Fun Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors

Dogs come from the bloodline of hunting and foraging animals — wolves. It’s no wonder then that it’s deeply embedded within a dog’s nature to want to run around and play. A dog is an outdoor animal no matter how you choose to look at it, and a prime scavenger at that. And in order to make the indoors a more natural habitat for dogs, owners must find ways to keep their dogs busy and mentally stimulated.
Now, fortunately, that’s the fun part of owning a dog, aside from the kisses and cuddles. So if you’re thinking about how do I keep my dog entertained indoors, here are some fun ways to keep your dog entertained indoors.

Play a Game
Looking for some fun things to do with your dog at home? There are a number of entertaining games you could play with your dog. Playing games with your dog has a threefold benefit — it keeps them entertained, it helps to strengthen your bond with your canine companion, and it gives them an excuse to exercise, which is integral for growing dogs.
But you may be wondering, what kind of games can you play with your dogs indoors? Here are some creative ideas.

Tug of War
Use a piece of thick and strong jute or hemp rope and have a good old one-on-one bout of tug with your dog. Dogs love exercising their jaws on different things, just make sure you factor in their size and strength when you’re pulling on your end of the rope. You don’t want to accidentally harm their teeth. Your goal here isn’t to win, just to keep your dog engaged.

Hide Treats
Dogs are natural scavengers with excellent scent detection. Hide some treats around the house and make your dog go searching for them. It will keep them busy for a long time and help them register more scents in their olfactory memory, which helps improve their scavenging abilities.
ALSO READ: 5 Tips To Train Your Dog With Treats

Play Hide And Seek
Alternatively, you could just hide and have your dog look for you. It’s an entertaining game for both of you. But you probably need a nice large house with lots of hiding spots to play this game. Just a word of caution, some dogs may experience separation anxiety if you’re hidden for too long. So, remember to come out if your dog can’t find you and starts to howl.

Puzzles
There are a number of games to play with your puppy inside. A dog’s brain needs just as much exercise as its body. Various toy puzzles and interactive games have been designed especially for dogs that you can purchase at pet stores or online and solve them together. They will help keep boredom at bay and reduce the tendency for destructive behavior.

Enjoy a Grooming Session
Dog grooming is a rewarding experience and one of the most fun ways to keep your dog busy indoors. And, don’t forget, dogs are perceptive creatures. They know you’re caring for them and enjoy being groomed as long as you’re gentle.
Your dog’s hair needs to be brushed and trimmed from time to time, especially if you own a breed that sheds often. Make sure you get the right grooming tools and don’t forget to attend to the area around the ears.
Too much hair growth can start to irritate dogs and cause them to scratch excessively. Another important reason to groom your dog regularly is to check for and remove fleas or small bugs that may be nestled in their fur.

Here’s a checklist of all the areas so you don’t miss anything during grooming:

– Use a soft damp cloth to wipe around your dog’s eyes.
– Use a small damp cloth to clean out the wax from inside their ears and make sure you get the folds too. Never use Q-tips for dogs because they can damage their eardrums.
– If your dog’s nose is too dry, there are some high-quality balms available to remedy that. But also make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water.
– Brush your dog’s teeth.
– Brush your dog’s fur coat.
– Use curved or straight scissors to trim your dog’s coat.
– Trim your dog’s nails.
– Clean their paws and moisturize them regularly to prevent cracking.
– Bathe your dog.
– Give your dog a nice long massage.

ALSO READ: Grooming your Puppy for the First Time

Teach Your Dog to Clean Up
If you’re looking for fun ways to keep your dog busy indoors, this one will keep them occupied for a while.
Dogs are undoubtedly one of the messiest pets you can own. They love creating a mess and getting themselves dirty from time to time. It’s part of their nature. But you can teach them to clean up after themselves in small ways, like putting their toys back in the box after playing with them, wiping their paws on the front mat before entering the room/house, or going outside to take a leak.
It takes some time, training, and patience, but this training can be an excellent diversion for bored dogs. Training them to clean up after themselves is how you communicate your desire for cleanliness. Eventually, they will pick up on this because all dogs want to please their owners.
“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For, after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” — Charles M. Schulz

Get Your Pup to Help with Chores
Wondering how do I keep my dog entertained and busy? Here’s an idea for you.
Puppies and dogs are more than just playmates and companions. They’re remarkably intelligent and can outperform humans in many different tasks, too, such as hunting or scavenging. Many dogs have actual jobs in society just like humans.
Dogs have been employed for hunting, guarding livestock or homes, in the police force, the entertainment industry, and even for therapy. The list of things dogs can do is virtually endless, so they’re a lot like humans in that regard. It’s no wonder we get along.
Puppies are in their most impressionable years and can learn a lot of new tricks at that age, so you might as well teach them to do some basic domestic chores. It will make your life easier and keep your dog busy indoors.

Here are some examples of chores you can teach your dog to give its life some sense of routine and structure:

– Fetching the newspaper.
– Sorting laundry.
– Closing doors.
– Picking up trash and putting it in the bin.
– Searching for lost items around the house.
– Delivering messages to other family members in other rooms.
– Mopping the floor.

Remember to reward your dog well for its efforts in helping you maintain your household. It helps foster a sense of accomplishment from doing these things. It also teaches dogs that they should make an effort to earn their rewards.
“Dogs should be allowed as much liberty as they can responsibly handle. The greatest gift of training is that it increases the dog’s ability to handle liberty.” — Chad Mackin

Bake Dog Treats
How do I keep my dog from getting bored in the house? How do you keep yourself from getting bored in the house? The answer is food, of course!
Dogs don’t have much to celebrate besides their birthdays and whenever you’re in a good mood. They are giving creatures as opposed to taking, and that’s why everyone loves them. It would be nice if you set aside a day just for your dog to make it feel special.
The best way to a dog’s heart is through its stomach. There are a number of delicious treats you can bake at home that dogs love. A dog’s palate, as opposed to its sense of smell, is not that complex, so dog treats are very easy to make. Peanut butter treats, meatballs, and cookies are popular with both puppies and adult dogs.
There are a number of recipes you can find online, and most don’t require more than 5 ingredients and half an hour.

Blow Bubbles
Blowing bubbles can be a fun playtime activity, especially for puppies that are naturally curious about everything. Watching them chase bubbles can also be a very relaxing and rejuvenating experience for you.
Puppies need all the running around they can get so that they’re exhausted at the end of the day and sleep well. And bubbles are something they can enjoy timelessly.
When you’re playing with puppies make sure you use a really mild soap or bubble foam that won’t hurt their eyes.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too.” — Samuel Butler

Sniff Tests
As you already know, dogs have a sharp nose and their curious mind makes them love sniffing new things. Scent games can be a great way to channel those instincts and keep your dog stimulated while indoors. The aim of the game is to harness the information about the world your dog gathers through its sense of smell and to teach them how to communicate what they’re smelling.
The Muffin Tin Puzzle is a fun and easy introductory scent game to help you get started. All you need is an empty muffin tin, 12 tennis balls, and some dog treats. First, place a few treats in the tin hole and allow your dog to sniff them. Then, move away from your dog, put the treats randomly into other tin holes, and cover the holes with tennis balls. You can now pass the puzzle to your dog to let them explore it. They can move the tennis balls to find treats. Every time your dog successfully picks up the scent, its reward is the treat hidden underneath.

Teach Your Dog a New Trick
Teaching your dog new tricks takes patience. Not every dog is a fast learner, but once they learn something, they hardly ever forget it, which is their strength. Here are some useful and some cool tricks to teach your dogs, just make sure you add some rewards for their efforts:

Sitting
This is the first and most important trick every owner should first teach their puppies. Dogs are restless and full of energy, but you will sometimes need them to stay calm so you can clean them, clip their nails, or clean up around the house undisturbed.

Handshake
Teaching your dog how to shake hands or when to shake hands can help socialize them with other humans. It also teaches them about how humans greet each other as opposed to their version of a handshake, which is butt-sniffing.

Fetch
“Fetch” is another useful command to teach your dog. They’re smart enough to understand what words mean in the context of a small sentence. Once they know what fetch is and what a newspaper is, the next time you say “fetch newspaper,” your dog will go fetch you the newspaper.

What “No” Means
This isn’t a trick so much as it is a command, but dogs absolutely need to be taught what “no” means at a very young age. They need to be made to understand the boundaries between playfulness and aggressiveness, and how to behave around children. Until dogs are taught what “no” means, they will carry on doing whatever they want assuming you’re okay with it and that can be dangerous.

Roll Over
“Roll over” is a basic trick that every dog can learn, even puppies. It’s not supposed to be useful in any way but it is entertaining. The more tricks you teach your dog, the better it can understand you.

Importance of Keeping Your Dog Busy
Dogs are highly energetic social creatures — this should come as no shocker. And they share a lot in common with humans. In fact, there are more ways in which humans and dogs are alike than different.
Just like humans, dogs can also experience loneliness, depression, boredom, and anxiety. They arguably have an even greater need to feel connected, feel like a part of the family, and have a purpose. You can give a dog food, water, shelter, and basic healthcare for the rest of its life, but what ultimately makes or breaks its happiness is its connection with you.
This sense of connection is fostered, repaired, or strengthened every time you and your dog have activities together, or at least if you’re involved in some way. Dogs can’t lay on their backs and rest all day. They need exercise when they’re outdoors and constant mental stimulation while they’re indoors to live a fulfilling life. Dog depression is real and can bring out aggressive behaviors when left unchecked.
“Be the most interesting human your dog has ever met” — Ralf Weber

Conclusion
Hope you find this guide on how to keep dog entertained indoors insightful. Dogs can become quite lucid once they mature. That’s the allure of this creature; they can establish connections with humans deeper than the ones we share with our own species.
Indoor activities are integral to maintaining your bond with your dog and to help them fight boredom.

Article Supplied.

Can You Afford To Get A Dog?

When asked whether they can afford not to get a dog, most dog lovers will ask whether they can afford not to! We all know the value of having a dog in the home. They provide unconditional love, along with cuddles, excitement, and endless cuteness.

However, there are considerable expenses when you get a dog. These need to be planned out, even if they’re not going to prevent you from going ahead. They may impact some of your decisions, especially as to breed.

To help you understand some of the expenses, here is what you can expect to pay for when getting a dog.

Expensive breeds
Adopting a dog from a shelter is certainly the most responsible option when it comes to helping out animals already in need. However, many people have conflicting responsibilities. This is especially true for people with children, as when you adopt a dog from a shelter, it may be carrying a lot of trauma.

There are other reasons people go to breeders. Dog lovers with allergies need to find hypoallergenic dogs, which is difficult when you can’t be sure of a dog’s pedigree. Furthermore, there are responsible breeders out there.

Some breeds are incredibly expensive, though. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy can cost over £4,000! If you decide that an expensive breed is worth it, considering the joy it will bring you over the years, remember that there will be other expenses you need to budget for before you truly know if you can afford it.

Vaccinations
Every dog needs vaccinations as a puppy, due to a number of diseases that can be fatal and are fairly common. Rabies is one of the most important vaccines as rabid dogs become dangerous.

Vaccines are not prohibitively expensive, but you do need to include them in your budget. If you are buying from a breeder, they will probably include vaccinations in the overall cost.

Spaying / Neutering
As with breeding, there is debate about the ethics of spaying and neutering puppies. We won’t get too much into it, but it is important to take the benefits into account before making your decision.

Dogs which have not been spayed or neutered can run off when they are in heat (females) or when they detect a female in heat (males). Females in particular are at risk, as dogs in the area will flock to them and mating can be brutal. Your dog might end up badly hurt.

If you decide to get your dogs neutered or spayed, there are more related expenses than you expect. According to Lemonade Pet Insurance, you might incur the following costs:

Pre-op exam: the vet will examine your dog to make sure it is in good health and ready for an operation.
Anaesthesia: small dogs do not require nearly as much anaesthetic as big dogs, and the bigger the dog the more expensive the procedure becomes.
Surgery: the surgery itself does not require a ton of expensive resources, but the vet’s specialist time is expensive. Neutering is a lot quicker than spaying. Neutering can take as little as five minutes, while spaying can take up to ninety.
Post-op: while the surgery might not last long, they do need to spend some time recovering from the effects of anaesthesia.
Medication: your dog will need sedatives, pain medication, and antibiotics.
Cone: so as to ensure that your dog does not tear out the stitches, you will need to pay for a cone collar.

Pet Insurance
One more expense you need to consider is pet insurance. You may not think it necessary, but pet insurance can save you a lot of money in the long run. Emergency vet visits are extremely expensive, and accidents and unexpected illnesses happen.

If your pet requires an operation, you will be truly grateful for your pet insurance. Pet insurance is more affordable than the possibility of a massive vet bill when your dog needs care most.

Getting a dog is an expensive endeavour, even if you adopt from a shelter. When buying from a breeder, the expenses are much greater, and that is before you account for other necessary costs. Take these expenses into account when choosing your dog so that they don’t have to go without important procedures.

Article Supplied.

How CBD Can Help You Care for Your Senior Dog

It isn’t easy watching your dog get older. Aches and pains increased anxiety, and an inability to do the things they once loved all impact your life with your senior dog. However, you’ll be glad to know that there are things you can do to ease your dog’s transition into old age. CBD can be one of the most helpful and safest supplements to try.

Alleviate Anxiety
The things that we have in common with our dogs is part of why we love them so much. It is amazing how many things we can enjoy together. However, when it comes to old age, dogs have some similarities to humans that aren’t as positive.

Like humans, dogs can develop cognitive decline as they get older, which is also known as dog dementia. Most dogs began showing symptoms around the age of 9 or 10. Dog dementia is characterized by disorientation, disruptions in sleeping and waking cycles, and less social behavior.

Many dogs also seem to lose interest in things they once enjoyed. Thankfully, CBD oil can be an effective treatment for the anxiety that is associated with dementia. Owners who give their senior pets CBD oil find that they may be more likely to sleep through the night, don’t seem as disturbed by disorientation and maybe more relaxed overall.

Improve Mobility
Aches and pains are common as dogs get older. Many dogs are especially prone to experiencing pain in the joints, particularly the hind end joints, which can make it more difficult for them to get around and cause them to stop doing things they once enjoyed like taking walks or chasing their ball. Arthritis is quite common in older dogs.

Thankfully, quality mobility support with CBD and other ingredients to benefit the hips and joints from Innovet Pet can make a big difference in your older dog’s mobility and work to improve arthritis symptoms. CBD can reduce inflammation and pain, which can have an immediate effect on your older dog’s mobility. It also helps your dog’s body to recover from wear and tear.

Glucosamine helps to rebuild cartilage, which can actually improve the function of your dog’s joints over time. MSM also improves the functioning of joints by providing fluid to help lubricate their motion more effectively. Salmon oil is a well-known supplement for joints and inflammation since it is rich in fatty acids that the body needs to build joint cartilage.

Green-lipped mussel is also very effective for fighting inflammation and also has chondroitin to help improve joint function. A supplement with all of these ingredients can go a very long way to improving your dog’s mobility. It’s also a good idea to consider a dog ramp to help your dog move around your home without having to put a strain on the joints by jumping.

Relieve Pain
Getting older comes with a variety of aches and pains for your dog. Not only are the joints frequently painful, but skin conditions and everyday wear and tear can also result in pain for your dog.

Senior dogs just don’t bounce back the way younger dogs do from everyday injuries and bumps. CBD has general pain-relieving properties that can make your dog more comfortable overall in its golden years. Whatever might be causing your dog pain, CBD can be an effective treatment.

Why CBD May be a Better Option
Unlike many other treatments for pain, mobility, and anxiety, which may come with risks or side effects, CBD appears to be extremely safe for your dog and unlikely to cause any negative side effects. If you would rather stay away from medications like Gabapentin which can cause sedation, steroids that can have long-reaching negative effects, and anti-anxiety or anti-depression medication which can have unpredictable results, CBD is a superb alternative. It is also very easy to give to your dog simply by dosing with CBD oil or choosing a quality CBD to treat.

What to Look for in CBD Supplements
Unfortunately, CBD is still not regulated or supplied by veterinarians, despite its success in clinical trials. This means that you must be a discerning shopper in choosing the right CBD supplement for your dog. Here are some things to look for:

  • Tested by a third-party lab. A quality producer of CBD products for your dog will have all of their supplements tested by a third-party lab so you can have complete confidence that the products are safe and effective.
  • Formulas based in science. Make sure that all of the ingredients in the supplement that you choose are scientifically proven to have beneficial effects for your dog, not just used as filler ingredients.
  • Natural or organic ingredients. When it comes to hemp or CBD, be sure that you choose organic ingredients, since hemp tends to draw insecticides and heavy metals from the soil. For all other ingredients, be sure that you are choosing natural options.

Improve Your Senior Dog’s Life With CBD
CBD can go a long way to giving your senior dog a higher quality of life for longer. There’s nothing that you can do to prevent your dog from getting older, but you can make the aging process a lot more comfortable for both of you by using effective supplementation. Be sure to choose only the highest-quality CBD supplements and check that all supporting ingredients are also beneficial to your dog’s health.

Article Supplied

How To Help Your Dog Adapt After Moving To A New Home

Moving to a new home is stressful for everyone, even your dog. Moving to a new location can be exciting, but it’s also one of the more stressful things that you’re ever likely to experience. In fact, experts say that moving is right up there with the loss of a loved one or getting a divorce. Even if you don’t recognize the signs of stress yourself, you may be feeling quite stressed about the entire situation, all while being too busy to fully realize it. The problem with this is that your dog is so connected to you that she feels what you feel. She knows when you’re happy, when you’re sad and when you’re stressed. Unfortunately, that only adds to her feelings of stress and uncertainty, especially when she is leaving behind everything that she’s familiar with and facing new surroundings that she’s never been in before. The question is, how do you reduce those feelings of stress and help your dog adjust when you move to a new house? You might be surprised that for the most part, it involves doing the little things that can make her feel more comfortable. Keeping some part of her normal routine is absolutely crucial, as is bringing the things that she previously had in her environment that are most precious to her.

Consider Crate Training
Some people start crate training their dogs as soon as they get them and others are very much against the process. It’s important to remember that crate training is not punishment. Instead, it is a place that your dog can go when she’s feeling overwhelmed that gives her a safe space. If you work outside of the home, it can also be one of the most effective ways to help her feel safe, even when you’re not physically with her. It might be a good idea to consider a crate with a soft dog bed inside that is located in an area close to her regular dog bed. Dog beds not only come in all different shapes and sizes, some do cater to your dog’s health needs – check out The Pampered Pup for more information. You can even include a blanket and a couple of toys. If you really want to kick things up a notch, cover the majority of the outside of the crate with a blanket so that your dog feels the solitude that she needs when she wants to be alone. You can even keep her food and water bowls nearby, allowing her to have that little section of the home that’s just for her, yet still with the rest of the family.

Create a Space Just for Your Dog
One of the best ways to eliminate stress on your dog when you move is to create a safe space just for her. It needs to be an area of the house that has ready access to you and other members of the household, yet it is also just out of the way enough that she can be by herself if that’s what she so desires. There are a number of ways that you can go about accomplishing this goal. You don’t have to set her off in a room all by herself where she feels completely isolated. In fact, that is only likely to increase her level of stress many times over. Instead, bring her favorite dog bed and put it in a room where you spend a great deal of time. In order to make her feel like she has her own space, create a little nook for her in the corner of the room or next to the couch where she’s out of the way of foot traffic, yet still very much present where people spend a lot of time. Bring some of her favorite toys and allow one or two of them to remain near the dog bed so that she fully understands that this is her space and she is still part of the family. It’s important that she realizes that even though her physical surroundings might have changed, her dynamic within the family has not. The most effective way to do that is to provide her with a few things that are familiar and reassure her that the family dynamic is still very much intact.

Spend Time With Your Dog
Another way to help her adjust when you move is to spend extra time with her. If you have a backyard that is properly fenced in, allow her to spend some time roaming the area. Go outside and play fetch with her. When her physical surroundings change, the thing that your dog will crave the most is time spent with you. Remember, she’s feeling as much stress as you are, maybe even more. She needs to be constantly reassured that she is still loved and that the bond between the two of you remains unchanged. The best way to do that is to spend time with her and keep her close to your side. The extra exercise that comes into play with playing fetch or tug of war can also go a long way toward alleviating some of that anxiety that is associated with being indifferent surroundings. This in turn can help your dog cope better so that she adjusts more quickly.

Go for a Walk
Speaking of exercise, it’s crucial that you go for a walk with your dog. Aim for at least two walks a day, one in the morning and one toward the end of the day. If your dog is having a hard time adjusting or has a great deal of pent-up energy, it might be important to add additional walks throughout the day. There are a couple of things to remember, especially when you have moved to a new location. Be sure to keep your dog on a leash. There is nothing more tragic than a dog who gets lost in a new location and is unable to find her way back to you. In addition, it is important that you allow your dog time to stop and explore the new area she is in. That means allowing her time to stop and sniff whatever she’s interested in, provided that it’s safe to do so. This is how she familiarizes herself with her new surroundings. If you give her time to take it all in, she is more likely to adjust both more quickly and more completely.
There is no doubt that moving can put a lot of stress on the family. It’s important to remember that your dog is part of that family and that she feels the stress acutely, just like you do. Keeping her routine as normal as possible and doing little things to reassure her can make all the difference in the world between helping her adjust or watching her struggle through the process when you move to a new house.

Article Supplied

Why Pet Owners Are Turning to CBD Treats For Ailing Animals

As more pet owners find the use of CBD products to be beneficial for their tiny friends, scientists became more interested in studying the topic. However, up until now, there are no solid studies to attest or disprove the benefits so many people see in their pets. There are only a few small studies that show products, like CBD treats for dogs and oils are indeed useful in reducing pain and ailing inflammatory diseases.

Additionally, the American Kennel Club is running a more extensive study to register the effect of CBD products on dogs with epilepsy (for seizure reduction). The study is still ongoing but its results will be among the first scientific evidence to support the use of CBD in veterinary medicine.

So, why do pet owners still turn to CBD treatments when the scientific community is still debating?

Here are a few compelling reasons:

An Organic Product with Little Side Effects
CBD is a natural element obtained from the cannabis plant and can be used to induce relaxation and reduce anxiety in humans. However, you can now find a wide range of CBD products (oils, capsules, and treats) available for animals as well.

This happened because pet owners found out that CBD can be used to reduce pain in pets with degenerative diseases (like arthritis), reduce seizures (in case of epilepsy), or help alleviate anxiety. Moreover, since CBD is an organic product when used correctly, it doesn’t have lasting side effects on the animal’s digestive system or brain activity.

Pain Relief
Most pet parents buy CBD products for a cat or a dog who is in pain due to old age or other health issues that have an early onset. The relaxing capabilities of CBD help pets with arthritis regain mobility and love of life, while those who suffer from more serious illnesses (cancer, inflammation, and more) seem to feel a bit better after a CBD treat.

According to some studies, this happens due to some receptors both humans and animals have in their organs. These receptors are sensitive to cannabidiol (CBD) and react to its presence. Therefore, the effect is rapid and it doesn’t interfere with other systems.

Anxiety Relief
Many pets (both cats and dogs) suffer from anxiety.

For instance, as people start to return to working in the office, more pets will experience a higher degree of separation anxiety because they are no longer used to their parents leaving the home. Moreover, some may feel scared by the noises of the city, now that things return to normal and the streets are animated yet again.

Regardless of the trigger, anxious pets have high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and other factors that influence their wellbeing. So, their parents use CBD treats to calm them down and help them relax even in an unfamiliar environment.

Additionally, CBD products also seem effective when dealing with a depressed or moody pet. The treatment alleviates these symptoms and helps pets see life in a happier light.

Why Isn’t CBD an Approved Method of Treatment?
Given that the products exist and that owners who use them are happy with the results (as reported, animals are calmer, have better mobility, and sleep better), why can’t your vet prescribe CBD oil or treats for your dog or cat?

The answer is quite simple – we don’t yet have the scientific data to back up the claims of pet owners. This doesn’t mean they are mistaken; it’s just a matter of time until the scientific community catches up with the trend.

At the end of the day, there are still many unknown factors we need to consider before veterinarians can trust this line of products. Still, that day will come and CBD products will be readily available.

Article Supplied

What Could Be Causing Your Dog’s Anxiety?

If you think your dog could be suffering from anxiety, the best plan of action is to find out its source so it can be eliminated, or at least reduced. The most common types of anxiety in a dog are general anxiety, former rescue dog anxiety, illness-induced anxiety, and separation anxiety. Before getting into the causes for each of them, let’s go over the anxiety symptoms that your dog might be displaying.

A tucked tail
Spontaneous elimination of urine or feces
Panting
Whining or whimpering
Trembling
Dilated pupils
Sniffing the air (more so than usual)
Destructive behavior
Pacing
Passive escape
Excessive licking
Avoiding interactions
Hiding behavior
General fidgeting

As you can see, there are plenty of symptoms – and this isn’t even a comprehensive list. Your dog may not display every one, and it could even exhibit additional behaviors that aren’t on the list. One common factor shared by a lot of these signs is that the dog seems to be motivated by fight-or-flight impulses. Avoiding eye contact, whining, or hiding mean that it’s afraid of confrontation; chewing on furniture, dilated pupils, or pacing indicate that its defensive instincts could be getting triggered, even if they can’t identify a clear threat.

Any of these signs and symptoms could make an appearance from time to time; that’s completely normal when a dog feels uncomfortable with something. What isn’t normal is when your dog suddenly starts having any of these signs to an extreme degree, or has several of them for long periods of time. Once you can figure out what’s triggering your dog, you’ll be able to identify the kind of anxiety it has, and hopefully find the appropriate solution.

General Anxiety
According to the National Service Animal Registry, general anxistry is the trickiest type to identify, especially since it’s often thought of as a characteristic of certain breeds. However, it could actually be from something that happened in the dog’s past; in that case it’s important to avoid scenarios that would make the dog think that history is repeating itself. Most of the time, though, the dog is just extremely uncomfortable due to a change in environment or routine. Some of the breeds most prone to feeling general anxiety are:

Australian/German Shepherd
Vizsla
Shorthair Pointer
Bichon Frise
Greyhounds
Chihuahuas and other toy breeds
Labrador Retriever
Border Collie
Cocker Spaniel
King Charles Spaniel
Havanese

If you think your dog might have general anxiety, the best approach would be to maintain a regular schedule, avoid excessive stimulation, and create an environment in which the dog won’t have too many surprises.

Former Rescue Dog Anxiety
By far the biggest cause of anxiety here is the fear of being abandoned. Rescue or shelter dogs experience a big change when they trade their former environment for a dog shelter; no matter how good the conditions are, they might not be able to process any of the positives about the situation due to their overall anxiety.

In addition to the abandonment factor, many dogs that end up at a shelter were traumatized before arriving. As if that weren’t enough to deal with, they then have to adjust to a completely different environment and routine at the shelter – only to adjust all over again after being adopted and arriving at their new home.

Their past experience has essentially given them trust issues, and any perceived disruption is a signal to them that they could be abandoned again. While this is hard for both the dog and its owners, at least it makes identifying the anxiety’s cause a little easier. The best solution is to make the daily routine as predictable as possible, so there’s absolutely no reason for the dog to think that its life is about to go off the rails again. A trainer or behaviorist might be able to pinpoint specific triggers, and make recommendations on how to relax the dog after a bout of anxiety.

Illness-Induced Anxiety
Anxiety isn’t just a random symptom for some diseases; the dog becomes anxious because it knows that something is definitely wrong, but it doesn’t know what to do about it. Some diseases that are commonly associated with anxiety in dogs are:

Hypothyroidism. This is what happens when a dog’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, resulting in hair loss, lack of energy, and/or weight gain. If you notice that your dog is displaying signs of anxiety along with any of these other symptoms, it might be time to get its thyroid checked out.
Thyrotoxicosis. Another illness that affects the dog’s thyroid, but much rarer.
Encephalitis. This causes brain tissue to become swollen and inflamed, resulting in possible anxiety, aggression, a clumsy gait, seizures, or a coma.
Vision or hearing loss. When a dog starts losing one or more of its senses, it can’t keep tabs on its surroundings as well; this makes it very nervous and easily startled. Anxiety is almost inevitable for as long as it takes the dog to adjust.
Pre-diabetes. If your dog presents with cataracts, weight gain, or excessive thirst that’s accompanied by anxiety, it could be pre-diabetic.

Separation Anxiety
Many dogs won’t have a problem with this, but then dogs aren’t naturally inclined to enjoy solitude. They’re pack animals, so when a dog finds itself alone, its brain starts sending signals that something’s wrong. This can result in all kinds of misbehavior – peeing on the carpet, eating the couch, barking, whining, or howling. Some dogs only develop this type of anxiety once they approach old age, mainly due to deteriorating memories that lead to intense feelings of insecurity.

This type of anxiety could be a little tougher to fix since leaving usually can’t be avoided, but there are still some things that could help. Take the dog on a walk, offer a stuffed treat toy, and avoid making a fuss about leaving.

It might not always be clear what’s causing your dog’s anxiety, but a little extra love and care never hurt. Just know that if there’s something causing the anxiety, there’s probably a solution as well. If you can find it and fix it, both you and your dog will feel better.

Article Supplied

5 Tips for Travelling with a Dog

Some dogs are born travelers who will happily hike for miles and live for hanging their heads out of car windows. But others are homebodies, for whom traveling can lead to nerves, nausea, boredom, and pent-up energy.

If you’re the owner of a dog who dislikes travel, here are 5 tips to help ease the process of getting them from A to B:

Supplements
Unlike prescription medications, which can be strong and may come with unwanted side effects, natural supplements are a safe, more subtle way to introduce an added layer of calm into travel days.

Many owners find that using supplement products like CBD oil can help dogs deal with discomforts such as anxiety, stress, and nausea – all things that can occur when hitting the road.

Pet CBD is one of the fastest-growing areas in the pet industry, thanks to the products’ anti-inflammatory effect. By binding to receptors that play a role in triggering pain and anxiety responses, CBD helps relax dogs, making them less affected by stress triggers.

Food, water, and bowl
Number one on any dog’s priority list is their food, so it makes sense for owners to also prioritize their pet’s dinners. Keeping a regular supply of your dog’s normal food helps keep things simple, and prevents the stress of trying to find suitable meals wherever you stop.

Owners should always carry a full water bottle for their dogs. But it’s also important to bring a reliable bowl along, too. Often, dogs can struggle to drink and eat from bowls they’re not accustomed to, especially if they’re too steep or shallow to comfortably access what’s inside. For bigger dogs, elevated travel bowls are available from specialist pet suppliers

Other doggo travel essentials include treats, poop bags, their leash, and any medications they might use.

Creating the right environment
A crate is a tried-and-tested solution for keeping dogs calm and contained – two things that are especially important when travelling.

Depending on your mode of transport, you’ll want your crate to look a little different. But no matter the design, crates should be big enough for dogs to stand, turn around, and comfortably lie down. Adequate ventilation is also key.

For smaller dogs and shorter time periods, more potable carriers are great options. Doggy backpacks can work well when hiking or walking long distances.

Once you arrive at your destination, there’s still work to do to create the right environment for a dog. Ideally, owners should confirm beforehand whether a destination is dog friendly, but regardless, it’s always a good idea to make your own judgment on whether a space is safe for your pet.

Many hotel chains will charge extra fees for staying with dogs in tow. Make yourself aware of these and consider looking for hotels that pets without additional fees, no deposits, and no one-time charges.

Home comforts
Bringing along a few key items from your home can help dogs feel more comfortable when travelling. A familiar toy, for example, eases the transition from a well-known environment into an unknown space.

Inside their crate or travel space, also make sure to add a comfortable blanket that can provide warmth if necessary. Using a blanket from home introduces familiar smells, which should have a calming effect for most dogs.

Favorite treats can be a lifesaver, providing distractions and incentives to help guide dogs through the traveling experience.

Some owners even bring along different ‘levels’ of treats, with more everyday snacks acting as a standard reward, while saving a special variety for times when a stronger incentive is needed.

ID
Alongside those items needed to make your dog as comfortable as possible, it’s important to also think about the things necessary for ensuring your trip itself is a seamless experience.

When traveling with a dog – especially when traveling across borders – a variety of different types of paperwork may be required. From pet passports to insurance to health records, every country has its own specific requirements for pet entry, so make sure you do your research.

ID is also important for making sure that your pet can be identified in the event that they get lost. Owners should remember that dogs may be both unfamiliar with their surroundings and curious about new sights and smells when traveling, which increases the risk of them becoming disorientated or wandering off.

If you are separated from your dog when traveling, knowing that they can be quickly and easily identified should help provide at least a little peace of mind.

Always make sure your dog id where a collar that contains an ID tag with your name and international phone number. ID microchipping is also worth considering, as these can often be read by practices in other countries.

If you have a lot of paperwork to handle, try making digital copies of each document and storing them on your phone. That way, everything remains easily accessible why the hard copies can stay safely together in one place.

Article Supplied

Innovation centre help Harry to throw a ball for his dog

Cerebra Innovation Centre, with help from ATiC – the University’s integrated research centre – developed the tennis ball shooter for Harry Flynn, 11, to help him bond with his dog Addi.

Eleven-year-old Harry has Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, which sadly means he has poor gross motor skills and is reliant on his wheelchair just to get around. Harry faces difficult challenges everyday but he’s able to live a happy life. He’s a budding musician and enjoys going to the cinema but when someone special came into his life two years ago, Harry soon had a new love. That someone was Addi, Harry’s assistance dog and best friend!

Addi, who came from the charity Dogs for Good, has been with Harry for two years. “He helps Harry by doing things like opening doors, opening drawers, turning light switches on and helping to remove socks and coats,” said Harry’s mum Hilary. “Most importantly he’s a constant friend and he encourages him to go outside, which, prior to having Addi, he never liked doing.

Addi’s a remarkable dog and a big part of Harry’s life. When he isn’t assisting, it’s important for Addi to have play time and they both love being outside together. Each time they were out on walks though, there was just something missing and Harry’s parents tried but couldn’t find the answer.

Harry’s mum, Hilary told us, “Harry so wanted to play fetch with Addi, who just loves to run after a ball. Sadly, though, Harry doesn’t have the strength or coordination to be able to throw. He loved being outside with Addi but you could see the disappointment on his face each time we went for a walk. I was so pleased, though, when I came across Cerebra and their wonderful Innovation Centre.”

The Cerebra Innovation Centre is home to a team of product designers and is based within UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art. The teams designs and builds innovative, bespoke products to help disabled children to discover the world around them. The products the team designs are desirable and exciting as well as functional, promoting social inclusion and peer acceptance for the children they help.

The team designed a bracket that could support the launcher and sit nicely on Harry’s wheelchair frame – not only that but the launcher’s firing mechanism had to be altered, so that all Harry had to do was lightly press it to release the ball.

Once the bracket was in place there was just one more surprise in store … putting Harry at the controls! While he could fire the launcher with no problem, Harry had to move his wheelchair each time he wanted to aim. The wheelchair had joystick controls so the team also added joystick controls to the launcher. Harry is now able to enjoy play time with Addi, repaying him for the assistance he gives on a daily basis. “He’s been a real help in my life;· said Harry.

The Innovation Centre is part of Cerebra, a charity supporting families who have a child with a brain condition, worked with ATiC, an integrated research centre at the university, to design and 3D print parts that make it possible for Harry to fire the shooter, and a joystick that enables him to point and aim the shooter.

Article Supplied

3 New Ways to Relieve Your Dog’s Anxiety

If you think that your dog may be suffering from anxiety, it is important to look for signs in their behaviour. If they bark or howl when no one is home, pant or pace a lot, shiver or shake, hide in corners and under furniture, or destroy furniture like your chesterfield, they likely have anxiety.

It is important to seek professional help from your V.E.T. to improve their quality of life. They can determine if their anxiety-behaviour is due to medical factors, but can also recommend ways to lower their stress. You can also see a pet behaviour counsellor for advice, to train them in ways that can reduce anxiety when they are facing their triggers. Here are three common ideas that V.E.T.s and pet behaviour counsellors recommend for reducing anxiety in dogs.

Anxiety Wrap
Anxiety wraps uses a similar principle as is used on humans. When applying gentle but firm and consistent pressure to the torso, it can have a calming effect. It’s similar to how infants feel calmer when swaddled in blankets, or weighted blankets help people calm down when trying to sleep. ThunderShirt is the most well-known anxiety vest for pets that you can find. You can get them for dogs and cats in different sizes. When worn properly, in the right size, these wraps distribute pressure along the back and torso of your pet like a constant hug. This pressure releases endorphin hormones, which has a calming and happy effect.

Noise Distraction
You can use noise to distract your pet from their source of anxiety. This is more effective for anxiety caused by sudden loud noises, like thunder or fireworks, or when you’re watching a game of footy and suddenly cheer or cry out loud in front of them. Noise distraction can also be used to distract them from separation anxiety when you leave for work for the day.

It either drowns out the sound causing their anxiety or just gives them something else more calming that they can focus on instead. You can do something as simple as playing music or sounds that are pleasing to animals, like birds chirping or running water, or you can get special sound devices that use white noise machines to drown out other external sounds.

The sound frequencies emitted by white noise machines are specifically made to drown out other noise, including fireworks and thunder. They are even more effective if you have them somewhere more insulated from other noise, like an enclosed crate or bedroom.

CBD Treats and Supplements
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a health supplement that is becoming increasingly popular, both for humans and pets. It’s relatively new, so while research has confirmed that CBD can help relieve anxiety, it isn’t fully clear how it achieves this, and there is even less research on how it works on animals.

Despite this, CBD is a safe supplement to take for pets. It has a relatively low risk of side effects, and the side effects are minor. There is added risk if you have CBD that includes THC, which can be toxic to animals, so make sure you get good quality CBD treats from places like Joy Organics that are made specifically for pets. You can also look into other supplements, like calming treats, which may be available at your local Tesco in the same aisle with pet food.

With these three tips, you have new ways to help your anxious pet. The good thing about them is that you can try them individually, or use them all together. If you have an extremely anxious pet, you may find that putting them in a thunder shirt, giving them a CBD treat, and keeping them in an enclosed bedroom with a white noise machine running can have dramatic results.

Article Supplied

Do English Bulldogs Make Great Pets?

Without a doubt, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. But, it’s essential that you carefully consider your lifestyle and whether you can offer the best possible home to an English Bulldog. Just like all breeds of dogs, these guys have their own unique requirements, and when they’re not met, then you could be in for a whole heap of trouble. Specialist sites such as https://bulldogpapa.com can be invaluable in those early days of research.

To help your decision-making process, here’s our guide to help you consider if you’re ready for an English Bulldog to join your home.

The English Bulldog Temperament
The well-bred Bulldog will have a kind temperament. They don’t go looking for trouble, but should it turn up, then they are courageous and tenacious. This is the type of dog who should be able to socialize with other dogs and people without a problem.

When you visit your puppy’s breeder, make sure that you get to meet Mum and, ideally, other relatives before your commit to taking on one of the litter. Think about how easy-going and friendly they are because this will tell you a lot about the likely temperament of your pup.

Do be aware, though, that having a well-mannered Bulldog isn’t just about their genes. It’s also about the time and effort that the breeder and the owner put into socializing and training the young dog, but more about that later!

History of the English Bulldog
If you know anything about this breed’s background, you might be wondering just what type of dog you end up living with! That’s because the English Bulldog was initially bred for the gruesome sport of bull-baiting. A pack of dogs would be set on the bull while those watching would bet on the outcome.

Thankfully the sport was banned in the 1800s, and then dedicated breeders started the task of re-establishing the breed with the sweet temperament that the English Bulldog is now well known for.

How Healthy Are English Bulldogs?
Few breeds are without the potential for some health problems, a bit like us humans! But you can reduce the possibility of your Bulldog having genetic health problems by ensuring that the parents are health tested before the breeding takes place.

For Bulldogs in the US, there are a number of tests that the breed club recommends, and these include:

Hip Dysplasia Assessment
This condition prevents the ball of the hip joint from sitting correctly in the socket. It can mean that your Bulldog experiences pain when walking and may become lame.

Cardiac Exam
Bulldogs can be prone to several different diseases of the heart. The cardiac exam involves the vet listening for heart murmurs or an irregular heart rhythm, which may then need an ECG or X-ray to investigate any problems.

Eye Problems
Sadly, Bulldogs can inherit a number of different eye conditions, so it’s essential that the parents have regular eye exams to ensure that these are not passed down to their pups.

How Long Do Bulldogs Live?
On average, an English Bulldog will be with you for between 8-10 years. Now, other bull breeds do live longer. The life expectancy of a French Bulldog, for example, is 10-12 years, and it’s 12-14 years for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

So, if the length of time that your Bull breed is with you is a deciding factor, then you might want to widen your search.

Raising an English Bulldog Puppy
Those first few months of your Bulldog’s life are critical in them becoming well-behaved pets that can accompany you anywhere. Just as with all dog breeds, it’s essential that they get out and see the world at a young age.

However, care is needed to ensure that interactions with people, dogs, and other animals are positive. So, remember to be your Bulldog’s advocate and remove him from any situations which they might find to be overwhelming.

Training an English Bulldog Puppy
Now while this may not seem to be the obvious breed to go for if you have aspirations in dog sports, the English Bulldog is very capable of learning a whole range of behaviours. Make it fun, train in short sessions, and use tempting treats and toys to encourage that learning to take place.

All dogs should know how to walk nicely on the leash and come when called. With the Bulldogs’ strength, walks are going to be no fun at all if they’re pulling on the leash. When your dog can walk nicely when out and about, then going out for exercise will be a much more pleasurable experience.

Exercise Requirements
All dogs need the opportunity to get out and about every day. Exercise helps to ensure that your Bulldog doesn’t become overweight, which can be a problem within the breed.

The other key benefit of daily walks is the opportunity for enrichment. This means that your Bulldog gets the chance to sniff new smells, meet new people and see the outside world. All of these things will also help to tire him out, meaning that he will settle down for a snooze once you get home.

Article Supplied