If you’ve had a dog before at any point in your life, you know that amazing feeling of having the puppy or dog greet you when you’ve been gone, either for an hour or a whole day. They’re so excited that their whole body can shake with enthusiasm.
But there’s a flip side to that puppy’s happiness. Dogs can worry so much about where you are and when you’re coming back that they can have horrible separation anxiety. This can lead to either self-destructive behaviors or behaviors that are destructive to their surroundings. And that, in turn, can lead to a dog that isn’t any fun to be around.
Separation anxiety isn’t all that uncommon with puppies and grown dogs and can be triggered by any number of changes to their environment. There may be a move or a new family member, for example. So what can you do to help combat this? This graphic explains it.
Like young children, dogs and puppies are forever curious. They never tire of sniffing objects in their environment, as well as eating or rolling in them. Endless sights and scents mean adventure and exercise for your furry friend, and it’s a joy to witness this kind of carefree enthusiasm for life. Along with the healthy benefits of curious energy come certain dangers, however, including the risk of overexposure or poisoning by harmful chemicals. Fortunately, your dog can avoid exposure or ingestion of toxic chemicals – with a little help from you, his beloved human.
Know the Culprits
Before you can be effective at keeping toxic chemicals away from your dog, you have to know what these chemicals are. Educate yourself about common household products that can be harmful to your pet, as well as any chemicals your dog may be exposed to when the two of you take your walks. Anything your dog is exposed to will be carried into your home – and into your bed, too, if you allow co-sleeping with your dog.
Not only do you need to know which chemicals to avoid, but also what specific products and materials contain them. Often, a toxic chemical isn’t obvious by the name or stated purpose of a product but could still contain harmful chemicals that might attract your dog in some way and cause him harm in the process. Read labels carefully and consider switching to all-natural products.
Garages and sheds, in particular, are common storage places for hazardous chemicals such as gasoline, oil, paint, fertilizer, and antifreeze. Unfortunately, these areas of your property usually contain products with toxic chemicals that can’t be replaced with natural alternatives. Although your dog may rarely be in the garage or shed, it’s still a good idea to store harmful chemicals high up where your dog can’t get to them.
Common Household Poisoning Hazards
In addition to chemical hazards, there other common household items that can cause harm to your dog if inhaled or eaten, including certain medications and foods. Even if you are diligent about protecting your dog from toxic exposure, accidents still happen. Ensure that you have a poison helpline number saved on your cell phone, as well as the number of the nearest emergency vet clinic. In any case of poisoning, time is of the essence.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil and Aleve are commonly found in medicine cabinets, but it’s also common for a bottle to be floating around on the kitchen counter or a nightstand where a dog could easily get to it. These products contain non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. If NSAIDs are eaten in toxic amounts, it can result in acute kidney failure in both dogs and cats. Signs of toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, black-tarry stools, and seizures.
Other medications commonly found in the home that are harmful to dogs if ingested in toxic amounts are acetaminophen (found in Tylenol and cold/cough medications) and amphetamines used to treat ADD and ADHD, such as Adderall and Concerta.
Certain foods that humans can generally enjoy without risk can be deadly to dogs. Chocolate, for example, contains a relative of caffeine known as theobromine that is highly toxic to canines. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the higher the danger. Another potential poisoning culprit is xylitol, a sugar replacement found in many sugarless gums and candy. Xylitol can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, and even liver failure. Unfortunately, dogs can’t safely enjoy grapes or raisins either, as these foods can cause kidney failure.
It’s not just human food that may contain toxins. There are certain ingredients found in dog food that may be contaminated with mycotoxins, which are produced by molds that grow on crops of grains. These ingredients include corn, barley, rye, wheat, cottonseed, peanuts, and corn. Good nutrition is of utmost importance for your furry companion, so opt for high-quality natural ingredients and leave the cheapest food on the shelf behind. It will generally contain lots of grain fillers.
Modern lifestyles commonly involve the use of chemicals. Between cleaning agents, insecticides, rodenticides and much more, potential danger can lurk in your home and other areas of your property. In the case of accidental ingestion, inhalation, or direct skin contact, contact a pet poison hotline or emergency vet clinic, and provide any immediate treatment possible. Remember that danger can be avoided with some careful research and cautious storage.
Did you know there are potential links between pet ownership and success? Some of the most successful entrepreneurs today have pets and are making their office spaces pet friendly too! Even the greats of the past like Theodore Roosevelt knew the importance of pets! So, are you looking for another reason to get one? Maybe your future spouse is on the fence about Fido? Let us walk you through all the reasons your pet can make you a success!
How your pet can make you a success!
Beat that stress! – Being a success can be stressful! As your business and influence grows, so does your work load. Having a pet can help you manage the workload when you’re in that transition period before your successful enough to delegate some of your duties. Studies have shown that even people who say they don’t like animals experience reduced stress by petting one!
They build confidence! – Everyone needs someone to believe in them, or someone to comfort them after a failure. Your pet will always be happy to see you! Pets often prove to be an emotional “safe-haven” for people. This allows for some recovery time after a blunder and helps people get back on their feet quicker and stronger! These are important skills for success!
They build connections! – This applies more to dog owners than cat owners, but pet ownership has been proven to increase your social skills. Maybe this is because of all those trips to the dog park? Or maybe this is also related to that confidence boost? Either way, pet owners are often more social and better at networking.
Are you worried that the extra responsibility of pet ownership could cancel out these benefits? Consider hiring a pet nanny or dog walker to help keep up with pet duties. That way, you get all the great benefits of animal kinship without all the stress!
the dirt and sniff new smells! We’re talking about your dog of course, not you! But as the season moves on the heat can start to be dangerous to you and your pet. No body is in the mood for another month or two of being shut up indoors. So how can you make sure that you and your pet are staying healthy and active? Here are our top tips!
Staying Healthy in the Heat
Stay Active, Safely – It’s important that your pet still gets their exercise, even as the temperature soar. There are several ways you can do this without too much threat of heat exhaustion. The first is to make sure that you or your dog walker time the walks to take place early in the morning or late in the evening when the heat is less intense. Another way is to spend your outdoor time next to bodies of water. This gives your pet the opportunity to cool off when they need to. Who doesn’t love a game of water fetch, anyways?
Lots of water – Make sure your pet is getting lots of water. A well hydrated pet can regulate their body temperature better than a dehydrated one. They will need more water than they do in the winter so be prepared for this. Get a larger water dish if you or a Pet Nanny won’t be available to keep an eye on and refill the water throughout the day. When you take your pet out, it’s also a good idea to bring a bowl and bottle of water with you as well.
Stop traveling with them – It might be no big deal to take your pup with you while you run errands in the cooler months. They likely benefit from the outings. In the summer though, it is NEVER okay to leave your pet in the car while you run in – even for a second, and even if you leave the window cracked. It can take less than 10 minutes for a parked car to reach deadly temperatures. Leave your pets at home unless you are exclusively going to a pet friendly destination where they can join you.
We love our little bundles of fur, but lets be honest – they sure can smell. Smelly pets are a universal problem among pet owners. Whether it’s the litter box, or the pet themselves, we have some top tips for banishing pet odor. While any one of our tips below can help, keeping pet odor under control requires the full approach. All these tips utilized together should have your home smelling like a house again!
House Cleaning Tips For Smelly Pets
Bath them often. This applies mostly to dogs, though an outside cat may benefit from a bath occasionally too. It is generally recommended to bath your dog once a month. This may vary based on their breed and level of outdoor activity, but it’s a good base time. Regular bathing helps get rid of bacteria that can build in your pets fur and on their skin, causing odor. If your pet is prone to dry skin, use gentle soaps and a conditioner. Pro-tip: If your pet is shedding, give them a good brushing before the bath!
Clean your carpet. Even a well trained pet can have accidents on the carpet. Steam clean your carpet at least once a year. Quarterly if your pet is a repeat offender. Even if potty issues aren’t a problem smelly pets can leave behind odors in areas they frequent. Don’t have the time or money for a full carpet steaming? Invest in a handheld steam cleaner to spot treat areas.
Don’t ignore furniture and pet beds. If you picked yourself up a handheld steam cleaner, or rented a large carpet shampooer for the weekend, don’t forget to hit the furniture. Couches, mattresses, and pillows used by your pet can all benefit from a good cleaning once in a while. Make sure its safe to use the steam cleaner on your fabric, then steam that odor of smelly pets away! Don’t forget to wash dog or cat bed covers and give them a good steaming too!
Clean the air. Some people like to use products such as Fabreeze to control odor, but we suggest getting an air purifier instead. They have benefits beyond eliminating pet odors and when used in unison with the other tips, keep your home fresh and free of potential allergens for you and your pet!
You may think the time for vaccines has passed once your pet is all grown up. Not so! If you want to keep your pet in peak health it’s important to get regular check-ups and a booster vaccine from time to time. How do you keep this straight though? What does your pet need and when? These questions become even more complex if you are taking on a new pet that is already an adult.
Most pets that come from shelters will have had a vaccine or two. It’s super important when there are so many animals in such a close environment as a shelter. Before you adopt, be sure to ask about your potential new pets medical history. Their known vaccine history should be included. Get a copy and be sure to take it to vet for the first check up. This will help them know what your pet needs and what it doesn’t.
Some vaccines may not be important for pet, depending on their lifestyle. Shots for things like the dog flue and kennel cough are super important for dogs that come into regular contact with other dogs. If your pets don’t frequent dog parks or socialize on a large scale, these may be less important. A vaccine for Lyme’s disease can be super important for dogs that spend time outside. If you have a delicate dog or a house cat though, chances of them contracting it are pretty slim (it’ comes from tick bites).
Save these two great infographics that detail your dog or cats vaccination needs from the start of their life on. It includes the boosters they will need to get after so many years and annually. Be sure to ask your vet about the need for seasonal vaccines too – such as the dog flu!
Pennsylvania has always been a pet loving state, with statistics indicating that over half a million of us seek the companionship of a dog, cat, or other furry, spiny, or ‘slimy but friendly’ creature in our homes. Around 400,000 households have at least one dog vs 244,000 households with at least one kitty. Statistics also show that we love our yards; even city dwelling millennials dream of having a large home in the suburbs with a backyard lawn on which to have barbecues, socialize with friends, and play fetch with Fido.
If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful, spacious backyard, are you sure it is safe for your dog or cat? If you already know how to puppy proof your home, why not ensure the yard is just as safe?
Picking the Right Plants
Many pet owners are surprised to find out that common flowers such as azaleas, rhododendrons, many types of lily or daffodils, are toxic to cats and dogs, so much so that ingestion of just a small amount can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, and sometimes, even death. If you have bought a new house and are not sure about which plants are in the yard, help from a trusted gardener will enable you to weed out potential culprits.
Fencing Fido In
Dogs have a natural digging instinct and some might try to escape to the Great Outdoors if they are bored or alone in the yard or backyard. To stop this from happening make sure your fence is sturdy and that it reaches all the way down; flexible dogs are often able to worm their way out of even the smallest gap.
Bury chicken wire deep into the soil beneath the fence or better yet, consider building a stone or paved path between the fence and the grass, so your dog has no soil to dig up when escape is on his mind.
Another unsuspected danger for dogs in the yard is a gate that is easy to open. A self-closing system will ensure your pooch can’t just slide the latch to the side and escape. If you prefer a manual latch, make sure it is too difficult for your dog to manoeuvre.
If your dog is a digger, build him a little play area in your yard by digging up soil and filling it with sand. Place his favorite toys under the sand and watch him go!
Also, ensure that your dog isn’t digging because of boredom. Make sure he is physically and mentally challenged through exercise and Kong style toys and puzzles, which will keep him interested in more useful pursuits. Walk him regularly, even if he is a yard dog, to ensure mental stimulation and exploration! Hire a pet nanny if you can’t find time regularly!
Ticks, Fleas, Insects (and Snakes!)
Dogs and cats love to roll around in the grass, which means they can be bitten by insects or infested by ticks and fleas. The first priority is to keep the grass shortly mowed and clear of clutter.
Make sure your pets are protected with a pet-friendly flea and tick repellent that is free of harsh toxins such as pyrethoids, which have sadly caused too many pet deaths. Go with what your vet recommends and talk to them about natural possibilities.
Many dog and cat owners use diluted essential oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint to repel parasites, but be very careful, since some essential oils can cause harm. For instance, geranium and citrus oils can be dangerous for cats, while some oils (such as cedar, citronella or pennyroyal) should never be used on pregnant animals.
The one oil cats seem to be okay with is neem oil, which can be added to shampoo (one teaspoon of oil per cup of pet shampoo is usually okay, according to passhealthfoods.com).
For dogs, typical solutions contain around five drops of essential oils like geranium, lemon, or lavender, with one teaspoon of carrier oil. When rubbing the oils onto your pets, avoid the eyes, nose, mouth, genitals and anal area.
Neem juice and citrus essential oils are also excellent to spray on plants to repel insects, but if you have cats, avoid anything but neem in most cases.
Beware of the Sun
Dogs can suffer from heatstroke if let out in the sun too long. Unless your backyard has tall trees that can provide plenty of shade, build your dog a wooden dog house where he can hide from the burning UV rays during peak hours of sun.
Make sure there is a fresh bowl of water out and place his house far away from his ‘potty spot’.
For most Americans, a pet is as much a member of the family as humans are. Make sure their favorite place to lounge contains no toxins that can harm their health, and keep them inside to avoid the risk of loss or injury. Finally, adapt your yard to the seasons, making sure Fido or Kitty always have a cool spot to chill out in.
Got A New Puppy? Learn All About Feeding Your New Pet!
One of the most exciting times in life is when a new member joins the family, be it a human or a pet. Puppies have a special place in our hearts and can send our loving instincts into overdrive, so how to make sure your new puppy gets the nutrition that’s scientifically right for them?
Firstly, it’s important to remind ourselves that human food isn’t suitable for dogs, and may even be harmful – especially for puppies. So while there are some safe foods to share with your dog, try to resist those puppy dog eyes, and don’t be tempted to feed from the table as it will only encourage bad habits and can lead to health problems.
Guidelines say that just weaned puppies can safely have puppy food they can access throughout the day left out because they are unlikely to overeat at a young age. Just make sure that wet food is replaced before it can go off – dry food tends to be OK. And please don’t forget the water! Pups can dehydrate quickly in warm temperatures, so a clean source of water is as important as nutritious food. Alternatively, consider feeding your new pet four times a day, and switch to three times a day when they reach 4 months of age.
How much to feed your dog will depend on the breed and the weight they are likely to reach as an adult – females tend to be lighter than males. Overfeeding your dog can lead to dangerous complications, as can the wrong combination of food and supplements. Best to stick to a breed specific puppy food brand, and check out some expert guidelines on feeding your new puppy. If you can monitor their weight with a reliable set of scales, this will be enormously helpful at this stage.
Growing up fast
By the time your dog turns 6 to 12 months, you can feed them twice a day and some puppies will start to switch to adult dog food. Again – check their breed, as larger breeds take longer to reach their full adult size and you’ll still wish to control your pup’s calcium intake to avoid bone problems later on. As dogs grow, you’ll want to start training them and they’ll burn off much energy through walks and exercise, but bear in mind safe levels for feeding and ensure they get dog treats that are right for their breed and age.
Emotional eating isn’t good for humans or dogs
There are plenty of ways you can show your love and praise to your dog that don’t involve food treats, which may be unsuitable or lead to weight problems. Praising your new puppy with cuddles, petting, an enthusiastic voice or simply giving them your full attention is just as effective, if not more, than stuffing them with useless calories.
Keeping those simple rules in mind should give your dog the best start in life, and help you enjoy a long and healthy bond with your beloved pet.
Was your new puppy a well thought out addition to your family? An incident of fate? No matter how you came to have a delightful little furry critter, what you do now that they’re home is important! Don’t set your puppy up for failure by failing to cultivate an environment they can learn and grow in. If you puppy-proof your house, you can prevent future mishaps and frustrating moments in the future. What does it mean to “puppy-proof”? Let us make offer you some great tips that will get you well on your way!
Puppy-proof Your Home!
Pick-up and block access to all toxic substances. Even if they aren’t in an area your puppy will frequent. It’s not unusual for these little beasts to escape or travel out of our preferred territory for them. Make sure if they do, no hazardous accidents await them!
Get a trashcan with a puppy proof lid. The trash may smell bad to us, but it can be super enticing for a pet. Puppy-proof your trash by adding a secure lid, or getting a sturdy one with a foot mechanism.
Tie up those drape cords. Don’t let your puppy get dangerously entangled in drape or blind cords. Tie these up out of reach to avoid buying new window treatments or an injured pet.
Keep plants out of reach. This can prevent poisoning and keeps them from digging in the pots!
Keep power cords out of reach. This is a must if your new puppy is a chewer (and most are). You can also make sure they have plenty of chew toys so they can get this impulse out without causing damage.
Ditto ^^ for shoes, throw pillows, or anything else you really care about or can be dangerous!
Keep your nightstand clear. Puppy-proof your bedroom by making sure nightstands or tables they can access by jumping up on things are free from things they can break. Also make sure to keep medicines in the medicine cabinet, out of reach!
Keep the toilet lid down. Don’t let a bad habit start!
Got some additional tips to help puppy-proof homes? Share them with us!
So you’re going to adopt a puppy. Congratulations! He can grow up to be the best friend you’ve ever had. No animal is more lovable, or more loving, than the dog. He is a gentle protector and playmate for children, a superb companion for adults. He is an incomparable pet. But there are some enormous ‘ifs’ in dog ownership and choosing the right match. Let’s look at a few of them before you take the plunge.
Your dog will be with you for a very long time (the average dog lives to be 12 years old, and many live much longer).
Your dog will become an intimate part of your family household (or he will not be a good pet).
Your dog will require constant care, companionship, and training (or you should not own a dog).
Not all dogs are suited to all people or all places (and vice versa).
Choosing a pet can be a highly emotional affair. All puppies are appealing, and it’s easy to fall for the first set of liquid brown eyes and winning ways you meet. But if you act on impulse, you might regret it later. And so might your dog, if he could only talk.
The German Shepherds, St. Bernard’s and Great Danes confined to city apartments, the delicate Chihuahua who cowers under the bed to avoid well-meant manhandling by the children, the feisty little terrier whose owner thought she was getting a lap dog – these and many more mismatched pets should have their own liberation movement.
The point is that pet ownership is a genuine responsibility, and before you accept this responsibility you should give time and thought to choosing the right pet for you.
Before Choosing, Ask Yourself Some of the Following Questions:
Why do you want a dog? As a companion for children, a solace for loneliness, a household guard, a hunter or a status symbol?
Do you have room for him? If you live in an apartment you should choose a breed that does not require a great deal of exercise. If you live in the suburbs, you should choose a dog that will accept backyard confinement. If you live in the country, your choice is almost unlimited.
Do you have time for him? All dogs need some companionship and play, but the young puppy requires lots of attention. If you’re not willing to give it to him and to put up with a certain amount of puppy mischief, you should consider adopting an older dog.
Will he be an outdoor or indoor dog? Some breeds can carpet a house with dog hairs. Others, such as Poodles, Dachshunds, Bulldogs and most of the wire-haired breeds, shed very little.
Do you have small children? You have a wide choice because most dogs patiently endure the trauma of children. To be fair to both children and dog, however, avoid breeds that tend to be fragile, temperamental or high-strung.
What kind of people do you Like? Lively, animated, aggressive, or quiet, relaxed and low-keyed? Dogs have dispositions, too. Remember when choosing that you’re matchmaking, and select a dog that will suit your own temperament.
The answers to these questions will give you an approximate profile of yourself as a pet owner and make choosing easier.
Let’s say you’re a suburban family with two small boys who are long on roughhousing and short on patience. Then you probably should choose one of the sturdy working dogs, hounds or sporting breeds with even dispositions and physical stamina to take rough-and-tumble play.
If you’re looking for a burglar alarm, you can’t do much better than choosing one of the terriers. These lively, alert, aggressive dogs will take on all comers. Terriers adapt well to apartment living, and so do the delightful and decorative toy breeds.
Toy dogs make superb companions for adults, but most are too fragile to be suitable pets for young children.
Mongrel or Purebred:
There is a right dog for you, and probably many right choices among the approximately 120 breeds currently recognized by the American Kennel Club. And there are, of course, the mixed breeds – the mutts or mongrels that for many years have been America’s favorites. They seem to be on the decline now, perhaps for good reason.
Mongrels can make superb pets, as their loyal owners will testify. But many mongrels grow up to be unattractive, unhealthy and unreliable indisposition. These are the dogs that end up in city pounds and animal shelters by the millions. Unwanted and unloved, most of them must be destroyed.
A mongrel may be a risky choice unless you know something about his ancestry. This is not difficult to trace with a crossbreed (a puppy whose dame and sire were different purebreds), but the true mutt bears a motley mixture of genes.
Of course, you may be lucky and get the smartest and most lovable dog in the world. But you do have a better chance of getting a pet of predictable size, appearance and temperament by buying a purebred animal.
Purebred dogs are listed by the American Kennel Club under six general groups-sporting dogs, working dogs, hounds, terriers, toys and nonsporting or companion dogs. While there are exceptions in every category, the animals in each of the six groups do share certain general personality traits to help you make your selection.
Visit dog shows and breeding kennels in your area. And as you narrow your choice down, do some further reading on the breeds you are considering. You’ll find ample material at your local library. A little homework on the fascinating subject of dogs can be a lot of fun and very rewarding in making the right choice.
For further information on purebreds, write to the American Kennel Club, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. l0010. This organization, which exists to promote fine breed standards will not recommend a specific kind of dog but will put you in touch with reliable breeders in your area.
There are many fine purebred dogs not recognized by the AKC. Some of the great hunting hounds, such as the Bluetick, Redbone and Plott hounds, are listed under a separate registry. England’s Cavalier King Charles – Spaniel, a court favorite as long as, 300 years ago, is not on the AKC list. Nor is Scotland’s famous herding dog, the Border Collie.
These and many others (authorities estimate that there are as many as 400 separate breeds throughout the world) are fine blooded animals that have long been recognized in their homelands and are gradually gaining popularity in America. Two of the most recent breeds to be recognized is the Tibetan Terrier and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
Male or Female?
Generalities about the personalities of the male vs. female are tricky and always subject to exceptions. As a rule, the female is little more tractable, easier to handle and train, and more of a homebody than the male.
Unless you’re going into the business of raising dogs, however, the female should be spayed, an operation that should be performed at between 7 to 10 months of age.
Spaying, incidentally, will not greatly alter your pet’s personality or necessarily lead to obesity, all legends to the contrary. It is part of the dog owner’s obligation in these days when the pet population explosion has become a matter of national concern.
If you choose a female, do not have her bred unless you can guarantee homes for all her puppies.
The male dog is usually more aggressive than the female, more inclined to roam, and tends to make strong one-man attachments. Both make fine pets. Because male dogs are more in demand, they usually cost a little more than females.
Authorities disagree on the ideal age for adopting a puppy, though they all do agree that the puppy should not be younger than 6 weeks old. Two months is probably about right for puppy’s own health and personality development; he’s ready by then to leave the litter and join the world of people.
If you are investing in a very expensive animal, it might be wise to wait until 4 to 6 months, when he will have received his inoculations and survived the ailments that can attack the very young. But then, no doubt about it, you will have missed a lot of the fun (and hard work) of puppy’s first year of life.
Where to Buy:
Don’t buy, adopt if you can! Shelters are full of beautiful loving dogs that need homes first. Always check your local shelters for a good family match before you look elsewhere.
If you are going to buy, by far the most reliable source is an established breeder or kennel recommended by the AKC or your veterinarian.
You can get good dogs from private owners, too, but be sure to investigate both sides of the dog’s family tree. The pet shop adds one extra step for a puppy, sometimes a traumatic one, between the comfort of his litter and the adventure of his new home. It is much better to choose a puppy directly from his own litter. This is not always possible for city dwellers, however. If you buy from a pet shop, make very sure it is a clean, reliable, long-established operation; and take special pains to check out your prospective pet’s health and disposition. You can never be too careful when choosing your companion.
This is no time for bargain-hunting. A puppy is one purchase that. you won’t turn in for next year’s model, and your initial investment can assure you of a healthy specimen.
Wherever you get your dog, he should be examined by a veterinarian before final purchase.
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AUTHOR BIO: Imad LB is the founder of a dog blog called Howpup.com. 37-year-old, entrepreneur, dog lover and passionate blogger. He loves to write about dog training, health issues, dog tips, and advice.