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Why Does My Dog Not Like Walking In The Rain?

 

My three year old loves playing in the rain and jumping in puddles. But do you know who doesn’t love being in the rain? Our dog Rigsby. He hates going out in the rain, even to potty; that means taking a walk in the rain is absolutely out of the question.

So, why do so many dogs hate walking in the rain? We’ve compiled a few reasons why and ways to help get them out during rainy days.

 

  • Pelted Coats & Soggy Paws

Sometimes the reason is as simple as your dog doesn’t like the damp outdoors. Dogs coats are very sensitive. If you notice a dog getting rained on you can see their fur twitching, which has to be pretty annoying for them. Same goes for your dog’s paws. I mean, do you like walking on the wet ground in bare feet? I didn’t think so. Between the rain on their backs and the water on the ground, walking in the rain can be a pretty miserable experience for your dog.

 

  • Thunderstorm Phobias

A lot of times rain mean thunder and lightning. Animals have the knack for sensing storms before we even know they are coming. When dogs with storm phobias sense the change in the air and barometric pressure, the anxiety starts to creep up. A dog with storm phobia shouldn’t be forced to go outside because it may make it worse. Some dogs have a natural predisposition to have anxiety, others have had traumatic experiences with loud noises. But for the most part, there is no telling why your dog has thunderstorm phobias. All you can do is work with them and help them through it. 

 

  • How You Can Help

Rain happens and sometimes for days at a time. Your dog will still need to get out and use the potty at some point. Luckily there are some great products out there to help your dog through the distaste and fear of the rain.

Doggy Anti-Anxiety Stress Reducing Jacket 

Image from Amazon

Help your dog stay calm with this stress-reducing jacket. Similar to swaddling a baby, this jacket helps comfort your dog when they are feeling anxious.

Storm Stress Relaxing Drops for Dogs

 

Stress from storms, hurricanes or even strong wind can be reduced with these drops.

 

Dog Boots 

Keep their paws dry during the storm and even in the snow with these cute little dog boots.

Transparent Umbrella with Leash

Avoid the pelting rain with this cute leash umbrella combo. Perfect for the rainy and snowy days.

 

Waking in the rain doesn’t have to be a terrible experience for you and your dog. With a better understanding and a few good tools, there is sunshine at the end of the storm!

What Do Different Colored Collars and Leashes Mean?

 

Different Colored Collars and Leashes

Photo from Pinterest

 

Do you ever wish that people came with warning labels? Like, “Hasn’t Had Their Coffee,” “Doesn’t Play Well with Others,” “Generally a Nice Person” and so on? That way you know who to chat with at the store waiting in line on a slow cashier and also know who to avoid because confrontation is inevitable.

Well, people don’t have those labels yet, but there is a way to tell a dogs personality by their collars.

There are now different colored collars and leashes for our dogs. These help us know which dogs welcome affection and attention, have special needs, or are anxious about strangers or children.  While as dog owners it is still our responsibility to make sure our dogs are in  simple glance at the color helps others know how to interact with your dog. 


What do the colors mean?

Red: Dogs should be approached with caution.

Orange: Dogs are friendly toward adults and children, but they are not good with other dogs.

Green: Dogs are friendly toward people and other dogs.

Yellow: Nervous or anxious dispositions or if stated on the color it can also mean up for adoptions.

Blue: Dog in training or is a working dog.

White: This dog has hearing or sight problems or may be completely deaf or blind.


What I really love about these codes is that you never know what dog is friendly or not. People tend to think larger athletic dogs are not always friendly, especially those which are erroneously called the “bully breeds.”

Pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, Doberman pinschers, and Rottweilers, to name a few, are often considered to be dogs you would want to stay away from.

From my personal experience some of these dogs were the sweetest I’ve ever met, while other smaller dogs were more aggressive. You can never tell a dog’s disposition from the breed alone.

So next time you see a dog with a different colored collars and leashes, remember it may be a message. Or if you have a dog that is out and about often, you may want to invest in one of these collars. It can only help you and your dog better relate with the people you encounter.

Bulldogs are Beautiful Day

 

We know that we don’t really need a special day to appreciate the beauty of bulldogs, but why not take the to celebrate them anyway, right?!  With their short little legs and adorable smushed faces and sturdy physique, they are truly a breed of their own.

 

Early history:

Early Bulldogs have a bit of an interesting and brutal history. Butchers used to use dogs to control control livestock. This can be traced back to the 5th century in England and a breed called the Alaunt. Around the 15th century, bulldogs were used for around farms for catching horses, cattle, and boars. Unfortunately, bulldogs were also used in the barbaric “sport” called bull-baiting, in which trained dogs would latch onto a tethered bull’s nose and not let go until the dog had pulled the bull to the ground or the bull had killed the dog (source). And, thankfully this was finally banned in 1835.

The newer breed:

Well, after the brutality was finally banned Bulldogs found their place in the world. They were still used for herding in the US and Germany and were being bred with smaller dogs, like pugs in England. They slowly made a huge comeback becoming a wildly popular companion and mascot for Universities like Georgia State University and Gonzaga University.

 

Temperament & Training:

Don’t let their grumpy face and stout build fool you. Bulldog are generally they are an easy going breed that gets along with people, other pets and even children. They aren’t big on barking and love to sleep. The AKC Standard says the disposition of the English Bulldog is usually “calm, courageous, and friendly; dignified but amusing.” They are also ranked at the 4th most popular breed according to the AKC.

Even though bulldogs may have a reputation for being stubborn, but that doesn’t mean that they are untrainable. With patience and consistency they can easily be trained just like any other dog. The sooner you can bond with and start to train your bulldog the better.

 


Cute Famous Bulldogs:

My personal favorite is Meatball, Adam Sandler’s bulldog. I may be a little biased because I am a huge fan. Plus, he sent me an autograph picture after I sent him a Valentine’s Day card back in 1996. But here he is, Meatball, the adorable bulldog!

bulldogs

Photo from Adam Sandler


And of course, Ice T and Coco’s beloved Bulldogs Spartacus (RIP) and Maximus. They are so cute with baby Chanel!

bulldogs

Photo from ET


Tillman, who is a skateboarding English Bulldog that happens to hold the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100-meter on a skateboard by a dog. And when Tillman appeared on the show, Greatest American Dog, and he rode the Natural Balance float in the Rose Parade in 2009. And well, that is pretty amazing!

Bulldogs

Photo from Bulldogs World

And no Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day post would be complete without a hilarious YouTube video of them playing around and being silly…enjoy!

Do you have a bulldog? If so, make sure to share your pictures with us! Post on our Facebook page and Twitter, let us know your loves!

Dog Treats for Valentine’s Day

 

 

When we think of Valentine’s day, we think of a day of love that is filled with chocolate and flowers. And there is no reason not to include your canine companion with these dog treats for Valentine’s Day. After all, they have a piece of your heart too.

Remember to always keep your dogs away from candy, but making them there own special dog-friendly treats is a great way to include them.  Check out these easy to make recipes for your dog this year!

 

Heart Shapped Pup-cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (xylitol free)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots or chopped broccoli
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • Cream cheese as frosting
  • Strawberry (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit  and grease your cupcake pan with butter or vegetable oil
  2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl
  3. Add the oil, peanut butter, and honey to the flour mixture
  4. Add the buttermilk in a small amount at a time and mix
  5. Add in the carrots or broccoli
  6. Place the mixture into the cupcake pan and bake until a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the cupcake
  7. Let the cupcakes cool for 20 minutes and remove them from the pan
  8. After the cupcakes are cooled mix up your frosting

For frosting:

  1. Apply softened cream cheese to ice the cupcake
  2. Optional: cut up strawberries and mix them into the cream cheese
  3. Spread the strawberry cream cheese on the cupcakes

No- Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (make sure there are no dog toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (dog safe)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats

Directions:

  1. Mix the yogurt and peanut butter to make a paste
  2. Add oats 1/4 a cup at a time and fully mix all the oats with the wet ingredients
  3. Scoop out tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and roll it into balls
  4. Place the balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cool in the fridge for one hour

These treats can be stored for 7-9 days if kept in the refrigerator.


It’s true that many Valentine’s Day presents are chocolaty hazards to your dog. But, these delicious homemade treats are the perfect way to share the sweetness with your dog.

 

 

 

How Do I know If It Is Too Cold to Walk My Dog?

 

Winter does not have to put a damper on you and your dog’s activities, but how do you know when it is too cold outside? There are a variety of factors that influence when it is too cold to walk your dogs, but here are some general guidelines.

Fur length

What type and length of fur your dog has can impact how tolerant to cold he is. Short haired or shaved dogs have less fur to protect them from the cold and wind, so they do not tolerate winter walks as well. For shorter haired dogs, do not walk them outside when the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees fahrenheit) without a coat or sweater.  Long and thick haired dogs are more tolerant to the cold. These dogs can handle walks outside in the cold, but these walks should be kept short.

Size and body condition

Small dogs tend to have a harder time adjusting to the cold. This is because they are closer to the ground and generally have short hair. These dogs should not be walked outside in temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, even with a sweater or coat. Larger dogs are higher off the ground and tend to have more healthy body fat compared to smaller dogs. This helps larger dogs be more tolerant to the cold. Body condition is also an important factor in determining how cold is too cold. Fat helps insulate the body and keep your dog warm. Many dogs, particularly hunting dogs, have fat under their skin. This is why labs can jump into freezing lakes. For this reason, dogs who are underweight should not be outside for extended periods of time in the cold.

Health conditions 

Many health conditions impact how your dog will react to the cold. Dogs with arthritis or dogs with hip dysplasia should only be walked for short periods of time when the temperature is below 40 degrees fahrenheit. The cold tends to exacerbate these conditions and will make your dog extra sore and grumpy. Other health conditions, like thyroid issues, affect your dog’s ability to regulate his body temperature. Dogs with these conditions should not be walked for long periods of time in the cold. Talk to your vet to see if any health conditions your dog has can be impacted by the cold.

 

There are a variety of factors to consider when deciding how cold is too cold to walk your dog. In general, use caution when the temperature is below freezing. Keep walks short and brisk to help prevent your dog from getting too cold. Always be aware of other winter weather dangers, such as ice and sidewalk salt. For more information on sidewalk salt, see our previous blog post.

Best Collar and Leash to Use for Walking

 

The long sunny and warm days of summer are always inviting. You may find yourself walking your dog more frequently and longer while the sunlight lingers long into the evening hours. Taking your dog for walks is not only healthy, it is a fun way to bond with your pup pal. However, the bonding and fun could be cut short if you’re busy fussing over the wrong sized leash and collar.

At the pet store, the huge aisle of leashes and collars can be pretty confusing. That’s why we have a great list for you to deter the best collar and least to use while walking your dog.

  • Collars & Harnesses:

 

Standard Flat Collar

A standard collar that works for most dogs. It’s important to continue to check the size of the collar as your dog grows or gains/loses weight. You should be able to slip two fingers under the collar comfortably. This is not the best choice for dogs with long or large necks like Greyhounds or Whippets.

Martingale

The Martingale collar adjusts itself when the dog pulls on the leash. It works great for dogs that tend to pull during walks. It tightens just enough that the dog won’t slip out, but doesn’t choke or harm their neck. These are perfect for dogs who tend to get excited by every sight (SQUIRREL!) and sound.

Harness

The harness is perfect for breeds that have pushed in faces Ppugs), trachea issues (Pomeranian), or long slender necks (Italian Greyhounds).  It avoids putting pressure on their necks allowing them to walk more freely. The main draw back is that harnesses can promote pulling in some dogs.

AVOID:

Choke collars and prong/prick collars

  • Leashes:

 

Standard Leash

What is great about the standard leash is that it is also a versatile leash. You can opt for nylon, leather, or chain and they all work about the same. The best thing to remember about this type of leash is to get the right size. If you have a small dog, then a smaller lighter leash will work better than a heavy one. For a dog that chews, try the chain leash. If you walk a lot around dusk or at night, get a nylon leash with a reflection element.

Retractable

Some walkers swear by the retractable leash because it allows the dog to roam freely. However, there are some draw backs. It offers little control, meaning your dog can dart off without much warning, ripping the handle right out of your hand. Even worse, they could get into trouble while on the leash. If there is a dangerous animal, like a snake, in a shrub you won’t be able to pull them back as effectively with a retractable leash.

Slip Lead

 

 

 

 

This is like the Martingale collar, but with a leash attached. It is great for training dogs to stand by your side while you’re walking. The slip allows for safe corrections while still enjoying your walk.

 

 

There are a lot of choices out there when deciding on the best collar and leash you need for your dog. We are always here to help sort out the details. Give us a call if you want to know the type of collar and leash we would recommend for your dog.

All Images Provided by Amazon.com

5 Ways to Decrease the Chances of Your Dog Being Hit by a Car

 

It can be the worst thing imaginable, but your dog getting hit by a car is a real possibility. This is especially true in the summer when activities are at their peak. So, what can you do to decrease the chances of your dog being hit by a car?

1. Get your dog spayed or neutered

Not only is spaying and neutering important for population control, it also helps keep your dog close to home. Once a dog reaches sexual maturity the likelihood of them trying to escape to seek out mates is greater. Studies have shown that sexual roaming can decrease almost 90% after your dog has been fixed.

2. Make sure you have your dog on the proper leash and collar during walks

If you have the wrong size collar or leash, it is possible that your dog could slip out or yank free from your grasp. It’s important you choose the right collar for your dog to make sure they stay safe.

3. Check fences for holes or weak spots

Summertime is notorious for storms and falling tree limbs can damage fences. Check your fence after storms for any damage that could allow your dog to escape. You never know when your dog may get spooked by a storm or fireworks and try to hightail it out of the yard.

4. Teach your dog safety commands

Teaching your dog commands like “come” or “stay” are the most important commands they need.  This can help avoid them running out of the door or across the street to catch a squirrel or rabbit.

5. Go over dog safety techniques with the whole family

Summer can be a busy time for your front door. With cookouts and the kid’s being out of school, it is likely that your home sees more guests than ever during the summer months. Make sure everyone in the home knows some basic safety tips, like “The Doggy Doorknob Rule.” That’s when all members of the family and guests make sure to check for the dog before turning the doorknob. This will help avoid them escaping when people are coming in and out.

 

Keeping our pets safe is a main priority and anything you can do to decrease the chances of your dog being hit by a car is key. Don’t forget to read our blog on How to Teach Your Dog to Cross the Street for even more safety tips to keep your dog safe while enjoy the sunny days of summer! 

 

How to Teach Your Dog to Cross the Street

 

It’s summer time and most of us are out and about, enjoying the nice weather. Even if you’re not big on the outdoors, it’s easy to still find yourself walking your dog through the neighborhood more now than ever. But making sure your dog is safe while walking around busy streets is imperative. So, just how do you ensure your dog’s safety and enjoy a nice sunny day where you have to cross the street a time or two?

  • The best method is to teach them to sit before crossing a road

The most effective way is to start training before they are 16 weeks of age. Although, you can train them at any time, but earlier is always better. Take them for walks and cross the street while implementing sit commands and giving treats. This will give them positive reinforcement for stopping and sitting before they cross the road.

  • The next best is to teach them to go “down” when you command if you see a car coming

If the sit command isn’t going so well, you can try and teach them to stop and lay down whenever you see a car coming. Telling them to go down will help avoid them running out into traffic after a squirrel or whatever it is that has his attention.

With both of these techniques it’s good to practice at home and out on the road when it is safe. Using treats and praise will go along way in likelihood of them following the commands when needed most.

 

Also, make sure to check out this video from eHow.com on how to cross the street safely.

As pet parents we all want to protect our dogs as much as possible and when you have a spirited pup on your hands, that can be kind of difficult. However, you can teach them a few commands that can help keep them safe when you have to cross the street.

All of our dog walkers are trained in how to safely cross the street with pets, so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to help show you a few tips.

How Having a Family Pet Can Benefit Your Kids

 

We all know our favorite feline and cuddly canine can make us smile and bring joy to our family, but did you know the family pet can provide health benefits as well? Studies have shown children who grow up in homes with cats and/or dogs seem to have fewer allergies than kids in pet-free homes, and those who have contact with a dog tend to get fewer ear and respiratory infections during their first year of life.

 

A study in Finland tracked almost 400 children from before their birth through their first year of life. Thirty-five percent of the children lived in homes with dogs, 24 percent with cats, and 41 percent with no pets at all. The infants who had daily contact with a dog experienced 31 percent fewer respiratory tract illnesses and infections and 44 percent fewer ear infections. The link between daily contact with a dog and less illness held true even when researchers accounted for other factors known to affect infection rates in babies, such as breast feeding. Infants with daily cat contact also had fewer infections, but the decrease wasn’t nearly as significant as it was with dogs.

 

The Finnish researchers speculate perhaps the dogs bring dirt or soil into the home and its presence strengthens the babies’ immune systems. Or perhaps the increased resistance to infection found in infants in homes with dogs has something to do with the dogs themselves.

The study results build on a growing body of evidence in support of the hygiene hypothesis, which states the large increase in allergies and other immune system disorders is due in part to our society’s recent obsession with cleanliness standards, with the use of hand sanitizer and other solvents used to create a completely “anti-bacterial” environment. Many people don’t realize it’s likely through early exposure to bacteria and parasites that the immature immune system in infants is prepared to fight dangerous infections. And this ‘priming’ of the immune system helps it learn the difference between serious health hazards – like pneumonia – and harmless irritants – like pet dander and pollen. According to the hygiene hypothesis, when a person’s immune system is unfamiliar with serious disease or illness, it is more likely to mount great attacks against benign environmental triggers.

 

A New Baby Does Not Mean You Must Rehome Your Furbaby!

 

Some first time parents think bringing a new human baby home means the family pet must go. In terms of germs and disease, this simply is not true! Hopefully the Finnish study findings will correct this misunderstanding, and future studies will continue to reinforce it.

The Benefits of Regular Dog Walks for You

 

Last blog we talked about the benefits of dog walks for your dog and now we want to talk about the benefits for you.  Don’t get me wrong, we would be happy to come and walk your dogs on a regular basis, and that is a wonderful idea when you are short on time or if you dog needs way more exercise than you can manage (sometimes even I feel that way), but if you have the time in your day then dog walks for you are also a great idea.

Benefits of dog walks for you:

  • Helps keep you active and in shape.
  • Walking time gives you a chance to bond with your dog.
  • Regular walks remind you if your dog need a training session, or maybe an obedience class!
  • A walk in the morning or evening is a great start or end to a long day.
  • A walk after meals is proven to help with digestion.
  • A nice walk during the middle of the day can break up a long work day and help your mind reset.
  • Really there is nothing better than spending some peaceful time with your dog.  Do you need another reason?

 

So put on your walking shoes and get out there with your dog!  If you don’t have the time you need to walk your dogs as much as they would like give us a call and a Sidehill Sitter will help you out, that is what we are here for!  Truth be told, when times are busy for me I bring in a dog walker just like you.  My dog Podrick (pictured above) has been walked by most of my Wet Noses Pet Sitting at one point and he loves showing off his neighborhood to new friends!