Why Your Dog Licks You

Being licked by a dog is one of the sweetest things in the world. Have you ever stopped to wonder why your dog licks you? While it may seem that the answer is obvious: they love you of course! The real answer is a little more complex and multifaceted. Here are some dog facts on why your dog licks you.

 

You Taste Good

dog_ownersDogs love tasty things. It can be something as small as leftover food particles on your hands or face. It may even just be salt secreted with your sweat. In other cases, it could be the taste of a lotion or scent you are wearing. If your dog likes this flavor then they will lick.

 

They Instinctively Want to Nurse Your Wounds

Everyone has seen a dog lick a wound. While this may seem like a bad idea (especially if your dog likes to drink out of the toilet) there are a few reasons why this is good. For one, there is an enzyme in their saliva that helps to kill bacteria. Two, the force of their licking is enough to take away dead skin cells that can inhibit proper healing. Third, the licking also helps to get rid of any dirt or other substances that can hinder the healing process. Most importantly, your dog loves you and wants to help you feel better.

 

They Want to Communicate With You

Communication is vital with any animals. It is no secret that dogs lick each other to show submission and communicate their needs. For instance, puppies lick their mother as a way to tell her they are hungry. It is no different when dogs lick humans. Sometimes they just want to tell you something.

 

It’s a Great Stress Reliever

One of the dog facts most people know is that overly nervous dogs or those with certain emotional issues tend to lick excessively. They may lick couch cushion, rugs and even themselves neurotically. Until recently science was unsure why. A study showed that for dogs licking releases endorphins that can help to relieve stress and help keep them in a better mood.

They Love the Attentiondog safety

What dog doesn’t love to get attention from their pet parent or even a new friend they just met? Sometimes it comes down to your dog just wanting to get attention from you. Think about what your normal reaction is when your dog licks you. Most of the time you will get a mushy feeling and give them affection.
If your dog has an issue with excessive licking and it doesn’t seem to fall under one of these dog facts, then the best thing you can do is to see your vet. Your pet may have a condition that makes them overly stressed and dealing with the issue is better than just letting it go on. Just as stress can cause a multitude of illnesses in people, it can do the same for dogs.

The American Pet Market for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day approaching this weekend, chances are you are thinking about who you want to be your Valentine as well as what you will get them. For many people, this will simply be their pet. There have been a few studies into Valentine’s Day and pets released for this year and here are the findings.

 

Estimated Spending for Valentine’s Day

shutterstock_110591582__1455210743_22829According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are projected to spend $18.9 BILLION on Valentine’s Day this year. Of that number, they estimate that $703 MILLION will be spent on pets. This is not a small figure and one that has been rapidly growing as the pet industry becomes larger and larger. The more people see their pets as family, the more this number grows.

 

Another thing these studies found was that people will buy an assortment of things for their pet. It could be a comfy new memory foam bed or a sweater with hearts on it. The most common gifts though are toys and treats for pets. According to a survey from Trupanion Pet Insurance, the average person will spend $25 on their pet this Valentine’s day.

 

If you are planning on buying something for your dog this Valentine’s Day, then you can find the perfect gift at your local Splash and Dash. We offer adorable accessories, deliciously beautiful treats, and much more to make your dog happy. If you’re not sure what to get then we can even help you out!

 

People Prefer Their Pets Over Their Significant Othershutterstock_128131268__1455210780_80058

An interesting study released from Trupanion Pet Insurance on the topic of Valentine’s day and pets showed that 47% of the people they surveyed would rather spend the holiday with their pet than with their significant other. This study did not take into account aspects such as the length of the relationship or relationship status of the surveyors but it is interesting none the less. maybe it is because people recognize the unconditional love of their pet and want to give them love in return. Just remember there is nothing wrong with having more than one Valentine.

 

The Scary Chocolate Trend at Valentine’s Day

Featured-Feb-Image-5Most pet parents know their dog should not have chocolate as it is toxic to them. However, Trupanion reports that last February alone they received claims for 56 cases of chocolate consumption. This led to more than $20,000 in veterinary bills. Keep in mind that this is only one pet insurance company and some people do not have pet insurance.

 

It is never OK to give your dog chocolate. If you want them to have the sweets in the spirit of the Valentine’s holiday then the best thing you can do is to give them carob treats, the dog safe alternative to chocolate. In the same manner, if you plan to take your pet to a dog friendly restaurant for the holiday, make sure any food you share does not have ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

Warning Signs Your Dog Has Cancer

No one wants to think of their dog dying, which is why it is important to do everything you can to protect their health. However, even when you give your dog proper exercise and feed them the right foods, there are still health issues that can arise. One of the scariest for many pet parents is cancer. Considering almost half of all dogs over 10 years old will develop cancer at some point, it is important to know the warning signs so you can take your dog to see vets before it’s too late.

 

Lumps on Your Dog

dog servicesThis is generally what many people think of when it comes to cancer in their dogs. The truth is that this is not the only sign that your dog has cancer. Also, just because your dog has a lump does not mean that it is cancer. Either way, if your dog develops an unusual lump, you should find the best vets in your area and take your dog in for an appointment to have it examined.

 

Vomiting and Diarrhea

It is normal for a dog to get sick once in awhile or deal with a bout of diarrhea. However, if this happens a lot or is persistent, then this is something that needs to be evaluated more closely. Vets will be able to tell you if this is cause for concern as well as what you can do to help with this.

 

Distended Abdomen

In many cases, the abdomen will become distended very quickly, while in others it may take a while. If you notice that your pup’s tummy is starting to do this, then you need to take them to vets pronto. This can be a sign of not only internal tumors, but internal bleeding as well.

 

Weight Loss

If your pup is on a diet or is getting more activity than normal, it is expected that some weight loss will occur. However, if your pet has unexpected dog_grooming_servicesweight loss then this can be a sign of cancer, just as it is in people. Even if it is not cancer, you still need to see vets in your area right away to determine what is causing the problem.

 

Cough

If your dog develops a cough that is non productive and does not go away in a few days, then this is something that needs to be evaluated by vets. This could be a sign of lung cancer or another issue that your pup has developed.

Talk with Vets About What to Do

The thing to keep in mind is that as your pet ages, their bodies will change and they will be more susceptible to illnesses of all kinds. You need to watch them to see if there are any changes in their mood, behavior or daily activity. Make sure that you do not just ignore these warning signs of cancer or other health issues. Make sure that you find vets in your area who specialize in senior dogs and take your dog to them.

What You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Heart Health

As humans we think a lot about heart health since it is one of the most important organs in our body (however we should note that just about ALL our organs are important). As a pet parent you may think about the health of your pet but do you really stop to consider their heart health? If not, you should for very good reason.

 

The Importance of Canine Heart Health

shutterstock_48967792__1453911589_76531As we just established the heart is an important part of the body. When the heart is not properly maintained there are many issues that can arise. One of the biggest concerns with this is canine congestive heart failure. There are other issues such as heart murmurs, cardiomyopathy, heart disease, and much more that can come from poor heart health for your pup.

 

What You Can Do

The good news is that it is never too late to make a positive change for your pup’s heart health. While it will not reverse any damage done, it can help to keep things from getting worse. Here are the things you need to do to keep your pet’s heart healthy throughout their life:

 

Get Plenty of Exercise

Just as with humans exercise improves cardiac function. If this is not enough incentive then know this can help keep your pup at a healthy weight. shutterstock_250526221__1453911628_54189Depending on your dog’s breed, age, and several other factors will impact the amount of exercise they need. It is best to talk with your vet to find out how much exercise your pup should be getting for canine heart health.

 

Watch Your Pet’s Weight

Being overweight can put more of a strain on your pet’s heart which can lead to more issues. This is why you need to keep it under control. The best ways to do this are with diet and exercise. Make sure your pet is eating high quality foods that have plenty of nutrients for your pet. You also need to make sure they are eating the foods in the right quantities.

 

Regular Vet Visits

shutterstock_123791044__1453911719_36282You should also be taking your pet to the vet on a regular basis, at least once a year. This will help ensure they are healthy and address any concerns before they become an issue. Your vet can give you the best information about keeping your pet’s heart healthy as well as staying healthy overall. They can also give you information about any meds or supplements they recommend for keeping your pet’s ticker in tip top shape.

The Scoop on Dog Safe Chocolate

 

The most common gift for Valentine’s Day is chocolate and if you want to buy your dog something for this special day it can be hard since chocolate is toxic to dogs. The good news is that there is an alternative to chocolate for dogs and it’s called carob, a dog safe chocolate. Here’s what you should know.

 

What is Dog Safe Chocolate and Why is it Safe?

shutterstock_201147386__1453911183_58127Carob is a natural plant that has a flavor that is similar to chocolate, though it is sweeter than cocoa.  It is full of nutrients including calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins. It even provides protein and fiber. The real difference though is that it does not contain caffeine, theobromine, phenylethylamine, or fromamide like chocolate does. This is what is toxic to dogs and the reason why carob is safe. In fact, people who have sensitivities or allergies to chocolate use this as well.

 

Where to Buy Carob Chips

While you may not find carob chips at your local grocery store, you can usually find them at higher end grocery retailers, such as Whole Foods. If not, then you can always purchase them online. When they come they will look very similar to chocolate and you can try it for yourself to see how you like the flavor.

 

If you plan to make dog treats using carob then make sure you have a recipe. You want to make sure you follow this so that the treats will come out properly and not create a mess. Sure your dog will love the mess you create, but it is still nice to have pretty dog treats you can show off.

 

Buying Carob Dog Treatsshutterstock_311104949__1453911237_60103


Due to the stigma about chocolate and the fact that most people do not understand what carob is or how it compares to chocolate there are not many places where you can buy carob treats for your dog. The best bet is to go to your local Splash and Dash to check or another dog bakery. This is the best place to find them.

 

Keep in mind that even if you cannot find carob treats for your dog as an alternative to dog safe chocolate treats for your dog this Valentine’s Day, it does not mean that you cannot get them other dog treats. Every Splash and Dash has large dog cookies you can buy for your pet if you are not much of a baker. Your dog will love this just as much as any carob treat you buy.

Reasons Why Your Dog is the Best Valentine

As Valentine’s Day approaches you may be bumming about the fact that you’re single or maybe your significant other just isn’t the doting person you want them to be. The good news is that if you have a dog then you have the best Valentine a person could ask for. Here’s reasons why:

 

They are More Excited to See You Than Anyone Else

shutterstock_260692613__1453910776_84213When you come home from work after a long day, who is more excited to see you? Your family or your pooch? Chances are your pup comes running to greet you, tail wagging and a smile on their face. There is no denying they are excited to see you and want to spend  time with you. Can you say the same for the people you live with?

 

They are Always Ready to Give Kisses

Most dogs enjoy giving kisses and everyone loves kisses from dogs, especially your own. Chances are all you have to do is ask for a kiss or try to kiss your pup and they will shower you with their kisses. You may not even have to ask as your dog probably just comes to you with their loves and licks.

 

They Give the Best Cuddles

Who doesn’t love cuddling? Even big dogs love to get in your lap on the couch or in the bed to cuddle up next to you. Sure they want you to pet them but they do not always require this. Just being by you is enough for them.

 

Their Love is Unconditionalshutterstock_183308966__1453910854_60960

The great thing about dogs is that they love you unconditionally. This means that even when you don’t give them the long walk they want (and need) or take them to the kennel so you can go on a cruise to the Bahamas  they still love you. Many people feel their dog loves them more than most people in the world.

For all these reasons and even more, your dog is the perfect candidate to be your Valentine this year (and every year for that matter!). Now that you have decided this, the next thing you should do is to make your dog’s day as great as they make yours. Here are a few things you can do:

 

  • Make them a special dinner
  • Take them to a restaurant
  • Buy them treats with dog safe chocolate (carob)
  • Take them to the dog park

Dog and Baby Videos to Melt Your Heart

Since February is the month of love, we thought it would be a good idea to show you a few videos about love. Who doesn’t love dog and baby videos? Put these two together into short videos showing their love for each other and you have the recipe for a heart melting video. We hope these videos make your day as much as they make ours.

 

Husky and Baby Cuddling


This baby tries to get the husky to play with her and then the husky decides to cuddle. This video is definitely adorable.

 

Dog Teaches Baby to Crawl

 

Part of love is helping the people you love. This dog proves just how much he loves this baby by trying to teach her how to crawl. In turn the baby tries her best to learn from the dog and intently watches his instruction.

 


Dog Tucks in Baby


Love is about caring for someone else, even when they can’t do anything back. This infant sleeping on the couch is covered by with a blanket by the dog and then the dog proceeds to tuck the blanket around the baby.

 

Dog Sings to Crying Baby

 

Some may say this dog only sings as a way to silence the noise coming from the baby but we like to think that this dog just wants to comfort his human pup in the best way he knows how.

 

Dog and Baby Girl Have Conversation

 

We may not know what these two are saying but we know it is adorable. These two seem to have a language all their own and we know this is a bond that will last a lifetime.

6 Fun Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Your Pup

iStock_000001256761Large__1453908917_56173If you want to make your pet as happy as they make you this Valentine’s Day then the best thing you can do is give them something they love. There are many options out there that you can give to them. Here are 6 fun gifts you can buy for your dog.

 

The Foobler

Sure we have all seen the different treat balls out there. Some are in different shapes and other require very specific (and generally expensive!) treats in order to work. The difference with this treat ball is that it is designed to keep your pet on their toes. It can hold up to two cups of treats or kibble and you design the frequency you want it to release the treats. This is also a new product that just came on the market so your pup can be ahead of the trend.

 

The Odin

This is another treat ball you can get for your dog. It is trendy with its geometric design and it has slats that allow you to stick small kibble or treats into. The toy is designed to be light enough for small dogs to enjoy yet large enough to keep big dogs from swallowing it. Keep in mind that this is not intended to be used as a chew toy as it can destroy the toy.

 

Stuffed Pooshutterstock_104939138__1453908942_67757

There are several different brands of stuffed poo toys out there for your dog. If your dog loves to eat poo or has a weird fascination with it, then this can be a great option. However, if your dog is good at tearing up stuffed toys make sure you go with the pet brand poo this one and not the emoji poo toys you can buy at the mall.

 

Hide a Squirrel

If your dog loves hide and seek but you don’t have time to play with them all day long, then this could be the perfect toy for them. The squirrels get hidden in the tree house and your dog has to search to find them. Each tree house comes with three squirrels with squeakers. The tree house also comes in three different sizes to fit all dog sizes.

 

Talking Babble Ball

If you are worried about your pet not having anything fun or do or have anyone to talk to them while you are away, this can be the best option. This ball talks when it is touched and goes off automatically. There are a variety of phrases it uses to entice your pet to play. It is made of a durable plastic and comes in 3 different sizes.

 

BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher

Yes, as the name implies this is a semi-automatic bazooka launching tennis balls. It is obviously a toy designed to be just as fun for pet parents as it is for dogs. If you love the idea of shooting tennis balls across your yard or the dog park, then this can be the perfect gift. This will no doubt bring you and your dog endless hours of fun and bonding.

 

Pet Industry – An Experiment on the Powerful Bond between Human and Dog

It’s no secret that humans and dogs have an incredible bonding ability from the way that they form the initial bond with their master as a puppy to the way that dogs are able to become an extension of their human’s senses through service dog work. The question is just what type of connection do humans and dogs have with each other? A study has recently been done in the pet industry to get us started on answering this question.

 

The Experimentfamily_dogs_pets

In a study done in October of 2014 for the pet industry, a study was done including 14 women who had at least one child age 2-10 and a dog who had been part of the home for at least two years. With the help of MRI imaging technology, the scientists monitored the brain activity of the women as they looked at photos of their children and then photos of their dogs.

What the MRI machine showed that the parts of the brain associated with emotion, reward, relationships, and social interaction increased in activity when the women were shown pictures of their children. It also showed the same effect when these women were shown pictures of their dogs. Not only that, but the part of the brain involved in facial recognition actually responded greater when looking at their dogs than they did when looking at their children.

Finally, the part of the brain involved in forming bonds only became active when the women were shown their children’s photos.07-23128

 

The Pet Industry Conclusion

Dr. Lori Palley, the study co-lead author and employee of the MGH Center for Comparative Medicine said, “Pets hold a special place in many people’s hearts and lives, and there is compelling evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that interacting with pets can be beneficial to the physical social and emotional well-being of humans.”

According to previous studies done in the pet industry, Oxycontin levels were higher after interactions with their pets. The Oxycontin hormone is the hormone involved in pair-bonding and maternal attachment.

Luke Stoeckel, study co-lead author said that, “the results suggest there is a common brain network important for pair-bond formation and maintenance that is activated when mothers view images of either their child or their dog.”

This study done in the pet industry was on a much smaller scale and while those involved believe they are on the right track to the bond between humans and dogs, they need a larger sample in order to further the studies. In the future, scientists would like to examine the reaction in fathers, women and men without children, parents of adopted children, and the effects of other types of pet on these same groups.