Tag: Dog Treats

Best Healthy Dog Treats to Feed Your Husky

Dog Treats to Avoid

One of the best ways to train your dog is to use treats to reward and reinforce good behavior. However, with so many products on the market it can be overwhelming for a new (or even veteran) dog owner looking to purchase treats and other new dog essentials.

The documentary ‘Pet Fooled‘ caused me to take a closer look at the dog treats we feed our husky Aura. So I’ve done the research and found some of the best healthy dog treats to feed your husky.

What Makes a Treat ‘Healthy’?

First off, treats should only make up approximately 10% of your dog’s diet, the rest being kibble or another source. Being able to break a treat into smaller pieces will give you plenty of training treats without spoiling your husky’s dinner! Whole Unprocessed Ingredients in Healthy Dog Treats

Many of the same factors that make ‘human food’ healthy also apply to pet foods and treats as well. Ideally we want to find whole, unprocessed ingredients that are sourced as close to the manufacturer as possible. Organic ingredients are less likely to contain contaminants but do cost more.

For the most part we want to avoid preservatives and dyes in our dog treats. If there are preservatives they should be natural ones such as vitamin C and vitamin E. We also want to avoid treats with packaging that doesn’t provide calorie intake information.

Ingredients to Watch Out For

Here is a list of ingredients to steer clear of when selecting your dog treats.

  • Artificial preservatives like BHA and BHT.
  • Artificial colors which are unnecessarily added.
  • Added sweeteners such as sugar and corn syrup.
  • Chemical humectants like propylene glycol, used to lock in moisture.
  • Byproducts or ‘meat meal’ which is everything deemed unfit for human consumption.

You should also be aware that dogs can be allergic to certain ingredients just like a human can. One report found beef and dairy products to be the top two allergens among canines. If you suspect your dog of being allergic to something take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible to have an allergy test performed.

The Best Healthy Dog Treat Recommendations

Here is a list of the best recommendations for healthy dog treats.Newman's Own Premium Dog Treats Turkey & Sweet Potato Flavor

Dog Treats to Avoid

Here is a list of some popular dog treats that should be avoided at all cost.

Protect Your Dog From Obesity and Contaminants

Events like the 2007 Pet Food Recalls show that the best way to make sure nothing poisonous is getting into your dog’s treats is to make them at home. This way you can moderate exactly what ingredients are going into your pet’s snacks.

Aura the Husky

Obesity is an increasingly bigger issue among pets in the United States so be sure to remember that treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s total diet. Consider feeding them dinner after training time because this way you can simply feed them less to account for any excessive snacking during the training session.

Is your favorite healthy dog treat not listed in our recommendations? Leave a comment below and let us know what healthy snacks you’re feeding your pet!

 

 

 

 

New Puppy Checklist – New Dog Checklist

New Puppy Checklist

Bringing home a new dog of any age is a big decision that should be made together as a family. Even before we met Aura my partner and I knew that bringing home a dog would be a huge responsibility to share and had many open and honest conversations about it.

To help make sure you’re prepared to bring home your new pet use this new puppy checklist which doubles as a new dog checklist to make sure you have all the necessary essentials and then some.

Collar

There are many different types of collars for a new dog owner to choose from and each has its advantages and disadvantages. It might be a good idea to buy a variety to see what works best with your husky. Aura's blue martingale collar

For Aura we bought her a pink martingale collar that really brings our her eyes. Martingale collars are much gentler than a choke collar and much safer on the dog making them great for training purposes. To the right is a picture of the blue martingale collar that she came with.

ID Tag

In case your dog ever gets lost or escapes it’s a good idea to have an ID tag on them at all times. Huskies are especially adept at getting away so you may also want to get your pup microchipped as an added precaution.

We had a custom ID tag made at Petsmart and it was a very simple and easy process. We put Aura’s name and our address engraved on the front of her tag. On the back we had our names and phone numbers engraved. She is also microchipped so if and when she gets away from us anyone who finds her will be able to locate her home easily.

Leash

A leash is a very important essential for any dog owner to have. In Arizona a leash no longer than 6 feet is required by law if you have your dog out in public.

Like collars leashes come in a variety of styles but they’re all essentially just a rope you can attach to your dog’s collar to help keep control over them. We have two standard nylon leashes, one is about 3 feet and the other one is closer to 5 feet in length.

Dog Food

You’ll need something for your dog to eat when you bring them home and human food is unfortunately not going to cut it. Awhile ago I watched a documentary on Netflix called ‘Pet Fooled’ and it left me feeling like I don’t even want a dog because I’m going to end up killing it by choosing the wrong or contaminated food.

Our best advice is to do your own research and feed your pooch what you think is best, and stay consistent. If you elect to make any changes to your pet’s diet do it slowly so their stomach can acclimate to the new food.

Water and Food Dishes

At least one set of food and water bowls should be purchased before you bring your new pup home. Feeding them in the same place with the same bowls will teach them good eating manners and provide a perfect time for training.

Weighted stainless steel or chrome dishes are the best as they can’t be pushed around as easily or develop crevices from the dog chewing on it. If your dog is an outdoor dog and you live somewhere where it gets cold enough use a ceramic or plastic bowl as this will prevent your dog’s tongue from getting stuck to it in colder temperatures.

Treats

For many dogs treats are key for good training. In most cases nothing can hold the attention of a husky better than a delicious treat can.

Give treats to your dog to reinforce good behavior and to connect a good action to reward, or even just out of the blue every once in awhile to show you love them.

Chew Toys

Chew toys are a great thing to have around when you need your dog to entertain itself for a little while. These can also make good training treats if your dog responds well enough to them. Be sure to purchase new toys on a continuous basis to keep your pup interested and expose them to new experiences.

Aura absolutely loves toys that squeak and she can tear them to shreds within a day so we will definitely be buying her a variety of new chew toys on a regular basis.

Crate

Some people have an aversion to crates because they remind us of little jail cells but it doesn’t have to be that way. A crate Fold and Carry Dog Crate Box from Grreat Choiceshould be a safe sanctuary for your dog to run to when they are feeling anxious or afraid. If your dog is ever injured or you need to transport them somewhere it is much easier with a crate. Plus if you’re traveling with your pet many hotels will only allow crate trained dogs in their establishment.

We have a ‘Fold and Carry Dog Crate’ from Grreat Choice and it’s plenty big for our husky Aura. Its dimensions are 42 in L x 28 in W x 30 in giving her plenty of room to turn around and get comfortable in. We plan on eventually converting one of our closets into a custom space that can be used like a den for her.

Outdoor Kennel

Especially if your dog is an outdoor pet you should purchase an outdoor kennel which, similar to a crate, gives the dog somewhere they can retreat to the feeling of safety. If you don’t have a yard for your outdoor pup the kennel should be at least 6 x 12 feet and 6 feet high. Huskies are known to be good diggers and climbers when they want to get somewhere so putting it on a concrete slab is most ideal if possible.

We bought our house with adopting a dog in mind so our backyard is plenty big and has very high walls.

Grooming Tools

Here are a few grooming supplies to pick up before you bring your husky home.

  • Rake Brush – Huskies have two coats of fur and a rake brush can help get knots out and untangle hair.Rake Brush, Wide-toothed Metal Comb, Slicker Brush
  • Wide-toothed Metal Comb – Like the rake a wide-toothed metal comb or ‘collie comb’ can be used to further untangle matted fur and is a little gentler.
  • Slicker Brush – Once you have raked your husky’s undercoat out you’ll want to use a slicker brush to smooth the fur over and keep it fluffy and soft.
  • Spray Bottle – Filling this with water and using it when brushing matted fur out with a rake or collie comb can be very helpful. Depending on how your dog reacts to it and spray bottle can be used as a deterrent for bad behavior.
  • Dog Nail Clippers – Husk nails should be trimmed three to four times a year but be careful not to cut too deep or you’ll cut the quick and cause a lot of pain for your friend. You can always have a professional dog grooming service take care of this step if you’re concerned about messing up.
  • Dog Shampoo – Try not to bathe your husky too much or you will dry out their skin and fur. A few times a year is more than enough or whenever your pup gets into something nasty and makes a mess.
  • Small Tooth Brush with Dog Toothpaste – Toothpaste made for humans sometimes contain toxic ingredients to dogs so be sure to get tooth paste specifically made for dogs or just use water.
  • Grooming Table – It’s really nice to have a space dedicated to your pets grooming needs.

Dog Bed

Even if your dog sleeps in your bed it is important to get them a spot reserved especially for them. Feel free to put your dog bed in your dog’s crate or leave it somewhere else around the house that your dog is likely to nap.

Dog Door

A dog door isn’t necessarily a necessity but they are a nice thing to have for convenience. A good dog door will allow your pet in and out at will and certain models can do more than others such as letting your pup in but not back out or vice versa.

Gates

Baby or doggie gates can be used to restrict your dog’s access to certain parts of the house. We plan on purchasing one to teach Aura to stay out of the kitchen when dinner is being made.

Cleaning Supplies

Especially if you’re bringing a puppy home expect there to be mishaps and spills so here is a list of some cleaning supplies that will come in handy.

  • Paper towels – for when you inevitably need to clean a mess up.
  • Baby wipes – an easy way to wipe your dog down without a full on bath if they get into something icky.
  • Stain remover – if you have carpet anywhere in your house this will come in handy if there are any accidents.
  • Training pads – especially for puppies you may want to line the area they’ll be in with training pads while potty training.

Miscellaneous Extras

These items aren’t absolutely necessary to have but are very convenient to have!

  • Bag Dispenser – Having a place to keep all your doggie bags neat comes in handy. You can purchase the bags separately or like us just save and use plastic grocery bags.
  • Pooper Scooper – Especially if your yard is your dog’s main restroom one of these will make picking up after your pet much easier on your back. I try to go out and clear our yard of dog droppings once a week or so.
  • Food Scooper – If you monitor your dog’s diet a dedicated scoop that measures out the perfect amount of food is awesome to have.
  • Dog Literature – If you’re going to own a husky, or any dog for that matter, it’s good to do a little research on the breed. We recommend Siberian Huskies for Dummies by Diane Morgan as a good start.

A Whole Bunch of Love

The most important thing on this checklist is love. Dogs are very intelligent creatures that pickup on whatever energy you’re putting out there. If you’re stressed or angry they will know it. They’ll give you unconditional love and will know if you’re giving it back.

Bringing home a puppy or new dog is an amazing experience but can also be a stressful one. I hope this new puppy and new dog checklist helps prepare you a little better if you’re thinking about adopting a dog.

Leave a comment below with your new puppy checklist and let me know if there’s something I missed!

Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions – How to Cure Dog Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety Sad Husky

We adopted our husky Aura through the Lucky Dog Rescue organization a few weeks ago and she has really made our home complete. She is so well-behaved, housebroken, rarely barks, and sometimes even comes the first time you call her name! However, there is one problematic behavior she has been displaying.

My partner and I work opposite schedules so most of the time someone is home with her, but when we do have to both be away she will take seemingly random items and chew them to pieces. Sometimes she even gets up onto tables to find things, something she wouldn’t dare do in front of one of us. I’ve done some research and this behavior appears to be a classic case of separation anxiety. Here are some dog separation anxiety solutions that you can use if your pup suffers from this condition.

To start off with I am going to explain what separation anxiety is, its symptoms, and what causes it. With that understanding we will then delve into treatments for the condition and ways to prevent your dog from developing it in the first place.

What is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a condition where a pet experiences extreme negative emotions when left alone for even short periods of time. It can vary in severity from dog to dog and can sometimes be very easy to misidentify as bad behavior or miss altogether, especially in dogs with mild cases.

Our husky Aura has a mild case of separation anxiety which can be a common condition for a rescue dog that has experienced abandonment in the past. Aura’s separation anxiety makes life a little more difficult because someone always has to be with her or she will get herself worked up and cause destruction. I’m sure her experience is just as bad if not worse than our experience of coming home to shredded belongings.

It’s very important to understand that separation anxiety is not your dog trying to get back at you for leaving him or her alone. Your pet is truly terrified and being left alone is a traumatic experience for them so punishment will potentially make the condition worse.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

There are a number of different symptoms that could indicate a case of separation anxiety in a dog. These include but aren’t limited to;

  • Ignoring food and treats when left alone.Separation Anxiety Nervous Huskies with Owner
  • Attempts to escape their enclosure when left alone.
  • Constant barking, whining, and howling when left alone.
  • Urination, defecation, and even eating of feces when left alone.
  • Tendency to follow owners around the house when they are home.
  • Clawing and chewing at furniture and objects within the home when left alone.
  • Upon arriving home dog may act extremely over-excited, as if owner had been gone for ages.
  • Salivation and exhibiting other signs of stress (panting, pacing, trembling, dilation of pupils) when owner is preparing to leave.

A dog with separation anxiety may exhibit all or only a few of the symptoms listed above.

Causes of Separation Anxiety

It’s important to keep in mind that every dog is a unique individual with his or her own past but here are a few possible causes that might lead a dog to develop separation anxiety.

  • Dog has been neglected.
  • Dog is moved to a new environment.
  • Dog is abandoned or has a change of ownership.
  • Death of a dog’s companion, human or another pet.
  • Dog has been coddled and relies too heavily on its owner.
  • Adopting a dog before it’s old enough to be away from its mother.
  • Change in schedule where dog is suddenly left alone for extended periods of time, often for the first time.

Dogs are complex creatures and while a few typical causes are listed above, other factors can potentially contribute to the development of separation anxiety in a pet.

Treatments for Separation Anxiety

If your pet is affected by separation anxiety the good news is that there are a number of dog separation anxiety solutions to try.

  • Desensitize your dog to signals indicating your departure. Do this by picking up your keys or putting on your shoes but don’t leave the house, just hang out for awhile. Doing this a couple times of day for a few weeks will teach your pup that these signals don’t necessarily mean you are going to leave soon.Separation Anxiety Nervous Husky
  • Exercise or play with your dog before you leave. A tired dog is less likely to get worked up so if possible try to get up a little earlier for work and go on a walk or run with your dog. Not only is this a great bonding experience but your pup will most likely be too tired to focus on their anxiety.

 

  • Train your dog to be alone in a different part of the house. You can do this by teaching them to stay and then walking into another room. Gradually increase the time you make your dog stay in the other part of the house from seconds to minutes, maybe even an hour if necessary.
  • Crate train your dog. By creating a space that is reserved for your pup where you can pet and give him or her treats you are creating a safe space that encourages independence from you.
  • When arriving back home ignore your dog until they greet you calmly. You want to project calm and assertive energy when leaving and when arriving home. Dogs are very intuitive creatures and will pick up on your emotions. If you make a big deal out of leaving by giving a grand goodbye this can exacerbate your dog’s separation anxiety.
  • Leave the house for short periods of time, gradually increasing the time you’re gone. The severity of your dog’s condition will dictate how long these short periods of time are. For some dogs you can quickly extend the time by minutes but other dogs need a little more work and these periods of time should be increased by seconds when starting out. Start with an initial goal of being able to leave for 5 minutes, then 20 minutes, then an hour and be sure to approach these goals with plenty of patience and love.
  • Leave background noise on when you leave. This can be as simple as a television or you can even leave an audiobook or YouTube playlist of relaxing music playing when you leave. Recent discoveries indicate that dogs can understand quite a bit of human language and love being read to.
  • Give your dog a special toy or treat reserved only for when you leave. This toy or treat should be durable enough to keep your dog’s attention for at least half an hour. This will also teach your dog to associate you leaving with something positive. A KONG® filled with something tasty is a great choice for most dogs.
  • Consider the use of medication for your dog. Some dogs have such severe separation anxiety that they need anti-anxiety medication like xanax or trazodone coupled with professional training to help get over their condition. In these cases it’s best to contact a veterinarian and a professional trainer for help.
  • Take your dog to a sitter or doggy daycare. Maybe there is a trusted neighbor you could leave your dog with during the day. There are many affordable doggy daycare options located in the Phoenix area.

How to Prevent Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can be a lifelong condition for dogs so the best ‘cure’ is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Luckily, many of the same treatments for separation anxiety can be used to prevent separation anxiety! Separation Anxiety White Happy Husky

  • Crate train your dog. It’s very important that your dog has a safe place and that they enjoy their time in it.
  • Get plenty of exercise. A tired dog is less likely to be destructive and get into trouble.
  • Reserve a special treat or toy for when you leave your dog alone. Take the toy or treat and put it away as soon as you arrive home. This will teach your pup to associate something good with you being gone.
  • Don’t make a big deal over arrivals and departures. When leaving don’t give a long-drawn-out goodbye as this can be a trigger for separation anxiety. When you get back don’t greet your dog until he or she is calm.

Can We ‘Cure’ Dog Separation Anxiety?

Unfortunately there is no sure-fire way to cure a dog of separation anxiety and some dogs will develop it despite our best preventive efforts. At least now you are equipped with the knowledge on what dog separation anxiety is, its symptoms, potential causes, and possible treatments for dealing with the condition.

For more information on dog separation anxiety check out these articles from the Animal Humane Society and the American Kennel Club.

Do you think your pet suffers from separation anxiety? Leave a comment below with their symptoms or what worked for you in curing it!

 

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén