Benefits of Dog Socialization

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

Girl hugging her dog's face

Our furry friends will follow us anywhere, after all, there’s a reason they’re man’s best friend. We take care of them, making sure they eat right, get plenty of exercise, and make regular visits to the vet, but one thing we may overlook is whether or not our canine companions are getting the proper amount of socialization with humans and other dogs they need to live a happy, healthy life. The benefits of dog socialization can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on your dog’s well-being.

 Where to Begin

Many animal behaviorists recommend beginning socialization as early as 3 to 16 weeks, that way your puppy can become familiar with different environments and individuals, reducing the possibility of anxiety and aggression later in life. As your pup grows into an adolescent, they’re ready to interact with other dogs and continue to meet new people. Taking them to dog parks or setting up play dates that allow your dog to interact with other canines in a relaxed environment will help them understand how to properly behave around others.

Socialization and Your Dog’s Health

While socialization may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of taking care of our dog, it is an important part of their physical and mental health. If not properly socialized, dogs can run the risk of serious health ailments including:

  • Unhealthy hormones- induced by unfamiliar places, pets, and people, fear can have a negative impact on your dog’s overall health. Corticosteroid hormones are released along with adrenaline as part of the “fight or flight” response. While corticosteroid hormones help with heart rate and blood pressure, they can also suppress proper immune system function and cause muscles to break down.
  • Aggressive behavior- Poorly socialized dogs may respond to fear by acting out aggressively, making visits to the vet and grooming appointments difficult, which may result in a negative impact on the dog’s care. It may also make owners wary about taking the dog outdoors for walks or to get exercise so as to avoid interaction with other pedestrians, which can lead to obesity and other health conditions.

Doggy Daycare and Promoting Healthy Social Habits

Promoting healthy socialization habits for your dog doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, one of the easiest ways to do it is by enrolling them in doggy daycare. Here they have an opportunity to interact with other dogs under the supervision of experienced caregivers who are trained to promote positive behavior.

At Dog Day, Every Day! we believe in providing a fun and healthy environment for our furry friends. Under the care of our trained staff, your dog will have the opportunity to socialize with other dogs, as well as play, exercise, or relax in a warm and friendly atmosphere. So if you’re looking to enroll your pet, contact us today or call us at 513-860-DOGS (3647).

Top 10 Cutest Dog Toys

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

puppies playing with a stuffed animal puppy

Exercise is an important part of keeping your dog healthy, and there’s no better way for our furry friends to stay fit than with play time. Dogs love to chew, chase and fetch. That means the right toy could mean hours of fun for your pup. But choosing that right toy can be difficult. Take the stress out of picking the perfect toy and let your pup play in style with our top 10 cutest dog toys.

Your dog is sure to love these toys and they’ll be wagging their tail with excitement when playtime comes around. Check out these fun toys:

  1. Humunga Stache Mini Fetch Toy- your dog is sure to look stylish and distinguished playing fetch with this mustache shaped rubber ball.
  2. Rogz Grinz Treat Ball Dog Toy- your pup will be grinning from ear to ear when they see this smile shaped ball.
  3. KONG Cozies Marvin the Moose Squeaky Toy- KONG is the maker of some of the most popular dog toys on the market, and this plush moose is one of their animal-shaped squeaky toys your dog is sure to love.
  4. Wool Corn Dog Toy- with a hidden squeaker, this wool toy will satisfy your dog’s appetite for fun.
  5. Muttgarita Plush Dog Toy- they’re sure to have fun in the sun with this plush margarita shaped chew toy.
  6. Ibone Plush Dog Toy- this paws free phone shaped plush toy is trendy and your dog is sure to enjoy it.
  7. Furcedes Dog Toy- this is one car your dog will enjoy chasing down.
  8. Packman Felted Wool Dog Toy- these colorful ghosts are sure to be hunted down by your pup.
  9. ZippyPaws NomNomz Plush Taco - this plush taco shaped toy will satisfy your dogs taste buds as they’re sure to love this food shaped toy.
  10. Duckling Shaped Rope Toy- durable and adorable, this duck shaped rope toy is sure to have your dog "quacking" with joy.

Keeping Active and Having Fun at Dog Day, Every Day!

At Dog Day, Every Day! we believe in promoting a healthy lifestyle for our furry friends, that’s why we work hard to create a positive, active environment that promotes their well-being. Our large, open play spaces are designed so your dog can romp and play with their favorite toys. We provide a wide range of services that cater to each dog’s unique needs. So, enroll today or call us at 513-860-DOGS (3647).

Why Don't Dogs Like Mail Carriers?

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


Although dogs can have very different personalities from each other, one trait that seems to exist across pups of all sizes and breeds is they really don’t like mailmen. If you’ve always wondered exactly what mail delivery professionals ever did to get on the wrong side of dogs, we’ve got the answer for you:

 

Intruding on a Dog’s Turf

 

The issue starts with the fact that dogs view their surroundings as their property. So when a mailman or other service provider shows up, dogs are already inclined to bark as a way to signal an alert. Some breeds are passive about this behavior, while others are more active. One thing to keep in mind is even if a dog seems angry, it’s likely that there’s fear underlying their behavior. The reason this behavior is so universal across dogs is it dates all the way back to their lineage as pack animals in the wild.

 

The “Intruder” Keeps Coming Back

 

Another factor that plays a big role in this behavior is the almost daily nature of a mailman showing up reinforces what a dog is doing. First the mailman comes, then your dog barks. In your pet’s mind, that causes the mailman to leave, which provides your pup with a sense of relief. Since your dog feels like it’s accomplishing exactly what it wants, the cycle keeps on repeating.

 

Dogs Get Hooked on the Release of Brain Chemicals

 

When a dog feels angry or scared, a number of different chemicals are released in its brain. Adrenaline is one of the key chemicals that gets released. Because it’s so powerful, the experience it creates for a dog can be quite addictive. This is another big factor that plays into the reinforcing cycle of dogs wanting to bark at a mailman every single time they come.

 

How to Deal with Your Dog’s Habit of Barking at the Mailman

 

By now, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of exactly why this type of barking becomes habitual for so many different dogs. Because it’s something that occurs so frequently, it reaches the point where it almost becomes a reflex for a dog. This is why a pup can launch into barking a ton at the mailman without thinking twice.

 

While it can take some time to change this behavior, the good news is there are ways to help your dog calm down. One of the most important is getting plenty of physical exercises. If this is a challenge due to how much you work, the fun and caring environment we've created at Dog Day Every Day may be just what's needed!


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.


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.

   

There are some really great things about the winter season in Cincinnati. But between the temperature getting very cold and it being dark outside for many hours a day, you’re not alone if you regularly find yourself simply wanting to curl up with your dog on the couch while watching Netflix.


As a dog owner, it’s important to remember the effect that this season can have on your pet. Because what we described above can make it hard to stay as active during this time of year, your dog may start to feel bored or even a little sad.


To help prevent that from happening, we want to share four indoor games you can play with your dog. What’s great about these games is not only will your dog enjoy them, but they make it easy for you both to enjoy quality time together. So with that in mind, here are the games:


1. Treat Search


It’s no secret that dogs love treats, which is why it’s very easy to start playing this game. You’ll want to begin by placing small treats where your dog can see them but still has to go after them. As your dog gets more comfortable with tracking the treats down instead of simply taking them from your hand, you’ll be able to get more creative with hiding them and letting your dog use its excellent nose to sniff them out.


2. The Best Tug of War


You can really get into this game and let it take you all over the house. It won’t take long to find the right amount of pressure to use with your dog. And if your dog has a tendency to get really fired up when playing this kind of game, using a command like leave it or drop it is a great way to to stay in control.


3. Hide & Seek


This is a simple but very fun game to play when you’re looking to give your dog some fun on a winter day. You’ll have the most success with it if your dog knows the command to stay.


4. Toy Names


Studies have shown that dogs are capable of learning more than 200 words. A great way to have fun with that ability and engage your dog is to work on naming different toys. As your dog learns a handful, you can then have fun by instructing them to fetch specific ones.


Let Your Dog Play Even When You’re Away


While these games will keep your dog entertained for as long as you want to play, you may not be available to play during the day due to being away at work. The good news is that’s exactly where Dog Day, Every Day can help. Be sure to check out what makes our dog daycare so great, along with our very reasonable rates for this program.

 

Dog parks are an interesting topic. Plenty of owners absolutely love them. Some owners completely swear off dog parks. And many others fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. Whether you’ve just recently gotten a dog or are thinking about visiting a dog park in Cincinnati for the first time, we want to share some helpful information about this type of experience:

Understand Who’s Right for Dog Parks

A common myth about dog parks is every single dog will enjoy and/or benefit from them. The reality is some dogs simply aren’t inclined to have any interest in this type of environment. It’s possible for a dog to have a personality or something from their background that causes them to get overwhelmed by the lack of structure in a dog park. Puppies who haven’t been fully vaccinated yet should also be kept away from dog parks for their own safety. And if a dog has any behavioral issues related to aggression, a dog park is unlikely to be a good fit.

Be Cautious About Kids and Dog Parks

If you have a dog and kids, going to the park can be a fun experience for everyone. However, that’s only true when kids know proper dog park etiquette. Kids who scream or want to run around inside a dog park can create a safety liability for everyone.

Owners Can Be An Issue at the Dog Park

Kids aren’t the only group of humans who can cause issues at a dog park. The simple truth is many owners don’t demonstrate good judgment about their dog’s behavior. This falls into two categories. Some owners baby their dogs and try to intervene in normal interactions between dogs. The other category is when owners have a dog who is rude or aggressive but don’t recognize that reality.

When owners don’t understand the behavior of their dogs and others, it can create lots of unnecessary stress for everyone involved or even put dogs in danger. On top of that, there are owners who don’t have good etiquette and may do things like bring food into this space or fail to clean up after their dog.

Dog Parks Aren’t the Only Option for Exercise

There are a lot of good things to be said about dog parks. But as you can see from what we covered above, they’re not the perfect solution for every single dog and owner. For owners who are frustrated because dog parks have never seemed quite like the right environment, the good news is there are other options to explore for exercising and socializing your dog.

If you’re looking for an environment that’s supervised by caring professionals, allows dogs to exercise and promotes proper socialization, you’ll want to take a look at our dog daycare.

Why Are Dogs Scared of Fireworks?

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

While we’re just at the beginning of summer, it won’t be all that long until the 4th of July is here. Throughout Cincinnati and the rest of the United States, the 4th is a great opportunity to enjoy food, family and fireworks. However, there’s a large group that does not like this holiday at all.

Dogs are the group that would be much happier if the 4th of July was celebrated differently. The reason dogs of all ages and sizes dislike this holiday is the fireworks. More specifically, the majority of dogs are scared of fireworks. As a dog owner, it never feels good to see your buddy getting upset. So if you want to know why dogs are scared of fireworks and if there’s anything you can do to help, keep reading to get all the answers:

Dogs’ Excellent Hearing Plays a Key Role in Their Fear

We all know that on the 4th and in the days leading up to this date, fireworks are going to make loud sounds in the evening. But dogs don’t have a way to know this holiday has arrived. So when they suddenly hear fireworks going off, it’s the equivalent of a human being startled by a loud noise they weren’t expecting.

What makes fireworks an even more intense experience for dogs is their acute hearing. A dog’s keen senses also explain why they may be afraid of fireworks but not thunderstorms. With thunderstorms, dogs are able to pick up on warning signs like high winds or barometric pressure changes. Sensing those changes gives a dog the ability to prepare for what comes next.

How to Help a Dog That’s Scared of Fireworks

Not every dog is scared of fireworks. If yours doesn’t show any signs of being upset, it’s either their easygoing personality or enough exposure to loud noises at a young age to know fireworks don’t present a threat. For all the owners who do have dogs that get scared by fireworks, there are a few ways to help reduce anxiety.

The first is to provide a safe and secure place inside for your dog to go. A crate with a toy or dog bed are two good options. The next tip is to play calm music. This can help provide a distraction. Another way to distract your dog is by giving it a treat. An added benefit is this can actually create a positive association for your dog with fireworks.

The last tip is to stay calm. Your dog will look to you for reassurance. By maintaining a calm energy, you can help your dog understand that there isn’t any danger instead of causing your dog to worry even more.



Regardless of their size, your dog probably has no trouble acting tough when it feels the need to protect you. However, underneath that bravado is probably a total softie. And while your dog’s gentle nature is usually reflected in affection and other positive traits, there may be one issue that concerns you. The issue we’re talking about is storm anxiety. For owners of dogs with this condition, watching this type of anxiety take over can be very difficult.


In a matter of seconds, a dog can go from its normal happy self to being visibly anxious. Depending on the specific dog, actions that go along with this condition may include pacing, hiding in the closet, squeezing into a tight space like behind a toilet, clawing walls, chewing carpets or even trying to break through something like a window.


Before we cover any more information about this condition, it’s important to note two things. First, dog thunderstorm phobia is a very real condition in dogs and one that shouldn’t be ignored by owners. And second, a common misconception about this condition is that dogs grow out of it. In most cases, that’s simply not the case.


Tips for Helping a Dog Feel Better During a Storm


Although experts haven’t pinpointed the exact cause of this condition, most believe it’s the result of a combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static electricity and low-frequency rumbles. That’s why a dog may begin showing signs of anxiety before you’re even able to hear that a storm is building.


With some dogs, this type of anxiety may be present from when they’re very young. And with others, it’s actually a condition that can develop later in life. While there’s no cure for storm anxiety, there are definitely ways to help manage it.


The first thing you can do is reward your dog’s calm behavior on a regular basis. By engaging in this type of training when it’s not stormy, you can create a habit which can be very useful when a storm does start brewing. The next way to help is to create a safe place where you dog can retreat during a storm. Common options include a basement corner, small room with calm music playing, open crate or even a bathroom. The best way to pick a spot is to watch where your dog naturally goes during a storm.


Another option is to put a snug garment on your dog. Studies have shown that snug-fitting shirts and wraps may be useful to calm anxious dogs. Finally, since dogs are more likely to have worse anxiety symptoms when they’re alone, bring your dog to our awesome daycare facilities on spring days when you can’t be at home and it’s likely to storm.