Melatonin: A Natural Supplement for Anxiety and Other Conditions in Dogs

While melatonin is often recommended as a sleeping aid for humans, it has numerous benefits for our canine friends as well. From anxiety, hyperactivity and general restlessness to hair loss, this naturally occurring neurohormone can help pet owners treat these perplexing conditions at home.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone found in the body. Secreted by the pineal gland, it helps set the sleep/wake cycle in humans and animals alike. Our bodies are designed to create more melatonin at night and then decrease production during the daytime. Hence as a hormone, it helps with the circadian cycle by establishing sleepiness and then maintaining the sleep state.

Melatonin can also be purchased as an over-the-counter supplement. This is the product both humans and dogs can take to treat numerous conditions.

Is Melatonin Safe for Dogs?

While melatonin for canines is not yet FDA approved, it’s considered to be a safe, effective supplement for most dogs. However, pet owners should still always consult with their veterinarian before starting their dog on melatonin, in regard to efficacy, dosage, and possible contraindications.

Melatonin should not be given to pregnant dogs or young puppies. And as with all supplements, owners should take into consideration other medications their pets are already taking.

Natrol time release melatonin. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

How Does Melatonin Work in Dogs?

Melatonin acts as a calming agent in dogs due to its sedative-like nature. Since dogs already produce melatonin naturally, the supplement simply boosts their intake of the hormone and helps to calm them down.

What Is Melatonin Used For?

As previously mentioned, melatonin has multiple uses for dogs. Listed below are some of the conditions melatonin is said to treat and how it’s alleged to work.

  • Separation anxiety

This is a form of intense anxiety exhibited by some dogs when their owners leave the room or house. This can be demonstrated by non-stop barking, hyperactivity and destructive behavior. Melatonin’s calming effect should help most dogs with this condition.

  • Canine phobias

Whether it’s the sound of fireworks or a fear of strange places, canines can develop an intense fear that leads to trembling, drooling, and other undesirable behaviors. The soothing properties of melatonin are considered by many to be an appropriate remedy for these situations. During treatment or recovery from serious injuries, melatonin is often used to keep dogs calm.

  • Insomnia

Just like humans, on rare occasions some dogs have issues settling in and falling asleep at night. As previously mentioned, melatonin is a necessary part of the sleep cycle process. By supplementing their intake of the hormone, dogs will often slip into deeper, more sustainable sleeping patterns.

  • Cushing’s disease

One of the most common endocrine disorders found in canines, Cushing’s disease is the result of an overproduction of cortisol in the body. This disease is typically exhibited by increased appetite, thirst, and excessive urination. Melatonin in this situation is used to help inhibit cortisol levels in the body, hence better controlling Cushing’s disease.

  • Alopecia

This is another endocrine disorder that can result in partial baldness or even a complete loss of fur. Unlike Cushing’s, however, melatonin is used in this case to improve the quality of a dog’s coat and is believed to help stimulate coat growth.

What Are the Side Effects of Melatonin Usage in Dogs?

While melatonin is generally considered to be safe, as with any supplement there are possible side effects. Although rare, owners might witness the following complications:

  • Confusion and sleepiness

Due to the sedative quality of melatonin, dogs may appear confused or disoriented.

  • Upset stomach
  • Tachycardia: Tachycardia is defined as an unusually high heart rate.
  • Itching

While most side effects are mild, owners need to be aware of these conditions when giving melatonin to their dogs. If any side effects are noted, owners should immediately stop using the supplement until discussing the situation further with their veterinarian.

Where Does an Owner Obtain Melatonin?

Melatonin is an over-the-counter supplement, although some veterinarians will also provide it to their patients. Be advised that certain companies use xylitol, an artificial sweetener often found in gum and other products, in their melatonin. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs, so always read the entire label of any melatonin product you’re giving your pet and if you have any doubts whatsoever, be sure to consult a veterinarian for advice.

What Is the Dosage for Melatonin in Dogs?

Melatonin is available in multiple forms, from pills to liquid to crushed powder. The appropriate dosage varies depending upon the size of the dog. Typical dosages are as follows:

  • Under 10 pounds: 1 milligram
  • 10 to 25 pounds: 1.5 milligrams
  • 26 to 100 pounds: 3 milligrams
  • 100 pounds plus: 3 to 6 milligrams

Melatonin can be taken on an empty stomach, however, if any stomach distress is noted, it’s recommended to consume it in conjunction with a full meal. Dosages should not be given more than three times a day and the results should be noticeable within 10 to 15 minutes of administration. Results typically last for approximately eight hours.

Giving your furry friend melatonin is a natural way to treat many different canine issues. For owners who prefer to avoid giving their dog pharmaceuticals, the supplement should offer relief for both owner and canine alike.

How To Train Your Dog To Not Eat Cat Food

Dogs and cats share a very strange relationship. Most of us have gained knowledge about them probably through an old cartoon or the various children’s playbooks. In reality, challenges are very different than what we used to see on TV. There would have been times you may have felt something wrong, especially when it comes to their food.

Even after maintaining a balanced and adequate diet for both of them, if you feel your cat has lost some weight. And at the same time, your dog has been putting on some extra pounds. Then there is a chance of theft in the house of the infamous burglar itself. Your dog is probably eating cat food.

This habit is very unhealthy for both the animals as one can be eating more than necessary and the second one may suffer from malnutrition. There are even chances of your dog getting sick and suffer from vomiting, diarrhea or any other stomach related issue.

Starting Point

The most basic thing as an owner will be to train your dog and cat for the most basic of instructions. For example, if you see your dog snooping into the cat’s food space, then you need to have a definitive action or a command. This will be an indication for the dog that he is doing something wrong.

The best call is to have your dog’s training started at an early age. Puppies understand commands and instructions better as they are more receptive. It is very difficult for an old dog to change his bad habits.

You may also like: top 7 best cat food for hairballs on the market.

Ground Rules

Before entering any playground it is necessary to lay down the ground rules loud and clear. Therefore before getting started with the training, you will need to have a clear distinction on a few things for sure.

1. Very different looking food bowls for the dog and the cat.

2. A distraction-free zone for food.

3. Some treats for your dog or dividing his favorite food into parts.

4. Positive attitude and ton loads of patience.

5. Time out of your daily routine for daily training.

Now you are ready to start the training by selecting any of the below methods

The Leave It Method

1. Treat Lure – You can start making your dog follow your instructions, as you will be giving him a treat for leaving alone the cat food. This will assert your status as the leader on the dog and make him believe that he needs to follow your instructions at all times.

2. Leave It – This command should get embedded into the mind of the dog. Issuing a demand does not need you to shout at him, which can have an adverse effect. It should be assertive at the same time he should be able to understand it and follow.

3. Tempt him – Tempting your dog with a treat, will make him excited, but don’t make it easy for him to get it, so he can give up on it. Just let him have a sneak peek by letting him lick and smell it.

4. Reward – Just as he gives up the treat you should praise him and reward him with the bigger treat. This will make him understand that leaving one good thing can lead to an even better one. A 10 min routine every day is enough to make him habitual to him.

5. Cat Food – It’s time to introduce cat food into the mix and try the �leave it’ command on it. As he follows the command, you should reward him with a treat. After a reasonable number of successful commands, you should gradually reduce the treats as well till the time of no rewards.

The Habit Breaker Method

1. Elevate cat food – You can keep the cat food at a higher place where the dog cannot reach it. When the dog will not be able to see the thing, he will eventually start to get his mind away from it.

2. Move cat food – You can move the cat food to a different location like another room which should only be accessible to the cat to consume.

3. Don’t forget the cat food outside – Get your cat to follow a habit of eating according to a schedule. As soon as the cat’s eating time gets over, you should pack the cat food away in a cupboard.

4. The Baby Gate – These gates are very convenient and easy to install. Make sure that only your cat can go into space where you need to feed it and avoid your dog in the process.

5. Consistency – You need to be alert in snatching the cat food away from the dog before he tries to eat it. Consistency is the key with this habit, which will make your dog understand that this is a NO situation. His habit will eventually fade away due to this.

The Entice & Deter Method

1. Change his food – One reason for eating cat food instead of his own can be that the dog doesn’t like his food. You should definitely try and change his meal and try different options for it.

2. Routine – With the above new food options available with the dog, start feeding them both at the same time. With added taste to his own food, the dog will not go for the cat food.

3. Physical Barrier – While your dog and cat feed you can act as a physical barrier between the two. With this, you will be able to stop your dog from going towards the cat food. Saying NO will work here and make him understand it is wrong to do so.

4. Rewards – When there is a NO, there should be a reward. You can praise him when your dog moves away from that space when you ask him not to. Play with him to make him feel, he did the absolute right thing.

5. Final line – Eventually you can stop being the barrier and just work your magic with the NO command. He will slowly start to follow it and understand the right thing to do to keep you happy. That would be to stay away from the cat food.

Go for the method that you feel will be suitable for you and your dog. Train him to be obedient and save the cat food.

Best Dog Sleeping Bags: You Dog Deserves the Best

We need our fair share of sleep at night – the same can be said about our dogs too. You might be saying – we all have a proper bed for our beloved pets! Yes, but do you have a plan for your dog while camping. You must pack a dozen things before you go on a camping trip. But how many of you get a comfy sleeping bed for your beloved dog. You shouldn’t expect your dog to have a goodnight-sleep in the cold earth, should you?

So, the next time you are planning to shop for your next camping trip make sure you buy a sleeping bag for your dog as well.

So today, I am going to reveal some of the best dog sleeping bags that would make your dear dog comfortable in the camping as well.

How Do You Choose the Best Dog Sleeping Bag?

Dogs have a warm heart – we all know that. But they also have a warmer body temperature. That being said, they can catch pretty easily too.

The normal body temperature of a dog ranges from 1010 to 102.50 Fahrenheit. You and I have a normal average body temperature of 97.60 Fahrenheit.

This is an indicator that you and your dog will feel the cold almost at the same time. So, if you are planning camping in a cold region, you should think a good way to make your dog feel comfortable.

Thus, comes the importance of a sleeping bag for dogs.

So, how should you choose the sleeping bag as you can find a variety of construction and design available? I think you should identify your dog’s natural stance in sleep. Some dogs love to curl up just like a baby, while some dogs sleep spreading or stretching their body.

This is vital as you will have to buy a perfect sleeping bag that would suit your dog the most. So here are the commonly found sleeping bag style available in the market.

Take a look –

The Cup Style

If your dog loves to curl in a small congested space, you should choose the cup variant. These sleeping bags look like your coffee cup. Your dog could easily fit in and curl inside as the inner surface is most suitable for that.

The Flat Bed

I know some dogs just don’t have a proper sleeping pattern. It can spread out its legs, roll around during sleep, and even go upside down – there is no way to be sure about things.

Yes, they look really funny and cute!

The best option, in this case, would be going for the flat beds. These flat beds are quite similar looking to the common human sleeping bags.

The Cave

Imagine a room like a shape where your dog could go, stretch out the cover, make things cozy, curl up, and have a great sleep. It already sounds peaceful, isn’t it?

The cave style sleeping bags resemble the natural caves where your dog could nest in. Some dogs just love the room-like shape.

The Dog Pods

This variant of almost the same as the cup style. But this one is fluffier and more comfortable inside. Some say this one looks a lot like a bean bag inside.

I personally think the dog pods are better than the cup style as they are more comfortable and keep your dog warmer in the chilling cold.

Okay, I think you are clear now about the types and variations available in the market. Now, I want to share some great tips that would help to choose the proper one. As I have mentioned earlier, always choose the bag that goes with a sleeping pattern your dog. It doesn’t matter if a particular design looks cute – if it doesn’t suit your dog then what’s the point?

It is wise to choose a padded-bottom layer. In that case, if you are hiking on a rocky trail, your dog could get a comfortable floor for sleeping. Always choose a water-proof sleeping bag. If somehow the bag gets wet, your dog will be nothing but suffer in that bag. I also feel that the sleeping bag should be breathable.

Don’t go for too soft material; your dog will just tear out the bag! I mean c’mon, dogs are meant to be playful. They are going chew and bite the sleeping bag no matter how much you train it.

No bag is useful in both the summer and winter season. The summer camping calls for lighter sleeping bag, and in winter you should look for heavy and more cold-resistant versions.

Last but not least, you should consider the size of the bag properly. The big sized dogs cannot fit in the smaller ones and vice versa. Pick the one that would make your dog comfortable.

3 Best Dog Sleeping Bags in 2019

Ruffwear – Highlands Sleeping Bag

I think Ruffwear did a terrific job designing this sleeping bag. This is a bag that serves dogs of all sizes. The size dimension is 35″ x 26,” and it has a 1” loft. Yes, I have said you should pick a bag that goes particularly with your dog’s size. But I loved the superior build quality of it.

The sleeping bag is sturdy tough yet very light. It is made from synthetic fibers, so it is completely water resistant. The installed bottom pads are quite comfortable enough, but if you want extra comfort for your dog, you buy the additional Ruffwear – Highlands Pad.

The synthetic insulation can keep your dog warm even in the blistering cold.

The only downside to this sleeping bag is the smaller dogs will feel overwhelmed by the space, and you wouldn’t be able the zip the opening as it could cause suffocation to your dog.

I personally think they should have made two different sizes.


  • Durable fabric that is offers great insulation
  • The side entry is wide enough for even larger breeds to enter comfortably
  • Softer bottom pads
  • Machine washable


  • Comes in only one size
  • You cannot remove the top cover entirely

Hurtta Outback Dreamer

If you are still not happy with the Ruffwear – Highlands sleeping bags, Hurtta Outback Dreamer will quench your thirst.

This one is waterproof and has heat reflective insulation technology. So, you can use this one both in summer and winter. You can even use in your home as a perfect sleeping mat too.

The construction material is called houndtex – it is breathable and lightweight. This round sleeping bag is specially designed for the “curlers.” Most of the reviews that I have checked say that dogs just love the comfort and softness of this sleeping bag.

There is a drawback here too. There is no zip around the edge like the previous one that I have mentioned. That means you will have to train your dog to sleep in it before you go on a hike with your dog.

While this a great sleeping bag for the smaller sized dog, the big mutts can find it difficult to fit in! Sadly, they don’t offer XL size which is a big bummer for me.


  • Great insulation due to the reflective insulation technology
  • Light and small in size
  • Can be used as a sleeping mat too
  • Can be machine washed
  • Breathable and waterproof
  • Comes in three sizes


  • Doesn’t have an XL size variation
  • Have to train a dog to use it

Ozark Trail Dog Sleeping Bag

The last one in my list today is the Ozark Trail dog sleeping bag. This one has a unique rectangular shape that makes look quite lovely. It doesn’t only look great but also has great functionality.

You can also use this one as sleeping beds at home or take it to friends’ home and let your dog sleep here. Ozark Trail might look bulky but it weighs on 2.5 pounds, and you could even roll it up and pack it.

This one is perfectly insulated and feels very comfortable and fluffy. Your dog will love you for buying this one! If it is too cold, you can just zip it up and create a cozy space.

You will not have to be worried about breathing problem as the material is breathable and machine washable yet water resistant.

The only downside is it is not suited for the bigger dogs as it is usable for dogs weighing 45 pounds or less.


  • Can be used both as a sleeping bed and a bag
  • Great for the colder environment
  • Fluffy and comfortable
  • Has zipped cover


  • Comes in only one size
  • The entry gap could be too narrow for certain dogs
  • The side pad could feel saggy over time

Final Thoughts

So, that was my take on the best dog sleeping bags. I hope the reviews and the buying guide helped you.

Among the mentioned three, choosing a winner is a tough nut to crack!

If I had to, I would say Hurtta Outback Dreamer is the better choice among the three as it comes in all sizes and seems super comfortable. Moreover, I have seen a lot of dog owners praising this one as their dogs love it.

So, what do you think about this article? Let me know in the comment section below!

How to Know When It’s Time to Euthanize Your Pet

Saying goodbye to a lifelong friend of the furry kind might be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. So it’s no wonder why most, if not all, of us want to extend the lives of our beloved pets even when it seems the end might be inevitable.

In some cases though, euthanizing your pet might be a better solution. Of course, it is a bitter pill to swallow, but watching your pet endure the pain of disease and deterioration might be far worse than the not having them around.

Guaranteeing your pet’s health during his younger years can help extend his life and reduce the chances for certain types of disease. So be sure to take him to a holistic pet hospital regularly for check-ups, vaccinations, and immunizations that are necessary for his overall wellness.

Remember though – euthanasia is irreversible. So you need to make sure it’s the better choice before you jump to a decision. Not sure how to tell when to pull the plug? This short list should shed some light on the matter.

1. Inability to Eat or Keep Food Down

Dogs will typically throw up even on healthy days. But the inability to eat or keep food down in the presence of a known disease or illness should be the first sign that your pet is struggling more than he’s letting you see.

Lots of factors can come into play to explain why your pet just can’t seem to eat. In sick animals, it could be a sign of organ failure or significant intestinal protein loss.

2. Severe Incontinence

Even housebroken pets will have an accident every now and then. However, if your pet has totally lost control of his bowels and bladder, it might be a sign that his illness has progressed to later, more severe stages.

Incontinence can be taken as a sign of nerve damage. As his body continues to fail and deteriorate, certain functions will wear away. Failing to control bladder and bowel functions might be a sign that he’s nearing the end. At this point, you may also want to inspect the stool for texture, foreign contents, and blood.

3. Chronic Pain

Pain in pets can stem from a number of causes. You should be careful and attentive if you want your pet to be healthy even when you are away. But if you’ve noticed that your furry friend has been showing signs of pain for several days or weeks, then you may want to rush him to a holistic pet hospital.

Some markers of pain in pet dogs include whimpering, refusal to move, defensive behavior, and general lethargy. If you know that your pet is sick, then pain could be a sign that he’s in the later stages of the illness.

4. Difficulties With Standing or Walking

Limping shouldn’t be a cause for alarm if your pet isn’t sick. But if they’ve been diagnosed with disease and they start showing signs of difficulty with ambulation, then you might want to discuss euthanasia with your veterinarian.

Difficulty walking and standing are signs that your pet is experiencing pronounced pain, usually in the abdomen. Observe your pet when he starts to show this sign – if they go from limping to refusing to stand or walk at all, it might be time to bid farewell.

5. Lethargy and Loss of Interest

In their effort to overcome pain, weakness, and that overall feeling of unwell, pets will reduce their activity levels. This helps them regulate what little energy they have, so they can stay awake and alert during times of disease.

So any sick pet will seem to move particularly slow, and may sometimes even refuse to move at all. You’ll also notice that your pet might lose the motivation to do things that he used to enjoy. For instance, his favorite toy might no longer spark his interest.

6. Difficulties with Breathing

In the face of disease, your pet will degenerate over just a short period of time, depending on the illness he has. During the late stages of any disease, your pet might show signs of difficulty breathing.

Labored breathing, pathological lung sounds, and frequent coughing are some signs that your pet is exerting extra effort to inhale and exhale. You can assist them at this point by elevating the head and making sure there isn’t anything obstructing his nostrils.

If your pet is suffering from disease and you feel he’s nearing the end, don’t leave him to suffer. Euthanasia might seem like a painful last step, but with the help of an experienced veterinary professional, you can welcome the change with an open heart and mind, knowing your beloved pet has successfully and happily passed the rainbow bridge.


10 Easy Pet Cleaning Tips for Seniors: Know What You Need To Do

Keeping a pet will always require your full-time attention. You’ll need to deal with training, caring, cleaning for your beloved pet. Obviously, it can become a bit of a situation mainly when your pet is outgoing a lot.

Maintaining it every day is already a hard job for the youngsters, and it becomes quite harder when you are dealing with your age. We all know how old age can bring us a bit down from our youthful, active state. So, when you are dealing with a cat or dog, old age issues could become quite a problem.

But that doesn’t mean that you will give up on pets altogether. To help you out, I’ll be giving you 10 easy pet cleaning tips for seniors. Once you start to utilize them, you’ll see how your age won’t come in the way of owning a pet.

So, let’s begin!

Top 10 Easy Pet Cleaning Tips for Seniors: Clean with Ease

  1. Grabbing Tools

Your pet will most probably own a lot of toys, which mean they will be all around the house. This scenario isn’t ideal for seniors. Because as we age, we lose control over our balance and stepping on one of the toys could cause a serious tripping hazard.

Falling on aging could be fatal, and it’s one of the highest accident rates in the world. So, keeping it clean all the way should be your first call to avoid the issue. However, bending and collecting all toys continuously might not be good for your health. That’s why you should use a grabbing tool that can reach the floor and pick up the toys. It’ll be the perfect way to clean up your house.

You may also like: These 10 vacuum cleaners are the best for dealing with pet hair!

  1. Floor Mats Outside and Inside Doors

Outdoorsy pets will get dirty every time they go outside, and this increases especially in the rainy season. Your dog or cat might come home with muddy paws and leave paw prints everywhere in the house. Not only it would make your house a complete mess, but it will also be difficult to clean up.

You can minimize the effects if you place floor mats inside and outside your door. This way when they will enter the house, their feet will automatically get cleaned, and you won’t have to worry about stains.

  1. Natural Cleaners and Gloves

As we age, our skin becomes equally sensitive. And I think you already know how pets can be from time to time. You’ll need to clean up after your pet frequently and using chemical cleaners will have a bad effect on your skin. That’s why always try to use natural based cleaners to clean any mess of your pet. The best way to avoid any rashes would be to use gloves. Don’t let the chemical touch your skin.

It’ll be both great for you and your pets.

  1. Self-Cleaning Litter Box

Bending down every time to clean litter boxes is quite challenging with an aging body. You could try out a probable solution to this problem – self-cleaning litter box. Yes, self-cleaning litter boxes will do the job for you.

They will collect all the clumps and leave it in an easy disposal section. All you have to do is to grab that portion and dump it into the trash. However, you should introduce your pet gently to it as they can be quite sensitive to litter boxes.

  1. Sleeping Surfaces

If your dog sleeps on your couch or bed then cleaning it up could be much more difficult. An easy solution to this problem would be to use any easy to clean surface over your pets obvious sleeping surface. You could use a blanket or any kind of clothing that you could remove and clean after your pet is done sleeping.

This way you won’t have to clean up the couch or bed every time your pet sleeps on it.

  1. Stains and Black Lights

You can’t always keep a close eye on your pet even when you are at home. Your pet might do the deed on your couch or bed, and you may not even notice it before it gets soaked in. If these get unnoticed, you’ll notice bad odors coming from all around your house.

But how do you find out all these spots easily? Well, it’s quite easy really, you’ll need a black light to find the stains. The black light will cause any urine stain to light up and will help you quickly detect the source of the smell. Always clean up so that the pee spot is entirely odor free, this way the pet won’t do the same thing over and over again.

  1. Mealtime and Placemats

Some pets are messy eaters, so you might see a lot of food splatters and trails every time they eat or drink. This messy situation is too challenging for senior owners. If you use any kind of plastic placemats underneath their food bowl, you can easily clean it up even if he creates a lot of mess.

Getting tray like mats would possibly be a plus point in this situation.

  1. Microfiber Mop

Typical brooms or mops are quite tough to use, especially for senior people. You would need a lot of strength to clean up your house with that mop. The best remedy for this would be to use microfiber mops. These mops are really great for cleaning floors and doesn’t require too much strength.

  1. Pooper Scooper

They are mainly used outside to scoop up any waste left by your pets. However, for seniors with mobility issues, they can use this indoors as well. Especially if they got a new pet and they still have to potty train him.

In that case, Pooper Scoopers will be a lifesaver.

    10. Robot Vacuum Cleaner

It can be a nice solution to almost all your problems, but it’s not cheap. If you are struggling to keep up with the cleaning after your pet, you can get yourself a robot vacuum cleaner. Traditional cleaners will require more work from you so that the robot vacuum would be the solution for that.

These cleaners will go around the house and clean up after your pets. But be careful when you use them. You don’t want to trip over them.

Final Words

Taking care of pets when you are dealing with aging a tough job. Pets need a lot of attention, and they do make a lot of mess. Proper training would probably take care of it, but if you are getting a new pet, it might be overwhelming for you.

These 10 tips will surely come in handy, and you will be able to clean up after your pet in no time.

How to Choose the Best Travel Dog Bowl

Going on an adventure is fantastic. You know this for a fact. Heck, everybody does! But do you know who else thinks traveling is excellent?

Your best friend.

No, we’re not talking about a buddy you grew up with or your sister from another mother. We’re talking about that warm and furry little bundle of loyalty looking at you while you read this. (who’s probably wishing for a treat in a travel dog bowl).

Fido. Benji. Alphonse.

Man’s best friend has many names, but let’s go with the universally accepted one: dog. Born curious, dogs like to travel because they go wherever you go. It’s that pack mentality at work!

Speaking of packs…

You Should Pack for your Dog, too.

If you’re taking your dog with you on a trip, you have to pack for you and your dog. A travel dog bowl for water and food is essential to keep your pooch happy and fed. Your dog eating out of your own mess kit won’t work as well as you might think it will!

Dogs need specialized gear so they can feed and hydrate properly. The last thing you want on the trip with you is a sick puppy. Plenty of things can go south if you fail to pack for your pooch.

Your dog could:

  • Drink from a dirty and polluted water source filled with contaminants. This will make your dog sick, and fast.
  • Get bacteria or germs when he eats food out of the ground.
  • Eat whatever she comes across if she’s hungry. This could include rotten food on the trail.
  • A travel dog bowl is a must-have accessory in your adventure gear if Fido’s going with you. Here’s how to choose the best one for your best friend.

Choosing the Best Travel Dog Bowl

When it comes to choosing a dog bowl for travel, you can get tripped up by the myriad of choices out there. A good rule of thumb is to establish a set of simple requirements so you’ll only end up with the best.

Let’s say you’ve narrowed your choice to two bowls, but can’t seem to decide on what to buy. What should you pick? This is where your requirements would come into play. Here’s an example:

  1. The travel dog bowl must be safe enough even for human use.
  2. The bowl should be sturdy and leak free.
  3. The dog bowl should be lightweight and portable.
  4. The travel dog bowl should be collapsible and easy to clean.

By using a set of guidelines, you’ll be eliminating everything that can harm your dog or give you a hard time when packing. You can add more or replace anything on the suggestions above. Use it as your basic template when you go out and buy a dog bowl for travel.

Main Types of Dog Bowls for Travel

There are many types of travel dog bowls out in the market. Let’s take a gander at the most popular ones, shall we?

Silicone Dog Bowl

Most silicone dog bowls are made from BPA free, food-grade materials and are dishwasher safe. The containers are easy to clean and resistant to stains, scratches and bacteria buildup. Silicone is soft, lightweight and pliable, making it the perfect material for collapsible bowls. Travel dog bowls made from silicone fold flat, making them easy to carry around or pack in a bag.

Pros: Folds flat, lightweight, BPA free and easy to clean.

Cons: Your dog can easily chew it up.

Fabric Dog Bowl

If your dog loves to chew up silicone, your next option is to go fabric. Yes, we know what you’re thinking: how can fabric hold food and water? Fabric dog bowls for travel are cool pieces of kit. Fabric dog bowls are made from high-density Nylon and polyester. These bowls are the lightest and most portable of all travel dog bowls.

These bowls can fold flat or collapse onto itself. Some even come with drawstrings so you can store dog food in them. The main gripe about fabric dog bowls is that it takes some time to dry. There also have been instances of water leaking out when used too long, so make sure to get one that is waterproof.

Pros: Lightest travel dog bowl, ultra-packable because it collapses and folds.

Cons: Takes time to dry, some models are prone to leakage.

Stainless Steel Dog Bowl

Classics never die, and the old reliable stainless steel dog bowl for travel is alive, well and ready to go. Stainless steel is the go-to material for home use dog bowls, so it stands to reason that it’s the best for travel, too.

Stainless is ultra durable, easy to clean and impervious to scratches and bacteria. It’s lightweight, but not as light as silicone and fabric dog bowls. If you’re going for a stainless travel dog bowl, choose a no-spill one.

Pros: Solid, durable, scratch proof, easy to clean, bacteria resistant.

Cons: Doesn’t collapse or fold flat, heavy.

Plastic Dog Bowl

Plastic dog bowls are the cheapest ones you can buy for travel. These are lightweight and solid enough to take a beating. Plastic containers aren’t the lightest, nor do they fold flat or collapse like an accordion for storage.

We don’t recommend getting plastic dog bowls because not all use BPA, BPS, and phthalate-free materials.

Pros: Lightweight, affordable.

Cons: Prone to scratches and chew marks, which are home to bacteria. Some models use BPA and other hazardous materials.

Key Points when Choosing a Travel Dog Bowl

Always Go For Quality

  • Not all travel dog bowls are created equal. Your primary consideration should always be quality. How much do you love your dog? If you answered too much, then you should get the best for him no matter what.
  • You can be prudent, but the saying “you get what you pay for” is almost always the case when it comes to pooch gear. Cheap ain’t gonna cut it. Get the best, even if it means paying a bit more. It’s the right thing to do.

Where are you going?

  • What type of traveling is in store for you and your pet?
  • This is a critical question to answer because not all trips are the same. A day trip to the beach isn’t the same as a four-day hike across the countryside. Once you know where you’re heading off to, it’ll be easier to decide what type of dog bowl to get.

Watch the Weight!

  • One of the primary considerations when choosing a dog bowl for travel is weight. Lugging around a heavy pack isn’t fun, which is why getting the lightest travel bowl is, so you and your dog don’t get weighed down.

BPA Free or Bust

  • Always go for a travel dog bowl that is BPA, BPS, and phthalate free. These chemicals can wreak havoc on your dog’s health. When choosing a container for your dog, you have to make sure that even you can use it.

Off You Go!

There you have it, folks. Choosing the best dog bowl for travel isn’t hard if you go out there with a few basic guidelines. Remember, if it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for your dog. If you are having trouble choosing, check out DogLab’s review of 32 different travel bowls!

Happy trails!

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix: All You Need To Know About This Breed

American Pitbull and German Shepherds have always had a bad reputation due to their aggressiveness. However, both of them are really popular when it comes to having a loyal companion. But what do you think might happen if you combine these wonderful two breeds?

The German Shepherd Pitbull mix is a wonderful dog to have. However, if you are feeling unsure about it and want to know more then, you’re in luck. Today, I’ll be covering all about this wonderful mix and help you decide whether it’s suitable for you or not.

So, let’s begin!

Usual Characteristics of This German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

It goes without saying that cross breeds always have different types of characteristics. Not all the crossbreed puppy has the same nature. However, they have more or similarity with their parents. Let’s see what are the common temperament you should expect:

  • Full of Energy:

Every dog needs their fair share of exercises. When it comes to German Pit, you’ll have to make him exercise a whole lot. Both of the parents are really active dogs, so it’s obvious that the offspring will have the same trait.

If you have a backyard where the dog can play and release the energy, the one hour long walk outside should be enough. If you don’t then taking him to walk twice a day would be fine.

This breed tends to be outgoing, so always relaxing would not be their favorite task. If you can exercise them daily, then they’ll be more than happy to snuggle with you on your couch.

  • Loving and Loyal:

If you can raise them right, you’ll find them being quite affectionate towards you. Even though they are more than capable of keeping themselves entertained all by themselves, you can train them to be a loving family dog.

So, if you leave for a very long time, their coping mechanism could worsen. Another fact is that the parent dogs of this breed are protective in nature. They were bred as guard dogs so that you will see this personality trait too in German Pit.

They can be quite protective of you and would risk their lives to save yours. Nonetheless, strangers’ might tip them off. So, you need to improve their social skills from the very start, and it should be fine.

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  • Highly Intelligent:

Both the parent breed are awfully intelligent, so you should expect your German Pit to show the same level of intellect. This breed is awfully quick in learning new things and responds to every command once thought.

As you’ll be making it exercise, you need to help stimulate the mind as well. Introducing new toys that help to stimulate the mind would benefit you even more. The best part is that you can start training them from an early age.

  • Leadership Skills:

This breed is born to lead. They have a pack like tendency and would assume the leading position if you have multiple dogs at home. Another fact is that they could also show the desire to dominate other peoples dog’s outside your home for this nature.

However, if you socialize them well, they would quickly pick up what to do and what to avoid. Make sure to introduce your dog to other dogs gently and let them know to behave non-aggressively.

While this is their normal characteristics, I can’t say all of the puppies will show the same nature. Some could have more nurturing nature or active nature. But more or less, it would have these traits.

Wight and Height of German Pit

It’s a large dog breed. Their weight depends on which parent the puppy will take on. If the puppy is more on the shepherd side, then expect it to be at least 80-90 pounds. If it’s more close to the Pitbull parent, then it could be between 30-60 pounds.

Or maybe he could be on both parents side; then the dog should range from 30-90 pounds.

As for the height, expect it to be at least 17-24 inches to the shoulder.

The Color of the Coat

As its mixed breed, I can’t fully say how it may turn out. But overviewing already existing ones I can say, it depends on the dominating gene of the parent. If it’s Pitbull, then you can expect it to be tan, brown, fawn, black, and white. However, you could also see brindle.

As for the Shepherd dominating one, you’ll see black and grey, red and black or tan color. The puppy could be a mixture of both parents color as well.

Do They Have Any Health Issues?

If you can care for this breed accordingly, you can expect him to live at least twelve years. Every single dog has their fair share of health issues, and so does German Pit. Maybe before taking one from the breeder, you could check their parent’s medical condition to assess better what to expect.

These are some of the common health issues of this breed:

  • Skin Issues

This breed comes with a sensitive skin problem. Their skin is quite sensitive to insect bites. Make sure your dog doesn’t get any ticks or fleas. Or even if he caught it, treat it using good medication. The best way would be to follow the vet’s suggestions to prevent any skin problems.

  • Hip Dysplasia

It’s a condition that may occur when they are older. In this one, your dog would experience lose hip joints. So, you would need to keep the weight in check. If your dog is overweight, he would be more prone to this problem. Just keeping him exercised and maintaining the weight would allow you to keep hip dysplasia at bay.

  • Ear Infections

They have a floppy kind of ear, which can induce ear waxes or other ear infections. You should check their ears at least one time every month to avoid any infections in the future.

Is This Breed Right For You?

This breed is the lovely combination of both GSD and Pitbull. It will take a lot of taking care of, and you would have to be active for that. If you are always at work or don’t have the time to devote to your dog then its best to avoid this breed.

Once you train them, they can be the perfect protecting dog from your family. So, you would have to make the final call here. If you can meet this breed’s needs regularly, then German Pit can be the best companion out there.

Top Plants That Are Poisonous To Pets

Many people are unaware the dangers that some plants, many common while others are not so common; the dangers that plants can oppose on our dogs. Beings as there are many plants that are poisonous to pets, I have broken down a small list containing the top most poisonous to pets.

Essential Oils (many come from plants)

Unlike humans, many animals are sensitive to essential oils. As the using and diffusing of essential oils has become quite popular in the past few years, it is important to know what oils can be harmful or even fatal to your animals.

Specifically speaking, cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils; some are even poisonous.

The main reason essential oils are so dangerous to cats is due to the difference in human and cat livers. Their livers don’t produce the same enzymes that would allow their bodies to breakdown certain chemicals in essential oils, like we can.

When they are exposed to specific oils on a regular basis, toxins will begin to build up in their livers; in turn this will make them extremely sick very, very fast.

Oils to Avoid

Any oils that have phenol and monoterpene hydrocarbons are specifically toxic to cats.

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Citrus Oils
  • Pine Oils
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Tea Tree
  • Eucalyptus
  • And many more, these are just a few more commonly used oils to avoid.

Water Hemlock

(Cicuta maculate)
 This plant has been known to be the “most violently toxic plant in North America”. I think this will go without saying but yes that means for your pet as well. The Water Hemlock is a wildflower, large in size and belongs in the carrot family.

The reason this plant is so deadly is because it is infused with deadly cicutoxin, mostly in its roots. When it is ingested the symptoms come on quite fast.

What to look for:

  • Convulsions that can be very painful
  • Death is common when ingested
  • Cramping in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Animals that survive, people even, have long-lasting tremors or get amnesia.

Autumn Crocus

These plants grow in the springtime and are poisonous to your fur babies so be careful the flowers you plant! This plant is also referred to as the Meadow Saffron or Naked Lady. These are very toxic to animals and can show a variety of symptoms and signs when ingested by your pet.

What to look for:

  • Severe drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (uncontrollable bowels)
  • Lack of appetite or not eating at all
  • Blood in their stool
  • Black or tarry like stool
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures (central nervous system signs)
  • And in some cases, if it is too late, death will occur

It is very important to remember with this plant, after ingested it may take days for the signs to show up, some may come on immediately but that is not always the case.


The daffodil flower contains something called lycorine; this is an alkaloid that has properties that triggers severe vomiting. The toxic and poisonous part of this plant comes from the bulb, plant or actual flower itself.

What to look for:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Uncontrollable bowels and or diarrhea
  • Heart rate increased
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Breathing will become abnormal
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

It is vital to seek veterinary assistance if you feel your pet has ingested this flower or is showing these signs or symptoms.

Sago Palm

These palms are typically and naturally found in tropical/subtropical environments; these plants are also commonly found inside houses. Therefore, they can pose a threat to your animals. They are severely poisonous. The seeds and nuts are the most poisonous part of the plant.

Signs or symptoms can occur anywhere from fifteen minutes to many hours after the plant is ingested. Central nervous system signs and liver failure can be apparent within 2-3 days after ingestion.  Aggressive treatment is vital as soon as symptoms show up; because aggressive treatment still only has a 50/50% chance for survival.

What to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Lack of appetite or not eating at all
  • Abnormal fluid buildup in the abdomen
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Black-tarry stool

With this plant it is more than important to seek IMMEDIATE medical attention to potentially save your pets life.

Christmas Tree

The oils that the Christmas tree (fir tree) produces can irritate the mouth and stomach. When ingested the tree needles can cause gastrointestinal issues such as, irritation, obstruction or even puncturing.

The water that is used to nourish your Christmas tree to keep it alive can also be very poisonous to your animals. Because this water contains bacteria, molds, fertilizers it can make your animal very sick, very fast.

What to look for:

  • Excessive vomiting
  • Excessive drooling

As for pet owners, as pretty as they might be, these trees can cause your pets to become extremely ill in a short period of time.

Holly and Mistletoe

Another nice and popular holiday plant, that’s extremely poisonous to your animals. The plans and even the berries on these plants are more toxic than the poinsettia.

Mistletoe contains many substances that are toxic to not just cats but dogs as well; if a decent or large amount of this plant is ingested seizures and death may follow.

Mistletoe is commonly known for causing:

  • Severe intestinal issues
  • Upset stomachs
  • Sudden and severe drop in their blood pressure
  • Breathing problems
  • Hallucinations or unusual behavior

If you must have these plants for the holidays, pet parents should keep them out of reach of animals or out of the house completely. Even when these plants are dried, they are still just as poisonous to your fur babies.

What to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Abdomen pain

As pet owners we love our fur babies and correct me if I’m wrong, but it is our responsibility to care for them in the best way possible. We are their care takers; after all they are our four-legged children.

As pet owners or caretakers, we should always be aware of what we could be exposing our animals to; you know your animals’ behavior better than anyone so be cautious of what plants to have around your house to avoid any illnesses.

Remember this is just a small list and if your pet has any of these signs or you’re concerned your pet might have ingested something it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Chorkie – Yorkie Chihuahua Mix: Everything You Need To Know

Are you a sucker for small dogs? Chorkie – a combination of Yorkshire and Chihuahua, is a beautiful sassy dog breed. They may not be on the big dog list but don’t let their small size fool you. Just meet this feisty Yorkie Chihuahua mix, and you’ll know how self-confident these dogs are.

Chorkies are one of the most common dog breeds loved among celebrities. You’ll often them carrying a Chorkie in their outings. So, if you want to get ahold of these sassy little dogs, then you definitely got an eye for the prize.

However, before you adopt one, you should definitely know about their characteristics a little bit more. To help you out I’ve given everything you need to know about them in this guide.
So, let’s begin!

The Chorkie: Yorkie Chihuahua Mix

Obviously, you know by now Chorkie isn’t a pure breed dog. It’s a mix of Chihuahua and Yorkie Terrier breed. Both of these dog breeds are exceptionally small in size, and it’s kind of obvious that their puppy would be the same.

Both of the parent breeds are really cute, and you can hope that your Chorkie would be the same too. However, before going for one you should consider their health problems and behavioral shifts from time to time.
So, you need to get to know them better before you take them home being overwhelmed with cuteness.

Chorkie’s Temperament

Temperament is a big issue when it comes to welcoming a new dog in your family. Every dog has their very own charisma, and you have to figure out whether it suits you or not. Chorkie happens to be a really active kind of breed.

Its supper bubbly and bright personality will surely melt your heart. However, Chorkies are also really loyal to their owners and sometimes quite vocal as well. They can be quite tenacious when it comes to their attachment toward the family.

Also, they can be very protective and would be suspicious of any new stranger at your home. So, you might want to keep an eye on that. You can easily raise one of them with a young child in your family, but they sometime they could be a bit snappy to your young kids.

They mostly adorable, but you would have to get ahold of their actions. If you can’t train them to behave nicely then its better you look for another type of dogs.

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How to Train and Feed Your Chorkie?

The stubbornness of its Chihuahua parent is quite prominent in Chorkies. You would have a bit of a hard time training them, but if you introduce positive techniques, then you would see results pretty quick. Always remember that this dog might be small, but it comes with a really big ego factor. To tame it well, you’d have to stop fueling its ego.

If you slack off in training, it will think it’s the boss, and if you are too strict, it could become a passive-aggressive kind of dog. So, remember to have a balance. It’s best if you can train them from a young age.

You might think that they are very small in size and they might need smaller nutritional needs. But that is totally wrong. They have a really fast metabolism, so they are more frequently hungrier than typical big breeds.

Most importantly, they are really active and to maintain that you would need to feed calorie-rich food. Make sure to feed at least three times every day. Feeding it frequently but with calorie-rich food will keep it up to shape.

How Many exercises Will The Yorkie Chihuahua Mix Need?

Although the size may seem really small, still the dog is full of energy. You’d need to focus their energy on productive things. If you leave it alone for a long time, it might become a bit destructive. That’s why the best way to calm them down is to go for a walk.

At least take them for a walk for 15 minutes or so. But don’t push your pooch too much, you might trigger their metabolism levels greatly. They are mostly indoor kind of dogs, so playing with them can be another good form of exercise.

Color Coat of Chorkie

Yorkie Chihuahua Mix dogs might show a color coat of beige to gray, brown to black and white to tan. Some of them might have just one color or small spots of different colors. You could also see multiple colored pups.

The variation depends on the parent dogs. If the parent dogs have too much variant of colors, the puppy will get that too.

This breed doesn’t shed much, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning your furniture or carpets every day. But even though you would need to groom them daily to prevent any tangles. You should give them a bath every week and also use an organic dog shampoo that’s 100% natural.

Don’t forget about their nails and teeth. Make sure to groom trim them and brush them accordingly.

Is There Any Health Issues?

Chorkies usually have an average lifespan of ten to fifteen years. Compared to the parents the lifespan is relatively on the shorter side. However, everything depends on the genetics of the parent dogs.

Other than that they do develop some health issues along the way. One of the prominent problems is the

Hypoglycemia. They have really high metabolic rate and uses up almost all their power really quickly. If you don’t feed him quite often, his glucose levels might drop.

They also seem to have allergy and skin issues. You should really be careful while feeding them and avoid all allergy ingredients.

Is Chorkie The Right One For You?

It always comes to whether or not you should adopt this adorable pup. Maybe the personality can really match with yours, and you can grow a strong bond with it.

However, if you are a working person and not at home for a long time, you might need to rethink your strategy. You would need to get him a companion or make sure he has someone to play with.

Also, if you are just starting your family and have a young kid, then you would need to make sure that you maintain the balance well.

Obviously, everything about the Chorkie will pay off, and all the training is definitely worth it. Chorkie is a wonderful and fun companion to have around. So, the choice is yours, and hopefully, this guide will help you make the final call.

Dog Grooming Tips to Keep Your Dog Looking Great

When you groom your dog, you keep him clean, healthy, happy and make a good relationship with him. Other than keeping his skin, coat, teeth, ears, and feet healthy, you also become familiar with his body thus noticing earlier if there is anything unusual which needs attention.

In order to efficiently groom your dog, you need to have a piece of knowledge on essential pieces of equipment as well as the whole process.

Thus, to help you groom your dog like a professional, here are the tips:


When you regularly brush your pet’s coat, it will always remain clean. Grooming weekly will get rid of dirt, grass and the lint hiding undercoat. Also, prevents tangles, keeps the skin clean as well as spreading natural oils.

The schedule of brushing your pet will primarily depend on its coat as well as the shedding rates. When you are aware of the coat and shedding rates, it’s easier for you to know how frequent you should brush your pet.

Fur Trimming

Your pet will look amazing with a fresh cut. For you to trim your pet at home amazingly, first learn your pet breed common cuts. It’s advisable to stay away from high noise nail clippers since they would starlt your pet. Shop the best dog clippers to give your pet professional services.

When trimming your dog’s fur, be aware of the following: you should not pull the fur, use the best dog clipper, follow the right direction, use right blade, don’t let the clipper become too hot, ensure your dog is clean and dry among others. They will help you trim professionally.


Though dogs require bathing, not as regular as human beings. However, you’re supposed to bathe your dog minimum once per three months. Don’t wash your dog daily as its natural oil will be stripped and the skin gets damaged.

When choosing the products to wash your dog, ensure they are made up of quality ingredients. Avoid cheaper shampoos as they contain some harsher chemicals which can lead to your dog’s skin irritation.

Shampoos purposely formulated for people use should not be used for pets. Their skin has sensitivity than ours and would be affected leaving them vulnerable to viruses, parasites, and illness. It can also result in damaged and dry skin. Gentler brands are ideal and have tea tree oil.
Before you bathe your dog, brush its coat to remove matted fur, debris and shed hair.

Cutting Nails

Don’t leave your dog’s claws unchecked when you’re grooming him. if you let them grow too long, they will end up causing twisting and splaying of the toes as they walk. This makes them uncomfortable and can lead to toes breakage.

When you regularly clip your dog’s nails, you will prevent the above mentioned problem and reduce torn nails risk. Also, it will definitely save the on the wear and tear of your carpets and floors.

In every two weeks, you should check and clip your dog’s nails. If at all you are hearing clicks as the dog walk across the floor, it’s the high time to trim them. Never use human nail clippers but designated ones from your vet or pet shops.

If at all you lack the confidence to clip your dog’s nails, get in touch with the officer to help you do it. However, it’s also good to consult the vet if there is a torn, ripped or missing claw. May be this would require some medical attention.

Teeth Cleaning

You should regularly clean your dog’s teeth to avoid vet expenses as well as eliminate the stress of your dog getting anesthetized for cleaning procedure. Like human beings, dogs can also suffer from dental diseases such as cavities, gum disease as well as tartar build up.

If bacterias from the gum infections enter your dog’s bloodstream, they can lead to life-threatening health problems. Your dog’s teeth should be cleaned two to three times weekly.

Avoid human toothpaste, it could lead to your dog’s stomach upsetting. Use the designated dog tooth brush and paste which has different flavors among them mint, liver, chicken as well as peanut butter.

Ear Care

Keep your dog’s ear inside part clean. This will make him feel good and prevent from him from infections. At the same time, regularly check the outer surface for fleas, ticks and anything unusual. Cleaning your dog’s once weekly is much advisable to keep them always clean.

Use a ball of soft cotton wool using the ear washing solution. Water use is not advisable since it takes time to evaporate. Be very cautious as you clean the ears to avoid causing injuries. In case there is you notice a smell which is unusual or a discharge from the ears, inform the veterinarian.

Eye Care

Give your dog proper eye care. Examining your pets eyes at home is a good way to keep you alerted on any inflammation, tearing as well as cloudiness which may be sounding there is a health problem.

Ensure your dog’s eyes are bright and clear. The section around the eyeball is supposed to be white.

Pupils are supposed to be the same size and no tearing or discharge should be on the eyes. Use your thumb to gently roll the dog’s lower eyelid and check whether the lining is pink else, inform the veterinarian.

Skin Issues

The skin and the coat of your pet reflects health. If your dog is smelling bad, scratching as well as nibbling at its body even after grooming, it’s indications it needs attention from the veterinarian. Bad smell can be as a result of health issues.


Grooming your dog is worth it as it makes it remain clean and healthy. With the help of the tips discussed above, you will give your dog the ultimate professional grooming thus giving it a clean and healthy body.

When your dog has a healthy body, it will be jovial, happy, looking amazing and more friendly. Follow the tips above accordingly and you will have a clean and healthy dog as well as free from expenses you would incur for the treatment of your dog.

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