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Dog Muscle and Weight: How to Get Your Dog to Bulk Up

If you’re among the many dog owners trying to help your dog gain weight, it can be a challenge to know how to approach this goal in a healthy way. There are a wide variety of reasons that a dog might be underweight, and what constitutes a healthy weight differs from dog to dog. It’s helpful to do as much research as possible in the early stages of your efforts to bulk up your dog and build your knowledge about your dog’s ideal weight from credible, vetted sources, including your veterinarian.

An important question to reflect on is why your dog needs to gain weight. Are they underweight due to a previous hardship? Do you have an older dog that needs to maintain a degree of muscle mass to keep full mobility? Or are you the proud owner of a new puppy that you hope to show or have compete professionally one day? All of these and more are valid reasons for wanting to help your dog bulk up, but all require slightly different approaches.

At Bully Max, we’re committed to just one thing: the health and happiness of our pooch partners. Start your exploration of dog muscle and weight here and read on to learn more about the different reasons that dogs might need to gain weight, how to accomplish your pet’s weight gain safely, and what to do if your dog has recently experienced unexplained weight loss.

How to Tell If Your Dog Needs to Gain Weight

A responsible dog owner should not attempt to make a dog gain weight without a verifiable and vet-approved reason for doing so. The first step in knowing what a healthy weight is for your dog is a visit to your veterinarian. The vet can give you medical specifics on why your dog may be underweight, whether underlying health problems are putting your dog at any kind of risk, and how to manage body weight for older dogs. 

The following list provides a few scenarios where it might be advisable to help your dog gain weight:

rottweiler dog

  • You found your dog and are unsure what their life was like before. If you have found a skinny dog and decide to take them in, you will want to bring them to a veterinarian right away. Dogs that have been on the streets or otherwise not fed properly may be battling a variety of health issues, like intestinal worms or a loss of appetite that is impacting their muscle mass. A vet can outline a nutrition plan that includes quality food to help your dog get to their ideal weight.
  • Your pooch has protruding bones. Although we know it sounds obvious, it can sometimes be hard to tell what is normal for rib or hip visibility for different dog breeds. Older dogs will sometimes lose weight, much like people do, as they lose muscle mass with age. Some thinner breeds, such as greyhounds, are biologically designed to be streamlined. However, no dog of any age or breed should be displaying ribs that you can fit your fingers past or hips that jut out from the rest of the dog’s hindquarter body mass. Waists should not be tucked behind your dog’s ribs, and there should be at least a half-inch to an inch of body fat between any outer bone and your pet’s skin. 
  • Your dog’s skin is sagging. Skin tells a story when it comes to our estimation of healthy dogs. Sagging skin in most adult dogs is an indication that your dog may not be at a healthy weight or that other medical conditions are affecting your dog’s ability to get the most out of mealtime.

7 Tips to Help Your Dog Gain Weight and Muscle

Whatever the reason for your dog to be underweight, there are a few ways to help them get to their ideal weight. Your dog’s health is very important, and we have outlined a few tried-and-true tips that can help you put the right kind of weight on your dog, no matter what has kept or taken it off before. 

Consider a High-Quality, High-Calorie Dog Food

Your dog’s diet is the first building block to their health and well-being. This includes their physical appearance with regard to muscle tone, girth, and ideal weight. When it comes to gaining weight, a popular option is to add more calories to your dog’s diet through additional small meals. 

However, the key is to not add calories for the sake of calories. While anyone can quickly pick out a dog food that claims to be high calorie, many forget to check the label and might not notice the kibble is actually filled with fillers and additives that outweigh what little vital protein may actually be present.

The reality is that helping your dog get to their optimal level of weight and health is far less about the amount of food given as the kind. Look for a brand like Bully Max that can increase your dog’s caloric intake through good carbs and no unhealthy additives. Ingredients like brown rice and chicken meal will help your dog build body weight in the best way.

Add Vitamins and Supplements to Your Dog’s Diet

As a dog owner, you could be feeding your beloved pet the best dog food in the world and still not see the kind of muscle mass development that you might wish. This is because it takes more than high-protein kibble to build muscle. Ingredients like amino acids and probiotics that you can find in the right muscle-building supplements can help fill in any gaps in your dog’s nutrition plan.

Many times, underweight dogs come with health issues that have been exacerbated by a lack of mineral content and vitamin-rich elements in their diet. If you adopted a skinnier pitbull, for instance, you might be tempted to rectify any body weight issues they might have by feeding highly caloric human food. While there is no doubt that our bullies love tasty human-grade treats like peanut butter, the truth is that your pet’s overall health and ability to build muscle will be much more enhanced by a more dog-centric health powder designed to meet your dog’s unique nutritional needs. 

Look for ingredients like vitamin E, flaxseed, folic acid, and other enzymes to ensure that your pooch is getting all the essential supports necessary for total health, inside and out. Also, check labels to see if the products in question are recommended by veterinarians or, better yet, if veterinarians had a hand in developing the blend.

Ensure Your Dog Gets Proper Exercise

german shepherd running

Yes, what your dog eats is critically important, but the food factor is far from the only metric that you should use to maintain or increase their weight. Your dog’s health is as wrapped up in how much they exercise as it is in how many high-calorie meals are available to them in a given day. Dog owners who want to put a healthy weight on their dogs must realize that lean muscle and increased overall bulk are natural byproducts of efficient and healthy exercise.

We know, you are probably thinking: “My dog goes through toys like there’s no tomorrow, though! How do I exercise them properly?” To this, we reply: Not all dog toys are created equally. If you’ve got a power chewer, Bully Max may have just the ball for your “good boy” or “good girl.” Look for vet-designed balls and toys made of more indestructible materials and designed for the direct improvement of mental and physical health. Toys like the ever-popular spring pole allow your pet to get a full cardio workout, have a blast for hours, reduce stress, and build muscle mass — all while you do little but enjoy the show!

Bear in mind that you don’t even have to buy special toys to make sure that your special friend gets the exercise they need. Just invest in a heavy-duty resistance leash with a bungee element and get out there for a little tug-of-war or a nice walk with your furry family member. The goal is just to engage your pet in daily exercise as you work toward building their optimal health.

Encourage a Stress-Free Environment

Some dogs can become picky eaters when they’re stressed out, so another thing you’ll want to think about when it comes to helping your skinny dog gain weight is to ensure the process is as stress-free as possible. 

Perhaps you recently adopted your dog. The transition into your home might be causing added stress. Consider working with a trainer to create a plan for reducing stress in your dog’s life and develop a consistent routine that includes high-quality dog food and proper exercise so that your dog feels more at ease. Life should be enjoyable for your pet, including at mealtime.

Be Mindful of Challenges for Underweight and Medically Compromised Dogs

Healthy dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s crucial that dog owners recognize where their pets currently are, where they would like them to be (and why), and whether that goal is responsibly attainable. 

For example, it’s both unfair and unrealistic to expect older dogs to build muscle the same way that a young puppy would. Even dogs in their prime may have had their overall health compromised before your entry into their lives and may still be in active recuperation from dietary stresses you never witnessed. 

Additionally, just like people, dogs can suffer from underlying medical conditions that may lead to everything from obesity to heart arrhythmias. Beyond an attentive focus on a reputable nutrition plan, be sure that regular trips to the veterinarian are a part of Fido’s life, no matter what stage of it he’s currently enjoying. This will not only help you keep better tabs on your dog’s health as a whole but also give you access to premium insights on how best to support their ability to build muscle.

If You Have a Puppy, Get on a Healthy Track as Quickly as Possible

While there’s no denying that puppies bring immeasurable energy that demands an equally high-energy food source, in reality, this only means that as soon as your puppy is eating solid food, they should be enjoying the same food and supplement combination as any of your adult dogs.

To avoid giving your young puppy an upset stomach, give them a greater number of small meals throughout the day rather than fewer large meals. Look for high-protein performance chews and other fun ways to get your puppy to take their vitamins and remember that high-velocity exercise is the way these wee ones build muscle, too. Find a good, strong tug toy and let them go to town as they increase muscle mass while bonding with you.

Work With Your Veterinarian to Monitor Your Dog’s Weight Gain

Regardless of which option you choose to help your dog gain more weight, dog owners need to monitor their pet’s progress over the course of several weeks, checking in with the veterinarian periodically as needed for further input. 

You should expect the contents of your dog’s diet to change over the course of that weight-restorative time, as well. The addition of supplements that contain amino acids, enzymes, and probiotics may cause it to seem like your dog bulks up more in the last two weeks of an initial nutrition plan than in the beginning. This is all very commonplace, as your dog’s metabolism adjusts to regular feedings of high-quality dog food.

Bully Max Is Here to Help Your Dog Gain Weight in a Healthy Way

The right combination of food and exercise can help your dog gain weight safely. Just make sure you’re checking in with your veterinarian periodically and encouraging a stress-free environment so that your dog has the best chances of successful weight gain. 

Bully Max believes in the continuous and active support of healthy growth in dogs of all ages and abilities. Check out our complete line of muscle-building products when it comes to safely bulking up your best friend!

How to Find the Best Food for Your Pitbull: 4 Things to Consider

You might think that counting carbs or adhering to a high-protein diet is just for human athletes. Not true! Our pitbulls also benefit greatly from a high-quality dog food regimen full of antioxidants and virtually grain-free. Whether you are the proud parent of a petite pitbull puppy or are looking to help your four-legged friend build muscle, you want your dog’s diet to contain as few byproducts as possible to help them maintain a healthy weight through all of their life stages.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at why a balanced diet is important for your pitbull and how to find the best food to add to their overall nutrition plan. 

Why You Should Pay Attention to Your Pitbull’s Diet

While it may seem impossible to believe that our athletic pitbull partners are prone to a number of health issues, some of these issues can be mitigated by a proper diet. The following are common pitbull health concerns that can be managed or avoided by paying close attention to your dog’s diet:

black pitbull dog

  • Volvulus: This often-fatal ailment that occurs when the stomach fills with gas or liquid has been directly linked to allowing your pooch to overeat.
  • Allergies: Pitbulls are particularly prone to allergies. Dairy and wheat are the most common culprits, and ingestion of kibble that contains these ingredients can lead to ear infections, rashes, and a range of other undesirable skin-related symptoms.
  • Hip dysplasia: Like most large-breed dogs, pitbulls regularly suffer from hip dysplasia. Many pitbull owners may not realize that exercise and food brands that encourage lean muscle can all but eradicate this painful problem.

Older dogs can frequently be subject to debilitating cataracts that are due, in many cases, to high blood pressure and diabetes. By the same token, too much weight gain in pitbulls is linked to their heightened vulnerability to hypothyroidism, a digestive and metabolic disorder that can be sidestepped by keeping your pet at a reasonable body weight. 

The average weight for a pitbull can vary by height and proportions and whether there is any Staffordshire blood present. This makes it crucial for owners to recognize when their unique dogs have begun to gain weight and when they are clinically underweight.

Important Ingredients You Want in Your Pitbull’s Dog Food

Most pitbull owners are looking for a good dry dog food that packs a hefty dose of amino acids, healthy fats, and other protein sources. Whether you’re trying to help your pitbull gain muscle or maintain their current physique, you don’t want to read a label that makes chemical additives, preservatives, and fillers the primary source for nutrition. 

Instead, look for some of the ingredients listed below:

  • High-quality protein source: Chicken meal, for instance, offers nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
  • Healthy carbohydrates: Brown rice, for example, is a healthy high-calorie source.
  • Omega-3: This is a natural fatty acid that helps prevent arthritis.
  • Antioxidants: Vitamin E, such as that found in beets and kelp, is an antioxidant that helps protect your dog from free radicals.
  • Probiotics: Ensure these are in your dog food, as they foster proper gut health for your dog by balancing good bacteria in the digestive system.

Tips on How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Your Pitbull

A healthy diet is incredibly important for all dog breeds. When it comes to the best food for your pitbull, here are four things you’ll want to keep in mind. 

Read the Ingredient Label

This is a big one. When it comes to deciding on the best dog food for your pitbull, you want to be sure you read the ingredient label carefully. Dog food that is full of empty carbs, for instance, can actually cause your beloved pet to lose weight if the calories in question are nothing but the equivalent to canine junk food. Beyond taking a closer look at the specific ingredients included on the label, you’ll also want to see whether it’s clear the exact benefits of the specific ingredients. The more information you can gain from the label, the better. 

At Bully Max, we offer full label disclosure, meaning that every ingredient used is clearly stated on the label. 

Research the Brand

Another step you don’t want to skip is taking the time to research the brand of dog food. Does their website contain customer reviews? Do they provide additional resources to help keep your pitbull in the best possible shape? At Bully Max, not only do we share our customer reviews, but we also offer educational resources to help you know what’s best for both you and your dog.  

Make Sure Your Dog Food Can Grow With Your Pitbull

You’ll also want to look at the big picture when choosing the right dog food. You want a brand that offers different food options based on where your dog is at in their stage of life. For instance, pitbull puppies come with a whirlwind of happy energy that requires a diet full of quality proteins.

We offer multiple nutrition plans depending on pitbull’s stage of life. For instance, we can help pitbull puppies as young as four weeks old grow muscle mass and build immunities so that they have a better chance of avoiding unnecessary ailments as older dogs. Beyond diet, we also understand that a comprehensive nutritional plan should include some muscle-building toys, like a spring pole. From helping you choose the right ingredients to the best activities, our goal is to provide your pitbull with everything they need to thrive.

Consider Adding a Supplement to the Dog Food

Just like us, dogs need additional vitamins outside of what they derive from their everyday diets. A full and robust nutrition plan is never just about the food but also vitamin-rich, muscle-building supplements that can help small puppies grow or nourish underweight adult dogs back to full vitality. Look for ingredients like whey protein, beta carotene, and fish oil to ensure that your pitbull is getting a maximized intake of nutrients they need. 

There is a wide array of supplements out there to help your pitbull gain weight the healthy way while enhancing their coat and overall health. A product like Bully Max Total Health Powder takes a comprehensive, seven-in-one approach that relies on high-quality ingredients like flaxseed to lend your dog greater joint mobility, cardiovascular support, and increased digestive health. Dog owners can also look for supplemental nutrition that passes for “treats” with their dogs, like Bully Max Performance Chews. Get your dogs to eat their B vitamins and pea protein by encasing those essentials in a high-protein treat with a meaty flavor they’ll never know is not just a reward for being a “good boy!” or “good girl!”

It’s Never Just Dog Food to Us

Happy pitbull dog

As dog owners, it’s incumbent on us to pay as much attention to the well-being of our dog’s body as we do to their contentment and enjoyment of life. Quality dog food that provides a balanced diet and minimal preservatives is the least we owe our loyal pitbull family members. 

When it comes to maintaining optimal health for your pitbull, consider our line of high-quality dog food at Bully Max. We believe a dog’s health and longevity starts with high-quality ingredients that are grain-free and packed with health-boosting elements like glucosamine. For instance, Bully Max High contains more calories than any other dog food formula in its class. Working on a 30% protein and 20% fat dynamic, this high-quality dog food provides muscle-building proteins and probiotics, all provided in 100% natural, human-grade ingredients. 

Our dog food offers your pitbull only the calories they’ll use, so check out our full line of products and get your dog started on the path to better health today.

How to Build Muscle on Your Rottweiler

Rottweilers are big dogs, with males weighing upward of 130 pounds and females as much as 110 pounds. If you’re the proud owner of a Rottie, you know that big size is matched by big energy: These canines love to run around and play with their owners.

You want your dog to maintain its size and bulk without carrying excess fat. The solution? Help them build and maintain lean muscle mass. This guide explains how to safely and effectively build muscle on your Rottweiler dog.

Ensure Your Rottweiler Gets Their Exercise

Physical activity is important because it helps your dog burn off pent-up energy and prevents obesity. According to the American Kennel Club, obesity in dogs is linked to a slew of health problems, from an increased risk of arthritis to liver disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and more.

Rottweilers have naturally muscular physiques like many guard dogs, including boxers, bulldogs, Dobermans, and pit bulls. One of the most important things you can do to help your Rottweiler bulk up is to ensure they get sufficient physical activity.

Cardiovascular Exercises

Cardiovascular exercise boosts your dog’s heart and lung health. It also helps expend energy and burn calories, preventing unhealthy weight gain. It can further promote gastrointestinal regularity, boost the immune system, and regulate eating and sleeping patterns.

Sufficient exercise also keeps your dog entertained, preventing boredom. This helps stave off potential behavioral issues like nuisance barking or tearing up your furniture.

To get your dog moving, take them for walks, play with them outside, or have them run alongside you as you cycle. If you have a body of water nearby and your Rottie likes to take a dip, swimming is another option.

Muscle-Building Exercises

Muscle training should target the entire body, from the chest and shoulders to the haunches and back legs. You’ve probably seen dogs that appear overly bulky at the front. This is due to uneven training. It’s problematic, as it can cause balance issues and result in mobility problems, back pain, and hip issues.

Here are some activities you can do with your Rottweiler to boost muscle evenly:

  • Flirt pole: A flirt pole has a long handle with a toy or lure at the end. It’s like a giant cat toy. You move the lure in different directions and let your pup chase it. You can work different muscles in your dog’s body by having them go up stairs, run around poles, and jump over objects.
  • Fetch: Yes, even a simple game of fetch can help boost your Rottweiler’s muscles — if you add weight! Have your dog play fetch using a heavy object, like a plastic dumbbell or a water bottle filled with sand.
  • Tug of war: A sturdy rope is great for this resistance training activity. Encourage your Rottie to stay low to the ground as they pull. When they crouch, they work a different set of muscles in their legs than when moving forward.
  • Stair climbing: Going up and down stairs likewise requires your dog to make use of leg muscles they don’t normally put to use on flat ground. Going down stairs also enhances balance and core stability.
  • Squats: Have your dog repeatedly sit and stand to perform “doggy squats.” You can use treats to motivate them. Add resistance with a weighted vest. Just don’t add more than 10% of their overall body weight.
  • Spring pole: If you don’t have time or energy to invest in your Rottweiler’s workouts, a spring pole is a great solution. It consists of a spring connected to a rope you can hang from a beam or branch. This way, your pup can play tug of war solo.
  • Weight pulling: If you really want to amp up your dog’s muscles, you’ll have to add more resistance to their muscle-building workouts. Weight pulling is ideal. You put your dog in a specialized weight-pulling harness and then have them drag a weight behind them. Have them go 10 to 20 yards at most and then rest for two minutes before repeating. Make sure to build up weight gradually to avoid overexertion.

Rest Days

Just like humans, dogs need rest days if they’re getting a lot of exercise. Rest days give your Rottie’s body time to recover from workouts and allow muscle growth. A strength-training workout will cause small tears in the muscle fibers. When your dog rests, the muscles repair themselves and grow, adding bulk you’re hoping to achieve.

Rest days can also help prevent injuries related to excessive exercise. Rottweiler dogs are susceptible to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia and ACL damage. Before you start your pup on any new exercise routine, consult a veterinarian. This is especially important for older or overweight dogs, which increases the risk of joint problems.

Give Your Dog the Fuel They Need With High-Quality Food

Rottweilers are a hardworking breed, and they need plenty of energy to foster their physical activity. Food provides them the fuel they need for maximum performance. Diet helps repair and build tissues, including muscle fibers. A healthy diet also promotes shiny fur, supports healthy hormone regulation, and increases energy levels and immune function.

When planning your dog’s diet, consider factors like their current fitness level, age, and existing health problems. For example, if your dog is overweight, it may benefit from diet kibble. Here’s a generalized breakdown of dog caloric needs:

  • A healthy adult dog needs about 2,200 calories per day.
  • Pups that get a lot of physical activity may need up to 3,500 calories.
  • Less active dogs (like senior dogs that have slowed down) may need less: 1,800 calories a day will likely be sufficient.

So, just what should you be feeding your Rottie? Prioritize a high-protein diet since protein is the basic building block needed to build muscle. As a general rule of thumb, a dog should get 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day.

Don’t skimp on your pup’s food: Aim for the best dog foods. Bully Max offers high-protein dog food with a balance of 30% protein and 20% fat. This formula is designed to boost energy, alertness, and strength. These products are packed with healthy, natural ingredients and trusted by K-9 units, champion breeders, and vets alike.

Avoid giving your dog foods lacking in nutritional value — so-called “empty calories.” Table scraps are generally a no-no. Plus, many human foods are actually dangerous for dogs. Gnawing on a chicken or turkey drumstick can be a hazard if it splinters and cuts the delicate tissues inside your dog’s mouth, for example. Save the people food for people.

Finally, make sure your Rottweiler is getting sufficient fresh water as part of their diet. This prevents dehydration, which can lead to weight loss. In general, Rotties require about 20 to 40 milliliters of water per pound of body weight. Your dog will drink when it’s thirsty, so let them have as much water as they want to consume. 

Try Supplements to Build Muscle and Speed Post-Exercise Healing

Often, a standard dog food diet alone isn’t enough to give your Rottie the vitamins and minerals they need to grow and maintain muscle. In this case, supplements can help. You feed your dog supplements alongside their regular diet, giving them an added boost of nutrition in a small dose.

Bully Max supplements are veterinarian-formulated and all-natural. They are 100% safe and contain no harmful ingredients like steroids or creatine. With 19 ingredients, these supplements offer a healthy dose of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals — all the goods your Rottie needs to bulk up.

These supplements can further improve your pup’s mobility and flexibility, helping keep joints healthy as the dog gets older. They also speed recovery time after muscle-building workouts, keeping your dog’s muscle-growth momentum on track.

Bully Max Has the Key to Building Muscle on Your Rottweiler

As the above guide has hopefully made clear, there is no silver-bullet solution to building muscle on a Rottie. It requires a balanced approach combining diet, exercise, and supplements. In general, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian before making any major changes to any dog breed’s care plan.

Bully Max supplements and food are veterinarian-formulated and can serve as a critical part of your Rottweiler’s muscle growth. Bully Max offers free shipping to dog owners throughout the United States, plus a 30-day guarantee. If you don’t see a change in your dog’s appearance or energy levels, you can return the unused supplements and get your money back.

How to Help With Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation anxiety can be a big challenge. It’s natural for dogs to form an attachment to their owners, but that doesn’t mean they should turn into a basketcase or destroy the house every time you go somewhere without them.

Maybe your dog becomes anxious and distressed whenever you leave the house. Maybe your dog gets into all kinds of trouble while you’re away. Meanwhile, you feel guilty about it and you know your dog is suffering needlessly over what’s basically a misunderstanding.

It can be a frustrating situation. The good news is that there are ways to resolve separation anxiety in dogs, and we’ve written this article to teach you how.  If your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety, it’s important to handle it the right way. Using the wrong training methods can make things a lot worse. 

We’ll also be discussing the symptoms of separation anxiety, the difference between separation anxiety and a lack of house manners, as well as the underlying causes that can contribute to separation anxiety.

Let’s get to it!

separation anxiety in dogs

How to Know if Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety?

There are quite a few signs that can indicate that your dog is dealing with the stress of separation anxiety. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety will usually exhibit multiple symptoms simultaneously. In the sections below we’ll explore the symptoms of canine separation anxiety more in depth.

1. Chewing, Digging and Destruction

Dogs experiencing separation anxiety can sometimes behave very destructively. When under distress they may chew on inappropriate things such as carpets, furniture, window sills, door frames, etc. They might damage household objects or try to dig under doors. 

This can even potentially result in injury. Keep in mind that this behaviour isn’t always necessarily caused by separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety won’t exhibit this behaviour when their caregiver is present, but only in their caregiver’s absence. It’s also likely that they will show other signs of separation anxiety as well.

2. Escape Attempts

Escape attempts are another symptom of separation anxiety, and in some cases they can be desperate and dangerous. When left alone your dog might try to dig or chew through exit points such as doors and windows. When escape attempts are related to a dog’s separation anxiety, they only occur when the caregiver is absent.

3. Coprophagia

Coprophagia is the consumption of feces. Some dogs will consume their own excrement when they are kept in isolation. Although the thought of such things sounds disgusting to us, this is not an uncommon issue. Though if your dog is eating feces, it’s a good idea to have them seen by a veterinarian, especially if this is accompanied by other medical symptoms such as your dog losing weight.

Keep in mind that if your dog engages in such behaviours when you’re around, it is not likely to be connected to separation anxiety.

4. Barking 

Another common behaviour of dogs suffering from separation anxiety is excessive barking. Your dog may whine or howl as you prepare to leave or after you’ve left. You’ll know this is a sign of separation anxiety if your pup doesn’t bark excessively when you are around.

It’s also likely that your dog will seem very anxious as you prepare to leave, such as drooling and/or panting excessively. You might also notice your dog pacing around in circles or back and forth in a line.

Why Do Dogs Develop Separation Anxiety?

There’s no exact formula to explain why some dogs develop separation anxiety and others don’t. However, there are certain situations and contributing factors that are associated with developing separation anxiety, such as the loss of a previous guardian. Next, we’ll explore the different elements that cause or contribute to separation anxiety in dogs.

Rescue Dog Separation Anxiety

While all dogs can suffer from separation anxiety, rescue dogs in particular are more likely to deal with the condition. Separation anxiety itself can be the cause of dogs being abandoned or surrendered in the first place. And to dogs without any pre-existing separation anxiety, abandonment can also be a major contributing factor to developing it.

Being surrendered to a shelter or abandoned can be an extremely traumatic experience. Dog’s lives are turned upside down, their routines completely disrupted. Losing connection with their previous owners and homes can be painful and confusing.

Situations like these can contribute to dogs becoming overly insecure and attached. Any change of guardian or family situation can bring about this form of anxiety.

Puppy Separation Anxiety

In addition to rescue dogs, young pups are also more likely to suffer from separation anxiety. When pups have never really been left alone before this can naturally cause some fear to arise in the first couple of times you leave the house.

Some puppies are affected more traumatically than others by being separated from their mothers, and this can also potentially lead to separation anxiety later in life. Puppies’ unique personalities come into play too, as some simply have a lot more of an independent spirit than others.

Young dogs thrive on a consistent routine, and a chaotic schedule can contribute to clingy behavior. It has even been suggested that a lack of exercise can contribute to separation anxiety.

Puppyhood often comes with an array of behavioral issues other than separation anxiety, and puppies can obviously be destructive for other reasons. They are often teething and still learning house manners, potty training, etc.

So it’s important to discern the cause of your puppies’ behavior. Do they only act out when left in isolation, or does it happen at other times as well?

It’s also important to respond to signs of separation anxiety as quickly as you can. The sooner you can implement appropriate training to resolve the separation anxiety, the better.

Change in Residence

Moving into a new home or apartment can also lead to increased anxiety levels. Moving can be a confusing experience for your dog. It disrupts the rhythm of a daily routine, and it can take some time for your furry friend to adapt and grow comfortable in a new location. The loss or absence of a family member can cause anxiety as well.

How to Help a Dog With Separation Anxiety? 

As a rule, you never want to punish a dog for separation anxiety, because it won’t help the situation. Here we’ll explain some of the top methods that can be used to help dogs with mild separation anxiety. We’ll then go on to discuss more advanced training methods for more severe cases.

Some cases of separation anxiety can be resolved with simple counterconditioning. Counterconditioning is the process of associating negative triggers with something that the dog really enjoys, such as a special treat. Over time your dog becomes conditioned to associate the negative cue with a reward.

For example, you might offer your dog a special treat only as you’re leaving the house. Your dog will learn that she only gets her favorite treats when she is home alone. You can also work with the pre-departure cues.

Your canine friend may come to associate being left alone with you grabbing your keys or putting on your coat. Such cues may be extremely upsetting to your dog. So what you can do is introduce these cues randomly throughout the day to decondition your dog from fearing them so much.

You might put on your coat and grab your keys and then just sit on your couch when you’re not going anywhere. This will take away the power that these triggers hold over your dog.

Another thing that’s surprisingly important is exercise. A well-exercised dog is much more content and likely to relax when left alone. Physical activity reduces stress, brings satisfaction and fulfillment, and tires your dog out in a good way.

And if you’re looking to get your dog some extra exercise without having to go for extra walks, there are some great interactive dog toys out there that will keep your dog active and entertained.

Dog Separation Anxiety Training

Sometimes separation anxiety goes beyond the norm, and falls into the category of moderate to severe separation anxiety. Here are 3 training methods that will help to resolve this anxiety.

1. Crate Training

Crate training can be a great way to teach your dog to enjoy being alone. Crates are not inhumane or abusive, you just have to use them in an appropriate way. You want your dog to associate their crate with safety, comfort, toys, and tasty treats.

Many dogs feel more comfortable having their own safe and personal space to settle into when they are left alone. Being comfortable in a crate is a great step towards resolving separation anxiety. However, there are some dogs who just aren’t well suited to being in a crate.

If your dog shows signs of increased distress after being put into a crate, such as heavy panting, barking, and trying to escape, then crate training is not a good option for your dog. Instead, you might try using dog gates to contain your dog to one room.

This can be a helpful way to keep your dog safe and out of trouble while you are still in the process of resolving his separation anxiety.

2. Be Calm; Don’t Feed into Your Dog’s Behaviour

You want to train your dog to be calm and independent by interacting with them in a relaxed manner. Your dog is taking cues from the way you carry yourself, so don’t make a big deal out of departures and arrivals.

Never play it up or make a big production out of your leaving. Simply give your dog a pet and walk right out. You want your dog to be calm when you’re leaving.

It’s also important that you don’t feed into your dog’s anxiety-related behaviors. If your pup is extremely excited as you’re returning home, wait until your dog calms down a bit to love her up. You can acknowledge her and greet her when you arrive, but wait until she relaxes and settles a bit to give her any more affection.

Even when you are home your dog should be comfortable being in a different room than you. Play it cool and never encourage clinginess. Reward independence with affection, and never reward your dog for demanding attention.

3. Graduated Departures

Graduated departures expose your dog to very small amounts of controlled separation, and gradually increase the periods of separation as your dog grows more secure and confident. You want your dog to learn that separation can be rewarding.

Your dog will gradually become more acclimated to separation through continued exposure to longer and longer periods of time. It’s important to keep in mind that this training method will not be effective if your dog becomes anxious during the process. You have to work to some degree within your dog’s comfort zone, so be careful not to push the envelope too much.

We’ll begin with “stay” exercises. You’ll want to gradually increase the amount of time you make your dog stay, offering a reward such as a special treat for a successful stay. You’ll then advance to telling your dog to stay, and then leaving the room for a period of time.

Start in a bedroom or bathroom, and then progress to telling your dog to stay before briefly exiting the house. From here, you work on short departures. Start with absences as short as 10 seconds, and then gradually build. Offer your dog a treat right before each separation.

You’ll have to use careful judgment when increasing the periods of absence, because if you overdo it separation anxiety can worsen. If your pup is freaking out, go back to a shorter period of absence that she is more comfortable with. And remember to project an air of relaxed calmness during departures and arrivals.

You’ll need to progress somewhat slowly to keep your dog comfortable with the process. Expect this process to take a few weeks.

Reach Out to Your Veterinarian 

When all else fails, you may need to talk to your veterinarian about drug therapy as a possible solution for the issue. Sometimes severe separation anxiety does require medication for treatment. Antianxiety medications can be used in conjunction with training and can speed up and aid the process significantly.

There are also natural remedies that can relieve anxiety and help the training process along; just remember to talk to your vet before giving your dog new substances.

Separation anxiety can be a severe problem, but with the right technique and a little effort, it’s usually very treatable. It might take a little patience, but it’s well worth it.

By the way, if you haven’t seen our top-rated high protein dog food, make sure to check it out. It’s an all life stages formula with human-grade ingredients and full label disclosure. It makes a great reward for separation anxiety training, and we’re confident your dog will love it.

3 Recipes for Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Nothing says “I love you” quite like a homemade dog treat! Homemade dog treats are actually quite easy and simple to prepare, and here we’ve collected 3 of our favorite recipes that are sure to be a hit with your tail-wagging friends. 

These 3 recipes offer a tasty variety of flavors, are inexpensive to make, and are even actually healthy to boot. And unlike some of the store bought products, you’ll have complete control and knowledge of what goes into these treats. They’ll be as fresh and wholesome as it gets.

Whether you want to get festive for the holiday season, save some money, or just show your furry friend some well-deserved love, these recipes are the perfect way to do it. 

We’ll be explaining the story behind our favorite recipes and discussing some of the health and nutrition aspects of the treats as well. Read on for our awesome homemade dog treat recipes!

homemade dog treats

Why Make Homemade Dog Treats?

So why not just buy your treats at the store and be done with it? Well for starters, the treats you’ll find at the store often contain many questionable, hard-to-pronounce ingredients, including chemical additives and fillers, as well as preservatives to make them more shelf stable. 

When making your own homemade dog treats you can be in control of exactly what goes into them, making them healthier and safer.

It’s also probably not too surprising that making your own treats can be substantially cheaper. You’ll probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard already, and they’re all easily found at your local market if not.

Making your pup’s treats at home is a loving and rewarding thing to do, and besides, when did you ever buy cookies at the store that were as good as grandma’s cookies fresh out of the oven?

Are These Homemade Dog Treats Healthy?

Are these homemade dog treats really healthy? The answer is yes, absolutely! They are all natural and as you’ll see, they’re made from only a few simple ingredients such as pumpkin, peanut butter, eggs, and fresh fruit. 

These treats contain protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They’re also free of preservatives and additives. They’re perfect for dogs of any size. Just be sure, as with everything, to not overdo it; make sure to feed them an appropriate amount based on their weight.

How to Store Dog Treats 

Our homemade dog treats should be stored in an airtight container such as a Ziploc bag or glass jar. They’re best kept in the fridge, where they will keep for about a month, though they will keep for a couple weeks in your cupboard as well. Just be sure that their container is sealed such that it is airtight.

Can I Freeze My Homemade Dog Treats?

Another great option, especially if you’ve made a large batch, is to freeze them. Our treats will keep for at least 6 months stored in this way; just remember to use a freezer safe container. (One of our treat recipes is intended to be served frozen :))

How Many Treats Does This Make?

It varies from recipe to recipe. The recipes below should make approximately 25 to 30 treats at the minimum, although our frozen puppy treat recipe only makes 4 servings. Keep in mind that you can double the recipes or adjust the portions to suit your needs. Just keep the ratios of ingredients the same.

Is Peanut Butter Safe for Dogs?

Although peanut butter itself is generally safe for dogs and great in DIY dog treats, it’s important to understand that not all peanut butter can be used to feed dogs. Some brands of peanut butter are now including Xylitol, a sugar substitute, which is poisonous for dogs and cats. Regular peanut butter is not toxic. So as you can see, it’s important that you always remember to check the label before sharing any with your pup.

We use peanut butter because dogs absolutely love it, and it contains healthy fats, protein, and other nutrients. Just remember that moderation is key. And though peanut butter is safe for most healthy dogs, dogs can potentially be allergic to anything, including peanut butter. Let your canine friend sample a small amount before feeding them an entire treat and wait a while to ensure there isn’t a negative reaction. If you have any specific concerns, contact your vet.

How to Make Homemade Dog Treats

Before we move on to the recipes, keep in mind that you can adjust your baking times as needed. The longer they bake, the crunchier they will be, so to some degree it’s up to what you and your furry friend prefer. You also might want to pick up a custom dog-shaped cookie cutter! There are also cookie cutters shaped as bones, dogs, hearts, etc.

Now without further ado, here are our 3 healthy homemade dog treat recipes.

Pumpkin Pie Dog Treats

These pumpkin pie dog treats are sure to be a hit, and they’re super easy to make. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber for dogs. It’s also a great source of vitamin A and zinc, which helps to improve your furry friend’s skin and coat. We’ve also included peanut butter for protein, healthy fats, and added deliciousness. Bon appetit.

Course: Treat 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes 

Cook Time: 25 Minutes 

Servings: 48 

Calories: 32 kcal 

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter natural, DO NOT USE peanut butter with Xylitol, DO NOT USE sugar substitutes
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (Substitutes: rice flour or coconut flour)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon (check your pumpkin pie spice or make your own – DO NOT USE NUTMEG – this can be toxic for some dogs)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, and peanut butter. Stir until completely combined.
  3. Add in flour and pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon) – stirring just until combined.
  4. Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out dough to one quarter inch, using flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.
  5. Cut shapes out of dough and place on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 to 40 minutes – depending on desired level of crunchiness.
  7. Remove treats from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats

This is an excellent healthy dog treat recipe. These Frozen peanut butter banana treats make the perfect snack on a hot summer’s day, and they only have two ingredients! They are easy to make, super healthy, and way cheaper than the doggy ice cream you’ll find at the store. You could even eat them alongside your pup. We’ve done it.

Course: Treat 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes 

Cook Time: 10 Minutes 

Servings: 3-4 Treats 

Calories: 298 kcal 

Ingredients

  • 4 bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 4 plastic mini cups (Substitute: paper cups – take the paper off the treat before giving it to your dog)

Instructions

  1. Peel then slice your bananas.
  2. Put the banana slices into the freezer.
  3. Take the frozen banana slices out of the freezer and blend in a food processor. Mixture will get very thick; you may need to scrape the sides. 
  4. Keep blending the bananas until the fruit smooths out into soft serve banana ice cream.
  5. Add peanut butter and mix well.
  6. Separate into 3-4 plastic cups and freeze.
  7. Take out the frozen treats when it’s ready to spoil your pup!

Peanut Butter and Bacon Glazed Bone Treats

Peanut butter and bacon glaze speaks for itself. Epic. Imagine the look on your four-legged friend’s face.

Course: Treat 

Prep Time: 25 Minutes 

Cook Time: 25 Minutes 

Servings: 30 treats

Ingredients

Dog Biscuits:
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Biscuit Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease, coconut oil, chicken fat, or any other fat that will solidify at room temperature, melted
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the  pumpkin, peanut butter, eggs, and oil in a single bowl. 
  3. Add in baking soda and whole wheat flour. Stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead dough or mix just until flour is incorporated.
  4. Roll out dough with a rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to cut out dog bone shapes, or just bake into little circles like cookies. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Whisk the bacon grease and peanut butter until very smooth. Drizzle over the treats and cool till glaze hardens (it does best in the fridge or freezer).

Healthy Food is the Best Dog Food!

Making DIY dog treats is a great project for so many reasons. It’s less expensive than store-bought treats, it’s healthier for your pup, and it’s just an all-around rewarding thing to do. And while you’re in the business of loving your dog up with healthy and delicious food, check out our high protein dog food. It’s an all natural, 5-star rated dog food that offers full label disclosure. It contains no wheat, corn, or soy, and we guarantee your dog will love it.

How to Prepare the Best Senior Dog Food

Looking for the best senior dog food to feed your canine companion?

Providing your dog with the right kind of food at the right stages throughout life is really important. Your adult dog won’t thrive on the same food they used to eat as a young pup, and similarly, your dog’s needs often change as they enter into old age as well.

A proper diet goes a long way in helping to manage and aid the conditions that can commonly affect older dogs. (Not least of which being obesity.)  There are a lot of senior dog food preparations available on the market, and some of them are pretty good, but they can be expensive and they often contain some questionable ingredients. 

Preparing your own senior dog food is a really great option because you can be in control of everything going into the food, and with supplementation, you can also be sure that your furry friend is getting all the nutrients they need to thrive.

Keep in mind that it’s important to talk to your vet before making the switch over to a senior-stage dog food. This guide will discuss some of the main things to focus on and to be aware of when choosing to make your senior dog’s meals. 

senior dog

When is a Dog Considered a Senior?

First, it’s important to understand how to determine whether or not your dog would be considered a senior. Dogs are sometimes considered to be entering into old age at around 7 years. You may have heard the old formula, “1 dog year = 7 human years,” but it’s not really accurate. It’s not simply that dogs are considered to be elderly at a specific number of years.

Smaller dogs typically age slower than larger dogs. Small dog breeds often reach old age at 7 or 8 years, whereas large dog breeds become seniors at 5 or 6 years old. However, even this is a bit of a generalization.

Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and appearance. Lack of energy, white hair in the face, and cloudy or hazy eyes are all signs that your dog is entering into old age. Speak with your vet when you start to notice some of these signs of aging, and they’ll help you decide if it’s a good time to make the switch to senior dog food.

For more info check out this article on how to calculate dog years to human years.

Should All Older Dogs Eat Senior Food?

It’s not always necessary that every older dog transition to a senior dog food preparation. If your dog is healthy, happy, and already eating a high-quality, balanced diet, it’s not required to make the switch.

You just want to be sure that your dog is getting plenty of high-quality protein. It’s also important that your dog is not getting an excessive amount of calories. Preventing obesity is very important, especially when your dog is starting to become elderly.

Senior dogs generally need fewer calories than they did as young adults, as their metabolism starts to slow down with age.

Do Older Dogs Need More Protein or Less?

Regardless of age, all dogs need a good amount of protein, though determining exactly how much will depend on a few different factors. You might be surprised to learn that older dogs actually need more protein in their diet than their younger counterparts.

As dogs age, their digestive system becomes less efficient at breaking down and metabolizing protein. And when they’re not absorbing adequate supplies of protein, the body will break down muscle tissue to make up for the deficit, which leads to muscle wasting. This is why protein is huge for senior dogs! And while you don’t want an excess of calories leading to obesity, you do want to supply them with as much high-quality protein as you can.

What Makes For a Good Senior Dog Food?

In addition to adequate amounts of protein, there are other properties and components of senior dog food that we would recommend. Fiber is another nutrient that becomes more vital as your dog ages, as it can help to aid a sluggish digestive system and prevent constipation.

As dogs age their metabolism slows down, meaning that they require less fats and less calories. Of course it’s still important that they are provided with some healthy sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which can help with joint mobility. And remember to be very careful to limit your dog’s sodium intake as well.

If your dog suffers from any dental issues, you may need to modify their food so that it’s easier for them to chew. Bully Max offers some great products that could be useful in a situation like this. And if your elderly dog is suffering from any specific health conditions, make sure to talk to your vet about what dietary changes may be necessary to help them cope with said issues.

You know that your dog needs less calories entering in old age, but how much exactly should you be feeding them? That will depend on a few factors, such as activity levels, as well as size and breed. To determine what is a healthy weight for your furry friend, you can check out this dog weight chart. And for more clarity on portion sizes, check out our article called, “How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

DIY Homemade Dog Food for Senior Dogs Recipe

The following sections will explain how to prepare an easy senior dog food recipe. Cooking your dog a homemade meal is a loving and rewarding thing to do. And when done properly, it can keep your dog in optimal health while at the same time making your furry friend a very happy camper.

This recipe will use Bully Max’s high protein dog food, which is an All Life Stages formula that offers full label disclosure (letting you know every single ingredient that goes into your dog’s food). Most homemade recipes just call for a regular protein source, but using our high protein dog food provides an extra level of effectiveness and ensures your canine friend will hit all their required nutrients.

And if your dog is struggling to put on or maintain enough weight, you’ll also want to look into our weight gain supplements for dogs.

Elderly Dog Nutritional Requirements

The main nutritional components accounted for in this homemade recipe are:

  • High-quality protein (found in meat, seafood, dairy or eggs)
  • Fat (meat or oils)
  • Carbohydrates (grains or vegetables)
  • Calcium (dairy)
  • Essential fatty acids (egg yolks or oatmeal)

This recipe provides approximately 50% protein, 25% veggies, and 25% grains, although these percentages can be adjusted based on the specific needs of your dog. If your dog is suffering from any ailments or symptoms of old age, talk with your vet about adjusting your dog’s diet to provide proper nutrition for your dog’s unique situation.

Bully Max Senior Dog Food Ingredients

  • ⅘ lb Bully Max dog food or 1 lb ground turkey (both options contain similar protein content)
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ package frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower (or chop 2 ½ cups of fresh vegetables and cook them for about four minutes, just when they’re just starting to get tender but still firm)
  • 6 cups water

Recipe Directions

  1. In a large pot, add the water, rice, Bully Max dog food (or ground turkey) and rosemary.
  2. Stir to break up the Bully Max dog food (or turkey) and ensure the ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the frozen or fresh vegetables. Continue to cook for five minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool before serving.

Voila! Dinner is served. Your leftovers should keep for about a week as long as they’re kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

Bon Appetit! The Best Senior Dog Food is Made at Home

Thank you for giving our recipe a try. We hope your dog loves it!

Adapting your dog food to fit the needs of your elderly dog is very important, and not all that hard to do. It isn’t easy watching our pups grow up and get older, but with the proper care and lots of love we can help them to live very long and very happy lives.

And if you haven’t already, do look into our top rated high protein dog food. It’s free of fillers such as corn and soy, and packed full of high-quality protein and carefully balanced ingredients, making it perfect for senior dogs. It’s also packed with a delicious meaty flavor that dogs of all ages are sure to love.

The 6 Most Common Pitbull Health Issues

Pitbulls are such fun, loyal, and beautiful dogs. They’re also quite gentle, despite some misconceptions and misunderstandings. Being naturally strong and athletic, they’re generally healthy dogs, although there are some common pitbull health problems to be aware of.

But don’t despair! Pitbulls are relatively easy to care for and knowing what health concerns to look out for can make a big difference. Most of these health issues are not unique to pitbulls, and adequate exercise and nutrition can go a long way in keeping your pit healthy and happy for many years to come.

Read on and we’ll discuss the 6 most common pitbull health issues. We’ll also share some of the early indicators of these health problems, and what you should do if you notice any of these indicators. Let’s get started.

pitbull in a field

Common Pitbull Health Issues

Here are some of the more common pitbull diseases and symptoms. As we’ve said, pitbulls aren’t necessarily more prone to these health problems than other dogs, but they do suffer from these ailments like most dogs do.

It’s important to remember that if your pit is experiencing any symptoms you’re unsure about, you should take them to see your veterinarian immediately. Without further ado, here are the 6 most common pitbull health issues.

Hip Dysplasia

One common medical issue pitbulls may face is hip dysplasia. This occurs when there is an improper development of the hip socket. The femur, or thighbone, grows disproportionately with the hip socket.

Hip dysplasia can cause:

  • Pain 
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Stiffness and soreness
  • Inability to walk upstairs 
  • Lameness 

This can be a tough condition to deal with. It’s usually inherited or passed on genetically, though there are some actions you can take to potentially help prevent or alleviate the symptoms and onset of this condition.

Keeping your pitbull at a healthy, minimal bodyweight is one of the best courses of action for hip dysplasia. The usual suspects (exercise and proper nutrition) are very helpful in this regard. In severe cases, your pup may need to use a hip brace, or may even need to undergo surgery.

If you’d like more clarity in determining what’s a healthy size and weight for your furry friend, check out our article about the pitbull average weight.

Hypothyroidism 

Another common pitbull health issue is hypothyroidism, or thyroid disease. The purpose of the thyroid gland is to produce the hormones responsible for digestion and metabolism. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland is unable to make enough of these essential hormones.

This can have a variety of different causes, and it usually doesn’t occur until your dog is 4 years of age or older.

Some symptoms from this medical issue include:

  • Weight gain
  • Muscle loss
  • Hair loss
  • Lethargy
  • Behavioral changes

Your vet will need to do some blood tests to diagnose this condition. Fortunately, hypothyroidism is by no means a death sentence, and it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to treat with medications.

Allergies

Allergies are also a very common pitbull health issue. Symptoms can vary and it’s important to determine what is causing the reaction. So what are pitbulls allergic to?

Well, again, it varies. It could be an environmental allergen such as pollen or grass. It could be a food ingredient such as dairy or wheat. This is a situation where you’ll need the assistance of your vet to make any diagnoses.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction in pitbulls can include:

  • Itchy, flaky skin
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Ear infections
  • Bald spots

Ichthyosis

This ailment is more common in pitbulls, though it’s still relatively rare. Ichthyosis is a mutation of the outer layer of skin, caused by genetic factors. You may notice that the pads of your dog’s feet become very hard and stiff, or that her skin may become hardened and greasy. Symptoms of ichthyosis include:

  • Thick, scaly skin
  • Skin with increased pigment
  • Hardening of foot pads
  • Rough, greasy skin

This health condition worsens with age, and it is unfortunately incurable. There are medicated shampoos that can help to treat the symptoms. You’ll need the guidance of your vet to diagnose ichthyosis.

Cataracts 

Pitbulls are also particularly prone to cataracts, which is when the eye lens becomes thick and clouded. Cataracts can be inherited from the genes of the parents. It’s also possible that it can be caused by conditions such as high blood sugar and diabetes.

Cataracts can cause symptoms such as impaired vision, and even blindness in severe cases. When treated early, your vet can prescribe pharmaceuticals that are helpful in treating cataracts, however, if the condition is severe surgery may be needed.

Volvulus (Gastric Dilation) 

It’s extremely important that dog owners are familiar with the condition known as volvulus, also known as “dog bloat.” In certain situations, when a dog’s stomach fills up with gas or liquid, it can expand so much that it puts pressure on the internal organs. This can be dangerous and even fatal.

Volvulus can cut off blood flow to the heart or cause a tear in the wall of the stomach. It can come on rather quickly. Your dog may be showing signs of anxiety, and an upset or enlarged stomach. If this is the case you need to get your pup to the vet ASAP.

Symptoms of gastric dilation include:

  • Swollen stomach
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Pacing
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

We still aren’t always sure what causes volvulus, but veterinarians believe it can be related to overeating, eating too quickly, or eating from a raised bowl.

Keeping Your Pitbull Healthy

One of the best ways to help prevent these pitbull health risks is through proper diet and exercise. Exercise is a necessity, and without it your dog’s health is sure to suffer. From taking your pit on walks or runs, to fun games such as fetch and tug-of-war, there are tons of great ways to get your dog the exercise it needs while enjoying yourself in the process.

Proper Nutrition For Your Pitbull

A healthy diet is the best way to ensure optimal health and prevent the onset of any medical issues. And with such high energy levels and such muscular builds, pitbulls definitely need ample nutrition! Here at Bully Max we offer the perfect all-natural high protein dog food with quality ingredients and full label disclosure. It’s a great way to ensure your pitbull’s nutritional needs are being met.

Bully Max Understands Pitbull Health Issues

Pitbulls are susceptible to some unfortunate health issues, but not any more than most dog breeds out there. Just remember: if you do suspect any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, make sure to see a vet immediately.

A great preventative measure you can take is to supplement your dog’s meals with a product like our Bully Max Total Health. It will help your pitbull to maintain healthy hips and joints, boost immunity, and strengthen the cardiovascular system, among a host of other benefits. Give it a try—you’ll be glad you did.

Easy Homemade Dog Food Recipe

There are a lot of great reasons for you to prepare homemade meals for your dog. Adding some variety to your dog’s diet is healthy, fun, and it spices things up. 

You wouldn’t feed your kids or relatives the same meal day in and day out. Why should your dog be any different? Not to mention the fact that you have every right to feel suspicious of some of the more widely available, highly processed dog foods out there.

homemade dog food recipe

Preparing your dog’s meals at home gives you control over exactly what you’re feeding them. It’s a relief not having to worry about scary recalls. It can also help you to avoid allergens, preservatives, and filler ingredients such as corn and soy. It potentially could even save you a few bucks!

It’s true that homemade dog food doesn’t always provide all of the key nutrients for optimal health, so consistently feeding your dog strictly homemade meals is only an option if you’re also supplementing their diet with added nutrients. 

In this article, we will be focusing on preparing a healthy dog food recipe that your dog is sure to love, and we’ll also discuss what foods you should avoid giving them. Let’s get started!

Which Human Foods Are Unsafe For My Dog

When preparing your dog’s food at home, it’s really important to be aware of the different types of food that are unsafe to feed them. Some common ingredients you want to avoid include:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Xylitol
  • Peaches
  • Raw eggs
  • Salt
  • Avocados

Dogs’ digestive systems are obviously different from humans, which means a food that we tolerate just fine could be dangerous for your dog…potentially even causing organ failure in severe cases. There are also food items that, while not necessarily toxic to dogs, certainly are less than ideal for good digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

To learn more check out our article, What Fruits and Vegetables can Dogs Eat?

If you still aren’t sure about a particular food item you should talk to your veterinarian before feeding it to your dog.

Our Easy Homemade Dog Food Recipe

Our homemade recipe will contain 4 important elements:

  • High-quality meats such as fish, beef, and chicken
  • Fibrous carbohydrates such as grains and vegetables
  • Essential fats such as eggs and olive oil
  • Gorilla Max Muscle Builder for extra nutrients and protein

Ingredients

To get started, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of ground chicken (cooked through with the fat drained)
  • 2-3½ cups of our Gorilla Max Muscle Builder (optional, but great for additional nutrition)
  • 2½ cups of organic brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 cups of baby spinach (chopped)
  • 3 carrots (shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs

Step 1.

First, you’ll begin by preparing 1-2 pounds of ground chicken (ideally free-range chicken if possible). Cook your chicken with olive oil and mix in some dried rosemary, thyme, or parsley.

(Although you can also feel free to use any appropriate, high-quality protein. Fish and Beef are fine.)

There’s no need to add any seasoning, as we want to keep our sodium content as low as possible. Cook thoroughly and then let cool to room temperature.

chicken cooking in pan

Step 2. 

Mix our nutritious Gorilla Max Muscle Builder in with the cooked ground chicken after it has cooled down to room temperature. This is an excellent way to supplement some extra nutrients and create a more balanced and well-rounded meal.

boiling pot of water

Step 3.

Next, you’ll soak and rinse 2½ cups of organic brown rice. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, and then add your rice. Leave your pot uncovered on a medium-high heat. When the water has mostly evaporated, take your pot off the heat and cover with a tightly fitting lid. Let it rest for 20 or so minutes.

Step 4.

While your rice is cooking, boil the 5 eggs in a medium-sized pot. Set your eggs in a pot and cover with water. Put your burner on high heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Then reduce heat to a low setting and let them simmer for 12-15 minutes.

eggs

Step 5. 

Now it’s time to prepare your veggies! After washing thoroughly, chop 3 cups of spinach into relatively tiny pieces and shred 3 medium to large sized carrots. Mix them up in a bowl and set them aside for now.

carrots

Serve Up Your Healthy Homemade Dog Food

The final thing to do is simply combine and mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl or pot for serving. You’ll want to chop up your boiled eggs into little pieces so you can better assimilate them into the dish.

Mmm… That ought to get your dog’s tail wagging!

As you probably already know, dogs aren’t always the most thorough chewers, so finely chopping your ingredients is important. Make sure to store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. They will keep for approximately 5 or 6 days. Bon appetit!

Supplement With Bully Max 30/20 High Performance Dog Food

Thanks for giving our recipe a try. We hope your furry little friend enjoys eating it as much as you enjoyed making it. Your dog is a member of your family, and preparing them a homemade meal is a fun and loving thing to do.

The one crucial limitation of homemade dog food is that it typically doesn’t contain all of the essential nutrients that dogs need for well-being and longevity. To feed your dog only homemade food could actually endanger their health.

So if you choose to consistently include homemade food in your dog’s diet, it’s important that you also include supplemental dog food products to ensure that her nutritional needs are being met.

A perfect way to accomplish this is by incorporating added meals of Bully Max 30/20 High Performance Dog Food. It’s an all-natural, 5-star dog food that contains everything your dog needs to be happy and healthy. Offering full label disclosure, It’s also free of filler ingredients such as corn and soy. We know that your canine friend will love it.

11 Best Medium Sized Dogs

Here at Bully Max, we love all dogs of every shape, size, and color. There’s not a single dog breed out there that’s not unique and lovable in its own way. However, there’s just something special to be appreciated about medium sized dogs.

They’re big enough to play with, they’re small enough to take most places, and they just make such excellent family dogs. In this article we’ll discuss the 11 best medium sized dog breeds, and explore the reasons why they make such great pets.

What Makes A Dog Medium Sized?

So just what is it that makes a dog “medium sized?” It’s not necessarily rigid or set in stone, but medium sized dogs generally weigh between 20 and 50 pounds.

This accounts for a lot of different breeds!

Dogs can be divided into 5 categories relating to their size. These are based on height and weight, and some breeds may be on the fringe of two different categories. The 5 dog sizes include toy (2-10 lbs), small (10-20 lbs), medium (20-50 lbs), large (50-100 lbs), and giant (100+ lbs).

Our Top 11 Medium Sized Dogs

As we mentioned briefly, there are a ton of awesome benefits to owning a medium sized dog. They can embody the best qualities of both small and large dogs! They’re big enough to play with, while also being portable and convenient to travel with. They also tend to have longer lifespans than bigger dogs.\

So without further ado, here are our top 11 medium sized dog breeds.

Border Collie

border collie

Usually weighing between 30 to 50 pounds, border collies are loyal, spunky, and loving. They are also about as high energy as it gets!

Border collies are incredibly bright, often ranking as the #1 most intelligent dog breed. As a result they’re fast learners, and often employed as search and rescue dogs.

Just keep in mind that border collies require exercise and an active lifestyle. These dogs are not couch potatoes. They will be unhappy and may even act out if this important need of theirs is not being met.

Beagle

beagle

Beagles have the sweetest, most playful and affectionate energy. They usually weigh between 20 to 30 pounds, which is a very versatile size. They’re easy to travel with and manage in smaller homes, yet they still make great companions to play with or take on adventures. 

In the past they were sought after as hunting dogs, but now more often than not they end up in the role of fun family dog. If you’ve spent time around beagles you know what excellent companions they make. They also sure do love to eat!

Poodle

poodle

Poodles are wonderful family dogs. These highly intelligent doggies usually weigh between 40 to 70 pounds. They’re also quite athletic. They also don’t shed much fur, making them easier to clean up after (although their coat does require routine maintenance). Finally, poodles are playful and relatively easy to train.

Springer Spaniel

springer spaniel

Springer spaniels have a reputation for being charismatic companions. (They’re great with kids.) They’re playful, relaxed, and sensitive to their owner’s needs. Weighing in at 40 to 50 pounds, they were originally bred for bird hunting—and they thrive in an active, social lifestyle. They also get along quite well with other dogs. Springer spaniels do well with large families, and they love to feel included. A picture says a thousand words. Just look at those eyes!

Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever

It’s not hard to figure out why Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the United States: they’re smart, hard-working, fun, relaxed, and adaptable. Labs really seem to think that they are humans!

Weighing 50 to 80 pounds on average, they’re strong enough to make excellent service dogs. Labrador Retrievers are loyal, and sure to bring a smile to your face. ‘Nuff said!

American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog

Isn’t that coat gorgeous?

You might be surprised to learn that the American eskimo dog is in no way related to the eskimos—although they do have an interesting background. Prior to World War I, these cute canines were known as the German spitz. 

Because of their intelligence, beautiful appearance, and high trainability, they’ve been used historically for various trained-dog acts (including working with traveling circuses). Pierre, a famous American eskimo dog from the 1930s, was well known for walking tight-ropes! Eskies are outgoing, friendly and relaxed. These lovable pups weigh typically 25 to 40 pounds.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland sheepdogs, AKA shelties, are loyal, playful dogs with heaps of energy. They weigh 15 to 25 pounds, yet they’re still quite athletic for their size. A loving and versatile dog, Shelties originated in Scotland. They’re herding dogs, and they require an outlet for their near boundless energy.

They make excellent family dogs, though they can be shy around strangers. Shelties are dependable and very alert and aware of their surroundings. They make good watchdogs. Just be sure that you can provide them with the exercise and sense of purpose that they thrive on.

Hungarian Pointers

Hungarian Pointer

Hungarian pointers are highly adaptable and make for great companions. Originally bred as hunting dogs, they weigh generally 50 to 70 pounds. They’re social creatures, and they do well with kids and other pets. Hungarian pointers are known to form very strong bonds with their owners.

Golden Retriever 

Golden Retriever

Another hugely popular breed, golden retrievers are joyous and life-affirming dogs—not to mention intelligent, kind, relaxed, and hard working. They’re also accomplished hunters. 

Golden retrievers are natural swimmers, and they seem to maintain some element of their puppy-like nature well into adulthood. Hailing from Scotland, this breed is an absolute classic.

They also make for exceptional service and support dogs. (If you are interested in getting an emotional support dog for anxiety, check out our article on service dog breeds for PTSD and anxiety.)

Keeshond

Keeshond

Another highly intelligent breed, it’s hard not to appreciate the keeshond’s relaxed yet social nature. Adults will weigh between 35 to 45 pounds, though they appear larger than they really are because of their thick coat. (Which will require some maintenance.) 

Hailing from Holland, Keeshonds share common roots with the other spitz-type breeds such as the samoyed and pomeranian. Their trademark feature is their “spectacles,” the markings around their eyes that look like stylish glasses. This gives them a smart and sophisticated appearance. Keeshonds are fast learners, and they make for great companions and excellent family dogs.

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

American pit bull terriers are amazing dogs. These people-pleasers are quite friendly and playful. They have been stigmatized by the media as dangerous and even mean-spirited, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They’ve even been given the nickname “nanny dogs” because of the gentle and loving way that they interact with children. 

The pit bull terrier’s weight can vary more than most other breeds, as they can weigh in at anywhere between 30 and 90 pounds. They’re one of the most athletic dog breeds out there, and they require lots of exercise, proper training, and plenty of socialization. You could not ask for a better companion. APBTs also tend to live longer than other dog breeds of a similar size and weight.

Treat Your Dog Right With Bully Max Nutrition 

When it comes to family-friendly medium sized dogs, there are a lot of really great options. If you do plan to get a medium sized dog you might consider adopting from your local animal shelter.

And to ensure that your pup lives a long and healthy life you’ll want to provide high-quality, balanced nutrition for your dog. Our top-rated high protein dog food is an all-natural, all-life-stages formula with full label disclosure. Your dog is sure to love it, no matter what their size.

Complete Guide on How to Train a Pitbull Puppy

Learning how to train a pitbull puppy from a young age is incredibly important. Pitbulls have, unfortunately, been given a negative image that is completely undeserved. In reality, they’re some of the sweetest and most loving dogs you’ll ever meet.

However, like any dog, they’re also a product of their environment. And that’s why it’s important to make sure your pitbull puppy receives proper training. Not only does it help ensure your pitbull will have a high quality of life—it also helps remove the toxic stigma surrounding this wonderful breed.

Read on for our best pitbull puppy training tips.

pitbull puppy

What You Should Know Before Training Your Pitbull Puppy

Let’s start out here by laying a bit of a foundation. Beyond specific techniques and actions, there are a few key factors to understand when learning how to train a pitbull puppy. 

One is consistency. If you’re starting a training regimen or setting a rule or boundary, you have to be consistent! Sending mixed messages will confuse your pup, and it will also undermine your own authority. And if you’re not firm when maintaining your rules or boundaries, you will lose dominance in the relationship. It’s important to establish and maintain dominance so that your dog will obey your commands.

Another factor is positive vs negative reinforcement. Never punish your dog. Positive reinforcement is a more effective, compassionate, and enjoyable way to train your dog. Plus, it helps to form a bond between the two of you that should last for years.

Finally, timing is also important. You’ve heard the phrase “can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, although starting later in life isn’t necessarily a lost cause, the younger you start training your pitbull, the better.

When Should I Start Training My Pitbull?

It’s important to start training your dog at a very young age. The best time to start is as soon as you bring them home. When puppies are in that developmental stage, they are like a sponge, constantly learning and imprinting from their environment and from their relationships.

The younger they are, the more quickly they can learn new things, and the greater their overall potential is for successful training in general. In the following sections you’ll learn which training exercises are best for each age period.

Pitbull Training at 3-8 Weeks

This is the best time to begin training your basic commands. Your cute little pup will easily retain and cement these commands into lifelong habits.

Name Calling

Start by getting the puppy familiar with his or her name. The sooner you succeed at this, the better. Don’t wait too long before deciding on a name, and be consistent in using it whenever engaging your pup. You should call your pitbull by their name before and after every command.

Sit

Sit is a very basic command that’s simple and easy to teach. Start by getting some tasty puppy treats as an incentive for your puppy to obey.

Hold a treat in the air above your Pit’s head, and slowly move it over their head, or even a few inches behind them so they back up. Their gaze will move up to follow the treat, and they will naturally end up sitting down.

When their butt hits the ground, say “sit” and then give them the treat and some praise. Soon your dog will associate sitting with the command.

Lay Down

When your dog has learned the “sit” command, you’re ready to teach “lay down.”

Hold the treat level with your dog’s eyes, a few inches from them, bring it down to the ground, and from there pull it out and away from them. Imagine tracing an “L” shape with the treat.

As your pup follows the treat they will naturally lie down. As soon as they do, say “lay down,” praise them and give them the treat. Let them know you’re pleased!

As you continue to do this your pup will come to associate lying down with the command.

Listen/Watch 

This command will get your pitbull puppy to stop and pay attention to you when needed. Hold a treat near your eyes, and say “look at me” or “watch.”

When your dog stops what they’re doing and makes eye contact, give them the treat and praise them. This style of positive reinforcement and reward will be a recurring theme.

Once they have this command down, stretch out the amounts of time that you hold eye contact to strengthen the command.

Pitbull Training 8-12 Weeks

This is an age when your puppy can learn more focus-involved commands. The puppy’s attention span and intelligence increases at this age. And since your puppy has already learned some basics, this is the perfect time to teach “come when called,” as well as potty training.

Stay

To begin, have your dog either sit or lay down. Standing in front of them, hold your hand out with an open palm, say “stay,” back up a step, and pause.

If your dog doesn’t move, reward them. As you do this more, back up further and further before rewarding your dog to strengthen the command.

Come

Coming when called is one of the most crucial things you will ever teach your dog. Being able to make your dog roll over is cute, but this command can literally mean the difference between life and death.

This is best learned in the home, or somewhere peaceful without a lot of distractions. You and a helper will both have a handful of treats. Sitting a ways apart, one of you will yell “come.” If this command is new you may also clap or whistle the first few times to get your dog’s attention.

When your dog arrives, reward them and love them up. At this point, your friend will yell “come,” and also reward your pup for obeying.

You can even try continuing this game from opposite sides of the house, or even hiding in different rooms until your pup finds you.

Potty Training

Potty training is one aspect of training that you are not likely to overlook. Let’s get into it. 

For starters, make sure to take your dog outside often, especially when they’re young.

Remember to never punish your dog. They won’t understand why you are punishing them. It is damaging to your relationship with your dog and it isn’t an effective way to train.

Every time your dog eliminates outside, praise them and reward them with a treat. Do this right away, so that they associate the act with the positive reinforcement.

A big part of this is being able to recognize when your puppy has to go. There will be cues that you will learn to pick up on. When it’s that time, your dog may go in circles, whine at the door, or wander off into another room.

Be attentive to when your dog has to go out, reward good behavior, and you’ll be set!

Socialize

It’s important to socialize your dog from a young age. You’re building a foundation for lifelong behavior patterns here. 

So you’ll want to socialize your pup by getting them used to being around both other dogs and other people, always in a monitored and safe environment of course. There are lots of great ways to do this.

Any positive experience that familiarizes your pup with friends, other dogs and public spaces is a good thing. We probably don’t have to remind you that it’s your responsibility to always monitor and supervise your dog in such situations.

Pitbull Training 12-16 Weeks

At this age, your pitbull is going to need to blow off some steam for 2-3 hours a day to use up some of that excess energy. Pitbulls who are forced to be couch potatoes during this active stage can suffer for it and even develop some issues as a result.

Leash Walking

Your dog’s ability to walk on a leash without pulling is crucial. Trust us!

You don’t want your pup running ahead of you while you’re out for walks. Your dog will learn to walk side by side with you. So when they do run ahead of you or pull, simply stop, tighten the leash, and wait.

When your dog is positioned beside you, offer a small treat and continue. Your dog will figure out that when they run ahead, the leash tightens and the walk stops. However, when they walk side by side with you, the walk goes on.

Stay consistent with training this.

Fetch

Introduce your dog to an object such as a toy, tennis ball, etc. Show your dog the object, and give them a treat. Then toss the object a short distance and motion for your dog to get it. 

If your dog picks the object up, offer them another reward. Now for the trickier part, toss the object and have your dog pick it up, and then encourage them to bring it to you while they are holding the object. 

Reward them for returning the toy. When this succeeds, start throwing the object farther and farther away!

Jump

Have your dog sit. Hold the treat over your dog’s head and say, “Jump!” You might jump yourself to demonstrate what you mean. If your dog doesn’t understand, bring the treat a little closer to their nose and encourage them to go for it.

When them do jump, say “jump” again, and slightly pull the treat up and away as they reach for it. Reward them and encourage them.

More Advanced Games

There are some great games out there, from puzzle toys to creative obedience exercises. Our Tug Toy for Puppies is a great tool for many of these games. It’s puppy-safe and incredibly durable, which means it can give your pitbull puppy an awesome workout and a dynamic play session all at once!

We Want What’s Best For Our Pitbulls

Proper training is vital, and knowing how to train a pitbull puppy is an important responsibility. Learning and cementing good behaviour will ensure your dog lives a long and happy life. 

And it’s not only training that promotes good behaviour but also a healthy, balanced, and consistent diet. Something you’ll definitely want to check out is our performance chews. They’re a perfect treat for your puppy-training reward system while also delivering nutrients that are essential for healthy growth and development. Your pitbull puppy will love them!