Category Archives: dog blogger

Guest Blog: 5 Reasons You Need Your Pet More

Pet parents know that having a pet brings an incredible amount of happiness into their life. But caring for your doggo can also have an invaluable impact on your health and well-being. While properly caring for your pet is a big responsibility, you will also enjoy improvements in your physical health, emotional health, and even your social life! It may make you feel like you need your pet more than they need you!

Good for Your Heart and Overall Health

According to a study by Sweden’s Uppsala University, adopting a dog can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in people who live alone. Owning a pet has even shown to increase life expectancy. Whether you’re taking your pup on a daily walk around the block, taking him on a hike or to the dog beach, you are also taking care of your heart and increasing your physical activity. And hey, pets are great for your “emotional heart” as well!

Reduces Stress

Stress can have significant effects on your mental health and sense of well-being. It can make everything seem much more dire than it really is and leave you at an increased risk for things like depression and anxiety. Stress is often hard to get rid of, but it turns out that pets can help! According to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, a study showed that owning a pet can actually help diminish symptoms of stress on a long-term basis.

Better Sleep

Sleep is important to both physical and mental health, and it can be particularly difficult to achieve quality sleep when you’re not in the right headspace. Did you know that sleeping with your pet could help? Many people find that they feel more comforted and secure with their pet in the room than they do without them. If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, consider sharing some space with your pet to see if it helps. While it doesn’t prove effective for everyone, especially if you have a rambunctious pup, you may be surprised at how much your pet’s presence can help.

 

Improved Social Life

Looking to jump-start your social life? Get a dog. Walking your dog can help you connect with neighbors and meet new people. Many conversations – and friendships – begin at the dog park. While this, at first glance, may not seem crucial to your health, it is believed that people with more social connections often live longer. You can actually help reinforce your physical health as well as your social circle simply by taking good care of your furry friend and meeting people along the way.

 

Unconditional Love

A price cannot be put on the unconditional love your pet gives you. We all have to cope with stress and the unexpected twists and turns of life. However, the one thing you can always rely on is the love of a pet. Your dog will always be there waiting for you at the front door with an open heart and a wagging tail. That’s a great way to end the day.

Our pets need us to help take care of their physical health, but it turns out that they might give us more than we could ever hope to give them. Having a pet is great for your mental and physical health!

 

Sources: The Benefits of Sleeping With Your Pet and aha Journals.

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Stephanie James is a dog-walker by day and freelance writer by night, who covers a variety of topics, including holistic health for both pets and owners. To read more work by Stephanie, connect with her on Twitter @sjaywrites13.


 

Guest Blog: Is Your Puppy Too Excited Around Other Dogs?

Dogs are naturally social creatures that enjoy attention. As a matter of fact, nothing more can make them go gaga than chancing upon their own kind, regardless of breed. That should not come as a total surprise because dogs came from a long line of ancestors who had thrived living in packs.

Photo by Eva Blue on Unsplash

 

Why You Need to Teach Your Puppy to be Calm

Unfortunately, some puppies and even adult dogs find it hard to contain their excitement and go completely overboard when around other canines. A dog may bark, whine or lunge at other dogs when they are giddy. These actions may come from a friendly standpoint, but the other dog might perceive it as a threat, especially if their personal space is being violated.

If your puppy or adult dog acts this way, he might be in danger of being attacked by another dog. Also, if this hyperactive behavior is ignored, it may progress into aggressiveness. This tendency is more evident in dogs that show signs of fear and anxiety. But, addressing the issue should be done in the right manner. Yelling will not help and will only impose a sense of negativity to the dogs involved. Also, if you pull your leashed dog close to you when he is about to interact with another dog, this can create unwanted tension. If you reprimand your dog for acting this way, it will lead him to think negatively about associating with other dogs, fueling unwanted and negative behaviors.

 

Is Your Dog Excited or Stressed?

Did you know that dogs often look the same way when they are excited or stressed? This can be a shocker for most pet parents to realize what they once viewed as a happy behavior is actually a cry for help.

It is not bad for dogs to get excited, but there are key differences between:

  • Stressed and anxious energy; and
  • Happy and enthusiastic canine energy.

A dog’s energy depends on their mental state at the time. As owners, we often observe their physical behavior without understanding the true energy behind it. Dogs are “cute” when they are over-excited or over-stimulated, but this attitude is not ideal for your dog. Also, when we match this type of excited energy from our dogs, they respond with more excitement, heightening their already intensified feelings which can lead to unwanted behavior.

To identify whether your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety or excitement, take note of how he behaves when he is in a relaxed state. You can see how comfortable a dog is based on his posture and behavior. It can also be characterized by a soft gaze with squinted or rounded eyes and ears slightly erect and placed forward (does not apply to dogs with floppy ears). When you talk to him, he acknowledges you by moving his ear backward and relaxing his mouth.

Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

 

Other Reasons Your K9 is Overactive Around Other Dogs

  • Aside from anxiety, your dog might be displaying fear. So when he acts in a reactive manner, other dogs and their owners may walk away in avoidance or fear, which is your dog’s intention if he is fearful.
  • Another reason is frustration. Many dogs feel restrained due to the leash wrapped around their neck that holds them back whenever they are excited to see other dogs. You also see this type of dog behavior with closed fences and gates.

Defining Your Role as a Canine Parent

Your dog might be too overeager upon seeing other dogs. Acknowledging your dog’s need to be with other dogs is essential. But, he has to learn to approach potential friends – and even old friends – with confidence and calmness. To protect your furbaby and ensure that he is capable of handling different social situations, you need to identify the root cause of this excitement. As mentioned earlier, some dogs act all gung-ho when seeing other dogs to mask their anxiousness or fear. If this is the case with your dog, you will need to address potential issues with anxiety, fear or frustration when training your dog to be calm.

Prevention is better than cure, many would say. The easiest method to prevent your dog from acting out when they see another dog is to go the other way. But do not wait until your dog gets all riled up.  Properly socializing your dog as soon as possible will also help avoid unwanted, unsocial and overexcited behaviors.

The following methods below can help your dog learn:

  1. To channel their extra energy into something positive; and
  2. Help them learn how to stay calm and collected when hanging out with his peers.

 

Two Ways to Calm Your Puppy Down

During training, use a well-fitted harness to protect your puppy’s neck if he lunges forward upon seeing another dog. You might also want to ask a friend to help out and lend you his or her emotionally-stable and mature dog that will not overreact to your puppy’s over-eagerness or unbridled playfulness. Always reward your puppy’s good behavior with his favorite treat!

Method #1: Calm to Me

  • Enlist the help of a friend with a calm dog. Meet them in a park or have them join you and your leashed puppy for a walk. Keep all training short and fun
  • Once you see your friend and their dog, ask them to stop at a distance where your dog is still comfortable and not becoming overexcited. Tell your dog to sit or stay.
  • Ask the other dog to slowly approach. As soon as you notice your dog starting to go into a frenzy (timing is very important), ask your friend and their dog to stop, turn around, and walk away.
  • Wait until your dog is calm once again and repeat the process. As long as your dog remains calm and remains in the sit and stay position, the other dog can continue to move toward him. But the moment he begins barking, lunging or getting aggressive, your friend and their dog should stop, turn around and walk away.
  • Repeat the process for a few days until your dog fully grasps the concept and use this process to introduce to him other dogs.

Method #2: Sit and Stay

  • Have your friend bring their calm dog over to your home. Before the dog and his owner come, place your dog on a leash.
  • Once the new dog enters your premises, command your dog to sit or stay. Tug the leash gently to the side if necessary to get your dog’s attention (but refrain from pulling back).
  • If your dog maintains a composed demeanor and obeys your orders, hand him a treat. Repeat several times with different dogs for several weeks until your dog automatically calms down without any command when seeing a dog.
  • Once your dog has learned how to act properly when there is another dog, have him socialize with all kinds of other dogs.

Photo by MaggieLovesOrbit On Insta on Unsplash

 

Dogs are naturally sociable and reprimanding or pulling them back when they get excited will not resolve the underlying issue. Use the tips and methods detailed above to train your dog to be more social and less reactive with anxiety, over-excitement or even fear. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for expert help! A dog trainer or behaviorist can help identify behavioral issues and design an effective plan of action to create a happy, confident and social dog!

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Brian Larsen is the Co-Founder and CEO of RejuvaPet, LLC — the creator of RestoraPet and RestoraPet Hemp. He spent nearly 10 years developing these products to rehabilitate and protect pets at the cellular level, for a vastly improved quality of life.

 


 

Is it Safe to Handle Your Pet’s Raw Food?

As the debate rages on about whether a raw diet* is good or not for our pets, below is an interesting study about the potential risk of humans getting sick or infected from handling their pet’s raw food. The study included over 16K pet households in 81 countries. The research is published in the BMJ journal Veterinary Record.

(*Raw food includes any meat, internal organs, bones and cartilage fed uncooked to pets.)

(Did you know that more than 60% of pet owners in the Netherlands feed raw?)

 


It’s safe to feed raw food to pets, finds new study.


 

Guest Blog: Shave Your Dog! Truth or Myth?

 

When a man decides not to shave his face – it’s usually for an admirable reason, like No-Shave November (designed to raise cancer awareness throughout the month). Sometimes it’s just an excuse to get out of shaving, but – more often than not – there’s a purpose behind that decision!

But, when a groomer decides not to shave a dog’s coat, it’s rarely “just because.” It’s in the dog’s best interest for multiple reasons.

 

A Dog’s Coat is Suited for Heat or Cold

Often, pet parents mistakenly assign human conditions to their pets. For example, thinking their Husky, Chow or Samoyed gets too hot and should be shaved. The truth is their coats serve as natural heating and cooling mechanisms.

 

“These breeds have a double-layered coat that protects the

from the snow and cold, and prevents sunburn in hot months,”

says Humberto Z., who has been a groomer since 2008.

 

Shaving double-coated dogs can also cause unwanted medical conditions, like alopecia, which prevents the coat from growing back properly. Sam, an experienced pet stylist, explains, “I try to educate pet parents who request a shave on a double-coated dog on why it is harmful to do so.”

 

Does Shaving Stop K9 Shedding?

People tend to also believe that shaving will stop shedding – fake news! Fur returns, and with it comes inevitable furballs rolling across the floor like tumbleweeds. “Double-coated dogs shed a lot during hotter months because they’re letting their undercoat out <blowing coat>,” further advises Humberto. “When you do a de-shedding brush out it’s fine because you’re taking only the undercoat out and leaving what is called the guard coat – a layer to prevent sunburn.”

Brittany Z, who has been grooming professionally since 2005, offers alternatives to shave requests. “I would first offer a really good bath with de-shedding shampoo, blow out and a de-shedding brush out with the best tool for that dog’s coat. Then to reduce shedding, I recommend a good brush out every 2 weeks and a bath every 4 weeks.”

 

Fur-Bearing vs Hair-Bearing Canines

Fur-bearing dogs have different needs than hair-bearing dogs; talk with your groomer about what’s best for your pup. Hair-bearing dogs like Poodles, Shih Tzus and Yorkies, need haircuts regularly and can typically be shaved if needed. But fur-bearing, double-coated dogs, such as Alaskan Malamutes, Labs and Golden Retrievers have fur that grows to a particular length and should NOT be shaved.*  You can find a complete list of breeds and coat types at www.akc.org.

Sometimes, when a dog has gone too long without proper grooming and develops tightly packed matted fur against their skin, a shave is necessary. These mats are painful – their skin is being pulled by the tightening fur, and skin diseases can develop if left untreated. Most of these shaves should be performed with the dog under sedation with vet supervision, followed by a skin/coat care regimen to protect the pup while their fur grows back, and a regular grooming schedule to prevent a reoccurrence.

With a bit of coat education, you can keep your pup’s coat and skin healthy, while the groomer makes them look grrrr-eat!

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Renee Ventrice is the VP of Marketing for Woofie’s LLC, proud mom of Beemer, a 13-year-old Parsons Russell Terrier and human mom to her 20-year-old son Gino.

Woofie’s was established in 2004 and is an award-winning pet care company offering pet sitting, dog walking and mobile pet spa services as well as franchising opportunities. Learn more about Woofie’s at www.woofies.com.

 


 

* Source: http://www.GroomersGallery.com

Photo Credits: Ellen Zangla Photography

RECALL: Texas Tripe Raw Pet Food

 

The USDA (US Food and Drug Administration) issues a recall alert on August 14th regarding 35 frozen lots of Texas Tripe Raw Pet Food (manufactured by Texas Tripe Inc).

The recall was issued after samples tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes. Testing was done by the Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC). Of the 23 samples tested,  16 were positive.

The recalled products were sold frozen in 20- and 40-pound cases containing multiple plastic pouches in 23 product varieties. NOTE: There are no unique identifications numbers on the individual chubs (plastic pouches) to identify them as the recalled products. Lot codes are only printed on the outside of the cases.

Here is the list of all the recalled products and lot numbers:

(Courtesy: The Dog Advisor)

The States Included in the Recall

The recalled products were sold directly to consumers (online and over the phone) in the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

 

ALSO … A Special Note

The products below were also tested and showed positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes but have NOT been recalled.

  • Texas Tripe Chicken Blend: Lot 19196-6
  • Texas Tripe Pork Blend: Lot 19190-09
  • Texas Tripe Beef Blend: Lot 19191-05

Pet treats and food contaminated with Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes pose a public health concern because they can affect both the health of animals and humans. Refrigeration or even freezing does not kill the bacteria.

 

What You Should Know About Salmonella

Salmonella poses a risk to animals ingesting the affected product (including dogs and cats) and humans. Pets infected with salmonella may display symptoms including:

  • Fever;
  • Lethargy and shock;
  • Diarrhea (which may last up to 3-4 weeks or longer);
  • Vomiting;
  • Weight Loss;
  • Dehydration; and
  • Mucus and/or blood in the stool.

People infected with salmonella can also have:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Fever; and
  • Abdominal cramps.

For some people, their diarrhea may be severe enough to require hospitalization.

 

What You Should Know About Listeria Monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes poses a risk to both animals ingesting the affected product and humans (if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after coming into contact with a contaminated product). Pets infected with listeria may display symptoms including:

  • Mild to severe diarrhea;
  • Anorexia;
  • Fever;
  • Nervous, muscular and respiratory system issues;
  • Abortion;
  • Depression; and
  • Shock and even death.

Infected animals can also serve as sources of infection to other household animals and humans.

 

What to do Next

Consumers should immediately stop feeding any of the recalled products and discard them in a secure container where stray animals or wildlife cannot access them.

Consumers should also:

  • Clean their refrigerator/freezers where the product was stored.
  • Thoroughly wash their hands after handling any recalled products.
  • Clean and disinfect any:
    • Utensils;
    • Bowls;
    • Surfaces including floors; and
    • Pet bedding and toys.

 

Sources: The Dog Food Advisor and the FDA.

 

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