How to Protect your Pet’s Paws this Winter?

Winter can be harsh on your pet’s naked paws. The cold weather, ice, snow, and cold floor can crack their paws and even peel the soft skin. Ailing paws can be a trouble for the pets.

Taking your pet outdoor or for the hiking during winter can lead to many troubles too. You should ensure to provide enough protection to their fragile paws to keep them safe.

Here are some tips to keep their paws safe

Keep your dog's nails trimmed

Long nails make your dog's toes spread when they walk. This allows more room for snow and ice to build up between the toes. This can be a painful experience. Untrimmed nails can also affect your dog's weight distribution, pushing their overall weight onto the back of their feet. This creates less traction in the feet and they will be more likely to slip on icy surfaces.

Trim the fur between Toepads

By trimming the fur between their toe pads you’ll level the pad fur with the pads themselves. This helps to reduce the amount of snow, salt, and grit accumulation between the toes. Compacted snow salt on your dog's feet makes walking difficult for them and can also affect their ability to stay on their feet.

Lubricate paws before heading outdoors

Cold weather, ice, and salt can cause your dog's pads to dry out and crack. You can prevent this by wiping his paws with Vaseline or cooking spray before you take him out for a walk. Be sure to keep him off slick surfaces inside the house, such as tile, and outside the house, such as ice.

Consider dog booties

Dog booties are a great way to keep your dog's feet safe and in good condition, particularly when the ground is hot, wet, or snowy. Dog booties provide optimum protection from any outside elements and help your dog retain body heat. It’s common for dogs to not take to wearing boots as it can be uncomfortable for them. Try a gradual approach, and let them sink into it for a while. Let them wear booties inside the house for short periods of time and offer them a prize or treats

Check your De-icer

De-icer can produce salt and other ice-melting granules or chemicals that can irritate your dog's paws. It can also cause stomach ailments if ingested. When choosing a De-icer you should consider buying non-toxic options, such as sand, gravel, and non-clumping cat litters. If you do use salt or chemical deicers, choose to buy "pet safe" brands.

Wash your dog's paws after walks

When coming inside the house from the outdoor, consider washing your dog’s feet with a warm water or rinse them. This helps to warm up their cold paws. It will also wash off any salt or deicing chemicals residue formed between their toes.

Apply Vaseline on Dog’s Paws

The snow, ice, and salt can cause your dog's pads to dry out and crack. You should consider wiping their paws with Vaseline or cooking spray before you take them outdoors. Consider keeping them off slick surfaces inside the house, such as tile, and outside the house, such as ice.


If you notice any trouble with their paws, do consider visiting our veterinarian at the earliest.

What Causes Eye Boogers in Dogs?

Eye boogers generally refer to a buildup of mucus in the eyes. While blinking the eyes, the eye flushes out the secretions of rheum, a watery fluid. The mucus generally accumulated in most quantity while sleeping.

Mucus helps protect the eyes from dirt, chemicals, soil, and other foreign agents. Eye boogers are generally harmless, however, in some cases, the discharge of eye booger may exceed and cause problems in pets.

Allergies

Dogs may experience allergy of grass, pollen, dust, pollen and other antibodies that lead to a physical reaction like eye discharge. Some breeds are particularly prone to allergies namely terriers, setters, retrievers, and flat-faced dogs like bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers. Some of the common symptoms of dogs experiencing allergies are:

  • Itchy and runny eyes
  • Irritated skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Pawing at eyes

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva. It’s also known as ‘the pink eye’. The conjunctiva is a thin transparent layer of tissue that sits on the inner surface of the eyelid. You should get your dog checked with the Vet immediately if you notice pus-like eye boogers and excessive redness in and around the eye. Conjunctivitis can be troublesome for pets as they often paw their eyes due to irritation. Pet’s conjunctivitis is transmittable to humans too.

Epiphora

Epiphora is the excessive watering of the eye. It’s common for eyes to produce water, however, it can be a problem if they start producing excessive water. Signs of Epiphora are excess wetness around the eyes, brown stains underneath the eyes, a smelly odor, and skin irritation. This condition is more noticeable in breeds with lighter fur. You should consider visiting the Vet if you notice any such condition.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca is also known as the Dry eye disease (DED) or the Dry eye syndrome (DES). It is a multifactorial disease of the tears and the ocular surface that results in discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface. KCS occurs when the tear gland gets infected or when it experiences trauma. Some of the common symptoms of KCS are yellowish discharge, inflammation around the eye, excessive blinking or swelling of the eyelids. It may also lead to corneal disease or damage if not treated soon.

Glaucoma

The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve helps to transmit images to the brain. If the damage continues, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. Some dog breeds are more prone to Glaucoma such as Poodles, Chow Chows, and Cocker Spaniels. Glaucoma is also common in senior or the aging dogs.

There are two types of glaucoma in dogs. Primary glaucoma is when the eye is unable to drain, causing fluid to build up inside the eye. Secondary glaucoma is caused when the eye is impacted by trauma (such as inflammation or cancer), which physically blocks drainage.


Eye boogers in common conditions are usual, however, daily cleaning of the eyes is essential to keep your pet’s health in check. Most ailments in pets occur when the initial problems aren’t corrected on time.

How Pets help to minimize Stress?

Pets are more than a part of the ownership. They are life companions. We share a special bond with our pets. Most of the times, they’re our savior and confidants.

Studies show that interactions with therapy animals can decrease stress in humans.

Playing with pets is known to increase oxytocin in the blood, a stress-reducing hormone, and is also linked to decreasing in cortisol – the stress hormone. The increase in oxytocin helps to keep you calm, relaxed, and happy. There are many psychological and physical benefits to owning a pet.

Another study revealed that owning a pet help you live longer.

Here are some of the benefits of owning pets

Improve Your Mood

Owning a pet and playing with them helps to refresh your mood. The constant care, touch, playtime, and company helps to keep your mood fresh. Owning a pet is linked to decreasing stress, depression, and other psychological trauma. A recent study suggested that men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet.

Control Blood Pressure

Humans generally take drugs to keep their blood pressure in check. While it’s true that drugs can keep your Blood pressure in control, however, it has many long-term drawbacks. The rise in BP can cause stress, hypertension, and other stress-related ailments. Playing or hanging out with pets tend to keep you fit and keep your heart rate and pressure in check. In a study, it was revealed that hypertensive stockbrokers who got dogs and cats were found to have lower blood pressure!

More Time for Exercise

Owning a pet keeps you fit. It encourages to go out with your dog, often jogs, hit the gym, visit the park, plays with pets etc. Daily walking or jogging keeps your heart rate in check. Dog owners spend more time walking than non-pet owners. Regular exercise is good for stress management and overall health. Owning a pet can be credited with increasing health benefits.

Help with Socialization

Walking a pet often helps you to meet other people. While walking a dog, you often meet neighbors, pet owners, and friends. This helps to socialize and keep your social life maintained. Pet owners often hang out together, or get together!

Confidants

You can share anything with pets because they can’t tell anyone! You can share your secrets with pets, tell them about your problems and worries. People tell pets the things they can’t tell other people.

Personal Touch

The importance of touch is undeniable and has been proven to be beneficial by the psychologists. A recent article in Psychology Today revealed that physical touch decreases violence, builds trust, boosts the immune system, and reduces stress.

Increase in Self-esteem

A recent study from Miami University and Saint Louis University revealed that pet owners have better self-esteem than the non-pet owners. They tend to be less fearful and have lesser stress level.

It’s undeniable that owning a pet has many benefits. It’s time to get a new pet if you do not have one. The better is to get a pet from the shelter home or adopt one, as they equally need a companionship.

All About Canine Therapy

We know dogs as our friend, family member or even as police dogs. But, do you know they have been serving humans as therapy assistants, too? 

Canine therapy is the guided interaction between a person and a dog with the goal of comforting and increasing joy in a person with mental or physical health condition. The patients may learn to give command to the dogs, play with them or pet and care for him. Therapists observe their actions and behavior with the dog and use them for in other situations and further treatment. 

Why Dogs for Therapy?

Question might raise, why to use dogs for therapy when there are well educated and experienced people in therapeutic interventions? Like other animals, dogs are comforting, accepting and non-judgmental. Canine therapy is particularly beneficial when the patient is resistant to treatment and struggles for verbal communication. It's also very useful in treating children and teenagers with problem in focus. 

Therapy Dogs

Any dog can be a therapy dog as long as s/he is well tempered, obedient, well socialized and loves to cheer others up. Therapy dogs undergo extensive training before working with patients. They work with the people with special conditions, for example people with learning difficulties, in special places such as, hospital, nursing home, hospices, schools, stressful conditions and disaster areas. 

Types of Therapy Dogs

Generally, there are three types of therapy dogs.

Therapeutic Visitation Dogs

These are household pets. The pet guardians make time to take them to place of need in scheduled times. Patients in nursing homes or rehabilitation centers love to play with them. The visitation from their canine companion brightens up their day, comfort them and motivate them to uplift their self esteem. 

Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs

These dogs usually live in rehabilitation centers and assist physical and occupational therapists. They are a major part of the therapy and each of them have goals in individual's recovery such as, gaining motion in limbs, hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor control.

Facility Therapy Dogs

These dogs are trained particularly to work with the patients with Alzheimer's disease or other mental illnesses in nursing home. They live in the facility and are handled by trained member of the staff. 

Benefits of canine therapy

Anyone can benefit from dog's companionship, their unconditional love and care. Being with them for just some minutes is enough to overcome a whole day of stress and tension. Likewise, or more, people with special mental or physical conditions have been benefited by therapy dogs in many streams. 

  • Improved motor skills and joint movement 
  • Improved dependent or independent movements and increased physical activity
  • Decreased stress and relief from anxiety and depression
  • Increased focus and attention through hands-on interaction
  • Improved communication and social skills
  • Learning the appropriate way to treat themselves and others
  • Unconditional love, affection and nurturing
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Elevated mood
  • Reduced loneliness and enhanced sense of purpose
  • Setting and respecting boundaries
  • Motivation to stay in treatment and participate fully in therapy

Who Should Consider Canine Therapy?

Canine therapy can be useful for:

  • people undergoing chemotherapy
  • residents in long-term care facilities
  • people hospitalized with chronic heart failure
  • veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • children having physical or dental procedures
  • stroke victims and people undergoing physical therapy to regain motor skills
  • people with mental health disorders
  • people involved in substance abuse 
  • people with attachment issue

Risk of Canine Therapy

  • While uncommon, safety can be an issue with canine. If used unsuitable dog, it can harm the patients.
  • On the other hand, risk is always there that the patients with mental condition and bad temper can harm the dog.
  • The handler and guardian should always be careful about sanitation and cleanliness of the dog.
  • Some people might be allergic to dog dander, which can some time create serious medical issue.
  • People tend to be attached to things easily. Sometimes, the patients refuse to be detached from the canine companion. This sometimes, leads to low self-esteem and depression.

 

Life Expectancy of Dogs

Our dogs become so close to us, we want them to be with us forever. But unfortunately, dogs have life expectancy less than humans. However, studies have shown that the pet owners can play an important role in increasing their dogs' lifespan. The list of dogs' life expectancy according to dog breed is at the end of this article, but first let's talk about how pet owners can increase the life expectancy of their dogs.

Healthy diet

Healthy lifestyle, healthy diet above all, is the key to long and prosperous life. Maintaining nutritious diet for your dog from the early age helps increase its lifespan.

Medical Care

Regular health care, that is at least annual health examination, keeps prevents harmful diseases and conditions to worsen in the period of time. Buster shots together with regular health checkups result in healthy dog with longer lifespan.

Exercise

Exercise becomes more and more important for dogs as they age. With the increased age, they tend to be tired easily and can't move around much as in the young age. Therefore, the exercise started from an early age keeps their body muscles young.

Cross Breeding

Research shows that inbreed can lower the lifespan of dogs. Inbred dogs have a risk of carrying genes of illnesses that are common the their breed. Cross-breed dogs tend to inherit less of the illnesses and live a longer and healthier life.

Spaying/Neutering 

Studies have shown that spaying a puppy at a young age positively affects its lifespan. It reduces the risk of cancers such as, breast, uterus and ovaries. 

List of Dog breed and their life expectancy

Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

Winter is here and so is the most awaited Holiday season. It’s that time of the year when everyone is busy planning holidays and finding ways to have fun with the family.

In all these hullabaloos, pets are more prone to get into accidents. As a pet owner, ensuring a safe environment for your pets is essential.

Food

Dogs and cats tend to scavenge when out of sight. They basically forage on the dustbin, empty plates, and crates. To ensure their well-being you must ensure to keep the harmful food or food items away from them. The most essential thing is to keep the people-food away from them.

  • Chocolate is one of the most consumed food items during Holidays, however, it can be very harmful to pets. Chocolate contains caffeine, theobromine, and high-fat contents which are toxic for dogs and cats. Although the toxicity varies based on the type of chocolate, the size of your pet, and the amount they eat, it’s safer to keep chocolate off-limits for pets.
  • Keep sweet and baked goods out of their reach. Baked goods contain fats and sugar which is harmful to pets. Artificial sweetener, chocolate, and xylitol contain have been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
  • Turkey and turkey skin are harmful to pets. The fat and garlic content leads to pancreatitis.
  • Table scraps such as gravy and meat fat should be kept away from pets. Other items including onions, raisins, and grapes are harmful to pets too. Holiday foods are basically rich in sweetener and flavor. Pets’ digestive system doesn’t allow such food.
  • Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.

 

Decorating

Another essential aspect of holidays is the decorations. The decorations for the Christmas tree, fireplace, lightings and decorative are common forms of decorations which are basically made of plastic, crystal, glass, and other industrial parts.

  • Christmas trees can easily tip over if pets climb on them or try to catch the decorations. Consider tying your tree to the ceiling or a fixed pole to provide extra protection.
  • Water additives for Christmas trees can be hazardous to the pets. Do not add aspirin, sugar, and chemicals to the water for your tree if you have pets in the house.
  • Decorative and Ornaments can prove hazardous to pets. Broken ornaments can cause injuries, and ingestion of the same can cause intestinal blockage or internal damage. Consuming them sometimes require surgery.
  • Electric lights can cause burns or electric shock when a curious pet chews the cords.
  • Flowers and festive plants such as Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are among the common plants used in Holiday decoration that can prove to be dangerous and even poisonous to pets
  • Decorate candles are attractive to pets. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire.

As the holiday season is here, you should consider taking extra precaution if your own a pet. The pets who roam outside the house have higher chances of countering accidents or mishaps during the holidays.

How to keep Pets warm this winter?

Winter is here, and so is the time for you to get in the bed as soon as you reach home. Winter can be harsher for pets as they indulge in outdoor activities. Animals have a lesser appetite for cold weather.

5 common myths about dogs in winter

  • Furry and thickly coated pets such as Pomeranian, Samoyed, Chow Chow, Bearded Collie, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, and Bichon Frise can stay outside as they can keep themselves warm. Their thick coat and fur provide enough protection from the cold. This is completely wrong. Thickly coated pets need protection too
  • Dogs don’t need boots because their paws can’t freeze. Pets with furry feet tend to collect ice and snow between the toes can also largely benefit for feet protection.
  • Small pets can’t play winter sports. It’s actually a misnomer. Small pets can equally indulge in sports.
  • It’s ok to leave your pet inside the car because it’s winter. This can actually be dangerous. The car’s interior can get cold than the weather outside.
  • Dogs don’t need to exercise in the winter. This isn’t true. Dogs need regular exercise to burn the excess fat from overeating during winter.

Tips for keeping pets warm

  • Keep them indoors –You should bring them inside when the weather gets colder. If temperature drops, you should bring them inside for extra warmth. Keeping them outside can prove to be fatal. If you’re not able to bring them into your home you could keep them in a car-free shed or garage.
  • Provide protected outdoor shelter –Keep their kennel out of rain and snow. Dog’s shelter lacks enough protection. Make sure you build it in an area with no rain, snow, or wind. If possible, provide insulation.
  • Give them extra warmth –Put an extra blanket or tarpaulin over their kennel to help keep them warm.
  • Outdoor exercise –Exercising keeps them warm during winter. Even during winter, pets would need natural light and exercise to keep themselves fitter.
  • Extra bedding –Provide extra bedding for enough warmth and coziness. Give them plenty of bedding hay to snuggle into. You should change the bedding regularly.
  • A heating pad –using a heating pad can be a handy option. Place an animal-safe heat pad under their bedding for extra warmth.
  • Wrap up drinkable water –You should provide them with warm water. Drinking cold water during winter can invite many physical ailments.

Consider family photo with your pets

Pets fill our heart very quickly. They are more than our pets. They’re the part of our family! The best thing to value their contribution in our life is by memorizing them. What better than taking a family photo with them?

American Pet Products Association did an online survey of 1200 pet owners. “90% of pets” are considered the important part of the family. So why not give them the benefit of being a family. Do consider taking a photo of your pets and with your pets.

Most pets tend to be camera-shy. Here are some of the tips to take their photos better.

Use Natural Light

Do care to use natural light when taking a photo of your pet in the picture. Avoid flash as it not only causes red-eye but also frightens your pet. Most pets are unaware of photography or may find the enclosed room claustrophobic. Try to get them outside while taking a photo or use natural light or brightly lit room.

Keep the Eyes Sharp

Eyes speak for themselves. Animals are expressive and often extrovert when they are enjoying. It’s important to keep their eyes sharp when taking a portrait. So make sure to focus on your pet’s eyes and keep them sharp.

Indulge them

It’s practically impossible to get your pet to pose or appear in the photo if they aren’t interested. It’s very important that you make them feel comfortable and at ease. Instead of forcing them you can go to them. Most important is to get down to his level. Try to keep the camera on their eye-level to get the best out of a photo.

Give Value to their Character

It’s always fun to add value to their character. Instead of taking a dull picture, try to take a photo which speaks their character or nuances. If you have a lazy cat show him yawning, if your pet is of a playful type show him in action performing its favorite trick.

Surprise Them

It can be difficult to get your pet to stand still or indulge in an action you want to take the shot in. An easy trick is to let them indulge in whatever they’re doing or prepare everything beforehand to motivate them to indulge in an action you want to take the shot in.

Be Patient

Learn to be patient with your pets. It can be difficult to get them to understand what you’re trying to do. Photographing a pet requires a lot of patience. No matter how excited your furry friend is, if you are patient enough, they will end up by relaxing and you will have the opportunity to get a decent shot.

Experiment

Take your time and enjoy the photography session with your pets. Try different styles, poses, movements, and concepts to add value to the photo and make it livelier. Shoot a lot you will have time to worry about the results later.

Camera Tips

You would want to set your shutter speed on a fairly fast frame in case the pet moves. If you are using a traditional film camera, consider 400-speed films.

Dogs need Socialization too

Socialization is basically the process of introducing a dog or pup to in the company of other animals, humans, places, and environment. Socialization should begin at a young age which helps them to adapt to social circle and behavior. The ideal age is between 3 and 14 weeks of age for puppies.

Naturally, a dog socializes by interacting with other canines and learning their verbal cues and body language. Domestic dogs may need to learn socialization skills as they lack the natural learning environment at home. The socialization should continue into adulthood.

Adopting Adult Dogs

Most pet owners who adopt adult dogs need to introduce or reintroduce their new pets to socialization. It can be difficult to socialize adult pets as they need extra attention. The major thing to remember when socializing adult dogs is to be positive and encouraging. Correcting your dogs do not work well here and will likely create a more nervous dog

Socialize Dogs with Other Dogs

Take Your Dog Out to Observe Other Dogs

You can take your dog out in the park but do not go in yourself. Let your dog observe other dogs and their behavior. Every time a dog comes near the fence, offer them a treat. This creates a positive association with other dogs. If your dog reacts aggressively towards other dogs or animals, move further away and slowly move up until he is quiet.

Resist Tugging While Walking

When out walking with your dog if another dog comes into view, resist jerking on the lead or yelling at them. The dogs may see it as a negative experience. Instead, distract your dog with a treat or toy. Sway their attention towards you to avoid any negative interaction with other dogs.

Go to Dog Training Classes

To better train, your pet, go to ‘dog obedience classes’ which can be a great way to help socialize an adult dog. Dog training class is also a safe space for your dog to interact with other animals and humans. You can seek professional assistance to correct any wrong behavior in your dogs.

Socialize Dogs with Humans

Ignore Your Dog’s Unwanted Behaviors

It’s better to let go of your dogs’ mischiefs. When they tend to avoid human contact, you can ignore them and do something to persuade them to come out to you like playing with toys or bringing treats.

Act like Everything is Normal When He Acts Out

It’s normal for dogs to act out. They seek attention too like toddlers or young teenagers. The correct thing to do is not to mention it and act as if there’s nothing wrong. By acting as if your dog’s behavior is no big deal, you’re creating a calmer environment and, thus, a calmer dog.

Introduce People Slowly

You should start introducing them to other people slowly, like one new person every week. This encourages them to interact and adjust with humans. When the new person meets your dog, you can have them offer a treat and speak in calming and encouraging voice. Keep your dog on a leash at first but do not force him to go near the person. Let him take his time.

10 Best Training Dogs

Training is essential to keep any pet disciplined. Almost every breed of dog is smart enough to learn and can adapt to commands.

The first depending factor for training a dog is its age. Training at an early age makes a difference. Adapting to basic commands help for training in adulthood. An adult age is considered an optimum period for training any dog.

A dog’s physical and mental health plays an important part in deciding if they can adapt to training. If a dog is sick, injured or stressed, you should avoid training them.

Here are 10 Best Breeds

Labrador retriever

Labrador retriever is one of the most popular dog breed and generally are in huge demand. They are a gentle breed. Labrador retriever is easy to train, and are known for their playfulness, intelligence, versatility, and capability to learn anything at a short time. Training a young Labrador can be difficult due to their high energy and lack of attention.

German shepherd

The German shepherd is one of the most loyal and popular dog breeds around the world. Originally, a shepherd breed, today German shepherd is adopted in defense (military and police) and home. A staunchly loyal, intelligent, and dependable breed, they are highly trainable dogs and can pick things easily.

Golden Retriever

Golden and Labrador retriever are basically cousins. Alike their close keen, Golden Retriever is a highly dependable and loyal dog breed. A highly intelligent breed, they can be trained for almost anything.  They require daily exercise and make great hunting dogs too. They are a playful and highly energetic dog.

Poodle

Poodles are known for their unique look. You must have seen poodles mostly in films because they are a highly trainable breed and can adapt to new commands easily. They are capable of learning all sorts of tricks and commands. Poodles basically come in three sizes (standard, miniature and toy) and are hypoallergenic. The fit well to pet owners with allergies.

Australian Cattle Dog

A herding or shepherd dog, Australian Cattle Dog is known for their agility, strength, and courage. They are a highly trainable and intelligent dog breed and remain loyal throughout their life. They enjoy a challenging environment and can herd the cattle very well.

Doberman Pinscher

You might find it surprising but Doberman makes great pets. Despite a staunch reputation as a guard or attack dog, Dobermans can make great pets if trained properly. They are very fast and strong breed which requires a good amount of attention while training.

Australian Shepherd

Like Border Collies, Australian Shepherds are very adaptive and can learn lots of tricks and are great dogs for highly active owners. They are a hard working dog and can be a loyal breed for herding.

Miniature Schnauzer

Like its name, Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed. Despite its small size, it has a high amount of energy and agility. They can be highly loyal. They do tend to bark, but this is a behavior that can be curbed if you are able to teach the dog early on. Miniature Schnauzer makes great pets.

Papillon

Also known as Continental Toy Spaniel, they are known for their look. Like the Doberman, toy breeds don’t have the best reputation. But if they are trained properly, they can be great pets. They are smarter and enjoy plenty of exercise and activities.

Border Collie

Border Collies are incredibly smart and capable of learning a wide variety of tricks. Also known as ‘workaholic dogs,’ they are eager to constantly learn new things, which makes for great dogs to train. They are also popular as hunting dogs. They are highly active and will rarely sit still.


Almost every dog breed can be trained if managed by a professional. Find more on how to train your dog.