How To Keep Your Apartment Dog Happy & Healthy!

How To Keep Your Apartment Dog Happy & Healthy!

Many of us live in apartments or townhouses these days. Just because you lack space, doesn’t mean you should not get to enjoy the company of a dog. However, if you want your dog to be happy and healthy living mostly indoors, you may need to put some extra effort into his daily activities.

Stimulation & Exercise is Key to a Dog’s Happiness AND Well-being

An unhappy dog is often a destructive one. Which means it’s in your best interest to keep your dog happy and his mind stimulated through proper activities. Apartment dogs do not usually have free access to a yard where they can run and sniff to their heart’s content. Instead, they are locked in your apartment for eight or more hours a day while you are at work. SO, to keep your dog from getting bored (i.e. destructive), you are going to want to make sure your home is equipped with doggie toys.

Interactive toys that encourage “self-play” are what you should look for. Things like Kongs (you can stuff them with your dog’s Stay Loyal Breakfast, add a bit of water, and freeze, for a long-lasting meal that will keep him occupied) and puzzle toys are good for food games.

Balls that have crazy angles that move weird when the dog drops them encourages your dog to play ball by himself.

There are a few indoor tether toys for dogs that attach to a door or stand on the floor that are also for self-play. These are great to satisfy the dog that might otherwise be tugging on your shoes or chewing on your molding.

For those that like high-tech – they now make dog monitors that are interactive – they release food and even allow you to talk and play with your dog while you are away!

NONE OF THIS REPLACES REAL EXERCISE!

These items are just to keep your dog out of trouble while you are gone. Your apartment dog still needs real exercise every day. Depending on breed, age, and health, this may be a simple walk around the block, a vigorous game of fetch at the park, or a few mile run. Exercise keeps your dog trim, stimulates their brain, and tires them out so they are less likely to cause trouble. For the last reason, it’s advisable to exercise your dog before you leave for work if possible.

No time? Dog walkers that come to your apartment in the middle of the day and give your dog some attention and exercise can be real life savers for city-dwelling dogs. Also there are doggy daycare centers popping up everywhere. These places can provide simple monitoring of your dog or more lavish experiences like washing and or training.

Help Her Relax if You Are Away

Your dog (hopefully) will not be in constant motion while you are gone. You can help encourage relaxing and napping by giving your dog a “doggy cave.” It’s nothing major – just a crate with a cover over it and a nice soft bed (as long as your dog doesn’t chew such things!). Put it somewhere your dog normally likes to sleep and that isn’t going to be directly in the sun in hot weather or near a draft when it’s cold.

Have a Timid or Nervous Dog? This is Your New Best Friend!

The doggy cave is also helpful for dogs that are timid or nervous whether you are home or not. Apartments are tight spaces that can make a dog feel like he doesn’t have space to breath. A doggy cave gives your dog a place to go to “get away from everything.” Especially handy when you have guests over or young children. If your dog is timid or nervous, let your guests or children know that if your dog is in her “cave” to just let her be – she will come out when she is ready. Not letting people bother her in her cave makes it a safe place and your dog will learn to relax there, knowing no one will bother her. This simple solution can help prevent dog bites!

Food For Indoor Dogs

Finally, make sure you are feeding a high quality food like Stay Loyal. Our formula is made to help your dog stay at a healthy weight, even indoor dogs that are not getting as much exercise as dogs living on a farm.

BONUS FOR APARTMENT DOGS – Less food means less waste! Since you won’t be feeding your dog as much, and our food has no fillers to pass through, your dog will go to the bathroom less, which is nice for apartment dogs that have to hold it while you are at work.

In addition, Stay Loyal has vitamins added, including D, which indoor dogs may lack due to limited sun exposure (windows block vitamin D, so dogs who nap in the a sunny window spot still need to get vitamin D from somewhere).

As you can see, there is no reason why you can’t have a happy and healthy apartment dog. The above steps are simple enough for anyone to follow and won’t cost much either. And, the benefit to you is that a happy and healthy dog won’t destroy your apartment, bark all day and bother the neighbors, or cost you hundreds at the vet. So it’s a win-win.

Thinking of Getting a Puppy?

Thinking of Getting a Puppy?

Don’t Get A Puppy…Until You’ve Done These Things!

It’s easy to rush out and bring a pup home when puppy fever strikes. Then you get home and within a few hours panic sets in as you realize you were not really prepared – your home is a mess, you are missing supplies – you begin to wonder if you can handle owning a dog. To avoid this, spend a bit of time preparing for your new best friend before you bring him home. This will help you feel less overwhelmed and more confident in your role as a new dog owner.

Must Have Products For Puppy

Here are the things you should have on hand before you bring puppy home. This will make your job easier and your puppy more comfortable.

First, a trip to the…Baby store?

We know you are getting a puppy, not a baby! But, there are some vital items to be found at baby stores that can really help you keep your puppy safe and out of trouble. Look for child locks for cabinets and baby gates. While they do make dog gates, baby gates are often cheaper and work in the exact same way. These two items can be a literal life safer.

(If you are getting a long haired breed, you may also want to pick up a bottle of baby powder. It’s handy for detangling mats gently.)

Now To The Pet Store!

It’s easy to be overwhelmed at the pet store – you have more options now than ever before, even when it comes to something as seemingly simple as a leash. Here are the things you should think about purchasing before you bring your puppy home.

Food & water bowls – metal or ceramic are the best choices. Plastics absorb odor and bacteria. Make sure you get a size that fits your puppy, even if it means you will need a bigger one as she grows. Some may be too deep for really tiny puppies to reach.

Crate – if you plan on crate training (and it really is a great thing to do!), start as soon as possible. The younger your puppy is, the easier it is to get them accustomed to it.

Pee pads – if you plan on using pee pads to potty train your pup, make sure you get plenty of these before you bring him home. Most puppy owners find that the trays they sell to put them in do not work – they just become a chew toy. Instead, you can keep them in place with painter’s tape.

Leash & collar – if you know how big your puppy is, then pick out a collar for her so you are all ready to take her out to potty (especially important for apartment life where you may not have a yard). Type of collar and leash is really up to you – leather lasts longer but is more expensive and you know your puppy is just going to grow out of it. Martingale collars are great for breeds with “bullet” heads like Shelties and Greyhounds because they can’t slip out of them. For the lead, 6-feet gives them enough room to explore and go potty, while keep them close so they can’t get into trouble.

Toys – be sure to buy a few toys for your puppy to play and chew on. You should buy several kinds (different sounds, materials, etc.), in case your puppy ends up not like a certain type. Buy more durable

toys to leave with your puppy when you are not watching him. Save the stuffed animals and those that are easily destroyed for playtime with you. Don’t give your puppy all the new toys at once – instead rotate them every week or two so your puppy stays interested in them. Toy rotation saves you money because you don’t have to keep buying new toys when your dog gets bored.

Bath necessities – Don’t forget to buy shampoo and conditioner for your puppy. He may be clean now, but they get dirty fast! Plus, puppyhood is the best time to get your dog used to getting baths. Make sure you pick an all-natural shampoo/conditioner that is safe to use on puppies.

Nail trimmers – This is another thing that is easier if it’s trained early.

Then there are some things that are optional, depending on your living environment and where you plan to have your puppy. X-pens are great if you want to give your puppy a small area in a larger room that is not easily divided with baby gates. If you have a long-haired breed, buy a soft brush so you can start getting her used to grooming at a young age.

Don’t Forget The Most Important Thing…Food!

Usually the breeder will send you home with a small of whatever they were feeding the puppy so that you can transition to a different food without upsetting her stomach. Since many breeders feed low-quality foods, you will want to switch to a higher quality food like Stay Loyal. Stay Loyal’s Original formula is formulated for dogs at all life stages. If you are getting a large breed, choose our specially formulated Large Breed Puppy food that will help them grow at the appropriate rate. Higher quality food will make a big difference in some key factors of a new dog owner’s life:

1. You won’t have to feed as much food!

2. Less poop (and what you have will be less smelly)! Our food doesn’t have all the fillers low-quality food does. Fillers are ingredients that do nothing for your dog, and are just there to make the food more palatable or make him feel full. All those ingredients get passed right through, meaning more poop. Our food means less waste for you to pick up and less chance of accidents in the house while you are potty training. Strong smells, loose stool, and diarrhea are often caused by these fillers – not something you want if your puppy does have an accident in the house.

Choosing a puppy is the fun part – deciding breed, gender, color – it truly feels like Christmas. Getting the things above ahead of time allows you to relax and truly enjoy the day you pick up your new best friend. Then, all you will have to worry about is what to name him! Once your puppy is home, training should start. To help, follow this link and get our FREE puppy training tips that will make sure you and your puppy get off on the right paw.

How to Boost Your Dog’s Diet by Pairing Raw Food with Stay Loyal!

How to Boost Your Dog’s Diet by Pairing Raw Food with Stay Loyal!

Here at Stay Loyal, we are all about making sure your dog has the best nutrition possible, so she lives a longer, healthier life. Feeding good food saves you money, not just on the food itself, but in vet bills. Just like humans, dogs need a balanced diet. And, just like human food, no dog food can be completely balanced. On the other hand, raw diets are often lacking vitamins and minerals that are essential to your dog’s health as well (thiamine and vitamin B1 deficiency being the two most often seen in raw fed dogs). For these reasons, we recommend adding raw foods to your Stay Loyal food for a balanced diet and healthier dog. There are two types of raw foods you can add to our food – meat and vegetables/fruits. Since dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats, vegetables and fruits do have nutritional benefits for your dog and should be part of their diet.

Raw Meat

We recommend raw meaty bones be added to your dog’s meal two to three times a week. Raw meaty bones like chicken neck (thyroid removed) and chicken wings for small dogs and lamb necks, shanks, brisket and flaps for larger dogs. Beef brisket is also great if your dog doesn’t have a beef allergy.

Raw Meaty Bones are possibly the best teeth cleaning product on the market. Your dog’s teeth are made for tearing and chewing meat and bone. This activity is what cleans them, helping prevent your dog from developing periodontal disease – which will lead to vet bills and even death!

DO NOT COOK MEATY BONES!

Cooked bones become hard and can crack teeth. They are also known to splinter and can cause obstruction. If you have a senior dog and you are worried that even raw bones may break their teeth, you can watch them and remove the bone after they have gotten the meat off. I find lamb brisket and flaps to be quite soft so maybe give them a go.

It’s safest to buy human-grade meat. Studies have shown that raw meats marked for “pets” are not handled as safely as those marked for humans, with over half of them testing positive for E. Coli. While dog’s stomachs can handle some bacteria, feeding it every day can lead to problems.

To help avoid obstruction or choking, be sure you are feeding a raw meaty bone that’s the right size for your dog. For example, a chicken bone could easily be swallowed whole by a Dane and get stuck in his throat. You can also watch your dog to make sure he is chewing and not swallowing whole.

When introducing the bones to your dog make sure you watch them carefully for the first week or two, to make sure they are cautious while chewing on their bone. Some dogs are better about this than others. Some dogs are just gutses and maybe need a special type of bone that suits their enthusiasm. Or maybe its safest for them to never have bones. Be aware that raw meaty bones do occasionally cause issues in a small number of dogs that don’t chew properly. I myself have never had a problem but have heard of bones getting stuck on the way down, so again, some common sense and supervision while feeding meaty bones.

Raw Meaty Bones Help the Anal Glands Excrete Naturally!

What to do if your dog seems constipated after eating bones. As long as the stool comes out, it is fine. I believe these hard stools are a good thing. Here’s why, the hard stool on the way out puts pressure on

the anal glands and makes them excrete. The way nature intended. If your dog actual can’t poo from eating the raw meaty bones, switch to something with less bone and more meat. Or add a bit of Stay Loyal to the meal to add fiber, which will help the stool come out easier.

Finally – there have been a couple recalls recently from big name pet food companies whose wet food were contaminated with elevated levels of naturally occurring thyroid from animal gullets contained in the food. The United States Food & Drug Administration is warning that dogs have already gotten sick from food where the thyroid gland was not completely removed. It can cause weight loss, restlessness, elevated thirsty and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, and even hypothyroidism. So this is another reason to buy human-grade raw meaty bones, rather than pre-packaged raw dog foods.

Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits & vegetables can also add nutrients to your dog’s diet. Some, such as carrots and strawberries, can be fed raw. Others, like pumpkin should be cooked first. Green beans can be canned, frozen, or fresh. If buying canned, be sure you buy the “no salt added” cans. Fruits and vegetables should be added in strict moderation. Some, like pumpkin and green been, add fiber to your dog’s diet and so can help if your dog is having constipation. Green beans are also great if you are working on your dog losing weight – they help your dog feel full without adding too many extra calories. Most fruits and veggies are safe for dogs, but if you are not sure, ask your vet first. Remember to avoid apple cores and seeds, for example.

All Good Things In Moderation!

Just like everything in life, too much of a good thing can do harm. For vegetables, keep them below 10 percent of your dog’s diet.

Too many meaty bones can lead to pancreatitis or gastroenteritis due to the fat content (not to mention weight gain!), so be sure to stick to just two to three times a week as mentioned above and moderate sized servings.

Mixing these raw foods in with your Stay Loyal dog food will keep them happy and healthy, from head to tail, for years to come.