Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Pet dog FoodWellness CORE Natural Grain-Free drydog food comes 2nd on our listingfor the very bestpet food for Pitbulls, and also is nothingshort ofan intenserival to Preference Of The Wildcompletely drypet dog food which we chose as our # 1 toppick.Best dry dog food for pitbull
Besides the excellentdietary mix of macro-nutrients for your Pitbull, you’ll see that their powerdegrees are constantlykept at a high (and that‘s implied in a great way, not in a hyper-active sense) which goes together with the energeticlifestyle Pitbulls like to seek.
Thanks to the superiortop quality you’re getting with this, you’ll likewiseobservethings like far moreregularas well asregular pooping, in addition to that the poop will certainly be a lot easierconsidered thatHealth CORE Natural Grain Free drydog food is understood to be a veryvaluablecure to Pitbulls dealing withbowel irregularity and/or diarrhea.
As you’ll discover us worryingtime and time againlater in this short article, this is preciselywhat your Pitbull requires, grain-free (i.e devoid ofineffective filler that burnswith your pocket andoffersabsolutely nodietaryvalue to your Pit).
You‘vegotmanyalternatives to pick fromdepending uponexactly what you’re specificallytrying to find, be it reduced-fat completely drypet food, food for your young puppy Pitbull, food for your largegrown-up Pitbull, and the checklisttakes place.Best dry dog food
Once more, this isn’tprecisely the cheapestchoicearound, but you’ll end upminimizinglots ofotherexpensesdown the roadand this willshow to be a wisefinancial investment.
Blue Buffalo Wild High Healthy protein Dry Grown-upPet dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Grown-upPet dog FoodIf your Pitbull is recognized to have a delicatetummy, Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Proteindrypet food is amongthe very bestalternatives you couldopt for.
Similar to the # 1 as well as # 2 choices we‘veselected as the bestoptions you cango with when shopping for food for your Pitbill, Blue Buffalo isn’tspecificallyaffordable, and also you do obtainwhat you spend for (quality!).
In an issue of justa number of weeks, you’ll see that your Pitbull’s hair is soft once moreand its layer is shinyagaintoo.
If you’re a beginner, allow‘s simplyclaim that Blue Buffalo Wilddoes notscent like the mosttasty of pet dog foods initially, especially if you go with the Salmon grain-free formula.
However, do notfret about that, as Pitbulls go crazy over Blue Buffalo Wildernessregardless of whatflavor you provide them, and it‘s up to you to figure out your Pit’s favorite formula and alsostick to that. There’s an entire host of alternatives for you to pick from, so knock on your own out!
Anticipatea reallyenergisedand alsospirited Pitbull when opting for this choice, equally asanynormal Pitbull ought to be.
When you firstgeta brand-new pooch, it couldrequire timelocatinga brandandtype that both you, your walletas well as your puppy love. Still, it‘s nice to belong to begin with. That’s why we‘veassembled10 of our favoredcanine food brand names for you as well as your furryclose friend to experiment with.Best Dry Dog Foods
In an effort to stayfair (andstopheart attacks), we looked fora range of foods at variouspricepoints. Yet as you likelycurrentlyrecognize, any kind ofsupereconomicalpet dog food brand name (you recognize the ones) are not alwaysexcellent health-wise for your puppy. Yet, an easyway to check out the 411 on whatever pet food you have actually been utilizing is to look for it on DogFoodAdvisor.com. The hugelyoutstandingsitehas cataloged andreviewed over 3,000 pet dogfood, including both wetandcompletely drypet dog food alternatives. They damage down each food with a celebrityratingand alsoenter intofantasticdetail to describe their ranking, includingcensuringingredientsand alsohow the food is made. To ensure we were selecting right by you as well as your puppy, we validatedthat of our choicesfulfill the five starauthorizationscore on the site.Best dog food for labradors
None of this infowill certainlysurprise you. Just likehumans do well when they eatreal food, your canine‘s system will not do more than time on a heavilyrefineddiet plan. We know you likerealcomponentsand alsorespectjust what treats you dogobtains. Simplyassume, the majority ofpuppiesconsume the very samepointdaily, in some casestwo times a day. If you make it something awesome, they’ll take pleasure inconsumingas well asfeelexcellentas well. That implies a shinier layer, even morepowerand alsoa boostedlife-span!
Without furtherconfusion, right here‘s our leading10picks for drypet dog food: Wellness Core
The Wellness Core product lineconsists of7completely drydog foods, 6 which claim to meet AAFCO nutrientaccounts for adultupkeep. This above-average completely dryitem has a dryissuehealthy protein reading of 38%, a fat degree of 13% andestimatedcarbs of concerning 41%. Just what does this imply? The brand name is way above-average with protein, near-average with fat and also below-average with carbs when compared toa regularcompletely drydog food. As you may have thought, these are all excellentpoints. Plus, lots of flaxseed. Yum!
Everyone knows that dogs have much sharper sense of smell than us humans, but did you know that it’s good for them to exercise this sense? Many pet owners think that nose work is a skill that should only be taught to working and hunting dogs. The truth is, your dog does nose work all the time, it just isn’t structured. Nose work for dogs is an important tool that can help keep your pet active and give his brain some exercise too!
The canine nose is a very amazing thing. Dogs cane
breathe in through the holes in the front of their nose and breathe out through the slits on the side
wiggle both nostrils independently
distinguish individual odors in scents
To put it in perspective for you, humans have about 5 million cells that are solely devoted to smell; dogs have more than 200 million! Dogs also have four times the brain power devoted to processing what they smell. A dog’s nose is so powerful, it could detect one drop of blood in the amount of water that would fill two Olympic-sized swimming pools.
But how can we help our dog’s fine tune this skill? Easy! Nose work for dogs is an exercise that combines your dog’s strong power of scent with his desire to hunt. It is appropriate for all dogs; no matter their age, breed, size or health.
Let’s Talk: The Importance of Nose Work For Dogs
It’s not hard to get started teaching nose work for dogs. In fact, it’s no harder than training your dog to perform any other task. With a bit of time, a lot of patience and the proper equipment, your dog will be performing nose work tasks with ease.
A collar or traditional harness (not a no-pull harness)
It is important that the dog you’re working with be the only dog in the room. At least in the beginning, having as few distractions as possible will make training your pup much easier on both of you.
If you have a shy dog or a pooch that doesn’t play well with others, this is a great alternative to other dog sports and activities.
Nose work for dogs can be done with multiple dogs, but only after all dogs have plenty of experience and exceptional skills. Usually, nose work for dogs is done with one handler and one canine. This not only fosters the bond between you and your companion, but it also allows your dog to be active and engaged without having to be around other pups.
To make it as easy as possible for your dog in the beginning, all your “hides” should be done inside in the same room. It should be quiet and there should not be any distractions. You should also start by using foods with appealing smells. This will help Fido get the hang of things a little quicker.
It’s easiest to start off with a helper. Your helper can make a big deal of hiding the food inside the boxes. Place all three boxes on the ground and put food in 2 or 3 of them. Make sure that your dog watches where the food is placed. When your helper has placed all the treats, walk over to the boxes with your dog and encourage while he searches.
When he finds the treats, make a it very exciting. Praise him and tell him what a good job you did. Our dogs like to please us, and this will show your pooch that he is doing exactly what you want him to. Just remember to do as little as possible while he’s searching. Don’t direct him, give him any hints or pull his leash in the direction that he needs to go. Your dog needs to figure this out on his own!
Making things challenging
When you first start out, you want to make the hides easy. This will allow your dog to grasp the concept of nose work quickly, and it will also build his confidence. Think about it like this – if you were just starting to learn to throw a football, would you want to play with Tom Brady?
Allowing your dog the time to build his confidence will make the training process much smoother. Once your dog has the hang of things indoors with the boxes, try to expand your indoor search. Begin in the same room, but get rid of the boxes. Hide treats in areas where your dog can easily access them.
Then you can expand your search to other rooms of the house. Eventually, move up to multiple rooms. By this time, your dog should be a pro at searching for treats. Now it’s time to really step things up a notch.
Once your little genius has mastered the art of nose work for dogs inside the house, it’s time to take things outside. This is obviously going to be much more challenging, as there are more distractions and many other smells to decipher. It’s best to start with the same type of food or treats that you used inside.
Using the same type of motivator will help your dog to understand that the objective is still the same. Once he has the hang of searching outside, it’s time to move to a bigger challenge. Now you can try to hide a toy or favorite item and see if your dog can find it.
Try some scent games
Nose work for dogs is challenging, fun and exciting. I promise, you will enjoy it just as much as your dog. Once the two of you have the initial training done and your dog understands the objective of nose work, it’s finally time to start playing some scent games.
You can find some great ideas for scent games on these sites:
Once you begin training your pet to do nose work, you’ll be hooked. It’s a lot of fun, and it really engages your dog. I know it’s a favorite activity for all three of our girls, and I love it too. It’s great to see your dog really enjoying themselves, while also stimulating their brain and getting them up off the couch.
Now it’s your turn!
Have you tried nose work for dogs? Does your pet enjoy it? If you have any favorite scent games or any tips for nose work training, we’d love to hear them. Your advice may help other pet owners who are interested in learning how to train their pet to do nose work too. Leave us a comment below and tell us about your personal experience with nose work for dogs. Let’s Talk!
Dog owners are concerned about the what goes into their pet’s body. They want him to eat healthy food and snacks – some even go so far as to make their own dog food and treats. But what about the products that you’re using on the outside of his body. Knowing how to choose dog grooming products can save you money and heartache in the future. Some products are filled with chemicals that have been linked to skin allergies, hair loss and even cancer.
Artificial dyes and colorants are just the start. There are so many harmful ingredients used in pet grooming products now-a-days that it’s just as easy to tell you what you should be looking for rather than what you shouldn’t. We all have good intentions when it comes to grooming our dogs at home, but if you don’t know how to choose dog grooming products, you could end up doing more harm than good.
Even some products that are labeled “natural” aren’t nearly as safe as you’d think. It’s important that you don’t just read the bold print on the front of the bottle, but actually take the time to read the entire list of ingredients. If there is an ingredient that you don’t know, take a few minutes to look it up. A bit of research now could save you hundreds of dollars in vet bills down the road.
This week I had the pleasure of discussing this topic with Melissa Boland, the Pack Leader at 4-Legger. The company creates certified organic dog grooming products, and Melissa says they also focus on educating pet owners on the dangers of the chemicals in most commercial grooming products.
Interview: How To Choose Dog Grooming Products
So the first thing I needed to know was what exactly is harmful about the majority of the dog grooming products that we find on pet store shelves? Why is it so important that we, as dog owners, learn how to choose dog grooming products and pay more attention to the ingredients in the products that we buy?
Melissa explained to me that there are two ways that traditional grooming products are more harmful. The root problem stems from the fact that there are no regulations in the pet grooming industry for ingredient purity and standards for marketing. The first, ingredient purity, is where it is easy to get confused.
A manufacturer may start with an ingredient that was derived from a coconut; but, that ingredient was the product of many chemical reactions. The ingredients used to initiate the chemical reaction may have links to cancer or other health issues. When they purchase that ingredient to manufacture their dog shampoo, they don’t test it to make sure it is 1,4dioxane free. There is no regulation that requires the testing and it is expensive.
The 1,4dioxane is considered a “contaminant” and does not have to be listed as an ingredient.
All the pet parent sees is something like “naturally derived coconut” on the label. There have been no studies that tested dog shampoo for 1,4dioxane, so as pet parents we have no idea how many on the market are contaminated. We do know that in 2008, when the Organic Consumers Association tested 100 common brands of human grade products to look for 1,4dioxane, it was found in a shocking 46%!
Mind you, there are regulations on human grade products, but not on pet products. So, what do you think that means for the majority of dog grooming products that are available?
The second major reason that traditional dog shampoos are so harmful is simply because of the labeling. Melissa is so passionate about this aspect of the pet grooming industry, and she explained to me that you will often see products marked medicated, tear free, all natural, organic, clinical vet formula, vegan, cruelty free, hypoallergenic, etc…and they absolutely are not.
“To me, this is worse than the issue of ingredient purity. At least you can learn to recognize ingredients and avoid them. The bottom line is, as a pet parent, you need to learn some basics on identifying safe and nontoxic grooming products.” – Melissa Boland
Ingredients to stay away from
So, now we know there are certain ingredients that we need to be watching out for, but what are they? When learning how to choose dog grooming products, Melissa says there are some common chemicals and toxins that dog owners need to be sure are NEVER in the grooming products that they choose.
She told me that one of the first things that they did when creating 4-Legger products was develop a list of ingredients that would never be in anything they made. Some of the most important ingredients to stay away from, and ones that you will not find in ANY 4-Legger grooming products include:
The “sulfates” like sodium laureth sulfate – just look for words ending in “ate”
Artificial colors - how can a dog shampoo be both natural and hot pink or bright blue in color?
Cocamide DEA, MEA, or TEA
The commonly used formaldehyde based preservatives: DMDM Hydantoin, Doazolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, and Quaternium15
Preservatives Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
Methylparaben & Parabens
I can almost guarantee that if you go look at the pet grooming products that you use, you’ll find many of these ingredients. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I was using them too! This is article isn’t being written for the dog owners that already understand this information. It’s to teach you how to choose dog grooming products, so don’t beat yourself up.
It’s never too late to make a positive change for your dog’s health and overall well-being.
What you should be looking for
When I asked this question, Melissa told me it was actually a difficult one to answer. She said the simplest way to explain it is to look at the ingredients in 4-Legger’s dog shampoo: saponified organic oils with organic aloe vera, essential oils, and rosemary extract.
Dog shampoo made with saponified oils are gentle compared to those that are detergent based. Essential oils are used for the aroma and it’s natural properties such as its ability to moisturize skin.
If you’re looking for a more complex answer, essentially every pet parent will have to develop their own process of elimination to determine what they are comfortable using on their furry family member. You will also have to read past the marketing materials to focus on the ingredients and the product appearance.
While Melissa agrees that this a personal choice for every pet parent, she wants to point out that approximately 50% of our dogs will die from cancer. Only 5% of these cancers are genetic. The remaining 95% are lifestyle and environmentally based. Pet parents can make their own decision on where they want to reduce their dog’s exposure to environmental toxins, but grooming product manufacturers haven’t made it easy.
You can’t look at a single ingredient that is linked to skin irritation in sensitive pets and think “My dog doesn’t have sensitive skin, so I can use that.”
The ingredient that causes skin irritation may be contaminated with the toxic ingredients used to derive it, and that ingredient won’t be listed on the label. The easy route is to avoid all products with Cocamide DEA, MEA, or TEA, Cocamidopropyl betaine and the sulfates. If the product says it is sulfate free, look at a picture to see if the product has a lot of bubbles. Where there are bubbles, there are probably sulfates.
The next step in learning how to choose dog grooming products, look for obvious synthetic or petroleum based ingredients like color or fragrance. If you don’t see color or fragrance listed on the ingredients, look at the product. Is it a “natural” color? Do reviewers mention a fragrance?
Finally, when learning how to choose dog grooming products you need to look at what preservatives are being used. Many dog grooming product manufacturers will tell you that the percent of a formaldehyde based preservative is so low in the product that safety is a non-issue.
If you look at all of the combined ingredients in the bottle, a low percentage here, a low percentage there, they start to add up to the majority of the product being developed with ingredients with known links to health issues.
What is a certified organic shampoo?
In order to be used in an organically certified product, every ingredient must either be certified to NOP (National Organic Program) standards which are governed by the USDA, or must have been grown and harvested in a manner compliant with NOP regulation.
Melissa told me that it is very important to 4-Legger that pet parents know that their ingredients have been reviewed throughout their lifecycle - starting from where and how they are grown, to how they were harvested, processed, transported, manufactured, packaged and shipped. This is something that is very important to keep in mind when learning how to choose dog grooming products.
When a product is certified organic, that means there is a literal paper trail to prove its certification requirements.
This level of scrutiny prevents manufacturers from making organic claims that are false. However, it is largely up to pet parents to report violations to the NOP for enforcement. This is why it is so important for pet parents to have a proper understanding of what “organic” means and how they can identify products that truly are organic from ones that are not.
According to Melissa, pet parents pay, on average, 21% more for products with the words “all natural” on the label. If you are going to pay more, don’t you want a product that really is all natural? Only products that are certified organic to the USDA NOP standards ARE all natural!
If you’re interested in 4-Legger products
Because their products are so different from other dog grooming products on the market, you will notice a few major differences if you decide to try 4-Legger grooming products. The biggest difference is, by far, the consistency. Melissa says that because they don’t add the synthetic thickeners that are in traditional dog shampoo they often hear “It is thin”.
However, they are very upfront about the consistency and caution people to not turn the bottle over and pour it out over their dog. Use a little it will go a long way! This is great if you’re on a budget as well – the less you use, the longer your bottle will last.
The second difference is the use of natural essential oils instead of artificial fragrance. The lavender will smell like real lavender, not synthetic lavender. Melissa says she has to laugh when someone says, “This doesn’t smell like this other lavender product I’ve used.” Odds are, if you look up that lavender product, you’ll discover that it is all synthetic. No wonder!
I’d like to take this time to thank Melissa Boland for speaking with me about how to choose dog grooming products and the importance of understanding the ingredients in the products you choose.. Make sure you check out 4-Legger for more information about the chemicals and toxins that are found in most dog grooming products and how it will benefit your dog’s health if you switch to better quality products.
I first learned about essential oils a few years ago. I was a new mother and din’t want to use chemical filled bug sprays, medications or other treatments on my son. After consulting with our pediatrician, I decided to do some research and try essential oils. What I thought would be an afternoon spent on the internet turned into weeks of research, internet surfing and multiple visits to our local library and book stores. What I found out about essential oils was amazing. They can be used to treat many human conditions, and essential oils for dogs are also extremely beneficial!
Now, before you just go jumping in, there are a few things you need to know about essential oils for dogs. If you’ve used essential oils before or you’re familiar with their benefits for humans, don’t assume that they can be used in the same manner with dogs.
Although some essential oils are very beneficial to pets, others can be toxic.
Proper research needs to be done, and you really should consult with a holistic veterinarian or canine health specialist before introducing an essential oil regiment to your pet. When used correctly, essential oils can be an indispensable part of your dog’s medical care. They will aid in his overall health and well-being, and they’ll save you hundreds of dollars in veterinary bills.
Sunday’s Recap: Essential Oils for Dogs
1. Dogs Naturally Magazine
The first thing you’ll need to understand is what exactly essential oils are. DogsNatually sums it up perfectly in this article. Most essential oils are a plant’s natural response to dangers in the environment. They secrete the oils to fend off predators and pests that will eat them.
Essential oils are absorbed by inhalation, ingestion and contact with the skin. They rapidly enter the body and the blood stream and are distributed to various tissues. As with all compounds, some chemicals have a biological affinity for specific tissues, and doctors — or those knowledgeable about oil use — can use this property to select oils that will target specific tissues. The compounds present in essential oils are powerful. Very small amounts of these substances can have powerful biological effects on every system of the body…
Once you do a bit of research, you’ll wonder why you have never used essential oils before. There are countless benefits, and some of the top reasons are listed in this blog post on Experience-Essential-Oils.com.
Not toxic to the body – Just like the human body, toxicity is a huge problem for our animals. Lets support our dog’s emotional and physical wellbeing so they can live a long healthy life.
Easy to use – Essential oils for dogs can be used exactly in the same manner as with humans. Dogs can inhale the oil directly from the bottle or from your hand. They can be placed directly on their body (see below).
Perfect home remedies for dogs – I keep an essential oil bag with twelve to fifteen oils to help with car rides, trips to the vet, trainer or pet sitter; and to help ease stress. They work quickly, are effective and extremely versatile!…
3. TheWholeDog.org discusses diffusion
Essentials oils for dogs can be applied in multiple ways, just like oils for humans. The application will depend on the oil you’re using and what you are using it for. Sometimes you’ll need to apply the oils topically, which you can see in the video below. Other times you may need to diffuse the oils, which is more commonly known as aromatherapy for dogs.
This is easily done, but does require the purchase of a diffuser. They are essentially a small humidifier, and you can pick up a good one for less than $30. First you’ll add water to the diffuser and then a few drops of the essential oil that your pet requires. The diffuser disperses the oils into the air along with the mist from the water.
TheWholeDog.org has put together a wonderful website that is a great resource for pet parents considering essential oils for dogs. This particular article talks about diffusing oils for dogs, but you should check out the entire site if you’re looking for more information. I have it bookmarked as a reference and still refer to it from time to time.
When essential oils are inhaled through the nose, tiny nerves send an immediate signal to the brain and go straight to work on the systems that moderate our minds and bodies. Inhalation can be the most direct delivery method of these incredibly nurturing components in essential oils, since the chemical messengers in the nasal cavity have direct access to the brain. Of course, inhalation of essential oils also are able to enter the bloodstream via the lungs, (The lungs govern the immune system)…
4. NAHA explains important safety precautions
Kelly Holland Azzaro has written this interesting article for the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). It explains some of the top safety precautions that you’ll need to keep in mind. This is another reference that you should be sure to read thoroughly before beginning to use essential oils for dogs.
Animals will often lick the area where essential oil blends/botanicals have been applied. This normally does not cause a problem – but watch to make sure that the animal does not have an allergic reaction, or negative response. If they do, wipe the area with a cool wet cloth and diluted mild soap, rinse and repeat. If necessary seek immediate veterinarian assistance. Other and more serious clinical signs to watch for with your pet that can result from ingestion of essential oils are: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lethargy, weakness, excessive drooling/salivation, mouth sores, seizures, tremors, increase in liver enzymes and temporary paralysis…
5. Young Living
Young Living is one of the many companies that manufacturers essential oils. They have a very helpful and informative blog on their website that gives beneficial tips on using essential oils for dogs and humans. In this post, they touch on how much essential oil you should use for your pet. This will be determined by his size.
Your animal’s size affects the amount of oil you should use.
For smaller animals like cats and small dogs, use 3–5 drops. Be sure to dilute 80–90 percent prior to application (for example, for every 1 drop of oil, use 4–5 drops of a diluting agent).
For larger animals, like large dogs, start with 3–5 drops. Unless otherwise indicated on the product label, dilution is unnecessary…
6. Healthy Focus tells us what to look for when purchasing
Many companies sell essential oils, but you need to know what to shop for. Not all essential oils are the same quality.Angela Deckard has written this in-depth articleHealthy Focus that explains what you should look for when purchasing essential oils for dogs.
When it comes to buying essential oils, you get what you pay for. Discount oils bought at warehouses or health food stores are often filled with perfumes and filler chemicals, which can be harmful to your pet or decrease the beneficial effects. When shopping for 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil, the bottle should have these characteristics:• The Latin name of the oil, for example: Lavandula Angustifolia
• Common name of the oil, such as Lavender
• Method of distillation…
7. Weed ’em & Reap – what can essential oils be used for?
So, what can essential oils for dogs do? Well, simply put, they can increase your dog’s overall health and well-being in virtually every way possible. Weed ’em & Reap has created one of the most inclusive articles on essential oils for dogs that I’ve found. It has all the information you’ll need to understand the benefits of essential oils for dogs and gain basic knowledge of which oils work for which health conditions.
According to this article essential oils for dogs can be used for common conditions such as:
Natural insect repellent
Immune Support for Environmental & Seasonal Threats
Joint and muscle support
Brain and mood health
Promote healthy cell growth
8. RawFedDogs.org shares recipes
RawFedDogs.org breaks it down a bit more and shares specific recipes that can be made with essential oils for dogs. Of course, you should consult your veterinarian before trying any of these recipes.
HERBAL FLEA (& TICK) SPRAY:
You will need:
– Recycled spray bottle that has a nozzle that can handle oil without getting clogged
– 100ml Spring water (Devin, pink label bottle)
– 5 teaspoons Vodka (to disperse the oil)
– 10-20 ml Neem oil (depending on how strong you want it)
– 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
– 5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
– 5 drops Rose Geranium Essential Oil (if you want to make it an anti-tick spray as well)
Shake vigorously before spraying each time. Please note, this spray is NOT suitable for cats because of the essential oil content.
9. The vet’s weigh in
Finally, this week I will leave you with an interview done by Dr. Karen Becker. I’ve shared Dr. Becker’s tips in the past, and this time she calls on Dr. Melissa Shelton to share information about essential oils for dogs. In this article you will see the informative write-up that came from the interview, or you can watch the video below to hear the audio between the two veterinary specialists.
I asked Melissa whether she thinks the information about essential oils and animals comes from those who are simply misinformed, or is there an element of fear mongering involved.She believes it’s a little of both. She’s done her own research on reports of toxicity from oils, hoping to learn why some people can successfully use them and others are so dead set against them.
And from her research, she has determined it comes down to an issue of the quality of the essential oils used – just as many things in veterinary medicine come down to quality.
Many humans love honey for a number of reasons, including its natural sweetening properties and its many uses for health and diet. Recently, after doing a little bit of research for honey as a natural aid for human allergies, I came across a lot of information that found health benefits of honey for dogs as well.
I never would have thought about giving my dogs honey, but they benefit from it almost as much as humans do. Feeding honey to dogs isn’t a new revelation, but it is gaining popularity thanks to the current focus on natural and holistic pet health. A nice bonus is that most dogs enjoy the taste of honey, so it usually isn’t hard to get your dog to eat it.
Mixed with his food, your dog probably won’t even realize that the honey is there. Adding this sweet ingredient to his diet may also save you money on future vet care and add to the length of your pet’s life. If you’re wondering how you can improve your adult dog’s health, check out these six benefits of honey for dogs.
6 Uses and Health Benefits of Honey for Dogs
Dogs suffer from allergies almost as much as humans do, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola. For most dogs, it doesn’t look like human allergies, with sneezing and watery eyes. It looks more like dry, itchy skin and shedding or excess dandruff.
When this happens, vets usually recommend a small dose of Benadryl to help “take the edge off,” but some holistic veterinarians believe that a teaspoon of natural, raw honey every day can actually prevent allergies in dogs after just a few days.
It’s important to note that if your dog has allergies year-round and honey doesn’t seem to help, it could be that your dog may actually have an underlying condition causing the itching and dry skin. It’s likely that it is probably a food allergy, and the health benefits of honey for dogs won’t help that.
It’s very important that you see a veterinarian to diagnose your dog’s allergies properly.
Many dog breeders and kennel operators use honey as a Neosporin-type wound dressing. If a dog has a cut, bite, scratch, burn, etc., they apply the raw honey directly onto the site, and then wrap it up so the dog doesn’t lick the honey clean off.
The disinfectant and antibacterial properties proven to be in honey help the wound heal, and the thickness of the honey helps create a barrier until the wound heals more.
Pro tip: Make sure to warm the honey to make it easier to apply to sore areas.
Of course, if your dog has been badly injured, you should take him or her to the vet rather than trying to slather honey on the wound. My dog recently got bitten by a bot fly, but we didn’t know it. We tried honey on it, and it didn’t work, but that’s because there was a bot fly larvae growing in the bite site! Yuck! Honey can only do so much, apparently.
If your dog has bouts of indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation the health benefits of honey for dogs will certainly come in handy. A dog with tummy trouble is miserable (and usually stinky), so if you’ve ruled out issues with the food he is eating, try a little bit of honey.
Most dogs respond well to about a teaspoon of honey in their food daily, but for larger dogs it can be increased up to a tablespoon or two.
Slowly introduce it into his daily diet, and see if you notice a difference in his digestion. If your dog seems to be more “regular” or has a less upset stomach, it means it’s working! If the honey doesn’t help, though, talk to your veterinarian about possible food allergies or medical conditions.
My dogs both eat a small teaspoon of honey in their food, and it has helped with my smaller dog’s digestive issues to an extent. But honey can’t fix everything, especially an existing medical condition.
It’s important that you observe and monitor your dog regularly to make sure there isn’t anything else going on. Look for symptoms other than digestive trouble, and take him to the vet if you notice anything else.
4. Pick Me Up
For older dogs, a little lick of raw honey actually helps energize them enough to get in exercise that can be a little strenuous on old bones.
Because it has natural sugars, it stimulates the body and the dog gets a little “pick me up” out of it.
Use honey with caution though, because too much honey for dogs can actually cause dental and stomach problems.
For humans, a teaspoon of honey when they have a terrible cough can provide instant relief. One of the greatest health benefits of honey for dogs is that it does the same thing for adult dogs who are unlucky enough to get kennel cough.
Try just one teaspoon a day, and increase if your dog handles it well. A lot of veterinarians are familiar with this practice, so they may be able to give you a better idea of daily dosage to treat it.
IMPORTANT: Note that you should not give puppies honey; puppies are mostly likely to have kennel cough from their time in shelters or pet stores, but do not use this until they are considered an adult (over 2 years of age).
6. Ear Infections
Does your dog always seem to have an ear infection? I’m not even sure how it happens, but my dog seems to get one at least once a month. I was surprised to find out that one of the many health benefits of honey for dogs is preventing ear infections.
Once I started introducing a teaspoon of honey into his food, though, the ear infections stopped. You may find that introducing honey into your dog’s diet helps prevent ear infections, but it can also help you get rid of a particularly nasty one as well.
When to Not Use Honey for Dogs?
One of the biggest issues with feeding your dog raw honey is that it is still a sugar. Dogs’ bodies do not break down sugars very easily, and they can become obese if their body isn’t burning the extra sugar properly.
This is why I don’t increase my dog’s daily dosage over a teaspoon, even though he tolerates it well.
I don’t want him to get chunky, and I also don’t want any dental problems from the sugars resting in his mouth. Veterinarians also want dog owners to know that honey is not for puppies or dogs with diabetes.
If your dog isn’t over the age of 2, don’t even try honey as it can mess with their teeth and digestive systems. If your dog is diabetic, there are plenty of other remedies out there that don’t contain sugar.
Start with a teaspoon a day, and stop if you notice anything unsavory, like itching, swelling, diarrhea, weight gain, etc. Not every dog is going to respond well to honey, just like they don’t all respond well to medications.
I love honey, and I use it daily for me and my dogs. I hope that you can enjoy the health benefits of honey for dogs and people, too!
Owning a pet gets expensive, but you need to be prepared to financially care for him no matter what happens. This means budgeting for veterinary bills – both expected and unexpected. A quick check up probably won’t be that expensive, but most procedures will end up costing hundreds of dollars. There are some tips for saving money on vet bills that may help you stick to your budget. That means more money for dog treats!
These tips aren’t meant to encourage you to skimp on veterinary care for your pet. Not taking your dog to the vet when he needs care is UNACCEPTABLE! As a dog owner, you need to have some money set aside in savings in case your dog needs emergency veterinary care.
I’m sharing these tips for saving money on vet bills to help you get the best bang for your buck. Some of these tips are simple. but many pet parents don’t realize they have the option. They may only help you shave a few bucks off each bill, but that will add up to big savings in the long run.
Tips For Saving Money on Vet Bills
1. Preventative Care
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to save money on your veterinary expenses. Many vet visits are preventable. Did you know that more than 50% of pets in the U.S. are overweight or obese? This leads to thousands of unnecessary vet visits each year!
Being overweight puts your dog at a higher risk of developing diabetes, arthritis and even certain types of cancer – all of which will be extremely expensive to treat or control. Dental care is another common preventative measure that can drastically reduce your dog’s risk of disease later in life.
A few minutes walking your dog and brushing his teeth each day could add up to thousands of dollars in savings over the course of his life. If you ask most pet parents why they don’t walk their dog or take care of his teeth, they’ll probably tell you they don’t have time. Maybe they would rethink that if they understood the negative health effects it could have on their canine companion.
2. Try a veterinary college
This is one of the tips for saving money on vet bills that many dog owners don’t think of. Veterinary college students need to practice on live animals. Not only do these students already have hours of lab time and instruction under their belts, they also have a well trained veterinary expert coaching them every step of the way.
You won’t be able to get emergency services, but they may offer some of the most common procedures including annual exams, spaying and neutering and vaccinations. This is a great way to decrease your veterinary care budget and help students working toward their degrees. It’s a win-win!
3. Be honest with your vet about your budget
Yes, this can be one of the most difficult tips for saving money on vet bills, but it may be worth it. Explain your financial situation, and see if your vet can help. Sometimes there are cheaper medications or procedures that will have the same effect.
Your vet may also be able to recommend a home remedy or natural remedy that would save you on costly prescriptions. Not everyone veterinarian will do this, so perhaps you need to shop around for a vet that is more interested in your dog’s overall health and well-being than money.
4. Request an estimate
This is just an estimate, but it will save you from a surprise later on. If possible, request the estimate in writing. Then you’ll be able to see the break down of services and what exactly it is you’re getting charged for. If you have any questions on the charges you’ll be able to ask before anything is done to your dog.
5. Price shop for prescriptions
Take it from someone who knows. We have a 5-year old boxer who has been diagnosed with a congenital heart condition. She takes 5 pills everyday to regulate her heartbeat. These prescriptions cost us more than $120 each month, but I price shopped and some pharmacies were going to charge us more than twice that much!
The pharmacy that we have calls their program the “Pet Meds” program, and it saves us nearly $80 each month – that’s almost $1,000 dollars every year!
6. Feed a high quality diet
When discussing tips for saving money on vet bills, you can’t overlook your dog’s diet. Poor nutrition is one of the leading causes of canine health problems. Many dog owners don’t realize that most commercial dog foods are full of artificial ingredients, chemicals and fillers with little to no nutritional value.
Just a quick chat with your veterinarian can explain how horrible some of the most popular dog food brands can be for your dog’s health. Many owners don’t want to spend the money for a better quality food, but it will actually save you money in the long run. Your dog’s health is directly related to his diet, and the healthier your pup, the less trips to the vet you’ll need to make.
If you’re looking for the best tips for saving money on vet bills, pet insurance is going to pop up every time. To some pet owners it seems silly, to others it seems like an unnecessary expense. Like our own health insurance, you won’t truly appreciate having pet insurance until you need it.
Imagine what you would do if your dog needed emergency surgery because he ate something toxic or a piece of one of his chew toys got lodged in his intestines. These are common issues that happen all the time, and your dog is not exempt from having an emergency. How would you pay for a surgery like this?
A few of us may be able to afford this type of procedure, but most of us would turn to a credit card or family member to borrow money. You wouldn’t need to do that if you had pet insurance. This small monthly expense is the best way to save on veterinary costs, and it is likely to save you thousands of dollars over the course of your dog’s life.
Dogs can be very good at hiding illnesses from their owners. They get this from their ancestors that used to hide when they were sick, as a sick dog was vulnerable out in the wild. Sometimes the symptoms they are showing don’t seem severe enough to warrant a trip to the vet, but there are some dog health symptoms that cannot be ignored.
Our dogs are more than pets, they are precious members of our family, and we have to always be on the lookout for any symptoms and changes in our dog’s behavior that may be cause for concern. If you’re an attentive owner, chances are you spend hours each day observing your pet without even realizing it. It’s likely that you’ll notice a change in his normal behavior almost instantly.
There are many symptoms to look out for that may indicate there’s a problem. But how do we know which ones should be checked by a veterinarian? This is largely a judgement call for you, but a quick phone call to your vet is a good starting point. There are certain dog health symptoms that cannot be ignored and should be checked immediately by your vet.
25 Most Serious Dog Health Symptoms That Cannot Be Ignored
1. Difficulty Urinating
If your dog is having difficulty urinating this could mean that there is a blockage or possibly a urinary tract infection. Excessive urination or straining when trying to urinate could also be symptoms of a tumor.
2. Drinking too much
If your dog is drinking excessively along with gagging, diarrhea and tightness of the stomach this could be what’s known as bloat, which is also known as gastric torsion.
Drinking too much can also be a symptom of liver disease, diabetes and also bladder stones. When walking your dog keep an eye on just how much urine he is passing. It’s a clearly one of the dog health symptoms that cannot be ignored.
There are many reasons as to why your dog may be lethargic, and these could include urinary tract infections and heart worms. These conditions will cause your dog to be sleepy, and he will be moving around a lot less than usual.
If your dog is scooting on the floor then this could be an indication of worms, a trip to the vet is definitely necessary. Scooting can also be a sign of fluid that may have built up in your dog’s anal sacs. Your vet will be able to drain the anal sacs for you.
5. Weight loss
If your dog has lost weight, and quite quickly too, then this could be a sign of many conditions including loss of smell, a nervous system disease, digestive diseases, liver disease, cancer and also diabetes.
6. Gum inflammation
Inflammation of your dog’s gums could be a sign of gingivitis, and with gingivitis your dog is likely to have bad breath too. Gum inflammation can also be caused by diseases and infections and other conditions that involve the mouth.
7. Loss of appetite
There are many reasons why your dog may have lost his appetite including a blockage of the stomach, liver disease, heart disease, nausea and also blockage of the intestines.
8. Drooling excessively
Drooling is a very important warning sign as it can be a symptom of an allergic reaction. Your dog’s throat may be swelling causing him to drool more than usual.
This is one of the most crucial dog health symptoms that cannot be ignored. There are numerous reasons as to why your dog may have trouble breathing including:
reaction to medications.
10. Sensitive when touched
If your dog is sensitive when you touch him then this could be a symptom of bloat, which is also known as gastric torsion as already mentioned. Bloat is a very serious medical condition and your dog will have to go to the vets ASAP.
11. Body lumps
Lumps on the body can be fat pockets which are benign tumors and are common in older dogs. Body lumps can also indicate inflammation and tumors that need looking at by your vet.
If your dog is limping he may have been injured, or something could be stuck inside his paw. It could also be a symptom of joint disease and also other diseases such as cancer. If you have an older dog then it could be a symptom of hip dysplasia and also arthritis.
13. Dull coat
If your dog’s coat has suddenly become dull and rough, this could be a sign of a vitamin deficiency or also a food allergy. Hyperthyroidism could also be the cause along with kidney disease.
14. Vomiting repeatedly
All dogs vomit from time to time but when your dog is continuously vomiting you know something is very wrong. There are many reasons for vomiting that include internal blockages, kidney disease and also digestive disorders.
Seizures in dogs can be caused by a bacterial infection, epilepsy, brain tumors and liver disease.
If your dog has a temperature that’s over 102.5 degrees then this is a medical emergency. Fever really is a major warning sign and certainly one of the most important dog health symptoms that cannot be ignored.
17. Coughing up or vomiting blood
This is also known as hematemesis and can be a symptom of bowel disease, esophagus issues, ulcers, liver failure, head injuries, infections, heartworms, tuberculosis and also pulmonary diseases.
Overheating can be extremely dangerous for your dog and can be caused by temperature inside and outside. Never let your dog become too hot, as this will lead to serious health problems.
19. Pale gums
Pale gums are a major dog health symptom that cannot be ignored. There are many reasons for pale gums including liver disease, heart problems, shock and internal bleeding. Your dog may also be jaundice if liver disease is the reason for his pale gums.
Fainting is the loss of consciousness and is a medical emergency, as there are many reasons for it including stress, imbalance of vitamins, heart tumors, heart disease and also excitement.
21. Paralysis of your dog’s back legs
There are many reasons as to why your dog may not be able to move his back legs including slipped back discs, distemper, blocked blood flow, genetic disorders, brain infections, spinal infection, blood clots, toxins, tumors, injury and hyperthyroidism. Your dog’s paralysis of the back legs could also be caused by ticks.
22. Enlarged Abdomen
This can be a sign of a condition known as bloat and is a medical emergency. An enlarged abdomen can also be caused by fluid build up and liver disease.
There are many reasons dogs have allergic reactions including medications, vaccines, foods, fleas and heartworms.
24. Scratching continuously
If your dog is scratching excessively then it could be a sign of skin conditions, fleas, dermatitis, mange or an allergic reaction. It may not seem like this is one of the top dog health symptoms that cannot be ignored, but if left untreated excessive itchiness could lead to something much worse.
25. Snorting and sneezing constantly
There are many things that can cause your dog to sneeze and snort a lot including weeds and allergies, some breeds of dogs also reverse sneeze.
There are many dog health symptoms that cannot be ignored to look out for in your pet, and they all require a trip to the vets. We love our dogs and want to care for them in the best ways that we can. By knowing the most serious symptoms to look out for, we will be ready to help our pups get treatment as quickly as possible.
Today is D-day. There is no better time to get moving and cut back on eating! I cannot stress enough the importance of consulting your veterinary practitioner before launching a full-scale weight loss operation. So, if at all possible, book an appointment to have a thorough check-up of your dog, discuss the weight loss options and ask for any tips or advice relating specifically to your dog.
Determine your pooch’s ideal daily calorie intake. In the absence of seeing a vet to determine this, the following formula/s might prove to be useful to you (calculation is done in pounds)
Divide your dog’s weight by 2.2, then multiply the result by 30 then add 70 [(lbs/2.2)x30]+70
This will give you a general idea of how much your dog should be eating if it is an indoor and inactive pet. Use this only as a guide, because the metabolic needs of each pet will vary.
Take your new meal/food diary and work out the calorie count of a typical day for your pet (i.e before you started the diet). Most good quality pet foods have comprehensive nutrition charts on the bag or tin. If you are feeding your pet dry or tinned foods, you can easily measure accordingly, however keep in mind that most commercial pet foods are measured using an 8oz cup measure – make sure you do the same.
If you are feeding a combination of bought and homemade foods, you will need to consult dietary charts or books for caloric information on the ingredients that go into the homemade portion of the diet and add up the total that is being served per portion. Consult the calorie charts below for calorie counts of common vegetables and fruits.
Compare the calorie count your dog has been consuming with what he/she needs. Decide where you are going to cut back.
Start the first by reducing your dog’s daily intake by just 25%. Then reduce it every two or three days by 10% (you will continue to do this until you are seeing a 1% loss per week). Don’t make drastic reductions all at once; we are aiming for gradual weight loss which can be sustained, not dramatic loss that is easily gained again.
You may find it easier to create a menu plan for the week – list out exactly what your dog will eat each day – don’t forget to allow for treats. Remember, as a rule of thumb, treats should comprise only 3 – 4% of the daily intake. Treats don’t necessarily have to be food; how about a new toy?
Create an exercise plan in conjunction with the menu plan. Try to incorporate some form of exercise each day. Just like people, if your pet has not been used to regular exercise, it will take time for him/her to get accustomed to it so start gently and increase the exertion level over time. An example of the first week might be:
Monday: 20 minute gentle walk
Tuesday: 15 minute ball-catching session
Wednesday: 15 minute brisk walk
Thursday: 25 minutes ‘off-leash’ time in the dog park
Friday: Tug-of-war or Frisbee game for as long as he/she can sustain
Saturday: 25 minutes brisk walk
Sunday: Rest day
The term ‘brisk walk’ means a walk at a steady pace, without stopping for the dog to mark territory or sniff at scents. Hold the leash firmly and close and use obedience commands such as ‘come’ or ‘heel’ if the animal is inclined to try and stop.
Your dog needs to understand that you are on a mission and that this is not just the casual stroll that he may have been used to in the past. If your pooch refuses to co-operate you may have to resort to taking it back home, crating the animal or giving it no attention for a set length of time, then try again later in the day.
Do not over-exert elderly dogs or those with poor health – again, it is best to consult your veterinary specialist in such circumstances.
By now the honeymoon of the diet is over and your dog should have fully ‘switched over’ to the new diet menu and be getting accepting the fact that you are serious about the exercise program.
Be sure to do a weigh-in session and record your pooch’s progress. The ideal and safe weight loss is approximately 1% per week, however, if the progress isn’t that marked, don’t forget that the animal hasn’t been on the diet properly for even a full week.
Take time out to create a menu and exercise plan at the beginning of the week – it will save you the daily frustration of trying to work out serves and calories.
Depending on your own daily schedule, you may find it beneficial to break up mealtimes into several smaller ones. Remember, dogs aren’t mathematicians and making the meal portions smaller and more often may prove to be more satisfying and help curb any desires to scavenge.
Remove the food bowls after 30 minutes or so and discard uneaten portions. If you leave bowls around you are encouraging an ‘all day buffet’ rather than specific meal times.
Also, try incorporating a little exercise into the mealtime routine. Place the food in several different locations or, if your dog is an inside pet, at the top or bottom of a staircase. You will need to be creative in coming up with new ideas because overweight dogs are smart and if the meal time location moves up or downstairs, so will they!
Keep in mind that your dog may benefit from a little extra love and affection while on a strict diet. An extra cuddle or massage will re-assure him that you still love them and the restricted meals and lack of regular, unhealthy goodies does not mean that you have lost interest in him.
Keep working on the exercise program. It may seem very constant, but results may already be showing. Your pet should be starting to show signs of increased stamina and maybe you too are proving the benefits of daily exercise! Try incorporating a swim (weather permitting) into this week’s program – swimming is an excellent way of strengthening and toning nearly every muscle in the body.
You should be starting to notice real changes now. With the constant exercise and healthy eating program your dog should be more active, more energetic and starting to lose that extra flab that didn’t look good.
Take time to record these changes in your diary. Take photos of your pooch and add them to your record.
However thrilling this change may be, please don’t resort to treating your dog because he/she is doing so well. Remember, you love your pet and you are doing the best for them, do don’t spoil it now!
Again, take time to plan out the week’s meals and exercise program and stick to it. By now, it will be seeming more natural and you will hopefully be adjusting your lifestyle around the extra activities.
Weigh-in again and take time to enjoy the results of your efforts. Update your diary and take more photos. Share your excitement with your friends and family and treat your dog to an extra cuddle or favorite activity. Your dog should be looking much better, slimmer and generally healthier.
If your pet has reached its goal weight, you need to establish a maintenance diet. Talk to your vet about this, because maintenance programs are individual and vary wildly depending on the type of dog.
There is a tendency to relax on exercise once the optimum weight is reached, however this is a trap that you must take steps to avoid. Keep up the daily exercise – your dog will now be enjoying it and looking forward to these times, so don’t slacken off. After all, its quality time for them and you and can be turned into a whole family activity.
Don’t be disheartened if the goal weight hasn’t been achieved inside one month. Consider how long it has taken for the dog to become this overweight in the first place and accept that it is going to take a lot of effort and dedication to bring him/her back to what they should be.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day”. We hear that said often enough and it applies to dieting too. Just keep going, steadily moving forward. It may not be easy to see the daily improvement when you are with your pet all the time, but look back over a week, a month and enjoy the positive changes.
Your efforts will be well worthwhile when you consider that you are adding extra years to your dog’s life, not to mention a much better quality of life. Apart from the aches, pains and suffering you are saving your pooch, consider the savings you are making yourself on extra veterinary bills and prescribed medicines and treatments!
I think it really boils down to how much you love your pet – if you love them you will care for them in the way that is best for them, not by catering to their every whim and fancy and spoiling them with unnecessary and unhealthy treats.
“A dog is a man’s best friend” – well said, so let’s make life enjoyable all round and work towards a happier and healthier future.
What a treat! This week I got to chat with world-renowned animal welfare advocate, educator and author Dr. Roger Mugford. He has long been referred to as Britain’s leading animal psychologist, and he’s also a pioneer in behavioral therapy for animals. As you can imagine, having the chance to interview him was a great opportunity! I’m thankful to Dr. Mugford for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to share some dog training tips with me.
Dr. Mugford’s career has led him down some very interesting paths. He has lead animal welfare initiatives all over the world, and he’s even had the opportunity to train Queen Elizabeth II’s pack of corgis! Don’t worry, I asked him about this, and I’ll tell you all about it later in this post.
Dog training is time consuming, requires a lot of patience and can prove to be frustrating at times. However, I promise that you will never regret taking the time to properly train your canine companion. You will reap the benefits of this training throughout the life of your dog, and it will make both your life and his life more enjoyable.
Interview: Dog Training Tips From Dr. Roger Mugford
First, let me give you a bit of background on Dr. Mugford. In 1979 he founded The Animal Behavior Center (in the U.K.). This facility is dedicated to training dogs. To date, more than 80,000 pets and their families have benefited the services provided byt the center.
That same year, he also founded The Company of Animals brand. Through the brand, he’s invented and developed a range of products that have revolutionized the way people train their pets.
The HALTI Head Collar® and Pet Corrector® auditory training tool are among these products. Both have proven so successful in dog training that competitors have often tried to replicate them. Of course, none will match the quality and effectiveness of the real thing.
Dr. Mugford is also a Dogs for the Disabled patron, Cancer & Bio-detection Dogs Trustee and World Pet Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
He is proud to maintain a link with his Devonshire farming heritage, as well. That’s why he resides at Ruxbury Farm where he personally cares for a herd of 70 purebred South Devon cattle, horses, llamas, 100 sheep and of course his personal pack of dogs.
The Company of Animals
Hearing “The Company of Animals” may not mean much to you, but to experts in the field of animal health, it’s one of the most well-known animal training and behavior centers in the world. It is based on a 100-acre working farm in Surrey, England.
Home to the The Animal Behavior Center, which was also founded by Dr. Mugford, the center specializes in all levels of dog training. They also offer behavior consultations and veterinary referrals. As if that weren’t enough, they also specialize in resolving legal issues involving pets, both in and out of court.
The primary drive of the company has always been to develop products that help owners and their pets find an enriched life and to improve animal welfare. They firmly believe that their products must improve the well-being of pets, as well as help their owners.
For example, the HALTI Headcollar was designed to give owners effective control when walking their dogs without causing pain or damage to the dog’s delicate throat area.
Why is proper training so important?
I’ve already told you that proper training will be time consuming. It may also be frustrating at times. So, why is it so important? With minimal training our dogs will eventually mature and just listen to us on their own, right? WRONG!
Dr. Mugford explained his concept of obedience to me, and it goes like this:
My concept of obedience is that the dog’s overall behavior and attitude are nicely integrated with your lifestyle, he/she fulfills your reasonable expectations and is compliant towards the usual signs of control – in addition to being happy, of course.
That said, obedience training is essential when it comes to nurturing a healthy human-animal relationship and raising a social pet. The basics – sit, stay, down, come, heel – help shape a good companion. They will also make your life much easier in the long run, trust me!
There’s a reason that our family puts the time and effort into properly training our dogs – because many years ago I did not. We had a dog with no social skills and he had no idea how to behave. Our friends and family would cringe when we asked them to watch him while we were out of town, and I’m positive that we were the most disliked parents at the dog park.
“Consistency is the key to training a young dog, but as they mature, they become able to deal with changes to the rules of the game or even to the rules being reserved.” – Dr. Roger Mugford
Dr. Mugford explained to me that everything you do with your dog has an effect upon his subsequent behavior. You may think that training is just for formal occasions and that what happens in between doesn’t matter.
There are many different methods that you can use to train your dog, but how do you know which is the best option? Dr. Mugford talked to me about some humane methods of training and when each is appropriate to use with your dog.
This method relies upon delivering a clear, simple click sound at the precise moment a dog is seen to perform the ‘right’ action. He will learn to associate the click with the behavior.
Clickers are affordable and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the principle is always the same – they produce a sound that will not be confused with any other noise. As an alternative to a clicker, you could click with your tongue or fingers.
Target Training and Use of Lures
Training your dog to follow the end of a stick or ‘wand’ with his nose will give you lots of extra training ‘power.’ Ultimately, your dog will be performing new and more demanding tasks.
The first stage is to have the dog approach and sniff a meat-smeared wine cork at the base of the wand, then you click and give him a treat. Once you’ve repeated this several times, your dog will learn that he must follow the stick to obtain the payoff of a click and treat.
Dr. Mugford says that this technique is used by professional trainers who need dogs to perform really complex tasks, such as opening doors for wheelchair users and guiding the blind.
Dogs easily learn to respond to hand signals, which can mean anything from ‘come’ or ‘fetch’ to ‘get in the car’. In addition, dogs are more attentive to visual signals than to our voice, so it is sensible to combine the two.
Head collars have given less able owners the ability to walk strong dogs. No harsh checking from the owner is required and the dog soon learns that his walks will be most comfortable if they are conducted on a slack lead.
Dr. Mugford says that his view remains that head collars are best used as an interim training tool not as a permanent solution. Once you’ve properly leash trained your pet, you should begin working with him using a standard lead.
At-home dog training
Most dog owners cannot afford to work with a professional dog trainer. Dr. Mugford has some advice for those of us who aren’t able to pay a professional to train our pets. He says there are many high quality training aids, such as books, DVDs and online resources available.
You just need to be careful to choose reliable sources.
If you’re looking for a great book to help you better understand the proper way to train your canine companion, I highly recommend Dr. Mugford’s book The Perfect Dog. It is a comprehensive dog owner’s resource, as it breaks down training techniques, essential commands and training challenges. This book also provides insight into dog behaviors, lifestyle needs, food selection and much more.
Dr. Mugford also says that pet owners can look to multiple online resources for training tips and techniques. However, as previously noted, patience, consistency and adaption is key when training your dog throughout its life.
Now, I promised I would tell you more about the Queen’s corgis. This was my favorite part of the interview! I love seeing her pack of corgis. They are adorable, and I think it is great that someone with as much celebrity status as Queen Elizabeth II still makes time to enjoy her pets.
Dr. Mugford trained Queen Elizabeth II’s pack of corgis. In an interview that he gave Town and Country Magazine last year, he commented that:
I was mighty impressed with the Queen’s management of her dogs. The dogs are trained to be responsive to other members of the household, because so often the Queen and her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, are away from home travelling; so a housekeeper or butler has to stand in for the Royal Family. The dogs sleep in the home with the Royal Family, and they certainly are well fed! The context and content of their meals is very important to Her Majesty, who tailors what they are fed to their age, clinical needs, and so on. – Dr. Roger Mugford
I’d like to take this time to thank Dr. Roger Mugford for speaking with me about his amazing career and sharing his dog training tips. Make sure you check out The Company of Animals for more information about dog behavior and training.
You can also find all of their innovative products and some tips for dealing with the most common canine behavior issues like aggression, barking and even destructive behavior.