Should I or Shouldn’t I: Dog Daycare

To a dog, there are definitely worse ways to spend a day than this.

To a dog, there are definitely worse ways to spend a day than this.

Be one of the forerunners on dog health in the Country, we get a lot of “should we or shouldn’t we” questions from our readers. And it seems, one of the most constant questions has been about whether or not to invest in dog daycare. The truth is, the answer to that question depends on a great many variables. Let us take a minute to explore some of the details and see if dog daycare is the right move for you and your pet.

We look at dog daycare a lot like we look at human daycare. The one question you need to ask yourself about it is whether or not you have the proper time to give the needed attention and exercise for your dog. The main setback people see to any kind of daycare is the idea of someone else raising your child or pet. That, in itself, is an extreme view, though. Truth is, Americans are burdened with much to do in a day, and that often involves work and leaving the house for long periods of time. So the main question is, do I leave my dog alone for that time period, or should I use dog daycare of have a sitter? There really is no cut and dry answer to this.

A couple things to factor in is how old your dog is, what kind of breed is it, and your own expendable income. If you have a dog that is prone to depression or anxiety when left alone, dog daycare might be the best for your dog AND your belongings (so they don’t get chewed to nothing). Also, how long have you had the dog? If you just got a puppy, it might not be the best idea for the growth and maturity of that puppy if it is left alone for long periods.

And if you think daycare means someone else is raising your dog, that is not fair to you. It is DAY care, meaning the dogs get taken care of during the day, which is only a third of the day, so hardly raising your dog. It is not fair to YOU to make yourself feel more guilty, when no guilt is necessary. Work is required by all of us to survive, and you cannot punish yourself for that. But also, you need to ensure your dog is getting the exercise and attention it needs.

Again, the answer to “should I or shouldn’t I” about dog daycare lies in many factors, and lies in your hands, solely. As long as you keep your dog loved, healthy, and happy, we here at dogPACER support any choices you make.

How To Properly Introduce A Dog and a Baby

Fear not, because often times, dogs and babies quickly become best friends.

Fear not, because often times, dogs and babies quickly become best friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you already have a dog, but just found out you are having a baby. What do you do? How do you prepare the dog for the new addition to the family, and ensure that the interactions will be safe? While some of your fears regarding this issue may be justified, for the most part, a dog’s natural instinct is to protect and care for a baby, and often, babies and dogs make the most adorable pair of best friends ever, but here are some basic things to consider when introducing both a dog and a baby to the same space.

First things first, you need to respect the space of whomever came first, so if you are introducing the newborn baby to a dog you have an already established relationship with, it is a smart idea to let the dog know the baby is coming, because the one genuine risk here is that the dog will be getting less attention, based solely on how much attention a newborn requires, and this will sadden the dog. So how do you let the dog know a baby is coming? Believe it or not, simple steps like having a small doll around, and giving the doll attention in front of the dog can make a huge difference in preparing the dog for this new addition to the family. Think about it, if the dog got all your attention, and suddenly it sees that its not as a result of the baby, the dog may get depressed or lethargic, which can be harmful to the dog’s actual health. With a doll around, in your lap a few times a week, the dog will know that this attention is not abnormal because it has been exposed to it and gotten used to it.

Another thing to think about is where the dog and baby will be interacting. Is there space set aside? You want to make sure you are there, but give them a little space to discover each other. Obviously, you want to ensure you have a relationship with the dog so you know its natural tendencies. Obviously, you don’t want to bring a baby around a vicious breed, but in the same breath, breeds are rarely vicious, owners sometimes are. Even Pitbulls were once nanny dogs, mainly used in assisting with infants.

And on a final note, if you have am excitable dog, train it away from jumping and leaping on things, because the one risk you may run is the dog getting too excited and potentially knocking over the baby by jumping near it. But even then, the fear is mostly unfounded, because it would be surprising how even the most massive breeds turn into perfect babysitters around the infant of someone they love. Put your fears to bed, because if you raise a good dog, and raise good children, their interactions will be like something out of a cartoon, both adorable AND rewarding.

5 Simple Ways To Spot If Your Dog Might Be Sick

We will teach you how to spot if your dog is sick with these simple steps.

We will teach you how to spot if your dog is sick with these simple steps.

Much like humans, dogs can be afflicted with a great deal of health issues, and if your average dog owner doesn’t know how to spot if the dog is showing any signs of sickness, they may not be able to tackle if before it becomes a far more serious issue. For that reason, we decided to throw together a list of some simple ways to spot if your dog might be sick, or be getting sick. Sometimes noticing precursor signs of the illness can make all the difference in treating it preventing it from happening again.

Lack Of Energy

This is an important one to notice, because it can be a sign of both illness in the dog or depression, which can be a huge problem for our canine friends if untreated. Is your dog listless and lethargic, and not interested in what it used to be or nearly as energetic? Take note if the problem lasts for more than a few days, because it may be hinting at a greater issue. Sometimes lethargy is common in older dogs, and this is the result of being arthritic and having joint pain, which is best when discovered early on.

Vomiting

While most would think this would be easy for most to spot a sick dog if it is vomiting, some dog owners consider a dog throwing up as a natural part of how a dog lives and digests, so they ignore it. That is a mistake. If vomiting happens common and consistently with your dog, this could be hinting at intestinal problems or gastrointestinal problems that will only get worse if untreated.

Lack of Appetite

This is a big one and cannot be ignored. We all know dogs, much like humans, love to eat. But we also know how eating too much can lead to problems for dogs. Well, eating too little or eating less than normal is one sure fire way to know your dog is trying to tell you something is wrong, and you need to act. This is especially apparent if this behavior continues for extended periods of time. Dogs LOVE food, so for a dog not to eat, that is a huge way of letting you know something’s just not right, health wise.

Hair Loss or Excessive Itching

Another one that should be obvious, but isn’t always. While most think these are the result of ticks and fleas, and other such cumbersome bugs that bother our dogs, the truth is, itchy skin and patches of hair loss could be indicators of endocrine problems or staff infections, and in some cases, fungal infections that can be quite serious if gone undetected for long enough. Pay attention to your dog’s coat for any signs of problems.

Physical Abnormalities

Though that may sound scary, we simply mean subtle changes to features you are used to with your dog. Is his nose wetter and colder than normal? Are the eyes red, or swollen and puffy? Are the inner ears dirtier than normal? How about his coat? This is the easiest way to notice a problem the quickest. Take note of how your dog is, day to day, and any time something seems off, it probably is, and you should look into it. The best way to squash any problem, health or otherwise, is to discover it right away and act accordingly.

These are small, simple steps to take to ensure you are keeping your best friend around for as long as possible, and keeping them as fit and as healthy as long as you possibly can. Is it selfish we want to keep our dogs around? No, it’s love. And we know they would do the same for us.

A Healthy Dog Is A Happy Dog

happy dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you remember the first time you encountered a really obese dog? Most people don’t forget it, because a fat dog is pretty much in total opposition to how we normally picture dogs. We see dogs as agile, fast, fierce creatures. But as soon as you see a fat dog for the first time, that image is forever tainted. Instead of imagining some muscled beast dashing through the woods, you see something like this. And even though people have taken to thinking obese animals are cute (they do kind of look like cartoons, after all), putting something at the risk for stroke, exhaustion, and death, is not cute or funny. In many ways, it is cruel.

Once an animal gains enough weight that movement becomes a chore, that animal will try to limit its movement. In other words, once the dog starts to get fat, unless you step in and do something about it, the dog will continue to get fatter and fatter. Believe it or not, if the dog gets fat enough, it will actually become depressed and lethargic, losing the urge to go out and run and interact with other dogs. In other words, just like humans, a dog will eventually get really depressed if it gets unhealthy enough. Would you sit idle by and let a friend get depressed and morbidly obese? So why do some people do it with their dogs? Truth is, they may not know the alternatives and ways to avoid that, which is why we are here.

The reality is, there are few things more depressing than a fat, lazy, dog. No one gets a dog with the intention of turning into a big ball of furry fat that sits in the corner of the room and sleeps for 23 hours a day. In many ways, getting a dog and allowing it to get sick and fat and depressed, is like having a prisoner. You are just keeping something, against its will, until it loses all hope and gives up, sleeping away its life. Yes, we know that thought is depressing, that is exactly the point we are trying to make.

The joy a dog gives its owners is often immeasurable and priceless. So why do some people seem to put a price tag on that happiness of that dog, which in turn, brings you and your family decades of happiness? You wouldn’t have a child, and just put it in a room and give it heaping helpings of food and little else every day, would you? That would be neglect, and would affect the growth and maturity of said child. See, when we put it in those terms, it is far more easy to understand. Now apply that logic to owning a dog.

A healthy dog is a happy dog, and taking simple, inexpensive steps to ensure that happiness seems like it would a priceless investment. And we know many, many dog lovers (and dogs) who would agree. A lifetime of love is pretty much worth any price tag attached.