As Halloween looms and many guardians fear for the stress this event brings to dogs, I like to remember that the pumpkins associated with this holiday often some consolation. While pumpkins made for carving aren’t the tastiest (and aren’t even bred and grown with eating in mind), you can provide your dog with a delicious and healthy treat in pumpkin form.
Canned pumpkin offers an easy way to give dogs something that offers potential health benefits along with great taste. (Even better, learn how to prep a fresh pumpkin in the upcoming issue of The Bark!) It’s always wise to check with your veterinarian before feeding your dog anything new, but most dogs tolerate canned pumpkin well and seem to love it.
For most humans, the thought of being confined in a small space is the stuff of nightmares (seriously… just watch the “Buried” trailer and tell us you’re not totally freaked out). But with dogs, it’s a little different.
Far from feeling claustrophobic, dogs actually like small spaces; it makes them feel safe and secure. Dogs are den animals, and if you want to make them comfortable, you need to give them a den—in the form of a crate.
In addition to giving your pup his own little chill zone where he can make himself at home, but crates also help with house training and to manage destructive behaviors, particularly when you leave them alone.
But you can’t just stick a crate in your living room and expect your dog to run inside. Just like anything else, getting your dog comfortable with a crate will take some time, energy, and patience.
Let’s take a look at how to successfully crate train your dog (and save yourself a lot of headaches in the process):
But really, is crate training a mean thing to do to my dog?
First things first: crate training isn’t inhumane. Before we dive into how to crate train your dog, let’s first dispel a popular misconception—that crate training is somehow cruel or inhumane.
If you think of your dog like a person, then putting them into a small, confined space does seem cruel. But dogs aren’t people. Instead of feeling scared or overwhelmed in the crate—like a person would—with the right training, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place where your dog feels happier than snuggled up in his crate.
Now, like anything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to use a crate; sticking your pup in the crate for an entire day or using it as a punishment is definitely not something you want to do. But as long as you’re responsible with your crate training, there’s nothing cruel or inhumane about it—in fact, it’s just the opposite.
How do I choose the right crate for my pup?
The first step in effective crate training? Choosing the right crate.
There are plenty of different crates on the market (plastic crates and metal crates and travel crates, oh my!), but the type of crate matters less than the size. The crate should be just large enough for your to dog to stand and turn comfortably. Any smaller and it will be uncomfortably tight; any larger and it won’t feel cozy enough for your pup to feel safe. Plus, since one of the main purposes of crate training is to get your dog housebroken, you don’t want it to be spacious enough for them to go to the bathroom on one side of the crate and snuggle up for a nap on the other.
If you’re crate training a puppy or young dog, buy a crate that they can grow into, then block things off so they don’t have too much space to wander or to use their crate as a makeshift potty.
The do’s and don’ts of crate training
Once you’ve chosen the right crate for your pup, it’s time to start crate training! Let’s look at the do’s and don’ts of effectively crate training your dog:
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When you first bring your crate home, put it in a room where you and your family spend a lot of time, like the living room. Line the bottom with a few cozy blankets and then leave it there. Some dogs are naturally curious and will walk right into the crate and start sniffing around; others may be a bit more apprehensive. If your dog is the latter, make the deal a little sweeter by putting his favorite toy or a yummy treat inside.
The point is, you want your dog to get comfortable moving in and out of the crate. Once he’s comfortable, then you can start training him to stay in for extended periods of time.
DO make mealtime crate time
One of the easiest ways to train your dog to stay in his crate? By feeding him his meals there.
Put your pup’s food at the back of his crate; that way, he has to walk all the way inside in order to get his munch on. The first time, leave the crate door open. After that, start closing the door while he eats. At first, you’ll want to open the door as soon as he’s finished eating. As he gets more comfortable, you can tack a few minutes on to each meal before you open the door.
DO increase time slowly
Once your pup is cool with eating his meals in the crate with the door closed, it’s time to start leaving him in his crate for extended periods of time.
Call your pup over to the crate and tell him to go inside. Once he’s inside, give him a treat and a healthy dose of praise, then shut the door. Sit outside the crate where he can see you for a few minutes (5 – 10 should do) and then walk into another room for the same length of time. Afterward, come back in and sit next to his crate for a few minutes before letting him out and giving him a treat.
Keep doing this several times a day, increasing the time until your dog is perfectly content staying in his crate with you in the other room for 30 minutes. Once you hit the 30 minute mark, you can start leaving him in the crate for longer periods (like when you leave the house or when you’re asleep).
DON’T leave your pup in the crate for too long
You want your pup to stay in his crate for extended periods of time, but you don’t want to leave him in there too long.
If you’re crate training a puppy, never leave him in there for more than a few hours at a time. Puppies can’t hold their bladder or bowels that long, and leaving them in the crate so long they’re forced to have an accident is a) cruel, and b) extremely detrimental to the training process.
DON’T use the crate as punishment
Whatever you do, don’t ever, ever, EVER use the crate as punishment. If you do, your dog will develop a serious complex about the crate and refuse to go inside.
Crate training is a great way to make your dog feel safe and secure in your home while keeping accidents and destructive behaviors to a minimum. And now that you know the ins and outs of crate training, the crate will be your pup’s new favorite place in no time.
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You know that feeling when you’ve got a nice long weekend to hang out with your dog, and they sleep basically the WHOLE TIME? You might wonder, “Why is my dog so sleepy? Is my company really that boring?”
Well we were wondering that too! (The sleepy part, not the boring part.) So we decided to delve a little into what makes our dogs seem to pick up a seemingly endless craving for their ZZZZzzzzzzs.
There are three major things to consider when you’re wondering why your dog sleeps so much.
Some dogs just need more sleep, like older dogs and puppies.
Size Matters: Big dogs tend to sleep more.
Dogs only spend 10% of sleep in REM compared to 25% for a human. Dogs need more hours to get the same quality of sleep.
So what’s the deal with my dog and sleep? Can dogs sleep too much?
On average, according to the American Kennel Club, dogs spend up to 12-14 hours sleeping. For older dogs it can be even more, since everything seems to go a little slower and get a little more exhausting when you reach those golden years.
Puppies can sleep for 18 or even 20 hours a day, because they spend all their waking hours burning a ton of energy—running around, playing, exploring. Picture a baby who spends about four hours a day driving a 100 mph motorcycle, exploring as much of the countryside as possible. That’s basically your puppy! And also kindof an insane image. You’re welcome.
Your dog’s breed has something to do with how much they sleep, too. Working dogs, or dogs that were bred specifically to perform a task, are more active and alert; while other breeds are likely to spend more time on their cozy pillows or getting fitted for their jammies.
And one more key difference: size matters. Larger dogs tend to be sleepier, which makes sense considering all that weight they gotta haul around. Smaller breeds can get by with about ten hours. Generally speaking, the larger the dog, the more sleep they need.
But WHY do dogs sleep so much? It’s all about R.E.M.
Humans spend 25% of their sleeping time in REM, the deep sleep where you really recharge. Dogs only spend 10% of their sleeping time in REM—so they need more hours to get the same quality of sleep. If your ears and nose were as strong as a dog’s, you’d probably have a harder time tuning out the distractions and falling asleep, too!
Bottom line, dogs are more distractible than humans- they’re flexible sleepers who fall asleep out of boredom, wake up easily and become alert immediately. You gotta admire a dog’s ability to get a full day of tail chasing, jumping around, and staring at you, all without even needing a pot of coffee!
So that’s what’s going on with your sleepy dog. And that’s why, as they say, it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie… because it’s tricky enough as it is for them to really get that nice rest!
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Senior dogs aren’t alone in their proneness to joint issues; hip and joint supplements are ideal for pups of any age, particularly if they’ve had a recent joint injury or surgery, or are a breed prone to joint health problems. But fear not, pup parents!
Buy Viagra 25 mg in Detroit Michigan contain glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid to return your pup’s joints to puppy-level perfection. Your dog’s body produces enough of each of these compounds to maintain normal joint health, but they’re unable to work properly in the face of injuries or inflammation. That’s where an extra boost of these all-natural substances works to improve dogs’ quality of life and long-term health and comfort.
Take a look at the essential benefits of each of the active ingredients:
Instability inside a joint as the result of injury, arthritis, or genetic issues produces inflammation, which in turn causes stiffness and discomfort. Glucosamine helps reduce this inflammation to ease pain and swelling, and improve overall function.
Once joints can move freely without the bones rubbing against each other (this is what healthy cartilage and a lubricating pocket of synovial fluid prevents), pups can get up from a nap with ease, go for walks, and keep the muscles surrounding the joints strong and supportive.
MSM is a sulfur-containing compound that occurs naturally in animals, humans, and plants, and is a building block in cartilage. Supplemental MSM has been shown to prevent cartilage decomposition and reduce inflammation by improving joint tissue strength and elasticity.
Put simply, it means that chasing their favorite ball in the backyard is never out of the question.
Like glucosamine, chondroitin helps improve elasticity in joints, reduce inflammation, and ease subsequent joint pain. An extra boost of chondroitin like that in our supplements aids mobility and keeps dogs on the go and not confined to the couch.
A pocket of synovial fluid surrounds joint cartilage to keep everything moving smoothly, and hyaluronic acid is a key component. If the acid begins to break down within the fluid, joint stiffness and discomfort results. We include this active ingredient in our supplements to keep joints lubricated & moving properly.
Whether your dog is hesitating at the bottom of the stairs, moving slower than usual, or is just plain uncomfortable when touched, a visit to the vet may be in order. Additionally, starting your pup on hip and joint supplements before issues arise is a great preventative method to keep them fetching for days and begging for an extra walk around the blockn Shop BARK’s hip and joint supplement on Buy Viagra 25 mg in Downey California!
As the global battle against malaria stalls, scientists may be adding a novel tool to the fight: sniffer dogs. In recent tests trained sniffer dogs successfully diagnosed malaria infections simply by sniffing samples from socks worn briefly by children from a malaria endemic area of West Africa, according to a new study.