12 Dog Tongue Facts

12 Dog Tongue Facts

As seen in PetMD

Whether it’s getting every last morsel of food from their bowl, panting after a game of fetch, or showering you with affection, a dog’s tongue plays an important role in how they interact with their environment.

Here are some interesting facts that you probably don’t know about dog tongues.

Dogs pant to cool down instead of sweating.

Dogs don’t sweat in the same way as humans. They only have sweat glands on their paw pads and noses, which are called merocrine glands. Dogs also have apocrine glands all over their bodies, which is one way that humans sweat, but in dogs, these glands are primarily used to secrete scent pheromones, not sweat.

Instead of sweating, dogs rely on panting to keep cool. When dogs pant, air moves rapidly over their tongue and through their mouth and lungs, allowing moisture to evaporate and cool them down. This process is called thermoregulation and is incredibly important when a dog gets hot.

If you notice your pup panting excessively on a warm or hot day, get them into a cooler location and give them plenty of water to avoid possible heatstroke.

Dogs rely on smell over taste to decide if they want to eat something.

While dogs have more taste buds than cats, they have far fewer than humans. They only have around 1,700 taste buds, which is about one-sixth of what humans have (approximately 10,000!).

Like us, dogs can taste bitter, salty, sweet, and sour, but because they don’t have as many taste buds, they use their sense of smell far more than their sense of taste when deciding what to lick or eat. This is likely why dogs enjoy licking areas of our bodies that tend to have strong tastes and smells: our faces, ears, feet, and hands.

A dog’s tongue is usually warm.

If your dog’s tongue feels extra warm when they lick you, it’s likely because the normal body temperature for dogs is 101.0 to 102.5°F (38.3 to 39.2°C).

If your dog is running a fever, their tongue may feel even warmer, but don’t count on this as an accurate assessment of their body temperature. Taking a dog’s temperature by mouth is unreliable and, depending on the dog, not always easy or safe. The most accurate way to determine a dog’s body temperature is with a rectal thermometer.

If your dog has been panting in a cool room (or eating ice cubes or snow), their tongue may feel cool due to the evaporation of saliva from the surface of their tongue. However, it should quickly return to a warm temperature when they stop panting.

Not all dogs have a pink tongue.

When most of us think of a happy, panting dog, we imagine a bright pink tongue lolling out of the side of their mouth. A pink, moist-to-slobbery tongue is normal and healthy for most dogs, but two dog breeds of Chinese origin, Chow Chows and Shar-Peis, have blue or blue-black tongues. Mixes of those breeds may also have blue-black tongues or blue-black spots of coloration on their tongues.

If your dog’s tongue is normally pink, a sudden color change may indicate a medical emergency.

  • A dark red, purple, or blue-tinged tongue could be a sign of heatstroke, toxin exposure, heart/lung disease, or electrical shock.
  • A pale pink-to-white tongue could be a sign of severe anemia due to immune mediated disease, or internal bleeding.

If you notice these changes in your dog’s tongue, call your veterinarian right away.

Licking things has a calming effect on dogs.

Studies have shown that licking releases endorphins in a dog’s brain. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that make dogs feel calmer and more relaxed. However, licking may sometimes become a problem. If your dog licks you or themself excessively, especially in times of stress, talk to your veterinarian about possible anxiety issues in your pooch.

Dogs’ mouths are not cleaner than ours.

Contrary to popular belief, a dog’s mouth is definitely not cleaner than a human’s. Researchers have found that both dogs and humans have over 600 species of bacteria in their mouths.

However, while we both have mouths full of bacteria that are normal flora for our species, there are bacteria in your dog’s mouth that don’t exist in yours and vice versa. Most of the bacteria in your dog’s mouth cannot cause you to get sick (you won’t catch the common cold from “kissing” your dog), but there are some exceptions, so stay safe and let your pooch give you a kiss on the cheek instead!

A dog’s saliva won’t exactly “heal” your wounds.

Another myth says that dog saliva can help heal wounds. In fact, some ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures also believed that dog saliva has healing powers. While licking can remove debris from a wound, therefore decreasing the chance of infection, too much licking can damage the skin and potentially lead to bigger problems, like hot spots.

But the ancients weren’t entirely wrong—there are proteins in saliva (human and canine) called histatins that inhibit infection. But dog saliva also contains bacteria that are normal flora in canine mouths but can cause dangerous infections in human wounds.

So, rather than letting your dog tend to your wounds, stick to more traditional care, such as washing with soap and water and talking to your physician about any possible infection.

You could be allergic to a dog’s saliva instead of their dander.

It’s hard to imagine living without the companionship of dogs, but 5-10% of the population can’t due to allergies. While it is often assumed that people with allergies to dogs react only to their skin dander, there is a portion of the population that is actually allergic to canine saliva.

If you or a friend seem to have an allergy to dogs, it may be worth talking to your dermatologist about whether that allergy is caused by a dog’s dander or saliva. You may be able to adopt a pup as long as you avoid their tongue!

Dogs don’t need rough tongues like cats do.

If you’ve ever been licked by a cat, you know that their sandpapery tongues feel much different than a smooth-tongued lick from a dog. But did you know that the difference in canine and feline tongues is likely due to their ancestors?

Cats have firm, rear-facing barbs on their tongues, called filiform papillae. These barbs act like a comb for the fur when cats groom themselves. Most wildcats hunt alone, but many smaller species of wildcats, including our domesticated feline friends, are small enough that they can also become prey for larger animals. This makes it important for them to keep themselves meticulously groomed, minimizing their odor for predators.

On the other hand, wild dogs (or domesticated dogs that live as strays) hunt in packs and nearly always play the role of predator in the food chain. This makes grooming and scent reduction far less important, so a smooth tongue meets their needs.

Some dogs’ tongues are too long for their mouths.

Macroglossia is the medical term for an abnormally large tongue and is a rare condition. True macroglossia is usually seen at birth when a puppy’s tongue is too large to allow them to latch onto a nipple and nurse normally.

However, some breeds of dogs (often short-faced breeds such as Boxers, Pugs, and English Bulldogs) can have tongues that are too long for their mouths, so part of their tongue always hangs out of their mouth.

These dogs may have difficulty eating and usually make a gigantic mess at the water bowl. They may also accidentally bite their tongues when playing with toys or snapping at a treat. Extra-long tongues don’t usually cause any medical issues, but if your dog has one, keep a close eye on it for accidental trauma or injury.

A dog’s tongue helps them communicate and interact with their world.

Dogs learn very early in life that their tongues are useful tools in communicating and interacting with the world around them. Mother dogs lick their pups to clean and stimulate them as soon as they are born. For the first few weeks of their lives, puppies are also licked by mother dogs to prompt them to urinate and defecate.

With wild dogs, puppies lick their elders to communicate submissiveness, but also to induce the regurgitation of food that the older pack members ingested while hunting. Pups will lick one another to show affection and also to comfort themselves and their littermates.

Dogs use their tongues and lick for number of other reasons: to better smell things they are interested in, to communicate anxiety, or to combat an upset stomach, for example.

They use their tongues in a similar way to how you use your hands—to explore the world around them! That may even include licking everything, like people, the floor, or even the air. Occasional, short-lived episodes of air-licking are not a cause for alarm, but you should watch for increases in the time spent and/or frequency of licking.

Your dog can’t help spilling their water when they drink.

If you’ve been lucky enough to live with both dogs and cats, you may have noticed that while cats rarely spill a drop of water while they’re drinking, many dogs splatter the floor with water when quenching their thirst. Why are dogs so messy and cats so neat?

The answer is in how dogs curl their tongues when they drink. Both cats and dogs dip their tongues into water and quickly retract it back, creating a column of water that they bite and then swallow. When they do this, cats move their tongues quickly (up to four laps per second), but dogs curl the tip of their tongue backward to spoon the water up into their mouths. The bigger the tongue, the bigger the spoon, and the bigger the mess!

Do Dogs Have Taste Buds?

Do Dogs Have Taste Buds?

As seen in PetMD

Our canine companions use their sense of taste in combination with their other senses to explore the world around them. Sometimes it seems like dogs will eat anything, from garbage and fecal matter to undigestible items like toys and fabric. And other times dogs may be very picky about their food.

So how do they determine what tastes good to them? Do dogs have taste buds like we do? Why do dogs want to eat things that we would never eat?

Do Dogs Have Taste Buds?

Yes, dogs have taste buds that give them the ability to taste things. Taste buds are found on papillae—small, visible bumps on the tongue. Dogs have about 1700 taste buds, while human mouths have approximately 9000.

Puppies develop their ability to taste after a few weeks of life. This is one of the earlier senses that develops, even before hearing and vision. As dogs mature in age, their number of taste buds decreases, along with a decreased sense of smell, which may play a role in picky eating or decreased appetite.

Each taste bud has an ability to sense all tastes if the flavor is strong enough. Taste buds in different areas on the tongue are slightly more sensitive to certain flavors in comparison to others. Bitter and sour taste buds are located toward the back of the tongue. Salty and sweet taste buds are found toward the front of the tongue.      

Dogs have specific taste receptors that are fine-tuned to meats, fats, and meat-related chemicals due to their ancestral diet being primarily comprised of meat. The reduced number of taste buds in dogs as compared to humans may explain their decreased ability to distinguish between subtle flavors, like the differences between types of meat (chicken, pork, or beef) or different berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries).

Dogs also have taste buds that are fine-tuned to water. This ability is also seen in cats and other carnivores, but not in humans. Special taste buds on the tip of a dog’s tongue react to water as they drink and become more sensitive when thirsty or after eating a meal, which encourages them to drink more water.

Dogs’ Taste Buds vs. Their Sense of Smell

Taste is directly linked to smell, and an item’s scent can enhance its taste. The smell of a food item plays a much larger role in how dogs experience the flavor of their food. 

Dogs also have a special scent organ along their palate that helps them “taste” through smell. When a dog smells something, they capture molecules that tell them how a food will taste. Dogs can taste without smelling, but not as well as people, due to fewer taste buds. However, their sense of smell is much more defined. They intuitively know when food isn’t safe for consumption by combining their senses of smell and taste.

Can Dogs Taste Spicy, Sweet, Sour, and Salty Food?

Dogs have receptors for the same taste types as humans, including spicy, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty foods. However, dogs never developed the highly tuned salt receptors that humans have. This is a result of their heavily meat-based ancestral diet being naturally high in salt. This meant they did not need to seek additional salt sources in their diet and have less of an affinity for salty foods.

Sweet flavors are especially preferred by dogs, which likely stems from their ancestral diet including wild fruits and vegetables. However, this does not mean that they should overindulge in pet-safe fruits and veggies. Too much sugar is detrimental for dogs, so sweet produce should be offered in moderation. Dogs should not have other sugary human foods.

What Tastes Bad to Dogs?

Dogs generally avoid salty, spicy, sour, or bitter tastes. Many of these may be unsafe to eat. The presence of toxins or spoilage from bacterial contamination will cause food to taste bad to dogs.

This is why many chew-deterrent sprays for dogs include bitter ingredients. Dogs may also reject many medications due to their bitter tastes.

The burning heat from spicy foods is caused by a compound called capsaicin and can cause physical reactions in dogs despite an inability to detect much of the flavor.

Is your dog digging up your yard?

By Tonya Wilhelm as seen in Animal Wellness

By Tonya Wilhelm as seen in Animal Wellness

Why dogs like digging holes, and how you can help prevent Fido from turning your yard into a moonscape.

If you’ve spent a lot of time and money turning your yard into a beautifully-landscaped oasis, you’re bound to feel frustrated if your dog’s favorite pastime is digging unsightly holes in your flower beds and lawns. Stopping this behavior includes understanding why he’s doing it, then redirecting the digging toward less destructive activities.

3 reasons why dogs dig

There are a few possible reasons why your dog is digging up your yard. It’s important to do a little detective work to find out which one applies to your own dog.

1. For entertainment and the pure joy of digging

Dogs can be silly creatures that like to have fun at every turn. If your dog is left alone in the yard for long periods, he’s likely to get bored. You may think your yard is the perfect place for him to watch the neighbors, run around, or lie in the sun, but he may find this boring after a few minutes and start resorting to less favorable activities to pass the time.

And the fact is, dogs enjoy digging. You may think this is strange, but you’ve probably seen children digging big holes in beach sand just for the fun of it. Dogs are often regarded as having the mental capacity of a human toddler, and this can be seen in the way they respond to their environment. In short, digging is just plain fun!

What to do: Instead of trying to teach your dog not to dig, teach him where and what to dig. For example, sandboxes aren’t just for children; dogs can learn to love them, too. Purchase a child’s sandbox, kiddie pool, or make one from scratch. Place it in a shady location or purchase a shade sail to place over the sandbox. Fill it with natural, non-toxic sand and train him to use it (see sidebar.

If you aren’t able to create a special digging spot for your dog, hide his toys instead of burying them. Start with your dog on a “stay” behavior as you place a favorite toy or treat 5′ away from him. After you set it down, tell him to “find it”, and encourage him to get the prize. Once he grabs it, reward him with a bonus treat and play a short game. Repeat this process. Gradually, increase the distance at which you are placing the prize until it’s just out of sight. At this stage, your dog is still watching where you place the toy or treat; but once he’s a champ at this part, start hiding the items when he’s not looking and tell him to “find it” as you encourage him to hunt for the toy or treat. Once again, reward him for his successes and play a quick game.

When your dog understands this concept, you can hid various toys and/or treat-filled toys around the yard and ask your dog to “find it” when you let him out. This will give him an appropriate activity to engage in instead of digging up the yard.

2. He’s trying to stay cool or warm up

Dogs also dig holes in an effort to get warmer or cooler. If a dog is left outside in summer heat, he may learn that the deeper he digs, the cooler it gets. In the winter, it’s the opposite; the deeper he goes, the warmer he feels. In this situation, your dog’s digging is simply caused by a desire for more comfortable temperatures.

What to do: The solution to this digging problem is simple. Bring your dog indoors when the weather is too cold or too hot for him. Additionally, in warm sunny weather, make sure he has access to shade, fresh water, toys filled with frozen food, or even a child’s pool to splash in. In the colder weather of fall and winter, provide him with cozy dog apparel such as a coat or warm sweater, and a set of doggy boots – but be sure to keep an eye on him when he’s outside so he doesn’t get his garments caught on anything.

3. He’s hunting critters

Even our smallest lapdogs love a good hunt-and-dig game. Dogs are known for their incredible sense of smell. It is estimated that their sense of smell is at least 10,000 times better than ours.

So you may notice your dog with his nose to the ground, moving back and forth across your yard. Before you know it, he’s digging furiously at the dirt until he’s up to his elbows. If he’s a good hunter, he may retrieve a chipmunk, mouse, or even a beetle, toss it up in the air, and possibly roll on it or even eat it. While he is super proud of his accomplishment, you stand there staring at the mess he has created!

What to do: There are a few ways to rectify this issue. First, depending on the critters your dog is hunting, one option is to humanely trap and remove them from your yard. Do not use any kind of poison – remember that poisons don’t distinguish between “pests”, dogs, cats, and children.

If this is not an option, calmly redirect your dog to a more appropriate game, such as the “find it” game mentioned above. If he is obsessed with his hunt, you may need to leash walk him for a little while, possibly in another part of the yard. This will likely be temporary as the critter moves along and your dog forgets about the scent.

Whether your dog is bored, feeling too cold or hot, or is on the hunt for the chipmunks family nesting in your yard, it’s important to narrow down the reason for his digging so you can find ways to stop it. In many cases, preserving your hard-earned landscaping is as simple as ensuring your dog is comfortable, has enough to keep him occupied, and isn’t spending too much time in

Turmeric — a supplement worth considering for your dog

Turmeric — a supplement worth considering for your dog

By Theresa W. Fossum, DVM, MS. PhD, Diplomate ACVS as seen in Animal Wellness magazine

A spice renowned for its color and flavor, a turmeric supplement offers noteworthy health benefits to dogs as well as humans.

If you are a fan of curry, you have probably heard of turmeric. Also referred to as curcumin, which refers to the key active ingredient that gives this spice its distinct color and flavor, turmeric is a plant in the ginger family that is native to South Asia. In India, this centuries-old plant is commonly used for skin and digestive issues as well as aches and pains. Turmeric offers a variety of wellness benefits to dogs as well as humans, making it a supplement that’s definitely worth consideration.



Turmeric has been recommended for reducing chronic inflammation in humans and dogs1 and may help canines with mobility issues associated with aging or disease. The same article1 cited Dr. Randy J. Horwitz, medical director the Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona, as saying that turmeric is “one the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available”.

Turmeric can also help with anxiety and senility, and may even have a positive effect on some cancers. Although there is so far very little research on the use of turmeric in dogs, one study looked at the effects of turmeric root and rosemary leaf on canine cancer cell growth in cell cultures.2 While additional research is needed, the study suggested that turmeric root and rosemary leaf had a synergistic effect in killing certain tumor cell lines.

Another author has suggested that the heat used in producing kibble generates carcinogenic chemical compounds, which turmeric supplements can counteract.3

Hint: It’s safe to give turmeric to dogs in reasonable doses; in fact, it is often added to kibble to enhance its color.


Adverse side effects are uncommon when turmeric is given in appropriate amounts. If they do occur, they may include gallbladder issues, dizziness, bruising, upset stomach and/or nausea, and iron deficiency.

Turmeric stimulates gallbladder flow by increasing the organ’s contractions; it may be beneficial for some gallbladder diseases but should be avoided if there is a history or potential for gallstones. Turmeric may also delay blood clotting and should therefore be used with caution in animals with a history of bleeding disorders. Reports have indicated that turmeric may be beneficial for people with diabetes by stabilizing blood glucose levels; if your dog is diabetic, however, talk to your veterinarian before adding this (or any) supplements to his diet.

Hint: Iron deficiency is associated with the binding of ferric iron to turmeric in the gut when high doses are given.


As with most supplements, the dosage of turmeric a dog should receive depends on his or her weight. Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all, given that different breeds can weigh as little as a pound or two up to 150 pounds or more.

I generally recommend giving turmeric powder to dogs because you can measure out exactly how much he should receive. Turmeric capsules give you less ability to administer a specific amount.

Turmeric powder can be made into a paste (mixed with lecithin, MCT oil, or olive oil) or added to your dog’s food. If you are adding it to dry kibble, moisten the kibble first and then mix the powder in.

Following are the recommended guidelines for adding a powdered form of turmeric to your dog’s food, up to three times a day. I would suggest you start with one or two doses at the low end, and increase them once you find your dog tolerates it.

  • 1-10 lbs: 1/16 to 1/8 tsp
  • 10-20 lbs: 1/8 tsp to 1⁄4 tsp
  • 20-50 lbs: 1⁄4 tsp. to 1 tsp
  • 50-100 lbs: 1 tsp. to 2 tsp
  • More than 100 lbs: 2 tsp

Hint: Most turmeric capsules have been formulated for humans and may contain higher amounts of turmeric than dogs can typically tolerate.

While more research needs to be done on the benefits of turmeric in dogs, it’s certainly a supplement worth adding to your canine companion’s health regime. Talk to your holistic or integrative veterinarian about what turmeric might be able to do for your dog, especially if he’s older and/or has mobility issues, or is undergoing treatment for cancer.


  1. Waggoner LL: Spice it up! If your dog suffers from chronic inflammation or stiffness, try adding turmeric to his diet, Herbal Medicine, Dec 2014
  2. Levine CB, Bayle J, Biourge V, And Wakshlag JJ: Cellular effects of turmeric root and rosemary leaf extract on canine neoplastic cell lines, BMC Veterinary Research 2017: 13:388
  3. Tweed V: Pet supplement guide: Essential nutrients for optimal health in cats and dogs of all ages. Natural Pet, Nutrition for dogs and cats. March 2014
  4. Smith TJ, Ashar BH: Iron deficiency anemia due to high-dose turmeric. Cureus 2019:11:1; e3858

8 Simple, Cost-Efficient Ways to Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated

This article was verified and edited for accuracy by Dr. Katie Grzyb, DVM.

As seen in PetMD

Is Your Dog Bored?

Whether the kids have gone back to school, the adults are away all day at work, or the daily routine of walks and play-time have just lost their appeal, finding new ways to occupy your dog is essential. Dogs need both physical and mental stimulation to help keep them healthy and happy. And it’s no secret that bored dogs tend to get themselves into trouble.

“My philosophy is a tired dog is a good dog,” says Caren Malgesini, a vet assistant at PAWS, an animal rescue organization in Lynnwood, Wash., and the owner of Caren’s Canine Counseling dog training business in Everett, Wash.

But entertaining your dog doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on doggie day care, a dog walker, or pricey toys. With a little creativity and insight into your dog’s personality, you can find, or even make, the right toys to make playtime more fun for both of you, or to keep your dog entertained and busy on his or her own.

Malgesini says it’s also important to take your dog’s breed or breed mix and age into consideration as well. Breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, and Australian Cattle Dog, all bred to be working dogs, need more exercise and mental stimulation than more easy-going breeds like the Basset Hound or Bull Dog, which prefer less challenging playtimes, she notes.

PAWS recommends two types of entertaining dog toys:

  • Interactive toys that require your participation, like balls and Frisbees to fetch, and rope toys for playing tug-of-war
  • Distraction toys that keep your dog busy when you don’t have time or aren’t around to play, such as toys that hide food treats, chew toys, and puzzle toys filled with treats

Interactive Toys for Dogs

Dogs, even non-working dogs, were bred to interact with humans. So spend any time with your dog that you can, because playing together strengthens your bond, advises Malgesini. Lack of interaction with people can result in needy, mopey dogs, she notes.

“We don’t give them enough to do, so they get into trouble,” adds Jen Gabbard, a Detroit-based blogger who offers a wealth of low-cost or free ways to keep your dog entertained on her blog Puppy Leaks. Gabbard’s easy interactive dog toys include:

Tug toys

Tug-of-war is a great way to tire your dog (and yourself) out. And you don’t have to buy a tug toy, you can easily make your own from old t-shirts, towels, or other soft materials.

Fetch toys

Many dogs love chasing balls, Frisbees, or soft toys. Some rubber toys are oddly shaped so that they bounce erratically and make the game more fun, notes Gabbard. Tennis balls are always a hit with dogs.

Distraction Toys for Dogs

“There are so many dogs that are left alone all day,” says Malgesini. “But anything can be a game to your dog if you make it fun.”

However, it’s important to initially supervise your dog with a new toy before leaving him or her alone with it. Younger dogs tend to be more destructive and may ingest part of the toy, which can lead to intestinal blockages. “Watch them to see what they do with it,” Malgesini advises.

Gabbard has a few ideas to help keep your dog occupied if he or she is home alone for hours at a time:

Stuffed Kong

Give your dog a Kong toy filled with treats, frozen peanut butter, or other food. Gabbard is such a fan of Kongs that she feeds her own dog all of her meals in a Kong. “It’s partly because she scarfs down her food quickly, but mostly to keep her mind engaged,” says Gabbard.

Frozen treats

A free equivalent to a Kong, these treats are made by freezing dog treats in ice or by making ice cubes out of a meat- or vegetable-based broth. It’s amazing how long ice treats can keep your dog occupied, says Gabbard.

Digging box

If your dog loves to dig, channel that love by building a digging box, similar to a small sandbox, in your yard and burying toys in it for your dog to find.

Change It Up to Keep Your Dog Engaged

Playtime is best when it incorporates both mental and physical exercise, which can be equally tiring, says Gabbard. “Don’t underestimate the importance of play.”

Other ways of mentally and physically challenging your dog don’t require toys at all. Gabbard suggests that dog owners:

Change your walk routine

Dogs like to do new things, so take a different route or visit a new park.

Teach your dog new tricks

You can train your dog to help around the house. Gabbard has trained her dog to help pick up her toys and to carry sticks and small logs to the woodpile. It’s fun and helpful at the same time and can be especially welcome for working breeds.

Arrange a play date with a friend’s dog

Just be sure the two dogs get along well before leaving them to play unsupervised.

Washing your dog is a necessary activity, especially in the warmer months. Here’s how you can make this task an easy process, for you and your dog.

By Animal Wellness magazine

Summer is upon us, and that probably means you and your pup are spending more time outside. Most dogs would much rather skip bath time, but after spending hours running around outdoors, washing your dog is a great way to keep him free of dirt, bugs, and parasites. Washing your dog doesn’t have to be difficult, so here are a few simple steps to make bath time a breeze.

1. Brush out the coat

Get the coat ready with an all over brush. This helps get rid of loose hair, tangles, and debris. Plus, it starts the bath time process with quality time between you and your dog.

2. Use a towel in the bottom of the bath

Tubs can be slippery, especially when using soapy products! Putting a towel down gives your pup’s paws something to grip on, making sure he remains stable throughout the bath.

3. Check the water temperature

Always test the water temperature with your hand prior to setting your dog in the bath. Warm, body temperature water is best – not too hot or too cold. Ease your dog into the bath, wetting the body slowly from the legs up and leaving the head for last.

4. Get soapy!

Use a shampoo that is designed for dogs. WashBar® Original Soap for Dogs or the ManukaBar for sensitive skin are a perfect option. Made with 100% natural ingredients like manuka oil and neem oil, WashBar® soaps are free of harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances and colors, sulfates and parabens! Use them like you would a regular shampoo by lathering it up, then slowly rubbing it into your dog’s fur for a nice deep clean.

5. Rinse thoroughly

Be sure to rinse your dog and make sure there is no more product on the fur, just to avoid any potential skin irritation. When rinsing his head, tip it up and use a bowl or handheld hose to avoid getting water or soap in his eyes.

6. Towel-dry at the end

Your dog knows how to dry off, but you can help too! After a good shake, towel-dry the rest of the water off as best you can – the finishing touch after an enjoyable bath time.

Washing your dog doesn’t have to be intimidating. With these tips, bathing your dog will be far less stressful than you thought it might be. And not only will you have a dog that smells and looks fresh – but you’ll also have spent some quality time together.


Why Do Some Dogs Bark More Than Others?

As seen in PetMD

Why do some dogs bark more than others? Maybe your neighbor’s dog barks nonstop when he’s gone, or maybe your dog barks at every breeze, shadow or whisper. And then there are dogs that hardly ever make a peep.

You might love your dog unconditionally, but a dog that barks at everything and anything can get a bit exhausting. No one enjoys being jarred out of sleep to the cacophonous sound of dog barking in the middle of the night—especially when there seems to be no reason for it.

So, what causes one dog to bark more than the others? Here are three factors that could contribute to a noisy household.

Genetics and Breed-Specific Characteristics

Genetics and breeding for specific traits can play a big role in a dog’s proclivity for barking.

According to Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist based in Orange County, California, the frequency of a dog’s bark can vary from breed to breed, and it all depends on how their ancestors were bred.

“Barking was emphasized in some breeds more than others,” says Dr. Schwartz. She explains that this trait was likely “selected by our ancestors to help guard human settlements.”

Not all breeds known for barking will necessary be noisy, however. For instance, terriers tend to be more vocal. But not all terriers will bark excessively, says Dr. Schwartz. Huskies and Nordic breeds are also known to howl more than others, while most Basenjis don’t bark at all, says Dr. Schwartz.

Environmental Factors

Dogs get used to their environments, and they will react to sounds that are unexpected (like a knock at the door) and those that they don’t hear often. 

If a dog was raised in a bustling city where they’re used to hearing constant noise, they’ll probably be less apt to bark in a noisy urban environment. But a dog who was raised in a quiet, rural area may bark at any sound.

“A city dog wouldn’t react to a siren (cops, ambulance) because it becomes part of the background noise, compared to a country dog [who lives] where things are quieter and less chaotic,” says Dr. Schwartz.

Unintentional Rewarding of Dog Barking

“Some dogs learn to bark for attention regardless of breed,” says Dr. Schwartz. “Barking is a response to not getting their needs met.” She also says that, “Barking can be a learned behavior where the dog signals to the owner, ‘I need something.’”

“It goes back to that basic of rewarding behavior,” says Dr. Katie Malehorn, DVM a staff veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. She explains that dogs will keep doing something if they are getting rewarded for it.

Many owners may pay more attention to the dog when he’s barking—accidentally rewarding him for the behavior, says Khara Schuetzner, a certified professional dog trainer and owner of The Doggie Spot based in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Dr. Schwartz gave the example of one woman who gave her dog a treat every time he barked—giving him attention and fulfilling his need for food—and inadvertently training him to bark.

What You Can Do to Stop Dogs From Barking So Much

To help lessen your dog’s barking, figure out the root cause of the behavior.

Dr. Schwartz explains that you need to find out what the triggers are for dog barking. Once you figure out the triggering behavior, the best approach is to work with a dog trainer and veterinarian (or a veterinary behaviorist) to find the best ways to help your dog find alternative, more productive behaviors.

Dr. Malehorn says that you will need to be patient. Many dog owners won’t seek help or try to work on excessive barking until it becomes a serious issue. At this point, it is going to take time, consistency and a good training plan to break the habit.

By: Teresa K. Traverse


As seen in Homeoanimal

Dog wheezing is a health issue that you should never brush aside.

While this condition can be triggered by your canine family member simply being exposed to everyday allergens and will disappear just after a few minutes, dog wheezing can also result in potentially life-threatening situations in some cases.

Apart from walking you through the possible factors that could set off wheezing in dogs, this blog post will also give you a rundown of the proper home remedies for dog wheezing you should use when this problem strikes.

Let’s start the discussion by touching on the likely reasons why your dog is wheezing…


Wheezing in dogs occurs when something partially impedes the flow of air in or out of your canine family member’s airway. The source of this blockage could either be in the bronchi—the main tubes of the lungs—or the windpipe.

The high-pitched “wheezing” sound is basically created when the air moving from the lungs to the windpipe brushes against the said blockage during exhalation.

However, it is crucial to take note that there are several possible reasons why this wheezing sound is created, which can be anywhere from mild irritation to an underlying health issue.

Now we’ve got that out of the bag, let’s touch on the causes of dog wheezing that you need to keep in mind…


There are eight (8) common causes of dog wheezing, namely genetics, foreign bodies, cardiovascular ailments, allergies, bronchitis, infections and inflammations, as well as kennel cough and collapsed windpipe. We’ll go through each one of these in detail below:


Interestingly, genetics play a key role in dog wheezing. Should either of both of your canine family member’s parents—the biological ones, in this case—be predisposed or have actually suffered from wheezing in dogs due to some underlying condition, then it’s also likely that he will be susceptible to this health issue as well.


If your precious pet is anything like most dogs, chances are he loves to chew on anything that he finds fascinating like toys, sticks, various foodstuffs, plastic lids, and even chunks of wood. It is not uncommon that some of these things may splinter or break into pieces, which can get lodged inside his airway, leading to coughing and wheezing.


Canine cardiovascular illnesses such as mitral valve disease, congestive heart failure, as well as cardiomyopathy, can cause the accumulation of fluid inside the lungs. This fluid can eventually spread out in and around a dog’s airway, which results in wheezing.

Just to emphasize, while this factor is mostly observed among senior dogs, it can also occasionally be noted in younger pooches that are suffering from a heart condition.


Akin to human beings, your canine family member can also be prone to allergy attacks. These can be triggered by dust, mold, certain types of food, pollen, industrial chemicals, as well as cigarette smoke and vapors from vapes, resulting in dog wheezing.

As these allergens make their way inside your dog’s respiratory system, they tend to set off an immune response that causes his airway to constrict, which can make breathing a bit difficult. Moreover, insect bites and stings can also lead to similar consequences.


Bronchitis is a respiratory illness that is characterized by the irritation of the main tubes of the lungs called “bronchi.” As this disease progresses, the lining of the bronchi gets inflamed and eventually swells, hindering the air to freely flow from the windpipe to the lungs and vice versa.

The more pronounced this swelling becomes, the harder it is for the air to move to and fro the lungs and windpipe, causing the high-pitched wheezing sound.


When your dog is suffering from an infection and or inflammation affecting the respiratory system, the most prominent immune responses that his body sets off are nasal discharge, bouts of coughing and sneezing, as well as a constricted airway.

This can also be accompanied by the buildup of phlegm in your canine family member’s sinuses and throat, which can hamper the flow of air in his windpipe and lungs, causing dog wheezing sooner or later.


Characterized by persistent bouts of dry coughing, kennel cough is a type of respiratory infection that irritates the lining of a dog’s airway making it difficult for him to breathe. This illness also causes parts of the throat and windpipe to swell, which can lead to dog wheezing.


A collapsed windpipe, also referred to as tracheal collapse, involves the unexpected falling in of cartilage that hold the trachea together. Depending on the severity of the collapse, a dog may experience bouts of coughing that have a distinctive honking sound as well as intermittent wheezing spells.

Next, let’s find out if dog wheezing can be deemed as an emergency situation or not…


More often than not, dog wheezing is not to be deemed as an emergency situation. This condition can be simply your dog’s body’s response to everyday allergens like dust and pollen, as well as contact with blades of grass and twigs that could give him quite a ticklish sensation.

But the thing is this doesn’t mean that wheezing in dogs should be just shrugged off altogether. Here are the crucial indicators that you need to keep an eye on to determine if this condition is potentially life-threatening for your pet already:

  • He is visibly having a difficult time inhaling and exhaling
  • His breathing is really shallow yet at a very fast pace
  • His heart rate is significantly (and abnormally) high
  • His gums and tongue have a noticeable bluish or purplish tinge
  • He breathes with his mouth open with intermittent gagging and coughing
  • He will exhibit signs of severe anxiety like aimless movement and prolonged whining

Make sure you immediately seek medical attention or provide emergency care for your canine family member as soon as you notice these signs. Paying no heed to the same could lead to extremely serious or even fatal consequences for your animal companion.

Now we’ve got that covered, let’s check out the dog wheezing natural remedies that you need to include in your home pet care kit to deal with this health issue the right way…


Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe, over-the-counter bronchodilators and antibiotics are not just your only options when it comes to properly supporting your canine family member during wheezing in dogs.

The next time your beloved pet goes through this condition, make sure you give him these all-natural dog wheezing home remedies. What’s really interesting is that the following natural remedies can also be used as a preventive measure for this health issue:


According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), elecampane—also known as elf wort, elfdock, and horse-heal—contains ample amounts of the organic compound alantolactone, which has been seen to help relax constricted airways in cases of respiratory inflammation.

Moreover, follow up studies on elecampane reveal that alantolactone has a noticeable therapeutic effect to airways that were suppressed or impeded by cigarette smoke exposure.

To use elecampane as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of this dried root herb in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Let the mixture cool down completely. You can either give this elecampane tea to your dog straight, one teaspoon at a time twice a day, or add in a couple of teaspoons of the same to his water.


Another study published in the NCBI reveals that echinacea is abundant in a starch-like chemical called arabinogalactan, which showed noticeable therapeutic effects when used to deal with upper respiratory tract infections and inflammations.

Arabinogalactan has also been seen to help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by health issues like otitis media and pharyngotonsillitis that are often set off by infections and inflammations in the upper respiratory tract.

To use echinacea as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of dried echinacea flowers in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Stir it gently with a spoon to make sure that all of the bits are really soaked.

Once the mixture has cooled down completely, you can give your dog two (2) teaspoons of echinacea tea straight twice per day. Alternatively, you can also add the same amount of echinacea tea to his water.


The NCBI highlights another study where licorice root has been seen to inhibit the accumulation of 11-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, which staves off the onset of allergic responses, particularly in the respiratory system.

To use licorice root as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of it in a cup of hot water for at least fifteen (15) minutes. Let the mixture linger for a few minutes after it has cooled down completely.

You can give your dog two (2) teaspoons of licorice root tea straight twice per day. Alternatively, you can also add the same amount of the same to his water.

Since licorice root is naturally slightly bitter, you can add a bit of honey to this concoction to make the whole thing sweeter and easier for your pet to consume.


Another study published in the NCBI stresses that extracts derived from mullein leaves show the ability to “inhibit the growth of bacteria involved in respiratory infections,” which can trigger dog wheezing.

To use mullein leaves as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of this herb—you can go for either the fresh or dried variety—in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Let the mixture cool down completely.

You can either give this mullein tea to your dog straight, one teaspoon at a time twice a day, or add in a couple of teaspoons of the same to his water.


According to MDPI, foods rich in quercetin such as dark cherries, unpeeled apples, and blueberries have been seen to help promote stabilized respiratory rates when consumed on a regular basis.

Additional studies note that animals previously often exposed to cigarette smoke have a higher chance of normalizing their respiratory rates as compared to those that did not.

To use quercetin as a home remedy for dog wheezing, integrate foods rich in this antioxidant into your canine family member’s regular diet.

In the next part of our discussion, I’d like to share a natural and high-quality product you can go for if your dog is going through a bout of wheezing…


HomeoAnimal’s BRONCHIAL CLEAR is designed to support respiratory capacity and promote better lung health.

Besides being made with natural homeopathic ingredients, my team and I at HomeoAnimal have also ensured that each of the components that make up BRONCHIAL CLEAR are also first-rate to only give your pet the best like you would have also wanted.

To use BRONCHIAL CLEAR to support your canine family member during dog wheezing, you only need to give him a single spray of this product in his mouth once a day. You can also mix it with his water as an alternative application.

Moreover, make sure you stop administering BRONCHIAL CLEAR once the symptoms have disappeared. It is also important to take note that this product is not to be used as a preventive measure.


This brings our walkthrough on the home remedies you can use for dog wheezing to a close.

I hope that you learned a lot from our discussion, especially the part where I emphasized that wheezing in dogs should not be left to chance. Rather it should be given immediate and proper care and attention like having BRONCHIAL CLEAR in your dog home care checklist.

In case you’re looking to learn more about keeping your canine family member happy and healthy using natural means, make sure you sign up for our FREE HEALTH ADVISOR GUIDANCE right now to get the lowdown on the products and treatment options that best fit your animal’s health needs.

Naturally with you and your pet, every step of the way!

Can Dogs Get Heat Stroke?

By Jessica Peralta -Dogs Naturally

You’re walking along with your 80-pound, long-haired German Shepherd one warm, sunny afternoon. You’re breaking a bit of a sweat, but you feel fine in your shorts and tank. But then you look over at Thor, and he’s not looking too good. His eyes are glassy, he’s panting a lot and he’s starting to pull back on the leash. “But, it’s not that hot,” you say to yourself. “What’s up with Thor?”

Thor is probably on his way to heat stroke. Heat stroke in dogs can be dangerous.

What Is Heat Stroke In Dogs?

Your dog gets heat stroke when he’s having trouble regulating his body temperature.

Your dog doesn’t sweat the way you do. He only has sweat glands in his nose and in the pads of his feet. And his only real recourse when he’s overheating is to pant, which sometimes isn’t enough.

Add in the fur that covers his body and the fact that his paws are usually in direct contact with the hot sidewalk … and It’s easy to see how he can get much hotter than you can, and much faster.

Heatstroke in dogs is dangerous. It can cause permanent brain or organ damage.

A dog’s normal body temperature is somewhere between 100.5 to 102.5 degrees. A dog will start to experience heat stroke when he temperature is over 105 degrees. At around 106 to 108 degrees, irreversible organ damage can occur. It can even cause death. Try to keep a thermometer handy and check his temperature if you suspect heat stroke.

Pay close attention any time the weather is warm. The longer your dog suffers, the worse the damage will be.

Signs Of Heat Stroke In Dogs

So how can you tell if your dog’s struggling? Here are some signs of heat stroke in dogs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Glazed eyes
  • Hyperventilation
  • Increased salivation
  • Dry gums that are pale or grayish
  • Bright or dark red tongue or gums
  • Rapid or erratic pulse
  • Weakness, staggering, confusion, inattention
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Collapse

NOTE: Breeds with flat faces like Pugs and Boxers, elderly dogs and puppies are at higher risk. Dogs with existing health conditions may also overheat faster.

You need to take immediate action. Again, heat stroke can cause permanent organ damage. if your dog doesn’t cool down, his breathing can slow or stop. He may have seizures or fall into a coma.

So, what should you do if you think your dog has heat stroke?

Dog Heat Stroke Treatment At Home

If your dog has heat stroke, his condition can progress quickly, so take action as soon as you suspect a problem.

1. Get Him Into The Shade

Since heat is the obvious problem, you want to get him out of direct sunlight and into a cooler spot as soon as possible. Find a shady spot under a tree, preferably in a grassy area, which will be cooler than asphalt or concrete.

2. Apply Cool Water

Get water on his inner thighs and stomach where there are more large blood vessels, and on the pads of his feet. Use running water from the faucet or hose. If you’re out on a walk, ask a neighbor if you can use theirs!

3. Air Him Out

To help cool your dog, make sure the water you’re putting on him can evaporate. Don’t cover him up with a wet towel or blanket. Covering him will create a sauna effect instead of allowing the water to evaporate. Keep him in the open air and out of enclosed areas like a kennel. If you can get him near a fan or air condition, or in a breezy spot if you’re outside, that will help.

4. Keep Him Moving

Encourage your dog to stand or slowly walk around while he’s cooling down. You want his cooled blood to circulate throughout his body.

5. Give Him Small Amounts Of Cool (Not Cold )Water

If he gulps down too much water too fast, it can cause vomiting or bloating. But he needs to stay hydrated. If he doesn’t want water, give him chicken or beef broth.

Never give human sports or performance drinks.

RELATED: Here’s a quick and easy bone broth recipe …

6. Get Him To The Vet

Once your dog has started to cool down, take him to his vet right away. You don’t want to keep trying to cool down your dog for too long or you’ll risk him getting hypothermia.

Even if your dog seems fine, he’ll need a veterinary exam. There may be underlying damage to his organs that you can’t see. The effects of heat stroke can continue for 48 to 72 hours.

The most common cause of death following heat stroke is disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC). This happens when the blood coagulates throughout the body. It can occur hours or days after the heat stroke episode. Again, even if your dog seems much better, a vet exam is the best way to make sure.

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Homeopathic Remedies For Heat Stroke In Dogs

Cooling down your overheated dog and getting him to the vet is critical. Homeopathic remedies can help if you have them handy. Use 6C or 30C potency if you have it … but if you have the remedy in a different potency, use whatever you have. Choose the remedy that best fits his symptoms according to the descriptions below. Dose every 5-15 minutes for up to 3 or 4 doses. If he doesn’t seem better, try one of the other remedies listed.

  1. Belladonna – your dog is red, has dilated pupils, bounding pulses, and is burning up, or even comatose use this remedy – and get him to the vet as fast as you can.
  2. Aconitum napellus – This is a good first choice at first sign of heat stroke. If your dog needs this remedy, he may also seem very fearful or anxious.
  3. Gelsemium – If your dog needs this remedy, he may seem very weak and his muscles may be trembling.
  4. Glonoinum – This remedy can help when your dog overheats from too much sun exposure. You may see vomiting and weakness. His heart may pound. His ears and gums may look red, or even alternating from pale to red. HIs eyes may look red and staring, protruding or dry.

For all these remedies, follow the instructions on How To Give A Homeopathic Remedy at the link below. A dose is usually about 3 pellets but the number really doesn’t matter, so you can give more or less.

RELATED: What you need to know about homeopathy for dogs …

How To Prevent Heat Stroke In Dogs

When it comes to heat stroke, . Heatstroke is completely avoidable if you take some precautions

Whether you’re heading out for a hike or your dog’s playing in the backyard, remember these tips:

  • Always be aware of the temperature and the potential for heat stroke.
  • Find spots that offer some shade and a place for your dog to get a break out of direct sunlight.
  • Make sure your dog always has access to cool, clean water and a way to cool himself down. Carry plenty of drinking water and a portable bowl so you can give him a drink if he’s panting.
  • If your dog likes to paddle or swim, on really hot days it’s a great idea to take him for a walk in the woods near a creek or lake.
  • If your dog has a tendency to feel the heat. consider buying a cooling vest or bandana.
  • Don’t ever leave your dog in a parked car on warm days – even with the air conditioning running. AC can fail and make the car hotter by blowing heated air instead of cold.
  • Don’t shave your long haired or double-coated dog in summer. It may seem like he’d be cooler, but it actually makes overheating more likely. Find out why …

Heat stroke is very dangerous for your dog … so be prepared, and don’t let it happen!

8 Reasons your dog doesn’t listen

By Lynne Fedorick CPDT-KA as seen in animal Wellness Magazine

It can be frustrating when your dog doesn’t listen to you. Sometimes, it’s a command you know the dog knows because he does it perfectly at home, in the backyard, or at dog classes. Just not now, when you need him to do it.

Is it a dominance issue when your dog doesn’t listen? Not according to the world’s leading canine ethologists (scientists who study dog behavior). These experts agree that dogs are never out to dominate their owners. What’s more, attempting to dominate our dogs can be confusing and frightening to them. Such confusion can elicit aggressive-looking behaviors aimed at self-defence.

Why don’t dogs obey our commands?

When dogs don’t listen to us, it has more to do with weaknesses in our training strategies than anything else. So, let’s look at the real reasons dogs don’t listen to us.

1. Your dog has unmet physical needs

If your dog has unmet physical needs, he won’t be able to focus on the behavior you want him to perform. If he seems incapable of listening, he may be:

  • tired
  • hungry or thirsty
  • needing to eliminate
  • full of energy he needs to burn
  • not feeling well
  • anxious or nervous

2. He does not have your full attention

If you are busy fiddling with your phone or taping a TikTok video of your training session, your attention is not fully on your dog. When you’re training, you aren’t present for your dog if you’re thinking about something else. Your dog needs you to be fully there whenever you are training or issuing a command. 

3. You don’t use reward markers

A reward marker tells the dog that he’ll get a food reward every time he does a              particular behavior. Many dog trainers use a clicker or verbal marker to let the dog know a  specific behavior will earn him a “prize.” The reward marker always happens at the  beginning of a behavior and never after the behavior is complete. Dogs always do more  exaggerated forms of the behavior that gets them something they want. When initially  training the dog to perform a behavior, reward markers communicate what you want very  clearly to the dog. Additionally, reward markers cement that behavior in the dog’s mind as  a fun activity that he loves doing.

4. Your dog is not motivated

From a dog’s perspective, any reinforcer loses value when it is always the same or always available whenever he chooses to comply. Ways to build value in your reinforcer’s motivational value:

  • Keep training sessions very short (between 2 and 5 minutes) and frequent (6-10 times per day)
  • Food rewards should be tiny, fragrant, and generously given for successful behavior
  • Food rewards should be varied
  • Food rewards should be dispensed fairly, considering the difficulty of the behavior performed.

5. You are asking too much, too soon

It can be easy to forget that your dog is a member of a foreign species that has no intrinsic way of understanding our language or our ways. Here are some ways we ask too much of our dogs:

  • Increasing the level of distractions too soon
  • You didn’t proof the behavior sufficiently with graduated introduction of distractions.
  • He isn’t entirely clear on the necessary behavior yet
  • He has had many reinforced repetitions of a behavior you are trying to get him to stop doing

6. The dog is worried about discomfort

If your dog has been punished during training, any future training can cause anxiety and make it difficult for him to focus and listen. Also, if the behavior itself will bring discomfort, don’t expect your dog to respond. For example, cueing a short-coated dog to “down” on a cold, wet sidewalk.

7. You didn’t let him get used to a new environment before you cued the behavior  

Let your dog adapt to an environment for a few minutes before cueing the behavior you want.

8. You are telling him NOT to do something

Dogs think proactively – they are doers. They don’t know the meaning of stopping any activity or behavior. They do things because those behaviors have been inadvertently reinforced in the past. When we say “No!” or “Stop that!” it can temporarily interrupt a behavior the dog is doing, but that doesn’t mean he has any idea what you are on about. Instead of telling the dog to stop doing something, consider preventing it from happening for the duration of training so that he can learn a preferable behavior.