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).

What We Didnt Know About Celebrity Dogs

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

 

Perhaps you have never wondered about the secret lives of celebrity dogs. But beyond the pampering they usually receive, they do have lives nearly as interesting and exciting as the stars who love them. Check out these unusual and fascinating perspectives on being the beloved dog of a well-known personality.

  • Who let the dogs out? – If celebrities’ dogs could go out shopping, you might think they would buy all the treats and toys they could enjoy. But when their people make the purchasing decisions, dogs of the stars tend to receive gifts that some humans never enjoy. Like the $325,000 dog mansion Paris Hilton purchased for her 30 dogs; the $45,000 spa treatments that Maria Carey’s Jack Russell terriers received; and the $320,000 in first-class airfare that Sharon Osbourne provided for her dogs. 
  • Stars’ Dogs Fetch Social Media Followers – Three French Bulldogs owned by three separate celebrities have their own social media accounts, their own followers, and fans! It’s true, you can follow Miss Asia Kinney on Twitter (Lady Gaga’s pet; @missasiakinney), Gary on Instagram (owned by the late Carrie Fisher; @garyfisher), and Cash on Instagram (owned by Christina El Moussa of HGTV fame; @cashiethefrenchbulldog). Who knew that French Bulldogs were so popular among the stars and on social media? Their best moments are captured in photos and posted for all to enjoy. Collectively this trio of French Bulldogs has 217,574 followers.
  • Even Celebs Need Emotional Support Dogs – In order to travel on commercial jets with pets, dogs need to be registered as emotional support animals (ESAs). Given the hectic lives of celebrities, even some of the most confident stars have ESA dogs who travel with them around the country and around the world. For example, Ryan Seacrest, host of American Idol, has taken his black lab Georgia with him for emotional support on flights for more than three years now. Singer Britney Spears also travels with ESA dogs – five to be exact! And finally, talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey, whose ESA dog Sophie (a Yorkie) passed away two years ago has since registered all of her pets (among them, Luke, a golden retriever) as ESAs so she never has to travel alone.

As you can see, even though celebrities seem to spoil their canines in ways most us can’t, one thing is clear:  They love their dogs! As fellow dog lovers, we can find suitable ways to show our affection for our doggies, too. New toys, colorful dog wear, special occasion photos and perhaps even a Facebook account for Fifi can be fun ways of showing your pride in being a pet owner. And of course, providing the best care, spending plenty of quality time, and including Fido in family outings and traditions will show him you love him as much as any star, even if you can’t provide a mansion or a spa day!


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!



Games like fetch can be a lot of fun to play with your dog. And while it's unlikely that your pup will get tired of these types of games, there may be times when you want to play something else. When that happens, both you and your dog will have a lot of fun trying out any of these five games:


1. Hunt for Treasure


You can start out simple by telling your dog to sit and then hiding a treat somewhere obvious. You can let your dog watch as you hide the treat. Once it's hidden, instruct your dog to go find it. When your dog tracks the treasure down, offer a big reward. As your dog gets better at this game, you can hide the treat without letting it watch. You can also use cardboard boxes to increase the difficulty.


2. Stacking Rings


If you want to invest time in a game that's going to take awhile for your dog to master, this one is perfect. The only thing you'll need are wooden rings that are the right size for your dog's mouth. Avoid plastic rings as your dog will be able to bite through them. The goal is to teach your dog how to gather the rings and then stack them on top of a stake.


3. New Trick


Even old dogs can definitely learn new tricks. And whenever you want to teach your dog some kind of new trick, it's an experience that you can easily turn into a really fun game. Another option is to play with your dog by having it cycle through all of the different tricks that it already knows.


4. Naming Toys


Did you know that dogs are very good at learning different words, including names for items? You can enjoy a really fun game around this ability of your pet. The main thing to keep in mind is it will require a lot of repetition. By focusing on one toy at a time, your dog will learn its name. You can build up to multiple toys, and then enjoy having your dog grab the right one each time you say the name.


5. Red Light Green Light


Not only is teaching your dog this game a fun experience, but it's something you'll be able to use in the future to help with your dog's impulse control.


We hope you have a ton of fun playing these games with your dog. And if you're away from home but want to make sure your pup is still able to have a great day, our doggie daycare is the perfect option!


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.

Just like we do, dogs typically fall into various personality types. If you are like most people, you probably know someone who is reserved and quiet, someone who is the life of the party, and the quintessential overachiever who does whatever is required to enjoy success. Similarly, our furry friends fit into these five basic personality types as well. Knowing which one pertains to your dog can help you problem solve and get bad behaviors under control before they become problematic. 

1. The Confident Dog 

Confident dogs are natural born pack leaders. They are always ready to take charge of the situation and are typically team players. Confident dogs may also be dominant. Therefore, harsh training methods may cause them to exhibit aggressive tendencies or become stubborn. 

2. The Independent Dog 

Independent dogs are a bit cool toward humans and unless they see their owner as the leader, they are not likely to form a strong bond. Certain breeds are naturally independent, but still capable of bonding with a strong leader who is fair and patient. Such dogs need their space and are perfectly content away from the crowd. You will likely lose your independent dog's trust if you attempt to force him into activities in which he is not interested.

3. The Happy, Laid Back Dog 

Laid back, happy dogs are always ready to greet both strangers and people they know. They get along with other dogs and even cats, but may get into trouble by jumping up to greet people if they have not yet learned basic commands. Such dogs easily become excited, particularly around youngsters.

4. The Shy, Timid Dog

Timid, shy dogs require owners who are very patient, understanding and consistent. If you have this type of dog you must be sensitive to his or her feelings. Loud noises or sudden, uncomfortable situations typically scare such dogs. You will lose this type of dog's trust if you yell or use harsh training methods. Such dogs need exercise on a daily basis, as physical activity provides mental stimulation. Reward your shy dog with praise and treats for each success, as this type of dog loves to feel safe and secure and needs a substantial amount of reassurance.

5. The Adaptable Dog

The primary goal of an adaptable dog is to please its owner. This is the easiest type of dog to train. Although not quite as outgoing as the happy personality dog, the adaptable dog gets along well with people, other dogs and cats. He likes to view his owner as the leader and is content to follow commands. Affectionate, gentle and cooperative, the adaptable dog is easy to train and makes a good therapy dog or family pet.

Understanding your dog and his or her behaviors helps you avoid unnecessary confrontations during training sessions or when out in public. Knowing your dog's personality is an essential part of building a healthy relationship and strong bond that will last forever.

Winter Nutrition for Your Dogs

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

 

Now that winter is upon us in Cincinnati, it’s important to remember the changing needs your dog may have during this busy time of the year. Since it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle of this season, we want to share a few tips on how you can keep your dog feeling its best:


Adjust Calories


The arrival of winter means your dog is probably going to have different caloric needs than during other times of the year. If your dog spends most of its time inside and may get less exercise during the winter due to the cold weather outside, you should consider reducing your dog’s caloric intake to compensate for the lower amount of energy it’s using on a daily basis.


On the other hand, if your dog spends a lot of time outside, you may actually want to increase the number of calories it gets every day. Taking this step will ensure your dog is able to maintain its optimal weight. Increasing portion size or adding another daily feeding are both ways to accomplish this task.


Go Slow and Consider Different Options, Including Supplements


Regardless of whether you decrease or increase your dog’s daily calories, you will want to ease into this transition. The reason that’s important is it will prevent your dog from experiencing any digestion issues related to a sudden change. It’s also worth looking at different options for how you want to feed your dog during the winter.


For example, some brands have blends of dog foods that are designed to minimize calories while still providing the perfect balance of nutrition. And if you have any concerns about areas where your dog's diet may be lacking, you can easily address them by using dog supplements. Chondroitin and glucosamine are both great options if you want to support your dog’s joint health during this cold time of the year.


Don’t Forget About Staying Active


In addition to what your dog eats during this season, the amount of exercise your pet gets will play a big role in its health and overall sense of well-being. So even though it’s not always the most pleasant experience when the weather is cold, it’s very important to take your dog out on a consistent basis. And if you’re not able to exercise your dog as often as you’d like because of work or other obligations, Dog Day, Every Day is here to help.


With our dog daycare program, which starts at just $15 a day, your dog will get to stay active in a positive and safe environment. We encourage dogs to explore their natural instinct as pack animals in large, open play spaces that are conducive to both high energy stimulation and quiet play.

   

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.

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.