Dog Anxiety And Car Rides: How You Can Help

Dog Anxiety and Car Rides: How You Can Help

Dog Anxiety and Car Rides: How You Can Help

For some dogs, a car ride is a sign of something fun. They happily leap into the backseat or into a crate in the trunk, excited for a new adventure.

Other dogs feel differently.

Dogs can experience motion sickness in cars and may feel anxious and uncomfortable in a car. If you like to take your pet with you when you travel, this can create problems. Is there a way to deal with your dog’s motion sickness? How can you ease their distress while travelling? More importantly, how can you be sure your dog is safe and secure in a car?

Signs Your Dog is Anxious in a Car

If your dog is anxious in a car, don’t worry – they’ll let you know about it. Some commonly known car anxiety symptoms include whining and crying, restlessness, drooling, or even vomiting. Your dog may huddle down, tail tucked between their legs, displaying physical signs of discomfort. Frequent lip licking and lowered ears also indicate discomfort or nerves.

It’s good to try and establish why your dog is uncomfortable in the car. It could be because of a bad past experience. For example, a car accident with your dog in the car could make them nervous in the future. Car accidents are a reasonable cause of anxiety since humans often have the same reaction to traumatic incidents.

However, your dog could have also come to associate the car with bad places. If the only time you’ve put them in a car is to take them to the vet, your dog will understandably associate the car ride with the ultimate destination.

Straightforward motion sickness can also be at the root cause of your dog’s anxiety. If that’s the case, it would be best to avoid long car trips until you’ve dealt with it.

Safety First for Dogs

Just like a person, your dog needs to be properly secured in the car when it’s moving. Some pet owners have a special crate in the trunk of the car, which keeps their dog safe and secure. You can put plenty of comfortable blankets, toys, and treats in that area, to keep your dog entertained during a journey.

Other pet owners use specialised seatbelt harnesses. It attaches to your dog’s body like a regular harness but includes a loop or attachment that you can slip a seat belt through. These harnesses prevent your dog from roaming around the car as you drive and protects them – and us – in the event of an accident.

Nervous dogs may try and move around the car while it’s driving. They may bark, whine, or scratch, all of which can be dangerous. The driver may be distracted. If you’re getting your dog used to travelling in the car, it may be an idea to take a friend or relative along with you, to keep an eye on your dog while you drive.

Keeping your dog safe and secure in a car is the first step to calming their nerves.

How to Relieve Your Dog’s Anxiety

The absolute best way to get a dog comfortable with car rides is to start training them young. Puppies are more open to new experiences, and this is a key period in their development.

Of course, this isn’t always possible. But that doesn’t mean that an older dog can’t learn to love the car.

First, try and establish when your dog begins to show signs of nervousness. Do they begin to get uncomfortable as the car ride goes on, or are they reluctant to get in the car at all? If you’re not sure of the root cause of your dog’s anxiety, try consulting a vet. They might be able to help you decide whether it’s straightforward nerves or motion sickness.

The key is to get your dog to connect a car ride with food and fun. Start small, perhaps with only short car rides. If your dog is exceptionally nervous, start by getting them comfortable sitting in the car with the engine turned off.

You could play a game with your dog and their favourite toy and offer them treats. Once your dog is relaxed, move on to the next stage of the training – turning on the car. Once again, wait until your dog is completely relaxed before moving on.

If your dog seemed very distressed, you may need to finish the training for that day. But don’t give up, you can try again.

Once you’ve built your dog up to be comfortable with short car rides, use the car to take them somewhere fun, such a dog park or out for a treat. They’ll quickly learn to associate the car with fresh air and fun.

Of course, you’ll still have to take your dog to unpleasant locations, like the vet or the dog groomers. But if you also use the car to go to fun locations and bribe them with food, treats, and attention, you should be fine!

Dealing with Dogs Motion Sickness

 

Motion sickness can cause anxiety in dogs, as well as vomiting. If your dog knows they’ll feel sick and ill in the car, and possibly get told off for vomiting, they’ll be reluctant to get into a car.

Getting your dog used to driving in the car can help them to get over their motion sickness. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to ease their discomfort.

  • Wind down a window (make sure your dog can’t climb out!)
  • Keep the inside of the car cool.
  • Limit food and water before a road trip, as a full stomach may make your dog feel sick.
  • Exercise your dog before a trip, as this can ease any stress.
  • Use anti-anxiety or motion sickness medication for dogs. Consult your vet about what to use.

Should You Take Your Dog in a Car?

With a little patience and training, you can get your dog used to road trips. Being able to take your dog in the car opens up a huge range of next activities. You can go hiking with your beloved pet, take them on picnics, beach trips, holidays, and more!

Why Are Vitamins Important For Your Dog

Why Are Vitamins Important for Your Dog?

Why Are Vitamins Important for Your Dog?

Vitamin deficiencies in humans can lead to all kinds of problems. Skin, teeth, bones, and hair can all suffer, as well as causing more serious health problems later on.

Dogs are no exception.

It’s easy to give our dogs their allotted portion of commercial dog food and leave it there. We presume that the food we buy contains all the vitamins our beloved pet could need. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Could your dog be suffering from a nutritional deficiency? If so, how can you fill that deficiency? Is it possible to over-supplement your pet? Let’s find out.

Is Your Dog Suffering from a Nutritional Deficiency?

Just like humans, a dog’s diet will have a tremendous impact on their health. Dogs are scavengers by nature and will likely eat anything you put in front of them. Your pet may eagerly eat all their food, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. It’s up to you as the owner to keep an eye on your dog’s diet and make sure they’re getting the vitamins they need.

Remember, your dog can’t tell you if they’re suffering from joint pain or some other problem. So, here are a few signs that your dog could be suffering from a nutritional deficiency.

  • Sudden changes in body weight (gaining or losing)
  • Dull coat
  • Reluctance to eat, or other changes in appetite
  • Changes in poop
  • Thirst changes (thirstier or less thirsty)
  • Skin problems
  • Behaviour changes
  • A “sad” look

If you suspect your dog is suffering from a nutritional deficiency, it would be a good idea to get them checked out by a vet. The deficiency could come from something lacking in their diet, or you dog could have an absorption and digestive issue. A vet can pinpoint the exact issue and give you advice on how to deal with it.

Why Should You Consider Vitamin Supplements?

If you’ve noticed some nutritional deficiency in your dog’s diet, the next step to consider is how you can deal with that deficiency.

For example, if your dog has recently been ill, they could have developed a vitamin deficiency. Common issues skin conditions, which have been known to respond well to extra zinc in the diet.

Some vitamins can also help older dogs with arthritis and joint pain. There are several types of vitamin your dog could be prescribed. While there are multi-vitamins available, your dog may not have a deficiency in all the areas the multi-vitamins aim at filling. Let’s discuss a few key vitamins.

Vitamin A for Dogs

Vitamin A is a key vitamin in growing puppies. Deficiencies can result in poor vision, weak muscles, bad coat and skin conditions, as well as other health issues later on.

Vitamin A supplements can nourish a dog’s coat and skin, as well as improving vision and aiding the reproductive process. If you intend to breed your dogs, plenty of vitamin A is a must.

Vitamin D for Dogs

This vitamin focuses on regulating calcium and phosphorous levels in the blood. It helps with calcium conservation within the body, which nourishes bones and aids muscle and nerve control. Like many nutrients, vitamin D needs to be taken in via your dog’s diet.

Vitamin C for Dogs

Unlike the previous vitamins, vitamin C can be manufactured in a dog’s body, meaning that it doesn’t need to be taken in via diet.

Just like a human vitamin C deficiency, lack of this vitamin in dogs can lead to scurvy, which is weak bones and swollen joints. It’s also a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin B-complex for Dogs

A dog needs a cocktail of vitamin B nutrients for healthy function. However, all B vitamins have one thing in common – they promote healthy nerve growth and regeneration.

A vitamin B deficiency can lead to serious health complications in dogs. These complications can range from loose stools and a poor coat, all the way to potential heart failure.

The Dangers of Over-Supplementing your Dog

Perhaps you’re tempted to rush out to the nearest pet store and buy all the vitamin supplement for your dog that you can possibly carry.

While it’s true that deficiencies of these vitamins can lead to serious health conditions, over-supplementing can be just as dangerous.

Vitamin supplements are divided into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble. An overdose of water-soluble vitamins may not be such a serious mistake, since water-soluble vitamins aren’t stored in the body. The majority of these supplements will leave your dog’s body when they urinate.

Fat-soluble supplements, however, are a different story. These vitamins are stored in the liver and in other fatty tissues, and overdoses can cause a build-up of the vitamin in your dog’s system.

Depending on the vitamin, this can cause a variety of health problems. An overdose of vitamin D, for example, may cause your dog to lose their appetite, leading to muscle wastage, fatigue, and possible bone damage.

Overdoses can lead to stomach problems, behavioural changes, nerve damage, drowsiness, or even heart failure.

Since it’s difficult to tell what vitamin your dog could be lacking, it’s good to consult a vet before starting your pet on a course of supplements.

How to Add Vitamins to Your Dog’s Diet

One of the best ways to balance out your dog’s diet is to add food that’s rich in nutrients and vitamins. Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of vitamin C, and meat and fatty fish contains iron and other nutrients. High-quality dog food tends to have a better concentration of vitamins than some cheaper options.

If you’re not sure what dog food would be best, do some research and maybe consult a vet on which brand is best.

Giving your dog a vitamin supplement in pill form can be a little trickier. Some owners find that placing the pill in their dog’s food works just fine. Others need to disguise the pill in a treat, such as a small ball of peanut butter or a piece of ham.

Your Dog and Vitamins

Just like humans, dogs have specific nutritional needs. Feeding your pet too much bad food can be almost as harmful as not feeding them enough good food. If you have any questions or concerns, always speak to a vet first. Our pets deserve the best!

Helpful Or Harmful For Your Dog?

Helpful or Harmful: What Can You Feed Your Dog?

Helpful or Harmful: What Can You Feed Your Dog?

It’s a familiar situation for a dog owner. You’re sitting down to a delicious meal, and you’re hungry. But just as you’re about to take the first bite, you feel beady eyes boring into you. Sure enough, your dog is sitting there, staring pleadingly at you. Your poor, starving dog, who is trying to convince you that they have literally never eaten anything, ever, in their lives.

Those puppy dog eyes can be very effective. You might find yourself wondering – would one bite hurt?

Of course, we’ve all heard horror stories about a single grape killing someone’s beloved pet. Any sensible pet owner knows that not every type of human food is suitable for dogs. However, if you’re looking to give your dog a treat, or even supplement their regular diet, there are plenty of foods that are safe for dogs to eat. However, it’s important to know which foods are safe – and which foods aren’t.

Foods Your Dog Can Eat

Many fruits and vegetables, as well as most types of meat, are suitable for your dog. You might notice that commercial dog foods include turkey or chicken, as well as rice and vegetables. While you should supplement your dog’s diet in moderation, here are a few foods that are fine, even nourishing, to feed to your dog.

Fruit and Vegetables for Dogs

Fruits and vegetables are usually fine to feed your dog. There are a few notable exceptions, which we’ll discuss later. While individual dogs may vary, here are a few foods you can give to your dog:

·       Apples

·       Carrots

·       Coconut

·       Blueberries

·       Oranges

·       Celery

·       Watermelon

·       Blackberries

·       Peas

·       Mushrooms

·       Broccoli

·       Sweet potatoes

·       Mango

·       Bananas

·       Strawberries

·       Cooked potatoes

Always be sure to cut vegetables like carrots into bite-size pieces, preventing your dog from choking. While most fruits and vegetables contain protein and fiber that’s good for dogs, too much can lead to an upset stomach. If your dog suffers from vomiting, diarrhoea, or nausea after eating one of these treats, it’s possible that you’re feeding them too much.

Meat for Healthy Dogs

Meats are a popular treat for our dogs. Fortunately, most of them are perfectly safe for our precious pets to eat.

·       Salmon

·       Turkey

·       Pork

·       Shrimp

·       Chicken

·       Beef

However, it’s always best to serve your dog meat that’s been properly cooked. Raw salmon, for instance, can contain a parasite that may harm your dog. So, this means that you can’t share your sushi with your pet!

Always make sure meats like turkey, chicken, and fish are properly boned. Small fish bones or the dreaded chicken bones can stick in a dog’s throat, or even cause digestion problems and damage. If you want to give your dog a meaty treat, pull off bite-sized pieces of meat, instead of giving your dog a whole carcass or even part of one.

Also, make sure the meat hasn’t been cooked with foods that aren’t safe for dogs. Garlic and onions aren’t suitable for dogs, but they’re a popular ingredient to cook alongside meat.

Other Dog-Friendly Snacks

There are other human foods that can provide nutrition and protein to dogs. As always, it’s best to serve these foods in moderation.

·       Peanut butter

·       Eggs

·       Popcorn

·       Bread

·       Cooked rice

·       Oatmeal

Scrambled eggs can make a delicious breakfast for a dog. However, if you supplement the eggs with a splash of milk, be sure not to add too much. Milk in moderation is fine for dogs, but it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, since dogs are prone to lactose intolerance.

Bread also contains a lot of sugar. Remember that your dog is much smaller than you are and can only tolerate sugar and salt in smaller amounts.

Peanut butter is another well-known, popular snack for dogs. If your dog doesn’t like taking their medication, try smothering the pill in peanut butter or another treat, like a piece of ham. The peanut butter hides the taste of the pill and encourages your dog to swallow it properly!

Foods Your Dog CAN’T Eat

Just about every dog owner will find themselves frantically Googling “Is [this] food safe for dogs?” after their pet has somehow got their paws on something they weren’t supposed to eat. While most foods are fine for dogs, at least in moderation, there are some foods you’ll definitely want to keep out of your pet’s diet.

·       Chocolate

This is something every dog owner knows – chocolate is very, very bad for dogs. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, stimulants which dogs can’t tolerate. If your dog eats too much chocolate, you should seek a vet’s advice immediately.

The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of poisonous stimulations. If you dog does eat some chocolate by mistake, a lot will depend on how much they ate and how dark the chocolate is. For example, a single dark chocolate could kill a small dog, but a larger dog could eat a handful of milk or white chocolate and suffer only mild stomach upset.

Nevertheless, if your dog does eat some chocolate by mistake, it’s best to get them checked out regardless.

·       Alcohol

Alcohol can lead to ethanol poisoning in dogs, which can result in death. While it’s unlikely that a pet owner would crack open a beer to share with their pet, it’s important to keep an eye on your drink. Dogs are sneaky, and they can drain your glass of wine or beer faster than you think. Never let your dog drink even a tiny bit of alcohol.

·       Raisins and Grapes

You may be tempted to give your dog a raisin as a treat. Resist the temptation. Grapes and especially raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. A larger dog may be able to eat a few grapes or raisins and be fine, but the compounds can quickly build up in their system.

There are a few other foods that your dog can’t eat, which may surprise you:

·       Avocado

·       Lemons and Limes

·       Onions

·       Garlic

·       Macadamia Nuts

Your Dog and Human Food

There’s nothing wrong with giving your dog a little treat from time to time, presuming you keep it in moderation and avoid the dangerous foods.

However, all dogs are individuals. A treat that’s fine for one dog could upset another dog’s stomach. If in doubt, leave it out!

- Omega 3, 6, &Amp; 9 - Why You Need To Supplement Your Pets Diet - Peak Pets

Omega 3, 6, & 9 – Why you need to supplement your pets diet

Omega 3, 6, & 9. Why you need to supplement your pets diet

The benefits of omega fatty acids have long been recognised in people, and they can be found in many health supplements due to their wide range of uses. But did you know they can also help our dogs?

Omega 3, 6 & 9 have a huge range of roles in the body but their levels in commercial dog foods vary, so a supplement such as the Peak Pets Omega 3, 6 & 9 can be useful. Here are some of the ways that these helpful fatty acids can benefit your canine companion.

Healthy skin, glossy coat

Omega 3 is essential in keeping dogs’ skin healthy and happy. The ‘fat’ part of fatty acids is needed to keep the skin barrier healthy, which then helps to prevent common conditions such as dry, flaky skin, redness and itching. Fatty acids are also essential for the production of new hair follicles and the maintenance of the natural oils in dogs’ coats that keep them looking glossy.

Boosts the immune system

Omega fatty acids are crucial in helping our cells respond to inflammation and infection. They are hugely important in the cell membrane, which means they can alter the fluidity and properties of cells to help prevent invasion by foreign cells. They have also been shown to be ‘signalling cells’, helping to reduce inflammatory responses. Omega 3 contains alpha-linolenic acid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, essential across many body systems.

Joint pain

Joint issues, especially arthritis, are extremely common in dogs – and not just older ones. Strain on the joints, alongside the wear and tear of age, can wear out the protective cartilage layer found in all joints, causing inflammation and pain.

Your dog may be starting to struggle with their joints if they are displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness when rising after rest
  • An altered gait when walking/exercising
  • Reluctance to exercise or play
  • Muscle wastage or swellings to joints
  • Irritability, altered interaction with owner, not wanting to be touched on groomed
  • Appetite loss

If you suspect your dog has any problems with their joints, a discussion with your veterinary surgeon is advised. They may suggest a supplement alongside any other treatment they discuss.

Omega fatty acids are important in joints due to their role in synthesising healthy cartilage, but also for their anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling and therefore pain. They can be useful in all stages of joint disease, from prevention all the way through to severe arthritis.

Promote Good Organ Health

Omega 3 also contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which plays a vital role in all sorts of internal functions – including the eyes, heart, liver and kidneys. Omega 3,6 & 9 fatty acids play a protective, anti-inflammatory response in many areas of the body, and have been shown to be beneficial in many chronic diseases such as kidney disease and even cancer.

How can I give my dog more Omega fatty acids?

 

Dogs cannot make Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids themselves; they are completely reliant on dietary intake. Given the varied and important role that these nutrients play, it is therefore vital that they receive enough fatty acids in their diets. Many commercial diets will contain fatty acids, but not always at very high levels. Omega 3, 6 & 9 are found in various foods, mostly oily fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon and mackerel. It is safe to feed your dog fish, although you must remove any bones. Other sources of Omega 3, such as avocado, are toxic to dogs, so ensuring your dog has a safe form of dietary essential fatty acids is necessary.

 

Giving a supplement such as Peak Pets Omega 3,6 & 9 is a convenient way to get these essential fatty acids into their diet with all the hard work done for you, as the dose has been carefully calculated to ensure the correct amount for your pet. Many human supplements also contain omega fatty acids, but they can be formulated in ways that digs find difficult to digest, and it can be difficult to calculate the correct dose.

Most dogs will take supplements well, either hidden in food or as a treat on their own.

Should I consider an Omega fatty acid supplement for my dog?

Omega fatty acids are essential for dogs’ health, and cannot be made in the body, so a dietary source is essential. This can be gained either via their food or given as a supplement. As well as protecting your pet from joint disease and other inflammatory disorders, they keep coat and skin glossy and boost the immune system – so these helpful nutrients are definitely something for dog owners to consider!