Grain-Free

Best Grain-Free Diet For Your Grateful Dog This Summer

Choosing The Right Grain-Free Dog Food 

It can be a bit confusing when it comes to choosing the best dog food for your pooch this summer. 

Most pooches are especially active in the summer and they must get the right diet and fuel for all that activity.

You love your furry buddy and want the very best for them. So how do you go about choosing the right food to feed them? 

There are dozens of dog food brands and it can be challenging to decide which brand is best.

See also  6 Best Weight Gain Dog Foods & Supplements

Merrick Brand Grain-Free

One of the most trusted brands since 1988 has been Merrick. Merrick offers a wide variety of both dry and moist dog food for dogs of all breeds, sizes, ages, and dietary needs.

When choosing a dry food to incorporate into your dog’s diet this summer, you will have a grateful dog if you choose Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Check on Chewy

Merrick’s is the bestselling kibble on Chewy.com.To tell you the truth, that recipe sounds like something I would like myself for dinner! 

Gluten-Free

One of the things that makes this formula great for your dog’s diet is that it is entirely gluten-free. 

If your pooch has a sensitive stomach, this formula from Merrick will help to ease their tummy issues.  

If your pet is fortunate enough not to have tummy issues, this formula will help keep them from developing any. 

The Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato formula is entirely free of poultry products which can be a common source of sensitivity in dogs. 

If Fido has a sensitivity to chicken or turkey this formula, which has no poultry, will be easy for them to digest.

Healthy Ingredients

 

The first ingredient on the Merrick grain-free Texas beef and sweet potato dog food product description label is beef, which has been carefully deboned. 

The food is made with 70% protein and healthy fat. 

Like ingredients in people’s food, ingredients in Merrick dry dog food are listed by quantity from highest to lowest. 

The remaining 30% of ingredients will include produce, vitamins, minerals, fiber and other natural ingredients. 

The Merrick Grain Free Texas Beef and Sweet Potato formula contains:

  • Protein 38% min
  • Fat 15% min
  • Fiber 3.5 % min
  • Moisture 11% max
  • Caloric Content 3585 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/cup

Great For Shiny Coat

Developed with a high level of omega fatty acids, the Merrick Grain Free Texas beef formula will help keep your dog’s skin healthy and promote a shiny coat.

Added glucosamine and chondroitin will provide support to both hip and joint function

This is especially helpful in larger breed dogs like Rottweilers, Saint Bernards and terriers that can be prone to developing hip dysplasia.

Made In The USA

Merrick uses USDA-certified beef for their dog food formulas and all of their dog food is made in the United States. 

Most of the fruit and vegetables are sourced from local farmers and none is sourced from China.

The Texas beef and sweet potato blend is a complete and balanced formula for all stages of a dog’s life and is the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approved.

All Merrick formulas are crafted in Hereford, TX kitchen and cooked in the USA, in facilities that uphold FDA guidelines.

List Of Ingredients

Here is a complete list of the ingredients in Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef and Sweet Potato dry dog food quoted from the manufacturer’s website Merrick Pet Care:

Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Potato Protein, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Flaxseed Oil, Apples, Salmon Oil, Deboned Salmon, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

Pros and Cons of Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Pros

  • Dog Food Advisor gave Merrick Grain-Free foods a 5 out of 5-star rating in 2019. 
  • Quality source (human grade) for protein
  • Features a variety of natural fruits and vegetables
  • Free of fillers, artificial colors, and flavors
  • Contains essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • The product can be pricey, especially if you have several dogs
  • Some owners felt that this product gave their dogs diarrhea

Going Against The Grain

Recent years have seen the trend for grain-free dog foods. Some manufacturers have entirely eliminated grains from their product lines. 

Others, like Merrick, offer both formulas and let the pet owner choose what they prefer.

The general consensus is that the majority of dogs will be able to digest cooked grains without any difficulties. 

Dogs Have Evolved

It is felt that early dogs developed genes that allowed their bodies to produce more of the protein (amylase) that allows starches to be digested in the intestines.

This step enabled the domestication of dogs as these adaptations allowed them to survive alongside humans who fed them scraps and leftovers. 

We want to point out that there is no definitive answer one way or the other that a grain-free diet is a way to go for dogs. 

Most dogs can digest corn, wheat, and other grains, as well as they do potatoes or other carbohydrates that are used to replace grains.

The best advice is to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to advise you best. Your pooch will also be able to let you know what type of diet they can best tolerate. 

The knowledge may come in the form of vomit or diarrhea and a sick pooch. So it is best to seek advice from a professional. 

The Difference Between Grain and Grain-Free Dog Foods

There has been much discussion on the subject of grain-free dog foods. What exactly is the difference between grain and grain-free?

Some manufacturers of dog food will add grains to their foods. The most commonly used grains are wheat, corn, oatmeal, barley, rye, and rice. 

Some add less common grains like quinoa, buckwheat, and sorghum. A grain-free dog food would have none of those products in their formulas. 

Instead of the grains, they might add ingredients that provide carbohydrates like potatoes or sweet potatoes. Legumes like peas, beans, or lentils may also be added. 

What to Look For In Grain-Free

When looking for grain-free food for your dog, make sure to select a high-quality product that will also deliver the nutrition that your pooch will need.  

Look at the list of ingredients listed on the bag of kibble to see if the protein is at the top of the list. 

The exception to this rule will be for canned dog foods. Those products may feature water or broth as the first ingredient listed. 

For canned dog food, the whole protein should be listed second.

Avoid Artificial Colors, Flavours and Preservatives

Just the same as in your own food, you want to avoid or severely limit the number of artificial ingredients in your pet’s food. 

Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives can, in some cases, cause a dog to develop allergies. 

At the very least, they represent an unnecessary addition to a dog’s food. You already know that your pet could care less about the color of their food. 

Those colors are added to appeal to the pet parent. Dog food that is made with premium ingredients won’t need artificial colors. 

The same goes for artificial flavors. Those of us who own a dog will attest to the fact that they will eat anything. 

You have to oversee a dog to make sure they don’t eat anything gross that they find outside. 

Getting into the garbage is their idea of a good time, so artificial flavorings in dog food is an unnecessary additive.

What To Avoid

Just as you don’t want Fido eating garbage that he finds outside, you also don’t want to purchase dog food that is only a step above garbage. 

Carefully check the ingredients label. Meat meals and meat by-products are included in many dog foods and contain valuable protein. 

Dogs find them delicious, too. If you see something that is questionable or can’t pronounce it, it is best to avoid that product. 

This is another reason to stick with a well-known brand. You have more assurance that you are getting a quality product that will not harm your pet.

Probiotics Are A Bonus

Good for any pooch, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help dogs digest their food more efficiently. 

Quality kibble will be fortified with probiotics, although you will not find them in wet foods. 

The absence of probiotics does not mean a lesser quality as it is not a necessity, but a bonus. 

You can always add probiotics yourself to your pet’s food to aid digestion.

Omega-3Fatty Acids

These are important for your pooch. They can contribute to a healthy coat. 

As your pet ages, omega-3’s can help to reduce inflammation. 

If you have a puppy you are raising, the omega-3 will aid in proper brain and eye development. 

You will find omega-3 fatty acids in plant oils, flax seed oil, along with salmon and fish oils

Look for a food with Antioxidants 

Antioxidants are as good for your pet as they are for you. They provide protection from the damage that free radicals can do. 

Free radicals are highly reactive, oxygen-containing molecules that can cause damage to cell membranes.

For your pet, their nervous and immune systems are especially vulnerable. 

There is now a belief that free radicals may be a factor in disease progression and premature aging in dogs and cats. 

Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals. They can be vital to keeping your pet healthy. 

The Most common antioxidants include vitamins C and E. They are also found in colorful fruits and vegetables.

Some of the foods that are rich in antioxidants are:

  • Pumpkin
  • Pomegranate
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Kale
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes

The DMC Issue

We would be amiss if we did not touch on the topic of Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). 

The year of 2019 found the headlines expressing concern about a possible link between grain-free foods and dogs that were experiencing enlarged hearts. 

Everyone, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and anxious pet owners were extremely concerned about the issue.

It was a huge concern for companies producing what they felt were quality products, and for those who were feeding what they also felt was a quality product to their beloved pet.

FDA Update

As of this point in time, the FDA’s latest DCM update is that there is no dietary link that can be substantiated between grain-free pet food and DCM. 

That does not mean the case is closed; it just means that there is no substantial evidence. 

Some speculate that there was a rush by the FDA to a judgment that could not stand up to the light of day. 

The FDA’s recommendation to concerned pet owners now is to “make sure your dog is receiving a complete and balanced diet that is formulated for his or her life stage.” Hum. 

Pressed for an answer as to whether there were any particular ingredients or if grain-free food as a whole should be avoided, the FDA stated that they did not advise any dietary changes based on the information they had gathered thus far. That was June of 2019. 

New Study On DCM

There has not been any further definitive statement or recommendation from the FDA. 

In 2020, a new study was published in the June 2020 issue of the Journal of Animal Science. 

Commissioned by veterinarians, veterinary cardiologists and animal nutritionists the study was a “review of canine dilated cardiomyopathy in the wake of diet-associated concerns.” 

Those researchers found no conclusive evidence that grain-free dog food could be linked to DCM. 

What To Do?

At this point, you should do what any responsible pet parent would do. 

Consult with your veterinarian who knows your pet and understands the signs to watch for in an ill pet. 

First Time Dog Owner Tips and Tricks

First-Time Dog Owner Tips to Know Before Getting a Dog

Dogs are true, man’s best friends. They can be your best companion when strolling in the park or playing in your backyard. No wonder many people choose dogs as pets at home. If you haven’t tried being a dog owner yet and are planning to become one, it is essential to know your responsibilities. Learning some first-time dog owner tips can help you become a happy pet owner.

First-Time Dog Owner Tips – 8 Things You Should Know

Having a dog at home sounds exciting. However, as a first-time dog owner, taking care of this animal could be quite challenging. It is because, like humans, dogs also need food and proper hygiene. Since they don’t live like humans, they need someone to understand them and adequately care for them. Aside from that, animals also get sick. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to take care of them. 

First-time dog owners may find it a daunting task to take care of puppies. So if you are a future dog owner, you may consider the following tips:

1. Choose the best breeds for first-time dog owners.

Dogs come in a wide variety of breeds and sizes. Although all dogs are adorable animals, you and your dog must be a good match. Since some of them need extra care, it is highly recommended that you own a less-maintenance dog. 

Picking a dog breed could be quite tricky. So if you become a pet owner, you may choose one based on your lifestyle. You’ll have to consider the dog’s grooming requirements as well.

Choosing a dog from a variety of breeds could be overwhelming. But there are types of dogs that can match your personality and lifestyle. For instance, if you always have a hectic schedule, you may consider low-maintenance dogs like Boston terrier, chihuahua, dachshund, Doberman pinscher, and French bulldog.

2. Create a small room dedicated to your dog.

 

Like humans, dogs also need a place to stay. You may consider making a dog cage or small house for your future pet. Consider adding a sleeping spot for him. It would be better if he has an area of his own where he can move comfortably.

3. Decide what areas at home can be accessible by your dog.

Dogs are playful animals. They should move freely for some time since it could also be their exercise. So if you are letting your dog roam inside the house, limit the areas that he can access. These animals can chew on things and rip up some items they see on their way. To avoid the damage a dog might bring, keep all the pieces out of your dog’s reach.

4. Buy the right dog food.

Not all dog foods are the same. Know that different ages and breeds may require specific nutrients for them to live longer. Make sure to consult your veterinarian and ask him/her if you can continue the food that your dog has been eating or transition them to a new one. Your vet can recommend the best brands and give you the right advice on how dogs can benefit from their food.

5. Purchase some dog accessories.

One thing that you should never forget when following our first-time dog owner tips is buying dog accessories. It would be best to have all the necessary supplies such as a dog collar, ID tag and rabies tag, and food and water bowl. 

When putting a dog collar to your pet, make sure that you can put two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. Doing so allows you to check if your pet can breathe comfortably with the accessory on. You may also buy a leash that is four to six feet long and some toys that your dogs can play with.

6. Always observe your dog’s behavior.

It is vital to be observant when you are with your dog. Please take note that these animals can change their behavior in different kinds of environments. Even if they look alright, they might be suffering from an illness. A change in your dog’s behavior could mean something, so try to become more observant. 

For instance, anxiety is one of the dogs’ common health conditions. To know whether your pet is feeling anxious or not, try to recognize his behavior. Anxiety symptoms include the following:

  • Barking when the owner is not around
  • Destroying furniture
  • Digging
  • Excessive licking or chewing
  • Frequently urinating
  • Panting even if it is not hot
  • Running away
  • Shivering

If you find your pet experiencing any unusual symptoms, it’s time to bring them to the nearest veterinarian. Other first-time dog owner tips include behavioral training, especially if your pet has anxiety.

7. Learn how to brush your dog’s teeth.

Your pet also needs dental care. That’s why you need to familiarize yourself with the proper ways on how you can brush your dog’s teeth. Know that it is part of your pet’s hygiene to prevent diseases. 

It is recommended that you do the activity three to five times a week. You may also ask a veterinarians’ advice about the best ways for your dog’s dental health. Besides, vets can recommend an appropriate toothbrush and paste that you can use for your dogs.

 8. Consult a veterinarian if your pet is sick.

Prior to becoming a first-time dog owner, except that a dog can be vulnerable to diseases. Knowing some tips can keep you calm in times like this. Dogs need you the most when they are feeling lonely and weak. Instead of treating them on your own, bring them immediately to a veterinarian. Vets are experts when it comes to treating dogs’ diseases. 

Owning a pet is both exciting and challenging. If you are a future dog owner, you may experience struggles in taking care of your pet. That’s why before buying a dog, it is significant to understand what kind of responsibilities you are going to have. 

Besides that, learning some first-time dog owner tips can help you prepare ahead of time before owning one. It will also be easier to take care of pets if you already have ideas on what to expect. 

6 Reasons To Try A DIY Dog Wash This Summer

Oh, the joys of owning a pooch! They are so loveable and affectionate! A dog, as they say, is your best friend!

They love you unconditionally and you love them right back. Some of the ways you show your love for them is by keeping them safe, healthy, and clean.

You are happy to do that for your beloved pet. So you research all the different kinds of dog foods and feed them what works best for them.

You keep them on a leash whenever you walk them and you fence in your backyard to keep them from straying.

See also  6 Best Dog Shampoos

Bathe Them Often

You also make sure that your pooch has a bath regularly. As a general rule of thumb, you should bathe your dog once every four weeks.

That time frame will vary depending on the type of dog you have, the lifestyle the dog leads, and the health of their coat.

If you have a couch potato who only steps outside to do their business, you would probably be able to go longer than four weeks.

But if you have an intrepid explorer who seeks out every bush and puddle, and loves to roll in all things smelly, four weeks might be too long a stretch.

A Bath Keeps A Dog’s Skin Healthy

When a dog gets a bath regularly, it removes dirt and debris on a dog’s skin. This cleansing can help to prevent potential skin conditions from developing.

A dog can develop itchiness, dry skin, oily skin, or clogged pores if not bathed regularly. When a dog’s skin is dirty, their skin does not “breathe” correctly.

For example, certain breeds of dogs have naturally oily coats. When they get bathed, the dirty oils are washed off and replaced with clean, new natural oils.

The season of the year will also affect how often you bathe your pet. Wintertime might see dry, itchy skin that can be relieved with a moisturizing shampoo.

In spring, when shedding starts, a bath will help remove the dead coat faster and keep you from vacuuming the floors every day.

If you have any doubts about the general time frame, consult with your veterinarian on the best schedule to keep your dog’s coat healthy.

Knowing that your best buddy needs to have a bath regularly, we come to the task itself.

It can become quite a production. Your pooch might get anxious knowing that something is up.

A  DIY Dog Wash

Have you ever tried to cook a five-course meal over a campfire?

Have you ever tried to wash articles of clothing in a hotel bathroom sink?

Have you ever tried to keep ice cream frozen in a cooler?

I think you get the idea that there are specific facilities that lend themselves to particular tasks.

Cooking a five-course meal is easier in a kitchen, a washing machine is better than a sink, and a freezer is better than a cooler.

So, too, a DIY dog wash facility is far better than your tub or shower.

We have listed 6 reasons why it is best to take your pet to a DIY dog wash

#1 They Have The Correct Tools For The Task.

DIY Dog Wash

Just like a mechanic at an auto repair shop, a DIY dog wash has all the right tools. They have the raised tubs to bathe your pooch in.

Those tubs will have a clip to secure your pet in one position. They have the sprayers for the water.

They will supply you with a waterproof apron to wear. A DIY dog wash will also have a professional dryer.

Everything you need is right there at the facility, they have the right tools for the job.

#2 They Supply All The Necessities

Can you believe it? You don’t even have to haul shampoo!

The facility will have a variety of products for you to choose from. However, there are pet owners who prefer to bring their own.

They may have found a particular product that works best with their dog’s type of fur.

Once you have found that perfect shampoo, you don’t want to switch out. The Best Dog Shampoo 2020 [Relieve Sensitive, Dry, or Itchy Skin].

If your pet has a specific skin condition, you can bring your own product, but the DIY dog wash provides the supplies.

#3 Easy On Your Back And Knees

What a blissful experience to bathe your dog while standing up rather than crouching over a complaining pet.

Your back and knees get a break! A tub at a DIY dog wash has a clip that you attach a short lead to.

This keeps a reluctant pooch in position so that there is no tug of war and no escape artist you have to pursue.

A DIY dog wash will have an appropriate size tub at YOUR level. When you have the right tools, like the facilities tub and hose system, the task goes much faster and is easier for all concerned.

#4 They Have A Better Blow Dryer

DIY DOg Wash

The facility will have professional dryers that will drastically reduce drying time.

The dryers that we keep at home might do the job for a small pooch that does not have thick hair.

This is especially important if your dog has a thick coat that takes a long time to dry. With the dryer at the DIY dog wash, you can have your pet dried in no time.

#5 The Mess Is At Their Place

Trying to bathe your dog at home is a mess and no two ways about it.

You also know beforehand that your bathroom will look like a mini monsoon went through it when you finish.

Every dog on the face of the earth will react like a Taylor Swift song and “shake it off” as soon as they are out of the water.

Applying a towel is a minimal effort that does not yield much when your pooch is wet to the skin, and their fur is soaked.

At a DIY, you are supplied with a waterproof apron to don while scrubbing down Fido.

When you finish at a DIY dog wash, you leave the facility with a dry, great smelling pooch and a huge smile on your face.

They are the ones who clean up afterward. Yahoo! It doesn’t get much better than that!

#6 It Is Inexpensive

You know that your dog needs regular bathing. If you take your pooch to a groomer and don’t want their hair cut, it will still cost between $30 and $90 for a bath.

This depends on the size of the dog and the amount of fur. A chihuahua is going to cost less than a husky.

And if this is a procedure that you need to do every couple of months, that can add up fast.

A DIY dog wash will cost you about $15. And as was mentioned, they supply the shampoo!

That price is hard to beat. The amount of time and effort it will save not having to wrangle your pet into your tub is so worth it.

The time saved cleaning up afterward, not to mention the wear and tear on your back and knees, make the cost well worth it.

Here Are Some Tips To Make Bath Time A Bit Easier:

DIY Dog Wash

  • Brush your dog thoroughly at home before you go to the DIY dog wash.
  • This will remove dirt, hair, and any burrs attached to their fur.
  • It will make bath time more manageable as you will have removed tangles and loose hair before you start bathing your pet.
  • Make sure your dog is tied securely in the wash station tub. This will keep them in place and make it easier and quicker for you to bathe them.
  • It is also a great time to reward them with a treat. If you do this each time, they will associate time at the dog wash as a positive thing.
  • Be careful not to get water in your dog’s ears. This will be an irritant to them and could lead to an infection.
  • Putting a cotton ball in your dog’s ears can help you avoid this.
  • Use a grooming mitt and gently lather the shampoo onto your pet’s body. Please pay special attention to areas like their paws and tails.
  • Wash your dog from the neck down. This will keep water out of the dog’s ears and shampoo out of their eyes.
  • This is so much easier to achieve when you are standing level with your pet at a wash station. Use a wet washcloth to wash their face.
  • If your pooch does not like the blow dryer’s sound, it might be time for another treat.
  • Gradually introduce the blower, but if it stresses them too much, use a towel.

Where To Find A DIY Dog Wash

You might be wondering where you find a DIY dog wash. They are becoming more popular as people find out all of their advantages.

Hopefully, you would be able to find a DIY dog wash in your area. You and your pet will be all the better for it!

Facilities We Found Online That Offer DIY Dog Washes:

Healthy Pet Austin

Self-Serve Dog Wash Stations at PetCo

PetSmart® Opens the First PetSmart Pet Spa Store

How to Use a Do It Yourself Dog Wash at PetCareRx

Scrubbers Dog Wash: Full-Service Pet Grooming & Self-Serve Dog Wash

Self-Service Pet Wash at PetFood Express

Dog Grooming in Sarasota – DIY Dog Wash

You Dirty Dog – Go Ahead — Get Dirty!

In Conclusion

Part of being a good pet parent is keeping your pet clean and healthy. It can be a hassle to bathe your pet, and stressful for all involved.

Off Leash Dog Training

Off Leash Dog Training Tips

There are few things that dogs love more than being able to experience being outside without being tethered to a leash. 

You can imagine how they feel when they get that unexpected bit of freedom!

You might be tempted to let Fido run free, but take care before you let your pooch off the leash. 

Consider a few important factors that will help to keep you and your pooch safe. Know, too, that cities and towns have leash laws.

Those laws are meant to keep everyone, you, others, your pooch and other pets safe. 

You are responsible to know the leash laws in your area, so before you engage in any off leash activities check with local authorities to find out what you need to know. 

See also  5 Best Training Dog Treats

Off Leash Dog Training Tips

Here are some tips to help you get yourself and your beloved pet ready for some off leash freedom.

Number one: 

Know that your dog has ingrained instincts. Those instincts are not something that you are going to be able to eliminate from your pet. 

There are some breeds that might not be able to be allowed off leash safely. 

Breeds like Airedale Terrier, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Bull Terrier, Springer Spaniel, and Siberian Husky all have an ingrained instinct to chase prey if they see it. 

Even little Chihuahuas are very reactive to moving objects and can be off like a flash. 

It could be difficult to train those breeds of dogs. 

Unneutered male dogs like to roam and can be a bit more antisocial, so off leash walking for them could prove hazardous. 

You know your dog best, and you should have an idea if they will be a good candidate for off-leash. 

Number two:

Your pooch must have an excellent “recall” to be able to allow them off leash. That “recall” is coming back to you when you command them to do so. 

When they are off leash, there will be so many distractions. All kinds of sights, sounds and scents that will be irresistible to your pet. 

The treat that you used in your fenced backyard or living room will have very little sway with them under those circumstances. 

Make sure your pooch has an immediate “recall” response before you consider letting them off leash. 

It is also good that they have reliable “sit” and “stay” commands. 

Number three:

Practice in an area that is safe. It is not advisable to let Fido loose in a field on the first day of practice. 

You need to be in a contained area, where you can work safely but also an area that has some distractions. Those distractions will be part of the teaching aid. 

Let your pooch go out to explore with the “go” command. Then call them back with a reward for returning, like one of their favorite small treats. Be sure to give plenty of praise.

If you don’t have some type of treat, your pooch won’t have any motivation to come back right away when you call. 

It is not that they are being bad or naughty, this is just the nature of the beast. Your pet needs  motivation to do what you ask. 

Keep practicing this routine until you are confident with your dog’s recall skills. This needs to be second nature for your pet. 

Number four:

Use a double ring collar. This type of collar will have a second ring on the back of the collar

This type of collar makes it easy to quickly leash your dog again when needed. You won’t have to reach under your dog’s chin or search to find the connecting ring. 

This type of collar ring will be very helpful when you need to connect them back up in a hurry. 

Number five:

Select a safe off leash dog training area for the first time unleashing your dog. Parks and hiking trails are some of the places that have off-leash areas for walking your dog. 

Do research ahead of time to find the best place to go. 

Do several “trial runs” with your dog on a leash so that they are a bit familiar with the area, rather than being overly excited with the new venue. 

Have a map of the area or trail that you will be exploring. You don’t want your dog discovering an area such as a river or cliff before you do. 

Be aware that in places like national forests or other remote locations, depending on the season, there could be hunters in the area too. 

Bright orange vests for you and your pooch will allow others to see you, and give you the needed visibility to keep your dog in sight. 

Number six:

Unleash in an area that you feel comfortable in. An area that is safe, away from hazards such as roads and temptations like thick woods or underbrush. 

Once unleashed, let your dog explore for a bit and then do a practice recall. If that is successful, continue on your way and intermittently recall your pooch and reward with a treat.

Keep the leash in your hand at all times in case you need it again quickly. 

If during your walk you encounter other people or pets, leash your dog out of courtesy until you pass them by. 

Not everyone shares your love for your pet and some people are afraid of dogs, so be respectful. 

Another reason to keep Fido leashed when you see other dogs is that you never know how other pets are going to behave (or not!). 

Recall your dog and keep leashed until you are out of view of other people or animals.

Number seven:

Pay attention to your dog when they are unleashed. Don’t let them get too far ahead or behind. 

Know that you will encounter others that may come upon you quickly, like joggers. 

Know that you may encounter snakes that could bite your dog. 

Be watchful that your pooch does not start digging in a critter’s burrow or start to chase the wildlife. 

You don’t want your pet to get lost because they are on the chase.

Wildlife needs to be respected when you are out in the great outdoors. 

Keep your pet in sight at all times as you also don’t want your curious pooch to take a roll in a dead carcass. 

That would make for a very unpleasant ride home and off leash dog training day!

Number eight:

Keep reinforcing the “recall” command. A good time to practice is when they are engrossed by something interesting. 

Make sure that you give plenty of praise and treats when they come back. 

This is not a constant command to be given, just a reinforcement of a learned command. 

It will be a gauge to assess how they are doing in being obedient. 

It will also give you confidence that your pet will respond when you need them to. 

Number nine: 

Pick up after your dog. Just because you are in the outdoors, or on a hiking trail or in the woods does not mean that you don’t need to pick up after Fido. 

Those same rules apply no matter where you are. 

In ConclusionOff Leash Dog Training

Before you attempt to teach your dog how to walk off leash, consider the risks that are involved. 

Have an unbiased and accurate idea of your dog’s temperament. There are some dogs that just will not have it in them to walk off-leash successfully. 

It will be an instinct for them to run too far ahead and to chase what they consider prey. 

Don’t have unrealistic expectations for your pet as doing so could result in some direct consequences. 

Some dogs get spooked by loud noises or unexpected occurrences and could bolt out of fear and get lost in the process.  

However, if you take precautions and put in the time to train, off leash dog training can be a rewarding experience for both you and your beloved pet.