How to Communicate With Your Dog

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When communicating with our dogs, it’s not just what we say. It’s how we say it and more importantly, what we do. They observe our visual and verbal cues and both cues need to be sending the same message. We become more aware of the signals we send to our dogs and how they perceive them. We can cut down the number of everyday frustrations and communicate more clearly to our dogs.

The Dog Head Tilt

Does your dog ever give you a blank stare when you ask them to follow a simple cue such as “sit”? Do you want your dog to play with you, and you do everything to get their attention. Do they don’t seem to get it. There are fascinating studies about how best to communicate with our dogs and why cues and signals. How they are given can enhance how our dogs to understand us.

How Dogs Interpret Communication With Humans

Let’s start with how dogs might interpret signals to play with us. In a paper, Do dogs respond to play signals given by humans?” lead researcher Nicola Rooney, University of Bristol in the UK, wanted to know what play signals are the most successful.

So they filmed 21 dog/owner pairs playing—or at least, attempting to play. In what could surely have been billed as a comedy. Owners patted the floor, barked, bowed, shuffled their feet, slapped their thighs, crawled on all fours. Anything to get their dogs to romp with them.

The researchers videotaped the sessions and meticulously catalogued, recorded and identified common actions used by owners to solicit play. They then tested to see which signals actually worked.

Bowing in a human version of a dog play-bow, as well as lunging while verbally encouraging the dog, usually elicited play.

Other gestures like:

  • tickling the dog as though they were a human infant
  • or stamping one’s feet as though dislodging last week’s dried mud from hiking boots

That just earned blank looks. And surprisingly, patting the floor and clapping were less than 50 percent successful. What’s more, while barking at, kissing or picking up the little pooches probably brought on laughs from the researchers. Most dogs failed to find these actions amusing.

“I thought humans were suppose to be smart and the alpha.”

As interesting as these findings were, the real message—one that stayed with me—was what came next. Upon analyzing the data, the researchers found that some actions tended to instigate play while others resulted in silent stares. The frequency with which the owners used the signals was unrelated to their success. In other words, owners tended to use unsuccessful gestures even after they were demonstrated not to work. And there I had it, scientific proof: Dogs are smarter than humans!

Dogs Learn By Trial-And-Error

Well, at least in some ways dogs top human because dogs are champions at trial-and-error learning. They have all day to try things out and see what works.

“Please pay attention to me.”

For instance, want to play fetch when your people aren’t interested? Grab a tennis ball and drop it at your human’s feet. Then bark until they finally pick it up and toss it. Getting the silent treatment? Bark longer and louder—you’ll eventually get a response. Or, choose the right time, like when your human’s on the phone. That’s when they’ll do anything to get you to shut up.

While dogs are masters of this style of learning, we humans are hindered by our much-vaunted cognitive abilities. Armed with the wonderful capacity to observe and imitate, we copy the behaviors we see, whether they work or not. Clouded by our preconceptions of the techniques we’re supposed to use, we forget to stop and evaluate whether our actions or methods actually work.

This might seem like fun and games when it’s just us dancing around trying to get our dogs to play. At worst, when our pooch refuses to romp, we attribute it to them not being in the mood. But when it comes to something more important (like coming when called or sitting on command) a dog’s failure to perform can result in them being labeled “stubborn” or “stupid”. Because what else could it be?

Dogs Learn Visual Vs. Verbal Cues Better

Well, according to a series of research studies by Daniel Mills (veterinarian and researcher in Behavioral Studies and Animal Welfare at the UK’s University of Lincoln). With play signals, much poor performance could be attributed to dogs’ inability to decipher our signals. It turns out that even if our dog responds to our commands some of the time, they may not know what they mean as well as we think they do.

According to Mills, a number of factors determine how well our dogs perceive the message we intend to give. One is whether the signal is verbal or visual. We humans are used to communicating by talking. Mills’ research indicates that this may not be the best mode of communication with dogs. In an experiment to test which signal type takes precedence, Mills and his colleagues trained dogs to respond to a verbal right and left cue as well as a visual pointing cue for the same behaviors. To guard against bias that could be created by the order of teaching, half of the dogs were initially trained using verbal cues and the other half, using visual cues.

Testing Ways To Communicate

Then they tested the dogs by placing a treat-holding container on either side of the subject. One box on the right and one on the left. When they gave the “left” cue, the dog got the food reward if they ran to the box on the left. If they ran to the wrong box, they received no reward. Once dogs consistently responded correctly to verbal and visual cues alone, the cues were given together, with a twist. The researchers gave a verbal signal for one direction and a visual signal for the other to see which one the dogs would follow.

For anyone whose dog competes seriously in agility, the results were a no-brainer. The dogs consistently followed the visual pointing cue and ignored the verbal cue. This dynamic plays out on every agility course. A dog will usually go where the handler’s body is pointing rather than where the handler might be verbally trying to send them.

Giving Dogs Mixed Signals

This bias toward the visual as opposed to the verbal can pose problems for dogs even in everyday life. Mills says, “This simple example emphasizes that when training dogs, we have to realize that dogs may be reading signals we’re not aware of”. So when your voice tells the dog to do one thing but your body tells them to another, they’re not being stubborn. They may just be reading a different message than the one you think you’re sending.

“I’m not sure what you’re trying to tell me. Am I supposed to be doing something?”

Even when we’re purposefully sending visual commands to our dogs, such as in the obedience trial ring or field trials or other long-distance work, there’s more to the signal than we might think. Says Mills, “In a similar study, we looked at the dog’s response to different visual right-and-left cues. We compared eye movement and head movement to the right or left with pointing right or left, but keeping the eyes and head looking forward”. Using six dogs, they found that dogs found the hidden food source faster when the two signals were presented together. Which, Mills says, suggests that “Dogs are taking in the whole picture of what’s going on”. That is, they don’t look at our hands or our head, they look at our entire body. As a result, if all signals are not consistent, dog can become confused.

Pronunciation Matters To Dogs

Do these studies mean we should scrap verbal commands altogether and focus on the visual signals? Obviously, dogs can learn verbal commands, because we use them all the time and some dogs respond correctly on a regular basis. But perhaps even those who respond don’t know the cues as well as we think. Mills and his colleagues performed a series of studies to test this, too. First, they tested slight variations in the commands to see if dogs recognized them as the same words. They taught dogs to stand and stay. Then, from five feet away, the trainer gave either a “come” command or a “sit” command.

“Are you speaking proper English?”

Once the dogs were reliable about responding correctly, the researchers changed the command words slightly. In place of “sit,” they used “chit,” “sat” and “sik,” and in place of “come,” they used “tum,” “keem” and “kufe”. The results? In general, dogs did not respond as well to the similar-sounding words. Taken from another viewpoint, they were able to recognize that the similar-sounding words were not the same as the commands they had learned. This sounds like no big deal. But, Mills says, “From a practical point of view, due to slight differences in how handlers pronounce words, obedient response to one handler’s commands won’t necessarily transfer to another unless the phonemic characteristics are mimicked.”

Do Dogs Respond To Recorded Cues?

“No matter how many times I listen, I still don’t understand.”

You might think you could get around this by tape-recording the command and just playing it back. Mills found that dogs don’t respond to tape-recordings as though they were a real-time human voice. In yet another experiment, a “come” or “sit” command was given in one of four conditions:

  • from a person sitting in a chair
  • from the same person wearing sunglasses to prevent visual cues
  • both conditions
  • command from tape recorder behind the person

Mills reports, “Dogs made many more errors when the tape recorder was used.”

“Slow down. I’m trying to read your lips.”

Such errors could be attributed to the dogs distinguishing a difference between the tape-recorded and live voice command. Another hypothesis is that dogs also rely on lip movement or some other indication that the human is speaking to them. In fact, in a fifth variation, the handler uttered the “come” or “sit” cue while looking away from the dogs. They again made many errors, indicating that orientation of the handler is important.

By now, it should be clear: Be aware of visual signals, as they may override the verbal commands. Make sure all of your signals mean the same thing. Your message may look more like a dubbed version of Godzilla than a clear-cut cue. When you do use verbal cues, make sure everyone says them exactly the same way. Also you can train your dog that slight variations mean the same thing. And if you plan on your dog responding correctly to your verbal commands when you’re out of sight or facing away, you’ll have to specifically train them to do so.

Communicate: Emotional Expression of Cues Count to Dogs

And that’s not the end of it. Turns out that the emotional content of your message is important too. Mills’ group trained dogs to reliably come or sit when a handler was standing five feet away behind a screen. Then they tested to see how dogs responded to different emotional contents. The commands were uttered in a neutral tone; a happy tone, with the inflection ascending; an angry version, with the tone descending; and a gloomy version, in which the handler sighed first. Dogs responded more predictably when the tone was positive. When the command was said in an angry or gloomy manner, there was more variation in their responses.

Communicate Clearly

So what’s the take-home message? The one your pooch is dying for you to learn? Here it is: Perhaps when your dog gives you a blank stare after you utter a command you think they know, they have a good reason. Because when communicating with our pets, it’s not just what we say. It’s how we say it and whether our visual and verbal cues are sending the same message. We become more aware of the signals we send to our dogs and how they perceive them. We can cut down the number of everyday frustrations and open clearer lines of communication with our four-legged friends.

Paws: Is Your Dog Left Or Right Pawed?

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Does Your Dog Use Their Right or Left Paws?

If you are cooped up indoors right now, you might be looking for ways to keep your dog engaged! May we suggest some brain games using your dog’s paws?

Here is a super easy one to help you discover if your dog is right pawed or left pawed: 

  1. Fill a small wobbly toy (maybe a kong) with some yummy treats and leave it in front of your dog.
  2. Give your dog a release command indicating that they can go play with the toy.
  3. Observe from a short distance away, and keep a count of how many touches they make with each paw.
  4. You can stop counting when they have touched it at least 20 times.

Did your dog touch the toy with their right paw more frequently, or their left? Or was it about even … meaning they are ambi-dexterous?

What does paw preference tell us?

Studies have shown that ambidextrous dogs are great problem solvers, while dogs who show a paw preference (whether left or right) are explorers who love new experiences. 

By asking our dogs to use their paws, we also ask them to use their brains. Dogs use all parts of their brain all the time, but some areas get recruited more depending on what they needs are and this is reflected in their behaviors.

Playing Games With Chloe

I like to play the game “Which Hand” is the treat in. She has to choose which hand is holding the treat. At first, I would just hurry and put the treat in a hand and hold it out to her to choose. I made her figure out that I wanted her to use her paws. She would instantly smell and choose the correct hand with her left paw. Then I later put the treat behind my back and switched the treat around so both hands smelled of the treat. She usually smells both hands and you can see the wheels in her brain trying to choose which hand. She still usually gets it correct always using her left paw!

Dog Bites: How You Can Prevent Getting Bitten

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Four Fabulous Ways to Get Bitten By a Dog

Getting a Dog Bite is VERY Scary!!

Dog bites can be scary and painful, and can cause major damage. No one in their right mind wants to be bitten! But as a canine behavior specialist who also observes human behavior, I’ve seen people who, unfortunately, seem to be in pursuit of that goal. And so, if you’re in the market for sporting some impressive teeth marks, allow me to share with you a few strategies that might well result in a bite.

Dog Bites: ‘When a dog growls at you, keep right on doing what you’re doing.’

PAY ATTENTION

A growl is a dog’s early warning system. It broadcasts, Stay back. If you push me, violence may follow! I would much rather be around a dog who growls to share his feelings of discomfort than one who has been punished for growling. The latter are often the ones who bite without warning. At the moment a dog growls, the wisest course of action is to stop what you’re doing, whether advancing toward or reaching toward the dog, trying to brush, clip nails, or whatever. Diffuse the situation until everyone is calmer. Then, if it’s your own dog, address the underlying issue with the help of a professional if needed.

Dog Bites: ‘Show dogs affection by kissing them on top of the head and giving a nice, tight hug!

DOGS PREFER JUST A LITTLE PETTING

Okay, before you say it, yes, you may be able to do those things with your own dog. Perhaps your dog even enjoys them. But there are many who will not appreciate either of those things, and may bite to convey their distress. Hugging signifies affection to humans, but to dogs, it’s a form of restraint. Ask any vet tech how much dogs love being restrained. It’s true that there are some dogs who are fine with being hugged, but many more simply tolerate it; and some won’t. When being hugged, a dog may show subtle stress signals such as lip licking, turning away of the head and or gaze, or yawning. If those signals are not heeded, the dog may proceed to growling or even biting without warning.

As far as kissing a dog on top of the head, I have known of more than a few children and even some adults who have been bitten in the face for doing it. Dogs are naturally nervous about things descending from overhead. No doubt you’ve seen dogs who actually cringe when someone reaches to pet them with a palm down over the head. Approach dogs by petting the chest or other safe area first, and even better, let them approach you. As far as kissing, only put your face close enough to kiss a dog you know very, very well.

Dog Bites: ‘Take your dog’s food away regularly. After all, you’re the one in charge!

DON’T CREATE RESOURCE GUARDING

Creating a resource guarding issue really isn’t that difficult. Here’s an example that involves my very favorite food; pizza. Imagine that I’m enjoying my personal slice of cheese heaven. You approach and take it from me. Hmm. I’m not very happy about that! You proceed to do this often when I have a slice of pizza in my possession. Very quickly, I learn that you approaching me means I am going to lose the thing that is so valuable to me. So, the next time I saw you coming, I might say, “Hands off the cheese, please!” If you kept moving toward me, I’d say it again in a stronger tone. If you still didn’t back off, things might get ugly! You get the point. Getting back to your dog, giving him a super tasty bone or other chew item and then trying to prove you’re in charge by taking it away is a great way to create a resource guarding issue where there might never have been one. And going back to point one, continuing to push it when he warns you is also a great way to get bitten.

Dog Bites: ‘Teach your dog that you’re the boss by rolling them on their back or giving them harsh physical corrections.

USE POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT

Ooh. This one really gets my hackles up! Yes, you’re most likely bigger and stronger than your dog. That doesn’t give you the right to treat them roughly. Violence begets violence, and if you’re doling out harsh physical corrections or trying to “dominate” your dog in a way that frightens them, you really can’t blame them for using the tools at their disposal—their teeth—to defend themselves. And why use force anyway? Love, respect, and cooperation foster trust and get much better results. Trainers of exotic animals work with huge, strong animals who could injure or even kill a human. Have you ever seen someone jerk a dolphin around on a choke chain, or try to wrestle a bear into submission? I didn’t think so. Again, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I’ve worked with bad dog temperaments for many years and all my body parts are still intact. I certainly wasn’t trying to show them who was boss. It was a matter of cooperation, not coercion. Treat your dog with respect and they’ll do the same.

Zoomies: Why Does a Dog Run Around Crazily?

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Why Do Dogs Run In Circles?

“I’m getting that weird sensation to run really fast?”

Dog zoomies are periods of frantic activity in which a dog runs around in circles, and seems to be unaware of their surrounds. Zoomies are more common in puppies, but can happen in dogs of any age. They do it without noticing what’s going on around them, what they break, or who they knock over in the process.

When the zoomies happens indoors, it can leave the rest of the family in quite a state. But is this behavior dangerous, beyond the risk to your furniture and ankles? Why do dogs run in circles?

And what can you do to stop them getting so out of control?

Let’s find out what causes the dog zoomies, why dogs do it. Also how you can reduce or manage your dog when they run around like crazy.

Is This the Dog Zoomies?

  • Does your dog suddenly run madly around the house like a wild animal, low to the ground with legs bent?
  • Do their eyes look a little crazy?
  • Is their butt tucked underneath them?
  • Do they appear to have no regard for their own safety or your best china?

If so, you’re probably watching a case of the zoomies dog in action

The word ‘zoomies’ really does sum up this crazy behavior very well.

What Do Dog Zoomies Look Like?

A dog with the zoomies isn’t just clumsy or restless. The behavior is quite distinctive, as is the posture of the dog.

It’s almost a squatting kind of run. Difficult to describe, but you’ll recognize it once you’ve seen it.

You may also see play bows interspersed with the running.

Another feature is the sudden way that they start. A dog with this case will break into a flat out gallop from a standing start.

Sometimes right in the middle of your living room!

There is often very little warning!

Why Does My Dog Run Around Like Crazy?

“Must go as fast as possible.”

People often use the word “crazy” to describe the zoomies dogs do.

The dog will be oblivious to any damage, often crashing into tables and knocking chairs flying.

If they are outdoors in your yard, they will often race in a big circle at break neck speed, leaning right over to turn as tight as they can.

And perhaps stopping on occasion to spin around and set off in the opposite direction.

They may well not hear your pleas to “Stop” or “Look Out”.

The zoomies don’t last long. But they can leave a trail of destruction behind them. And for a new dog owner, they can be quite shocking.

  • So what exactly is going on here?
  • Has a dog with the zoomies got a problem?
  • Or is the problem all yours?
  • Why do dogs run in circles like this?

Let’s discover what the scientists say.

F-r-a-p Dog Behavior

Of course, biologists have come up with another name, so you’ll also hear zoomies referred to as ‘frapping’

Frapping dog is not an expletive (though you might feel inclined to use one)!

Frap is an abbreviation:

F = frenetic
R = random
A = activity
P = period

And it’s a pretty self explanatory one.

Why Do Dogs Get the Zoomies?

So why do dogs run in circles like this?

We don’t know exactly why some dogs are prone to frapping and other dogs aren’t.

We do know that the frapping dogs do are more common during time periods when a dog is full of energy. In other words They haven’t been exercised for a while, or has been shut in the house for a few hours. Sometimes you’ll see a play-bow before the frapping start!

Some dogs never get the zoomies, no matter how full of energy they are, and others get them frequently. So that isn’t the only explanation.

Some dogs may have a particular trigger or triggers. Such as after grooming, a game or a bath. Though if this is your dog’s only trigger, this may not be a true case of the zoomies.

Why Do Dogs Run Around After a Bath?

If your dog races around after their bath, they might not have the zoomies. They may just be expressing their delight at the bath being over.

Other dogs will zoom around with their head on the ground and their butt in the air after a bath, as they try to rub themselves dry on your carpets.

Again, it isn’t quite the same as the frapping, which involves that distinctive posture I describe above.

And a dog that is just drying themselves will be more responsive to you than a dog frapping.

So how can you tell if your dog is about to get the zoomies? Is it possible to recognize the signs?

Frapping – Dog On the Brink!

Zoomies are most common in dogs that are puppies or quite young, that haven’t had much exercise in the last few hours, and that are starting to get a bit excited, or playful.

Play bows can be a sign.

If your dog has had the zoomies in the past and starts to play bow indoors, there is a good chance you are about to see a case of the zoomies.

While dog frapping is not in anyway linked with aggression, occasionally a young dog will start nipping during frapping behavior.

Dog Zoomies – Biting

If your dog is nipping or biting during an attack of frapping, you need to change the way you manage them.

Avoid physically handling them and stop any game you might have been playing. They need to have a chance to calm down.

If you can open a door and let the dog outside to burn up some energy in your yard, then do so.

Are the Zoomies Harmful to My Dog?

Dog zoomies are not intrinsically harmful. They won’t give your dog a seizure or take them into some kind of permanent emotional melt down.

Despite the clumsiness of dogs that get the zoomies, they don’t usually hurt themselves in any significant way, especially outdoors.

The zoomies is also not usually a sign that they are sick.

If your dog has had the puppy zoomies on a regular basis since they joined your family, this is just ‘normal for them’. It’s how they let off their extra energy. You don’t need to worry. Except about your good china!

However, if a previously very calm dog suddenly starts to run in circles on a regular basis, consider having a chat with your vet. Especially if nothing has altered in the family routine that could have caused them to have some extra energy to let off.

This change in behaviour could possibly be a sign of another problem.

Are the Dog Zoomies Dangerous?

As we’ve seen above, zooming dogs are not usually a danger to themselves. But do be extra careful if you have a dog at higher than usual risk of injury.

If your zoomie-prone dog has had stitches for any reason, for example, you might want to avoid any known triggers for their zoomies.

And to consider how to safely give them enough exercise, to reduce their pent up energy.

Dogs with the zoomies don’t usually crash into each other.

But if you have a second dog in the house who is frail, elderly, injured or sick, you may want to protect them from a zoomie-inclined companion.

For example, escort them to safety when the zoomies begin!

And equally, a dog with the zoomies could knock down a toddler or an elderly or unsteady adult. This isn’t common, but it is something for owners of high energy dogs to be aware of.

What To Do When Your Dog Gets the Zoomies

Don’t be tempted to chase your dog when they get the zoomies, indoor or out. Chasing them is likely to excite them even further.

Move them outdoors if at all possible

You can have a lot of success with simply opening the back door and waving the dog outside the instant the zoomies begin. (As long as you have a fenced-in yard or you know they won’t get away.)

If the zoomies dogs are a big problem for you, think about what might have triggered them so that you can work on preventing or reducing them in the future.

How to Prevent Dog Zoomies

Because dog zoomies is normal behavior you don’t need to do anything. You can help your dog learn to express this behavior in your yard, rather than around your coffee table.

But, you may find that offering your dog more ways to dispel their energy helps to reduce frapping episodes, or even stop them from doing it altogether

Exercise will help to prevent the zoomies. Dogs won’t normally zoom when they are physically tired.

Mental stimulation helps too. Dogs may be more prone to the zoomies when they are bored. A couple of training sessions each day will help to exercise your dog’s mind

Most dogs are more likely to have the zoomies when they are already in a playful of excited state. So learning how to calm a puppy or an older dog will help you.

Dog Zoomies – Summary

A dog with the zoomies is not going mad. Nor are they bad or dangerous.

Apart from the risk of tripping over something or smashing up the furniture, the zoomies isn’t harmful for dogs.

Frapping or zoomies is a normal dog behavior but if it’s causing you a problem, there are steps you can take to reduce it. Increases in exercise and training are the most effective solutions.

Dogs can be taught that zooming is only appropriate outdoors. And if you are alert to your dog’s triggers, you can anticipate most cases of the dog zoomies and move them into your yard.

Frankie’s and Chloe’s Way of Zoomies

“MOM, did you see me running up and down the hall as fast as I could?”

Little pug Frankie would always get excited when playing and would tuck his little butt and start running at full speed up and down the hallway. I could never get a picture because he was always a blur! After his episode of zoomies, he would then blow all his snot out his nose!

“Wanna see me do zoomies in the snow?”

When Chloe was younger, she would get the zoomies and go flying up and down our stairs! I do not recommend having your dog do this because Chloe tore both her CCL joints (knee joints like ACL in people). That was an expensive surgery!

Now she just does zoomies outside (usually after a poo! LOL) and when we are getting ready for a walk.

Make Dog Treats Yourself For Your Best Friend

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Make Dog Treats Yourself: 3 Easy and Quick Recipes

Oh, is the dog biscuit jar empty again? Then it’s time to replenish them. But who says that you always have to buy more dog treats? You can also easily make them yourself! I’ll show you how it’s done and present you with 3 super easy dog ​​treats recipes.

Baking Dog Treats Yourself: Advantages of DIY Treats

Making dog treats yourself has one major advantage above all: you always know what’s in the dog biscuits. Unfortunately, many industrially produced dog treats contain dyes and preservatives. Flavor enhancers, sugar, and artificial flavors are also not uncommon. With your homemade dog treats, you know 100% what is inside – and you can take into account the individual needs, demands, preferences, and, if applicable, allergies of your four-legged friend.

Since your DIY dog treats are mostly based on a few natural ingredients, they are particularly healthy, natural, and easy to digest. In addition, making dog treats yourself is often much cheaper than buying ready-made dog treats, because the ingredients do not cost much.

What Ingredients Are Allowed in Dog Treats?

When it comes to baking your own dog treats, there are almost no limits to your imagination. As in all other areas of dog nutrition, you should avoid prohibited, unhealthy and poisonous foods for dogs in your DIY biscuits. These include chocolate, alcohol, cocoa, grapes and sugar. Otherwise, you can use just about any food that your dog likes and benefits his health. The diverse selection of foods gives you unlimited recipe options. It is important that you can puree the food into a dough and bake it.

The most popular ingredients that keep appearing in many recipes are:

  • Fish, (e.g. Tuna)
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Ground beef
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream Cheese
  • Carrots
  • Bananas
  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Whole Wheat Flour

What’s the Best Way to Store Homemade Dog Treats?

A big advantage of homemade dog treats is that they do not contain any preservatives. However, this also means that they do not last as long as industrially manufactured products. As a rule, the dog treats are plastered off relatively quickly – that’s how it should be!

Nevertheless, you can turn a few adjusting screws to ensure the longest possible durability.

In general, the drier the homemade dog biscuits are, the longer they last. Moist dog treats can unfortunately mold quickly – you should definitely avoid that! To dry out your homemade dog treats as well as possible, you can do the following:

  1. After baking, let the biscuits dry out in the oven (with the oven door open and 50–100° C).
  2. Do not pack the DIY dog biscuits in a can immediately after cooling, but leave them in the air for half a day to a full day before you store them.
  3. Pack the dog treats in classic tin cookie jars or in fabric bags so that no moisture can develop inside. Airtight plastic is unsuitable.
  4. Choose ingredients that have a long shelf life. Whole grains and oats, for example, last longer than meat and fish.

As a rule of thumb, homemade dog treats can be kept for around 3 to 4 weeks on average. The shelf life is extended by several weeks in the refrigerator as long as no moisture penetrates. They can be stored frozen for several months.

DIY Dog Treats: 3 Simple and Tasty Recipes

The good thing about our delicious DIY dog biscuits is that you don’t need a lot of ingredients or fancy kitchen utensils for them. The easiest way to implement the recipes is with a food processor or a strong one. Alternatively, you can use a hand blender or even a simple whisk to prepare the dough for your DIY dog treats. In addition, cookie cutters and a rolling pin will make your work easier. If you don’t have them at hand, the cookies can also be shaped easily by hand.

Which recipe is “right” for you? Below we present our 3 favorite recipes for homemade dog biscuits. If one or the other recipe doesn’t quite suit you and your dog, we want to motivate you to try it out. There are many recipe ideas on the internet, but only you know your dog’s preferences and needs.

Therefore: Just get started, try out our recipes, and vary them from time to time. Look what supplies you still have at home and then simply test your baking skills!

Recipe No. 2: Cheese crunchy pearls

Preparation time (including baking time):approx. 35 min

Ingredients:

  • 100g of grated cheese
  • 100g of cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 50g crumbled crispbread (or crunchy oat flakes)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • some water if the batter is too firm

How to make it:

Mix all the ingredients together (ideally with a hand blender) and shape the dough into small balls. Place the cheese balls on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and press them into small thalers with a tablespoon. Bake the DIY dog biscuits at 180°C top and bottom heat for about 25 minutes and then let them air dry for one night.

Homemade Dog Treats For In Between or As a Healthy Gift Idea

Baking dog treats yourself is fun, healthy, does not cost a lot, and is easier than you think! Over time, you will learn which ingredients work best for you and your four-legged friend, and you can make them happy with tasty DIY biscuits.

Since you alone determine the size, ingredients and taste of your homemade dog biscuits, you can bake delicious chews as well as small training bites that your dog can tolerate well. The DIY dog biscuits are also suitable as a great gift idea for other dog owners – ideal for Christmas, for a birthday or just for in between. Great fun for all dog lovers!

How To Tell If Your Dog Is In Pain And What To Do To Help

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Is Your Dog Telling You They’re In Pain?

“I wish I could tell you how I’m feeling.”

Some dogs will let you know when they’re painful in obvious ways, but others act more stoic. Dogs are generally thought to have a higher tolerance for pain than humans, and some dogs will try to hide their pain as a natural survival instinct.

Many of the signs that a dog is painful are subtle, so it’s easier to recognize them if you know what’s normal with your pet. Being aware of your dog’s normal activities and behavior will help you recognize changes that might indicate pain.

Here are six signs that your dog might be feeling painful and what you should do about it.

1. Limping

One of the most straightforward symptoms of pain is limping. This can be a sign of injury, sore paw, or even a reaction to the pain associated with arthritis.

If your dog is reluctant to go up stairs, is slow to get up in the morning, or walks stiffly, it may be arthritis pain, especially if your dog is older. Many dogs suffer from arthritis, but there are ways to help ease the pain. Ask your vet about medications and other treatments.

Back and neck problems happen a lot in dachshunds, but any breed can injure themselves.

Mobility issues and changes in posture are also indicators of a problem that needs medical attention.

2. Vocalization

“AAHHHHHH!! I think I just pulled a muscle!”

The closest thing to speaking for a dog is whining and whimpering, and a dog who cries out painfully is trying to tell you that something hurts bad. Carefully examining your dog’s body may help you discover where the pain is.

A dog who’s usually vocal may become quiet when they’re painful, which is why it’s important to be familiar with your dog’s normal behavior.

Changes in how often your dog barks, whines, or makes other vocalizations can definitely be a sign that something is wrong.

3. Stomach Ache Or Loss of Appetite

“My tummy doesn’t feel right. I shouldn’t have gotten into the trash and ate that old pizza!”

It’s not always easy to recognize tummy troubles in a dog, but here are some signs:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

If a dog is hurting, they’re less likely to eat normally. Watch for loss of appetite that might indicate pain from a stomach ailment, oral discomfort, or other conditions.

If it lasts more than a day, a visit to the vet is in order.

4. Panting

Excessive panting, especially when accompanied by trembling, can be a signal that your dog is painful.

While panting is fairly normal for dogs, you should take notice if they pant at odd times or for no reason. If you notice your dog panting in the middle of the night or in an air conditioned room, check for other indications of pain.

Pain can cause changes in breathing, including an irregular respiratory rate.

5. Restlessness Or Changes In Sleep Habits

“I just can’t fall asleep feeling this way.”

A painful dog can feel restless and exhibit an inability to get comfortable and lie still.

Pacing, repeatedly readjusting position or getting up and down frequently are all causes for concern.

Sleep patterns can be affected as well. A dog in pain might sleep more than usual or could have difficulty sleeping.

Again, familiarizing yourself with your dog’s normal behaviors will help you determine if something is out of the ordinary.

6. Changes In Behavior And Temperament

“THAT’S THE SPOT THAT HURTS!!!!!!”

Pain can change a dog’s behavior and, just like a human, a dog can act grouchy when in pain. Some dogs become more aggressive and may even bite, especially when touched in an area that hurts. It’s the animal’s natural instinct to protect themselves to prevent further pain.

Avoidance behaviors, like shying away from contact with people and other pets are common when a dog is in pain. If your dog normally enjoys being touched and is suddenly making moves to avoid your touch, pain may be the culprit. This is sometimes coupled with depression, lethargy, and mental dullness.

Other dogs may seek more attention and act needy when in pain. Any radical or sudden behavior changes are a clear indication that your dog needs medical attention from a vet.

What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Is In Pain

It’s important to keep your dog from suffering and to keep minor problems from becoming major ones. Be gentle, and don’t make the pain worse while you’re attempting to locate the cause.

Do not medicate your dog yourself. Human medications for pain and inflammation are dangerous and can be toxic for an animal, especially in the wrong dosage or when combined with other medications. You can call your veterinarian to ask what you can give until your appointment to keep your dog comfortable.

There are many reasons the animal could be in pain, and some of them might indicate a more serious issue. Chronic pain triggers like arthritis can be managed well with your vet’s help.

Go See Your Veterinarian

If you suspect that your dog is in pain, don’t hesitate to get professional help from your veterinarian right away. They can form a diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment.

This is almost always a better option than trying to treat pain in your dog, yourself. If you try to do so, you could end up doing more harm to your dog than good. So get to the vet!

Valentine’s Day With Your Dog

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3 Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Your Pooch

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of year to get closer to the ones you love, including your furry friends. As they say, your pet really is a part of the family! 

Unfortunately, your dog can’t really join in on the “traditional” Valentine’s Day things. Chocolate and roses are a bad idea to give to your dog, so you’ll have to get more creative. Here are three ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pooch that they’re sure to love just as much as you do.

1. Spoil Them with a Special Treat

While dogs can’t have chocolate or most human foods, that doesn’t mean you can’t treat them to something special for your furry friend. With pet bakeries and gourmet treats everywhere, buying a Valentine’s cookie box for dogs is a perfect idea. 

Not only is this a delicious way to include your pet in the Valentine’s Day celebration, but it’s also sure to get them excited for other holidays. Gift your dog special treats, and make sure you have your own (human-friendly) options for yourself so you don’t get jealous!

2. Arrange a Pet Play Date

Your dog might love hanging out with you, but this is a day for love and affection. Bringing other pets into the fun can make this an even better and more festive time. 

If your furry friend gets along with others of his own species, invite some dog friends for a pet play date. A few toys and balls are all the preparation you need to get everyone ready for a fun day. The more, the merrier!

3. Book a Professional Photoshoot 

While you might think professional photographers are only for family portraits and wedding events, think again. More and more photographers are exploring new territory by taking professional, gorgeous photos with pets and their owners. Even if you’re not able to book a professional, you can set up your own at-home photoshoot like a pro. 

What better way to celebrate your love for your pooch than with Valentine’s Day photoshoot? Book a session, get dolled up together, and enjoy the perfect portrait. This makes the best keepsake you’ll cherish for years to come, and your pet is sure to have a lot of fun in the process. 

To take things up a level, get your dog professionally groomed before your big photo session. Have them treated to the best level of pampering, making sure they look their finest for their photos? These are something you’ll want to keep for a while, so you want to have Fido looking his absolute best for the camera. 

Enjoy the Best Valentine’s Day Fun

Your pet is a part of the family, so use Valentine’s Day as a way to honor them and the role they play in your life. As a partner, they’re always there for you in good times and bad, sickness and in health. They’re your companion, so treat them to a special day that’s all about them. 

These three ideas above are perfect no matter what type of activities your pooch enjoys. Dogs love being the center of attention, so any quality time spent with your furry friend is sure to be a great day.

Dog Eye Tears And What They Mean

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Do Dogs Cry?

If you are a dog owner, then you surely understand that your canine has feelings. And research increasingly supports the view that dogs experience a range of emotions. But do dog eye tears really mean they are sad?

A study in 2016 showed that dogs are able to recognize emotions not only in other dogs but in humans too. In addition, many dog owners share stories about their dogs trying to comfort them when they are crying or upset.

Excitement, fear, love and anger are some emotions that your dog is likely to feel.

When trying to understand your canine’s emotional range and figuring out their overall health needs, you may wonder whether your dog feels sadness and cries like a human.

You also may be curious whether they cry due to pain or illness.

Keep reading and we’ll discover whether dogs feel sad and if they shed real tears.

Do Dogs Feel Sadness?

We know now that dogs experience a wider range of emotions than previously thought.

Unlike humans, dogs become emotionally mature early and have an emotional range equivalent to a two- to two-and-a-half-year-old child.

If you are familiar with toddlers, then you certainly know that they cry. Like a toddler, dogs feel emotions like fear, distress, anger, and suspicion.

These emotions are related closely to sadness. However, more complex emotions like shame and guilt never develop in dogs. So, dogs do not feel sadness quite like humans do.

Despair, remorse, depression, dejection, and misery are a few words that you might use to describe your own sadness. But when it comes to your dog, stress, discontentment, and uneasiness are better descriptors.

Do Dogs Cry When Sad?

When a dog is sad, you may see telltale signs that it is upset.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), canines have specific types of body language that can tell you how they are feeling.

While body language may not directly indicate a specific emotion, it can tell you if your dog is content, scared, or feeling aggressive.

Relaxed Face

Relaxed features indicate contentment. When relaxed, your dog’s mouth will be slightly open with the tongue out, and it may be panting. Its eyes may almost seem to be squinting, and the ears and tail will be in neutral positions.

Fear or Stress Face

In the case of fear or stress, your dog may take a submissive posture. Eyes will be partially closed, the ears will be pinned back against the head, and the tail will be between the legs. You may also see the mouth closed and the snout angled toward the floor.

It may seem as though your dog is cowering in front of you.

Dog In Distress

When your dog is in distress, you may notice some vocalizations.

Stress vocalizations include high-pitched barks, whimpering, and yelps. Yelps, whines, and whimpers may also indicate that your dog is experiencing pain. A dog in pain is more likely to growl or bite, so use caution if you think your dog might be suffering.

Dogs Mimic Humans

In some cases, you may even notice your canine companion mimicking human words or sounds. This is a common tactic your dog may use to show affection if you have reinforced this behavior.

While all of these things may be noted, there is one thing you will not see—your dog crying tears.

Can Dogs Cry Tears?

You may want to know, can dogs cry? Yes, dogs can shed tears.

However, they do not cry in the way we do in response to emotion. To understand dog eye tears and crying, it may help if we take a look at how a dog’s eyes are constructed.

Dogs have the same basic eye structure as other mammals. The cornea, lens, conjunctiva, and sclera make up the different tissues within the eyeball, just as they do in our eyes.

The eye sits in the orbit—or eye socket—and is protected by the upper and lower eyelids.

The tissues of the eye need to be kept moist. Moisture lubricates the tissues so the eyes can move smoothly in the socket and the eyelids can glide over the eyes.

We all know how uncomfortable dry eyes can be, and it’s the same for dogs.

Moisture also helps to wash away grit and debris that can scratch the sensitive surface of your dog’s eye.

Humans have a fairly simple lubrication system that involves the secretion of fluid from glands. They are called lacrimal glands, tear glands to you and me, and each eye has one.

These glands release fluid that is then forced over the surface of the eye with the help of your eyelids.

Do Dog Eye Tears Differ from Human Tears?

Yes, our dog’s tears are different from ours.  Dogs have much more complicated lubrication and eye moisture systems.

First, canines have a third eyelid located in the inner portion of the lower eyelids. This third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, is a clear structure that moves over the eye to protect it. It also moistens the cornea while maintaining vision and produces lymph fluid that helps prevent infection

Dogs also have three types of glands that provide moisture for the eyes. These glands work together to produce the moisture your dog needs to keep its eyes healthy and functioning properly.

They are the lacrimal glands, like humans have, the meibomian glands and mucus glands. The lacrimal glands create watery tears, the meibomian glands produce an oily tear while the mucus glands produce mucus.

When your dog blinks, these three are mixed together. This creates a thicker fluid that takes longer to evaporate and offers better protection to the eyes.

Is Your Dog Crying Tears?

No, your dog isn’t crying tears of sadness. Dogs do not cry when they are sad.

In fact, humans are the only beings that cry. According to Scientific American, humans even stand out against other primates as the only animals that cry emotional tears.

So, what is going on if you see dog tears? Well, it is likely an issue that requires the assistance of your veterinarian.

In medical terms, the excessive production of tears is called epiphora.

Epiphora is a medical condition that can be caused either by disease or a congenital disorder. In the case of a congenital disorder, your dog may be predisposed to watery eyes due to the shape of its face, particularly the eyes and nose. Excessive tears may cause red or brownish stains.

Congenital epiphora conditions are most commonly caused by the turning in of the eyelashes, the folding inward of the eyelids, or the bulging of the eyes themselves. 

Flat faced dogs like this French bulldog are vulnerable to eye problems that cause watering and tears.

Labrador Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, Pugs, and Mastiffs are just a few breeds that are prone to these sorts of issues. 

Other symptoms of epiphora include:

  • redness
  • crusting or discharge
  • eye sores or ulcers
  • odor
  • loose or inflamed skin around the eyelids
  • squinting.

If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms, speak with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Treatment should be provided right away so your dog feels as comfortable as possible.

Treatment may be as simple as applying a topical medication daily or as complicated as corrective surgery.

What Causes Dog Eye Tears?

If not caused by a congenital issue, a medical issue may be causing the eyes to water excessively.

The following conditions may result in excessive tearing:

  • foreign matter or debris in the eye
  • conjunctiva infections
  • sinusitis or acute sinus infections
  • allergies
  • tear duct obstructions
  • immune-related illnesses.

In order to diagnose the cause of epiphora, your veterinarian may need to use imaging tests to find the problem.

Specifically, X-rays may be needed to find eye abnormalities. Imaging and visual examinations may be done with contrast dyes to help your veterinarian distinguish the structures of the eye.

In situations where simple tests cannot be used to locate the issue, the veterinarian may order blood tests, MRIs, or CT scans. In cases where a serious issue is suspected, but cannot be positively identified, surgical exploration may be required.

Dog Eye Tears – Summary

Dogs produce excessive tears from their eyes in response to injury or infection or due to inherited problems with their facial anatomy.

Dogs don’t cry tears in response to emotions, such as sadness or fear, or when they are in pain.

That doesn’t mean that dogs don’t feel emotions. On the contrary, recent research shows that dogs experience and understand a range of emotions. Learning how dogs display their emotions through body language can help us understand them.

If your dog is producing excessive dog eye tears, they are likely to be sore and uncomfortable, so do get it checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible.


Behind the Door at the Vet

I have worked in the veterinary field for many years and have seen plenty of dogs that come in because they are crying and have something going on with their eyes. The first thing the vet will do is look into their eyes with a light to make sure their pupils are dilating correctly and see if the retina is still attached to the back of the eye. Next, they will stain the eye with fluorescein be sure there are no scratches on the cornea.

This is fluorescein in the eye to check for any scratches on the cornea.
This is a test to see how dry or watery the dog’s eye is.

If the eye is bad enough, the vet might suggest surgery to remove the eye if nothing has worked. Dogs are very resilient and this only effects their depth perception and not seeing peripheral vision on that side.


References:

Albuquerque N, Guo K, Wilkinson A, Savalli C, Otta E, Mills D “Dogs recognize dog and human emotions”  The Royal Society 2016

Morris P, Doe C, and Godsell E, “Behavioural reports and subjective claims by animal owners”  Journal of Cognition and Emotion 2007

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-humans-the-only-prima/

https://www.merckvetmanual.com/dog-owners/eye-disorders-of-dogs/eye-structure-and-function-in-dogs

Dog Poop: What Your Dog’s Poop Is Telling You

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“After I empty myself, you know I’ll want more food!!”

*Warning: Dog Poop Pictures are Ahead. At least there’s no stink!!

Dog owners have to have a high tolerance for being grossed out. We’re expected to clean up after our pups, and not many of them are trained to use a human toilet.

But picking up your dog’s poop isn’t just a courtesy or a matter of public health, it’s a chance for you to find out what’s going on inside your pup. Dog feces can tell you a lot about a dog’s health and what may be wrong with their diet.

If you see anything unusual about your dog’s poop, then it’s time for a call to your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment!

Here are a few things your dog’s stool can indicate.

Normal Dog Poop

Normal, healthy dog poop tends to be firm and a little moist.

You should be familiar with your dog’s normal stool so that you can monitor any changes. The volume, color, and odor are important to note, too.

Dogs who get too much fiber tend to produce high volume with a strong odor. This happens with certain dry food diets, as your dog can’t process all the nutrients and pushes them out. Raw food diets can result in smaller stool with a weaker smell.

Any of these can be normal depending on your dog’s diet, so pay attention to what your pup’s poop usually looks and smells like.

White, Chalky Dog Poop

Dogs who eat a raw food diet that’s high in calcium or bone might pass stool that is chalky and white. This can be a sign that your dog is at risk for obstipation, which is an inability to evacuate their bowels without outside help.

This chronic constipation can lead to lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting. It requires help from a veterinarian, so save these stool samples and bring them in.

White Or Tan Specks in Dog Poop

If you see white or tan specks in your dog’s stool, you should save a sample and bring it to your vet right away.

These specks can indicate a parasite infestation, like roundworm or tapeworm.

Your vet should be able to detect these things before you see evidence in your dog’s stool, which is why you should always go in for regular check-ups.


Black, Tarry, Green, Yellow, Or Red Dog Poop

Poop that is black, tarry, green, yellow, or red usually indicates bleeding and can be a sign that there are problems in the intestinal or anal area.

It can mean anything from an injury to the GI tract to cancer.

This will require a trip to the vet to determine exactly what the problem is, so again, save your dog’s stool sample so it can be tested.

Soft, Loose Stool

If your dog’s poop seems soft and loose, it may just be an indication of a change in diet, or it may mean your dog has been eating things they shouldn’t be eating.

If you’ve changed your dog’s diet recently, monitor changes in poop. You may have to alter the diet if it doesn’t improve.

A soft, loose stool can also indicate giardia or another intestinal parasite. Make a trip to the vet if the poop consistency doesn’t return to normal.

Greasy, Gray Stool

Poop that looks gray and greasy can indicate that there’s too much fat in your dog’s diet.

It may be time for a dietary change because too much fat can lead to inflammatory conditions like pancreatitis. These conditions can be mild or life-threatening, so take your dog’s diet seriously.

Watery Diarrhea In High Volume

“I can’t stop pooping!!”

If your dog is having three to five bowel movements a day and producing a high volume of diarrhea every time, it’s likely a problem in the small intestine.

There can be any number of causes from injury, to a viral infection, to bacteria, to food allergies.

Your vet will need to determine the cause, so bring in a sample of the stool for testing.

Watery Diarrhea In Low Volume

If your dog is having more than five bowel movements a day and producing a low volume of diarrhea each time, the problem is probably in the large intestine.

Again, there can be a range of causes, including worms, polyps, ulcers, or cancer.

Your vet can determine the cause, so you should provide a sample of the stool for testing.

Soft Stool With Mucous

A soft stool with a coating of unusual mucous can be a sign that parvovirus or parasites are present. If you notice worms or eggs in soft or watery stool, this is also an indication of parasites.

If you see this type of stool, then–this shouldn’t be a surprise at this point–get to your vet and provide them with your dog’s stool sample.

Your vet should be able to catch many of these infestations before you see visible signs in your dog’s stool, so make sure to keep up with regular check-ups.

My Personal Dog Poo Stories

I’ve had my fair share of looking at dog poop from Frankie and Chloe to working with other people’s dogs.

With Frankie, he would always be eating something he shouldn’t like leaves and seeds that fall from trees. It would always make him have diarrhea. When he got older, we started noticing mucus and blood in his stools. We took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with pancreatitis. Thanks to us paying attention to his poo, he got medication right away.

Chloe usually has normal poops. I’m always looking closely to make sure nothing is weird about her stools. Once in a while when she gets new treats, she might get some diarrhea, but we keep her very regular with her food.

When working with other people’s dogs, I always let them know what types of stools mean. Being a vet assistant, I am always happy when clients bring in stool samples of their dogs. It’s a very important item to dissect to understand what is going on inside the dog.

Stinky Dog Farts: Causes And Prevention Tips

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Eww, Who Farted?

Stinky dog farts are sometimes a thing of legend. You know your dog has a gassy problem when cuddling on the couch turns into a test of how long you can hold your breath. Your four-legged family member can let them rip with more stench than any person you know. While all dogs fart on occasion, some have the unnerving ability to pass gas that can only be described as deadly.

Song of the Skunk Cabbage

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,

By the shining Falling-Water,

Sat a sated son of nature,

Breaking wind with sacred pleasure.

Farting is completely natural and sometimes even good for your dog’s health, but poots that make you gasp for fresh air are a sign something isn’t right with your dog’s digestion. Smelly dog farts can’t actually hurt the person who’s forced to smell them, but the underlying issue could be affecting more than your home’s air quality. Before I get into ways to stop the smell, consider possible reasons your dog’s fart are especially bad.

Why Dogs Fart

According to the AKC, dogs develop gas for the same reasons their owners do.

“A change in diet, a food that doesn’t agree with them, and gastrointestinal illness can all lead to imbalances in the microflora in your dog’s stomach and small intestines. These organisms are responsible for the excess gas and subsequent farts that are making you and your dog miserable.”

“Well how dare you do that near me!”

Eating too much fiber and ingesting foreign objects can both be reasons why a dog is farting more than normal. Certain dogs also tend to swallow a lot of air when they eat and drink, especially short-nosed brachycephalic breeds like Pugs and Boston terriers. This additional swallowed air has to come out some way!

“Do you guys smell that?”

A sudden change in their diet can also upset a dog’s stomach, and excessive farting may be a symptom of food allergies. Before you can successfully put an end to the stink, you’ll need to determine whether the issue is related to a medical problem or nutritional lapse. If your dog isn’t interested in trying the new food you decide on, use this special trick.

  • Pick up the food bowl that has the new food that your dog doesn’t seem interested in.
  • Go to the fridge and open it, shuffling things around in the fridge.
  • Act like you are putting something in the dog bowl and shuffle the food around.
  • Set the bowl back down for the dog to eat.

Most dogs will think, “Hey, they just put some good yummy human food in my bowl!” and start to eat the new food.

How to Help Stinky Dog Farts Less

Your strategy for helping relieve your dog’s stinky dog farts will largely depend on the underlying cause. It might not be necessary to try all these suggestions, but if your dog seems otherwise healthy and you haven’t been able to pinpoint anything specific that’s causing the smell, it won’t hurt to initiate a full-on plan of attack. Here are a few things you can do.

1. Switch Dog Foods For Less Farts

Before you stress over the possibility of your dog being sick, realize the food they eat is directly related to the gas they produce. VetWest Animal Hospital writes,

“Most cases of chronic flatulence are caused by a diet that is poorly digested by the dog. These poorly digestible diets cause excessive fermentation in the colon and subsequent gas formation.”

Commercial dog foods aren’t always formulated with a dog’s healthy digestive system in mind. It’s up to you to read the list of ingredients and determine if it’s helping or hurting your dog’s health. The extra food your dog earns through begging could also be an issue. Dogs aren’t built to properly digest most human food, and regularly eating table scraps could be the simple reason why your dog farts. High-fat diets are known for causing excess gas, and foods like beans, dairy, and peas aren’t good either.

Try switching to a better quality dog food to test if it affects your dog’s gas. When you make the switch, do it gradually. Your dog’s stomach and intestines need time to adjust to the dietary change.

2. Make Them Eat Slower, Less Air for Stinky Dog Farts

Along with what your dog eats, how they eat could also be contributing to their farting problem. Dogs that scarf down their food in seconds also swallow a lot of air. The extra air passes through the digestive system and puffs out the other end in the form of flatulence. You need to slow your dog’s roll, and the best way to do that is with a slow feed dog bowl. These bowls have maze-like ridges on the bottom that force chowhounds to slow down.

PetMD also reports respiratory diseases can cause dogs to take in extra air, and AKC lists brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and pugs as being more likely to swallow air while eating. Dogs might also take in excess air because they’re eating near a competing dog and feel the need to hurry up and eat before their food is stolen. Moving them to a private area during dinner will help them relax and eat without swallowing too much air.

3. Get Moving, Leave Farts Outside

Overweight dogs that rarely exercise are more at risk of developing chronic gas than the average active pup. Regular exercise helps stimulate the gastrointestinal tract. When digested food moves through the system smoothly, noxious gas is less of a problem. Going on walks also encourages dogs to poop, and going to the bathroom gives them the chance to expel those nasty odors somewhere other than your living room.

4. Feed Multiple Meals Per Day

Feeding a dog one or two large meals a day is okay, but it isn’t what’s best for their intestinal tract. With small meals, there’s less food sitting in the stomach that can ferment and turn into gas. This prevents there from being a build-up of gas that eventually turns into an expulsion of toxic fumes (aka stinky dog farts). Eating smaller amounts of food is also easier on digestion for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It won’t change the amount of food your dog eats, it only spreads out calorie consumption to be more manageable.

5. Avoid Handing Out Table Scraps

“If I just could have some of that please.”

There’s a reason dog food comes separately from our own. Foods high in fat and sugar that we humans enjoy (probably too often) can upset a dog’s tummy. Most dogs are lactose intolerant as well, so don’t go tossing them cheese or cakes. You should also avoid letting them have steamed vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower. (If it makes you have major gas, it’s going to be worse for your poor dog.)

6. Try Dietary Supplements for Farts

A study (admittedly of humans) found that charcoal and zinc acetate reduced the fart smell. Another study found that Yucca schidigera reduced hydrogen sulfide concentrations that make dog poop extra smelly. All of these are available as dietary supplements, but consult your vet before you start giving them to your dog. They might also recommend probiotic powders or antacids.

7. Visit the Vet If Farts Are Not Resolving

If nothing seems to be working, it’s time to consider the possibility your dog has a medical condition. Excessive gas could be a symptom of any of the following issues:

  • Canine colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cancer
  • Pancreatitis

But don’t freak out just yet. The only way to confirm the theory is to visit the vet. Don’t hold back when describing the severity of your dog’s smell and the frequency of their farts. Whether your dog has a GI illness, allergies, pancreas function failure, or parasites, a vet will be able to give you a diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment.

“Hurry up and give me one of those gas pills. I’m feeling bloated!”

Frankie’s and Chloe’s Stinky Dog Farts Story

“Fart war begins after we eat.”
“There goes that sound again!”

Frankie was a pug, so I knew there would be farting. It was always cute at first when he would fart because he would toot and be startled by it. You’d hear a little “pffft” and he would quickly turn and sniff asking “Did that just come out of me?”. Later in his life he developed pancreatitis, which made his farts the worst I’ve ever smelled. It would make you gag! Then we’d have the family fanning the awful fart smell around the room!

“I think I just farted.”

Chloe has a little smoosh in her nose and has a elongated palate, so a lot of air gets trap when she eats and gets treats out of her toy. I’ve never heard a dog fart so loud! Some of the time I think it’s my husband. Chloe doesn’t care when she farts. She just lets them flow right out without noticing what she’s doing. When she’s sleeping is when the worst of the farts come out. All you hear is a “hhoooo” and all of a sudden it reeks!