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Spaw Day: DIY Coconut and Blueberry Facials for Dogs (and You, Too!)

Confession time: I will try anything for glowing skin. Similarly, I would do anything to spend more time with my two French Bulldogs, Weston and Fira. Luckily, this doggy-and-me DIY facial lets me accomplish both! Made from blueberries—a superfood, if you didn’t already know—it’s designed to soften your skin and brighten your dog’s fur. Is it just a bit extra? Yup. Is it worthy? Hell yeah.

That’s why I’ve whipped up a recipe for blueberry facials for dogs that feature this powerful little berry. And let me tell you: If you’re looking for a fun bonding activity with your dog, plus fresher, softer skin (for you) and fur (for your pupper), THIS. IS. IT.

The Benefits of Blueberries

Let’s talk about blueberries for a quick second…

At our house, we go through several baskets of blueberries a week. I throw them into smoothies, pancakes, oatmeal or just pop ‘em in my mouth for a quick snack. They are also one Weston and Fira’s favorite treats. In fact, they even know them by name: We call them “bloobs.”

“Want a bloob?”

Blueberries are bursting with vitamins and antioxidants which may reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and reduce cholesterol levels. Believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of any fruit, blueberries have powerful bioactive compounds called anthocyanins which are thought to be natural disease-fighters and what give these powerful little gems their dark blue color.

And when it comes to skincare, blueberries fight free radicals and boast natural vitamins A, B6, C and E and beta-carotene, just to name a few, which may help brighten both skin and dull dog fur.

Coconut & Blueberry Facials for You

DIY Facial

Here’s what you’ll need for your own DIY facial:

  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw organic honey
  • 1 tsp sugar


1. Mix: Mash all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and blended. You can also use a blender or food processor, which I did and it came out much smoother than with just a fork.

2. Apply: Apply your facial to clean skin—it definitely smells like a smoothie!

While wearing your mask (you’ll want to leave it on for about 15 minutes), you can apply your dog’s mask to their fur.

3. Wipe off: When ready, use a wet washcloth to thoroughly remove the mask.

DIY Facial
DIY Facial
Why honey? Honey can help fade acne and acne scars and reduce inflammation. Plus, it feels so soothing on the skin. The sugar is for natural and gentle exfoliation.

Coconut & Blueberry Facials for Dogs

DIY Facial

To mix up a blueberry facial for dogs, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil


1. Mix: Mash together in a bowl until smooth and blended.

2. Drop a towel: Make sure to apply with a towel laid out or in the bath, as it can get messy. (And P.S., this facial makes for a great “pre-shampoo” treatment!)

3. Apply and massage: When giving Fira her blueberry facial, I focused around her muzzle and eye fold area, taking care not to get it into her eyes. She actually has a small hot spot on her forehead, so I think this facial is going to be super gentle for those sensitive areas.

4. Rinse and wipe: After massaging it around a bit, I easily wiped it off with a wet washcloth, leaving Fira smelling oh-so fruity and sweet. Rinse and wash with your pet shampoo of choice. Make sure to give your pup a couple blueberries as treats while you’re at it!

DIY Facial
DIY Facial

I love that this blueberry facial for dogs is all-natural, lick-safe and gently scrubs away impurities and bacteria—perfect for those pesky tear stains.

After wiping my facial mask off with a wet washcloth, my skin honestly felt so baby smooth. It really “plumped” it up and felt soft. Which isn’t too surprising: Coconut oil contains antimicrobial properties that can protect skin from harmful bacteria and keep good moisture in—a benefit that can help both pets and people. It is magic for itchy, irritated skin and keeps it calm.

DIY Facial

Who knew this little “bloob” could do so much? Next time you find a basket of blueberries in your fridge, nibble on some but make sure to save a cup for your next spa day with your dog. Good things do come in small packages!

Grow Your Own Blueberries in Pots

Blueberry shrubs are some of the easiest plants to grow in large containers in full sun if you know a few tricks. It’s all in the 4 “P’s”—plant, prune, pick, protect.

Here’s what you need to know to grow fresh, sweet blueberries:

  • At least six hours of direct sun each day.
  • 18” deep (or larger) container with drainage hole on bottom
  • 2 self-fertile, dwarf blueberry shrubs (ask for best local varieties at your local garden center or check out Bushel and Berry’s website)
  • Plant in organic acid soil mix (bagged for azaleas and hydrangeas)
  • Apply organic fertilizer for acid plants in early spring or when planting
  • Water deeply and regularly as needed (in warmer months, this could be daily)
  • Mulch with acid-producers such as pine needles, pine bark, true cypress

Prune in late winter or early spring. Pick berries often—if birds are a problem, cover pots with netting. Finally, in coldest regions (zone 5 and under), protect by moving pots into a garage or sheltered spot.

That’s all there is too it. Depending on the size of the bush, you may have to wait two to three years before it produces fruit. Then expect 1 to 2 pints of blueberries per bush.

—Kate Karam, editor in chief at Chewy, landscape architect and Master Gardener

This DIY beauty treatment was reviewed by veterinarian. If your pet has allergies or any other health issues, or if you have any concerns, consult your pet’s veterinarian before indulging.

The post S<em>paw</em> Day: DIY Coconut and Blueberry Facials for Dogs (and You, Too!) appeared first on BeChewy.

How to Protect Dog Paws in Winter (And Their Coat and Nose, Too!)

Winter is in full swing and, in many parts of the country, our dogs are feeling the chill during their walks and backyard play. Our skin certainly feels the drying effects of the cold, but what about our pets?

Our furry companions need special attention, too—from the tips of their cold, wet noses to the bottom of their dog paws. Here, you’ll not only learn how to protect dog paws in winter, but also become a pro at caring for your pup’s coat and chilled nose.

How to Protect Dog Paws in Winter

During winter, the dry environment alone can cause cracking of a pet’s paw pads. To help avoid this, try using moisturizer for dog paws.

Several moisturizers for dog paws are available, including creams or lotions formulated to help soothe dry pads. Emollient lotions and waxes also are available and are designed specifically to help protect the tender, dry dog paws from the harsh winter elements.

Besides the dryness of winter, there are other ways for dog paws to get hurt and damaged this season.

Ice and snow can pack and accumulate within the paw pads, causing discomfort. Ice, salt and other chemicals commonly used to melt snow can pose big problems for pets. Even exposure to non-chemical ice and snow control, like gravel or dirt, can cause cuts, splits and irritation on already tender and cold dog paws.

For pups who are super sensitive to the outdoor elements, well-fitting dog booties might be the answer. While it might seem foreign to the dog—and funny to watch at first—dogs usually adjust to them quite quickly.

Unfortunately, the average pet parent may not realize there is a problem until they see their dog licking or chewing his paws. By the time pet parents notice this, the damage already may be done, meaning several trips to the veterinarian become necessary to relieve the irritation.

You can help avoid this by performing daily checks on your dog’s paws. Looking between the toes, under the pads and around the base of the toenails can alert you to any issues and allow for treatment before the situation gets any worse.

How to Protect Your Dog’s Coat in Winter

Coat care is an important aspect of keeping your pet comfortable in the cooler weather.

A freshly bathed and brushed coat will help dogs tolerate the cold weather better.

You can also consider getting a dog winter coat to protect them from the cold.

For example, moisturizing dog shampoo and conditioner can help combat the dry skin and coat, and they can cut static that can come from being outside and then entering a heated room.

How to Protect Your Dog’s Nose in Winter

Your pet’s nose also needs a little bit of attention during cold days. Some dogs—usually those with darker colored noses—can experience a slight lightening of the color. This is called a “weathered nose,” which also might appear cracked and crusty.

A dry, winter nose can be kept clean and healthy by applying a thin layer of coconut oil, Vaseline or similar product made specifically for pets each day.

Usually, the nose will return to its original darker color in the summer months.

Just because winter is coming, doesn’t mean you and your pup can’t enjoy the outdoors. By following the above measures, you can help ensure a safe and fun playtime this season. Next, why not pick up a new toy or two for your pup to play with indoors this winter?

The post How to Protect Dog Paws in Winter (And Their Coat and Nose, Too!) appeared first on BeChewy.

Why Is My Cat Drooling? 12 Possible Reasons

From picky eating to post-litter box zoomies, our kitties have all sorts of silly quirks that leave us guessing. Drooling is another cat behavior that some felines experience, and the cause can range from minor concerns to health conditions that require more urgency.

“There are several reasons your cat may be drooling,” says Terrence Ferguson, DVM, a veterinarian based in Bonaire, Georgia. “It may be something as simple as your cat not liking the taste of their prescribed medication to more serious health concerns.” Call your vet if persistent, excessive drooling does not resolve after two to three hours.

Trying to figure out why your cat’s drooling and if it’s time for a vet visit? Review these causes of cat drool so you can make an informed decision.

Photo of a man brushing a cat's teeth Kashaeva

1Dental Disease

Just like humans and dogs, cats are susceptible to oral disease. They can experience kitty cavities, plaque/tartar buildup and gingivitis (gum disease). If dental issues are causing cat drool, “you may notice a discoloration and rough areas on your cat’s teeth that would normally be white and smooth,” notes Ferguson.

Bad breath; pawing at the mouth or face; and reduced appetite are other symptoms. You should brush your cat’s teeth daily (it’s not as tricky as it sounds). Your vet may also recommend a professional cleaning or tooth extractions.

2Upper Respiratory Infection

Cats can get upper respiratory infections (common colds), which can lead to sneezing, sniffling, coughing and drooling. They’re most apt to catch a cold when spending time around other sick kitties, which can happen if they visit the vet, an emergency hospital or are otherwise socializing.

Call your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Make sure your pet maintains proper nutrition and hydration, and try to keep them as comfortable as possible until the symptoms pass.

3Chewing or Ingesting Foreign Objects

Cats are known for scratching, but they also have a tendency to chew—especially while playing. Ingestion of a foreign body—such as a string, hair tie, electrical cords or piece of a cat toy—can cause them to start drooling, says Talisa Valencia, a veterinary assisting instructor at Carrington College in Mesa, Arizona.

These foreign objects can be irritating to your cat’s mouth or cause discomfort, which results in drooling. If the object is lodged in your cat’s esophagus, this can also cause excessive salivation and should be treated immediately.


Similarly, certain medications may make your cat drool, especially if they have a bitter taste. “A cat’s defense mechanism when tasting something bitter is to purge it from their system by foaming at the mouth or sometimes even vomiting,” Ferguson says.

Ask your veterinarian if they have a more palatable medication your cat may like. You can also try pill pockets like Feline Greenies, or dipping the medication in a tasty broth like Fancy Feast Classic Broths to mask the flavor. Some medications can be compounded into a formula that absorbs through the skin, so your cat won’t have to taste it at all.

Photo of a cat sniffing a houseplant Shapran

5Consuming Toxic Substances

When cats ingest toxic or irritating substances, it initiates that same purging response that leads to drooling. If you suspect your cat has chewed on or eaten something they shouldn’t have—like poisonous houseplants or food—seek veterinary care right away for immediate treatment.


If your cat is about to have a hairball or just had one, there’s a solid chance it’s accompanied by saliva. Cats produce saliva as a sort of lubricant that helps coax the hairball out of their body. The act can also trigger saliva production in their mouth, since it’s irritating.

Hairballs, while common in cats, should be addressed if they are frequent. Hacking up a hairball causes quite a bit of distress on your poor feline. Talk to your vet about ways you can minimize your cat’s hairballs. Options include brushing more regularly and trying new foods or treats.


When cats feel nauseous or ill, Ferguson says, this can result in increased drooling. Cats can feel nauseous for all sorts of reasons, including eating something that didn’t agree with their tummy; taking car rides; and underlying conditions. If the drooling persists more than two hours, head to the vet.

8Mouth or Throat Cancer

Though it is less common, if cats develop cancer in the mouth or back of the throat, this can cause tumors in the oral cavity or deformities on the tongue. “These deformities may lead to difficulty swallowing or closing the mouth, which can lead to drooling,” Ferguson says. If you suspect your cat’s drooling is caused by cancer, schedule a visit with your vet to check for signs of cancer and to begin treatment promptly.


9Neurological Disease or Complications

Neurological issues—such as feline epilepsy or brain tumors—are another less common reason why cats drool, but it’s still worth considering. Cats with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) or Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) may also experience neurological complications.

Signs of neurological issues include excessive drooling; seizures; poor motor control; changes in behavior; and problems with coordination or balance. See your vet immediately if your cat exhibits any of these symptoms.

10Kidney Disease

It may seem unrelated, but kidney disease can cause excessive cat drooling. As the kidneys’ ability to function properly declines, waste buildup occurs in your cat’s bloodstream. This results in nausea, food aversions and generally feeling not so great. Kidney disease is also associated with an uptick in oral or dental problems, including mouth ulcers, bad breath and infections.

Your veterinarian can diagnose kidney disease based on testing and observation. They will prescribe medications and treatments to help manage and alleviate your cat’s discomfort.

11Anxiety or Fear

Cat drooling can also occur when your feline is feeling frazzled, stressed, anxious or fearful. Other signs your cat is agitated include hiding; hissing or howling; an arched back; a stiff body; and a bushy tail. They may also be more aggressive when they’re in this state, and could swing at you with their paws or try to bite.

It’s important to help mitigate their anxiety when this occurs. Give them the space they need; try to remove triggers; and allow them time to calm down. If this is a persistent issue, speak with your veterinarian about possible causes and solutions. Find more ways to soothe your cat’s stress.

12Feeling Relaxed or Happy

While most of the above causes of cat drooling require some lifestyle adjustments or immediate veterinary care, there’s one cause that’s not worrisome: a happy cat. Some cats are simply prolific droolers who start salivating when they’re in a content, relaxed or otherwise happy state of mind.

If you notice some slobber while your kitty’s kneading; purring; being petted; eating yummy food or treats; or resting in a relaxed position, there’s no need to fret. Lean into the happy vibes and give them some extra love.

We know you care about your pet’s health. Sometimes drooling may not seem like a big deal, but this subtle symptom can signal that there’s something amiss. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and consult your veterinarian, especially if excessive drooling doesn’t stop after a couple hours or if it’s a persistent issue in your cat’s daily life. Check out our tips on how to make your cat’s vet visits a success.

The post Why Is My Cat Drooling? 12 Possible Reasons appeared first on BeChewy.

10 Tips to Keep Your Senior Cat Healthy

As much as we try to resist it or ignore it, we simply cannot deny that our cats age quicker than we do. Their needs and habits progressively shift, so our challenge as pet parents is to recognize change and helping our cats adapt. We want to keep them healthy and comfortable, just as we’d do for any of our beloved family members. The American Association of Feline Practitioners has developed new medical guidelines for senior cat care, which you can check out at AAFP.

The AAFP classifies our aging pets as “mature” or middle age (7-10 years), “senior” (11-14 years) and “geriatric” (15+ years). To help out, two AAFP vets have offered their advice to make cat parents as senior-savvy as possible as Kitty edges toward her Medi-cat years. Read on to learn these invaluable tips for caring for a senior cat.

10 Tips for Caring for a Senior Cat

1Make Vet Visits a Priority

How to Make Your Dog Live Longer


Feline experts recommend aging cats—even healthy ones—see the vet more often, at least every six months. Jeanne Pittari, DVM, DABVP says that six months for a senior cat is roughly equivalent to two years for a person.

“A lot can change in that time,” she says. “Getting to know a cat and its owner facilitates a strong working relationship, allowing me to do my absolute best to meet the needs of each individual patient.”

Your vet may schedule blood, urine and blood pressure tests periodically in addition to a thorough general exam. Prepare questions for your vet, including concerns about behavioral changes.

“You know your cat and its routines better than anyone. If your cat has difficulty going up or down steps, does not jump like it used to, or any other changes, we want to know in order to make recommendations,” explains Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP.

You might also want to consider a cat-friendly vet during this time in your pet’s life. Even if you’re happy with your current vet, your kitty’s needs may eventually require additional, specialized care. Those vet practices have taken extra steps to assure they understand a cat’s unique needs, with kitty-friendly standards and changes designed to decrease stress and offer a more calming environment.

2Watch Their Weight

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Photo: Demidiuk

Any weight changes—whether an increase or unplanned loss—means Kitty needs a trip to the vet. Dr. Pittari says that weight gain in mid-life can predispose chronic diseases and a shortened life span, and weight loss in advanced age is usually a sign that something is amiss. Common diseases that cause weight loss, such as hyperthyroidism, intestinal illness, and diabetes, can happen with a normal or even increased appetite.

“Don’t assume that because your older cat is eating normally, he’s not losing weight,” Dr. Pittari says. “Gradual changes in weight are hard to notice and monitoring your cat’s weight is one of the most important reasons for routine examinations.”

3Know Your Plates

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Photo: Chewy Studios

Is your aging cat chowing down or just nibbling? Dr. Pittari says that owners often don’t realize just how much their cat eats daily, especially in multi-cat homes.

Monitor food intake so you know immediately if your cat is eating less,” Pittari says. “This helps us intervene sooner when problems are easier to address.”

And don’t automatically switch to a ‘senior’ food. Your vet can advise whether your cat needs added protein or specific vitamins, and a cat food labeled ‘senior’ may not always be the right choice. Feline nutritional needs change with age, for both healthy older cats and those with chronic illnesses, so discuss your cat’s best diet options with your vet. If you have more than one cat, you’ll need detailed recommendations for each.

Learn more about the best senior cat food and how to feed your older cat.

4Noticing New Habits

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One of the marvels of felines is their skill at hiding pain or illness; signs can be so subtle, you’ll easily miss something. Notice your cat sleeping more than usual or hiding? Don’t hesitate to take action.

“When owners think they’re overreacting by bringing their kitty to see me, I tell them ‘You can’t overreact with a cat’,” says Dr. Pittari. “I’d much rather find nothing too serious than have you wait and bring me a very sick kitty.”

Consider keeping a ‘kitty diary’ to chronicle appetite, vomiting, and bowel movements, as well as track changes. Providing such specifics to your vet will help her pinpoint health issues.

5Look When You Scoop

How to Make Your Dog Live Longer

Photo: Chewy Studios

It’s a yucky topic, but a crucial one. Are your aging cat’s stools softer, harder or changing color? Is she going less often?

According to Dr. Pittari, “Constipation is a common yet under-recognized sign of dehydration in older cats. But if it’s attended to early, your vet can easily get your kitty comfortable again.”

If you notice the amount of urine in the cat litter box changing, Dr. Pittari says that “increased urine output can single some of the most common illnesses in elderly cats, from diabetes or an over-active thyroid gland to kidney disease and high blood pressure.”

So talk to your vet immediately about any stool or urinary changes, and always be certain your cat has plenty of fresh drinking water available.

6Avoid Accidents, Litter-ally Speaking

How to Make Your Dog Live Longer

Photo: Chewy Studios

Aging cats who’ve never had litter box issues may start having accidents.

“Your first step is evaluating any medical cause of house-soiling,” says Dr. Pittari. “Urinary infections, constipation, arthritis, and muscle weakness are just a few of the reasons an older cat can develop litter box issues. Your vet can evaluate the various medical issues and address environmental concerns that may be contributing to the change in behavior.”

Be sure the litter box is easy to get into, in a quiet, accessible spot, shielded from other pets that may scare or startle your cat. Scooping or cleaning regularly, and using a litter that’s gentle on your cat’s paws, will make her litter box experience more comfortable.

7Take Proper Steps When It Comes to Staircases

How to Make Your Dog Live Longer

Photo: Chewy Studios

While healthy cats can benefit from the exercise of going upstairs and downstairs to use a litter box, for aging and arthritic cats or those experiencing other pain, a staircase can be a mountain of dread.

Many cat parents may not detect signs of pain or arthritis and so don’t realize what a huge, unhappy factor stairs can be. Navigating a flight to reach his litter box can cause a cat so much discomfort that he’ll avoid the climb and begin having accidents.

Keeping litter boxes, as well as food, water, even bedding, in areas that are not elevated, will transform a feline obstacle course into a senior support system.

8Creature Comforts

How to Make Your Dog Live Longer

Photo: Chewy Studios

Older cats often need more warmth and padding to stay cozy, so your home environment may benefit from some adjustments.

  • Layer soft blankets or flannel sheets in fave napping spots, and add a folded sweatshirt or old sweater to plump up her cat bed.
  • Consider step stools, ramps, or other boosts toward places that Kitty may suddenly find out of reach.
  • If your cat enjoys looking out the window, place a squishy pillow or two on the windowsill for additional cushioning.
  • Aging cats love to snuggle under bedspreads or quilts, so give yours a roomy fleece covering of her own.
  • For travel, especially vet visits, make her cat carrier extra-comfortable with soft, familiar bedding.

9Slowing Down? Proceed With Caution

How to Make Your Dog Live Longer


While older cats are not as energetic as kittens, Dr. Pittari says that most owners incorrectly assume that slowing down is an unavoidable part of aging.

“Slowing down is often a sign of underlying discomfort or pain,” she notes.

Dr. Pittari says arthritis is present in the vast majority of older cats and appropriate treatment can help them remain active and engaged. Absolutely always consult your vet about arthritis treatment. And never self-medicate your cat: Medications used for humans and dogs can be deadly for cats.

Another common cause of pain in your cat can be dental disease, whether from gum issues or tooth pain. Your vet will get Kitty to say, “Aaaah!” and determine how to ease her dental woes.

10Strengthen Your Bond

How to Make Your Dog Live Longer


Both Dr. Pittari and Dr. Rodan remind cat parents that the bonds with our older companion pets are special and that we may rely on our cats as much as they depend upon us. Cats often crave more attention than they asked for in their younger years, so it’s crucial to provide physical and mental stimulation.

Petting, playing with her and helping with grooming will all keep her purring. Gently brush or comb her fur, and regularly examine her claws to keep nails from becoming overgrown by carefully trimming them.

“The nails of older, arthritic cats sometimes overgrow into the paw pads,” Dr. Pittari cautions. “Most owners aren’t aware this can happen.”

Talking to your cat in soothing tones and offering daily doses of affection will remind her that she’s an important part of your life, no matter how many birthdays she’s celebrated. View more must-haves in the Senior Cat Shop at Chewy.

The post 10 Tips to Keep Your Senior Cat Healthy appeared first on BeChewy.

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Belly up. Tongue out. Snores aplenty. Is there a more adorable sight? Surely, dogs sleep as much as we pet parents wish we could. But if you’ve ever wondered why they sleep so much—and if your dog’s sleeping habits are normal—you’re not alone.

We spoke with veterinary experts to learn more about typical sleep in dogs; potential causes for oversleeping; and how to help them get a good night’s rest.

How Much Should Dogs Sleep?

Average adult dogs typically sleep 12-14 hours a day, while puppies and senior dogs slumber for about 18-20 hours.

“[Dogs’] sleep cycles are definitely shorter than humans’, and they can go from fully asleep to fully alert very quickly,” says Dr. Patrik Holmboe, DVM, and head veterinarian for Cooper Pet Care in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. “They’re also generally lighter sleepers than humans.”

Dogs are considered to be diurnal when it comes to their sleep schedules: Much like us, they’re often active during the day—but also open to a nice siesta—and sleep through the night. And again, like us, they can enter REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

While dogs do love snoozing, the amount of time they spend counting sheep depends on factors, such as their age, overall health, breed, diet and activity level. For example, a puppy will require more sleep for growth and development compared to an adult dog. Additionally, smaller-breed dogs need less sleep compared to large breeds.

Photo of a dog sleeping on a rug

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

It can be a mystery at times as to why our dogs catch z’s as much as they do. Fortunately, there are a few common reasons that can explain this behavior. Some of these are normal, while others deserve a check-in with a veterinarian.

1 They’re conserving their energy.

Though our dogs are pampered beyond belief with treats, toys and playtime now, there’s a good reason they seem to sleep for an unnecessarily long time.

“In the wild, conserving energy was crucial for survival, and this instinctual behavior has carried over to our domesticated pals,” says Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM, a dog trainer based in California.

Holmboe says this is absolutely a big reason some dogs sleep so much. “Hunting prey consumes a massive amount of energy—both mental and caloric—so there’s no question that a lot of sleep helps keep them in tip-top shape should a hunt occur,” he says.

2 They’re stressed.

No one—person or pup—is a stranger to stress. Acute or chronic stress in dogs can affect sleeping patterns, causing a lack of sleep in some and more frequent, lengthier periods of sleep in others.

“Just like us, when dogs are stressed or anxious, they might retreat and sleep more as a coping mechanism,” Kong says.

Watch for other signs of stress in dogs, such as:

  • Dilated pupils or showing “whale eyes,” aka the whites of their eyes
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Yawning
  • Licking
  • Destructive behavior
  • Hiding or showing clinginess

If your canine companion shows signs of stress, consult your vet to determine the cause and find the best solution.

3They’re bored.

Physical and mental stimulation is essential for our canine companions’ overall health and well-being—even for the ones who’d rather lounge on the couch than play a game of fetch. This is the case even more so for working dogs, as it’s in their nature to have a job to do.

“Without enough physical or mental stimulation,” Kong says, “dogs might decide to nap the day away.”

Dogs can thrive with enrichment in the form of exercise, playtime, socialization and training. Try a variety of activities to see which your best pal might love most, whether it’s going for a walk; sniffing a snuffle mat; playing with a ball toy; or having a doggie playdate.

4They’re sick or injured.

“If a dog feels under the weather or is recovering from an injury, they’ll naturally want to rest more,” Kong says.

Holmboe echoes this sentiment, adding that a dog who’s unwell will sleep more in an effort to heal faster.

If you notice signs of illness or injury, contact your vet right away. Because underlying health issues can affect a dog’s sleep, routine checkups can also ensure that they’re healthy and getting adequate rest.

Photo of a dog sleeping on a couch Richli

When to Worry About Your Dog’s Sleep

Because dog sleep disorders do exist, it’s always a good idea to address any concerns you have with your vet. When it comes to your dog’s sleep, Dr. Alex Crow, MRCVS (BVETMED), a veterinary surgeon in Nottingham, U.K. says there are a few signs and symptoms that warrant a call or visit to the vet.

Sleep-related signs and symptoms to watch for include:

  • Sudden changes in sleep patterns
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Nighttime restlessness
  • Changes in breathing or vocalization during sleep
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Changes in behavior (e.g. more fearful, reactive or withdrawn)

Some common dog sleep disorders and other illnesses that may affect a dog’s sleep include:

  • Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by a dog’s throat muscles collapsing, causing noisy breathing, loud snoring and frequent waking.
  • Hypothyroidism: More common in middle-age and senior dogs, hypothyroidism is an endocrine disease that causes lethargy, increased sleep and weight gain.
  • Separation anxiety: Dogs with anxiety, particularly separation anxiety, may be restless, pacing or whining during the night. They may also have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Pain: “Any type of pain can disrupt sleep, including pain from injuries, surgery or chronic conditions such as arthritis,” Crow says. “Dogs with pain may be restless and wake up frequently during the night.”
  • Arthritis: Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints, which can make it difficult for dogs to get enough sleep, since they may be in pain or unable to find a comfortable position.
  • Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS): CDS, aka dementia, is a condition that affects older dogs, causing symptoms including confusion, disorientation and sleep disturbances. Dogs with CDS may wake up often during the night or have trouble sleeping through the night.
  • Heart issues: Issues such as heart disease can make it difficult for dogs to breathe, and may cause them to snore loudly or gasp for air while asleep, resulting in frequent waking .

How to Help Your Dog Get the Best Sleep

Regardless of whether your dog shares the bed with you or has countless beds set up around your home, there are ways you can help them get proper shut-eye.

Crow shares the following tips on how to help your canine companion sleep well:

  • Create a bedtime routine, and stick to it as much as possible. This will help your dog wind down and prepare for sleep. The routine could include brushing their teeth and taking them for a short walk.
  • Make sure your dog’s sleeping area is quiet, dark and comfortable. Your pet should have a safe and cozy place to sleep where they won’t be disturbed. You may want to consider blackout curtains or a calming diffuser to create a relaxing environment.
  • Exercise your dog regularly. Exercise can help your pet sleep better at night. However, avoid exercising your pet too close to bedtime, as this can overstimulate them.

And what would a good night’s rest be without a plush, snuggly bed? When looking for dog beds, Kong says it’s all about comfort and support.

“Look for beds made with high-quality, durable materials that provide adequate cushioning, especially for older dogs or those with joint issues,” she says. “The bed should be large enough for your dog to stretch out comfortably.”

If your dog has a solid routine and quiet place to sleep, and still struggles to sleep well, supplements formulated with melatonin, L-theanine, chamomile or probiotics could help. However, it’s always a good idea to consult a veterinarian before adding them to your dog’s daily regimen.

“In general, an animal shouldn’t need supplements to help them sleep,” Holmboe says. “If there’s an issue—whether medical, physical, or environmental—that is complicating their sleep, then by far, the better course of action is to address the underlying issue.”

It’s normal for dogs to sleep for what we might perceive as a long time, especially if they’re puppies or seniors. The total hours of sleep can vary depending on a dog’s age, health, breed, energy levels and diet. If you notice signs of excessive sleep, reach out to a vet to rule out any underlying illnesses.

Need more tips on finding the best dog bed for your pup? We’ve got you covered.

The post Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much? appeared first on BeChewy.

11 Tips for Surviving Road Trips With a Dog

Have you been dreaming of your next road trip? While traveling with your dog is always a fun and memorable adventure, longer road trips with a dog can also be challenging. Dogs can get restless, and behave in ways that aren’t safe, like hanging out of the window, or jumping in your lap when you’re cruising at highway speeds.

So, how can you make sure that both you and your dog stay safe and happy during long hauls on the road? We rounded up experts’ top tips for road trips with your dog. Don’t hit the road without them!

11 Tips for Surviving Road Trips With a Dog

1Plan a pet-friendly route

When you’re on a road trip with your dog, you’ll have to plan around their needs—and that means pulling over for potty breaks and exercise. Check to make sure your route has plenty of safe places to let your pet stretch their legs.

“Most major rest stops have dog areas for them to go to the bathroom, stretch their legs and play,” says Dana Vachon, CPDT-KA, a dog trainer at Philly Unleashed Dog Training.

Take COVID-19 precautions into account while you’re planning too, advises Dr. Lin Chen, director of the Travel Medicine Center at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “A general rule is to treat pets like a family member,” she says. Be prepared to follow the safety guidelines recommended by local and state leaders, in addition to CDC guidelines for travel.

2Take practice trips ahead of time

If you know that your dog is particularly anxious during car rides, consider trying behavioral training techniques.

“Before leaving on a long road trip with your dog, take some short practice trips that end in positive experiences for them,” Vachon says.

Rides to the dog park or a favorite pet store, for example, will help form more positive associations with driving. (In other words, don’t limit your car rides to visits to the vet!)

3Check in with your vet

Is your pet healthy enough to travel? You won’t know for sure unless you talk to your veterinarian.

If your dog has existing health issues, ask about how travel may affect them, and make sure your dog’s vaccines and flea and tick preventatives are up to date, advises Chewy’s resident vet, Dr. Katy Nelson, DMV.

This is also an opportunity to ask your vet about anti-nausea or stress-reducing aids that may be useful to your pet during your drive (more on that later).

4Pack the essentials

It’s always a good idea to travel with your pet’s necessities. Packing your pet’s food and water, treats, medicine, toys, feeding bowls and other supplies will help keep you prepared and your dog comfortable.

“Remember to bring equipment to pick up pet waste, so that everything can be disposed of safely,” she adds.

And don’t forget your own essentials for COVID-19 safety! Dr. Chen suggests keeping masks and hand sanitizer beside you in the car just in case, even if you don’t expect to encounter many crowds.

Dr. Nelson also suggests using pet grooming wipes to clean pets’ paws and fur.

5Protect your dog—and your car

When road tripping with a dog, your pet’s safety comes before everything else.

Vachon recommends using a dog sling or hammock in the back seat to create a safe and comfortable space for your travel buddy.

These tools can keep your pet safe in the car—and also save your car’s upholstery from fur and claw marks.

The Frisco Water-Resistant Hammock Car Seat Cover keeps messes off your seats, and is even machine-washable in case of any big spills. A car seat, like the Frisco Dog Bucket Booster Seat, can give smaller pets a better view from the window while keeping them safe and secure.

Either way, protecting your car will help you keep your eyes on the road, instead of checking the backseat to make sure your pup isn’t chewing the armrest—and that keeps both of you safe.

6Wear that dog out!

A tired dog is often a well-behaved dog, so right before you embark on your trip, Vachon suggests, take your pet for a long run or a visit to the dog park.

“This should help your dog feel more rested and maybe even sleep for a portion of the trip,” she says.

7Keep your dog entertained

To make the ride easier for you both, you will want to keep your dog entertained and engaged. Your best bet? “Bring your dog something to chew on,” Vachon says.

A favorite chew toy, such as a Frisco Peanut Butter Flavor Tough Nylon Dog Chew Toy, will keep your dog busy—plus, it’ll prevent them from chewing on the car’s seat belts, a favorite pastime of many canine road warriors, she says.

A tug toy to play with at rest stops is also a must. Tug-of-war sessions wear dogs out both physically and mentally, Vachon says, which will help them rest between pit stops.

Dog disc toys or fetch toys will also get your dog moving, “but they should only be used at rest stops that offer your dog lots of space to run around,” and ideally someplace fenced in, adds Vachon. “Not just a big parking lot.”

8Stay safe at gas stations

Filling up the tank is a necessary task on road trips. But gas stations are high traffic areas—places where hundreds or even thousands of people visit in the course of a day—so it’s important to be extra-vigilant about COVID-19 safety.

“Wear your mask and try not to touch areas that many people have touched,” Dr. Chen says.

At gas stations, touching high-traffic items like gas pumps or door handles can be unavoidable. So, bring some disinfecting wipes if you can’t avoid touching those areas, so you can cleanse them, Dr. Chen says. “And when you go to public bathrooms, certainly wash your hands very, very well.”

And of course, anytime you’re around moving vehicles (like when you’re at the gas station), your dog should stay inside your car at all times. Make sure they’re secured to prevent them from jumping out unexpectedly.

9Don’t ignore your dog’s nerves

If you notice your dog is stressed or anxious while riding in the car, Vachon suggests using natural stress reducing remedies.

Pressure wraps, like a Thundershirt, or supplements, like Vibeful Calming Melatonin Soft Chews Supplement, can all help reduce stress in dogs.

10Take frequent breaks

You need to take breaks when you’re cooped up in the car for extended periods of time, right? So does your dog.

Vachon recommends anywhere from 2 to 3 hours between pit stops.

“Your dog may have regained his energy after your last play session,” she says. “So use these breaks as a time to play, engage, and give attention to your dog.”

11Follow CDC Guidelines

No matter where you are or where you’re going, adhering to the CDC’s COVID-19 safety guidelines will help keep you safe, especially with cases on the rise. Its recommendations include:

  • Maintain a 6-foot distance from other people and their pets
  • Wear a cloth face covering
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes mouth or nose

Remember, you’re taking precautions not only for yourself, but for your dog. They need you to be healthy, too!

Every road trip begins with prep. You plan your route, you make your packing list, you pack favorite road snacks, and you craft the perfect road trip playlist. As you’re dreaming up your next road trip with your dog, remember to plan for the needs of your pup as well. Safe travels!

The post 11 Tips for Surviving Road Trips With a Dog appeared first on BeChewy.

Can Cats Eat Pork? Everything You Need to Know

As you savor a succulent pork chop, the inquisitive eyes of your feline companion might make you wonder, “Can cats eat pork?”

The answer depends on the type of pork and its preparation. Plain, lean, thoroughly cooked pork is generally safe for cats in small amounts. However, you should not give your cat processed pork (like bacon or ham) or any type of pork that’s seasoned or smothered in sauce. (Unless you want to whip up a batch of this cat-friendly, vet-approved BBQ sauce to lightly slather on some pork as a special treat!)

We spoke to a vet expert to understand the dos and don’ts of offering pork to your purring pal.

Expert input provided by Dr. Sarah Gorman, DVM, CCRP, veterinarian at Small Door Veterinary in Newton, Massachusetts.

How Much Pork Can I Give My Cat? And How Often?

When treating your cat to a taste of pork, the pork should be:

  • Lean: Always stick to lean cuts of pork (like tenderloin or loin chops). Eating a large amount of fatty pork can lead to digestive issues and pancreatitis.
  • Fully cooked and unseasoned: The pork should be free of salt, onion, garlic, spices, sauces or marinades.

For most cats, 1-3 small pieces (roughly the size of a pea or two) is sufficient for a treat.

As for frequency, offering pork as a treat once a week or less is recommended.

A general rule of thumb when giving your cat treats or human food, including pork, is the 10 percent rule: No more than 10 percent of your cat’s daily calories should come from these items. The other 90 percent should come from well-balanced cat food.

5 Ways to Safely Treat Your Cat to Pork

Treating your beloved feline to the rich flavor of pork requires a blend of creativity and safety.

Here are some ideas for offering your furry friend this tasty indulgence.

1Keep It Simple

If you want to keep things simple, plain, cooked pork is the way to go.

To prepare the pork, follow these steps:

  1. Boil plain loin chops or tenderloin in water until thoroughly cooked (about 30 minutes). Do not add oil, seasonings, spices or sauces.
  2. Cut the cooked pork into small, pea-size pieces, and treat your cat to a small piece or two.
  3. Save leftovers in the fridge (up to three days) and/or freezer for later use.

2Make Porky Pops

Looking for a tasty treat for your kitty on those hot summer days? Whip up a batch of porky pops! Here’s how to make them:

  1. Cut plain, lean, cooked pork into tiny bits.
  2. Get an ice cube tray and put two to three small bits of pork in each ice cube slot.
  3. Pour a cat-friendly broth (like Caru Bone Broth) over the pork, filling the ice cube slots to the top.
  4. Place in the freezer until the broth is frozen.
  5. As an occasional treat, remove an ice cube from the tray and give it to your cat to lick.

As the ice melts, your cat will be rewarded with the bits of pork. Just be sure to monitor your cat with the ice cube, taking away pieces they could choke on.

3Make Baked Pork Bites

Looking for a crunchy treat your cats will go crazy for? Try making baked pork bites. Here’s how:

  1. Set your oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut lean, plain pork into pea-size pieces.
  3. Place the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the oven until thoroughly cooked and crispy (about 35 minutes).
  5. Store in the refrigerator for two weeks or freeze for months.

4Seek Out Commercial Cat Food with Pork

There are several high-quality cat foods on the market that include pork as a primary ingredient. If your chosen brand offers pork as a flavor option, follow the feeding guidelines on the packaging.

Here are a few good options:

5Offer Pork-Based Cat Treats

For those who prefer the convenience of store-bought cat treats, here are some good pork-based options to try:

Benefits of Pork for Your Cat

When fed appropriately, pork can offer your kitty a variety of benefits.

Here’s why adding this meat to your cat’s diet, either through treats or their primary food, can be advantageous:

  • It offers high-quality protein: As obligate carnivores, cats require a diet high in animal protein. Pork is an excellent source of protein, offering essential amino acids like taurine and arginine. Protein supports various bodily functions, including muscle growth, tissue repair, and the production of enzymes and hormones.
  • Provides essential vitamins and minerals: Pork is a good source of several essential nutrients, including B vitamins (especially B6 and B12), which aid in metabolic processes, energy production and the formation of red blood cells. Pork also offers essential minerals, like phosphorus (important for bone health) and zinc (supports a strong immune system).
  • Has an enticing flavor: Many cats find pork delicious. Introducing pork can add variety to your cat’s diet and entice picky eaters.
  • It makes for a high-value treat: Cats can be motivated by treats to follow commands or practice new behaviors. A delectable morsel of pork might be just the incentive your kitty needs to perfect that new trick or to reinforce a positive behavior.

Risks of Giving Your Cat Pork

While pork can offer some benefits when given as an occasional treat, there are also risks cat owners should be aware of.

Here are some potential hazards associated with feeding pork to your feline:

  • Parasitic infections: Undercooked or raw pork can harbor parasites that are harmful to cats. A notable one is roundworm, or Trichinella spiralis, which can lead to trichinosis. This condition can result in digestive disturbances, muscle inflammation and fever. To avoid this risk, ensure pork is always thoroughly cooked. One exception is store-bought raw cat food, like Primal Pork Nuggets, which uses high-pressure processing to kill harmful microbes.
  • Bone hazards: Pork bones, especially once cooked, can splinter easily. These fragments pose a choking hazard and can cause a blockage in a cat’s digestive tract. Always remove any bones before serving your cat pork.
  • Toxic ingredients: Pork prepared for humans is typically seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder or other spices. Such seasonings can be toxic to cats. Onions and garlic, for example, can cause anemia. Also, processed pork, such as ham and bacon, often contains preservatives like sodium nitrites that can be toxic to cats in large quantities.
  • Salt intake: Processed or pre-seasoned pork products are usually high in salt. An elevated salt intake can cause increased thirst and urination in cats. In more severe instances, excessive salt can lead to salt poisoning.
  • Obesity risk: While an occasional treat is OK, regularly feeding your cat pork, particularly the fattier cuts, can lead to weight gain. Obesity can increase the risk of several health issues, including joint problems, diabetes and heart disease. Get tips for helping overweight felines.

FAQs About Pork and Cats

Here are some other questions and answers pet parents commonly have about cats and pork.


Can cats eat cooked pork?

A:Yes, cats can eat cooked pork as long as it’s plain, lean and free from seasonings or harmful additives. Always serve in moderation as an occasional treat.


What happens if cats eat pork?

A:If a cat eats a small amount of properly cooked and plain pork, there’s typically no need to worry. This is a safe and enjoyable treat. However, consuming seasoned, raw or fatty pork can cause digestive upset or more severe health issues. In these cases, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Pet Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately for guidance.


Can cats eat pork rinds?

A:No, cats should not eat pork rinds, as they are typically high in salt and fat, which can be harmful to cats.


What meat should cats not eat?

A:Cats should avoid undercooked or raw meats due to parasite risks. Additionally, seasoned meats or those with harmful additives (like onions and garlic) should be avoided. It’s also advisable to avoid meats high in fat or those that are processed, like sausages and bacon.
Looking for more human foods to support your feline friend’s health and delight their palate? Here are 17 human foods cats can safely eat, from eggs to bananas to pumpkin. As always, consult with your veterinarian before incorporating new foods into your cat’s diet.

The post Can Cats Eat Pork? Everything You Need to Know appeared first on BeChewy.

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

It’s no secret that cats cherish their sleep—even if it means waking us up in the middle of the night as they get into bed to snuggle and lay on our chest. And no matter what time of day it is, we’re never surprised to see our kitty companion catching some quick z’s. (Hence the term “catnaps.”)

If you’ve ever wondered why your cat’s sleeping all the time, you’re not alone. We tapped veterinary experts to learn more about when it’s normal, signs that may warrant a visit to a veterinarian, and tips on how pet parents can help cats get the best sleep.

How Much Should Cats Sleep?

So, how much sleep do cats need? Adult cats typically sleep for an average of 12–16 hours a day, while the sleep time for kittens and senior cats can be as much as 20 hours per day.

While we humans aim to get eight hours of sleep every night and can only dream of sleeping as much as our furry companions do, cats don’t tend to sleep for long periods but rather have multiple sleep sessions (aka “catnaps”) throughout the day and in various depths of sleep.

Cats are considered to be crepuscular (as opposed to nocturnal, despite popular belief), which means they’re most active during twilight hours. And while our sleep cycles differ a bit from cats’, they can enter REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and dream, just like we do!

Of course, cats’ sleep can vary, much like ours, based on factors such as their age, diet, health, breed and environment.

Photo of an orange cat sleeping on a couch

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Cats can exhibit some puzzling behaviors at times, whether it’s randomly making biscuits, headbutting us or showing their belly. Their sleeping behaviors, on the other paw, can be explained.

1They instinctively sleep lightly so they can react to potential threats.

Dr. Alejandro Caos, DVM, a veterinarian with The Vets in Miami, Florida, says cats are highly sensitive to their environment. As natural predators, this behavior can be traced back to their time in the wild. He adds, “As territorial animals, they need a secure and stress-free environment to relax and sleep peacefully.”

2 They’re conserving their energy.

“Cats have a relatively high metabolic rate, and sleeping allows them to conserve energy,” Dr. Caos says. “By sleeping for extended periods, cats can recharge and be ready for short bursts of intense activity when they are awake.” (Which might explain those random zoomies!)

Prior to domestication, cats would spend a significant amount of time hunting, then conserve their energy by sleeping during the rest of the day. And even though domestic cats no longer need to hunt for their food and can get their next meal with a mere meow nowadays, they’ve retained this natural behavior.

3They feel stressed.

If you notice your feline friend sleeping more than usual, this could be a sign that they’re feeling stressed. Dr. Patrik Holmboe, DVM, and head veterinarian for Cooper Pet Care in Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands, says in all likelihood, stress affects cats similarly to how it does people.

Cats thrive on routine and knowing what to expect out of every day. Consequently, they can become stressed if there’s been a recent change in the home—no matter how big or small. Examples of this could be anything from altering your work schedule to simply relocating their litter box.

Additional signs of stress in cats may include:

  • Hiding
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Accidents in the house
  • Excessive grooming
  • Changes in appetite
  • Aggressive behavior

When you are aware of an upcoming change, try to introduce small adjustments over time to allow your cat to adapt gradually. If there haven’t been any recent changes in the household and you notice a difference in your cat’s behavior, it’s a good idea to see a vet to rule out any underlying illnesses.

4They’re bored.

“Cats, if bored, may sleep more, as they simply have nothing else to do,” Dr. Holmboe says.

Without a mouse toy to chase or ball to paw at, cats can easily get bored during their waking hours. Keeping them entertained and engaged with playtime so they can exert mental and physical energy is vital to their overall health and well-being.

Fortunately, there are countless toys and activities—such as interactive play, cat trees, leash training and games—to appeal to their natural instincts of hunting, foraging, pouncing, scratching and climbing and to keep boredom at bay.

5 They have an illness or injury.

Sick or injured cats may sleep more than usual to heal and improve their condition. To maintain optimal health, Dr. Caos says they need deep, uninterrupted sleep.

“During sleep, cats go through different sleep stages, including light sleep and deep sleep,” he explains. “Deep sleep is crucial for restorative processes, such as tissue repair, growth and strengthening the immune system.”

If your cat is showing signs of health issues or injuries, seek immediate treatment to expedite their recovery process.

6 Their crepuscular schedule makes it seem like they spend a lot of time sleeping.

“Cats are, in general, more active at dusk and dawn,” Dr. Holmboe says. “This can absolutely give the impression that they ‘sleep all day,’ as they are actually sleeping during the day!”

Image Raymond

How To Help Your Cat Get the Best Sleep

Siesta. Snooze. Slumber. No matter what kind of sleep they get, younger cats and older cats alike simply love their rest.

When it comes to helping your cat get the best beauty sleep possible, Dr. Holmboe recommends:

  • Providing your cat with plenty of interactive play and general mental and physical stimulation throughout the day.
  • Setting up a calm and comfortable sleeping environment. “Just like a human, no pet wants a loud washing machine or constantly opening door right next to their bed,” he says.
  • Establishing a consistent routine, especially since cats thrive on it. He explains, “If your pet knows that for the next few hours not much is likely to happen, they can sleep comfortably knowing they aren’t missing anything.”

When searching for the perfect cat bed, Dr. Alex Crow, MRCVS (BVETMED), a veterinary surgeon in Nottingham, U.K., suggests looking for a bed with the following features:

  • Big enough for your cat to stretch out comfortably
  • Made of comfy materials, whether it’s memory foam, fabric or fleece, that won’t make them too hot or too cold
  • Machine washable to keep the bed clean and free of allergens
  • Designed with your cat’s preferred sleeping style in mind
  • Priced within your budget and suits your cat’s needs

In addition to promoting quality sleep through consistent routines and comfy beds, supplements made with melatonin, chamomile or L-theanine may also help your furry family member get sufficient sleep. However, before giving your cat any kind of supplement, it’s always best to talk to your vet to address the underlying issue.

“It’s important to note that individual cats may have different sleep patterns, and factors such as age, health and activity level can influence their sleep requirements,” Dr. Caos says.

If you notice significant changes in your cat’s sleep patterns, such as excessive sleepiness or difficulty waking up, talk to your vet to learn more about their health status.

You could say it’s essentially in cats’ DNA to sleep for as long and often as they do. The amount of sleep can vary depending on a cat’s age, health status, breed, activity level and environment. However, it’s also important to know your cat’s usual sleeping habits so you’ll notice if they’re oversleeping, and if they are, identify the possible cause.

Want your fluffy companion’s sleep schedule to align with yours? That way, you and your cat can peacefully snooze through the night without interruptions. Check out our tips on how to adjust your cat’s sleep schedule.

The post Why Do Cats Sleep So Much? appeared first on BeChewy.

How Much Food Should I Feed My Dog?

You are in charge of your dog’s diet and overall health, so it’s natural to ask the question, “How much food should I feed my dog?” The exact answer to this question depends on the type of food you’re feeding and other factors, like your dog’s activity level and specific dietary needs. But experts have come up with general guidelines to make feeding time a little more straightforward.

We talked to two veterinarians to get the scoop on all the different factors that impact how much to feed your dog, and to put together a dog feeding chart that will help you come up with a good baseline. Of course, if you want to get really specific, make sure you’re talking to your own vet to get the exact number of calories your dog should be eating each day.

6 Factors That Impact How Much To Feed Dogs

Just like humans have varying nutrition needs, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much you should feed your dog. That’s because how much a dog needs to eat can be impacted by age, breed, activity level, pregnancy, disease, and current weight and body condition score (BCS), says Dr. Sarah Reidenbach, DVM and CEO of Ruthless Kindness in Sebastopol, California.

1. Age

Age is one of the biggest factors in how much food to feed your dog.

“Young, fast-growing puppies need more calories and a different balance of nutrients than older, more mature, or more sedentary dogs,” says Dr. Paul Kline, DVM, CityVet’s Chief Medical Officer, of Denton, Texas.

Foods that are labeled for puppies tend to have a different mix of proteins and different caloric makeup than those labeled for mature or senior pets, adds Dr. Kline.

2. Activity Level

Just like with people, dogs have different activity and fitness levels.

For example, “a young, hard-working Labrador Retriever that’s in the field all day chasing ducks will require a much higher intake of food (calories) than an older Pug that spends his day napping in the sun,” says Dr. Kline.

3. Breed

Similarly, a dog’s breed has an impact on their overall energy and food requirements.

This is due to the inherent nature of certain breeds’ temperament, natural activity level and overall metabolic rate, according to Dr. Kline.

For example, breed types such as Basset Hounds, Pugs, Bulldogs and Mastiffs generally exhibit lower activity levels than Border Collies, Boxers or many types of Terrier breeds, Dr. Kline says.

“As a result, resting energy requirements (RER) for lower activity breeds are less than those with higher natural activity levels,” he adds.

4. Neutered vs. Intact

Reproductive status also plays a role.

If your pet has been spayed or neutered, their metabolism tends to slow, “and thus they may require less food intake than if they were still sexually intact,” says Dr. Kline.

5. Current Body Condition

Sometimes the best indicator of a pet’s need for more or less food can be their current body condition, according to Dr. Kline.

“Veterinarians use a system to score body condition that is usually based on a 9-point scale and evaluates overall body fat and weight to determine whether a dog is at a proper plane of nutrition,” he explains.

Dogs who score too low are given more food or better-quality food. And for dogs who score too high, the amount of food (caloric intake) is reduced.

6. Current Health Status

Your dog’s health status also factors into how much they should be eating. Pregnant and nursing dogs have higher calorie demands, so Dr. Reidenbach recommends feeding them a higher-calorie diet.

“Various disease states such as diabetes, cancer, thyroid disease, orthopedic limitations, allergies and more can also impact what an animal needs nutritionally,” Dr. Reidenbach says.

Dog Feeding Chart: How Much Food To Feed My Dog

That being said, general feeding guidelines are often based on ideal weight.

As a general rule of thumb, most dogs will consume 2 to 4 percent of their body weight in food. Smaller dogs skew toward the high end of the scale, while larger, older animals skew toward the low end, says Dr. Kline.

Protein requirements tend to be similar for all dogs and usually is around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.

Keep in mind that exact nutritional needs will vary based on the factors above, but here are some general daily feeding guidelines for healthy, adult dogs.

Ideal Weight
Average Calorie Intake
Ideal Weight

3 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

144 calories

Ideal Weight

5 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

210 calories

Ideal Weight

10 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

346 calories

Ideal Weight

15 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

472 calories

Ideal Weight

20 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

587 calories

Ideal Weight

30 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

794 calories

Ideal Weight

40 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

982 calories

Ideal Weight

50 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

1,165 calories

Ideal Weight

60 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

1,334 calories

Ideal Weight

70 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

1,499 calories

Ideal Weight

80 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

1,656 calories

Ideal Weight

90 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

1,808 calories

Ideal Weight

100 pounds

Average Calorie Intake

1,958 calories

Use a Calorie Calculator

If you want a more specific recommendation, dog feeding calculators are available online that will take into account various factors such as age, breed, activity level and body condition score, according to Dr. Kline.

If you want to do the math yourself, use the Resting Energy Requirement formula: Multiply your dog’s body weight in kilograms raised to the 3/4 power by 70.

For example, a 10-kilogram (22-pound) adult dog of a healthy weight needs RER = 70(10kg)^3/4 or 400 calories per day, Dr. Reidenbach says.

(Yeah, we’d prefer to use a calorie calculator, too…)

Read the Feeding Guide on the Dog Food Bag

Not all pet foods have the same calorie density. Because of that, it’s also helpful to read the feeding guide on your dog food bag.

Dog food bags generally have specific calorie guidelines that are translated to quantities, so you’ll know exactly how many cups of the food you should be serving.

Of course, you’ll have to consider your dog’s specific lifestyle and health factors and modify the amounts accordingly.

This is the American Journey Protein & Grains Dry Dog Food feeding chart, for example:

Dog Weight
Cups Per Day
Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

1 1/2

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

1 3/4

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

2 1/2

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

3 1/2

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

4 1/2

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


How Much Food To Feed My Puppy

Puppies’ dietary needs differ from those of a full-grown dog. This is because puppies are in a rapid-growth phase, which means their metabolism is high and their need for calories increases, explains Dr. Kline.

Puppy diets also should have the proper blend of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and protein content, for their life stage.

But exactly how much food you give your puppy depends on their age, weight and body condition score. While there are body condition score charts available online, this is best determined by your vet.

“For puppies 0 to 4 months old, we recommend feeding, on average, three times the resting energy requirements. For puppies 4 to 12 months, we recommend two times the RER. This can vary with breed and individual needs, so it’s important to monitor the dog’s weight and talk to your veterinarian,” says Dr. Reidenbach.

Different puppy foods all have different nutrient densities, so manufacturers’ recommendations will vary from formula to formula. For example, this is the American Journey Active Life Formula Puppy Dog Food feeding chart:

Puppy Weight
Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)
Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)
Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)


Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)


Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)

1 1/4

Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)


Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)

1 3/4

Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)

1 1/4

Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)

2 1/2

Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)

1 2/3

Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)


Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)


Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)


Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)

2 3/4

Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)


Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)

3 1/3

Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)


Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)


Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)

6 3/4

Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)

4 2/3

Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)

7 2/3

Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)

5 1/4

Puppy Weight


Cups (ages 1.5-6 mos.)

8 1/2

Cups (ages 6-12 mos.)

5 2/3

View our Puppy Feeding Guide to learn more about how much and what to feed puppies.

How Much To Feed My Senior Dog

As mentioned, your dog’s age also plays a role in the right amount of food to give. Senior dogs tend to need a lower-calorie diet and less frequent feedings, says Dr. Kline. Typically, this is because their metabolism slows down and they’re not as active. In general, senior dogs should eat about 2 percent of their body weight in calories.

Keep in mind, though, that your dog may start losing weight as they get older. If this happens, you shouldn’t necessarily adjust feeding amounts based on current weight. Instead, you’ll want to work with your veterinarian to come up with the right daily caloric intake based on your dog’s lifestyle and underlying health problems.

It’s also important to note that what’s considered a “senior dog” depends on the dog’s size:

  • Small breeds and toy breeds are considered seniors when they’re 11 or 12.
  • Medium breeds are considered seniors at 10 years old.
  • Large breeds are categorized as seniors at 8 years old.
  • Giant breeds are seniors at 7 years of age.

Here’s an example of a dog feeding chart for senior dogs, specifically, from American Journey Active Life Formula Senior Dry Dog Food:

Dog Weight
Cups Per Day
Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

1 1/2

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

2 1/2

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day


Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

3 2/3

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

4 1/4

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

4 3/4

Dog Weight


Cups Per Day

5 1/4

Dog Feeding Schedule: How Often To Feed Dogs and Puppies

As for how often you should feed your dog, Dr. Reidenbach says she likes to feed adult dogs twice per day—once in the morning and then again in the evening.  

“I find that multiple meals helps to spread out blood sugar spikes and troughs and avoids excessive feelings of hunger. I typically give half of their calories at each meal,” she says.

Puppies need more calories more often, at least at first, so they should be fed more frequently. Dr. Reidenbach recommends feeding them three to four times per day at first, then get them into their twice-per-day routine by gradually reducing the meals that will be eliminated.

Keep in mind that this is a generalization for a typical, healthy dog. Recommendations may vary for working dogs, dogs who are experiencing health issues, or dogs with other individual needs.


Download our Puppy Feeding Schedule chart to help you keep track.

How To Manage Your Dog’s Meals

As far as managing feed times, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, either. Every dog is unique, and different dogs may thrive with different feeding habits.

“For most healthy dogs without special needs, I’ve found success with a twice per day meal routine,” says Dr. Reidenbach. “They love looking forward to their meal times, and anticipate the joy of their breakfast and dinner. If they’ve exerted themselves more than usual, I’ll add in a treat, and I always make sure they have access to fresh water at all times.”

As for specific timing, you can work that out based on your current schedule and what works for your household. But once you get into a routine, it’s a good idea to stick to it.

Should I Free-Feed My Dog?

Dr. Reidenbach doesn’t recommend free-feeding unless it’s a dog who is a picky eater and prefers to graze and won’t eat sufficient calories in a single sitting.

“More often than not, free-feeding leads to obesity,” she says.

Try Automatic Dog Feeders 

If you’re having trouble sticking to a set routine, you can also use an automatic dog feeder that will dispense customized portion sizes up to four times per day.  

Automatic dog feeders don’t require you to actively serve your dog, but they can prevent overfeeding that can come with free-feeding.

Keep in mind these only work with dry dog food, though, so if you’re supplementing kibble with wet food, you’ll have to think of another creative solution.

Why Feeding the Right Amount Is So Important

Feeding the right amount is vital to your dog’s health and quality of life.  

“Just like with humans, dogs experience problems with undernutrition as well as with obesity. Other than the obvious discomfort that each condition can cause, there are also damaging physical and physiological impacts,” says Dr. Reidenbach, who explains that:

  • Malnutrition can impact growth, strength, the immune system and susceptibility to infection. It can lead to hair loss and fragile bones.
  • Obesity can lead to painful arthritis, liver and kidney disease, urinary problems, thyroid problems, heart failure, diabetes, cancer and more.

“A practical consideration is the expense of feeding your pet more than they need. Most dogs would be much better off eating less of a higher-quality diet than eating more of a low-quality, cheap food,” Dr. Reidenbach says. “The old saying, ‘You are what you eat,’ applies just as much to dogs as it does to people.”

Every pup is unique, and because of that, the amount of food your dog eats may differ from others. You can use this dog feeding chart as a baseline, but make sure you’re also talking to your veterinarian to get specific recommendations for your furry family. And while you’re at it, make sure you’re investing in a high-quality dog food that supplies all the right nutrients, not just calories.

The post How Much Food Should I Feed My Dog? appeared first on BeChewy.

Can Dogs Eat Bacon? Everything You Need to Know

There’s no denying it: The mouthwatering scent of bacon sizzling in a pan can make even the most disciplined of us drool. As those tantalizing aromas waft through the air, our canine companions are often the first to appear, gazing longingly at the crispy strips. But can dogs eat bacon?

We hate to go “bacon” your dog’s heart, but these sizzling strips are off-limits.

While a nibble of bacon won’t harm your dog, it’s not a food you should be giving your pup due to the high fat and salt content. Dogs can, however, eat commercial dog treats with small amounts of bacon or bacon flavoring—we’ll share our favorite options shortly!

We spoke to a vet expert to understand the risks of bacon for dogs and what to do if your dog eats too much.

Expert info provided by Dr. Danielle Rutherford, VMD, veterinarian at Westside Veterinary Center in New York.

Why Shouldn’t I Give My Dog Bacon?

While it’s natural to want to spoil your pet, it’s crucial to prioritize their health and well-being over momentary pleasures.

Here are the top reasons why you shouldn’t give your dog bacon:

High Fat Content

Bacon is incredibly fatty. While fats are an essential part of your dog’s diet, the sheer amount in bacon can overwhelm a dog’s digestive system. When dogs frequently eat fatty foods, their chances of developing pancreatitis increase.

This condition, characterized by the inflammation of the pancreas, not only results in pain and discomfort, but it can also bring about life-threatening complications if left untreated.

Bacon’s high fat content can also contribute to weight gain and obesity. Overweight dogs face numerous health challenges, including joint problems, heart diseases and decreased life expectancy.

High Salt Content

Bacon’s salt content is much higher than what dogs require. A sudden surge in salt intake can throw off a dog’s electrolyte balance.

Symptoms such as increased thirst and urination are only the tip of the iceberg. In more severe instances, dogs can face sodium ion poisoning, a potentially life-threatening condition that can manifest with symptoms such as tremors, high fever and seizures.

Harmful Preservatives and Additives

Today’s commercial bacon is more than just meat; it’s often laced with a cocktail of preservatives and additives to prolong shelf life and enhance flavor. Among these, sodium nitrites stand out as particularly concerning. Ingested in large quantities, these compounds can be toxic to dogs and lead to a range of health issues, from an upset stomach to a blood disorder called methemoglobin.

Digestive Upsets

Dogs’ digestive systems are designed differently than ours: Foods that we might handle with ease can wreak havoc on a canine’s gut. The richness and fatty composition of bacon can lead to immediate gastrointestinal disturbances, causing diarrhea, vomiting and general discomfort.

My Dog Ate Too Much Bacon. What Do I Do?

Bacon is not inherently toxic to dogs, so if your dog stole a small piece of bacon or even a whole piece, there’s likely no need to worry.

However, if your dog ingested multiple slices of bacon, there could be cause for concern.

In this case, it’s important to keep an eye on your pup, watching for the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite

If these symptoms or any others occur, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance.

Feeding your dog lightly for a day following “the bacon incident” may also be wise to help prevent further gastrointestinal distress.

Bacon Treats to Give Your Dog

While feeding your dog strips of bacon should be avoided, there’s no need to deprive them of that savory taste they crave.

Numerous dog-friendly bacon treats are available that provide that bacon-y goodness without the associated risks.

Here are a few tail-wagging options to try:

FAQs About Bacon and Dogs

Now that you know the bacon basics, let’s tackle some of the most frequently asked questions about dogs and their porky indulgences.


Can dogs have raw bacon?

A:No, dogs should not consume raw bacon or any other forms of raw pork. Raw bacon can contain harmful bacteria like salmonella, which can cause food poisoning.


Can dogs have bacon fat?

A:While a small amount of bacon fat or bacon grease isn’t immediately harmful to dogs, it’s not recommended due to its high fat content.


Can dogs have turkey bacon?

A:Turkey bacon is leaner than traditional pork bacon, but it’s still processed and can contain high levels of salt and additives. As a very occasional treat, you can give your dog a few small pieces of low-sodium, uncured, cooked turkey bacon without seasonings.


Can dogs have pork?

A:While bacon (made from pork) is off-limits, dogs can occasionally have small amounts of well-cooked, lean pork as a treat. However, it should be unseasoned and free from sauces or gravies. Ensure it’s cooked thoroughly to eliminate any harmful pathogens. Pork that’s found in dog food and dog treats is also OK.


Can dogs have ham?

A:No, you should not give your dog ham. While ham isn’t toxic to dogs, it’s typically high in salt, fat, sugar and preservatives, all of which pose health risks to dogs when consumed in large amounts.
While the aroma of bacon might smell heavenly to your furry friend, it’s essential to prioritize your dog’s health and avoid giving them this food. Fortunately, there are several drool-worthy human foods that dogs can enjoy in moderation, such as fruits and veggies and various types of seafood.

The post Can Dogs Eat Bacon? Everything You Need to Know appeared first on BeChewy.