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Safe Use of a Martingale Collar

The martingale, which is often referred to as the “humane choke chain,” is a great training tool when used appropriately.  Best known as being used on greyhounds that are prone to slipping out of collars, thanks to necks that are significantly wider than their heads, these collars are also great for dogs that routinely escape collars or harnesses.  There are certain precautions that pet owners should take, however, when finding the right martingale dog collar for their needs. What is a Martingale? A martingale collar is composed of two loops:  one large loop, which goes around the dog’s head, and a second smaller loop, which attaches to the leash.  When pressure is applied to the leash, the smaller loop will tighten the larger loop, placing pressure on the dog’s neck.  This method is considered more humane than a typical choke chain because the wide fabric ensures that pressure is more...
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To Prong or Not To Prong – Is A Prong Collar What You Need?

It is often seen as a cruel piece of equipment seen on dogs, but you can’t help but wonder if it is something that you and your dog should use. A metal, wide collar made up of links that include 2 prongs each that find their way through your dog’s fur and to his skin. It looks as though it could be quite painful, yet effective to end leash pulling. Is this something you could benefit from? Busting the Prong Myth The big question and debated hot topic when it comes to prong collars is whether or not they are painful to the dog. The short answer is that yes, they are painful. This is how they work. However, you can make something painful or uncomfortable without totally damaging your dog’s sensitive throat and this is what some dog trainers and owners use the prong for. Instead of relying on...
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Chew Proof Dog Leash

Nearly every dog owner has been through it. It can be difficult to train out of a dog without professional help, and it is an embarrassing thing for your neighbors and friends to witness. Leash chewing on a walk is a bad habit many canine companions develop as they’re taken outdoors on their daily walk with their favorite human. It’s often seen from an energetic young dog or puppy, as he bounces by his owner’s side, and grabs the leash. The sheer joy of tugging and chewing is enough to reinforce this unwanted behavior, and the dog views it as a playful outlet for his excess energy. However, the destruction of a leash is dangerous as it leads to the dog’s ability to break free from his owner’s control, and ingests harmful nylon, rope or leather. Owners have complained of this behavior, and pet product manufacturers have listened as they...
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Gentle Leader Head Collar Review

If you have or have had a dog, you have probably been through the dreaded pulling stage (or maybe you are one of those unlucky ones whose dog never actually left the pulling stage). You know what I’m talking about- dog is super-duper excitable, can’t control said excitement, and practically pulls your arm out of its socket when on the leash. You may have tried every type of collar from chain/choker style to pronged collars, harnesses and everything in between with no luck. Or you may THINK you have tried every type of collar- have you heard of the Gentle Leader? No? Then if you want your pups pulling to end, read on! The Gentle Leader is an adjustable head collar that works similarly to horse reigns- while a regular neck collar or body harness is used on the most powerful parts of the dog’s body (the neck and the...
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Halti Headcollar Review by a User

The Halti Headcollar is a great tool for enjoying long walks with your dog. Unfortunately, many dogs are not properly taught how to walk on a leash when they are young. This can result in unwanted pulling on your shoulders and wrists, and can lead to joint strains and even dangerous falls. Product Description Dr. Roger Mugford, a pioneer in the field of veterinary behavioral therapy, invented the Halti Headcollar more than 20 years ago. It is guaranteed to stop your dog’s pulling! It is made of soft, padded nylon. It is available in 4 colors, and is has recently become available in leather. There is a version with a Velcro closure available for those with reduced dexterity. The Halti Headcollar comes in 6 sizes, so a proper fit is more likely to be attained. The breed breakdown for each size is as follows: • 0: yorkie, papillon, miniature dachshund,...
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Service Dog Etiquette

For dog lovers, resisting the urge to interact with a service animal can be extremely difficult.  However, distracting a service dog from its job can put the animal’s handler in danger.  Listed below are 9 rules of etiquette that people should follow when encountering a service dog in public.  Do Not Distract a Service Dog When a service dog is in a public facility wearing a vest or other indication that he or she is a service dog, you should always assume the dog is on duty.  Distracting the dog in any manner prevents the dog from providing the handler its undivided attention.  As a result, the dog may miss subtle cues that are important for the dog to perform its job.  Ultimately, service dogs are medical devices.  If you would not tamper with a diabetic person’s glucose monitor, you should never inhibit a person’s service dog. Do Not Touch...
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Do’s and Don’ts for Dog Owners: Lessons Learned the Hard Way

As a dog owner, I look back to my childhood in horror and cannot believe what awful dog owners my parents were.  I know that sounds harsh, but the level of pet-parenting dogs receive today is vastly different than it was 20 – 30 years ago.  Today I am what might be called an over-protective pet parent, but I am probably this way due to years of learning from my parents’ mistakes.  Here are my top do’s and don’ts for dog owners, gathered from my own experiences growing up. Don’t Assume All Dog Breeds are the Same Before I was born, my parents had only ever owned purebred cocker spaniels.  Until I had a spaniel of my own, I never understood why my parents thought dogs didn’t need training or exercise [note:  I do not recommend not training or not exercising a spaniel; rather, some dog breeds just happen to...
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6 Changes to Make with your Dog in 2020

A new year often spurs people to make significant changes in their own lives; but what about the lives of their pets?  Though 2020 is in full affect, consider the following in order to improve the life of your dog.  Sign Up for a Class Together Many pet owners wish they spent more quality time with pets while also wishing for better behavior and more socialization.  You can check all of these boxes by enrolling your dog in a training class.  Even if your dog has already mastered basic obedience, there are plenty of opportunities for teaching your pup new tricks.  For instance, introduction to Agility, Rally-O, or Canine Good Citizen training may all be appropriate for your dog. Learn to Make DIY Dog Treats More than half of household pets in the United States are obese, which leads to expensive health problems, decreased quality of life, and a shortened...
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Should You Hire a Dog Walker?

All dogs require exercise, with certain breeds requiring a larger time commitment than others.  However, not all dog owners are able to commit to giving their dogs two 15 – 30+ minute walks per day.  Lack of adequate exercise results in boredom, anxiety, and bad behavior.  Obesity and related diseases can also occur when a dog is improperly exercised.  For these reasons, many dog owners hire dog walkers.  Is a dog walker right for you?  Here, the pros and cons of hiring a dog walker will be discussed.  Benefits of Hiring a Dog Walker Saves Time Ultimately, hiring a dog walker saves time for pet owners.  Most dog walkers commit to exercising their canine clients for 30 – 60 minutes per day.  In addition, they typically provide extra services at no charge, such as refilling food and water bowls, bringing in mail, and giving treats.   Fewer Accidents Even adult...
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Caring for a Dog Post-Surgery

After a dog has surgery – whether for a routine procedure or an emergency – there is a level of care that must be taken to ensure your dog does not have complications.  Here, everything a pet owner should know about caring for a dog after surgery will be discussed. Types of Surgery Dogs require surgery for a variety of reasons.  Surgeries range from minimally to highly invasive.  Types of surgery include: Spay / Neuter Orthopedic Cardiovascular Tumor Removal Gastric Wound Repair The more invasive the surgery, the greater the risk of infection.  For instance, a neuter has fewer complications than a spay.  Additionally, a dog bite carries the greatest risk of infection because of bacteria introduced from the other animal’s mouth. Wound-Closing Methods There are many different types of wound-closing methods, each of which has advantages, disadvantages, and care requirements.  The most common wound-closing methods are: Absorbable Stitches Absorbable...
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