October is Adopt a Dog Month

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


If you've been thinking about adopting a dog, October is the perfect opportunity to make this decision official. Not only will bringing a dog into your home this fall make the holiday season even more memorable, but October is actually Adopt a Dog Month. Since there are a lot of great things about adopting a dog, we want to use this post to highlight five of them:

1. Save a Life

The sad reality of pet overpopulation in the United States is that 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized every year. By making the decision to adopt a dog, you are giving that special animal the opportunity to live a full and happy life.

2. Start a Wonderful Journey

Having a pet is a very special experience. You'll be able to bond with your dog in all kinds of ways. Whether you live alone or have a family, the dog you adopt will become a central part of your daily life. From playing outside to hanging around the house, you'll be able to enjoy countless fun experiences with your pet.

3. Adoption is Affordable

Bringing a dog into your life is a financial commitment. However, it's a financial commitment that's completely manageable. And when you go the route of adopting, you won't have to worry about an overwhelming upfront cost. Shelters want dogs to find homes, which is why they work very hard to make this process a smooth transition for people adopting. Not only do shelters do a great job of keeping adopting costs down, but this fee typically includes spaying/neutering, first vaccinations and potentially even microchipping.

4. Lots of Benefits to Having a Dog

We mentioned above that bringing a dog home is an opportunity to save a life and the start of a wonderful journey. While you can give a dog a lot by adopting it, you'll also get so much from having a pet in your life. Studies have found that dogs provide numerous emotional and physical benefits to their owners. Whether it's having a reason to exercise more often or enjoying the stress-reducing effects that pets have, your dog will always be there for you.

5. Gift That Keeps Giving

When you adopt a dog from a shelter, you are freeing up valuable housing space that will allow the shelter to bring in another dog in need. Seeing the great experience you have after adopting may inspire others to do the same, which will continue the cycle of helping dogs that need it the most.

If you have any questions about local shelters or bringing your newly adopted dog to our daycare, don't hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 513-860-DOGS.

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!

Fall Bark - Time Changes Affect Your Dog

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


When the time recently changed, you may have enjoyed getting an extra hour of sleep due to the clock “falling back.” But it probably didn’t take long to be significantly less excited about this change since it also means the sun going down so much earlier in the evening. While this change is mostly just an annoyance for the majority of the population, some people do experience more significant issues related to the time shift. Those issues are referred to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Given the minor and more significant impact the end of daylight savings time can have on humans, you may be wondering if animals are affected by this shift. In the case of dogs, the answer to that question is yes. That’s why we’re going to explain exactly how dogs are affected by the fall time change, along with what you can do to help your dog best manage this transition.

What the Fall Time Change Does to Dogs

Unlike humans, dogs don’t use analog or digital clocks to manage any part of their routine. However, they do have a very strong internal clock. Specifically, much of what dogs do throughout the day is governed by their circadian rhythm. This internal component keeps everything from sleeping to eating to going to the bathroom on track for dogs.

Given that dogs are so used to following this routine, what happens when the fall transition means their human counterparts start doing everything an hour later than normal? Not surprisingly, this can cause quite a bit of stress for dogs. Whether it’s getting anxious because they want to go out or feeling concerned because you’re not walking in the door at your normal time after work, these are things that will affect how your dog feels and acts.

How to Help Your Dog Deal with This Seasonal Change

The ideal way to help your dog with these changes is to gradually ease into them in the days or weeks leading up to daylight savings time. Although you can keep that strategy in mind for next year, we’re already past that point for this year. That’s why the best thing you can do now is be aware that your dog may be a little thrown off and try to help with these changes whenever possible.

Another option is to use this time of the year to break your dog out its normal routine. If you’ve been thinking about dog daycare for some time but have yet to actually try it out, now is the perfect time to take action. By giving your dog a new environment during the day, it can more easily adapt to a new routine. So if you’re looking for a place you can count on to take great care of your dog, we encourage you to check out all the details of our dog daycare.

Since October is Adopt a Shelter Pet Month, we want to take a look at some of the ways you can help shelter pets without adopting them. Whether you already have multiple pets or simply aren’t in a position that allows you to take on the responsibility of bringing a pet into your home, the good news is there are still ways you can help. So if you love animals and want to know what you can do to support animals that are in need, here are five great options:

1. Drive

Over the last decade, several hundred thousand dogs have been driven from shelters around the United States to rescue organizations. This is especially common in rural southern areas. Since rescue organizations need drivers who can bring in these animals, volunteering to work as one can allow you to play a direct role in saving dogs’ lives.

2. Serve as a Foster Home

Although you may not be in a position to permanently take in a new pet, you may be able to do so on a temporary basis. If you are in this type of position, just about every rescue is in need of foster homes. You can easily learn more about this opportunity by looking up shelters around Cincinnati or West Chester and calling them.

3. Volunteer

Most shelters depend on volunteers to run their daily operations. Whether you only have a few free hours a week or a couple of free days, you can make a real difference by volunteering at a shelter. In terms of exactly what you’ll do, it will depend on the shelter. Common volunteer tasks include mailing applications, walking dogs, making phone calls for the shelter or helping with daily tasks like feeding or cleaning.

4. Donate

If you want to help the animals at a local shelter but simply don’t have any spare time in your schedule, you’re definitely not alone. Between professional and personal responsibilities, it’s easy to be booked up from morning until night. The good news is you can still help out by donating. In addition to simply donating money, if you have any kind of connection to a resource a shelter may need, it’s worth contacting one and finding out the best amount of that resource for you to donate.

5. Offer Specialized Skills

As small organizations trying to make a big impact, shelters may not have all of the specialized skills at their disposal that they would like. Whether you’re an expert in marketing, fundraising, design or any other skill, finding a shelter you resonate with and then helping in a specialized way can be a win-win for both parties.

Whether you drive, serve as a foster home, volunteer, donate or offer specialized skills, your involvement with a shelter can help save the lives of amazing animals. And since we’re talking about shelters when the holiday season is right around the corner, we encourage you to read & share our post from last year about why dogs don’t make good Christmas gifts.

After the heat of summer, it’s always nice to enjoy the cooler weather of fall. But because we’re in Cincinnati, it doesn’t take long for that initial cool to transition into temperatures that are downright chilly. When this happens, we all start wearing warmer clothes. Another common change is that it gets harder to spend much time outside.

While dog owners still get out to give their companion bathroom breaks, things like going to play in the park aren’t nearly as appealing. Helping keep their dogs active is one of the many reasons that owners bring their dogs to our daycare during the winter. 

With all of these seasonal shifts, dog owners often wonder if they should make any changes to their pet’s feeding routine. To answer that question, we want to take a quick look at pet nutrition, followed by highlighting the best feeding approach to take throughout fall and winter:

5 Reasons Proper Dog Nutrition is So Essential

Daily nutrition has a direct impact on a dog’s quality of life. Getting the right amount of calories, along with the right mix of nutrients, will ensure your dog feels and looks it best. Hair and skin health, immunity and preventing diseases, body condition, muscle tone, along with digestion and elimination are all reasons that optimal dog nutrition should be a priority throughout the year.

Understanding the Impact of Fall and Winter on a Dog’s Food Needs

As we mentioned at the start of this post, it’s fairly common for dogs to get less exercise during the colder months of the year. Even if the amount is only slightly less, the cumulative impact over several months can be meaningful. When dogs are burning less calories each day, they don’t need to consume as many.

Another change that occurs during the transition from fall to winter is the presence of less daylight will reduce a dog’s metabolism. By slowing down their metabolism through what’s referred to as the thrifty gene, dogs will conserve their calorie expenditure. However, for an indoor dog, that genetic adaption can work against them and cause weight gain if they continue eating the same amount of food.

So, what’s the verdict on fall and winter feeding? If your dog spends most of its time indoors, you will want to reduce feeding by at least 10%. You can monitor your dog’s weight and reduce slightly more if needed. Just be sure that you use a nutritionally complete dog food so that your dog doesn’t miss out on any essential nutrients.

On the other hand, if your dog is outside most of the time, you will need to increase daily calories to prevent weight loss. While the increase for an outdoor dog may ultimately be by two to three times during winter, you can start with gradual increases and monitor how your dog responds.

During the summer, we discussed how to protect your dog from pet heat stroke. In our last post, we talked about handling your dog’s back to school separation anxiety. Part of going back to school means that after a hot summer, fall is right around the corner. While the cooler weather will be a very nice change, it also brings up several important health issues for dogs:

Start Watching Out for Antifreeze Now

Antifreeze is a substance that’s used in vehicles and is highly toxic to dogs. What makes it especially dangerous is it has a sweet smell that dogs are attracted to it and will then try to lick. Unfortunately, less than two tablespoons can kill a ten pound dog. While antifreeze spills are most common during the winter, they can occur during the fall, which is why it’s worth being on the lookout for them starting now.

Don’t Forget About the Dangers of Candy

Halloween is a big part of fall. For many households, that means lots of candy. There are also plenty of other fall events that can involve candy. Although there’s nothing wrong with satisfying your sweet tooth by having a little extra candy throughout the fall, just remember that the same isn’t true for your dog. It only takes a little bit of chocolate to make your dog sick or even worse, so be sure candy is kept in a secure location where there’s no chance of your dog being able to reach it.

Ticks Can Still Be Active in the Fall

Once the cold of winter sinks in, the chances of your dog having any issues with ticks go way down. However, temperatures are still warm enough through most of fall for ticks to remain active. That’s why there are two things you should do for your dog. First, continue using a tick control and/or repellent product. Second, be sure to manually check your dog for ticks after it’s been around any taller grass. Even though most control and repellent products are quite effective, it’s still worth taking a close look at your dog to ensure that none slipped by.

Use Rat Poison and Rodenticides with Caution

As the temperature starts dipping lower, rodents like mice may try scurrying inside for warmth. This leads many people to using rodenticides. Just be aware that a lot of those poisons can be toxic to dogs as well. So even if you aren’t using any, be sure you know if a neighbor is utilizing them near a fence or anywhere else your dog may be able to access.

If any changes are happening to your schedule this fall and you want to be sure that your dog gets all the care and attention it needs during the day, be sure to take a look at our dog daycare service!