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.

Is your Paint Pet Safe?

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Guest Blogger:  Aedan Kiernan

As pet owners we are all very careful about the food and toys we give to our pets, and what we do around them, which could be detrimental to their health. We are all aware of the dangers of things like chocolate, not many pet owners are aware of health implications that domestic decorating products like paints can have on our furry friends.

The Danger of Paints

Paint might not seem like the most dangerous household substances, but some domestic paints can have serious implications on the health and wellbeing of our pets. These paints are so harmful due to the harsh chemicals that they contain, which includes solvents, heavy metals and VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). These chemicals release gases which can cause serious harm to our pets when they are inhaled. Although these gases are most potent while paints are drying, fumes can still be released long after the paint has dried. While the full extent of the damage caused by these chemicals is unknown, symptoms include dizziness, irritation to skin, eyes and air ways and in extreme cases full bodily hair loss.

Paints are not the only decorating product which can cause harm to our pets. Some other hazardous products include varnishes, paint removers and white spirits. The dangers are not just limited to inhalation of these gases and pets can suffer from the same symptoms if they ingest paints or other decorating products. Continue reading

Review: Dogsters Frozen Dog Treats

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Would your dog like a frozen treat?

Product Review by:  Julie and Blue Belle Walton
DogBlog: A Dog’s Eye View

Product:  DOGSTERS Ice Cream Style Treats for Dogs

DOGSTERS WEBSITE: jjsnack.com/dogsters
DOGSTERS on FACEBOOK: facebook.com/DogstersHealthyTreats

Dogsters Frozen Dog TreatsWe received a request to review a treat for our dog, Blue Belle, DOGSTERS ice cream style treats for dogs.  They are made in the USA (a key to this dog loving family) all natural, low fat and low calories.  Dogsters says man’s best friend deserves healthy and delicious treats, too.

Who doesn’t love a good treat. BUT, the question on this beautiful fall day is will Blue Belle, the rescue dog, agree that a frozen treat is cool and refreshing and much better than staying under the tree to keep the pesky squirrels out of our yard.

The frozen treats are found in your grocery store alongside the frozen novelties.  But because we are special (ok, we are just dog blogging reviewers, but we think we are special) we received ours at our front door packed on ice.  We received two boxes of these delicious flavors:

  • Mint
  • Peanut Butter and Cheese

Each treat comes in a plastic container with a paper lid, so obviously you will want to keep an eye on your dog and throw the trash away, so they don’t eat up the container.

I think you will agree when you see Blue Belle’s reaction that she thinks they truly are DELICIOUS!

 

Is your garden pet ready for summer

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Guest Blogger: Aedan Kiernan
Reflect Digital

Most dogs adore summer and see it is a fantastic opportunity to explore and run around in new places. There are several steps you can take to ensure your dog has a glorious healthy summer without becoming ill or having an accident. Some of the most important tips include keeping your dog hydrated at all times and preventing them becoming sunburnt. You may also wish to keep them away from toxic plants, lungworm and artificial grass. Let’s explore some of the best ways to get your pet ready for summer.

Thwarting sunburn

dog-summerSunburn can be just as harmful to pets as it is to humans. Too much sun can lead to skin cancer, and certain dogs are at significant risk of sunburn. These include white-furred, hairless, light-coloured and short-haired dogs. If your dog does become sunburn, you can apply natural treatments like aloe vera to the red or raw area. Make sure your dog has breaks from the hot sun and benefits from an adequate amount of shade. It’s essential that you don’t leave your dog out in the hot sun for too long.

Investing in artificial grass

Soil and natural grass tend to play host to a number of hazards including snails and slugs. Your dog can become affected by lungworm if he or she swallows a slug or snail so it’s a good idea to remove them from your garden as soon as you spot them. Some dog owners are now investing in installing artificial grass in order to avoid the lungworm problem. By using fake grass you can massively reduce the number of slugs and snails in the your garden in the first place. There are plenty of synthetic grass companies like Forever Green Lawns who supply and install artificial grass which is pet friendly.

Learn about toxic plants

It’s wise to know which plants do and don’t pose a threat to your dog. Obtaining a list of toxic plants will help you work out which plants you shouldn’t be keeping in your garden if you have a dog. If you don’t want to get rid of your plants you could consider making the area in question inaccessible to your dog. Some plants can be more hazardous than you might expect – apple seeds pose a significant risk.

Give them the water they need

Hydration is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Dogs can become dehydrated frighteningly quickly, so always ensure there’s a good supply of water at home and when you’re out and about. Grooming is also important. Long hair can cause accidents and make your dog uncomfortable, so it’s wise to give them a trim as the temperatures rise. Claws can also become snagged and cause accidents. Regular brushing should help your dog remain comfortable. A dog tag with your contact details on will help if you become separated from your dog.

Do you need a dog kit?

It’s a good idea to invest in a pet kit for when you and your dog are on your travels. Kits tend to include everything you might need to keep your dog happy when you’re away from home, including food, bowls, treats and toys. Chilled gel packs placed under the collar will also keep your dog comfortable whether they’re playing in your garden or out walking. You can even invest in special jackets to keep dogs cool. Some dog owners have even purchased special boots for protection from hot sand, glass and many other hazards.

Planning exercise

Sudden bursts of activity can lead to pain, so if you do like to take your dog out for a long runabout at the weekend, make sure they also get ample exercise during the week. By taking note of a few simple instructions, you can give your dog the summer he or she deserves, prevent them from getting ill, becoming lost or being hurt in an accident.

Photo:  Copyright Julie Walton

PawPack Review

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PawPack  Review by Julie Walton
And Rescue Dog, Blue Belle
DogBlog: A Dog’s Eye View

PawPack.com

Special offer for DogBlog Friends:
$10 off coupon on your first order. Go to PawPack.com, when checking out use promo code DOGBLOG

 


Our Rescue Dog, Blue Belle, was thrilled to see a gift box arrive at our door, especially for her. The delivery was a box from PawPack for our DogBlog review. I could tell by her keen interest in the box full of goodies that she was very delighted. Her first decision was chosen by her ever sensitive nose.  I thought she would want to go for the treats, but her nose sniffed out the squeeker in the squeeky toy – a fabric hotdog with a squeaker.  The box has quite a variety of treats, toys, and dog grooming supplies.

I tested out the pawpack.com website, it looks very user friendly.  The PawPack website says this about their mission to support rescue animals:

“ Our goal is to work with no-kill animal rescues across the country to help place cats and dogs into their forever homes.

10% of PawPack proceeds will go directly to the care of rescue animals. We also will be donating PawPacks directly to rescues for new adoptions to have as a welcome home gift. “

We are so happy to hear this. Blue Belle is a rescue animal.  She was rescued from a dog pound and would have been euthanized after being there for just 2 days.  She was rescued by a no-kill shelter that we adore,  the Animal Humane Association of Star Valley, known as Lucky’s Place.  After our dog, Maggie died, we search online through PetFinder and  found a dog that needed a home and we were so happy to give her a forever home with our family.

The PawPack website goes on to explain their Monthly  deliveries to your door – 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 12 month plans  You can cancel anytime. They currently offer FREE shipping in the U.S.

Once you get to the website Choose your pet – Cat or Dog – Select the size of your pet – Select the type of subscription.

You will receive a monthly box full of surprise products, which will always be either organic, all-natural, or eco-friendly.  4 or more full sized items and a variety of samples and other goodies.

Subscriptions automatically renew. You may cancel anytime. Sounds like a fun way to try some new products without having to go to the store.

They say if your furkid has allergies they will try to accommodate – just send them an email with “special request” in the subject line.  That sounds like caring people to us.

The price is good.  At the time of this blog post the baseline package for a single pet is either $43/mo for the month to month option, $39/mo for the 3 month option, $37/mo when you sign up for the 6 months upfront, and $32/mo for the 12 month commitment. All packages including the month to month option are automatically billed each month but you can cancel anytime.  AND NOTICE THE SPECIAL DEAL MY DOGBLOG READERS CAN RECEIVE.  JUST USE THIS CODE DogBlog  TO RECEIVE $10 off on your first order.

Awesome Designer Pet Food Bowls

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Meet Dylan Kendall, a professional cat rescuer!

Dylan Kendall, a professional cat rescuerIn her spare time, Dylan helps animal rescues find homes for homeless four pawed creatures. More recently, she was able to trap a starving kitten by her home, who spent an entire night crying for help. All it took was a trap, some yummy cat food, and 10 minutes and the kitten would then forever be spoiled! She brought him inside and gave him time to rest for the night with a litter box, some food and water. He moved so fast, that we named him Rocket. Since he was given flea control the first night, defleaing took place the next day, as well as a much needed bath. Day by day, this kitten has grown to LOVE humans and fellow felines (as well as a 3 legged Chihuahua).

After 4 days, this is Rocket:

Rescued ca t- Rocket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rocket will be needing a home, soon. We also have a litter of 4 kittens who were born in a manufacturing plant in Long Beach. Those kittens will also be needing homes. You can inquire at Dylan@dylankendall.com

 

Four Pawed Pet Bowls

But, you see, now Dylan needs your help. Dylan is a ceramist and a home accessories designer. She’s designed dog and cat bowls perched on 4 little paws. They are raised to help enforce healthy digestion. The only thing, is, she needs to successfully fund them on Kickstarter in order to bring them to market. You can pre order your pet bowls through Kickstarter at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dylankendall/four-pawed-pet-bowls If the goal is reached, the pet bowls can start manufacturing right away.

 Go ahead! Check them out!

4 Pawed Pet Bowls