How Healthy is Your Pooch?

We can’t simply ask our dogs how they’re feeling so we rely on other cues to check on them. Here are some tell-tale signs to look for regarding the status of your dog’s health.

Familiarize yourself with your dog’s usual tendencies. Dogs have personalities just like people, so notice if their behavior changes in any way… it gives you a heads up that something might be off. (Be sure to tell your Highrise Pet Care walker about your dog’s sick or distressed behaviors so they can contact you if something doesn’t seem right.)

Pay special attention to grooming habits. If your pup has stopped caring for him/herself and it is beginning to show on their coat, take this as a red flag. Refusal to take care of their coat may suggest that your pooch is feeling distressed or unwell.

Notice changes in energy level. Although it is normal to have your pooch range slightly in energy, be sure to take note when there are major drops or spikes in activity. If your pooch is becoming hard to contain when you get home at the end of the day, it may be a sign that they need to release some energy throughout the daytime hours. Consider hiring a walker to help get them more active.

Watch for changes in eating habits. Especially if your pooch usually eats a large quantity of food, sudden loss of appetite is a hint that something may be wrong. If you’re concerned about a change in eating habits, it is a good idea to bring your dog to the vet to get checked out for an illness.

Pay attention to aggression and friendliness. Changes in social behavior could be linked with multiple causes, including how much attention they are currently receiving, old age, or outside sources of stress. Take action if your dog is acting out, and evaluate any changes in their environment that could be the cause.

What did we miss? Send us a tweet or an email to let us know what signs you use to tell if your dog is healthy.

Adapting a Dog to Apartment Life

Most Chicago apartments are cozy. Whether it’s a Husky you’ve always wanted or a low-energy breed… do some research before welcoming a dog into your life.

Consider location.
Location, location, location. Keeping pet-friendly resources a short distance from your pup goes a long way. The Chicago Park District has a guide for dog parks near you! Talk with your neighbors to gather opinions and advice about having dogs in your building & neighborhood. Remember that it is important to find places where your pup can socialize.

Find a routine.
Consistency will help keep your dog happy (especially if they’re a puppy), regardless of the size of your apartment. Since your pup will be living in a smaller area without a yard, he or she will require daily leash time more than once a day to stretch and do their business. If you aren’t able to stop home at a consistent time to let Fido out in the middle of the day, consider hiring a dog-walker so your pup can get outside more often.

Familiarize your pup with the surroundings.
Highrise living in Chicago can be busy and noisy. Be sure to take your pooch into the elevators and lobby during high frequency times whenever possible. This will help cut down on his curiosity on the daily sounds of apartment living.

Furry Neighbors
If you’ve already spent time socializing your dog, introducing your pup to other dogs in your building may not be an issue. If your dog seems anxious around other dogs, adjusting to apartment life may be more difficult. Practice introducing your pooch to other four-legged friends in a more neutral setting like a dog park. Remember that it may take some time for your dog to feel completely comfortable around your furry neighbors.

House Training
House training a puppy in your apartment can be a little extra challenging since there is no doggie door or direct outdoor access. Consider using pee pads for training at first until your pup can go a longer time between urination. You should be prepared for some puppy accidents.

Keep things exciting.
Dogs are like people – having only one or two distractions won’t keep them happy for long! Changing up their toys is a simple way to keep them entertained while you’re away at work. Hiding treats or scented fabrics around the apartment will also keep things new and exciting for your pup.

Were these tips helpful for you? Send us a tweet or a comment on Facebook to let us know!

6 Indestructible Dog Toys your Pooch Needs

If you’ve been buying your pup’s toys left and right just for him to destroy them right away, this list is for you.  We’ve done some research and have narrowed down the top indestructible toys on the market — we’ve even included some helpful reviews!

GoughnutsGoughnuts: “The only dog toy I’ve come across that actually lives up to indestructible! I have a German shepherd who goes thru almost any toy in less than 5 min. This one has lasted months so far! Highly recommend.” – Wonderlander

coneKONG Cozie Dog Squeaky Toy: “[Our dogs] play very rough with these little animals, including playing tug with them several times a day, and they are still in one piece!! I love that they don’t have any stuffing in them, so there are no white fluffy pieces flying around my house after a day of play… I would definitely recommend this product to anyone!” – Bethany D. Miller

westpawWest Paw Design Jive Zogoflex Durable Ball Dog Chew Toy: “Wow!!! We have several pit bulls and they have destroyed every ball we gave them…until this thing!! They love to play with it and it has stood up to their jaws for almost a year now!!”- Ryah

plush purplegoDog Furballz Chew Guard Technology Tough Plush Dog Toy: “I have purchased several of these. They are tough. My dogs hide them from each other. I have two 60 lb plus Standard Poodles, a 18 lb miniature Poodle and a wee 6 lb toy Poodle. No one has chewed through it. I am ordering more so they can always find one.”- J Doe

NylaboneNylabone Big Chew Durable Toy Bone for Large Breeds: “My two Labs have devoured in minutes just about every “indestructible” dog chew on the market. I really thought that nothing could stand up to their grinders, until I discovered Big Chews. If you’ve tried other Nylabone products without long-term success, don’t worry. My dogs can easily make a meal of those, but not of Big Chews…” – Dianamo

Zogoflex chew towWest Paw Design Zogoflex Hurley Dog Bone Chew Toy: My dog loves this!! It’s really indestructible. My dog is toy crazy and normally tears them up but his one has really lasted”- Hailey S.

Did we miss your pup’s favorite toy? Send us an email or a tweet to let us know!