Posted: Mar 20 2012
PupLife Dog Blog
Looking for a way to improve your mood, your health and your relationship with your dog? Take a walk. Walking your dog regularly provides benefits to the dog and owner.
A recent study conducted at the George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services and reported in Arthritis Today found that pet owners who walked with their dog regularly had an overall lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those that did not, fewer chronic health problems and a lower incidence of depression. The study's author, Cindy Lentino, says her results indicate dog walking is something medical and health professionals should include when talking about activities that promote a healthy and active lifestyle.“There’s definitely something special about dogs. They are inherently active animals,” Lentino says. “Dogs give owners a sense of purpose in that they need to be walked and humans need exercise, so I think that is the key. “
3 Tips For Creating The Perfect Dog Walking Routine
1) Pick a time that works for your schedule. Morning, noon or night: your dog will be there when you are ready! It's important to pick a time slot you can stick to with some regularity otherwise it's hard to make it a permanent habit.2) Get the right equipment. Luckily walking is one of those activities that does not require a lot of expensive equipment but you want to make sure you and your dog are comfortable. It's important to have a pair of supportive shoes and a well fitting collar with tags and leash for your dog. If your dog is a puller, consider investing in a no-pull training harness to make your walks more enjoyable.
3) Choose the right location. It might be right out your front door and down the street, but if you don't happen to live in a neighborhood with sidewalks or you live in an area with lots of noisy traffic consider talking your walks in a more serene location. You want the experience to be pleasurable for you and your dog so pick a quiet park or nature preserve.
It's easy to make something a habit when you look forward to doing it. With just a few minor considerations, you can implement your walking routine immediately.
Posted: Mar 05 2012
More and more Americans are choosing to vacation with their pets. If you're planning a trip with your furry friend, here are some secrets to creature comfort on the road.
Identification Is ImportantMake sure your pets are outfited with collars and ID tags that list your current cell phone number(s) so in case of emergency you can be reached immediately. It's also a good idea to pack a photo of your pet(s) along with vaccination records and microchip information. Better safe than sorry.
Car SafetyMake sure you clear a comfortable space for your pet in your vehicle. Many dogs like the security of traveling in a crate and there are some great travel crates on the market. If a crate won't fit in your auto, consider packing your dog's favorite bed or blanket. For safety and security, do not allow your pets to ride in the front seat or jump back and forth. And, while tempting, never let your dog hang her head out the window while traveling at high speeds to avoid potential injury.
Fast FoodBring plenty of fresh water and healthy snacks for your pet. It's best to stick to your dog's regular diet to avoid tummy upsets. You may find feeding smaller meals throughout the day a good option while traveling as well. Dehydrated foods are especially handy when traveling and are easily prepared on the spot or in advance and kept in a travel cooler.
Rest StopsAlways keep your pets leashed at rest areas or where ever you make a pit stop. Even if your dog has a solid recall at home, you don't want to take a chance when you're on the road and far from home. Also, remember that other folks and families may be traveling with their pets and it's not polite to let your pooch run up to an unfamilar dog.
Hotel StaysMake sure to call ahead and reserve a pet-friendly room. Many budget hotels and upscale properties set rooms aside for patrons with pets but be aware they may charge a pet deposit. When checking in to your hotel make sure to potty your dog before settling in for the night. If your dog does have an accident clean it up with a little water and baking soda (that you've packed for the occasion).
Posted: Aug 11 2010
"Do dogs see in color?" This is a question we are commonly asked at PupLife. Since dogs can't tell us if they see in color or black and white, we are forced to rely on evidence from various tests and from reports that we have read. Most scientists seem to believe that dogs are not color blind (technically), however the colors that dogs see, and the way that these colors are intrepreted vary from the way that colors are interpreted by humans.
How do dogs see color? This is the key to understanding how dogs' vision differs from humans. Dogs have less cone cells in their retina than humans, so it is believed that they view colors in a lighter hue. In other words, a dark cobalt Dog Toy or Dog Bed may be viewed by dogs as a light, powder blue. However, there is disagreement among many scientists as to how dogs see color and whether or not dogs lack the ability to see some colors (green and red are commonly mentioned).
Do dogs see in black and white? While dogs have fewer cone cells than humans, it is thought that dogs have more rod cells than we do. Rod cells are the basic blocks for a seeing in black and white. Therefore, dogs may indeed see in black and white (contrasting stripes, etc) better than humans. Also, since dogs have more rod cells, they are able to intrepet slight changes in light, helping them to see better at night. In short, dogs have better night vision than humans.
Current thought is that dogs may be slightly near-sighted (things in the distance appear blurry), and that their intrepetation of colors may be incorrect, or simply different than ours. Again, since we can't ask a dog to respond to eye vision testing (as we do when obtaining an eyeglass prescription) this can't be proven 100%. However, it is widely accepted that dogs do see better at night. The ability to see better at night is certainly an advantage and one that helps dogs a great deal.
Everytime that we have asked our dogs whether or not they are color blind, the answer that we always get (in our scientific testing) always seems to be the same: "Woof!" Until dogs can talk, we must accept the latest scientific majority opinion: dogs can see some colors (albeit differently than us) and perhaps not all. If your dog tells you differently, please let us know!
Posted: Feb 09 2010
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to show your loved one just how much they mean to you. Gifts often include chocolate, and most of us love this delicious holiday treat. However, it is wise to keep in mind that chocolate is toxic to dogs and if ingested, it can be fatal.
An excellent article by our friends at Sojos Dog Food points out why chocolate is indeed toxic for dogs:
“Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a naturally-occurring molecule found in the cocoa beans, coffee, tea, and cola and is related to caffeine. In the medical field it has been used as a drug to treat high blood pressure because of its ability to dilate blood vessels. Because of its diuretic effect, it is also sometimes used in cases where cardiac failure has resulted in an accumulation of body fluid. What makes it poisonous for dogs and not humans is the fact that dogs are unable to metabolize the chemical effectively.”
It is remarkable just how little chocolate a pet needs to ingest before becoming dangerously ill. Two ounces of bakers chocolate can be poisonous to a pet of twenty pounds, and one pound of milk chocolate can be poisonous to a dog weighing twenty pounds. While milk chocolate is twenty times more poisonous to dogs than white chocolate, it is smart to keep all chocolates away from pets.
If your pet has ingested chocolate, please contact your vet immediately. If your dog has ingested large amounts, vomiting may be induced by your vet to help save your pet’s life. When in doubt, always contact your vet to get the best health and safety advice for your dog.
As Spring approaches, please remember to keep chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies away from your dog. Cocoa bean mulch is also becoming quite popular in parts of the U.S. and this can be fatal if ingested. Steer away from this particular style of mulch if you or a neighbor has pets.
Please remember to keep your chocolate safely out of your dog’s reach. For more on this topic, please read Chocolate And Your Dog on the Sojos web site. The American Veterinary Medical Association is also a great resource for health information about your pet.
Posted: May 17 2009
Keeping your dog healthy is an important factor in helping your older dog enjoy life in his later years.
The Senior Dogs Project offers some helpful guidelines to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your pet:
• Dogs, like people, need regular exercise. Give your senior dog adequate exercise, but adjust it as your pet’s abilities dictate.
• Be informed about the conditions common to older dogs and be alert to any symptoms. Keep your vet informed and discuss available treatment options.
• Feed your older dog the best food you can afford; two small meals daily, rather than one large one, is a better option.
• Keep your dog’s weight under control. Obesity will create health problems and result in shortening your pet’s life.
• Dietary supplements, such as glucosamine/chondroitin, are often helpful in counteracting symptoms of arthritis. Always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog any over-the-counter medication.
• Your dog’s dental health is also important to his overall health. Brush teeth daily and have his teeth professionally cleaned when advised by your veterinarian.
• Consider having your dog vaccinated only once every three years, as currently advised by the major veterinary associations.
• Control fleas and ticks. Keep your dog and his environment scrupulously clean.
Today it’s not uncommon, with the right care, for dogs to live to 14 or 15. Using recognized guidelines to determine when your dog may qualify as a senior will help you to understand changes in behavior and to anticipate any changes in health status. By being informed, you will be better able to identify and approach health problems at an early stage, when they may be more easily treated.