Sunday, November 20, 2016

Do Dogs Play Favorites?

When couples or families have a dog, it’s common to joke about who the dog likes best. While dogs have big hearts and are more than capable of loving all the people who are part of their pack, this type of joke brings up an interesting question. Specifically, is it common at all for dogs to have a favorite person?

The short answer to that question is yes. To expand on that answer, we’re going to explore the topic of bonding in detail:

Bonding 101

If one member of a household provides a dog with the most care, time and attention, that person may become a dog’s favorite. However, those elements aren’t a requirement for a dog to select its favorite person. A dog can bond with any member of their household. When that happens, the dog will always seem happiest to see that individual. That’s because the dog will view that person as a leader, provider, and companion. A wiggling body, rear in the air and flattened ears are all signs of a dog interacting with its favorite person.

The Why and How of Bonding

The process of bonding that dogs go through with humans is often very similar to the way that people build relationships with each other. In plenty of cases, bonding can be driven by chemistry. Whether it’s a person’s tone of voice, their movements or demeanor, a dog may be drawn to something about that individual.

In addition to the role that type of spark can play in bonding, this process can also be driven by activities that make a dog feel at ease, comfortable and attached. For example, if there are three people in a household and a dog sleeps next to just one individual at night, the likelihood of the dog strongly bonding and playing favorites with that person is quite high.

Because dogs have different personalities and can have varied experiences, those elements can play a significant role in bonding. An unfortunate scenario that demonstrates this well is a dog that comes from a previously abusive situation. It may take a little time for this type of dog to let its guard down. But once it trusts someone enough to do so, the chances of those two deeply bonding are very high.

Although bonding is a very interesting topic, it’s not something that should concern a household member who isn’t instantly picked as the favorite. As we mentioned above, dogs are full of love. So as long as you make a point of consistently providing your dog with lots of attention, you can count on building a strong relationship. And if you ever want to bribe your dog to prove you’re the favorite, our house-made beef jerky pet treats will do the trick!


What If Your Holiday Guests Are Allergic to Pets?

There are a number of reasons why the holidays are such a special time of the year. One of those reasons is getting the opportunity to host guests you enjoy spending time with you in your home. As a host, you want to make your guests feel welcome and ensure they’re able to enjoy their time to the fullest. That’s why you’re probably happy to fulfill any special requests they may have during their stay.

All pet owners are used to dealing with hair throughout their home. But what you may not be as used to thinking about is that hair causing allergies. So if you have a holiday guest coming who happens to be allergic to your pet, you’re going to have to figure out how both of them can exist under the same roof. Although this may not seem like an ideal situation, the good news is there are steps you can take to help your guest.

1. Talk About It in Advance

Since this isn’t an issue that’s going to magically go away, one of the best things you can do is talk openly and honestly with your guest in advance. This will help put their mind at ease knowing you’re taking the issue seriously. It will also remind them of any medication they may need to get or take.

2. Bathe Your Pet

A simple but effective way to reduce how much dander your pet has is to bathe it right before your holiday guest arrives. Giving your pet a good scrub will minimize the skin proteins that are responsible for triggering allergies.

3. Deep Clean

In addition to getting your pet’s skin and coat in tip-top shape, you’ll want to do the same for your house. The ideal time to do a deep clean is 24-48 hours before your guest’s arrival. Mopping and/or vacuuming floors will eliminate a lot of hair. And if your pet spends time on the couch or any other furniture, it’s worth vacuuming those spots as well.

4. Consider a Plug-In Filter

If you really want to be on top of this issue, investing in a HEPA filter and plugging it in where your guest will be sleeping can help keep the night air free of small allergy-triggering particles.

5. Be Aware of Where Your Pet is Hanging Out

Although it’s not necessary to “quarantine” your pet while hosting a holiday visitor, keeping it away from where a guest is sleeping will help a lot. In fact, if you’re able to create a spot in your bedroom or another comfortable area with your pet’s food and other favorite items, you can limit the spread of dander throughout your home.

By talking with your guest about allergies in advance, bathing your pet, deep cleaning your home, considering a plug-in filter and being aware of where your pet is hanging out, you’ll be able to minimize the impact that allergies have during holiday visits.