Is Your Dog House Up To Scratch?

We’re not advocates of keeping pets outside 24/7; to us our pets are part of the family and, as such, spend as much time with us as possible – and that includes sleeping inside! 

However, like many families, there are times when it makes sense to let fido have the run of the yard, with a place to shelter from the sun and keep the elements at bay during the colder months.  

Whether your dog house is indoors or outdoors always make it the best that it can be. Your furry friend needs a place to escape to just like we do sometimes. Some dogs suffer from bouts of anxiety and it is good for them to escape to their special place when things get a bit too stressful for them. 

If your pooch likes their second home outside, then you need to do everything that you can to make sure that it will protect them from the weather, come rain or shine!  

Over time it will need some repairs or upgrading, so now is the ideal time to do a maintenance check to make sure it’s up to scratch. It’s also a perfect opportunity to spend some time with your furry best friend, who will no doubt love supervising the work….and testing it out!  

Your Essential Dog House Checklist  

#1. Is your Dog House the right size? 

If you purchased your dog house a while ago when your furry friend was a puppy then you need to check that it is still large enough now that they have grown. They must have enough room to be able to turn themselves around and allow them to lay flat in their house without part of their body protruding outside. 

However, you do not want your dog house to be too big for your pooch either. They will take a lot of comfort from being able to snugly curl up and warm their “den” from their body heat. The best term to use here is “cozy”. Yes, they must be able to stand up and let the air flow in, but the house should not be too big so that there is a continual draft. 

#2. Is the floor of your Dog’s House Elevated? 

If there is no elevation of your dog’s house then air circulation can be a problem and so can water ingress. In the hotter months your dog may want to retreat to their house to cool down and if there is elevation then air circulation improves. In the colder months your dog’s house will be warmer if it is elevated as the floor will keep dry. 

#3. What kind of Walls does your Dog’s House have? 

These days you can purchase dog houses with walls made from metal, fiberglass and plastic and we recommend that you avoid these as they can get really hot in the summer. The best material for the walls is wood but be sure NOT to treat the wood with harmful chemicals. 

Common Dog House Repair Tasks 

Every summer (at least!) we recommend that you check the following aspects of your dog’s house:

The Roof – you need to examine the roof for leaks. If shingles need replacing then make sure you do that. Be careful with nails and avoid them going through the roof. In some locations it is actually against the law for a dog house to have a roof that is not waterproof. The inside of your furry friends retreat should be dry all year round. 

The Structure – wooden structures are prone to rotting so examine the walls and other elements carefully and replace any wood that is rotten or close to rotting. If there are chipped or faded areas of the structure then repaint them.  

The Interior – OK this is not strictly a dog house repair but you will want to check regularly that the bedding that you have provided for your pooch is warm and dry. You want your dog to be snug and comfortable in their retreat don’t you?

The Entrance – If your furry friend uses their house all year long then consider the installation of a vinyl flap to the entrance so that it is easy for your dog to go in and out but you will keep the elements out so they will be warm.

Insulation and Waterproofing – To make your dog’s house even warmer you can install insulation. We also recommend waterproofing if your area experiences a lot of rainfall or snowfall.

Area Around the Dog House – How is it looking around your dog’s house? Are there a lot of weeds or the grass too high? If this is the case then get busy getting rid of those weeds and cutting the grass, which can attract annoying and harmful insects.

Clean Regularly – This is not just a summer activity. Be sure to empty out your furry friend’s home often and vacuum or sweep it to remove dirt, spider’s webs and hair. 

 

If you are looking for some inspiration, then check out these 25 easy DIY dog houses you can totally make! 

https://www.crystalandcomp.com/diy-dog-houses/ 

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – and hope you have as much fun with these projects as we are! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

 

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Keep Your Pooch Looking Pawsitively Perfect all Summer!

Getting ourselves ready for a swimsuit reveal, or just ensuring that we look good when we step out the door, also applies to our furry friends – a little grooming goes a long way to making them feel great!

However, just like us humans, increased time in the salt or chlorine water, lying on the sand, or simply soaking up the sun, can cause havoc with their skin, coat and digestive system.  So, if your dog is suffering from flaky, dry skin, a dull coat or they have that inexplicable odor that follows them around, they could benefit from a boost of probiotics (WITH prebiotic).

Summer Grooming Tips

It’s hot enough without fido wearing the equivalent of a woolly jumper, so regular grooming is essential in the hotter months to help keep your canine companions cool.

Here’s a few tips as a useful reminder to keep them in tip-top condition:

1. Brushing is important to stimulate the skin and allow natural oils to circulate both their skin and coat. It also prevents insects and vegetation getting tangled in matted fur, that can often lead to skin irritations and infections.

2. Regular brushing enables you to establish a baseline for what’s normal and more easily recognize any changes, such as bumps, growths, hotspots or discolorations that need to be referred to your veterinarian.

3. Rinse them off after they’ve had a dip in the sea or pool, toclean off the salt, sand or chlorine.

4. Remember to clean inside their ears aswell, to prevent bacterial infections from rivers, lakes or the sea . If they’ve been in chlorinated water, the chlorine can also dry out the delicate skin of their inner ear. The moisture and natural oilscan be replenished by ensuring their diet contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids; these can also be provided though supplements that they may need to take for other conditions, such as arthritis/hip dysplasia.

5. DON’T shampoo them every time, as this can strip them of the essential oils they need. Also, a dull smelly coat is more often a sign of a digestive issue rather than dirty fur.  

 

6. If you adopt a dog that isn’t used to being groomed, then take it slow, as getting rid of tangled mats can be quite painful. Keep it to short sessions of about 10 minutes with plenty of positive reinforcement by giving them a treat after each knot removed. It may take a few days to complete the task at first but you’ll soon get into a shorter maintenance routine and your dog will begin to see it as a positive and enjoyable activity.

7. When they have their summer fur trim, never clip too close to the skin. Dark coats absorb the heat easily, but fur is their natural sun barrier, so don’t shave them too close to the skin.

 

8. Dogs with light colored coats or pink skin are usually more sensitive to the sun and prone to sunburn. To keep them safe, apply doggy UV sun-block creams to fur and skin, before you go out, especially their ears and nose and ensure any paw ointment still allows pads to sweat.

CARE: NEVER use insecticides or sun protection products not approved for dogs. Many of these products contain ingredients, such as DEET in mosquito spray, which can cause serious problems when absorbed through the skin or ingested.
One of our customers, Elizabeth, provides wellness education for people, so it was great when she wrote to tell us how FidoActive Advanced Probiotics for Dogs had helped her “very picky German Shepherd”. Here’s what she said:
“He is weird about his food and usually can tell if we have mixed any medication or anything else in with it. I was very surprised that he ate his food so well with this product mixed in. It didn’t seem to even faze him. Our dog has a lot of skin issues. He’s had them since he was a puppy. They are so much better when he is on probiotics. I do wellness education for people and in my research have found that many outward issues are related to the health of the gut. Same is true for dogs. Having good probiotics goes a long way to help with skin issues and it also seems to make his coat shine more. We are pleased with the performance of this product and the taste must be good since my dog doesn’t turn up his nose. Thank you for helping us keep our dog healthy!!
We’d love to help you and your furry family in the same way. You can find out more about FidoActive and our all-natural advanced dog supplements on our website: www.fidoactive.com

Also, check out our special summer savings on Amazon.com

Wishing you and your canine companions a super Summer and the best of health!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team  

 

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Take the Stress Out of Visits to the Vet!

For the majority of dog owners, visiting the veterinarian is a fact of life, and while some of our furry friends may not enjoy it (understatement of the year when it comes to my 10-year-old collie-cross!), it certainly doesn’t have to be such a traumatic trip.  

Here are a few tips on how to help your dog have a less stressful vet visit and the younger your pet is when you start this the better, although it’s worth the effort for dogs of ANY age: 

 

1. Impromptu Visits 

Make impromptu visits to the vet when your dog doesn’t NEED their assistance – perhaps drop in as part of your walk once a week. Let the practice staff know you are trying to train your pooch and get them to make a fuss of them – only if your dog likes it of course!  

Also, as with any positive reinforcement training, remember to give them some tasty treats. 

This will help your dog build up positive feelings about visiting the vet, so that when they do actually need to be seen for treatment, they will be more relaxed.  

 

2. Handling 

One of the things many dogs dislike about visiting the vet is being handled, especially in places they are not used to being touched. 

This is another thing you can help your dog get used to at home, long before they need to visit the vet. Start at home by touching them on a part of their body you know they enjoy – often the chest or behind the ears are favorite places.  Leave your hand there for no more than three seconds, then give them a treat, and let them relax.   

Gradually move your hand to a new area, perhaps the front leg, for a maximum of three seconds, and give a treat each time.  If your dog looks uncomfortable at any point, stop what you are doing.  Remember to take this ‘touch and treat’ approach super slowly.  The ultimate aim is to be able to eventually touch your dog on their paws, lift up their tail, look in their mouth – basically, all of the things a vet may need to do during an examination. 

Gradually increase the time you leave your hand on them up to 10 seconds. As with so many aspects of dog training, the ‘little and often’ approach tends to work best, so set aside some time each week and make this part of your play time.  

 

3. Waiting Room   

There’s more often than not a period in the waiting room, so help your pooch relax by bringing their favorite toy and blanket and talk to them in a calm voice to keep their focus on you. This will help reassure them and know that their best friend is right by their side.   

If possible, be sure to sit as far away from the door and the busy reception desk as you can. Also, try and create space between other visitors and position your dog so that they are facing away from other animals. This will help lessen their anxiety and keep them more settled.  

 

4. Examination Room 

When it’s time to go into the examination room, remember that you are your dog’s best friend, and they are relying on you to speak up for them.  You know better than anyone how your dog shows they are stressed and growling is the common way dogs vocalize that they are not comfortable. The vet will be totally absorbed in actual examination or procedure, so may be unable to see your pet’s face or hear them. It’s up to you to pay close attention to how your furry friend is reacting to the procedure and if they get stressed or begin to growl, please do not hold back from politely, but firmly, asking the vet to stop what they are doing. Both your dog and your vet will thank you for speaking up! 

NEVER tell your dog off for growling – they are only trying to tell you they are in distress. 

Bites can occur during vet examinations because the owner and the vet ignored a growl and the dog felt they had no other way to show how uncomfortable they felt in that situation.  Being aware of the different ways your furry friend communicates is the best way to ensure every visit to the vets has a happy ending.        

While regular vet visits are necessary to help ensure our furry best friends are kept in tip-top health, we hope that you do not have cause for more frequent visits due to accident or illness. 

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team  

 

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WILL YOUR FURRY FRIEND BE HOME ALONE THIS 4th JULY?

If so, please make sure they are safe and sound during the celebrations. Facing all of those sudden noises and firework flashes is likely to spook ANY dog, especially when they haven’t got their best friend to lean on! 

 Take them for a walk before it’s dark (cue for start of fireworks!), so they are dog tired. They are less likely to be startled when fast asleep. 

  Ensure they have their ID on at ALL times – even at home! If they get spooked and bolt, they will often just continue running in a bid to escape the noise, which means they could end up a very long way from home, distressed and disorientated. Their ID is essential to help secure a safe and speedy return of your beloved pet. 

  Close the drapes/blinds to dampen sound and mask flashing lights. 

 Switch on radio or TV to mask sound. 

 Ensure they’re comfy in their favorite spot with a blanket and favorite toy to snuggle up to. 

 Keep them occupied with their favorite chew or treat-filled kong. 

#happydogs #happyholidays #doglovers #ilovedogs #petID #lostandfounddog #fidoactive

Wishing you and your canine companions safe and happy celebrations! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

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Are Bloodsuckers Hitching a Ride on Your Hound!

Your Complete Lowdown on Dog Ticks 

Ticks are really nasty. They can cause your furry friend to suffer from a wide range of health issues some of which are serious. We want to give you the complete lowdown on ticks here so that you can protect your pooch from these bloodsuckers. 

What are Ticks? 

Many people think that ticks and fleas are the same but they are different. Ticks are arachnids and fleas are insects. They are not from the same family. They are both parasites though and love nothing more than getting their next meal from your beloved pet! 

Ticks are most active from March to October, but as we get out and about more with our four-legged friends in the summer months, we tend to see more issues arise during that period.  

As ticks are at risk of drying out, they prefer moist and humid environments and live in grass, bushes, shrubs and foliage. Ticks will rest on the tips of grasses and shrubs, waiting for a host. When a host brushes past, the tick will climb onto them and attach themselves quickly. 

What do ticks look like? 

Many people, especially new first-time dog owners, often mistake a tick on a dog’s skin for a simple skin tag or mole… but they soon learn! 

There are different species of ticks and if you believe that your furry friend has them you need to identify what species they are so you can understand the health risks that they pose. The anatomy of all ticks is similar but there are distinguishing features such as body size and coloration. Ticks vary in shape, colour and size but they have a flattened oval shaped body before feeding and a plump, rounded body once fed. 

When unfed, the creatures are the size of a sesame seed. They will then grow to the size of a coffee bean when engorged with their host’s blood. 

Different Types of Tick in the United States 

A fact that you need to face is that ticks are everywhere. There is no place to hide from them. In the United States there are five common species of ticks: 

1. The Brown Dog Tick – these are also known as “kennel ticks” and are everywhere in the US. They do not have to live on your pooch to live and populate which makes them harder to find and get rid of. 

2. The American Dog Tick – also known as “wood ticks” these tend to live in more humid places but can be found almost anywhere on the Eastern side of the country and in California. They have white specs on their backs. 

3. The Lone Star Tick – this tick has a white spot on its back hence the name. They like to live in wooded locations usually where there is a natural water source. Lone Star ticks usually reside in the Eastern part of the US.  

4. The Black Legged Tick – also known as “deer ticks” these are similar in appearance to Brown Dog Ticks. They have a uniform brown red coloring. 

5. The Gulf Coast Tick – as the name suggests these live in the Gulf Coast regions and some Atlantic coastal regions.  

What is the Risk? 

Not only will ticks suck on the blood of your furry friend but they can transmit some horrible diseases. Some of these diseases can even spread to humans. It is essential that you protect your pooch from ticks as they can cause all kinds of health issues from a skin rash to a life threatening disease. 

Here are some of the diseases that ticks can transmit to your dog: 

  • Lyme Disease 
  • Tick Paralysis 
  • Ehrlichiosis 
  • Haemobartonellosis 
  • Babesiosis 
  • Tularemia 
  • Hepatozoonosis 
  • Anaplasmosis 
  • Rocky Mountain Fever 

Different tick species can cause different illnesses. Here is a breakdown by common species found in the United States: 

Brown Dog Tick  

  • Anaplasmosis 
  • Babesiosis 
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Haemobartonellosis
  • Hepatozoonosis 
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 

American Dog Tick 

  • Cytauxzoonosis 
  • Ehrlichiosis 
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 
  • Tick Paralysis 
  • Tularemia 

Lone Star Tick 

  • Ehrlichiosis 
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 
  • Tick Paralysis 
  • Tularemia 

Black Legged Tick 

  • Anaplasmosis 
  • Lyme Disease 
  • Tick Paralysis 

Gulf Coast Tick 

  • Hepatozoonosis 

Continue reading “Are Bloodsuckers Hitching a Ride on Your Hound!”