Category: Best Dog Blogs

Best Dog Breeds For Runners

Are you a runner? Do you want a furry, four-legged running partner keeping up with you as you two stride gracefully down the city streets, or though winding paths in the woods?

The good news is most dogs love to run. And, most dogs thrive on the increased exercise. 

But, some dog breeds are better runners than others

Not all dogs are built to jog. Some love long distance running. Others thrive on sprinting. Others like nothing more strenuous than a stroll in the park. 

How do you know which to choose? 

First, what type of runner are you? Jogger? Beach sprinter? Love high-speed running?

Here are the 5 Best Dog Breeds for Runners

Weimaraners 

These dogs love to jog because they are built to run long distances. They are well muscled, energetic, and thrive mentally and physically on lots of exercise. 

Greyhounds

Sprinters. These dogs were bred to race. You may find one that likes jogging, but most will love to accompany you on short, intense burst sprinting. 

Pit Bulls 

Sprinters and short distance runners. Because they are heavily muscled and built low to the ground, Pitfalls excel at sprinting and fast jogging for short distances. If you want to run the 50, 100, or 200, a Pit bull will love every step of the race. Longer distances can be tough on their joints. They’re built like shot-putters, and you don’t see many shot-putters running marathons.

Golden, Yellow, and Black Labradors 

These breeds like both long, slow jogs, and shorter, more intense sprint-type runs. Labs are always one of the most popular breeds because they’re very affectionate, well-behaved, and loyal. But, they can be destructive if not exercised enough. They are a working breed, so they need lots of exercise. This makes them the perfect running companion!

German Shepard

This powerful breed loves exercise. Because they love sprinting, jogging, and everything in-between, the German Shepard is one of the best dog breeds for runners of all kinds. But, make sure you intend to exercise a lot. The GSD is a working breed, so they require much more exercise than many anticipate. If you are doing near-daily road work, the GSD is for you!

Beagles

Sprinting, agility training. Beagles tend to have short legs and are built low to the ground. Many associate this hound breed with laziness. But, they are actually very high energy, and one of the most agile dog breeds in the world. If you are a sprinter, the beagle is your kind of dog.

If you are an athlete that likes to do agility training, your Beagle will train right along side of you. But, make sure you do all running in an enclosed area. The Beagle’s nose can get him in trouble because they are natural wanderers, and run surprisingly fast. 

What Makes Your Dog Become Overweight?

One of the easiest ways to keep your dog healthy is to make sure they don’t gain too much weight. Obviously, we don’t want a dog that’s too thin, nor do we want to resist their cute begging faces when it’s time for treats.

But, when a dog gains too much weight, it puts a lot of stress on their system – both inside and out. 

What Factors Can Make a Dog Become Overweight?

The most common cause of obesity in dogs is overeating. Some breeds like Beagles and hounds are classic, well-known over-eaters. 

And, many owners hate to restrict their dog’s food when they notice that there’s been weight gain. But, the reality is that you don’t have to force your dog onto some extreme diet to get them to lose the unwanted pounds. 

Improve the Quality of Dog Food

There are scientists that believe that lack of nutrition in the American diet is a major contributor to the obesity problem among humans. Simply, we are eating more food than necessary because the food we eat lacks the nutrients our bodies need. 

The same goes for dogs. 

Cheap food offend mean cheap ingredients. If you feed your dog a kibble full of fillers, they’ll need to, and want to, eat more to get the nutrition they need. 

If you are on a tight budget, you can increase your pup’s nutrition without spending a lot of money. Making homemade chicken broth and adding it to their food will provide them with a host of healthy vitamins and minerals. And, it costs almost nothing to produce. 

Adding ground pumpkin to their food will help add vitamins and fiber, and will also help your dog feel more full when eating. 

If you can afford the good stuff, look for ingredients that are considered “suitable for humans.” This means that the food in the bag isn’t old, mold, or couldn’t pass the test for people to eat it. Look for ingredients like: beef, fish, chicken, eggs, vegetables, fruits as the first 5 ingredients listed. 

Lack of Exercise and Activity

Just like us, if your dog doesn’t exercise, they’ll gain weight. Puppies and young dogs avoid this problem because they have so much energy to burn, but even young dogs can gain weight. 

And, as your dog passes into adulthood, their need for exercise increases. 

Plus, walking, working out, and playing not only helps control their weight, but it helps their muscles, bones, joints, organs, and mental health. 

Can Medical Problems Make Your Dog Become Overweight?

If you are feeding them great food and exercising with them, but they’re still gaining too much weight, then it’s time to see the vet. 

There are a few medical causes of obesity:

  • Hypothyroidism – suppressed thyroid can lead to serious weight gain. Can be treated with medication combined with better eating and exercise
  • Cushing’s Disease – this disease causes a problem in your pup’s adrenal glands. This leads to a disruption in your dog’s metabolism. Your vet may be able to treat this problem with medication
  • Pituitary Gland Diseases – because the pituitary gland is the “master gland,” problems here can cause the whole system to go out of whack. This includes weight gain. 
  • Diabetes – much like with people, diabetes can cause fat gain. And, it’s tough to tell if weight gain caused the problem or did diabetes cause he weight gain. But, the most important thing is to have your vet help you. Losing fat, especially in the mid section, can help fight diabetes in your pup

Track Their Food and Activity Levels

Feed your dog the best food you can afford, in sensible portions.

How To Trim Your Dog’s Nails Using A Nail Grinder

Just like human’s, dogs nail grow – and grow and grow – until it’s impossible not to cut them. Some dogs are completely fine with the occasional nail trim while others act like you are trying to harm them.

If your dog is terrified of getting their nails trimmed – especially with a nail grinder – you will have to be patient and teach them that it’s not as bad as it seems. If you teach your dog to associate the nail grinder with something positive – like a treat – they’ll start to learn to love it.

The key is to use really good people food – like chicken, pepperoni, or steak – to get them used to the sound.

As soon as you turn on the nail grinder give them a piece of food. That way, they’ll associate the sound with something pleasant. Once your pup gets used to the sound, you can work with them on actually grinding their nails.

If you’re dog isn’t too fond of paw handling, try doing the same treat process as you did with the nail grinder. The dog will begin associating delicious food with their paws being held.

Once your pup is ready to get their nails done, the first thing to do is provide a comfortable space for your dog to sit or lie down. Always make sure you have treats ready, too.

Then, turn the nail grinder on and ask for your dog’s paw. With a firm but gentle grip on their paw, briefly put the grinder directly on the dog’s nail to grind some of the nail.

Let go of your dog’s paw and praise them for a job well done with a tasty treat.

Then, repeat with the rest of their nails!

It may take a few tries, but once your furry friend associates the nail grinder with positive reinforcement – like treats and praise – they’ll be begging you to trim their nails in no time.

Is Rawhide Actually Safe For Your Dog?

It’s nearly impossible to walk down the pet aisle at the supermarket without seeing a section for rawhide treats. Coming in all shapes in sizes – from bones, to sticks, to circles – it is a widely popular treat for dogs. Not only do they keep dogs busy, dogs absolutely love them. But, is it really safe? Let’s take a deeper look into the world of this tasty treat.

What is rawhide?

Rawhide is made from the inner layer of horse or cow hides. When making it, the hides are cleaned then cut or ground. From there, they are pressed into chewable treats for dogs. Some treats contain chicken, beef, or liver flavoring to make them more appealing to pups.

What are the benefits of rawhide?

Dogs have a natural instinct to chew. They need to chew and some will spend hours upon hours chewing on anything they can get their paws on. Chewing provides mental stimulation and can help relieve anxiety. Since many of these treats are large and take a while to chew, it helps occupy your pup.  Puppies can benefit from it, especially when used as alternative to shoes.

Rawhide is also helpful in managing your dog’s dental hygiene. Chewing it keeps their teeth clean, jaw strong, and their breath fresher. Pups that regularly chew on this treat tend to have less plaque and tarter build-up on their teeth.

What are the risks of rawhide?

Though many dogs can consume rawhide regularly without any issues, there are certain risks – some serious – that dog owners need to watch out for.

One risk is contamination. Rawhide, like other pet toys, can contain small amounts of toxic chemicals. Furthermore, Salmonella or E. coli contamination is also a possibility. Humans can even be at risk if they come into contact with contaminated rawhide.

Another risk is digestive irritation. Some dogs can simply be allergic or sensitive to rawhide (or other ingredients used to manufacture the product) and can suffer from digestive problems like vomiting or diarrhoea.

A third, and probably the biggest, risk is choking or blockages. Some dogs don’t know how to properly chew a rawhide and will attempt to swallow large pieces. If this happens, it can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract. If it isn’t too large of a piece, a vet can typically remove the piece(s) through the throat. But, if the piece is too large, abdominal surgery may be needed. If not treated or resolved, a blockage from rawhide could easily lead to death.

Some signs of contamination, digestive irritation or blockage are: gagging, repeated swallowing, regurgitation, vomiting, diarrhea, signs of pain, refusal to eat, and lack of energy. If you see any of these signs, take your pup to the vet immediately.

How to ensure your pup safely chews rawhide:

You can take certain measures to ensure your dog safely consumes rawhide. First, talk to your vet to make sure you are giving your pup the proper amount. The smaller the dog, the smaller the piece, is a good place to start, though.

If you have multiple dogs, separate them when offering them this treat. This way, they won’t feel the need to eat it quickly or swallow big bites.

Take the treat away from your dog when it is small enough to swallow whole. Some dogs tend to be possessive, so having them sit while offering them another (tastier) treat can help.

But the main thing to do is supervise your pup! Don’t leave them alone with rawhide and make sure they aren’t eating it too fast.

While most dogs can safely consume rawhide, knowing the risks can help if an issue ever does arise. Being prepared will ensure your pup safely enjoys this chewable treat!

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Something They Shouldn’t Have

We all know dogs will eat almost anything they can get their paws on. Whether it’s dropped food on the ground or your dinner. Most of the time it’s no cause for concern, but what about when your dog ate something they shouldn’t have? Here’s what you should do if that happens.

How to Tell if They Ate Something Toxic or Foreign

One way to tell if your dog ate something they shouldn’t have is by observing their symptoms. If they are showing signs of vomiting (beginning as food and ending in water) or gagging, a painful abdomen, fatigue, diarrhea or constipation – contact your veterinarian immediately. Other symptoms include a lack of appetite and changes in normal behavior.

Immediately Bring them to the Vet

If your dog ingested something foreign and you’re unable to contact your veterinarian, take them to a 24-hour emergency animal clinic. One mistake some owners make is they wait to see if the object passes on its own, according to Dr. Shari Brown. Dr. Brown advises against trying to induce vomiting yourself without a veterinarian’s okay since some foreign objects cause more harm coming back out.

Treatment

If the vet believes your dog ate something they shouldn’t have, they will most likely recommend X-rays as this will help them assess the severity of the situation and determine treatment options. However, some veterinarian’s may be able to help the object pass by inducing vomiting.

In a more severe situation, an endoscopy may be required. With this scenario, the vet will guide a long tube down your pup’s throat and remove the object from their stomach.

If the object has made its way to the dog’s intestines, surgery may be required. Once the object is in the intestine, there is a greater risk for complications because some parts of the intestines may have to be removed.

Prevention

The best way to avoid a trip to the emergency animal clinic is by preventing your dog from ingesting a foreign object in the first place! One way to do this is to keep any potentially harmful objects or foods out of reach. Whether it’s baby-locking the cabinets, closing off certain rooms of the house, or keeping objects off the counter.

And, if your dog has a habit of chewing and swallowing the stuffing or squeakers in their toys, keep them out of the house!

So if your dog is a lover of all food and toys, make sure to take preventative measures to avoid an emergency trip to the vet!

Can Dogs Cry Tears Of Sadness?

Has your dog ever stared at you with sad eyes? Maybe even with a tear or two? If you thought they may have been crying, you aren’t alone. Many owners assume their dog cries tears of sadness, but that is actually not true. Although dogs are sensitive and compassionate creatures, dogs cannot cry tears of sadness. So what does it mean if your dog looks like they’re crying and how do they react to someone else crying? Read on to learn more.

Why Dogs “Cry”

Like humans, dogs have tear ducts that helps keep their eyes functioning properly. Unlike humans, though, the tear ducts drain liquid back towards the nose and throat area. But, just because they don’t cry out of sadness, doesn’t mean they don’t experience sorrow. Dogs grieve in their own way – not by shedding tears but by becoming aloof or lethargic.

So, if your dog looks like they are crying, it might be a sign something is wrong. Allergies can cause eye watering. Dogs can be allergic to environmental factors like dust, pollen, and smoke or food ingredients. If your dog has an infection, you may notice yellow, mucusy, or bloody tears. If your dog’s tears look like that, bring them to the vet immediately.

Dogs can also suffer from blocked tear ducts which causes eye discharge known as epiphora. You can tell it is epiphora if the area around their eye is damp. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms.

Active dogs can suffer from scratched corneas. Rough play or running through thick bushes can lead to a scratched cornea and cause your dog to paw at their eye, blink a lot, or have an inflamed eye area.

Lastly, a dog could simply have a speck a dirt or eyelash stuck in their eye. If this is the case, the tearing should clear up on its own but watch for more serious or prolonged symptoms.

A Dogs Response to Tears

Now that you know why dogs cry, it’s time to look at how they respond to someone else crying. Studies have shown that dogs respond to tears uniquely. Dogs are more likely to approach a person who is crying over someone is humming or talking. They also respond with submissive behavior to someone who is crying.

Though it is not proven that dogs can understand our pain or demonstrate empathy, the fact that they can differentiate between humming and crying points to a stronger overall response than just curiosity.

So, next time you notice tears in your pup’s eyes, make sure it isn’t a sign of something more serious. And next time you’re feeling down, watch how your dog reacts to you. You may be surprised how responsive they are!

12 Dog Breeds That Are Often Also Skilled Escape Artists

There is no feeling like the moment you realize your dog is lost. The immediate panic is followed by the fear that your furry companion will never be found. And while most pup parents will – unfortunately – experience this feeling at some point in their life, some dogs take it to another level and are actually skilled escape artists.

Dogs run away for many reasons. Some become bored, lonely, or suffer from separation anxiety while others run away because they are afraid of a storm or fireworks. Working with a trainer based on your pup’s behavior can help keep your pup safe and sound at home.

Nonetheless, there are certain breeds that have the escape artist gene. Here are 12 of them.

Labrador Retrievers

According to FidoFinder.com, Lab’s received the “most likely to get lost” honor. This happy-go-lucky, energetic, curious breed just wants to be around people. Their curiosity often leads them away from homes in search of other people – especially if they suffer from separation anxiety.

Chihuahuas

Despite their small size, Chihuahuas actually require quite a bit of exercise, attention and training. Because some Chihuahua parents don’t know this, this breed can become bored due to lack of exercise and flee their home. Their love of running certainly doesn’t help either.

Boxers

This breed is known for their exceptional jumping skills. Combine that with their playful nature and you’ve got yourself an escape artist. They even have their own term for escaping: “Boxer Bolting”.

Huskies

Probably one of the most notorious escape artists are Siberian Huskies. This breed was literally bred to run and if they don’t get enough in at home, they’ll seek it elsewhere. They also love to dig and climb – the winning combination for escape artists.

Beagles

These scent hounds love to follow their instinct – the nose – all the way out of the yard. Their strong desire to track a scent makes them the perfect escape artist.

Jack Russell Terriers

This speedy breed may be small, but they’re powerful and spunky. Jack Russell Terriers need plenty of exercise to be happy. Plus, their strong prey drive causes them to bolt at the mere sight of a squirrel across the street.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Known for their jumping ability, Staffordshire Bull Terriers need plenty of exercise to keep them happy. And don’t think a tall fence will keep them in, this is one breed that loves to dig and jump.

German Shepherds

German Shepherds were bred to herd and have a strong instinct to chase other animals. They are a stubborn breed that also loves to dig – a perfect combination for a true escape artist.

Golden Retrievers

You may not think Golden Retrievers want to escape often – especially since they are a the tried and true “family dog” – but this breed was bred to accompany hunters. They require a lot of exercise to stay happy and if they don’t get it, they’ll go looking for it elsewhere, right out of your yard.

Cocker Spaniels

Thanks to this breeds loyalty and devotion to their humans, it makes them prone to separation anxiety. This can lead to escaping in an attempt to find their owners. Furthermore, their origin as retrievers has them longing to run after squirrels or rabbits.

Dachshunds

Bred to chase badgers into underground dens, Dachshunds are excellent diggers. They are super aware of their surroundings and will run after smaller animals in an instant. Dachshunds are extremely protective of their owners and stubborn, which can lead to separation anxiety and a non-stop attempt to find their human.

Poodles

Although the Poodle is extremely intelligent and trainable, they also require a lot of physical and mental exercise in order to be happy. They also have a predisposition to separation anxiety which causes them to escape and look for their owners.

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Even if you don’t have a breed on this list, any dog can escape and become lost. Always make sure you keep your dog on a leash or in a secure backyard and never leave them outside alone.

The Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds In America

We’re not biased, but we do know that there are some dog breeds that rank higher in the dog lover’s playbook than others. Every breed is different and seeing the natural beauty in each breed is something very special.

The proper ways of a Poodle, the elongated and almost out of place ears on a French Bulldog, the gorgeous coat on a Golden Retriever, the face on a Bulldog only a mother could love. They’re all so uniquely different!

From Bulldogs to Poodles, here’s a list of this year’s top 10 pure bred dog breeds according to the American Kennel Club. Check to see if your favorite breed made the list!

Boxers

Fun loving, bright and energetic

Rottweilers

Faithful, loving and a guardian

Poodles

Proud, active, intelligent

Yorkshire Terriers

Active and affectionate

French Bulldogs

Lively, smart, versatile

Beagles

Cheerful, friendly, eccentric

Bulldogs

Relaxed, courageous, outgoing

Golden Retrievers

Smart, friendly, loyal

German Shepherd Dogs

Intelligent, confident, brave

Labrador Retriever

Friendly, active, outgoing

10 Of The Best Dog Breeds For Families

Dogs may be a man’s best friend, but they also make a great family companion. Not only do dogs make life more fun, they teach children valuable lessons like compassion and responsibility. While any breed can make a great family pet with the proper training, some breeds are just naturals. Here are ten of the best dog breeds for families.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of all time – and for good reason. Labrador Retrievers adore humans and are playful, loving, protective, and reliable. They are quick and eager to learn and love to show off. They make great service dogs and are the only breed that has been accepted for training as an arson dog.

Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle is a gentle and extremely smart breed. In fact, they are one of the smartest breeds. They are good-natured and make excellent family companions. Poodle’s are great for families with allergies as they do not shed as much as other breeds.

Golden Retriever

Like the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever’s are gentle, loving, and protective. They are extremely patient – a plus around boisterous children – but have enough energy to keep up with the kids. Originally bred as gun dogs, Golden Retriever’s love to swim and are excellent service dogs.

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Irish Setter

Playful and energetic, the Irish Setter makes an excellent family dog. They love to play and are best suited for families with a yard filled with energetic children. Irish Setters do have a lower life expectancy than other breeds, though. Many Irish Setters only make it to age twelve and few live to be fifteen.

Vizsla

The Vizsla was originally bred as hunting dog in Hungary. They are a loyal, gentle, affectionate, and quiet breed. They have a high energy level and require a lot of exercise – perfect for families with children. Vizsla’s do, however, love to spend time with their family. They are eager to learn and enjoy showing off.

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Newfoundland

With a natural love of children, the Newfoundland is known as “Nature’s Nannies.” Though they are large, they are quite gentle and sweet. Newfoundland’s do tend to shed and drool a lot and do best in families with large spaces due to their size. They love to be around their humans and will love nothing more than to make them happy while keeping an eye on them.

Bull Terrier

An intelligent and friendly breed, the adorable Bull Terrier makes a great family companion. They are energetic and will put up with a lot when it comes to children. They rarely complain about rambunctious children and will even help kids learn how to relate to dogs. Their high energy levels will help tire children out and tend to be protective of their family.

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Collie

Though their gorgeous long coat can be high maintenance, their desire to herd kids will certainly make up for it. Collies are a friendly and intelligent breed that love to please their humans. They’re highly trainable, too, which makes them great family companions.

Beagle

The Beagle is an energetic and friendly breed. They can be a bit high maintenance in terms of bathing and brushing, but they make an ideal family dog. Beagles are sturdy and make great nannies as they would be happy to help you round up the kids for bed. They do have a habit of howling, which is cute in small doses.

Bulldog

Not only are bulldogs absolutely adorable, they are a sturdy breed that will put up with a lot. They’re not overly energetic and have a high tolerance for playful children. Bulldogs are also highly adaptable and are suitable for both apartments or houses.

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Mixes

Another great option for families? Mutts! Mixed breeds are great as they combine the personalities of different breeds into one dog. Visit your local shelter and look for a dog with an energy level that matches with your family. A good rule of thumb, especially if you have younger children, is to focus on the mid-to-larger dogs. Small dogs are more prone to injury either by accidentally stepping on them or knocking into them.

Some dogs are naturals when it comes to families. But that doesn’t mean other breeds aren’t! With the proper training, any dog can be a shining star with a family. These ten dog breeds just happen to shine the brightest.

8 Giant Dog Breeds That Might Be Bigger Than You

It’s not often you see a giant dog walking down the street. But when you do, they’re impossible to miss. These gentle giants are so large – they may even be bigger than you! Here are 8 of the world’s largest dog breeds.

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest dog breed and were originally bred to hunt wolves. They have since evolved into a quite gentle dog. Irish Wolfhound’s are true gentle giants that love nothing more than to be with their family. Their average weight is between 115-180 pounds!

Leonberger

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This lion-like dog was named after where they originated from and has an average weight of around 120-180 pounds. With enough attention, exercise, and space, the Leonberger makes an amazing family companion. Plus their deep bark makes for a great watchdog.

Great Dane

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Next to the Irish Wolfhound, the Great Dane is among the tallest dog breeds. They were originally known as the German Mastiff and bred to be a guard dog. But today, they prefer to chill out on the couch – if they can fit! Despite their large size, they are one of the best-natured breeds and great around children.

Saint Bernard

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The Saint Bernard was originally bred as an avalanche rescue and guard dog in Switzerland. Their peaceful and serene temperament helped calm the people they rescued. Today, the Saint Bernard remains a calm and gentle breed weighing in at 140-265 pounds!

Newfoundland

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Newfoundland’s are a hardworking breed that were originally bred to help pull nets and haul wood for fisherman. Today, they remain hardworking but are also sweet-natured and gentle. They can weight up to 150 pounds and make wonderful family companions.

Bullmastiff

Bullmastiff’s may have an intimidating appearance, but they are actually giant softies who love to hang out with their family. They weigh around 100-130 pounds and will make a great watchdog thanks to their size and looks.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the cousin of the Bernese Mountain Dog. Like their cousin, they make wonderful family companions. Greater Swiss Bernese Mountain Dogs are a gentle breed and get their size from their original job as farm dogs. They can weigh anywhere from 100-155 pounds.

Great Pyrenees

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A true protector, the Great Pyrenees makes a great family companion and watchdog. They have a gentle disposition and absolutely adore their family. A Great Pyrenees tend to weight between 85-160 pounds.

If you’re looking to add a giant dog to your family, consider one of these eight breeds. Though their size and weight may be intimidating, they are actually big softies just looking for a family to love.

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