How Active is Your Dog?

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!

Categories Dog Care, Dog TrainingTags ,

Leave a comment on How Active is Your Dog?

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!

Categories Adoption, Dog CareTags , , ,

Leave a comment on How to Adopt a Stray Dog

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!

Categories Dog Blogs We Love, Dog CareTags , ,

Leave a comment on What to Look for in a Dog Friendly Apartment Rental