Essential Oils for Dogs: Are They Safe?

If you are reading this, you may already be acquainted with essential oils, and how to use them. However, if essential oils are new to you, let’s take a moment to talk about what they are and how they are commonly used.

Essential oils are the effervescent, highly-concentrated organic element of plants that give each plant its characteristic smell and taste. They are found in all parts of the plant, such as the stems, leaves, roots, nuts and seeds. Essential oils are thought of as being volatile, as they can easily change from a liquid state into a gas or a scent. This happens easily, when you open up a bottle of essential oil and the strong aroma escapes.

A Word About Aromatherapy

When used on humans, aromatherapy can be beneficial in so many ways. Essential oils can be used by diluting them in a carrier oil, and applied directly to the skin. They can also be added to a diffuser, which mists the oil directly into the air. For humans, when used correctly, essential oils can be used to help remedy a myriad of different conditions. People who love their essential oils may have a tendency to think that what is good for them is also good for their pets. However, the truth is that this may be a dangerous assumption.

Can Essential Oils Be Helpful for Dogs?

There are many holistic veterinarians who recommend the use of essential oils for their canine patients. With that being said, here is what the AKC says regarding the use of essential oils for dogs. Although there are ways to use them safely, there can be serious risks associated with using essential oils incorrectly.

A Risky Situation

Many people assume that just because something is natural, that means it is completely safe. However, this is a common misconception. Quite potent in nature, essential oils are quite risky for you to use for your pets without proper guidance from a veterinarian.

Even if we are talking about just a few drops of a chosen essential oil, applied topically they can irritate the skin of both you and your dog. Obviously, this is not what you want, if you are looking to improve the quality of your dog’s health.

Essential oils contain chemicals that are quickly absorbed by the body, no matter whether the oil is applied topically or whether the oil is ingested. The oil is then quickly metabolized by the liver. This makes essential oils particularly dangerous for dogs who have liver disease, as well as senior dogs, or young pups.

If you put essential oils onto your dog’s coat and he or she manages to lick it off, they are likely to experience an upset stomach, indigestion, nausea or vomiting. You should never leave your essential oils in a place where your dogs can reach them, in order to protect your pets.  

Keep in mind that even using essential oils in a diffuser affects your pet, because he or she breathes in the aroma of the powerful oil.

The golden rule of essential oils for dogs is that you should NEVER give them to your pets to ingest.

Here is a list of essential oils that are known to be HARMFUL to dogs:

Anise, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Garlic, Juniper, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Pine, Sweet Birch, Tea Tree, Thyme, Wintergreen, Yarrow, and Ylang Ylang.

Should your dog ever accidentally consume essential oils, immediately contact your veterinarian, as well as the poison control center at 800-213-6680.

Poisoning Symptoms

Not sure if your pet has ingested some of your essential oils or not? Here are some symptoms of poisoning:

  •         Smelling the scent of the essential oil on their fur, breath, skin or vomit
  •         Your dog is having a difficult time breathing
  •         Excessive drooling
  •         Tiredness
  •         Weakness
  •         Trouble walking
  •         Muscle tremors
  •         Pawing at the face or mouth
  •         Vomiting
  •         Burns or redness on their tongue, skin, lips or gums

Safely Using Essential Oils

Is there a safe way to use essential oils for dogs? One alternative is to try purchasing precisely-formulated products which contain specific essential oils that have been tested and proven safe to use on dogs.

Most veterinarians will instruct you to not use essential oils topically. However, if they allow it, they will have you mix the essential oil with a carrier oil, which may include almond oil or olive oil for example.

The bottom line is this. The only safe way to use essential oils on your dog is to get approval and specific instructions from your veterinarian. 

Author Bio:

Pamela Gentry is a writer and parent of two children.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family.
She is passionate about inspiring others to rescue animals!

Separation Anxiety In Dogs: What It Is And How You Can Help

The world is big, and out of all the creations of God, dogs are the best ones. They not only make the world as a whole beautiful but also make life worth living by just being a part of it. It is their unconditional love and support that makes their human companion feel complete

Well, who does not like to see that wagging tail and those playful and exciting jumps of their little ball of fur after coming back home from a long, tough day at work? We all do. 

Although dogs are the most faithful human companions and they love their human friends unconditionally, there are times when dog parents are seen complaining about the unusual behavior of their pooch. 

You might have also had hard times when you come back home after a rough day at work, and just when you are about to unlock your front door, your neighbor comes around complaining about how your dog has been disturbing the whole neighborhood barking or howling. And that’s when you feel frustrated. 

Well, don’t!!! You might get frustrated, but you need to give it a second thought…Yeah!! And that is about your pooch!! When you feel that he might need some house manners, he might be suffering from some serious issues. Yes!!! That’s where separation anxiety in dogs comes to a role. 

Now, you might be wondering about separation anxiety in dogs. Well!! That’s okay. I know, not every pet parent knows about it.

So, here’s what separation anxiety in dogs is.

Separation anxiety in dogs

When you realize that your dog is behaving differently and you might get frustrated at such behavior, he might be in a whole lot of different worlds. Yes!! That’s when the separation anxiety is hitting him hard.

Well, it is a situation in which your dog exhibits pain-struck and destructive behavior when he does not find you around, and that’s when you take it for his behavioral issues. 

Separation anxiety is a serious concern among dogs, and it needs to be treated carefully. Unlike humans, dogs too feel lonely, and they exhibit unwanted behaviors when they do not find their human pals around. The main reason behind dogs developing such anxiety is that they, too, are social animals like humans and prefer to live in packs.

When it comes to the domestic dog, the pack is usually their owner or anyone they feel attached to. So, when they do not find their pack around (which, in this case, is you), they start feeling distressed. And, due to this feeling of distress, they start exhibiting disruptive behavior. 

Now, you must be wondering about how to know if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety or just need some polite house manners. Well, do not worry. Here are the symptoms. 

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs 

Now that you know a bit about what separation anxiety is, let us scroll down to signs that will let you know if your dog is suffering from the same or not. 

Note: If he is exhibiting these symptoms in your absence, then he sure is suffering from the same; otherwise, he is not. 

You may find out more about dogs by clicking on the following link:

Now, let’s move to the symptoms. 

#1. Barking and Howling

As already said earlier, when you come back home and hear your neighbor complaining about how your pooch was barking/howling, then surely he is suffering from separation anxiety. 

They usually get distressed when they do not find you around and exhibit their fear by constantly barking or howling. Well, if they do not show the same behavior when you are around, understand that they might need you. 

#2. Pacing 

You might have noticed your dog moving in the same direction, either moving back and forward along a straight line or roaming around in a circle; then, it might be a symptom that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. 

#3. Destroying or Chewing the Furniture 

Did you ever come back home to see that damaged furniture or your favorite pair of shoes? Well, most of the parents get frustrated to see such havoc caused by their pooch and start punishing their four-legged friend for doing the same. But, you must know that punishing your dog for the same will only worsen the situation. 

So, if you happen to confront such a situation, do not panic and treat the case by being patient and considerate of your dog’s condition. 

#4. Digging the Doorways or Trying to Escape

When suffering from separation anxiety, your dog might try and dig the doorways and windows as an attempt to escape. This might also prove to be harmful to your dog, and he might end up getting hurt by having broken teeth, nails, or scraped paws. 

So, these are a few symptoms that will help you understand if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety or not. Remember that he will only exhibit these symptoms only in your absence if he is prone to separation anxiety. 

How You Can Help Your Dog to Reduce Separation Anxiety

Helping your dog reduce and treat separation anxiety does not always mean that you need help from a medical professional (of course, a vet) because, with a little care and dedication, you can do the needful yourself. 

So, here are a few things you can do to help your dog get out of separation anxiety. 

#1. Tire Your Dog Out Before Leaving 

One of the best ways to keep your dog calm and at peace while you are not around is by trying and tiring him out before you leave. So, before you are all set to start your dog, take your dog out for a walk. 

To make the walk more exhausting, you may also consider taking a dog backpack along. This will eventually shift the focus of your dog towards sleeping or taking rest just by lying down. 

#2. Keep Your Departures and Arrivals Low-Key 

People usually make a big deal before they leave their dog home alone. They usually talk to their dog, saying I will be back soon, etc. and the same is the case when they come back. They enter the house with their arms wide open to hug their pooch. 

They do not realize that this does affect their dog severely, and he starts missing his human friend more. 

So, make sure that you keep your departures and arrivals low-key by not putting much attention towards your dog. This will help him stay calm while you are not around. 

#3. Train Your Dog to Enjoy Personal Space

People usually do not realize the value of personal space when it comes to their dog. They sleep with their pooch, stay around him all the time, without understanding the fact that this will make him more addicted to his human friend. 

So, try and train your dog by allowing him to sleep in a separate area. Besides making him sleep alone, teach him to stay and enjoy time alone during the day when you are around. 

This practice will enable him to stay independent and look for you all the time.  

#4. Leave Comfort Cues Around 

You may leave laundry with your scent on it to keep your dog calm when you are not around. This way, he will know that you are going to come back home, which will keep him away from feeling distressed. 

#5. Leave Toys and Treats

You may consider leaving engaging toys for your pet when you are not around. This will keep him busy and will shift his focus from you towards the toy. 

You may also hide the treats around the house, which will also keep his focus away from missing and stressing over you.

Wrapping it Up 

Separation anxiety in dogs is a widespread concern, but not every pet parent knows about it. If you feel that your dog is showing any of the symptoms as mentioned above, then it might mean that he is suffering from the problem of separation anxiety. 

You may consider using the tips mentioned above to help your dog reduce the problem of separation anxiety, or keep the same at bay. 

Also, if you are a proud pet parent and have helped your dog overcome the problem, feel free to share your experiences in the comment box below. 

5 Innovative Pet Grooming Products To Try

Now that the blazing heat of summer has parted ways with 2019, we are left in the wake of Fall. Nothing beats the sound of dead leaves skidding across the street accompanied by a cool, gentle breeze and the sweet smell of pumpkin spice. Time to put away the pool toys and find your favorite hoodie.

With colder temperatures looming across the horizon there are many things to keep in mind as a pet parent, such as skin and coat care, nail management and making sure they stay just as comfortable as you are.

Kitten scratching furniture

Here are 5 Innovative Pet Grooming Products To Try In 2019.

The Pulse ZR II Limited Edition ’Purple Galaxy’ Clipper

This work of art is as sleek as it is mysterious. Give your pet an out of this world look that will surely turn heads and maybe even some tails this holiday season. The Pulse ZR II has a ”reverse-engineered” Lithium-ion rotary battery and is capable of 5 blinding speeds that can pump out an impressive 2,500 to 4,500 strokes per minute, leaving any kind of fur the planet can throw at it in the dust. This cosmic behemoth comes equipped with a nail guard attachment and a powerful CeramicEdge® blade that can safely vanquish strands of any stature with a flick of the wrist. Do you have an interesting Halloween idea for your furry friend? You can easily transform your pet into anything you can imagine with this stellar work of art. Even if you don’t have any pet grooming experience, using the Pulse ZR II makes it simple with its lightweight grip and shape that contours to the shape of your hand. Whether you decide on a mohawk for a punk rocker costume, menacing spikes for a fire breathing dragon costume or a majestic mane to go on a lordly lion costume, your pet will be the talk of the Halloween party!

The Furzapper Glove

Regardless of the kind of animal your pet is, if they have fur, chances are they do their fair share of shedding. Rid yourself of one more eyesore while keeping your hands clean with the Furzapper Pet Grooming Glove.

A one size fits all shedding tool that is made of 100% safe, allergy-free, hypoallergenic silicone. Fur has a habit of getting everywhere and it can be infuriating. Your cute cat beds or pet beds will look as good as new in just a few seconds! Simply choose a hand, put the Furzapper Glove on and single-handedly take your home back from the floating terror. After you are done, clean up is as easy as peeling the fur off of the bristles and throwing it away.

Dremel PawControl Nail Grinding Kit

We all know trimming your pet’s nails can be scary. One wrong move can mean terrible pain for your fur baby and this is why we take the extra time to take the necessary precautions. One of the most important factors in nail management is safety. You must make sure your pet is relaxed and feels safe. Consider introducing the entire routine from the comfort of one of their pet beds to help get them used to the experience. If done correctly, they will associate the chore with relaxation and immediately begin the relaxation process upon either hearing the words or seeing the tool. The sooner you do this, the sooner they will become accustomed to it. For many years pet parents have taken to less conventional ways of keeping their dogs’ nails under control, such as a rotary tool. Though these tools can work perfectly, given the right circumstances and a steady hand, they simply were not designed with an animal’s needs in mind, until now. As they say: If you can’t beat them, join them. Introducing the Dremel PawControl Nail Grinding Kit. As it turns out, the people at Dremel have been quietly listening to pet owners all over the world and have finally broken the silence in what is the most unexpected collaboration of the year.

ZenPup’s CBD infused rinse-free shampoo and conditioner

As of late, the world has been abuzz over the miraculous healing properties that CBD oil can offer. CBD oils can be beneficial to all mammals for a plethora of reasons, including easing anxiety, speeding up recovery time, eliminating muscle spasms and reinvigorating appetite and endocannabinoid cellular growth. If your dog has preexisting anxiety issues from the start, bath time can seem a lot like a nightmare. With products like ZenPup’s CBD infused rinse-free shampoo and conditioner you can leave the scary water and unnecessary stress out of the equation. Dry, itchy skin and hotspots won’t stand a chance against these top of the line ingredients. Your pet will be eternally grateful for their soft and luxurious coat when it comes time to suit up and brave those cooler gusts.

The Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool

If you have a dog, chances are they hate bath time. If you have a cat, on the other hand, this much is usually assumed to be certain. Yes, even though cats can usually keep themselves clean, sometimes that alone is not enough. Cats are known to get themselves into sticky situations but rarely do they ever require our help with the clean up afterward. On the off chance that you think your cat needs to be given a bath, you would be wise to consider a miraculous product such as this. Whatever you have, dog or cat, just getting them into the bathroom can be a chore all on its own sometimes. Thankfully, we can cut out most of the hassle by using the very innovative Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool, a wearable combination scrubber-sprayer that is easily attached to the hand of your choosing. Turning it on and off is as easy as opening and closing your hand and while most sprayers are obnoxiously loud, the Aquapaw is nearly silent to reduce anxiety in your pet. No matter how big your dog or cat is when the water starts flowing and the suds start flying, it can become quite the handful. Gain that extra edge during bath time by eliminating the need to hold a heavy showerhead or a clumsy brush. Includes 8’ hose that can be attached to a showerhead or an outside water hose. Your cat might run and hide in its cat cave for a while when you are done, but it will likely forget and love you just the same tomorrow.

Author Bio:

Emily is an animal lover and content writer at She has a passion for writing about pet care & health. Through her writing, she is spreading awareness on how people can live better happier lives with their pets. Till now she has adopted 3 stray cats & always encourages people to adopt animals from shelter homes.

6 Easy to Spot Signs Your Hamster is Unhappy

Your hamster’s happiness can shine through in multiple ways depending on your hamster’s personality and their interests. Some hamsters enjoy human attention and other hamsters find happiness in making burrows or through exercise.

White syrian hamster.

Charlotte Silcock from Rodent Life asked over 130 hamster owners ‘what is the biggest sign that your hamster is unhappy?’ and this is the main 12 signs they came up with.

Your Hamster is Biting Their Cage

This is a huge sign your hamster is unhappy… If they’re constantly biting their cage or trying to escape it’s a sign that their cage is too small.

Unfortunately, some big pet companies will misinform customers on how large their hamster’s cage needs to be and will often sell cages that are too small for hamsters. This is why it’s so important to properly research how big a hamster cage should be before you buy a hamster.

They are lethargic

A lethargic hamster is often a sign of an unhappy hamster. If all they’re doing is sleeping, eating, drinking and sleeping again this is a sign that they are depressed.

Unless they’re old, it is not a good sign to see a hamster stuck in a loop of repetitive behaviors.

A happy hamster will be very energetic, wanting to explore their cage, use their wheel and will be moving around much more.

They Climb Their Cage

Is your hamster climbing the bars of their cage or hanging from the top? This is another sign that their cage is too small and needs to be upgraded. It is often a sign of a bored hamster too.

You can try to stop this behavior by upgrading their cage and adding more toys into their cage.

Related Reading:

Excessive Grooming

It’s perfectly normal for a hamster to groom themselves is it’s a way of your hamster to clean themselves. If they are excessively grooming then this can indicate a skin problem such as parasites, dry skin, unclean fur, mites or a form of an allergic reaction.


Pacing up and down or back and forth along the cage is another sign of repetitive behaviors and is often caused by stress. If not treated, then this behavior can become more often and severe.

To treat this, you need to find out what’s causing your hamster stress. It could be loud noises, other household pets, small cages or something else such as a dirty environment.

Cage Aggression

Another huge sign of an unhappy hamster is that they will start to become aggressive.

If you’re putting your hand in their cage and they’re biting it or being aggressive towards you, this is never a good sign.

How to Make Sure My Hamster is Happy

You can make sure your hamster is happy by providing them with the correct environment, affection, and entertainment. Charlotte Silcock has some great information on how you can improve your hamster’s happiness.

These are 5 ways you can make sure your hamster is healthy and happy.

Make Sure Their Cage is Big Enough

This is one of the largest problems pet hamsters face. You need to make sure your hamster cage is big enough as a small cage can cause a lot of stress which could lead to depression and your hamster become more open to illnesses.

Some signs your hamster’s cage is too small are:

  • Cage Climbing
  • Bar Biting
  • Trying to escape
  • Cage Aggression

If your hamster is climbing and biting the insides of the bar and trying to escape, then the likelihood is that the cage is too small for your hamster.

A small cage is common with domestic hamsters as companies such as pets4home will give out incorrect information about caring for hamsters and will often sell cages that are far too small.

Regular Cleaning

Making sure you spot clean your hamster cage often is important as a dirty cage will cause your hamster unneeded stress. However, you shouldn’t be full cleaning your hamster cage unless it needs a proper clean.

By full cleaning your hamster cage you are moving their whole home inside out which can cause your hamster stress due to different smells and objects being moved. Imagine someone coming into your house and turning it upside.

By spot cleaning your hamster’s cage every couple of days you can make sure it remains clean for a longer time.

Robo Dwarf Hamster

Enough food and water

Making sure your hamster has enough food and water is extremely important. You should be checking their water supply and keeping their food bowl topped up with a constant supply of dried food.

Hamsters love fruit and vegetable but should be given to them in small amounts as it can contain a high amount of natural sugars and water.

Treats such as hard-boiled eggs can be given to them once a week, for more ideas and understand on what treats you can feed your hamster check out Rodent Life’s article on best treats that your hamster will love list.

Daily Affection

By spending time daily with your hamster and letting them explore outside of their cage can make sure they get enough exercise. Hamsters love to explore and will certainly affect their overall happiness.

Therefore, it’s important to dedicate some time to your hamster regular to let them run around inside a ball in a safe location outside their cage.

Place their cage in a quiet location

Loud noisy environments can cause additional stress on your hamster. They should be out of reach and away from other pets such as a cat or a dog.

Noises such as loud cars or music can create a stressful environment for your hamster that can lead to them becoming unhappy.

Little Dwarf Hamster Type

Related Questions:

Is my hamster bored? A bored hamster will be very lethargic and sleep more than usual. They may start biting their cage or climbing up the bars, this is also a sign of stress.

How to relieve hamster stress? By making sure their cage is big enough, has enough toys, a clean cage that isn’t in a loud environment and by giving them regular attention will help relieve stress.

Is my hamster cage too small? If your hamster keeps trying to escape, climbs the bars inside of their cage and is showing aggressive signs such as biting, then their cage may be too small.

5 Ways to Help Keep Your Arthritic Dog Comfortable

Arthritis may seem like an ailment of a tired, old dog. However, dogs of any age can start showing early onset symptoms of arthritis.

Difficulty jumping on the bed or trouble getting into cars are two telltale signs that something is going on with your dog’s health.

While cats are notorious for hiding illnesses and discomfort, dogs are sometimes more vocal about it. That may be the unexplained whining during activities or excessive grunting with minor movement.

A dog that used to be as energetic as the Energizer bunny suddenly sleeping all the time could also indicate arthritis.

If You Think Your Pup Has Arthritis, a Vet Visit Is In Order

Before you make any adjustments to your home or to your dog’s diet and routines, a quick visit to the vet is necessary. Your vet can examine your dog and give a professional diagnosis.

The symptoms that are associated with arthritis are also common in other ailments and diseases. If you’ve kept the same vet since your dog was a pup, your vet will be more familiar with how your dog normally acts and can easily spot any differences in behavior.

Once you have an official diagnosis, there are several adjustments you can make in and around your home to ease your dog’s discomfort. Dogs can be stubborn and some of the adjustments may take a little time and a lot of treats before your dog accepts the changes.

1. Change Your Dog’s Sleeping Arrangements

Many people let their dogs sleep in bed with them. Jumping on and off a raised bed can contribute to later arthritis problems. For a dog who already suffers from the pain of arthritis, it may be impossible to get on or off the bed without help.

Training your dog to sleep on a dog bed on the floor may be similar to training a toddler to go to bed at night. A lot of whining is involved in both situations. However, you may have to endure a few sleepless nights for the betterment of your dog. Training your arthritic dog not to jump on the bed saves both of you pain in the long run.

Products designed to provide the comfort and support they need are readily available. Orthopedic beds can help ease your dog’s discomfort while still allowing them to be close to their humans. Placing the orthopedic dog bed near a source of heat can also help ease the inflammation of the joints.

older dog vet care

2. Diet and Exercise

Obesity is another condition that affects dogs just as often as it affects people. Even a few extra pounds can put stress on a dog’s joints, increasing their risk of arthritis or making symptoms worse.

The catch-22 is that it can be difficult, if not downright dangerous, to over-exercise dogs with arthritis. That’s why your best course of action from the time your dog is a pup is to stick to the recommended feeding and avoid giving your dog table scraps or too many dog treats.

So, how do you get an overweight dog to lose weight to ease their arthritis without hours of exercise per day? The first thing to do is to start a strict diet. That includes measuring the amount of dog food given for each feeding. Most dogs don’t need to be fed more than twice a day.

You can add several types of healthy vegetables to your dog’s diet to make up for the reduced kibble. Mushrooms and onions are two foods that dogs should never consume. However, carrots, peas, green beans, and pureed pumpkin are just a few of the vegetables that are safe for dogs.

It is important to note that you should read the labels closely if you purchase canned veggies for your dog. Many canned foods add sodium, which is harmful to dogs (and not great for people, either). However, most brands have “low sodium” and even “no sodium” cans of vegetables.

While avocados are a favored healthy food for humans, they are toxic to dogs. If you feed your dog fruits with seeds, such as apples, be sure to remove the core and seeds first.

Making trays of ice cubes in the freezer can be a refreshing treat for your pup in the warmer months. If you’re not sure what fruits or vegetables are safe for your dog, be sure to ask your vet or even do a quick Google search.

Once you’ve got your dog’s food portions under control, it’s time to focus on exercise. A dog with arthritis or at risk of developing arthritis needs a low impact routine that won’t cause further damage.

Several short, brisk walks throughout the day are a great alternative to running at the dog park or other high impact exercises. Swimming is another activity that can ease your dog’s joints while giving them the exercise they need to stay fit. It is recommended that all dogs wear life vests, regardless of their swimming experience.

Dog At Home Wanting Outside

3. Consider Supplements or Medication

If diet and exercise aren’t enough, there is always the option of medication or supplements. Certain medications can reduce joint inflammation and ease your dog’s pain.

Supplements can be used to support the joint health in your dog in an effort to prevent arthritis. Omega 3 fatty acid is an ingredient that can be found in supplements to help treat discomfort caused by arthritis.

Before using any supplements or medicines, it is best to seek advice from your dog’s vet. Like humans, the reaction to any medication can vary from dog to dog.

Related Reading:

4. Give Your Dog a Massage

Who doesn’t love a good massage? Not even dogs are immune to a pair of hands kneading their achy joints. Of course, some dogs don’t like their legs to be touched. It’s important to make sure your dog is comfortable with the massage or it won’t be beneficial for either of you.

Heat can do wonders for achy joints. As long as you are supervising, you can use your heating pad or heated blanket on your dog to help arthritis pain. If you do decide to use a heating pad, start off on the lowest setting until your dog gets used to it.

5. Making Your Home Comfortable

Making your home comfortable for your arthritic dog is about more than just keeping them off the bed. If you have stairs in your home or routinely take your pup on road trips, you may notice them having difficulty climbing the stairs or getting into the car.

Ramps or dog steps can easily solve any mobility issues for your dog. If you opt for ramps, be prepared to offer your dog treats at first to get them accustomed to the incline.

Many dogs with arthritis have problems maneuvering slippery wood floors. Strategically placed area rugs and kitchen runners can make it easier for your dog to get around the house. If you’re not a fan of rugs, dog-sized socks are a great alternative and will help keep your wood floors scratch-free.

Shih Tzu In Yard Invisible Fence

Small Dogs Can Suffer From Arthritis

Arthritis is often considered a “big dog” problem. However, little dogs are equally at risk for developing arthritis. Some might argue they are more at risk because they have further to jump.

One way to help prevent arthritis in little dogs is to limit their jumping. Even if your dog doesn’t have arthritis, consider using dog steps to help them get on and off the bed without putting so much pressure on their joints.

In the long run, excessive jumping puts a lot of strain on their hind legs, potentially increasing their likelihood of arthritis later in life.

A Few More Considerations

There are two things to remember about arthritis. One – there is no cure. Two – no matter what you do, it will get progressively worse as your dog ages.

There isn’t a surefire way to prevent your dog from developing arthritis. However, these tips can help reduce some of the discomforts and pain your dog may feel.

5 Common Myths About Dog Poop

Dog poop isn’t a topic we like to dwell on, but if you’re a dog owner, poop is a fact of life you can’t ignore. The Census Bureau estimates there are 80 million dogs in the U.S., and most of them go to the bathroom outdoors. That results in more than 10-million tons of waste per year – or as much as Americans themselves produced just 50 years ago.


When America was a rural nation, dogs roamed free, and they dispersed their droppings over a wide area. But now most Americans are suburbanites and have yards that average only 11,000 square feet, according to the Census Bureau. The Food and Drug Administration estimates the average dog excretes about 274 pounds of feces per year. Most of that waste accumulates in a small yard – and that’s a problem.

That waste poses a threat to humans, animals, and the environment if it’s not handled properly. Unfortunately, myths about dog feces result in the improper handling of it by millions of pet owners. Here are five common myths about dog poop.


Yes, nature will eventually take care of it, but because dog feces are solid, the process can take a long time – up to a year for a single pile. Meanwhile, the droppings are leaking a toxic brew of dangerous elements into the ground. The EPA warns dog stools contains parasites such as tapeworm and roundworm and bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. Those contaminants can make humans and other animals sick. These deadly threats can survive in the ground for years. Rain or irrigation makes the problem worse. It washes the waste contaminants through storm sewer systems and into freshwater resources.


Dogs are meat-eaters and consume high-protein meat products. That means their feces are supercharged with nitrogen and phosphorus that can create brown or dead spots in your yard. If you apply commercial fertilizer to your yard — which also contains high levels of nitrogen — you could be giving your lawn a fatal overdose. Don’t equate dog poop with fertilizing manures, such as cow, horse, or sheep. All those come from plant-eating livestock and do not contain the chemicals that can be harmful to your lawn.

Related Reading:


Not unless it’s in a proper container. Put the droppings into a biodegradable bag, tie it, and put it in the garbage. You can also flush it down the toilet – just make sure it’s clear of any gravel or debris that may damage your plumbing. This method is the EPA’s recommendation. Don’t put dog feces into a septic system unless the manufacturer states the system will handle it.


You can, but be ready for some work. The Clear Choices Clean Water organization recommends digging holes at least 12 inches deep, then covering the feces with at least 8 inches of soil. Bury in several different locations — not just one. Make sure your burial sites are not near a vegetable garden.


Yes, but be very careful. Dog manure and other organic material placed in a compost pile will heat up as decomposition does its work. The USDA says the pile’s internal temperature must reach 160 degrees before it begins to cool in order to kill harmful parasites and bacteria that pose a danger in vegetable gardens.


You can make dog doo disposal easier and more efficient. Consider a dog waste septic system. These devices work like a miniature home septic system. You bury them according to instructions, add chemicals and water, and place the droppings in them. The system liquefies the waste and passes it harmlessly into the subsoil. The cost of these units run from about $35 to $75.


You can also create a doggie bathroom. Choose an inconspicuous spot in your yard and cover it with mulch or small gravel, then train your dog to do his business there.  This method doesn’t eliminate picking up droppings, but at least it confines it to one area.


Not only is improperly disposed of dog waste a health hazard, but a 2010 survey by Consumer Reports showed that dog poop was the sixth biggest annoyance to Americans. Unpleasant as it may be, properly cleaning up the mess is a social obligation that comes with the enjoyment of pet ownership.


About the author: Sheri Wallace is a dog trainer who also owns a doggie bath and grooming business. When she’s not working with dogs, you’ll find her in her backyard playing with her Siberian husky and basset hound.


My Dog Is Eating Cat Food: Should I Be Concerned?

Dogs are known for being able to digest almost anything. From watermelon bites to socks, nothing passes by a hungry drooling canine. Similarly, if you’re also a cat owner, you’ve probably noticed that your pooch sometimes likes to munch cat food more than its own. On top of that, many owners give cat treats to their dogs believing there isn’t much of a difference between the two.

But what is so great about cat food, anyway? More importantly – is it in any way harmful?

Although it’s not an alarming issue, there is a reason why these two animals eat different types of food. Differences in nutritive and calorie value can potentially lead to some digestive or weight problems in dogs. Don’t panic if it happens as a one-time occasion, but make sure it doesn’t turn into a regular habit.

Here are some main reasons why it’s best not to keep cat food around dogs and tips on how to prevent them from eating it.


Physically, dog and cat food appear very similar. They both come in the form of dry kibble or canned goods, cookie treats and snacks of similar shape and size, with even similar smell. Yet, when it comes to the ingredients, they are quite different.

|Few pet owners know that cats and dogs have different dietary requirements. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their primary source of energy is meat-based food.  Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores, animals that eat both meat and vegetables, so their nutritional requirements include a diet richer in vitamins, fiber and minerals.

In fact, dogs have similar nutritional needs to humans. It’s made with some of the same proteins, carbs, fruits, veggies, and supplements that comprise your daily diet. Some owners prefer feeding their dogs with their food leftovers, or preparing home-made meals for dogs that consist of the same stuff that people eat, like rice, meat, cooked vegetables, corn, bread and more. Although essentially non-problematic, make sure to be properly informed about your dog’s nutritional needs if you make his meals on your own. Depending on their size, age and breed, dogs will need different ingredients for proper growth and healthy functioning.

Cat food is predominantly meat, or processed food rich in protein and fat. Simply put, fatty and meaty food is very tasty, it smells tempting and appealing, which is probably why dogs prefer their fellow kitty’s bowl more.

On top of that, when you have a dog looking for something to eat even though his bowl is full, you may question the type and quality of what you’ve been feeding him so far. Different dog breeds may enjoy different flavor, while puppies need food richer in protein than adult dogs. Sometimes it’s about the food brand, so try out different things until you see your four-legged friend satisfied. Luckily, there’s an array of resources online, for example Totally Goldens and similar, providing useful information on pet feeding and supplements to help you decide on what’s best for your dog.


Although your pooch won’t end up in the emergency room, if fed cat food frequently, he or she may suffer from some digestive problems, nutrient deficiency and weight problems.

The lack of fruits and vegetables may lead to some gastrointestinal problems in dogs, such as pancreatitis or acute gastroenteritis. Even if there aren’t any strong symptoms of illness, in the long run the high level of protein may do some damage to your dog’s kidneys and liver.


Animal obesity is something to be blamed on the owner. The less is presented in front of a dog, the less they’ll have a chance of gaining unnecessary weight. Apart from having different ingredients, cat food is much heavier in calories than dog food. While an occasional odd mouthful won’t do any harm, if fed regularly with cat kibble, dogs will definitely gain weight fast. An overweight dog has less chance of living a healthy and quality life.


Since food for cats isn’t designed to meet dog’s dietary needs, it is not advisable feeding canines with it in order to avoid nutritional deficiency.

Dog and cat bodies function differently. Sometimes dogs need several supplements in their food that cats don’t, and vice-versa. For instance, dogs have the ability to convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, so foods rich in it, such as carrots, are common in dog kibble. Cats, on the other hand, need to be given vitamin A supplements, since they don’t have the same ability, so carrots are not put in cat food. Similarly, dogs produce taurine on their own, while cats need to obtain it in their diet in the form of supplements.

These and similar differences in metabolism functioning are the main reason why there are specific rules for making pet food. Mineral, fiber and vitamin deficiency can lead to some long-term health issues.

Pancreatitis (inflammation and infection of  the pancreas) is one of the nasty side effects of eating foods high in fats. Although this is not only specific for cat food, it may lead to intestinal problems if not put under control.

Finally, we forget that dogs can be like children – if they like something, they’ll find their way to get it. Pickiness is not rare in dogs, so make sure to be a strict parent when you discover your furry friend is sneaking on forbidden food.  Try to look at it as junk food for dogs – it’s delicious and addictive, but definitely not healthy. The good thing is, you are the one to control the situation.


Again, apart from a little vomiting or diarrhea, there’s nothing to be worried about. After you’ve discovered your dog has access to cat food, think about feeding the animals in separate rooms.

Also, try feeding them at the same time to avoid any possible intruding into one’s lunch. This way, your cat will make sure the dog isn’t touching her bowl and the pooch will have to satisfy himself with the low-calorie kibble.

Another neat solution is considering automated feeders that can be programmed to react to specific triggers, like a cat’s collar, or to make food available at a specific time. While you go for a long walk with Rover, Fluffy can have her meal in peace.

Cats are nimble climbers, so use that to their advantage. Simply put a cat’s bowl or a feeder in an elevated place (on a table or a shelf) that is out of dog’s reach.

All in all, you shouldn’t be worried about your dog favouring cat food. It’s a common phenomenon and it happens for a reason. When you understand how your pets’ diet works and what they need to be healthy and well, it’s easy to know when to react and what steps to take. By following these tips, your dog will be back on track with his eating habits, so your beloved furry friends can live in peace, safe and sound.


About: Simon Dupree has loved dogs since he was a boy. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with his two-year-old golden retriever. If he is not writing for Totally Goldens he is probably out exploring the world with his pawsome friend

Dog Communication: What Does a Dog’s Body Language Mean?

Dogs are greatly loved by men, but this does not take out the fact that there are sometimes that it gets pretty hard to explain certain behaviors by your dog. Sometimes, it is just really difficult to decipher what your dog is trying to say. However, these animals actually communicate greatly. It is left to humans to understand their body language and the messages they are trying to pass across by behaving in certain ways.

Here are some common signs to look out for while trying to understand the meaning of your dog’s body language:

Relaxed and Friendly

In this case, what you get a very loose stance. Here, the dog is typically on all fours with head high, an indication that the dog doesn’t mind being approached.

In a relaxed state, the dog’s ears would also be up and the tail would hang loosely.


The common forms of aggression used by behaviorists to describe this include defensive aggression and offensive aggression.

For offensive aggression, the dog will have a tall and stiff posture with raised hackles and a highly-raised tail. The ears of the dog will also be pricked forward and could angle differently from each other in a “V”. The mouth and nose is wrinkled and features like bared teeth and curled lips of the dog become obvious. This is a behavior that presents the dog as larger and intimidating. As for defensive aggression, it comes when a threat is perceived. Here, the dog feels fearful or protective. Your dog would show this behavior by staying low to the ground and keeping his tail down. The ears and also flattened and eye contact is avoided. This may draw your attention to the need to groom your dog properly and one item you may need for this task is the very best brush for golden retrievers.

Curious and Alert

For a dog to get curious and alert, it could be that it has heard other dogs barking in the distance or it has smelt grilling hot dogs. This makes the dog wonder if danger is lurking. Thus, the dog gets curious and stays alert. In this case, your dog may have a generally stiffer body with tensing muscle and the dog’s weight will now be resting on its front paws.

The dog’s tail may thus move in side-to-side manner, although parallel to the body, but not bristled or puffed up. The ears will also forward and have the ability to twitch or rotate, as they angle to catch the sound. Your dog’s mouth will be closed if it is in this state.


This is a common behavior that you would have noticed when two dogs come in contact with each other. Usually, one dog will go lower to the ground and flatten out ears and raise a paw as if to shake hands. This is usually the less confident dog showing some sort of humility and submission. This dog may even try to lick the more confident one. The dog may also roll on their back; while exposing their tummy with their eyes squinted, ears flattened and tail tucked.

Stressed Out

Dogs also get stressed out. Environmental and social stressors are common causes and they can be obvious in several ways. The dog lays low with flat ears and has its tail pointing down. You may also note some lip licking or quick panting. Slow-paced motions, yawning or some form of discomfort may also be noted.


You would definitely know when a dog is giving off a playful vibe. The trademark for this mode is a play bow where their butt is in the air, and head close to the floor. This is indicative of a mood where a carefree dog is calling on to others to play, with ears up, a raised wagging tail and a panting mouth.


Most Popular Dog-Friendly Places in the World

If you are a pet owner choosing a place to live or for a short holiday can be a challenge, as you need to consider a location that offers a lifestyle that is suitable for your patron too. Fortunately, there are innumerable localities to visit and discover the world with your 4-legged ally. This article lists the top 15 famous dog-friendly metropolises worldwide.

To any passionate pet owner, getting dog-friendly place goes beyond a city with restaurants where you can eat with your pup, pet-friendly patios or big dog parks. It a location where your dog can enjoy a happy and healthy life, where people treat it like a king or queen. Moreover, the location should offer a variety of fun/adventurers activities for you too.

Here are a few elements to consider when choosing a dog-friendly destination.

  • Pet Budget – Basing the options on availability of pet-related cost in the place including pet insurance, costs of vet visits, dog food and so on.
  • Pet Health and Comfort – Think about the ease of access of vet services, pet-care and pet-friendly facilities such as stores, shops, restaurants, hotels and offices.
  • Pet Outdoor Activities – Take into accounts elements like the weather and availability of outdoor fun or social facilities/activities for the dog.

Putting all these factors together, we have prepared a list of the most popular global locations, suitable for you and your charming companion.

15 Most Cool Dog-Friendly Places

  1. Rome, Italy

Essentially, the Romans accommodate dogs unreservedly but if you are looking for the best city to be with your pooch, then Rome is always a great choice. Most of the holiday homes and some Roman hotels allow dogs, so finding pooch-friendly housing is not a challenge. With a large resident dog population, you can also find dog-friendly rentals if you are planning to stay in the city.

<Rome, Italy. Source: Montecristo Travels>

Moreover, Roman dog policies are lenient when it comes to eating out alongside dogs. Majority of the eating-places and bars in Rome open their doors for dogs with some offering adequate out-door space, while the weather is favourable. There exist plenty of fun stuffs for dog lovers including striking dog gardens in the city centre and the strategic Bau Beach.

Romans also allow dogs to travel on public transport, but there are rules regarding how and where to board. Dogs need their own tickets and owners should leash and muzzle their dogs on public transport.

  1. Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv has 1:17 dog to people ratio, the world’s largest dogs per capita, according to a survey. Besides, there is a lot for pooches to explore including over 75 dog parks (at least one dog park per square kilometre), 4 canine-friendly beaches and an annual dog festival. This makes Tel Aviv is among most comfortable capitals for hounds in the world.

<Tel Aviv, Israel. Source: The Times of Israel>

Additionally, most restaurants and social joints embrace dogs and you can easily find a temporary holiday home that accommodates dogs, as well as stable dog-friendly residential domiciles. You can also freely travel with your dog on city buses, trains and taxi. Majority of the taxi operators allow passengers to travel with their pups at no extra fee. However, you may need a dog car seat for large dogs to ensure their comfort and safety when travelling.

  1. Toronto, Canada

The Canadian city of Toronto is another great destination for dogs, especially during the warm months. Dogs are allowed on most of the patios and several cafeterias and eating-joints owners are happy to host your 4-legged friend whole-heartedly. Toronto is also the home to over 60 tether-free grounds, plus the Cherry Shoreline where your pooch can cool down on the hot days. Your pooch will enjoy a trip with Toronto Cruises though it should be leashed and maintain good manners.

Getting dog-friendly rentals will require more efforts in Toronto, but many property owners welcome tenants with dogs. You can also benefit from a variety of websites that list pup-friendly residential and hotels. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on public transport during the peak hours but you with affordable taxis, you can always get around this.

  1. Paris, France

France is known to have the best dog policy all over the world. Cafes in Paris, not only allows dogs in, but also offer them chairs at the table. Recently, the city Metro service lowered the fare tickets for larger dogs and small dogs travel free. For the small breeds, they must be caged or in a bag while bigger breeds should be leashed and muzzles on public transport.

<Paris, France source:>

Additionally, there are countless of dog-friendly apartments in Paris though hunting for one can be a challenge. In terms of walkies, Paris has very strict rules as dogs are not allowed on green spaces and should be on-lead on the city patios.

  1. Geneva, Switzerland

As a regulatory requirement, pup owners in Switzerland should undergo specialized education and acquire a license, meaning only those who are serious about their pet have the opportunity to have one. After you obtain the license, life with your best friend will be easy and fun. Nearly every restaurant in Geneva opens the door for pups, and even have a special menu for them. It is not a surprise to have water offered to your pooch shortly after it takes its seat at the counter.

Moreover, the metropolis has plenty of mutt parks. Parc Bertrand is the largest fenced-off dog park in Geneva, where you will find benches in open space, as well as trees and paths, giving pet owners and their dogs the space to enjoy the fresh air outdoors. Besides, Geneva has over 50 pet-friendly hotel so you can be sure to find accommodation for you and your 4-legged companion.

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  1. Keswick, UK

The Lake District of Keswick is a perfect destination for you and your patron when you need some life away from the city. With numerous places to explore and swim as well as an adventurous hike at Skiddaw, Keswick is a paradise for your pup. After a long day in nature, you can find a countless pub to take a rest, most of which offer exceptional dog treats.

  1. London, UK

The city of London plays host to a number of large parks including the HydePark and Holland Park where your dog gets ample space to play off-leash. Further, public buses and trains are welcoming to pooches. Though most cafeterias and stores have strict dog policies, the majority of the pubs allow dogs, with roomy alcohol gardens where your pup can relax in comfort.

<Greenwich Park, London. Source: The Dog People>

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Holland capital allows pups in most of the properties with exception of most the arts centres. All dogs whether small or large can enjoy free rides on public carriages, but you may have to pay a small fee for your dog’s day pass when travelling on a train.

Unfortunately, the city is cold for the better part of the year, but when it is warmer, your dog will get to enjoy moments in the city’s canine parks, swimming in the Flevopark pools and other outdoor terraces.

  1. Berlin, Germany

In Berlin, people treat hounds respectfully like any other household member. When exploring this German municipal, you can freely explore the numerous historical sites, walk alongside your adorable patron or take a boat to a refreshing voyage trip. Countless hotels, restaurants and cafés warmly welcome pooches with some offering a bowl and a bed for the dog. Moreover, Berlin’s public transport is dog friendly so you can get around the city with your little friend more easily.

  1. Krakow, Poland

The city of Krakow is one of the best dwellings to enjoy both in-house and outdoors involvement. “Galicia Museum and the “ Aviation Museum are two of the few dog-inviting exhibitions in the planet. You may also enjoy a nightfall with your canine pal at the “Kino Baraniecinema and host of other pup-friendly diners and pubs in the city.

  1. Brussels, Belgium

Located just an hour’s drive from the city centre, Sonian Forest is one of the best places to have a long walk with your furry companion when in Brussels. There are also several dog zones for pups can run unleashed and plenty of doggie diners all over the city. Interestingly, the Mexican eatery ChezWaWa offers discounts to Chihuahua owners.

<Sonian Forest, Belgium. Source: The Dog Nanny>

Additionally, most of the hotels and holiday lets in Brussels open their doors for the pet parent who would like to hang around with their patrons.

  1. Carmel, California, USA

Spending time in the Californian’s beautiful beaches, parks and trails is great but it is even greater when you do it with your playful friend. In Carmel, dogs are allowed to go together with their handlers and they are even offered biodegradable waste bags at the park entries, paths and beaches.

Furthermore, several hotels treat dogs like kings and queens, providing a number of dog treats like dog room service menus, outdoor showers, turn down and happy hour.

  1. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town will soon play host to the prime dog-hotel in the world, with Frits planning to open a second branch that will feature a salon, spa and bar area. Additionally, many cafes in the town welcome you dine freely with your doggie; certain eateries even have a special hound menu.

<Dog-Hotel in Cape Town. Source:>

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark

You can get around the city with your small pup for free on buses and trains, but you need a child’s ticket for your larger breed. The city is also the host to the Dog’s Day, an annual event held at Tivoli Park, one of the Copenhagen’s magical attractions. However, for most parks in Copenhagen, dogs must be on lead and most restaurants have strict dog policy.

  1. Barcelona, Spain

The most interesting place in Barcelona is the Park Guell, one of the city’s most popular sites that give you the opportunity to explore a blend of green space and architecture. Along with many other parks in the city, Park Guell welcomes owners accompanied by their 4-legged companions. Besides, several parks have a dog-fenced area with benches and spring fountains. There is also a beach that entertains canines all year through.

If you are looking for a place to live or visit without the worry of leaving your companion behind, the above places give you an option of the top most popular dog-welcoming places throughout the world.

Animals that Get Drunk or High in Nature

Millions of humans around the planet abuse alcohol and drugs, including opiates, marijuana, cocaine, and hallucinogens. It often seems like one of the unique, if troubling and disruptive, features of people, compared to wild animals; humans seek out intoxicating substances for fun while animals eat just for nutrition, whenever they’re hungry, or food is available. However, this assumption is not always true.

As it turns out, animals will seek out intoxicating and addictive substances, too. They also display compulsive behaviors around substances, putting themselves at physical risk to get high or drunk. They will behave like they are intoxicated or hungover, and go back for more later.

While all animals may accidentally run across fermenting fruits or eat a hallucinogenic plant, some animals are more prone to repeatedly consuming these substances than others. Here are the top five animals that exhibit behaviors associated with substance abuse.

  1. Elephants and alcohol: The Marula tree in Africa is known to produce fruit prized by many local animals, including pachyderms. However, the fruit is not just sought out while it is fully ripe, but also after it begins to ferment. Elephants in particular are known to seek out Marula trees and consume fermenting fruits, leading to aggressive behavior, loss of coordination, trampling local human settlements, and other odd behaviors. Elephants in India are also known to seek out human settlements, because where humans are, there is alcohol.
  2. Drunk parrots: Some species of parrot in the northern area of Australia are known to consume fermenting fruit at specific times of year, leading to birds literally falling out of the sky because they pass out due to alcohol intoxication. This occurs in other bird species in other parts of the world, but the Australian lorikeets are among the most notorious.
  3. Reindeer and shrooms: Eastern European reindeer do not consume the same magic mushrooms that humans pursue, but they do seek out toxic red-capped Amanita muscaria mushrooms. In humans, these mushrooms are known to cause dizziness and hallucinations. In reindeer, staring into space and exhibiting behaviors like altered consciousness are common after they eat the fungus.
  4. Cats and catnip: Certainly, some of the most famous instances of animals becoming intoxicated involve cats with catnip. This plant is a relative of mint and chamomile, and it can cause mild relaxation in humans; in cats, however, catnip produces a range of effects, including high energy and excitement, pleasure in touch, and drowsiness. The chemical that leads to feline intoxication is nepetalactone, and it has a much more drastic effect in house-cats.
  5. Dolphins high on pufferfish: The pufferfish is known to produce toxic venom, which can kill a person. The chemical can also kill dolphins if they ingest a large enough amount; however, like many other toxins, the drug can cause mind-altering effects in small amounts. A documentary produced by the BBC discovered the ocean mammals passing a pufferfish between them, chewing the fish to force it to release a little of the toxin, then passing the fish to the next dolphin. After consuming pufferfish venom, dolphins were observed to hang with their noses near the surface, appearing to gaze into their reflections.

Many other animals have been found to appear intoxicated on drugs or alcohol at various points. Reports of drunk moose, deer, birds, and other animals become online sensations almost overnight. Most animals do not intend to consume intoxicants in the same way that many humans seek out drugs for social or recreational reasons; however, some animals do display behaviors that indicate they intentionally consume fermented fruits or psychedelic drugs.