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Unleashing The Secrets Of Canine Nutrition: Your 2024 Guide


If you’re looking to ensure your furry friend is not just surviving, but absolutely thriving, then you’ve barked up the right tree. This guide isn’t just about feeding your furry friend; it’s about nourishing them in a way that ensures they’re not merely getting by, but thriving with vigor and vitality. Ready to know more? Let’s get to it!

Decoding Dog Food Labels: What’s Really In That Kibble?

First things first, let’s talk about what goes into your dog’s bowl. Ever stared at a dog food label and felt like you were trying to decipher an ancient scroll? You’re not alone. It’s crucial to understand that not all dog foods are created equal, even if we would like to believe they are. The key? Look for high-quality protein sources, like real chicken, beef, or fish. These should be right at the top of the ingredient list – not buried beneath a heap of unpronounceable additives.

“Grain-Free” – A Trend Or A Must?

Ah, the great grain-free debate. While it’s been all the rage, it’s essential to understand that grains aren’t necessarily bad. Unless your dog has a specific allergy, grains like rice and oats can be beneficial. They provide energy and essential nutrients. So, before you jump on the grain-free wagon, consider if it’s a need or just a trend wagging its tail. You must do your own research before deciding to take a side, unless your vet has told you otherwise. Just as you wouldn’t ignore dietary instructions from your doctor, it’s important to heed professional advice when it comes to your dog’s diet. Remember, each dog is unique and what works for one may not be ideal for another.

The Magic Trio: Proteins, Fats, And Carbs

Balancing proteins, fats, and carbs is like being a DJ at a doggy dance party – you need the right mix! Proteins are the main act, essential for muscle maintenance and overall health. Fats keep their coat shiny and support brain health. Carbs are the energy boosters, keeping your dog ready for any adventure you wish to go on. Striking the right balance ensures your dog isn’t just doing the one-step shuffle but going through life with a little skip in their step.

Supplements: To Boost Or Not To Boost?

Supplements can be a game-changer, but they’re not always necessary. Think of them like the extra sprinkles on a doggy cupcake – nice but not essential. However, in certain cases, like with older dogs or those with specific health issues, supplements can be beneficial. Including certain supplements in your dog’s diet can help to boost dog immune system, ensuring they stay healthy and resilient against illnesses. Although it’s not all about supplements – a well rounded care plan is vital to help your dog thrive in life. 

Hydration Station: Water Is More Than Just A Drink

Water isn’t just for after a tongue-dangling game of fetch. It’s vital for your dog’s overall health, playing a crucial role in keeping their kidneys in tip-top shape and helping to flush out toxins. Keeping your dog well-hydrated helps in digestion, nutrient absorption, and temperature regulation. Don’t overlook this simple yet essential aspect of your dog’s diet – just as you wouldn’t for yourself. So always ensure fresh water is available, whether at home or on the go.

The Power Of Fresh Foods: A Pawsome Addition

Consider incorporating fresh foods into your dog’s diet for added nutrients and variety. Carrots can be a crunchy snack, while blueberries offer a burst of antioxidants, and cooked pumpkin can aid in digestion. These fresh additions, along with a whole list of others, can make mealtime more exciting and nutritious for your furry friend. Plus, they provide natural vitamins and minerals that are essential for a well rounded canine diet.

Exercise And Diet: The Dynamic Duo

A good diet isn’t just about what your dog eats but also how they burn it off. Regular exercise is crucial, not only for maintaining a healthy weight but also for strengthening their muscles, heart and lungs. It’s not just about keeping them physically fit, but mentally sharp too. A well-exercised dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog is a healthy dog, so make sure to balance their diet with just the right amount of physical activity. Be sure not to overexert them, though, so be sure to read up about what kind and amount of exercise your dog needs – each breed is different. 

Understanding Your Dog’s Unique Needs

Every dog is unique, and their diet should reflect that. A diet that works wonders for a sprightly Jack Russell might not suit a laid-back Bulldog. Age, activity level, and health conditions play a significant role in determining the right diet. Keep an eye on how your dog reacts to their food and adjust as needed. And when in doubt, a chat with the vet can clear the clouds and provide tailored nutritional advice.

Treats: The Icing On The Cake

Let’s not forget about treats – the little joys of a dog’s life. While it’s tempting to shower them with treats, moderation is key to prevent weight gain and maintain a balanced diet. Opt for healthy options and remember, treats should be just that – a treat, not a meal replacement. Treats can be a great way to reinforce positive behavior, but ensure they are given in appropriate amounts to maintain your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.

The Final Scoop

Remember, you’re not just a pet owner; you’re the guardian of a tail-wagging, four-legged bundle of joy. Your dog’s nutrition is a significant part of your journey together. By paying attention to what goes into their bowl, you’re ensuring a long, healthy, and happy life for your furry best friend.

So, as you embark on this year with your beloved companion by your side, keep these nutritional tidbits in mind. Your dog doesn’t just deserve a good life – they deserve a great one that allows them to thrive in all ways possible. And with the right nutrition, you’re on the path to making that happen!

4 Profitable Pet Business Ideas Worth Considering


A pet business is perfect if you are an animal lover; you get to make money and spend time caring for fluffy, furry, and scaly creatures. Pet ownership rate has been on the rise recently thanks to urbanization, shifting lifestyles, and a high number of single-person households. Many pet owners care about the diet and health of their animals, and this has led to a booming market for nutritional supplements, wellness services, and premium dog treats. If you’re thinking about launching a pet business, consider drawing inspiration from these ideas. 

Dog grooming

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Dog grooming services are constantly in demand, so you may want to try this idea. Pet groomers exist on different levels – some perform basic bath and nail trimming, while others specialize in grooming perfectly presented dogs that take part in dog shows. Becoming a pet groomer may not require an official certification, so keep this in mind. You only need to undertake training, and you can start your dog grooming business afterward. Kindly note that the startup costs to run this business may be high if you have to buy new equipment and supplies. Mobile pet grooming also requires substantial startup investment. However, it’s one of the top mobile business ideas to try in 2024. Although you won’t deal with the overhead of brick-and-mortar locations, you will surely have to invest in vehicles and accompanying equipment.

Private-label pet food

Venturing into pet food sales could be a full-time business or side hustle for those who care about pet health and nutrition. Consider selling dry and wet food for all pet species. You can also invest in private label dog treats; these products are starting to gain significant attention in the pet food industry thanks to their benefits. Many retailers and sellers create their own brands to rival industry giants. You can fully control your business and create a unique product with a private label. Although it may not be easy, the investment is worth it since you can benefit from increased brand recognition, decreased competition, and maximum profitability. Many private-label pet product suppliers leverage ecommerce platforms and create distribution networks with suppliers. That said, you can collaborate directly with manufacturers, improving your control over the look and composition of your pet food.

Pet waste removal

Animal waste removal services involve pet waste collection and disposal. You can do this in commercial and residential settings. Cleaning up waste enhances a pet’s safety and health while benefiting the environment. However, before you start a pet waste removal business, make sure you find a space and invest in the appropriate equipment. You may require rubbish bins with lids and a few employees to assist you in running the business.

Pet photography

Pet photographers specialize in taking beautiful pictures of animals. Fortunately, starting this business isn’t capital-intensive. Once you have a high-quality camera and experience in photography, you can offer services such as pet portraits. Many pet owners enjoy seeing epic photos of their lovely animals. Therefore, this is a good way to bring smiles to the faces of these people while making a living.

Want to Start your Own Dog Walking Business? Here’s What you Need to Know


Do you want to start your own dog-walking business? If so, you’ll need to take note of the tips listed below. 

Qualifications and Experience

You don’t need a degree if you want to start a dog-walking business. It goes without saying though, that you do need to have experience with dogs. If you don’t have a dog then try and ask your friends and family to see if you can walk theirs so you can build your experience a bit. If you are going to start a business walking dogs then you need to enjoy being around them, and you also need to feel confident handling them. You can even volunteer your time at an animal shelter if you want. This will give you the chance to learn about different breeds, as well as helping you to gain an understanding of how to manage multiple animals. Taking a course in pet first-aid will also help, so be mindful of that. If you have a lot of experience, why not consider starting your own dog park? You can get dog park equipment online, with ease.

Complying with the Law

There are a lot of laws, regulations and rules that you need to comply with when walking dogs. First of all, you will need to register so you can pay your taxes. You will also need to complete your tax return annually, so you can make sure that you are always staying on top of how much you are bringing in. Of course, you also have rules that relate to controlling your dog.

You will need to consider the safety aspect of walking other people’s dogs, keeping the public and other dogs safe from the dogs you are walking, using dog safety measures to keep any dogs you care for at your home safe and, of course, your safety when meeting and interacting with dogs you don’t own to be able to walk them safely. If you are walking dogs as a business, the law requires you to ensure you have understood all aspects of safety in relation to this profession.

Dogs in public places have to wear a collar, and this needs to have both the name and address of the person engraved on it. You can usually find out all of the information you need online, so don’t be afraid to look into the options that are available to you. 

How Many Dogs Can You Walk?

Think about it, how many dogs can you realistically walk at any one time? There isn’t a limit on the amount of dogs you take out. Usually, though, you need to be wary of walking more than four dogs at any given time. If you walk more dogs than you can handle, you may find that each dog is at risk of injury. On top of this, if one dog chases something then the other dogs may follow, which can make things difficult for you. Spend some time getting to know each dog you are walking and what temperament they have, so you can pair them up accordingly.

Consider Costs

Being a member of an association may help you to get your business off the ground faster. This ensures that you are up to date with everything and it also means that you can attract new customers. You may also want to have a criminal history check done so that people know that they can trust you. It doesn’t cost a lot to get this done so try and make sure that you keep this in mind if possible.

Dog Date Night: 5 Indoor Camping Dog Activities for Evening In


Looking for a fun way to spend an evening with your dog? I have the cutest dog date idea to share.

This weekend the weather called for a washout. And I was already feeling cuddly.

I decided to embrace the mood with a unique idea: Camping indoors with my pup.

I used my living room to set the stage. I brought out my mattress and decorated it as if it were the magical outdoors.

To involve my dog, I brainstormed some fun camping-related dog actives we could do.

Of course, camping is complete without snacks.

Actually, in my dog’s books, no night is complete without snacks.

So we put together some doggy smores and popcorn for a delicious evening.

In this article, learn 5 activities to do on your indoor camping doggy date.

How to Camp Indoors with Your Dog: Dog Date Idea

To make the night magical and fun, we suggest preparing ahead of time so you have what you need.


Get the Campsite Ready

indoor camping dog activities

Brainstorm ways to make your living room into an outdoor campsite. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Bring mattress into the living room and use hung blankets to make a fort tent around it (this is what I did)
  • Pitch a real tent if you have one
  • Candles (out of dog’s reach)
  • Battery-operated candles
  • Lanterns
  • Pinecones
  • Fairy lights

Start with the blanket fort or tent. Once that’s set up, display your outdoor décor. Hang fairy lights from the blankets or tent and place lanterns beside the bed.

Nail the Outdoor Scent

The city smells a lot different than backcountry. Mimic the smell you’d experience while camping with some essential oils or candles.

I used my essential oil diffuser and birch essential oil. If you’re using an essential oil, use a small amount. Make sure the smell doesn’t irritate your dog or cause allergy symptoms.

Fishing Dog Activity

Fishing is the #1 camping activity but you can’t exactly do that from your living room.

Instead, fish for your dog! It’s hilarious and super fun—easily my favorite part of the night.

All you need is a treat and fishing line. Tie the fishing line around the treat. Dangle and bounce the fishing line around, making your dog chase it. (See the video above!)

Since fishing line is bouncy, it creates a “hopping” effect that’s different than your dog’s usual playtime routine. And because they can’t see the fishing line super well, it’s an added challenge. Like fishing, even when your dog “catches” the bait, it can easily hop out of their mouth.

Binky loved it. I think it gave him the same excitement of squirrels.


The easiest dog-friendly camping snack to make is popcorn. Plus, they love the crunch!

Popcorn is safe for dogs to eat in moderation as long as it’s not laden with butter or seasoning.

To make it the healthiest way possible, pop it over a stove using minimal oil. I use these directions and it works for me every time.

When it’s done popping, separate the popcorn into two bowls: yours and your dogs. Add whatever you want on yours while keeping your dog’s plain.

Chase Flashlight Dog Activity

Take advantage of your dark living room by playing the flashlight game.

Point your flashlight around the room and watch your dog chase it, trying to catch the elusive light.

Make Smores

Smores are another campfire classic that you can’t go without—even indoors!

I’m lucky to have a smores maker. This is a flameless element that you can plug-in and roast your marshmallows over.

Of course, smores contain chocolate and are a big no-no for dogs. So follow the recipe below instead.

Dog Smores

A heatless campfire classic without the chocolate.

  • 2 Small dog biscuits
  • Peanut butter
  1. Spread a small amount of peanut butter onto one dog biscuit. Add the other dog biscuit on top, forming a sandwich.

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dog recipes, dog treats
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Cuddle and Watch a Movie

If you were really camping, you’d probably end the night with some stories or songs over the campfire. Since that’s not an option, we’ll go for the next best thing, watching it!

Cap the night off by watching a scary movie or a movie about camping. I chose the movie RV with Robin Williams. Other ideas for camping movies include:

  • Camp Nowhere
  • Blair witch project
  • Parent Trap

Don’t forget to give your pup a good cuddle to keep them warm from the outdoors!

DIY: How To Paw Print Magnet: Fun Crafts for Dogs


There’s nowhere your dog wants their paw prints more than the fridge.

That’s why they’ll be so proud to make this DIY paw print magnet.

Bond with your pup by making this keepsake you’ll cherish forever. Using only a few tools you can find at the dollar store, you can create this magnet in under an hour! Customize the colors according to your décor and don’t forget to sign your dog’s name! It’s the perfect idea for crafts for dogs, especially if you’re a dog mom!

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a DIY paw print magnets.

How to DIY Paw Print Magnet: Crafts for Dogs

This paw print magnet is the perfect piece to infuse your kitchen with dog love. Customize the paint colors to suit your décor. Just be sure your dog’s painty paw doesn’t run off! Also a great crafts for dogs option if you’re looking to make personalized gifts.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

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To make this magnet crafts for dogs idea, you’ll need:

  • Mini canvas magnets (I got mine at the Dollar Tree!)
  • 2 different colors of paint
  • Paint brush
  • Dog paw
  • Newspaper and paper towel

You can buy mini canvas magnets at the craft store or online. For the cheapest spot, I got mine at the dollar tree.

Step 2: Paint Canvas

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Paint the canvas your chosen background color. This color should contrast from the one you’ll use for your dog’s paw print. Let dry.

Step 3: Paint Dog Paw + Press on Canvas

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This step is the tricky part. It’s easiest if your dog is small. For big breeds, you might want a second pair or hands to ensure there’s no mess. Prepare the space with a lot of newspaper on the ground. You can also do it outside. You’ll also want a few wet paper towels nearby to clean your dog’s paws. Remember that they can run all over the place and create a mess, so you’ll want to be prepared and in control!

Dip a paint brush into paint and paint your dog’s paw. Immediately press onto canvas magnet. Try to hold their paw and guide it toward the canvas to make a firm imprint. Keep repeating until canvas is filled. Add more paint to your dog’s paw if necessary.

It’s okay if it’s messy or your dog’s paw “swipes.” Remember that this is your dog’s art, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can also use a finer paintbrush to define the paw prints later. (I didn’t do this but you could!).

Wipe off your dog’s paw with wet and dry paper towel. Let their painting dry.

Step 4: Show Off

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Show off your dog’s masterpiece. Just as you would a kid’s artwork, proudly display the magnet on your fridge for all to see.

DIY Paw Print Magnet: Crafts for Dogs

Learn how to make this easy dollar store craft using only a few tools. And of course, a dog paw!

DIY Paw Print Magnet: Crafts for Dogs

This DIY paw print magnet is the perfect idea if you’re looking for crafts for dogs. Find everything you need at the dollar store.

  • Mini canvas magnets (I got mine at the Dollar Tree))
  • 2 different colors of paint
  • Paint brush
  • Newspaper and paper towel
  • A dog paw (obviously)
  1. Paint canvas background color. Let dry.

  2. Prepare space with newspaper on the ground. Have plenty of wet paper towel ready to wash your dog’s paw. For large breeds, consider getting a helper to herd your dog if their wet paws run off.

  3. Apply paint to a paintbrush. Paint onto your dog’s paw. Hold paw and firmly press onto canvas.

  4. It’s your dog’s art, it doesn’t need to be perfect—swipes and ‘mistakes’ are welcome! You can also redefine paw prints later with a finer paint brush.

  5. Wipe paws off with wet and dry paper towels. Let magnet painting dry.

  6. Don’t forget to sign your dog’s name. They want credit!

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Summary: DIY Paw Print Magnet Crafts for Dogs

This DIY paw print magnet is a great keepsake to make if you’re looking for crafts for dogs. Bond with your dog by creating an art piece you’ll cherish forever. Customize the colors according to your décor. Show off your dog’s masterpiece to all your friendly by proudly displaying it on the fridge.

Crafts for dogs, Dollar tree crafts, Dog crafts, dog lover crafts

Tiolet Roll DIY Dog Toy: How to Make Toy for Your Dog


This is a DIY dog toy that almost anyone can make.

Basically, if you use the washroom, you have the supplies on hand to make this.

All you’ll need is a large container and toilet paper rolls.

When you hide treats inside the rolls, your dog is thrown into a tasty challenge that will keep her busy few at least a few minutes!

Keep reading to learn how to make this interactive toy for your dog.

How to Make Toy for Your Dog


Step 1: Collect toilet paper rolls and/or paper towel rolls


Step 2: Fill container with toilet paper rolls or cut up paper towel rolls. I used a cookie tin.


Step 3: Place treats inside some or all the rolls

Step 4: Let your dog sniff the treats and strategize on how to get each one (look at the joy on his cute face)

Toilet Paper Roll Challenge DIY Dog Toy

Toilet Roll DIY Dog Toy: How to Make Toy for Your Dog

This easy toy only requires a few materials and will keep your dog busy for much longer than it took to make 🙂

  • Large container
  • Toilet paper rolls or cut up paper towel rolls (enough to fit the container)
  1. Pack the large container with toilet paper rolls.

  2. Stick treats inside a few or all of the toilet paper rolls.

  3. Watch your dog strategize to get the treats out.

diy dog toys


Summary: DIY Dog Toy

Did you make this toy for your dog? Take a video and tag us! We’d love to see your canine creations.

10 Ways To Create A Dog-Friendly Home


Becoming a dog parent is truly exciting and is sure to enrich your daily life for many years to come. When welcoming a pup into the home, though, it’s imperative that you take the necessary steps to make your furry friend. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with all the advice needed to do it in style.

The Importance of creating a dog-friendly home

Whether you’re preparing to adopt a dog or want to create better surroundings for a pet that already lives with you, planning is key. Before building a strategy, it’s important to educate (or remind) yourself of the benefits of comfortable surroundings.

Over 65 million American homes have a dog. Here are just some of the reasons that creating better surroundings should be a priority;

  • It will benefit the dog’s physical health for a better quality of life.
  • Your pup will be safer and more likely to live longer.
  • The dog will benefit from improved mental health, stimulation, and happiness.
  • Your pup will additionally be more likely to thrive outside of the home.
  • Improved behaviors and easy training will benefit owners too.

In short, comfortable home surroundings are as important for dogs as they are for humans. Getting it right will deliver rewarding outcomes for pups and owners alike. Not least because it enables you to focus on developing a stronger bond.

However, you will only reap those rewards if you put the right features in place. Focus on the following items and you’ll have one very happy pup indeed.

#1 Invest in a great dog bed

On average, dogs sleep for 12-14 hours per day. Moreover, they will spend a fair portion of their waking hours lazing around. With this in mind, a great dog bed is one of the most important investments by far. 

Dog beds should be soft and comfortable while ideally made from natural fibers. Of course, it will be equally vital to ensure that the bed is big enough for your pup. The dog bed should be durable too, especially if you have a large pup. Accessibility is another key issue. Nobody wants pups to injure themselves or experience unnecessary discomfort. 

In addition to finding the right bed, you must maintain it and keep it clean too. Otherwise, the benefits will soon be lost.

#2 Install a pet door

While dogs should feel safe and comfortable inside the property, the value of a winning garden space cannot be emphasized enough. It is a place for your pup to explore, get some exercise, and take a break from inside settings.

Access to the garden also supports toileting. Checking out the best dog door options for large dogs could be a hugely beneficial step. By connecting the internal and external spaces, the pup will have greater control over toileting. It can put an end to scratches at the back door or barking because they can’t get outside.

As long as it is locked at times when you don’t want the pup to get outside, you will see stunning results.

#3 Quickly introduce other pets

Comfortable home surroundings aren’t only dictated by the interior design and adjustments you’ve made for the pup. Interactions with other members of the household will play an integral role too, especially when you have other pets.

Introducing a new family member is a significant change for existing pets. However, entering a new environment is an even greater challenge for the new pet. Cats and dogs notoriously share difficult relationships, but this guide will help. You must also pay attention to other pets like reptiles or rodents.

Meanwhile, all human family members must give affection to the dog if you want him or her to settle. 

#4 Dog-proof rooms

Safety must be a priority shared by all pet owners. However, it is particularly important for dog owners as our furry friends are naturally very inquisitive. If you leave potential hazards and vulnerabilities around the home, your dog will find danger.

Finding the most secure medicine boxes can remove potential safety risks. Keeping dangerous chemicals out of reach is vital too. Although switching to eco-friendly cleaning materials is even better. You should also ensure that all electrical cords are unplugged or tucked away. It is a great incentive for using wall-mounted TVs.

Aside from protecting your pup, it will put your mind at ease. Especially when you’re at work or not home.

#5 Have toys readily available

A safe home is one thing, but it’s also necessary to recognize different dog behaviors. In many cases, pups become destructive through boredom. As such, finding the best dog toys is a key responsibility. Every dog breed will respond positively.

As well as keeping dogs entertained when you’re alone, they offer an easy way to bond with your pup. Furthermore, various dog toys train the dog’s brain or support physical development. For example, chew toys can promote stronger jaws and even help clean the dog’s teeth.

Dog toys provide safe play while also preventing damage to toys that belong to your children. The benefits must not be ignored.

#6 Make tasty treats

Your pup will spend a lot of time inside the home. Therefore, the daily activities enjoyed inside the home are vital to the dog’s physical and mental wellness. Nutrition is one of the most significant features by far.

Aside from delighting the dog’s taste buds, they constantly use taste and smell to explore. While healthy daily nutrition plans should be in place, you must mix things up with special treats too. This guide to homemade peanut butter treats will point you in the direction. Your pup will love it.

On a side note, special treats often make the perfect hiding place for any medications that your pup may require.

  • #7 Add climate control features

Whether your furry friend is alone or with you, a comfortable climate is as important as the comfort of the dog bed or sofa. The two most influential elements to consider are the temperature and the air quality.

If you’re comfy in the home, your dog probably will be too. When you’re not home, though, keeping the temperature between 75 and 78 degrees is usually best in the summer. Some small contrasts may be seen between different breeds. A Smart thermostat that you control remotely will keep you on top of things. Perfect.

Air conditioning units must be kept clean too. Otherwise, your pup will breathe in lots of dust. Worse still, you will too.

#8 Create a safe space

Like humans, dogs can become scared for many reasons. Loud noises and unexpected sights are two examples. When the pooch is scared, having a dedicated space safe that keeps them calm makes a huge difference.

Whether it’s a corner of the living room or a space under the stairs isn’t overly important. The key is that they can get away from stressful or anxiety-inducing situations. While it’s great that you want to calm your pup, the best results are achieved when he or she can soothe themselves. You won’t always be around.

A safe space is particularly beneficial when your dog is scared but also serves them well in any situation where they are agitated.

#9 Put background entertainment on

Keeping your dog entertained when you’re around isn’t too difficult. However, it can be particularly challenging when you’re out or if you need to work from home. While the value of toys has already been mentioned, you must do more.

Dogs often respond well to soft music or the changing colors of a TV screen. While they won’t follow the storylines, they can recognize animals on screens. It is a particularly wise move when the dog is used to busy surroundings. Without the background noise, the transition from family time to alone time can feel rather abrupt.

So, if you want to avoid potentially distressing situations, this item should be on the agenda. Your pup will thank you in the long run.

#10 Put security measures in place

As already stated, safety has to be a priority at all times. As a dog owner, you will naturally place a lot of focus on eradicating internal threats. However, this should not be an excuse to ignore security.

Even if your pet is a guard dog, you’d rather avoid attempted intrusions. Aside from the problems for you, they could leave your pup feeling on edge. So, the best CCTV cameras and alarm systems should be added to the property. Checking that all potential escape routes from the garden are secured is another vital step. 

It will protect your dog’s ongoing wellness while simultaneously keeping your mind at ease, frankly, it is the least you deserve.

Remember a comfortable home is just the start

While building the right home surroundings will provide the foundation for raising a happy and healthy dog, it isn’t the only key feature. Be sure to take your dog for walks, explore new places, and build a strong bond with all the family. Your love and affection will make a huge difference with immediate and lasting results.

How to Bond With Your Dog Using Eye Contact


Every time I’m in the kitchen, my dog moves off the sofa and watches me.

Sometimes, I’m not dropping any crumbs and he falls asleep.

Other times, he senses my clumsiness and moves closer.

But most of the time… he just lovingly gazes from afar but within viewing distance.

One day, I stared at him back, smiling at how cute his minor stalking watching was.

His tail wagged and he just stared back. He looked even happier.

Now, I make eye contact with him frequently. When he’s on the sofa beside me and I look at him. He looks back and wags his tail, without breaking contact.

I feel a special connection every time this happens. And it’s not just in my head.

Research has come to show that dogs also value eye contact. In fact, it increases a hormone that makes them feel love.

To learn how to bond with your dog using eye contact, keep reading.

Why Eye Contact with Your Dog is Important

Eye contact is important to people. We all know this. That’s why you commonly hear the phrase, “look me in the eye when I’m talking to you.”

We know that it’s also important to dogs. I mean, we’ve always known, right? But now, the research is catching up with our hearts. Check out these amazing findings.

Boosts Oxytocin

Oxytocin is known as the “love chemical” and it’s present in both humans and dogs. For example, when we hug someone, our bodies release oxytocin, which helps us bond.

One study shows that when our dogs gaze into our eyes–and we gaze back–we’re flooded with oxytocin. Researchers studied 30 canines and their caretakers. Among the mix were a Labrador Retriever, dachshund, toy poodle, boxer, German shepherd and more. They found that the more dog owners and canines shared gazes, the more concentrated bursts of oxytocin they both had.

So how much did oxytocin boost after a loving gaze? A shocking 130% for dogs and 300% for humans.

To put this into perspective, this doesn’t happen with every animal. When researchers compared management professionals gazing at wolves, the oxytocin boost didn’t happen.

“It’s an incredible finding that suggests that dogs have hijacked the human bonding system,” said Brian Hare, an expert on canine cognition.

Dogs Adapted To Us

We probably already intuitively know that looking at our dog makes some difference in our bonding. But why?

Since we’re two different species, you may question how our oxytocin boosts mimic each other. One reason is that dogs likely integrated themselves into the human world by using some of our behaviors to form bonds. In essence, they could have evolved to use eye contact in a similar way to us.

Dog “Eyebrows” Evolving To Be More Human-Like

One article titled,” Dogs’ Eyes Have Changed Since Humans Befriended Them”, summarizes how dogs’ faces have literally shifted to be more similar to ours. Unlike wolves, they have eyebrow muscles that can give them a variety of expressions. In one study, researchers set out to learn whether any behaviors caused an animal to adapt quicker after adoption. They experimented with many factors, but one stuck out: their eyebrow movement.

Interestingly, studies have also shown that humans like dogs humans prefer pets with infant-like facial features.

Another similarity to children, one expert says dogs “dove right into our society” and took on the role of an infant in many ways.

How to Bond with Your Dog Using Eye Contact

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If you want to try a different way of bonding with your dog, use your eyes. It’s free, simple and barely takes any time. Here’s how.

Gaze Frequently

In the study we referenced above, researchers noticed that the more often humans and dogs stared at each other, the more concentrated oxytocin surges they experienced.

So, to take advantage of this, gaze at her a few times throughout the day. Instead of setting time aside, aim to stare at her at random points when you catch her looking at you. Smile and make a genuine effort to look into her eyes instead of walking past or acknowledging with a quick pat.

Intermittent Eye Contact

Another option is to intermittent gaze at your dog while you’re playing with or petting her. When you see her look at you, make an effort to make genuine eye contact for a few moments. Then go back to playing, petting and talking softly to her. This is a particularly good idea for dogs who dislike direct eye contact of any sort. Pups with past traumas or with aggressive behaviors might not take well to long gazes, so shorter ones can feel safer and be better for their oxytocin boost.

Connecting with your dog can happen in small moments or in many moments in one play session.

Breeds Make Eye Contact Differently

If you notice that your dog likes more or less eye contact compared to another dog, know that it’s natural. Besides personality traits, breeds make eye contact differently.

For example, ancient breeds, like Siberian Huskies, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds are less likely to use eye contact. Since their genetically more similar to wolves than other breeds, they share some of their traits. As we talked about above, although dogs experience an oxytocin boost from eye contact, wolves don’t.

Reading Dog Eye Contact

What does eye contact mean to dogs? As you make an effort to bond with your dog using eye contact, notice patterns in how her eyes move according to what she’s trying to communicate. Not every gaze at you means she wants to connect, so it’s good to learn the difference.

Eye contact can look slightly different for every dog, but if you pay attention, over time you’ll begin to notice patterns. For example, when my dog stares at me but then quickly shifts his eyes, he wants to play. If I used that moment to try to gaze at him, he’d pick up a toy and throw it in my face (it’s happened!).

Other times, your dog might stare to communicate distress, anxiety or a need. An example is a dog who anxiously stares at you while she waits by the door because he really, really has to pee.

A dog who’s watching your movements or following you around the home could want a connection. And the traditional “puppy dog eyes” are always a good sign that someone is in need of some love.

Don’t Overdo Eye Contact

Gazing into your dog’s eyes for longer periods or intermittently is a good practice that will make you both feel more loved and bonded together. But you don’t need that much starring to get the benefits, so don’t overdo it.

You don’t need to spend minutes staring at your dog. In fact, you shouldn’t because they could misread it as a threat or that they’ve done something wrong. They could get anxious or confused. Instead, lovingly gaze for a few seconds. Since we don’t do this with other human beings a lot, even 10 seconds can seem like a very long time. And it is for our dogs. When you catch your dog looking at you, you only need to take a few moments away from your day.

Don’t Gaze at “Stranger” Dogs

It’s important to know that all the benefits that come from gazing into a dog’s eyes happen when you know the dog. If you’ve never met them before or don’t know them that well, do not stare at them.

Staring directly into a dog’s eyes, especially for a long period of time, can also be a sign of dominance or threat. For example, this stare-down happens before two dogs get into a fight. So, the dog can easily confuse it as a bad thing rather than a good thing. instead of having their love hormone surge, they could become stressed, fearful, anxious or aggressive.

Even if you have met a dog a few times, this isn’t a good trick to try. Eye contact gazing is best used with your own dogs. If you have a pup that is new to you, wait to build a trusting bond before long gazes.

Summary: Making Eye Contact with a Dog to Bond

Making eye contact with your dog is a great way to bond. Research has proven that it significantly raises the oxytocin levels of both you and your canine baby. Since that’s known as the “love” hormone, it can help us bond and become closer.

To use eye contact to better connect with your dog, first make sure she doesn’t have any issues with loving gazes, such as anxiety or aggression. Some dogs don’t like stares, even when they’re well-intentioned. When you catch your dog staring at you, stare at her back for a few seconds. Do it genuinely and maybe even with a slight smile. You can also gaze at her intermittently during your play or petting sessions. Remember that eye contact gazes should only be used with pets who know you very well. Staring at a strange dog could signal a threat to them.

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