Black dog biting a green ball

Ways To Keep Your Best Buddy Active

We all know dogs are very physical animals. They do belong from an animal family that connects them to wolves and foxes, so we definitely know that they are born to run and explore. This also means that their health relies on the intensity of their daily work outs and routine.

We cannot reiterate the importance of exercise to your dogs. It is a part of their genetic makeup to be active and so it is vital to keep him fit.

Having a dog can help you get healthy yourself, because you will be pushed to do these activities with them, and you can be a prime example of health to them. If the master is healthy and fit, there is a great probability that the pet is in the same shape. Now you then ask, what are the variety of exercises you can do with your dog?

TAKE HIM TO THE WATER

Encourage your dog to swim and learn how to appreciate water. It is such a wonderful skill to learn for any dog. It is not easy for some though, because there are dogs who hate the sight of water. What you can do first is lead him into it by teaching him how to chase a ball first then, when he gets that skill you can then start throwing the ball into the water.

CLASSIC IS BEST

Teaching your dogs the basic tricks can be an exercise for you and for him, mentally and physically as well. This will test your patience and your stamina. Teaching him how to sit and lay down or bark, or roll over, will be such a good starting point for elevating his knowledge and his skills in exercise. This will also wear him out at the end of the day. This classic training strategy is well worth the exercise in the end.

INVEST ON A BOOMER BALL

It is made in different sizes and different colours, and it is and will be your dog’s favorite thing in the world. A boomer ball is a ball specially designed to cater to the needs and the conditions that your pets can put it through. It is water resistant, scratch resistant and chewing resistant (but of course like any other toy it will wear out).Your dog will have tons of good times with this one.

HIDE AND SEEK

The simple game of “hide and seek” can give you and your dog such a work out, you’ll be surprised. Aside from it is so much fun for your dog to run around and look for you. It has proven to be an ultimate exercise for your dog mentally and physically. Try doing this on bigger areas and fields to get the most out of the activity.

RESEARCH TRAINING STYLES AND APPLY

There are so many possible exercise activities for your dogs out there. You just need to research and try it out. You have agility challenges involving obstacle courses, obedience training etc. This can truly help your dog out physically and mentally as well.

Remember it will always be to your advantage if you make an effort towards improving your dog’s physicality and health. As the saying goes “a tired dog is a good dog”.

Two dogs walking on the grass

Training Your Pup? 4 Things You Need to Know First

Dogs are definitely trainable but there is a degree of patience and knowledge that you need to have in order to get to your goals. There are several kinds of studies and techniques nowadays being published online that claim they can easily train your dogs. But for me there is no easy way or a standard 1, 2 step that can do this for you than just being a good and patient teacher.

MY NAME IS PROFESSOR….?

Remember, among all other things in this classroom, you are the teacher and your dog is a kindergarten kid. You are here to teach them things they need to learn in order for them to apply it to their daily lives. You are training them so they can easily be a part of the family and they can co-relate properly with their fellow dogs and their owners as well. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself what your goal is and why you are training your dog. The lessons are for him generally with a bit of bonus for you.

COMMON SENSE IS NOT THAT COMMON

That’s what my dad always says, which is actually very evident sometimes. It’s forgivable though because sometimes the owners lose their patience in the process of training their dogs, they forget that these dogs are still “dogs”. This means they are trainable but they require a different kind of training tactic. One big thing you should understand that dogs, don’t know the meaning of “No” so there is really no use in using it towards them.

BE NICE

Dogs feel too, they get hurt when you shout or call them names that they don’t even understand. Spend time with them and reward whatever good thing your doggy has done. This should not just be a one shot deal, you have to be consistent with rewarding them for their good and right behavior. This way they will understand that when they do certain things, you get happy, and that makes them happy to. Remember dogs can sense energy, bad and good. Sometime their attitude for that day will be affected by the energy you give out to them. So it really does pay to be nice.

BE REALISTIC

He is a dog, so be realistic with your expectations. Don’t expect him to understand every little word you say, especially if you use a lot of words to command him. Stick to one word that may connote him to sit or stand. Don’t confuse him by yelling at him and saying different commands. This will just lengthen the process and training even more. Know the limitations of your dog and don’t blame it on him if he can’t meet your expectations. Remember, you are the teacher and he is the student, if he can’t get it, there is something wrong with how you teach.

All in all, training your dog just requires your patience, understanding and a lot of love.

Cat lying on a dog

Best Outdoor Activities For Cats and Dogs

A key element for taking your dogs and cats outdoors is going to be how well you trained them to use a leash in the early days. Cats and dogs that are leash trained will be easier to manage during outdoor activities, and increase the number of activities that are an option for you to enjoy together.

If your cat is primarily an indoor cat, it will benefit hugely from having access to an outdoor run that comes from your home, but leash training it will certainly increase your options for other activities that you can do with it. Also, be mindful of taking cats outdoors as they tend to kill a lot of birds, this being their natural instinct. Dogs are usually trained to use a leash early on as a matter of their basic training, and if this is done well then you should have no problem bringing it along to participate in any of the outdoor activities that you are doing yourself.

Bicycling Riding

While this would probably not be an activity suited to cats on leashes, they may enjoy sitting in a basket while you ride. However, if you have a dog and also love riding your bike, this is a must-do activity that you can enjoy together. Dogs have loads of energy that needs to be expended, so running alongside your bike will give them great pleasure and give them a chance to exercise their strong muscles, as well as feeling the wind in their coat.

Dog Parks

As the name suggests, dog parks are a suburban oasis for owners and their dogs to meet up with other dogs (and their owners), to run about, sniff each other, and do doggy things. At present there is no such thing as a cat park in Australia, most likely because cats are very self-contained creatures and do not often socialise with other cats, unless they are in the same household.

Swimming

While cats would not enjoy swimming at all, dogs love getting into the water and chasing a ball, or exploring ponds, pools or coastal areas. They will gladly swim along with you, or jump into the water to take part in whatever activity you are doing, and it is another activity that is excellent for keeping their muscles strong. At Durack Pet Motel, we encourage owners to do lots of outdoor activities with their pets to socialise them with other animals to make their transition to staying with us as comfortable as possible.

 

Importance Of Walking Your Dog

If you force a human to remain trapped in one area for too long they end up not feeling very happy, and start to climb up the walls with boredom and lack of stimulation. The same applies to man’s best friends – dogs. A dog needs the stimulation of regular walks outside of its yard domain for various reasons in order to maintain optimal health, fitness and emotional wellbeing.

Exercise

As you can imagine, exercise is a big part of why it is so important to walk your dog. You may not be aware that dogs are descended originally from wolves. If you think about how much energy a wolf has to hunt and wander long distances, it is easy to understand why a dog would have a lot of energy that needs to be expended somehow. Walking your dogs allows them to use up some of this latent energy, which keeps them happier and healthier.

Socialisation

As the saying suggests, man’s best friends are very sociable animals and they not only need the stimulation of social interactions with people, but also with other dogs. You may have noticed that when you go for a walk, your dog will be sniffing poles and peeing on as many spots as they can. This is a part of how dogs socialise with each other; they leave their scent.

Training

One key way that you can train your dog is through repetition of different activities. Going for a daily walk is an excellent opportunity for training your dog how to stay close to you and walking alongside without running off on its own. Any sort of discipline will assist with your training of the dog in other areas, so it is definitely worth including the daily walk.

Emotional Wellbeing

Like people, dogs want to do fun things, too! An unhappy dog will start to display ‘acting out’ behaviours, which could mean that it damages your property, or jumps all over you with the desire to connect with you on some level. Regular walks assist the dog to have time to socialise and do its doggy thing with other dogs, as well as get enough exercise to keep it feeling happy and relaxed. At Durack Pet Motel, we recognise that happy dogs make the best companions, so we encourage people to walk their dogs regularly and get into this habit before they come to visit us.

Dog with twig in mouth - playing with owner

Benefits and Ways of Improving Your Pet’s Interest in Play

Not unlike humans, pets need physical stimulation to keep them happy, in good health and to prevent boredom. As many who work with children can attest, through play, we not only stimulate our minds, but we also learn a lot of valuable information about ourselves, as well as about the world in which we are immersed. If you aren’t sure how to play with your dog or cat, here’s a clue – do whatever feels fun and light hearted for both of you!

Start Early

The best time to start playing is right now! From the minute you take ownership of your new member of the family, get to know them, and see what they like and don’t like – stretch their imagination with new games and interests. This will also alleviate them from the opportunity of picking up bad habits to self soothe and alleviate their own boredom (which can lead to destruction of property). This will assist in bonding between the two of you.

Increase Brain Activity for Good Health

Playing with your pet is an important part of fostering your relationship and physical dexterity, while, at the same time, building on their brain function in the areas of memory and motor function, as well as staving off old age. Similar to humans, pets can also tend to start ‘winding down’ if they do not get enough stimulation to keep their minds and bodies active, which can then lead to other physical ailments and diseases.

Stretch Their Senses

Through play, you have the opportunity to expand your pet’s world and stretch all of its senses. If in doubt, join a forum, or use your imagination, and visit a pet or toy store for ideas. Different games will excite different animals. For cats, the old bell on a piece of string is a great way of stretching a few of their senses – sight as well as hearing. Hunting for treasure is a great way of stretching your dog’s sense of smell.

Training and Development

For both dogs and cats, training and developing their skills through play will assist in making your relationship more pleasant, especially if there are tasks or commands that would make your relationship more harmonious. The use of treats is encouraged as a means of inspiring their interest in learning new behaviours as well as in learning new tricks. There is a variety of different clicking games that will assist you in training your dog through play, so check out an online forum or do some extra reading.

At Durack Pet Motel, we encourage owners to make the time to spend some quality play time with their pet prior to bringing them for a stay, as this often assists them to feel more secure in your absence.

Achieving Mental Well-being for Your Dog Through Exercise

Anyone who has ever been a parent of a toddler, babysat one or spent any amount of time with one will know that if they do not expel some of their energy through some serious movement and activity, they could end up being a very unpleasant companion after a while. The same can be said for dogs. They need the stimulation of getting regular exercise to keep them feeling mentally well; otherwise, they could end up expressing themselves in ways that could really push the friendship.

If you weren’t aware of it already, some news that might be surprising to you is that canines are actually descended from wolves. So, in essence, our domesticated dogs that live in our homes with us are actually domesticated wolves. When we think about a wolf, we have an image of a wild creature that enjoys roaming free, exploring its surroundings, hunting and spending time with the other members of its pack.

Stimulation

When we remember its genetic roots of being a descendant of the wolf family, we can understand how the domesticated dog of today still requires a large degree of stimulation to keep it happy and to enjoy life. For most dogs, their life consists of spending a good portion of their time between four walls, the boundaries of the garden and house where they reside. Although there is often stimulating happenings going on within these areas through the humans whom they reside with, as well as the other small animals that come to visit every now and then, they can certainly do with regular opportunities for a little more.

Physical Exertion

When dogs get out exercising they do a lot more than what we do, as well as getting the opportunity to use their powerful muscles for running, jumping and physical exertion, they also use their powerful sense of smell to enjoy the smell-scapes that exists in the world outside of the fence. If you as their human owner find that you are unable to accommodate daily exercise out of the fence, be sure to spend time with them throwing a ball, stick or other toy so that they can be stimulated within their home area, to ensure that they do not get bored and start tearing up the place.

Socialisation

Another important part of exercise for dogs is the socialisation that they enjoy when they are out exploring the world with you. All those smells that they stop to sniff and the small spurts of wee that they put on as many poles as they can manage are all their way of communicating with each other, even when they are not in the same area at the same time. As we know, when dogs happen to see each other in person, their excitement is palpable because they are very sociable animals and really love the opportunity to pass the time of day with other members of their species.

All of these factors, if taken into consideration and given the attention that they are due, will contribute to a dog that enjoys good mental health, which, in turn, leads to a happier owner, so it is definitely worth exercising your dog regularly. At Durack Pet Motel, we take all of these factors into consideration when we have dogs come and stay with us, so they can be as happy here as they possibly can be.

What Are Your Pets’ Behavioural Changes Telling You?

We all know that the people in our lives change and often we experience them behaving in new ways when they are in the process of change. Humans can also tend to behave different from normal if they are not feeling as well as they usually do. They may tell you when they are sick, such as, “I’m not feeling like myself at the moment”.

Unfortunately, our pets do not possess the ability to tell us how they feel. As a result, it is up to us to be aware of behavioural changes, which could indicate an underlying medical concern that needs to be addressed. At Durack Pet Motel, we get to know your pet’s personality while it is with us so that we are aware if there is any behaviour that is out of the ordinary.

Urination Changes

One of the most common complaints that vets hear from pet owners is that their previously toilet trained animal has started urinating in the house. Sometimes owners assume that this is a behavioural change that needs to be addressed, but it could indicate a medical concern that is troubling the animal. Some underlying causes why pets may start to urinate in the house could be due to urine infection, or stones in the bladder. Changes in the frequency of urination as well as the quantity could be an indication of issues with the kidney or other organs.

Changes in Eating Habits

Another tell-tale indicator that a pet may have a medical concern is when they change their eating habits. A pet that is drinking a lot more or less water or eating a lot more or less food than usual could have a medical concern that is causing these changes to their eating behaviours. These changes could be caused by a variety of different medical issues such as organ or dental problems, so getting your pet to a vet as soon as you notice changes will assist you in getting a diagnosis and treatment as early as possible.

Less Sociable

Changes in the way that your pet behaves socially could be a big indicator of a medical issue that needs treatment. Pets that are no longer as active as they used to be could be suffering from arthritis or pain of some sort. If your dog usually sleeps on the bed but it has stopped doing so, it could be because it has trouble getting up onto the bed. A cat that takes to hiding could be trying to hide its pain or discomfort. The only way to really find out for sure what is going on with your pet is to take it to the vet for assessment and treatment; so, don’t delay if you notice sudden behavioural changes.

Importance of Maintaining Mobility for Overall Pet’s Wellbeing

Like humans, pets also suffer from diseases and a loss of mobility caused by old age, but unlike humans, pets are unable to use wheelchairs, walking sticks and other aids to assist them with maintaining their mobility. It is for this reason that pet owners need to assist them with maintaining mobility as best as they can, to avoid the gradual decline that often results in pets needing to be put down.

Joint Care

As pets get older they may start to have issues with their joints and bone cartilage, which if left unaddressed can lead to them losing their mobility, and being unable to move about as they are used to. For animals, this can be devastating to their ability to perform everyday functions such as going to the toilet, exercising and eating meals. By the time you notice that your pet has started to have stiffness in its joints, it is a sign that its internal resources for combating the problem may have already become too depleted.

It is for this reason that it is important to supplement your pet’s diet with the relevant supplements earlier in life, to ensure that it has reserves for when it gets older. With ingredients such as shark cartilage, glucosamine, MSM and Vitamin C, many of these supplements will assist in maintaining your pet’s wellbeing before problems start to arise that affect its mobility.

Address Issues Early

As a caring pet owner, you have the opportunity to watch how your dog moves, and to note whether it appears to have issues with its posture and how it walks or stretches. Imbalances in any area can be caused by a variety of issues and, if left unaddressed, can lead to long-term problems. Weakening of the leg muscles and restricted or inflamed joints will be noticeable in the way the animal performs its regular functions, and can be addressed immediately to avoid further damage.

Noticing changes in how your dog moves could be a good indication that there is an issue that needs to be addressed, so seeking advice from a vet or other health care professional will assist in your pet maintaining its mobility for longer.

At Durack Pet Motel, we ensure that all pets have enough exercise and that they are monitored by our trained staff to check for any issues that may affect their current or long term mobility, as they grow older.

The Importance Of Routine For Dogs

It is not surprising that we often refer to a dog as ‘man’s best friend’, since our furry friends are very human-like in some ways, and are very much creatures of habit. In fact, they are a lot like babies and thrive best on routine. Having a routine in place will help your dog to feel happy and secure because it knows what is going to happen next. Like babies and toddlers, it is important to introduce changes to the dog’s routine gradually, while maintaining the basic consistency of habits, so as not to overwhelm them.

Why Your Dog Loves a Routine?

Your dog needs consistency in its life. It needs to know when it is scheduled to eat next, to be walked and to have play time, and rest time, and these times need to be consistent and regular, so that the dog does not feel stressed or anxious. Having a regular routine helps the dog to feel secure, so it is able to relax.

Adding extra activities and outings are welcomed by the dog as long as the regular routine remains the same. At Durack Pet Motel we ensure that consistency is maintained with your dog’s routine, because we understand the importance of maintaining the routine in a dog’s life.

How to Implement a Routine

Routine is all about consistency. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using the popular new concept of the ‘crate training’ method, which can be used on both puppies and older dogs. It can help the dog by providing a ‘safe’ space for it to retreat to if it starts to feel overwhelmed. The crate training will assist with other aspects of training the dog into its routine, including where it eats its food, when it is play time, when it is time to rest, and where its boundaries are within the household.

Crate training is also a great way of ensuring that your dog is kept safe from mischief during those early explorative years, so while your back is turned it can be enjoying some crate time. The idea is to make the crate a place where the dog has pleasant associations, so each time it goes near the crate or inside, reward it until it becomes a place where it feels comfortable to go for some time out. And of course, another important advantage of training your dog to feel comfortable using a crate is in the event that if you need to take your dog to the vet, on a plane ride, or if it goes on a holiday somewhere, such as the Durack Pet Motel, it will feel more relaxed.

Running With Your Dog: Make It An Active Dog

We all know the importance of taking our dog for a daily walk for keeping it fit and active. Like humans, dogs need a balanced exercise regime, because like humans, a lack of activity can affect your dog’s health and wellbeing. At Durack Pet Motel we encourage owners to keep their pets active and going for a run with your dog is a great way to keep fit yourself, while ensuring that your dog stays active and in optimum health.

Dogs are awesome running partner because they are always enthusiastic and ready to run, so they’ll be encouraging you to stay active yourself. They also will help you to keep pace, so you will get the best of your workout, while they get the opportunity to really stretch their muscles and use up some of their energy.

Is Your Dog Running Ready?

In the same way that humans need to work up gradually to regular running, your dog needs some basic training to prepare it for the regular activity of running. If you were starting to train with a friend, they would need to prepare themselves for running by doing some endurance training first. This is done through building up gradually – increasing the running time as the dog gets stronger.

The thing about dogs is that they will run for as long as you do, even if they are under physical strain. So the best place to start with getting your dog ready for running is by having a vet check, to make sure it is ready for running and to check its breathing and heart rate. As you gradually build up your dog’s endurance, you will need to keep an eye on these factors to ensure that it is not pushing itself past its limits and causing itself damage.

Things to Be Aware of

Dogs are not physically ready for running until they are at least 18 months old, which is because their bones are still developing at this time, so at this age you can start with walking and build up to the run. For dogs that are 18 months or older, start out the same way you would yourself – building gradually to a fast paced run. When dogs sweat they cool down through panting or from their feet, which is not as effective as how humans do this, so you will need to keep an eye on their respiratory and heart rate for signs of exhaustion. While running take water breaks and run in shady areas where your pets are not in the full heat of the sun.