Pet accessories cost American’s over $60 billion dollars in 2016. While we may feel a little ashamed, we still can’t help but want to spoil our furry little friends! It seems like every day some new, clever item is being introduced to the market. It can be a bit overwhelming… Below we’ve compiled (yet another) list of some great new products that are sure to make life with your pet better! Got a “must-have” item of your own? Tell us about it and share your find with others!
Pet Accessories to Have Now
Quilted Pet Cover – Got a problem with your pet getting on the couch leaving fur and damaging it? This awesome microfiber quilted pet cover should put an end to battles over the couch!
Retractable Pet Safety Gate – Tired of pet gates that don’t go as far as you need them to? Or are too big for your space? This accessory offers a solution for spaces up to 55 inches wide. That’s 4 1/2 feet!
Emergency Pet Cards – Do you live alone with your pet? Have you ever worried what would happen if you found yourself in an emergency and couldn’t get home in time to care for them? Invest in one of the Pet Care Cards. They notify emergency personnel that you have a pet at home alone and provide a contact for them to notify on your behalf!
They Gulpy Water Dispenser – The size of a water bottle, this little dispenser eliminates the need for you to carry around a bottle and a water bowl for drink breaks. Ideal for walks, hikes, and road trips!
The Bike Leash – Want to take your dog along on your bike ride with you? Check out this awesome Bike Tow Leash! Approved by the American Pet Association, this leash keeps your pet safely right along with you!
Using a leash with your dog may seem pretty intuitive. Clip it onto their collar or harness and you’re ready to go, right? Sure, that gets the job done, but did you know there are lots of tips and tricks you can use to leash train your dog? Holding it correctly to prevent injury and teaching your dog to stop pulling are two great benefits of training!
Leash Training 101
The right collar. If you’re starting your leash training with a puppy, it’s pertinent to get a collar that fits. Since puppies grow, be aware that you need to check the collar sizing regularly and upgrade as needed. Check out this link for tips on measuring your dog’s collar size!
Learn how to hold the leash. Here is where some human training comes in. Knowing how to hold the leash properly will help you keep steady control of your pet, without risking injury to yourself. This is particularly important during the training process when your pet will be pulling and jerking the most. Proper technique, as described by Wikihow:
“Slip your thumb through the loop at the end of the leash. If you hold your hand upwards in front of you (like you’re giving someone a high five), the leash should dangle off your thumb. Then close your hand around the loop. The rest of the leash should come out the bottom of your fist, beside your pinky finger.”
Start with a short range. Keeping your dog close to you can help them learn which side they should walk on and what an acceptable pace is. This also allows you more immediate, easier control during the early stages.
Trial and error. Now comes the training part! With a pocket full of treats head out the door! As your pet walks calmly beside you, praise them and offer a treat. If they pull or dart about erratically exercise patience and reward them when they stop this behavior and return to polite walking. If they remain walking with you, stop and reward them every so often.
Deal with pulling. If your dog is trying to pull you toward a goal, stop. Wait until your pet stops tugging and then slowly walk toward the object of their interest, rewarding them if they walk calmly with you. Your dog needs to understand that misbehaving will produce the opposite result of what they want. If their behavior persists, calmly walk away from their goal. Don’t ever jerk the leash, just apply enough steady pressure that they must follow you. And again with the training mantra, once he stops and begins following you at a normal pace, reward him!
Remember to always be patient and gentle with your dog. Use your stubbornness and leadership to command your pet. Dogs are smart and most pick up on leash training fast!
Taking your dog to a dog park is an excellent alternative to regular people parks! Obviously, a dog park is much more pet friendly than your average park where you might deal with pet haters or nervous parents who are uncomfortable with your Fido taking an interest in their child. Just because it’s a park for dogs though, doesn’t mean there aren’t rules and an expected etiquette to ensure all pets and pet parents have the best time possible! Are you a little unsure about what’s okay and what’s not? Check out our list of etiquette and common dog park peeves.
Dog Park Etiquette
Know your dog – Most important dog park etiquette is that you know your dog’s preferences, behavior, and sensitivities. If your dog tends to be aggressive and protective, it may be best to keep then on a leash or in a less occupied part of the park. Never let your dog off a leash in an unfenced portion of a park – especially if they rarely listen to your commands.
Do Remove The Leash & Harnesses – Once in a fenced in area, always remove the leash and harness. Keeping a dog on a leash in a dog park not only negates the purpose of the park, but also poses a tripping or tangling hazard for your pet, other pets, and other patrons. In heavy play, dogs can get entangled in harnesses causing injury or fights.
Stay involved – Don’t just let your dog loose then go sit in the shade somewhere oblivious to what your pet’s up to. Feel free to chat with other pet owners, but never without being aware of your pet. Avoid distractions by smart phones too. Know where your dog is and what it’s doing.
Spay & Neuter – If your pet is not spayed or neutered, keep them on a leash or very close to you to prevent any unwelcome promiscuous behavior.
Play vs. Fight – Know the difference between dogs playing and dogs fighting. If you have a larger pet, make sure their play stays limited to dogs of a similar size. Dogs often don’t know their own strength and it can be easier for the larger breeds to injure the smaller ones.
Avoid Packs – Make sure your dog isn’t teaming up with a large pack. Even packs of normally docile and domesticated dogs can turn dangerous. Try to limit your pets playmates to no more than three at a time.
Clean-up Waste – Just because you’re in a dog park, doesn’t mean you don’t have to be prepared to clean up any waste your dog may leave.
Health Check – Make sure your pet is up to date on his or her vaccinations and not sick. Furthermore, keep your pet away from any other dogs that may be exhibiting symptoms of disease or mites.
No Puppies Allowed – Avoid taking a new puppy younger than twelve weeks to a dog park. They are vulnerable, often don’t have all their shots yet, and may be a target for bullies.
Hire a Pet Sitter – Many pet sitters are trained for dealing with dogs and are a great option if you’re not comfortable or don’t have the time to take your dog out for socializing and exercise!
Not sure if there is a dog park near you? Check out dogpark.com to find one! Remember, YOU are responsible for your pet’s actions.
The American poet Robert Frost once said that “good fences make good neighbors”. That has never been more true than when dealing with pets in a residential community. If you’re like most pet owners, your pets are like your children and you take great offense when someone complains about them, or even worse, tries to hurt them. If you have neighbors it’s important that you consider them when it comes to taking care of your pet. A few considerate actions can ensure good relations between you and the folks next door, as well as you and your pet.
Tips To Protect Your Neighbors And Your Pets
Fences – No matter what kind of pet you have, if it spends anytime outdoors at all, a good fence is truly going to be your best bet. Fences help to keep your pet contained to your property and neighbor’s pets out. Make sure it’s tall enough to keep your pet from jumping out. Also, if you’ve got a digger like a dog or even a rabbit, be sure to line the inside of your fence with decorative rock’s or bricks – something to keep them from tunneling under easily. Walk the length of your fence occasionally to check for half dug holes or weak points.
Lunge Lines – If you can’t build a fence and have an outside dog, your next best option is going to be a lunge line. These attach to your pets collar and allow them to roam freely within a set radius. Remember though, this does not substitute for a walk! Lunge lines get a bad reputation because some people tend to hook a dog up to one and then forget about them. Your pet will need just as much attention and play time out of their “zone” as any other pet. Be sure that the radius is large enough for your pets size and free of obstacles for them to get tangled on. Just like with a fence, make sure they have access to shade at all parts of the day and plenty of food and water.
Good Leash – Good leashes make sure you’re in control when taking your pet for a walk. A good leash is strong enough to contain your pet, especially if they are trying to chase another animal. It will also allow you to easily prevent your pet from crossing into yards that it doesn’t belong in. Remember – cats, rabbits, ferrets, and other pets can be leash trained too!
Minimize Barking – Probably the number one complaint about neighbors pets has to do with a barking dog. Sometimes owners can grow desensitized to their pets barking. This can be very worrying for a good relationship within your residential community. If your dog is outside all the time make sure they have everything they need to keep comfortable and have stimulus such as chew toys to keep them occupied. Dogs will often bark when they are uncomfortable or bored. If it’s still a problem see about investing in dog silencer. These are high-tech little machines that detect barking and release a tone similar to a dog whistle that discourages the behavior. They can usually be found for under $100 – cheaper than most community noise ordinance tickets…
Vacation Planning – If you can’t take your pet with you on vacation, make sure that you have a pet nanny or someone to check on and spend time with your pet daily. Lonely pets can make a lot of ruckus.
Cat owners, tame that killer instinct! – We addressed this in one of our previous blogs – it’s very important to make sure that your cat is not wandering into neighbors yards and hunting birds or other wildlife that your neighbors may enjoy. When you’re cat is outside playing try to be out there with it. See other tips here.
If someone in your community approaches you about your pets behavior, do your best to be understanding and accommodating. Remember, these tips are for your neighbors peace of mind, but also for your pets safety and your wallet. Frustrated neighbors may use pellet guns, throw things, or call the police. Even if your neighbor is fine with your pet, they may not be as diligent as you about keeping poisons and hazardous materials out of reach on back porches or in open garages. At the end of the day, you are the one entirely responsible for your pets behavior and how it effects others!
Do you enjoy walking your pet? You do?! Well good, because they enjoy it too. Not only is it great exercise for your pet, keeps them active, and provides them fresh air, it’s just as good for you. However, walking your pet can be difficult if your pet pulls on a leash, or the leash is harsh on your hands. There is also traffic you have to look out for, as well as deciding when and where to walk your dog. We have provided several tips on how, what, when and where to walk your pet:
Leather leashes are the easiest.
Nylon leashes hold up well in cold and warm weather, but are not the best for the hands.
Chain leashes are hard on the hands, but are very good while walking your pet, especially those who like to tug or bite.
Flexi-leads are best while walking your pets in the park, but not in a high-traffic area.
Pulling on the Leash:
If you have a pet that’s pretty active while on the leash, attempt to walk he or she in the middle of the day, if possible.
Attempt to walk when other animals or wildlife are likely not to be out.
A head halter is useful for those pets excited on the leash.
Keep Out of Grass and Flower Beds:
Spring plants like daffodils and tulips cause stomach problems, so keep the leash short while letting your pooch sniff the pretty flowers.
Keep your pets off lawns during warmer months, because of insecticides, and other toxic lawn products.