The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

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August 4, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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What Are the Dangers of Feeding Your Dog a High Protein Diet?

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Dog owners everywhere know how hard it is to pick food for their dogs. Pet stores these days have a vast collection of dog food and snacks, picking one is not easy. To add to this, most of these foods claim to make your dog healthier thanks to the protein in them but this might just be a myth.

The Misconception

The most popular myth about dogs has to be the fact that they are carnivores, This is simply not true – dogs, like most mammals, are omnivores. To cater their nutrition needs, you have to provide them with a balanced meal that contains proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Although proteins are absolutely necessary for a healthy dog, too much protein causes the dog health problems. This is because excess protein cannot be used up by their bodies and are thus, excreted in the form of urine. Excess protein also makes it harder to keep other nutrients in balance.

The Ill Effects

High protein diets have a few side effects that you must take into consideration. Excess protein can affect the kidneys. However, the more bio-available a protein is, the better it is absorbed by the dog;’s body. High quality pet food usually has bio-available protein.

Another issue to consider is that high protein diets often neglect other necessary nutrients. Even worse, they might contain excessive amounts of unwanted nutrients. This will lead to unbalanced disruptions in the dog’s body and hinder critical areas like bone growth.

Obesity among dogs is rampant in the US, with over 50% of dogs considered overweight or obese. High protein diets are also very high in calories. If you’re dog already has liver or kidney problems then high calories means more work for already damaged organs.

Picking the right dog food

Pick dog food that is suitable for your dog’s size, age and lifestyle. Since the myth has been debunked, avoid simply buying dog food with high protein and choose ones that are more balanced. The diet of your dog varies on it’s lifestyle, a very active dog should not be fed the same diet as an older, inactive dog. Age also plays a role with puppies requiring a lot more protein than older dogs. Additionally, the breed of your dog also comes into play.

Invest in pet food that is developed by companies that do their research. Check with veterinary nutritionists about your dog’s requirements and pick accordingly. Nutritionists usually try out different kinds of food for the dogs and thus can recommend the best one. This way you can avoid harmful pet foods and keep your dog healthy.

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August 3, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Tips to Help Keep your Dog Off the Household Furniture

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Pet owners know that their dogs like to get snug and comfortable when they are resting. The temptation to snuggle right up on the couch is difficult to resist for most dogs. There is nothing wrong with letting your dog hang out on your favorite couch, but once he gets a taste of the good life, it can be an uphill struggle to keep him off it. Here are a few handy tips to help keep your dog off household furniture and teach him where to hang out instead:

Should you share?

It is entirely your decision to let your dog hang out with you on the couch. If you do not mind the extra fur and paw prints on the cushions, it is a great way to spend time with your furry friend. However, you need to make an exception if your dog thinks that he owns your couch. If he has ever snapped or growled at you to keep his spot, or loses his temper when you try to move him, it is time to put an end to his couch privileges. Take him to a professional trainer to address the issue of location guarding and if the training is successful, you can rethink letting him back on the couch.

Consistent enforcement

You need to ensure that everybody in the household agrees to the same policy. If your dog gets part time privileges from someone in the household, it will make it that much harder for him to understand the rules. The best course of action would be to keep him off the couch from the start, as it would get a lot harder to un-train him once he gets used to the behavior.

His own place

If you have decided to keep Fido off the couch, make sure you provide him with a viable alternative. Instead of going for a flat bed, get a doughnut bed with a bolster as it will give him something to lean on. Keep it close to where you usually hang out and get more than one bed so that your dog has his own base in all the primary living spaces. You can make the bed more enticing by placing a toy stuffed with treats on it. He will begin to understand that he gets delicious treats when he hangs out in his bed.

Management techniques

If your dog has a habit of jumping onto the couch as soon as you leave the house, make the furniture less enticing. You can place a baby gate on the top of the furniture, pull up all the cushions so that they are vertical, place an empty laundry basket on the cushion or stack books on the edge of your couch. You can also get a scat mat – these make a high pitched noise when your dog touches it.

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August 2, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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How to Train Dogs to Walk With the Leash On?

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Energetic leash walks are one of the joys of being a pet owner, but if your dog has a habit of pulling on the leash, it can become a demanding and uncomfortable chore. Here are a few tips to help your dog stay close to you when you take a stroll.

Getting started

Make sure the equipment is something that both Fido and you are comfortable with before you begin. The flat collar must fit your dog snugly and the leash must be of the right length. Standard leashes are around four to six feet long, which gives your dog plenty of room to roam about without getting into danger. If it is shorter than four feet, it is just going to make it difficult for him to explore his immediate surroundings without dragging you with him. The leash’s weight is something to be taken into account as well. Heavy leashes will be uncomfortable for the smaller dogs. Also think about getting a leash clasp, and if you must, use a harness instead of a caller. Brachycephalic breeds and small dogs must be harnessed, as it can damage their trachea if they pull on it for a long time, and most of these dogs are prone to a tracheal collapse when they grow old.

Apart from the collar and leash, it is important to take a lot of tasty treats before you set out for a walk. The idea is to use the treats as reward when your dog walks close to you without tugging on the rope. Go for high quality treats that are meaty, moist and aromatic. The treat must be attractive enough to keep your dog away from environmental distractions, like other dogs and squirrels.

Leash training

The foundations of a good leash walk are simple – your dog should keep loose on the leash, walk close by and check in with you often. If your dog is jumpy and pushy when you are about to set out, put down the leash, walk away and wait till your dog is calm and quiet. This will teach your dog that improper behavior is not going to get him anywhere. Repeat this process till your dog learns to be patient.

Since there are going to be a lot of environmental distractions, use a marker to let Fido know that he is in the right spot next to you. Use a clicker to tell your dog when he is in the correct position. With time, he’ll begin to understand that he gets a reward when he hears the noise. Treat him in the same spot every time, on the same side of your body so that your dog learns that there is a specific, profitable hot spot right next to you. Go easy with the training during the early stages. If he walks without any tension, it is enough to warrant a treat. Also, reward him whenever he looks at you while walking. If he pays attention to you in a distracting environment, it is a big compliment. Let Fido know how much you appreciate that with a tasty treat.

Over time, make him work harder to get a treat. For instance, get him to walk beside you for longer before you reward him. Gradually, wean away the treats until he only gets an occasional reward on your walks.

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August 1, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

Tips For Vacuuming Pet Hair

Furry pets are a big part of a majority of American households and if you are a pet owner, you know how difficult it is when Fido’s hair winds up all over your house. Pet dander and hair aren’t just annoying; they are dangerous if there is someone in the household who suffers from allergies. According to a scientific study, three out of ten people who have allergies suffer from dog and cat allergies. Fortunately, preventative maintenance and vacuuming can reduce the allergens in your home and improve the air quality.

The problem spots in your house

The places that have the most static charge are the places that tend to collect most pet hair. If the air flow is less in a particular area, you will find more pet hair there. These places include areas around the laundry baskets, pet crates, carriers, floor lamps as well as under sofas, beds and chairs. Hair also tends to cluster in basements, around the bottom hinges of doors and door jams.

The tools you need to clean up pet hair

Make sure that you have a good vacuum cleaner with a powerful suction. If someone in your household suffers from allergies, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter so that the dirt and dander does not blow back into the air. If the room is not carpeted, you can also use a dry mop. You can supplement it with microfiber mops for the high traffic areas. Do not use brooms as they kick up more dander and hair into the air than mops. If you want to get to those hard-to-reach areas of your carpet floor, the following attachments might come in handy:

  • Stair attachment – This looks like a smaller version of the vacuum head and it helps to clean up the curtains, stairs, small carpeted regions and furniture.
  • Crevice and rectangle attachment – This attachment is long and has a narrow end and is extremely handy for cleaning the hard-to-reach areas. If the rectangle attachment does not work for a particular area, the crevice attachment should do the job for you. The crevice attachment is useful around hinges and door jams.
  • Scrubbing attachment – This has harder bristles than a typical bush attachment. It allows you to scrub all the hair into a ball so that you can vacuum it up easily.
  • Brush attachment – This has soft bristles and is extremely useful on small and hard surfaces like baseboards. They can also be used for delicate and hard surfaces.

Once you have cleaned up the hair, make sure that you clean the vacuum. Do not wait for the vacuum bag to bulge up before you throw it away. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the vacuum bag before you start cleaning. It will neutralize the smell. If you have a bag-less vacuum cleaner, make sure you empty the container that catches the fur and dirt every time you vacuum.

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July 29, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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The Best Boarding Options For Your Pet

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It might seem like your pet has a sixth sense when you are about to take a trip, especially if they are not invited. Your dog starts looking all dour and depressed during your pre-vacation hustle. Before you go away, you have to decide what you want to do with your canine companion. Here are a few boarding options for Fido while you are away:

  1. Pet sitting – Using a sitter is one of the best ways to fuse the professional with the personal. A lot of dogs feel comfortable when they are left in their own environments. So, if you have an experienced sitter who can stop by for feedings, playtimes and walks, it is a great option. It is up to you to decide whether you want the sitter to visit your home regularly, or have them stay in the house for the entire duration of the trip.
  2. In-house boarding – This is an equally good option. It involves bringing your pet to the sitter’s home before you leave. In-house boarding gives your dog the chance to socialize with other dogs under proper supervision. It also makes it possible to give him individualized attention and more daily interaction. It is more affordable than hiring a sitter and you have the added security of not giving up the house keys.
  3. Traditional boarding – One of the standard options is to place your pet in a cattery or a boarding kennel while you are away. If you are going to go down this road, make sure that you call them and book in advance. Confirm as to whether they have a PCSA certification and licensed caretakers. Since dogs are sociable and pack animals by their very nature, make sure that you pick out a facility where they have enough time to play around with other dogs.
  4. Neighbor/family friend – If you have a neighbor or a good friend who goes gaga every time he/she sees your pet, it just got a lot easier for you. You can ask them to stop by your house to feed and play around with your dog. Make sure that the person is responsible and knows the basics of pet care. Be cautious if your dog is eccentric and has a history of marking up new territory, as it might put a strain on your friendship. If the neighbor or friend is a pet owner, then you can return the favor for them someday or bring back a small token from your trip.
  5. Take Fido along – It is a lot of fun to travel with your pet and it is becoming a lot more feasible as you have a lot of pet-friendly hotels cropping up around the country. If you are planning to go camping, take your dog along. He will enjoy hanging out with your family outdoors. Double check to make sure that the vacation is pet friendly as a lot of beaches and parks don’t allow dogs.