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Doggy Travel Preparation Tips

Picture this: You’re headed out on a trip, and you think, “Did I get everything?” If you have to question it, chances are, you just might have! Best Bully Sticks knows preparation is everything!

As a professional organizer Bonnie Dewkett knows this, too. Bonnie is a Certified Professional Organizer and dedicates her life to forming “calm from chaos” through organizational systems. It’s not different when she travels with her dog Roxy, which she does often. Here is how she preps for a road trip with her pooch!

“I take my dog everywhere.  Most people take their dog in the car with them once in a while.  My dog is with me most often than not.  She only gets left home when I work with clients in their homes or offices.  And, when it’s going to be a long day she goes to “Grandpa’s Doggie Day Care.”

It’s important to me that Roxy is always comfortable and safe so there are a few things I did to make sure we are safe travelers.

The first thing I did to make travel easily is I designated a bag just for Roxy’s gear.  I keep it ready to go at all times.  It has a travel doggie bowl (plastic collapsible kind), a travel food bag, first aid supplies, a first aid bandana (for instructions), an extra leash, treats and toys. read more…

BBS Training Tip #10: Canine Body Language

Training Tips from BBSTraining your dog can be exercise in patience. Then again, it doesn’t have to be! Dogs are incredibly expressive creatures and if you know what to look out for, you’ll be amazed by how much your dog is telling you — a lot of times we’re just not speaking the same language. There are consistent bodily expressions all dogs show. And lucky for us, this doggie dialect isn’t too hard to pick up! If you aren’t already, BestBullySticks will have you talking with your dog in no time.

Speaking Dog

There’s a whole lot to cover when it comes to canine body language. Your dog uses nearly every part of its body to express feelings and emotions – so instead of trying to describe specific situations, we’ll focus on key expressive behaviors your dog uses to communicate. This way you will be better prepared to figure out what a dog is trying to tell you at any given moment. You’ll be surprised just how much your pup can say with their furry faces and wagging tails!

Eye Contact

Dogs seldom make eye contact with each other. Catching a direct gaze from another dog is usually a sign of aggression. However, for people, this isn’t always the case. If your dog has a relaxed facial expression and he keeps making eye contact, chances are he’s just looking for some attention.

If a dog holds a tense fixed gaze he probably doesn’t want much to do with you. This type of eye contact is usually regarded as a sort of “first warning” by other dogs. The same goes for people, too. read more…

Dog Care 101 #221: Pet Fire Safety Awareness Day

Today is Pet Fire Safety Awareness Day and we at BestBullySticks thought this would be a great opportunity to bring extra attention to a very important pet-related day. Did you know there are over 1,000 house fires caused by pets each year? A surprising statistic! Many of these accidents can be prevented by taking simple precautions around the house. There are many responsibilities that come with being a pet owner — this is especially true when it comes to safety.

Developing an emergency plan that includes your pets is a great way to reduce the risk of fires in your home. Luckily, putting togeth
er an emergency plan isn’t too tough. To make things even easier, we’ve gone ahead and assembled a few quick tips to get you started. Let’s look at a few pet-centric strategies to keep your family safe.

Foolproof Fireproofing

There are a few key areas around the home that require special attention when it comes to fire safety.

The number one cause of pet-related house fires are tied to the stove. Curious dogs and and cats will snoop around counter tops for tasty morsels of food. While scavenging for goodies, your furry friend runs the risk of bumping those ever-so-easy to turn stove knobs.

Some owners opt to remove the knobs altogether, others invest in knob covers to prevent them from being accidentally turned on. Whichever route you take, both options can eliminate the chance of your pet turning on the stove. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Bull Terrier

Known for their uniquely shaped head and small triangular eyes, the Bull Terrier holds a very unique place in the world of dogs. With a proud and almost intimidating stance, many people mistake this happy dog’s protective demeanor as an overtly aggressive attitude. Despite appearances, the Bull Terrier is a tremendously playful and people-oriented breed well suited for family life.

A breed which defies all expectations, BestBullySticks is excited to put the Bull Terrier in this week’s Breed Spotlight!

Origins

The product of Bulldogs and a mix of terrier breeds, the unfortunate circumstances for this dog’s rise has luckily been left behind. During a time when dog fighting was far less frowned upon by Western societies, breeds like the Bull Terrier were high demand. By the 1830s, the “sport” of dog fighting in England was centered around two breeds — the bulldog and the terrier. The unsavory practitioners of dog fighting mixed these breeds in an attempt to create a tougher and more agile dog.

However, as luck would have it the Bull Terrier wasn’t the champion fighter they were looking for. Instead, this breed found its fate in the hands of an English breeder by the name of James Hinks.

By 1860, the breed — with its all white coat — became known as the “White Cavalier” whose demand became strictly fashion over function. Hinks’ involvement with the breed was instrumental to creating the family oriented dog we know today.

The Bull Terrier would become a trendy fashion symbol for the wealthy and encouraged Hinks to introduce more variety into the breed’s coat by crossing them with brindle Staffordshires. Sure enough, popularity soared and by 1885, the Bull Terrier had hopped the pond and made its way into the American Kennel Club!

While the physical appearance of this breed hasn’t changed much over the years, the aggressive attitudes have been completely bred out of the Bull Terrier. Even still, competitive at heart and scrappy by nature, the breed still retains its rough and tumble personality. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #214: Caring for Senior Dogs

As we near the end of “Adopt a Senior Dog Month,” we at BestBullySticks wanted to set aside some time for a very special group of dogs — seniors. For aging canines, there are special considerations that need to be kept in mind. Keeping a keen eye on behavior and general health in addition to some fine tuning in diet is all that’s needed to maintain healthy living into the senior years. Old age comes at different times for different breeds, though. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to not only identify aging, but also how to properly care for your dog as a senior.

Expectations

Knowing what to look out for is half the battle. If you’re able to spot signs of health complications early, there’s a good chance the damage can be minimized. Here are some common health issues to watch out for:

Graying: Of course, there’s nothing dangerous about going gray, but it is a good indicator of middle-age and early seniority. It should be noted, some dogs go gray early despite still being quite young.

Vision & Hearing: Inevitably, vision and hearing deteriorate with old age. For vision, some signs to watch out for are increased clumsiness and cloudy eyes. Cloudy eyes, which are often harmless and a normal process of aging, are the product of lenticular sclerosis. This is sometimes confused with cataracts — a clouding of the lens inside the eye — which is very detrimental to sight. If a clouding of the eyes occurs, make sure you promptly pay a visit to the vet. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #213: May is Chip your Pet Month

Pet Safety Starts with Identification As concerned pet owners ourselves, the BestBullySticks team believes pet safety is paramount. Identification can go a long way ensuring your furry friend’s safety — tags alone aren’t enough, though! Microchipping is a foolproof way to avoid the heartache of losing your loved ones and providing them with an easy way to get home if they run off.

Unlike a collar and tags, microchips can’t be removed and they can’t fall off. According to the American Humane Association (AHA), pets who become lost rarely find their way home:

  • 1 in 3 pets will become lost at some point during their life

  • Over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen every year in the U.S.

How Does Microchipping Work?

The electronic components of these electronic ID tags are packed into a biocompatible glass tube only a bit larger than a grain of rice (11mm). Non-allergenic, this glass casing contains the microchip, capacitor and antenna coil which together form a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #211: Grooming Tips for Flea and Tick Prevention

Springtime Dog Grooming!Spring is now in full swing and BestBullySticks wants to make sure you and your dog get the most from the sunny months ahead. We’re discussing Springtime Dog Grooming Tips because a well groomed dog doesn’t just turn heads, it helps keep them healthy too!

Reasons to Groom

Grooming is an activity pets regularly conduct by themselves. They still need your help, though! There are a few reasons why grooming should be high on your list of dog-related priorities this spring. Regular grooming habits will not only decrease your pets chance of developing epidermal and oral health problems, it’s also a great way to create a strong bond, monitor your dog’s health and even help to prevent disease.

Lyme Disease

The first step to protecting your pet from Lyme disease is making sure they’re on the correct preventative medications. BestBullySticks suggests all-natural flea and tick medications as an alternative to the toxic ingredients found in many common medications. Spot treatments are filled with chemicals and have been proven to pose a threat to both pets and owners.

Caused by a bacteria from the genus Borrelia, the chance of contracting Lyme disease is much higher between May and August — the height of tick season. Here are a few early warning symptoms: read more…

Why’s My Dog Eating That?!

Whether it’s shoes, crayons or trash, we’ve all seen our pets eat some pretty strange things. But why do they do it? Although pets can’t tell us why they engage in certain behaviors, experts have studied some of the common behaviors in pets like eating poop and grass and drinking toilet water and feel as though they have a not-so-strange answer for why pets act the way they do. If your dog is engaging in one of these behaviors, find out why here.

Cat Nip for Canines

Dogs react to anise seed the same way that cats react to catnip! Anise seed comes from a flowering anise plant. The seed’s licorice-like taste is common in Mediterranean cooking (maybe that’s why dogs love em!). According to WebMD, the seed has medical benefits, too. It is believed to aid digestion, treat coughs, menstrual cramps and helps alleviate the symptoms of Scabies and Psoriasis. Strangely enough the plant is also used as an insecticide against species of termites and cockroaches. Do not confuse this seed with Star anise. Unlike anise seed, Star anise comes from the star-shaped flower of a small evergreen and is an ingredient in Chinese 5-spice powder. Make your pooch homemade anise seed dog treats or secure seeds into their favorite toy!

Poop

Eating feces is a common dog behavior. Theresa A. Fuess, Ph.D. of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine explains that feces eating, also known as coprophagia, is not done because of a dietary or enzyme deficiency, but that it is more commonly a behavioral habit picked up when dogs are just puppies.

Dr. Jo Ann Eurell, a veterinarian and animal behavior specialist, states that dogs are scavengers, and that this behavior is common. She also notes that mother dogs often eat their puppies’ feces in an effort to clean their den and keep the smell of the puppies away. This behavior can be picked up by puppies, although most shake it off when they are weaned. If a dog has this habit, be sure to regularly clean up feces in the yard and to keep litter boxes out of reach, as Eurell explains that fixing this problem is more of a prevention than a cure. read more…

BBS Recognizes Pet Dental Health Month

February is the month of love! And BestBullySticks.com knows that one of the best ways you can love your dog is caring for his mouth! Yes, you read that right! Unfortunately pet dental health is often overlooked, and if left untreated can lead to serious health problems such as heart, lung and kidney disease.  Today, BBS will show you how to monitor and treat your dog’s dental health.

Warning Signs

  • Abnormally Bad Breath: By nature, dogs don’t have the sweetest of breath, but when something is wrong, your dog’s breath will be particularly bad.
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Swollen Gums
  • Tumors or cysts on gums or under the tongue
  • Loose Teeth

Problems
But what do the symptoms mean? Here are some of the most common dental problems your dog can encounter. 

Periodontal Disease: This is an infection that occurs between a tooth and the gum that causes tooth loss and can even spread to the rest of the body. This disease is very painful for dogs.

Gingivitis: Just like humans, dogs can get gingivitis, which is an issue caused by the buildup of plaque, tartar and bacteria on the gums. Swollen, reddened and bleeding gums and bad breath are all symptoms.

Halitosis: Bad breath can mean bad health. This is one of the first signs of many different oral issues and can be caused by stuck food or tartar build up.

Inflamed Gums: This is also caused by tartar build up or getting food particles stuck in teeth.

Mouth Tumors & Cysts: Lumps can begin forming on your dog’s gums because of neglected oral hygiene. These can sometimes be malignant and have to be surgically removed. Salivary cysts can also appear in your dog’s mouth. These large, fluid-filled blisters show up under the tongue or corners of the jaw. These sores require drainage and the damaged saliva gland must be removed. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #199: High-Five Trick Dog Training

Yes, your dog is cute. But how cool would it be to give your dog a high-five?! “Good Boy, Fido!” followed by a head pat can quickly become “Good Boy, Fido! High-Five” followed by interspecies coolness. What’s more awesome than that?

BestBullySticks.com knows once your dog has mastered standard training commands and a few tricks, your dog will not only be the cutest and best behaved at the dog park, but the most talented as well! 

Teaching the High-Five Trick

Need: Training Treats, Training Treat Pouch & a Clicker

If you’re not familiar with clicker dog training, read up on it here. Also, your dog must have the “sit” command mastered before teaching this trick.

Step 1
Have your dog sit in front of you. Place a desirable treat in your hand and make a fist. Let your dog sniff your hand to let them know the treat is there. Move the hand with the hidden treat above your dog’s head, just out of reach. Have the clicker ready in your other hand. read more…

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