In order to improve the health of your dog’s teeth, you can give the canine numerous hard toys that can be chewed, add peppermint to your pet’s food, consistently brush the dog’s tongue and use toothpaste that has coconut oil. You may also use mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine, which is able to eliminate bacteria.

Detecting Signs of an Issue

According to one analysis, only 14 percent of canines regularly undergo dental inspections. Another study indicated that more than 70 percent of dogs show signs of a dental disease.

When a canine has an oral infection, the dog may begin to drool more frequently, and some pets might whine and move their paws by their mouths. If a canine’s gums have become red, the dog is likely experiencing an infection or a cavity. Furthermore, infections may cause yellow crust to accumulate on a canine’s gums.

Choosing Food

According to many veterinarians, relatively hard food will prevent damage because it can loosen a build-up of particles between a dog’s teeth. In contrast, soft food commonly becomes stuck between a canine’s molars.

Selecting Toothpaste

An owner should not use toothpaste for humans when brushing a dog’s teeth. Instead, the person can select a product that does not form foam while the brush is moving, and many pet shops sell toothpaste that has the taste of poultry. Some toothpastes contain baking soda, which may remove especially thick plaque. Furthermore, certain products have coconut oil. This ingredient is able to protect the gums, and coconut oil can cause a dog’s teeth to shine.

Chewing Toys and Bones

If a canine frequently chews synthetic bones, the dog’s teeth will become stronger over time, and in addition, this practice may eliminate plaque. By frequently chewing toys, a dog will produce an especially large amount of saliva, which can effectively remove bacteria. If you happen to be searching for chewing toys to help with your dog’s dental health, there is a fantastic range of dog products available at Pet Circle to help combat and eliminate it.

Brushing a Canine’s Teeth

Every day, an owner can brush a dog’s teeth for 35 seconds to one minute. Numerous experts recommend that individuals should also floss a canine’s teeth at least five times per week.

Improving a Dog’s Breath

You can put a small amount of cinnamon in a canine’s food, and one serving of this healthy herb may eliminate bad breath for approximately 12 hours. Many owners also add coriander to a pet’s food. This herb has an especially sweet flavour, and it can whiten a canine’s teeth and reduce the levels of some types of bacteria. Moreover, you may give your dog parsley, which is able to substantially improve digestion.

Prevent Your Dog From Being Stolen

According to the AKC, dog thefts are at an all-time high today. Dogs are stolen for all kinds of reasons: because they’re cute; to resell them, especially if they’re puppies or Toy dogs; for dog fighting; and the list goes on. There’s a surprising trade in dogs stolen out of people’s yards and sent to rescues today, then sold to the public as rescue dogs. These dogs might end up hundreds or thousands of miles from home because of rescue transports. It can be very hard to find your dog if he’s stolen.

Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take to help prevent your dog from being stolen.

At Home

Don’t let your dog off leash or leave him unattended. Keep an eye on your dog at all times. Know where he is and what he’s doing. Of course, it’s not possible to watch your dog every minute. None of us can do that. But don’t let your dog off leash unless you can watch him. Otherwise he might wander away or take off running out of sight. Even when your dog is at home in your yard, check on him frequently. Put a lock on your gate. Make sure that your fences are secure so your dog is less likely to escape. Do keep your dog contained at home and don’t let him wander or roam.

Use Identification. If your dog does get out, make sure he’s wearing a collar with his identification and rabies tags. While a collar can be removed if your dog is stolen, a microchip is permanent. Use a microchip ID for your dog. If your dog is found by an animal shelter or taken to the vet, they have scanners that can pick up the microchip and you can be notified that your dog has been found. You can also use a tattoo for permanent identification.

Breeders should be cautious of buyers visiting their homes. People posing as potential buyers in various cities have stolen dogs and puppies. Be cautious when allowing someone to come to your home. In other cases, homes have been robbed when the breeder was away.

 

When Traveling

Never leave your dog unattended in the car. Dogs have been stolen out of vehicles even if the vehicle is locked.

Don’t tie your dog outside a store or other building. This is a common practice in some big cities like New York but many dogs are stolen this way.

Be watchful. Even when you are in dog-friendly places, keep an eye out for the people and things around you. And watch your dog.

Recovering Your Dog

Make sure you keep your Microchip ID information current. Contact your ID carrier to let them know your dog is missing.

Contact animal control and the police. Contact other pet shelters and rescues in your area.

Have a current photo of your dog. Make fliers and have them ready to go so you can paper the area.

Talk to postal carriers, Fedex, UPS people, school bus drivers, and anyone who knows the neighborhood. They see more than anyone else. Go door to door and talk to neighbors. Talk to convenience store clerks. Talk to everyone.

Check with shelters and rescues everyday. Visit in person. Calling is ineffective.

If you follow these precautions and take these steps, you can prevent your dog from being stolen.

Whether your dog’s ears are long, shaped like a rosebud or bat ears, or they stand up in prick-eared fashion, it’s important to keep them clean. In extreme cases, dogs with dirty, infected ears can lose their hearing. Infected ears can lead to other health problems as well. Fortunately, regular ear cleaning is easy to do and it doesn’t require much in the way of accessories.

What you will need

You only need a few things to clean your dog’s ears:

 

  • Ear cleaner
  • Cotton balls or cloth

If you have a Terrier breed or a dog that has a lot of hair inside the ear, you may need a hemostat. This is a pair of tweezers with a small clamp-shaped end and handles so you can easily remove hair from inside the ears. This will allow air to get inside the ear and prevent ear infections. You can use a little ear powder sprinkled in the ear to make this hair easier to grip.

With most dogs you can simply use the ear cleaner and the cotton balls or cloth. You can buy ear cleaner from your veterinarian or from a good pet store or a pet retailer online. There are many good brands.

Cleaning your dog’s ears

To clean your dog’s ears you should make sure the ear cleaning solution is at room temperature. Nothing will make a dog squeamish about his ears faster than if you squirt cold liquid into them so make sure the cleaner is a pleasant temperature.

Try to clean your dog’s ears when you’re both relaxed. Your dog should be in front of you. It’s good if you have some treats with you so you can reward him for his cooperation.

Start by putting a few drops of the cleaner in one of your dog’s ears. Then gently massage the base of your dog’s ear. Slowly move your fingers over the base of the ear to loosen any wax and dirt that have accumulated. This should feel good to your dog. Then gently take one of the cotton balls or the cloth and stroke the inside of the ear to remove the loosened wax and dirt. Keep wiping the inside of the ear until the cotton ball or cloth comes away clean. You may have to put in a few more drops in your dog’s ear and massage a little more if the ear is very dirty.

You should not hold the bottle up and pour it into your dog’s ear. Not only is this unpleasant for your dog but that’s far too much liquid to put in your dog’s ear. It only takes a few drops of the cleaner each time to loosen the wax and dirt.

Once you have cleaned the first ear you can move over and clean the other ear. Make sure you give your dog some treats while you’re working to keep him cooperating.

Mites and infections

If your dog has ears that are no more than normally dirty, it should just take you a few minutes to clean them. However, if your dog’s ears are very gunky with brown or black wax, cleaning may take longer. This might indicate that your dog has had some mites or an infection at some time. Look for signs that your dog has any current infection or parasites. If you see anything that looks suspicious you should contact your veterinarian. Your vet can provide you with a miticide to get rid of ear mites. A yeast infection can be harder to eliminate. If you see signs of an infection you should talk to your vet and let him or her examine your dog’s ears.

In most cases you can clean your dog’s ears and be finished in just a few minutes. If you practice cleaning your dog’s ears each week then you will quickly spot any potential problems before they become something to be concerned about.

If you clean your dog’s ears gently and give him some treats while you clean, most dogs won’t mind having their ears cleaned. It also helps if you start cleaning ears when your dog is young so they know that it’s no big deal. Take care of your dog’s ears and you’ll never have a problem.

We usually think of our dogs’ paws as tough and able to take everything in stride, if you’ll pardon the pun. And most of the time that’s true. Under normal conditions, such as running and playing in the grass or on dirt, your dog’s paws can do their job. They can support his body and help him go from one place to another without any difficulty. But dogs live all over the earth with their human partners which means they can encounter some adverse conditions. Sometimes it’s necessary to protect your dog’s paws from bad weather, chemicals, and harsh environments.

Weather

One of the most most frequent problems related to a dog’s paws are bad weather conditions. Both extreme heat and icy cold can cause problems for your dog’s paws. In both cases the problem is often made worse by walking on pavement and other city surfaces. Hot pavement can hurt your dog’s paw pads, especially if he has to walk on excessively hot pavement for long periods of time. Your dog’s paws are not as sensitive as your feet, but you should definitely try to avoid hot pavement with your dog if possible.

In the winter, pavement can become icy and it’s hard for dogs to walk on the ice, just as it is for you. In addition, many cities put down de-icing chemicals on pavements and roads which are harmful to dogs if ingested. This means that if your dog licks his paws when he gets home, the chemicals can hurt him. So, if you take your dog for a walk on icy pavements or roads in the winter, be sure to rinse or wash his paws off with warm water when you get home so he won’t lick off these dangerous chemicals.

In both cases – hot and cold pavements – a dog’s paws can become chafed and cracked from walking on these less than ideal surfaces. Fortunately, there are some good products you can use to put on your dog’s paws which will help prevent this kind of chafing and cracking. Look for products for paws that say they toughen or protect a dog’s paws. They usually contain wax or petroleum jelly type ingredients.

Snow

Snow can pose a special problem for longhaired dogs and their paws. It will make little frozen balls between your dog’s toes and paw pads when he walks or plays in it. You can prevent this with some breeds by keeping the hair between the toes and pads trimmed. Or, you can be sure to rinse the paws with warm water when your dog comes in from being out in the snow to make sure the little snow balls melt away.

Paw care

You can also keep your dog’s paws in good shape by trimming the nails regularly. Nails that are allowed to grow too long can ultimately cause your dog problems. There are nail trimmers, clippers, and scissor-style cutters so you can trim your dog’s nails yourself at home. If you start when your dog is young and take off just a small portion each week, most dogs will tolerate the procedure well. If you or your dog hate doing nails, you can have your vet or a pet groomer trim the nails for you.

Booties

Besides bad weather and city living, some dogs live in places where walking can be difficult. Rocky landscapes, lots of snow, and other issues may present problems for a dog’s paws. Old age can also make it hard for a dog to get a good grip with his paws. In these cases, dog booties are often a good idea. You can buy sets of four booties or sets of two and use them only on the back paws. Booties with gore-tex soles are often recommended for better gripping. Booties for dogs can work the same way they do for humans – they protect the dog’s paws and give him added gripping ability. They’re especially good if the dog has to do any climbing and they can help with elderly dogs who sometimes have problems getting their balance on slippery floors.

Even dogs who live in the city can benefit from wearing booties to protect them from hot pavement, ice, and rain.

Keep in mind that some dogs have very tough pads and they probably don’t need to wear booties and only need to have sensible precautions taken to keep their paws safe. Every dog is different. But if you have a dog who does have more sensitive paws, there are some good ways to protect his paws no matter where you live or what the two of you face.

Many of us love to take our dog with us when we shop or run errands. Everybody knows that dogs love to go for a ride. It’s hard to say no when your dog is hopping up and down at the door, begging to go with you. But if your trip involves leaving your dog alone in your vehicle you should stop and think twice before taking him with you. There are dangers in leaving your dog in your vehicle and they can be serious for your dog.

Cars get too hot

Even on cloudy days a warm vehicle can quickly become too hot for your dog when you leave him unattended. Even if you leave the windows cracked your dog won’t get enough air or ventilation. And if the sun is out, your dog can die from the heat. Don’t leave your dog in a vehicle if there is even the slightest chance of overheating. Some people leave their air conditioning running but even this isn’t foolproof – air conditioning dies or dogs accidentally bump against buttons and switches to turn it off, leaving them without enough air.

Dogs play with things

Yes, dogs play with door locks, steering wheels, and put cars in reverse. They hit the gas pedal. Dogs seem to think they can drive. The result is usually an expensive driving lesson for your dog and something you have to pay. One poor owner paid $80 for a locksmith when his Collie locked him out of the car with the engine running. The dog rolled down all the windows just as the owner was paying the locksmith. Don’t leave your dog in the car.

Someone could steal your dog

According to the American Kennel Club, dog thefts are at an all-time high. And dogs aren’t just stolen out of people’s yards. Thieves are very happy to steal a nice dog out of your vehicle if you leave your dog unattended. Stolen dogs are often sold as “rescues” and could be transported hundreds or thousands of miles away from home.

Good Samaritans

If you leave your dog in your car, even on a cool day, even if your dog is fine, you’re likely to encounter some Good Samaritan who thinks your dog is in distress. Your dog might be sleeping comfortably in your vehicle, waiting for you to return, but this person might break out your window or call the police trying to be helpful. And, if you have a cute Toy dog who stands at the window making sad eyes at people or barking, your dog will attract lots of attention. Chances are that you will return to your vehicle and there will be a mob hanging around thinking that you are a monster for leaving your little dog alone. A few people might even give you dirty looks or chew you out for leaving your dog in the car. This is a minor danger compared to your dog being injured or stolen, but it’s still unpleasant.

It’s fun to take your dog with you when you go places but it’s best if you can stay in the vehicle with your dog at all times

Many dogs suffer stress when they’re confronted with loud noises from fireworks or thunderstorms. Other dogs feel stress when they travel or when there are unusual things going on in the home such as workers visiting or a new pet in the family. Even a trip to the vet can cause a dog to become anxious and worried. There are all kinds of situations that can make dogs nervous. In these situations a calming collar can sometimes help calm and relax a dog. Even dogs in shelters and rescues have benefited from wearing calming collars.

How do calming collars work?
Currently there are two kinds of calming collars, though they work in similar ways.

Herbal collars
The first kind of calming collar uses fragrant herbs to calm and soothe your dog. The herbs are carefully chosen for their soothing qualities. These collars usually have cloth overlaying the collar underneath so the herbs can be sewn inside. This kind of calming collar is based on aromatherapy. The herbs are typically dried herbs so they do not contain essential oils that might irritate your dog’s skin. Collars that contain dried herbs usually continue to work for about 3-4 months.

DAP collars
The other kind of calming collar available now is a DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) collar. These collars work the same way that other DAP products work. Dog appeasing pheromones are pheromones that mimic the scent that mother dogs release when puppies are nursing. These pheromones are very soothing and calming to dogs. While many DAP products release these pheromones intermittently, when your dog wears a DAP calming collar, the pheromones are released in a sustained fashion. These collars typically last for about 30 days. They are usually plastic collars that can easily be adjusted to fit your dog. The pheromones are in the plastic of the collar and your dog’s body heat helps release them.

Both kinds of calming collars have proven to be effective with dogs who have stress and anxiety issues. Your dog simply wears the calming collar like an ordinary collar, especially when he might be facing a situation that would make him nervous. You should remove the collar before giving your dog a bath. Manufacturers usually suggest that you should not use these collars if your dog has skin lesions or irritated skin. The collars are non-toxic and your dog won’t be harmed if he chews on them though, of course, you should discourage any collar chewing.

Other therapies
If you have a dog who is afraid of thunder, fireworks, or who has other problems with stress and anxiety, calming collars are a good way to help reduce your dog’s initial stress. However, they are not a permanent solution. They don’t solve your dog’s problem. But they are a great way to help your dog stay calmer and feel better. This often makes it easier to work on a long-term solution to your dog’s issues. Calming collars are even good for working with dogs who have problems with separation anxiety. Once a dog begins to calm down and feel less fearful, it is much easier to work on some behavior modification solutions

Benefits of Neutering

In the 1960s and early ’70s in the United States there was a serious problem with pet overpopulation. An estimated 20 million cats and dogs were euthanized in animal shelters each year. At that time most people did not spay or neuter their pets and it wasn’t unusual for pet owners to have unwanted litters of kittens or puppies.

Since that time there has been a great public education campaign to make pet owners more aware of their responsibility when it comes to containing their pets and stopping unwanted litters. Today it’s estimated that 2-3 million cats and dogs are euthanized in animal shelters each year and many of those animals are considered unadoptable because of age or illness. Great strides have been made toward reducing unwanted litters.

According to the American Pet Products Association 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey 78 percent of owned dogs are spayed or neutered and 88 percent of owned cats are spayed or neutered. The message about spaying and neutering pets has reached the vast majority of pet owners in the U.S.

Benefits of spaying and neutering
There are a number of benefits to spaying and neutering your dog. According to the Society for Theriogenology (animal reproductive veterinarians) spaying and neutering provide the following benefits:

Health
• Decreased risk of mammary, testicular, and ovarian neoplasia

• Decreased risk of pyometra

• Decreased risk of prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatic cysts and squamous metaplasia of the prostate

• Decreased incidence of perineal and inguinal hernia and perineal adenoma in neutered male dogs

Behavior
• Inter-dog aggression may be due to competition for available territory or availability of cycling animals

• There is a decreased risk of wandering and being hit by a car in neutered animals

• Sterilization prevents unwanted litters

On the other hand, there are also benefits to keeping your dog intact.

Benefits of keeping your dog intact
• There is a decreased incidence of hemangiosarcoma in intact dogs

• There is a decreased incidence of osteosarcoma in intact dogs

• There is a decreased risk of transitional cell carcinoma in intact dogs

• There is a decreased risk of prostatic adenocarcinoma in intact male dogs compared to gonadectomized male dogs

• There is a decreased incidence of obesity in intact male and female dogs, which may be due at least partly to increased metabolic rate

• There is a decreased incidence of urinary incontinence in intact female dogs (equivocal if bitches are spayed after 5 months but before their first heat)

• There may be a reduced incidence of urinary tract infection in intact female dogs

• There may be a reduced incidence of autoimmune thyroiditis and hypothyroidism in intact male and female dogs

• There is a possibly reduced incidence in diabetes mellitus in intact male dogs

• There is a reduced incidence of cranial cruciate rupture in intact male and female dogs

• There may be a reduced incidence of hip dysplasia in male and female dogs that are not gonadectomized before 5 months of age

Behavior
• There may be less aggression towards people and animals in intact female dogs

• There may be a decreased incidence of cognitive dysfunction in intact male and female dogs

A new study from the University of California at Davis backs up these findings and emphasizes the negative effects of spaying and neutering on hip dysplasia and cancers. http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10498 According to this study, and others, it’s definitely advisable to wait until your dog is older to spay or neuter.

So, while there are definitely some benefits to spaying or neutering your dog and it makes sense for many pet owners, there are also health benefits to keeping a dog intact. You should always talk to your vet about spaying and neutering. Discuss your dog’s overall health, his age, his breed or mix, and any health conditions that might be affected by spaying and neutering. Your dog looks to you to make these decisions for him so find out all you can

Many people are under the impression that all dogs know how to swim, or dog paddle, but that’s not the case. While some breeds are natural swimmers, such as Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, and Portuguese Water Dogs, there are many other breeds and dogs that aren’t physically built for swimming. Many of the brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed) like Pugs and Bulldogs, can have difficulty keeping their head up out of the water or supporting their heavy bodies with their shorter legs. Some dogs need some help in learning to swim. And a life jacket/personal flotation device is a good idea for most dogs.

Fortunately, you can teach most dogs to swim. This is a good idea, especially if you have a pool or if your dog will be spending any time around the water. Knowing how to swim could save his life if he falls in the water. Plus, swimming is a lot of fun for many dogs and they like to be able to join you in the water.

Teaching your dog to swim

Here are some tips to help you teach your dog to swim.

  • Choose a small area. If you have a pool, use the shallow end for teaching your dog at first. If you are using a lake or pond, use an area that is not very deep. Your dog will feel more confident in a shallow area while he learns. You can move to a deeper part of the water as your dog gains confidence.
  • Use a life jacket or vest. Even if your dog is a natural swimmer, it’s usually a good idea to fit him with a colorful safety vest in the water. This is especially important when you are boating or in deeper waters, but it is also a good idea in a swimming pool or pond. Not only does a life jacket provide your dog with some buoyancy, but the colorful vest makes it easy to see your dog if you need to find him quickly in the water. Choose a vest that has a good handle on the back so you can grab your dog from above in case you are in a boat. Jackets come in all sizes and styles so choose one that fits your dog well.
  • Avoid a lot of noise. Work with your dog when it’s quiet and the two of you can focus. You can gently guide or coax your dog into the water. Use your arms to support his stomach and hold his head up in the water. His legs should begin to paddle. You can let him paddle around the shallow water while you guide him. You can gradually let him do more on his own. If he is wearing the life jacket it should help keep him afloat.
  • Be encouraging. Just as with any kind of training it’s important for you to be encouraging. Praise and reward your dog for his efforts. Take treats with you – preferably something that will be okay if it gets wet. Make your dog’s swimming lessons fun.
  • Don’t throw your dog in the water. Some dogs might be scared of the water. Never throw a dog into the water or force them in the water. If you scare your dog he won’t want to swim or get in the water. If your dog doesn’t want to get in the water then just play with him on the edge of the water and encourage him to get his paws wet. He may eventually want to get in the water. But don’t force him.

 

  • Keep supporting your dog. Continue to support your dog’s middle and his hind legs until he starts paddling. Once your dog gets the hang of swimming he should be okay, but stay nearby
  • Show your dog how to get out. This is very important, especially if you have a swimming pool. Teach your dog where the steps are and how to get out of the pool. Many dogs drown each year because they fall into pools and they don’t know how to get out. Swim with your dog to the steps again and again and make sure that he knows where to exit the pool.
  • Watch your dog. Don’t leave your dog unattended. Don’t allow your dog to swim without you. Even if you are together, keep checking on your dog. A dog (or anyone) can drown quickly, so keep your eye on your dog when he’s in the water.

If you follow these suggestions you should be able to teach your dog to swim and keep him safe. Most dogs love to swim even if they aren’t natural swimmers. So, head to the water with your dog and have a great time!

Does Your Dog Need Sunscreen?

Believe it or not, some dogs do need to use sunscreen. While dogs enjoy the sun as much as any of us, there are some breeds that are hairless and other breeds with white or pink skin which is sensitive to the sun. Owners with these dogs need to take some special precautions so their dogs’ skin won’t burn.

 

Which breeds?

Hairless breeds include:

  • Chinese Crested (AKC and other registries)
  • Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog) (AKC and other registries)
  • Peruvian Hairless Dog (Perro Sin Pelo del Perú) (FCI, UKC, AKC Foundation Stock Service)
  • American Hairless Terrier (UKC)

 

Non-registered breeds:

  • American Crested Sand Terrier
  • Hairless Khala (Argentine Pila Dog)

 

All of these breeds might need some sunscreen when they are out in the sun, especially if you live in a very hot, sunny area. Some of these dogs have both hairless and coated versions, or dogs that have some slight fur on their bodies. The hairless dogs may need some moisturizer for their skin, too. For example, the Chinese Crested has both a hairless and powder puff variety. The hairless has a smooth body with skin showing. They feature silky hair on their head, “socks” on their paws, and a plume on their tail. They require sunscreen when outside and they often need some moisturizer for their soft skin.

 

The Xolo or Mexican Hairless Dog also has skin showing over his body. These dogs are an ancient breed from Mexico and they were sacred to the Aztecs and other central American people. The dogs are believed to date back more than 3000 years and it’s thought that they derive from a spontaneous genetic mutation for hairlessness.

 

Hairless dogs sometimes have problems with acne if too much lotion or cream is used on their bodies or if they are bathed too often. Bathing can strip away their natural skin oils, just as it does with coated dogs.

 

Other dogs that need sunscreen

Other dogs that sometimes need sunscreen include dogs with white or pink skin. If your dog has a white or partly white coat, then he probably has white or pink skin beneath it. He should be fine outside unless he likes to lie on his back and show off his stomach. The fur is very thin over the abdomen and inner thighs. You can apply sunscreen in this area to protect your dog.

 

If your dog has a pink or pale nose you can also place some sunscreen on it for protection. Delicate ears are another place where you might want to apply some sunscreen.

 

And, any dog that has a thin coat with little undercoat might need some sunscreen. But try not to grease your dog up with too much of the product. If you can easily see your dog’s white or pink skin through his hair, then some sunscreen might be in order. Or you can limit your dog’s exposure to the sun.

 

What to use?

Vets advise you to avoid using any product with zinc oxide on your pet. If your dog licks zinc oxide it can make him dangerously anemic. Otherwise you can use sunscreens that are SPF 15. There is one sunscreen that is made specifically for dogs (and horses) and approved by the FDA: The Epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen.

 

Most dogs can enjoy the sun without any problems but if you have a hairless dog or a dog with more sensitive skin, a little sunscreen can provide the protection your dog needs

Dogs are truly man’s best friend. They greet us each day with wagging tails and slobbery tongues, hoping for a walk or game of fetch. They love snuggling up on the sofa and they may even bring your shoes over when they want to go outside. Dogs are loving and affectionate creatures, so it is important that we reciprocate. Thankfully, dogs aren’t like humans in the sense that they hold grudges or talk behind your back; making dogs happy is actually quite simple. Here are some ways you can boost your reputation with your own dog and canines the world over.

Wear a Treat Utility Belt

If there’s one thing we know about dogs, it’s that they love to eat. Anytime, anywhere, they’re always ready to chow down. If you’re familiar with the DC Comics superhero Batman, you know he has a utility belt filled with gadgets to help him fight crime, such as the Batarang and grappling hooks. Like Batman, you should have your own utility belt to help you fight hunger for doggies. If you’re on a walk, have a couple for your dog(s), but also be ready to give some to dogs you meet along the way – you’ll make a new friend for life!

Know Your Dog Breeds

You don’t need to be an expert on every dog in the world, but it doesn’t hurt to know some basic breed facts. For example, if certain dogs tend to be more aggressive toward strangers, you know not to approach them if it’s the first time you’re meeting, or to make any abrupt movements that may alarm them. If you know that certain dogs need a lot of exercise, make sure they get it. Think of how much you appreciate when someone knows you and all of your preferences – it means a lot to you and you value that individual. Dogs feel the same way when you comprehend and acknowledge their needs.

Set Aside Snuggle Time

Dogs love to cuddle! Don’t deprive your buddy of one-on-one love and affection. You can’t realistically do this all the time because you have your family, work, social life, etc., but you should always make time for belly rubs and ear scratches.

Walk Frequently

This is a given, but it’s worth mentioning. Dogs need exercise just like humans do. Develop a schedule and stick to it so your dog gets to release energy and has something to look forward to.

Be Spontaneous

Instead of your normal evening walk, head to the dog park. If you have a greenbelt nearby, walk there instead of the usual neighborhood route. Head for the hills and have a picnic on your day off. There are a million different things you can do – make it fun! You don’t want to do the same things over and over and over again, and neither does your dog.

Now that you know how to treat your canine companions, go and do! If you continue to nurture your relationship, you’ll create a strong bond and many lasting memories.

Ron Rutherford loves dogs, fresh peach pie, and a rousing game of pinnacle. He writes for Havahart Wireless, manufacturers of invisible electric fencing for dogs.