August 22, 2014
by Sam Bourne
1 Comment

4 (More) Dog Care Tips That Every Owner Should Know

dog care tips

And now — drum roll, please — the second installment of Dog Care Tips! To read the first 4 pet hacks, check out this post.

Here are four more helpful tips to make caring for your dog simpler while improving their quality of life. Because you can never care too much for your fur babies.

So read up and learn how to be the MacGyver of pet parenting.

1. Ditch the tomato paste
Skunks are an inherent danger throughout the spring and summer, rustling through garbage and sending their familiar foul odor into the air. The stench can cover a wide area and be enough to nauseate even the most resilient individual. Being naturally curious animals, dogs are constant victims of direct hits from skunk spray. Bark Post recommended some simple chemistry that can replace the messy tomato paste solution that many owners use in the event of a skunk incident. Mix together 1 bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of dish soap and thoroughly scrub it into the skin. Rinse the four-legged friend in a warm bath and repeat until the smell is gone.

2. Personal nail care
Trips to the groomer can be both long and expensive, but are sometimes necessary to ensure that the family dog gets a thorough cleaning, haircut and nail trim. Because they have nerve endings that course through their nails, some dogs can experience pain when having them clipped. This can get even worse when unaware owners try to groom their pets at home and wind up doing more harm than good. Rather than take the risk or spend large amounts of money on professional services, ViralNova explained that pet parents can construct a simple solution for nail clipping. Gluing blocks of sandpaper to a strip of wood then training the family dog to scratch at it can result in him doing his own nail care. The sandpaper will file down his claws naturally and save owners big bucks in expensive visits to the grooming parlor.

3. Control eating speed
Many dogs only eat around two meals per day, as determined by their owners. Often, they’ll scarf down whatever’s dropped into their bowls at a lightning speed. However, this isn’t good for their nutrition, as eating so quickly can make even the most seasoned dog sick. According to Bark Post, placing a tennis ball in a dog bowl helps control the speed at which canines eat their food. They’ll have to maneuver around the ball when trying to eat and it slows down their progress, allowing pups to better manage their consumption.

4. Easy teeth cleaning
Any dog owner will tell you that dental hygiene is a challenge. Canines usually don’t respond well to getting their teeth brushed, so having an easier way to get the job done can save pet parents a lot of headaches. After purchasing the appropriate toothpaste for dogs, ViralNova suggested that owners put some of the product on their dogs’ favorite toys. As they chew and lick it off, they unknowingly clean their own teeth and freshen their breath. Not only is this much easier, it can save pet parents money that might normally be put toward professional cleaning services.

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August 22, 2014
by Sam Bourne
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To bark or not to bark, that is the question

Get your dog trained for the big show

Get your dog trained for the big show

No longer will Shakespeare – or Mel Gibson – be the only ones associated with “Hamlet.” A new project, organized by Kevin Broccoli, has been successfully funded on Kickstarter to coordinate a production of the classic play using only Pugs as cast members.

Mashable explained that Broccoli plans to have the dogs onstage for the entire show while actors read characters’ lines offstage. Although he hopes to court the likes of James Earl Jones, who famously played Claudius in numerous live performances, big names have yet to be formally announced. Broccoli hopes to host the event at a large venue such as the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island – his base of operations – but he really wants to bring the show to New York City.

An actor, writer and Pug owner, Broccoli wanted to combine all of his passions into one major event.

“To be honest, pugs always remind me of Hamlet,” Broccoli said, quoted by Mashable. “Always kind of sad and brooding even though they bring so much joy to others.”

Titled “Pug-let,” the event is looking to attract very talented Pugs to join its cast. Similar to dog shows, the play requires pets who have been expertly trained in skills like stand-and-stay and responding to non-verbal commands. While Broccoli plans to donate all of the play’s proceeds to various dog charities, owners can take pride knowing that their Pugs might be renowned for their acting chops and obedience.

Even though Tony awards may not be in their future, canines can greatly benefit from extensive training. They all don’t need to win major events, but it can certainly provide peace of mind to owners knowing that their furry friends understand who’s in charge in the household. The best dog products can go a long way in getting started.

Get your dog trained for the big show
Basic training is needed to ensure that family canines are housebroken and don’t make messes around the home. Yet some pet parents opt to go above and beyond the standard training protocols to get their dogs prepared for various shows and events.

Raising a show dog can be especially difficult and training has to start very early on. According to the Dog Channel, owners should begin basic exercises with their puppies within weeks of bringing them home. Done consistently, training can be retained very quickly and give the dog a headstart over the competition.

When beginning with the basics, owners will benefit from using positive reinforcement methods. This kind of system involves awarding dog treats or toys for demonstrating the desired behavior. For example, one of the most useful skills for canines to learn is looking at their owners on command. By using food as bait, pet parents can instruct their furry friends to respond to their names in a short span of time. Young dogs learn best through rewards and repetition, and during these early stages it’s important to not let puppies develop any bad habits that are difficult to correct down the road.

An important skill for show dogs to learn is standing for examination. During the events, judges need to walk around and get closer looks at each contestant, requiring canines to sit still for long periods of time. Training the canine to stand at attention calls for an incredible amount of patience from owners and dogs alike. However, the use of a clicker can make the exercises far easier and help command the pooch to stay in place while being touched. You can find this kind of an item on an online pet store.

While dog shows are common reasons for extensive training, coaching Pugs to participate in something far more lavish and theatrical is a perfect example of the capabilities of a well-trained canine. Pet parents should sign up for PetPlus to receive access to all of the best online deals on pet medications, toys and other essential items.

Sources

Dog Channel

Mashable

Kickstarter

August 20, 2014
by Sam Bourne
0 comments

Amazing Wheelchair Dog Brings Joy to Entire City

wheelchair-dog-4

As far as dogs in Albany go, River is a local legend. What makes this precious pooch so special? Is it his winning personality? His friendly nature? Perhaps, but what is more likely is that this dog exhibits all those traits from his wheelchair.

Yes, River is Albany’s wheelchair dog mascot. He treks all across the city every day with his parents Herby and Carol Mader, spreading joy wherever he goes. “Everybody has to come by and pet the dog,” says local LuAnn Jopp.

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River’s story all began a few years ago. One day, on a routine walk, River was attacked by two much larger dogs. The dogs bit River all along his back, ultimately damaging his spine to the point where he could no longer use his rear legs.

Whether it was the bites that inflicted the injury directly, or if they just exacerbated an underlying condition remains unknown. What we do know is that, even though River has suffered a great deal, he doesn’t let being a wheelchair dog keep him down. Not for a second. “Probably a lot of dogs would give up, you know, where he’s not,” said Herby.

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Now a sage-like 11-year-old, River may have slowed down a little, but still manages to make the rounds every day, saying ‘hi’ to all his neighborhood friends. Dr. Wendy Womack, Rivers vet, goes so far as to label River as an official Albany icon.

While River was a wonderful dog before the accident, it was not until after that Carol noticed his incredible sense for empathy. “He pulls out the people, I think, that are hurting. It’s like he senses they need attention.”

River’s closest friend — outside of Herby and Carol — is Ron Koczur, a similarly abled man from Albany. Ron lost one of his legs to diabetes and now also uses a wheelchair to get around. “[River] knows when I’m coming, he comes. I always see him every day, twice a day, three times,” says Ron.

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And while River’s bravery in the face of adversity is quite the admirable, without the Mader’s love and care this wheelchair dog’s story would likely have ended much differently. “They are very devoted,” says Womack about how much time and energy the Mader’s have invested in making sure their pooch has a high quality of life. Everything from installing ramps up to the house to taking him for long walks every day, the Mader’s will spare no expense when it comes to their boy’s well being.

How to Help Wheelchair Dog’s Like River

If you have — or know of — a dog that requires a wheelchair to get around, there are a number of considerations regarding their care that need to be made. Depending on the severity of their condition, your dog may need to be put on medications to manage their pain (i.e., Rimadyl, Novox) as well as need help getting around. Things like ramps should be installed around the house, giving them access to places otherwise blocked off by stairs.

Also, because of their condition, the types of play they are capable of may be limited. But that doesn’t mean the will to play is not there! Fetch or hide and seek are two great games you can still play.

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Sources:
USA Today – Dog In Wheelchair Rolls Through Town Delivering Smiles
KARE 11 – Towns Favorite Dog Has 2 Legs and 2 Wheels

August 18, 2014
by Sam Bourne
0 comments

DOG VIDEO: Charcoal the Dog LOVES his Bucket

charcoal-bucket

All dogs love to play. This dog REALLY loves to play.

But Charcoal, the dog in the video, does not just play with any toy all willy-nilly. No, he has one toy of which he is especially fond.

It isn’t the most…conventional dog toy, but hey, who can argue with someone having that much fun.

Charcoal and His Bucket

Charcoal the dog is a black lab that loves nothing more than to run around with that big, red bucket on his head. Strange as it may seem, when you see how much joy this dog is able to get from something as simple as a plastic bucket, it is hard to stop yourself from reverting back to a child-like state of mind — paper towel rolls are periscopes and a plastic punch bowl can be an astronaut helmet. Anything can be a toy if you try hard enough.

That isn’t to say that you should let your dog play with whatever they like. If that were the case, you would end up wearing a pair of chewed up loafers every day. Also, many household items can be downright dangerous for dogs to play with (i.e., plastic bags, ribbons, soup bones). But if your dog wants to mess around with something like a bucket or an old boot, if it isn’t hurting anybody, why not let them?

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August 18, 2014
by Sam Bourne
0 comments

Mayor Dog “Wins by a Landslide”

Mayor-Dog-1

Cormorant, Minnesota, is going to the dogs – literally.

The votes for the most recent mayoral election have come in, and the results show a clear winner – Duke the seven-year-old mutt.

Duke is officially the small village’s mayor dog.

A Dog for a Mayor?

Not only did Duke win the election, but by all accounts he won by a landslide. Granted, the total of his “landslide” victory consists of 12 votes. But in a town where less than 18 people voted, that is as much of a landslide as you are going to get.

Even though the mayor dog doesn’t have the same firm grasp on American politics as other candidates, Duke has been serving the town his entire life. Duke is locally famous for patrolling the streets, making sure that they are free of any critter ne’er-do-wells. He also is known for spending much of his down time making sure cars driving through Cormorant stick to the speed limit — by barking and chasing after any fast cars.

And to sweeten the pot for his constituents, the mayor dog will not be taking a salary during his term. Instead, all he requires is a years supply of kibble – being donated to the democratic doggy by Tuffy’s Pet Food.

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SO. MUCH. FOOOOD!!

But given his sweeping win this election, it looks like Duke is going to stay at the helm for many years to come. And not just dog years.

Before being sworn in, Duke enjoyed a long and relaxing trip to the local groomers. He had to look sharp for his public.

Almost the entire town is excited to see their favorite dog at the helm of their town. However, Richard Sherbrook, owner of the Cormorant Store and Mayoral candidate, has yet to be reached for a comment. One can only hope to understand the kind of emotional toll it must take to lose an election to a dog. Perhaps he is beefing up his campaign for his run in the next term.

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Yes. I lost to a dog. That’ll be $5 for the flax seed.

Duke’s election is coming hot on the heels of another high-profile moment for Minnesota politics. While the sun comes up of Duke’s term as mayor dog, so it also sets on the two term run for Minnesota’s youngest political official, the now 5-year-old mayor of Dorset, Robert Tufts.

Minnesota’s Miniature Mayor

While many are sad to see the end of such an adorable reign, little Robert is more than happy to relinquish his seat as mayor. “I have to look at the cameras so much I can’t be googly eyes and fun and nonsense,” Robert told a local CBS reporter.

The end of his term may have been the best for everyone. Robert gets to return to a normal childhood, and the town is spared from a mayor that would have ended up abusing his power.

Mayor-Dog-4

I OWN YOU!

Even at the end of his second term, Robert was starting to show the warning signs of political corruption – “Nobody could arrest me, not even a cop,” a young Robert brazenly told reporters.

Tread carefully, Robert. Diplomatic immunity can be a double edged sword.

The last thing Dorset needs is a 5-year-old Rob Ford on their hands.

Sources:
Independent – Duke the dog becomes elected mayor of Minnesota town 
Fox Chicago – 7-Year-Old Dog Elected As Mayor in Cormorant, Minnesota