Should you get a puppy?

getting a puppyGetting a puppy can bring joy to your life, but there are certain difficulties you should be prepared for that are part of dog ownership. When you’re deciding whether or not you should get a puppy for your home, keep the following points in mind.

Positive Aspects of Having a Puppy

When you have a puppy in your home, it means you’ll have constant companionship. Dogs are social animals and enjoy spending time with people, even if you’re just lounging on the couch together. This affection alone makes having a puppy a rewarding experience, but they also provide you with a few important health benefits, such as opportunities to get more fresh air and exercise. Having a dog in your home can also make you feel safer from intruders, which can give you more peace of mind.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Puppy

Puppies can make your home a happier one, but it’s important to keep a few potential difficulties in mind. Make sure that you’re prepared to handle the following challenges of having a puppy before you decide to get one:

  • Changes to your daily routine and other aspects of your lifestyle: You’ll need to take your puppy out for walks on a regular basis and provide enough playtime. This can be difficult if you work full-time and aren’t home much. If you have to travel, you’ll need to make arrangements for your dog, such as hiring a pet sitter or using a dog boarding kennel.
  • Training problems: Training is an essential part of dog ownership, but it can be the most challenging at times. You might run into difficulties with obedience training, crate training, leash training or house training.

There are a few other factors to consider before determining if a puppy is right for you. Weighing the pros and cons of having a puppy and making sure that you’re prepared can help you decide whether or not to get one.

If you decide to get a puppy, DoGone Fun can help you with training. Contact us for more details on our puppy training services in Chicago.

 

This article was previously published at https://www.dogonefunchicago.com/owning-a-dog/should-you-get-a-puppy/

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Why Humans NEED Dogs

owning a dogHaving dogs in your home does more than provide you with companionship. Dogs can actually improve your health overall. Learn more about some of the ways that living with dogs can make people healthier and happier.

A Healthier Heart

Research has shown that people who have dogs tend to recover better from heart attacks. They also have a lower risk of dying from heart disease, as well as lower cholesterol levels and healthier blood pressure levels when stressed. Some of these results could be due to the fact that having dogs keep people more active. Dog owners typically get more exercise, such as going for walks, than those who don’t have dogs.

Stress Management

When you have a dog, you can count on having lower stress levels. Studies show that having dogs around results in less anxiety and lower levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone that can have negative effects on health. Owning a dog is also associated with increased production of the hormone serotonin, which improves your mood.

Improved Immune Function

Having dogs in your home could help boost your immune system. Research has shown that kids who grow up with dogs around end up having increased immune system chemicals, which helps make their immune system function stronger and lowers the risk of getting sick.

Social Opportunities

Owning a dog means that you have more opportunities to socialize, such as when you take your dog out for walks or when you join a dog training class. Being social on a regular basis can help lower the risk of depression and improve your emotional well-being overall.

Health Alerts

Some dogs are good at alerting owners about a health problem that needs attention. This includes dogs who detect cancer, dogs who sense seizures and protect their owners from harm, and dogs who detect when blood sugar levels drop too low in owners with diabetes.

Whether your dog needs professional grooming, a place to play with other pups or some training sessions, you can find these services as well as dog boarding at DoGone Fun. Contact us to get more information on our services in Chicago.

 

This article was originally posted at https://www.dogonefunchicago.com/owning-a-dog/why-humans-need-dogs/

 

Dog Grooming Tip: Safely Clipping Toenails

dog grooming-1Your dog’s toenails need to be kept short on a regular basis. This helps prevent them from getting caught on carpets and furniture and ensures that your dog can walk around comfortably. If you’re not used to trimming dog nails, it’s important to know how to do it safely. Otherwise, you could accidentally cut too far, resulting in bleeding. Keep the following nail trimming tips in mind for your dog.

Choosing a Nail Clipper

Before starting, make sure you choose a high-quality nail clipper. You should choose scissors-type clippers instead of guillotine-style ones that put too much pressure on your dog’s nail and toe. Stick to smaller clippers unless you have a large dog with thicker nails.

How to Trim Dog Nails

When trimming your dog’s nails, hold the paw gently and avoid squeezing, since this is painful for dogs. Hold the nail clippers at a 45-degree angle while trimming the nail, and only cut off small amounts instead of making large cuts. This helps you avoid cutting into the quick, which is when bleeding can occur.

When to Stop Trimming

Knowing when to stop trimming depends on the color of your dog’s nails. With white nails, you should stop cutting them when you see pink inside the nail. This pink area means you’re getting close to the quick. For black nails, you should stop trimming when you see a black area in the center, which indicates that you’re near the quick.

How to Treat Bleeding

If you accidentally cut too much and hit the quick in a nail, you can expect some bleeding to occur. Put styptic powder on the surface of your dog’s nail, which helps stop the bleeding and allows a clot to form. Keep in mind that this might make your dog nervous about nail trimming. You might need to work on positive reinforcement to help your dog stay calm.

If you prefer having someone else trim your dog’s nails, contact DoGone Fun. Our professional grooming services include nail trimming, as well as nail coloring and paw care.

 

This article was previously published at https://www.dogonefunchicago.com/dog-grooming/dog-grooming-tip-safely-clipping-toenails/

Is On-Demand Feeding Bad for My Dog?

On demand dog feedingFeeding dogs on demand, also known as free feeding, might seem like a convenient option. However, this feeding approach can end up creating problems or making life in your home more unpleasant for you and your dog. Feeding dogs at regular times rather than on demand offers the following benefits.

Easier House Training

When you’re house training your dog, free feeding can make it difficult to prevent accidents from happening. Regular meals mean that dogs can be taken outside to eliminate at regular times. This can help your dog learn when and where to go to eliminate, which reduces the risk of accidents in your home.

Better Pest Control

Ants, mice and other pests can easily help themselves to your dog’s food if you leave it out at all times, especially overnight. When your dog is fed at certain times, you’ll be able to pick up and clean the empty bowl right away instead of having it sitting out with food in it. This helps discourage pests that would normally go after pet food, which helps keep your home healthier for you and your pet.

Health Checks

Free feeding makes it difficult to determine if your dog has had any changes in feeding habits. Dogs that have appetite changes, such as losing their appetite, might have health problems that need to be treated. Feeding dogs at certain times allows you to notice any appetite changes and schedule a vet visit if needed.

More Training Sessions

When you feed your dog at regular times, you can turn these into short training sessions. Work on training your dog to come to you when called or sit calmly and wait until you give a signal that it’s time to eat, rather than jumping around in excitement. You can also train your dog to stay before being allowed to eat.

If you need some help training your dog or correcting certain behaviors, contact DoGone Fun. At our facility, we offer group and individual training to help dogs learn to behave and follow commands.

This article was previously published at https://www.dogonefunchicago.com/owning-a-dog/is-on-demand-feeding-bad-for-my-dog/

Training Your Dog To Not Be Aggressive

aggressive dog trainingHaving an aggressive dog around can make your home uncomfortable and even dangerous. Whether you have a dog who doesn’t get along with other pets or a dog who snarls or snaps while guarding food or other items, it’s important to get that behavior under control. Find out how to understand why your dog acts this way and what to do about it.

Find the Cause of Aggression

Certain situations can trigger aggression in dogs. One of the first steps to take when you’re working on changing your dog’s behavior is getting to the root of it. When does your dog growl or snarl? This can happen when another pet is around or when something has happened, such as someone in your home getting too close to your dog’s food dish or a favorite treat.

Keep in mind that aggression can sometimes occur when dogs sense a lot of stress in their owners. You should also bring your dog to the vet to rule out any underlying health problems that could be causing aggressive behavior, such as a condition that causes chronic pain.

Remove or Manage Causes of Aggression

Depending on what triggers aggression in your dog, you might have a simple way to eliminate this behavior. In some cases, managing a health problem or getting rid of a trigger, such as something causing fear or possessiveness, is all that is needed.

Change Your Dog’s Behavior with Training

When you can’t remove or manage causes of aggression, then you’ll need to work on changing your dog’s behavior through training. This typically involves using an approach known as counter-conditioning and desensitization to help your dog overcome aggressive responses to certain situations or triggers, such as another pet. If you’re uncomfortable trying this kind of training on your own, have a professional dog trainer help you out.

If you’re having trouble teaching your dog to behave, contact DoGone Fun. We offer individual dog training and group training for dog owners in the Chicago area, including private lessons at our facility or in your home.

 

This article was previoulsy published at https://www.dogonefunchicago.com/dog-training/training-your-dog-to-not-be-aggressive/

 

 

Dog Food Recall

dog food recallDoes your current dog boarding facility provide food for your dog while they stay there?  Do they feed them premium dog food, or is just something ordinary and maybe not even being of good quality?  Even though your furry baby may be only staying just a few days, it’s important to know what food is in your dog’s bowl.

Making sure that your dogs eat healthy involves more than finding high-quality foods that offer the right nutrients and ingredients. It’s also important to keep an eye out for any dog food recalls that have been issued. Several types of dry dog foods were recently found to have toxic levels of vitamin D, resulting in recalls. Hills Pet Nutrition also recalled canned dog foods for this same reason.

Vitamin D Toxicity in Dogs

The foods in question were found to have elevated amounts of vitamin D. Some dogs who ate these foods developed symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which can be serious. Some of these symptoms include appetite loss, vomiting, excessive drooling and increased thirst. Complications from vitamin D toxicity can cause dogs to develop kidney failure and other problems that can be fatal. The FDA hasn’t linked any deaths to these foods, but many cases of illness in dogs have occurred.

How to Check for Dog Food Recalls

The FDA keeps track of dog food recalls and provides an updated list for consumers online. You should check this list from time to time to see if any of the brands you feed your pets are on it. If they are, you should stop giving your dogs this food immediately and switch to a different one.

What should you do if the dog food you get hasn’t been recalled, but your pets are showing signs of illness? You should bring your dogs to the vet, especially if they are showing any serious signs of illness, such as symptoms of vitamin D toxicity. You should also give them a different dog food if you believe the food they are eating might be making them ill. You can ask your vet for recommendations on foods that have similar ingredients, so that your dogs can adjust to the new food easily.

If you’re nervous about what your dogs eat, keep in mind that you can bring their regular dog food with them when you board them at DoGone Fun. Contact us for more details on our dog boarding policies.

If you want to know what foods have been recalled, click on the link: https://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/recallswithdrawals/default.htm for more information.

 

This article was previously published at https://www.dogonefunchicago.com/owning-a-dog/dog-food-recall/

Why Are Some Dog Kennel Rates Higher?

boarding-dog-2-300x300If you’ve looked into dog kennel rates, you’ve probably noticed that they tend to vary from one place to the next. Why do some places charge higher rates than others? In some cases, it’s due to location. For example, you might pay more for dog kennels in major cities compared to small towns. Other places charge more based on the quality of care they provide and the perks they offer.

Trained and Qualified Staff

Dog kennels that charge more expensive rates sometimes do so since they are able to provide higher quality care. These kennels have staff members who are trained and experienced in ensuring that dogs under their care stay healthy and comfortable. These staff members usually continue their training and education in order to keep up with the latest developments in dog care.

Special Amenities

Some dog kennels that cost more offer certain amenities that you won’t typically find in other kennels. These might include spa services, such as facials and massages, high quality treats for dogs and comfortable blankets or beds for them to sleep on. Some places also offer extra playtime or cuddle time with a staff member to keep dogs happy while they’re away from home. These amenities are usually offered for an additional fee, but keep an eye out for special packages that include these perks.

Monitoring

Dog kennels that charge more usually provide services that keep dog owners updated on how their pets are doing. This might mean creating reports or getting in touch with owners to let them know how their dogs are doing. Some facilities also have webcam services available that make it easy for dog owners to check on their dogs during playtime. This can go a long way toward helping dog owners feel more at ease about leaving their dog in someone else’s care.

Playtime

Not all kennels offer playtime for dogs. Some only have dogs go for a couple of walks per day and spend the rest of their time in their kennel. Places that have higher rates usually offer playtime for dogs, although the amount of time they’re allowed to play can vary. Kennels that provide several hours of playtime a day tend to charge higher rates.

When you’re weighing the costs of a dog kennel, take these factors into consideration. Doing so can help you determine if the benefits they offer are worth the extra cost.

This article was previously published at https://www.dogonefunchicago.com/dog-boarding/dog-kennel-rates-higher/