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Easy At Home Dog Enrichment Ideas

Monday, March 6th, 2023

Enrichment is the process of providing animals with structured activities and experiences which enable them to perform and express natural behaviours. It is of vital importance that all animals are allowed to do this, especially those as intelligent and sentient as dogs. Owners can provide much of the enrichment a dog needs at home, and this blog will offer some easy ideas for how you can do this yourself.

As deeply social animals, dogs thrive off companionship with humans and other animals they have bonded with. A simple but often overlooked way to improve your dog’s quality of life is just spending more time together, and less time leaving it alone. Even if you feel that your dog does not suffer from separation anxiety, it would still benefit from and enjoy sharing more time with you. Having dogs live together goes some way in providing additional companionship, but is not a substitute for spending quality time with your pets.

Scent is a dog’s strong sense, which when engaged is incredibly mentally stimulating. Dogs should always be encouraged to use their scent and easy ways to do so at home include hiding treats which can be sniffed out and placing plug-in smell diffusers in rooms they spent the most time in. The mental stimulation scenting causes is as important as physical exercise, so if you can see your dog is interesting in sniffing something it is usually best to let it do so until its interest has passed.

Enrichment can also be tailored to a breed’s particular characteristics which reflect the work they were developed to undertake. For example, Labradors are likely to enjoy access to paddling pools and water features, whereas a Jack Russell Terrier would benefit from squeaky chew toys which mimic the rodents it was bred to hunt.

With a little imagination, owners can provide their pet and working dogs with a range of different enrichment activities without ever having to leave their home. This offers a range of benefits, chiefly happier and more fulfilled dogs. For more advice, please consult a dog trainer or behaviourist.

How Often Do I Need to Walk My Dog?

Monday, February 27th, 2023

Daily walks are a deeply ingrained into British dog-owning culture. At least once a day and generally in the morning, owners will take their dog for a walk round the block before returning home. While widely accepted, this notion should be challenged. In reality, dogs often need more frequent and diverse exercise than a brisk morning walk. While each dog’s individual needs differ, defaulting to less is seldom a good idea.

Two forty five minute walks a day first thing in the morning, and then again in the evening is a good starting point with frequent outside trips so they can use the toilet, especially after meals. Breeds naturally have different energy levels, and these will often dictate a particular dog’s appetite and tolerance for exercise. Working line dogs will generally be more energetic than family companions, so a working Dutch Shepherd or Malinois will need more exercise than a Shih Tzu.

There are other ways to exercise dogs beyond a walk, though. These all have their own merits, with variety often being beneficial to the dogs concerned. Dogs with a high prey drive enjoy chasing fast moving objects, so games of fetch with a tennis ball or Kong, or flirt pole sessions can all be good ways to outlet energy. Owners often feel that these kinds of activities tire their dogs out more than a conventional walk, and they can be a more time efficient way to provide exercise.

Ultimately, owners must find what works best for their dogs and try to be consistent with however that manifests. Regular exercise is vital for a dog’s physical and mental wellbeing, and a key time for them to be able to display natural behaviours. For additional advice, we recommend contacting and consulting an experienced trainer or behaviourist. They are best placed to help you increase your dog’s activity levels, and will fully understand why this is so important.

Would A Dog Be The Right Pet For Me?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world with an estimated 12 million in the UK alone. For thousands of years, they have provided unparalleled companionship as well as invaluable working support in a variety of settings. Before committing to a dog, owners should consider and ask themselves whether or not one would be the right pet for them. All pets represent taking on a major responsibility, and dogs are no different.

At a basic level, if you are unable to meet a dog’s welfare needs then it would not be responsible to take one on as a pet or working animal. As a minimum, these needs include providing shelter, appropriate food and water, veterinary care if necessary, exercise, companionship, and some kind of fun or play. Dogs have complex needs and are highly reliant on humans to meet them. Dogs’ wellbeing and health will often decline if their needs are not being met.

Of these needs, companionship and fun are perhaps the poorest understood and most seldom met. Dogs are deeply social animals and while the more traditional pack theory can be questioned, it is imperative that they spend significant amounts of quality time with those they have bonded with. Dogs can bond equally strongly with humans as well as fellow canines, and if they are the only pet in their household then this will have most likely been with their owner and family. Dogs suffer when left alone, so this should be avoided as much as possible. If you are unable to spend most of your day with your dog every day, then another pet may more appropriate.

As excellent a pet as dogs may be, they too deserve the best owners possible. If you cannot meet a dog’s needs, then it is simply unfair for you to get one. If you would like to explore whether or not a dog is the right pet for you, we recommend discussing this matter with an experienced trainer or behaviourist before making a final decision.

Our Story | My Dog Nutrition

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

MyDog Nutrition is a small business which operates out of East Yorkshire. We are a collective of highly experienced dog trainers, handlers, and owners who shared a passion for providing the very best for our four legged friends. We wanted the dogs we own and work with to perform as highly as possible, and after much searching for the perfect nutritional supplement decided to formulate our very own: Rejuvenate.

When formulating Rejuvenate, we asked ourselves which health benefits we wanted our dogs to experience, identified the relevant natural ingredients, and developed what would become our flagship product. Incorporating fish collagen, egg shell powder, chlorella, and Vitamins C and E, Rejuvenate can support your dog’s joint health, skin and coat condition, and digestive functions. Dogs of all ages can benefit from this product, and we add it to our working dogs’ daily feeds as a matter of course.

We have seen our dogs thrive since introducing Rejuvenate to their diets. We believe that all dogs can benefit from proper supplementation, be they pets or working animals. To find out more, please email [email protected].

Best Supplements For Dogs

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

The dog supplement industry is saturated and competitive. With so many options, it can be hard for owners to understand which products they should purchase and give to their dogs. However, following a few principles and knowing what to look for can make this process easier and less intimidating.

As a general rule, we would always advise sourcing supplements from smaller businesses. In contrast to larger corporations, a small family-owned business is perhaps more likely to be guided by genuine concern for animal health and wellbeing over maximising profit margins. A small dog nutritional supplement company will often sell products its directors have formulated for their own animals. This high level of personal investment tends to result in a superior product, and its importance should not be underestimated.

We would also recommend prioritising supplements with higher quality ingredients. As a rule, organic and all natural products are better. These are most likely to achieve the best results, as well as offer maximal benefit. Dogs find natural ingredients easiest to digest, so these will always be preferable to artificial or more processed alternatives.

Differences Between Companions and Working Line Dogs

Monday, January 2nd, 2023

Broadly speaking, dogs in the UK can be classified as companions or working animals. Companions are essentially pets. Their main purpose is to provide their owners with company and entertainment, and they are not expected to perform any particular roles or jobs. In contrast with this, working dogs are owned and employed because of their ability to perform specific roles or jobs, while companionship is an additional benefit they bring. These roles and jobs typically include guarding, protection, retrieval and tracking for hunters, vermin control, and supporting the disabled. Working and companion dogs can both be excellent additions to the right homes, but which one would be better for a particular owner should be given careful consideration.

Companion dogs are bred with characteristics such as friendliness, calmness, and docility in mind. In the case of showline dogs, an absolute emphasis is placed on aesthetics to conform with breed standards to the detriment of health and temperamental stability. Breed characteristics will always be present, but dogs bred from companion or show lines tend to be more relaxed and primarily require social stimulation in the form of time with their owner and family. So, while the Labrador Retriever is nominally a working breed, individual dogs bred from companions can still do well in most normal home environments.

Working dogs are intelligent and energetic, so thrive when given a particular role or task to fulfill. They are likely to have been bred with this in mind, so their physical characteristics may be less standardised than could be expected with a companion or show line dog. Working dogs are best suited to active owners and have very different needs for companion animals. While they are very rewarding animals to keep, a working dog demands a lot from its owners and can never be given too much physical or intellectual enrichment.

How To Improve Your Dog’s Quality Of Nutrition

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

All pet and working dog owners should be concerned about their animal’s health. One of the easiest way to support good health, both in the present and future is by offering your dog a healthy and nutritious diet. With a proliferation of low-quality but well-marketed pet feeds, it can be hard to understand how to improve your dog’s nutrition, but this blog will offer some simple tips to help you achieve this:

  1. Good dog foods should have a significant component proportion of lean protein. Protein is the most important kind of nutrient for dogs, so it is vital that a good portion of their diet comes from sources such as lean muscle meat, fish, or organs. This can also be supplemented with small amounts of egg and dairy. Carbohydrates are often used to fill out cheaper feeds while reducing the amount of more expensive lean protein required in them. Your vet will be able to advise on what a healthy protein content should look like
  1. Try introducing raw foods into your dog’s diet. While many owners only provide their dogs with a diet based on raw meats and vegetables, this is not entirely necessary if you prefer kibble-based feeds. These can be supplemented with small amounts of organ meat, raw vegetables, and other items such as fish oils. This kind of diet offers a number of benefits including reduced unhealthy additives in your dog’s diet, and more access to nutrients which can be destroyed during any preparation processes
  1. Use supplements. While not a replacement for a healthy diet in and of themselves, nutritional supplementation can offer a range of health and wellbeing benefits. My Dog Nutrition’s Rejuvenate is a leading joint and coat supplement. Only using natural ingredients, it can help dogs of all ages live healthier and more fulfilled lives by providing them with nutrients that seldom occur in regular feeds.

How To Get The Most Benefit From Feeding Your Dog

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Feeding your dog is an activity many of you will be familiar with. It is a daily ritual, but can give a number of benefits beyond simply providing nutrition. This blog will offer a brief overview of some of the benefits that can be gained from feeding your dog, as well as how you can access them:

1. Feeding allows owners to build stronger bonds with their dogs. The need for food is primal, and as dogs learn associatively, a connection is often formed with the person who they view as their main source of food. This is particularly useful as the main feeder becomes a positive association for the dog in and of their own right.

2. Feeding can be a good time to observe your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. Appetite is a general indicator of health, so if your dog is struggling to eat or appears apathetic around food then there is good chance that it is unwell. In such instances, a visit to your vet is highly recommended.

3. Feeding is a regular opportunity to train your dog. For training to be successful, a dogs need to build an association between performing desired behaviors and specific commands. Ideally, this will be through some kind of positive incentive. Because of how high-value food is to a dog, they will usually work for it. To this end, as your dog will most likely be keen to eat, it is often worth integrating small training sessions into regular feeds. This can be as simple as requiring your dog to sit or enter a short down stay before being allowed to eat, but consistency always pays off.

Should I Give My Puppy Dog Nutrition Supplements?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Traditionally, there has been a certain amount of resistance to giving puppies nutritional supplements. While supplements have always been unfairly stigmatized, this is particularly the case with puppies and younger dogs. We believe this is unfounded, and that there are many good reasons to give your puppy dog nutrition supplements.

1. Puppies are going through critical developmental life stages. As they are physically growing and maturing, they need all the help they can get to set them up for success and health as adults. Poor health in adolescence can carry forward to later life, so your puppy’s health is of paramount importance

2. Joint health can be one of the greatest determiners of a dog’s quality of life as it ages. Joint supplements can help your puppy’s joints and musculoskeletal system develop in a normal and healthy manner, setting it up for success as it ages

3. Puppies can have different nutritional needs to adult and older dogs. For example, their physical development demands high levels of calcium for bone growth. A normal diet may not provide these additional nutrients, hence why supplements are necessary

Is It Safe To Give My Dog Supplements?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Supplements as a whole – both for humans and animals – often have a dangerous reputation. While it is certainly true that some supplements may have adverse effects if not properly administered, we do not believe this to be true of the kind of nutritional supplements we have designed, sell, and ultimately give to our own dogs.

In their truest form, supplements are only used as additions to an already healthy lifestyle and nutritional plan. Nutritional supplements support overall health and wellbeing, and may offer specific benefits such as improved joint support. Supplements are perhaps the best joint support for dogs, and are far easier to administer than injections. When mixed with foodstuffs that are particularly appealing to dogs such as fish oils or cheese paste, they are usually readily accepted.

Having said that, we would always recommend that you seek veterinary advice before introducing nutritional supplements into your dog’s diet, especially if they have any history of allergies or intolerances. If one supplement’s component parts may be undesirable, there are usually appropriate alternatives that can be found without significant difficulty.

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