Tuesday, February 27, 2018

5 Dog Myths - Busted!

Call them what you want, but these 5 myths are anything but fact! Some of these sayings about dogs have been around for centuries, but in reality, many are simple myths or bad advice. We have found, and debunked, 5 of the most common myths about your dogs.

dog reading

Myth #1: Dogs Eat Grass Only If They Are Sick

It's true that dogs will often throw up after eating a lot of grass. However, this does not mean they eat the grass to induce vomiting, or that it is somehow a sign of illness. 

Most recent research indicates that quite simply put, dogs just like to eat grass.
If the dog eats too much grass, the grass may cause a minor irritation that could cause vomiting. If the grass is treated with chemicals, only then it could be hazardous to your pet. 

Some vets do believe that dogs will intentionally consume large amounts of grass to induce vomiting if they feel unwell or have consumed something toxic, but this should not be consistent behaviour. 

If grass-eating has led to chronic vomiting in your dog, you should probably keep them away from the grass and visit your local vet. 

Dog on grass

Myth #2: A Dog’s Mouth Is Cleaner Than A Human’s Mouth

Most of us have probably heard this at some point in our lives when a dog gives us a big slobbery kiss: “Don't worry about it! Didn't you know that a dog's mouth is cleaner than yours?”

This idea is thought to originally come from the fact that dogs lick their wounds and sometimes heal faster because of it – giving the idea that dogs have clean mouths. In reality, if a wound heals faster after a dog licks it, it's because his rough tongue has been removing dead tissue and stimulating circulation.  

In summary, a dog's mouth contains plenty of germs. Think about the stuff your dog eats off the ground, out of the trash and the things they lick off of themselves. Many dogs do not get their teeth brushed as regularly as people either, so there is the dental tartar build up and bacteria to also consider. 

Overall, a dog's mouth contains more germs than anyone wants to think about. But luckily these germs are usually dog-specific and unlikely to cause any harm to us.

smiling dog

Myth #3: You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

Although this has to be the oldest myth about dogs, it is still not true! Age is not a determining factor for tricks or training. 

People tend to notice that their older dogs have less interest in new activities and are less responsive to training; however, many older dogs may suffer limited hearing or vision that prevents them from learning or following commands as easily as they used to. 

When training an older dog, you first need to be able to get their attention. You also need to make sure the activity is not too physically demanding for them. Keep it interesting with their favourite toys or treats and remember your fur-friend is not the young pup they once were.

dog sniffing hand

Myth #4: Warm, Dry Noses Are A Sign Of Sickness

“My dog's nose is warm and dry. Does that mean they're sick?”

This is probably the biggest dog health myth around. Somewhere along the line, people came to the conclusion that a cold, wet nose is a sign of a healthy dog and a warm or dry nose is a sign of illness.

If your dog has a dry nose it means your dog has a dry nose, case closed. Dry nose has nothing to do with a dog's health. The temperature and moisture of your dog's nose are not miracle measurements of their health. 

For instance, a dog's nose is often dry and/or warm if they have just woken up, and this is perfectly normal. Unless their nose is persistently dry and crusted, focus on unusual behaviours from your dog to detect signs of a potential problem. 

Dog nose

Myth #5: A Wagging Tail Means A Happy Dog

Tail wagging has been associated with happy dogs for so long it's hard to say how this generalization began. However, this myth is only sometimes true. This common misconception could lead to an unfortunate dog bite in some cases.  

Yes, happy dogs wag their tails—but so do aggressive, agitated or anxious ones. Dog body language is much more involved than just watching a dog's tail. It is best to pay attention to a dog's overall body language to determine its mood. Gaze, posture, facial expression, and ear position blend with the tail cues to create a range of expressions. 

Happy dog

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How to Make Bath Time Less Stressful for You and Your Dog!

We all known a dog who hates baths, the ones who make a break for it and run to hide under the bed the second they hear the water start to run. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make bath time less stressful for your dog — and you! We have come up with 4 tips to help bath time become a worry of the past.

Dog being bathed

Prepare (A Lot!)

A stress free bath time doesn’t happen overnight, let’s be honest. You’ll have to start teaching your fur friend individual behaviours, that when put together, will make bath time successful and more enjoyable for the both of you.
Some key tricks that will come in handy during bath time are teaching your dog to jump in and out of the tub; as well as teaching them to stay still while the water is running.
Most importantly, you want to teach your dog to not be afraid of water. Doing this in a low-pressure place, like a small lake or a kiddie pool is ideal. This will allow your dog to enjoy the idea of being in the water; making bath time fun.

Washing dog

Exercise before the Bath

Many dogs naturally enjoy a dip in the water when they’re feeling hot and exhausted after exercise, so use those natural instincts to your advantage.
Walking your dog  ahead of time is a great idea as it allows them to use their pent up energy; making them more relaxed and tired when bath time rolls around. Although you’ll need to block off more time this way, it will make the overall bathing process much easier. 
It’s best to find an exercise that both you and your pup enjoy that will guarantee to wear them out. Not only will this make bath time more pleasant, it offers exercise to both you and your dog.

Taking dog for a walk

Brush before and after the Bath

Brushing your dog before their bath will make brushing them afterward much easier! This will help to remove any dirt or dead hair they’ve been carrying, and prevent you from pulling on wet, matted tangles while they’re in the tub. If your dog enjoys being brushed, this is also a good way to help relax and soothe them before the dreaded bath time.
You can also remove your dog’s collar at this time, or leave it on to use, as a gentle handle to steady them while in the bath.

Brushing Dog

Offer Treats & Praise

To keep your dog calm, teach them to associate bathing with good things. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way. Combine your dog's bath with tasty treats, plenty of praise, and maybe even a fun game or toy that's reserved especially for the tub. With treats, offer the first one once your dog has hoped into the tub; helping build positive associations.
Sometimes we get so caught up in scrubbing and rinsing that we forget to talk to our dogs through the process. Throughout the entire bath, give your dog praise. Talk to them in a calming, gentle voice explaining what you’re doing. By helping your fur friend associate baths with goodies and attention, you can do a lot to change your dog’s attitude about the whole bath situation.

Dog eating treat