Things that need to change when your dog gets older

We all know that having an elderly dog can be a challenge in its own right. No more dealing with the energy of youth, but a gentle shift to taking care of a dog with specific needs for their age.

Getting older is natural and it will happen to all dogs. Making sure that you are providing proper care and attention can make this part of the journey far less stressful for both you and your dog.

Below we will take a look at some key areas that can help with caring for your dog.

Dietary Requirements
These will change as your dog gets older. You can help with weight management and organ functions by switching to a dog food designed for elderly canines. Bella & Duke’s 100% natural senior dog food is a great choice – simply click here to browse their range.

These foods have fewer calories and contain a supplemental boost of nutrients that will aid your dog in remaining happy and healthy.

Vet Visits
Making an appearance at the vet’s might be the last thing your dog is excited about but this is a golden ticket to knowing that your little senior is in the best possible health. As an owner, it’s easy to miss symptoms and many complications can be avoided by simple treatments.

As dogs get into their later years their general ability to fight off disease and ailments becomes less effective – it’s important to provide extra care to help with this.

Prevention is always better than the cure!

Exercise
You must keep your dog active, and make a concerted effort to take them on regular walks and outdoor activities. Always take into account any physical limitations and other health concerns that might limit their ability.

Exercise will help with keeping their weight down and will promote general good health as well as keep your senior pup very happy.

Grooming
As your pup gets older, their once beautiful coat and skin can become dull and dry. Skin and coat ailments can lead to a very unhappy dog and can result in an unpleasant odour or loss of hair.

This is something that can be avoided by regular brushing as well as using a special shampoo designed to treat irritated and/or dry skin.

Interaction
It’s worth mentioning that your pup is always craving attention – no matter how old they get. Showing your pet that you are willing to give them your time is often priceless when it comes to their happiness.

Senior pups are more prone to anxiety, and can easily get scared or disorientated when put in a situation where they don’t have their owner.

Final Thoughts
Your pup getting older is something that cannot be avoided, and although their age might start taking a toll, they are still that lovable dog you first encountered. By providing your dog with the proper care they need, you can extend their life and keep their tail wagging.

Your dog will never stop being there for you – so make sure you are always there for them.

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Should You Be Feeding Your Dog Raw Dog Food

Processed food has resulted in a variety of health problems in humans, and apparently, the same goes for processed pet foods. As a result of a primarily processed pet diet, vets see chronic conditions in dogs and cats all the time, including allergies, obesity, diabetes, etc.
All of these diseases were much less common for pets in the past. This is because our furry companions need fresh, natural foods to revitalize their wellbeing and maintain good health.

Benefits of a raw diet for your dog

Improved Health and Wellbeing
If you’re looking to improve your pet’s overall health and wellbeing, switching to a raw diet is possibly the best change you can make. Here are a few health aspects a raw dog food diet can help with;

Better dental health
Fresher breath and cleaner teeth
Healthier and cleaner ears
Calmer attitude
High energy levels
Glowing fur coats
Shiny eyes

Sustainability
What’s good for our pets, and us, also tends to be beneficial to the environment. Processed foods don’t just negatively affect the well-being of us and our pets, but also play a role in escalating negative externalities.

By choosing to feed your dog raw food, you’ll help lower the ecological foot(or paw) print we leave on the Earth. The significance of the impact may not be groundbreaking, but it’s something—and the environment currently needs all the help it can get.

A raw diet happens to be more efficiently utilized by your dog’s body, which results in cleaner litter boxes, and smaller stools. As a bonus, it means lesser frequency in pet chores for you and reduced waste production for our landfills.

Why do pet owners commonly use kibble?
It’s economical and easy to get for your dog however more and more people are beginning to switch towards an organic and raw diet for their pets.

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Choosing Premium Dog Food

Pet domestication is one of the most critical aspects of society that we have developed over the years. Many people think it all stopped when these animals just followed our commands and requests throughout their lifespan. However, the way we treat them now will also influence future generations, as this type of evolution takes centuries. We never had dogs running around with us before; for example, the process of domestication aided us to have it.

When it comes to canine health, there are still many facets of it that people get confused about all the time. It seems that our familiarity with dogs has been confused with expertise, as with many others around us as you may read here: https://www.thesprucepets.com/biggest-dog-myths-1117469. Some have even stated that they already know what they are doing without consulting experts. It is usually the case for people who think they cannot afford to have their beloved animal to the vet.

Cheaper or Better?
Please do not get us wrong; veterinarian costs these days are getting more expensive. Many aspects factor into the increase. It is a trend that we cannot escape since the foundation of the free market. Everything else involved in the process is getting pricier, as the tools and medicines are used.

It is also not easy to deal with creatures that may not be able to understand us correctly. For this reason, there is some premium when it comes to this particular service.

On the other hand, it is also crucial to know what to do even without a doctor’s help. These people are not going to be there all the time so mastering some skills is the key. As we have mentioned before, choosing the best dog food for your furry pal is both an art and a science. Many things can go wrong or right with one’s choice for sustenance. Dogs live a different life than us, even if they stay with us most of the time.

Most people who are just starting to have a pet at home would have some misconceptions regarding their food choices. In some countries, they tend to feed their animals with the same things as their owners. The rule goes: whatever is on the table will be provided from the family to the dogs. However, many animal experts believe that it is harmful to the fur babies in the long run. Depending on the food type or group, it may even harm them in the end.

Premium pet food has been rising in demand due to these claims. These products are considered “premium” for various reasons, as Hungry Bark super-premium dog food may tell us. It may be because of the ingredients, processing, brand, health benefits, or a combination of them. It has been this way for a long time, even with other products like those meant for us humans. However, are all of them made in the same way, or are there still nuances between them?

It is essential to choose your dog’s right choice as their digestive tract is not the same as ours—dogs process food differently than we do since it is needed for their physical prowess. For one, it is crucial for their growth and development, in the long run, so you might want to start early. Below are some aspects that you want to read more about before deciding on anything.

The Aspects for Choice

Age
First, the canine’s age will be one of the primary considerations for food choice. It is something that most manufacturers of this particular product would tell their customers. Some options are meant for puppies as they need more nutrients to grow older. Once they mature to full adults, the diet also changes as well as their metabolism. As they reach old age, some food groups would be more helpful for them in the long run.

Size
Another aspect that you need to look into is their size, as it will dictate their diet. We all know that if you are more significant, you also tend to eat more. It is even more apparent with dogs since you can already see it happening without thinking too positively about it. If you have a German Shepherd or Malamute, expect some spikes in dietary needs as they grow bigger. On the other hand, you do not need to worry too much about the smaller ones like Chihuahuas, but they still eat a lot.

Reaction on Food
Meanwhile, this aspect readily depends on the dog and the way they have been brought up. It can also be their taste since these animals do have differing personalities. Some may prefer kibble, while others prefer dry options. Always take note of their eating habits as it will be pervasive even later on in life. You can try and let them get used to the ones you give, but it might take time to catch up and even fail at times.

Activity Level
Lastly, you need to take into consideration the amount of energy that they expend in a day. You do not have to use mathematics for this as observation will suffice. Most dogs tend to run around and play all day, especially while they are still puppies. As they grow, it will lessen to more focused activities depending on how you train them. Meanwhile, some dogs have more physically demanding responsibilities, so they need to eat more.

Ingredients Do Matter
Once you have already considered these aspects, it is time to look into the products themselves. As we have mentioned before, not all of them are created equal when compared to each other. Both wet and dry dog food does have advantages, but they are interchangeable most of the time. It will always come to personal preferences, but the ingredients are the ones that matter the most.

First off, you need to take a look at the contents. One of the indications of well-made pet food is the presence of natural ingredients. If you can find organic options, then it would be the better choice. However, most of them are relatively rare for now, even if there are sightings in typical grocery stores. Meanwhile, there are some specific ingredients that you need to find in their lists that you can check here.

Meat is an integral part of the natural canine diet. It gives them the nutrients they need to survive, like proteins and taurine. However, several pieces of research suggest it might be possible for them to go full vegan. There are already products that claim it on their packaging, and they are trying to go to the mainstream. If you are looking for the standard options, though, it would be best to look for a meat source in the ingredients.

The name of the content should be clear enough for anyone to understand. For example, if there is meat in the product, it should be appropriately labeled. If it says something generic like animal parts, then you might want to ask more questions about it.

What kind of animal are they using for this product? What are the elements that they have mixed in their contents? Some products tend to combine many other animal products in their pet food, but they should be named like beef heart, chicken liver, and others.

Additionally, it would be best if you looked into the carbs in the prepared food source. It is usually mixed in because dogs are omnivores, and they can live off plants, too. The same rule applies to meat; it should be labeled clearly by the manufacturer. The ingredient list should say what kind of carbohydrates they are putting in, like wheat and barley. Some low-quality products tend to use vague terms like coarse meal, and you might want to avoid it.

Most of these dog food products are supposed to be safe for consumption, as long as they have passed the US FDA regulations. It means that it does not have anything that is supposed to be dangerous to the canine species like chocolate, onions, and caffeine. However, it still pays to read the list and search for the terms that might not be clear for you. In this way, you can make sure of their health and well-being.

Make Your Own
On the other hand, you can try and make food for your beloved canine. It is something that most people do these days since the world has been plunged into pandemic mode. Going to the market or grocery feels more of a chore since you have to do a lot of preparation before going out. You need to have a mask on and use alcohol as much as possible. Social distancing has also led to lesser people in these areas, so you might end up lining for a long time.

In this instance, it is essential to know that any food you are going to offer your dog should be cooked. It includes the meat, as modern domesticated animals tend to have a weaker digestive system than their wilder counterparts. A wolf can eat raw meat because they need it to survive but feeding one to a domesticated dog can lead to digestive issues. Also, we have mentioned that there are inherently dangerous food items, so watch out for them.

Being a dog owner might not be as simple as it seems, but there are so many reasons why it is a popular way of life. For one, having another animal with you is already proven to be therapeutic, given the circumstances. Dogs were inherently bred to be human’s constant companions, and we cannot see it changing anytime soon. For this reason, you need to feed them properly so that they can perform well even in the direst of situations.

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Human Foods You Should Not Feed Dogs

We all want the best for our dogs. We give them a lot of love, take them for plenty of walks and pick them up the best gear from retailers like furry friends gear. However, you shouldn’t always give your pets exactly what they want. This is especially true when it comes to food.

It is not common for a dog to beg at the table for a taste of your food. While many people will succumb to the cuteness and/or whining, you need to be careful. Some human food is fine for dogs to eat, but others can be incredibly problematic.

In an effort to keep your dog healthy, this article is going to go over some human foods that you need to be sure that you never feed to dogs.

Caffeine
While millions of people all over the world consume caffeine daily for its many benefits, don’t let your dog have any. This goes for coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks or anything else that could contain caffeine. The reason your dog should avoid caffeine is that they contain some substances that are known as methylxanthines which are found in cacao seeds.

When this substance is ingested by your dog, it can lead to vomiting, excessive thirst, and an abnormal heart rhythm. They can also lead to extreme hyperactivity, seizures and even death in some serious cases. So be sure to keep all of your chocolate well out of the reach of your furry friend. While all chocolate is bad, the darker that chocolate is, the more dangerous it is.

Gum and Candy
While gum and candy can be a tasty treat once in a while, they are other food items you should never give to your dog. This is because many of them contain Xylitol, a sweetener. This substance is fine for humans, but the same can’t be said for dogs. This is because it can trigger insulin release, which can dramatically lower the blood sugar of your dog.

Unfortunately, this has the potential to lead to liver failure. Some signs that your dog may have ingested Xylitol or another toxic ingredient include vomiting, a loss of coordination and generally being inactive or slow. Xylitol is also found in many other products including toothpaste, some baked goods and even some vitamin supplements.

Onions and Garlic
While a staple in many of the dishes we prepare, onions and garlic should never be fed to your pet. Not only can they lead to irritation, but they can also kill the red blood cells of the body. If the dosage is high enough, this could lead to anemia. This goes for if they are raw, cooked, dehydrated or even powdered. All parts of the onion have the potential to be toxic, as well.

The cause of this is a toxin called N-propyl disulfide. This prevents red blood cells from being able to carry oxygen, which eventually leads to them being destroyed. If your dog is vomiting, exhibiting signs of weakness or having trouble breathing and having a reddish tint in urine, could be signs of toxicity due to onions.

We hope this article has been able to help you learn some of the foods that you should avoid feeding to your dogs. Of course, these are far from the only foods that could potentially harm your pets, so be sure to be careful when feeding them any human food.

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What To Get Your Dog For Christmas This Year?

When the holiday season comes around, it only makes sense to want to treat the ones we love. While we usually think about doting on our friends and family, it’s also important to remember the furry friends we love so much.

Our dogs are the best companions all year long, so why not treat them during Christmas? This year, give your doggie one of these dog-friendly gift ideas.

Personalized Dog Bowl
For the dog who already has everything, a personalized dog bowl makes a great gift not only for Fido but also for dog owners. A personalized ceramic bowl is sturdy enough to last years, and it also ensures your dog has a little part of the house that’s just for them.

Whether you personalize your dog’s bowl with their name, a favourite symbol, or a colour that matches your home design, they’re sure to look forward to using it. You can make a bowl yourself or purchase one online.

Speciality Dog Cookies
If your dog is like most other furry friends, he loves getting special treats. While your usual picks from the pet store are nice for every day, your pooch deserves something extra special for the holidays.

This Christmas cookie box is just what every good boy deserves! Whether you’re hoping to start a new training plan or just gift your dog something they’re sure to go wild over, these dog cookies are the best choice.

Pet Bandana
Another festive idea is to gift your dog some fun accessories. While it’s true this is a gift the owner will likely appreciate more than the dog, it’s still all in good fun.

Pet bandanas come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, and they’re the best way to get Fido in the holiday spirit. Make sure you choose the right size for your dog and their breed, and they’re ready to celebrate the holidays in style. Better yet, bring these bandanas with you on your holiday trip to make sure they’re easy to spot.

Dog Puzzle Game
Last but not least, challenge your dog to a game they’re not soon to forget. If your poochy always grows bored of existing toys, a challenge puzzle will put their brains (and noses!) to the test.

These dog-friendly puzzles encourage pets to use their sense of smell to find their favorite treats. Not only will your pet love being rewarded for their cleverness, but this will keep them entertained for hours!

Treat Your Dog This Holiday Season
No matter what type of dog you have, make sure he feels special this holiday season. From keeping your dog occupied during holiday feasts to including them in family fun, these gift ideas above are perfect for every situation.

Your dog is sure to love you even more with these gifts under the tree! Let the holiday festivities begin for everyone, furry friends and all. Dogs deserve a bit of holiday fun as well, and this fun comes in all shapes and sizes.

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Dog Walking Tips During Coronavirus Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has an unmeasurable effect on all our lives. All aspects of our daily routines and plans for the future needed to change somehow, to adapt to this new situation with all the restrictions, threats, and limitations. Being a dog parent has also changed, and for many reasons, it became harder, especially for those who don’t own a garden or even the smallest backyard. You can still provide your furry best friend with their favourite Canidae canned dog food, love them and caress them, but all dogs need their daily walks, and not only because of their physiological needs. With the abundance of information and constant changes, it may be challenging to know what you can and can’t do, what you should and shouldn’t do, so in this article, you will find all the helpful and useful tips on walking your dog during the COVID-19 lockdown.

You can walk your dog on a regular basis
If you don’t show any symptoms of the infection, you feel well, and you haven’t received a letter from the government ordering you to stay home, you can leave your house to exercise, which includes walking your dog. However, you need to remain cautious. It’s better to keep your dog on a lead, especially in the areas with more people around, to avoid situations where they may approach strangers, and you will be forced to do the same. You have to stay 2 metres apart from all people and ask them not to pet your dog.

You can walk your dog wherever and whenever you want, so don’t hesitate to use this opportunity
There aren’t any limitations as to where you can walk your dog, or how often you can do it; it is advised that a person do it once a day, so if your household includes more people, it’s best to do it in turns.

As long as you keep your distance from other people, you can spend hours exploring sites with your Fido, which we strongly recommend. It’s a challenging situation for your dog as well as for you, especially that animals don’t understand the world as profoundly as we do. You may not realize that your dog is more tense or upset, but they can feel what you’re feeling, and they certainly notice changes in your routine.

You may consider longer walks with your furry friend. If you have a possibility to explore new routes, you should allow your dog to discover new smells and sights. There aren’t any limitations in the UK when it comes to travelling to open spaces, so if you have a car, you can drive your dog to a nice place. However, take into consideration that spring (with almost summer weather) is here, so there will probably be more people everywhere; keep your distance. Plus, as the temperature gets higher, remember to keep your dog hydrated at all times.

Make it fun
As dogs don’t understand changes, they can easily get frustrated by the whole situation. That’s why it’s crucial to discover new routes, offer something fresh to your Fido, and try to make it all more fun. Don’t merely go for a walk, but use toys, carry treats, play with your dog to make sure your furry friend stays entertained and happy.

What if your dog isn’t used to walking on a lead?
You can let your dog run freely only if you’re absolutely sure there aren’t any people in the area, so probably only in your own garden. In other cases, it’s best to keep your dog on a lead. If you’re both not accustomed to this, it is the best time to change it. Introduce the habit of wearing a loose lead by using positive rewards, e.g. treats.

Don’t pet other dogs
While experts say that humans can’t contract the coronavirus from dogs, it is not advisable to pet other people’s pets. It may not be possible for them to contract and spread the disease as humans do, but they can temporarily carry germs, just like your phone and other items. So you probably should keep yourself away from other dogs and ask people not to touch yours.

Can someone accompany you while you’re walking your dog?
As of today, if you live in the same household, you can walk your dog together. If you want to walk your dog with a person you don’t live with, you can do it as long as there’s only two of you, and you stay 2 metres apart at all times.

What if you’re unwell?
If you’re feeling unwell, even if it’s not the coronavirus, you should arrange for someone to take care of your dog while staying 2 metres apart, of course. It’s essential that your dog stays in their routine and does their daily exercise. It’s also possible to walk your dog once a day if you’re self-isolating, but then, you need to avoid the more popular dog walking sites, and keep your dog on a lead at all times. In this case, it’s even more important to keep your dog happy by organizing their time indoors.

Protect yourself and a person who walks your dog
If you’re unwell or busy and arrange for someone else to walk your dog, make sure you do everything possible to keep everyone safe. It may be a good idea to prepare a whole separate set of walking essentials for the other person to keep, e.g., another lead, separate toys, different pack of poo bags. Make sure you wash your hands after dealing with your dog walker, while also maintaining the required 2 metres distance. It all also applies if you are the dog walker for another person, of course.

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Top 10 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

Having a pet is one of the most wonderful things in the world. That wagging tail when you come back to your home and enters the door, not only makes you feel good but also takes the anxiety and stress of your whole day away. For many pet owners, pets become their furry family members. They share almost everything with their canine pal, from their hearts and houses to their beds.

But is it okay to share your food with your pup? According to the new University of Guelph research, around 35% of pet owners, especially those who are vegan, love to have a vegan dog; they are interested in feeding their pets a plant-based diet. Unfortunately, they don’t know that dogs have a different digestive system than humans. The food items that are safe for humans can wreak havoc on your pooch’s body. However, it doesn’t mean that a dog can’t eat human food.

In fact, there are many human food items that are safe and healthy for your pup and can be added to his/her meals to add a bit of variety to the food bowl. However, make sure the addition of human food items should not be in excess. Check out this article to know which human food items are safe to feed your pup if you want to give your four-legged friend a treat from your table.

Eggs

Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein, riboflavin, and selenium. Eggs are safe for dogs as long as they are fully cooked. There is evidence that eggs help in relieving nausea and upset stomach in dogs. However, before you feed eggs to your dog, make sure it is fully cooked as eating raw eggs can cause biotin deficiency in dogs, which is harmful to their skin and coat.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, protein, Selenium, iron, and several vitamins, including Vitamin-D, C, and B. Dogs can eat mushrooms, but only a certain variant of mushrooms like plain mushrooms (usually available on local stores). Eating mushrooms help your pet with better immunity and overall well-being.

Dairy products

Dairy products: Though many dogs have a low level of lactase, some dogs can consume dairy products, including milk, cheese, and plain yogurt, in moderate quantity. Dairy items may affect their gastrointestinal system and cause diarrhea or vomiting. If you want to feed cheese or yogurt to your dog, it is best to introduce its small amount in your dog’s regular diet gradually.

Pumpkins

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a major source of fiber and beta carotene. Canned pumpkin or freshly cooked pumpkin without spices and sugar is an ideal choice for dogs, especially when they are troubling executing successful bowel movements. Adding a tablespoon full of pureed pumpkin to a dog’s regular food helps in relieving both diarrhea and constipation.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a whole grain and safe for dogs to eat. Being a great source of fiber, it is the best alternative for the dogs that are allergic to wheat and have trouble in maintaining bowel regularity. Since flavored oatmeal has ingredients that are not good for your dog’s health, make sure you feed plain oatmeal in moderation to prevent obesity.

Vegetables

Vegetables: Vegetables give your pup vitamins, fiber, and canine crunch. Hence, it is okay to serve raw veggies such as cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, corn, and celery. You can also serve them green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, but make sure you steam them completely to prevent any digestive issues. Skip avocado; it can upset your dog’s stomach.

White Rice: Dogs can eat plain and cooked brown or white rice. It helps in relieving an upset stomach and binds stool because rice can be easily digested. Serving plain white rice with some boiled chicken can make your pup feel better, especially if he/she has any issue related to digestion or stomach. However, white rice can enhance the blood sugar level. So, diabetic dogs should avoid it.

Apples: Apples give your pooch an appropriate amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help in boosting your dog’s immunity. Also, apples are high in fiber, which is beneficial for their digestive system. However, make sure you remove the apple seeds before giving it to your pup. The reason behind it is that they contain cyanide, which can be poisonous for your dog.

Carrots: Carrots are low in calories and a major source of Vitamin A and fiber. They are beneficial for a dog’s immune system, skin, and coat. Not only chewing on carrots helps them to remove plaque from their teeth but also beneficial for their dental health. Hence, dogs can eat both raw and cooked carrots. However, make sure you feed carrots in moderation as a large amount of Vitamin A can be toxic.

Dog with fish

Fish: Like humans, dogs can produce half of the amino acid on their own. There are some amino acids that are essential for your dog, but they can only be obtained from a proper diet. Fish contains good fats and amino acids and safe for a dog to eat. It keeps the immune system strong. Apart from this, fish like salmon and tuna are one of the major sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which is beneficial for a dog’s skin and coat. However, before you feed fish to your dog, make sure it is cooked well.

Final words
While these are the food items that you can give to your dog, there are many more, such as peanut butter, popcorn, pork, blueberries, bananas, watermelon, etc. However, you should generally feed human food item in moderate quantity to your dog. Otherwise, you will dog end up while having some serious health issues. Since some human foods that can kill your dog, it is always recommended to consult a vet before giving human food to a dog, especially if he/she is suffering from health issues like diabetes, weight issues, liver or kidney disease, food allergies, etc.
We hope that this article has helped you to know about everything you can feed to your dog. If you have any queries, feel free to ask; we are always here to help you. Do share your comments and thoughts with us.

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5 Tips To Train Your Dog With Treats

When you bring home a new dog, one of the first things to do is to train it. For me and my family, it was necessary for our new pet to understand simple instructions. It is common knowledge that the secret to training your dog is to use treats because food is such a huge motivator for them.

In our experience, it was really effective when we were doing obedience training. Getting them to perform a task might seem easy for us humans, but dogs do not just understand the way people do. They need something very basic and primal, like food, to learn a task.
 
Training your dog depends on various factors, like the age of the dog and its temperament. For us, using treats to train our new dog was possible, especially if you follow these simple tips.  

  1. Use Small Treats
     
    While using some treats is good because our dog got fed at the same time, but it was important for us not to overdo it. Some dog breeds are prone to obesity and giving too many treats can be dangerous for its health.
     
    Another trick that worked for us was to use different kinds of treats to mix it up and keep it exciting for our pet. Choosing healthy ones was also important for our dog’s diet.
     
  2. Reward Your Dog When It Is Calm And Submissive
     
    The idea of rewarding with treats is to encourage the right behavior, which is why we had to be careful when we give the dog the treats. If you give your pooch a little treat while it is hyperactive or doing something destructive, then you are teaching your pet to act this way. We simply had to wait until the dog is calm and submissive before giving treats.
     
  3. Do Not Use Treats To Bribe The Dog
     
    While using treats is a great way for your pet to learn new tricks, you should definitely avoid using it for the wrong purpose. We did not want our pet to mistake the treat for a bribe. If you notice your dog waiting expectantly for the treat, then this is a bad sign. Ideally, you teach it to follow a command using a treat, but you should rely on this less and less. Our secret is to use reinforcement and praise to make it follow our commands.
     
  4. Reward Each Step
     
    Most tasks actually involve a few steps, like throwing a stick and having the dog get it and bring it back. One huge mistake we made is to only reward after it has done the entire task, which can be quite frustrating for everyone. Instead, we changed our technique, breaking down the task into smaller ones and get the dog to perform them first.
     
    To do this, whenever your pet does each step correctly, remember to give it a treat. Once all the steps have been done correctly, then you can teach it to do them all together. Even if your pet is not able to do everything perfectly, any progress in the right direction should still be rewarded. In our experience, this kept our dog motivated the entire time.
     
  5. Learn “fade the lure”
     
    Fade the lure is an important technique to avoid the treat turning into a bribe. Simply put, you will use the treat the first few times to make it do the task you want it to do and then once it has mastered it, do the same gesture but with an empty hand. Our trick was to replace the treat with verbal encouragement. At times, we still continued to randomly use the treat, but eventually we reduced it until we stopped giving treats completely.
     
    Even without training or experience, teaching our dog new tricks was not complicated, because we used the right techniques. Giving it treats is one of the most successful ways to do it, and it was great for making sure our new dog was obeying our commands and settling in the family well.

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The perfect solution to all your dog friendly needs

Head on the keyboard, I’ve had enough.  I’m tired of looking for the perfect solution to my needs.  I grab my coffee and head over to the back door where I stick my head out for some fresh air, oh I wish I could have a holiday somewhere quiet away from it all.  I know that’s not possible because of Lula my mix breed dog, she’s an absolute nightmare on the lead, in the house, in the car, you name it I hide from it!  So here I am stuck at home with my barking, lead pulling (that’s why we don’t get out much) dog.  I do love her and want to have a special bond with her but I can’t find what I’m looking for, I don’t even know what I’m looking for.

I pick up a tennis ball and throw it into the garden, Lula loves to play a game of fetch, it brings her alive and she brings it back and runs to fetch it, this could go on for hours how come it doesn’t make her tired?  I bring her in and try to wipe her paws, yes you guessed it she doesn’t like that either and we end up in a wrestling match with me flat on my face in the middle of the kitchen floor.

That’s it, I’ve had enough! I slam the back door and head out of the kitchen back to the computer.  I know what I’m looking for!  Dog Trainer in King’s Lynn is added to the web browser.  Dog Trainers, Behaviourists and Clubs/King’s Lynn/Norfolk wow that’s the one! I click and get a bright dog friendly page full of dog trainers in King’s Lynn.  I look though a few of the premium pages and it catches my eye Game Based Trainer.  Lula it is meant to be young lady, today is day one of our new journey.

The website was bright, light and full of fun, showing how games created learning through choice – I was hooked and clicked on the Make an Enquiry button on The Good Dog Website.  Excited I jumped up and made another coffee returning quickly to The Good Dog Guide website and where it said click to choose a category I chose Self Catering and in lovely Norfolk.  I booked our holiday for September which gives us four months of intensive game based training sessions to have the best holiday ever!

Thank you The Good Dog Guide you have it all covered!

Article supplied by to Julie Carter at MyLuka Dog Training Solutions

Dogs and Portion Control – How much should you be feeding your Dog?

dog food

How much and how often you should be feeding your canine friend is a topic of frequent contention among dog owners, particularly as there is a lot of conflicting information available out there. With so many different brands and types of feed available on the market, it can be tricky knowing what the correct portions should be, based on your dog’s breed, size and activity levels.

Obesity in dogs continues to be a problem, and with over 60% of vets stating that the biggest health and welfare concern for pets in the UK is them being overweight, it is important to ensure your dog is eating the right amount of food.

Here, we discuss the key factors to take into consideration when determining how much food to give your dog.

Age
From the very moment you bring your beautiful new puppy home, you are in control of how their diet and lifestyle will affect their growth and health. As such, ensuring that they are eating the correct number of meals per day for each stage of their life is essential.

Generally speaking, puppies between 8-12 weeks old should be eating around four meals per day. Then, from 12 weeks to six months, this can be reduced to three meals, and dropping down to two meals as they continue to grow. When a dog enters their adult life, just one meal per day is sufficient to provide them with the energy and nutrition they need.

It is important to stick to one type of food and refrain from feeding them too many doggie treats, since this can lead to excessive calorie intake, which can, of course, make them overweight or lead to an upset stomach. If you are noticing your dog looking larger than before, or if they are going to the toilet more than usual, this may be a sign that they are eating more than they should be.

Bear in mind that the age at which you should switch from puppy/junior dog food to adult food will vary from breed to breed. In general, small dog breeds normally make the transition between 8-10 months old, and larger breeds between 12-18 months. Check with your vet for specific advice and information regarding your dog.

Lifestyle and activity
Once your dog hits adulthood, one major factor which will determine their daily food allowance will be their lifestyle, especially how active they are. Again, observation and judgement should be exercised, particularly since not all breeds conform to their stereotypes. Infamous speed-merchants like Greyhounds can, in fact, turn out to be total couch-potatoes. Likewise, tiny Chihuahuas can be highly-active racers!

As such, understanding the behaviour and characteristics of your pet in particular is key, since too little or too much food can greatly affect their health and growth. If you notice changes to your dog, be sure to adjust their portions in order to keep a good Body Condition Score (BCS).

You can easily tell if your dog isn’t eating the right amount, simply by their appearance and behaviour. Take a look at your pet from above – he/she should have a slight waist. You should also be able to feel their ribs, but they should not be visible. Your dog’s coat should also be glossy and dandruff-free. If their energy levels are strange for their breed (e.g. too lethargic or too hyper-active), this may also be a sign that they are not eating the right amount or type of dog food. In this case, food allergies should not be ruled out, and your vet might recommend switching to a hypoallergenic dog food.

Dog size and breed
The breed and size of your dog are crucial factors to consider when determining their diet and portion sizes. For instance, different dog breeds of the same size may have different energy levels and thus, require more or less food. Similarly, large dog breeds can greatly benefit from feeds which support and protect growing joints.

When purchasing dog food, always check the label, which will outline a general food/weight guide, but these should only be used as a reference, rather than an absolute.

The best way to determine if your best friend is eating the right amount of food is to simply practice good judgement, keep an eye or their portions, and observe them regularly for changes. This way, your dog will continue to live a long, happy and healthy life!

Article Supplied.