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).

Important Winter Care Tips for Your Dog

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

 

It's true that dogs have a much more robust natural coat than humans. However, that doesn't mean dogs can handle the really cold temperatures we experience in Cincinnati without any help. Because domestic dogs are used to being taken care of by their owners, the same applies during the winter.


The good news is by knowing a few essential winter care tips, you'll be able to keep your pup happy and healthy through even the worst winter days. So with that in mind, let's take a look at exactly what your dog needs from you when the temperature drops really low:


1. Grooming


Dry skin and flaky coats are common issues during the winter. You can help your dog by using a moisturizing shampoo and limiting the number of bathes it gets during the winter months. Frequent brushing is also a great way to get rid of skin flakes and stimulate good skin circulation.


2. Cold Weather Gear


A good rule of thumb is if it's too cold for you to go out without some type of coat, the same is true for your dog. It's worth looking into different coat and sweater options for your pup. You should also see if any protective footwear options make sense for your dog.


3. Walks


You may ultimately decide that booties aren't the right fit for your dog. If that's the case, there are also cream products that can create a protective barrier on your dog's feet during walks. You'll want to check your dog's feet when you get home and clean off any debris. As you're out for a walk, be sure to keep an eye out for anti-freeze or other chemicals on the ground. And if your dog is whining or showing other signs of anxiety, it probably means it's just too cold that day for a walk.


4. Winter Safety


In addition to avoiding chemicals that may spill on the sidewalk, don't ever leave your dog alone in the car. While this warning is more common during the summer, the extreme temperatures of winter can be just as dangerous. And if you have extra devices like space heaters plugged in around your home, make sure your dog can't get to the extension cords or any hot surfaces.


5. Hydration


Just as the winter is still a dangerous time to be alone in a car, it's possible for dogs to get dehydrated during the colder months. Make sure your dog always has a clean bowl of fresh water easily available.


By keeping those five tips in mind, you'll be able to help your dog manage the cold weather of winter. And if you're looking for a place where you dog can still have lots of fun even when the weather is bad, be sure to take a look at our doggie 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 

 


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.

 

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.

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.


2016 is officially here, and even though it’s highly unlikely that your dog will make any resolutions on its own, the start of the new year is the perfect time to take a look at different ways that you can make the next twelve months truly awesome for yourself and your faithful companion. To help you kickoff your brainstorming, we’ve put together five different resolutions that you can make on behalf of yourself and your dog:


1. Minimize Mindless Snacking


After enjoying lots of delicious holiday food, it can be daunting to look at the scale. If you want to shed a few pounds during the first quarter of 2016, cutting mindless snacking is a simple but effective way to bolster your goal. In addition to being conscious about your own snacking habits, you should also resolve to avoid giving your dog table food snacks. Cutting these types of snacks will help keep your dog at an ideal weight for health and overall happiness.


2. Be Active for Thirty Minutes a Day


Even though 30 minutes a day of walking may not sound like a lot for you and your dog, the cumulative effect over the course of 12 months is quite significant. If you want to keep track of how much walking you’ve racked up, a device like a FitBit is a great way to stay motivated.


3. Floss and Brush


Most of us don’t floss our gums as often as we should. If you’re resolving to maximize your oral health by adding this activity to your routine, you should do the same for your dog in regards to brushing. Brushing your dog’s teeth just once a week with a paste that includes fluoride can significantly reduce their risk for a variety of oral health problems.


4. Take Action Towards Bad Habits


Although none of us are perfect, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to change. Once you identify any bad habits that you want to remedy, you should take action as soon as possible. That’s just as true for human habits as it is for any behavioral issues you want to fix in your dog.


5. Pamper Yourself and Your Pooch

Treating yourself to a day at the spa is a great way to get away from all the stress of daily life and truly relax. What’s really great about this experience is even after the day is over, you’ll be able to enjoy a sense of rejuvenation for weeks to come. That’s why we highly recommend booking this kind of day for yourself in the next month or two. And when you do, you can treat your dog to the same kind of rejuvenating experience. Head over to our services page to learn about spa treatments like baths and pawdicures that we offer for dogs.