Dogs who do not receive enough exercise are more likely to act inappropriately. Bad habits include leaping on humans, biting things that aren’t meant to be chewed, digging holes, clawing, and barking or whining too much.

There are a few things you can do to make sure that your dog is exercised enough on a daily basis so that he or she is too worn out to act inappropriately. When you don’t feel up to taking your dog on regular walks, here are four alternatives you may try to assist your dog in burning off extra energy. 

 

Play games with your dogs

There are many different games you can play with your dog at home. One of our favorites is scent work. You can assist your dog to hone in on their inherent abilities by playing nose work games with them, and it’s also a simple method to keep them engaged. 

 

Nose work: In order to begin the game, you will need to ensure that your dog remains in the specified place. While he is watching you, walk to the other end of the room and put some food or his favorite toy there for him to find.  Before your dog starts looking for a hidden snack, you will create an association between certain words or phrases and behaviors that remind the dog of the food or a treat. Tell your dog to “find it” or “search” when you are ready to free him from his confinement. Be sure to praise your dog after each successful search round to reinforce the “search!” in his mind.  After a few demonstrations, he will be aware of what is expected of him.

 

You may go on to more difficult exercises after it seems that your dog understands the “find it” command. While your dog is in the remaining posture, move the reward or toy out of his line of sight so that you may retrieve it later.

 

During this particular search activity, the goal is to progressively expand to new places and distances as you go. When you are just getting started, it is best to confine the game to one or two rooms. If you are certain that your dog understands the “find it” command, it is time to go on to the next level, which consists of hiding objects about the home.

 

The following are some of the advantages of training your dog nose work:

 

  • Dogs like doing nose work since it’s both entertaining and rewarding.
  • Enjoyable activity that will provide your dog with increased brain stimulation
  • Building your dog’s confidence via nose work
  • Provides your dog with more opportunities for physical stimulation
  • It provides your dog with healthy activities to engage in.
  • Simple activities that can help you form a stronger relationship with your dog

 

Involve other owners and their dogstwo dogs playing in a field, one dog with tongue hanging out and the other prancing

Many dogs love to be in the company of other dogs and play with them (as long as they get along). They chase each other, jump, wrestle, and, in general, exhaust each other. Organize regular meetings with other owners or set up a regular date at the park to expand your dog’s circle of friends (and yours too). Just make sure that you follow the safety and etiquette rules for  your dog park.

 

Have your dog play in the grass

If you have a garden or park near your home, replace the dog walk with a play session. Most dogs love to play fetch, so why not start to fetch training? A ball launcher can make the game more fun for your dog and less tiring for you, as it allows you to shoot the ball much farther with almost no effort, much to the delight of your dog (and your arms).

 

Agility Dog Equipment is another way to get your dog to exercise and mentally stimulate him. You can build a path using objects you find at home, in the garage, or in DIY stores: an old hula hoop can become a ring to jump into, plastic pipes can be assembled to become obstacles, while pallets can be transformed into ramps or platforms. You can also purchase tunnels, plastic cones, or other gear at pet stores to complete your route. Many dogs, like the White husky, will definitely enjoy playing on the grass. 

 

Teach new commands

What commands does your dog know? 

“Sit” is one of the most fundamental commands to teach your dog, teaching them to sit is a terrific starting point. Dogs who aren’t taught the “Sit” command are going to be much more difficult to handle and will have a more restless demeanor than dogs that do know this easy order. In addition, teaching your dog the “Sit” command will prepare them for more difficult commands such as “Stay” and “Come.”  

 

The word “come” is another vital command for you to teach your dog and should be practiced often. This order is especially useful for those occasions if you find yourself unable to maintain your grasp on the leash. It can be taught easily and will be of great use in preventing mischief with your dog.

 

“Stay” is a command that is very helpful in preventing your dog from putting himself in harm’s way. With the command “stay” you can train your dog to ignore one object in exchange for a higher reward which is essential.

 

In conclusion

Walking your dog is great exercise and bonding for both of you, but it can be monotonous and occasionally it is good to get out of the usual routine. Sometimes , you might not be free to go for a walk or you need an alternative to get your dog exercise without going for a walk, I hope you find the tips in this article helpful.

Guest Author: Pet expert Emma has spent 12 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet industry. Her expertise includes dog and cat health, care, nutrition, feeding, grooming, behavior, and training.

 

tan dog lying on dog bed under a blanket staring at camera

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In America, 67 percent of people keep a pet. This isn’t surprising because being a fur parent comes with many advantages: companionship, stress reduction, and even improved health benefits.

 

But as a responsible pet owner, you must also invest a lot of time and money into looking after your furry friends. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, pet owners spend more than $1000 on their pets annually. But how can we make the best decisions for our pets without breaking the bank? Here are some suggestions for saving money on your pet’s care.

 

Adopting Instead Of Buying

Buying an animal from a pet store or breeder is almost always more expensive than adopting one. According to Bechewy, purchasing a pet may easily cost you anywhere from $500 to $1000 or more, while adopting a pet can set you back just $50 to $350. The price variation for adoption is due to the organization’s different policies. For some organizations, vaccinations, spay/neuter, and occasionally a microchip are often included in the adoption fee. So, research carefully and partner with organizations you trust. The best part of adoption is that you’re not only saving money, but also saving a beloved pet’s life.

 

Buying Just Enough Pet Food

It should be no surprise that purchasing pet food in bulk will save you several bucks. Buying a larger bag saves you money per pound, especially when you buy from online vendors. However, these savings are useless if the food spoils! Think seriously about how much your pet consumes weekly or monthly before getting pulled into the temptation of bulk discounts. Also consider that a husky’s appetite differs significantly from that of a pug. Tracking your pet’s daily consumption and comparing it to the expiration date on the food is a simple yet effective budgeting hack. Ultimately, you’ll get the biggest savings without wasting food and money.

 

Grooming At Home

Bathing and grooming your pet may be daunting, especially when it comes to nail clipping, cleaning their ears, and brushing their teeth. For example, you don’t want to trim their nails too short or accidentally snip your cat’s whiskers. It is, nevertheless, possible with the right tools, products, and training. Enroll in a low-cost grooming class, consult with your veterinarian and groomer, research your particular breed of animal required, and practice. That way, you’re learning a new, valuable skill and spending more time with your pet.

 

DIY-ing Toys And Treats

You don’t have to buy items for your pet all the time. Instead, save some money by making toys with items you already have. Do you have a sock that’s missing its match? Fill a sock with packing paper to make a sock toy for your cat. What about that shipping pallet that you never threw out? Make a customized doggie bed out of it. Many DIY home improvement projects for your pets can help you save money, too. Plus, you can make a tasty dog-friendly trail mix treat for your pup with leftovers in the fridge. 

 

Taking Care Of Your Pet’s Health

You may think skipping your yearly vet check or a month’s flea treatment will save you money, but it will most certainly cost you more in the long run. Investing in your dog or cat’s health and well-being is certainly more cost-effective. This means sticking to a regular exercise routine, feeding your pet nutritious food, and keeping up with immunizations and yearly health checks. Taking your pet’s health seriously will help you avoid potentially astronomical expenses in the future. 

 

Couponing And More

Do you use coupons when you go shopping for your pet? Knowing how and when to use discount coupons is a great money-saving tip. To get coupons for your pet, just go to your favorite pet food brand’s website and sign up for their mailing list or “like” their social media page. You’re likely to receive discount coupons for your first order or your pet’s birthday. Present them to the cashier or use them in your online checkout when you make a purchase. Additionally, search for coupons affixed to your pet’s food bags. You can also purchase in bulk at your local discount store for maximum savings, compare prices online before shopping, or join a low-cost subscription program.

 

Final thoughts

Having a pet should be both enjoyable and stress-free. But it doesn’t mean always choosing the cheapest product and services out there. Aim to strike a balance between quality and affordability. Finding that balance will pave the way for you to become more financially stable.

 

Balancing quality and budgeting applies to adopting pets, buying pet food, grooming, toys and treats, and pet health care. Use this principle even when you’re going out of town by choosing an expert pet sitter. Contact Whiskers to Tails Pet Sitting for reliable pet sitting and save 10% on your first transaction.

 

Guest Author: Sophia Young recently quit a non-writing job to finally be able to tell stories and paint the world through her words. She loves talking about fashion and weddings and travel, but she can also easily whip up a thousand-word article about the latest marketing and business trends, finance-related topics, or even a nice heart-warming article about family life. She can go from fashion guru to your friendly neighborhood cat lady with mean budgeting skills and home tips real quick.

woman sitting on purple yoga mat doing prayer pose with beagle watching

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Yoga is one of the most popular meditation practices around the world. It’s a spiritual discipline that aims to bring harmony between the body and mind, and it comes with benefits that cover not just physical but mental wellbeing. People of all ages and fitness levels can practice yoga. Even if you’re unsure where to begin, there’s no need to worry since there are several yoga influencers online to help you get on track.

But have you ever thought of doing yoga with your furry best friend? Exercise is said to increase serotonin, but imagine how much better your mood would be if you’re doing it with your adorable pupper. This blog will tell you how to get into this fun but relaxing activity for you and your pet dog.

What is Doga?

Doga (cleverly combining “dog” and “yoga”) started in the US in 2001, created by actress Suzi Teitelman. The name is self-explanatory – a form of yoga specifically designed for dogs and their owners to spend quality time through exercise. You might have noticed that yoga poses involve quite a lot of stretching, most of which, resemble the stretching movements of animals. 

 

You can try doga with any type of dog, and while there are wellness centers offering these trendy classes, you also have the option of doing this at home.

What are the benefits of Doga?

There’s an array of health benefits from doing yoga alone. But doing it with your pet can do a ton of good for your furry companion too. 

 

For you:

 

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Health Encyclopedia, yoga can help improve various health conditions like poor blood circulation, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, lower back pain, and even help reduce tension, stress, or depression.

 

Apart from that, yoga can also:

  • Regulate your heart health.
  • Improve balance, coordination, and posture.
  • Enhance flexibility and range of motion.
  • Increase stamina and strength.
  • And believe it or not, some specific yoga routines can improve skin health, giving you firm and radiant-looking skin.

 

And ladies, you can certainly do yoga even when on your period. Yoga exercises can help alleviate menstrual cramps, and also help clear your mind when experiencing period brain fog. Just make sure you’re always ready with your workout essentials such as period underwear, extra towels, a change of clothes, water bottles, etc. 

 

Remember, you should stay attuned to your body, and it’s at your discretion to stop if an exercise doesn’t feel right for you.

 

For your pet:

 

Dogs are naturally intelligent animals. Often, they sense their human’s stress and anxiety. Which, in turn, can affect their behavior and cause them to be distressed. Doga allows them to develop control over their impulse, ease their anxiousness, and even help manage hyperactivity.

 

In addition:

  • Doga is a great exercise if your dog is overweight.
  • Doga teaches your pup to trust you more.
  • Gentle stretching poses in doga can be good therapy for dogs recovering from injuries.
  • Like other physical activities, doga improves your dog’s blood circulation. 
  • Your pupper can meet and socialize with other dogs.

How to Start Doing Doga

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re interested in doing yoga with your dog:

Choose a yoga routine appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and fitness level.

For instance, a young, small dog may not be able to handle a more advanced routine, while an older, larger dog may need a more gentle approach. Ultimately, the best routine for your dog is one that is safe and comfortable for them, so be sure to consult with your veterinarian or a certified yoga instructor before getting started.

Don’t forget to warm up before starting your yoga session, and be sure to cool down and stretch afterward.

Warming up helps increase your heart rate and prepare your muscles for the workout. On the other hand, cooling down helps reduce your heart rate and prevents your muscles from becoming stiff. Stretching helps to lengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility.

Have patience, especially if your dog is new to it. 

Much like pet training, doga can take time and dedication. It’s completely normal for dogs to not be used to the poses and flows immediately. Never force them, and let them adjust to it at their own pace. 

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the bonding experience with your furry best friend! Go and make the most out of it!

 

Which basic Doga poses can you try?

When doing yoga with your dog, it’s a good idea to start with basic poses before moving on to more advanced ones. Here are a few examples:

The Downward Facing Dog 

This posture resembles a dog stretching on its hind legs extending upward, with the head and forelegs facing downward. It starts in a full push-up position before placing your hands on the ground for support, delicately shifting your weight forward until you form an inverted V with the top of your head to your legs. Most dogs tend to observe what their owners are doing first before eventually mimicking the poses. 

The Chair Pose

Have your dog sit on their hind legs while you support their torso from behind. Then, slowly raise their front paws in the air and breathe deeply. Easy-peasy, right?

The Heart-to-Hound Mudra

First, sit with your dog’s back facing you. Place your right hand on your dog’s heart, and your left hand on your heart. Close your eyes and begin breathing slowly and deeply. This exercise helps soothe you and your dog and is said to expel negative energy. 

Conclusion

Doing yoga improves your and your dear pupper’s overall wellness, and makes them feel more connected to you. If you haven’t tried it, then what are you waiting for? Contact the nearest yoga centers near you to find out more about doga sessions!

Contributing Author: Sophia Young recently quit a non-writing job to finally be able to tell stories and paint the world through her words. She loves talking about fashion and weddings and travel, but she can totally go from fashion guru to your friendly neighborhood cat lady with mean budgeting skills and home tips real quick.

Photo by Arina Krasnikova from Pexels

 

Cats can sometimes get overlooked in the toy department at stores. With limited options, you’re left with rat toys, scratching posts, and fake fish hooks. If you’ve owned a cat, you know they can be picky, so if they don’t like any of those options you’re left with almost nothing.

 

While cats can be independent animals, they need some playtime to get their energy out in a healthy way. Big changes such as finding the perfect home can add to their anxiety and long-term stress can create bad behavioral habits. Proving enrichment toys are a great way to keep their minds working and alleviate stress.

 

These DIY cat enrichment are a purr-fect way to help your little one let out that energy by staying active and healthy while you save money:

 

1. Elevated Spaces

Cats love to be in high places. They like to let everyone know they’re the ruler of the house. It makes them feel safe and secure as they can see everything below them. Things such as window hammocks are ideal, but why not go a step further and build their own kingdom in the living room. With just a few planks of wood and nails, you can customize it to your liking.

 

Make sure you create a new and welcoming place for your cat in your home so they know they can feel safe. Adding special touches such as scratching posts or homemade hammocks just add to the fun of customizing their own little space to play.

 

2. Catios

Even if you’re limited on space, you can still create a place for your cat to feel safe. Catios are a great way to welcome your furry friend home and allow them to look and explore outside as they watch the birds and squirrels without having to worry about them running off. There are endless possibilities to create the best catio for your pet.

 

Some catio ideas include:

  • Treehouse
  • Window extension
  • Sunroom
  • Repurposed shelves

 

2. Puzzle Feeders

With a busy life, it’s hard to keep your cat entertained all day. Whether you find a cat sitter or want to keep them by your side, puzzle feeders are an easy way to keep your cat occupied for a while so you have time to do what you need to. 

 

It’s easy to use items you already have such as toilet paper rolls, tissue boxes, or towels. Cut holes large enough for their food or treats in a household item of your choice for a quick and easy way to save money and keep your cat amused. Just be sure they are safe and don’t chew on something they aren’t meant to.

 

3. Enrichment Box

Don’t throwaway all of your delivery boxes this week! Instead, repurpose them into enrichment toys for your cat. It takes minimal effort, but keeps your cat happy, healthy, and stress-free.

 

Crumple up a few pieces of old paper, some pet-safe dried leaves, their favorite toys and treats, and throw them into a box. It takes less than five minutes and leaves your cat occupied for the next hour.

 

While you look after yourself, it’s just as important to look after your little friend. Saving money and DIY-ing a catio or enrichment toys are the purr-fect way to allow them to relieve their stress and keep them happy and healthy.

Guest author: Eve is a content writer from Southern California. When she’s not writing, she’s playing soccer, surfing, or taking trips to Disneyland!

brown and white Australian Shepherd running toward camera in the sandPhoto by Joséphine Menge on Unsplash

Dogs do not sweat through their skin to control the temperature of the body unlike humans. Rather, a dog’s breathing controls their temperature. Their nasal cavities, tongues, and lungs’ linings all lose humidity as they pant. As a result, the air circulates through their body and cools them down.

As their body normally regulates their temperature through panting, there are activities you should do to help keep your pup hydrated during the days of summer.

Your dog may become more active in the summer due to the warmer weather. Yet, warmer temperatures and more intense exercise can also make your pet lose more bodily fluid, increasing the likelihood of dehydration in dogs. That’s risky since it may result in organ damage or even death. But by taking a few easy actions, you can ensure that your dog is well hydrated and you both get to embrace the summer heat!

 

Ways to keep your pup hydrated:

 

Use the mornings or afternoons to play or work out

Try to encourage them to play and exercise before it becomes too hot outside as often as possible, even if your schedule doesn’t always allow it. This could require you to get up earlier than usual to escape the heat, but you and your pup will be grateful you did. On hot, muggy days, refrain from playing and exercising between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm.

 

Throughout exercise or play, they should drink little amounts of water

Always remember to have water with you whether playing or working out. So that their tummy has time to process it and they do not overdo it, offer them a modest quantity every 10 to 15 minutes. Drinking to excess can cause swelling and even water intoxication, where the body’s salt reserves are exhausted. Always remember that a dog’s size, for example a labradoodle’s actual size, determines the water he or she may need to stay hydrated in the hot summer days.

 

Watch how much water they drink

Your pup requires a particular quantity of water every day, just as you do. Moisture condenses their vital electrolytes in enough supply, allowing for normal metabolism, bowel movements, and oxygenation. Water also encourages a steady cardiovascular system and assists your puppy’s organs in eliminating pollutants from their circulation.

More water will be required the more energetic they are or the hotter the weather. Most dogs require three to four times as much water as usual in hot weather. One oz of water for every kilogram they weigh is a good rule of thumb.

 

Switch to wet food in summer

The warmer months necessitate a shift in nutrition. Wet packaged food is another adjustment that could be advantageous to your dog since it provides them with another supply of water. Puppies require more fluids and meals that are simpler to digest. To cool them off on a hot day, you may also give them cucumbers and watermelons (without the seeds).

 

Fill their water bowl with ice or soup

Another great approach to keep them hydrated on a hot day is with ice or water that has been flavored with chicken stock. Squashed ice cubes, chicken, beef broth, or both, can be added to the water dish of your pup if he or she refuses to consume the usual tap water. They may enjoy that liquid a little bit more!

 

Freeze different fluids

Your dog can be more intrigued by other frozen liquids if they don’t react well to water-based ice cubes. Giving your labradoodle puppy a little frozen chicken stock is a fantastic alternative. Salt is bad for dogs, so ensure the broth you buy doesn’t contain any additional onion, pepper, or salt. Onion plants and garlic are potentially deadly for dogs.

 

Incorporate shady areas in your yard

Never leave a pet in a confined vehicle, or even your pup’s kennel or dog house with no ventilation. Your pet can easily overheat if there isn’t enough ventilation. Alternatively, provide a shaded spot in your yard where they may spend much of each day if they have to be outside. If you do not have a tree, you may set up a tarp, piece of fabric, or shadow screen.

 

Relax in the water with them

Some dogs adore swimming, while others do not. For those that do, a simple plunge in a puppy pool will quickly chill off your furry friend. Additionally, you might wet the cloth and place it all over their body, particularly on their chest and stomach if they don’t enjoy the pool. Alternatively, you may take the hose and sprinkle them; just make sure the water temperature from the sun has evaporated before you start so that the water is nice and cool.

 

Make your frozen treats

Summertime is the ideal time for frozen delicacies. Your puppy might enjoy frozen raspberries, bananas, carrots, and bean sprouts. Make your handmade freezing fruit or chicken soup popsicles to go one step farther. Your pup will adore it!

You may consider feeding your dog a smoothie. Although it may sound absurd, your pup may consume many of the same components that are used in smoothies for people. You may prepare a little shake for them with enough ice or water to it as long as you take care to avoid potentially dangerous items.

Smoothies for dogs should just contain a few components to avoid risking causing an upset stomach. Try combining some blueberries, bananas, ice, and plain yogurt. Freeze the resulting concoction in ice cube trays or give it to them as a smoothie. This hydrated treat is delicious for your pet as well!

 

Prevent running or simply walking on hot sidewalks

Before letting your dog walk on the ground when you head for a trip, inspect it. For 5 – 8 seconds, press the back of your hand firmly on the ground. If that’s too hot for you, it’s also too scorching for your pup. If you do want to take your dog for a stroll, make sure to provide them with booties to protect their paws from the heat. Booties are great for both heat and cold. You can also walk short distances on grass rather than the pavement.

 

Ensure you know the rules for shaving your dog

Maintaining your dog’s grooming is important no matter the weather, but perhaps in the summer, it is even more important. Be aware of your dog’s coat type and know whether you should or should not shave your pup. The coat of your pup may keep him cool and comfortable in summer and warm in the winter. Additionally, it helps shield them from UV radiation. Dogs with double coats should never be shaved. 

For dogs that do not need to be shaved, periodically comb their fur. This gets the dead hair out of the coat so that sufficient ventilation is possible. Additionally, it prevents their hair from matting. Fur that is matted may hold heat.

Some dogs drink water without hesitation when it is provided, so be sure to always have fresh water for your pup. However, if you have  a dog who does not drink enough water, consider one of the suggestions on the list above.

In the heat of the summer, dehydration in your dog is a very real issue. Be aware of the symptoms and take your pup to the vet if this occurs. 

Guest Author: Emila is a freelance journalist and blogger with a love for those with four legs! She has grown up around animals and pets and wants to use her knowledge on pet behavior, training and lifestyle tips to help other pet parents live the best possible life with their furry friend. 

tabby cat with paw touching human palm

Photo by Jonas Vincent on Unsplash

 

We all know that having a furry or feathered friend around the house can be a tonic to the soul. With their cute looks and funny personalities, these animal additions to your household become a valued member of the family. Children growing up with a pet can also learn valuable skills around caring for an animal and taking responsibility – a pet is a friend for life.

 

Most pet lovers don’t need convincing that their companion offers them emotional support. From someone to cuddle when you’re sitting down in the evening, to a beloved playmate for a child, your pet will be involved in every aspect of your life. But what exactly are the specific emotional benefits of owning a pet? Let’s take a look.

Reduced stress

Golden retriever puppy running on sidewalk toward cameraIf you’ve ever seen a cute puppy and felt a rush of happiness, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that pet owners have lower blood pressure than those who don’t have an animal companion. This has even been shown to work on people with borderline hypertension, so everyone can reap the benefits. While lowered blood pressure is a physical benefit, it will also help you feel calmer. (Photo by Andrew Schultz on Unsplash)

Additionally, pets decrease our levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and increase levels of the calming and happiness hormones serotonin and dopamine. Of course, pets can also help distract us from our worries too, and provide a much-needed opportunity to have a break from what’s going on around us.

Help with confidence

Especially for children, pets are the perfect friend. It’s not uncommon to see children talking to their pets, and telling them all about their lives. Both children and adults may find that pets make the ideal confidant, as they have a nonjudgemental listening ear and no social expectations.

 

Pets can also help in social situations, if you struggle with going to new places, or meeting new people. Instead of having to worry about what you’ll do when you’re there, you can sit and fuss with your pet until you’re ready to get up and speak to the people around you. Pets can also act as an icebreaker, with new people approaching you to ask to stroke your animal, and therefore avoiding the need for you to introduce yourself.

Ease loneliness

Pets make great companions, especially if you like the comfort of having them follow you around your house. Additionally, a dog in particular can help you get out of the house and on a walk, which can be beneficial if you live alone, or find it difficult to motivate yourself to get outside. This can lead to you simply saying “hello” to other people, which builds a sense of connection – you may even meet some other local dog owners who you then start to see regularly. In fact, pet owners are 60% more likely than non-pet owners to connect with people in their neighborhood.

 

It’s perfectly normal to talk to your pet, and as previously mentioned, you may find that they offer a silent listening ear. But they can also be helpful if you’re nervous about being at home alone, or find the silence lonely. Even hearing a pet moving around the house can help you feel like there is someone with you. If you’re not used to living alone for whatever reason, this can ease the transition into solo living.

To sum up

Pets are valued companions to adults and children of all ages and backgrounds. They become cherished members of the family and can make you feel less stressed, more confident and help you form social connections. They also bring joy and happiness to your home – what’s not to love?

 

Guest Author: Elizabeth earned a bachelor’s degree in English Language. She adores animals and currently owns a three-year-old Persian cat. She enjoys creating thoughtful blogs that provide readers with actionable takeaways.

black and tan dachshund wearing sunglasses

Photo by Mel Elías on Unsplash

Summer has arrived and apart from it being a great time for you to relax, it’s also the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors with your canine BFF. Whether you form a twosome with your dog or get the entire family involved, and regardless of your best buddy’s breed, there are lots of summer activities to enjoy that are canine-inclusive. Here are our favorite 8, but keep in mind that there are lots more.

Go Hiking

Look for a dog-friendly hiking trail, especially in the hills or mountains where both you and your pup can get some respite from the heat. Trails will allow your dog to get involved in some serious exploring and canine investigation.

Go to the Beach or a Swim

If you reside where there’s a dog-friendly beach nearby, playing on the shore will delight your four-legged companion. Bring along a ball or frisbee and beach towel in case your pup decides to go for a swim

Do take care about the temperature of sand with those delicate paws, and always look for some shade, even a beach umbrella, so that your dog can rest out of the sun. 

You can also opt to play in a pool, but make sure your dog has a life vest and never leave your dog in the water unsupervised. In a best-case scenario, your dog should be able to enter and exit the pool by himself. If not, pay attention to any signs of distress.

Go Boating

If you own a boat or have access to one, taking the pooch along can make for a fun afternoon. Even if your dog is a swimmer, it’s still recommended that your dog wear a doggy life vest while out on the water.

Visit a State Park 

State parks are underrated and don’t get the attention they deserve. Most state parks will feature dog-friendly trails or areas, so your pup can enjoy the great outdoors at their finest.

Try Biking

If you have a young energetic breed or a dog that is used to jogging with you, consider a bike ride with a hands-free leash. If your dog is a smaller breed, or older, consider using a bike basket or a bike stroller and treat your dog to a ride around the area.

Get a Pet Pool and Sprinklers

Live in the city and can’t get away? Set up a pet pool in your yard specially designed for dogs, or even a children’s pool. Pet pools are generally foldable and portable with easy drainage and non-slip surfaces. Make sure you throw in lots of bobbing toys to play with. 

You can also let your dog have some fun by setting up yard sprinklers and playing with your pup amid all that cooling water.

Take a Fruit Break

There’s nothing more refreshing than fresh cool fruit on a hot summer day for both you and your furry friend. Dogs can safely enjoy watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, mangos without the pits and skins, pineapple without the skin, apples de-cored and de-seeded, pears de-cored and de-seeded, and even a small portion of banana (it’s high in sugar). Not only will this be a refreshing treat, but your pup will benefit from the vitamin and mineral intake. 

Organize a Doggy Spa Day

Organize a visit to your dog’s groomer. It’s much easier for dogs to get dirtier in summer. Your dog will probably gradually be losing his or her winter coat, so a trip to get the fur trimmed is perfectly timed. 

Removing old hair will aid your dog in managing the heat, as well as protect fur from matting in the water or collecting debris on a trail. While there, have nails checked for trimming and get the teeth brushed. If you are brave and up to the task, you can do hands-on grooming at home!

Tips When Including Your Dog in Activities

  • Check that wherever you decide to go, whether a park, a beach, or elsewhere, is dog-friendly so you won’t have any trouble entering with your pup.
  • Choose an activity that mirrors the activity level of your dog. If your dog is young, energetic, or involved in activities that require prolonged physical expenditure, you can opt for a long hike. If, however, your pooch is used to short walks, keep that in mind when selecting and planning your activities.
  • If the weather is hot, take enough water along for everyone involved including your pup, and a collapsible bowl.
  • A balanced and healthy diet like those offered by Timberwolf Organics will be essential to help repair sore muscles after every adventure. This becomes even more crucial to keep your dog in top condition during the hot weather.
  • Before adventuring along trails make sure the pooch has up-to-date flea and tick treatments as well as all necessary vaccines.

Now, you’ve waited an entire year for summer to return, so enjoy the season with your furry best buddy. Your dog will thank you for it.

 

Guest Author: Emila is a freelance journalist and blogger with a love for those with four legs! She has grown up around animals and pets and wants to use her knowledge on pet behavior, training and lifestyle tips to help other pet parents live the best possible life with their furry friend. 

Photo by Bahman Adlou on Unsplash

As Memorial Day draws near many of us are thinking about all of the great summer grill outs that we will be hosting. While barbecues are great fun for both people and their pets, it’s important to make sure that you follow a few guidelines when hosting or attending such an event to make sure everyone, both two and four legged guests, can celebrate safely.

1. Keep the people food to the people

Make sure you keep your food and drink out of reach of your pets. Inform your guests about any “don’t feed the dog” rules as well. Your pup may think that whatever is coming off the grill smells amazing, but human food poses many dangers to pets. Besides the chance of burns if you pet manages to nab something straight off the grill, the following is a list of common hazards for pets:

  • Kebab sticks (both metal and wooden) can be swallowed and/or puncture a pet’s mouth
  • Ribs/bones are also choking hazards. If swallowed they can cause puncture or perforation of internal organs
  • Corn cobs can cause obstruction or digestion problems if swallowed
  • Foods high in fat can cause inflammation of the pancreas, which can be serious and occasionally fatal
  • Onions and avocados are great on burgers but are toxic to dogs when ingested and snacks like grapes, raisins, and chocolate are dangerous as well

Consider feeding your dog their meal or a snack before your grill out to make sure they are less tempted by hunger. Or offer your pet their own version of a barbecue snack while you enjoy your food.

2. Pick up trash

Some of our pets may moonlight as raccoons, sneakily accessing our trash cans and bags of rubbish. Be sure that any trash, especially trash with food leftovers that may smell appealing, is secured where your pet cannot access it and keep it covered. Aluminum foil, skewers, bones, grease, plastic wrap, and lighter fluid all pose dangers to our pets that are easily avoidable if care is taken.

For those of you who may live in more rural areas, be sure to protect your trash from wildlife as well both to avoid luring in critters and to protect them from the same dangers.

3. Establish boundaries

These boundaries go both ways. You should be sure to establish places where it is unsafe for your pet to be and take steps to keep them out of those areas as well as make sure that your pet has a quiet place to retreat away from your guests if needed.

Consider fencing off or blocking access to the grill or barbecue area. Those smells are tempting for pets, but the heat from the fire and the grease are both dangerous. Make sure your pet doesn’t have access to either. It’s also important to make sure your yard/home are secure. It only takes one guest not paying attention, or you entering your home/yard with your hands full, to allow your pet to escape. Notify your guests that you have pets and explain where they can and cannot be. Put your pet on a lead or in an enclosed space if you’re worried about an escape.

While some pets may enjoy having friends and family of all ages visit, other pets prefer not to have to engage with strangers or children. Be sure there is a place where your pet can go to retreat from the gathering and have some quiet time. Let your guests, especially those with children, know that your pet may need some space and to not interfere if they do retreat to their “safe spot.” Give your pet a puzzle toy or a kong stuffed with a treat to distract them during their breaks.

4. Keep your dog cool

Make sure your pet has access to shade. On very hot days it may be best to keep your pup inside, or only allow them out for short periods of time. Know the signs of heat stroke in pets and keep an eye on your pup. If you have access to a hose, kiddie pool, or sprinkler, consider giving your pup some time to play in the water to cool off.

Hydration is important for both you and your pet. Make sure your pet has access to fresh water and keep their bowl full throughout the day. Toss a few ice cubes into their bowl for a fun treat to both entertain them and keep their water cool.

5. Scan the area

Know what plants are poisonous for pets and remove them from your yard ahead of time. When you’re distracted with the grill or your guests you want to know that there’s nothing your pet could eat that would be problematic. If you and your pup are guests of someone else, be sure to do a quick scan of their yard as well. Consider keeping your pup leashed to you to prevent them from interacting with any plants that may be suspect.

If you are going to be setting off fireworks make sure your pet is secured ahead of time. Fireworks are often extremely stressful for pets and they would much prefer being inside or somewhere that is secured. Once you’ve finished your pyrotechnic display, scan the ground for bits of the fireworks that fall so that your pet does not ingest them later.

 

So go ahead and enjoy those barbecues! Just make sure that you are following our tips to keep everyone safe and happy.

Microchipping Your Pet: How it Works

Microchipping your pet tremendously boosts the chances of reuniting if he or she ever gets lost. It does not matter if you have a dog, a cat, a rabbit, or a horse, microchipping works! But for it to be effective, you have to do it right, keep updating your details, and purge your mind of all the rumors and falsehoods about it. 

Microchipping does not monitor or track your pet. But we will help you learn how it works so that you can make this crucial decision and protect your fur baby. 

Photo by Werzk Luuu on Unsplash

Microchipping Works – Here Are The Statistics

The American Humane Organization estimates that each year, 10 million pets are lost in the United States. Many don’t stray too far from their homes and are recovered by their owners. However, many more end up in animal shelters. 

 

According to the ASPCA, 93% of dogs and 74% of cats in shelters are reunited with their owners. However, many pets have to wait in shelters because they are unidentified. They neither have an ID tag nor microchips. Of these, only 15% of dogs and 2% of cats are reunited with their owners. 

 

The situation changes when you consider microchipped pets.

 

A study conducted by the Ohio State University found that the owner-reunion rate for microchipped cats was 20 times higher than the owner-reunion rate for all lost cats. On the other hand, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was 2.5 times higher than the reunion rate for all lost dogs.

But what are pet microchips, and how do they work?

Pet Microchip – What It Is

The pet experts at The Vets explained to us that a pet microchip “Is a small electronic device inserted into the body of your pet. It is as small as a single grain of rice. It is often inserted underneath the skin between the shoulder blades. Contrary to the myths, pet microchips do not require batteries, can last a lifetime, and the insertion process is painless.”

How it works

The microchip carries a unique code that is identifiable by a microchip scanner. The scanner emits a specific radio frequency that activates the chip. The chip then transmits its unique identification code to the scanner. The scanning shelter or vet can then compare the code against a database to reveal the lost pet owner’s contact information.

 

Therefore, for a pet microchip to work effectively, these three conditions should be fulfilled:

 

  • The chip should be in the correct place and in working condition. 
  • The person scanning should use the proper scanner and proper technique. 
  • The name and contact information of the pet owner (in the database) should be up to date. 

 

Why A Pet Microchip Could Fail

Not fulfilling any of the three conditions above means that microchipping your pet may not be effective. There are several reasons why there could be such a breakdown. 

 

First, the microchip could be faulty. A faulty microchip means that the entire process does not work. But according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, it is rare. 

 

Second, the person scanning could be applying an incorrect technique. Sometimes the vet or shelter staff can scan for a microchip while the pet is wearing a collar with metallic parts. The metal could distort the microchip or scanner signal. One could also use the incorrect type of scanner that emits radio frequencies above or below the range of the microchip and fails to activate it. To minimize the chances of this error, scanner manufacturers worldwide have adopted uniform international standards. Plus, many are developing wide-range scanners that can detect a variety of chips.

 

The third and most common reason why pet microchipping might not be effective is a result of errors in the database. When your contact information is not up to date or is incorrect, the shelter cannot contact you. Worse still, there is no central database with information about microchipped pet owners in the US. However, pet microchipping companies are progressively addressing that gap. Today, there are websites providing links to the registries of microchip companies to vets and shelters.

 

Pet microchips will also fail to work if you believe the following myths:

  • You can use a microchip to track the location of your pet. Although some microchipping companies often sell pet monitoring and tracking systems, microchipping is primarily an identification device.
  • A microchip can replace the ID tag on your pet. 
  • Pet microchip companies do not protect your personal information. Therefore you could give false information or deliberately fail to update it.

Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash

A Final Word, Be A Proactive Pet Owner

Microchipping significantly enhances the chances of a reunion with your pet if he or she ever gets lost. Be a proactive pet owner and have your pet microchipped. 

 

But do not stop there. 

 

Ensure your pet always has an ID tag. Go a step further and get a collar with a tracking system. It could save you a lot of trouble since many pets don’t stray too far from home. Contact the microchip company and confirm your details are correct and up-to-date. Also, ask your vet to scan the microchip and check that it is working correctly every time you visit. 

 

Guest Author: Emila is a freelance journalist and blogger with a love for those with four legs! She has grown up around animals and pets and wants to use her knowledge on pet behavior, training and lifestyle tips to help other pet parents live the best possible life with their furry friends. 


Image via Unsplash

 

Moving 101: Eliminate Moving Stress for You and Your Pets

 

As a pet owner, your animals are a part of your family. If you’re preparing to downsize and move to a new house, your pets are an important factor to consider in the equation. Learn how to find a new home with your furry family member.

 

Find the Dream Home for Your Whole Family

When hunting for your dream home, keep all of the members of your household in mind, including the pets. Location, house style, neighborhood, and pet-friendliness are all important considerations when deciding on your new home.

 

Once you have a home in mind, work on downsizing and packing up your current home. Downsizing and moving is a stressful time for your animals, so you may want to hire someone like Whiskers to Tails Petsitting to keep your pet company in another area of the house or take your pup for an extra long walk so they remain comfortable. Hiring a dog walker during a showing can also help with selling your current place. Some potential buyers prefer a pet-free home.

 

Modify Your Home for Your Furry Family Member

For safety, most dogs require a fenced-in yard. Fences allow your pets to play in the yard without you having to worry about them getting loose. Before you choose a fence, figure out the type you need. When installing one, think about the function and aesthetics. You can create a functional space without compromising fun design elements.

 

When considering a fencing contractor, evaluate the companies nearest to you. Check reviews and services online. When you meet with a contractor, he or she may provide you with a quote, which will depend on the size, materials, and location. Before signing a contract, check to ensure your contractor is licensed, insured, and knows where the underground utility lines are.

 

If you have the room, you may want to create a grooming station. If you have a dog who likes to run through the mud, you may want to make an area in a mudroom, on the back porch, or in the laundry room. Consider installing a walk-in bathing area with an extendable shower head for easy rinse offs.

 

You may need to anchor the furniture and other features to the wall to ensure no accidental collapses occur, especially if you have a kitty who likes to climb. Keep all electric wiring out of your pet’s way, patch up any escape routes and keep all dangerous items out of reach and locked away.

 

It’s also wise to consider any modifications you may need to make for your family if you have young kids or a senior relative living in your home. For example, if your senior parent is living with you, you’ll need to take steps to mitigate the risk of them falling, including adding non-slip carpeting, installing extra lighting, and fixing loose steps. As a bonus, these modifications will help as your pets age as well.

 

Make the Transition as Painless as Possible

To help yourself adjust, pack a box of necessities and essential items to set up right away. To make yourself feel at home faster, set up the kitchen first. The sooner you re-establish your routine for both you and your pets, the better.

 

Choose a room for your pets to adjust to when you arrive. The pets’ space should have toys, food, water, and treats available. Your pet can gradually adjust to one room at the new place before acclimating to the rest of the house.

 

Moving happens to be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Your animal will be under a considerable amount of stress, too. When your pet is safe, the process becomes a lot more painless.

 

 

Guest Author: Cindy is a freelance writer and dog lover. She started OurDogFriends.org as a fun side project for herself and to educate pet owners and potential pet owners about how dogs can enrich our lives. She enjoys writing about dogs and pet ownership.