Why Dog Owners are Happier

Written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers. They say that dog owners live happier, longer lives. One big reason? Dogs can help you get out more often, stick to your workouts, and stay upbeat while you’re at it. How can your pet […]

via Dogs Help You Exercise — simple Ula

Top 3 Calming Exercises for Anxious Dogs

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Many dogs are sent to shelter home due to their anxiety problems that develop due to hyperactivity. On the other hand, dogs that are brought home from animal shelters have behavior issues like barking, digging, destructive chewing, etc. The problem, in both cases, is not with dogs but with the owners who fail to provide enough opportunities to their Fido to invest their pent-up energies positively.

Did you ever think of trying out some calming exercises for your pooch? Here are three ways to tone down the excessive energy of dogs:

  1. Doga:

Doga has calming effects on both the dog owner and the pooch. Although dogs are not able to imitate the stretches and poses of their yogi owners, still they feel calm at the end of a yoga session. The bonding between the owner and the dog gets stronger. The owners are able to better understand their Fido’s body language. They will be able to train the pooch in a more calm and controlled manner.

Doga helps dogs invest their energies in calming exercises. Your pooch will feel relaxed after doga class. Try it out for your anxious and hyperactive dog.

  1. Routine and Familiarity:

Unfamiliar situations and environments, as well as haphazard routines, are known to create confusions in the pooch’s mind. It may create anxiety that will lead to destructive chewing and excessive barking, etc.

Dogs enjoy following routines. They feel uncomfortable when their set schedule is not followed. Routines help a dog wait for the play, walk or exercise time patiently. Consistency in daily routine activities will keep the pooch relaxed. Are you following the routine of your dog?

Sometimes dog owners do not maintain routine of giving food to the pooch. Whether you serve raw dog food or dry kibble, maintain a fixed time. One day giving food via treat dispensing toys and the other day in food bowls can also upset the little pooch. Dogs need surety about everything. Or else, they stay anxious whether they will have it or not!

If you are an adventure lover, your dog can feel anxious in unfamiliar places. To maintain the familiarity, take the Fido’s favorite chewing cloth that has your scent and of home. Give him a chew toy, familiar bowl, familiar bed, and blanket to stay calm and comfortable at unknown places or new home.

  1. Music or Smart Toys:

Some dogs are not hyperactive but are rather intelligent dog breeds. They need something for their mental stimulation. Find out some puzzles, buster cubes, interactive toys, Kongs to keep the pooch busy during your absence. Stuff them with their favorite treat so they may stay motivated to solve the puzzle.

Whether it’s a thunderstorm or fireworks that makes your pooch anxious and restless, it will not worry your Fido anymore. Simply, turn on some soft music in the room. A study conducted by Physiology and Behavior says that dogs feel relaxed and calm when the sound of soft rock or reggae fills the room. During unfamiliar situations or stressful ones, playing the soothing soft rock music will definitely improve your dog’s behavior.

Before you decide to leave your cute cuddle ball in an animal shelter, consider trying these tricks to calm his nerves. Sometimes, medications work for toning down dog’s anxiety.

Would you like being left alone for your bad behaviors that developed due to certain circumstances other had created for you?

5 Ways to Prepare Your Dog for Natural Disasters

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This may seem like it’s a bit early to write about… but the National Weather Service is calling for widespread tornadoes in the month of May. And, regardless of the time of year, it’s always good to be prepared for natural disasters. Understanding how to prepare for natural disasters for your family, and for your beloved dog, is extremely important.

During times of natural disaster, many dogs are lost. In a tornado situation, for example, we rush our family to the basement. Then, we’ll come back up as fast as possible to call for our dog if he hasn’t already followed us. But, remember, sometimes there isn’t much time to take shelter. If your dog hasn’t followed yourself and your family down into the shelter, he or she could easily become lost.

For those of you reading in my hometown of Western New York, tornadoes are less frequent, but remember they can still happen. It wasn’t long ago when a tornado swept through Randolph, New York, hitting many homes. And, we do actually have frequent tornado warnings throughout the summer time.

Way #1: Ensure Your Dog has Identification

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You should make sure your dog has identification on his or her collar. The identification tag should have your name, phone number, and address engraved into it. If your dog gets separated from you, this could be extremely helpful in helping someone find her way back.

Way #2: Microchipping Your Dog

One of my newest clients, PetKey, has emphasized the importance of microchipping your dog. And yes, my dog, Molly has a microchip. I’ll admit that I didn’t use to think microchipping your dog was “that” important. Because, all of my dogs have always had their identification on their collar. But, what happens if that collar gets lost during a natural disaster? There’s a high chance your dog will lose her collar during all of the chaos of trying to locate her family following the natural disaster. Then what?

The microchip contains a unique identifier connecting her to you. When a lost dog enters a humane society, or a veterinarian’s office, one of the first actions they take is scanning for a microchip. If the dog does have a microchip, they jot down that unique identification number and enter it into a universal system. Then, they’re able to see all of the details in your file (the dog’s name, the dog’s age, any medical conditions the dog has, and your name and address).

Way #3: Ensure You Have Your Supplies Ready

Having a ‘to-go’ back for your dog ready is an excellent idea. Do this before the natural disaster occurs so you’re not scattering packing up for your dog as well as the rest of your family. You can even keep one ‘ready’ bag in your shelter, as well as in your car.

The ready bag should contain a minimum of 5 days of food and water. Your dog’s ready bag should also contain photographs of your dog(s)… and cats if you have cats with you as well. In addition to a paper full of their medical issues (if any), you should also have a paper containing their behavioral issues (if any). And, don’t forget to pack extra collars and leashes (litter box and litter if you have cats as well).

Way #4: Bring Crates for Your Dog(s) and Vaccination Records

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If you need to evacuate your home, be sure to bring your dog’s crate. If you have to go to an evacuation shelter, most of them do accept pets, but often require dogs are in their crates.

Many shelters also want you to have copies of your dog’s veterinary records. They want to make sure your dog has all of their shots, and know if your dog has any type of medical condition they may need help for.

Way #5: Look for Dog-Friendly Hotels

Another way to make sure your dog(s) is able to stay with you… is to search for dog-friendly hotels. When there’s a hurricane coming, you often have several days of warning which allows you to evacuate and get as far away from the hurricane as possible.

Unfortunately, fewer and fewer hotels are allowing dogs. And, if you travel with your dog, i’m sure you already know this. An excellent site you can use to find pet-friendly hotels is a website called Bring Fido. You can take a look at Bring Fido by clicking here.

In addition to helping your find dog-friendly hotels, Bring Fido can also let you know if there are any local restaurants you’re able to bring your dog to. Because, we know, in these types of situations, the stress is high and we want our dog (of course, he’s part of our family) to go everywhere we go.

A Video Sum it Up

Most people are particularly fond of videos to learn information… so here’s a video to sum up some of what we just talked about.

Share Your Stories

If you have ever been involved in a natural disaster, and have additional tips, we want to hear from you! In the comments below, please let us know how you prepared.

 

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Toys

Would you buy your 6 month old baby a nerf gun or an easy bake oven; of course not.

How do you decide what kind of toys to buy for your fur baby? Is it better to buy a bunch of cheaper toys so they will have more to choose from or a few that will last (hopefully) and be safe for them?

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Tip #1: The Size of the Dog

More than the age of your dog, their size should be taken into consideration.  If you buy a toy for a small dog that fits their mouth, that same toy could get hung in a larger dog’s throat and choke them – to death.

Tip #2: Dog-Proofing the Home

Another thing to help keep your fur baby safe is the same as having a toddler in your home. You should make sure not to have strings, ribbons, pantyhose, or rubber bands within reach. These items WILL be eaten and they are not digestible. I am learning this even when buying the toys made of string which MY dog has ingested. She sometimes has to have help getting the strings to come out (not a pretty picture). Point in fact, don’t buy string balls, toys that have the string inside of them to make them stronger, etc.

Tip #3: Don’t Buy Rawhide for Your Dog

Some people believe that all the rawhide chewing toys are a good thing for any dog but there are things to watch for on this also. Asking your veterinarian would be a good idea to make sure which ones would be safe since some could come apart and cause your dog to choke. On top of that some rawhides have unsafe byproducts that come from the cruel international fur trade. It is better to be safe and a humane alternative to buy the hard rubber toys. These last longer and are safer. For my pittie, I buy Kong and they definitely last longer than normal toys. She also has a Nylabone that has lasted now for about six months (peanut flavor). There are different sizes in these also for different size dogs. For any toy that you buy be careful of when they are beginning to come apart so your dog doesn’t try to eat it and get choked.

Tip #4: Encourage Mental Stimulation

If you want to keep your puppy/grown dog busy for a while and distracted there are also distraction toys. These are toys that you can put treats in the middle of and they play to get these treats by moving the toy around.

Tip # 5: Comfort Toys

Soft stuffed toys are good for several purposes, but they aren’t appropriate for all dogs. Here are a few tips for choosing the right stuffed toy:

  • Some dogs like to carry around soft toys. If your dog sees their toy as a companion, pick one that’s small enough to carry.
  • Some dogs want to shake or “kill” their toys, so choose one that’s large enough to prevent accidental swallowing and sturdy enough to withstand the dog’s attacks.

Dirty laundry, such as an old t-shirt, pillowcase, towel or blanket, can be very comforting to a dog, especially if the item smells like you! Be forewarned that the item could be destroyed by industrious fluffing, carrying and nosing.

Tip #6: Making Toys Last

Rotate your dog’s toys weekly by making only a few toys available at a time. Keep a variety of types easily accessible. If your dog has a favorite, like a soft comfort toy,  you may want to leave it out all the time.

Provide toys that serve a variety of purposes — give your dog at least one toy to carry, one to shake, one to roll and one for comfort.

Tip #7: Let Your Pup Find It

“Found” toys are often much more attractive than toys that are obviously introduced. A game of finding toys or treats is a good rainy-day activity for your dog, using up energy without the need for a lot of space.

The Bottom Line on Toys

Many of your dog’s toys should be interactive. Interactive play is very important for your dog because they need active “people time,” which enhances the bond between you and your pet. Try balls, flying disks and other toys that help foster the bond between person and pet.

By focusing on a specific task —such as repeatedly returning a ball, Kong, or Frisbee® or playing “hide-and-seek” with treats or toys — your dog can expend pent-up mental and physical energy from boredom in a limited amount of time and space. For young, high-energy and untrained dogs, interactive play also offers an opportunity for socialization and helps them learn about appropriate and inappropriate behavior, such as jumping up or being mouthy.

 

 

Let’s Hear From You: What Do You Need?

Hello, everyone! I’m so happy you’re here. As you can see, the Dog Behavior Blog has been completely revamped. As I was sitting down to write an article for you, there are so many ideas popping through my head. But, before I write another article, I want to hear from you.

What do you need help with? What questions do you have? This is your opportunity to ask your questions, and allow me to address them in an article, or perhaps a series of articles, so you (and your fellow dog lovers) can learn more about their dogs.

As a professional in the industry, you sometimes skip over the most common questions. What’s familiar to you may not be familiar to someone ‘outside the box….’ if you know what I mean.

And, on top of your questions, is there anything you hope Canine Companions will offer in the future? Are you looking for a specific e-course, e-book, instruction sheet, recipes, etc?

Please feel free to submit a comment, or use the Contact Us page, to submit your questions, comments, and/or concerns.

I can’t wait to hear from you.

Amber L Drake

How CannaCanine’s CBD Oil Can Help Your Dog

As a Canine Behaviorist, I am continuously searching for new ways to help improve the lives of dogs and their families.

The most common ailments and illnesses I am approached with…? Anxiety. Separation Anxiety. Anxiety from cancer. Anxiety from new situations.

One of the products I have been learning about in the canine behavior and wellness field throughout the past several months is CBD oil. I wanted to learn as much as possible about the oil before recommending it to clients- and get some samples, talk to corporations, and professionals about the benefits.

When most clients hear the words ‘CBD oil,’ they are worried about their dog being “high” from the CBD oil… but dogs cannot get high from the CBD because it’s not psychoactive.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 113 compounds uniquely found in cannabis plants such as hemp. These compounds, called Cannabinoids,  are naturally found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, found in marijuana, CBD doesn’t contain any psychoactive properties or effects. The hemp plant naturally contains a higher percentage of CBD compared to marijuana plants.

So, How Does it Work?

CBD interacts with a system known as the ESC (Endocannabinoid System)… a system present in all mammals (yes, even us). The ESC regulates many different processes in the body; sleep, mood, anxiety, stress. And, like many other systems in a mammal’s body, there are receptors to regulate these.

CBD binds to the receptors in the ESC to help balance the systems in your dog’s body.

It’s like a puzzle piece. One puzzle piece fits into another to help your dog feel better.

CBD Helps Your Dog in Many Ways

CannaCanine’s CBD Oil is not only used to reduce your dog’s anxiety, but can also be used for the following conditions:

When a dog has the above conditions, generally some type of pharmaceutical drug is recommended. Pharmaceutical drugs are often not natural and your dog runs the risk of side effects (short-term and long-term).

CBD oil offers your dog (and you) a natural alternative.

CBD for Dogs with Cancer

CBD has been studied extensively to help dogs with cancer. CBD has been found to have an anti-tumor effect and stop cancer cells from growing. CBD blocks the energy given to the cancer cells and increases the effectiveness of other cancer treatments.

Dogs with cancer are commonly known to have trouble eating, too. As a result, your dog starts to lose weight and becomes lethargic. CBD oil helps increase your dog’s appetite and, in turn, assists in maintaining their current weight or getting him back to a normal, healthy weight.

We’ll talk about dog cancer diet ideas in another article. But, if you can get your dog’s appetite stimulated when they have cancer, that’s huge. That alone could provide your dog with higher life quality.

Think about when you’re not feeling well, but your stomach is rumbling because you’re so hungry. You’re uncomfortable. You’re probably miserable. Would you try a natural product to help stimulate your appetite and make you feel better?

You speak for your dog. And, she depends on you to make sure all of her necessities are taken care of.

Which Brand Do You Recommend?

As a professional in this industry, I am continuously sent samples of products for my clients. By far, the best CBD product I have been sent is from CannaCanine.

CannaCanine

CannaCanine is 100% organic and non-GMO. There’s 17 mg of  CBD per dropper.

CBD oil that isn’t organic could contain pesticides and herbicides, which could result in more harm than good for your dog.

On top of being the best CBD product quality-wise, for every bottle that’s purchased at CannaCanine, a free bottle is sent to Canine Haven Dog Rescue. If you make a purchase, and you would like a free bottle to go to a rescue of your choice, you can e-mail the organization to have the free bottle sent.

And, since it’s the Year of the Dog, CannaCanine has a special discount of 30% on all of their products.

What Ingredients Are in CannaCanine’s CBD Oil?

Unlike many CBD oils you’ll find, CannaCanine’s CBD Oil has only 2 ingredients; organic MCT Coconut Oil and organic CBD Hemp oil.

What are the benefits of the coconut oil? Coconut oil can work wonders for our dogs. Coconut oil can help with itchy skin and eczema in our dogs. And, if you apply coconut oil topically, it can assist in the healing of cuts, wounds, and hot spots. And, it’s a powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral.

Wait… there’s more. Coconut oil also helps with digestive problems including inflammatory bowel syndrome.

You can see why their CBD oil is so powerful. And, why CannaCanine’s CBD oil is my oil of choice to recommend to my clients.

Frequently Asked Questions About CBD for Dogs

I’ve encountered many questions about CBD oil for dogs. And, I would like to address a few of them for you here. You might find some of the common questions have already been answered above. But, for those who don’t have time to read the article in full until later on, you can get a glimpse (but, make sure to come back and read the remainder of the article, it could really help your dog).

What is CBD exactly?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol. It’s the main compound found in cannabis plants. CBD doesn’t alter mental function, and it doesn’t get your dog high (or you, if you are interested in trying CBD for your anxiety).

Does it have to be used daily to work?

No, it can be used on an as-needed basis. And, is actually most frequently used as-needed rather than daily.

Is CBD legal in the United States?

Yes, CBD is legal in the United States. Any dog owner has the ability to purchase and carry CBD oil.

Do I Need a Prescription for CBD oil for my dog?

No, you don’t need a prescription for CBD oil.

 

The Bottom Line on CBD Oil for Dogs

CBD oil is generally a safe, healthy alternative to traditional pharmaceutical drugs. Instead of giving your dog Xanax, in my professional opinion, it’s at least worth a try to see if this natural oil could help your dog with his anxiety.

If your dog has a skin condition, why not try a natural oil before applying a pharmaceutical ointment?

More and more people are leaning toward natural alternatives to keep not only their dogs healthy and happy, but themselves as well.

If you’re still on the edge about CBD oil for your dog, take a look at a few of CannaCanine’s testimonials here.

You can also take a look at some of the videos people have submitted about how CBD oil has helped their dogs below:

Veterinarians and Dog Owners Recommend CBD:

CBD Gets Rid of Dog’s Seizure:

CBD Relieves Dog’s Anxiety:

CBD Oil Relieves Dog’s Pain:

Disclaimer: The following are the opinions of a Professional Canine Behaviorist. Prior to the implementation of any product, you should first consult your veterinarian to ensure safety. 

Canine Veteran’s Day: How to Help

Tomorrow is Canine Veteran’s Day. And, here at Canine Companions & Dog Behavior Blog, would like to share some information about our canine veterans here. Please take a seat, and read/listen to the article.

You might even find your soulmate dog after reading this.

You’re going to want to grab your tissues before reading and watching.

What Do Dogs Do at War?

In war, our dogs are the first line. They are first to go into a dangerous territory. And, they let their handler know if it’s okay to continue walking, or to stop in their tracks.

Watch this documentary to follow dogs and their handlers through the tears, blood, and sweat during war in Afghanistan:

Robby’s Law: Saving Lives, Encouraging Adoptions

Before Robby’s Law was enacted in 2000, dogs who came back from war were euthanized. Now, handlers have the option of adopting their dog once they come back to the states. And, if their handler isn’t able to care for them… they are able to be placed for adoption.

Over 90% of canine veterans are adopted by their handlers at the end of their service. And, it’s not hard to understand why. Watch the videos below to see the strength of their love for one another.

To Show You How Special the Bond Handlers & Their Dogs Share

Army dog races into the arms of his handler three years later:

Veteran reunited with bomb-sniffing dog:

Military hero dog reunited with handler:

 

Adopting a Military Working Dog

Most of the MWD’s available for adoption are puppies, or relatively young dogs, who didn’t make it through the training (only about half graduate training).

There are occasionally older dogs who have been at war, though. They may have medically retired due to an injury, or retired due to their age.

It’s important to note that those dogs who have been to war often have PTSD- similar to our human soldiers.

Only recently have we learned that dogs can suffer from this condition following war times. These dogs have been exposed to everything we were- and potentially more- including gunshots, explosions, and other loud and/or violent experiences.

Symptoms of PTSD in dogs include:

  • Fear of noise
  • Fear of new situations
  • Avoidance or fear of buildings
  • Flashbacks

These can usually be managed, but they’re important for you to understand when considering the adoption of a dog from war.

Organizations to Contact About Adopting a Military Working Dog

You can contact the following organizations if you’re interested in adopting a military working dog:

United States War Dogs Association

Save-A-Vet

Mission K9 Rescue

Take Other Action to Help This Canine Veteran’s Day

There’s a petition going around to help canine veterans here. 

  • The petition changes the wording from “adoption” to “foster” in case a dog is placed into a police force after retirement.
  • The military handler becomes attached to the dog throughout his or her entire life; their name is on all paperwork, so they’re able to be with their dog forever if they would like to be.
  • And, if they aren’t with their dog, they are able to find out how they’re doing and where they are any time.
  • The petition also requests handlers be permitted to retire their dog if they don’t believe their dog is able to handle ‘the job’ any longer.
  • And finally, only the handler is able to agree and sign off on an adoption.

 

 

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📚 This course outlines what you can do, as your dog’s best friend, to help your dog through their illness. The course focuses on both alternative and traditional methods of cancer care. And, you will have a wealth of information at your fingertips with both the course and the book! 📚

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I’m Feeding My Dog WHAT?

I started paying attention to dog food when there was a chance that I was feeding my wonderful furbabies a food that could have killed them.

Did Commercial Food Kill My Dogs?

I won’t mention the brand but there were advertisements after they passed away within 6 months of each other that the particular brand was said to cause kidney failure. This is what one of them passed away from.

The first dog was 15 years old, so we blamed it on old age. So, how do we know what foods are safe and what foods aren’t? There is the alternative of cooking their food yourself which isn’t too bad if you have a small dog or even just one. I will share a report further down that really makes you want to just make your own.

The Sugar Content in Commercial Food

I recently started feeding my new pet, Racheal Ray’s. I then found an article showing how you can tell how much sugar is included in the dog food!

What I am feeding her right now has 48% sugar. There are some that are like 55% sugar. How can you tell how much sugar is in that bag of dog food? If you add the protein, fat, and moisture ash, you should get the percentage of sugar you are feeding your dog.

Also, just because you are getting your food from your vet, does not mean it is any less in sugar than other foods. Feeding our dogs all of this sugar can lead to illnesses like cancer, diabetes, allergies and even inflammations.  And, there’s even a YouTube video about the connections by Rodney Habib!

 

Since my dog loves to eat and I would have a hefty grocery bill just to feed her homemade food all the time, I am hoping to find a good dog food while still giving her more protein from homemade food.

It seems as though ALL of the dog food I have looked at is just too high from the starches and other carbohydrates making sugar to be actually healthy. For the big question of what am I feeding my dog, the following article shows that companies like GRAVY TRAIN and others have phenobarbital in their food. This is what is used to euthanize a pet! This is the link to that article. There are dog and cat foods mentioned in this article.

Cook Your Own Food

It is looking more and more like the safest way to know your pet is eating safe and good food is to fix it yourself. While it seems overwhelming, there are books that have recipes for dogs or cats so you know your pet is eating well. One book is Dog Talk, written by Amber L. Drake, Dog Behaviorist. Her book is available on Amazon.

For now, until I get the right recipes, and into all of it I am using 4Health Dog Food along with what I fix. No more Milk Bones (included in that article), I will be making doggie treats.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Janice