The cold weather is coming and can be a dampener on your exercise plans; not just for you, but your dog as well. But there is no reason to blame the weather for your inactivity. It’s important that your pet gets daily exercise in some or the other form. The days tend to be shorter in the winter months and your pet doesn’t get the amount of exercise it ideally needs.
The cooler days aren’t comfortable for arthritic or older dogs as this is when the aches and pains start surfacing with more frequency and severity than normal. This is because they are unable to move around as much; and their muscles and limbs don’t get warmed up.
This extended inactivity can cause boredom and stress in your dogs and you will notice behavioural issues such as chewing, digging and barking; some dogs tend to add weight during the winter months as well. While getting them outdoors for a spot of exercise may not be easily possible or even advised when the weather is cold, there are some effective ways of ensuring your pets get the exercise they need, even in the colder months:
Swimming in warm water allows the muscles to work more efficiently and helps to aid blood circulation without risk of cramping. It also helps reduce some of the swelling in joints. The increased limited weight bearing exercise makes joint movement easier; helps regain fitness and can help them to lose weight they may have gained.
Swimming also provides your dog excellent mental stimulus. You can choose to take a “swim for fun” class, a “learn to swim” class, or one for regaining mobility and strength or even for weight loss.
Bring out some favorite toys your pet loves and hide them in different places in the house and get your dog to look for them. You can also hide treats if you like instead. These games are an excellent way for you to bond with your pet.
You can also get a group of friends with their pets together and simply book our K9 SWiM Hydrotherapy Centre’s pool for an hour. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you and your pet can have in the tepid water of the indoor pool. Your pet will also get the opportunity to socialize with other hounds and can find a great outlet for all their energy they have, by splashing around in the water.
We also offer a complimentary warm water rinse and a blow dryer to dry your dog before you take them back home. For more information about our hydrotherapy services, feel free to browse our website.
Valentine’s Day! What better time to show our dogs how much we love them with a little bit of spoiling and extra attention, the paw partner that loves you unconditionally and is always there to greet you with a wagging tail.
These 7 tips are a great way to show your pooch some love.
1. Tasty Treats
2. A New Toy
3. A Lovely Walk Somewhere New
5. Swim Together
7. Organise a Puppy Play Date
A dog’s nose is very different to ours. They smell and sense the world in a completely different way to us. Most of us view the world predominately through our eyes where as a dog does it through their nose. They know so much more than we think and their nose has a lot to do with that.
So let’s have a look at what a dog nose.
A Dog’s Strong Sense of Smell
A dog’s sense of smell is more than 1000 times more sensitive than humans.
Dog’s noses can have up to 300 million olfactory receptors compared to about 6 million in people. The part of the brain in dogs that process smell is also much, much larger in proportion than it is in humans.
The Dog Nose How to Find You and More
Dogs have been used in tracking for over 100s of years by man. First used for hunting, search and rescue and more recently trained to detect diverse odours such as narcotics, explosives and more.
Different breeds of dogs sniff in various ways. For example, a Beagle will follow air and ground scent with their nose mainly pointing to the ground and a German Shepherd tends to smell the air-scent with their head up rather than keeping their nose to the ground. A Blood Hound’s nose is able to trace smells over 300 hours old. There’s also a bit more to nose here. The Blood Hound’s floppy ears help them smell by fanning odours up their nostrils and their loose skin also helps trap and retain the scent.
Dogs Picking up the Scent
Alexandra Horowitz, a dog-cognition researcher at Barnard College, writes that while we might notice if our coffee has had a teaspoon of sugar added to it, A dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools worth. Diabetic alert dog’s nose picks up on the special scent that is released when their human’s insulin levels drop.
There's More to Their Nostrils Than You Know
A dog’s nose does more than just breathe air in and out. Their nostrils can work independently from each other so one nostril can breathe while the other can smell the scent and break down the odour.
Did you know that a dog’s nose print is thought to be as unique as our fingerprint. I know my dogs have left their unique print many times on my glass doors and windows. How about you?
Dogs Decode PeeMail
Have you ever taken your dog for a walk and they want to stop and sniff every bush or post that another dogs has peed on. That’s because dogs can find out a lot about other dogs through their pee. It can often be referred to as PeeMail, dogs leaving messages for each other. They can determine the sex of the other dog and whether it is a female on heat or if male dogs have been de-sexed. They can also sense other dog’s health and stress levels and even thought to convey another dog’s social status. It would be interesting to know if they can tell if other dogs are large or not. Because I know many tiny dogs that see themselves as six foot tall with a big attitude.
You Can’t Fool Your Dog’s Nose
Dogs smell your fear. When we fear something or are feeling nervous our heart rate changes and we produce chemicals in our bodies that dogs can smell on our skin. So there is no point trying to pretend in front of our four legged friends because you won’t be fooling them. They also recognise your unique scent under all those products we use on ourselves such as perfume, deodorants and soap.
A Dog Nose How to Greet You
Dogs introduce themselves with their nose. How many times do you feel that wet nose when you meet a new dog? Dogs get to know each other and us through smell. Yes and smelling each others butts is completely normal. This is how they get to know each other and become friends.
Smelling Great or Stinky
Have you ever put on some perfume or deodorant for your dog to turn away or start sneezing. They don’t seem impressed with your smell do they?
Well that being said, have you ever had your dog roll around in delight in something that smells disgusting? I know my dogs have always managed to find that fresh patty of cow manure to roll around on and then to sit up and look so proud and happy. It’s like they are saying “Look at me I smell great!”
What we think smells great may not smell pleasant to dogs and visa versa.
I have found that my dogs love to lie in the garden that is filled with lavendar, wormwood and rosemary. These herbs have volatile oils that can rub off and help prevent fleas and other external parasites as well as making them smell nice!
So there you have it, I hope you know a little more about what your dog nose through this light hearted article.
With days shorter and colder in the winter months we thought we would share some tips and treats on keeping your dog healthy, warm and fit over winter. Our furry friends rely on us for their health, comfort and joy.
Winter Dog Bedding Tips
Your dog’s bedding will depend on whether they are an inside dog or an outside dog.
Even though it may feel warm inside the floor can still be quite cold. Make sure bedding is off the floor and out of draft areas. Dogs are social animals and love to be part of the family and having their beds in a location where they can see you always provides them comfort knowing that you are there.
A dog house should be big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around. Any extra space just means extra area to heat. Make sure your dog house is in a good location so the wind does not enter the opening and gets some sun during the day to add some warmth. You can cover the doorway of the dog house with a flap of carpet to prevent the wind from coming in. You can also place a blanket over the dog house to provide some extra insulation in the winter months. A good insulated mattress and warm blankets within the dog house will ensure a nice warm comfortable sleep.
Extra warmth for your four legged friend can be provided through heat lamps, heaters, heat mats, heat packs and hot water bottles. It is important to make sure that any heating mats, packs or hot water bottles are placed under bedding so the heat radiates through. NEVER apply heat directly to your dog as it will burn the skin and cause discomfort.
If your dog sleeps in front of an open fire it is important to make sure the fire has a screen so your dog doesn’t accidentally get burnt from embers.
How About a Winter Jacket
There are so many warm and protective winter jackets on the market that can keep our pooches nice and cozy in the cold nights. Dogs with arthritic conditions, older dogs, short coated dogs and dogs that have been unwell feel the cold so much more and will benefit greatly in these months with the extra warmth.
In the winter months our dogs can turn into couch potatoes and sleep a lot. They conserve energy whilst sleeping and exercise much less so you will need to adjust their diet accordingly otherwise they may start to put on weight!
Outdoor dogs will burn more calories (up to 30%) and will need extra food if you can’t bring them inside.
Water is just as important for Winter as it is Summer so make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available at all times.
Adding some great winter herbs to their meal can help them through the cold months- Echinacea for the immune system, turmeric for mobility and it’s a warming herb as well, Rosehips for vitamin C. Consider adding these supplements to their meals to get through the cold days and nights. Remember to ALWAYS consult a vet or an animal naturopath before giving your dog herbs or supplements.
The days are shorter in winter months. You may go to work in the dark and get home in the dark and are unable to exercise your dog like you can do in the warmer, longer months. Exercise is still very important as dogs need to burn off energy, stretch their muscles out, get mental stimulation all for their well-being. Why not bring them for a weekly swim at K9 Swim where the pool is indoors and heated and is a perfect workout. They will sleep well at night after a swim!
Arthritic dogs suffer more in the colder months. This is the time to keep them exercising so they don’t seize up. Swimming in a heated pool is a great exercise for arthritic dogs since it is a non-weight bearing activity. Keep arthritic dogs on regular and no stress to the joint exercise and stick to it, they will get through the colder months a lot easier.
Warm Winter Food - Why not cook up a doggie casserole with lean meat , vegetables and some brown rice! A delicious nutritious winter warming meal for a cold day! Or you can add some warm water to their kibble , this will warm their tummies!
Winter Massage – Massage is wonderful for our dogs and especially in the winter months where muscles can get tight and sore as they are not moving around as much. Treat your dog to a massage whilst you are watching TV or listening to some nice music in a warm room. Not only is it nice for our dogs but it’s a wonderful bonding experience for owners and their beloved pets.
Not sure how to massage? Come along to Richmond TAFE’s next animal massage workshop on Friday 24th June, bring your dog and learn how to make your dog feel great!
Who doesn’t love to snuggle! Winter is a great excuse to curl up and snuggle with your four legged friend inside in the warmth away from the winter cold.
Keep safe, warm and well.
We are getting closer to the festive season where there will be lots of food, fun and festivities. You want to make sure your dog is happy and part of this. Not everything we do in the jolly season is safe for our canine friends. Here are our 7 top tips on how to keep your dog happy this Christmas.
1. Keep tinsel and decorations out of reach
These decorations are very tempting for dogs even if they are placed high on your tree. Make sure you keep an eye on your dog if they are anywhere near these because swallowing them can cause serious injury or even death.
2. Know which Christmas foods are bad for dogs
Christmas foods that we love can be toxic to your dog. Here are a few foods that you should NOT give your dog – chocolate, Christmas cake, grapes, raisins and nuts and NO ham bones as they are quite fatty and can lead to pancreatitis. Stick to treats that have been made for dogs as they love it and they are good for them. Love’em has some great treats and cookies created especially for dogs.
3. Secure your Christmas tree
A Christmas tree can easily be knocked down by your dog. Place your Christmas tree in a corner and secure the tree so it won’t be knocked causing your dog or anyone else injury.
4. Choose the perfect gift for your dog
The perfect gift for your dog is the practical gift. Why not buy your dog their own life jacket so you can be assured they are safe when they go swimming on holidays or in your own pool, we also stock lots of healthy supplements and Hills Science Diet food so you can keep them healthy inside and out. We stock fun water toys that are durable, colourful and floatable- the perfect gift for this summer.
Our Surf Dog robes are a must for this summer! Dries your dog quickly after their swim and also stops sand and water getting into your car! Plus they look pretty cool in them! The robes come in XS, S, M and Large in Pink, yellow and Blue.
5. Include your dog in celebrating Christmas and know when they need a rest
It is great to have your dog enjoying Christmas with family and friends but they also need space away from it all where they can rest and relax. Many dogs are afraid of fireworks and may panic or try to run away and injure themselves in the process so be sure they are safe and cannot get out. If your dog needs to be away from the celebrations make sure you spend some time walking and playing with them beforehand.
6. Organise a dog sitter
Friends, family and neighbours can be busy during the holiday season so organising a dog sitter will make sure your dog stays safe and happy while you are away.
7. Play with your dog
Your dog loves to spend time with you. It is not always the quantity but quality. Play their favourite game or take them to their favourite dog park to meet up with their friends. So play and be merry.
Dogs are part of the family so it is important that they feel safe and happy over the holiday season. We hope these tips help you keep your dog happy and safe over Christmas and keep their tail’s wagging!
The chart below shows you your dog's age in human years. dogs age may vary according to its breed and size. Dogs age quicker than us humans.
So now you know how old your dog is in human years
Hi I'm Sharon Osmond the owner and founder of K9 Swim. The Splash Blog is where I share tips and information on dog's health and safety and some fun facts and stories.