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.

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