Handy Dog Care Hints and Tips
Some handy hints and Tips in response to subjects often raised by our customers...
Dogs and Sleep
- Dogs can spend 75% of their time lying down and sleep for an average of 14 hours per day. For large breeds, young puppies and older dogs these figures can be significantly higher.
- Between half and two thirds of dog owners admit to allowing their dog regular access to their own beds and /or sofas. If your dog has his own Berkeley Dog Bed why would he want to use yours?
- It is important that your dog has an area that he can call his own and where he can enjoy some quiet time. Train your kids to respect this and site your dog’s bed in a quiet, draft-free area.
- Most dogs will sleep just about anywhere! Most dogs will instinctively choose a raised location if possible whether to escape drafts or to better observe their surroundings. Similarly, most dogs prefer to sleep with their back against a wall.
- Dogs, like humans, move around a lot during their sleep. It’s important to choose dog beds / dog bedding that is large enough to allow for unrestricted movement. Dogs often start with nesting behaviour – to create a flattened, den-like patch before curling up or stretching out or both. It is entirely natural, instinctive behaviour associated with creating a secure, comfortable position and/or used to regulate body heat.
- Dogs love to ‘cat nap’(!) and will seize any spare moment when they are ‘off duty’ for a quick snooze. They are much more adept at being able to go into snooze mode than we humans.
- Dogs have similar sleep patterns to humans. When your dog first goes to sleep, he enters the slow wave or quiet phase of sleep. He lies still and is oblivious to his surroundings. His breathing slows, his blood pressure and body temperature drop, and his heart rate decreases.After about ten minutes, your dog enters the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or active stage of sleep. He rolls his eyes under his closed lids, he may bark or whine, or may jerk his legs. During this stage, the brain activity is similar to that seen during the dreaming sleep of humans, and is evidence that dogs have dreams.Incidentally, adult dogs spend about 10 to 12 percent of their sleeping time in REM sleep. Young dogs spend a much greater proportion of their sleep time in this type of sleep.
Joint Care for Dogs
It is thought that up to 1 in 5 dogs has arthritis which causes painful stiffness in joints and muscles. 9 out of 10 dogs will suffer from arthritis, rheumatism, hip dysplasia or other musculoskeletal issues during their lifetime.
Regrettably, unscrupulous and / or misguided breeding practices have resulted in a steady increase of these types of distressing conditions with larger breeds being particularly susceptible.
What are the changes you should look for in your pet?
- Look out for any noticeable reduction in your dog’s usual activity, including a reluctance to walk, play, jump or climb stairs.
- Check for signs of limping, lagging behind on walks or stiffness after resting.
- Is your dog excessively licking any joints, showing signs of sensitivity to touch?
- Do any joints feel hot / look red?
Fortunately, advances in veterinary medicine and treatment combined with a sound diet and exercise regime and the use of a suitable dog bed and dog bedding to aid restorative sleep can dramatically improve the quality of life for most dogs.
Berkeley Waterproof Orthopedic Dog Beds help to ensure correct spinal alignment, even weight distribution to alleviate pressure points on sore joints and optimum insulation from cold, hard surfaces.
For further details visit www.caninearthritis.co.uk
Dogs that Chew
It is virtually impossible to make dog beds and dog bedding that cannot be chewed. Dogs usually chew because they are teething, bored, attention seeking, lacking stimulation or anxious. Occasionally it can just be a habit.
Most dogs will chew when teething – Starting at around 3 months old and growing out of the habit as they mature at 7/8 months +.
Keep all vulnerable or potentially chewable items away from puppies as much as possible during their teething phase.
This calls for vigilance and a short sharp ‘No!’ every time the puppy discovers something that might be tempting. Try to substitute a suitable toy whenever your puppy has an urge to chew.
A natural Chew Deterrent Spray may be a useful tool to deter chewing. It is a totally harmless but unpleasant tasting substance which can be used as a training tool to prevent and deter the chewing of vulnerable / potentially hazardous items.
Try to keep your puppy stimulated and form a routine with him as soon as possible. Inevitably there will be periods when you have to leave him alone. Try to get him tired before you leave him and / or give him something that will keep him occupied. A Kong toy filled with frozen minced beef or tripe or a rawhide chew work well. A radio playing in the background can also sometimes help with separation anxiety.
There is no point in investing in an expensive bed until your puppy has grown out of this teething phase. Our Berkeley Raised Dog Beds can be useful during this period as they are less vulnerable to potential damage by chewing and the covers are easy and economic to replace just in case!
Kennelling your Dog
Most dog breeds adapt well to being kept outdoors in a properly constructed kennel with a suitable secure run attached. In many families both partners are at work during at least part of the day and kennelling is becoming an increasingly popular option.
Some key considerations:-
- Insulate the kennel walls and roof and provide adequate ventilation to avoid condensation and mould growth.
- A raised sleeping area will help to avoid drafts.
- A heavy gauge plastic curtain at the entrance will help to preserve warmth. Site the kennel entrance away from prevailing winds.
- If electricity is available, an infra red lamp will help to take the chill off on very cold nights and a PIR security light is useful.
- The run should be hard surfaced and free draining for ease of cleaning. It should be totally secure and escape-free – 6’ high galvanised fence panels are ideal. Locks on both the kennel door and run gate are a good security measure. A covered run will help to keep the kennel and sleeping area dry and provide shade in the summer months. Hose down and disinfect the run regularly.
- Fresh clean water should be available at all times.
- Do not leave your dog alone for long periods. Keeping two or more dogs together will relieve boredom and separation anxiety.
- Straw, wood shavings or shredded cardboard dog bedding materials are messy and become quickly damp and soiled.
- Dog beds should be waterproof, provide good insulation and be periodically aired.
- Positioning a Berkeley Raised Dog Bed within the run allows the dog to sit outside comfortably and reduces the incidence of calluses.
Travelling with your dog
When in a vehicle make sure your dog is suitably restrained so that he cannot distract you whilst you are driving or injure you if you stop quickly.This is a legal requirement.
Your dog should preferably either travel in a suitable dog box or, if travelling in the vehicle load space you should fit a secure dog-guard The floor should have a non-slip surface.
We thoroughly recommend TransK9 Dog Boxes - www.transk9.com
Providing enough ventilation at all times is essential – both when the vehicle is moving, and even more so when it is not moving – particularly in hot or sunny conditions.
NEVER, EVER, leave your dog alone in a vehicle in direct strong sunshine or high temperatures - Even on a relatively mild day, the interior temperature of your car can rise to intolerable levels for your dog.
Leave windows slightly open, fit suitable shades and, if you have a suitable vehicle, consider fitting a suitable roof top ventilator.
Don’t forget to take your Berkeley Waterproof Orthopaedic Dog Bed Mattress so that your dog can travel in comfort and style. If you have a dog box or travelling crate our Non-Slip Polar Fleece Pads or our Vet Bedding are ideal to give a little extra warmth and comfort.
Berkeley Raised Dog Beds are great for use when travelling and can quickly and easily be packed away ready for assembly when you arrive or kept in your caravan / mobile home or try a handy Berkeley Travel Dog Bed..
Keep it Clean!
Placing one of our Dirt Trapper Mats by your door and another one in front of your Berkeley Dog Bed will really cut down the time you spend mopping and sweeping floors and washing dog bed covers!
Washable dog beds are an absolute must. So buy a dog bed that has a removable cover and / or one that can be easily spot-wiped. To keep your dog bed smelling fresh between washes a quick spray of our Dog Bed Freshener works magic!