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Archive for July, 2011

Dog Barks And Baby

Jul 29, 2011

photoYour family has introduced a new member- a baby. Your pup will indeed be intrigued by the situation. Unfortunately, your pup’s barking is upsetting the baby, and can be quite upsetting to the rest of the family. Preparing your pup for the arrival of a baby can affect how your pup will react to this new arrangement.

Pay attention to me

The new lack of attention can cause your pup to bark- sometimes without rest because they feel that you have forgotten about them. It can be difficult to adjust a pup to the attention deprivation, but if you slowly wean them over time, it can help your pup’s anxiety. When the baby does come home, continue your pups routine as scheduled so that they don’t associate the arrival of the baby with neglect. Give your pup toys to play with and treats for being calm. This will help your pup understand that everything is just peachy.

Sometimes your pup may be barking because they are unsure of what is happening. The new scents and smells can cause confusion if they aren’t aware of the situation. Allowing your pup to smell something that has the baby’s scent can help them to adjust. Don’t let them play with the item or interact with it any other way- pawing or licking. Letting the pup see the baby to associate the scent with the child will also help reduce their anxiety and prevent barking.

Refrain from creating an association between your baby and punishment

If your pup does start barking at the baby or barking in general, try distracting them from the situation with a favorite chew toy. Don’t stop them in a negative way, as it will only cause them to associate the punishment with the presence of the baby. Positively altering their attention will prevent them from barking for the time, but you will need to design a plan to prevent them from barking to begin with.

Positive reinforcement goes a long way. When your pup is being quiet, give them a treat and tell them that they are being good. This will help them associate a “calm” attitude with treats and kindness. Teaching your pup to be calm will reduce the likelihood of them barking randomly. If you try to force them to stop or punish them for barking, it may only make the situation worse and increase the likelihood of them barking.
If you cannot stop your dog from barking, calmly and patiently move them to another location- perhaps outside so that they will understand that barking is not allowed around the baby. Don’t associate the place in any other negative way other than they will not be allowed around you or the baby if they continue to bark.

It can also be a good idea to allow your pup routine interaction when you handle the baby. Keeping your pup in the same room while you change the baby’s diaper can help them understand that the baby is part of your family. If you are bathing the baby, and your pup enters the room, don’t chase them out or punish them for doing so. This can cause them to relate the new child as a threat, and can lead to barking.

Organizing a plan to help adjust your pup to the baby’s arrival will greatly reduce the likelihood of barking. Positive reinforcement can help your pup accept the new member to the family, and keep everyone happy.

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Dog+: Dogs Using Social Media

Jul 27, 2011

The social networks of today allow us humans to interact with each other and meet new people and friends every day. Some folks have had the inspiration to create social network pages for their pets in the past to help them meet other pets out in the world. Lately, these networking advantages are now becoming specifically available for your pup.

Creating your pup’s profile

photoAs these newer social media become doggy specific, owners are able to interact with fellow pup owners that share common interests. You can create a profile via the internet to meet people that you would not otherwise have run into at your regular dog park. More practically, if you were an owner of a Corgi breed of pup, you can seek out other Corgi owners in the area near you. This would help people and their pets that share common interests become more interactive with each other. As these owners become more accustomed to using social media, these networks will expand and prove to be a very valuable tool for expanding the social life of you and your pup.

Many uses for dog circles

Doggy oriented social media allows for more companies to interact with pet friendly offers. Vacationing spots and eateries that are pet friendly can now see the pups that they can potentially serve. Creating a network of doggy oriented sites can greatly affect the world our pets live in. These social networks can allow owners the ability to search for doggy oriented places that they may want to visit or simply network with their own community regarding puppy related subjects. You can place information publicly for your fellow pet owners to see and interact specifically with people of a common interest. These networks keep you informed about events such as a fellow doggy’s birthday party so that your pup can enjoy the party. There are even possibilities of setting up a dog-sitter for your pup with a fellow dog owner.

Meetups and huddles

Special collars that are utilized to reference your pup’s movements have become quite popular. They allow you to uplink your pup’s location to social networks so that you can register your pup’s movements and create pet hotspots to let other dog owners get a feel for where the action is. This helps new owners find locations where they and their pups can become a part of a doggy oriented community. This is also a beneficial network if you are visiting a new area and want to find out where you should consider taking your pup. A network like this can greatly assist someone that wants to find a great spot for their pup to enjoy at any time of the day in any location.

These networking abilities have proven their quality for us humans by helping us to find new friends and keep in touch with old ones at our convenience so using them for pups seems to be a great chance to prove its versatility. As social networks become more pup friendly, we can expect to expand the experience of being a happy dog owner.

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Best Resorts And Destinations For You And Your Dog

Jul 25, 2011

You’re considering going on vacation, but don’t want to leave your pup alone at home. Bringing your canine companion along with you on vacation is easier now than ever. More resorts and locations are becoming pet friendly and some are encouraging you to bring your pup. We spend time away from home to help get rid of the stress of everyday life, so why not have your pup join in your excitement.

Dog friendly spots in the area

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When looking for a great spot to vacation with your pup, you’ll need to make sure that there are plenty of dog-friendly spots in the area. If you will be traveling, you will want to make sure that hotels you will be staying at will allow your canine companion. There is a difference between “dog-friendly” and allowing pets into an area. You will want to choose a place to stay that will be more likely to appeal to your pup.

Depending on what your pup enjoys most, selecting a specific spot to spend your vacation will depend on your dog’s nature. You will have to ask yourself what kind of interaction your pup enjoys most. Dogs are much like people; they may enjoy the outdoors, a tourist atmosphere with lots of human and dog interaction, or perhaps just some one-on-one time with you.

Dog friendly parks an dining areas

The city of Austin, Texas offers many dog friendly parks and even dining areas that offer treats to your pups. As the capital of the great state of Texas, there are many touristic areas for you and your pup to enjoy throughout the day. San Diego, California is also another city that offers a large selection of activities for you and your pup to enjoy. Aside from some fantastic interaction on the beach, there are some dog-friendly dining areas such as the Terra on El Cajon Boulevard and the U.S. Grand Hotel that pampers your pet-guests with treats and even their own doggy-bed. When choosing an area for you and your pup to spend time at, you will want to ensure that there are many activities for you and your canine companion to interact with.

Before you settle on a destination, you will need to review any necessary requirements for the location. What kind information you will need for your pup such as shot records and any special tags, or perhaps vaccinations for the area? The size of your pup may be a factor as well. You will want to ensure that your pup meets any requirements for the stay. Inquire about any rules specific to leash laws. You will need to know where and when it is okay for your pup to wander around off leash especially at parks. Some areas will allow this and some will require you to have your pup constantly on leash.

Size matters

There are many places across the country that offer great spots to get away from the consistency of the world, but finding a place that will spoil your dog as well will take some searching. Regardless of where you visit whether it’s a special tourist attraction, national park, or perhaps just a relative, you will want to ensure that you and your pup have a great time.

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What Is A Pawdicure?

Jul 22, 2011

As a pup owner, you understand that your pup needs to be groomed from head to paw. Like us humans pups spend most of the day on all four paws which can definitely put a bit of stress on them. That’s where pawdicures come in. They are similar to what humans call a pedicure.  Some groomers offer this but there are special places where you can take your pup to keep their paws healthy.

A relaxing nail clipping

photoThe process is a relaxing way for your pup to get their nails clipped. Some pups do not enjoy this process, so a little extra spoiling can sometimes be an effective tool for clearing their anxiety. Keeping your pup’s nails trimmed is not only necessary to keep those scratches off of you, but also healthy for them. If a pup’s nails get too long, it can be discomforting for them to walk or stand, or worse they can get hung on carpet and torn out. This is extremely dangerous for a pup as a resulting infection can occur. As a pet owner you will need to ensure careful maintenance of your pup’s nails to keep them healthy and happy.

Moisturize those paw pads

Over time a pup’s paws can become cracked and sore, so places that offer these “pawdicures” offer special spa’s or soaking options for your pup. They can also rub foot balms to re-moisturize cracked or paw pads. This helps heal and comfort a pup’s mitts so that they can stay active on all four legs. These places also offer paw massages to help keep your pup’s feet feeling good. This is also very beneficial for an older pup as the paw massage keeps the nerves in their paws active and healthy so that they can continue enjoying their life even into their senior years.

There are even some places that offer even more pampering when it comes to a pawdicure. You can get your pup’s nails painted with a variety of colors to add to your pup’s style. While this may seem a little odd for folks, it is merely something that you can add on for a great conversation starter, or perhaps your pup likes the attention that they get from this.

Relaxation – together

Some facilities are so pet friendly that while you get a pedicure, your pup can join and get their pawdicure. This is a nice chance for you and your pup to get some relaxation together. As the business world begins to open its doors to the pet world, we can expect to see more of Snoopy’s old signs that say “NO DOGS ALLOWED” coming down and “Dogs Welcomed” signs going up.

Pawdicures are a great way to keep your pup’s paws feeling great and healthy. It can save you a bit of time and let your pup get a little spoiled in the process. Keeping your pup’s paws and nails healthy is the main priority of a pawdicure, but a little extra never hurts. From trimming their nails to massaging their paws, businesses like this can offer your pup a healthy and happy pawdicure.

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And Baby Makes Four

Jul 20, 2011

You and your spouse have been enjoying life with your lovable pup, and now it is time to make an addition to your household. A child is a special gift, and with them, great changes in life will come to pass. This doesn’t mean that your canine companion has to go anywhere though. Life will change for them too, but you can make it a positive experience for them with some preparations.

Begin adjusting your pup for the future

When you first get the good news, it is time to begin adjusting your pup for the future. The house will need to be set up with new territories. A baby and your pup should not be alone together where the baby will be sleeping or playing. Gate the doors off so that your pup will begin to adjust to not having access to these rooms when your baby does arrive. During meal times, consider barring rooms that will be used for feeding to build a habitual schedule for your pup. It will be a good idea to create a safe zone for your pup with either a cage or a room to themselves. Toys, food and water should be available to them here, and consider leaving them in there during certain times of the day to help them adjust. Don’t make the room or cage a “bad” place for them, interact with them still and make sure they are entertained. Slowly adjusting them to the change is best for your pup and will keep them from being “startled” by the radical change of a newcomer.

Introduce baby equipment

photoBegin introducing baby equipment as early as possible. Items like strollers, swings and cribs will change a pup’s environment. This is especially important for older dogs that have some difficulty seeing. The new furniture and environment will slowly adjust the pup to the new changes. You should also consider finding or downloading “baby sounds.” Play the sounds throughout the day to get your pup used to the sounds a baby is going to make. Playing with your pup while this is going on will positively reinforce familiarity with these sounds. One of your pup’s other great senses is “smell.” Begin using baby lotions and powders on yourself so that your pup will become familiar with you and the way the baby is going to smell. While introducing your pup to all these changes, remember to set special times aside for them each day so that they will know that you are not forgetting them.

Manage the meeting and interactions

Once the baby arrives, it may be a good idea to let your pup stay with a friend for the first few days while you get settled in. When your pup returns, though it may be difficult, make sure that you still spend time with them. This keeps your pup’s anxiety levels down so that they will not become aggressive towards the new changes. It is strongly recommended that your pup and baby not be left alone together for at least the first few months. This will give you time to understand how your pup is going to react to the newcomer. As your baby does become older and learns to crawl around, keep in mind that your pup can get hurt from your babies curiosity. Pulling and tugging can startle or hurt a pup and result in retaliation. So it may be best to always keep an eye on both of your “kids” at all times.

Preparations for your newcomer will help your four-legged friend adapt to the new situation. Sudden changes can startle your dog and may cause anxiety as they fear the changes and possible feelings of neglect. Slowly adapting them to the change will help relieve the stress, but to make it positive for them, they will need love and affection during the process.

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Dog Proofing – Preparing Your Home

Jul 18, 2011

Adding a new dog to your house is much like adding a new child. There are certain changes that must be made to your home and adjusting your house may be necessary. Preparing your home for a pup is a good way to prevent both potty and mischievous accidents from occurring. Look through your home and decide what may pose a potential threat to your new pup or what things could be damaged as a result of their curious mind.

Look from a dog’s point of view

photoIf space allows, you may consider a crate for basic training and to provide a safety zone for your pup. This device is designed to be a sanctuary for your pup – not punishment. Use of a crate will help your dog learn not to potty in the house. Another preventative maintenance is guarding off areas that are rarely used. Isolate places such as dining rooms and guest rooms that do not see much interaction, and are an attractive spot for potty time. Consider gating these areas off or keeping the door closed so that they will not be inclined to do their business there.

Because we don’t always know what a pup is thinking, you may want to try seeing the world like they do. Seeing the floor from the waist up will give you a good spectrum of what a dog sees day-to-day. All the things they can get into while curiosity gets the better of them. Seeing your home from the floor up will help you spot things that you would not normally see. Sets of fragile dishes that could get knocked over when your pup tugs on a hanging cloth or towel. Consider also that your pup will probably like to chew. Power cords for lamps and other devices will need to be covered or hidden out of reach. Plastic bags also present a danger to a pup because they can get it wrapped around their head and suffocate. Trash cans can be notorious for this problem. Not just for the mess as your pup digs through them, but if you have a plastic bag liner for the trash can, it could possibly get stuck on your pups head. Try keeping trash cans like this in a sticky door cabinet to dissuade your pup from playing with them.

Consider plants and chemicals

Aside from physical preparations, consider also that there are toxic chemicals and possibly plants in the house that your pup could consume. Household cleaning products should be kept in high cabinets or sticky-door cabinets to keep them out of your pups reach. If you have any plants in the house, you will want to set them up high or you will need to check with your vet for possible dangers to your pup.

Protecting your house from your pup is important, but remember that your main concern should be protecting your pup from the dangers of a house. Putting yourself in their mischievous paws for a few minutes will help you decide what adaptions you will need to make when your four-legged-friend joins your household.

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What To Do When It’s Time To Move

Jul 15, 2011

During a move, your household will endure many changes and stressful situations. This can affect you and your family – including your pup. Your dog can definitely get stressed when they sense the oncoming change. They may feel that you are leaving them too and it is difficult to tell them that they are not getting left behind. There are certain things you can do to help your pup cope with the process of relocating.

Helping your pup cope

photoWhile you are packing, it is best to let your pup stay with a friend if available. Keeping them away from all the commotion will help prevent them from getting anxious. If you can’t find a puppy-sitter, you may need to find a place to isolate them like the backyard. The distractions outside may help keep their mind off of what is going on inside. If you have children, this is a good opportunity to let them all play outside so that you can get the house packed. Keeping a regular schedule will be important for this stage in the moving process. You will want to continue walking, feeding and playing with your pup as though nothing is changing. This will help them cope with the oncoming changes and reduce the fear that you may be leaving them.

Travel preparations

To prepare for traveling, it will be wise to find a suitable pet carrier. Get them used to this device by putting their familiar belongings in it. A blanket that they like to sleep in and some chew toys will create incentive to accept the device. Taking your pup on short drives will get your pup used to the motion and give you the opportunity to know if your pup has motion sickness. If this seems to be a problem, consider seeing a vet to see if they have a sedative that the pup can take for the trip. You will also need to change your pup’s tags accordingly for the new address and any shots that must be made.

Look for pet friendly locations

Planning ahead, you will need to find out about any pet laws and regulations that will be implemented in your new home. Locating dog parks and a veterinarian will be important when moving to a new residence. If your journey will require you to stay the night in hotels, you will need to call ahead and make sure these places will be pet-friendly so that your pup can get a good night’s rest as well. It is not a wise idea to leave your pup in the car overnight or worse yet actually putting them inside a moving van. It will be dangerous for your four-legged friend, and may get a bit messy.

Preparing for a move can be very stressful for you, but make sure that you are considerate of your pup. Remember that you can’t directly communicate with your pup, so you will need to continuously do things to reassure them that they are coming with you. Ensuring that your travels will be safe and your new home will be puppy friendly are essential for your doggy. Keep them in mind, and keep them in your heart.

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Bring Home A New Dog

Jul 13, 2011

If one pup is not enough for you, two may be the answer, and can prove to be a rather exciting event. Dogs- like people- don’t always get along with each other. There are some important things to consider when you want to make an addition to your home. This event will take some time and effort, so be prepared for puppy power…round two.

photoConsider the compatibility of your dog with the new dog. Age can affect the relationship. Young and active pups may harass an older pup, not to be mean, but because they want to play. Try choosing pups in a similar age group. Consider also that the gender of your dogs may play a part in deciding whether or not they will get along. Choosing a male for a female or vice versa seems to be the most compatible relationship. Choose your new dog so that your dog will be able to gain from the new friendship as well.

Take some time to do this right

When you first introduce your pups to each other, you will want to consider taking some time off. Plan the meeting out thoroughly, you want to set it up in a neutral place. The area should be free of distractions, and away from your house and yard. This will prevent your pup from responding aggressively in response to territory. A secluded spot in the park would be a good spot. Use leashes to keep control, but leave slack so that they will not get anxious. Let them sniff and inspect until they seem comfortable enough. Then you should walk the both of them home together. The walk enforces bonding amongst your group and helps to ease tension.

In your home, feeding time should be simultaneous, but in separate rooms. This helps to prevent your pups from becoming jealous or territorial. Treats should be done the same way; you may want to start out with simple treats that won’t make the pups so covetous. As you move about in the house, you may notice your pup will become jealous and protective of you and some of their favorite items like toys. If it seems that you will be the center of a dispute, move away from your pups. The less anxiety they feel towards each other, the quicker they will bond. Even though there is a new pup in town, do not forget to spend special time with your pet. Dogs may feel that your affection has been taken away, and may begrudge your new companion. Spend time with both pups; try to choose activities that will not create a competitive situation. Instead of throwing one ball for fetch, use two separate balls at the same time. Keep them both active and working together.

Schedule potty training

Potty training should go as scheduled. It is important to keep in mind that if your new pup does have an “accident”, it is likely that the area will be a hot spot in the future. Make sure that if this does happen, any soiled areas are cleaned as quickly and effectively as possible to avoid more messes.

Watchful preparation

Because the situation is new to all three of you, it is vital to keep an eye on your new pair of pups. Fighting may occur, and it is best solved with distraction rather than punishment. Separate the two and offer them incentives to stay calm. Preparing your home for a new pup can be difficult and end up consuming a lot of time. If you are ready for that, you are ready to welcome all the new love in the family.

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As Your Dog Gets Older

Jul 11, 2011

Like us humans, dogs get old too. It is a misconception that our canine allies age differently. Time frames may not be the same, but pups can incur the same difficulties that we experience in our aging years. Because we love our four-legged friends, it is important to offer them a healthy lifestyle so that they can enjoy life even into their later years.

photoSeniority arrives for a canine around the age of seven. Bigger dogs may reach seniority sooner than smaller pups. Your pup may begin to show signs of their aging as they become unfamiliar with their surroundings. The loss of vision may not be readily noticed at first. Because pups mostly rely on memory and routine to move from place to place within a home, this complication will usually make itself known whenever you move to a new location or even by changing furniture around. Your companion may experience anxiety from the difficulties of navigating a new home and its changes. If this becomes the situation, try using calming techniques for your friend and spend a little more time with them. Walking them through the new home on a regular basis so that they can adapt to it may help relieve the stress.

Hearing is one of the most noticeable losses

Hearing is one of the most noticeable losses that an older dog experiences. They often will not be at the door to great you when you get home, and sometimes will fail to come when you call. This is commonly due to their hearing components simply wearing down just like in us humans. As your older pup’s hearing becomes worse, make sure to be careful not to surprise them. Being startled comes easy with hearing loss and can sometimes lead to fear and agitation. As you approach your aging pup, do what you can to ensure that they are aware of your presence.

Losing their sense of smell

Undernourishment is one of the signs that your pup is beginning to lose their sense of smell. Because taste is directly related to smell, aging pups will commonly begin to abandon eating regularly. With their sense of smell gone, finding food can sometimes become more difficult.

Arthritis often goes unnoticed

Because pups experience the same effects that us humans endure, arthritis is one of the most unnoticed problems in an older dog. They are determined animals, and will not usually show that they are in pain. Often times a pup will compensate for an aching joint by shifting their weight to other parts of their body. For an older pet like this, convenience is a must. Keeping them active throughout their life and providing a healthy diet will help your pup’s aging conditions, but it is wise to keep them from overexerting themselves. You may also consult your vet for remedies and or medications for problems associated with arthritis.

As your pup begins their later years, ease and convenience become a luxury. Simple things like eating and going to the potty become difficult as a pup’s senses and body begin to change. The use of a grass litter box such as Porch Potty can help an aging pup by keeping their plumbing closer to home. This helps arthritic pets that have difficulty navigating around the house or even around the back yard. Older pups that don’t have to go far to do their business are less likely to deliver a surprise package on your carpet. Indoor liter boxes also make it easier for us aging humans as well. As our body becomes a little worn down, it may prove difficult to get up and let the pup out and take them for a walk every-time they have to go. So as you and your canine companion begin to age together, remember to care for them- and they will care for you.

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The Dangers Of Laser Pointing

Jul 8, 2011

Some folks utilize an assortment of tools for training or entertaining their pups. The laser pointer seems would appear to have some down sides though, proving to be a double-edged sword. While it can be useful to assist a pup in finding or locating places and objects, it can have a serious mental side-affect that causes obsessive/compulsive habits.

photoLaser pointers can be a fun tool for pups as they love to chase and pursue that little spot of light. Some of our canine friends can become somewhat addicted to the “shiny” light. Glamor has always intrigued the curiosity of our four-legged friends, and with the laser pointer, has led to anxiety behaviors. The use of the pointer can develop OCD in some pups and result in anxiety when usage of the device is ceased.

Developing OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

There are certain signs of OCD in your pup which you should watch for. Your pup’s attention should move on to something else after the laser has been off for a few minutes. If they continue to claw and scratch at the area for a long period of time, you need to stop using the device. Another sign of this problem would be “stalking” the area. They may be hunting for the light as part of their nature would require them too. If they randomly return to the last area of laser use for no reason and seem anxious about being there, you should stop using the laser pointer because it is very likely your pup is becoming obsessed with the laser.

Maybe best to avoid it

Dogs by nature are a habitual creature. OCD is not just related to laser pointing, things like shadows and invisible flies may be signs of a problem. Not all result in anxiety, but laser pointing seems to have a very negative effect on a pup’s mental state if you do not continue to play with the light. The anxiety can be difficult to overcome after it has set in, so it may be best to try to avoid using tools like the pointer. Anxiety can sometimes lead to aggression or depression if the OCD continues to develop and may result in unhealthy bodily effects on your pup. Lack of eating and a raised tension within your pup can lead to heart problems as they stay in a panicked state when you are not using the pointer. If your pup has reached this state, it will be difficult to help them without the help of a veterinarian or a specialist on animal behavior.

Play is important to your pooch

Dogs love to play and there are more effective toys and training devices other than the laser pointer. A good game of fetch with a ball, or using an old rope to play tug-o-war with them will keep them just as happy if not happier. Laser pointers may be fun and a bit entertaining for you as you watch your pup be silly and chase that little dot. Before you pick up the pointer in the future, consider what may be going on in your pup’s mind. Instead of playing with a little red dot, have your pup play with you, and spend some real quality time with them.

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