Category Archives: Dog

Is My Dog Cut Out For Camping?


Camping with Your DogBeforelanning a trip, you need to figure out if your dog can handle “ruffing” it. If Fido is big on barking, he’s best left at home for so that you and other campers can have a peaceful experience. Also, you may think your friendly dog is delightful, but other campers might not welcome him. If your dog tends to wander when left to his own devices, you might want to keep him on leash or attached to a run when not in the tent with you. Next, consider your dog’s physique and capabilities when planning a trip with him, especially one that involves hiking. If he’s a breed that is low to the ground, like a Dachshund, rough terrain is not the best option. Think about the length of his fur and his grooming requirements when deciding whether to take him along. His long, flowing hair may look beautiful with the wind blowing through it, but the time and effort it will take to remove the knots, dirt and insects from it afterwards may not be worth the hassle.

Boot Camp

Training is crucial for a camp-ready canine, unless you plan to keep him leashed for the duration of your trip. For advocates of the leash, plan to bring a long rope to securely tie between two trees so your dog can have a “run” while remaining safely in your vicinity. Even for tethered dogs, commands are still important. You want him to drop that porcupine when you tell him to. The basic commands you should teach your pup ahead of your big adventure are “okay” (to release him from the command), “stay,” “come,” “lie down,” and “drop it.” With these under his collar, your doggy should be well behaved enough to give you peace of mind. 

Doggy Gear

Of course, you’ll bring along the usual dog-friendly equipment—bowls for food and water, kibble or canned grub, a collar, a leash, a poop scoop and bags, his favorite sleeping set-up of bed or pillow, a toy, and maybe a crate to ensure his safety if things get really wild. But if your trip includes backpacking, Fido can carry his own weight. Backpacks for canines are designed to strap around a dog’s chest and have pouches on either side to help you cart stuff across the woods. Your pooch should be introduced to the pack and what it will carry over the course of a couple of months. Make the process gradual, with just one can or day’s worth of bagged kibble at first. Build up to about a week’s worth by the time you hit the trail. He will feel important and happy to contribute to the cause.

Special Considerations

When packing for a camping trip with your furry friend, take whatever you will need and “doggify” it for your pooch. Maybe you’d like to bring something special for him to enjoy while you’re roasting wienies and marshmallows over the campfire. Perhaps she would appreciate some rubber-soled canine booties for hitting the trail without the consequences of sharp rocks. Extra towels in case of rainy days are a must, as is shampoo to clean up after a romp in the mud. Citronella torches or candles are handy to keep your area mosquito-free, and DIY herbal and safe repellant recipes for dogs (and people) can easily be found on the Internet prior to the trip. Last but not least, consider the tick and flea potential of your destination of choice, and bring along effective repellants as well as a magnifying glass and sharp tweezers to remove any offenders.


How to start training a dog


Introduce the collar and leash
As early as a few weeks old, you can introduce your pup to her collar and leash. Wait until she’s doing something positive such as feeding, playing, or getting affection from you and slip on the collar and leash. The idea is both to get her used to wearing them and to have her associate them with positive feelings. If your dog fights against the leash or collar, try using treats or toys to get her more comfortable.

Go for a walk — inside
Just because you don’t want to risk taking your pup around the neighborhood doesn’t mean you can’t walk. Attach his leash and guide him around your living space so he gets used to you leading him around. If you have a backyard, you should use bathroom time as another opportunity for leash training by walking your pup out to the spot where you want him to go, instead of letting him have the run of the yard.

Help him learn to follow
Ideally, you want to be leading your dog when you’re on the walk — not the other way around. But this is a lot harder to do with a large adult dog than a tiny pup, so there’s no better time for training than now. All you have to do is put on his leash and walk a few steps. When he inevitably starts to pull, you should turn and walk in the opposite direction. You’ll stop-and-start a lot at first, but eventually she’ll get it. You can reinforce this learning by rewarding him with praise or treats when he does follow.

Practice obedience training
By the time your dog is ready to go out on walks, between months 3 and 6, it’s also a good window to start obedience training. Start with basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “heel,” and “down,” and make sure everyone doing the training is consistent, using the same words and gestures. Otherwise, the dog will become confused.

One of the best ways to teach these basic commands is the “Ask, Tell, and Command” method. The idea is that you first ask your dog to do something, such as “come.” Then tell them to do it using a firm voice if they don’t comply the first time. If that still doesn’t work, repeat the command again and physically pull your pup to you. Regardless of whether your dog comes on her own or you bring her over, immediately offer praise. This will help her to associate completing the action with a reward, and next time she may do it sooner.

Keep up with the training and stay consistent. Pretty soon your dog will obey you without even thinking about it!

Stoop to scoop the poop?

Stoop to scoop the poop?

There are 8 million dogs in the UK, which adds up to a lot of daily walks and potential for a lot of dog faeces to be left behind. Most dog walkers are happy and even proud to bag and bin their dog’s waste, some might leave waste if they are off the beaten track or in more rural locations, while a small proportion of dog walkers are totally disengaged from the idea that picking up their dog waste is the “right thing to do.” A new study in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, discusses the environmental, health and safety issues.

Dog faeces are not only as unpleasant as any animal waste, they can also carry parasitic diseases that have health impacts on people and animals that come into contact with them. For instance, they might transmit toxocariasis, via the larvae (immature worms) of the dog roundworm (Toxocara canis), which can cause blindness, asthma and neurological problems in those affected. Dog faeces from animals that eat raw meat and bones are also suspected of causing neosporosis in cattle. The researchers also point out that the presence of dog faeces in country parks, walks and other recreational areas can deter visitors and so have a local economic impact in those areas.

Dog waste signs, bins and their collection are a significant cost to local authorities amounting to more than £22 million per year across England and Wales. “Dog waste is also an emotive subject and complaints made by the public to local authorities are often dominated by dog waste issues,.” There are, the researchers report, several hundred thousand public complaints each year, which also adds costs to local authorities.

“It is becoming socially unacceptable for dog owners in the UK not to clean up after their dogs,” the team says. “This behavioural change may also be partly associated with the construction of ‘the responsible dog owner’ that has developed in the context of increased media exposure of dog attacks.”

The researchers carried out a path audit in popular dog walking areas of Lancashire, UK, to determine the influence of path morphology, location and management (related to dog waste) on the frequency and location of bagged and non-bagged dog waste. They also conducted an online, nationwide survey of dog walkers to determine attitudes and behaviour regarding dog waste.

The team suggests that there are five types of dog walker from the most to the least socially and environmentally responsible:

  • Proud to pick up — happy to be seen carrying dog waste, will pick up in all locations and take it home if no bins are available
  • It is the right thing to do — will pick up in public places but will seek to dispose of the waste as soon as it is practical; often embarrassed to be seen carrying bagged waste
  • I have done my job — if there is no bin available will leave the bagged waste to be dealt with by others
  • Only if I have to — will only pick up in the presence of other people — likely to discard when no one is looking
  • Disengaged — will not pick up in any situation even if they are aware of the environmental consequences of their actions

The study highlights the complexities of the issue, the team says, and in particular the importance of interactions between situational, social and individual motivational factors in influencing behaviour. “It is suggested that significantly more research is required to assist in addressing this emotive yet complex problem,” they conclude.

How to travel with your dog


The most comfortable way to travel with a dog is by motor vehicle. This form of transportation gives the best opportunity to effectively tend to their needs and give them needed attention. However, not all dogs enjoy riding in vehicles. While some dogs jump at the chance to go for a car ride, others detest it. Sometimes car travel is not possible and air travel becomes the only alternative. It is important to do the homework necessary to insure the comfort and security of the cherished companion.

It may be necessary to prepare the dog for the upcoming trip. Here are some suggestions which may help:

*Introduce the dog to the carrier in ample time before the trip. Make it as comfortable as possible, including any favorite and comforting toys.
*If the dog is not accustomed to riding in a car, go for short rides, making sure to secure the carrier with a seat belt.
*When the departure date arrives, feed your dog at least three hours before it is time to leave.
*Whether traveling by car or airline, always make sure that your dog has the proper identification.
*If traveling by air, the first step is to check flight restrictions. It is important to find out which airlines accept dogs and select the ones that will have the most comfortable and secure environment.
*Dogs pick up on their owners’ emotional states. If you are anxious, most likely, your dog will be anxious as well. It is important to plan all aspects of your trip in a way that will insure your own peace of mind.

How to keep your dog healthy

dog healthy

The combination of low nutrition and a high chemical load from your dog’s diet and medication, has the effect of causing liver (in particular, but other organs are not unaffected) toxicity and a low immunity. The effect of a compromised liver can lead to anger and aggression, as well as digestive problems and cancer.

The effect of a compromised immune system means your dog is far more likely to contract other health related problems and is easy prey to passing epidemics.

Simply changing the diet can start to unload the toxins in your dog and improve his/her immune system. The best food for your dog is to make it yourself from quality, human grade ingredients. You can find more information on this subject here.

How to get a kitten to be our dog’s best friend?

Just because you have a dog, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring home a new kitten. Dogs and cats can become best friends, but if you decide to bring home a new kitten, take things slow. Introduce your new kitten to your dog with caution

You don’t want to stress out the kitten more than necessary, so put your kitten in a safe room away from your dog with a bowl of food and water, a litter box and something that smells like your dog. Outside of the room, place the carrier that you brought the kitten home in. You want them to get used to the smell of each other for a day or so before you introduce them.    4 3 2 1 5

Once the initial excitement has worn off and both animals appear more relaxed, prepare a supervised visit. Exercise your dog so that he’s tired, and gather another person so there is one person to supervise each animal. Don’t have high expectations; the first visit may not be as smooth as you want, but even if everything goes smoothly, maintain the safe room for your new kitten and keep daily supervised visits. Over the next few weeks, the two will become more comfortable together, and you can start reducing the time the kitten spends in the safe room.