How Active is Your Dog?

Dog care for your active dog

One of the key elements to dog ownership and parenting is to keep your pup active and happy. Not all dogs are going to be bouncing off the walls and chasing balls, though there are times when every dog wants and needs to get out and be active. In most situations, we take our dogs out for walks and even play a game of fetch at the park. But is that enough for them?

Aspects to consider

One of the first questions every owner should ask themselves is: What breed is your dog? All dogs need to experience an active lifestyle, but those who enjoy the company of working, herding, hound, or terrier breeds will notice they are often very active and require a lot of attention, which you must be ready to deliver. This is one of the most important things to consider when you adopt a new pup into your home, since your lifestyle may not mesh well with the activity levels your dog needs to stay healthy and happy.

Ask yourself a few questions about your dog’s personality as well, since breed won’t always determine how much activity your dog needs. Are they active and attentive to you? Are they confident about exploring new things?

Their present weight can also play a big part in their activity levels as well. Are they getting a little pudgy around the middle? If you can’t feel their ribs (be sure to account for the fur), they might be putting on a little too much weight. And it doesn’t take much for a dog to become overweight and unhealthy.

Weather will play a part in your dog’s activity levels as well, such as cold and heat. Most dogs won’t be active during the hot hours of the day, but when it gets cool and in some cases a light shower falls, you may find your pup eager to get out and enjoy some time exploring in the cooler air. In fact, most dogs, especially long-fur breeds, will want to get outside when conditions are around 60 to 70 degrees, much like we would. So be sure to make the most of the weather and enjoy some activity time together.

Also, the age of your dog matters, such as the huge difference between puppies and seniors. Puppies need early stimulation and as much attention as you can offer, while most seniors will simply want to enjoy the comfort of your company, often relaxing and getting their bellies rubbed.

How active should your dog be?

So, therein lies the real question: How often should your dog be active? All of the mentioned factors will affect their comfort, health, and trainability. Interacting with your dog consistently helps develop a special bond between the both of you. Have you ever noticed your pup rushing out to chase a squirrel or pursue a butterfly through the yard? Many dogs will find these activities irresistible, but they can pose a danger as well, especially when they run off and fail to react to your commands, such as return or stay.

The key is to keep up with your dog’s activity demands. Are they regularly stimulated? This applies to both mental and physical challenges to keep them entertained. And don’t assume that your dog isn’t smart, because they are inherently problem solvers. They enjoy puzzles and obstacles that challenge their intelligence just as much as they enjoy a good race against you and their fellow friends out at the park or even around the yard.

In fact, many dog owners may have encountered their “escape artist” companions wandering around the neighborhood unexpectedly. This often happens in dogs that have little stimulation or activity where they’re at, which can make the grass on the other side of the fence seem a little more colorful. This is often a sign that they need a lot more attention from you, and there are several forms that you can deliver to keep them settled and happy right where they are.

Keeping them active

The simplest activity that most owners consider is regular walks. Not only does it give the pup time to address their potty issues, but it offers stimulation of their mind through sights, smells, and interaction that are provided in the environment. It also naturally develops a bond between you and your dog, since the journey is shared together.

The other is mental stimulation, such as puzzles and goals that can keep your dog active while you’re away. Luckily, the pet toys industry has started to produce more “puzzle” toys for dogs, such as Kong’s bone that can be filled with various treats they need to work to get to. Others can be as simple as putting a Frisbee on the tile floor, making it a challenge for the dog to pick up. You may even hide their toys throughout the home (a bag of tennis balls is cheap and there’s plenty of them), leaving your dog exploring and active while you’re gone. Designing different challenges for your dog will help keep them busy, especially while you’re away at work.

Keeping your dog active is an extremely important part of being a dog owner or parent. Not every dog is going to be as active as the next, and with the busy world we live in, it can be difficult to always be there to keep your dog entertained. But, there are many forms of entertainment that can keep your dog active, even when you aren’t around. So be sure that whether you’re here or there, your pup stays happy and active so they can get the best out of their life with you.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Tips on Stopping the Pull and Tug

Proper dog care when your dog keeps tugging and pulling

Have you ever taken your dogs to the dog park and found that they are actually taking you to the park? They lead the way by tugging and pulling you. Basically, your dogs are walking you rather than you walking your dogs.

Unfortunately, tugging and tugging can quickly become an ingrained habit that becomes harder to break as it develops over time. It can cause harm to both owner and dog alike. For dogs, it can damage the dog’s windpipe. For dog owners, it can put them in harm’s way – like being pulled towards traffic on a busy street.

For this reason, it is essential that every owner take the time to train their dog to follow rather than lead them. After all, you’re responsible for their safety and health, so it’s up to you to make sure that they perform properly, especially when on their leash.

Effective Ways to Stop Your Dog from Pulling and Tugging  

1. Use a body harness 

It’s important to note that tugging on a collar is a danger to dogs on a physical level. Due to their determination to be a pack leader, they are going to tug with the full force of their body in order to be in the lead. What happens is that a collar will dig into their neck, restricting the airway (trachea) and causing slight damage. While it may start out as coughing and wheezing, over time this can wear down their airway, especially with larger dogs that have more weight to tug with.

For this reason, the use of a body harness will help during the training process. These are relatively inexpensive – usually about the cost of a collar, and will displace the force of the leash across their chest rather than solely on their neck (it’s still necessary to use a leash for their tags and license).

Be sure that it fits your dog snugly and won’t chafe them, such as in areas under their legs. If the harness has a metallic buckle, consider using a cloth or tape to secure it so that it doesn’t strike their chest or flanks when they’re moving around; this becomes more of an issue when there’s too much slack in the harness.

2. Stop, turn and go

While you’ve addressed your dog’s well-being, it’s still necessary to get your dog to stop taking you for walks. So, stop and think about why your dog is tugging in the first place. Basically, a dog is going to move in the direction where they think you are going (they just don’t have the patience to wait up for you and your two-leg speed). They see the destination and basically want to get there in a hurry. For most of us owners, we tend to just go along with them, but this only enforces the fact that perhaps they are in charge right now.

In order to stop this behavior, the best place to start is when your dog pulls, you stop. This will leave your dog tugging against you, but they won’t be able to move on. Another good technique is to change direction regularly. If they’re tugging forward, stop, turn around and go the other direction.

Start out on the sidewalk, where there is no apparent destination for them to see or note. Start walking in one direction and when they begin tugging, stop and move in the other direction. Do this several times until they begin to wonder where it is that you’re going. They’ll eventually begin to wonder what’s going on and look to you for the answer. This is exactly what you want to happen. In order to stop the pulls and tugs, you need your dog to focus on staying with you rather than getting to the destination as quickly as possible.

  1. 3. Use commands and treats

The preceding process can also be associated with commands, such as “stop” or “stay” when you stop. If you stop, give your dog a command to “halt” or “stay with me.” This will help them associate the fact that they need to pay attention to you because you have the answers they’re looking for. Additionally, the use of a treat will help incline them to listen to you during the initial stages of training. But you will want to eventually wean them off treats and for them to respond to you on command alone.

Next time you take your dog out for a walk, be sure that you’re the one leading the expedition. With a little training and the right tools to ensure their safety, you’ll be able to take charge of your dog and guide them instead of them dragging you along for the ride.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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What Happens to Your Dog’s Body When You Make Them Wait

Here’s why dog owners should not make their dogs wait

Everyone has to go potty. But not every potty area is convenient, especially for a dog. Most owners have to take their dog outside to potty, whether it’s out in the yard or out for walks. Regardless of where, the question is always- when?

The body naturally wants to eliminate waste. But what happens when we don’t let it? What happens when we don’t permit our dog to regularly take care of their physical necessities? Not only is it harmful, but it’s just plain mean not to let your dog potty when they need to. Consider if you had to hold in your bowel movements for a long time. Wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable? Perhaps even in pain?

Every good dog owner understands the importance of letting their dog take care of nature’s call, but it’s just as important to understand why.

Age and size matters

Not all dog’s bodies are designed the same, and every dog has different habits. As for puppies, they should not be forced to hold their potty for any longer than two hours. It goes up an hour after their first birthday. For the most part, three hours is a good schedule of elimination for the average adult dog and eight hours is the maximum hold time. Senior dogs tend to have less bladder control as well, so be sure you address their timely needs.

Do keep in mind that if you have to go, it’s likely your dog has to go too. This is one of the best ways to gauge potty time for your dog because it acts as a regular reminder about what’s necessary.

Feeding and drinking schedules play a part in potty needs. If they eat, they will need to potty, usually within the hour. Dogs are creatures of habit and will regularly need, or at least want, to go out during specific times of the day.

Physics apply- namely larger dogs have a higher bladder capacity than smaller dogs. Small dogs, therefore, need to be provided potty opportunities more often.

The waiting one

As far as your dog is concerned, they show signs whenever they need to potty. Circling, pawing at the door, coming to get your attention are all signs. A dog relies on their owner to help them fulfill a happy day. Initially, a dog feels the need to urinate when their bladder is half-full. The body senses the swelling of the bladder and informs the dog that it’s ready to be relieved. A dog may start to show signs of needing to go before it is vital that they go. This is to give you adequate time to make arrangements to allow them to relieve themselves.

Remember that if they can’t eliminate in the proper area, they will do so wherever they feel most secure- such as behind furniture. This is mostly because they understand that what they’ve done isn’t according to the rules, but as far as their body is concerned, they needed to do what is only natural.

Obstruction of potty time

The important thing to know is that when a dog is forced to hold their potty for extended periods, it can cause physical damage to their body.

A dog that can’t potty will often avoid eating or drinking as well, resulting in dehydration and malnutrition. If your dog isn’t eating, it could be because they are sick, but it is often due to constipation. Rawhide bones have a tendency to build up in the intestines, causing blockages. If they can’t potty for long periods, it can result in an impacted colon, requiring laxatives or even surgery to remove and repair the damage.

The bladder is something completely different. A bladder infection, or cystitis, is an inflammation of the bladder due to bacterial or fungal infection. When your dog is forced to hold their urine for extended periods, it gives the urine time to build bacteria. Resulting infections can occur which will only cause your dog to need to potty more frequently until treated properly.

Give them an option if you can’t be there to provide the opportunity. If you spend long hours away from home, consider an indoor litter box so they can potty at their own leisure. This will help keep them from overwhelming their body or even secretly eliminating behind the couch.

Some dogs can hold it in for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay for them to. Take care of your dog properly and make sure they stay happy and healthy.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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