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Top 20 Most Common Dog Names

By | Dogs | No Comments

Choosing the perfect name for your new dog can be a difficult and daunting task. What you decide to call your dog becomes a part of their personality! We put together a list of 20 most commonly used dog names; we hope we can help you determine the perfect name for little Fido. (Surprisingly, that name isn’t on the list!)

 

Male:

1.     Max 11.  Oliver
2.     Charlie 12.  Jake
3.     Buddy 13.  Bentley
4.     Cooper 14.  Teddy
5.     Jack 15.  Riley
6.     Rocky 16.  Milo
7.     Toby 17.  Bailey
8.     Duke 18.  Buster
9.     Bear 19.  Dexter
10.  Tucker 20.  Leo

 

Female:

1.     Bella 11.   Luna
2.     Lucy 12.   Lily
3.     Daisy 13.   Roxy
4.     Molly 14.   Zoey
5.     Lola 15.   Stella
6.     Sadie 16.   Penny
7.     Maggie 17.   Coco
8.     Sophie 18.   Gracie
9.     Chloe 19.   Zoe
10.  Bailey 20.   Abbie

 

Did your dog’s name make it on the list? If so, let us know in the comments!

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How to Make (Doggy) Friends at the Dog Park

By | Dogs | No Comments

It can be great fun to bring your dog to an off-leash dog park so that they can meet and play with all of the other pups. Playing at the dog park can help to burn up some of that excess energy as well as socialize them with other dogs and humans.
Before bringing your pup to the dog park for the first time, it’s important to work on some basic training, especially if they don’t have a lot of prior socialization with dogs.
Here are some tips to help prepare your pup for their first trip to the dog park;

1. Work on your dog’s recall

Recall is a must in any off-leash situation. There are many situations in which recall becomes key; if your dog looks like it’s about to get into a fight, if they’re going somewhere they don’t belong, or if you simply want to leave the park are all great examples of when mastery of this skill becomes important.
Work on ‘come’ inside of the home first. Once they have it down inside, move training outside to a low distraction setting and practice the command. Slowly increase the amount of noise and distractions that are around your dog as you work on the command. Once they can come with no problem in any setting, you can feel confident when bringing them to an off-leash park.

2. Introduce your dogs to other dogs on leash.

Introduce you dog to many dogs while both are on a leash. Don’t introduce your dog to a dog that is off-leash while yours remains on, as this can cause stress to your dog and make them uncomfortable. You want their experiences with other dogs to be as stress free as possible.

3. Exercise your dog beforehand.

This may seem a bit counterintuitive. The reason you’re bringing your dog to the park is so that they can use up some of that excess energy, why would you want to tire them out first?
When first introducing your dog to the other dogs at the park, you don’t want them to be too excited. If they’re barking, jumping, and bowling into the other dogs, they will have a hard time making any new friends. You don’t want your dog to be known as the ‘park bully’. If your dog is too energetic in the park and bowling over all of the other dogs, many other pet parents won’t be pleased.
Additionally, an excited and energetic dog is less likely to follow that ‘come’ command you worked so hard on.

4. Bring treats and continue training at the park

Work on some of your basic training at the park. Come, sit, stay, down, etc. are great commands to reinforce at the park where there are so many distractions.

While making friends is reliant on the dogs being compatible, a lot of it has to do with how well you’ve trained your dog to act in the park. Your pup is more likely to find some puppy playmates if they are well behaved.

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What is a Proper Transition Period into Zignature Dog Food?

By | Dogs | No Comments

If you’re planning on switching your dog’s food to Zignature from another brand, you may want to consider a transitory stage between foods.

 

A sudden change in diet could lead to some unpleasant bowl movements. When your pup’s stomach gets used to a food, switching it out suddenly can cause an upset in their GI tract.

 

To be safe, it’s best to switch out your dog food slowly. This is especially true if your dog has a sensitive stomach. We recommend a gradual transition from your pet’s current food to a Zignature brand food lasting anywhere from five days up to two weeks.

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Who is a Gradual Transition Most Important To?

 

  • Dogs that have previously been on a high grain, corn, wheat, or soy diet.
  • Dogs that have sensitive stomachs.
  • Dogs with food allergies

 

When transitioning your dog to Zignature start by introducing a small amount of Zignature mixed in with their old dog food. As the days progress, slowly start adding more Zignature and decreasing their previous food by the same amount.

 

A gradual transition makes it easier for your pets stomach to acclimate and can help avoid any stomach upset. If you’re switching between different Zignature recipes, this transitory stage is likely unnecessary.

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Weight Control and Your Dog

By | Dogs | No Comments

How to tell if your pet is overweight.

It’s easy to tell if your pet is obese, but whether or not your pet is big boned or actually overweight may be harder to determine.

You should be able to feel, but not see your dog’s ribs when you run your fingers along their rib cage. You should also be able to see a distinctive waist when you look at them from above.

We see our pup’s day in day out and it can be hard to notice the minuscule weight changes until it’s too late. The best way to tell if your dog is overweight is by scheduling semi-regular vet visits so that your veterinarian can help you determine if your dog is of a healthy weight for their breed.

What causes weight gain?

Factors that can contribute to weight gain in dogs can include;

  • Overfeeding and overeating
  • Inactivity
  • Breed
  • Age
  • Reproductive Status (Neutered/Spayed or Intact)
  • Pre-existing Conditions

How to control your dog’s weight.

We all know that weight gain is when too many calories are coming in and too few are going out, but there can be more to helping your dog lose weight than simply feeding them less.

  • Know exactly how much you are feeding them and how many calories they are getting each day.
  • Choose the right formula of Zignature Dog Food.
  • Be aware of any additional treats you give them, and the calorie content.
  • Don’t give your pup scraps or other people food.
  • Make sure they are getting adequate exercise.

Have you ever had to put your pup on a diet? Let us know your experience in the comments below!

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Creating a Lost Dog Kit

By | Dogs | No Comments

It can happen in an instant. One moment your dog is in the back yard basking in the sun, and the next they’ve realized someone has left the gate open and bound off of your property. If you have ever lost a pet before, you already know the anxiety, dread, and panic that quickly sets in the moment you realize your dog is gone.

 

In this situation it’s important not to waste any time. The best way to save time when searching for your dog is to have a kit ready. That way, if and when the time comes, you’re not wasting a second stressing out at the nearest printing service trying to print some missing fliers.

 

Below is a list of items you should include in your lost dog kit;

 

Lost Dog Posters

 

Making dog posters when you’re calm will ensure your poster will be effective. If done in a rush, you could end up using a photo that makes it hard to positively identify your pup. By doing it in advance you can even have fun with it by turning it into a photo shoot!

 

Phone Numbers of Local Animal Shelters

 

Gather a list of phone numbers to all of the places you’d call if your dog went missing. This includes all of the local animal shelters within a 100 mile radius. Having this list handy will save you a lot of time when your dog goes missing.

 

Have a Pet Finder App Already Downloaded to your Phone

 

Finding Rover is a great app that uses facial recognition to help you find your dog. If you already have this downloaded to your phone you’ll save some time.

 

There are also local Facebook groups you can join to alert the community that you’ve lost your pup.

 

Have you ever lost your dog before? What steps did you take to make sure they came home? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Should You Let Your Dog Sleep in the Bed

By | Dogs | No Comments

Some dog owners love to have their canine companion sleep in the bed with them, while others would never even consider it. There are plenty of reasons you may not want to have your dog in the bed with you;

  • They are restless sleepers and wakes you up.
  • They take up too much room.
  • You’re a restless sleeper and might roll on top of them.
  • Your dog snores.
  • Your dog has nighttime flatulence.
  • You’ll likely need to wash your sheets more often.
  • Your dog gets out of bed and into trouble.

And more! However, saying no to those puppy dog eyes can sometimes be too much to handle. And luckily there are some benefits to letting your dog sleep with you;

  • They are warm.
  • They help us relax.
  • They make us feel safe.
  • Cuddling is good for the brain.
  • Makes you happy.
  • Makes the dog happy.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but be sure to take the following things into consideration;

  1. If your dog is not fully housebroken, you should not let them out of their crate at night.
  2. If they get out of bed and chew on things they should not be let out of the crate at night.
  3. If they have any form of resource guarding you should not let them sleep with you.

What’s your take on the matter? Do you let your pup sleep with you at night? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.

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5 of the Biggest Dog Breeds in the World

By | Dogs | No Comments

For some, when it comes to dogs, bigger is better. Bigger dogs do much better than smaller dogs in colder climates, a home with a large dog is unlikely to be broken into, and a bigger dog just gives you more dog to love!

If you’re interested in a large dog breed as your next pet, take a look at some of the world’s largest dog breeds listed below.

1. Great Dane

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Weight:

Male – Minimum of 120 lbs

Female – Minimum of 100 lbs

Height:

Male – Minimum of 30 inches

Female – Minimum of 28 inches

 

2. Neapolitan Mastiff

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Weight:

Male – Minimum of 130 lbs

Female – Minimum of 110 lbs

Height:

Male – Minimum of 26 inches

Female – Minimum of 110 inches

 

3. Scottish Deerhound

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(desktopas)
Weight:

Male – Minimum of 85 lbs

Female – Minimum of 75 lbs

Height:

Male – Minimum of 30 inches

Female – Minimum of 28 inches

 

4. Dogue De Bordeaux

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Weight:

Male – Minimum of 85 lbs

Female – Minimum of 75 lbs

Height:

Male – Minimum of 30 inches

Female – Minimum of 28 inches

 

5. Newfoundland

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Weight:

Male – About 149 lbs

Female – About 119 lbs

Height:

Male – About 71 inches

Female – About 66 inches

 

Stay tuned next week for some of the smallest dog breeds in the world!

Do you have a large dog breed? Let us know what kind of dog you have in the comments below.

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Do Dogs Get Jealous

By | Dogs | No Comments

Have you ever felt like your dog gets jealous if you’re playing with someone else’s dog? Or maybe you think you’ve noticed signs of jealousy if one dog gets treats and they don’t. According to a study conducted by Dr. Christine Harris, this jealousy may not all be in your imagination.

The structure of the study was originally meant for 6 month old babies, but the results for the dogs were just as telling.
The objects used in the study to test for jealousy were the following;

  • A stuffed dog that barks and wags its tail.
  • A Jack-o-Lantern pail.
  • A kid’s pop-up book that makes noises.

The owners were instructed to ignore their pets and focus on the objects instead. The pet parents would pet the fake dog and act like it was a real dog.
When the study was over they found that 72% of the dogs expressed jealous behavior towards the stuffed dog, 42% exhibited jealous behavior towards the pail, and 22% towards the book. 1/4th of the dogs showed aggressive behavior towards the stuffed dog, and only one dog snapped at the pail.

From this study, it can be concluded that dogs likely do feel some form of jealousy. Though some behaviorists believe this behavior is simply a form of pack dominance: the jealousy simply being a way to assert dominance.
Whatever this behavior truly is, it’s best not to reward pushy dogs with attention. One way to reduce this behavior is by working on the command ‘stay’ and using it when you are playing with another dog. If the dog that has been told to ‘stay’ doesn’t listen, simply don’t give them any attention. Soon they will learn that they don’t get their belly rub until they’ve waited their turn.

Do you have experience with a jealous dog? Let us know your stories in the comments below!

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Chocolate Toxicity

By | Dogs | No Comments

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Chocolate?

 

There are plenty of foods that can be toxic to dogs, but probably the most well-known food is chocolate. Kids learn from a young age not to feed their dogs chocolate because it is ‘poison’ to them.

 

While in larger quantities chocolate is bad for your dog, if they accidentally get a small piece of chocolate, you likely don’t have anything to worry about. In fact, different types of chocolate have different levels of toxicity for dogs.

 

Theobromine is the ingredient in chocolate that dogs can’t digest, and the darker and less sweet the chocolate, the more theobromine that is in it.

 

Here are some common chocolates and their theobromine levels;

 

Type of Chocolate               Amount of Theobromine
White Chocolate .25 mg/oz
Milk Chocolate 44-60 mg/oz
Dark Semisweet 135 mg/oz
Unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate 390-450 mg/oz
Dry Cocoa Powder 400-737 mg/oz
Cocoa Beans 400-1500 mg/oz
Cocoa Bean Mulch 56-900 mg/oz

 

Signs of Chocolate Toxicity

 

Signs that your dog is experiencing chocolate poisoning start to appear within 6-12 hours of your dog ingesting the chocolate. Symptoms include the following;

 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Increased Urination
  • Collapse

 

**If you think your dog has ingested an unsafe amount of chocolate, be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately.

 

What to Do If Your Dog Has Ingested Too Much Chocolate

 

Again, call your veterinarian immediately. They will be able to tell you exactly what to do. They may be fine having you monitor your pet, but in severe cases they will likely want you to come in to the clinic.

 

Here are some common methods veterinarians may perform at the clinic;

 

  • Induced vomiting
  • Doses of activated charcoal
  • IV Fluids
  • Sedatives
  • Heart medications
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Antacids
  • Urinary Catheter

 

How to Prevent Chocolate Poisoning

 

You should never give your dog chocolate as a treat, and to ensure they don’t sneak any, be sure to follow these tips;

 

Don’t leave chocolate out – Make sure all food containing chocolate is put away and out of reach of your pup.

 

Teach the ‘leave it’ command – This command is great for many occasions, but most importantly is a great way to ensure your dog’s safety if you ever drop anything poisonous on the ground.

 

Crate your dog when you’re not home – If your dog tends to get into things they shouldn’t, it may be time to consider crate training. Keeping your dog in the crate is the best way to ensure they’re not getting into trouble while you’re not there to supervise them.

 

Let us know your dog/chocolate stories in the comments below.

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How Humans and Dogs Bond | Oxytocin

By | Dogs | One Comment

What is Oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a hormone that is released by the pituitary gland. It is released during labor and can cause stronger contractions as well as help to control bleeding after birth. It is also released when you snuggle up with a loved one or bond socially.

Oxytocin released during pregnancy has a lot to do with the maternal bonding that can seem so alien to those who are not yet parents.

When a mother has given birth to a newborn, many of them claim love at first sight. In fact, there may be more to this phrase than you’d think. New mothers have a higher levels of oxytocin in their system, a hormone which helps to bond new parents with their children.

Many mammals have higher levels of oxytocin when interacting with their offspring or family, but so far there has been only one case of an interspecies release of oxytocin. The bond between humans and dogs.

Oxytocin Levels Between Humans and Dogs

Oxytocin is not only prevalent mothers that have given birth, this bonding hormone is prevalent between children and their parents, adopted parents and their children, spouses, and even between dogs and their owners. Last year, Takefumi Kikusui, an animal behaviorist, conducted a study at Azabu University to observe the interaction between dogs and their owners. The dog and its owner were given a room to interact in alone for 30 minutes. Before and after the interaction, researchers measured the oxytocin levels of both the canine and human. They found that if the dog and owner had spent a lot of time making eye contact, the oxytocin levels increased in both the dog and the human. The dogs had an increase of 130% and humans an increase of 300%.

Included in the study, were wolves and their owners. No matter how much eye contact was given, oxytocin levels did not increase between these pairs. Wolves aren’t domesticated, and as such still view any eye contact as aggressive. The difference between oxytocin levels in domesticated dogs and wolves likely shows that the hormone had a role in the early domestication of dogs.

In the second round of the experiment, researchers sprayed oxytocin up the dog’s noses to see if this would affect the levels of the hormone in any way. Only the female dogs who had received the oxytocin spray made more eye contact with their humans, and thus had higher oxytocin levels. Dogs interacting with people who were not familiar to them did not produce additional oxytocin in either round of the study.

This study proves that you’re not crazy when you think of your pup as your ‘fur baby’. Instead, it’s only natural to have those feelings since the same hormone is present.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

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