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‘America’s Favorite Vet’ Offers Up 6 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

January 7, 2018 petsupplies 0

We asked holistic vet, author, and member of Rover’s Dog People Panel, Dr. Gary Richter, what New Year’s resolutions he would recommend for all dogs. His answers may surprise you!

Dr. Richter’s resolutions focus on regular healthcare, which gives your dog her best chance at a long and happy life. Let’s take a look.

1. Brush teeth every day

Oral care for dogs is an easy but often overlooked key to a long and healthy life. Here’s the scoop on how to get started: How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth (and Keep All Your Fingers). Regular professional cleanings can also help stave off plaque and infections.

2. Change to a fresh, balanced diet

Dr. Richter is a big proponent of fresh, whole foods for our pets, and offers many ideas for making this change in his book The Ultimate Pet Health Care Guide. Can’t afford or don’t have the time to prepare a fresh or raw diet at home? Small changes can make a big difference.

Consider switching to a grain-free kibble, and adding fresh or freeze-dried fruits and veggies to your pet’s current diet (some great suggestions here). You can also try a fresh-cooked dog food company like Evermore or a delivery service like The Farmer’s Dog.

3. Twice-yearly checkups

Just like the old saying goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Regular vet checkups can extend your pet’s life. Routine weight checks, going over your dog for lumps and bumps (here’s how to do it at home, too), keeping vaccines and medications up to date, dental cleaning, and nail trims all keep your dog in tip-top form.

Plus, it’s nice to know you have a second pair of eyes on your best friend. Sometimes slow changes over time can be hard to notice in our loved ones, and an outsider can quickly notice a change in behavior or appearance that we haven’t consciously seen.

4. Get more exercise

It’s good for you and your dog! Make it a point to spend time enjoying your local trails and parks. You won’t be just making a healthy choice, you’ll be making memories with your best friend. Spend time daily tossing a ball, playing tug-o-war, or chasing each other a little bit. It’s good fun, good exercise, and a bonding experience.

5. Regular brushing and massages

Brushing your dog is not only good for skin and coat care, but it’s also a great bonding opportunity. Regular brushing prevents mats and snarls in longer-haired dogs, and helps keep fur from taking over your home.

Giving your dog a massage can be a wonderful opportunity to connect, as well, in addition to providing health benefits such as muscle relaxation and relief from joint pain.

6. Do your homework before every vet visit

  • Bring a list of the type and amount of food and treats being fed
  • Bring a list of all medications and supplements being given
  • Make a list ahead of time of any questions or concerns you have. This way you can make sure to have all of your questions addressed.

And that’s it! What’s on your list for your dog this year?

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Dogtopia Unveils Healthy Dog Central

January 6, 2018 petsupplies 0

In North America, more than half of all dogs are considered clinically obese. Just like our human counter parts, obesity can contribute to a shortened life span for our beloved pets. Therefore, as people all over the world declare their New Year’s resolutions, Dogtopia is encouraging them to remember their doggies, too. To help parents ignite a fresh start for their pup, Dogtopia today launched Healthy Dog Central ( to provide free recipes, quick tips, videos and access to its three subject matter experts – an animal behaviorist, veterinarian and environmental biologist.

“At Dogtopia, happy and healthy pups are at the heart of who we are,” said Dogtopia president and CEO Neil Gill. “Our facilities focus on quality of care by providing a healthy, safe and fun environment for dogs to develop positive behavior, exercise, socialize and learn to be a well-balanced pup. While we are proud of the experience we provide for dogs in our care, Healthy Dog Central helps us extend our expertise to pet parents worldwide as they seek to improve their pup’s health in 2018.”

In addition to content about proper feeding schedules, foods for shiny coats, vaccines, clean ears and more, Dogtopia will host weekly interactive Facebook Live segments in which pet parents can ask questions and receive answers along the way. The Live Q&As will take place on Dogtopia’s Facebook page ( according to the schedule below. All content will be accessible at Healthy Dog Central.

Environmental Biologist – Lorraine Rhoads
Tuesday, January 16 at 7 p.m. EST
Tuesday, February 6 at 3 p.m. EST
*Lorraine covers topics related to toy safety, car/travel safety, safe cleaning products and emergency preparedness

Veterinarian – Dr. Antje Joslin
Tuesday, January 23 at 3 p.m. EST
Tuesday, February 13 at 7 p.m. EST
*Dr. Joslin covers topics related to vaccination, spay/neuter, first aid, heartworm/flea/tick and diet and exercise

Animal Behaviorist – Colleen Demling
Tuesday, January 30 at 7 p.m. EST
Tuesday, February 20 at 3 p.m. EST
*Colleen covers topics related to training, separation anxiety, barking, chewing, pool safety and several others

Log onto today to to get a head start on your dog’s resolution or submit a question to one of Dogtopia’s experts!

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New Years Resolutions for Your Dog (And You!)

January 5, 2018 petsupplies 0

Whether it’s to get more active or to learn a new skill, the New Year is often filled with promises for self-improvement. But did you know that your dog could probably use some resolutions as well? Here are six New Year’s resolutions for your dog that will benefit both you and your pup.

Learn A New Skill

Your dog, no matter their breed or age, is yearning to learn a new skill.  It can be as simple as teaching them the basic commands like come, sit, shake or heel. These can be easily taught through repetition and reinforcement with tasty snacks. If they aren’t particularly motivated by treats, you can follow up your training sessions with a fun game of fetch, which most dogs love.

For more advanced brain-teasing fun for your pup, look into purchasing interactive dog toys. Not only are these toys entertaining for your dog, but they also teach your dog that if they grab, pull or roll over the object, they will uncover the snacks you have hidden within them. They are the perfect toys to help your dog learn how to problem solve.

Eat Better

We’re all guilty of occasionally giving our dogs more food than they need. Whether it is piling up their dog bowl with their normal food, giving them their unhealthy dog snacks because they look cute standing by the treat drawer or letting them have part of our burger by giving us the sad-eyed look, it’s easy to overfeed our pup.

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The quantity of food may need to be adjust slightly based on how active or inactive your dog is.  Your veterinarian will advise you on the proper feeding amounts for your dog based on age, breed and overall health. Following these instructions will help ensure your dog is getting the right amount of food each day.

Depending on your dog’s age, you may want to look at switching them to an adult food if they are a puppy who has stopped growing. As well, if your dog is nearing old age, switching them to senior food might be a way to ensure they are eating better in the New Year.

Get A Check-Up

Going to the doctor is never a favorite activity for us as adults. For your dog, such a trip can be an even bigger stressor. However, the New Year is a great time to start taking your pup for regular check-ups with a vet. Such visits can ensure your dog is healthy and will help you avoid costly medical surprises down the road.

For dogs that are already healthy and in their prime, an annual visit to the vet should be enough. Once they are over 7 years old, you may want to look at getting them a check-up twice a year. These visits will give the vet a chance to listen to their heart, check their body temperature and make sure there are no physical signs of any internal issues that may affect them as they age.

Work on A Problem

Is there a nagging problem with your dog that has been driving you crazy? Whether it’s barking at everyone who passes by your house or pulling on their leash whenever you go for a walk, take the New Year as a chance to start addressing those problems.

All dogs love to learn new information and new behaviors. No matter what issue you are trying to fix with your pup, a combination of patience, consistency and reward will train them to stop doing that troublesome activity.

Get More Active

This year, start taking your pup on longer, more interesting walks.  If you walk them through the same parts of your neighborhood, try unfamiliar routes. If your average walk is 20 minutes, increase it to 30 minutes. Are there hills in your area? Try walking your pup up and down them.  They will love investigating new areas along with getting extra exercise!

Make New Friends

Every dog needs a BFFF (Best Furry Friend Forever). Dogs love hanging out with pals, running around, chasing toys and generally just being social with other pups. For the New Year, try taking your dog to the local dog park or a nearby dog daycare. Even if it is just once or twice a week, the socialization skills they pick up will teach them a new confidence that they can use in all situations.

If you need help getting your dog more active or introducing them to some new friends in 2018, we here at Dogtopia can help. We offer a safe and fun-filled environment with an action-packed daily schedule to ensure your furry friend gets plenty of exercise and socialization while you are at work or running errands during the day. Learn more about our dog daycare services here or contact us for more information.

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dog experts

Our doggie experts are here to answer your questions about health, safety, nutrition and behavior.

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  • Colleen Demling

    Experienced Dog Trainer

    With over 30,000 hours and 15 years of HANDS ON dog training experience, Colleen Demling is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behaviorist. She is a frequent contributor to local and national …

  • Dr. Antje Joslin


    Dr. Antje Joslin brings 14 years of small animal experience in both private and corporate practice. Her love of animals is not just professional; along with her husband and four children, she shares …

  • Lorraine Rhoads

    Environmental Biologist

    Lorraine Rhoads is an experienced animal biologist and environmental scientist with a background in environmental safety testing and biological surveys. Additionally, Lorraine has more than 6 years …