|We spend a lot of time keeping our homes spic and span, especially when there are four-footed friends to constantly clean up after. So it can be quite dismaying to see the way said furry friends keep their own abodes – a dog’s bed is his castle, and too often it’s a castle coated with mud, hair, slobber and something that smells suspiciously like the pile of compost your dog was rubbing himself in at the dog park.
Dog beds come in all shapes (sometimes odd ones) and sizes – some are covered with a slipcover and other doggie nests are piled high with blankets. Check out the Dogster guide to cleaning your dog’s bed and get your pup’s castle gussied up this spring.
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|Having a dog at a home with a swimming pool requires an additional level of safety considerations. First and foremost, your dog should not have any means of unintentional access to the pool. The pool needs to be fenced and gated. If you choose to allow your dog into the swimming pool, then your pooch needs to repeatedly be shown how to enter and exit the pool using the steps. The steps should also have a permanent, above water identifying mark such as a flag, landscape feature, etc. that will make the steps easily recognizable to a swimming dog. If you have a cover, then it needs to have enough rigidity to support the weight of your pooch. Many dogs have perished due to disorientation and entanglement in soft pool covers. Lastly, dogs should never be left unattended with access to the swimming pool.
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|Is your dog affected by the amount of time you’re away? That’s just what a recent study examined. Dogs were videotaped when left alone in their homes for 30 minutes, 2 hours and 4 hours, and the results: key differences in behavior were observed when the dogs were reunited with their owners after the 2- and 4-hour time periods, versus the 30-minute period. When left alone for the longer time periods, the dogs displayed more intense greeting behavior, tail wagging, and interaction when reunited with their owners, leading researchers to confirm dogs are affected by the duration of time they are left home alone.
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|You know that tail will be wagging while your dog investigates the Christmas tree. And you know your dog is not one of Martha Stewart’s perfect pups, so consider hanging the fragile ornaments at the top and the durable ones at the bottom of the tree. If your dog is really relentless, consider a cute picket fence around the tree – that beats finding the tree fallen on the presents on Christmas morning. You cant blame that on Santa.|
|Write down a list of all the things your dog does to enrich your life, such as amusing you with silly behavior and comforting you when you are down. Make the list as long as you like, and put it somewhere safe. Pull the list out the next time your dog does something to aggravate you, read through it, and take a few deep breaths as you calmly ignore the annoying behavior and think about how to prevent its recurrence.
NOTE: If the annoying behavior is dangerous, you may need to intervene in a humane way, but the calmer you can be about the situation, the better.
Irith Bloom is the owner of The Sophisticated Dog, a company offering pet-friendly training services to clients in Los Angeles.
|Dogs are great helpers when it comes to patient care at home. Their natural empathy and
ability to just chill make anyone recuperating from illnesses or trauma feel better fast.
But just like real nurses, dogs have to follow a few rules! When dogs go on nursing duty, clean fur and paws are a must. Coming in from outside, dogs need their paws washed before assuming their duties in patient care. And just as all nursing staff need a little recreation, don’t neglect walk time and play time so your dogs can return refreshed to take care of those they love.
|There is a general agreement that between six and eight weeks is the best age to take a puppy home, which is right in the middle of the period when the socialization of dogs takes place. Any time before six weeks will interrupt the puppy’s socialization with other dogs. At seven weeks a puppy already has his personality. Some say that exactly 49 days is the perfect age, but I don’t think it’s worth getting too carried away about this!|
|Everybody, even your dog, needs some alone time. Help your dog learn how to enjoy being alone with stuffed toys like Kongs and the Canine Genius. You can start this while you are still at home by giving her the toys and going to another room. Later, when you need to leave the house, it be will less stressful for her.|
|Introducing your baby to your pup requires preparation in order to create a safe environment for all. Until now, your pet has had your undivided attention. Here’s how to prepare your pooch for his new role in your growing brood.
1. First, NEVER leave baby and dog alone together until your child is old enough to call for help if need be. 2. Prepare your dog for the type of behavior that he or she is likely to encounter with a baby. 3. Before arriving home with the baby, have someone introduce the newborn’s scent to the dog with a blanket from the hospital. 4. It is advised that the dog be allowed to explore the baby’s room and get acquainted with the new scents. Be sure to praise your pup for calm behavior in the nursery.
|Owning a dog in an urban environment presents many unique challenges. Often, non-sporting breeds are a good choice for people who live in a confined environment, as these dogs typically require less space to exercise. Proper training is a necessity as there is little room for improper doggie obedience in a place that can present so many hazards to an unsuspecting pooch.
Motor vehicles and impatient pedestrians can challenge the nerve of many a dog owner in a crowded, bustling place. Opportunities for play and exercise should also be well planned and considered. A playful pup may run out of patience if not afforded the opportunity to stretch his legs and rub noses with other dogs.