Posted: Oct 01 2012
PupLife Dog Blog » Tips
Let's face it: after a long hard day at work, we often don't have a lot of energy left.
Feeding the dog, walking the dog and then making dinner are things that need to be done and by that point, we might be thinking about hitting the couch.
But wait! Playing with your dog should also be on your evening and weekend to-do list, and here's why:
It Keeps Your Pet Out of TroubleLike humans, dogs need to blow off steam every once in awhile. It helps to keep their minds functioning at their peak and it beats the blahs. Dogs that are bored can become lethargic, or even worse, can start looking for things to get into. Playing with your dog helps your pet to interact with you and the environment in a positive way. A game of fetch, or chasing each other around the back yard is not just fun for your pet, it is good for them too.
The Interaction Creates Deeper BondingThis one is obvious, and for pretty much the same reasons. Sure, you might be tired and want to watch an episode of Mad Men, but why not DVR that episode and play with your best friend instead. You'll be surprised at how much better you will feel when play time is over. In fact, you usually will feel a bit refreshed. The interaction with your dog makes the worries and drama of the day melt away. Once your pet is tired out, you can both settle in on the couch and fire up your favorite tv show. The interaction truly creates a better bonding between pet and "parent".
It Is Great Exercise For You & Your PetWhen you and your pet can run around a bit, it is obviously good exercise for you both. It may not be the equivalent of a half hour on a stair master but it sure beats sitting on the couch eating Fritos. Chasing tennis balls or your pet's favorite Dog Toy around the yard or dog park gets the blood flowing and when you do it regularly, it is a great way to knock off a few calories. An active dog (and dog owner) is always a good thing in the long run.
By playing with your dog on a regular basis you can keep your pet from getting bored, increase the bonding level between you and your pet and even work off a couple extra calories.
Sound good? Now who wants to play? Woof!
Posted: Sep 25 2012
If you and your pet are city-dwellers, you are familiar with all of the rules. Walks are on a schedule, you always collar and leash your pet, and before too long, you and your dog know just about every dog on the block. There is a system for living in the city with a dog. Moving to the country means this whole system will change. This can cause a pet a little bit of anxiety and of course, making a move anywhere can be stressful for all of us. Here's how this might affect your pet.
Once you and your dog move to the country, you'll notice the pace starts to slow down. You'll probably have a yard and this means you can let your dog outside whenever he or she needs it. This is a nice upgrade over bundling up, walking down a flight of stairs and walking your pet around the block until they find that "perfect spot". However, this brings challenges as well. You will want to fence in your yard if at all possible. This not only keeps your dog safely confined to your property, it also keeps other dogs, critters and coyotes (yes, coyotes) on the outside.
Another benefit of living in the country is the expanded space that you have to play with your pet. Take advantage of this. Stock up on some dog toys and try to spend as much time as you can playing with your pet. It is great for them and even better for you. Recharging your batteries is good for the soul, and playing with your dog is a great way to do just that. On the flip side, you'll want to make sure that your pet doesn't spend too much time outdoors. In the fall and winter, dog jackets and/or dog sweaters are a good idea to keep your pet as comfortable and warm as possible.
In the country, you will encounter a new set of potential pests. That's right - ticks, fleas, skunks and the previously mentioned coyotes. Take a quick assessment of your yard. Keeping it freshly mowed will help keep the insect population down, but checking your dog regularly for ticks and insect bites is now a priority. Fencing your property will cut down on skunks, snakes and other varmints, but don't be surprised if your pet gets into a tangle once in a blue moon. Keep your pet's vet number on speed dial and if possible, keep a first aid kit in the closet, at the ready.
Finally, living in the country you will encounter dog owners with all types of ideas on dog ownership, many of which are different from "city folk". Be prepared for this. Again, keeping your pet fenced in and away from roaming dogs is wise. Additionally to keep your pet safe, we recommend ensuring that all of your dogs have durable dog collars and up to date dog tags, just in case they ever get loose in the wild. Additionally, listing "reward" on your dog's collar and/or tag is always a good idea, just to ensure that if your pet is found, there is extra incentive for the party to call you, instead of keeping your dog as their own.
Moving from the city to the country has it's challenges, but if you pay extra attention to your dog's needs, it can be a fantastic choice. Just take it slow, make sure to keep your pet safe and secure and you and your dog will love the joys of country living. As Eddie Albert once sang, "Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside!"
Posted: Sep 16 2012The following is a guest blog article by Jackie Roberts.
The "dog days of summer" is a misleading phrase, as dogs often enjoy the heat as little as their human counterparts. Though their base temperature is higher at about 102°; dogs cannot sweat the same way their owners can. Each breed (and each individual dog) has unique issues in the heat, but none perhaps quite as much as long-haired breeds. Heat is not a condition that can be cured with pet meds from your local veterinarian. There are so many variables that determine how to make the summer weather more bearable for a long-haired pooch, from overall health, fur color, grooming habits and humidity levels that a veterinarian might be able to actually give the best answer taking into consideration the local region and particular breed. What follows are a number of tactics to cool long-haired breeds during the summer months.
Dark colors absorb heat; light reflects. The same applies for dogs and the color of their coat, but they can't change their coat like their owners can change clothes. A long-haired breed with a dark coat would be more likely to benefit from a shave in warmer months. This is because they are more likely to stay cool from heat loss when air passes over their skin, which doesn't happen when skin is insulated under layers of fur. To shave a dog of a lighter shade, on the other hand, risks a greater chance of sunburn. A sunburned puppy is not a happy puppy. If the decision is made to shave a lighter long-haired breed, don't forget about sunscreen. There are sunscreens made specifically for dogs, or if that isn't immediately available, scentless sunscreen made for children should work.
Veterinarians are conflicted about the benefit of long-haired breeds keeping their long hair in the summer. If a dog has longer fur in the summer, the consensus is that their fur needs to be well maintained and free of matting or tangles. That is really the only way that longer length would be of benefit to the animal. Long hair also hinders finding ticks, and does not keep a dog from getting bitten by mosquitos. If home is an especially wooded area, short hair might simply be a practical health choice. The perceived benefit of having longer hair in the summer months is that the layers of fur act as insulation against the heat, just like the insulation in a home. If a dog is panting consistently with long hair, though, the grooming situation should be reconsidered.
HumidityIf the local climate is consistently humid during summer months, the potential benefit of having a longer coat is diminished by the fact that dogs get rid of heat much less effectively in humidity. Dogs do have sweat glands in their feet, but that is only a secondary method of releasing heat. Panting is their main method of carrying heat away from the body, but when the air is already humid, the evaporation of heat is greatly decreased because the air already has such a great amount of moisture. In this case, a dog is already hotter than they should be, and measures should be taken to cool a dog in any way possible, whether that means shaving their fur or keeping them inside all summer.
Other Cool TacticsIf a pooch needs to keep long hair (for example, if they're a show dog) or the potential benefit of short hair is outweighed by other factors, there are other ways to keep cool. Remember that a dog reacts to the heat the same way that their owner does. If a person needs water, shade or rest, Fido probably does as well. Dogs are often less aware of the threshold between "hot" and "heatstroke," and will often push beyond what they should if their owner does not stop physical activity. Be especially sensitive in summer to a dog's hydration levels, as panting can also dehydrate. Some other tips for keeping a dog cool in the summer (no matter the length of their hair) include:
- Exercise at dusk or dawn in areas with access to shade and running water
- Cool vests
- Never leave the dog in a car
- Always have cold water at the ready
- Understand the signs of heat exhaustion, just in case
Posted: Jul 01 2012
The following is a guest post by Louise Blake
Summer is here and if you’re planning on taking your dog on holiday with you, be it to the beach, on a camping trip or even to another country, it’s important to think about their welfare in the same way that you would think about what to pack in your suitcase or where to go on a sightseeing trip.
On the RoadLong car journeys can be stressful for your dog so it’s important to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Invest in a travel bed that can pack away easily, and bring their favourite toy or dog blanket, so that they have something which smells and feels familiar.
Healthy and HappyIf your pup has a medical condition it’s important to pack any dog medication they may be taking. If it is a routine course of medication, ensure your supply will last the duration of your holiday.
Visit your vet for a check-up before you travel for peace of mind, and don’t forget to check your pet insurance policy to make sure your precious pooch is covered if travelling abroad.
Keep CoolWhen holidaying somewhere hot and sunny, it’s important to keep your dog cool – if they aren’t used to long journeys in a hot car, make sure you bring plenty of water for them to drink. Stop regularly so they can stretch their legs and remember to wind the car windows down half way to allow fresh air to circulate within your vehicle.
The American Kennel Club has further advice on how to keep your pup cool in hot weather.
Play by the RulesCheck with your accommodation in advance that it’s ok to bring your dog, and read up on restrictions that your destination might impose; are dogs allowed on the beach during the summer months, does your dog require a lead when out in public, and is it against the law not to wear a collar?
A summer holiday should be fun for all the family so ensure you do your research ahead of your trip, and you’ll all have a great time!
About Louise BlakeLouise Blake is a career-focused mum-to-be with a passion for animal welfare. She can’t wait to be a mum, though she worries about how her beloved pets will cope with the new arrival. When Louise isn’t working as a Client Manager she can be found blogging for GKBC.
Posted: Jun 06 2012
With the 4th of July quickly approaching many dog lovers are dreading what should be a wonderful family holiday. It's not uncommon for dogs to exhibit fear of the sudden loud noises that come with fireworks and 4th July festivities. Unfortunately, many animal shelters all over the country see a significant increase in their lost dog populations, as these dogs try to flee the loud noises they encounter over the holiday weekend.
Plan for a safe holiday by ensuring that your pets are safe and secure in your home while fireworks activity is happening. And, consider providing additional comfort for your dog with Canine Calm. This all natural remedy mist is formulated with natural ingredients, including pure essential oils lavender, tangerine and geranium. These natural botanicals have been traditionally used in remedies for relaxation. Canine Calm has been recommended by dog lovers and professionals to relieve whimpering, cowering, trembling, panting, pacing, drooling, barking, shaking, vomiting and other signs of upset during non-routine or unsettling times in over 90% of dogs.