Does My Dog Need More Water In Winter?

Does My Dog Need More Water In Winter?

We often think of dogs getting hot and thirsty in the summer time, so we take extra care to make sure water is in plentiful supply. You may give your dog ice cubes, wet down their food and even let them play in a sprinkler. We know the risks of dehydration and hyperthermia (heatstroke) and are therefore very diligent about our dog’s water intake.


Interestingly, water intake in cold months should be just as closely monitored, if not more, since your dog may not be as likely to drink on their own when it’s cold out. However, your dog needs to stay hydrated to stay healthy during cold months – there are several reasons for this.

#1 – lower humidity leads to dehydration

Cold dry air can make your dog dehydrated just the same as hot dry air. And, homes that are being heated will have drier air as well as a by-product of electric, gas or even wood stove heating.

#2 – The Body Needs Water To Produce ATP Which It Uses More Of In Cold Temperatures

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a molecule that is used to make energy to fuel the cells in our bodies. While there are several ways our bodies create and use ATP, one of the most affective is part of the cellular respiration. Water is used to split apart ATP to create ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to get energy.

It takes energy to stay warm in the winter. In fact, you may have noticed that your dog naps after a short run outside or doesn’t seem to want to go as far on a walk. They may also seem hungrier, because their body needs more energy to function. It also means that your dog is using more ATP and ADP to keep their body going. Without enough water, ATP/ADP production is slowed.

#3 – It’s Hot In The House

Not only is the humidity less in the house because of the heater, you may also have it warmer than your dog likes it. What’s comfortable for a person in a t-shirt could be a bit too warm for your dog, especially if they have a double-coat. Watch to make sure you are not over-heating your dog and be sure he has plenty of water available at all times.

You may find your dog actually drinks more in the winter. You can check if your dog is drinking enough by checking the colour of their urine. If its clear chances are your dog is drinking enough. If the urine looks a concentrated yellow then your dog probably needs more water.

If you think your dog is not drinking enough, however, you can add water to their food, or add something to their water, such as a dash of broth or even apple cider vinegar to get them to drink it. I like to male up a chicken broth and give them a warm drink. I find about 200ml for 20kg dog is fine. Although not common, if you think he is dehydrated to the point where there is a health risk, take him to see the veterinarian.

The bottom line: keep that water bowl clean and full at all times, no matter the weather.

Is Your Large or Giant Breed Puppy Getting TOO Much CALCIUM?

Is Your Large or Giant Breed Puppy Getting TOO Much CALCIUM?

We all know that calcium is important for bone growth and so it’s natural to think, bigger puppy, bigger bones must need more calcium! And it’s true. Too little calcium can cause serious issues in your large or giant breed puppy. BUT remember that old saying, “Too much of a good thing…?” Too much calcium (along with phosphorus and fats) can have adverse effects on large or giant breed puppies.

Large or giant breeds are any dog that will get over 25kg when they reach maturity. Unlike their smaller counterparts, these breeds:



These two reasons affect their nutritional needs and can cause problems if they are not fed correctly. Calcium is a leading culprit.

There are 3 proven causes of Hip and Elbow DYSPLASIA IN DOGS:

1. Genetics (which you can’t do anything about, except for choosing your breeder carefully and even then, there’s some chance)

2. Overfeeding


A common misconception is that too much protein in a large breed puppy’s food will cause bone issues. However, this was actually disproved in 1991 by RC Nap and a group of researchers. They studied the effect of different diets on the skeletal development of Great Dane puppies. The published findings “Growth and Skeletal Development in Great Dane Pups Fed Different Levels of Protein Intake,” showed no difference between the puppies fed a high protein, normal protein or even low protein diet.

Another study of Great Danes in Germany in 1995 showed that free feeding these puppies greatly increased the risks of skeletal disease. In addition several studies, have shown an excessive amount of calcium will have the same affect.


Because puppies (under the age of six months especially) cannot regulate how much calcium is absorbed in their intestinal tracts like adult dogs can. Extra calcium absorption leads to rapid bone growth, which increases the risk of joint disease and hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD). Other issues may include compromised blood supply in the bones and a decrease of new bone growth.

HOD mentioned above will show symptoms of painful, swollen joints and growth plates in the leg bones. Your puppy may be lame, show an unwillingness to move, lethargy, and not want to eat. They may also run a high fever (up to 106 degrees).

Unfortunately, guidelines when it comes to dog food are murky and while for large breed puppies governing bodies give suggested minimum and maximum for calcium in their food, they are not regulated. This means dog food companies do not need to follow these guidelines and on most bags of food, you will only see a MINIMUM listed, not a maximum. Stay Loyal Large Breed Puppy has a maximum calcium level printed on the bag that we follow to reduce the risk of your puppy developing bone issues as he grows.

A Final WARNING: Switching your large/giant breed puppy over to an adult formula too soon can result in too much calcium as well! Large breed puppies should stay on puppy food for longer than regular breeds – between 12-24 months for most large breeds. Your vet can help you determine when it’s safe to make the switch by looking at your pup’s growth plates.

So How Much Calcium, Phosphorus and Fat?

Here are the recommended levels of calcium, phosphorus and fat by the Great Dane community, these are the result of researching many studies on large breed dogs.

• Calcium 1.1% to 1.3%

• Phosphorus 0.8% to 1.0%

• Fat 12% to 14%

The best thing to do is make sure you are feeding your large breed puppy food that is appropriate for his age and future adult size AND that you have read the label carefully. If the food does not list a maximum calcium, it’s best to not risk feeding that food. You can check out the Stay Loyal Large Breed Puppy formula here.

Resources: Source for 1991 Study:

Source for AAFCO standards:

Does My Dog Need A Jacket In Cold Weather?

Does My Dog Need A Jacket In Cold Weather?

Putting clothes on dog is a topic that can quickly escalate into a heated debate – with passionate people on both sides. Some call it cruel – others say their dog likes being “dressed up.” Putting the fashion-forward pup aside, new dog owners may wonder if their dog doesn’t need a jacket during these cold winter months.

A Look At Dog Coat Types

By coat, we mean the coat your dog was born with – his fur. There are different coat types, depending on what your breed was designed and bred for. Even if your dog is a mixed breed, chances are his coat resembles one of these:

Smooth coat. Smooth-coated breeds have one layer of hair that is smooth and soft. Examples of short-haired, single-coated breeds are Chihuahuas, Pugs and Weimaraners (unless you happen to have a rare long-haired Weimie, they have a double coat). Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese are examples of long-haired single coated dogs. Poodles also have a single coat that is curly.

Double coat. A double coated dog has a thick undercoat and then a top layer. They can be short-haired, like the Labrador Retriever, or long like the Shetland Sheepdog.

Wired-haired dogs can be either double (Schnauzer) or single coated (Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier). And then of course there are the few breeds that are hairless (or close), such as the Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintle.

Some Coats Are Warmer Than Others!

As you have probably guessed, your dog’s coat does affect how warm he stays! Breeds with double coats were bred in climates that were cold or where the dog would be in the elements, including water, a lot and needed extra protection. The downy undercoat they shed out helps insulate them against cold weather. So dogs like Huskies, Saint Bernards and Shelties are pretty comfortable in cold weather – they are already wearing their fur coat!

Breeds that were bred in warm climates and have a single coat – like the Chihuahua – or no coat at all – like the Xoloitzcuintle – may need a jacket or jumper to be comfortable outside, especially for extended periods of times. Just like humans, DOGS CAN GET HYPOTHERMIA, so be sure to watch for signs of this in your dog and do not leave them out all night in winter.

Signs include:

· Shivering

· Slowed breathing

· Lack of alertness

· Weakness

· Dilated pupils

ALSO be watchful of puppies, senior dogs and dogs that are sick or injured. These dogs’ bodies may not be able to regulate temperature as well as a healthy adult dog, and may require more protection, even if they have a double coat.

Has your dog been shaved? If your dog has been shaved, his double coat may not have come back fully when the cold weather hits. If that’s the case, this dog might also need a coat when outside.


Do not leave any dog’s jacket on when they are inside. So if you took your dog to the vet or to the store, take off their jacket or jumper once inside, to avoid overheating. Just like they can get hypothermia, your dog can also overheat in those clothes. So also watch for signs of overheating and remove the jacket (even if you are outside) if your dog looks too warm.

Signs of overheating:

· Panting

· Bright red tongue

· Red or pale gums

· Weakness

· Vomiting

So if you have a single-coated dog who takes long walks on really cold winter mornings, a jacket might make him more comfortable. But putting a jacket on a Husky could cause him to overheat. The main thing is to use your best judgement and then watch for signs that your dog is too cold or too hot and adjust his attire accordingly. If he is still shivering even in his jumper, it might be a good day to stay indoors and snuggle in front of the Television. Following these rules will help your pup survive the winter in comfort and keep you from the vet’s office.

Is One of Australia’s Most Popular Dog Breeds Right for you?

Is One of Australia’s Most Popular Dog Breeds Right for you?

So you’ve decided to get a dog and you already have a breed in mind. Maybe a good friend has one that you adore, or you’ve seen them on TV and just think they are the coolest. But loving the way a dog looks is only skin deep – every breed has their pros and cons and you should be sure the breed you choose fits in with your lifestyle. Picking a dog breed that fits you will help ensure you both live happily ever after.

The following are the current top five breeds in Australia (according to the Australian National Kennel Club) and their ownership requirements.

1. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the world’s most popular breeds, so it’s not surprise he’s number one in Australia. They are normally great with children and other pets, require little grooming and are fairly easy to train. Their sweet disposition makes them easy to fall in love with too. But that doesn’t mean they are right for every household. Here are some things to consider before getting a Labrador Retriever:

* They often have allergies (a good food like Stay Loyal can really make this an easy thing to manage).

* They are medium energy and will need some type of daily exercise that is more strenuous than a walk. They love fetch or sports, such as agility.

* They are hard chewers! Bred to carry back the hunt, Labs love to put things in their mouth and many a puppy has become very unpopular around the house due to die-hard chewing habits.

* Their double coat sheds pretty much year-round.

* Due to a gene, Labs always feel hungry and are constantly looking for food, including begging and getting into the trash can. This means you need to be careful with their potions making sure you don’t overfeed.

* Labs are a water dog so if you live near lakes or rivers and lover your water sports they could be a great choice.

2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a personality like the Labrador – they are sweet and get along great with children. But, like the Labrador, there are somethings that need to be taken into consideration before welcoming one into your family:

* They are very strong for their size, so if you don’t train them properly, walking can become difficult.

* They are a medium energy breed and so again, will need more than just a daily walk to satisfy their exercise requirements.

* Very intelligent and trainable, but you must put the work in.

* They do not like to be alone and are prone to separation anxiety.

3. French Bulldog

It is almost impossible to not fall in fall love with the adorable Frenchie! This breed is known for being tenacious, loving, and easy-going. They do very well in urban settings due to their laid-back nature and

the fact that they don’t need a ton of exercise to stay fit. Here are some things to think about before bringing one home:

* Probably the biggest drawback are the potential vet bills. Being a brachycephalic breed, they are prone to all kinds of issues that involve the nose, throat, neck and spine.

* They are not the longest lived dogs.

* They overheat easily. And often die from heat exhaustion. If you don’t have air conditioning, you may have a hard time keeping a Frenchie comfortable in the summer.

* You have to watch for over-exertion when exercising.

* Their double coat sheds practically year-round

* They are prone to allergies (again, a food like Stay Loyal can make this manageable!)

4. German Shepherd Dog

Intelligent and extremely loyal, it’s easy to see a well-trained police dog or performer on TV and want one for yourself. But the German Shepherd’s working dog ancestry means he can be a handful if not in the right home. Here are some things to think about:

* They are high energy and need a job. If you don’t give them one, they will find one, like herding the cat or barking at cars going by.

* They can be reactive to things in their environment.

* They need to be properly socialized to be friendly toward strangers and other animals.

* They often have hip issues and spine issues.

* If you get a long-haired Shepherd, you will need to spend time grooming them or they will get mats.

5. Border Collie

Not much needs to be said about the Border Collie. We all know they are a smart, athletic, and easy to train dog that can do just about anything we ask. However, this doesn’t mean they thrive in any home environment. Keep these things in mind before you get a Border Collie:

* Like the German Shepherd, Border Collies are high energy and need a job. They will develop the same annoying habits as the shepherd if not given enough exercise.

* They can be vocal and bark when they are excited, happy, stressed, upset, etc.

* They can be reactive to things in their environment.

* They can be timid toward strangers.

* If you get a rough-coat, you will need to spend time grooming them or they will get mats.

Thinking over these things before adding any of these breeds to your home will help you choose the one that best fits your lifestyle – how much exercise you do, how often you are alone, if you want/like to groom a dog, etc. For instance, if you are an urban-dwelling couch surfer who prefers short walks to the park, the Frenchie might be your new best friend. If you have a big backyard, want to do dog sports, and have plenty of time to train, the Border Collie will be a fantastic partner. Take your time, look at many breeds and then make your choice wisely, because it’s a lifelong commitment.

New Study Shows Your Dog’s Food Could Make Him More Likely to Gain Weight!

New Study Shows Your Dog’s Food Could Make Him More Likely to Gain Weight!


No, we don’t mean overfeeding your dog (although that is the number one reason most dogs are overweight!). New research published in mBio shows that the ratio of protein and carbohydrates in food can have a direct effect on your dog’s gut and may be causing weight gain and hindering weight loss.

The research was spurred by previous research done on the human gut, which showed that certain microbial species located in the gut may be directly affecting a person’s ability to gain or lose weight, specifically Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. 32 Labs and 32 Beagles were tested – with equal numbers of lean and obese dogs in each group. For the first month, the dogs were all fed the same baseline diet. Then, half the group received a high-protein, low-carb diet and half received high-carb, low-protein.

After two months, the dogs on the high-carb diet had more Bacteroides uniformis and Clostridium butyricum. This means their bodies were absorbing more fat than other dogs, and therefore gaining weight.

Conversely, then, your dog’s food could HELP HIM LOSE WEIGHT!

The other side of this coin, then, is that they found that food that was high in protein but low in carbohydrates had decrease in the ratio of Bacteroides to Firmicutes bacteria.

Interestingly, they found that dogs that were already obese or overweight had more pronounced results than the dogs that were lean. This means overweight dogs will see a bigger difference in their gut balance based on their diet. So you can help your pup lose weight easier just by switching their food!

Gut trouble may lead to even WORSE issues!

Other studies in humans have linked gut microbe imbalances to a host of other issues including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, immune disorders and liver and brain diseases. Researchers believe these same issues may also be present in canines. The researchers are hoping that further studies will be conducted to show more connections between a dog’s health and his gut. They also believe this will help modify the pet food market, including the use of probiotics or prebiotics to help with weight loss.

We’re ahead of the game.

Stay Loyal is over 32 percent protein, one of the highest in the industry. It is low in carbs, so your obese dog can lose weight quicker and your lean dog will stay lean. This means it will help your dog’s gut stay balanced in the right direction – no more running his legs off to lose a pound, just to gain two! And, we include prebiotics which feed the good microbes, to help your dog’s gut and immune system stay healthy. You still need to watch your dog’s portions but now you know the weight will come off faster than with a low protein food.

Research is proving what we already knew – the food makes the dog!