Top 10 Small Dogs for Older Human

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BEST 10 SMALL DOGS FOR OLDER HUMANS

Dogs are wonderful pets and considered to be man’s best friend. Dogs provide companionship other than any animal pet out there. If you are an older human and interested in getting a pet dog, you might struggle a bit taking care of it.

There are different breeds, and not all are suitable for adults. Many breeds are too energetic and require a lot of walks to release their energy. 

There are factors at play that will prevent an older adult from owning a dog. The key here is to find the right type of dog that suits your abilities and lifestyle. 

But do remember that dogs have needs like grooming, walks, healthcare. Adopting a calm and house-trained dog is ideal for seniors. 

Most seniors do better with smaller dogs than big dogs because it’s much easier to take care of. 

In this article are some of the examples of small dog breeds that you could consider adopting.

1. PUG

This is Frankie. He was easy to care for as long as you were on his feeding schedule!!

Pugs are great for seniors. This breed has an excellent temperament and a generally healthy breed. 

Pug requires some little grooming weekly because they quite shed heavily. (Be ready to use a sticky lint roller for your clothes!) But do not worry. Pugs are easy to groom. 

Also, avoid extreme temperatures ( very hot or cold) because it will make your pug sick. Pugs are in the brachycephalic breed (short nose canal).

This breed provides wonderful company to its master, thus making it idle for older adults. 

Since pugs are small, it requires minimal space and will surely live comfortably in small housing space. 

Pugs have a sweet temperament, friendly and affectionate. Overall this breed is generally well behaved and healthy and is perfect for seniors. 

This cute and cuddly breed are awesome companions.

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • Pugs can live up to 12-15 years depends on how you take care of them
  • Dog Encephalitis 
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Minor Elongated palate 
  • Obesity
  • Skin Infections
  • Allergies
  • Nerve degeneration
  • Hemivertebra

Pugs are a healthy breed, but there are common health issues you might face in the future. 

Caring for a senior pug requires a lot more proper care rather than a puppy. 

2. SHIH TZU

Shih Tzus are a gentle, affectionate, sweet, and energetic breed. This breed thrives on affection and love. 

This breed is usually healthy and requires minimal healthcare maintenance.

This Chinese Dog usually weighs under 15 pounds, has long and silky hair. Shih Tzus are small, thus making it idle for older adults. 

This breed does not shed more often than any breed, but they require grooming and trimming to make them more comfortable and cute. 

This breed also needs to be trained because some are known to have temperament problems. But they are usually friendly and happy with kids. 

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • This breed is one of the longest living dogs. They can live 10-16 years
  • Periodontal disease
  • Renal Dysplasia 
  • Luxating patellas
  • Entropion
  • Arachnoid Cysts
  • Fold Dermatitis

It’s essential to take care of your Shih Tzu before they are diagnosed with critical health issues and will cost you thousands of dollars.

3. PEKINGESE

Micro Tea cup Pekingese

Pekingese are very loyal and affectionate breed. This breed is perfect for seniors because they are small, usually 14 pounds, and loves affection so much. 

Pekingese loves to be petted giving the name as an ultimate lapdog. They require daily brushing. 

This breed is very adaptable and can live just fine whether you have a large house or a small apartment. 

They need training because they tend to bark sometimes and might disturb some of your neighbors. 

This breed is a one-person dog that means they tend to stick to one human, making it perfect for a senior living alone. 

Pekingese is a loyal companion and will make your senior days worthwhile.

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • This breed can live up to 12-15 years
  • Prone to dry eye and cherry eye
  • Luxating Patella
  • Pyoderma
  • Heart disease
  • Prone to Dental issues

This dog is the ultimate lapdog, and minimal attention doesn’t bother them at all. 

Though they love napping and staying indoors, they also require some walks and playtime to improve their overall health.

4. CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is easygoing, adaptable, affectionate, quiet, and intelligent. 

This breed is small and typically weighs about 18 pounds at max, and very easy to train. 

This breed requires some grooming, brushing, and an occasional trip to a groomer to maintain its cuteness. 

This dog loves cuddles and snuggles. They are adaptable and are well suited to an apartment or small houses. 

They are very patient compared to the other small breeds that have temperament problems.

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • Can live up to 9-14 years
  • Prone to heart issues
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Luxating Patella
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Syringomyelia 

5. CHIHUAHUA

The Chihuahua is the smaller breed of dog in the world that originated from Mexico. 

This dog makes a perfect pet for seniors because they love to stay at home and require minimal walks and exercise. 

Chihuahuas are one of the longest living breeds of dogs. However, they are prone to obesity, so watch out what you feed them. 

Chihuahua weighs only 3-6 pounds, a tiny and alert dog. This breed is a lively and loyal dog and very difficult to housetrain. 

Make sure to train them properly at the early stage.

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • Can live an outstanding 12-20 years
  • Luxating Patella
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Tooth and Gum Disease
  • Spinal Injuries 
  • Bladder and Kidney Stones

6. FRENCH BULLDOG

French Bulldogs are a lively and cheerful breed. They are a tiny but compact, muscular, and energetic dog. 

This breed tends to lack endurance and often get easily tired. They don’t shed very often, similar to other breeds. 

They require moderate exercise and activity to release their energy and to help them improve their stamina. 

French bulldog typically weighs 19-30 pounds. Their cheerful nature will make seniors’ live more fun and fulfilling.

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • Can live up to 10-14 years
  • Respiratory System Disorder
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Ear Disorder
  • Hernias

7. POODLE

A poodle is an elegant breed of dog. They are lively, energetic, and intelligent, and among the smartest dog breeds. 

This breed is highly trainable and affectionate to their owners. Poodles require 2-3 times grooming because they don’t shed as much as the other breed. 

An intelligent breed is idle for anyone, including seniors. This breed can be protective or aggressive, so it’s important to train them. Other than that, poodles are a polite and healthy breed.

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • Can live up to 12-15 years
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Addisons Disease
  • Bloat

8. MALTESE

Maltese is a gentle and lively dog. They love to be around their owner and loves lap naps. 

This breed is fearless despite its small body and cute looks. Maltese is very active and loves playtime and walks but also loves staying indoors with their owner. 

They require grooming to maintain their silky white coat. They usually weigh around 4-7 pounds. 

This dog is easy to handle and train, making it a great companion for seniors. 

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • Can live up to 12-15 years
  • Aberrant Cilia
  • Breathing Issues
  • Colitis
  • Collapsed Trachea
  • Congestive Heart Failure

9. POMERANIAN

Pomeranian is a small dog breed that is easy to handle. This breed is lively, smart, and affectionate. 

They love attention and playtime, making them a good choice for adults and seniors who loves cheerful activities. 

They usually weigh 3-7 pounds and can fit into your bag. Pomeranians have fluffy coats that should be brushed at least 2-3 times a week to maintain their beautiful shiny coat. 

Pomeranians tend to be loud and energetic, so make sure you train how to behave.

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • Can live up to 12-16 years
  • Patella Luxation
  • Breathing Issues
  • Collapsed Trachea
  • Reverse Sneezing
  • Hair loss
  • Hypothyroidism           

10. BOSTON TERRIER

Boston Terriers are a perfect breed for seniors. They are a versatile and social dog. They love to be with you all the time. 

This dog is easy to train and well mannered. They are very friendly, making them an idle companion for seniors. 

This breed requires minimal grooming because they have slick short hair. They typically weigh 10-25 pounds. 

These dogs are affectionate and emphatic to their owners. They are the perfect option if you’re living in an apartment.

LIFE SPAN AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • Can live up to 13-15 years
  • Otitis 
  • Colitis
  • Conjuvitis
  • Cherry Eye
  • Dermatitis
  • Corneal Ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Periodontal Disease

Dogs Can Help With Companionship

Pets are a source of companionship, motivation for people. They can relieve depression, stress, and anxiety. 

They help us to live happier and more active. Having a pet in your home can have a calming effect. Dogs are the greatest pet companion a man can have. 

Some studies show that owning a pet dog can ease depression, lower blood pressure, elevate serotonin and dopamine, and fewer visits to their doctor. 

It’s never too late to have a pet dog, even if you are already a senior. Age is not important as long as you can give their needs, especially their health. 

It’s also important to know what breed suits your lifestyle and environment meant. The breed in this list are senior-friendly, have a good temper, and can be trained easily.

Night Time: Can Dogs See in the Dark?

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Can Dogs See in the Dark of Night?

Dog owners are endlessly fascinated by the many abilities their extraordinary companions possess. We also like to compare them to ourselves. The difference between canine and human scenting ability or dog years to human years for example that we compare to. So how about what they see during the night?

Dogs Seeing At Night

How well dogs see in the dark, and what they see, is one of those topics dog lovers often ask about.

According to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, vision is the collective summary of:

  • the ability to perceive light and motion
  • visual perspective
  • field of view
  • depth perception
  • visual acuity
  • color vision

Dogs Have Evolved for Night Seeing

The first place to start is to understand what dogs were evolved to do. Their functions of their eyes and how it influences their vision. As natural predators, dogs are (or were) nocturnal hunters. The wild canines that our pet dogs evolved from are “crepuscular,” meaning they are active primarily at dusk and dawn. They needed to be able to spot movement in dim light in order to track and catch their dinner (or breakfast).

The Structure of the Canine Eye

Anatomy of the dog’s eye. Vertical section of the eye and eyelids. Third eyelid and Tapetum lucidum. Schematic diagram. detailed illustration.

To make it possible to navigate in the dark, the canine eye has a larger pupil than a human’s. In the anatomical structure of the eye, the retina has light-sensitive cells, called rods, which help an animal or human see in low light. Dogs have more of these rods than we do. The retina also has cones, and they determine which colors dogs can see.

The topic of color blindness of dogs is equally popular among dog lovers.

An animal’s ability to see in the dark is also influenced by Flicker Fusion Frequency (FFF) (or threshold). This is the frequency at which flickering light no longer appears to flicker (meaning it appears as a constant illumination). Generally speaking, the faster a species moves through its environment, the higher its FFF. But a dog’s secret weapon in their ability to see in the dark is the part of the canine eye called the tapetum lucidum. The tapetum acts as a mirror within the eye, reflecting back the light that enters it, and giving the retina another opportunity to register the light. So, dogs can see in the dark, and other low-light situations, better than humans.

Why Do Dogs’ Eyes Glow in the Dark?

You’ve no doubt seen that eerie, greenish-yellow glowing look of a dog’s eyes when light hits them at night, such as from headlights or a flashlight, and in photos (caused by the camera flash). What you’re seeing comes from the tapetum.

The shiny surface of the tapetum bounces any light that has not been caught by the photosensitive cells back up to the retina, thus giving the photoreceptors a second chance at catching the dim light entering the eye.”

AKC Family Dog columnist Dr. Stanley Coren says, in Psychology Today

But the tapetum actually does even more: it amplifies that light through a phenomenon called fluorescence. This not only adds to the light’s brightness but it also slightly changes the color of the light that is reflected back. The color shift moves the wavelength of the light closer to that to which the rods are most sensitive to and can best detect. And the tapetum reflects up to 130 times more light than the human eye. This is why dogs are five times more sensitive to light that we are.

Most dog breeds have about 250 degrees of field of vision

Adding to dogs’ special ability to see in the dark is their increased field of vision. Compare that to ours, which is about 190 degrees.

“Is this what humans see when they wear glasses?”

What Causes ‘Gas’ in Dogs

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Flatulence: Excess gas inside the stomach and intestines.

Flatus: Gas is expelled from the anus.

Common Cases of ‘Gas’ in Dogs

The most common food sources for the formation of ‘gas’ in dogs are indigestible carbohydrates, especially soluble and boiling fibers, and less digestible meat products. High-quality meat products in particular can cause bad gas due to high levels of indoles, phenols and sulfur derivatives. Here are some dietary supplements, physical conditions, and behavioral patterns that may encourage dog ‘gas’.

Food Allergies

A very high percentage of dogs with allergies or food allergies may have a lot of gas as a symptom. Putting them on a diet that is low in fiber, no novelty or protein intake does not need to happen to stop that problem. It may happen in some cases, but it does not mean that it is the only integer that is causing more than normal gas. 

Beans (The Magical Fruit!)

Soy beans and other bean foods are often suggested as a reason for people and dogs to swell with gases inside the intestines and stomach. However, allowing the intestines to adapt to any given diet — with or without soy — will reduce gas production. Also, a sudden change in diet can increase gas in some dogs.

Getting Into Other Sources

Dogs that enter the garbage can, invade cat food or cat litter-boxes, or roam the local “horse-drawn” pasture are at high risk due to irritation. Be sure to watch what they are getting into.

Table residues

One has to always look at the remains of the table. As an example, some owners should not forget that their dogs may be lactose intolerant, so a piece of cheese can be a source of gas. Vets also recommend that owners avoid giving table scraps. This will also make your dog beg for people food at the table!

Food Management

Try ways to feed healthier meals. Make healthy meals for pets that need to lose weight slowly . Changing the microflora or changing the type and amount of unhealthy foods that enter the large intestine can have an impact. Whenever we change their diet in any way, shape or form, the product will be a change in the GI microflora. We can plan ahead by choosing a change in diet that will bring about positive change rather than opposition to negative change. 

Are You Feeding the Right Food?

Researchers call the area “a gray area.” We often think that we are on top of things, but sometimes we are not. We have long been talking about oligosaccharides (carbohydrates (sugars) in that they are indigestible in the stomach and small intestine) that are not eaten by other foods such as soy products. However, when research focused on soy products, they actually found that those oligosaccharides did not appear to be the cause of the deception. 

Researchers take history of dieting carefully and often recommend changes in low-fiber, highly digestible foods. It doesn’t have to be too low, the fiber is just lower than the current diet.

Look at the Ingredients

Be sure to check the ingredients!

Some of the [medicinal] intestinal foods can be helpful. Even if one looks at it carefully, as sometimes the fat content can be very high in each animal. Protein novels or hydrolyzed foods are a good choice because a dog with an upset stomach may have an allergy [or hypersensitivity] as the underlying cause. Some canned foods on sale may contain guar gum or starch resistant to the rule. One has to know exactly what is in the diet. 

Changing What Happens in the Gut

Argument is that solving the TB problem requires the use of a substrate and changing the microflora at the same time. Protein-escape proteins are thought to be one of the major components of clostridial bacteria. Those bacteria often use and/or break them. When that happens the gut has to rearrange how bacteria is used. It is thought that protein maldigestion will cause malodor, but eventually anything that causes fermentation (e.g., soluble fibers) will cause more gas release.

“I’m so bloated. I just need to fart!”

If you are trying to reduce gas, I would definitely prescribe a healthy diet. It is also possible to measure protein in a certain way. It depends on each dog, whether how much the dog has eaten, its status, and whether you are trying to reduce weight of your dog. If protein is a problem, you will want to increase in protein digestion. So, in general, when constipation is a problem, you’ll want food that can be digested easily.

Environmental Management

Reducing the amount of air swallowed can help some dogs. Owners can also look for ways to reduce the stress associated with eating. Allowing a dog to tend to eat in a quiet environment lessens the excitement while eating. Competitive eating is a potential problem, so make sure there are no other dogs around to encourage the dog to eat faster and breathe more.

Slow feeder dog bowls are a great way to slow down your pooch’s eating.

Another way of treating this problem is feeding small, frequent meals. It can reduce the amount of air swallowed by dogs, as well as mixing dry and canned food.

With brachycephalic breeds, surgery to correct conditions such as soft palate or stenotic nares may help reduce aerophagia.

Final Thoughts on ‘Gas’

No matter what the cause, whether it is an eating disorder or a possible GI disease, cheating on dog nutrition can cause real problems for dogs and their owners. If the situation is serious, it can make the dog uncomfortable again.

“I just crop dusted the whole gas station!”

Hopefully pet owners will work with their veterinarian to treat their dog and solve the problem, not lose a dear friend who can’t help free up the thick clouds of polluting gases. Veterinarians who insist on finding a solution help ensure that their patient stays at home and is not sent to a behavioral shelter that they cannot control.

Walking in the Rain With Your Dog

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Does Your Dog Like the Rain?

Some dogs love being outdoors, especially in the rain. They love exploring the world and the next street corner. You might be tired of the same scenery day after day, but your dog doesn’t care about that. Your canine might go through the same street over and over again and they won’t mind, because they focus on the smell.

Sniffing in the Rain

Dog’s most powerful tool is their nose, and they use it to get familiar with space, people, and other animals. Thanks to their ability to sniff, they can find their way home. So, any walk – no matter how short it may be – is a real adventure to your canine. Plus, walks are mandatory to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Exercise

“It’s starting to RAIN!!”

On top of that, walks are a great way to give your dog the exercise they need. Some days are better for a calm stroll than others are.

There are dogs that really love water and won’t mind running in the rain, while there are those who can’t stand a single drop of water on their back.

Some Dogs Dislike the Rain

“Why does it have to be raining?”

They are so against walking in the rain, that they would hold on and miss potty time for hours.

Yet, this isn’t a healthy habit, and your dog should be taught to go out even on rainy days at least for a few minutes to do their business.

Here is how to make walking your dog in the rain a practical and fun experience.

Walking In The Rain Tips

Dog owners know that once you get a dog, you need to do whatever is in your power to keep them happy and healthy. That includes walking in the rain. Therefore, most dog owners will have no issues walking their dogs all year round.

You may love the rain or hate it, but you can’t avoid it as a dog owner. Here is how to stay dry, all year round.

Weather-appropriate Clothing

You shouldn’t avoid rainy days. Yes, rainy days are more challenging when you have a pet, especially if your pet has a white coat like a Pomeranian or White Swiss Shepherd.

“I already took a bath in that mud puddle!”

Although you should think about cleaning their paws and stomach, you shouldn’t forget about your own outfit first.

You shouldn’t get sick. Who would take care of your dog if you can’t leave your home?! Think about that and dress well. Make sure that you invest in weather-appropriate clothing for both you and your dog. There are many models to choose from raincoats and rain boots for your canine. These items are carefully designed to keep them dry and happy.

Plus, they really look adorable with a raincoat on.

“I need a better raincoat. My legs are still getting wet!”

Take Extra Care of Paws

Dog boots are great gear when it’s snowing. Dogs’ paws are sensitive and industrial salt spread on the streets can harm their paws. They may become inflamed, and a strong feeling of irritation can occur, that must be treated with specific medications.

To avoid this, veterinarians recommend using winter/rainy boots when their is snow.

Yet, some owners choose to put boots on their dogs even when it’s raining. Before you decide to do this, know that dogs prefer their paws free of extra clothing.

Coming In From the Rain

Once you return from your walk, make sure that you clean the paws properly and dry them well. It’s best to use a soft cloth. For extra protection and healthier paws, you can shop paw protectors.

For muddy paws, this is an easier alternative.

Think About Visibility

It would be hard to see this woman with her dog!

Rain usually comes with bad weather. The lighting is often non-existing when it rains, plus it can be challenging to see clearly outside your car when heavy rain pours. With that in mind, you should think about visibility. In fact, visibility is one of the most important aspects of walking dogs in rain.

If you and your puppy are protected and easy to spot, you are in fact safe from a potentially unsafe situation. Have at least one cloth item with reflective strips on your gear, to make sure that you are visible in traffic.

For your dog, you can have a light up collar or a vest with reflective straps on.

Make The Walks Short and Sweet When There’s Rain

“I hate this crap!”

Long walks are usually reserved for warmer days of the year, so you don’t have to force them during the rainy ones.

Your dog’s safety and comfort come first, so if there is heavy rain, shorten the walk. It should be long enough until your dog wishes to go inside. It’s usually enough to let them go to the toilet. Then they will be ready to be a couch potato for the rest of the day.

Inside Games When it is Raining

“You better not trick me!”

Since dogs love playing, on rainy days you should focus on indoor games. There are great ways to keep your dog entertained indoors as well.

Be Nice When it Rains

Human: “You just have to potty right there and come back in.” Dog: “I better not get wet!”

As a general rule, you should monitor your dog’s behavior and respect their wish and never force them to stay outside longer than needed.

If your dog is uncomfortable with the conditions, make enough place for their safety and health.

Go to the Dog Park (By Car)

“I love running around with friends in the rain.”

If you want to reduce exposure to the rain as much as possible, you should ride in a car. You can give your dog a ride to the dog park, have fun there, and head home to a dry and warm place.

While in the dog park, you can probably find a sheltered area. It tends to be muddy in the dog park, so bring enough towels to clean your canine before they jump back into the car.

Don’t forget to use a car seat covering when heading to a dog park on a rainy day. These seat covering should trap the hair of dogs that shed a lot, and save your time from washing your car. Coverings are washable and reusable, making them a must-have dog gear.

Beware of Puddles

Dogs love messy areas. In fact, the bigger the puddle, the more fun they will have. To you, drinking out of a muddy puddle can seem disgusting, but for them it’s perfect. To avoid a complete disaster, keep your dog on a short leash when walking past puddles.

Rain brings debris, dirt, and oils and they join the water and end up in stagnant puddles. This can make them very sick and will need to see a veterinarian immediately. In some cases, dogs can contract leptospirosis (an infectious bacteria disease) or other diseases. (There is a vaccine for leptospirosis.)

Keeping Your Car and Home Clean and Dry

As mentioned earlier, always have a towel for paws and body cleaning. You need to dry those paws and legs, and probably the stomach area, properly. If your dog has long hair, you might think about blow-drying if your dog allows it. It’s important to dry your dog as soon as you come home.

Think about house rules. Where can your dog can go when their fur is wet? You should train them not to jump on the couch until they are completely dry. Blocking other areas can be helpful as well, like blocking access to bedrooms.

The Bottom Line

Dogs are happy to spend time with their owners, regardless of the weather. As long as they feel loved and comfortable they won’t mind walking in bad weather.

Walking in the rain shouldn’t become a dramatic problem. It’s all about how well you train your dog.

Take it slow, step by step. Have the right rain gear that your dog is comfortable in. With all that, walking in a rain shouldn’t be an issue.

Walking a dog in rain is a mandatory part of being a responsible dog owner, and getting outdoors is beneficial both for you and your dog. Regular walks are mandatory if you want to have a healthy pet. Enjoy every rainy walk!

Puppy Potty Training At Night

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Should You Wake Your Puppy up to Potty at Night?

“I’m having a pee dream.”

It’s easy for most pet owners to potty train their pups for the daytime. Pet owners usually know the drill. They take the puppy out when they wake up in the morning, once they have eaten, and any other time they start to get a little too sniffy. The main issue starts when night arrives. And you have to remember that puppies are, after all, babies. So are you wondering should I wake my puppy up to pee at night? Then you have to remember that potty training puppies do mean more work and less sleep. This will ultimately pay off when you see that your dog is conducting most of their business outside. So read on to find out why and how you can train your pup for overnight potty sessions.

The Details To Night Time Potty Training

Most pup owners are yet to comprehend the fact that it takes a huge load of work to raise a puppy. You need to carry out the potty training and command training in tandem. In the meantime, you need to ensure that your puppy has enough chew toys so that they leave your shoes alone. Your puppy is a bundle of energy, and if you are still not sure if you should wake your puppy up to pee at night, then be rest assured you need to wake up at night to take them out as part of the potty training.

It’s All About The Age

If you are an owner of a young puppy, then it must be under your serious consideration to take your pup out to pee at night by waking them up. You must know that puppies that are below four months are not well capable of controlling or holding their urine throughout the whole night. At some point in the night, they will get the signal to pee from their bodies. If they aren’t trained, be prepared to find a mess in their crate or on the floor in the morning. So add it to your task list to take your puppy out to pee at least once during the night.

Setting Up The Crate

You should not give in to the urge to get a crate that is too large for your dog. A dog normally does not want to soil the area they sleep in. You should look for a crate that is big enough for them to just turn around in. As they grow bigger, you can get larger crates. This added expense will be worth it when you consider a better experience for the potty training. You need to wait until your dog is completely trained and has grown fully before getting the bigger crate that you always wanted for your dog.

There are some crates that you can buy that has a divider that you can put in while they are small, then take it out when they grow into the crate.

Get Prepared For Bedtime

Ensuring that there are no untoward incidents the whole night with your pup requires more than just setting the alarm. The bedtime needs to be prepared for by taking all the required precautions that warrant an accident-free night. The best practice is to feed dinner to your puppy at least 4 hours before they go to bed and pull up their water a couple of hours before bedtime. To some, it might seem like a cruel practice. But in reality, you will not be dehydrating or starving your puppy.

In fact, if you feed your pup early and pull their water a considerable amount of time before bed, you will be ensuring that your puppy will finish their business well before they go to sleep. To make this happen, you need to take them out right before you put them to bed. So if you are still thinking, should I wake my puppy up to pee at night? Your question can be answered by feeding your pup early.

Set The Alarm for Night Potty Time

The alarm should be set for just after 4 hours of your pup going to bed. You must be sure to follow this, especially for the youngest puppies. You need to get the timing just right enough for your pup to have enough in their body to do their business, but not late enough so that they cannot get out the door. If you notice that the pup has already soiled the area, you need to set the alarm for 3 hours instead of 4 for next time. And if the crate has not been soiled, then set it for 15 minutes later than the previous time.

“HURRY UP!!. I GOTTA GO!!”

By shifting the times around according to the situation, you can reduce the likelihood of a re-occurrence. The main objective of the whole process is to make sure that your pup does not go inside the house under any circumstance, no matter what.

Going To The Night Potty Area

“I’m half awake, but I really needed to potty. Thank you!”

Once your furry friend is up at night, you need to calmly take them to the area that you have designated for potty. Be sure not to do anything that might give them the impression that it is now time to play. Your dog must realize that potty time is for business only, not for playing or anything else, especially if it’s at night since you do want to get some sleep afterward. If they start to sniff around, quickly ask them to go potty. Once your pup has finished doing their business, you should praise them in a calm and quiet manner. Be sure to not let any situation get over-the-top during the alarm potty sessions of nighttime, or none of you will get any sleep afterward.

Going Back To Bed

“Now back to dreaming.”

After your dog has finished their business, do not waste any time and take them right back inside the house to their crate. Just part with them with a “good pup” and quickly go back to your own bed. Do not stay back with your dog for any period of time, as this might result in un-training the sleep routine you tried so hard to enforce in the first place. The whole target of the process should be to minimize night time disruption and get the business done as quickly as possible.

Summary of Potty Training at Night

You might be concerned about should I wake my puppy up to pee at night? There is no alternative to waking up at night with your puppy for the night time potty training to be successful. If your puppy is really young, you might need to get up twice every night. But their bladder will grow as they get older. You will come down to waking up once every night soon. And then eventually you will not need to get up at night at all. You have to be patient and persistent throughout this whole process if you want the training to be successful. So follow the tips mentioned in this article to get the best results for potty training.

26 Helpful “Dog Chart” That Owners Should Have Around

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“Dog Chart” to Help You Take Care of Your “Fur Baby”

Scanning through long posts can take hours to find what you are looking for. I’ve found the best chart for each dog problems and questions people regularly have. Go ahead and print these out for guidance and sharing!

1. This dog body language translation chart to help you decode your pup’s many strange behaviors!!!


2. This chart on how much exercise your dog’s breed should get every day.


3. This incredibly insightful chart on how dogs sleep (FACT: Dogs don’t follow a binary sleeping pattern like we do!!!)


4. This adorable chart on where the world’s dog breeds are from originally!!!


5. This graphic on dog breeds and their many varying characteristics


6. Benefits of positive reinforcement training!!!!


7. This chart on how dogs age, with Tom Hanks as the reference, naturally


8. This quick lil’ dog leash etiquette lesson


9. This how-to on the Heimlich maneuver, aka how to help your dog if they’re ever choking on something


10. This potentially lifesaving info on heat stroke


11. This handy-dandy dog barking decoder


12. This infographic on the most common health issues for popular breeds


13. This fascinating chart on wolf-to-dog evolution!!!!!!


14. This VERY important guide on car safety for pupperinos!


15. This brief chart on puppy dog eyes, among other things!


16. This helpful chart on which fruits your dog can and can’t eat


17. And this guide on lots of other safe and not-so-safe foods!


18. Easy-to-digest chart on the different types of service dogs, for anyone who might be a little confused


19. How to do CPR on your dog (in case of emergencies)


20. Which over-the-counter meds should be OK to give to your pup (but be sure to double-check with your vet, just to be safe!)


21. How to *properly* clean your stinky one’s ears


22. This guide on how to train your dog with hand signals


23. Of course, I had to include a tail translation guide!!!


24. Need more info on dog behaviors? How about facial expressions and noises?!


25. This Chew-o-meter for anyone who needs help picking out a new chew for their fur baby!


26. And lastly, this sweet lesson on filling your dog’s “emotional cup”

I hope these simple guides help you build a wonderful bond with your fur baby!

Dog Proofing Your House and Yard

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Not all dog dangers are obvious. Keep your furry friends safe and sound by handling all of these potential hazards.

Everyone who gets a dog soon learns that a certain amount of vigilance goes with pet ownership. Puppies especially can get into everything and escape through the tiniest opening. Some of the better-known dangers are toxic plants and food.

But do you know about the other dangers that might lurk in your home and garden? From the bathroom and laundry room to the office, kitchen, garage and even the great outdoors, there are some expected and unexpected hazards your pet might face.

There is good news. First, a lot of these potential dangers are things your pet will probably ignore. More good news, you can easily take care of most of these potential problems. Some of the rules are simply common sense:

Keep small objects and items that can be easily eaten or swallowed out of their way.

As for other dangers, just look around from your pet’s point of view and see what might be tempting and troublesome. Consider pet-proofing your home to be much like baby-proofing. You’re simply making sure that pets and possible problems don’t mix.

There’s even a bonus to these precautions: a tidier house. Storing things safely away after using them also turns out to be much easier than coaxing them away from a pet determined to destroy them, or even worse, making an emergency trip to the vet. And it will leave you with much more room for you and your pet to play with the things that are safe.

Kitchens

Food is, of course, the most common kitchen-related problem. The best-known problem food is probably chocolate, but other possibly toxic foods include avocados, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic and coffee. Other things to watch out for are sharp knives and little things like twist ties that can easily be swallowed.

You may want to install a door or gate to keep animals out of the kitchen while you’re cooking.

Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms

Some hazards are obvious: cleansers, detergents, fabric softeners, bleach, medications, vitamins and even dental floss can all be dangerous if eaten or swallowed.

Dogs in particular may be tempted to chew on, and potentially swallow, towels and stray socks (and you were blaming the dryer for eating them), which can lead to severe gastrointestinal problems.

“Yuck!!! Get away from the toilet!!”

There are some other dangers in the bathroom and laundry area that you might overlook. In addition to the “yuck” factor, drinking out of the toilet isn’t good for pets, especially if you use chemical cleansers. Sinks and tubs filled with water and left unattended can pose a drowning hazard for small pets.

Washers and dryers can be a tempting spot for a nap and you may not notice them if you put in a load of clothes. Keep the doors on appliances closed.

“I was just taking a nice warm nap.”

Gathering Areas

There generally aren’t too many dangers lurking in these rooms, but there are a few possible trouble spots. The fireplace is a big one. Pets can be harmed by flames and flying ashes. A simple screen is probably all you need.

Owner: “What are you guys doing? Sticking your brother in the fire will not get rid of his grey muzzle!!”

Another overlooked danger is fire-starter sticks. They’re somewhat sweet, and some dogs can’t resist eating them.

Wires and cords can also be a problem. Chewing on a plugged-in cord can electrocute a pet. Tucking cords away or covering them will keep them out of your pet’s way and also will leave your room looking neater.

“I’m going to get tied up with these cords and my long body!”

As a general precaution, put anything you value or anything that’s a chewing or choking hazards out of reach when you’re not around.

  • puzzle pieces
  • small toys
  • and so on

Opened doors and windows are great for letting in fresh air, but not great if they tempt your animal out into a world of cars and other dangers.

“Should I stay or run after that squirrel?”

Be sure that if pets can get out, they’ll be heading into a safe place, such as a fenced yard. Otherwise, screens are a great compromise. You can even find ones that are almost invisible.

Find this on Amazon

Bedrooms 

Can you spot the dangers?

Aside from the danger of a puppy’s chewing on your good shoes, bedrooms are generally fairly benign when it comes to pet danger. But to be on the safe side, keep away

  • jewelry
  • hair clips
  • pins
  • bands

One potential serious hazard, though, is mothballs. They’re toxic, so if you use them, be sure they’re in a place your pet absolutely can’t reach.

Areas With Odds and Ends

Everyday objects such as these can all cause problems if chewed or swallowed:

  • batteries
  • buttons
  • coins (especially pennies)
  • paper clips
  • rubber bands

If you’re into crafts, be sure sharp objects, including needles, are out of reach. Plastic bags and plastic wrap can cause suffocation.

Garages and Basements

These are storage areas for lots of things including things that can be a problem if your pets get into them. The simple solution is to keep things either high up or in a closed cabinet like:

  • pesticides
  • gasoline
  • solvents
  • antifreeze
  • coolants
  • oils
  • screws
  • nuts
  • bolts
  • nails

If you live in a snowy climate, be aware that de-icing compounds may also contain dangerous chemicals, so look for ones that are safe for pets.

The Great Outdoors

“I thought you said you needed help with gardening!”

Just as food in the kitchen can be a problem for pets, so can plants in the garden. There are many number of plants that can cause problems. See what plants are toxic.

Garden chemicals can cause problems for pets.

  • Compost
  • cocoa-based mulches
  • pesticides
  • insecticides
  • fertilizers
  • other garden chemicals

Your first line of defense is keeping things stored away safely and out of reach.

Traditional snail and slug bait is also toxic. If you need to keep your vegetables and other plants safe from these marauders, look for barrier methods or pet-friendly bait formulations.

Balconies

Balconies may seem safe, but it’s easy for small pets to slip through the railings or get stuck halfway. Of course, it also would be hard to resist railings, even if your dog could get over or around it.

“I’m stuck!! Put down the camera and help me!”

Be sure latticework is in good repair as well, so pets won’t get stuck or crawl into spaces where they shouldn’t go.

Fire Pits and Barbecues

Just as fireplaces can be a danger indoors, ashes and flames from fire pits and barbecues can be hazardous. Keep an eye on both the fire and your pets, and if you’re barbecuing, keep the lighter fluid out of reach.

“Well, if nobody is tending to the meat, I might as well eat it!”

Pools and Ponds

“Help!!! I can’t fecking swim!!!”

Chemicals are an obvious source of trouble if pets drink from pools and spas, but there are other dangers as well. Even if pets can swim, they can still drown in pools and spas if they can’t get out. Long, low steps may help, but your best approach is to keep pets away from the water, either with covers or fencing or by keeping them inside unless accompanied.

As with pools and spas, ponds might pose a problem if a pet falls in and can’t get out. A sloping side to a pond will provide better footing and give your pond a more natural look.

Ponds are also prone to forming algae, which may be toxic by itself or because of the chemicals added to destroy it.


Yes I know that dog proofing your house and yard sounds like a lot of trouble to go through, but we want to make sure our fur babies are taken care of!!

40 Pics of Stretchy Dog Skin Cuteness

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40 Stretchy Dogs With Extra Skin ‘Squish’ And Extra Cuteness

You Can’t Resist a Dog With Squishy Cheeks

Dogs are known for a lot of qualities. They are loyal, affectionate, obedient, and very intelligent. But the most prominent thing is that they are extremely cute. Nobody can deny that. Dogs are adorable inside and out. If you have a dog around you and you are stressed out, the stress won’t stay for long. Dogs are everyone’s favorite because they know exactly how to cheer someone up. Be it their hilarious shenanigans or their adorable stretched skin faces. Everything works for us.

Just Have to Squish Cheeks

When you find something really cute, you end up squishing its cheeks because it is irresistible. So a lot of dogs get their skin flaps and scruffs stretched by their humans as a sign of love and affection. Scroll down below to see 40 adorable dogs with stretchy skin. And don’t worry, none of them are in pain. They all love it.


1. This poor pup is probably wondering why they are dreaming about their lips getting stuck.

2. The Shibu Stretch!

3. “Very funny guys. I know I have huge cheeks!”

4. “No matter how much you stretch my face, my tongue will not go back inside!”

5. “Stop! You’re making me self conscious of my extra skin!”

6. “I would look way cooler if you didn’t hold out my jaws like wings.”

7. “Yes, I have extra cheek skin. Am I going to get a treat soon?”

8. “Yeth hooman, I have a big thmile!”

9. “I look like a lizard!”

10. “I saved some bread for you. Thorry, it might be a little soggy!”

11. “Stretch all you want. You won’t get rid of my wrinkles!”

12. “Is this what they call a face lift!”

13. “I look so handsome with a big smile.”

14. “I keep telling you my lips get in the way!”

15. “Doctor, can you give me a facelift?”

Taking Care of Dog’s Skin and Winkles

The PDSA had an interview where they explained how to take care of a dog’s sagging skin, winkles and folds. “Dogs have an area on the back of their necks called the scruff where the skin is a little more loosely attached to the body than in other areas. Sometimes, you can feel it moving as you stroke or scratch your dog, but it still has the same nerves and stretch sensitivity as the rest of the skin. It’s important not to pull on any part of your dog’s skin as over stretching their skin can be really painful, just like it would be for a person. This also applies to the scruff of the neck,” PDSA vet Anna explained.

Scruffs

Unlike cats, we should not pick up dogs from the scruffs of their necks. “Instead, if you need to pick up your dog, support them under their chest and back legs to carry them. If they’re a bigger dog, try using a big blanket or a board with the help of a friend or family member if you need to lift them for any reason. Find out more on our first aid guide,” she shared.

Loose Skin Breeds

Shar Peis, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, and Basset Hounds have naturally loose skin, but other dogs can also develop scruffs and wrinkles due to weight gain. “People often think of skin folds on a dog’s face, but they can also be found in other places, especially if a dog is overweight, for example around their tail, back end or at the tops of their legs.”

Skin Folds

It is essential to clean a dog’s skin folds as they cam develop skin fold dermatitis, which is a terrible infection that affects the “pockets” between skin folds. “The skin in the folds is often very warm and damp, so yeast and bacteria that live on the skin naturally can overgrow, leading to irritated, red, and smelly skin which is itchy and uncomfortable for your dog. If left untreated, skin fold dermatitis can result in ulcers and sores in the folds which can be very painful.”

How to Clean Skin Folds

You can clean your dog’s skin folds by using cooled boiled water, or apply salt water using cotton wool pads. “Be especially careful when cleaning folds near your dog’s eyes. If your dog finds this really uncomfortable, there could be a problem or infection in one of the folds so it’s best to get them checked by your vet. It’s important not to use any other products (such as creams or shampoos) on the skin folds unless you’ve been advised to by your vet—in many cases these can make any irritation or itching worse,” the vet warned.

Brush your dog to maintain a healthy coat. “If they are dirty or muddy, it’s best to just use water to wash them. There are plenty of pet shampoos on the market and these are suitable for most pets, but using them too regularly can lead to dry skin or skin irritation, especially if your pet’s skin is sensitive or they have a skin problem,” she warned. “There are prescription, medicated shampoos available which can help some skin conditions, ask your vet for advice to find out what’s best for your pet.” If you don’t trust them, just use water.

Skin Care

“Many owners worry about their pet’s skin, and sometimes it can be hard to know if your dog has a skin problem. All dogs will lick or scratch now and then and in many cases, it’s nothing to worry about—it’s just part of them grooming their coat. However, if your dog is itching all the time, is making their skin red, they’re losing lots of fur, they have a rash or bumpy skin or you think they may have a wound or infection, it’s best to contact your vet for advice,” Anna said.

Skin Conditions

“There are many causes of skin conditions, from allergies and wounds to fleas, mites, and infections. Some dogs will have a skin problem just once in their lifetime, but for many, skin issues need life-long management or treatment. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to help keep your dog comfortable and happy, including medication, special diets, and supplements. The key thing is to get help for your dog early—most skin problems get worse over time and become more difficult to treat.”

Lumps

If you see any irregular lumps forming on your dog’s skin, check with a vet. “They will be able to check the lump and discuss the next options for your pet. Although many owners worry that a new lump could be cancer, there are actually many different causes for lumps and many of these can be treated and won’t lead to more serious problems for your pet. However, it’s better to get any lumps or bumps checked sooner rather than later, especially if they have come up quickly, seem red or painful, or are causing issues for your dog.”

16. “You’ve turned me into a stingray!”

17. Happy face flaps!

18. “My smile goes all the way to my eyes.”

19. Face Smoosh VS. Flying face.

20. “Are you checking to make sure I took that pill?”

21. “Any tighter and I won’t be able to open my eyes!”

22. “Are you telling me I have big cheeks?”

23. “My face can stretch really wide!”

24. “You better be careful stretching my cheekers.”

25. “Why do I look like a quokka?”

26. “I can also stretch my tongue!”

27. “You’ve stretched so much, my ears are gone!”

28. Whose got a big smile!

29. “I believe I can fly!”

30. “My face is going to stay like this if you keep stretching.”

31. “I can fit a lot in my cheeks for later!”

32. How to make a heart faced pug!

33. “This is so humiliating. I don’t go stretching out your extra skin.”

34. I believe this might be a pillow!

35. “I look like a goofy polar bear.”

36. “That’s what happens when you lose so much fat.”

37. “That’s what I call a French smoosh!”

38. “I didn’t know I had wings on my face!”

39. “Why do you love my face to look derpy?”

40. “I’ll always be your little chipmunk.”

Tried Stretching Your Own Dog’s Cheekers?

Did seeing these images make you want to stretch your dog’s cheeks too? Have you tried this on them?

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!

Dog Owner Share Their Naughty Dogs

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Dog Owner Posts Photos Of ‘Guilty Dogs’ To Prove Their Doggo Is Naughtiest

Dogs do so much all day long. Sometimes their actions are worth all the appreciation, and other times, they need to learn their lessons. Although dogs are extremely innocent, but sometimes they mess up too. Yes, you heard it right dogs mess up as well. We’re all prone to making mistakes, and so are dogs. They’re not completely angelic creatures they have an evil side too. Dog owner people share how their dogs go about with their shenanigans.

From the moment they wake up, they get involved in their everyday shenanigans. They’re quite an explorer by nature and love to explore everything possible. Whether it’s a cupboard or a cushion, they feel an urge to know what’s inside. They also love to taste what their dog owner is cooking or eating, so they’ll shamelessly have a bite of the food.

What really cracks us up is that they don’t feel guilty about anything they do. They are usually never sorry for their actions. The internet is a completely different world, and dog owner people over there are always following a trend or completing a challenge. Recently, the Facebook group “Dogspotting Society” started a new challenge called ” Guilty dog challenge”. Dog owner members of this group took part in the challenge and posted photos of their guilty dogs. These dogs are extremely funny with their guilty but not sorry reactions. Here are 30 photos of guilty dogs that you shouldn’t be missing. Scroll down and check them out.


“Made a beautiful carrot cake for my mums birthday in October.. I left the kitchen for literally 2 minutes and came back to a pile of crumbs. I wonder who the culprit was.”

Lucy Jarvis


“I got out of my truck to get gas. When I got back in, he said he had zero idea where my pizza slice went.”

Lisa Nolen


“After escaping her crate, Gidget decided that the bedroom door sounded like a tasty treat. Just to clarify, she doesn’t have anxiety about being in her crate at all and actually kinda likes it in there, but i think once she got out of it she panicked cause she couldn’t get back in there and the door to the room was closed, and since she could see the rest of the house through the doorknob hole she was just trying to get out there.”

Sarah Drinnenberg


“Banjo when he gets caught doing something naughty. He automatically puts himself in time out.”

Katrina Loprete


“Three stages of realizing its bath time next.”

Billie Jack


“This morning while my owner slept I ate 2 bags of freeze dried chicken hearts (60 or more) 2 bags of Raw coated biscuits. 1 bag of freeze dried liver. 12 dental chews size small. 3/4 of a yak chew bone. 1/4 of a 3kg bag of dry dog food. The farts are just starting….”

Michelle Floris


‘Hey, what’s up Hooman?’

Danielle Vandyke


Dogs love to spend all their time with owners. Not only that, they also love to engage in all the activities their owners are engaged in. They would follow their human from room to room and try their best to help them with anything they are doing. Dogs are funny creatures, and their actions say it all. Now that  everyone is quarantined, dogs get to spend a lot more time with their owners. They do all sorts of absurd stuff and don’t even feel guilty for it.


“My doberman Django chewed through his lead, now he is Django Unchained.”

Ross Boorman


“When they get quiet (no dogs were hurt) he did this to 3 cans to feed his brother chihuahua and sister yorkie.”

Sashinka Bogatova


“No mom? I have NO idea who stole the spaghetti squash off the counter?” **Do not make eye contact with the spaghetti squash **

Samantha Urton


Me: “Jäger… did you get into the cat food last night????”

Jäger: “????”

Kayla Robinson


“When Max first came to live with us, he was an expert kitchen burglar. He stole cakes, buns, entire loaves of bread, cocoa powder, cheeseburgers, packets of biscuits – as well as a bunch of non edibles like pizza boxes, sweet wrappers, cigarette filters, and wet wipes. We had a crash course in keeping things out of his reach. The habit is so ingrained that we still do it now, even though he crossed the rainbow bridge last month. Hope you’re eating all the chocolate cake you can, Maxi! We miss you.”

Louisa Dean


Dog- “Couch just went “Poof!” I’m as surprised as you are! If I’m being honest here….. I think the cat did it.”

Mayra Titus


“Throw back to Thanksgiving 2018 when I left the kitchen with 3 loafs of pumpkin bread and returned with less than 2.”

Michaela Ratajczak


“Idk how he managed to eat that pizza without us even knowing He gave him self up when we turned around and looked like that.”

Skylie Neal


“One morning I woke up to my husky that I thought killed something outside. nope just destroyed a RED lipstick on carpet. with no regret. LOL (hey I did get the floor and her clean) oh Sookie. She’s lucky she’s cute.”

Autumn Kimble


“Thanks, Harper.”

Jaimie McGinnis


“Ate over half of a pizza and then passed out in a food coma. I taught him well.”

Corrine Cooper


“I had one piece, Nina had 7.”

Alex Bray


“Making stuffing from scratch tomorrow so I cut up the bread to dry out, came back 5 minutes later and poof, gone! SHE ATE TWO LOAVES OF BREAD Keeping the second batch in the oven where big chungus can’t get to it”

Elise Kirschbaum


“But mom, Kevin Bacon jumped up on the counter… not me!”

Rhiannon Wink


“Someone decided to go digging in the garden and try to escape the shower. 10/10 for the guilt face though.”

“Updated note: I had just spent over an hour deep cleaning the bathroom right before she did this but definitely still grateful is was just mud.”

Cayla Rubacky


“Can’t find the limbs.”

Karen Jean


“My husband and I had to quarantine for 2 weeks after he got back from deployment. We spent AT LEAST one week non-stop working on this puzzle he got for our anniversary. Needless to say, we never got to *fully* finish it.”

Emily Nguyen Proctor


“Holy moly”

Mike Hock


“Hi, my name is Luna and I missed you while you were at work.”

Javier Treviño


“William can’t be trusted alone with the groceries”

Ana Villanueva


“Chester stealing toilet paper. His is so guilty and knows his not allowed stuff he will look the other way and pretend not to see you or run away depending on his mood.”

Krystal Padden


“He ain’t even sorry!!”

Mellissa Linde


“Someone got into the litter box. And it wasn’t the cat…”

Katie Judge

All these guilty girls and boys are too precious to be blamed. However, they are absolutely mischievous and should be held accountable for their wrong doings. All dogs have a crazy side. What about your doggo?

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!

Winter Time! Taking Care of Your Dog in the Cold

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“I need more clothes than just a scarf!”

Yay! It’s snowing!

Dogs can have a blast in the winter, exploring and frolicking in freshly fallen snow. But dogs (well, most dogs anyway) particularly love a snowy terrain. They like to bound and dig in their giant, new, snowy playground and never seem to want to go inside no matter how ready their humans are to leave the cold and wet outdoors behind.

However, frozen precipitation and colder temperatures can also be dangerous for dogs if their owners don’t take proper precautions. If you’re a new pet parent, or simply unsure of the best way to care for your pet during the winter months, it’s important to get acquainted with the do’s and don’ts of keeping your pet safe and healthy out there.

Keep Them Bundled Up

“I know I look dapper in this sweater!”

Even if the temperature is above freezing, pets’ extremities, just like our own, are extremely susceptible to wind chill. They can get hypothermia and frostbite on their exposed paws, noses and ears. While dogs don’t typically wear hats for long, you can help protect them from the cold by putting them in insulated sweaters and jackets, and covering their feet with waterproof paw booties. Those booties will also help keep their paw pads from cracking from the de-icing salt on roads and walkways.

Wipe Them Down as Soon as They Come Inside

“After you dry me with the towel, can I go back outside?”

As a form of precipitation, snow can leave pets cold and very wet at the end of a snowy play session, and if they remain like that for a while, they could get a cold or hypothermia (your furniture will also take a beating). In order to avoid all that, make sure to towel them off as soon as they come inside. You can keep a designated pet towel by the door so you never forget this important step.

NEVER Leave Pets Outside Overnight or For an Extended Period of Time

“Are they ever going to let me in? I’m starting to get balls of snow stuck to my fur.”

According to the Humane Society, you should never leave pets outside for long periods of time when it gets cold. In fact, leaving a pet outside alone in temperatures below freezing for more than 30 minutes is considered neglect, which is a punishable crime. Even if you have a typically outdoor cat, they should be able to get inside somewhere warm whenever they need to.

If your pet has to spend a significant amount time outdoors, they should have access to a dry, insulated shelter that’s large enough for them to move around in and maintains their body heat.

Eating and Drinking Guidelines

“Is this melted snow?”

Dogs especially expend more energy when they’re running outside in the cold. You can help them make up for that by feeding them a bit more food so they can replace the energy/calories they lost playing. You may also want to consider exchanging your metal food and water bowls for plastic ones if you keep them outside as a warm dog tongue could easily get stuck to them.

Keep Pets From Eating Rock Salt

DO NOT LET DOGS EAT SALT ROCKS

Pets suffering from salt poisoning, unfortunately, becomes much more common in the winter months. Rock salt is regularly used to de-ice the roadways and walkways they walk on. If they ingest it, either while on a walk or by licking it off their paws, it can be fatal. The best way to prevent salt poisoning is to keep an eye on your pet and if you notice they’ve eaten salt, wash their mouth out and call the pet poison hotline. If you’re not sure whether or not your pet has ingested salt, here are some warning signs of salt poisoning to watch out for:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • not eating
  • excessive thirst
  • and/or urination
  • incoordination
  • tremors
  • seizures

There are safe alternative products to use on your slippery walk and driveway that are pet safe.

Take Them for Their Annual Vet Visit

“You said this was just a check-up. If I feel any shots, I’m pooping in your car!”

Right before winter hits is the perfect time to take your pets in to see the vet, because you’ll learn if they have any new conditions that might make winter a bit tougher on them. For example, chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease can lower a pet’s cold-temperature tolerance. And, of course, new or worsening arthritis can make for stiffer joints during cold snaps.

Shorten Walking Times

“I wish I had some fancy boots to keep my paws warm.”

It may be tempting to let your pet play in the snow for hours on end, but like us, they have cold weather limits, they just aren’t as aware of them. So if it’s below freezing, you should limit playtime to under 30 minutes, especially if you have an older pet or one that’s compromised in any way.

Cold Temperature Guidelines for Dogs

“I don’t whether I want to look silly or be cold.”

In general, cold temperatures should not become a problem for most dogs until they fall below 45° F, at which point some cold-averse dogs might begin to feel uncomfortable. When temperatures fall below 32° F, owners of small breed dogs, dogs with thin coats, and/or very young, old or sick dogs should pay close attention to their pet’s well-being. Once temperatures drop under 20° F, all owners need to be aware that their dogs could potentially develop cold-associated health problems like hypothermia and frostbite.

Don’t Leave Your Pet in a Cold Car

“Ummm, I think you forgot to roll up the window.”

Just like how a car left in the hot sun can heat up fast and basically become an oven for any living thing inside it, cars left out in the winter become like refrigerators. So the general rule of thumb is don’t take your pets on errands if you know you’re going to be leaving them in a car for longer than five minutes, especially if it’s balmy or freezing outside.

Pet-Proof the Inside of Your House

“I could sleep here all day with that warm fire.”

Since your pets should be spending more time indoors in the winter, it’s a good idea to secure all of your heating devices that could be susceptible to a bounding and/or large creature. For example, if you’ve set up a portable heater in your living room, make sure you have a barrier around it so that your pet doesn’t knock into it or knock it over and potentially start a fire. And if you have radiators that can get hot, you might want to put a barrier around them as well so that pets don’t burn themselves.

Frankie Hated the Snow, Chloe Loves the Snow!

“I don’t want to go into that crappy snow! I’ll just poop inside!”

In his younger age, Frankie would tolerate being in the snow to potty, but he never played a whole lot. He just went out to do his business and wanted to come right back inside the house. As he got older and developed diabetes, his litter paws couldn’t take the cold any longer. He would walk out alright, but then he would hop around until someone would pick him up to go back inside.

“Throw me another one of those snowballs!”

Chloe on the other hand could play in the snow forever! She loves running through the snow and being goofy. She especially loves when I make snowballs for her and throw them. It’s funny when she instantly freaks out because she can’t find it in the snow! Then I let her lick a snowball so she knows its a real ball!!

I Hope You’re Having Fun (Biscuit on Nose)

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Training your dog to balance a biscuit on their nose is a great bonding experience. Your dog may not be so happy to wait for a treat that is right on their nose though!!

“Come on, you know this kills me to perform this trick.”

Your lack of kindness–it shows.

Your imagination? Not fecund.

You’re not the owner I would have chose;

My hate for you deepens and grows

With every single second

This biscuit stays on my nose.

Training Your Dog to Balance a Biscuit on Their Nose

With some practice and a lot of patience, you can teach your dog the treat on nose trick.

Let’s teach your dog a trick that reinforces patience with food!

Try the following steps to train the Treat-On-The-Nose trick!

(Brush up on your sit-stay before you attempt this trick.)

Your dog has to sit perfectly still to hold the treat! This trick requires a lot of patience on both parts. Be prepared to stay calm and not get frustrated. Remember this is something fun for you and your dog, not a requirement!

  • Start with a sit-stay directly in front of you while you sit in a chair. Their head should be slightly resting on your lap.
  • Put one hand under the dog’s head and raise its nose until it is level to the floor.
  • Place the treat slowly and gently on the flattest part of their nose.
“You better let me play in the mud after this!”
  • While you rest their muzzle in your hand, alternate praise with the phrase “Hold It!” in your command tone.
  • After a few seconds, release him, praise him, and let him flip the treat off his nose and eat it.*
“Finally I get the biscuit!!”
  • Repeat this process five to ten times per day for several days.
  • As your dog begins to hold their own head steady, begin to remove your hands slowly from their muzzle to let them do it alone.
“I could just roll this biscuit into my mouth!”

*Dropping the biscuit

Some dogs will drop the treat on the floor and pick it up. Others will flip it into the air and catch it. If you want the flip method and your dog is a “dropper”, immediately command them to “leave it” if they drop it. Let them take it if they flip it.

With consistency, this will condition the dog to flip it. If they do not catch it on the first flip, praise the effort with “good dog!” so that they do not give up. When they do catch it, praise vigorously!

Have fun!

“If I could just get my tongue on that biscuit!”

Why Do Dogs Chase Squirrels? National Squirrel Day!

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Why Dogs Chase Squirrels

“I’m going to get you little squirrel!”

A walk in the park or a stroll down a country lane can turn into a frenzied hunt for squirrels for some dogs and their owners! A flighty little dash of fur and suddenly your pup is off on the chase. Their prey drive kicks in and there is very little you can do when this happens.

Hunting, chasing and rushing off after small animals are a worry if you are out walking and trying to enjoy some exercise. Everyone wants to feel safe to walk in a park or open country environment with their dog.

Chasing squirrels is particularly common for breeds of dogs with instinctive desires to hunt. They get the scent of a little critter like a squirrel and Mother Nature takes over. Small breeds of dogs, like Terriers, are natural born hunters. In many situations, uncontrolled chasing can have unhappy consequences. Overcoming instinctive reactions is challenging but not impossible. Armed with patience and some helpful guidelines, you will be able to make a difference and curb this behavior.

The Root of the Behavior

Hunting

“I’m going to get you this time! That’s the last time you poke fun at me.”

Hunting is a natural behavior of animals like dogs that have descended from wolves. Nature has equipped dogs with a strong sense of smell and a desire to chase smaller creatures. Their brains are wired to respond to an animal running away with a chase reaction. Add to that some breeds are bred to track and flush out game. They are driven by the scent of the animal they are chasing and an innate prey drive response. When your dog gets into this instinctive mode, it is difficult to change their mind without some prior intervention and coping skills.

Sense of Smell

“I know I can smell a trail of squirrels around here somewhere. Can you smell them?”

A dog’s keen sense of smell is the key issue. Dogs have a sense of smell that is between 1000 to 10,000 times more powerful than ours. Some dogs, like Beagles, are incredibly scent driven. Dogs also have a large olfactory center in their brain where they can store all the information about smells they know. The scent of squirrel is probably high up there on the list of scents to remember. In some cases, long after the squirrel has disappeared, your dog will carry on the chase just because they still smell the scent of the squirrel.

Squirrel: “Maybe if I just act like a dog, he won’t notice me.”

The hound group of dogs is especially scent driven. It is a good idea to find out about a breed and it’s instinctive behavior before you contemplate having them join your family.

Positive Reinforcement Obedience Training

A good place to start correcting the behavior is with some basic obedience training. If you are aware that the breed you have is a member of the scent hound division, then keeping their focus on you is going to be very important.

Your dog should focus on you while on walks when you notice something that may trigger your dog to misbehave.

Attending obedience classes and learning the basic commands of sit and stay will give you more control. Reward your dog for listening and being focused on you. Little treats that they really love will give the message that you have a better reward to offer than the squirrel in the tree. Correcting instinctive behavior is challenging. While you are trying to correct the behavior walk on a leash or even use a Head Collar to have control over lunging and pulling.

Avoid areas with lots of squirrels while you are training. Start your obedience activities a fair distance away from the squirrel zone and move closer as you see your dog being more focused on you and less on the squirrels.

Prey driven behavior may need the help of an animal behaviorist if you are not able to deal with this yourself.

Encouraging the Behavior

Squirrel chasing is always going to distract your dog on a walk as it buys into their prey drive instinct. The natural sequence of predatory action is:

  • search
  • stalk
  • chase
  • grab

It is important to watch out for the initial stages of this sequence and intercept before the chase begins. Try to watch your dog and anticipate the beginning of the sequence and intercept with a distraction. A noise distraction is often successful as this will draw attention away from the squirrel even if it is just for a moment. A tin full of coins to shake or loud whistle could be the noise distraction.

Join a Group For Tracking Dogs

The prey driven dog or scent hound may actually bring you a lot of joy if you recognize their natural ability and join groups of other dogs and their owners participating in tracking events. Training with other dogs and rewarding your dog for the behavior they were bred to do could be great fun for both of you.

Find dog tracking groups at: https://www.akc.org/sports/tracking/getting-started/

Scent Game at Home

Learn how to play scent games at home or in your backyard.

Start with a few bits of kibble or a treat and let your dog search for the treats. Say ‘find it’ or ‘go fetch’ as a command and then build on the experience by hiding treats in more difficult places. You will be rewarding your dog for using their natural instinct and challenging their mental and physical abilities. Although chasing squirrels is not to be encouraged, participating in scent trail groups and organized activities is a great idea.

Search and rescue activities and agility are all the kinds of dog outlets that will go a long way towards enjoying the instinctive nature of your dog as a true blue hound.

Other Solutions and Considerations

Your dog’s safety is always of paramount importance and therefore encouraging random chasing in public places poses dangers to the dog and other citizens. Starting obedience training early on in your dog’s life will help enormously to give you the upper hand.

Trying to break the pattern of a prey drive instinct will require patience and determination. You will always have to manage your walk with care as you look out for the instinctive signs of a chase mode. Getting your dog to focus on you is the important behavior you are looking for.

Remember the chase is enjoyable for your dog. They are having fun while you struggle to get them under control. Some breeds are more driven to chase than others, so take that into consideration and find activities to allow for this instinctive desire to chase. Your prey driven dog will thank you!

Patience Will Pay Off

“I know I’m not suppose to chase after that squirrel, but he’s been mocking me!”

Preventing squirrel chasing could be almost impossible with some breeds of dogs but you may be pleasantly surprised when some of your patience and time spent training pays off. Imagine how you and your dog will feel after a round of ‘find it’ in the park when you have a moment of success.

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Fido.

Fido who?

Fidon’t catch that squirrel, I am going to go nuts!

Chloe LOVES Looking For Squirrels

“What kind of creature are you?”

Chloe loves squirrels. Whether it’s sitting inside looking out the window for squirrels or walking and catching a glimpse of one before I redirect her attention. She’ll try sneaking on them if she’s in the backyard, but she’s not very good at sneaking!

She’s only caught one squirrel that had an injured leg (squirrel was too slow!). Chloe only had it gently in her mouth, then dropped it when I yelled at her to drop it! The squirrel wasn’t injured by Chloe and ran away.

On walks when she sees one, she’ll start whining and do her little jumpy dance. I just have to redirect her with a little “Ah, ah” and she will stop with a little huff. (She gets mad that she can’t play with the squirrels!)

How To Stop A Dog From Digging

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Why Do Dogs Like to Dig Holes?

“There has to be some treasure here somewhere!”

Do you need to know how to stop a dog from digging up their yard? Just why do dogs dig holes? And how can we keep dogs from digging under fences and in flower beds?

If your puppy has been digging holes in the flower bed every time your back is turned, or every time you try and plant something in the flower bed, you are probably wondering how to stop them.

To stop a dog from digging effectively, it’s important to understand why they are digging holes. Dogs dig holes for lots of different reasons. Once you know why your dog digs holes in the yard, you’ll have a better chance of stopping them effectively, without conflict.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your dog might be digging. And what you can do to prevent him from digging.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Digging?

There are two possible ways to stop a dog from digging. One is to prevent access to the area they like to dig. The other is to work out why they are digging, and then tackle the root cause.

Erecting a fence to separate your dog from any area that they could potentially dig is something that you could consider. If your puppy is still small, then you could use a puppy pen to prevent them from getting access to their desired area.

However, most people do not want to fence their backyard. They would rather enjoy spending time in it with their dog – but without fear for their rose bushes!

So let’s look at alternatives to fencing your dog out of their favorite digging zones.

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?

To understand how to stop a dog from digging, your first step should be to establish why they are doing it.

There are a lot of possible reasons that your dog could be digging. These include enjoyment, prey drive, accidental reinforcement from the owner, excess energy and even escape efforts!

Let’s look at each of the potential reasons in turn, and what you can do to help stop your puppy digging in each scenario.

“Where did I put that bone?”
  • Temporary Changes: Stress-Related Digging
  • Digging For Fun
  • Digging to Hide Food
  • Dogs That Have Learned to Dig
  • Dogs Digging to Solve A Problem
  • Energetic Dogs That Dig
  • Dogs Digging Under Fences to Escape

Temporary Changes to Your Dog’s Situation

Pregnant bitches can dig when they wouldn’t ordinarily, due to instincts to create a place for their pups.

Likewise some dogs dig when they are anxious. This stress can be caused by a new environment or change in lifestyle. For example if you have gone on holiday and someone else is caring for them.

Provided things go back to the status quo soon, then this digging behaviour should reduce once normality returns.

If your pregnant bitch starts digging in a way which is out of character for her, then it’s worth waiting to see whether this behavior stops once she has had her litter of puppies.

However, if your puppy or dog is a keen digger and the behavior has increased gradually over time, then you will need to take action to stop your dog digging. What you should do to prevent dogs from digging holes will depend upon the reasons why they are digging them in the first place.

Dogs Enjoy Digging!

“Is this hole big enough for your flowers?”

Some dogs dig just for the fun of it. This is more likely to be the case with Labrador puppies than adults. Some dogs will lose interest in digging as they grow.

Sometimes a dog that digs for fun will continue doing it into adulthood however. This is something which certain breeds of dog, such as Terriers, are more inclined to do because of their ancestors’ roles.

For those dogs who continue to enjoy digging, there are ways to channel this enthusiasm more productively. One which a lot of people find success with is in making them a dedicated digging ground. This will usually consist of a structure much like a children’s sandpit. You can encourage them into it if they are reluctant to go by offering treats and standing in it yourself. However, most dogs upon realising that there is an easy to dig surface will happily redirect their efforts to it.

Rather than trying to prevent dogs from digging, in this scenario we just give them their own dedicated digging zone! The dog is still happy, and so are your rose bushes!

Dogs Digging to Hide Extra Food

“I have to hide this in a hole where I can remember for later.”

Dogs will also sometimes hide surplus food, so if they are given a large chew toy or bone to gnaw on for example, they will dig a hole to put it in when they have temporarily had enough.

If this is the only circumstance in which your dog is digging, there are a few ways in which you can stop them.

One is by only giving bite size treats which they won’t be inclined to store. Another is by supervising them when they have a large bone or chew toy. Either taking it away as soon as they are bored with chewing or eating it, or only letting them have it indoors where they haven’t got the option of digging.

If your dog is young, you can try giving them access to these things outdoors again in a few months when the habit has worn off.

Dogs Who Have Learned to Dig

The answer to the question ‘why do dogs dig holes?’ is sometimes “because someone accidentally taught them to”!

They have have been accidentally taught to dig by their owners, or rewarded by the things that they have found.

‘Just doing what needs to be done!”

If you are a keen gardener then your dog might have observed you shoveling soil on several occasions. You may even have laughed or encouraged them at some point when they tried to get involved.

They could also have found something tasty in the soil once, and effectively reinforced their own behavior and been encouraged to keep trying.

If this is the case you can break this habit.

First prevent access to the area of the garden that their efforts are focused on. Although this can be tricky, putting up temporary fencing or only exercising them on a long line for a while in the yard can break the habit effectively.

You may find if you do this that after a few weeks you are able to give them access to this area again without the behavior restarting. Although I would advise leaving them indoors when you do your weeding in the future!

Is Your Dog Digging to Solve a Problem?

“I love the feeling of smushed mud on my belly!”

Occasionally a dog will dig because it helps to solve a problem that they are having. The most common example is probably a lack of somewhere soft or cool to lay down. If the weather is hot and your dog digs a hole and lays down in it, they are probably trying to cool off. You can stop them from doing this by providing a shaded area or paddling pool for them to play in.

Likewise, if the weather doesn’t seem to be a factor but they are still resting in their newly turned out hole then it could simply be that the undug ground is too hard to lie down on.

Providing them with an alternative place to rest will mean that they don’t need to dig to achieve it. Perhaps an outdoors waterproof bed or a pile of straw, depending upon the set up in your garden.

Energetic Dogs Dig More

“Gotta dig. Gotta dig. Gotta dig!”

A lively dog might decide to start digging to burn off some of their energy. If they don’t have space to run, or have missed out on routine daily exercise, then they will find other ways to stretch their legs.

In addition, dogs with more prey drive may transfer this very specific energy to digging! Labradors, for example, were bred as gundogs. They have a certain level of inherent prey drive.

This may be transferred to digging if they have seen or smelled rabbits or other animals popping in to visit your back lawn. They are digging to try and get at the rabbits. Or other creatures that they can smell have been around the yard earlier.

If your dog is digging because they are bored or looking for prey, then keeping them busy when they are in the garden will help.

There are a couple of ways to keep your dog busy in the yard. You can try some games or do some fun bits of training. Make sure it is a positive experience for them. The excitement you offer is greater than that which they got from burrowing into the ground.

Try keeping their favorite toy just for yard time. Get some new special treats that you give for high reward training outdoors.

Dogs Digging to Escape

“I need to get to those pesky squirrels!”

If your dog is digging under fence lines because they want to get out of the back yard, this can be tricky to deal with. Especially if they have self-rewarded by managing to escape in the past.

Dogs are more likely to repeat a behavior that results in “things improving” for them. If your dog is digging in order to leave your yard, or just to be able to see out past the fence line, the solution is to make sure they get no ‘reward’ from doing this.

How to Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fence Boundaries

The best thing you can do is to enforce the fencing under the ground so that it is impossible for them to achieve anything.

Make sure that it is not just wire, as being able to see the outside world may be reward enough for them to keep doing it. A dig proof fence should be a visual barrier as well as a physical one.

If you can entirely block your dog’s visual access to the world beyond your back yard, they will over time give up on their endeavors.

But it is vital that you make sure they don’t gain anything from doing it. So make sure they don’t get out, or get to see more of the world by digging.

If they do, they will keep on trying to dig under the fence in the hope of another reward!

How to Stop a Dog From Digging

“I love helping out!”

Hopefully I’ve shown you that knowing how to stop a dog digging will depend partially upon why they started doing it.

You may find that solving this problem is simple once you have established why your dog is doing it. Or you might have to implement several of the options above to resolve the problem. For example, restricting access to certain areas of the garden and putting a digging zone into another.

Whichever method you use to prevent your dog digging in your backyard, make sure that you don’t fall out with them. They are not doing it to annoy you.

And although it might be frustrating or time consuming temporarily, it is totally within your power to stop them kindly but effectively.

I Am Dog, Hear My Growl

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“Something is going to happen!”

I am dog, hear my growl.

Something’s happening in my bowels.

I hope you have some paper towels.

When Your Dog Has a Stomach Starting to Growl

There’s no worse problems then when your pup has the poops. Especially when they have the accident inside the house! I’ve dealt with lots of accidents from my own dogs and dogs that I have pet sat for.

Pet Sitting Mess

The worst experience I had was when I was pet sitting for two boxers. They were litter mates and still very young (1 year old). They were very active and loved running around the house after each other. (The pet parents were strict of not letting them run in the backyard because they didn’t want mud tracked in.) I would give them walks and play in a certain room they were allowed to run around in.

Well, one of them decided to run downstairs and the other boxer followed. I was guessing they had to potty so we went to the back door. I was only allowed to have 1 at a time in the backyard so one had to wait.

So I let one of them out. All of a sudden all I could smell was poop. I went searching for the other boxer still in the house. Well, he had to REALLY go potty and just let it out on the carpet. He made about a foot around mess of diarrhea. It took most of the roll of paper towels to clean up!

Make sure if you ever pet sit, make sure the owners show you where the cleaning agents are!

Frankie Made A LOT of Messes!

“I’m getting a weird feeling in my belly.”

My poor Frankie had a hard time holding his bowl movements when he got older. He would give you a warning and if you weren’t right there to take him out, he would find a spot near by. With his diabetes, pancreatitis, and some crohns syndrome, it was very hard on his poor tummy.

My mom would stock up on paper towels when they went on sale. It really matters what kind of paper towels to use on messes. Skip the cheap, thin towels.

When it comes to the products that you use to help clean up the mess, make sure it will not damage the area you are cleaning. With carpets and rugs, there a lot of different products, but the ones I choose are:

Try to pick the mess first by scooping up what you can without pressing more into the carpet/rug. Then try dabbing any wetness. Now you can go by what the directions on the bottle say to do. Make sure to get ALL the mess up or your pup will smell that spot and might think it’s alright to go there again!


Also Check Out My Post About: What Your Dog’s Poop is Telling You

Dog Clothes: Should Dogs Wear Clothes? National Dress-up Your Dog Day

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“What shall I wear today?”

What Does Your Dog Like to Wear for Clothes?

Does your dog like to dress up in clothes? Most dogs will tolerate you putting clothes and funny outfits on them. But do dogs really need clothes? They already have a coat of fur! Well, some dogs get cold even when they are in a warm house.

Take Chloe for instance, she likes to have blankets on her when she is chilling on the couch. When I walk her in colder weather, I put a sweater or coat on her to keep the breeze off her.

“I’m ready to go walking!”

Let Your Dog Be Stylish With Purpose

Some “warm-weather” dogs just aren’t suited to colder climates, and for many of these breeds, outerwear dog clothes are essential when the bitter chill of fall and winter sets in and your buddy starts to dread their evening walk. A sweater can keep them warm, but it’s important to make sure it fits properly so they can enjoy the outside wonderland in both comfort and style.

Measurements for Clothes

Save some time and take a few measurements before you take your pup shopping. Using a measuring tape, have them stand straight and measure from the base of their neck (where the shoulder blades start) to the base of their tail. Once you have their body length measurement, measure around the widest part of their chest for the girth measurement. Lastly, loosely measure around the largest part of their neck. Jot down their length, chest and neck measurements and take them with you when you shop.

Proper Fitting for Dog Clothes

“Howdy, how do you like my cowboy hat?”

The absolute best way to ensure proper fit is to bring your dog with you to try on sweaters. Many pet stores allow them to try before you buy. Use their measurements and the size chart on the packaging as a guide. While you slip them in, take note to make sure the sweater fits easily over their head and neck. Check that the leg openings don’t constrict them in any way. You want your pup’s sweater to be snug but not tight, and leave their lower belly free to allow for easy urination for males (you can cover the bellies of females). Finally, watch them walk around in their new sweater to make sure it doesn’t hang, drag or otherwise impede their movements.

Styles of Clothes

“My chest is nice and cozy!”
“I belong in a magazine!”

Some sweaters are cape style with open bellies, while others fully encompass your buddy’s torso. While all breeds can benefit from warm tummies, smaller breeds that are lower to the ground, such as yorkies and dachshunds, especially need full sweaters that cover and protect their bellies from rubbing on the frozen ground. Consider turtleneck styles for greyhounds and borzois, lest their elongated necks get left out in the cold.

Material

Material is important in terms of comfort, fit and care. Wool is toasty but can be itchy and uncomfortable. A washable wool blend, cotton and acrylic are some of the best bets for canine sweaters. Keep in mind most material will stretch over time, so it’s important to find a sweater in a washable material.

And remember if it’s 100% cotton, it might shrink a little!

“If this shrinks anymore, I won’t be able to move my legs!”

Alterations

Some breeds, despite all your careful measuring and try on sessions, just have a difficult time fitting into universal sizes (just like some of us humans!). Alterations may be necessary to ensure a comfortable fit. The bulldog, for example, has a wider neck that makes sizing tough. If you’re crafty, consider fitting the sweater to the rest of his body and making a simple snip cut to the front to allow for a better fit. A V-neck sweater is a dapper addition to any bulldog’s winter wardrobe.


Find some fun clothes for your dog at Amazon.com

Frankie’s Wardrobe

Dogs and Cats Can Get Along With Proper Introductions

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The Easiest Ways to Introduce Dogs and Cats

Yes, dogs and cats can get along with each other if they are introduced properly. They may not become best friends, but they will understand how to live with each other.

If you already own a dog but are interested in getting a cat, you may be thinking about the process of introducing them to each other. But the steps to introduce dogs and cats is a bit trickier than just sticking them in a room together. (Doing this will cause harm to both and may lead to death.)

To make sure the introduction goes smoothly, plan ahead. You might need plenty of time for your dog and cat to get acquainted. 

Here are the easiest ways to prepare.

Choosing The Right Cat

Before you get a cat, you’ll want to consider the various cat breeds. Each breed has a different personality, so do some research before you make your decision. Interact with the cat you plan on getting for a while before you bring them home.

Try and imagine how its personality will mesh with your dog’s. For example, if your dog is the type to chase things, your best bet is to get a cat that is calm and confident. A shy cat may end up being afraid of your dog.

If you think your cat’s nervousness may be temporary, you can ease the transition with cat treats CBD or calming pheromones to help your feline stay calm.

Separate Dogs and Cats Temporarily

Before you introduce them, you should give them time to get used to each other’s scent. This means confining one animal and letting the other one roam. Rotate which pet is confined and which is roaming for a few days.

This is a great way for both pets to see each other without either one getting hurt.

When it comes time for them to meet, they won’t be as surprised by each other. This would also be the time to assess how the meeting might go.

If your dog digs at the barrier that is keeping them from the cat, the interaction might not work out. At this point, you may want to consider pursuing training.

Choose The Right Location

If you’ve decided to adopt, Do Not try and bring your dog to the shelter where you are adopting your cat from. This could make him feel scared. Also, it’s a health concern. The first interaction should take place at home.

Have somewhere the cat can escape if they want to get away like a cat tree.

Make sure the space you choose to introduce them is large, but not so large that they could end up freaking out and running away. If you don’t have control of both pets, you may find them chasing each other.

Use Leashed Introductions

“Ha ha! You’re all tied up while I have the run of the house!”

Before you let them interact on their own, you should let them meet each other while leashed. You can continue doing this for several days until your dog isn’t bothered by your cat.

If either animal displays aggression or fear, you may want to backtrack and continue keeping them separated for a longer period of time.

If there is no one home, make sure one of or both of the animals are confined so they cannot interact with each other unsupervised.

Unsupervised Interactions

Once both animals feel relaxed, it may be time to let them interact on their own. Only allow this when you are sure that neither animal will hurt the other. It can take about a month to reach this point.

Poor kitty is too scared of the pup. You should back track with a barrier in between until they feel comfortable around each other.

If it takes longer than this, don’t feel discouraged. Every animal is different, and it’s impossible to tell how the two personalities will interact. The important thing is that you don’t force it. Eventually, they won’t feel so shocked or threatened by each other.

Training Advice

If your dog remains focused on the door blocking them from your new pet cat, distract your dog with treats or by guiding them away on a leash.

Lure your dog away with treats from where the cat is.

Once your dog is no longer near the cat, offer them a treat. Repeat this process several times until your dog loses interest. Over time, this will teach them that they shouldn’t stay fixated on what’s on the other side of the door.

Chloe and Twinkie Meeting Each Other

Couple of months after adopting Twinkie.

Deciding to Adopt a Cat

After two years of having Chloe, my husband and I decided to adopt a cat. I was volunteering at a shelter at the time and saw the perfect cat. She just arrived at the shelter after being on the streets. I asked if I could foster her while there was still a hold to find if she had any owners. Well, that turned into us keeping her! When we first brought her home, she was kept in the bathroom to calm down and Chloe couldn’t get to her.

Twinkie getting used to our house.

Chloe was very interested in what was on the other side of that door! We kept Chloe away from the door with treats and toys.

Getting the Smell of Each Other

After a couple days, I switched blankets so Twinkie could smell Chloe and vice versa. Chloe of coarse sniffed the blankets so deeply. Twinkie could care less!

Meeting Each Other

When a week went by and Chloe was more familiarized with Twinkie’s smell, we introduced them to each other by having Chloe in her cage and having Twinkie roam around. This gave Twinkie time to get used to the house and could see Chloe.

Chloe, being so nosey, really wanted to meet Twinkie. So after Chloe calmed down, we switched pets in the cage. That way Chloe could sniff her up close without getting hurt and scaring Twinkie. Twinkie sniffed back and was very calm.

Leashed Chloe As Twinkie Ran Around

Next, we put Chloe on a leash and let Twinkie roam around freely. We wanted to let her know that she can run away from Chloe if she got tired of being around Chloe. She came around slowly at first because Chloe would whine and want to play with her!

Supervised Meeting

About two weeks after either having Chloe on a leash or Twinkie in a safe area where Chloe couldn’t get to her, we did a supervised unleashed greeting. Chloe sniffed at Twinkie as Twinkie was trying to rub on Chloe. It was a great match!!

Introducing dogs and cats takes time and patience.

Counter Surfing: Catching Your Dog in the Act

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Does Your Dog Like to Counter Surf and Look for Food?

“Can you give me just a little bit?”

Put yourself in the dog’s paws and place your favorite food on the counter when you are hungry. Now walk past and see if you can resist taking a bite. The most realistic solution to counter surfing is to use a combination of management and training techniques to make it easy for your dog to avoid temptation.

Training Techniques:

  • Blocking access to places where food is left out by using baby gates or putting the dog in another room when you have company means there is no opportunity for your dog to fail.
Just make sure they don’t have spring loaded legs!!
  • If this is not a realistic option, you can try tethering your dog to you so that they are with you at all times.
  • If you are working in the kitchen and unable to use a baby gate, draw an imaginary line along the floor and teach your dog to stay behind that line.
  • To do this, you need to first teach a reliable ‘Stay’ cue so your dog understands what is expected of them.
  • If they cross over the line, gently block them with your body until the go behind the line again. If you reward them at intervals while they stay put, they will see this area as a good place to be.
I trained Chloe to lay on the couch while I’m in the kitchen working.

Using the training command “Go To Place” can help tremendous when you don’t your dog in the kitchen. Especially when you are trying to prepare a mean and don’t want a trip hazard of your dog trying to find food you drop!

“At least I can watch while my human plays with food.”

How to Catch Your Dog In the Act of Stealing Food:

  • Put some food on the counter and then walk away to a place where you can see the food but where your dog thinks he is not being watched.
  • Pick up a magazine or pretend to be doing something else so they think you are not paying attention to them.
“Are you not paying attention to me? Maybe I can sneak some food!”
  • Wait for them to go up to the counter, and just before they jump, ask them to ‘leave it’.
  • If they back away, praise them.
  • If they take the food, calmly remove what is left and repeat the process, putting the food in a less accessible place to make it harder for them to be successful. When they are responding well, gradually move the food back to the place they previously took it from.
  • Start this exercise using low-value food before making it more difficult with the yummy stuff.

What Not To Do:

Some people use ‘scat mats’ to keep their dogs off of countertops and furniture. Although you may see short-term success in that your dog stays off the counter, the trauma of being shocked can cause emotional complications. Your dog may not want to come into the kitchen at all, and could even start having accidents in the house as a result of the stress and anxiety caused by being shocked.

Why Does My Dog Need to Know This?

  • Not only is counter surfing annoying for people, but it is also dangerous for dogs.
  • Stealing food can lead to ingesting plastic wrapping or eating food that is toxic to dogs.

Pet Insurance: What to Pick For Your Pet

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The Best Pet Insurance Companies

Money’s List of Pet Insurances

We love our pets. More and more Americans welcome dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and fish into our families. Even as the cost of owning a pet increases. Consider getting pet insurance.

Studies have shown that owning a dog can cost $42,000 over 10 years. Cat owners can spend up to $30,000 per decade.

A big chunk of this money pays for veterinary care. This is everything from check-ups and vaccines to treatment for an illness or after an accident.

Pet insurance could help shield your wallet from unexpected pet health care costs.

“Things like ultrasounds, blood tests, or procedures such as MRIs or CAT scans — they’re now available [for pets]”

“What we do in human medicine, we can do in veterinary medicine as well. There’s definitely been an exponential increase in the number of owners who ask about health insurance for their pets.”

Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club

The 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies

Here are Money’s top 10 picks for the best pet insurance:

  1. Healthy Paws: Best Value with reimbursements fulfilled in as little as two days.
  2. Embrace: High coverage for dental illnesses.
  3. Petplan: Coverage for pets begins early at six weeks old.
  4. Trupanion: One straightforward policy that covers hereditary conditions.
  5. Nationwide: The best company that insures exotic animals.
  6. ASPCA: Good option for multiple pets.
  7. PetFirst: For pet owners who want preventive care coverage.
  8. TrustedPals: Best for flexible deductibles and co-pays
  9. Pets Best: Can cover older animals
  10. FIGO: Could pay 100 percent of covered expenses.

Why did we choose these 10 pet insurance plans? We’ll discuss the highlights of these plans in the following reviews:

Healthy Paws: Best for Value

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance offers dog insurance and cat insurance This company stands out because it does not cap reimbursements. Once you pay your deductible, there is no limit on the amount your policy can reimburse you either monthly, annually, or per incident.

You can submit claims via email, fax, online, or using the Healthy Paws’ mobile app. Policyholders can receive reimbursements of up to 90 percent via mailed check or direct deposit. The company claims that 99 percent of its reimbursements are processed within two days.

Plans start at $15 per month for cats and $20 for dogs. With no limit to how many claims you can make. Like all pet insurance companies, Healthy Paws does not cover preexisting conditions.

These plans do cover accidents, illnesses, surgeries, prescription medications, hospital stays, and emergency care, among other expenses.

Healthy Paws gives pet owners more control over their policies. By allowing them to set their single annual deductible as well as their reimbursement percentage. As a Healthy Paws policyholder, you can go to any licensed veterinarian and be covered.


Embrace: Best for Pet Dental Care

Embrace provides high coverage for dental illnesses: $1,000 per policy year in most states. The company covers extractions, root canals, crowns, gingivitis, and broken, chipped, or fractured teeth.

And while routine care like cleaning and annual checkups are not included in the policy. As is the case with most insurers. They can be reimbursed by adding on a wellness plan at extra cost.

Another benefit of Embrace is its shrinking deductibles. They can be set between $100 and $1,000. Every year you don’t file a claim, you’ll receive a $50 reduction. If your pet is healthy, your deductible can be reduced down to zero.

Reimbursements can reach 90%. Annual benefits are capped at $15,000, and monthly premiums start at $13 for dogs and $9 for cats. All claims can be submitted online, via email, fax, or mobile app.

If you are a GEICO customer, you could bundle in Embrace pet coverage since GEICO sells Embrace Pet Insurance.


Petplan: Best for Early Coverage

A lot of conditions can be easily deemed as pre-existing, rendering them uninsurable by most pet insurance companies. You can avoid this by buying a pet insurance plan as early as possible.

Petplan insures pets beginning at six weeks old for puppies and kittens. When you buy a policy this early, you won’t have to worry much at all about preexisting condition exclusions.

“You need to make sure you don’t have limitations in your coverage. Because puppies get sick and what if it’s not covered because the insurance hasn’t been in effect for long enough?”

Dr. Boaz Man, medical director at Boca Raton Midtowne Animal Hospital in Florida

Monthly premiums start at $19 for both dog insurance and cat insurance. Annual benefit caps can be set anywhere between $2,500 to unlimited, while deductibles can range from $100 to $1,000.

Reimbursements can reach 90 percent and any claims may be submitted online, via fax, snail mail, email, or mobile app.

Petplan also covers some hereditary and congenital conditions as long as symptoms weren’t present before you bought coverage.


Trupanion: One Simple Policy

Trupanion stands out from the field by offering just one policy. Both dogs and cats, regardless of the animal’s breed, age, or gender.

There are no set limits for any benefits. Whether per-incident, monthly, or lifetime, and you could even set your deductible at $0. Monthly premiums start at $59 for dogs and $32 for cats.

Another big selling point for Trupanion. This company can cover hip dysplasia and other hereditary conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, and upper respiratory infections after the determined waiting periods are up.

Trupanion encourages pet owners to enroll their animals while they are young and healthy to make sure any future conditions are covered by the policy. Other coverages such as physical therapy and acupuncture can be added to your policy at an extra cost.

If your veterinarian uses Trupanion’s direct payment software, you won’t have to file a claim for your reimbursement. The company will pay the vet. Your only out of pocket expense will be a deductible if it applies to you.


Nationwide: Coverage for Exotic Animals

study published in 2018 by the American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 14 percent of American homes have at least one specialty or exotic pet. Nationwide is the only pet insurance company of its size that offers coverage for exotic animals.

Nationwide can cover most birds as well as mice, lizards, goats, guinea pigs, turtles, snakes, ferrets, and many more.

The company offers two types of reimbursement models. The first is based on a percentage of the invoice (up to 90 percent) and has no limits. The second has a benefit schedule and reimbursements are capped at a set amount depending on the condition.

Annual deductibles can be either $100 or $250, while all claims can be filed via snail mail, fax, or email.

Some species of exotic animals are not eligible to be insured by Nationwide. Those that fall under venomous or endangered categories, and any animal not listed on their website.

Nationwide’s monthly premiums for more traditional pets start at $34 for dogs and $18 for cats.


ASPCA: Good option for Multiple Pets

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers a pet insurance policy underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company.

This policy stands out because of its 10 percent discount for multiple pets. One policy can cover all your pets. There’s no network — you could visit any vet in the U.S. or Canada.

ASPCA’s Complete plan covers accidents and illnesses and even behavioral health issues. It does not cover routine wellness visits. You could add a wellness plan for an extra fee if you wanted.

The 10 percent discount for multiple pets applies to each additional pet you add to the policy. The most expensive pet to insure will not receive the discount but all your other pets can.

You could get up to 90 percent reimbursement for covered costs deposited directly or paid via check. You can file claims online or by mail.


PetFirst: For Pet Owners Who Want Preventative Care Coverage 

A lot of pet insurance plans cover accidents and illnesses but skip preventative care reimbursements. This is OK for many pet parents. After all, you can plan in advance for the wellness care bill.

But some households do want help paying for preventive medicine for their pets. Partly because a wellness plan helps them remember to schedule these easy-to-put-off visits.

PetFirst Pet Insurance excels with routine care coverage because it defines preventive care so broadly. You could buy a plan to cover your pet’s vaccines, dental care, parasite prevention, spaying and neutering, and even behavioral training.

PetFirst is owned by MetLife, a leading dental, health, and auto insurer. PetFirst offers three plans, each with a $250 deductible and 80 percent rate of reimbursement for covered expenses. Each plan sets a different annual cap on expenses per year.

Compared to many companies, PetFirst offers a simple approach to coverage.


TrustedPals: Best for Flexible Deductibles and Co-pays 

A relative newcomer to the pet insurance market, TrustedPals provides the standard coverage for dogs and cats. Plus a little something extra, all at a reasonable cost and with flexible payment options. Coverage begins for pets aged 8 weeks and older, with no maximum age limit.

TrustedPals will cover expenses for vet visits, surgeries, hospital stays, and lab work as well as prescription medications. There are no restrictions on chronic or hereditary illnesses. Your policy covers alternative treatments such as acupuncture and hydrotherapy, as long as it is prescribed by your vet.

Most pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions. The same is true of TrustedPals if your pet is still suffering from the illness. However, if your pet is fully cured at the time you take out your policy, TrustedPals will cover that condition if it recurs.

You’ll get the same coverage regardless of the premium paid, as the cost of insurance isn’t tied to benefits. Instead, your premiums will be determined by what type of pet you have (cat or dog), the age of your pet, your location, and how you customize your plan. 

Once you apply for a quote, TrustedPals will present you with 4 different premium options to choose from. These include annual benefit limits ranging between $4,000 to $15,000, as well as an unlimited benefit option. You can then customize your policy by selecting your deductible (from $0 to $750 per year) and the amount of your reimbursement percentage (from 70% to 100%).

TrustedPals also offers a wellness plan as an add-on that will cover yearly vet exams, vaccination, prescribed nutritional supplements and pet food, preventive dental cleaning, and spaying or neutering.


Pets Best: Coverage Options for Older Animals

Most pet insurance plans won’t write a new policy for an older pet. Age 12 is a common cut-off age for dogs and cats.

Pets Best does not have a maximum age limit so you could still get coverage on your aging pet. But, like all insurers, Pets Best won’t cover preexisting conditions.

So, if you have a healthy pet who’s getting on up there but has been healthy so far, Pets Best could be an option. Most plans cover accidents and illnesses only, but you could add-on wellness coverage.

You could buy a plan with up to 90 percent reimbursement. If you’re on a budget and want more marginal protection, consider Pets Best’s 70-percent reimbursement rate which could cost only $9 a month.


FIGO: Has a 100% Reimbursement Option

FIGO has been around less than 10 years but has been growing in market share for two reasons: easy online access and robust coverage.

We’ll start with the coverage which could reach 100 percent reimbursement of covered procedures. Naturally, this level of coverage would require a higher premium.

But all policyholders can use FIGO’s nice app and 24/7 customer service. You can chat online with a customer service representative and set your app to remind you about your pet’s veterinary appointments.

FIGO also makes shopping simple. All its plans cover the same expenses — hospitalizations, emergency care, diagnostic testing, hereditary and congenital conditions, cancer treatments, and chronic conditions.

FIGO’s three plans vary only with the maximum payment allowed per year. The most expensive plan does not cap expenses.


Important Facts About Pet Insurance Plans

As you shop for pet insurance, consider these basic facts about pet insurance plans.

Reimbursements:

Unlike medical insurance for humans which pays your medical provider on your behalf, pet insurance does not pay your vet directly. Instead, you’d pay for all vet visits and charges and then file for a reimbursement. The best plans normally reimburse 90 percent of a covered expense. You could consider the remaining unpaid percentage your copay.

Preexisting Conditions:

Also unlike human health care plans, pet insurance companies will not reimburse you for conditions your dog, cat, or other pet already had before you bought the pet insurance policy.

Payout Caps:

Most plans stop reimbursing after you’ve reached your policy’s maximum coverage amount. Most policies have an annual expense cap but some have caps per incident (illness or injury) or even for the animal’s lifetime. Expect to pay higher premiums for higher caps.

Deductibles:

With many plans you set the deductible, which is the money you must pay before your insurance policy kicks in. Watch out for per-incident deductibles. Per-year deductibles provide a better value.

Waiting Periods:

Your insurance coverage won’t pay until you’ve completed a waiting period. Most companies require at least 14 days before reimbursing you for a vet visit your pet needs for an illness. The waiting period for an accident could be much shorter — 48 hours for example. The waiting period for an orthopedic problem or other chronic condition could be as high as six months.

Exclusions:

Pet insurance policies usually exclude specific conditions in the policy’s language. Be sure to read your policy before buying it so you’ll know how your pet insurance works.

Networks:

Not all pet insurers reimburse for services provided by all vets. Some pay only if you stay within a network of providers. The best pet insurance policies let you choose your own provider.

Preventative Care:

You’ll get the best value from an accident or illness coverage plan but you could add-on coverage for preventative care. Policies that cover routine care and accident or illness care are called comprehensive coverage.

Pet Age: 

After your dog or cat reaches age 12, your choices for new coverage will diminish significantly. To have the most choices, buy a policy before your pet reaches an advanced age.

Avoid the Toughest Choice with the Best Pet Insurance

Pet insurance helps pay for your pet’s medical care with many policies covering up to 90 percent of your vet bill. That’s assuming your pet’s procedure wasn’t excluded from coverage or didn’t surpass your annual expense cap.

Most importantly, pet insurance could prevent you from having to make a terrible choice. Deciding between spending thousands of dollars you can’t afford for an operation or having to euthanize your pet because you can’t afford the procedure.

“There’s nothing worse. That’s not what we went to school for. We went to school to save animals, not to be the local euthanasia shop.”

Dr. Wayne North, a veterinarian who’s been practicing for nearly 50 years

Pet insurance can help even when your situation is less dramatic. Some diagnostic tests can be very expensive but are necessary to diagnose and treat a pet. Getting reimbursed could make these tests possible for your budget.

“You cannot provide appropriate care by guessing what is needed. How can a doctor practice medicine without knowing what’s going on? If a pet does not have health insurance, then it makes it much more difficult to treat them appropriately because it’s like a doctor with handcuffs.”

Dr. Man

Most leading pet insurance companies give pet owners comprehensive coverage at an affordable monthly premium. The differences lie in the details and fine print.

Shop around, do the research, and then make a well-informed decision about the insurance that is best suited to care for your pet and your pocket.

How We Found The Best Pet Insurance Companies

In order to properly assess pet health insurance companies, we researched policy aspects that make these providers stand out. We spoke to veterinary doctors who have spent time in the field to get a better understanding of how insurance affects the well-bei