It’s not uncommon for dog parents to be stopped during outings by others who want to admire and pet your pup. Usually, this is no concern and a great way to socialize your dog. With all the recent fear surrounding COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, pet parents may want to put a limit on how many contacts our fur babies have with strangers.
Even though the chance of a K9 catching COVID-19 is rare, with only one reported case in Hong Kong to date – the true concern still lies with human health. Although pets cannot easily catch the coronavirus, it does live on objects and surfaces and is transmitted through contact. Therefore, if a stranger came in contact with COVID-19, it’s reasonable to assume they could pass the virus onto a dog’s coat, collar, or leash and then become passed onto the next point of contact.
We completely understand that our dogs are our family and it is common for them to climb on furniture, cuddle with us, and sleep in our beds. With that said, it’s understandable to be concerned.
Because it’s not reasonable nor fair to keep pets inside all day. It now becomes a matter of adjusting a dog’s hygiene, similarly to the way we humans are stockpiling hand sanitizer and avoiding handshakes.
Quick Tips for Dog Hygiene at Home
- Use scent-free baby wipes to clean paws, coats, and snouts after walks.
- Invest in a pair of boots (if your furbaby will wear them).
- Wash any pet clothing, dog collars, and leashes more frequently.
- Implement a tidy-up routine between regular bathing and grooming appointments.
- Be cautious when asking to pet other dogs — and having others bombard yours.
- Lessen days out with your dog to public places where masses of humans congregate.
- Keep hand sanitizer out of reach from your dog. High levels of alcohol can be extremely dangerous to their health.
The most important thing we have to echo is that there are no proven cases of dogs transmitting the virus to people. Don’t panic just be precautious.
At Splash and Dash, the safety and wellbeing of your dogs is our business and we can assure you that we are taking preventative measures within each of our locations:
- We are committed to disinfecting every surface our employees, customers, and puppy patrons come into contact with.
- All employees have been informed and instructed to follow CDC recommendations.
- Our support center is providing additional cleaning supplies to all locations.
One of the cutest and most enjoyable experiences is watching your dog play in the snow for their first time. They leap and prance around in all that weird white stuff and try and eat the whole backyard.
It’s cute to watch, but with record breaking snowstorms hitting Midwest and Northern states last year, it’s important to exercise good pet safety during events like this.
Before letting your dog go crazy in the snow, make sure you know the potential hazards and precautions advised from veterinarians.
This pet safety article will help dispel the myths associated with snow fall, and help you and your dog have fun this winter.
Start Off Slow
Some dogs jump right in, some dogs stick a paw in first. When it comes to your puppies or senior dogs, make sure they stick a paw in first. Puppies and younger dogs have a harder time acclimating to the cold than older dogs. Let them get used to the snow and regulating their body temperature first, then gradually if they are not shivering let them stay outside for longer.
Just like us, doggies’ coats need to get accustomed to the temperature change. After a week or so with snowfall, it’s time to take the longer walks to get your dog exercised.
All Dogs Are Different
Senior dogs have an especially hard time adapting their bodies to the cold weather. Pet safety experts state that dogs with diabetes, arthritis, or an altered metabolism are going to need special attention when the temperatures start withering.
Breed type also affects body temperature regulation. Small dogs have a harder time staying warm, but most importantly is coat length. Short haired breeds like Chihuahua, Miniature Greyhound, and American Pit Bull Terriers all hate the cold.
Adversely, long haired breeds love it! Dogs like Welsh Corgis, Old English Sheepdogs, and even a Pomeranian love making doggie-angels in the snow.
Prepare Your Doggie!
Dog’s can’t speak English. If you see your dog shivering as the winter approaches, stock-up on sweaters, coats, and dog booties. Pet safety goggles are even available to protect your dog’s eye from debris and the glare from the sun in the snow.
Also wiping your dog’s paws off when they come back inside will help them warm back up. Keep pads and paws dry and free from snow that will melt inside and keep them wet.
Last year, parts of Chicago were 10 degrees colder than the surface of Mars. Dog’s can’t live on Mars, so make sure you are being observant of your dog’s comfort when you are taking them out.
If the wind chill is penetrating you through your ski jacket and thermals, your dog’s coat is definitely not prepared for freezing wind. Proper pet safety means knowing the behavior that says I’m too cold.
If your dog is shivering or holding up their paw because they’re frozen then it’s time to get inside and warm up!
Make Bathroom Time Quicker
Shoveling a route for your dog to get to a patch of grass is always a good idea. Make sure it’s easily accessible and close enough to your house they can make it back quickly but still have it be agreeable to their doggie instincts.
You can start off with 2-3 minute increments outside. Take it back to the days of potty training.
Some dog’s can only “go” when on a walk, and during the winter dog’s need to learn a new routine.
Let your dog out for a few minutes, then when they come back in give them a treat. This will reinforce good behavior of them “going” in the backyard.
If the area you’re using is too cold, try somewhere else with more cover from falling snow. Try and take your dog’s out when the sun is out, or when it’s not snowing.
Rock Salt and Antifreeze Can Be Harmful
Antifreeze is poisonous for dogs and tastes good to them. Dogs will lick it off the ground or paws after you’re done working on your car and this can be seriously harmful to them. Avoid driveways and sidewalks that can have a blue or green colored substance poured over the walkway.
Rock salt is not toxic, but can cause an upset stomach. Without doggie booties the salt can also irritate a dog’s pads.
Pet safe rock salt is a good option to keep for good pet safety.
How to Warm Your Doggie Back Up
After you get back in from a romp in the snow. Make sure you dry off your dog’s coat and paws.
- Use a towel or blanket to cover them.
- Use a blow dryer on low settings so you don’t actually burn them.
- Avoid heating pads which can also cause burns.
- Microwaved rice in a sock is good pet safety substitute.
Always gauge warming pet products against your wrist to make sure they are not too hot for your dog’s skin.
If it’s too hot for your skin, it’s probably too hot for the doggie.
Treat Cracked Pads
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has recently launched an aromatherapy line complete with Paw Balm which is a perfect ointment for cracked paws during the winter.
We also have an effervescent Marine Pawdicure scrub that helps exfoliate and protects doggie pads and paws.
Not to mention these products relax your dog and put them in a winter heaven bliss.
Even in the lazy depths of winter dogs still need to get plenty of exercise to get out all that pent up energy out.
Since the snowstorms keep everyone inside you might need to invest in a few toys to keep your dog entertained during the snowstorms.
Kong balls with stuffed peanut butter on the inside, tug-of-war pet safety certified ropes, and puzzle feeders & problem solving toys can keep a dog’s mind active and them moving around.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wishes you a warm holiday, even when the temperatures are cold. Burrr!
In Emergency Situations
Nobody likes to think about accidents or injuries involving their pets, but preparing in advance will protect your dog in case of a winter emergency. Make a pet emergency kit or “go bag” now to be prepared for for any potential disaster.
Your basic pet emergency kit should include:
- Food and water supplies for at least a week.
- Extra leash and collar set.
- Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container.
- A pet first-aid kit and guide
- Up-to-date vaccination records, recent photographs, and vet contact information, laminated or stored in a waterproof bag.
- A laminated copy of written information about your dog’s feeding schedule, medical needs, and behavioral issues in case you become. In the unfortunate event that you and your dog become separated during an emergency, this will help caretakers look after your pet until you can be reunited.
For winter emergencies, your kit may also include an extra dog coat, disposable booties, microfiber pet towels, paw and nose balm, and a hot water bottle.
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It’s important to follow homemade dog food recipes exactly as they are instructed. Please do not attempt to substitute ingredients as you might for yourself or your family. Dogs have different nutritional needs than humans do. It’s important to cook all animal products thoroughly to kill all harmful bacteria. Thoroughly cooking all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables will make the food easier for your dog to digest. Make sure to watch out for these foods that can harm your dog.
All of us at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique want the very best for your pup.
Why make homemade dog food?
One of the most beneficial parts about making your own dog food is the comfort in knowing exactly what your dog is eating. Dogs are apart of the family, they should be treated like family. You wouldn’t want anyone in your family eating harmful food, why would you let your dog?
The truth is, dog food isn’t well regulated. Feeding your pooch commercial dog food consistently results in massive recalls, sick pets (or worse), and even potentially increasing food allergies from the dog’s commercial brand food. Also, there is no one size fits all type of food for a dog, they come in many shapes and sizes and need to be fed accordingly.
Commercial dog foods make use of non-human grade food ingredients. If you look at a common dog food product’s label, you’ll notice ingredients such as meat protein which actually include parts of an animal which you would never eat yourself.
The problem with feed-grade dog food is that they often contain organ meats such as feathers, hooves, entrails, and other animal by-products. The worst thing about these feed-grade ingredients is that the FDA actually allows animals that have died by causes, such as ailments and diseases, to be included in dog foods. Dogs can’t just eat anything that is put on their plate, they need a healthy diet just like humans do.
Making homemade dog food and homemade dog treats may sound like a daunting task at first, however after going through this guide you’ll realize how easy of a task it can be after educating yourself further. Just like we have the food pyramid showing us the specific food groups and guidelines we should follow, there is an entirely different food pyramid required for dogs to get the correct nutrients they need to be healthy pups.
Depending on how much time you’re willing to commit, homemade dog food can completely substitute any other type of supplements, while still feeding them all the nutrients they need to be healthy dogs.
The basic nutrients needed for a healthy dog are:
- Protein (Basic building blocks for cells, organs, and are essential for growth)
- Fats (The most concentrated form of food energy)
- Water (Essential to life, water accounts for 65-70% of an adult dogs body weight)
- Carbohydrates (No minimum requirement for carbs, however glucose is needed to supply energy to critical organs such as the brain.)
- Vitamins (Tiny amounts of vitamins are necessary in dogs for normal metabolic functioning)
- Minerals (Nutrients that cannot be synthesized by animals and must be provided in the diet)
Artificial preservatives in commercial pet foods
Commercial pet food products contain ingredients that you can’t pronounce just so that they can artificially preserve their dog food for as long as possible to ensure minimal loss of profits. There are many dangers with processed dog food, one of the main ingredients found is propylene glycol, which is used to maintain moisture (also a chemical used in car anti-freeze).
This type of practice may be good for their bottom dollar, but it can be very harmful for your dog. The truth is that the slow accumulation of these toxins will eventually lead to serious damage on your dog’s kidneys, liver, and heart.
All of us at Splash and Dash believe dogs should be fed the very best, they are family after all. Which is why we only use 7 Human-Grade Ingredients or less in our Keepin’ It Simple dog treats.
All of our treats are sourced in the USA and USDA approved.
Dog Recipes that We Love
Pumpkin Dog Biscuits
Looking for a doggie digestive aid? Pumpkin is easy on sour stomachs and can help alleviate your dog’s digestive issues. These homemade dog biscuits are a great way to introduce an all-natural tummy aid into your pup’s diet.
1/3 cup extremely cold water
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (canned or home-made)
2 cups whole grain brown rice flour
1 large egg (you can omit this if your dog is allergic to eggs)
2 1/2 tablespoonful flax-seed oil or olive oil
Total: Makes approx. 24 1 oz balls (or 24 fluid ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 320 – 350 degrees.
- Use two baking sheets and baking paper to avoid sticking.
- Mix lightly beaten egg and pumpkin in a separate container until smooth. If you don’t want to use egg then just smooth the pumpkin puree separately and proceed to the next step.
- In a larger bowl, combine flax-seed oil and brown rice flour.
- With constant stirring, add the pumpkin mixture to the rice mixture and slowly add water. Be sure to leave some of the rice to be used as some sort of toppings for the cookies.
- Hand mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Using two pieces of baking or waxed paper, roll dough out to desired thickness.
- Remove the top baking paper.
- Evenly pour rice flour onto the top of the dough and lightly press it to the waxed baking paper.
- Remove the paper and cut to desired sizes.
- Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is completely dry.
- Cool and store in a dry plastic or glass container until ready to be served.
Don’t have the time to make these treats? Try the Pumpkin Patch flavor of our Keepin’ It Simple All Natural Dog Treats!
Frozen Banana Treats
After a long walk in the hot sun, what pooch wouldn’t want a refreshing treat? We absolutely love this simple recipe – yogurt, banana and peanut butter. It’s a frozen smoothie for your dog. Need we say more?
4 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut butter
3 bananas, ripe, peeled & mashed
Total: Makes approx. 8 1 oz treats
- Blend all ingredients together into a puree.
- Pour into 4-ounce plastic cups (ice trays or toddler popsicle trays work well).
- Freeze until firm.
- Can be kept in freezer for up to two week
Don’t have the time to make these treats? Try the PB N’ Jelly Crunch Flavor of our Keepin’ It Simple All Natural Dog Treats!
Don’t Forget the Fruits & Veggies
While your dog doesn’t need to choke down a big salad everyday, it’s still vital to their health to eat a few well-chosen veggies. We recommend using a wide variety of frozen vegetables because it’s the easiest and most economical way for me to make sure your pups are eating their vegetables. (Veggies for dogs = fiber for healthy poops and fat-soluble vitamins.)
We recommend buying frozen California Medley veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli). Three 12-ounce bags is the perfect amount for this homemade dog food recipe.
If you can’t find the California Medley or you want to mix it up a bit, combine any or all of these vegetables, either fresh or frozen, to equal 5 cups:
- green beans
Fruits contain vitamins, antioxidants, and valuable fiber for our pups. So we recommend 12 ounces (or 1-1/2 cups) to each batch of food. You can choose one of the following, fresh or frozen, and stir it in after cooking:
- diced apple (but not the seeds)
Although less common, these fruits are also acceptable add-ins for your homemade dog food:
- fresh pineapple (with all spines and skin removed)
- mango (without the pit)
- watermelon (rind and seeds removed)
- peaches (pit removed)
*Do NOT Add These Foods To Your Homemade Dog Food*
- anything with chocolate or cacao
- onions or leeks
- anything with xylitol
- macadamia nuts
- garlic (unless directed by your vet)
- brewer’s yeast
- raw bread dough
For the most natural dog products visit Splash and Dash, every dog treat is sourced in the USA with 7 human-grade ingredients or less.
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Intestinal parasites often referred to as “Worms” can cause severe and life threatening diseases. Much to the surprise of many pet owners, several canine parasites are transmissible to humans as well. This is why understanding these parasitic health symptoms, hazards, and treatments are important to set preventative measures for the whole household.
It is important to realize there are many more parasites other than just roundworms and tapeworms that commonly come to mind. Whipworms, Hookworms, and many other worms can cause serious life threatening complications.
How do dogs get worms?
Most tapeworms require an intermediate host, which means most of the time they aren’t passed from pet to pet. Common intermediate hosts include fleas and small rodents. It’s important to note that dogs will become reinvested with tapeworms if these hosts aren’t controlled.
Dogs can become infected with roundworms by eating worm eggs from contaminated soil or stool. Although more common in cats, dogs can also become infected by eating infected rodents.
Although human infection occurs rarely, it can cause significant health issues depending on where the worms migrate to. If you have been exposed to a pet with worms, we recommend talking with your physician to discuss any potential problems.
Types of worms
Usually spread in feces or during pregnancy or nursing, the roundworm causes a serious infection in dogs and puppies. The roundworm eats the food of its host and may cause diarrhea and other symptoms. It’s important to note that roundworms in puppies can be fatal. Human infection of roundworms can cause even more serious symptoms and implications.
Hookworms suck the blood out of their hosts, mostly in the small intestine. Mothers can infect their puppies, and adult dogs can be infected through their skin or when cleaning themselves. Infection causes many symptoms, mostly weakness and malnutrition which can lead to death in puppies. Humans can also become infected with hookworms from unwashed vegetables or by walking barefoot on sand and soil.
One of the most dangerous worms, heartworms are spread through mosquito bites. They can be up to 14 inches long, and commonly live in the heart and arteries. Heartworms can affect how the heart functions and can cause blood clots which are likely to cause death if untreated. Monthly heartworm preventatives are are effective and Splash and Dash recommends to use a monthly heartworm treatment.
Whipworms live in the area where the small and large intestines meet. Similarly to hookworms, whipworms also suck the blood of their hosts. Dogs commonly pick them up from contaminated soil or by grooming. Whipworms can be quite serious and symptoms include bloody diarrhea especially when there are a large number in the intestine.
Dogs most commonly are infected with tapeworms from fleas, which carry them. Tapeworms absorb dog’s nutrients from the intestine where they often attach. Tapeworms are each about the size of a grain of rice. These are commonly passed in stool and can be seen around the dog’s anus. Humans can also get tapeworms, but can’t get them from an infected pet.
Despite its name, ringworm is actually not a worm at all. It is a skin infection caused by a fungus. In dogs, ringworm is often seen as a dry, gray, and scary patch. Although it may cause no symptoms at all, it is still important to take your dog to the vet if you notice anything abnormal. Humans can become infected in ringworm as well, however they usually cause a red lesion with a ring-like appearance (hence the name). Infection comes from spores which are commonly found in the soil or on cats, humans can become infected by touching an infected pet. Treatment for ringworm can involve medicated shampoos and ointments. More commonly, an oral medication will be needed for a couple of months. It is important to take extra measures to clear ringworm from the environment to prevent the spread.
How can I tell if my dog has worms?
Although there is no obvious outward signs of infection when it comes to your dog having worms, normal bowel movements don’t rule out the possibility of a parasite infection. However, when signs are present they can include diarrhea, bloody stool, mucus in the stool, change in appetite, weight loss, and vague signs of abdominal or rectal discomfort.
Other signs are abdominal enlargement, scooting of the hindquarters, and excess licking or irritation around the anus. Some parasites even can cause severe blood loss and even death, especially in young, weak, or old and malnourished pets.
Can I see worms in my dog’s stool?
One way to see if your dog has worms is examining their stool. Adult roundworms and hookworms will appear as small to large, off-white to tan, spaghetti shaped parasites. Human infection can be examined in stool as well.
Tapeworms will often appear in stool or clinging to hair around the genital area. Fresh segments will be white, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, and may expand or contract. Dry segments resemble sesame seeds or rice grains and will be darker in color.
Treatment for Worms
Tapeworms and other variations of worms are not effectively treatable with over-the-counter dewormers, which means a veterinary examination is necessary. All of us at Splash and Dash want the very best for your pet, please don’t take any symptoms lightly.
Is everything in a dogs world black and white? We get asked this question almost everyday at Splash and Dash Groomerie and Boutique. This idea has been widely accepted for decades, but in all reality, this theory is completely untrue. Another misconception is that Dogs only see in shades of grey, this is incorrect as well. The simple answer to this common misconception is that people often misinterpret the meaning of being color-blind.
Can Dogs see color? The answer isn’t so “black and white” as many think.
What is Color Blindness?
This topic actually dates back to the 18th century when English scientist John Dalton conducted some of the first studies on congenital color blindness. Dalton became aware of the phenomenon of color-blindness because both he and his brother weren’t able to recognize some colors, confusing red with green and pink with blue.
The most common color-blind defect in humans is the red and green perception. It is mainly caused by abnormalities in color-detecting molecules known as cones in the retina (but we’ll talk about that more later).
This truth is, dogs do in fact see colors, but the colors that they see are neither as rich nor as many as those seen by humans. Look at the example below to understand the colors your dog is seeing.
The Science Behind It
You weren’t just going to take our word for it, were you?
Alexandra Horowitz – author of “Being a Dog” – told us that it’s difficult to know exactly what colors a dog sees, but it’s probably similar to what we see at dusk.
In the eye are light receptors called cones and rods. Cones help us distinguish different colors, while rods help us see in dim lighting. Well it also turns out that dogs just happen to have fewer cone receptors in their eyes than humans. This means that they can’t see as many colors.
Human cones are able to detect 3 different colors: blue, red, and green. Dog cones can only detect 2 colors, and no one is exactly certain which colors they are able to detect, however some experts believe it could be blue and yellow.
In What Ways are Dogs Eyes Better Than Humans?
Dogs actually do have a wider peripheral vision than that of humans. This is credited solely to eyeball placement! It’s simply because dogs’ eyes live on either side of their heads, they can see an impressive 250 degrees. This is 60 degrees wider than their human friends, who max out at 190 degrees. Of course, there’s a range somewhere in the middle — a Labrador, for instance, has a much different facial structure than a pug.
The pro to having close-set, front-facing eyes? The central field of vision where both eyes intersect, which helps with details and depth perception. Where humans have a large amount of this binocular vision, dogs do not.
How Well can Dogs See?
This is a common question when Dog owners go to the local vet with eye concerns. The truth is, if your dog was to walk into an eye doctor today he would probably be prescribed some form of eye ware! If a human’s comfortable seeing 20/20, dogs are down at around the 20/75 range. No need to worry, dogs are still getting a general picture idea of the object or scene in front of them. It’s not like your dog needs reading glasses anyway.
Can Dogs See in the Dark?
Dogs eyes actually have more rods than their human counterparts, which is also the reason why they see much better at night time than we do. Dogs also have an extra layer of eye tissue that humans lack called the ‘tapetum lucidum’, which reflects light into the retina. This extra layer of eye tissue boosts dogs night vision even more, and is a reason why your dogs eye might shine in the dark.
Dogs see very well in the night time because of the ability to adapt to low-light vision. No one is exactly sure how much better dogs can see in the night time, however it is a noticeable advantage. Dogs have evolved to see better in both bright and dim lightning, whereas humans do best in bright light.
How do Dogs Perceive Color?
Researchers at the University of Santa Barbara conducted an experiment where they taught dogs to pick the odd-colored circle out of a choice of three circles. If the dogs were showed colors that they could not distinguish, they would fail the task.
Dr. Gerold Jacobs, Professor of Psychology at the University of Santa Barbara, lead much of this color vision research in dogs. He is careful to point-out that while we cannot determine exactly what the dog perceives the color to be, we think what humans see as a red, orange, yellow or green appears as different saturations of yellow to a dog. While blue-green, blue-violet appear as different saturations of bluish gray to a dog.
What Colors do Dogs See Best?
If you were to throw a green tennis ball in high grass do you think your dog would be able to find it? It’s possible, although it would be much easier for your dog to find that tennis ball if it were blue or yellow.
Dogs can see best if the color is either yellow or blue, this would mean a lot of what dogs are seeing in the world is grayish-brown. That lush green lawn that us humans see looks more like a field of dead hay to a dog.
Now that you know that dogs don’t see certain colors in the way humans do, it would make sense to purchase products based on what would be more pleasing to your dog, rather than yourself. Buying a toy that is easier for your dog to see should be a top priority when you decide to shop for your pup.
Our ‘Cycle dog’ toys are very colorful and Eco Friendly. Help reduce you and your dog’s carbon paw print with our line of eco-friendly toys and accessories, all of which are made in the United States out of high quality recycled materials.
Our Motto at Splash and Dash Groomerie and Boutique is to play dirty and live clean, which is why we offer Eco Friendly Dog Supplies & Accessories.
After the end of a stressful day you come home to your dog wagging their tail and running towards you, that sudden feeling of calmness and relief isn’t just in your head, is it? No, that feeling isn’t just in your imagination, recent research suggests that your fluffy friend truly is good for your physical and mental health.
“Pets often provide unconditional acceptance and love and they’re always there for you,” says Gary A. Christenson, MD, chief medical officer at Boynton Health Service at the University of Minnesota. “There is a bond and companionship that makes a big difference in mental health,”
Not to mention all the extra exercise you get from walks and playtime. Dogs improve out health in many ways, whether it’s though physical or mental health, pets can be very calming and have been scientifically proven to lower stress levels.
“We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets,” says pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD. Who is a professor of psychology at Miami University.
A dog can be your heart’s best friend
Recently, a panel of experts from the American Heart Association (AHA) have weighed all the available evidence. The conclusive finding has been that having a pet, a dog in particular, likely lowers the risk of heart disease, but why?
“People who have dogs live longer than people who have cats, and the assumption has been that dogs naturally cause their owners to be more active,” suggests Dr. Thomas Lee, Co-Editor in Chief of the Harvard Heart Letter. “The emotional benefits of having an affectionate creature are also one of the theories for why dog-lovers live longer.”
Much of the evidence reviewed by the AHA Indicates that dog owners are more likely to exercise. They also found that they are more likely to have lower blood pressure, be less vulnerable to the effects of stress, and more likely to survive a heart attack.
Can having a dog help with anxiety and depression?
Dogs can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. However, don’t just take our word for it.
“I finally realized the answer to my decade long question of how to manage anxiety and depression – exercise, laughter and love – all things that were unattainable for me before, were achieved by getting a dog.” Says pet owner Kathryn Oda from the Huffington Post.
The reason that these three things are so key, is they all trigger the release of the chemical serotonin – the feel-good chemical in our brains (also released by working out or exercising). By having increased levels of serotonin every day, symptoms of anxiety and depression can dramatically decrease.
Hey, what about cats?
It’s true, both dogs and cats are positive influences and can have an additive calming effect on their owners when compared to other animals. Doctors aren’t exactly sure why, but researcher think that cats and declining stress may have more to do with the personality of the cat owner than anything else. Cats commonly become the focus of their owner’s attention and interest, which can divert their stressful worries into positive thoughts.
More relationships and connections
One key to a healthy mind is to stay engaged with other people. Pet owners tend to want to talk with other pet owners compared to people who don’t own any pets. Basically having a dog is a conversation waiting to happen, people are more likely to stop and talk with you when they see you walking your dog.
Having a dog even makes you more likely to find a partner believe it or not.
“They see you with a dog and all their defenses go down,” said Dr. Helen Fisher, “They assume you must be a decent human being. How could you have a dog and be a bad person?”
All of us at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique agree with Dr. Fisher, dog owners are often perceived to be more approachable and happier than people without dogs.
“Having a dog really says something about you,” said Dr. Fisher. “It says you can care for a creature, that you can follow a schedule and get home to feed it, that you can walk it and love it and spend time with it.”
“It’s a signal that a man or woman may not only make a good friend but also a good parent”, Dr. Fisher said.
Is it time to get a dog?
As we stated above, getting a dog can dramatically change the way you’re able to manage anxiety, depression, or simply your overall mental health. However, owning a dog comes with many responsibilities. There are many things to consider before deciding to get a dog.
Remember, thousands of dogs are abandoned at shelters every year, especially in the first year of their lives. This is common phenomenon because people are unaware of how much time, money, and responsibility a dog requires. When it comes to food, Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offer trusted brands in our stores that we feed to our own dogs at home.
Some important things to consider before deciding to own a dog:
- A dog requires at minimum two hours of your time each day for attention. A puppy requires even more at around four hours each day. If you can give at least two hours consider rescuing/adopting a dog in need of a home, there are thousands of dogs that would love to have you in their lives.
- Keep in mind that there are many different breeds of dogs that all have their unique requirements when it comes to exercise and diet. Different dog breeds also mean different personalities, try to pick a dog that will match well with your personality. We suggest taking this quiz at My Real Personality to find the perfect match for you.
- Although you don’t have to be a millionaire to own a dog, being able to afford everything a dog requires is important. Dogs, especially puppies, can be very expensive. Keep in mind you have to buy all of their accessories, food, treats, toys, and the most expensive: vet bills. The ASPCA estimates that it costs between $580 and $875 per year to take care of a dog’s routine needs.
Don’t forget about your dogs health either! Treat them to a spa style grooming every month if you can, your dog (and furniture) will appreciate it.
The last thing to remember is that owning a dog is not a miracle cure for any type of physical or mental illness. Owning a dog will only be beneficial and conforming for those who love and appreciate animals, and for those who have the time and money to keep a dog happy and healthy. Please consider all of these things before deciding to get a dog.
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- SD Franchise LLC
- Phone: 888-815-2284
- 2820 Scherer Dr. North
- St. Petersburg, Fl 33716