5 Mistakes to Avoid If You Plan On Kayaking With Your Dog

Are you ready to take your pup out for some fun on the water? It’s no surprise that most dogs love to swim. They have bodies that make it suitable to paddle in the water.

Some of the most common breeds that adapt well to water are Spaniels, Setters, Labradors, and Retrievers. While not all breeds are made for the water (we’re looking at you pugs and bulldogs), it’s still possible to take them out kayaking for some fun on a sunny day.

Assuming your dog isn’t terrified of the water, taking them out kayaking is a great way to spend the day. As long as your pup has a suitable lifejacket, they’re going to love taking in the ocean or lake view!

However, there are some common mistakes you want to avoid so that your fun trip doesn’t turn into a nightmare. So, without further ado, let’s see what five mistakes you should avoid when kayaking with your dog.

Mistake 1: Getting Your Dog Too Excited

Getting your dog all riled up is the last thing you want to do when you’re out on the water. Tipping over is a real possibility, so it’s important to keep them calm at all times. Ideally, you want to stay away from other wildlife creatures such as beavers, herons, and deer, especially if they’re prone to barking.

Have them follow basic commands such as sit, stay, and down. You may want to practice these skills on the boat before even getting into the water. It’s no fun overturning your kayak because your pup jumped up when he saw a fish jump or a bird flying by.

Things to Keep in Mind:

— Take them for a walk beforehand and make sure they go to the bathroom, so they aren’t looking for a place to pee out on the water

— Have a doggy water bottle, so they don’t lean over to drink water from the lake or ocean

Mistake 2: Choosing the Wrong Type of Kayak

It’s important to choose the right type of kayak for dogs if you plan on going out on the water with your pal. First off, you’ll need a tandem kayak. Trying to squeeze you and the dog into a one-person yak is a recipe for disaster. A sit-on-top kayak is the way to go in order to have the best experience possible.

Also, while inflatable kayaks are doable, there is somewhat of a risk of puncturing the kayak due to your furry friend’s nails. Make sure they’re trimmed before you go kayaking.

Things to Keep in Mind:

— Choose a kayak with a large cockpit designed for at least two passengers and a child or dog.

— Make sure the max weight capacity comfortably fits your weight, your dog’s weight, and all the gear you’ll be bringing with you

— Get a kayak that has a great drainage system to make sure your pup doesn’t get wet (if they aren’t a fan of the water)

Mistake 3: Riding on Rough Waters

If you’re not an experienced kayaker, we recommend choosing to ride in calm and quiet waters with easy to access launch sites.

You may even want to pick specific times and days where the waters are less crowded with other boats or dogs. Boats that drive by can create some pretty big waves, so avoid crowded times in the beginning.

Things to Keep in Mind:

— Anything beyond Class II rapids is usually considered rough waters and requires a good bit of experience. Stay away from these waters with dogs.

— Have a game plan if your dog jumps off the boat. Calmly command them to “get in the boat” and paddle your way towards them. Then hook your arms under their front legs, so you can scoop them back up onto the kayak.

Mistake 4: Not Using Any Mats or Floor Padding

Having your dog slip and slide is a sure-fire way to get them frightened or panicky. The most important thing to remember when having dogs onboard is to keep them comfortable and calm.

One great option is to find a traction mat and cut out the shape that fits your kayak seating spot. Make sure the traction mat has an adhesive material and a good grip that will work even when wet.

Things to Keep in Mind:

— Any type of beach towel, yoga mat, or foam mat should work. Just make sure there’s no slipping.

— Nowadays there are excellent water-resistant doggy pads available online

Mistake 5: Not Having a Doggy Life Jacket

Just like humans should wear vests on a kayak, so should doggies! Although a lot of dogs can swim, there are many breeds of dogs that can’t.

You never know when there could be a sudden movement that causes a dog to panic. You should always have a life jacket on your dog, even if your dog is a great swimmer.

They keep your dog afloat even in the deepest and roughest of waters. Also, they have a nice handle to easily pick up your dog in the water. And they are bright-colored, so you can easily spot your pup.

Things to Keep in Mind:

85% of all drowning during canoe and kayaking excursions occurred when riders did not wear a personal flotation device.

— Do not put your dog on a leash when kayaking. In the event of the boat being capsized, and the leash is attached to the boat, your dog can drown. Or, if attached to you, both of you could drown. Plus, leashes can easily get entangled with branches, rocks, etc. Since leashes don’t float, they’ll be working against your dog in the case they do go overboard.

Summary

If you haven’t tried kayaking with your dog yet, then you and your dog are missing out! However, make sure you’re prepared before you go.

When it comes to dogs, there are many breeds, sizes, and personalities, so make sure to brush up on your commands and go for a test ride to see how they react. Once you’ve gone through all the precautions, you’re good to go!

Now that you know what to avoid, you can head out on the water with your furry friend. There’s nothing like enjoying the breathtaking views and having your fur baby right beside you!

Commissioned Dog Portraits: Memorialize Your Furry Best Friend Forever

Our pets are just as much as part of the family as our actual human family, and dogs are often our best friends. They’re always there for us with sloppy kisses and wagging tails, and that’s why we love them. If you’re looking for a way to acknowledge the special place in your heart your dog (or dogs!) have, then what could be better than having a commissioned portrait of your dog lovingly hand painted as a forever keepsake?

A dog portrait can be a wonderful way to memorialize just how important they are to you. Maybe your furry friend recently passed, maybe you know their days are running down, or maybe you just want to cherish the dog you have with you right now. No matter what your reason is for wanting to show how much your dog means to you, dog portraits are the perfect way to keep them close.

Why get a dog portrait?

There are many ways to remember your dog, but none quite as personal or unique as a commissioned dog painting of your pooch. Photographs are great for capturing special moments or memories and other items may hold sentimental value too, but a portrait of your dog brings their character and essence into a room.

Photographs can get damaged or easily lost. After a few years, the quality of the photo will diminish and there’s a chance you might lose those precious memories. You can get around this by creating digital backups of your photos, but then the memories are stored out of sight and out of mind.

A dog portrait, by contrast, is a more durable and permanent way of keeping your dog with you. Best of all, you can hang it wherever you like as a constant reminder of your treasured pet.

How can I get a portrait of my dog?

By far the easiest way to get a portrait of your dog would be to provide an artist with a series of photographs so that they can get a real feel for the personality and character of your dog. This also means that you won’t have to travel or have a stranger come into your home, and there are no issues with trying to keep your furry friend well behaved or sitting still!

Usually with commissioned dog portraits, the artist will provide you with sketches so you know roughly what the end portrait will look like. Even better is if your artist communicates with you throughout the whole project, and lets you see how your portrait is progressing. This not only lets you see how the artist has chosen to portray your dog, but also allows you to make suggestions or ask for certain things to be changed. After all, its your dog and your vision, so you should control how the portrait looks.

Who can paint my dog portrait?

Technically, any painter or artist could paint a dog portrait for you, but in reality, you’ll probably better off finding a portrait artist who specialises in painting pets. It’s a good idea if you can view previously commissioned artwork to make sure you’re happy with the quality and style of their work.

If you’ve got your heart set on having a portrait of your dog, then Wonderstreet has a wide selection of talented dog portrait artists on their site. Most of their artists have an online portfolio of work that you can browse through. Doing a bit of legwork here will pay dividends in the end, as you’ll get a real feel for an artist’s painting style and be confident that it fits with your taste and expectations.

Which Style?

If you’re struggling to choose a medium for your dog portrait, you’re not alone! We’ve broken down the main styles available to you as a guide:

Oil

Renowned for the superior quality, oil paintings are a traditional choice that deliver a beautifully smooth and elegant finish to your dog portrait.

Acrylic

Acrylics are the perfect choice if you prefer bright colours and a certain level of playfulness to your portrait. Usually less photographic in style, these are also cheaper than oil paintings while still being of superior quality.

Pastel

For a more delicate, softer feel to your dog portrait, you might want to consider pastels. Pastels also offer a more textured look and feel, which is very popular when it comes to doggy portraits.

Pencil

Whether graphite or coloured pencil portraits, this is a striking medium that can capture every hair and nuance that is so unique to your dog.

Which artist?

We’d always recommend that you find dog-loving artists who specialise in producing dog portraits. There’s something about a fellow dog lover: they just get it. They understand the relationship you have or had with your pet, and they know how important getting a dog portrait is to you. Most importantly, they know how to create fabulous dog paintings.

Wonderstreet’s process is clear and makes sure that you’re in control at every stage.

1. Take photos of your dog (or dogs) that will form the basis of your portrait. Don’t worry too much if you’re not happy with all of them, you can always send over more while the portrait is being painted.

2. Browse and select any of the dog portraits that you like so you can discover the artists who painted them. Remember to look at things like materials used (especially if you have a preference).

3. Choose your artist and get in touch with them directly through the site.

4. Once you’ve agreed to go ahead, you can send the artist your photos and work can begin on your dog portrait.

5. Stay in touch with your artist throughout the process, making changes as necessary.

6. Get your finished dog portrait in as little as 10 working days.

For complete peace of mind and satisfaction guaranteed, Wonderstreet’s artists allow you unlimited free revisions so that you’re 100% happy with the proposed piece. They also offer a money back guarantee if you’re not completely smitten with your dog portrait.

Ultimate Training Guide for Your Belgian Malinois

If you’re considering purchasing a Belgian Malinois personal protection dog for your family, it’s essential that you know how to train your dog. These are amazing animals that need consistent training to become the best possible member of your family. Here’s everything you need to know to help your Belgian Malinois fit in.

Start With the Basics

As with any puppy, training needs to start at the very beginning. The earlier you begin training your pup, the better he will respond, and the faster your training becomes cemented. As commands transition from foreign to familiar, your pup will learn to obey you. They’ll start to look to you as the lead dog, and they will be far better prepared to continue training with you as they progress in age.

Socialization

Socializing your dog is vital and should start as early as possible. From four to fourteen weeks especially, expose your dog to as many places and people as you can. This will teach your dog that new, varied, and exciting places and people are part of regular life.

When first introducing your puppy to high-traffic areas, you can carry them so they don’t feel overwhelmed and threatened. Help them get used to being around people in the comfort and safety of your presence. As they gain confidence, have them walk with you on a leash through the same places. This exposure helps them learn that not all strangers and unfamiliar people are dangerous.

Socialization should also happen at home. Have a variety of friends and family members come over to visit. This will help your dog understand that it is normal for people he may not know to come to your home. When you have friends over, they’ll be used to the occurrence rather than feeling threatened.

Create a Solid Bond

Nothing takes the place of creating a bond with your dog. Engage in daily playtime with your puppy to build your relationship. Belgian Malinois are very loving and will thrive in an active environment where they get to spend time with you. Daily playtime should begin when you bring them home and continue throughout their lives. Mals need a minimum of 30 minutes of play every day as a puppy. When they’re older, they’ll require much more time to burn off energy.

Teach Commands

Obedience and following commands are the lifeblood for well-trained dogs. Begin when they’re young and start with basic commands you’ll use every day such as, “sit,” “lie,” “stay,” and “come.” As they get older, you can progress to more complex commands and tasks. Belgian Malinois are known for their keen intelligence and ability to learn nearly any command or job given to them. Commands, however, are where you should begin, along with potty training, to help your dog develop an even and responsive temperament.

Use Rewards-Based Training

Belgian Malinois family dogs respond to rewards-based training far better than anything else. The idea is to reward them every time they perform a command perfectly and act appropriately. Did they sit all the way down when you said, “sit”? Reward them with a treat or a pat on the back, and say, “Good girl!” For training to be effective, they need to follow through on commands perfectly. If someone comes to the door and you say “stay,” and they stay for a few seconds, then get up to follow you to the door, go back to where the dog was supposed to be, and repeat the command. When they stay the entire time and watch you greet your friend and return to the room where they’re at, then give them a special treat. Rewards help solidify the command and help your dog learn what you expect them to do.

Discourage Bad Behavior

If rewards-based training is misused, your dog will get the wrong message, and confusion will ensue. If your dog isn’t trained to obey completely, they will take half-hearted obedience and run with it. Just as much as you should encourage correct behavior, any bad behavior should be firmly and consistently discouraged.

If you find that your pooch has begun to bark every time the doorbell rings, you’ll want to train your dog with a “leave it” command. If they tend to jump up on you, you’ll want to teach and reinforce “down.” Any action that you do not like or is inappropriate should be addressed and corrected every time it happens. Consistency and a loving but firm voice are the most significant factors when training a Malinois to behave and discourage bad behavior.

Highly Trainable Dogs

Thanks to the Belgian Malinois’s incredible intelligence, they can be trained to do nearly anything. It’s vital, however, to be consistent and dedicated to the training process if you want a dog that responds well to your commands. Are you ready to begin training your dog?

Taking A Look At CBD For Your Dogs

Life is always more fun when pets are involved. They bring the family together, they make us exercise even when we don’t want to, and they cuddle you anytime… anywhere. The last thing we want is to see our furry friend being anything less than his usual, bouncing, bubbly self, and when they’re feeling poorly we will do whatever it takes to make them well again.

Having seen many success stories online and having read blog upon blog, I suggested to my friend to try CBD oil for her pet for the upcoming New Year’s festivities we had planned. People have been adding CBD into their canine’s meal plan, slowly at first, and then it became the norm in their nutrition plan.

CBD or cannabidiol is gaining traction among dog lovers with increasing clinical research. The Weedclub website says that CBD for your dog or cat is one of the ways to make your pet happier. It offers many health benefits including, pain, insomnia, and anxiety, just to name a few.

CBD oil has many benefits when it comes to the health and all-round well-being of your dog, some of which we will chat about today. You can read more about it, get in-depth information, and have any questions answered when you view this page. So grab a cup of tea and get cozy on the couch.

5 CBD Treats for Your Dog

Vegetable chews. Having a softer texture than a biscuit, but not soggy so that it just melts away, chews are a unique experience for your pet. The texture makes their taste buds stand at attention and the wheels begin turning in their head trying to figure out what the new sensation is.

Bacon strips. This is something my friend claims she invented for her dog. How true that is I’m not sure, but nevertheless he loves these snacks and jumps around like a crazy bean when they are brought out. She bakes the strips till they’re crisp, like you see in a commercial for bacon, and she drops the oil on the bacon to soak in while it’s still hot.

Hot meal. The usual stew made up for your pup is the easiest and fuss-free method of getting CBD into your dog. Simply stir into the ready meal just before you serve.

Biscuits. Someone is always making an organic version of a biscuit made with raw and natural ingredients, and by adding a few drops of CBD oil into the mix, besides tasting great, it sneakily regulates your dog’s bodily functions. Try this basic recipe https://myedibleschef.com/recipes/easy-homemade-cbd-dog-treats/ to get you started.

Ice. On a hot day, we all like a bit of ice cream to cool us down, and dogs are no different. I’m not saying go out and buy him a Flake 99, but freeze diluted sugar-free fruit juice combined with CBD oil in an ice cube tray, and he’ll be a happy chappy sitting and licking for a couple of minutes.

History of CBD

Early studies and research show that during ancient times a Chinese Emperor was thought to use cannabis that was infused into his tea to help him manage his gout and malaria. And again during the reign of Queen Victoria, who used the oil to help alleviate the discomfort of her menstrual cramps.

If you’re like me and thought that CBD and its arrival on the scene was new you’d be mistaken. Rediscovered by accident by a chemist in the late 1940’s, this extract soon took on a new role in the medical world and became what we know today as a natural alternative to chemical-based pharmaceuticals.

As more tests were conducted and ailments were being discovered to be treated or significantly diminished in severity, it soon became the sought after herb oil for people who had tried everything else on the market.

This interesting read on the Past, Present, and Future of Cannabis and its uses gives you a look into how this simple plant has evolved, not only for human consumption, but treating illness in a less invasive and harmful manner.

While this product may not be for everyone, but if the success stories are anything to go by and the results speak for themselves, what harm will you do in experimenting on giving it to your dog to help him live a longer life?

It may work or it may not, but if the prescribed medicines aren’t providing much assistance, I say go for it. The more years of our furry friends hanging around the better.

What It’s Really Like To Own A Border Collie

You might have heard that Border Collies should be owned only by people who live on farms or train dogs professionally. The breed is widely known as being over-the-top crazy, having endless energy and requiring enormous amounts of physical and mental exercise. They are said to nip everything that moves, chase cars and only love their owner and nobody else.

Training dogs as a living and competing in dog sports, I have met my fair share of Border Collies (and I also own two myself). Here is what it’s really like to live with them!

Puppyhood is … intense.

The scary part first … Border Collie puppies are not for the faint of heart. Never sleeping, never tired; always on the go and ready to turn your life upside down. If you have ever owned a puppy, a Border Collie puppy is like that puppy, but times 100. I have never met a single puppy of the breed who was calm or easy-going. You will need to stop the puppy biting while at the same time rescuing him from the kitchen counter and taking the dozen shoes away that he stole.

However, if you are able to pull through the puppy stage, you will discover that…

Adult Border Collies Actually Appreciate Comfort

Who would have known! Once your puppy is about a year old, you will notice a sudden change. Adult Border Collies actually really enjoy snuggling, snoozing, resting and being comfortable. They seek out the softest, biggest dog bed, enjoy laying in a sunny spot and will sneak under your covers (if you allow them to!).

Once a Border Collie is out, he is out — they love long naps and will make sure to take some every day.

Training Goes A Long Way

Border Collies do not need to be the nipping, car-chasing menaces that people think all herding dogs are. They are highly trainable and, if taught consistently and positively, can understand very well that herding humans and vehicles is a big no-no.

They can also be trained to settle and calm down, because…

Border Collies Do Not Need To Be Exhausted Daily

Of course, you should only own a dog if you are willing to engage with him every day, take him for walks and play with him. Border Collies need that as much as any other breed. It is however wrong to assume that they require a daily 15 mile run to be happy and not pester you at home.

Physically exhausting your dog constantly can in fact turn him into a super athlete who will just crave more and more exercise.

Instead, Border Collies require a balance of mental challenges (such as food puzzles), training times (for obedience, tricks, agility, frisbee, etc.) and also social interactions, at parks for example.

They Are Amazing Sport Partners

Border Collies shine with their ability to learn new skills rapidly and they love to work together with their owners. They are stars in any dog sport, ranging from competition obedience over nosework to dog dancing, high jump, agility and more.

Once you start a sport with your Border Collie, you won’t want to stop.

You Will Definitely Love Them

Don’t be put off by their reputation: Border Collies are dogs just like all others (albeit, a bit more energetic and smart!). With a dedicated owner, they can become amazing companions.

Once you have a Border Collie, you will always want to have one!

The Best Pet: 7 Reasons Why Every Kid Needs a Turtle

Pets are more than just a person’s favorite animal. They become members of the family and great friends, and many kids dream about getting one.

If you want to make your child’s (or your own) dream come true, you’re probably already thinking about the best pet that is right for your living situation. Choosing the right animal is not an easy task.

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to devote enough time to the animal, you should consider getting a turtle. These reptiles are unpretentious and love their owners. You can be sure that a turtle will be a friend for a kid for the next 10-15 years.

Why is it so necessary to make the right choice of pet? (Writing an essay on this or a similar topic? We recommend turning to essaypro service. Professional writers will help you in no time.) If you feel uncertain about this important choice, let us try to dispel your doubts!

Safe Animal

A turtle is a great choice in terms of safety for children in your home. Such a pet will not hurt a baby or infant, as may happen while playing with dogs. And it will not scratch, as may be the case with cats.

It is more likely that you will have to protect a turtle from a curious kid rather than the other way around. In general, the care of the turtle will be a useful skill for a child to learn in taking responsibility for the living creature.

Turtles Are Hypoallergenic

This is a common problem for many households. Parents cannot afford their children to have a pet because of some allergy.

Children have allergic reactions to animals much more often than adults, and the symptoms can be severe. However, there is a work-around.

Turtles are a perfect choice if your child has a predisposition to allergies. There should be a space for a pet in each house.

Quiet and Peaceful Nature

The great advantage of having a turtle as a pet is that it is a quiet and peaceful creature. It doesn’t bark like a dog, chirp, or meow all day long.

You can’t hear the turtle, and it will not bother anybody. A turtle is happy to hide from prying eyes. However, when they get used to a new home, they are not afraid of family members.

Turtles Live Long

One way or another, you get attached to your pet, and its loss is always stressful for both adults and kids.

In a home with proper care, a land turtle can live up to thirty years. Besides, they are quite hardy. They can live for a long time without food.

It is not vulnerable to various infections and has reliable protection in the form of a shell. Turtles also can adapt to different climatic conditions.

No Need to Walk Them

In comparison to our four-legged animals, the turtle does not need to walk every day.

It feels quite comfortable in its house: terrarium or aquarium. The turtle is an entirely harmless creature that will not cause any injury to the owners.

The only thing your child will have to do is keep the turtles’s habitat clean. But it’s another excellent way to teach a kid to take responsibility from an early age.

Turtles Are Vegetarian

Good quality food for cats and dogs is not cheap. With a turtle, this issue is much easier to solve.=

Turtles don’t need a lot of a particular food. They are vegetarian and eat herbs, fruits, and vegetables. In summer, reptiles enjoy eating berries: strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

And for a child, feeding it can be a fun process.

You Will Never Get Bored

Some people think that the turtle is a dull and uninteresting creature and can hardly surprise or delight. However, this animal is usually very curious. Take a turtle when you go to the countryside with your children.

Turtles have a very developed sense of smell, and they can distinguish colors. For children, it is a great way to discover the environment with their pet.

Of course, you can’t expect dog loyalty or cat tenderness from reptiles. But still, turtles get used to their owners quite quickly, recognize them, try to look into the eyes, and wait for communication.

Thus, a turtle can become a great friend for a child. They will not feel bored or lonely having such a pet. According to Cambridge University research, children have a secure emotional attachment to their pets.

Wrapping Up

Do not deny your child or yourself the pleasure of having a friendly pet.

Any animal can bring joy to your home. Taking care of a creature in need is one of the best things you can teach your kid.

Besides, communication with animals will develop responsibility in your children. They will develop more confidence by completing responsibilities and taking care of their pets.

How To Exercise Your Dog In A Small Space

Pets need regular exercise to be healthy. A lack of physical activity can lead to several problems, including hyperactive behavior, increased aggression and furniture destruction.

Just like us when we exercise, our pets can experience aches and pains. And according to Farma Health, increasing numbers of pet owners who have experienced relief from these types of things through the use of cannabis or cannabinoid products are now turning to CBD supplements and treats for their dogs.

When the weather doesn’t cooperate for a daily walk, and you live in a small space, finding ways to exercise your dog takes a bit of creativity. Here are seven ways you can burn off your canine’s energy in a small space.

1. Hide Food Puzzle Toys

Dogs are typically more active when faced with a mental challenge. Consider putting kibble or healthy training treats inside a food puzzle dispenser. Hide the toy in various places around the house and let your canine hunt for it. This can keep your dog busy for quite a while when he needs to stay indoors. Remember to change the food and hiding places regularly to keep your pet engaged.

2. Build an Indoor Obstacle Course

You can combine mental and physical exercise by setting up an indoor agility course for your pooch. Use boxes and bins to create a winding path of intriguing obstacles in the living room. Place hula hoops or pool noodles over low furniture to create jumps. You can also build a tunnel by draping blankets over a line of chairs.

Make it fun by adding different routes and challenges, and planting food along the way. Your furry friend will love jumping over various objects in order to get to the tasty treats.

3. Create a Tub Waterpark

If you have a small-to-medium-sized dog and a sizable bathtub, swimming can be another great exercise. Add enough water to the tub so that your canine can move its arms and legs. Be sure to maintain constant supervision.

You could also create a splash zone by adding a few inches of water and tossing in toys. If your dog is scared, throw in some floatable treats for encouragement.

4. Utilize Training

Take advantage of your day indoors to work on basic commands or add a few new skills to your pup’s repertoire. Training uses mental and physical energy, strengthens the human-animal bond and builds confidence.

Depending on the breed, you can even teach your dog tricks such as putting away toys. Pet owners can find how-to training videos online for all kinds of behaviors, including sit, stay, roll over and speak, as well as more advanced abilities.

5. Take the Stairs

Does your home or apartment have stair access? Running up and down with your buddy makes for great exercise. You can even throw your dog’s favorite toy up the stairs for them to chase. Keep in mind, however, that the stairs may not be good exercise for canines that are old, have health issues or are recovering from surgery.

6. Play Hide and Seek

Exercise your dog’s body as well as its nose with this fun activity. Simply stash treats all over the home and let your pup find them. Try changing the hiding places each day to keep the game stimulating and fun.

You can also try another version of the game — one that gets the whole family involved. Have your pet sit and stay while your family members hide around the house. When ready, have the participants call the dog’s name to come and find them one at a time. Keep the hiding spots simple at first, so your pooch doesn’t become discouraged.

7. Blow Bubbles

One easy way to get your canine moving is by blowing bubbles. Dogs with strong prey instincts are sure to love this exercise. Simply use a wand to create bubbles and let your pupper pop them until she becomes tired. Be sure to encourage popping and not eating, and use a natural, non-toxic solution. You can make a DIY solution at home using glycerin and water.

Sometimes going for a long walk outside just isn’t possible due to frigid temperatures, heatwaves or rainstorms. However, being stuck inside doesn’t have to be boring. You can easily provide your dog with any of these stimulating activities to ensure it stays healthy, happy and safe.

Author bio: Stephanie N. Blahut is Director of Digital Marketing and Technology for Figo Pet Insurance. Figo is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology — the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud — and the industry’s best pet insurance plans.

How To Teach Your Dog To Settle On A Mat

Settling on a mat or a dog bed is a fantastic skill that every dog should learn. Ideally you want to teach this to a puppy as soon as you bring him home, but even an old dog can learn a new trick and become a master at staying on his mat. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, your dog will be patiently waiting on his mat in no time.

Advantages Of The Behavior

It is very convenient to be able to tell your dog “Go to your bed and stay there for now.” When your dog is in the kitchen while you’re cooking and you are worried about him getting underfoot; when visitors are coming to your house; when you want to settle in at night and watch TV; or when you take your dog to a park or the beach: “Go to mat” will always come in handy.

It is a lot nicer for your dog to simply go to relax on a mat when told, rather than having to go to a crate every time. Stick with this training and you will thank yourself soon that you taught your dog this behavior.

Starting Out

First of all, you want to choose a mat or bed that your dog already likes. You will make the training process much shorter and easier if you pick a mat that is comfortable and inherently inviting for your dog.

Next, pick a time of the day when your dog is naturally calm. You do not want to start trying to teach him a stationary behavior when all he wants is to romp around and play.
Take a bunch of treats, lure him onto his mat and ask him to lie down. Then deliver a lot of treats (at least 5-10) in the position. Lure him off the mat and repeat the process.

Be Patient

The more you reward your dog in the correct position on the mat, the better he will understand that this is the “place to be.” The most common mistake owners make at this point in the teaching process is that they rush their dogs too much and spend too little time rewarding them in the correct position. In order to make it very clear to your dog how much you appreciate him being on his mat, you need to be very generous and patient when rewarding him.

Build Distance

Once your dog is good at going to and settling on his mat when you are close by, try standing a little farther away and sending him to his mat from there. This is not going to happen in a single day — building distance for behaviors is one of the aspects of dog training that can take time. Start out by sending your dog from 1 foot away, then 2 ft. away, 3 ft. away etc.

Every time he is successful, praise him profusely and deliver many treats to him.

Take Her To Different Places

Dogs are very situational learners, which means that they will associate the behaviors they learned heavily with the setting they learned them in. If you only ever practice settling on the mat in your living room, your dog will be really great at doing it in the living room, but possibly nowhere else. By taking your mat to different places, he will show you what he has learned in all locations.

Start out by practicing in different rooms of your house, and eventually advance to your front yard, back yard, and taking your mat on the road: to parks, neighbors’ houses, coffee shops that allow dogs, etc.

A Word At The End…

As with all dog training, you need to be patient and encouraging towards your dog during the process. Remember that he does not know what you are teaching him, it is his first time learning and he is always trying his best.

Top 5 Most Adopted Dog Breeds and What You Should Know About Them

Finding the perfect dog for yourself, your family, or a specific task can be a long process. There are many breeds and even more mixes. However, familiarizing yourself with the traditional look, personality, and health profile of the most popular dogs can be a good place to start.

It’s also worth noting that many mixed-breed dogs will retain some, if not all of the traits found in the breed that makes up most of their genetic profile. This applies to both positive traits, like the ease of training or long life span, as well as negative traits, like the likelihood of respiratory issues and how likely they are to run.

The following list elaborates on the most recent iteration of the AKC’s most popular breeds list. This list takes into account all of the purebred puppies registered with the AKC. In addition to basic information about the size of the breed, their temperament and any common health problems are also noted below.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever has been the undisputed most-adopted dog for the last decade. There’s more than one reason for that popularity. Labrador Retrievers are a working dog that was originally bred as a hunting companion. As a working dog, they are often rated as one of the smartest and most obedient dog breeds.

On average, the Labrador Retriever will live up to 12 years. They can be a light blonde color, black, or a dark brown color, traditionally. The ideal for a Lab is to weigh about 70 pounds, though males can weigh a bit more.

Due to their working-dog personality, Labrador Retrievers make excellent companions for long runs or games of fetch. They have relatively few health problems as long as they are kept fit.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are similarly sized to Labs, weighing in at about 70 pounds for females and up to 90 pounds for males. They’re about 2 feet tall at the shoulder, require weekly brushing, and need a lot of exercise. As another working dog, the German Shepherd is also eager to learn and please. They excel at herding more than retrieving.

Unlike the Labrador Retriever, a German Shepherd is less open to strangers and may be “slow to warm up,” though this can be mitigated if they are exposed to a lot of different people and animals while they are young. These dogs tend to live up to 10 years.

German Shepherds have a few breed-specific diseases to watch out for. The number one health concern is hip dysplasia, a condition where the ball of the hip may not fit properly into its socket. The only official treatment is surgery, though keeping the dog moderately active and within its goal weight can alleviate the most problematic symptoms. This is a condition that many puppies are born with, though it may not be detected until they are older.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is another working dog known for its smarts and good disposition. These dogs are frequently described as “happy” and “friendly.” For these reasons, the Golden Retriever, or “Golden” is often chosen to be trained for search and rescue positions, or as a guide dog.

Goldens have a somewhat long coat and require a quick daily brushing to be at their best. Their coat is longer than many other retrievers as they were originally meant to be “water dogs” and retrieve prey from ponds and lakes. The longer hair helped them stay warm in cold water.

This breed weighs about 60 to 70 pounds, with little size difference between males and females. They can live for 12 years or longer if well cared for and with the right genetics. For similar reasons, it’s important to choose a responsible breeder with no health-history of genetic illnesses like dysplasia of the joints or heart diseases, as these are the most common illnesses that affect Golden Retrievers.

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs, also affectionately called “Frenchies,” are very similar to the standard Bulldog in appearance, though they have very different temperaments. French Bulldogs are excellent watchdogs, and very quiet compared to many other small dog breeds. They have large, erect ears and spend a great deal of time simply being “alert.”

At an average of about 25 pounds, but only 12 inches tall, the French Bulldog is very compact. They are also rated as very playful by many owners, and their short coats require very little grooming. Wiping them down with a warm, damp cloth can help keep their shedding under control.

While the shortened face or snout is a trademark of sorts for the Bulldog breeds, it also results in many respiratory issues for these dogs. All French Bulldogs make a few snorting or grunting sounds due to the way they are made. However, if your dog ever seems habitually short of breath it’s worth it to get dog insurance to ask the vet more questions about possible treatment.

However, French Bulldogs are the least likely of all Bulldog-like breeds to be strongly affected by these issues. High altitudes can aggravate breed-specific breathing problems in Bulldogs.

Bulldog (Or English Bulldog)

Whether they’re called Standard Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, or just Bulldogs, this breed is noted to be loyal, calm, and dignified. Bulldogs require just a little light exercise each day, though their diet must be closely monitored as it’s easy for them to put on weight and this weight can aggravate any breathing issues.

Bulldogs can weigh up to 50 pounds but are only a little over a foot tall. They live as long as 10 years if well taken care of. Their coats are short, but they do shed somewhat and a quick wipe-down with a warm, damp cloth may do more than a brush.

Currently, about half of all Bulldogs have brachycephalic syndrome to varying degrees. This means they have a little too much soft tissue in their upper airways and it interferes with their ability to breathe. Most of what determines which dogs will have severe trouble with this syndrome is genetic. If or when you are working to pick out a Bulldog puppy, ask to observe the parents. Larger nostrils are a good sign, excessive panting is not.

Tips for Hiking Mountains with Your Dog

Hiking is an amazing activity for people, but it’s also a great way to have a fun adventure with your dog and strengthen your bond. But before you take your pup to the mountains, you need to make sure he is ready for such a feat. If you prepare well and train your dog, both of you will get to enjoy the adventure, knowing you’re safe and comfortable. Here are some tips to keep in mind for hiking mountains with your dog…

Start with training

When your pup runs away somewhere near home, that’s a dangerous situation in itself. Now just imagine having a lost dog deep in the mountains! So, if your pup isn’t the best-behaved travel companion, make sure to have a few obedience classes before you hit the mountains. Your dog needs to be able to come when called, stop when ordered to stop, and leave anything that you might deem dangerous. Ideally, you should have your dog on a leash at all times to prevent straying and scaring wildlife and other hikers. Plus, many trails in the USA and other parts of the world only allow pets on leashes. And just for some extra security, think about investing in a GPS pet tracker.

Make sure you’re healthy

You probably know very well how to take care of your own health before a hike, but what about your dog’s health? Visit your vet before you embark and make sure your companion is up to date with necessary vaccinations. You might even need some extra vaccines if you’re traveling to certain exotic areas. All in all, pests like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can carry various deadly pathogens like heartworm, so ask your vet about different parasite prevention measures. Today you can find anti-parasite collars, chewables, topicals and even injectables, so there’s really no reason to risk your dog’s health and comfort.

Get some good gear

When you’re climbing mountains you can of course expect to come across various rough terrain and extreme weather that can hurt your pup’s paws and cause cuts or frostbites. Make sure to take good care of your dog’s paws with protection wax and buy some dog booties. These will take some time getting used to, but they can keep your dog’s feet warm and provide them with some extra traction. And don’t forget about your own warmth. In order to ensure you’re warm, invest in good socks and shoes. And look into some good gloves. If you don’t know where to start your search, look for some winter gloves ratings online and you’ll find just what you need for all weather conditions. You don’t want to risk frostbite on your hands when you have to take care of both yourself and your dog!

Pack a first aid kit

There are many amazing benefits of hiking, but it’s not a risk-free activity. Both you and your pup can get hurt on the trail, so make sure to bring a good kit with disinfectants, tweezers, and bandages to cover injuries until you can tend to them more carefully. When traveling with your pup, make sure to double up your first aid kit and pack it safely among your dog’s food, water, collars and raincoats.

Grab a doggy backpack

As you can see, your dog will need plenty of things during your mountain hike, so let him carry some of the extra load. These days you can buy practical doggy backpacks that will allow your pup to carry its water, food and clothes. Just make sure your dog is fit and that his body can handle the extra weight.

Once you and your dog are ready physically and mentally for your mountain adventure, and equipped with all the necessary gear, you can be sure both of you will fall in love with hiking and make it your go-to activity!