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7 Amazing Dog-Friendly Home Additions

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Here are 7 home improvements that you and your dog will love!

1. A nice cozy closet for leashes, keys, waste bags, and toys. All ready there for your walk routine. pantry_leashes 2. Instead of spending money on a groomer, here is a dog friendly shower for bathing. dog-shower   3. Dogs can have a hard time walking on wooden floors. This is especially true for stairs. Here is an amazing low cost solution. dog_friendly_stairs   4. Dogs love be wherever you are. Sometimes in the kitchen we get busy and distracted and are unaware of our dog behind us. This can be a dangerous situation. This cubby/dog bed is a smart solution. kitchen-dog-bed   5. This kitchen addition will help keep bowls in place and prevent messy spills.  kitchen-for-pet   6. This doggy house is a great space saver. under-stairs 7. Some dogs love the pool but are not the greatest swimmers. This 1 foot pool section solves this problem. Plus it makes it easy for your dog to get out of the pool. dog-pool Via – BarkPost

Bringing Your New Dog Home

Preparation and patience are key to building a happy relationship

dog_and_man_hugging_270x224The key to helping your new dog make a successful adjustment to your home is being prepared and being patient. It can take anywhere from two days to two months for you and your pet to adjust to each other. The following tips can help ensure a smooth transition.

First, gather your dog’s supplies Prepare the things your dog will need in advance. You’ll need a collar and leash, food and water bowls, food, and, of course, some toys. And don’t forget to order an identification tag right away.

Establish house rules in advance Work out your dog-care regimen in advance among the human members of your household. Who will walk the dog first thing in the morning? Who will feed him at night? Will Fido be allowed on the couch, or won’t he? Where will he rest at night? Are there any rooms in the house that are off-limits?

Plan your dog’s arrival Try to arrange the arrival of your new dog for a weekend or when you can be home for a few days. Get to know each other and spend some quality time together. Don’t forget the jealousy factor—make sure you don’t neglect other pets and people in your household!

Be prepared for housetraining Assume your new dog is not housetrained, and work from there. Read over the housetraining information given to you at the time of adoption and check out our housetraining tips for puppies or adult dogs. Be consistent, and maintain a routine. A little extra effort on your part to come home straight from work each day will pay off in easier, faster house training.

Make sure all your pets are healthy Animal shelters take in animals with widely varying backgrounds, some of whom have not been previously vaccinated. Inevitably, despite the best efforts of shelter workers, viruses can be spread and may occasionally go home with adopted animals. If you already have dogs or cats at home, make sure they are up-to-date on their shots and in good general health before introducing your new pet dog.

Take your new dog to the veterinarian within a week after adoption. There, he will receive a health check and any needed vaccinations. If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, make that appointment! There are already far too many homeless puppies and dogs; don’t let your new pet add to the problem. Most likely, the shelter will require that you have your pet spayed or neutered anyway. If you need more information about why it is so important to spay or neuter your dog, read our online information on spaying and neutering.

Give your dog a crate A crate may look to you like the canine equivalent of a jail cell, but to your dog, who instinctively likes to den, it’s a room of his own. It makes housetraining and obedience-training easier and saves your dog from the headache of being yelled at unnecessarily for problem behavior. Of course, you won’t want to crate your dog all day or all night, or he will consider it a jail cell. Just a few, regular hours a day should be sufficient.

The crate should not contain wire where his collar or paws can get caught, and should be roomy enough to allow your dog to stand up, turn around, and sit comfortably in normal posture. More on crate training »

If a crate isn’t an option, consider some sort of confinement to a dog-proofed part of your home. A portion of the kitchen or family room can serve the purpose very well. (A baby gate works perfectly.)

Use training and discipline to create a happy home Dogs need order. Let your pet know from the start who is the boss. When you catch him doing something he shouldn’t, don’t lose your cool. Stay calm, and let him know immediately, in a loud and disapproving voice, that he has misbehaved. Reward him with praise when he does well, too! Sign up for a local dog obedience class, and you’ll learn what a joy it is to have a well-trained dog. Also be sure to read our tip sheet on training your dog with positive reinforcement.

Let the games begin Dogs need an active life. That means you should plan plenty of exercise and game time for your pet. Enjoy jogging or Frisbee? You can bet your dog will, too. If running around the park is too energetic for your taste, try throwing a ball or a stick, or just going for a long walk together. When you take a drive in the country or visit family and friends, bring your dog and a leash along.

Be patient and enjoy the results Finally, be reasonable in your expectations. Life with you is a different experience for your new companion, so give him time to adjust. You’ll soon find out that you’ve made a friend for life. No one will ever greet you with as much enthusiasm or provide you with as much unqualified love and loyalty as your dog will. Be patient, and you will be amply rewarded.

Article Credit – www.humanesociety.org

14 Common Dog Behavior Myths Decoded

Although dog training has become more of a science than a craft in recent years, some persistent myths still mislead us when reading canine behavior. Don’t let a myth harm your relationship with your pooch. Here, we dispel 14 common myths and look at the facts.

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1. An old dog can’t learn new tricks.

False. Old dogs not only learn new tricks but they thrive when trained. My late Pomeranian, Mr. Teddy, who was adopted at an estimated 10 to 13 years of age, was a training superstar in Vetstreet videos, which were filmed two weeks before he passed away. By the same token, older dogs without housetraining experience as puppies can successfully be housetrained. As long as a dog is mentally and physically capable of learning to perform a behavior and is properly motivated, it’s entirely possible to train her. While intense agility training for Teddy was not realistic, teaching basic commands was.

2. A dog shouldn’t sleep with you or be allowed on furniture, or she’ll think she’s the boss and will misbehave.

False. Just like humans, dogs simply want a comfortable place to lie down. If comfort can be combined with being next to their beloved human, whether it’s right next to you on the couch, or even on top of your lap, then they’re all for it. In rare cases, dogs will guard their sleeping and resting areas, and will show aggression when humans approach these sacred areas. This type of behavior will require remedial training. But for the average Rover, sleeping in bed or resting on the couch has no adverse behavioral effects.

3. When your dog has a potty accident, it’s important to rub her nose in it to let her know what she did.

False. When you rub a dog’s nose in her own mess, she often sees no association between that and her having had a potty accident. Nor does rubbing her nose in her accident teach her not to potty on the floor again. Instead, rubbing her nose in her accident teaches her that humans are dangerous and unpredictable, and she will likely begin to hide in safety by sneaking into another room to go to the bathroom, making housebreaking even more difficult.

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4. A dog who cowers from people was likely abused in the past.

False. There are various reasons for dogs cowering, and not all of them are because a dog was abused. Commonly, the dog was not properly socialized or had negative experiences during her prime socialization period as a puppy. Genetics also play a role in the fearful dog. Other reasons for a dog to duck away might be that she has learned to dodge people who try to grab her collar, or she is uncomfortable with petting, such as having her ears handled. Unfortunately, well-meaning strangers often approach dogs by bending over the top of their heads and reaching down to pet, which will send timid dogs into a cowering position. A better way to approach is by getting into a kneeling position, with your body turned toward the side, and then inviting the dog to approach you. If you practice this method, it will be less likely to cause a canine to cower.

5. Shelter dogs have too much baggage. It’s better to adopt a puppy to start with a clean slate.

False. Many shelter dogs are well-behaved pooches who, for an endless list of possible reasons, could not be kept by their original owners. Older shelter dogs make ideal candidates for people wanting to skip the puppy stages of chewing, potty training and mouthing. The interview process at most shelters also pairs canine candidates with the family setting that will best suit the dog’s temperament, which can create cohesion from the beginning.

6. All dogs should enjoy being around other dogs. It’s essential for dogs to go on outings with other dogs, such as at the dog park. If a dog doesn’t enjoy other dogs, there is something wrong with her.

False. Not all people are social butterflies and neither are all dogs. Some dogs may prefer solitude and only a small, select group of people. Dogs also have their own preferences when it comes to other canines. Breeding can play a big role in their sociability, with terriers being notorious for contentiousness with other pooches. Other times, whether from lack of socialization as a puppy or simply an individual preference, dogs may not enjoy canine comradery. Even though plenty of dogs enjoy the dog park, not all of them enjoy the idea of dozens of other dogs frolicking around them and would instead prefer a quiet walk with their owners.

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7. You should let dogs just fight it out when they get into a scuffle.

False (well, at least partly false). It’s true that you should never get into the middle of a dog fight, because some of the most damaging dog bites occur when owners try to separate fighting dogs. There are some tactics you can use to break up the scuffle without actually getting in the middle of the fray. Try using water, a really loud noise, or even a distraction like grabbing a treat bag or using voice to direct them to do something else. Owners should do everything they can to prevent another fight in the future. Often dogs don’t settle matters on their own, and fighting intensifies over time, especially with dogs in the same home. This calls for advanced training with the help of an animal behaviorist or a certified professional trainer.

8. My dog is trying to show she’s in charge when she doesn’t listen to me.

False. It’s easy to attribute human motives like “getting even” or “being spiteful” to our dogs, but dogs don’t have the same complex emotions as humans. The more realistic reasons why a dog doesn’t do what’s being asked is either because she doesn’t understand what she’s being asked to do, or the dog doesn’t have the proper motivation to want to perform the behavior. For example, most dogs don’t come when called because the payoff isn’t worth it. When they do, they usually are put on a leash or taken into the house when they’d rather stay outside.

guilty dog

9. My dog knows she was bad after she goes potty in the house. Her guilty face says it all.

False. Dogs show a perceived “guilty face” not because they feel an actual emotion of guilt, but they are actually showing appeasement behaviors in response to their owners intimidating body language. Whether we want to or not, it’s difficult not to display negative body language when we’re upset with our pets. A 2009 study by researcher Alexandra Horowitz at Barnard College in New York revealed that the “guilty look” dogs display is solely attributed by humans and has no relation to whether the dog is actually responsible for an offense. The study found that dogs who had not actually eaten the forbidden treat, but were scolded by their misinformed owners for eating a treat, showed guiltier-looking body language than dogs who had actually eaten the forbidden treat. The guilty look is simply a response of the dog to her owner’s behavior.

10. It’s always the owner’s fault when a dog misbehaves.

False. Most owners are well-meaning, but are simply misinformed or lack knowledge on how to train their dogs effectively. Blaming the owner for all of a dog’s problems makes for good TV, but there are a myriad of reasons why a dog misbehaves, including lack of proper socialization or preventive training, or even the genetic tendencies of the dog. It’s important for pet parents to push past feelings of shame or guilt; instead get started in the right direction with help from a pet professional using positive reinforcement methods.

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11. Using treats for training is bribery, and the dog won’t do the behavior later if you don’t give her a treat.

False. It’s true that dogs need motivation to perform a behavior. That said, the motivation doesn’t always have to be a food-based reward. Dogs can be rewarded in many other ways. Reward them with playing, petting or getting to go outside. They can also be put on a random schedule of rewards with a lottery-ticket-like system so they never know when the payout will come. This system helps keep them motivated. For example: learning to walk on a loose leash may be taught in the beginning by using treats, but once the behavior is learned, treats can be phased out so that the only reward becomes getting to go on the walk itself.

12. When a dog chews up shoes or destroys furniture it’s because she’s punishing the owner.

False. Dogs chew on shoes, furniture and other human items not to punish their owners, but simply because it feels good on their teeth, it relieves boredom, releases energy and, in some cases, may indicate separation anxiety.

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13. A dog can’t really be happy unless she can run off-leash.

False. Leashes are made for a dog’s safety. They should be perceived as tools that keep your dog from running into oncoming traffic, going up to unknown dogs or people, and prevent them from running way. Although regular off-leash play in a fenced area is essential for a dog’s well-being, while out in public, dogs can learn to be perfectly content on a leash at their owner’s side.

14. Dogs are great judges of people, so if a dog doesn’t like someone, it must mean there is something wrong with that person.

False. In the majority of cases, dogs who react aggressively or fearfully to a person are not doing so out of a negative moral evaluation of the individual, but are responding out of their own self-preservation. With that said, there have been plenty of circumstances where pets have used an apparent sixth sense to pick up on cues that went unseen by their human and actually saved their human’s life. However, the majority of dogs I see in my training practice are unfriendly with a person because they are reacting out of fear to a certain physical attribute, movement or the physical proximity of a person, and are not reacting based on any moral evaluation of the individual.

Article Credit – VetStreet

14 Things That Cat Owners Know to Be True

If you live with a feline companion, you know that cats can be quirky and totally entertaining. (Even if they’d never admit it in a million, trillion years.) Here are just a few of our favorite cat-isms, some with sandpaper tongue firmly in cheek. Did we miss any of yours?

1. Cats are relaxed.

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2.Very very relaxed.

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3.Until the millisecond that they’re not.

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4. A cat appreciates a litter box, but does not always need one.

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5. Cats show their love and affection to their owners in various ways. Some of those ways include a dead mouse.

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6. Cats love water.

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7. Just not a lot of it.

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8. If you travel with a cat, you’re gonna want to let her explore (and learn to love) her carrier before you leave. Cats might love getting in boxes, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to cooperate immediately when introduced to a new one!

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9. Toes on top of a blanket are safe. Toes underneath a blanket are prey.

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10. Dogs might think cats like them, but that’s only because that’s what the cat wants them to think.

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11. Kitten is clearly just another word for “ninja.”

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12. No space is too small to squeeze inside.

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13. The cat’s never in your spot. You’re in the cat’s spot.

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14. A cat’s life is wonderful. Really, really wonderful. But also totally exhausting.

 

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Article Credit –  www.vetstreet.com

 

 

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