Make Sure Your Home Is Healthy for Your Dog

Having a dog at home is an incredible way to ensure companionship and make great memories. However, it can also be challenging. After all, your furry friend will probably be curious and adventurous, and you want to ensure that your dog is not in any danger when he is simply roaming or exploring around.

If you have a pet dog, check out the following tips for ensuring that your house is safe. By taking some steps to make sure your home is good for your dog, you can create a space where you, your family and your dog can have great experiences for years to come.

Make Sure Cabinets Are Latched or Locked

When you have a dog at home, it’s important to make sure reachable cabinets latch or lock. That way, a dog cannot get into the cabinet and eat or tear up whatever is in it. (This includes food, medicine, chemicals and more.) By keeping your dog out of the cabinets, you can ensure that he doesn’t ingest something that will hurt or kill him.

Only Have Non-Toxic Plants

Do you have house plants around your home? If so, make sure they are non-toxic. That way, if your dog takes a bite, he won’t be poisoned. If you’re not sure if your plant is poisonous and you think that your pup may have eaten some of it, call your vet. You may have to bring your dog and the plant into the vet but he or she will be able to tell you if your dog is safe, and if not, treat him for any potential health effects.

Give Your Dog a Comfortable Space

Your dog should have a comfortable space to retreat to especially if he gets stressed or anxious. This means that your dog may want a crate of his own, or he may want a bed in a spot where he can hide away if something scary happens. If your dog’s special place is upstairs and he has aches and pains, a medication like Carprofen may help for inflammation in dogs. It takes away pain from arthritis and hip dysplasia (as well as other joint diseases) and can help make it easier for an older dog to do things like climb stairs or ease into small nooks and crannies.

Keep the Toilet Lid Closed

Your dog may love to drink from the toilet. In reality, though, that’s a bad idea. If you use cleaning products in the toilet, your dog can be poisoned. Or, if your dog is small enough, it’s possible he can crawl into the toilet and drown. Make sure that your toilet lid is closed, and that way you can use the bathroom when you need to and ensure that your dog doesn’t encounter anything hazardous there.

Be Careful With Wires

So many things in your house have wires: your television, your computer and your alarm clocks (etc., etc.). Make sure that you tie up loose or dangling wires and keep them out of the way of the dog. That way, your dog won’t be tempted to chew on them (which can cause shock and damage your electronics) or he won’t trip on them when he is running around.

Having a furry friend at home is a great way to warm up a space and make it feel loving. However, you can’t just bring a dog into your space without first ensuring that you’ve done the proper prep work. If you do the work to make sure that your space is safe and healthy for your dog, your family and your pets can enjoy a fun, stress-free life together.

 

5 Easy Steps to Potty Training Your Puppy

Are you one of the many people who perceive puppy potty training difficult—or even impossible? It’s actually easier than you think.

Today we’re going to give you advice straight from a professional puppy trainer on how to potty train a puppy from as young as 6 weeks old. So whether you’re a breeder who wants to sell ready-trained puppies, or a new dog owner; these tips will help you and your puppy succeed.

Develop a Routine

Routine is by far the most important factor in getting your puppy trained fast. There are three routine steps to take into consideration:

  • A feeding routine
  • A potty routine
  • A sleeping routine

Let’s look at each one more closely.

A Feeding Routine

Ensure that you feed your puppy at the same time every day. Your puppy will start expecting to be fed at that time each day, which will automatically prompt a potty routine.

Avoid leaving food out for your puppy for it to eat whenever it feels like it. If it isn’t hungry, take the food up and feed it again at the next interval. A great way to create a feeding routine is to feed your puppy once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Take your puppy outside about 15 – 20 minutes after its meals to do its business outside. With repetition your puppy will be potty trained within a matter of days.

A Potty Routine

Apart from its normal feeding & sleeping routine, take your puppy outside at the same time each day. You’ll soon start learning how often your puppy needs to go outside to potty, so set designated times for it to do so. three or four times in the middle of each day should be sufficient—depending on how much it eats and drinks.

A Sleeping Routine

Your puppy’s sleep routine ties into its potty routine too. It’s important to let your puppy go outside just before it’s being put to sleep. Your puppy will quickly learn that potty before bedtime is the norm, and this will reinforce the habit of doing its business outside.

Read the Signals

There will be times outside of feeding and bedtime when your puppy will need to potty. It will give you signals that it is about to go by one or more of the following:

  • Circling around
  • Sniffing the ground
  • Folding its body

Dedicate yourself to watching your puppy. If it shows these signs or any other characteristic sighs of wanting to potty, pick it up and take it outside quickly. It will quickly learn that doing its business inside is unacceptable.

Establish a Designated Potty Area

Throughout your puppy potty training, always direct your puppy to generally the same outside area every time. The smells of previous potty sessions will trigger its memory, and with repetition it will learn where it needs to go for a comfortable wee or pool.

Deal with Accidents Effectively

When accidents happen, see this as a training opportunity rather than a failure. Punishing your puppy won’t do much good in the long run. A stern “No!” is all your puppy needs to know that what it has done is not acceptable.

If it’s a poo take it outside to its designated area and show your puppy that next time this is where you want it to do its business. If it’s a wee, pick your puppy up and put it outside for a few minutes.

Also be sure to clean up the mess with something that takes away the smell completely.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Be patient and calm while training your puppy and you’ll be amazed at how quickly it responds to your training efforts. Before you know it your puppy will be potty trained and automatically go outside when it needs to.

Sick Pup? Here Are 4 Common Canine Health Conditions

As a dog owner, there’s nothing more concerning than a sickly pup. Typical symptoms are made even scarier because your pet can’t tell you what’s wrong or how they’re feeling. If you’re wondering whether all is well for man’s best friend, here are some common canine health conditions and ways to spot them.

1. Ear Infection

An ear infection is one of the most common health problems for dogs, and it can easily be caused by several different factors. Ear mites, allergies, viral infections, bacterial infections, ingrown hairs and yeast can all cause an ear infection to pop up unexpectedly.

The symptoms of an ear infection may be subtle or severe. Here’s what to look for:

  • Redness or odor coming from the ear canal 
  • Head shaking or tilting to one side 
  • Excessive scratching 
  • Balance or coordination problems 
  • Ear swelling 
  • Ear discharge 

If you notice any of these symptoms, please see a veterinarian immediately. Ear infections are usually relatively easy to treat, but you’ll need a vet’s diagnosis and a prescription medication.

2. Worms

Puppies are especially susceptible to worms, but dogs can have worms at any age. Common worms include tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. While most worms are simply uncomfortable, some can actually be fatal, so it’s important that you treat these parasites quickly. Signs include:

  • Actually seeing worms (usually in feces) 
  • Diarrhea (especially bloody diarrhea) 
  • Weight loss 
  • Lack of appetite or excessive appetite 
  • Vomiting 
  • Lethargy 
  • A lackluster coat of fur 
  • A dog who scoots across the floor on his bottom 

You should also see your vet for this condition because it’s difficult to tell which worms your dog has. Each worm requires a different type of treatment, so your vet will need to make the call and issue the appropriate medication.

3. Vomiting

Vomiting may be more of a symptom than an actual health condition, but it’s worth noting here because dogs tend to vomit more than other animals. A dog may vomit for any number of reasons, including:

  • Parasites (like worms) 
  • Heatstroke 
  • Food poisoning 
  • Dehydration 
  • Kidney failure 
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Bacterial or viral infection (stomach “bug”) 

In most cases, one vomiting incidence likely isn’t anything serious, but you should always have your pet checked by a veterinarian, just in case. If your dog is dehydrated they can give fluids and let you know if something more severe is going on.

4. Fleas

Every responsible pet owner knows that flea prevention is extremely important for dogs and cats. (If you haven’t found a good treatment yet, Bravecto offers a chewable tablet that’s super convenient and easy.) Still, dogs sometimes catch fleas anyway. While pet owners are often first alerted when they actually see fleas in the home, sometimes the signs are more subtle. Dogs may:

  • Scratch, lick, or bite themselves excessively 
  • Cause hair loss by excessively scratching flea-infested areas 
  • Develop allergic dermatitis, a skin condition caused by a flea allergy 
  • Catch tapeworms, which are transported by fleas 
  • Have tiny black dots on the skin (that look similar to pepper), also known as flea dirt 

Once your vet diagnoses your pup with fleas, you’ll need to do all you can to remove and prevent the infestation. This may include home treatments, topical treatments, pills or any other flea medication your veterinarian recommends.

For most pet owners, sickness will be temporary and short-lived. If you stay on top of your dog’s medications and vaccines, seek proper medical treatment when necessary and maintain a healthy diet, your pup will likely lead a long, healthy life.

 

Canine ideas: discovering the great outdoors with your dog

travel with your dog

There’s a reason why the dog is called man’s best friend; that’s because they’ll want to go with you everywhere, given half a chance. And that includes on adventures out into the great outdoors. In fact, a canine can be the perfect companion for discovering, exploring and trekking the countryside – within reason. In order to do it properly and safely, though, there are a number of things you ought to think about first…

Let off the leash?

Ideally, of course, with all that open country yawning ahead of you, any dog owner would love to let their pal run free, but it’s not always feasible – and not always legal to do so. In which case, you’re going to need a decent, durable leash, one that preferably gives 4-6 feet of slack. You might even go the whole hog and get one that’s manufactured from climbing rope. Alternatively, you could just make your own from climbing rope – the advantage being it’ll absorb a lot of tugs and pulls, ensuring it’s both easier for the dog and your otherwise aching shoulder.

Food and hydration

Water. It’s all-important for humans when they’re on the move (it’s estimated we need as much as between nine and 13 cups of fluids a day!), so remember to bring your own bottled water, but it’s just as important for the canine species. What you’ll need then is a portable bowl that’ll pack easily into a rucksack. And, if you’re unlikely to pass water fountains or natural water (streams, rivers or ponds), then bear in mind you’ll need to share your water with your pooch. Sustenance is important too – so be on the look-out for specially-made energy treats for dogs to ensure they don’t tire when you’re out together.

First aid kit – dog and human

No dog lover relishes considering this, but when you’re out with your pooch pal there’s sadly always the (very slight) possibility something will go wrong and you’ll run into an emergency. If the poor mutt’s health – or even life – is suddenly in danger then, you’ll have needed to prepare for all eventualities. That means packing a doggy first aid kit. What to include? Well, some items will crossover with what you’ll need for human-focused first aid, such as antiseptic wipes, tweezers (for removing dirt and small stones from wounds), bandages and gauzes and tape to secure these in place. However, it’s also advisable to pack a big plastic syringe and a dose of hydrogen peroxide, which should aid in inducing vomiting should the dog have ingested poison of any kind.

And this is a good juncture to point out that while you’re out with your pal, you should look after yourself too. Making sure the first aid kit has enough to help you out of a sticky situation’s a must, as well as having food for yourself (maybe granola bars for energy) or perhaps you fancy giving supplements a go to keep up your vitamin and nutrition levels? Both Biocare probiotics (to maintain gut bacteria balance and healthy bowel function) and Megahydrate (for full-body hydration thanks to its silica hydride ingredient) are good examples.

Pick up the poop!

This should be a no-brainer; hopefully it is. If you’re putting so much effort into ensuring you enjoy the great outdoors with your pooch you should also take the time to be a good dog owner by cleaning up after your canine chum. To that end, bring with you a roll of bags or recycle a plastic shopping bag – it’s good for the environment; in a way!

And finally…

If you love the idea of roaming the countryside with your dog enough, you might be prepared to fork out for a doggy life jacket. For the pooch that has everything then? Well, yes; but this bit of kit will enable them to paddle away to their heart’s content and ensure you have total peace of mind as they do so. Be sure to opt for a version that sports a handle on the back, though, so you can pull them up and out of the water when it’s time to be getting on – or even time to be going home!

Join the Movement and #ShopWithYourHeart With the ASPCA

The ASPCA has launched an exciting new initiative to improve the lives of farm animals called Shop With Your Heart.

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As you may already know, most of the nearly 9 billion animals raised for meat, milk and eggs in the US are suffering in inhumane factory farms. And animals are not the only affected, as factory farms impact human health—they can be breeding grounds for dangerous pathogens and the antibiotics used to prevent disease create the potential for dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria to develop. To fully harness the power of our collective purchases and demand better lives for farm animals, the Shop With Your Heart initiative gives consumers the resources to recognize, locate and demand meaningfully welfare-certified meat, eggs and dairy products as well as plant-based alternatives.

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Here are a few ways you can get involved:

  •  Use the Shop With Your Heart Grocery List, including welfare-certified and widely available plant-based brands.
  • Post a photo of yourself on your social media channels making the “heart hands” to show solidarity with the movement with sample language like:  “Join the movement with me and pledge to #ShopWithYourHeart! aspca.org/ShopWithYourHeart @ASPCA.”

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Have You Met Our New Puppy?

Well, we got lost on a roadtrip recently, and accidentally got a puppy.

Mostly it happened like that, LOL.  My son has been begging for a puppy for the longest, and when we say this face, I just broke down.

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Meet Theodore Jamison Roosevelt, part president, part chipmunk.  The name seems to work, but he’s usually just Teddy.  Cooper and he get along well, with Cooper usually letting the new baby walk all over him, poor Coop.  LOL.  Such a pushover.

Puppy Kindergarten starts this week, hopefully he will be a good pupil.  He has gotten “sit” and “cookie” and “outside” down- now, to master the leash and doing his business outdoors ALL the time, ha.

I’m sure you will see plenty of Teddy in upcoming posts.  Cooper likes “mothering” him, and my son is thrilled.  And no more dogs, says mommy!  LOL.

Win a #TheSecretLifeofPets Prize Package for Your Pets!

Do you ever wonder what your pets do all day while you are at work or school (or out of the house in general)?  Have you and your family seen the cute new movie “The Secret Life of Pets” yet?  It’s out in theaters as of Friday, and it is just adorable.  My son has been obsessed with it for a while now, but we all know how he is with animals.

One of you can win this adorable prize package for your own pets.  Check it out, and good luck!

One of you can win the following;

Treat your favorite pets!

One (1) winner receives:

  • The SecretLife of Pets key chains, buttons, and tennis balls
  • Assortment of 3 products from Milk-Bone® and Pup-Peroni®

Open to US mailing addresses only

Prizing and samples courtesy of Universal Pictures and Big Heart Pet Brands

Don’t forget to adhere to FTC guidelines (disclosure within your post).

About the Products

Since 1908, Milk-Bone® brand has helped bring dogs and people together.  Milk-Bone® believes dogs give us so much love that they deserve more than ordinary treats, they deserve treats with benefits. Today, Milk-Bone® gives you more than 20 different varieties of treats so you can show your best friend how much you care.

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Pup-Peroni® brand celebrates the special one-of-a-kind connection we share with our four-legged best friends. We love Pups, and we want to give them tender treats in tasty flavors they’ll love. That’s why we make Pup-Peroni® dog snacks with more real beef* and a mouthwatering aroma that dogs simply can’t resist. Dogs Just Know®.

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THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS – In Theaters Now!

Official Website | Facebook | TwitterYouTube | Instagram | Tumblr | #TheSecretLifeOfPets

For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

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Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks.  Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio.

Ends July 31, 2016. Good luck!
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Win Vera Bradley and Cat’s Pride® Giveaway! @catspride

Disclosure- This post is brought to you in partnership with Cat’s Pride.

Cat’s Pride is excited to introduce consumers to our newest innovation in cat litter, Fresh & Light Ultimate Care. For 75 years, we’ve been committed to providing products that enrich the lives of cats and their owners,” said Dan Jaffee, president and CEO of Oil-Dri, the makers of Cat’s Pride. “We are proud to partner with Katherine Heigl and the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation as they work to end the needless suffering of animals.”

  • Cat’s Pride started the lightweight litter trend and continues to innovate with its new product, Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care lightweight litter. The product is 50% lighter and is formulated with highly absorbent minerals and no fillers, guaranteeing 10 days of odor control, the strongest clumps and low dust and tracking. Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care offers the ultimate performance at a great value. The product is offered in a 10 pound jug, in both scented and unscented hypoallergenic varieties.
  • “Cats are Complicated. Great Litter is Simple.” Campaign: The new Cat’s Pride integrated marketing campaign featuring Heigl is the brand’s largest media launch ever. This concept features Katherine Heigl as a recurring character—a cat/owner couples therapist—who helps owners have a more meaningful and positive relationship with their cats. She continually reinforces how using the best-performing Fresh & Light Ultimate Care can reduce tensions all around and create healthier interactions between cats and their people. The campaign features the actress in humorous commercials directed by Anne Fletcher, known for films such as “27 Dresses” and “The Proposal”. The integrated campaign continues across all digital, social media, in-store and print platforms.
  • The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation Partnership:  The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation (JDHF) was founded in 2008 by Nancy and Katherine Heigl to increase awareness of inhumane animal treatment and support animal welfare efforts in this country.  Established as a lasting legacy to a beloved son and brother killed as a teen in a tragic car accident, the JDHF is dedicated to helping companion animals by eliminating the needless suffering inflicted on animals by human cruelty, indifference and ignorance. Programs include the relocation of pets from high-kill to no-kill shelters for adoption, funding of sterilization for cats and dogs, medical and training assistance for special needs dogs, grants to hardworking “boots on the ground” rescues, and working with animal welfare groups nationwide to increase awareness of spay/neuter, humane education and adoption.

“We created the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation to continue to spread Jason’s love of animals,” said Katherine Heigl, CEO, The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation™. “We are thrilled to partner with Cat’s Pride® in our efforts to truly make a difference for animals.”

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One winner will receive the following-

  • Vera Bradley Camocat tote in black and white
  • Cat Dancer toy
  • Cat Collar
  • Coupon redeemable for one 10 lb. jug of new Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter

The estimated value of the giveaway is $75.

Please feel free to enter using the RC form below. Ends June 24, 2016.  Good luck!
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