Does Your Dog Get Hot Spots?

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


It's fairly common for dogs to regularly lick specific areas of their body. Although that behavior isn't problematic on its own, you should keep an eye out for licking that progresses to biting or excessive scratching. When a dog starts doing that, it can cause the upper layer of the skin to get infected. The scientific name for this infection is pyotraumatic dermatitis, but it's more commonly referred to as a hot spot.


Understanding the Causes of Hot Spots


A dog usually won't start biting or scratching parts of its body for no reason. Instead, this behavior generally starts with an insect bite, allergic reaction or other issue that causes itching. In an attempt to get rid of the itch, a dog will begin by licking the area. When that fails to provide relief, a dog will take more aggressive actions like biting or scratching. The unfortunate reality is instead of getting rid of the itch, this approach only makes the problem worse. A dog can easily end up with spots of skin that are red and raw.


Two of the most common areas for dogs to develop hot spots are their rear ends and behind their ears. The first location generally stems from flea-allergy dermatitis, while the second can happen if a dog has an unaddressed ear infection. Dogs with longer coats are most at risk of developing hot spots. This condition is also most likely to occur during the hottest and most humid times of the year.


How to Help Your Dog with a Hot Spot


If you ever notice that your dog is starting to scratch or bite part of its body a lot, you'll want to take a closer look at that spot. What you see can range from a mild irritation to skin that's completely raw. For a hot spot that falls into the mild irritation category, you may be able to help your dog by using a natural cream.


With hot spots that are already raw or one that continues to get worse, the best course of action is to visit your vet. There are two significant ways that your vet will be able to help with a hot spot. The first is accurately identifying the underlying cause. Not only will this help to break the itch-scratch cycle, but it will also help to minimize the likelihood of a hot spot coming back.


The other way your vet will be able to help is by assessing the hot spot and preventing or treating any infection. Depending on the severity of the hot spot, a vet may utilize anti-inflammatory medications, topical antiseptics or a local treatment for the wound. Options like a T-shirt or e-collar may also be used to prevent further irritation to the hot spot so that it has an opportunity to heal.

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.


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!

Preparing Your Pet for Thanksgiving

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

 


Thanksgiving is a really fun holiday. Not only do you get to eat delicious food, but you also get to spend quality time with loved ones. Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving at your home or traveling to be with family members, we want to share some tips for ensuring your dog enjoys this day as well:


Preparing Your Dog to Host Thanksgiving


How you prepare for hosting guests during Thanksgiving will depend on your dog's personality. If your dog enjoys being around people, you may not need to do much to get your pet ready. But if your dog is generally only comfortable with people it knows well, you'll want to think about how you can create a positive environment for your pup.


Some dogs get anxious when new people enter their home. Other dogs are triggered by certain sounds like the doorbell. Being aware of a specific trigger like your doorbell and then politely letting your guests know not to ring it can help your pet a lot.


If any of your guests are going to stay with you for several days, find a time that you can supervise them interacting with your dog. This will help your pup feel at ease by knowing a guest is definitely welcome.


There are two other tips that will help your dog a lot. The first is ensuring your pet gets plenty of exercise. Going for some extra walks during the Thanksgiving holiday will prevent your dog from having excess energy. The other tip is to keep your dog from eating a bunch of table scraps. Sticking with your pet's normal food and treats will prevent digestive issues. 


Safely Traveling with Your Dog for Thanksgiving


Going on a Thanksgiving road trip with your dog can be a wonderful experience. To ensure your dog is safe on the road, be sure to bring along a crate or travel bag. This will also provide a secure space where your pet can comfortably sleep while you're staying at someone else's home.


Any road trip over a couple of hours should include at least one potty break, so be sure to give yourself extra time in your driving schedule. You'll also want to bring plenty of baggies to clean up after your dog during your time away. Bring water in your car, along with enough food to last the entire trip. It's also a good idea to bring along your dog's vaccination card.


Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season can make your schedule especially busy. If you need time to get things done and want to be sure that your dog isn't bored at home, our dog day care is an excellent option.




Now that 2017 is officially here, you may be thinking about new things you want to try during the upcoming year. If you're trying to think of at least one thing you can do for both you and your dog, we have the perfect option for you to consider. 


The option we're talking about is doggie day care. Although this term may have sounded like some kind of joke in the not too distant past, it has become a very popular form of pet care. One of the many reasons it has become so popular is it's something that's beneficial for both dogs and their owners.


Understanding Doggie Day Care


As its name implies, doggie day care provides a way for dogs to be looked after during the day while their owners are at work. A big benefit of this type of care is the fact that dogs aren't left on their own. Instead, they get to be in a supervised environment where they're able to socialize with other dogs. Since they are pack animals, this is an experience that dogs like very much. That makes it much more stimulating than leaving a dog crated at home. 


Another area where dog day care shines is the fact that it's available for more than twelve hours a day. So instead of only getting exercised for an hour during the day by a walker, dogs are able to play for extended periods of time. Because this type of play is exactly what dogs need to burn their excess energy, it will result in them being very well behaved whenever they're at home. This type of consistent exercise also plays a key role in the long-term health of a dog.


Important Traits of a Dog Day Care


While the concept of dog Day Care is very appealing, it shouldn't come as a surprise that not all programs and facilities are created equal. As you start looking into programs, you'll want to first look for a facility that's clean. The reason this trait should be at the top of your list is if a program doesn't take cleanliness seriously, the likelihood of them providing a high level of care is slim.


The next traits you'll want to look for are experienced owners, attentive staff members, medical knowledge and resources, the ability to deal with different dog personalities and being able to give your dog its normal food. 


If you're looking for a doggie day care in Cincinnati, we encourage you to learn more about what Dog Day Every Day is all about. Not only do we take a lot of pride in the cleanliness of our facilities and how we run our day care program, but we're able to offer all of these benefits at very reasonable rates. So if you have any questions about our program or want to schedule a time to tour our facilities, don't hesitate to give us a call at 513-860-DOGS. 

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!

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.

Going for a run outside always feels great. Even though there may be times during the run when you feel tired, the end result of a run will leave you feeling energized. Dogs feel the same way. Regardless of their size, they enjoy being able to burn off energy by running around and having fun.


While the fresh air is always nice, living in Cincinnati means the weather doesn’t always cooperate with plans to go for a run. Whether it’s too cold or all muddy outside due to rain, these conditions definitely aren’t ideal for enjoying a run.


What’s great about dog treadmills is even when the weather isn’t cooperating, it’s still possible for a dog to get plenty of exercise. Let’s take a look at the specific benefits that make this type of machine so great:


1. No More Excuses: Just as people do, dogs benefit from exercise consistency. Having a treadmill to use means that even when the weather is terrible, you won’t have an excuse for skipping a workout.


2. Minimizes Stress: Dog treadmills are designed to absorb shock, which makes them less stressful on dog’s joints than running on concrete or asphalt. This can be especially helpful for older dogs.


3. Controlled Speed: A treadmill eliminates the distractions that can occur outside and makes it possible for your dog to exercise at a consistent rate.


4. Really Fun: In addition to using a consistent speed, you can also add a fun twist by varying speeds. This gives your dog the ability to run in the way they want (which may not be possible when they’re outside on a leash).


Take Advantage of the Treadmill at Dog Day, Every Day


Although there are a lot of good things that can be said about dog treadmills, there are two notable drawbacks. The first drawback is their price. It’s difficult to find a reliable doggy treadmill for under $500. Unless you get lucky and find an amazing deal, you’re likely going to pay in the $500-$800 range for one. The other drawback is this device can take up quite a bit of space. While a dog treadmill is smaller than ones made for people, it may take up too much space in a place like an apartment.


If you’re concerned about either of those drawbacks, you’ll be happy to know that you can still take advantage of everything a dog treadmill has to offer without worrying about the downsides. The way you can make that happen is by bringing your dog to daycare at Dog Day, Every Day. In addition to our outdoor space, we also have a great dog treadmill!

Our rates start as low as $15 a day. And if you have any questions about our daycare program, don't hesitate to give us a call at 513-860-DOGS.

Your Guide to Dog Dental Health Month

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


February is officially here, which means that in addition to Valentine’s and Presidents’ Day, it’s also Pet Dental Health Awareness Month. While everyone knows that they should personally floss more often, it’s easy to forget just how important dental health is for dogs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80% of dogs show signs of oral disease by the age of three.


Since everyone wants their beloved pets to be healthy and happy for as long as possible, dental health is something to take very seriously. Given that only 14% of dogs receive dental care at the vet’s office, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of room for improvement. So with that goal in mind, Dog Day Every Day wants to cover some of the things you can do to help your dog maximize its dental health:


Understand the Signs of Dental Disease


Taking care of your dog starts by understanding the signs that there’s something which needs to be addressed. Bad breath, loose or discolored teeth, teeth covered in tartar, drooling, dropping food from the mouth or your dog not being comfortable with having its mouth touched are all potential signs of dental disease. Bleeding from the mouth, loss of appetite or loss of weight are often signs of more serious oral health problems.


Take Your Dog for a Dental Exam


Even if you haven’t noticed any of the signs covered above, it’s still a good idea to take your dog for an annual dental exam. Giving a vet an opportunity to look in your dog’s mouth will ensure that any potential issues are noticed so that they can be properly addressed.


Start Brushing and Chewing


While it’s important to have a medical professional check out your dog’s teeth, gums and mouth, you can make the biggest impact by committing to a consistent brushing schedule. If you have any questions about how often you should brush (once a week is the rule of thumb but can vary), what type of toothpaste to use or the best dental chews to give your dog, don’t hesitate to ask your vet for guidance.


Schedule Dental Cleanings


When you visit the dentist, they’re always able to clean your teeth despite the fact that you brush at least twice a day. The same is true for dogs. In addition to consistent brushing at home, it’s important to schedule dental cleanings on a regular basis so that your dog's mouth can be completely cleaned out and prevent any issues with tartar build-up.


By putting these dental health habits into practice for your dog during February and then continuing to make them a priority throughout 2016, you can ensure that your dog has the healthiest year possible!