Canine Periodontal Disease Bad Breath Guide

Dr. James Anthony insists that all pet parents should ask themselves this question “Should I be Concerned About Doggy Breath?
The answer is:
“Yes. Doggy breath is a sign of poor oral health, the #1 problem pets face. At 3 years old, 80% of dogs have oral health issues, a precursor to periodontal disease. If left untreated, oral health issues become serious and, in some cases, life-threatening. The bacteria and infection in your dog’s mouth spread through his bloodstream. Vets believe oral health issues are a silent killer.”

Doggy breath leads to many other canine dental diseases down the line and it’s important to be aware of the symptoms.

Doctor cleaning dog’s teeth with toothbrush indoors. Pet care

You can download your own free copy here.

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Is It Safe to Feed Your Dog “People” Food?

We care for our pets and want them to be in the best possible state of health. For this reason, we pay extra attention to their diet and try to come up with tasty meals. At the same time, it’s true that we often want to feed our dogs with the same foods we eat. But is it healthy? Keep on reading and find out.

Dogs and Humans Have Different Metabolisms

The most important thing you have to remember is that dogs and humans break down food differently. Given this matter, it might interest you to know that there are people foods that dogs can and can’t eat. A large number of choices can threaten the health of your pet, as they have a toxic effect upon being ingested.

Of course, there are human foods that are perfectly safe for dogs, contributing to a healthy and well-balanced diet. A pet owner can make a gradual change from the regular pet food to a diet that includes human food as well. You can also grab yourself a good slow-feed dog bowl, these allow foods to eat at a slower pace and thus, improve their digestion.

Even if you decide to give your dog human food, you should always strive to offer a diversified diet. You need to make sure that your pet gets all the nutrients necessary to thrive, keeping the fat content in check (too much fat can damage the gastrointestinal system and have a negative impact on overall health). Only a balanced diet will ensure that your pet is both active and healthy.

What are some of the allowed human foods for dogs?

Your dog can eat a wide range of human foods. For example, carrots are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, representing the perfect low-calorie snack. It is essential that you cut them into pieces to avoid choking.

Another snack you can give them is peanut butter. However, this should only be offered in moderation because it’s high in fat.

Nutritious human foods, such as eggs, can keep Fido healthy and satisfied for a long time. Eggs represent important protein sources and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Always give your dog cooked eggs, as the raw ones present a high risk of Salmonella infection.

As for dairy products, these should be offered ever so often, as they can cause stomach upset.

Fatty fish is an excellent choice for dogs, it’s rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is perfect for them because they have potent anti-inflammatory properties and can keep both his skin and fur healthy. Once again, you should avoid giving your dog raw fish, and you’ll run the risk of toxicity.

Your pet can eat some fruits, such as blueberries. These are highly nutritious, containing antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Blueberries are low in calories, you can offer them to your pet without worrying about the additional weight gain. Other recommended fruits include apples, bananas, blackberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, kiwis, oranges, pears, and pumpkins.

What foods should I avoid giving to my dog?

Dogs should never be given grapes or raisins. These are lethal because they increase the risk of renal failure and cause death. The same goes for chocolate. When dogs eat chocolate, they present digestive symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The darker the chocolate, the bigger the risk of intoxication.

You should also refrain from giving certain nuts to your dog. Macadamia nuts, for example, are highly harmful. This snack causes all sorts of symptoms (vomiting, muscle weakness, tremors). From another perspective, you should keep in mind that such foods have a high-fat content and their intake should be limited (if not completely eliminated from the diet).

Before allowing your dog to eat any human food, you should check and make sure it is not harmful to them. A simple onion can cause a lot of harm because they present an increased risk for anemia. The same goes for avocados because they contain a substance that prevents lungs from functioning as they should.

What about beverages?

Except for water, you should never consider other beverages as suitable for your dog. Coffee is dangerous. It contains high levels of caffeine, negatively impacting your pup’s nervous system and cause digestive issues. Tea, for similar reasons, is not an acceptable choice for your pet friend.

Dogs should never consume alcohol, as this presents a high risk of poisoning with ethanol.

Look into specially made beer for dogs!

Upon ingesting alcoholic beverages, Fido’s lack of coordination and fatigue increases. It can also lead to organ failure, heart attacks, or even coma.

“People” foods – safe or not?

It is perfectly acceptable to offer certain “people” foods to your dog, including vegetables, meat, fruits. In deciding which foods you should give, pay attention to potentially-harmful substances. Cook meals from fresh ingredients and limit the intake of those that can cause damage (especially when consumed in larger quantities).

Dogs can benefit from “people” foods and their nutritional content, but you should always only give your pet those that he can actually digest. Talk to your vet about a mixed diet and inquire about a complete list of allowed foods. Only a certified professional can determine the best diet plan for your pet, taking his age and health status into consideration.

One last piece of advice: just because you are eating at the table and you’re getting the puppy dog eyes, this does not mean you should share all of your meals.

Always have your dog’s best interest at heart!

Be sure to check doglab.com for more reviews and tips. Let us know what other people food you’ve been feeding your doggy in the comments below!

 

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7 Tips to Make a Dog-Friendly Garden

Dogs are fantastic pets to have around, they change your life for the better, but sometimes people are hesitant to get one because of the destruction that can follow them. When adopting a dog, a responsible pet owner needs to pet-proof their home, this includes pet-proofing the backyard. Fido also requires a set schedule for feeding and exercise.

One way you can make sure your dog gets the exercise they require is by making sure your backyard is suitable for their needs. With the right garden design, you can give your dog room to play, while also growing out the garden of your dreams.

Map It Out

The first step to making a dog-friendly garden is to map it out. The biggest factors to include in the planning are the size of your yard and your budget. Then, you can make a list of everything you would like to have. Keep in mind that not everything will work in the finished design.

On your list, think about what you use your backyard for. Your design will depend on what kind of garden you want. How much time do you spend in it now? How much space will your dog use up?

  • Think about the placement of the following items:
  • Types of plants: trees, flowers, fruits, and vegetables
  • Lounging area
  • Water features
  • Grilling area

Once you have your ideal garden in mind, you can start mapping it out to see what can realistically fit into your space. A pet-friendly garden should keep as much open space as possible for your dog to run around and exercise in.

A few ideas for your garden would be:

  • running path
  • place for your dog to relieve himself
  • weather-protected area to rest in

You should consider adding a dog house outside for when your puppy wants to relax in the fresh air. Shade from a large tree can also offer the needed protection from the sun in the summer.

Keeping Your Dog Out of Your Plants

In order to protect your plants from your pooch, there are several options you can explore.

Planting a garden around the edges of the yard, or next to the house itself will help minimize your dog’s interaction with your favorite shrubs. Dog fences can help keep your dog out of the garden, as well. Strong smelling spices are also known to keep dogs away from gardens, such as dried mustard or crushed pepper. You can also use containers or raised beds if you know your dog will inevitably get into your garden and destroy your plants.

Another option is to put your garden in your front yard rather than your backyard. This way, you won’t have to worry about your dog digging up your garden or eating plants that they shouldn’t be eating. This won’t completely prevent your furry pal from getting into your garden, it will reduce the frequency of this happening.

Another option is, a fenced out area just for your dog. This field can keep your pooch out of trouble. This is especially true for larger dogs, such as German Shepherds , because they’re more likely to get into trouble, but also have more need for exercise. Also keep in mind that the more you provide healthy outlets of energy for your dog, the less likely they are to get into trouble.

Pet-Friendly Plants

Regardless of the extent to which you block the access of your garden to your dog, they will likely get in it at some point. In fact, you should plan on them getting into your garden at one point or another. This is why you should make sure that all the plants that you put in your garden are pet-friendly and dog safe — this goes for houseplants as well.

The ASPCA offers a full list of toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs that you can refer to. A few herbs on the list include:

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Rosemary
  • Sage

Some dog-friendly fruits and vegetables on the list include:

  • Acorn squash
  • Banana
  • Beets
  • Butternut squash
  • Wild strawberry

The list also includes plenty of flowers and other decorative plants to beautify your yard for your pet safely. If you want to grow a plant that’s toxic for Fido, it’s best to do it inside your house. Just make sure to keep it out of reach from them!

Ban All Pesticides

Pet parents should know that pesticides profusely pester pups’ health. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, even the least toxic of insecticides can cause health problems to animals with enough exposure. Luckily, there are many natural alternatives to pesticides that are just as effective and don’t cause harm to any family member.

One natural way you can do this is to build a strong ecosystem in your yard. According to gardening experts, “by (naturally) improving the soil, your plants will become stronger, healthier and more resistant to pests and disease. A good practice is to add companion plants that deter unwanted critters and benefit nearby plants.”

You can also make your own natural and organic pesticides, like a salt spray, citrus and cayenne pepper mix, chrysanthemum flower tea spray, and more. Combining these options will keep your garden healthy and flourishing while prioritizing the safety of your pet.

Natural Flea and Tick Prevention

When you’re planning out your garden, you may want to consider flea and tick prevention for your dog. Not only are these parasitic creatures out to cause Fido discomfort and pain, but they carry diseases. These include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever or tapeworms. Using flea and tick control will help keep your dog safe from those diseases and harmful insects.

Eco-friendly is Pet-friendly

Global warming is no longer a looming threat on the planet but a reality that is destroying many parts of the planet. One way to do your part is to conserve water with an eco-friendly landscape. Housing experts state that a sustainable lawn is attainable with a few easy changes. One such change is replacing or reducing the grass in your lawn: “Consider minimizing your lawn space with some aesthetically pleasing rocks, flower beds and mulch covered gardens that will help retain water.”

Another option is to choose the type of grass you use carefully. “You can also conserve water with the sod you use. UC Verde Buffalo Grass, Dune Wedge, and Native California Bentgrass are all alternatives to standard sod that require about 50 percent less water than your average grassy lawn.” Making changes to reduce the water use for your garden will help improve your sustainability.

Pet Safety Tips

Lastly, you should keep an eye out for your dog’s health. Even with all the preparation, planning, and prevention efforts, your pup can still get into something they’re not supposed to. It’s not always possible to be watching your dog all the time, but you can learn to recognize signs if he eats something harmful.

For example, if you notice your dog regurgitating or vomiting, it can be a sign that something is off. This could just be because your pup ate too fast, but it might be in reaction to something they ate. Dog’s bodies are usually good at getting something damaging out of their system. However, if you notice something off in your pet, it is always best to take them to the vet immediately.

Some signs and symptoms of dog poisoning to be aware of include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive or abnormal drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

As a pet parent, you will likely be able to tell if something is wrong with your pet. Just make sure to act fast, and if you are in doubt, you should always consult a vet.

Creating a garden that your dog can enjoy as much as you do, may take some planning, but it is completely achievable. Just make sure to map out a yard that gives your dog space to run around, include an area for your dog to relax, plant dog-friendly plants, and make it as natural and sustainable as possible.

 

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What is Canine Periodontal Disease?

According to Dr. James Anthony, “canine periodontal disease is a condition that affects a dog’s gums, rather than originating in the teeth themselves. Tooth loss and decay usually occur as a direct result of advanced periodontal disease.”

As canine periodontal disease progresses, your pooch will go through 4 different stages. Did you know by the time your dog reaches 3 years old, “roughly 80% of dogs have oral health issues, with many showing the tell-tale signs of early onset periodontal disease.”

Once the oral disease begins, the following stages can occur:

Stage 1
Gingivitis – initial inflammation of the gums

Stage 2
Early Periodontitis – more inflammation, and plaque and tartar has formed

Stage 3
Established Periodontitis – bleeding gums

Stage 4
Advanced Periodontitis – severe pain in the gums and obstruction of nasal passages

To read more about the stages, please check out the full article here.

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Finding the Right Fish Oil For Your Dog

Fish Oils for dogs are an excellent source of protein, and they are low in fat, which makes them an ally when it comes to maintaining the health status of your dog. However, the greatest benefit of fish oil is that it is one of the most natural sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Fishes such as trout and salmon are examples of fish with a high content of Omega 3. Dogs cannot produce these fatty acids, which are essential for the proper functioning of your dog’s joints. As a result, adding it to your dog’s daily diet in the form of fish oils for dogs is more than necessary.

Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Also, they can be of great help to avoid the burning of the skin and other dermatological problems in dogs.

So that your dog can benefit from Omega 3 to the maximum, the ideal thing is to give him high-quality fish oil. There are many options for preserved fish low in salt.

What Nutrients Does Fish oil Contribute to Dogs?

High concentration of proteins

When supplied to dogs through fish oils, they help in muscle maintenance and regeneration of body cells.

Provides fats

The fish oil will supply the number of good fats that your dog needs. The unsaturated fats that can be found in bluefish – salmon or trout further help regulate cholesterol and are beneficial for the cardiovascular system.

Rich in Omega 3

As stated earlier, fish oils are highly rich in Omega 3 which is a beneficial fatty acid to protect the dog’s heart and make its skin and hair look healthy and shiny.

Minerals and Vitamins

Fish oil provides minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, iodine, etc. And vitamins as important as A, group B, and D.

The 5 best fish oils for dogs

1. Salmon fish oil

Salmon oil is an oil derived from fish tissue and contains omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosanoids are known to reduce and relieve inflammation in the body. This oil also has other health benefits: Reducing the risk of heart attacks or strokes, fighting depression, anxiety, cancer, neurological disorders and macular degeneration.

As an ideal energy food supplement for our pets, salmon oil is great for digestion and completes the diet of our dogs. The main benefits of these acids provided by salmon oil are the prevention of various diseases and the improvement of the immune systems, which translates into better health, and, therefore, an improvement in the quality of life of the animal.

Salmon oil is high in DHA and EPA, two healthy fatty acids that are abundant in fish and shellfish. DHA or docosahexaenoic acid has a positive effect on the cell membrane, helping the growth and development of our dog. Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA is a very good anti-inflammatory agent, which will help the correct functioning of the circulatory system.

The best way to include salmon oil in your dog’s diet is by mixing the supplement with something your pet likes and possibly containing healthy fats such as peanut butter or natural cream cheese. You can also give him the oils by themselves, as a snack, or add them to their diet.

The amount of salmon oil to add to the meal will depend on the size of your pet, breed, age, weight, and physical condition.

Proven Benefits of Salmon Fish Oil

• Improved appearance and health of hair and skin, leaving them soft and shiny

• Reduced risk of arthritis, since it helps prevent inflammation

• Helps prevent skin allergies

• Prevention of intestinal inflammation

• Regulation of the immune system

• Helps the mental development of fetuses and puppies

• Improves the cognitive function of older dogs

• Reduces blood pressure and triglycerides

• Helps dogs with kidney diseases

• Fights heart disease

• Helps prevent cancer

• Promotes weight loss in overweight dogs

• Help in the production of collagen

• Treat dog kidney problems (frequent urination, loss of appetite)

• The appearance of joint problems is reduced

Studies have shown that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (the major component of salmon fish oil) helps in better brain development in fetuses and puppies. This is why today we can easily find many dog food brands that include this ingredient in their formulas, especially in the ranges for younger dogs.

2. Sardine fish oil

Sardine is a fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to the joints and, in the case of dogs, can also help their coat to become healthier and more beautiful. Also, there are numerous other benefits that sardine oil can bring to the health of dogs.

The sardine oil also helps to regulate the immune system, slows down inflammatory processes, and is still known to aid in brain health. All these benefits are essential in elderly dogs and even puppies. With all these qualities, the benefits of offering sardine fish oil to your dog, far outweigh possible negative factors. The amount of sardine oil that a dog can consume per meal will depend directly on the weight of the animal.

EZ-CHEW Multi-Vitamin for Dogs (180 soft chews)

3. Tuna fish oil

Tuna fish oil is good for dogs because it contains many nutrients of great value for your pup’s health.

Highly Preferable for Dogs

• A high percentage of proteins, the “bricks” with which the body is built.

Proteins are necessary for the formation and repair of the body’s cells and tissues, and for the development of muscles. Proteins are the basis of the dog’s diet.

• Fats, or “good fats,” are unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are found in tuna, also known as bluefish. These tuna fats help regulate your dog’s cholesterol level and are good for your dog’s cardiovascular system.

• Tuna oil contains Omega 3, a beneficial fatty acid to protect your dog’s heart and relieves some arthritis symptoms. Also, Omega-3s are known for promoting skin and hair health.

• Rich in Vitamin B12 and B6.

4. Trout fish oil

Due to its selenium content, trout fish oil protects against cardiovascular diseases, while stimulating the immune system. In addition, the antioxidant nature of this component and Vitamin E delays your pup’s aging process, while reinforcing preventative properties against cancer.

Furthermore, trout fish oil contributes huge amounts of potassium and sodium to help balance acid-base levels and water concentration in your dog’s blood and tissue. The consumption of trout fish oil provides ‘good’ cholesterol to the body, necessary both in body tissues – liver, spinal cord, pancreas and brain – and in blood plasm. It’s essential to create plasma membrane that regulates the entry and exit of substances through the cells.

Bonnie & Clyde Wild Omega 3 Fish Oil for Dogs and Cats (16 oz)

5. Mackerel fish oil

The advantages of mackerel fish oil in your dog’s diet are immense. It is very useful for weaker or sickly animals, giving them extra energy and strength. Among its benefits, mackerel fish oil strengthens fertility, regulates cholesterol, and reduces cardiovascular risks.

In general, this fish oil is ideal for solving other health problems in dogs. It’s used on many occasions as a supplement for treatments of skin or arthritis problems. You can also be sure that Fido’s long mane will remain super healthy with this oil.

Wrap Up

Choosing the right fish oil for your dog depends on what his needs are. Be sure to let us know what oils have worked best for you and your pooch in the comments below!

About the Author

HellowDog is an excellent place for all dog owners to come to interact with more dog lovers. This also stands as a great destination to find unbiased, genuine reviews of different dog products online.

 

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How to Practice Yoga With Your Dog

There are very few things in life that give me as much comfort and joy as my dogs. The same could be said for my practice of yoga. The growing popularity of Doga (a word that combines “dog” and “yoga”) comes as no surprise to anyone who has a dog and enjoys yoga. Like yoga, the experience of loving a four-legged friend opens the heart and stretches the soul. It invites you to be vulnerable and demands that you be present. Most importantly, it makes you a better person, with more compassion for yourself and the many beings who call this big, beautiful, blue marble their home.

Practical Benefits

On a purely practical level, the benefits of yoga and dog ownership are remarkably similar: both improve heart health, encourage fitness, help you lose weight, reduce stress, bring a sense of purpose and can stave off depression. Given this broad and overlapping range of benefits, it’s no wonder that Doga has moved from a small, coastal niche activity to something with broad appeal that’s quickly making inroads in big cities and small towns across America.

The Origins of Doga

Despite what you may think, Doga isn’t a brand new phenomenon. Dogs have been welcomed into some yoga studios for years, and many of us have unconsciously been practicing Doga at home when curious furry friends decide to join us on our mats.

But the offering of studio (or park) classes specifically and intentionally for pet owners and their pooches is a rather recent development in the history of the yoga movement. Although opinions differ on exactly who offered the first Doga class, many sources point to Mahny Djahanguiri, a yoga instructor from London, who began inviting her students to bring their dogs to class in 2012. According to Mahny, the main point of Doga is to strengthen the bond between people and their pets. She also says that there is an immediate benefit for both participants. A dog will benefit from having a really calm owner and as anyone who has practiced Doga will attest, the reverse is also true: The owner will benefit from having a really calm dog.

dog doing yoga

Doga Sweeping The Country

Wherever it started, it’s clear the practice of Doga is flourishing all across America. Practitioners include Kristyn Caliendo of Chicago who completes forward-bends with her Jack Russell terrier draped around her neck and Grace Yang of Manhattan to moves into a warrior pose with her Shih Tzu balanced on her thigh. Chantale Stiller-Anderson from Seattle works her asana practice while contorting around her 52-pound Vizsla. What these yogis demonstrate is that in contrast to popular forms of yoga like Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram and Vinyasa, the practice of Doga demands that we practice openness and flexibility at a whole new level. Because while the aforementioned styles call for very specific sequences and alignment, practicing yoga with a pooch demands real flexibility of spirit and a patient willingness to work with the size, disposition, and inclinations of your furry best friend.

Brenda Bryan, Doga instructor and author of Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi epitomizes the friendly and flexible spirit of a healthy Doga practice. Her classes are loosely structured and filled with acceptance and humor. She recognizes the importance of an open mind and a light heart saying, “There can be confusion about what Doga is and isn’t. Who cares if everybody’s facing the same direction and doing exactly the same thing? Besides, laughing is spiritual!”

Mindfulness, Trust & Respect

When practicing Doga, it’s crucial to remember that like people, each dog is an individual with his or her own preferences and abilities. As we invite our dogs into our practice, it is vital to treat them respectfully and never push them beyond their ability or comfort level. Be aware and mindful of their reactions and read their body language for signs of discomfort or pain. Trust and compassion are paramount. And always remember: the main objective of a good Doga class or practice is a deepening of the human/canine bond.

Considerations

Before beginning any form of yoga, it’s important to understand body types, personality, and expectations. This is especially true when it comes to the practice of Doga. If you already practice yoga, you likely have a pretty good sense of your own body’s strengths and limitations as well as your own temperament and ability to focus. When practicing Doga, you are practicing with a partner and should not place unrealistic expectations on her. Below are some important factors to consider.

Size

Not all poses are possible with all breeds of dogs. To state the obvious: if you have a Great Dane, it’s not advisable to try to lift him over your head in a modified tree pose! And if you have a Pomeranian, leaning up against her for support will not yield good results! They key to working with dogs of all sizes is to be mindful of modifications to basic poses.

Age

Like people, dogs seem to mellow with age as the frenetic energy of youth becomes more balanced in adulthood. If you have a puppy or young dog who is not yet well trained, Doga will likely be a bit more of a challenge but can be a great way to build trust between you and help reinforce the training process. Working with older dogs can pose other challenges. If you have an older/elderly dog (north of 7 years for most breeds), please be mindful of their restricted range of motion. As arthritis may have settled in, it is vital that you don’t force them in ways that are uncomfortable and taxing to them as this will cause them to fear Doga practice – the exact opposite of what we are aiming for!

Temperament

One of the most common concerns expressed by fist-time Doga practitioners is, “My dog isn’t mellow enough for Doga!” A fair enough concern given the varied personalities of canines but the real problem may be with you and not your dog. Although Doga is an offshoot of yoga, it’s essential to remember that first and foremost, it’s an activity with your dog. If your expectations are of a blissed-out, zen-like experience every time you’re together on the mat, then you’re setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. Although most dogs will adjust beautifully over time, some take longer than others to relax into the practice.

Basic Doga For Beginners

If you’re ready to take to the mat with your beloved mutt, the key to beginning is to start slow and easy. The next time you roll out your mat, invite your dog to spend some time with you there. Don’t worry about positions or asanas in the beginning. Simply allow your pet to just enjoy time with you on your mat with some cuddling and belly rubs. This will help him get used to your yoga mat and associate it with happy time with you.

Allow things to unfold naturally with a mindset of acceptance and loving kindness. Your dog will pick up on your vibes and if you come to the mat with a stern attitude and too many expectations, you will turn him off before you even get started. Once you are able to comfortably and calmly relax on the mat together, you can move on to some basic Doga positions.

Mutt-Lover’s Mudras

Mudras are hand position used in both yoga and meditation to harness prana (life force) in the body. In Doga practice, you use your hands to gently connect with your dog and engage with his prana. This allows you to create trust and receptivity while sending positive energy and receiving it back. The following practices will provide a feeling of deep connection with your dog.

Option One: With your dog lying on your mat, extend over him in a modified Child’s Pose and gently place your hands over your dog’s front paws. Breathe.

Option Two: Sitting cross-legged on your mat with your dog lying in front of you or sitting facing you, place your hand on her heart or chest area and experience the love you have for her as you try to feel her heartbeat. Breathe.

Option Three: Sitting facing your dog on your mat, gently cup his head between your hands and rest your forehead against his. In this Mudra, the intention is to connect with your dog’s consciousness with mindfulness and presence. Breathe.

Downward-Facing Dog

  1. Invite your pooch to lie on your yoga mat.
  2. Position yourself on your hands and knees with your dog underneath you.
  3. Spread your fingers wide and press firmly through your palms.
  4. Exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor.
  5. Press away from the floor as you lift from your pelvis and straighten your legs (but don’t over-extend them).
  6. Kiss your pooch on the top of his adorable head and hold for a count of five.

Forward Lean & Love

  1. Sit comfortably with your legs tucked underneath you and your dog on the mat facing you.
  2. Clasp your hands behind your back and lean forward until your forehead rests on top of your dog’s head.
  3. Connect with the energy of your pup and breathe deeply for a count of five.

Woof To The Warrior

  1. Stand with your dog at your side.
  2. Step one foot back and extend your hands above your head for Warrior One Pose.
  3. Extend hands in front and back as you move into Warrior Two Pose.
  4. Use your forward-facing hand to stretch slightly and pet the top of your dog’s head.
  5. Switch sides and repeat.

Satisfying Savasana

  1. Lie on your back and place your dog gently on your torso (if your dog is small enough).
  2. If you have a larger breed, have him lie next to you with your hand lightly touching his side.
  3. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
  4. Pet your dog gently as you relax into this pose.

A Sacred Union of Souls

Practitioners of traditional yoga know that its goal is union – of the mind, body and spirit. In the practice of Doga, we seek to expand this union to our pets, and in doing so, connect to the Divinity of all living beings. The reason Doga has resonated so greatly with people is that our connection with our canines tends to be quite profound. In practicing Doga, we can descend more deeply into this bond and share a feeling of loving-kindness with the greater world.

dog sitting on a yoga mat, concentrating for exercise and listening to a trainer

Bow to the Wow

These days it’s fairly common to hear people exchange salutations of “Namaste” in yoga class. It’s the Indian equivalent of “hello,” but with an element of respect. Interestingly, the root word nama means “bow.” DownDog Customizable Yoga Mats for pet lovers were created to give passionate pet-lovers the experience of “wow” with inspiring pictures of their own pets right on their yoga mat. Put the two together and the result is something that might just open your heart and stretch your soul.

About the Author

Moira Lynch is a passionate pet parent of two 14-yer-old dogs named Otis and Emma and the founder of DownDog Customizable Yoga Mats for pet lovers. Her dogs have enriched her life immeasurably and inspired a deep commitment to animal justice and well-being. DownDog is proud to be a recognized business ambassador for the ASPCA, a national leader in animal rescue, justice, and advocacy.

 

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Why Your Dog Won’t Stop Barking

It is natural and normal for a dog to bark. It is their form of communication, but when it’s done excessively, it can be very bothersome. If you live in an apartment building, your dog’s habit of barking most of the day will create troubles with the neighbors.

No matter how you put it, it is extremely unpleasant to have a dog that won’t stop barking. So, let us look at the reasons behind excessive barking and solutions that will help you correct this unwanted behavior.

Your dog is alarmed by something

Your dog is, by nature, a very protective creature. When an intruder or stranger approaches you, he’ll feel the need to take action and protect you or his family when needed. So, when your dog barks, it may be because something triggered an alarm in his head.

For example, hearing the doorbell ring, someone knocking on the door, or seeing a stranger by the window, are the most common triggers that can make a dog bark. It is their way of warning you that something is going on.

So how do you stop your dog from barking in these situations?

My recommendation is not to raise your voice or yell at your dog. This will only make things worse. Instead, divert your dog’s attention from the trigger with his favorite toy or take him to a different room. You can also train your dog to distance himself from the door when the doorbell rings.

Your Dog suffers from anxiety or utter boredom

Depending on the type of dog that you have, certain breeds don’t appreciate being away from their owners for too long. These dog breeds are prone to developing separation anxiety and develop all sorts of unwanted behaviors.

If your dog is in distress when you’re away, he will begin to bark as a way to get your attention. Unfortunately, some dogs can bark for hours in a row after your departure.

Of course, anxiety can also be provoked by the sight of a stranger approaching the house or your return home after several hours of absence. Stress can be something that appears as a result of joy or fear.

This is why dogs that bark and launch at people, for example, can be considered aggressive. In most cases, dogs do this as an intimidation method in order to keep what they consider dangerous at a distance, and not necessarily because they want to bite.

Your dog is demanding something

Some dogs bark because they want to make a demand. As mentioned earlier, this is their way of communicating, so when your dog wants something, there’s no other way to say it. What can your dog want?

His barking may be due to barking. It may be his attempt to let you know that it’s time to go on a walk or that he needs attention.

How can I tell if my dog is asking for something?

Pay attention to how your dog is barking. When your dog is making a demand, his bark is shorter. It can be one longer bark followed by several short ones. Or he can bark with longer pauses in between while looking at you insistently.

After a while, it will be easier to determine the cause behind your dog’s bark, so you will know how to stop it more effectively.

He does it out of too much excitement

Some dogs bark out of excitement as well. For example, your dog may bark when seeing another dog while walking outside. In this case, your dog gets excited at the sight of the other dog.

If you like playing catch with your dog, you probably noticed that your dog barks before you manage to throw the ball or stick. This is again done out of excitement, as your dog tries to make you start the game sooner, so he can chase his toy.

However, there is a thin line between excitement and fear. In other words, if your dog senses danger or feels intimidated in any way, his excitement may turn into fear. So, pay attention to your pup’s body language. If you notice that your dog is backing away from something or someone, he may be scared. But, if he jumps on you after you enter the house, he’s happy to see you.

Your Dog Seeks Attention

Because a dog can’t actually speak to us, paying attention to the context to their barking will help a lot in determining what causes his behavior. Some dogs may start barking because they are bored and need something, like playing or going for a walk.

Your pooch can also bark out of frustration, like when his favorite toy is stuck under the couch or when his water bowl is empty. So, when there’s no obvious threat, maybe your companion is just trying to make a point. Thus, watch for clues that will indicate what your dog is trying to say.

Wrap Up

Dogs bark as this is their way of communication, but this doesn’t mean that all dogs bark in an excessive manner. You can keep this under control with proper education and by correcting your dog in a gentle way when he barks too much.

Of course, there are dog breeds that are calmer and won’t bark unless there’s no other way. If you want to see what dog breeds are not too keen on barking, visit the website of Charlotte Dog Club. Here you can easily find the ideal companion that will suit your preferences and lifestyle.

About the Author

Kate is a Marketing Specialist for Charlotte Dog Club, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Behavior. She is interested in anything dog-related and understands that having a happy life alongside your companion is more than training it for obedience.

 

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What Are The Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease?

In this article, Dr. James Anthony goes over 12 different warning signs that your pooch will exhibit in the early stages of periodontal disease.

The 7 Most Popular Haircuts for Dogs

Who would have thought that there are so many different haircuts and styles for your furry friend? What are the best hairstyles for dogs, you may ask? Many of them are dependent on the type of breed you have, but a lot of cuts can be done across the board regardless of breed.

Regular grooming and haircuts are important for keeping your dog’s mane healthy. Some people prefer taking care of this on their own. This requires a lot of time and attention. If you are like me, it is much easier, if my furbaby gets to visit the groomers on a consistent basis.

Since there are different interpretations of the variety of haircuts, make sure you are communicating with your groomer on exactly what you want.

The request for a “puppy cut” could be understood differently by you versus the groomer, depending on the groomer and what region you are in.
Sometimes simply showing them a picture will give them the guidance they need.

The following will provide some insight into the best dog haircuts:

The Puppy Cut

Arguably, this could be one of the most popular and requested cuts that groomers get. Yet, it creates the most confusion when requested.

The puppy cut started out being used on poodles (in dog shows) until they were one year or older, transitioning into the standard “poodle” cut.
Currently, the puppy cut can be used on virtually any breed of dog and is appealing to most dog owners due to its low maintenance and effectiveness. Plus, this cut will allow your dog to go longer between haircuts, think 6-8 weeks.

The standard puppy cut is basically one length of fur over the body, legs, head, and so forth. Usually, the length is between one to two inches all over. However, there is room for variance, depending on the owner’s preference. The fur should be left fluffy, soft, and plush, like that of a puppy.

Teddy Bear Cut

Do you want your pup to resemble a cuddly teddy bear instead? Just picture a stuffed teddy bear toy. There are no specifics as to the length of fur on the body, as it can vary from half an inch up to two inches, depending on your preference. The groomer will trim their fur to the desired length, leaving the hair around the face and legs full and round, resembling a teddy bear.

Some people use the terms “teddy bear” and “puppy cut” interchangeably, but they are different. If you are trying to communicate with your groomer, be sure you know the difference. Again, if all else fails in verbal communication, have a picture ready!

The teddy bear cut is a good, low-maintenance option as well.

Kennel Cut

The origin of the kennel cut came from the idea of keeping the fur short on dogs, in the offseason of showing or hunting. Hunting dogs are often kenneled when they are not hunting, therefore coining the term “kennel cut”. A kennel cut is also a good option for summer time when it’s warm outside.

There is no specific length related to the kennel cut, other than keeping the fur short over the entire body, with a cleaned-up face and tail. The reason behind having a shorter coat is for less maintenance and is easier to manage. For hunting dogs, they typically have longer fur during the hunting season, to protect their bodies from the cold elements.

For the busy dog owner with little time to put into grooming, this cut is the easiest to maintain.

Lamb Cut

Another popular style is the lamb cut. It started out in the 1930’s, used primarily on poodles. By shaving the face, feet, and tail, the rest of the body and head have the same length of fur. Sometimes, the fur on their legs is left longer to avoid looking like toothpicks.

The lamb cut now includes a variation where the hair on the body is shorter than the length of the hair on the legs, and the hair should flow evenly from the body to the legs. A lamb cut is a great option for fluffy or curly breeds such as the Bichon, Poodle, Schnauzer, and Shih Tzu.

This is also a low-maintenance style and is ideal for dogs in cool or warm climates.

Poodle Cut

Not just for Poodles anymore, this cut is being requested by owners of different breeds. However, it is best used on those breeds with lots of fur and fluff.

A poodle cut covers a wide variety of styles within that term. For the show dogs, a continental clip is a popular choice. Groomers shave some areas entirely, such as the legs, belly, and face at the feet, and leave a little pom of fur at their feet. The fur grows out in all other areas of the body.

With the bikini clip, otherwise known as the “Miami clip,” you shave the face, feet, and tail, but leave a pom on the tail. Hair is left on the rest of the body, at the length you desire.

For the most part, the styles that fall under the “poodle cut” category require more maintenance and frequent visits to the groomers, to uphold the desired look.

Lion Cut

While these cuts may be cute and funny, they have a history of being very practical and used for functionality. In the 17th century, Portuguese Water Dogs were used to help fisherman retrieve lost nets and tackle. Being cut like a lion, allowed them to swim faster and be more agile in the water.
Poodles were also used as water retrievers in Germany. The lion cut provided warmth around vital organs in the body when dogs were swimming through cold waters. This is a popular cut for other pooches such as the Pomeranian, the Lowchen, and the Chow.

With this haircut, there is a possibility that the hair may not grow back properly after it has been shaved. It can also grow back patchy. This can especially hold true with Pomeranians. Your pooch might be at risk of developing sores around their legs from not having the cushioning hair to protect them when they lie down.

Cuteness aside, be sure to consider options and risk with any choice of haircut for your precious pup.

Sanitary Trim

What if you want him to sport a longer mane? You can always grow out their fur, but trim down specific areas for sanitary reasons. A sanitary trim involves trimming down or shaving the areas around the belly, genitals, tail, and anus.

This will help with hygiene and keeping your dog clean. This trim is good for preventing body waste from clinging to the fur, which could lead to other issues such as skin rashes or infection. Maintenance becomes a lot easier as well.

Having a professional groomer handle this trim is a better option, as you must take great care in tending to these areas, so as not to cause any injury.

Choosing the Right Haircut

All in all, you want to consider what is best for your pup and you regarding haircuts. Some things to consider are the amount of time you can devote to brushing and grooming your dog per day, the condition of your dog’s skin, weather and climate, and outdoor elements.

For example, my dog is a mix of Shih Tzu and Bichon. This type of fur requires consistent daily brushing, even when he is sporting a puppy cut. However, having the shorter hair makes it a lot less time-consuming.

If you are not able to commit to at least ten minutes per day to brush through your dog’s mane and attend to his grooming needs, a shorter haircut would be the better option. A dog with long hair requires, daily brushing to ensure no mats have taken up residence in their fur. Some dogs are more susceptible to skin issues in general, and if your dog has sensitive skin, like mine, he would benefit from shorter fur as well. This alleviates the potential for hotspots on the skin.

Climate should be considered in your decision making. Are you in a primarily cool or warm climate? If it’s cooler most days and you have the time to brush out their mane, then longer fur could be a nice option. However, if you live in a warm climate and your dog is out often, rolling around in the dirt or running through thick weeds, this can make for a bad combination with a longer mane. Longer hair attracts more dirt and grime.
Choosing the right haircut for your dog is not just about the look you desire, but about keeping them happy and healthy as well. Do your research and talk with your groomer about cuts that would work well for your pup.

About the Author
Adam Conrad is a dad of 5 Shih Tzu pups. His passion for helping people in all aspects of dog care flows through in the coverage he provides about dog health issues like CDV (Canine Distemper Virus), pet containment systems, dog grooming, and best food for dogs. In his spare time he is an avid scuba diver.

 

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13 Unhealthy Food Habits Your Dog Needs to Break

Similar to humans, dogs also develop bad eating habits. Although in most cases these habits are behavioral in nature, it pays to be safe as they can also be an indication of an underlying health condition.

When your pooch eats far less dog food than needed or ends up always wanting more, don’t disregard it. Below are unhealthy food habits you should watch out for every time your beloved pooch eats.

1. Showing signs of fear

Most dogs will be quite eager to dip their snouts into a big bowl of food. However, if your canine is cowering or showing any signs of fear during mealtime, it’s most likely that the food isn’t the problem. There are certain types of dog dishes that can make a dog feel nervous, and one of the biggest culprits are those made of metal.

Dog behaviorists suggest that common reasons why a canine may act afraid around metal dishes are due to:

  • The metallic noise created by their tags or collar hitting the food dish while eating causes discomfort.
  • The dog seeing his own reflection in a metallic bowl makes him feel frightened or uncomfortable.
  • The metal dish or bowl is something new for the dog — making him feel wary around it.

To solve this problem, try to find alternative food bowls or dishes to use when feeding your pooch and see if that helps.

2. Eating too fast

If your dog seems to be inhaling food, this can be a sign of a medical problem. When you notice this symptom, the first thing to do is to let a veterinarian check your pet. If your vet says that there’s nothing wrong with your pooch, ask yourself whether your dog is competing for food.

If your pooch is not competing for food with anybody else, try feeding him several small meals each day instead of one large one.
Or you can also invest in a slow-feeding bowl that will naturally slow your pet’s intake of food.

3. Taking forever to eat

While there are dogs who eat too fast, there are also those who take longer to finish their meals. This may not be a bad thing and might be because your pup is perfectly comfortable with his environment. However, there’s also a chance that slow eating could be a sign of a hidden health problem.

If your pooch takes forever to eat, he may have a troublesome tooth or an upset stomach that makes eating quite difficult. Bring your dog to the vet to rule out this bad habit, especially if this is a new behavior.

4. Moving food to the floor

There are dogs who aren’t picky with what they eat but are more concerned about “how” they eat. It may be fascinating to watch your furry friend transfer his food from his bowl to the floor, but this can also leave stains on your freshly cleaned floors. This behavior is essential to watch out for if:

  • Your dog isn’t a fan of the noise the bowl makes when he touches it.
  • The bowl has an unpleasant smell such as soap.
  • Your dog doesn’t like how the bowl moves when he eats.

Your pup may prefer eating on the floor more so that his food won’t go anywhere.

5. Overeating or consuming too much food

A dog that consumes too many calories in a short amount of time may experience digestive difficulties, increased weight, and depression. The most common reasons why a dog overeats consist of:

Boredom – When a dog is left alone for long periods of time without entertainment, he may choose to alleviate his boredom through treats and snacks.

Central Nervous System (CNS) Damage – A damage to CNS can limit a canine’s ability to recognize when he’s full so that he can stop eating. This damage can happen because of trauma like a severe blow to the head or due to lesions caused by parasites. Overeating caused by CNS damage may come with uncontrollable shaking, unusual movements, or seizures.

Hormonal Imbalance – Imbalance in a dog’s hormone levels can overstimulate appetite which leads to overeating.

Extended Hunger – A dog that went too long without eating may end up overeating to ease their hunger. Eating too much may lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and bloating.

Overfeeding – When you constantly feed your dog more, he’ll think that it’s the normal amount of food that he should consume.

If your pooch is overeating, the right way to deal with this problem will depend greatly on the underlying reason. If it’s because of boredom, try to provide entertainment through training sessions and chew toys. Utilizing bowls designed to prevent over-eating or hand feeding your dog may also help reduce your pet’s rate of consumption.

6. Being picky with food

Has your dog always been a picky eater? If he’s not, the first thing you should do is to let your vet examine your pet to ensure that there are no health problems. Mostly, picky eaters simply have a specific food preference.

The trick to dealing with a picky eater is through trial and error. As much as possible, try different high-quality dog foods until you find one that your pet loves.

7. Burying or storing food

This is actually a common behavior in canines and is an easy “bad eating” habit to break. You can start by taking away your pet’s food bowl or dish immediately after he finishes eating. Eventually, your pooch will begin to learn to eat his food within a specific time frame without storing it.

Hoarding is often not due to any health problem but rather a canine’s instinct to store food for later.

8. Not eating anything at all

A dog who’s not eating anything is most definitely a cause for worry. It’s most likely that your pooch is suffering from a serious health condition so make sure to bring him to the vet as soon as possible. Common health problems that can cause your dog to refuse food include:

  • Worms or parasites
  • Dental problems
  • Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal issues

If your vet says that your dog’s loss of appetite is due to a behavioral problem rather than the result of a health condition, there are things you can do to encourage your pooch to eat. These may include:

  • Feeding on a regular schedule
  • Cutting back on giving treats
  • Making mealtimes fun
  • Taking your pooch for a walk before mealtime
  • Trying another kind of dog food
  • Changing your pet’s feeding area or situation

9. Moving the food bowl or container

You set your dog’s food bowl in a designated area but by the time he finishes eating, it’s all the way to the other side of the room. This is a fun odd eating behavior to watch and unlike other habits, this isn’t a sign of a health problem. However, this may become quite frustrating on your part later on, especially if you can no longer locate the bowl during feeding time.

If you don’t want your dog’s food bowl to end up somewhere else, consider feeding him inside his crate. You can also opt for a food bowl that has a rubber at the bottom to prevent it from sliding to other places.

10. Playing with food

A dog that uses food as toys signifies, he’s bored. You can correct this bad habit by offering your pooch some fun toys to play with. If the bad behavior still continues, take the food away and give it to him later until he realizes that he shouldn’t play with his food.

11. Only eats when you’re around

If your dog can’t eat without you being present, the best solution is to feed him in an area where he can see you. For instance, if you’re watching television, move his food bowl near the living room. This bad habit may be due to the discomfort your dog feels with his environment or separation anxiety problems.

12. Begging for food

Dog begging can be best prevented when your dog is still a puppy. As early as possible, don’t offer food to your pooch every time you eat even if he shows you his cute, puppy eyes. Moreover, don’t give treats without reason unless your dog performed something that pleases you or did a trick.

Be firm in saying “no” every time your pet is begging. Take your food to a separate room when you eat so that your dog won’t see it and start begging.

13. Eating dirt

It’s not a surprise to find your dog chewing furniture or gnawing on a shoe. However, eating dirt isn’t a normal behavior. Other than the fact that it doesn’t taste good, this can be extremely dangerous if your pet consumes too much dirt.

The common reason why a dog eats dirt is to make up for the nutrients he lacks. There are certain kinds of soils which are rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium – nutrients that a dog needs to stay healthy. If you notice your dog munching on dirt in your yard, this may be his body’s way of making up for lacking nutrients so make sure to consult your vet on how you can change or supplement your dog’s diet.

Just like you, your dog has his own preferences when eating. But, you should ascertain that his preferences are not developing into bad food habits to ensure that he eats the right amount of food.

Bear in mind that whenever you’re in doubt about your pet’s health condition, you should always seek a vet for advice.

About the Author
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.

 

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