Let’s face it, some dogs just do not like going to the groomer’s. It can be a stressful time for you and your dog. Most owners do not like loading their dogs up to drive them across town. Some dog owners have even been sent away because their dogs are “too difficult”, which comes to a shock for dog owners that see nothing but friendliness out of their dog. So what’s the deal? Why is it such a struggle for some dogs to go to the groomer’s?
1. Previous bad experience
Not everyone has the skill set to work on a dog, especially a dog that has not had time to understand how baths or nail trimmings work. Dogs need to be taught that getting groomed is a good thing, and a lot of groomer’s do not take the time to establish that positive association. There are many ways that a dog can have a bad grooming experience, and unfortunately they happen too often.
2. The travel
Traveling can be stressful for dogs, especially if they do not take car trips often. When your dog is stressed out from the car ride to the groomer’s, it can make them anxious and nervous during their appointment. Some dogs react differently than others when they feel anxiety; some bite, some growl, some cry and yelp, etc. This can make the appointment difficult for the groomer, your dog, and you.
Dogs carry a happy, loyal, and comforting energy with them everywhere they go, and that energy directly affects us in our everyday lives. This goes both ways; dogs can pick up on how we are feeling, and their emotions reflect ours. If you are grieving, they want to comfort you in some way. When you are happy and celebrating, their tongues are hanging out and they may join you in your victory dance. Hence the famous title "man's best friend".
Everyone knows that dogs are naturally happy and playful creatures (some more than others), but most people are unaware or underestimate the health benefits this can give a person. So, I decided to do some digging. I came across a study conducted by the Frontiers in Psychology academic journal titled "Psychosocial and Psychophysiological Effects of Human-Animal Interactions: The Possible Role of Oxytocin". This study has some amazing findings on how human interaction with animals (in our case, dogs) can dramatically help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.
Here is the link to this study if you want to read further: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3408111/
These are some of the key health benefits (mental and physical) from the study:
1. Stimulation of Social Behavior and Social Interaction
2. Reduction of Depression / Increased Positive Mood
Are you considering getting a dog, or another dog? Getting the right breed is important, especially when you have other people, children, and/or pets living in your home. This is a list of 5 family-friendly dog breeds ranging from small to large, and everything in between. Let's start small:
A beagle is a classic dog breed that most people are familiar with. This is a hound dog, which means it enjoys running around and playing, either inside or outdoors. Beagles love companionship, so they will be looking for affection. They are playful and patient with children. This breed weighs 18-30 lbs and stands 13-15 inches tall on average.
Read more about the beagle here
The keeshond is a fluffy, playful, loving, and adventurous breed. This dog goes at your pace, whether that be running around outside or relaxing on the couch. They are great companions, and also great watchdogs. This breed weighs 35-45 lbs and stands 16-19 inches tall on average.
Read more about the keeshond here
Some dog owners think that the type of food their dog eats does not matter. But would you feed a child McDonald's every day? Of course not! No one in their right mind would feed a child McDonald's every day. Why should that be any different for your dog? You and your dog can both enjoy a healthy diet!
Before I dive in, I want to explain what grain free dog food is and some of its benefits. Here is the short version: Grains (corn, wheat, rice, etc) are not natural to a dog's diet. Even though dogs have evolved over time, their digestive systems have not. Dog food companies use corn, wheat, rice and other grains as filler in dog foods, which means they can produce more food for less cost. These fillers cannot be digested by a dog. This means that your dog is only getting a fraction of the nutrients they should be getting from their food. This undigested waste can lead to serious health problems later on in your dog's life (kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, etc.). Grain free dog food does not use fillers, and it gives your dog more nutrients to use. Think of grain free food as a plate of chicken breast and broccoli, and the other foods as a McDonald's cheeseburger and fries.
I am going to go over some of the best dog foods, and I will back those up with online reviews from reputable review websites. Likewise, I will name the dog foods you should NEVER feed your dogs, and back those up with online articles and reviews.
1. Canidae Grain Free Pure
This food is ranked at #1 because of its quality and price. There are many versions of Canidae Pure, but I have found the Elements blend is the best! It is made with lamb, which is great for dogs with sensitive digestive systems. Plus, it is one of the most affordable grain free foods out there.
Read the online review here
2. Merrick Grain Free
This is an amazing dog food! Merrick has a great reputation for making one of the highest quality dog foods on the market. They have many grain free options, and they offer their food as an "All Life Stages" food, which means dogs of any age, and dogs of any breed are able to eat this food. They are priced a bit higher than the rest of the competition, but you are paying for great quality!
Read the online review here
Potty training is something every dog must go through, and it can be stressful if you do not know how to do it correctly. But you are not alone! I have potty trained multiple dogs over the years, and these are the tips I found to be the most helpful.
1. Never yell!
Dogs should never be yelled at during the potty training process. They are learning, and they cannot speak English. If you yell at a puppy for having an accident, you see it as yelling at them for going on the carpet, they see it as yelling at them for going potty in general. This will cause them to hold it until they have even more accidents. Remain calm and patient, and never yell.
2. Get a crate
Your puppy needs a crate, it makes them feel safe and secure. It also keeps them from wandering around, tearing up items, and having accidents when you are not home. Never use the crate as punishment. If your dog has an accident in the cage, that is your fault, not theirs. Never punish them for having an accident in the crate. An accident in the cage means they were left in there for too long. Just be calm, clean the mess, and tell yourself that you will do better next time.
This video goes over how to crate train your dog correctly: Watch
3. It's all about timing
Teaching your dog to potty outside and not on your carpet is going to take some time. Puppies have a VERY short attention span. When they have an accident, you have 3 to 5 seconds to correct it. A quick "no!" will work. If you are across the room and see an accident, say "no, no, no, no, no" until you get to your dog and pick them up. Repeating the word "no" will hold their attention. Leave the mess, go directly outside, and tell your dog to go potty. Chances are they will have relieved themselves completely inside. By taking them outside immediately, they will start to associate "potty" with outside. Do this every time an accident happens.
The following restaurants have DOG FRIENDLY PATIOS and are all located in Northern Kentucky! Make sure you call ahead to confirm their dog friendly patio policy has not changed.
1. Keystone Bar & Grill - Covington
This restaurant is located a block away from the Roebling Suspension Bridge. And they have killer mac & cheese!
313 Greenup St, Covington, KY 41011
2. Blinkers Tavern - Covington
Blinkers is located across the street from Keystone Bar & Grill in Covington!
318 Greenup St, Covington, KY 41011
3. Dickmann's Sports Cafe - Fort Wright
Nestled along Orphanage Road, the big red Dickmann's barn can be seen while passing the Covington/Independence exit along I-275.
479 Orphanage Rd, Fort Wright, KY 41017
4. Izzy's - Fort Wright and Florence
Both Izzy's locations in Northern Kentucky, Fort Wright and Florence, allow dogs on their patio!
1965 Highland Pike, Fort Wright, KY 41017
7905 Mall Road, Florence Plaza, Florence, KY 41042
Supplies needed: dog nail trimmers, styptic powder, treats
Trimming a dog's nails can be a very difficult process for some dogs. And let's start by addressing the myth that a dog throws a tantrum during nail trimming because the dog is misbehaved; that is a false myth. Dogs inherently do not like getting their nails trimmed. It is not a natural thing to trim a dog's nails, because their ancestors' nails were trimmed by the terrain. That is why dogs do not like it, it does not feel natural. The pressure from the clipping itself is usually the main cause of the anxiety, but there are other reasons they can be anxious as well.
Starting with the back nails is usually the best way to trim a dog's nails. It gets the dog used to the pressure and they don't have to see the clippers yet. The clippers can be intimidating to them, which is why you should not start with the front nails. Just imagine if someone grabbed your hand and pulled out a pair of clippers like that and said, "Okay! Let's trim those finger nails!" You would be a little skeptical. The nail trimming process is meant to be a slow process. Your dog needs to build a trust in you that you will not chop his toe off. Building that trust takes time. So go slow, and only trim a nail when the dog is calm. Forcing the process will only worsen the anxiety.
The key to ultimate mind and behavioral control of your dog lies in a simple treat. I use Colorado Naturals Chicken Jerky for my dog, because they are simple and healthy. You can also break them into a thousand tiny pieces and use them as treats for a month!
When I break out a treat, Rudy performs each command that he knows almost simultaneously. Once I get him to calm down, he is ready to listen. Not only is he able to rehearse all of his commands, but also eager to learn others. Treats are the key to listening and learning.
Treats are also a key to motivating good behavior. Rudy is not too fond of taking a bath, so I decided to try and change that. After two baths of giving him treats during each step of the bath, Rudy now jumps in the tub on his own when it is time to take a bath. He always gets a treat after.
Dogs learn through positive reinforcement. If there is something you want your dog to do, start rewarding them with treats when they do it. If there is something you do not want your dog to do, reward them when they stop doing it. Even something as simple as giving your dog a small treat every time they go potty outside is an incentive for them to do it outside versus inside. If you reward them for going outside and doing it, and make it clear that going potty inside is bad, you will see the accidents in your home decline dramatically. If your dog barks excessively, try the command "no barking" and gently hold their mouth closed for a second. When they stop barking, give a treat.
Treats are the easiest and cheapest route to having a dog listen to you and obey you. Just ask Rudy, he will tell you how much he loves them.
Playing with your dog is one of the simplest pleasures in life. It is also one that I consider a necessary pleasure. You can play with a dog in a variety of ways: Letting him chase you, you chase him, playing fetch, tug of war, wrestling and so on. The older a dog gets, the less playful they become; we experience this also. While they are young, they are eager to play. It does not necessarily require a lot of energy on your part to play with them for 30 minutes.
I often find myself running late for school or work because I lose track of time. I do this more often than not. It is never because I am oversleeping, watching tv and so on. It is because I am playing with my dog! Once we begin, it's hard to stop. Time really does fly by, because you are having fun.
It is rewarding not only to see the smile on his face but also to get a mini workout! It's funny how you can feel like a kid again just by playing with a dog. It doesn't need to be an hour or even thirty minutes but a short amount of playtime can go a long way. Have you known anyone who was sad because they were playing with a dog? Playing with a dog surfaces only two emotions: Love and happiness.
If you can incorporate your dog into your own daily workout routines, you may find out how fun working out can be. Happy dogs are usually a result of happy owners, and vice versa.
We all need companionship in our lives - pure, unadulterated, unconditional companionship. The best candidate for that would be a dog. The love a dog shows for its owner is so beautiful. When I come home, all I need is the smile I see on his face. He jumps, he kisses, he runs laps, he barks, and he nestles his head into my shoulder. It is pure happiness, love, and companionship.
This is something I could never find with another person. When you see him as a puppy, and now as an adult, you see what you have grown and raised. The restless hours spent taking him out in the middle of the night; the first time he learns to "sit"; when he graduates from puppy food to adult food: all are moments you recall every time you see his happy, panting face.
If you want to find what I have found, a true best friend, get a dog. It doesn't just come immediately. It requires a lot of time, effort and emotion. After you invest all of those into your four-legged child, you will have a best friend.