Saturday, May 30, 2020

Things to Consider When Selecting Dog Beds

October 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

While it may seem like an obvious requirement to some people, there are actually many occasions where dog owners do not think of dog beds as being a necessity. Just like food, warmth, water, and love are essentials that all dogs need, so is a place he can lay his head to rest. As all dog breeds are much different from one dog to the next, the same is also true for the specific type of dog bed that each dog breed will need.
Dog Beds for Small Sized Dogs
When you are selecting a dog bed for a small dog, such as a Chihuahua, Terrier, or other such breed, choosing the right type of bed is essential to his well-being. A bed that is made out of a hard surface would not be sufficient for these types of dogs. This is simply because smaller dogs are not able to retain their own body heat nearly as well as many of the larger breeds. A better choice would be a bed that will make it easier for them to stay warm and comfortable. There are quite a few different styles, designs, sizes, and even shapes of dog beds that are made of soft plush material that is just right for small dogs. Some of the more popular choices are the beanbag styles, the donut shaped beds, and the traditional pillow type dog bed.
Dog Beds for Medium to Large Sized Dogs
Common sense will tell you that soft plush dog beds will certainly not be an appropriate choice for dog breeds that are medium to large in size. One of the biggest reasons for this is larger sized dogs tend to make a trail with their drool just about anywhere that they go. Keeping your dog’s bed clean would be a continuous job if plush fabrics were used. A much more sensible choice would be to select a dog bed that is constructed of a high quality durable plastic. A small pillow or dog blanket can be placed in these beds to make them a little cozier and require a lot less effort in cleaning.
Just as available selections of small dog beds, you will also find a wide range of varying styles in large sized dog beds. There are many sizes that range all the way up to about 50kg. The different color choices on the market today make it a cinch to blend these beds right in with the existing décor and furniture in your home.
Other Beneficial Uses of Dog Beds
While a dog bed is the perfect spot for your pooch to call his own and rest when he is tired, there are also other uses for these beds. There are many dog owners that also use them as a helpful training tool and as an area for ‘time out’ when a dog is being punished.
Keeping each of these factors in mind when selecting the right dog bed for your pets will help a great deal in making sure you select the right materials, size, and type.

Things to Consider Before Traveling with Your Dog

October 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

Traveling with a pet is a decision that you will want to consider very carefully. While traveling is perfectly safe and tolerated well by some pets, there are others that it should not even be considered. A lot of dogs are calm natured and are not quick to become nervous. Certain dogs and breeds however are well known for their hyper attitudes and their tendency to become nervous at the slightest difference in their environment. Chihuahuas, for instance, are a breed that is well known for their barking and nervousness.
First Things First
It is important to make a checklist before you embark on an exciting vacation with a dog. This is to help ensure that once you arrive at your destination that nothing of vital importance has been left behind. If your pet takes any type of medication or vitamins on a regular basis, you will want to place these in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. This is just a safety measure in the event that a bottle of medicine becomes broken and starts leaking. Depending on how long your trip will be you may want to think about pet bathing and grooming items such as shampoo and a hair dryer. Other necessities include food, treats, and a dog leash.
Using a Dog Crate During Travel Ensures the Safety of Your Pet
There are a lot of people that travel with their pets, letting them roam freely around in the vehicle. While this may make it more enjoyable for your pet, it is also a situation that could prove to be disastrous in the event that an accident were to occur. A much safer idea would be to take advantage of a dog carrier.
There is a wide range of styles, designs, and sizes of dog carriers that make it simple to select the appropriate type for most any size and breed of dog. One of the most important parts of selecting the right carrier would be to make certain it is large enough for your dog to have extra space to move about. If the carrier you choose is not big enough, your pet can actually become injured during your travels.
If you’ll be traveling by airplane, you will want to contact the airlines to find out their rules on the specific types of carriers they allow onboard the plane. Depending on the size of your dog, he may or may not be required to be placed in a specific area by the cargo.
Most dogs do not find it very appealing to be stuck inside a carrier for the very first time. As this can be a frightening experience for your pet, it is a good idea to introduce him to his carrier prior to traveling. Make sure you give him ample opportunity to become used to the carrier.
You will also find that there are several different types of materials that are used in the manufacturing of dog carriers. For larger dogs, carriers made of sturdy wood, metal, or plastic are easily accessible. For dogs that are smaller, you will find a large choice of soft materials used in their making.

Remembering the Basics for Feeding Your Dog is Important

October 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

When you own a dog, proper feeding habits should begin during the stage of puppyhood and last all throughout the life of your pet. The overall condition of your dog’s health is in your hands and it’s just one of the responsibilities of being a good pet owner. It is necessary for puppies and adult dogs alike to get an adequate amount of vitamins and nutrients from the food they are eating. This will help a great deal in making certain they stay healthy enough to fight off illnesses. A healthy diet will also keep their organs and immune system functioning as it should.
Once you start feeding a dog a certain type of food, it is important that you never change their food overnight, as this is a process that will take some time. Their digestive system is much different than that of a human, making it hard for them to tolerate changes in their diet. For this reason, it is best to stick to one certain type of food. If their body is receiving an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals needed for good health, they will continue to be happy when it is time for his feeding.
Common Types of Dog Food
Most every pet owner is familiar with the three basic kinds of dog food that exist. These are the traditional dry dog food varieties, semi-moist dog food, and dog food that come in a can. Allergies rarely become a problem for pet owners, and the digestive system of most all dogs can easily tolerate one of these three choices.
The first step to make when deciding on the right dog food for your pet is reading the ingredients label supplied on the packaging. One of the main ingredients that should be listed at the top is whole meat. You should also be able to find meal or meat by-products listed at the top as well. Those that list whole grains, vegetables, or both, are even better choices. The reason these ingredients will need to be listed at the top is because on all labels the highest percentage of ingredients contained are those that are listed first.
Most people will agree that the best choice in dog foods are those that are dry and of high-quality. One of the biggest reasons for this is because dry foods have the ability to keep your dog’s teeth much healthier and cleaner than semi-moist or moist foods.
Reading the feeding requirements on dog food labels is also important. This will list helpful information in regards to the amount of food certain breeds of dogs should have. If you have a puppy, it will need to eat as much as two or three times a day. After a dog has reached one year they are considered to be an adult and will generally only need about one or two feedings each day. If the feeding label does not provide enough information about how much your specific breed of dog should eat, you’ll find there’s a ton of helpful information on the Internet.

What’s the Best Toys for Your Puppy?

October 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Puppy Care

Picking out a safe toy for your dog to play with actually requires more than grabbing the first brightly colored dog toy you see. There are actually several different factors that you’ll want to take into consideration as you are browsing through dog toys that will be most appropriate for your pet. A few of the most important factors are as follows:

  • The response factor that your dog may have to specific types of sounds
  • The breed and size of your dog
  • The style and type of toy that your dog prefers playing with the most
  • The age of your dog

Squeaky toys are a very popular type of dog toys that can be a great treat that most dogs enjoy. However, before buying this type of item you will want to pay special attention to how your dog responds to the noises that these toys make. The general response to squeaky noises that come from a wide assortment of dog toys will generally arouse a dog’s curiosity and provide hours of fun playtime. There are some dogs however that show nothing but fear of toys like this.

The size and particular breed of your dog is also an important factor. It can be very hazardous to offer larger sized dogs small toys because they are often too easy for these dogs to swallow. When smaller breeds are offered toys that are much too large for them they will typically become frustrated and bored very quickly. To ensure your pet is able to get a lot of playtime, excitement, and exercise from the toys you provide, make sure they are appropriate to his size.

Just as every dog is different, so are the specific preferences that many of them have. While it may be easy to grab one dog’s attention with a simple rubber ball, other dogs prefer to play with soft plush colorful toys. Pay attention to the habits of your pet and select dog toys that fit his individual likes and personality.

The age of a dog is another important factor that should be considered when dog toys are purchased. It is common knowledge that many varieties of chew toys are usually a great toy for a puppy or young dog. However, older dogs do not have the strong need to constantly chew like a puppy does. Toys that add a little more complexity into the mix are often a good idea for older dogs. This will help to promote exercise that is so important for older dogs and they are not nearly as likely to be sniffed and forgotten as a simple chew toy might be.

As you offer a new toy to your dog, you might want to think about putting one or two of his old toys up for a while and then rotating them every now and again. This will keep them from becoming old and boring to your pet. When you give it back to him, he will feel as if he’s getting a brand new toy all over again.

The Hyperactive Puppy

October 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

Puppies are like children. They can get into unimaginable difficulties when their environment is not structured.

Here is a basic checklist of environmental hazards:

Puppies can open loose cupboard doors. Buy cupboard door protectors or get out the good old duct tape and make sure that the cupboards that are low either can not be broken into or do not contain hazardous elements!

Puppies can chew light cords. Arrange your home so that light cords, TV cables, computer cords, and so on, are hidden behind heavy immovable furniture or are enclosed behind barriers.

Large Breed puppies can put their front feet onto ALL the counters. Push back items that they can get into, take them off the counters, or be prepared to have your most valuable items (such as your TV remote control) dragged off and chewed!

Clothing articles can be DEADLY. I personally have known several puppies around the age of five to six months that have died from ingesting socks or chewing on scatter rugs…. fabric often balls up and creates an intestinal blockage. By the time the vet discovers it, it is too late. Don’t allow your puppy to drag around socks or old towels, take them away and substitute with a dog toy.

Common houseplants can be poisonous. Make sure you know which ones are, and keep them out of the environment where your puppy will be. You can find the poisonous ones through a quick check on the internet.

Household poisons used for insect or rodent control should be absolutely out of the question in the puppies’ environment. Simply do not apply poisons in areas that your puppy has access to, under any circumstance!

Toys should be dog toys. Left over trucks from the kids’ toy box are NOT GOOD. Items which have small parts which can be chewed off or swallowed are NOT GOOD. Likewise, most bones are NOT GOOD. Vets will tell you of the numbers of surgeries they have performed to remove bone shards from the intestines of dogs. If you must provide bones, the bigger “knucklebone” is a good choice because it will not shred off into sharp shards.

Sticks are the favorite as far as retrieving, but sticks in the mouth of running puppies are dangerous. They can jam that stick into their throat if they run into an immovable object, OR they can take out the eye of another dog or even a child. Use good dog toys for retrieving…and be sure the toys are not too small for the dog’s mouth and can not be swallowed!

Nothing “settles down” a hyperactive puppy like a good exercise session. Do not over do, and be careful that you do not demand too much of your puppy before its young bones are ready….but go on walks, by all means. And make these walks a time to teach your puppy the basics of polite manners…sitting when you come to street corners, not barking at strangers that you meet. So that means these walks must be ON LEASH. (It’s better exercise for you, that way, too!) After the “controlled” walk, a good run in a dog park, off leash, or a good swim in a nearby pond are excellent ways to burn off excess energy. The rule of thumb for walking distance for a pup is “no longer than 20 minutes” before six months of age.

Nothing is as important in the care of a puppy as regular vet checks. Be sure that your puppy is immunized at the right times, fed well, exercised well, and spends the majority of its time in a “puppy-safe” environment….and have fun bringing up your puppy!

Five Mistakes New Puppy Owners Make

October 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

You’ve researched the different dog breeds to find the best one for you and your family, you’ve taken the time to find out whether the breeder you chose is ethical, and now you’re finally bringing that precious new bundle of joy home. The hard part is over, right? Actually, there are several mistakes that many new puppy owners make that can really turn this joyful time into a frustrating and worrying experience. Avoid these new dog owner mistakes to be sure you and your puppy are off to a great start:

1. Potty training your puppy indoors and then expecting him to automatically go outdoors when he is older. Those nifty potty training pads look an awful lot like nice, plushy rugs to your puppy and he may opt to use your rugs as a toilet spot after you do away with the pads.
2. Giving in to his sad whimpers and tucking him in your bed for the first few nights and then expecting him to sleep on his own in a few days without crying. He’ll just cry louder and longer once he knows what he is missing.
3. Letting your guilty feelings overwhelm you so that you don’t crate train him. Crate training helps keep your puppy safe, since he can’t get into dangerous things when you aren’t watching him if he’s crated. Also, he actually feels more secure when he is crated while no one else is home.
4. Taking your puppy with you when you go out, especially if you are going to a park or pet store. Puppies should be finished with immunizations before they go on outings. Their immune systems are often not fully developed when they are young and they are more susceptible to some of the deadliest dog diseases.
5. Letting your puppy do things that are cute in puppies and not at all cute in full size dogs, such as jumping up on guests. It is easier to curb these behaviors right away than it is to break your adult dog of bad habits.

The Perfect Puppy For You and Your Family

October 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

If you’re thinking about buying a new dog, there are a few things to remember before you make that decision. Currently, millions of dogs are euthanized in shelters every year, due in part to making the wrong decision on the type of dog to buy. Before you rush out to buy that new puppy, there are a few things to remember.

1. How much time can you devote to your new puppy? There are specific breeds, such as border collies, that require a great deal of attention and do not do well in a situation where they will be confined alone for hours at a time. Be realistic with your expectations and select a breed that is known for their patience and ability to spend a few hours apart from you.

2. Size matters. Although your new puppy may be a small bundle of joy right now, in six months you may be dealing with a monster. If you don’t have a lot of space, or if you live in an apartment, a large breed may not be the best choice. In addition to space constraints, it is also a good idea to remember that large dogs do eat quite a bit more than the average teacup poodle and if you’re on a tight budget, a smaller dog will be more economical.

3. Research breed traits. Buying a puppy should not be based on which dog is the cutest, or which breed you always thought looked nice. Take the time to thoroughly research these traits so that you can make an informed decision. Some breeds shed more than others, while some breeds have known behavioral issues. For example, Great Pyrenees dogs are very beautiful and popular, but they are bred for livestock guarding and not apartment living.

4. Research breed health issues. This is becoming a bigger problem due to improper breeding. Every breed may have congenital health issues, but some may be more severe than others. For example, German Shepherds are known to have issues with hip dysplasia, while some smaller dog breeds may have problems with their eyes.

5. Pick the right breeder. Many future health and behavioral issues can be avoided simply by choosing the right breeder. Once you have decided on the breed of dog that you would like, contact that breed’s registry for an approved list of breeders. This will save you time, heartache and money.

6. Consider a shelter pet. While shelter pets are not for everyone, they may be a good option if you do not have small children or if you do not mind getting an older dog. You can save a life by adopting a shelter pet and still end up with a wonderful and loyal companion.

Selecting a puppy is an emotional decision, but it pays to keep these points in mind before you make your final decision. Once you’re armed with the right knowledge, you’ll be able to pick that perfect puppy that the whole family will enjoy and love.

The Importance of Dog Vaccinations

October 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

When a person takes on the decision of owning a dog, they are instantly assuming the role of their pet’s sole provider. This is a role that involves quite a few different responsibilities. Just a few of the important things that must be provided to your pet on a regular basis includes feeding, bathing, exercise, fun, and training. However, this is not all. A dog also looks to their owner to provide them with everything that is needed to obtain and maintain optimum health. This is a responsibility that is done through routine check-ups at the veterinarian, and making sure they receive the essential vaccinations required to keep them healthy and disease free.
The time that a puppy turns 6 weeks old is when they should get their first vaccination. They will also need to receive a second ‘booster’ vaccination when they are around 12 weeks old. These injections help to make sure that your dog remains free of any risk of acquiring several different diseases. The main diseases vaccinations provide protection for include Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Distemper, Leptospirosis, and Dog Influenza.
Parvovirus – This particular disease can be extremely serious. It can ultimately cause a dog to get pneumonia and it can also cause heart problems.
Hepatitis – This is a viral disease that is extremely contagious. When a dog acquires this disease it can cause him to lose his life within 24 hours.
Distemper – This is a viral infection. If it is completely left untreated it can result in the loss of life.
Leptospirosis – This is a disease that is extremely infectious and it can be passed from dogs to humans. This is a disease that can cause liver damage, kidney damage, jaundice, and even death.
Kennel Cough – This is a disease that is very complex, and although it does not cause death, the required treatment can be expensive.
If you are unsure of the types of vaccinations your dog should receive, or the proper times these injections should be given, consult your local veterinarian. An experienced vet will provide you with helpful information regarding each of these diseases and the exact time that you need to get your pet vaccinated. They will also supply you with information in regards to additional booster shots that your dog may need throughout his adult life to keep him continuously protected against these deadly diseases.
All dogs are born with a certain level of immunity that comes from the mother, and is received while they are still in the womb. There are also a lot more antibodies that a puppy will receive from the mother’s milk when they suckle. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for small puppies to be left with their mother for the first several weeks of life. However, the protection from this immunity does not kick in full-strength until several weeks after the birth of the pup. While this does provide a certain amount of protection against sickness and disease, it does not nearly provide a dog with all the protection they need.

Steps Required for the Proper Care of Your Pet

October 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

Just as there are several different elements of taking care of a child, the very same holds true when you decide to bring a puppy or adult dog into your home. Below you will find several different elements that are involved with properly taking care of a dog as a pet.
Find a Veterinarian
The most important step a new dog owner will need to take is to find a local veterinarian. This is especially important if they haven’t had any of their vaccinations yet. Not only are their vaccinations a very important part of keeping them healthy and disease free, but they will also need regular check-ups as well.
Bathing and Grooming
Although dogs do not need a bath nearly as frequently as humans do, they still need to be bathed about once each month. This helps to removed dead skin cells and dirt from their coat, and it also promotes good skin health. To minimize matting and to keep your dog looking as good as he feels, you should brush his coat at least one time each day. This also helps to decrease problems with shedding, as loose hairs will come out in the dog brush instead of on your furniture.
Provide Your Dog His Own Space
It’s common for pet owners that keep dogs outside in a fence to provide them their own dog house for comfort and protection against the elements of the weather. Dogs that are kept inside the home also need a designated space that they can feel is their own. This will help him feel secure. Some people line the bottom of a dog crate with soft bedding, while others simply place a dog bed in a corner of their bedroom or living room.
Have Your Dog Spayed or Neutered
It is important for a responsible pet owner to have their dog spayed or neutered. Not only does this help to control the dog population, but it is also effective for calming dogs down that have behavior problems. Some of the other benefits of this type of procedure is it can lengthen the life of your dog and it also promotes better health.
Regular Exercise
The amount of exercise that each dog needs depends a great deal on the specific breed that they are. A regular amount of exercise is important for the overall health of your dog, and it is an activity that he will thoroughly enjoy. Dogs that get a regular amount of exercise every day end up living much longer than those that do not get much exercise at all. This is because it promotes good health and it keeps them feeling younger longer. Problems such as arthritis and other health problems do not occur as often in dogs that exercise regularly than it does in those that don’t.
A Healthy Diet
One of the most important things you can do for your dog is provide him a high quality dog food that contains a large amount of essential vitamins and nutrients. The feeding label on most brands will provide you with everything you need to know about how much your specific breed of dog needs to eat, and how often.

Common Dental Problems to Watch for in Dogs

October 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

While the overall condition of your dog’s health is important to pay attention to, one area that is of particular importance is the condition of their dental health. When you take a minute to think of all the different activities that a dog performs with his teeth, it becomes quite clear why dental check-ups are so important. A dog’s teeth are used for grooming, playing, personal defense, biting, barking, chewing, giving affection to his owners, nipping, and eating.
Considering each of these different activities, it is safe to say that a dog’s mouth and teeth stay much busier than any other part of his body. As a result, there is a wide range of different problems that can occur in a dog’s mouth that a pet owner should always carefully pay attention to.
Becoming informed about the following issues that can occur in your dog’s mouth and with their teeth is a great step in learning what you can to prevent or treat them.
Periodontal Disease
Just about all dogs will likely end up getting a periodontal disease at some point in their life or another. A majority of the time the reason for this is dental hygiene that is either poor or lacking altogether. One of the most noticeable symptoms of periodontal disease is foul smelling breath. Gingivitis and halitosis are common periodontal diseases that are easy to prevent. This can be done by gently brushing your dog’s teeth each and every day. You will also want to look closely along the gum line for any signs of irritation. Feeding your pet dog food that is dry can help tremendously in keeping problems like this at bay, as they help a great deal in keeping a dog’s teeth clean.
Infections of the Mouth
It is fairly common for dogs to get infections in their mouth, and there are quite a few different things that can cause this problem. Dogs love to chew on anything and everything they can. Sometimes they can obtain injuries from chewing on things like sticks or other types of hard objects. When they do this it is very easy for them to get cuts, scrapes, or scratches in the mouth that can easily turn into an infection. For this reason, you will want to check your dog’s mouth frequently for signs of an infection. When you notice any redness or swelling, an antibiotic can quickly stop the bacteria from spreading.
Foreign Objects in the Mouth or Throat
Although this is a problem that happens rather frequently, it is one that can result in the death of your dog if an object were to get lodged in his throat. Splinters from bones or sticks can become lodged in the mouth or throat of a dog. Their molars can easily become chipped or cracked when objects become lodged in their mouth. When they go unnoticed, it can result in the exposure of tooth pulp and infections. When they become lodged in the throat and the dog tries to eat it can result in choking. As they may be signs that an object is stuck in your dog’s mouth or throat, pay attention to excessive drooling, gagging or vomiting, or if your dog continuously paws at his mouth.
Mouth Tumors
When tumors in the mouth go unnoticed, it can develop into cancer and may ultimately take the life of your pet. A periodic check of your dog’s mouth will reveal tumors that should be checked or removed. This one simple step can actually save the life of your dog.