How to tell if your Dog is Stressed out?

10 May

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Your dog might be your best stress-buster, but did you know that your pooch could also experience stress and need your help to deal with it? While occasional stress does not have any serious consequences, chronic stress can take a toll on your dog’s physical and emotional health. It’s therefore important to be aware of the causes of stress in dogs and make an effort to provide your pets with a stress-free and relaxed environment.

Causes of Stress in Dogs

Dogs generally experience stress when there is a change in their routine or environment. Here are some of the situations that may evoke stress reactions in pets.

  • Separation from the owner
  • New Home
  • Travel
  • Loss of a family member
  • New family member or visitor
  • New Pet
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness resulting from lack of socialization with other people or dogs

Signs of Canine Stress  

How do we tell if our dog is under stress? Each of us has a different way of coping with stress and the same applies to our dogs. Some dogs resort to destructive behaviour to deal with stress, others turn their stress inward and display physical discomfort. Here are some of the signs of stress in canines:

  • Excessive Barking or howling
  • Restless behaviour and destruction of household items
  • Biting or attacking people
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Illness such as diarrhea or vomiting
  • Lack of bowel or bladder control
  • Sweaty paws and stiff legs
  • Trembling and moving with the tail tucked between the legs

Coping with Stress

 The first step is to identify the cause of the stress. Only then can you take the action needed to help your dog deal with it.  For instance, if separation anxiety is what’s causing your dog to get stressed out, then you can think of ways to cope with it. You may consider working from home few days a week, or leave the television on at home when you’re out at work.

A healthy and happy dog can handle stress better. Keep your pooch physically active and look for ways to spend more time with him/her. Regular walking and games of frisbee, fetch and tug-of-war not only ensure that your dog gets good physical exercise but also allow you to spend some quality time with your pooch.

Regular trips to dog parks may help if your dog enjoys socializing with other dogs. Keep in mind, however, that some dogs suffer from social anxiety and may prefer more solitary activities. Consider getting your pooch some toys and games to stave off boredom and keep him/her mentally stimulated.

Image Courtesy: Funnypagenet.com

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Let’s get the Pawrty Started

2 May

birthday dog

Throwing a party on your dog’s birthday can be a great way to make your pooch feel special and express gratitude for all that your four-legged friend has done to make your life wonderful.  It’s that one day where you can pamper your pet with limitless treats, toys and other gifts. For all those who have never celebrated their dog’s birthday before, it’s time that you give your furry buddy a big surprise by throwing a gala party on his/her next birthday. Here are some tips to help you organize the dog birthday party and make it a memorable event for everyone.

Deciding the Date

Even if you are unaware of your dog’s actual date of birth, you can celebrate the birthday on the day you brought him/her home. Just decide on a date and celebrate your pooch’s birthday on that particular date every year.

Crafting the Birthday Invitation

Crafting a dog birthday invitation card can be great fun. You can use computer tools to design it or make it manually with your hand. Consider including a paw print or bone pattern in the background or make the card in the shape of a dog or a big bone. Personalize the card with your dog’s name, picture and don’t forget to include your contact number and the time and venue of the event in the invitation.

Preparing the Guest List

Include your friends, family members and your doggie’s furry pals and their parents in the guest list. Don’t invite too many pets; else it would get difficult for you to manage the crowd. For every dog you invite, make sure there is atleast one person to manage and look after that pooch during the event. It’s also important to ensure that all the invited dogs are spayed or neutered and do not have any aggression and socialization issues.

Choosing a Venue

When choosing the location for your dog’s birthday, it’s best to opt for a wide open area like your garden or backyard. If you plan to host the party in your backyard, make sure it’s fenced so the dogs won’t be able to escape out. You can also conduct the event in other dog-friendly places like a dog park, a doggie daycare facility or a pet resort.

Here are some Pet Party Venues in Bangalore:

Petspace

Pet Stepin

Paw & Claw

Arranging for the Party Food

Order a personalized birthday cake for your pooch and other canine treats from a good dog bakery in your city.

Here are some dog bakeries that you can order the canine cakes and treats from:

Dog Bakeries in Bangalore: Pupcake, Bone Appetite

Dog Bakeries in Mumbai: The Spoilt brat Barkery, Waggy Bags Gourmet Dog Bakery

Dog Bakery near Delhi: DoggieDabbas

Don’t have any dog bakery or canine food stores in your city? Do a quick search online for dog birthday cake recipes and bake one for your pooch at home. It’s always better to speak to the dog owners who plan to attend the party, regarding their dog’s dietary restrictions, before you order food or prepare a meal for the party. While you are busy making food arrangements for the canine guests, don’t forget to order cakes, snacks and drinks for the humans attending the party. They too deserve to have a drool-worthy time at the event.

Decorating the Venue

Ideas for decorating the venue are limitless. You can cover the tables with paw-printed fabrics; paint bones or paws on balloons and tie them to chairs and other objects around the room/yard. You could further decorate the hall/yard by displaying your dog’s photos or some funky dog paintings and art pieces. Don’t forget to purchase some cute doggie bowls that you could use for serving food. You can shop for pet bowls here.

Getting your Pooch Party Ready

A birthday party is one such event where your dog gets a chance to show off his/her personal style and get decked up in cute clothes and funky accessories. Get your pooch party ready by dressing him/her up in pretty dresses( for birthday gals) or smart tees( for birthday boys). Even if your pooch is not comfortable wearing clothes, you could make him/her look like a rockstar with stylish accessories like party collars, bandanas, bowties, hats and hair clips.

Party Games and Entertainment

Purchase a variety of dog toys to keep the canine guests entertained. You can also organize Pet Fashion/Talent Show and other interactive games(Read this post for some dog game ideas) to engage both the dogs and their owners. Load up with some dog gifts that you can present the game winners and other canine guests at the party. Toys, Collar Charms, Leashes, Grooming Products and Dogs Treats make great return gifts for dog parties.

Have any other dog birthday party ideas? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Image Courtesy: Youqueen.com

Why your Pet must have a Bed of his own?

26 Apr

bed

Snuggling with our dogs can be comforting and most of us would not mind letting our furry babies curl up on our soft and comfy beds in the night and during the day. Pet owners still feel that a dog bed is not a necessity but a luxury that they can easily do without. This is far from the truth and our dogs like us deserve a bed of their own. A dog bed can benefit you and your pooch in many ways. Here are some of the reasons why you must consider getting your pooch a bed, if he does not have one already.

Good Health and Good Sleep

According to a report in the journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases” out of the 250 known infectious diseases that can be transmitted between humans and animals; more than 100 are derived from domestic pets. The risk of your pet making you sick is relatively small though, and according to WebMD sleeping with a pet can be problematic only for those who suffer from pet allergies or asthma. However, there are other reasons why your doggie must not be sleeping on your bed.  A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found that about half the patients who complained of insomnia in the study had a dog or cat, and 53% of those pet owners said their pets disturbed their sleep in some way every night. Even if your dog is not disturbing your sleep, you could be upsetting his sleep unknowingly. By having your dog sleep in his own bed, you’ll ensure that both you and your pooch get a good sleep every day.

Cleaner House

Dogs tend to shed a lot in the places where they sleep. You’ll have a tough time cleaning your house, if you let your pet sleep on your bed or the couch in the living room. Dog beds, on the other hand, are easier to clean and maintain. Some beds even come with machine washable covers and cushions that allow for easy cleaning and washing.

More Place to Sleep

Dogs run, quiver, twist and turn in their sleep. By sleeping on his own bed, your pooch will have enough space to move around without getting hurt or hurting anyone else in the process. Keep your dog’s size in mind while you buy him a bed and always get a bed that is slightly larger than the space your dog occupies when he is curled up in a sleeping position.

More Personal Space

Your dog deserves a personal space of his own in the house and a dog bed would provide him with that. If you have two dogs in your house, then it necessary that both of them have separate beds that they can claim as their own and retreat to during the day, else they might end up fighting with each other over the bed.

A Happier Pooch

A good night’s sleep will keep your pooch healthy and happy. Made of soft cotton fabric and foam, dog beds offer firm support for your pooch’s back and limbs and prevent body pain. A good bed will contribute to your dog’s overall health.

Check out Woofilicious’s collection of dog/cat beds here. You can also shop for dog blankets here.

Image Courtesy: Doggonesmartbed

Why your Pet must wear an ID Tag?

19 Apr

dog-tag

You find your dog munching on your slippers in the garden. You go inside to get his food and when you step out into the garden again, he’s not there. “Ah! His usual hide and seek game,” you think, and start searching for him inside the house, under the bed, inside the cupboard, in all his favourite hiding spots. But, he is nowhere to be seen. Just then you notice that the garden gate is open! You run around the streets calling out your doggie’s name and asking your neighbours if they have seen your little one around. Helpless, heart-broken and unable to find your dog after hours of desperate search, you retreat back into your home, and just hope that your pooch would be back soon.

Losing a beloved pet is every pet parent’s nightmare. Ensuring that your pet always wears an ID Tag on the collar is the single most important thing that you can do to keep him safe outside, and increase his chances of returning home, if he ever went missing! A 2011 research conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that while 80 percent of pet owners believed that it is important for their pets to wear ID tags, only 33 percent of them had ID tags on their pets! The study adds that ID tags personalized with the owners’ contact details make it possible for people who find tagged strays to return the animals directly to their owners without involving a shelter or animal control agency to solve the problem. If your dog or cat does not have an ID Tag yet then it’s high time that you get him one.

You can find Dog/Cat ID Tags at many of the bigger pet stores. You can also buy them online on Woofilicious.com. Take a look at our collection of Pet Tags here. Each of these tags can be engraved(on both sides) with your dog’s name and your contact number. Just email us the information you want to be engraved on the tag while placing an order on the site and it will be delivered to your home!
Attaching an ID Tag to your pet’s collar is not enough. It’s also important to check the tag every couple of months to ensure that the information is valid and legible. Have you changed your phone number? Then it’s time to get your dog a new ID with a valid phone number. Dogs also lose tags more often than you think. So, it’s better to stock up on ID Tags and carry extra tags with you whenever you are travelling with your pooch!

Image Courtesy: Yourdictionary.com

 

Tips on introducing your pooch to a new dog at home

12 Apr

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As dog lovers we are often tempted to get home a new dog and share our lives with more than one four-legged friend. Getting home a new dog will no doubt make your life more fun and provide your current dog with companionship, especially if he/she ends up spending too much time alone at home. While some dogs are quite comfortable sharing the house with another dog, others are not very welcoming towards a new canine. As responsible pet parents we must be cautious while getting home a new dog and   provide our dog with time to get used to the change. Here are few tips to help you introduce your pet to a new dog:

  • Acquaint your pooch with the new dog before you decide on bringing him/her home. Make sure you introduce the two dogs on a neutral territory like a dog park, rather than a your home or yard. Keep them both on leashes and have one person handling each dog.
  • Observe how they interact with each other. Don’t force the interaction. Give them both time to come out of their comfort zones and prepare themselves to socialize with each other.
  • Your dogs’ body language will help you understand whether he/she likes the other dog. Playful behaviour with loose body movements and relaxed posture says that the two dogs get along well. Teeth-baring, growling, prolonged staring and other aggressive behaviour indicates that the two dogs are not quite comfortable in each other’s company. Don’t give up yet. Introduce the two again and see if there is any change in the behavior  Keep the interactions brief initially to avoid putting too much pressure on the dogs.
  • If things go smoothly between your dog and the new dog after those initial meetings outside the house, then you can consider bringing the new dog home. Your dog’s territorial instincts may cause him to act differently and less friendly towards the new canine So, make sure your keep a constant eye on the two to prevent them from getting into fights.
  • Before you bring home the new dog, remove bowls, toys, beds and anything that your dog might be possessive about. When the two dogs are just starting to form a relationship, it’s better to keep them away from things that might lead to rivalry and provoke fights. You can reintroduce the items after a couple of weeks, when the dogs have developed a good rapport. Until then provide each dog with his/her own bowl, bed and toys.
  • Do not confine the dogs together in small spaces, before they are completely comfortable with each other. Feed them in different areas and let them to sleep in different rooms.
  • While you make effort to make the new dog comfortable in your home, do not ignore the needs of your old dog. Keep his/her mealtime, bedtime, play and exercise routines the same as before, and make sure he/she does not feel unloved.
  • Be prepared for the responsibilities of having more than one dog at home. Make sure your shower each dog with your love and attention. It’s important that the two dogs bond with each other, but it’s equally important for them to bond with you. Do spend some time alone with each of them.

Image Courtesy: Diamondintheruff.com

 

Tips to keep your Dog’s coat healthy

5 Apr

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Is your doggie’s skin dull and lifeless? Does your pooch have more bad hair days than you? To get that enviable shiny coat your dog doesn’t need expensive spa treatments. A healthy diet and regular grooming can go a long way in adding a shine to your dog’s coat and staving off common skin problems.

Pampering your pooch in a spa is great, but make sure you get the basics right to maintain the long-term health of his coat. Here are few tips to help you get started:

Diet rich in Protein and Omega oils

Dry coat and excessively shedding fur are often an indication of unhealthy diet lacking in vital nutrients. Feed your dog high-quality pet food to provide him with the essential nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.  A diet rich in protein and omega oils(omega-6 and omega-3) can help add luster to your dog’s coat and ward off  skin problems such as itching, shedding and allergies. Different breeds of dogs have different nutritional needs. So, do some research to gather info on your dog’s diet requirements and consult your vet if you feel the need to fortify it further with supplements.

Regular Exercise

We all know about the role of exercise in keeping our skin and hair healthy. Dogs’ skin and hair are no different. Exercise stimulates the supply of nutrients to their coat, giving it a healthy sheen. So, walking or playing with your dog has double benefits – it’ll keep both you and your pooch looking great.

Bathing and Shampooing

Bathe your dog regularly with a mild shampoo and treat the coat with a conditioner to moisturize it and make it smoother. For dogs with a sensitive skin it’s often recommended to use shampoos comprising of oatmeal and other natural cleansers. Bathing is necessary to keep your dog’s skin clean, but do not overdo it. Excessive washing is likely to deplete the skin of healthy oils and cause more scratching and irritation due to dryness. The frequency of bathing depends on your dog’s skin, the length of coat etc. For dogs with normal skin, bathing once a month is considered enough, however, dogs with skin allergies and infections may need more frequent washing. Do consult your groomer or vet if you are unsure about your dog’s bathing needs.

To avoid over-shampooing and to keep your dog’s coat fresh and odour-free between baths you can use waterless spray shampoodog deodorizing spray or pet wipes. Take at look at dog shampoos, conditioners and sprays here.

Brushing

Regular brushing stimulates the hair follicles, and promotes the production of natural skin oils that make your dog’s coat shiny. Brush your dog’s fur at least once every day, to remove the tangles and to enhance the secretion and distribution of natural oil across the skin.  Shop for brushes and other grooming accessories here.

Regular visits to the vet

Keep your dog vaccinated and go for regular veterinary checkups. This would help detect skin problems such as fleas, ticks, worms and skin allergies early and take the necessary treatment to cure the problem.

Image Courtesy: Ourworldofdogs.com

 

5 Easy Tricks to teach your Dog

29 Mar

Dog-train-hero

Not every dog can sing, dance or play the piano. But, there are some tricks that every dog can (irrespective of their age!)  easily learn to perform. Tricks are a great way to offer your pooch the much-needed mental stimulation and entertainment. Not to forget the fun you would have teaching him all those cool acts.

So, here are some must-learn basic tricks for your dog. Do try them out and let us know how your doggie performs 🙂

Stand up

Hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose when he is sitting or lying on the floor. Give the command “stand” and slowly move the treat up and away from his muzzle. Your dog will have to stand up to grab the treat. The moment your pooch stands up, give him his treat, and praise him with a pat on the back or with an encouraging gesture to reinforce the behavior.

Sit down

Teaching your dog to “sit down” is yet another easy trick. While your dog is standing, hold a treat in your hand just above your his  nose (not too high else your dog would start jumping to grab it). Shout out your dog’s name followed by the word “sit”.  Now, move the treat away from his nose and towards his ears.  Your dog should now sit  down to grab the treat. Praise him by petting, if he understands your command and sits down to get the treat.

Shake Paws

Greet your pooch everyday by shaking his paw. To teach your dog to “Shake paws” just make him sit in front of you. Then take his paw in your hand and shake it. Keep practicing by extending out your hand, and using the command “Shake”. Praise your dog and reward him with a treat, if he offers his paw for a shake.

Fetch the Ball

Now that your dog can respond to your command to“sit down”, he can graduate to the next level and learn to fetch a ball. Once you get your dog to sit down in one place, throw a ball to a short distance and ask him to fetch it by saying “fetch”. Encourage your dog with treats and praises, if he makes an effort to run after the ball and pick it up. Fetching does not come instinctively to all dogs, so be patient with your pooch and keep practicing this trick, if he doesn’t get it easily.

Catch the Treat

This one’s a fun way to prod your pooch to get up and do some exercise. Just make your dog sit in front of you and toss his favorite treat in the air. Say “catch” when your throw. Make sure you don’t allow your dog to eat the treat, after it hits the ground.  Eventually, he will get desperate to get the treat, and make an effort to catch it in the air. Praise your dog and  give him a good petting when he catches the treat successfully.

Know any other  easy-to-do dog tricks? Do share them with us in the comments.

Image Courtesy: Dogster.com

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