A Healthy, Shiny Dog Coat (in as little as 5 minutes a day)

A Healthy, Shiny Dog Coat (in as little as 5 minutes a day)

Dog Care

10-Second Take:

Saying that a coat is glossy or shiny is often an indicator that your dog seems fit and healthy: the coat is the first thing we see and it’s how we assess a dog’s general health. But despite what you may think, maintaining your dog’s hair or fur certainly doesn’t have to be time-consuming, nor does it require constant trips to an expensive dog groomer.

Has Your Dog’s Coat Got You Feeling InFURior?

You and your best friend are strolling along your favorite hiking trail when you run into another human-dog couple walking towards you. You make eye contact, smile and nod… The dogs greet each other, maybe doing the butt-sniff thing that they tend to do. But this time you can’t help notice the shininess of the other dog’s coat. His wavy hair seems so smooth, glossy, and radiant in the sun.

“Your dog looks so healthy,” you compliment. “I wish I could take my dog to the groomer more often.” “Oh, I wish I could, too,” the dog’s human responds. “I just try to brush often.” You glance back at your own dog: in her eyes, you interpret a judgmental stare, blaming you for her coat envy. You just can’t shake that tinge of guilt for the rest of the hike.

 

The good news is, healthy fur isn’t rocket science and doesn’t have to take any more than 5-10 minutes a day of quality time with your furry BFF.

Is it Hair or Fur?

Does your dog have fur or hair? Those words are often used interchangeably, but you may be interested to know that having double layers (like mountain dogs) is known as a fur coat, while a single coat is known as a hair coat. All dogs shed, but some breeds shed less often than others. Dogs that are single-coated shed less often (in general) and their dead skin cells don’t produce allergens that can lead to allergies.
Even with short-haired, single-coated dogs, with an active lifestyle, we need to be extra mindful about maintaining their coats more often and with more care. A hike in the woods, a swim in a lake, a romp in the snow, or just a day of frisbee in the park can attract debris to your dog’s fur.
Difference between Hair or Fur

1. Grooming Your Dog’s Coat

Brush your dog’s coat on a regular basis

Estimated Time: 5 minutes a day (more for larger or longer haired dogs)

After playing in the great outdoors—or getting into the fridge in your house, for that matter—your dog can bring in debris such as dirt, leaves, and even foxtails and burrs. Brushing your dog will ensure that you can catch parasites such as fleas and ticks, and make sure that they’re not setting up shop on your dog and the rest of your house.

The easiest and best way to maintain your dog’s fur and skin is to brush often, and this can take only five to ten minutes a day (depending on the size of your dog and the fur volume). Use a soft brush to remove the regular dead skin and loose hairs: this will help increase production of natural skin oil that will make your dog’s coat glossy and shiny. Brush in the direction of the fur to distribute the oils and then use a comb to get rid of tangles.

Double bonus: Brushing will also help increase oxygen to your dog’s skin. Make sure to only use brushes specifically meant for dogs because they are specially designed to get rid of tangles, dander, and dead skin cells. Whether your dog is short-haired or long-haired, brushing often is key. For short-haired dogs, once every several days is enough. For long-haired dogs, daily brushing is recommended.

Limit her bathing and shampooing

Estimated Time: 20 minutes a month (40 seconds a day)

It may be surprising to know that the frequency of bathing and shampooing should be limited, especially during the colder months. If your dog is like many dogs and hates baths, then this should be a relief for her! Frequent bathing can unnecessarily dry out your dog’s skin.

A full shampoo bath should be done only when necessary in the drier winter months. Much of the time, a simple water bath can be enough. In general, washing your dog once a month is recommended.

It may be tempting to wash your dog more often, but remember that more bathing can lead to natural oils drying out, which often can lead to a duller coat.

Pro tip: Make sure to use moisturizing shampoos that are specifically made for dogs.
Bathing and Shampooing should be limited

2. Use an air humidifier near your dog’s bed at night

Estimated Time: almost 0 minutes a day

Here’s a simple trick: By having a humidifier working while your dog is sleeping, you’re keeping his or her coat healthy with no effort at all!

It’s also better for them if you don’t use room deodorizers or carpet cleaning products near where they sleep. Remember that your dog’s sleeping level isn’t as high up as your bed.

3. Diet plays the biggest role in the condition of their skin and coat

Estimated Time: almost 0 minutes a day

A nutritious, healthy diet is the most important factor in maintaining your dog’s skin and coat health.

No matter how diligent you are grooming her coat, without proper, optimal nutrition, your pooch just won’t be getting the shiny coat that would make both of you happy.

If you feel that more could be done to improve your dog’s coat, there are some simple steps you can take.

Make sure the first ingredient in your dog’s food is protein
  • Make sure the first ingredient in your dog’s food is protein. A dull coat is often the result of a poor diet or poor food quality. Dogs’ hair is about 90% protein, so it makes sense that feeding higher quality protein will improve your dog’s fur. When shopping for dog food, make sure that the first ingredient is a protein source, such as beef, chicken, or lamb. Avoid any foods where the first ingredient is anything other than protein, such as chicken meal, soy, or corn.
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for a glossy coat. Omegas have good anti-inflammatory effects that can be beneficial to many skin and coat issues. You can add small amounts of fish to your dog’s diet (raw or cooked). In about a week, you’ll see results. If your dog isn’t keen on fish, you can add a teaspoon (for small dogs) or a tablespoon (for big dogs) of fish oil or flaxseed oil into your dog’s usual food.

Treats are great for improving skin and coat health

Estimated time: 30 seconds a day (depending on how excited your dog gets)

Diet and supplements for a shiny dog coat are affordable and go a long way in maintaining good coat health. If it seems your dog can still use more of a boost, or if you’d just like a more convenient way to make her coat shine, then healthy treats are a way to go!

Make sure to choose treats that are healthy, natural and organic, use high-quality ingredients, and use the no-heat no-cook process, just like our Active Chews Omega Skin & Coat Treats for Dogs.

Diet and supplements for a shiny dog coat are affordable and go a long way in maintaining good coat health.

Taking care of the dog’s coat is one of the most important things to do to ensure good health. After their adorable faces, their hair or fur is probably their most noticeable feature.

Whether your dog has long or short hair, water repellent or double-coated, daily care is necessary for your dog’s health. Plus, you’d want your pooch looking and feeling her best!

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We want to help your FBFF (that’s Furry BFF, if you were wondering) get that shiny, glossy coat that would be the envy of the dog park. So we’re offering an exclusive discount and a 100% money-back guarantee!
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Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

Dog Care

10-Second Take:

Our four-legged Dogs are just as prone to sensitive stomach issues as humans, they just can’t tell us about it. But with some simple adjustments—like feeding him the right dog food for sensitive stomachs, and maybe adding healthy supplements to his diet—your dog’s tummy can be as healthy as it was when he was a pup.

What we put in our best friends’ bodies affects them just as much as what we put into ours (if not more), especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The wrong dog food can lead to stomach sensitivity, occasional vomiting, loose stools, and even flatulence. 🙁

Read on for all the info you need to get him going again, and back to his optimal, playful self…

Normally, it seems like your dog can do anything. He can chase after a tennis ball faster than a cheetah and jump and catch anything—no matter how high or how far. Your dog can conquer any hiking trail, weather the toughest of conditions, and will always be at your side for any adventure. But as strong as he is, he seems to be at the mercy of one thing: an upset tummy. An upset stomach can strike down even the toughest of dogs. Don’t despair… You and Fido can be back out exploring the world and having fun soon!

How to Tell if Your Dog has a Sensitive Stomach

Here are some common signs of a sensitive stomach your dog might exhibit:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Hypersalivation
  • Occasional vomiting
  • Loose stools
  • Flatulence

Having a sensitive stomach is a common condition that needs to be addressed if you want your furry best friend to be active and thrive.

What Causes Sensitive Stomachs in Dogs?

Some dogs are just born with sensitive stomachs while others aren’t. Some can develop them later when they get older. Some dogs, just like some people, can be sensitive to some food ingredients.

Sometimes, a sensitive stomach could be a sign of a more serious problem. Although the chances of anything serious would be low, a trip to the vet can rule out more serious issues and would put your mind at ease. Remember that dog food can get expensive, especially if you opt to experiment by switching out foods, hoping to find the right one for your dog’s stomach. For the long run, a trip to the vet might actually save you time and money. However, there is one veterinarian-recommended option you could try first… read on or skip down to the probiotics for dogs section below.

With the wide variety of reasons for sensitive stomach, there’s also a wide variety of dog foods that certain dogs can have trouble tolerating. Some dogs are sensitive to certain types of proteins. Other dogs may be needing more fiber or minerals, or maybe it contains too much of something, like fat.

What to Look For in Commercial Dog Foods When Your Dog has a Sensitive Stomach

Protein Source

Some dogs just have trouble digesting certain proteins. For example, if your dog is on a beef based diet, try switching to chicken, lamb, or fish.

Fiber Source

Some dogs need some extra fiber in their diet. In commercial dog food, look out for inulin and psyllium, soluble fibers that act as gentle, bulk-forming laxatives.

Fat Content

Dog foods that are higher in fat are harder to digest than those high in protein or carbohydrates. If fats and oils are listed in the first four ingredients, this can mean that the fat content may be too high for your dog.

    What to look for on dog food packaging

    The tricky part with commercial dog food is that there is such a variety. And because different ingredients affect different dogs in different ways, it just makes it all the harder to really pinpoint the cause. However, there are common qualities that make certain dog foods easily digestible.

    • Less grain – some dogs have difficulty digesting wheat, corn, and other grains.
    • Limiting the number of ingredients – the higher the ingredient count, the higher the chances of having an ingredient that your dog’s stomach won’t agree with.
    • Easily digestible foods as one of the first ingredients – chicken, lamb, brown rice, and potatoes are easily digestible for the vast majority of dogs.
    • Some foods contain added probiotics or yogurt. Others can contain pumpkin or added fibers for better quality stools.

    Homemade Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

    If most commercial dog foods still don’t sit right with your dog, you can opt for homemade food. Even if the primary food source is commercial dog food, it’s still very beneficial to mix it up with tasty homemade meals.

    Lean, Boiled Chicken or Turkey

    Not only are these tasty, but they are very high in protein with less fiber and fat.

    Canned Tuna

    Make sure it’s canned in water, not in oil. Avoid added seasoning.

    White Rice

    Cheap, bland, but nutritious, white rice is a good option for sensitive stomachs. Make sure it’s fully cooled before giving it to your pooch!

    Boiled Potatoes

    Like white rice, boiled potatoes is another bland but nutritious option for sensitive stomachs. However, it has higher vitamin content, making it a bit more ideal.

    Yogurt

    With high levels of probiotics, yogurt is great for the digestive tract. Offer your dog the plain variety with no sugar, sweeteners or flavorings.

    Probiotics Health Treats for Dogs Can Help!

    Stomach sensitivity is one of the most common ailments for all types of dogs and can hinder your dog’s energy and activity. Adding probiotic health treats for dogs as supplements to store-bought or homemade food can be a work wonders for your dog’s sensitive stomach and overall health.

    Probiotics are natural “good bacteria” that aid digestion, as well as many other health benefits. By enhancing the digestive process, it facilitates the removal of harmful toxins.

    Whatever the specific reason is for stomach sensitivity (i.e., too much fat, not enough fiber, etc.), adding probiotics can be a healthy, efficient, and inexpensive way to help balance your dog’s gut health.

    TIP: Check out our article on the advantages and sources of Probiotics for Dogs for more on why dogs need them and what to look for.

    Adding probiotics can help with sensitive stomach issues
    Always be watchful of what your dog eats and be aware of the quality of his poo. With some exploration of what foods feel right and adding some health treats to his diet, you can help prevent stomach sensitivity from slowing him down and holding both of you back from enjoying activities together.

    Limited Time Offer

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    We want to help your FBFF (that’s Furry BFF, if you were wondering) get back to his or her happy, active, not-so-poopy self, so that you can get back to enjoying your own active life. So we’re offering an exclusive discount and a 100% money-back guarantee!

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    Hip Dysplasia in Dogs – Understanding and Treating the Disease

    Hip Dysplasia in Dogs – Understanding and Treating the Disease

    Dog Care

    Hip dysplasia in dogs, also known as Canine Hip Dysplasia, can drastically reduce your dog’s quality of life and it’s also painful for us humans to watch. But with a little education on prevention and treatment, you can go a long way toward keeping your dog active and comfortable for years.

    What is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

    According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons:

    “Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a condition that begins in dogs as they grow and results in instability or a loose fit (laxity) of the hip joint.” – Canine Hip Dysplasia, American College of Veterinary Surgeons. [1]

    It’s a common skeletal condition, especially in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds, as well.

    Hip dysplasia can be painful and lower the quality of life for your dog

    A dog’s hip joint is a ball and socket joint. Hip dysplasia occurs when there’s something not right with either the hip socket or the rounded part of the femur bone: the hip socket could become too shallow or the femur head is could get deformed. This can cause problems with friction and cartilage wearing. Instead of sliding smoothly, consistent grinding will cause problems later on.

    What Causes Canine Hip Dysplasia?

    Genetics

    Genetic and hereditary factors are one of the main reasons for hip dysplasia.

    “Hip dysplasia is largely hereditary and is especially common in large breeds, such as the Great Dane, St. Bernard, Labrador Retriever, and German Shepherd Dog.” – American Kennel Club [2]

    Hip dysplasia can have several causes

    Environment and Upbringing

    If your dog’s breed is predisposed to hip dysplasia, environmental factors may exacerbate the conditions. Not having optimal nutrition, obesity, rapid growth, and too much exercise can be contributing factors.

    Aging Conditions

    With a lifetime of activity, there could be a lot of wear and tear of the joints. As a dog ages, he or she could be more prone to hip dysplasia, and it can often lead to arthritis.

    Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    At your dog’s checkup, your veterinarian would do a physical exam that includes checking for canine hip dysplasia. If it’s suspected, he or she would do an x-ray to confirm.

    Only an x-ray and a vet can effectively diagnose hip dysplasia. But there are some signs that you can be on the lookout for in your daily routine.

    Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    There’s a wide range of symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs. There are two camps for dogs that are prone to hip dysplasia. It can occur while still a puppy, usually around four or five months old; and in older dogs with osteoarthritis, a type of joint inflammation, are also prone to it.

    In both cases, there are quite a few symptoms of hip dysplasia that large dog breed owners should be wary of (hip dysplasia can sometimes occur in smaller breeds too).

    • A swaying gait: the hips shift side to side more than the norm.
    • Using both back legs at the same when running: both feet hit the ground at the same time.
    • Bunny Hopping (when running, both hind legs hit the ground at the same time. Also, the hindquarters ride higher than the shoulders)
    • Difficulty standing up, lying down or climbing stairs
    • Limping
    • Sitting in a frog-like position with one hip splayed out
    • A narrow stance with his back legs closer together than his front ones
    • Loss of thigh muscle mass
    • Noticeable enlargement of shoulders (due to compensating for the loss of thigh muscle mass)
    a narrow stance can be a sign of hip dysplasia

    A Labrador Retriever standing with hind legs close together to compensate for weak hips caused by an altered gait from hip dysplasia.

    Source: Malinaccier, Wikimedia Commons

    Prevention and Home Treatment for Dog Hip Dysplasia 

    There are many ways you can treat hip dysplasia to make your dog’s life more comfortable. In addition to your vet’s recommendations, treating your dog naturally can have far-reaching benefits.

    Diet

    Many dog owners make the mistake of feeding their dogs a high protein, high-calorie diet. This is wrong, and it can especially have negative consequences for breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia. Rapid weight gain would increase the chances of hip dysplasia because the bones and muscles would grow too quickly.

    A balanced diet could help stave off hip dysplasia, along with so many other benefits.

    Exercise

    Large breeds that are predisposed to hip dysplasia shouldn’t do too many high-impact activities like long distance running or jumping. Exercises and activities that can excessively strain the hind legs should be kept to a minimum because this could lead to deterioration of the joints.

    Low impact activities such as swimming and walking are ideal. Walking on inclined surfaces is an easy way to help develop and strengthen the muscles. Upward inclines work the rear legs, downward inclines work the front legs.

    Light exercises, like walking, can benefit your dog

    We get it. We’d love nothing more than to have our pooches share in our active outdoor adventures, and it can be so tempting to push them, just as like how we push ourselves. They can always tag along and enjoy scenery and activities, but it’s best to not push too hard for the sake of your dog’s comfort and quality of life.

    Hydrotherapy

    If you have a swimming pool, hydrotherapy would be an excellent and fun way to exercise. The buoyancy of water makes your dog lighter, reducing the pressure on your dog’s hip joints. This would allow your dog to exercise more freely and with less pain. As the rear muscles tone and strengthen, they can regain some of their mobility.

    Warmth

    Dogs can feel cold just like people, so making sure your dog has a sweater or a warm blanket at night would help ease the pain of those joints.

    Hydrotherapy is a good way to treat hip dysplasia

    Supplements for Dogs with Hip Dysplasia

    As we’ve mentioned before, feeding a healthy, well-balanced diet is key for your dog’s overall health. However, if your dog has hip dysplasia, there are supplements that can improve her quality of life. Proper diet and exercise are most important, but a little extra help can go a long way.

    • Just like with people, glucosamine helps lubricate and cushion joints, and this is especially beneficial for those suffering from hip dysplasia.
    • Commonly paired up with glucosamine, chondroitin can help with hip dysplasia by helping the production of newer cells and aiding in strengthening cartilage of the joints.
    • Turmeric can also significantly reduce swelling to ease their discomfort and increase mobility.

    Our Active Chews Hip & Joint Treats for Dogs were created to help our canine friends who are suffering from joint issues including hip dysplasia and arthritis, so they could lead healthy, active lives. Out treats include both glucosamine and chondroitin that cushion and lubricates your dog’s joints, thereby reducing swelling and pain from hip dysplasia. We use human-grade ingredients with no harmful side effects, and a no-heat, no-cook process to retain maximum potency!

    Your Dog Can Still be Active and Happy

    Remember that canine hip dysplasia is an inherited condition, so there is no product that could completely prevent it. It’s also a chronic condition, so surgery is not a 100% guarantee. It’s a condition that you and your pal need to live with.

    With so many ways to treat hip dysplasia in dogs, we’re fortunate to be living in modern times. We have instant access to nutritional information, exercise ideas, supplements and advancing medical technology, your furry BFF can still be active alongside you and your family. Just be sure to check in with her during activities, and take things easier when she shows signs of discomfort.

    Even with hip dysplasia, your dog can still be active and happy

    Sources:

    American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Canine Hip Dysplasia

    Anne Burke (2017, May 31) American Kennel Club Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    Limited Time Offer

    Try Active Chews Hip & Joint Treats and Save 15%

    We want to help your FBFF (that’s Furry BFF, if you were wondering) get back to his or her happy, active, joint-pain-free self, so that you can get back to enjoying your own active life. So we’re offering an exclusive discount and a 100% money-back guarantee!

    Use code ACTIVEJOINT15 at checkout to get your discount!

    Hiking with Your Dog – Dos, Don’ts and Advice from Top Trainers

    Hiking with Your Dog – Dos, Don’ts and Advice from Top Trainers

    Dog Care

    The vision of hiking side-by-side with our dogs, away from the hustle and bustle of the real world, at one with nature, brings smiles to our faces. You’ve probably seen beautiful pictures on Instagram of people with their loyal, obedient dogs, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder at a mountaintop, overlooking the pine tree covered valley illuminated by the fuchsia glow of the setting sun.

    But for most of us, our first time hiking with our dogs paints a different memory. Do you remember the first time you and your dog went exploring? Chances are, he or she was an energetic but naive pup, running around and pulling on the leash, trying to sniff out at anything that wasn’t dirt, and biting and picking up anything that could fit into a mouth.

    And you probably remember some close calls (that you might laugh at now) and vowed to be much more careful next time. We all have moments of “Wow, we dodged that bullet,” especially when out in nature.

    Dogs make excellent company for the outdoors, but as much as it’s fun to go hiking with your dog, there are some issues that could be avoided with simple knowledge and preparation. Here are ten tips to prepare a dog for hiking.

    Top 10 Do’s (and Don’ts) for Hiking with Dogs

    1

    DO: Make sure your dog is fit enough

    Although your dog may seem like a hyperactive furball, hiking can be a different story. A good way to gage is to see if your dog can be active at home all day without feeling tired.

    Sometimes it can depend on the breed. If the weather is cold or if you’re going high altitude, be sure that your dog is fit enough for it.

    Dogs that are very young or very old may not be physically fit enough for a hike. Since their main goal would be to keep up with you and be at your side, this could be too exhausting and your dog may not enjoy it.

    Check with your vet to see if your dog is healthy and ready for action.

    hiking with your dog

    Don’t: Push too hard

    Prepare to go easy at first. It’s easy to overestimate how active your dog could be, especially if he or she runs around all day without getting tired. As with anything exercise or new endeavor, start off slow.

    2

    DO: Know how long the hike will be

    How far can a dog hike in a day? The answer will affect what supplies to take with you, such as how much water, food, flashlight, etc. This is also important for your dog because some breeds don’t have the endurance for hikes for more than several hours.

    Don’t: underestimate the danger of hot weather

    “The main way that dogs lose heat is through evaporation through their tongues and their respiratory tract … If it’s hot and humid outside, that really limits the dog’s ability to lose heat by its primary mechanism. Then if you add running in the heat and humidity on top of that, between the temperature gradient, humidity and the heat they’re generating as they run, they end up having more heat inside than they can lose.” – Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University [1]

    3

    DO: Obey leash laws and be aware of trail regulations

    Many hiking trails (especially national parks) require leashes or don’t welcome dogs at all, so you’ll need to do your research ahead of time. And if they do, dogs may be restricted to designated trails. Take some time to get to know the rules and regulations of that trail can save a lot of time and headache: no one wants to drive for hours only to see the dreaded “No dogs allowed” sign!

    obey leash laws when hiking with your dog

    Don’t: Let your dog run loose on the trail

    “Trails are not dog parks. You and your dog are guests on a trail, whether it is in the front or back country. If you take your dog on a trail you have a specific and EXTRA obligation to have them with you, either on or off leash (depending on how much training you have done). Trails are multi use, horse packers, llama packers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, etc. You should feel obligated to be respectful and kind to those around you, so everyone can enjoy their day out and about.”

    Nancy Tanner, Dog Trainer [2]

    4

    DO: Know the trail beforehand

    If your dog needs space in order to feel safe, narrow, crowded trails won’t be fun for your dog. Choose wider and less busy trails. Depending on the breed and fitness level of your dog, check the elevation levels as well.

    “Look for trials that are ‘easy on the paws.’ Pick trails with leaves and dirt and avoid trails with sharp rocks and gravel. Also, check for any surfaces that can get very hot that can hurt your dog’s feet … Stay away from areas with heavy horse use and mountain bikes. They can come at you with little warning which can cause potential harm. ”

    Craig Romano, author of Best Hikes with Dogs Inland Northwest

    “Choose trails with switchbacks so you can see who is in front or behind, choose wider trails or less populated trails. Just because your friends are going to a certain hiking area doesn’t mean it is right for you and your dog. If you are going to bring your dog, you need to take what they can handle into consideration, and what you have done in order to help them be successful.”

    — Nancy Tanner, Dog Trainer [2]

    Don’t: Leave poop behind

    They are not a natural part of the ecosystem. You and your dog are guests and have a responsibility for maintaining nature’s balance. If other people see your dog’s poop, they may also think it’s OK to not clean up as well.

    5

    DO: Make sure your dog is well trained, especially the “come” command

    Imagine that you’re on a nice trail with your dog, off-leash, and suddenly he sees a potential dog-friend! He chases lunges to play with her but the other owner, eyes widening, yells out, “No, she isn’t friendly!”

    Uh oh.

    Hopefully, any tragedy is averted and you’re just left a bit embarrassed. However, there more serious possible dangers on the trail, such as snakes, coyotes, skunks, and other wildlife that your naive dog may want to “play” with.

    Make sure that your dog is well behaved, and this is especially important on the hiking trail.

    beware of skunks on the hiking trail and make sure your dog is well trained

    Don’t: Let him bark at everything

    This can be annoying to other hikers and alarm the wildlife. Controlling your dog’s barking is another behavior skill that’s needed on the trail.

    6

    DO: Bring enough water and food for both of you

    Bring dry food with high protein and high fat to give your dog an energy boost. Give a small amount an hour before the hike, and small portions throughout the day. If the hiking trip would be a long one, consider dry, dehydrated food to lighten the load.

    Whenever you need a sup of water, give some to your dog too, about every 30 minutes, depending on weather temperature and trail intensity. A collapsible water bowl would be ideal.

    bring water on hikes with your dog

    Don’t: Let your dog drink from bodies of water along the trail

    This is especially true for still water such as ponds and puddles: these can have pathogens harmful to dogs.

    7

    DO: Bring a doggy first-aid kit

    • First-aid guide: do not rely on your smartphone in case there’s no signal. Have a hard copy at all times. You can download and print one from the American Kennel Club: Emergency First Aid for Dogs
    • Tweezers to pull out thorns, stingers, and ticks.
    • Antihistamines for pets. Useful for treating insect bites and stings.
    • Bandages, especially self-adhesives that will not stick to fur.
    • Betadine solution to protect skin wounds from possible infection
    • Canine sunscreen to prevent sunburn
    • Muzzle. “Not my dog,” you may say, but a dog that’s panicking and in pain can lash out. An injured animal can be very unpredictable.

    Don’t: Panic when there’s an injury

    Don’t leave your dog’s side and call emergency services.

    8

    DO: Invest in dog hiking gear

    With all these suggestions on what to bring, you’re probably thinking how much you’d have to carry but fear not! Your dog would love to help you out by carrying his or her own load. Dogs love having a job to do: just make sure your dog gets used to it before your trip. Have him practice by walking around with the pack on.

    And he’s going to look so cool doing it.

    dog hiking gear and backpack

    Don’t: Over stuff the doggy backpack

    Most of the heavy equipment should be carried by the human.

    9

    DO: Be aware of pest prevention

    As amazing as outdoor adventures are, they come with downsides, with pests being the most common. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and heartworm can all play their part in ruining your hike, so take preventive measures. Before your trip, apply flea and tick preventives and give him heartworm medication.

    Don’t: Let your dog romp around

    This is especially around plants vegetation that’s unfamiliar to you. Keep your dog by your side at all times.

    10

    DO: A post-hike checkup

    After the trip, always examine your dog from head to tail. The last thing you need is something from the trail to come back with you into your home!

     

    Don’t: Forget to rest up after the adventure!

    dog resting after a long hike

    Remember that hiking is supposed to be fun for both you and your dog

    It may seem like a lot of preparation, but it’s a very small price to pay for all the joyful adventures that you and your dog will have together.

    We’ll leave you with this from the Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan:

    “Hiking with the pack is one of my favorite things to do. The level of happiness I feel on those mornings is beyond a ten! I feel really relaxed and have absolute silence within me. The only sounds are those of the nature around me and the hard breathing of the dogs. I love that sound. You hear and feel everyone and everything when your mind is silent.”

    Cesar Millan, Dog Trainer [3]

    Sources:

    The New York Times, (2015, Aug. 13) The Dog Days Can Be Deadly for Dogs
    Nancy Tanner, (2014, July 7), Our Trails Are In Need Of Better Etiquette
    Cesar’s Way, Go the distance!, Hiking With Your Dog

    Probiotics for Dogs: Why Dogs Need Them and What to Look For

    Probiotics for Dogs: Why Dogs Need Them and What to Look For

    Dog Care

    The 10-second version: Probiotics for dogs can be just as effective as they are for humans, and help with issues ranging from digestion (constipation and diarrhea), to immune systems and even brain function. Wondering if they might help your FBFF (furry BFF) and how to get the most out of it for his health? Read on.

    What are Probiotics?

    Probiotics are seemingly everywhere now. You’ve probably seen shelves of grocery stores lined with yogurt, specialty drinks, and foods that scream out “Great source of probiotics!”

    We are still in the early stages of discovering all the benefits of the “good bacteria” called probiotics, and there’s more to come. In addition to aiding digestion, there have been discoveries of how our gut health is also linked to other areas of our bodies: the good bacteria that line the gastrointestinal tract, which is full of neurons, can also benefit our brain function, cognitive development, and even our mood.

    And since many animals have gut bacteria in their digestive systems, probiotics can keep our dogs healthy and active as well!

    When Your Dog Can Benefit from Probiotics

    Picture this: Before the road trip to the campsite, it’s time to have your dog do his business. The tent, the camp stove, water, fishing gear, everything’s all loaded up except your family. He walks over to his usual spot, engages in the doggy-poo squat and stares at you. And as usual, you turn your head away from the awkwardness.

    You know how long he needs, but when you look in his direction to see what’s up, he’s still in his potty squat, still glaring at you. You watch his poop inching out in a glacial pace. Or worse yet, you go to scoop it up, but it feels more like ricotta cheese.

    Probiotics can help with bowel movements

    He ate nothing out of the ordinary (that you know of). Did he not drink enough water? Is he stressed? What could you have given him to ease his bowels?

    Because of aging, sickness, stress, or general poor health, gut bacteria are sometimes damaged or destroyed, which can cause intestinal and general digestive problems. If your dog is suffering from constipation or diarrhea or seems to get sick more often than normal, it may be beneficial to add probiotics to his diet.

    What Do Probiotics Do for Dogs?

    Not only do probiotics improve a dog’s gut, they also support the brain, digestion, assimilation of nutrients, and the immune system.

    1. Probiotics Boost Dogs’ Immune Systems

    The gut and the immune system are intricately linked. Especially with active, outdoorsy dogs, viruses and bacteria can enter the body through the mouth, but thankfully, probiotics live starting at the esophagus and throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract. Maintaining the good bacteria keeps the bad bacteria in check throughout the entire digestive system.

    If you see your dog getting sick for no obvious reason, it may be time to add probiotics to his diet.

    2. Probiotics Aid in Digestion

    Probiotics have positive effects on the entire digestive system. By enhancing the digestive process, it facilitates the removal of harmful toxins. If your dog has been on antibiotics, probiotics can help replace the good bacteria that may have been wiped out.

    If your dog has diarrhea, constipation, or irritable bowel syndrome, it may be time to try probiotics.

    probiotics help with digestion

    3. Probiotics are Good for the Brain

    The gut is filled with nerve cells, so probiotics in the gut can also boost brain function. This is what’s known as the gut-brain axis, and scientists are continuing to discover more links. Probiotics synthesize some important hormones, such as serotonin, and can affect your dog’s mood. Anxiety and depression can be linked to your dog’s gut health.

    probiotics can boost brain health

    Sources of Probiotics for Dogs

    There are many “human” foods that are also good for dogs, and many are full of probiotics that benefit our overall health.

    Fermented Veggies

    fermented vegetables can be a good source of probiotics for dogs

    Some dogs are finicky. Others scarf anything down as long as it’s edible. The smell and sour taste of fermented vegetables can be a complete hit or miss, so a little patience is required.

    The fermentation process causes microbes to break down raw vegetables so they’re more easily digestible, and also produces lactic acid that kills off harmful bacteria.

    It’s a good idea to introduce fermented veggies slowly. Sauerkraut, carrots, and even kimchi are good examples of fermented vegetables for dogs.

    Yogurt

    yogurt can be a good source of probiotics for dogs

    Yogurt is a good source of probiotics, but make sure it’s free of any sweeteners (both natural and artificial). Look for yogurt that has a lot of cultures and less lactose, like plain Greek-style yogurt. It’s also rich in calcium and protein.

    Kefir

    kefir can be a good source of probiotics for dogs

    Kefir is loaded with good bacteria, so it’s one of the most powerful and efficient sources of probiotics that you can give to your dog. Kefir is rich in Vitamin B1, B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and biotin. It’s also rich in minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

    Dirt (Let Your Dog Be a Dog!)

    dirt can be a good source of probiotics for dogs and good for the immune system

    Yes, you read that right. Let him play in the dirt! Most dogs love digging and frolicking around in the mud for reasons our adult human minds can’t fathom. Oddly enough, it’s instinctual and a natural way to build up his overall immune system. So let him indulge in nature and maybe even join in on the dirty revelry.

    Probiotics Supplements

    Probiotic Supplements for Dogs

    There are lots of sources of probiotics you can try. However, there are times when the most efficient and time-saving method is by giving them a supplement. Offering healthy food and adding probiotics supplements is one of the best ways to your active dog healthy for years to come.

    What to Look for When Choosing Probiotic Supplements for Dogs

    R

    Prebiotics

    Make sure it has both prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics nourish the probiotic bacteria and keep them active. This is what is known as symbiotics.

    R

    No-Cook Process

    Make sure they’re the supplements aren’t cooked or heated when they’re made, as that can kill off most of the digestive enzymes for dogs.

    P

    Bonus Ingredient: Psyllium Husk

    Psyllium husk is a soluble fiber that works very well as a laxative, so if your dog has constipation, this would be especially helpful. It’s also a prebiotic that supports the good bacteria of the dog’s colon.

    Our Gut Feeling

    There’s a saying that the gut is the “second brain.” With so many neurons throughout the gut and the gastrointestinal tract, it’s no wonder why the gut has been traditionally linked with moods. Phrases like “gut instinct,” “gut-wrenching,” and “butterflies in my stomach” all point to the connection of our overall well-being and our guts. This is also true for our dogs and other animals.

    One thing is clear: probiotics for dogs are a great way to keep your dog going… and going regularly.
    probiotics can improve gut bacteria

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    We want to help your FBFF (that’s Furry BFF, if you were wondering) get back to his or her happy, active, not-so-poopy self, so that you can get back to enjoying your own active life. So we’re offering an exclusive discount and a 100% money-back guarantee!

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    Exercises for Older Dogs

    Exercises for Older Dogs

    Dog Care

    As our dogs get older, we watch them slow down, have a bit less energy, gain weight easier, and maybe get mopier (just like us!). You can tell in her eyes that there may be something she wants to tell you but can’t due to tremendous differences in speech anatomy.

    Hip and joint pain are common issues for older dogs. This would be very obvious during exercise, as you watch your once outdoorsy, adventurous dog start to slow down and maybe struggle to keep up. These signs are also apparent in simple activities, like hopping into the car and climbing up and down the stairs. When you see your dog struggling, you should be watchful for two of the most common ailments that come with older age: arthritis and hip dysplasia. Fortunately, exercises for aging dogs can help!

    Signs that aging is taking a toll on your dog’s joints

    It’s that time of day and even before you reach for her leash, her head perks up, eyes wide with excitement, ears honed in on your usual call.

    As she saunters over, tail wagging, you also go grab the ball flinger and realize that it’s been a while since you’ve both played in the grassy park just blocks away. She sees the toy and gets as excited as ever!

    Reaching your favorite spot at the park, she looks up at you, then eyes the ball, eager to play fetch like the good old days. Seeing your grin, her body quivers with excitement as you wind up to launch. She turns and bolts after it, razor focussed on the flying object as only a dog can. When the ball lands, she stumbles a bit as she slows down to pick it up. Her run back to you is more of a slow gallop, and then you remember why don’t let her run alongside you on your bike rides anymore.

    old dog walking

    She’s no longer that rambunctious pup almost a decade ago. She looks at you with those eyes, urging you to throw it again. This is still her time with you, and nothing will stop her from entertaining you. But it’s your job as a dog-parent to know when it’s time to take it easy and take some proactive steps to keep her in the best health you can. And that means knowing what ailments are affecting her and what you can do to help her.

    Aging Joint Issue 1: Arthritis in Dogs

    When seeing your dog slowing down and being less active, it’s easy to just assume that’s it’s just a part of aging. To some extent, this is true. However, as with humans, aging comes with health issues that need more attention and more care, and as dog owners, it’s our loving duty to make the years as comfortable and happy as possible.

    Unfortunately, we can easily miss the early warning signs of arthritis because dogs, being the brave, loyal fur-buddies that they are, tend to actively hide discomfort and pain until they become severe.

    Here are some signs of arthritis in dogs:

    • Stiffness (particularly after rest)
    • Slow gait
    • Licking of joints
    • Reluctant to climb stairs
    • Has accidents in the house

    One of the causes of arthritis in dogs is years of stress on the joints. The more active the lifestyle, the more stress there would be on the joints; therefore it’s even more important to be watchful when living with an active dog.

    Your vet may have many suggestions for treatment, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine. Weight management and exercise can reduce weight, especially on the already inflamed joints. Glucosamine supplement treats can help alleviate pain and stress on the joints.

    Joint Issue 2: Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

    Canine hip dysplasia is a disease of the hip when the ball and socket joints of the hips rub and grind instead of sliding smoothly. This mostly affects larger breeds but can be suffered by smaller dogs as well.

    The signs of hip dysplasia in dogs are similar to arthritis, but there are more obvious issues with the hindquarters:

    • Having a narrower stance of the hind legs
    • Grating in the joint when moving
    • Loss of thigh muscle mass
    • Noticeable enlargement of shoulders (due to compensating for the loss of thigh muscle mass)

    Only your vet can diagnose hip dysplasia. If surgery isn’t necessary, your vet may recommend weight loss, easier exercises, and anti-inflammatory medications.

    Best exercises for older dogs with joint problems

    Your own doctor probably told you that exercise is one of the most effective preventive measures against the onset of ailments related to aging, and this is also true for dogs as well. It’s sometimes hard to know what’s too little, or what’s too much. Every dog is different, so it’s up to you, the loyal human, to be watchful and careful when taking her out on your adventures.

    When a dog is active and healthy, it will help stave off obesity and joint pain, which are so common in mature dogs. Below are several exercises that are easier but still enough for your old pup.

    A good old walk

    Dogs LOVE to walk, and even if they’re older, they can still act as if everything they see, hear, and sniff is just as exciting as the first time. But rather than a full-on hike, your older dog would benefit from a slower pace.

    You’ll need to be more mindful of other factors that you may haven’t thought of.

    • Check the outside temperature. If it’s too hot, your dog can tire quickly, and if it’s too cold, her old bones would feel the chill, so a nice doggy sweater or coat would help. Those little dog boots can help.
    • Check the surface. Uneven surfaces can add strain to your dog, possibly making them less steady on their feet. Depending on the severity of your dog’s joint conditions, try staying on flatter surfaces. A harness would be useful in case of accidental slips or falls.
    • Try sticking to familiar routes. Again, this really depends on the dog. Remember that older dogs can have “senior moments,” due to a reduced sense of sight, hearing, and smell. This can lead to anxiety. New, sudden changes can alarm the dog, so keeping to familiar paths will keep the walk stress-free and happy. Remember that for your dog, it’s not about the route, it’s all about just being happy by your side.
    good old dog walk

    Fetch and frisbee with your dog

    As we can see from the earlier example of the ball flinger in the park, it would be time to adjust how high or how far she should go. She just won’t be able to jump as high as she used to. Keep the trajectory lower so she doesn’t have to jump and keep the distance short.

    Keep the play short, and remember to be watchful of her energy. If you see her fatigued or panting heavily, have her rest up. For a dog, your praise and satisfaction could be a higher priority than her own health, so it’s very possible that she could overexert herself without realizing it.

    old dog plays fetch and frisbee

    Also, remember to stay near a shade and plenty of water for hydration.

    Tug-of-war with your dog

    Strangely enough, a game of tug-of-war isn’t the best for puppies or younger dogs because it tends to enforce dominance. But since your dog is now a wise, seasoned companion who’s “been there, done that,” a game of tug-of-war can be ideal.

    The act of pulling is good for toning her entire body, especially the jaw, neck, and shoulders. But be gentle: you don’t want to sprain anything and have her lose a tooth!

    tug of war exercise with an old dog

    Swimming for aging dogs

    Again, just like for humans, swimming is probably one of the best exercises, especially for older dogs with joint issues. The water makes her lighter, freeing her joints from her own weight while allowing her muscles to do more work. She’ll enjoy it more if you get into the water with her, so get out your swimsuit, jump in and doggy-paddle right beside her!

    swimming exercise with old dog

    Natural anti-inflammatories for dogs

    In addition to anti-inflammatory medicine that’s suggested by your vet, you can opt for natural ways to reduce low-grade inflammation. Below are some natural alternatives that are safe for dogs.

    Turmeric

    Turmeric has curcumin and other anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pain and stiffness. It’s a good idea to start out slow, especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach.

    Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, is also an antioxidant that can help to slow down degeneration and aging.

    turmeric as a natural anti-inflammatory for old dogs

    Hawthorn

    Hawthorn can also be a good choice for dogs. The herb helps to stabilize collagen, which is protein found in joints. Hawthorn also aids in circulation, which helps to get rid of toxins.

    hawthorn as a natural anti-inflammatory for old dogs

    Glucosamine for dogs

    Glucosamine has natural anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the best supplement for dogs with joint pain or stiffness. Glucosamine can help improve mobility and down slow the aging process in your dog’s joints.

    “No one knows exactly what the mechanism of action is, but the supplement, an amino sugar, appears to improve the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, one of the building blocks of cartilage. This is the tough connective tissue that cushions bones at the joints. The theory is that the supplement somehow stimulates chondrocytes or DNA activity that protects against joint degradation.” — American Kennel Club [1]

    If your dog already has conditions of hip and joint pain, including arthritis and canine hip dysplasia, glucosamine can ease discomfort and pain, leading to more years spent being active and adventurous. Starting early could benefit your dog’s overall health and mobility.

    In order to ensure that your dog has the nutrition to help with hip and joint issues, we developed an all natural supplement treat specifically for hip and joint health. And don’t worry, we use our no-heat no-cook process to keep 100% potency. And with the tasty natural chicken flavor, your dog will love it!

    Adding a regular supplement rich in glucosamine and chondroitin work wonders for hip and joint issues, and for overall long-term health. And since you and your dog love to be active together, especially into her senior years, adding this simple addition to her diet will keep her happy, mobile, and active for many more trips and adventures to come.

    Things to keep in mind when it comes to your aging dog’s joints

    As dog owners, we know living with a dog is one of the best things in the world, but part of the downside is how they age so quickly when compared with humans. The more we age, time seems to go faster and faster. It may only seem like just a few years ago when your dog was that feisty frolicky pup, always chasing and following you, always 100% interested in whatever you were doing.

    Aging is a bittersweet part of life, and as we watch our dogs age, it’s our time to give back for all the years of joy they’ve given us. The best way to show our love is to give them as comfortable as possible while still including them in our adventures.

    a couple with their old dog

    By just being aware of their condition, by feeding them healthier food and treats, and by making sure they know they’re part of the family no matter what, our dogs will live out the rest of their days with the same amount of happiness that they’ve always given us.

    Sources:

    American Kennel Club, (2016, Feb. 23) What Is Glucosamine For, and Can It Help Dogs?

    Limited Time Offer

    Try Active Chews Hip & Joint Treats and Save 15%

    We want to help your FBFF (that’s Furry BFF, if you were wondering) get back to his or her happy, active, joint-pain-free self, so that you can get back to enjoying your own active life. So we’re offering an exclusive discount and a 100% money-back guarantee!

    Use code ACTIVEJOINT15 at checkout to get your discount!

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