Our dogs are a major part of our family, their health and well-being always at the top of our minds and we know you feel the same about yours, so keep up with this blog to know how to keep your canine happy.
It’s already getting pretty hot outside! We love the summer months here in Florida as they give us lots of opportunities to take our dogs to the park or the beach for an afternoon of fun. But when you’re outside for a long time, you probably notice that you’re sweating a lot and need plenty of water to maintain your fluid levels. Even though your dog doesn’t sweat, he or she needs just as much water as you to stay hydrated and happy!
Dehydration in dogs can cause some serious health issues, including lethargy and shock. It can be easy to lose track of time when you’re playing fetch in the hot sun, but make sure you include plenty of water breaks during play time. Here are some tips to help you keep your dog hydrated this summer:
Keep a clean water bowl on hand at all times. Cleaning your dog’s bowl daily is a necessity, especially during the summer when they’ll be drinking a lot. Sometimes, when bacteria and other buildup remains in the water bowl, your dog won’t want to drink from it. We like to clean our dogs’ water bowls every morning when we give them fresh water. You can also keep collapsible travel bowls on hand for park and beach visits.
Don’t let your dog drink too much water too quickly. Gulping down a lot of water may seem like the right solution to dehydration, but doing so can cause stomach upset and cause your dog to vomit. Vomiting and other stomach upsets can leave your dog even more dehydrated than they were to begin with. It’s best to offer small amounts of water at regular intervals to keep their fluids up.
Especially if you’re not home during the day, provide your dog with a bowl that he can’t knock over and is suitable for his face shape. Tall bowls are great for dogs with long ears, like basset hounds, to help prevent ear infections. However, a bowl that’s too tall for a small dog can leave them unable to drink all the way to the bottom. Make sure your active dog has a bowl with a weighted bottom so it can stand up to any roughhousing and play time.
When you give your dog outside time this summer, never leave him or her chained or tied up to a tree or post. Their ties can get wrapped around the post and prevent them from being able to reach their water sources. Always make sure you supervise play time and intersperse rest and water intervals to keep them safe and healthy. To learn more, send us an email today!
According to the Mosby Foundation, only one of every 10 dogs born will find a forever home. What’s more, there’s a 94% chance that a dog that enters a shelter won’t leave that shelter. Around the world and here at home, there are so many dogs that need our help. But it’s not feasible to open our doors to every homeless dog in need we find. How can we help?
Orlando is home to a number of great organizations, like the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, that work to provide compassionate, knowledgeable services for pets and help pets in need get adopted. If you’re not in the market to adopt a pet, that doesn’t mean you can’t help! Here are some of the best ways to help furry friends that need it most in your area:
Volunteer. Many organizations around Central Florida and elsewhere rely heavily on the help of volunteers. Typical volunteer duties may include exercising and walking dogs, enrichment programs, cleaning kennels, and so on. The Pet Alliance also has available opportunities to volunteer in administrative capacities if that’s more your speed. Either way, you’ll be helping a great organization continue to do the work it needs to do.
Donate. If you can’t donate your time via a volunteer opportunity, you can donate your money to help a shelter or organization get the supplies it needs. Most organizations have wish lists of things like blankets, food, and toys that they need to keep their animals happy and healthy. You can always organize a fundraiser - people are usually willing to donate to help animals in need!
Educate. Social media is an extremely helpful tool for animal shelters like the Pet Alliance. By sharing posts of adoptable animals or upcoming events, you’re helping spread the word to more people than you may realize! Any time you get the chance, educate your friends and your community about how they can help, and always try to lead by example when it comes to how you treat your animals.
There are so many dogs in Orlando that need your help. Donating your time and money is a great way to help, and it’ll help you know that you’ve done something good for your community. Browse through our shop or send us an email for more information.
Beyond basic potty training, socializing your dog is one of the most important things you can do for them as a puppy. Proper socialization will give your dog opportunities to play with other dogs, to be calm and cool around new people, and to adapt to new environments without stress or upset. But there’s more to socializing than simply introducing your dog to a situation and letting them do their thing.
Socializing an older dog is more difficult than socializing a puppy, so we recommend you take care of socialization earlier on in your pet’s life. However, sometimes in the case of rescues or extenuating circumstances, you’re unable to take care of these tasks in puppyhood. In any case, making sure your dog is socialized will help reduce fear and aggression, eliminate excitability, and make playtime, walks, and new circumstances more pleasant for both you and your dog. Here are some tips on socializing your dog the right way:
Make sure you include lots of things your dog loves, like treats and toys. Socializing is stressful by nature - you’re exposing your dog to common stressors so they can get over them easily! Any time you go out for a socializing mission, bring plenty of your dog’s favorite treats and toys to reward them for positive behavior. Any time they get off track, readjust their behavior and reward them when they respond in the intended way.
Don’t be afraid to use a muzzle. Cesar Chavez, who you may know as The Dog Whisperer, has recommended using a muzzle while socializing for the benefit of humans as well as dogs. Your dog can pick up on your emotions and the emotions of humans around him, so by putting other humans at ease, you’re making the environment less stressful.
Don’t jump into any situation too quickly. We don’t recommend going into the dog park right off the bat. Instead, take your dog past the dog park a few times, letting them absorb the sights, sounds, and smells. Stay at a distance, working your way up to letting your dog sniff other dogs at the gates. If your dog reacts negatively, regain that distance and work your way back up. Socializing takes time.
As we mentioned before, try your hardest to take care of socialization tasks while your dog is a puppy instead of leaving him stressed out into adulthood. Be patient with your dog and let him feel what he’s feeling. He will set the schedule based on his comfort levels. Want to get your dog the tastiest treats for your socializing trips? Browse through our store today!
If your dog is anything like our dogs, they go nuts when you pull out a jar of peanut butter. Dogs everywhere love a mouthful of the sweet, salty treat, giving us plenty of entertainment as they attempt to get every last morsel off the roofs of their mouths. However, peanut butter has been a somewhat controversial treat for dogs lately, with many decrying its unhealthiness for pets. Is peanut butter a good treat for your dog?
The short answer: yes, with some stipulations. We love peanut butter as a fun snack for our pups, and it’s a key ingredient in our peanut butter pumpkin dog treats! It’s an “interactive” treat, especially if you stuff a Kong toy with a little PB and some crunchy nuggets. It’s also a great way to get your dogs to take their pills. Here are the things you need to look out for when using peanut butter as a treat:
Peanut butter brands labeled “all natural” might not be the best choice for your pup. Often, all-natural or sugar-free peanut butter contains xylitol, a sugar substitute that’s unsafe for dogs. Real sugar is best when feeding your pup. Better still, places like Whole Foods allow you to grind your own peanut butter from fresh peanuts with no additives! We use only fresh, natural peanut butter for our dog treats - no xylitol.
Feed it to your dogs sparingly, just like you would with any other treat! Peanut butter has plenty of protein and good fats, but too much of it can lead to obesity and pancreatitis. Give peanut butter to your dog in moderation - as an ingredient in a biscuit, or just a fingerful large enough to tuck your dog’s pills in.
Make sure your dog doesn’t have food allergies. Dogs don’t get peanut allergies the way humans do, but there’s always the chance that a foreign ingredient will cause some tummy upset. If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, almond and cashew butters are good alternatives that are just as safe for your dogs. If you choose these alternatives, be sure you read the ingredient list to check what sweeteners they use.
At Pawsitively Pure Dog Food, we’re dedicated to using the highest-quality, ethically sourced ingredients for all of our dog treats and foods. We want your dogs to live their healthiest lives ever! We offer free doorstep delivery to pet parents in the Orlando area. Browse through our shop today and get your dog started on a healthy diet.
If you’re a dog lover like us, it probably comes as no surprise that the pet industry is big business. All around the world, people love pampering their pups and treating them like members of the family. According to the APPA, the pet industry in the U.S. is expected to bring in over $75 billion in 2019 - up from $72 billion in 2018. The highest percentage of that income is expected to go toward food.
As with any other industry, the pet industry is rapidly changing, thanks in part to technology as well as to more ethical food production practices. Here are a few of the “next big things” when it comes to pet care:
Home delivery service for dog food. Over the last few years or so, home meal delivery kits from companies like Blue Apron and Plated have enabled people to cook wholesome meals at home without drudging through the grocery store. Similar services are becoming available for dogs, especially when it comes to natural, human grade dog food and kits. As a friendly reminder, Pawsitively Pure offers free home delivery for pet owners within 50 miles of Orlando!
CBD supplements for dogs. You’ve probably seen CBD treats popping up at your local pet supply store. According to the AKC, CBD has been noted to treat inflammation in dogs, as well as to help stimulate appetite and reduce anxiety. A word of caution, however: there has been no formal study on the effects of CBD on dogs, so administer supplements sparingly and under supervision if you decide to do so.
Palliative care and end of life services. More people are paying attention to the needs of senior dogs as they approach the ends of their lives to help them live out their remaining days comfortably. There has also been an increase in cremation and burial services available. Companies like Gentle Goodbyes in Groveland offer aquamation for a water-based cremation service as a more gentle, eco-friendly alternative to cremation.
While the “next big thing” can often be too trendy to last long, one trend that will stay is the movement toward natural, human-grade dog food over kibble. Dogs on a natural diet show higher energy levels and healthier skin and coat than their dry-food counterparts. Shop for your dog food today, or contact us for more information!
Picture this: Your best friend has been on the latest fad diet for a few months now, and it’s really showing some great results for them. Eager to see the same for yourself, you ask them for all their tips and steps to succeed on the same diet. You follow everything to the letter and...nothing happens. It’s frustrating, but every body is built differently and reacts differently to a variety of nutrients, ingredients, and eating practices. In much the same way, every dog will react differently to different types of food.
Your veterinarian is the best first point of contact when it comes to developing a diet for your dog. If you’ve taken their recommendations into consideration, here are a few of our tips for finding the perfect food for your pup:
Consider any food allergies your dog might have. The telltale signs of food allergies include excessive paw licking, itchy skin, and red, smelly ears, among others. To diagnose your dog’s food allergies, most vets recommend starting with an elimination diet, which involves feeding them a very simple diet and slowly reintroducing other proteins and components to find out which items they can tolerate. The diet you build for your dog will need to eliminate any ingredients that irritate them.
Check the wording on the food packaging. Believe it or not, the wording on your dog’s food packaging can tell you a lot about the amount of protein they’re getting. A bag that says “chicken for dogs” means that the protein comprises 95% of the product, not including water content. “Chicken dinner,” on the other hand, usually means that the protein only comprises about 25% of the product. Finally, “chicken flavor” means the product includes a minimal amount of the protein - just enough for taste.
Do your research on your chosen brands. If everything looks ok on the ingredients label, do your due diligence and research your chosen dog food brands to make sure they use sustainable production practices and source their proteins ethically. This is the information that’s not required to be on the label, so a few hours of research is a good idea for you and your pup!
You want to make sure your dog is on a diet that keeps them happy and energized. If your dog is picky about their food, we offer delicious, sustainably sourced bone broth to make any meal a little more appetizing. Click here to get some for your pup, or browse through our store for more treats and foods!
If you’ve kept up with our blog, or you’re big into dog health issues, you probably know that one of the most important components of your dog’s diet is protein. It’s important to note that not all protein sources are equal. Some proteins, like eggs, deliver a lot of protein in a small package, but also have increased cholesterol compared to other sources. Other proteins, like beef and chicken, are not necessarily responsibly sourced, preventing you from giving your dog the best quality protein available.
Lamb has become increasingly popular in dog food over the last few years, both in dry food options and in whole, natural food choices. Here’s why people are turning to lamb as the main source of protein for their dogs:
It doesn’t trigger food allergies. Many people believe that grain is the top source of food allergies for dogs, when in reality, protein sources are more likely to trigger allergic reactions. In studies, lamb was far less likely to cause dogs to have an allergic reaction than sources like beef and chicken. Lamb is considered hypoallergenic and is just as delicious as other meats for your dog.
It’s packed with nutrients beyond protein. Lamb has shown higher concentration of key minerals like calcium than other similar proteins. It’s also a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids, like the kind you would usually source from fish oils. In addition, responsibly-sourced lamb is high in zinc, which is great for your dog’s metabolism. Overall, lamb is a great meat for healthy bones, skin, and hair!
Lamb is considered a complete protein, meaning that it contains all the available amino acids. In the case of incomplete proteins, much of the material isn’t used efficiently and is cast off as a waste product. The presence of all amino acids, however, aids in the delivery of nutrients to the right system and the more complete absorption of proteins, meaning your dog gets a huge nutritional punch from lamb.
As always, consult with your veterinarian before switching your dog’s food. A lamb-based food may be a great choice if you find your dog suffers from allergies. Keep an eye on our shop for our new lamb dog food, coming soon! To order your first set of food or treats, take a look at our store.
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of setting up our tent at Blue Jacket Park for their annual Paws for Peace event. If you’ve been following us on social media, you probably know that we’ve been making appearances at park events like these all around Orlando and Central Florida. Even when events aren’t involved, we love taking Jackson and Finley out for a day of fun in the sun, and the best part about it is, we have a huge selection of locations to choose from.
One of the things we love the most about living in Central Florida is how many wonderful dog parks there are in our area. Here’s a list of some of our favorites:
Crane’s Roost Park in Altamonte is pet-friendly in most areas. This beautiful park over the water has clearly designated pet walk areas and is open to on-leash pets. Just be sure to check their event schedule before you go - during big events, no pets are allowed unless otherwise specified.
Blue Jacket Park in Winter Park is a popular spot for runners. Like Crane’s Roost, Blue Jacket is an on-leash park, but if you have an active dog that likes to join you for a jog, this is a great place to do it.
Doctors Dog Park is located near Wekiwa Springs and has a number of fun amenities for you and your dog, like pet showers, benches, water fountains, and a bridge. This park is off-leash, so your dogs have plenty of room to run and play!
Barber Dog Park is not far from the airport area, and it’s a great place for agility training! Barber includes a separate area for small dogs, so you can rest easy letting your little one run around with his buddies. Take your dog around the agility equipment and give them a few lessons on climbing and jumping - it’s sure to enrich and entertain them!
There are a number of other dog parks waiting for you to explore around the Orlando area. Check out this list from BringFido.com to see some of the top rated dog parks and beaches in the area. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages to find out where we’ll be next!
Sleep is a surprisingly difficult thing to master for many people - and dogs, too. Sometimes, you may find that your dog is restless when they should be laying down for bedtime. This insomnia can manifest itself with other destructive behaviors, like chewing on forbidden items, random barking, digging, and so on. Instead of becoming frustrated with your dog over this destruction, it’s best to attack the issue at the source.
Lack of sleep can be an issue for dogs of all ages. Here are a few tips that might help your dog - and you - grab a couple extra z’s:
Try crate training. How is it that the smallest of dogs seem to take up the largest amount of space in a bed? You might want to let your dog share your bed with you, but if you have a varying sleep schedule or toss and turn a lot, that might be one of the things keeping your dog awake at night. Crate training is one of the best ways to help your dog set a schedule, give them a safe, happy space of their own, and reinforce boundaries. When your dog has adapted to their schedule, then you can try bringing them to your bed again.
Make sure their other activities are on a schedule. Dogs respond well to routines! There’s a good chance your dog might not be able to sleep if the rest of their daily schedule is off kilter. Do your best to set their feeding, walking, and bathroom time on a schedule, and do the same with their sleep. Once they adjust, they’ll be ready for sleep time when it comes.
Give them plenty of exercise time during the day. There’s no better sleep than a sleep after a long, exhausting day - and the same goes for your dog. Your dog needs plenty of quality exercise during the day, whether that comes from playing fetch, going on walks, swimming, or some other activity. Going without this exercise can leave them frustrated and hyperactive at night.
Providing your dog with a quality diet is another way to make sure they’re sleeping well and staying happy. A diet rich in proteins and vital nutrients helps ensure their digestive system is working the way it needs to be while supporting all their other internal systems. To learn more or to get your dog started on a quality human-grade diet, browse through our website today.
We’re guessing that Florida’s mild winter didn’t deter you from going outside entirely during the winter season, but still, there’s something magical and inviting about the way the sun shines when springtime rolls around. The birds are singing, the squirrels are chasing each other in the trees, and the days are getting longer and warmer. So how are you and your dog going to celebrate the season?
Just like you, your dog needs exercise to maintain a healthy weight and enjoy an active lifestyle. However, not everyone wants to go jogging with their pups - and not every pup wants to go jogging, either! Here are a few creative ways to get some exercise in for you and your dog as spring transforms into summer:
Try an agility class. Agility classes aren’t just for puppies! If your dog has a lot of energy to burn, try taking them to an agility course. A number of dog parks around the Orlando have agility and climbing equipment, but if you want your dog to get the most out of their playtime, there are plenty of places that offer classes and training. Take a look at Dog-On-It Agility Club of Central Florida, who take on any dog who wants to boost speed and have fun.
Play fetch. One of the best things about playing fetch with your dog is that you can do it just about anywhere! Most dogs love the opportunity to catch a frisbee, a ball, or their favorite toy. Just make sure the location you choose is dog-friendly and they aren’t in any risk of running into traffic or going somewhere dangerous. Try the park, the beach, or even just your backyard.
Let them spend some time with friends. Most animal behaviorists will tell you that the best exercise an animal can get is exercise that mimics what they would do in the wild. For dogs, this means running, playing, and wrestling with others in their pack! Social time is a great way for your dog to expend some energy while getting in some healthy socialization.
Be creative with how you schedule your exercise time with your dogs! If your dog is older or has bone or joint issues, something more gentle like hydrotherapy is a great choice. Still not sure what kind of exercise is best for your furry friend? Have a conversation with your veterinarian to see if they recommend any locations around Orlando. Get your dog started on a human-grade diet. Browse through the Pawsitively Pure shop here.