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 butbe sure NOT to treatthe 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!

OR how about one of these 15 unconventional dog houses as a Summer project?!…


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

Get Your Pooch Looking Pawsitively Perfect!

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, or just soaking in the sun, can cause havoc with their skin and coat.  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.

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, to clean off the salt, sand or chlorine.

4. Remember to clean inside their ears as well, 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 oils can 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.

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-naturaladvanced dog supplements on our website:
Also, check out our special summer savings on

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health!




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

Are 4th July Celebrations Your Dog’s Worst Nightmare?

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

This annual patriotic celebration should be enjoyable for all but what makes humans happy has the totally opposite effect on many of our beloved pets. For them it can be a period of total fear and panic.  It’s probably one of the times that our senior furry friends are actually grateful for age-related hearing loss!

If your dog is unhappy, you are unhappy so the following tips may help them cope:

Go for a ride in the car

This seems to help insulate dogs from the noise. Drive to an area away from the fireworks if possible. Alternatively, put on the radio or simply talk to your furry best friend, which will help distract them.

Keep pets indoors.

Provide a comfortable hiding place to get your furry friend away from the mayhem. Either place their bed or crate in a room with no windows, or with the windows/blinds/curtains closed. You can also cover the cage with a blanket to muffle the loud bangs and blank out the glare of bright fireworks.

Dogs seem to have a sixth sense and flee to their favorite (often peculiar!) hideaway before the fireworks even start. Mine squeezes into the leg space of my desk so, I just ensure that I put his favorite blanket there well in advance, and he’s as snug as a bug with his treat-filled kong to keep him distracted.

Many dogs just love to escape to their crate because it’s basically their equivalent of a “man cave” – an enclosed, snug and private hideaway, surrounded by their favorite toy and chew.

Safety First

The noise of firework displays is akin to a war zone for your pooch! It’s loud for us, so just think what it’s like for them with; they can hear two times better than us and sounds at distances about four times farther away!

The normal reaction to fear is “fight or flight”. You certainly don’t want them anywhere near fireworks (even burned out ones!) and you don’t want them running away in a frenzied attempt to escape the noise. 

Please be super careful and ensure your dog is wearing identification AT ALL TIMES. Even if your dog is inside or in the yard, a loud bang can make them bolt. A micro-chip is very helpful but if they also have a tag on a collar with your contact number on, then this will ensure the speediest safe return to you AND help reduce the burden on animal rescue centers at one of their busiest times of the year.

Calming Medication

Fearful dogs may benefit from a synthetic pheromone called Adaptil, which mimics the sebaceous gland secretions given off by mother dogs as they nurse. It’s thought to have a calming effect.

Consult your veterinarian if your have an extremely fearful dog who harm themselves or become destructive, to advise on the suitability of any calming medication.

Wishing you and your canine companions safe and happy celebrations!




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Rehabilitating an Under-Socialized Dog? What You Need to Know

If you adopt a dog that is under-socialized either from a shelter or rescue organization then you are a doing a truly wonderful thing. These centers are under immense pressure with the number of pets that they have to cope with, so you will not only be saving a life, but also freeing up their time to help save other lives.

Some people may think that taking on an under-socialized pooch will be too much and I’m not going to paint a rose-spectacled picture; It can definitely be challenging, time-consuming and you often need the patience of a saint! BUT hopefully, if you follow the guidelines in this article, it will not be too difficult and please believe when I say that it is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had and the end result is more than worth the effort.

However, you always need to bear in mind that your new furry friend may not have had much human contact (if any!), so you will need to give them time to adjust to their new surroundings.

Not surprisingly, they may have a fear of people and noises that we simply take for granted, such as the vacuum cleaner, television, passing cars and so on. Some may not be house trained either, so you will need to show a lot of love and understanding, particularly in the early days.

Many rescue centers are absolutely brilliant in trying to get their charges trained to a very basic level whilst they are in their care, but that isn’t always possible.

Starting from Scratch

If your new pet is under-socialized then they will not understand a number of things about living in a home with people:

  • If you try and pet your pooch they may resist – in fact any handling or holding could be a problem for them.
  • You shouldn’t expect them to know about going for walks on a leash or taking treats from your hand.
  • It is very unlikely that they will obey any commands that you give such as coming to you when you call them.
  • If you give your new furry friend a toy to play with they probably won’t know what to do with it!
  • Sometimes they may revert to a previous unwanted behavior so you will need to retrain them again.

If you persevere and show patience and love it is very likely that your furry friend will improve. Sure, their breed, age and unknown life history can all influence the speed of this process but NEVER GIVE UP ON THEM!  The more attention you give them, the greater the bond will become and you will be rewarded with their unconditional love for the rest of their lives. Don’t expect overnight success – it will take time – sometimes even months!


You need to consider the safety of your furry friend, you and your family and any other family pets. Your new dog will probably be scared when you first bring them home. They will be tempted to run away and may even try to bite you or another family member.

1. Don’t let your Pooch run away

I know it might be hard to understand why they would even contemplate running away from their new loving family, when you have just “saved” them but sadly, we have no way of knowing what neglect and abuse they suffered prior to their initial rescue and the emotional, psychological or physical impact it has had on them.

To prevent your dog from running away make them wear a collar with ID as well as a harness that fits properly. Always attach a leash to the harness or collar so that you can grab hold of it if your dog tries to run. Take extra care when letting your pooch loose in your home. Restrict access to certain rooms and make the family aware that they need to close doors behind them.

If you are travelling in your car then open the windows slightly for air. Keep the leash on and take a hold of it before opening doors. You can take the crate with you in the car for added safety.  In your yard use the exercise pen. Even if your yard is fenced off your dog may still be able to escape.

2. Biting Prevention

Not all under-socialized furry friends will try to bite but some might, purely as a natural defense mechanism to their fear or protection of what they see as theirs. 

You need to get to know your new pet quickly and if there is a biting situation, keep calm, figure out why it happenedand avoid that happening again e.g. Did someone try to move their food whilst they were eating? Did someone try to take away their favorite toy? Was someone too noisy and boisterous around them?

At the beginning, wear protective gloves when picking up your dog. If there is no biting after a while you can stop using the gloves.Alternatively, you can wrap your pooch in a towel to hold them. Avoid placing your head next to theirs. If you have another dog at home then they can be a good role model. Take everything slowly.

The Initial Days

It is very important that your new pooch is not overwhelmed when you first bring them home. They need a place where they can feel safe and secure. So, choose a single room for their designated sleeping area, make their bed (and/or crate) as comfy as possibleand then let your dog get used to their new surroundings. Expect accidents and use puppy pads – even for adult dogs!

It is best to place a collar or harness on your new pet and have a leash attached in the early days. Remember that your new best friend may not respond to any commands, so you will probably need to grab the leash to control them.

To train your pooch to go outside to relieve themselves, it’s often best to pick a common spot in the yard. You can even use an exercise pen so that the space is limited. The key is to be consistent and patient with your house training and this will pay off in the end. Build up a routine and go outside with them each time after they have eaten.

Day to Day Living

Introduce one thing at a time and do this slowly so that your pooch has time to adapt. Start off by feeding your dog from your hand. You want to build a bond and this is a great way to do it. Crouch down low and sit with the food in your extended hand.

Gradually introduce your furry friend to busier areas of your home such as family rooms and the kitchen. You can use an exercise pen in these rooms so that your pet feels safe. Don’t use the crate as this is their place of safety and security.

If you have other pets introduce them one at a time. Watch out for any fighting when you do this. If you have another dog then they can really be a good role model. Your new pet will probably be used to or more trusting of other dogs but not people.

Further Socializing and Training

When you feel that your furry friend has settled in, it is best to work with them a few times every day for a few minutes. Keep this momentum going for the best results.

Keep going and avoid plateaus. Once your furry friend is comfortable around the house, introduce them to new challenges such as walking outside and meeting other people and dogs. Introduce everything slowly and avoid pushing your pooch.

If you’re finding the training a bit overwhelming or you don’t feel you’re making progress, seek help from a professional or enroll in a dog training class. As well as helping with their socialization skills, it’s good fun and a brilliant way of having quality time with your furry best friend – which is exactly what they crave!

Consistency is key!It will be hard enough for them to get to grips with commands and routines, so make sure the rest of the family and friends give the same commands and do not encourage bad habits that you are trying to correct.

Last, but not least – remember that IT IS POSSIBLE to teach an old dog new tricks!!


Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health!




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 


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Seriously, you do not want your furry friend to contract Lyme disease – period! Unfortunately, it is a very common disease transmitted by ticks, but the symptoms only show up in a small percentage of affected dogs – around 5 to 10%. So please read this to find out what Lyme disease really is and how you can prevent it in your pooch.

What is Lyme Disease in Dogs?

The cause of Lyme disease is a microscopic organism which is a spiral shape and has the name Borrelia burgdorferi. The eastern black legged tick (also known as the deer tick) carries this bacterium in its gut, and when these ticks make contact with your pooch there is a likelihood of disease transmission.

It is often difficult to spot the offending ticks as they are very small. Some of them will be the size of a sesame seed, while others are so small that they about the size of a grain of sand. These ticks like moist ground that is shady, but you can find them in many different places so it can be tough to avoid them:

  • They often cling to tall grass
  • They inhabit brush
  • Low branches of trees
  • On shrubs
  • In lawns
  • Around stone walls

Deer and mice often carry these ticks and they inhabit every US state. This was not always the case, but with pets travelling a lot more now and Global Warming, ticks have found their way across the whole country.  They live in some Canadian provinces, Europe and other parts of the world too.

Any dog can contract Lyme disease, no matter what breed, size or age they are. Experiments have shown that younger dogs are more susceptible to the disease, but all ages can get it. The reason you need to be more vigilantthan ever is because:

  • The tick population is spreading and they are virtually everywhere
  • It can be very difficult to see these ticks and identifying a tick bite is even tougher especially on dogs with thicker coats
  • The symptoms may not appear for several months after infection
  • Humans can contract the disease too with severe consequences

What is the Impact of Lyme Disease?

A lot of people think that there are no ticks around in the winter but this is not true. The threat to your furry friend is there at all times. Hundreds of these ticks may attach themselves to your dog in just one outing.

Sadly, there can be some very serious complications if your pooch gets Lyme disease, such as damage to the kidneys. It appears some dog breeds are more susceptible to kidney problems than others, namely Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain, Shetland sheepdogs and Labrador Retrievers.

In very rare cases Lyme disease has affected the nervous system and the hearts of some dogs. More commonly there is inflammation of the joints which can make your pooch lame.

Lameness can be a temporary problem, and it can move around from one leg to another. The important thing is not to ignore it and don’t mistake it for an age related joint problem.

Symptoms to Look Out for in Your Furry Friend 

  • Joint pain that typically lasts about 3 – 4 days
  • An arching of the back and stiff walking
  • Your dog is very reluctant to move
  • Joints become swollen, sensitive and warm to touch
  • Pain in the legs or other parts of the body
  • Appetite loss
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Breathing problems
  • Fevers
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash (often resembling a bullseye)

Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme disease

Sorry, so far it has been all bad news for your furry friend but, thankfully, there is some good news to make you feel better!

There are a number of tests that veterinarians perform these days, which will diagnose whether your pooch has Lyme disease or a number of other infections caused by ticks.

They will want to know the full history of any symptoms that you have detected and the activities that occurred prior to the symptoms. If they then suspect Lyme disease then they are likely to run a series of tests that could include:

  • Total blood cell count
  • Tests of blood chemistry for kidney, pancreas and liver problems
  • Electrolyte testing for dehydration and imbalances
  • Serology
  • Urinalysis to look for proteins and check for urinary tract infections
  • X-rays
  • Fecal examinations to check for parasites
  • A test of the thyroid to see if the thyroid hormone levels are low

Early detection will significantly increase the chances of successful treatment. Your vet will probably prescribe doxycycline antibiotic treatment as it is the most common way to treat Lyme disease. It will depend entirely on your furry friend’s circumstances and signs.

Doxycycline antibiotics usually help dogs to recover quickly and it is not uncommon to see an improvement in the symptoms as fast as one to two days. If your pooch is on a course of treatment for Lyme disease then it is essential that you attend follow ups with the veterinarian so that they can test the response to treatment. It is also highly recommended that your dog takes naturalprobiotics during this period to avoid antibiotic stress.

Prevention is Better than Cure

You want to prevent your beloved pet from getting Lyme disease and other tick-related diseases, don’t you? Well there are a number of things that you can do, so please follow these steps and protect your pooch: 

  • Find out how prevalent Lyme disease and other tick diseases are in your area by discussing this with your vet and checking relevant websites such as the canine disease prevalance map

  • Keep your dog away from areas where 
  • ticks are prevalent or make sure you stick to the paths
  • There are tick control products that can repel ticks such as sprays and special collars. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations about these and suitable vaccinations.
  • Check your dog ALL OVER for ticks, ideally on a DAILY basis but DEFINITELY if they have been in a high-risk area, such as woodland or high grass. DON’T FORGET to checkunder their tail, between their paw pads, inside their ears and nose.
  • Check regularly for the symptoms of Lyme disease and any appetite changes and behavior changes. While ticks are thought to be more prevalent in spring and autumn, symptoms can take MONTHS to show or visible signs never do and diagnosis is only found through blood tests.
  • When you take your dogfor their regular check-up ask your veterinarian to perform tick screening
  • Ticks may be in your yard so be sure to spray regularly and seek advice from a pest control company on the best solution
  • Use tick shampoos
  • Use tick repellents around the home such as garlic, apple cider vinegar and citrus repellents
  • DON’T FORGET, your pet always has the best chance of fighting off any disease is they are fit, healthy and have a robust immune system.

Tips on Tick Removal

  • Remove ticks with a proper tick-removal tool; these grip the head, without squashing the body and are designed to facilitate swift and effective removal
  • After removing tick(s)wash your dog’s skin and your hands thoroughly
  • If any mouth parts remain in the skin, these should be removed by a qualified professional. Do NOT squeeze them. Parts that are not removed correctly increase the risk of disease transmission and skin trauma.


Please keep you and your canine companions safe and make sure you share this with your dog walking pals.




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

For more detailed information about FidoActive and their All-Natural supplements for dogs visit them at or on Amazon




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