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How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Dog?

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The brutal winter temperatures are only beginning to emerge in Chicagoland, posing a common question for dog owners throughout the city: how cold is too cold for my dog to be outside? While we all know that dogs love spending outside to get much-needed exercise, if temperatures drop too low, you should monitor how much time your dog is spending outside. 

Determining Factors

Like humans, all dogs are not created equal, and there are specific factors to consider when determining how long your dog should spend outside. 

  • Coat type: Some breeds such as Huskies or Newfoundlands have thick, double-layered coats that help them tolerate colder temperatures. Dogs with thin coats are not as tolerant to the cold weather. 
  • Coat color: Darker dogs have an easier time absorbing heat from the sun while they’re outside. Lighter coats don’t absorb heat as well. 
  • Size & weight: Consider both the size and weight of your dog. Body fat acts as a good insulator, however, don’t overdo it. Too much body fat will have serious health problems for your dog. 
  • Age and overall health: Dogs that are very young or very old will have a harder time keeping their body temperatures consistent. 

Temperature Guidelines

Generally speaking, most dogs are fine in temperatures that are 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above. As temperatures dip to 32 degrees, consider monitoring your pet while they are outside to make sure they are behaving okay. As temperatures drop even lower, we recommend utilizing this helpful chart to see what is safe for your dog. 

From dog training in Chicago to helping answer your questions about how to give your dog the best life possible, we are your one-stop resource for all things dog! If you’re interested in any of our services, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today!

Avoid Feeding Your Dog These Foods

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There’s nothing cuter than those puppy dog eyes that are staring back at you on a daily basis. As private dog trainers in Chicago, we know firsthand how difficult it can be to resist giving your furry friend human food here and there. Some human foods are perfectly okay for your dog to eat in moderation. However, there are certain foods that should be avoided in order to keep your dog safe and healthy. We also recommend feeding your dog any human food from their bowls so they don’t get used to begging at the kitchen table!

Popcorn

Cuddling up and watching a movie isn’t complete with a bowl of popcorn. If you are eating air-popped, unsalted and unbuttered popcorn, it’s okay to give your dog a few pieces. However, not many people enjoy popcorn in this way. Bags of buttery and salted popcorn can lead to short-term dehydration for your pet. Plus, the kernels aren’t good for their teeth and gums. It’s best to avoid giving your pup this treat altogether.

Avocados

Persin, an oil-soluble toxin that is dangerous to your dog can be found in the skin and leaves of an avocado. This oil can cause respiratory distress, congestion, and fluid accumulation around the heart. Avoiding the skin and leaves is pivotal if you’re feeding your dog an avocado. 

Grapes

Grapes are one of the most toxic foods that dogs can eat. They can cause kidney failure or, in some cases, death. Researchers still aren’t sure of the exact reasoning for grapes’ toxicity, but it’s best to avoid giving both grapes and raisins to your pup. 

These are just a few of the examples of what not to feed your dog this holiday season. If you feel unsure about a particular food item, simply look it up to make sure it is safe.

Improving Your Dog’s Leash Habits

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Dog Training Chicago

Going for a walk with your dog is a great way to ensure both of you get the exercise that you need! However, dogs aren’t naturally content with being on a leash, so they need to learn that you are in charge and will determine where to walk them. Our dog training in Chicago, Il can help improve your dog’s leash-walking habits so both of you enjoy your walks.

Start with Food Motivation

Keeping your dog motivated with food is a great place to start. Decide the side that you want your dog to stay on (left is traditional) and they will soon flock to that side, as it’s where the treats will be! Start by walking in random patterns around your yard and rewarding your dog with a treat when they stay by you. Once your dog is staying by you more often than not, you can continue with positive reinforcement. 

Don’t Use the Wrong Method

Many people are tempted to buy a prong or shock collar when their dog is misbehaving on walks. They give their dog a hard yank when they are misbehaving, but this won’t teach your dog to stay by your side on walks and can even cause damage or injuries to your dog. Our dog training in Chicago, Il consists of teaching your dog to respect and listen to everything you have to say. 

Consistency is Key

Your dog won’t learn everything in one day. It will take small, short training sessions to completely transform your dog’s behavior. Stay patient, the end result is worth it.

Our team at Chicago Canine Academy is happy to help you with dog training in Chicago, Il. Contact us today to get started!