Digging for the truth: Reasons why your pup needs dog-to-dog playtime

Digging for the truth: Reasons why your pup needs dog-to-dog playtime

Your dog is a hoot at private gathering and a dream with small children, but when it is time to visit the dog park — yikes! He yanks at his leash and barks wildly at every dog that passes. The experience can be embarrassing and potentially dangerous. As a result, many dog owners become reluctant to bring their pets out after their canine demonstrates such behavior.

The Whole Dog Journal says many canines suffer from a significant lack of exercise, stimulation and social time with their own kind. Like learning to share and to be polite in human children, dog-to-dog social skills are not instinctive.

Day care can be a great way to wag two tails with one bone— especially for pet parents with overbearing schedules.

Dogs are social creatures with communication techniques and interaction cues that are different from humans. It is important dogs develop their interpersonal skills through fraternization with other dogs.

A dog with poor social skills can become a threat to those around them. Playtime with other dogs allows your pet to develop the skills needed to interact properly with new dogs and people.


PetCareFacts.com says day care provides our four-legged friends with healthy opportunities to socialize with other dogs of various sizes, and monitored socialization generally helps mellow a dog’s temperament.

The Whole Dog Journal says enrolling your pet into day care once or twice each week can give your dog the perfect outlet for his energy, give him the social and dog-play time he covets and relieve you of the oppressive guilt of not being able to take him out for moderate to high intensity workouts.

How to know if your dog is a good candidate for daycare

If you’re looking to send your dog off to day care, we suggest conducting an honest evaluation of your dog’s personality and behavior before making a move. Although we believe every dog will enjoy our day camp program, we understand dog day care is not the right option for every dog.

Is your dog nervous and eager when playing with other dogs or downright terrified?

If your dog doesn’t enjoy interacting with other animals, he’ll likely find day care a very unpleasant experience, and his dislike of dogs will probably become worse. The Whole Dog Journals says total immersion into dogdom is not an appropriate behavior modification or management plan for dogs who are intimidated by their own kind.

Is your dog an aggressive breed or simply aggressive?

We never discriminate against breeds often labeled as aggressive such as Pit bulls, Rottweilers and Boxers. On the other hand, we understand some dogs — no matter their breed — have high prey drives that make it difficult for dog-to-dog interaction. Pushing an aggressive dog into pup playschool can reinforce this behavior because it gives the canine and opportunity to put his instinctive desires into practice.

Does your dog dislike being left at home alone or is he suffering from intense separation anxiety?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals list the following symptoms as the most common signs of separation anxiety in dogs. It is important to note these are only signs of separation -anxiety or -distress if demonstrated when the dog is left alone or separated from their guardian.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

  • They experience uncontrolled urinating and defecating.
  • They go into persistent barking and howling.
  • They chew on objects such as door frames and window sills.
  • They dig at doors and doorways.
  • The general destruction of household and daycare center objects.
  • They fight aggressively to escape the house or daycare center
  • The walk or trot along a specific path in a fixed pattern. Some pacing dogs move around in circular patterns, while others walk back and forth in straight lines.
  • They eating all or some of his own excrement. This habit is also known as Coprophagia.

Is your dog becoming less dog-playful with age?

It is common for dogs to become less interested in socializing with other dogs as the years pass. And of course, geriatric dogs and those with medical conditions shouldn’t be forced into the intense activities offered at most daycare centers.

The first step to enrolling your dog into daycare

If your dog has energy to spare and loves active play, day care can be a great and safe option for building their social skills!

Reasons why daycare is good for your dog

Leading pet care providers strongly recommend selecting a camp with a fair assessment process such as Camp Bow Wow’s interview day , which gives your dog a free chance to try his paw at day care before becoming fully committed.

Always be sure to choose a day care with an environment that facilitates the physical and emotional needs of your pet — whether or not you decide to register with us.

Keep in mind transitioning your pet into a more dog-social lifestyle can sometimes be a little bumpy at first. Don’t get discouraged if your dog growls or even cowers from the other dogs during the opening stages.

Lastly, dogs who are often isolated and only have interaction with their own family tend to be more high strung and vocal when meeting other people or animals. Be sure to introduce your dog to other canines that have been socialized if you decide to take baby steps and organize a one-on-one play date with a neighborhood friend. Pairing two unsocialized dogs together can lead to trouble.

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We want your feedback! Share your dog day care experiences with us or recommend new topics you would like to see on the blog. You can reach us through email at ntwa.scout@campbowwowusa.com or message us directly on Facebook.

Is the change in season making your dog irritable?

Is the change in season making your dog irritable?

Our brief moment of winter has come to an end in The Woodlands — spring time is officially here! After a week of lagging following Daylight Saving Time, you may be eager to spring forward and switch gears.

However, the change in your behavior could be making your pet a little agitated.

According to LiveScience.com, pets may perceive their owner is acting strangely when their pet parent changes their schedule for Daylight Saving Time. Household animals can become irritable when they show up to an empty bowl at their normal dinner time, or pets can become anxious waiting an extra hour for their owner to come home.

The Pet Health Network says the shift in scheduled rituals can be abrupt and unexpected for most dogs since humans set the routine for the animals living with them.

Some pets are so tuned in with their owners’ schedules that a one-hour time difference can cause psychological and physical stress in pets. PetTime.com says nervousness can lead to various unwanted behavior including potty accidents and destruction of items inside the home.

Also similar to humans, all animals have an internal clock — which doctors call a circadian rhythm — that tells the animal when to eat, sleep and wake up. This biological timekeeper is controlled by natural sunlight, which is why most dogs tend to wake when the sun rises and sleep after sunset. Brighter mornings and longer days could throw this clock off for a few days.

Some dogs operate like clockwork — napping, eating and going to the restroom at the same time every day. Since dogs have to depend on an internal clock versus a face clock like their owners, the shift can appear unwarranted to dogs.

Many dogs make the adjustment with little to no problems — while others not so much. If your pet is still struggling to sleep or is extremely sensitive to time changes there several methods available that may help.

Ask a veterinarian about using nutritional supplement such as melatonin or relaxing scents.

Increase your dog’s physical activity with longer walks or playtime. Camp Bow Wow offers a great dog day care program that can make adding more playtime easier if you have a busy schedule.

It also helps to serve your pet meals around the same time each day throughout the year.

PetTime.com says be sure to pay extra attention to your pet’s needs during this transition, offering him or her extra comfort if they show signs of anxiety. One way is two reward your dog with small treats as they make positive changes toward the new schedule.

Remember all animals are creatures of habit. If your dog is sleeping in pass his normal schedule — Dogster Magazine says let him sleep!

The switch to spring weather should be a great experience for you dog above all. It could mean more playtime, warmer naps and extra time with you.

Do you dig it?

We want your feedback! Let us know if you have any tricks to help pets with seasonal adjustment anxiety or about other topics you would like to see on the blog. You can reach us through email at ntwa.scout@campbowwowusa.com or message us on Facebook.

6 Tips: Keeping dogs calm during thunderstorms

6 Tips: Keeping dogs calm during thunderstorms

Hurricane season begins in June — so you know what that means? Thunderstorms!

Experts say up to 30 percent of dogs experience storm anxiety (also known as astraphobia) with symptoms ranging from nervous moaning to destructive behavior. Here are some great tips for keeping your furniture in one piece and your dog calm during a storm.

1. Don’t comfort your dog when he acts afraid

According to Pedigree, giving your dog hugs or special attention can actually reinforce his fearful behavior. They suggest focusing more on speaking to your pet in a happy, playful voice to give him confidence. And remember: Never punish fearful behavior. If you can get your dog to play with you during a storm — that’s all the better, Pedigree said.

2. However, do make your dog comfortable

Petful.com recommends finding a comfortable place — a ridiculously plush dog bed, a rug, a crate or space under a bed, even in the bathtub — that the pet thinks of as a safe haven. Offer a few reassuring words. You might want to remind your pet that a cherished toy is still here, just waiting to be played with. While you’re trying to cuddle your dog, you are trying to keep them happy.

3. Bring your dog inside

PetHealth.com says the best place for your dog is the most sound-proof area of your house. Dogs left outside during a thunderstorm are affected more than dogs that are inside, according to PetHealth.com. Some dogs will attempt to escape from your yard or fight to get into your home. While damage to your property can be extreme and costly, it’s the damage your dog could do to itself that is dangerous – or deadly.

4. Turn down the noise, Turn up the music

Multiple sources recommend playing calming, soothing music for your dog during a thunderstorm. It’s a common form of pet therapy that is has proven to be highly effective. Another common approach that utilizes sound is desensitizing your dog — especially you ones— by playing a thunderstorm soundtrack when it’s not so gloomy outside.

Several websites provide thunderstorm soundtracks to help dogs with astraphobia. Of course, nothing is better than free in this case. YouTube has hundreds of soundtracks available for free use, some of which go for as long as 10 hours.

5. Don’t lock your dog up

The Human Society strongly suggests to not put your dog in a crate to prevent her from being destructive during a thunderstorm. Your pet will still be fearful when she’s in the crate and is likely to injure herself, perhaps even severely, while attempting to get out of the crate.

6. Go space age with electromagnetism

PetMD.com said your dog can become sensitized to the electromagnetic radiation caused by lightning strikes. One great way to shield your dog from these potentially fear-provoking waves is to cover their crate with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

In the end, if your dog has severe astraphobia and you’re unable to achieve success with the tips we’ve outlined here, we strongly recommend consulting a veterinarian.

Do you dig it?

We want your feedback! Share your dog daycare experiences with us or recommend new topics you would like to see on the blog. You can reach us through email at ntwa.scout@campbowwowusa.com or message us directly on Facebook.