Guests and Your Dog

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

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

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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