Guest post by Brian Morgan
It is no secret that dogs love sleeping. In fact, they spend most of the day laying on the sofa and snoozing. Therefore, we often blame them of being lazy. However, this statement cannot be further from the truth. Because of their biological clocks and sleeping patterns, dogs have higher sleeping requirements.
Generally speaking dogs spend about 12 to 14 hours per day sleeping. Since dogs tend to adjust their sleeping patterns according to the owners’ patterns, their sleeps are not continuous nor equally divided. Usually dogs sleep 8 hours during the night and the remaining 4 to 6 hours occur during the day in the form of naps.
How dogs spend their days
Humans follow a binary sleeping pattern that consists of 12 hours awake during the day and about 8 hours of sleep during the night. Dogs do not have strict and preconceived sleeping patterns.
On average, most adult dogs spend around 50 percent of the day sleeping, around 30 percent of the day resting, and around 20 percent of the day being physically active.
The sleeping portion includes the long night sleep and the short naps during the day. While resting, dogs are awake but physically inactive. The physically active portion of the day includes all physical activities from walking and running to playing fetch and tug-of-wars.
The dog’s sleeping pattern
The dog’s sleeping pattern is similar to ours. The first phase of sleeping is the slow one and it manifests with slower breathing, blood pressure dropping and heart rate decrease. This phase lasts for 10 minutes. After that, dogs enter the second, rapid eye movement (REM) phase. As the name suggests this phase manifests with fast rolling of the eyes under the closed eyelids.
The only difference between the human and the canine sleeping pattern is the time spent in REM phase. REM is also the phase in which active dreaming occurs. While humans spend up to 25 percent of sleep in REM, due to their inconsistent sleeping schedules, dogs are in the REM phase for only 10 percent of the total sleep time. Because of the shorter REM phase, dogs need more total sleep make up for the shorter REM.
Simply put, although dogs sleep longer than we do, they do not sleep as soundly and they need to compensate for the lost REM’s.
Factors influencing the dog’s sleeping pattern
Adult dogs spend around 12-14 hours per day on sleeping, while young puppies tend to sleep for more than 18 hours per day. However, the exact time a dog spends on sleeping depends on several factors such as:
- Breed – large dog breeds sleep longer than small dog breeds. Additionally, how much the dog will sleep depends on what it is bred for. For example, working dogs have lower sleeping needs than dogs bred to be companions.
- Age – young puppies and senior dogs have higher sleeping requirements
- Exercise regimen – as contradictory as it may sound, active dogs need less sleep than dogs with sedentary lifestyles
- Environment – dogs that live in environments with extensive mental stimulations tend to sleep longer.
Changes in the sleeping habits
Sudden changes in the dog’s sleeping schedule may be a cause for alarm and can signalize certain health issues. The most common reasons why your dog’s sleeping pattern can be altered include:
- Low-quality diet – bad diets make dogs sleep longer because they either do not provide enough nutrients or are hard to digest and require more energy for proper digestion
- Poor health – cardiovascular conditions, inactive thyroid glands, diabetes and canine depression are all linked to altered sleeping patterns and can significantly influence the dog’s sleeping needs.
Changes in the sleeping habits are normal in older, senior dogs. Senior dogs tend to sleep longer during the day and they also tend to get up more frequently during the night simply because life becomes harder with age. This may seem weird at first, but it is a natural part of the ageing process.
Doggy sleep disorders
The most common doggy sleep disorders include:
- Narcolepsy – indicates excessive daytime napping manifested with sudden falling in deep sleep and it usually involves partial or complete muscle paralysis.
- Insomnia – sleeplessness is quite rare in dogs and it is almost always due to health issues.
- Sleep apnea – loud snoring caused to heavy and temporarily stopped breathing that causes the dog to wake up. If it occurs frequently it can lead to tiredness during the day.
All dog parents are well aware of how much their canine babies enjoy sleeping. To be honest, when it comes to dogs, extensive sleep is physiologically required. To properly function and stay well-rested, dogs need a good night's sleep and frequent day naps.
Dogs are flexible sleepers capable of falling asleep out of boredom. They are also capable of waking up easily and becoming alert immediately after the waking. Because of this inconsistent and irregular sleeping pattern dogs need a lot of sleep. Additionally dogs do not sleep deeply and tend to wake up a lot.
If your dog does not follow its usual sleeping pattern, do not hesitate to contact the vet.
Brian Morgan is the editor for DogBedZone a website providing tips, guides, and resources for dog owners.
Image: Mathey, Pixabay.com
Thanks to pups-on-the-street research, AVL Today has put together a list of 30-plus dog-friendly places in downtown Asheville where you can eat, drink, and shop with your pooch. The list includes breweries, patios, and shops where dogs are welcome.
The summer is a great time to enjoy WNC's dog-friendliest city. Check it out here:
Image: Kiranda70, Pixabay.com
Guest Post by Houda of DiamondPup.com
If you are an outdoors and adventure enthusiast, then you know that there is nothing better than leaving “real life” behind and going on a hike, taking in the fresh air and enjoying beautiful landscapes. If you have a dog, you might have been thinking about taking your best friend with you on a hike, but, maybe you don’t know where to start your prepping.
Don’t worry, hiking with a dog is actually not that difficult if you follow the few tips in this article, provided that you are already a hardened hiker. If this is your first time hiking, then my advice would be to leave your dog home until you become more experienced.
First of all, have a pre-hike trip to the vet
After all, even if you are only hiking for a day, many (bad) things could happen in just one day. So, just to be on the safe side of things, go to the veterinarian first, and make sure your dog is actually able to hike. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, and that his veterinarian does a full check-up before giving you the OK. In the end, nothing matters more than your dog’s health, and you don’t want him to get hurt when all you wanted was to have some fun and do some exercise.
Make sure your dog is properly trained
Most importantly, you have to be sure that your dog is under voice command, especially if you want to take him off his leash when it’s possible. If your dog goes running away as soon as you take him off it though, then don’t do it. It is better to keep him leashed than to be looking for him in a mountain environment where he could hurt sensitive wildlife or run into a wild animal.
Another thing to make sure of is that your dog is well socialized, since you will probably be meeting other people (and maybe theirs pets as well) on the hiking trail. This is especially important if your dog is from a breed that is difficult around crowds (such as the Blue Heeler for example).
Make sure the trail you choose is dog-friendly
Just like camping parks, some national parks do not allow dogs, even when they’re leashed. So, instead of going all the way for a hike and then coming back home with your tail between your legs (pun intended) because your dog wasn’t allowed, it would be better to just check online, and see which trails around you are dog-friendly and which ones aren’t. This website does a good job of gathering most dog-friendly hiking trails around the world, so don’t hesitate to take a quick virtual tour on it.
Pack lightly but smartly
If you are only going for a day, packing too much will just slow you down and put pressure on you and your best friend. Make sure your dog’s harness isn’t too tight nor too loose, and load the bags with everything necessary, such as light collapsible bowls, quality dog food (such as Merrick) that will give your pooch enough energy to keep on hiking, treats, and water. And, make sure the total weight doesn’t exceed one-third of your dog’s weight.
Pack your dog’s first aid kit
Not a lot of people think of it, but your pet’s first aid kit is just as important as yours. You can either buy one from a pet shop or make your own. If you want to make your own, be sure to have all of these components in it:
- Special pet bandages
- Antibacterial wipes
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Surgical gloves
- Tweezers (preferably ones that can remove ticks)
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicine
- Your dog’s medical paperwork (medications, vaccinations etc…)
- Phone number of your veterinarian, poison control, and your personal information as well
Finally, remember to be safe
Stay hydrated, give your dog all the water he needs, have fun, and don’t think too much. Practice trail etiquette, only take your best friend off his leash in areas where it’s not prohibited, and don’t forget to always stay on trail, not only for your own safety, but also to preserve the forest and mountain’s flora and fauna.
About Houda of DiamondPup.com: I'm Houda, a full-time writer, traveller, and self-proclaimed dog person. I also make lame jokes, write poetry, and love eating weird food in faraway countries. Did I mention that I was a dog person?
Yeah, give me all the puppies, please.
When it comes to getting directions, GPS on your smartphone is a given. What you may not know is that GPS is now becoming common for tracking dogs. There are numerous GPS dog trackers available on the market today; in fact, the choices can be bewildering. Here is some basic information about why tracking your dog with GPS makes sense, courtesy of TeletracNavman (and thanks to blog reader Natalie for pointing us to this resource):
- 40 percent of dogs are startled by loud or unexpected noise. This "noise anxiety" can cause dogs to become frightened and bolt. A GPS tracker can help you find a frightened pet quickly.
- When a dog goes missing and you aren't home, it could be hours before you take action. Some GPS trackers can notify you as soon as it happens.
- A GPS tracker is your best friend when you are traveling with your dog. When you or your dog are unfamiliar with an area, it can lead to trouble.
- If your dog likes to chase animals, cars or moving objects, a GPS tracker can help you track him down.
TeletracNavman offers several other reasons for GPS tracking, plus a comprehensive list of helpful articles about losing a pet. You can find this resource here: https://www.teletracnavman.com/gps-fleet-tracking-education/tracking-your-dog-with-gps
Image: Simon Howden, Freedigitalphotos.net
If you work at home, your dog can go to work with you -- but can you bring your dog with you if you work at a traditional job? Even though it's estimated that less than 10 percent of pet owners in the U.S. are currently allowed to bring their dogs to work, there is growing evidence that dogs in the workplace actually decrease stress and improve employee morale and productivity.
Quill.com has created a handy infographic, "Wagging in the Workplace," that explores the benefits of pets at work. It includes information about specific benefits of pet-friendly workplaces, provides examples of companies that are pet-friendly, and has suggestions for how a company can create and manage a successful pet-friendly policy.
You can access the infographic here: https://www.quill.com/blog/workplace-culture/wagging-in-the-workplace-benefits-of-pets-at-work.html
We hear quite frequently from local folks that it is not easy to find pet-friendly rentals in the Asheville area, so we thought we'd make you aware of resources available if you're searching for housing that accommodates your dog.
-A local real estate company, Alpha Real Estate, specializes in pet-friendly housing rentals.
-Apartment List has several listings for pet-friendly Asheville apartments: https://www.apartmentlist.com/nc/asheville/c/pet-friendly-apartments-for-rent
-Asheville Humane Society has an information page about pet-friendly housing, including tips for renters, online resources, local real estate agents, and a list of numerous pet-friendly apartment homes.
Image: Alex_Ugalek, Freedigitalphotos.net
Western North Carolina residents and visitors alike know that Asheville is a very dog-friendly city. In addition to lots of stores for dogs, including a dog bakery, most any Asheville restaurant with outdoor seating allows dogs to accompany diners. Now some restaurants have taken it a step further -- they even offer special menus for dogs.
According to this recent story in the Asheville Citizen-Times, several Asheville restaurants feature canine cuisine, including:
- Twisted Laurel (entrees and treats) - outdoor seating
- Posana (entrees and treats) - outdoor seating
- Avenue M (treats) - outdoor patio
- Battery Park Champagne Bar (treats) - outdoor seating
- The Hop (doggie ice cream) - doggie socials
- Ultimate Ice Cream (doggie ice cream)
- Purple People Feeder (food truck; special dog bowl)
Of course, that doesn't even include all the places where you can take out a meal and enjoy it with your pup at Pack Square Park, Pritchard Park, or Carrier Park.
So next time you eat out, you can pick a place where you can feed Fido too!
Image: Khunaspix, Freedigitalphotos.net
It is difficult for dog lovers in the Carolina mountains to believe, but dogfighting is going on right here in North Carolina. That's why the ASPCA has declared April 8 "National Dogfighting Awareness Day." According to the ASPCA:
"Dogfighting is one of the most monstrous forms of animal cruelty. Forcing animals to maul each other for entertainment or profit has no place in our society.
"We’re constantly working to pass stronger laws to deter and address this abuse—dogfighting is a felony nationwide, but stiff penalties are only one piece of the puzzle. We also need to ensure that dogs rescued from fighting can be rehabilitated and rehomed quickly. Passage of the HEART (Help Extract Animals from Red Tape) Act will reduce unnecessary delays in the rehoming of victims rescued in federal cases."
The ASPCA is asking all dog lovers to sign a petition to the U.S. Department of Justice to support passage of HEART. You can sign it here: https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/tell-the-department-of-justice-have-a-heart-on-animal-fighting
For additional information about dogfighting and what you can do to stop it, visit:
Image: Patrisyu, freedigitalphotos.net
According to the ASPCA, "Toxic chemicals, dangerous plants, as well as products and substances found in our everyday surroundings can be poisonous or even fatal to animals. Unfortunately, a pet can ingest a household chemical, lap up a liquid, or chew on a seemingly harmless plant -- and become sick and even die."
The ASPCA's Poison Control Center has put together a helpful brochure that lists in detail common household hazards, has poison prevention tips, and discusses how to put together a poison safety kit for your dog or cat. The Poison Control Center also provides a hotline staffed by veterinarians who can advise you in case of emergency. You can reach them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 888-426-4435.
Download a free copy of the ASPCA Poison Control Center brochure at the link below (PDF).
Image: Alex Ugalek, freedigitalphotos.net
Guest Post by Olivia Williams
Dog-lovers everywhere simply want the best for their pooches. And when it comes to providing our four-legged, furry friends optimum nutrition, many of us would rather choose grain-free dog food for a variety of reasons, many of which are tied to the benefits of grain-free dog food. Here are some of them:
- More nutrients per gram of dog food
Ancestral dogs always preferred meats over any other type of food. However, today’s dogs aren’t necessarily carnivores; in fact, they are omnivores like you and me.
Sadly, with the commercialization of dog food, companies sometimes minimize production costs. Instead of putting high-quality ingredients in sufficient amounts into dog food, some companies use ‘fillers’ in the form of wheat, corn, and other cereal grains for the simple fact that these are generally ‘cheaper’ than protein like beef or chicken. That is why low-quality dog foods will have a greater proportion of these so-called ‘fillers’ that do not necessarily contain all the right amounts of nutrients needed by your pooch.
But when you give your dog grain-free food, you are almost certain that the ‘fillers’ have been significantly replaced with more nutritious ingredients such as wholesome grains, vegetables, and fruits as well as more protein like chicken, beef, turkey, and others. This simply means you are giving your dog more nutrients for exactly the same amount of dog food.
- Less incidence of food allergies
Wheat, corn, and soy, as well as other cereal grains, are considered allergenic. Chicken, pork, and beef as well as any other food that has protein in it can also be allergenic. The good news is that the digestive system of a dog is naturally designed to digest proteins from animal sources a lot more efficiently than they do proteins coming from cereal grains. This leads to fewer incidences of food allergies and other forms of allergies in dogs. The reason is simple. Because an allergic reaction is triggered by the exposure of a protein molecule to immune system cells, digesting large proteins into peptides and amino acids eliminates this antigen-recognition capability of immune system cells.
Since dogs are able to digest animal proteins into amino acids, they experience less stomach upsets and other symptoms of food allergies. On the other hand, since they cannot process cereal grain proteins into amino acids that efficiently, some of the undigested proteins are ‘sensed’ by the immune system of the dog, triggering an allergic response.
- More energy to support your dog’s lifestyle
It is important to distinguish the difference between a grain-free and carb-free dog diet. Dogs, like us, rely on carbohydrates for energy. This is especially true if you’re the type of dog-owner who goes on a trek with your pooch on the trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains or even the Great Smoky Mountains. They will need energy for the adventure. While cereal grains are a good source of carbohydrates, these are not the only sources. For instance, sweet potatoes and rice, often found in grain-free food, are excellent sources of carbohydrates for your pooch. They’re generally friendly to the tummy, too. This can help support your dog’s active lifestyle.
- Healthier skin and coat
Trekking in the Blue Ridge Mountains means exposing your dogs to the elements, not to mention objects and particles that can irritate its skin and make its coat frizzled. Since a grain-free dog diet has more nutrients that come from healthier grains, fruits, and vegetables, you can feel more confident about promoting healthier coat and skin for your pet. This is the function of antioxidants that are mostly found in many fruits and vegetables. As such, dog foods that are rich with these kinds of nutrients can help improve the condition of your pet’s skin and coat.
- Less shedding
Because your dog’s coat is naturally healthier brought about by the various nutrients that are supplied to every hair root, your pooch will have lesser incidence of shedding. Your dog will still shed its fur, but this will be significantly less than if your pet were on a dog food that contains cereal grains. This can also translate to easier cleaning of your upholstery and carpet at home.
There are many other reasons why pet parents today would want grain-free dog food for their beloved pets. You only want to give your dog the best nutrition possible, just like any responsible parent would give to her kids.
Olivia Williams is mum of 2 and a true animal lover with 3 dogs, 2 cats and a parrot called Charlie. Heading up the content for MyPetNeedsThat.com amongst a busy family schedule, her goal is to try help people all around the world become better pet owners.
Image: Aopsan, Freedigitalphotos.net
Do you sleep with your dog? If so, you are definitely not alone! But there are some things that you should know about sleeping with your dog. There are health benefits and health risks, for example, and there are tips to make the experience more enjoyable for both of you.
The folks at Tuck.com, whose aim is to to improve sleep hygiene, health, and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free resources, have put together "Sleeping with Pets." This informative guide answers a lot of questions about sleeping with your dog, including one all dog owners wonder about: "Is snoring normal for dogs?"
You'll find this free guide here: https://www.tuck.com/sleeping-with-pets/
It's a scary scenario: Your dog chokes, stops breathing, or is unconscious. You know you need to get your dog to the vet or emergency animal hospital, but you can take some simple steps first that may save your dog's life.
In an article that originally appeared on DogHeirs.com and was republished with permission by Reshareworthy.com, you'll find detailed instructions for performing CPR on your dog. Three specific actions are recommended:
- Perform 100-120 chest compressions per minute
- Perform a compression to mouth-to-snout ventilation ratio of 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths
- Perform cardiac massage / chest compressions according to the different chest types and sizes of dogs.
The article includes illustrations as well as a video that will be very helpful in applying these techniques properly. Performing CPR on your dog is not unlike performing it on humans -- and it could make the difference between life and death.
Find the article here: http://www.reshareworthy.com/cpr-for-dogs-and-cats/
Image: Photokanok, Freedigitalphotos.net
To some dog lovers, answers to the question, "Why Adopt a Shelter Dog?" are obvious. But there are still plenty of people who are uncertain about adopting from a shelter or even have a negative perception about it.
WileyPup.com has come up with an informative online guide that not only answers the question, it presents you with "20 Astonishing Shelter Dog Facts." Did you know, for example, that:
- About 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred
- Many shelters perform behavioral testing before releasing dogs for adoption
- Mixed breed dogs tend to be generally healthier than purebred dogs
- Adoption fees typically cover a range of services adopters would normally have to pay for on their own, including spay/neuter, worm and parasite medication, standard vaccines, and microchipping.
There's lots more to know about adopting a shelter dog, and it's all in an easy-to-digest format here:
Image: Angelina Litvin, Unsplash.com
"If you have been on social media lately, you may have seen articles or posts concerning essential oils, oil diffusers and the potential danger they may pose to your pets. Essential oils have been, for a long time, a popular home remedy for a number of maladies including nasal congestion, anxiety, sore muscles and skin conditions, among others. With the sudden popularity of oil diffusers—an easy way to release these oils into your home—there has been an emergence of alarm about how these oils may affect animals in the home.
"In their concentrated form (100%), essential oils can absolutely be a danger for pets. Dogs and cats who have either walked through oils, gotten some on their coat or had oils placed directly on them can develop health concerns.
- Unsteadiness on the feet
- Low body temperature (in severe cases)
If a pet ingested concentrated essential oils, you may see vomiting, diarrhea and depression, as well."
For more information about the possible dangers of oil diffusers, go to:
Guest Post by Lilly Andrews
Toy dogs have become very popular pets over the past years and are slowly becoming top choices of dog lovers. As a matter of fact, the American Kennel Club has listed six toy dog breeds in the top 25 of the recent most popular dog breeds in America. The top 25 list includes Poodles (7th), Yorkshire Terriers (9th), Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (19th), Shih Tzu (20th), Pomeranians (22nd), and Havanese (23rd).
Many people are looking to take in small dog breeds because of their adorable features, and perhaps, thinking that there will be fewer responsibilities and lesser work to expend. But toy dog pets go beyond their charms. Even with the popularity of these toy dog breeds, there are still some people who wonder if they make good pets at home. To help you decide, here are pros and cons of taking care of toy dogs.
Because of their cute size, toy dogs can easily adjust and fit into small and big living spaces. Whether you live in a one-room apartment or a mansion, you are assured that your little pooch has plenty of room to move around. They only require a short walk to get their needed amount of exercise per day.
When you go out or travel, you can easily bring your pet along. You can place them inside your shoulder bag or tote bag and not worry about carrying a load. Moreover, these dogs eat less, need fewer exercises, and their routine vet visits often cost less. Toy dogs show a great deal of love and affection to their owners as well, a common characteristic of all types of dogs. Although it depends on a number of factors, smaller dog breeds tend to live longer than big dogs.
Small dogs can sometimes have obnoxious personalities. They can be aggressive to larger dogs and responsible for starting fights. Toy dogs feel that they are in charge of the household. They may disobey their owner and feel that they need to be served all the time. They can also be difficult to train, but you, as an owner, should set the tone that you are the boss, being firm yet still showing affection.
In addition to those points, not all small dogs are good around children. If a dog is not taught the proper behavior when they are still a puppy, the owner can experience a number of behavioral issues.
There are several popular breeds of toy dogs to choose from. Here are a few options you can consider:
- Yorkie. The Yorkshire terrier originated in England, and they were used to kill vermins. They are known to have a very strong personality.
- Poodle. Originally a water dog, the poodle was used to hunt game. They are very intelligent and are easy to train.
- Shih Tzu. This toy dog breed has its roots in China. It is one of the oldest breeds in existence.
- Pug. The pug is also from China. This dog has become very popular for their small size and cute features.
- Chihuahua. A dog breed from Mexico, the chihuahua may have been used in religious ceremonies by ancient tribes.
The Importance of Toy Dog Breed Choice
Before getting a toy dog, it is important to research the different breeds and their specific needs. Don’t rush. Take the time to look at the needs of the dog and figure out if that certain breed fits into your lifestyle. You should also consider your finances since the prices of small dogs can be high, especially if they are purebred. Keep in mind that you can often obtain a small dog at a much more reasonable price from an animal shelter, humane society, or rescue organization. In addition, small mixed breed dogs may have less behavioral and health problems than purebred toy dog breeds.
The bottom line: Try to find out as much information about the breed that you want to have. Once you have finalized your choice, it is important to make sure that you are capable of taking care of it.
Image: Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net
Please note that Carolina Mountain Dog will not be publishing posts this holiday week. We'll be returning on January 2, 2018. Best wishes for the holidays and a Happy New Year!
If you're still sniffing out that perfect holiday gift, get on over to Mast General Store on Main Street in Waynesville. Why? Not just because you'll find some great merchandise, but you can get your gift wrapped by volunteers from Sarge's Animal Rescue Foundation. Just go to the gift wrap station in the store lobby and Sarge's will do up your purchase just right -- and your gift wrap donation will go directly to Sarge's to help save the lives of Haywood County animals.
Sarge's gift wrapping is available at Mast General Store, 63 North Main Street in Waynesville only during regular store hours until December 24, so hurry on over!
Image: Theeradech Sanin, Freedigitalphotos.net
There are plenty of factors determining a breed’s popularity relative to others. However, the only statistic that actually measures breed popularity is the number of dog registrations per breed. So this tells us what is popular without explaining why it’s popular.
A review site, JenReviews.com, has published a free guide to the fifty most popular breeds in the world. For each breed, you'll find the dog group it belongs to (herding group, sporting group, toy group, etc.), temperament, training, key facts about the breed, and celebrities who own dogs in that breed.
This handy guide will give you a quick overview of dog breed characteristics. You can find it here: https://www.jenreviews.com/dog-breeds/
Image: Happykanppy, freedigitalphotos.net
The ASPCA has published a brief "holiday survival guide" that outlines some of the primary hazards, including unsafe medications, holiday goodies that are "baddies" for pets, and holiday plants that can cause illness. Also included are the "Big 5 Holiday Dangers" according to the ASPCA Poison Control Center.
Keep all of your pets safe this holiday season. Download this handy one page survival guide below at the link below (PDF).
Image: Photostock, Freedigitalphotos.net