If your pet were to get loose outdoors, would they know how to survive on their own? If not, you're not alone! A recent poll conducted by One Poll and commissioned by Now Fresh revealed that 2 in 3 dog owners believe their dog would never be able to survive solo in the wilderness. The study was conducted between March 20 and March 23, 2023, asking down owners a series of questions related to their dog's dependence (or lack thereof), their lifestyle, and their current diet. At a time when many companies are focusing their brand messaging on the connection between dogs and wolves, it revealed an interesting conclusion: Dog owners recognize that while wolves may be their ancestors, today's domestic dogs live a very different way of life. Of those surveyed, 86% of owners reported that their dog lives "a life of luxury," while 77% agreed that dogs today have grown accustomed to being cared for and catered to. But what does this information have to do with a dog's dietary needs? "Dogs have evolved from their wolf ancestors in so many ways," said Theresa Lantz, companion animal nutritionist at Petcurean, makers of NOW FRESH Pet Food. "This evolution also includes changes to their nutritional needs. When we consider how different their lifestyles today are - which include being more sedentary and dependent on humans - we must also take into account that those nutritional requirements would change too."
If you’re planning a trip with your feline best friend, you may be experiencing both excitement and a little concern. Unlike dogs, known for their love of the car, many cats aren’t keen on a road trip. But you’ll be happy to know that you CAN help your cat learn not only to tolerate but enjoy car travel. Let’s look at how you can travel with a cat in the car safely, including both short trips and longer road trip adventures… How Do I Introduce My Cat to the Car? If this is your cat’s first time in the car, you should plan to start small. Try taking your cat out into the car in your driveway and allowing them to get used to it before even putting it in motion. This is a great way to reduce anxiety and set yourself up for long-term success. When you see that your cat is comfortable with being inside your vehicle, try introducing the next step by starting the engine. This will introduce a new sound and feeling, which can be frightening. Talk to your cat calmly and comfort them. Continue this slow introduction by moving the vehicle slightly up and down the driveway, then going for a short drive around the block. With each step, ensure your cat is comfortable and relaxed before moving on to the next. As tempting as it may be, don’t rush this process. Offer a lot of praise and treats to create a positive association with the vehicle and the experience as a whole. How Long Can Cats Ride in a Car? The time or distance your cat can successfully ride in a vehicle will depend on several factors. This includes their comfort level in the vehicle, the “amenities” you make available to them (like food, water, and a litter box), and the number of stops you make along the way. For some cats, a 6-hour car ride is completely relaxing, and they will sleep the whole time. For others, however, even 10 minutes can feel like an eternity.
We often hear about the importance of getting out and walking our dogs. But what do you do if your dog is determined to eat everything in sight every time you are out and about? Not only is this behavior frustrating, but it can also be very dangerous. There is the risk that your dog will eat a toxic substance or swallow something that causes a life-threatening gastrointestinal blockage.If this concerns you, you’re not alone! It’s a struggle faced by many dog parents. In this article, I will share 8 solutions to stop your dog from eating everything. Proper management is the key to keeping your pup safe.Why Does My Dog Eat Literally Everything?For most dogs, the desire to scavenge and eat everything they can find is nothing more than an instinct. In the wild, your dog’s ancestors had to find enough food daily to meet their nutritional needs. This often meant eating things that may have been less than desirable to get through from one solid meal to the next.While your pup has the guarantee of a full food dish waiting for them, they may still pick up anything they believe is edible without giving it a second thought.There is a chance that your dog is trying to tell you that there is something bigger going on. A dog that is missing something in their diet may eat items they find to meet this need. This could also indicate that they are still hungry for medical reasons. If they are suffering from a condition preventing them from feeling satisfied or absorbing the nutrients they need, this could lead to scavenging for food.Finally, there is a small chance that your dog is suffering from a condition known as Pica. This disorder is when a dog compulsively eats or chews on non-food items. This may present as an obsession with eating rocks, dirt, plastic, cloth, or cardboard. This behavior must be addressed for your dog’s health and safety.These unusual eating habits could also result from boredom, anxiety, or a need for mental enrichment.
5 Types of Dog EnrichmentWhen people talk about enrichment for dogs, they often focus on two forms – physical enrichment and mental enrichment. But you may be surprised to learn that there are five types to consider, each with unique benefits for your dog. To provide the best possible quality of life for your dog, you will need to consider how to find (or create) opportunities for all five types of enrichment.PhysicalJust as we must be physically active for our health and well-being, so do our dogs. The amount of exercise your dog needs will vary from dog to dog, depending on their age, breed, and lifestyle. For example, a high-energy puppy will need more daily activity to feel satisfied than a senior dog, and a high-energy working breed will need more exercise than a calm, companion breed. Physical enrichment includes everything from walking around the block or playing fetch in the backyard to navigating a challenging hiking trail. The goal is to get up and moving.NutritionalActivities that fall under the nutritional enrichment category require your dog to hunt or forage for their food. This includes food puzzles, treat dispensing toys and snuffle mats. But you don’t have to purchase a fancy product to incorporate nutritional enrichment. One easy (and free) solution is to hide treats around the room and watch your dog sniff out the rewards. Games like this tap into your dog’s natural instincts.SocialWith the recent boost of dogs being adopted during the lockdown, this is a need that many new dog parents didn’t meet. Not because they didn’t want to, they simply didn’t know better. But socialization is essential to raise a well-behaved and well-adjusted dog. The key to socializing your dog correctly is to do it slowly and under careful supervision.Allow your dog to discover new people, places, and things without feeling frightened or in danger. If you are letting your dog meet a dog for the first time, it should be done carefully with both dogs under control to prevent fights or other unpleasant situations. This is why so many dog trainers discourage dog parks and off-leash areas. Many well-meaning dog parents will bring their pups to these locations only to have them rushed by an “overly friendly” dog, causing overstimulation which can lead to fear or aggression. Instead, consider signing up for a puppy training class or arranging supervised puppy play dates with a dog lover you know and trust.In addition to introducing your dog to other dogs, social enrichment should include interactions with people, cats, objects (like cars and bicycles), and new environments. Make sure you are in control heading into each experience, and remove your dog quickly if you see they are becoming overwhelmed.
We all believe our dog is special and unique, but for some dog parents, this statement means something more. A small number of dog parents around the world can lay claim to being recognized by Guinness World Records. Three-year-old Labrador/German Shepherd mix Zoey and her family, the Williams family, are now part of that elite group as Zoey claims the record for the World’s Longest Tongue on a Living Dog.A dog’s tongue plays a vital role in many aspects of their daily lives. They use them to pick up and eat food, lap water, and even cool themselves down when temperatures soar. When your pup is trying to investigate an interesting scent, the tongue helps to better smell their surroundings. Of course, there are also those sloppy kisses!The Williams family noticed the length of Zoey’s tongue as a young puppy but assumed it was just a feature she was growing into. After all, many puppies have features that seem out of proportion as they grow up, like large bat ears and gigantic paws.However, as Zoey grew up, the family realized that her tongue continued to grow with her. Her tongue can be seen hanging out proudly in all of her pictures. “We got Zoey when she was only six weeks old,” explained Sadie Williams. “And in the first-ever picture we have of her, she has her tongue sticking out.”An English Setter previously held the record named Bisbee in Tucson, Arizona, whose tongue was officially measured at 3.74 inches. Before Bisbee, the title was held by a St. Bernard named Mochi for over five years until 2021, when she passed. Her tongue measured in at a shocking 7.3 inches.After having several friends and family members suggest that Zoey’s tongue could challenge this record, Drew ad Sadie Williams decided to go through the process. They had to take Zoey to a veterinarian for an official measurement to be taken. This appointment was recorded and submitted to Guinness with a package of videos, photos, and witness statements to confirm that the claim was valid and that the measurement was taken fairly and accurately.When all was said and done, Zoey’s tongue officially measured at 5 inches, claiming the record. Guinness compared her tongue to the size of a standard soda can, which measures 4.8 inches.
As dog lovers, we’re all familiar with the Westminster Dog Show and the perfectly groomed and well-trained dogs that it introduces to the world. But in Petaluma, California, a different group of pups is being shown the spotlight… This city in the San Francisco Bay Area is home to the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.Hosted as part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair, this show celebrates the unique qualities that make every dog special, even if they don’t fit the traditional definition of “beauty.” For nearly 50 years, this one-of-a-kind contest has brought together dogs of all sizes, backgrounds, breeds, and ways of life. While they may have little quirks that make them an individual, like crossed eyes, underbites, mismatched ears, or abnormal stances, these pups quickly capture the hearts of everyone they meet.This year, the contest was held on June 23rd. The judging panel featured some big names, including Miss California Catherine Liang and Gaudi Schwartz, co-host of NBC news Stay Tuned. After viewing all the contestants, including paperwork confirming they are healthy (despite their unique features), the title was awarded to a Chinese Crested named Scooter.
As a cat parent, you understand that our feline friends deserve nothing but the best. This means prioritizing their well-being and identifying potential health risks you can prevent. One such risk you should be familiar with is dehydration. Ensuring your cats drink enough water to meet their daily needs can be challenging. If you’re currently struggling with this, I am here to help.Check out this article for tips and tricks to encourage your cat to drink more water. Plus, I’ll share why we love water fountains for all pets in our home.Do Cats Get Dehydrated Easily?While any pet may struggle with dehydration, it’s surprisingly common among cats. Why? Unlike dogs and other pets, most cats don’t have the desire to drink plain water. Experts say that this can be traced back to their roots.In the wild, cats are obligate carnivores – meaning they depend strictly on meat for survival. Meat contains high moisture levels, allowing them to obtain most of the water they need through their food. However, the same can’t be said with the shift to commercial cat foods and treats, especially dry kibble. This makes it more important than ever for cat parents to be proactive with hydration.
Final ThoughtsThere are many reasons why your senior dog may be restless, pacing, and struggling to sleep through the night. The most common reason at this age is cognitive dysfunction, or “doggy dementia.” While it can be challenging to watch your best friend go through this struggle, there are steps that you can take to manage the situation and give them the best possible quality of life. This includes offering an elevated bed to take any pressure off their joints for a comfortable night’s sleep. Your senior pup will thank you for it!
Our Go-To Solution: Hyper Pet IQ Treat MatThe concept of the dog lick mat and its ability to help reduce stress and anxiety is one that I have been familiar with for quite a while. Having been actively involved in the rescue world, I have spent much time helping dogs from less-than-ideal situations adjust to their new (and better) lives. This often means finding ways to keep them calm as they learn that the world doesn’t have to be seen as scary.More recently, we brought our youngest pup Lucifer into the family. Before adopting him, he had been through a traumatic situation that left him with some serious injuries to overcome – both physical and mental.One of the best solutions we have found to help Lucifer deal with uncomfortable situations is to provide him with a Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mat and some of his favorite dog-friendly snacks.For example, shortly after adopting him, we realized that car rides were uncomfortable for him. He would try to climb into my lap constantly for comfort or completely shut down due to his anxiety. We could distract and calm him during the ride by preparing a lick mat before heading out. Doing this regularly not only offered an immediate solution but also helped to create a positive association with the vehicle for future rides.
Have you recently stepped out into your yard to find little potholes all over the place? Before you run to Google to search for products to stop your dog from digging holes (there are plenty of companies that are more than willing to take your money), let’s start with understanding the basics.Spoiler alert: When dealing with a dog behavioral problem, a quick solution is rarely something that will last over time. In this article, we will look at why your dog has been digging holes in the yard and how you can prevent it without giving into the deterrent sprays and other aversive products offering big promises. Which Dog Breeds Are Prone to Digging? Digging holes is a natural behavior for dogs, meaning that any dog could enjoy creating a few holes around your yard if left unsupervised. This is especially common in dogs that are anxious, stressed, bored, or lacking a positive outlet for their pent-up energy. That said, some dog breeds are more likely to struggle with the temptation. This includes: Terriers like the Jack Russell Terrier were bred to hunt rodents. These dogs are determined to get to their prey, even if that means having to dig down to them underground. Dachshunds, like terriers, were bred to follow their prey underground in tunnels and burrows.Another hunting dog that often seeks out prey underground is the Beagle. Northern dogs often dig in their natural habitat to make shelter and protect themselves from the elements. While dogs like the Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute now live in the comfort of our homes, they often still give in to their instinct to build a den. Rather than hunting dogs, some dog breeds, like the Lagotto Romagnolo, were bred to hunt truffles. This, of course, meant digging them up from the ground, instilling that desire to dig when a scent catches their attention. Another situation where you may find your dog digging is when they are anxious or afraid. For example, if your dog is left in the yard when they hear frightening sounds like fireworks or a thunderstorm, they may start digging in a desperate attempt to escape and flee to safety. This is one reason experts recommend keeping our dogs indoors during holidays like July 4th when they are more likely to face these triggers.
Have you ever wished your dog could speak English, allowing them to tell you what’s on their mind? If so, you’re not alone! As dog parents, we learn how to read our best friend’s body language or pick up on their ability to communicate what they want with their actions. But many pet parents are now exploring a new opportunity to improve communication and teach their dogs to “speak” by introducing dog talking buttons.But what are talking buttons, and how do dogs use them to communicate? Let’s look at this fun way to connect with your pup.Do Talking Buttons Actually Work for Dogs?Originally introduced to the world by speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger, dog talking buttons are a form of Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC). This specialized communication approach is commonly used with human children as an alternative to verbal expression. AAC can be implemented with various devices and techniques, from high-tech tablets and computerized devices to sign language and flash cards.Having plenty of experience with the techniques in her daily work, Hunger became curious about whether the same approach could be used to communicate with her dog Stella. From there, the talking button phenomenon was born.Talking buttons are recordable devices programmed to say a word or phrase each time they are pressed. Dog parents can then teach their dogs to associate the button with that word and its meaning. For example, you may program a button in your home to say “outside” and teach your dog that pressing the button means they want someone to open the door and let them out in the backyard.