OMG = Oh, My Gourd! We know it can be hard to say goodbye to summer, but we have a secret: Fall is the BEST season if you’re a dog lover! From frolicking in leaf piles, Halloween costumes, and pumpkin spice everything, read on to find out how to make the most of the season and embark on some fun outdoor adventures with your pup!
Fall is the best time of year to take Fido on an outdoor adventure! Before the weather turns cold why not do some camping, hiking, or fishing with your pup? Before you embark, make sure to search Bring Fido for trails and campgrounds in your area that allow pets. And don’t forget to bring food, water, emergency supplies, and blankets! You’ll love admiring the gorgeous fall leaves and your dog will have a blast playing in them. For an outing the whole family will enjoy, visit a local pumpkin patch or apple farm! Many of them are pet-friendly.
Is there anything cuter than a costumed dog? We don’t think so! No matter if it’s a ghoulish Greyhound, a princess Pug, or a Catahoula cowboy, dressed up dogs show off your creativity and your dogs furr-sonality. There are a ton of off the rack costumes available this time of year, or you can go the DIY route and create a costume from your own imagination! Check to see if your town has a dog Halloween event such as a parade, costume contest, or fundraiser for a local dog park. Also considering hosting your own Dogoween party with friends and family. If your dog has a comfortable costume, he would love to tag along trick or treating with the kids!
One of the best parts of fall for us people is cozying up to a pumpkin spice latte…while also eating a slice of pumpkin pie and carving a Jack-O-Lantern! Why not include your dog in all the pumpkin goodness? Pumpkin is not only delicious, but tremendously healthy for your pooch. It packs a nutritious punch with beta-carotene and vitamins E, C and B, and also boasts a healthy amount of dietary fiber. Pumpkin is great for your dog’s digestive health, keeping them regular and helping with any loose stool issues they may be suffering from. Make your pup’s day by with their very own puppacino! Simply serve them 1/3 cup canned pumpkin with a dollop of whipped cream on top. You can also make these easy DIY Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats, which will have your dogs tail wagging all the way through Autumn. Happy adventuring!
Imagine this scenario: You’re walking down the street on a hot summer day, and you see a dog locked in a hot car. How you can tell if they might be in distress? What can you do to help? Summer temperatures can skyrocket leaving dogs susceptible to irreparable organ damage or even death. Read on for tips on rescuing a dog in distress.
Reach Out For Help
A dog left in a hot car can suffer from organ failure or death in as little as 15 minutes. Without knowing how long the dog has been left in the car, you’ll need to take quick action. Before putting on your super hero cape, reach out to animal control and law enforcement. If there are nearby shops or restaurants, have them make an announcement asking if anyone has left their dog inside a car. Many dog owners are simply unaware of how hot it gets and that announcement may get them quickly outside. Stay with the car until help arrives.
Did you know that only 28 states have laws prohibiting dogs being left in hot cars? Of those states, only 11 have granted legal authority to Good Samaritans to use any means necessary to save an overheated dog. If you have made every attempt possible to find the dog’s owner and the authorities can’t arrive fast enough to intervene, use your best judgment about saving Fido. The next steps might be actually breaking a window. Many people view saving a dog’s life as a moral obligation, even if they have to break the law to do so. You may want to find a witness who will back up your judgement just in case.
Post Rescue Treatment
Once the dog has been rescued, they need to have their body temperature lowered quickly and safely. First, get the dog into an air-conditioned building or vehicle. Call the closest emergency vet to let them know you’re en route, and provide cool water to drink. If you have enough water, pouring it over the dog can help too – as long as it’s not ice cold. You may also place the dog in front of an electric fan and place cool, wet towels on the dog’s stomach and chest. The sooner you can cool the dog down and get him to an emergency vet, the better their prognosis will be. Hopefully, you’ll never have to step in rescue a dog in distress but if you do, we thank you!
Whether you’re adopting a puppy or an adult dog, nothing is more exciting than bringing a new furry friend home! If you live with other dogs, remember that first introductions matter. How you introduce your new dog to your established pack can have a lasting effect on their relationship. These tips are designed to help integrate your new pup to the pack in a way that will reduce stress for everyone (human and canine alike).
Find Switzerland: Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Ground
Before making introductions, bring home an item that smells like the newbie for your established dogs to sniff. Maybe it’s a toy, or a piece of clothing that your new dog has been in contact with. By smelling the new pup first, your current dogs can familiarize themselves with their smell and recognize it when they are all introduced! Arrange their first meeting at a neutral location. By meeting somewhere like a dog park or a Sniffspot, nobody will feel like their territory is being threatened, and their first interaction is more likely to go smoothly.
Leash all the dogs meeting each other, and walk them together with about 10 feet of spacing between. This helps to get them used to one another without the stress of a “forced” meeting. Once the walk is done, take the pups to an open area and let them sniff each other for a few moments leaving the leashes on and loose. Remain upbeat and positive through the whole introduction process. Lastly, reward them like crazy so they associate the new dog in their pack as a good thing. If you see any type of aggressive or fearful reactions, separate them and get each dog to focus on the person they are with. You can try another introduction later and be sure to always end on a positive note!
There’s No Place Like Home
Once the dogs have met on neutral turf, it’s time to bring your new pooch home! This can be a pretty scary experience, so to help make things easier on him, bring him home to an empty house (get a friend to watch your other dogs for an hour or so). Also, put away any food, toys, and bedding that belongs to your other dogs. If you have adopted a puppy, be sure to puppy proof your home! Bring Fido in on a leash, and spend some time walking him around the house and yard so he can get familiar with his new home.
After some time, you can let him off leash to freely explore but keep an eye on him at to make sure he’s not getting into anything he shouldn’t. That’s directed at you, Labradors! After he’s finished the tour, bring your other dogs home and re-introduce them out in the yard first. Even if they’re getting along, keep food and toys separate for the first several days as mingling these items can trigger territorial aggression.
Make sure your new pup isn’t feeling overwhelmed by giving him alone time from your other pets. This could mean time in another room, a crate, or on a solo walk with you. Also be sure to monitor each dog’s body language for the first week to make sure everyone is having a positive time and not displaying aggression or fear. If things between your pack are tense at first, no need to panic! Experts say that it can take up to a month to work out the kinks of their new relationship. If you do notice any signs of aggressive behavior, keep periods of interaction brief. Halt any escalations with a firm, consistent command and then separate them for a short period. When they behave well together praise them equally. You can also bring in the help of a dog trainer to aid in the transition. With time, training, and praise, your new and established dogs will create a new pack hierarchy, and have their own very special bond!
Even though dogs are our best friends, it’s time to recognize something. They are total weirdos. Dogs are infamous for some very strange behavior like sniffing butts, humping legs, chasing their tails, and eating poop. There’s no doubt that you’ll recognize some of the wacky traits listed below, so let’s figure out the logic behind some of our best friend’s more quirky dog behaviors.
Butt sniffing may seem crazy to us, but it’s a source of *very* valuable information for your pup. Unlike humans, a dogs’ primary sense is smell. Their little snouts are about 100,000 stronger than our human noses. They can even smell from each nostril separately! Think of butt sniffing as dogs exchanging business cards with each other; their anal glands excrete scents that hold key information that is instantly translated through scent. Just by a brief butt sniffing session, your dog can find out their new friends’ gender, health and reproductive status, temperament, and what foods they eat regularly. So rather than be grossed out the next time you see your dog and another dog greet each other with some butt sniffing, be amazed at how much they’re learning about each other!
Dining on Doo Doo
Poop eating is truly the most bizarre and yuck inducing behaviors a dog can exhibit. The worst part is that after they’ve indulged, they usually want to lick your face – ugh! Thanks, but no thanks! What on earth would compel your cute, beloved, snuggly friend to eat poop? The scientific name for this disgusting phenomenon is coprophagia. A recent study by veterinarian Benjamin Hart at the University of California discovered that 16% of dogs are habitual poop eaters, and 24% of dogs are rare to occasional poop eaters. Poop eating is normal in puppyhood, but if the behavior is not addressed it may carry on throughout a dog’s entire life. There are health issues that could prompt a dog to eat feces such as poor digestion and plain old hunger. If a dog has poor digestion, the food may come out in a very similar way to how it went in, prompting a dog to have dinner, version 2.0. Parasites can also take nutrients from their food, so Fido may opt to eat anything he can get his paws on to feel full. If you suspect your dog is eating poop due to a health condition, contact your vet right away.
Tails are just plain entertaining for humans and dogs alike! For a playful pup, seeing a fluffy tail (even one that’s on his own body) may just be too fun to resist. Often chased, though seldom caught, tail chasing is usually just a dog burning off excess playful energy. It’s like your dog is twiddling his thumbs! Tail chasing can be a genetic predisposition in breeds such as German Shepherds, Bull Terriers, and Dobermans. Just like us humans, dogs can develop obsessive compulsive disorders. One common display of OCD is wait for it, compulsive tail chasing. If you notice that your dog seems fixated on chasing his tail rather than playful, seek help from a canine behaviorist. They can use behavior modification training and anti-depressants (if necessary!) to help stop compulsions.
Is your dog being physically amorous with other dogs at the park? How about with inanimate objects, or worse…your leg? What exactly is causing this blush inducing behavior? If you have a humper at home, know that you’re in good company. It’s a common issue, and one that may not need to be addressed. First, it’s important to understand that both male and female dogs hump. Spayed and neutered dogs may hump as well, and though dogs under the age of one are more frequent humpers, many dogs don’t age out of this behavior. The first reason for humping is a sexual impulse. Whether it’s another dog, your leg, or a pillow, dogs will hump any dang thing for sexual gratification. Dogs of both sexes (especially those whom have not been fixed) can begin humping when they start reaching sexual maturity. Female dogs in heat are will hump another dog of either gender to signal mating. It’s vital to spay and neuter your pet to not only cut down on the humping tendencies but prevent successful mating. Usually dogs aren’t emulating mating behavior when they hump. The ol’ bump and grind can be caused by nonsexual arousal (caused by stress or boredom), and play is another reason that dogs hump each other, which should be totally acceptable if both dogs are fine with it. You should intervene if one of the dogs looks annoyed or is being overpowered by the humper. Social dominance is another reason that dogs hump each other. It’s a vital part of establishing the pecking order within a pack, and to test the submissiveness of another dog. If your dog compulsively humps, a canine behaviorist can help find the cause and help calm your little Romeo down.
The Fourth of July is the highlight of summer for many of us. Your dog, however, may not be so enthusiastic about the holiday. Keep reading for some handy pet safety tips!
For many pets, fireworks are terrifying and for good reason! They’re loud and unpredictable. While us humans are having a great time celebrating, our pets only hear explosions and feel scary vibrations. It makes perfect sense that their fight or flight instinct would kick in. Thankfully, there are ways to comfort your dog on the loudest day of the year while keeping them safe.
Fido’s First 4th
Is this your first Fourth of July with a new four-legged family member? Even if you have a confident, social, happy dog, they may be sensitive to fireworks, so it’s best to spend your first holiday together so you can gauge your pup’s response. Being in a familiar, comfortable (and secure!) place will help calm them down if they become scared of the noises. If you notice that your dog isn’t bothered by fireworks, you may be able to celebrate at places other than your home next year.
Stay Home, Stay Safe
If you know your dog is afraid of fireworks, the biggest danger you face is Fido running away from home. 30% of all lost pets go missing on July 4th. If your pup gets spooked, their first instinct is to flee. Thousands of dogs run away every year, so make sure your home is secure; double check your fence line for holes/gaps and close all gates securely. Ensure your dog is wearing an ID tag and is microchipped (with current info!). If your dog does escape, don’t panic! Start searching for your pup in your neighborhoo and alert your neighbors (social media can be very helpful). Animal shelters are on high alert around the week of the 4th, so be prepared to call local shelters in case your pet has been picked up by a Good Samaritan.
“I’m Freaking Out, Man!”
If your dog shows intense fear around fireworks, don’t leave them unsupervised. Ever. They’re depending on you to keep them safe and will feel so much more comforted by your presence. Give your dog lots of pets, treats and reassurance. You can distract your dog with games, puzzle toys or their favorite bone. One of our favorite options is the Thundershirt; it’s the dog equivalent of swaddling a baby. It has an 80% success rate and the lightweight vest applies mild pressure to help ease anxiety. CBD treats, pheromones, and melatonin can also be helpful anxiety supplements, but try them beforehand to determine which works best. If your pet enjoys his crate, that enclosed space may make him feel especially safe. You can even leave your own blanket or shirt in the crate for added comfort. Turn on the television or play music before the fireworks start to help drown out the noise before they really get going. If all else fails or if you just know nothing else will help, contact your vet who can prescribe a sedating medication to help make the Fourth of July more manageable. Woof!
There are few things in life better than getting kisses from a dog. However, you may not feel this way if your dog’s breath is so bad it could peel paint! Dogs aren’t self-conscious about their halitosis and will kiss you no matter what ghastly smell is coming from their mouth. Thankfully there are many ways you can be a friend to your best friend, and help them improve their oral health.
What Causes Canine Bad Breath?
Halitosis (or bad breath) in dogs can be caused by several factors. It’s important to speak with your veterinarian about what may be the cause of your dog’s bad breath and rule out any underlying health issues.
Periodontal Disease: Like humans, if dogs don’t maintain proper oral hygiene, they can develop dental issues. Tartar and plaque build up are the most common, and can be the culprit behind some nasty morning breath especially if decay is a factor. If this buildup is not treated, it can progress to periodontal disease which includes inflamed gums, overgrowth of bacteria, and even worse breath (if you can imagine it!). Also keep in mind that smaller dogs are more susceptible to periodontal disease than larger dogs because their teeth are packed more closely together making them vulnerable to filthy fangs.
Pyoderma: Pyoderma is a bacterial skin infection that is commonly occurs in the facial and lip folds of a dog. Brachycephalic breeds (calling all Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekinese & Boston Terriers!) are especially susceptible to this condition, but it can affect any breed. Symptoms include scaly, crusty, or pustules which produce an odor. They look much like a large, horrible pimple. Treatments include antibacterial sprays , topical hydrocortisone cream, and antibiotics.
Kidney Disease: Metabolic issues like kidney disease can also negatively affect your dogs breath. Kidneys help eliminate toxins in the blood stream, so when they are not doing their job, the waste build up can cause a terrible mouth odor.
Diabetes: Rather than foul smelling breath, a diabetic dog produces a sickly-sweet fruit like odor in its mouth. This is due to high levels of diabetic ketones that are in the body. It can also smell a little like the acetone you find in nail polish.
Brush, Brush, Brush: You (hopefully!) brush your pearly whites twice a day, every day. Now imagine that you’re stuck on a desert island for months without a toothbrush. Things would feel pretty gross inside your mouth, right? This is probably the state of affairs in your dogs’ mouth if you’re not brushing his teeth regularly. Brushing can be a daunting task at first (if you can, start during puppyhood!), and both you and your dog will have learn together. Start out once a week and gradually increase to at least 3 sessions per week (daily is ideal). There are many flavors of dog tooth paste that are irresistible to dogs, so make sure to find one that your pooch loves. Also make sure to find an appropriately sized toothbrush for your dogs’ mouth. When you go in to brush, get down on your dogs’ level, and let your pup become familiar with both the brush and paste. If your dog is tolerating this, gently pull back their lips and softly brush. Make sure to take breaks to reward your dog with treats (it sounds counterintuitive while brushing but removing tartar/plaque and not necessarily food particles is your number one concern). Be patient, and reassuring to your pooch, and don’t get frustrated if it takes several sessions for him comfortable with the concept.
Veterinary Dental Cleanings: If your dog absolutely won’t allow you to brush his teeth and has bad breath, consider a dental cleaning with your vet. Dogs will receive an initial exam and blood work to ensure they are healthy enough for anesthesia. They are then placed under general anesthesia so the dentist can do a thorough cleaning and address any underlying dental problems. For example, a vet may pull a dogs infected tooth during a cleaning if it’s found to be the source of pain, infection, or bad breath. Vets can also treat gum issues they discover during the cleaning. Though many dog owners may be nervous with the idea of anesthetizing their dog, rest assured it’s very safe. Ask your vet about their anesthesia protocol; more and more vets are using local anesthesia during dental procedures to they don’t have to administer as much general anesthesia. Depending on the state of your dog’s oral health, professional cleanings are recommended every 6 months – 1 year.
Chews and Treats: There’s no question that your dog is going to love this solution! The right treats may be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to treating their bad breath. Dental chews are designed to help remove tartar and plaque while satisfying your dogs natural urge to chew. Make sure to never leave your dog unattended with a chew, and check labels to avoid artificial ingredients, sugar, and fillers. For a special treat, consider giving your dog a raw frozen bone! They will go crazy for it, and these bones encourage a pH level that kills bacteria in their mouth!
It’s no secret that millions of people use cannabis for medicinal and/or recreational purposes. There are hundreds of chemical properties in cannabis, the most well-known being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis (AKA getting high), but can also help with health issues including pain, nausea, anxiety, and epilepsy. However there’s a new kid on the block that’s becoming a superstar in the pet health industry – keep reading for more info on how CBD might help your canine.
What is CBD?:
CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of the chemical compounds found in cannabis, and for pet health applications, it’s derived from hemp plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC (so your dog won’t get stoned!) and is considered safe and nontoxic by veterinarians. CBD supplements can be ingested orally or can be applied directly to the skin with a topical salve. Right now, you can legally purchase CBD for your pet in all 50 states through veterinary clinics, pet stores and online retailers.
How can CBD help your pooch?:
Because cannabinoids offer both relaxation and pain-relieving benefits, there are many situations in which CBD therapy can be helpful. If your dog suffers from seizures, low appetite, chronic pain, cancer, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, or neurodegenerative conditions, you may want to consider adding CBD to their treatment plan. However, they can sometimes interact with other medications, so it’s important you speak to your vet dog beforehand. Results for anxious dogs are especially compelling. If you have a Nervous Nellie who suffers from separation anxiety, fear of loud noises or fireworks, or is constantly on high alert, CBD may help to take the edge off.
Depending on the delivery system you are using, dosing may vary. You might consider starting with half the suggested dose to see how your dog responds, and slowly increase as needed. General CBD dosages are as follows:
Dogs up to 25 lbs. – up to 1.25 mg twice per day
25-50 lbs. –up to 2.5 mg twice per day
50-75 lbs. – up to 3.75 mg twice per day
over 75 lbs. – up to 3.75 mg twice per day
If your dog is on the picky side, don’t give up hope! You may need to try several different brands until you find one that your dog finds palatable. We use CBD with our office dogs, and have found oil is the easiest to work with. You can drop it directly into their food, a treat, peanut butter, etc.
Again, it’s helpful to reach out to your vet with any questions and do some additional research to help determine of CBD might help your dog!
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! 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.
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.
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