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Dog-Friendly Summer Activities and Events for Your Pup

Dog-Friendly Summer Activities and Events for Your Pup

With warm weather and long days, summer is the perfect time to get out and experience the joy of having new experiences with your furry friend. In addition to enjoyment, engaging in dog activities in the summer brings opportunities for your pooch to benefit from exercise, mental stimulation and social interactions, and there are a wealth of fun, dog-friendly activities that you can participate in. This guide provides ideas for dog activities to do in summer weather with your pet to help you plan for the season. 

Summer Festivals and Fairs for Dogs 

Many cities across the U.S. and Canada host fairs and festivals designed exclusively for dogs and their human companions. These events include Woofstock in Toronto, Ontario; Bluegrass Pugfest in Louisville, Kentucky; Bark by the Bay in University Place, Washington; West Fest in Chicago, Illinois; Bark in the Park summer activities that take place in many U.S. cities and countless others. 

Activities at Festivals 

While the themes of summer festivals for dogs vary, they all have one thing in common: they're packed with fun activities for dogs and people alike. Many feature dog parades, where canine attendees can strut their stuff, and dog costume contests that allow pet parents to get creative and design one-of-a-kind outfits for their pooches.

Other dog-friendly activities you may find at summer dog festivals include interactive games, obstacle courses and dog parks for socializing. 

In addition to activities, most dog festivals attract vendors who specialize in pet-friendly products, such as gourmet foods, handcrafted tools and artsy clothing, collars and leashes. Some even have food trucks that cater to both people and pets. 

Tips for Attending 

To fully enjoy your time traveling to a large summer dog festival, follow these tips: 

  • Plan to stop frequently along your route for potty breaks and exercise if you're driving 
  • Contact your airline to determine the rules for air travel if you're flying 
  • Use travel apps to search for pet-friendly hotels and vacation rentals 
  • Be sure that your dog's vaccinations are up-to-date before the big trip 
  • Bring along a travel bowl or teach your dog to drink from a water bottle, so that they can stay hydrated at the festival 
  • Before the event, spend time socializing your dog by taking them to your local dog park 
  • Monitor your dog closely throughout the event, especially if off-leash play is permitted 

 

Enrichment Activities for Dogs in Summer 

You don't need to wait for a festival to enjoy fun activities for dogs. There are many ways to get your dog exercising their body and mind close to home. 

 

Outdoor Enrichment Ideas 

Fun dog activities can be a simple as exploring a new outdoor setting together. National, state and local parks provide wide open spaces for running and playing, while public dog-friendly beaches let pooches splash, dig in the sand and enjoy the company of people and other pets. Many parks are home to hiking trails geared toward dogs. These pathways usually cut through shaded areas and are lined with hydration stations where both people and pets can get refreshed with a cool drink of water. 

Water-Based Activities 

Summer is the perfect time for dogs to make a splash. Swimming is a fun way to promote dog fitness, and you can find opportunities for swimming at pet-friendly public pools, lakes, rivers and beaches. Some areas even organize dog paddle competitions that give pooches a chance to socialize while they swim. As you plan for your water-based outings, check out our tips on water safety to protect your pet. 

Creative Summer Activities 

With a little creativity, you can enjoy summer activities with your dog right in your own backyard. Consider constructing a DIY obstacle course for your fur baby to navigate. Grab a Frisbee or other dog-friendly throwing toy and play a game of catch. Add mental stimulation into the outdoor fun with interactive toys and treat puzzle toys. Even simply filling a baby pool with water can and letting your dog splash around can provide hours of enjoyment. 

 

Dog-Friendly Summer Events in Your Area 

Keep an eye on your community calendars for pet-friendly events in your area. Many towns now host dog-friendly activities during the summer months, such as: 

  • Dog parades 
  • Breed-specific dog play dates 
  • Dog costume contests 
  • Dog obstacle courses 
  • Dog training events 
  • Doggie food festivals 
  • Dog swimming courses 
  • Dog-friendly river and lake cruises 
  • Live music festivals that welcome pets 
  • "Dog and me" hikes and nature walks 
  • Arts and crafts festivals with dog-friendly activities 

 

Planning Your Visit 

Even if you won't have to travel far to join in the fun of a local dog event, be sure to come prepared. Check to see if the event sells food for dogs, and if not, plan to bring a long a nutritious meal or snack to keep your pup fueled for all the dog activities. Bringing a travel bowl will also allow you to keep them hydrated on the go. Also, take steps to protect your pooch from the sun during the festival with sunscreen, booties and other protective gear. 

Getting Involved 

If your schedule permits, consider joining the planning team for dog-friendly events in your area. By donating your time and talents, you can help contribute to the success of events. In addition, getting involved with planning committees and organizations can give you the opportunity to make friendships with fellow pet owners and dog lovers. In the future, these connections may lead to play dates and outings with other people and pooches that both you and your dog can benefit from. 

Wrapping Up the Dog-Friendly Summer Activities 

As you can see, there's no shortage of fun activities for dogs that you can share with your pooch in your community and your own backyard.

By selecting a few to share in this summer, your dog can exercise, socialize and receive mental stimulation, as you foster an even stronger between the two of you. Start researching activities in your area today and get ready to create some cherished memories all summer long. 

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How to Best Care for Your Older Dog

How to Best Care for Your Older Dog

Whether you've adopted a senior dog or your pooch has reached the senior stage of life, you want to be sure that you're doing everything you can to keep your furry friend happy and healthy. While senior dog care is largely similar to caring for younger pups, older dogs do have some unique needs in terms of nutrition, behavior management, comfort and health care. Read on to learn more about caring for your dog during their golden years, so that you can take a proactive role in supporting the highest possible quality of life for them. 

Nutrition and Health 

Good nutrition is the foundation for good health in older dogs. That means finding the best dog food for older dogs based on your pet's unique dietary needs and giving your pet any supplements for older dogs that your veterinarian recommends. 

 

Choosing the Best Food for Older Dogs 

Because activity levels often decline with age, senior dogs often need fewer calories per day. Specially formulated senior dog foods can help ensure that you're meeting your dog's caloric needs to support weight management. Options include: 

  • Dry kibble: Senior kibble are often formulated with senior-specific nutrients and are easy to serve, especially when you're on the go 
  • Wet food: Thanks to their higher moisture content, wet foods can help older dogs stay hydrated 
  • Homemade diets: With careful planning, you can prepare your senior dog's food at home. Be sure to consult with your vet for guidance about what to include and what portion size is right for your pooch. 

Remember, there is no single best food for older dogs. Which food is ideal for your pet will depend on their activity level and health history. That's why it's important to talk to your vet when developing a diet for your dog. Also, be sure to let your vet know if your dog's eating habits change. If an older dog is suddenly hungry all the time or shows a lack of interest in food, a health condition may be to blame. 

 

Supplements for Older Dogs 

Supplements can address nutrient deficiencies and health concerns in senior dogs. Some common dog supplements include: 

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin: Naturally occurring substances, these supplements are often taken together to support joint health and mobility. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Derived primarily from fish and shell fish, omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation and support coat and skin health. 
  • Multivitamins: These balanced blends of vitamins and minerals help ensure comprehensive nutrient intake, especially if your dog struggles to eat a well-balanced diet. 

Keep in mind that not all dogs require supplements. Before starting your dog on any product, ask your vet if it's right for your pet. 

 

Behavioral Changes and Training 

As dogs age, new behaviors may emerge. Fortunately, you can take steps to manage behaviors through smart strategies and training. 

 

Handling Increased Appetite 

Although a sudden increase in appetite can indicate a medical condition, many senior dogs do seek out food more often simply because of changes to their digestive system.

Often, older dogs absorb fewer nutrients and their reduced activity levels can slow down their metabolisms, leading to an increase in hunger. To manage an always-hungry pooch: 

  • Divide your dog's daily serving of dog food into small portions and provide more frequent meals 
  • Measure portion sizes at each meal carefully to support weight management 
  • Choose low-calorie treats to avoid weight gain 
  • Redirect your dog with activities if you suspect they're eating out of boredom 

 

How to Train an Older Dog 

Contrary to the cliché, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks or to train away unwanted behaviors in senior dogs. To do so: 

  • Keep training sessions short 
  • Start off with simple commands 
  • Use positive reinforcement, such as praise and low-calorie treats 
  • Be patient. It may take older dogs longer to master new commands 
  • Make training fun by including gentle exercises and mind-strengthening games like treat puzzles 
  • Consider attending a dog obedience class for extra support 

 

Can You Crate Train an Older Dog? 

Many pet parents wonder how to crate train an older dog with separation anxiety and worry that it might not even be possible. The good news is that you absolutely can. In fact, many people find it easier to crate train senior dogs than puppies.

To do so, allow your dog to gradually become familiar with the crate. Serve their meals in it with the door open and then try closing the door eventually. Slowly build up the number of minutes that your dog stays in the crate, and lavish them with affection and praise when crate time is over.

Check out how anxiety dog training plays a role too! 

 

Comfort and Physical Support 

Age-related changes and medical issues, such as tremors in older dogs, can lead to pain, stiffness and reduced mobility in senior pups. By prioritizing comfort, you can help your dog rest well and navigate your home more easily and safely. 

 

Choosing the Right Dog Bed 

Having a special place to snooze is important for senior pooches. Depending on your pet's preferences and needs, you may wish to consider one of the following types of dog beds for older dogs: 

  • Orthopedic beds: With their unique designs, these beds provide extra support for achy joints and pressure points. 
  • Heated beds: For older dogs that are prone to shivers or suffer from poor circulation, a heated bed can be a big help. 
  • Elevated beds: Dogs with mobility issues can ease in and out of these raised beds without putting excess strain on their joints. 

 

Physical Comfort Aids 

Dogs with mobility issues may also benefit from: 

  • Dog ramps: Indoor and outdoor ramps placed over stairs can keep dogs mobile. 
  • Dog stairs: Place stairs near the sofa or your bed to help your dog access furniture without having to jump. 
  • Elevated bowls: Decrease bending at meal time with raised bowls. 

You may also want to switch to a softer brush or grooming glove for your at-home grooming sessions. These grooming aids help to support circulation and distribute natural oils to support skin and coat health. 

 

Ensuring a Happy and Healthy Life for Your Older Dog 

By prioritizing nutrition, behavior management, comfort and health care, you can help your senior dog maintain a high quality of life.  

Talk to your veterinarian about what specific steps you should take to meet your older dog's needs, and keep a close eye on your pooch for changes in behavior between visits.

Be sure to report any new behaviors, such as urinating or defecating indoors or heavy panting in older dogs. By making simple adjustments to your senior dog's diet, routine and home environment, you can help them stay happy and healthy. 

Kradle’s here to help, check out our selection of calming chews and cbd for dogs today! 

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Stress-Free Air Travel with Your Dog

Stress-Free Air Travel with Your Dog

According to the APPA National Pet Owners Survey, a resounding 78% of US pet owners travel with their furry friends every year. If you're planning on taking your pup along on summer vacation, you're in good company. As a pet owner, it's crucial to be well prepared for bringing your dog on an airplane. Like many other aspects of caring for a pet, air travel can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. 

This guide will help ensure that you know what to expect from boarding that plane with your beloved pet. We'll provide practical tips and insights to make your air travel experience with your dog as smooth and stress-free as possible. If you have any pressing questions, like "Can dogs fly on airplanes?" we'll answer those for you too. 

Preparing Your Dog for Air Travel 

Before you buy that plane ticket, be sure to put together a plan for success. From researching your airline's pet policy to packing all the essentials, every step counts. Here's what you need to do to prepare. 

Choosing the Right Airline 

The rules around pet travel vary from one airline to the next. Some airlines may have specific size requirements, while others might charge you a fee for bringing a small dog into the cabin. We recommend calling several airlines to answer any questions you might have, like "Can I buy my dog a seat on an airplane?" To minimize travel time for your dog, you might also want to consider booking a direct flight instead. 

Preparing Your Dog 

Taking your dog on an airplane can be a stressful experience, so don't forget to pay a visit to the vet beforehand. By giving your pet a routine checkup and administering any necessary vaccines, your vet can ensure that your pup is plane-ready. Shopping for carriers for dogs on airplanes is also a must. Before the flight, give your dog adequate time to acclimate to the crate. 

Packing Essentials 

Your dog should be as comfortable as possible during the flight, so be sure to pack enough food, water and treats. It's also a good idea to include familiar toys or blankets to comfort your dog. These special additions will help remind your pet of home, which can help calm them down. 

Documentation 

Depending on the airline, you might need to present certain documents on behalf of your dog. Make sure that you have any health certificates, vaccination records or other relevant documents on hand to stay on the safe side. We recommend double-checking your airline's specific paperwork requirements to ensure that you're prepared. 

Navigating Airport Procedures with Your Dog 

It's important to ensure that your dog is prepared for every aspect of air travel, from going through airport security to making it through the flight. Here are some common challenges your dog might face and how you can navigate them like a pro. 

Check-In and Security 

It's important to arrive early to allow enough time for check-in and security clearance. Arriving late and having to rush will only cause you and your dog anxiety, so make sure to pack your things and leave earlier than planned. At this stage, you should also understand the procedures for traveling with dogs in airplanes. 

Boarding the Plane 

Your dog might need a little extra time to acclimate to the plane, so try to board early if you can. This will allow your pet to settle in and get used to their surroundings. Be sure to also familiarize yourself with the airline's rules and guidelines for dogs in the airplane cabin. 

 

In-Flight Etiquette 

To ensure a smooth, stress-free flight, it's important to keep your dog well-behaved. Whether you feed them their favorite treats or keep them occupied with soothing toys, give your pet comfort cues to keep them calm and quiet. Be sure to also manage feeding and bathroom breaks appropriately throughout the trip. 

 

Deplaning and Baggage Claim 

Plan ahead for disembarking procedures to ensure that you know exactly what to expect from the process. Once you've collected your baggage, do what you can to ensure your dog's comfort post-flight. They might still exhibit signs of residual stress or anxiety, so promote relaxation in any way you can. 

 

Ensuring Comfort and Safety During the Flight 

It's normal for dogs to feel anxious when on a plane. By doing your part to promote comfort and safety, you can help put your pet at ease throughout the flight. Here are some tips for keeping your pet comfortable during the trip. 

 

Choosing the Right Seat 

The seat you choose plays a key role in your dog's comfort. Opt for a seat that offers more legroom or is located by a window. If the airline allows it and it's feasible, you might want to consider booking a seat for your dog. This will help them feel most at home. 

 

In-Flight Comfort Measures 

Throughout the flight, provide water or snacks as needed. It's easy for dogs on airplanes to become dehydrated, so giving them access to water is essential to their comfort and well-being. If necessary, you may also want to administer calming aids or medications under a vet's guidance. 

 

Monitoring Your Dog 

Remember to stay attentive to your dog's behavior and needs throughout the flight. Be prepared to manage any anxiety or discomfort your pet may experience. Keeping your pup's needs at the front of your mind can help ensure that you're ready to address them. To help with this, Kradle My Pet offers the best cbd for dog anxiety so you can fly stress free. 

Arrival and Transition 

Upon arrival at your destination, plan for a smooth transition. Check local regulations or requirements for pets to ensure that you know what to expect. This will allow for a seamless transition for both you and your dog. 

 

Key Takeaways 

Bringing your dog with you on a plane might seem like a recipe for stress, but it doesn't have to be. These guidelines from Kradle My Pet will help promote a seamless and comfortable experience for both you and your pet. Shop our cbd chews for dog anxiety to discover more solutions for a stress free trip! 

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Storm Safety and Stress Tips for You and Your Pup

Storm Safety and Stress Tips for You and Your Pup

If you were ever afraid of thunderstorms as a child, you probably have a good idea of how your pup feels when thunder or lightning strikes. Storms are known to trigger a stress response in dogs, which can leave them feeling anxious and uneasy. Not only does the actual weather event cause dog thunderstorm anxiety, but pups are also able to sense an impending storm much earlier than humans can. This can cause them to act fretful even before the bad weather hits. 

Whether you're concerned about how your pup will handle an upcoming thunderstorm, hurricane or tornado, we're here to help you ease your canine's nerves. These tried-and-true tips will help minimize dog storm anxiety while training your pet to handle inclement weather better. Here's what you need to know about how to calm a dog during a storm at night. 

Comprehensive Guide to Dog Storm Safety and Stress

Management 

Preparing your dog for the next storm can help give peace of mind to both you and your pet. To help your dog cope with inclement weather, we've put together a complete guide on how to calm a dog during a thunderstorm. These tips and strategies will guide you through each phase of the storm. Here are some of the most important points to keep in mind. 

Preparing for the Storm 

If you're wondering, "Can dogs sense storms?" the answer is a resounding yes. Dogs are especially sensitive to the pressure changes in the atmosphere that precede a storm. They also strongly detect low-frequency noises, which are commonly associated with thunderstorms. These heightened senses can lead to anxiety. That's why it's crucial to have easy access to a storm preparedness kit. 

While there are numerous types of items you can include in your kit, make sure that you have the basics, like food, water and medication. It's also a good idea to include comfort items for both you and your pet so that you both have something familiar to latch onto. Before the storm, be sure to designate one or more safe spaces for your pet. These areas will help your pup feel comfortable once the storm begins. 

During the Storm 

While the storm is happening, it's important to keep both yourself and your dog calm. Dogs have a strong perception of how their owners are feeling, so if you come off as stressed or anxious, your pup will pick up on it. Try to practice deep breathing or engage in other relaxing activities to stay calm. 

If your dog seems nervous or uneasy, put on some soothing music for them. You can also offer them their favorite treat as a welcome distraction from the weather. Another effective option is to put a thunder shirt on your dog. Thunder shirts are lightweight pressure wraps that are enclosed around your pet's chest and abdomen, creating a similar sensation to a hug. When you help your pet associate this feeling of comfort with storms, they won't react so negatively to them anymore. 

Post-Storm Recovery 

Once the storm is over, take the time to thoroughly check your home for any signs of damage. These may include structural flaws like a cracked or warped roof, or they might include damage that affects the interior of your home, like flooding or standing water. No matter what type of issue you're dealing with, whether it's a persistent water leak or damaged shingles, no signs of harm should be ignored. Make sure to also confirm that both you and your pet are safe from any storm-related damage. 

Dogs thrive on routine, so it's crucial to reestablish normalcy and order after the storm ends. This will help put your dog at ease again and melt away any lingering stress or anxiety. Once everything has returned to normal, this will signal to your dog that there's nothing to be afraid of anymore, which can help calm their nerves. 

Additional Tips for Pup Stress Management 

Relieving your dog's stress immediately after the storm is crucial. However, it's more effective to have a long-term strategy for dog thunderstorm anxiety. Desensitization training can help your dog become acclimated to the loud noises and flashing lights associated with storms. It's best to do this in a safe, comfortable environment so that your pet gradually becomes accustomed to these scary stimuli. 

Moreover, it's important to keep your pet active on a regular basis. Exercise helps your pup manage anxiety more effectively and promotes confidence. In addition, it can help prevent common behavioral problems associated with stress, such as excessive barking and aggression. You may also want to incorporate certain supplementary tools into your stress management strategy, such as calming treats, pheromone diffusers and thunder jackets. 

Be sure to experiment with different calming tools and products to see what works best for your dog. It can take a bit of trial and error to find the perfect fit, so remember to be patient with your pup. 

Guiding Your Dog Through Storms With Confidence 

Thunderstorms can be stressful for both you and your pet. Between all the loud noises and bright lights associated with these weather events, it's easy to see how your ultra-perceptive furry friend has such a strong reaction to them. You might simply accept your dog's fear of storms, but there's a better way to cope. Even if it takes time, learning progressive stress management can make a world of a difference in the long run. 

By learning how to calm a dog during a storm at night, you can replace uncertainty and stress with confidence and peace of mind. It's crucial to have a preparedness plan in place, to be your pup's guiding light during the storm and to return to your normal routine after the storm.  

Kradle's wide array of calming pet products are designed specifically with anxious dogs in mind. From our Quick Calm Melts to our All-Day Calming Bone, you can easily find a solution tailored to your pup's needs. 

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Training Tips for Anxious Dogs and Their Owners

Training Tips for Anxious Dogs and Their Owners

Having an anxious dog can be stressful for both you and your pet. There are a slew of challenges that you might face, including destructive behavior, excessive barking and fear aggression.

Not only can these issues impact your dog's overall well-being, but they may also prevent you from achieving harmony in your household. 

To promote better physical and emotional well-being in your pet, it's important to understand how anxiety affects dogs and how you can address it properly. Here's everything you need to know about helping your anxious dog cope better. 

How to Calm an Anxious Dog 

First, it's important to recognize the common signs of anxiety in dogs. These may include any of the following: 

  • Trembling 
  • Panting 
  • Pacing back and forth 
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Avoidant behaviors 

Once you're able to identify these signs, it's time to learn how to train an anxious dog. Creating designated safe spaces with the aid of pheromone diffusers or weighted blankets can help your pet feel more relaxed.

To boost the effects of these spaces, try to implement relaxation techniques such as gentle massage, soothing music and calming scents like lavender. 

Dogs also respond well to positive reinforcement. When training an anxious dog, be sure to promote calmness with treats, praise and some of your pet's favorite toys. If your dog continues to struggle, we recommend seeking professional help.

Consult with a trusted veterinarian or a certified dog behaviorist to receive custom-tailored guidance and support. 

How to Train a Reactive Dog 

Reactive dogs tend to respond to stimuli in a way that is disproportionate to the situation. These stimuli can include other dogs, strangers, loud noises or unfamiliar environments. Examples of reactive behavior are lunging, growling, a stiffening body, barking and biting. 

When learning how to calm an anxious dog, it's important to use desensitization and counterconditioning techniques. These methods gradually expose your dog to triggering stimuli in a controlled environment.

Through these techniques, you can strategically pair exposure with rewards to improve your dog's emotional response. 

Another effective strategy for how to train a dog to stop barking is obedience training. Teaching commands like "watch me" or "leave it" can help establish clear communication and boundaries, which is crucial to managing reactive episodes.

It's crucial to be consistent and patient when learning how to train a reactive dog. By building a structured training plan and establishing regular practice sessions, you can see gradual progress over time. 

How to Help an Anxious Dog 

If you're looking to calm your dog's nerves, there are several strategies you can employ. It's important to build trust and confidence through gentle encouragement and positive reinforcement, using rewards and praise to reinforce brave behaviors and boost self-assurance.

Try to gradually expose your pet to anxiety-inducing stimuli, starting with low-intensity exposure and gradually increasing the challenge level as they grow more comfortable. 

Dogs thrive on routine, so create a schedule for your pup that fosters predictability and security. Try to stick to consistent meal times, exercise schedules and relaxation periods to reduce uncertainty and anxiety.

It's also helpful to encourage mental and physical stimulation through enrichment activities such as puzzles, interactive games and scent work to engage your dog's mind and body. 

If you're still wondering how to help an anxious dog, make sure to address any underlying medical issues promptly with trusted veterinary care. All physical health concerns should be properly managed to prevent your dog's anxiety symptoms from escalating. 

How Long Does it Take to Train a Dog? 

There are a number of factors that influence the duration of training, including breed characteristics, age, temperament, past experiences and your own commitment to training.

The key is to set realistic expectations and goals based on your dog's skills and progress. Remember that every dog learns at their own pace and may require different amounts of time to master certain skills. 

It's vital to establish consistency in your training methods and routines. By emphasizing the importance of regular practice sessions and clear communication, you can help reinforce desired behaviors and minimize confusion.

Dogs also respond well to rewards, so don't forget to celebrate their progress and milestones along the way. Recognizing small achievements helps keep up their morale and enthusiasm for continued learning. 

If you're wondering, "How long does it take to train a dog?" it's important to keep in mind that training is an ongoing process that evolves over time. There are always new opportunities for ongoing skill development and refinement throughout your dog's life. 

How to Train a Dog with Separation Anxiety 

To train a dog with separation anxiety, know how to identify common symptoms, such as excessive vocalization, destructive behavior, house soiling and attempts to escape when left alone.

An effective strategy is to gradually desensitize your dog to being alone. Start off slowly with short absences and, as time goes by, increase the duration to build your pet's tolerance to separation. 

A helpful tip is to establish a departure routine to minimize stress. Be sure to incorporate activities that signal the impending departure, such as picking up your keys or putting on your shoes, to help your dog adjust.

When you're not around, find ways to provide mental and physical stimulation, such as interactive toys, food puzzles or comforting items that have your scent. These subtle reminders of your presence will keep your dog occupied and alleviate boredom and anxiety. 

In the event of severe separation anxiety, it's a good idea to seek professional guidance. Schedule a consultation with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your dog's specific needs. 

Help Your Dog Overcome Anxiety 

Properly addressing anxiety in your dog is crucial to their overall well-being. Remember to be patient, persistent and compassionate in your efforts to help your anxious dog overcome their fears and lead a fulfilling life.

With dedication, understanding and the appropriate training techniques, anxious dogs can learn to cope with their stress and thrive in loving, supportive environments. 

 

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Why Dogs Run Away and How to Prevent it

Why Dogs Run Away and How to Prevent it

Dogs are curious, adventurous creatures by nature. Whether they're chasing a squirrel or sniffing their surroundings, our furry friends are constantly taking in new information about their environment. In some cases, though, their adventurous nature can put them in harm's way. If you've ever wondered, "Why did my dog run away?" you're not alone. 

In this guide, we'll help you understand why dogs have the urge to roam and teach you helpful tips for keeping your pet safe and sound. Here are the answers to all of your questions, like "Why do dogs run away?" and what you can do to prevent it. 

Understanding Why Dogs Run Away 

There are many possible reasons why a dog might run off. We'll explore some of the most common reasons to help you better understand your dog's behavior. 

Instinctual Behaviors 

Dogs are highly driven by instinct. As innate hunters, they will often entertain themselves by exploring new territory and seeking out prey. Moreover, if your pet isn't spayed or neutered, they might run off in search of a potential mate. 

Boredom and Lack of Stimulation 

Dogs have a strong need for mental and physical activity, and if they aren't getting the stimulation they need, they tend to seek it out themselves. This can lead your dog astray in search of excitement and novelty. 

Fear and Anxiety 

If your dog is faced with a stressful or scary situation, they might run away to escape it. A common trigger for many dogs is loud noises. If you're asking yourself, "Why did my dog run away?" It might be because they heard a sudden, loud noise and felt the need to distance themselves from it. 

Seeking Companionship 

Just like humans, dogs are social creatures. If they feel lonely or isolated, they might wander off in search of a companion. If you're wondering, "Why does my dog keep running away from home?" It's crucial to ensure that you're meeting their social needs. 

 

 

Identifying Common Triggers 

To better manage your dog's tendency to run off, it's important to answer the question, "Why do dogs run away?" Here are some of their most common triggers. 

Loud Noises and Fireworks 

Dogs are extremely sensitive to loud noises. According to research, dogs can hear sounds up to four times farther away than humans can. Sudden noises, such as fireworks going off, can trigger a startling reaction in your pet, leading them to believe they're in danger. 

Unfamiliar Environments 

Dogs are highly perceptive, a quality that makes them very attuned to their surroundings. If they find themselves in a new place, their heightened senses will pick up on it immediately. As a natural explorer, your dog will take the opportunity to explore the unfamiliar setting in its entirety. 

Lack of Supervision 

While it's important to let your dog enjoy some freedom, you should never let them too far out of your sight. In many cases, an owner's dog keeps running away simply because they failed to keep an eye on them. It's crucial to supervise your pet and limit their opportunities for escape, such as access to open doors. 

Changes in Routine 

As creatures of habit, dogs tend to react poorly to any changes in their normal routine. Even seemingly minor disruptions can create a stress response in your pet. Once your dog has settled into a routine, it's important to do your best to maintain it. 

Preventive Measures Through Training 

Here are some helpful tips for training your dog to prevent them from running off unexpectedly. 

Recall Training 

Teaching your dog a reliable "come" command can help significantly. Be sure to use this command repeatedly with your pet. Once you've learned how to train a dog not to run away, you can rely on them to come to you when needed. 

Boundary Training 

Setting boundaries is crucial to your dog's safety and well-being. In addition to establishing clear boundaries, be sure to reinforce them consistently. This will help solidify them in your dog's mind. 

Socialization 

While it's important to set boundaries for your dog, you shouldn't close them off from the world, either. Allowing your pet to socialize with other dogs can help them build confidence and trust in their peers. 

Desensitization Techniques 

Desensitization refers to the process of repeatedly exposing your dog to a trigger until they no longer react to it. When done in a safe, familiar environment, desensitization techniques can help minimize fear and stress while promoting comfort and happiness. 

 

Securing Your Home and Environment 

It's important to do your part to keep your dog safe in and around your house. Here are some guidelines for properly securing your home and environment. 

Proper Fencing 

The boundaries you set for your dog should be as secure as possible. Because many dogs can't help but wander off, we recommend installing sturdy fencing around your property. 

Supervision and Confinement 

Spending time outdoors is crucial to your dog's well-being. That said, never let them outside unsupervised. Keep a watchful eye on your pet at all times while they explore the outdoors and don't stray too far away from them. 

Identification Methods 

If your dog running off has become a repeated problem, come up with a way to reliably identify them. Microchipping and ID tags are just a couple of ways to keep your pup accounted for. If you're wondering, "If a dog runs away will they come back?" using ID methods can help ensure that they do. 

Environmental Enrichment 

Because boredom is a common reason that dogs run off, be sure to keep them mentally stimulated at home. Play games with them and talk to them throughout the day to keep them engaged. 

Addressing Underlying Behavioral Issues 

The answer to the question, "Why does my dog keep running away from home?" may be due to underlying behavioral problems. Common issues include: 

  • Separation anxiety 
  • Territorial behavior 
  • Attention-seeking behaviors 
  • Health considerations 

Consult your dog's vet to get to the root of these behavioral concerns. 

 

 

Keep Your Dog Safe and Healthy 

Having your dog run off can be scary, but there are ways to manage this common issue. Understanding your dog's needs, implementing proactive measures and fostering trust can help ensure a fulfilling life for your beloved companion. 

 

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Dental Care Dos and Don'ts Keeping Your Dog's Smile Healthy

Dental Care Dos and Don'ts Keeping Your Dog's Smile Healthy

When you think about keeping your dog healthy, their teeth likely aren't the first thing you consider, but oral care is incredibly important for dogs. In fact, studies show that as many as 80% of dogs will have symptoms of gum disease by the time they're two years old, and without treatment, this condition can lead to serious problems with other parts of dog's bodies. 

The good news is that you can take steps to support oral health for your dog. In this guide, we'll share tips on dental hygiene for dogs and answer common questions like "How often should you brush your dogs teeth?" so you'll have the information you need to make good decisions for your fur baby. 

Understanding Canine Dental Health 

Just like people, dogs need regular dental care. When they eat food, particles stick to the surface of their teeth and get caught along the gums. If it doesn't get removed, it can mix with saliva and bacteria in the mouth to form sticky plaque. Over time, that plaque can harden into tartar, which can cause unhealthy dog teeth. Dogs can develop cavities and suffer from toothaches and even tooth loss due to poor oral health. 

The bacteria present in plaque can also lead to inflammation of the gums or periodontal disease. Research shows that untreated gum disease can allow bacteria to enter a dog's bloodstream, posing a risk for serious systemic infections and problems with the heart and other organs. 

By prioritizing your dog's oral health, you can greatly reduce the risk of oral health and general health problems. 

Getting Started: Introducing Teeth Cleaning 

Brushing dogs' teeth is generally the best way to clean dogs' teeth. Starting when your dog is a puppy can make it easier for you to bring oral care into their daily routine. However, it's never too late to start brushing with a dog teeth cleaner. Here's a quick guide to how to brush dog teeth: 

  1. Select a Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Before you can begin brushing, you'll need a toothbrush and toothpaste. For dogs under 30 pounds, try a finger toothbrush with small bristles. An angled brush with a handle is better for bigger dogs. 

For toothpaste, purchase a product made specifically for dogs. Human toothpaste ingredients may not be safe for your pooch. Select a flavor that your dog likes, such as peanut butter or poultry. 

  1. Get into Position

To keep your dog comfortable throughout cleaning, get down to their eye level. Hovering over them may make them feel anxious. Choose a quiet, comfortable spot that your dog is familiar with for brushing. 

  1. Start with a Touch

Before you begin brushing, prepare your dog by opening their mouth and running your finger along their upper teeth and gums. You may need to try this a few times before your dog stays calm. Be patient and don't attempt to go to the next step until your dog is comfortable with you touching their teeth. 

  1. Let Them Taste the Toothpaste

Place a little toothpaste on your finger and let your dog lick it off. If they like the flavor, they're bound to want more and be more willing to comply with brushing. 

  1. Touch with the Brush

Apply toothpaste to the brush and then place it against their upper gum line, holding it at a 45-degree angle. As with Step 3, your dog may not tolerate this step. If not, stop for now and try again later. Only continue when your dog remains calm during the initial touch. 

  1. Brush in a Circular Motion

Once your dog is ready for you to proceed, start brushing, keeping the brush at a 45-degree angle and making circular motions. Start on the back teeth that are more prone to plaque and maintain a light touch to prevent irritation. Stop if your dog becomes stressed or begins to struggle. 

  1. Build up to 2 Minutes of Brushing

Ideally, you want to brush your dog's teeth for a total of 2 minutes and clean all of their upper and lower teeth. However, it will likely take time for your dog to stay still for this long. Follow their lead and gradually lengthen brushing sessions. 

  1. Reward with a Treat

No matter how long your dog lets you brush, reward them at the end with a treat. Choose a dental care treat to support oral hygiene, such as Kradle Sleepy CleanZzz. Our dog chews work like other dog teeth cleaning chews but also contain our BotaniTek blend of natural, premium, human-grade ingredients that help to soothe your pet naturally. 

Maintaining Oral Health in Dogs 

Once your dog is cooperative when brushing, it's important to keep up with regular cleaning. So, just how often should you brush your dog's teeth? Like people, dogs benefit from twice-daily brushing. However, this might not be possible with all dogs. Strive for at least three cleanings per week initially, and once you get to that point, increase the frequency from there. 

In addition to regular brushing, follow these tips to support ongoing oral health: 

  • See your vet regularly: Visit your veterinarian as frequently as recommended, so that they can keep an eye on your dog's oral health. Your vet can also give you advice on how to select the best toothbrush, the best toothpaste and the best chews for dogs teeth based on their age and breed. 
  • Keep an eye out for oral care problems: Monitor your dog for signs of oral health problems, such as bad breath, gum inflammation and bleeding, excessive drooling, missing or loose teeth, reduced appetite and eating on only one side of their mouth. See the vet promptly if you spot any of these warning signs. 
  • Choose food wisely: A healthy diet is essential to oral health. Ask your vet what food is best for your pooch to ensure that they get the vitamins and minerals they need for strong teeth and healthy gums. 
  • Use their urge to chew to your advantage: Dogs love to chew, so give them a healthy way to indulge that urge with teeth-cleaning toys, bones and treats. 

How Kradle Can Help 

Proper dental hygiene is an important part of keeping your dog happy and healthy. By following the dog teeth cleaning and dental care tips outlined above, you can support your pooch's oral health through every stage of life. As you stock up on oral care essentials for your dog, check out our full line of Kradle products for dental hygiene and calming stress and anxiousness. 

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Sun's Out, Paws Out: Essential Warm Weather Safety Tips for Your Pup

Sun's Out, Paws Out: Essential Warm Weather Safety Tips for Your Pup

With its long days and warm weather, summer brings opportunities for you and your pup to enjoy plenty of time outdoors, but with that fun in the sun comes some risks for your pooch, such as heatstroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your dog. Read on for our top canine summer safety tips!  

Understanding the Risks 

During the summer, temperatures climb and the sun's rays are more intense, and these two factors combined can lead to health risks, such as: 

  • Heat exhaustion: When a dog's body temperature rises too high, they may develop heat exhaustion, a condition marked by excessive panting, nose dryness, fatigue, excessive drooling, gum discoloration and reduced urination. 
  • Heatstroke: Untreated, heat exhaustion can develop into heatstroke, which causes more severe symptoms and can also lead to disorientation, confusion, seizures and even death. 
  • Dehydration: If a dog loses too much fluid from sweat, they can become dehydrated. Signs of the condition include panting, a dry nose, dry gums, excessive thirst and decreased appetite. If you find yourself wondering "do dogs eat less in summer?" give your pooch more water, as lack of appetite may also indicate dehydration. 
  • Sunburn: The answer to "Do dogs get sunburn?" is "Yes!" Like humans, dogs can develop skin redness and inflammation due to the effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

Preventative Measures 

To reduce the risks of summertime health problems, follow these tips. 

Prioritize Hydration 

Ensuring that your pup gets plenty of water throughout the summer can reduce the risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. To encourage them to drink: 

  • Place bowls throughout your house and yard 
  • Refill bowls daily with fresh water 
  • Include moisture-laden wet food in their diet 
  • Add a drop of low-sodium beef or chicken broth to enhance the taste 
  • Bring a travel bowl with you to hydrate on the go or teach your dog to drink from a water bottle 

Give Them Shade and Shelter 

Keeping dogs cool in summer can help to keep their body temperature within safe range, and shade and shelter can make conditions cooler outside. You can create shady spots with: 

  • Freestanding patio umbrellas 
  • Sun shades 
  • Fabric awnings 
  • Pergolas 
  • Ventilated doghouses 
  • Covered crates 

Adjust Their Exercise Routine 

Staying active is important for your dog's health all year long, but it's important that you make smart decisions about their exercise routine during hot weather. When dogs exercise, their body temperature naturally climbs. On the hottest days, this can raise the risks of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. To keep them moving safely, follow these tips: 

  • Offer your dog water frequently before, during and after exercise 
  • Opt for low-impact activities like walking or swimming rather than vigorous outdoor play 
  • Time outdoor exercise for early in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower 
  • Look out for signs of heat exhaustion like panting or fatigue and stop exercising promptly if you spot them 
  • Choose shady locations like tree-lined parks for walks 
  • After returning indoors, give your dog cool damp towels or an ice pack wrapped in a towel to lie on top of 

Use Protective Gear 

Protective gear and products can help protect your dog from summer health risks. Consider investing in: 

  • Dog shoes for summer: Keep their pads safe on hot sand, sidewalks, roads and driveways with a pair of dog booties for summer. 
  • Cooling gear: Made from special fabric, cooling vests and bandannas for dogs promote airflow and draw heat away from the skin to help regulate your dog's body temperature on the go. 
  • Dog sunscreen: Applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside can help prevent dog sunburn symptoms. Look for a dog-safe product that is waterproof, unscented and has an SPF of at least 30. Reapply once every 2 hours or more frequently if your dog gets wet. 
  • Collars and harnesses: During the summer months, switch to a collar and harness made of breathable materials to help your dog stay cool. 

Keep Your Home Cool 

Maintaining a cool environment indoors is equally important to helping your dog keep their cool outside. To do so, follow these tips: 

  • Run your air conditioner, if you have one 
  • If you only have AC in certain rooms, relocate your dog's bed, bowls and toys to one of them 
  • Use fans to keep air circulating 
  • Switch to breathable cotton bedding and beds for your dog during the summer months 
  • Install room-darkening blinds or curtains and/or thermal window films to keep your home cooler 
  • Don't keep your dog's bed or bowls near appliances and electronics that give off heat, such as the stove, the dryer or a large screen television 

Practice Car Safety 

Taking your dog along for a summer drive can be tons of fun, but keep these safety tips in mind: 

  • Keep windows closed and the air conditioning running when weather is hot 
  • Apply sunscreen to your dog if you'll be driving with the windows down 
  • Never leave your dog in the car on a summer day, even for a few minutes 
  • Stop frequently for water breaks when on long car trips 

Adjust Your Grooming and Care Routine 

With changes in the weather come changes in your dog's grooming needs, such as: 

  • Manage summer shedding: Many people wonder, "Why is my dog shedding so much in the summer?" when the season arrives. The reason is that many breeds lose their winter undercoats to prepare for the season. Brushing your dog regularly can help control the process. 
  • Prepare for post-summer shedding: The answer to "When do dogs shed summer coats?" varies, but most dogs will shed from September through November." Keep up with brushing even as the season ends. 
  • Talk to your vet about trimming: Some breeds benefit from a summer trim for body temperature regulation, but others don't. Your vet can provide you with advice about whether to head to the groomer for a warm-weather haircut. 
  • Keep their pads protected: Apply a dog-friendly moisturizer to their pads daily and check for signs of burns on a regular basis. 
  • Respond to sunburn: If your pooch does end up with a sunburn, using cool compresses can help relieve discomfort. Your vet can provide you with additional tips on how to treat dog sunburn. 

Get Ready for Safe Summer Fun 

Now that you know how to keep dogs cool in summer weather and understand how modifying your dog's grooming and care routine for the warm months can help keep them happy and healthy, you're ready to enjoy the season. Incorporate as many of the above tips as you can and ask your vet for more advice on summertime dog care. In preparation for the season, shop the collection of Kradle products. We have solutions for everything from separation anxiety to long summer car trips. 

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Good Eats to Good Moods: The Link Between Diet and Dog Anxiousness

Good Eats to Good Moods: The Link Between Diet and Dog Anxiousness

Anxiety in dogs negatively impacts both pets and their human parents. Not only can anxiety lead to destructive behaviors, but anxiousness in dogs can also make it difficult for them to relax, enjoy activities they once loved and bond with their human companions.

Fortunately, there are things that you can do for your pooch if they experience anxiety, and increasingly, experts are advising that healthy food for dogs may help reduce symptoms. Written for anyone who has ever asked "How do you calm an anxious dog?" or wondered what to give an anxious dog, this piece explores potentially beneficial nutrients and dog food for anxiety. 

 

Dog Food Ingredients to Be Aware Of 

First and foremost, when considering what is the best dog food for anxiety, noting which ingredients are missing from the labels is as important as which ones it contains. Some common ingredients in commercial dog foods may contribute to anxiety or overall poor health.

To choose the right commercial food for your pet, read labels carefully, and be wary of products that contain artificial additives, preservatives and fillers. Signs of sensitivities and food allergies to these synthetic ingredients include diarrhea and vomiting and itching of the ears, paws or skin. 

 

Good Vitamins and Nutrients for Dogs 

As with human food, the best dog diet includes vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your pet needs. A healthy diet helps to support overall health and mental well-being in dogs. Some essential nutrients that are generally thought to contribute to the best diet for dogs include: 

  • B-complex vitamins:B vitamins, such as niacin and vitamin B12, help dogs' nervous systems function properly. They also play an important role in metabolism, the process by which dogs convert food into energy to power their bodies. 
  • Essential fatty acids: A type of healthy fat, omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to energy production, brain health, skin and coat health, growth and development and cellular health in dogs. 
  • Probiotics: These beneficial bacteria contribute to digestive health. Research has found that probiotics may help ease anxiety and aggression in dogs. 
  • Tryptophan: This amino acid has been shown to improve symptoms in anxious dogs due to the calming effect it has on the body. 
  • Magnesium: An essential mineral, magnesium helps control muscle relaxation and aids in nervous system function. 
  • Diet Tips to Help with Anxiousness in Dogs 
  • Thanks to their nutrient profile, certain foods may benefit anxious dogs. The following foods are known to contain nutrients that may ease anxiety symptoms. Before adding them to your dog's daily eating plan, be sure to consult your veterinarian for individualized advice about what the best dog diet is for your pet. 
  • Raw goat's milk provides probiotics, which may soothe the digestive system and ease anxiety. 
  • Turkey is rich in the calming amino acid tryptophan. 
  • Organic, grass-fed beef liver is incredibly rich in essential nutrients, including vitamin B12 and iron needed for nervous system health. 
  • Spinach is an excellent source of magnesium, the mineral known for its calming properties. 
  • Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids necessary for brain health. 
  • Eggs supply protein and amino acids, which play an important role in muscle and nervous system health. 
  • Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and supply complex carbohydrates that allow dogs to produce energy while also helping to regulate blood sugar levels. 

How to Incorporate Healthy Foods Into Your Dog's Diet 

To begin modifying your dog's diet and incorporating more foods that may be beneficial for anxiety, follow these tips: 
  • Customize portion size: Healthy portion size is important for weight management. How many calories your dog needs per day depends on their age, weight, size, breed, level of physical activity and other factors. Your vet can give you guidelines on how many calories you should strive to feed your pet daily, and you can use this information as a guide when determining portion size. 
  • Introduce one new food at a time: To monitor how your dog responds more easily, introduce one new food at a time. Then, keep an eye out to see if you notice any change in their anxiety symptoms. Wait a few weeks before adding a second food to their diet. 
  • Watch out for adverse reactions: Like humans, dogs can have food allergies and sensitivities. After introducing a new food, be on the lookout for digestive problems, itching and other unusual symptoms. If you notice any, discontinue the new food. 
  • Mix new foods with familiar ones: If your pooch is picky, try stirring a new food into their favorite dog food. Add just a little at first to give them a chance to adjust to the new texture and taste. Then, gradually incorporate more of the healthy food over time. 

 

 

Common Stress and Anxiousness Symptoms in Dogs 

Being able to spot the symptoms of an anxious dog can help you take action and start helping your pet sooner. Some symptoms of anxiety to look for include: 

  • Destructive behaviors 
  • Aggression 
  • Defecating and/or urinating indoors 
  • Drooling 
  • Depression 
  • Excessive barking 
  • Panting 
  • Pacing 
  • Repetitive behaviors 
  • Restlessness 

 

 

How Kradle Can Help 

Providing foods that are healthy for dogs may help calm your anxious pet while also ensuring they get the nutrients they need to thrive. Try implementing the healthy diet for dogs described above and see how your pet responds. With your veterinarian you can also discuss what is the best healthy food for dogs, and which option is the right fit specifically for your pooch.

As you modify your dog's diet, consider giving Kradle CBD and Naturally Calming products a try. Our melts, chews, bars and other products may help your dog better cope with external stresses to maintain a normal and relaxed disposition. Shop our product selection today to discover solutions for your fur baby. 

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Skin and Coat Health: Promoting Springtime Grooming Tips

Skin and Coat Health: Promoting Springtime Grooming Tips

As the seasons change, it's important to keep up with your furry friend's grooming needs. Your dog's coat and skin require regular maintenance to stay healthy all year long. While you prepare your spring-cleaning checklist, don't forget to make some room for proper coat maintenance. Not only does caring for your pup's fur help keep them clean, but it also reduces shedding, keeps skin issues at bay and promotes overall comfort. 

We'll offer some tips to help you get the most out of grooming your dog this spring. From navigating the different types of dog coats to focusing on skin health in the sun, we have all the information you need for a successful grooming season. 

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