Archive for » November, 2012 «

Keep Your Dog Safe Around your Christmas Tree

The holidays are a time of year when you really start thinking about decorating the inside of your home. From Light up signs to bright flashing lights, there are plenty of distractions for you and your family even plenty of pie and cookies. After all would it be the holidays without baked goods to share with your closest friends and family. It’s easy to get caught up in the entire time of year and forget how it all can affect your pet.

It’s a safe bet that if you have ever heard of Christmas as a holiday, you’re well aware of the yearly tradition of having and decorating a tree. First off, remember your goal is to fully enjoy the holiday, including your beautifully decorated tree. However, it’s important to keep your pet in mind when choosing how you will setup for the holidays to ensure they remain safe and happy.

In this situation there’s no foolproof way to keep your dog out of the tree, your best bet is to monitor their behavior around it. Also make sure they do not nibble on the branches as some trees contain preservatives to keep the tree alive longer in your home with just water in the tree stand.

Now obviously, what’s a Christmas tree without any lights or ornaments? An important point of contention is your dog being able to ingest parts of the decorations. Just keep a close eye on your dog when your in the same room especially. It’s generally best not to leave your dog in the same room as the tree when no one is going to be home. Just for your dogs safety as no one would be around to aid them if they attempt to swallow a small part of an ornament.

Also make sure when your sleeping to turn the lights off so there’s no power coming into the tree. Your dog is much more likely to attempt to play with or nibble on the lights when your not in the same room as they are. If you’re unable to deter your dog from trying to touch the tree, you could use a foul smelling perfume. This isn’t as effective in dogs as it is in cats however, but its been known to work on some dogs who have an overly sensitive sense of smell, more so then other dogs (such as beagles).

You should also factor in they will mainly attempt to touch the lower part of the tree since it’s the most accessible with the least amount of effort on their part. Using plastic ornaments only down below, and any breakable or expensive ornaments closer to the middle and top is advised. You can also start the lights a bit higher intentionally to keep them out of their reach.

The most common problem however, is your dog ingesting tinsel or ribbons, its very easy to swallow, and obviously can cause a problem breathing if it goes down the wrong pipe. It’s very important to make sure none of this is left laying around for your dog to grab.

In closing make sure to get your dog some toys to play with they never had before during the holidays when everyone is opening presents this will be the distraction they need to keep them away from the objects which can cause them a problem.

How to Make Sure Your Dog Won’t Eat Your Dinner

The majority of dog owners have experienced their animal begging at the dinner table. No matter how much you love your puppy, this is a behavior, which you just shouldn’t tolerate. Especially if you have guests over, then your dog should be calm and leave everyone be during their meal.

There’s a lot said about being the pack leader. This term describes making sure your dog is aware that you are the one who is in charge of your household. Many dogs male and female will attempt to show their dominance by taking your food right off your plate. This is a usual problem when you have guests over, they turn there back to talk to someone sitting next to them, and instantly they loose there main course faster than you can say “what just happened”.

The biggest issue is occasionally feeding your dog from the dinner table is a bad habit to start. Owners often justify this behavior saying, “it’s just once in a while”, or even “I rarely do this but”. These are all bad excuses because it leads to a negative learned behavior for your dog. As the owner you must lead by example if you expect your dog to behave all the time, if you expect consistency out of your animal.

Now if your dog is well trained in general and listens to commands such as lie down, stay, heel, etc., then you do have the option of just making sure your animal follows your commands, its best to ask them to lie down above all else, this helps reinforce dominance in your relationship, it reminds the dog you’re the pack leader. Then, whatever you do it will follow suit and listen as closely as possible. If you do however notice your dog start to get up from the laying down position, curb that immediately and remind them to stay lying down while your feeding them.

Ultimately, you have to remain diligent with your dog and cannot be inconsistent. Your dog learns and remembers things via repetition and consistency. Practice this at every family meal, do it often enough prior to having any company over. Once you establish your guidelines with your dog when you are eating at the dinner table, everyone will be happier for it. Dogs need rules boundaries and limitations to feel complete. This is how it is in the wild, or if you have a pack of dogs, the dominant animal is going to let the rest of the pack know when something they are doing is disruptive, or making them feel uncomfortable, so it might feel like your being cruel sometimes to your dog, but they absolutely need this to be happy and healthy.

Teach your puppy to alert you when it needs to go outside

Living with your owner as a puppy can be quite difficult in the early learning stages of their development. The first of many live lessons for your puppy is not to relieve itself inside the house. Then of course your puppy lacks the ability to explain to you in plain english that it needs to go out to do its business. Also, unless your puppy can walk on its hind legs and use both paws to open the door, you’re going to have to train them to let you know when it’s time to head outside.

Not all pet owners know how to see the sometimes subtle signs that it’s time to go out for a walk and let your dog do its business. Many puppies develop social skills quite early, thus being able to get your attention that it needs to go outside. Some however, aren’t as adept at telling people when they need to go out. Even if your dog falls into this category there’s no need to panic. There are some very easy steps you can take to train your puppy to let you know when the time is right to head outside and let them do their business.

The first question is what if my puppy already does in fact ask to go out and I absolutely don’t understand the signs? Dogs have their own way of communicating with one another. This language unfortunately we do not understand whatsoever, but your dog doesn’t realize it’s not coming in loud and clear when it expresses itself.
Now here’s a list of common clues that it might be time for a trip outside for the puppy. Pacing back and forth, circling around excessively, and whining consistently with no obviously reason what’s bothering them. Also, sniffing around when you have no other new animals in the house for which it might feel the need to do that otherwise. If you see the dog going behind furniture, or to a part of the house where you cannot keep an eye on them. Alternatively, standing by or scratching at the door in any way.

The best way however to train your dog to let you know when it wants to go outside is to hang some type of reasonably loud bell on the door knob where it has access to reaching it if nothing else. This way you can have your dog ring the bell to associate it with going outside. This way if you’re in another room even then you can hear the dog needs to head outside to relieve itself.

Keep your dog healthy with regular exercise

To ensure your dog lives a happy and healthy life, regular exercise is a must in the daily routine. You already know how critical it is yourself to exercise. Going out for a run around the block, possibly a swim or roller blading sure does leave you feeling motivated and energized. Clearly, explaining the benefits of exercise to your dog will leave both of you tilting your head in confusion. So the job falls on you as the owner to keep your dog in great physical condition. As always before starting any regiment or new diets you should consult your veterinarian.

Most pet owners main exercise provided for there dog is going to be going for walks. It’s a great idea to take your dog out for a 15-20 minute walk prior to the family going to bed for the night. This helps your pooch get to sleep when everyone else does and wake up refreshed. If your lucky enough to have a swimming pool, its a fun, easy way get your dogs heart beating and burn those calories. Also, if your dog is trained and calm around other dogs, dog parks are a great option for outdoor playing. Lots of breeds love playing Frisbee or some type of catch. Just remember, dogs were meant to be wild animals before domesticated, they could travel vast distances for food, so many dogs crave the exercise and will love you for letting them engage on a regular basis.

Another very important and often neglected thought is providing your dog quality time and one on one attention. Isolation, dejection and hostility are shared qualities of canines that have not received appropriate attention and socialize training. In fact, experts in the field have claimed that if a dog hasn’t been socialized in an affectionate, reliable setting by the time they reach sexual maturity, which is about 1- 1½ years old. Then they may never have intimate interactions with people or other animals. The plus side is delivering tender attention is the greatest thing about being a dog owner to begin with. Whether your taking your dog for a run in the park, or swimming at the beach, providing calm, affectionate contact is stress-free and fulfilling for the both of you.

For the most part you should treat your dog how you would want to be treated when it comes to exercise. Unless of course you’re not a very active person, then remember they both need and crave it. Offer a healthy diet, make sure they get loads of exercise, and make sure there’s always some quality time spent with your companion. Just make sure to have regular veterinary check-ups on top of everything else and your looking at a great long live for your puppy.

Keep Your Dog Safe & Happy On Halloween

As you can imagine Halloween can be a daunting ordeal for your family dog. Each Halloween, veterinarians across the USA deal with dogs getting hurt. All of which could certainly be prevented. The following are some important tips to keep your animal safe healthy and happy during this fun holiday for children.

The first great example would be making sure you take your dog outside for any walks or general playing prior to the time kids head out for trick or treating. However if you absolutely must take your dog out while kids are out, its recommended that you keep a tight grip on your leash, it’s very easy for dogs to get overwhelmed by the mask’s and costumes the children are wearing. If you or your family members are wearing a mask, let your dog see the mask first and then put it on after really slowly. This way they can clearly see who you are prior to putting the mask on, this could help your pooch cope better with the situation.

If your dog is not wearing a collar, this time of year is an important time to reconsider.

You may want to put your dog in a room away from the front door if loud noises stir up your dog, if there a very excessive barker, or tend to be aggressive towards people they don’t know. Get your dog their favorite toy, and perhaps turn the television on to animal planet or the discovery channel to distract them with nature programming. This could very likely put a smile on your pups face.

Many dogs can get out of the house when the front door is opened, then they see costumed people and become very frightened. If your dog becomes to frightened it could possibly run out the front door and get lost. You could however, put a baby/dog gate in front of your door if your dog isn’t too big.

When planning your Halloween decorations think proactive so your dog can enjoy Halloween with you.

It’s extremely important that your dog can’t reach candles inside the house this could set fires and also harm your dog. Outside make sure they cannot touch your jack-o-lanterns the same problem could occur with the dog hurting its nose or face being burned by the candle. Decorations that have any small parts could potentially be swallowed so keep them out of the dogs.

Despite the delicious treats you might enjoy on this festive night, under no circumstances should you be feeding your dog any candy. Get rid of any candy wrappers before your dog can find them and swallow them. Wrappers can cause your pet to choke or become sick. Take your Halloween trash outside as soon as possible.

It’s very possible to have fun with your dog on this holiday. Maybe get your dog a safe plush toy and always keeping an eye on them. It can also be very fun to dress your dog up in a costume. Have a happy Halloween!