortable with the feeling of wearing a collar and help gently correct habits and/or improper behavior. The question many dog owners ask is, what type of collar will my dog do best with?

What Types of Collars Are There?

Standard Dog Collar: A standard dog collar, also known as a buckle collar, is one of the most common types of training collars used. These collars are used on dogs of all shapes and sizes and are easy to put on and adjust. Although they are not as corrective as other dog collars, they are easily deployed and will prevent your dog from feeling choked while they are using them to walk with you.

Choke Collar: A choke collar is a very common training collar used to catch your dog’s attention when they are initially learning how to walk on a leash. This type of collar is designed to tighten when your dog pulls on the lead, which will cause a degree of discomfort until they stop pulling. After a few walks with this collar, your pup will learn to walk with you, not away from you.

Martingale Collar: A martingale collar is considered a choke collar; however, much more of a gentle one. These collars are basically a combination of a buckle collar and slip lead, as they have a second loop on the collar that will tighten as a dog pulls. The loop, however, will only allow the collar to tighten slightly, so it will not apply the same pressure on your dog as a routine choke collar or slip lead. The tightness applied to their neck is generally enough to gain their attention and compliance.

Prong Collar: A prong collar is used to control dogs that have a greater physical force and or pull. Generally, this type of collar is used on dogs who continue to pull or run and ignore the effects of a standard or choke collar. A prong collar consists of metal links that face inward on the collar, coming in contact with your dog’s neck. When the dog pulls or runs, pressure is applied by these prongs, which will move close together, creating a pinch around the dog’s neck. The pinch is generally enough to catch your dog’s attention and slow down or stop his excessive pulling. It should be noted that these collars should only be used by those who have experience using them. They are recommended only after other basic collars have proven ineffective.

Shock Collar: A shock collar is a training collar that delivers a light shock or vibration to the dog’s neck when the owner activates it. These collars come with a small wireless remote control that the owner holds, allowing them to send a signal to the collar when the dog is acting inappropriately. The goal behind this type of collar is to teach your dog that a certain behavior will result in an annoying and or uncomfortable sensation. If you are trying to teach your dog not to run after people, and when he does, he feels this uncomfortable sensation, he will correlate the behavior to it. In time the dog will typically stop the undesired behavior without even receiving the sensation.

Dog Collar

A Collar Is Just a Tool

Dog owners need to remember that a training collar is just a tool they have in helping to train their dogs. Proper dog training takes time and effort. In many instances, we are trying to teach our dogs certain things that are against their own instincts. Dogs naturally like to chase things and run free. Although collars, when utilized correctly, will help to train a dog, consistent positive reinforcement is very important. Some dog breeds tend to train more quickly than others and will require less strenuous training. Being patient, caring, and remembering that this takes time will help make the training process easier for you and your dog.

Your Dog's Amazing Nose

No matter what breed of dog you have, there is one common quality they all share. Their incredible sense of smell! Their ability to pick up on even the faintest scents has allowed for their survival for hundreds if not thousands of years. It has also allowed them to be utilized to assist humankind in tracking and retrieving game, locating missing people, detecting diseases in people, and finding illegal substances, such as narcotics.

How Sensitive Is Their Nose?

Animal care specialists and dog owner, Jen Eleao, explained that a dog's sense of smell is somewhere between 25,000 to 100,000 times more acute than ours. This is due to our fur-legged friends having up to 100 million sensory receptor sites in their nasal cavity compared to six million receptors in people. The area of the canine brain devoted to analyzing scents is about forty times larger than the equal part of the human brain. "Our dogs are full-blown scent detection machines," Eleao explains, "which is why they are capable of tracking even the faintest scent for miles."

How Their Scent Detection Works.

Unlike humans who inhale and exhale at different times, a sniffing dog's nose is designed to allow air to travel in and out at the same time, creating a continuous circulation of air. By keeping a continuous flow of air entering their nose, they are capable of maintaining a steady track of what they are looking for. A dog's nasal cavity is divided into two separate chambers and opens into two nostrils that move independently, and that can take in smells separately. As a dog sniffs a scent, particles and compounds are trapped in the nasal cavity while the dog's scent receptors process them. Part of the inhaled air goes to olfactory analysis, and some of it goes to the lungs to breathe. As a dog exhales, fresh air enters the nose through the slits in their nose, which maintains a steady stream of air and odors flowing.

Best Scent Tracking Breeds

Although all dog breeds are scent specialists, some are better than others. As an example, Eleao explained, although any dog can track the scent of common foods, such as poultry, hound breed dogs have the overall best sense of smell and are able to track just about anything that gives off a scent. Hound dogs rely on their ears almost as much as they rely on their noses. As they smell the scent on the ground, their ears are used to move the air in front of their nose and essentially lift the scent. Smaller dogs such as the French Bulldog and Pug that have short faces may have compromised airways that could affect their overall sense of smell.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How Far Can A Dog Smell Something That Is Traveling Through The Air?

Answer: Generally, most dogs are able to detect scents in the air that originated several miles away. One study showed that some dogs could smell something (with the right airflow) more than ten miles away. A dog smelling something several miles away is comparable to a person smelling a juicy hamburger or chicken cutlet being grilled one block away.

Question: What Does It Mean When People Say Dog Smells In 3D?

Answer: The same way a human uses two eyes to obtain two different views on what they are looking at, which allows our brain to form a 3D image, dogs use both nostrils to create a 3D view of a scent. This allows a dog to determine precisely where objects are located that are giving off a scent.

Question: Are Dogs Used In The Medical Field To Detect Diseases?

Answer: Numerous studies have shown that trained dogs are able to detect a variety of diseases, including lung, breast, ovarian, bladder, and prostate cancers within the human body. There are current studies taking place to determine if dogs are also capable of detecting Covid-19.

Why Are Dogs' Noses Wet?

A dog's nose contains special glands that secrete a layer of mucus in the inner lining of it. The wet lining creates particles in the air to stick to it, which allows the dog to not lose track of the scent.

How To Stop Your Fur-Legged Friend from Barking at Strangers

We love our dogs a lot as they provide us with a lot of joy, but excessive barking can be very difficult to handle, especially on a daily basis. Many dogs will naturally begin to bark when they see someone they do not recognize. Although this is a good thing in some instances, in most, it is unnecessary and annoying. The repeated sound of a barking dog will also eventually annoy neighbors and could land you in hot water with your local authorities. So how do you teach your dog not to bark at strangers?

Why do dogs bark at people they do not know?

First, let’s look at why dogs bark at people in general. The most common reasons are:

General excitement bark: Simply said, dogs are excited to see and interact with new people! Most dogs are very social creatures, and when approached by someone new, they are eager to meet and interact with them. To determine if the barking is excited-based, look at their tail. A highly energetic and wagging tail typically means a happy and excited dog.

Territorial bark: Many dogs are territorial of their home, property, and family. Some dogs view a stranger as someone who is not authorized to be at their home and or as a potential threat to the family living there. The territorial bark is used to warn the stranger to stay away. It is also used to alert the dog’s family that a possible intruder is approaching for safety.

Lack of socialization bark: Dogs that have not been raised in social environments tend not to know what to do when a new face is observed. Barking is a natural reaction in dogs, and this behavior may take place by default. Allow your dog to socialize with other people and pets, which will help him to better accept new people. Fear bark: Your dog may have just been alarmed! Even dogs that are properly socialized and who are not overly territorial can be alarmed and begin to bark. Dogs are designed, for the most part, to be alert and to guard. This can happen to even the most laidback pup, who will bark when scared.

How To Stop The Unwanted Behavior

Do not overreact to their barking. Dogs that bark for attention know their barking is effective when they get a reaction from their human family. Like a child who acts a certain way when he or she needs attention, dogs do too. Limiting your reaction will allow your pup to see that his barking will not result in any attention.

Walk Away

When you walk away from a dog, he recognizes there is no reward. When he barks at someone and you walk away, he may begin to associate the excessive barking with something he should not do. Paying too much attention to the negative behavior may end up making it worse.

Distracting Them

On the flip side, some dogs need a distraction in order to take away their focus on what is causing them to bark. If your dog begins to bark, simply distract them with noise. This can be accomplished by shaking your keys, slapping your hands, whistling, or using one of his favorite squeaky toys. If this is effective, he should be rewarded, which will associate positive behavior with a reward.

Need To Remember You should not forget that your dog is a dog. Dogs do bark and do get excited for various reasons. It is in their DNA! Being patient with your dog is needed in all instances. Although excessive barking can be a nuisance, keeping cool and not overreacting is a great first step in managing it. Your dog can tell when you are stressed, so a calm and patient demeanor with him is what will yield the best results.

How To Handle Broken Nails on Our Puppies

Our pups love to play and, at times, can play hard. A very common injury for our pups is a split or broken toenail. These can cause pain and great discomfort to our fur-legged friends, and knowing what to do when this happens is very important. Although a very simple injury, it is one that should be treated quickly and properly.

What Causes Dogs’ Nails to Break?

Dogs have a total of nine toes. Five toes on their front paws and four on their back paws. Their nails grow throughout their entire life and often require trimming to keep them at a comfortable length. Overgrown toenails on dogs can cause discomfort since they are in constant contact with the ground they walk on. We need to remember that they are not just walking on a soft carpet. Outdoor terrain can be hard and rough, which can cause their nails to break and or split. Imagine how you would feel running around outside without shoes on.

Why are a Dog’s Broken Nails Problematic?

Our pup’s toenails should always be taken seriously, as damaged toenails can lead to greater health issues. The injury is not only painful but can limit their mobility and quality of life. Inside their nails are clusters of nerves and blood vessels. An untreated broken toenail can lead to an infection that is capable of spreading into the dog’s leg, which will require much greater medical care. This is one of the main reasons why tending to his toenails is so important.

Nails

How To Treat A Broken a Nail

When in doubt, contacting your veterinarian is always recommended. If you treat the injured toenail at home, you should initially restrain your dog in a way that allows you to safely examine the injured toenail. This will help prevent you from being bit and or scratched and will make the process safer and easier. Your pup will be in pain and most likely not want you near the injured paw. If your dog’s nail is bleeding and he will allow you to touch the area, begin to address the bleeding by applying light pressure to the area. Keep the light pressure applied for several minutes and until the bleeding stops. After the bleeding is under control, apply an anti-bacterial ointment or cleansing solution to the injured area. Bleeding that does not stop after fifteen minutes should be looked at by a veterinarian. After the area is properly cleaned, allow it to air dry. Applying a bandage over the area may not allow it to dry out as desired and is a potential safety hazard should your dog try and chew the bandage. If you happen to observe a small section of the nail hanging from the area, you can attempt to remove it yourself by carefully trimming it. This should only be done if your dog is tolerating the pain and relaxed enough to allow you to. After doing so, let your dog time to relax before allowing him to run free, especially outside.

How Long Does It Take a Dog to Fully Recover from A Broken Toenail? Although all dogs are different and all injuries vary, generally speaking, your dog will need about two weeks before his nail is completely back to normal. You should start seeing improvement within the first 48 to 72 hours. This will greatly depend on how quickly you treated the injury, the overall extent of the injury, and if your dog did not reinjure it before it began to heal. Remembering to use anti-bacterial ointments or cleansing solutions as soon as possible also helps to prevent the area from becoming infected, which can certainly set back your pup’s recovery time.

Is Your Dog Getting Enough Exercise?

As the saying goes, an object in motion stays in motion. That could not be any truer when it comes to our dogs. Exercise is a key ingredient in keeping our pups looking and feeling their best. There are many ways for our fur-ever friends to get their daily amount of required exercise.

Indoor Versus Outdoor Activities

Exercise is exercise. The key is keeping your pup moving which helps to speed up his heart rate, use all of his muscles and burn calories. Most pups enjoy the smells and looks of nature but on certain days (heavy rain, lots of snow, or extremely hot weather) indoor activities can be just as fun and beneficial.

Basic Outdoor Activities

The most common basic outdoor activities include a brisk walk, a fun game of fetch, or play wrestling with your dog. Dogs love human interaction and when fun is mixed into it allows for a better experience. It also provides a very good bonding experience which dogs naturally tend to seek.

Basic Indoor Activities

Some fun basic indoor activities include tug-of-war, hide and seek, and learning new tricks. Although these types of activities are not as active as outdoor activities, they will still allow your four-legged friend to burn extra energy and keep mentally alert. Remember, activity time is not just to stay physically fit, but mentally sharp too.

How Many Minutes A Day Should I Spend Exercising With My Dog?

Although every dog is different, one thing most people agree on is each dog should be on the move for at least thirty minutes a day. Certain breeds, like Retrievers, Spaniels, Collies, Pointers, and German Shepherds require more activity time than breeds such as the Bulldog, Basset Hound, Shih Tzu, Pug, and Chihuahua. Although each breed is different, thirty minutes a day is a relatively good goal to strive for. If your dog seeks more playtime, go for it!

Dog Exercise

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know If My Dog Reached His Activity Limit?

It is normal for dogs to pant while running and playing but this is a sign they are getting tired. Watch your pup’s tail. Is it wagging or straight down while he’s playing? A wagging tail is generally a sign that your dog is content, comfortable, and happy. Consider breaking the play time up into intervals and allow your pup to sit or lay down for a few minutes every fifteen minutes or so. This will also give you a small break to catch your breath too!

Will My Dog Overheat?

Heat exhaustion certainly is something that every dog owner needs to watch for. The most telling symptom of heat stroke in a dog is excessive panting. Other common symptoms may include general signs of discomfort, excessive drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, and collapse. Should your pup ever reach this level immediate medical care is needed. The key, however, is to monitor your dog while outside playing before he begins to overheat.

What Can I Do to Keep My Dog Feeling Good During Activity Time?

Fresh water! Water is essential as it hydrates your dog and helps to keep him cool. Although providing him with water during activity time is very important, making sure he is properly hydrated before and during activity, time is also necessary. Don’t wait for your pup to show signs of dehydration before giving him a refreshing bowl of water.

Is Activity Time in Cold Weather Safe?

Outdoor activity time in the cold is safe, however, proper precautions should be taken. A very overlooked aspect of this has to do with what we focus on in the warm months, hydration. During the cold winter months, the humidity levels in the atmosphere are much lower. With the lower humidity, your dog can easily become dehydrated if he or she is not drinking enough water. Keeping your dog bundled up, preferably with an insulated dog sweater is a great start. Properly sized dog shoes also will also help to keep his paws warm and dry. You wouldn’t want to walk outside on snow or ice without protection and neither does your pup!

Practice Makes Perfect

Establishing a good routine for your dog while he’s still a puppy will allow him to grow into a healthy and active adult dog. Forming good habits at a young age will also help to assure many years of feeling and looking great. Take the time each day to show your pup why he’s known as man’s best friend!

Tips For Taking Your Dog on Vacation

It’s that time of the year when many of us take our annual vacation. For those of us who plan to bring our fur-legged friend on vacation, it is wise to plan ahead to ensure your pup has an enjoyable experience. Whether it be a road trip or a flight, proper planning will help make your vacation easier and safer for your dog.

Road Trip Vacations.

Traveling with a pet by way of motor vehicle involves more than just having him hop in the back seat and taking off. This, especially if you will be driving for an extended period of time. Here are a few car travel safety tips to help you prepare for a more enjoyable and comfortable journey.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. For first-time dog travelers, a good way to get your dog accustomed to long road trips is by taking him for shorter trips ahead of time. Building up his tolerance to car rides before taking him on a long trip is a good way to start.

If you are traveling to another state, it is a good idea to bring a copy of your pup’s vaccination records. Each state has its own set of animal laws, and having a copy of these documents readily available will save time and effort should they be needed.

Have a pet travel kit prepared before leaving. Inside this kit include a few of your pup’s favorite toys, a leash, a collar, a small backup bag of dog food, and a few bottles of drinking water. For dogs who prefer to ride on the car’s seat versus in a crate, consider a properly sized safety dog harness. Buckle up for safety!

It is also important to make sure to double-check your dog’s identification tag on his collar. If in the event he escapes your care, the person who finds him will be able to more easily identify who he is and who to contact. You should also take into consideration your pet’s potty needs. If you plan to pull off of the roadway to allow him to do his business, make sure you have disposable waste bags and a disposable container to put the waste bags in after use.

Traveling By Air

Air travel is certainly a quicker method of transportation but much more stressful for your dog. It will require him to be away from his family and in a crate in a different and loud environment. Many dogs do not handle air travel well and this form of transportation for them should only take place if absolutely necessary. Below are some travel tips for dog owners who plan to fly their dogs.

Book a direct flight to your destination if possible. This will allow your dog to get situated in one area versus having to be transported from plane to plane. It will also limit the amount of time he has to be in a crate and away from his family.

Consider purchasing a USDA approved dog transportation crate. The crate should be large enough for your pet to comfortably stand, turn around and sit in. Inside the crate, include one of your t-shirts. Your pup will be comforted with this due to him being able to smell your scent while he is away from you. Be sure to secure at least two forms of identification on this crate which include your name, phone number, and address. Make sure your dog doesn’t overeat leading up to the flight. Chances are the flight will cause him stress and an upset stomach could lead to vomiting and or diarrhea.

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe After You Arrived

Scope out the area where you are staying before letting your pup explore. Certain destinations will have areas designated just for dogs to play in. Be sure to keep him well secured on a leash and collar and be mindful of other dogs in the area. Remember, not all dogs are as friendly and outgoing as yours. Even though you are all on vacation and most likely taking the day as it comes, try and keep your pup on his routine feeding schedule. This will allow him to feel a sense of normalcy and better his chances of keeping his outdoor potty time schedule the same.