How to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally

Many dog owners are deciding they want to get rid of fleas naturally instead of using harmful chemicals on their dogs.  Here are some reasonings and natural solutions to getting rid of fleas on your dog and around your home.

Common Medications to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs

There are many effective flea and tick products on the market.  Chances are your veterinarian is recommending one of them.  But, while they may be effective at eliminating fleas, they are also harmful to your dog’s health.

Treatments for Fleas on Dogs

  • Flea Medications applied directly to your dog’s body, such as Advantage and Frontline are applied to spots on the back of the dog’s neck and along the spine.  They get into the dog’s body through the skin.
  • Oral dog flea treatments include Bravecto and Nexgard.  These flea meds are given in pill form.  They work by destroying the flea’s nervous system.

Think about this; If these flea treatments are capable of interfering with an insect’s nervous system, what could it be doing to your dog?  These chemical treatments have been proven to cause serious damage to dogs.

  I used them on my own dogs, on my vet’s advice but each month, I was more and more hesitant to do so.  That’s when I decided to do some research on products to get rid of fleas naturally.  

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dog

  • Bathe your dog with a good natural shampoo to which you’ve added lemon juice.  Leave the suds on the dog for about five minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
  • After washing your dog, apply a rinse of one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water.  Leave this on your dog and dry him well.
  • Spray your towel-dried dog’s coat with the same mixture of vinegar and water.
  • Use a flea comb to check for and remove any lingering fleas.  Make sure to select a flea comb with small enough teeth to pick up the adult fleas as well as the eggs.
  • Dawn dish detergent is a sworn-by favorite of many pet owners for helping with flea control.  Simply wash your dog with the detergent instead of dog shampoo.

Natural Flea and Tick Treatments You Can Buy

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Agatha’s Organic Flea and Tick Prevention Treatment for Dogs is a safe and natural remedy for fleas and ticks.  This product is a tasty, flea fighting powder you sprinkle on your dog’s food daily.  It contains natural ingredients that repel fleas and makes your dog unappealing to pests.  It has many great reviews on Amazon from people who are pleased with how it has helped control fleas and ticks on their dogs.  

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray for Dogs and Home is a spray made of plant-based ingredients that kill fleas, ticks, and flea eggs.  Also, helps to repel mosquitoes.  As the name states, it can be used on your dog as well as in your home to help eradicate flea infestations.  Make sure to spray on dog bedding, kennels & crates, pillows, blankets, upholstery, carpets, etc.  There are many positive reviews on Amazon that say it is amazing to watch this natural flea spray kill the fleas.


How to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally in Your Home

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Carpet

  • Make a mixture of equal parts baking soda and table salt.  Sprinkle liberally onto carpets and leave for several hours before vacuuming.  This mixture works by drying out the fleas and their eggs.
  • Thoroughly vacuum carpeting.  I use a vacuum with great suction power in order to remove fleas from the carpeting as well as the flea eggs.  My personal favorite is the Shark Rocket Deluxe Pro.  This corded, bagless vacuum is lightweight but packs a powerful suction.  After vacuuming, be sure to empty canister into a trash bag, seal and dispose of it immediately.  Wipe canister with a paper towel dipped in a 3:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water.
  • Spray the carpet with a natural flea treatment, such as Vets Best Flea and Tick Spray.  This natural flea treatment for the home contains natural oils to get rid of fleas.  It also works gently on your pet as well.  

How to Get Rid of Fleas With Vinegar

  • Vacuum hard surface floors such as tile, hardwood floors, and laminate.  Be sure to pay attention to the seams and grooves in the floor.  Also, using a vacuum crevice tool, get into the area where the baseboards meet the floor.  Fleas love dark private areas.
  • Damp mop hard surface floors with a solution of water and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.  A 3:1 ratio works well.  
  • Wipe baseboards with the same vinegar/lemon solution.

Naturally Kill Fleas on Soft Surfaces in Your Home

  • Vacuum sofas and chairs thoroughly, making sure to get into the crevices on the seats.
  • Remove any washable pillow covers.
  • Wash pillow covers, linens, rugs, curtains and blankets in as hot water as recommended by the manufacturer.  Dry thoroughly.
  • Also, wash your dog’s kennel bedding, doggie beds and stuffed toys in as hot water as possible.
  • Spray dried kennel bedding and doggy beds with Vets Best Flea and Tick Spray.

Get Rid of Fleas in Your Yard Naturally

  • Mow Your Lawn regularly and keep it short. 
  • Trim any bushes and weeds.  This helps to eliminate hiding places for fleas and ticks as well as mosquitoes.  The more sunlight you can get into the area the better.
  • Remove dead leaves. Fleas prefer dark, damp places, so clear all leaves and plant debris away. 
  • Beneficial Nematodes.  Nematodes are a great natural way to help get rid of fleas in your yard.  They are microscopic worms the feed on flea eggs and larvae.  Added bonus: They also help get rid of mosquitoes, grubs, and termites, while being safe for humans and pets.
  • Diatomaceous Earth is a powder made up of fossilized simple cell organisims.  It can be sprinkled across the lawn or mixed with water and sprayed on the grass.  Be sure to get the food grade.
  • Plant flea repelling herbs. Herbs such as lemongrass, mint, and sage have natural oils that repel fleas. 
  •  Spray indoors and out, in the yard and living room with  Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray.  Use on dog bedding, kennels & crates, pillows, blankets, upholstery, carpets, etc.  It’s gentle on surfaces but effective on fleas.

Fleas and ticks can become a real problem for both you and your dog.  In addition to the misery they cause with itching in your dog, they also can be hazardous to health.  Infections caused by biting and scratching and diseases such as Lyme can be deadly to your dog.  Fleas and ticks are persistent but with persistence on your part with non-toxic flea products can help you to get rid of fleas naturally and help your dog live a healthier and happier life. 

For more tips on getting rid of fleas naturally, check out this article in Whole Dog Journal.

Dog Dental Chews Promote Fresh Breath and Dental Health

Puppy  breath is great but dog breath is a whole different animal!  Stinky dog breath can be helped or prevented by good oral habits, such as brushing your dog’s teeth and regular periodic dental cleanings at the Vet.  Many dog’s HATE teeth brushing.  An alternative for the dreaded brushing can be found in dog dental chews.

Benefits of Dog Dental Chews

  • Chewing Dog Dental Bones helps to clean your dog’s teeth. Works as a great supplement to teeth brushing or for some dogs it is the only way to achieve a teeth cleaning when your dog will not cooperate with the brushing.
  • Dog Dental Bones helps to freshen your dog’s breath by removing plaque buildup and leftover food particles. Also, many dog dental chews come in breath freshening flavors.
  • The act of chewing the dental bone provides a boredom fighting activity for your dog.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more) Click here for my full disclosure policy.

Best Dog Dental Chews

There are many chews on the market to help with dog dental health.  Just as in dog food, quality varies from brand to brand.  The following are the ones I have used or have good knowledge of and recommend.  There may be other good ones as well but I do like that both of these brands are shaped to help with tartar and plaque removal on your dog’s teeth.

Merrick Brand Dental Chews

Merrick dog chews is the one we are currently using with our three dogs, a Lab mix, Pitbull mix and Boxer mix.  They love them and look forward to getting one each day.  One has mint flavored breath strips embedded in, for fresh doggy breath.  The other is infused with coconut oil and botanicals.  Both have a brush shape on the ends to help scrub the teeth as your dog chews.

Greenies Dog Chews

Greenies is another great dog chew. I have used this brand and love it as well.  Made in the USA.  Greenies has a variety of options, including: multiple sizes from petite to large size, blueberry flavor, hip and joint chews, weight management chews and grain-free.  Highly digestible, natural ingredients and a shape that cleans the teeth down to the gumline.  Greenies has the approval of the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

*Cautions When Giving Your Dog Dental Chews

  • As with anything you give your dog to chew, never leave him alone while he is enjoying it.  Although these brands are digestible, your dog could still break off a larger piece and have difficulty.
  • Make sure your dog has plenty of water available as he chews his treat.
  • Only buy dog products that are made in the USA.  There have been too many tragedies associated with products made in China and other countries.  There standards are not as controlled.

Neglecting your dog’s oral health can lead to more serious issues than bad breath.  Teeth and gum issues can cause heart disease and infections in the body.  Give your dog the gift of good oral health by brushing his teeth daily if he will allow it, regular Vet visits to check for cavities or other issues and give him a daily dental bone.  He will think it is a treat but you will know it’s good for him.

For more help with your dog’s dental health, Check Out:

Brush Your Dogs Teeth to Promote Good Health 

Common Dog Skin Problems and How to Help Them

Staying awake half the night, listening to your dog scratching and whimpering as he digs and bites at his itchy skin is painful to both you and your dog.  Dog skin problems can cause your dog to suffer greatly. 

 Is your dog scratching and licking his skin to the point it is red and bleeding?  Just like humans, dogs can and do have allergies and sensitivities to things in their surroundings.  This is known as environmental allergies.

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from a link on this site, I will earn a small commission.  This helps to support the site and keep it going but you will not pay a penny extra.

Symptoms of Common Dog Skin Problems

  • Dry itchy skin
  • Dog is biting paw, leg, base of tail or other affected areas
  • Dog is constantly licking the affected area
  • Inflamed skin
  • Open sores or bumps
  • Rash, usually on the stomach, groin and armpit area
  • Skin that smells or has a greasy feel
  • Recurrent ear infections or dog shaking head or tilting it to one side
  • Patchy loss of hair

Some skin problems that dogs are prone to require assistance from your veterinarian and others are less serious and can be helped at home.

I usually check with my Vet in most matters but here are some ideas to investigate first:

Fleas Can Be A Cause Of Itchy Skin In Your Dog

Fleas will often cause a dog to continually scratch his entire body if the infestation is wide-spread.  Sometimes the fleas can be concentrated in one area, particularly if the infestation is just beginning.  In this case, your dog will usually bite, scratch or lick at his leg, rump area around tail or neck area.  Inspect his body thoroughly, paying particular attention to his belly, inner leg and tail areas.

Use a flea comb, which has very narrowly spaced teeth to comb the area for fleas of “flea dirt”, which looks like tiny specks.  Do these checks several times.

My black Lab was scratching relentlessly a couple of years ago.  He was on flea prevention, so I assumed he would not have a flea problem.  I checked him out and when he didn’t stop scratching, I took him to the Vet.  The Vet also checked him thoroughly and flea-combed him.  She found no fleas, yet he continued to scratch and whine.  I decided to check him one more time and this time I found a single flea. Apparently, this flea had moved in and was causing my dog much misery because he had a flea sensitivity. I had been using Frontline Plus flea medication

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more) Click here for my full disclosure policy.

Frontline Plus for Dogs Medium Dog (23-44 pounds) Flea and Tick Treatment, 6 Doses

which seems to be working well but plan to switch to the Seresto collar on my Vet’s advice.

Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Large Dog- from 7 weeks onwards or over 18 lb, 8 Month Protection

The reason I am choosing to switch is because the Seresto collar lasts approximately eight months and I will not have to remember to apply the flea meds each month.

***Please, under no circumstances use over-the-counter flea medications such as Hartz or Sargeants.  These are usually found in grocery stores, discount stores, drug stores and some pet stores.  They have been linked to serious and sometimes deadly issues for dogs. 

If you prefer to go a more natural route in your dog’s flea control, this post on how to get rid of fleas naturally will be helpful to you.

Allergies are a Common Cause of Dog Skin Problems

Many dogs suffer from allergies just like humans.  But, while humans display a good deal of respiratory symptoms due to their allergies, dogs tend to display a larger number of skin problems due to their allergies.  Allergies can present as hives, itchy/scaly skin, red/inflamed skin or patchy hair loss.

Seasonal Allergies in Dogs Can Cause Dog Skin Problems 

With Spring and Summer comes gorgeous warm weather but it also is the opportune time for seasonal allergies in dogs.  Red, itchy skin, inflamed paws, ear infections, and hot spots are some of the symptoms of your dog may show when suffering from seasonal allergies.  

Mold, mildew, pollen, and dust are the top causes of dog seasonal allergies.  Fortunately, there are some dog seasonal allergy treatments and ways to help prevent the problem.

How to Help Your Dog With Seasonal Allergies

  • Regularly bathing your dog during the seasonal allergy months will help keep the allergens off his coat and skin.  Be sure to use a mild dog shampoo especially for sensitive, irritated skin.  I use and love this shampoo.  And, apparently, a lot of other users love it too, judging by the great reviews on Amazon.  It is made with natural ingredients. is hypoallergenic and detergent-free.  No harsh chemicals which only cause further problems for your dog’s sensitive skin.  This dog shampoo contains aloe and oatmeal to soothe your dog’s irritated skin.
  • Wash your dog’s paws after he has been outside.  Use warm water or wipe with paw pad wipes containing jojoba oil, coconut oil, and aloe to help soothe.  You can also use a paw balm containing coconut and jojoba oils to soften his paws.  These products are made in the USA of naturally-derived materials.
  • Wash your dog’s beds often in warm to hot water.  Use a hypoallergenic detergent to lessen any further irritants.
  • Allergies are an immune response.  Keep your dog’s immune system in tip-top shape by feeding a quality diet and avoiding over-vaccinating.  Your veterinarian can do a titre test to determine if your dog still has the protection of his past vaccines in his system.  If so, he may not need to be vaccinated as often.

Food Allergies In Dogs

Dogs can be allergic to just about any ingredient in their food.  The biggest culprits in dog food allergies seem to be chicken and grains.  One of my dogs was miserable with red itchy skin, biting at her paws.  We tried eliminating different ingredients.  Turns out chicken was the culprit in this dog’s case.  We switched to a beef and sometimes fish-based food and her paw biting slowly stopped.

Try a limited ingredient food in order to help isolate a meat protein allergy.

Once you discover what the allergen is, make sure your dog’s treats are also free of it.  You might consider treats such as carrots, green peppers or other veggies.  Some dogs love vegetables and other will just give you the stink eye when you offer them.

Some dogs seem to be more susceptible to food allergies.  Breeds including bulldogs, dachshunds, German Shepherds, Golden Retriever, Yorkshire Terriers, Pitbulls, Cocker Spaniels and West Highland Terriers seem to be affected most often.  Pitbulls particularly seems to suffer from skin issues related to allergies.

Indoor Environmental Allergens

Just as pollens and grasses can cause your dog to have an allergic reaction and skin problems, indoor irritants can also cause problems.  

Things That Cause Dog Skin Problems In Your Home

  • Detergents – Wash your dog’s bedding and any item he is in contact with, using a hypoallergenic detergent.  In fact, it could be beneficial to wash your own clothing with a non-allergenic detergent.
  • Do not use fabric softener on your dog’s items.  These wool dryer balls are a great environmentally-friendly way to soften your clothes without chemicals.  They leave the clothes smelling naturally fresh, no static and tumbles them well to help eliminate wrinkles.  They are quite economical too as they last for several years before needing to be replaced.  Regular dryer sheets will leave a film on your clothes, causing your towels to be less absorbent.
  • Avoid chemical-laden air fresheners.  The unnatural scents and propellants can cause respiratory problems for your dog as well as for yourself.  I thought I was safer with the plug-ins since they had no propellants.  WRONG!  I unplugged the one in my bedroom when vacuuming and set it on my dresser.  When I remembered it later that day, this is what I gound.  The white area is my dresser.  The brown is after it dissolved the paint where it was sitting.  If it dissolves paint, I sure don’t want my dog to breathe the air it scents.  Here are some natural ways to scent your home.
  • Use natural shampoos when bathing your dog.  Fleas and ticks can be controlled without harmful chemicals.  Check out these helpful ideas.

We may not be able to protect our dogs from all skin problems but by learning the causing and taking preventive measures, we can get them under control.  Identify the cause, use the right products, eliminate known allergens and parasites and most important of all, take your dog to his veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis.  By doing these things, you will stay on top of your dog’s skin problems.  And, you will sleep better without all the scratching, biting and licking.


Hypoallergenic Dogs – Dogs for Allergy Sufferers

Hypoallergenic dogs or non-shedding dogs are terms used to describe a breed of dog that is safer for people with allergies. No dog breed is 100% allergy-free.

Highly allergic people may always be affected to some degree, while those with mild allergies may tolerate specific dogs quite well.

The allergen for most people is not the hair but the protein formed by the dog’s saliva and dander. Protein production can differ between dogs so each dog can affect allergic individuals to varying degrees.

Even hypoallergenic dog breeds that are considered non-shedding, have saliva and dander. And the reality is that all dogs shed somewhat, including non-shedding dogs.

Non-allergenic dog breeds are a good starting point in your quest for the best dog breeds for allergy sufferers. You won’t be able to stop dog shedding entirely. Just impossible; we all lose some of our hair and your dog is no different. And there is still the dander and saliva to contend with.

Three Factors That Make a Dog Worse for Allergy Sufferers

  1. The size of the dog can be a factor because the largest dogs have the most body surface, thus more area to contain dander. Smaller dogs naturally have less dander. A small hairless dog conditioned with oils will have the least amount of allergens.
  2. Dogs spending much time outside can pick up outdoor pollens and other allergens, bringing them back in on their feet and fur.
  3. Dogs that bark a lot can disperse saliva and shake off dander. Opt for a calm dog.

To start you in the right direction in making the best possible choice, we have compiled a list of those considered to be hypoallergenic dog breeds.

Small Hypoallergenic Dogs

 Medium Hypoallergenic Dogs

Large Hypoallergenic Dogs

These are but a few of the dogs thought to be typically hypoallergenic.  Others include: Bichon Frise, Brussels Griffon, Bedlington Terrier, Barbet, American Hairless Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Chinese Crested and the Irish Water Spaniel.

Are the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Hypoallergenic?

The answer to this is, maybe.  These combo dogs are as cute as can be.  They combine the intelligence of the Poodle with the agreeable, friendly nature of the Labrador Retriever or the Golden Retriever.  This makes for a wonderful family dog and a fantastic kids’ dog.  Whether they are hypoallergenic or not can depend on whether they are first-generation or beyond.  It can be questionable with first-generation breeding.  Ask questions of the breeder.

Try to introduce the new dog into your home on a trial basis, carefully monitoring any effects on the allergic person.

Once you have chosen from among the non-allergic dog breeds and determined that dog fits in with your lifestyle, there are things you can do to help reduce allergens caused by the dog.

Allergies to Dogs do Not Mean You Can’t Have a Dog

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Grooming Your Dog to Lessen Dog Hair Allergies

  • Bathe your dog several times a month, using a mild shampoo.  I use and really like Jax and Daisy Dog Shampoo.  Not only is this shampoo mild; it also has anti-itch components, to help keep your dog from scratching so much.  Scratching naturally disperses dander into the air, creating more allergy opportunities.


  • Brush your dog regularly to eliminate excess hair before it gets the opportunity to float into the air.  Use a grooming tool specially made to get the hair loose and removed.  I love this Pet Grooming Brush.  Works great on my three furry creatures to remove the hair before it makes it’s way to the furniture and floors and the air I breathe.

Selecting The Right Furniture Can Help With Dog Hair Shedding

Learn to recognize furniture that is best if you have a shedding dog.  Leather, vinyl or similar smooth surface furniture is more dog hair friendly.  A damp cloth will easily remove any dog hair left behind.  Fabric upholstered furniture allows the hair to become trapped within the fibers, making it more difficult to remove.

For help with eliminating dog hair in your home see How to Get Rid of Dog Hair.

Dog Training Can be The Best Ally For People Allergic to Dogs

Dog training may seem a bit of a surprise element when dealing with the topic of dogs and allergies.  However, it is quite an important piece of the allergy solution.  Training your dog to stay off the furniture and off of his humans will help to keep the hair off of you.  I say this with a bit of guilt since I am totally guilty of allowing my dogs to jump all over me and lounge on the furniture.  I do have a sensitivity to the dog hair and dander but not severe,  If your allergies are more advanced, you may want to do as I suggest and not as I do.

Best Hypoallergenic Dogs For Kids

The best hypoallergenic dog breed for kids is dependent on the size of the children and the lifestyle of your family. Smaller dogs should not generally be in a home with toddlers as the child can easily fall on the dog resulting in injury to the dog.  With smaller kids, it may be a better choice to opt for a medium-sized dog amongst the kid-friendly dog breeds that don’t shed.  All the dogs listed below are generally good with kids although each dog is an individual, with his own personality.

Top 3 Medium Sized Dogs That Don’t Shed

  • Bedlington Terrier – These good-natured, intelligent dogs resemble wooly lambs.  The Bedlington Terrier is a light shedder, resulting in fewer allergy problems for his people.  As in the case of most terriers, the Bedlington should get some exercise each day to work off the energy his active mind requires.  If you are a working family, be sure to walk or play actively with the dog each day, which shouldn’t be a problem with kids in the family.
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier – Another great terrier breed that is kid-friendly, happy dog and does not shed.  True to the terrier nature, the Soft-Coated Wheaten is intelligent and active, requiring some vigorous exercise or activity each day.
  • Portuguese Water Dog – A great choice for allergy-prone people, the Portuguese Water Dog was the breed chosen by the Obamas for their allergic daughter.  Bet they did some research! A highly active dog, the Portuguese Water Dog does require vigorous daily exercise.  An active family would be best for this dog.  Hikes in the woods or trips to the lake would be this dog’s dream. This dog generally loves kids and it’s tightly curled hair is non-shedding.  A water lover, the Portuguese Water Dog loves to go for a swim or wade.  Mud puddles will usually suffice, so watch out when it rains.  Bet the kids AND the dog would love that!

Top 3 Small Dogs That Don’t Shed

  • Bichon Frison – This hypoallergenic dog is a tiny ball of white fluff that is affectionate and cheerful.  The Bichon tends to be fearless as many smaller dogs are, not appearing totally aware of their tiny structure.  A playful, gentle dog, he will do better in a home without very small kids due to the possibility of his being hurt while dancing under the kids as they run and play.
  • Toy Poodle – The Toy Poodle is exceptionally smart and active.  Extremely loyal to his owner, as are all sizes of Poodles,  he will want to be by your side and can become your child’s best friend.  This dog requires regular exercise to keep him happy and should be professionally groomed regularly to keep his hair mat-free.  The Poodle comes in a Medium and Standard (large) size also, so can be a great non-shedding, hypoallergenic dog for people who want a bit more size in their dog.
  • Yorkshire Terrier – The Yorkie has long, silky, brow-silver hair that does not shed.  He will need to be brushed regularly to keep his hair tangle-free.  This tiny dynamo is fearless, playful and affectionate.  Walks and a little play with a ball or squeaky toy will keep him happy.

Top 3 Large Dogs That Don’t Shed

  • Standard Schnauzer – A family-protective, hypoallergenic dog that is highly intelligent and active, requiring an active family that will play with and walk him regularly. 
  • Standard Poodle – Like the smaller poodles, the Standard Poodle is smart and active.  He will enjoy long walks and daily romps with the kids.
  • Afghan Hound – The Afghan Hound is a gorgeous dog with long, flowing hair.  The most well-known color is blonde with a black mask on the face area.  There is also a black or silver coloration. Although beautiful, this non-shedding dog also tends to be headstrong and loves to run.  Unfortunately, not known to listen well, the Afghan Hound often chooses to continue running, even when called.  For this reason, you will need a sturdy fence for this breed.  It would be best if your kids are responsible and not likely to leave the gate or door open.

Most all non-shedding or hypoallergenic dogs require regular grooming, including bathing, brushing and trims to keep the hair mat-free.  Some of the dogs, though technically non-shedding, have double coats that will shed and mat under the topcoat. This makes them more likely to tangle.  

Allergies to dogs do not necessarily mean you can’t have a dog as part of your family.  It may take some extra effort on your part, beginning with selecting the best dog for allergy sufferers.  Once you have your best dog, good grooming habits, wise furniture selection, and proper cleaning will help to assure you have a long and happy life with your dog.

REMEMBER:  Most of the hypoallergenic dogs listed are purebred but you do not need to buy from a breeder or pet store.  Shelters across the country are full of these non-shedding dogs.  Visit one in your area and spend time with the dogs to find your new best hypoallergenic friend.

Why Do Dogs Do That?


Why do dogs do that is an often asked question. They have an innate ability to perplex us with their quirky habits.

Some things they do make us laugh, such as chasing their tails or turning several times before lying down. Some irritate us, such as barking incessantly and some simply disgust us such as eating poop.

We often expect our dogs to act and do what we would do when after all they ARE dogs and they simply will do what dogs do however hard that is to understand sometimes.

That’s not to say that they don’t have perfectly good reasons (usually) for their 6 odd dog habits. By trying to understand some of these reasons, it will help us peacefully co-exist. Just don’t let them kiss you in the mouth!
We all love our dogs, they bring us happiness and comfort that other humans just don’t seem to be able to give. They never talk back, they love us no matter how homely we tend to be looking that day, and best of all they always let us call the shots. But even with all of their amazing qualities, sometimes our furry friends have some pretty interesting quirks. Here you will learn why your dog does some of the embarrassing things that he does.

Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

Tail chasing is common in puppies as a form of play. It is less-common in older dogs. Sometimes older dogs chase their tails because they are bored and it is a way to relieve the tension. Some dogs don’t seem to realize the tail is attached to their bodies ad see it as a fun object to chase but rarely catch. Tail chasing can also be a symptom of worms, fleas or anal sac problems. In some dogs, tail chasing becomes a compulsive disorder. If tail chasing persists, consult your veterinarian to rule out a medical/psychological disorder.

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from a link on this site, I will earn a small commission.  This helps to support the site and keep it going but you will not pay a penny extra.

Safari Flea Comb with a Double Row of TeethNatural Flea & Tick Shampoo Bar for Dogs & Cats to Kill & Repel Fleas 4.3oz Bar

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

It doesn’t matter if it comes from a baby, a cat, or a wild animal, dogs love to eat poop. This is not only one of their least attractive qualities, it is also one of their most embarrassing. But as it turns out, your dog is actually a bit of a genius. For instance, take that kitty litter box that your dog cannot keep his paws off of. Cat food actually contains different forms of protein and fats than dog food, so your pup is simply trying to get some more nutrients. The same goes for wild animals and humans, we all eat differently and your dog senses that. He is just trying to get a little taste of what he is missing.  Try switching to a better quality dog food to assure he is getting all the nutrients he needs. If your dog starts eating his own feces though, that could be a sign of a problem and he should see a vet.

Orijen Acana Regionals Grasslands Dry Dog Food, 25 lb

Why Do Dogs Roll On Their Food?

Once again, what might seem silly to us is actually smart for our canines. Usually a dog will roll on its food as a way to mark it. It tells the other dogs in the area that food has been spoken for, (it may not always work, but your dog thinks it is worth a shot). If you only have one dog in your home, there are two reasons they are likely to do this:

  • There are other pets in the house they are protecting their food from. By rubbing against or rolling on the food, they are putting the scent of the food on themselves so other dogs will realize the food belongs to them.
  • Possibly they were previously in a home with other dogs and picked up the trait there from the other dogs.

Why Do Dogs Drink Out Of The Toilet?

Although it may not seen so to us, dogs perceive toilet bowl water as fresh, cold and constantly replenished. And, it’s at a convenient height for larger dogs and something they don’t have to share with their smaller four-legged brothers and sisters.

Why Do Dogs Circle Before Lying Down?

There has never been any ‘official’ evidence on this ritual, but almost all dogs do it, even wild ones. The one thing that most doggie experts agree on is that this is a trait that has been around for centuries. The two most popular reasons they could be doing this are:

  • They might be trying to stay safe. Back in the days when dogs first came on the scene the grass and vegetation was pretty high, so they would circle to pat down the grass, this way the grass would not move if the dog moved, so there was less chance of an enemy finding an unsuspecting sleeping dog.
  • It might have something to do with the wind. By nature dogs are keen on direction and they always like to know where they are. So they circle to try to find the direction of the breeze and then they lie down so that they can face the breeze. The only exception to this are the dogs that live in extremely cold weather, like sled dogs, they will actually circle to make sure they are pointing away from the cold wind when they are lying down.

Why Do Dogs Roll On Their Back?

Dogs seem to get great joy from rolling on their back, but is that the reason dogs roll on their back, for the pure pleasure of it?  There could be more to it.

You let your dog outside and they roll on their back in the grass, wiggly-scooting and trying to cover every inch of his body.

One theory is that when a dog rolls on his back in the grass, it is an inherited trait from his wold-like ancestors.  Wolfs roll in interesting smells, particularly covering their face and neck area. They then take that smell back to the pack to share the new odor.

Additionally, dogs roll on their back in grass or dirt areas to cover their own smell, in hopes of going undetected by predators.  This may also be an inherited trait from their ancestors.

Sometimes dogs roll in the grass in an attempt to get rid of the “clean smell” after a bath.  Dogs have an intense sense of smell and while you may find a perfumed bath pleasing, he could find it offensive.

Itchiness can be a reason for your dog to roll in the grass.  Although they can scratch much of their body with their paws of teeth, the back is out of reach.  Could be a normal itch like we all have but it could be something more.  Make sure your dog is on a good flea preventative.  Also, check for dry skin or a rash.  I use Jax and Daisy Shampoo and Lotion to help alleviate these problems.

Of course, the answer to ‘Why does my dog roll in the grass”, could be as simple as, it feels good!

Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other’s Butts?

There are no words to describe the humiliation when you take your pooch to the vet and they ‘make friends’ with the canine across the room by sniffing their bootie. There is a part of you that wants to make him stop, but there is another part of you that feels like you have just stepped into some kind of doggie mating ritual. But yet again your pup is showing, in this weird and awkward of ways, that he is much smarter than you could ever imagine.

  • When they first meet, they sniff each other in order to ‘learn’ the other one’s scent – remember, dogs rely on scent more than anything else, so doing this with a dog that they like will allow them to recognize that dog in the future.
  • If they know the dog, they will sniff that dogs butt to see what kind of a mood they are in – no one wants a disgruntled playmate, and it is much easier to sniff their backside than it is to get bitten. It also gives the dog an indication where the other animal has been and what he has eaten.

Why Do Dogs Dig?

  • Nesting – Dogs have an instinctual instinct to nest, possibly from early days when nesting down into the earth helped to provide protection from predators.
  • Curiosity – Dogs have a real need to know what is happening, often on the other side of the fence. They will dig at a fence line in an attempt to get to the other side. I think they really believe the saying about the ‘grass being greener on the other side’.
  • Heat – Dirt provides a cooling environment for your dog. In the heat of the summer, you will likely find your dog digging into the earth to provide a cool bed for himself. Be sure to provide him with a shady spot to lie down and a continual supply of fresh, clean and cool water. Keep him inside dring extremely hot weather. Remember, if you are unfomfortable in the heat, he is too!

    iMounTEK Ultra Hygienic Dog Pet Water Fountain With 41

  • Boredom – Dogs require constant stimulation and if they don’t have it, they often will dig, simply to amuse themselves. Supply your dog with stimulating toys and set aside time each day to play and romp with your dog. Dogs are social animals and need your companionship and attention.

    TRIXIE Pet Products Flip Board, Level 2

So the next time you find yourself red with embarrassment wondering ‘why do dogs do that’, especially my dog? just remember there are very good reasons (at least to them).

Why Does My Dog Do That?

Dogs are unusual, perplexing and always entertaining creatures.  Often it is a mystery as to why they do the things they do.  So first we make sure there is no underlying health reasons for their actions.  Then we simply attempt to stop the more annoying or disgusting habits.  If this fails, we just accept and enjoy the dog for who he is, faults and all.  After all, on close inspection, can we really claim to be perfect?  We all have habits and annoyances, animal or human.

Prevent Your Dog From Getting Lost

Prevent your dog from getting lost to avoid the heartache.  A surprising number of dogs are lost everyday as the result of avoidable or careless errors on the part of their humans.  Dogs are much like two year old children who need protecting.  Knowing ways to protect and safeguard your pet can help to prevent your dog from getting lost.

Helpful Items To Prevent Your Dog From Getting Lost

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from a link on this site, I will earn a small commission.  This helps to support the site and keep it going but you will not pay a penny extra.


Dog Harnesses:
This is a great harness – strong, durable and has the extra advantage of being illuminated to be seen easily by cars at night.

Indoor Dog Gate:
This gate pressure mounts for ease of set-up and take down. Extra tall for larger dog breeds.

Pet GPS Tracker:
This tracker is affordable and rates highly in tracking your dog.

Pet ID Tags:
Important to have your pet tagged with all his info. for a safe return home. There are many well-priced options here.

Tips to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Lost

Get Your Dog Microchipped

Above all else, when you first get your dog, get him microchipped.  This is a simple procedure done in your Veterinarian’s office.  A teeny tiny transponder, about the size of a grain of rice,  is injected beneath the dog’s skin between the shoulder blades.  A number is assigned to each chip and it will be registered with your name and information when you activate it online.  The chip itself is dormant but when a special handheld scanner is passed over it, a signal is activated to transmit the information assigned to that chip.

Price is very reasonable to do this.  We decided to register our dog’s chips through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which charges $17.50 for a lifetime enrollment.  No matter who you register through, the information is fed into a national database.  If a shelter picks up your lost dog, they will scan and then notify you that they have them.  If someone finds your dog, they can take them to any veterinarian or shelter to be scanned.

Be sure to keep your information updated with your registry as to any change of address or phone numbers.  According to the ASPCA, dogs without microchips are returned home 21.9% of the name, while dogs with microchips are returned home 52.2% of the time.  Further, the ASPCA states that in cases where microchipped dogs could not be reunited with their owners, it was usually due to the chip never being registered or the information not updated.  Although microchipping will not actually prevent your dog from getting lost, it will help to get him home quicker.

Get Your Dog an ID Tag

ID tags are another item that will not actually prevent your dog from getting lost but helps to get them home sooner.  The ID tags should not be used in place of the microchip, but rather, in addition to it.  Tags can fall off or become unreadable over time.  The nice thing about tags, providing they are readable, is that anyone that finds your dog will be able to notify you immediately.

Keep Your Dog Confined When Outside

Your dog should never be allowed to be outside without being inside a fenced area or on a lead.  Make sure your fence is high enough and the gates are secure.  Regularly check the fence to insure it is in geed repair and that your dog has not dug any escape routes under the fence.   While I prefer a fence to a tieout, if the latter is necessary, make sure it is the proper strength for your dog and that it is in good shape.  Don’t leave your dog tied out unsupervised, as it is too easy for him to become tangled or hung up.  When your dog is outside in the evening, be sure to have the area well-lit.  This can help to deter potential dog-nappers.  The stealing of dogs is a very real problem.  We talk more about preventing your dog from being stolen here.

Use Gates Inside Your Home

Using gates between doorways, especially in ares that lead to outside door, can help prevent your dog from getting lost.  Many times I’ve heard about children carelessly opening doors or leaving doors ajar, only to have their beloved pet make a getaway.

Use Safe Collars and Leashes When Walking Your Dog

Make sure your dog’s collar fits properly, not too tight but not too loose.  I actually prefer a harness to a leash as it is harder for the dog to wiggle out of and does not pull on the dog’s neck when walking.  The leash should be a proper size in accordance with your dog’s weight and strength.

Sometimes, even with all your best precautions, your dog may become lost.  Here are some great ideas to Help Find A Lost Dog.


How to find your lost dog is a question no one wants to have a need for.  Realizing your dog is missing has got to be one of the most heart-stopping moments in dog ownership.  Suddenly, all manner of horrible thoughts go through your mind.  Is he hurt?  Did someone steal him?  Is he afraid?  All, understandable, but the most crucial question at the moment is how do you find your lost dog.

Steps to Find Your Lost Dog

  • First step in finding your lost dog is to gather up recent pictures of your dog.  Make quick copies, either on your home printer or at a copy shop.

  • Go around your neighborhood, knocking on doors and showing your dog’s pictures to see if anyone has seen him.  Leave your contact information in case of future sightings.  Leave some copies of your pictures and ask the neighbors to share them with others.


  • Post some of the copied pictures on trees and utility poles in your area.  Later, after following some of the other steps, go back and place colorful poster board behind the pictures to help draw attention to them.


  • Give a copy of the picture to your mail carrier and ask her to keep a lookout.  Do the same for UPS and FedEx drivers.  These people are all around your area regularly.


  • Call your microchip company, if your dog is chipped and ask them to make note that your dog is missing.


  • Call the local animal control, humane society, police department, fire department and veterinarian offices to let them know your dog is missing.  Often, if someone picks up a lost dog, they will call or take the dog to one of these places.  Take your pictures to these places also.


  • Visit the animal control and humane society in-person.  Mistakes can and do happen.  When a dog is brought in or picked up as a stray, the shelter workers will do a “best guess” breed decision on the dog they take in.  So, if your dog is a Lab mix and the shelter thinks their new resident is a Pit mix, when you call in you could be mistakenly told that your dog is not there.  While there, ask to post a picture of your dog on their bulletin board also.


  • Post your dog’s picture and information on Social Media sites.  Do this on the lost pet group boards as well as your personal pages.  Ask your friends on these pages to share on their pages.


  • Organize a search party.  Ask all your friends, both on and off social media to come out and scour the area, starting with the neighborhoods around your house and working out to areas further away.  Travel by both car and on foot.  Call out your dog’s name and also any words familiar to your lost dog, such as “cookie”, “treat” “bye bye” etc.  Taking another dog with you can sometimes help as dogs have a very keen sense of smell and the dog could help locate your lost dog.

  • Leave some of your familiar smelling clothing, blankets, towels, etc. on your property or in any areas where your lost dog may have been spotted.  Often, when a dog is lost, they will gravitate to familiar smells.  Check these areas frequently to see if your dog has returned.


  • Finally, keep up these steps over and over.  Don’t give up.  Finding a lost dog takes effort and your dog depends on you to be there for him.  There have been many reports of lost dogs being found weeks, months and years later.  Following these steps to find your lost dog as quickly as possible after he is missing is your best chance of finding your dog and insuring a happy homecoming.


Dog Foot Problems You Need To Take Care Of Now

Dog foot problems can become a real pain in the foot for your dog.  And, it can become a real pain for you, his caretaker, both to figure out the exact nature of his paw problems as well as the dog paw treatment to help the situation.

You may suddenly notice that your dog is limping or biting at his foot.    Let’s break down the most common dog foot problems and the solutions to them.  Sit down with the dog, his foot resting in your lap.  Now, dogs are not known to be happy about having their feet touched.  Start by gently stroking his leg, close to the foot area, speaking soothingly to him.  When he seems comfortable, venture onto the top of his foot, still speaking softly to him.

*This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from a link on this site, I will earn a small commission.  This helps to support the site and keep it going but you will not pay a penny extra.

Common Dog Foot Problems:

    • Spread his toes slightly apart, inspecting the nails to assure none are broken or bleeding.  Dogs will often catch their nails in carpets, deck boards, etc., causing them to rip.  If this happens, you will need to stop the bleeding with a styptic powder, clean and apply antiseptic ointment.  Then, a Veterinarian appointment is in order to assure nail does not become infected.  Also, if the nail is still attached, it may need to either be bandaged or removed.
    • Check between the paw pads for any objects that may be lodged there, such as: sand spurs, thistles, stones, grass.  If you discover something there and there are no open wounds or abrasions around the area, you can simply remove it with a long tweezers and your dog will likely run off happily on his way.  If the object has caused an irritation, clean it with cool water and apply an antibiotic ointment.

      Miracle Care Kwik Stop Gel swab – 423601Rapid Vitality Stainless Steel Slant and Pointed Tweezer Set, 2-PackSynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Spray for Dogs and Cats; 8 fl. oz.

  • Examine the bottoms of your dog’s sore paw pads.  Is the surface rough and dry, cracked or bleeding? Weather is often the culprit.  Hot, rough pavement in summer can burn and irritate the dog’s paws, causing dog paw problems.  Unless there is a burn, which will need an immediate Vet’s attention, wet a washcloth with cool water and place on the pad several times.  The dry, cracked paw pad can then be soothed with a cream to soften the skin.  Winter can be equally bad for your dog and cause issues for your dog’s paw pads.  Very cold weather can cause frostbite and salt used to de-ice your walk is very irritating to the dog’s pads.



These are the most common dog foot problems.  Others, such as fungal and bacteria infections will require a definite trip to your veterinarian.  Then, there is the problem of allergies which plague many dogs and often goes overlooked. Chewing of the foot is a common sign of allergies in a dog.  For the scoop on signs your dog has allergies, check out this page.  Or to learn how to protect dog paws, head on over to this page.