LUV My dogs

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why Water Is Key?

Why Water Is Key?
  When it comes to your dog's nutrition, water is even more important than protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
  Your dog's body will naturally lose water all day. He loses water as he sweats through his paws and when he pants. And he loses water when he pees and poops.
  A dog that loses too much water - just 10% to 15% of the water in his body - can get very sick and even die. So that water he's losing needs to be replaced.

Have you replenished your dog’s water bowl today?
  A good rule of thumb: Make sure your dog gets at least 1 ounce of water daily for each pound he weighs. That means a 20-pound dog needs at least 20 ounces of water every day. That's more than 2 cups, or as much as in some bottles of water or soda.
  To help you keep track of how much water your dog drinks, make a note of how high you fill his water bowl and how far the level has dropped the next day.

Why Does My Dog Drink a Lot of Water?
  A balanced diet is not the only necessary part  of keeping your dog healthy. Water for drinking is also a very important part of your dog’s daily requirements and overall nutrition. Water is the main component of healthy, living cells of the body. Without water, your dog’s body will not be able to function properly. More specifically, your dog will dehydrate. In order for your dog to get enough water daily, you need to provide water along with a healthy, balanced diet .

Keep Plenty of Water Available
  Leave the water bowl where your dog can get to it easily. Since dogs can knock over the bowl while they're drinking, use one that's made to not tip and spill.
  Clean the bowl daily. Refill often so the water supply stays fresh.
Whenever you and your dog are playing outdoors - especially when it's hot - bring cool water with you for him to drink. If your dog stays outside on hot days, add ice to the water bowl.

  Some dogs are happy to drink from the toilet. But that isn't a clean source of water! Keep the toilet lid closed so your dog stays out.

Signs of Dehydration
  Hot summer days, play, exercise, illness, infection - all of these can lead to dehydration in dogs and trigger them to seek water. Along with increased thirst, signs that your pet may be dehydrated include: lethargy; dry gums and tongue; and thick rope-like saliva.
  Dehydration can turn life threatening fast, so if you suspect your dog is very dehydrated, seek veterinary care right away. If your dog seems mildly dehydrated but is not vomiting, give your pet small amounts of water - one teaspoon for a little dog, 1-2 tablespoons for larger dogs - every ten minutes for a few hours.
   Don't let your dog have free access to a lot of liquids when he is dehydrated, as drinking too much too fast could cause vomiting.


Illness
  Many conditions can lead to excessive thirst or dehydration in your dog, including liver disease, diabetes, Cushing's disease, cancer, diarrhea, fever, infection, and kidney disease.
Sometimes, however, it may not be the condition itself causing your dog's excessive thirst, but the medication used to treat it. Talk to a vet about your dog's medication and its side effects; if drugs are behind your dog's thirst, the vet may be able to lower the dosage.


Medication
  Just as with people, some drugs can lead to excessive thirst in your dog, including:
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs like prednisone, which may be used to treat many conditions in dogs, including asthma, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease.
  •   Heart failure drugs, such as furosemide, lead to increased urine production and a compensatory increase in thirst.
  •   Seizure medications like phenobarbital may have side effects that include excessive thirst and urination, as well as excessive appetite.
Diet
  A dry food diet - which may be as little as 5%-10% water - can also lead to noticeable thirst in your dog. High sodium foods will also cause your dog to drink more.
  Large amounts of salt can be poisonous to your pet, so avoid sharing highly salty "people" food with your dog. Signs your dog may have eaten too many sodium-rich treats include tremors, diarrhea, depression, and vomiting.


Water is so important because:
  • Water Helps Dogs Function
  • Water Flushes Toxins
  • Water Regulates Body Temperature
  • Water Helps Dogs Scent and Compete
Clean Water For All!
  To help insure that the water supply for both humans and canines is protected, you can do one simple action - clean up after your dog. And by providing a healthy diet and the right amount of clean water to your pooch, you can prevent illness and promote health. For as Mark Twain says, "Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody."


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How Do I Stop My Dog From Whining?

How Do I Stop My Dog From Whining?
  Whining, though it can be annoying to humans, is one way dogs communicate vocally. And though adult dogs whine for a number of reasons, the behavior usually is a reaction to anxiety, stress or injury - or because your dog wants your attention.  Don't worry; stopping your dog from whining is possible with a few clever tricks. 
   Whining is one of many forms of canine vocal communication. Dogs most commonly whine when they’re seeking attention, when they’re excited, when they’re anxious or when they’re trying to appease you.
  The good news is, with a little patience and the occasional treat, you can stop your dog from whining in a short time.

Identifying the Problem
  • Greeting Behavior. Some dogs whine during greetings. This kind of vocalization is usually motivated by excitement and may be directed at dogs or people.
  • Seeking Attention. Some dogs whine in the presence of their owners in order to get attention, rewards or desired objects.
  • Appeasement Behavior. Some dogs whine excessively when interacting with people and other dogs, usually while adopting a submissive posture.
  • Anxiety. Some dogs whine in response to stressful situations. In this context, whining sometimes seems involuntarily.
  • Separation Anxiety. If your dog only whines just before you leave or during your absence, she may have separation anxiety. If this is the case, your dog will usually display at least one other symptom of the disorder prior to your departure or when left alone, such as pacing, panting, excessive drooling, destruction (especially around doors and windows), urinating or defecating indoors, depression or other signs of distress. 
  • Injury or Medical Condition. Dogs often whine in response to pain or a painful condition. If you notice that your dog vocalizes frequently or has suddenly started to vocalize, it’s important to take her to the vet to rule out medical causes.
Steps! 
1. Exercise to calm down. Make sure the dog is getting enough daily exercise based on its size and energy level. Dogs become stressed when they are not active enough, and this will start them crying.
2. Give the dog a sheltered place of their own. It is very important to use a crate, dog house, igloo, or some warm, comfortable shelter outside where the dog can rest. Put the dog's "inside" bed or blankets as well as their used toys into the shelter so the area smells like them and they will recognize it as their own. Recognize that this new place might not seem like home to your dog, so take some time to gently teach them to go inside it.
3. Practice while you are home. Begin locking the dog outside for short periods of time . Ignore any crying! You must train the dog that nothing good will happen when they cry. If you give in and go out with the dog or allow them to return inside then you are giving positive reinforcement to the unwanted behavior .
4. Praise good behavior! This is a big key to training a dog. Once an allotted amount of time is up go outside with the dog and praise them profusely with attention and petting, and maybe even a bit of food or treats. The dog will eventually make a connection that if they are quiet and well behaved outside, they will be rewarded soon enough.
5. Slowly increase the time alone. Continue the training by lengthening the time outside until the dog remains quiet outdoors for at least an hour. Now the dog should be able to better deal with the separation anxiety when left outside or alone and hopefully quiet down and take a nap instead. And, give the dog something to chew on or play with when they are alone.
Audio tools to cause the dog to stop whining such as previously discussed are inexpensive and are not harmful to your pet. These devices simply produce a sound which the dog does not enjoy. What would happen if you heard a high-pitched, piercing scream every time you sat down with a piece of cake? To keep from hearing that awful sound one more time, you would probably be willing to give up the fattening food. This is the idea behind electrical sound emitters that are used to help your dog learn how to stop whining. 
Tip
  If whining persists, consider a certified professional dog trainer or obedience classes in your area.

Warnings
  Take your dog to the vet if you think she is whining because of pain or injury. Whining often is how dogs tell us they are hurt. If your dog's whining comes on quickly and persists, it is best to take her for treatment.
  If your dog's whining also involves destroying household items or defecating indoors when you leave, she may have severe separation anxiety and needs to see the vet.

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Rescue Dog Training

Rescue Dog Training
  Over years of training rescue dogs, I came to recognize different training tips for different rescue situations. Dogs from "broken homes" were very different to train than rescue dogs from puppy mills or shelters. Dogs that were neglected were different from ones who were abused. 
   Rescue dog training is mostly the same as regular dog training with a few special considerations.Some of the considerations depend on where your dog has been obtained from and its age, but we will look at rescue dog training and what to keep in mind.Here are special considerations for rescue dog training:

 Dogs who have been turned into shelters and rescues sometimes have training issues. Often times, the first kind of work you will do with these newly adopted dogs is to untrain the bad habits like jumping on people, chasing other animals, destructive chewing, and counter surfing. All bad habits are easily correctable!

Older dogs can be trained, but they are not always as eager to learn. They have learned habits and are more set in their ways, so rescue dog training with an older dog will require a little more patience on the handler's part. 

Rescue dog training sometimes consists of providing a dog with things they failed to receive at an early age. For example, if a dog was not well socialized early in its life, you may spend a little extra time working through issues related to it. This should not be a deterrent to adoption but rather just something to keep in mind. 

Often, rescue dog training involves working through the basic issues first like housetraining. You may adopt a four year old dog who has never been housebroken. You will need to treat this older dog just like a puppy. 

One of the first things you must do with a newly adopted dog is bond. Once the dog knows he can trust you and is bonded to you, then more advanced training can progress. 

With an adopted dog, especially if adopted from an animal control, it means you don't usually know too much about them. You won't know its likes and dislikes or what it excels at. Rescue dog training often keeps trainers on their toes trying to figure out what makes this particular dog tick. 

Separation anxiety: It is not uncommon for a shelter dog to experience some separation anxiety, especially if it has had multiple homes. Rescue dog training usually involves making the new dog feel more secure in its new home, and most anxieties usually resolve themselves. Adopting a new dog from a shelter or rescue is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Many say that the rescued dog repays you tenfold for the adoption. Don't be deterred from adopting a dog of any age because any dog can be trained. Just know that there are a few considerations for rescue dog training to keep in mind.

Depending on the dog you adopt, you may have some behavioral issues that have to be worked through as part of the rescue dog training. If your dog is shy or timid, it will need to progress at a slower pace. Aggression will have to be deciphered and addressed. 
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Safety for Dogs

Summer Safety for Dogs
  The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for pets and people. It's difficult enough simply to cope with rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity, but things really get tough in areas that are hit with the double blow of intense heat and storm-caused power outages, sometimes with tragic results.
  Summer is a terrific time to be a dog owner. It lets you run, swim, and play with your dog in nicer weather than any other time of the year. However, summer also brings unique risks to your dog's health that you should keep in mind throughout the season. 
  The warm summer months are the perfect time to take your dog with you for outdoor, family fun. But with the rising temperatures, dogs can easily get overheated in the summer, causing them to become dehydrated and sick.  Not only is it important to keep dogs safe in hot weather, it’s also important to keep them clear from hazardous chemicals and certain foods. 


1. Never, ever, EVER leave your pet in a hot car.
  It can take minutes – yes, MINUTES – for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car.
  Temperatures in cars can rise quickly so make sure to take your dog with you when you get out of the car. If you must leave your dog in the car, be sure to leave the windows down, which will allow the air to circulate and keep your dog safe.
  Most people don’t realize how hot it gets in parked cars. On a 78 degree day, for instance, temperatures in a car can reach 90 degrees in the shade and top 160 degrees if parked directly in the sun! Your best bet is to leave your pet home on warm days. If you’re driving around with your dog or cat in the car, bring water and a water dish and take your pet with you when you leave the car.


2. Outdoor Play
  Steer clear of long walks and strenuous exercise on hot, sunny days. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Not only is there a risk of heat stroke - dogs can get sunburns, too. Consider sunscreen for your dog. If you are planning to spend time outdoors with your dog, find a shady spot and provide plenty of fresh, cool water. Try to take leisurely walks during the cooler times of the day, like the morning or evening hours. Remember to protect your dog's feet from getting scorched by hot pavement. Sunscreen for dogs can help protect your dog as well.

3. Make sure your pet is protected from parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
  If not protected, your pet is at risk for heartworm, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and a host of other nasty and dangerous conditions. And don’t forget, many of these diseases can be caught by people, too!


4. Events
  It might be best to leave your dog at home when going to large outdoor festivals or parties. A large crowd can be overwhelming and it increases the chances of injury, dehydration and exhaustion. Plus, there's bound to be a lot of unhealthy or even toxic food and trash on the ground that your dog might try to eat. Also remember that fireworks and other loud noises can frighten dogs into running away or otherwise injuring themselves. If you do bring your dog to events, keep her close by and watch out for potential hazards.

5. Keep the paws in mind.
  When the sun is cooking, surfaces like asphalt or metal can get really hot! Try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating. Also, it’s not a good idea to drive around with your dog in the bed of a truck – the hot metal can burn paws quickly (and they can fall out or be injured or killed in an accident). 

6. Limit exercise on hot days
  Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

7. Bring extra water
  Bring a bowl and plenty of water to keep your dog well hydrated while away from home. Bring double the amount that you think you may need to ensure that your dog has continual access to fresh water to cool off.

8. Keep up grooming
  Make sure to keep your dog’s fur and nails trimmed during the summer months. Too much fur can make it easier for dogs to overheat, for fur to become matted, and for bugs to stake a claim in the furry confines of your dog’s coat. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed will help limit torn nails, which can easily become infected.


9. If your dog loves to swim, give him his very own "kiddy pool."
  Dogs who love the water love it even more in the hot months and getting wet keeps them cool. Providing a small, kid-sized pool will also keep them safe.

10. Just because dogs instinctively know how to swim doesn’t mean they’re good swimmers.
  And if they jump in your swimming pool, they might not be able to get out without help and could easily drown. Make sure your dog can’t get into your swimming pool without you around. And if that’s not possible, make sure he can get out on his own.

11. Leave pets at home for firework displays
  If you’re headed out to watch the fireworks display it’s best to leave your dog at home. The loud noises mixed with the nighttime away from home can cause your dog to become disorientated.

12. Steer clear of fertilizers
  Some fertilizers and lawn care products can cause an allergic reaction in dogs. Speak with your vet about what types of lawn care products are best to use.  Always keep chemical bottles off the ground to keep dogs from accidentally ingesting them and becoming sick.


13. Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colored coats.
  And just like for people, sunburns can be painful for a dog and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your pet (don’t assume a sunscreen for people is appropriate for your dog).

14. If you can’t trust your dog 100% to come when called, keep him on a leash. Summertime means all sorts of exciting sights, scents, critters running around, and new and exciting places to explore. You never want to lose your pet because he she became distracted in an unfamiliar environment and was lost or harmed in an accident. And remember, not every dog is meant to be off-leash; some dogs just can never be fully trusted to come when called. Make sure you understand your dog’s tendencies and err on the side of being overly-cautious.

15. After a long winter, many dogs put on a few extra pounds
  Summer is the perfect time to increase his level of exercise and get in tip-top shape. A pet that maintains a healthy weight throughout his lifetime will live, on average, 2-3 years longer than an overweight pet! Just make sure not to over-exert your dog – give him or her adequate rest and if  your dog is especially overweight, make sure you ease him or her into physical activity.

  However, summer also brings unique risks to your dog's health that you should keep in mind throughout the season. These summer dangers include:
  Heat stroke occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises dangerously high. It is most common when dogs are left in a car for too long, or when they exercise in the heat. Never leave your dog in the car in hot weather, and always remember that a cracked window is not enough to cool a car. Your dog always needs access to shade outside. Muzzling interferes with a dog's ability to cool itself by panting and should be avoided.
  Sunburn. Dogs can burn in the sun just like people can. White, light-colored, and thinly coated dogs have an increased risk of sunburn. Sunburn causes pain, itching, peeling, and other problems. To prevent sunburn, apply a waterproof sunscreen formulated for babies or pets. Be sure to cover the tips of your dog’s ears and nose, the skin around its mouth, and its back.
  Burned Foot Pads. Sidewalk, patio, street, sand. and other surfaces can burn your dog’s footpads. Walk your dog in the morning and at night when outdoor surfaces are coolest. Press your hand onto surfaces for 30 seconds to test them before allowing your dog to walk on them. If it is painful for you, it will be painful for your dog.
  Dehydration. Prevent dehydration by providing your dog with unrestricted access to fresh and cool water both indoors and outside. Ice cubes and frozen chicken or beef broth encourage your dog to take in more fluids and help keep it cool. You can also feed your dog wet dog food during the summer to increase its fluid intake.

Campfires and Barbecues. Your dog may try to take burning sticks from the fire, which are hard to retrieve since they think that you are playing when you chase them. Food that is stuck to barbecues after cooking can tempt your dog to lick the barbecue and burn its tongue or mouth. Lighter fluid is a poison and should not be left where your dog can reach it. Keep your dog away from barbecues and campfires unless it is on a very short leash.

  Chemicals in the Water. It is no secret that most dogs love to swim. Swimming can be fun for you and your dog and helps prevent heat stroke. However, chlorine can irritate a dog's skin and upset its stomach. Rinse your dog with fresh water after swimming in a pool and do not let it drink more than a small amount of pool water. Standing water, such as puddles, can also be dangerous for dogs to drink due to the presence of antifreeze or other chemicals. Provide your dog with fresh water to drink whenever possible.
  Seasonal Allergies. Fleas, mold, flowers, and other potential allergens are common during summer. Allergies cause itching (and with it, excessive scratching), coughing, sneezing, discomfort, and other problems for your dog. Keep your dog away from allergy triggers when possible, especially if you know it has a particular allergy. Ask your veterinarian about whether your pet would benefit from a canine antihistamine or other medication.
  Keeping Your Dog Safe! Bottom line: keep an eye on your dog. Don't leave her unattended. It's important to always exercise common sense and proceed with caution to help keep your dog safe, regardless of the season. Summertime comes with its own set of hazards, so make sure you are familiar with the risks. Learn what warning signs mean trouble. When in doubt, call your vet right away. When all is said and done, it will be much easier for you and your dog to enjoy the summer.

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Tips On How To Get Your Dogs Attention

Tips On How To Get Your Dogs Attention
 “My dog just doesn’t listen!” 
  It is very frustrating when your dog ignores you, but is he really ignoring you, or does he not realize you are even speaking to him. 
  Dogs are interesting beasts. They crave your attention and companionship. Why do you suppose there are times when your dog just completely ignores you?
  One of the things you have to learn is that you need to give your dog a reason to follow your command. If your pet has become accustomed to getting in trouble when his name is called, he is less likely to respond to you. The worst thing you can do is to call your dog, only to punish him. Would you turn to acknowledge someone calling your name if you knew it was not going to be a pleasant encounter? I wouldn't.
  Dogs, for the most part, are happy-go-lucky. They are always ready to play and get their feelings hurt very easily when there is a negative confrontation. You have the capability of humiliating or embarrassing your dog just by your actions. You do not want to do that. Believe me when I tell you, your dog is very sensitive to how you treat him. He wants your approval more than anything else. 
  If he is used to you reprimanding or punishing him when you call him, why shouldn't he ignore you. He may be thinking you will just go away if he pretends not to hear you.

Here’s how to teach your dog the “look” command:
1. Getting Started
“Look” is a very simple command to teach. You will need some treats, and your clicker if you are working on clicker training. Teaching “look” is a great way to introduce your dog to the clicker if you have not already done so. You should begin training in a quiet spot with very little to distract your dog. Once you have your clicker and treats ready, say your dog’s name followed by the command “look.”
2. Getting Your Dog’s Attention
For many dogs, hearing their name will be enough to get their attention. If your dog looks at your face after you give the command, you can praise him or click, and give him a treat.
Some dogs may not respond immediately to hearing their name paired with the “look” command. In this case, after you give the command, wave a treat in front of your dog’s nose, and then pull the treat up to your face. Your dog will follow the treat, and end up looking at your face. Praise him or click, and give him a treat immediately.
Within a few short training sessions, you will have no problem getting your dog to focus his attention on you. Continue practicing with your dog, and gradually move up to working in more distracting surroundings. Soon you will be able to get your dog’s attention in any situation.
  You want your dog to respect you for being fair and kind. Their feelings are not much different from our own. There is a difference between a command and a threat. "Come Shadow, good boy", this is good. "Shadow, if you don't get over here, you are going to get it", not good. Dogs respond to the tone of your voice. Do not confuse him by giving a command in an angry voice. You can be sure he will be ignoring you in no time.
  Your dog does not purposely disobey you. There is a better chance that he just does not understand what you want him to do. You need to give him a clear command so he does understand. 

There are a few things you can do to get your dog to acknowledge you... 
1. Does your dog know his name? Make sure you use his name a lot during training sessions while showing affection at the same time. If he does not know his name, that is your first problem. The idea is that you want him to pay attention to you when you speak to him or give him a command. He will begin to recognize his name and associate it with something pleasant.
2. Does your dog know you are talking to him? I know that sounds silly, but depending on your tone of voice, he may not be intentionally ignoring you at all. He may think you are talking to someone else.
3. Does your dog like to wander around and investigate the premises? When your pet does this, he is just in his own little world. It is as if we, as people, have something on our mind. We will just tune out our surroundings. So if we do it, why can't they? Get his attention by petting him and saying his name. Once you have gotten his attention, then give him a command.
4. Do not be afraid to make eye contact with your dog. It is hard for him to ignore you if you are looking him right in the eyes. This also helps to establish you as the alpha of his pack.
5. Once your dog realizes that what you want him to do is not going to be unpleasant, he will begin to acknowledge you. Always keep in mind that your tone of voice can put a different feel to any command. Always keep your voice pleasant, but not passive.
6. Do not try to get his attention if you are going to do something unpleasant. If you are going to bathe him or clip his nails, for instance, you need to go get him. This will help to keep real commands positive so he will listen to you.
7. Your body language is very important when training your dog to listen to you. Just like people, dogs will associate your body language with your mood. If, for instance, your arms are crossed and you are standing tall, your dog could associate this with you being angry. Stay relaxed and your dog will be relaxed and respond better.
8. If you are training your dog to come to you with treats, let him come all the way to you. Do not reach out and offer him the treat. Hold the treat next to your leg and make him come all the way to you. 
9. You need to establish yourself as the alpha dog, but not by seeming threatening to your dog. Always speak to your dog in a pleasant voice. Once your dog understands what you want, he is less likely to ignore you.

  By the way, did you notice how in order to teach your dog to pay attention to you, you have to pay attention to your dog? Yes, that’s the secret decoder ring of dog training, right there.

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Ideas for a Puppy Birthday Cake

Ideas for a Puppy Birthday Cake
  If you want to make any dog party a success, then a tasty cake for the birthday boy or girl is a must!
 Of course, you don't want to run out and buy a regular 'human' cake, the ingredients in it are NOT suitable for dogs, and all the little guests are likely to end up with upset tummies.... or worse.
   Partying with your puppy can include all sorts of birthday cheer, but perhaps the most important aspect of his special day is the canine-friendly birthday cake. Mostly healthy - with a little sweetness - these cake ideas suit a variety of situations. Whether you're throwing a large party or celebrating with a low-key affair, his own personalized canine-friendly cake is the highlight for your puppy.


Types of Cakes
  When it comes to puppy birthday treats, dog owners have many options. Decide first if you wish to bake your puppy's birthday cake at home, or purchase it from a specialty bakery. Buying your pup's cake from a bakery is far more convenient, while baking your own cake is often more cost-effective. If you choose to purchase your cake, research local bakeries on the Web; some bakeries will craft specialty items such as a cake for a puppy, even if they aren't a "dog bakery."

Homemade Cake Basics
  Choosing to bake your puppy's birthday cake at home will take some time but is highly economical. In addition, you alone control the ingredients, so you know exactly how healthy the cake is for your puppy and his friends. Homemade cakes for puppies can range from savory to sweet, such as a hamburger, bacon and rice layer cake or a carrot and carob sheet cake. You can frost savory cakes with mashed potatoes, and sweet cakes with a low-fat cream cheese blend.

Cake Ideas for a Party
  If you're celebrating your puppy's birthday with a few of his favorite pals, there are even more cake ideas for your furry guests to enjoy. Instead of one cake, offer an array of dog-friendly cupcakes -- or "pupcakes" -- for your puppy and his friends. Cupcakes are easy to bake in batches, and extras can go home with the canine guests in "doggy bags." Another option, especially for smaller dogs, is dog-friendly cakepops, delicious round cake pieces attached to a beef or thin rawhide "stick."

Get the party started right with one of these yummy treats......


1. Carrot Cake with Apple Cider Glaze
Made from shredded carrots and flavored with cinnamon.
Apple Cider glaze is the perfect finishing touch!
9" diameter. Personalized.





2. Cookie Cake For Dogs
Natural peanut butter, whole wheat flour, honey & carob chips. Carob frosting.
9" diameter. Personalized.


3. Brownie Bone Dog Birthday Cake
Carob flavored bone with carob frosting and delicious honey glaze.
9.25" x 6" wide. Personalized.



4. Healthy Hound Bakery - Gourmet Dog Treats
Delicious bone-shaped banana cake with carob chips. Peanut butter frosting is the 'icing on the cake'!
9" long. Personalized.


5. Wheat-free Dog Birthday Cake
Made from bananas, oatmeal and rice flour with carob frosting and banana chips.
Heart shaped. Personalized.




  But just to make sure, here are a few of the bad foods for dogs that may be more popular with cakes and parties.

1. Chocolate 
Chocolate is perhaps the most popularly known “no-no” food for dogs, thus a cake made from chocolate isn't a dog-safe choice. Chocolate (even white chocolate) has something called theobromine in it, which is toxic to dogs, even in small doses. Dark chocolate is the worst culprit. The caffeine in chocolate doesn't help anything either!

2. Macadamia Nuts
While peanuts are a popular nut that are safe for dogs, macadamia nuts can be poisonous, causing weakness, tremors and vomiting.

3. Milk
Just like humans, dogs can have trouble digesting lactose in milk, so avoid using it as an ingredient in your cake

4. Avocados 
While avocados might not be an ingredient in your planned cake, they are popular in party settings and thus deserve being mentioned. Something called Persin found in avocados can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death in some dogs.

  Who doesn't love a good party? If your little one could, she'd already be planning her next celebration.
dog cake recipes
  Until that happens here are some great reasons for you to throw her a party and bake a dog cake:
  • New Puppy Shower - Are you or a friend bringing home a new family member? Socialization is very important for puppies, so why not host a party for all to meet the new one.
  • Graduating Obedience School - This is a great opportunity to show off your dog's new manners. You can invite your dog's classmates to join in the dog party festivities.
  • Competing in a Dog Show or Agility - Win or lose, it's the effort that counts. So, whether you are celebrating a First Place victory, Best in Show or a job well done, do so with one of these free dog cake recipes.
  • Anniversary of Adoption - Make the day you brought home your best friend a family occasion. Celebrate by baking a dog cake recipe, buying a new toy and going for a long walk. Along with baking, another way to recognize the day is to volunteer your time or donate to a local animal shelter.
  • New to the Neighborhood - Don't be shy, invite your new neighbors over and get to know them. This is a good idea for the four-legged and two-legged party goers!
  Now you've got the dog party products ALL sorted out. You've got the gift/s, decorations, outifit AND yummy goodies, so your dog party preparations are about complete... oh, wait... what about games?
  No worries, check out this page for lots of great ideas... Party Games For Dogs.
And finally - make sure your birthday pooch and his/her friends enjoy their fun and games safely by taking a look at my Dog Party Safety page. Now you really ARE ready!

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Ideas For Homemade Dog Toys

Ideas For Homemade Dog Toys
  Buying commercial dog toys can be very expensive at times. You are also not 100% sure if they are safe to your canine pet. Some dog toys contain deadly toxins and chemicals that may be detrimental to your dog's health. Other pet chews and toys also have lead components that can cause vomiting, poor appetite and dog's diarrhea. Don't waste money on dog toys that last barely a half hour, make better and cheaper toys that your dog will enjoy just as much, if not more than the store-bought toys.
  Dog toys can come in all shapes and sizes. Good dog toys don't have to come for the pet store; you can make great toys for your best friend at home.
  Though dog toys are not a necessity, they can play an important role in sustaining your dog agility while training him to be independent and boosting his confidence. They can also provide entertainment and keep your dog preoccupied and physically active all day long. 
  To make sure that the toys you give to your canine are safe and non-toxic, why not make simple homemade dog toys yourself?

Sock Toys
  Old socks make great dog toys. Watch out that your pup doesn't think every sock is a toy, but it's easier to put socks away than to buy dozens of expensive chew toys. Be creative and make some great toys with your old tube socks. Just remember to take any small pieces so the dog doesn't eat the sock.
  Stuff multiple socks inside one main sock. Tie the end and hand it off. Your dog has a great new chew toy without the stuffing that becomes such a problem. She can peel the layers off like an onion or chew all day. If you have a young pup, make the sock toy before washing the sock. We might not like the smell, but your puppy will appreciate your scent when you're away from home.
  Double layer socks by stuffing one inside another. Then, fill the inside sock with sawdust. It's a different type of chew toy for a less aggressive chewer. If sawdust isn't available, use small animal bedding or a similar product.
   The tug rope is the greatest toy to have when playing with a dog. Instead of purchasing a knotted rope at the pet store, make your own with old socks or t-shirts. Hold two socks together and knot them with other socks to create length. Make the knots tight so they don't give way while playing.

Water Bottles
  Recycle in a whole new way with bottled water. After visiting the pet store for one more dog toy, I found an expensive but innovative toy. It was a stuffed raccoon, but instead of stuffing inside there was an empty water bottle. It made a pleasing crunching sound, and when the bottle was crushed a Velcro opening allowed it to be replaced. This gave me an idea, and I started to raid the recycling bin.
Combine the sock and the water bottle to recreate this toy. Place an empty plastic water bottle inside an old sock. Knot the sock and watch the fun.
Poke holes in the water bottle and remove the cap. Then, fill it with small or crushed dog treats. It works like the well-known Kong, allowing the dog to pester the bottle until small pieces of treats come out of the opening. If she destroys the bottle and gets the snacks, take the plastic before she can eat it and use a new bottle tomorrow.
  On hot days fill the water bottle half way with water and lay it on its side in the freezer. Your dog has a solid chewing toy that will cool him in the hot weather, but it isn't too hard for his teeth.
Our pup invented the water bottle toy on her own. I left an empty bottle on the floor only to find her running through the house in absolute joy at her newly found toy. I did nothing to it, and it was just as pleasing to her.

Rope Dog Toy
  To make this simple homemade dog toy, an old towel or handkerchief and scissors will be needed. Cut about 4 inches of strips of towel along the end then bundle the strips together to create a knot. Afterwards, braid your strips together and until 3 inches from the end. Voila, as simple as that, you have a nice little rope dog toy!

Tennis Ball Toys
  This toy is super easy to make and is nice for non-chewing small dogs, but probably isn’t safe for large dogs or ones that chew up their toys. Wad up newspaper into a ball, then cover the outside of the ball with duct tape, making sure not to leave any sticky sides facing out. You can use other items for the stuffing, including rags or other paper. Make sure you make the ball big enough that your dog can’t swallow it.


Gutless Fleece Dog Toy
  You will need 9 feet of rope and a can of 3 tennis balls. Begin by placing one tennis ball in a clamp. With the use of a drill, make a hole through the tennis ball. Next, thread the rope through the holes. Tie a simple knot near the ball. Knot the ends of the rope to avoid fraying. Finally, tie a second knot near the ends of the rope.


Rope Dog Chews
If you have old ropes that are not being used, tie several knots at each end to make a homemade dog toy for fetching and chewing.

A Fun Fleece Braid
If you have some leftover fleece from another project or have an old blanket ready to be used for rags, this toy is quick and easy to make, and is especially good for kids to make. Cut fleece into three strips, tie the ends into a knot, then braid the fleece pieces together. Tie off the other ends, and you have a fast and fun dog toy.

Add Sound to Toys
  To make a toy that makes sounds, but is a bit safer than squeakers, put some dry beans in a clean prescription bottle with a child-proof lid. Place the bottle inside homemade stuffed toys or in an old, clean sock for a fun toy that will attract those dogs who like a bit of noise out of their prey.

Create a Cardboard Box Dog Toy
  Any smallish and clean cardboard box can be used as a dog toy. Old cereal boxes, boxes from Hamburger Helper, or just about anything about that size or smaller will work.. Cut a few, one-inch holes (depending on the size of your dog) in the box, then spread a bit of peanut butter inside and tape close the open end of the box. Your dog will spend lots of time trying to lick out the peanut butter, pushing the box all over the room to do so. Just watch carefully to ensure your dog doesn’t get her tongue stuck inside any of the holes. She may also rip apart the cardboard to try and get at the peanut butter, so it’s best to use this dog toy in an easy to clean up area.


The abovementioned ideas for homemade dog toys can help you save a great deal of money. Bear in mind, however, that you need to supervise your dog whenever he plays with these homemade dog toys. Check them for any damage to avoid choking or the ingestion of parts.
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Successful Dog Training Techniques

Successful Dog Training Techniques
   Many people can’t imagine life without dogs. We admire and adore them for their loyalty, unconditional affection, playful exuberance and zest for life. Nevertheless, dogs and people are very different animals. Although officially “man’s best friend,” dogs have some innocent but irksome tendencies-like jumping up to greet, barking, digging and chewing-that can make it downright difficult to live with them! To make the most of your relationship with your dog, you need to teach her some important skills that will help her live harmoniously in a human household.
    When you bring a dog into your home, you must be dedicated to helping him be the best dog he can be.  That is one of the most important jobs you have as the parent of a canine.      Providing him with the essentials for living is one aspect of this job, but teaching him right from wrong should be considered just as important.  As you raise your children, you teach them these lessons to make them happy and successful people.  Your dog deserves this same assistance and consideration.  

Old Dog, New Tricks?
  Many people are under the mistaken impression that if you adopt an adult or older dog, that he is past the age to be trained. Nothing can be further from the truth.  Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures, and their intelligence does not decrease over the years.  If anything, they get smarter as they get older.  Yes, they may be a little more set in their ways and a little less eager to jump on the training bandwagon, but with the love, support, and consistency of a good parent, any dog can learn better behavior.


Be Consistent
  Give clear and consistent commands for the desired behavior. For example, a "down" command should not be used interchangeably with an "off" command. Technically, these are two different behaviors. Always use commands and avoid vague words such as "no" or simply calling their name. For best results, replace "no" with the exact behavior you want him or her to do.


Too Young To Learn

   Alternatively, another myth with dog training is that if you begin training too early, your dog

will not be able to learn because she is too young.  This is not true, either.  No matter how

young your puppy is when you bring her home, start your training immediately. They are
essentially babes in the woods and do not know how to interact with the world around them.
      You are responsible for showing them what to do and what not to do.  Without this guidance, she will run amuck and get into things and damage your belongings, as well as injuring themselves or others.  

Be a Good Leader
   Some people believe that the only way to transform a disobedient dog into a well-behaved one is to dominate her and show her who’s boss. However, the “alpha dog” concept in dog training is based more on myth than on animal science. More importantly, it leads misguided pet parents to use training techniques that aren’t safe, like the “alpha roll.” Dogs who are forcibly rolled onto their backs and held down can become frightened and confused, and they’re sometimes driven to bite in self defense.

Positive and/or Negative Reinforcement
   Whether you are raising a human child or a canine one, you will hear a lot about positive and negative reinforcement.  Positive reinforcement is when you see that your child is doing the right thing so you pat him and speak to him in an approving voice and tell him what a good job he did. 
This is a very key part to almost any type of successful training activity.  When a puppy or dog is told that she is doing good things and getting positive attention based on her actions, she will want to continue doing these things.  She wants your love and approval, so she will do what she can to get it.  Your dog is extremely smart and will make the connection between her actions and your reactions.  Many owners choose to use a higher pitched voice when conveying approval. Dogs do respond well to this. 
   Negative reinforcement is basically the same process, but it is something you do when she has done something she should not.  Based on the rules of negative reinforcement, when your dog does something bad or dangerous, your reaction should be negative.  You should speak to her in a low and unhappy tone, telling her that his action was bad.  This does work, but should be used sparingly.  If your pooch is always getting negative reactions to her behaviors, she will go through life an unhappy, maladjusted dog.  She will become nervous and worried about pleasing you and could even develop anxiety problems.
When teaching new skills, keep training sessions short and sweet
 Like kids, dogs don’t have long attention spans. There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but an ideal average training session should last 15 minutes or less. Within that session, you can work on one skill or switch between a few different skills. To keep things interesting, try doing 5 to 15 repetitions of one behavior and then doing 5 to 15 repetitions of another behavior. You can also practice new skills and keep old ones polished by doing single repetitions at convenient times throughout the day. For example, before giving your dog a tasty new chew bone, ask her to sit or lie down to earn it.

Positive Reinforcement Only
  This tact has been used very successfully for many people, including various types of law enforcement personnel when training their dogs.  Using only positive reinforcement to help your dog understand what she is doing right and completely ignoring any bad action is a mainly passive type of training.  This can often take longer, but has been proven to work long term much better than other training methods.  Using this method, the only time you give your dog any attention for doing something negative is if what she is doing will endanger he in any way. 
   No matter what type of training you use with your dog, make sure that you reassure her of your love and acceptance.  You are doing what is best for her, which makes you the best parent you could ever be.

Help him Focus
  Some training sessions may be impromptu, and those are great if you can keep your dog's attention. If your dog is having difficulty focusing, he may need to drain some energy before hand with a walk, a game of fetch, time on the treadmill, or a play date. Focusing is as much of a skill as the command you are trying to teach. If your dog is having difficulty loose leash walking outside, practice inside where there are fewer distractions. Gradually increase diversions as he masters the skill.

  A training session can last as little as a minute or long as you have your dog's attention. Training and learning can be a way of life for your dog when he is guided to live within your rules and boundaries. Having your dog sit before you feed him, or wait at the door before you exit, or slowly walk down the stairs with you, these are all examples of daily training in action. Think of training as simply communicating with your dog and not something that requires special treats, experts, or lots of time. By communicating clearly, consistently, and with affection, your dog can always be learning.

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