We all love our dogs and want to provide them with the best home we can. Properly caring for a dog begins with having the right perspective. Dog ownership is an experience that enriches your life as well as that of your dog. That being said, like humans, dogs need food, water, and shelter to survive. Yet, they also need physical care, mental stimulation, and nurturing to thrive. Providing these things is an essential part of keeping your dog healthy and safe and sets the foundation for a long, happy life with your dog.
- Dog Treats and what should you avoid feeding your dog
We all love feeding our dogs and there are so many things we can feed them. From tiny training treats to large dog-lish-ous treats. You can go a bit crazy when trying to find the right type for your furr-baby. When looking for the right type of treat for your dog it is always recommended to ask your veterinarian. They can help to assist you based on the breed and if your doggy has preconditioned health issues. Remember dogs have allergies too so check it out before trying something new. Whatever your dog is into, from soft to hard treats you can consider the following to help. Starting off when they are a pup or if you are training your dog for new tricks using small treats can help to maximize on training opportunities. When a bit older or for that 'I LOVE MY DOG' treat you can give them a bit bigger of an option or those special treats you can get from your local dog bakery. Try the DOGFATHER conveniently located at 1007 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 2K9 this amazing gourmet dog friendly shop not only offers tasty treats for your dog but grooming services and an online shop! In addition, drop by our front desk at 18 Erskine to get a yummy paw-lish-ous treat! We offer the Old Mother Hubbard treats check out their website for more info or go to your local pet value.
What Foods Should I Avoid Feeding?
Most dogs love food and will eat just about anything they can find. Avoid the following harmful or even toxic foods for dogs:
- Pits and seeds from fruits/vegetables
- Bones, antlers and animal hooves
Love your pup and make sure to always consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog a new item.
2. TREATMENT OF BAD BREATH
Few smells are as unpleasant as a dog with bad breath. Your dog might think that you appreciate his kisses, but if he has bad breath, then getting up close and personal is the last thing that you want to do. Bad dog breath isn't just gross – it could also be a sign of a health problem. Before you pop your dog a doggy breath mint, take a moment to do a little research into the possible causes of bad breath and what you can do to treat and prevent it. Here are some steps and you and your dog will benefit! Remember to always consult your veterinarian.
1) YEARLY CHECKUPS
Even if you do not give yearly booster vaccinations it is wise to take your pet to a veterinarian yearly to get a general checkup that includes a dental exam. The older your pet is the more important early exams become.
To reduce the formation of plaque feed your pet crunchy biscuits help massage gums and wear away tartar. Some brands are engineered to minimize plaque and massage the gums. Other brands incorporate enzymes to dissolve plaque. Always ask your veterinarian for what type of foods are best.
Feeding chewy treats, bones, rawhide and treats filled with enzymes minimize dental plaque. Nylon bones work equally as well if the pet accepts them. If you give your pet real bones, be sure they are heavy shin and shank bones. Dogs do better chewing on bones if they start when they are puppies. Please be careful when giving your dogs certain kinds of bones. Consult your veterinarian for the type of bones and treats that would suit your dog best.
4) BRUSHING TEETH
Brushing your pet's teeth is the most important thing you can do to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Using a child's toothbrush and meat or malt flavoured toothpaste designed for animals could help this process. Use a very small amount of toothpaste – it is the brushing that is important – and concentrate on the gum margins. If you start when your pet is a puppy the pet will not dislike the procedure. If you take your dog to a groomer, ask if they clean the teeth too!
5) MANUAL TARTAR REMOVAL
If your pet has a placid temperament, it is not difficult to scrape the tartar from the teeth and clean under the margins of the gums at home. Many pet professionals perform excellent tooth cleaning at home eliminating the need to have their pet anesthetized at a veterinary clinic. Your veterinarian or a pet supply catalog is a good source for a tartar-scraping tool. Always speak to your veterinarian to get their recommendations.
3. DEHYDRATION IN DOGS
Dehydration is a serious problem for dogs. Dehydration occurs when our pets don't get enough water. Given that our dogs' bodies are made of 60% water, this means that dogs need regular and frequent amounts of clean water in order to stay healthy. Our dogs lose their water not only because they sweat, but also because water is used by most of the systems in their body.
Due to the fact that dehydration is a serious problem, if you think your dog is dehydrated, it should be brought to the veterinarian ASAP. That said, there are some tests that can help you the pet owner to determine if your pet is dehydrated. Two of these tests include;
- The Saliva Test
The saliva test simply involves putting your clean finger onto your pet's gums and feeling for saliva. In a healthy hydrated animal, the gums should feel moist and wet. If your pet's gums feel sticky or tacky then this is a sign of dehydration
- The skin Elasticity Test
The skin elasticity test involves gently pulling the skin on a part of your pet's body (usually on the back on the neck) and watching to see how quickly it snaps back into place. In a properly hydrated dog, the skin should snap back within 2 seconds. The length of time it takes for a pet's skin to snap back into place is a good indicator of their possible level of dehydration.
A common problem for pet owners regarding dehydration involves knowing how much water a pet should drink each day. Many pet owners will not realize that there is an issue with dehydration because their pet drinks an enormous amount of water per day. If your pet is drinking too much water, this is a sign of a problem. They may well be in a state of constant dehydration, and this is why they are drinking so much water. Getting to the root of why they are drinking so much is crucial. It goes without saying that if all of a sudden you notice that your pet is drinking much more (or less) than usual, then this is likely a sign of a health problem. . If you are ever concerned that your pet may be showing signs of dehydration, then a veterinary visit is in order.
Please remember water from pool, puddles and toilets are not fresh dog-drink-able sources of water.
4. CHOOSING A VETERINARIAN
When you visit your doctor, your dentist, and even your hairdresser, you place a great deal of trust in the hands of another person. Whether they are responsible for your health, your smile, or your hair, you want that person to be the very best. You will likely go to great lengths in search of a professional who most suits your specific wants and needs. When choosing your vet, the same reasoning should apply.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a vet;
- Recommendations. These can be from close friends, co-workers or a neighbours that you know that has had experiences with a vet.
- Atmosphere. The first thing you will notice when you step into every clinic is the overall atmosphere. Is the reception area clean? Did the staff greet you warmly? You might think this has little to do with the quality of care your pet receives, but more often than not, the reception area is a good reflection of how the rest of the clinic is managed.
- Hours. How easy is it to make an appointment? What are the regular hours? Is there more than one veterinarian? Knowing these will help to evaluate concerns in the future especially if it has to do with emergency care.
- Vet and Pet relationship. You should be happy both with the way the veterinarian treats you and your pet. Are they attentive? Sensitive? Do you feel comfortable expressing your concerns and raising questions in front of them? Do they answer your questions in a clear and respectful manner? Your ability to communicate with one another can make or break a client-veterinarian relationship.
- Is there grooming or boarding?
You might feel like you're bombarding your potential veterinarian with questions, but this is not something to be embarrassed about. If anything, a good veterinarian will respect your efforts and obvious interest in your pet's wellbeing. Remember, when you choose a veterinarian you not only place your trust, but also your pet, in their very hands. A good relationship with a veterinarian can last forever, and in the long run, is probably worth a whole lot more than a good hairdresser!
5. Benefits of food puzzle toys & interactive feeders for dogs
There are a great variety of puzzle feeders and interactive toys for dogs. Food puzzle toys for dogs because they provide a wealth of benefits for both you and your pup. Some are meant for chewing and mental exercises, and others that are designed to be nudged or tossed around. Here are a few options for your furr baby;
- Teething puppies: The types of that require lots of chewing are a great way to redirect the energy of a teething pup to something they are allowed to chew.
Nylabone Just for Puppies Key Ring Bone
Nylabone Puppy Chew Toy Puppy Teething Dinosaur
NWK Freezeable Pet Teether Cooling Chew Toy
- Fast eaters: If your dog is a food gobbler, certain toys and feeders like the Slow Feeder and KONG Wobbler are great places to put your pup's food! And they're not just for kibble eaters. Slow Feeders can also be used for dogs that are fed canned or raw diets. Using these puzzles for feeding will slow down your dog's eating.
- Picky eaters: Puzzle toys are a great way to satisfy a dog's natural desire to hunt and work for their food, which may just be the key to motivate your picky eater.
- Gives you a break: Puzzle toys provide mental stimulation and keep your dog occupied so you can get back to that crossword puzzle…. or just get dressed, get some work done, or even go to the bathroom in peace!
Nina Ottosson Outward Hound Puzzle Toy for Dogs
Bob-A-Lot Interactive Pet Toy
Spot Seek-a-Treat Flip 'N Slide
Paw5 Wooly Snuffle Mat
- Keeps them busy in the crate: These toys can help occupy your dog while they are confined in their crate, safe space, or puppy play pen. Though, keep in mind that toys made to be tossed or rolled around may require a bigger confined space.
While these toys offer much-needed mental stimulation for your pup, nothing can replace the value of engaging in interactive play with your dog (i.e. tug-of-war or fetch). But when you can't be there, puzzle toys are a great supplement.
6. THINGS TO HELP WITH BARKING
Living in an apartment with a dog can be tough. Especially if your furr-baby is super vocal. Being so close to your neighbour can be tough. Here are a few tips to remember as you start your efforts to control your dog's barking.
Shouting stimulates your dog to bark more because they think you're joining in. So, the first rule is to speak calmly and firmly, but don't yell.
Most dogs don't know what you want when you're yelling at them to stop barking. So, train your dog to understand the word Quiet!
Here are a few ways to help.
- Using the word 'Quiet' in a clam, firm voice
- Praise them. Give them a treat when they stop barking after you have used the word 'Quiet'
- Teach the 'Speak' command. once they are doing that reliably, signal them to stop barking with a different command, such as "quiet", while holding your finger to your lips (dogs often pick up body signals faster than voice commands.)
Practice these commands when they are calm, and in time they should learn to stop barking at your command, even when they want to bark at something.
Remember your dog needs engagement and guidance on how to act. It is our job to ensure that we find the best method that works.
7. DOG CLOTHING IS ESSENTIAL
Not only is dressing up your furr-baby a super fun experience it can be an essential one. We sometimes forget that there are dogs out there that are not much more protected from the weather than we are. There's no fur on the bottom of the foot to keep it warm! Asphalt in the summer and the mud in the spring. Boots are especially beneficial in cities or side streets, where sand and salt are spread in the winter. When sand and salt get between the toes, the feet can become very sore. This can agitate your dog and make it want to lick its feet.
Essential pieces of clothing can be the following;
- paw protection
- coats for rain, cold and extreme weather
- Ear coverings
- At times, Doggy glasses
Dogs generally get used to a coat fairly quickly, but boots are more difficult. It can be entertaining to watch a dog walk in boots for the first time. They often lift their feet very high, as if they are trying to step out of the boots. Some animals refuse to walk all together. It will take some patience and time, but your dog will eventually get used to the boots. It will also take some time and technique to get used to putting on the boots in a way that they won't fly off halfway along the walk.
Of course, we can't forget that clothing for dogs is more than just a function. Fashion is involved, too! Dogo- fashion is fun! Your dog honestly doesn't care what colour its collar, leash, or coat is. But you do! It's a great way to express yourself and your interests, whether it be a sports team, a colour and pattern, or even a "back to the 80s" fad.
Doggies take away
It's safe to say, we love dogs so much because they love us so much, as they were designed to do.
From big dogs, small dogs, yappy dogs to fluffy dogs they are loveable dogs — we call them furr-babies and puppers, woofers and boofers, pupperinos and cutie-booties, and we adore our closest companions like no other. Don't forget the cute nicknames we give them to match!