May is National Older Americans Month, so let’s talk about senior dogs! There are a lot of misconceptions about senior dogs and their needs. Some people aren’t sure how to care for their older dogs and don’t know their new needs. Senior dogs still need exercise, socialization and engagement. Activity and mental stimulation are good for their mental health and can help their overall health. Here are some things to consider about senior dogs.
People have a common misconception that when dogs get older, they don’t need any more walks or exercise. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Senior dogs still need exercise. Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle, and it’s no different for old dogs. The duration and intensity of exercise are not the same as when they were younger, but short walks around the neighbourhood and time outdoors can do them good. Exercise helps blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. Being consistent with exercise can improve cognitive function and body functions, not to mention it can help senior dogs prevent weight gain.
Senior dogs may have less energy once they get older, but they still need engagement. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical activity. Engaging with your senior dog by playing games or buying toys can help improve their state of mind and general mood. With age, we all slow down, even our beloved dogs. This is why it’s essential to keep them engaged daily with activity. The phrase ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ couldn’t be further from the truth. With patient training and time, you can still teach your old friend a new trick and help their mind stay on track.
As our dogs get older, their nutritional needs change as well. You’ll notice that pet stores and brands have sections and formulas specifically for senior food. Senior dog food tends to have more moisture in it. The moisture helps our old friends chew and process their food better. The nutritional values of the ingredients used are also different to support the things that older dogs need more of. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about the best senior dog food for their breed and health needs.
You may notice that older dogs sleep a lot. They prefer a day to lounge around and observe the world and those around them. With this being said, dogs enjoy your company doing everything and anything. Socializing your older dog with other dogs and people will do them good. Remember to be sure you know who you are introducing them to. Some older dogs may not tolerate or like the high energy of younger jumpy dogs and humans. Be sure the dogs and people you introduce to them will get along with your dog’s temperament. Older dogs tend to get needier, so they will appreciate your company and the company of others so much more.
As our dog’s age, our time with them gets shorter. For National Older Americans Month, let’s make every moment with our dogs count. They’ve been in our lives for years, and as family, we must do everything to care for them and help them be comfortable in their old age. Remember to ask your veterinarian for any advice about senior pet care. If you have any senior pets living at home that need short walks during the day, be sure to check out Citizen Canine. We offer dog walking services to keep your old boy or gal entertained!
April is National Stress Awareness Month. Stress is a part of our everyday lives, and it’s no different in our dogs’ lives. Like humans, dogs feel stress and exhibit it in different ways. Stress can be the result of many different things in our dogs’ lives. In this blog, we explore the potential causes of stress for dogs, possible signs of stress, and how to prevent stress in the future. At Citizen Canine, we love to educate our clients so that all dogs can live stress-free and happy lives!
Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed. Stress can include being overwhelmed physically or mentally. When our dogs cannot cope with the emotional stressors and triggers in their lives, the pressure causes them to feel anxious, uneasy and stressed. This blog specifically focuses on emotional and mental stress that can affect our dogs every day.
Many things can stress our dogs out. These types of stress can fall under three categories: acute (temporary) stress, episodic (occasional) stress, and chronic (continuous) stress. Acute stress can be a moment in time, something that comes out of the blue that makes your dog nervous. For example, a loud noise or unfamiliar situation can stress your dog. Episodic stress can occur in intervals. For example, your dog can be stressed out if you go to the dog park regularly or if they attend daycare. Chronic stress is the worst and can negatively affect your dog. This type of stress occurs daily. For example, if your dog lives in an uncomfortable environment or lives with someone they don’t trust. Stressors can range from objects and sounds to places, people, and experiences. Finding the stressor is the first step to helping your dog overcome their anxieties.
Signs of stress can vary depending on the type and severity of the stress and the dog. Some indications that your dog is stressed are: increased movement (pacing or shaking), vocal (barking or whining), change in body posture, ears and eyes. Other behavioural signs of stress include: excessive panting, licking, drooling, shedding their fur, and acting distant, trying to hide or escape the situation. Your dog can exhibit one or multiple of these signs when they are stressed. Everyone handles stress differently, and our dogs also have different ways to demonstrate and cope with stress.
A quick way to get rid of stress is to get rid of the stressor. When the physical thing or person is causing the stress, removing them from your dog’s life is the easiest way to get rid of feelings of anxiety and stress. Sometimes our dogs’ stress comes from specific actions or behaviours. Prevention is not likely in these situations, and training must be involved. For example, if your dog experiences stress from separation anxiety, then training your dog to know you will return will be necessary. When stress comes from situations that your dog must get used to, then training will be needed to teach your dog confidence. If you have a puppy, exposing your dog to everyday things like leaving home for a while can help prevent future anxieties.
Whatever anxieties or stresses your dogs have, getting tons of hugs and attention from you will help them feel safe and calm. For National Stress Awareness Month, be sure to pay extra attention to your dog and see if anything causes them stress. Remember, stress can come and go, and in time your dog can become a confident and calm dog with stress prevention and training.
April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This month aims to raise awareness of the importance of basic pet first aid. Pet first aid may not cross most of our minds, but it is essential to know and could save our and other pets’ lives. Learning just the basics can benefit the pets in our lives tremendously, especially in the case of an emergency when help may take time to get. Here are some first aid things to consider for Pet First Aid Awareness Month.
Having a first aid kit at home is essential for adults, kids, and pets alike. First aid kits carry medicine, equipment, and medical materials that can help in case of injury or emergency. These little kits should always be handy and kept in a safe place at home. It is also crucial to replenish them regularly. Some essential things to have in your kit are: gauze, non-stick bandages, adhesive tape, cotton balls, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic spray or ointment, milk of magnesia (to absorb and counteract poison), a pillbox, tweezers, scissors, thermometer, syringes, and a flashlight. These materials and medications can be beneficial in a minor injury or help you manage a more serious injury while you get professional medical attention. And don’t forget to check it twice a year to make sure nothing has expired or run out.
Being ready for an emergency is more than just having a first aid kit. In the case of an emergency, there are some things you can do to help keep your dog safe. You must secure the accident area by removing any physical obstacles. It’s crucial to stay calm in these situations and compress any bleeding or cuts. Be sure to check if your pet has any broken or injured bones. Once all visible wounds are taken care of, you can check your pet’s vital signs. Start CPR if necessary, and be sure to call emergency numbers before you perform additional first aid as directed by your vet. If possible, drive your pet to the nearest vet clinic as soon as possible.
Knowing the signs to look out for can potentially save your pet and other pets from harm. Learning the basics of first aid can help you detect conditions early. Things like heatstroke, allergic reactions, or poisoning can be spotted earlier if you know the signs. Knowing how to read a pet’s body language can help you identify issues. If a pet starts acting differently or exudes a lot of energy just breathing, then something may be very wrong. With first aid training, you’ll know how to act right away.
Pet first aid courses are always available. These courses can teach you about the various types of emergencies, injuries, and how you can give medical attention. The courses can also provide hands-on experience and skills in handling animals in emergencies. The classes can range from basic fundamentals to more advanced skills depending on the knowledge you are looking to gain. Be sure to research the pet first aid courses near you.
Being prepared for anything can really be beneficial, not only to you but to a pet in the time of need. Having a small first aid kit with the basic skills of using medications and materials can give you peace of mind knowing you are prepared to help your pet. At Canine Citizen, we love our furry clients and strive to be the best and most knowledgeable in our care. Please check out our dog walking services and let us impress you and your furry friend!
February is dog training education month. This month we highlight some key points about training education that are sometimes overlooked. Training is supposed to be a fun and fulfilling activity for you and your dog. No matter your dog’s age or training level, you can be sure to spend some good quality time and make memories to last a lifetime. Here are some things to keep in mind when training your dog.
One of the biggest misconceptions about training is that it’s only for younger dogs. The phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is a myth.” Training can occur at any age with patience and consistency. Puppies may be energetic and ready to learn, but older dogs are just as eager to please their humans. Training also does not need to be complex. Sometimes it’s good to review basic manners to ensure your dog can behave appropriately when guests come over or even when you need to step out of the house. Reviewing things like no barking or no jumping only takes a few moments out of your day that can improve your dog’s behaviour in the future. Little training refreshers are also a great physical and mental activity to engage and spend time with your dog.
If your dog isn’t satisfied with the same old sit, stay and roll over commands, it might be time to increase the challenge. Trying new training avenues may be a way for your dog to get the exercise and cognitive challenges they need with different activities. Different training activities like agility or swimming can satisfy your dog’s energy levels and abilities. If you are looking for fun and more challenging exercises you can do at home, then teaching your dog new tricks can be just as effective. There are tons of tricks to teach your dog that you can find online. Whether they’re silly tricks or useful ones to fetch you some snacks, they’ll be sure to impress any guests that come over.
Of course, puppies are like sponges eager to learn and impress their owners. Not to mention, they love to inhale all the snacks they can get. When you’re dealing with a more mature dog, you have to find what motivates them to want to learn. Sometimes you need more than treats and may see your dog responds better to verbal praise and petting. All the training and tricks won’t be successful unless you have the proper reward system. Once the best reward is established, consistent training is essential to form a chronic response from your new training cue. Positive reinforcement methods are ideal for training your dog. Not only do they create a positive and safe atmosphere, but these lessons are also sure to stick with your dog as fun memories with their favourite human.
Training at home can get boring, especially after being cooped up during the cold weather. When the weather is nice, it might be best to change the atmosphere and get some fresh air outside. The training atmosphere does not need to be in the same room or place. Part of the training is to replicate the cues anywhere you and your pup go. Taking your training to the park or on an outdoor trail can not only be a fun adventure, but it can also allow you to test your training, all while having a great time with your best furry friend. When training, always be sure you balance work and play.
For dog training education month, be sure to find suitable training activities for your dog’s energy levels and needs. Training can be fun and exciting and can strengthen your bond together. At Citizen Canine, we love to see dogs live their lives to the fullest! If your dog needs more activity in the day, be sure to check out our dog walking services and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.
Having dogs in the office seems to be a popular trend in recent years. While having a cute furry pup in the office can boost moods and morale, we also need to think about the dog’s experience in the setting. Here are some pros and cons of bringing your dog to the office. They might help you think twice about whether it is a good idea or not.
Having a dog around can lighten any mood. The cuteness, energy and excitement of a dog can really put workers in a good mood. The office pup is sure to cheer anyone up if they’re having a bad day. Along with your coworkers, your dog is sure to feel excited from all the attention and snuggles they are getting. You are sure to bring a tired pup back home after a busy workday!
Bringing your dog to the office is a significant cost-efficient way to save on pet care bills. You don’t need to worry about finding the right pet sitter or worrying about if your dog is anxious at home. Pet separation anxiety and loneliness don’t need to cross your mind when you can have your pet by your side at all times. Your dog will be so happy they can sleep on your lap or beside your desk as you get your work done throughout the day.
While the office can be a calm and quiet environment, some offices are hectic. Busy offices with a lot of commotion and noise can be very uncomfortable for a dog. Not only will the sounds be a lot for their delicate ears, the noise can also really scare them. The noise can also prevent them from sleeping, which dogs need to do. A tired and irritated dog can have unexpected and unwanted reactions. A scared, nervous dog with a lot of excitement around them may react aggressively, or they may whine and bark, interrupting your coworkers. In this case, your dog may be better left at home.
When you bring your dog to the office, you expose them to coworkers that may be allergic or may be fearful of dogs. This can create an uncomfortable working environment for your peers and decrease their work performance. It would not be fair for your coworkers to walk around sniffling and sneezing with allergy medication while trying to get their work done. In addition to your coworkers not being comfortable at work, your dog may feel uncomfortable in the office space with so many new faces and an unfamiliar environment.
If your dog is disruptive or not trained to be around others, then it may be a better idea to leave your pup at home. A rambunctious dog may cause damage to the office, or a puppy may chew up furniture. While socialization may help them, it’s best to find a different environment to help them work these behaviours out. A trainer or dog walker would be a better option for energetic dogs. More severe legal issues can occur if your dog becomes scared and defensive. Even a small bite from your little pup can bring you a lot of legal troubles if they nip the wrong person. It’s better to be safe than sorry when introducing your dog to new environments.
With the slow return back to the office, some of us are considering bringing our pets with us, if possible. This is not a simple decision with many things to consider about your dog’s energy, behaviour and workplace. We listed only some pros and cons of bringing your dog to the office, but think about this decision thoroughly. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Canine Citizen for any dog walking needs, and we’d be happy to take your pup out for a walk while you’re busy at the office!