What exactly is the difference between small and large breed dogs? And no, we're not just talking about size! Believe it or not, we calculate many separate factors for a dog based on their breed, lifestyle, and nutritional differences. To start, there are actually four classes of doggie size ranges: small, medium, large, and giant.
What size breed will suit my lifestyle?
While temperament, training, grooming maintenance, and athletic ability differs across all shapes and sizes of dogs, there are certain times when you must take size into account. Do you live in a house with a yard, or an apartment or condo complex? Most larger breeds will not be able to adapt to small living spaces if not exercised properly. They need the extra wiggle room to keep them happy and healthy (both mentally and physically), but depending on your activity level, high-energy breeds can live the city life if exercised appropriately everyday. Life expectancy and medical conditions are also correlated differently depending on breed and size, for further insight please read PetMD's article, How Long Do Dogs Live?, and Cesar's Way article Dog size and life span: When bigger isn't better.
What are the nutritional differences for small and large breeds?
While we covered that there are more than just two size classes for dogs, you may have noticed that many dog food brands will label their products either 'small breed' or 'large breed'. What then? And what is the difference? First, smaller dogs have a higher metabolic rate than larger dogs, and they burn through calories much quicker. Small breed puppies should especially be fed a calorie-dense food to prevent hypoglycemia, lethargy, and even more serious health conditions. Large breed dogs can be similar to small breeds, but have different requirements. Large breeds puppies require diets with lower levels of calcium and phosphorus to reduce the rate of developmental diseases such as hip dysplasia. High levels of dietary antioxidants are also necessary for small breeds that live a long time, compared to large breeds who are more apt to suffer from arthritis in old age and require ingredients like glucosamine. Learn more on how to choose the best food for your pet with sites like DogFoodAdvisor, or watch the documentary Pet Fooled on Netflix.
How does size affect grooming?
While coat maintenance is based on breed and not necessarily size, the amount of dog being groomed will definitely affect the time spent in the grooming room! A Toy Poodle may need less time for a trim compared to a Standard Poodle, and both need different preparation, tools, and materials used to conduct a good grooming. Here at Buddies it is important that we schedule our appointments ahead of time so that we may adapt our schedule to different size dogs. This allows time for our groomers to prep the right tools and products for the breed. We make the most out of every minute spent with your buddy, no matter big or small!
Whether you are deciding to bring a new pet into your home, or searching for the best brand of food, recognize that research is the best way to empower your best buddy's health and happiness. Reach out to other pet parents, groomers, or veterinarians to discuss health and nutritional options. We encourage everyone to go beyond the basics, and respect the differences of every breed!
June has officially arrived, Cape traffic begins, and the beaches are soon to start buzzing. Summer is here, and need we say more? No dilly dallying this time (we've already waited a whole winter, after all), so without further ado, here are our tips for getting the most out of some Summer waggin', lickin', and lovin'!
We sit on the couch, at our desks, in the kitchen, and on the bed; wherever our eyes may peacefully binge watch our favorite movies and TV without interruption. Accompanying our couch potato journey is the family dog, our trusty (albeit also lazy) sidekick. They may just snuggle and snooze, perhaps boof in their sleep, but sometimes you look over and find their ears alert, eyes staring in the direction of the screen, and...could it be? Is Fido hooked on that cliff-hanger or are you just imagining it?
In an alternate universe I'm sure a modern dog utopia exists - where canines stream videos on 'Barkflix', argue about the 'Old Yeller Cinematic Universe', and tune in to 'Live Viewer Treats'. But in our reality, the real reasoning behind your terrier's interest in the telly may simply be based on personality and breed characteristics.
Dogs are able to recognize visuals of other dogs, even among images of humans or other animals, according to a 2013 study published in Animal Cognition. They also process imagery faster than we do, meaning older television sets showing less frames per second would appear "to be flickering like a '1920's movie'", according to Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist from Tufts University. This is why HDTV channels like DogTV are designed for dogs, since the higher framerate and altered colors allows them to have a viewing experience similar to our own.
So you may think your pet is just as absorbed in that favorite Soap Opera as you are, but ultimately dogs are simply watching the visuals pass by, and do not actually know that Sally knows that Brian knows that Sally knows that Brian knows. However, they do recognize what naturally attracts their attention, such as other dogs, animals, and sounds.
Sometimes it also just boils down to the individual. Just like with people, some dogs just can't be bothered with TV, and others jump off the walls when they see animals on screen. This can vary breed to breed, such as that Hounds are scent oriented and tend to concentrate less on visuals, while Herding dogs are more attentive to what they see.
There may be a fair compromise yet for you and your binge watching companion, as long as it involves recognizable animals, and airs in sweet, sweet HD. So put down the leash and pick up the remote
We say 'walking' but really we know it's actually 'skating' or 'slipping' or 'pretending you walked the dog in the snow when you sat by a fire with some hot chocolate instead.' But how long can you resist those pleading eyes? Dogs need their exercise, and a daily walk means a daily walk, snow or no snow. So here are some tactics to aid in the preparation of a good winter's walk:
As New Englanders we know snow, and we also know there are proper ways to make our winter experience at least a little more pleasant. For us pet parents, this might mean dedication spent waiting in the cold until Fido does their business, but it also means time spent frolicking in a winter wonderland.
And we can't deny that our pets provide excellent snowy entertainment!
February is National Pet Dental Health Month, which we know sounds just as exciting as you might think it sounds, but the truth is anytime is a good time to get rid of bad breath, and promote a healthy dog-slobber environment!
Dogs and cats use their mouths differently than us humans, they explore the world by sniffing, licking, and taste-testing earth's natural (and unnatural) wonders. What enters their mouth stays there in the form of bacteria, so always be aware of what your pet decides to deem edible. Dogs and cats both have natural bacteria contained in their mouths, usually species-specific, which is not transmissible to people, just like we cannot transfer our colds or sickness to them. However, it is a myth that dog's mouths are cleaner.
So what is the best way to ensure your pet has a healthy dental environment?
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommend daily tooth brushing and annual dental cleanings. Chew toys designed to interact with teeth and gums, or natural chews like antlers, also assist in strengthening and cleaning.
What are the signs of a dental problem? Just like with people, tooth and mouth complications can be unpleasant for our furry friends, and bad breath especially can signal underlying health issues. For questioning bad odor, see our other post Why Does My Dog Stink? Also look out for excessive drooling, loss of teeth, or visual changes, such as spots or cysts on the tongue.
Why does my pet need a dental cleaning under anesthesia? Veterinary professionals can perform oral checkups during a regular exam, but dental cleaning procedures are done under anesthesia. This is often necessary in order for pets to stay still and tolerate dental work, as well as to prevent fear and pain. Certain breeds and older dogs are more likely to require tooth extractions, but always discuss with a medical professional the use and monitoring of anesthesia for pets. For more discussion on anesthesia, check out PetMD, Pet Health Network, and, Veterinary Practice News.
As a part of National Pet Dental Health Month we hope this information proves useful and helpful to the pets and pet parents we interact with everyday. Rest easy knowing your pet won't wake you in the morning with bad breath, invest in chews toys and simple daily tooth brushing to ensure their comfort, health, and happiness. We always appreciate bright, clean smiles from people and pets!
Does your dog need a massage? Or how about a chiropractor?
Admittedly this is probably not the question on everyone's mind coming into the new year, but as 2017 begins, we look forward to our #1 goal of promoting pet health. While a groomer's domain is the skin, pet parents are always welcome to bring up health concerns to groomers. It is important for us to know whether a pet has a serious health condition or has recently undergone surgery. Other conerns we hear often may include 'My pet is limping', 'My pet is constantly licking their paws/licking off their fur', 'My pet is older and cannot stand or sit comfortably', or 'My pet is sensitive in a specific area'. Our groomers will take everything into account and analyze sensitive areas if need be, but beyond fur and skin, we will recommend a visit to the vet if necessary.
Other benefits include:
Want to learn more about pet massage or how to massage your own dog? Try Cesar's Guide on Dog Massage, How to Massage Your Own Dog by Modern Dog Magazine, or learn more through the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in Worcester, MA. And yes, massage is also great for cats!
Also check out the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Canine Journal, or The Conscious Cat to learn how pet chiropractic works.
So you think you have what it takes to be a master pet chef? You're a connoisseur of all things tasty, you cook nonstop at home, you text your friends recipes at midnight while catching up on the latest episode of the Great British Baking Show. But what will it take to impress your pet?
More about bagged and canned pet food on our previous blog post here. Always be careful when considering a raw food diet for your pet, and be aware of the bacteria or possible illness which can occur from consuming raw foods. Consult your vet before any influential changes to your pet's diet. We've listed only the basics of pet nutrition, and we encourage chefs to expand their knowledge further through ongoing research and practice. By taking your time to make these healthy choices for your pet, they will judge you for the winner you are!
October is the official Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, notably shared with National Pet Wellness, Black Cat Awareness, andPitbull Awareness Month. The first week of October is also National Walk Your Dog Week, so grab a pet and a pumpkin spice latte, and you're all set to go! Right? Well, sort of.
While October may encourage you to cozy up in a sweater and adopt all the dogs and kitties of the world, the choice and commitment to adopting a shelter dog, or any pet for that matter, has a few important steps to it. Preparing your household and lifestyle for a new member of the family is one, but unlike buying a puppy from a breeder, shelter pets have a variety of backgrounds which may affect their behavior when entering a new home. The knowledge of where a pet has previously been is a great tool to learning about your new best buddy, but sometimes your pet's backstory might be a mystery. In this case, talk to the shelter about any behavioral concerns, and make sure to research and prepare for any special proofing or adjustments an overly anxious or handicapped pet may require.
After thorough preparation, it's time to choose! Animals of all ages can be found in shelters, so know when considering adopting from a shelter that puppies, kittens, and their adult counterparts are all available to find homes. Older pets may even come with the perks of previous training, and most shelters will spay/neuter pets in their care, with no additional charge to you! Shelters often give full health-screenings, including vaccinations and heartworm tests, and may also microchip the pets in their care. Even more, shelters also have the choice of mixed breeds, which tend to have fewer health issues compared to pure breds.
To search for available pets up for adoption in shelters near you, sites like Petfinder can search by location for a variety of animals, with extra tools to sort by breed, size, and gender. You may also search directly on the MSPCA Boston website, or other shelters and rescue groups like the Marshfield Animal Shelter, the Scituate Animal Shelter, PAWS New England, Last Hope K9 Rescue, or the Greyhound Pets of America. If you bring home a new buddy this month, congratulations knowing you helped a pet in need! Happy October!
Ah, yes, one of the many topics pet owners can bond over. A true classic. There are even multiple dog smells to choose from. Wet dog is a definite favorite, followed closely by dog breath, and who could forget the beloved scent of old dog?
Well, we've been there, done that. Dog smell is just part of the package when you're a groomer. Stink is one of the many reasons owners show their pets a one-way destination to the tub. But what causes a dog to smell, aside from playing not-so-nice with a skunk, and how often is too often for a good, clean wash and dry?
Assess the stink:
Health is a common correlation to a smelly dog. Just like with people, a dog's body emits particular odors if ill or stressed. It is important to recognize what the natural smell of your dog is like, and appreciate them in good health.
What you can do to help:
A summertime pool doodle doing what doodles do best.
You don't need to look far and wide to see that doodles are one of the top dogs in town. We see many doodles, of all sizes, shapes, colors, and mixes. From Labradoodles, to Goldendoodles, to Springerdoodles, and Bernedoodles, every dog is unique. While coat type among doodles can vary, one thing they all share in common is maintenance!
One of the first important steps in caring for your doodle is to get them used to grooming at an early age. Regular brushing should be done when puppies are 3 to 4 months old to familiarize them with being handled, especially around their paws and back-end.
Around a year of age, doodles will lose their puppy coat and grow an adult coat. Since doodles do not shed frequently, they have no way of getting rid of their old coat while the new one grows in. Brushing is the best method to strip out the old coat, or else it will tangle with the new hair growing in. Around this age it is common for groomers to shave down the coat if we see a doodle that is matted.
Matting causes your pet discomfort, as it pulls on the skin. Dogs actually have skin much thinner than a human's, so any mat bigger than a thumb will need attention. Zoomin Groomin does not practice de-matting, which can be painful for your pet. The best way and least stressful for your pet is to have the mats cut out professionally by a groomer, and to shave or trim the coat down. If you cannot run a comb through your dog's fur, then they are most likely matted.
ZG pro team