We live in an age when seemingly every week folks are celebrating “National Something-Or-Other Day”. Some of these events seems silly, some feel like a ploy straight out of a PR or marketing playbook and others, well gosh, National Drink Wine Day sounds like any random Tuesday for me. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need Facebook’s prodding or permission to enjoy a liter of fermented grape juice with my morning toast.
That said, National Love Your Pet Day is right up my alley. I suppose it’s true that I don’t need a special day marked on my calendar to encourage me to love my dogs- I do it naturally and without hesitation. Most pet parents probably feel the same. Yet…
I do think that setting aside a day to remind us to slow down is important, a time to focus on our dogs, listen to them and put a little extra effort into providing them what they need. There are so many ways to show your deaf dog that you love him, from healthy mealtimes to stimulating enrichment games to stuffed and squeaky toys begging to be dissected by Dr. Dog. National Love Your Pet Day– Saturday, February 20th, to be precise- is a great time to talk about giving our deaf dogs some extra and much-needed love.
Whether parenting two-legged humans who poop on themselves or four-legged fuzzballs that poop on the grass, two of the most important ways to express love is by keeping our charges healthy and safe. Living with a deaf dog isn’t harder, but it is different. Communication is an obvious difference, but so too is safety. Here are a few suggestions to easily keep you deaf dog safe and healthy, sponsored by Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food– because they love deaf dogs too!
This post is sponsored by Chicken Soup for The Soul Pet Food and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network. I am being compensated for helping create awareness around the Brand and new product launch, but Dog & His Boy only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Chicken Soup for The Soul is not responsible for the content of this article.
Personalized Collars, Leashes and Harnesses: Each of my deaf dogs has a personalized collar that indicates that he is deaf. And, because less is never more in my house, they also have matching leashes and harnesses. There are many companies that offer “I’m Deaf” collars or can personalize one for you. A quick online search will yield dozens of companies though I am partial to small, independent businesses and my go to site is Etsy. I find the handmade collars and accessories unique, of high quality and I like to know that I’m keeping my deaf dogs safe AND supporting other creative-minded pet lovers.
Hand Sign Training: Training is one of the most important ways you can express love to your deaf dog! Hand signs, as a form of communication, connects a deaf dog with his boy (or girl) on a fundamental level. By using our bodies to communicate, we are closer to speaking The Language of Dog than we could ever get to when relying on our voices alone. But more than connection, teaching the correct hand signs helps you keep your deaf dog focused on you and out of harm’s way.
“Watch me” is one of the most important signs you can teach a deaf dog. A deaf dog that knows this skill will frequently check in with his person, looking for information about his environment or what fun activity is next on the agenda. Having a deaf dog that checks in with you constantly means that you are better able to communicate changes in his environment- a loose dog, a speeding car, or perhaps one of those human children who just pooped on himself is now running to greet your dog!
GPS Collar: I love it when technology and deaf dog safety meet and I can’t think of a better example than a GPS collar! There are many models on the market at different price points and different data options, but the basic premise remains the same: if your deaf dog gets loose while wearing a GPS collar, you can pop onto your computer or cell phone and find out where he is. Depending on the collar you choose, cellular data or Wi-Fi will help you narrow in on your dog.
Playtime: It’s important to build play time into your dog’s life every day. It stimulates their brain, it provides much-needed exercise and, if they enjoy the company of other dogs, dedicated doggie play dates offer an opportunity for your dog to just be a dog with other dogs!
Proper Nutrition: As important as training, safety and playtime are, so too is proper nutrition. As a rotational feeder, I rotate high-quality food that offers both nutritional and health benefits. If your dog can’t tolerate grains, one kibble option that may be right for you and your dog is the brand new grain-free line of Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food.
Available in four flavors, one of which is a Limited ingredient Diet (LID) formula, this new line of dog food also includes ingredients that offer real health benefits. Frequently, deaf dogs are white and have sensitive, unpigmented skin. Food ingredients, topical medications and environmental irritants can cause skin problems or worse. If your deaf dog needs extra care in this area, Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food grain-free formulas offer balanced levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 to support healthy skin and coat, pre- and probiotics to help food absorption and healthy digestion along with fruits, vegetables and healthy herbs, such as chicory root, for good overall health.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food believes in the power of pets to improve our lives and change the world around them. In addition to offering wholesome food to fuel your dog to greatness, they are holding a Hero Dog contest. You submit your hero dog’s story right here. They are currently highlighting many pets on their Facebook page. Winners may appear on their Hidden Heroes television show or in an upcoming book!
I’ve submitted Edison’s story. Have you told Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food why your deaf dog is your hero?