Pack Life

10572203_987421187950405_6479738509060605040_oAs many of you already know, I work with dogs every day in a pack setting. I see dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds interacting in harmony. When I tell people I own a dog daycare without fail one of the first questions I get asked is “Do the dogs ever fight?” People find it hard to believe that 25-30 dogs can co-exist peacefully off leash. I can understand where their bewilderment stems from. Have you ever been to a dog park? It’s chaos! Dogs are running at large with no manners and no discipline. So yes, in those settings there are often conflicts between dogs and sometimes things get ugly.

Here’s the difference between that chaotic pack dynamic and my balanced dog daycare setting. We have rules that keep the dogs safe and they are always implemented, no exceptions. These rules are simple really and are as follows.

1) You must be CALM to enter the pack. We will wait with dogs who are anxious or excited until they relax in order to meet the other dogs. This is CRUCIAL for keeping everyone in good spirits. Now think of how dogs arrive at the dog park…..they are crazy excited! This leads to disaster. Those dogs will no doubt cause a riot and someone may get hurt.

2) You must PLAY NICELY, with EVERYONE. We watch for certain dog behaviour and break up potential issues before they escalate. Many times at dog parks I hear people say “dogs will be dogs, just let them figure it out.” This survival of the fittest mentality is breeding bullies at parks and the learned behaviour of aggression towards another dog to be alpha will create future problems. In my daycare if a dog is out of line he is put in a time out and then reintroduced to the pack once calm. Owners should take accountability at all times in group settings. Parents would do the same if it were their child.

3) NO TREATS. Having treats when you are surrounded by dogs is a recipe for disaster. Some dogs become food aggressive when they feel threatened by other dogs. If you have a dog that will not come to you unless you have a treat, then my advice is do not let your dog off leash. Work on gaining their respect first so you do not have to bribe them with cookies.

Although I’ve never had a bad experience myself I’ve heard dog park horror stories so I tend to steer clear of them. Instead, owning my own daycare allows me to provide my own dog and many other dogs with a safe and structured place to be social. I also host on leash dog walks all around the city. This still is socialization for dogs. It’s important to realize that dogs don’t always need to be off leash to make friends and be social. Learning to walk peacefully beside other dogs is a great way to help calm excited or anxious dogs and is very therapeutic for humans too. Best yet it still has the benefits of being in a pack. My next pack walk is happening TOMORROW Saturday December 13th at 4:30 PM in Waterloo Park if you and your dog would like to see what it’s about. Please be advised that retractable leashes are not permitted.

Please keep The Dog Haus rules in mind when even doing on leash and off leash socialization with your dog. Be CALM. Be NICE and ACCOUNTABLE. And please no TREATS!!!

Food is LOVE!

In our society, FOOD is LOVE. Unfortunately, this often means copious amounts of fatty treats for our furry friends. What’s concerning is that obesity in dogs is on the rise and needs to be taken seriously. Overweight dogs have a higher risk of arthritis, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, among other medical issues.

“In Canada’s Pet Wellness Report (published in 2011), Canadian veterinarians identified weight control/management as the number one thing a pet owner can do to increase the length of their pet’s life.”

– Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

I love my dog very much. Some might say I’m obsessed. So to show her love, I prepare healthy meals for her that keep her lean and healthy to help her live a long life free of ailment. I show Carmen love, by offering her nothing the best of the best. This means local, natural foods that are easy to digest. She does not get artificial CRAP! No Milkbones for my baby. Instead she gets human-grade RAW food and all natural supplements. THIS (along with regular exercise) is what keeps Carmen as active and healthy as she is especially for a 3-legged dog.

Do not skimp when it comes to food for your dog. Quality ingredients like the ones I give Carmen can add years to their life and will save you on vet bills for trips like ear infections (usually a food intolerance), allergies, and hip/joint problems due to being overweight from too many carbs, sugars, and salt in kibble and treats.

Watch the video I’ve included to see how I prepare Carmen’s meal. All ingredients included are listed below and are available at The Dog Haus. Raw food is not only natural for dogs it is healthier and I’ve notice major improvements in Carmen’s coat, stamina, mobility and weight management. Have questions about the benefits of RAW? Ask us next time you are in 🙂

BigCountry Raw Pheasant and Elk
BigCountry Raw Herring Oil
Coconut Oil
Dr Dobias GreenMin
Dr Dobias SoulFood

What you didn’t see is Hero Dehydrated Duck Feet for dessert 😉 Which are full of chondroitin and glucosamine which is excellent for joint health and best of all LOW IN FAT!