Health Benefits To Having A Dog

Mac

I’m sure we can all agree that dogs are amazing animals. But what are the health benefits to having a dog? Does having a dog really benefit our health? Speaking from experience I truly believe it does.

 

Exercise partner

You will never have to exercise alone again if you have a dog. Actually you will never have to do anything on your own if you have a dog! They do like to be by your side at all times, no matter how inappropriate!

Walking a dog is a great way to get some exercise, especially if you are not feeling motivated to hit the gym or exercise in any other form. A 30-minute walk twice a day is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. Even if you don’t do any other form of exercise a daily walk is beneficial to you as it goes a little way in combating a sedentary lifestyle. An excited dog waiting at the front door with its lead in its mouth or sitting at your feet staring at you with those big doe eyes can be all it takes to get off your chair and get outdoors.

 

 

There are now fit bits for dogs, how amazing is that!

 

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Improved mental well-being

Having a dog can be a great benefit to mental well-being. Studies show dogs can help us humans reduce stress levels, reduce anxiety, and help lift our mood. Petting a dog can be a soothing and comforting experience. Most dogs are natural therapy dogs, but they can be trained to provide affection and comfort to people in a variety of environments. A visit from a dog and having the opportunity to pet a dog can do wonders for the sick and the elderly. Recently schools have begun to have therapy dogs visit too. The children have the opportunity to sit with the dog and read aloud, this has proven to enhance their self-esteem and encourage positive social behaviours.

Simple things like walking your dog is also beneficial. Being outdoors getting fresh air and natural sunlight can have a positive impact on our mental health. A dog is a great companion and can help ease loneliness and widen our social circle.  Being greeted by a happy dog that is so pleased to see you is a great mood booster.

 

Happy dog

 

Better physical health

It is said petting your dog can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels. Loneliness and a sedentary lifestyle are risk factors in premature deaths, having a dog can motivate owners to get outdoors and exercise. Playing games with a dog is exercise in itself. A game of fetch is a fun activity that will benefit physically and mentally. Having a dog can also help with social interaction with others on a regular basis. It can widen your social circle and may even lead you to meet your lifelong partner.

There are ongoing studies on the effect of having a dog and our immune systems. Adults and children who share a household with a dog visit the doctor less and recover from sickness quicker. It is also said children develop fewer allergies if they live with a dog.

 



Best Friend

If you have a dog you have the best friend you ever had, a loyal and loving companion. They are great listeners and never judge. I have on many occasions poured my heart out to my dog and felt better for it. They give so much affection and comfort to people in many ways. More importantly we are their best friend, we are their everything. They love to be around us. They have an amazing knack of sensing our emotions and responding appropriately without a word being spoken.

Assistance dogs are invaluable, the care and protection they provide is truly amazing. The physical and emotional support from these dogs is truly life-changing for those that require support. It is fascinating that they can be trained to detect practically anything and have the ability to alert their owners before danger occurs. It’s also amazing they love to be of assistance, dogs love to be praised for doing their duty. They simply love to be loved.

 

Assistance dog

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapy_dog

There is a sense of security in having a dog, most dogs are great guard dogs. Their heightened senses will alert them to any would-be burglars, and burglars are less likely to target your home if they are aware of a barking dog. My dog does not fall into this category! he doesn’t bark and he would happily greet any stranger who enters my home!

Dogs provide us with unconditional love and kindness. They also provide us with lots of fun, some dogs are crazier than others, watching a dog get the zoomies is hilarious. A real laugh out loud experience to witness.

 

 

The benefits are real

As a dog lover and dog owner I only see the positive aspects of having a dog. As a family we did not have a dog for a long time due to work and other commitments as it would have been unfair on the dog. Having had our dog for 5 years now I can honestly say he has brought a variety of benefits to ourselves and our extended family, physically and emotionally. There is no love like a dogs love, feeling love can only bring positive feelings. Having positive feelings can impact on every aspect of our lives.

 

Mac

 

You don’t have to be a dog owner to feel the benefits of the love of a dog. If you cant fully commit to the responsibility of having a dog think of alternative options. Volunteer at a local shelter, most shelters welcome help from people within the local community. This is a great way to be around dogs and learning about the needs and commitment required to be a responsible dog owner. Fostering a dog is another option, looking after a dog on a short term basis while providing a great service. Even walking your neighbours dog will be beneficial in some way.

Health Benefits To Having A Dog

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, feel free to leave any comments on how having a dog has benefitted your health.

Macs mum

 

A Dogs Tail-The Happiest Silent Labrador

Happy Mac

A Dogs Tail.  My happy furbuddy.

My Labrador Mac is such a happy and friendly dog, his tail wags constantly. Not only does his tail wag his full back end wags. He very rarely barks, he is the happiest and quietest Labrador.

He is also the cutest and we are so blessed he is in our lives.

happy Mac

Love dogs

Mac

Myself and my husband and kids always wanted to have a dog. Work and busy lives made it impossible until my kids were older. We all felt it was right for us to rehome a dog, and we wanted to ensure we could provide the dog with the correct care for its size and breed. We did not have a particular breed in mind, we just knew we could give a dog a loving home.

Visiting shelters was both heartbreaking and humbling experiences. I have absolute admiration and respect for all involved in the care of dogs in shelters. In the end rehoming from a shelter was not an option for us due to the strict criteria around children visiting our home. Our nephew has additional needs, he was very young at the time and he was scared of dogs. We needed to ensure he would be comfortable in our home.

A friend mentioned in passing about a friend of a friend who needed a loving home for his Labrador as it was impossible for him to provide the correct care due to his work commitments. I saw a photo of the dog and immediately fell in love. We arranged to go meet the owner and dog without telling our kids, we didn’t want to get their hopes up!

Happy Mac

Meeting Mac

It was a Friday evening in January, we told our kids we were going food shopping. Typical teenagers gave us a grunt in reply and off we went.

Knocking on the door we were sure we had the wrong address as there was not a bark or sound to be heard, we thought this was a bit strange. We walked down the long hall behind the owner still thinking it was strange as there was no evidence of a dog. On walking into the front room this bouncing smiling and furiously tail-wagging Labrador greeted us. The happiest dog I ever seen! Still, no sound from him.

It was evident he was very well cared for, the owner was upset to rehome him but he knew he could no longer provide the correct care. He told us the dogs name was Mac, he was 2 years old and that he not a vocal dog. Barking was not his thing!

We left the house with Mac, both of us totally in love.

Bringing Mac Home

Arriving home with Mac, our teenagers were in exactly the same position we left them in! We asked them if they could help us bring in the shopping from the car, both of them became deaf all of a sudden! They continued to be glued to the T.V.

We brought Mac in through the back of the house into the kitchen. Absolutely no sign of distress in Mac, happy bouncy, and shaking his full back end and tail. The moment my kids saw him will stay with me forever. My daughter cried and cried, all the while Mac was nuzzling her and still shaking that cute back end.

We all sat on the kitchen floor for hours getting to know our dog, we decided to keep his name, Mac.

Happy Mac

Quiet Mac

We had Mac for months before we heard him bark! I had wondered if he was deaf and that’s why he made no sound but this wasn’t the case.

My husband and I were on a long walk with Mac. We were walking through large fields one day and ahead there were cows grazing to the left, there was a long raised narrow wooden path over the marshland. As we approached the cows were moving nearer to this path, I was getting a bit concerned and frightened. One of the cows made its way onto the path just as we started to walk on it. Mac let out one loud bark! not only did the cow get a fright and quickly move away, myself and my husband were amazed he barked, and that he barked appropriately. Still, to this day I tell everyone who will listen that Mac saved my life.

Mac has been part of our family for 5 years, like any dog owner we could not imagine life without him. Some members of our family have never heard him bark at all. Once in 5 years I heard him have 3 consecutive barks, that was as big a shock to him as it was to me.

 

 Happy Mac

He is such a happy dog at all times, he has an infectious smile ( he really does smile) you cannot help but feel happy around him. He is such a sociable dog, he greets everyone and everything with such happiness and affection. He wants to play with every dog he sees, sometimes to his detriment! Mac was once attacked by 3 dogs, a truly awful experience for my daughter who was with him. But it has made no difference to his nature, the only breed of dog he is wary around is Jack Russell.

Due to his amazing nature he is now registered as a therapy dog. On his visits to a care home for the elderly he furiously wags that tail, smiles at everyone, and thoroughly enjoys being petted. He appears to sense the emotions and abilities of the people around him.

Our nephew, was very wary when he first met Mac. He was frightened of dogs, he still is to this day. Thankfully though he quickly became comfortable around Mac and they are now great friends.

Mac

Happiest Friendliest Furbuddy

We live in a small village, everyone knows his name and stops to pet him on our walks, he is also one of the favourite visitors in our local pub.

He continues to furiously wag that tail, smile, shake his behind and be happy all day every day.

Mac     Mac Mac

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrador_Retriever

Hope you enjoyed Macs story, feel free to leave a comment or a photo of your own furbuddy.

 

Dogs, Separation Anxiety-Post Lockdown

Lockdown for dogs

Will our dogs develop separation anxiety post lockdown and can we prevent it?

Lockdown, a word none of us used much prior to 2020, we are all affected in some way, but what effect is it having on our dogs. Our dogs are more than likely loving lockdown, having people around all day, getting increased attention, and plenty of belly rubs. Doggy paradise you would think, but what issues will we owners have to deal with during and after lockdown. 

Lockdown for dogs
Happy Mac

Constant Companion

At the start of lockdown, I thought it would be a great opportunity to spend quality time with my adorable golden lab Mac. He has an amazing chilled nature in normal circumstances, but as the weeks are going on he is becoming more vocal and demanding. Mac has become very needy, he has to be in the same room with us at all times and preferably within touching distance. He is continually throwing his collar at our feet in the hope of getting another walk. He has also started to whine, something he never did before! he has basically turned into a demanding toddler. Constant companionship it seems is not having a positive impact. I am sure I am not alone in this. Homeworking can be nigh impossible due to his new behaviors. No visitors to the house means his attention is concentrated solely on us.

 

Daily exercise

Mac is a very sociable dog, he wants to play with every dog and person he meets, sometimes to his detriment! He is not enjoying being on lead most of the time on his daily walks, he usually has the freedom to sniff and go for a swim as we live in a rural area. But now due to changes in guidelines, during lockdown dogs should be kept on the lead at all times. They should not mix with other dogs and people should not pet dogs from outside their household. As dog owners, we should respect and abide by these guidelines. It is frustrating for us to limit their play and confusing for our furbuddies to all of a sudden not have the freedom to run about and play with the dogs they meet on their daily walks. Finding other forms of exercise due to reduced daily walks within the home can be tricky too. Reduced physical activity means its time to get creative and tire them out mentally.

 

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  • Teach a new trick or two. Youtube is a good place to look for tutorials.
  • hide n seek (with a treat). Great if there is outdoor space
  • empty cardboard boxes (make tunnels)
  • empty toilet roll tubes (stack and hide treats)
  • rotate toys
  • invest in interactive toys

 

Interactive toys are a great way to mentally stimulate a dog. Using their brain to solve puzzles is as effective as physical exercise.

 

Ball launchers are effective in entertaining and providing a bit of exercise. Some dogs will chase a ball all day, but throwing a ball can be very tiring on the arms after a while.

 

Lockdown entertainment

In normal times my dog could be left alone for a couple of hours, not normally an issue. I naively spent every moment with Mac in the 1st couple of weeks of lockdown, I am now paying the price. Before lockdown, Mac was quite happy to have a little solitary play with his toys, have a snooze, have another play, and then have another snooze. His favourite toy being his snuffle mat. He could spend ages sniffing and moving it around to ensure he got every last morsel.

https://happyfurbuddy.com/mental-stimulation-brain-training-for-your-dog/

 

Mac now appears to be on high alert at all times as now there are 3 adults in the home continually, trying to work from home I may add. He appears hyper-vigilant as he thinks he could be going a walk at any given moment, or getting a treat or getting attention in general. He continually follows me about the house, even more so than normal, and looks at me with those big brown pleading eyes. Dropping a ball or other toy at my feet to let me know it’s his playtime. Playing fetch and tug with one hand while using a laptop or phone in the other is a new skill I learned in recent weeks.

 

 

Separation anxiety after lockdown

I have just this week left Mac in a room on his own for a while, just to get him used to being on his own again. As much as I do love having him around me all the time I feel I should prepare him for normality, whatever that may be! Thankfully he is beginning to settle down a bit, but he definitely does prefer to be in the same room with us at all times. Many reputable dog organisations are recommending we prepare our furbuddies. The advice is to leave our dogs on their own for 30 minutes at a time several times a day. Have routine in their day with time apart, routine exercise, and playtimes. In doing so we will help our dogs feel comfortable with normal life and ease them into the previous routine and normality when lockdown is lifted.

 

 

 

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Music or conversation from the radio or television can be helpful to soothe an anxious dog when home alone. Playing background noise helps the dog feel less alone and it dampens outside sounds which may be stressful. For more in-depth information on causes, symptoms, and solutions on separation anxiety click on the link below.

http://Separation anxiety in dogs – Wikipedia

 

Happy relaxed furbuddy and owner

Preparation and adhering to as normal a routine as possible will pay dividends in the long run. When lockdown is over nobody wishes our dogs to be distressed or anxious in any way. We want them to feel relaxed and secure while being home alone. Us owners also want to feel relaxed when back in our normal working environment and routine. Feeling secure at work in the knowledge our dogs are safe and happy at home for a couple of hours or so. Coming home after a hard day at work to be greeted by our happy tail-wagging loving dogs is something to look forward to.

 

 

happy furbuddy

 

I hope this article is helpful to you as a dog owner, feel free to leave comments or photos of your furbuddy.

Burns Dog Food-Alert Chicken & Rice

Product    Burns Dog Food Alert Chicken & Rice

Price        £10 – £40

Available from


Pet Supplies, Pet Food on sale at zooplus

 

 

Amount    2kg.  6kg.  12kg

My rating  10/10


Burns Dog Food Alert Chicken & Rice Overview

I switched to this food a couple of years ago on the recommendation of a well respected professional dog trainer. She was a big advocate of this food for a couple of reasons. The main reason being the health benefits as there are no artificial colours or additives. Burns use organic brown rice and source free-range meat from Wales whenever possible. They avoid using beef, wheat, and dairy as they are the most common allergens for pets.

 

 

My golden lab Mac has such a sweet nature so much so he was accepted without issue as a therapy dog. When I told the dog trainer he was accepted she informed me this food is perfect for therapy dogs as it has been specially formulated for assistance dogs. Assistance dogs are expected to perform tasks and are required to remain calm at all times.

 

Mac could be a hyper at times as most Labradors are. But after my conversation with the dog trainer, I had a look at the ingredients of the brand of dry food I was feeding him. To be honest when choosing that particular food I chose it because in large bold writing it stated no artificial colours or additives and although this was true there was quite a high sugar content that I was not aware of.

I did a bit of research and found there was no added sugar or any other nasty ingredients in Burns Dog Food-Alert Chicken & Rice.

Below is a list of the ingredients

Brown Rice (Min 63%), Chicken Meal (Min 20%), Oats, Peas, Fish Oil, Chicken Oil, Minerals & Vitamins, Seaweed, Chicken Liver, Green Tea Extract, Grapeseed Extract.

Alert/Assistance range is also available in Liver & Brown Rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon oil, vitamins, and the minerals added to the alert range is said to be perfect for the dogs that are required to be alert and attentive.

Burns also have a varied range of types of food. Age-appropriate and suitable for dogs with particular dietary needs.

  • Puppy
  • Adult
  • Senior
  • Working
  • Weight control

 


The difference in Mac was immediate

His nature never changed but he was definitely calmer. I also noticed a big difference with his digestion, he definitely was not the smelly bottom burper we all knew and loved!

The food is much lighter in consistency to other dry food. I assume this is due to having no bulking agents added. I gave Mac the recommended portion for his size and breed, the portions looked quite small but I think this may be due to the lighter consistency.

Mac was a bit overweight when starting on this food, even though I did not overfeed him and he had plenty of exercise. After a week or so he was a much healthier weight.

Mac weighs around 32kgs. A 12kg bag lasts for around 6 weeks. This works out to cost around £1 a day, great value for money.

I have rated this food 10/10 as it ticks all the boxes for me, I also believe this food has helped Macs coat and has reduced molting.

It is also very convenient getting it delivered straight to your door.

I recommended this product to a fellow Labrador owner I met on a walk one day, her dog was younger than Mac adorable and very hyper. She started using this food too, and shortly after informed me her adorable lab was less hyper and less smelly.

I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful. If you have any questions or want to leave your own review feel free to leave a comment below.

Macs mum



 

How To Puppy Proof A Home-Easy Tips

Photo by Robert Grossman from FreeImages

So you are now the proud owner of a new puppy or soon to be. Congratulations. Your home will be enriched with love, fun and lots and lots of dog hair. Part of the fun will be preparing your home to provide a safe environment for your new wee furbuddy. How to puppy-proof a home is having a good look around your home and garden and taking note of anything that has the capacity to be a risk to the puppy and removing the risk.

Protecting furniture, shoes or other valuable items you would prefer the pup not to chew will save money and irritation in the long run. Puppies are very inquisitive and playful, they see everything as a toy to be played with or chewed. Mac was 2 when we brought him into our family, thankfully he was past the chewing stage but having a dog in our home for the first time was a learning curve, to say the least. There are some things to be mindful of helping you and your puppy have a long and happy relationship.

 

 

View your home from the floor

Get down to the level of the puppy! The best way to puppy proof your home is to get down onto the floor in every room of the house and look for potential hazards. This may feel silly but it will give a good insight into how the pup will see and react to things around the home. Your puppy will want to explore the new surroundings and like a toddler has no concept of danger. Any cables or wires that are visible to you will be visible to the puppy, puppies love to chew and will chew anything. Anything within reach, whether floor level or higher is fair game to a pup. Cover plug sockets, tie up blind cords, and check if any plants in the home are poisonous to dogs. Consider everything in every room and garden to be a potential hazard.

 

 

 

Kitchen

The kitchen will have many smells and tastes that will attract an inquisitive pup. A pup will find a way to get into cupboards and drawers to explore chew and eat everything in sight. Invest in childproof locks to prevent the pup from exploring and bringing harm. Ensure the locks are effective, some pups will find a way if there is a will! The kitchen has many items dangerous to a pup, a pup will eat and drink anything it finds. Cleaning products and some foods could be fatal. The kitchen bin is a very attractive item to a pup, the pup will want to investigate the scents coming from the bin, keep it locked or outside if you can. A safety gate preventing the pup from gaining access to the kitchen is advisable, helps avoid any harm or costly trips to the vet.

Bathroom

The bathroom also is a hazardous area for a pup. Keep the door closed at all times. Ensure the toilet seat is down, especially when the pup is small. A pup can drown in a toilet bowl. Childproof locks should be used in the bathroom as well. Everyone in the household should be mindful of leaving items such as razors, lotions, and cotton wool within the pups’ reach. Pup should not have access to the bathroom on its own.

Garden

An enclosed garden is the ideal scenario for an inquisitive pup. Ensure the pup cannot have access alone to the garden especially if it is not enclosed. A pup like a toddler has no sense of danger and could easily wander away. Ensure there is nothing hazardous in the garden the pup will chew on, like poisonous plants or machinery. Consider building a secure run to give the pup a safe outdoor space.

Safe indoor space

Choose wisely where the pup will have its own space, and remember the puppy pads for the floor, especially in the early days! Choose an area in your home that will include the pup but will also provide a calm and quiet environment. The pup should see this as a place to sleep, feel safe, relax, and play with toys. Having its own space will help the pup feel secure and settle into the new home. A crate is useful if the pup cannot be supervised at all times throughout the day.


         

  

Puppy proofing

  • Use safety gates throughout the house
  • Remove or cover wires and cables
  • Childproof locks on drawer and cupboards
  • Remove any small choking hazards
  • Keep food and waste out of sight and reach
  • Supervise your pup at all times when awake
  • Ensure houseplants are out of reach or removed
  • Provide various chew toys appropriate to age and development

Training

A lot of time and patience is required when training a pup. It is important owners have the basic skills required. It is advisable to seek professional advice or attend puppy training classes for some guidance.

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Be prepared for mishaps

There will no doubt be some items within the household the pup will chew and destroy! Being prepared should hopefully keep the destruction to a minimum, but there will be some items the pup will get his teeth into. Hopefully nothing expensive or of sentimental value!

If the pup has a taste for chewing skirting boards or the like there are bitter-tasting sprays available to buy or you can make your own. In a spray bottle mix two parts apple cider vinegar with one part regular white vinegar. Shake the bottle well and spray onto the pups favourite areas to chew.

And finally

Don’t forget to have a vet identified before bringing your pup home. Your vet will also have lots of good advice on how to puppy proof your home and care for your new addition.
Puppy carrier, collar, leash, bed, food bowl, and seat belt should be in place before the puppy living in your home. All these factors in place should provide a safe environment for the new addition to the family. Congratulations on being the proud owner of a little bundle of fur that will bring chaos, destruction, and endless love. There’s no other love like it.


I hope this article has been helpful, and you and your pup are best friends for life. Please feel free to leave a comment or even better a photo of your new adorable pup.

Macs mum

 

 

What To Consider When Getting A Dog

happy furbuddy

 

What to consider when getting a dog? There are numerous things to think about before bringing a dog into your home. The idea of a cute little puppy can be different from the reality if you are not prepared for the disruption to your lifestyle and routine. Having a dog is a BIG long term commitment.
Getting a dog should be the best decision you ever made, bringing a dog into your life should be a positive experience for all concerned. If you are seriously thinking about it but are still unsure, ask family or friends if you can borrow their dog for the day, take the dog a walk and spend time with it in your home. Looking after a dog for a while is a good method of realising if getting a dog is right for you. There is also the option of short term fostering, this is another way to help with the decision in the longer term. This is also a considerate gesture as there is a big demand for dog foster families.



Research and research

Do your research! Especially if you have never had a dog before. Knowledge of dogs, in general, is a good start, although there are lots of information on being a responsible dog owner available. If you have a particular breed in mind, do your research on that breed. Having an insight into the behaviours, temperament and long term health of a particular breed will help you decide. The breed should suit your lifestyle and household. Don’t rush into getting a dog, take your time and do your homework. Talk to dog owners, dog walkers, and pet shop staff. They will all offer advice from different perspectives. Visit the local dog shelter, spend some time there with the dogs and talk to the staff. They are a great source of knowledge of a variety of breeds, and you will get to visit the dogs. Win-Win.

Click the link below for information on dogs in general.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog

Lifestyle

If you like walking for miles a toy dog is not for you unless you are prepared to carry your dog after a while. On the other hand, if you hate to exercise then a large dog full of energy is not for you. Dogs need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, this can take up a lot of your time and energy. To ensure a long and happy relationship ensure the breed and size of dog matches your lifestyle.

Consider your living environment, is there a secure outside space available for a dog? Are there lots of stairs? Does anyone in the household have allergies? Also, be prepared for your home to be messy, smell of wet dog at times, and an abundance of dog hair, EVERYWHERE!

Be aware there will be new noises to get used to as well, with lots of loud barking, whining, and even snoring to contend with. Working full time or being out of the house for long periods of time is not an issue due to the emergence of doggy daycare facilities and dog walkers. These services are plentiful, and although its an additional cost they are a beneficial service to many dog owners. Dog boarding services have changed over time, small dog hotels are an alternative to traditional kennel boarding.

Having a conversation with dog owners and staff at the local rescue shelter about your lifestyle and household should help clarify if getting a dog is the right decision for you.

 

 

 

 

Financial

Having a dog can be costly. Especially if there are health issues. Aside from dog beds, toys, and feeding bowls, there are additional regular costs.

Expect to have regular visits to the vet for routine health checks and some treatments, `every visit and treatment will need to be paid for. Other vet bills can arise too. If the dog becomes unwell or has an accident the costs can rise rapidly. Pet insurance can help with these unexpected large bills for a monthly or annual premium.

https://happyfurbuddy.com/pet-insurance-for-dogs-is-it-worth-it/

Depending on the breed and size of dog can determine a rough guide to feeding costs. Types of food can vary in cost too.

Daycare, dog walking, and regular grooming are services which may be required depending on circumstances and breed of dog. Some breed of dogs have to be groomed every few weeks to prevent matting and skin issues developing.

Training classes are another cost to consider. They are available for dogs of all ages and breeds, they provide a great bonding and socialising experience for you and your dog. A well-trained dog can prevent unexpected costs such as destroying favourite designer shoes!

Patience and love

Whether re-homing an older dog or getting a puppy, there will be a disruption to your life. The dog needs time to settle into the new surroundings, this can be challenging as well as rewarding.
A new puppy will definitely cause some sleepless nights and seemingly never-ending cleaning of poop! Patience in the beginning when you and your new furbuddy are getting to know each other is key. Dogs love to have interaction and attention from their owners, you are your dog’s world. Dogs love to be at their owner’s side, you will more than likely have your dog appear in the bathroom with you! Boredom can lead to destructive behaviour in a dog, give your dog regular playtime and ensure there is time every day for regular walks, exercise, and interaction. Give serious thought to the changes a dog will bring to your life.

  • Make sure you really want a dog
  • Do your research
  • Dog proof your home
  • Provide a healthy diet
  • Regular trips to the vet
  • Train your dog
  • Exercise your dog
  • Most importantly……. love your dog.
  • A dog love is like no other love and they deserve to be loved in return.



Happy furbuddy happy you

Hopefully, after all the above considerations the decision to get a dog is right for you and the dog. With patience, love, and kindness your furbuddy will become your best friend and your most loyal companion. It’s a proven fact the unconditional love we receive from our dogs can have a positive impact on our mental and physical well-being. Being a dog owner can have lots of health benefits. Such as improved fitness and activity, weight loss, and improved mental health. Studies show having a dog can lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. Dogs are truly our angels with fur.

I hope reading this article has helped in some way. Feel free to leave comments or photos of your new dog.

Mac

Macs mum

Safe Car Travel For Dogs

happy furbuddy

 

 

 

There will be times our dogs have to travel in the car, it should be a fun experience for us and our dog. Safe car travel for dogs is vital for the safety of the dog, driver, passengers, and other road users. Keeping our dogs safely restrained is especially important if the dog is not a not comfortable traveller. I am glad to say my dog Mac is a fantastic travel buddy, he is so laid back nothing fazes him. Unfortunately, not all dogs in cars are happy and comfortable.

Many owners drive with their dog on the front seat, in the footwell, or lying across the back seat. How many dog owners are aware it is illegal in the UK and other parts of the world to have an unrestrained dog in the car? There is information available on this matter on the Driving Standard Agency website. It seems not all dog owners are aware of this ruling.

 

The law

UK law states dogs and other animals should be restrained while the car is in motion. An unrestrained dog is a violation of the Highway Code. Should you be caught while driving with an unrestrained dog in the car there may be a large penalty to pay. The charge could be driving without due care and attention and the fine could be as much as £5000! There is also a possibility of the case going to court and having up to 9 points on your license. Laws differ all over the globe but fundamentally it is the drivers’ responsibility to ensure there are no distractions while driving. Keeping our furbuddies safe is paramount.

https://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/answers/can-you-drive-with-your-dog-in-the-car

Happy traveller

Ensuring your dog is relaxed and comfortable is an important aspect to consider. Introducing your furbuddy to car journeys is best done as early as possible, preferably when they are a puppy. Getting into a car for the 1st time as a larger or older dog can be a tough experience for dog and owner. If mobility is an issue then a ramp or stairs may have to be used, making the experience even tougher. Practise to get in and out of the car a few times before driving anywhere. Rewarding positive behaviour such as settling in the car with a treat is helpful. Only when you feel he is comfortable in his space in the car should you turn on your engine. When he is comfortable with the engine running, drive a very short distance, as short as driving out the driveway and always reward positive behaviour.

 

 

 

Nervous dogs may link a car ride to a dreaded trip to the vet. Travelling a short distance to a fun place that your dog will enjoy is a good tip. Do this multiple times to let him know that a car journey doesn’t always equal a trip to the vet. 20 minutes of exercise before a car journey is also recommended for nervous travellers. This is said to help alleviate stress.

 

 

Safety

Restraining your dog safely in the car is important to prevent injury to all especially if the driver has to stop suddenly. An unrestrained dog could injure itself and others. It is advised dogs should not be restrained in the passenger seat, restrained dogs can still distract even the best of drivers. Guidelines state dogs should be on back seat wearing a harness attached to a seat belt or in a crate secured in the boot. Going in the car with your dog should be a fun experience for dog and owner. A relaxed and comfortable dog is an ideal travel companion. Anxiety can cause your dog to pant heavily, bark, whine, drool, or even have an upset tummy. Travelling with a nervous dog can be an anxiety-provoking situation for the driver. If travelling in the car continues to upset your beloved furbuddy, it’s a good idea to have a chat with your vet. A vet may offer some sound and practical solutions to ensure safety all round.

Harness, crate or booster seat

Deciding on which method of restraint is dependent on a few factors.

  • Size of dog
  • size of vehicle
  • temperament of dog
  • length of journey

There are wide arrays of harnesses to choose from, the most important factor is fit. The harness should be snug but have enough room for comfort, two fingers should easily fit between fur and harness. I remember struggling to work out the correct way to put the harness on Mac, poor wee furbuddy had to stand for ages until I worked it out!

 

 

Trixie Dog Car Harness - Large

Crates are said to be the safest form of restraint. A crate in the boot of the car also provides a space just for the dog and his favourite toy, helping him feel safe and secure. Ensure the crate is level to prevent any movement which could be frightening and unsettling. Some dogs will love the opportunity to have a nosey out the window while in the crate. If your dog does not enjoy this, a blanket over the crate may help.

Booster seats are suitable for smaller breeds. They offer a secure space for your furbuddy, the seat is secured to the seat belt and the dog is secured to the booster seat. These seats are good for dogs that don’t like to be separated from their owner, and they can see everything all around them.

My preferred restraint is a harness attached to the seat belt in the back seat. When Mac was younger he travelled in the boot of the car as there were no issues around his mobility, now he’s a bit older he’s not as sprightly. He is also beginning to struggle to get in and out of the car, I am considering some sort of ramp to assist him.

 

Safe travels

Keeping your furbuddy safe and secure in the car will ensure the safety of all passengers, and remember it is also the law. A secure comfortable dog will ensure the driver is not facing any distractions and will make the experience less stressful and more enjoyable for all. Dogs can be great travel companions if they are secure and comfortable, buckle up, be safe, and enjoy even the shortest journey with your furbuddy.

Michelle

Macs mum

 

Pet Insurance For Dogs-Is It Worth It

happy furbuddy

Pet insurance for dogs, is it worth it ?

No NHS for our beloved dogs! So what choices do we have when they need health care? Pet insurance does not always have a good reputation, dog owners can feel they are paying money for no service especially if their beloved furbuddies don’t require regular health care.

Pet insurance like any insurance provides reassurance against paying out large vet bills should your pet need medical care. But do you need it? Is it an expense you can do without? Rising cost of insurance premiums can seem an unnecessary cost, especially if your dog is fit and healthy. But could you really afford large vet fees in an instant by not having insurance? What should we be considering before deciding if pet insurance is worth it?

 

 

To insure or not to insure

Your car your home and even your holiday is probably insured. But when it comes to our beloved dogs we often feel pet insurance is an unnecessary cost, especially if we have a healthy dog that cruises through life without any significant health issues. Why pay for health insurance for a perfectly healthy dog? Weighing up an occasional vet bill to paying a monthly sum for insurance is something to be considered. The average claim is around £750, while the average premium is around £300. Costs can soar into thousands of pounds if your dog has an accident or develops a life long condition. A sudden large vet bill or ongoing large vet bills is something to consider when thinking of insurance your furbuddy. There a countless companies offering pet insurance, even our local supermarkets! So there are plenty of choices available.

If the decision is to insure, the correct level is vital, choosing insurance not suitable to your dog can be costly. A discussion with your vet can be helpful in deciding on the cover that is fitting for your dog and his needs. Finding the right cover has never been easier, there are many comparison sites out there. List your requirements and the site will find the most suitable provider for you.                                                                                                                  

 

 zooplus.co.uk - My Petshop

Types of insurance

  • Lifetime
  • Accident
  • Annual

Lifetime is the most comprehensive type of cover available. Premiums are paid throughout your dogs life. These comprehensive policies have the highest payout limit. Payout limits apply per year, per condition, these are usually reinstated each year at renewal.

Accident as the name suggests covers accidents only, it does not cover illnesses. This insurance covers the cost of treatment for your pet if it’s been involved in an accident.

With annual cover you pay for 12 months’ worth of cover on a rolling basis. There is an option available to change policy each year. This policy offers a less comprehensive cover and costs less. This cover may be difficult to continue with your provider as your dog gets older.

There are a few companies out there that provide some cover for pre-existing conditions. These are usually more expensive and there are particular criteria that must be met. It is equally important to ensure you are aware of terms and conditions with this kind of policy, it may be unlikely that the insurer will cover veterinary treatment for that particular condition, due to the likelihood that the condition might flare up again.

Checking the small print is important to make certain you are buying the correct cover. If paying high premiums is an issue, agreeing to high excess is an option to keep costs down as insurers will often reward high excess payments. Most providers will also offer a reduction in costs if payments are made annually.

What to look out for

The age of your dog. Pet insurance for older dogs can be harder to find. It is easier to buy lifetime cover when your dog is young, as insurers believe an older dog will require more treatment. This is not the cheapest way to buy pet insurance but it does guarantee your dog will be covered. There are some insurers that will refuse cover if your dog is over a certain age. Choose cover that is suitable for you, ensure it includes what you require, such as vaccinations.

You must declare any pre-existing conditions when trying to get insurance for your pet otherwise the policy might be void. As with any insurance always check the small print, it is advisable to ensure the cover meets all requirements and has no exclusions.

Multi pet insurance can be cost effective, some insurers offer cheaper costs if more than one pet is insured. Compare pet insurance providers, compare plans and costs that are right for you. Ensure they have a proven track record. Its worth noting most insurers expect the customer to pay the vet bill upfront and be reimbursed at a later date.

 



Self-Insuring

Deciding against paying for insurance through a company is perfectly reasonable, but self-discipline is key. Decide on an amount to save regularly that is within your budget and keep in a separate fund. There is a risk to consider though, vet costs could be more than the amount in the fund and they could be ongoing. If for example your dog develops a long term condition or has an accident. There are also vaccinations, teeth cleaning and worming costs to consider.

There are charities and other organisations that can offer help toward vet costs, most of these services can be very overstretched and underfunded. They are means tested and offer help to people who are receiving benefits or low incomes.

 

Best for you and your pooch

Deciding on whether to insure or not is down to individual choice and circumstance. There is no right or wrong decision. Many factors come into consideration when deciding to whether to buy insurance for our dogs. Age, breed, activity levels and lifestyle are a few.

I hope you have found this post to be helpful in making a decision about insuring your furbuddy, feel free to leave comments or helpful tips on the subject.

Michelle

Macs mum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Dog Tips-Caring For A Dog

happy furbuddy

Keeping our furbuddies happy and healthy is a top priority. In this article I have listed some tips to help maintain our dogs health. Our dogs rely on us to look after all their needs so it is vital we know we are caring for our dogs in the correct manner.  Knowing all their habits and likes and dislikes and noticing changes is a good indicator if something is bothering them. There are a few things to keep an eye on to ensure the health and well-being of our dogs.

 

happy Mac
Happy Mac outside, his favourite place to be.

Regular vet checks

Regular trips to the vet for a check-up is good practice for any dog owner. Regular health checks can identify any issues quickly, also your vet can provide you with great knowledge and advice. Keeping vaccinations up to date is also a priority, as they can prevent your dog from serious and potentially fatal diseases. Some vets run regular health check clinics on a drop-in basis.

Regular worming tablets and flea/tick ointments are widely available and should be administered regularly. Always check your dog for ticks after a walk, especially if your dog likes being in long grass. Remove the tick immediately preferably with a tool designed for this purpose as it is important the head of a tick is removed to prevent your dog from tick-borne illnesses. Your vet can assist with this if you are unsure.

Identifying issues

Checking your dog all over on a regular basis is an ideal way to know when issues arise and to deal with them.

  • Skin

Your furbuddy should have soft and even skin. No growths or scabs should be present. There should be no white flakes or red areas on their skin. A dog skin can range in colour depending on their breed. Ranging from black, brown, pale pink, or spotted. Checking your dog skin for parasites such as ticks or fleas should be done regularly. A good way to check is to brush hair backward to see if any ticks are clinging to the skin or small flecks move around. Biting at a particular area is also something to be checked. Flea droppings are identifiable as black specks on your dog skin.

  • Coat

Signs of a healthy coat is it should be pliable and glossy. No bald areas or dandruff and there should be no excessive dryness or oiliness. This is the case for long and short hair coats.

  • Eyes

Bright and shiny, white of eyes should be clear with no yellow tinge are signs of healthy eyes. Any tears should be clear not excessive. There should be no swelling, discharge, or inflammation and there should be no eyelashes rubbing the eyeball causing irritation.

  • Ears

It is important to keep any dogs ears dry on the inside and out and to keep them clean. This is especially important for long-eared dogs. The skin inside the ears should be a light pink colour, yellow or brownish wax is normal but there should not be a large amount. Redness or swelling indicates an issue as does frequent scratching or shaking of the head.

  • Teeth and gums

It is important to keep your dogs mouth healthy, infections in the mouth can contribute to issues in other parts of the body. This can include the heart, a healthy mouth is of high importance. Firm gums that are pink, black, or spotted like the dog skin are signs of healthy gums. Brushing your dog teeth should be a regular occurrence to prevent plaque and tartar. Most vets have a regular dental clinic.

  • Nose                  happy Mac

A dog’s nose can vary in colour too, black, pink, or the same colour as the coat, it is usually cool and wet to the touch. Contrary to popular belief a dry warm nose does not always mean your dog is unwell. Healthy nasal discharge should be clear and odourless. Yellow, thick, or smelly discharge should be checked.

Grooming

Regular grooming at home is a good way to identify any skin issues. It is also a good way to feel if any lumps or bumps have appeared. Brushing at home from an early age is a good way to get your pooch ready for the salon, and for some dogs it can be a nice experience. Depending on the breed of the dog, coat and hair length professional grooming is important. Bathing and brushing can prevent issues with matting and knotting of the coat.

A great tool for de-shedding at home.

 

Weight

Keeping our dogs at a healthy weight is important to ensure good health. Like us humans a healthy weight is a result of a balance of food and exercise. A dogs rib should visible and should be felt under the skin, extra padding around this area suggests the dog is overweight. There are many health issues that arise through obesity. It is a good idea not to give too many treats or between-meal snacks, especially if there are mobility issues that prevent regular exercise. If there are no issues around food or exercise and your pooch appears over or underweight then it’s a good idea to have a trip to the vet.

Diet and nutrition play an important role in the health of our dogs.

Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes 

When to call the vet

Seek veterinary advice if your dog displays any of the symptoms listed below.

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination for more than twelve hours.
  • Fainting.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Bowel or bladder issues.
  • Runny eyes or nose.
  • Persistent scratching at eyes or ears.
  • Thick discharge from eyes, ears, or nose.
  • Coughing or sneezing.
  • Difficulty breathing, prolonged panting.
  • Shivering.
  • Whining for no apparent reason.
  • Loss of appetite for 24 hours or more.
  • Weight loss.
  • Dramatic increase in appetite for 24 hours or more.
  • Increased restlessness.
  • Excessive sleeping or unusual lack of activity.
  • Limping, holding, or protecting part of the body.
  • Excessive drinking of water.
  • White gums.

 Petmate Academy

Visit Petmate.com

A happy healthy dog

All of us want our dogs to be as happy and healthy as possible. Looking after their basic needs and giving as much love and attention as possible will make for a happy and healthy furbuddy. Nutritious food, exercise, and play are important to their well-being. Ensuring regular health checks and vaccinations are up to date is of utmost importance.

Toys, boredom busters, and a comfortable bed in a warm secure space also makes for a happy healthy pooch.

Brain Games For Dogs-Fun Activities

 

 

I hope this article has been helpful to you.

Feel free to leave a comment below and a photo of your own furbuddy.

Michelle

Macs mum

 

 

Brain Games For Dogs-Fun Activities

happy furbuddy

It goes without saying dogs are intelligent creatures. They thrive on mental stimulation. Brain games are important as keeping their brain active is just as important as physical activity. There are numerous ways to provide mental stimulation for your dog that you can both enjoy. Dogs love learning and practicing new tricks, they love to please their owners and love to receive praise and rewards. Depending on the personality of your dog will determine which activity or toy is suitable. Even the laziest dog will respond positively to mental stimulation. Some dogs need more stimulation than others, there are particular breeds that no amount of physical activity will tire them out, so providing mental stimulation can prevent destructive behaviours.

There are a variety of dog toys and puzzles available, ranging from budget to ridiculously expensive. There is also plenty of brain training games that cost nothing if you use a little imagination.

Brain training

Genius Dog 300 x 250 - Animated

Whether your dog is being house-trained or learning a complex trick they will love the attention. Learning basic skills such as sit, stay or lie down are stimulating to our dogs. Keeping our furbuddies mentally stimulated is an important responsibility as a dog owner. A bored dog can be a depressed dog, a destructive dog, and an unhappy dog. Simple things like daily walks or playing fetch are enough to provide our pooch with love and security. Being outdoors is in itself mentally stimulating for our dogs. All the different scents and noises are beneficial in keeping their brains active. Seeing other dogs, trees, water and people are all factors that can excite and stimulate our dog’s brain. All their senses are active and are therefore providing stimulation. Organizing a doggy play date is another great way to stimulate. Having the opportunity to interact and socialize with other dogs regularly is beneficial to our pooches.

Simple ways to brain train

  1. Basic obedience training
  2. Changing walking route
  3. Teaching new tricks
  4. Toy treat dispenser

Teaching your dog new tricks regularly is a great way to get their brain active. Dogs respond positively to attention from their owners and enjoy the repetitive activity. They respond to human behaviours and recognize the tone of our voice when giving praise.

 

DIY dog puzzles

There are many ways we can make our own games for free to stimulate our pups. Simple games like fetch or go find is enough to get that tail wagging with excitement. As dogs have amazing noses and love a good sniff, hiding treats is a free and simple way to get their brains active. A tennis ball with a treat inside is a simple way to entertain. A good DIY game to get their brain busy is putting a couple of treats in a muffin tin then filling the holes with balls. A win-win situation, treats and balls to play with.

Cardboard egg boxes can be great boredom busters, drop a couple of treats in, close it, and let your dog find his own way to get the treats out.

 

Great for dogs that love to destroy!

Only use cardboard boxes for your dogs safety

Using household items is a great way to entertain without any cost

  1. A plastic bottle secured inside a sock can provide fun for those dogs that love a bit of noise.
  2. Treats frozen in ice cubes
  3. A cereal box taped shut with treats inside
  4. Hide n seek with favourite toy

Home alone puzzles

There are times our dog is home alone, providing mental stimulation when we are not around can prevent boredom. Ensuring the puzzle is strong enough not to break and cause harm to our pooch is key. Snuffle mats are great to stimulate foraging skills.

 

These mats are designed to stimulate your dog by using their strongest sense, their nose. Sniffing out a treat is a satisfying activity for your pooch. Some experts pointed out that using a dog snuffle mat for 10 minutes is equivalent to one hour of exercise. Treat dispensing balls and puzzles are also beneficial to our dogs mental and physical well-being. Learning how to retrieve the treats can be an enjoyable and stimulating game. There are many toys available that are advertised as indestructible, always initially supervise play to ensure your dog cannot destruct the toy and cause them harm.

 

Brain game from afar

Bonding

Playing games with your dog, whether DIY or shop bought is quality time spent with your dog. A great way to bond and understand their likes and dislikes. Not all dogs like the same activities. Take time to get to know your dog and what their preferred activities are. Dogs love attention and interaction with their owners, without this they may engage in unwanted behaviours. The best way to bond and mentally stimulate your dog is to ensure at least 30 to 60 minutes play every day. Whether it’s a short or long walk or playing his favourite games, any activity that provides interaction will benefit you and your dog.

A happy healthy dog

Fair to say any time spent with your dog will keep him happy and stimulated. Dogs are sociable creatures and benefit from interaction with humans and other dogs. Just as we humans get to understand our dog’s behaviours and preferences they also understand ours. Our dogs can recognize our tone when scolding or giving praise. They know when we are responding positively to them which in turn leads to them responding positively to us. Dogs truly are amazing creatures, with amazing senses and the ability to learn. They are invaluable as service dogs and can be taught to assist the human race in numerous capacities.

 

 

Interesting information regarding dogs behaviour.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog

Hope you enjoyed this article, feel free to share any brain games your furbuddy enjoys.