A New Dog in the House: Beyond the Introduction

If you are adding a new dog or long-term visitor to the household, there is much more to harmonious living beyond the initial introduction.  Even if resident pets tolerate the newcomer, there are additional steps the owner must take in order to ensure peaceful coexistence. Start Small One of the worst mistakes a dog owner can make is to assume that since the initial introduction went well there will be smooth sailing thereafter.  While this may be the case for some dogs, in reality there are many pets that will display some jealousy, resource guarding, or general brattiness.  It is always better to be on the safe side and start small.  Praise your dogs whenever they are behaving well, even if simply sitting on the couch next to one another. Expect a Few Scuffles The main way that dogs interact with one another is through assertion of hierarchy.  In the...
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Holiday Gift Guide for Dog and Owner

Let the countdown begin.  As of today, you have 25 days to get your presents purchased, wrapped, and safely placed beneath the tree.  While 25 days may seem like a lot of time, Christmas is approaching faster than you think!  Listed here are gift ideas for the dogs – and dog owners – on your holiday shopping list! The first this you want to do is sign up for Ebates. You will find that most online stores offer real cash back through this service. They even have a browser button that will light up if the site your on offers money back. It is as easy as clicking a button. For Dogs Prey Drive Treats, $5 – $10 Does your dog alert you to every rabbit or squirrel within the vicinity?  Provide your dog an extra special high-value reward by gifting treats made of its favorite small animal.  For instance,...
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Best Cyber Monday Deals for Dogs

Cyber Monday is upon us, which makes today one of the least productive work days of the year.  Why not join your coworkers in checking out the hottest deals?  Listed here are some of the best sales in dog food, treats, toys, and beds around the internet today. Amazon.com The online retailer is unveiling limited opportunity discounts today on items that rarely go on sale.  Look for products today that have been on your wish list. Orthopedic Memory Foam Bed, $63.41 This large bed is $40 off today, and is perfect for your aging pup that requires a softer surface at night.  If you are trying to break your dog’s bad habit of jumping on the furniture, this extra-comfy bed is also worthwhile.  Total savings:  40% Nail Grinder, $12.99 Many pet owners are uncomfortable clipping their dog’s nails.  With this grinder, you can rest assured you will avoid the trauma...
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Is a German Shorthaired Pointer Right for You?

A common breed for hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and families alike is the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP).  This breed currently ranks as 11th most popular per AKC registrations; but, is a German Shorthaired Pointer right for you? Temperament German Shorthaired Pointers are energetic, obedient, and friendly dogs.  They are smart and willing to learn.  Due to their original use as an all-purpose gun dog intended for both water fowl and larger game, their energy levels are high.  When not properly exercised (i.e. long hikes or vigorous runs), GSPs can become hyperactive and destructive. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep One reason GSPs are popular is because of their unique coloring.  This breed is commonly “ticked,” meaning it has a white mottled appearance against liver or black fur.  Their short hair means heat management is poor, so a jacket is recommended in cold weather. Eyes should be dark brown, although lighter “bird of prey”...
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Is a Christmas Puppy Right for You?

Every year puppies delight children on Christmas morning with their soft fur, playful spirit, and adorable antics.  However, come February many shelters receive an influx of 4 – 6 month old dogs that turned out to be too much work.  Should you gift your friends or family members with a puppy? Reconsider if… Your Child/Spouse Asked for One If you are rushing to find a puppy this month simply because you overheard your son or daughter beg the mall Santa for a dog, reconsider.  One reason that puppies should not be placed under the Christmas tree is that children should never think of them as toys. You Have not Considered Costs Involved Oftentimes, people who give puppies as gifts do not calculate the additional costs involved.  By many estimates, the first year of dog ownership totals $1,000 – $2,000, assuming no emergency medical costs are incurred.  Christmas is not the...
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Is Doga Right for You and Your Dog?

If you practice yoga at home, chances are you have performed dog yoga without even realizing!  You may have found that your dog is ostensibly drawn to your yoga mat, or can’t resist the urge to lick your face while you pose in Downward Dog.  Did you know there is a yoga style, doga, which can be performed with your pup? What is Doga? Dog yoga is designed to be a fun activity for both dog and human.  While the workout is certainly different than would be received during a traditional yoga class, it is a great way to bond with your pet.  During doga, meditation, massage, and stretching are all part of a common routine.  You might help your dog achieve certain stretches, or even use your pet as a prop for poses. How is Doga Performed? For new dog yoga practioners, a book, DVD, or online videos  are the...
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Surviving Holiday Travel with your Dog

This week, many people will be traveling to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family.  For some, family pets will make the trip as well.  If this is your first time taking Fido home for the holidays, listed below are helpful tips to make sure he is welcomed back next year. Exercise Your pup is bound to be excited by the change in environment and new people to bug for attention.  Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog; and a happy dog makes for happy hosts.  Take your pup for extra long walks in the morning and provide plenty of play time.  Start a Thanksgiving Day tradition by letting your dog tag along in the local Turkey Trot. Routine Whereas humans enjoy to switch things up from time to time, dogs are happiest when their lives are predictable.  No matter where you travel for the holiday, try to...
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Designer Breeds: Everything you Need to Know

A growing subset of dog breeds is the so-called “designer dog,” which comprises a mix of two popular breeds.  A recent trend, for instance, is to mix everything with a poodle, to produce some sort of “doodle” dog.  The pros, cons, and a few common designer breeds are discussed. Benefits of Owning a Designer Dog Designer dogs are “in” right now, which means there is more of a supply than ever before.  Options for choosing your dog are diverse, and designer breeds are certainly adorable.  In some instances, a designer dog may cause fewer health problems for someone who experiences allergies.  Additionally, diversity of the dog’s gene pool likely means a healthier animal, as the risk of genetic disease is significantly lower in mixed breeds. Disadvantages of Designer Dogs The disadvantages of designer dogs are equally numerous.  There is less controllability in the genetics of a mixed breed dog.  For...
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Is a Siberian Husky Right for You?

Siberian Huskies are currently experiencing a growth in popularity in the United States.  In 2002 this majestic breed was the 21st most popular dog, while in 2016 the American Kennel Club ranked Siberian Huskies as the 12th most popular breed, per registrations.  But, is a Siberian Husky right for you? Temperament Siberian Huskies are energetic, mischievous, and outgoing.  These social butterflies are friendly and loyal, and do well in human or canine packs.  They are considered to be among the closest ancestors to wolves, and indeed have many wolf-like tendencies when it comes to their social interactions.  Huskies can easily become bored, and are known for their destructive and escape-artist behaviors when not properly exercised. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep With thick and heavy coats, Siberian Huskies often look larger than they truly are.  A male Husky tops out at 60 lbs, while females reach 50 lbs.  Their thick fur represents...
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How to Keep Your Dog if You Fall on Hard Times

Owning an animal is a huge responsibility, one that should not be taken lightly.  However, occasionally people fall onto hard times and cannot bear the thought of giving up their pets due to a short-term crisis.  Additionally, sometimes people in tough situations find themselves with a new companion, typically an animal that was picked up as a stray.  If you have found yourself in either situation, know that there are short-term ways to help pay for your pet’s care. Ask for a Foster If you need help for a limited period of time, such as while you find a new place to live or work, approach a respected rescue and inquire whether they can place your dog with a foster family.  Rescues are happy to help pet owners keep their animals if at all possible, and if a foster is available the rescue will surely oblige. Visit a Canine Food...
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