CBD oil is quickly becoming one of the most exciting natural approaches to keeping pets happy and pain-free. For pet parents new to CBD, choosing the right oil can be a confusing and intimidating process. After all, our animals’ health is everything. Sadly, not all CBD oils are created equal, and efficacy and quality often vary greatly from brand to brand. To ensure you’re choosing the right product for your pet, here are 5 tips for selecting the safest, highest quality CBD oil for your cat or dog.
Go with Hemp
The most effective and safe CBD oils are made from hemp, not marijuana. While both belong to the cannabis family of plants, hemp contains much higher concentrations of CBD (the relief-giving ingredient of the cannabis plant) and minuscule amounts of THC (the psychoactive ingredient of the cannabis plant). High quality hemp generally contains no more than 0.3% THC. After proper oil extraction, this level should be nearly undetectable. As a rule, always look for CBD oils that boast no more than 0.3% THC.
Third Party Testing is Essential
Reputable CBD oil companies use third party testing to verify the quality, potency, and effects of their products. General claims about the efficacy and benefits of CBD oil are not sufficient, as sourcing, processing and several other elements all affect quality and can vary from brand to brand. When choosing a CBD oil for your pet care routine, check the company’s labels and website to ensure they have such testing before purchasing.
Choose Organic Oil that’s Extracted Naturally
As with any naturally occurring ingredient, organic is always the way to go. We suggest avoiding CBD oil brands that use preservatives and other unnatural additives to increase the shelf life of their products. Organic hemp is crucial to the best CBD Oils, but the means of extraction are also important. After all, organic hemp only matters so much when cheaper, toxic methods of extraction—such as butane or ethanol—taint the final product. To avoid artificial processing, choose CBD oils that are made using what’s called “supercritical CO2 extraction.” This food-grade extraction process not only renders the purest and most effective CBD oil for your pet, it’s also the least impactful process for the environment. Win-win.
Full Spectrum over CBD Isolate
A crucial decision when picking the right CBD oil for your pet is whether to go with CBD isolate (pure CBD oil) or full spectrum CBD (which contains other beneficial ingredients found in the cannabis plant). While it was once believed that CBD isolate offered more benefits than full spectrum CBD, a 2015 study revealed the exact opposite. It was discovered that CBD oil offers more relief when used in conjunction with the plant’s other naturally occurring cannabinoids.
Research Their Sourcing
Sourcing is arguably the most important feature when choosing a high quality and effective CBD oil for your dog. It’s simple: high quality CBD oil is not possible without high quality starting materials, namely plants and farmland. Because cannabis plants are especially sensitive to ground contaminants, rich, healthy soil is vital to cultivating a healthy crop, and therefore healthy CBD oil. To ensure both high quality soil and hemp plants, only purchase CBD oils grown in the U.S. from Certified USDA Organic Hemp farms. Sourcing information should be available on the the company’s website.
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CBD Oil—aka cannabidoil, a non-intoxicating cannabis extract—is quickly becoming a hot topic in the natural pet care industry. From cardiovascular wellness, cancer, chronic pain and anxiety, CBD Oil is said to have countless benefits for canine health. After doing some research, consulting with industry experts, along with personal experience with our own pups, we’ve fallen in love with this multi-purpose natural alternative. But why do we like it so much and why is CBD oil so great? We’re glad you asked. Here are 5 reasons we love CBD Oil.
There’s Evidence it Helps Fight Cancer
One of the most fascinating (and also controversial) aspects of CBD oil is the belief that it might help combat canine cancer. While such claims should not be taken lightly and there are no significant clinical trials involving CBD Oil and canine cancer, there does seem to be evidence suggesting CBD oil can help dogs suffering from cancer.
Firstly, studies have found that CBD oil can help prevent existing cancer cells from spreading further throughout the body. Furthermore, CBD Oil has been shown to actively help kill cancer cells, by both boosting cells that fight cancer development and preventing cancer cells from receiving the necessary nutrients for growth. Also, CBD oil is believed to improve the efficacy of traditional cancer treatments. Lastly, according to the National Cancer Institute, CBD Oil is known to support a healthy appetite and decrease nausea, two common cancer struggles that can slow a successful recovery from the disease.
It’s Said to fight Chronic Pain…Naturally!
Chronic pain is a common struggle for pet parents, especially for those with adventure pets that enjoy activities like hiking and camping. On principle, we believe it’s important to seek natural alternatives to traditional, chemical-based pain treatments, which is a big reason we’re excited about CBD oil. Thankfully, studies suggest CBD oil might be an especially successful natural approach for addressing such issues. Not only has CBD oil been shown to decrease general and chronic pain, it’s also known to reduce inflammation as well as the negative impacts inflammation can have on premature aging.
Experts Argue it’s Good for Heart Health
Many veterinarians argue that CBD oil can help support a healthy canine heart. Studies have linked CBD oil to the reduction of blood vessel damage, increased artery health, lower heart rates and reduced blood pressure. Additionally, CBD oil has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety, two factors instrumental to cardiovascular wellness.
It’s Said to Help Anxious Pups
From depression to separation anxiety to aggression, CBD oil is commonly used to relieve anxiety in stressed canines. Because anxiety can lead to barking and biting, not to mention destructive behaviors like urinating and severe scratching & chewing, CBD oil could soon become an essential staple in most natural pet care routines.
It’s Used to Improve the Lives of Aging Dogs
Arthritis, seizures, chronic inflammation, neurodegenerative disease, autoimmune disease—CBD oil is said to help with all these health concerns, making it an especially useful health tool for aging pets. By reducing chronic pain, alleviating epilepsy symptoms, limiting free radicals and helping relieve general inflammation, CBD oil is also commonly used to prevent and slow premature aging. A natural approach that makes life easier and more fun for senior pups? Yeah, we’re on board!
A Note on CBD oil: Cedarcide has not verified the claims above. We suggest consulting a vet before using CBD oil on your pet.
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Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular in the world of natural pet care. When used correctly, essential oils offer a chemical-free alternative to help address inflammation, infection, anxiety and countless other pet concerns. However, as with any remedy natural or not, when used incorrectly essential oils can do more harm than good. Check out the following tips to help your pup enjoy a smooth and safe introduction to the natural benefits of essential oils.
Always consult a veterinarian before incorporating essential oils into your pet care routine. Specifically, ask if your chosen essential oil is the right fit for your pup, how the oil can benefit them, as well as dosage and application advice. We do not suggest using essential oils on or around cats unless first approved through a veterinarian.
Not All Essential Oils Are Created Equal
As with any over-the-counter product, not all essential oils are created equal. When selecting a brand, it’s crucial to do your research, shop around, and explore all available options. Sadly, many essential oil companies sell products contaminated with impurities and other toxins that could be harmful to your pup. Only purchase from reputable and well-reviewed sources, preferably companies that have an extensive history of offering essential oils for therapeutic purposes (pet-friendly companies are even better). As a rule, look for essential oils marked “therapeutic grade” or “medical grade.” Avoid those marketed as “fragrance-grade,” as these are typically inferior in quality and often contain contaminants that could harm your pet.
Never Give Orally
Dogs should never be fed or allowed to ingest essential oils. Oral ingestion can lead to gastric distress, tissue damage, organ failure, and general toxicity among other scary side effects. Keep it simple and avoid all internal use when it comes to essential oils and pet care.
Did you know on average essential oils are over 75 times more potent than their herbal counterparts? For example, it takes roughly 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to make a single ounce of peppermint essential oil! Given this, you can imagine why it’s important to dilute essential oils before using them around your pet. While the exact specs will vary depending on use, animal age, weight, and a number of other factors, we suggest aiming for approximately 3-6 drops of essential oil per 1 oz. of carrier oil.
Know Which Essential Oils to Avoid
In general, avoid using the following essential oils on or around your dog:
- Citrus oils (like lemon and orange, for example)
- Ylang ylang
- Tea tree
- Sweet birch
Watch For Signs of Sensitivity
Even when using the right essential oils in the correct manner your dog could still experience an adverse reaction to essential oil use. Knowing what to look for in the event of such a reaction can save you and your pup considerable stress and discomfort. Here are the common symptoms of essential oil irritation and poisoning:
- Loss of balance
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle tremors
- Pawing at the mouth or face
To prevent essential oil overexposure, avoid application on or near sensitive areas—such as the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and genitals. Additionally, avoid use on very young, very old, pregnant, nursing, ill or weak pets. And again, consult a veterinarian before incorporating essential oils into your pet care routine.
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Over 10 million pets are reported lost or stolen each year. Unfortunately, a large percentage of these animals never find their way back home. An inability to identify the pets’ owners is the leading cause. Statistically, microchipping is a pet parent’s best defense against losing their furry loved one forever. This simple implant of a rice-sized chip is strongly encouraged by vets, rescues and animal welfare organizations the world over. But why is microchipping your pup so essential? Here’s 5 Reasons You Should Microchip Your Dog.
Collars Aren’t Enough
With a name, address, and phone numbers, collars and tags are essential pet parenting tools. Unfortunately, collars can slip off and tags can become illegible with wear. Losing a pet—maybe forever—simply because a collar fell off is a nightmare no dog owner should have to face. Microchips on the other hand cannot be removed from a pet and in most cases last forever. We’re not saying toss out the collars and tags (please don’t!), we just strongly suggest investing in a microchip, too!
It Proves Ownership
Tags and collars don’t always fall off—sometimes they’re pulled off by someone trying to steal your pet. Having your pup microchipped is a quick and easy way to verify ownership in the event of a mishap.
It Could Save Your Dog’s Life
Did you know that 1 in 3 dogs get lost during their lifetime? Sadly, many of these pups never find their way back home and are therefore euthanized. Health conditions can further complicate the issue, as pets can die if they don’t receive necessary medication or care shortly after getting lost. Compared to traditional collars, microchips substantially increase the chances you’ll recover your pup in the event they become lost. Considering microchipped dogs are returned 2.5 times more often than their un-chipped counterparts, microchipping might very well save your pooch’s life.
Microchips Aren’t Just for Safety Anymore
Like all technology, microchips are getting smarter and more useful every year. In addition to helping recover lost pets, microchips can now communicate with smart pet devices like doggy doors, notify you the moment your pet becomes lost through alerting services, and provide additional support for pet owners who regularly travel with their dogs. Cool, huh?
They’re a One-and-Done Solution
Once installed, microchips nearly always last the entire life of your pet. Unlike collars and tags, you’ll never have to worry about a chip wearing out and endangering the safety and security of your pooch. However, chips should be checked at least once a year by your vet to ensure they’re working properly. Make sure to update your chip registration any time your contact info changes, too.
Over the last few decades, Essential oils have become a popular way to naturally improve physical health and mental wellbeing. Somewhat more recently, pet parents realised they could extend this same healing power to their dog babies as well. But not all oils that are safe for humans are safe for canines—so which oils are a good fit for your pup? The following are our 10 favorite essential oils for dogs. Enjoy!
A word of caution: Always consult a veterinarian before incorporating essential oils into your pet care routine. Specifically, ask if your chosen essential oil is safe for your pup, how the oil can benefit them, and what the best way to use the oil might be. Essential oils should always be diluted before use on or around pets. For useful essential oil recipes for dogs, click here. For additional essential oil safety tips for dogs, click here. We do not suggest using essential oils on or around cats unless first approved through a veterinarian
Because of its mild characteristics, frankincense essential oil is a great choice for pet parents new to essential oil use. Frankincense essential oil is said to increase blood flow, relieve nervousness and anxiety, boost immune system health, and ease pain associated with external ulcers. Many claim it also helps fight cancer by halting and/or reversing tumor growth.
As you might have guessed, cedarwood is our absolute favorite essential oil (after all, it’s the basis of nearly all our botanical solutions). Cedarwood essential oil smells awesome and it’s an effective natural alternative to chemical-based flea & tick products. Because cedarwood essential oil is antifungal, antiseptic and because it helps increase circulation, it’s also said to help relieve a long list of canine skin issues—from dandruff and mange, to hot spots and general dermatitis due by insect bites. Some claim it also helps ease kennel cough as well arthritis!
Helichrysum is one of the finest essential oils for canine pain relief. Gastrointestinal upset, cuts, bruises, aches, joint pain—all are said to be helped by this natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal solution. Breathing problems due to allergies or build up of mucus in the lungs are also said to be helped by this flower-derived essential oil.
Lemongrass essential oil has become a staple here at the Cedarcide offices. In addition to adding it to our new Tickshield formula, we use it to naturally freshen the air, as an odor-fighter for our office pups, and for aromatherapy to keep our team alert, optimistic and feeling great! With a long history of uses—including natural pest control, topical pain relief, and to help with canine skin health—lemongrass is one of the most useful essential oils for chemical-free pet care.
Lavender is arguably the most popular essential oil among natural pet care enthusiasts. Prized above all for its soothing effects on anxiety, insomnia and hyperactivity, lavender essential oil can be an invaluable aid for calming your dog during car rides, vet visits, social events, and when left alone at home. In fact, a study from 2006 confirmed that lavender essential oil, when used in aromatherapy, helped alleviate travel-induced anxiety in canines. Cool, huh?
Reportedly antifungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial, Marjoram is an earthy essential oil used for pets primarily to prevent infection, soothe depression, and in some cases even aid in diabetes and liver complications.
Roman Chamomile essential oil is a known anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, making it especially popular among outdoor enthusiasts and their adventure pets. Muscle tightness, cramping, teething pain, and joint complications are all said to be helped by this powerful essential oil.
Peppermint is another essential oil praised for its soothing, pain-relieving effects. Its cooling, anti-inflammatory powers are renowned in the natural lifestyle community for helping improve discomfort associated with canine arthritis, hip dysplasia and other joint conditions. When used in conjunction with ginger, peppermint essential oil is also said to reduce symptoms associated with motion sickness in pups. As a bonus, it also boasts natural pest-control qualities.
Cardamom is a unique essential oil in that it helps with both digestion and respiratory problems. Pet parents have long given their pups relief from stomach aches, nausea, and gas using cardamom essential oil. Many also report that coughing and difficulty breathing are also improved through cardamom use.
Does your pup constantly suffer from allergies? Then niaouli essential oil might be just the natural remedy for you and your animal baby. As a powerful natural antihistamine and antibacterial Niaouli essential oil can combat both seasonal and skin allergies as well as secondary skin infections occurring as a result of allergy symptoms. Niaouli is often chosen as a safer alternative to tea tree oil, which can be harmful to some pets at higher doses.
Heat is the biggest risk your dog faces in the summer. Overheating can come on quickly and the results can be devastating, including organ failure, stroke, heart attack, permanent neurological damage, and even the loss of your pet. Understanding the risk factors, signs, symptoms, and how to prevent heat stroke could very well save your pup’s life. Here’s what you need to know about overheating in dogs.
What Does Overheating Look Like?
Overheating, dehydration and heatstroke are fairly easy to spot if you know what to look for. All of the following signs/symptoms are associated with overheating in dogs:
- Excessive panting
- Excessive, unusually thick drooling
- Dark, dry or pale gums
- Faster than normal heart rate
- Fever above 105° F
- Noisy, labored breathing
- Difficulty walking/standing
- Seizures or convulsions
- Sunken or glassy eyes
What Dogs are at Risk of Overheating?
Any canine in a hot space can overheat, but some dogs are more at risk than others. Lack of shade, lack of water, too much exercise in hot or humid conditions, and lack of ventilation also raise the likelihood that your pup will overheat or become dehydrated. The following types of dogs are more vulnerable to overheating:
- Dogs with extremely thick or long coats (but do not shave them, doing so can cause sunburn)
- Obese dogs
- Dogs kept primarily outside
- Senior dogs
- Dogs with medical issues, such as breathing problems or heart conditions
- Dogs with short noses: such as shih tzus, pugs, boxers, bulldogs, french bulldogs, boston terriers, pekingese
How to Prevent Overheating
Overheating is scary, but the good news is that it’s quite easy to prevent. Here’s how to help your pup avoid dehydration and overheating this summer:
- Avoid walking, hiking or other exercise with your dog during the hottest times of the day. Go with early morning or evening instead.
- Ensure your dog has plenty of ventilation, including indoors and when traveling in a car (never leave your dog in a car unattended).
- Provide your dog with plenty of shade, rest breaks, and water when outside (offer water at least once every hour). Additionally, bring water on every walk, hike or any other outdoor activity you share with your pooch.
- Keep the inside of your home cool, too.
- Lastly, closely monitor your pet for the signs and symptoms of overheating mentioned above.
What to Do if Your Dog is Overheated
First thing’s first: at the first sign of dehydration or overheating, move your dog to cooler space immediately. Then, follow these 3 simple steps:
- Cool down your dog using cool—not cold—water. A bathtub, shower, garden hose, wet washcloth, pool or natural body of water all work. If using a hose or cloth, place special focus on the head and neck area, and under the armpits.
- Offer your dog cool—but again, not cold—water to drink. Let them drink as much as they like. Giving them water that’s too cold can lead to shock and vomiting, which will only make their dehydration and overheating worse.
- Lastly, get your dog to a vet ASAP. Even if you feel your pet is now O.K., overheating and heat stroke can cause hidden complications, such as organ damage, blood clots and swelling of the brain. If you feel your dog’s condition is serious (especially if they’re unresponsive), call the vet ahead of time to let them know you’re bringing in an animal that needs emergency medical attention.
Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!
Swimming is easily one of the best things about summer. Swimming with your dog, however, might be the best thing about summer! After all, what’s more fun than cooling off while sharing some mutual exercise and relaxation with your pup? But if you fail to take the proper precautions, swimming with your canine can turn un-fun very quickly. Whether cruising the beach, jumping in the pool, or exploring outdoor areas with rivers and lakes, here’s 5 swimming tips to keep your dog safe this summer.
Don’t Assume All Dogs Can Swim
Contrary to popular opinion, not all dogs know how to swim. Actually, not all dogs can learn how to swim either. Athletic breeds like retrievers and labs tend to pick it up fast, but denser breeds and those with flat faces like bulldogs and pugs simply aren’t suited for the water (though you’ll occasionally spot an exception). In fact, according to one popular American Bulldog Guide, drowning is the leading cause of death among both Bulldogs and American Bulldogs—which only shows how closely we need to monitor our pups when they’re playing around water.
Similarly, micro breeds like chihuahuas can tire easily, leaving them vulnerable to drowning, especially in natural bodies of waters with waves. If your pup fits either of the above categories, outfit them with a dog-specific life vest or consider skipping the water activities altogether in favor of a safer option like kiddie a pool or sprinklers.
Ask Your Vet About Prevention
Adventure dogs—especially those that frequent rivers, ponds, lakes and oceans—are more susceptible to various illnesses and diseases. If your next outing involves natural bodies of water, visit a vet beforehand. Serious illnesses like Lyme disease and waterborne bacteria like Leptospira can sometimes be prevented with vaccinations. We suggest checking with your vet to ensure you’ve taken all possible precautions before your next water-filled outdoor excursion.
Never Let them Drink the Water
Drinking salt water can lead to what’s commonly called “beach diarrhea,” a serious condition that can dehydrate or even kill your pup. Pool water contains chemicals, and drinking water from rivers, ponds and lakes exposes your dog to countless waterborne parasites and illnesses—like giardia for instance. Under no circumstance is it a good idea to let your pup drink from unfamiliar water sources, so keep a close eye anytime they approach the water’s edge. Because accidents happen, monitor your pet in the days after water activities, looking for any signs of disease or infection—such as lethargy, diarrhea, fever, or loss of appetite. If you spot anything suspicious, visit your vet immediately. Thoroughly bathing your pet after swimming can help reduce their chance of suffering a waterborne health complication.
Beware Blue-Green Algae
Cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae, is a bacteria that forms in both fresh and saltwater. Thriving in warm conditions, this bacteria can be extremely toxic to humans and pets alike. Sadly, for our canines ingestion is often fatal. When exploring outdoor spaces with natural bodies of water, always be on the lookout for blue-green algae, which typically floats on the water’s surface (If you don’t know what it looks like, click here). If you come across water covered in what looks like blue-green algae—even if you’re unsure and cannot confirm either way—it’s best to find another spot to play.
Learn Doggy CPR
Even if you do everything correct as a pet parent, accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s crucial that every dog owner learn canine CPR. While brief CPR guides can be found online, we suggest taking a course in person from your vet or a local animal organization for a more thorough education.
Summer’s here and with it comes one of the best times of year to explore the outdoors with your pup! Swimming, hiking, road-tripping, camping—there’s no end to the thrilling activities you can share with your animal buddy. But summer also presents some unique challenges and health concerns, principally intense sunshine and extreme heat. To keep the fun flowing and emergency vet visits at bay, here are ten Essential Summer Safety Tips for Dogs.
Keep them Cool
This is the most obvious but also most important rule of the summer. Here’s some quick tips to make sure your pooch stays cool during the summer months:
- Before walking, hiking, visiting the dog park and other outdoor activities, consider the temperature and humidity. As a guide, if the humidity and temperature add up to more than 150, it’s too hot for your pup. (For example, if it’s 95°F and the humidity is 60, which adds up to 155, it’s best to wait till it’s cooler)
- Always bring along water and take plenty of breaks when exploring the outdoors
- Ensure there’s a shady space and plenty of water when your pup’s in the backyard
- Keep your house cool, too (whether through A/C or fans)
- If your doggo exhibits signs of exhaustion—weakness, excessive drooling, heavy panting, glazed eyes, vomiting—end physical activity immediately and consult a vet ASAP.
Watch out for Heat Stroke
Typical canine temperature is between 100°-103. Heat stroke, which can permanently damage organs and even kill your pet, takes hold around 105°F. So, if worse comes to worse and your pup succumbs to heatstroke, you’ll need to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms quickly. Your dog’s life could depend on it. Here’s what to look out for:
- Bright red gums, or gums that appear dry
- Thick or excessive drooling
- Loss of balance
- Heavy panting
- Rapid heart rate
- Dark stool
- Lack of urine
If you witness these symptoms, transport your pup to a cooler space as soon as possible and and wipe them down with a cool, damp cloth. Have them drink cool—but not cold—water to avoid vomiting, which will only worsen dehydration and overheating. As soon as your pup is stable, visit a vet ASAP.
Keep the Bugs Away
Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can ruin otherwise enjoyable summer days. In addition to causing serious skin irritation, these pests can transmit life-threatening illnesses and parasites to your pet (like heartworms from mosquito bites, for example). To protect your pet from these bugs, and to prevent pesticide exposure to you and your family, use a non-toxic, pet-safe bug repellent on your dog when outside this summer.
Do Not Shave Your Dog
While shedding some hair can help humans stay cool, our dogs are a bit different. In fact, a dense coat can actually help keep your pooch cool, protecting them from the sun’s harmful rays. Shaving your dog’s fur makes them more vulnerable to a litany of heat-related complications, including heatstroke, sunburn and dehydration. For this reason, avoid shaving your dog during the summer season, or at any time for that matter.
Practice Good Hygiene
From swimming to hiking, our pups tend to get much grimier in the summer season. Apart from the unpleasant odor of a dirty dog, poor hygiene can allow bacteria to build up on your pooch’s skin, causing irritation and in some cases illness. A filthy coat can also make your dog more susceptible to biting, disease-carrying pests. As a guide, bathe your pup monthly throughout the summer, more often if they’re adventurers or outdoor dogs (but not too often, over bathing can dry out your doggy’s skin). To avoid skin issues or exposure to harmful chemicals, always use a pet-safe shampoo sourced from natural ingredients.
Never, Ever, Ever Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car
We’ve all heard this before, we all know it, and yet it still keeps happening. Even in temperatures as low as 80°F, your pup can suffer a stroke or perish in a hot car in just a few minutes—that’s all it takes! Under no circumstance, ever, ever leave your pooch in a warm or hot vehicle. No excuses.
Did you know skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in dogs? And just like in humans, sunburns can develop fast without notice, resulting in serious pain for days, even weeks. Especially if your dog has a short coat or is light-furred, apply pet-safe sunscreen every 3-5 hours when you and your pup go outside. Pay special attention to the ears, stomach area, and other spaces with little to no fur. We strongly suggest using only non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreen options.
Protect Your Dog’s Paws
Ever burn your feet on hot concrete? Yeah, it’s no fun, and the painful blisters can persist for weeks. Ouch! Well, your pup is not immune to this condition either. To protect their paw pads from cooking in the summer heat, avoid asphalt, concrete and other hot surfaces (including the metal beds of pickup trucks!). To test whether a surface will harm your doggo’s paws, place the back of your hand on the surface for approximately 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog. Dog booties are another option for guarding your pooch’s feet during the summer months.
Avoid Unfamiliar Grassy Spaces
Avoiding unfamiliar grassy lots can greatly reduce both your dog’s and your family’s exposure to chemical-based pesticides. Many outdoor spaces—such as public parks, local dog parks, and neighboring yards—are regularly treated with these harmful toxins. Unless you’re familiar with the space and how it’s maintained, it’s best to find another place for your dog to play. The risk is simply too great.
Closely Monitor Water Activities
From bacteria and parasites in natural bodies of water, to chemicals and drowning hazards in pools, water activities can be risky for pets and pet owners. We’re not saying avoid the water outright—swimming with dogs and visiting the lake are some of our favorite things about summer—but you need to watch your pup closely when in or around water. Monitor your dog to ensure they don’t drink unfamiliar water, including that of creeks and chlorine-saturated pool water. Also, be sure to rinse off your pup’s fur after they’ve been for a swim to remove chlorine, natural water contaminants, and to check for parasites like leeches.
Let’s start with the bad news: There’s no quick fix for extending your dog’s lifespan. However—and this is the good news—with continued effort and careful care, you can give your pup the best possible chance at a long and healthy life. Here’s 10 things you can do to enjoy a few extra years with your beloved fur baby.
Improve their Diet
Avoiding overfeeding, choosing healthier, more natural foods, and adopting a breed appropriate diet can help improve and extend your pup’s life. In general, aim for diets that are as natural and raw as possible, avoiding fillers like wheat, corn, sugar and generic animal fats. We suggest consulting a vet or holistic vet to address your pup’s specific dietary needs.
Exercise them more
Exercise helps your pup maintain a healthy weight, decreases their stress levels, and curbs behavior issues, along with countless other physical and mental benefits. While the amount of exercise will depend on breed, age and health, aim to get at least one session of aerobic exercise daily.
Check out these 5 Fun Ways to Exercise with Your Dog! 😎 🐶
Exercise the Mind, Too
Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to you pup’s lifespan. Bored dogs are more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, as well as other mental and physical ailments. Socialization with both people and dogs, training, and daily playtime are essential to keeping your pooch sharp as they age.
Pay Attention to Dental Health
It’s astonishing how many pet parents neglect their doggy’s teeth. In addition to pain and reduced quality of life, poor dental hygiene is directly associated with heart disease and organ damage, which means a shorter life for your dog. It might feel intimidating at first, but improving your pup’s oral care isn’t really that hard or time-consuming. First thing’s first, visit the vet for a dental checkup and tips for brushing your pooch’s chompers. Brush daily thereafter and keep annual dental checkups to stay informed about the state of your pup’s dental hygiene.
For more Tips on Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth, click here.
Also, check out these 7 Ways to Freshen Your Dog’s Breath Naturally.
Visit the Vet More
Regardless of how healthy your dog seems, regular vet visits are still very important. Uncovering health complications early significantly improves your pup’s chance of overcoming whatever issue they may face. Plus, as your pup ages, a vet can supply you with tips for keeping them in tip top shape between visits. Preventive care is one of the easiest and most effective ways to extend your pooch’s life.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
Stinky breath, excessive drooling, a change in appetite or sleeping patterns, lethargy, diarrhea—all could be early warning signs of a serious health problem. If your dog’s mood and energy or activity levels change suddenly, it’s a good idea to get the checked over by a vet. Consistently monitoring your pet’s health is a big step toward helping them enjoy a longer life.
Reduce Exposure to Harmful Chemicals
Chemicals present in household cleaners, lawn & garden products, flea & tick formulas and other pet products can shorten your doggy’s lifespan. Because many of these chemicals are bioaccumulative—meaning they build up in the body over time—even repeated minor exposure is enough to impact your dog’s health. Consider switching out these products for non-toxic alternatives, especially when it comes to lawn pesticides and topical insect repellents. Doing so will lessen you and your family’s exposure, too.
Let them Chill Out
Just like people, dogs age poorly if they’re constantly stressed. Exercise and playtime are crucial to the health of your pet, but there’s a limit and moderation is key. Relaxation and downtime play a crucial role in a healthy and balanced doggy lifestyle, too. Allow your pup a few hours alone each day to sleep or rest as they see fit. Additionally, do not coerce your dog to play or socialize if they’re simply not in the mood, chances are they need a break
Enrich their Lives
Introducing new experiences and adding variety to your dog’s life not only improves their quality of life but can actually help extend it, too. Much like humans, boredom and a sedentary lifestyle are counterproductive toward a long and healthy lifespan. Up your pet parent game by taking your pooch on more outings—like dog park visits, playdates, even vacations and simple errands. Practicing and learning new tricks also works to keep their mind nimble and engaged.
Groom them More Often
Grooming is about more than vanity. Regular brushing and bathing can help you uncover foreign bodies that might be lurking in your pup’s coat. From painful burrs to bacteria to disease-carrying pests, items lodged within your dog’s fur can cause not only pain but also illness, and the sooner you address these hazards the less chance they have of affecting your pooch’s health. But even apart from potential hidden hazards, hygiene
From chasing their tails to howling, our dogs do lots of weird and funny things. But do you know what these behaviors mean? Do you know why your doggy does these odd things? Are they trying to communicate, or are these habits maybe a sign of some underlying health condition? Here are 8 common canine behaviors explained.
Howling is an evolutionary holdover from our pup’s ancient ancestors. Experts believe howling was probably used originally to communicate and claim territory. But modern dogs don’t really need howling for these reasons anymore, so why do they still do it?
The American Kennel Club argues there are several reasons our dogs still howl, including separation anxiety, boredom, to warn us of potential dangers, and to grab attention. Dogs also commonly howl in response to sirens or other high-pitched noises that mimic distant howling. If your pup suddenly develops this habit out of nowhere and the urge to howl persists for several weeks, it could be a sign of a medical condition. In this circumstance, we suggest having them checked over by a vet, just in case,
Most dogs start chasing their tails as puppies and then slowly grow out of the habit as they age. This youthful quirk is usually borne out of confusion. In other words, the pup hasn’t learned their tail is part of their body yet and so they chase it.
However, if you praise this behavior with laughter or attention, your pup might keep chasing their tail as they age as a means of grabbing more of your attention. Sudden onset tail-chasing as an adult could be a sign of food allergy, parasites or infection. These afflictions can all cause an itchy backside, leading your dog to chase their tail in order to relieve the irritation. If this sounds like your canine, schedule a vet visit as soon as possible.
Circling Before Lying Down
Walking in circles before lying down is another evolutionary trait passed down by your dog’s ancestors. Before plush doggy beds and human laps, wild dogs had to prep their own resting places. This circling behavior served several purposes, including flushing out pests, flattening the grass, and making the earth more comfortable to lie down on. Ever seen your pup scratch or dig at bedding or pillows? This is a similar trait to circling, in that it’s tied to your dog’s instinct to create a den.
If your pups are anything like ours, then you often find them snuggling up so close they’re basically sitting or standing right on your feet. The same goes for bedtime, sometimes our pups sleep so close to us they’re more like a second blanket than cuddle buddies. So what’s up with this behavior? Are they trying to dominate us, or are they simply looking for some extra love?
Thankfully, this habit is as sweet as you hoped: Your dog just wants to cuddle with their best friend! 😭But there’s an instinctual element to this behavior, too. Dogs are pack animals, and pack animals feel safest when in close contact with other members of the pack (Psst—that’s you!).
Ever wonder why dogs lick our faces? Are they really the canine equivalent of kisses? Experts believe this behavior stems from a similar activity in the canine world, where dogs lick each other’s mouths as a way of indicating respect, especially to those with higher status in the pack. So, whether you think it’s gross or not, take those sloppy kisses as a compliment. Experts also believe dogs may have evolved this habit as a way of earning additional affection and therefore food from their human companions.
Does your dog suffer from stinky breath? Here’s 7 Natural Ways to Freshen Your Dog’s Breath and 5 Tips for successfully brushing their teeth.
Humping—whether other dogs, objects or humans—is a perfectly normal behavior that isn’t always sexual. In fact, it’s not usually about dominance either, which is another common misconception. Humping is more or less just another component of normal canine play. If you justify this behavior through more play or laughter, your pup might also continue humping simply because it gets your attention.
The canine sense of smell is roughly 10,000 times stronger than ours, so why oh why would they sniff another dog’s butt? Well, dogs see the world mostly through their noses, and in the canine world few things give off as much information as the booty. In fact, a dog can uncover far more than you’d expect from a quick sniff—including personality, diet, and even if the other dog is pregnant or has ever been pregnant. Crazy, right?
There’s several reasons a dog might dig. Anxiety, boredom, hiding toys, or creating a cool spot to lie in hot weather are the most common. The easiest way to prevent digging is to minimize the amount of time you leave your dog outside unattended. This will likely decrease boredom, ease anxiety, and prevent your pup from overheating, thereby addressing the root causes of digging.