Dog Sports

Is your dog in need of some additional exercise to keep your dog in shape or even beat the bulge? Wanting some inspiration? Look no further; Nadia Crighton takes a look at the top dog sports across the country.


For those of us who are lucky enough to have discovered dog sports while our dogs were pups, the sheer excitement and joy of participating is easy. For those who are yet to discover the sheer adrenaline and addictive nature of these amazing sports, now is the time to enroll your dog, or pop along to a club for a sneaky look. The benefits of enrolling your dog in a sport is huge:

  • It keeps up with training, while being lots of fun.
  • It enriches the bond between you and your dog.
  • Great for socialisation.
  • Helps keep your dog in shape (and sometimes even you!).
  • Help fulfill your dog’s natural abilities and instincts.
  • Makes your dog happy.




The most popular and well-known sport is agility. This is a wonderful dog sport that will have your dog complete a series of obstacles while being directed by a handler (AKA you). The dog is then scored on accuracy and speed. Working together, off-lead will strengthen your bond, as you watch and marvel at your dog bounding and weaving through the set obstacles. These can include:

  • Jumps
  • Tunnels
  • A-Frame consisting of two ramps in the shape of an A.
  • Dog Walk – two ramps with a flat ramp in the middle.
  • Teeter-Trotter – like a child’s seesaw
  • Collapsed tunnel
  • Hurdles
  • Weave Poles
  • And much more depending on the club

Dogs can be trained at all ages but it is advisable to be cautious with very young dogs whose joints are still developing. This is one of the most popular dog sports and you can even purchase equipment to train your hound at home. Pop along to your local agility club for more information on how you and your dog can get involved.



Does your dog love to run? Flyball might be just the sport you have been looking for. This sport will have your dog running through a course containing hurdles. At the end of the run the dog will hit the flybox with their paws causing a tennis ball to be launched through the air. The participating dog needs to collect the ball and race back through the course to the finish line. It’s the perfect sport for those dogs that have huge amounts of energy and in need of some serious fun! Flyball is a brilliant sport to watch and even more entertaining to participate. You’ll be in sheer delight at how incredible these dogs are. Benefits include:

  • Great for exercise
  • Exerts lots of pent-up energy
  • Improves the bond between handler and dog
  • Great for ball obsessed dogs
  • Super fun!


Dog Dancing

This sport is gaining in mainstream popularity due to featuring on many talent television shows in recent years. Officially known as; Musical Canine Freestyle, it consists of dogs and handlers learning to move in sync while preforming to music. It is a great way to creatively interact with your dog and suits many dogs of all sizes and abilities. Dogs are trained to work on both sides of the handler’s body in a series of heel’s and obedience tricks and talents. There are two techniques:

  • Freestyle Heeling – this is when the dog must remain close to their hander during the musical routine. The dog must remain close to the handler and look as they are almost on lead. Dogs are not allowed to jump or weave, or to do anything that isn’t a ‘heel’ during the routine.
  • Musical Freestyle – This is when the creativity muscles can really flex. Dogs are able to fully express themselves with many obedience tricks and moves including weaving, rolling, jumping and passing through the legs.


There are so many additional dog sports than those mentioned above. No dog is ever too old to learn new tricks and you’ll be simply astonished at how much fun you both have. A fantastic way to improve your dogs training in a fun and interesting environment.

Holidaying with your Dog

Holidaying with your Dog

Wanting to head away on holidays with your dog but needing some inspiration? Nadia Crighton takes a look at the top holidaying tips with pooches in mind.

Some of the best family holidays have always included the addition of the dog. Sadly this isn’t always possible, however, today more than ever you can find accommodation that is suitable so your dog can enjoy the fun of being on holidays.


There are many beach-houses and homes that are pet friendly around the coast of Australia and beyond. But before you hit the BOOK button there are a few things to ask (don’t get sucked into the images it’s always best to double check);

  • Ask if the accommodation is fully fenced and secure?
  • Can you dog sleep inside?
  • Ask for the number of the local veterinarian.
  • Do they have an emergency veterinarian on hand? If not where is the nearest emergency veterinarian?
  • Any other hazards around the property you need to be aware of?
  • Find out if the area you are going to is a tick zone. If it is invest in some good tick prevention.

Also make sure the location is perfect for you needs. Is it in walking distance to the dog beach or dog friendly areas? Or will you need to drive? Are you able to walk your dog through town, as some rural towns are dog-free-zones. Tick all the boxes so nothing is a surprise then you can be sure you will enjoy every minute of your doggy holiday. Even some caravan parks will allow dogs at certain times of the year, but always check. There is simply nothing worst than setting off on an amazing adventure only to realize you have discovered that perfect holidaying spot…but in a town that doesn’t welcome dogs!

Time For Fun

So you’ve found the perfect accommodation and you are heading away with your beloved four-legged companion for a week full of fun and sun. What things could you do with your dog?

  • Find the local dog beach and spend the day digging, throwing balls, Frisbee’s and exploring the caves.
  • Go out for coffee and lunch with your dog. Many cafes are now dog friendly so ask around and find the perfect spot to read the paper and chill-out.
  • Don’t forget your dog toys and enjoy a good game of fetch or hide and seek.
  • Go for a nice long walk and explore your surroundings.
  • Snuggle up in the sun and read a book.

Don’t Forget

  • Plenty of towels
  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog poo bags or a little shovel
  • Toys
  • Bedding
  • Collar and up-to-date tags
  • Leash
  • Water bowl
  • Food and food bowl
  • Vaccinations, worming and flea treatments up-to-date
  • Ensure your microchip information is also updated before you leave

Homemade Dog Treats

Homemade Dog Treats

Want to spoil your pet this silly season with some special treats? Nadia Crighton gets busy baking in the kitchen to whip up some canine delights.

This is a great time of year to bake your pooch some homemade delights. I always like to have a big jar on hand so when guests visit they know that if they wish to treat my dogs they do so through the doggy-safe-treat jar and not their own plate. It’s our way of safe-guarding against accidental poisoning. Just make sure your dog isn’t getting too, many treats. Piling on the pounds is not good for us, or our dogs around this time of year.

Peanut Butter Delights

2 cups wholemeal flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp chopped parsely
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon (optional)

Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Line a couple of trays with baking paper. Stir together the first five ingredients. Add the remainder and slowly add water until the mix becomes a fairly stiff dough. you may need to use more or less than specified.
Put tablespoon sized lumps and flatten into biscuits on the trays
Bake for around 40 minutes, until golden and hard
Cool completely before serving

Bacon Bites


6 slices cooked bacon crispy and crumbled
4 eggs
1/8 cup bacon fat (use from the cooking)
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk powder
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 cups wheat germ

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Beat the eggs and mix all ingredients together. Place heaped tablespoons on a tray lined with baking paper. Bake at for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Leave biscuits to dry out on cooking tray before storing.

Yougurt Peanut Butter Ice-Pops


2 cups of yougurt
1 cup smooth peanut butter

Melt the peanut butter and cool slightly. Blend the peanut butter and yougurt together until you get a smooth paste. Pop into cupcake cases and freeze. A great cool treat for your dog.

Health Crunch


340 grams wholemeal flour
340 grams of high-grade flour
55g wheat germ
2 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp Flax Seed oil
3 eggs beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
85g powered milk
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Dissolve milk powder in water and mix well. Combine all ingredients and knead to a firm dough. Wrap dough in plastic and set aside for 30mins to rest. Roll between baking paper and cut into shapes. Bake on a lined tray for approximately 40mins or until hard and crispy. Let biscuits cool completely before storing.

Top 10 Dog Health Tips – Part 2

Top 10 Dog Health Tips – Part 2

Continuing our Top 10 Dog Heath Tips, in Part 2, Nadia Crighton looks at the most common aliments affecting dogs. From; weight concerns to, kennel cough, dental issues and more. Get a better understanding of the top 10 health problems facing dogs today.

6. Kennel Cough
Kennel Cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory illness that occurs in dogs. Symptoms include persistent coughing or hacking that can sound like your dog is choking. A watery nasal discharge may also be present. The best way to prevent Kennel Cough is to have it routinely vaccinated against. Most kennels will not allow you to board your dog unless you can prove recent vaccination.

7. Weight
Look at your dog from above… do they have a defined waist? If they don’t your dog could possibly be heading towards obesity. If you cannot feel your dog’s bones under their layer of fat then your dog is over-weight. It might be time to consider a weight loss regime. Ask your local veterinarian for some dog health advice. Are you worried your dog is underweight? Can you see their bones protruding? If you can see your dogs’ bones they are underweight. Some dogs have terrible trouble keeping the weight on, especially during colder months. Consider using a dog-coat during the cooler months, which will help conserve energy and fat. A vet check is in order to rule out any underlying problems. You may also need to consider a special diet.

8. Dental
Dog health tip 8: Dental care is paramount in responsible pet ownership. Bad teeth and gums can lead to heart problems, as the teeth are a gateway to the blood stream. Keep your dogs teeth healthy with dog dental chews, dental toys and raw bones. Never feed your dog cooked bones as they can splinter and cause injury. A yearly teeth check-up is advised. Remember; a dog should not have overly smelly breath. Bad breath can be a sign of bad teeth or gums.

9. Arthritis
This is a very common problem, particularly in older dogs, however some younger pooches also can suffer from arthritis. Common symptoms include limping, moaning when getting up or lying down, pacing, licking joints and general stiffness. There are plenty of great medical treatments for arthritis that can add new life to old bones. Speak to your vet for options in managing arthritis. Keeping your pet at their ideal weight is important, as too, a good nourishing diet full of essential amino and fatty acids. Holistic care can also be very beneficial for dogs with arthritis.

10. Skin & Coat
Skin and coat conditions are very common in dogs of all shapes and sizes. It is always worth further examination to rule out any allergies or common breed associated skin problems. Keep a diary, and note when your dog has their ‘flare ups’. Is it after a bath or during a certain season? Or all year round? Some dogs suffer from food allergies and this can cause skin problems while others could be having a reaction to a certain cleaning product. Allergies and skin problems can be hard to diagnose but keeping a diary can help you, and your vet, to find the best solution.

It would be great to hear more Dog Health Tips if you know any!

Top 10 Dog Health Tips – Part 1

Top 10 Dog Health Tips – Part 1

Nadia Crighton looks at the most common ailments affecting dogs. From how to successfully give medicine to your dog, weight problems, kennel cough and more. Get a better understanding of the top 10 dog health problems our pets are facing today.

1. Giving medicine to dogs

This can be a tricky one for some dog owners. Many medicines do come flavored however there are some tricks of the trade to get your pooch to take their tablets. Kneel or stand beside your dog with your dog in the sit position. Secure their head against your body and open their mouth (carefully pop your fingers between the lips and pull the lower jaw down). Place the tablet inside their mouth (at the back of their tongue). Keep your hands softly around the muzzle to stop the mouth from opening. Rub softly on their throat or blow into their nose. This will encourage your dog to swallow. Some dogs are tricky and will ‘hide’ the tablet even after swallowing so you may have to repeat. Encourage your dog to drink or squirt a small amount of water into the mouth with a drink bottle. Alternatively you can try and hide the tablet in some food or cheese.

2. Nail trimming

This should be done from puppy-hood as your dog will be used to someone handling and trimming nails. If your dog’s nails are overgrown head to the vet as if you attempt to trim you will clip the ‘quick’ area and cause bleeding and pain. The ‘quick’ is the cluster of blood vessels that run through the nail and as your dog’s nails grow longer so will the ‘quick’. Keep the nails short and trimmed to ensure comfort and ease when walking. Long nails are uncomfortable and can cause pain.

3. Ear Care

Dog health tip 3: Clean your dog’s ears regularly. This can easily be done with a piece of paper-towel. Gently wrap around your finger and move in a circular motion to remove the dirt and build up from the ear. If you notice any funny sickly sweet smells or a lot of discharge, head off for a further check up as your dog could be suffering from a yeast infection.

4. Worms & Heart worms

It is important to worm your dog regularly. Worms can cause havoc in dogs, which have compromised immune systems, are young or old, or are suffering from sickness. Heart worm treatment is also vital as this deadly worm can go unnoticed until it is too late.

5. Behavioral

If you are concerned about any aspects of your dog’s behavior, whether it be barking, inter-dog aggression, chasing lights/shadows, anxiety or nervousness seek advice from a professional. Most behaviors can be successfully treated and managed with understanding, training and patience. Understanding dog behavior is vital in responsible dog ownership. With so many wonderful professionals on hand, it’s never been easier to solve your unwanted doggy habits.

Be on the look for our second article containing the next 5 Dog Health Tips coming soon!

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