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A Beginner’s Guide to Walking Your Dog

Everybody knows that regularly walking your dog plays an integral role in your dog’s health. However, many don’t fully understand why and, as a result, don’t take full advantage of its potential. By doing a little research with this guide to walking your dog you can change up your routine. This makes it so your pet gets the most out of their daily walk.

Before domestication dogs were semi-nomadic carnivores who diligently maintained their territory and used scent markers to communicate with others animals of the same species. Modern dogs are different from their ancestors in a myriad of ways but still retain many of their base instincts and perceptions.

The Importance of Regularly Walking Your Dog

Regular dog walking is about more than just bathroom breaks. They are a vital source of both physical exercise and mental stimulation without which a pet can become stressed or unhealthy. More than that, regular walks give dogs a stronger sense of their environment, allowing them to become familiar with the physical layout and inhabitants. It is also a social ritual, allowing the dog to locate and identify other dogs in the surrounding area and communicate with them.

A dog’s sense of smell is almost incomprehensibly advanced compared to a human’s and acts as their primary method of understanding and interacting with the world. As such, smell also plays a distinct role in communication with other dogs. Dogs can identify another dog, including its age, gender, and health, by sniffing its waste. This is partly why a dog’s walk and its bathroom habits are so closely related. It’s also why they can be so particular about where they use the bathroom and why they are such avid sniffers. Additionally, have a specific scent gland located on their front paws which is why they may dig into the ground after defecating to further mark the spot.

Dog Walking Tips for Beginners

If you want your pet to enjoy your daily strolls to the fullest, don’t cut it short or hold the leash too tight. Let the dog indulge it’s curiosity and sniff to it’s heart’s content. This not only allows for maximum mental stimulation but also helps in socializing and adapting to the environment. This boosts confidence and reduces stress, which can make your pet happier and more manageable at home. Barking is often about establishing territory and warding off potential threats and familiar scents are less likely to trip this specific alarm trigger.

Try to keep the leash fairly loose and let the dog determine the direction. If you do need to exert some control for the animal’s own safety, try not to pull on the leash. Dogs have an instinctive reflex to push back against pressure from behind and the resulting tug-of-war can end up doing damage to their necks. It can also be stressful, psychologically, as the dog knows it’s being punished but is not sure why or what it should do differently. Using a gentle tug and then rewarding with a looser leash hold can be extremely effective in reinforcing positive behavior while on walks.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated During Walks

Always bring extra water, especially on hot days. While some breeds can go for longer periods of time without water, some dog breeds, especially small dog breeds, can dehydrate very quickly, which can lead to heatstroke and even death. That said, it’s important to keep your dog hydrated.

Dogs have a harder time controlling their body temperature than humans do because of their fur coats. Their primary method for cooling down is panting which is less effective. If you see your dog panting excessively then offer a drink to help it cool down. A water bottle is relatively easy for a dog to drink out of, as long as you hold it, and can be capped and carried without much trouble. It’s also a good idea to check the pavement temperature on hot days to prevent damage to the dog’s feet.

Another great way to keep your dog hydrated on those hot summer days is to feed your dog watermelon. With over 92% of the fruit being composed of water, watermelon is the perfect summer treat for dogs. While watermelon is safe for dogs, you should make sure to not allow your dog to eat the seeds or rind of the watermelon, as they may be difficult for your dog to digest.

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5 Ways to Naturally Calm Your Dog

Having a naturally calm pet is not always as easy as it sounds. Many of us find that our furry companions sometimes go through various forms of anxiety related to separation from us, or even lack of mental stimulation. Often times, our pets can go through some pretty serious anxiety issues that require our care and attention!

Helping your pets feel relieved throughout the day can actually be done through the use of a few natural remedies. Some you might have heard of, and others might be new to you, but all in all the goal is to help our furry friends feel more at ease. Our pets deserve to live a happy and healthy life, and just like we experience bouts of anxiety and stress, so do our pets. Sometimes, our pets even feed off of our stress and anxiety! So some of these tips might even be helpful to you as well.

If you’re looking to help maintain your dog’s health by preventing and alleviating stress or anxiety, here’s 5 natural ways to calm your dog.

1. Play Soothing Music

Taking note of the body language your dog gives off when trying to figure out what kind of music he or she likes best is key to this tip being effective. Music is known to help in reducing stress and anxiety, in fact the Scottish SPCA as well as the University of Glasgow did a study a few years back in 2017 that concluded music helps decrease anxiety in dogs.

The key factor in this study is that each dog is different, so what one dog finds soothing might not be the same for another. However, researches concluded that the majority of dogs tested more positively and less anxious when listening to soft rock and reggae music. The idea is that you play this music at a low level, don’t blast it, and your dog will actually begin to take note of the sound. Hopefully this natural remedy helps your furry companion in feeling a little more relaxed throughout the day!

2. Use Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy doesn’t only work for humans – it helps dogs calm down too!

Try placing a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pets bed, or their favorite area to rest in the house. Aromatherapy is helpful to humans in reducing stress and anxiety, but this is also another way to help your pet find a calm space as well. However, keep in mind that you should never place essential oils on your pets, and they should never ingest them. This is only for aroma-therapeutic purposes only, additionally, not every essential oil is safe for dogs. Some oils are toxic to your pets, so do your research before going all out. Lavender is a tried and true method, so if anything just stick to this one!

3. Try Calming Dog Treats

If your pet regularly becomes stressed or anxious, try calming dog treats like Zesty Paws Calming Bites.

While calming dog treats don’t work for all dogs, many owners have reported positive experiences from giving them to their pet.

Calming dog treats contain natural ingredients and supplements that have shown to help reduce stress and alleviate anxiety. Plus, they make great treats.

4. Massage Your Dog

Dogs, like humans, also have pressure points. To train your pet to be a more naturally calm pet try giving them a little massage. You can lightly massage their feet, ears, and top of their heads where their pressure points are located.

Just like when we get massages, this method will naturally alleviate your dog’s anxiety.

5. Groom Your Pets Regularly

Keeping your pets clean and tidy also help them feel cared for and loved. Additionally you can brush your pets each night to help naturally alleviate pet anxiety. This process gives them the satisfaction of being near your and feeling your love while also lowering their stress levels.

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How to Transition Your Dog to a New Food

If you’ve ever tried to change from one dog food brand or type to another, you probably ran into a few problems. When you’ve been feeding your dog a certain type of food for a certain amount of time, their body and preferences adapt to that food. Because of this, you should refrain from changing the type of food you feed your dog too often; however, under certain circumstances, it is necessary (eg, the dog food lacks proper nutrients and is making your dog overweight). When you’re in this situation, there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. While the right way is rather straightforward, the wrong way can lead to problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, digestion problems, and your dog refusing to eat his food. None of which is very enjoyable for you or your dog.

To help you avoid those difficulties, we’ve written a simple guide on how to transition your dog to a new food.

When You Should Consider Changing Dog Food Brands

There are a lot of different brands of dog food available in the world, it can be hard to decide which is best for your dog. If you have a certain brand of dog food that you use, but you have noticed that your dog is starting to fall ill, transition your dog to new food.

I know it might seem a bit weird, switching dog food just because your dog is sick. But there is more to it than you think. When a dog gets sick, it is often his nutrition that is making him sick. Either he isn’t getting the vitamins and minerals that he needs, or the amount he was getting is no longer needed and he is getting too much.

Dogs age and change, just like we do. Similarly to how we change our diets periodically, we need to change our dogs diet.

How to Transition Your Dog to a New Food

Like us, dogs can be very picky when changing things, especially when it involves their diet. So, to make the switch seamlessly, make the change in small increments over a period of time. Think about how you would introduce a new food to a baby, you don’t give them a lot of different things at once, you give them a little amount of one food.

This is so you can watch their reaction. If it makes them sick, if they don’t eat all of it, if they start acting weird after eating it, you can catch these signs before they become a problem and you will know that this food is not the food that you should be switching to.

Once you have found a food that works for your , you should still have the old food available for your pup, this way he still has something he can go to if he doesn’t like the new food. And slowly over time, start filling the bowl with the old food less and less and put more in the new food bowl. This will help introduce your dog to the new food. Eventually, he won’t even need the old food anymore.

You should never immediately stop using the food that you usually do, unless there is a recall or the vet specifically tells you that you should no longer be using that brand of food. If you stop using it immediately, it might make your dog react badly to the idea of new food. You should always have something familiar for him to go back to until he is completely comfortable with the new food option that you have picked out for him.

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Coffee for Dogs: Is It Safe?

Due to the gravity of this question, it’s important to be very direct and to the point.

Coffee for dogs is a bad idea. 

Some coffee drinkers, who can’t get through their day, without their morning coffee decide to share some with their dogs. Coffee contains caffeine, and in certain amounts, it can be fatal to dogs.

With that being said, coffee should be kept out of the reach of dogs. No dog athletic or otherwise should be given coffee to drink. No matter how much your dog begs for coffee, do not give in. A few accidental laps of a spilled drop of coffee should not present a problem as long as you wipe up the remainder of the spill.

According to many vets, just 14 mg of caffeine per pound of coffee can cause discomfort for your dog and may lead to health problems. Just one 8 ounce cup of coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine. This amount of caffeine can be very harmful to any dog, and for small dogs 10 pounds and under, it can be fatal.

On that note, to protect your dog’s health you should never allow your dog to consume any amount of coffee.

What To Do If Your Dog Drank Coffee

Now, accidents happen. If your dog drank coffee, you’ll want to act quick.

If you were present when it happened and witnessed your dog drink a large portion of coffee, call your vet immediately. If you were not present and not sure how much coffee your dog consumed, you will want to pay very close attention to your dog and be ready to head to the vet if need be.

In this situation, it is important to be aware of the symptoms that occur when a dog drinks coffee.

Caffeine takes a half an hour to enter the dog’s bloodstream. As soon as the symptoms start to show up, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Dogs that have coffee in the system experience diarrhea, tremors, seizures, vomiting, nausea, excessive salivation, restlessness, hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, hypertension, and loss of appetite. What can be done about these symptoms?

The best way to alleviate caffeine poisoning in dogs is to induce vomiting. Vomiting will remove most of the caffeine from his guts. Unless your vet has clearly instructed you on how to do so, do not induce your dog to vomit yourself. Take your dog to your vet. Depending on how much coffee your dog consumed ,your vet may need to administer medication to help slow their heart rate.

Products with Caffeine to Be Cautious With

Caffeine can be found in other products that include tea, tea bags, energy drinks, diet pills, soda, and other carbonated beverages. While soda does not have as much caffeine as coffee, diet pills have more caffeine than any product with caffeine on the market. Just one or two diet pills ingested by dogs can be fatal.

There are absolutely no benefits of caffeine for dogs and you should do everything you can to prevent your dog from consuming coffee.

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Dog Obesity and How to Manage Your Dog’s Weight

Are you concerned that your dog is or may possibly be overweight? You’re not alone. Dog obesity is a huge problem in America. According to a 2015 report from the American Kennel Club (AKC), over 50% of the dog population in the United States is overweight. Dog obesity increases the chance of your dog experiencing a variety of health problems and naturally have a shorter lifespan than non-obese dogs.

If your dog is overweight, it is definitely something to be concerned about.

How to Manage Your Dog’s Weight

One of the biggest concerns is that dogs eat too much and when they do, they do not get the exercise or proper nutrients they need. To avoid this, you need to figure out how to manage the dog’s weight. In this article, we’ll discuss a few important things to know about how to manage your dog’s weight.

Pets have special diets designed just for them. There are specialized foods that are meant to help them burn fat. In addition, regularly walking your dog is essential to maintaining proper weight and overall health.  Keep these tips in mind when looking for a good weight loss program for your dog.

Pets will have some special dietary needs based on their activity level and breed. One of the best ways to figure out how to manage the dog’s weight is to look into the specific types of foods that your pets need. Some of the important foods to have in your pet’s diet include high protein and fat foods. It is also important to be aware of what your pet may be allergic to. Many dog owners are unaware of this because of the general appearance of a dog’s mouth and teeth.

Dogs need foods with lots of lean protein sources. It is important to give your dog a well-balanced diet that includes protein. If you have a meat-based diet, try to switch to a vegetarian food or one that has no meat. If you are going to give your dog a bone, choose one that is lean and natural.

Prevention is Better than a Cure

The best way to keep your dog safe while it is growing is to make sure it gets plenty of exercise. This will help keep your dog trim. Before buying a treadmill, ask yourself how long you plan to exercise your dog. If you do not plan on exercising for very long, then a treadmill is not necessary.

Since so many people are concerned about their weight and trying to manage their own weight, it is important to know how to manage weight and maintain your dog’s health. You will want to stay aware of how much you are feeding your dog. Eating smaller meals is a great way to make sure your dog stays in shape. These meals should be small but still provide your dog with the nutrients it needs.

Hopefully, these tips on how to manage the dog’s weight will help you in your weight management. Being aware of how to manage the dog’s weight will help you stay away from problems in the future.

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