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Mia Loving her treats…

Mia Loving her treats…

littlemia2019

@bounceandbella she was actually going mad for them, she loves them 😂 I genuinely had to hide them & she kept looking – so thanks for that!

 

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How to keep dogs cool in the summer heat

How to keep dogs cool in the summer heat

keep dogs cool in the water

 

The Blue Cross have a great article on the danger of heatstroke in dogs, the signs and what to do. They also provide advice within the article on summer exercise, water intoxication and sunburn in pale coloured dogs.

Facebook is full of repeated hot temperature and dog warnings but we don’t all use Facebook and some messages are mixed so I’ve copied a key section from an article you can trust here.

There’s much more information in the article itself:
https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/how-keep-dogs-cool-summer-heat

How to keep a dog cool and prevent heatstroke

  • Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times, ideally a large bowl filled to the brim. Carry water and a bowl with you on walks.
  • On hot days, walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, in the early morning and late evening
  • Watch your pet for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you recognise these signs when on a walk, stop, find a shady spot and give your dog water.
  • Never leave your dog (or any pet) alone in a car, even with the windows open
  • Make cooling tasty treats by making ice cubes with your dog’s favourite food inside or stuff a Kong and pop it in the freezer
  • Be particularly careful with short nosed dogs such as bull breeds, boxers, pugs, older dogs, and those that are overweight. These dogs can get heatstroke simply by running around.

Once again, here’s the link to the full article…

https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/how-keep-dogs-cool-summer-heat

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Obvious or Not?

Swedish scientists have shown that dogs mirror our stress levels…

dog hug

Swedish scientists have shown that dogs mirror our stress levels.

They measured the level of the stress hormone cortisol in hair and the link between dogs and humans held throughout the year.

It was also mirrored in whatever circumstances dog and owner lived eg hours the owner worked, other dogs in the household, garden or not.

Dogs who most closely mirrored their owners were those who regularly trained or competed in agility or obedience competitions. This was believed to be because the dogs had formed a closer bond with their owners.

However, one thing that did have an effect on dog’s stress levels was their owner’s personalities – with the largest factor being neuroticism.

This didn’t quite play out how I expected…

The more neurotic the owner (as assessed by a survey) the lower the levels of the dog’s stress – shown by the cortisol in the hair.

Lina Roth who led the study suggested this was likely because those owners were more likely to comfort themselves with hugs and attention for their dogs thereby soothing and de-stressing their dogs.

Therefore – if in doubt hug it out!

Here’s the link to the full article, enjoy…

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jun/06/dogs-mirror-stress-levels-of-owners-researchers-find

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Dog Owners are 4x More Likely to …

Dog Owners are 4x More Likely to …

french bulldogs getting a walk

As dog owners we are about 4x more likely than people without a dog to get enough physical exercise each week.

4x more likely!!!

The study of a neighborhood near Liverpool included almost 700 participants and about a third of them owned a dog. They were given activity monitors and completed questionanaires on their movements each week.

In general most dog owners spent close to 300 minutes each week walking with their dogs while those without dogs only walked 100 minutes each week.

So we walk 3x more than non-dog owners and as such are 4x more likely to get enough exercise every week.

Not bad at all – pat on the back time for us – pat on the head time for our dogs (and maybe a quick treat and a belly rub!)

To find out more including which section of dog owners never walked their dogs visit:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/well/move/dog-owners-get-more-exercise.html

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Do Dogs Really Feel Guilty in those Photos?

Guilty Dog or Not?

by Ballparx-cc4
Guilty Dog by Ballparx-cc4

There’s always a guilty dog photo appearing on my timeline somewhere and I started wondering if dogs do actually feel guilty or are we imposing human emotions where they simply don’t exist.

Have a little look at Psychology Today’s take on it and how a dog called Marla helped explain what is really going on. It’s worth reading right to the end.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/canine-corner/201407/do-dogs-really-feel-shame-and-guilt

If you are up for a little extra info another Psychology Today article also discusses which emotions dogs do feel. There’s a great image in the article that summarises nicely.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/canine-corner/201303/which-emotions-do-dogs-actually-experience

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Human treats: are they suitable for dogs?

Everyone likes a treat and dogs are no exception! Unlike cats, who are usually able to naturally curb their appetite, dogs are well-known to be quite happy to enjoy a snack wherever they can find one. Obviously a key consideration for owners is whether their pet’s snacking is harming their health. Here we take a look at the various foods out there which are commonly used as dog snacks and assess whether they are a suitable addition to a healthy, balanced diet. In addition, we also consider snacks which might not only be unhealthy but may even make your pet ill! Some of the foodstuffs which are toxic to dogs may well surprise you!

Raw meat

Quite a few owners are eager to feed their pet dogs raw meat, largely on the basis that it’s a natural form of food and very close to what canine ancestors would have eaten in the wild. Although dogs are able to digest raw meat, it’s not necessarily good for them. Raw meat can contain high levels of bacteria, including listeria and salmonella. Low-grade meat may also contain parasites that could make your pet ill. For these reasons, raw meat should normally be avoided.

Leftovers

Some leftovers can be a nutritious treat for your dog, particularly if it’s simply well-cooked, plain meat that’s fresh. Unfortunately, most of the time leftovers contain ingredients which are dangerous for dogs to ingest. The following ingredients are all toxic to canines:

– Chocolate
– Alcohol
– Onions, chives, other members of the allium family
– Caffeine
– Milk
– Blue cheese
– Xylitol
– Corn-on-the-cob

From intestinal blockages through to liver damage and diarrhoea, ingesting any of the above can cause a whole host of problems. Not only should these foods not be given directly, any food given to pets must be checked to ensure they don’t contain any of the above substances.

Wheat-based products

Most dogs can tolerate wheat well, so eating wheat occasionally will usually not do your dog any harm. That said, it’s important to remember that wheat is relatively low in protein and contains few nutrients in comparison with other foodstuffs. What’s more, it’s also a calorie-dense food. Dogs that are fed with a wheat-rich diet may end up getting more calories than they need, without the protein required to boost satiety. Given that dogs can be quite greedy anyway, wheat-based snacks may lead to obesity and all the problems which that can bring. If you’re going to give your dog a snack, it’s important to choose one which provides nutrition as well as a pleasant taste.

Vegetables

Vegetables are a great option for a dog snack: packed full of vitamins and also a source of fibre, a Brussel sprout or carrot can be an ideal choice. The problem for many dog owners is to try and get their dogs to enjoy the taste. Just like humans, dogs can be reluctant to eat a vegetable on its own: most of the time they prefer a snack that combines vegetables with meat in order to create a flavoursome morsel. If you want your dog to enjoy the nutritional benefits of vegetables at the same time as enjoying the taste and protein which meat can bring, some of our snacks could be the perfect solution.

Just meat, vegetables and gravy

A banquet for dogs in snack form, our wheat-free treats bring together ingredients which are genuinely good for your dog, at the same time as packing in the flavour to ensure the snack you offer really is a treat. Freshly prepared without artificial flavourings or colourings, each snack provides a powerful shot of exciting taste, at the same time as containing optimal nutrition and absolutely none of the items on the “toxic” list. Low in calories, these treats are a great snack for a dog that’s trying to lose weight, or for dogs of a healthy weight who want to stay that way!

As a general rule, we recommend giving your dog what may well be the best healthy dog treats on the market. They have been specifically formulated to provide an optimal taste and nutritional experience, at the same time as offering a healthy alternative. Using the right treats, it’s possible to show you care at the same time as helping to conserve your dog’s health and vitality.

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Overweight dog? What to do?

big boy

Overweight dog? What to do?

With studies suggesting that around one-third of UK dogs are overweight, it’s clear that greater attention to canine diet is vital. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from all sorts of health problems due to excess pounds. Sore joints, fatigue, Type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin disease and liver problems in dogs can all be caused or made worse by being overweight. No pet owner would want their dogs to end up with one or more of these unpleasant diseases: sadly, with the dog population getting fatter, a rise in these ailments is almost inevitable.

Life is no fun for an overweight dog

As well as the increased risk of disease, dogs also experience a reduced quality of life when they are obese. Walks become less fun; dogs may find it difficult to find a comfortable position in which to rest, due to an unwanted spare tyre and too much of the wrong sort of food can also cause digestive problems. Stomach aches, wind, flatulence, constipation or diarrhoea are also common and skin can become itchy or dry, which is uncomfortable and can lead to excessive scratching. The scratching, in turn, can lead to further skin issues.

Why do dogs become overweight?

Again, the answer to this question is very much the same as the reasons that humans become overweight: not only do they get given too much food to eat, they also get given the wrong sort of food to eat. Like humans, dogs are drawn to calorie-dense foods and will happily eat as much as you give them! Giving dogs human food, sharing snacks or providing high-calorie rewards for good behaviour can all mean that your dog ends up with far more calories than they actually need. Paradoxically, many overweight dogs are also malnourished, as their nutrition quality is poor, consisting of too many empty calories rather than good, solid nutrition.

What can I do if my dog is overweight?

Clearly, if your dog is overweight, the first thing to do is to establish why. Although in most cases canine obesity is simply down to diet, it’s worth getting your pet checked over by a vet to make sure there aren’t any underlying issues. If it’s clear that the main reason for the excess weight is too much food, placing your dog on a nutritious, low-calorie diet is the next step. Choosing a good grain-free food with healthy ingredients (always check out the ingredients before buying!) may the best way to help your dog lose weight. Alternatively, simply reducing the amount your dog is given to eat may be enough to encourage weight loss.

Treats for dogs on a diet

Although dogs absolutely do not need treats in order to be happy and healthy, many owners can’t resist treating their pet now and then. Treats can also be helpful in reinforcing good behaviour. A healthy choice for dogs on a diet is a wheat-free treat. Made from high-quality ingredients which haven’t been “bulked out” with wheat, wheat-free treats contain just a few premium ingredients such as meat, gravy and potatoes. These foods contain valuable nutrients, ensuring your dog ends up with a treat that actually does them good, rather than simply being empty calories. Highly palatable, wheat-free treats are also gentle on the stomach – a real advantage for older or less well dogs. The treats are also small ones! This means that one or two a day won’t add significantly to daily calorie intake, helping your dog to win the inch-loss war! If you want a tasty, nutrient dense snack that adds value to a dog’s diet, wheat-free treats can work really well.

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Why play is good for your dog

Why play is good for your dog

Playing with your dog has many benefits when it comes to teaching them social skills, improving their behaviour and building the bond between the two of you. It can keep their mind occupied, which prevents boredom and gives them an outlet to release their natural instincts. Many behavioural experts advocate the use of play in helping to manage unwanted behaviours in dogs, such as lunging, chewing or barking. Fitting in a short play session every day can really make a positive impact on the behaviour of your dog.

Learning through Play

We know that children learn through play, but have you ever considered how your dog is learning through its playtime? Play can be an important tool for dogs to learn how to interact with us and for us to enforce our rules. When they engage in play it is safe for dogs to push the boundaries a little, they might, for instance, play a little more roughly than usual. By doing this they can take cues from us as to what behaviour is acceptable and how we can resolve conflict should it arise. During play, your dog is in a more heightened state of arousal, this means that any corrective techniques you use will have more impact. By allowing your dog to push those boundaries you can quickly correct the behaviour and show them how you expect them to behave in a way that will stick with your dog.

Great for Anxiety or Boredom

Play can also be beneficial for dogs that show signs of anxiety or boredom. Playing can help to stimulate the brain, indeed, studies have shown that it can trigger reward centres in the brain that make us feel happy. Play can give dogs a physical and mental outlet, which can help alleviate boredom as well as keep your dog’s weight under control. Remember that dogs do have natural survival instincts and that constantly suppressing these can make then unhappy or anxious. They need to practice their survival skills in order to feel safe. Skills such as chasing prey would be essential if your dog was living in the wild and so it can help them feel more secure in their ability to survive if you let them practice these techniques. This can help reduce anxiety and help your dog feel much happier.

Some Dogs Need to be Taught to Play

Despite the benefits, many owners feel that their dog is just not interested in play. They might head to the field ball in hand, excited at the prospect of a game of fetch with their loyal pal only to end up having to fetch the ball themselves while their dog looks on. At that point, they might assume that their dog just isn’t playful and just give up. Most dogs do want to play, however, they just need to be taught.

Teaching a dog to play can be a challenge, especially if they are an older dog who hasn’t experienced any form of play in their youth, but it is well worth the effort. The first step is to experiment with some toys to see if any interest your dog. The ultimate aim should be for them to want the toy so much that they will engage in a tug of war style play with you. One way to really get them interested is to have a toy that can hold some food, such as grain free dog treats, this usually gets their attention, although you will need to exercise caution if your dog is food aggressive in any way. You can pick up toys that can be stuffed with treats or you could just use an old sock and place the treats inside. If you do manage to get them to engage with you and the toy remember to verbally praise them during and after the play session. They should get the message quickly enough that play is a positive thing.

Remember when offering treats to your dog, you should always try and make them healthy. You can find grain free dog treats UK dog owners can rely on at Bounce and Bella.

Photo: I'm Ready by the-specious licensed under Creative commons 4
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Start training your puppy at an early age if you want a well-behaved pet

Start training your puppy at an early age if you want a well-behaved pet

Dogs can make the most fantastic pets for families, couples and singletons. However, your wriggling, bundle of fun puppy soon grows into adulthood and training your pet is an important aspect of dog ownership that should not really be neglected. Teaching your puppy ground rules in the home and letting him recognise that good behaviour is an expectation at home and outside will help you achieve far more enjoyment from owning a dog and ensures trust is built up between you.

Reasons to train your dog

Dogs can be disruptive and boisterous in the home and outside if they’re not disciplined from an early age. They need to understand their place in the household as they are pack animals and can begin to think of themselves as “pack” leader of the entire family. This can cause problems, particularly if you have younger children or vulnerable people in the home.

Teaching your dog not to jump up or steal or beg for food are important training tasks that you can start from the day your new pup enters the home. Barking, mounting, jumping on furniture, destroying toys, pawing and mouthing are also undesirable behaviours for dogs, so kicking off your puppy training by establishing rules in the home is a good way to ensure your pup develops manners and discipline.

Socialisation skills

Socialisation is important for pups. Whether with other dogs and pets or with humans. And, enrolling your puppy in a reputable training school is one way to ensure good behaviour. You won’t be able to take your dog to classes until he’s had all his vaccinations, but you can get in touch with the instructor beforehand and pick up some useful training tips to follow in the meantime.

Puppy socialisation is recommended by the Kennel Club, and should be carried out by both breeders and new owners. It can help puppies settle better in their new home and should be carried out until your dog is at least 16 weeks old. You can source a socialisation plan direct on the Kennel Club website if you want to learn more.

Socialisation planning helps ensure your pup receives important learning at the most critical development phases in his life. It includes common household noises and going out to meet other dogs and new people. Socialising your pup from this early age helps ensure he interacts well with other dogs and people, both in the home and when you’re out and about.

Dog training classes

You can start training your pup from a very young age, but won’t be able to take him to regular dog training classes until he’s had all his vaccinations. You should display continual patience with your pup, although he’s eager to learn and wants to please you, he won’t pick up all the essential skills straight away.

Going to recognised training classes can help your dog even more with socialisation and he can also learn from the other dogs. Some of the behaviour learnt at classes includes walking on the lead and to heel, responding to his name and coming back when called, sitting on command and learning to stay in one place when told to do so.

Good quality dog treats can be ideal positive reinforcements to help your dog learn and are used to treat good behaviour and learning of commands. You do need to ensure the treats offered are suitable for your pup, however, as some treats are not recommended until adult teeth are in place.

Continuing to reinforce lessons and training commands in the home and while out and about is much easier when you utilise positive reinforcement techniques. And, you’ll be amazed by the speed your young dog learns, when he knows a tasty treat reward could be the likely outcome!

A well-behaved dog will give you hours of enjoyment and fun, so establishing good behaviour and putting the ground rules in place while your puppy is young is important. Check out more useful positive reinforcement dog training tips on the Bounce and Bella blog. We supply a variety of tasty dog treats, including grain-free treats and treats with added vitamins or Omega supplements. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about the reasons our healthy treats are the ideal training solution for your dog.

Photo: Yellow dog by molajen licensed under Creative commons 4