LUV My dogs: Winter

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Showing posts with label Winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winter. Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2017

15 Dog Breeds That Love The Snow

15 Dog Breeds That Love The Snow
  Winter is on its way here. It’s time to bring out the doggy boots, coats, and cold-weather gear to keep your pup from being miserable on those chilly walks. But some breeds aren’t miserable in the snowy weather at all. To them, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. They’re happy to eat snowflakes, chase snowballs, and make snow angel-dogs while you stand there freezing. Here are ten dog breeds who love the snow.

1. Alaskan Malamute
  The Alaskan Malamute is a descendent of the Arctic wolf, and with its thick double coat and large, tough paws, it can handle the snowiest of days. Known for pulling sleds through the snow and having a love for being outdoors, the Alaskan Malamute is a terrific companion for your polar adventures.

2. Akita
  An Akita is truly a royal pup—hailing from Japan, this breed was once only owned by the Imperial family. Statues of the Akita were also given as gifts to new parents to bring health, happiness, and a long life. This dog, originally bred as a cold-weather hunting companion with a dense undercoat and harsh outer coat, can often be independent and stubborn, but will remain protective and loyal to its family.

3. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  Pembroke Welsh Corgis are believed to be descended from Vallhunds–Swedish cattle dogs brought by the Vikings to Wales–so you know they’re tough. They have a double coat, the undercoat being thick and covered by the longer topcoat. And they shed pretty consistently throughout the year, especially when the weather changes. This makes them well-prepared for romps in the snow, which they’ll most likely love.

4. Bernese Mountain Dog
  Originally from Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a loyal, sweet breed that would love nothing more than to go on a nice long walk through a winter wonderland. Its cheerful attitude will definitely put on a smile on anyone's face.

5. Siberian Husky
  Famous for his sledding prowess, the Siberian Husky wears a thick double coat that makes him well-suited for snow and harsh weather. If the Siberian could have his way, his owner would love snow just as much as he does. The breed tends to thrive at winter dog sports, but he’ll usually be happy to try other sports, too. Either way, he needs plenty of exercise all year round.

6. Old English Sheepdog
  The Old English Sheepdog is known for its shaggy coat. In fact, you’ll probably have to spend lots of time grooming an Old English Sheepdog if you want to keep their fur from matting. In the warm months, they can get overheated pretty quickly, so they’ll be much happier in the winter months when their fur coats don’t make them so hot. Be careful to wipe them down before bringing them in from the snow or you’ll have lots of puddles around the house later on.

7. Newfoundland
  The Newfoundland, often referred to as a Gentle Giant, would be crushed if you headed out for a snowy hike without it. Its double, thick coat and super-sweet disposition makes it the perfect candidate to go on a winter hike. And if you happen to get a bit chilly, it would love nothing more than to snuggle up tight and warm you right up! Keep in mind that this breed sheds and drools a lot, even in the winter, so if you're a neat freak, this breed may not be for you.

8. Tibetan Mastiff
  As their name suggests, the Tibetan Mastiff is from Tibet where it is, of course, very cold. They have a thick coat suited for surviving freezing temperatures, which makes them more than able to stand up to most winter walks you’ll be taking them on. They aren’t able to handle the hot months very well, though. They are able to handle a certain level of dry heat provided they have shade and water, but these pups will be happiest when the temperature drops.

9. Pomeranian
  Pomeranians are descended from ancient breeds of the far north, which makes them a bit like a small version of the American Eskimo Dog or the Samoyed. Their undercoat is soft and fluffy, and it’s quite thick. Some owners groom the fur completely to the undercoat, which gives the Pomeranian a stuffed animal-like appearance. They do have an overcoat, too. It’s straight and shiny, and it’s a little harsh to the touch, but it protects them well from cold weather. Pomeranians can overheat easily, which means they’re right at home in the snow.

10. Labrador Retriever
  This popular family pet’s thick, water-repellant coat is ideal for keeping him dry when retrieving water fowl from frigid lakes during fall hunting season. His stocky build and short, dense double coat provides him with an effective barrier to cold weather and icy conditions however if your pooch is typically an indoor dog wintery weather should be experienced in moderation.

11. Samoyed
  The Samoyed, like the Siberian Husky, is from Siberia where it was a valuable companion for the Samoyede people. It was bred to hunt, haul sledges, herd reindeer, and cuddle up for warmth on cold nights. Their double coat is very thick and sheds constantly. With all that thick fur, they won’t want to be out in the heat for too long, but you might have trouble bringing them back inside in the winter. Especially because their white fur blends in with the snow so well, it may be hard to spot them.

12. American Eskimo Dog
  Originating from Germany, the American Eskimo was originally called the White German Spitz but was renamed after World War II, most likely for its white coat--not for any connection with Eskimos. Though this playful and compact and used to perform indoors with the Barnum and Bailey Circus, outdoor activity suits it much better; its coat resists soaking and thick ears stay warm in low temperatures.

13. Chow Chow
  Considered one of the oldest dog breeds, the Chow Chow’s thick, furry coat will keep it warm for hours during a winter excursion, and its strong, loyal personality will keep you on your toes for many years. This breed is considered a heavy shedder in certain months, so be sure to have your brushes handy.

14. German Shepherd
  The breed's popularity grew with Rin Tin Tin, the abandoned German Shepherd pup found during WWI who went on to star in TV shows and movies. Known for their herding, guarding, and police work, German Shepherds are strong, agile, hard workers that have a lot of energy and learn quickly. This breed commonly suffers from hip dysplasia, which can likely be avoided by buying from a credible breeder.

15. Kuvasz
  To be considered a true Kuvasz, this dog must always sport white fur, according to the American Kennel Club. Originating in Tibet, the Kuvasz—which means "armed guard of nobility" in Turkish—was later owned by the royal family in Hungary before finding a more "common" lifestyle as a light-footed hunter and herder. The Kuvasz's double coat makes it a perfect mountain dog, and its trainability and fearless protective instincts provide a perfect four-legged companion. A fenced-in, open yard works best for this energetic, yet possibly destructive, breed.
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Winter Care Tips For Your Dog

Winter Care Tips For Your Dog
  For some of us, cold weather is regarded as a mere nuisance; for others, it’s a fun time filled with snowboarding, skiing and other winter joys; and still others will find this time of bone-chilling weather and huge piles of snow a veritable nightmare to endure.
  Whatever your viewpoint on winter, one thing remains the same for all of us with pets: it’s a time when our beloved babies need a little extra care.

1. Consider a coat.

  There are a few kinds of dogs who can benefit from a sweater or coat while outside. Dogs with short legs, like a Basset Hound or Corgi, may benefit from clothing to keep them warm, because their stature puts them in closer contact with snow. Dogs with a thin body type, like Greyhounds or Whippets, especially those with short fur, may benefit from a coat. Additionally, certain health conditions can make it difficult for affected dogs to regulate their body temperatures, so a sweater or coat for those pets couldn’t hurt.
Tips: Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter?

2. Go outside when the sun shines


  If your dog feels the cold, try to walk him in the late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer, and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Spend time playing outdoors while it’s sunny; sunshine brings the added benefit of providing both you and your pet with vitamin D. Play fetch with toys, not sticks, which can cause choking and other injuries. So, if your dog likes to chew and chase, pack a Frisbee, ball or other safe toy and play together in the sun.

3. No More Frozen Dinners!

  Because it takes more energy to stay warm when it's cold, outdoor animals eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet's health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and make sure they haven’t turned into little skating rinks for fleas . While ice pops might be a fun treat, your pet really doesn’t want to have to lick a frozen lump of ice to get his water.

4. Cozy bedding

  In addition to limiting your dog’s time outdoors on cold days, don’t let your pooch sleep on a cold floor in winter. Choosing the right bedding is vital to ensure your dog stays warm. Warm blankets can create a snug environment; raised beds can keep your dog off cold tiles or concrete, and heated pet beds can help keep the stiffness out of aging joints. Place your dog’s bed in a warm spot away from drafts, cold tile or uncarpeted floors, preferably in a favorite spot where he sleeps every day so that the area doesn’t feel unfamiliar.

5. Learn how to walk safely in winter weather.
  Walking your dog in winter doesn’t have to be miserable or unsafe, provided you take proper precautions to protect yourself and your pet from conditions like wind, snow and ice. Be sure you and your dog are both properly outfitted — that includes protecting your dog’s paws from ice and deicing agents with booties or pet-safe gels. Use a front-clip harness to discourage pulling and a solid leash as opposed to a retractable one. When you’re out walking, be sure to avoid hazards like frozen ponds and make sure your dog’s clothing stays dry. And don’t forget to wipe your dog’s paws afterward — many salts and ice-melters are toxic to pets.

  And remember, it’s important to listen to your dog. If he’s shaking, cowering or attempting to head back home, it might be too cold for him.

6. Find exercise alternatives.


  Some days, winter conditions like ice or extreme cold may prevent both you and your dog from getting outside, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get some exercise. Consider playing tug or fetch, creating your own agility course inside, or feeding a small portion of your dog's food from a food puzzle. Just remember, when you’re playing games like fetch, it’s best to do these things on a carpeted surface, rather than on hardwood floors, which can be slippery.

7. Protect your dog from heaters

  Dogs will often seek heat during cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources. Avoid space heaters and install baseboard radiator covers to avoid your pet getting burned. Fireplaces also pose a major threat so please make sure you have a pet proof system to keep your heat-seeking pal out of harm’s way!

8. Moisturize

  Dry and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s skin. Help prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to his food. Coconut and fish oils are easy foods that can help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. If you find your pet’s paws, ears or tail are dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed.

9. Latest Fad Diet?


  Indoor animals, meanwhile, have different dietary needs. They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust the amount of food accordingly. After all, no one wants an overweight pet.

10. Dogs also should be kept inside if possible. 
  If kept outside, they should have a draft-free shelter large enough to stand and turn around in, yet small enough to retain body heat. Use a layer of straw or other bedding material to help insulate your pet against the cold. Different breeds of dogs have different sheltering needs. Purchase a commercially produced doghouse, or contact your local humane society for construction plans for a doghouse suitable for your climate. Please be sure to contact your veterinarian if you have questions.

11. Keep your dog hydrated

  Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as summer. Although many dogs eat snow, it’s not an adequate substitute for fresh water. If your dog spends time outdoors in your yard, make sure he has access to a water bowl, check it often and break ice that forms on top.

12. Groom your dog

  Your dog needs a clean, well-groomed coat to keep him properly insulated. This is especially important if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. After bathing, dry your dog thoroughly, especially before allowing him outside

13. The Deadly Drink

  The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car's radiator. It may taste delicious to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly -- even the smallest sip can be fatal. If your pet starts acting "drunk" or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors' driveways?

14. Snow removal


  Snow can be a lot of fun but also dangerous for your dog. Snow piled near fences offers your dog escape routes that even well trained dogs often can’t resist. When you clear snow in your yard, pile it away from fences to prevent your dog from climbing over. Snow and ice often accumulate on rooftops and if the sun is out or as temperatures rise, this accumulation can slide and injure your dog. If you can’t clear the snow from the roof, keep your dog away from the roof overhang to prevent injury.

15. Paw care is a must

  Just as we tend to develop foot cracks in winter, dogs can also suffer from cracked pads. If your dog has furry feet, trim the hair that grows between his pads to prevent ice buildup between the pads. Winter salt on city sidewalks can also burn your dog’s pads and is toxic, so after walks around the neighborhood, rinse or wipe your dog’s paws to remove any salt – you don’t want him licking it off. If your dog shows signs of discomfort when walking outside on frozen or salted surfaces, consider using dog booties to protect his paws

16. Salty Solution

  Do you live in an area with cold and icy winters? Then you are probably accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws - not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet's paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties.

17. Never leave your dog unattended in the car, no matter what the season

  Just as cars can get dangerously hot in summer, freezing cold temperatures are equally dangerous for your dog in winter. Leaving the car running involves additional risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning if the car is parked in a garage. Leave your dog at home when you go out to run errands.

18. Joy Ride

  Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the winter-time, especially frigid cats that love to climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor. This, as you can imagine, has led to many mishaps when motorists start their car … ouch! Avoid such accidents by tapping your car's hood before starting the vehicle. Sure, you may wake Kitty from her deep slumber, but she'll thank you in the long run.

19. Watch where your dog plays

  Although your dog is likely to be having a great time outdoors, take frequent indoor breaks for water and warming and don’t ever stay out too long. If you’re walking or playing in unfamiliar areas, keep your dog close. It’s easy for him to venture onto unsafe surfaces such as frozen ponds or lakes. These may be covered in snow and not easily visible.

20. Special care for seniors
  Cold weather will often aggravate existing medical conditions in dogs, particularly arthritis. It’s very important to maintain an exercise regimen with your arthritic dog, but be mindful of slippery surfaces and make sure your dog has a warm soft rest area to recuperate after activity. If you don’t already give your senior dog a natural joint supplement to lubricate the joints and ease the discomfort of arthritis, you may want to consider adding one in winter. Just like people, dogs are more susceptible to other illnesses during winter weather.


  Winter often brings colder temperatures and elements like wind, sleet and snow. But that doesn’t mean you and your dog have to hibernate until spring. Here are some things you can do to help prepare your dog for winter and keep him happy, healthy and active during the colder months.

More informations: Protect Your Dog During Winter and Cold Weather


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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Everything about your Chinook

Everything about your Chinook
  Created in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Chinook dog breed made his name on Admiral Byrd’s first Antarctic expedition in 1928. These days he’s a multipurpose dog who’s happy hiking, competing in agility and other dog sports, pulling a sled or other conveyance, and playing with the kids.

Overview
  This rare breed of sled dog got his start when musher Arthur Treadwell Walden of Wonalancet, New Hampshire, bred a farm dog of unknown heritage with a “northern” husky, producing a litter of puppies with tawny coats. One of the pups, named Chinook, grew up to father a breed of dogs who not only had his physical characteristics but also his gentle disposition. Indeed, the calm and dignified Chinook lavishes plenty of affection on each family member, but he’s best known for his love of children.
  With his heritage as a hard-working sled dog, the Chinook is intelligent and easy to train if you use positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise, play, and food rewards. If you lead an active, outdoorsy lifestyle, this is the dog for you. Chinooks are great companions for hikers and backpackers, and they thrive at dog sports, including sledding and skijoring.   They also perform well in agility, herding, obedience, and rally.

Highlights
  • Chinooks have a gentle, even temperament and are rarely shy or aggressive.
  • Chinooks should live indoors with their people, preferably in a home where they have access to a safely fenced yard.
  • Chinooks can be diggers.
  • Chinooks need 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise. They enjoy hiking, jogging, and pulling, whether what's behind them is a sled, wagon, or person on skis or skates.
  • Chinooks are smart and learn quickly, but if you're not consistent in what you ask of them, they'll take advantage of you.
  • Chinooks are not barkers but can be talkative, whining and "woo-wooing" to express their opinions.
  • Chinooks have thick coats and shed heavily twice a year; the rest of the year they shed small amounts daily.
  • Chinooks need daily brushing to keep their coats clean, but baths are rarely necessary.
  • Chinooks love kids when they're raised with them, but can be reserved with them otherwise.
  • Never buy a Chinook from a puppy broker or pet store. Reputable breeders do not sell to middlemen or retailers, and there are no guarantees as to whether the puppy had healthy parents. Reputable breeders perform various health tests to ensure that their breeding dogs don't pass on a predisposition to genetic diseases.
  • Interview breeders thoroughly, and make sure the puppy's parents have been screened for genetic diseases pertinent to that breed. Ask breeders about the health issues they've encountered in their dogs, and don't believe a breeder who claims that her dogs never have any health problems. Ask for references so you can contact other puppy buyers to see if they're happy with their Chinook. Doing your homework may save you a lot of heartbreak later.
Other Quick Facts
  • In Inuit, Chinook means “warm winter winds.”
  • The Chinook is an uncommon breed, so expect to wait up to a year for a puppy to become available.
  • A Chinook can have either drop or erect ears, and you won’t be able to tell which type he’ll have until he’s four to six months old.
  • His hefty size may ward off an intruder, but the Chinook is not a guardian breed.
Breed standards
AKC group: Working Group
UKC group: Northern Breed Group
Average lifespan: 12 - 15 years
Average size: 55 - 70 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense to medium double coat
Coloration: Tawny, honey or reddish-gold
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Muscular frame, wide nostrils, black nose, dark brown or amber eyes, moderate webbed toes and long curved tail
Possible alterations: May be white in color or have dewclaws, which are typically removed.
Comparable Breeds: Siberian Husky, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

History
  The Chinook is one of an increasing number of breeds claiming to be “made in America.” The powerful yet friendly dogs were created by musher Arthur Treadwell Walden, who started with some Greenland Husky sled dogs and a mastiff-type farm dog.  Walden was put in charge of assembling the team of 16 Chinooks used to transport supplies for Admiral Richard Byrd’s trek to Antarctica in 1927. Walden’s original dog, named Chinook, was part of this illustrious team.
  Following the expedition, Walden sold his kennel to Milt Seeley, Julia Lombard, and Perry and Honey Greene, but the breed’s numbers began to dwindle. In 1965, the Guinness Book of World Records declared the Chinook the most rare breed of dog in the world. When Neil and Marra Wollpert tried to find a Chinook in 1981, they discovered that there were only 11 dogs left who could be bred, so they worked successfully to preserve the dogs and rebuild the population.
  In an attempt to further save the breed, the Chinook Owners Association, in conjunction with the United Kennel Club, instituted a crossbreeding program. The intent was to add genetic diversity to the Chinook’s gene pool. Today, Chinooks are still uncommon — only 638 were registered with the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service in 2009. But the breed, which has been named the state dog of New Hampshire, appears to have a future.

Temperament
  One of the most wonderful traits of the Chinook is its gentle, even temperament, making it one of the easiest to own of all sled dog breeds. These calm and patient animals get along famously with children and other dogs. They are neither aggressive nor timid and, as working dogs, are programed to please their people. The Chinook does not make a good guard or watch dog. However, they do make wonderful dogs for high-energy families that have lots of time to spend with their pets. They will not thrive spending most of their time alone or apart from their family. Chinooks need constant companionship, either from other dogs or from their owners. A family that does not allow a dog in the house or rarely has time to train, exercise and socialize with their dog should consider a different breed. The Chinook has no trouble making friends but can be reserved at first with strangers or in unfamiliar surroundings.

Health Problems
  For the most part, Chinooks are pretty healthy dogs. They are prone to certain afflictions such as Cataracts, Seizures and Hip Dysplasia. Skin allergies have also been known to occur within the breed.

Care
  The coat of a Chinook requires little grooming, but because of its thickness it does shed, so a daily brushing may help to keep the shedding manageable. It requires moderate exercise and is a good family pet.

Living Conditions
  Chinooks adapt well to family life and prefer to accompany their "pack" on outings such as hiking or camping. They do not like to be left alone! Long periods of time without their family can lead to destructive behavior. Also, if left outside, they may attempt to dig under a fence. Although they are working dogs, Chinooks require little activity. They are happy to go along on long walks or hikes, but they are just as content to nap on the couch.


Trainability
  Chinooks are smart, versatile and highly trainable. However, they are strong-willed and can be a bit pushy. Almost every Chinook requires correction in order to avoid taking a dominant position in the household. This breed requires an owner with a firm but gentle hand to prevent personality and hierarchy controversies. Chinooks are high-spirited dogs that need consistent training and discipline in order to establish and maintain proper manners.   Training sessions give a Chinook the opportunity to expend some of its excess energy and use its brain power for constructive purposes. Chinooks are very clever, but they are likely to resist authority in favor of their own desires. Training a Chinook requires not just five or six weeks; training needs to continue every day for the rest of the dog’s life.

Exercise Requirements
  Every dog requires some form of exercise but the Chinook is a breed that craves it. He’ll never run around the backyard catching and bringing back balls or Frisbees but he’ll be a ready, willing and able jogging buddy or hiking companion. The Chinook will gladly stroll through the neighborhood with you on the other end of the leash or hop in the car for a trip to the pet store. With this being said, he will be thrilled to pull your kids’ sleds through the snow in the winter and do so exuberantly. He’ll even pull them around in their wagons in the summer. It’s simply that he was not born to retrieve things and few Chinooks enjoy that tedious task.
  After a good exercise session, he’ll be quite happy to stretch out in the kitchen while you make dinner or curl up next to you on the couch and watch TV. The Chinook is a calm companion indoors provided he does have a workout every day.

Grooming
  The Chinook has a thick, easy-to-groom double coat that sheds lightly every day. To remove dead hair and distribute skin oils, brush the coat once or twice a week. Baths are rarely necessary. Twice a year, the Chinook goes through a heavy shed, known as blowing coat. The process lasts for about three weeks, and you’ll want to brush your Chinook more often during that time to keep the loose hair under control.
  The rest is routine care: Chinook nails grow quickly, so trim them weekly. And brush his teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
   A gentle and friendly Chinook can be a kid's best friend if they're brought up together. If your Chinook hasn't been socialized with kids, introduce the two slowly and calmly so the Chinook can become accustomed to the child at his own speed.
  Regardless, always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any ear biting or tail pulling on the part of either party.
  Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how good-natured, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Because he was created to be a sled dog, the Chinook is a good team worker and usually gets along with other animals, cats included, but early socialization to other pets is still important. Males who haven't been neutered may be aggressive toward other males, especially unneutered males.

Is this breed right for you?
  Although bred as a working dog, the Chinook makes an excellent family pet with adults and children alike, although it is best that it is exposed to kids as a puppy. A calm and easy temperament, it is alert when needed and docile during rest periods. Tremendously loyal, the breed will follow its owner like a shadow and may experience separation anxiety. The Chinook will also need to be socialized early on and know that it is a dog and not a human. In addition, the breed requires very regular exercise and grooming.

Did You Know?
  In 1927, a team of 16 Chinooks accompanied Admiral Richard Byrd on his first expedition to Antarctica.

A dream day in the life
  The Chinook will likely wake up in the bedroom of its owner. Following you diligently, the breed will likely be your shadow throughout the day. After a long and brisk run, it'll settle in for breakfast with you. It will continue its day of activity, running in and out of the house and playing with the other members of the family. After its very busy day, it'll snooze happily at your feet.





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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Winter Activities That Are Fun for Your Dog

Winter Activities That Are Fun for Your Dog
  The nights are colder, the days are shorter and your dog's favorite chew toy is buried under ten inches of snow. What a perfect day to play with your dog. While not all dogs care for snow in the same way, they all still need regular exercise to stay fit and healthy for life. Here are few games you can try to help boost your dog's energy and fitness level over the next few winter months.

  Winter weather shouldn't be an excuse to hibernate. There are tons of fun winter activities you can do with your dog - inside and out. If you want a happy dog, give him regular exercise, after all it will be good for both of you! 

Snowed in? Keep your pup stimulated

  Dogs are meant to be outdoors, love being outdoors, live for being outdoors. Keeping your dog well-exercised will help you both keep your sanity. Regardless of the season, professional dog behaviorist Nicola Anderson, suggests daily stimulation for your pet. I often recommend doing some basic obedience exercises with your dog – just about 10 minutes a day.

Play a game with your dog.

  Hide-and-seek is a wonderful way to get your dog up and moving and mentally engaged. You can hide a treat or her favorite toy, but it’s better to make her come find you. Start by throwing a treat to get her to go away from you, and then hide in another part of the house. This game can really tire your pup out as she rushes around searching, and it’s good for reinforcing the “come” command.

Treasure Hunt

  Try burying a stick, toy or even a treat in the snow. Then sit back and watch his natural tracking instinct kick in. For dogs that require a bit of help finding their reward, try hiding the object closer to your dog at first, then slowly burying it further away the better your dog gets at the game.

Skijoring

  Another fun activity is Skijoring, an activity where all that is required is you, your dog, and a pair of skis. Even small dogs will enjoy this outdoor activity.

Cross country skiing is a popular activity all throughout the snowbelt. Bring your dog along to enjoy the experience, and you’ll find he’s just as excited to help pull you along the trail. That’s what Skijoring is all about!

Challenge your dog’s nose.

  Dogs have incredibly powerful scenting abilities, so exercises that require your pal to use her nose are especially stimulating. Make her work for her dinner by creating an obstacle course she has to get through to find her food. Hide her meal in a box, or, better yet, put it in a Kong Wobbler or a Buster Ball.

Fetch, Catch and Beyond

  If your dog loves to fetch or catch rubber balls chances are he will love trying to do the same with snowball. Fair warning dogs really love this game so be prepared to make a large stockpile of snowballs, and be careful not to pack the show too much.

Tracking - Sniff in all that cold winter air and train your dog to track scents.
  Tracking is like a game for dogs...hide-and-seek. Tracking challenges a dog's problem solving skills and keeps their keen sense of smell active. It also rewarding when they successfully track a scent. Call a local trainer or find a good tracking training book to get started.

Tracking - Sniff in all that cold winter air and train your dog to track scents. 
  Tracking is like a game for dogs...hide-and-seek. Tracking challenges a dog's problem solving skills and keeps their keen sense of smell active. It also rewarding when they successfully track a scent. Call a local trainer or find a good tracking training book to get started.

Snow Shoe
  If the snow isn't outrageously deep, you can always have your dog join you for a snowshoe walk. Keep in mind you may have to leash your dog so be aware of the local park or trail bylaws.

  Some popular people activities are simply too dangerous to try to include your dog. While cross-country skiing seems passive and relaxing enough, skis are fun to chase for dogs and your pet may end up injuring himself.


Don’t be a wimp…get outdoors!

  Most bigger dogs love snow, and they can get a great workout by plowing through it. Spend 30 to 40 minutes in the snow, and your dog will get a workout that leaves her exhausted—and her muscles toned. When you come in, be sure to wash your dog’s paws to clean off any salt.



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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter?

Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter?
  Do dogs need clothes? While this may at first appear to be a light concern to those who would scoff at the idea of dressing a dog, there are still many dog owners who have seen their dogs shiver violently after exposure to winter temperatures but hesitate to put clothing on their dogs for fear of appearing odd. Well, have no fear. If you are concerned about your dog being cold, there is certainly no harm in putting clothing on him.
  If you've always considered dog coats and sweaters silly accessories for overindulged pets, there's something you should know. Many breeds actually need winter coats or sweaters to brave the winter weather. Here's how to determine whether your dog is a candidate for outerwear.
  If you are still on the fence, consider this: Sure, dogs come equipped with their own external layering system, but some dogs have lighter layers of fur than others, and some are not genetically suited to the environments in which they find themselves transplanted. So your dog may in fact be extremely uncomfortable with the winter temperatures — as uncomfortable as you would be if you went outside without clothing.

Who really needs a coat?
  Not surprising, little dogs are the most likely to need extra insulation. Chihuahuas, toy terriers, miniature pinchers and other small breeds are simply less equipped to deal with cold winter temperatures. Short-haired dogs and those that are very lean, such as Whippets and Greyhounds, tend to shiver quite easily, and will enjoy their daily walks much more when wearing a coat or sweater.
  Dog coats are also recommended if you live in an area where the mercury drops below zero or if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors in the winter. This applies even to large breeds that are accustomed to the cold: remember their bellies have no fur and are exposed to the elements. Likewise, dogs recuperating from an illness or injury may also be more sensitive to frigid temperatures, as are older dogs and puppies.
  Veterinarians recommend against dog sweaters for long-haired larger breeds because these dogs are naturally predisposed to survive cold temperatures.
Finding a Good Sweater
  Once you have decided to get a sweater for your dog, you will need to begin by considering material. While wool is very warm and one of the best insulating materials, take into account how often it will need to be washed, and whether it will make your dog more uncomfortable due to itching. A good blend of washable wool and cotton or acrylic may be the best bet.
Second, just as you would measure your own neck, chest and waist before buying a piece of clothing, measuring your dog is the best way of assuring the best fit. Why do you want it to fit? So that your dog cannot easily pull the piece off, so it doesn’t drag on the ground, and so it doesn’t get caught on anything during normal movement. You want the piece to be snug without being tight.


Shopping tips
  If you shop in stores, you have a huge advantage over catalog shoppers. You can try several coats on your dog to check their fit and ease of application, and you can examine them closely for good-quality zippers, seams, and Velcro fasteners, and thick, warm fabric.
  The only drawback to shopping for a coat in person is finding a store that carries a broad-enough selection of quality designs to choose from. Catalog shopping, in contrast, may seduce you with a fantastic selection of pretty coats, but it’s hard to tell from the photographs whether the coats are thick and well made. And don’t count on being able to return coats that you try on your dog and then return due to poor fit. Although none of the companies we ordered coats from told us this in advance, we found that many will not accept returns of products that have any dog hair on them. It’s understandable, but regrettable. Before you place an order or hand over your plastic, ask the sales representative about the business’s return policy.


What to look for in a dog coat
  Dog coats and sweaters come in a variety of materials, although wool and fleece are most common. Water-resistant fabrics, such as those used for people parkas, may be better if you live in a snowy area. Whatever fabric you choose, make sure it is easy to care for.
  To adequately protect your dog from the cold, a sweater should fit snugly and completely cover your dog's stomach  and end at the base of the tail, keeping his legs free so he can walk, run, and relieve himself. Coats with full-length "sleeves" for the legs may be harder for your dog to adapt to and may inhibit his ability to move normally. If possible, try the sweater on your dog to make sure it fits him comfortably and is easy to get on and off.

  Remember, dog coats are not just a novelty—for many dogs they're a necessity. So don't feel embarrassed buying your dog one. With the right cold-weather gear, winter can really be a wonderland for your dog.
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Top Dogs for Cold Weather

Top Dogs for Cold Weather
  Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Those with thicker coats and more body fat fare much better when temperatures drop. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.
  
1. SAMOYED
Origin: Siberia
Fun Facts: This ancient breed was originally developed by the indigenous people of northwestern Siberia to herd reindeer, pull sleds and keep their owners warm. Early polar explorers used these dogs to traverse the harsh landscapes of the North Pole and South Pole. Because of their remote origins, Samoyeds developed independently of any other breeds, and are considered one of only four dog breeds in the world descended directly from wolves.

2. AKITA
  An Akita is truly a royal pup—hailing from Japan, this breed was once only owned by the Imperial family. Statues of the Akita were also given as gifts to new parents to bring health, happiness, and a long life. This dog, originally bred as a cold-weather hunting companion with a dense undercoat and harsh outer coat, can often be independent and stubborn, but will remain protective and loyal to its family.

3. BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
Origin: Switzerland
Fun Facts: The hardy, long-coated Bernese Mountain Dog is most at home in cold weather. It's mainly used for hauling and driving herds of cattle in the mountainous region of Canton of Berne in Switzerland. Ancestors of the modern-day Bernese are believe to have been brought to Switzerland 2,000 years ago by Roman soldiers. 

4. ALASKAN MALAMUTES
Thanks to its dense, double fur coat with a rough outer layer and a thick and woolly, oily undercoat, the Alaskan malamute is able to survive extremely cold temperatures. The breed was famously used as a utility dog during the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1800’s; members of the breed also accompanied Admiral Richard Byrd on his expedition to the South Pole in 1928 and the breed also served primarily as search and rescue dogs in Greenland during World War II.


5. GERMAN SHEPHERD
The breed's popularity grew with Rin Tin Tin, the abandoned German Shepherd pup found during WWI who went on to star in TV shows and movies. Known for their herding, guarding, and police work, German Shepherds are strong, agile, hard workers that have a lot of energy and learn quickly. This breed commonly suffers from hip dysplasia, which can likely be avoided by buying from a credible breeder.


6. GREAT PYRENEES
Origin: Central Asia and France/Spain
Fun Facts: This large, gentle breed is named after the Pyrenees mountain range in southwestern Europe where these dogs were used to guard herds of sheep. The breed has a weather-resistant double coat to protect it from the elements out on the slopes. The Great Pyrenees were first brought to the U.S. in 1824.

7.  KUVASZ
To be considered a true Kuvasz, this dog must always sport white fur, according to the American Kennel Club. Originating in Tibet, the Kuvasz—which means "armed guard of nobility" in Turkish—was later owned by the royal family in Hungary before finding a more "common" lifestyle as a light-footed hunter and herder. The Kuvasz's double coat makes it a perfect mountain dog, and its trainability and fearless protective instincts provide a perfect four-legged companion. A fenced-in, open yard works best for this energetic, yet possibly destructive, breed.

8. NEWFOUNDLAND
Origin: Canada/England
Fun Facts: The Newfoundland's thick, dense coat makes it the perfect dog for the snowy winters on the Canadian island for which it's named. The breed is also strong enough to haul drowning victims ashore, with the additional ability to swim long distances. A Newfoundland was the chosen pet of numerous United States presidents, including Grant, Buchanan and Hayes.

9. SIBERIAN HUSKY
Origin: Siberia
Fun Facts: The quintessential sled dog, Siberian Huskies have a thick, layered coat made up of a dense undercoat for insulation and a coarse top coat. They're an ancient breed, believed to have been bred by the Chukchi tribe of northeast Asia. With strong hunting instincts, it is advised to keep Huskies away from small animals.

10. TIBETAN MASTIFFS
 DNA studies have revealed that the Tibetan mastiff—which isn’t technically a “mastiff” by breed—genetically descended from the wolf more than 58,000 years ago, as compared to common dog breeds who trace back to wolves 42,000 years ago. Used maily as a guard dog for nomadic cultures in Central Asia to protect herds, flocks, tents, villages, monasteries, and even palaces, the Tibetan mastiff can have one of two “looks”: Lion head or tiger head. One resembles an oversized chow while the other looks like a super-sized Bernese mountain dog. The breed has a thick double coat which requires routine care in order to maintain good health.
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Protect Your Dog During Winter and Cold Weather

Protect Your Dog During Winter and Cold Weather
  Brrrr—it's cold outside!  The following guidelines will help you protect your dogs when the mercury dips.
  You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?
   Sometimes owners forget that their pets are just as accustomed to the warm shelter of the indoors as they are. Some owners will leave their animals outside for extended periods of time, thinking that all animals are adapted to live outdoors. This can put their pets in danger of serious illness. There are things you can do to keep your animal warm and safe.

 Keep pets indoors and warm
  Don't leave dogs  outdoors when the temperature drops. Regardless of the season, short-haired, very young or old dogs should never be left outside without supervision. Dogs are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater.

   No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet's life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia when they are outdoors during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can easily become lost. Make sure your dog always wears ID tags. 

Take your animals for a winter check-up before winter kicks in. Your veterinarian can check to make sure they don't have any medical problems that will make them more vulnerable to the cold.

Some animals can remain outside safely longer in the winter than others. In some cases, it's just common sense: long-haired breeds like Huskies will do better in cold weather than short-haired breeds like Dachshunds.  Your pet's health will also affect how long she can stay out. Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can compromise a pet's ability to regulate her own body heat. Animals that are not generally in good health shouldn't be exposed to winter weather for a long period of time. Very young and very old animals are vulnerable to the cold as well. Regardless of their health, though, no pets should stay outside for unlimited amounts of time in freezing cold weather. If you have any questions about how long your pet should be out this winter, ask your veterinarian.

Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear. 

If you light a fire or plug in a space heater to keep your home toasty warm, remember that the heat will be as attractive to your pets as to you. As your dog  up to the warmth, keep an eye out to make sure that no tails or paws come in contact with flames, heating coils, or hot surfaces. Pets can either burn themselves or knock a heat source over and put the entire household in danger.
Take precautions if your dog spends a lot of time outsideA dog  is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Never leave your dog alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death. 

Be particularly gentle with elderly and arthritic pets during the winter. The cold can leave their joints extremely stiff and tender, and they may become more awkward than usual. Stay directly below these pets when they are climbing stairs or jumping onto furniture; consider modifying their environment to make it easier for them to get around. Make sure they have a thick, soft bed in a warm room for the chilly nights. Also, watch stiff and arthritic pets if you walk them outside; a bad slip on the ice could be very painful and cause a significant injury.

Give your pets plenty of water. Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself. 

Avoid overfeeding your dog. While it is important to eat regularly and well during colder months, in order to keep up energy and warmth, with an indoor dog there is no need to increase the food amounts. Doing so can risk creating an overweight dog.

Be prepared: Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days.

Hypothermia, or a body temperature that is below normal, is a condition that occurs when an animal is not able to keep her body temperature from falling below normal. It happens when animals spend too much time in cold temperatures, or when animals with poor health or circulation are exposed to cold. In mild cases, animals will shiver and show signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition progresses, an animal's muscles will stiffen, her heart and breathing rates will slow down, and she will stop responding to stimuli.

  Winter can be a beautiful time of year. It can be a dangerous time as well, but it certainly doesn't have to be. If you take some precautions, you and your pet can have a fabulous time taking in the icicles, the snow banks, and the warm, glowing fire at the end of the day.


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