I love Flat-Coated Retrievers, and I think it’s one of the best breeds you could own.

Why? Well, if you haven’t met one, let me explain. But first some background and a description of the breed.


The Flat-Coated Retriever breed is about 150 year old.

It was developed in Great Britain as a dual-purpose retriever, meaning it should be able to fetch both on land and in water.

Four breeds were used: Setter, Collie, Newfoundland, and the now extinct St. John’s water dog.

It was a successful mix that gave the Flat-Coat some of its hallmarks: Great scenting ability (from the Setter), trainability (Collie), strength (Newfoundland), and love of water (St. John’s water dog).

Flat-Coated Retrievers are currently moderately popular in Europe, mainly in Britain and Scandinavia, but not as much in the rest of the world.

In USA, it’s only the 89th most popular dog breed.


With a height of 22”-24”, and a weight of 55-75 lb, the Flat-Coat is a fairly large dog. Males are at the upper half, while females are at the lower end of that range.

The life span is relatively short, 8-10 years, although some dogs can live for 14 years or even more.

Black and liver are the two colors accepted by the breed standard (see image below). However, in rare cases, yellow Flat-Coats are born. These dogs are not allowed for breeding, but are equally nice dogs.

Most individuals can be described by these characteristics:


  • Young at heart.
  • Loves people.
  • Wagging tail.
  • Happy
  • Positive
  • Playful
  • High-energy.
  • Likes to carry things in his mouth.


The Flat-Coated Retriever is a relatively healthy breed except for a high rate of cancer. Malignant histiocytosis is the most common form, even though it’s rare among most other breeds.


Stimulating Activities

Because Flat-Coats are high-energy dogs, they need exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. Suitable activities include swimming, fetching, and tracking scents.

Obedience training is necessary to control its playfulness and high level of energy. I would recommend that you start slowly from 4 months of age. Keep it fun, and don’t be harsh, because Flat-Coats are quite sensitive dogs.


Obedience training is also a great way to drain some of all that energy.


By providing the dog with these types of stimulating activities, negative behavior will not be an issue.


But if the dog is left alone for hours without sufficient exercise, things like chewing, mouthing and jumping could become a problem.

Should You Get a Flat-Coated Retriever?

Now, I want to make it clear that Flat-Coated Retrievers are not for everyone. In my opinion, you need to have three things in order to be appropriate:


  1. Patience – to cope with its high-energy puppy-like behavior (which I love).
  2. Active lifestyle – to fulfill the dog’s need for exercise and stimulation.
  3. Time for your dog – because it doesn’t like to be left alone for any longer periods of time.


If you also are prepared to work with your dog, you will get a wonderful (and fun!) companion that will lift your spirit whenever you feel down.


Happy and optimistic, constantly wagging its tail, the Flat-Coated Retriever is always ready for another adventure or fun activity.


It should be mentioned that since Flat-Coats love all people, it’s not a very good guard dog. In fact, from personal experience, I would say that it’s a pretty lousy guard dog, because an intruder would likely be welcomed by a happy dog licking his face!


If you are interested, contact a reputable breeder, and visit him or her for a hands-on experience with this amazing breed. But I must warn you. You will probably fall in love, and not want to get any other breed!

Author Bio

John Solvik is a pet-loving blogger with a special affection to Flat-Coated Retrievers.


You can read his latest posts over at his blog: PetAnimalGuide.com.

A man’s best friend deserves more than just the four corners of the backyard. Your pup most likely wants to explore the four corners of the world! The ambition is there, but let’s just start with a nice road trip. Instinctually, most people will just have their dog hop into the car and go, but there really is much more to it than that. Taking care of your dog and your health are of the utmost importance here. Trust me, if the dog starts getting upset, you will regret it. Not to mention the distractions that are unnecessary while you are driving. Here are some great tips to ensure you have a safe, healthy, and fun road trip with your pup.

Reach out to your vet

You will want to reach out to your vet, especially if you are going for a long trip. Most illnesses can be unseen to the average dog owner. Reaching out will ease your mind and keep your beloved dog safe while driving. Another good reason to check up with the vet is to see what he might say in terms of health concerns when traveling. He could be your best line of defense to preventing illness, ticks, or other problems that can occur.

Acquire a dog crate will prove to be useful

A dog crate will prove to be useful in stressful situations. Nobody likes putting their little pal into that jam-packed space, but it will greatly increase safety. For example, driving through a stressful city can be daunting on its own. The odds of an accident will greatly increase if your dog is free-roaming the car while you navigate. Therefore, one should pull over before the city and get the dog in the safe crate. This will help you immensely and you can just let your dog out when you are done.

Get the weather report before you drive

Nothing is worse than driving with your dog and having to embrace a bad storm. This could really cause your dog to freak out. Which means you will have to keep it in the crate for hours on end. Before you head on your road trip, watch the weather channel or check google to see the weather report for the days that follow. Hopefully, it will be all sunshine and clear skies.

Have enough space in your vehicle

If you do not have a good-sized vehicle, it is going to feel like you and your dog are both in a crate. This will put a serious damper on your road trip. The highest recommended type of vehicle for space and luxury is a Crossover SUV. This is the perfect compromise between style and space that every dog lover admires. This will allow your dog to roam free without either one of you feeling cramped. Not to mention how great it is to have space for the dog crate and your luggage.

Last minute bathroom plan

You never know when the bowels are going to start moving. This could be difficult if you are driving 70 miles an hour down the highway. Make sure you have your doggy bags to pick up after your dog and a good plan to dispose of it when you need to. This is respectful to others and something that is, unfortunately, easily forgotten by some dog owners. Hopefully, you can train your dog to notify you when the time is near to pull over.

Update the ID tag

This is very important. You never know what can happen out on the road. One minute you could be taking your dog for a walk, then the next minute your dog is gone chasing after a rabbit. Therefore, you want to update the ID tag. That way, if someone finds your pup, they can easily call you. If your dog doesn’t have an ID tag and animal control comes across them, they will consider it a stray and put the dog in the pound. That is never a good situation, especially on a road trip.

Another great option is to consider getting a GPS tracker for your pup. This will help keep your anxiety attack under control if the worst-case scenario happens.

Plan your Trip

Planning the trip is always a good idea. Try to find good spots along your route to walk your dog. You can even seek out a dog park, so your dog can make some friends. This will be good because you and your dog will get some exercise as opposed to sitting in the same spot for hours. Keep that blood moving to stay healthy.

Make sure to find the cautious areas too. Knowing where not to go could keep you and your buddy out of danger.

Now it is time to hit the road! You will have a safer and healthier trip with your dog. It will definitely be a fun and unforgettable experience now that you are prepared. Have a safe drive!

We all love our fur babies and include them in our holiday festivities. To keep our babies safe, we need to take the time to do some Petproofing, including decoration checks, setting up quiet retreat spaces, and helping them get used to new people.

A significant part of Petproofing for spending the holidays at home (or someone else’s home) means focusing on your dog’s nutritional safety. You probably know to make sure you have enough of your dog’s regular food and snacks, and to keep them on the same feeding routine. Most importantly you need to review the foods and items your dog should not have. Many pet parents already know what is on the no-no food and ingredient list, but it is necessary that others in the house know what is on the list too. Also, new items are added each year. Please use this list to share with friends and relatives who will be around your fur baby!

Alcohol – Never let your dog have access to alcohol. During the holidays, fancy concoctions are everywhere, and it can be easy for your canine friend to sneak a couple of laps before you even realize it. Depending on how much they drink, dogs can become intoxicated, uncoordinated, have vomiting and diarrhea, and trouble breathing. If a larger amount is consumed, dogs can potentially get severe alcohol poisoning that can cause coma or even death. Even if your dog has only had a few laps, you should watch him carefully. If your dog has consumed more than that, or if you are unsure of the amount, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Apple Seeds the apple seed casing is a chemical called amygdlin. When digested, amygdlin releases cyanide. It would take many seeds to reach a toxic amount, but better safe than sorry of course. Apples are still a great snack for dogs if you make sure to get rid of the core and seeds.

Avocados – Contained within the avocado skin and leaves is a toxin called persin. If enough persin is ingested, your dog can have vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing and even heart problems. The good news is that persin is limited to the skin, stem, and leaves. The bad news is that your dog could still get choked on the avocado pit. However, the edible part of the avocado is good for dogs and is now often an ingredient in dog foods.

Bacon – While not toxic, bacon contains too much salt and fat for your dog, and you should really refrain giving it at all. Too much fat in any food can cause a dog to get pancreatitis.

Baby Food – Although baby food seems harmless, certain varieties can be toxic to dogs. Some foods contain onion powder which is toxic to dogs.

Bread Dough – The yeast in bread dough can rise and expand blocking the airway and cause your dog to become extremely bloated. If left unattended, their stomach and intestines can even rupture. Another problem is that the yeast produces ethanol as a by-product causing your dog to become intoxicated. You should seek medical attention if your dog ingests bread dough.

Caffeine – Caffeine is toxic to dogs. According to the ASPCA, caffeine is a powerful stimulant. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, increased thirst, restlessness and an increased heart rate” in pets. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Capsaicin – Capsaicin is found in many spices such as paprika, chili powder and most peppers. It can cause your dog sever stomach irritation.

Cat Food – Many dogs love to chow down on a bowl of cat food if given the chance. However, cat food contains too much protein and fat for your dog. Though not toxic, it is not healthy for your dog to eat any food that is really meant for a cat.

Cherry Pits – Like many other fruits, the danger of cherries is in the, stems, leaves, and pits. They contain cyanide, which is highly toxic to dogs if enough is consumed. The pits can also become lodged and cause intestinal blockage, resulting in serious problems.

Chewing Gum and other candy – Not only does candy contain sugar, but it often contains xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be fatal to dogs. Never give your dog candy or gum, and beware of chewed gum on the ground when you are walking your dog.

Chocolate (and cocoa powder) – You’ve heard this before, but chocolate is one of the single most toxic foods for your dog. It’s not just about the caffeine content. It contains two substances, theobromine and theophylline, that are toxic to your dog. If chocolate is ingested, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, damage to your dog’s heart and nervous systems, and death can occur.

Citrus Fruits – The fruit, seeds, peels, stems, and leaves of any citrus fruit contain citric acid. When small amounts are ingested, your dog may experience vomiting and diarrhea. However, a large amount can serious problems with the central nervous system. So, if you catch your dog eating part of an orange, there is no need to panic – but you may have a mess to clean up later.

Coconut – The coconut and its milk can cause your dog to have stomach irritation, including vomiting and diarrhea. Also, coconut water has too much potassium for dogs, so do not give it to yours.

Coffee – Coffee can be very toxic to dogs, due to the caffeine content. As mentioned above, ingestion of caffeine can cause diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and an increased heart rate in pets. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Cooked Bones – Contrary to what many people believe, you should never give your dog cooked bones. The bone can easily break apart and splinter when your dog begins to chew, causing serious and sometimes fatal stomach and intestinal problems.

Corn – Corn is hard on your dog’s digestive system, so do not feed them too much. However, corn on the cob can be hazardous. If your dog ingests a corncob, his intestines can become blocked, and it can even become fatal if it is not removed.

Dairy Products – Dogs are naturally lactose intolerant and don’t digest dairy products well. Although not toxic, dairy products can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system. There’s no need to give them cheese knowing it will make them miserable later.

Energy Drinks – Letting your dog have access to an energy drink is a certain dangerous situation, especially due to the amount of caffeine found in most of them. If you think your dog has ingested even part of an energy drink, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Egg Whites – Raw egg can deplete your dog of biotin. This can lead to hair loss, general weakness, and growth issues.

Fat – Any amount of fat pieces can cause your dog intestinal and digestive problems, and can even lead to pancreatitis.

Fish – Certain fish can be especially fatal to dogs if eaten raw. Salmon, for instance can be infected with a parasite. The parasite isn’t dangerous to dogs, but it is often infected with bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can be fatal to them. Also, Thiamine deficiency can result if too much raw fish is consumed on a regular basis. This can cause loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.

Garlic – Garlic is in the onion family, which is toxic for dogs. Just avoid it.

Grapes and Raisins – Grapes contain a toxin that is especially harmful to dogs. Although the exact toxin has not been pinpointed, even a small amount can cause severe liver damage, kidney failure, and death.

Liver – In small amounts liver is harmless and even thought to be beneficial to dogs. However, eating too much liver can result in too much Vitamin A. Too much Vitamin A can cause your dog to have bone and muscle issues.

Marijuana – Like other drugs, marijuana can prove harmful to dogs. It can affect your dog’s heart rate, nervous system, vomiting, and diarrhea. You should seek medical attention if you think your dog has ingested marijuana.

Meat and Eggs – This is currently a controversial issue. However, the ASPCA still says that raw or undercooked meat can be dangerous to your dog. Both can contain bacteria including Salmonella and E.coli that is harmful to your dog. Raw eggs also contain avidin which is an enzyme that decreases absorption of biotin. This can lead problems with your dog’s coat and skin.

Mold – Never give your dog moldy or spoiled food. Moldy food can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause muscle tremors, convulsions, and worse. Beware of fruit that has fallen off trees and become moldy.

Mushrooms – Never give you dog food with mushrooms. Also, watch for wild mushrooms when outside with your dog. Certain mushrooms contain toxins that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, liver and kidney damage, coma, and death.

Mustard Seeds – Though not toxic, your dog will certainly have an upset stomach if he has eaten mustard seeds.

Nuts – Never give nuts of any kind to your dog. Certain varieties of nuts, like macadamia and walnuts, contain an unknown toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and nervous and digestive system issues. Even nuts that do not contain this toxin still contain a high concentration of fat that can lead to pancreatitis.

Oils – In addition to cooking oils, there are also natural oils many people keep around the house for allergies, massage, and to make other homeopathic remedies. These oils are extremely concentrated and can be fatal to your dog. Seek medical attention immediately if your dog has come in contact with these.

Onions – Onions, leeks, and chives are very toxic for dogs, regardless of what form – raw, cooked, dried, powdered, or as an ingredient in other foods. Onions contain disulfides and sulfoxides that can cause dogs to have stomach irritation, anemia, and damage red blood cells which can cause organ damage and even death.

Peach, Persimmon, and Plum Pits –  Like many other fruits, the danger of the peach pit contains cyanide, which is highly toxic to dogs if enough is consumed. These pits can also become lodged and cause intestinal blockage, resulting in serious problems.
Potatoes – Unripe potatoes as well as their plant contain a toxin called solanine, which can cause your dog stomach problems, weakness, lethargy, and confusion.
Rhubarb – Rhubarb contains oxalates. When consumed, dogs can have digestive and nervous system problems.

Salt – Excessive salt intake can cause sodium ion poisoning which may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death. Just skip sharing your salty snacks with your dog.

Sugar – It seems that sugar is in most of the food we eat. Too much sugar for your dog on a regular basis can cause obesity, dental problems, and eventually diabetes. This includes corn syrup too.

Tea – Just as coffee, teas that contain caffeine can be very toxic for your dog. Diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and an increased heart rate may occur. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Tobacco– Tobacco contains nicotine, which is a major toxin for dogs. Nicotine can increase a dog’s heart rate, affect the nervous and respiratory system, and even result in death. Seek proper medical attention.
Tomatoes – Only green, unripe tomatoes as well as the leaves and stems are the problem. Like unripe potatoes, they contain solanine, which can cause your dog stomach problems including weakness, lethargy, and confusion.
Xylitol – Xylitol is a sugar substitute often found in candy, gum, baked treats, now some peanut butters, and many other foods. Even small amounts can cause vomiting, lethargy, seizures, liver failure, and even death.

Yeast – Yeast can cause several problems for your dog. The yeast can rise and expand causing your dog to become extremely bloated. If left unattended, their stomach and intestines can even rupture. Another problem is that the yeast produces ethanol as a by- product, causing your dog to become intoxicated.

Again, please share this list or even post it on the refrigerator for all to see!

Be on the lookout for parts two and three about Petproofing the entire house for the holidays, and foods and tasty treats you can give your dog during the Holiday Season!

Well, to be very honest I is not recommended for everyone to go without leash with your dog because the first and only thing which should be in consideration is your dog safety. You can’t go anywhere with your dog without leash until you trained him perfectly and this is the key a right training and perfect guideline we will discuss some points here.

Train your dog with the help of Commands.

You should trained him with the basic commands like come,run,stop,go etc… so these are the basic commands if you owning a dog you should know them very well and your canine too. Now the main thing while walking on the park you should offer him any candy or anything so he can come to you by calling any command.

Most of the Dog Owners miss the right ways of training your dog please note that it is little hard but it is possible. A dog is a good companion so spend a good time and call him with proper commands and constantly work on them your dog would be ready and trained in some days.

What is the best location to Trained your dog for Running without a Leash?

As described above it could be the park where you go on morning walk or it could be the beach or any place like ground or anything which have enough space to run with your dog and help him with proper training treats.

You can also train him at your home if you have enough space to run and it is recommended because on public place it is bit risky if your dog is aggressive so this option would be the best for your canine to train and play with him.

What are the cons of Off Leash Risks?

No one can deny the fact that there are so many risks involve while running with your canine without leash because we cannot understand the nature of animals because they can got angry on any uncertain things and can be disturbed by any other dog or even human as well so we can’t control them on this situation. (see Possible Causes For Leash Aggression).

We can overcome this by good training and management and it only works when you do proper training and gives your time to your dog.

Involve training in Daily play

It is one of the best ways to train your dog while playing games even in your kitchen keep him off the leash because your dog will never feel uncomfortable and he will be trained automatically with your little attention.

He will start responding you all the time so reward him accordingly and enjoy the great time with your canine.

Train your dog for safety as well…

While training your dog do not forget to take care of the safety as it is one of the best way to make your dog perfect because if you donot train him for safety you’re going to miss big and important part.

.Leave it  is the most important command and can be use hell of time while training your dog for safety and it would be great if you make sure to take care of it.

.Stop  it can be used as many times so make sure to teach him where to stop and when to stop most of the people miss this great thing and it is simple but most of the dog owners does not care of it.

If you want to read more please have a look on complete article here

How To Teach Your Dog to Run With you.

Now that you’ve decided to start your own dog washing business it’s time to take the necessary steps to ensure your success. That means starting things off right in as many areas as possible, including the time of year to launch your operation to the public. Whether you decide on a “hard launch” or a “soft launch” you’re entering an industry that has already become a multi-billion dollar business.

The Pet Grooming Industry Overall

Currently, the estimated number of dog owners in the United States has reached nearly 80 million, meaning that approximately 44 percent of all households in the U.S. have a dog. That’s a lot of potential clients for your new pet grooming company to reach. Whether you already have an inside to the industry as a veterinarian, kennel worker or professional dog walker — or you’re brand new to the pet industry overall — your first step will be business prep and education.

Making Business Preparations

As a professional pet pamperer, you need to have a certain amount of experience necessary to ensure your personal safety and the safety of your canine clientele. As a pet groomer, you may find yourself in stressful or even dangerous situations, so it’s important that you find a program to help prepare you and your new business for various challenges. Bottom line, make sure you learn proper grooming and pet handling, especially if you’re new.

If you’re an old hand at this then it wouldn’t hurt to take a refresher course. You may already know about shampooing and blow drying, but it wouldn’t hurt to refresh your knowledge of dog behavior and chemical safety. Also, you may want to make sure you know, or at least begin to know about breed identification, various dog skin disorders and proper management practices for your shop and tools.

Optimal Opening Time

While your business prep will play a factor in when you open for business, it’s not a deciding factor. You schedule your business launch for the optimal time or season and work to meet that deadline. Simplistically the start of a new year serves as a wonderful benchmark for a business calendar, but dogs are most active after the winter months are over. If you schedule your business launch for the spring or summer you can ensure six to eight months of steady business growth and operations.

Dogs run and play during the spring, and they get wet during the summer. When the kids are out of school dogs roll, fetch, seek and romp for as long as the sun remains in the sky. They get dirty and stinky and get their fur tangled up and matted with activity. Launching your dog grooming business in March or at the start of April will give you the chance to drum up business, test out your services and increase your brand’s recognition.

Establishing Your Services

You’ll want to know the services you’re able and prepared to offer. Remember, you’re in the animal handling business now and these services can make a lot of demands on you, your facility and your equipment. While a wide variety of services can help establish a large customer base, you want to ensure you can deliver 100 percent on every item on the menu. The various types of services you can offer in addition to washing and drying include tooth brushing, pedicures, ear cleaning and deodorizing.

The size of your business will help determine what you’re able to offer, at least in the beginning. Mobile dog groomers usually only carry large or specialized items and supplies, often times going to their clients and utilizing their products and utilities. Commercial groomers, on the other hand, can take on more than one customer at a time and mostly utilize industrial-sized machinery and utilities. More often than not, dogs are more comfortable in their familiar environment or “territory” which can be easier on the work.

Advertising & Marketing

After reviewing your working knowledge, learning new techniques and information, choosing a business size and deciding what your business will offer — it’s time to move on to marketing and operations. You’ll want to reach the maximum amount of customers without wasting too much time before getting to work. If you’re able, the best thing for your new business to have will be a handful of clients already in rotation. This way as you gather new customers you’ll have steady income coming in.

In Conclusion; Why Dog Grooming?

One of the best things about dogs as pets would be their natural appeal. You’ll never lack marketing material and with proper execution pet owners will willingly shop your services often. You’ll have everything you need to create a successful business for yourself, your employees and your four-legged clients.



Emily is an avid animal lover and pet and wildlife conservation blogger. She has also written for Continental Kennel Club and is a contributor to PetsBlogs. To read more of her articles, check out her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.

Excess food, cold temperatures outside, and central heating inside call all lead to problems with our health, and it’s no different for our canine friends either. That is why you need to know how to keep your pooch as a healthy as possible during the colder months. Luckily, below you will find some winter wonder tips to help you do just that, so read on to find out more.


No outside living


Keeping your dogs outside can be something of a controversial topic as dogster.com states, but in the winter it can be a real issue of contention. After all, dogs will feel the cold, even if they have thick coats and keeping them outside where the temperature can drop below zero really is not on.


That means it’s vital that you bring your pooches inside for the winter season. To do this, it can be useful to create a bedding area for them in a section of the house that is a little quieter. A place like the utility room can work well, as then they will be at relaxed and home even if they aren’t used to being around people all the time.

Image here


You will also need to provide some warm and conformable winter bedding to keep them at the right temperature, as well as freshwater too. If you don’t want them roaming the rest of the house all the time you can use a baby gate in the doorway so they can still see what everyone is doing and yet be limited to their special space.


Use vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy


Next, it’s a good idea to up your dog’s vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy during the colder weather, just like you do with the rest of the family. Luckily, you can go to sites like topdogvitamins.com now and get the lowdown on which types of supplements are best for you dog. There you can find advice about what more senior dogs need, as well as some info on the advantage of probiotics and fish oil supplements. The latter being something that can really help with itchy skin that is often the result of going from the warm indoors to the cold outdoors and back again, during the winter months.


Avoid Christmas tidbits


Anyone that has seen their dogs long, sad face when their owner is eating a delicious Christmas treat will know how hard it is to resists giving them just a bite. However, it can actually be in their interest to not give them a tidbit, even if they are desperately begging for it.

Even if they make this face, don’t feed them Christmas human treats. Picture source


This is because many items of human food are delicious to dogs but can cause them serious health problems. Unfortunately, these types of food seem to be around in abundance over the Christmas period, making it harder to keep them away from Fido.


To help you stand firm in this, it can help to know what awful reaction common Holiday foods can cause in your pet. Chocolate, for example, is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. While cheese, another Christmas favorite is known to contain high levels of lactose, something that many canines cannot stomach. Nuts also popular during the holidays can also be dangerous, with some dogs having allergies similar to humans, so are best avoided. Find out more about this at mom.me. Although there are some items such as cooked and deboned turkey with a little gravy that they can eat in small amounts.


It can also be helpful to remember to get your pup some specially made dog treats for the Christmas period. Then when they are after what you are snacking on you can give them one of those instead of caving in and feeding them something you know they shouldn’t have.


Extra precautions when walking

Taking extra precautions while walking your dog in the winter. Picture source


Even though it’s cold outside Fido still needs to be walked twice a day, and that means taking some extra precautions when you do take them outside. In particular, be careful about the weather when you take them out. Try and walk them when it’s sunny so the ice and frost is melted from the paths and it doesn’t hurt their pads. Although dog shoes can also help create a protective barrier for this issue.


Also, watch out for deep snow, although your dog will probably love it, it can be dangerous as it covers things over and you have no idea what hazards lay underneath. Be very careful of exposing your dog to long walks in very low temperatures as well, as they are just as susceptible to frostbite as us humans are. That means keep outings short and sweet if the thermometer reads low and educate yourself in the subtle sign of frostbite, just in case the worse does happen.


Increase meals


Something that can help your pup cope with the colder temperature in the winter is as petmd.com suggests to increase their food allowance. This is because dogs gain their energy to move about and stay warm from their food, and by giving them more you make it easier for them to keep their body at a constant temperature, no matter what the weather outside.

Picture link


Of course, it is a delicate balance between increasing what they have on a normal day and overfeeding. That means it is a good idea to check the packets of dog food for advice on portions or even ask your vet if you have a dog with a medical issue that could be affected by increasing their meals.


It’s also a good idea to offer your dog more meals through the day rather than just making their two normal feeding times bigger. This is because it can help them to digest their food better and ensure their energy levels stay constantly topped up. Something that will make it easier for them to keep warm no matter what time of day it is.


Doggy clothes


Lastly, whatever your feelings on doggy fashions, providing a jumper or jacket for your pooch, as barkpost.com suggests can make a massive difference in keeping them warm. Something especially relevant if they are a short-haired breed.


There are even dog goggles on the market now that you can buy too, that act as sunglasses. Something that can be very useful if you are taking them out in the snow to prevent the glare getting in their eyes.


Whether you already have a dog or you’re thinking of getting one, it’s important to think about how owning a dog affects both you and the animal. Having a dog in your family should mean there’s a mutually-beneficial relationship where you help each other. You take care of your dog and your dog, although he might not know it, helps to improve your quality of life too. You and your dog can be there for each other in a variety of ways, even though it mostly involves you putting in the effort and your dog just being, well, a dog. If you’re not convinced that you both get as much from your relationship as each other, here’s how you and your dog can enjoy each other’s company. Your Dog Gives You Something to Get Up For It’s not always easy to get up in the morning, even for people who are generally happy and motivated. Sometimes you just want to laze around in bed, or you don’t feel like facing the day. But having a dog to care for means you can’t waste your day lying around. Your dog needs feeding, walking, and playing with. That’s part of the reason dogs are sometimes recommended for people with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. They give people something to care for and care about outside of themselves. Not only is your dog a reason to get out of bed, but they’ll be sure to get you up if you’re late giving them breakfast.

Pic source: Pexels

  Your Dog Sees You As Pack Leader When you bring a dog into your family, you’re their pack leader. They look to you for their commands as the alpha – although they might see one family member as more authoritative than the others. It’s comforting for them to have companions, whether they’re all humans, other dogs, or maybe even other animals. They physically need you to survive too, relying on you for everything from food and exercise to staying clean. You might need your dog, but you know that they need you too.   You Keep Each Other Fit One of the great benefits of owning a dog is that they can help to keep you fit. But it’s also your job to help keep your dog fit and healthy. You can look at it as having a faithful workout partner who’s always there to encourage you to go to the gym. Whatever you choose to do with your dog, from gentle walks to mountain hikes, they encourage you to get outside. You can also do some fun activities that are a bit more active for your dog than you, like agility or flyball.   Affection Is Good For Both of You There’s nothing like a cuddle with your dog. Sometimes they seem to sense when you’re sad and come and give you affection when you need it most. It’s not just good for you, though. It’s also good for them to get affection from their human. Giving your dog affection is a way to reward them for good behavior, especially because they’re naturally very affectionate and love to receive attention from humans and each other. It’s important to give your dog affection at the right time, though. For example, if you fuss over them when they’re really excited, you could teach them that it’s ok to jump up at people when you don’t want them to.

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  You Can Support Each Other Emotionally Sharing affection with your dog is great for lifting your mood. And for some people, it’s even useful to have their dog designated as an emotional support animal (ESA). An ESA isn’t the same as a service dog, which has different legal protections and needs to have specialized training. However, an ESA may have some protections in some situations, such as when you’re applying for housing. If you think it would be beneficial to have your dog designated as an ESA or for you to get an emotional support animal, you can read about how to do it here. You need to have a licensed mental health professional write you a letter that says you will benefit from having an emotional support animal. ESAs can help with a range of health conditions, from PTSD to anxiety and depression.   Some Dogs Help with Physical Conditions Too Dogs can also be trained to provide assistance for a range of physical conditions. These dogs are more likely to be service dogs, which legally are required to have special training. They should be trained to perform certain tasks that help their owners, who might have physical or mental health disabilities. The most recognizable type of service dog is probably seeing-eye dogs for blind and sight-impaired people. There are also hearing dogs, dogs that detect seizures or provide assistance to people with diabetes, mobility assistance dogs, and more. Service dogs don’t need to be certified or registered, but business owners and service providers are allowed to ask what tasks they’re trained to do to determine if they can provide reasonable accommodation for them.

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  Dogs Are Protective Having a loyal companion who will protect you is one of the reasons that some people choose to get a dog. Dogs will protect you in a variety of ways, including standing between you and a perceived threat or barking. A protective dog isn’t necessarily aggressive, though. It could just mean they stand at your side and are there for you. Some people choose dog breeds based on which ones make the best guard dogs. However, you don’t have to pick a particularly large or protective dog to have one who will stand up for you. A dog’s protective instinct isn’t just good for you, either. It makes them feel useful and proud that they’re protecting you. Just be careful not to encourage bad behaviors.   You Can Be Social Together Do you feel like you need to get out of your shell a little? If you want to meet new people, having a dog is a great way to do it. Your dog can take you to new places, and you can find plenty of opportunities for your pooch to socialize too. You might go to your local dog park and talk to other owners while your dog meets some fellow four-legged friends. There are also some fun classes and activities you can do together, where you can meet other people are dogs. Some activities are more focused on dogs, while others are for people but within a dog-friendly atmosphere. For example, you could attend an agility class with your dog, or you could join a walking group and take your dog with you on walks. Not only will you make new friends, but your dog will improve his social skills too.   Take Your Dog to Work Lucky enough to be the boss or work in a dog-friendly environment? Taking your dog to work could be good for both of you. It means your dog doesn’t have to stay home or go to doggy daycare, and you can have your constant companion with you all day. Dogs can be great in a few different work environments but generally are best in offices, as long as they’re happy to sit under your desk for most of the day. You might also be able to take your dog to work if you work outdoors. And if you are able to take your dog to work with you, not only can they help you to relieve stress (and relieve your dog’s stress), but they can be there for your colleagues too. Your dog will probably love the extra attention and might have some other dogs to make friends with too.   Be Charitable with Your Dog If your dog provides great emotional support to you, they could do the same for others too. Your dog might be able to train as a therapy dog so you can visit people who can benefit from the comfort of a furry friend. Therapy dogs visit places like schools, hospitals and care homes to befriend the people there. Petting a dog is excellent therapy and can lift people’s moods. Dogs can even help people to recover from illness faster. If you want to volunteer with your dog, there are other things you can do too. Your dog can donate blood, you could go on charity runs or walks together, or you could foster other dogs for your dog to interact with and care for.   Adopt, Don’t Shop There are lots of terribly cute pedigree puppy litters out there. It’s easy to see what people are prepared to pay money for them. But choosing to adopt a dog instead is good for both you and the dog. You get all the benefits of owning a dog and the knowledge that you saved a dog in need. Without people to adopt them, a lot of dogs end up being put down. Adopting a dog often means you rescue each other.   Owning a dog isn’t just a one-sided relationship. They get just as much out of it as you do, and you can have so much fun together.

Make sure to take your dog for a walk every time you plan to go out. Go for a brisk walk, and consider to burden your dog with a dog backpack. Put some extra weight in it, and when you get back, reward your dog with some food and water. This will be his prize for being calm and submissive. Your main goal is to help your dog to spend excessive energy. By walking him before you go, there is a pretty good chance he’ll fall asleep and be quiet and relaxed all the time you’re not with him.


Start the day with a walk


Make sure to take your dog for a walk every time you plan to go out. Go for a brisk walk, and consider to burden your dog with a dog backpack. Put some extra weight in it, and when you get back, reward your dog with some food and water. This will be his prize for being calm and submissive. Your main goal is to help your dog to spend excessive energy. By walking him before you go, there is a pretty good chance he’ll fall asleep and be quiet and relaxed all the time you’re not with him.

Time apart is no big deal

You should keep this in mind: Whenever you go out or come back, don’t make a big deal out of it. If you manage to act normal while leaving and greeting your dog, he will see that separating isn’t something he should be worried about. Because of that, make a simple rule. Don’t touch your pet, don’t talk to him and don’t make eye contact, for at least 5 minutes before you go or after you return. This period should be extended up to an hour for the best results. Your dog will act natural and calmed if you are feeling the same way.

Say goodbye on time

If you can’t make the previous technique work, then try to talk to your dog before leaving him behind. Your pet will react on your emotions, so take a moment and say him goodbye way before you really leave. By saying your dog you’ll miss him, you’ll express your feelings so they won’t stand in a way once you open the door. Your main goal should be leaving a dog that is emotionally-free. If you don’t burden him with sad emotions the moment you leave, he will remain cool and happy. This little trick will mostly help you to express your feelings, and the actual leaving moment will remain stress-free.

Ask for help

In case you need to leave your best friend alone for a longer period of time, don’t hesitate, but seek for a help. There are so many solutions available, and one of them is to call a family member to stay with your dog while you’re absent. Another way is to hire a dog sitter, so they’ll keep him company and provide him with everything he needs. There is an option to bring the dog to a sitter’s house or leave him in some of the innovative dog boarding facilities near you, where he can play with other dogs and have a great time until you return.

Try out different things

There are so many options you can consider when it comes to dog separation anxiety. Dogs differ, and one strategy may be good for some and don’t do anything for others. Keep this in mind when helping your dog to overcome this bad feeling. Try training him slowly. Leave him for just 5 minutes in one exercise. Once he sees you’re coming back every time, you can go ahead and extend this period until you can leave for a full 8 hours without issues. Some studies showed that audiobooks have a relaxing effect on dogs, so they might be the solution you’re looking for. Anxiety will disappear since your dog will be listening to a human voice which will decrease his stress levels. Once you get back, you will find a relaxed and anxiety-free pet.


Whatever you do with your dog, keep in mind that you are a pack leader, and you should be acting as one. Be confident, calm and assertive since those traits will help your dog to fight separation anxiety. Avoid having bad feelings before leaving the house, so your dog can see everything is in order. Go ahead and try these new tricks, and you’ll see how your dog will start to change for the better.


Many families consider getting a pet dog. A dog may have already been part of the family before children came along, meaning that everyone including your beloved pet needs to adapt to a new family dynamic. Some people worry about the added responsibility of having a dog, or any pet for that matter, as well as having children and busy lives to lead. But I actually feel that a pet dog can teach a child all about responsibility and other things. I wanted to share with you some of the ways I feel it can make a child think a little differently, and perhaps about something else other than themselves.

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They learn to care for something else


Let’s be honest, if you are a parent, the chances are you do almost everything for your child. You cater to their needs, feed them, make sure they are hydrated and protected. At some stage, children are going to need to learn to do this or recognise this themselves and a family dog can really help with that. Much like a child a dog needs taking care of, feeding and exercise. Giving a child the responsibility to care for something else could start to help them really take ownership of their own feelings and actions.


It can educate and encourage a child


It’s always a good idea to encourage different ways to educate children in the home outside of their schooling, and a pet dog can do just that. There are times where a dog can’t communicate how it feels, and it’s up to the owners to decipher if something is wrong. A child can pick up on these signals and then encourage a visit to a veterinary clinic to make sure the pet dog is doing well. It can also educate in the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Things like exercising are just as important to us as it is to dogs and other animals. It can also encourage children to feel confident in their feelings and thoughts.


A dog can relieve stress and anxiety in children


Children can often feel anxious or stressed and there are studies to show that a pet dog can relieve some of these issues in the home. It may be down to problems at school or with behaviour that your child seems to be struggling with their emotions, but a dog can communicate on different levels than we can and often provide a friend for life. This can also encourage children to gain confidence in social situations and within the home.


It becomes a privilege not a chore


Finally, what once could have been seen as part of the chores list to walk or feed the dog can suddenly become a privilege to your children as you pet dog becomes more than just the family pet but an actual friend for life. It can often feel like such a big decision to add to your family, or become more adjusted with a family dog when children come along, but it could also be a great addition and lifestyle the whole family can enjoy.


I hope that this provides you with some confidence when it comes to family pets and children.



Your life changes when you adopt or buy a dog — unfortunately for some, that means no more last-minute overnight trips or extended vacations. That is, unless you decide to take your pup with you on your journey.

Vacationing with your pet can be extremely rewarding for your dog, their health and the relationship between the two of you. However, your dog probably wouldn’t enjoy hanging at your hotel room while you relax at the spa or on the beach. Instead, you should keep in mind their needs for a vacation, as well — for most active dogs, that means lots of exercise and adventure.

If you’re planning a trip for you and your four-legged friend, consider these four destinations.

  1. Chattanooga, Tennessee

If you and your pup are true hikers, Chattanooga could be the best choice for your vacation. The North Chickamauga Creek Pocket Wilderness is a 10-mile trail with a creek that runs throughout it. You could also check out the Walnut Street Bridge at sunset or the quaint downtown area, which has restaurants with dog-friendly patios and delicious food.

  1. The Finger Lakes — New York state

Finger Lakes is made up of 11 freshwater lakes in upstate New York. In addition to hiking throughout Watkins Glen State Park, which consists of 19 waterfalls, you can take your dog with you to wineries such as Kings Garden, Red Tail Ridge and Fox Run. Several marinas in the area also allow you to have your pup with you on a leash.

  1. Austin, Texas

For lovers of warm weather and delicious food — which likely describe both you and your pup — Austin, Texas, makes a great vacation spot. In addition to walking tours and the 18 off-leash parks in the city, you can even bring your dog to yoga classes at Visit Austin Doga. Then, cool off at Red Bud Isle, an adorably fun dog-only swimming hole. Satiate both of your appetites after a long day of exercise at one of Austin’s many pet-friendly restaurants and food trucks, most of which have a specific menu for dogs.

  1. Portland, Oregon

This pacific northwestern city is the 12th most walkable in the country, making it an incredibly dog-friendly destination. More than 30 off-leash parks are scattered throughout town — that’s the most dog parks per capita in America! There are also tons of scenic trails through the forest you’re both sure to enjoy.

Tips for Traveling With Your Dog

No matter where you decide to go, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you and your pup have a safe, healthy and fun trip:

  • Go see the vet before you leave. You don’t want to leave for a long vacation without making sure your dog is in good health. It’s also a good idea to find a vet office near your destination — just in case.
  • Bring all necessary supplies. Even if you don’t usually crate your dog, you never know how they’ll act away from home for a long time — plus, most hotels and airlines require you bring one. Remember, if you and your dog will be flying, make sure to place a “live animal” sticker on your dog’s crate. This way airline staff will know to handle with care. Bring vaccination information, and first aid material or medication, all their tags and a photo of your pup to be prepared for the worst.

  • Consider your pet during the booking process. Some hotels advertise themselves as dog-friendly, yet they have layouts or staircases that could make it difficult for your pooch to get around. Consider asking for a room on the first floor and near an exit so you can easily get out to take your dog to the bathroom or for a walk.

Your first trip with your pup is probably a bit scary and overwhelming. Take it one step at a time, choose a sensible destination and remember to follow these tips to make sure you and your best friend have the trip of a lifetime.



Emily is an avid animal lover and pet and wildlife conservation blogger. She has also written for Continental Kennel Club and is a contributor to PetsBlogs. To read more of her articles, check out her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.