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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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Special Delivery for Rocky

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure
Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

I was out battling the wind and checking up on the yard when I heard the distinct doorbell sound, telling me that there was someone at the front door. The gust blew more dirt into my face, leading me to sneeze. It had been bad like this the past few days, and both I and the old man had a little nose trouble of sorts. But, he was much worse off than I was, constantly succumbing to blowing his nose.

I stepped through my little door as one last sneeze cleared me up. Now I could listen in on what was going on. I heard voices, two of them, from somewhere near the front door. I raced to protect my home from any unwanted invaders.

I leapt into the couch-room and released a mighty roar of authority from my high place on the old man’s chair. There were two unknown men here, accompanied by the old man who seemed not to care that our home had become overwhelmingly occupied by these people.

With another roar, I had their attention (okay, so they aren’t necessarily roars, but give a dog some credit). Both invaders turned their attention from the object they were carrying and gave me wide eyed stares. Now they would listen to me.

Or maybe not. The old man moved fast and had me in his puppy-hold (I have yet to escape this technique) and held his hand over my face, blocking my view. Though I couldn’t see them, I took careful note of the noises they made and the scent trail lingering in the air. But then I sneezed again.

After a fit of the nose itches, I was able to focus on the scene again, but by then the invaders had left (for their own good), and I was back on all fours, with permission to scout the area for further intrusion.

The first thing I noticed was this thing. A huge block left in the middle of the floor now filled up the majority of my runway. It had markings all over it, and was definitely not supposed to be here. I couldn’t move it though. It was huge, probably bigger than the old man. Maybe it’s a house to live in or something, but it had no doorways. It was certainly tall enough for me, and long enough for me to race around in if need be. The question remained though, how could I get in it?

The old man answered my question a few moments later. One side of the box opened up, revealing a block of wood. Cedar, as my nose knows best. But, that wasn’t the only thing to come out. By the time the old man had cleaned out the box, there was pile of wood scraps that a dog could play fetch with for a lifetime. I picked up one of the smaller pieces and offered it to the old man. He just took it away and told me it wasn’t my toy.

“So, where’s my stuff then?” I obstinately inquired, “Surely there’s something in here for me.”

After another sneezing fit, the old man gave me a sly look. With a slight push, the old man scooted me into the box, where I was surrounded by a new world. It was like being in a cave. I wandered down the way, the light growing dimmer as I explored.

Wow, my new toy was a cave and the old man had cleared out the wood blocking the entrance. Think of all the cool games we could play now. I turned and raced out, scrambling for traction. As I exited, I pounced into the air and made a lap around the room in search of my ball.

Once I remembered where I hid it, I brought it back to the old man, who was now studying some book. It’s strange how simple things can fascinate my companion sometimes. He needs to have more fun. We’ll play ball in my new cave.

I dropped my toy in his lap, but he didn’t even look up. But, he did understand what we were supposed to be doing, even if he was still fascinated with his silly book thing. He tossed the ball, exactly how he was supposed to- right into the cave. I dove in hot pursuit as the ball bounced erratically down the cave walls. We did this all afternoon, the old man sitting and looking observant of both the wood and his book while I chased the ball and played in my new cave. And I’ll tell you, my best friend sure knows how to make a pup happy.

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.

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Guests and Your Dog

Dog lovers and your guests

It’s a fact that not everyone is a dog lover. While we may not know any right off hand, every now and then we meet new people and sometimes invite them over for a cup of coffee or a chat to get to know them better.

So what happens when your guests don’t take to your pup the way you’d hoped? Perhaps they seem a little intimidated or maybe they just outright ask you to lock your pup up so they can come in. Some pet owners might be appalled, while some may be more understanding. But if you’re expecting guests, there are a few things to consider, especially if you think your visitors aren’t “dog-people.”

Be prepared

First of all, make sure that your guests know you are a dog owner. The last thing you want is an unexpected surprise situation. Knowing their preferences will allow you to alter your plans or make adjustments prior to their visit. It’s respectful and won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

What if they’re already at your door though? Perhaps a repair man shows up or even a traveling salesman knocks on your door. Luckily, most repair companies have become accustomed to asking if you have pets in your house prior to the visit, so be sure that you disclose this information to them (no need for details such as size or breed).

What you can do for surprise visits

But what happens if your guests show up and don’t take to your dog as expected. They may be intimidated by their size or even the breed. Though you may be sure your dog is the sweetest pup out there, there are many breeds which can seem a little intimidating, such as the Mastiff or Rottweiler, at first appearance.

The best technique is to not let your dog greet guests at the door. This can often intimidate both parties, and that’s not a good situation for your pup to experience. Instead, keep your dog back and introduce them after your guests have entered the home. Watch their body language and stay with them upon introductions, just in case your dog doesn’t like their presence. In most cases, dogs will want to investigate initially, but will quickly return to their regularly scheduled program.

Too excited

Of course, some conditions can be a little annoying, even for you. If your dog is overly excited, practice the introductions slowly. If you let them greet visitors at the door, they can show initial signs of aggression (they can sense when others are uncomfortable) or just downright want to hop into their arms and be their best friend.

In these instances, some owners prefer to keep their dogs behind a pet-gate where they can still see the activity but won’t be able to approach the guests. While it might seem restrictive for your pup, it often helps reduce anxiety and allows your guests to relax without a pup dancing all around them.

Dog allergies 

What if your guests are allergic? Just because your visitor seems uncomfortable with your dog, doesn’t mean they don’t like them. Many people, even dog owners, are allergic to dogs. In this case, it’s best to try to make your guest as comfortable as possible. And keep in mind that just because your dog isn’t present, doesn’t mean allergies won’t kick in, so confining your dog isn’t the best solution.

Instead, give your dog a bath. Allergies aren’t from dog fur as commonly believed. They’re actually from your dog’s dandruff (flaky skin) and even urine (which you hopefully keep outside or in their litter box). And 99% of dust is skin, which means that cleaning your dog and your house will greatly reduce allergy tendencies (a helpful hint for allergenic dog owners out there).

Cleaning house before visitors would consist of vacuuming the carpet and couches to pick up any dust or pet dander that is just lying around. Additionally, it’s best to keep lint-brushes handy for your guest’s use to ensure that they aren’t taking any allergies home with them. In most cases, if you can make your guests feel comfortable in your home, you’ll find that they may actually enjoy being around your dog, too.

Always remember that not everyone enjoys being around dogs or even other pets. But it’s your responsibility, to both your dog and your guests, to make sure that everyone knows the rules of your home before you make any plans. But as long as you can make everyone feel comfortable, you’d be surprised at how many people like dogs more than they thought they did.

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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