Skip to Content for Porch Potty Blog

Archive for June, 2011

Massaging Your Dog

Jun 29, 2011

The bond you share with your pup is special; it is something that is reinforced by time and respect. There are many things you can do to spend time with your four-legged friend, like a walk in the park or a game of fetch. But after all that exercise, sometimes it is nice to get a good massage. Not only for you, but your doggy enjoys them as well.

Relaxing and bonding time

photoSpending a few minutes relaxing your pup can help with many things. Anxiety can cause unsettlement in a pup when they know something is going on. Even though you may not be aware of it, dogs know when you are about to leave, or even when they are going to the groomers or vet. Giving your pup a nice massage can calm them and relieve stress. Plus it helps build that bond between the two of you.

Rub your pups coat gently, letting your fingers move their skin around in soft circular motions. Just petting your pup does not loosen their muscles, your fingers rubbing against their flesh is quite relaxing, the same as it is on a human. Starting close to the ears, you can relieve the stress often associated with car sickness (motion sickness). Since the inner ear controls balance and direction, a pup often loves it when you massage the neck and ear area. Just be careful if your doggy has had some ear infections recently, as that may only cause discomfort. Another massage favorite is the chest area. Laying your pup on their side, you can lift their foreleg up and stretch their legs apart. Then you can begin to rub their chest in a clockwise motion. Do not rub the other direction because the clockwise motion is necessary. It is the direction that their circulatory system flows and helps to assist the blood flow. This particular massage stimulates their heart and lung area, keeping your pup healthy and happy.

The paw massage

Another favorite that can ease the stress of clipping toenails, is the paw massage. It is similar to a hand massage for humans, and has the same relaxing effect. You start out by spreading their pads and toes apart and rubbing each individually. Rub gently, so that you do not hurt them or cause discomfort. This stimulates blood flow into the paw, keeping their pads healthy and strong. You can take advantage of the situation to inspect their pads for sores or other problems. If you can you may sneak in a quick nail clipping (some pups don’t like this). After you’ve finished rubbing their pads, hold their paw in your hand for a few seconds and then release. This massage can be one of your pup’s favorites as it is very calming. Some pups don’t like you messing with their feet though, so be careful with this technique.

So next time you and your pup got a little bit of time to spend together, give him a good massage to ease his stress. With a good healthy pup by your side, you two can enjoy a great life together.

Bookmark and Share

Your Dog And Your BBQ Events

Jun 27, 2011

It’s summer time and with it comes celebration. We always enjoy a good barbeque, and so can our canine friend. Visitors come over for the celebration and everyone enjoys a good meal. There are some dangers that you need to help your pup avoid though.

photo

Always make sure the gates are closed

Your yard needs to be secured so that your pup doesn’t escape into the wilderness of the world. Make sure that all the gates are closed, and your pup is safe. As you begin to cook, keep in mind that matches and other items should be kept away from your pup. Matches may seem harmless in the paws of a dog, but they contain phosphorous which is deadly to them. Once lit, the grille will be hot and boiling grease will likely drip down.

Burns are another great danger

Keep your pup away from this. They may smell the grease and want a taste, leading to burns as the hot liquid drips down onto them. Also be sure to keep any trash out of your pup’s reach. Bones and plastic utensils can hurt a dog’s insides, so be sure your canine friend does not have access to your garbage.

Harmful foods

As you enjoy your meal, it will be hard to keep your pup under control. They smell that good food, and can’t always help themselves to want it. Inform your visitors not to feed your pup, as greasy and spicy foods can build up in their pancreas and may lead to an inflammation. Other foods to be very weary of are onions, avocados, grapes and raisins. These are very toxic for a dog, and you may end up at the vet’s office. Most of all, don’t give your pup alcohol. It may seem funny, but it is very bad for them. The alcohol can hurt their respiratory system and dehydrate them. Treat your pup like your child, keep an eye on them, and don’t let them get into mischief.

Other dangers with common summer items

There are some other dangers that come with a cookout. Things like bug-spray and other insect repellant should be kept out of reach. This is especially true for candles that give off repelling fumes. Fireworks are also a danger to your pup. They may get excited and pounce on them, and the noise can often hurt their sensitive ears. During the day, the summer sun can kiss your pups nose, so you might consider applying a dog formulated sunscreen to protect your pup. At night, glow-in-the-dark jewelry is fun for the kids just don’t let them leave it around for your pup to chew on. The chemicals within are poisonous. Take care not to leave any other items around that your pup might happen into. With all the family and friends around, it can be tough to keep up with what gets left on the ground, or in a place where your pup can get to.

Having a great holiday is important, but be aware that your pup may find mischief. Keep an eye on them and don’t leave anything dangerous where they can reach. They are clever animals, and enjoy spending time with you. By keeping your pup safe from dangers, you can ensure a safe and happy barbeque for you and your four-legged friend.

Bookmark and Share

What To Expect From A Pet Massage

Jun 24, 2011

A good massage for your canine friend has more than just the benefit of their wagging tail. It is a great way to improve their health and get older dogs feeling better again. There are therapeutic places that offer the services of massaging your pup professionally. Massages are beneficial to several bodily systems in a canine, and help keep them healthy even in their later years.

What’s a therapeutic massage?

photo

Therapeutic massages can help stimulate circulatory system functions. This is especially good for an older dog, or a pup that is still healing from surgery. The stimulation keeps the heart and lungs functioning well and keeps the blood flow to all parts of their body. Regularly, simply giving your pup a good rub-down will keep their nervous system keen and in good working order. The stimulation helps their skin and coat health, while it also helps to remove excess fur that can get all over your furniture. A good rub-down helps to relieve a dog’s boredom as well. Often times, as a pup gets older, they may become less active. Massages keep their mind stimulated and help refresh them so that they can continue to enjoy time with you. With a good massage, you can help your pup to maintain a healthy heart.

Stimulate the nervous system

Another advantage of massaging is that it helps to stimulate the nervous system in your doggy. With the blood flowing well, so do the sensations. A pup tends to loose feeling in their paws as they get older. Massages can help stimulate the nerves and keep them on all four feet, so that they are not compensating to keep weight off their paws. Therapy related massages can also keep the fluid flowing between the joints of an older dog. This is especially helpful because arthritis tends to attack these areas and cause your canine friend pain. They may not show it because they will shift their weight, and make their other legs work harder to compensate. Massaging can also be beneficial to digestion in your pups belly. The rubbing helps food along the digestive track and keeps their body working well. By making sure they get a good rubbing, you can keep them lively and happy on your afternoon walks.

You may ask of therapists or your veterinarian questions about what you can do to massage your pup at home. Find out what kind of techniques you can use to help keep them healthy and active. Keep in mind that you will want to know what areas are sensitive, and spots to avoid while massaging, so that you don’t irritate, or hurt your four-legged friend. Inquire what areas you should concentrate on and how to massage them. This is very helpful especially during recovery and the healing process after surgery.

Emotional benefits

Overall, a good therapeutic massage has many healthy benefits for your canine friend. And, there’s also the emotional benefits, too.  By rubbing and massaging between visits, you can build a solid bond with them, and keep them happy. Massaging keeps your pup in the best of form as they enjoy a long healthy life with you.

Bookmark and Share

Prepare For Summer Safety

Jun 22, 2011

The sun is out, the summer is hot, and your canine companion is panting in the heat. Summer’s official start was just yesterday, Tuesday, June 21st!   Trying to keep your pup safe from the heat can be a pain on its own. But there are other dangers that the summer brings for your four-legged friend. Chemicals, insects and even a cool swimming pool can prove a hazard to your pup’s well-being.

photo

Pools are dangerous

Around the house, pools can be a danger to your doggy in a number of ways. The pool itself can prove a water hazard to some pups that can’t swim well and fall in. The edge may be too difficult to achieve, and steps may not be available to get out. Make sure that your pup stays away from the danger zone. Maintaining a pool requires chemicals that are poisonous in concentrated doses. Chlorine tablets and other detergents need to stay out of your pup’s reach. Some of the newer pools now use a salt solution to maintain the water. It’s overall much safer, but if your pup begins to drink far too much of it, it can result in dehydration and or salt poisoning. Something that serious would have to be treated by a veterinarian.

Fleas, ticks and worms

Outside your home, bugs and insects of all sorts come with the season. Fleas and ticks are a nuisance that every pet owner is familiar with. These nasty rascals can be quite annoying, carrying dangerous diseases and can make your pup scratch with a fierceness.  Mosquitoes can carry the dreaded heartworm disease that is plenty bad for a canine. There are several different types of preventatives for insects that include food supplements and topical solutions. Get with a veterinarian and find out what kind of repellants would be best for you doggy.

Sunburn

Getting sunburn is common for us humans, but dogs can get burnt as well. Sensitive areas like the tip of their nose and ears are vulnerable to the sun. There are special sun-screens for pups that are safe for the PH level of their skin. Do not leave your sunscreen around for your pup to get though. Licking small amounts off your skin won’t hurt them, but in large quantities, the chemicals in sunscreen can do lots of internal damage to your companion.

Overall, keep your eye on your pup during the summer, make sure he doesn’t get to hot, and is as comfortable as you. Stay cool and keep the dangers out of reach for your mischievous pal.

Bookmark and Share

When Your Partner Interferes With House Training

Jun 20, 2011

It can be a difficult time when your pup first joins your family. Training is the starting point of the relationship and can decide how your pup will continue to act in your household. Outside interference can obstruct the training process and side track your canine companion, preventing them from learning to cope in the new environment.

Family disagreements

photoThrough the training process, it is crucial that your pup develop a bond with your other family members. Ensure that everyone is involved in the training process, so that your four-legged friend can develop a bond with everyone. This helps to prevent insecurities while you are away. If you are the only person in the household the pup trusts, when you leave they may feel abandoned and express trepidation by destroying furniture or relieving themselves in the house. It can get messy, so you want to avoid the situation by building your pup’s trust with your partner.

There are pheromone collars that can help when a pup seems nervous around your partner. There are also nutritional supplements that you can ask your vet about to help keep your four-legged friend a little less nervous. If there still seem to be problems with your pup misbehaving and acting out when your partner is around, you may consider consulting the vet to check if there are any physical reasons or problems. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Lack of trust

If your partner and other family members seem to cause a disturbance with your pup, it may simply be because there is a lack of trust amongst them. You and other family members should use a leash to walk the pup around in the park regularly. The sights, smells and experience have been proven to help create a bond between the pup and the person at the end of the leash. Canines associate all the pleasure and fun with whoever is walking them. If there is still a problem, allow your partner or family member to offer the pup the treats from now on. This will help the pup to understand that they are also a companion.

Taking the time to train your pup as a team will greatly improve your canine friends bond with your family. Keep your pup happy with all the love your family has to offer.

Bookmark and Share

Exactly What Is Crate Training?

Jun 17, 2011

Your four-legged friend has just joined your family, and now the training must begin. The first few months are crucial in setting the appropriate standards by which you wish your pup to follow. Crate training is often times pictured as a cruel way to train, when in fact it can be very beneficial for your pup to experience. Crates range in a variety of sizes and types that will fulfill your home and canine friend’s needs. A simple travel carrier may work, or a steel crate may be necessary so that your pup can see their new world around them. Crate training can help them to adjust to a new world, help them potty train, and feel as though they have a personal place in your home.

photo

The crate training method

Crate training is essentially a method by which you help your pup adjust to your household by offering them a secure place to spend time. Time spent in the cage is necessary to get the pup familiar with the fact that this is your home. Too much time in the cage can be bad for them though. Don’t leave them there all the time, because it’s not a nice thing to do to your new friend. It should be a place they sleep, and spend a few hours of the day. It will help to relieve anxiety your pup may feel when traveling or when you leave the house. The crate offers a dog a place to retreat to if they are nervous or they want to be left alone to chew on their favorite bone alone. By teaching your pup that the crate is their own personal spot, it helps them to build self-esteem and feel secure in a much larger home.

Increased security

Dogs by nature are a den animal. They like the security of a place in which they can be and feel safe. This can help adjust them to your home and new atmosphere. Crates can come in a variety of sizes, allowing your companion the space they require. Crate training allows a dog the comforts and security of their own personal spot that they are in charge of. During the first few weeks of their new life with you, giving them time to retreat and stay in their crate can help to build a bond with their home. Feeding and sleeping are recommended within the crate because of the safety it provides for a pup. Because of the nature of a dog, they will not want to relieve themselves where they sleep and eat. Crate training offers a very helpful hand in potty training a pup. Just make sure that you take them out when it is time to potty. The crate is beneficial to training your pup in all aspects of life.

It is necessary to not create a situation in which they believe that the crate is punishment. Don’t make them feel that this is a bad place to be; make them feel that it is a comforting retreat. By doing so, crate training will assist you in helping your pup to adjust to their new world and find a happy place in your home and heart.

Bookmark and Share

Your Dog’s Health And Summer

Jun 15, 2011

Like us humans, our canine counterparts are just as susceptible to the hot summer months. Keep an eye on them, especially if they spend a lot of time outside during the hottest times of the day. Because sweat glands only exist on a dog’s nose and paws, pups can experience a tough time cooling if they don’t have fresh water to drink. Keep a bowl of fresh clean water available for them in an area that provides shade. Water that sits in direct sunlight can often get as hot as the surrounding temperatures are.

Keep them cool

There are some products on the market that offer cooling options like bandanas that you can soak in water and will cool your pup in the heat. They will be extra helpful if you have a thick-coated doggy. For close shaven dogs, or any dog for that matter, sunburns can be a problem. Fur does not mean the sun can’t toast their skin just as easily as ours. Companies provide sunscreen for pups, that is specially designed for their skin (remember their body PH is different from humans). Nose and the tips of their ears are often the most vulnerable areas, and a dab of protection will keep their tail wagging.

Heat and parasites

photoAlong with the heat, insects can be a pestilence to our four-legged friends. Heartworm disease is carried by the dreaded and annoying mosquitoes. Other insects like ticks and fleas can give your pup the itch, and leave them annoyed and uncomfortable. Try keeping your friend bathed at least once every three weeks not only to clean their fur and skin, but also apply tick and flea shampoos that will keep that scratching at bay. If you are worried about your pup’s sensitivity to tick and flea shampoos, you can try all natural remedies that have grown in popularity. Garlic juice seems to be a favorite. It does the same thing for a canine that it does for humans, and it keeps the insects away. Before changing your pup’s diet, you should consult with your veterinarian and ask their opinion on natural remedies. As long as those annoying insects stay away from your pup, they will be able to enjoy the summer outdoors.

Keep a visible sign of ownership

Safety is a little general, but is just as important during the summer time. Remember to keep your friendly companion’s collar and tags on, especially when they aren’t in the house. They are more active outdoors during the summer, and as you all know, pups can be amazing escape artists. Don’t let you doggy wander around the neighbor-hood untagged. Aside from their general information, tags are shiny and reflect light from traffic during the night.

Check before you go

Before you go outside to enjoy your daily walk with your pup, remember that you may have shoes to protect your feet, but a pup has only his paws. They are just as sensitive as your hand, although you may not realize it. Check the side walk or pavement with your palm; if you cannot stand the heat, it is probably too hot for your four-legged friend. Try instead, walking in the early morning, or later afternoon when the air is cooler, and the pavement won’t be burning your pup’s paws. Remember to be courteous and thoughtful of your puppy, and he will love you forever.

Bookmark and Share

Its Shedding Time

Jun 13, 2011

Its summer time and all that fur is everywhere. It can be quite an annoying feat to get it off the furniture and out of the carpet. Fortunately there are a few tricks to help avoid that excessive shedding and keep your faithful companion happy too.

Helpful hints

photoDuring the winter months, dogs will grow a natural undercoat to help keep them warm. It is completely normal for them to shed when spring time comes around. You can avoid most of the mess by bathing your pup every few weeks. This keeps them happy and clean, and it keeps excessive shedding off of your couch. During an interview Ms. Bailee Hennis, proud owner of “Dragster” a Welsh Corgie, said “I don’t do anything to keep him from shedding. I do brush him to get extra fur off but I am against giving them pills for it. I occasionally will try a non-shed shampoo, but dogs naturally shed more in summer so it’s kind of pointless.” Brushing your dog’s coat is a plus. It keeps their coat free of loose and dead hairs, and helps keep them cooler. It is recommended that you brush your pup daily to keep their fur off the furniture. Plus they love the attention.

When it will happen anyway

If the shedding around the house is unpreventable, you could cover your furniture with cloth items like towels and sheets. These are easily washable and make cleaning up easier. Vacuuming regularly will keep fur out of the carpet, which will help keep it from being tracked further around the house. A sticky tape roller or even duct tape is very useful for getting fur off the carpet or out of hard to reach places. It is especially handy for clothing. Remember, it is important to get loose fur off of upholstery before it embeds. Unfortunately, if your pup goes in and out throughout the day, mud and debris may not clean up as easily.

What also helps?

When bathing your pup, make sure not to use shampoos and soaps that we humans use. Our bodies are different from our counterparts, so soaps we use on our skin, may actually do more harm than good to a canine. It is recommended that you find a shampoo that is specific to your pet’s needs. If you are unsure about the needs of your companion’s specific breed, you should consult a veterinarian.

You may also talk to your veterinarian about supplemental vitamins for your pup. Nutrients like vitamin A and E will keep your doggy’s skin healthy. Omega fish oils may also keep your four-legged companion able-bodied, and a healthy pup is a happy pup.

Love your pup, and don’t mind the mess.

Bookmark and Share

Dog Friendly Apps

Jun 10, 2011

Conveniently, there are many apps out on the market that are “pet” friendly. Our society enjoys the companionship that both dogs and cats have to offer. That is why companies have begun to help people who love their four-legged companions. Now help is at the convenience of a push of a button.

Traveling with your pup

photoIf you are traveling with your pup, not all of the hotels you pass are going to let your canine friend stay in the room with you. That’s why “Android” has provided some apps that let you locate pet friendly places to stay for the night. “Hotel Planner” is an application designed to locate hotels nearest you. You can even save yourself a room at your convenience. The bonus is that the application informs you of their rules and regulations on your trusty companion. This can prevent the hassle of searching for a place for you and your canine friend to stay for the evening. You’re tired, your pup is tired, you don’t want to be hotel hopping in the middle of the night. You can get ahead by being prepared for your next trip. “Hotel Booking” is another “Android” application that offers similar options, most importantly, being able to locate a nice place for you to spend the eve with your puppy.

Applications by “iPhone” do not yet provide pet friendly hotel locations, but do make your stay in an unfamiliar area more pleasant for you and your doggy. “Paw Trotter” seems to be the most universal app. It provides locations for all kinds of pet oriented locations that range from parks to veterinarian’s offices. If you are out of town, but still seeking some quality time with your pup, this application allows you to search for places throughout the United States. If you come across a new location, they even ask you to submit it as an addition to their provider.  “Off Leash” is another application that uses GPS to specifically search for the five nearest dog friendly parks so that you can get your morning walk in, or enjoy a good game of fetch while out on the road.

Instant answers

If the worst situation happened to occur, “iPhone” offers an application called “PetMD.” It provides information that can help you help your canine friend in a bad scenario. This application may be a handy tool, especially if you are traveling and are not close to a veterinarian that you may trust. While traveling, a “pet doctor” is not always conveniently around. This application provides you with information that can range from broken bones to snake bites, so that you can assist your four-legged friend until you can get them to the vet.  Optionally, “iPhone” offers an app called “Pet Notebook” that stores important information such as shot updates for your companion. This saves the hassle of carrying paperwork with you as you and your doggy enjoy a vacation away from home.

Whether you are on a business trip, or just getting away from the monotony of home, there are several phone applications that provide you and your friendly companion a safe and fun trip.  Enjoy and Woof!

Bookmark and Share

Take Your Dog To Work Day, June 25, 2011

Jun 8, 2011

Every once in a while, we want to experience something different at work to relieve us from the stress that normal day-to-day work routine brings. Companies have days like summer outings or family day, any gig that will change the office environment even for just a day. But what better way to enjoy a day at your office than sharing your day with your dog at work. It’s going to feel like you are home and he will get a chance to meet other dogs to play with.

photoPet Sitters International created the event Take Your Dog to Work Day in 1999 and every year since, the event is celebrated by companies all over the nation to recognize how great dogs can be as a companion.  Both big and small businesses participate in this annual event to show how great having a dog is and encourage people to adopt a canine companion and provide them with decent homes.

The event is a chance to enjoy your office environment with your favorite companion to help you unwind a little even though you are working on stacks of paper work. Imagine an office with cute dogs that your dog can socialize with. Your office will look like a dog park on a Sunday afternoon.

You might think that a pet in the workplace is a bad idea but according to studies, pets in the office help boost the morale of employees and increase productivity. There are actually dog-friendly policies that are being implemented in some companies and this results in less stress among pet owners who have a home-alone dog. Studies also show that those who don’t have a pet tend to enjoy those that they see at the office.

Joining the celebration is a step to welcoming our canine friends to humane society even for just a day. The day will be a time for you to enjoy your dog in the office and not worry about him being lonely or making a mess at home. This is our chance to give back to the animal community.

If your office is supporting this movement, there are guidelines that you can follow in preparing your dog for the big day at the office. Some tips include having your dog on a leash when not in an office or cubicle and having a backup plan just in case your dog feels uncomfortable in your work environment. If you are interested to let your office join the event, there are ways to get involved.

Take Your Dog to Work Day is indeed a celebration that one should participate in, especially for dog lovers out there. Show off your canine friends and promote how they can be a great companion to others. Spread the movement of owning a pet and encourage others to adopt their own. This day will also be your chance to talk about how your dog helps you in any way. Celebrate this event with your co-workers and the rest of the nation.

Bookmark and Share