Tips to build a strong bond with your Furry Friend

It's never too late to strengthen your bond with your furry friend. Whether you've been together for a few days or over ten years, you can always do special things to enrich your closer relationship with your dog. From eye contact to occasional play times, there are hundreds of activities that can bring you two closer.

So, how do you know when you've bonded well with your furry friend?

An article on Rover.com points out that;

If your dog makes regular, visual contact with you in new environments, it means your bond is strong. Similarly, a bonded dog is far less likely to run away. Bonded dogs tend to have a strong recall response and make sure their person is close by in new situations.

If you’re wondering about it, here are some tell-tale signs:

  • They readily make constant eye contact
  • They cling to you when walking or in a new environment
  • They're thrilled to see you when you get back home from work or study.
  • They're relaxed with or around you.
  • They snuggle your stuff like carrying your shoes around in their mouth
  • They listen and respond to you
  • They seek out your affection

10 Best Tips to Build Stronger Bond with Dogs

Here we have compiled a list of ten different activities that will help to build an even stronger bond with your dog.

Exercise Together

 

Exercising together not only helps to shed the fat but also brings you two closer. Indulging in any physical activity together is known to boost Oxytocin, a hormone associated with empathy, trust, and bonding. Here are some ways you can exercise together.

  • Take a hike to the nearby forest, hills, or trails.
  • Go for a trail run if your dog is agile and very athletic.
  • Go for a swim together. Many pools allow dogs to swim.
  • Indulge in catch and let-go, Frisbee, chase and hide & Seek games.
  • Jog or walk together to the park.

Exercising is often the most preferred method of bonding because it stimulates both of you physically and mentally.

Be careful about taking your pup and older dogs for a run. They're often better with occasional, less-strenuous exercises.

Train them every day/Teach them Tricks

Dogs crave mental stimulation, and they love having a job. It's your job to keep them indulged in physical and mental training that boots their neurological development.

If you're wondering, dogs have an aptitude for learning from an early age. This is why trainers always recommend teaching them new commands from an early age.

Learning new tricks and training is an enriching experience for dogs; hence you should use this opportunity to strengthen your bond with them.

Start with teaching basic commands like Sit, Run, Stop, Rollover, etc. Teach new tricks every time after they've learned one. Dogs who have to stay all by themselves often indulge in reenacting tricks; hence, you should teach them new tricks by using positive reinforcement techniques.

Give them a Massage and Brushing.

 

Grooming is equally essential to dogs' health: regular grooming and massaging help combat stress, physical ailments, injuries, and vein blockage.

You can either take them to a professional groomer or even groom them at home using the right brushes and tools. Grooming them by yourself is a great idea to boost your bond. Your dog will always look forward to a brushing session from you.

Consider massaging them on a regular interval. It is incredibly beneficial for your dog’s health, flexibility, and circulation. It will help increases oxygen flow to the blood, relieves pain and muscle tension, alleviates anxiety, and remove the chances of hip or joint dysplasia.

Older dogs will enjoy frequent massages because of bone and joint ailment that is more common in the older age.

Engage in playtime

Schedule a little fun for every day. Playing games will stimulate your dog's mood and body and strengthen your bond with them!

You can indulge in a great many games with them, including playing game of tug, building an obstacle course, catching Frisbee or balls, or other mind-stimulating games.

Experts suggest indulging your dog in mentally stimulating games at home to beat stress and boredom and help for neurological development.

Regular, active play can also help cut down on problem behaviors, according to a study released by Bristol University.

Feed them personally

Your dog will love to eat out of your hand. Although it isn't possible to feed them by hand all the time, you can make sure to feed homemade dog treats occasionally, and a piece of food by hand, like when you go out, after a play, after a bath, and on other occasions.

Hand-feeding your dog is another way to build a special bond with your dog. They'd love to slurp the treat of your palm.

Create and stick to the routine

Your dog will love to hang out with you, play with you, or cuddle when you're home. Creating a daily schedule will keep your dog on its toes at all times. They'd look forward to going for a jog every morning, eat alongside you in the evening, and cuddle together while you're watching a movie.

Dogs are creatures of habit, so creating routines for several different behaviors can help you play a role in their regular habits. This will help you spend more time with them each day.

Pet with Purpose

Petting a dog symbolizes your affection and love towards them. Unlike us, dogs very well know this fact, and they encourage you to brush your hand on their head, neck, and around the belly.

Many pet owners casually brush their hands on their dog's heads, but this isn't enough to get their full attention and affection. You'd need to pet them as you mean it.

Take some time and make an extra effort to pet them every day. Start with gently brushing their head, and then move your hands around their fingers leading down to their neck and under the chin. You can end it with a gentle belly rub. Dogs love a belly rub.

Understand their body language

Dogs' can't tell what they're feeling or suffering; hence it's your job to comprehend their physical cues.

Dogs speak a lot through their body. When they’re afraid, they'll often look for comfort in the corners or under the blanket. When they're joyous, they'll wag their tails. Their ears will point down when they're concerned or sad.

You can take up the challenge and study their behavior to communicate with them more accessible. Sometimes, their eyes would tell you a lot about the state they're in!

Create some Cuddle Time

Dogs love to cuddle! Maybe it's their favorite time pass. It's nicer to show them that you care by cuddling with them.

Let them cuddle with you when you're chilling on the couch, sitting on the bed, meeting your best friend, or just lying around.

Cuddling helps boost the release of dopamine and oxytocin in dogs that helps to prevent an increase in stress and depression. They'll also feel safer when cuddling!

Give them a Quiet Space

It may come as a surprise, but yes, you should give them a quiet space from time to time. Dogs often love to sit by themselves, watching over the chores, peeping out of the window, or lying just lying around. You can preserve your bond by letting them enjoy their private time occasionally.

Make a private space where they retreat to, such as a crate or a dog bed in another room. Let them get away for a while if they feel overwhelmed or want to stay away from loud houseguests.

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Taking the time to be mindful and cater to your dog's needs will help to prosper your bond with them.

Want to learn more about animal wellness and building a stronger bond with your pet? Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale.

 

Your Spring Dog Care Checklist!

Who doesn't love the season of blossoming flowers, butterflies, chirping birds, and green leaves? Spring is probably the most awaited season, especially for your dogs.

Dogs love to wander outdoors in spring. Frolicking on the green grass, jumping into bushes, splashing pond water, and scouring the forest are a few of the many activities dogs love to do in spring.

While it's fun to let them run hither tither outdoors, it can prove to be fatal to their health. Spring is known to bring flea and ticks. The warmer weather also invites heartworm diseases along with other malice.

Your furry friend is likely to attract diseases in spring than another season; hence you should be wary about administering preventive care on time to keep them safe.

Spring Season Dog Care Checklist

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines, has prepared a thorough checklist for spring dog care. Please download the spring dog care checklist (PDF)or spring dog care checklist (Word)into your device (smartphone, PC, or laptop) to start using it.

Flea and Tick Infestation

 

Flea and tick infestation is rampant during the spring season. These parasites feed on your pet’s blood and cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to tick-borne severe illnesses.

Fleas are more common during the warmer months that may last until the winter. Female fleas can lay 40 to 50 eggs a day, leading to an infestation within few days. The infected pets can spread illness to their human counterparts as well.

Be wary of these tell-tale signs of fleas and tick infestation:

  • Flea droppings, which look like dark specks, in the fur
  • Flea eggs, which look like white specks, in the fur
  • Excessive licking or scratching
  • Scabs or hot spots on the skin

Flea and tick shampoo, flea collar, medication, and skin treatment are preventive measures for flea and tick infestation.

Say No to Heartworm

Heartworm disease is a common heart disease in dogs. Known as DilofilariaImmitis, heartworm disease spreads from an infected mosquito's bite. It takes about seven months for larvae to mature into adult heartworm that looks like parasitic roundworm. Once it grows bigger, it lodges into the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and starts reproducing.

Adult heartworm can grow up to 12 inches in length and survives for 5-7 years. If not treated in time, heartworm can even cause death.

Check for tell-tale signs for soft and dry cough, inactivity, lethargy, sudden weight loss, bulging chest, difficulty breathing, etc. Administering heartworm preventive drugs will keep your dog safe around the year.

Safety First

Prepare a first-aid kit or purchase a kit, so you have it handy for the spring season. Dogs are more likely to get injuries and infections in the spring because they often spend more time outdoors.

If you regularly indulge in spring hiking, excursions, and a trip to nearby forests and ponds, you better carry the first-aid kit with you at all times. You'd never know if your dog will fall into the bushes or from the rock, injure its paws, get bites or scratches from wild animals, and other common pet-related emergencies.

Also, check with your vet to make sure your dog's rabies vaccination is up to date.

Primp your Dog

Consider getting a thorough spring cleaning to help your dog feel refreshed. It's an excellent idea to groom your dog's fur before it starts getting warmer. Do not entirely shave off your dog because they will need the undercoat to keep them safe from flea and mosquito bites.

Schedule an appointment with the groomer for a wash and trim. You can set up your groomer at home too.

  • Start with giving them a clean wash.
  • Thoroughly clean their ear, under ear, and nose.
  • Give nail trimming
  • Trim off top-four using a proper grooming tool.

Clean your Dog's Bed, Bowl, and toys

While you're in the cleaning mode, consider washing off their bed and mattress and cleaning their toys with disinfectants so they can keep using them year-round.

If you see visible wear and tear in dog beds, mattresses, bowls, and toys, it's time to replace them.  Check the dates on your dog's medications and treats.

Freshen up their wardrobe with a new collar, ID tags, and other accessories.

Take care of your Lawn and Driveway.

Spring is also the time to trim and fertilize your lawn. It’s essential to keep your pet safe from fertilizers, chemicals, and other toxins easily found in the lawn. De-grime your driveway of anti-freeze, lubricants, and salts, so your dog doesn’t accidentally ingest toxins.

Spring Fever

You’d notice a change in your dog’s behavior with the arrival of spring seasons. While most dogs love to wander outside, only a few would choose to stay inside. Dogs love everything about spring; flowers, grass, leaves, woods, squirrels, water, and so on.

It would be best if you allowed your dog to enjoy the spring fever but with proper precautions. It’s a bad idea to let them wander outside alone, burrow the unmarked holes, and scavenge into the woods. Wandering all by themselves in the forest can attract wild animals like raccoons, skunks, chimps, and foxes. It’s a good idea to supervise their outdoor activities.

Help Your Local Shelters

It’s never late to help your local animal shelter with food, cloth, volunteering, and money. To find out what your community shelters need, give them a call and in the meantime, set aside these often requested items: kennels, carriers, cozy pet beds, bedding and blankets, towels, and cleaning supplies such as bleach sponges, and laundry detergent.

 Check this infographic for more information. 

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital and daycare in Des Moines. We offer pet care consultation, medical and surgical services, daycare, and boarding services. Get in touch with us to learn more about how to keep your pet safe in spring.

Importance of Animal Rights

Animals have served a specific purpose for human benefit since the dawn of humankind. Humans first started domesticating animals 10,000 years ago, specifically dogs, for hunting and safekeeping. Since then, animals and humans have formed an integral part in each other’s life. It’ll be hard to imagine pet animals like dogs and cats thriving without human intervention and vice versa.

While many people treat animals like other beings, most people treat them solely for their benefit, including entertainment and eating. This very inhumane treatment of animals highlights the need and importance of animal rights.

It wasn’t long before humans started capturing non-human animals and using them for different forms of entertainment such as for zoo, caged decoration, and circus) or transportation such as cart pulling, safari, and carrying loads. These inhumane treatments of animals by humans for centuries highlight the need for recognizing the interests of animals, including legal rights and protection.

Moreover, animal rights (like human rights) also highlight animal protection from inhumane activities such as climate change, deforestation, factory farming, and hunting.

Let’s talk more about the prevalent animal rights movement worldwide and the importance of animal rights.

What is Animal Rights Movement?

Animal rights, the animal rights movement, and animal liberation are all synonymous with each other. It advocates a social movement that seeks to end different forms of animal slavery and animal abuse. Although the movement highlights many different animals' rights, they mainly emphasize legal rights and legal distinction to animals.

The case of the "world's saddest polar bear" is one of the recent examples of animal rights abuse. A young polar bear named Pizza was found living in a deplorable condition at an aquarium inside a mall in Guangzhou, China. Millions of people signed petitions calling to release the polar bear to its natural habitat to the city government. The mall temporarily sent back the polar bear to its mother living inside an aquarium inside Tianjin.

The animal rights movement plan is plain and straightforward, with no more harm to animals.

Animal rights advocate that certain things are wrong as a matter of principle; some things are morally wrong to do to animals.

  1. Human beings must not do those things, no matter the cost to humanity of not doing them.
  2. Human beings must not do those things, even if they humanely do them.

For example, animals have a right not to be bred and killed for food, so humans should stop relying on animals for a food source.

Check out this infographic for more information. 

 

What do animal rights highlight?

  • No experiments on animals
  • No breeding and killing animals for food or clothes, or medicine
  • No use of animals for hard labor
  • No selective breeding for any reason other than the benefit of the animal
  • No hunting
  • No zoos or use of animals in entertainment

On a philosophical level, human beings and animals have rights because they are both 'subjects-of-a-life.’

  • They have similar levels of biological complexity
  • They are conscious and aware that they exist
  • They know what is happening to them
  • They prefer some things and dislike others
  • They make conscious choices
  • They live in such a way as to give themselves the best quality of life
  • They plan their lives to some extent
  • The quality and length of their life matters to them

People who defy equal rights to animals support their opinions with such examples;

  • Animals don’t think like humans, nor are they conscious.
  • They’re put on earth to serve humans, such as for food, transportation, and entertainment.
  • Animals don’t behave morally, and they lack free moral judgment.

 

While many people hold this to be accurate, few people defy this and work to serve animal rights. This leads to the animal rights movement and a fight against the inhumane treatment of animals.

Significant achievements made by Animal Rights Movement

In 1992, Switzerland amended its constitution to recognize animals as beings and not things. A decade later, Germany guaranteed rights to animals in a 2002 amendment to its constitution, becoming the first European Union member to do so.

New Zealand granted fundamental rights to five great ape species in 1999. Their use is now forbidden in research, testing, or teaching. Some other countries have also banned or severely restricted the use of non-human great apes in research. On 17 May 2013, India declared that all cetaceans have the status of “nonhuman persons."

In the United States, the Animal Welfare Act initiated in 1966 protects animals in research, transportation, and sale. Generally, animals are protected from any torture, neglect, or killing.

PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) was founded in 1980. With 6.5 million supporters, PETA has helped prevent animal abuse, mistreatment, and sale in an astounding number.

6 Most Prevalent Animal Rights Issues

These are the most prevalent animal rights issues around the world.

Climate change                                           

A human-made disaster is destroying the environment and destroying the habitat and living conditions of wild animals. Its most extreme example can be the Arctic's melting snow and ice. With global warming rising every year, the polar bear’s natural habitat is gradually vanishing. The depleted snow has pushed the polar bear population further inside.

The unpredictable weather from climate change has impacted migratory birds by disrupting their breeding habitats.  Human activities such as fuel-driven cars and factories have primarily impacted the global rise in temperature.

Loss of habitat

Loss of habitat because of suburban sprawl has pushed animals even further inside the forest. It has also increased human and animal encounters causing accidents, deaths, and communal killing of wild animals. In Nepal and India, the wild animal encounter is more frequent because of their habitat loss. More people enter forest areas to collect fodder, which previously used to be the Bengal Tiger habitat. The incidents of the Bengal tiger attacking villagers are heard numerous times a year.  

Illegal fishing practices

Illegal fishing by foreign vessels without permission, bottom trawling, bycatch, ghost fishing, explosives, and overfishing is causing the depletion of sea animals. Illegal fishing affects fish and other sea animals like turtles, whales, and dolphins that often get trapped in human-made traps.

Factory farming

Factory farming of commercial animals like chicken and cow is often highlighted by animal rights activists. The slaughter of animals for their meat, and byproducts such as skin, milk, and eggs, is considered outright animal abuse. Thousands of farm animals are held inside captivity and raised in a deteriorating condition for their as food animals, injected with hormones for rapid growth, and fed cheap grain.

It not only highlights animal abuse but the environment caused by factory farming. The methane produced by cows is one of the significant contributors to global warming. The run-offs from the farm often pollute the nearby water sources.

Euthanasia

Euthanasia in animals is mainly associated with overbreeding of pets such as dogs and cats. Thousands of dogs and cats are abandoned in the US every year. These non-human animals end up in shelters and later euthanized because they never get adopted.

Spaying and neutering your pet is a good idea to control overbreeding. Closing pet farms is another great idea to control overbreeding and prevent animal suffering in form of euthanasia.

Animal experimentation

Voicing against animal experimentation in the labs has been going on for ages. Most animals experiment with new drugs, vaccines, diseases, or cosmetics before the product is released from human use.

Approximately 100,000-200,000 animals suffer and die every year in animal testing for cosmetics. Many large corporations, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products, enjoy animal testing because of the lack of strict laws.

 

Animal abuse for financial gain is often the most highlighted animal rights issue. In the United States alone, the pet industry topped $221.1 billion in 2015; the live animal trade accounted for $3.5 billion in 2016; in 2020, animal agriculture is forecasted to bring in $185.8 billion in cash receipts.

The corporations trying to protect their profits and avoid controversy often lobby for legislation or laws to conceal their activities from the public and media.

 

How to prevent animal abuse?

  1. Non-human animals with rights must be treated as ends in themselves; others should not treat them as means to achieve their ends.
  2. To bring in public concern, you should discourage using animals for entertainment, food, products, and transportation. Ensuring a non-abusive environment for all kinds so of animals will undoubtedly boost happiness in you.
  3. Specialism must fade away, along with outdated scientific and philosophical ideas that animals are nothing more than mindless automatons.
  4. Discouraging the use of cosmetics and drugs used for animal testing can help curb animal abuse in the long run. Many animal rights advocates have managed to introduce a law that prevents the use of lab animals.
  5. Countering climate change is an essential goal for ensuring the rights of animals in the long run. Choosing a sustainable lifestyle method; electric cars, low carbon emitting appliances, cycling to work, avoiding using firewood, and animal products made from skin can help curb animal abuse to a greater degree.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to learn more about caring for animals, animal protection laws and animal welfare issues, and how you can chip in for animal rights societies.

10 Fun Outdoor Activities for Dog and Owner

Spending more time with pets helps to fight stress and depression. The same goes for the pets; spending time playing and cuddling with their owners is linked to dogs' stress-management. Indulging in outdoor activities with your dog not only strengthens your bond but also provides physical and mental stimulation.

Even more so, dogs need regular exercise to remain healthy. Indulging in outdoor activities with your dog helps to get the much-needed physical and mental stimulation. However, it would help if you were wary about taking elderly dogs for outdoor activities. The physical activities for dogs stricken with arthritis and hip dysplasia must be short.

To help you make memories with your pets, we have amassed 20 different outdoor activities to do with your dog.

10 Outdoor Activities for Dog and Owner

Here is the list of the ten most fun outdoor activities for dogs and dog owners.

Biking

Biking with your furry friend can be both adventurous and physically stimulating. An active dog can burn off seemingly endless energy by accompanying you on a bike ride. However, not every dog can catch up with your bike; some are made to sit in the basket and enjoy the ride.

It’s more complicated than you might think to ride a bike along with a dog on a leash, so it's better to get a little practice before you hit the trail. Start with biking with a leash on within a small distance.

Consider your dog’s physical fitness to determine how long it can keep up. Pups and older dogs should bike with a leash. It would be best if you only chose outdoor-active adult dogs.

Ensure to carry snacks and water along the ride and take regular breaks in between.

Hiking

Hiking involves a considerable amount of adventure, adrenaline, and risk. It takes more effort than what you may assume by just looking at someone’s Instagram photo with their dog on the Rockies.

Not every dog is adapted to walking long distances; hence you should start with a short walk and later increase it to multiple days.

Active hiking dogs can walk long distances regularly. They can hike 15 to 20 miles per day, whereas the dogs that aren’t used to long hikes can walk only 10 miles per day or lesser.

Walking through the prairie, going up in the Rockies, or trailing through the national park are few of the most sought hiking with dogs.

Here are few tips to get started: Start slow, increase the time gradually, take regular breaks, and assess your dog's health at each interval.

Jogging

Jogging is both fun and physically stimulating activity for all kinds of dogs. It would be best if you considered taking your dog for a regular jog around your neighborhood, on the beach, or in the park.

Nothing tires out a dog with lots of energy like a long run. Consider leashing your dog if it has tendencies to run off. Both your and dog can benefit from regular jogging as it promotes cardiovascular activity.

Ensure you have a dog whose type and temperament suit as a running partner. Elderly dogs would only like occasional walks instead of a jog.

Swimming

Dogs are natural swimmers, and they'd love to take a splash into the water whenever they feel warm. If you live in a warmer place, it's a great idea to take a dip in the pool or pond with your furry friend. Both of you can cool off and enjoy a great time together!

It's a low-impact sport, so you needn't worry about stressing your older dogs' joints. It also helps to work on many muscles simultaneously to be a productive activity for obese dogs.

The swimming pool is a perfect place for dogs to swim as the enclosed surface and lesser depth keeps them safe. Be careful about taking your dog for a wash in the river, ocean, or pond.

Fetch

Play fetch with your dog whenever you're in the backyard, porch, or the park. Dogs love to fetch items such as stick wood, ball, and Frisbee.

Fetch has a triple function; it gives your dog needed exercise, it helps strengthen the bond between you, and it gets him into the habit of returning to you.

You can also play a game of fetch with your dog in the swimming pool with items like Frisbee and balls. It'll motivate them to swim more and activate their muscles. Remember, dogs have to be athletic and agile most of all to engage in the game of fetch.

Off-leash Dog Park

Plan a doggie play-date with a friend at your local dog park! There should be numerous parks in your neighborhood, but you should try finding a park that is safe for dogs to play off-leash. Dogs love to roam around, play, and explore things, and a leash often comes in their way.

You can give them much-needed free time by taking them off-leash in the park. It shouldn't be a problem as long as the park is filled with well-socialized dogs and dog-savvy owners.

Ensure to train your dog before you can let it roam free! Monitor your dogs for inappropriate behaviors such as bullying/aggressive play, jumping on people, and excessive barking. You and your dog wouldn't want to become a nuisance to the others in the park.

Boat Ride

All dogs love water, so it’s a great idea to take them for a boat ride. If you want, you can let them make a splash in the water.

Even though they love water, you should be careful about allowing them to roam free. Even if you're careful, be prepared to protect and save your dog if they fall overboard. Get a pet life jacket in case your dog isn't water-friendly or too small. Don't forget to offer them fresh water and shade along the way. Dogs can quickly dehydrate in warm weather!

However, not every dog is boat-friendly. Take them for a short spin and let them acclimatize to the boat life before you embark on a long boat trip.

Hit the Beach

Many ocean and lake beaches are dog-friendly. You can use this opportunity to play fetch with them, jog, or run around. However, it would be best if you were careful about harmful things.

Anything that can harm you at the beach can also harm your dogs, such as sunburn, riptides, jellyfish, broken glass, sharp shells, and aggressive dogs.

If you haven't potty trained your dog, avoid taking them to beaches that strictly monitor for dog poops. Don't forget to bring plenty of fresh, cool water and snacks.

Remember that the sand can be scorching on sensitive paws, so provide a blanket or towel for your dog's comfort when he takes a break from romping in the surf.

Take agility class

Agility classes are great for dogs to start in sports. This is the outdoor sports where you guide and direct your dog through a pre-set course within a specific time limit. The courses typically have between 14-20 obstacles ranging from tunnels, weave poles, tire jumps, and seesaws.

If you want to have a great time with your dog while engaging it with something useful, taking agility classes together can be a great idea. Do remember, the dogs usually start competing in agility between the ages of 1 and 2.

It helps to foster concentration, flexibility, companionship, trust, and body awareness in dogs.

Explore nearby forest or trail

Consider exploring the nearby forest or trail with your dog. Camping is a great idea to spend time outdoors with your furry friend. You can indulge in exploring the trail, sightseeing, scavenging for geocaching hunt, swimming in the river, etc. You can take a car up to the destination and then start exploring the place on foot.

If your dog isn’t comfortable spending time inside the tent, you can come back to your car anytime you want.

 

No matter where you live, undertake these opportunities to spend more time with your pet. Take advantage of the warmer weather and indulge in more outdoor activities that your dog loves to do.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to learn more ways to spend time outdoors with your pet.

Is Hair loss Common in Dogs?

It's routine for dogs to shed hair, sometimes a lot. Many dog breeds such as Belgian Sheepdog, Bouvier des Flandres, and Alaskan malamute shed more hair than other breeds, so don't be worried if your couch, carpet, and clothes have amassed a lot of dog hair in a short time.

While it's common for dogs to shed hair occasionally, it can be alarming if your furry pal is frequently scratching itself or when you notice bald patches on your dog's body. This does often mean that there's an underlying medical problem.

Stress, allergies, parasitic infection, and Cushing's disease are often the significant causes of hair loss in canine. Alopecia, which is also common in humans, is a disorder that causes random bald patches. There are many reasons for sudden hair loss in dogs, so it’s often difficult to pinpoint a single cause.

We understand pet owners' troubling experiences when their furry friends start losing hair. We recommend taking your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis of sudden hair loss. You'd be cleared if your dog has a congenital hair loss issue or an acquired problem.

Top Reasons for Hair Loss in Dogs

A few of the most common reasons for canine hair loss are as follows;

Seasonal Shedding

Don't confuse seasonal shedding with allergies or medical problems. Sometimes dogs can start losing a lot of hair mass when the weather turns warm, or the individual hair follicles become old and damaged. Many dogs shed year-round, while others may shed in a particular season. Seasonal shedding is common during summer to help dogs' skin breathe easily.

Regular grooming ensures that your dog doesn't shed excessively because of hair follicle damage and hair mats. Moving your dog to a moderate climate can also reduce seasonal shedding.

Allergies

Dog allergy is one of the common causes of canine hair loss. Flea allergies, Atopy, and food allergies are common instigators of excessive hair loss. Although flea allergy and atopy don't necessarily cause shedding, excessive scratching, biting, and licking because of the allergy can cause sudden hair loss.

Hair loss from allergies is an acquired problem. Atopy allergy is acquired from environmental irritants like pollen, mold, and dust mites. Flea allergy is acquired from flea infestation when your dog plays in the backyard or with other infected animals. Many dogs are allergic to a particular food such as beef, dairy, wheat, corn, soy, etc. It's best to avoid feeding allergy-inducing food to your dog.

You can notice canine allergy when your dog is constantly scratching and biting its itches or when it shows signs of irritated, red areas on the skin.

The prescribed medications and dietary changes can quickly treat allergies in dogs.

Cushing's disease

Hyperadrenocorticism, better known as Cushing's disease, is a condition caused by the prolonged exposure of the body’s tissue to excessive hormone cortisol levels. The symptoms will include hair loss, darkening of the skin, and a pot-bellied abdomen's development.

It's more common in dogs six years or older. Dogs that have been overfed corticosteroid drugs can contract Cushing's disease.

Cushing disease's symptoms include:

  • Increased frequency of eating, drinking, and urinating
  • Potbellied or bloated like appearance
  • Less energy
  • Insomnia
  • Obesity

Your vet can better diagnose the disease by running different evaluations and recommend the best course of action for treatment.

Mange and other parasites

Mange is a skin disease common in dogs, birds, and reptiles. It's caused by microscopic parasitic mites that live on the surface of the skin and hair follicles. Mange infection is caused by mites, like scabies mites and red mange that can burrow into the skin. The mange can cause massive hair loss and itching.

In dogs, there are two significant forms of mange, each caused by different mites:

Sarcoptes scabies causes sarcoptic mange (also known as scabies). It's highly contagious and can easily pass from one dog to another. The symptoms include extreme itchiness, redness and rash, thick yellow crusts, and hair loss.

Demodectic Mange (also known as red mange or Demodex) is caused by a cigar-shaped mite called DemodexCanis. They're ever-present in the body but harmless. It may attack dogs with a weakened immune system.

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Bacterial infection and fungal infection can cause severe skin itchiness, hair loss, redness, and odor. Observe hair loss patterns around ears, stomach, chest, and eyes to conclude bacterial or fungal infection in dogs.

Common types of pathogenic bacteria in dogs include:

  • Salmonella
  • Leptospirosis
  • Campylobacter
  • Helicobacter
  • Streptococcus
  • Clostridia
  • Bordetella
  • E Coli

Dogs infected with ringworm also shed hair. Unlike other infection, ringworm causes circular or irregular hair loss. When you notice itchy or scaly patches, it's time to take your dog to the veterinarian.

Alopecia is a hair loss syndrome that can be both temporary or permanent. It can be a result of skin infections such as ringworm in dogs.

After a complete examination, your veterinarian will advise the future course of treatment. Severe infections require antifungal shampoos, topical treatment, and drugs.

Underlying Medical Conditions

The underlying medical condition can cause massive hair fall in dogs. Pressure sores, trauma, abnormality in growth of the hair shaft, thyroid disorder, sex hormone imbalance, and skin cancer are a few of the common causes of hair loss in dogs.

The diagnosis to identify underlying medical conditions includes blood profile (blood testing), Biopsy (determine skin cancer or tumor), skin impression smears (bacterial identification), etc.

Your veterinarian will administer antibiotics, antifungals, steroids, immunosuppressive drugs or Anti-cytokine drugs, immunotherapy for the treatment depending on the medical condition.

Prevention of Hair Loss in Dogs

By adopting preventive measures, you can prevent hair loss and skin problems in dogs.

Reducing Shedding through Nutrition

Feed your dog a high-quality diet.

A healthy diet is a precursor to a healthy and thick coat in dogs. Be careful about using cheap can foods and home-prepared meals that usually lack nutrition. A high-quality diet contains all the essential nutrients, including Vitamin D, folic acid, and zinc, which helps keep the dog's immune system strong.

Add Olive Oil or Flaxseed oil to Dog's food.

One teaspoon (5 mL) per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight is an excellent place to start. These oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that help calm inflamed skin, decrease dandruff, and improve overall coat texture.

Give your dog occasional "human food."

Occasionally feed your dog human food such as fruits (apples and bananas), cucumbers, and cooked lean meat. However, be careful about feeding food items such as chocolate, avocado, grapes, milk products, and onion.

Reducing Shedding through Grooming

Regular grooming is as essential as a dog’s daily diet and exercise. Over time, the dog’s coat gets tangled to create mats which can be a painful experience. An unkempt coat causes frequent and constant itching and scratches. Constant licking can cause excessive shedding. Grooming will help remove excess and loose fur and redistribute your dog’s skin oils into its fur.

 

Use de-shedding tools before spring season when the dog’s coat begins to fall off. Consider bathing them with dog shampoo made for flea and tick control.

For more details and Information check this infographic. 

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to learn more about dog shedding and preventive measures.

How to Spot Autism in Dogs?

Autism or canine autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by difficulties with social skills and repetitive behaviors, including aggression and withdrawn behavior.

People often associate autism with humans, and many believe that this condition does not affect dogs, but this isn't true. When you use the same autism spectrum disorder typically applied to human behavior, it becomes apparent that dogs can be diagnosed with autism.

Yes, dogs can be autistic, according to many types of research. The signs and suffering from autism may differ from one dog to another. Canine autism can affect their social skill and behavior. They can show episodes of sudden aggression, withdrawn behavior, and a lack of activity.

Canine Autism       

Autism spectrum disorder in dogs is an idiopathic condition, which means that the cause is unknown.  However, we know that it’s congenital and that dogs exhibiting dysfunctional behaviors are born with the condition.

Although the scientific community often attests that canines can't suffer from autism, many dog behaviorists and animal experts have pointed out that dogs have been diagnosed with autism-like symptoms.

The veterinarians first observed autism-like symptoms in dogs back in the 1960s. Since then, they have carried out different research types to learn more about autism-like symptoms in dogs.

The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) presented a study on tail-chasing behavior in Bull Terriers and a possible link to autism in 2015. It observed specific traits of 132 Bull Terriers, 55 of which chased their tails, and 77 (the non-tail-chasing control group).  It found out that tail-chasing was more prevalent in males Terriers, and it was associated with occasional aggression and explosive behaviors, including trance-like behaviors.

Although not definitive, these results suggested that tail-chasing could represent a form of autism in dogs.

Diagnosis of Autism in Dogs

Diagnosing the autism spectrum disorder in dogs is rather difficult because there are only tell-tale signs of autism that aren't backed by scientific evidence. The signs of autism shouldn't be confused with other medical issues such as canine anxiety or injury-pains. To determine if your dog is suffering from either autism or other illness, you should consider taking it to the vet for a thorough diagnosis.

Vets can perform several behavioral tests to assess how a dog responds to certain situations. Still, these tests are not always concrete since other disorders such as canine anxiety can produce autism-like symptoms. They will rely on tell-tale signs or cues to determine canine autism.

Here are five tell-tale signs of autism.

Display of Repetitive Behavior

Repeating certain patterns and behaviors is one of the tell-tale signs of autism in both humans and dogs. If your canine starts showing unusual repetitive behavior, it's best to ask your vet for a quick diagnosis. It isn't unusual for dogs to chase after their tail, fidget with the door lock, or stand in front of the door every day, and you shouldn't confuse every repetitive behavior with the symptoms of autism. The onset of autistic behaviors is often accompanied by other signs such as withdrawal or sudden aggression.

Display of Social Nervousness and Awkwardness

Dogs are sociable creatures, and they love spending time with humans and other animals. This is one of the reasons why they enjoy visiting the park. Most dogs will seek comfort and safety from their owners.

It's a telltale sign of autism when your dog isn't sociable. Injuries, traumatic history, accidents, and other major events could make many dogs stop interacting or start showing social nervousness, and these shouldn't be confused with autism's symptoms. It's best to observe your dog for any such unusual awkwardness. If your dog is showing similar signs even after a few weeks, it's best to take it to the vet for a diagnosis.

Display of lack of enthusiasm

It's unusual for dogs to display a lack of enthusiasm when you invite them to go out for a walk, take a break in the park, or play any games. While most of the time, the lack of energy and physical lethargy could make them display a lack of enthusiasm, but if this behavior persists for a long time, you should know that there's something wrong with it.

This is often accompanied by a lack of physical expression, including tail wagging, not making direct eye-contact, entering a trance-like state, staring in one direction for a long time, etc.

Display of OCD

Repetitive motions are also a characteristic of autistic behavior. They can include various actions such as circling a room over and over again or chronic tail-chasing or obsessive teeth grinding.  Other repetitive behaviors include lining up toys or other objects, placing food bowl in a certain direction, or obsessive chewing.

You'd know the signs of OCD by observing their unusual repetitive behavior. Like humans, dogs can fall victim to OCD because of canine autism.

Display of Emotionless

Dogs may show inappropriate reactions to unfamiliar stimuli such as yelping or barking at the slightest touch of your hand and barking to sudden sounds. Autistic dogs can become hypersensitive to any stimuli.

They often avoid new environments, situations, and social interactions because they may find it difficult to cope with new experiences.

 

To better diagnose the symptoms of autism, it's best to talk with your veterinarian, who will advise you to observe certain behaviors.

Newly adopted and rescued dogs may become antisocial or show signs of communication issues, lethargy, and reduced physical activity. To learn more about your new pet's behavior, you should talk with the previous owner or the rescue home for more information.

How to Treat Autism in dogs?

After a licensed veterinarian has ruled out other possibilities for your furry friends’ unusual social awkwardness and withdrawn behaviors, you should start seeking possible treatments.

There is no single treatment for autism; hence you should start prescribed medications and advised lifestyle changes.

Medication

Your veterinarian will prescribe medication like Fluoxetine (Prozac) to treat OCD and autism problems in humans.

Offer a Safe, Secured, and Stress-Free Place

Your dog may become anxious or nervous in crowds or around other animals. Dogs inhibiting the signs of autism may seek a safe and secure place to spend most of their time. As the certain sound and environment may trigger OCD and bark in autistic dogs, it’s best to provide them a completely stress-free place. Avoiding situations that can stress your dog and cause anxiety is important too.

Offer Regular Exercise and Well-Balanced Diet

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise every day along with a well-balanced diet. Regular exercises and healthy meals can help to reduce anxiety and stress in dogs while keeping them engaged.

Your veterinarian may also suggest you work with professional trainers or therapists who specialize in positive reinforcement. They can help provide therapies and training to curb autistic behaviors in dogs.

 

Dr. ValliParthasarathy DVM explains that,

Dogs who have anxiety disorders may exhibit symptoms that their owners interpret as autism and diagnose themselves. But in reality, anxiety, in general, can affect a dog’s ability to learn, problem-solve, retain and recall information.

She advises that it’s better to begin working with a positive reinforcement reward-based trainer to help treat your dog’s autistic conditions. It would be best if you also were gentle with your dog at all times.

Check this infographic out for more information in detail.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy pet hospital in Des Moines, to learn more about diagnosing and treating canine autism.

Can Pets Still Get Infected with COVID-19? The 2021 Updates

According to our previous article posted on March 10, 2020, we mentioned that pets are less likely to get infected with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified no animals in the US were infected with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19.

But there has been a recent development. According to CDC,

"It appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations, especially after close contact with a person with COVID-19."

 

The cases of household pets that were found to be infected by COVID-19 proved that a person could transmit the virus to animals. However, at this time, there is not much scientific evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans.

According to CDC,

Several animals in zoological facilities have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, including large cats and great apes. Several lions and tigers in a New York zoo, a puma in South Africa, tigers in a Tennessee zoo, snow leopards at a Kentucky zoo, and gorillas at a California zoo tested positive SARS-CoV-2 after showing signs of illness. A cougar and tiger at a Texas facility that exhibits wild animals also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. It is suspected that these animals became sick after being exposed to employees with COVID-19, despite the staff following COVID-19 precautions.

COVID-19 infection was seen in many different animals worldwide since the onset of the novel coronavirus disease in December 2019.

How to protect your pet from COVID-19 Infection?

To protect your pet from the SARS-CoV-2 infection, don't let your dog or cat interact with people or animals outside your household. For example:

  • Avoid taking your pet to parks or public areas where many people and dogs gather.
  • When walking your dog, make sure to put it on a leash and keep it at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals.
  • Do not put a mask on pets. Masks could harm your pet.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible.

 

If you become sick with SARS-CoV-2 and have a pet,

  • You should immediately restrict contact with pets and other animals and isolate yourself from house members.
  • If possible, have another person in your household care for your pet.
  • Avoid petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing foods or bedding with your pet.
  • Wear a cloth face covering and gloves before caring for your pet.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling animals and their food, waste, and supplies.
  • Also, make sure you clean up after your pet.
  • If you need to take your pet to the vet, don't do it yourself. Either call your veterinarian home or ask your family member or friend to take it to the vet.

 

Strictly follow these preventive measures for SARS-CoV-2.

  1. Wash your hands

Wash your hands properly using soap and water to keep yourself and your pets from contracting COVID-19. Regularly rub your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub when going out or after coming.

  1. Maintain Distance

If you have any symptoms such as coughing or sneezing, maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and your dog.

  1. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth

Do not fidget your fingers with your eyes, nose, and mouth before or after petting your dog to ensure the safety of your family and pets.

  1. Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure to cover your mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing. Use disposable tissue and mask whenever around your pets.

  1. Seek medical care early

Stay home or indoors if you have a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, and call in advance.

  1. Stay informed

Stay informed about the latest developments about the COVID-19 pandemic, red zones, and possible vaccination drive in your community.

 

COVID-19 in Other Animals

The countries, namely; Hong Kong, Belgium, the U.S., Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, Russia, Denmark, United Kingdom, Japan, South Africa, Italy, Sweden, Chile, Canada, Brazil, Greece, Argentina, and Lithuania, reported the cases of COVID-19 infection in different animals.

However, COVID-19 infections in Mink on farms have been reported in many countries, including numerous deaths related to the novel coronavirus. The infected workers likely introduced COVID-19 on a farm, and the infection spread from one animal to another.

After these incidents, mink farmworkers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 were provided with guidelines to avoid animal contact.

CDC is aware of reports of a new strain of COVID-19 virus in mink in Denmark that is also present in the local human population.

Based on Denmark reports, it appears that mink became infected after exposure to people infected with the virus and the virus then mutated and spread from mink back to humans.

This new strain, called “Cluster 5,” has not been seen before and comprises five mutations.

How has COVID-19 Pandemic prevented the consumption of Exotic Animals?

After the news of the first case of COVID-19 transmission came out from the wet market of Wuhan Province in China, experts opined that the zoological virus likely transmitted from eating an exotic animal’ (pangolin or bat) meat.

Following the Coronavirus outbreak throughout the Chinese province and later worldwide, the Chinese Government banned the sale and consumption of exotic and wild animals, including Pangolin.

According to NewsWeek.com,

In Shenzhen, China, a law was passed banning dog and cat meat, which will affect May 1, 2020. Known as the "Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals," the legislation was passed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It also bans the consumption, breeding, and sale of wildlife for human consumption in the city—including snakes, lizards, and other wild animals.

Pangolin, mostly found in the wild, depends on ants, termites, and larvae. Unfortunately, the pangolin is one of the most trafficked animals in the world. Many smugglers catch and traffic pangolins from Asia and African nations to China and Vietnam's famous black market for their meat. Pangolin's meat is considered a delicacy and is used in traditional medicine.

 

Conclusion

Researchers carried out different studies to learn more about the virus's transmission behavior on different animals. It shows that cats, dogs, ferrets, fruit bats, and hamsters can become infected with the virus.

Dogs can get infected but might not spread the virus to other dogs as quickly as other animals like cats and ferrets can spread the virus to the same animal species.

Laboratory mice, pigs, chickens, and ducks do not seem to become infected or spread the infection based on a study's results.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. We offer full-day boarding and daycare services that pamper your pet and engage them with interactive games and sessions.

 

 

 

 

Water Diabetes in Dogs

 

There are two types of diabetes in dogs; Diabetes Insipidus (Water diabetes) and Diabetes Mellitus (Drinking diabetes). While Diabetes mellitus is more common in dogs, Diabetes Insipidus is a rare condition that affects their water metabolism by preventing the body from conserving water and releasing too much of it.

The condition is characterized by frequent or increased urination, dilute urine (Dull urine), incontinence, and increase the thirst for water. If you notice these signs in your dog, it’s best to take them to the veterinarian for the diagnosis immediately.

Symptoms of Water Diabetes in Dogs

Common clinical signs of diabetes seen in dogs are;

  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Increased drinking (polydipsia)
  • Decreased urination with dehydration
  • Poor hair coat
  • Weight loss
  • Failure to thrive
  • Incontinence issues

Sometimes, your dogs can have varying issues for urinary accidents at home. Some of these causes shouldn’t be confused with the symptoms of Water Diabetes, including Urinary tract infections, Urinary stones, and Incontinence, Urinary Tract Cancer, and Kidney disease.

The only way to know if your dog is suffering from water diabetes is a proper medical diagnosis.

Types of Water Diabetes

There are two significant DIs that affect dogs;

  • Neurogenic (Central diabetes insipidus)
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus

Neurogenic (Central diabetes insipidus)

The lack of the hormone vasopressin causes Neurogenic DI, which regulates the body's water retention. The hypothalamus in the brain controls the production and regulation of vasopressin.

A dysfunction in vasopressin release can be caused by a head injury or a tumor in the brain. In some cases, it can also be due to failure in the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland.

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

A deficiency of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or arginine vasopressin causes Nephrogenic DI. ADH functions to stimulate the capillary muscles and reduce urine flow, hence effectively conserving water for the body's various functions.

The cause of Nephrogenic Diabetes is found in the kidneys and their inability to respond appropriately to ADH. It can cause too much water from the body to escape into the urine.

According to WebMD.com,

This is typically an acquired condition due to amyloidosis of the kidney, cysts on the kidney, or an imbalance of electrolytes.

What causes Water Diabetes in Dogs?

The kidney functions as a crucial organ to continually filter the blood and to maintain the balance of the body's water by excreting or reabsorbing fluid as required. Efficient reabsorption requires an adequate level of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin. Diabetes Insipidus can start with the inadequate production of ADH by the pituitary gland. The condition where the kidney resists the hormone is called Nephrogenic DI.

Many causes can alter the production of ADH. The most probable causes are congenital disabilities, brain trauma, a tumor in the pituitary gland, and cancer. Some common reasons for renal insensitivity to ADH is;

Congenital, Secondary to drugs, and Secondary to endocrine and metabolic disorders (Hyperadrenocorticism, Hypocalcemia, Pyometra, Hypercalcemia, Pyelonephritis, and Chronic kidney failure) or secondary to certain diseases (severe infection, metabolic disorders, or advancing kidney disease).

Diagnosing Water Diabetes

It would be best if you took your dog to the veterinarian for a proper medical diagnosis of diabetes.

  • Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your dog, including blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, urinalysis, and an electrolyte panel.
  • They may ask you a series of questions, including the medical history of your dog to state its state of health.
  • A more profound diagnosis test includes testing Plasma ADH levels to differentiate between neurogenic or central diabetes insipidus and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
  • Other forms of diagnostics include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) to locate pituitary tumors or kidney disorders.
  • It follows a modified water deprivation test or an ADH supplementation trial to check for body water loss.

Treatment of Water Diabetes

Your dog will need to be hospitalized for a modified water deprivation test if it's diagnosed with any two of the Diabetes Insipidus. An ADH trial follows it if the cause is neurogenic DI which is generally treated with vasopressin injections.

Diabetes Insipidus is treated using a synthetic formulation of ADH called desmopressin (also known as DDAVP) applied either as eye drops or by injection under the skin. Nephrogenic DI is treated using oral hydrochlorothiazide and a low-salt diet. The treatment depends upon the definitive diagnosis.

To manage life with water diabetes, you should always provide enough water to your dog to avoid dehydration. Water deprivation can easily lead to stupor, coma, and death.

Check this infographic about symptoms of water diabetes in Dogs. 

 

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Meet our certified veterinarian in Urbandale to learn more about water diabetes in dogs and measures to prevent it. We offer 24/7 medical assistance along with mobile medical assistance in Urbandale.

How to ensure a great pet boarding experience?

 

If you’re leaving your dog in a pet boarding facility for the first time, you must be wary of many things that can either elevate or demote your dog’s boarding experience. While pet boarding can save you from the hassle of hiring a pet sitter or asking your neighbor to look after your furry friend, it can also help your pet to socialize with other animals. Hence, it’s your duty to find the finest temporary care for your dog in the town when you’re not around.

Before considering pet boarding, here are some of the things that you must do to ensure that your dog enjoys a great boarding experience. It starts with assessing the dog boarding facility to preparing your dog.

10 Things to Do When Boarding your Dog

 

Tour the Boarding Facility

The first thing you need to assess is the boarding facility. Some pet boarding facilities are great, while others are awful in taking care of pets, offering recreational activities, indulging pets with training, and kennel hygiene.

Start with searching for dog kennels online (Facebook, Yelp, and Google My Business). Once you find the match, such as location and time-open, consider looking into their reviews. The online reviews can tell a lot about the pet boarding facility. Here are some of the pet boarding horror stories.

Next, you can schedule a physical visit to the boarding facility. Making sure that the pet boarding facility offers an impeccable service guarantees a positive boarding experience for your dog.

Consider a Boarding Trial

Checking out the pet boarding facility online isn't enough unless you visit the place yourself. It's also a time to take your dog for a boarding trial. Like parents take their children to a pre-school, you can take your dog to check if it makes a nuisance when you're not around them.

The trial stay of at least 24 hours eases your dog into a new environment and a new daily routine. You may find that your dog will adjust much better when it comes time for a longer stay. You can also determine if your dog eats pet boarding meals and socialize with other animals.

Cater your dog's special needs

Not all dogs are the same. Your dog is probably much younger or older than other dogs in the pet boarding facility. This will greatly determine how your dog will react to other dogs around it.

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, medication, or allergies, you should consider telling the staff about its conditions. The staff can handle your dog much better when they know about your dog's special needs. However, don’t go overboard by loading the staff with unnecessary information about your pet’s daily habits.

Provide Dog's Medical Records

If your dog is on medication, you should definitely tell the staff about it and bring along the medicines with you before leaving your dog. Ensure the medication is well labeled, even if it's as simple as a joint supplement or as grave as heart problems and diabetes.

Before considering boarding your pet with other animals, it’s considerate of you to de-flea and worms your dog. You should also update your dog’s vaccinations at least two weeks before boarding. Both of these precautions are typically required before boarding.

Eating and Sleeping at Set Times

Most pet parents train their pets to eat and sleep at a set time before sending them off to the boarding facility. The boarding kennel will feed all animals at set times, and if your dog is used to free-feeding, this could cause it to go hungry. Help it adjust to set eating times.

Likewise, make your dog sleep away from you, such as in a crate, kennel house, or sleeping mattress long before boarding it. This will ensure that your dog can sleep in the boarding facility without your presence around.

Bring your Pet's Food

Most boarding facilities provide the same food to pets. But because an abrupt change in diet can contribute to your dog's dietary problems, you can bring your own dog food. This will help to avoid gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea. If your pet is on a prescription diet, do consider carrying prescription food everywhere you go.

An easy way to feed your dog food to your dog is by labeling it well, bringing it with you, and telling the boarding staff uses it when feeding your dog. You can also provide the instruction on mixing it with wet food or dry food before offering it to the dog.

Discuss Treats

Most pet boarding staffs use dog treats to make dogs familiarize themselves with the facility. Treats can be a helpful tool to use when your dog doesn't exactly want to do what it's supposed to do. To ensure that the staffs only use prescribed treat, make sure to bring them along with you before you leave your dog.

Dogs can easily gain weight, get food allergies, and become sensitive to many treats. Hence, you can bring your own stock with you.

Bring Your Dog's Toy or Blanket

If your dog love to play and cuddle with its favorite toy, it's best to bring it along to the pet boarding facility in the form of a pacifier. The boarding staff can use it to keep your dog in one place.

You can also bring its blanket along so the boarding staff won't have much difficulty making it sleep. Your dog can latch to the blanket when it’s time to sleep.

Teach basic commands to Your Dog

It's useful to teach your dog basic commands before you start boarding it. Dogs that are familiar with basic commands such as "Sit," "Stop," and "Come" will respond well to the boarding staff.

Consider crate and loo training your dog before you can leave it unsupervised. Untrained dogs can often become a nuisance to pet boarding staff. The sooner your dog learns to tolerate hours before getting a loo break, the better it can adjust to a boarding facility.

Make the Departure Quick

The longer you wait to say goodbye to your dog, the more difficult it will become for your dog to say goodbye. There is no sense in making the goodbye more stressful than it needs to be. It will only make it worse and even anxious.

Depart quickly, so it won't have much time to miss you and sulk.

 

Pet Boarding or Pet Sitting

Many people wonder if pet sitting is better than pet boarding. While pet sitting lets you choose a pet sitter to come to your home to feed, play and walk your dog, pet boarding will collectively do all this along with grooming and socializing your dog with other animals.

Unlike pet sitting, pet boarding allows your furry friend to share a common space with other dogs. And yes, pet boarding can be slightly cheaper than pet sitting because of the fixed space and multiple staff hired to look after the animals.

Check this infographic for more information.

 

According to Thumbtack.com, the national average cost to board a dog is $50. Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $60 for boarding your pet for 24 hours. Get discounted rates from the boarding facility by becoming their regular customer.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, to enjoy the finest dog boarding services.  We offer pet boarding, grooming, veterinary care, and training.

 

A Day in the Life of a Dog

Have you ever wondered what your dog typically does in a day? Twenty-four hours is a short time to analyze your pet's life, but this can certainly help you get an insight into what your dog generally does in a day, when it does certain activities, and what it loves to do.

Unlike us humans, dogs often have a regular day with a standard set of activities, including dozing off, snacking, chewing on toys, loo breaks, and playing. Unless it’s a service dog, you can be confident that they will spend most of their time either dozing off or watching the world go by. This isn’t a sign of depression or boredom in dogs. They enjoy lounging around unless they are engaged to play or do doggy chores.

Given the option, most canines are content to watch over their territory from their throne's comfort. However, dogs love their Me-time. A little privacy can do well both for you and them.

How does a dog spend its day?

Here is how a dog usually spends its day. This is the list of activities that almost every dog indulges in day-in or day-out.

Sleeping

You’d be surprised to know that dogs’ can spend 9-14 hours a day sleeping. Unlike humans, dogs have a polyphasic sleep pattern that means they sleep multiple times throughout 24 hours. Out of fourteen hours, a dog is less likely to spend sleeping in a state of drowsiness. Most parts of their irregular sleep are spending in the REM (Rapid eye movement) rest. Dogs need REM sleep to help retain learned skills and to awake quickly.

This isn’t unusual because they have an irregular sleep regime and need much more rest-time than we do. Dogs do need their downtime; otherwise, they can become cranky. Young pups would need at least 18-20 hours of sleep in a day to ensure healthy mental and physical growth and a robust immune system. Senior dogs often require more sleep than adult dogs because aging slows the body down, and doing activities require more energy than they used to.

Many pet owners often ask their vets why to do sleep so much in a day. It’s usually because a dog can burn much energy. They eat significantly less than us humans, but they burn almost all the calories they consume. A dog weighing 25lb will need 557 calories worth of food each day. With all the activities it does throughout the day, it will spend about 557 calories each day. A one-hour long walk can quickly burn over 60 calories.

Working dogs, such as guide dogs, police dogs, or farm dogs, will often sleepless because of their active lifestyles. They’ll likely sleep more during their retirement years.

Tips for helping a dog get enough sleep

To ensure that you provide comfortable nap time to your dog,

  • Leave them unattended or provide a private time. This will offer them enough time to take a powerful nap. Puppies need more personal time so they can sleep more often.
  • Prepare a sleeping crate or bed where your dog can go and sleep peacefully. This will be their quiet zone in the house.
  • Follow a schedule to ensure that they get enough rest and sleep time after playtime, physical exercises, and meals.

Lounging

What does lounging means for a dog? It represents an idle time for dogs. If you’re wondering, watching outside the window, enjoying television shows, and or slouching on the couch with you are parts of a dog lounging. Dogs will spend 30% of their time lounging around.

Generally, puppies work their way up from being under constant care and supervision to being trusted and comfortable being on their own over the course of a day.

How much alone time is "Too Much"?

It would be best if you were wary about giving too much alone time to your dogs. For a dog to spend all of its day alone is too much. They're social animals; hence they enjoy being around people and other animals.

Avoid leaving them inside the room or a basement for a longer duration of time. If you're unable to give them enough time, you can take them to the doggy daycare, where they'll get enough socialization and rest time.

Active Time

An active time doesn’t only mean playing, walking, or eating. Spending time for mental stimulation is also considered busy dog time. Depending on the breed and age, dogs need 3 to 5 hours of activity every day, where 1 to 1.5 hours of activity should be high-intensity in nature, and the rest can be moderate intensity.

The high-intensity activity includes running, jogging, and fetching while walking, engaging in play, and socializing accounts for the moderate-intensity activity.

Eating

Depending on their age, you can feed a dog twice or thrice a day. Adult dogs will only require two meals a day, while a young pup will require more than two.

Eating includes regular meals and snacking or treats. A dog can burn almost all the calories it eats in a day; hence you should ensure that they get the required amount of calories from food and snacks each day.

To ensure that you don't overfeed your dog, adopt the portion control method. Regular exercising and high-intensity activity is essential to ensure that they burn all the calories effectively.

Playing

The average dog gets by with an hour to two of playtime each day. The playtime should come in the form of running, walking, jogging, engaging with interactive toys, and other enrichment activities.

Enough playtimes ensure that young pups grow up to become an active and highly responsive pet. Adult dogs would need a regular amount of walking, running, and playing each day, while senior dogs would only need a minimal amount of exercise.

Playtime also ensures to work on core muscle and joint strengths. Pet obesity is a severe problem that can cause heart and joint problems. With proper playtime, you can ensure that your dog remains fit and active.

Socializing

Dogs should get a minimum of two hours of dedicated social time with humans and other dogs daily.

You need not provide 2 hours of socialization in one-go; instead, you can break it into a chunk of times over the day.

Socialization helps young pups and adult dogs to imbibe new skills, make friends, listen to the owner, and stay happy!

Daily Schedule for Dogs

This is a sample schedule to help establish a good routine for your dogs.

Morning Puppy Schedule

  • The day should begin with a loo-time. Quickly take them outside to relieve.
  • Feed them a highly nutritious and full breakfast.
  • Puppies usually need to relieve themselves after eating, so give another potty break.
  • Spend 30-60 minutes of playing and socializing with them, and taking a walk.
  • Nap time. Provide 30 minutes to two hours of sleep.
  • Give another potty break immediately after they wake up.
  • Feed lunch.

Afternoon Puppy Schedule

  • After lunch, give another potty break.
  • For up to one hour, play with them.
  • Give another nap time.
  • Take them outside for a loo break.
  • And then it’s playtime again.
  • Nap time.
  • Potty break.

Evening Puppy Schedule

  • Feed your dog dinner before you sit down.
  • After dinner, take a short walk.
  • If time permits, let them spend time playing and interacting with family members.
  • Give a quick bathroom trip before bed.

 Check this infgo graphics for more information. 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. We provide 24/7 doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, and veterinarian care to pet dogs and cats. Please consult with our veterinarian in Urbandale to design a custom daily schedule for your dog.