When it comes to working out, you are probably well aware of the motivation factor. Dogs are one in the same – they need motivation! This can vary hugely, from being motivated by food, safety precautions and fun seeking motivation. Furthermore, we will explore how you can motivate your dog, in order to help you with training.

Start by asking yourself, what motivates your favorite animal? When it comes to dogs, motivation varies greatly from different breeds to temperaments. The only way to get familiarized with the most effective motivator for your dog is to try out a variety of things:

Food & Treats | Food & treats are the greatest reward for some dogs and can be extremely executive in dogs training sessions. Remember, you are reinforcing whatever behavior preceded the treat, don’t unintentionally reward hyperactive behavior. Wait until your dog is in the right frame of mind to give it. Here’s the situation you want to avoid. Your dog learns how to do a command… But he’ll only do it when he knows there’s a treat waiting for him at the end of it. Eventually, rely on treats and food less and less, sharing reinforcement by giving your attention or affection.

Freedom | Let’s face it, if you chose one word to describe why a dog struggles against you on the leash it would be freedom. The dog wants the freedom to get unattached from you. Doing what you can to safely gift freedom in ample amounts is not only a compassionate approach but also supports the working bong between you and your pup when an environment calls for a greater degree of self discipline.

Toys | Other dogs are more impressed by fun. Try letting your dog play with their favorite toy after a couple of training sessions and make a note if they are even more keen on playing with it after a training session – if this is the case, then, perhaps you’ve found your pet’s greatest motivator.

The key factor in finding what motivates your dog is paying attention to every physical part and behavioral pattern in your dog – every move, muscle and facial expression can tell you a story of its own.



The sun is shining and it’s a great time to head outside with your pet. Or is it? Hot weather poses heat related considerations for pet owners and it’s important to exercise caution to keep your pets safe during the hot temperatures – especially in relation to cars.

“Trapped in a steaming car with only hot air to breathe, dogs can suffer heatstroke in just 15 minutes, resulting in brain damage or death,” said PETA’s Lindsay Pollard-Post in a statement. “When temperatures warm up, no amount of time in a parked car is safe for dogs.”

Dogs release heat by panting and at extreme temperatures, are not able to release heat quick enough to efficiently cool off. Some dogs in particular are more prone to hear exhaustion and stroke, such as pups, older dogs, and also dogs sick or recovering from illness. Certain dog breeds also need to be watched more carefully such as short faced breeds, double coated breeds and dogs whom are bred for colder climates.

A dog’s regular body temperature is 101 degrees. Anything above 103 degrees is abnormal and signs of heat exhaustion may become apparent; between 105-107 degrees it can begin to affect their thought processes, says Tufts.

If the temperature is above 104 degrees, towels soaked in cool water (not ice cold) can be placed around your pet’s neck to help with the cooling down process. You could also spray your dog with a garden hose or put him/ her in a tub of cooler water for up too two minutes. If you’re thinking of using a garden hose, make sure you test the water before spraying your pet. Left over water in the hose can be scorching hot when first releasing water, potentially burning your pet. Make sure you test the water, and it’s at a cool temperature before spraying them. Also keep in mind that it’s possible to overcool your dog, keep regulating your dogs body temperature to prevent this and cool in moderation.

Prevention requires some very simple steps:

  1. Never leave your pet in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked.
  2. Limit exercise on hot days. Consider early morning or late at night as these are cooler parts of the day and will make the walk more comfortable for both you and your dog.
  3. Watch for signs of dehydration.
  4. Watch out for hot pavement. You might consider doggie booties available at your local pet supply store. Heat rises from the ground, especially asphalt, and since dogs absorb and release heat through their feet, walking on hot pavement can be dangerous for your dog and could cause damage or burning to the paws.
  5. Provide ample shade and water. Add ice to water when possible (dogs love this). Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. Use your judgment: it’s best not to leave your pet outside if it’s hot.
  6. Pay close attention to breeds of dogs more prone to heat stress (as described earlier).
  7. Never leave your animal under direct sunlight without access to shade or plentiful water.

You will want to do everything possible to avoid putting your pet in this kind of danger and prevention is key. By taking these steps, you will be assured that your furry friends remain cool and comfortable during the upcoming summer months!



There are many summer weather tips for pets that owners should be aware of. One of those tips is protecting your pet from heatstroke and often overlooked, your pets paws which can be easily damaged by the summer heat. Who doesn’t love taking their dog on a nice stroll? Many people forget one important detail, hot surfaces, especially pavement, can damage and burn a dog’s paws.

Be mindful of the temperature and where and when you walk your dogs. The best time to walk is in the morning or evening, when the pavement is cool. Try to avoid going during the afternoon hours because the pavement will reach it’s hottest temperatures, remember – sometimes during the summer the pavement gets hot enough to cook an egg.

Here’s a very eye-opening chart from the Humane Society of just what your dog is experiencing when they stand or walk on asphalt/ pavement in hot weather:

If you do end up taking your pooch on a walk during the warmer times of the day, be sure to stay on the grass and stick to shaded areas. Try to stay away from paved areas to avoid paw damage and burning. A shady park or a walk down local trails would be a great place to take your dog on a sunny afternoon!

Train your dogs paws! During cool times of the day, walk your dog on pavement or trails because the rough surfaces will toughen the pads on your dogs paws — making them tougher by providing a natural resistance to damage! You want your dog to have tough paws, but you don’t want them to get too dry or they will be more susceptible to cracking and cuts, which will then be easier to contract more damage/ burns.

Consider moisturizing your dogs pads daily with paw wax, especially in hot weather to prevent injuries and burns. Try to apply the moisturizer before bed — when they won’t be walking around. If your dog is one to lick it off, try and put on doggie socks after applying the moisturizer over night. Consistently moisturizing and performing these tips will leave your dog paw happy!


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