5 Fun Outdoor Activities with Your Dog

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Guest Blog Contributor – David, Stand Up Paddle Boards Review

Dog having fun in water

Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash

Regardless of how much time you spend with your dog, it will never be enough; it is called man’s best friend for a reason. Also, even more than people, dogs need to work out regularly especially after spending a lot of time gaining extra pounds indoors during winter.

A regular walk would do but spicing things up for both of you is far much better, don’t you think? In this article, you will learn fantastic outdoor activities that you can do with your dog and make memories that you will both keep forever. (Well, the dog might not remember, but that is not the point here).

  1. Go to a Dog Park

If your dog is active and playful, there is no better place to take him than to the local dog park. He will have all the space he needs to run around. In addition to exercising, your dog will interact with other dogs and make dog friends. It is said that dog parks can alleviate behavior problems and reduce the number of pets surrendered to shelters.

As a good dog owner, be responsible in the park; at the very least, make sure your dog understands necessary commands like sit, come and stay and clean after him. Take these points into consideration;

  • Your dog should be healthy, current on vaccinations and have all necessary licenses.
  • You should not bring more dogs than you can handle.
  • Do not let your dog involve himself in inappropriate behaviors like jumping on people, bullying, aggressive playing or extreme barking.
  • If another dog makes you or your dog uncomfortable, just leave.
  • Do not take a female dog in heat to the park. An intact male should be social and non-aggressive.

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Shock collars for territorial dogs?

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Guest Blog Contributor – Christy of Doglifestore.com

Dog breeds can be categorized according to their function, size, and shape and throughout the years, over 300 dog breeds have been listed down. Apart from a few working dog breeds, statistics have actually shown that dog breeds have only emerged over the last hundred years. The reason why this happened is because dogs were bred in order to get a desired result such as getting the wanted size, shape, physical abilities and many others and this encompasses the physical appearance but also their temperaments. Dogs like the German Shepherds, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinschers and many others were bred because of their hunting capabilities and also their general temperament that makes them great guard dogs.

The aforementioned dogs are also coincidentally the breeds that many insurance companies have considered to be blacklisted because of the risks that they entail. Certainly this logic is not unfounded but reputation that these dogs have garnered that they are terrifying aggressive have colored people’s perception on them and more often than not, in a very unhealthy way.

Indeed, the way these types of dogs were bred have a certain genetic inclination to become more territorial thus showing more aggressive behaviors but the way they are brought up should also be taken into consideration. Despite their reputation, the aforementioned dogs along with others such as the Akita, Great Danes, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and others are great companions and family dogs.

With that in mind, would using a shock collar for inherently territorial dogs be ideal?

Before they had the more sophisticated version that we now know today, shock collars have actually been around since the 1960’s and used to train hunting dogs. They were used to deter unwanted behavior such as excessive barking and also training dogs to stay within properly lines, most especially in farm areas.

Over the years, the shock collar or sometimes called the e-collar has created a great divide among pet parents and also experts. The negative view on collars stems from the idea these are “torture” devices designed to cause pain and at some point submit your dog to obedience. People who are against the usage of the device prefer non-chock methods.

On the other hand, people who approve of the shock collar, may it be experts and regular pet owners believe that it is a great tool for training. Even the famous dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, has approved the use of the collar.

On a more personal note, the results of using the shock collar is fairly evident. Granted that it is used properly, it is a great training tool. But, if a pet owner does not know how to use the device, it will bring unwanted consequences for your dog. Overall, it depends on how it is utilized and if it’s utilized in the right way. Continue reading

Why Rescue an Older Dog?

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When I was contacted by this guest blogger and given some suggestions for blog post article titles, my heart was touched and I thought of our dog, Scout, who lived into her mid teens.  She was such a loyal dog.  What if for some reason we were not able to care for her any longer and she needed to be adopted.  I would hope that some caring person would adopt our precious Scout, even though she was a senior. I agree with you, John.  These wonderful older dogs deserve a loving home to enjoy their twilight years.


Guest Blogger: John Devlin
Owner – Dogsbarn.com
Husband, father and avid dog lover. Currently the proud owner of George a pedigree Golden Retriever who barely leaves my side. However cute this sounds a little break from the dog hairs every now and then would be nice!

Why Rescue an Older Dog?

Source:Pixabay.com

Is there anything cuter than puppies? Probably not, which is why they never stay at shelters long. However, while you are walking towards the puppy section at your local rescue center, spare a thought for the oldies languishing in their kennels.

Many are there through no fault of their own, perhaps their owner has passed away or can no longer care for them, maybe there is a new baby in the family or their owner has moved somewhere that doesn’t allow dogs or has developed allergies. Whatever the reason, imagine the confusion they feel having spent years in a loving home and when they should be enjoying their twilight years suddenly they find themselves desperate for a second chance.

The sad fact is; Senior dogs are often overlooked and can wait up to four times longer for a home than their younger counterparts resulting in many being euthanized. So, if you are considering adopting a dog it’s worth thinking about the benefits of adopting a golden oldie.

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How an Emotional Support Dog Can Help You Get Through a Tough Day

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Guest Post by: Brad Smith, TherapyPet.org

If you have a dog as an emotional support pet, you already know how much affection and fun they bring. However, did you know that dogs also offer powerful physical and mental health benefits? They can greatly minimize anxiety, stress, feelings of loneliness and depression, along with encouraging playfulness and exercise, and even strengthening your cardiovascular health. During the days when you are feeling down, an emotional support dog can help you in the following ways:

Acceptance and Unconditional Love

As much as we know, dogs don’t have prejudices, opinions and critiques. Even if you are reeking of alcohol after a bad day, they will be more than willing to cuddle with you. If your relationship with your friends or family is frayed and complicated, and you don’t really have no one to come home to and vent, your dog will be ever-present as the best antidote to your sadness and stress. They will not judge, nor complain and will certainly not give you advice you don’t want.

Distraction from Your Pain and Anguish

Dogs are just as good as books and movies. They take our minds off the worries and into another dimension, one where there’s only playfulness, clowning around, a wet nose and lots of kisses. This type of distraction is the best type since it makes you forget how awful your day went when you have a furry friend breathing in your face all the time.

More Physical Contact

Touching has undisputedly strong healing powers. Studies suggest that 45 minutes of massage can lower stress levels and enhance your immune system by promoting the growth of white blood cells. Hugging produces a hormone that lowers blood pressure, stress levels and heart rates. The touch of another human or animal can stop certain parts of the brain from reacting to threat clues. Thus, it is not surprising how handling a dog, i.e stroking and cuddling it, can regularize heart rates and lower blood pressure while boosting dopamine and serotonin levels.

Increased Levels of Activity

After a tough day, the last thing you probably want to do is be active. Slouching down and binge eating while crying over your miseries can worsen your physical and mental state. However, if you have a friendly support companion waiting for you at home, you are sure to get some physical activity. Dogs need to be walked, fed and followed which will mean extra physical activity on your part.

More Social Interaction

Dogs are natural icebreakers, which mean they subtly push you towards more social interaction. On a tough day, you may decide to walk your dog and find yourself chatting with other dog walkers and befriending them in the process.

Better Health

Research suggests that dog owners experience protection against heart disease, reduced stress hormones, and increased levels of feel-good chemical present in the brain both while and prior to performing stressful mental tasks. A study with Chinese female participants found that owning a dog can help with better sleep, better fitness due to increased exercise and improved overall health resulting in fewer sick days.

Create a Routine

Having a daily routine helps people fight depression by utilizing their time efficiently. An emotional support dog’s natural routine, i.e. walking in the morning, demanding for food and playtime, can help you direct your attention towards the activities instead of sulking about your day.

These are just some of the ways that your emotional support dog can help you get through a bad day without breaking down.

Review – Grain Free Greenies

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Blue Belle Reviews Grain Free Greenies

Blue Belle was excited to see a box arrive at the door.  She always thinks all boxes coming to our door are for her.  This time she was correct.  We received a box from Chewy.com.

The product for our review was a new product, Grain Free Greenies.  The 12 oz. bag of petite greenies was not exactly what I requested.  The petite greenies are treats for 15 – 25 lb. dogs.  Blue Belle is closer to 50 lbs.  So, basically one treat is gobbled up in less than a minute.

We have always liked Greenies, but I wanted to test this new grain free type of Greenies because  Blue Belle has had digestive problems for several months and after various  attempts to figure out what we needed to change in her diet, we decided to place her on grain free food and that has been a great solution.

We do like the Grain Free Greenies, I think next time I will get the regular size.  Greenies dental chews are good for oral health.  We do recommend Greenies, but as the product packaging says “As with any edible product, monitor your dog to ensure the treat is adequately chewed.  Gulping any item can be harmful or even fatal to a dog.”  Oh no!  I don’t want to freak out our readers, it is true that we want to make sure our dogs are safely ingesting everything they eat, including treats.  I will make sure Blue Belle chews adequately.

Disclaimer:  I received these goodies free of charge from Chewy.com  in exchange for my honest review. This is where you can find Grain Free Greenies at Chewy.com

Blue Belle Reviews Grain Free Greenies

Tips for shopping for Toys for Chihuahuas

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Chihuahua PuppySince our dog, Blue Belle, is a medium sized dog and not a Chihuahua we recognize that we don’t know much about how to take care of a small puppy.  Thanks to this post from Sara, we have learned about the needs of a Chuhuahua puppy. Sara tells us before you go shopping for toys for Chihuahuas, check out this easy guide. You’ll learn everything you need to know about what your Chi needs in a toy.

Guest Post by Sara, Freelance Writer ~ ILoveAll Dogs

What you should consider before buying Toys for Chihuahuas

We all want to give our dogs the best food, treats and toys that money can buy. But sometimes we’re not sure where to start. You might find yourself confused about what the right toys are when you’re a new dog owner. This applies for every breed but in this case, we’re talking about Chihuahuas.

As a parent to a brand new Chihuahua puppy, you want to start spoiling them right away. You want to get the best toys for them so that they can meet all their chewing needs.

But don’t go shopping for toys for your Chihuahua before you learn about the best toys for them. They’re little dogs but as puppies they can chew like any other breed. Here you will find everything you need to know before buying toys for Chihuahuas.  All your Chihuahua’s needs and what qualities to look for in a toy are right here.

Teething and Chewing

Chihuahua puppies love to chew but they aren’t the only ones. Even adult Chihuahuas enjoy chewing. Chi puppies start teething at around the age of 4 months. The reason for their need to chew is because they’re gums are itchy. They’re gums itch because they’re baby teeth are getting lose and their adult teeth are coming in.

It’s so important to have adequate toys for your Chi pup to chew on to relieve their discomfort. If you don’t provide good toys for them they’ll turn to chewing everything else in sight. This includes furniture, shoes and anything else they can get their paws on.

Below are some factors to consider before buying, courtesy of Petchidog.com. Continue reading