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Potty Training: Stop You Dogs Mess

Do you have a new addition to your family in the form of cute, furry puppy? Your pup may be cute now, but not for long if it is continually making mistakes and accidents on your expensive carpet. The most important thing you can do when introducing your pet to its new home is to properly housebreak it. It might not be easy to stop the potty mess, but with patience and perseverance, it can be done.

Most people introduce their pups to newspapers. Usually what is done is old newspaper is laid out on the floor, especially in the area where your pet likes to frequent as his restroom. Also, there are scented drops that may be purchased at any pet store retailer that can be applied to the newspaper. The scent gives off an odor to the dog, so when he must do his business, it will encourage him to use only the newspaper, and not your expensive Berber carpet as his bathroom. Although the newspaper can be used as a training device, it really is only a quick and temporary fix to a puppy messing in the house, and shouldn't be considered for the long term.

A more popular, and proven method to stop the potty messes, for the long term, is to kennel or crate train your puppy. Not only will this teach your pet restraint, but it will encourage him not to mess where he sleeps or eats. Crate training should never, in any way, be used as punishment, but as a method to encourage your pup to hold his business, and create a safe and comfortable space that is truly his own.

Be sure to lay some comfortable old towels or blankets in the crate, along with your pets favorite toys. Introduce your pet to the crate by placing a cookie inside, and securing the gate behind him. Let him become acquainted for about 15 to 30 minutes despite his cries and anguish. When you go to release him, walk with him to the outside area very quickly, and then encourage him to do his business there. Be sure to make a big deal about it when he does his business in the right place. Repeat this several times a day, adding increments of about 15 minutes to his stay in the crate, not to ever exceed four hours. Never stop praising your pet when he does his business outdoors, as positive reinforcement will only continue to encourage him.

Regardless if your dog is a pup, or just needs to be retrained, the process of housebreaking is a fairly simple process. However, it will take awhile and will require patience from both of you. The pay off in the end is definitely worth it. You will have a mess free house, a housebroken pet, and you will both have a better relationship based on your efforts. By training your dog using consistency, love and patience, you really can stop the potty mess!


Clipping Your Puppy's Nails

Clipping your puppy´s nails at home can save you a lot of time and money, but it can also be rather stressful if you don´t prepare your puppy for it. Making sure that a dog is ready to have his nails clipped is easiest to do when they are young, so start getting your puppy used to the idea early on and you´ll have a more compliant adult dog when it comes to nail clipping, whether you do it at home or take your dog to a vet.

First Steps

When your new puppy first arrives home, you will want to make sure that you play with his paws frequently. Lift them up one by one, rub the pad gently, tap the toe nails and just generally get him used to having his feet handled. This should not be playtime. Make sure that your puppy understands that he needs to sit still while this is going on.

Since puppies are much like small children, don´t expect yours to sit for very long. Keep these sessions quite short to begin with, just one minute to begin with. Then increase by 30 seconds as your puppy shows the ability to sit calmly for longer periods of time. This will greatly benefit you in the future when you need to clip the nails of an adult dog.

These early sessions are very important. You can use a small dog treat to reward your puppy afterwards for letting you handle his paws. Get him used to you touching all parts of his foot and moving the nails gently, touching between the toes, etc. Most dogs won´t like this much, but by teaching him young, you´ll find that he´ll let you do it later on.

You might also want to practice filing the nails to get your puppy used to having things done to his actual nails. Again, short sessions are a good idea here until your puppy is a bit older and able to sit still for a while longer.

Making Nail Clipping a Pleasant Experience

By getting your puppy used to having his paws handled, you are preparing him for a more intense experience, actually getting his nails clipped! This can be a big deal for dogs, even if they are used to having their feet touched and played with. The fact is that it´s not exactly the same and your puppy may be quite anxious as you actually begin to clip.

Make sure your puppy is comfortable. Unless the puppy is quite large, it will likely be easier to put him up on a table or counter with a non-slip surface. Make it a gentle experience and start off by handling the puppy´s paws like normal, then begin to clip. Take care not to cut too far down or you´ll get the quick and your puppy will be in a lot of pain. This will obviously not endear him to the process, so be very careful. You may even want to have a professional do the first nail clipping and teach you how if you find that you are nervous about the process.

It´s also important to use the right equipment and sharp cutters, to speed up the process. Your puppy probably won´t be happy to sit still for a long time, so you´ll need to work quickly and carefully. Once the whole process is over, go ahead and give him a treat to let him know that this is a good thing.

Nail clipping can be traumatic if you haven´t prepared your puppy, so make sure that you do put in the time to train him.


5 Great Gift Ideas for Pet Lovers

With the holidays just around the corner, it's time to start thinking of gifts to give your friends and loved ones. Finding unique gifts can present a challenge, and most people never consider giving pet-related gifts. Since the chances are good that more than one person on your holiday gift list has a pet that he or she adores, why not give a distinctive gift that your recipient will treasure? Here are five great gift ideas to get you started:

1. Fine Art Animal Prints

Dogs may come in many shapes and sizes, but each has a personality all its own. One of the most delightful gifts you can give to a pet lover is a fine art print of his or her breed. One of the most notable artists offering fine art animal prints is Lorena Pugh. Her print, "Princess," for example, depicts a white toy poodle laying atop a stack of twelve colorful pillows, while "Angel Face" showcases a gorgeous pug who has just snagged a cluster of grapes off of a dining room table. In "Chocolate Craving," she realistically captures the yearning of a chocolate lab as he reaches for a tennis ball against a beautiful background of blue sky. These limited edition animal prints are sure to be treasured, as each comes with a consecutively numbered dog tag to match the tag in the print.

2. Crystal Animal Statues

Whether your gift recipient has a dog, cat, horse, or rabbit, he or she is sure to enjoy an elegant crystal animal statue. Typically made from 24 percent lead crystal, hand-finished animal statues are beautiful yet whimsical. Crystal animal statues can depict a wide variety of pets, from a sitting cat to a dog with a bone; from a turtle to a frog; from a horse to a mouse; and from a duck to a dove.

3. Stone Animal Statues

Who wouldn't love a playful stone animal statue depicting their beloved pet? Animal garden statues are perfect gifts, as are stone animal statues for the home and office. While some statues - like a sleeping spaniel puppy or an eager dachshund - make you feel warm inside, others - like a cat holding a pair of binoculars up to his eyes, ever watchful for a bird - make you chuckle. Stone animal statues are available for virtually any type of pet, and are certain to be cherished.

4. Animal Posters

If you've ever owned a pet, you know how funny they can be. Animal posters depict pets in a variety of outlandish situations (remember the cat in "Hang in There"?), and are eminently affordable. An animal poster is sure to bring a smile to your recipient's face.

5. Entertainment

When it comes to gifts for pet lovers, there's nothing more unique that pet-related entertainment. There is actually a music company that creates music for animals, so consider giving a gift of music about and for cats, dogs, or birds. Another great gift idea is to buy a DVD or video that is designed to entertain your recipient's dog or cat. Your friend or loved one can play the DVD or video while he or she is at work or out running errands - guilt free!

It's both original and thoughtful to give a gift that acknowledges your recipient's pet as a central part of his or her life. Pet lovers will appreciate and treasure your gift, whether it's a fine art animal print or an entertaining DVD.


Demodectic Mange & Mites Affecting Your Pooch?

Does your dog seem to suddenly have small bald patches around his face, forelegs or eyes? He may be suffering from demodectic mange, which is caused by a tiny mite called Demodex canis. The naked eye is unable to see this tiny mite, so a trip to your veterinarian would be in order to properly diagnose the presence of the Demodex canis.

Every dog naturally has this type of mite on their skin, but in order to be diagnosed as mange, lesions must accompany the other symptoms. Puppies can get this mite from their mother, but the Demodex mite is not contagious between other dogs. This type of mange can affect puppies from three months up to twelve months of age. In the pores of the puppies' skin, the mite resides, but doesn't cause symptoms until some (unknown) point, they activate.

A puppy's immune system is not yet developed, so the demodex mites produce a substance that allows them to multiply once the puppies' resistance to their presence has decreased. As a dog matures, and his immune system is functioning properly, he is less likely to contract demodex mites and mange. The mite will usually disappear on its own for puppies, even without medication from the veterinarian.

Older dogs can also be affected, as their immune systems have sometimes already been compromised by other health issues. The prognosis for an older dog is taken a bit more seriously, but can be diagnosed and treated effectively.

If you see evidence of this mite on your dog, it is best to take him to the vet to confirm the presence of the Demodex mite. The veterinarian will determine if the dog indeed has the condition by scraping the skin or taking an biopsy.

The Demodex mite can cause localized areas, such as the head or legs, and sometimes over the dog's entire body, a lost of hair. These areas could appear red, scaly and crusty. You'll actually be able to see bare areas of skin. Surprisingly, this condition doesn't cause itchiness for the dog. Other times, Demodectic mange can begin as a localized infection and develop into something more serious. If your dog's skin is sore, crusty and oozing, the hair follicles are probably clogged with debris and the mites themselves. This level of mange requires specific treatment, which your vet can outline for you. It may include using an ointment around the eyes, giving him a bath with medicated shampoo, and giving him an oral medication as well. If your dog is experiencing lesions on his feet (in extreme cases, this is possible), your vet may recommend a specific topical medication to treat those areas.

Depending on the time a puppy contracts this mite, he could have it recur, even after successful treatment, up until the time his immune system is up and running at full tilt. The key is to catch the symptoms early and get treatment for your dog as soon as possible.


How To Introduce A New Cat To Your Dog

Dogs and cats are said to be enemies but this is not true. A survey in 2002 said that over fifteen percent of every household in the United States had one dog or one cat at the very least. The survey also stated that almost fifty percent of each home that included a dog or cat actually had both a cat and a dog. That meant that half of all the dogs and cats in the world shared a home with the other species.

Behavior Issues Do Exist

Just because many families have a cat and a dog does not mean that there are no behavioral problems. Some family pets have fights that the owners have to break up and some even take their issues to a behavior consultant for assistance with these issues.

It is very rare that a dog will be scared of a cat because of its size compared to the cat, but many people allow their dog to bully their cat. There are some cases where the dog is smaller than the cat. In these cases the smaller pet may spend most of its time in fear. Often these pets spend the day hiding in the basement or under a bed. This can cause chronic illnesses and anxiety.

You should provide a safe, friendly introduction for the two species to keep their relationship friendly and healthy. If you have existing pets that are in fear of one another you should try to reintroduce them, if you are adding a new pet to your home you should start the relationship out on the right foot.

Things to Consider when Providing an Introduction

You need to decide which of the two pets are considered to be the main pet in your home. You then need to ask your self these kind of questions. What kind of past does this animal have with the other species? Have they ever been with the other species? How did they react when they were around the other species? This will help you to pick the right cat for your dog or the other way around.

The dog or cat you are thinking about bringing home, is it a friendly animal towards different types of animals? It is best to be on the cautious side when it comes to your cat. It's better to think your dog would injure the cat rather than the cat injuring the dog. You should take caution even if the new dog is said to be friendly with other cats. They are going to get a little bit territorial and we don't want anyone to get hurt.

When you introduce the animals to each other you need to have enough man power to keep both pets safe. You should keep your dog on a leash for the first introduction, and keep your cat under your control as well. Allow the pets to sniff each other, allow them to be near each other, but do not allow them to try to take over the situation. You need to make sure BOTH species knows you are the boss and they are guests in this situation. Do not allow either to be hurt. Let them know they are both there by choice but the choice is yours, not theirs. In the end spending some time with the two pets letting them get to know each other shouldn't take long and will save your family a lot of problems.


Care For Your Canines Ear Infections

Ear infections in dogs ears can be very painful and serious, and should be treated immediately by a veterinarian, not ourselves.

How do we know if our dog has an ear infection?

By doing a regular inspection of our dogs ears will be the first step. Be familiar with his ears; know the typical smell, as that may be the first sign of something wrong. If there is an infection or ear mites, the smell may change, a foul odor is very typical of mites or infection. And if you see a dark, waxy type discharge, then this is another symptom of mites or infection. Either way, your dog needs to be checked and treated.

Even if you suspect, it may be something as simple as allergies, it would be better to be safe than sorry and let your loving dog suffer. They depend on you for their care and they have total trust in you. So when you think of it that way, you want to do everything in your power to make sure they stay healthy and happy.

The breeds with the longer floppy ears are going to be more prone to ear infections to those that have the upright ears. I have a black lab and a Chihuahua, ears of each kind. And I always watch for their behavior when it comes to their ears. When they are healthy, they leave them alone, but if there is pain, or discharge, they will paw at them or try to scratch. Dogs will also shake their head back and forth as if trying to shake something out of their ears.

How can you prevent ear infections?

Between normal checkups check your dogs ears on a regular basis. When you are playing with him or her, just casually look in the ears; it doesn't need to be a form of trauma for them. Another good time is when you are bathing your dog. Never, ever stick anything in your dog's ear. It is always a better idea to see your vet when it comes to anything to do with this very fragile part of your pet's body. Their ears are not like ours, they are very sensitive and have parts that can easily be touched and damaged.

There is one method that a vet will recommend for the owner to do. If you sense a foul smell, or something has changed, you may want to flush your dog's ear with warm water. There are ear washes for dogs that contain Tea Tree Oil; this is very gentle and very effective in cleaning the ears. It is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial and fungicidal, which will help to keep your dog's ears clear and infection free.

Make your dogs ears a part of your routine, whether bathing or when sitting quietly with him. Give your dog the care that he or she needs and can't do for him or herself. They can't tell when something is wrong; it is our job to make sure they are well and carefree.

Just as a dogs life should be!


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