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The joys of having a family dog

The relationships we humans have with our dogs is extremely special. It is arguably the most rewarding relationship any of us will ever have with a non-human being. The love and devotion offered by our dogs is completely unconditional; they care about us so deeply for no reason other than because they want to. With this deep bond between us, there are obviously many outstanding reasons to have a family dog. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things that make the human-canine relationship so rewarding.

Companionship

Dogs are constant and solid companions. No matter our moods, character or station in life, they will always be there for us. They are always eager to greet you when you come in, love to please you at all times and they are especially loving when their uncanny senses tell them that we are feeling down. Dogs are always there to listen to us, and when we come up short they don’t question, second-guess or rebuke. They just love more intensely.

Unconditional love

No matter how you feel or behave, your dog will continue to love you. Unlike humans, dogs offer unconditional love. They may sulk if you don’t respond to their needs immediately or get their feelings hurt if you don’t return their affections, but you can bet that they will come running when you call even if you have shooed them away. They will do anything in their power to make you happy when you are sad — especially if they think a thorough face licking will help!

Health benefits

Having a family dog is beneficial to your health. The greeting you receive from an excited dog that is overjoyed to see you will make you feel wonderful, eliminating the day’s stress in an instant. Adding to that, when you take your canine companion for his or her daily walk and play all the games they love so much you are exercising your own body and getting fresh air. There are also emotional benefits you get from petting and grooming your dog (lowered blood pressure). The sense of worth and motivation that comes from knowing that another living being depends on us also improves our emotional state.

Security and safety

Dogs greatly increase the level of security we feel in our daily lives. They are extremely protective and, by nature, territorial animals, which means they defend their territory — in this case our homes — at all costs. With their keen senses of hearing, sight and smell, they will always alert you when someone is approaching your home. If the person has no business on your property your dog’s barking will often be enough of a deterrent to send them on their way. Outside the home, your dog will protect your personal space as well. They can easily detect threatening body language and unusual behavior from strangers — well before you would notice. Your dog’s vociferous response to a perceived threat will typically ensure that such strangers keep moving and avoid you.

Increased social interaction

For individuals who have difficulty meeting people or making friends, owning a dog is a great way of naturally meeting other dog owners while strolling the neighborhood, playing in the park or hiking in nearby natural areas. The presence of your dog removes the normal social barriers to discussion since it is an easy conversation starter with people you meet along the way. Plus, it gives others a comfortable entry point to approach you if they are interested in striking up a conversation.

In summary, it is clear that the joys of having a family dog are many and important. Dogs are good for our health, our self-image and our safety. If a pill offered the same benefits we would call it a miracle drug and everyone would be on a daily regimen.

If this article has you thinking about adding a dog to your household, you can’t do better than opting for a sensitive, intelligent and beautiful Goldendoodle to be your new family member.

Summer activities with your new Goldendoodle puppy

The summer can be the best time to bring home a new Goldendoodle puppy. Along with all of the typical joys that come from having a new dog, you’ll also be able to take part in all of the fun activities of summer. These are just a few of the awesome activities you can enjoy together.

Water sports

You probably love to get in the swimming pool or otherwise get wet when it’s hot outside, and your new Goldendoodle puppy will probably enjoy it, too. If you don’t have a pool, consider investing in a small wading pool that is designed for a baby. Your puppy can splash around in it and cool off when it’s hot outside. Just be careful not to put too much water in the pool, and never leave your puppy unsupervised during pool play. You can also try running through and splashing around the lawn sprinkler or garden hose to get wet and have a good time.

Community activities

The summer months are usually filled with lots of great activities for people and dogs in the community. Keep an eye on your local community calendar for any fun events that might be out there for you and your new pup to participate in, such as a neighborhood dog walk. This is a great way to have fun with your new puppy, help him socialize with other pets and people, and proudly show her off to your neighbors. Just make sure to bring along plenty of fresh water to ensure that your puppy stays well hydrated.

Fetching games

When the weather is nice and warm outside, it’s a great time to work with your puppy and teach him or her how to fetch. Get online or check out your local pet store for small-sized tennis balls, frisbees and other toys that will be appropriate for your new pup. Then, you can head outside for as much active play as your puppy wants.

Camping

If you and your family love to go camping, you should definitely consider bringing your new pup with you. It’s a great way to explore outdoor hiking trails, hang out by the campfire or otherwise have a wonderful adventure in nature. Your pup is sure to enjoy the activity, and this is a great way for the entire family to bond with your new furry family member. Just make sure that your pup is wearing a collar, tag and leash and that you keep a good eye on him or her while you’re away from home.

As you can see, the summer months are perfect for spending time with an energetic Goldendoodle. If you’re ready to make lasting memories like those mentioned in this blog post, be sure to buy your puppy from a reputable Goldendoodle breeder and not a puppy mill.

What do I need to know about bloat?

Even when your dog is in perfect health, there are still things that can go wrong over the course of its life. One of the most serious conditions you should familiarize yourself with is a life-threatening issue called gastric volvulus — or more commonly, bloat.

Here are some facts about bloat excerpted from WebMD.

Bloat is a life-threatening emergency that affects dogs in the prime of life. The mortality rate for gastric volvulus approaches 50 percent. Early recognition and treatment are the keys to survival.

Anatomy of Bloat: Bloat actually refers to two conditions. The first is gastric dilatation, in which the stomach distends with gas and fluid. The second is volvulus, in which the distended stomach rotates on its long axis. The spleen is attached to the wall of the stomach, and therefore rotates with the stomach.

Bloat can occur in any dog at any age, but typically occurs in middle-aged to older dogs. There may be a familial association. Large-breed dogs with deep chests are anatomically predisposed. These breeds include the Great Dane, German Shepherd Dog, St. Bernard, Labrador Retriever, Irish Wolfhound, Great Pyrenees, Boxer, Weimaraner, Old English Sheepdog, Irish Setter, Collie, Bloodhound, and Standard Poodle. Chinese Shar-Pei and Basset Hounds have the highest incidence among midsize dogs. Small dogs are rarely affected, with the exception of Dachshunds, who are also deep-chested.

Current and potential owners should note the presence of the Standard Poodle on the list of predisposed breeds. Those who have them, or have full-size Poodle mixes such as Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, should definitely familiarize themselves with the recommended steps for reducing the risk of bloat and the early warning signs of dogs who are experiencing it. This information and more can be found in the full WebMD article linked above.

In closing, don’t let this blog post scare you. Creating fear or worry is not our intent — and, let’s face it, won’t help anything anyway. This is simply a call to educate yourself so that you’re better able to protect your beloved canine companions going forward.

Give your children the gift of growing up with a dog

Welcoming a furry member to the family can be one of the best experiences for your children. Teaching them how rewarding it can be to care for someone other than themselves is a life lesson that can dramatically impact the rest their lives in a positive way.

Empower your child with responsibility

Let’s face it: every parent wants to raise a responsible and kind child. What better way to instill these values than by expanding your family to include a loving canine companion. Dogs require a great deal of care and attention on a daily basis. Inviting your child to participate will help them develop a sense of responsibility.

Explain the vital importance of providing your pet with fresh, healthy water and keeping it replenished. Teach your child what healthy food choices for a dog look like. This can be a great way to incorporate some human nutrition lessons along the way. Explain how good eating habits directly impact your dog’s health and lifespan in the same way our food choices affect the way we feel and live.

Advise your children how toxic chocolate, grapes and raisins can be for your dog. Remind them that if the dog gets into the garbage or finds forbidden foods on the floor it might make their furry friend feel very sick and result in an expensive trip to the vet.

Compassion for living things

Teaching your children how to love and care for other living things is one of the best gifts you will ever share with them. They can carry this knowledge over to their dealings with people, pets and even plants. Understanding the cycle of life is magical. Working as a team to ensure everyone’s needs are met is an important and basic part of being in a family. Supplying the needs of a pet will help to teach them this lesson in a powerful way.

Develop watching, listening and safety skills

Use your pet as a great example regarding non-verbal communication. Teach them the value of body language and have them become familiar with how your dog carries itself when it is happy, disappointed, agitated, nervous, excited or bored. Get them used to noticing the dogs’ tail and ears and the expression in its eyes. Make sure they know it is never acceptable to approach a dog in a hyper manner and explain how scary it can be to a dog when someone runs up to them with their arms and hands flailing about. Teach your children to always ask an owner if they can pet their dog before doing so. If permission is given, show them to hold their hand still and allow the dog to come up and smell them first. These skills can help your children become more observant and will keep them safer around strange dogs.

Environmental ambassadors

Always having a doggy pick-up bag with you on your walks “just in case” is part of being a responsible pet owner. Consider letting your children help clean up the dog poop in the backyard. Ask them to do a perimeter check prior to their next play date. It’s not the most fun job but it is important for the health and well-being of every member of the family. Besides, they need to understand that it’s not only mom’s and dad’s job to keep the yard and the planet clean.

If you want your children to learn the many valuable lessons that come with raising a family dog, consider adding one to your household.

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