Camping with your dog is one of life's greatest pleasures. After all, what better way to spend time with your best friend than in the great outdoors? From tips on keeping everyone safe to hints on how to pack for your pup, here's a guide to everything you need to know about camping with your dog. Continue reading
Heading on holiday and can't bear the thought of leaving your four-legged friend behind? No need to call the kennel when you've got all these amazing, dog friendly lodging options at your disposal. From big time chains to cozy bed and breakfasts, a roundup of some of the best pet friendly hotels this country has to offer. Continue reading
We’re not saying that we advocate it—because it can definitely be dangerous—but taking your dog on a climb with you can be a fun and rewarding experience if done right. For your dog’s safety and your own, it’s important to make sure man’s best friend is fully prepped and ready to make it to the summit before you head off. Here are some things to keep in mind and help you prepare. Continue reading
The average dog lives anywhere for 10 to 15 years. Let’s say your dog lives to 12, and that you walk him once a day, every day. That means you’ll take your dog for about 4,380 dog walks over the span of his life.
That’s a lot of dog walks, and we certainly don’t blame you for wanting to mix things up a little. Here are 8 ways to kick your dog walk up a notch. Trust us: your dog will thank you. Continue reading
People who deal with rescued dogs will often advise adopting families that when it comes to dog food, cheap is no bargain. You'll pay later in higher vet bills.
The takeaway? Cheap food often leads to health problems, just like in humans. Make quality a priority.
The same can be said for dog beds. While hip dysplasia and arthritis are commonly a result of genetics or aging, some dogs, especially large breeds, who continually sleep on hard surfaces can be at a greater risk for developing joint pain or exacerbated arthritis. And just as most humans find it uncomfortable to sleep on a hard surface and will go to great lengths to find a comfortable bed, dogs also get better sleep and rest on a comfy bed.
Here are 10 tips to help you choose the best bed for your dog:
Pay Attention to Your Dog's Sleeping Style
Foremost, let your dog’s sleeping style lead you forward. Does your dog like to sprawl or curl up in a ball? Make sure the bed you choose accommodates that particular sleeping style. For sprawlers, it needs to be big enough to fit your dog stretched out. For dogs that like to wrap themselves in a circle, it needs to be small enough to contain them. Rectangular dog beds are a good option for sprawling dogs or older dogs with less flexibility and can use the added space a rectangle provides. Donut or bagel style beds (bolsters and a padded floor) are ideal for curlers.
Camping and Home are Different
Sleeping pads with none or just a bit of padding are an excellent option for travel and camping, and are easy to clean. But should not replace a regular dog bed at home—unless your dog sleeps on the bottom of your bed. Then they’re darn near perfect.
Mattress-style beds are thicker and heavier than sleeping pads and more comfortable, but also are more complicated to clean. Look for a bed with a zip-off microfiber cover filled with a soft synthetic plush like Dublin Dog’s Intelli-Loft® recycled polyfill with odor-eliminating ScentLok™. If your dog is old or suffers from joint pain look for a solid non-toxic foam for more support or for a polyfill bed that has some baffling to help keep the fill from shifting and bunching.
Cedar is For Trees
Think twice about cedar-filled beds. Cedar seems to be good at controlling odors and has some natural insecticidal properties, but cedar-filled beds are typically very smelly—a smell that is often overpowering for dogs and humans. They’re also not as comfortable as cotton or synthetic filled beds. Some studies have also linked the volatile compounds in cedar to increased allergic and respiratory diseases, as well as to impacts on canine liver enzymes. Choose with caution.
For the Jumpers
Dog cots are a good choice for dogs that like to sleep up on things, like couches and human beds. Raised dog beds, or cots with a hard frame and a mesh sleeping pad, are also good for thick-coated dogs coats; they allow for better air circulation and thus cooling.
Instead of Your Human Couch...
Dog couches or loungers typically have bolstered sides. Some dogs like the sense of security the higher sides offer. If they’re rectangular and large, they also allow your dog room to stretch, giving them something to lean against and, in effect, the best of both worlds (a sense of security, and room to roll and stretch).
For the Curlers
Dogs that sleep curled up will be happier in a round or oval dog bed. These come with and without bolsters. Bolster-free ones allow for better range of motion and stretching. Bolsters added a sense of coziness or security. Avoid bolster beds if your dog has limited mobility.
For the Restless Sleepers
Single pillow-style dog beds are a good option for active sleepers who like to change positions and move around a lot, and senior dogs that need easy access. Look for one that’s soft, yet firm enough to support the dog’s weight.
If Normal Just Isn't Enough
Special orthopedic beds with temperature-regulating foam are designed to adjust for comfort, cooling when temperatures rise and warm, or when temperatures drop. Others, like memory foam beds, provide body-conforming support for dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia or for older dogs that require more joint support.
Dogs Love Their Dirt
Dog beds are magnets for dirt, hair, and dander, and need to be washed regularly. Look for beds with a removable, durable, and washable cover. Fleece covers or cases may feel comfy and cozy to humans but for some dogs they can be too warm and get dirty faster. While waterproof covers can be hosed or wiped off as needed, they’re not that comfortable and are only best on travel pads or travel beds, or for puppies being house trained or older dogs suffering from incontinence.
CSBarks Dog Festival, Carol Stream, Illinois—September 14, 2014
All friendly and vaccinated canines are welcome to attend the CSBarks Festival in Carol Stream September 14. There, you can find over 70 vendors, dock diving competitions, and a Rover Rest Area for all those tired pups. Enter your dog in one of the many unique canine contests including longest ears, oldest dog, and owner look alike and you could walk away with a special prize. Continue reading
So you thought your dog would love the water. You had visions of wave frolicking, dock diving, and shore exploring—and yet your dog couldn’t seem any less interested in the water if they tried.
In fact, she looks a little scared around the water, which doesn’t fare well for your plans for beach days, canoe trips, and boating adventures. You might not be able to convert your dog into a swimaholic, but there are a few things you can do to make her feel more comfortable around the water:
Water = Fun
Water is fun. Make this your mantra for teaching your dog to love the water. Dogs inherently like fun (so do people!), so make sure they associate water with fun, carefree times—and not with stress.
Sink or Swim: Just Say No
If a dog doesn’t take to the water right away, some people think the best thing to do is to just carry her out into deep water—or worse, toss her into the water. Remember what we said about water being fun? Forcing your dog out of her comfort zone will leave her stressed out and traumatized, and will probably make her hate the water even more than she already did. Don’t do it.
If your dog is intimidated by the water, take her somewhere a little less daunting. Think a still lake or pond with easy ingress and egress and steady footing, or a mellow stream. Avoid rushing water and big, noisy waves when you’re just getting started.
Mind the Temperature
Sure, some dogs will jump right into the lake on the coldest day in the middle of winter. But if your pup isn’t a water dog, don’t force her into uncomfortable temperatures. If the water or the air is too cold for you to go for a swim, then it’s probably too cold for your dog, too.
One Step at a Time
Getting your pup to feel comfortable about the water is a game of patience. If your dog has had a traumatic past around water-related activities, it could take even longer. Slow and steady wins the race—don’t rush things.
Some dogs take to the water naturally, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll have to train her. When you trained your dog to sit or stay, think about whether you laughed, shrieked, and took photos the whole time—or if you used a calm voice, lots of happy praise, and repetitive tactics. Your dog is reading you for cues on how to react, so don’t abandon your usual training techniques.
Read Your Dog
Just as your dog is reading you, you need to read her, too. Understanding how she is feeling will help you figure out whether to keep going or to back off, whether you should give her another challenge or call it a day. You know your dog best, so look for the usual cues, like a wagging tail for a happy dog, or slicked back ears for an anxious dog. Respect whatever your dog is feeling.
Lead by Example
Grab your swimsuit: it’s time to get wet. Seeing you comfortable in the water might make your dog more amenable to the idea of getting in herself. Just remember to keep your cool: it’s too soon for splashing and yelling around.
Some cities are more pooch friendly than others. Whether it’s the number of dog parks, or the number of patios that welcome your canine companion, some cities across the U.S. are aimed towards puppy pampering and doggy delight. To help you find your next hound dog homestead, here's ten of the most dog-friendly cities in the U.S. Continue reading
In a perfect world, no one should ever have to kennel their dog. For dog owners who travel, either for business or vacation this can cause a dilemma. That’s where I come in. Yes, in my neighborhood I am The Dog Sitter; kind of like Robert Redford from The Horse Whisperer except with less hair, more chins, a bigger belly, and a bum knee. Continue reading