Used. beagle hiding under table

Avoid Your Dog Being Scared or Lost This Fireworks Season!

Dog Health

Avoid Your Dog Being Scared or Lost This Fireworks Season!

Fireworks are fun for us but many pets freak out at the noise and bright explosions. In fact many dogs get very scared and jump out of their yards trying to get away from the noise. These dogs are often found but many are also forever lost or even injured or killed after running into the traffic.

So if you know your dog is scared of fireworks, or you are unsure how your dog will react, here is a quick rundown of what you can do to decrease the chance of your dog being distressed this fireworks season.

  1. Take your dog for a long (About twice as long as normal) walk before the fireworks are due to start. This will make your dog more tired and more likely to rest when the fireworks start.
  2. Bring your dog inside well before the fireworks are due to start. It’s much easier and better, for your dog, if we avoid them getting into the state of fear rather than trying to calm them down once they become scared.
  3. If you have a travel crate like a Vari Kennel this is a good time to use it. These small travel kennels make a dog feel comfortable because it’s like their own little cave that they can feel safe in. If you don’t have a dog crate that is ok. Just pick a place for your dog where you know it will feel comfortable.
  4. Close the blinds so no flashes from the fireworks can penetrate into the house. Also leave the lights on so that the flashes that do get in appear less dramatic and scary.
  5. Turn the TV up relatively load to drown out and blend with the noise of the fireworks. You can increase the volume every 15 min or so and they won’t notice it is set so loud.
  6. Give them a bone or toy to play with to take their mind off their surroundings.
  7. If your dog does get stressed don’t make a fuss over them, in fact the correct thing to do is ignore them. If you are calm and relaxed about the situation you dog will realise soon that they have nothing to fear. If you do what most people do and console your dog energetically then your dog will feel justified in their fear and will stay scared for longer.

Follow these tips and your dog will have a much less stressful experience during fireworks displays.

If you are unsure about how your dog will react to fireworks I would say do the first two steps as a minimum and see how your dog reacts. If you plan on leaving your dog in the backyard make sure she has a collar with a name tag and contact phone number on it.

Take care and Happy Holidays.

how much should I exercise my dog

How Much Should I Exercise My Dog?

Dog Health

How Much Should I Exercise My Dog?

I can’t give a blanket answer for this question because every dog is different and needs different amounts of exercise. Not to mention owners have different degrees of fitness.

So here is a rough guide of what is possible and also of what to look out for.

Puppies and older dogs don’t need a lot of exercise and over exercising them can do more harm than good. A leisurely 30 min stroll per day is enough. Some more active breeds can do an hour. With puppies you can go for a walk to the park and allow them to run around and play at their own pace. They will let you know when they are done.

Healthy adult dogs can be exercised between 1 to 4 hours per day depending on the breed and intensity of the exercise. Herding dogs like Kelpies can run all day when conditioned to do so. As opposed to an English bulldog which may struggle to walk an hour on a hot day. Sprinting breeds like greyhounds and whippets can only do a few sprints then it’s time to walk home.

Basically you need to just keep an eye on your dog’s breathing and energy levels. Don’t let your dog get to the point where the tongue is almost dragging on the floor. Stop before then and let your dog recover then continue the walk or start heading home.

If you find your dog has more energy than you, then try using a bike or throwing a ball to get rid of that extra energy.

Exercising your dog is some of the best time you will spend with your dog. Follow these tips and it will guarantee a great outing every time.

If you have trouble with your dog pulling on the leash read this article on How to Stop Your Dog Pulling in The Leash by Clicking Here.

how to stop your dog pulling on the leash

How To Stop Your Dog Pulling On The Leash!

Dog Health

How To Stop Your Dog Pulling On The Leash!

Nothing gives your dog greater pleasure than to be taken for a walk outside. This is a great time to bond with your dog and work on your dog training; however, most owners don’t enjoy taking their dogs for a walk. And that’s because they’re not taking the dog for a walk—the dog is taking them for a walk.

When our dogs leap around in delight at the mere sight of their leash in our hands, we often smile indulgently and think how adorable their excitement is. We struggle to keep them still just long enough to clip the leash onto their collar before they’re off again. That is not how you want to train your dog to behave.

Even a small dog tugging incessantly on the end of its lead is not enjoyable; a large dog capable of pulling you off your feet is even less so. It’s time again to remind your dog who is the leader and who is the follower. Every interaction with your dog is an opportunity to reinforce the basic principles of dog training. Don’t ignore this, thinking that a well-behaved dog doesn’t enjoy walks as much as a boisterous one. Believe me, they do!

The first step is to insist your dog sit calmly while you strap on its lead. Ideally, your dog has already been trained to sit on command. Have your dog sit and then pause a moment to make sure he’s calm. Some dogs may take minutes to settle, just stand still and wait. When calm attach the lead.

If the dog begins to jump around again, stop and command him to sit. Don’t yell at him. You’re training your dog that it is his own behaviour that delays his walk. Every time he sits quietly, immediately recognize and reward without getting him overly-excited. Once you attach his lead and he remains calm, only then do you take him outside.
The next thing is to let your dog relieve himself. Once that pressure’s off, your dog is going to be anxious to investigate every smell within sniffing distance, which is the main reason dogs pull so hard. If you pull back, their instinct is to pull harder, not ease up.

You have two options to train your dog to stop pulling on the leash. If he pulls, you can command him to sit, and refuse to move until he does; alternatively, you can do an abrupt about-face and begin walking in the opposite direction. Using the sit command works well with dogs that are fairly well trained; walking in the opposite direction is more effective if your dog tends to ignore you. You may feel a little silly at first but don’t let that deter you. You are the leader and you choose in which direction to walk.
Every time the dog pulls ahead and you swiftly turn away, he’ll find himself behind you, forced to walk in the direction you dictate. The idea is to train your dog that pulling on the leash immediately stops the walk.
When doing this you need to be consistent. You need to make sure every time your dog moves in front of you for a split second you immediately stop and turn around and walk in the opposite direction.

If you are vigilant and consistent, you’ll soon find your dog trotting alongside of you, waiting for your cue as to where to go.  Both you and your dog will now enjoy your walks much more and everyone you pass will admire your well-trained dog!

how oftern should you vaccinate your dog

How Often Should You Vaccinate Your Dog?

Dog Health

How Often Should You Vaccinate Your Dog?

If you are vaccinating every year… you really need to read this article.

After one of our customers was asking about vaccinations I thought I would do an article on the subject and add a different perspective to what you may be hearing from your local vet. This customer actually made a really valid point and that was, why do humans only get vaccinations once and dogs need to be vaccinated every year? The basic answer is that it was a bit of a scam by the people that run those businesses. Not so much the vets as the vaccine companies.

In the past I have vaccinated puppies 2 or 3 times before 16 weeks and then done a booster at 12 months and then not really worried about a booster till the dog is showing signs of old age. The reason being healthy grown dogs can get sick from Parvo Virus but rarely does it become critical. The reason being the Parvo Virus attacks growing cells and degenerating cells, this means growing dogs and old dogs are very susceptible to it.

I have never seen a dog with distemper or hepatitis so can’t really comment too much about those.

Enough of my hearsay… let’s get
down to the scientific facts.

Here is what the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccination Task Force discovered. They said, that for both Parvo and Distemper vaccinations, immunity lasts at least 5 years and for Adenovirus, at least 7 years.

And this is what they now recommend for vaccination guidelines.

For both Parvo and Distemper vaccinations

Initial vaccination in puppies < 16 weeks of age

  • First shot between 6 weeks to 8 weeks, then vaccinate every 3 to 4 weeks. Last Vac. should be given between 14 and 16 weeks to minimize risk of intervention by maternal antibodies

Initial vaccination in dogs > 16 weeks of age

  • One dose

Revaccination

  • For puppies who received initial vaccination series by 16 weeks, a booster no later than 1 year after completion of initial series, then equal to or greater than every 3 years
  • For dogs who received initial vaccination after 16 weeks of age, every ≥ 3 years thereafter

Note: Among healthy dogs, Distemper and Parvo vaccines are expected to induce immunity for at least 5 years.

For Canine Adenovirus vaccinations (Hepatitis)

Initial vaccination in puppies < 16 weeks of age

  • First shot between 6 weeks to 8 weeks, then vaccinate every 3 to 4 weeks. Last Vac. should be given between 14 and 16 weeks to minimize risk of intervention by maternal antibodies

Initial vaccination in dogs > 16 weeks of age

  • One dose

Revaccination

  • For puppies who received initial vaccination series by 16 weeks, a booster no later than 1 year after completion of initial series, then ≥ 3 years thereafter
  • For dogs who received initial vaccination after 16 weeks of age, every ≥ 3 years thereafter

Note: Among healthy dogs, distemper vaccines are expected to induce immunity for at least 7 years.

Please be aware that most Vets in Australia give a C3 vaccination which vaccinates against all three of the above viruses. If you need extra immunity for leptospirosis, Bordatella or kennel cough then you need to ask your vet. The C5 is necessary in most boarding kennels. C5 does the same as the C3 does plus Bordatella and Parainfluenza. The trick here is to plan ahead and not double up on the 3 if you don’t need to.

I will conclude by saying that common sense and the info above should be used to decide when you will vaccinate your dog. For instance if your dog frequents dog shows and dog parks all the time then go for the more aggressive method of vaccinating. If you live on a farm and your dogs never meet other dogs then every 5 years will be fine.

In the end, it’s your choice.

*Information from American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) Canine Vaccination Guidelines.
https://www.aaha.org/public_documents/professional/guidelines/caninevaccineguidelines.pdf

dog food online

4 Things to Avoid When Buying Dog Food Online!

Dog Health

4 Things to Avoid When Buying Dog Food Online!

How to navigate through the veritable minefield of hundreds of different dog food options online.

Buying dog food online is an increasing trend among dog owners. After all, you can’t beat shopping from home combined with the convenience of your dog’s food being delivered straight to your door. Not only that, many online dog food stores now offer automatic orders, so even if you forget to buy more, your dog’s food still gets delivered on time, when you need it.

However, for those of you who love your dogs, once you decide to buy your dog food online, you still need to navigate through the veritable minefield of hundreds of different dog foods. Where to start? Let us show you the route.

A Checklist

Find the Best Dog Food at the Best Price

  1. Check the site for a guaranteed analysis and list of ingredients for each product. Don’t settle for a casual mention—the sites that offer the best quality food want you to be able to judge for yourself, so look for a picture of the label itself, one that you can easily read, that lists the guaranteed analysis percentages as well. If it’s not there, move on to the one that does.
  2. Avoid grain-based dog foods. Dogs are carnivores – they must eat meat to be healthy, not grains. Grains are known to cause allergies in dogs. Common culprits are corn, soy, wheat, and barley. Rice, while not a big risk where allergies are concerned, is still a grain and offers little nutritional value to your beloved dog.
  3. Avoid feeding your dog dry food with low protein levels. Protein levels under 28% are not good sources of nutrition and should be shunned. Again, dogs are carnivores. They must have meat. Make sure the protein comes from animal sources, like chicken, lamb, and fish. Meat meals are a good source of animal protein as they are concentrated meat and bone, with protein levels exceeding 60% (in comparison, lean fresh meat is only 21% protein approx.).
  4. Skip dog foods that don’t get ALL their fats from animal sources. Chicken fat, for example, and fish oils are far more digestible than vegetable and flaxseed oils, meaning your dog’s body can use animal fats for energy. Fact: Omega-3 from fish oil is 10 times more effective in reducing inflammation, in dogs, than omega-3 from flaxseed oil.
  5. Avoid dog foods lacking the ideal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. This ratio is critical for good health. Stick to dog foods with an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio between 5:1 and 10:1 respectively.

Once you’ve found the foods that deliver all that, it’s time to compare prices. Remember to take into account the cost and convenience of buying dog food online vs. having to drive somewhere to pick it up and back. Companies that offer free delivery are ideal in that there are no unwelcome surprises in the form of added costs tacked onto their price. That makes it easier to compare prices per kilo.

Quality ingredients cost money. When you shop for yourself, you know that hamburger costs less than a T-bone. So, when you compare products, see whether the protein levels are the same. A 28%-protein grain-free dog food is typically cheaper than a 32%-protein grain-free brand. Different sources of protein affect the cost as well. Venison, for example, is more expensive than lamb, which is in turn more expensive than beef. However, since the amino acid profiles of both venison and lamb are similar, there is no noticeable benefit to feeding your dog venison unless it is allergic to lamb.

One terrific resource for reviews and comparisons of dog food available in Australia is petfoodreviews.com. The 5-star-rated dog foods are the only ones you should consider.

To jumpstart your search, here is their review of our 5-star-rated dog food, completely grain-free, sourced and manufactured in Australia, that meets all the above recommendations and more. Plus, we offer free delivery. Find out more at Stay Loyal Grain Free Formula .