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Happy Fourth Gotcha Day to Our Dog Baxter!

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

The beginning of July is Baxter’s “Gotcha Day.”

This year is the fourth anniversary since Baxter came to live with us. Inspired by Tracey at Love lives on, I have a tradition of writing a letter to Baxter on the anniversary of his gotcha day. You can see the letters from year 1 , year 2 and Baxter’s adoption story on my blog. Since I started writing for, I’ve been sharing the letters with all of you, starting with last year’s third anniversary letter.

Dear Baxter,

Can you believe it’s been four years? I imagine you’re probably saying, “Four years? What? I’m all about now.” I like how dogs live in the moment, and it’s something I try to practice often when we’re together.

A sunbeam, a hike, a good neck scratch, a soft bed. It doesn’t take much to make you happy. I’m grateful that you make it so easy for us. We knew from the start that you were a pretty mellow dude, and that has not changed.

I’ve probably changed more than you over the past four years—early wake-ups so that we can go for a walk before work, driving to weekend hikes, extra money on vacuums to deal with all of your fur. I don’t begrudge any of these things and love what you’ve brought to our life.

I’ve seen a few changes from you over the past year. You’re a bit slower now, and I can see your hip is stiff some days. You’re a little more grouchy and opinionated sometimes. But usually your easy-going nature wins out.

I love how people ask how old you are when we’re hiking. You’re so wiggly and excited to meet everyone that you seem like a puppy. But the rest of the time, you’re an old man. Your commitment to snuggling and sleeping is fun to watch.

I’ve enjoyed spending more time with you this year and doing some different things now that my work schedule has changed. There are going to be some more changes coming, and I hope that we get to have even more time together. We certainly have a lot of fun.

Happy fourth gotcha day.


How long have the rest of you had your dogs?


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Check Out These Early Prime Day Deals for Dog Lovers

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

posted from

Attention dog lovers! Enjoy up to 20% off selected dog foods and treats in a pre-prime day celebration of deliciousness. Amazon is getting the party started a little early this year with tasty bargains your dogs will love. Check out some of our favorites.

Savory grain free jerky style snacks in  4 tempting flavors.  $6.99 4 oz

Boost your dog’s diet with this convenient freeze dried meal topper. Meal mixers are grain free and raw— a great way to  increase your dog’s protein intake without changing her diet completely.  Choose from Turkey, Seafood, Chicken, or Beef  $35.99 18 oz

This hearty kibble comes in a flavor and size for every dog. Lifesource bits provide bonus anti-oxidants and minerals.  $14.99-$47.99

Crunchy baked treats in a variety of flavors and sizes for every dog.  $4.99 20 oz

Perfect for dogs with food allergies. This limited ingredient kibble boasts no grain, potatoes, or chicken, and comes in three protein varieties: Beef, Turkey, and Lamb. Size and prices vary. $19.99-$62

Soft and delicious grain free treats, perfect for training. 5 tasty flavors to choose from. $5.55-$7.48  6 oz

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Easy Tips for Training Your Dog to Come When Called

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

Here are a few quick tips for recall training for use with both young puppies as well as older, more routine established dogs.

  1. Pick a recall command (not your dog’s name) and only use it when the dog is either running towards you, or can be enticed towards you because you are worth running to (what reward are you offering?).
  2. Start all training in a low distraction environment such as your house and/or garden.
  3.  Only call your dog to you when you are sure she will come back, or you can bring her back or go to get her. Don’t waste your recall command, no point in calling if she’s ignoring you.
  4. Always make it worth your dog’s while to come back to you, at first using food or her favourite toy. Surprise her with the reward, sometimes use his boring food kibble, sometimes using real chicken, liver, hot dog, cheese. Always keep her guessing & deliver the reward in a fun way. Don’t just push it into her mouth. Toss it, drop it or roll the food/toy.
  5. When first training recall on a long line expect your dog’s full attention. This means that even if she’s only on the long line for 2 minutes, during this time you are playing with her. This way, she’s really paying attention to you and enjoying her time as the most fun she has on a walk. If you cannot watch your dog, she should be on a short leash.
  6. Invent games to keep your dog thinking “it’s always worthwhile to check in with mum/dad”. Any voluntary engagement by the dog should be rewarded. Use tasty treats or take out her favorite toy and play for a short period when she’s not expecting it. Drop some food then quickly run away calling her recall command. When your dog catches up, drop some more food and run away again.
  7. Teach your dog a range in which to stay while walking off leash. When she’s reaching the end of her long line, give a command such as ‘this way’, then stand briefly on the line before immediately changing direction. This teaches your dog to watch you, as you’re unpredictable & she may loose you if she doesn’t keep an eye on where you are going. When you’ve done this a few times, begin to change direction without saying anything, always rewarding your dog when she catches up.
  8. The quickest way to teach a dog not to come when called, is by allowing her to run up to & play with every dog he sees. This is confirming in her mind that you are less fun than other dogs who are always worth investigating. This is also the quickest way to get your dog beaten up by other dogs. When you see another dog, always teach her to sit & not leave you until you release her. Just because your dog is friendly, does not mean the other dog is.
  9. Teach your dog that the quicker she comes back, the quicker she’ll get to resume what it was she was doing before you called her. This improves speed of response & enthusiasm & means you don’t always need to use a food or toy reward.

*Remember, if your dog does not reliably respond to her recall command she should never be off leash in non-gated areas. However, if she has mastered that command, running free is just about the best gift you can give her.

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10 Impressive Dog Tricks That’ll Leave You Amazed

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

We’ve seen dogs do some pretty awesome things, but these 10 impressive dog tricks left us totally amazed! All dogs should know basic commands. Sit, stay, and leave it are the most common commands that all every puppy really needs to learn. While some dog owners stick to the basics, others go above and beyond to teach their dogs some awesome tricks. If you thought fetch and roll over were advanced, wait until you see these dog tricks. They are sure to blow your mind!

10 Most Impressive Dog Tricks

1. The most dramatic play dead you’ve ever seen! The Academy Award goes to…

2. And another cute “shot you dead” trick. Who doesn’t love corgis?!

3. This pup will give hugs for treats! Love this trick? Check out how to teach your own dog to give a hug!

4. This pup is an acrobat in training! I bet he’d rock the agility course!

5. Most dogs only perform this trick when they want your food!

6. This dog is so patient! Even we can’t wait with food so close.

7. Practice makes perfect.

8. Check out those twirls!

9. This dog cleans up his home better than we do.

10. We love this trick!

Teaching your dog advanced tricks like these definitely requires a lot of patience! Just remember, you can’t get to the advanced stuff without teaching them the basics first. Think of it this way: you can’t do advanced calculus without at least know addition and subtraction! Once they have those down, then the fun can really begin!

Did you teach your pooch any cool dog tricks? Share below! We’d love to hear about them!

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How to Keep Dogs Cool in Summer

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

how to keep dogs cool in summerWith the temperatures rising in the summer months it is important to take extra care of your dog. Prolonged heat can affect a dog’s health. Overheating can lead to heatstroke, which is very dangerous if left untreated.

Take good care of your dog in the heat by watching for signs of overheating and taking action to cool your dog down.

Signs of Overheating in Dogs

There are a few signs you can look out for that can indicate your dog is getting too hot. Make sure you check on your dog regularly in the heat. If you are feeling it then your dog most likely is as well.

Excessive panting

Dog’s cool off by panting. If your dog’s panting seems more excessive than usual this could be a sign that they are having trouble cooling down.

Excessive drooling

Overheating can manifest as excessive saliva in your dog’s mouth. If they seem to be drooling more than usual it could be a sign you need to help your dog cool down.

Dry nose and or mouth

A dry nose or mouth can indicate dehydration in your dog, which is often caused by overheating.

Problems breathing

A rapid increase in breathing or shortness of breath can be a sign of your dog getting too hot.

Increased heart rate

An increase in your dog’s heart rate is also an indicator of overheating.


Look for signs of your dog slowing down, particularly during regular exercise. If your dog seems visibly tired or unsteady on his feet it can be a sign of dizziness as a result of heatstroke.

Loss of appetite

Look for any change in your dog’s eating habits as well. A lack of interest in food can indicate overheating.

Dark urine

Any change in the color of your dog’s urine can indicate health issues. Darker urine can be a result of dehydration.


Agitation or irritability in your dog can indicate that they are feeling the effects of hotter temperatures.

How to Keep Dogs Cool in Summer

If you notice any of these warning signs in your dog you should immediately take steps to cool your dog down. If left unchecked, your dog can develop heatstroke which can lead to serious health issues. If your dog’s symptoms don’t subside you should take him to the vet for immediate treatment.


Keep your dog well hydrated. Make sure your dog has a constant supply of fresh and clean water and make sure they are drinking it. Water left in a bowl in the sun all day will heat up and your dog will be less likely to drink from it. Take a good supply of water for your dog when you leave the house as well. Get a portable dog water container with bowl to keep your dog hydrated while out and about.

Make cool treats

You can make up some DIY frozen dog treats to keep your dog cool and prevent dehydration. There are plenty of recipes you can find to make some ice block treats for your dog.


Reduce the amount of strenuous exercise you give your dog during the hotter parts of the day. Take plenty of breaks in any play or training sessions. Walk your dog in the cooler parts of the day nearer to dawn and dusk.

Adequate Shelter

If your dog is outside, make sure you give them a place to shelter from the sun’s rays and cool down. This could be some shelter on a deck or patio or under some trees. If you don’t have anything already, you can set up an umbrella or canopy shelter to make some shade. Get them a cooling mat and lay it down in the shade or stick a dog pool or a sprinkler under the tree. You can also soak a towel in cold water and let your dog lie on it, or freeze a plastic bottle filled with water and wrap it in a towel for them to cuddle.

Recommended Reading: Best Cooling Pad for Dogs – Why You Need One and How to Choose

Never Leave Your Dog in the Car

Don’t ever leave your dog unattended in a vehicle. On a hot day, the temperature inside a car far exceeds the outside temperature. Even if you leave the windows down your dog will still overheat. You might think it is okay if you are only leaving them for a minute or two, but the temperature will rise rapidly. If your dog can’t go with you wherever you are going then leave him at home.


Grooming your dog regularly is a great preventative measure to keep them cool in hot weather. Keeping your dog free of mats and tangles can help to keep your dog cool.

Recommended Reading: How to Detangle Matted Dog Hair

Avoid Hot Surfaces

Prevent your dog getting burnt pads by avoiding hot surfaces, paths, and roads when walking your dog. If you can’t hold your hand there for 30 seconds your dog shouldn’t walk on it. When walking always try to walk your dog on grass if possible. If you can’t avoid hot surfaces where you walk then get your dog some booties to protect his paws.

Leave Your Dog at Home

If you are planning to be out in the sun all day with little chance of shade or a way to cool them down, then think about leaving your dog at home.

Bring Your Dog Inside

Don’t leave your dog outside the house if it is too hot and there is no shelter or nowhere cool for him to be. Bring him inside and put him in front of the fan or air conditioner to cool down.

Dog Cooling Products

Try some of these products to cool your dog down in summer.

Dog cooling vest – We think the best cooling vest for dogs is the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler. But this lightweight one by LotFancy will also get the job done.

Dog cooling bandana – This All for Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana will help to keep your dog cool in the heat.

Dog cooling collar – Or try a K9 Chill Dog Cooling Collar to keep your pup cool.

Dog cooling towel – This Way 2 Cool Pet Microfiber Cooling Towel works well for instant cooling on the go. Throw it over your dog or let them lay down on it. 

Dog cooling chew toy – Buy a Dog Cooling Chew Toy for your dog to chomp on to help him cool down.

Dog cooling pad – Take a look at our recent article on the best dog cooling pad so your dog can beat the summer heat.

Additional Tips for Summer with your Dog

Sunscreen protection is a good idea if your dog is going to be outside in the sun for a few hours. It will protect your dog from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Get your dog some sunscreen and apply it regularly when outside.

Check your dog regularly for ticks and fleas, which are more prevalent in the hotter months. You can use a collar, a treatment, or a spray as preventative measures against these pests.

You can also use a dog-friendly bug spray if your dog is outside a lot.

Once you know what to look for there is plenty of things you can do to make sure you are keeping your dog cool in the summer heat.

Recommended Reading: Fun Outdoor Dog Activities To Do With Your Dog This Summer

P.S. Help a friend with keeping their dog cool by pinning this!

keep dogs cool

Don’t Forget!! Follow Dog Training Me on Pinterest for more articles like this! Just click ‘Follow on Pinterest’ below!

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Easy Homemade Frozen Dog Treats to Keep Your Dog Cool

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

frozen treats for dogsOne of the easiest ways to cool your dog down in summer is by giving them homemade frozen dog treats to eat. They are a great way to keep your dog cool in the heat and provide healthy nourishment and hydration at the same time.

We have discovered a ton of great recipes for dog treats over the years, so here are a few of our favorites for the summer.

When making any of these dog treats make sure you are using good quality products that are the healthiest for your dog.

What You Need to Make Your Own Frozen Dog Treats

There are a few items you might need to make some of these frozen treats for your dog. You will need something to put your frozen dog treats into so you can put them in the freezer. This can be some ice cube trays you may already have around the house, or you can buy some of these cute dog inspired ones.

Ice cube trays These cute doggy ice molds make great shaped frozen treats for your pup.

Popsicle molds Ready made popsicle molds make a great container for your frozen treats.

Cake tins also come in handy if your dog loves larger icy treats. A bundt cake tin is a good type to use.

Cupcake liners like these are also another option to put your frozen treats into.

Blender or food processor is a quick and easy way to mix everything together. The Kitchen Aid blender is a good one for larger recipes, or the Nutribullet is great for smaller batches.

You can really make your own frozen dog treats any way you like and most of the recipes we have found follow a few simple rules. Here’s all you really need to create your own frozen treats for dogs.

The base:

Yogurt. Use natural or Greek yogurt with no added sugar.

Water. Filtered water is best.

Broth. Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth make a wonderful base for frozen treats. Choose a low sodium broth, or make your own.

Fruit juices. Make your own fresh juice, or buy juice without any added sugar.

The filling:

This can really be any food your dog loves. Get creative and come up with your own tasty concoctions or use the recipes below as a guide.

Fruits like berries, bananas, and apples.

Vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, and beans.

Tasty foods like peanut butter and honey

Superfoods like kale, oily fish, and broccoli.

Rawhide sticks make a great addition to popsicles or cupcake style treats.

Yogurt Dog Treats

When making dog treats with yogurt, try to buy the best quality yogurt you can. Natural or Greek yogurt with no added sugar is best. Do not use a particular food if you know your dog doesn’t like it or is allergic to it. With many of these recipes, you can substitute in foods your dog likes and leave out ones they don’t.

Banana Pup Pops

BitznGiggles Frozen Banana Pup Pops

BitznGiggles have a great recipe for frozen banana pup pops that look so cute and tasty for your dog. Yogurt, banana and peanut butter make up this easy frozen treat for your dog.

Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats

Petguide frozen yogurt dog treats recipe

This simple frozen yogurt treat recipe from Petguide is easy to make and you can adjust the recipe to your dog’s taste. The basic recipe has yogurt, peanut butter, honey, and banana. But you can add in berries or any other fruits or veggies that your dog loves.

DIY Frozen Apple Dog Treats

Irresistablepets frozen apple dog treat recipe

Irresistible Pets have a great recipe for DIY frozen dog treats using yogurt, apple, and water. Apples are a great healthy treat for your dog, packed with vitamins and fiber.

Frozen Pumpkin Dog Treats

Dogvills Frozen Pumpkin Dog Treat

Dogvills has a fantastic recipe for frozen pumpkin dog treats. Yogurt, pumpkin puree, honey, and banana is all you need to make this bright healthy dog treat.

Frozen Strawberry Banana Dog Treat

CottageMarket Frozen Strawberry Banana Smoothie Dog Treat

These frozen strawberry and banana smoothie dog treats by the Cottage Market look so tasty. With yogurt, strawberries, banana, skim milk, and honey, your dog is sure to love these bright looking treats.

Water Based Frozen Dog Treats

If your dog doesn’t like yogurt or doesn’t do well with dairy, there are plenty of other types of frozen treats you can make. These are simple water based ones that are easy to make.

Peanut Butter Strawberry Frozen Ring

DoggyDessertChef PB and Fruit

Doggy Dessert Chef has a recipe for a frozen ring of fruit that can be tasty and fun for your dog. For this one, you need a bundt or cake pan, peanut butter, fruit, and flax seeds. It makes a much larger treat than the ice cube tray treats and will last your dog a lot longer.

Peanut Butter Popsicles

HumaneSociety Peanut Butter Dog Popsicles

These peanut butter popsicles from the Humane Society are so easy to make. Just peanut butter, banana, and water will make a tasty frozen treat for your dog to enjoy in the heat.

Peanut Butter Jam Freezies

PawshMagazine PB Jam Freezies

Pawsh Magazine has another peanut butter frozen treat for dogs. This one is made with just strawberries and water with a dollop of peanut butter on the top.

Broth-Based Frozen Dog Treats

Bone or veggie broth is great for the health of your dog. It is good for their joints and gut and provides plenty of nourishment.

Apple Broth Pup Pops

FrugalCouponLiving Pup Pops

These pup pops from Frugal Coupon Living are so cute and a great healthy and tasty treat for your dog to cool off in the heat. They are made with just broth, apple, and water. You will even find easy instructions for making your own chicken broth.

Peanut Butter and Parsley Frozen Dog Treat

DamnDelicious Broth PB Frozen Dog Treats

Damn Delicious has a great recipe with only 3 ingredients, broth, peanut butter, and parsley. So easy to make and the parsley is great for bad dog breath as well.

Recommended Reading: What is Causing Your Dog’s Bad Breath and How to Fix It

Dog Friendly Popsicle

OhLardy Bone Broth Dog Popsicle

This recipe from Oh Lardy is a nourishing frozen popsicle treat with loads of tasty flavors for your dog to enjoy. With bone broth, coconut oil, blueberries, grass fed meat, and an edible stick, your dog will find plenty to love about this cool treat.

Beef Crunch Dog Treat

LolathePitty Beef Crunch Dog Treats

Lola the Pitty have a very simple recipe with beef broth and ready made dog biscuits. So quick and easy to make if you already have these two ingredients on hand.

Other Frozen Dog Treats

Frozen Coconut Oil and Blueberry Dog Treats

HelloNature Coconut Oil and Blueberry Dog Treats

Coconut oil is great for your dog’s health, especially their coat and skin. These frozen coconut oil and blueberry dog treats by Hello Nature are a great way to reward your dog with something tasty and good for them.

Peanut Butter and Coconut Oil Dog Treats

Live Laugh Rowe have another great coconut oil recipe. These frozen treats are so easy to make and use peanut butter for flavor.

Fresh Breath Dog Treats

DIYDogMom Fresh Breath Dog Treats

While not frozen, these fresh breath treats from DIY Dog Mom are cold. With coconut oil and parsley or mint, these cold treats will help to keep your dog’s breath fresh as well as helping to cool him down in the heat.

Always use a good quality coconut oil for dogs in your recipes.

If your dog has a Kong toy you can also stuff this with your pup’s favorite food and put it in the freezer. This adds a bit more of a challenge for your dog to get to the treat, which is great for mental stimulation.

Recommended Reading: How to Tell if Your Dog Needs More Mental Stimulation

You really can just turn any food into a frozen treat for your pup. Plain yogurt, mashed pumpkin, leftover veggies, tuna, broth, or whatever else your dog loves.

Make sure you give your dog somewhere to enjoy his treat that is easy to clean, like ofrozen dog treatsutside on the grass or patio. They do tend to make a bit of a mess.

Make your dog some of these fantastic, healthy dog treats this summer and your dog will love you for it.

Recommended Reading: Best Cooling Pad for Dogs – Why You Need One and How to Choose

P.S. Help a friend with these great frozen dog treat recipes by pinning this!

Frozen Dog Treats

Don’t Forget!! Follow Dog Training Me on Pinterest for more articles like this! Just click ‘Follow on Pinterest’ below!

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7 Tips For Bike Riding With Your Dog

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

Biking With Dogs
annette shaff/Adobe Stock

As temperatures warm up and daylight lingers just a bit longer, pet owners are taking advantage of the summer months with their dogs. While many pet owners choose to go on a walk, some enjoy biking with their dogs. Before grabbing your dog and bicycle, check out these dog safety tips first.

1. Size of Dog Matters

When humans pedal bikes, they move really fast, so only bike with a dog that can keep up. Think twice before exercising with an energetic Chihuahua, terrier or hyperactive young puppy. Small dogs must run at maximum capacity during a bike ride, and it’s impossible for them to comfortably maintain this speed.

Additionally, biking with a dog under two years old is highly discouraged because adolescent dogs are still growing, and high impact exercise can cause permanent damage. Ideally, it’s best to bike ride with healthy medium or large-sized dogs over two years old.

2. Introduce Dog to Bike First

Bikes are spooky to dogs, especially if dogs haven’t been introduced to one before. Think about it from a dog’s perspective: Bikes are big and move awkwardly plus they can run over dog toes.

To get your dog used to a bike, push your bike alongside slowly during a walk. If your dog still avoids your bike, have a friend push your bike during walks. Once your dog is comfortable with a moving bike right next to him, it’s time to bike slowly.

3. Position is Key

Teach your dog to hang out on the side of your bike. Your dog should not cross over in front while you’re riding. Better yet, use a safety device to hold your dog’s leash in place. This way, you can use both hands to steer your bike.

My favorite is the Springer Dog Exerciser. This device attaches to your bike and keeps your dog safely away from moving bike wheels. Before riding off into the sunset, attach your dog to this safety device and push your bike around for a few days.

4. Start Slow

Once you’ve installed a bike safety leash attachment and your dog is comfortable walking next to a moving bike, it’s time for a slow and short bike ride. Start by pedaling slowly up and down your driveway, which includes turns to the left and right. Reward your dog with tiny bits of yummy treats for moving with the bike.

After a few practice sessions on your driveway, try biking with your dog about a block away from your home. Continue to move slowly, so your dog learns to enjoy jogging alongside your bike.

Increasing distance and duration will slowly build your dog’s endurance. Each week, add 2-3 minutes to your bike ride. Don’t expect your dog to run at maximum speed for longer than a few minutes, so slow down and provide multiple breaks for your dog. Offer your dog plenty of water and potty breaks during exercise sessions. Take it slow.

5. Skip Warm & Hot Days

When it’s above 80 degrees, it’s probably a bit too warm for long bike rides with dogs. Your dog is covered with a fur coat that traps heat and causes him to warm up quickly. During hot summer days, bike ride with your dog early in the morning. If you’re biking with your dog at night or during dark early mornings, ensure your bike and your dog’s collar contain reflective strips. Better yet, skip hot and humid days.

6. Check Paw Pads Frequently

Your dog’s paw pads will take a beating during bike rides, especially on concrete and asphalt roads. Starting slowly provides time for a dog’s paw pad to adjust to rough surfaces, but sometimes it’s too much.

Before a bike ride, stand on a sidewalk or road with bare feet. If you’re unable to stand on it yourself, then your dog should not run or walk on it. Hot pavement will burn pads, but excessive running on hard surfaces can burn pads too. Check your dog’s paw pads often during bike rides. Choose sidewalks that have grassy areas. These will be much easier on your dog’s paw pads.

7. Allow Your Dog to Set the Pace

When walking, jogging or biking with a dog, it’s important to allow your dog to set the pace. Dogs feel most comfortable trotting when they’re able to cover ground effortlessly. Running at maximum speed is too much for a dog, so watch your dog’s gait as you vary speeds on your bike. Slow down and watch your dog’s movement for an easy trot, then adjust your pedaling speed to maintain that trot.

Post pictures of your dog biking with you below. We want to see!

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7 Tips for Bringing Your Dog to the Beach

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

Bringing Your Dog to the Beach
tpetersson3/Adobe Stock

Summertime means fun in the sun, so why not bring your dog too? Beach vacations provide plenty of opportunities to relax in the sand, splash in the ocean, work on your suntan and spend precious time with your dog. To ensure your beach vacation is enjoyable for both you and your dog, check out these tips for bringing your dog to the beach.

1. Check If Your Dog Likes the Beach

Before planning an amazing beach getaway with your dog, make sure she likes walking in sand and water. While it may seem like all dogs love the beach, some dogs really don’t like sand and water at all.

If you’re not sure, take a half-day trip to a local dog beach or lake, and try it out first. Over the last two decades, only two of my dogs enjoyed swimming while the other six refused to step one foot in the water. If your dog loves to swim and frolic on a sandy beach, then start planning your dog-friendly beach getaway now!

2. Beware of Loose Dogs

Most dog-friendly beaches allow dogs to play off-leash, which can become an issue quickly. Dog park-type beaches are not the safest place for dogs, as many are allowed to bully dogs.

More than 90% of my dog aggressive clients have been bullied at dog parks, and now we need to address the issue. If your dog is not dog-friendly, or you would rather skip a dog beach, then find a secluded dog beach vacation spot where dogs walk on-leash.

3. Use a Long Leash

Speaking of leashes, it’s best to use a long leash (10-foot) and harness to keep your dog safe during beach walks. Your dog can still swim with the safety equipment on, but you’ll be able to pull her back to shore if she swims out too far or waves become rough. While it’s cute to imagine your dog chasing seagulls, many dogs run away and get hurt chasing animals and birds. Leashes are safety lines, so keep your dog safe.

4. Beware of Hot Sand

Hot sand is painful—very painful. If a surface is too hot for you to stand on, then it’s too hot for your dog too. Carry your dog to wet sandy areas to prevent paw burns. Or place rubber bottom booties on large dog paws until you reach your shaded beach lounging spot. Check your dog’s paw pads frequently for burns or irritations from sea creatures or salt water.

5. Provide Shade & Water

It’s hot sitting on a beach, so provide plenty of shade for your dog. Bring a large umbrella, a cooling pad (keep it in an ice-packed cooler), and frozen food stuffed Kongs. Bring a gallon or more of cold water and keep it in your cooler.

Offer your dog cold water often, and keep his water bowl in the shade. Limit your dog’s sun exposure. If your dog starts panting excessively, cool him down with cold water, leave the beach ASAP and find the closest veterinary clinic.

6. Don’t Forget Sunscreen

Short-coated breeds, or freshly shaven dogs, will need sunscreen. Purchase a chemical-free sunscreen with at least 30 SPF and apply often per directions. If your dog swims, choose a waterproof chemical-free sunscreen for maximum protection. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen liberally on your dog’s ear tips, nose and paws!

7. Rinse With Clean Fresh Water

Once back home or in your hotel, wash your dog with a gentle dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly. Sand embedded in hair scratches and irritates skin, which can cause rashes and hot spots. In addition, salt water can damage your dog’s coat. As a best practice, wash and rinse your dog twice, then rinse again.

Enjoy your dog-friendly beach vacay!

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This Dog “Riding a Bike” is the Cutest Thing Ever

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

Hey Mom! Look what I can do! This little puppy running in the air is just about the cutest thing ever and reminds us just how closely our sweet little pups are watching every step we take (or pedal, as the case may be!).

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Why Losing a Dog Can Be Harder Than Losing a Relative or Friend

July 10, 2017 petsupplies 0

posted from

John Unger cradling his beloved senior dog Schoep in the calming waters of Lake Superior to help alleviate his arthritis.  Schoep lived to the ripe old age of 20.


Originally written and published by Frank McAndrew of Knox College on The Conversation


Recently, my wife and I went through one of the more excruciating experiences of our lives – the euthanasia of our beloved dog, Murphy. I remember making eye contact with Murphy moments before she took her last breath – she flashed me a look that was an endearing blend of confusion and the reassurance that everyone was ok because we were both by her side.

When people who have never had a dog see their dog-owning friends mourn the loss of a pet, they probably think it’s all a bit of an overreaction; after all, it’s “just a dog.”

However, those who have loved a dog know the truth: Your own pet is never “just a dog.”

Many times, I’ve had friends guiltily confide to me that they grieved more over the loss of a dog than over the loss of friends or relatives. Research has confirmed that for most people, the loss of a dog is, in almost every way, comparable to the loss of a human loved one. Unfortunately, there’s little in our cultural playbook – no grief rituals, no obituary in the local newspaper, no religious service – to help us get through the loss of a pet, which can make us feel more than a bit embarrassed to show too much public grief over our dead dogs.

Perhaps if people realized just how strong and intense the bond is between people and their dogs, such grief would become more widely accepted. This would greatly help dog owners to integrate the death into their lives and help them move forward.

An interspecies bond like no other

What is it about dogs, exactly, that make humans bond so closely with them?

For starters, dogs have had to adapt to living with humans over the past 10,000 years. And they’ve done it very well: They’re the only animal to have evolved specifically to be our companions and friends. Anthropologist Brian Hare has developed the “Domestication Hypothesis” to explain how dogs morphed from their grey wolf ancestors into the socially skilled animals that we now interact with in very much the same way as we interact with other people.

Perhaps one reason our relationships with dogs can be even more satisfying than our human relationships is that dogs provide us with such unconditional, uncritical positive feedback. (As the old saying goes, “May I become the kind of person that my dog thinks I already am.”)

This is no accident. They have been selectively bred through generations to pay attention to people, and MRI scans show that dog brains respond to praise from their owners just as strongly as they do to food (and for some dogs, praise is an even more effective incentive than food). Dogs recognize people and can learn to interpret human emotional states from facial expression alone. Scientific studies also indicate that dogs can understand human intentions, try to help their owners and even avoid people who don’t cooperate with their owners or treat them well.

Not surprisingly, humans respond positively to such unrequited affection, assistance and loyalty. Just looking at dogs can make people smile. Dog owners score higher on measures of well-being and they are happier, on average, than people who own cats or no pets at all.

Like a member of the family

Our strong attachment to dogs was subtly revealed in a recent study of “misnaming.” Misnaming happens when you call someone by the wrong name, like when parents mistakenly calls one of their kids by a sibling’s name. It turns out that the name of the family dog also gets confused with human family members, indicating that the dog’s name is being pulled from the same cognitive pool that contains other members of the family. (Curiously, the same thing rarely happens with cat names.)

It’s no wonder dog owners miss them so much when they’re gone.

Psychologist Julie Axelrod has pointed out that the loss of a dog is so painful because owners aren’t just losing the pet. It could mean the loss of a source of unconditional love, a primary companion who provides security and comfort, and maybe even a protégé that’s been mentored like a child.

The loss of a dog can also seriously disrupt an owner’s daily routine more profoundly than the loss of most friends and relatives. For owners, their daily schedules – even their vacation plans – can revolve around the needs of their pets. Changes in lifestyle and routine are some of the primary sources of stress.

According to a recent survey, many bereaved pet owners will even mistakenly interpret ambiguous sights and sounds as the movements, pants and whimpers of the deceased pet. This is most likely to happen shortly after the death of the pet, especially among owners who had very high levels of attachment to their pets.

While the death of a dog is horrible, dog owners have become so accustomed to the reassuring and nonjudgmental presence of their canine companions that, more often than not, they’ll eventually get a new one.

So yes, I miss my dog. But I’m sure that I’ll be putting myself through this ordeal again in the years to come.