Archive for the ‘Nutritional supplements’ Category

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.

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.

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.

Why Dogs Benefit from Nutritional Supplements

Thursday, December 29th, 2022

Nutritional supplements can be an easy and cost-effective way to improve a dog’s health and quality of life. They are made from ingredients which promote and wellbeing, but are not readily available in meaningful quantities in normal feeds. Supplements will not replace a healthy diet, but can add much when one is already being followed.

Supplements can also be used selectively. Targeted usage gives owners the ability to decide how to support their dog’s wellbeing on an ongoing or shorter-term basis. For example, a supplement which promotes joint health can be given to puppies well into their adulthood, or only once a dog is ageing and more at risk of arthritis or rheumatism.

In our experience, we have found that dogs can greatly benefit from being given nutritional supplements. While not a medication, supplements go a long way in promoting health and wellbeing. Why not see how your dog can benefit from them too?

Nutritional Supplements 101

Tuesday, December 27th, 2022

Nutritional supplements are products added to a normal diet to promote specific health and wellbeing benefits. Supplements are not medication, so can be freely purchased without a prescription. Generally speaking, a supplement aims to offer the consuming human or animal benefits which cannot be derived from their normal diet. For example, while red meat naturally contains some creatine, this is in such low amounts that it will not offer any performance benefits. Therefore, for creatine to be consumed in a meaningful dose without eating excessive amounts of red meat, it must be taken as a specially designed and concentrated supplement.

Nutritional supplements combine convenience with health benefits. While useful and potentially very beneficial, they should not be viewed as a replacement for health and wellbeing basics done well. We only recommend supplement use after we know that a dog is on a healthy diet, exercised regularly, and has a good overall quality of life. For a nutritional supplement to work, its baseline must be an overall healthy lifestyle. Having said that, the benefits they can bring are remarkable.

Supplements can come in a range of formats including pills, powders, and oils. There is no single right or wrong way to give a dog a supplement. Individual dogs have their own preferences, so trial and error is often the best way to encourage consumption. In our experience, strong scents can make a foodstuff or supplement more appealing to a dog, so a little fish oil can go a long way when incentivising consumption!

Supplements are made from inherently healthy and often naturally occurring ingredients. Dogs they are given to often enjoy a range of benefits including stronger joints, improved digestion, and better coat condition. If you would like to find out more about how our supplements could benefit your dog, please do not hesitate to contact us on [email protected].

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