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).


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!

Do Dogs Get the Winter Blues?

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


Although there are some exciting things about the start of a new year, one thing that plenty of people in Cincinnati and other parts of the country don't love is the weather outside. Not only can it be quite cold and weather conditions can be downright unpleasant at times, but there are only a limited number of hours every day when the sun is actually up.


Beyond people simply disliking this combination of factors, it can actually trigger what's known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Commonly abbreviated as SAD, this condition is a specific type of depression that occurs during the winter months. Statistics show that more than three million people struggle with this condition every year.


As any dog owner knows, there is no shortage of similar traits between humans and our canine companions. That brings up an interesting question about whether or not dogs are also susceptible to SAD. The short answer to that question is yes. We're going to explain why that is, along with what you can do to help your dog.


Why SAD Can Affect Dogs


The same mix of conditions that can cause seasonal affective disorder in humans can also trigger this issue in dogs. That's because we're all mammals. According to researchers, melatonin is at the heart of this issue. This hormone, which comes from the pineal gland, is responsible for tasks that include regulating biological rhythms. Since light exposure plays a big part in how much melatonin is produced, the lack of sunshine during the winters can cause issues for some dogs and ultimately lead to SAD. 


How to Help a Dog That's Struggling with SAD


Before we get to two different ways you can help your pet if you think that winter has brought a case of SAD, we want to cover the main symptoms of this condition in dogs. The most common symptoms that dogs display include neediness, lethargy and an overall attitude that's best described as the winter blues. While hair loss can occur in the most extreme cases, it's more likely that you'll notice a behavioral change in your dog. That type of change can be anything from inappropriate pottying to sudden aggression. 


In terms of what you can do for your dog, artificial light boxes designed to help humans combat SAD have also been shown to work for dogs. You simply need to expose your dog to this type of light for 15 to 45 minutes a day during the winter. The other way you can help your dog is by ensuring it gets plenty of exercise all winter long. If this is currently a struggle for you because you're away at work during the day, learn how our doggie day care can provide your dog with a fun and active environment!

   

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.

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.

After a long day of work and other obligations, it’s nice to wind down by taking your dog out for a walk. While this can be an enjoyable and relaxing experiencing for both you and your dog, it is important to understand that night walks present a handful of issues that don’t come up during the day. Since you want your walk to be a safe and enjoyable experience, we’ve put together the most important tips to follow:

Make You and Your Dog Visible

The number one rule for night walks is to make both your dog and yourself very visible. If you’re walking in an area that involves crossing the street, being visible is a no-brainer. But even if you’re sticking to sidewalks or another area that doesn’t involve cars, visibility is important for avoiding collisions with cyclists. Reflective clothing is a great way to make yourself visible, while a lighted leash, lighted collar and/or lighted harness are all excellent options for your dog.

Know the Area Where You’re Walking

One of the many nice things about taking your dog for a walk is being able to discover and explore great new areas that are close to you. While finding new areas to walk is very enjoyable, this is something you should limit to your day walks. By sticking to areas you already know well for night walks, you can avoid accidentally getting into any situations where you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Ensure Your Dog is Prepared for Any Weather Conditions

During the summer, you may wear a t-shirt and shorts while walking your dogs. But as the cold of a Cincinnati winter sets in, you probably start to bundle up. Depending on the size and breed of your dog, it may be best for them to wear gear to help keep them warm. A heat vest or boots for their paws are options worth looking into so that your dog can enjoy the walks you take together instead of feeling negatively affected by the cold conditions.

Have a Good Flashlight

In addition to making yourself and your dog visible, you want to be sure you can see what’s around you. For example, if a critter like a raccoon is lurking around, you’ll want to steer your walk in a different direction to avoid a confrontation. Bringing along a quality flashlight will also make it easy for you to fully clean up after your dog finishes doing its business.

Don’t Forget Your Cellphone

As long as you follow all of the tips we covered above, you shouldn’t have any issues during your walk. But since there’s no way to be 100% certain of exactly what may happen or what the two of you could encounter, be sure to have your cellphone with you. Always bringing your phone along on night walks is a simple but effective way to have peace of mind while you’re out.