Snake Bites: How to Protect Our Pets

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Guest Post by Rachel Hudson

Cute dog.
Photo by Bruno Cervera from Pexels

Description: When warmer periods arrive, most of us feel way more energetic, and we want to spend every spare moment walking, hiking or simply playing outdoors with our four-legged friends.  But what we rarely think about is that during warm months there is a higher risk for our dog to be exposed to snakes bites. 

You might wonder, why there are more snakes in spring and summer as well as why on earth would a snake bite a dog?  Well for starters, snakes hibernate during winter, so they also feel more energetic as the sun begins to warm up. They are also searching for food to fill their empty stomachs because they have digested all the food they had eaten before hibernation. There are greater chances to encounter a snake in your garden while hiking or anywhere else for that matter.

That wouldn’t be a problem if our pets would have the same sensation regarding snakes as we do. However, no one has told dogs that snakes might pose an immediate danger in some cases as our parents or grandparents told us. For dogs, a snake on the road or in the backyard is just another animal. Dogs are by nature curious and playful creatures, and when they meet other animals, they like to sniff and get to know a potential new friend.  Some dogs can be too persistent in their curiosity or emotionality and won’t leave the snake in peace. This is when snakes bites occur.

 On the other hand, snakes are timid and cautious. Since they have no limbs or claws, the only way they can defend themselves from what they consider to be the dangerous situation is biting. You must know that both venomous and nonvenomous snakes bite. It is crucial that you immediately get your pet to the vet so it can get proper care to prevent any consequences. 

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Keep You and Your Dog Safe From Distracted Driving

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Guest Post by Tia Philipart

Driving around town with your furry friend is one of the more blissful moments in life, and we want to help you keep it that way! CarRentals conducted a survey observing dog owners’ driving habits in order to bring awareness to a potential tragic situation. See below for the top three tips to keep you and your dog safe while driving.

  1. Everyone should buckle up – The laws of physics apply to you and your dog, having them unrestrained can lead to a forceful projectile. This could injure the dog and passengers in the car.
  2. Restain your dog to decrease distractions – Dogs are curious and also get anxious when trapped in a car. This leads to them climbing around the car, distracting you from focusing on the road.
  3. Don’t let your dog hang out the window – Even if your dog is smart, other drivers aren’t. A dog hanging out the window may be struck by something heavy, including another motor vehicle!

We hope that these tips help you to choose the safe route when driving with your dog. Check out the rest of the study data on pet owners’ driving habits here and see the full infographic below on driving safely with your dog.

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What to Know Before Adopting Your First Dog

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Guest Blog Post by: Kaytie Elizabeth Pascale, Writer

Happy adopted dog.

Thinking about adopting your first dog? Congratulations are in order—it’s an adventure and a relationship with an animal that will provide a companionship that’s unmatched. However, making the decision to adopt a dog is a huge life decision, and before you finalize it, there are numerous things to consider and understand before committing to this journey.

Expenses

Before you make the decision to adopt your first dog, you need to determine a few of the basic costs, including the expenses of properly caring for a dog. One of the basic needs of any animal is food. Calculate the cost of food and research how much you’ll need to feed your dog as it gets older and bigger. Many people can overfeed their dog, which may lead to health problems in the future.

Vet bills and medical care are another expense you need to account for. You may want to look at the option and price out pet insurance, but make sure you budget for annual check-ups and vaccines, potential injuries and illness, and an increase in medical care as your dog ages and needs additional care.

In addition to the cost of basic needs, dogs need mental stimulation to keep them happy and prevent undesirable behavior. Be prepared to invest in toys that will keep them mentally stimulated and engaged during the day. You may also want to think about hiring a pet sitter to come to the house to play with them or take them on walks during the day if you work long hours. Another option to check out could be doggie day camp to give them the physical and mental stimulation and outlet they need, while also promoting social interaction.

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Providing Mental Stimulation for Your Dog’s Happiness and Well-Being

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

Adorable dog.

Boredom caused by a lack of stimulation not only creates an unhappy pet, but it can also cause your dog’s brain to shrink. Prompted by distress, this may lead to your dog exhibiting destructive behavior or simply appearing lethargic. We all want what’s best for our pets, and providing plenty of stimulation for your dog should be seen, not simply as an indulgence, but essential to their happiness and health. With just a few simple changes or additions to your dog’s routine, you can provide a stimulating environment that will stop your dog getting bored and anxious.

A Range of Stimulating Toys

For keeping dogs mentally stimulated, toys should be seen as a necessity. This is especially true if you have to leave your dog alone for any period of time. Toys are vital for their well-being, by providing entertainment, distraction and comfort throughout the day. Dogs quickly get fed up with the same toys, so it’s a good idea to routinely rotate and update them to keep your dog stimulated. A regular subscription box is a convenient way to introduce innovative and unusual accessories to your dog. When your dog has a good mix of durable chew toys, interactive games and challenging treat dispensers to choose from, they dog will be happily entertained and stimulated.

A Change to the Routine

Although most dogs enjoy a steady and regular routine, especially those who are particularly vulnerable or anxious, small changes can be exciting and create moments of interest in their day. Try some simple obedience training for a few moments each day in order give your dog a mental workout. Make sure they know how to sit and stay, and teach them when to pick up or leave an object. At the same time as keeping them busy and engaged, you’ll be improving their behavior and teaching them new tricks. As a reward, and to keep them mentally alert, you can hide treats for your dog in interactive toys, or around the garden for them to find.

A New Outdoor Adventure

Even if you have scheduled, regular times for walks and exercise, simply taking a different route can expose your dog to interesting and unusual surroundings, sounds and scents. Your dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than yours, and when they stop to sniff, they are busy acquiring and processing information, often from traces of pheromones from other animals. This means it’s important to give your dog plenty of time to explore stimulating scents in order to make the most out of even a short walk. Meeting other people and their dogs in the park can also be stimulating for a sociable dog. As well as encouraging good physical exercise, playing with other dogs of a similar nature is a fun distraction, and a great way for your dog to let off steam.

As well as physical exercise, dogs need mental stimulation to keep them happy and to prevent undesirable behavior. By mixing up their routine, encouraging them to work for treats, and rewarding them with a selection of interesting and engaging toys, you can be assured that your dog is happily entertained and living a fulfilling life.

Why Sleeping With Your Dog is a Great Idea

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My dog provides comfort.

If you are like me, you know how much comfort your dog brings to your family. I happen to have epilepsy, so Blue Belle is a real comfort to me. And she is the rescue dog who rescued us. I always feel so secure when she is keeping me safe in bed.

Enjoy the guest blog post by Karli Jaenike.

Any one dog lover knows that sleeping with your dog in the bed provides comfort and security. Not only are dogs soft and cuddly, but co-sleeping with your dog can offer a ton of health benefits.

For example, sleeping with your dog has been shown to reduce depression. Animal assisted activities (such as interacting with your dog, petting your dog or cuddling your dog) increases our flow of oxytocin. This is the “love chemical” that is released when you see something cute, hug someone you love or think happy thoughts.

This oxytocin not only helps depression, but relieves anxiety and stress as well. This allows you to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer. In fact, oxytocin has been shown to promote theta brainwaves, which are known to occur during the deepest stage of sleep (REM sleep).

Those with insomnia and those with PTSD have seen massive benefits from sleeping with pets. Additionally, those who suffer from heart issues can benefit from cuddling their dog as well! One study found that human-dog interaction led to lower blood pressure readings.

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Review – Best Dog Food of 2019

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Guest Post by:
Joey Santaella     
ConsumersAdvocate.org 

One of the most difficult—and important—decisions dog parents need to make is what type of food to give them. Choosing the best option is not always as easy and straight-forward as one might hope because there are so many options out there to choose from, as well as so many ingredients in the mix (which aren’t all good for your pup). For this reason, ConsumersAdvocate.com came up with a new guide after comparing and vetting 65 dog food companies, using over 20 different sources, and spending hundreds of hours conducting research. This thorough guide offers helpful information about dog food, an FAQ section,  simple “what you need to know” facts, top picks with reviews, and insight into the research methodology.

Check out the full research guide here:  https://www.consumersadvocate.org/dog-food