Does your doggy show disastrous behavior while left alone or during the day while you are home? Does your dog seem to have an endless supply of energy? Is your pup lonely or anxious? Then doggy play groups may be a great way to help. There are many benefits of doggy play groups and you may be surprised just how much a daily play group can improve you and your dog’s wellbeing as well as your own.


Most Dogs are Extroverts

Dogs are very social animals, and although many dogs adapt well to our routines, some dogs are not as excited about spending the day alone while you go about your daily routine. From doggy play groups to dog training and dog parks, there are many ways to socialize your four-legged friend. Any extroverted person can vouch for the fact that spending that much time alone can be frustrating, depressing, and can lead to unhealthy habits. Doggy Play Groups help with socialization and can successfully combat this.

There are many ways to keep your dog entertained when they are alone, like puzzle toys or natural chews, but even these can only occupy your dog for so long. Eventually, they will finish with whatever distraction that you leave them, and they will be looking for the next activity.

The average person works an 8-hour work day. Once you factor in your commute, errands, and social activities, your dog could be spending 10+ hours alone every day. Besides the obvious need for bathroom breaks, 10 hours alone can get boring. It is easy to understand why pup acts out.

While it is true that some dogs will sleep all day if they are left alone, this type of sedentary lifestyle isn’t healthy long term. The lack of mental and physical activity can lead to weight issues, mobility issues and destructive boredom behaviors.

To prevent this, you need to find ways to provide activities for your dog on a regular basis, even when you are away. Play groups for dogs are a great option to keep your pet busy and prevent undesired behaviors resulting from boredom or loneliness, plus they get to play! What is not to love?


Benefits of Doggy Play Group

Whether you have a young puppy or an adult, high energy dog; play groups will help keep your dog happy and healthy, socializing daily with a group of dogs.

Safe Socializing

If your dog is an only child, does not have many dog friends, or has terrible recall, opportunities to socialize with other dogs and people may be limited. Play groups for dogs provide a safe and controlled environment for your dog to play with other dogs of all sizes, breeds, and personalities.

PawBabies team is well versed in dog behavior and body language. We work hard to ensure each dog is having a positive experience, and we facilitate new experiences for dogs that have not had the opportunity to socialize as much.

We allow dogs to engage in supervised playtime at their own pace. For shy dogs, this routine can help build confidence and good manners.

Every dog is different, and their habits, personalities, and energy levels vary. Allowing each dog to enjoy their experience in their own way lets your dog properly express themselves and work through any pent-up energy without being overwhelmed.


2. Physical Exercise

Less active lifestyles can be damaging to both their bodies and minds. Dogs who spend a lot of time alone can learn to adapt to this slow-paced routine but by limiting their physical and mental activity, they could be prone to weight issues, mobility issues, overeating, and poor digestion.

Weekly or even daily play group sessions will keep your dog active both physically and mentally. Very energetic dogs will benefit greatly from dog play groups, as they will be able to run and play to their heart's content, tuckering them out before home time.

Managing weight in some dogs can be a challenge, especially when they do not have any desire to play or exercise some of that weight off. Play groups can provide a supportive environment that will allow your chubby or lazy dog to be excited about physical activity. This will help shed pounds and build muscle.


3. Separation Anxiety Help

If you have a dog that suffers from separation anxiety, then you know that it is hard on both of you. Without any type of outlet and social environment, your dog can feel very anxious about being left alone.

They may spend their day crying, howling, licking, chewing, or stressed out and anxious. It is hard to watch and know that your pet is suffering.

We must go to work or school, or whatever your daily routine is, and doggy play groups can allow you to do that without leaving your pet alone to stew in their loneliness.

Even if you are not using daily play group services for dogs, weekly social interaction, especially in group settings, can help provide your dog with the activity and structure that they are craving. While it may not completely cure separation anxiety in all dogs, it is a healthy way to limit alone time.


4. Maintains Routine

When you are home, your dog has a routine. This includes feeding times, playtime, bathroom breaks, and even naps. Working long hours may affect that routine. Even for people who work from home might have a hard time exercising their dog and giving them the mental exercise they dog may need.

Consistent routines and structure are important for dogs, just like they are for kids. Play Groups can facilitate structure that is more consistent with their preferred routines at home.

Think about your morning routine. You get yourself ready, you feed the dog, let them out to use the facilities, and then hit the road.

PawBabies team truly cares about your dog's play group experience, safety, and their specific needs. During play groups, your dog can learn new games, both from the staff and the other dogs, and will provide continual mental stimulation to keep your dog's brain active.


5. Peace of Mind

Coming home to a destroyed house, damaged property, “accidents”, or even just a very sad pup can be stressful. It is easy to get frustrated and reprimand your dog for their actions, but the fact is, their actions are telling you that they are upset.

Enrolling your dog in play groups or dog boarding will rid you of the stress and worry of what you may go home to. You will have the peace of mind in knowing that they are happy and safe, and so is your house, your other pets, and your neighbors.


Doggy Play Groups are not for Every Dog

There are a few factors to consider before enrolling your dog in play group services. Sadly, not every dog is suited for doggy play groups. In fact, play group services could do more damage than good if your dog falls under any of these categories:

  • · Poorly or not socialized dogs are likely to be overwhelmed, aggressive, or anti-social

  • · If your dog has past incidents of dog or human aggression, then play groups could be unsafe for your dog, other dogs, and the staff

  • · If they are not vaccinated appropriately, your dog is susceptible to illness or disease

  • · While not a deal breaker, unaltered pets can be challenging to incorporate in group play


Fortunately, PawBabies staff will do an initial assessment of your pet to determine whether or not they are suited for play group services.


At PawBabies, the assessment begins by letting your dog meet the staff to ensure that they can handle your dog with relative ease, touch your dog's collar, hold their leash, and approach them without signs of fear or aggression.


After that, they will allow your dog to meet a few dogs of varying sizes and personalities in a controlled area. If that goes well, your dog and their new friends will be brought into a larger play area.


After being given an opportunity to sniff and explore for a few minutes, new dogs will be introduced. This gives the team the opportunity to see if your dog is going to continue to be comfortable with meeting dogs.

If tails are wagging and positive introductions are made, then you will be able to schedule your dog for play group experiences.


If PawBabies tells you that your dog does not enjoy play groups or is not the right fit for their group, it doesn’t mean that your dog is bad. It means that your dog simply does not want to be there.


PawBabies staff offer full transparency, as their goal is to provide the safest, most fun experience for all play group visitors. If your dog shows signs that they are not suited for play groups, the team will be open and honest about it.

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You’ve probably heard this a million times already, but it can’t hurt to say it once more.

More pets end up in shelters during and after the 4th of July than any other time of year because fireworks scare the bejeezus out of them.

Frightened dogs tend to bolt and run for long distances until they get far away from whatever scared them.

Furthermore, if the fireworks keep going off, the dog will keep running.

Some people think their dog will be OK if they leave it in a fenced yard, but a panicked dog can jump over a moderately high fence.

If you leave your dog alone in your house while you celebrate the 4th, You might find out just how much damage a freaked out dog can cause.

Even if you stay home and cookout in the backyard, your presence won’t prevent your dog from bolting once the fireworks start.

But keeping your dog safe and calm during the 4th of July celebrations isn’t beyond your control…


10 Tips for Dogs and Fireworks


1. Exercise Your Dog Before the Fireworks Start!

Make time in your schedule to give your an extra long workout before the fireworks begin. Tired dogs are calmer and easier to keep quiet.

They will also sleep more deeply, and consequently, will be less likely to be disturbed by the noise outside.

Of course, if it’s really hot outside, take precautions to ensure your dog doesn’t get overheated.


2. Stay Home.

I understand that not everyone can stay at home on the 4th, but your dog’s fear of fireworks can be exacerbated if you aren’t there to provide reassurance that they are safe.

This is especially important if you have a a new dog in the house because you won’t know how it reacts to fireworks.


3. Keep Calm.

Your dog reacts to your nonverbal cues. If you jump or tense up when you hear fireworks because you are anticipating your dog’s fear, you may make its fear worse.


4. Drown Out the Sound.

Turn up the stereo or television and keep your windows closed during the fireworks.

Something that can provide background noise, like a fan or air conditioner can help as well. My Favorite is to play Classical Music!


5. Respect Your Dog’s Fear.

Allow your dog to hide if it feels more comfortable in its crate or under a bed. Don’t pull it out or try to force it closer to the fireworks in an attempt to get him used to the sounds.

Just let it stay where it’s comfortable and provide reassurance that it’s safe.


6. Provide a Distraction.

Break out your dog’s favorite treats, play a game, or give it some extra cuddle time. You can occupy it for awhile by filling a KONG with peanut butter or another yummy treat and freezing it.


7. Try the Thundershirt.

I’ve never tried a Thundershirt on my dogs, but some people swear by them. The pressure it provides has a calming effect on the nervous system.


8. Just Say YES to Drugs.

If know that your dog will panic when the fireworks start, ask your vet if he/she can prescribe medication like Sileo, an FDA-approved gel for the treatment of canine noise aversion. Some people recommend giving your dog half a Benadryl to keep it calm but I wouldn’t try that unless you check with your vet first.

From my own experience I’ve found that cannabis made specifically for dogs is the best product for keeping my dogs calm and relaxed.


9. Be Prepared.

Make sure your dog is wearing ID tags with its name, your name, and your phone number. Get your dog microchipped if it doesn’t have one. Buy your dog a license – if it runs off and is picked up by animal control, they will call to let you know they have your dog and you won’t have to pay a big fine to get your dog back.


10. Remove Visual Stimulation.

Keep your curtains closed or blinds. Removing visual stimulation can help calm dogs.

I hope you find these tips helpful.


Have a great holiday, and be sure to keep your dogs safe and calm!

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Our pets love summer just as much as we do! It’s the best time of year to be out and about, enjoying all that the season has to offer, including picnics, hikes, swimming, running or just enjoying a nap in the backyard with your fur babies. While these are all great activities, I’ve got some tips to offer for a safe and relaxing Memorial Day Weekend.


1. Make sure your dog can’t get into the picnic basket

Yummy picnic items considered poisonous for dogs include grapes and raisins (even currants). While xylitol is a natural sugar substitute for people, it is also poisonous for dogs. So be sure keep anything containing xylitol (peanut butter, baked goods, candies, mints, gums, etc.) away from your pets.


2. Table scraps are a no-no

Foreign body dangers such as corn on the cob and peach pits aren’t necessarily poisonous, but they still pose a very dangerous threat to dogs. They can easily get stuck in the intestines and will require surgery to remove.


3. Don’t give Fido that leftover bone

While it’s very tempting, it can also be life-threatening. Along with bones, BBQ bits, like gristle and fat should never be given to your dog. Certain breeds and dogs that are overweight are subject to pancreatitis.


4. Be prepared when you’re going hiking

Always make sure the trail allows for dogs and be sure your dog is in good shape and has the endurance to go on a hike. Brachycephalic breeds and small dogs, physically, cannot handle strenuous hikes. Also bring lots of water and always stay on the designated trails.


5. Make sure your pet has access to fresh water and shade

Our pets, especially dogs, get much thirstier than we do when they get hot, and other than panting and drinking, they really have no way to cool themselves down. Get your pet in the shade as often as possible. While dogs and cats like to sunbathe, direct sunlight can overheat them (especially dogs) and cause heat stroke.


6. Never ever leave your pet in the car

It can take minutes – yes, MINUTES – for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car. Most people don’t realize how hot it gets in parked cars.


7. Keep pets away from fireworks

For us, fireworks are the highlight of the night, however, many pets are terrified of them. The loud noises and bright lights easily scare pets, which will make them want to get as far away as possible. Fireworks are also harmful to pets even when they’re not lit, as they contain hazardous chemicals.


8. Don't skip the sunscreen

Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colored coats. And just like people, sunburns can be painful for a dog and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your pet (don’t assume a sunscreen for people is appropriate for your dog).


9. It's best to keep your dog leashed at all times

Summer holidays means all sorts of exciting sights, scents, noises, critters and people running around, not to mention, exciting places to explore. You never want to lose your pet because he became distracted in an unfamiliar environment or became afraid of a loud noises.


10. Make sure your pup has his ID tag on

We love bringing our pets places, it means we get to spend more time with them! However, when you bring your pet to an outing, be sure he’s wearing his collar with up-to-date ID tags just incase he were to wander off. It never hurts to be careful.

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