Your Dog After Surgery

By Maria Posted in dog care / No Comments »

Pet surgery is a scary time for both dog and owner. Following the procedure, your best friend will probably act differently than normal as their bodies heal and return to full health. While it might be a bit more challenging, these steps will make the recovery process much easier for you and your canine companion.

 

Keep Them Comfy

If they’ve had any type of surgery, it can be assumed they will need time for the anesthesia to wear off. During this time and for a few days after while they heal, it will be up to you to make sure they are comfortable and remain at a comfortable temperature. Since they won’t be able to physically adjust themselves like before, they’ll look to you for help.

 

Keep Them Alone

Due to the drugs and potential pain, your pooch will probably be grumpy, leading them to snap at things they would otherwise ignore. Keep kids, other pets and even visitors away until your pet is back to their usual happy self.

 

Walk Them Regularly

The fluids they’ve been given and other medications will no doubt have an effect on their bathroom habits. Because they probably won’t give you their tried and true signal that it’s time to head out, set up a regular schedule for trips outside. This should happen every few hours. In addition, make sure they sleep on things you won’t mind washing if they happen to have an accident in the middle of the night.

 

Watch them Drink

Though you do need to keep water nearby to make sure your sick pup drinks enough, always monitor when they drink as some drowsy dogs can fall asleep in their water bowls and drown. Also, always keep some bland food nearby for them to eat when they feel hungry. Offer this in small doses since they may have bouts of nausea for a few days.

 

Keep the Leash Short

When you do your walks, keep your pet on a short leash to prevent them from accidentally hurting themselves again. Even if they look like they’re ready to run a marathon, force them to take it slow for as many days as is recommended by the vet to ensure full healing happens. Exertion too early on can reopen wounds.

 

Keep the Area Dry

For the first few weeks, it’s important to keep the incision area absolutely dry to avoid any chance of infection. This means no bathing and extra precautions if you have to go outside in the rain. Some owners cover the site with plastic before heading to a spot they know will be even the slightest bit damp.

 

Care for the Wound

Finally, it is imperative you care for the wound exactly how the vet tells you to. Even though they cleaned up everything, your dog’s body still needs to add the final touches to close everything up again. If anything appears strange, call your vet immediately.

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Doggie Dates

By Maria Posted in dog care / No Comments »

We all run into busy days and playtime malaise. Sometimes we just can’t give the time we want to our best friends. Other times we get bored of playing fetch. It’s simply a normal part of being a pet owner. However, this doesn’t have to lead to a boring relationship between you and your dog. Making things exciting again is up to you.

 

Workout Woofer

They say our pets resemble us. This being the case, it should come as no surprise that pet obesity is rising alongside human obesity. In fact, over 50% of all pets are packing on the pounds with 66% of Americans following suite. In order to fight this, get your pup to push around weights with you. The best part is that they’ll soon become your motivation to move every day.

 

Hiking Hound

No matter where you live, there are miles of hiking trails nearby. From the mountains of the Pacific to the swamps of the Atlantic, nothing brings you closer to nature than a secluded hike. Here, you’ll enjoy fresh air and exercise while your pooch gets to enjoy a myriad of new smells and trees to mark. Maybe they’ll get to bark at more than just a pigeon or squirrel. Just remember to have a good flea and tick repellant, especially during summer months.

 

Picnic Puppy

Dog parks are great for socializing both you and your pet but can end up being boring, reducing the amount of time you let your dog run free. To mix this up, find a dog-friendly park and plan a picnic. Bring food for both you and your canine companion so you both can enjoy some frisbee, fetch and intermittent food breaks.

 

Business Buster

If your company permits it, why not bring your buddy to work? Even if it’s one day out of the year, your pet will love the change of scenery and meeting new people. More than that, though, they’ll enjoy not having to sit in a kennel all day. They’ll also force you to take regular breaks so you can take them on a quick walk around the neighborhood and stretch your own legs.

 

Caring Canine

Sometimes the best time is spent helping others. For this, reach out to local nursing and retirement homes. Feel free to even reach out to hospitals. Full of people that would love to experience the company of a dog and a person, these animal interactions are well-documented for helping people heal. Give back to the community together.

 

Proper Pooch

As intelligent animals, it should come as no surprise that dogs don’t enjoy being bored. They love challenges and love being rewarded for overcoming these challenges. Fulfill that intellectual itch through more training. No matter the tricks they have down pat now, there’s always something new they can learn.

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Happy Holiday Travels

By Maria Posted in dog care / No Comments »

With Halloween right around the corner, stores are already sectioning off areas for Christmas decor, signaling the start of the holiday season. Though traveling is always as exciting as it is exhausting for us, your canine companion requires some extra love and attention to make sure they don’t go barking mad.

 

Bones, not Roams

If you’re traveling by car, the only safe spot for your pup is in the back seat either locked in a safety harness or safely secured in their carrier. While you might think it’s cute to let Buster wander back and forth, roaming around the car is a terrible distraction that can lead to accidents. Even worse is that in the event of a crash, an unsecured dog will not be protected. Keep everyone safe and keep your dog in the back.

 

Happy Hounds

Make sure your dog has all the water and food they need to stay happy. Driving and flying are long processes that can leave even the most steadfast of us weary. If it can tear us down, imagine what it does to your dog who doesn’t understand the purpose of this travel stress. When possible, make sure they get regular potty breaks and have enough room to stretch their legs and reposition themselves. While traveling can be stressful, it’s a lot more fun when they’re not wedged into an uncomfortable position for hours at a time.

 

Planes, Trains and Security Policies

Don’t think you can get everything you need to know about bringing your pet with you on an airplane or train online. Be proactive and directly call the company to get the information you need. While some allow for in-cabin pet booking, there are many that don’t even allow for pet travel, let alone accounting for breed and size restrictions. Make sure you are entirely clear on the rules before purchasing a ticket. No one wants to have to cancel their flight because their dog wasn’t allowed.

 

A Penny Saved

The cost of traveling with a pet is rarely calculated into the holiday budget, making it a potentially nasty surprise once bills are due. Instead of getting caught unawares, start prepping for pet costs now. If you’re driving, this will usually mean higher hotel rates. If you’re flying, the additional price added to your ticket is over $100 each way. On top of this, you’ll need to get a carrier and possibly medication to keep your pup calm.

 

The Early Bird

Make your plans now. Everyone travels during the holidays, resulting in packed bookings, higher prices and stressed out employees. By making arrangements now, you can guarantee that your dog will meet the animal quota for the airline cabin or that you’ll have a large enough rental car to fit your St. Bernard. You will also rest easier knowing you have a pet-friendly hotel room in a location that’s convenient to your travel destination.

 

 

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Happy Apartments for Older Pups

By Maria Posted in dog care / No Comments »

Not all new apartment dogs are spry young pups that need regular outdoor walkies and constant attention. Many are of the older variety. Though a bit more sluggish, they nonetheless require just as much love as the little ones. Many even require a few modifications to keep the apartment safe for them as they transition to their golden years.

 

Keep Treatment the Same

Moving is just as stressful for your pooch. After years of one way of living, a sudden change can cause heaps of anxiety. Do what you can to maintain a regular schedule with food and exercise. Keep their favorite toys nearby. Let them hide if they need to or allow them to stay at your side.

 

Bring in a Bathroom Box

Dogs can be litter trained just like cats. If your older dog no longer has unrestricted access to the outdoor world for their aging bladder, there will likely be more accidents. Set up a safe place they can go if the urge comes on too strong and they’re stuck inside.

 

Set Up Ramps

If there are steps in the new apartment, add small ramps along the sides. Just like us, your older dog’s joints are going to really start hurting them. The less they have to jump or climb, the better it will feel. Though a stair or sofa might not seem big to us, just imagine how large it is for an animal that’s at least half your size.

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A Doggie-Proof Apartment

By Maria Posted in dog care / No Comments »

As smart as dogs are, they still aren’t that smart. Because of this, it’s up to you to make sure your apartment is safe for your pet pooch.

 

Kitchen & Bathroom

  • Latch everything. The last thing you need is a curious canine getting into any of the cleaners.
  • Put all foods up and away. Even with a saran wrap exterior, your dog can smell just how delicious your left over muffin is. They will be tempted to eat it, wrapper and all.
  • Close the toilet lid. For the cleanliness of your home, just keep the lid down.

 

Living Room

  • Hide all cords. Thick or small, it doesn’t matter. Make sure they are hidden behind a sofa or locked away in an entertainment stand. Every dog owner has at least one story of what happened to the cord of their favorite electronic when met with the destructive might of a Jack Russell.

 

Bedrooms

  • Put the shoes up. Even if your dog has never exhibited shoe madness, always play it safe. Plus, those laces are a severe choking hazard if swallowed.
  • Store any cosmetics, lotions or perfumes in a drawer. Again, their noses can get the better of them, especially if they’ve been bored in an apartment all day.

 

Garage (Optional)

  • Put all chemicals out of reach.
  • Make sure sharp tools are also out of reach. An excited search and sniff around this new area can yield new scars if not clear of dangerous debris.
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Woof, Woof, Bang, Bang

By Maria Posted in dog care / No Comments »

It’s a proud American tradition. First some grilling, then some fireworks and finally fishing your scared dog out from under the bed. Loud noises are often frightening to our canine companions, but not for the reason you’d think. While it’s true they have better hearing than we’ll ever have, scary noises that cause dogs to shiver, destroy property, cling to you or soil themselves are scary because the sound is associated with something bad that happened to them in the past. Here’s what you can do to put your pooch at peace.

 

Give them A Safe Room

Chances are your dog takes off to a specific spot each time. Instead of forcing them out, make their safe spot as comfortable as possible. Put their toys and bed in their along with some water. Avoid crates, though, as dogs are known to hurt themselves trying to escape when spooked.

 

Play With Them

Get them to associate fun times with fireworks by playing catch or tug-of-war with their favorite toys. If, however, they do drop the playtime because the noise is too much, never force them to endure it. You’ll only cause long-lasting mental trauma.

 

Medication

Sadly, like people, certain scared pups resort to self-harm, making fireworks more dangerous than patriotic. For this, talk to your vet about medicating them during the festivities. Just be sure to only do this under the direst circumstances since medicating your dog is really the very last resort and only If they are a danger to themselves.

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If I Flee, I Pee

By Maria Posted in dog training / No Comments »

It’s no secret that dogs are not the biggest fans of loud noises. From fireworks to vacuums, nothing can send a dog into terrified shivering quite like the power of sound. Unfortunately, this means that even during something as simple as a thunderstorm, you can find yourself cleaning up urination spots no matter how house broken your dog is. Fortunately, this behavior can be stopped.

Be With Them

Unlike your pet, you know when thunderstorms are on their way through weather forecasts. In the event of an oncoming storm, be with your dog. If you’ve ever noticed them hiding under furniture, shaking, whining or otherwise exhibiting signs of distress, you know that what comes next isn’t something you enjoy cleaning up. By spending this time with them and watching them, you can monitor their actions, stopping them from having an accident before it happens.

Stay Calm & Play On

The best thing you can do is both remain calm and happy while engaging your dog in playtime. A big reason dogs become so frightened of the loud noise is that they at one point in time associated it with something bad. To break this thought process, you need to teach them otherwise. By engrossing them in tug of war, fetch or maybe a calm brushing, you’re teaching them there is no reason to be so frightened. After all, you’re not frightened, and you’re the alpha of their pack.

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Having Trouble Training Your Terrier?

By Maria Posted in dog care, dog training / No Comments »

Not all dogs are as eager to listen to you as you may want. Corgi’s, Retrievers, and even Collies love to spend time with you and the family, whether it’s having fun or just walking through the park, and will readily respond to your calls. But a few breeds, mainly terriers, aren’t so easily coaxed into simply “hanging out” with you and your family.

Such pups always want to “go, go, go” when it comes to having fun. These free-spirited pups tend to do things their own way. These terrier breeds come in all sizes and are renowned for their valiance and determination, along with their very yappy alert system, making them excellent protectors for your home.

Full of energy, breeds like the Parson Russell, Skye, and the Scottish terriers can be hard to handle but also just as fun to play with. But terriers need excitement or they get bored quickly. And that is when life can become difficult for you and them.

Instinctively, terriers enjoy…

Originally, terrier pups were bred to hunt alone. Unlike retrievers and other breeds of herding dogs, terriers were raised to roam about loosely on their property, hunting small vermin like rats, skunks, and even foxes in order to keep the owner and their property safe. All of this was done with little to no instruction from their human companions, which tends to make many terriers independent in nature if left unguided.

By nature, terriers are often very intolerant to cooperating with their owners, making them difficult students during training. If something shiny pops up or perhaps a cat scurries through the yard, you may lose all control of your pup as they break for the door in hopes of chasing down their “prey.” They may even knock you over in an attempt to be the first out the door.

For those wondering, the reason for their “yappiness” is due to their instinctive nature to frighten and intimidate their prey from burrows and dens. In fact, the term “terrier” means “from the earth,” which is why many terrier breeds are renowned for their golf-course style backyard decorations. Digging and tunneling is a favorite activity for them, which on occasion makes them difficult to handle.

Training from the start

The very nature of terrier breeds is why it’s so important to undertake training at an early age very seriously. Of importance to note is that terriers are extremely defiant and no level of negative punishment will convince them to listen to you. Punishment will only make them more hard-headed and less likely to want to be your friend. The goal is to make them want to hang out with you because it’s fun for them.

Because of their very independent nature, when they’re young, socialization with both people and other animals is a must. It helps your terrier pup overcome their instinctive nature to roam and hunt alone. This is mainly because walks, though simple in nature, help develop a bond between the dog and the individual holding the other end of their leash. They’re more inclined to look to you, their owner and protector, for answers and instructions.

Have fun

The best thing you can do for a terrier breed is to make things entertaining. Having fun makes a huge difference to these pups, and if it isn’t exciting or enticing, they’ll want to move on or even ignore you.

A handy trick to rely on is having a treat readily available to offer them when your terrier listens to your commands. Food is a good hand to play in this particular training scenario since terriers are often food-driven, mainly because it plays to their hunting instincts. So when it comes to training, the training plan for a terrier breed needs to not only be fun, but full of treats as well.

You’ll also need to spend a lot of time socializing with them. While they do have a knack for entertaining themselves (checking inside the couch cushions and underneath the carpet), they’ll need to be kept entertained or they’ll start focusing their attention on less constructive things, such as landscaping your backyard for a good 18-hole game of golf.

Regardless of obedience training, terrier breeds still need to be watched carefully, especially around dangerous situations such as busy roads and on camping trips (bring your leash and a good harness along). Instinct can still overcome any level of training, which can be dangerous for these pups in certain circumstances.

Terriers are invaluable companions and valiant protectors, but they can also be a little hard-headed when it comes to listening to you. So be sure you take the time to develop a positive bond of companionship between you and your four-legged friend, or they might be the ones making the decisions around the house.

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Considering a Dog as Your Companion

Finding the right companion for your home isn’t just about picking up the cutest pooch around or even following your friend’s recommendations. A dog isn’t just a piece of clothing or jewelry you can put away in the closet or a drawer. Dogs are a life-commitment, and thus the decision to own one has to be made with careful thought.

It is often disheartening to see young pups put back up for adoption when the owners decide they can’t take care of them or when they discover how much work it is owning a dog, but it happens every day.

This is why it’s so important to research and discover what dog breed will best suit you and your lifestyle. There are several areas and characteristics to consider before making the ultimate decision, and it will determine how well you and your pup get along, ensuring that you are happy together.

One size does not fit all

In order for your dog to find their own niche in your home, they have to be comfortable. A small domicile like an upstairs apartment may not be the best home for an outdoor loving breed that likes to run rampant constantly (driving the downstairs neighbors crazy).

For the most part, there has to be enough room for the dog to play when they want to. So if space is restricted, search for a breed that’s going to be tiny enough to think your small apartment will take years to explore.

Of course, one must also consider the noise factor. Not all dogs share their thoughts and feelings at the same volume as others. Size doesn’t really matter in this particular situation, since many terrier breeds are renowned for their ability to vocalize their thoughts on any situation. Thus, make sure your new friend isn’t going to keep you and the neighbors up all night.

Then there is the food factor and your budget. Not everyone has a budget big enough to feed Akitas or a Saint Bernard, so you have to ask yourself, Will they eat a lot? Budgets increases are mostly underestimated in dog ownership, especially when considering medical emergencies, habit changes, relocation scenarios, and any unexpected situations that can and will likely happen at some point in both your lives. This is why it’s important to consider the actual and potential costs of having your four-legged companion.

To be fluffy, or not to be

One thing about dogs is that when they’re all cute and fluffy, they seem so much more adorable, which is why puppies are irresistibly fun to play with. But they will eventually grow out of their puppy coat and put on a different coat that will be prone to shedding.

Shedding will mean that your home is going to be covered in loose fur, occasionally a fur ball or two collecting in the kitchen corner, and if you don’t vacuum regularly because your pup likes to attack that noisy thing, you’ll end up with fur in your food.

Not all pups shed the same though. In fact, there are some that are hypo-allergenic and don’t shed at all. Because time isn’t always on your side, it’s important to consider how much time you can spend on your dog’s hygiene (such as regular brushing to keep the fur from flying), your own allergies, and how much you are willing to invest in keeping a tidy home free of fur.

Training

Some breeds are easily trainable than others, while some breeds seem to be better at certain tasks than others. Then there are those that seem to just have a mind of their own. In most cases, high energy breeds such as Border Collies, Blue Heelers (Australian cattle dog), and Australian Shepherds require far more attention to train properly. If you don’t have the time to spend training them in-depth, high energy breeds are more likely to do what they want.

Personality match

Consider what it is that you want out of the relationship you have with your pup. Do you want them for comfort and occasional hugs? Is it for security and peace of mind? Or maybe you want a pup that will go on outdoor adventures and enjoys camping?

Each dog breed tend to have its defining characteristics. Hounds tend to be more oblivious to others and love to keep their nose to the ground.  Cattle dog breeds bond specifically to their adopted family, love the outdoors, and have plenty of energy. Terrier breeds are yappy and independent, love to hang out with their family, but are mischievous at times.

But there is still the individual personality to consider in a friend. Every dog is unique and has their own tale to tell, which defines who they are and how they live their life with you. Take time and make the right decision for you and your new furry friend because it’s one that will affect your happiness together.

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What’s Your Dog Up To?

The recent past has seen an increase in the way people keep in touch and share with each other. Social networks, texting, and the plethora of Internet information sources have allowed people to get information much more efficiently, and then share it just as easily.

Of course, this is a great opportunity for pet owners to share their stories with others around the world. There are forums on social networks for just about any topic one can think off, and as such dog owners would be wise to subscribe to one that helps them learn more about their canine pets.

Learning more about your dog

Information is power, as they say, and the more you learn about your dog, the better you will be suited to respond to any situation. What one might consider a funny story about their dog snacking on some groceries when no one was looking can turn into a life-saving situation when someone hears about it and offers helpful advice.

Say your pup seems to behave a little strange. Their schedule changes, they start using the spot behind the couch for a bathroom, or maybe even have a little trouble with their bowels. At such a time, you need expert advice, but sometimes it is expensive or time consuming to find a veterinarian to help you.

What were once facts limited to the elite, trained professionals, are now open for discussion in the online world. With dog forums, getting advice and help is simple, convenient, and far less expensive (depending on your internet and phone service) than taking a trip to the vet every time you have a concern. And when there is concern, there isn’t any dispute on whether or not it’s vital that your dog does need to go to the vet for medical treatment. The end result is that sharing saves more dog lives simply because there’s more awareness about dogs and their needs.

Dogs…discuss!

The one primary benefit to the social online world is that it’s easy enough to simply ask. Rather than being limited to a few friends (whom may not be familiar with pet ownership), you can pose your questions to the right forum and get your answers.

Of course, this also allows each individual to share their own personal insight, experiences, and stories as well. Every individual will have their own thoughts on particular topics and subjects, some well-informed than others. What this means is that you can’t always take the first bit of advice you get. Like anything in print, it’s always open to perception and argument. Hence, the reason the internet is often so lively with discussion because without disagreement and different point of views, we wouldn’t have much to talk about. So, be sure you double check the offered facts before you take anyone’s word for it.

Pictures and stories

What social networking has done for the dog/companion world is bring everyone together, turning what was once a relationship between pet and owner into a bond that seems more like a paternal relationship. Owners utilize social networks to update how their “buddy” is doing at the moment or what kind of mischief they have planned for the park later.

What the social world has done for these relationships is help dog owners exhibit how much they love their pooches- and how much their furry friends love them back. Pictures and stories provide a world of different experiences that other owners, even potential ones, can research to really gain insight into the world of dogs, their habits, antics, and the bond that builds between.

Recent trends point towards a state where social won’t be just for people anymore. In fact, there are plenty of dogs that have their own social update-statuses, turning them into public figures in the online world. From politics to story characters, dogs are getting their say in the online world, and change the way that people view these furry friends.

The online world is full of information, and it can be extremely helpful; from simple advice to lifesaving social updates. But just because it’s online doesn’t always mean that it’s pure fact, so be sure that you ask around, because there’s always someone else you can consult before you decide for yourself what the facts are.

Double check the source and the information. [tweet this]

Every dog is different, and because of that simple fact, it’s great to be able to share each one of their experiences, unique stories, and the silly candid pictures. As such, always feel free to ask questions, share your own stories, helpful hints, and even post up a cute picture of your pooch when the time is right.

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