NOT FOR EVERY DOG
Dog parks can be a great way to socialize your dog but are they a safe place for every dog?
Simple answer is NO and not always for reasons that immediately spring to mind! Many working breeds get Over Stimulated in a dog park, there is so much going on that it is just too much for them to handle. They become hyper; they are engulfed in a park full of potential friends now turned into potential foe. Their personality changes from simply being a herder or a ball chaser into that of an erratic snapper and it’s just because there is too much going on and they cannot process it.
You are the one who knows your dog, you can see the changes happening before your eyes and no amount of calling their name or sooth calming voices is going to get things back on track. You are the one who must take action and remove your dog before they become ‘the dog’ that everyone avoids.
Walking your dog in a controlled manner, gradually building up their exposure to walking in and with a group of walking dogs is one way to assist them and at the same time, keep them safe.
Dog parks are not suitable for every dog so get to know your dog’s limitations. If you must use the dog park for their freedom runs, pick a time when its not jam packed with the before dinner rush hour of dogs who are barely ever supervised by their work tired, phone glued owners.
Upcycle Food Boxes
Our recycling bins overflow these days with all the packaging that comes with food products. You could put your boxes to great use for your dogs and recycle them into being a game and treat dispensers.
Simply break down the sides, put a handful of kibble in the base and scrunch it all down nice and tight. You can do the same with plastic drink bottles, prick a few holes in them to release the smell, add a bit of kibble and you have another toy that they can play with.
If you spread them well throughout your garden, it can give your dog hours of joy running from one recycled toy to another while they work out how to get their treat allocation of food.
Get your friends and family to save their food packaging boxes for you and you can do a whole production line of recycled toys or better still, get your children involved in making the recycled toys. What a great school holiday project for days when boredom strikes.
Anything from cereal to muesli bar boxes can be used so get creative and make yourself some free recycled treat toys.
HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?
If it was up to us, all our dogs would be with us forever and whilst they are in our hearts that long, their body does wear out, just like us. And, just like us, a lot of it has to do with genetics, but you can have an influence on your dogs lifespan by following a healthy diet, exercise for the brain and the body (super important for working breeds) and surrounding them with love, safety and comfort. For all the joy our dogs give to us in their lifetime, it really is the least we can do.
The average lifespan of a working breed generally rests between 12 - 15 years. Do you know the breed that proudly boasts one of their own as living the longest – The Australian Cattle Dog or as we commonly call them, the blue or red heeler.
According to Dogtime, good ol’ Bluey lived from 1910 to 1939 and died at the age of 29 years, 5 months.
So stand tall you cheeky cattle dawgies and be proud of your longevity.
Until next time PAWS UP