What My Dog Has Taught Me About The Trails

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What My Dog Has Taught Me About The Trails

Enter here for the inaugural Eukanuba™ Tails & Trails event in Auckland https://www.tailsntrails.co.nz/enter/  

 Over the last year running has changed for me markedly. It used to be a largely solitary affair, due to being a shift worker and having a busy family life, I would hit the trails at odd hours or in the weekdays. However nowadays when I run, it is rarely by myself- as more often than not I have Rigby, our two year old Australian Working Kelpie, with me.

By Matt Rayment

Over the last year running has changed for me markedly. It used to be a largely solitary affair, due to being a shift worker and having a busy family life, I would hit the trails at odd hours or in the weekdays.  However nowadays when I run, it is rarely by myself- as more often than not I have Rigby, our two year old Australian Working Kelpie, with me.

The nature of the human/dog relationship has been studied and examined for as long as humankind has had these beings as companions, which google tells me is about 14000 years. Usually, when we reflect on this relationship we focus on what we teach the dog, however in the last while I have reflected on just what Rigby has taught me, and more specifically, what he has taught me about running - which is something that hitherto I thought I knew a lot about.

I’d like to share those thoughts with you, as having Rigby by my side has taught me a lot about the essence of running on trails...

Running is about hanging with the pack

The second he gets out of the car at the trailhead, Rigby is overjoyed to see whoever is coming along. He leaps about saying hi, and his enthusiasm for getting together with fellow runners is infectious. This sociability is something that I have taken on board to seek out opportunities to run with others, and this has been useful for me in terms of connection and engagement with my fellow human beings.  Out on the trail, it's a bad idea to try talking to Rigby, though, as many of my companions have learnt. He'll stop dead in his tracks to look up and engage in conversation, utilising a braking capacity that is frankly remarkable.

Running is about finding wonder in the small things

We can't always get out to exciting places to run. Even being fortunate enough to live next to a huge forest, The vast majority of my running is loops of familiar trail or gravel. This is largely due to time constraints as these days running fits in around my life, not the other way round. As nice as the trails are, there are only so many variations you can run and I'd hate to think how many kilometres I've clocked up pounding the same routes. Yes, it can be a drudge, and ennui can set in. Not for old mate, though.  Rigby, every time he runs, he finds something new - a new smell, a new pinecone, a new place to, er, relieve himself. He looks for the differences, not the similarities, so that every time he runs, be it somewhere new or somewhere familiar, he focuses on something new to wonder at. For me, reflecting on my surroundings, or the feel of a trail, the smells and colours, has a calming effect, it keeps me grounded in the moment, and noticing what is around me and taking enjoyment from this has increased my sense of well-being and gratitude at being fortunate enough to be able to run in such a wonderful place and to have the company of Rigby, a being who universally reflects positivity and enjoyment.

Set the dial to “Heck Yeah”

All the best running happens outside. And sometimes I can be swayed by the conditions: I was going to go for a run, but it was raining? Or it was too cold? Or too hot? I forget, but it likely limited my chances of getting out there.  Not Rigby. Any conditions, any season, are perfect for a run. Having to adapt to a Kelpie, who is relentlessly up for it be it rain, hail, or shine has for sure limited any sneaky “It’s raining” rest days. Sure, I get a bit cold and wet sometimes, but now I just get out there and run. And every time I do, I have a better time than if I just stayed home. Every time I do I quickly forget about the weather and enjoy my time with Rigby strengthening our bond and getting fit.

Running is supposed to be fun, its playtime.

For me, this was the big shift. I may be mediocre in my ability to run, but I’m serious in my training. My mediocrity is heartfelt. This has, in the past, stripped the enjoyment out of the act itself. I took pleasure in the process of training, but the act of running itself quickly became a chore. This is especially evident when I’m aiming for an event, and using a training schedule, as I so often do. I easily become a slave to running. Spending even 2 minutes with Rigby reminds me that running is supposed to be fun. It’s a process that we are superbly adapted to do, and like children, who we see incorporating running in their play, For Rigby, being out in the forest, running along the trail is playtime. He always has a total blast.  And it should be the same for us. Focusing on the play aspect of running, be it tackling an obstacle, or finding a route that you’ve not taken before, or just belting along a trail because it feels good,  not because it is part of a marathon split, is inherently refreshing and intensely good for your physical and mental wellbeing.

I love my dog, and I love running with him. I would heartily recommend hitting the trails with a four legged friend, their tails will be wagging, and I bet yours will too.

 

Do you want to get out and about like Matt and Rigby? Join them and treat your best friend to tail-to-trail fun and adventure. Enter here for the inaugural Eukanuba™ Tails & Trails event in Auckland https://www.tailsntrails.co.nz/enter/  

 

Image via Photos4Sale

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Tales of Rigby

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Rigby

I had never been a dog person, and I had not been able to put my finger on what was so beneficial about running with a dog - until Rigby came along. My wife wanted a dog to go trail running with for some time, but we couldn’t agree on what breed to get. That changed one morning when Rebecca stumbled across a post on Facebook for a four month old red and tan Australian Working Kelpie who was looking for a new home.

I had never been a dog person, and I had not been able to put my finger on what was so beneficial about running with a dog - until Rigby came along. My wife wanted a dog to go trail running with for some time, but we couldn’t agree on what breed to get. That changed one morning when Rebecca stumbled across a post on Facebook for a four month old red and tan Australian Working Kelpie who was looking for a new home.

After a rigorous application process Rigby arrived just before Christmas 2016 and since that moment we’ve been in the forest nearly every day. First we rambled, then we walked, then we hiked, now we run.

Now that we own a trail dog, I see his happiness when he is out with us, the satisfaction he gets from doing his job (being our trail companion) and the wonder he experiences from the myriad of smells and tastes on the single track.

For my part, it has been a wonderful feeling knowing that he looks to me as the big dog, the guy who takes him on his daily runs. Having a Kelpie has certainly cut down on sneaky rest days.

To be honest, I had always inwardly rolled my eyes when I heard someone talking about being in tune with an animal to the point where you can communicate non verbally. But I see that now, I’ve experienced it often on the trails and it is deeply satisfying.

Finally, we now have the awesome responsibility to bear that even though Rigby will only be a part of our experience, owing to our differing life spans, we will be one hundred percent of his. So while he is able, fit, and pain-free I am going to give him the best life I can. He won’t be around forever which inspires me to make every run I can with him the best one he has had.

Just like it has been a process introducing Rigby to the trails and a process in learning about his personality and his near limitless energy levels, it has been a process finding a food that suits Rigby and more importantly, one that he will eat regularly - as it turns out, he is not especially food driven.  

I mean, he is a dog, he won’t turn down roast chicken if the opportunity avails itself, but it has been a struggle finding a diet that keeps him full, and more importantly that he enjoys. Our experiments veered all over the map, from raw, to a mixed diet, to goodness knows what else. For the last three months we have had Rigby on Eukanuba™ Premium Performance and we finally feel that he is onto a winner.

Rigby can run from anywhere between 80-160 kilometres a week with us, and in between times he is active in his main role as our beloved family pet, tearing around the house with our three children, going for walks and chasing his favourite thing, a ball. Since starting him on Eukanuba™ Premium Performance we’ve noticed that he’s maintained an excellent weight and his coat is shiny and in great condition. Rigby has not experienced any gut distress and he has joined the clean bowl club for the first time in his life. Happily, he appears satiated in the mornings, which helps markedly with reducing the ‘Kelpie Energy Bomb’ that can go off when we let him out of his crate. 

Having a food like Eukanuba™ Premium Performance that we know Rigby will eat and one that is high in protein and fat for his energy levels and work rate is a major stress reduction in our lives, as trying to feed ourselves and our children when life is busy can be hectic enough let alone trying to deal with a finicky hound.

As Rigby and I work towards the Eukanuba™ Tails & Trails 10km in October, I will be interested to see how the food suits him when we are putting in some focused efforts. I will be sure to check in and let you know how he is doing.

~ Photo via Chris McKeen

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4 reasons why your dog could be your greatest personal trainer

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Are you keen to increase your fitness but finding it hard to get motivated? Dogs can be great training partners, not only because they are always eager to get out of the house for a walk, but they’ll also keep you company and make exercise feel less like a chore.

Are you keen to increase your fitness but finding it hard to get motivated? Dogs can be great training partners, not only because they are always eager to get out of the house for a walk, but they’ll also keep you company and make exercise feel less like a chore.

Your dog needs exercise too

Not only do we need regular physical exercise to keep our body and mind healthy, but our dogs do too. Getting active outdoors with your dog allows them to experience new sights and sounds but is also a great way for them to socialise with other dogs to build up their confidence. A brisk walk around the block is usually enough to get the job done but there’s plenty more you can do together if you want to up the ante. Walking, running or even joining you alongside a bike ride are great ways for both of you to stretch out your muscles and keep you both in great shape. Plus, a dog that burns loads of energy will be much better behaved inside the home.

Your best motivator

Every dog loves a good walk and likes to stick to a routine. So, when you're toying with the idea of flopping down on the couch at the end of the day, your personal trainer will be there to remind you that there's no couch-time until you've done a lap of the park. Setting up some exercise stations at the park or in your backyard is also a great way for you both to meet your daily exercise quota and exercises like burpees can be a lot more fun when you can incorporate a game of fetch in between. Even though your dog may not come with a whistle and a clipboard, they'll definitely help get you up and out there, even when you'd rather sink into the cushions and have a little nap

Make your workouts more enjoyable

Dogs build a special connection with their owners and love nothing more than being together and having a play. By including your dog in your fitness routine, you can not only build that special bond, but you can also take your workout to a whole new level - especially if your dog likes to run. It’s important to remember though to choose an activity that suits your dog’s age, fitness level and health. Some dogs may be more suited to a leisurely stroll while others may be full of energy and keen to join you on a 5km run. Check out your local dog friendly fun runs such as Parkrun or look into agility training – which can be a great work out for both you and your dog. No matter what kind of dog you have, there are plenty of different dog-friendly exercises that incorporate chasing, running and agility work that are not only fun, but can really help you to push yourself physically.

Workout buddy at home or away

Another big plus for training with your dog is that even on holidays they can be by your side. If you’re planning on heading away for a short trip, bring them along so you can spend some quality time together while out and about. Dogs give you plenty of activity options and are great hiking companions, so next time you’re off on an adventure and still want to enjoy your daily run, bring your best mate along too. Before you head off, have a read through our “Planning an adventure with your dog? 5 key things to prepare and pack” blog for some tips.

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Planning an adventure with your dog? 5 key things to prepare and pack

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Holidays usually mean leaving your dog behind at a boarding kennel or with a close friend to look after, but there’s no reason you can’t bring them along the next time you’re planning a short weekend away.

Holidays usually mean leaving your dog behind at a boarding kennel or with a close friend to look after, but there’s no reason you can’t bring them along the next time you’re planning a short weekend away. Getting out of the house for the weekend is a great way to spend some quality time with your dog and lets you experience plenty of new activities together.

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Check the rules

If you love the great outdoors, there’s really nothing better than bringing your dog along with you to explore all that nature has to offer. While there are plenty of beaches and camping spots that are dog-friendly, it’s important you check all the rules and do your research before you head out. You’ll be able to find this essential information on most local council websites or dog related forums. Some places may need you to keep your dog on a leash, while others may be a bit more relaxed. Hiking trails may also have restrictions on whether dogs are allowed in an effort to help protect the local fauna and flora, so make sure you do plenty of research before arriving to avoid disappointment.

dog-adventures

Be prepared and plan ahead

If your dog isn’t used to long hikes, it’s a good idea to start preparing them before you tackle it together for the first time. Even the most athletic dogs have their limits so mild training in the weeks leading up to your trip is important to help avoid any injuries. It’s also a good idea to check in with your vet before you take off to make sure your dog is up to date with all their vaccinations, has the appropriate parasite prevention and for any extra advice.

dog-adventures

Pack the essentials

It’s important you’re well prepared and pack all the essentials you’ll need if you’re planning a longer trip or overnight stay. Packing your own doggy travel kit means you’ll have everything you might need on hand and ready to go. Some essentials you should always make sure you have are: • Familiar bedding to keep them comfortable at night • Toys to keep them entertained • Extra treats • Towels • Plenty of food and water • Bags for toilet trips • Portable water bowl • Safe travel items (seatbelt, crate, harness) • Spare leash and collar • First aid kid

dog-adventures

Plenty of food and water

Long hikes can take it out of you and your dog, so it’s important you fuel their body with a high-quality diet to ensure they have sustained energy to last. Some feeding guides will cater for higher performance dogs, so it is good to check these when planning an adventure with your dog. Additionally, having plenty of fresh water is a must so it's worth adding a second reminder here to bring along a portable water bowl, so your dog can easily quench their thirst.

Stay safe

Whenever you take your dog on a hiking trip, remember to always keep an eye out for wildlife. Depending on the season, snakes and other dangerous animals can be out, so a small first aid kit is a must in case of emergencies. As an extra precaution before you go away, you could research veterinary clinics and emergency centres nearby. Remember that even a rough terrain or a burning, hot ground on a sunny day are enough to harm your dog, so be mindful of all potential hazards.

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5 benefits of bringing your dog to work

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A lot of us find it hard to establish a healthy balance between our work life and our home life. There are lots of businesses now looking for new ways to improve employee wellbeing and this has led to many offices and worksites becoming pet-friendly.

A lot of us find it hard to establish a healthy balance between our work life and our home life. There are lots of businesses now looking for new ways to improve employee wellbeing and this has led to many offices and worksites becoming pet-friendly. Dogs can help make almost any situation less stressful and help the workplace feel much more relaxed by boosting staff morale and creating a more positive work environment.

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Improve work relationships

As every dog owner knows, having a dog with you is a great conversation starter. People are always coming up to have a chat and give your dog a pat. This helps break the ice and brings people together, which is great way to help create a positive work environment. A healthy social atmosphere in the workplace leads to better teamwork and also encourages people to talk to others they wouldn’t usually thanks to your dog’s ice-breaking abilities.

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Reduce stress

Stress can contribute to employees getting sick, feeling overwhelmed and burning out. Having a dog by your side always makes you feel better, so it’s no surprise bringing them to work can help make a positive difference to your day. Dogs are great at providing comfort and can sense when they need to be there for you in difficult times. By making people feel more at ease, heavy workloads, deadlines and stressful work situations can start to feel less daunting and you start feeling more positive after getting a quick cuddle in with a dog.

dogs boost office morale

Boost morale

Having dogs in the workplace boosts morale, especially for those who are not lucky enough to have their own. Having a furry friend by your side encourages engagement between coworkers and can help people get to know each other much better, especially when you start sharing dog stories. Your workmates will be much more excited to spend their days at work knowing they can also enjoy the company of your dog at the same time and get in a few cuddles in between tasks. Work suddenly becomes a much more positive and enjoyable place to be when there’s a dog or two playing around and bringing people together.

Gets you outside

Long work hours mean finding the time to fit in a workout can sometimes seem impossible. It can even be a challenge to simply stand up and walk away from your desk. By bringing your dog to work, you will naturally get more steps and fresh air into your day when you take them for toilet trips. Getting outside, enjoying the sunshine and taking your dog for a quick walk around the block can do wonders for your working day.

dogs wont get lonely

Your dog won’t get lonely

Bringing your dog with you to work doesn’t just benefit you and your coworkers, it also means your dog gets to spend more time with you, without having to be left at home. Dogs would much rather be in your company than stuck at home alone, plus it means if you have to stay later, you won’t have to worry about rushing home to feed them.

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5 reasons why your dog is your best friend

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There are many reasons why dogs have earned the title of “man’s best friend”. Not only are they always on call for cuddles, but they have a special way of turning bad days into good ones.

There are many reasons why dogs have earned the title of “man’s best friend”. Not only are they always on call for cuddles, but they have a special way of turning bad days into good ones. As dog owners, we can sometimes take their friendliness and loyalty for granted, so make sure you give as much love to your best friend as they do to you.

dog-bestfriend

They don’t judge you

No matter what you do in life, your dog won’t judge you for it. They’ll still love you unconditionally no matter what mood you’re in or even how much takeaway you order. If you enjoy spending all day on the couch or having some big nights out, your life decisions won’t stop your dog loving you any less.

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They’re always by your side

On top of keeping your secrets safe, your dog is one of the most loyal friends you’ll ever have. No matter how bad your day, your dog will always make an effort to lift your spirits to see you smile. Day or night, you can always count on your dog to comfort you and make you feel better.

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They’re great workout partners

Part of being a good pet owner includes making sure your dog is getting their daily dose of exercise. Walking your dog is one of the best ways to stay active, and better yet, running around and playing fetch with them means you’re both having fun while keeping fit. There are many other ways too that you and your dog can enjoy your time together and build a stronger bond. Take a trip to a dog-friendly beach, explore nature on a weekend hike or give an agility session a go and meet up with other dog owners. Before you work up a sweat, have a read through our “5 reasons why your dog could be your greatest personal trainer” blog for some tips on how your dog can help you get motivated.

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They’re always happy to see you

There’s nothing like coming home to see your dog wagging their tail and jumping up in excitement to see you. It’s a good feeling coming home and knowing you have been missed; it can be enough to turn a bad day into a good one.

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They’re happy to do what you want to do

We all have those friends who cancel on us last minute or aren’t interested in hanging out. Luckily, your dog is a live-in best friend who is always up for an adventure. If you just want to chill on the couch and watch movies, your dog will be more than happy to cuddle up next to you. If you fancy a long walk, your dog will be delighted to join you. No matter how you want to spend your day, you’ll never be alone with a dog by your side.

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What comes before a great working dog?

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Great Working Dog

What comes before a great working dog? A great working dog puppy!

To make sure your working dog starts off on the right paw, it’s important to set them up for success by giving them everything they need while they are a growing puppy. This way they can hit the farm running when the time comes.

What comes before a great working dog? A great working dog puppy!

To make sure your working dog starts off on the right paw, it’s important to set them up for success by giving them everything they need while they are a growing puppy. This way they can hit the farm running when the time comes.

Providing the right food is a big part of this. Puppies have very different nutritional needs to adult dogs. Compared to an adult dog, puppies need up to 3 times more energy for growth. Choosing a diet with animal based protein, such as Eukanuba™ Puppy, will help them develop strong, lean muscles. It’s also important to feed them controlled amounts for their breed size. For instance, a  Heading Dog puppy who will grow to a medium sized dog, should be fed a puppy food for dogs with an estimated adult weight of between 11- 24kg. A Huntaway puppy will grow to be larger, so should be feed a diet specifically for large breed dogs. This is because a larger breed like a Huntaway has a longer growth time compared to a medium size Heading Dog. These larger puppies should also stay on a puppy food for a longer time, around 18 months. The Eukanuba™ Puppy Large Breed diet contains tailored levels of energy, calcium and phosphorus to help promote optimal bone development, setting them up to be hard working adult dogs.

By feeding a puppy specific kibble that’s balanced and complete, there is no need to supplement their diet with anything extra like calcium. In fact adding calcium has been proven to cause issues with growing puppies that can cause lasting damage to their bones and joints. Working dog puppies have a lot to learn before heading out on the farm.  After six weeks, your puppy has developed just over 70% of their adult brain. With Eukanuba™ diets use of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid derived from fish oil, your working dog puppy will be smarter and more trainable. Now that has to be good thing!

Feeding your working pup well, helps to develop a dog that is far more capable of working longer and more efficiently in their day to day life, as well as potentially having an extended working life. Eukanuba™ Puppy provides everything your working dog puppy needs to grow into the strong, hard working athlete every farm needs.

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Body Condition Scoring

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Body Condition Score

Body Condition Scoring (BCS), is monitoring a dog’s condition in the same way you review your stock.

The most effective way to know how much to feed your working dog is to feed by eye. Just as you appraise your ewes and lambs body condition, so too can you appraise your working dogs’ body condition.

Body Condition Scoring (BCS), is monitoring a dog’s condition in the same way you review your stock.

The most effective way to know how much to feed your working dog is to feed by eye. Just as you appraise your ewes and lambs body condition, so too can you appraise your working dogs’ body condition.

What is body condition scoring?

BCS is a 9 point scoring system of your dog’s weight and body condition: 1 being emaciated and 9 being obese. By using this system you can easily tell if you need to feed your working dog more or less. The ideal working dog will be sitting at a BCS of around 4-5. Keep in mind that there are no half scores using this system.

How to body condition score.

Looking at your working dog from above, you should ideally be able to see their waist but not see any protruding hip bones or spine.

Looking from the side, they should have an abdominal tuck.

Ribs should be easily felt without being obviously visible.

If you can see the dog’s ribs, spine, or hip bones from a distance, you need to increase the amount of kibble you are feeding.

An important thing to remember is how much work your dog will be doing in the near future. If the season is just starting it’s a good idea to have them sitting around a body condition score of 5 so they can afford to lose a little fat as their work rate increases into the season.

Benefits of BCS

  • Easily track how much food your dog needs so that they can stay in top condition.
  • Being a standardised scoring system, it’s easy to communicate to your vet or any other professional when needed.
  • By making sure your working dog maintains an ideal body condition score, you can rest assured that they are ready for working hard on the farm.

For dogs to perform at their best, it’s important to feed them a source of good quality highly digestible protein such as that in Eukanuba™ Premium Performance. This supports strong, healthy lean muscles and tissue repair. Coupled with a good body condition score, farm dogs can be the lean, keen performance machines that every farm needs.

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Tips for helping your dog’s dental health

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Brushing our teeth is part of our daily routine and it should also be part of your dog’s. What many dog owners don’t know is that on average, eight in ten dogs end up developing tartar issues by the age of three.

Brushing our teeth is part of our daily routine and it should also be part of your dog’s. What many dog owners don’t know is that on average, eight in ten dogs end up developing tartar issues by the age of three. Unsurprisingly, this could be because tartar and plaque is hard for pet owners to notice, so many don’t understand the possible damage it can cause. The good news is that it’s never too late to start prioritising your dog’s dental health by introducing preventative measures to their routine.

What is plaque and tartar?

Plaque is caused when salvia, food particles and bacteria bind together in your dog’s mouth. If this plaque is left untreated, it can turn into hard tartar that will start causing decay, gum disease and other nasty dental issues. Tartar that has built-up over time can only be removed by a vet, which is why it’s so important to take your dog’s oral hygiene seriously.

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Cleaning is best

The best way an owner can look after their dog’s teeth is to regularly brush them. If it isn’t already part of your dog’s regular routine, it is worth introducing a weekly brushing to their schedule to ensure their teeth are kept well-polished. You can either use your fingers or a toothbrush that is made especially for dogs, to do this. It is also very important to never use human toothpaste as it is toxic to dogs. Giving your dog’s teeth a good go-over at least twice a week can make a world of difference and it’s always good to make sure their gums also get some attention too as this is where plaque generally builds.

Diet that focuses on dental

Along with a balanced brushing routine, the other great way to make sure your dog’s dental health is well looked after is to feed them a diet that targets dental hygiene. Our newly improved Eukanuba™ recipe takes this into account with a new milling process that gives our S-shaped kibble a smoother, more premium finish. Our S-shaped kibble works as its own brushing technique while your dog chews to scrape away any plaque stuck on your their teeth. Eukanuba™ knows a dog’s dental health can impact their overall wellbeing and that’s why all our adult dry food diets contain our unique 3D DentaDefense. The 3D DentaDefense contains specialised minerals that work to stop tartar build up and help prevent plaque formation during and in between meals.

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Chat with your vet

If you’re finding it difficult to get your dog’s dental health under control or are at all concerned they may be having an issue with plaque or tartar build-up, it’s always a good idea to head to your vet for advice or you can give our pet nutrition advice team a call on 1300 657 021.

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How to manage fussy dogs at mealtime

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Most dogs have a very hearty appetite and aren’t usually known for shying away from food. However, in some cases you may find your dog has suddenly become disinterested in their usual food or has started picking at their meals.

Most dogs have a very hearty appetite and aren’t usually known for shying away from food. However, in some cases you may find your dog has suddenly become disinterested in their usual food or has started picking at their meals. Some dogs are simply born fussy eaters, but other times you may notice your once greedy dog has all of a sudden decided they’ve had enough of what you’re feeding them. Typically, this behaviour is nothing to stress over but it is good to familiarise yourself with some tips to try to snap them out of their picky eating habits.

Why are they suddenly off their food?

Palatability is one of the deciding factors in whether or not your dog will eat the food you provide. Smell, texture and taste can all influence your dog’s palate. When looking for the right food for your pet, it is important that they enjoy the product, but it is even more important that they are getting the best possible nutrition from a complete and balanced diet. We’ve reformulated our recipe to make sure more dogs enjoy the taste of our dry food by using high quality ingredients and a precise manufacturing process. We’ve also made improvements to the overall appearance of our kibble by using a new milling process that now gives our kibble a much smoother, premium finish.

Fussy Eating Dogs

Some dogs are fussier than others

If you have a dog that seems a bit precious about what they eat, it may be to do with their breed. While Labradors are one of the few breeds that have a reputation for eating anything they can fit in their mouths, some smaller breeds have a much more refined palette. Generally, a dry food that many dogs are happy to eat won’t entice other dogs. To give these fussy eaters the nutrition they need, a mix of textures and aromas may help.

Fussy Dogs Eating

Try a mixed feeding approach

Wet and dry food both have their benefits. If your fussy dog is fed an exclusively dry diet, you may want to give mixed feeding a go. Some new aromas and a variety of textures can be just what it takes to kick-start their appetite, so switching between wet and dry can be something to try. Wet food gives off an increased aroma, so this can help lure pickier dogs to their food bowls. On top of that, if you’re at all concerned about their water intake, wet food can also give your dog an added hydration boost thanks to its higher moisture levels.

When to take it seriously

If you’ve always known your dog to be fussy, it may not be cause for concern. On the other hand, if your once greedy dog has suddenly stopped eating and can’t be tempted by any type of food, it’s best to head straight to the vet to rule out anything serious. Remember that while dogs can be fussy, they will very rarely choose to go hungry. Some more serious health issues can first show up as a loss of appetite or weight loss, so while it may just be your dog being picky, it’s best to be on the safe side.

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