The Unique Benefits Of An Emotional Support Animal

Any animal lover will say that their furry friends bring a lot of joy into their lives, and countless studies have linked animal ownership with reduced stress levels, more positive moods and mindsets, and even a longer life expectancy, too.

It’s no surprise, then, that recent years have seen the rise of emotional support animals, able to provide companionship, support, and assistance to many people suffering from a range of mental health issues or other disorders.

Despite the fact that emotional support animals (ESAs) are seeing a real surge in popularity at the moment, the concept of using animals for therapy and support goes back many years, to the days of philosophy and psychology experts of the past, including Dr. Sigmund Freud.

Still, even with decades of research and countless cases of people benefiting from their ESA, there’s still a lot of confusion out there about what kinds of benefits an ESA can provide. Read on to find out more…

Helping With Fears Of Flying

Once an emotional support animal has been registered, it can come along on flights with you, helping to massively reduce stress and fear levels in those who have phobias of flying or worries about being in a confined space for an extended period of time. For some people, an ESA can be the difference-maker between flying and not being able to travel at all, allowing them to visit friends and family or make urgent trips when needed.

An Answer To Loneliness

Loneliness is a common symptom of various mental health issues, including depression, as well as sometimes being an issue for people who might feel different or left out, such as those on the autism spectrum. An ESA can massively help with this, providing non-stop love and companionship and ensuring that its owner never feels entirely alone. Developing a loving bond with an animal can also help people nurture stronger bonds with other humans too.

Dealing With Depression

One of the main reasons why someone might be prescribed or recommended an emotional support animal is because they’re suffering from feelings of depression or anxiety. An ESA can assist with depression by providing love and companionship, and this has been proven on a scientific level, with studies showing that pet interaction can lead to the production of positive chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, relieving depressing feelings and lifting one’s mood.

Dealing With Difficult Emotions

There are some mental health conditions that may lead to people experiencing severe or extreme emotions in short spans of time, such as unexpected bursts of panic, fear, agitation, or sadness. Having an emotional support animal can help out during these difficult moments, providing some peace and companionship, and since animals like cats and dogs tend to be relatively peaceful or content most of the time, without such severe emotional changes, it can be easier to relax around them.

Mood Management

Another big part of having an emotional support animal around is being able to keep your mood swings in check and feel more balanced and settled in day to day life. Lots of research has shown that the presence of a furry friend can help people cope with stress and anxiety, as well as feeling more positive and content in their day to day lives. Having a registered ESA can, therefore, have a real impact on how you feel in general.

Physical Activity

Another often overlooked benefit of emotional support animal ownership is the fact that they can encourage people to engage in more exercise and lead more physically active lifestyles. Playing with a cat or walking a dog is a profitable way to spend free time, not only helping you feel happier and distracting from negative emotions but also engaging your muscles and getting your body moving, which can also lead to plenty of positive effects for mental health patients.


Overall, it’s clear to see that owning an emotional support animal can come with some impressive, tangible benefits that really can make a verifiable difference in the lives of people who need these kinds of companions. What’s more, this list is far from exhaustive.

There are many other benefits that come along with owning an ESA that haven’t been listed here, and there are countless examples of these animals proving that they can bring peace, love, and happiness into the lives of those they meet, changing the world for the better and helping patients with a range of problems lead better lives.

How To Protect Your Dogs Paws In The Cold Weather

In the colder months, dogs’ paws can really take a beating. While humans wear socks and shoes when walking outdoors, dogs aren’t afforded the same luxury.

For some furry friends, there’s ice, water and snow to contend with while out and about, and it makes for lots of discomfort for your precious pooch.

As an aside, CBD oil for dogs is one of the hottest trends today because studies have shown CBD oil for dogs has exceptional therapeutic value, according to the pet-themed website, Cuteness. So if your dog ever experiences issues with his or her paws, you may want to research high-quality CBD pet products that you can feel confident in giving your dog as a treatment.

Here are some options to ensure your dog’s paws are kept warm and toasty…

Take Them Out

Dogs are not made to spend all their time indoors. While the colder months often mean snuggling on the couch in front of the heater, dogs need to explore. They need to be let out to roam for a bit.

And it won’t do you any harm either. Cold weather shouldn’t stop you from taking your dog out to investigate, meet, and play with new friends, and enjoy the sights and smells of the great outdoors.

In fact, it’s crucial for your dog’s mental and physical health. Despite this, approximately 40% of dogs aren’t being walked every day. This can have a huge impact on the dog’s overall health, and can also affect their behavior. So what can you do to protect those precious paws when outdoors?


In extreme weather conditions, it may be necessary to pop on some booties. Booties, much like shoes, offer warmth and full coverage, plus they’re durable. They’re great for those breeds who aren’t intended to handle cold weather.

The good thing about the booties is that they can be used in warmer weather too. Everyone knows that paved, concrete streets can get hot. And just like it’s hot for your bare feet, it can also get a tad too warm for your dog.

Paw Balm

As the saying goes, the best protection is prevention. Before walking on super cold surfaces, rub some paw balm on your dog’s feet. The balm will nourish your dog’s feet while also repairing any damage done by the cold surface.

Similarly, when a dog’s nails grow too long, walking or wearing booties can become painful, so make sure to trim your dog’s nails every two or three weeks. It’s especially beneficial for cracked paws, which are often caused by your dog walking along the cold and icy ground. Remember to reapply the balm when you get home from your walk as well.


Keeping a towel by the front door and in your car isn’t just about drying your pup’s fur. It’s also about wiping down their paws. As mentioned before, paws aren’t protected like your feet and while they’re pretty tough to withstand everything they walk over, some damage can be done by things that are lying on the ground and by the cold ground itself.

By wiping down their paws as they hop off their feet, you’ll be minimizing the damage that may be caused by the residue. If you’re really concerned, and you think your dog will tolerate it, you can dip each paw in some lukewarm water before towel drying. Just make sure it’s not too hot as that can be quite a shock to your pup’s system.

Stick to Short Walks

It may sound pretty self-explanatory, but in the colder months, it’s a good idea to keep walks short, especially if you live in an area where the weather can get extreme. It’s necessary to get them out, but a walk in the cold for too long can lead to frostbite.

Again, you’re rugged up. Your pups’ fur and paws won’t protect them from everything. If you really want to go for a lengthy walk, it may be a good idea to grab a dog coat or jacket. As a rule of thumb, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pup.

Stay Safe

Responsible pet owners will recognize that dogs need to get out and about, no matter what the weather. It’s not good for them to be cooped up inside and a bit of fresh air will do wonders for their physical and mental health, and their behavior.

But as a responsible pet owner, it’s necessary to identify the hazards, one of which may be the weather. Plan ahead for the cold you may encounter and make sure those paws are kept in tip-top shape.

Getting to Know Your Terriers

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small, some are large. Some breeds of dog come in a variety of categories and sub-breeds, such as the Terrier, which is a very popular breed of dog that many people around the world have as their pet. They are very sociable dogs and very playful, which is what makes them so attractive to have as the family pet. Their mischievous energy and behavior are one of their characteristics, along with the fact that they are very easy to train.

But did you know that there are actually a number of different breeds of Terrier. The name itself comes from the latin word “terra” which means ground or earth. This is because they were originally bred to go out and hunt for things such as rats, foxes and moles. Today they don’t go out hunting as much, and instead are more likely to hunt out a dog biscuit or treat from their owners hand, than they are to go running around fields looking for prey.

Some of the breeds of Terrier are well known, with two of the most popular being the Yorkshire Terrier and the Irish Terrier. You can find some excellent resources online that explain all the different breeds and you can easily find a Wheaten Terrier or Patterdale Terrier guide by doing a quick search on the net. Below we will take a quick look at some of the more well known breeds of terrier…

Yorkshire Terrier

This is the most famous of the Terrier breed and is one of the most popular family pets. This dog is small in size, usually reaching a height of between 6-8 inches, with a silky soft coat. They are very energetic and are great fun for kids, who can spend hours playing outside with them. They are fearless little animals, and can actually make great watch dogs, despite their small size.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

Another of the more popular terriers is the Jack Russell. They are great pets but do require commitment and maintenance, so make sure you are going to put in the proper effort to look after it if you are planning on getting one. They are very energetic dogs and need activity and walks. If you live in a small apartment, they are probably not the best choice of dog for you.

Irish Terrier

This dog is larger than the Yorkshire and Jack Russell Terriers, and is described as being a medium-sized dog. They are very attractive dogs and are one of the oldest breeds of terrier. They are very loyal and enjoy being around people, and are very adaptive, meaning that they are perfect as a pet regardless of whether you live in the city or the countryside.

Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier, or the Welshie as it is also known, is another of the oldest types of Terrier breed, and is a very friendly and playful dog, perfect as a family pet. They are an active dog so will need regular walks and activity each day. Their enthusiastic nature makes them a joy to be around.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is the tallest of all the breeds of terriers, with an average height of around 22 inches, and are often referred to as the King of Terriers. Their strong muscular body is covered in thick fur, and they are very handsome animals. Having an Airedale Terrier as a pet will take a lot of dedication and work. Their size is obviously one issue, and with their independent temperament, they can sometimes be a bit more than people were expecting.

Airedale Terrier

Terriers make great pets. They are fun, friendly and loyal. Some can be a little naughty and mischievous at times, but that is all part of their unique character. Some of the larger breeds will need more work and commitment, but if you are able to, and have space such as a backyard in your home, then they are perfect choices.

Terriers love being outside and running around, as it’s part of their nature. Their outer coats protect them from the elements, and they are perfectly happy being outside and running around in all types of weather, rain or shine.

There are of course a few things that can make them difficult for some people to keep as a family pet. One of the main things that people take issue with is their loud barking. You’ll sometimes wonder how something so small can make such a loud noise. Another thing is that they love being active, and frequent walks each day are necessary. They are fearless animals, and you might see that at times. They can be quite aggressive towards other dogs.

Whether you do choose to have a Terrier as a pet or not is up to you. But they are an amazing breed of dog and have so many great qualities.

Tips for Training a Service Dog

Service animals provide a wonderful way for those with disabilities to improve their quality of life and increase their functionality.

One of the best types of service animals is a dog. Dogs are highly domesticated, meaning they have a dependent relationship with their owners.

This relationship and bond create the perfect foundation to provide greater support. Dogs have an impressive capacity for learning and can perform many different tasks, making them ideal for someone needing a little extra help during the day.

One of the biggest obstacles to owning a service dog is finding one. Many training agencies have lengthy waiting lists, hefty adoption fees, and rigorous screening processes. This is primarily because the training for service animals is costly, intensive, and thorough.

You also have the option of training your dog to be a service animal. We’ll explain below some tips to remember as you work with your future service companion.

Master Basic Skills

First, you should spend an abundance of time on mastering the basic skills.

This includes standard commands like sit, stay, waiting for cues, go fetch, and walking to you when called by name. It also includes behavioral skills like knowing not to jump on people and avoiding aggressive behavior.

These basic skills are important for any dog because it determines how well they interact with you, other dogs, and other people. For a service dog, mastering the basic skills is the bare minimum.

There are two important reasons for this.

First, having the capacity to master basic skills shows competence and flexibility. This means that your dog can be trained with enough effort. It also shows that you have the patience to work with your dog as they navigate this process.

Second, many service dog tasks are more complicated versions of basic commands. A great example of this is retrieving medication when a diabetic owner experiences low blood sugar.

This incorporates waiting for a cue (low blood sugar), fetching (retrieving the medicine), and performing the correct response to a cue (barking at the low blood sugar or bringing you the medicine).

Training your dog is an intensive skill that won’t go anywhere without a thorough understanding of the basics. To be an effective service companion, your dog should properly respond to basic commands more than 90% of the time.

Work Slowly

As you begin to progress into more advanced service training, make sure to work slowly.

While dogs are certainly trainable, they are still animals and they have their limits. You must always remember this and avoid overworking them to prevent burnout.

Imagine trying to teach yourself a new skill, hobby, or language. You’ll likely have a great deal of interest initially, but that will gradually wane as you begin to get into denser topics that require greater focus and effort to comprehend.

Dog training is similar. Your dog may be excited to start their training, but they will begin to resist it if it becomes too much.

You may feel pressured to have your dog ready as soon as possible, but thorough training is not a process you can rush. Take your time and accept your dog’s progress as it is.

Focus on Discipline

Throughout the training process, you should focus on encouraging discipline in your dog.

One of the most important characteristics of a service dog is strong discipline. Because dogs are animals, they’re susceptible to animalistic instincts like chasing birds and picking up a very specific stick.

Dogs have many urges that they’ll face throughout their day that can get in the way of being a good service companion. If you need them to always be by your side and provide assistance, then them running off will only make matters worse.

Even the most disciplined of dogs still make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect this trait. Instead, it means that extra time should be invested in developing discipline in your dog.

Good ways of doing this involve showing them temptations like treats and toys and restricting access to them until your dog has demonstrated patience. This teaches them that fighting their urges results in rewards, which leads to greater discipline overall.

Practice in New Environments

Lastly, you should practice in new environments to add depth to your dog’s training experience.

Your dog may be capable of mastering a service function, but can you rely on them to always perform it? What if you’re in an unfamiliar setting that causes your dog to become unnerved and they fail to assist you?

In the example of teaching discipline by resisting temptations, you should practice discipline in other situations as well. Only practicing at home with treats will enforce the behavior there, but they might not have that understanding at the park.

You should take your dog to as many environments as possible to acclimate them to a wide variety of experiences. When your dog has seen an environment, they will have more confidence in the future and this reduces the risk of them failing to help you.

Again, remember to go slowly as you do this. Gradually acclimating your dog to new environments will make them more flexible, adaptable, and reliable when you need them.

Closing Thoughts

Service dogs are an amazing way to overcome the challenges posed by disabilities. They can fulfill a variety of roles and functions, making them a versatile companion for those in need.

If you choose to make your dog a service animal, then you’ll need to provide them with the proper training. A few suggestions to improve this process include mastering the basic skills first, working slowly on new topics, focusing on discipline, and practicing in new environments.

A good service dog will change your life, especially if it’s a dog you already know and love. While your dog can become a service animal, don’t overlook the significance of good training. Putting in the effort when you’re training will pay off later.

Can Pugs Swim?

Pugs are a breed of dogs with dark eyes, a wrinkled face, and a small body stature. The name “pug” comes from a Latin word meaning “fist,” as their faces are said to resemble a human fist. They weigh no more than 20 pounds, are playful in nature, and love being the center of attraction. If they don’t get the attention craved for, they tend to get upset. Apart from having a charming and joyous personality, Pugs can at times be willful too, which makes them difficult to train.

Pugs love human interaction and will follow you around your house quite often. For a small stature like theirs, they shed their body hair very fast and in a huge amount. Pugs are known to be indoor dogs as they are sensitive to extreme weather conditions. They get sick if exposed to extreme weather conditions, whether hot or cold. This article focusses on answering the question, “Can Pugs swim?” We asked Discount Pet Supplies for the answer.

Can Pugs Swim?

Generally, people think that dogs of any breed can swim with their natural instinct. However, it is not true. Some breeds do need to be trained for swimming and Pugs happen to be one of them. Pugs are a breed of dogs who naturally do not know how to swim. Now if pugs can’t swim, there are valid reasons behind it. It is important to realize that if a pug is put into water, naturally it will start paddling its feet. Paddling of feet is a natural reflex action but that does not mean they are capable of swimming.

Pugs have a broad and short skull, which means they belong to the brachycephalic breed. Now this feature is responsible for their adorable appearance but it is also the reason that pugs have fair chances of drowning when left to swim. To cope with this, Pugs try to keep their heads up while swimming to be able to breathe, but when doing so, their bodies are in a downward position and thus, it might lead to drowning. Their long body and short legs don’t help their case either. More so because Pugs are considered to be lap dogs in the first instance: you can’t expect swimmers out of them, but sleepers for sure!

Also, Pugs are food-loving creatures and are prone to obesity. This makes them a lot heavier than other breeds of their size. And because of their obesity, it gets difficult for them to stay afloat. More so, due to their short noses/snouts, breathing gets difficult for them with increased physical activity. Thus, it requires a lot of training and exercise for a Pug if you want them to swim.

However, don’t be surprised if your Pug shows a fondness for water. They might not be natural swimmers but they enjoy the water. Here, just consider that every Pug has a unique personality. If you want your Pug to swim, the first step should be familiarizing them with water, make them like it. Letting them into a heated pool, or putting them into the shallower end of a pool would be helpful.

More so, you can hire a trainer for your Pug so that they can get professional swim training. You could also bring a lifesaver jacket for your Pug so that every time you go out on the beach you will be assured that your pet won’t be any danger. Also, it is recommended to teach them swimming in a pool or enclosed space with water first so that they can get familiar with techniques such as keeping themselves afloat, getting to the edge, coming out of the pool, etc.

Never leave them unsupervised while at a swim because they have emotions too, and it is natural for them to be scared and anxious. During such times, they will find comfort if their owners are near them. Another important thing you should look for is that your Pug does not get exhausted. Since they are not naturally inclined to swimming or doing such rigorous physical activity, they might show earlier signs of exhaustion. Pay attention to those and take care of your pet. Also, as they are likely to suffer breathing issues because of their short snout, it will be in their best interest if they are trained to regulate their breathing skills first.

Other factors include having a safe pool for your Pug to swim in. A safe pool means having a pool cover, low chemical content, and a pool fence. Pool covers keep out debris from the water and can also keep your puppy safe. Having a lower chemical content will reduce any chances of the skin irritations or ear infections of your Pug, as they can be sensitive to chemicals like chlorine. Moreover, fencing a pool is a smart way to prevent your dog from jumping into the pool accidentally or intentionally, further ensuring their safety.


Pugs are cute creatures who are bound to spread happiness. If trained properly and with care, they can be social as well. Though swimming is not a natural skill for them, it can be acquired with training.

Teaching them to swim with the correct resources and affection can make them great swimmers eventually. This article thus answered the question of whether or not Pugs can swim well and even offered you with tactics to help them swim. Some people might argue that if you put a Pug (or any dog for the matter) in a pool, it will start kicking its feet and trying to get ashore. But that is just a reflex action and later may have adverse consequences such as fear of water and even aggressive behavior.

We need to be understanding of our dogs as much as they are towards us. Being kind to them is what will help your relationship with them prosper.

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.


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:


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


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.


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.


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.


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, similar to Belgian Laekenois, 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 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!