Archive for the ‘Pet Store’ Category
Christmas time is a time to indulge. It’s expected that you want to spoil your puppy too with some extra treats during this period.
However, most of the foods you enjoy eating during Christmas aren’t necessarily good for your canine buddy. You need to be extra careful because this period can bring along extra dangers you need to look out for.
Here’s your puppy’s “DO NOT EAT” list for the holidays.
Chocolate is a common treat for many during the holidays. However, chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Ensure you keep it completely out of your puppy’s sight and reach.
Onions are commonly used in Christmas stuffings. It contains thiosulphate, a substance harmful to dogs. Ensure you avoid onions in your puppy’s diet.
Grapes can be highly toxic to dogs and just one or two, if consumed, could turn out fatal. Make sure you keep them away.
Just like grapes, raisins can be highly toxic to dogs. Stay vigilant so your puppy does not eat any treats containing raisins.
- Granulated Sugar
Sugar is generally bad for dogs and is unhealthy. Sweeteners like xylitol, common in peanut butter, are also dangerous to your puppy’s health.
- Raw Potato
Raw and green potatoes contain solanine in their skin which can cause poisoning.
Garlic belongs to the same family as onions, leeks, and chives and is equally toxic to dogs.
Avocados make a nice addition to human dishes but can be fatal for dogs because of a toxin called persin.
- Macadamia Nuts
Sweet macadamia nuts are a common snack during Christmas. They can however be dangerous for your canine buddy.
- Caffeine & alcohol
Leaving cups of alcohol, tea, or coffee around with dogs in the house is never a good idea. Dogs are sensitive to alcohol and caffeine in coffee and other drinks.
Playing dress up with your pup can be so much more fun than you can imagine. This is because there’s such a wide range of clothes and accessories to explore. Jackets, shirts, bows, scarves, sweaters, leashes, tags, designer handbags! There’s so much that the ideas just keep flowing.
If you’re looking to dress your pup up and turn Ruby into a fashion icon, here are some pretty remarkable ways to go about this:
Do you think you have a pretty epic fashion sense? Then perhaps dressing your pup to match your outfit isn’t such a bad idea. This is definitely one that would turn heads.
Sunglasses, bandanas, dog booties, floral shirts, bow ties, if dogs could vote, your pup would definitely cart away the top dresser of the year award. In addition, outfits and accessories like this look awesome in pictures!
Matching Kids’ Bows and Dogs’ Bows
It’s not uncommon to see parents dress both pups and kids in matching bows. They’re both such sweet babies after all, and they do look absolutely adorable.
Designer and Blings!
Who says only humans get to wear designer clothing and expensive jewelry? You can get designer clothes and bags custom made for your fur baby. You could also take it a step further, investing in a nice necklace suitable for your pup.
Jackets, Sweaters, and Scarves
Winter is coming! How best to keep your pup warm outdoors than by opting for clothing options that are practical, yet fashionableInvesting in some cuddly and fashion forward sweaters, jackets and scarves make for Ruby looking like an elegant lady.
Beyond looking great, always ensure that your pup is totally comfortable in any outfit or accessories. This is primary.
If you and your family are considering adopting a dog or getting a puppy this holiday season, we couldn’t be more excited for you! Dogs are some of the best companions and a testament to how magical unconditional love is.
Even with all the warm fuzzies you get from your pup, the messes and the midnight potty breaks can seem overwhelming at times. Plus, we know your vote probably isn’t the only one that counts if you share a home with other people.
There are lots of preconceived ideas about pet ownership. Whether you grew up with pets or not, you might have opinions and concerns about what it might be like to get a new four-legged family member and you’re not alone!
We’re here to help you figure out what breed is right for you and go over some of the most common reservations so that you can feel confident in your decision.
Keep reading for a list to help back-up your arguments in favor of getting a new fluff-ball of joy.
Let’s Start with the Basics
A simple list of why owning a dog is the best.
- Companionship and comfort
- Encourages a daily routine
- A source of positivity
- Demands a certain amount of exercise
- Endless humor (I mean the TikToks with dogs + voiceover get us through the work week – SO CUTE)
- Easily adaptable, dogs can adjust to moving homes or across states fairly easily
- Infectious energy
- Helps to fill out an aspect of life outside of work or family that isn’t easily replicated
- Long-standing commitment that fosters responsibility
- Boundless love
What Breed Is Best for You?
It’s imperative that you focus on the dog breed that aligns best with your lifestyle.
There are so many to choose from but it can be difficult to not be swayed by adorable little fuzzy faces, we get it. The daily routine each dog requires is a big part of what you’re signing up for and eventually the cuteness will not outweigh their needs. If you are extremely active, then couch-potato breeds like French Bulldogs are perhaps not the right choice.
Shedding is a big concern for new potential pet parents. “What will it be like when my house is covered in dog hair?” Depending on the size and breed of dog you choose it could be much less of an issue than you think. Dogs with hair instead of fur only shed a fraction of the amount of their furry cousins. Even for the worst shedders, it goes through seasonal cycles and after a year or so of getting a routine down, you will have it mastered.
Behavior Issues are a potential worry, particularly for anyone who has had a less than friendly encounter with a dog before. Rest assured, there are lots of options for monitoring behavior and aggression in pets is usually easy to recognize and curb. There are options to adopt adult dogs whose temperaments are set and that will minimize any surprises along the way. You can also opt for a puppy of a notoriously friendly breed and take training classes so that you and your dog learn how to interact with other dogs of all backgrounds.
Budget. While you should ideally have a budget in mind for your pet’s initial cost, typical monthly expenses include food, waste bags, and toys, with things like vet bills, grooming, and boarding coming up various times through the year depending on your dog’s breed and the amount that you travel. If you’re concerned with establishing a realistic budget, definitely do your research and keep in mind that the AKC says the cost of dog ownership is roughly $121/month.
Our main suggestion is that any barrier you may think stands between you and your furry friend is more easily dealt with than it might feel with proper research and training.
The only reason to avoid dog ownership is not wanting one! It’s always better to go with your gut and wait until absolutely sure before jumping into this exciting chapter.
We hope that if you’re considering adopting a pet to do your research and feel empowered to. And know that looking up how to be the best pet parent you can be is a great place to start!
Is it a labor of love? Yes, but surely beyond worth it.
Most people see small breeds as big dogs in little bodies. Frankly, this is somewhat true for some. But there are other small breeds that enjoy calmer lifestyles.
Small breeds often get a bad reputation because of their personality. Yet, a lot of them make excellent pets for both individuals and families.
Not all small breeds develop the big-dog syndrome, particularly if they’re naturally happy and social dogs. There are a few small breeds that have amazing athleticism and are capable of running circles around big breeds.
If you’re searching for a small cute fur baby, here are 5 top small breeds you can consider:
Despite having small bodies, Yorkshire Terriers have big personalities they aren’t afraid of showing off. Yorkies are brave and tend to stand up to almost everything they consider a threat and alert the household.
Shih-Tzus were originally bred as aristocratic companion dogs for royalty. There’s nothing they love more than being spoiled lapdogs.
They can be pretty stubborn, however, they’re quite easier to train than most other small breeds.
The Dachshund’s stumpy short legs and elongated bodies have earned them the name ‘wiener dogs’. Dachshunds can be very clever and smart dogs. But they’re stubborn and can be difficult to train.
Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest dog breed. They have become infamous for the fierce loyalty they show their owners. They can be pretty feisty too.
Chihuahuas can be excellent companions and great pets for individuals and families alike, but they have to be socialized frequently and early to prevent territorial aggression.
There are only a handful of dogs that are more recognizable than Pomeranians. Poms are famous for their spirited personalities and fluffy coats.
They require lots of training to avoid excessive barking. Other than that, they make excellent companions.
Are you trying to get Fluffy to wear a dress and it seems she doesn’t want to keep it on? You’ve seen a lot of other dog owners walk their dogs all dressed up and looking fab. This has probably left you confused as to whether dogs do not like to wear clothes or it’s just Fluffy. Well, the truth is that it depends on the dog. Dogs are individuals and are different from one another.
Some dogs feel better when they wear a hoodie on a cold day. An anxious dog can feel more secure in clothes. Other dogs enjoy the attention they get when they are dressed up.
However, not all dogs like to wear clothes. If you notice your dog getting stressed or upset when you dress them up, maybe it’s just not for them. But really, most dogs just need a little positive reinforcement.
You can dress up your pup when the weather is a bit chilly. This is especially if they have a thin coat and not a lot of body fat or if they are getting old. You can also dress them up to take photos or for special occasions like Halloween.
You can decide to spice things up by throwing in some accessories like sunglasses and scarves.
Be careful when dressing up your furry friend. Their comfort is your priority. Make sure to check their body language. They’ll generally show signs of unhappiness if they don’t want to wear the clothes or if they are uncomfortable.
You should avoid clothes or costumes that extend to your pup’s feet or involve footwears. Most dogs really don’t like anything on their feet.
If you have a pup, it helps to dress them up while they’re still young. This way they get used to dressing up and don’t mind it as much when they are older.
Dogs are naturally intelligent creatures. They have a base level of intellectual ability that develops over time. This is why it is possible to get your pup to learn new words, understand hand signals, and obey new commands.
Just like humans, a dog’s intelligence can be improved with education and training. Smart dogs are the ones who are so well trained that most of their actions become second nature.
So, if you want to get your pooch’s IQ even higher, here are four tips that can help:
- Start Training Early
Starting to train your pup early in life is an almost certain guarantee of impressive results.
Remember that it isn’t a military camp, so you’re looking to keep it fun and informal. Bits of training spread over the course of the day are advised.
Training daily or as often as possible is a great idea too. This is because frequent handling would make your pup adjust to the idea of accepting changes.
Also, he would be more inclined to learn new commands. Similarly, if your pooch is older, you could try too. It’s really never too late to start.
- Use the Power of Association
Pups typically understand certain words that imply pleasure for them even without you consciously training.
They would typically cock their ears in your direction when they hear words like ‘treat’, ‘walk’, or ‘toy’ because they derive pleasure from these things.
You can teach your dog to link words to actions or activities by applying the same technique. The use of positive reinforcement in training is a great way to expand your pup’s vocabulary.
Daisy would easily respond to words and signals based on the anticipated reward of treats.
- Constantly Stimulate Their Intelligence
One practical way to stimulate your pup’s intelligence constantly is with the use of food. Pups love food, so why not make them work for it?
You can opt for food bowls that require his intelligence to figure out how to eat. This would aid mental stimulation significantly.
Also, you could set up a treasure hunt with kibble as the reward, or hide treats and let him sniff it out with all the barriers in the way.
You could also help make use of food-dispensing toys. Practicing any of these on a daily basis would keep your pooch entertained and their brains in top shape.
- Use Lots of Hand Signals
By their nature, dogs are more biased to visual cues and seem more inclined to understanding them. For instance, pointing in the direction of an object or toy almost guarantees that your pup would pick it up.
In addition to voice commands, include hand signals as well. A combination of these two would make for the powerful force that makes your dog respond fast and excitedly.
Dogs are also able to note the tone of voice, so keep this in mind when you embark on your training.
The great outdoors is a beautiful place to be, extra wonderful for your furry companion thanks to enhanced sensory organs.
Activities like a walk in the park or rolling around in the garden is super fun. Your pet gets his exercising in and you get to spend some quality time together.
However, the great outdoors isn’t all rosy. There are elements that can constitute a danger to your pet, and this article is all about helping you avoid them:
- Avoid Parasite-Infested Areas
An area with mosquitoes singing their melodies is a no-no. Avoid areas that generally look unkempt or harbor a body of stagnant water.
Mosquitoes can transmit heartworms which can result in some lung and heart damage to dogs via a single bite. Hence, avoiding unhygienic locations is essential.
Finally, a good idea would be to check out these areas on your own before taking your pet there. This way, you can avoid unpleasant surprises.
- Keep an Eye On the Weather
Extreme temperatures can cause problems for your pup, however, you can still brave these conditions. What you would need to do is take some extra precautions.
On hot days, ensure that your pet doesn’t get overheated. Spend less time outdoors and provide lots of cold water for drinking. If you notice excessive panting, move your pet to a shaded area.
Going out in the cold depends on your pet’s breed. Larger dogs with thick coats like German Shepherds would tolerate the cold longer than a chihuahua would. However, ensure that they are dressed for the occasion, a jacket would do.
- Minimize Contact With Other Animals
You can only trust the grooming and health status of your pup. Other dogs that you come in contact with may carry parasites, therefore, avoid or limit contact.
If you’re at a local dog park, keep an eye out so that you can stop skirmishes before they get out of hand. Also, bite wounds are absolutely one of the more common injuries that you should protect your pet from.
Similarly, wildlife like rabbits and squirrels may carry parasites or contagious diseases. Limit the amount of chasing after these animals that your dog does to reduce chances of infection.
- Prepare Supplies
When you’re headed to the great outdoors with your pooch, ensure that you have the necessary supplies including lots of water, a sturdy leash, and an ID tagged-collar.
If you’re going in your car or with a backpack, you could keep a mini first aid kit handy as well. This would come in handy in the face of medical emergencies.
Treats for good behavior is a great call too.
- Ensure Vaccinations are Up to Date
If you intend to spend a lot of time outdoors with your pet, vaccination is a no-brainer.
A good number of infections can be avoided with a simple vaccine shot. So, ensure that your pup’s vaccination is complete and still effective.
An essential vaccine is one against rabies. For other beneficial vaccines, have a talk with your veterinarian.
Puppies, while adorable to a fault, can be quite a handful too. And believe it or not, you do need some parenting skills when it comes to raising your pet.
There’s always the option of learning on the job, a good choice. Another option is learning ahead about the essential skills that would improve your cohabitation.
That’s exactly what we’re setting out to detail in this piece. Here are 5 essential pet parenting skills you need to inculcate:
- Handling and Training Skills
Building the right foundation for your relationship with your pet is an essential item on this checklist. For starters, you have to be at ease with working in a hands-on capacity. Physical contact is one of the major building blocks for a loving relationship with your pup.
To build lasting handling and training skills, you should be familiar with fundamentals like basic obedience techniques, using positive reinforcement, and creating reward systems amongst others.
You need to be familiar with handling stressful situations too, as pups tend to go rogue sometimes.
- Communication Skills
Effective communication is the holy grail of any relationship, particularly with your pup. You need to ensure that you’re not sending confusing signals, particularly in the early training stages.
Confusing communication can send your pup into a spiral since he doesn’t know which command to follow. Clear communication begins from using clear verbal communication and extends to even non-verbal communication.
Using the right tone, watching your pet carefully so that you understand their reactions to your commands, reinforcing the right responses, are proper strategies for great communication.
- Observation Skills
Pets try to communicate with us in various ways, however, there’s a tendency to overlook some of the signs that they give. You always have to keep an eye out for behavioral changes or altered feeding habits — these might imply a developing health problem.
This would also warrant that you’re privy to basic canine health issues, especially those that are prevalent with your pup breed. Close observation can help to nip potentially major problems in the bud.
- Grooming Skills
Outside of the regularly scheduled visits to the vet that would probably consist of a comprehensive checkup and grooming, you should possess some grooming skills yourself.
As a dog parent, you should be familiar with basics such as trimming nails, removing mats, cleaning ears, and brushing out hair.
Your pup’s grooming is vital to guarantee that he remains in prime health for a long time. Also, regular grooming can help you detect potential health problems early and deal with them.
Less of a skill and more of an attribute, all the same, you would need to hone it as a skill. Pups can be a handful sometimes and these times call for patience and restraint.
This is an essential quality if you’re going to have an incredible relationship with your pet.
When your pup disobeys commands or does his business inside the house or chews a hole in one of your favorite socks, remember patience.
If your dog gets into everything, you’re likely used to putting food items away right after meals and keeping your shoes in the closet.
Did you know there are much more subtle threats to your furry family member you may not even think twice about?
Check out our list to see if you can avoid a trip to the vet by taking care of these risks before they cause a problem.
Luckily, most puppies chew wood chips because the porous texture feels good on their budding chompers and are not usually interested in having them as an afternoon snack. The real danger here is three-fold: splinters, pesticides, and obstructing their bowels. We know, none of those are appealing. Best to smell the flowers in a grass-lain garden versus on your neighbor’s front lawn (or anywhere that harbors these pesky chippings).
There is one main concern when it comes to air fresheners: phthalates leaching into the oil and being released into the air.
Phthalates are essentially chemicals used to make plastic and help them keep their shape and contain whatever is inside the product (shampoo, bleach, etc.).
For air fresheners that you plug in the wall, the scented oil that sprays out in a puff is usually heated which warrants a concern of the phthalates in the plastic leaching into the oil and being released in the air that way.
This, combined with the proximity our furry friends have to these devices since they are closer to the ground poses the concern that they may be ingesting these toxins which can harm the respiratory and reproductive systems.
The tricky thing about this treat is how garbage is not a constant mix of certain items — it changes for most of us every day. Not to worry; the biggest thing to look out for are any toxic foods (keep reading to see some of the worst), and raw meat (for those not on a raw-only diet) as it poses the risk of E. Coli.
Dogs get into the garbage usually out of hunger or boredom but baby-proofing the top of the garbage can easily combat this!
We don’t pour our dogs a cup of coffee every morning (though that scene in Lady and the Tramp is adorable) but did you know caffeine is toxic? Here are some other foods to avoid splitting with your pup:
- Xylitol (often found in peanut butter)
- Grapes (and raisins)
- Macadamia nuts
- Caffeine in any form
- Fruit peels/pits/seeds
While technically not food, the kitchen garbage also poses a risk to our pets. Containing rotting or potentially moldy food as well as the debris that food is stored in like chip bags or wrappers, it definitely makes the list of risky things to watch out for.
Try to keep these out of reach of wandering puppy paws too:
- Cleaning Supplies
Pups embody the perfect companion. They are loyal, empathetic, loving, and unbelievably selfless. It is no wonder then that they are man’s best friends.
Now, in addition to these natural attributes of theirs, there are some others that you probably don’t know about.
Here’s five of them:
- They Sneeze to Indicate Zero Aggression
You’ve probably noticed a bit of sneezing going on between pups when they are tangling together. They use these sneezes to communicate the playful nature of their entanglement.
This helps to prevent things from getting out of hand. It’s really not about dust or pollen in the air. Other interesting signals would include stretching out their paws; if a pup does this to you, it’s an indication of friendliness or invitation to play.
- Dogs aren’t Big Huggers
Hugging or putting your arms around the shoulders of your pet means something altogether different to them. They enjoy other types of physical contact, but hugging is seen as an attempt to dominate.
You would sometimes notice a pup place his foreleg over the shoulder of another pup. The position is called “standing over” is a form of assertive or superior behavior.
A better way to show physical affection is scratching behind their ear or rubbing their belly.
- Humans and Dogs Share a Similarity In the Locations of the Brain that Responds to Vocalization
According to researchers at Etvs Lornd University in Hungary, the reason why pups can understand your happy sounds is that they have sections in their brain that respond to vocalization.
This allows your pups to react differently to you based on the various voice tones that you use depending on the emotion that you’re feeling. Furthermore, these regions are located in a similar area to the human brain.
- The Wetness of Dogs’ Noses Helps them Absorb Scent Chemicals
This answers a riddle that has probably crossed your mind several times. Pups have a wet nose because it helps them absorb scent chemicals.
The nose initially secretes a specific mucus for the sole purpose of absorbing the chemical. Once the mucus has done its work, your pup then licks his nose to ascertain the exact nature of the smell.
Now the folktales can finally go to rest.
- Dogs Can Actually See Colors
Popular belief is that dogs only see in monochrome and they detect outlines in objects using the difference in brightness.
However, this is not entirely true. Following the discovery of scientist Jay Neitz that dogs’ eyes possess two cones, researchers at the Russian Academy of Science performed their own experiments.
They selected eight dogs of different breeds and sizes and tested their eyesight. Using four pieces of paper, all four of different colors, they used this to detect whether dogs identified via brightness or color.
6 out of the 8 dogs picked based on color 9 or 10 out of 10 total times.
If there’s one thing that dogs know how to do instinctively, it is playing around in places that are less-than-hygienic.Milo probably just loves digging in mud or splashing around in puddles. This is him playing, so he isn’t thinking about the hygiene implication.Therefore, the onus is on you as a great dog parent to keep his hygiene top-notch at every point in time.
Here are 5 essentials to help with your pup’s hygiene::
- Clean the Paws
Your pup is constantly roving about and stepping in so many places that it’s hard to keep track. It is therefore not surprising that his paws can pick up various objects like molds, pollen, dust mites, and even pesticides!Dog baths are not a daily affair but cleaning Milo’s paws at least once a day isn’t a bad idea. You can use a rub down or a paw soak depending on your preference.If there’s hair between his toes, trimming and brushing are in order too.
- Clean the Toys
Most, if not all of your pup’s toys go in his mouth, making it an efficient germs transfer pathway. Therefore, cleaning these toys regularly is essential to maintain good hygiene.For starters, you should never use cleaning sprays or disinfectants, this can be toxic for Milo. A safer alternative is soaking the toys in a half water,half vinegar mix for about 30 minutes.Non-soft toys can be cleaned with a water-diluted bleach solution. Toys should be cleaned at least once to twice every month.
- Brush the Teeth
Dental hygiene for your pup goes beyond just maintaining a healthy set of teeth to actually preventing potentially fatal disease(s).Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of tartar in the teeth, as a result of poor dental care. It can have significant side effects like lethal bacterial infections if left alone without treatment.
However, brushing your pup’s teeth can help prevent this. So, rule of thumb, when brushing your teeth, remember that Milo’s need brushing too!
- Clean the Dog Bed
Your dog’s bed can be a haven for germs and parasites. Ticks, fleas, allergens, an entire parade. Although your pup might not entirely love the entire process of keeping them clean, it is one that you have to do for their sake and yours.
Beyond keeping your pup clean, you need to ensure that one of their favorite spots is too. A great dog bed should have a removable fabric cover so that you can wash it at least two times a month.If you have a breed that sheds significantly, then vacuuming the dog bed on the regular is in order as well.
- Clean the Collars and Harnesses
After some period of extended use, your pup’s collar can start to smell not-too-great. Collars and harnesses do not require constant maintenance.However, once they start to smell or show dirt, it’s time to wash. You could either use the washing machine or a mix of dog shampoo in hot water.Maintaining your dog’s hygiene is synonymous with maintaining his well-being. You shouldn’t need any convincing since you love your pup!
Walking your dog every day isn’t just about allowing them to take in the sights outdoors. It is a requirement for their overall health and well-being.Walks present an opportunity for physical exercise which your pet needs, and is pretty good for you too.
When walking Bella, here are some essential tips to note:
- Allow Sniffing!
Our human noses boast of five or six million receptors. But depending on the dog breed, some may have up to 300 million!This goes to show the stark difference and just how important sniffing is to them.It allows your pet to gather information and is necessary for mental stimulation as well. Depriving Bella of exploring an interesting scent is doing her a great disservice.Provided her actions are not disturbing anybody around, give some extra minutes for sniffing.
- Don’t Pull On the Leash
Dogs have a natural reflex called the ‘opposition reflex’ that causes them to go in the opposite direction of a force pulling them.From your pup’s perspective, you walk way too slow for her to spontaneously explore interesting sights and smells, so tugging might happen.To ensure a loose leash always, try changing directions when she’s getting ahead of you, and reward with treats when she catches up.This would encourage a constant loose J-shaped leash.
- Favor Alternative Walking Restraints
Traditional collars are great, but in the long run, they do more harm than good. Avoid using a slip or pinch collar or choke chain on your pup, these can be very dangerous.Instead, a great alternative could be a chest-clip harness or head halter. Your pet may be only acting up because she doesn’t like their collar.Switch things up and see her go from a monster puller to a calm walker on a leash.Also, you could train your pup to walk off-leash, and implement this in areas where it’s safe for her to do so.
- Pick Up After Them
Your dog would likely poop during the walk, and you’re supposed to pick up after her. It extends beyond just being a responsible pet owner.Dog poop can be a health hazard to both pets and humans. It may have potentially harmful microorganisms like E. coli, hookworms, roundworms, salmonella, and giardia.These microorganisms can infect other pets and humans and may also permeate the soil and contaminate water bodies.
- Arm Yourself With Lots of Water
For walks beyond half an hour or so, particularly in hot weather, your pet would likely get thirsty.Pups have a harder time regulating their body temperature, unlike us, so they can easily overheat. Although dogs sweat, the thick coat they have makes the cooling down process pretty inefficient.Hence, they do a lot of panting, making them dehydrated rapidly.The water you bring along goes a long way in helping Bella enjoy her walk more.
Your pup deserves a comfortable private spot to curl up and dream dog dreams. There’s no spot she would be fond of as where she gnaws on her chew toys in peace and complete comfort.This is precisely why you would need to pay extra care when buying your pup a bed. No worries anyway, we’re here to save you the stress of overthinking.
Here are important features to look out for when buying a dog bed:
You don’t want to buy a bed that ends up being too small for your pup. If anything, a bed with some extra space is ideal.To choose the right bed size, factor in the body size of your dog, and then some more. The bed has to be large enough so that she can lie in all natural positions without discomfort.
Here’s a rule of thumb to help: ensure that they can curl up comfortably, and also stretch out comfortably. A bed size that allows for this would be ideal.
Your pup has her chew toy, yes. But, what’s to say that she wouldn’t extend her chewing to the bed. In the teething stage, it helps to ease the pain.For older dogs, it’s a way to maintain jaw strength and clean their teeth. There might also be factors like boredom, stress or she might be hungry.
Whatever her reason for chewing, it could be dangerous if your dog can chew up these pieces and they end up in the intestines or stomach.If your pup is a potential chewer, beds with canvas-like fabric and aluminum or PVC pipe material are advisable.
A well-padded bed would provide great comfort for your pup. Dogs have bony joints that are not very padded, and this is why you need to pay special care to the bed’s padding.These joints can become pressure points, and prolonged pressure on them can lead to skin wounds, pain, and probably skin damage. These joints are those of the shoulders, elbows, and hips.However, a well-padded surface would supply sufficient comfort for your pup.
The padding of the bed is important, but one main determining factor of comfort is the material that it is made with.For instance, high-quality memory foam would provide a more comfortable surface relative to polyester filling or loose foam.To test whether the material is great, squeeze the padding, and if you feel your fingers touch, the material might not be ideal.After a while, it would probably wear down as a result of your pooch’s weight and be a source of discomfort to her.
- Ease of Cleaning
To start with, removable, machine-washable covers are an absolute necessity.Your dog’s bed can harbor several germs and parasites, and without a clean bed, you don’t have a clean pup.Ideally, you should take the covers off and wash them once or twice a month.The fabric should also be durable enough to withstand washing multiple times.
Dogs have a very inquisitive nature and danger is a strange concept. Some strange object? They’re chewing on it already.This makes for a possibility of potential physical harm. Sometimes, minor emergencies might arise and all you need is basic knowledge of pet first aid.
So, here is some essential pet first aid information that you should know:
- Noting the signs
There’s a possibility that you didn’t see what happened, and this is why noting signs is essential. For starters, you have to know your pet’s regular behavior.If he’s acting out of character, then there might be something wrong and you should start probing. Factors like a sudden change in appetite, smell, or behavior can indicate something out of the ordinary.
Furthermore, a sign like gasping or panting, could imply airway blockage, throwing up could indicate food poisoning, and so on.
- Checking For a Pulse
Just like it is in humans, knowing how to check for a pulse in your pet is essential. The upper third of your pup’s thigh region is the best place to check.Simply curl your hand on the thigh and squeeze gently from underneath. The artery which transports oxygenated blood should be pulsing.
It is advisable to use any finger apart from the thumb for this because the thumb has a strong pulse too, and may affect the accurate gauging of your pet’s pulse.To get the number of beats per minute, simply time the pulse for 15 seconds and multiply this by 4.
- Muzzling Your Pet
When a dog is frightened or in pain, they might likely bite. Muzzling your pet is something you should be able to do.
However, if your pet is panting, muzzling is out of the question, since they need that air source. Since he’d most likely be on the floor, gently approach and encourage him to place his nose in the muzzle.Once that’s done, clip the muzzle on and ensure that it is snug. Not too tight, but not so loose that he can pull it off.
- Dealing With a Choking Hazard
A choking hazard can successfully block your pet’s airway and prevent him from breathing easily.Some clear signs of choking or airway obstruction include extreme distress, apparent choking sounds, continuous coughing and he may also rub his face along the ground.
The easiest way to dislodge a potential choking hazard involves two simple steps:
- Suspend your pet in the air upside down, holding up their back legs.
- Note the area where the ribs end and the abdomen starts, and then firmly deliver a blow to that area.
- Repeat that about four times.
Another method is the Heimlich maneuver.
- Transporting Your Dog
A major section of pet first aid entails carrying your pup the proper way. When transporting your pup,
- Slide your dominant arm gently underneath your dog’s chest and let it remain between his front lungs.
- Lift him gently, and let his backside cozy between your arm and body, for extra support.
- Place your dominant arm behind his back legs, and use your other arm to wrap and support the front of the chest.
Summer calls for spending a lot of time outdoors. The garden comes alive and everywhere looks so beautiful.There are new smells and you definitely want to give your pup a feel of this “happiest time of the year.”Your pup loves nothing more than playing with his favorite human, and we understand that.
So, here are 5 game ideas that you can explore in the backyard, the garden, or the park:
This feels like an upgraded version of fetch because Fido would be chasing over longer distances. You know how much he loves to fetch, so you can imagine how much more fun Frisbee would be for him.This game also aids agility and is a great way to exercise. If you’re only just starting out, use a soft disc instead of regular hard plastic frisbees.Fido might get a couple of hits in the face when getting the hang of the game, and a hard frisbee in the face can discourage him from continuing.
- Hide and Seek
Bring Fido’s tracking and sniffing skills to the fore with a game of hide and seek. You could even recruit family members so that it’s a lot more exciting.Hide in a secluded spot and call out to him to find you. The longer it takes, the more exciting it is for him.To increase excitement further, you could have multiple family members calling out at the same time. As he gets better at tracking everybody down, you could raise the bar on the challenge.Let’s see how Fido aces this tracking test.
- Tug of War
The excitement in Fido’s eyes would be almost palpable, and this is a guarantee. Tug of war is one of the games that pups love the most. The main reason, of course, is the fact that you’re trying to get something from them.They have a natural back and forth tugging instinct associated with getting food. Therefore, their natural instincts kick in here. To play, a rugged stuffed toy or strong rope toy works fine.Just ensure that it isn’t fraying so that your pet doesn’t ingest string.
- Treasure (Treats) Hunt
This is a great way for your pup to have fun, and be rewarded with his favorite treats at the end.Hide his favorite treats all around the garden, in different locations, and of course, the smelly ones. So, he has to track down all of these treats while the smells pleasantly assault his senses all over the garden.You can change hiding places from time to time while he’s at it, making the game extra fun.
- Water Games
A hot day out in the garden goes beautifully with water games. You could use a kiddie pool filled with water and allow your pup to go crazy.If you have a pool, and Fido can swim, this works just fine too. Also, you could visit a pet-friendly beach and watch him splash around in the waves.A game of fetch with a ball would fit in just nicely into the mix too.
Your fluffy BFF loves your undying attention and love, no doubt about that. But once in a while, it would be nice to spoil them with gifts that show appreciation for their goofiness and support. Honestly, it’s actually a cute moment of bliss to see Lucky get excited over new toys.
If you need the inspiration to shop for the special pooch in your life, or even to gift a dog-lover, this ultimate guide will assist you to pick the best.
Here are 7 cool gifts you can give your dog this season… because you’re a cool parent:
- Fluffy Blankets
One item we would recommend getting for your fur baby is a fluffy comfy blanket. Every dog likes to curl up in something comfy, so this should be at the top of your list. Make sure you get blankets that are machine washable because…they WILL get dirty.
- Smart Dog Collar
Gifting your dog a smart collar will help you monitor your dog’s activity. Some even come with the feature of allowing you to compare it with the other pets in the neighborhood. You can also track down his location through GPS technology and create geo-fences around specific Keep-Out Zones. Hence, you can get alerted when your pup leaves a ‘safe zone’.
- Grooming Shampoo
Who wouldn’t like their fur looking all silky and shiny? We know your pup would. Treat him to a luxury shampoo and conditioner that not only keeps him clean but leaves him smelling like bursts of sunshine.
- A Portrait
Wouldn’t it be incredible to buy your pet a pretty nice portrait? You’re probably thinking that your pup doesn’t have an eye for art. However, it doesn’t have to be Rembrandt. There are a number of various options, and a pretty good idea could be a picture of a dog sipping tea or holding a cigar in a tuxedo. A pretty hilarious image, and fitting gift too!
- Food Puzzles
Do you want a challenge for your smarty pants pup? Then, a food puzzle is a great gift item for him. Asides from it being fun, it also gives his brain the needed mental stimulation that aids proper behavior.
The puzzle consists of multiple holding cups that you can place treats into. By nuzzling and pawing at the compartments, your dog can learn how to find and retrieve goodies. Hello, scavenging instincts!
- Anxiety-Reducing Toys
Whenever your baby is feeling anxious—because of location changes, you’re going to work or loud noises—it’s only natural that you would want to ease his fear immediately. Several toys can self-warm and they mirror an actual human hug, giving your fur baby a sense of safety or being snuggled.
Another example of an anxiety-reducing material is a lickable mat. The continual process of licking a flavored surface releases hormones in your pup’s brain that cause him to relax. It also keeps their attention focused on the task; invariably reducing their stress level.
- Personalized Pet Bowls
Get gorgeous ceramic bowls that can be customized with the name of your fur baby and designed to your taste.
You’ve heard of dinosaurs going extinct; and even mammoths and elephants. But have you heard of dogs going extinct? Yeah, it happens!.
Before dogs became our fur babies that we dote on, paw and foot, they actually worked for us; doing basic tasks. You may be asking, how did they go extinct? Well, we have answers!
Centuries ago, as dogs developed with humans, they were mainly bred to perform various tasks and that was their sole purpose. Hence, if a dog was useful based on the ability they possess or need they fulfilled, they were in high demand. If that need shifted, the task they were made to perform became obsolete. And sadly, the dogs fizzled into extinction.
Although these breeds are extinct, we still see some descendants of these amazing creatures today.
Let’s have a look at some of these dog breeds.
The dog was common in England during the Medieval periods, but was believed to be brought from Normandy, France, by William the Conqueror. Primarily hunting hounds, they were small or medium-sized in appearance.
Around the 17th century, Talbots became a distinct breed, but didn’t hang around for long. During the 18th century, they were declared extinct. Most enthusiasts estimate that the reason for their extinction lies in the presence of more efficient hunting dogs.
Historians believe that the Bloodhounds and Beagles are proud descendants of this breed.
- Dogo Cubano
The Dogo Cubano, also known as the Cuban Mastiff, proliferated in Cuba even though they weren’t natives.
Their bodies were well built and robust. Plus, they possessed powerful legs and a keen sense of smell. They were used to protect livestock, great company for hunting and effective sentries too.
This breed was crossed with other breeds and eventually lost.
- Paisley Terrier
The Paisley Terrier originates from Paisley, Scotland. They were small, with long, soft coats that were stunning and got them categorized as “fancy” pets. The dog served two primary purposes: to serve as a companion and as a show dog.
However, because of their high maintenance and grooming-intensive procedures, its popularity declined (in the late 1800s). Its legacy, however, can still be seen today in other breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier.
- Moscow Water Dog
The Moscow Water Dog originated in Russia, where it was bred to serve as water rescue dogs after World War II.
They mainly served the purpose of dragging sailors on to safe land from the water.
Since they were bred in small numbers and incredibly rare, they became extinct in the 1980s.
- Salish Wool Dog
Also known as Comox Dog, the Salish Wool dog was a small wooly white creature.
Their white ‘wool’ fur, rich in thickness and texture, was prized and sheared during early summer to make blankets and other textile products.
Regardless of their great beginnings, the Salish Wool dog became extinct at the start of the 20th century. Its extinction was attributed to mainly crossbreeding—which made their line ‘impure’.
Another reason why they went instinct was that sheep came along, and were a better source of wool. So, the Salish Wool Dog wasn’t much needed anymore.
Have you thought of taking your pup out for a road trip? Or just ripping apart cardboard boxes? What about making a puzzle for them to solve?
There are several benefits that these activities bring. They provide your furry friend with the easiest way to promote mental and physical states. It also helps enhance the bond that exists between you both.
These activities aid your dog with socialization (as they encounter new places, people, and events). Another main advantage is the health benefits it gives your buddy.
Whether you prefer activities that require low energy (or can be done indoors) or high energy that will leave you both panting, this list will give you ideas on memories you both can make to last a lifetime.
- Take A Tour Around The City
Pretend you’re a tourist for one day, and take a day to explore the city. You can plan different stops you would make, including little stops at dog-friendly stores that reward your pup with treats and a full water bowl.
- Go Swimming
Some dogs love the water. If your fur baby is like that, let him explore that part of the world. But, before that happens, ensure the water bodies—lake, swimming pools, or the beach—are pet-friendly. Either way, it’s always a great idea to bring along a life vest specialized for dogs.
- Take A Training Class
It is not unusual for your dog to bounce around with excess energy. Take him to a training class that allows full expression of his energy. There might even be a little competition that allows your pup to show off his skills.
- Teach Him A Trick
Every dog likes learning new things; regardless of age or type. Hence, it’s a great idea to teach new tricks that will impress not just you but your friends in the long run.
The best part is that there are several videos online that could help you with the stunts. Don’t forget to give your dog a treat with each stunt he completes.
- Go Shopping
Several dog-friendly stores allow your dog free reins in the store. Sometimes, you don’t need to leave your four-legged friend at home while you go shopping for surprises. Take him shopping and let him help in the little way he can—possibly barking his consent.
- Netflix and Chill
Relax with your canine buddy on the couch or in your bedroom. Turn on a dog-friendly movie—The Lady and The Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, or Marley and Me—and snuggle together with treats within reach.
- Play Outdoors
It doesn’t matter if it’s winter, summer, or autumn, there’s always something fun to engage in outside. Run through the snow or play catch with snowballs (in winter), jump over piles of leaves (in autumn), or play in the sprinklers during the hot summer. It may not seem like much, but these simple activities make the happiest memories.
- Throw Your Pup A Party
And who said pups can’t have parties? That’s right, no one. You probably know some friends who also have dogs as pets. Invite them over for a party during his birthday or a national holiday.
As the loving pet parent that you are, you’ve probably done everything possible to keep your dog in prime health. You provide him with the most healthy foods, make sure he exercises daily, and even book appointments with the vet for preventative care.
That’s all great, now, up next is his teeth! Pups cannot get cavities like us, but they can have other dental issues like tartar, plaque build-up; and in the long run, gingivitis.
Beyond bad breath and yellow teeth, these dental problems can become a big deal if they’re not taken care of early. So, to avoid them altogether, here are 4 tips that would surely help:
- Brushing Regularly
In puppy parenting, brushing your pup’s teeth is an experience that might take a while to get used to; for both you and your pup. But, it’s the easiest and most cost-effective way for you to ensure oral care right at home. It’s advisable to brush your dog’s teeth daily to prevent the build-up of bacteria, plaque, or tartar. To do this:
- Get a soft-toothed brush or a finger brush and special toothpaste formulated for dogs. Always use pet-formulated toothpaste! Why? Human toothpaste contains substances that are not great for dogs.
- If brushing directly proves to be a battle or you simply want to switch up dental care routines, you can make use of dental wipes. When rubbed against your puppy’s teeth, it helps get rid of plaque, and remaining food particles.
- Another alternative is using dog mouthwash. When diluted into water bowls, the mouthwash helps in killing germs and reducing plaque. Please, do not use human mouthwash.
You can find all of these products at your local pet supply store or veterinary office.
- Feed Appropriate Foods
To make oral care even easier, you can grab some treats that are great for cleanliness. Dry foods are generally better than soft foods. The crunchy treats help scrape away tartar as they feed. Soft foods, however, stick to the teeth and cause faster build-up. Ask your dog’s veterinarian for a diet plan if you’re at a loss at which way to go.
- Use Chew Toys And Bones For Cleaning
There are several synthetic chew toys and bones specifically designed to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean. The constant gnawing at these toys removes plaque and causes them to secrete saliva that protects their tooth.
However, avoid giving your pup hard nylon toys or natural bones. For one, they may chew so hard that it comes apart and lodges or obstructs. Secondly, your pup’s dentition may not be sufficiently developed and hard bones can cause damage.
- Schedule Checkups And Cleanings
Even with your finest efforts to keep your fur baby’s oral health top-notch, it’s unlikely that you give a thorough cleaning the way a vet would.
Take your dog to the vet (six months intervals) to carry out routine checkups, teeth polishing, and gum line cleaning.
However, if you notice any of the following symptoms below, we recommend scheduling a vet visit versus waiting for your bi-annual dental appointment.
- Has terrible breath.
- Produces excessive drools.
- Extra teeth (has a lot of teeth growing in a small space).
- White, swollen, or bleeding gums.
- Broken, discolored (brown, gray, or black) or crooked teeth.
- Is sensitive to touch around the face.
- Exhibit a change in eating and chewing habits.
Bringing a pet home for the first time is super exciting but at the same time, you could feel overwhelmed. Your lifestyle (and your family) is about to take a new turn; for the better.
You might be thinking about the new responsibilities, but it really wouldn’t feel that way. If anything, they are very enjoyable and you would start looking forward to them in no time.
Now, to make the whole transition process very easy for you and your pup here are some tips that you can follow:
- Prepare Supplies Beforehand
One of the key ways of eliminating any stress with having a new pet is getting many of the required supplies beforehand.
Leashes, collars, litter boxes, identification tags, water and food bowls, toys, treats, and food are all necessities when bringing your pet dog home.
If you know the food your dog has been eating, it’s best to get the exact same one for your pup. Introducing new foods right away, together with the change in environment, can stress your pet and disrupt his digestive system.
- Puppy-proof Your Home
Imagine your puppy as a toddler in the house. And just like toddlers, they have a knack for getting into places they shouldn’t or gobbling up things unsafe for their health.
To this end, you need to gate off dangerous areas, remove wires from the way, and secure decorations firmly. Puppies are always on a treasure hunt, so ensure everything that could hurt them is taken out of their little paws’ reach.
- Set Up A Routine
When you just get a pet, it is best to establish a consistent routine right away to allow peaceful transitions. Create a routine or playtime, bedtime, and mealtime. Plan for walks, extra trips to parks, and even bathroom breaks.
When planning the routine, note that pups require more exercise and bathroom breaks more often than adult dogs.
- Find a Good Vet
Getting a good vet will make adapting to your pet almost seamless. A good vet will educate you about behavior patterns, your dog’s health, and everything you need to know about owning a dog.
Schedule an appointment during the first week you get your pet; and as time progresses, annual and semi-annual appointments should be regular.
- Start House-training Sessions
As soon as you get your new pet, it is great to establish rules through training sessions. Consistency with training sessions will help them understand what you want and build confidence. It’s so difficult to erase a bad habit when it’s established.
- Make Her Comfortable
Just as kids love having playrooms and places to rest, pups also appreciate places to relax. Set up a section for your pup to just chill.
- Be Patient
You just have a new family member coming into your house. You need to be patient with your pup and reduce any form of excessive expectations. Life is going to be different, so give yourself time to adjust. Soon enough, you’ll find out that you’ve gotten a loyal friend for life.
Every puppy is perfect in its own way and the magic is in choosing one that is just perfect for you. As a great dog lover, you would probably have a hard time choosing one to live with and love.
This is because the longing eyes and antics would draw you to them so that you would go home with every single one of them if you could. But choosing that one pup to pour all of your love on shouldn’t be too much of a hassle if you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Not certain what it is you’re looking for? This article is here for just this. Here are some tips that would help:
- Do Your Due Diligence
You need to have sufficient knowledge of the various dog breeds before going ahead to make a choice. Factors ranging from size as an adult to grooming needs to exercising and feeding should all be considered.
If there’s a particular breed you’re interested in, you should go on the internet and research in-depth so that you’re not caught unprepared at any point. In addition, if you have a family, you would have to consider other members of your family.
All of this information will be gathered when you do your due diligence.
- Physical Appearance
A puppy’s physical appearance is an essential metric for the selection process. Does she look like she’s healthy overall? Is she active or does she just cower in the corner?
Similarly, features such as the eyes should be clear, the ears should not have a discharge, opening the mouth, the gums should be pink and healthy.
Furthermore, breathing through the nose should be soundless and done with ease, the fur must look healthy, and check the underbelly for the umbilical hernia. Zero protrusion is what to look out for.
- Temperament/ Personality
Doing your due diligence would give you an idea as to the temperament of the dog breed that you’re interested in. However, in addition to that, you should begin observing in person the moment you walk in the door.
Typically, you shouldn’t order a pup, walk in yourself and watch how the pup interacts with you. For instance, does the pup have a fast recovery rate from the startle of hearing a loud sound like a book drop?
When you move around the room, does the pup tag along? The answers to questions like this would give you an insight into your puppy’s temperament.
- The Right Pet Store
More than anything, the place where you get your puppy from goes a long way in determining quality of life, particularly in their first few weeks of life. You can always get a notable pet store close to you by doing some internet search, and you might be able to visit the puppies before they are grown enough for new homes.
This is usually around when they are 7-12 weeks of age. Given that the pet store workers are experienced, you would be able to communicate freely. And of course, you can have them answer some key questions for you.
Potty training is one of the most important first lessons that you have to teach a new pup. Since they haven’t been told otherwise, they wouldn’t see anything wrong with messing the floor up or doing their business anywhere they deem fit. However, you do not want a house-turned-pup toilet on your hand. So, here are some 5 steps to potty train your pup:
- Set Up Your Home
The idea behind potty training is teaching your dog that the entire house is their extra-large den simply because they are known for being averse to soiling their own space. For this, you would need to restrict your pup’s movement around the house until he is old enough to roam without incident.
You would be needing a dog crate or a baby gate that would restrict your pup to that particular area. The more time they spend there, the less they would feel inclined to mess the place up, hence, potty training would move swiftly.
- Use a Potty Cue
The idea behind a potty cue is so that your pup knows exactly what time it is when you use the word or phrase. It would imply that it’s potty time and at a point, you would be able to get your pup to go potty just by saying it.
The phrase can be anything, just one that doesn’t come up in regular conversation. The idea is to use the word or phrase just as your dog is starting to do its business in the right spot. 2-3 days after, once you think he’s connected the cue to potty, start mentioning it just as he is getting in potty position.
After this, the next step is to give it before he even gets into position. This would register as the word or phrase for ‘time to go’.
Pup training consists of a great deal of treating for positive reinforcement. When you give your dog a treat for doing something, it implies that it is a desirable one and he starts to connect the action to the treat.
During potty training, if your dog goes to the potty in the right spot, and gets a treat, but never does during accidents, he would start to note that it is the right thing to do.
Since timing is crucial, you might need to add an approving sound like a click or “yes” at the precise time, and then give the treat later. This way, your pup knows that the treat was for that particular action.
- Create a Schedule
You shouldn’t be alarmed by the fact that you might have to take a puppy to potty up to 10-15 times daily. As a rule of thumb, the bladder develops to hold urine longer every month in pups, so, a month-old pup would be able to hold his bladder for an hour while a 5-month old pup would hold his bladder for up to 5 hours.
Therefore, it is essential to create a schedule that your pup would start to associate with potty time. For instance, you can make it: First thing in the morning, right after each meal, when your pup gets up from napping, at regular intervals during the day and evening, and right before you go to sleep.
- Allow for Playtime
After your pup has eliminated in the right spot, you can allow him to play around for some minutes without fear that he would soil the place. After this, you can then have him go back to the restricted area. Playtime should be based on the rate of development of your pup’s bladder.
You probably consider yourself a maestro when it comes to identifying dog breeds. The good ol’ reliable German Shepherd, the adorable Labrador Retriever, or the spoiled Chihuahua.
There are breeds that you see and can identify at the drop of a hat. However, there are a number of dog breeds that are not all that common. There is even a possibility that you’ve never heard of them. Here’s 5 of them:
Azawakhs are known for their fierce loyalty and protectiveness of their owners. Unlike other dog breeds that smell before seeing, this breed is a sight hound and mostly discovers its prey using its sights.
It stands regal with long legs and has its origins in the Sahel region of Africa, where it stood guard over nomad’s tepees while withstanding the harsh conditions.
This breed was introduced to America in the 80s, was entered into the American Kennel Club’s Foundation in 1997, and is known to shy away from strangers.
The Telonian is a Malaysian breed and the only known one at that. Specifically trained to catch vermin by the Orang Asil indigenous people, this breed moves really fast and has great sensory abilities.
It also has a surprising climbing ability which is clearly an adaptation to the homes of the Orang Asil people that were built on stilts to prevent invasion by wild animals.
- Norwegian Lundehund
With a long history dating as far back as the ice age, the Norwegian Lundehund is one of the rarest of dog breeds alive. They feature a crimson coat and were originally intended for hunting down Puffin birds on the edges of coastal cliffs.
As a result of this hunting environment, over the years, this breed has mastered scaling rocky cliffs. In addition, although pretty close to extinction, it is known as a breed that builds a close-knit relationship with its owner.
- Thai Ridgeback
The Thai Ridgeback sees its origins in Thailand and just along the breed’s back, you would find a ridge similar to that of the Rhodesian Ridgebacks. This ridge which is found in only three dog breeds refers to a strip that grows away in the opposite direction of the fur.
Although for a while, they could only be found in Thailand, the breed has started to spread gradually. However, they are notable for their great escape methods and need a close eye kept on them.
The British Otterhound is ranked one of the most vulnerable dog breeds In the UK. It is believed to be as old as the medieval age and bred mainly to stay on guard during fishing.
It is kinsmen with the Bloodhound and displays similar virtues such as determination and dexterity. This breed features a healthy and impressive crop of hair and makes for a great companion anyway.
They eat in a pretty messy manner, and their grooming, well, you can definitely handle it.
Your dog’s nutritional needs supersedes every other in terms of importance, it is what guarantees your pup would live a long, healthy life. You may skimp from time to time on grooming or neglect to take Milo walking on rare occasions. But for his meals, you want to pay extra care to guarantee that he’s getting all the right nutrients in the right proportions. What are these vital nutrients? Check them out:
A mature dog’s lean body mass is made up of about 70-80% of water. It is vital for digestion, regulating body temperature, and even the elimination process. On a biological level, it serves as a transportation system for conveying nutrients to the various cells.
Your pup’s water needs depend on activity level, health, and temperature. Most dogs can regulate water intake on their own, and if your dog is on high-moisture food, they would generally take less water. However, always make clean and fresh water available.
Fat is a better source of energy than both protein and carbohydrates, supplying up to twice as many calories. It also provides omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which function in protecting the organs, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, and boosting a healthy nervous system.
On the flip side, excess fats can cause gastrointestinal problems or pancreatitis, so, it should be well regulated. Pup fat sources include plant-based oils like hemp seed and flaxseed as well as low-mercury fish and fish oil.
Protein is a source of both essential and non-essential amino acids that your dog needs to stay alive and healthy. Pups are unable to produce their required amount of proteins, so they need to get it from their diet.
Proteins are responsible for a range of structures ranging from bones to muscles to nails and even healthy hair. It also has some energy components and complements that are supplied by carbs and fat. Fish, eggs, and lean-muscle meats are great sources of protein for pups.
Dogs are able to get a measure of glucose from fat and protein, therefore, carbs are not essential. However, they are important because they are the main source of glucose which supplies energy for daily activity.
A good measure of carbohydrates also provides the body with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins for general pup health. It can be gotten from gluten-free grains and legumes.
Vitamins play several important roles such as aiding blood clotting (K), boosting the immune system (A), functioning as antioxidants (C and E), amongst others.
They are usually required in minute quantities and can be gotten from diets like dog-friendly plant-based foods or muscle meats.
Minerals are essential to the body for sustaining metabolic functions and play a major role in various processes.
For instance, calcium and phosphorus are a major constituent of bones, iron transports oxygen, zinc aids injury recovery, nerve transmission is aided by sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium amongst other functions.
Dogs are unable to naturally manufacture minerals, hence, their only source is their diet. Feed like meat and bone is rich in phosphorus and calcium respectively while a great source of zinc is shellfish.
You are finally taking the summer trip and bringing Ruby along! Planning for a humans-only summer trip is not so much of a hassle, you just have to bring along the regulars. But if you’re going with your pet, then you need to be certain that you’ve made adequate preparation for them. Here are some things to know before beginning the trip:
- A Visit to the Vet!
A big summer trip or any one for that matter calls for a visit to the vet first off. The main purpose is to check that they’re healthy enough to undertake the journey. It wouldn’t be ideal for a pet who’s facing a series of health or nutrition problems to embark on a big trip. Similarly, a thorough checkup and getting up-to-date vaccination are vet activities, so you shouldn’t be skipping this step.
- A Trip Calls for a Carrier
It would have been a nice idea for your pup to sit up in front, seat belt all tucked in and looking pretty. However, if you would be going on a major trip, whether via land or air, you would need a carrier to guarantee a positive trip experience. You need to size up your crate to supply your pet with more room to move around and great ventilation. It is advisable to purchase the crate in advance so that your pet can get acclimated to it.
- Aim for Cool Weather
For air travel, some airlines only permit pet cargo travel in the mornings or evenings when the weather would be cool. A pet-safe airline like Lufthansa only allows for snub-nosed pet travel when it is guaranteed that both departure and arrival locations would have temperatures under 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Pups are unable to regulate their body temperature as we do, so you would need to look out for cool weather. This applies to road trips too, ensuring that the air conditioning works just great.
- Get Their ‘Groom’ On!
Some pre-travel summer grooming might not be a bad idea for your pet. Depending on the breed, they might stand to benefit beyond just looking great. You would need to be careful with the length of their coat. This is because your pup’s hair serves as a cooling system for her and a measure of hair left on could help prevent the skin from experiencing sun damage. So, cutting hair short or giving them a buzz cut could be exposing them to a lot of discomforts during the trip.
- Tire Them Out
Plenty of exercise before departure time is bound to have your pet snoozing or lying around passively during the trip. Not exercising Ruby can cause her to experience anxiety all through the trip, something you want to avoid. Before heading out to the airport or starting the car, get some quick exercises because a tired pup is a calm pup.
We all want to spoil and care for our pets as best we can, and one major factor that plays in is the financial aspect. This implies money spent on feeding, the vet, pet supplies, grooming products, and toys amongst others. For the most part, this is money that you probably don’t mind spending and perhaps you even enjoy doing so. But certainly, you won’t mind learning some ways to cut back, so, here are some proven ways to save money as a pet parent:
- Prioritize Your Pet’s Health
It’s a fact that most dogs are not big fans of the vet. But maintaining your pup’s quality of life and saving yourself money involves routine trips to a capable vet. By ensuring that your dog gets adequate exercise and a healthy diet, you can start wading off ailments that may come later in their lives. 80% of dogs over age three experience dental problems, so, make sure to keep your pup’s teeth healthy.
- Work With a Budget
Lesson 101 in saving money is working with a budget. This budget would be based on your dog’s needs and topping the list would be recurring expenses like quality food. Some expenses that are far in between such as a vet visit should be planned for ahead of time. After breaking down monthly expenses that are absolutely necessary, you can eliminate the ones that can be dispensed with, and you’re on track to saving money.
- Make Your Dog Treats
You’d be surprised at what all the money you spend on treats sums up to. We can’t help spoiling our pups with chewy treats and tasty goodies and making them yourself can save you a great deal of cash. Homemade dog treats using ingredients you already have at home are surprisingly easy to make and healthier even! You could also make a significant portion and preserve in the freezer.
- Regular Doggo Playtime
If you’ve seen the movie Marley and Me, then you probably understand where this is coming from. A tired dog is a happy dog and in addition, can save you a great deal of money. If you have a dog who constantly needs physical or mental exercise for stimulation, and they aren’t getting it, they could lovingly take it out on your shoes or couch. Provided their teeth and claws can get in, they would stimulate themselves. Save yourself extra expenses by creating playtime for Fido!
- Groom Your Dog at Home
Bath time is a pretty great time for bonding. There’s nothing like saving yourself money while deepening the loving bond between you and your pup. Professional groomers could cost a pretty penny, and there’s the stressful drive down there too, depending on how often you groom. When you’re grooming, make sure to concentrate on the coat, the paws, the inside of the ears, and other semi-hidden parts of your dog’s body.
Rewarding Max from time to time for being such a good boy is bound to make him happy. In addition to toys and other products that you can get at the store, you can pour your heart into making a DIY accessory. It could be a couple of toys to boost his plaything portfolio or a comfy piece of cushion for him to snuggle up to. Sound like a plan? Then you should totally check out these exciting DIYs for your dog:
- Braided T-Shirt Toy
For this, all you need is a pair of scissors and 2-3 old T-shirts (preferably cotton).
- Cut the hems off the shirts,
- Make even slits that are about 2-3″ wide along the base of the shirts, then rip them up to get the slits,
- Tie off one end of the strips after you’ve gathered them together, and then divide the strips into thirds,
- Braid starting from the tied part and make your way down to the untied portion of the shirt, all the while ensuring that your braids are tight,
- Once you’ve braided all the way to the bottom, tie it off there and cut off strips that won’t be useful.
And then you would have made the perfect toy for Max!
- A Chew Toy
Making your pup a chew toy is perhaps one of the easiest DIYs. It doesn’t require any cutting up, or braiding, or sewing. All you have to do is:
- Find an old sock that is still pretty firm,
- Wash if dirty. You don’t want Max tasting your feet, do you?
- Get a clean tennis ball,
- Stick it in the sock, and tie the open end up.
And voila, a great chewing toy for your beloved Max.
- Suitcase Dog Bed
Your pup might have a bed in his designated room or corner, but does he have one in the room where he spends most of his time? The living room. A suitcase dog bed is a super convenient way to solve this minor problem. For starters:
- Look for a suitcase that your dog would fit into width-wise,
- Get a regular density foam insert from a store that you trust,
- Get fabric that would serve as a covering or case for your foam,
- Cut your foam up so that it perfectly in the bottom of your suitcase,
- Slip your mattress into your pre-sewn cover, make it removable so that you can wash it,
- Fit the foam into your suitcase.
Watch Max turn this bed into his watchtower.
- Dog Shampoo
Take a break from harsh chemicals and go a bit natural. All you need for your dog shampoo is one cup of dish soap, one cup of apple cider vinegar, two ounces of glycerin, and a bottle to pour your shampoo in. Vinegar has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that calm inflammation and skin irritations, glycerin also helps moisturize your dog’s fur and prevent irritation. You can get glycerin at a drugstore.
- Pour all your ingredients into a jar, starting with the dish soap,
- Mix by shaking the ingredients thoroughly until even mixing has taken place,
- Pour the mixture into your bottle and keep until the next time you want to wash your pup.
Beyond licking their food bowls clean and being a good sport at fetch (particularly Golden Retrievers), your pup probably boasts a range of capabilities that you don’t even know about. Are you sometimes surprised by occurrences like your pup picking up a scent that is very far off, or even detecting when you’re sad or scared? No, it’s not sorcery! It’s merely dog physiology, and here are 5 mind-blowing facts that you probably didn’t know about pups generally:
- Incredible Sense of Smell
Comparing the area of the human brain that is responsible for smelling to that of your pup, theirs is about 40 times larger. This implies that your dog can pick up a lot more smells than you can imagine. It’s no surprise that they are often used in airports for sniffing out drugs or even people during investigations. They can even pick up on your feelings by smelling a change in your perspiration when you become scared or nervous. It’s not unheard of for a dog to detect certain diseases and there are now cancer-sniffing dogs.
- Some Dogs Can Outrun a Cheetah
This probably sounds far-fetched since you know the cheetah to be the fastest animal. And the Greyhound, the fastest dog breed alive reaches a top speed of 45mph in seconds, while the cheetah easily tops this at 70mph. However, the cheetah can only keep this up for about 30 seconds, while a greyhound can run at 35mph or more for up to 7 miles! So, in the long run (literally), a greyhound would end up overtaking a cheetah.
- Super Sensitive Hearing
You know how you try to tread lightly around sleepy Daisy, but she still stirs, well, it’s because pups can hear much softer sounds than we can. Also, they can hear sounds from further away too! They hear amazingly high frequencies and this one feature contributes to why they’re great for search and rescue. Combining their sense of smell and super-sensitive hearing seals their status as the best trackers.
- Doggo Intelligence is On Par With a Two Year Old Human’s
Wonder why your toddler and your pup get along so well? It’s probably because they speak the same language! Studies have shown that your dog can understand up to 250 words or gestures, placing their intelligence on the same level as your two-year-old’s. But of course, your dog is easier to train than your two-year-old, and would probably do what you want her to more often.
- Your Dog Has a Dominant Paw!
Yes, a few studies have centered around this and shown that just like humans, pups also favor a particular paw over the other. How to know your dog’s? Well, give him one of his favorite toys or games and see which paw he reaches out to pull it closer first. Also, look out for the first paw that your pup puts out when preparing to walk. This is another way of detecting their preferred paw.
Did you know cats can make about 100 sounds? Cats are not only intuitive about their surroundings, but they want to communicate what they’ve learned, isn’t that amazing! Now, it’s time cats receive the loving respect they so deserve, so today, it’s time to celebrate them for their unique personalities and loving affection.
With this guide, we’ll take a look at how to best respect your cat and celebrate them on respect your cat day. From learning how to pet your cat properly to trimming your cat’s nails correctly, you can learn how to be aware of your cat’s boundaries.
Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s a quick look at how to celebrate your cat:
Learn How to Pet Your Cat Properly
Cats, like humans, are complex creatures, and because of that, showing affection towards your cat can be difficult at times. You may have already noticed incidences where you’ve pet your cat, and their mood has immediately changed.
Well, unlike dogs, cats are more sensitive. After all, cats don’t generally like their belly scratched or petted. Instead, cats prefer to have their head and neck massaged. If you pet your cat properly, they’ll show you the same affection back.
Make Sure Your Cat Isn’t Bored
While it’s true, cats aren’t as high maintenance or as needy as dogs, that doesn’t mean they don’t need attention. One of the best ways to give them attention, especially if you’re busy throughout the day, is with a toy.
There are numerous toys you can buy, from wind-up robotic toys to food dispensing toys; your cat will surely love each one. However, don’t let these toys replace the time you should physically spend with your cat.
Trim Your Cat’s Nails Correctly
Trimming your cat’s nails might be difficult, but don’t give up just yet. Here’s why: if you stop trimming their nails, it could put your cat’s health in danger.
After all, nails never stop growing, so if you stop trimming them, you’ll only put your cat at risk. In fact, indoor cats are more susceptible to injuries due to household furniture and fabric. For instance, cats may get their long nails stuck in carpet fibers, resulting in your cat tearing its nail.
Other problems occur when the nail itself becomes so long that it curves inward towards the pad. This can cause an infection and make your cat’s paw not only hurt but become sensitive. Thus, trimming your cat’s nails is necessary to ensure your cat has healthy nails.
Celebrate Respect Your Cat Day Now
There’s no better way to celebrate Respect Your Cat Day than considering your cat’s boundaries, health needs, and attention span. Make sure you give him or her all the love by being aware and conscientious of their space.
Don’t try to force anything on your cat. Instead, let your cat tell you what they like or dislike.
Dogs are the cutest and most loving companions that you’d probably ever find. They know how to look with sad, gooey eyes until you finally oblige to that walk in the park or toss them a nice bone. They also know how to make messes and have so much fun while at it that you don’t have the heart to reprimand them.
Caring for your furry companion is one very essential aspect that you shouldn’t take for granted. They are quite delicate, and as such, they require a measure of care to maintain their hygiene and keep them in a bubble of good health.
Therefore, here are 5 care tips that every dog parent should know:
- Feed Regularly With High-quality Food
The two keywords here are ‘regularly’ and ‘high-quality’. You might be tempted to feed your dog with human food, and while this isn’t entirely a bad idea, it might not be ideal.
You should always consult with your veterinarian for recommendations. And a general tip is that the initial ingredients on the label of food that you want to feed your pup with should be some form of meat, not grain or meat by-product.
Clean water, changed from time to time is vital too!
- Have a Qualified Veterinarian On Board
Veterinarians are experts on animal health, physiology, and just about everything that has to do with your dog.
Ensure that the veterinarian whose services you are engaging is reliable and qualified, and you can easily test this by evaluating the responses you get to your questions and interaction with your dog.
You would also need to get your pet vaccinated and brought in for regular checkups. If you notice anything out of place, your first port of call should be the vet!
- Spend Time With Daisy!
Dogs are social creatures and need companionship just as much as you do. You need to spend time indoors with your dog, and you don’t necessarily have to do anything elaborate.
Dog toys and having an outdoor space for your pet to play in are not bad ideas, but they cannot replace your presence.
Try to avoid leaving her alone for extended periods and occasionally come up with fun games and adventures that you can go on together.
- Physical Exercise
You definitely want Max to stay in prime health, so, you would need to get Max exercising. Physical exercise is essential for the physical fitness of your pet and it is your responsibility to ensure that he gets adequate exercise.
The regular daily walk alongside some carving up a time to play with your canine companion does the magic. Not sure how much exercise Max needs? Speak with the vet!
This can be done by you or you can fix regular vet visits. It typically involves a proper, thorough bath, clipping of toenails and cleaning the paws, trimming the coat, and brushing it down so that it glows. Some nice fragrance and you’ve got the cleanest pet in the world!
There are at least 810 dog parks in the USA by the beginning of 2020. There was an increase of 37 parks in 2019.
But having a dog park available to you doesn’t mean that’s all you need to know. You’re no doubt concerned about when to start introducing your little furry baby to other dogs en masse. You want to get the advantages of early socializing without injury, illness, or other fears.
We understand, which is why we’ve done the research and brought you the best ways to get you and your pup ready. Keep reading to find out!
All Vaccinations Are Complete: Time to Play
Most puppies get all their vaccinations by the time they’re 16 weeks old. If you wait until adolescence (about 6 months old) it could engrain difficult-to-break bad habits. That said, from 17 weeks onward is a good time to bring puppies to dog parks.
There’s more you can do until then, though. The life stage for a puppy between three to four months will either help or hurt your dog’s development in big ways. A dog that’s afraid is more prone to be aggressive as a defense against an enemy that isn’t there.
Bringing home a puppy that isn’t too young is your best defense against bad social skills. A puppy taken away from the rest of the litter before eight weeks could lose vital opportunity to learn what’s acceptable and what’s not by their peers.
Setting up playdates with dogs of all ages (as long as they’re healthy and vaccinated) in a controlled environment is a good way to start slowly introducing them to others. Mixing the place up between home and away turf can get them to understand they aren’t the kings and queens of every place they go.
The Puppy Can Mostly Perform Reliable Recall
There’s more to the fenced parks than letting them off the leash to play as soon as they’re old enough. Leading up to the dog park, you can play games that train your puppy to perform “reliable recall.” Basically, presenting themselves on command in a reliable way.
Some games you can play are:
- Catch me
- Find me
- Hot potato
If your dog doesn’t have a reliable recall down yet, you may be tempted to keep them on-leash and close. This could have the opposite effect you want, though. Dogs that are on leashes around dogs that aren’t could feel backed into a corner and cause them to start a fight.
Members-only parks are selective about the temperament of dogs that they allow in, excluding the more aggressive dogs. They also generally have better fencing and space to run around or avoid bullies. In the case they don’t have a good recall yet, you can use a long leash that gives the puppy more freedom.
So the puppy doesn’t get overwhelmed, you could try off-peak dog park hours at short intervals at first.
Dog Park: The Last Bark
So what should you remember?
Give solid basic training to your puppy as early as possible. Try to socialize in a safe environment from 12 weeks onward. Introduce them to more than one other dog if possible.
Scout your favorite dog park for fences, peak play-times, size, etc. Size up the dogs and people that frequent there with a few visits before taking the puppy inside.
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to bring a new puppy home? To experience the joy of coming home to an adorable dog each day who is completely excited to see you?
Owning a dog is an incredible experience. They are truly the perfect companion, especially when you get the privilege of raising them as a puppy.
Have you started looking at puppies for sale? It can be difficult to decide if you aren’t sure what you are looking for and what type of dog would work best with your family.
Are you convinced that getting a puppy is right for you? Wondering what the best option is when getting a new puppy? Keep reading for answers to all your puppy questions.
Benefits of Getting a Puppy
No one can deny that getting a puppy is a good idea. But sometimes we just need a little nudge to finally make it happen. You know they require time, attention, and resources. But they’re worth it, aren’t they?
Consider the fact that owning a dog improves heart health. Studies have shown that dog ownership is linked to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lower triglyceride levels, giving you a healthier, stronger heart.
Owning a dog also means you are more likely to get adequate exercise on a weekly basis, leading to lower weight. Whether that’s a daily walk, playing catch at the park, or riding a bike with your dog, you are both likely to lead healthier lives.
Plus, bringing a puppy home will fill you with joy, help to reduce stress, and reduce the risk of depression. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
Getting Started With Puppies for Sale
When it comes time to get a pet and bring them home, there are countless options.
Should you buy a puppy that a friend or neighbor is selling? It might work out, but you are limiting your options. You probably won’t know anything about the puppy, and you won’t be confident that they are the right fit for your family.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could talk to an expert about what type of dogs you love, and what you are hoping for in a new puppy?
Find Your New Puppy Today
There’s no better time than today to bring a new pup home. With countless physical, mental, and emotional health benefits, along with the fun of caring for a dog, there’s no reason not to find your furry friend today.
There are few situations in life as tenuous as when you introduce two good friends of yours from different circles. You wonder if they’re going to get along and hope their personalities mesh well.
Bringing a new puppy home is not too dissimilar from that in many ways. Our pets have different personalities and puppies have a lot of energy that older dogs might not tolerate well.
Puppies often haven’t shaped their canine etiquette very well at those younger stages, either.
Before searching “puppy for sale near me” make sure you know how to introduce a new dog to your old pets. Keep reading to find out how!
Taking the Puppy Home For the First Time
Taking the new dog home, whether it’s a new puppy or older dog, causes stress, jealousy, and anxiety unless it’s done right. Having a proper setup is crucial to the process of phasing a new dog into the family.
A good place to introduce the two isn’t actually inside the home. There could be definite turf wars going on unless you are able to introduce them in a neutral place. It doesn’t even have to be far away and can be incorporated with a friend on a normal walk.
This sneak attack is a good way to prep your older dog without them expecting anything.
That being said, your dog may be curious about this next tip.
Puppies Only: Make a Designated Area
Toddlers and little kids can be as annoying as they are cute, and the same is true for puppies to older pets. Those little furry bundles of energy just don’t know when enough is enough. They’ll learn in time, but until then, they need an area to contain and protect them.
This area will aid in their house-training efforts and give some peace and quiet to your existing pets. They’ll have their own toys and sleeping area to play with.
So it isn’t too shocking for your older dog, make sure to set it up in advance so they’re already used to not using the area for themselves.
New Puppy Playtime
Along with toys to play with, your new pup will want to play with the other pets you have.
All playtime sessions should be fully supervised for a few weeks at least. They may need to be separated when the older dog gets annoyed or bored, or they may nip the young pup or worse.
Both dogs should get treats and new toys to reduce jealousy and keep it fun for both. You want playtime to be a fun and rewarding experience, not a grind.
Sniffing is natural and helps them to “read the daily paper” so-to-speak. But it requires supervision if one is getting more intimate than the other wants to tolerate. You know your own older dog better than anyone, so distract them when you think enough is enough.
Puppy Love: A Happy Pet Family
Each dog has its own role in the family and it takes time for them to know it and settle in. Having their own food, space, treats, and toys and meeting on neutral ground will go a long way to trimming down jealousy and other negative traits early on.
If you want more tips and advice, our stores are located conveniently with our expert pet-loving staff. Take advantage of our decades of experience and know-how — get in touch today!
Winter has blown in and the country is feeling the effects of snow, ice, and cold north winds. To keep people safe on roads and sidewalks, many communities salt the ground to help ice melt faster. But the combination of snow, ice, salt, and cold weather can really do a number on your dog’s paw pads. Consider the following suggestions for keeping his feet healthy during the cold months.
Keep walks short.
You might think that your dog’s natural winter coat and tough paw pads would keep him comfortable even when the snow falls, but you’d be wrong. His coat is probably not thick enough or long enough nor are his feet as tough as you think.
Keep your walks short—just long enough to “do his business” and have a short bit of exercise. During extreme cold, you might skip the outside exercise, too. If it’s too cold for you to enjoy a walk or jog, it’s too cold for him, too. Being outside in the cold can lead to frostbite for your canine pal as easily as for you.
Consider a blanket or coat for him when you venture outdoors.
Put a towel by the door.
As soon as you get back inside, dry Fido off completely, including his paws, his nose, and his ears. If your community uses salt on sidewalks and roadways, use warm water to dip his paws in when you return to the house. Toweling him off in the house will make him much more comfortable and reduce the damage ice or salt between his toes can do.
Even before you head out the door, rub some paw balm into his pads. Salt can cause dry skin and damage to his paws, but paw balm creates a barrier between his feet and the elements. Store bought or homemade, rubbing some balm in after you dry him off will help keep his pads soft and supple.
Footwear for dogs
So maybe you think dogs in booties look weird. That’s okay, but don’t let it stop you from buying a good set that will keep him comfortable outside. You wouldn’t think about going outside barefoot in the winter, right? Don’t make him do it, either.
Best buys for pooch presents
The holidays are upon us. Pack your pooch’s stocking with some of our favorite products and give him the best holiday ever!
Christmas is a time for spreading cheer and a puppy will always bring joy around. It is hard to find someone who doesn’t get excited when a puppy is looking up at them with a wet nose and trusting eyes. Gifting a new puppy to your loved one during Christmas is sure to make them happy and you can make the event even more enjoyable by planning it as a surprise! The puppy is soon to win them over with lots of wet kisses and cuddles and it will be the beginning of a meaningful relationship.
Here are some cute ways in which you can surprise your family or a loved one with a puppy at Christmas.
Delaying the Surprise
Yes, the best way of making the surprise even better is to delay it. There might be several occasions when your friend or a family member has gone looking for puppies at pet stores. When this happens again, tell them why taking a puppy is a bad idea at that moment. Being familiar with the person will help you come with all the reasons why they might not want a puppy, like anyone to take care of it when they are out for work.
They are going to be immensely disappointed at first and you have to deal with this phase. However, tell the caretaker of the puppy secretly that you are interested, and then go back alone to get it right before Christmas. The surprise and joy on their faces when they finally lay eyes on the puppy will be worth all this effort.
Puppy in Gift Wrapping
While this might seem like a clich to many, there is a reason why this is done so many times. Putting the puppy in a present box never fails to make an impact. This works best as a Christmas present, as you put the puppy inside a box and place it under the Christmas. Wrap the box in pretty paper with a bow on top! When the ‘present’ is unboxed, the squeals of joy will not stop anytime soon!
Of course, you have to careful while placing the puppy inside the box or basket. Make sure you put the puppy just minutes before you are about the spring the surprise. This will avoid any discomfort from the puppy’s side. However, a typical puppy can still make cute noises from the moment they are put inside the box, so you could put in a treat or two with him, or a toy to keep him quiet.
Even if he does make some sounds, it still makes for a great surprise as everyone is startled by puppy noises in the room. Make sure you leave a gap in the box for ventilation. Putting a small Santa cap on the puppy is sure to melt everyone’s heart.
You can make the puppy the star of your Christmas dinner! Gather everyone around for the grand Christmas meal and make everyone is in the same room while they are eating. Confide in a friend and let him slip the puppy into the room. Everyone is sure to be caught off guard when they see a puppy exploring the room all by himself. There are going to be frantic inquiries while some will leave their seats to cuddle the little bundle of joy.
After the puppy has managed to surprise everyone, introduce it to the family. This surprise always works the best with children because not knowing that the puppy is already a part of the family, they will insist on keeping the puppy that has just walked in. Tell them they cannot, and you have to return the puppy to whoever it belongs- maybe a neighbor. Then, when you finally tell them the truth, they are most likely to shed tears of joy.
Can there be a treasure hunt better than the one which involves a puppy? Surely not. Organize a treasure hunt for Christmas and leave clues around the house for everyone, telling them this is how they find their gifts. In the meantime, hide the puppy in a well-ventilated basket and place it in a safe corner of the house.
As the clues lead your family towards that spot, they are sure to be intrigued by that basket, which in all probability, will also be swaying a little. Tell them to open it and the boundless joy on the faces as they greet the new puppy is going to be the best Christmas gift for you ever.
With all your Christmas shopping just about over, ask your family to help you with all the bags that you have in the car. Tell them to open the car door carefully, because you have some very precious shopping inside. As they open the car door, Tada! There is the puppy, sitting snug on the backseat, looking all pretty with a bow! This surprise is sure to bring all your neighbors to your driveway because of course your family would be screaming in joy!
With a car surprise, remember to keep the windows down when the puppy is inside by a couple of inches. However, the doors should be locked so that they do not accidentally open while you are telling your family to get the bags. You should also avoid doing this if it is very hot or very cold. Some Christmases can be freezing, so you could consider leaving your car heater on. But overall, do not leave the puppy inside alone for more than a few minutes. You could also confide in a friend to hold the puppy if it is very small or is particularly restless.
With these ideas, you are sure to surprise your family in a novel way. While there is no dearth of gifts on the shop shelves for the festive season, a puppy will bring your family way more joy than you could have ever imagined. It will be your best Christmas ever.
It’s National Cat Lovers Month! Time to celebrate everything we love about our little furry friends. There are good reasons why dogs and cats are the standard pet of choice.
While both make great pets, many have a great deal of love for cats in particular. So whether you already own a pet cat or getting one, here are ten reasons why they’re often the pet of choice.
Some consider cats to be arrogant as they go about their business like they own the place. But they still have their ancestral instincts, often cautiously looking out for themselves. They don’t constantly need your attention or approval.
They Clean Themselves
Due to their independent nature, cats will happily clean and groom themselves so you don’t have to. They can spend half the day cleaning (if they’re not sleeping), which means your cat is happy, comfortable, and most of all, clean.
A dog can drive you bonkers with barking. But a cat is barely audible at all. They might meow when hungry, but they move around gracefully and quietly. When they’re not, they’re probably sleeping, so they’re far more peaceful than a puppy.
Cats Are Curious
Cats are curious about everything. They love to explore the great outdoors as well as every nook and cranny at home. This makes them interesting, and oftentimes hilarious to watch as they discover something they didn’t expect.
While they don’t work the same way as dogs, cats can be trained, just not in the same way. They behave in accordance with how you treat them and will communicate this to get what they want. They know just how cute to be when they want attention or food!
They Help You Relax
After a long day, it can be nice to sit down and stroke your cat while it happily purrs away. Science has shown that this positive bonding, rhythmic stroking, and focused attention is a great way to relax and relieve daily stresses.
Good For Our Health
They also play a huge part in our mental and physical health. Interaction with them helps lower blood pressure and releases dopamine and serotonin. This helps improve our mood, immune function, and reduce the risk of illness and disease.
Majestic and Adorable
The way they move and position themselves can be both adorable and funny. They have elegant agility at times and can bend themselves into all sorts of shapes, making them interesting and fun to watch.
They can climb almost anything and fit into any small space. Some like to play fetch and some like to catch bugs. They’re so quick they can even catch and dispose of pesky flies, making them great pest controllers.
They Show Love
They may not jump about and lick us like a dog, but they show their love in other ways. Whether it’s rubbing against your leg, meowing, or cuddling up on your lap, they can be very lovable and affectionate.
More Than a Standard Pet
As you can see, cats are wonderfully adorable and intelligent animals and are so much more than just a standard pet. With all of their quirks and peculiarities, they are the majestic moggies we’ve come to love.
Good for our health and great for our soul, making them one of the most loved animals in the world. For more about pets, come and check out our blog today.
What to do, what to do? Your family wants a dog, but with work, school, social and sports commitments, how do you work in owning a dog and what breed would be the best? Since each family is different, the answer to that question isn’t a one-size-fits-all response.
What is a low-maintenance dog?
What is low-maintenance for one family is a huge hassle for another. Defining low-maintenance is a subjective exercise. Does it mean the breed needs little exercise? No grooming? Tolerant of being left alone? No shedding or easily trained? No dog breed is maintenance-free, but because purebred dogs have been specifically bred for certain traits, choosing a dog based on the needs of its breed can be more satisfying. Here’s what the experts say.
If your heart’s set on a really big dog, the Mastiff may be just the dog you’re looking for. This giant breed actually has low energy, so lazing around is its idea of heaven. In fact, Mastiffs have low endurance, so long walks are not something they look forward to. They are happy alone for long stretches of time and are generally docile in temperament. Not aggressive, they do tend to be somewhat aloof and prefer the company of their family. The Mastiff likes pleasing his people, so training is fun and easy. His short coat does not require much grooming. Like most large breeds, however, the life span is somewhat short, from about 8-10 years. Height 27 – 30 inches, weight 120 – 220 pounds.
Still quite a large breed but smaller than a Mastiff, the Bullmastiff enjoys his daily walk as long as it’s not too far. Endurance, like its larger cousin, is still quite low. His short coat requires little maintenance and he loves to lie around watching the big game with you. Affectionate with his family and very tolerant of children, he nevertheless makes a formidable guard dog. Training him is different from most obedience training with other breeds, but not difficult. His lifespan is on par with the Mastiff at about 8 -10 years. Height 24 – 27 inches, weight 100 – 130pounds.
Contrary to popular belief, the racing greyhound doesn’t have a lot of exercise needs. They really make wonderful couch potato companions. A daily walk and occasional run are plenty for this incredibly sweet-natured hound. Easy to train, gentle and quiet, this elegant breed might take over your couch but will not demand constant attention. Their short coat requires only minimum grooming. Greyhounds live 10-13 years. Height 25-30 inches, weight 60-80pounds.
Bred to be a working dog, on the field the Basset Hound is very active. In the home, however, this gentle, calm dog is a totally different dog. His long, soft ears and droopy expression captivate dog lovers the world ’round. A once-daily walk is sufficient to keep him happy and his grooming needs are quite low. He is most content when with his people, and is friendly and accepting of strangers and other pets. Early on, training is a necessary part of owning a Basset Hound so his natural propensity to stubbornness is overcome. Standing just under 15 inches, he is a medium sized breed due to his weight, 40 – 60 pounds on average. The average life span is 8 – 12 years.
Except for grooming, this may be the best option for busy families or even seniors. The Standard Poodle is calm and gentle, very intelligent and easy to train. A daily walk will satisfy their exercise needs. Their coats don’t shed and are hypoallergenic, which is often the deciding factor for families who suffer from allergies. A plus is that this excellent breed doesn’t mind being left alone while his family is away from the house. Weighing in at 45 – 70 pounds and standing over 15 inches tall, the Standard Poodle’s grooming needs can be taken care of by dropping him off at a grooming salon and picking him up later. Although his life span is relatively long at 12 – 15 years, some Standard Poodles have lived up to 17 years.
Although Dachshunds are energetic little dogs, they can get too much exercise, which can affect their long backs. Climbing stairs and jumping off of things can also injure them, so keep that in mind if you have a two-story home. The short-haired variety has very low grooming needs, and all three varieties (short coat, long coat, and wire coat) stand under 9 inches. The miniature variety is even smaller. Weighing in at between 11 and 32 pounds, the sometimes clownish Dachshund is a favorite everywhere. Early training is important as they can be stubborn if not brought up to obey. The lifespan of this sweet-natured dog is from 12 – 15 years.
The Papillon (French for butterfly) has beautiful, erect ears that trail long tresses that fan out to look like a butterfly. Some have drop ears as well, looking less like a butterfly but just as beautiful Although his single layer coat is long, brushing a couple of times a week is adequate and he doesn’t require hair cuts. With no doggy odor and hypoallergenic coat, he is considered low maintenance on grooming. This breed loves to play and is affectionate with children and other pets. A daily romp in the backyard or at a dog park along with his daily walks will keep him healthy and happy. He’s a tiny spaniel, half lap dog and half court jester. Perhaps a little difficult to house train (as are most toy dogs), he is highly intelligent and learns easily with consistency. He stands just 8 – 11 inches high and weighs 6 – 10 pounds, a bundle of energy and love. With a long life span of 14 – 16 years, he is there for the long haul.
Yes, they are adorable. The little pitter-patter of their tiny feet as they follow you around, the tiny yips and barks, even the puppy-breath smell is irresistible. So arm yourself with knowledge so you know just what you’re getting yourself into.
What about the costs?
The cost of obtaining the puppy is only the beginning. Even if you are given the puppy for free, owning a dog is not. Let’s look at what expenses are involved so you are fully prepared to bring your puppy home!.
You’ll need some equipment.
- Start with a crate. Dogs are by nature den animals, and once your puppy is used to the crate, he’ll go there on his own anytime he wants some alone-time. (Never use his crate as punishment. NEVER.)
- You’ll also need some steel or ceramic bowls to feed and water him. (Always keep his water bowl full of fresh water. FRESH.)
- He’ll need a good leather or canvas leash of about a six-foot length and a soft, leather collar. Rolled leather collars will not break the hair on his neck. (NO CHAIN OR SPIKED COLLARS!)
- Get him a bed (or two so you’ll have one for when you’re washing the other).
- Buy a few high-quality chew toys (but avoid rawhide, which can be swallowed and cause intestinal blockages).
- Lastly, you will want to invest in a pet gate (or a baby gate) to partition off areas where you don’t want him to go or to keep him confined to a “safe place.”
Puppy-proof your home before you bring him home.
- Get down on his level. What does he see? Can he chew on it? Can he knock it over? Can he get tangled up in it? If any of the answers are yes, change the environment so that all the answers are no.
- Get a trash can he can’t open. Believe me, if you don’t, he will.
- Put his new crate in your room, near your bed. It may make for a few nights of sleeplessness, but in the long run, you’ll be glad you did.
- Watch the clutter. If you’re in the habit of leaving your shoes by the door, don’t. Shut doors to rooms that have expensive furnishings. Close closet doors and keep your stuff out of his reach.
Sign up with a vet and consider pet insurance.
If you have friends with dogs, ask for their recommendation on veterinarians. Make an appointment to meet the vet and ask about pet insurance. Get his or her advice on puppy food and routine vaccination schedules. Then set up your first appointment to bring your new puppy in for a check-up. It is best to schedule this visit within two or three days of bringing your pup home.
Supervise your new puppy!
Your puppy should only be out of his crate or a small area you have set up for him (his room) when you can watch his every movement. By supervision, I mean your eyes on him. No telephone calls, TV, or other distractions. The second you take your eyes off your puppy, he’ll get into trouble or disappear. If you must take care of something else, put him in his safe place first.
- Take him outside to his “potty place” every time you let him out of his crate. Carry him outside and wait for results.
- Set a routine and stick to it. Potty training goes much easier if your puppy knows what’s coming next. Feeding and immediate play outside should be the same time every day so that digestive upsets are minimized and potty training is easier.
Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Don’t leave a child with the sole responsibility of caring for your new puppy, and be sure that every member of the family knows the rules and routine for his care. It’s fine to have more than one person caring for your pup, but designating one person as the main caretaker will smooth the transition from pup-less to puppy as a member of the household.
Don’t expect good behavior unless you train him to know what that means.
Enroll your new puppy in a “kindergarten” class. In these pre-training classes, puppies and their owners learn how to socialize with other dogs. This is a very important part of dog-training so that your puppy develops a confident, non-aggressive social personality. Without this kind of training, your puppy could end up being timid or aggressive around strangers or strange dogs. DON’T SKIP THIS ONE!
After your pup “graduates” from kindergarten, enroll him in the next training class so that you can learn how to train him to be a happy, healthy member of your household. It’s best to have one person doing the training. Don’t switch out another family member because it’s as important for the person training the puppy as it is for the pup to learn the details and develop the techniques that will result in a well-trained dog.
Embarking (pun intended) on your new adventure with a puppy will be immensely rewarding. You will gain a friend that will love you no matter what, loyal and constant. Throughout his life, you and he will find out what other dog-owners before you already know. A dog is man’s best friend.
So you’re off to visit Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas, but you don’t want to leave your four-legged buddy at home. If your relatives are amenable to having your pet visit with you, make sure that he’s welcome back next year, too. Here’s how.
To get ready to travel anywhere, you prepare for your trip, don’t you? Now you just need to add a few extra preparations to make sure your dog is welcome wherever you go. Here are some handy tips to help you do just that.
- Ask. Don’t assume that pets are or are not welcome when you travel. Check with the hotel you plan to stay in. Ask specifically what their pet policies are and if you decide to stay there, abide by those rules.
- Pet apps can help you find places that welcome Fido. Consider these:
- All Trails. This crowdsourced app has the largest collection of trail maps with a search function that helps you find dog-friendly trails.
- Bring Fido. This is the best travel-with-your-dog app available. Every one of the places this app finds has the Bring Fido Guarantee, so you know you’re seeing the truth when it says dog-friendly, whether it is a hotel, a restaurant, a trail, or any of a host of other attractions and places that welcome Fido.
- Pet First Aid by American Red Cross. A guide for step-by-step instructions for common pet emergencies, it also helps you locate the nearest emergency animal hospital.
- Pack the essentials.
- Food and water. Food goes without saying, but bringing the water he is used to can well prevent an upset stomach.
- Bowls. The collapsible ones pack easily and don’t take up much space.
- Toys. Let Fido chew on his favorite toys to alleviate both anxiety and boredom.
- Bed. He’ll sleep best if his own bed is packed.
- Crate. A crate is the safest place for your dog to travel in a car. Be sure to put it on a flat surface (not a seat) where he can lie comfortably. Secure the crate so it doesn’t go flying in case of a collision or accident. Alternatively, you can purchase a dog “seat belt” that secures him on the seat and allows him to lie down safely. A warning, though. Keep an eye out to make sure he isn’t chewing on the seat belt!
- Pack his medical records and be sure he is microchipped and his vaccines are current.
Make him the perfect houseguest.
If you want to be welcomed back next year with Fido along, follow these suggestions to turn him into the ideal houseguest.
- Let Fido say thank you with a gift. Bring a host/hostess gift from your dog. Any dog-themed item such as hand towels or coffee-table books will be welcome. If your host has dogs, bring them something, too. Maybe a bag of gourmet dog biscuits!
- Find a neutral place to introduce Fido to your host’s dog. Meet at a dog park or around the corner where they can walk together before “invading” the other dog’s territory. Occasionally give Fido a break from resident dogs so that his alert-level can be let down.
- Stick as close to his schedule at home as possible, especially when it comes to feeding and potty breaks. Take the time zone into consideration. A dog who never has accidents at home may not be as trustworthy in another place, particularly if there is another dog already living there.
- Even if the host has a fenced-in yard, go outside with him to make sure he “did his business” and then reward him for a job well-done.
- Don’t assume you know the rules. Ask what their dog on the furniture preferences are and whether there are any off-limits spaces in the house, like the dining room or upstairs. Is there a specific place you should take him to potty or any places in the yard they’d prefer Fido didn’t visit? Your best bet of being asked back next year is by following the rules.
What if he just won’t behave?
If issues arise while you’re visiting someone’s home, be prepared to keep Fido tethered near you so he can’t sneak off and get in trouble. Increase the number of times you take him outside and utilize his crate when you can’t supervise him. Preparation, training, and socializing your dog before your road trip should make you and Fido welcome.
Have you ever heard the term “anthrozoology”? In 1990, biologist John Bradshaw, an honorary research fellow at the University of Bristol in England, coined the term to define a field of study that deals with how humans think about their animals. Since that time, researchers have spent a lot of time exploring “human-animal interactions” or “the human-animal bond.”
Bradshaw authored a book called “The Animals Among Us: How Pets Make Us Human” in which he explains this fascination with pets. A century ago, animals were useful and although humans appreciated their usefulness, they didn’t normally keep them as pets, at least not in the numbers we do today. “Pet-keeping,” he writes, “is an intrinsic part of human nature, one rooted deeply in our own species’ evolution.”
It has been widely reported that pets make us live longer, and there is some truth to the claim that they reduce stress, a component in many fatal diseases like heart disease. ‘Good interactions,” he says, “do have quite a profound effect, causing changes in oxytocin and in beta endorphins. Those are actual changes going on in the body of somebody who is stroking a friendly dog.”
Having a friendly dog makes you instantly more trustworthy in the eyes of a person you’re meeting for the first time. Animal-assisted therapy also benefits from this explanation, because it makes the therapist more approachable.
Regardless of the research Bradshaw has done. When SurveyMonkey did a survey of pet owners, the majority believed the research that was done in Sweden was more reliable. That study suggested that owning a dog is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death when demographic data on 3.4 million Swedes aged 40-80 years was compared. Time Magazine cited several studies leading to the conclusion that science says your pet is good for your mental health.
If you just aren’t sure about which study to believe, I offer you my own personal experience. When my daughter outgrew the abilities of her retired Western Pleasure horse, she decided to donate her to an assisted therapy organization near us. We visited Image often, and each time we were met with astounding stories from the parents whose children had benefited from their interaction with this gentle, beautiful horse. Two teenage boys who had never spoken began to verbalize when they were with Image. To me, the science is settled. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. So I join the ranks of those Americans who are totally in love with their pets.
Cat lovers love their homes, too, and sometimes their BFFFFs (best four-footed forever friends) shred their furniture, making them have to choose between their homes and their cats. In days-gone-by, declawing was the way many people solved the dilemma, but today we know that declawing actually amputates the first part of every one of the cat’s toes, a cruel and unnecessary process. The cruelty is obvious, but why unnecessary? Because you can easily make a great-looking cat scratcher that kitty will much prefer to your sofa and will not look like “cat furniture.” We found this project on we-are-scout.com.
Creating this wonderful cat scratcher starts with the IKEA Rast bedside table ($14.95) and a few other supplies. All the instructions are available on we-are-scout.com. An easy evening or weekend project and your decor is safe from kitty’s claws!
Cats aren’t the only pets that can be destructive. When dogs are left at home for an extended period of time (like when you’re at work), they can get bored and look for ways to entertain themselves. Sometimes, they get destructive. Even if Spot isn’t destructive, if he likes to chew, here is a way to make a no-sew chew toy that will allow him to entertain himself for hours on end. It may look complicated, but these easy-to-follow tutorials will have you churning out these delightful chew toys in no time. You can find the tutorial here
Cats love to get inside things, as all cat lovers know. An empty box or paper shopping bag is alluring to cats, but they are kind of, well, trashy-looking lying around your home. Instead, find a brightly colored t-shirt at your local resale shop (or recycle one only our own), add a piece of cardboard and a couple of wire coat hangers and voila! A great-looking cat hide-out that is as much fun to look at as it is for kitty to hide in. To find the simple tutorial, just follow this link. Make several to go in every room your cat lives in to match or complement the colors and patterns in the room.
With a few tools and some imagination,the folks at The Owner Builder Network have put together this fun self-groomer for cats, but small dogs would love it, too. It comprises a board, a couple of toilet-bowl brushes, and a little time that produces this innovative groomer that takes some of the grooming chore off your hands and puts it in the cat’s paws. Fun and useful, and it only uses basic tools and techniques.
To find even more pet projects to make great things for your cat and dog, why not check out Pinterest? There’s a wealth of fun things to make and do for you and your BFFFF’s!
Every year in America, the last week of September is set side to celebrate our four-footed friends that are deaf. This year National Deaf Dog Week falls from September 24 to October 1. And around our nation, people are finding good reasons to celebrate!
One of the most endearing qualities of dogs who are deaf is that they “hear with their hearts.” Not only do they love their human BFFs, they also love their deaf buddies as well. Yes, all dogs love their humans, but deaf dogs seem to have a greater capacity for emotional bonding than do their hearing counterparts.
Many people believe that when a dog loses one physical sense—such as the ability to hear—their other senses become sharper to “take over.’ But according to science, that’s not actually what is happening.
In his ground-breaking work on deafness in dogs, Stanley Coren (How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind) describes eight different modalities that allow deaf dogs to substitute touch for hearing. Their adaptation to sensing the world differently is truly amazing, and you see it demonstrated in pet dogs that cannot hear.
These special canines are called “Velcro” dogs, because they stick to their human handlers like the hook-and-link fastener. Laughably, other reasons deaf dogs rock are because they don’t freak out during thunderstorms. You can sneak into the kitchen for a late night snack, open a bag of potato chips and your deaf dog doesn’t wake up and they don’t lose their cool when surrounded by other barking dogs.
Deaf dogs make excellent therapy dogs, emotional support dogs, and even service dogs because they don’t react with fear and anxiety exhibited by some hearing dogs. Not only do they tolerate lots of strange hands petting them, they revel in the attention.
Some people have the mistaken notion that all white dogs are deaf. Of course, some dogs (of any color) become deaf through accident or illness, but the inheritance of deafness does seem to go along with white coloration. The reason for that lies in the fact that the cells that enable the ability to hear and the cells that determine coat color come from the same stem cells. Congenital hearing loss occurs frequently in breeds with white, piebald, or merle coats. Some of the breeds with these color patterns include Bull Terriers, Boxers, English Setters, Dalmatians, Old English Sheepdogs, Dachshunds, Welsh Corgis, and Border Collies.
Remember this about deaf dogs: the loss of hearing seems to sharpen one sense above all others… the sense of love!
No matter the species, we can all agree that our pets are family. We raise them, we adore them, and we want to hold onto the timeless memories that we’ve shared with them. Luckily, we live in an age where every phone has a camera attached to it, so you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a professional photographer.
However, you can get the same eye-catching pics by applying these simple, effective methods.
Polly Want a Cracker?
Dogs aren’t the only animals that are motivated by food. Cats, birds, horses, and just about any rodent can be persuaded through the prospect of a tasty snack. Don’t waste time trying to capture 0.003 seconds of your pet listening to the screech of some nearby katydid; the best you’ll get are a few questionable, blurry photos once they become distracted again.
Instead, capture their attention by holding their favorite treat or toy up to where you want them to focus. For example, if you want your dog to look directly at the camera, use your other hand to hold the morsel just above the shutter. Once you’ve got the shot, give them the treat!
Pro Tip: Cut the flash. It’s usually counterproductive and frightens most animals.
It’s All About the Angles, Honey
Don’t let the Instafluencers trick you into thinking that it’s necessary to travel to exotic lands, or even outside of your neighborhood to find a fantastic backdrop for your pet. You can take something as simple as an old brick house and make it beautiful with a few props. Using the wall as your canvas, add some “antique-like” items to the foreground. This could be a pair of boots, an old cowboy hat, even a small wooden chair. Placed in between the wall and the props, your pet becomes the focal point.
Move items around as needed, and don’t be afraid to get eye-level with your animal. Both owners and photographers tend to lean on shots from above, but experimenting with juxtaposition will give your photos a more unique look.
Pro Tip: Too many additional elements can turn an otherwise beautiful photo into a cluttered mess. Keep it simple.
Keep it Natural
There’s no need to try to force your pet to recreate something you saw another owner do on social media. Allow your dog to sniff as they normally would. Throw a toy or have them perform a trick for you while someone else takes the photo.
The best pictures are the ones that make us smile. Sure, the artificial situations and setups we see on social media are certainly cute, but they won’t provoke the same kind of emotions or memories that a walk in the park or a swim in the lake would. Keep your camera on guard, and be ready to snap a pic when your dog looks up at the sky and smiles.
Pro Tip: If you can’t find an extra person and the timer on your camera is too short, you can also use your phone to record a video. Then, screenshot the stills you like and have them edited!
Your dog has been there for you through the best of times, and the worst of times. They’ve given you loyalty and unconditional love since the moment you walked into their life. Don’t you think they deserve a special day to celebrate all the amazing memories you’ve created together?
Well, it just so happens that you can make one more, because August 26th is National Dog Day! Here are some fun ways to honor your furry best friend on this wonderful occasion.
Take Your Pup Shopping
Everyone likes surprise gifts, but who wouldn’t love a surprise shopping spree? Hit up your local pet shop or pet store and let your dog browse the toy aisle. Allow them to take a good long gander and sniff the objects that interest them. If your pup gives you mixed signals, just grab the first couple of items that make their nose wiggle the most.
Don’t forget to pick up a few yummy snacks along the way!
Get a Puppuccino
You probably love your regular Starbucks coffee, and you know that your dog loves their car rides. While you’re in the drive-thru, add a delicious puppuccino to your order. It’s just a bit of whipped cream in a small dixie cup, but it’s free and your pal will think they’re getting an extra-special treat.
Have a Date Night
Between working to take care of bills and making time to take care of our own needs, it can be difficult to live in the moment. Since today is all about showing appreciation for your best bud, set up some one-on-one time. Head out to a dog-friendly bar or social setting where you can show everyone how cool your pup is and let them meet and greet.
If you’d rather have a “Just the Two of Us” kind of evening, cook up a tasty feast that you and your pet can enjoy. Canines can actually eat quite a bit of the same ingredients we use in our meals. Steak, carrots, celery, potatoes, peas, green beans, and broth all fine to serve. While you’re hanging out, be present! Take a few pics for your Snap and IG, then put the phone away and get back to your dinner date.
Give Your Pet a Spa Treatment
Anyone who’s been to a spa, or seen a spa on TV, knows that it’s all about getting pampered. After a day of facials, foot massages, back rubs, and aromatherapy, you walk out feeling like a whole new person. Recreate this relaxing environment for your dog!
Set up some soft music, warm towels, and put some home-made treats in the oven for “aromatherapy” purposes. While they’re baking, take the time to massage your pup’s legs and paws. For the canines who don’t particularly like people touching their feet, move on up to the head, neck, and shoulders.
It won’t take long for your little buddy to doze off into dreamland. Once they wake up, Fido (or Fida) will be ready for their Dog Day snacks.
One of the great joys of raising a puppy is being granted the opportunity to guide their journey through life. Since a good chunk of that time will be spent outdoors, it’s your job to ensure that they get familiarized with their surroundings before they reach their adult years.
Once you’ve got a full-grown dog on your hands, you’ll want to take them to the beach, the park, and to public places without a struggle. Here are some things you can do right now to help ease your little pup into this big, crazy world.
Start Socializing Early
The first few months of social integration are pivotal. It’s not impossible to teach an old dog new tricks, but it is much easier to do while their life experiences are still fresh. From eight weeks of age and beyond, expose your pup to new people, dogs, cats, and children.
They may be a bit apprehensive at first, but encourage your puppy to welcome sniffs from other animals and strokes from other humans. Allow new people to gently handle, pick up, and touch your pet. Some puppies adore attention, they’re happy and relaxed, gladly returning the affection. Others might take a little more time to adjust.
As you’re observing, correct unwanted behaviors such as nipping or excessive barking. An adult dog that plays nicely, respects boundaries, is non-reactive, and well-balanced is the end goal.
How Much is Too Much
Those of us who have been roaming the planet for a few years have acclimated to the constant stimulation that we live with. However, we all need a break sometimes, and that includes your puppy. Ease into unfamiliar situations starting with a lower intensity and slowly take it up a few notches.
If the sound of a garbage truck or a busy road sends your pup into Fight or Flight mode, it’s probably best to stick to neighborhoods with less traffic on walks. If they feel uncertain or appear anxious around new canines, schedule a play-date instead of heading straight to the dog park.
Allow your pup to move at his or her own pace; once they dip their toes, they’ll see that the water is just fine!
Master the “Come” Command
Much like a small child, you are responsible for your dog, their behavior, and the consequences of that behavior. If they were to run up to someone today, the person might say “aw, what a cute puppy!”
However, that response could turn into “uh-oh…that’s a big dog coming my way” in just a few short months.
Teaching your pup to sit, stay, and come will prevent years of frustration going forward. Even if they’re friendly, greeting another dog that is anxious or territorial can rapidly ignite an altercation. Should you plan on taking your pup to off-leash parks, keep in mind that most policies require pets to stay within a certain range of their owner.
You know your furkid best, so it’s up to you to determine whether or not a situation is appropriate for them. Breeds with a natural inclination for chasing prey will likely have difficulty on loose-leash hikes where rodents are roaming free. On the other hand, they might fare well chasing a ball or a frisbee in a fenced-off area. Either way, it’s never too soon to start command training!
Is brushing your dog’s teeth really necessary? How can I possibly brush my cat’s teeth? Bad breath? There’s a treat for that and you may have some health issues on your hands.
Dental problems in pets are usually pretty obvious—bad breath. But there are other signs, too. Look out for these signs and see a vet if they occur.
- Bad breath
- Broken or loose teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
Periodontal disease is as bad for your pet as it is for you. It is the most common health issue in both cats and dogs. By the time your pet is three years old, he or she will probably have at least the early stages of periodontal disease. Your pet may just need a thorough cleaning, which your veterinarian or veterinary dentist (yes, there is such a thing!) does with Fido or Fluffy under general anesthesia. Take your pet for teeth cleaning at least once a year to avoid other, internal, health problems that can start from bacteria in the mouth.
But why wait a year to have his teeth cleaned? Can you imagine the problems you’d have if you didn’t brush your teeth at least twice every day? Using a toothbrush and toothpaste made especially for pets isn’t really difficult, and once he knows what you’re doing and he enjoys the toothpaste, he’ll eagerly look forward to his daily cleaning. Here are some tips on how to do it properly.
- Don’t try to use an old toothbrush for humans (or even a new one). Your vet can recommend a brush suitable for your pet, or there are “sleeves” that slip over your finger and work like a toothbrush. (See this video.)
- Never put human toothpaste in your dog’s mouth. Human toothpaste can contain additives that can do your pet harm. (If xylitol—a sugar-free sweetener—is in your toothpaste, it can kill your pet.) There are many flavors to choose from that your pet will enjoy as much as you like your mint-flavored one.
- Start by squeezing some out for your dog to taste. Let him think of it as a special treat.
- Accessing your pet’s teeth is not difficult; just lift his lip.
- Be gentle! His mouth may be sensitive, so use gentle motions.
- Although most pets probably will not let you clean the inside surface of his teeth, just clean the outside surface (by the cheeks).
- The back upper molars and canine teeth are most likely to build up tartar, so be sure to reach these back teeth
- Offer a special reward, such as playing with him, petting or brushing him, or giving him a favorite toy so he associates teeth brushing with good things.
Keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy can help prevent kidney, liver, and heart problems, so be as intentional about keeping his teeth clean as you do your own.
While their methods of consumption differ, fleas and ticks are bloodthirsty creatures. At best, fleas can give your dog a gnarly itch, at worst they can cause a bad case of anemia. Ticks aren’t able to reproduce as quickly or jump from host to host like their agile flea counterparts. However, they can carry and transmit Lyme Disease along with a number of other illnesses to both you and your pet.
Don’t wait until you’ve got a full-blown infestation on your hands, take care of fleas and ticks as soon as you notice them!
Ticks are Easy to Control…IF Action is Taken Quickly
Although they could make your dog sick, ticks are more likely to drink their fill and drop off. When hiking, camping, or roaming through wooded areas with tall grass, it’s crucial to thoroughly check your pup’s fur for these voracious little beasts before entering your home!
Carefully run your fingers along the inside of the ears, gumline, jowls, between toes, and inside the armpits and groin. Use sharp tweezers to pluck them out, or combine equal parts water and vinegar to soak into a cotton ball. Apply pressure to the tick and surrounding area; don’t squeeze or twist!
Removing the torso without the head can cause a serious infection. If the tick doesn’t drop off on their own after application, their grip should loosen just enough to be plucked out.
Fleas are a Bit More Complicated
Where there’s one flea, you can guarantee there will be more. These tiny vampires can drink up to fifteen times their body weight! Unlike ticks, fleas prefer to eat, lay eggs, and defecate all in one cozy spot. When the larvae hatch, they feed on the feces (which contain blood) of the adults.
It’s obvious that being bitten repeatedly would be irritating, but what isn’t so obvious is that some dogs are allergic to flea saliva. To soothe the itchy inflammation, your pet will lick and chew at the area.
The wound becomes infected, and your dog swallows larvae.
Now you’ve got an entirely separate issue to deal with…tapeworm. These parasites use fleas as a conduit to find new hosts. They live in the intestines, sapping your pet’s nutrients, and exiting through poop.
How to Terminate These Pests
The three most commonly used methods are topical treatments, oral medications, and home prevention including powders and sprays.
Topical treatments come in the form of gels, flea collars, and shampoos. Collars distribute a powder along the pores, while gels are administered in a straight line from the top of the neck to the tip of the tail. The idea is that your dog’s natural oils will distribute the medication across their coat.
Monthly oral prevention is by far the most effective long-term option, depending on what you use. Trifexis and Nexgard are both reputable brands for fleas, ticks, and heartworms.
Once the problems on your pet are remedied, you’ve got to exterminate the eggs, larvae, ticks, and fleas that could be taking refuge within the fibers of your carpet. For this, you can purchase pest-specific powders; evenly sprinkle it along the floor, allow it to sit, and vacuum it up.
Keep in mind, some pets have adverse, but non-life-threatening reactions to the ingredients in these cleaning agents. Be careful not to leave anything behind, and it’s best to wait an hour or two before allowing your dog back into the room.
Fleas can and will use you as a meal too if they aren’t kept in check, so act quickly and don’t let them take over your home!
You’ve probably never thought about your family pet becoming an arsonist, but it happens more than you might think. A cat in Maryland knocked a candle over onto a mattress and set her owner’s house on fire. Fortunately, everyone (including the cat) got out alive and unharmed. A pooch in Washington pulled his bed up against a space heater, setting the whole place ablaze and sending himself and his owner to the hospital. And a Labrador Retriever in Connecticut turned a gas stove on, catching the pizza box that held his prize afire, too.
Since even the smartest of animals can’t understand fire safety rules, it’s up to their humans to make sure their environment is safe. Here are some actions that may save not only your pet’s life in case of a fire but your own and your family’s, too.
Stop Fires Before They Start
- Make sure there are no untended flames in your home. Use fire screens in front of fireplaces and snuff out any candles when you leave the room. Candles range high on the list of home fires.
- Secure electric wires so that they are covered or out of reach of pets and tiny humans. A dangling cord can invite mouths and little hands and start an electric fire before you know it.
- If you leave a bowl of water out on a wooden deck, use one of a material other than glass. Believe it or not, sun shining through glass and water can heat a spot of the wood and set it on fire.
- Put covers over stove knobs. Even if they’re on top of the stove out of reach of kids, a jumping dog or cat can easily turn burners on. Unlit gas can cause an explosion and electric burners can get hot enough to set afire anything that lies on them.
Make “Be Prepared” Your Motto
- When you make an emergency plan for your family (and you should!), include plans for getting your pet out safely, too. Then practice your plan together.
- Keep a pet emergency supply bag in a readily accessible place. Include food, medicine, leash, carrier, and any records you need.
- Use smoke detectors and monitor them. Just because it beeps when you press the button doesn’t mean that a 10-year-old monitor works properly. (The life of smoke detectors if 10 years.)
- Be sure you know your pet’s favorite place to hide, and put a sticker on your door or window that lets emergency personnel know there is an animal inside your home.
In Case The Worst Happens
- If a fire starts, no matter how small, get out! Make sure everyone follows the plan and exit the building immediately.
- If you can’t find your pet right away, go outside, leave the door open, and call for your pet.
- Let emergency responders search for your pet. They’re trained to be inside burning buildings and are the best chance for getting your pet to safety.
No matter how much changes throughout the years, picnics are a pastime that never seems to fall out of favor. Hundreds of families along with their pets will be out at the parks this summer flying kites, grilling burgers, and enjoying each other’s companies. If you’re thinking of bringing your pup along this season, you wouldn’t be the only one!
Expect to see other canines running and catching frisbees with their owners as well. Here are some ways to ensure that the whole family stays safe during your fun in the sun.
Keep Fireworks Out of Reach
Even though your kids understand that a sparkler is essentially a small flame that could burn them, our dogs don’t always have the capacity to make that connection. All they see is a pretty, bright light that their human siblings love to play with, and they want to play too!
On the other hand, it’s no secret that canines are terrified of the bigger, louder, more dramatic fireworks shows. So, let them picnic with you during the day as long as they’re a safe distance from any sparkler, but take them home once the bigger events start.
Beware of Bloat
We won’t lecture you on the importance of staying hydrated. You’ve probably already thought to bring a bowl in case Fido gets thirsty after eating and playing. However, too much food and water combined with heavy panting can trigger a fatal condition in dogs called bloat.
When kibble in the stomach absorbs liquid, it expands and releases gas. At the same time, your thirsty pup is swallowing gulps of air between laps of water. With nowhere for these excess gasses to escape to, the stomach begins to twist and turn, like a balloon animal.
To avoid this potentially deadly condition, simply limit your dog’s food intake. Sure, it’s a picnic, but if there’s any chance they’ll be exerting their bodies to the point of heavy panting, they can wait until later to eat. Make sure they take a break every so often and allow them to sip water once their breathing has slowed a bit.
Watch Out for Critters and Creepy Crawlies
Humans are far from being the only species that enjoys warm summer weather. Biting and stinging insects like bees, wasps, and flies are on the hunt for sugar and pollen. Be sure to cover sweet drinks and store food in airtight containers once the family is finished eating. You don’t want your dog or winged guests rummaging through your leftovers.
While exploring the rest of the park or picnic area, keep your eyes peeled for anthills, skunks, and other forms of wildlife. It’s common for canines to aggravate ant colonies, wasp nests, porcupines, and skunks with their overly curious nature.
Before you hop in your car and head home, be sure to check everyone for ticks! July is also around the time we begin to see more cases of Lyme disease contraction. If you haven’t considered doing so already, pick up First Aid kit with tweezers, burn cream, sting relief, and any other tools that you feel are pertinent to your family’s needs.
Have fun, and remain vigilant!
Whether you’re devising a hike through the Grand Canyon with your pet or heading for a dip in the crystal clear waters of the Florida panhandle, you’ll want to double up on preparation. Take a second look at some of the pointers below in case you missed a few things on your checklist!
Get the Right Crate
With planes, there are very few exceptions for animals to be permitted in the cabin area. More often than not, your pet will be crated in the cargo section for the duration of the flight. There are generally strict requirements for what’s considered “airline approved.”
Some of the conditions for proper kennels include things like wheels, so that handlers can easily roll your pet on and off the plane. Crates must have solid walls without any openings aside from a metal-grate door. You’ll also need to take photos of the kennel and send it to the airline prior to boarding.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of searching for one, you can order a pre-approved crate straight from the airlines themselves.
Shot Records & Identification
Your dog or cat may not typically wear a collar or tags at home, but they absolutely must while vacationing! Should your pet end up lost, the finder can help to reunite the two of you much quicker.
Most animals will flee the scene of a car accident, so don’t neglect to have them chipped with updated contact information! Campgrounds and places that allow pets are quite firm about providing proof for rabies vaccination, at the very least. It doesn’t matter if your cat or dog is on a leash, park rangers will issue tickets for animals without ID.
Stay Safe With A Floatation Device
The policies for travel by boat will vary depending on the type of vessel, but there are plenty of cruise ship lines and ferries that allow pets to roam the deck. If you’ve set the date for a cruise with your furbaby, be sure to get them a life jacket as well!
The Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 cruise is accommodating enough to provide floatation devices for their four-legged guests, but you should still purchase one of your own to be on the safe side. Even if your pup is an avid swimmer, large bodies of water can pose a danger to both humans and their pets.
If your dog or cat were to fall overboard (God forbid), a vest would ensure that they’re able to keep their head above choppy waters until help arrives.
Invest in A Portabowl
Travel takes a lot out of us, and there are times when it’s just as exhausting and stressful for our pets to be in unfamiliar places. Hydration is important for the whole family, but your dog can’t drink from a water bottle…not without a struggle, anyway.
Portable water and food bowls are the perfect on-the-go tool. They’re foldable, washable, waterproof, and space-friendly for packing. Choose a collapsible silicone option for portioning or one of the soft drawstring containers that sub as a carrier for kibble and treats.
Remember to offer your pup a drink regularly, and keep your “portabowl” on hand!
No one knows for sure, but the best estimates by geneticists say the first domestic animal was the dog and at first they were just tamed wolves. That was between 13,000 and 30,000 years ago. Through the ages, dogs have evolved into many different breeds for many different purposes. The one thing they all have in common is that they can all be our closest friends and greatest allies. This is definitely one thing nature got right!
Each year since 1981 we’ve set apart the first week in June to celebrate this amazing relationship. There is so much to appreciate about our four-legged buddies. They assist people every day to have a better life, from living more independently to recognizing signs of stress and illness. They lead the blind, hear for the deaf, and comfort the anxious. They find lost children and pull swimmers from the water. Dogs work alongside their humans on the police force, in the military, and one the farm. Guarding us and keeping us safe, they lay near our feet where they are the most content.
We all grew up with noble canines like Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Beethoven, Marley, and Toto. But the most important dog that ever lived is sitting by your side right now, happy to simply be in your presence. There is nothing the world can throw at us that can turn our dog’s devotion away from the human he adores and he doesn’t need wealth or fame to make his world perfect.
So what will you do this year to show your dog how irreplaceable he is? Here are a few suggestions.
Feast your friend! Dogs are omnivores, meaning they need all kinds of food to get their proper nutrition. And while it’s best to stick to the diet you and your vet agree on, an occasional treat will be delightful to dogs. They can pretty much eat the same foods you do, but avoid sugar, alcohol, chocolate, grapes, raisins, garlic, macadamia nuts, onions, and the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Small portions, too, please!
Let your pooch splash in a “doggie pool” (kids’ pool).
Take him for a walk and let him choose the direction and how long he gets to sniff a spot (he’s checking his “d-mail”)!
Get down on his level. Lie down on the floor with him. It’s so funny to watch his glee when he’s got you on his territory!
Take a ride in a car with partially open windows (but don’t let him put his head out).
Give him a long, satisfying scratch in all the places he loves it most.
Set up a doggy play-date and take him to the dog park to play with his friends. Let him do what he pleases and enjoy the summer sun with him.Maybe you’ve been appreciating other people’s pets until now, but this year is your year to get a dog of your own. Check out your local pet shelter or rescue group and get a friend that will appreciate you as much as you appreciate him!
It’s no secret that owning a dog of any age costs money! Between teething, food requirements, special needs, and vet appointments, pets can burn a hole in your pocket rather quickly. Here are 5 ways to reduce the impact your dog has on your finances without skimping out on care!
Reduce Kibble Consumption
While there are some reputable and healthy kibble options, the ingredients are tough on an aging canine. Heightened levels of potassium, protein, and Vitamin D in dog food can cause renal failure over the span of several years.
Not to mention, they’re usually fairly expensive!
Instead of feeding your pup strictly kibble, consider decreasing portions and subbing the remainder of their meal with natural fruits, veggies, oats, and bone broth. They’re tasty, healthy, and give you more control of your dog’s dietary needs.
Don’t Cheap Out On Toys
This is where the phrase “you get what you pay for” comes into play. Low-caliber bones, toys, and chews are sure to be torn to pieces within days, if not minutes! Brands like Kong cost just a bit more, but are sturdy enough to withstand large breeds and are perfect for teething puppies.
Instead of a $12 rawhide that will likely tear up your dog’s gums and their intestines, try a $30-$40 deer antler. Buck bone doesn’t break off into smaller, easy-to-swallow pieces. They last for months, so you aren’t constantly having to re-purchase chew toys.
Housetraining and Senior Care
Potty pads may not be enough for the owner of a puppy that needs house-training or an older dog with a fickle bladder. They’re made for single-use, and if they aren’t picked up quickly enough you run the risk of liquid seeping into your carpet or hardwood floor.
Alternatively, you can try faux-grass pads! They’re rinsable, reusable and available both online and in-store. The “grass” portion can be removed from the outer box and replaced if necessary. Even if it does need to be refreshed every few months, it’s still more budget-friendly than using several pads per day!
Low-Cost Veterinary Care
Anything from a hurricane to a car crash can alter a pet owner’s life and financial circumstances. To help those who are struggling, mobile veterinarians frequently hold community events for low-cost vaccination, tags, and chipping.
Animal welfare groups such as the SPCA and Humane Society also offer vouchers for free spaying and neutering based on your zip code and availability. There’s no extra appointment fee for any of these visits as there are with a typical vet appointment.
The only payment required of the owner is the cost of an Elizabeth collar post-surgery…AKA, The Cone of Shame. They cost anywhere from $12-$20 depending on the size of your dog.
Discounted Monthly Medications
Monthly flea and heartworm preventative can stack up over time, but the risk you run by not purchasing them could be devastating to your dog’s health. Buying one pill at a time is rather expensive, but buying in bulk could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars over the span of a few years.
Pets Megastore is an Australia based company that allows you to purchase the same brands of medication your pet needs here at home, but at much lower rates. If you’re unsure, you can always check out reviews for specific products and see what kind of experiences others have had before buying anything.
We mostly find them indoors napping along a window sill, but cats love their exercise just as much as we do! If you’re looking for a furry friend to accompany you on adventures but you’re not much of a dog person, why not try a cat instead? Believe it or not, our tiny, domesticated lions and tigers haven’t lost their touch. Even in their smaller size, they’re still keen, highly intelligent hunters.
Here are some of the most active breed varieties, don’t let the dog lovers have all the fun!
These felines aren’t just loving companions, they’re true-blue athletes. Not only do they love to jump about and sit atop a high perch, but Bengal cats are also avid swimmers. Take them out to the family’s favorite lake or for a beach-side excursion and watch how quickly they take to the water.
It’s best to keep them leashed outdoors as Bengals have a high prey drive. Should your kitty find themselves distracted by a bird or a squirrel, it’s likely that they’ll chase their target up a tree without a second thought.
Owners who enjoy playing a game of catch will love the Abyssinian breed. Brightly colored and noisy balls, ropes, faux-mice, and spin-machines are perfect tools for interacting with your Abyssinian. They’re considered to be highly intelligent, smarter than most other breeds of felines, and in need of a challenge.
Like a dog, the Abyssian excels at following commands and learns how to do tricks rather quickly. While you’re at work, these kitties are more than happy to entertain themselves. Just don’t leave them alone for too long, or they’ll make use of toys that belong to you.
If ever there were a cat that could be a best friend to your little ones, it’s the Oriental Shorthair! This especially true for the Harry Potter fans of the family considering how much they resemble the house elf, Doby.
This extremely vocal breed has large, fox-like ears that are perfect for a few hours of hide and seek. Like the Bengal, Shorthairs are instinctively inclined to chase anything moving at high speeds.
Get a feathered throw toy and watch them go after it again and again. The Oriental Shorthair enjoys the water, and will likely follow you right into the bathtub. Just be careful to dry up any water that ends up in those massive ears!
These googly, green-eyed cats behave like an extra shadow. All they want is to be right next to their owner and included in whatever it is they’re up to. Burmese cats are among the most powerful domesticated breeds despite their fluffy appearance.
That said, these guys are gentle giants. They’re highly social, happily scoping new faces and surroundings. If you plan on taking them outdoors for a walk around the neighborhood or to explore the backyard, keep them leashed! These kitties have their own agenda and will quickly wander away if left unattended.
Summertime and the living is easy… or it should be, anyway. When the sun turns up the heat, finding things to do that are fun and safe is sometimes a challenge. Here are 12 activities we recommend that will make this the best summer ever for you and your fur buddy.
- Go take a hike! Seriously. Take your dog with you and hike shady trails. Finding places that are dog-friendly to hike is no problem since the world is at our fingertips online. But to make things even easier, here are some awesome National Parks that allow dogs on the hiking trails. Check out the websites for particulars about hours, rules, and restrictions.
Yosemite National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
North Cascades National Park
Shenandoah National Park
- Camp out in the wilds. Take Fido on your annual camping retreat or just overnight. Dogs love it when we enter their world, and camping with your pup is sheer heaven to him. Here are the simple rules:
Never leave him alone. Your fur buddy should not be left behind when you leave camp, even for a short while. Keep Fido on his leash in camp. Most parks and camping areas have a six-foot rule, which means the leash can’t be any longer than that.
Pack it out. Human waste and dog waste alike should be removed in plastic bags.
Snuggle down together. Most places require your dog to be with you in your tent or your car when sleeping.
Provisions for your pet. You can let your dog carry his own backpack, but be sure you pack it with a bowl, water, and kibble for him to eat.
- Backyard BBQ and splash party. A fenced yard allows you to barbecue your dinner outside in the cooling evening, and your pup will have fun splashing in his doggy-pool or trying to catch the sprinklers while it’s still hot, too.
- Make frozen treats together! Even the kids can get in on this one, and believe it or not, our list of frozen treats are kid-friendly, too.
- Shoot your dog. Okay, we mean with a camera, of course! Here are some helpful tips to get those Instagram-worthy photos of life with Fido. The number one tip from professional photographers is “take lots of photos.” Turn off the flash. Get down on his level, and get playful.
- Water sports. Taking your dog to the beach or a lake can be the most fun you’ll have all summer. Three things to remember: Give him water to drink. Lots of it. Give him someplace to get out of the sun (an umbrella, a tree). His feet get hot, too. Let him rest on a towel where his feet can cool off when he’s not splashing in the water.
- Teach that old dog a new trick. In just minutes a day, you can teach a new trick to Fido. Keep the sessions short and stop before he’s bored.
- Have a picnic. Many parks have facilities for picnics. If allowed, your pup will enjoy spending time with his two favorite things: you and food.
- Tour area dog parks. Look for parks with shade and grass to play in.
- Check out Starbucks secret menu and treat him to a Puppuccino
- Join PupScouts and find friends and activities to earn badges together. Scouting was never this fun!
- Take him out to the ballgame! Here are some dog sports that use balls. Flyball, catch ball, diving for balls, and of course, chasing one as many times as you throw it (but play in the early morning or late evening so he doesn’t get overheated).
- Go take a hike! Seriously. Take your dog with you and hike shady trails. Finding places that are dog-friendly to hike is no problem since the world is at our fingertips online. But to make things even easier, here are some awesome National Parks that allow dogs on the hiking trails. Check out the websites for particulars about hours, rules, and restrictions.
Allergies are common in pets, especially when Spring pops up and so does all of the pollen. Many of us humans are affected by the pollen that flies around and we get the indefinite sniffles, coughs, sneezes, and puffy eyes. Not only can allergies be miserable for humans, but they can be miserable for our furry friends.
Asthma can also affect both cats and dogs during this time. Here are some signs and symptoms that you should look for in your pets to make sure that everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and the outdoors.
Allergies are common in pets
Ah, the pretty grass and the bright new leaves! Everything is so fresh and new but what else is new is all of that tree and grass pollen. Depending on where you live will also depend on high those pollen rates are going to be. While humans are affected by seasonal allergies, so are cats and dogs, and knowing what affects them can certainly help you keep them from chewing their fur off.
Does your dog seem to be chewing and licking their paws more often right now? Are her paws getting red and inflamed? If so, then you probably have a case of allergies with your fur baby.
The same can manifest in cats. They can have skin and ear infections, also chew on their paws, and have wheezing, coughing, and sneezing. Keep a close on these symptoms in both cats and dogs since their symptoms generally will devolve a lot faster than in a human.
Pet Allergy Symptoms
- Chewing of their paws
- Ear infections
- Coughing & sneezing
- Wheezing, especially if they have asthma
- Skin irritation and inflammation
How do I prevent allergies in my pet?
Bathing, pet food, and even mild medications can help keep your pet a lot more comfortable during the Springtime allergens. Also, talking with your vet will help you figure out what the best course of action will be for both of you. Here are some of our suggestions (yes, even if you have a cat, some of these can be used, but contact your vet before giving either your dog or cat any kind of human medication).
- Bathing: regular bathing is always going to help your pet’s skin be moisturized when using the right shampoo. If your pet is more susceptible to allergens, using the right medicated shampoo will help alleviate symptoms. While Dawn seems like a great shampoo, during high allergy season, make sure that you’re bathing your dog and cat with the right shampoo and save the Dawn for your now pollen-covered car.
Also, something else that you can do to help your dog after you have gone out on a walk is to make sure that you wipe down his coat with a soft cloth and clean his paws before coming back into the house This help keep the pollen outside and keep your pet comfy inside
- Pet food: Cats are especially affected by low-moisture food, and allergies can only increase their skin irritation. The same can go for dogs, too. Make sure that you’re feeding your dog and cat the right food that can help them retain the right body weight as well as the right amount of retained water. Also, some foods can contain allergens and contaminants that can also exacerbate allergies when going outdoors. Make sure you consult your vet if your Fido or Fluffy has seasonal allergies.
- Antihistamines: Use these sparingly and, again, consult your veterinarian. Antihistamines can help alleviate symptoms in your pets if they are showing a lot of signs of an allergy – paw chewing, scratching ears, skin irritation, etc. PetMD has some great advice on how to administer medications to your pet that is showing allergic reactions.
Pets can have asthma, too
While not usual, pets can also have asthma. It’s an allergic reaction to environmental stimulants, so you’ll need to pay special attention to your cat or dog if they also have allergies. Beyond just pollen, perfumes and dust in your house can also affect your pets. Here are some symptoms that you should look for.
Asthma symptoms in pets
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Coughing & sneezing
- Weakness or fatigue
- Pale or blue gums (see your vet immediately if this happens)
Preventing asthma in your pets
- Don’t smoke around your pets, especially in enclosed areas
- Refrain from aerosol sprays like hairspray
- Don’t use perfumes
- Try to use natural cleaners as much as possible
- Make sure your floor cleaning products are pet friendly
- Bathing your pet regularly
- Clean the little box regularly
Still not sure? Make sure that you make an appointment with your vet to go over all of the symptoms that you see to find out what’s ailing your cat or dog. Keeping up with their pet food, regular shots, and regular wellness exams will keep you, your pet, and your veterinarian up-to-date on what’s going on with your pet’s health. Also, now might be the time to consider some pet insurance, too, so you’re always protected against any emergency problems that might arise in the future.
The warm weather that we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! It’s time to throw off the sweater and hit the outdoors in your sleeveless shirts. But there’s another little guy (or girl) who’s been waiting to enjoy the beautiful sunshine as well: your loveable pooch!
Your dog wants to play around in the sun and flowers, too, and there’s nothing they would like better than to enjoy the day with you. With this in mind, you would really benefit from getting in a good workout with your dog. But what sorts of workouts could you really do with your doggo? What is the best way to exercise with your dog?
No need to fear! This article will give you some good ideas as to what you can do to have a fun dog workout with your pup. Keep reading to find out more!
1. Standard Curl Workouts With Your Dog!
Everyone loves a good curl, so why not switch out the ol’ dumbbells with your four-legged friend? This is an easy workout to do, as well. Simply gather your dog around your forearms and go for a nice lift. Don’t forget to do a few sets to make the workout worth it!
2. Go for a Walk!
The age-old workout with Man’s Best Friend! Going for a walk is one of the easiest things to do, and you get to see a whole set of sights and sounds. Just strap on the doggie lease and you’re ready to go.
3. Do Some Doogo Squats!
Time to get those legs strong and toned! Doing squats with your dog is simple to do. Hold your dog in your forearms and keep them close, then go down for a nice squat Make sure you keep good form!
4. It’s the Right Time for Hiking!
Want to upgrade your walking challenge? Try going on a hike! Hikes are a challenging way to get your blood pumping and strengthen your connection with your best friend.
5. Try Puppy Pushups!
These are easy to do, as long as your dog is willing to stay on your back. Simply use your doggo as resistance as you do traditional pushups. Doggy licks are almost guaranteed to be your reward.
6. Planks With the Pooch!
If you can’t do a pushup, don’t worry; planks are a great option as well, and they work your core even more than a traditional pushup. have Fido act as resistance as well on this move.
7. Don’t Forget to do Yoga!
Yoga is not only good for you, but also for your pup. There’s flexibility and mental calmness involved for both you and your pet, and both of you will grow stronger because of this great workout.
Get Going With Your Pup!
Now that you know how to workout with your dog, you can have tons of fun with them over the coming sunny months. Make sure that you enjoy spending time with your pooch and get toned and fit with your best furry friend!
Have you wondered if you have tuckered out your dog too much but he’s still wanting to have fun? Well, there are telltale signs that your Fido may be getting too much exercise. We’ll go through things that you should look for in your dog and how to make sure that you both are being safe yet healthy.
Exercise is Good
Exercise is good for both you and your dog. When you do exercise together, you continue to strengthen your bond and create fun and lasting memories. It benefits both your physical needs as well as your mental needs, maintains muscle mass, and continues to have long-lasting health benefits. Coaxing your furry friend off the couch, and yourself as well helps cardiovascular health, decreases obesity, and helps maintain a healthy weight. So, get out and start having some fun.
So, how do you know that your dog has had a bit too much exercise? Let’s dig into that but we’re not going to bury a bone here. We want to make sure that you are keeping your doggo healthy but protected.
Pause for the Paws
Whether it’s Summer or Winter or any other time of the year, you’ll always want to make sure that you keep track of Buster’s paws when you’re exercising.
During the summer months, the pavement can get extremely hot which can burn and blister his paws while you’re out walking. Try thinking about taking your furry friend out for early morning walks or taking a drive to the local dog park. Keeping his paws off of the pavement will definitely keep his paws protected. If you’re in an urban area, pavement covers up to as much as 45% walking areas. On a steamy, hot summer day, asphalt alone can get up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Ouch! Who wants to walk on that?!
Adversely, the winter months can have the same effect to your pup’s paws. Snow, ice, and salt can also take a toll on your dog’s paws. Getting some booties for their paws is always good, especially when you’re active.
Regardless of when you’re exercising with your pup, make sure that her paws are protected and always check them when you get home.
We all get it, especially when we get back out to working out again. Sore muscles and stiffness are also things that your dog can get if they get too much exercise or too much in a short period of time. You will need to make sure that you watch your dog for any signs that they refuse to get up, get down, move, or have a hitch in their steps. These problems can result in too much exercise. To make sure that you and your dog are working well together, take exercise a little bit easier. You go out for your run in the morning and do light play with your dog after you get back. Both of you get some exercise, mental stimulation, but you’re both protecting each other from overdoing it.
If you have a dog that has a strong work and play drive, you will have to be extra careful and extra cognizant of their movements. You’ll need to look for stiffness, potential aggression, passiveness, or favoring a leg. These can all be telltale signs of overworking and over-exercising your dog.
Don’t Forget The Joints
With everything mentioned above, too much exercise can cause some join damage like sprains and strains. Since about 60% of a dog’s weight is on their front limbs, excessive exercise can lead to a lot of various problems. Depending on the breed of your dog, over-exercising can put your dog’s limbs at risk for injury. Low-to-the-ground dogs like Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, and Pekinese can be easily at risk for joint injuries.
Also, the age of your dog can also have an effect on too much exercise. A dog that is younger can withstand longer walks, while puppies and senior dogs need shorter walks. Puppies can go on multiple walks throughout the day while a couple of shorter walks for senior dogs is a good choice.
It’s good to know the signs of your dog and what they are going through. Keep exercising, but also make sure that Fido and Maggie are also getting the best and most comfortable exercise.
Entrusting a stranger to look after your beloved pet is a difficult decision for any owner to make. Who’s more qualified, the kennel facility, or the pet sitters you find through apps such as Rover and Wag? How can you be certain that your furbaby ends up in good hands?
What to Look for In a Kennel
While the rates for pet hotels tend to be higher than those of a sitter, the best facilities offer services that your neighborhood dog-walker can’t! Most kennels provide professional bathing, grooming, training, along with live surveillance that can be accessed from your phone. You’re able to see who interacts with your pet the most and observe how they’re responding to the stay.
Don’t depend on online reviews for an honest peek into the facility you’re interested in. Take a tour and see for yourself! Is there rat poop in the drains or along the floorboards? Are the individual runs clean and free of urine or feces? Do the animals have proper bedding? Are senior dogs getting the extra attention necessary?
Make sure that the building is up to date with Fire Marshal regulations and ask to see where the extinguishers are located. Some locations keep one or two staff members on-site during the evening, but it’s not uncommon for companies to send all of their employees home after a certain time in the evening.
This is something to seriously consider if you’re not comfortable with your pet being alone for an extended period away from home.
Working With a Sitter
You may have to set up your own surveillance system if you hire an in-home pet sitter, but at least you know exactly who is coming and going. Keeping your furbaby at home also means that they won’t have as much exposure to diseases like kennel cough and distemper. Both are highly contagious, and outbreaks have occurred in boarding facilities.
Give your sitter a mini-interview. Ask them about their experience with animals. If your pet has any special needs, find out whether or not they’ll be comfortable with the requirements. Unlike boarding facilities, you may have better like with the accuracy of online reviews. Look for someone who has repeat clients, lots of photos, and a good reputation within the community of the app or website.
Keep in mind that a cheaper rate doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting an awesome deal. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. It’s no different when hiring someone to look after the thing you love most!
Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the judgment about what’s right for you and your pet. In terms of safety and comfort, where do you think your dog, cat, or otherwise will feel the least anxious in your absence? When you examine each scenario, which option makes you feel at ease?
Take a few nights to sleep on it so that you can make an informed, well-thought-out decision.
This is a very easy concept to teach a dog. It’s just a matter of consistency on the owner’s part.
Step #1: Give the command “go to your bed.”
If your dog actually does go to her bed, make sure to give her treats and praise. Most likely, she’ll need you to guide her. Once there, place her in a down position and give her treats and praise. Then release her. “Good girl!” Repeat that five times or so and quit.
At this point, the dog doesn’t stay on the bed for more than a second or so. You’re just encouraging her to go to her bed and giving her rewards for it. Remember to have some sort of word to release your dog from her bed such as “free!” or “ok!
Step #2: Begin increasing the distance.
Increase the difficulty very gradually so the dog is successful. At this point, you could tell your dog to go to her bed when she is about six feet away from it. Once she is successful from that distance, work from 10 feet away and then across the room.
Step #3: Increase the time.
You’ll most likely be practicing this step along with step two. Basically, you want to teach your dog that “go to your bed” means “go to your bed and stay there until I release you.”
Ideally your dog would then stay on her bed for up to a half-hour or more while you’re doing something else but you need to gradually work up to that point.
If your dog knows the command “stay” then it’s OK to use that to encourage your dog to stay. Personally, I don’t like to use “go to your bed” and “stay” because “go to your bed” implies the dog should stay.
At first, you’ll only expect your dog to remain on her bed for five seconds while you’re sitting right next to her. Give her treats and praise. Then release her with – “free!”
If you have an older dog, you may not want to leave them in a kennel when you’re away from home. Instead, you might want to look at some of your options for elderly dog care. Here’s how you can make sure your senior dog receives the level of care that it needs.
1. Search For Care Providers That Specialize In Senior Dog Care
While some dog kennels just provide basic care, there are providers that offer more specialized services. If you find a provider that specifically offers care for elder dogs, you can assume that they’ll be able to properly care for your pet. Take the time to see if there are options like this near you. You may also want to call dog kennels and ask them about their experience with elderly dogs.
2. Look At In-Home Care Services
Your dog may not be comfortable staying in a kennel, especially if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time. Thankfully, there are care providers that will take care of your dog in your own home. Your dog will be able to stay in a comfortable environment while still getting care from a professional.
3. Read Plenty Of Reviews
You should always be careful when you’re leaving your pet in someone else’s care, but you should be especially cautious if your dog is older. Take the time to read through a number of reviews so that you can see what people have to say about various local care providers. Try to find some of the best options in your area.
Focus on finding the best options for elderly dog care. Senior dogs are more prone to health problems, which means they need more from a care provider. Your pet is an important part of your life, and you should make sure your animal is properly cared for when you aren’t there.
While some dogs are content to sit on your lap and look cute, working breeds have a different agenda. These are the dogs that are bred to hunt, herd, retrieve, and detect. They were born with an urge to work, and when they’re bored they tend to be mischievous and destructive. Working dogs like Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Border Collies, Newfoundlands, and all the others thrive on farms and ranches where there’s never a shortage of things to do. But what about the dogs that live in the suburbs or city? Their families have 9-5 jobs; they’re not farmers or ranchers. So what’s an average dog to do? If your active dog is getting bored of life not on the farm, try these simple jobs for working breeds that they can do almost anywhere.
1. Scent Games
Your dog doesn’t need to be a professionally trained scent detection dog to put his powerful sniffer to good use. K9 Nose Work is a dog sport based on the same training those drug-busting and ivory-finding working dogs undergo. But instead of sniffing out illegal objects, you teach your dog to recognize and detect the smell of birch, anise, and clove. There are competitions where dogs earn titles and awards, but you and your pup can enjoy the game right in your home, in the yard, or on the trail. It works your dog’s mind and body while giving him a satisfying job.
2. Find it Games
In addition to scent, dogs use all their senses to track down items and even people. Think of search and rescue dogs but without all the peril. Teaching the “find” or “go get” cue will be your first step. Once your dog understands the basis of the game, you can teach him to find and fetch all kinds of useful objects. Teach him to bring you your shoes before a walk or carry over his own leash. You can even teach him to seek out specific people and pets. Retrieving breeds love this game because it’s based on their natural instinct to find things and bring them back.
3 Trick Training
Once your dog has mastered basic obedience, it’s time to move on to trick training. It’s not one of the most useful jobs for working breed dogs, but learning and performing tricks gives a dog a purpose and sense of accomplishment. The best part is, tricks are fun for both ends of the leash. There’s no end to the list of potential tricks you can teach your dog. Start with the easy stuff, like roll over and spin. With these types of tricks, you can lead your dog into it by luring him with a treat. From there, try teaching him to open and close the kitchen cabinets, weave through your legs, or jump through a hoop. Once he has a nice repertoire of impressive tricks, put them all together to make a routine that’ll impress all your friends and family.
The easiest way to know how to keep dogs warm in the winter is to learn when it’s too cold for dogs to go outside. This means knowing what the temperature outside is with the wind chill factor AND knowing whether other serious conditions are expected.
When it’s 20˚ F outside, it’s too cold for any dog to be walking. Above 20˚ F it may still be too cold to walk if conditions are icy, very windy, or if your dog is very young, old, or has a compromised immune system. If it is safe to go out, make sure to keep walks short and keep your pup wrapped up warm with their feet protected.
Invest in a Winter Jacket or Sweater for Your Dog
Not all dogs will benefit from a sweater or jacket, but many dogs can. Hairless breeds should always wear some type of winter dog clothing in cold climates. Short-haired and small breeds should also always wear a sweater or jacket to help keep them insulated during winter.
You should also always consider getting a jacket or sweater for your elderly dog, sick dog, a young puppy, or immune-compromised dog. We’ve published some great articles that can help you find the right jacket or sweater for your pet:
Protect Your Dog’s Paws
While this isn’t really a tip about how to keep dogs warm in the winter, it is a tip on keeping them safe. When winter arrives it often means chemicals being spread on sidewalks to prevent icing. These chemicals can absorb into your dog’s paws and end up being ingested if your dog licks their paws when they get home.
Even if chemicals aren’t spread to prevent icing, sharp ice pieces or objects are hidden under snow can be dangerous to your dog’s paws. You can protect your dog’s feet by purchasing hard sole booties for walking or purchasing protective paw wax to protect against chemicals. If you rely on paw wax, it’s important to clean your dog’s paws when you get back home every time you go walking.
DON’T Make Your Dog Sleep Outdoors
A dog should never be made to sleep outdoors. As social animals, dogs want to be close to their family and the isolation of being an “outside dog” is torturous to them. It is particularly important to have dogs sleep indoors during winter months to keep them protected against the cold. Even with outdoor shelter and housing, it’s possible for dogs to succumb to the cold or become ill. The best advice on how to keep dogs warm in the winter is to keep them out of the cold and weather as much as possible, meaning invite them inside. As an alternative, you can always provide your cold pet with a dog house with a heater.
Limit Outdoor Playtime
Some dogs just love to play in the snow, but you should monitor and limit outdoor playtime during the winter. Just like human children, dogs can get caught up in playing and forget to monitor their body temperature.
It’s up to you to monitor your pup and make sure that they aren’t spending too much time out in the cold. Ideally, your dog should spend just 30 minutes or less playing outdoors at a time, according to veterinarians. Of course, if temperatures are dangerously low, they shouldn’t be outdoors at all!
Let’s face it, when you buy a dog, the thought of any illnesses further down the line is something that most of us don’t anticipate. To discover that our pooch has a disease can be heartbreaking and traumatic. But fear not, the effects of diabetes in dogs are very similar to those of an adult and are much easier to manage than you first think.
If you have recently discovered that your dog has diabetes, know that lots of dogs live a normal and active life.
Although Diabetes is incurable, depending on the severity of the condition, diabetes in dogs is easily managed through time, commitment, medication and the managing of your dog’s diet.
Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in dogs and it occurs when the body fails to respond to the hormone insulin.
The organ held responsible for not doing its job properly is the pancreas – the small organ near the stomach. When a normal dog eats her food is broken down into tiny components, one of those components is carbohydrates.
When the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, the glucose fails to get into your dog’s cells and builds up to a dangerous unhealthy level, this can lead to other conditions in your dog health such as cataracts.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs
Luckily, there are lots of signs that might point you in the right direction when diagnosing your dog with Diabetes. Bear in mind that these symptoms won’t necessarily occur at the same time.
If you are concerned about your dog’s health and notice any of the below signs, take her to a vet straight away.
Increased appetite If left untreated, diabetes can advance and you may notice these symptoms:
•Sweet smelling breath
Although the first few weeks after your dog diagnosed with diabetes may incur some disruption in your life, your vet will set about creating a management plan for you both, and things will settle down rather quickly.
Having a new puppy is just as great as having a new baby. If you are not able to be with family this Thanksgiving, you’ll want to spend with your furry friend. Here are ideas for making Thanksgiving all about your pup.
Watch the dog show: A great thing to do on Thanksgiving Day is watching the National Dog Show! Cuddle up with your pups and watch all of the beautiful dogs strut their stuff. It’s always fun to daydream about showing dogs and what’s better than cheering on dogs as part of your Thanksgiving festivities?
Go on a walk or hike: This year I have created a Thanksgiving week challenge, which entails taking your dog on a walk every single day of that week. Take a nice morning stroll on Thanksgiving Day or go on one in the evening to walk off all of those delicious calories.
Cuddle by the fireplace: Grab some hot cocoa and a blanket and cuddle up with your pups in front of the fire. How cozy!
Take photos! Your friends and family will double-tap, like and share your selfies with your new puppy. Dress up with your favorite fall sweater and capture the moment with your best friend.
Play indoor games: I know many states already have snow. If you are in a place with snow, play some indoor games like ‘hide and seek’ with your dog. You can also teach them some new tricks using Thanksgiving food as positive reinforcement.
Remember that not all Thanksgiving foods are safe for dogs. It is best to consult with your vet before giving your dog human food, even in small amounts.
The Borador, (border collie lab mix) despite sounding like a holiday destination, is actually the most reliable dog you could wish for. This intelligent and loving canine is the result of mixing a Labrador Retriever with a Border Collie.
Due to the high intelligence of the Collie and the Labrador’s want to please people, these pups are a dream to train. They respond best to positive reinforcement and reward, with a consistent routine. The Labrador’s scavenging nature means food rewards are top of the list.
They are extremely energetic, so ensure you meet their daily exercise needs. Most owners of these dogs boast their dog as being the friendliest dog ever; most suited for families and the easiest to train.
As both of his parents have working backgrounds, you could argue that the Border Collie Lab Mix is a working dog. However, as it’s a mixed breed, and is not currently registered with any major Kennel Clubs, it is classed as a companion or designer dog.
To understand more of this seemingly perfect family companion, let’s have a look at his parents in more detail.
The Border Collie. An agile herder with an impeccable work ethic. It took a while for the Border Collie to be recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995. Border Collies are renowned for their speed and athleticism, often being the dog of choice in agility rings. Their astounding intelligence, ranking number one of all dogs’ breeds, and work ethic mean they are a dream to train.
The Labrador Retriever ranks number one for popularity with The American Kennel Club. The Labrador was first registered with the English Kennel Club in 1903 and then by the American Kennel Club in 1917. The Labrador is often used as a working dog, but it has seemingly gained. It’s popularity for its family companionship instead. Labs are renowned for being friendly and super people orientated. They are energetic and happy; they love nothing more than playing ball in the yard and hiking in the woods. Equally, they love chilling on the sofa at the end of a busy day.
If you are considering a move to an apartment with your dog, or perhaps you already live in an apartment but are considering buying a dog, there are a few important things to consider. Loving your pet and giving them the proper care they need while living in a confined space can be difficult, but with these tips, it’s not impossible.
Consider A Smaller Breed: Be realistic about the size of your apartment versus the size of your pet. Great Dane’s in a one-bedroom 500 square foot apartment just aren’t practical. While a large dog may be your preference, while living in an apartment you may want to reconsider and go for a small or medium dog breed that will be more comfortable in smaller spaces.
Devote Dedicated Play Time Daily to Your Pet: You absolutely cannot neglect the much-needed playtime on a daily basis. If you want an unhappy, loud and destructive pet then stop playing with them. This isn’t just taking them for a walk to do their business, but active playtime. Get them to chase balls, play with the kids and run off energy. That means you need to find a nice local park or area where you can take them daily for playtime.
Don’t Expect Too Much: Be realistic. No animal will behave perfectly. Understand that there will be occasional barking, accidents on carpet and pairs of shoes that get chewed upon. Work in regular training and consistency to help prevent these things from becoming habits.
Choosing to add a dog to your family is always a big thing to take on. These dog training tips for apartment dwellers are simple courses of action that will help you to make the most of a tight space with your beloved pet. Consistency in routine and behavior training is key to success. Choose a dog wisely that will fit into your family dynamic, as well as the space you have available. Not only will this make apartment training that much easier, it will keep your family happy as well.
Do you have allergies to dog dander? If so, you’re not alone. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that as much as 10% of Americans are allergic to dogs. If you are allergic to dogs and you love them, this can present a problem, but not one that’s insurmountable. The first step is to arm yourself with the facts. Here are a few things you should know.
What Causes A Dog To Shed?
It’s normal for dogs to shed. Even though the idea of a “hypoallergenic” dog is popular, no dog is truly, completely hypoallergenic. They all shed to some extent. But if you’re allergic to dogs, don’t give up your quest to find a dog you can live with just yet. Some dogs shed much less than other dogs. And some dogs shed so little then it’s hardly noticeable.
Dogs shed in response to the amount of daylight. The change in seasons affects their hormones and tells them when it’s time to get ready for winter (grow more coat); and when it’s time for spring (shed, grow new coat). Things like the temperature, the dog’s individual health, genetics, and diet also affect shedding. It’s not unusual for an intact female dog to shed after going through a heat cycle even when she hasn’t been bred.
Dogs may also shed after a stressful event such as surgery, an illness, giving birth, trauma or accident, or even traveling in some cases.
Myths Regarding Shedding
There are a lot of myths about shedding in dogs.
Myth: Dogs with longer hair shed more. This is false. The length of the coat has nothing to do with how much or how often the dog sheds. A shorthaired dog can shed just as much as a longhaired dog. It may be more noticeable when a longhaired dog sheds but some shorthaired dogs such as Beagles and Pugs seem to shed all the time.
Myth: People are allergic to dog hair. Not exactly. If you’re allergic to dogs, you are usually allergic to dog saliva, urine, and dander. Dander is the tiny bits of dead skin that flake off the dog’s body. Dander is so small that it can be airborne and inhaled by humans. All dogs produce dander because they have to shed dead skin. (We all do.) Dogs that are known for being “hypoallergenic” don’t spread much dander around.
Myth: Low-shedding dogs are also low maintenance. Mostly false. Many of the dogs that don’t shed or don’t shed much do require some special grooming. If you get one of these dogs, plan on visits to the groomer.
When it comes to buying a dog there are so many options. You can choose by a specific breed, hair type, and even personality, but age also a factor you should consider when buying a dog? Many people dream of raising a small puppy from the beginning of its life and forming an unbreakable bond. It’s a well-kept secret that adult dogs can adjust very well to new home environments. Read on to learn more facts about buying adult dogs versus puppies.
- Potty training – One of the biggest differences between an adult dog and a puppy is potty training. Most adult dogs have already mastered the skill of potty training. Puppies require more patience as they learn to navigate the timing and location of potty training. One of the things to consider when buying a dog is your own ability to invest in potty training. Not only will you need to purchase pee pads, and odor eliminating cleaner, but you will also need to invest time and have patience because potty training doesn’t happen overnight. If you live in a space where accidents would be frowned upon, an adult potty-trained dog might be a better option for you.
- Bonding – We don’t call dogs man’s best friend for no reason. No matter the age, dogs have the capacity to develop special bonds with their owners. It is true that dogs are imprinters. This means that as soon as they find someone who’s trusting and loving to them, they will attach to them and always try to protect them. No need to worry if an adult dog will love you the same as a puppy. Both adult dogs and puppies will love and adore you the same.
- New tricks? – The old adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks doesn’t always prove to be true. Dogs are continuous learners no matter their age. Like babies, puppies are learning through experiencing their environment, while adult dogs have a handle on reality and learn through patterns and routines
Whether you choose to buy a new puppy or open your home to an adult dog, there is no denying that your heart and home will expand to accept your newest family member.
This popular tiny dog breed is packed with a big personality. Maltese puppies have found their way into the hearts of dog lovers across the world… They have created a name for themselves with their larger than life temperaments. We have compiled five fun reasons why we think Maltese puppies are some of the best to own!
They are fun to dress up!
Come on, you know it’s absolutely adorable when you see little puppies dressed up and we like to think that Maltese puppies popularized the trend of dressing up dogs. Because of their tiny sizes, it’s almost impossible not to find clothing for them. Whether your pup is a male or female, they are cute and stylish in every outfit!
They can go everywhere with you.
At their maximum weights of 7 pounds, they are the absolute perfect size to accompany you on any trip, whether it’s in a car or on a plane. It goes without saying that they are also perfect for apartments. If you’re a first-time pet owner, getting one of our Maltese puppies was a great choice. They are rather low maintenance dogs.
They come in many types.
Did you know that Maltese puppies come in many hair types? They range from long hair to short hair, there are teacups, pear-head shaped ones, and even apple-heads. It sounds funny, we know, but they truly exist and each is a cute as the other.
They’re loyal to their owners and family.
People purchase Maltese puppies because they are cute, for sure, but they also may have heard about their loyalty. These beauties will defend you to the end…well as much as they can! Their protective nature and barking make them excellent watchdogs. Who doesn’t love that?
Let’s face it! Small, teeny tiny puppies aren’t for everyone. We get it and respect it, so that’s why we’re talking about our big and bubbly Saint Bernard puppies! Take a look below to learn more about this breed.
Happy Go Lucky
Saint Bernard dogs are known for their sweet dispositions. Sure they are large and sometimes people may be intimidated by their size, but there’s no need to be with these big babies. Our Saint Bernard puppies have been raised in such a way that they will bring joy and peace to your home. In general, they are perfect for families with kids so don’t shy away from getting one…or two!
Health and Size and Exercise
Forget about stumbling over small dogs being underfoot! Your Saint Bernard is far from it. They, on average, weigh anywhere from 100 pounds to 150 pounds and they are pretty muscular underneath their shiny, long coats.
Like any other dog, they are prone to specific ailments like the following:
- Cherry eye
- Hip dysplasia
They typically have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
Other Interesting Facts
- Get one of our Saint Bernard puppies if you want a dog who likes to exercise because he does and he needs it. They have strong work ethics, plus exercising provides them their required mental stimulation. Dog sports are a perfect outlet for him!
- To keep your Saint Bernard dog’s thick coat looking luxurious, you’ll need to take him for regular grooming. There’s really no getting around it unless you’re a professional stylist!
- We’ll keep this brief. They slobber…a lot!
- No matter where you live, when you purchase one of our Saint Bernard puppies, you can rest assured that they can thrive in both cool and warm climates. Be sure to provide them with air conditioning when it’s hot and heating when it’s cold.
We’ve written an entire post about our Labradoodle puppy because they deserve it.
These big and beautiful pups have so much more to offer than a photo op. Take a look at five reasons we think you should consider getting one of our Labradoodle puppies.
Labradoodles belong to the working dog breeds group and that’s because they’re incredibly smart and quick to learn. Guess what. All you need to give them is 15 good minutes of training each day and you’ll have one of the most intelligent dogs out there.
Their Vast History
The Labradoodle dog rose to fame in the mid 1950s as one of the first hybrid breeds. The puppies were initially bred by mixing Labs and poodles by creator Wally Conron, who recently stated he regrets created the dogs, as their existence opened Pandora’s box for designer dog breeding.
We’ve already talked about their intelligence, but we haven’t begun to cover their overall affable dispositions. These dogs are the creme de la creme! They are smart, sweet, eager to please, and great with kids. Because they are such family dogs, they absolutely hate being alone for long periods of time. They truly thrive off of being around family and they feel oh so sad when they’re left out…so don’t!
They’re Great Watchdogs
As watchdogs, they will fiercely protect your home and anyone in it. Just because they’re sweet doesn’t mean they aren’t ideal home protectors. Trust us, you don’t want to challenge Labradoodle puppies who have grown to adults.
Their Activity Levels
Because they were bred as outdoorsy working dogs, their activity levels reflect that. Be mindful of outside activities during the summer because their thick coats can make them extremely hot and overheat. Overall, they are rather active dogs and they will benefit from daily exercises and they will enjoy every minute of it!
You’ve finally decided to purchase a Cockapoo puppy. Now what? Do you know what to expect in the first few months with your new dog? If not, don’t worry. Here are 3 tips on what to expect.
Cockapoo puppies love to be around their families and don’t like to spend too much time alone. Because of this, you want to make sure that you spend as much time as possible with your new dog. This is a great way to establish a bond with your pup, which is important.
Provide your dog with exercise – lots! When you found your Cockapoo puppy you may or may not have known that they need daily exercise. This is especially true for puppies. You want to tire them out! Take them for several walks a day to get them used to the process and also to expend some of their natural puppy energy. A tired puppy is one of the least destructive ones!
We recommend that your puppy is in your sight at all times. When they are away they can be a bit mischievous. Close all doors and keep your puppy confined in the same room where you are. The last thing that you want is a puppy wandering around your house unsupervised. This is most likely when accidents occur and when they can chew on things they shouldn’t!
Taking care of Cockapoo puppies isn’t a hard task if it’s done correctly. What we want to reiterate is making sure that you spend as much time as possible with your new puppy during the first month of their time in their new home. In order for them to establish daily routines and understand that you’re the leader of the pack, they need quality time to be invested in them. In doing so, you’ll create a loving bond that won’t be easily broken!
There are lots of things to love about dogs. They don’t call them man’s best friend for no reason. Dogs are extremely special and therefore they need special love, care, and attention. We’ve decided to share three reasons that we love dogs to celebrate the bond between man and dog.
1. We love dogs because they love us!
Dogs are one of nature’s sweetest creations. Dogs care so much about the people that they build bonds. They feel our emotions which can make it hard for them to see us suffer. Even on your worst days, you can count on dogs to love. Every time you come home; they celebrate your arrival. Dogs offer a special kind of love that everyone should experience in their life.
2. We love Dogs because they require care
Dogs give us a purpose because they have needs. Most dogs need to be fed two to three times a day in order to be well cared for and maintain a healthy weight. With that said, dogs must also be taken on walks daily so that they get the appropriate amount of exercise to keep them healthy. Caring for a dog can help treat depression and keep you healthy.
3. We love dogs because they add value to our lives
Dog’s age in dog years is not the same as in human years. For each human year dog’s age 7, so the time they spend being a puppy is pretty short. As dogs start to age, they should be looked after and cared for just the same as you cared for them when they were puppies. They need close attention so that they can have a complete high-quality life.
The friendship between dogs and humans is an amazing connection filled with mutual love, trust, and care.
Just like humans, dogs have personalities. Some dogs can be larger than life, while others are shy. Choose a dog whose personality compliments yours is a recipe for success. Here are three personality types with breeds to match.
The Adventure Seeker
If you love to scale mountains and have an overall passion for the outdoors, the famous Labrador Retriever is exactly the dog you need to be your sidekick. These dogs are known to love outdoor excursions and lake days because they are excellent swimmers. They are not afraid to get messy, and there is very little that they fear. They are loyal, trusting, and natural survivors.
The Affectionate type
If you love cuddling and enjoying time with the family, then you will need an affectionate and family-oriented dog. Frenchie pups are one of the most fun and loving dogs that enjoy every moment spent with their family. Frenchie pups understand younger children’s playtime needs but also respect the boundaries of your older children too. Frenchie pups are super affectionate and do not like to be left out of family time.
If you are the life of the party, then you will be well suited to an outgoing dog breed. The Pug has always been known for being extremely outgoing. These dogs attract a lot of attention and know-how to make strangers smile. They are also not afraid to communicate their needs. These dogs do not grow to be that big in size so they are not intimidating.
Finding the right puppy for your home and your family doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. Understanding the common personality traits can help you narrow down your selection. Keep in mind that every dog is unique therefore there is no predicting individual behavior, likes or dislikes of a puppy. Getting to know your pup’s true personality is the fun part of puppy parenting.
Summer is coming to an end and your puppy will have to adjust to the new season of Fall. There are several ways you can make your pup more comfortable in your apartment as the seasons’ change. We take the utmost pride in educating our pet parents. Here are three things you can do to make your apartment the perfect home for your puppies.
Easy on the Air
The hot days of summer require constant use of air conditioning. Your dog may have fur, but pups prefer natural air over air conditioning. On a cool crisp fall day, opt for opening your bedroom or living room window and letting the fresh fall breeze enter your apartment. Your pup will be relaxed and comfortable breathing in the natural air.
Purchase a crate and become educated on crate training.
Crate training is great for apartment puppies, as it helps to keep relatively small spaces cleaner and provides structure for your pups. We provide in-depth details on crate training to all puppy parents. We also carry a wide variety of crates. Our staff can assist you in finding the perfect crate for your new apartment companion.
Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean your puppy isn’t ready for some fall outdoor fun. Apartment puppies, especially some of the larger ones, will require exercise and will love some playtime with other pups! Venture out and find a pile of leaves for them to jump in or visit a local dog park. Fall mid-range temperatures are perfect for spending time outdoors. Plus, early socialization is important, but so is establishing a routine with your pup for elimination purposes. Your apartment community may actually have designated walking trails and areas for its residents’ dogs. Some are spacious and some are just patches! Do your research – it could be a fun venture for you and your pup!
Purchasing a puppy is an unforgettable experience, similar to bringing home a new baby. Your new puppy is a new member of your family and will soon be exploring his new home. Preparing your home for his arrival is an essential part of caring for your pup. Below is our advice on the three most important rooms you should puppy proof.
First, we recommend that you use child-proof cabinet locks where hazardous chemicals are stored. Puppies are smarter than you think and can learn how to open cabinets to explore, hide and play inside. If possible install toilet clamps to avoid your new puppy drinking from the porcelain bowl. There are tons of dangerous items such as medication, razors, cotton balls, and swabs and even soap. When you buy a pup, some things don’t necessarily seem harmful, but they are. Shampoos and tissue can be digested and cause unnecessary discomfort to your dog. It’s best to keep those items high atop or simply put away so that they’re inaccessible. Teach your family members to close the bathroom door as the ultimate puppy proof mechanism.
Just as in the bathroom, add kid-proof cabinet locks to all of the low- level kitchen cabinets. Since kitchens are bigger there are more things that your pup can get into. Make sure that your trashcans are sturdy and have tops that can’t be pried open and consider putting your trash can in a cabinet or in the pantry. Don’t leave food and drinks on tables and countertops and be extra cautious with low hanging tablecloths and drapes. Also be sure to store plastic grocery bags out of sight, or just switch to reusable cloth bags to be extra safe and environmentally conscience.
Living Rooms and Dens
The family room is a place where your dog will feel just as comfortable as you, so you want to make it safe for him. Move magazines and remote controls in places where he can’t reach. Put away loose items, including decorative throw pillows. Teething puppies will enjoy gnawing on them, so move them! Cover electrical power cords and strips and also install outlet covers.
All of these tips are for the benefit and preservation of your pup’s good health and well-being. You should keep the local animal poison number handy and readily accessible. Contact us should you have questions or concerns about how to puppy-proof your home and keep them safe at all times.
Have you ever seen a small person walking a large dog and wondered how and why they do it? Some people just love big dogs. Today we are going to discuss a few facts about large dog breeds that may leave you thinking bigger is better.
Large dogs will undoubtedly scare away intruders and serve as great house guards. They’re loyal and protective qualities make them wonderful crime deterrents! Their sizes are intimidating and so are their barks. Depending on which of the large dog breeds that you own and their personality, they may go the extra physical mile to protect you. It’s important to understand that not all large dogs are guard dogs. Some are gentle giants who love making friends and playing rather than fighting crime.
Big dogs rarely go unnoticed. During walks, car rides, and at the dog park they garner lots of attention. Large dog breeds are admired by the public, and you can’t go out with them, without someone asking, “What kind of dog is that?”. If you are an introvert, you might have to adapt to conversations with strangers and extra-long walks with frequent stops while people adore your dog.
Most large dog breeds are gentle and goofy giants! They can handle a little rough play with toddlers and they’re far from fragile like little purse pets. They also require a lot of exercise and space to run and stretch their legs. Their big size can often mean increased energy, so you might have to take extended walks or jogs!
Also, big dogs tend to have heavier jaws which can cause them to drool and slobber. They even can sling spit across the walls of your home when they shake their heads after a long refreshing nap. They mean no harm it’s just one of the many ways big breeds show their love.
Have we made our case for buying large dog breeds? We think so! They’re tons of fun and you should get you one! Come by our store today.
August is a great time to enjoy the trails with your dog. The end of summer temperatures are mild enough for you both to enjoy a midday hike. Time in the open air can help us unplug from technology and bond with our pet companions. While there are no rules regarding breeds best-suited for hiking, we’ve compiled a list of the top five best breeds for hiking. Read on to see if your dog makes our list.
1. Labrador Retriever
There aren’t many things labs aren’t good at, and unsurprisingly, they make wonderful hiking companions too. Rugged, outdoorsy dogs, labs love going on adventures, have the bodies to tolerate tough terrain and personalities that make them quite well-behaved when you encounter other hikers and their dogs.
2. Siberian Husky
As long as the weather isn’t too warm, huskies are great companions on the trail and if it is cold enough to upset your husky, you should probably be indoors yourself. They’ve got energy for days, so they’ll view most of your hikes as warm-up sessions. Their hair can hide an army of ticks, so be sure to give your husky a good bath after every trip.
3. Australian Shepherd
Don’t worry whether or not your Australian shepherd will enjoy hiking – just be sure his leash is secure before you arrive at the trailhead, so she doesn’t leave you in the dust. The combination of their adventurous spirit, incredible energy and happy-go-lucky attitude makes them one of the best hiking companions one could desire. Additionally, despite hailing from Australia, these herding dogs are reasonably tolerant of both hot temperatures and cold climates.
4. Border Collie
Border collies are smart, agile and capable dogs that love to run – what more could you want in a good hiking dog? Most border collies are a bit sensitive, so you’ll want to make sure your dog feels confident out on the trail, so it probably pays to start introducing your pup to the trail from a relatively young age. Border collies will eye-stalk just about anything and everything that moves, but they have a relatively low prey drive, which helps prevent them from dragging you through the forest in pursuit of squirrels, chipmunks and birds.
5. Australian Cattle Dog
Australian cattle dogs are better suited for hiking than you are. They are often a bit much for first-time dog owners, but most experienced puppy parents will find them easy to train and eager to please. Like their shepherd brethren who also hail from the outback, Australian cattle dogs are surprisingly capable of enduring both warm and chilly temperatures. Simply put, few dogs are as well-suited for accompanying you as you travel over the river and through the woods.
Four months old is a wonderful milestone for your puppy. Around this time things begin to fall into place. Potty accidents around the house rarely happen if at all, crate training is a breeze, unruly barking starts to subside. If you have a new puppy here are the milestones your pup should achieve around this time. Keep in mind that every puppy is different so if your pup hasn’t reached these milestones don’t feel as if you’ve done anything wrong. Patience is key with raising a young puppy.
Your puppy gets his rabies vaccination which also signals the time when your puppy’s immune system is well developed. Naturally you will feel more inclined to take your puppy on outings and allow him to interact with other dogs because he is less likely to become ill. If your dog does happen to get sick or show irregular behavior such as lethargy or vomiting a visit to the vet is important because despite this milestone a young puppy doesn’t have the strongest immune system and may need help to overcome a sickness.
• Feeding Schedule
You can change your puppy’s feeding schedule to 1 cup of food 3 times a day. Since your puppy is growing they will need more energy to play all day.
Your dog’s baby teeth start to fall out and as the teeth disappear so does the puppy’s bitey, nippy, mouthy behavior
• House Training
It’s around this time that your puppy has fully grasped potty training. If not, they are usually very close with not much more than 1 accident per week.
• Crate Training
Your pup can usually sleep through the night without incident. They can also tolerate a stay in the crate for short periods during the day without barking, crying, howling, etc.
A few other training milestones that typically occur at 4 months are:
• Good House Manners
• Stays off the furniture.
• Usually not 100% at this age, but your puppy is allowed more freedom around the house.
• Can sit/down and wait for food for 30+ seconds until released.
If you puppy is fast approaching or has reached the 4 month old milestone you can enjoy a new level of freedom as you puppy can showcase these skills.
One of the hardest jobs for new puppy parents is potty training. If you are like most new puppy parents, then you probably have combed the internet looking for help. You may have found the bell method and wondered if your puppy is a good candidate. The answer is yes! Your dog can learn to alert you with a bell each time they need to use the bathroom.
This is an excellent method for apartment or condo dwellers. But the technique is also really good for someone with a larger home. All you will need is a simple bell that can be placed on the floor or hung from a door with a string.
We’ve compiled some simple tips but keep in mind it’s all about repetition and responsiveness. Once your puppy associates the bell with being let out, they will ring it each time they need a bathroom break.
Start showing your puppy how to ring the bell by taking his paw in your hand and ringing the bell. Use a simple command such as, “Out” with each ring of the bell and reward your dog with a treat. It may take a few days or weeks, but your dog will soon begin to ring the bell with his paw without your help. Be sure to reward with a treat each time.
Once your pup has got a hang of ringing the bell, move the bell over towards the door you want your dog to go out. Do the same program, but as your dog rings the bell, use your command word, open the door, go outside and reward as you start walking through the door to encourage your dog to follow you. You can do this several times a day, and since you will be outside most of the time your dog will naturally want to relieve himself. Give a reward each time your dog uses the bathroom.
Soon your dog will expect the door to be opened after ringing the bell, so feel free to add the leash into this routine. Be consistent. Your dog will pick up on the association that ringing the bell equals potty, so follow the same pattern each time. The bell rings. The door opens. They go potty. They get rewarded.
It’s not uncommon for your dog to start ringing the bell more than it should because he just wants to go out or be rewarded. You can prevent abuse of the bell by only rewarding when your dog goes to the potty. If your dog doesn’t potty, bring him back inside. It’s important that he knows the bell is for potty, not for play.
Your friends and family will be in awe of the fact that your dog rings a bell to let you know they need to go out.
We all have a few bad habits that we have picked up over time. Like humans, dogs can pick up some bad habits as they grow. Lucky for us, it’s easier to break a dog’s unwanted behavior than change our own. Dogs learn by association. They are bound to repeat an action that is rewarded. Below are two of the most common bad dog habits—and how to break them.
Chewing, especially in puppies, is not a bad thing. Dogs chew on things to release some pent up energy. Not only that, it keeps their teeth and gums in good shape. But to everyone’s annoyance, dogs often chew inappropriately—destroying plants, cushions, and shoes in their paths. Your dogs must learn what objects are meant for chewing and what is not.
Instead of punishing them for inappropriate chewing, give them chew toys and treats to distract them. Practice positive reinforcement, every time they choose to chew on their toys instead of household objects, by praising them or giving small treats.
Begging for Food
We know those puppy dog eyes are hard to resist, but if your dog is constantly begging for food in the table, you probably have reinforced that behavior in the past. As hard as it is, you must be consistent not to feed them while you’re at the dinner table or snacking in front of the TV.
Over time, your dog will learn that begging will not give them what they want and will stop the unwanted behavior. You may also train your dog to stay in his bed while you’re eating or plan his meals around your own, so that he will be busy chowing from his bowl while you’re busy eating on your plate.
The most important thing to remember to break a dog’s bad habits is make sure that they only get a reward when they do good. This doesn’t mean you should opt for negative reinforcement such as yelling, or other forms of punishment for your dog. Instead find ways to redirect your puppy to positive behavior and reward them for their actions.
Good things do come in large packages – Extra large dog breeds are a prime example. There is a whole lot of joy packed into those 100 – 200 pound bodies of gentle giant breeds. These gentle giants usually have a mild, often comical temperament. Many are great family dogs.
Things to consider before buying a gentle giant dog breed
- Be prepared to adjust your budget to their often large appetites. They need high quality foods, low in carbohydrates and supplements to keep them healthy.
- Life expectancy can range from 8 – 14 years. High quality dog food and nutritional dog supplements can help extend and add quality to the extra large dog breeds life.
- An extra large dog breed will require equipment tailored to their size; large dog feeding bowls, large dog beds and large dog toys.
- Prepare for some work in the grooming of these giant dog breeds. Your home bath tub can prove a bit small when attempting to wash these dogs. Consider professional dog grooming or rent a tub at a self serve dog wash.
- Many of the extra large dog breeds do quite well in apartments and smaller spaces as long as they are provided with regular exercise in the form of walks and trips to dog parks
- These big dog breeds can also be great with kids and love to play and romp with them, often seeing themselves as one of the kids. Care must be taken when selecting a giant dog breed if you have very small children. Often these larger breeds do not realize their size and can be quite clumsy, knocking over smaller kids.
Here are a few gentle giant breeds and their known character traits
- Great Dane – One of the tallest dogs. Friendly, known as “the gentle giant”. Short hair.
- Saint Bernard – Extremely gentle. Long hair.
- Rottweiler – Reliable and loving with their family, very protective. Short hair.
- Mastiff – Gentle with family, excellent with children. Shorter hair.
- Bull Mastiff – Good natured, docile and affectionate. Shorter hair.
- Newfoundland – Calm and gentle. Long hair.
- Irish Wolfhound – Gentle, also one of the tallest dogs. Shorter hair.
- Akita – Docile, affectionate, courageous. May be dog selective.
- American Bulldog – Loves children, loyal, not hostile. Short hair.
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog – Not aggressive, loves to please, excellent with children. Long hair.
- Black Russian Terrier – Protective, loves children, needs to be close to owner. Longer hair.
- Bloodhound – Mild-mannered, lovable, very gentle. Short hair.