Fenced In: How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Free

December 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

Fenced In: How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Free

Guest Post by Drew Kobb

The Norwich Terrier

Is your dog feeling trapped inside because he or she isn’t allowed outside? Or maybe your canine feels a little too free, jumping fences with no regard to boundaries or rules. There is a solution for both situations. Choosing the right fence for your dog is almost a science—you must take into account the dog’s size, temperament, needs, and your own desires and abilities. Here are some common options that you might want to consider to contain your canine.

Kennels

A kennel is a great option for smaller, mostly indoor dogs that need a little more fresh air. It is a safe, contained outdoor area for your dog. The size of the kennel will greatly depend on the size and number of dogs you own. It can be portable (like wire or metal cage), or it can be a permanent run (a gated enclosure set over a concrete slab or run area). Outdoor kennels are especially helpful if it is directly connected to an entry to the house, such as a doggie door.

Traditional Fences

Either a property fence or a smaller fence to block off a certain area of your yard are popular and traditional choices for dog owners. Many dog owners are mostly concerned about dogs leaving the property, so a boundary fence is usually sufficient. These traditional fences are available in many different materials: chain link, wood, wire, or a combination of materials.

However, some people don’t like this option because of the visual aspect—fences can block views, or simply lack visual aesthetic. There can also be problems with dogs digging under the fence to get out, but some Calgary fencing companies just suggest burying a few feet of chicken wire underneath the fence to create a barrier. Other downsides could include problems with dogs jumping over the fence, and the fences need upkeep to make sure there are no escape routes.

In-Ground Fences

In-ground fences are a great option for those who don’t want to build a fence on their property, for financial or aesthetic reasons. To install, you simply bury the transmitting wires a few inches
underground where you want the boundary to be. This is a really good option for abnormally shaped yards or for homes with pools because it easily follows curves and is very customizable. You can even use this system to prevent fence digging and jumping—simply attach the wire to an existing fence.

The system includes a radio transmitter, with a receiver on the dog collar. A warning tone sounds when the dog is getting close to boundary, a static correction is transmitted if the boundary is
reached. Many people are concerned with the humaneness of the static collar, but it is similar to a static shock a human might receive on a dry, static day when touching a doorknob.

Wireless Fences

Wireless fences are similar to the in-ground fences, except for… you guessed it, no wire to install! Wireless fences are great for smaller yards or areas. The fence is set up with a wireless transmitter that creates a circular boundary around itself. It is very easy to install and adjust the area when needed. You can even take it with you when you travel, go camping, or spend a day
on the lake! As long as you have access to an AC outlet, you can set up your circular boundary.

These fences can be customized even more if you choose the system with programmable flags. The flags allow you to create a non-circular boundary, so you can tailor it to your yard area. The downside is that you have to keep a bunch of little flags all around your yard to keep the fence in place.

All of these options can help keep your furry friend safer. Choosing the right fence means the difference between anxiety every time a car passes your home, and comfort in having a pet that knows its safe boundaries. Sometimes, set boundaries can be a good thing.

Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves long distance running with his dog and considers himself a health and fitness enthusiast. His interests range all over the medical field, and Drew highlights that range on his blog, Dr. Ouch. He also urges you to check out Calgary Fencing for your dog!

Three Helpful Tips When Caring For Your Aging Dog

September 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

Caring For Your Aging Dog

Guest Post by Morgan Sims

Having a dog as part of your family is a fulfilling, enjoyable experience for everyone, dogs and humans alike. Both you and your dog will benefit from having unconditional love and companionship. However, one downside of letting the family pup into your heart is that he won’t live as long as you do, and eventually you will find yourself providing extra care for your four-legged buddy as he ages. All dogs need to have good care, but here are three things you can do to make your aging dogs final years both enjoyable and rewarding.

Picture via Handi Ramps

Reduce The Risk Of Injury

Older dogs require more thought than younger ones when it comes to their activity level. It may be tempting to nix the daily walk all together once your best friend starts to weaken with age, but don’t stop just yet. In reality, maintaining a consistent exercise regimen will actually increase their longevity and enhance their mental clarity.

Older dogs often start having problems with their hips and joints and may be diagnosed with arthritis. This is a common problem. And the heavier your dog is, the more likely he will suffer from these problems. He may need a little extra help getting around the house than he used to as he ages. Household add-ons like pet ramps or pet will help him do the things that a simple hop used to achieve, such as laying on the couch, getting in and out of the family vehicle, and walking up and down steps. Installing these simple ramps throughout your home will reduce the risk of injury to dogs with conditions like osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and other common ailments. The biggest thing you want to achieve is minimizing how much jumping your dog has to do. Even just purchasing pet stairs for such things as helping them climb up onto your bed can be a big help for them.

Image via Flickr by Quasic

Monitor Food Intake and Diet Requirements

While maintaining a proper diet is crucial at any age, feeding Fido the right way as he ages can make a tremendous impact on his energy level. Many brands make formulas for aging dogs, as their needs change over their lifetime. Check with your veterinarian and follow their advice; after all, they have a vested interest in the overall health of your dog, and have likely been treating your dog for many years. As mentioned earlier, you will want to keep your dog at a healthy weight as he ages as well. This is because overweight dogs are more prone to health and movement disorders.

Another point to mention is the use of elevated dog bowls. As dogs age they have a harder and harder time bending over to eat and drink, and it can be a big help to simply provide them with elevated dog dishes. This will reduce their need to bend over as much and reduce strain on their joints!

There are so many theories out there on the best diet for dogs that it’s probably going to be difficult to decide what’s right for you and yours. If you have a smartphone, you can easily get more advice on diet requirements and even make use of the many apps that are available for calculating canine diets. Just as there are calorie counter applications for humans, many dog diet calculators are available as well! They can be pretty handy!

Image via Flickr by Bekathwia

Make Them Comfortable

As your dog ages, he will become less likely to want to play along and keep up with the rest of the family. Keep him comfortable by providing a comfortable place to lay such as a memory foam bed in each room of the house he frequents. When he weas younger it may have sufficed to keep your dog bed in the living room or bedroom, but now it might be a good idea to place one in each room of the house. This way, no matter where he goes, your aging dog will have a soft place to lay down. He also won’t have to lay directly on the floor or walk across the house get to his bed.

Watching your dog go through the aging process can be a slow and painful experience for both him and your family. Understanding what he is going through, anticipating his needs, and doing everything in your power to ease his pain and make him comfortable will surely make your final years together enjoyable ones.

Morgan Sims is a writer and recent graduate who loves all things tech and social media. When she’s not trying out new gadgets and tweeting from her Samsung Galaxy S4, she spends most of her time with her mini doxie, cooking, and staying active. Follow her @MorganSims00

Are You Struggling with Pet Allergies?

June 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Cats, Pet Dogs

Are You Struggling with Pet Allergies?

If so, you may be searching for some remedies to help deal with them. It is estimated that as much as 10% of the United States population suffers from animal-related allergies. And many of these sufferers love animals, which often makes it difficult or impractical for them to own pets.

What Causes Pet Allergies?

Allergies in general are caused by your immune system reacting to perceived irritants in the world around you. Besides pets, irritants such as pollen, dust, and chemicals can all cause a flare-up in allergies.

Allergy symptoms from dogs and cats are very similar to allergies arising from other irritants. These usually include a range of symptoms from itchy watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing, an itchy throat and coughing, to even rashes breaking out wherever your skin is exposed.

Dog allergies are actually caused by the dogs glands releasing a certain protein rather than from their fur or dander. This protein is called Can f 1 (Canis familiaris). This protein shows up in a dogs dander, urine, and saliva.

Cat allergies are caused by a similar protein secretion in their saliva. It is called fel d 1. Cats love to groom themselves by licking their fur. This then spreads the fel d 1 to their fur and dander. The dander flies off and can accumulate on surfaces all over the house.

Tips to Help Reduce Allergic Reactions

Depending on whether you have a dog or a cat, these tips can help more or less.

1. Groom your dog or cat outside daily. In the case of dogs, plan on bathing them regularly as well (twice a week would be optimal). Brushing your pet everyday can significantly reduce the amount of dander which accumulates on their skin and then is released into the air. Another good idea is to make a habit of wearing a mask when bathing or grooming your pet.

2. ALWAYS wash your hands immediately following any contact with your pet. Try to start washing them more frequently throughout the day just in general and especially before you touch anywhere on your face.

3. Keep up on housecleaning. This includes washing bedding frequently, washing surfaces that accumulate dust regularly, and cleaning and vacuuming floors, sofas, and curtains/blinds. Consider covering couches and chairs with easily washable covers or make it a rule that pets are not allowed where people sit and sleep.

4. Replace carpets and rugs with vinyl or tile.
If this is practical for your home, it might be a good idea – especially if your allergies are particularly bad. This will keep allergens from accumulating on these hard-to-clean surfaces.

5. Designate certain areas of your house as pet-free areas.
I would recommend declaring your bedroom a pet-free area. Because you sleep in there (which is a significant amount of your life!), this is a great place to keep allergen-free. It is also not a good idea in general to sleep with your pets. As an extreme to this, you may also consider keeping your pets primarily outdoors. Depending on where you live and varying weather conditions, this may or may not be an option. But the less time they spend in the house the less dander is going to accumulate.

6. Consider buying and installing vacuum and air filters. High-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA filters) in particular really help people with pet allergies. Purchasing them for your vacuum is a must. If you have the money, buying them for your home as well can provide even more benefit.

7. Consider getting treatment.
Many people will take over-the-counter antihistamines. In addition to this, some people with pet allergies can enjoy long-term relief by receiving allergy shots from their doctors.

Do you suffer from pet-related allergies or know someone who does? Do you have any helpful tips on how to reduce or eliminate them?

References

1. Wargo, Meredith. “Clean Getaway.” Dog Fancy March 2013: 30-34. Print.
2. Shirreffs, Annie B. “Keep It Clean.” Cat Fancy March 2013: 22-23. Print.

Traveling with your Pet

June 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Cats, Pet Dogs

Traveling with your Pet?

When it’s time to hit the road, what do you do with your pet? Some board at kennels but others like to have their favorite four-legged companion by their side. Here are some tips to help you have the best trip possible when traveling with your pet.

Pets make great companions. They love to be with the people who care for them and care about them. But, what happens when it’s time for a trip? Most pets are not used to going from one place to another unless they are on the end of a leash or being carried in your arms.

Unfortunately, many pet owners find out that their pet doesn’t have their “traveling legs” the hard way. Cleaning up vomit is not a pleasant thing to do. And, there is often a lot of red tape when it comes to traveling by airline with pets.

Tips for Making the Trip

Here are a few tips to help you prepare your pet for that trip you have coming up. Take them to heart because they may help you avoid a lot of trouble.

1. Take a test run – Before the big day, help your pet become acquainted with traveling. Even if you are going by train, a car will simulate the same type of movement they will experience. Take a few short trips in the car. Situate your pet the way they will be positioned – in a pet carrier in the back seat, on a pet mattress or even in a crate. Practice traveling with your pet in the crate or carrier at home first before putting it in the car.

2. Talk to your vet – If you really want your pet to learn to travel, maybe your veterinarian can help. Nausea medication or sedatives can help your pet travel better without harming them.

3. Develop a feeding schedule
– Feed your pet several hours before travel so they won’t have a heavy meal on their stomach. Also, this may help them feel sleepy and rest during the majority of the travel.

4. Make plans in advance – If pets need vaccinations or paperwork filled out for overseas trips or domestic plane rides, take care of it so there are no surprises on departure day. Carry a copy of vaccination records in case they are needed.

5. Travel with care – Bring along a first aid kit and care package for your pet. Have everything you might need if your pet gets injured. Include any medication they might be taking at the time. Consider a microchip for their collar in case your pet gets lost.

Many of the tips we could give are common sense but often we don’t think about them. Do all you can to make your pet comfortable on a fun family trip! Traveling with your pet can be a great experience!

Types of Dogs and How to Choose the Right One

May 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

Types of DogsTypes of Dogs
"To choose the best dog for you and your family – really spend some time reading up on them!"

This guide will help you choose the right type of dog breed for you and your family!

Choosing the right type of dog for you and/or your family can be quite overwhelming, considering how many breeds are available! In addition to recognizing the tremendous awards that come along with having a dog companion, also comes the consideration of realizing the commitment to give your new dog a long life filled with happiness and love.

Considerations that must go into choosing the right kind of dog for you are your budget, your lifestyle, and your family. Different dogs have different needs and it is your objective to provide the best home you can for your dog – making sure it is well-cared for and loved. Doing so will ensure many years of joy and fun with your new pet… Read More

More about the Types of Dogs!