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Enhancing Your Senior Pet’s Golden Years: Tips from Top Dog Training and Resort

Old Man Sitting On The Sofa With His Lovely Dog

As our beloved pets age, their needs change, and ensuring their quality of life becomes paramount. At Top Dog Training and Resort, we understand the significance of providing tailored care to senior pets. From physical health to mental stimulation, there are various ways to enhance their golden years. In this post, we’ll explore valuable tips and techniques to improve your senior pet’s quality of life, incorporating essential keywords like senior pet, quality of life, and Top Dog Training and Resort.

  1. Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Senior pets require more frequent veterinary check-ups to monitor their health status closely. Schedule regular appointments with your veterinarian to address any age-related issues such as arthritis, dental problems, or organ function decline. Early detection and intervention can significantly improve your pet’s overall well-being.
  2. Balanced Diet and Nutrition: Proper nutrition is vital for senior pets to maintain a healthy weight and support aging joints and organs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet plan tailored to your pet’s age, size, and health condition. Consider incorporating supplements like glucosamine or omega-3 fatty acids to support joint health and cognitive function.
  3. Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Even as pets age, regular exercise remains essential for their physical and mental health. Adjust the intensity and duration of activities according to your pet’s abilities, opting for low-impact exercises like short walks or gentle play sessions. Additionally, engage your senior pet in mentally stimulating activities such as puzzle toys or obedience training to keep their mind sharp and prevent boredom.
  4. Comfortable Living Environment: Create a comfortable and safe environment for your senior pet within your home. Provide soft bedding, and easy access to water and food bowls, and consider installing ramps or stairs to help them navigate elevated surfaces. Keep their living space warm during colder months, as older pets may be more sensitive to temperature changes.
  5. Regular Grooming and Hygiene: Maintaining good grooming habits is crucial for senior pets to prevent skin issues, matting, and discomfort. Brush your pet’s coat regularly, trim their nails, and clean their ears to prevent infections. Pay attention to dental hygiene as well, as dental problems can lead to various health issues in senior pets.
  6. Socialization and Bonding: Senior pets thrive on companionship and social interaction. Spend quality time with your pet through gentle petting, cuddling, or simply being present in their company. Consider arranging playdates with other senior pets or enrolling them in senior-specific pet classes to maintain socialization and strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.

Conclusion: As our pets age, their needs evolve, requiring us to adapt our care routines to ensure their continued happiness and well-being. By implementing these tips from Top Dog Training and Resort, you can enhance your senior pet’s quality of life and make their golden years as comfortable and fulfilling as possible. Remember to prioritize regular veterinary care, proper nutrition, exercise, and mental stimulation to support your senior pet’s overall health and happiness. With the right care and attention, your senior pet can continue to enjoy a fulfilling and joyful life by your side.


Keeping Your Canine Companion Safe: The Hazards of Chocolate for Dogs

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Welcome to Top Dog Training and Resort, where the well-being of your four-legged family members is our top priority. While we strive to provide a safe and enriching environment through our exclusive day school, training programs, and resort services, it’s crucial to be aware of potential dangers to your furry friends. In this blog post, we’ll delve into one common household item that poses a significant threat to dogs – chocolate.

The Sweet Temptation: Chocolate and Its Harmful Effects on Dogs

Dogs and chocolate – it’s a combination that might seem harmless, but it can lead to serious health issues for your canine companions. As much as we love indulging in this sweet treat, it’s essential to recognize the potential dangers and take preventive measures to keep your dog safe.

Why is Chocolate Harmful to Dogs?

Chocolate contains substances called theobromine and caffeine, both of which belong to the methylxanthine class of chemicals. While humans can metabolize these compounds efficiently, dogs process them much more slowly, making them susceptible to toxicity. Theobromine is the primary culprit behind chocolate poisoning in dogs.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

Recognizing the signs of chocolate poisoning is crucial for prompt intervention. If your dog has ingested chocolate, watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Restlessness or hyperactivity
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Elevated body temperature

Preventing Chocolate Poisoning: A Responsible Pet Owner’s Guide

  1. Education: Knowing the dangers of chocolate is the first step. Ensure that all family members, especially children, are aware of the risks and the importance of keeping chocolate out of reach.
  2. Secure Storage: Store chocolate products in high, secure places where your dog cannot access them. This includes not only bars and candies but also baking ingredients like cocoa powder.
  3. Emergency Preparedness: If you suspect your dog has ingested chocolate, seek veterinary attention immediately. Be prepared to provide details about the type and amount of chocolate consumed.

Conclusion: Prioritizing Your Dog’s Health at Top Dog Training and Resort

At Top Dog, we understand the significance of a happy and healthy canine companion. While our day school, training programs, and boarding services aim to enhance your dog’s well-being, it’s equally important to be vigilant about potential hazards like chocolate. By staying informed and taking proactive measures, you can ensure that your furry friend stays safe and continues to thrive in our care.

Remember, a little awareness goes a long way in safeguarding the joy and vitality of your beloved dog. At Top Dog Training and Resort, we’re committed to providing a secure and nurturing environment for every furry guest. If you have any concerns or questions about your dog’s well-being, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of trained professionals. Together, let’s create a happy and healthy journey for your canine companion!


On-Leash vs. Off-Leash Dog Training: Unlocking the Secrets at Top Dog Training and Resort

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Are you looking for the best dog training options in Chapel Hill and Durham, but not sure whether on-leash or off-leash training is the right fit for your furry friend? Look no further than Top Dog Training and Resort, your go-to destination for comprehensive dog training, fitness, spa services, and boarding. In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between on-leash and off-leash dog training to help you make an informed decision for your canine companion.

The Basics: On-Leash Dog Training

On-leash dog training is a structured approach to teaching your dog obedience and good behavior while they are tethered to a leash. This method is often the starting point for most dog owners, especially for puppies or dogs with limited training experience.

At Top Dog Training and Resort, our on-leash dog training program is designed to instill fundamental commands such as sit, stay, heel, and come. With our skilled trainers, your dog will learn to respond to these commands while on a leash, ensuring safety and control during walks and outings. On-leash training is ideal for dogs who are just beginning their training journey or those who need a refresher course.

The Benefits of On-Leash Dog Training:

  1. Safety: With your dog tethered to a leash, you have immediate control, reducing the risk of accidents or unwanted behavior in public spaces.
  2. Structured Learning: On-leash training provides a controlled environment for your dog to focus on mastering essential commands.
  3. Foundation Building: It establishes a strong foundation for more advanced training, such as off-leash commands.

Off-Leash Dog Training: Unleash Your Dog’s Potential

Off-leash training takes your dog’s training to the next level. It involves teaching your dog to respond to commands without the need for a leash, allowing for greater freedom and flexibility in various situations. Off-leash training is an advanced skill that requires a solid foundation in obedience.

At Top Dog Training and Resort, we offer a comprehensive off-leash dog training program that builds on the skills learned in on-leash training. Our expert trainers focus on recall, remote commands, and advanced obedience skills. We understand that off-leash training isn’t suitable for every dog, which is why our trainers evaluate each dog’s readiness before starting this program.

The Benefits of Off-Leash Dog Training:

  1. Freedom and Versatility: Off-leash training grants your dog more freedom to enjoy outdoor activities and play while still maintaining control.
  2. Enhanced Bond: It deepens the bond between you and your dog as they learn to trust and obey your commands even when they are not physically restrained.
  3. Improved Socialization: Off-leash training can help your dog become more well-rounded, confident, and socially adept.

Why Choose Top Dog Training and Resort?

At Top Dog Training and Resort, we’re more than just a dog training center. We’re your dog’s home away from home, offering an exclusive day school and resort experience. Our state-of-the-art facility ensures that your canine family member receives the best care and training available.

Our day school, available Monday through Friday, provides structured and challenging activities overseen by trained professionals. This environment keeps dogs engaged and focused on the activities at hand. The skills they acquire during their time at Top Dog will seamlessly transition to their home life, making your daily routines smoother and more enjoyable.

Whether you’re searching for “dog training near me” or considering board dog training, Top Dog Training and Resort is your ultimate destination. Our commitment to excellence in dog training, fitness, spa services, and boarding sets us apart as your trusted partner in your dog’s overall well-being.


In the debate of on-leash vs. off-leash dog training, both methods have their advantages. At Top Dog Training and Resort, we believe that the right choice depends on your dog’s needs, personality, and your training goals. Our expert trainers are here to guide you in making the best choice for your furry companion. With our help, you can unlock your dog’s full potential and enjoy a well-behaved, happy, and confident canine family member.

Choose Top Dog Training and Resort for the finest dog training services in Chapel Hill and Durham. Contact us today to embark on a rewarding training journey for your beloved four-legged friend.


Why You Shouldn’t Give a Pet as a Gift

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While pets are endearing, it’s not always a good idea to gift someone a pet.  Pets are like babies. They come with a whole bunch of emotional as well as financial responsibilities, which not everyone can bear. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t give a pet as a gift.

The Financial Responsibilities

Whether you gift someone a dog or any other pet, a pet is always a huge financial responsibility. If the recipient of your gift does not have the means to deal with this responsibility, the gift ends up being nothing but a nuisance.

There are so many things to think about as a pet owner. Taking the pet for regular vet visits and to get vaccinated, dental care, grooming, toys, food, etc. This is not to mention a place in your home where the pet will stay and sleep.

Before gifting a pet to anyone, ask yourself if that person has the means necessary to provide for the animal. If not, it’s probably best to let go of the idea altogether.

The Time Investment

Keeping a pet isn’t only about the money. Caring for a pet requires a whole lot of time and effort as well. If you are gifting the pet to someone who you know is always busy with work-related or other commitments and will not be able to take too much time out for the pet, it’s probably not the best idea to gift a pet to that person.

In fact, a lot of pets end up developing behavioral problems if they are neglected by their owners, and a number of them even end up in dog shelters because their owners couldn’t take out time for them.

This is far from ideal, which is why you should only gift a pet to someone who you know has the time required to care for them properly.

The Person May Not Want a Pet

You may have the best of intentions when gifting a pet to someone; however, it’s possible that the person you are gifting a pet to does not want a pet at all. It’s also possible that they may not want the animal you’re gifting them.

If the recipient doesn’t love the animal, they might mistreat it or neglect it because they didn’t want that pet to begin with.

Tempting as it may seem, these are some reasons why you shouldn’t give a pet as a gift unless you are absolutely sure that it is the right decision.


Tips for Dogs and Holiday Guests

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The holiday season is drawing closer. We’re all gearing up for turkey dinners, festive décor, and raucous parties–and packed schedules, frantic shopping, and panicked kitchens.

If you’re noticing all the joys and stressors of the holiday season, your dog is, too.

Dogs thrive on routines, and when their schedule goes topsy-turvy, their home is transformed by decorations, and a host of visitors descend on the house, they may experience anxiety and behavioral shifts.

Thankfully, with a little bit of preparation and simple dog training techniques, you can keep your dog feeling content and comfortable from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s.

Top Dog Training and Resort is your number-one resource for all things dog training in NC. At our state-of-the-art dog day training center, we offer the best board dog training, dog daycare with training, and grooming.

And Top Dog’s expert staff is here to help you and your furry friends navigate the holiday season!

Prepare Your Pet Before an Event

Preventative measures can help ensure that your dog adapts easily to holiday visitors. Start by establishing a clear, dependable routine that you can maintain even when you’re hosting Thanksgiving.

If your dog hasn’t had a lot of experience with home visitors, try doing a dry run. Invite a new friend or family member to come over, and be prepared with your dog’s favorite treats.

When your friend knocks on the door or rings the doorbell, ask your dog to sit and stay. Then, go get your friend. If your dog breaks their sit, ask your friend to exit and go through the whole process again.

Then, introduce your friend to your dog slowly. Allow your dog to get to know the visitor (without jumping up), and reward your well-behaved pup with a treat!

If your dog struggles with this simple exercise, you may want to consider enrolling them in a dog day training center or board dog training program to brush up on some lessons before the big day.

You may also want to consider getting your dog freshly groomed before an event so that they feel clean and healthy.

Dog Training Tips During the Holidays

The most important thing you can do on a holiday or party day is stick to your dog’s daily routine as much as possible.

Make sure your dog gets their walks and meals at the times they are used to, regardless of what else is going on. The walks are especially important, as exercise will help your dog release any excess energy.

Even though preparing for visitors may make you stressed, it’s important to stay calm. Your dog can sense your moods, and if you seem on edge, they will start to get stressed, too.

Before guests arrive, make your dog their own special “safe space,” away from all of the activity. Create a nook with their favorite bed or blankets, toys, treats, and water so that they have somewhere to go if they get overwhelmed.

You may want to consider having this safe space in an area that can be gated off should your dog get particularly anxious.

When your guests arrive, introduce them slowly. Start by having guests meet the dog one by one so you don’t shock your furry friend. If your dog is doing well, then you can start introducing them to small groups of people.

While the party is in full swing, make sure your dog still gets plenty of attention. Pets and words of affirmation will help them calm down and avoid feelings of neglect.

Keep an eye out for signs of anxiety, like panting, pacing, excessive barking, digging, or rubbing noses on the floor or furniture. If your dog starts exhibiting these signs, you should take them on a walk and consider removing them to their safe space.

If your dog has consistent issues with visitors, you may want to look into dog daycare with training on the day of the event, giving your friend a fun, engaging place to learn and improve their behavior without the stresses of the holidays.

Top Dog: The Best Dog Trainer Near Me

Top Dog provides the best dog training in NC, keeping your dogs happy and healthy during the holiday season and all year long.

We offer lifetime guarantees for our graduates, and we also have a shuttle service to help you fit dog training into your busy holiday schedules!

Don’t wait until your dog starts barking at the turkey! Contact us today to experience the best dog trainer near me.


Hurricane Preparedness for Your Pets

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Hurricanes, storms, and natural disasters are scary, but you can protect your household with a few simple steps.

While you may be familiar with disaster protocols for the human members of your family, do you know what hurricane preparedness looks like for your dog?

The expert staff at Top Dog has some key tips to make sure you and your furry friend are ready should disaster strike.

Top Dog Training and Resort is your premier resource for dog training in NC. At our state-of-the-art dog day training center, we offer three signature board dog training programs, as well as grooming and dog daycare with training.

Simply put, we are your local dog experts and the best dog trainers near me!

What to Do Before a Natural Disaster

It’s important to create a disaster plan before a hurricane occurs. In the same way that you put together a disaster kit for yourself, you should prepare a disaster kit for your dog.

A dog disaster kit should include:

  • Food
  • Water and a water bowl
  • A backup collar
  • A leash
  • A dog brush
  • Any medications your dog takes
  • A toy and blanket to provide comfort
  • A carrier (if appropriate for the breed)

You should also make sure that your dog is microchipped and that they are wearing a collar with ID tags. Ensure that your contact information on the tags is up-to-date, including your cell phone number.

That way, if you and your dog become separated, you will greatly increase your chances of being reunited.

If you live in an area where evacuation is a real possibility, you will need to make plans for your pet. If it’s not safe for you to stay at home, it won’t be safe for your dog, but not every shelter is prepared to take pets.

Start by calling your local office of emergency management to see whether any disaster shelter will allow pets. You may also want to reach out to friends and family who don’t live in the danger zone.

You should also contact hotels and motels outside of your immediate area to see if they accept pets and inquire about restrictions on the number, size, or species.

Even if a lodging option does not normally accept pets, they may be willing to waive certain restrictions in the event of an emergency.

Finally, reach out to veterinarians and board dog training facilities. While it’s ideal for you to stay with your pet, if it’s not possible, these experts will take good care of your dog.

Many veterinarians and board dog training facilities have twenty-four-hour numbers, so they are great resources if a natural disaster takes you by surprise.

When it’s time to evacuate, leave as soon as you get the news. High winds, thunder, and smoke can distress dogs, and it will be more difficult to get them to leave if the conditions are already severe.

Shelter-in-Place Tips

If you opt to stay home during a major storm or hurricane, there are a few steps you can take to keep your dog safe and calm.

First, bring your dog inside as soon as you learn that a storm is on the way. Make sure that your dog has a leash, collar, and ID tags.

Then, identify the safest area of your home where you, your family, and your pets can all stay together. Move all of your emergency supplies into that area, including your dog’s bed or crate, food, water, medications, and a toy or two.

Keep up to date with official regulations, and don’t leave your shelter-in-place until it is safe.

Dog Training After a Natural Disaster

Even after the immediate threat of a storm has passed, your dog will still need special care. Their familiar environment may not look the same, and they may experience stress and fear.

After a hurricane, don’t let your dog run loose. Keeping your dog on a leash is the best way to keep them safe.

There may be property damage that you are unaware of, and the landmarks and smells they are used to might be gone. You should also check your property to make sure that no wild animals have moved in, especially if you experienced flooding.

As soon as possible, re-establish your dog’s normal routines. These routines will provide comfort and make it easier for them to adjust back to daily life.

However, after a traumatic situation like a natural disaster, it’s possible that your dog will exhibit behavioral changes and require dog training. Don’t panic; be patient with your pet and call Top Dog.

Top Dog: Your Dog Daycare with Training

Top Dog is the number one dog trainer near me. We take a comprehensive approach to dog training that accounts for your dog’s individual needs and keeps them engaged throughout.

At our dog day training center, we let our students learn how to behave in a wide variety of settings, including one-on-one, small group, outdoor, and public classrooms.

We believe in our dog training so much that we offer free lifetime follow-up lessons. After your dog completes one of our board dog training programs, they will receive one-on-one dog training whenever they need a refresher–at no extra cost.

Contact us today to experience the best dog training in NC!


Happy National Service Dog Month

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We all love dogs, but for some people, dogs aren’t just furry friends; they’re co-workers who ensure that their owners can execute all their daily tasks safely.

September is National Service Dog Month, and the staff here at Top Dog is celebrating by highlighting service dogs and their specific dog training needs.

Top Dog Training and Resort is the best dog trainer near me. We provide dog daycare with training, as well as board dog training and grooming, to ensure that your dog is happy, healthy, and well-behaved.

We offer training at our state-of-the-art dog day training center as well as private, in-home lessons in the Hillsborough area.

We are your local dog experts, and we are happy to share our knowledge about service dogs and dog training in NC.

What is a Service Dog?

Service dogs are a class of animals recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the law, service animals can be either horses or dogs. They perform a specific task for a person with a disability.

Most people are familiar with seeing eye dogs, but service dogs can perform a wide variety of tasks for people with different conditions, including:

  • Pulling wheelchairs
  • Assisting with seizures
  • Detecting blood sugar levels in people with diabetes
  • Alerting people who are hearing impaired
  • Reminding people to take prescriptions
  • Calming people who experience anxiety attacks, PTSD, or other panic disorders
  • Assisting people with autism

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs must be allowed in public spaces and your place of residence, regardless of the establishment or landlord’s pet policies.

However, if a service dog cannot be controlled or would make it impossible to render services at a certain business, they may be asked to leave.

Service dogs do not need to be registered unless they are flying on an airplane with their handler. However, many owners participate in voluntary service animal registration programs.

Many service dog owners also opt to identify their service dogs with specific vests, harnesses, or other accessories, although it is not required.

Since service dogs don’t have to wear specific identification, it is extremely important to ask the owner before petting a dog. The dog may be performing a specific job, and you don’t want to distract them and unintentionally put someone in danger.

Service Dog Training

There are no formal training requirements for service dogs; however, they must be trained to perform their necessary tasks. You can try to train a service dog yourself, but we recommend looking for a professional dog trainer near me for the best results.

The exact specifications of a service dog’s training program depend on its owners’ disability, but all service dogs should be able to:

  • Remain calm but alert
  • Not engage in aggressive behavior with other animals
  • Respond to commands
  • Retain information
  • Ignore distractions
  • Socialize in different environments
  • Perform disability-related tasks reliably

It is crucial to train a service dog to work both at home and in public so that they do not become distracted in the new environment.

Top Dog: The Best Dog Training in NC

When it comes to dog training in NC, look no further than Top Dog Training and Resort. We offer multiple training options to ensure that you and your dog’s needs are met, including:

 Our comprehensive approach to training encompasses lessons at our state-of-the-art dog day training center, with both indoor and outdoor classrooms, as well as field trips to pet-friendly public establishments.

We are also proud to offer shuttle services and free follow-up lessons for your dog’s lifetime.

Whether you are looking to train a service dog, get superior grooming services, or give your furry friend a safe, engaging dog daycare with training, Top Dog is here for you.

Contact us today to discover what makes us the best dog trainer near me!


The Difference Between Aggressive and Overstimulated Dog Behavior

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Letting your dog socialize is important to their development and overall wellness–but sometimes it can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know the other dogs your pooch is interacting with.

It can be difficult to tell whether your dog is just playing, starting to get overstimulated by a lot of new friends, or ready to bite. As a k9 boarding and training facility, Top Dog knows firsthand how to make sure play stays safe and fun!

Top Dog Training and Resort is the best dog boarding near me in the Triangle Area. Our fully licensed staff provides superior boarding, training, and grooming to our local furry friends, and we even offer a dog pickup service!

We are experts at helping dogs behave well, and we want to help you understand how to respond when your dog starts acting strangely during play.

Overstimulated vs. Aggressive: What’s the Difference?

When your dog is walking in your neighborhood or playing at the dog park and they start acting strange, it’s important to understand what they’re feeling.

When a dog is overstimulated, also known as “reactive,” they display certain behaviors that some erroneously label as “aggressive.”

An overstimulated dog isn’t aggressive; they are just overwhelmed and fatigued. They might be super excited by everything going on around them, or they might be frightened by something. In either case, they are not dangerous.

Dogs can get overstimulated from socialization, a particular visual or auditory trigger that causes fear (like fireworks going off), or resource guarding (when a dog becomes fixated on a certain object, like a toy or stick).

An overstimulated dog has no intent to harm. They may just need some further training to improve their behavior, or they simply need to be removed to a quieter, calmer environment.

In contrast, aggressive dog feels threatened, and they think they need to act to defend themselves–which usually means biting.

Here is a helpful chart comparing the signs of overstimulation and aggression:


Signs of Overstimulation Signs of Aggression
Slowing down Growling/snarling
Focused eyes Showing the whites of their eyes
Ears forward Raised hackles and tail
Mouth closed Showing teeth
Tall posture Aggressive barking
Light pulling Lunging
Nipping Snapping
Panting Uninterested in food
Sniffing Intense staring/focus
Hiding Unresponsive to commands


How to Keep Overstimulation from Turning to Aggression

An overstimulated dog has no intent to harm; however, their heightened reactive state can lead to aggression if you do not take steps to make them feel more relaxed.

If your dog is overstimulated, consider:

  • Keeping them on a leash
  • Using simple commands like “sit,” “leave it,” and “heel” to help your dog redirect their attention from triggers and resource guarding
  • Removing them from an environment when seem they seem tired and overstimulated
  • Dog training at a k9 boarding and training facility like Top Dog

If the behavior persists, you may want to take your dog to a veterinarian, because they might be experiencing physical discomfort.

If your dog starts showing signs of aggression, remove them from the situation immediately, as they might be about to bite.

Top Dog: The Best Boarding for Dogs

Every dog can benefit from training, but easily overstimulated dogs really notice a difference!

Top Dog’s signature boarding school programs offer the best boarding for dogs while also providing an ideal learning environment to help your dog curb bad behavior.

We offer 3-week, 4-week, and 6-week courses combining three different classrooms–the training room, outside, and dog-friendly public establishments–to teach your dog manners and necessary commands.

In addition to our boarding school programs, we also offer grooming and day school, including our dog pickup service, which will make sure your dog gets to school and back home safely every day.

Contact Top Dog today to experience the best dog boarding near me!


Don’t Drink the (Salt) Water!

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Dogs love playing outdoors, and nothing beats the beach! However, this new environment has a major factor that you should be aware of: the ocean.

While dogs love playing in the ocean, you have to watch them closely to make sure that they don’t drink salt water! Thankfully, the experts at Top Dog are here to help you and your dog have a great day at the beach!

Top Dog Training and Resort is the premier Chapel Hill pet resort. We are the best k9 boarding and training facility in the Triangle area, with fully licensed trainers, grooming, and a dog pick-up service near me.

Why Can’t Dogs Drink Salt Water?

Humans can’t drink salt water, so it’s no surprise that dogs can’t either. However, when dogs are playing and panting in the ocean, they can easily ingest salt water, either by accident or because they are getting thirsty from all the activity.

When dogs drink salt water, the salt sucks water out of the blood and redirects it to the intestines, leading to gastrointestinal discomfort and unnaturally high levels of sodium in the body.

A small amount of salt water can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. However, larger amounts lead to saltwater poisoning.

Dogs reach a toxic sodium level when they drink 2.2 teaspoons of salt per pound of their body weight, which is the approximate amount of salt in a cup of seawater. Therefore, smaller dogs can tolerate less salt water than larger dogs.

If dogs drink a lot of salt water, the symptoms go much further than an upset stomach. The influx of sodium in the blood creates a condition known as hypernatremia. Cells in your dog’s body will respond to hypernatremia by releasing water.

Cells releasing this much water can, in turn, lead to seizures, loss of brain cells, kidney issues, and severe dehydration–all serious conditions that require immediate medical treatment from a veterinarian to prevent long-term injury or even death.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Drinking Salt Water

Since salt water is so dangerous to dogs, should you avoid the beach entirely? No! Fortunately, canine saltwater poisoning is preventable. Follow these simple tips for a safe, fun beach trip:

  • Make sure your dog has access to fresh water and shade.
  • Take a break from the ocean every 15 minutes.
  • Avoid playing fetch in deeper water, where your dog can easily lunge after their favorite toy with their mouth open and accidentally ingest salt water.
  • Make sure that your dog has enough training to respond to simple commands like “come” and “no” so that you can stop them from drinking salt water.

What To Do If Your Dog Drinks Salt Water

If your dog drinks salt water, don’t panic. Remember, it takes a lot of salt water for your dog to reach toxic levels, especially if they are a larger breed, but you should still exercise caution.

If your dog has swallowed a small amount of salt water, call them out of the ocean immediately.

Have them sit in the shade with a bowl of fresh water while you monitor for signs of low-level saltwater poisoning (although symptoms make take a few hours to develop):

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue

Signs of more serious saltwater poisoning also include:

  • Constant urination
  • Muscle tremors and convulsions
  • Confusion and odd behavior
  • Excessive thirst
  • High heart rate
  • Poor coordination
  • Loss of appetite

If you think your dog has consumed a potentially toxic amount of salt water, head to a veterinarian immediately. Your vet will likely administer an IV to slowly lower sodium levels and restore equilibrium while monitoring electrolytes, brain swelling, and seizures.

Because lowering sodium levels too quickly can lead to further complications like cerebral edema, this process will probably take a few days and require hospitalization for your dog.

Top Dog: The Best Dog Boarding Near Me

Don’t want to bring your dog on vacation and risk saltwater poisoning? If you live in the Triangle area and are looking for dog boarding near me, look no further than Top Dog!

Our Chapel Hill pet resort offers a state of the art k9 boarding and training facility. Our dog boarders enjoy comfortable, sanitized bedding, with soothing music and 24-hour supervision from our founder and licensed trainer, Jennie Fuller, who lives on-site.

Our boarders also get to take advantage of Top Dog’s training programs and grooming so that they have an engaging, enriching stay!

If you don’t want to board your dog but still want to take advantage of training options like our day school, you don’t have to worry about pick up or drop off!

Top Dog offers a dog pick-up service near you to make sure that your dog makes it to our k9 boarding and training facility and back home safely.

Experience the best dog boarding near me and contact us today!


Why You Should Groom Your Dog Daily

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You groom yourself every day, so why shouldn’t your dog get that same attention?

While you don’t have to seek out professional dog grooming in Chapel Hill every single day, a daily dog grooming routine, complemented by regular trips to your groomer, will help keep your pooch feeling happy and healthy!

Top Dog Training and Resort offers the best dog grooming in Durham, NC, and the wider Triangle Area. We are your local dog experts, and we always put your dog first. That’s why we are sharing some of our grooming expertise with you!

The Importance of Dog Grooming

While it’s obvious that you want your dog to be clean and comfortable–without obscured vision because of sloppy bangs or getting caught on overly long nails–there are even more benefits to grooming.

First off, regular grooming avoids larger grooming issues down the line, like matted hair.

Grooming can also help control shedding. If it feels like everything in your house is covered in a thin layer of fur, regular brushing can reduce shedding. Brushing stimulates oil glands in your dog’s skin, which in turn encourages it to hang on to fur.

Regular nail trimming can improve your dog’s feet and joint health, and teeth brushing also keeps your dog’s teeth clean and healthy, while also preventing bad breath.

However, the most important benefit of grooming is the prevention of medical and dental issues. Regular grooming gives you the opportunity to check your dog’s eyes, ears, mouth, and body for warning signs of larger issues.

How Often Should I Groom My Dog?

Your dog’s specific grooming needs will vary depending on its breed and the time of year. For example, dogs tend to develop thicker coats in the winter, and then they shed more in the spring.

As a rule of thumb, Top Dog recommends daily hair brushing as the foundation of your at-home grooming routine. You should also brush your dog’s teeth daily and/or give them a special dental treat to promote tooth health.

There are a few other monthly items to work into your dog’s routine, like nail trimming. A dog’s nails shouldn’t stick out beyond its pads, and they should be trimmed every three to four weeks.

If your dog is uncomfortable letting you trim its nails, you can seek help from professional groomers or vets.

Dogs don’t need to bathe as often as humans do; in fact, over-bathing can strip healthy oils from your dog’s skin and hair. Typically, your dog needs a bath every 6-12 weeks. However, if your dog gets really dirty from muddy outdoor play, bathe them immediately!

In addition to at-home grooming routines, we recommend scheduling professional dog grooming in Chapel Hill, NC every one to two months for haircuts and full grooming.

Grooming Recommendations by Breed

Every dog has unique grooming needs, but being familiar with your dog’s hair type based on its breed will help you develop a good dog grooming routine.


Long-Haired Breeds (i.e. Maltese, Shih Tzus) Short-Haired Breeds

(i.e. pit bulls, pugs)

Breeds with Curly Hair (i.e. poodles, doodles) Breeds with Thick Undercoats (i.e. Great Pyrenees, Pomeranians)
Daily brushing Daily brushing Daily brushing REQUIRED Daily brushing
Baths every 4-6 weeks Baths every 6-12 weeks Baths every 3-4 weeks Monthly baths
Professional grooming visits every 6 weeks Professional grooming visits every two months Professional grooming visits every 6-8 weeks Professional grooming visits every 8-12 weeks

While this chart is a helpful guide, it is not comprehensive. Schedule some professional dog grooming in Durham, NC to get some expert advice on your dog’s specific needs.

Top Dog: The Best Dog Grooming in Chapel Hill, NC

When you need dog grooming in Chapel Hill, Durham, or Hillsborough, look no further than Top Dog! We are your number one local dog groomer, and we offer a full suite of services to help your dog look and feel its best.

Our grooming services include:

  • full-service baths
  • haircuts
  • hair styling and pattern options
  • nail trimming
  • ear plucking
  • blow drying
  • an optional dash of dog-friendly cologne

To learn more about how you can keep your dog happy and healthy with dog grooming in Chapel