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Dog Care

Do You Have an Olympian?

Apr 18, 2013

Dog owners and how to keep your dogs healthy and happy

Dogs are naturally competitive. They like to race one another, play tug of war (hopefully not with your winter scarf), and otherwise run around and enjoy being a dog. Many of us are familiar with dog shows, often designed to demonstrate training, style, and good cooperation between owner and pet. However, there’s another way your dog can show off their skills in a different way.

We’ve enjoyed the Olympics for years, watching the world’s greatest athletes compete through physical and mental obstacles to claim gold. But, there is another Olympic event completely dedicated to our four-legged friends- the Dog Olympics.

What are the Dog Olympics? 

Much like the Olympics we’re familiar with, these events are designed to test both dog and owner skill and cooperation. Amongst the events you may encounter are high-flying disc routines, head-to-head weave pole races, and even dog diving trials (for those that enjoy a good swim).

Others are far more in-depth, much like the triathlon designed to test agility. Here, the dog navigates an obstacle course of tunnels, ramps and weave poles, while taking cues from the trainer to help guide them on the right path.

Not every dog can become a national qualifier for the USDAA competition though. It’s an invitation-only event that often takes years of training to qualify for. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other Olympic events you can’t take part in. Some are as extravagant as the Canine Max Dog Olympics, which take place in Llanelli, South Wales this year. But others are far more local, if you keep your eyes and ears out.

Preparing for the Olympics

Working at the park is one of the best ways to start preparing your dog to be an Olympian. One of the biggest tests, one that we don’t think about when it comes to testing agility and skill, is that the crowd-factor plays a big part in your dog’s attention. Being able to handle your dog in a crowded environment is very important, not just for Olympic achievement, but because it helps keep them safe when you’re out and about.

Naturally, the act of keeping your dog active is important to their health and endurance. While your dog might be agile and strong, how long can they keep it up? Is their heart and circulation healthy enough to keep them going throughout the day when faced with prolonged activity? Many dogs spend a great deal of their time hanging around the house, often becoming a couch potato while you’re away at work. Activity games, especially puzzles and mental challenges, will help keep your dog active, even when you’re not there.

Working on their advanced training and skills, such as catching and retrieving (do they bring it back to you afterwards?) should be on your list of Olympic challenges. Keep in mind that this isn’t just a test of your dog’s abilities, but also a test of the cooperation and bond that you both share. It’s important that your dog respond to you effectively, even when there are distractions all around. Such skills would include “staying” in a difficult position, such as a balance board, or weaving properly through a channel and avoiding knocking over any of the cones (dogs as drivers?).

Your own Olympics

What about local Olympic situations? While some cities do host their own Dog Olympic events, you don’t have to be a nationally sanctioned body to enjoy the fun and entertainment this type of event presents. With the help of some of your fellow dog owners, you can set up a challenge course for dogs at the local park and invite others to take part in the fun.

In fact, most dog parks actually have a number of these athletic devices available. Tunnels, pole runs, and even balance boards can be turned into friendly competition. When it comes to disc tosses, all you need is a Frisbee and someone to throw it. And as your venture begins to grow, you might even gain the attention of some outsiders in the future, and potentially a few nationals who appreciate the abilities of the participants. Just be sure that everyone there understands the meaning of friendly competition- it’s never something to get upset about.

Don’t be discouraged if your dog isn’t the fastest or strongest though. After all, they really don’t care about that at all. They just enjoy the fun of the experience and the time they get to spend with you and their friends. Perhaps that’s a valuable lesson dogs hope everyone will someday learn.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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How Active is Your Dog?

Apr 4, 2013

Dog care for your active dog

One of the key elements to dog ownership and parenting is to keep your pup active and happy. Not all dogs are going to be bouncing off the walls and chasing balls, though there are times when every dog wants and needs to get out and be active. In most situations, we take our dogs out for walks and even play a game of fetch at the park. But is that enough for them?

Aspects to consider

One of the first questions every owner should ask themselves is: What breed is your dog? All dogs need to experience an active lifestyle, but those who enjoy the company of working, herding, hound, or terrier breeds will notice they are often very active and require a lot of attention, which you must be ready to deliver. This is one of the most important things to consider when you adopt a new pup into your home, since your lifestyle may not mesh well with the activity levels your dog needs to stay healthy and happy.

Ask yourself a few questions about your dog’s personality as well, since breed won’t always determine how much activity your dog needs. Are they active and attentive to you? Are they confident about exploring new things?

Their present weight can also play a big part in their activity levels as well. Are they getting a little pudgy around the middle? If you can’t feel their ribs (be sure to account for the fur), they might be putting on a little too much weight. And it doesn’t take much for a dog to become overweight and unhealthy.

Weather will play a part in your dog’s activity levels as well, such as cold and heat. Most dogs won’t be active during the hot hours of the day, but when it gets cool and in some cases a light shower falls, you may find your pup eager to get out and enjoy some time exploring in the cooler air. In fact, most dogs, especially long-fur breeds, will want to get outside when conditions are around 60 to 70 degrees, much like we would. So be sure to make the most of the weather and enjoy some activity time together.

Also, the age of your dog matters, such as the huge difference between puppies and seniors. Puppies need early stimulation and as much attention as you can offer, while most seniors will simply want to enjoy the comfort of your company, often relaxing and getting their bellies rubbed.

How active should your dog be?

So, therein lies the real question: How often should your dog be active? All of the mentioned factors will affect their comfort, health, and trainability. Interacting with your dog consistently helps develop a special bond between the both of you. Have you ever noticed your pup rushing out to chase a squirrel or pursue a butterfly through the yard? Many dogs will find these activities irresistible, but they can pose a danger as well, especially when they run off and fail to react to your commands, such as return or stay.

The key is to keep up with your dog’s activity demands. Are they regularly stimulated? This applies to both mental and physical challenges to keep them entertained. And don’t assume that your dog isn’t smart, because they are inherently problem solvers. They enjoy puzzles and obstacles that challenge their intelligence just as much as they enjoy a good race against you and their fellow friends out at the park or even around the yard.

In fact, many dog owners may have encountered their “escape artist” companions wandering around the neighborhood unexpectedly. This often happens in dogs that have little stimulation or activity where they’re at, which can make the grass on the other side of the fence seem a little more colorful. This is often a sign that they need a lot more attention from you, and there are several forms that you can deliver to keep them settled and happy right where they are.

Keeping them active

The simplest activity that most owners consider is regular walks. Not only does it give the pup time to address their potty issues, but it offers stimulation of their mind through sights, smells, and interaction that are provided in the environment. It also naturally develops a bond between you and your dog, since the journey is shared together.

The other is mental stimulation, such as puzzles and goals that can keep your dog active while you’re away. Luckily, the pet toys industry has started to produce more “puzzle” toys for dogs, such as Kong’s bone that can be filled with various treats they need to work to get to. Others can be as simple as putting a Frisbee on the tile floor, making it a challenge for the dog to pick up. You may even hide their toys throughout the home (a bag of tennis balls is cheap and there’s plenty of them), leaving your dog exploring and active while you’re gone. Designing different challenges for your dog will help keep them busy, especially while you’re away at work.

Keeping your dog active is an extremely important part of being a dog owner or parent. Not every dog is going to be as active as the next, and with the busy world we live in, it can be difficult to always be there to keep your dog entertained. But, there are many forms of entertainment that can keep your dog active, even when you aren’t around. So be sure that whether you’re here or there, your pup stays happy and active so they can get the best out of their life with you.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Guests and Your Dog

Mar 28, 2013

Dog lovers and your guests

It’s a fact that not everyone is a dog lover. While we may not know any right off hand, every now and then we meet new people and sometimes invite them over for a cup of coffee or a chat to get to know them better.

So what happens when your guests don’t take to your pup the way you’d hoped? Perhaps they seem a little intimidated or maybe they just outright ask you to lock your pup up so they can come in. Some pet owners might be appalled, while some may be more understanding. But if you’re expecting guests, there are a few things to consider, especially if you think your visitors aren’t “dog-people.”

Be prepared

First of all, make sure that your guests know you are a dog owner. The last thing you want is an unexpected surprise situation. Knowing their preferences will allow you to alter your plans or make adjustments prior to their visit. It’s respectful and won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

What if they’re already at your door though? Perhaps a repair man shows up or even a traveling salesman knocks on your door. Luckily, most repair companies have become accustomed to asking if you have pets in your house prior to the visit, so be sure that you disclose this information to them (no need for details such as size or breed).

What you can do for surprise visits

But what happens if your guests show up and don’t take to your dog as expected. They may be intimidated by their size or even the breed. Though you may be sure your dog is the sweetest pup out there, there are many breeds which can seem a little intimidating, such as the Mastiff or Rottweiler, at first appearance.

The best technique is to not let your dog greet guests at the door. This can often intimidate both parties, and that’s not a good situation for your pup to experience. Instead, keep your dog back and introduce them after your guests have entered the home. Watch their body language and stay with them upon introductions, just in case your dog doesn’t like their presence. In most cases, dogs will want to investigate initially, but will quickly return to their regularly scheduled program.

Too excited

Of course, some conditions can be a little annoying, even for you. If your dog is overly excited, practice the introductions slowly. If you let them greet visitors at the door, they can show initial signs of aggression (they can sense when others are uncomfortable) or just downright want to hop into their arms and be their best friend.

In these instances, some owners prefer to keep their dogs behind a pet-gate where they can still see the activity but won’t be able to approach the guests. While it might seem restrictive for your pup, it often helps reduce anxiety and allows your guests to relax without a pup dancing all around them.

Dog allergies 

What if your guests are allergic? Just because your visitor seems uncomfortable with your dog, doesn’t mean they don’t like them. Many people, even dog owners, are allergic to dogs. In this case, it’s best to try to make your guest as comfortable as possible. And keep in mind that just because your dog isn’t present, doesn’t mean allergies won’t kick in, so confining your dog isn’t the best solution.

Instead, give your dog a bath. Allergies aren’t from dog fur as commonly believed. They’re actually from your dog’s dandruff (flaky skin) and even urine (which you hopefully keep outside or in their litter box). And 99% of dust is skin, which means that cleaning your dog and your house will greatly reduce allergy tendencies (a helpful hint for allergenic dog owners out there).

Cleaning house before visitors would consist of vacuuming the carpet and couches to pick up any dust or pet dander that is just lying around. Additionally, it’s best to keep lint-brushes handy for your guest’s use to ensure that they aren’t taking any allergies home with them. In most cases, if you can make your guests feel comfortable in your home, you’ll find that they may actually enjoy being around your dog, too.

Always remember that not everyone enjoys being around dogs or even other pets. But it’s your responsibility, to both your dog and your guests, to make sure that everyone knows the rules of your home before you make any plans. But as long as you can make everyone feel comfortable, you’d be surprised at how many people like dogs more than they thought they did.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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How to Adopt a Stray Dog

Mar 21, 2013

Adopting a stray dog for dog lovers

As proud owners of our faithful dogs, we sometimes worry about what would happen if they got lost. They sometimes dig under the fence or find occasion to go exploring without our knowledge, but they come back most of the time. However, on the occasions this doesn’t happen, a dog ends up homeless, wandering around in the neighborhoods and streets.

What happens when you come upon a stray one? There are a few things to consider when finding a stray dog and even more to consider if you think you should keep them as your own.

Finding a stray pup

Always be cautious when approaching a stray dog. They may be aggressive or sometimes sick. Be aware of their paws and claws at all times. You don’t know them and they don’t know you, so they’ll likely be watching you just as keenly. Additionally, don’t approach an ownerless dog while your dog is with you, chances are they’ll get tangled up, which could scare off the stray.

Be aware of your surroundings even as you make the first approach. Don’t cause a scene, hold up traffic, or put yourself in harm’s way when approaching an ownerless puppy. If they run from you, don’t chase as it will only scare them even further. Instead, entice them with goodies, which you should deliver if they abide.

If you’re going to catch a dog, the best tools to use are water and food left out for them. Many dogs tend to be a little shy at first, but will quickly warm up to you once you’ve fed them and shown a little love. This will give you both a chance to examine and study one another, building that initial trust. In many cases, it’s wise not to try to catch a dog on your own, so call for assistance or back-up from a fellow pet owner or someone familiar with dogs (which is preferable).

Taking care of them 

Your own pup may be vaccinated, but that doesn’t mean the stray is. If they don’t have a collar, don’t let them mingle with your other dogs or pets. Several popular diseases, such as distemper, can affect young puppies very easily and are difficult to detect until it’s too late.

Be sure that you wash your hands regularly when handling a stray dog. This will prevent any spread of dirt and germs that could make both you and your pets sick.

Investigate

It is up to you to find out if there’s a rightful owner. Do they have a collar? A collar can hint to the fact that they’ve had a family and may have simply escaped.

While it may sound a little outrageous, you should ask them if they know where their home is (not literally). Quite simply, walk them around the neighborhood (it’s a good idea to use some of your dog’s old collars and leashes). Do they want to go somewhere in particular? Do they get excited in certain surroundings? Is someone looking for them? In most situations, a neighbor will recognize a puppy, and can help direct you towards the owners. If that doesn’t work, you can always put up “Lost Puppy” posters.

Make them comfortable

But in the meantime, you may be housing an extra boarder. So, it’s up to you to provide a good home during their stay with you. This would include a warm and comforting environment and possibly a toy to play with or chew on while you figure things out. Are they scared of being tied up or leashed? You don’t want to instill fear in your new-found friend, so begin taking note of their behavior immediately.

If you can’t find anyone to claim your stray dog, you may start considering something different. Should you adopt them? They found you, so perhaps it was meant to be. Always consider what you’ll need to do to adopt a new friend to ensure their health, comfort, and safety.

Taking them to the vet should be high on your priority list. This is to have them checked out and also see if they may have a tracking chip. If they are given a clean bill of health, take them to begin life as a new member of the family.

While not every dog that’s wandering around is necessarily stray, it doesn’t mean they all have homes. If you find a friend out wandering around, it could be a relationship destined to occur. Just be ready to take on the commitments of caring for your adopted dog- wherever they may have come from.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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What to Look for in a Dog Friendly Apartment Rental

Mar 14, 2013

Dog friendly apartment tips for dog owners

One of the most frustrating things for any pet owner is finding an apartment that will accommodate their four-legged companion. While an individual might not have too much trouble, it is often the “No Pets Allowed” sign on apartment complexes that makes it difficult for a pet owner to find a home.

So, what should you look for in an apartment? Is there something special? Is there an easy way to go about finding one? Luckily, the online world has made it easier for pet owners to connect with one another, sharing ideas and theories concerning their pets and homes. So when it comes to finding an apartment, things are looking up for dog lovers.

Higher rent?

Initially, pet owners are always going to face higher prices when it comes to renting. The rationale behind this is: more inhabitants equals more rent. While some apartment complexes will allow pets, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll approve the idea of having dogs around. If they do agree to let the dog stay, the rent will be much higher, as will the deposit. The deposit is just in case there is extensive damage or failure to pay rent, and while some owners are sure their pup is well trained, the leaser isn’t as confident.

In this case, getting out of a security deposit (larger ones for pets) will take some finesse on your part. Don’t be shy about asking your leaser what you can do to avoid a higher deposit. For the most part, leasers will want to see records of shots, good behavior, and previous tenant recommendations. Putting together a portfolio for your dog is just as important as constructing one for yourself. You’d be surprised at how differently a leaser will act towards you and your stay with them.

As an extra option, it’s generally good practice to introduce your dog initially. Choose a neutral area where the leaser can meet your dog and become accommodated with them. If you’re going to be leasing an apartment from them, it’s a good idea to do this up-front so that your dog will know who is at the door when they show up (no barking or disturbing the neighbors is a big plus).

Pet guidelines

With the portfolio and meeting taken care of, you’ll want to get a feel for what is and isn’t allowed on the premises. What are the rules of the complex? Is there a curfew? Where can one walk the dog? It is good to know this, so you don’t feign ignorance when something bad happens. Remember, ignorance is no defense.

You also need be concerned with certain topics such as the leash laws. What are the laws of the city? Pet ordinances? Does your rental contract coincide with city rules and regulations? While the lease agreement may not mention some of these, not all cities are pet-friendly. Some may ban certain breeds, such as the pit-bull dog. Be aware of what the city ordinances state before moving into an area.

Finding a place

When it comes to locating these pet-friendly areas, things can seem like a hit-and-miss adventure. Luckily, the online world has made it abundantly clear how important our companions are to our living needs. These sites will hopefully help some of you pet owners out there that are searching for a friendly place to live.

• Peoplewithpets.com provides a large network of cities that are in general pet-friendly. You can locate hotels, apartment rentals, and even find a nice park to play in while on vacation. http://www.peoplewithpets.com/
• For the most part, cities are often inclined to promote their welcoming nature to the four-legged companion. Metro Animal is the St. Louis area pet-friendly guide for rentals in the entire area. http://www.metroanimal.org/rental/main.html
• Los Angeles also offers their own directory http://www.peoplewithpets.com/aptmetro.asp?metro=Los%20Angeles
• As does Portland, Oregon at Portland Pooch.com http://www.portlandpooch.com/directory/housing.htm

While not all cities will have their own directory, many of the larger cities- where finding an apartment can be extremely difficult in general- do offer a directory to make the search easier for you and the pup to find a good place to live.

If you’re looking to rent in the city, be sure to investigate the rules and ordinances applying to your four-legged companion. Also, be prepared to pay a little extra and invest some effort into proving that you’ll both make excellent tenants on your search for a new home.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Under the Seat and Standing Up

Mar 7, 2013

dog in plane

Dog owners who are flying with their pups

Traveling tends to be one of the most difficult experiences for pet owners. Among the various ways to travel with your pet, air travel presents the most difficulty. Unfortunately, when you have to get somewhere fast, flying is your best option.

However, there are conditions for flying with a pup that you and every dog owner should consider before scheduling an air travel. Although, you need to remember that these conditions may differ from airline to airline. This is especially true for international regions, such as Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. Therefore, you need to check with your choice airline for specific information.

9 Useful Tips on Air Travel with Your Dog

1. You need to acquire a health certificate for your dog.

All airlines require an array of different limitations, most of which have a few things in common. The first and most obvious is to have a clean bill of health certification from your veterinarian that was dated within the last thirty days.

2.  You have to consider the weight and size limitations.

Weight restriction for pets is about 10 pounds. This limits the cabin to smaller breeds. Do keep in mind that weight limitation may also include your dog and his kennel. This is often limited to approximately 20 pounds.

Dog carriers must be designed to fit under the seat in front of you. On average, it should be about 9 inches in height and 18 inches across. Virgin America has one of the highest dog weight limits, and reasonable size accommodations. It allows dogs up to twenty pounds to enjoy a cabin flight.

3. Your pup must be able to stand up and turn around in his carrier.

The rule designating your dog’s ability to stand up and move around is to ensure that your pup is comfortable. After all, you wouldn’t like it if you had to travel in a tight sardine can.

4. You need to hand-carry bare essentials for your dog.

Since you are bringing your pup with you, this means that it’ll likely be replacing your carry-on bag. This means you’ll have to check-in any other luggage you have. So, be aware of what you will need during your air trip – including water, food, and potty bags.

5.  There is often an extra cost for bringing your pup into the cabin.

You don’t have to pay extra for your average carry-on bag though. The extra fee varies radically but often ranges from $75 to $150. It is highly recommended that you shop around for the best deal.

6. Airlines may blackout dates for pet travel during the winter months.

This could be done unexpectedly, which means that last-minute plans aren’t always going to work out the way you wanted them to.

Many airlines are working to become more accommodating to pet owners and their furry friends. There are limitations to how much they can handle though. This means that there is a set number of pets per flight for many of these airlines. Jet Blue, for example, only allows four pets per flight. This is yet another reason why a pet owner needs to plan as far ahead as possible to make sure their pup can make the flight.

7. Many flights will not allow dogs to fly to Hawaii. 

Be sure you take into account your destination when you are planning your trip – especially if you’re traveling to another country, such as the UK, Europe, and even Canada. However, Air Canada has a dog-friendly pet policy.

8. Certain breeds are not allowed.

Snub-nosed pups have a difficult time breathing in certain atmospheric pressure. This is probably why they are not allowed. Be sure your pup can handle the flight safely.

9. Don’t forget to check your local and landing airport for dog handling procedures.

There may be certain areas and locations where you’ll need to go or travel through (where you may be able to feed and care for your dog’s needs).

Flying with your pup can be an adventure and a difficult challenge at the same time (unless you properly prepare for it). If you’re traveling with your pup, be sure to call ahead and schedule a flight early enough to ensure you don’t run into any hitches at the airport. Just remember that your dog isn’t an item you can stuff and cram under the seat in front of you. Make sure your dog will fly comfortably so he can enjoy the journey and his time with you.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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GPS Tracking Your Pooch

Feb 28, 2013

Lost dog

GPS tracking systems for dog owners

Many pet owners have heard about the GPS tracking trend that is currently catching on quick. In this modern age of technology, it’s easy enough to find one of your friends by checking Google maps or by using one of your smartphone apps. Where once these devices were a preserve of the military and some government agencies, they have become commonplace, and are now being introduced to pet care.

GPS for your dog

GPS isn’t just for mountain climbers and explorers any more, it has found its way into our cars, computers and cell phones as well. And now, it’s made an appearance for dogs too. Just imagine being able to find your dog by calling them- on your cell phone. Though they may not answer, their location is handled by the many satellites that orbit the earth, and by far proves one of the most effective ways of finding a lost pooch.

These units utilize a long lasting battery unit which will need to be changed on a regular basis to ensure they work when you need them to. The device simply attaches to the collar, making it removable at any time. But, due to their increasing size, they can prove a burden to some smaller dog breeds. They are also going to be more expensive than a microchip as well, but the benefits may be better overall.

The benefits of instant tracking

One of the biggest issues with using a microchip is the fact that it has to be scanned by a shelter or veterinarian.  [tweet this]

While it’s common for dogs to wander out on their own on occasion, it means that an owner must wait until their dog is found before taking any action. In some cases, this can cost the owner valuable time, especially in cases where the dog has been stolen.

Contrary to this, the GPS tracking device allows an owner to immediately locate their lost pup. Access to a computer or smart phone will allow you to link up and locate your dog almost instantaneously. This is because your dog can be tracked anywhere in the world- or at least where there is internet or mobile access. It is even possible to find out where your dog has traveled in the past week, allowing you to examine their patterns and get a feel for where they’ve been and what neighbors’ homes they’ve visited (especially if they seem to be getting a little chubby on the sides). There is a sense of security with knowing exactly where your dog is, even when you can’t see them (they might just be snuggled up under the couch cushions).

On not in your dog

One of the more favorable aspects of the GPS unit is that it isn’t injected into the dog. For many owners, this is a great relief, especially if they feel that something foreign in their dog’s body might prove harmful. It also does not require a visit to the vet’s office either, which is often an additional cost not tagged onto the chip itself. So, it is reasonable to say that GPS is financially a better option.

Unfortunately, because these devices can be removed from the dog, it proves to be an issue when it comes to theft. Because it is tagged on your dog’s leash, it can be removed and discarded easily, even if they don’t know what the device is. However, the benefits of the unit is that it can record and track previous movement, offering a lead on potential culprits for the police to follow.

Using a GPS unit to track your dog has some extraordinary benefits that allow owners to instantly locate their pup as soon as they’re discovered missing. However, this does not vacate responsibility on the owner’s part. A good owner always knows where their pup is, even when they’re just out in the yard playing with their favorite stick or barking at the neighbor’s cat.

GPS has entered the pet arena, and more owners are beginning to see its advantages. While not every owner can afford such a device financially, it is always good to consider exactly how much your pup is worth to you. And for many owners, that value is priceless.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Dog Owners Get Organized

Feb 21, 2013

dog with toys

Dog owner tips on organizing your home for your pup

Have you ever come home to find all your dog’s toys scattered around the house? You trip on a ball, squeak a toy under your shoe, or even find some extra stuffing on the ground. It is annoying to say the least. On some level, having a dog is just like having a kid around the house.

Dogs don’t exactly clean up all their stuff or put their toys away when their done. While this may be a nice trick to teach them, for the most part, we pet owners are responsible for putting their stuff away and keeping their things organized.

Time to play?

One of the biggest questions pet owners seem to come across is: What to do with all their toys? They’ll likely have a favorite ball, a stuffed squeaker toy, or even a favorite rawhide to keep them calm while you’re doing chores, watching TV, or on the computer.

No toys should be left out on the floor at random. Like anything else in the house, they should have their place. Having such an arrangement or storage place helps discipline your dog, since they’ll have to ask you for the toy before they can play with it.

Baskets are a great choice. It is just like a toy box, plus it’s easy enough to pick up your dog’s things and drop them back in while you walk by. Easy and convenient, they also allow your dog to pick and choose what they want to play with. And with a little training, you can also teach your pup to put their stuff back when they want another toy (so they’re not dragging everything out to play with at once).

Keeping your dog’s toys in a drawer would be another way to keep the house tidy, and ensure that your dog isn’t dragging out every toy all over. [tweet this]

This is perfect for puppies that want to play with everything and often eat just about anything (like the squeaker or fluff in their toy). For safety reasons, you’ll be able to control what your dog has and ensure they aren’t eating their play things.

Your pup’s food

When it comes to eating things, there’s nothing quite as humorous as finding your dog with their head in their food bag, sneaking a snack when they thought you weren’t looking. So, you’re left considering: What about their eats and treats? While they are good for your dog to consume, they should only have access to them when you say it’s okay. Using a sealed container to keep your dog out and away from their food is generally a good idea. Even if you keep it in a storage cabinet, it’s still a good idea to put them in something your dog can’t get open (such as a lock-top plastic storage bin). Some dogs can get clever about these things though, and will squeeze open cabinets or even pop off lids, so choose your container wisely. And on top of keeping your dog out, it also keeps the freshness in.

Safely stored medication

There’s one particular area, when it comes to keeping your dog out of places they shouldn’t be, that is crucial to their safety; the medicine cabinet. It is necessary to have a place for your dog’s medical supplies for their health. As a rule, their medication shouldn’t be stored with your own (to avoid confusion). So, use a special drawer for all of your dog’s special need items. These would include such things as toothpaste, flea and tick repellents, shampoo (you’d be surprised at what dogs will put in their mouths), and any medications including worm medicine and antibiotics. These should be in their own separate drawer or container, such as a lock box that your dog can’t open at all. Since they are medications, having them quickly available is essential, so be sure that you don’t hide it from yourself.

A little attire

For those that have doggy clothes to help keep their pups warm in the winter months, there is also the need to keep their outfits out of reach. Keep your dog-wear in its own drawer or on a closet hanger, just in case they decide it makes for a better play toy than a body warmer.

Pet owners and parents may not realize it, but dogs have a lot of stuff to think about. And because many of those rascals won’t pick up after themselves or wash their booties after a walk in the snow, it’s up to us to keep things in our home organized, and in due time, train the pup to try to pick up after themselves on occasion.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Dealing With Your Dog in Rented Places

Feb 14, 2013

dog inside

Dog owner tips when moving to a new rented place

One of the biggest challenges a pet owner faces is having a dog in rented digs. We don’t own it, and as a result, there are often many rules to abide by, and sometimes signs that state “No dogs allowed”.

But that isn’t to say you can’t find a place for you and your pooch to live in. As long as you know what to say, what to look for, and what to expect, you’ll be able to find a cozy place for you and the pup to enjoy life together.

Basically, finding a place to live isn’t that hard, when you’re by yourself. So, what changes when you have a dog with you? Well, most renters have likely encountered individuals that couldn’t control their pets. Some may have damaged the rental space, others may have been noisy (barkers), and some may have even had domestic troubles (pooping issues, biting, etc.). This means that you have to see the world from the renter’s view. In many cases, dogs can prove unpredictable to them. So, it’s up to you to prove that both you and the dog are trustworthy and will make excellent occupants.

Announce your dog

First of all, don’t hide the fact that you have a dog. It can lead to all sorts of trouble and break the trust between you and the landlord. Often times, the worst thing you can do is try to hide the dog. It often raises suspicions, makes people uncomfortable, and can even result in immediate eviction if they discover the pup and they aren’t allowed as per the lease agreement. Simply be upfront and ask about policies and regulations concerning dog owners. You’d be surprised at how much friendlier the landlord will be when you’re honest about it. Plus, not all “no dogs allowed” signs apply if you know how to talk nicely.

Prove you’re responsible

Simply announcing your dog’s presence isn’t enough, you’ll have to prove you’re a responsible owner too. [tweet this]

Because your landlord, most likely, doesn’t know who you are and therefore can’t vouch for your abilities and your dog’s level of obedience, you’ll have to use other sources. These sources, such as references from previous landlords or property management agencies, will make an excellent case to any leaser and ease their mind about trusting you.

Additionally, you’ll need to have your dog’s licensing and shot information up to date. A recent trip to the vet with a clean bill of health will make for an excellent source to provide for your potential leaser. It doesn’t have to be anything exuberant, simply make sure that they’ve had their most recent shots and vaccinations and that they are in general good health.

Introduce them

Because your potential renter doesn’t know your dog at all, it would be a good idea that they get to know them, especially if they’re going to be interacting later on (when the landlord visits or checks in). Offer to let the two (landlord and dog) interact. This will help them feel more secure about your particular pup and affirm that they will also be a good resident. Plus, it’ll be good for your dog, so they aren’t suddenly surprised when the landlord shows up one day.

There will likely be extra costs when renting with a pet, so don’t be surprised. These pet deposits are often up-front, but some may tack on a monthly addition to your lease. However, there are occasions where providing a good dog-resume will result in a waiver for the pet deposit.

Look before you sign

Before you sign anything, be sure to read over your contract carefully and know what your dog can and can’t do (such as curfew, leash rules, or potty locations): What will happen if you violate them? Will there be a fine? How many warnings do you get before eviction? These are important to note, because they are the rules that you are going to have to abide by while you and your pup live there. And because your dog probably isn’t going to be able to read, it’s your responsibility to make it clear to them.

Renting a space for you and your pup to reside isn’t an impossible task. If you can prove that you’re a responsible owner and that your pup is an obedient one, you’ll be able to gain the trust of your potential landlord and ensure that your stay there is something that everyone will enjoy.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Overfeeding Your Pooch

Feb 7, 2013

Dog owners and proper feeding techniques

Dog owners and proper feeding techniques

Are you over-feeding your dog? We all like to see our dogs happy and excited, and what pooch doesn’t wag their tail when you fill their food bowl? So we give them a treat. Sometimes we pile a little extra on. And sometimes we even sneak a piece of steak under the table when no one is looking. We’re happy about pleasing our pup, and your pup is happy to get the extra snack…or is he?

Overfeeding shows

The bottom line is that overfeeding could be hurting your pup’s health. While dogs may not directly exhibit a robust waistline, it is possible that you’re providing more sustenance than their body actually needs. So how do you know if you’re over-feeding your dog? Most commonly, they’ll start gaining weight, and unlike in our larger bodies, a single pound can make a big difference on a dog. But this takes time to accumulate, which leaves us asking how we can take notice before they put on the surplus weight.

When do you feed your dog? Early morning? Late afternoon? And when you feed them, is there some food left over after they chomp down or is the bowl sparkly clean? If your pup is leaving leftovers (possibly in hopes of returning for a later snack), you may be offering more than they need. Rather than leaving their food bowl as is, pick it up and save it for their next meal.

Calculate your dog’s food portion

There are three things you’ll need to consider about your dog. How much do they weigh right now? Then consider their activity level. A typically active dog will require about sixty calories per pound to be healthy. But, you must also consider your dog’s food as well. Different types of food will contain different amounts of calories (such as diet, puppy, senior, and active dog). Before you start scooping in the food, be sure you calculate how much your dog really needs- not just how much they want.

There is a difference between overfeeding and feeding ineffectively. [tweet this]

Timing plays a big part in your dog’s health as well. It is possible to over-feed them all at one time during the day. Good practice incorporates a balanced daily intake, such as twice to three times a day (just like we do). Feed them balanced portions several times a day rather than feeding them all at once (especially at the end of the day when they’re not as active).

Too much can hurt

For the most part, overweight conditions put a lot of stress on your dog’s body. It can hurt their heart and even put stress on their kidneys and digestive system. Weight gain and lethargy are often the most visible signs that your pup may be eating too much. Over time, these conditions will affect them more drastically, leaving your once playful pooch not much more than a warm couch-potato.

And for those owners that like slipping their pup a little extra under the table, this may be one form of overfeeding you may want to think twice about. Human food has a tendency to accumulate on a dog’s liver quickly, resulting in fatty-liver disease. And you don’t have to be a scientist to know that anything that hurts the liver is definitely not going to turn out well. While the occasional carrot or banana (make sure they aren’t allergic) can be good for them, when you’re munching on that greasy fried chicken and you feel like sharing, think again.

Take note of their activity levels

Keep in mind that activity levels will affect your dog’s weight as well. This in combination with too much food can leave them huffing and panting after just a short walk. It is possible to feed them the correct amount, but if they aren’t able to use all those calories they just ate, it’s going to start collecting around their waistline. As a loving dog owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your pup is getting plenty of exercise so that they stay healthy and happy.

When your dog is overeating but not gaining weight

Beware of times when you seem to be over-feeding your dog, but they aren’t actually gaining weight. Certain parasites and worms can keep your dog from absorbing the necessary nutrition from the same amount of food. If your dog is eating a lot, still lethargic, and isn’t gaining weight, a trip to the vet might be in order.

Over-feeding your dog isn’t as nice as it may seem to you. Though they might beg, whine, or even toss over their food bowl in a tantrum, maintaining a healthy diet is what’s best for them. And everybody knows that a healthy puppy is a happy puppy.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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