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Category Archives: Free Tips & Ideas from Dog Owners

These are your ideas for solving problems, training dogs, keeping them occupied and getting around with your dogs. Add yours here.

Cleaning Dog Nose Prints Off Windows

If you’re like me, your dog leaves nose prints all over the windows, glass doors, and car windows. Dog slobber has mucous in it, so it can be slimier than saliva. Thicker, too, which is what makes it build up and stick so badly.

When you clean any window from both sides — which I often do — here’s a tip to make it go faster. Spray your cleaner of choice on the nose streaks and let it sit for a minute before wiping. This will cut through most of the “gunk” so you’ll have less scrubbing.

Clean the outside with horizontal strokes and the inside with vertical strokes. This way, if there’s streaking, you’ll know which side it’s on.

Choose a cleaner that doesn’t have a super-strong odor; our canine pals have a sense of smell that’s 1,000 times more sensitive than ours.

 

 

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Top 5 Summer Dog Care Tips

Summer days will give you a chance to enjoy long walks in the company of your dog and to have outdoor
fun. Though your dog will love the summer, as well, it is important to put emphasis on safety and pet
health.

Here is a list of the top five dog care tips for looking after your dog in the summer.

1. Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Hydration is essential for your dog during the summer. Dogs will drink a lot of water during the hot summer days because their cooling mechanism is less effective than sweating in humans.

Put several water dishes in the house and make sure that the water in them is cool and fresh. Change it frequently to stimulate your dog to drink more. A pet fountain could be a great idea for the summer because it is fun and your dog would love to drink from it.

Even when it's not hot outside, it can become hot inside a car quickly.

Even when it’s not hot outside, and even with the windows cracked, it can become hot inside a car quickly.

2. Leaving Your Dog in the Car is a Bad Idea
Leaving your dog in the car during the summer is a very bad idea, regardless of the circumstances. Even if you keep the window open and the car is parked in a shady spot, refrain from making your dog stay there.

Dogs can get overheated and dehydrated easily and even a few minutes in a stiflingly hot car could result in a heat stroke. If you have to go shopping, you better leave your dog at home. The temperature inside the car will rise dangerously quickly, once the vehicle stops moving. You will endanger your pet’s health and life this way.

3. Vigorous Exercise is Suitable for Cooler Days
Dogs love to run and chase things but you should leave such activities for the cooler part of the day. Make
sure that your dog is not over-exerting itself in the heat. Have your play time early in the morning, before the heat has become exceptionally intense. Avoid walks in the early afternoon. The sun and the hot asphalt can affect your pet’s health adversely. Taking a walk after the sun is set is also advisable.

4. Understand the Symptoms of Heat Stroke
A heat stroke is one of the most common problems during the summer. Learning more about the symptoms will help you react quickly.

The symptoms of the heat stroke in dogs include breathing difficulties, heavy panting, a bright red tongue, thick saliva, diarrhea, high temperature and possibly even coma. If you notice any of these symptoms, take measures to cool down the dog immediately. A trip to the vets is advisable, as well.

5. Anti-Parasite Treatments
All kinds of parasites hide in the summer grass. Make sure that your dog gets the proper anti-parasite treatment for the hot months. Ticks are a major risk and a problem for both pets and humans. Fleas and mosquitoes could attack your dog, as well. These parasites can cause medical conditions like Lyme disease. By protecting your pet you will also be protecting your family from these potentially dangerous conditions.

The health and well-being of your dog is your responsibility any time of the year, but during the summer months you’ll need to take extra care to ensure your pet doesn’t suffer unnecessarily. – Amol Kotkar

 

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How to Help Dogs Suffering from Separation Anxiety

One of the most common forms of distress for canine companions is separation anxiety — the stress they feel when their owners leave them on their own. Before getting a dog, always ask yourself if your lifestyle is suitable to owning one. If you are frequently away from home and unable to take your dog with you, leaving it for prolonged periods on its own, then perhaps dog ownership is not for you.

However, it is sometimes unavoidable that your pet will have to be left alone. Here are some tips to help reduce stress your dog may experience as a result.

1. Provide Stimulation and Entertainment

Give Your Dog Something to Do When You're Away

Give Your Dog Something to Do When You’re Away

If your dog is left alone, ensure that it has a selection of toys to help keep it stimulated and engaged. There is a wealth of toys on the market and whilst simple toys are always a comfort, consider investing in one designed to provide stimulation. This could be a simple treat ball, like the one made  popular by Kong, or a more complex game of the sort which Nina Ollsson products. Always ensure that these toys are not a choking hazard. A great range of interactive toys is available from Dogscorner.co.uk.

2. Plenty of Exercise

Any dog that is being left for more than a couple of hours should be given a good long walk
beforehand. This will tire it out and help to ensure that they do not become overly excitable and
destructive whilst you are away. Dogs need to be exercised (in varying degrees according to breed)
every day; by making sure you do this before you leave, you can ensure that this happens. Otherwise
you might return tired and your dog will miss out– which is simply not fair to the dog.

3. Look for Outside Help

Rope in a family member or friend that you trust to come spend some time with your dog whilst you are away. It need not be for long but it will help to break up the day and keep the dog entertained. During a period in which I was unavoidably away for a good part of the day each week, I employed the services of my next door neighbor’s teenage daughter to come and walk my Westies. It only cost a few pounds each day and she would have been more than happy to do it for free. If your dog isn’t micro-chipped, make sure it has one of those dog collars with an ID tag on it — you don’t want to lose your dog whilst it’s in someone else’s charge.

4. Get a Second Dog

Dogs can become the best of friends — so getting a second dog is a good idea. Having a pal to play with is one of the best means of preventing separation anxiety. However, there is a caveat; you should not see this as a replacement for your affection. They will both need to spend time with you — so think very carefully whether you can spend time with two dogs before getting a second one.

5. Spend Quality Time with Your Dog

When you get home, show your dog lots of love and attention. It’s likely you will be tired after a hard day, but these are the sacrifices which a dog owner must make. If you don’t think you will have the energy to spend fussing over your pet then re-evaluate whether your lifestyle permits you to have one.

6. Consult your Vet

Many pet owners are reluctant to consult their vet over suspected separation anxiety — but this
shouldn’t be the case. Psychological conditions can be just as detrimental to your dog’s standard of
life as physiological ones. Do not be afraid to seek help and advice.

Do you have a favorite way to keep your dog entertained and busy while you’re away from home? Share it with other dog owners here.

 

Dominance and the Dog Park

The popularity of dog parks has been a boon to urban dog owners who love to let their dogs run off-leash and play with each other. But any group of dogs seek to establish a pecking order, or dominance  rank. This is when problems can occur. Two dogs who are trying to be dominant (because they are at home) often fight. Sometimes one of them will give up quickly, but other times, the fight can be more serious. Owners often don’t know the signs of a dominance confrontation about to happen:

  • Mounting – many people think this is funny or cute, but if you tolerate it, you give your approval. When your dog is the one being mounted, he may feel that you’re not going to protect him, which can affect the trust he has in you.
  • Eye contact
  • Standing tall, erect or moving in a stiff-legged way
  • Putting the head over the back of another dog
  • Taking a ball or stick away from another dog
  • Chasing
dogs fight bit dogpark

A dog park puts a group of strange dogs together, so the first order of business (they think) is to find out who’s on top.

These signs can tell you which dog in a group is vying for dominance. If the other dogs have no problem with him/her taking dominance, there can be peaceful play. If another dog wants dominance, however, there can be conflict. It usually starts with growling and snapping. It may escalate from there to full-on fighting if the owners do not intervene.

Fearful dogs who are being chased can trigger a predator instinct in a dominant dog, especially if they vocalize. If your dog has gone still, is turning his head away from the other dog, and is showing the whites of his eyes (i.e., looking around by turning his eyes rather than his head), he is very stressed and may be about to bite. Don’t be shy about stepping in and giving a sharp, “No!” to a dog who’s being aggressive, even if it isn’t your own dog. Dogs often respond to authoritative commands from anyone, and if the owner is not going to control her dog, you are in your rights to step in.

Other signs that a dog is fearful or stressed

  • Lip licking
  • Tail tucking
  • Shaking off, like they do when they’re wet
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Standing with one foreleg off the ground
  • Freezing
  • Looking away
  • Whale eye (showing whites of the eyes)

What should you do if you notice a situation developing but it isn’t fighting yet? Remove your dog. Call her to you and play elsewhere, or leave the park and come back another time. If she won’t come to you, go get her with calm confidence and quietly take her away. If your voice becomes anxious, she may begin to protect you from the other dogs, which may escalate the situation.

One effective way to split up dogs who are fighting is for one person to grab each fighter by the back legs, like you would in a wheelbarrow race. If it’s not your dog, don’t let go of those legs until the dog’s owner comes to put a leash on the dog. You can do this if your dog is attacked by an off-leash dog around the neighborhood, too. If there’s no one else around, just grab the offender; the victim will likely move away once the aggressor is disabled.

 

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Your Airline Pet Carrier Will Fit — Guaranteed

As in-cabin pet policy is not regulated by the FAA and is done so by each airline, it has been tricky for people traveling with their pets to get a clear answer as to whether or not an airline approved carrier would fit beneath the seat on a particular airline.

It seems more difficult than it needs to be. You have to find out what each airline’s size requirements and pet policies are, then you have to buy a pet carrier, only to be told AT THE GATE that you’re not in compliance. What do you do then? Most airport newsstands do not sell pet carriers, and airlines typically do not make them available for their passengers. So what happens next is that you miss your flight. How frustrating!

As a result, a new program called Guaranteed On Board® allows pet parents to get a guarantee that their carrier will be allowed on board when they get to the airport. Go to www.flygob.com, select the airline and complete flight, pet and carrier info.  If everything is in compliance, print the form and present it at check-in.

This program was created in part by Quaker Pet Group to assure that pet owners who purchase their Sherpa pet carriers are not turned away at boarding. In fact, if you’re refused entry due to their Sherpa® carrier, they will reimburse you for your ticket and your pet fee.

 

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Dog Ice Cream Recipe

What do dogs scream for when it’s this hot? Ice cream, of course! If you can’t find a local grocery store or pet retailer who sells Frosty Paws, you can make your own ice cream cubes at home. Here’s a free recipe from our friends at Modern Dog Magazine:

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cubes

INGREDIENTS

1 c water
2 chicken livers
1 c plain low-fat yogurt with active yogurt cultures
1 c solid-pack pumpkin puree (note: not pie filling)

DIRECTIONS

• Bring the water and the chicken livers to boil in a small sauce pan. Decrease the heat and simmer for 8 minutes.
• Drain the livers, reserving the stock for pouring over food or making dog cookies. Allow the livers to cool, then chop finely.
• Combine the livers, yogurt, and pumpkin in a medium bowl and stir until smooth.
• Spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for 4 to 6 hours.

Yield: 12 ice-cream cubes, ¾ cup stock

This is a treat best served outdoors, as it can be kind of messy if your dog noses it across the floor while licking away. It’s also a great treat for stuffing in a Kong. For older dogs with sensitive mouths, allow the frozen cubes to thaw for a few minutes before feeding.

 

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Take Your Pet Dog to a Dog Show

Love dog shows? Do you wish you could take a turn around the ring with your sweet pup? Afraid you’ll never know what it’s like to go around the ring because you don’t have a show dog? There’s good news! Enter your rescue dog in a Specialty Rescue Parade!

The news is out … if you love a particular breed of dog, you can almost surely get one from a shelter. Purebred dogs make up 25% of all dogs in shelters, estimates the Humane Society of the United States. Our family adopted a gorgeous purebred Irish Setter from the Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas, and he’s the most lovable, comical, silky soft kid brother a family could ever want.

Did you know that you can take your rescue dog to a dog show and join in a class? Most breed associations – even the lesser-known breeds – will have a “Specialty Rescue Parade” class in their dog shows. Just contact your dog’s breed association and ask for information about their shows’ Rescue Parade classes.

In a Rescue Parade, all entries take their dogs around the ring. Then each dog take an individual turn as the announcer shares the dog’s story with the audience. It’s a great way to promote rescue, show people the beautiful dogs they can get from their local shelters, and have a great afternoon with your dog at a show.

What fun to take your dog and experience a dog show for yourselves. It’s fun for kids, beginners and even experienced dog owners who are looking for something fun to do with their dogs.