Forty percent of dogs are considered obese in the UK. While this is enough to warrant an epidemic, the problem stems from a combination of owners not recognising when their own dog is overweight, and not understanding how little weight a dog needs to gain before their health is at risk.
While the health risks of obesity in dogs can be life threatening, it is also a problem which, if kept in check, is relatively easy to avoid.
Health Risks of Obesity
Each breed of dog typically has an ideal adult weight range, says pet nutrition experts James Wellbeloved. As a general rule, if your dog falls under the recommended weight range, they are too thin. Likewise, if they exceed the weight range, they are considered overweight to an unhealthy degree. Sometimes this is only the difference of a few kilogrammes, so owners need to be vigilant and weigh their pet regularly.
Obesity is a very serious problem in dogs and can very quickly lead to long-term health issues, including high blood pressure, increased risk of cancer, diabetes, liver disease, and osteoarthritis. It is also likely to lower the effectiveness of their immune system, increasing the risk of harm from other illnesses and diseases.
Signs Your Dog Is Overweight
The easiest way to tell if your dog is overweight is to go to the vet. However, you should be able to approximate your dog’s condition without the vet, too, so you can ensure your dog is inside their healthy weight range.
1. Find an online dog weight chart and learn the ideal weight range of your dog according to their breed and sex. Weigh your dog and compare.
2. Dogs should have a visibly tapering waistline when viewed from above, and a tucked abdomen from the side. If you can’t see either, your dog is probably overweight.
3. If your dog struggles to get to their feet, fatigues easily on walks, or has trouble breathing, obesity could be a factor.
4. If you can see your dog’s ribs and spine without touching them, they are too thin. Conversely, if you struggle to feel their ribs through the layers of fat and muscle, they are too heavy.
Staying at A Healthy Weight
Like humans, the key to any healthy dog diet is a balance between eating healthy food, eating regularly and not to excess, and staying exercised.
• Feed your dog purpose-made food that is suitable for their age and size. Dogs need different levels of nutrition at different stages of life.
• Feed your dog at regular times each day, and never exceed the recommended daily amount, unless your vet has explicitly advised to do so.
• Avoid giving your dog excessive treats.
• Cut out table scraps. They are disruptive to the diet and encourage bad eating habits.
• Exercise your dog every day with quality walks and regular play.
• Know what your dog’s ideal weight should be, weigh your dog regularly, and schedule regular check-ups with your vet.
It doesn’t take much for your dog to become overweight and have their health put at risk. Keep them happy and healthy by remaining vigilant about their size, only feed them a healthy diet, and substitute the treats for regular play and affection.
Dogs are not like people. Dogs can be cuter, funnier, more honest and loving. That goes without saying. But unlike people, you can’t tell your dog to keep that bandage on all the time. We all know how difficult it is playing with an injured dog, but if your dog goes through a surgery or has an injury, you’ll need to bandage that injured limb yourself. Easier said than done, right? With all that fluffy fur, flexible body, and the shape of their paw, good luck trying to keep that bandage from coming off.
To see how to bandage paws, watch our Bandaging Dog Paws video.
To keep the bandage on despite the dog’s best efforts to throw it off, chew at it, and get it dirty, you’ll need a sound strategy. Your strategy should combine good materials, excellent technique, and applying the right amount of pressure to make it tricky even for the pooch to shake it off. For materials, you should have cotton wadding, sterile dressing pads, gauze for wrapping, elastic bandages preferably the ones that are self-adhesive, and an adhesive tape. You can get all these materials online or from your vet clinic.
To achieve your goal of bandaging the dog’s paw the right way and keeping that bandage on you’ll need to apply the right tension. Too tight and it will hurt the dog, too loose and it will slip off a few minutes later. This is vital just like food for sensitive stomach. The golden rule here is to use layers of cotton wads and wrap them with gauze using moderate pressure. When done slip a finger under the bandage. If the dressing grips your finger but allows you to touch the dog’s paw, then you’ve done it right.
Keeping it on
Now that you know how to bandage the paw, you need to know how to keep it on. For starters make sure the dog’s paw is clean and dry. Keep him indoors most of the time to keep the bandage from getting dirty. You can even get them an orthopedic dog bed so they can rest and heal faster. If you have to take the dog out, cover the bandage with a plastic bag. If the dog tends to chew at the bandage check if it’s too tight then use an Elizabethan collar (aka the 'cone of shame'!) to stop him gnawing it off.
Taking care of your dog’s injured paw requires a lot of patience and skill. But if you follow these tips you’ll pull it off and prevent the dog from pulling it off.
It's great when our four-legged friends join us in the living room, with some of us even encouraging them to snuggle up on the sofa with us on an evening. As a pet-owner, your living room can always be susceptible to shredded upholstery and stained carpets, so knowing how to dog-proof the area will make life a lot easier — and less stressful! — for you both.
So, whether you’ve just bought a plush new sofa, or are sick of hoovering fur off your current one, here are five ways to effectively dog-proof your living room.
Do you feel that you don’t know what it takes to groom your dog? The Hair Clippers Club (https://www.hairclippersclub.com/best-dog-clippers-dog-grooming-scissors-guide) can help you out.
Besides giving the pet a chance to feel comfortable, grooming your pets encourages a deeper bond and saves on costs. You do not need professional qualifications to groom your own dog, here are some tips:
Start With the Brushing and Washing
Imagine going for a haircut and your hairstylist fails to eliminate the tangles and the dirt you have accumulated over the days. Well, you will not be thrilled, to say the least. In the same way, you must wash and brush your dog’s hair to smooth it out and create an appealing look. Check out our video about Bathing dogs and Drying dogs.
Get the Right Tools
Find a good clip, blade, slicker brushes, and nail clippers, make sure the blades are sharp to avoid pulling the hair. Your online search will lead to an array of options and prices.
Do Not Be In a Hurry
Groom your dog when you do not have lots of other things to be doing at the same time. Relax and enjoy the process with your dog, using treats to encourage them to like being groomed if necessary.
Be Aware Of How Your Dog Grows
Take your time to study how the hair is growing, so that the cut is smooth and even. If you have a pedigree dog, you may want to look online to see how to groom your specific breed.
Start As Early As Possible
While you can train an older dog to enjoy being groomed, it is easier when started young. Our video about Grooming Puppies gives lots of useful tips.
Try Using the Same Procedure
As you try to train your dog to get used to the grooming process, consider creating a routine. You can start clipping the top of your head before proceeding to the neck. You can then clip the shoulders, chin, and down to the legs. Be careful when clipping the thin parts of the skin to avoid injuries.
Switch the Clippers
Be very aware of the temperature of the blades and switch the clippers when one gets too hot for your pet’s comfort, or take regular breaks for them to cool down if you do not have an extra clipper.
For lots more tips about grooming dogs, visit our collection of Dog Grooming Videos
How to create a safe, stimulating garden oasis for your dog
The excitement of this year's show is brewing in the dog community!
The main arena is always a huge draw and it is an internal battle whether to watch EVERYTHING or continue around the many halls. The key is planning. Grab yourself a schedule and circle those that you just can't miss.
I would recommend the Rescue Dog Agility, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Display Team, The Golden Retriever Display Team and Heelwork to Music; skilled and happy dogs just having fun!
Anticipation builds at the thought of the 550 trade stands with all the new foods, toys, equipment, information and gifts to peruse through and choose from.
This year one of Cruft's sponsors is Natures Menu, introducing their new 'True Instinct' range of food. No matter what your interest in the dog world, there will be someone for you to converse with in a thrilling and passionate manner to brighten your mood.
Make sure you look around Discover Dogs and visit the forgotten breeds and have a cuddle with all your favourites. Which breed do you think will win best in show this year? This only happens once a year so make the most of it, you won't want to leave.
Tickets are available now from www.crufts.org.uk
Top Tip: Bring a trolley!
- Lily Clark from Naturally Happy Dogs and www.suppawt.com
Unfortunately, at one time or another as a dog owner you will face the challenge of having to fight off fleas. Whether you like it or not, combating fleas is almost part of your job description when it comes to raising a well rounded and healthy dog.
The frustrating part is there is almost nothing you can do about your dog getting fleas in the first place. Although some products claim to be flea preventatives, even when using these you may still find one day that these pesky intruders have somehow taken up home on your lovable pooch.
Scratching will probably be the first giveaway of a flea infestation. Out of nowhere your dog will likely start to scratch here there and everywhere just to rid themselves of the annoying pests that are jumping and leaping all over their coat. Where they come from may be an even bigger mystery. Your dog can contract fleas from other dogs they come in to contact with when out on walks or even from just playing on their own in your yard.
Even more surprisingly to some dog owners is that if your dog has previously had an outbreak of fleas which have now returned then it may be that they have returned simply from your dog spending time in doors. This is because it is not uncommon for fleas to live in your dog's bed or even your couch and then return to your pet at a later date.
That is why when treating your dog it is key to remember to treat their environment as well as their fur and coat.
One of the most effective way of treating your dog is through the use of a flea shampoo which will effectively rid your dog of any fleas on them at the time of the bath. However, although shampoo products are great at killing adult fleas they are not so effective at killing larvae or breaking the flea cycle which is so important if you want to completely rid your home of flea and ticks. This is especially important if your dog develops Flea Allergic Dermatitis (FAD).
The best way to get rid of fleas completely is by killing flea eggs as well as adult fleas by ensuring you thoroughly clean your home and any carpet, or furniture that your dog may have come into contact with during the infestation.
This is a step that many dog owners often overlook and is one of the best pieces of advice we offer to pet owners in order to get them to reconsider how they combat fleas.
Some time ago we filmed an article about DNA Breed Identification and found some interesting results about the breeds that made up office dog Sandy.
We have recently come across this web page with some information about the different dog DNA tests available, if you want your dog to be DNA tested, visit www.mypetneedsthat.com/best-dog-dna-tests to find out about 5 different Dog DNA tests.
We have been looking into how people choose their dog food recently, we have a subscriber benefit voucher code for 2 weeks free dog food at Tails.com on our discount codes page. We also came across this website www.jenreviews.com/dog-food which has some very interesting information on it about the 8 major aspects to consider when choosing your dog's diet.
How do you choose your dog food? Do you feed raw or commercial? Do let us know through our Contact Us page and we'll add your thoughts into our research!
The super old saying that "dog is man’s best friend" is one that has been around for ages and is completely true. There have been many studies done that prove dogs have a positive benefit on everything from the health of humans to the happiness of humans as well. There are many different ways that dogs help humans, but there are also ways that humans can help their loyal pets as well. From making sure that they are taken to the vet on a regular basis to keeping them safe during the holidays, our dogs should be pampered and loved. With that in mind read on below for a few of the top ways dog’s help their humans and vice versa.
Dogs: As Therapy Pets
Pets used for therapy are some of the most loyal and intelligent animals around. From helping you get through college to helping you shop at the local market, therapy pets are not just helpers to their owners, they are loyal companions and friends as well.
Humans: Give Your Dog a Home
The first and probably the best way that you can help your pet is by giving them a home to begin with. There are many stray dogs on the streets and many more that have been picked up and put to sleep because no one wants to adopt them. Your first step is to adopt a pet to give a home.
Dogs: Help with Depression
Dogs have been proven over and over again to be able to help with depression and keep their owners happy. If you find yourself depressed, curl up with your pooch and watch a movie or even just pay him some attention and you will both feel better before you know it.
Humans: Watch What He Eats
You might not know it, but there are some foods that are toxic for your dog. There are serious health consequences for everything from chewing a chicken bone to eating a bar of chocolate. Most dogs will eat anything they can get ahold of, so make sure to keep those items and other toxic foods up where your pooch can’t reach them. If your dog does get sick from a food that he shouldn’t be eating, take him to an emergency vet as soon as possible for treatment. You will both be glad that you did.
Dogs: Early Cancer Detection
It has been proven that dogs can be trained to sniff out the early warning signs of cancer. The smell that cancer cells give off is easily detectable to dogs who have been trained to know what to look for. If your dog is insisting on sniffing at a certain part of your body all of the time, it could be because he’s found something that you need to get checked out. Don’t ignore him, call your doctor right away for an appointment.
These are just a few of the ways that dogs help humans on a daily basis and some of the ways that you can help to take care of your loyal pet. From early cancer detection to being a therapy pet, dogs have proven that they are indeed “man’s best friend,” and always will be.
How to make sure your dog has a stress-free Christmas
Christmas is a very busy time in most households. There are gifts to buy and wrap, food to prepare and eat, and close and extended family to invite round and visit. However, there is one member of the family who might not be having the most magical time: your dog. With all the comings and goings and an irregular schedule, the festive season can be confusing for your furry friend, and they might begin to feel stressed as result. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make your dog's Christmas as stress-free as possible, and we’ve listed several below. Read on to find out more.
Don't stray too far from your dog's routine
Dogs, like humans, are creatures of habit. But, while we can make an exception for the festive period, our furry friends can't. For example, if you decide to go for a spot of spontaneous Christmas shopping during the time you'd usually give the dog their dinner or go for a walk, they are going to be left confused as to why their routine has suddenly been switched around. Instead, try to think ahead and do your best to plan Christmas around your dog. This doesn't have to completely set in stone, but giving your pet some structure will help them avoid becoming stressed. If you know you're going to be super busy for a few days and won't be able to take the dog out for a nice, long walk, ask a friend or relative if they'd step in. Should everyone else you know be busy, you could always try a dog sitter or a dog walker through Gudog, a service that matches local dog professionals with owners in a jam.
Prepare for your dog being around new faces
Christmas is the time when you catch up with all your friends and relatives, so there will probably be a host of faces passing through your door. Many dogs have a happy-go-lucky personality and are glad to accept strokes from just about anybody, but there are also a few who shy away from new people and retreat into their shell. You'll know how comfortable your dog is around strangers the best so, if you know they can become nervous at the sight and scent of newcomers, it's best to prepare a space they can feel safe in. Put their bed, water bowl, and favourite toys into a quiet room and ask your guests not to disturb them if they head in there to chill-out. It's vital your dog feels safe and secure, so providing that environment over Christmas is essential for keeping them totally de-stressed.
Decorate your home in a dog-friendly way
You might not realise it, but there are quite a few hidden hazards to be found in traditional Christmas decorations. Artificial trees are usually the best choice for dogs, as they have none of the sharp, mildly-toxic needles that can get stuck in paws or eaten. You should also look to avoid glass ornaments or baubles as they could cause similar issues if they fall and break. If you plan on using edible decorations, you might want to think again, as chocolate is highly toxic to dogs. Tinsel is also hazardous, as the strands can cause internal injury if eaten. For more expert advice on dog-dangers to watch out for around Christmas, be sure to watch our Keeping Dogs Safe at Christmas vet advice video that will keep you well informed.
Get ready for the fireworks
Around New Year, the UK tends to explore its fascination with fireworks, which is bad news for dog owners. The loud noises can put our furry friends on edge so, if you know there will be a local display or one of your neighbours is planning on enjoying a few, it's best to prepare and practice some understanding of your pet's fear.
Dogs can become very skittish when a firework goes off, so make a point of going for a walk earlier in the day when there is a less chance of a loud bang causing them to slip their lead and run away. Before you head out, make sure that your pooch's details are up to date on their microchip just in case the worst should happen. You can do this by logging onto your chip provider's website — all the UK registered databases are listed by Dogs Trust.
Make sure all your windows, doors, and curtains are closed. And, if there is a room in your home that is more insulated from noise outside, it might be best to set your dog's bed up in there. It's well worth taking a look at Millbry Hill's guide to keeping pets safe during firework season as it contains extensive and detailed advice for both dogs and other animals.
Take care of the furry member of your family this Christmas and make sure they don't get stressed by following our tips. Then, all that's left is to enjoy a healthy festive season together.
Crufts, every dog lovers dream to attend, with something for everyone. The excited buzz of the crowd created an atmosphere like no other. Where to start!
The main arena was a sight to behold, it was an internal battle whether to watch EVERYTHING or continue around the many halls.
My favourites were the Rescue Dog Agility, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Display Team, The Golden Retriever Display Team and Heelwork to Music; skilled and happy dogs just having fun!
|We found this amazing stall selling bow ties for pets!|
|We met the most gorgeous Blue Merle Border Collie puppy|
|And had a selfie with 'Positively' Victoria Stilwell|
|Then we took on a challenge to see how many NHD reporters we could fit in a dog crate!|
We are off to Crufts again from the 9th to the 12th March, we don't have a stand this year but if you would like to come to chat with us, do drop us a Facebook message and we can meet you there.
While it was originally about showing dogs, Crufts has become the place to go for all of our canine shopping, finding out about new training techniques, sports and the latest companies in the dog world. It's also a great day spent out with a few thousand other doggy people!
Tickets are on sale now from the Crufts ticket office. Don't delay - get yours today!
We hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
In the lead up to Christmas, why not remind yourself about:
Keeping dogs safe at Christmas
Reducing your dog's stress at Christmas
or you could even find out about Christmas at the RSPCA kennels.
Today we met Hannah Molloy from Pawfect Dogsense who discussed with us the pros and cons of breeding our dogs and making sure we are breeding the right temperaments and creating healthy puppies. Hannah also showed us a few lovely fun scentwork exercises with Skyler (pictured), and also demonstrated how to stop a dog from pulling on the lead.
This week we have been promoting Naturally Happy Dogs at the Dog & Bone seminar 'Do As I Do'. It's a fascinating technique where you teach your dog a cue to 'copy the action I've just done'. Sandy and Skyler both had a go, and seemed to be getting the hang of it by the end.
We filmed Claudia explaining the technique a while ago, you can watch the video here: Do As I Do with Claudia Fugazza
It's lovely to learn a simple training method that really changes things for you and your dog, and today we learned three of them!
Wow - three breeds in one week!
And what lovely breeds they are. The Large Munsterlanders were very sociable, friendly dogs, although you need to not be too house proud to own one as they do like to get a little muddy when out on walks!
It was amazing to see the Salukis run, and we got some lovely slow motion footage to add to our video. Their owners warned us about how attached Salukis can get to their first owners, these really are a dog for life as they don't cope very well with being rehomed.
And finally, the Weimaraners, the 'grey ghosts' showed their sensible and playful side, while their owners told us how good these dogs are at reading a situation and acting accordingly.
Today we filmed the lovely Toni Shelbourne in Berkshire to find out more about car travel problems, firework phobias and what actually happens during a TTouch session. As usual, Sandy and Skyler were on hand to help out and were more than willing TTouch participants!
Skyler is a very active little dog so we wonder if it will have an effect in calming her down a little, we're ever hopeful!
Today we have been filming with Marianne Tembey from Patchwork Training for some more agility articles...
- Using jump grids to affect stride
- Teaching the 'wait'
- Agility exercises for dogs under 12 months.
Our dogs are an important part of our family, and so when he suddenly goes missing it can be absolutely devastating. Regardless of whether he has been lost or stolen, you will probably feel sick with worry until his whereabouts have been traced. Your natural instinct may be to panic, but it is important that you keep calm and act quickly to have the best possible chance of safely recovering your beloved pet.
Here is our guide to what to do if your dog is lost or stolen.
Report your dog as lost or stolen
The very first thing that you should do is report your dog as either lost or suspected stolen (whichever applies) to your local council’s dog warden, as this is the person most likely to pick up your pet if a member of the public finds him wandering around.
You should also report your dog as either lost or stolen to local branches of the RSCPA and veterinary practises, again because these are places that a lost dog may be taken by the finder.
If you have reason to believe that your dog has been stolen rather than become lost, then you should report it as a theft to your local police station. Unfortunately, not all police are willing to record missing dogs as theft, and so you may find you need to be insistent and provide any proof that may be left behind.
Finally, you should report your dog to the microchip database. They will then know to inform you if anyone tries to re-register the chip number associated with your pet.
Search the neighbourhood
While it is completely understandable to want to get straight out and start searching for your beloved dog, a methodical and well thought-out search is almost always more beneficial. By visiting the locations that you usually take your pet for a walk, including nearby parks and walking routes, you will be able to speak to other dog owners about your missing pet. Go armed with photographs and post-it notes with your contact number on, so that anyone that may have seen your dog can get in touch.
Then spread your news wider
Some dogs have the ability to run for very long distances, and if your dog has gone missing then he may be further away than you anticipate. If you don’t have any success in tracking your pet down within the first 24 hours then spread news of his disappearance further afield.
Utilise the power of social media
Social media is currently one of the most powerful tools at our disposal, and news of your dog’s disappearance can spread extraordinarily quickly. Ask your social media friends to like and share the information, as this significantly increases the number of people who will hear that your dog is missing and will dramatically improve the likelihood of recovering your pet safe and well.
Even with the evolution of technology, there is still a definite place for traditional methods when it comes to tracing lost or stolen dogs. Create a poster using one or two very clear and recent photographs of your pet. Include the details of when/where your dog went missing or was stolen and remember to put your contact details on too. Display the poster in as many places locally as you are able to, including shop noticeboards, schools and libraries.
Don’t give up hope
Some dogs that have gone missing are not found for several days or even weeks. Don’t give up hope and keep circulating information about your pet.
Animal theft in the UK has grown steadily over the last five years, with dogs being the primary target of both opportunistic thieves, and highly organised and experienced gangs of snatchers. Some target pedigree dogs with the intention of selling them for profit or using them for breeding. Genuine pedigree puppies can sell for upwards of £600, but pups from a puppy farm are often sold considerably cheaper in order to turn a fast profit. Puppy farms are created by individuals or groups who mate their dogs and bitches with one intention – to create as many pups as possible. This often means that bitches are forced to carry litters too frequently and in poor conditions, putting her and her puppies at risk. The pups are often sold too early, and without any of the necessary vaccinations, treatment or paperwork. Other thieves target older dogs of any breed so that they can be used as bait dogs in illegal dog-fighting rings. Both of these scenarios are heart-breaking for dog lovers and it is understandable to worry about the security of your pet. That is why we have put together this guide detailing some of the best ways to help protect your dog from theft.
Dog Theft Protection at Home
Although your dog is safer at home than anywhere else, there are still some steps that you can take to ensure that your pet is well protected from theft.
* Make sure that your garden is as secure as possible, particularly if your dog likes to dig! If you don’t mind higher fences, then this is a good way to stop potential thieves from seeing your pet to identify its age and breed, and makes it much harder to get in and out of your garden if the gate is locked.
* Consider fitting a bell or similar noise-making device to your garden gate so that you will hear if anyone tries to open it.
* Don't leave your pet unattended in the garden, keep him firmly in sight.
* Consider covering the garden, and front and rear entrances to your property with CCTV.
* Install a burglar alarm for your home.
* Keep pets away when answering the door. This is especially true if you have multiple dogs who tend to rush to the front door when you have a visitor, as the confusion may make it easy for a thief to snatch and run with a smaller breed.
Enter to win....
* A years subscription to NaturallyHappyDogs.com
* A goody bag from Natures Menu
* A GPS device courtesy of Locate your pet Enter today at
We had a great time at Brenda Aloff's seminars with Dog & Bone this week, Brenda was discussing Handling Reactive Dogs and Training Reactive Dogs and we had a stand at the Bedfordshire and the Yorkshire events.
Brenda was a fascinating speaker and obviously a fan of Naturally Happy Dogs, so much so that she was more than happy to do some more filming before her seminars even started. We look forward to editing those three new videos and putting them live soon.
The NHD stand was very popular at the seminars, with many people coming over to sign up.
To see more from the Blog please see our archive by clicking here.