Your dog is always happy about a long walk, but what if the weather doesn’t permit it? whether it is too cold or too hot, Or if your dog should take it easy for a few weeks because of an injury or an operation? Here you can read how you can keep your dog busy at home and which toys are great for it.
Why Should You Keep Your Dog Busy?
Originally, the different breeds of dogs were primarily bred to give people a hand and to work with them. Some should hunt or chase animals, look for the nearest things or people, and yet others should protect their house and yard.
Even if our canine friends are mainly kept as family members today, most dogs are extremely enthusiastic about learning and get bored quickly if they are not regularly challenged and exercised.
Of course, nothing can replace long walks in nature. However, a variety of indoor games and activities will keep your dog busy and entertained. However, there are many exercises that challenge your dog mentally and are ideally suited to keep your dog busy at home.
Basic Rules for Keeping Your Dog Busy
If you practice commands or tricks with your dog at home or organize search games in the apartment, you should adhere to a few rules:
It should be fun for everyone.
This also applies to you and your dog. If the fun is lacking, all efforts are in vain. You should also be patient with yourself and your dog. Always take small steps when practicing tricks or commands.
Rewards After Indoor Games
Games with a reward are just more fun. For example, you can let your dog earn his food on some days. Set aside the food ration for this day in the beginning or put it in a food bag and try to give your dog in many games, orders and commands throughout the day until the bag is empty at the end of the day. You will notice how attentively your dog will follow you every step of the way from now on.
It is only fun if there is success.
If you are too fast and your dog does not understand the exercises, then there is no fun and his motivation drops. It, therefore, makes sense to do more easy exercises at the beginning and then increase the level of difficulty step by step. Pay attention to the timing and reward your dog as quickly as possible if he has done something right.
You should stop when it works best
Learning new tricks or commands can be really exhausting for your dog. Therefore, pay attention to regular rest phases in which your dog can process what has just been learned. Always stop when your dog has just completed an exercise the right way and has gained a sense of achievement. So the motivation remains high.
Indoor Activities: Brain Teasers and Sniffing Games, Dog Toys & Trick training
There are also a number of ways in which you can keep your dog busy mentally and physically at home. Thinking along even makes your dog more tired than mere physical exercise.
Nose Work and Sniffing Games
Sniffing is incredibly stressful for dogs. What seems so completely natural and self-evident is an outstanding characteristic that exhausts dogs after a short time and after which they really need a period of rest. It is said that 10-20 minutes of sniffing is as exhausting as an hour of running. So nose work is a great way to keep your dog busy without leaving the house.
Laying scent trails: It’s best to take strong-smelling treats and use them to create a scent trail in the apartment. To do this, simply pull the treat across the floor and place it on the floor at the end of the trail, where your dog can eat it as a reward when it has found it.
Hidden treats: why not hide one of your dog’s favorite treats in an old blanket. Only fold once at the beginning. If your dog has practiced before, you can fold them several times. Your dog will not rest until he has finally fumbled out this treat and examined every fold of the blanket.
Sniff rug: Do you know what a sniff rug is? No? Now then take a quick look at our DIY instructions: DIY – just make the sniffing carpet yourself! Your dog will love to sniff out all kinds of tasty things in it.
Make sniffing toy yourself: You can easily make things yourself for your dog. For example, fill toilet paper rolls with food and press the front and back shut so that the dog has to open them to eat the food. Or fill a shoebox with corks, crumpled newspapers, or paper towels and let your dog pick out his food from it. Do you happen to have some old or discarded clothes? Excellent! Fill discarded pants or a sweater with snacks, knot everything well and let your dog prey on his food.
Sniffing memory: With a little bit of talent you can sew a sniffing memory with these DIY instructions and practice recognizing and searching for smells with your dog.
Playing hide and seek: Have you ever hidden yourself in the apartment and let your dog look for you? For many dogs (and people) this is great fun.
ATTENTION: Hunting and racing games are very exciting for dogs and should therefore only be practiced to a limited extent, especially if you have a nervous dog. These strenuous games are counterproductive. On the other hand, nose work is a great thing for nervous dogs, as the dog has to concentrate a lot and the sniffing game helps them blow off the steam without being outdoors. Hopefully, with the right level of exercise, your dog will be curled up on the couch and ready to relax.
Concentration and slow crossing around obstacles promotes self-confidence and the coordination of your pup. To do this, for example, put a ladder on the floor and slowly lure your dog so that he can concentrate on how best to place his legs in order not to trip over. Let your pup work out the way for himself and support him with quiet words of praise. Or how about two buckets on which your dog should stand quietly with front and rear paws? These exercises are also great for nervous dogs, as they can reduce stress and learn to be more aware of their bodies.
Trick and Clicker Training
Learning tricks and commands is great fun for many dogs. Plus, learning tricks is a wonderful way to keep dogs mentally busy and kept indoors. There are so many tricks you can teach your dog. You can practice many of them in the apartment, e.g. undoing shoelaces, rolling onto your back, crawling across the floor, closing and opening doors, tidying up, switching the light on and off, and much more.
Clicker training is particularly suitable for practicing tricks and commands . You can specifically reward your dog for its correct behavior. In this way, your dog learns new behavior in small steps, for example giving its paws. Every sense of achievement is reinforced until it finally understands the trick.
Clicker training particularly requires the dog to think along with it. He tries out different solutions and thinks about which action is right and desired. Insecure dogs can learn to solve small problems without pressure and thus develop more self-confidence in themselves and in their abilities.
Games with dog toys are especially exciting for many dogs. If they have to think and then succeed on their own, it also strengthens self-confidence.
Just like us humans, every dog is different. The amount of indoor games and activities depends on a wide range of factors including age and breed. For example, not every dog can be motivated by treats. Some dogs may not want to look for treats in their home, but rather learn tricks and be petted as a reward or play with their favorite toy. There are so many ways you can keep your dog entertained around the house.
Try to adjust the exercise in the apartment to the preferences of your dog and offer your dog things that he likes to do. Because you know he best and know what he enjoys and where his strengths lie.
If you offer your canine friend enough indoor activities and rest at home, they will stay relaxed even when you cannot go for a long walk.
These or similar thoughts are deeply rooted in the minds of many dog owners. You take it for granted that a dog that is constantly on a leash cannot be happy. As far as your dog is concerned, he must always be able to move around freely, romp, sniff and play with other dogs. However, there are a few reasons why your canine friend is rarely or never allowed to walk without being put on a leash.
Why Does a Dog Have to Walk on a Leash?
Keeping a dog means taking responsibility. I don’t just mean the responsibility for your dog, but also for other people and animals. By keeping your dog on a leash, you can control him. If he runs free, that is only possible to a limited extent. No matter how well he reacts to the recall, there is always a potential risk. After all, a dog is a living being, not a machine. He can have good days and bad days. He may be sick, scared, and then react differently than you would have expected him to.
Some dogs cannot or rarely walk without a leash for one of the following reasons:
They are passionate hunters They are afraid of people, dogs or noises They react aggressively to people, conspecifics or other animals They are among the so-called listed dogs They are still very young and therefore untrained they are not easily accessible They suffer from an illness.
In this case, it would be reckless or even dangerous for your dog and others to take it off the leash.
Even so, life with a dog that is permanently on a leash is not always easy. Often other dog owners lack understanding. Sometimes they let their dog run to your leashed one. Other times they give you a lecture that you also have to take your canine friend off the leash.
All of this can be stressful and frustrating. But you don’t need to feel guilty about it. Just because a dog runs off the leash does not guarantee its happiness.
Are Dogs Happier Without a Leash?
For a dog to be balanced and happy, it takes more than free running. He needs
mental and physical workload
Plenty of rest
Satisfying a dog’s needs, for example, sniffing or digging. (Basic dog needs also include enough food and a need for security.)
Socializing. It doesn’t have to be strange dogs or people. For some dogs, it is completely sufficient if they receive attention from their caregivers.
If your dog has to be kept on a leash at all times, you needn’t feel bad about it. All of these needs can be met in a dog that cannot be leashed.
Your Dog Will Feel Comfortable on a Leash
Whether your dog feels comfortable on a leash depends on choosing the right leash. With a bungee tow leash, for example, your dog has a lot more freedom of movement than with the usual 2 or 3m lead leashes for walking while guaranteeing it is still secured. Tow leashes are available in different materials and lengths. They are designed to be flexible and comfortable. This way, your four-legged friend can run a little faster when he’s having fun or sniffing the edge of the path.
However, do not leave your dog unattended or play too wildly with other dogs on the leash . In the worst case, the long leash can wrap around the other dog’s neck and cause injuries. If your dog likes to play with fellow dogs, you can inquire at a dog school or an association whether there is a fenced area there that you can use. In more and more municipalities, fenced outdoor areas for dogs are also being offered.
In addition to playing with his fellow dogs, there are countless ways to mentally exercise your dog. Here you will find employment opportunities for indoors and outdoors. You can also spice up your walks with simple means by playing search games with your dog or calling up familiar signals in unfamiliar places.
So that your dog can pursue his dog’s needs such as sniffing, you should give him enough time on your walks and not structure them too much.
As you can see, a leash is not the decisive factor in whether your dog leads a happy life. Rather, it depends on satisfying his canine needs. And you can do this just as well or badly with a dog on a leash as with one that is always free. For some dogs, it is even more relaxed when they are on a leash. Scared dogs in particular can gain security while putting on a leash. Letting your dog run free comes with a lot of responsibility. Not to take it off, exactly the same.
Dog physiotherapeutic treatment is beneficial for your dog and helpful in rehabilitation after surgery or injury, and general health prophylaxis. dog physiotherapy plays an important role in aiding dogs’ recovery from fractures, muscle and ligament injuries as well as lameness in limbs, as it provides pain relief, increases the rate of healing, improves muscle mass, helps restore the dogs’ movement and eventually improve their quality of life.
However, what makes for effective physiotherapy in your dog? What can you do for its success? Can you predict how quickly progress can be expected? I would like to answer these questions for you in the following article so that your dog can benefit as much as possible from canine physical therapy.
What Should You Pay Attention To When Choosing A Canine Therapist?
Which therapist is the right one for your dog? – You have to clarify this in advance because the right selection plays a role in the effectiveness of the therapy in your dog.
Training for a dog physiotherapist has not yet been standardized and anyone who wants to can still call themselves a dog physiotherapist. However, a two-hour massage seminar on Saturday morning does not provide a sound knowledge of the anatomy, pathology and therapy of dogs. When choosing your future dog therapist, you should therefore pay attention to their information on their training.
It is also beneficial for your dog if your future physiotherapist is ready to work with other specialists such as veterinarians, naturopaths, and nutritionists.
Your vet may be able to provide a recommendation. Sometimes, however, there is unfortunately still a lot of competition among some medical professionals or a lack of recognition towards animal physiotherapists. You can ask other dog owners in your area or your dog school if they can recommend someone.
There are animal physiotherapists whose work is mobile. They come to your home to treat your dog in its familiar environment. If you are not mobile yourself or if your dog is extremely anxious in a strange environment, this can be a pleasant treatment option. However, your dog will not be able to enjoy hydrotherapy in the underwater treadmill or pool. This option is only available to dog physiotherapists with their own practice rooms.
In addition, listen to your gut feeling from personal contact with the employed canine physiotherapeutic practitioner. Mutual sympathy and the way the practitioner treats your dog are important criteria for choosing a therapist because trust and cooperation contribute to a successful treatment.
This is How you Support Your dog’s therapy success
During the treatment, you can support the therapist’s work in various ways. Basically, your dog is grateful for the presence of his trusted caregiver and benefits from the therapy you pull together with the therapist.
How can you support the therapist During the treatment?
Your canine pet shouldn’t eat anything before physiotherapy. There should be a minimum of two hours between feeding your dog and therapy. Otherwise, the body is busy with digestive activity, which will further stimulate the blood flow through massage and that could be a burden. But you can take special and small treats with you during the treatment. These can serve as motivation and reward when performing various exercises in a playful way. As a result, dog physiotherapy is associated with something positive in your dog’s mind, more as a great activity than a therapy.
If more motivation is required, you can do it vocally, physically, and by giving treats or using a toy. Your therapist will certainly give you appropriate instructions, otherwise, just ask if and how you can support. The first few sessions in an underwater treadmill or in a hydrotherapy pool may be a very strange experience for your dog. You can accompany this familiarization phase calmly and confidently, and also set targeted stimuli for your dog from outside the water.
Your presence, on the other hand, can help when a high degree of relaxation and rest is required of your dog, such as a massage or electrotherapy. The more relaxed your dog is, the better.
A tip for your dog’s hydrotherapy treatment on an underwater treadmill: It is advisable to take a dog coat with you on the way home so that your dog does not get cold, especially in winter or for old, very young or weak dogs. In practice, toweling your dog off after getting out of the water may not be enough to completely dry the dog again. There are dog bathrobes that are particularly cozy and water-absorbing, such as microfiber drying coat.
Many dogs feel the need to drink and urinate after treatment. You should allow your dog to do this because the metabolism-stimulating treatments release waste products and stimulate the body’s entire fluid balance.
By the way, it is possible that your dog will develop sore muscles after the treatment sessions, especially at the beginning of therapy. It can tell by your dog having to get up more difficultly or feeling less desire to move in the first days after treatment. That is completely normal. We all know that from our own experience of working out in the gym. Moderate exercise and perhaps massages counteract these complaints. However, if you are concerned about severe or prolonged symptoms, contact your therapist to be on the safe side.
Therapy support at home
When you get home, the physiotherapy treantment for your dog is not over yet. – If your therapist gives you homework, you should exercise your dog at home according to the therapy plan. It is important to the continual recovery of your dog. Just like in human physiotherapy, the same applies to dogs: regular, shorter rehabilitation sessions are better than one single long training session. In this way, you optimize the achievement of the desired therapy goals. Your therapist will explain the rehabilitation program, duration, and daily steps you need to do with your pet dog in detail. If possible, follow the instructions. If unexpected problems arise, contact him on the safe side, because you don’t want to expose your dog to any additional risk, but rather to support him in his recovery.
Note: The more often you practice rehabilitation with your dog between professional treatment sessions, the greater the chance for your dog to get back its functionality quickly. Your physiotherapist needs your cooperation to achieve the success of full functionality returning in your dog. Last but not least, this also minimizes the costs that it will incur for the therapy.
Almost every household has other practical aids such as hot water bottles, red light lamps, grain pillows, cold/hot packs. In addition to your hands, you can also use various brushes or a hedgehog ball for massages.
If more specific therapy is to be implemented at home, some animal physiotherapists are already prepared for this and lend small devices such as magnetic field or other special devices for a small fee.
You can also support your dog in his therapy through nutrition. If necessary, discuss this with your canine physiotherapist or nutritionist. Nutrition is particularly important for dogs that are expected to lose excess weight. High-quality food with a high protein content can also be helpful for targeted muscle build-up, for example in dogs who are exercising after an operation.
How Long Does It Take to Achieve Success?
Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question. It depends, among other things, on the underlying illness or impairment, the basic constitution of your dog, and the continuation of the therapy at home.
With pain-relieving measures such as heat therapy, manual therapy or massages, effective results can be achieved in just 1-2 sessions. Building muscle or improving neuronal problems simply takes longer per se. Your therapist can probably estimate the approximate duration of therapy after the initial consultation.
After operations, it is important to follow the surgeon’s instructions for the postoperative phase exactly. Unfortunately, too much exercise can sometimes be harmful. Sometimes the patient needs to be kept quiet for several weeks. However, that does not have to mean that a dog physiotherapy treatment cannot start. The field of physiotherapy is very broad, such as wound and scar treatment, manual lymphatic drainage as well as heat / cold therapy. Such measures could lead to an improvement in the condition of your dog and thus increase its quality of life.
If, which is unlikely, no progress can be seen for a long time, speak to your therapist without hesitation. He may see more with a trained eye than you as a worried dog owner and can provide a plausible explanation. Under certain circumstances, however, a modification of the therapy program or a discussion with the veterinarian is necessary, who can prescribe medication if necessary.
You can see that in addition to choosing the right therapist, your cooperation may also play a vital part in the effectiveness of recovery treatment. Patience and frequency of exercise are sometimes required, but your dog will thank you for its unbroken zest for life after its recovery.
To achieve successful dog training, it is important to reward your dog appropriately. Unfortunately, when it comes to rewards, many dog owners only think of food. While that is quite attractive to many dogs, others have little interest in what they eat. What does a suitable reward look like with these dogs? Why does it make sense not to always use the same treats, even with hungry dogs?
Let’s see what dog-friendly rewards look like and why it is important to diversify them.
What Needs Does Your Dog Have?
Before I begin with dog rewards, I have an example for you. Imagine you’re sitting in front of the television watching a movie. The doorbell rings, you open it and get 10 dollars for it. You will probably be happy to open the door.
This scenario is repeated several times a day from now on. Sometimes you’re in the shower, sometimes you’re cooking, and sometimes you read a book when the doorbell rings. After a few repetitions, you know that you will get 10 dollars and start to weigh up: is it worth going to the door for 10 dollars, or is what I’m doing more interesting? The reward becomes predictable for you and gradually loses its appeal.
Let’s look at this example from a different angle.
Every time you open the door, you get different things for it. Sometimes it’s a bar of chocolate, sometimes it’s 100 dollars, sometimes a bottle of wine. So you never know what to expect: it could be a jackpot! Accordingly, you are likely to be curious and motivated to open the door, regardless of what you are doing.
Let’s get back to dogs, because it looks similar for them. If your dog gets the same chunk of food every time he is called back, he will get bored in the long run. If, on the other hand, you come up with different things, it remains exciting for him.
The more you consider your dog’s needs, the better the reward will be.
Examples of a dog’s needs :
Social contact (cuddling)
You see that eating is only a need among tens of others. You can include many of them in your everyday dog training when it comes to rewarding your dog.
Reward Your Dog In a Varied And Appropriate Manner
Your dog’s needs alternate throughout the day. After a long walk on a hot day, your dog is more likely to crave a break or water than a racing game.
When it comes to appropriate rewarding, not only the need but also the right intensity is important. If your dog has been able to sit perfectly for ten years, you don’t need to have a huge party every time he sits down. However, if you do anti-hunting training with your young dog, then the reward should definitely be impressive because of good cooperation.
Tip: Put yourself in your dog’s shoes and ask yourself “How difficult was it for him to show this behavior?”. After that, you can adjust the degree of your reward. Differentiate rewards that are okay and those that are absolutely great. Remember the motto: “The bait must taste good to the fish, not to the angler”.
Play As a Reward
Suppose your dog is running after a rabbit and comes back to you because you called him. This is a great achievement! Your dog may probably be in the racing mood, so a running game would be an appropriate dog reward now. You can run with him yourself, let him chase a ball or throw food that he can follow. This is how you can ideally include the current needs of your dog in your reward.
Playing together is also beneficial for your relationship with your dog. It’s fun and a bond between you and your dog.
My dog Luna would do almost anything for food. That is practical, because food is easy to take with you and quick to get out of the bag. Basically Nobody would speaks against using food as a reward. However, it is extremely boring when the same chunk of food is constantly being fed to your dog. A variety of food must be considered.
Deliciously filled lick tubes
You are sure to come up with other goodies to reward your dog. Food is even better if you don’t give it emotionlessly, but instead add a social element, such as playing together.
Different ways of giving food as a reward:
Throw away treats so your dog has to run after them
Search for treats on the floor
Package treats and he can tear them open
Dig in treats and he can dig them up
Hide treats in cracks in the wall, between roots or in tree bark
There are no limits to your creativity. What is not dangerous for your dog and what he likes is allowed.
Petting As a Reward
I hear from many dog owners that they pet their dog as a reward. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Just like us humans, they are not in a cuddling mood around the clock. Sometimes touching it can even be uncomfortable, for example, if your dog is very stressed.
Since we often touch our dogs in everyday life, being petted is nothing special for many dogs. It’s ok, but listening to the callback would be asking too much.
As friendly praise, petting is okay. If you want to teach your dog things that are difficult for him to do, the reward should definitely be more impressive.
Hunting As a Reward
“What, should I let my dog hunt?”
No, of course not, at least no deer, rabbits or other animals. There are good substitutes in the form of toys or food bags. You can work well with these “prey” if your dog has a passion for hunting.
Hunting is a very important need for many dogs, even if it is no longer pronounced in some. However, if your dog enjoys it, you should definitely include it in your reward options.
Rewarding Your Dog Properly Is Worth It
You may be thinking now that this sounds pretty complicated, but it only seems like that at first glance. It is far more complicated for your dog to find their way around our human world and to meet our often high standards.
By monitoring your dog closely and discovering his preferences, you can quickly get an overview of what he likes.
Not only will the result be a happy dog, but you’ll also find that you enjoy practicing and rewarding more.
The car is an indispensable part of our lives, whether it is only used for shopping or for a road trip on vacation. What is normal for us is initially alien to a dog. Some dogs think it’s great, some are afraid of riding in a car.
So how can you train your dog to ride in the car in a relaxed manner? What helps with problems? Where is your dog allowed to ride in the car anyway? How do you best secure it? You will get answers to all of these questions in this guide about taking your dog on a road trip.
Driving Safely With Your Dog In The Car
Before you go on a long journey with your dog, you should think about where and how you will transport it safely. The road traffic regulations stipulate that a load must be secured and restrained in such a way that it cannot slip and endanger the driver even in the event of emergency braking. A dog is considered a load and must be secured as such.
If you get caught when your dog is traveling freely, this can result in a fine of money and even points. If your dog has an accident, your insurance will not have to pay for the damage.
Apart from a possible punishment, it is safer for your dog if he is restrained. After all, you don’t just drive with your dog for fun. Likewise, your dog will be thrown around in the event of an emergency stop and can seriously injure itself if it is not properly secured. After all, thousands of car accidents are caused by drivers distracted by their unsecured pup.
There are basically two ways to keep you and your dog safe on a long road trip:
With a dog seat belt or a dog harness
In a dog crate or carrier
Even if you see it often: simply transporting it in the footwell is not allowed. Depending on how big your dog is, you have more or fewer options to drive with your dog safely. Because where there is space for smaller dogs on the front passenger or back seat, only the trunk remains for large dogs.
Transport Your Dog In the Trunk with a Mesh Divider or Dog Crate
For many dog owners, this is the most obvious solution for driving a car with their dog. Either the back seat is occupied by the children or the dog is so big that it only fits in the trunk. It’s also easy: open the trunk, the dog jumps in and off you go.
However, this is not necessarily the safest solution – unless your trunk is so small that your dog has hardly any freedom of movement there and cannot move forward.
These solutions are ideal for safe transport in the trunk:
A Car Net Barrier or Mesh Divider: With a net barrier or mesh divider, you make sure your dog cannot climb forward to you in the driver’s compartment. It also prevents your dog from being catapulted forward and through the windshield like a bullet in the event of an emergency stop or an accident. It is important that you use a stable and thick divider net that cannot slip.
A Dog Transporting Crate The safest option, especially for large or medium-sized dogs, is a transporting crate or box in the trunk. A dog crate is a good option since your canine passenger already gets used to a crate from home. Of course, it depends on your dog and your car which type of box you can use: does a regular one fit, or do you need a custom-made one? In addition to safety, another advantage is that your dog cannot look out when the box is closed. This can be very useful if your dog is scared. It is best to begin crate training first before you take him on a road trip with you.
Transport Your Dog In The Back Seat
Just like being in the trunk, your dog must be secured when it is riding in the back seat of your car, not only for yours but also for his protection. You can do this either with a transport box or a seat belt. Which of the two options you prefer will depend on your dog’s size and preferences. Small dogs fit in a transport box in the back seat of your car, while large dogs can only be strapped in. Some dogs prefer to ride in a box so that they don’t see much of their surroundings, and others get car sick and they have to look outside.
If you want to buckle up your canine passenger while driving, you need a special car harness to which you can attach the normal seat belt, or you can use a well-fitting and stable car harness and a special safety belt for dogs. In the meantime, there are car seat covers for the back seat to keep your upholstery clean and for more comfort for your dog.
Transport Your Dog In The Passenger Seat
The disadvantage of being transported in the passenger seat is that your dog is certainly the most restricted in his freedom of movement. After all, you have to especially prevent your pet dog from jumping into the steering wheel and causing an accident.
In addition, the size of your pup is also the determining factor on whether to ride in the passenger seat. After all, it has to either fit in its transporting box or strapped onto the seat. If this is the case, you have options similar to those in the back seat. There are also protective blankets for the front passenger seat, which are shaped like small boxes and in which you can easily strap your dog and transport it safely.
Secure the Dog In The Motorhome
The considerations for driving a car with your dog also apply to a road trip with the motorhome. Again, you have to think about how to secure your dog. You can also customize the motorhome and have it expanded in a dog-friendly manner. The possibilities range from a ventilated transport box in the rear area to a doghouse under the table. Other options are a transport box, which you protect against slipping in the motorhome with straps, or a safety harness to which you attach the belt.
What is right depends, among other things, on the size of your dog and your travel companion, but of course also on your wallet.
Driving A Car With Your Dog – This Is How It Works
Some dog owners may worry about the safety of traveling with their pet in their car, but they do not bother to train their dog to get used to it beforehand. Open the door, put the dog in the transport box in the trunk, and off you go. For many dogs, that works without any problems. But some problems would not have arisen in the first place if dog owners had taken a little more time in advance.
The earlier you start getting your dog used to driving in the car, the better it is. As puppies, dogs are particularly capable of learning, but also very sensitive. It is therefore important that your puppy can get to familiarize himself with a road trip in peace and does not have any bad experiences. Even an older dog can still get used to a road trip in a car. The training is the same as a young dog, but it may take a little longer.
Step 1: Cars Are Not Dangerous.
The most important thing is to show your dog that the car is not dangerous to him. Let him explore the vehicle. If your dog is still too small to jump onto the car on its own, give it a helping hand.
It depends on how quickly your dog gets used to the car. Some dogs are curious and look at everything immediately. It takes some dogs a little longer to get used to this strange object. Always remember: a car certainly smells strange to our dogs than it does to us.
Now it’s about making your dog’s stay in the car pleasant. Give him treats or feed him from his bowl so he can associate the car with something positive. You can also put the dog blanket on the car because the familiar smell gives him security.
Note: If your dog doesn’t want to stay in the car yet, don’t force him to do so. Give him time to slowly approach the unfamiliar object. Only when he is no longer shy of the car can you take the next step.
Step 2: Get to Know Engine Noise and Vibrations.
Now you can start the engine so that your dog gets used to the new engine noise. It’s much louder for your dog than it is for us and he will certainly feel the vibrations of the engine much more intensely. So you shouldn’t be driving your car at this stage. Just let the engine running and reward your dog with treats that build a positive association with the running engine.
Step 3: The First Few Meters
Then it’s time for the first road trip. However, you shouldn’t drive a long distance, but a few meters. After a very short distance, you stop and let your dog get out. As a reward, you can play a chase game with him or go for a short walk. You can find out how you can identify the right reward depending on the situation here: Dog-friendly rewards
If that works well, you increase the duration in small stages. Make sure your dog is doing well and not getting too upset. Your goal should always be to keep your dog relaxed while driving. With this step-by-step approach, there is little risk that your dog will be overwhelmed or have bad experiences. So it takes patience and time to get your dog adapted to riding on the car and rewards at this stage are still necessary.
By the way, dogs are good at making connections. If your first short car journey goes to the vet, he will certainly not want to jump into the car pretty quickly.
Step 4: The First Long Car Trip with Your Dog
If your dog is relaxed on short car trips, you can now plan the first long road trip. Plan out enough water and bathroom stops on your route so as not to overwhelm your dog.
Tips: Make sure from the beginning that your dog does not get out until you allow him to. It can be very dangerous for him to jump out of the car.
If you follow all of these steps and take enough time, you and your dog both should be able to enjoy the journey.
Help, My dog Is Having Trouble On the Trip
For some dogs, a long journey by car is stressful because they had negative experiences.
The stress can be that your dog howls or barks because he is extremely antsy and panting heavily or even vomits. If your dog suffers from restlessness during driving and manifests one or more of the symptoms mentioned, then you should take a step back with the training or start all over again. Sometimes it may even be necessary to just bring him near the car and do pleasant things there.
If your dog vomits while driving
If your dog gets sick while driving, there can be two reasons:
either he gets upset so much that he vomits
or he may suffer from travel sickness
The reasons for this are the same as for humans: your dog is sensitive to the movements and cannot process them. Symptoms range from profuse salivation to vomiting.
To find a solution to this, you need to find out the reasons. The fast-moving pictures are difficult for him to process, so he shouldn’t be able to look out the window. If he gets sick while driving, you should avoid feeding him before the drive, or just feed him a small meal.
Sometimes it also helps to change your dog’s position. As with humans, there are dogs who get sick if they cannot look ahead. My dog Milla sits buckled in the back seat. If she can look outside, everything is ok, if her view is blocked by a high car seat cover, she has to vomit.
If that doesn’t help either and if you don’t make any progress despite regular training, then you should seek advice from an animal health practitioner or veterinarian. There are both herbal remedies and medication from the veterinarian against travel sickness in dogs.
Driving With Your Dog
You can see that driving a car with your dog is a complex issue. In addition to gradually getting used to the strange vehicle, your dog must also be adequately secured – for your and his own protection. If you don’t know your dog passenger very well, choosing the right place in the car is not that easy.
But if you take enough time to teach your dog to ride along and find the right spot, it will pay off in the long run. Because this not only makes it easier for you to get through everyday life together, but you and your dog can also go on many beautiful excursions together.
Spring is just around the corner and nature is awakening to new life. The flowers sprout everywhere and attract hungry insects. During this beautiful season, dogs love to romp across the meadows and wallow in the fresh grass. It can happen that these nosy dogs are stung by insects, for example when they step in an anthill or disturbs a wasp nest or beehive. Some insect bites are harmless, while other insect stings can be dangerous for a dog, ranging from mild irritation to life-threatening shock. In this article, you will learn how to properly provide first aid measures if your dog suffers from an insect sting.
First Aid For Insect Bites
I can still remember the situation as if it had just happened yesterday: My dog Luna is digging enthusiastically in a meadow when she suddenly throws herself on the ground and rolls around vigorously. I am amazed and take a closer look: Luna is besieged by wasps! She disturbed a wasps net while digging. Of course, the wasps don’t think that’s funny at all and attack both Luna and me.
The consequence is a bitten dog. Fortunately, this happened right around the corner from a veterinarian who came over immediately and treated Luna as a precaution with allergy drugs and then ordered her to rest.
But what do you do when a vet is not available and your dog has been stung by a wasp, hornet, bee, or bumblebee?
How to Do the Right Thing With Insect Bites In Your Dog
Some dogs are known to snap at insects. If they are stabbed in the mouth or throat in the process, it can be very dangerous for them. But a sting can also happen by chance. Some insects hang around the bowl, especially in summer, and sting your dog while eating or drinking. It can also happen that your dog accidentally steps on an insect.
In the best-case scenario, you will immediately recognize that your dog has been stung. Maybe you see or notice it because he suddenly howls, whines, paws at its face, chews at its foot, or begins to swell in some part of the body.
Other signs of an insect bite in dogs can include:
Rattle and shortness of breath
Please remember that dogs can also be allergic to insect bites. Below you will find out more about the symptoms in the section “This is how you recognize an allergic shock”.
If you notice any unusual behavior in your dog and it is just the insect season, it is best to examine him immediately for any possible insect stings. Bees leave their stingers behind after stinging, but this can also happen with wasps. These left-behind stingers continue to secrete venom into the dog’s body. If you discover a stinger, remove it directly with tweezers or scrape it away with a credit card and flick it off the dog’s coat.
It is usually sufficient to take the following first aid measures:
Soothe the sting site with cold water or an ice pack and press on the affected area for 10 minuets to minimize swelling. Wrap the ice pack with a thin cloth, or otherwise it will get too cold if you press it on one spot for a long time.
Try household remedies such as vinegar or a sliced onion drizzle on the sting site.
To prevent your dog from scratching or licking at the bite wound, use a head cone to avoid infection.
Afterwards, keep an eye on your dog, because as already mentioned, an allergic reaction can also occur. If you are unsure, it is best to take your dog to a nearby veterinary clinic.
If your dog has been bit in the face, throat, or respiratory tract, extra caution is required. This is usually associated with swelling, which can lead to shortness of breath or even suffocation.
In this case, the following measures are important:
If possible, remove the stinger and cool the affected area intensively. Again, you can use cold water or a wrapped cool pack.
If the bite wound is located in the mouth or throat, you can give your dog ice cubes or ice cream to lick. If your dog finds it difficult to eat, feed liquid food to him or mix the dry food with water.
It is now important to monitor your dog very closely and to take him to a veterinarian as quickly as possible when emergency occurs. Under no circumstances should you treat your pet with medication on your own, as some remedies from human medicine are dangerous for dogs.
This Is How You Recognize An Allergic Shock
An allergic shock can be caused by an insect bite, but it can also be caused by medication or food that your dog is allergic to. The degree of allergic reaction varies with dog breeds and the type of insect bites. The symptoms of an allergy are similar to us humans and can manifest themselves as follows:
Severe itching. Your dog may roll in the grass or on the floor in an attempt to scratch at itching area.
Rash / redness
Dizziness. Your dog isn’t alert to the surrounding environment or stumbles.
Shortness of breath. If the swelling occurs in the respiratory passage,
Weakness or even loss of consciousness
Excessive drooling. If the swelling occurs in the throat, your dog finds it hard to swallow its saliva and drools excessively.
Even an initially mild itch can quickly result in life-threatening shortness of breath in the case of an allergy. Therefore, take any signs of an allergic reaction seriously and consult a veterinarian.
In order to keep a calm head in an emergency, it makes sense to take part in a first aid course.
This is How You Can Prevent it
By prevention, I don’t mean that you should destroy or exterminate all the insects around your house. Rather, it’s about taking a few protective measures to avoid insect bites. This includes, among other things, teaching your dog not to snap at insects, preferably from the puppy age. It may look funny, but it can be a real danger for him. For example, praise him when he behaves calmly around a flying animal. This way you reinforce this desired behavior in your dog.
By the way, catching food in the air can increase the chance of snapping at insects. Therefore, it makes sense not to teach your dog this in the first place or to stop doing it again.
Another measure is to clear away your dog’s food bowl during insect season after they have eaten. Hornets and wasps like meat and are attracted by leftovers. You should also check the drinking bowl regularly and remove insects from it.
If your dog has been stung before and you know he is allergic, you should get medication from the vet. Keep this with you so that you can access it quickly in an emergency, even when you’re on the move.
Almost every dog is stung by an insect at some point in its life. Often times, the consequences are harmless and you may not even notice the sting.
However, if your dog has been bit in the neck or throat, it can become life-threatening. An allergic reaction is also possible after an insect bite. Therefore, you should treat the sting immediately and then watch your dog carefully.
Fortunately, a few preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of a sting.