Pet Safety Around Electronics

Dog owners manage your wires and electronics properly

Electricity flows through our homes, powering appliances and machinery that help improve the quality of life. Radios, televisions, X-boxes, and even the trimmer or hair straighteners we plug into the wall make life simpler and more entertaining, but they can also be a danger to your dog.

What is it that makes electronics such a safety hazard for our four-legged companions? At the most basic level, dogs love to chew. Power cords are soft and malleable, and are perhaps the most dangerous of all. As such, there are a host of other situations to consider and prepare for. After all, you don’t want to learn when it’s too late.

Wires all around

Dangling wires can be very attractive to a dog (and especially for cats), and are potentially the most dangerous. The television, speakers, and even the cord to the vacuum cleaner all make for attractive chew toys. And whether or not they are plugged in, they can still be dangerous. The copper wires can become needles in your dog’s mouth and throat, so keep cords unavailable at all times.

Cover exposed cords. Run them under furniture whenever possible. In cases where open cords cross the floor, covering them with a rug can be a handy trick. What if they’re traveling along the wall? Try staples or tape to cover them and keep them securely out of reach.

Cords that remain exposed- such as those for power tools or equipment- can be wrapped in duct tape to make them tougher to chew on (plus it tastes bad too).

Something else to consider

The buzzing of electronics can also be attractive to a dog. Game consoles and wireless routers can be warm and stimulating for a dog, and in some cases they may not even chew on them but rather snuggle up with them. While this might not seem dangerous at first, it is always possible that they might block the cooling system or burn themselves through exposure.

There is always the possibility of a dog urinating on an electrical device as well. This makes a short circuit possible that may result in a fire or even electrocution. Keep these devices up high or out of your dog’s reach.

What about the television (or something similar) falling down? When considering the dangers of electronics, we seldom include the more obvious circumstance of a falling object. Unsecured devices can be knocked over or fall from high locations, especially if the power cord is dangling quite attractively. Take precautions in securing heavy electronics so they won’t become falling objects.

Then there is the classic situation of the missing remote control. We may lose it in the couch, put it in the freezer, or even forget it’s in your left pocket.  Sometimes, however, the culprit is your faithful companion.  You handle a controller regularly, and thus it smells like you and makes for a very attractive chew toy for any dog. Be sure that you have a home for your controller, such as a box or up on the entertainment center- just so long as it’s out of your dog’s sight and snout.

If you’re having trouble with your dog targeting electronics out of sheer fascination (smell and familiarity often associated with anxiety), you may have to begin limiting their space when unattended. Crates or door-gates can help keep a dog in safe areas when you’re gone. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t pursue old habits when you let them back out.

It can be difficult to train your dog to avoid electronic dangers, especially chewing habits. In these cases, certain deterrent or bittering sprays can make the item unattractive to them. But, the most effective method is proper training, since it will ensure that your dog responds to your commands- for their safety.

Additionally, when you’re done with a plug-in device, be sure to put it away. Trimmers, curling irons, and hair straighteners can all be dangerous since they are often left on the counter to cool or dry out. A tug on the cord could bring them down on top of your pup, injuring them. Unplug your items and put them in a safe out-of-reach spot (wrap up the cord) and allow them to cool.

It’s up to you as your dog’s owner and protector to ensure they are always safe. The average household is full of electronic devices, and in most cases dogs will leave them alone (unless they have their own Facebook page to update). Be sure your dog’s home is a safe place to be and you can be sure that everyone will be happy.

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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Choosing the Right Raw Hide Bone

Proper dog care by choosing the right raw hide bone for your dog

Dogs love to chew. When we’re lucky, they chew on their toys. There are times when furniture and even pillows become very attractive, but that’s a different story. For the most part, a bone is your dog’s favorite treat (aside from the love you give them) and they love to chew on them.

But, there are a few important things to consider when it comes to your dog’s choice chewing selections because not all rawhide bones are made equal. Some might be too tough, others may be too soft, and there are even those that can hurt your dog in certain situations.

Chewing selection

There are many different types of chewable treats, such as pig ears, chews that are made from pork, the hard-bone, and the classic rawhide. Now, it’s crucial that you understand the difference between rawhide and pigskins or ears. Rawhide is the section from inside cow’s hide and is cleaned and processed before your dog ever sets their teeth on it. Unlike pig skin, it is usually a tougher material and comes in a wider variety.

Granulated: The softest of the classic chew collection is the granulated rawhide. Though soft, it is not generally a good treat for puppies. It breaks easily and processes through the body much easier than most rawhide treats, but because it tends to clump, it can cause blockages in a puppy’s airway.

Stripped: There are also rawhide strips, often cut and twisted. These are comparably smaller but are easy to soften. Because of their small size, it’s not a good choice for large dogs or those that chew aggressively.

Hard-Compressed: You also have the compressed rawhide which is normally several layers of material pressed into a dense bone-styled structure. These are often very tough and generally good treats for larger dogs.

Classic: While the others seem to take rawhide to a different level, there is still the very dependable rawhide bone with knots on the ends. This is familiar and still widely used, making a dependable treat that dogs of all sizes can enjoy.

What’s right for my dog?

So, what should you look for in your dog’s chewing choice? It really depends on the size of your dog and how vigorous they are going to chew. Puppies generally chew very fiercely, mostly because they’re teething. But, some adult dogs tend to carry over that habit later in life, possibly because they are bored or anxious. Chewing is one way for them to calm down and relax.

You have to compare what types of rawhide would suit your dog’s needs. Puppies can lose their teeth when chewing, which is why rawhide comes in handy. But, if you go too hard or too soft, your puppy’s teeth can get stuck or chewed and ingested.

On the other spectrum, senior dogs tend to have more fragile teeth, which won’t grow back and can easily be infected if they crack or break. Avoid hard-formed bones. The preference would be the granulated bones which are soft enough to satisfy their chewing desires.

There is also a very big difference between your large and small dog, and it’s not just size. Be sure that you select rawhide bones that are big enough so that your dog can’t try to swallow them whole. A bone too big can also be uncomfortable for a smaller dog to chew. The material is generally thicker with the bigger sizes, no matter what type you choose, making it difficult for a Chihuahua to chew a bone made for forty pound dog. Most manufactures will post a size recommendation on their packaging so pay attention to what the directions say.

Caution when chewing

Because rawhide tends to get a little tattered and will eventually break up into smaller pieces, only let your dog chew when under supervision. You don’t necessarily have to be in the room, but it’s never recommended that you leave them unattended while they’re chewing because there is a choking risk.

Do keep in mind that rawhide is not a food source. Though it is a great way to keep teeth clean, it isn’t really considered a consumable item for your dog’s belly. When rawhide gets too soft, take it away and substitute with another. You can then let the hide bone dry out and harden. Then they’ll be able to start back over. Be sure to take smaller pieces away from your dog. Sure they may look at you like “what,” but it is for their safety because the smaller pieces can lead to choking and in some situations, block their intestines. Keep in mind that ingesting too much rawhide can also block your dog’s intestines. Only give this treat occasionally, especially if your dog tends to bite off large pieces.

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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Puppy Swimming Lessons

Tips for dog owners who want to take their dogs swimming

Not all dogs naturally know how to swim, and it is up to you to teach them for safety’s sake. Expecting them to be able to handle themselves in an aquatic situation can be dangerous, especially if you have a pool or visit lakes or rivers during camping trips with your canine companion.

So, how exactly do you teach your dog to swim? While they quickly learn how to stay afloat, it is crucial that you target a few specific points and techniques to ensure their safety and make the experience fun for them. After all, fun is the best teaching tool of all.

For most owners, getting them adjusted to the water is a good start. You don’t want them to panic when they enter a water environment (river, lake, pool, or even canoeing) because they can easily get confused. So, how old should a puppy be before they begin any kind of swimming lessons? Generally, it’s good to start early, around seven months, to get them accustomed to a water environment. It’s good for safety purposes, just in case they fall into a swimming pool or get excited and jump in (dogs are renowned for their desire to save their friends and will often jump in to try to save you if you’re in the pool).

Teaching your dog to doggy-paddle

You may want to start with a doggy pool. They’re inexpensive and are great for cooling them off during the hot summer months. In a shallow environment, they’ll be able to move around in the water without being afraid.

Once accustomed to getting wet, it’s time for swimming lessons. Don’t just put them in the pool. There are some handy tools, such as pool ramps, that give your dog a boost out of the water. This is mainly because dogs cannot climb out of a pool like we can. Just keep in mind that swimming can be disorienting for them, and knowing their exit point is important. Dogs can panic, so be careful that they don’t pull you down or scratch you.

Place them in the pool at their exit point and allow them to get a feel for the water environment. Then you should guide them around the pool and have them follow you. At the end of the lesson, guide them back to the exit and let them get out on their own.

Precautions when swimming

Protecting yourself is just as important. Wear a shirt and shorts that will cover your torso and legs. Dogs can easily scratch you with their nails, especially when they’re paddling or even panicking. It is likely that first time swimmers will want to grab on to you for safety, so this can save you from unnecessary nicks and scratches.

This brings up the importance of hygiene. Something to consider before introducing your dog into a pool is your dog’s nails. Many people know how much it hurts when they stub their toe or hand when swimming or just getting out of the pool. Dogs are just as susceptible, and can easily crack or shatter a nail, which could easily become infected. This is where additional tools like the doggy ramp can help out.

You must also be cautious about a pool environment, since chlorine can be hard on their eyes or dangerous to ingest. Sometimes it’s not good for them even to just inhale it. Consider the use of a salt-purified pool. Salt actually makes the water denser and things in it more buoyant (so your dog will find it easier to float) and is softer on their skin and eyes. Keep in mind that their fur can be hard on your pool filters, so don’t be surprised if you have to clean your filters more often.

Swimming lessons for your dog

There are of course a range of doggy swimming training facilities available to help train your dog. Because this is all about safety, there are a few questions to ask before you enlist in any classes. How will they train your dog? Do they teach through positive reinforcement or through discipline? How you train your dog will affect their outlook and attitude towards water. What safety precautions do they take? Is their pool a safe environment and dog-friendly? Consider that it is also important that trainers be aware of the risks of an aquatic environment and are able to take measures to ensure your dog’s complete safety (such as resuscitation). Then consider what type of environment they will be in. Remember that chlorine pools can quickly irritate their eyes.

As your dog’s owner and protector, it is up to you to ensure their safety at all times. Though we do not always think about how dangerous a pool can be to our dog, it is important to understand that without proper training, your companion could injure themselves or even someone else if they don’t know how to swim safely.

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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