3 Little Known Facts About Dogs
Today’s email will be a bit of a doggy quiz or a betcha didn’t know. This fun little list will have you saying, “Yeah, I knew that” and “Wow! I had no idea.” So, sit back, grab your coffee, and see? how many of the 3 little known facts about man’s best friend you know.
Dogs are mind readers—Okay, not mind readers, but research shows that dogs are experts at reading the emotion in your face. They can see the subtle differences in your emotion just by looking. So, yes, they can tell you are sick.
Thunderstorms can hurt a dog—Research has shown that the sound frequencies in a clap of thunder can cause pain in your puppy. So, it may not be fear. It could be actual pain your dog is feeling.
Nose prints not fingerprints—Each dog has an individual nose print. If you were to check the glass, each dog in your home would be leaving his or her own specific little nose print, just like we leave our fingerprints.
How did you do?
House Training Your Puppy: Puppy Pads vs. Outside
Owning a small dog comes with its own set of decisions. Many people love the toy breeds because they make such great inside pets and work well for apartment dwellers. This leads to the question of housebreaking. Should you train your puppy to go outside or should you train your puppy to go on a puppy mat?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. I would train my toy breed to go outside simply because I have larger dogs and I don’t want my larger dogs going inside. I have friends with toy breeds, and some go outside and some go on a puppy pad. It really is a personal preference.
Toys breeds don’t make a big mess so cleaning up won’t be a big deal. Also, if you use a good brand of pad, there shouldn’t be a smell after the initial elimination. Plus, your puppy will not have to go outside when it is cold or rainy.
However, you will need to replace the pads quite frequently, and this gets expensive. The other downside is some house guests may question the cleanliness of this method of house training.
Adopting a Family Dog from a Shelter or Rescue
When it comes time to getting a new pet for the home, my advice is stay away from pet stores. Pet stores generally get their kittens and puppies from puppy mills, and I equate this to animal cruelty. Not to mention, every day, animals are put down at shelters for various reasons. While a few of the animals are deemed unadoptable, most animals killed at animal shelters are killed due to a lack of money.
Can You Adopt Puppies and Kittens from Shelters?
Yes! Puppies and kittens can be found at shelters all the time.
Can You Adopt a Purebred from a Shelter?
Yes! While purebreds are harder to find, it does happen. If you want a purebred, look for a purebred rescue group. You may have to wait a bit longer, but this is how I got my pug and my basset hound.
What Is the Difference Between a Shelter and a Rescue?
Animal shelters are generally located in a building like your local animal control building. ASPCA also runs shelters. Most shelters will kill animals after a certain length of time if they are not adopted.
Rescue organizations are like foster homes for animals. These people find animals in shelters who are either sick, or about to die, and bring them home. They nurse them back to health and give them everything they need to become adoptable.
There are fantastic dogs out there just waiting for a family to find them!
Dog Training: Teaching Your Puppy to Potty on Command
Teaching your dog to go potty on command is a luxury that many dog owners will never know. But, teaching your dog to go on command may be something you might be able to teach your puppy.
This is done most easily when you are first housebreaking your dog. Designate a spot outside which you want your dog to use as a potty. Personally, I like it to be a spot a few feet away from the door. This way, when it is cold or rainy, I don’t have to get too wet.
The next part is simple. Take your dog out on a leash several times a day to that spot to pee and poop. Take your dog only to this spot. Don’t take him for walks and don’t let him wander the yard. Stand in one spot and have the dog circle you until he does his business. When he starts to go, use a key phrase like, “Go Potty.”
Stay outside for no more than 10 minutes. If he doesn’t go, come in and try again later.
Dog Training: Teaching Your Dog Not to Beg
My dogs don’t beg for scraps at dinner parties, birthday parties or any other time. It never fails that someone will ask how I have such great dogs. My guests are wowed when my pups see dinner being served and go and lie down, instead of begging. The truth is, my dogs have been trained to see a dinner plate as a signal for playtime to stop. Of course, once the plates are put up, my pups are right back to begging for attention.
Here’s how I did it.
Anytime you are ready to eat, grab a leash. It may sound weird but it really helps. Put your dog on a leash and have your dog lie at your feet while you eat. Don’t allow your dog to play. Don’t allow your dog to wander around. Just have your dog lie down. I actually step on the leash while I eat. I keep the leash on the floor so my dog cannot raise his head. At first, your dog might pull or tug, but after a minute, your dog will fall asleep. Then, you can eat in peace. After a while, you won’t need the leash anymore. Your dog will just lie down when you eat. If your dog gets rowdy, then get the leash as a reminder. Most importantly, never feed your dog from the table and you will be set.
Dog Warning: How to Keep Children Safe Around Dogs
Facebook has prompted yet another email. I’m sure you have seen at least one of those cute little pictures of babies sleeping on the family dog. They make for the most adorable pictures. I must confess. My own toddler used our pup to climb in and out of his crib.
As soon as I figured this out, we bought a toddler bed, and that was that. Still, those photos should come with a warning.
Warning #1: Dogs Are NOT Furniture
As cute as the pictures are, dogs are not furniture, and you should not allow your kids to sit, climb or sleep on them. Yes, some dogs tolerate it very well (including my own) but it is not something you should force or encourage. Teach your child to respect the dog, and if the dog moves away, do not follow him
Warning #2: Good Dogs Can Snap at Children
Dogs have no way of letting you they don’t feel well, they hurt or are just in a bad mood. All they can do is walk away, growl, bark, snap and bite. While your fabulous puppy may have let you lie on him every day for the last 10 years, today he may have a bellyache from eating a snail. So, when he moved away, and little Johnny followed him and tried to lie on him again, he let out a little rumple. Then, Johnny tried to lie on him again and Puppy snapped at Johnny. But, as a parent, all you see is Puppy snapping at Johnny out of the blue and you don’t know why.
Keep an eye out for the signs and you should be all set.
Dog Tips: How to Pick a Dog Who Doesn’t Shed
Do you want a dog to cuddle up and sleep in bed with you? Some people love this and this deciding factor for many people. I could go either way, but if a dog is going to sleep in my bed, then I want one who does not shed.
Some people think just because a dog has short hair that it means the dog will not shed. This is NOT true. I have a short hair Golden Retriever/Labrador mix and he sheds more than any other dog I own.
The trick to picking a dog who does not shed, or at least doesn’t shed much, is to check the coat. Short hair dogs will appear to shed less than long hair dogs because the hair won’t show up as much. The real deal is to check for an undercoat. Dogs with undercoats will shed a whole lot more than dogs without the undercoat. You will find this especially true during the changing of seasons.
Dog Training: How to Stop Separation Anxiety
Recently, I was asked how to stop separation anxiety with a friend’s puppy. Every time she leaves, her puppy starts crying and crying. Obviously, this makes my friend feel bad and it is not good for the puppy. So, I have put together some tips to make the separation a little bit easier.
Do’s and Don’ts of Leaving Your Dog:
? Do leave quickly—Dragging the separation out will only make it worse
? Don’t make a big deal out of it—Telling your dog it will be okay, and making a spectacle ?out of the process, will tell your dog this is something unusual and he should worry.
? Don’t reward crying—Petting your dog, or even talking to your dog, is rewarding the ?anxiety. Just walk out the door.
? Do practice—Practice walking out the door just like you would every other day. Put on ?your shoes, grab your keys, and walk out the door. Only leave for a few minutes. Then, come back in and reward your dog. Extend the time and your dog will get used to you leaving.
Dog Training: How to Teach the Sit Command
Basic dog obedience should be part of every puppy’s life. It is a bonding experience for the puppy and the owner alike. One of the easiest things to teach, and one of the most popular “tricks,” is the sit command. With the right guidance, your puppy can learn to sit in a few days, and the command will come in handy throughout the puppy’s life.
How to Teach Sit:
-Start by playing with your puppy. If your puppy has too much energy, then sitting will not be something he can do. After a good play, he will be able to focus on you and the training will go much easier.
-Keep the lesson time short; 510 minutes should be the max time.
-Train your puppy 2 to 3 times a day.
Grab a treat (like a piece of cheese) and hold it above the nose about an inch or so. If the bottom goes down, say “sit” and give the dog the treat and praise like crazy. If the bottom does not go down, slowly move the treat towards the eyes until the bottom goes down. When the dogs sits, give the treat and praise.
Repeat the sit procedure 3 to 5 times and quit.
It won’t take long and your dog will figure out when your hand starts to move that you want him to sit. Watch for the sit and say “sit” sooner. Then, try saying “sit” without the gesture. Always reward with praise when your puppy sits.
Protect Your Dog from Gastric Dilation Volvulus
Dog health is a concern for all pet owners and what you don’t know can hurt your dog. Today’s topic is a little known but serious concern; belly bloat. It is most common in larger breeds, but can happen in any sized dog.
What is Belly Bloat?
Bloat occurs when the abdomen fills with air, food or fluid. The pressure puts strain on the organs and makes it difficult for the puppy to breathe. It is a life threatening condition and may lead to death if not treated quickly by a veterinarian. The official name for the condition is gastric dilationvolvulus (GDV).
What are the Symptoms of Bloat?
A swollen belly
Unsuccessful attempts to vomit
Shortness of breath
Lethargy? What Causes Bloat?
The exact cause is unknown. However, some risk factors include:
Eating too fast
Heavy exercising after eating
Eating one large meal
Combining water with certain dry dog foods with citric acid ?
Can Bloat be treated?
If you suspect belly bloat, get your dog to a vet immediately. Vets do have a number of treatments available including placing a tube down the throat to allow the gas to escape. Belly bloat is a life threatening situation and can kill your pet within hours if not treated. Do not wait to seek medical treatment. This is an emergency and should be treated as such.
Dog Health: How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Over the weekend, our family had another discussion about one of the hot topics of dog ownership; pet manners. And, we’re split on the subject. One area of discussion was: should pets be allowed on the furniture? Now, I do not see my precious pups as pets. I see them as family members and, of course, family members can sit on the furniture. Some of my siblings do not agree. They think our furry friends are pets and pets should be banished to rugs and sometimes, worse, outside when company comes over.
Whichever side you land on, there is a protocol by which to live:
- Beware of allergies—I have friends who are allergic to cats. I love my cats but my friends have the right to breathe in my house. This means when they come over, the cats go in the back room and I vacuum and get rid of as much cat hair as possible.
- Jumping is NOT cute—Paws should stay on the floor. This is impolite, even if you allow your dogs and cats to jump on you, don’t allow them to jump on other people. Pets should stay down unless they are invited onto the person. They are not “just saying hi”and they are not “showing love.”
- Licking is a No-No—like jumping, it is not cute. Not everyone likes to be kissed. Some people find it gross and some people are even allergic to pets. Teach your dog manners and only let him give kisses when asked.
A well trained dog is a well-loved dog. Everyone will want to come over and be much more comfortable at your home if you follow these socially acceptable rules.
How to brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Recently, I have seen commercials on TV about doggy dentures. Sure, the commercials are a clever spoof and they are funny. They are nothing more than a funny way to sell puppy treats. But, it got me thinking about a real dog issue of which many pet owners may not be aware: brushing your dog’s teeth. I started asking around, and sure enough, many of my own friends don’t know how to brush their dog’s teeth. Since it is super simple, I thought I would share with all of you.
- Buy a doggy toothbrush—You can’t use a human toothbrush as the bristles are different and you need a different angle.
- Buy dog toothpaste—It comes in flavors like chicken and mint. Again, human toothpaste won’t work as the lather is not good for your dog. I recommend mint for fresh smelling breath.
- Be gentle —There is no need to press super hard. A nice quick rub is all it takes and your dog will appreciate the effort.
- Start slow—If your dog is older, start with using just your finger before shoving a toothbrush in his mouth. Just apply the toothpaste to your finger and rub it on the teeth to get him used to the process.
- Start young—The younger your dog is when you start, the easier the process. Puppies will think of it as a nightly routine and will love you for it.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe From Heatstroke
Summer is closing in and that means it is time to think about our furry friends. Every year, dogs suffer needlessly from heatstroke because people simply do not know the dangers. Knowing the facts can help you keep your dog safe and help your dog make it through the spring and summer happy and healthy.
- Seventy eight degrees outside can bake a car to a whopping 100 to 120 degrees in a very short time.
- Ninety degrees outside will have a car roasting at 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
- Like humans, puppies and senior dogs are the most susceptible to heatstroke. ?
Dogs become more aggressive when suffering from heat exhaustion. This is very important to know, especially when taking your pet to a park or a party. Your normally friendly pal may be a little peeved when hot and not want to be hugged by the neighborhood toddler. This can cause snaps, which your dog would not normally display. It is best to leave your pooch at home, or if he must go, then be sure to provide lots of fresh water.
Get Rid of Fleas with Dawn
It never fails, you come home from the dog park and your dog is covered in fleas. It does not matter how good your flea medicine is. The medicine is no match for the dog park. You love your furry friend. So, what do you do to rid your best bud of the munching minions making mincemeat out your pet?
Break out the Dawn dish soap. You see them use it to clean animals after oil slicks. Well, it works great for fleas as well. It has been used on many animals over the years and it is safe for limited use. Just don’t use it on a regular basis. It isn’t a dog shampoo so don’t use it each week. However, an emergency flea bath will be okay.
- Wet your dog from the neck to the tail, avoiding the eyes and the ears.
- Squirt about a teaspoon of Dawn into your hand.
- Begin lathering the soap at the top of the head.
- Work the lather down toward the tail.
- Rinse, starting at the head, and working toward the tail.
Dry skin is the biggest problem you will incur from giving your dog a bath with Dawn. Washing your dog with dish soap is very drying and thus you don’t want to do it too often. So, while it is perfectly safe, leave the dish soap for the dishes and only break out the Dawn when your dog is covered in fleas.
8 Signs of Cancer in Dogs
As a dog lover, it is my responsibility to raise awareness for dog cancer. Half the deaths of dogs over 10 years old are due to cancer. Because of this alarming fact, it is my duty to inform pet lovers everywhere of the warning signs of cancer in dogs. Here are some:
Sores that do not heal in a standard amount of time
Abnormal weight loss or gain
Loss of appetite
An offensive smell
An abnormal growth
A growth that continues to grow
Difficulty eating or swallowing
Bleeding or an abnormal discharge
Unlike cats, dogs suffer from cancer just as often as humans. They also suffer from the same types of cancers as humans. They can suffer from melanoma (skin cancer), lymphoma (gland cancer), or any numerous other cancers. Lymphoma is the most common type of cancer in dogs and is presented by swollen glands. ?
If your dog shows any signs listed above, it is imperative to see a vet immediately. There are treatment options for pets. While chemotherapy is an option in some cases, there are other options as well. The only one who is capable of diagnosing and treating your companion is a licensed veterinarian.
Dog Safety: Taking Your Pup to the Dog Park
Summer is just around the corner and that means doggie parks! Whether you are a diehard fan of the doggie park, or a dog park newbie, these tips will keep your furry friend safe at the park.
- Mind Your Manners—Just because you are in a dog park, doesn’t mean all dogs want you to touch them. While you may want to pet all the dogs, ask the owner before you reach down and start petting. This goes for your dog too. If your dog seems to be pestering a dog, call your dog away.
On a similar note, if your precious pooch is anti-social, keep him out of the dog park. Your dog will need to be socialized, but a less high demand environment is better suited for the task.
- Keep Treats Up—Not everyone gives their dog treats and giving strange dogs treats is a social no-no. If you must bring treats into the dog park, keep them wrapped up and out of sight. Never give them to a dog without first asking the owner.
- Pick up the Poop—Dog parks are a privilege and picking up after your pet is a must. If you can’t pick up after your own dog, then stay at home.
Follow these simple tips and you will be welcome at any dog park around the country.
How to Have a Pet Hair Free Party With Dogs
It is time for a dinner party and you want a clean house, for once. The problem is you have dogs. Before you throw your hands up thinking it can’t be done, here are some tips to remove pet hair from your home and have a hair free dinner party.
- Latex Glove—Those dishwashing gloves are perfect tools to get hair off the couch and carpet. After you have vacuumed up the majority of hair, go over the furniture in a downward motion wearing latex gloves. It will bunch up and you can simply throw it away.
- Balloons—Blow up a balloon and rub it back and forth on the furniture. The static will attract not only pet hair, but your hair as well.
- Duct Tape—Duct tape fixes everything! Any hair left can be picked up with some duct tape.
- T-shirt—Once everything is clean, keep it clean until your guests arrive by putting that cheap “I Heart New York” t-shirt on your dogs. The t-shirts will keep any shedding in the shirt and off the furniture.
Dog Health: Tips for Taking Care of a Senior Dog
As your dog gets older, he/she will require some special TLC. Man’s best friend has served you well and now it is time to think about the little things that can make your best friend’s later years a little easier.
- 8 is the Golden Age—When your precious puppy turns 8, it is time to start researching senior dog sites. Your puppy is no longer a puppy and no longer an adult. He is starting his retirement years and will begin to slow down.
- Change to a Senior Diet—You don’t want to switch his diet overnight. Gradually add the senior diet food while gradually reducing the food he is currently eating.
- Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia—Like humans, dogs can experience arthritis and hip problems as they age. If you suspect your dog is having problems, seeing a vet is best. In the meantime, extra cushioning will help. Our dog loves the Comforpedic doggy bed and will lie on it when she begins to hurt.
The most important thing to remember is your dog still needs your love. Even when your dog cannot greet you at the door, your senior dog still craves your attention and touch.