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Dogs, Dogs, Dogs – Brighten Your Day with These Feel-Good Dog Stories

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs – Brighten Your Day with These Feel-Good Dog Stories

We are deep dog lovers here at SierraSil. Our dogs are more than pets – they are a part of our families. Yes, we talk about our dogs as much as we do our children.


Some days the news headlines can be a bit hard to listen to – but as you and I know – a cuddle from your dog or an after-work dog walk can do wonders for your spirit and outlook.

This is why we thought for July, we’d take a different approach with our blog and share some of our favourite feel-good dog news stories with you. We’d love to hear from you – share your favourite feel-good dog stories (and photos of your dog) on the Leaps & Bounds Facebook community page and tag us on Instagram with your photos of your dog.

Dogs Helping People

Dogs are doing good all-over the world to help people live happier, healthier, and safer lives.

Of course, there is no denying the overall benefits from having a dog. Number one is how your dog helps improve your health – every walk you take your dog on, supports your dog’s joint health and your own joint health. Beyond this key health benefit, it is widely recognized that dogs help lower your stress levels, connect you with other people, and help prevent depression.

So, give your dog an extra hug tonight and some all-natural dog chews as a thank you for all that she does for you. Your dog really is your best friend.

People Helping Dogs

Some days the news headlines can be very overwhelming. These stories of people putting dogs first are just what each of us needs to brighten the day and remind us of all the good there is in others.

Share your favourite story about people helping dogs on our Leaps & Bounds Facebook community page. Let’s keep these good news stories about people and dogs going.

Enjoying Life with Dogs


The SierraSil vision is to see one million or more people live healthier and more active lives – and this includes you and your dog. There is nothing better than getting out with your dog to camp, hike, walk, and adventure.

Here are some of our favourite articles on how to enjoy an active life with your dog:

Remember that your dog’s joint health depends on getting regular walks and playtime. Adjust your dog’s walking and activities based on his dog joint health – pay attention to any signs of limping or a reluctance to go outside for fresh air. Contact your veterinarian if your dog is not interested in walking, playing, or her normal active routine.

Summer Dog Movies and Books

In between all this dog-related activity, you and your favourite dog need some downtime and relaxation. Add these dog-themed books and movies to your entertainment list this summer.

We want to hear from you – tell us about your favourite dog movies and books and tag us in your photos of you and your dog relaxing this summer.

Your Dog is Your Best Friend


We’re not exaggerating – your dog truly is your best friend. Your dog gives you unconditional love, friendship, and companionship. We thank you for taking such great care of your dog and doing all you can to help your dog live a long and healthy life.

Here’s to a summer packed with dog kisses, romps at the dog park, camping out under the stars with your top dog, and chilling out with a good dog movie or two. It’s a fact – dogs are good for people and people are good for dogs.

About the Author
Michael Bentley, President of SierraSil Health, has twice been recognized by Optimyz magazine as one of Canada’s top 100 health and wellness influencers and in 2019 was honored by the Canadian Health Food Association with the John Holtmann Industry Leadership Award. He is also a Trustee of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and past Board member of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, Family Services of BC and other non-profit organizations.

*Thanks to the SierraSil team and our extended team for sharing their best friends.

What is Wrong With my Dog’s Elbow?

What is Wrong With my Dog’s Elbow?

Elbow dysplasia could be causing your dog’s elbow to be uncomfortable, making it hard for your dog to walk.

Many large breed dogs including Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Bearded Collies, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, and Newfoundlands are prone to elbow dysplasia.

If you notice your dog is limping or is trying to avoid putting weight on a leg – this could indicate your dog’s elbow is giving him trouble. Interestingly, elbow dysplasia is very common in dogs and symptoms can arise in dogs as young as 4 months old.

However, like most dog joint problems, it can take up to 1 year for your dog to show her elbow discomfort.

Read on for the facts on dog elbow dysplasia including a detailed description of the condition, the signs and symptoms, and treatment options.

What is Dog Elbow Dysplasia?

Dog elbow dysplasia is a common condition caused by the abnormal growth of the cells, tissue, or bone in the elbow. The elbow is the first joint in your dog’s leg.

According to, this elbow condition is characterized by developmental abnormalities that lead to the malformation and degeneration of the elbow joint.

Elbow dysplasia is the most common reason for elbow discomfort and lameness. Additionally, it is one of the major causes of front limb lameness in large and giant breed dogs.

This dog joint condition is often diagnosed when your dog is between 4 and 18 months. This diagnosis really depends on how well your dog manages to hide his elbow discomfort. As we know, dogs are experts at hiding joint discomfort.

To make things more complicated, not all dogs show signs of elbow dysplasia when young – some dogs can suffer from an acute onset of the condition as a result of more general joint deterioration.

Elbow dysplasia is a genetic condition, therefore it’s important you do not breed a dog who has been diagnosed with the condition. As well, it’s important that you contact your breeder and let them know that your dog has been diagnosed with elbow dysplasia.

This dog elbow condition can also be exacerbated by the amount and quality of nutrients your dog eats. If your breed of dog is prone to elbow dysplasia, it’s key that you keep your dog at a healthy weight, particularly while he is growing and developing.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dog Elbow Dysplasia?

The signs of dog elbow dysplasia include:

  • Your dog limps.
  • Your dog tries to stick his sore leg out from his body as he walks, in an attempt to avoid putting weight on it.
  • A limited range of motion in the impacted leg. Your dog might appear to have a stiff leg.
  • Lameness that is made worse with exercise.
  • Stiffness and an inability to weight-bear after your dog has been sleeping or resting.

If your dog has elbow dysplasia, he can experience some or all of these symptoms:

  • A sudden and acute onset of lameness as a result of degenerative joint disease.
  • Discomfort when the elbow is flexed.
  • Swelling due to fluid build-up in the elbow joint.
  • The elbow joint bones may grate or rub during movement.

If you notice any changes in your dog’s ability to walk, run, jump, or sit comfortably – contact your veterinarian. Remember, dogs are experts at hiding all signs of elbow joint discomfort until the discomfort becomes too severe to hide.

How is Dog Elbow Dysplasia Treated?

The treatment for dog elbow dysplasia really depends on the severity of the condition and the age of your dog.

To diagnose elbow dysplasia, your veterinarian will do a full physical assessment, ask you questions about your dog’s mobility and behavior, and use x-rays to identify the abnormalities in your dog’s elbow joint and bones.

The treatment options for this dog elbow joint discomfort include:

  • Surgery: this approach is often used in young dogs or in puppies when the elbow dysplasia is caught early. There are surgical approaches that can correct any defects in the elbow joint, preventing the defects to continue as your dog grows. The decision around surgery really depends on how well your dog can recover from surgery.
  • Rehabilitation therapy: many dogs respond well to physiotherapy or other rehab therapy. This treatment protocol can include range-of-motion exercises, spending time in a pool doing non-weight bearing exercise, massage, and walking on an underwater treadmill.
  • Weight management: maintaining an ideal weight is critical for any dog, but especially for dogs with elbow joint discomfort. For puppies that are prone to elbow dysplasia, maintaining a healthy weight minimizes the stress and pressure on the elbow joint. Discuss any weight management strategies with your veterinarian – there might a recommended food that can help your dog maintain a healthy weight and also provide extra joint support. Do not change your dog’s diet without speaking to your veterinarian.
  • Natural supplements: a natural supplement that is proven to support your dog’s mobility can help ease elbow joint discomfort. An all-natural dog chew like Leaps & Bounds help ease inflammation in dog joints and restore your dog’s mobility range.
  • Supportive exercise: the natural tendency is to think you should limit your dog’s exercise and play time if she’s suffering from elbow dysplasia. However, it’s important to remember that your dog needs to keep her supportive muscles, tendons, and ligaments strong and flexible. The best way to do this is with exercise. Additionally, to help avoid weight gain, it’s important for your dog to do supportive elbow joint exercises. And, don’t overlook the reality that your dog wants to move and play – limiting her motion can cause depression, sadness, and boredom in your dog. Talk to your veterinarian about the best and safest ways for your dog to get her exercise and play time.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication: depending on the severity of your dog’s elbow dysplasia, your veterinarian may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the discomfort.

The good news is that elbow dysplasia is a widely recognized and understood elbow condition in dogs. It’s important that you follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and do not make any sudden changes in diet, exercise, or routine.

Does your dog have elbow dysplasia? It’s likely that many dogs and dog parents in the SierraSil Leaps & Bounds community are living with elbow dysplasia – tell us how you’re caring for your dog’s elbow joint discomfort.

What are the Top Dog Myths?

What are the Top Dog Myths?

The list of top dog myths is a long one. It seems we’ve all heard a dog myth or 2 that we now believe as fact.

There are myths around your dog’s nose, mouth, vision, grass eating habits, exercise needs, and how they age.

Everyone has an opinion on what a wet nose means or what eating grass is all about or how much exercise a dog really needs.

Now, we’re dog people at SierraSil. Some days it seems like there is more office chatter about our dogs then there is about our kids. Yeah, we know how it is.

And this is exactly why we want to talk about dog myths.

We can’t include every dog myth we’ve been told or read about. So, do visit our Leaps & Bounds Facebook community page and tell us about the dog myths you’ve been told.

Let’s work together to bust these dog myths and get the facts out there about wet noses, grass, exercise, vision, senior dog health, and so much more.

Myth #1: The Wet or Dry Dog Nose

Touch your dog’s nose, if it’s wet, your dog is sick. Or is it, if it’s dry, your dog is sick?

What is the scoop with your dog’s nose – does it really tell you anything?

The truth is, your dog’s nose has nothing to do with his health.

A wet nose can become dry in minutes and a dry nose can get wet very quickly.

The wet or dry nose probably tells you more about the weather – is the air dry (dry nose), is it humid or raining (wet nose), or did your dog stick her nose in the water dish (wet nose).

Of course, do pay attention if your dog’s nose is constantly running, looks dry and cracked, or if your dog is rubbing her nose frequently.

Myth #2: Your Dog’s Mouth is Cleaner than Your Mouth

Dog Mouth is Full of Germs
A Dog's Mouth is Packed with Germs

Oh, don’t worry – dog’s mouths are clean,” is a frequently heard comment after you’ve been licked in the face or on the mouth by a dog.

What a strange myth. How can your dog’s mouth be cleaner than yours?

The fact is your dog’s mouth is not cleaner than your mouth. In fact, it’s packed full of germs.

Think of the things your dog eats on a daily basis. Think of where he licks himself. Think of your dog chewing on your wood furniture or eating your sweaty socks.

And let’s not forget that most of us don’t brush our dog’s teeth. Yes, more germs.

But don’t worry if your dog does lick you on the face or mouth – the majority of the germs in your dog’s mouth are not harmful to you.

We don’t want you to stress about the germs in your dog’s mouth. Assuming you’re adhering to your veterinarian’s advice on keeping your dog healthy, you don’t have to worry.

Myth #3: The Need to Eat Grass

You know the sounds. The sounds of your dog getting ready to and then vomiting.

Your dog might react this way after eating grass.

However, this does not mean that your dog is eating grass as a way to make himself vomit.

Your dog might in fact vomit after eating grass. But he’s not doing this because he’s sick or has the need to vomit.

The truth is your dog is eating grass because he likes it. Maybe it’s the taste, the texture, the smell, or something else.

Like anything your dog eats, when she eats too much, the stomach can become irritated, and your dog might vomit. The same happens with grass.

If you have a grass-eating dog, make sure your dog is not munching on grass that has been chemically treated.

And do monitor the frequency of vomiting in your dog – high frequency can be an indicator of an illness.

Myth #4: Dogs are Colorblind

No, dogs are not colorblind. Or actually, it’s hard to tell you if your dog is colorblind or not.

After all, we can’t fully see what your dog sees. This myth has long roots back to a time when scientists didn’t fully understand the structure of canine eyes.

We now know that dogs do see color. However, your dog doesn’t see color the same way you do.

Scientists now know that the types of cones in your dog’s eyes mean that your dog likely has an easier time seeing shades of blue. Your dog can likely see blue, greenish-yellow, and different shades of grey.

Myth #5: Playing in the Yard is Enough Exercise

Fun and Games with Your Dog
Be sure your dog gets outside to run and play.

Your dog loves to be out in the backyard all day long. She spends the day poking around, digging (sigh), sniffing, chasing her tail, and taking in the fresh air.

This day-long outdoor time must be enough exercise – right?

Wrong – dogs are pack animals. This means that your dog doesn’t run, walk, or even play actively enough when she’s alone.

Even though your dog is outside playing and relaxing in the backyard all day, you still need to take your dog out for daily walks and to the dog park. Hint: you’ll feel great getting out for the dog walk as well – after all, you need to take care of your joint and mental health.

Not only is a daily (or multiple daily) walk important for your dog’s joint health, it’s also key in maintaining your dog's mental health and healthy weight.

Make sure your dog is getting her walks in, time at the dog park, and play time in the backyard.

Myth #6: Teaching a Senior Dog New Tricks

The myth that you “can’t teach a dog new tricks” has more to do with us humans than dogs.

Yes, you can teach your senior dog a new trick.

The root of this myth stems from the way many people are resistant to change or learning new skills when they’re older.

But just as we know that this is not true for humans – it’s also not true for dogs.

Anyone who has adopted a senior dog, knows that any dog – regardless of age can learn. It just takes a different approach than training a puppy.

If you’re trying to teach your senior dog something new, remember that your older dog might have issues with hearing, seeing, or smelling.

This happens when dogs age, so be aware of these sensory changes as you’re trying to entice your dog with an all-natural dog chew or with a new dog toy.

Myth #7: That Wagging Tail

There’s nothing better than a puppy bouncing around with a wagging tail.

This makes us smile and feel comfortable around the dog.

A wagging tail signals to most of us that the dog is friendly, happy, and wants to be petted or played with.

You likely know this already but reading your dog’s body language can be tricky. This confusion over body language also applies to your dog’s tail.

Yes, a wagging tail can mean the dog is friendly and happy, but it can also mean that your dog is stressed, afraid, or anxious.

A dog’s tail does tell you a lot, but it doesn’t give you the full story about your dog’s mood and mental health.

Look for other body language signs such as how your dog is holding her head, the sounds she’s making, the brightness (or lack of) in her eyes, the angle of her ears, and her overall body position.

The more you understand your dog’s body language, the easier it is to keep your dog safe when out on walks or a run in the dog park.

Because most people assume a dog with a wagging tail is friendly, it is tempting to reach out to pet or cuddle strange dogs. Speak up if you’re unsure about your dog’s mood – this protects everyone from an unfortunate experience.

Number One Dog Fact: Your Dog’s Joint Health Is Important

SierraSil Leaps and Bounds Dog Chews for Joint Health
SierraSil Leaps & Bounds Dog Chews

We couldn’t finish this blog post without reminding you of the importance of your dog’s joint health.

Regardless of the age, agility, mobility, and activity level of your dog – his or her joint health matters.

Watch our video about Leaps & Bounds and see how our all-natural dog chew has changed the lives of some special dogs.

Think of how you feel when your joints are stiff and sore. Your dog feels the same way as you do.

Learn more about Leaps & Bounds and how our all-natural dog chews can help support your dog’s joint health mobility.