My Puppy and I Need to Sleep

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Submitted by Amber Drake

You adopted a puppy. Both you and your puppy are so excited it’s hard to contain the happiness you’re feeling. And, you’re so proud to have a new addition to your family.

But, you’re exhausted. Your puppy isn’t sleeping through the night. She’s staying up barking, getting into trouble, and absolutely hates not sleeping right next to you.

Can’t blame her, right? Dogs are social animals and they enjoy the company of others. On top of all the other changes she’s gone through, she has been taken from her mother, too.

There are a few tips to help your pup sleep through the night, so you can once again get that sleep you need so badly.

Play During the Day

If you play with your puppy during the day, he’s much more likely to sleep through the night. They’re tired out. They want to go to sleep just as much as you do.

Even if your pup is too young to go for walks (due to not having all her vaccinations yet), it’s still important to make sure she gets enough mental and physical stimulation.

If you have a fenced-in yard, that makes it so much easier for you. If you don’t have a fenced-in area for your dog, this may be something worth looking into.

Play with toys.

Play fetch.

Chase one another around.

Make the most out of her training.

Walk her around the yard on the leash.

Grab some puzzle toys for mental stimulation.

All of these can help tremendously.

Potty Breaks are Important

Puppies can’t ‘hold it’ for long periods of time. Their little bladders don’t have enough control to prevent an accident if they aren’t taken out regularly.

Your pup could wake you up shortly after you fall asleep because they’re dire to go outside to do their business.

To prevent this from happening, be sure to take her out right before bedtime. By taking this simple step, you have just bought yourself more sleep time.

Get Comfy and Cozy

When bedtime arrives, you should truly make it feel like bedtime.

This might sound like a ‘given’ but you would be surprised at how much we do around the house once we realize its time for bed. If you have kids, you’re probably getting everything ready for school the next day. This also may be the time you sip your cup of tea. Or, have some quiet time to yourself to calm down from your busy day.

To help your dog relax and fall asleep, dim the lights, put on some relaxing music, and give your puppy a nest that smells like you. They may not be directly next to you but will feel closer with your scent near their body.

DAP, or Dog Appeasing Pheromone, can also help tremendously with this process. DAP releases the hormone your dog once ‘smelled’ by their nursing mother.

Try Not to Switch it Up

Before you pick up your new puppy, look around your home for the best place to allow her to sleep. Prepare your puppy’s bed in advance. Make sure she won’t be interrupted by any action in the house if possible.

It’s important to note here, if you let your puppy sleep with you in the beginning, the chances of her wanting to do this every night are extremely high.

There’s nothing wrong with your puppy sleeping with you but make sure it’s a choice you’re comfortable with. This will be hard to change later if it’s not what you want.

Crate Training Could Help

Crate training can be the best choice for your puppy if they’re struggling to hold their bladder. If you don’t want to put your pup in a crate, simply choosing a confinement area may work.

If you’re using a confinement space rather than a crate, place a puppy pad right next to your pup’s bed just in case she feels the need to go potty while you’re sleeping.

If you decide on crate training, your puppy will need a middle-of-the-night potty break. Puppies can’t hold their bladder for more than a few hours. It’s not their fault, their bodies are just not made to hold it yet.

As a general guideline, if you don’t have a toy breed, a pup can hold their bladder for approximately as many hours as they are months old. For example, if you have a four-month-old puppy, she should be able to hold her bladder for up to four hours.

Don’t panic if your puppy doesn’t make it this long. And, don’t think they’re having accidents to spite you. They’re still learning.

Ignore the Whining

Yes, this is near impossible. Not only are we frustrated with the continuous whining and/or barking, but we usually feel terrible for leaving them in their crate as they’re crying.

But, guess what happens if you acknowledge this? Your puppy will learn to get what he wants by crying for it. If they make this connection, you’ll never sleep through the night.

Get Some Beauty Sleep

Overall, there are ways to get more rest. But, you aren’t going to get that ‘full rest’ for a few months as your pup continues to grow. If you have someone helping you take care of your puppy, you can take turns letting her outside to go potty. Then, you’re not thoroughly exhausted every day.

 

Our Dogs Need Dentists Too

Submitted by Amber Drake

As dog lovers, we want to do as much as possible to ensure our dog is happy, healthy, and well-cared for. We want to maintain their health, but we often forget about one facet of health.

Dental health. Don’t beat yourself up if you have never thought about your dog’s dental health. There are many dog lovers who do forget.

Dogs can have similar issues to ours when it comes to their teeth and gums. If we don’t see the dentist in a while, some of us will start to notice our dental health deteriorating. If we don’t brush our teeth, our teeth feel ‘yucky’ and I don’t know about you… but if I forget to brush my teeth I am in a panic and need to rush to find a toothbrush.

Knowing more about your dog’s dental health will help you understand how to better care for your furry best friend. We have compiled just a few facts for you. But, we recommend you dig a little deeper after reading this article to learn more yourself.

GUM DISEASE STINKS!

Gum disease is extremely common in dogs. You wouldn’t think so… but wow. Researchers have found most dogs show signs of gum disease as early as three years old.

Signs of gum disease in dogs include bad breath, yellow or brown buildup in their mouth (tartar), and irritated gums.

Examine your dog’s mouth on a regular basis to check for these signs. When you go to your annual check-up at the veterinarian, you can request they take a look at your dog’s teeth, too.

ROOT CANALS FOR DOGGIES

Have you ever had a root canal? Or, knew someone who had it done? Dogs need root canals sometimes too.

Most people think root canals are only for humans, but this is just not the case. It’s more common than you think for dogs to break teeth.

If your dog needs a root canal, don’t panic about the cost. It usually costs about the same as our own root canals. And, you can investigate payment plans like CareCredit offers.

To help avoid the need for a root canal, be sure to monitor what your dog is chewing on. Hard objects like rocks (yes, many dogs do chew on rocks), wood, and hard toys can be hazardous to your dog’s dental health.

Providing your dog with ‘soft’ objects can help significantly. We don’t mean soft as in toys they can shred apart in two seconds. But, beware of objects you know are just much too rough for their mouth.

PERIODONTAL DISEASE IS REAL

Wait. Periodontal disease in dogs is a thing? Yes, this is relatively common in dogs, too. Smaller breeds are at a higher risk than larger breeds because their teeth are actually a bit too big for their little mouths.

There are signs you can look out for here too.

Yellow teeth. Brown teeth. Loose teeth. Missing teeth. Smelly, yucky breath. Swollen gums. Loss of appetite. Weight loss.

To prevent periodontal disease, you should brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Of course if you have an adult dog who has never had his teeth brushed, this can be quite the process.

Be sure to introduce the toothbrush slow to your dog or puppy. And, be patient.

You should also request dental cleanings from your veterinarian on an annual basis to keep up on your dog’s dental health.

TOOTH INFECTIONS HURT

Tooth infections are horrrrrible. Have you ever had one? If not, you are one of the lucky ones. Tooth infections can cause all sorts of pain for us… headaches, nausea, and just plain out feeling awful.

If your dog’s 4th premolar is infected (this is more commonly infected than the others), you will notice swelling under their eye.

The reason the 4th premolar is a concern is because this tooth is larger than the others. You might also know this tooth as the carnassial tooth.

Our dogs don’t feel well when they have tooth infections either. Keep those teeth clean.

P.S.- Only use the toothbrushes and toothpaste that are specifically designed for our dogs. They can’t use our toothpaste… they need their own.

THE BOTTOM LINE ON DENTAL HEALTH

Just as your dental health is an important aspect of your overall health, your dog’s is too. We want them to feel as good as possible. We want them to live long, healthy lives. Ensuring they have good dental health plays a huge role in their well-being.

Regular checkups and consulting with your veterinarian on recommended toys, treats, and food will keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

Essential Oils for Dogs

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Submitted by Amber Drake

There’s so much talk about essential oils these days. More people are leaning toward the use of essential oils for themselves and their pets. But, do they really work? And, what can they be used for? We’ll discuss this and more in today’s article.

Calming Oils

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis): This oil helps to provide a calming ‘mood’ for dogs who are feeling anxious or nervous. Roman chamomile can be inhaled, ingested, or applied topically to your dog.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): This oil has many uses, but most commonly, lavender can be used to soothe and comfort a dog who is experiencing distress and/or anxiety. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically on your dog.

Hops (Humulus lupulus): Hops can help calm a dog who is anxious, nervous, or irritable. This oil can be inhaled, ingested, or applied topically on your dog.

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis): Valerian root is a relaxant and mild sedative. It offers calming and soothing support for your dog when she is experiencing anxiety, panic or some sort of tension.

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans): Nutmeg can help a dog who is anxious or hyperactive with scattered energy. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically on your dog.

Oils for Fearful Dogs

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii): On its own, or with the support of other essential oils that help reduce a dog’s fearful emotions, Frankincense can help reduce extreme stress. This oil is used in severe cases of fear to help a dog ‘come back to the ground.’ This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically on your dog.

Violet Leaf (Viola odorata): If a dog is shocked or hesitant toward a situation, violet leaf can be used to reduce feelings of nervousness by providing a feeling of comfort and safety. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically on your dog.

Linden Blossom (Tilia cordata). Linden blossom can assist in providing a sense of safety and trust. This oil is commonly recommened for dogs who have a history of abuse. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically on your dog.

Sandalwood (Santalum austrocaledonicum): Sandalwood provides support on a physical and emotional level. Dogs who have emotional imbalances, worry, or uncertainly of situations are among those who can benefit from this oil. It can be very effective on its own, or in combination with other essential oils. And, can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically on your dog.

Oils for Aggression

Rose Otto (Rosa damascena). Rose Otto is recommended for dogs who have a history of neglect, abuse, or suffering of some kind. This oil is also recommended for dogs who are displaying any sort of aggression. It’s important to note that alternative veterinarians have a disclaimer with this oil… a dog may continue to display aggressive behavior in the beginning of the use of Rose Otto but you may see positive results once your dog has been exposed. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically on your dog.

Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides): Vetiver provides comfort and reassurance for an anxious dog showing aggression. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically.

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia): Vanilla has comforting and nurturing qualities for dogs who experience nervous tension, irritability, and/or anger. Dogs who have been known to bite are among those who this oil is recommended to. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically.

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea): This oil is generally recommended for female dogs but can also be used for male dogs who are experiencing feelings of anger, frustration, and/or mood swings. This oil has been found to have soothing effects. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): Yarrow has not only shown the ability to heal physical imbalances, but emotional imbalances as well. This could be a dog who has experienced trauma, neglect, and/or abuse… or a dog who is over-sensitive. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically.

Oils for Sadness

Neroli (Citrus aurantium): There are many dogs who do not particularly care for this oil. But, if your dog will accept this oil, it can be used to support a dog who is experiencing depression, grief, or loneliness. This oil can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically on your dog (only if your dog selects its use).

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): Peppermint has been known to have a calming effect on dogs (and humans!). And, can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically on your dog.

There’s More to Learn

This article just brushes the surface of essential oils.

It’s not meant to be a ‘you’re ready to do this’ type of article. You must do your own research before using any essential oil on your dog.

Print this out for reference- and ask a holistic or alternative veterinarian if your individual dog would benefit. Remember, every dog is different. And, depending on the health of your dog, some may be acceptable whereas other aren’t recommended.

And, not all oils should be treated equal… make sure the oil you are purchasing is of high-quality.

You should never place an essential oil on your dog’s skin (or let them inhale/ ingest) without first fully understanding the oil you’re using.

Bottom line… be sure to do further research before implementing essential oils into your dog’s routine.