Who’s a Good Dog? Positive Reinforcement Training

July 24th, 2018

Dog training is today’s hot topic! Whether you’re working with a puppy or teaching your older dog new tricks, positive reinforcement is key in any successful program. Positive reinforcement is a method that focuses on rewarding the behavior you want instead of only pointing out what they’re doing wrong (because who really succeeds in that environment!?). Like humans, dogs love being praised and getting special treats. When you do an especially great job at work, you may be rewarded with a pat on the back, a bonus or even a promotion. This makes you feel accomplished, appreciated, and ready to take on new challenges. The same is true for your dog when he’s learning basic obedience, agility or fun tricks. The more you consistently praise and reward your dog, the more excited he will be to learn!

Positive reinforcement training should always include one of your dog’s favorite things…treats! When selecting the best training treats for your pooch, there are several things to consider. First and foremost, avoid anything with ingredients your dog may be sensitive or allergic to. Second, go for small treats – you will be doling a lot of them out during your training sessions!  You can try using peas, small pieces of carrots, or blueberries as training treats for a healthier option or for dogs who will eat anything (we’re talking to you Labradors!). The most important thing to consider is palatability; you want to pick a high value treat that your dog goes bonkers for to encourage him to do his best.

During training, a dog’s attention span averages about 10-15 minutes, so it’s important you keep sessions short and sweet. We recommend using a mark to help communicate with your pet quickly and clearly.  A mark can be a clicker, a verbal cue such as “Yes!” or a hand signal. Right after you mark the behavior, verbally praise your dog and give him a treat. If the behavior was an especially tough one to learn, throw your pup a “mini party” by rewarding him with several treats, pets, and tons of praise. When first starting to train your pet, it’s best to work on the same command throughout each training session. As your dog gets more experienced with the process, you can add other desired behaviors or tricks in as well.

Patience is key to positive reinforcement training. Your best friend genuinely wants to make you happy and of course get a treat! There will be times when more challenging commands may take longer for Fido to get the hang of. Never shame, scold, or punish your dog for not understanding right away. The best part of positive reinforcement is that it strengthens our relationship with our dogs by fostering mutual trust, affection, and encouraging cooperation. With time, consistency patience and treats, your dog will impress your friends and family with all his new skills!

Bee Safe! How to Prevent and Treat Bee Stings

June 8th, 2018

Bee safe! Dogs are famous for being curious and playful, which are two of the reasons we love them so much! However, these personality traits don’t mix well with bees and other poisonous insects. To a dog, what could be more fun than scampering after a low-flying bee? Unfortunately, our best friends have no clue that what they’re chasing has a stinger on its rear end that could give them a world of hurt!

A Pound of Prevention

Before you and your dog go out and play in the back yard or park, take a quick look around for hives and bee attractants. Many bees build underground nests, so scan for hives at ground level as well as in trees. Should you discover a hive, leave it to the professionals and don’t attempt to move or destroy it yourself.

Traps are a great option for nuisance bees such as Yellowjackets and Wasps: the non-toxic pheromones only attract those varieties and not our beneficial Honeybee friends.  Placing a few of these  near high traffic areas can make a big difference.  Bees are of course attracted to flowers, so it’s a good idea to check for any activity in your garden before your four-legged friends go outside to smell the roses.

Food…who doesn’t love it? If you have your dog with you at a BBQ or picnic, burning a Citronella candle can help keep bees away (along with pesky mosquitoes!). Citronella isn’t harmful to bees, but they will avoid areas infused with its smell.

How to Treat a Bee Sting

If you notice your pooch has met the wrong end of the bee, keep a careful watch for an allergic reaction. Just like humans, some dogs are severely allergic to the venom. Symptoms to look for: difficulty and/or rapid breathing, weakness, vomiting, pale gums, diarrhea, and a large amount of swelling that extends away from the sting site. Contact an emergency vet immediately should you see any signs of an allergic reaction. If your dog is not allergic to bees, but is stung multiple times, you should also consult your vet immediately, as reactions can be more dangerous than a single sting.

Try to remove the stinger if possible; it will make your best friend more comfortable and decrease the likelihood of infection. You can treat the area with a mixture of water and baking soda, and by wrapping an ice pack with a towel and applying to the site to reduce swelling. Benadryl is a safe and effective antihistamine for bee stings.  Proper dosing for dogs is 1 mg per pound. Most Benadryl comes in 25 mg tablets, which is easier to dose for larger dogs but for small dogs, try children’s Benadryl in a 12.5 mg dose (the liquid option makes it easy!).

What happens if your dog swallows a bee? Trapped in your dog’s mouth, a bee will sting anywhere. If your dog has tried to swallow it, the stinger may be at the very back of the tongue or even down the esophagus. This can be a very dangerous situation as swelling could occur and block their airway.

Long story short, keep your vet’s number handy along with Benadryl, and keep a close eye on free range pups during these warmer summer months!  Bee safe out there!

Fido Fun: Dog Park Events for Apartment Communities

May 11th, 2018

Fido fun! It’s true – apartment communities have gone to the dogs. As the trend towards pet friendly housing continues to grow, property management companies are going out of their way to feature both dog friendly amenities and housing offers to attract families with pets. Here are some great dog park event and “pawty” ideas that your four-legged and two-legged residents are sure to love.

Yappy Hour: People are busy, and sometimes it’s not easy for residents to meet each other. Yappy Hours are a fun way to get human and dog residents mixing and mingling. Dogs are the perfect conversation ice breaker, which helps even shy residents come out of their shell. Hosting is fun and easy, and best of all, this event will have a ton of interest. Hold your Yappy Hour at your bark park (or community room if you don’t have a bark park). Offer wine and other traditional happy hour beverages along with appetizers for the humans, and dog treats and water for the pups. You may even want to partner with a local pet store who would attend and serve their own dog treats for free! Pet stores would love to spread brand awareness to potential customers at your community. Yappy Hours give a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to forming lasting friendships among your human and K9 residents.

Doggy Olympics:  If your apartment has dog agility equipment, you know how much fun pooches have playing on it. Why not host an agility contest to see who’s top dog? Give your residents enough time to practice with their dogs and then set a date to show off their skills. You can even rearrange your agility course with our portable Eco Dog products. Judging the agility contest doesn’t have to super serious – consider having medals for “Most Enthusiastic”, “Most Creative”, and “Most Distracted”.  And if you really wanted to have fun with it, you could have a very special medal for the pooch who just can’t hold it…like this champ!

Puppy Pool Party: If your apartment community has a pool, there is most likely a “NO DOGS ALLOWED” sign nearby. But that could change for one, glorious day of the year. Many municipal pools allow dogs right before they’re drained for winter closures or regular maintenance. Apartment communities can do the same thing! If your community has a seasonal pool, invite your doggy residents for a dip the day before closing. It will be an event pet parents will look forward to all year! Make sure to supply lots of water resistant dog toys and balls for an extra good time. It’s good idea to advise pet owners to bathe their dog after swimming in chlorinated water to ensure healthy skin and if you might need a pet wash station to prevent bathing in bathtubs or sinks, we’ve got you covered!

Classes: Healthy pets make happy pets, which is why dog CPR and first aid are so important for pet owners to be familiar with. Many guardians have never had the opportunity to learn animal CPR from a professional and would be thrilled to attend one held in their apartment complex. Use your community room as ground zero for these classes; dogs don’t need be in the class but will benefit greatly from their human companions attending. You can find dog first aid and CPR professionals in your area by searching on Pet Tech.

Another wonderful class to hold in your bark park is basic obedience. An apartment community that is populated by dogs with good manners will make life easier for everyone. Residents will be so happy to attend with their dogs, teach them new tricks, and achieve better puppy manners. You can find certified trainers in your area who would love to come and share their knowledge through The Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

Need more ideas?  Check out our Pinterest page.

Earth Day: Our Green Products and Practices

April 20th, 2018

The Pacific Northwest is well known for several things: abundant rain, fantastic coffee, grunge music, wearing socks with sandals, a love of green products (Happy 4/20!) and the great outdoors. Thankfully you won’t see many of us sporting socks with open-toed footwear, but the folks here at Dog-On-It-Parks love nature and believe in going above and beyond to be eco-friendly. We are proud to have a dedicated team that recycles all our manufacturing scrap, as well as using recycled materials in our manufacturing process. Every day we choose to make products that are safer for dogs and better for the environment.

Kermit Had It All Wrong:

It IS easy being green! When selecting materials, we always consider both durability and eco-friendliness, and aluminum is a clear winner in both categories. It is corrosion and rust proof, extremely durable, lighter weight than steel (makes for easier installation!) and can be recycled an unlimited number of times. The HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic in our products is also an ecological superstar. HDPE releases no harmful fumes, doesn’t contain BPA, phthalates, heavy metals or allergens, and uses 100% post-consumer waste products. Did you know that over 115 million milk jugs are recycled each year in the making of recycled plastic and that it tales about 21 milk jugs to create just one pound of HDPE?  A few examples of our products that use both materials are our Hound Hurdles and Collie Crawl.

EcoDog:

Like the name suggests, our EcoDog line features materials you can feel good about.  Made from 100% recycled content, these products help keep plastic out of our landfills. We are proud knowing that the aluminum and heavy-duty HDPE used in EcoDog were once consumer waste, and now have a new life in our dog agility components!  Keeping in line with the natural theme, all the products are green with black accents and portable bases that don’t require concrete footers. These are ideal for seasonal dog parks as the components can be stored in the off season, and also for off-leash areas who want the flexibility of re-arranging their agility course.

Planet Friendly Fountains: 

It may come as a surprise to learn that stainless steel is a green product! Due to its ability to be recycled, as well as producing a low carbon footprint, stainless steel is the preferred material for green building throughout the world. Dog-On-It-Parks is proud to offer fountains that are manufactured with “Green Building” friendly stainless steel, containing 75% recycled material. We have 15 water fountains to choose from including dedicated dog-only units, eco-friendly bottle fillers, ADA Accessible options and much more. Even better? They all have affordable and easy flat rate shipping across the lower 48.

Good Human!: 

America’s 83 million pet dogs produce approximately 10.6 million tons of poop every year. Holy crap! Thankfully most pet owners take responsibility for picking up their dog’s waste, but depending on what kind of bag they use, they could be unknowingly harming the environment.  Many dog waste bags claim to be biodegradable, but the materials within them do not fully break down as they require very specific landfill conditions. Our Good Human poop bags are made from 100% recycled content and have minimal packaging for a small carbon footprint. They are also FTC Compliant per the new Green Guidelines. You care for the environment by picking up your dog’s waste, why not use a bag that helps Mother Earth even more?

Dog Parks Are For People Too!

April 9th, 2018

Dog parks are parks for people…with dogs!  Consider this: It’s a late Wednesday afternoon, and as soon as you get home from work, you greet your excited pup and head off to the dog park together. Though you’re tired from a long day, you want your 4-legged friend to have some time to exercise, enjoy the sunshine, and socialize with his furry pals. It’s important to you that your dog reap all the benefits of the dog park on a regular basis, but did you ever consider that it’s benefiting you as well? Read on…

Fresh Air – Truth: Most of us don’t get enough time outside in the fresh air. Between our jobs and hectic schedules, it can be challenging to get some quality outdoor time where you can feel the breeze on your face. While your dog plays, take a few moments to appreciate the great outdoors and take some deep, calming breaths. You’ll be amazed how a few lungfuls of oxygen can help with everyday stress. 

A New Hobby – More and more dog parks now feature agility equipment. If you and your pooch are looking for an exciting new hobby, train your dog to go through an agility course! You can work on improving time through the course, ignoring distractions, and working on advanced agility moves. Your dog will work hard mentally and physically, and you will get a kick out of how talented your dog really is. And just for some giggles, check out these dog agility bloopers.

Exercise – You know that exercise plays a vital role in the overall health of your dog, plus it makes him plain old happy. The same can be said for you! When you take a trip to the dog park with your best friend, take the opportunity to engage with him. By getting your heart rate up, you are taking care of your cardiovascular system and releasing endorphins at the same time.

Feel Good Hormones – Researchers have discovered that when we spend time with our pets, our bodies release a feel-good hormone called Oxytocin. This hormone played a key role in the bonded relationship we began with dogs thousands of years ago. So, while you’re playing fetch with your dog at the park, you’re releasing a hormone that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, and helps strengthen your bond with Fido that much more.

Socializing – Like us, dogs are very social creatures. They enjoy being part of a pack and love to greet every other dogs. They even “exchange business cards” by sniffing each other’s rear ends as they meet each other. Humans need socialization too, though it’s best you leave the rear ends of new friends alone.  If you make going to the dog park part of your lifestyle, you’ll inevitably start seeing some of the same people and get to know them and their dogs. Strangers become friends very quickly when you have dogs around to help break the ice.

A Change of Pace – Many of us are living hectic lifestyles in which we feel overworked and stressed. On top of that, we often spend too much time staring at electronic devices.  There is something to be said for unplugging. Dogs are the best teachers when it comes to living in the moment. Next time you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, head to the dog park and take 30 minutes with your best friend to unwind, unplug, and de-stress. You’ll feel refreshed and recharged when you head home!

Be the Wise Owl – Are you an amateur dog expert? If you have years of experience in training and caring for your own dogs, chances are you have invaluable tricks up your sleeves.  There are lots of new pet parents at the park, or even other folks like you, and it can be a fantastic opportunity to share resources and ideas.  You all may have answers when it comes to reputable veterinarians in the area, favorite chew toys, and basic obedience tips.

Giving Back – If you’re looking for a way to get involved in your community, dog parks are an excellent place to start. Many off-leash areas are run by volunteers who help with maintenance, clean up, and events. By volunteering, you’ll get to know similar minded people, and truly make a difference in your town. And if your community doesn’t have a dog park yet, consider starting your own group to fundraise and help improve the lives of people and their pets.

 

 

Grants: Help Make Your Dog Park Dreams Come True!

March 27th, 2018

We believe every pup deserves a place to romp and play, and that every community should have a park that fits the needs of residents and pets alike. We also know the journey of seeing a dog park to completion can be a long one; between securing land and funding, the process can take years.  Fortunately, there are some dog park specific grants and contests to help make the road a little less bumpy. These organizations are committed to helping communities just like yours create dog parks that will make tails wag and people smile. Keep reading for both national and regional opportunities, and be sure to check the application requirements and deadlines.  Good luck!

Nutro Room to Run

The Nutro Room to Run program supports public, non-profit dog parks and off-leash areas. Since 2010, the program has helped enhance over 120 dog parks and committed more than 4,000 volunteer hours across North America. Projects included landscaping and adding trees and other shade structures, as well as adding benches, agility equipment, signage and more for the enjoyment of pets and pet parents. Check their website for more info.

Doris Day Animal Foundation

The Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF) is a national nonprofit founded in 1978 by legendary performer Doris Day. Forty years later, their mission continues: to help animals and the people who love them.  As a grant-giving charity, DDAF funds other 501(c)(3) organizations across the US, including community dog parks. They evaluate applications quarterly, with submissions accepted during January, April, July, and October. Click here for grant guidelines and information.

PetSafe Bark for Your Park

  • Through the annual Bark for Your Park competition, PetSafe helps 25 communities across America build and revitalize dog parks. Like applying for grants, there is some information required to enter, so you’ll need:
  •  A letter from a civic leader showing support for your project
  • Photos of your future location or current off-leash dog park
  • Blueprints of your ideal dog park (be sure to include agility components!)
  • A summary of how your community would benefit from the park 
  • Ways your community has shown support for a dog park.  Interested in more info?  Click here. 

Beneful Dream Dog Park Project 

Beneful demonstrates its passion for dog parks by lending a paw to support more than a dozen communities each year. Through its Beneful Dream Dog Park Project, the team provides financial support, hands-on volunteerism and a variety of new resources to share the dog park love. Get the Beneful scoop here. Please keep in mind that eligible parks must be free and open to the public!

The Stanton Foundation

Calling all Massachusetts residents! As part of its mission of encouraging positive dog/human relationships, the Stanton Foundation supports the development of enclosed dog parks in the Commonwealth of MA. This support takes the form of a series of grants to support park design, construction, and capital improvements. Click here to view contribution and application requirements.

Making Pet Travel Pawesome!

March 7th, 2018

Making Pet Travel Pawesome: Pet travel has gone to the dogs and pet parents couldn’t be happier!  Between working service animals on flights and more families including their 4-legged friends on vacations, dogs are travelling at record rates. Travelers with service animals and pets know that the potty problem used to mean added airport stress; where will your dog relieve himself when in a time crunch to make your flight? Thankfully airports now provide terminals with accessible animal relief areas which cater to the jet setting pooch. Dog-On-It-Parks is proud to lead the pack with design services and products that make travel more comfortable for dogs and their owners. Two airports that we’ve outfitted (San Diego and Atlanta) were featured in the list of American Kennel Club’s Top 10 Most Dog Friendly Airports. We love making air travel easier for service animals and pets alike, and with just a few key items, any airport can provide a “pawsh” relief area for dogs.

The Grass is Greener:  One of the most important elements in a pet relief area is quality surfacing. One popular option is our PetGrass Pods; their short, dense blades allow for easy waste removal and the antimicrobial agents built into both the yarn and backing help to prevent odors. Available in standard in 50″ x 40″ squares or custom sizes, they snug together for easy installation and maintenance and typically cost less than a standard roll-style turf installation. Pods are a wonderful choice for high traffic areas, as they can easily be swapped around to manage wear and lifted to clean underneath.  The addition of a Fire Hydrant is a fun touch, and provides a place for dogs to get an update on each other’s jet setting adventures.  And don’t let your pooch become parched! Providing hydration for dogs is very important, as they are more likely to become dehydrated while traveling. Our Pedestal Bottle Filler with Pet Bowl features a handy eco-friendly bottle filler as well as a pet bowl, so you don’t have to shell out top dollar for airport bottled water.

Shopping and Adventuring in Style: Dogs aren’t only living the high life at airports. Many more public spaces such as malls, restaurants and retail establishments are welcoming our furry friends and proving pet-friendly areas for play, hydration, and relief. With a treat canister, built in waste bag dispenser and water bubblers galore, our Dream Fountain is a hit among pups everywhere and will keep customers coming back again and again.  Lastly, adding a few select pieces of agility equipment will also help ensure that your public space is the place for dogs to see and be seen, all while having a barking good time.

Office Dogs: Pet-Friendly Survival Tips

February 5th, 2018

Truth: It’s hard to leave your best friend at home while you go to work. Saying goodbye each morning to those sad eyes can be the hardest part of the day. Thankfully, more and more companies (like us!) are pet-friendly. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself working for a company that lets your four-legged friend share your space, here are some office dog survival tips to help make life easier on you, your pooch and your coworkers.

Office dogs Otto & Gozer

     Must-Have Supplies

Being with you all day will make your dog’s tail wag with happiness, but there are several key items that will keep Fido healthy and comfortable. Create a cozy spot for your pup by bringing in a dog bed or fluffy blanket – even better if they smell like home. If they have a favorite toy, make sure to have it on hand along with poop bags and a pet safe disinfectant in case an accident does happen. Accessible food and water is a must, as well as any medication they may take during the day. Toys and bully sticks (tip: go for the odor-free ones!) are a great outlet for your dog to help pass the time while you work. For nervous dogs, plugging in a hormone releasing diffuser can calm them down and make them feel more at ease. Puzzle games are particularly fun for dogs and will keep their minds engaged all day.  And don’t forget the treats!

   Introductions Matter

Can’t we all just get along? Unless you work in office Babylon, there’s a good chance that a few of your co-workers might rub you the wrong way – just like Jim & Dwight from The Office. The same can be said about dogs. Fluffy and Muffins may never be best friends, but if you introduce them properly, they may be able to tolerate each other. To help prevent doggy drama, it’s important that dogs meet in a neutral place so nobody gets territorial. The office parking lot or a nearby park are both good choices; take several minutes for them to check each other out, do a few sniff tests and become familiar with each other. Then, walk them back into the office together. This can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping the puppy peace.

Doggy Proof Your Office

Things that seem boring to you at work can seem like a lot of fun to dogs! It’s a good idea to hide any electrical cords they might chew on, as well as secure any toxic materials that they could get into. Items like permanent markers, pesticides, office snacks, and poisonous plants are best kept away from your furry friend.

   Stay in Tune with Your Dog

Just like there is no “I” in “Team,” there is no “Pee” in “Office, so it’s important to know your dog’s bathroom schedule. Make sure that your pup has enough opportunities to relieve himself outside rather than in Barb from accounting’s office. And of course, keep lots of poop bags on hand to clean up after a potty break.

Office life agrees with some dogs, and stresses others out. You know your pooch best, so watch out for signs of agitation or stress at work. Additionally, if your dog is aggressive, excessively shy, or very excitable, the corporate world may not be right for him.

 Respect Your Coworkers

Although you love your dog with a capital L, some of your coworkers may not feel the same way.  Even if your pet-friendly office feels more like a zoo than not, it’s best to check and ask if anyone is allergic to dogs or doesn’t feel comfortable around them before bringing Spot in. There may be workarounds for these situations, and you’ll also know to keep him away from these particular colleagues.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram for more pet-friendly tips and tricks!

Ode to a Fire Hydrant

January 29th, 2018

 

Have we mentioned before that we really love what we do?  If not, here goes: We love dogs.  We love dog parks.  We love being able to help improve the quality of life for people and their pets.  Seriously pinching ourselves over here.  That being said, we also think dog parks are fun, so designing dog parks and pet products is pretty darn fun too.  That’s why we launched our “Ode to a Fire Hydrant” poem contest last month.

We asked our customers and fans to put on their creative thinking caps, and write some prose about the relationship between a dog and a fire hydrant for a chance to win a FREE custom Fire Hydrant.  We refer to a Fire Hydrant as the “office water cooler” of the dog park and were curious if there were any other analogies. Sure enough, everyone delivered!

Read on for some dog park-themed poetry…

Winning Poem from Burton Carol Management: 

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue,

Residents with four legs, truly matter too.

That is why we create, an area to play,

So our furry loved ones, can enjoy the day.

Complete with fire hydrants that are red, causing people to smile

Our fenced in  Bark Parks, keep pets happy for awhile.

So choose one of our properties, where our furry pets rule.

And visit one of our dog parks, which are incredibly cool!

___________________

Runner Ups:

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

I am Scruffy,

I eat, sleep & poo!

Our dog park needs a fire hydrant,

So I can piddle too!

If we win,

We’d definitely say thank YOU!

___________________

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

Dogs need to run

Pups need to play

Isn’t that their job?

Just to make our day!

By: Friends of Ellicott Island Bark Park

___________________

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

Dog-On-It Hydrants

Are better than Scooby-Do’s

_________________

Roses are red

violets are blue

My dog chews on everything,

Especially my shoes.

She really can’t help it,

As soon as she’s smelt it,

That shoe she must have,

Good luck trying to grab.

She runs and she plays,

My shoes I must save!

She’s fast and she’s wily,

My silly girl, Riley.

***Disclaimer, this is based on the true story of our shoe snatching shelter dog.***

______________________

If you’d like a chance to win free dog park products, be sure to follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and sign up to receive our monthly newsletter!

 

                                                                                                       

 

 

Home for the Howlidays: Survival tips, treat recipes and more

November 14th, 2017

There’s no place like home for the howlidays…until it gets crazy, that is.  If you’re like us, one of your favorite things to do this time of year is throw on some warm PJ’s, settle in with a good book or movie, and pretend like your shopping expedition to the mall never happened.  If we get stressed, it’s no surprise that the holiday season is stressful for our pets too.  From a house full of guests, new and potentially unhealthy foods to be tempted by, and generally being a little off their game, here are some tips on keeping Fido calm and collected this Christmas.

Crate Training 

A dog’s crate can be its best friend and a much needed safe haven from all the hustle and bustle.  Crate training is actually quite easy if broken down into easy to manage steps (and be sure to use lots of positive reinforcement and treats!).  Unlike the crates of yesteryear, there are some cool ways you can incorporate these pet-friendly spaces into your home without it screaming “crazy dog person”.  The Humane Society of the United States has some helpful tips on training here, but this is the gist:

  • Keep the training short and sweet to start off.  Lure Fido in by dropping some high value treats inside, give them tons of praise if he goes in and allow him to come right back out.  We shouldn’t have to say this, but we will: People, do not force your dog into the crate, use it as punishment or leave them in there all day.
  • Transition to feeding meals in the crate and close the door while they eat.
  • Gradually increase the time spent in their crate and continue to give praise and biscuits.  The crate is a happy place, right?

If you notice your dog getting stressed, check out some of the most common signs here, make sure their crate is in a quiet location and tuck them in.  Caveat: Some dogs don’t like crates.  At all.  A bathroom, bedroom or some other confined, secure space can make a huge difference though.  Make sure they have a cozy bed to curl up in, and some classical music can help too – there are even dog specific soundtracks on Spotify you can play.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland 

Daily exercise – good for us and good for our pets.  Studies show that having a pet helps to lower blood pressure, manage anxiety and depression, and when you add walking or running into the equation, it’s a win-win! According to PetMD, most dogs should get 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise each day.  This of course varies by breed, age, health concerns, etc and can be anything from chasing a ball, nosework, playing with a flirt pole (our Great Dane LOVES this), or an indoor game of hide & seek – you’re looking to get the heart rate up a bit and also some mental stimulation.

For regions that see snow and ice, please keep in mind that it’s really important to protect those sweet feet.  Grooming the fur in and around the pads will help prevent ice from forming which can lead to chapping and even cracking.  You can make or purchase paw balm to prevent and heal those cracks, or go all out and buy a snazzy pair of booties.

We love the Freedom No-Pull Harness for our office dogs; it has the traditional loop on the back and also one on the front which is helpful when walking a dog who would prefer to be dragging you.  The additional pressure (safely distributed) across the front of the chest slows them down significantly.  It also features a velvety soft lining on the inside to help prevent chafing on their delicate undercarriages.

Scooby Snacks 

‘Tis the season for counter surfing! Unfortunately, this is a busy time of year at emergency vet clinics.  Pancreatitis from overindulging, choking from a bone, eating poisonous plants or chocolate – the holidays can be downright dangerous.

You can help keep your pet satiated with some healthy, easy-to-make treats and dog food toppers.  Here are a few favorites:

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream (you could eat it too!)

Slow Cooker Dog Food

Bacon & Peanut Butter Glazed Biscuits 

Turmeric & Fish Treats 

And some breath fresheners after indulging in those fish treats…Frosty Breath Dog Treats

 

Here’s to a healthy, happy, stress-free (or at least manageable) holiday season! Woof woof! 

 


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