|There’s more to selecting a leash than choosing a snazzy color. Depending on the breed and size of your new dog and where you live, you may need a short, tight leash for urban walking or a longer one for countryside hikes and hunting.
Inspect your dog’s leash regularly to make sure that the buckle, stitching, and leather or fabric are in tip-top shape, and replace it immediately if you see any weak spots. It should go without saying that a leash breakage can quickly lead to a loose dog in a potentially dangerous environment.
Some dogs get very excited about their leashes because they associate them with playtime and outdoor walks. Keep your pooch’s leash stored safely out of his reach to prevent choking and ruined leashes.
D.P. Hesano is co-founder of the online doggy lifestyle shop FidoDogTreats.com
|Most of us appreciate our pets for their endless love and companionship. But let’s not forget the working dogs who serve, protect, and save lives on a daily basis.
Highly trained military dogs help save lives by detecting bombs, tracking enemies, guarding overseas installations, and providing comfort to servicemen and women. Police and rescue workers rely on their canine sidekicks to help them find people trapped after natural disasters or fires.
Consider supporting or adopting a retired military dog through a reputable rescue organization such as the Military Working Dog Foundation.
D.P. Hesano co-founded FidoDogTreats.com
|If you live in colder regions, you are familiar with the havoc snowy weather can wreak on a dog’s paws. Salt, sand, and other ice-melting chemicals can cause their pads to crack and make going outside painfully unbearable. Although booties work well, they do not stay on all dogs, and some dogs will pull them off as fast as you try to put them back on.
One quick and effective alternative is Musher’s Secret, a safe and natural product made from food-grade waxes. Apply it to your pup’s paws to provide a soothing, semipermeable barrier between his delicate pads and rough or icy terrain. This paw-saver was developed for use by sled dogs, and its benefits have been proven on the harshest neighborhood tundra.
Lauren Hope is a co-owner of the natural dog supply shop FidoDogTreats.com
|There are no easy answers to the age-old problem of house-training. The first step in keeping your pet from “going” inside is to make sure that he gets plenty of trips outside. A young pup will not be able to wait more than a couple of hours before requiring a pit stop.
Use an appropriately sized training crate to help with outdoor potty training. Your dog will likely not eliminate in his crate, so take him outside immediately after leaving the crate.
Become familiar with your dog’s warning signs so you can anticipate an imminent bathroom break. These can include circling an area, or a sudden stop during play. Take your pet outside through the same door every time, so your dog can learn to approach that exit when the need arises. And read up and seek help if necessary!
Rick E. Zee is the pet nutrition expert for the online doggy shop FidoDogTreats.com
|As the modern workplace continues to evolve, more and more progressive companies are allowing employees to bring their dogs to work with them. But no matter how much you love your pet, dogs are guests within the working environment, so put your co-workers first.
Always check with your co-workers before bringing Fido to the office. Some people have allergy issues and others are simply afraid of dogs, but others find having a dog in the office reduces stress and makes work feel more welcoming. It can be great to have a tail-wagging pup cozying up to you while you’re working!
If your employer has not welcomed pets in the past, ask your boss to consider a special one-day event to warm people up to the idea of pooches at work.
|Fall is a great time of the year to get out in nature. The air is brisk, and the afternoons are warm and golden.
If you and Rover want to rove this month, consider waiting until after the first hard frost. Pesky ticks and fleas will be substantially subdued by a cold night or two, and you won’t be bringing any of those hitchhikers home after the weekend of living in the wild.
|A little olive oil added, uncooked, to your dog’s daily food helps with winter itchies and flaky skin. For small dogs, start with a quarter to a half teaspoon twice daily. (Not too much. You don’t want to cause tummy troubles.)
Give the oil supplement for a couple of weeks, and you should see marked improvement in skin texture and greatly reduced scratching, if the scratching was initially caused by dry skin. If it doesn’t clear up, talk to your vet.
|All dogs, especially people-oriented, think-they’re-human dogs, need some canine companionship. If your dog shuns the dog park, do what the good parents do.
Seek a canine friend who likes long walks and sniffing trees in the park, and make walking dates to take them out. You might make a good human friend, while your dog will benefit from rubbing shoulders with another dog. Don’t worry too much about finding a similar type. As we humans know, our friends are often very different from ourselves.
|By this time of year, many public beaches are closed and summer rules and regulations are no longer in play. This is a great time to take your dog to the beach so she can enjoy the ocean or lakeside, running on the sand, and barking at the wind. The sun is not so hot as it is in summer, and the water is not yet very cold.
Beach fees no longer apply, and the sands are yours and yours alone. So schedule a beach day for your pup and have big fun!
|Fall allergies to grasses, dust, and late-season pollen can encourage hot spots on dogs’ skin. Hot spots, or pyotraumatic dermatitis, are bacterial infections that develop when your dog licks, chews, or scratches at the irritation.
A hot spot is red and often damp and smells yeasty. Your dog’s fur can fall out around it, exposing the area to further contact infection. If you see your allergic dog frequently scratching or licking a specific area, seek veterinary attention before a hot spot makes the problem much harder to treat systemically.