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How To Make My Dog Eat Slower

July 18, 2017 | Dog Training, Fun Games, Helpful Tips, Pet Health, Pet Safety, Training

How to make my dog eat slower

How To Make My Dog Eat Slower

Does your dog treat every meal like it’s the first time they’ve eaten all week? If your dog eats too fast, we’ve got a few tips you can try to make your dog eat slower.

Why Does My Dog Eat So Fast

A lot of dogs develop their fast eating habits as puppies. They are often competing with their litter mates for food, and they learn that whoever snoozes loses! Dogs develop the habit of eating very quickly and then it becomes their typical behavior when they eat.

Some dog breeds are known to eat very quickly, such as labradors, golden retrievers, beagles, basset hounds, and dachshunds. Dogs all have different personalities and eating styles, and eating fast is a common issue many pet parents see.

Problems If A Dog Eats Too Fast

When your dog eats fast it can become a serious issue, so it’s important to train them to slow down. Otherwise, they could possibly choke from eating too quickly or vomit the food back up. Bloat can also occur from gulping down an excessive amount of air. Bloat causes the stomach to expand and possibly twist, which can become life threatening very quickly. The main symptom of bloat is vomiting mostly foam, or a swollen stomach. If you think your dog may have bloat, you need to take them to the vet immediately.

Bowls To Help Slow Down Eating

The great thing is that getting a dog to eat slower is a problem with a pretty simple solution! The easiest way to slow them down is to change up their bowl.

  • Slow Feeder Bowl: There are tons of slow feeder bowls you can buy and they work wonders at making your dog eat slower. Slow feeder bowls separate the food into smaller areas so your dog has to work at getting their food instead of just inhaling it. We love Outward Hound’s clever and cute bowls. Their Fun Feeder bowl did a great job training my puppy to slow down. Now she has graduated to using a regular bowl again!
  • Cookie Sheet: A cost-effective method to help your dog eat slower is to use a cookie sheet. Just spread the kibble out in a thin layer and they will be forced to slow down.
  • Muffin Tin: You probably already have a muffin tin, which can also double as a slow-feeder bowl. Divide out the kibble in all of the different holes and watch them enjoy finding their food! They have to work harder to get the kibble out of each individual hole, which will take a bit more time.
  • Puzzle Feeder: There are a variety of puzzle feeders and puzzle balls that work great at helping your dog eat slower. They can’t get to the food all at once and need to move things around to find the kibble or get it to dispense from the toy. This method is very stimulating and interactive for them, which is always fun!

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Alternative Dinner Activities

If you want to take a new, fun approach to dinner, you may also want to give these options a try!

  • Make Dinner Be Training Time: If your dog loves their food, they likely will think of it in the same way they think of a treat. This is great because it means you can use kibble as a reward for training. If you’re working on any new tricks or skills, measure out the amount your dog should be eating for a meal and then use that kibble as their reward. Make sure you still are giving them all of the food they should be getting at a meal time. Dinner training sessions are a great way to bond, and you’ll have a happy, well-behaved dog!
  • Hide and Seek: Some dogs love to play hide and seek with food. Have your dog sit and stay while you let them see you hide a few pieces of kibble. Then say “Seek” to release them from their stay, and they can go get the food. Once your dog understands the concept, you can make it harder by having them sit and stay somewhere they can’t see you hide the kibble. Then the game actually makes them seek out the food, which is great for mental stimulation.

It’s very simple to correct the issue of a dog eating too quickly, and it’s important so you prevent things like choking, vomiting, and bloat. You have so many choices, from using the simple home remedy of a muffin tin, to buying a spiffy slow-feeder bowl, or you can even turn feeding into an interactive and fun session. Any of these approaches will quickly remedy your pup’s scarfing issues and will make dinner time a calmer experience for everyone!

 

Charleston Dog WalkerCharleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!

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When Is It Too Hot To Walk My Dog?

June 7, 2017 | Charleston, Dog Walking, Helpful Tips, Pet Health, Pet Safety


When Is It Too Hot To Walk My Dog

When Is It Too Hot To Walk My Dog?

Dogs need exercise every day and a lot of pet parents ask us “when is it too hot to walk my dog?” during these hot days. Summers in Charleston (along with spring and fall days) can get quite hot. It can be easy for your dog to overheat, so it’s vital for you to understand what heat your dog can safely handle.

What Temperature Is Too Hot For A Dog Walk?

There is not a hard and fast temperature that makes it too hot, but a good rule of thumb is 90 degrees and higher is too hot. On days with very high temperatures, the best idea is to modify your walk times to be early in the morning or late in the evening. These times of the day are cooler and you won’t have the direct sun beating down on your pup. An even better gauge than just the temperature is feeling the sidewalk or road you will be walking on. We use the 5 Second Rule: Place your hand on the pavement and if it is too hot for you to hold there for 5 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on it.

How To Keep A Dog Cool On A Hot Day

Even on hot days, it’s still inevitable that you’ll have to take your dog outside to go to the bathroom. There are lots of things you can do to keep them cool even when the temperature is boiling. Find shadier paths to walk instead of walking in the direct sun. It’s best to have your dog walk on the grass or dirt instead of pavement so that they don’t burn their paws. Plan out your path so that you can have stops every so often in grassy or shaded areas so their paws can get some relief. It’s also important to limit the time outside, so once they take their potty break, head back home.

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Dogs That Overheat Easily

Every dog is different, but there are certain factors that can make your dog overheat easily. Your dog’s breed can help you determine if they may not do well on a hot day. Dogs that are short-faced, such as Boxers, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, and Shih Tzu’s are dogs that typically overheat very quickly in hot temperatures. Overweight dogs are also much more likely to overheat and have a higher risk for dehydration. Another factor to consider is your dog’s coat color, as darker coats will absorb more heat than lighter coats.

Signs Your Dog Is Too Hot

Most dogs are good at telling you it is too hot for them – you just need to know what to look for! When you first go outside, give your dog a minute or two to adjust to the temperature change. If they act like they want to go back inside, that’s a great sign that they know it’s too hot outside. Once you get going on your walk, watch to see if your dog is high-stepping. When the ground is too hot for their paws, they will be uncomfortable and will try to minimize the time their paws touch the ground. You can also check their paw pads every so often to see if they feel warm or cool. If they are warm, then it’s better to head home and go back out when it’s cooler.

Plan For The Summer

We’re just getting into the crazy hot days of summer here in Charleston, so now is a great time to start adjusting your dog’s walking routine. Plan for walks in the early morning and late evening to ensure your dog stays cool. If your schedule doesn’t work for that new routine, give Charleston Dog Walker a call! We’d love to make sure your dog gets all the exercise they need and still stay cool!

 

Charleston Dog WalkerCharleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!

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Aloe Vera And Dogs

May 24, 2017 | Helpful Tips, Pet Health, Pet Products

At Charleston Dog Walker, we love to share new products, pet health information, pet-friendly activities, and local pet businesses with our amazing clients! Check out this guest blog from Hannah Salters, a local representative of Forever Living, an aloe vera company that offers a line of over 200 products for dogs and people made from organically grown, hand-harvested aloe.

Aloe Vera And Dogs

Have you ever wondered about the many uses of aloe vera? Other than breaking off the leaf and treating burns, aloe can be used for an assortment of ailments for both you AND your pets. Did you know you could ingest aloe, and that it is great for your dogs, too?

Aloe can be used for skin irritations, joint pain, digestive issues and more. Pure aloe vera gelly is versatile and safe. It can be used in dogs’ ears, on cuts, bites, rashes, in mouths for ulcers or sores, and much more.

Much like the gelly, the aloe vet spray is a great item to have on hand as it is easy to use and sprays directly on your pet’s fur. It can often save you from having to shave your pet to reach the skin, as the spray goes right on, and reaches the infected or aggravated area. It is a multipurpose product as well, and can be used to clean ears and around your pet’s eyes. It is a coat conditioner and is also great for washing out wounds. When our yellow lab had a rather nasty infection and had to have his fur shaved for it to be cleaned, we used the vet spray to help the wound heal. The poor guy had to wear a cone for a while, but thanks to aloe, it was a shorter stint than it could have been!

Aloe vera and dogsForever Freedom drinking gel is wonderful for animals with joint issues, arthritis, hip pain and more. They love the taste of the gel which has MSM, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin. These three supplements can offer great relief in a matter of days, as the two latter help rebuild cartilage.

The Aloe Drinking Gel can be used for puppies with upset tummies as well as a prebiotic. It can be given to show dogs in order to promote superb skin and coat health. Drinking aloe for digestive care, especially for gut issues such as Colitis, has been proven to be extremely beneficial. Our 6 year old lab, Jake, as well as both my husband and I, drink the gel for our gut health. Jake loves the taste and licks his lips when gulping down his aloe. If ever we see him resort to eating grass, we make sure he gets a few doses of aloe so he can reset his gut and be back to his playful self.

Forever HA and Arctic Sea are two wonderful supplements that support joint health. The HA provides a unique form of hyaluronic acid to keep joints lubricated. The Arctic Sea is an Omega 3, Mercury free supplement. These nutrients serve several functions, cushion and protect the internal organs, and support proper joint function. Our sweet little friend named Gatsby, an 8 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, loves taking his Arctic Sea to help with mobility. Gatsby is a true product of aloe as he also frequently gets his baths in the Aloe Jojoba shampoo and he uses the vet spray too. These two items help him to stay fresh and looking his normal, handsome self!

All of the above items, along with many others, are for both humans and pets. They offer the same benefits for people as they do the animals. Forever Living is THE aloe vera company, and it offers a line of 200 or more products made from organically grown, hand harvested aloe. For more information on these and other products, please contact Hannah Salters via hannahsaltersglobal.flp.com


How To Tell If Your Pet Is Overweight

March 29, 2017 | Charleston, Dog Treats, Dog-Friendly Charleston, Helpful Tips, Pet Health

Did you know that more than 50% of U.S. pets are overweight? That’s not a good thing to hear, especially when being overweight can lead to tons of health problems for your beloved pet. It could mean a shorter life span, it can aggregate joint disease, lead to Type 2 Diabetes, worsen heart conditions, and lead to skin diseases. Who would have thought all those extra treats could cause such awful things?

How can you tell if your dog or cat is overweight? Ideally, when you look down your pet should have an hourglass shape. Dogs and cats should both have a definite waist, or an inward taper between their abdomen and hips. You should be able to feel their ribs, but not see them.

If your pet is overweight, focus on these 3 things to help them lose the extra pounds:

  1. Make sure you are feeding them the appropriate amount of food. Check your dog or cat’s food label to find out the recommended amount of food for their weight range. Use a measuring cup when you scoop out their food so you know you are feeding them the right amount.
  2. Switch up their treats to something healthy. Try giving your dog carrots, fresh green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, apple slices (no seeds), banana slices, or watermelon. My dogs are obsessed with carrots!
  3. Don’t forget exercise! Dogs should get at least one 30 minute walk every day. If walks aren’t your thing, schedule a visit with Charleston Dog Walker for some exercise time! Or you can head over to a local dog park and let them run with some doggy friends. Here are our favorite dog parks in Charleston. For your kitty, spend some time playing with toys that get them up and moving, like a laser pointer or any toy they can bat around.

Your pet’s weight is very important, so take the time to make these simple changes to their lifestyle. They can’t make the changes without you!

 

Charleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!


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