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Archive for the ‘Dog Chew Toys’ Category

Puppy Teething Tips

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

When a puppy is teething, it’s easy to think it’s just displaying temporary bad behavior when it nips and chews on things – like your fingers for instance. Behaviors like this are simply signs that your puppy is teething. Luckily, by using a few simple techniques you’ll be able to manage the offending behavior.

Puppies stay in the teething stage until they are about six or seven months old, and during that period of time you’ll need to learn how to manage your puppy’s behavior and teach it what is appropriate and acceptable behavior. Unfortunately, if you don’t control the puppy’s unwanted behavior properly, it may imprint that behavior on its brain as being the thing to do, and when it is a fully grown adult you’ll still be dealing with the same bad behavior.

Signs your Puppy Is Teething
* Excessive drooling – this is usually a messy behavior; a drooling puppy will leave wet spots on its bed or any area where it lies down to rest for long periods. Puppies generally have grown their baby teeth by the time they are eight weeks of age. After that time they will begin losing their baby teeth, replacing them with their adult teeth starting around seven months of age. Unless you have one of the breeds known for excessive drooling their entire lifetime, the drooling should end after the adult teeth have begun pushing through the gums.

* Chewing – the most obvious sign that a puppy is teething is when it begins to chew on all sorts of things inside and outside your house. A puppy, regardless of size, will chew on your shoes, your kitchen cabinets, its own or the children’s toys, a stick it finds in the yard, and unfortunately, your furniture too. When a puppy chews on items like this it is teething and simply trying to alleviate the pain associated with its rapidly developing baby teeth.

* Missing teeth – this is common and is no cause for alarm. The same thing happens in human toddlers – the baby tooth has worked itself loose and has been pushed up through the gums in order to make way for the adult tooth pushing through the gum.

* Bleeding or swollen gums – this uncomfortable sign of teething can be managed with gentle, careful massaging of the gums for approximately ten minutes, twice a day. Use a damp cloth that has been soaked and placed in the freezer for at least an hour or more.

To keep your puppy occupied and away from the things you don’t want it to chew on, make sure you have plenty of toys on hand for it to chew on. Plastic toys are better than wooden ones because you don’t want your puppy biting off and swallowing slivers of wood. The puppy’s toys should be rotated every couple of weeks to keep it interested so it doesn’t become bored with the same old toys. You can also buy a few feet of rope and let the puppy chew on it as much as it wants to.

Keeping your puppy’s toys in a special box or container will help your puppy understand and identify which toys are his.

The most important thing you can do during the teething period is to be patient. Even adult dogs will sometimes chew on your shoe or play hide the sock, so don’t be too tough on a puppy who doesn’t yet know better.

With your help and guidance, puppy teething will turn a rascally puppy into a well-behaved adult dog and you’ll no longer have to worry about your furniture or shoes being chewed to smithereens.

Choosing Dog Toys

Monday, July 7th, 2014

When choosing dog toys you’ll want to buy toys that will keep your pet happy and entertained. You can also buy toys that are good for your dog’s gums. When choosing toys be sure they’re safe and durable.

Stuffed toys are not safe and you may want to avoid buying them. Dogs will chew on their toys and if the toy has stuffing, a dog can accidentally swallow some of it and choke if it gets stuck in the respiratory tract.

The materials used to stuff pet toys often are not safe. The stuffing may be made of toxic materials that endanger a dog’s health, even if not swallowed, and some stuffing can cause allergic reactions on a dog’s skin.

Toys should also be larger than your dog can swallow so it doesn’t choke on them. If you choose toys larger than a tennis ball, the dog won’t be able to swallow them. Always choose the correct size of toy for your pet.

Make sure your dog’s toys have a smooth texture that isn’t too rough for your dog’s teeth or jaws. A toy that is too rough can cause fractures. Rubber toys are usually the safest as your dog won’t be able to break the toy into pieces it might swallow which can lead to choking.

You may want to try chew toys that help eliminate plaque by scraping it off the dog’s teeth. This helps prevent the buildup of tartar and calculus.

When choosing dog toys for your pet you should choose toys that will appeal to your dog in order to prevent it from becoming bored with its toys.

Planning a Vacation With a Dog

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Planning a vacation with a dog requires advance planning if you want your trip to be fun for both you and your dog.

The most important things you’ll need to do before taking your summer trip:
Pack a first aid kit. Doggie first aid kits are for sale at your local pet store or pharmacy. If you have the time you can make your own. Include a pair of tweezers to remove ticks, a pair of scissors, adhesive tape, eyewash or drops, gauze bandage, and antiseptic lotion or cream.

Make a copy of your dog’s vaccination records. In case there’s an emergency while you’re away from home you’ll have the important information to show an emergency vet.

Take your pet’s collar and leash for use when you take your dog outside your car or RV. Whenever you take your dog for potty breaks be sure to put its collar on and attach it to a leash. Being in a strange environment with new, unique smells, makes it difficult for any dog to resist checking out everything it can. If your dog is not on a leash it could run off and be hit by a car or get lost. Be sure your phone number is on the current dog tag attached to your pet’s collar or harness. Since most people travel with cell phones, you may want to engrave that number on your dog’s tag.

Take along your dog’s favorite foods so there’ll be no upset stomach from eating different and strange foods. If your dog only drinks water from home, take along as much drinking water as you can and use bottled water whenever possible.

If you need have leather seats in your car, cover them with blankets, towels, or old sheets. You can also use the sheets to cover furniture in a hotel room if your dog is used to sleeping on your bed or sofa. Use towels to clean your dog’s paws after playing in the mud or dirt. And don’t forget the TOYS!. You can help ease the discomfort of traveling by bringing as many of your pet’s toys as you can fit in your vehicle. The familiar smells of a favorite blanket and plenty of chew toys will help calm even the most sensitive dog.

When planning your vacation with your dog and you intend to stay in a hotel, be sure to call the hotel before leaving home to confirm that it’s okay to have your pet in the room with you. Don’t make the same mistake I did when I took my dog on an overnight trip to a small town in Oregon. It was not a pleasant experience arriving at my hotel and finding out they had a new “No Pets Allowed” policy. The worst part about it was trying to find another pet-friendly hotel at 9 o’clock at night. Luckily my dog is such a sweet, loving and gentle animal, the clerk at a smaller hotel took pity on us and gave me a room on the first floor.

When making hotel reservations, choose appropriate accommodations if your pet has behavior issues, like barking at all strange sounds or being aggressive when the cleaning staff is in the room – especially if you’ve left your dog alone. A ground-floor room is best and a corner is your wisest choice if unfamiliar noises easily disturb your dog.

The goal is for you, your pet, and all the other guests to enjoy their stay.

The biggest concern non-dog owners have about pet friendly accommodations is the belief they will be disturbed by a barking dog during their stay. If the hotel’s rules allow you to leave your pet unattended in the room be sure you place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, notify the front desk and leave your cell phone number with them in case there is an emergency. Turn on the television to cover any outside noises that might disturb your dog. Animal Planet is a great channel for dogs to watch. I say this from experience with my own dog. I tune the TV to Animal Planet and tell him to “stay.” When I return my dog is absorbed in watching TV.

If your dog has separation issues, do not leave it alone in a hotel room, even if the rules permit it. Check with the front desk for information on pet sitters.

If you allow your pet on your furniture at home it will likely want to jump up on the furniture in your hotel room. Bring a couple of old sheets to cover the furniture your pet will be sleeping on or resting on.

Planning a vacation with a dog will ensure a happier and less stressful trip if you take a few simple steps before leaving home.

How To Manage a Houseful of Dogs

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Being a dog owner is a wonderful, fulfilling experience. Just ask any dog parent. But maybe one dog isn’t enough for you and the idea of finding a 24 hour a day playmate/babysitter for your current pet is beginning to pique your interest.

Before embarking on a hunt for a second (or third) dog it’s best if you understand there can be some real challenges to raising more than one dog in your home. And you’re not alone in thinking that life might be better with two dogs. Many pet owners with two, or even several dogs in their home, say that more than one dog in the household makes their life a lot more interesting.

If you’ve definitely decided you want to add another dog as a companion, both to you and your current pet, I offer the following advice: When you’re deciding on which dog will be the new addition to the family, arrange a meeting between your current dog and the new one to be sure the dogs will get along well together. You’ll want them to romp and play with each other and not fight over who’s the “big dog”. If it’s possible, arrange for the dogs to meet each other away from your home. If you’re adopting a dog from a shelter, call and check with the staff to see if it’s okay to bring your current dog with you so you can determine if there’ll be any behavior issues between them.

If you don’t currently have a four-legged best friend you might want to consider adopting two puppies at the same time rather than raising one dog to adulthood and then later introducing another puppy or adult dog to the household. If you do decide to adopt two puppies at the same time, for example two from the same litter, those furry little adorable animals can be a major challenge. Think “training and housebreaking” times two, plus numerous other responsibilities that go along with raising a new puppy. Handling two puppies at the same time would analogous to raising twins.

Let’s assume you don’t own a pet and you’re going to adopt two puppies at the same time. You’ll have to buy two of everything the puppies are going to need; that’s two collars, two leashes, two sets of chew toys and two…well, you get the idea…two of every single thing you buy. You should also buy two separate beds and blankets, because as the puppies begin growing they will want a bed they can call their own.

If you choose to have more than one dog or puppy, each one will have an inbred need to demand your undivided attention at times. The best way to handle that need is to spend one-on-one time with each dog whenever possible. Focusing your attention on playing or training one dog at a time should prevent them from competing with each other when they’re together with you. If you don’t do this your dogs may become dependent on each other for companionship and you could end up being regarded as just the person who feeds them and gives them yummy treats. Remember, your goal when you had the idea of more than one dog in the house, was to provide companionship to you as well as to each other.

Whether they are puppies or adult dogs, they will need individual training sessions in order for the training to reinforce itself in their brains. A good way to handle this is to take only one dog out for a walk at a time, and then take the other one out separately. If you take turns this way your dogs will be able to bond quicker with you and will see you as master of the house and the one they depend on for every need.

You should always feed both dogs at the same time each day. As long as you feed the dogs identical food, and they finish eating about the same time as each other, there shouldn’t be any problems with one dog eating the other one’s food. Each dog will need its own food dish but usually don’t mind sharing a common water bowl.

I know people who are raising as many as six dogs at a time and when one passes away they just go get another one. A friend of mine lives on a 4 acre ranch and has five dogs of different mixed breeds. Those dogs are always happy, running around chasing each other or chasing anything that comes into their sight. If one dog doesn’t want to play when another does, it’s quite easy to find another willing playmate.

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Certain breeds of dogs like Terriers and Dachshunds were bred specifically for their ability to dig out wild animals such as badgers, foxes, and otters. Their digging instinct gives these breeds a strong desire to dig holes, no matter whether it’s your yard or the neighbors flower bed.

Dogs dig for a variety of reasons other than instinct. Some dogs will dig holes simply because they’re bored. If a dog is left out alone in the yard for any length of time, it may decide to dig holes just for something to do. If you’re going to leave your dog unattended in the yard for a lengthy time, be sure there are chew toys or other playthings to keep it busy and take its mind off digging holes.

Some dogs dig holes under fences because it’s a means of escape. Your dog may want to get out of a fenced yard because it knows there are more interesting things to do on the other side of the fence.

If a female dog has not been spayed, or a male dog not neutered, the urge to mate with another dog can be so strong that a dog will dig as many holes under a fence as needed until it can escape the yard and achieve its goal.

One shouldn’t forget that dogs are inveterate savers. They will bury bones or treats to save for what we would refer to as “a rainy day”, figuring that if no food is available they’ll always have the bones they’ve buried when they need them.

The secret to stopping a dog from digging holes where it’s not supposed to, is to first understand the cause for the behavior, then manipulate the dog into a more acceptable behavior.

There are some things you can do to prevent your dog from digging holes:

Give your dog a place where it’s allowed to dig, and then using praise and treats, train it to dig only in the spot you’ve chosen and nowhere else. If there’s a place with loose dirt around your yard it will make it easier for the dog to dig without exerting a huge amount of energy.

Stop your dog from digging in any place you feel is inappropriate. If verbal commands or dog treats do not stop the dog from digging holes in unacceptable places, try putting a small amount of pepper or diluted ammonia on the inappropriate area you want to be “off-limits.” There are also commercial products you can use that have cute names like “Keep Off”, “No-Dig”, or “Get Off My Garden”. These products create a scent that is disgusting to a dog and interferes with its sense of smell.

If you suspect that boredom is triggering the digging, give your dog more enjoyable forms of exercise to do like playing fetch or going on a long walk. This will help release some of the dog’s excess energy and make it forget that there are holes to dig.

When a dog is digging holes, remember it’s just a natural part of its inbred instincts and you can change the unwanted behavior at any time by being consistent and firm in your training.

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