5 Signs You’ll Be an Incredible Dog Owner

Are you on the fence about adopting a dog? Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities, and there are many dogs searching for the right owner.

But would you be a good dog owner? If you can’t decide whether introducing a dog into your life is right for you, here are some signs that you’re the perfect person to adopt and love a dog.

You Don’t Mind Having a Constant Companion

A dog’s brain is wired in a way that makes them perfect helpers to humans, unlike cats who prefer to do things on their own time, not yours. They are extremely loyal, but this isn’t the only reason people enjoy the company of dogs.

Dogs like to be with you every minute. In fact, they might follow you into the bathroom! If you don’t mind wet noses pushed into your lap, a wagging tail when you return to a room after only being gone for a minute, and sheer exuberance much of the time, a dog might be for you. But ost dog owners wouldn’t have it any other way. And for a dog, it’s like Christmas every time their owner arrives home.

You Enjoy a Little Sloppy Affection

They cover your face with sloppy kisses when they’re delighted to see you. Germ phobes need not apply. On the plus side, science says dog mouths are cleaner than a human’s. However, the American Kennel Association says the mouths of dogs aren’t necessarily cleaner, but they have a bacterial population that’s incompatible with a human’s and less likely to cause illness. So, be prepared for wet kisses and a cold nose pressed against your face. If you find that comforting, it’s further confirmation that dog ownership is for you!

You Could Use More Activity

Dogs love to stay physically active, and the extra steps you take and hikes you go on because of your dogs are good for you and your four-legged friend. If you’re not getting enough activity, a dog offers just the push you need. Unlike humans, dogs don’t make excuses about taking a walk or a run, they’re ready to go! If you have a thousand excuses why you don’t want to take that 6:00 a.m. walk, one look at your dog will shoot them all down. For dogs, every morning is a new adventure, and that enthusiasm is contagious. Studies show that people who own dogs are four times more likely to meet the suggested physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Your dog can be your motivation to move more and be more active.

You Don’t Mind Being a Leader

Dogs depend on you to be a leader and set boundaries. In turn, they’ll give you love and affection. Setting boundaries and being a strong leader makes a dog feel more secure. In turn, that makes the more well-adjusted. Although it’s tempting to give in to your dog’s every demand, dogs like knowing you’re in charge, and they can feel safe and secure. It’s one less thing for them to worry about. Establish boundaries, but use kindness and positive reinforcement to enforce them.

You’d Like to Improve Your Health

Dogs aren’t merely cute or cuddly pets that are loyal friends and protectors. They even have health benefits. Studies show dogs can lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, and improve cardiovascular health. Some even show that people who own dogs live longer than those who don’t. There’s no doubt you feel happier after spending time with your beloved pet. So, their companionship is a boost for mental health too. No wonder dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, because they bring us joy and better health.

The Bottom Line

Would you be an incredible dog owner? If so, do your research and adopt a loyal canine companion. You’ll be rewarded with unconditional love and companionship. Best of all, they never criticize and don’t care what you look like in the morning. Shouldn’t more humans be like that?

3 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Calm at the Groomer

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Calm at the Groomer
Having your pup groomed can be a nerve-wracking experience for both dog and owner alike. Pets may react unpredictably in a new environment with strangers and loud noises. By using the power of positive reinforcement, you can ease your dog’s anxiety and teach them to associate the groomer with a pleasant trip to visit a new friend.

Go for a Walk

Nervous dogs have a lot of pent-up energy. Before your trip to the groomer, make sure to bring Fido for a long stroll. In addition to distracting him from the upcoming visit, he will be more relaxed, as he’s channeled his physical energy into marking his territory on every mailbox in your neighborhood.

Take a Test Run

In the days leading up to your big visit, ask the groomer if you can bring your dog into the salon to get a feel for the space. By desensitizing him to the unusual sounds, smells, and staff members, he’ll be less anxious about the real deal.

Keep Treats Handy

Have a pocketful of treats on standby during your trial run and grooming visit. Give your pup a treat at the beginning of any stressful situation, such as the car ride over and meeting the groomer, to associate these experiences with something he loves (who doesn’t love a good treat?). Be sure to reward them afterwards for doing such a great job handling their fear.

Ready to Get Fido a New ‘Do

With these useful tips in mind, you and your pup will be better prepared to conquer the stressful task of visiting the groomer. As frustrating as your dog’s anxious behavior can be, never resort to punishment, as this can be even more traumatic and lead to additional avoidance tendencies. Positive reinforcement-based techniques are the key to soothing their fear and will turn any trip into an exciting adventure!

How to Keep Your Dog’s Ears Clean and Healthy

How to Keep Your Dog's Ears Clean and Healthy

Most dogs are not excited at the prospect of having their ears cleaned, but it’s a necessary part of their overall health care. Your dog may be fortunate and not need very frequent ear cleaning, but most dogs need to have dirt buildup cleaned every so often to discourage infections. If your dog’s ears seem sensitive when they are touched, there is most likely some issue causing discomfort.

Cleaning the Ear

Purchase an ear-cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian. Other supplies needed include cotton balls or gauze pads and a towel. Don’t use any other products, such as cotton swabs which can result in trauma to the inner ear. The process can be a bit messy, so dress appropriately and do the procedure in the bathroom or kitchen where it is easy to clean up. When ready, follow these three steps:
1. Choose a time when your dog is relaxed to make the process go smoothly. Have some treats handy to distract your dog if it starts to get restless.
2. Squeeze enough of the cleaning solution into the dog’s ear canal and gently massage the base of the ear for about 30 seconds. Listen for a sound (squishy) indicating any debris or buildup has been broken.
3. Your dog will start shaking its head. Use the towel to wipe down the dog’s face, and to protect your clothing. When the head-shaking is finished, use a cotton ball or gauze pad to wipe out the ear canal, going no deeper than the length of one knuckle. Stop cleaning immediately if your dog appears to experience any pain, and call your veterinarian for advice if this happens.

Ear Infection Symptoms

An ear infection requires a trip to the veterinarian’s office to verify the problem and determine the course of treatment. The following symptoms are indicative of an ear infection:
• Redness and inflammation in the ear canal
• Scratching the ear and surrounding area
• Head shaking
• Odor coming from the ear
• Rubbing the ear on furniture
• Discharge from the ear (bloody, yellow, or brown)
• Crusty scabs on inside of the outer ear
• Hair loss in the area of the ear
• Walking in circles
• Unusual eye movements
• Loss of hearing
• Appears to be experiencing ear pain

It’s important not to try to clean an infected ear at home, as it can worsen the problem. If you recognize any of the listed symptoms occurring with your dog, call your veterinarian for an appointment. Ear infections can happen quickly. Your dog may be fine in the morning, but be uncomfortable and displaying symptoms in the afternoon. Whether the problem is due to an ear infection, ear mites, allergies, or fleas, it requires medical attention and evaluation from your veterinarian.

Certain dogs, especially those with long droopy ears (for instance cocker spaniels, setters, and basset hounds) are more prone to ear infections, as are those who are swimmers. Droopy ears are harder to get dry, and bacteria forms in the moist climate inside. The ear hair traps moisture and other debris inside. Keeping the hair around the ears trimmed helps some. If you dog loves to swim, ask your veterinarian about drying agents for your dog’s ear care following time in the water.

Taking care of your dog’s ears is an important part of a good health regimen. Always consult your veterinarian if anything appears abnormal. Protecting your dog’s ears today can help prevent deafness in the future.

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

Have you ever wondered why dogs eat grass? If your dog likes to graze in green pastures, there are a few important things you need to know. Some people believe grass-eating is unhealthy and unnatural, while others worry it’s a sign of illness. But rest assured, eating grass probably won’t hurt your dog, although you should bear a couple of potential problems in mind. Here’s why your furry pal may grab mouthfuls of grass when you’re out walking, what to do about it, and some reasons chowing down in the meadow isn’t always a good idea.

Grass is edible

Grass isn’t inedible, as some people say, otherwise horses and cows wouldn’t eat it as part of their main diet. You might not expect a typical carnivore to enjoy grass, but human carnivores like salad, so why wouldn’t a dog want a few greens too?

Rather than your dog having a penchant for the flavor of grass, though, it’s more likely they need fiber to aid digestion. Consider whether your dog gets enough roughage in meals, and if not, include some to help them digest their food. Dogs often enjoy small portions of spinach, carrots, broccoli, or another vegetable as part of a balanced diet.

Grass and illness in dogs

Although grass won’t cause your dog to become ill, in rare cases, eating it might indicate something’s wrong. The jury’s out whether excessive grass-eating signals an internal problem, but be on the safe side. If you are worried your hound’s grass-munching is extravagant, pay a visit to a veterinarian for peace of mind. Most of the time, though, eating grass is not a cause for concern.

A dog might vomit after eating grass. Again, this isn’t unusual. People sometimes suppose dogs consume grass because they need to bring up something they’ve ingested. Are they right? Possibly. There’s no clear evidence, but it may be so. The grass can tickle the throat as it’s swallowed, causing the animal to be sick, and consuming it might be an instinctive urge to induce vomiting.

Grass-eating and boredom

People often suggest that grass-eating stems from boredom. Dogs that are eating grass, though, are outdoors exercising and playing. Nonetheless, lest this is true, think about whether your dog has adequate exercise and mental stimulation. Young dogs require about two walks every day. Older dogs may prefer only one short walk. All dogs need interesting things to occupy their minds, and most enjoy canine company. Make sure your hound’s requirements are met, and you can rule out boredom as the reason for eating grass.

Concerns to consider when your dog eats grass

Alas, not all grass your dog finds is natural in entirety, because of harmful chemical usage. Mostly, the grass you see while you take your dog for a walk is clean. Occasionally, though, it might not be so innocent, so make sure you know for certain it’s safe for consumption before letting your dog eat it.

Make sure your Dog has Plenty of Fresh Water
A well-hydrated dog will eat less, using an Automatic Dog Waterer like the Perpetual Well will ensure your dog has access to freshwater all the time. Being well-hydrated will also help with the circulation of blood, digestion, and removal of waste.

Lungworm is another pitfall to consider. It’s transmitted via snails and slugs that sometimes live among grass. The solution is to check you give your dog a wormer that kills lungworms, since some varieties, notably those bought in pet shops rather than from a veterinarian, do not. You should try to ensure your dog avoids long, seed-shedding grasses too: The kernels can get lodged in canine paws, ears and eyes, or stick in skin.

Mostly, it’s fine for dogs to eat grass. Check the grass your dog munches is free from chemicals, though, and whether eating it signals a lack of fiber or mental stimulation. Give your dog regular worm treatment too, and if their grass-scoffing habit’s excessive, visit a veterinarian, just to make sure all is well.

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