10 Pet Safety Tips You Should Know

In some ways having a pet is like having a child.  You have to do all of the thinking and planning for him.  You have to be prepared for every contingency.  That means being prepared in case of emergencies and taking the proper precautions ahead of time.

Here are some tips that should help you take good care of your dog:

1.  Make sure that your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations and that he has proper tags and ID at all times.  Microchips are recommended.  This is a great help should your dog ever become lost.  It gives him the best possible chance of being returned to you if somebody finds him.

2.  Obey leash laws.  This means that you should keep your dog safely contained in your own yard behind a fence.  When you have your dog out with you make sure that he is restrained on a good quality leash.  Don’t let your dog run loose.  This is dangerous to him and a nuisance to the neighborhood.

3.  Be careful what you feed your dog.  No chocolate.  No onions.  No raisins.  If in doubt about something your dog eats or if you suspect poisoning call your local veterinarian immediately.  Know the number of your closest emergency vet clinic and the shortest route in case you have an emergency at night.

4.  Crate train your dog.  Your dog should ride in a crate in your vehicle.  This is the safest way for your dog to travel.  Crate training is also a great way to help house train your dog.  If you ever intend to fly anywhere with your dog he will also need to fly in a crate.

5.  Keep a pet first aid kit on hand and know how to use the contents.  A good first aid kit should contain blankets, surgical tape, a muzzle, an antibacterial ointment (such as Neosporin), cotton swabs, tweezers, gauze and gauze pads, hydrogen peroxide, ipecac, scissors, forceps, diarrhea medication, and activated charcoal.  Remember that if your dog experiences an injury that he may react out of fear or pain.  Be careful in handling him.  He could bite you accidentally.

6.  Take special precautions in hot summer weather and during extreme cold.  Remember that dogs can’t sweat and that they suffer during extremes of weather just as people do.  They should not be left in vehicles during either extreme, even for a few minutes.

7.  Remember that your dog needs fresh water available at all times.  Dogs can become dehydrated just as people can.

8.  Take special precautions with dogs when there may be fireworks or other loud noises.  Many dogs are sensitive to these loud booms and can become frightened from them.  Some dogs can bolt and become lost.

9.  Old dogs need special care.  Keep an eye on their weight.  You don’t want them to be either too thin or too much overweight.  Both can be signs of an underlying health problem.  Make allowances for their age.  Provide a softer place to sleep, give them more time to eat, make their food more appealing.  Take them for a senior check-up starting when they’re about seven-years-old.

10.  Be patient with puppies.  They come to you not knowing anything.  They will make mistakes.  Teach them using positive training techniques and they will be able to learn anything you want to teach them.  A trained dog is a happier dog and has a better chance of fitting into your home and lifestyle and living a wonderful life with you.

10 Pet Safety Tips You Should Know courtesy Dog Articles.

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Housebreaking Your Puppy Do’s and Don’ts

Dogs are considered “man’s best friend” for a good reason – they are known to develop deep and meaningful bonds with their owners and remain loyal to them. Television shows, movies and books have all been devoted to the intensity of the bond between a human and their dog and this isn’t without good reason!

If you have a new puppy in your home, congrats! A dog can be your closest friend in the world and will never turn down your affections, will never stop listening when you need an ear and will be your friend for the rest of their life if you take the time to build a healthy relationship with them.

However, the dog in your home does not make the rules. You do. That being the case, you need to make sure your animal understands what is acceptable and what is not. Dogs don’t train themselves!

Be sure to make big decisions early such as what he will chew on and play with, where he will sleep and what is off limits to him (for example: Can he get on the furniture? Are any rooms in the home off limits?).

Housebreaking your dog as a young puppy will help ensure they respond successfully and quickly to the training and thus be a happy and positive member to the household, causing you (and him) as little stress as possible.

The crate training method is a perfectly humane and quick way to train your puppy not to go in the house.

Before we dive into that, some Do’s and Don’ts on housebreaking your new family member:


Be Consistent. Without your consistency, your puppy will only get confused as to what you are expecting it to do.

Do regulate your dog’s food and water intake during the day. Never withhold food or water if your animal needs it, but remember that the more your animal eats or drinks, the more it will need to go to the bathroom.

Do remember to stay close to your puppy. If you aren’t near him, he will have no way to get let out to use the restroom. If you have to be gone for long periods of time while you are training him, make sure that you keep the puppy in a limited area of your home where you are prepared to have accidents happen.

Do reward your doggy with praise whenever he does what you’ve asked or expected him to do. Your puppy wants to make you happy and he needs to learn what are the right things to do that generate that praise he is seeking.

Be realistic. As frustrating as house training can be, your new dog may not be completely housebroken until 6 months of age or more.


Don’t allow your pup to use the restroom anywhere other than his designated area during the training period.

Don’t discipline your dog when he has an accident. While housebreaking a new puppy, accidents are inevitable and when they do happen it means you did not get him outside to use the restroom soon enough. Clean up the mess and move forward.

Don’t use your puppy’s crate as a way to punish them, the crate should not be associated with negativity. Also, don’t lock your doggy up in their crate for long periods of time.

The crate method and why it works:

Dogs are by nature picky about where they do their business. They will not use the restroom where they eat or sleep. If your puppy sleeps in their crate, they simply will not use the restroom in it.

To Begin With:

– Puppies urinate often. Anytime they drink, eat, run, chew, play or walk they will need to use the restroom within 15-30 minutes following depending on the size, age, temperament, and breed of your puppy.

– Document how often and when your puppy needs to do his business for a few days. Keeping an eye on his general schedule will make training easier.

– After you’ve determined your puppy’s natural schedule, plan your walks around it. Between the ages of 10 weeks to 6 months, your puppy should be taken out or walked 5 to 10 times daily. Between 6 months and 11 months this number will drop down to 4 to 6 times daily. After he is grown 3 to 4 times daily should be enough.

–  Especially on your first walk of the day (after your dog has spent the night in their crate), do not come home from your walk until your puppy has done their business. If, for whatever reason, you do need to return, return your puppy to his crate and let him back out every 15 minutes until they use the restroom.

The crate:

Your puppy’s crate is his special sanctuary away from any stresses during the day. It functions as his bedroom and his own personal spot that no one else uses.

Your puppy should associate his crate with only positive things. Be sure to keep his favorite toys, blankets and treats inside. While he is still adjusting to the crate, leave the crate door open until he has no anxiety about being inside it.

The better your puppy feels about his crate, the lower the chances of him using the restroom inside it.

Do not encourage bad behaviors by letting your puppy out of the crate for whining, scratching or barking.

Getting Started:

– Create a daily schedule of taking your puppy out and feeding him.

– At night time, put your puppy in his crate, but be sure to take him outside first thing in the morning and do not return from your walk until he has used the restroom.

– After you’ve taken your puppy out and he has eliminated, bring him indoors and allow him to play for about an hour. (Also remember to keep an eye on his whereabouts in the house until he is fully housebroken.)

– Feed your puppy.

– Using the information about your puppy’s natural schedule that you’ve already written down, take him outside within fifteen minutes of when you anticipate he will need to go. Do not return from outside until he has used the restroom.

– Come back inside and allow the puppy to play.

– Put your puppy back in his crate for naptime.

Repeat this schedule throughout your day.

This may seem like a ton of effort, and it is, but this is a method that is wildly effective. Your puppy will quickly be house trained and when your puppy is older, he will inform you when he needs to go out. During the training process, you will have confidence in your dog and know that accidents are much less likely to happen.

Housebreaking Your Puppy Do’s and Don’ts courtesy Dog Articles.

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Ten Tips for Effective Great Dane Training

Great Danes are a giant breed of dog. Due to their size and strength, it is very important to train them starting at a young age. 8 to 12 weeks old is appropriate to begin with the basics that any dog should know; come, sit, stay and no. Your Great Dane may need to know a few commands that your average sized or small dog might not need, like heel, down and gentle as well as socialization training and perhaps crate training. Your Great Dane training should contain these 10 tips.

1. Great Danes (as well as any dog with a deep chest) are prone to a medical condition called bloat or gastric torsion. This can become deadly and it is therefore very important NOT to teach your Great Dane to roll over.

2. Do NOT punish your Great Dane (or any dog for that matter). A simple stern “no” is all it should take if they do something wrong. Yelling, hitting or other negative actions can create what is termed as a “fear biter,” and the ones that usually get bitten are the owners or innocent bystanders.

3. The heel command is necessary for Great Dane training. Your Great Dane will need mild exercise at least once a day and the best way to do that is to go for a walk. To teach your new best friend to heel, begin with the sit command and when they are still and calm, begin to walk, give a gentle tug on the leash and say “heel.” If your Great Dane pulls or gets too rough, come to a dead stop and get them to sit again. Lather, rinse and repeat.

4. Counters and tables are the perfect height for most Great Danes. Commands like off, no and down are important to include in your Great Dane training.

5. Your Great Dane training should account for their sensitive nature. Great Danes can suffer from separation anxiety perhaps a bit greater than other more independent dogs. You can desensitize them by leaving the room and coming back when they are calm. Slowly increase the time that you are gone.

6. Crate training is another good form of Great Dane training that may be useful to keep them from getting into trouble or suffering from separation anxiety. Be sure to get a crate that allows them to stand and turn around in.

7. Don’t forget to praise your Great Dane when they get it right. Positive reinforcement works well with Great Danes.

8. Be patient and consistent when you work your way through Great Dane training. Great Danes are smart and learn things well. They want to please their owners and they will understand what you want them to do, eventually.

9. Give them the proper medical attention that they need. Unhealthy dogs are more prone to behavior problems and it’s not their fault. If your Great Dane is urinating in the house unexpectedly, you may want to take them to the vet.

10. Finally, the Great Dane is an awesome pet for the family or the individual. Your dog training should include socialization as they can be protective and territorial. They need to know how to behave around strangers and other dogs as this breed can be a little aggressive towards them. Your behavior and attitude toward them is the best way to instill good Great Dane training behaviors. By following these basic instructions your Great Danes true personality will begin to unfold and you will see a marked improvement in your companionship. As your puppy grows, so will your bond. When trained properly, these gentle giants can leave a lasting impression on anyone they encounter.

Ten Tips for Effective Great Dane Training courtesy Dog Articles.

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Housebreaking Your Dog In Four Simple Steps

Ask any dog owner what is the most important thing that their new dog learns and 9 out of 10 will say that they want their dog to be housetrained. The problem is that there are more dogs that are not housebroken than are. The reason for that is because many dog owners are not patient enough to train their dogs, so they give up.

Dogs actually do want to please their owners. They are pack animals and because you are the one that provides food and shelter you are the alpha dog; you are the pack leader. But you have to think like a dog and work with them. Housebreaking can be done in four simple steps as follows:

1) Restrict the area that your dog is allowed to freely roam in. This should be no more than the area that you can keep watch over. By limiting the area to what you can supervise you will be able to closely monitor your dog.

2) Be diligent about taking your dog out as you should. Puppies will need to go out more often than older dogs. Always be ready to immediately take the pet outdoors when he wakes up. This is a time that you count on that he will look for a spot to ‘go’. Dogs also ‘go’ after eating, drinking, and exercise. Once again, older dogs can wait much longer than puppies.

3) When you take the dog out be sure to say whatever word or phrase you want him to associate with the deed. Just keep in mind that you may be saying this in public at some point in time so make it something that is not embarrassing. Taking your dog to the same place each time helps him to associate the spot with the deed. Do not play with your dog during these trips outdoors. He needs to understand that the trip has a purpose. When he finishes you should lavish praise on him, let him know he did good.

4) Repeat until your dog gets the idea and begins signaling to you that he needs to go out. If your dog makes a mess indoors it means that you were not monitoring as closely as you should have been. Never punish your dog for accidents. Simply continue with the training and expect that there will be a few accidents along the way. Some dogs continue to have occasional accidents but others will do anything not to ‘go’ indoors.

Many small breed owners find that the use of puppy pads works for their dogs. Rather than taking their little dog out the dog simply messes on the pad and it is disposed of. This also works for dogs that are left alone for long periods of time.

Housebreaking Your Dog In Four Simple Steps courtesy Dog Articles.

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Dog Assisted Therapy

Many people are familiar with the idea of pet therapy, or “animal assisted activities.”  Less familiar is the practice of “Animal Assisted Therapy.”  Animal assisted activities generally refer to pet visits in hospitals and residential care facilities, while Animal Assisted Therapy is a much more focused use of a pet to help in the treatment program of a particular patient.

Animal Assisted Therapy usually has specific and measurable objectives.  It’s part of a carefully designed treatment program that matches one animal to one patient.  A “therapy dog” and his trained handler work with a medical professional to help a patient who may have a severe mental and/or physical disability.  The patient is encouraged to interact with the therapy dog.  This interaction is increased gradually.  In the beginning the patient may only observe the dog or be encouraged to touch him.  Later the patient may be confident enough to brush the dog or put the dog’s collar on, or even to walk the dog.  The medical professionals will maintain progress records during treatment.

Dogs are ideal participants in this Animal Assisted Therapy.  They are nonjudgmental, they do not pressure the patient, and they are very patient.  They are also very empathetic.  The patient can also feel useful by grooming and walking the dog, which can be an important part of patient recovery.  Therapeutic interactions between dogs and patients have been shown to exist in studies.

Animal assisted activities, or pet visits with therapy dogs, are less formal in nature.  Their benefits may vary depending on the needs and conditions of the patients participating.  There is no formal treatment plan or schedule involved and they generally are not set up for one-to-one visits between patient and pet.  These visits usually take place in hospital settings or assisted living homes or in nursing homes.  They change the routine of the residents and cheer people up.  These visits can be very beneficial, however, appealing to people who may have shut themselves off from others.  Pets can stir emotions that people may not have acknowledged.  There are examples of patients who have not spoken in over a year who have begun speaking to visiting dogs.

Many institutions are continuing the idea of pet therapy with a “resident pet.”  A resident pet is a cat or dog that becomes a permanent resident of a facility and has free run of the place.  Each resident has an owner’s interest in the animal and can look forward to assisting in the animal’s care.  In some places a full course of therapy has been built around the care and feeding of the resident pet, giving residents something to look forward to.  Residents meet to discuss the animal’s care and other matters relating to the animal.  They may develop their own charts and schedules to take care of him or her.  Of course the staff must watch out to avoid problems of jealousy over the pet and caring for him.

Characteristics that make for a good therapy dog are more about temperament than training.  Of course such dogs do require basic obedience training, but personality plays a crucial role in determining which dogs will succeed as animal assistance dogs.  Patients, residents and even staff will react to the dogs in these programs in varying ways.  Some people will be outgoing and show emotion; others will be quite shy.  The dogs must be able to respond to a variety of emotions and remain calm.  They must have stable temperaments, even if patients lunge to grab them or make loud noises.  Dogs may also need to accept various medical equipment and hospital noises in some cases.  When considering a dog for these circumstances you would discount dogs that are nervous or high strung or one that doesn’t like to socialize.

Many studies have shown the benefits and importance of pet therapy.  Pets have been helpful with AIDS patients, cancer patients, the elderly and the mentally ill.  One study has even determined that petting a dog can lower blood pressure.  Another study found that pets can help reduce stress-related illnesses.  According to a study at City Hospital in New York, heart patients who owned pets lived longer than those who had no pets.  In fact, owning a pet was even more significant to long term survival than whether a person had a spouse or friends.  That’s rather amazing.  Pets can make a remarkable difference in our lives.

Dog Assisted Therapy courtesy Dog Articles.

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Housebreaking A Puppy

New puppies are fun and exciting, but they can also be challenging. One of the biggest concerns for a new dog owner is making sure to house-train their puppy. An un-housebroken dog can make a very unpleasant home situation, so getting your puppy started on training should be a priority early on.

One good thing to know is that dogs like to keep their homes clean just like we do. They must, however be able to do that, meaning that you need to be able to let your dog out several times a day to use the restroom. In the first couple of months with their mothers, puppies learn basic hygiene and should therefore already be inclined to go outside, away from their den, if they have the opportunity to.

Housetraining your puppy may very well turn out to be easier than you anticipate it will be. A dog that has easy and frequent access to the outdoors, either through regular walks or a flap doggy dog, is much less likely to have an accident than if he were inside all day. Take your puppy outside every three to four hours and reward good behaviors with praise and he will soon be house trained. While this amount of freedom for your dog is ideal, it may not be practical due to daily schedules.

House breaking gets tough in situations where your puppy has to remain inside for long periods of time. While a dog will naturally not go where he sleeps, you have to teach your puppy the difference between your home, an inappropriate area to go and outdoors, an appropriate area to potty.

This process may be frustrating but investing time and patience into it will make it successful. Accidents will happen, but getting angry or upset about them will only hinder the process. Your puppy doesn’t understand this training situation the way you do and any negative energy directed at them during this time will only make them less likely to housebreak quickly.

A better idea than getting frustrated would be to keep an eye on your puppy and learn the signs of when he needs to go to the restroom. When he is indicating that he needs to go, take him outside and then praise him when he does his business. After he’s done his business, the area will be marked with the scent of his urine and he will be more likely to go back to this spot do his business again. Remember it is a puppy so be patient.

Housebreaking A Puppy courtesy of Dog Articles.

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