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Five Ways You Can Make Moving to a New Home Smoother for Your Dog

Our dogs are part of the family and, as such, need special consideration when we plan for a move. Just as we anticipate the number of bedrooms for each family member, we must think of our dog’s needs, too. Here are some ways you can make moving to a new home a breeze for everyone.

Read the Fine Print

When moving somewhere new with a dog, you have extra considerations. For example, there could be laws against certain breeds or strict city restrictions on the number of pets you can have. So, before you pack your bags, do a little digging to determine whether the city you’re considering is a good fit. Once you have this decided, you can start researching neighborhoods

HOAs may also have regulations, so talk to your real estate agent about the best locations, and scope out the neighborhood yourself. Are other people walking dogs? Are there dog parks? Do they have waste bags and plenty of trash cans? These are indications you’re in a pet-friendly space, making it easier for you and your pup to assimilate. 

Lastly, when looking for the right place, it may be difficult to tick off all the boxes on your checklist, and you may need to compromise to find the perfect home for your budget

Knowing the average cost of a home in the area where you’re looking can guide your financial choices. 

Local Moving Tips

Even if you’re just moving across town, your dog may have a hard time. In particular, their home will be all packed up, movers will have invaded their space, and they won’t know what’s going on. The best you can do is to make the car ride as pleasant as possible. To start, get them used to driving around with you by turning it into a routine rather than something to be scared of. For their safety and comfort, buy them a good harness (which you can find on Walmart starting at $9.99). Lastly, give them anything that you know can keep them calm. That might mean their favorite toy, a T-shirt with your smell, or some medicinal or herbal help in the form of pheromones and mild sedatives.

Long-Distance Moving Tips

A longer car ride means preparing for all of the above and more. Pack water and snacks for your pup to ensure they stay comfortable on the trip. Best of all, healthy foods like blueberries, kale, beef, turkey, and fish can all have a comforting effect, so consider having those items on hand. Additionally, by planning out your rest stops, you’ll be able to gauge where the best places for breaks are. Some are friendlier to dogs than others, so researching ahead of time is essential.

Be Ready for Moving Day

If you’re concerned about your dog escaping out the open front door, it’s likely you’ll spend more time worried about your pup than the actual move. It’s quite possible your pup may have a traumatic time on moving day if kept at home. After all, strangers will be coming and going and all the noise and movement will be unsettling. Ideally, it’s best if a friend can watch them, or you can try boarding your pet for the day. 

Help Your Dog Adjust

A new environment will be hard for your dog, so do everything you can to keep their routine on track. In fact, going on regular walks will help them become familiar with the neighborhood and reduce their anxiety. Try to also stick to regular feeding times and play times, just so your pup can count on continuity. 

It may not be easy, but the right preparation can make the moving experience smoother. Know what your dog needs, plan well for the packing and moving, and help your dog adjust to their new surroundings. Remember, while you may be excited, they’ll likely feel uncomfortable with these changes, so take extra care with their anxiety levels.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Staying Fit on a Vacation With Your Four-Legged Best Friend

If you’re committed to regular exercise, particularly jogging or walking, you probably keep up that healthy habit even when you’re on vacation. And if you own a dog, chances are he or she is your exercise buddy and goes right along with you. Dogs love to be in our presence, and we truly hate to leave them behind in a kennel, pet hotel, or with a sitter for the entire time we’re on vacation, or even on a short business trip. In fact, writing in Psychology Today, Dr. Marc Bekoff claims that dogs themselves are more highly stressed than we realize, and they definitely feel the effects when we’re being away.   

 

So why not take your four-legged friend on vacation with you? In fact, make your dog part of your vacation plans. And if he’s part of your exercise routine when you’re at home, have him part of your exercise routine when you’re on vacation, too. Not only will the two of you keep up your fitness habits, but your dog will also be less stressed.

 

Here are four ways to have a great — and healthy — vacation with your dog.

 

Plan Early

 

It’s tempting to just pile the family and the dog into the minivan for a spontaneous road trip. However, since you’ll be taking your canine friend with you on your vacation, you need to factor in a dog-friendly destination. Ideally, you should try to avoid long stays at amusement parks because you’ll end up either putting the dog in a pet hotel or other type of facility, which will, of course, add to his stress. So, plan the type of vacation that you and your dog (and, yes, the rest of the family, too) will enjoy, such as a beach, a wooded area with a designated hiking trail, a place to kayak, or just strolling alongside a lake. There are also a number of dog-friendly cities that might be ideal destinations. Many cities have dog parks where your pup can get in his exercise (just make sure you supervise him and keep a close eye on any signs of aggression from other animals). Either way, find a place where you two can keep up your exercise habits together with a daily run or walk.

 

Make Sure the Dog’s Shots and Tags Are Up-to-Date

 

Before you set out, make sure your pet is vaccinated and properly licensed. In addition, if your dog hasn’t been microchipped, have that done immediately, and have a tag made with the dog’s name and your cell phone number on it. In case your dog gets away from you, you’ll want to have every chance of him coming back home safe and sound.

 

Chart a Pet-Friendly Course

 

After you choose a destination, determine where the pet-friendly hotels are along the way. This also means you’ll need to factor in the dog when you’re determining the trip’s budget since many hotels will charge a fee for the dog based on weight and other factors. You’ll also need to pack enough dog food for the entire trip, plus you’ll need to include stops for bathroom and water breaks. It’s also a good idea to make some time for a few extra scenic stops (so you and your friend so you can have a nice run or walk together).

 

Include Some of the Essentials of Home

 

No matter where you end up staying (resort, hotel, or lodge or cabin), make sure your dog has some of his belongings, such as a blanket, some toys, rawhide chews, or anything of his that has the scent of home. This not only gives him things to do when you’re not out having fun together but also gives some comfort for those times when you are out on your own or with your family. You should also invest in a foldable crate for him to stay in so he won’t wander freely around the room and possibly do some damage.

 

It’s not hard for you and your dog to keep up your regular exercise routine together when you’re on vacation. Just plan it well, keep it pet-friendly, and that way you can make some great memories together.

Photo Credit: Pexels

I’m a Man and My Dog is Afraid of Me… What Do I Do?

Your dog may be perfectly content and calm without any behavior problems around women and children, but when a man approaches (even if it’s just one man he or she knows) she can become a completely different dog.

Some dogs may try to hide from you (the man), cower or show submissive behavior, shake, or even urinate due to anxiety.

Others may show signs of aggression (growling/showing of teeth). If you (the man) get too close she may even snap at you.

A Fear of Men is Common

A fear of men is actually a relatively common phobia in dogs, and some very well-behaved and well-rounded dogs share this fear.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your dog overcome its fear and learn to accept the men or man she encounters.

why do dogs fear men?

When people find out a dog is afraid of men, they often immediately connect the fear to a bad experience. But, there are a variety of reasons why your dog may fear men in general or even one particular man including:

  • If your dog has been abused by a man prior to being brought into your family, this may cause a lifelong fear of all men. Think about how long you have had your dog. Was your dog a puppy? Adult? In most cases, this is not the most likely culprit, though.
  • In many cases, being afraid of men is a result of a lack of socialization with men when the dog was a puppy. If you are the man your dog is afraid of, how much time did you spend with your dog when she was a puppy? Sometimes, the lack of socialization with men is due to the man being out of the house due to long work hours.
  • Another factor could be intimidation. Men can be more intimidating in a dog’s eyes. They are often taller and bigger than women and children, have deeper voices, and may have different types of features, like facial hair. From a dog’s perspective, these differences might be scary.

easing your dog’s fear of the man

The level of difficulty of correcting this behavior depends on the severity of your dog’s fear.

Some dogs are only somewhat fearful, whereas others may be completely terrified. Remember to be patient with your dog; it can take a lot of time for any dog to overcome any phobia.

In the meantime, keep things as positive as possible. We’ll recommend a few things to try to help ease your dog’s anxiety below.

your dog’s comfort zone

It’s important to understand you cannot force your dog to go beyond her comfort zone and expect her to change her behavior.

If you attempt to push your dog too far by pushing her into uncomfortable situations, your attempts can backfire and actually strengthen the fear.

Worst-case scenario…. your efforts could lead the dog to bite and increase her fear of you.

Let Your Dog Approach you on her own terms

Allow your dog to approach you (the man) on his or her own. This may be difficult, but attempt to ignore the dog who is fearful of you. Of course you want to be near your dog to increase the bond, but this just isn’t the right time. By ignoring your dog, you’re essentially providing her with the opportunity to come to you. It’s on her own terms.

Offering treats to encourage her to come

When you’re trying to break your dog of her fear of you, be sure to keep treats handy (even if your dog is no where near you- just in case she comes closer).

Whenever the fearful dog gets even a little closer than usual, very gently toss a couple of treats in the dog’s direction.

It may take a while for the dog to accept treats from a man, but eventually, he or she will connect you with something good- treats! A positive association with form.

For some dogs, this can take a week or two. For others, a month or even longer. Patience is key.

Desensitize Your Dog

Desensitization is the process we’re talking about here. We are using treats and praise to slowly, over time, help your dog understand that it’s safe to approach you (the man).

Over time, you may be able to slowly close the distance between the dog and the man without your dog feeling fearful.

In some cases, your dog may never feel completely comfortable around men (dependent upon the reason why she or he is afraid). But, you may notice her becoming significantly more comfortable over time.

obedience training: it helps

If your dog is obedience trained, there’s a higher chance of her or him being able to focus in stressful situations.

If there is someone in the home (a woman), she should make obedience training part of their daily routine. Continuous obedience training with a fearful dog may speed up the process of comfort.

Prevent Disease in Your Dog Using ‘Superfoods!’

If you’re reading this, we already know your dog’s health is extremely important to you. We all want our dogs to live long, healthy lives. That’s no shock.

Disease fighting foods can help!

We’re sure you have heard the saying ‘you are what you eat.’ That’s true. Literally.

Eating healthy will help you stay healthy- and that goes for both ourselves and our pups.

Disease Fighting Food #1: Blueberries

Blueberries are jam packed full of fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.

Blueberries are known to assist in the prevention of obesity, colon cancer, and heart diseases. Plus, they help prevent memory loss in senior dogs.

With that said, don’t overload your dog with blueberries. A handful of fresh, organic blueberries is sufficient each day.

P.S.- Be sure to rinse off the blueberries prior to feeding. This goes for ALL fruits and veggies for both us and our dogs!

Disease Fighting Food #2: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become the new ‘craze’ with health fanatics for people. But, coconut oil can help our dogs, too!

Coconut oil has special fatty acids resulting in a ton of benefits including:

  • Obesity prevention
  • Immune system booster
  • Healthy teeth
  • Flea and tick repellent
  • Healthy brain function

If you’re interested in adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet, it can go right into their daily food intake. The recommended daily amount is approximately 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.

To learn more about disease-fighting foods, watch the video below:

Until next time!

Steps on How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

When a person wants to lose weight, limiting his caloric intake and adding more physical activities to the day usually work. The same is true for your pets. If your dog is getting a little heavy, it might be a good idea to start limiting its food and making your dog exercise more.

However, unlike humans who can say when enough is enough, it might be more difficult to find a balance for your dog’s weight loss efforts. Here are some useful steps that you can take in order to help your beloved pet lose weight in a healthy manner.

Why Should Your Dog Lose Weight?

An animal that is overweight is more susceptible to health issues like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other medical problems. Putting on extra pounds can affect your pet’s quality of life. The added weight can put a strain on the dog’s back and joints. This could eventually lead to arthritis. In order to allow your pet to live a long and healthy life, it is best that you help it slim down.

Assess If Your Pet Is Really Overweight

Doing a visual test can help you assess if your dog is putting on too much weight. Check your dog’s profile from the side and the top Its waist should be obvious when you observe the area in front of its rear legs. There should also be a definite difference between the dog’s chest and abdomen.

If you check your pet’s profile from the side, you should be able to tell the difference in size of the abdomen and the chest. The abdomen should be closer to the dog’s spine rather than its chest. If you notice that your dog’s abdomen is sagging or it has a flat and broad back, your pet may be overweight. To confirm, you might be better served by seeing a veterinarian.

Work With A Vet To Figure Out An Effective Meal Plan

Our friends from Time for Paws – an online pet supplies store, says that once you and your dog’s veterinarian have established how overweight your pet is, the doctor can find out why your dog is gaining weight. Could it be from lack of exercise or is it caused by overfeeding? Is there an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed? Once those details are established, the doctor can help you come up with a meal plan that will suit your pet’s needs. You might be asked to buy a different kind of dog food.

The vet may also give suggestions on what treats can help your dog lose rather than gain weight. You will probably be instructed on how to control portion size and what times to feed your dog. If not, ask about these things so you will know how to best help your pet lose the excess weight. Ask also about possible physical activities that will be safe for your pet to try out. Usually, going on runs is enough but your vet will be able to better identify what other activities you can try out.

Stick To A Weight Loss Plan

If you are helping your dog lose weight, it is important to follow a weight loss plan. The vet may have already prescribed a type of dog food to buy, make sure that you stick to this. Make sure to measure your dog’s food portions properly. Buying a special diet food would be pointless if you still allow your pet to overeat. If you notice that your pet is still not losing weight, ask the vet if it is safe to reduce the amount of dog food even more. Use a scale or a measuring cup so you can be sure that you are giving your pet the right amount of food. Keep track of your pet’s weight to see if the plan is working. Do not be tempted to give your dog extra treats. This will go against its weight loss plan.

Engage In More Physical Activities With Your Pet

Exercising on a regular basis will do wonders for your pet’s health. It will improve its muscle tone, reduce weight, and even boost its metabolism. All of these will lead to weight loss. While running around may seem like a good idea, some dog breeds are not meant to engage in very strenuous activities.

That is why it is always a good idea to talk to your pet’s veterinarian before adding more physical activities to your pet’s schedule. Going on a short walk every morning or afternoon may be a good starting point, especially if your dog is out of shape. You can gradually increase the speed and distance by observing how much your dog can tolerate. You can also incorporate exercise into your games. Playing fetch is a good game for this purpose.

Conclusion

After a few weeks, it is advisable to go back to the vet to see how much progress your pet has made in terms of losing weight. This way, the doctor can assess if your weight loss plan is effective and may suggest changes in order to keep the pounds from coming back. Remember that, although it is added work, your dog will live a longer and healthier life if you continue on this weight-loss journey.

How to Keep Your Canine From Causing Chaos

You know how much you love dogs, especially that little one that lives in your home and fills your heart with laughter and joy. But there’s a less pleasant side that comes with that goodness.

Canines cause trouble, pure and simple. This involves anything from spilling food on the floor to tearing up sofa cushions to doing their business on the carpet, any of which could make you tear your hair out as you yell and scream at the little feller in the hopes that they’ll learn a lesson for a change. However, that’s not the worst of it; sometimes, your dog’s naughtiness puts them in danger, like when they devour a bar of chocolate, which can be deadly.

It’s not their fault, though. They don’t have the same self-control as we humans, and they often don’t even know they’re doing something wrong. As their guardian, it’s up to you to keep them safe and secure. Here’s what you need to know.

Banish Poisonous Plants

Autumn crocus, azalea, and daffodil are just a few on the long list of species that could cause grave harm if your pooch were to take a nibble, according to an article in PetMD. The best bet would be to rid your home of all of them — or at least put them out of the reach.

Hide the Cleaning Products

You wouldn’t leave dangerous and potentially deadly chemicals out in the open where a toddler could get at them and take a swig, and the same should go for your furry friend. Behind closed doors that can’t be easily opened is where your bleach, detergents, and fabric softeners belong — unless you buy the non-toxic, pet-friendly versions.

Beware of Certain Foods

There’s a lot more than just chocolate that could give your four-legged friend a sore tummy — or worse. Anything containing caffeine or alcohol is a strict “no,” along with onions, garlic, and chives. Make sure to store these items and others up high or in a pantry to avoid mishaps, and throw out anything moldy, as that can be highly toxic, too.

Pet-Proof Everywhere

Hiding dangerous foods and chemicals from prying paws is just part of it. There are some rooms, particularly ones with lots of cables or cords, that should be off limits. Remember to close doors behind you whenever you enter or exit, or use baby gates to keep them from walking up or down the stairs. And don’t leave dirty laundry lying around on the floor.

Get an Electronic Feeder

A hungry dog is an angry dog that’s likely to take their wrath out on your interior. These devices dispense a small meal at specified hours of the day so you don’t have to think about it. You’ll no longer worry whether you left food in the bowl while you’re at work or out running errands.

Schedule Your Playtime

Dogs have a lot of energy, and they need to get it out or they’ll throw a fit. Lamps get knocked over, vases get shattered — it’s ugly. Tire your dog out with a spirited game of fetch, and build that into your daily routine so you don’t forget to spend quality time together.

Find a Dog Park Nearby

Visit a dog park so your pooch can socialize — with other dogs, that is. It’s more important than you think, says a writer with PetHelpful. Not only does it boost their self-esteem, but it also helps your pooch develop their communication skills, as they interact with members of their own species. Their rougher style of play will also make them calmer at home.

Make Regular Visits to the Vet

Once a year is the general rule of thumb, though that may change based on age and health condition of your dog. Dogs should get a checkup once a month until they’re four months old, while senior woofers need frequent expert checkups as well.

Now your pooch will be safe when you’re not home, and that gives you one less thing to worry about. Having a dog should be about enjoying the good times, not worrying about the bad.

5 Awesome Car Tricks for Pet Owners

let’s go on rides

Having a pet is a really beautiful experience, you get to have a companion in your home and a driving buddy as well. Going on a ride together is such a wonderful way to bond with each other. But then most times you would have to worry about all the fur and dirt and odour.

Pets can really make a mess of everything including your car, and with everything looking just wrong, it gets awkward bringing in a friend in a car messed up by your little friend. However, this is not enough reason to stop your pet from getting on the car with you, because right here, we’ve got just five of the best car tricks for you.

1. The Baking Soda Magic

When you have your car smelling of pet pee and the air around your ride makes you hate breathing, you’d probably want to just burn the car and get a new one. But you can’t just go crazy because of a bad smell when there’s baking soda to the rescue. Baking soda is a real Gandalf when it comes to making bad smell disappear. Just sprinkle some baking soda over the car seat and the floor. Leave it overnight, and by morning, you should vacuum the whole stuff. Your car will be a good place for deep breaths, again.

2. Keep Your Car Fur-Free

It is a very good idea to get a seat cover in your car so you won’t have yourself worrying about the fur messing up your seat. But in case you got this information a bit too late and your seats are already messy, don’t fret. There are many easy tricks that work when you want to get the fur off the seats and the floor. One good way is to put on a moistened hand glove, rub it all over the seat and the floor, this would make the fur clog up together so you can easily get them out using a vacuum or whatever you have at your disposal.

3. You Need a Kernel or a Harness.

Actually, not you. Your pet needs a kernel. It is true that pet seatbelts and kernels seem kind of restrictive and can limit their fun experience, but it is safe for you and any other person you’d have in your car. You don’t want to have your pet roaming around the car while you’re driving. Kernels are a good idea especially if you can get a spacious one, then throw in your pet’s favorite toys and you’re good to go. A Harness is also really great if you’d want to give your pet the freedom to stare out through the window. The harness keeps your pet from jumping off the window if it gets too excited.

4. Dealing With Unwanted Colors

Your pet is probably a genius. It knows how to make you go crazy by littering the seat and the floor with dumps and pee and giving your car a really bad smudge. Sometimes it’s not entirely their fault after being to the dog park and getting their paws muddy. However, cleaning this could be really tough especially if you have left it over a period of time. Here’s what you can do to get the original sparkle back to your car: soak the stained area with vinegar, then pour some baking soda on the soaked stain. Don’t freak out when you hear a fizz, it’s the vinegar talking with the baking soda and working things out. Just leave it overnight, and by morning, vacuum it up and you’re done.

5.  Hammock

A hammock is essential if you do not want your pet flying like a projectile each time you step on the brakes abruptly. Plus it gives your seats some covers protecting them from fur and stain. It’s a great stuff to have in your car, and if you want to end a ride with your pet in a happy mood, a hammock does a good trick.

It is not so easy having a pet in your car because it spells more responsibilities for you. But who says it isn’t fun? It is fun, really. Just get used to following these really awesome tips and you’re on your way to better days.

A Guide For First-Time Pet Owners

selective focus photography of black, white, and brown cat lying on wooden table

Photo credit by Unsplash

Owning a new pet is a big responsibility. If you’ve decided to take the plunge, here is what you need to welcome your new pet to the family.

 

Selecting The Right Pet

Your first step is choosing a pet that’s a good fit for your home, your family, and your time. Avoiding impulse buys is an important piece of advice from 2nd Chance. Here is how to determine which pet and/or breed is right for you.

Why Do You Want A Pet?

This is the first question to ask. Do you want a constant companion or some interesting entertainment? Would you prefer a bit of wildlife or an animal that can provide unconditional love? You must also consider personality: are you active or sedentary? All pets have different personalities, too. Learn more from Deliberate Magazine.

Many people opt for companion pets. These are not trained like service animals. (Read what sets the two apart in this article from The Independence Center.) Companion pets can be beneficial to people with various emotional support needs, like those who have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, or people in substance abuse recovery. Petting a dog, for example, can reduce stress and calm the spirit. They can also provide love, support, and a sense of responsibility.

What Is Your Commitment?

Large pets, such as cats and dogs, require a larger time commitment than hamsters and fish. Keep in mind that dogs almost always will need some training in a new family. Do you travel a lot or work very long hours?  Will you be the primary person responsible for this pet? If you’re a parent, learn how to choose the right dog for your child from Cesar’s Way.

Allergies

Make sure that you and anyone you live with are not allergic to the pet you are considering. If you’re unsure, you can always get tested.

Home Size And Budget

How much square footage is required for this pet or breed? Will your pet need a yard? Do you have a safe and sturdy place for a habitat or fish tank? If you are getting a cat or a dog, decide which areas or rooms are off-limits beforehand so you can block them off.

When You’re Away

Determine who will care for your pet when you’re away. Is there someone who can come in to feed them? Remember that if you have a pet that eats bugs or mice, make sure that person is not squeamish! For larger pets, will you use a kennel or do you have a reliable friend who can watch him?

Here are even more questions to ask yourself from Monterey County SPCA.

 

Preparing Your Home

Before bringing any pet home, complete these tasks:

  • Make sure your home is safe. This can mean anything from putting up a fence to checking areas for broken glass or toxic chemicals.
  • Instruct your family or housemates on how to treat your new pet and what not to do to prevent mishaps. Vetstreet.com recommends bringing home your pet when you have a few days off (like a weekend) so you have time to bond with him.
  • When you bring home your pet, help him to acclimate by having food, toys, bedding, and all his needed items on hand in advance. When you’re choosing your pet supplies, be discerning, especially when it comes to food. What you feed your pet has a major impact on his or her overall, long-term health. Research online before you buy, check ingredients lists for organic fruits and veggies, and consider any allergies your pet may have.
  • For those choosing a rescue pet, keep in mind he may have fears he can’t express and could be skittish. Take your time introducing him to your home, and be calm around him. Woof.com has advice on how to handle this situation.

Bringing home a new pet is exciting, but make sure you choose the right pet for you and your home. Take the time to prep your home, acclimate your pet, and bond with him to create a wonderful experience.

Human Foods That Dogs Can Enjoy

Feeding your dog is a part of your daily routine, and it’s easy to grab a couple of cups of the same dry pet food and pour it into your dog’s bowl. For the most part, your pet’s dry food is a nutritionally balanced meal that is tasty and healthy for them. However, these same flavors and textures can become boring for your dog.

By offering your dog human food once in a while, you will give them the variety they crave. For your dog, this extra-special meal will feel like a reward—aiding with training—and you will feel good about enhancing your pet’s diet. Even so, it’s important that you stick to human food that is safe for dogs.

Here are some human foods that you can safely offer to your dog.


Cooked boneless chicken breast

Chicken is a lean meat that provides dogs with many nutritional benefits, such as added protein. Most dogs enjoy the flavor of chicken, and it can be used to make any dry meal more appealing to your pet. Chicken can be paired with brown rice if your dog is experiencing digestive issues but may still need a nutritious and wholesome meal.

Note: Chicken should be boneless and fully cooked before serving to your dog. Boneless chicken breasts are ideal for dogs because they minimize the risk of inadvertently giving your dog bones that could become a choking hazard.

Raw Carrots

Raw carrots can provide your dog with additional beta carotene as well as vitamin A. Also, raw carrots are low in calories, which makes them an ideal snack between meals for your pet. Not only do carrots offer a boost of essential vitamins and nutrients, they also help to naturally clean and strengthen your dog’s teeth. Consider offering your dog raw baby carrots, as the size is perfect for snacking.

Sliced Apples

Apples are packed with vitamins that are beneficial for your dog. Vitamins A and C are plentiful in apples, making this low-calorie fruit a great snack option for your pooch. It’s OK for your dog to eat the skin of the apple, but you should avoid serving a full apple — for fear your pet might eat the stem and seeds. Note: Seeds can contain trace amounts of cyanide, which would be dangerous. Consider slicing apples and rewarding your dog with this treat for good behavior.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is likely to be one of your dog’s favorite human foods. This sweet, creamy concoction is a great choice because it is filled with valuable protein as well as powerful vitamins, including vitamins E and B. When you stuff your dog’s favorite chew toy with peanut butter, you’ll provide a healthy reward and a long-lasting treat. Not to mention, you might also enjoy a few extra minutes to yourself while your dog devours the tasty snack (be sure to grab natural peanut butter- most regular peanut butter jars contain artificial sweeteners which can be dangerous to your dog’s health).

Pureed Pumpkin

This fall gourd is often considered to be more of a decoration than a nutritious vegetable, but it’s one of the best human foods you can give your dog. Filled with fiber and vitamin A, pumpkin can help your dog when suffering from gastrointestinal issues. Be sure to serve canned pureed pumpkin, or even homemade pumpkin pie is an acceptable human treat for your pooch.

If you are interested in changing your pet’s diet or mixing in some of these human foods as supplements, be sure to first discuss it with your veterinarian. Your vet may have insight into the best human foods for your dog’s breed, age, or health history. After adding a new food to your dog’s diet, monitor for any signs of digestive distress or allergic reactions. Always contact your pet’s health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.

Author bio: Stephanie N. Blahut is Director of Digital Marketing and Technology for Figo Pet Insurance. Figo is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology — the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud — and the industry’s best pet insurance plans. 

Reducing Your Dog’s Impact on the Value of Your Home While Selling

There are many things to consider when buying a home. Mortgage rates are impacted by a number of things, including the value of the home. This is especially true, if you’re buying it as an investment for your future and will rely upon the market value.

One concern is in how having pets will affect the property’s value. While you may be an animal lover and look forward to giving a pet a home, you should be aware that they can impact how potential buyers view your home.

This article is by no means meant to deter you from having a furry best friend– but rather to ensure you’re aware of what you should do if you decide to sell your home.

While we absolutely adore our furry best friends, those in the ‘real estate business’ may look at them as a home depreciation method.

Hide Your Pets for an Appraisal

Pets leave plenty of telltale signs that they live in your home and even cleaning the carpets and flooring may not be enough.

Pet hair can get into the vents, deep in the fibers of your furniture, and even into the corners of every room. However, boarding your dog or cat at the time of an appraisal can lessen the impact your pet has on the appraiser, especially if the individual is allergic or especially sensitive.

Have your pet go on a play-date… or find a professional pet sitter to help out while your house is getting appraised.

Getting Rid of the Carpets isn’t Always the Answer

Both dogs and cats have accidents, especially when they’re left home alone for hours at a time. And… especially if you had your dog or cat when they were babies. 

While a good carpet cleaner can pull out most of the stain and odor, the damage to the carpet may be permanent.

One way to avoid this is to replace carpeting with hardwood or tile flooring, though this presents another type of problem.

Untrimmed animal claws will dig into the flooring, leaving scuffs, scratches, and holes.

This type of damage isn’t really avoidable, so be prepared to take a hit on the home’s market value as a result.

Or… another option (which may be a bit more expensive) is purchasing stain-resistant carpeting to place throughout your house when you make your purchase. Then, someday when you decide to sell, you’re able to do a quick shampoo job and have carpet that looks as good as new.

It’s Time to Call a Landscaper

When you do decide to sell your home, you’ll want to call a landscaper to attend to the exterior.

You may do this anyway to help the home’s curb appeal, but ask the landscaper to pay particular attention to the damage caused by the family dog.

In addition to marking their territory, dogs like to dig holes, break fencing, and tear apart smaller shrubs and plants. Left untreated, these factors will bring down the value of your home.

You can ask your landscaper to fix these problems before your house is shown to potential buyers. It’s not usually a huge deal… just some finishing touches to ensure the potential home-buyer is ‘awed’ by the sight of your home upon arrival.

A thorough cleaning is required before showing any home, but this is especially true for homes with pets.

Additionally, many real estate professionals recommend removing the pets, during showings. Whether prospective buyers adore animals or are afraid of them, you cats and dogs will be an unwelcome distraction.

You may also want to ask your agent if they can detect any odors and what they recommend to eliminate the offensive scents so that the home will feel more welcoming to potential home-buyers.

Training Your Dog Will Reduce the Impact on Your Home

If you would like to train your dog to behave while in the house in order to reduce the damage they may be prone to do, check out this website for some professional assistance!