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. 

5 Surprising Benefits of DOGA—Yoga with Fido

Yoga has taken a novel form ‘doga’, which is based on the concept of doing yoga with a companion. However, the companion in doga is your best friend, the dog instead of a human counterpart. The meditative sessions are beneficial not just for you but your pooch as well.

Pooches enjoy the pet-massage and relaxing music at the doga classes. It can motivate them to join you in your yoga each day and bring more fun, vigor, and energy to the class. If your dog shows disinterest still, why not begin it at home where he feels comfortable to be around you?

How Does Doga Benefit You And Your Dog?

Let’s explore the positive effects you’ll reap after joining doga sessions ‘regularly’. It shouldn’t be irregular at any cost or else there are no results.

  1. Better Understanding with Dog:

According to Dr. Danni Shemanski, doga can develop a feeling of being important and loved in your four-legged. If your pooch has been craving for time and attention, doga session will provide him with an opportunity to connect with you. If your pooch is suffering from separation anxiety, it can be tackled well by doing doga with the pooch. According to Dr. Danni Shemanski, doga can develop a feeling of being important and loved in your four-legged.

The mindfulness exercises and a feeling of being connected help to improve your understanding with the dog.

Remember: To avoid poopy mats at the end of the day, don’t forget to take the Fido’s poop scooper, poop bags, etc.

  1. Improved Dog Behavior:

Doga has shown to improve the focus of dogs and their obedience level. Their anxiety problems are toned down to a great extent.

Moreover, as you start feeling connected with your Fido, you’ll begin to understand his body language better. The meditative doga will surely improve your patience level during dog training. This patience and understanding have a two-pronged effect on the dog to demonstrate better behavior and obey the commands.

  1. Reduced Anxiety Levels:

Yoga, music and companion dog will assist in relaxing your mind, body, and soul. It’ll reduce the anxiety levels of pooch by utilizing his excessive pent-up energies. Breathing exercises are extremely relaxing; while cuddling the pooch will add to the good feeling.

The bonding between you as the owner and your anxious/fearful dog will strengthen after attending doga classes regularly. You’ll act more patiently towards the dog. Aggression, anxiety, and other destructive behaviors will be toned down gradually.

  1. Weight Loss:

Whether you are obese or your dog, you both are going to benefit from doga by burning the extra ton of calories. The meditative exercises work on all your body muscles through stretches.

The doga poses involve dogs to do the stretches and imitate your yoga poses. Therefore, the extra calories will get burned and extra energy will be invested positively.

When your dog will try to imitate you, he will definitely end up looking funny. Among all the fun and exercise, you would forget how much time has passed. Yeah, a motivation to visit doga class regularly!

  1. Social Skills:

Dog parks are one good opportunity for you to meet a bunch of people and socialize more often. Doga classes provide you with an equal opportunity to socialize, but with people who are more self-aware, mindful and maybe a bit anti-social. If you are fond of peaceful company, you’ll find many of them at doga classes.

The pooch will learn to socialize too with people and their dogs at the yoga class. The dogs at yoga class will mostly be well-mannered and well-trained due to the meditative effects of yoga. Your Fido might learn a thing or two from them as well.

Why Dog Owners are Happier

Written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers. They say that dog owners live happier, longer lives. One big reason? Dogs can help you get out more often, stick to your workouts, and stay upbeat while you’re at it. How can your pet […]

via Dogs Help You Exercise — simple Ula

Top 3 Calming Exercises for Anxious Dogs

adorable-animal-breed-731022 (1)

Many dogs are sent to shelter home due to their anxiety problems that develop due to hyperactivity. On the other hand, dogs that are brought home from animal shelters have behavior issues like barking, digging, destructive chewing, etc. The problem, in both cases, is not with dogs but with the owners who fail to provide enough opportunities to their Fido to invest their pent-up energies positively.

Did you ever think of trying out some calming exercises for your pooch? Here are three ways to tone down the excessive energy of dogs:

  1. Doga:

Doga has calming effects on both the dog owner and the pooch. Although dogs are not able to imitate the stretches and poses of their yogi owners, still they feel calm at the end of a yoga session. The bonding between the owner and the dog gets stronger. The owners are able to better understand their Fido’s body language. They will be able to train the pooch in a more calm and controlled manner.

Doga helps dogs invest their energies in calming exercises. Your pooch will feel relaxed after doga class. Try it out for your anxious and hyperactive dog.

  1. Routine and Familiarity:

Unfamiliar situations and environments, as well as haphazard routines, are known to create confusions in the pooch’s mind. It may create anxiety that will lead to destructive chewing and excessive barking, etc.

Dogs enjoy following routines. They feel uncomfortable when their set schedule is not followed. Routines help a dog wait for the play, walk or exercise time patiently. Consistency in daily routine activities will keep the pooch relaxed. Are you following the routine of your dog?

Sometimes dog owners do not maintain routine of giving food to the pooch. Whether you serve raw dog food or dry kibble, maintain a fixed time. One day giving food via treat dispensing toys and the other day in food bowls can also upset the little pooch. Dogs need surety about everything. Or else, they stay anxious whether they will have it or not!

If you are an adventure lover, your dog can feel anxious in unfamiliar places. To maintain the familiarity, take the Fido’s favorite chewing cloth that has your scent and of home. Give him a chew toy, familiar bowl, familiar bed, and blanket to stay calm and comfortable at unknown places or new home.

  1. Music or Smart Toys:

Some dogs are not hyperactive but are rather intelligent dog breeds. They need something for their mental stimulation. Find out some puzzles, buster cubes, interactive toys, Kongs to keep the pooch busy during your absence. Stuff them with their favorite treat so they may stay motivated to solve the puzzle.

Whether it’s a thunderstorm or fireworks that makes your pooch anxious and restless, it will not worry your Fido anymore. Simply, turn on some soft music in the room. A study conducted by Physiology and Behavior says that dogs feel relaxed and calm when the sound of soft rock or reggae fills the room. During unfamiliar situations or stressful ones, playing the soothing soft rock music will definitely improve your dog’s behavior.

Before you decide to leave your cute cuddle ball in an animal shelter, consider trying these tricks to calm his nerves. Sometimes, medications work for toning down dog’s anxiety.

Would you like being left alone for your bad behaviors that developed due to certain circumstances other had created for you?

Heartwarming Video: Rescue Dog Fosters Dozens of Kittens — FACE Foundation

Zuca was a pregnant stray when she was taken in by an animal welfare agency in Oregon. All her puppies were adopted, and eventually so was Zuca. This sweet pup became best friends with a cat named Stout in her new forever home. Sadly, Stout passed away and Zuca was depressed…until her human mom Ronda […]

via Heartwarming Video: Rescue Dog Fosters Dozens of Kittens — FACE Foundation

6 Unwanted Dog Behaviors That Dog Owners Encourage

Every dog parent strives to raise a behaviorally balanced dog, but most of them end up asking what’s wrong with my dog? We, accidentally, promote some unwanted behaviors in our dogs.

A lot of dog parents encourage unwanted behaviors because they find it cute. If the behavior has been rewarded for a long time, it becomes difficult to change it.

As it takes double to effort to ‘untrain’ a dog, so it’s best to avoid encouraging these six behaviors in dogs:

  1. Biting:

The nipping or biting habit is encouraged at puppy stage when the pooch is teething. As a dog parent, you should take appropriate measures to avoid prolonging of nipping behavior past the teething stage. If we let this behavior continue, the adult dog will find it acceptable to communicate through teeth and skin. A puppy’s nip doesn’t hurt. It can be ignored due to the cuteness of the puppy. But, when the adult dog plays rough by biting the skin, it becomes unbearable and difficult to stop.

It is best to curb the behavior at a young age by making loud, painful sounds whenever the puppy nips and bites your hand. You can distract him with chew toys. You can ignore the pup for a while after he bites you so that he learns his lesson and suppress the bitey behavior.

  1. Bark For Your Rights:

Dogs that get what they want when they bark for toys or food learn ‘demand barking’ behavior. The dog owners support the bossy behavior by paying heed to him when he barks. Most of the dog owners listen to barking dogs only to stop the noise. But, it trains them negatively to behave harshly rather than politely to get something.

To curb such demanding behavior, train him to sit down whenever he wants something. Make him calm down and sit before you serve food, give a chew toy, toss the ball, etc. If he barks at you due to impatience, walk away and do not concede to his demands.

  1. Jumping Up In Excitement:

Dogs usually jump up in excitement as you enter the house. We nurture the dog jumping behavior with equal excitement, laughter, and pats of encouragement. But, when a large breed dog grows up, his jumping behavior can cause injury. In case of small dogs, the behavior can be hurtful when a new baby arrives. The jumping up of dog can be irritating if you are leaving for a meeting and the dog messes up your shirt.

To avoid jumping up of dogs, simply ignore his leaps when you return home. When the dog calms down, pat and hug him for his nice behavior. It will train him to avoid the overexcited behavior.

  1. Anti-Social Behavior:

Anti-social behavior develops when your puppy or dog returns shivering after having an interaction with other dogs, and you hug him instantly to provide protection. This encouraging hug will stimulate him to behave fearfully every time he comes in contact with other people or dogs. There can be other reasons for a shivering dog, so understand the cause before you respond.

To avoid anti-social behavior, encourage your dog for interacting with other dogs. Give him treats or a pat on the back every time he interacts and plays with other pets in the park. This will boost his confidence to make new friends everywhere he goes.

  1. Pulling at the Leash:

If your dog continuously pulls on the leash as you go for a walk, then it’s a behavior that should be discouraged. Otherwise, the dog will consider the leash around its neck to be a trigger for pulling on it and moving forward. It can be irritating when you want him to sit and wait for you.

You should teach your dog that leash pulling will never work, and he can go forward only when the leash is loose. Don’t walk ahead when the dog pulls on the leash. When he lets the leash loose, reward him for behaving right. Give him treats for walking close to you to encourage the good behavior.

  1. Begging:

It is hard for a puppy owner to resist the begging pooch when he asks for food. However, it becomes a trouble when your dog is an adult, and you have to manage his diet requirements. If he gets obese, putting him on diet food will not be easy as he will continue to beg and you may persist to give in.

It’s best not to share your food with the dog, but give him his specific dog meal to eat. Ignore his begging face and do not feed him a single scrap of food to avoid development of such unwanted behaviors.

If you succeed in discouraging these six behaviors in your puppy, you will not have to worry about the wrong things in your dog.

 

Should Your Dog Sleep with You?

Pets belong on the bed. At our house anyway, and at many of yours, I bet. In fact, surveys on the topic show that around half of pet owners let them sleep on the bed. As for us, our little guy Truffle starts out wedged between my pillows and my husband’s, but at some point […]

via Should You Let Your Pet Sleep With You? We Dug Up the Answer — PushUP24