Why Dogs Smell Just About Everything

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

Although smells can trigger a variety of memories and feelings in humans, dogs' incredible sense of smell is something else entirely. Of the five different senses that dogs have, smell is the one they rely on the most. Depending on the breed, dogs have anywhere from 125 to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses. To put that in perspective, humans only have 5 million. The presence of so many more of these receptors means they can pick up far more information from smells than humans.


Dogs Use Their Noses to See the World


The best way to put yourself in the shoes of a dog is to think of how you visually process information. When you see a table with several items on it, you can identify each of those items. But when you smell dinner cooking, the scent you pick up is a mixture of all the ingredients. For dogs, their strong noses means they process all the individual components in a scent. Being able to pick out all these different things is why dogs want to smell everything and often spend quite a bit of time doing so.


Given that dogs are mostly farsighted, have less binocular vision, less ability to perceive depth and limited color vision, being able to process such rich information through smell is essential for a dog to make sense of the world around it.


Why Are Dogs So Drawn to Bad Smells?


Just about every dog owner has wondered why their pet seems so drawn to the worst smelling items during a walk. According to experts, this behavior has roots that go far back to before dogs were pets. Finding something smelly and then rolling in it was a way for dogs to mask their scent and become better hunters.


As far as why dogs want to stick their noses right up against other pups, this is all about finding out lots of information. This sniffing allows dogs to learn age, gender, mood and current health. Dogs are even able to get all this information simply by smelling a spot where another dog previously peed.


Let Your Dog Have a Blast Sniffing All Around


If you want your dog to have fun and stay busy smelling around while you're away at work, our Cincinnati doggy day care services in provide a positive and safe environment for dogs to explore their natural instinct as pack animals. Your dog will get to socialize and put its nose to good use in large, open play spaces that are conducive to both high energy stimulation and quiet play. Take a look at our dog day care rates and call us at 513-860-DOGS with any additional questions.


If you're looking for a place where you can sit outside and enjoy the fall weather with your dog, we've put together a list of the ten best dog-friendly patios in Cincinnati:


Taqueria Mercado - 100 E 8th St


Bring your dog and enjoy Happy Hour margaritas on the patio from 3-6PM during the week. If you stay for dinner, you can count on big portions and plenty of salad, pico, sour cream, rice and beans.


BLOC Coffee Company - 3101 Price Ave


Well-done espresso drinks and great coffee. One of the best chai lattes in Cincinnati. They also offer delightful desserts like mini cheesecakes and macaroons.


Northside Yacht Club - 4227 Spring Grove Ave


If you are looking for a different, low key, "wear whatever you want to" brunch, this is a great choice. Expect a relaxed vibe with a short but tasty brunch menu selection. Wings, poutine and the Hawt Mess are a few Northside Yacht Club favorites.


College Hill Coffee Company and Casual Gourmet - 6128 Hamilton Ave


They have great coffee and tea, a good food menu for all tastes and a great atmosphere. They also have a retail area that includes lots of goodies for dogs.


Suzie Wong’s - 1544 Madison Rd


Notable dishes include Bangkok coconut curry, mandarin orange chicken and Singapore noodle. There are quite a few vegetarian options on the menu, and you can count on the staff to be super friendly and attentive.


Landlocked Social House - 648 E McMillan St


A lot of places advertise "craft beer," but Landlocked truly delivers. They're also known for serving delicious coffee and tasty Umami Bites.


Keystone Bar and Grill - 3384 Erie Ave


They have a pretty wide selection of drinks, ranging from beers to cocktails. You can't go wrong with favorites like their mac & cheese. The staff is great and will be happy to bring a bowl of water to the patio for your dog.


M5 Espresso - 2717 Erie Ave


The coffee here is second to none. There is enough variety for everyone to enjoy without compromising the quality of their coffee. Try an espresso macchiato, Americano, iced Americano or an iced latte.


Wurst Bar in the Square - 3204 Linwood Ave


Located in Mt. Lookout Square, Wurst Bar pays homage to two traditional German Cincinnati favorites: beer and sausage. Their sausage dishes include The Roonie, Hans Gruber and The Cuban Missile, all of which are served with a side of waffle fries.


Higher Gravity - 4106 Hamilton Ave


Their specialty is craft beer. Tons of beer on tap as well as a huge canned/bottled selection. You can even enjoy packaged beer that is priced for carry out.


If you have any other favorite dog-friendly patios in Cincinnati, be sure to let us know by leaving a comment!

Why Dogs May Be Fearful of Hats

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

       


Barking is part of the way that dogs communicate. Even a very well-behaved dog is likely to bark a little from time to time. While a few yaps probably aren't going to get your attention, what will is if your dog suddenly starts repeatedly barking at someone. This behavior can be especially surprising if your dog has seen that person before.


So, what exactly can make a well-behaved and friendly dog suddenly act this way? In many cases, the answer may be a hat. Although that answer sounds surprising at first, it makes a lot of sense once you have the full explanation. Keep reading to learn exactly why this happens, as well as if there's anything you can do to help your dog.


The Link Between Hats and Fear in Dogs


If someone you know usually doesn't wear a baseball cap, it may take you a moment to recognize them if you unexpectedly run into them when they are wearing one. This is the same type of basic experience a dog can have if they encounter someone with any type of hat. However, since dogs have their own way of processing information, there are some important differences to note. The most significant is this accessory can alter the natural human silhouette that dogs are used to seeing.


That's why this reaction can also occur when someone is wearing sunglasses, a backpack or carrying an umbrella. For many dogs, large items like strollers can also trigger this type of fear reaction. So if you've ever wondered why so many different dogs have negative reactions to mailmen, the combination of these factors plays a very big role.


Helping Your Dog to Be Less Fearful of Hats


Now that we've gotten to the bottom of why your dog may have this reaction, you're probably wondering if there's anything you can do about it. The good news is there are steps you can take to help your dog. The key to combating fear is creating a positive association for your dog. So an easy first step is to calmly put on a hat on at home and then give your dog treats to show it that everything is fine.


Once you've laid that foundation, you can enlist help from friends or family members to do the same thing. Through plenty of repetition, you'll begin to notice that your dog stops having such a strong reaction to people wearing a hat. If your dog also reacts to any of the other items we covered, you can use this same strategy to help your pooch.


If you're looking for a safe and engaging environment where your dog can enjoy all kinds of positive socialization, be sure to take a look at our doggy daycare.

8 Dog-Friendly Spots in Cincinnati

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

         


There are a lot of things that make Cincinnati such a great city to call home. One of those things is just how many awesome places there are where you can go with your dog. Since it's easy to forget about just how many different options are available, we want to highlight eight of the best:


1. Kathryn Stagge-Marr Community Park


Located on the East side of town in Clermont County, this lovely park offers a total of 82 acres that you and your doggy can enjoy exploring together.


2. Otto Armleder Dog Park


This fenced dog park spans a total of 10 acres. It has two large sections on either side, and a smaller section in the middle for small breeds and puppies. There are benches for owners to sit down on, as well as water spouts for dogs to keep cool.


3. Winton Woods


Your dog will definitely enjoy the chance to join you on-leash at this lovely, paved woodland trail around the lake. The address to put in your GPS for this park is 10245 Winton Road.


4. Mt. Airy Forest Dog Park


In addition to the dog park providing a big area for dogs to romp around in, there are also several miles of trails in Mt. Airy Forest where you can enjoy a walk or run with your dog.


5. Sharon Woods Park


Although pets aren't permitted in the park's playground, you can enjoy walking your dog on its leash through the park's trails, which include wooded and lakeside areas.


6. Washington Park Dog Park


With 12,000 square feet of fully-fenced play space, your dog can enjoy splashing in the creek, exploring the large boulders and getting a refreshing drink from the water fountain.


7. Smale Riverfront Park


As long as you keep your dog on its leash, both of you will be able to fully enjoy the park's trails, labyrinth, gardens, fountains and esplanade.


8. Dog Day, Every Day!


There are probably times such as going to work when you would like to have your dog with you but aren't able to. The best solution for these occasions is our dog daycare. With daily rates that 

6 Unique Day Trips from Ohio

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


Summer is a great time to get a break from your normal routine. While it's always nice to take a long vacation, there are other ways to have memorable summer fun if you only have a limited amount of time available. One of the ways is to take a day trip. There are some really great places in Ohio that are fun and easy to visit, which is why we want to highlight six of those destinations now:


1. Cedar Point or King's Island


If you love the rush that goes along with getting on a thrilling ride, there are two great options for amusement park day trips. Both Cedar Point in Sandusky and King's Island in Mason offer lots of fun opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping.


2. Zoombezi Bay


Spanning over twenty-two acres, this Powell water park offers a really fun way to cool down on a hot day. Great Wolf Lodge and Soak City are two other great summer destinations to consider for day trips.


3. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium


With over nine thousand animals that represent more than 650 species, we could write an entire post just discussing all the awesome sights of the Columbus Zoo. That's why the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was named the number one zoo in America by USA Travel Guide. It's worth mentioning that if you want to extend your trip to last for a few days, Zoombezi Bay is right by the zoo, so your whole family can have a ton of fun during a weekend trip to Columbus.


4. Short North Arts District


While the great options we've covered so far are focused on specific destinations and activities, sometimes you just want to head out and do a little exploring. The Short North Arts District is the perfect place to go for this type of day trip. You'll be able to enjoy art galleries, coffee, retail shops and street art.


5. Sylvania or Sharonville Fossil Parks


In addition to exploring a contemporary destination, you can take a trip back in time by heading to the fossil parks in Sylvania or Sharonville to search for exciting things that are still buried underneath the earth.


6. Lake Erie Beaches


Given that Lake Erie is as close as you can get to an ocean without leaving the state, no discussion of day trips in Ohio would be complete without mentioning this great spot for summer fun.


Can You Take Your Dog?


It really depends on the day trip. For certain outings, your dog will absolutely enjoy the experience just as much as you. But with others, the type of day trip means your dog is going to be limited with what it can do. In this case, our doggie daycare is the perfect option. You will be able to enjoy your Ohio day trip to the fullest knowing that your dog is having just as much fun with us.


Does My Dog Need a Summer Cut?

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


Now that the weather is hotter outside, it's normal to want to be sure that your dog is as comfortable as possible throughout the day. This often leads dog owners to think about giving their pet a summer haircut. While it's easy to understand why this is such a common thought, we want to share a little more information so you know the most effective ways to keep your pet cool.


Summer Shaves Actually Aren't the Best Option


In most cases, there's nothing wrong with giving your dog a summer trim. However, it's important to be aware that there is a difference between a regular haircut and a significant shave. Because the weather outside is hotter, people often think they should go shorter than normal with their dog's cut. However, most veterinarian experts say this isn't the best option. The reason is dogs have much different hair than humans.


So while shortening your hair during this season may help you stay cool, the same isn't automatically true for dogs. In the case of dogs that have thicker coats, a trim can help them remain as comfortable as possible on hot days. Just be sure to leave at least an inch of their coat. With shorter-haired breeds, leaving their hair as is works best. Taking this approach will help protect them from sunburns, which can be an issue for all sizes and breeds of dogs.


5 Tips for Staying Cool This Summer


Since it can get quite hot in Ohio during the summer, we want to share several different ways you can ensure your dog stays cool and comfortable. The first two are making cool & fresh water available, as well as providing shelter from the sun for your dog. Our third tip is to keep your dog inside when the temperature gets really high.


As a general rule, days when the temperature hits triple digits are best spent inside. The fourth thing is to brush often. Daily brushing is actually a great way to remove your dog's dead undercoat and let it enjoy maximum skin circulation. And finally, never leave your dog in a parked car during the summer. It only takes minutes for a vehicle's interior to get dangerously hot, so always bring your pet inside on errands or just let it stay at home.


Refresh Your Dog with Our Spa Services


Like we mentioned above, consistent brushing is a great way to keep your dog cool and comfortable during the summer. If you want to start your dog's summer off right, our basic doggy spa service includes a bath, blow dry and brushing. We also offer Pawdicures. If you have any questions about these services or want to schedule an appointment, you can reach us at 513-860-DOGS.

Are Cats and Dogs Natural Enemies?

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


There’s no shortage of movies, TV shows and other media that portray cats and dogs as being enemies of each other. However, there are plenty of households that have both of these animals as pets. So, what’s the real story? To answer that question, we need to take a look at a study done by a professor of zoology. In this study, the professor and his team recruited close to two hundred pet owners with both cats and dogs in their household. To carry out the study, the team conducted extensive interviews with each owner, as well as videoed the animals interacting in their households.


The conclusion of this study was in about seventy percent of households, cats and dogs got along really well. Then with the remaining thirty percent, pet relations ranged from occasional hostility to interspecies warfare. This study shows that these animals have the ability to get along. But the 70-30 split raises another significant question, which is what separates the happy households from the divided ones.


Tips for Creating a Happy Household


Since the professor and his team wanted this study to be as useful as possible, they spent a lot of time analyzing exactly what separated the two types of households. One of the most important factors the researchers identified was peace occurred most commonly when the animals were introduced to each other while very young. More specifically, six months or earlier for the kittens and younger than a year for the puppy.


Another key finding from the study was that it’s easier to introduce a dog to a house where a cat is already in residence than the other way around. The team also found that one of the reasons certain households with dogs and cats are so divided is that dogs aren’t able to understand the signals their feline housemates are trying to send. Part of why introducing the animals at a young age is so useful is it helps them to develop a shared vocabulary together.


Although bringing a kitten and puppy together is going to have the highest likelihood of creating a happy household, the team did make it clear that introducing an adult animal from each species doesn’t have to be a doomed endeavor. The mistake people often make when introducing adult animals is hoping they’ll be best friends. By putting less pressure on this introduction and accepting that the two animals may spend most of their time ignoring each other, you can maximize your chances of avoiding conflict within your household.


Even though we specialize in taking care of dogs at our daycare, this information shows that there are ways to create a happy household that includes both dogs and cats.


People who haven’t spent much time around dogs are often concerned if they see one interacting with a child. However, for dog lovers who have lots of experience with this kind of animal, their impression is likely the opposite. Plenty of dog owners have seen firsthand that small children, who get excited and don’t know any better, will do everything from tug on a dog’s tail to rub their fur backwards. Although this isn’t the type of interaction that a dog would willingly chose, most are surprisingly patient with children and may even indicate that they want the interaction to continue. Witnessing these types of experiences often leads to people wondering why dogs continue to be drawn to children.


The Social Structure of Dogs


To fully answer this question, it’s helpful to have some insight into the social structure that dogs follow. In the wild, much of dogs’ behavior is driven by whether they’re in charge or subordinate. With pet dogs, they understand their family setting. In the case of a child who’s brought into a dog’s human family, their instincts will likely be to protect it.


As you may have guessed, there are a few caveats to this behavior. The first is understanding that breeds differ in their natural protective characteristics.  Herding breeds are going to go out of their way to keep their pack together (including children), while breeds that have been bred as lap dogs are going to be less proactive in their interactions.


Another important note is dogs with previous experience around children are the most likely to be patient during future interactions. If a dog hasn’t had much socialization outside of its core family members, interactions with children should be carefully supervised. But as long as a dog has a basic level of socialization, it’s likely to interact with children in the way we described at the beginning of this post.


Helping Your Dog with Family Transitions 


Any family that has a dog and child knows how attached they can get to each other. This can cause quite a bit of stress during transitions like going back to school. After a fun summer of playing together, a dog may be sad when its buddy resumes leaving the house for eight or more hours a day. If you face this or any other type of challenge due to a transition within your family, our dog daycare can help.


By getting your dog out of the house and into an environment where it will be engaged with other dogs, you’ll be able to help your pup continue feeling its best.

 


At Dog Day, Every Day, we’re proud to offer a positive and safe environment for dogs to explore their natural instinct as pack animals. Sniffing, wrestling, chewing and slobbering are all things enjoyed by attendees of our dog daycare. Whether a pup enjoys just watching the other dogs engage or they are in the thick of it, these types of interactions promotes proper socialization skills and dog speak. Although the environment we’ve created is ideal for dogs to meet and interact on their own terms, the same isn’t always true for dogs who are meeting on a sidewalk or other setting.


Plenty of dog owners have had the unfortunate experience of initial meetings turning out less than ideal. Since this is an issue that owners of dogs of all ages struggle with, we want to use our knowledge of doggy interactions to share some best practices for introducing dogs to each other:


Avoid Face to Face


The biggest mistake that dog owners make is pointing two pups face to face for their initial meeting. Since this isn’t how dogs naturally approach each other, it creates a confrontational tone. A better option is to give dogs some space so they can move towards each from the side. This method also makes it easy for dogs to sniff each other, which is a very important part of initial interactions.


Leashed But Loose


When dogs are in a location like a dog park or our daycare environment, leashes aren’t a necessary part of introductions. But if you’re out and about with your dog, it’s a good idea to keep your pup on its leash during any meetings. Just be sure to keep the leash loose and avoid pulling. Doing so will cause your dog to feel tense and likely derail the meeting.


What to Watch For


If you combine the first two tips we covered, you have a recipe for an ideal dog meeting. What that means is instead of bringing both dogs to a standstill in front of each other, both owners can walk the dogs in parallel. This provides an opportunity for some sniffing and initial interaction while keeping the dogs from feeling any anxiety due to a lack of movement. During this time, you’ll want to watch for signs like raised hackles, staring or lip curling, which indicate that the interaction is going south.


In the event that you notice any warning signs of a negative interaction, guide the dogs apart instead of abruptly jerking. In addition to their assessments of each other, dogs feed off their owners’ energy, which is why staying cool and enjoying this experience will give it the best chance of turning out positive.

 



When two dogs who are properly socialized meet each other, it only takes a few moments for them to get a good idea of what the other one is all about. This quick assessment can determine whether the dogs are going to be good buddies or have more of an antagonistic relationship with each other. Since this exchange can happen so quickly that humans miss everything that’s going on, we thought it would be fun to highlight the different elements dog use for this type of communication. Once you have a better understanding of how dogs communicate with each other, you’ll be able to pick up on the intricacies of dogs’ interactions with each other:


Body Language Communicates a Lot


Dogs can communicate a lot through their body language. Although minor changes can carry a lot of meaning, a little awareness and observation will help you distinguish the different things one dog is saying to another. Let’s kick off this discussion with how a dog communicates that it’s relaxed. Soft eyes, looking but not staring and a tongue hanging limply are all signs that a dog is feeling quite calm. On the other end of the communication spectrum, glancing sideways, clenched teeth and a tongue held inside the mouth mean that a dog is anxious.


If a dog wants to intimidate another pup, it will stare intensely with ears forward and teeth bared. But if a dog is fearful during a meeting, it will look away and have dilated pupils. A fearful dog will also keep its ears pressed back and have a tense jaw.


Smell and Putting It All Together


With all the above examples, we looked at what different combinations of body language can mean. Dogs can also communicate with each other simply by how they hold their heads. Down means depression or submission, normal means everything is good, turned to the side is deference and high or forward can either mean interest or a challenge.


No discussion about dogs communicating with each other would be complete without mentioning smell. Because dogs have such a powerful sense of smell, they are able to determine a lot about another dog’s standing just by getting a whiff of them, which is why sniffing plays such a key role in dog meetings and other interactions.


As everything we’ve covered shows, dog communication is quite complex. By taking the information we shared and paying attention to how your pet interacts with other dogs, you’ll get an even better understanding of its unique personality. And if you’re looking for a place where your dog can enjoy lots of positive socialization, be sure to take a look at the awesome environment our dog daycare provides.