Dog cooling mats are special mats designed to help regulate the body temperature of dogs in hot weather. They are made of materials that can absorb and dissipate heat, such as gel-infused foam, phase-change materials, or water-absorbing polymers.
Many dogs love their cooling mats, especially when the weather is hot. Dogs do not sweat like humans, and they rely on panting to regulate their body temperature. However, panting may not be enough in extreme heat, and a cooling mat can provide relief and help prevent heatstroke. The mat stays cool to the touch and helps cool down a dog's body as they lie on it.
Most dogs find the cool surface of the mat to be soothing; however, every dog is different and some may not be immediately comfortable with a new type of surface. It's a good idea to introduce the mat gradually and monitor your dog's behavior to ensure they are comfortable and not experiencing any adverse reactions. Additionally, some dogs may prefer a particular type of cooling mat or may not like using a mat at all. It's important to observe your dog's behavior and preferences and adjust accordingly to ensure their comfort and well-being.
Dog cooling mats are usually lightweight and portable, making them convenient for use both indoors and outdoors. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles, and they may be sold with a removable, washable cover for easy cleaning. Here are a few of our favorites from Amazon:
BEAUTY ZOO COOLING MAT - This mat has an absorbent layer and is machine washable. Cool, but not cold, this is a great introduction to cooling mats!
PRESSURE ACTIVATED GEL PAD - This mat is self cooling or can be placed in your refrigerator for faster activation. This pad is filled with a non-toxic gel that can also have orthopedic advantages but might not be the best choice for chewers. Sizing matches many popular crate sizes.
HYDRO COOLING MAT - This mat has a removable ice pack and is the "coolest" of the options but also the most expensive and least convenient. Can be made larger by joining mats together. Probably best for serious heat or when medically required.
As a pet parent, you want the best for your pup, including the treats you give them. Treats are a great way to reward good behavior, show affection, and provide a little extra love and nutrition. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the best treats for your dog. Let's take a look at what you need to consider when choosing the right treats for your pup.
The first and most important thing to consider when choosing a treat is the ingredients. Look for treats made with whole ingredients, such as meat, fruit, and vegetables, and avoid those with artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. Treats made with high-quality protein sources are a good choice, as they provide essential nutrients and help to support your dog's overall health
Allergies and Sensitivities
If your dog has any food allergies or sensitivities, it's important to choose treats that are free of the ingredients they are allergic to. For example, if your dog is allergic to grains, choose treats made with rice or potatoes instead of wheat. If you're unsure what ingredients your dog is sensitive to, talk to your veterinarian for guidance.
Palatability and Size
Dogs have different preferences, just like people do, and finding a treat that your dog enjoys is important for training. A treat that your dog loves and looks forward to eating will be much more effective as a reward. When it comes to puppies make sure to get a treat that is easily consumed. If your puppy takes a long time to consume the reward they will often get distracted while they are chewing and check out of your training session. Remember treats should account for no more than 10% of a dog's caloric intake, so ensure that the treats you are giving your dog are appropriately sized.
If your dog has special needs, such as being overweight or having dental issues, there are treats specifically designed to meet those needs. Treats that are low in fat and calories, or those that help to clean your dog's teeth, can help to keep your dog healthy and happy
The right treats can play an important role in your dog's overall health and well-being. Consider your dog's allergies, sensitivities, and nutritional needs when making your choice, and choose treats that are made with high-quality ingredients and free of artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. With the right treats, you can reward your dog for good behavior, provide them with the nutrients they need, strengthen your bond and show them your love!
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Links to LierChonPoo Suggested Treats:
Freeze dried chicken liver
Freeze fried duck and mango
Freeze dried meat treats
GIFTS FOR THE CAVALIER LOVER
It's that time of year when procrastinators everywhere start looking for last minute gifts that are guaranteed to arrive by Christmas. If you're searching for something for a Cavalier lover . . . you're in luck. Some dog themed items can be a little cheesy and useless, but here are a few that we promise are both cute and practical. These are our suggestions that are guaranteed to arrive on time:
While Amazon is the easiest resource for last minute gifts, don't forget to consider Shutterfly where you can still personalize (for a few hours) something with a photo of your own Cavalier (we love their mouse pads) or Etsy where you can support small business and buy crafty items including ornaments and totes featuring a variety of Cavaliers. Any of these options are sure to bring a smile to your Cavalier lover on Christmas.
We specifically ask our Guardian Homes and owners NOT to ask strangers on Facebook what to feed their dog. The majority of owners on forums are not veterinarians, do not properly research animal nutrition and often recommend foods that are poorly rated simply because someone else suggested them (or their vet sells them). We wrote this post to share what we feed our own dogs and the options (kibble, fresh and raw) we share with our owners. We do not cover foods sold in many veterinarian’s office but would recommend you research those options as well. If a food is recommended and you would like to read a neutral review, we suggest using Dog Food Advisor to look up any food. You may be surprised at what you find from some of the most commonly recommended and expensive vet suggested brands. Please note for us to recommend a food it must have a 4.5 or higher rating with at least 30% protein and real meat as the primary ingredient.
Please remember that we aren't veterinarians, but we are very careful and picky about what we feed our dogs. We talk to our vets. We do our homework. We talk to other breeders. We read labels. We study dog nutrition. We know that when breeding dogs, proper nutrition is the foundation to healthy animals and we've seen first-hand which brands work best on Cavaliers, Cavachons and Cavapoos. We also know that every owner and every dog is different. We do not judge other people's decisions on what to feed, as long as they are doing the best they can for their dog. We would encourage owners to investigate all of the following options:
KIBBLE - Kibble is only a small part of our dog's diet; however, most owners prefer kibble as the primary source of their dog's nutrition. We would encourage you to also consider adding home cooked and / or raw to your dog’s menu if possible. If you plan to feed only kibble, it's vitally important that you choose the best one you can afford. Kibble can often get a bad rap due to recalls, poor nutritional value and low-quality proteins but some are better than others. Here are our choices (based on where you prefer to shop):
PAWTREE OPTIONS - We were approached to test PawTree kibble on our dogs and have really enjoyed this company. We have found their claims to be true (less food, less poop, healthier dogs) and our dogs enjoy their products. We are currently feeding a rotation of Salmon & Sweet Potato, Whitefish & Brown Rice and Chicken & Oatlmeal formulas. We are also in love with their raw treats and superfoood seasonings (for that picky eater in the pack). By joining their PawClub and setting up an EZ-Ship these products enjoy free shipping!
1. Instinct Original Small Breed Dog Food (Grain Free) - This is a grain free option whose first five ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, chickpeas and tapioca. We only recommend this for dogs who require a grain-free option. Contains 39% protein.
2. Diamond Naturals Small Breed – This is a grain inclusive option whose first four ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley and ground white rice. It contains 30% protein.
1. Nulo Freestyle Small Breed (Grain Free) – This is a grain free option whose first four ingredients include Deboned salmon, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal and salmon meal. There is chicken in this recipe so it’s not suitable for dogs who are allergic to chicken. This kibble contains 34% protein.
2. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed – This is a grain inclusive option whose first four ingredients are Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal and oatmeal. This kibble contains protein. This kibble contains 31% protein.
HOME COOKED - Many new dog owners get confused with the difference between "raw feeding" (which is based on foods that are not cooked) and "home cooked" which is simply preparing your dog’s food at home from ingredients such as lean meats, vegetables and carbohydrates. This is easy to confuse. For example, we will share a puppy loaf (below) which can be served raw or cooked - it would fall in both categories.
While we do make home cooked meals for our dogs, we find it a challenge to provide all the nutritional elements necessary. We also find from our owners that truly nutritionally balanced home-cooked meals can also be time consuming, more expensive and frustrating (to make sure your dog gets all the nutrients needed). A few of our favorite recipes can be found on Damn Delicious and Food.com. We also regularly add grilled or dehydrated chicken or boiled eggs to our dogs other meals.
Luckily, today's dogs also have another great option which is "home cooked" meals delivered to your home. Many are less expensive than you may expect. Our dogs currently LOVE Ollie. This is also a great option for dogs who need a limited ingredient diet for allergies.
RAW FEEDING - This is a passionate and controversial topic. Those who support raw feeding feel that anything less is acceptable. Meanwhile, new dog owners find raw feeding confusing, time consuming and not often in line with their vet's recommendations. If you have an interest in raw feeding a Cavalier or a Cavalier hybrid, we suggest you turn to Dt. Judy Morgan. Her recipe for puppy loaf is a great introduction to raw feeding.
Another great option to get started in raw nutrition is using freeze dried and frozen raw products available through retailers and your local specialty dog food store. We rely heavily on freeze dried raw when we travel, want to introduce a new dog to raw gently and want to supplement with raw. These products provide raw benefits without you having to grind, chop, measure or mix the ingredients yourself! Here are our suggestions to help you get started on raw feeding your dogs:
1. Primal Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food – This brand has tons of flavors and are a breeze to serve. You literally just re-hydrate the nuggets with water (or bone broth) and serve.
2. Instinct Frozen Raw Bites (Grain Free Options) – Also available in patties. Another reputable brand with a wide variety of flavors. This is a grain free option that contains 85% beef and organs. Stored in the freezer, you do need to thaw these prior to serving but they thaw quickly.
AMAZON.COM OPTIONS – Please note that we don’t purchase frozen products from Amazon so this only includes their freeze dried options.
1. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Raw Dinner Patties – Another brand we love for travel but not all the flavors are created equal. We were surprised to learn that some of the flavors are not highly ranked so please keep it to Chicken, Venison Blend or Rabbit in this option.
2. Vital Essentials Beef Entree Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food – This is a great grain free option that is beef only (for those sensitive to chicken). We do not recommend this as the sole food in your dog's diet as
Let us conclude by again repeating that nutrition plays a fundamental role in your dog’s health. You shouldn’t be afraid to try a few different things to see how their skin, coat and energy change. At the end of the day, dog food is a personal choice based on your dog, your time and your budget. Don't surrender that choice to strangers with little to no knowledge of any of those factors and always discuss any dietary concerns with your vet first.
OCCUPY YOUR PUPPY: AN AMAZON LIST
Occupying your puppy is a key element to training success. It makes crate training easier, it helps to reduce destructive behaviors like chewing shoes and furniture, it reduces teething pain and it allows for distraction when nipping or barking. In order to effectively train a puppy, it's best to have a full arsenal of tools on hand and to rotate them to prevent boredom. While this may seem like a long list, it will take trial and error to really figure out what will work for your puppy. And remember, any items your puppy doesn't use or enjoy can be dropped off at your local animal shelter for less fortunate dogs who would LOVE something new! Below is our list of items we have on hand and what we use them for:
CRATE TRAINING - One key to crate training is to make the crate or pen somewhere your puppy wants to go, Not only should it be a safe place, but it should also have some stimulation to reduce boredom, barking and whining. One easy way to make that happen is to feed your puppy in the crate and to also provide stimulating rewards. For crate training, look for items that last a while and don't require supervision. Items that could cause choking should be avoided - and never use rawhide. Here are our top picks (click on each to go directly to Amazon):
GENERAL CHEWING - Dogs chew for multiple reasons including boredom and teething. Getting to the bottom of why your dog is chewing might help you choose the correct toy or product. Also, if your dog is simply bored, the best solution is always increasing exercise and mental stimulation through training. Below are some of our favorite solutions for teething and mental stimulation:
TRAINING TREATS - Training your puppy is great because it's not only mental stimulation that reduces bad behaviors but it also helps the puppy bond with you. The key to training is high value treats that the dog really wants to earn. That being said you also want to make sure it's okay for their tummies. A lot of dog treats are loaded with bad ingredients and things that can be harmful for your puppy. Try a few of these treats to find one that your puppy really enjoys and when shopping always look for single ingredients, natural ingredients and treats that can be broken in to small pieces for training sessions. Here are a few of our favorites but don't be afraid to also try home cooked treats or pieces of deli meat, ground beef, etc.
While this blog has focused on puppies, we use every item here for our grown dogs, we simply size up on some of the Kong type toys and don't break the treats in half! Best wishes in occupying your pup . . .
REDUCING THE APPEARANCE OF TEAR STAINS
Online forums are full of misinformation on tear stains and owners are often too consumed with how to reduce the appearance without focusing on the cause of the tear stains. Before reading this post, please make sure you've read our post on the Causes of Tear Stains as the cause is much more important than the cosmetics.
Once you've determined what's causing your dog's stains, you now want to turn your attention to treating them and then minimizing their appearance. Some of these suggestions may not apply depending, again, on what's causing your dog's stains; however, none of them are harmful and may help reduce the appearance of the stains.
As a reminder, we aren't vets but we own lots of dogs and these are the solutions our vets have offered that we feel have worked. We do not recommend any tear stain supplement until you carefully research as many of them contain low dose antibiotics and are not good for long term use. We also don't recommend many other internet options such as tums or human eye drops!
Another common question we hear is, "Help, I'm picking up my new puppy tomorrow. What do I need?" Here are our top picks, all of which can be accessed on Amazon.com by clicking on the item. Please see the end of this post on affiliate links and using Amazon Smile to donate to our SPCA!
A FEW EXTRAS:
As we've mentioned, we are huge supporters of our local SPCA. If you have benefited from this list, please consider using the Amazon Smile program and adding "Dorchester Paws" to your list of organizations to receive donations from your shopping. Please also note that we may receive credit from Amazon for affiliate links provided in this list. All affiliate earnings are donated to the SPCA.
Have something to add to the list, please share your ideas with future puppy owners by commenting on this post with your suggestions! Thank you!
This blog contains affiliate links. I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made from links on this blog. We do not recommend any products that we do not purchase and use for our dogs.