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Is It Okay for Dogs to Wear Diapers?

Senior Goldendoodle wearing diapers

Just like all of us, age can wear on a dog’s ability to manage its own bodily functions. Whether you have a new puppy who needs a little protection or an old friend who needs some help, you should know whether or not it is okay for dogs to wear a diaper.

It is okay for dogs to wear diapers as long as:

  • The diaper is explicitly made for dogs
  • It is changed as soon as possible when they soil themselves
  • They are properly trained to wear diapers

All of that will take some explanation, however. Since we can’t talk directly with dogs, keep reading for some insight into using doggie diapers effectively and making sure your dog is comfortable while wearing them.

Unfortunately, our Mini Goldendoodle has become more and more incontinent in her senior years and we have gone through our share of diaper changes. It was a challenge at first but we have settled on a routine and she has become comfortable wearing them nearly all the time.

Can Dogs Wear Diapers Safely?

There are a large variety of reasons that a dog may end up needing to wear a diaper, both temporarily and permanently, including:

  • Incontinence due to age or other illness
  • To keep them from picking at stitches or other surgery areas (especially after being fixed)
  • To keep new puppies from soiling their kennel while their owners are at work

The good news is that dog diapers are completely safe to use so long as you follow some basic recommendations. Improper use, such as using diapers that are too small, can lead to a lot of discomforts or even an infection.

However, the one thing that diapers should never be used for is as a replacement for potty training. Even the most comfortable diapers are only so comfortable for your pup; forcing them to use diapers for their entire life instead of just potty training them is cruel and abusive.

Can Dog Diapers Be Used for Poop?

Although dog diapers are most commonly used to address urinary incontinence, some brands can handle poop as well, albeit not in a very comfortable way for the dog.

Many dogs just won’t poop when they are wearing a diaper. If your pup just has some urinary incontinence, it’s unlikely that they will poop in their diaper, so don’t worry.

In our own experience, the average dog diaper does not handle poop since the cutout for the tail also leaves the anus uncovered.

How Often Should I Change My Dog’s Diaper?

Putting a diaper on a dog is such a foreign concept to many people that it can be hard to tell when and why to change it. Thankfully, the answer is simple:

Treat the dog’s diaper just like you would treat a baby’s. Change it every time they make a mess in it and be on top of checking it frequently. Many diaper brands have an indicator strip embedded that changes color when moisture is detected.

We check our dog’s diaper many times throughout the day when we take it off for her to go outside.

If you forget and leave a wet or soiled diaper on your dog, it can lead to a whole host of issues (in addition to just being unsanitary for your poor furry friend). These include:

  • A wide variety of skin rashes and lesions
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Irritable behavior, loss of appetite, and your pup generally feeling sick and uncomfortable

Clearly, you need to stay on top of changing your dog’s diaper every time he or she soils it in order to avoid those issues and keep your pup healthy.

How Long Can You Leave a Dog Diaper On?

We’re all busier than ever these days, between work, family life, and everything else, so most dogs get left home alone on a regular basis. This leads to the next logical question: for just how long can you leave a diaper on a dog?

A dog can wear a diaper comfortably for 6 hours or more, as long as it remains clean. A soiled diaper should be removed immediately and replaced. However, until that diaper actually becomes soiled, there isn’t any reason they can’t wear it all day.

But there are two big caveats to this:

  • Dogs still need breaks from their diapers if they wear them full-time. Every few hours, take them outside to play and remove their diaper. This is crucial as their bodies and skin need breathing room after being in a diaper for hours.
  • If you live in a humid area, you may need to provide your dog with more breaks as its skin will get wet and rashy much faster, even if the diaper is clean.

That being said, so long as you give them enough breaks and keep an eye on them, your dog should be able to wear a clean diaper all day.

Can Dogs Wear Diapers at Night?

Second to being gone at work all day, nighttime is likely the other scenario where your dog is left unattended for long stretches of time. Is it safe for a dog to wear a diaper all night?

As a general rule, dogs should not wear diapers at night because you won’t be there to change it for them when it gets soiled. This will leave them sitting in a soiled diaper all night, almost certainly leading to infections and rashes.

Instead, consider these two fixes depending on your situation:

  • If your dog is crated at night, try an elevated dog bed specifically made for incontinence, such as the Walkin’ Wheels bed. Any urine your dog passes will simply run through the mesh and collect on the pads below, leaving them free to sleep comfortably and avoiding any complications from overnight diaper wear.
  • If your dog roams free at night, then it’s a bit trickier. You will either need to get up halfway through the night and check their diaper—or, even better, begin crate training her. If you don’t want to crate train, then think about penning her into a single room of the house with hard floors so the mess is easy to clean and she won’t get soiled.
  • If your dog sleeps in the bed with you. Usually, dogs will sleep in the same spot on your bed. Try using leakproof bedwetting mats designed for kids. This has been an excellent solution for us so far. We didn’t have the heart to change our dog’s sleeping routine so we became creative and made it work. Tip: buy several pads so you always have a clean one ready when the soiled ones are in the wash.

At the end of the day, sometimes you have to go with a solution that’s not ideal just because nothing else works.

If you absolutely have to have your dog in diapers at night because you don’t want to crate train him or her, or clean up messes in the morning, then just be sure to check on her at least once a night to change her diaper if need be.

Can a Dog Wear a Diaper While in Heat?

Besides for elderly dogs with incontinence, the second biggest use for doggie diapers is to help keep female dogs in heat clean.

A well-fitted, properly absorbent diaper is the perfect solution for keeping messes at bay as your lady dog goes through heat. However, just like with incontinence, you’ll need to pay close attention and change her diaper when it becomes soiled.

It’s also extremely important to know that a diaper will not keep a male dog from being able to get her pregnant. The male might simply tear it off, force it to the side, or otherwise get past it, and you’ll end up with an unexpected litter.

How to Train Your Dog to Wear Diapers

Naturally, training your dog to tolerate wearing a diaper takes time, commitment, and patience—but it’s worth it in the end. Here’s how to do it:

  • First, start by grabbing some high-quality and “high-value” treats. High value simply means that it’s something your dog will work hard to win.
  • Take the diaper, place it on the ground, and reward your dog when they leave it alone with the “leave it” command. Training and rewarding the “leave it” behavior beforehand makes it more likely your pup won’t pick at the diapers once wearing them full time.
  • Next, place the diaper on your dog and give him/her a high-value treat. Do this every time you put the diaper on for the first week or so. This gets your dog to associate the act of putting on the diaper with good rewards, which means she’ll be excited about it all!
  • Lastly, watch your dog and discourage picking or nibbling behaviors. Start by having your dog wear it for only a few minutes and work your way up, rewarding him/her when you put the diaper on and remove it. If they pick at it, just stop them and redirect that energy toward a toy, rewarding them when they comply.

It’s going to take some determination and patience, but if you follow those steps, your doggie will get it eventually. Also, remember that dogs learn much faster with positive reinforcement than negative, so don’t react too much when she picks at it. Simply redirect her attention and reward her again!

We’ve been lucky with our dog. She accepted wearing diapers pretty much from the beginning. She’s always liked wearing sweaters and we think she viewed diapers as another type of sweater.

Doggie Diapers: A Good Idea?

Whether your best friend was just born, is in heat, or is nearing the end of her life, a dog diaper is a fantastic tool that will increase her comfort and help you all at the same time.

Like any tool, dog diapers must be used properly, or else there could be serious consequences. Just follow our tips above, and you and your pup will be used to them in no time!

Does My Dog Need A Blanket at Night?

Mini Goldendoodle sleeping in blanket

Sure, dogs have fur to keep them warm. But not all dogs have enough of a coat to keep them warm at night. This can certainly be true of older dogs or those with certain medical conditions, such as a skin disorder. Each dog is different but some dogs will get chilly at night just as humans do.

Should a dog use a blanket to help keep them warm?

Yes, some dogs do need a blanket at night when they go to bed. Fur may not be enough to keep them warm throughout the night as they sleep. However, some breeds do not need help keeping warm, and many characteristics play into the fact of what your dog needs.

To decide whether or not your doggie needs a blanket at night, you have to factor in their unique qualities. No two dogs are the same, of course. Read on to find out more on whether or not your dog needs a blanket at night.

Does Your Dog Need A Blanket?

Some dogs need a blanket while they sleep, others don’t. That part is simple. But figuring out whether or not YOUR doggie needs a blanket is a little more involved. To make sure you’re doing your part to keep your dog comfy while he or she sleeps, there are a few things to consider:

  • Fur
  • Breed
  • Health
  • Size
  • Age
  • Environment

How Much Fur or Hair Does Your Dog Have?

Poodle mix dogs sitting in bed with covers

For dogs, fur and hair are similar to the clothes we wear and provide some protection from frigid weather conditions and colder temperatures.

Dog coats are generally made up of an outer coat (the guard hair or primary coat) and an undercoat and can largely differ in density and length depending on the breed.

Guard hairs vary in texture, length, and thickness and not only safeguard the dog’s skin from minor topical injuries, but also serve as extra insulation from cold weather.

The soft and fluffy undercoat is nearest the skin and is a dog’s primary protection against chilly climates.

Most breeds have a double coat, meaning that they have both an outer coat and an undercoat. However, the length and density of the hair in each layer is what determines your dog’s vulnerability to colder temperatures. Some breeds only have a single coat. The Pumi, for example, only has an undercoat while a Whippet only has a primary outer coat.

Naturally, thicker coats will provide more protection to cold winds and temperatures, while thinner coats are more permeable to such conditions. A Greyhound, for example, with its short hair and non-existent undercoat, does not have the type of fur to survive cold nights in a wintry tundra, whereas a Siberian Husky would fare just fine.

So, depending on whether your dog is single or double-coated and how long and dense the hair is for each layer, a blanket may certainly prove to be a necessity.

What Kind of Dog do You Have?

Some breeds were made to survive in cold temperatures, while others are more suited to live within hot, humid climates. Here are some of the breeds that thrive in and tolerate certain environments and temperatures:

Cold Weather BreedsWarm/Hot Weather BreedsAll-Weather Breeds
Siberian Husky
Saint Bernard
Finnish Lapphund
Chow Chow
Alaskan Malamute
Finnish Spitz
Great Pyrenees
Afghan Hound
Yorkshire Terrier
Ibizan Hound
Australian Cattle Dog
Doberman Pinscher
Labrador Retriever
Golden Retriever
Border Collie
Jack Russell
German Shepherd
Sussex Spaniel

For the breeds that can withstand cold temperatures due to their dense double coat, you can skip a blanket.

How Healthy is Your Dog?

Some diseases dogs develop can have the side effect of lower cold tolerance. You and your vet know your dog’s health the best, so you will have to decide if it will need a blanket or not. But here are some diseases that can cause a dog to be cold:

  • Heart disease – can cause extremities to be cold as the body is focused on delivering most of the blood to vital organs and is not able to pump sufficient blood to the whole body.
  • Diabetes – can cause anemia and circulation issues which can make your dog feel colder
  • Kidney disease – less heat is generated due to a decrease in red blood cells that transport oxygen through the body (anemia). Also, a build-up of uremic wastes can cause hypothermia.
  • Hormonal imbalances – some hormones influence the part of the brain that regulates body temperature

There may be other diseases or illnesses that can make your dog more prone to getting cold. If this is a concern and the blanket doesn’t seem to help, check with your dog’s veterinarian for professional advice.

What Size is Your Dog?

It is well known that the size of the dog can make them more likely to get cold. If you have a smaller dog, they are more likely to get cold and will need a blanket when they sleep. Small dogs normally have short, thin hair and not much subcutaneous fat to insulate their body.

There are a few larger breeds that may need a blanket as well. For example, Great Danes don’t have thick, long hair and don’t have much fat. So, if your dog doesn’t have thick hair and is thin in size or shape, he or she may need a blanket at night.

Where do You Live?

Environment plays a role as well. If you are up north, where winters are much harsher than locations closer to the equator, then you may need to give your dog a blanket, especially if your puppy isn’t one of the breeds that do well in cold temperatures.

If you like your home cold, this may mean your dog is cold, too. Although we have control of our environment inside the home, it doesn’t mean that a dog can’t get cold. Each dog is different, just like each person is different. Make sure to look out for signs of cold intolerance to see if your dog needs help staying warm.

How Old is Your Dog?

When humans get older, they lose the ability to hold as much warmth due to the thinning of the heat-conserving fat layer under our skin (subcutaneous fat). Another reason is a natural decrease in blood circulation as a result of elasticity loss in the blood vessels.

Less circulation makes it more difficult for your body to retain heat. Dogs are no different from us humans in those respects. The natural aging process causes their bodies to work less efficiently and they simply can’t maintain their warmth like younger pups.

Signs of Cold Intolerance

If you are still unsure if your dog needs a blanket, knowing the signs of cold intolerance will help you with your decision. Here are the signs to look out for to see if your dog has cold intolerance:

  • Signs of anxiety
  • Shivering, trembling
  • Trying to burrow and cuddle into warm spaces
  • Cold ears
  • Curling up
  • Limping
  • Sluggish
  • Whining

Your dog can’t simply say that they are cold, so watching out for these telltale signs is important so you can provide them with ways to keep warm. Cover them with a blanket. If your dog curls up into that blanket, they need a little extra warmth. If your pup wriggles free, they’re not cold. Dogs are very intuitive.

Best Blankets for Your Dog

Cute chocolate dog playing with blanket

You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money on your dogs for them to keep warm. “Shop” your house. Chances are you already have a blanket you no longer use that would be perfect for your best buddy to cuddle up in. Thrift stores are also a good place to find gently used blankets. Of course, you can always buy a new one.

When picking a blanket for your dog, make sure ID tags and collars can’t get easily caught up in the fabric. Also, be very mindful of the material. First and foremost, we want our pets to stay safe and healthy. A lot of fabrics these days are loaded with potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Therefore, it’s best to choose blankets made from 100% natural fibers, like cotton and linen. This goes for dog beds, clothing, and stuffed toys as well.

Other Ways to Keep Your Dog Warm

Blankets are a great way to keep your dog warm, but there are other options you can try. Here are a few things that can help keep your little pup cozy and comfortable:

  • A dog bed
  • Stuffed animals
  • Doggy vests, sweaters, or shirts
  • Move their sleeping spot from vents, windows, and doors
  • Cover their crate with a blanket so it resembles a den

These are all good ways to keep your puppy warm but be careful not to overheat them either.

Final Thoughts

Dogs are just as unique as us with their different characteristics. As the dog’s owner, it is you who is most in tune with your pup’s needs so pay close attention and use your best judgment to determine whether a blanket is needed to keep him or her comfy and cozy at night. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian.

Should My Dog Wear a Harness All the Time?

Mini Goldendoodle standing in grass wearing harness

Training is one of the most significant investments new pet owners can provide for their dogs. Good toys and food aside, a well-behaved dog is a happy dog. Harnesses are pretty common for controlling and training a young pup. Not only that but they also provide a great way to comfortably control your dog throughout their life.

How often should you keep your dog’s harness on to ensure they get the best training and remain healthy?

A dog’s harness can stay on beyond their outdoor or walk time. Dogs should get used to their harnesses, leashes, and collars when trained. Familiarity with a harness will make a dog more comfortable and obedient when it’s time for a leash. Just remember that dogs need time out of their harnesses to prevent irritation.

If you are keeping your dog’s harness on for extended periods of time, you should not worry too much. However, it is important to keep a close eye on their behavior to ensure their skin is not being irritated. Young and old dogs alike can benefit from wearing their harness. Read on to learn about the benefits and concerns of harnesses for your pet.

Harnesses vs. Collars for Your Dog

Dogs naturally look up to their owners for security and comfort. Your actions, though, will have the most significant impact on how strong of a relationship you have with your dog. Harnesses can be great for helping you form a more secure bond with your new little rascal or for keeping your adult pup happy and comfortable.

When training a young dog, collars may not be the best option. Smaller pups can often wriggle their neck out of a collar and get off the leash.

Worse, squirrely dogs could quite possibly hurt themselves if they fight against the collar. Injuries to the neck and throat are not uncommon and can be serious.

On the other hand, harnesses are a more secure and safe way to keep your dog on a leash. Because harnesses are typically secured around the torso and front legs, a neck or back injury is much less likely. This also makes it highly unlikely your dog will find a way to squeeze out of their restraint.

When our dog was a young pup, we started out using a collar when we walked her. However, we found it much easier to control her without the risk of choking or hurting her by using a properly fitting harness. Your results may differ but we have found much success by using a harness over the years rather than a collar when using a leash.

Benefits of Harnesses

  • Control – It is easier to control an animal with a harness. Most of their body is under more direct control with a harness and leash.
  • Health – Back or neck injury-prone dogs will face less physical stress and be overall healthier. Harnesses will also reduce the risks of esophagus and eye damage that can occur with collar use.
  • Safety – An animal is unlikely to wriggle their way out of a harness. Harnesses are more trustworthy for keeping a dog on their leash and out of harm’s way.

Harnesses can provide general peace of mind from accidentally hurting a dog by tugging on their leash too hard. When a dog is comfortable on walks, they are more comfortable with who is walking them.

Harness Training a Dog

Small dog pulling in a harness

When first training a dog, it is important to introduce them to their leash, harness, or collar. A puppy will not be used to the sensation of being in a harness and it may give them anxiety or discomfort. Instead of simply throwing their harness on and going for a walk, you may want to take some time to get them used to it first.

It is especially important to get your dog warmed up to its harness if it can be skittish. Starting off right and slowly encouraging them one day at a time will get them more comfortable.

During downtime around the house, fit your dog with its harness. Leave it on them for a little while and let them get used to the sensation. They may act a little strange at first, but eventually, they’ll get more of a feel for moving around when wearing it.

Getting a Dog Used to Their Harness

  1. Introduce your dog to the harness. Let them sniff it and inspect it before putting it on. Encourage your dog’s positive emotions by giving them a “good boy/girl” and maybe a treat.
  2. Do a size check. Before taking your dog for a walk with a new harness, put it on and double-check the fit is not too tight or too loose. As a general guideline, you should be able to fit no more than two fingers between your pup and the straps of the harness.
  3. Before going for a walk, give them some time. Let your dog get acclimated to the sensation. Let them walk around, lay down, play, and just be themselves.
  4. Do a comfort check. If your dog tries to get out of the harness or is biting/scratching it, pay close attention to them. Where are they biting? Are those parts too tight? Adjust if necessary.
  5. Show them the love. Start to take your dog on walks with the harness. Continue to give them positive reinforcement with your words. After the walk is over, be sure to pet them and give them a treat.

Ensuring that you are giving your dog positive reinforcement during harness training will help make them feel even more comfortable and trusting towards you. When you are not on walks, leave the harness on your dog occasionally. This will only help them get more used to it.

Properly Fitting a Dog’s Harness

It is essential to get a properly fitting harness for your dog. An incorrectly fitting harness can harm how the dog walks, dig into their skin, pull fur, or put undue pressure on their body. A properly fitted harness will avoid such issues.

While it is easy to purchase harnesses online, you may want to visit a pet store with your dog to try them on.

Take your pup to the nearest outfitter and grab a couple of different styles and sizes. Put them on and walk your dog around the store a bit. The harness should not be loose, but it should not be super tight.

Some styles may simply not work for your dog. Whether they are ill-fitting in certain areas or proportioned awkwardly, not all harnesses work with every breed. Some trial and error may be necessary to narrow down the most comfortable harness for your dog.

Small Poodle lying down wearing harness

Ensuring the Proper Fit

  • A harness should fit securely around a dog’s torso, chest, and back. There should be enough slack to easily fit a finger or two (but no more) under the harness.
  • Make sure it isn’t too tight on their chest. This can restrict breathing and also put stress on their shoulders and harm a dog’s joints.
  • Ensure the straps aren’t rubbing too much against their skin. Too much slack can cause chaffing.

How to Know if a Dog’s Harness is Irritating Them

Harnesses are overall an excellent method for keeping your dog on a leash. They ensure maximum comfort for your animal when on and off walks. If you’d like, you can leave a well-fitting harness on throughout the day. This will get a dog more comfortable with being on a leash and in its harness.

Chaffed Skin or Matted Hair

You should be on the lookout, though, for any signs of irritation. Be sure to take your dog’s harness off at least every once in a while. Give them some nice scratches around where it was, and double-check for any signs of chafing or hair matting.

Awkward Gait or Strained Breathing

Other signs of discomfort can be varied. If your dog always walks awkwardly when on a harness, it may be straining their joints or shoulders. Listen to how your dog is breathing with and without the harness on. Strained breathing can indicate a harness that is too tight.

If a specific harness is consistently causing these signs of discomfort, it may simply not be a good style. Try some others out and reevaluate.

Types of Harnesses and Uses

When picking a harness for your pup, you should consider comfort and control needs. Not every harness is right for every dog.

There are two different styles of harnesses: Strap and Vest.

Strap-Style harnesses are pretty low-key, lightweight, and cover less of the dog’s body than vests do. If your dog is a strong puller, this style may cause more chafing. Another drawback is the ease of use, as it can be quite challenging to figure out which strap goes where.

Vest-Style harnesses can be bulkier as they cover more of your dog’s torso. On the plus side, though, they chafe less than strap-style harnesses. Their swaddling qualities can have a calming effect on skittish and anxious dogs but are less beneficial for dogs who dislike feeling constrained. They are often made of breathable material with mesh inserts.

There are 4 main types of harnesses (aside from service dog harnesses, harnesses for disabled dogs, and car harnesses). Most harnesses have the same basic design of two straps that loop around the dog’s torso, with one strap sitting on the chest in front of the front legs and the other wrapping around the torso behind the front legs.

There are two additional straps connecting both loops at the top and bottom. Harnesses are also equipped with a D-Ring to attach a leash and/or ID tags to.

1) Front-Clip Harness

The key distinction of a front-clip harness is the attachment point of the D-ring on the chest. It is a good option for dogs who tend to pull during walks as it makes them slow down to avoid the increased pressure in front and redirects your dog’s attention back to you.

Drawbacks: increased chafing and a greater chance of leash getting tangled in forelimbs

Popular choice: PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness

2) Back-Clip Harness

The attachment point for the leash on a back-clip harness is a D-ring located on your dog’s back. It is a great alternative to a traditional collar as it provides more control and reduces the risk of throat and neck injuries. With the leash attaching at the top, there is also less potential for tangling.

Drawbacks: may worsen pulling issues

Popular choice: PetSafe Sure-Fit Harness

3) Dual-Clip Harness

This type of harness has a D-ring connection at the front AND the back, letting you attach a leash to either location or both (if you own a double-ended leash). If you’re on the fence between option 1 and 2, go for this type as it’s the most versatile.

Drawbacks: cost more and you need to purchase a double-ended leash if you want to connect to both points at the same time

Popular choice: 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness

4) Head Halter

Head halters are an excellent training tool for even your toughest pullers. There are two straps that loop around your dog’s head, one sits high on its neck and the other fits over the nose. Both loops connect below the jaw where the leash can be attached to a D-ring.

This halter type works by gently redirecting a dog’s head towards you and refocusing his/her attention on you. It allows you to effectively control your dog’s movements regardless of their size and weight.

Drawbacks: extremely rebellious dogs could sustain neck injuries or end up with marks on their face from the nose loop

Popular choice: PetSafe Gentle Leader

In Conclusion

A dog with a properly fitting harness can surely wear it around the house. If it is not causing them discomfort and is taken off on occasion to give their skin some air, your dog should be comfortable wearing their harness all the time.

Should My Dog Wear a Collar and a Harness?

Small brown Poodle on leash with collar and harness

Restraining your dog in different environments is generally good practice. You wouldn’t want your dog to get off its leash and run away, especially on a busy street. Keeping your dog on a leash is also an essential training practice. Is it better, though, to use a collar or a harness? Which is best for keeping your dog obedient, safe, and comfortable?

While it is unnecessary, there can be many benefits to using both a collar and harness for your dog. A collar and harness together can keep better control of a dog that pulls especially hard on walks. Owners should always carefully monitor their dogs for signs of discomfort.

There are no doubt pros and cons in how you may choose to restrain your dog outside of the house. Both collars and harnesses can have unique effects on a dog’s behavior, comfort, and training. Responsible pet owners should be aware of the different methods of restraining a dog and their impacts.

Using a Collar and a Harness Together

Mini Goldendoodle on beach with collar and harness

In the picture above, our dog was wearing a harness and a collar with both having identification on them. We use this plastic collar tag that connects to her harness so that even her harness has our phone numbers and other info.

A harness and collar can easily be worn together. Further, different types of collars can serve different purposes alongside a harness. For example, a shock collar may be used to train a dog not to bark on walks. This collar can be independent, though, from where the leash is attached.

It is also crucial to keep your dog’s tags on at all times – a collar can come in handy for this reason alone. A harness is a less convenient option to attach your dog’s tags to, and you don’t want to be caught in a situation where those tags aren’t there.

For instance, if you keep the tags on the harness and your dog finds a way out of the yard without their harness on, that’s not going to be good. However, if you always keep those tags on the collar, your dog’s lack of a harness will be less of an issue in that instance.

When to Use a Collar and Harness Together?

  • Extra control – If your dog’s tags are on their collar, but you prefer a harness for control, you should use both.
  • Training – If you are using a shock collar for training but don’t want to attach your leash to it, a harness is a good method for keeping control.
  • Outings – When taking your dog out to an off-leash park, you’ll want proper tags on them. However, to get them under control, a harness can be easily reached and connected to a leash.

Is It Uncomfortable for a Dog to Wear a Collar and Harness?

Provided your dog’s harness is appropriately fitted and their collar isn’t too tight, comfort won’t be an issue. Be sure, though, to remove them every once in a while, to avoid hair matting and to give your pup’s skin some air and soothing scratches.

Ensuring a Dog’s Comfort When Restrained

A dog’s comfort will immediately affect its behavior and attitude. If you were to walk down a busy street with owners and animals strolling, you would notice all the different styles of restraints. Some may have choke collars and spiked leashes. Others may only have harnesses or plain collars.

Whatever type of restraint an owner decides to use, they should carefully consider a dog’s comfort and control needs.

Restraints and Their Uses

  • Harness – A harness is best for energetic dogs who tend to wriggle their way out of a collar. It is also helpful for dogs prone to back or neck injuries, such as dachshunds, toy poodles, beagles, or corgis. A front-leash attachment harness, for example, is an excellent option for dogs who pull and lunge during walks. In general, harnesses are the best choice for a dog’s physical well-being. Recommended harness (affiliate link).
  • Traditional Flat Collar – A classic collar is simply a strap around a dog’s neck with a buckle or snap closure and a ring for leash and ID tags. These collars can be acceptable for keeping a dog under control but can put undue strain on a dog. Often these collars will bear necessary ownership and vaccination tags. Such records are essential regardless of whether your dog is on a leash or not. Recommended flat collar (affiliate link).
  • Head Collar – A head collar is mainly used for training and is best suited for dogs with lots of energy and strength who tend to pull and jump. It is made up of two straps with one fitting high up around the neck (right behind the ears) and the second strap encircling the muzzle. There is a ring at the bottom of the muzzle strap for the leash. Proper fitting is key for efficacy and safety. Recommended head collar (affiliate link).
  • Martingale Collar – A martingale collar is made up of a strap with a ring at each end. A second strap is looped through both rings and the leash attaches to a ring on that loop. It is the gentlest option for dogs prone to slipping out of their collar, such as breeds with narrow heads. It is also beneficial for skittish and anxious dogs who may attempt to back out of their collar during walks. Accurate fitting is important so the collar tightens around the neck but never chokes your dog. Recommended martingale collar (affiliate link).
  • Shock Collar – Shock collars are used chiefly for training a dog. These can be manually operated by a remote or in conjunction with an invisible fence in the owner’s yard. They work by transmitting an electric shock via metal contacts embedded in the collar. Depending on the intensity, the sensation can be anywhere from mild to painful. Not only are these collars a highly questionable training tool, but in the case of electronic fences, the shock that’s supposed to contain your pup could also keep him/her from reentering your property.
  • Choke Collar – A choke collar uses a chain of metal links that tighten on a dog’s neck when you pull on its leash. These are unnecessary for well-behaved dogs and are typically only utilized for training purposes. The use of this type of collar is quite controversial as it has been linked to injuries of the spinal cord, brain, eyes, trachea, larynx, esophagus, and other serious injuries.
  • Prong or Pinch Collar – A prong/pinch collar is similar to a choke collar in that it uses a chain of metal links that tighten around the neck when pulled. Unlike the choke collar, though, these metal links have fang-like teeth or prongs with blunted points that pinch your pup’s neck when pulled. Possible injuries match those of choke collars with the addition of scratch or puncture wounds from the prongs.

Using discomfort or pain as a means to train your dog is inhumane and the fear and anxiety such methods promote can result in aggressive behavior. Aversive type collars such as choke, prong, and shock collars are often used improperly and can cause serious injuries. Building trust and a strong bond with your dog is best accomplished by using positive reinforcement and gentle and safe training tools.

Overall, harnesses put less strain on a dog and help keep their shoulders and necks from injury.

Experiment with what works best for you and your dog. When out on walks, be sure to monitor if they are scratching at their collar/harness as it could signify discomfort. Look to see if your dog is freely moving their shoulders. If a harness is too tight, it could hinder proper breathing, just as a collar could.

Benefits of Using a Dog Harness

Walking small white dog wearing harness

Harnesses are the best method for keeping your dog on its leash. Unlike collars, they provide more direct control over your dog’s body. This will help in training their behavior when on walks.

Harnesses will also prevent injuries that can occur from using a collar.

Injuries to a dog’s air pipe, neck, shoulders, and back can occur from even seemingly small pulls. When properly fitted, harnesses prevent this. If not correctly fitted, though, a harness can also cause injury.

Ensure a harness is properly fitted by giving a couple of centimeters of slack and observing how your dog walks when it is on.

An awkward walk or chaffing on the skin are apparent signs a harness does not fit right.

For training a dog, a harness is best as it ensures maximum control over your dog. Keeping your dog under complete control when on a walk can prevent accidents if they were to get away from you. When around other people, dogs, and cars, you’ll want to be sure your dog is right by your side and under control.

The Importance of Keeping Information on a Dog’s Collar

A dog’s tags are important for returning them to their owner if they are lost. Have you ever found a dog wandering down your street with seemingly no owner? Think back to if they had tags or not and what you did.

Odds are they had a collar and it required no more than a phone call to return them to their family. Without that collar and attached tags, reuniting a dog with their pack would require significantly more effort and one can only hope they are at least microchipped.

Collars are the most convenient for keeping dog tags handy.

Unless a dog is wearing a harness all of the time, it is not as good of a spot to display these tags. Keeping a collar on a dog all of the time is less restraining to a dog than a harness and can ensure they are always carrying tags.

It is also likely that keeping tags of vaccination records on your dog is required by law. Most municipalities require that a dog is vaccinated for rabies and other diseases. Keeping this proof of vaccination on your dog can prevent major headaches if they bite another dog.

Commonly Required Vaccination Records

  • Rabies, a contagious disease with a high risk of spread to humans and a nearly 100% fatality rate in both humans and dogs.
  • Canine hepatitis, a contagious disease that can cause death in a dog.
  • Canine parvovirus (CPV), a disease that spreads through feces and has a high fatality rate.

Being unable to prove vaccinations can make an owner increasingly liable for whatever damages their dog may cause. Using a harness for complete control in conjunction with a collar that bears tags will prevent potential liabilities and incidents.


For training and control, using both a collar and harness on your dog is good practice. And it’s a great way to display tags at all times on a collar while using a harness for restraint. The combination can certainly be comfortable and can promote additional security and safety for your dog.

Should My Dog Have Access to Water All Day?

Dog drinking water from bowl

Your four-legged friend is no different than you: water is a necessity each day. However, are you finding an empty water dish every hour or finding a full bowl at the end of each day? You may notice that your dog’s water drinking habits seem a bit off. How can you be sure you are giving your dog too much water or too little?

Dogs should have all-day access to water. Most dogs instinctively know how much water to drink. Limiting their access to water may have more negative effects than positive. Occasionally, though, dogs may need help from owners to ensure they are not drinking too much or too little.

Factors that impact how much water your dog needs include activity level, age, and diet. There are several symptoms and habits to look for from your canine friend to ensure their water consumption is healthy. Read on to learn about how to make sure your dog is getting proper hydration.

How Much Water Does a Dog Need Every Day?

Your dog’s need for water depends on various factors. Dogs that are younger or more active will require more water each day to stay hydrated. Older or less active dogs may require less. Your dog’s water needs also depend on the diet you provide. If your dog is consuming wet food, you may find they have a smaller appetite for water.

In general, though, dogs require about an ounce of water for every pound of body weight daily. Smaller, less active, or older dogs may require less than that: around half an ounce of water for each pound of body weight may suffice.

Dog’s WeightAverage Water Required Daily
Up to 15 lbs.7.5 to 20 ounces
15-30 lbs.15 to 45 ounces
30-60 lbs.30 to 90 ounces
60-90 lbs.60 to 180 ounces

For example, a full-size and active golden retriever that weighs 70 pounds may drink around half a gallon of water each day. That is a sharp contrast from an older miniature dachshund who may only require a cup and a half on a warm day.

Don’t Take Away Your Dog’s Water – But Do Monitor It

It is uncommon to need to take away a dog’s water dish. Research does not suggest it is necessarily unhealthy for a dog to have access to water all day. However, monitoring and being aware of your dog’s regular drinking habits is a good idea.

Dehydration and overhydration are both risks you should be aware of. If something seems off, closely monitor your dog’s consumption habits.

If your dog is regularly drinking multiple full bowls of water each day, regardless of activity, you should consult with your vet before taking the bowl away from them. There could be an underlying condition that is causing the dog’s drinking habits to change.

Considering the risks of overhydration and dehydration, though, it may be necessary to more closely control their water consumption habits. Being aware of the symptoms of overhydration and dehydration can make a dog’s behavior make more sense.

Is My Dog Drinking Too Much Water?

Dog drinking water outdoors

Is your dog drinking from every puddle and stagnant body of water they can find when outside, or are they emptying their water dish every hour? While it is unlikely that your dog is drinking too much water, factors like this may mean you should look out for symptoms of overhydration.

Symptoms of Overhydration

  • Fatigue
  • Strange behavior/lack of motor coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excess salivation
  • Vomiting

If your dog is showing these symptoms after consuming large amounts of water, it may be time to limit how much they are given.

Keep close track of how much water they are drinking by filling their bowl with the same amount each day at regular intervals.

Regular overconsumption of water may necessitate a trip to the vet. Excess drinking could be a sign of kidney failure, diabetes, and other concerning diseases. Blood and urine tests at the vet can help diagnose potential issues.

We experienced this recently with our aging dog. At 14 1/2 years old, she began to drink a lot more than she ever has. She has never been a big drinker and rarely finished a whole bowl of water in a day. However, we noticed her going through multiple bowls of water each day. We knew something was off so we scheduled an appointment with our vet.

After a vet visit and blood work, we found out that she has early stages of kidney disease along with a small tumor that needed to be surgically removed. We may not have been alerted to these issues if not for her increased water consumption. Luckily we caught these issues early and have been able to manage them better than we would have if we had just ignored them.

Only in more extreme scenarios should water be withheld. Water is key to your dog’s health just as much as it is ours.

Before You Take Away Your Dog’s Water Bowl

If your dog is regularly consuming water to the point of vomiting, regardless of their day-to-day activities, or it seems they are drinking much more than usual, you may think it is necessary to take the bowl away. There are other ways to be sure, though, that your dog isn’t over-hydrating.

  • Consider spacing out how much water you provide. After a long walk or game of fetch, your pooch may be eager to lap up as much liquid as possible. Instead of providing a full bowl, space out how much water they are consuming by giving them smaller bowls over a longer period of time.
  • Monitor your dog’s water intake. Keep close track of how much water they consume if it concerns you. Keeping in mind how much water you should expect your dog to consume daily, start a written schedule of how much water you are providing. Keep track of how often and with how much you need to fill your dog’s water bowl and compare that with what should be expected from your dog’s age and weight.
  • Ask your vet. Before taking the bowl away for long periods of time, be sure to have a conversation with your vet. Urine and blood tests can weed out any underlying health problems that could be only exacerbated by taking your dog’s water away

Dehydration can pose just as big of a risk to your dog’s health as overhydration. Taking the time to monitor your dog’s habits and speak with a trusted vet are important steps before removing your dog’s water source.

Is My Dog Drinking Enough Water?

Full water bowl for dog

If your dog is hardly touching his water bowl throughout the day, there are many things to consider.

Diagnosing dehydration in your dog is an easy first step to ensure they are maintaining a healthy water intake.

You should expect your dog to drink more on warm days and after lots of physical activity. If they are avoiding drinking or showing any symptoms of dehydration, you may need some extra coaxing to get them to drink.

If they are drinking significantly less than expected daily, or none at all, consider what other sources of hydration your dog has. If their diet consists of wet or fresh food, they may be getting water from this source.

Testing for Dehydration in Your Dog

The easiest and most common way of diagnosing dehydration in your dog is to check the behavior of their skin. This test is actually a method of checking for dehydration in humans, too.

Loosely pinch a flap of your dog’s skin and pull it away. If your dog is properly hydrated, their skin should snap back to place with ease.

If their skin takes a long time to return to normal, this may be a sign of dehydration.

Other Symptoms of Dehydration in Your Dog

  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular diet
  • Excessive panting
  • Dry nose, eyes, and gums

If your dog seems dehydrated, you should take steps to increase their water consumption. One method of encouraging your dog to drink more is to mix chicken or beef stock in with the water. Positive reinforcement for consuming water can also help. Provide plenty of encouragement and good words when your dog is drinking and give them a treat afterward.

If you see your dog is dehydrated even though they are drinking enough water, contact your vet.


Unless a dog is obviously consuming too much water, or they are not consuming enough, interfering with their water may not be necessary. Leaving their bowl available and full is the easiest way to prevent dehydration. Further, research does not suggest it is unwise to leave your dog with a full water supply.

Just don’t forget to check the bowl often to make sure water is still available. It can be easy to fill the bowl with water and then forget about it, only to come back later and find it completely dry. You will likely see a pattern with how much your dog is drinking over time. Any deviation from this pattern will help to alert you to some of the issues discussed in this article.

Mini Goldendoodle vs Cavapoo – A Detailed Comparison

Cavapoo puppy lying in grass

Mixed or hybrid breeds have become very popular in recent years. The right combination of two pedigree breeds can not only be beautiful but can also result in the perfect mix of the two parent breeds’ temperament and abilities.

Among the smaller poodle crosses, the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo are favored by many not only for their adorable, teddy bear-like looks but also for their incredibly kind natures, remarkable intelligence, and hypoallergenic coats. Both make great companions and fit in well with most families.

With so many similarities, choosing between the two can be difficult. However, there are some differences. This article will examine the similarities and differences between Mini Goldendoodles and Cavapoos so you can make the best choice for yourself and your family.

First, let’s look at what these mixed breeds are. They have cute names but when first hearing of them, you may not even know what breeds they are made up of.

Mini Goldendoodle

Mini Goldendoodle looking up at camera

The Mini Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Miniature (or Toy) Poodle. The origin of this breed is Australia and the USA. They are smaller than the standard Goldendoodle (which is crossed with a Standard Poodle). Size and characteristics can vary but here is what you can expect from this crossbreed.

  • Size: 13-20 inches tall (ground to shoulder)
  • Weight: 15-35 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years

There are also multiple generations and it can get a little confusing between the differences. The F1 Mini Goldendoodle is the result of a Golden Retriever and Miniature (or Toy) Poodle. These are the largest mixes of the crossbreed.

An F1B (first generation backcross) is similar except it is the result of an F1 Miniature Goldendoodle and a Miniature (or Toy) Poodle. This generally results in a smaller dog that has even more hypoallergenic qualities. You can read more about the F1b here.


Cavapoo looking up at camera

The Cavapoo is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Miniature (or Toy) Poodle and originates from Australia. Just like with the Mini Goldendoodle, they can vary in size but, overall, they do tend to be smaller.

  • Size: 9-14 inches tall (ground to shoulder)
  • Weight: 9-25 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years

This small breed has won the hearts of many as it makes a great family pet.

These two crossbreeds are very similar in a lot of ways. This is partly because of them having the same Miniature Poodle heritage and partly because the Golden Retriever and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are both intelligent and sociable breeds. There are some key differences between the two, however.


Mini GoldendoodleCavapoo
ParentsGolden Retriever + Miniature PoodleCavalier King Charles Spaniel + Miniature Poodle (Toy Poodle)
Weight15-35 lbs.9-25 lbs.
Height (at the shoulder)13-20 inches9-14 inches
Life Expectancy10-15 years12-15 years
Temperamentloving, playful, loyal, energetic, smart, eager to pleaseloving, playful, loyal, smart, eager to please
Exercise Needshighmoderate
Best Suited Foractive familiesfamilies
Color Varietiesgolden, white, cream, copper, chestnut, black or grey (or mixture)golden, white, chestnut, copper or black (or mixture)
Trainabilityeasyfairly easy
Maintenance/Grooming (low-med-high)medium to highmedium to high
Cost (reputable breeder)$2,500 – $3,500$1,200 – $2,500
Other NamesMini Groodle, Mini Doodle, Mini GoldenpooCavoodle, Cava-Doodle

Let’s look further at some important similarities and differences between these two great Poodle mix dogs. If you are on the market for a dog like this, hopefully, this article will help you decide which one will be the perfect fit.

Coat Similarities & Differences

Mini Goldendoodle

The Mini Goldendoodle’s coat is a mix between their Golden Retriever and Miniature Poodle heritage. It can vary from wavy to curly and can be in a wide variety of colors, or a mix of colors, such as golden, white, cream, copper, chestnut, grey, and black. They are either low or non-shedders, so they can be considered a hypoallergenic breed. Though less likely, a Mini Goldendoodle can inherit the straight coat of the Golden Retriever.

When it comes to grooming, the Mini Goldendoodle is considered medium to high-maintenance depending on the curliness of their coat. The curlier the hair, the more effort needs to go into grooming. Their coat can get fairly long and has a tendency towards matting if not brushed on a weekly, or even daily, basis. Regular trimming not only keeps your pup comfortable in warmer climates but also helps keep tangles at bay and makes brushing a breeze.

Further, it is notable to point out that all poodle mixes sport coats that are low in odor and don’t typically have “that dog smell”. However, dirt and grime can get trapped in hair that’s too long, so regular trimming and bathing will keep them smelling fresh.


The Cavapoo’s coat is soft and typically ranges in texture from wavy to curly. It can also come in a variety of colors, such as black, white, chestnut, copper, gold, or a mixture of colors. Similar to Mini Goldendoodles, Cavapoos tend to shed very little or not at all, so they, too, are considered to be a hypoallergenic breed. Their coat is also fairly high-maintenance and will need to be brushed, bathed, and clipped regularly to keep it looking beautiful.

Both of these crossbreeds typically inherit the hypoallergenic, low odor coat of the Poodle which makes them great options for people who have allergies and who are sensitive to smell.


Mini Goldendoodle

Because of the genes they inherit from their parent breeds, Mini Goldendoodles are extremely intelligent and this makes training very easy. They can be highly obedient if trained properly and will usually need very few repetitions of a command before they can learn it. This makes them an ideal choice for first-time dog owners because they are forgiving of any training mistakes that a new owner could make.

Our Mini Goldendoodle picked up commands very quickly and has been easy to train throughout her life. She has always surprised us with her intelligence and willingness to learn in order to please us. A little positive reinforcement and repetition are all it takes to train them to do just about anything.


Likewise, Cavapoos are also a very intelligent breed. They are easy to train and can learn basics in a short amount of time.

Cavapoos learn new commands most effectively with positive reinforcement and do not respond well to punishment or harsh words. This is true of most dogs though and you will generally get further if you lead with a calm demeanor rather than trying to force your wants onto your dog.


Both the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo make perfect family dogs and both breeds are loving, playful, loyal, and eager to please.

Mini Goldendoodle

Because of the Mini Goldendoodle’s intelligence and calmness, they make excellent service or therapy dogs. They have a very low prey drive so tend to do well in households with small animals. They are also great for families that have children. They do have a tendency to be a bit shy and fearful, which can sometimes cause problems with socializing outside of the home.

They also tend to be very attached to their owners. This can often be a problem when trying to socialize them with other dogs. Our dog does not care one bit about meeting or playing with other dogs at the dog park. She’d rather sit in our laps and watch the other dogs play. She often jumps up on our legs wanting to be picked up so other dogs can’t sniff her.

Mini Goldendoodles are great for alerting an owner of an intruder or visitor at the door. However, don’t expect them to be much of a guard dog. While their bark can be loud, their bite is not going to be one that will protect you.


Cavapoos are also very good with children, but they are really quite small, so can get hurt quite easily. Smaller children need to be very carefully monitored when they are interacting with Cavapoos in case they accidentally hurt them. Cavapoos are very kind and gentle in nature. They crave attention so if they are in a house with other pets, they can sometimes get jealous. But they are non-aggressive and sociable outside of the home.

Just like the Mini Goldendoodle, Cavapoos can be good watchdogs. They are great at alerting their owners to the presence of an intruder or visitor through barking.

Separation anxiety

Both the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo love being with their families. So much so that they are both prone to suffering from separation anxiety. They thrive in homes where there will be someone in the house most of the time and can get anxious and destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

Separation anxiety can be difficult to manage if they are going to be left at home on their own regularly, so it is important to take this into consideration when deciding to get one of these breeds.

Exercise needs

Mini Goldendoodle

Although Mini Goldendoodles are small dogs, they actually have high energy needs. They love to play and need between 40 and 60 minutes of exercise a day, ideally with some of that off the leash. They do well in houses that have a garden area for them to run around in. If they don’t get enough exercise, they can become bored and this can lead to some destructive behaviors.


Cavapoos have moderate exercise needs. They don’t need as much exercise as the Mini Goldendoodle, with around 20-30 minutes a day being sufficient. Cavapoos are a good choice for apartment living, as they don’t need a garden to run around in as long as they get regular outside exercise. They are, however, prone to obesity, so they do need to have enough exercise to keep themselves fit and healthy.

Rear view of Cavapoo dog standing in grass


Cavapoos are not known for being excessive barkers and it is rare to come across a problem barker in this breed. In contrast, some Mini Goldendoodles do like the sound of their own voice a little too much. This can be a problem if there are neighbors close by who can become irritated by the noise, especially if the dog is left alone in the house regularly.


As with all pedigree breeds, the parents of the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo can be prone to particular health conditions. Unfortunately, these health conditions can be passed down to both of the mixed breeds. It is important to be aware of these conditions and to communicate with any breeder that you are buying from to make sure that the proper health checks have been conducted.

Any reputable breeder will verify that both parents are healthy before breeding them to reduce the likelihood of hereditary issues.

Health conditions common to both

  • Hip dysplasia (test available)
  • Hereditary cataracts
  • Patella luxation (knees that slip out of place)
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Sebaceous adenitis (a skin disorder)

Mini Goldendoodle health conditions

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease (test available)
  • Elbow dysplasia (test available)
  • Prcd-PR (an eye disorder with a test available)
  • Subvalvular aortic stenosis (a heart condition)
  • Addison’s disease
  • Glaucoma

Cavapoo health conditions

  • Mitral valve disease (a heart condition)
  • Multi-focal retinal dysplasia (an eye condition)
  • Epilepsy
  • Legg Perthis disease (a problem with the hip joint)

Generally speaking, mixed breeds like the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo have a lower risk of developing certain hereditary diseases that are more commonly found in the two breeds they are a mix of. This can primarily be attributed to the fact that there is more diversity in their gene pool which consequently lessens the possibility of inheriting the genes for these conditions.


The cost of Mini Goldendoodles and Cavapoos can vary considerably depending on a variety of factors (location, popularity, litter size, health testing, etc.).

Mini Goldendoodles average between $2,500 to $3,500 while Cavapoos range from $1,200 to $2,500.

Breeding these smaller designer dogs often results in fewer puppies per litter. The main factor here is the size of the mother and the smaller she is, the lower the puppy count. Given their huge popularity, you have a situation of low supply and high demand which hikes up the cost. Waiting lists for Mini Goldendoodle and Cavapoo puppies are the norm these days so keep that in mind.

Responsible breeding is expensive and the cost is calculated into the price of a puppy. Reputable breeders spend a lot of money on various health exams and genetic testing on the parents prior to breeding and during pregnancy to ensure healthy offspring.

Add in stud fees, fertility testing, artificial insemination & collection, birth expenses, specialty foods and supplements, numerous supplies, first rounds of puppy shots, worming, microchipping…you get the picture. All these costs add up and factor into the purchase price of your new puppy.

Before you shop for a new companion, please also consider checking out your local animal shelters. There are also many breed-specific rescue organizations. Who knows, your best new friend may already be waiting for you.

If you choose to go the breeder route, please do your research and ask lots of questions. Check out the below resources from the Humane Society to help guide you on your journey.

How to find a responsible breeder:

How to identify a responsible breeder:


1) Size

Cavapoos are a little smaller than Mini Goldendoodles. This is important to think about especially in regards to them being playmates for young children where a much smaller dog could get hurt more easily.

2) Exercise needs

The Mini Goldendoodle needs a lot more exercise than the Cavapoo and generally does better in a house that has an outside area, whereas the Cavapoo can easily adapt to apartment living.

3) Sociability

The Mini Goldendoodle tends to be more timid and shy than the Cavapoo. Cavapoos are also more likely to act as a watchdog than Mini Goldendoodles.

4) Intelligence

Mini Goldendoodles are slightly easier to train than Cavapoos. They are also more suited to being service or therapy dogs.

5) Health conditions

Both breeds tend to be prone to particular health conditions that are unique to either the Golden Retriever or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

6) Other pets and children

Mini Goldendoodles find it easier to adapt to living in a house with other pets than Cavapoos, who do have a tendency to become jealous if they aren’t the focus of attention. Both dogs love being around children, but special care needs to be taken with the Cavapoo because of its extra small size.

7) Barking

Some Mini Goldendoodles can be problem barkers, whereas this is quite a rare trait for Cavapoos.

Bottom line

Both Mini Goldendoodles and Cavapoos are wonderful mixed breeds to own. They are both kind, loving, playful, loyal, affectionate, and happy. The small differences between the two can be important when considering the day-to-day life of owning a dog, but whichever one goes home with you, you can be sure that they will soon become a much-loved member of your family.