Leashes and Harnesses

Leashes

From left: retractable leash and Nylon leash

There are many types of leashes.  Here are a few: slip-leash, a braided leather leash, Nylon webbing leash, and the retractable leash.  A slip-leash has a loop handle on one end and an adjustable loop on the other for the dog’s head.  This type of leash is usually used for dog competitions, like dog agility, so the leash will come easily on and off the dog to allow him, for example, to run through a tunnel.  The short braided leash is usually four feet long.  It has a loop handle and a clip to attach to the dog’s collar.  The style allows a firm grip for the human, and you often see this leash used in obedience training.  My very favorite is the Nylon webbing leash.  The Nylon leash is usually four to six feet long.  It has a loop handle and a clip to attach to the dog’s collar.  Most of the time it is used for casual walking.  The retractable leash has a plastic handle with a extendable rope that comes from inside the handle.  The leash can extend 15 to 25 feet long.  The retractable leash has a lock system where, if a certain button on the handle is pressed, the rope locks and the dog can no longer pull any more rope from the handle.  The retractable leash allows your dog to go far away from you to sniff about without having the restrictions of a 6-foot leash.

For your dog’s safety and that of others’, a leash is a must when you walk your dog out in public.  Even if your dog is very friendly he should wear a leash.  If he comes upon another dog, for instance, that is leashed, the restricted one might feel threatened.  This could easily provoke an attack.  If you want your dog to have a good run, bring him to a dog park.  These parks are large, fenced-in areas for dogs to run in off-leash.  If your dog is not friendly, however, do not take him there.  Other dogs will be enjoying the open space too.

chained dogLeashes are for walking your dog, not tying him up.  Even if it’s nice outside or he’s in a shady spot near water, your dog can easily get tangled and strangle to death.  Also, if he gets tangled, your dog will not be able to reach water and will die of thirst.  You must also remember that dogs who are chained or tied are more likely to bite someone because they feel trapped.  It’s not good for your dog to be chained outside alone.  It is a detriment to his health, safety, and happiness.  Please do not risk your dog’s life.  Have a fence built or buy a kennel to let your dog play in while outside.  But please don’t leave your dog tied up outside.  It’s just too dangerous.

A dog with a harness

A dog with a harness on

Another thing I wear is a harness.  A harness reduces the pull on a dog’s neck while walking on a leash.  They also reduce the risk of your dog slipping out of his collar while on a walk.  Once, when I was taking an outdoor bath on a warm day, I slipped out of my collar.  The leash that prevented me from escaping my bath was left behind as I scampered away, still covered in soap.  Thankfully, I have mastered my stay command, and when my human yelled, “Sissy, sit! Stay!” I obeyed.  Then, unfortunately, I continued my bath, and my humans tightened my collar.  Wearing a harness keeps me comfortable and more safe.

Even if a dog has a harness on, that doesn’t mean he can pull on the leash continuously.  If your dog pulls on the leash and you want to stop it, click here.

Exercising your dog is very important.  Walking your dog every day will keep him healthy and happy.  Ask your veterinarian how long and fast walks should be so you don’t strain any of your dog’s muscles.  Puppies shouldn’t be taken on very long walks because of their developing bones, and older dogs will probably want shorter walks.

PetGiftBox Offers Fun Way to Treat Your Dog

dog running

My PetGiftBox is here!

Do you want a special way to treat your pup?  Check out PetGiftBox!  A box packed with 4-6 treats, toys, and other fun is shipped right to your door.  You can choose to do this on a monthly basis or only once.  However, I’m sure that once you get one box your dog will be begging you for another!

Do you like surprises?  Well, PetGiftBox (PGB) brings some right to you and your dog, all packaged neatly in a box.  A single box is $27.99 if you want to try it out.  You can save money, however, by signing up for 3, 6, or 12 months.  Each box is only $17.99 for the 12 month option.  And to top it off, shipping is free!

dog and toyAll products sent in the PGB are tested carefully by fellow canines and have the “Paw Print of Approval.”  They are also tested for the best taste in their treats.  Being a food motivated dog, taste is the most important thing to me!  And if your dog loves toys, he can get a new one every month.  You can create a stronger bond with your dog by playing with toys together, and you can burn off some of your dog’s energy.  You can also play games with his toys like fetch, hide and seek, and tug of war.

If you go to the PGB website’s blog, you will meet Mickey Mantle, the furry PetGiftBox’s CEO.  This dog is going to be posting future posts about interesting facts, tips, and stories.  Check out his page by clicking here!

Go to PetGiftBox.com to see their box plans and read the PGB story!  These boxes are a special way to treat your pet, and you’ll begin to notice that your dog gets super excited whenever you bring a package into the house.  Is that my PetGiftBox?!

dogs looking at viewer

Poodle Page Updated!

 

Sissy dogHi, everyone!  I have some great news!  Because some of the Dog Breed Pages are rather short, I will be working on updating them as well as adding a few new ones.  I have decided to start my update with the Poodle Page, as I am a Poodle myself.  You can visit the updated page by hovering over the Dog Breeds Page tab above or by clicking here.  Hope you enjoy!

Woof, Sissy

 

Happy Birthday, Sissy!

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August is what I call my “birthday month”.  My humans don’t remember the day I was born (or the day they brought me home), but they think that it was sometime in August.  I am now twelve years old, and I still have a “hyper side”.  When people come over I get very excited, and when a car drives by I go into a barking frenzy!

Sissy lil puppy

Sissy as a little puppy

My humans got me from a breeder when I was 8 weeks old.  I jumped all over and was very hyper.  My family knew I was the perfect pup for them.  At my new home I chased peoples’ heels and made messes in the house.  But I soon outgrew those puppy habits, and now I am a well behaved dog…most of the time!  I feel so lucky to have such a caring, loving family when so many dogs are without.

 

Happy birthday, Sissy!  We love you!

Sissy dog

Hot Weather and Your Dog

dog in grass

It’s a hot time of the year, a great time for swimming and playing at the park.  But what about your dog?  It’s hot outside, and special care needs to be given to him to keep him cool and comfortable.

dogs drinking

Your dog needs fresh water at all times

Dogs can’t live very long without water.  We need nice, cold water to drink.  If your dog stays outside or is outside a lot, provide clean, cold water at all times.  Change the water every day, and make sure your dog doesn’t spill it.  If he spills, your dog won’t have any water to drink and can get dehydrated or, even worse, die from lack of water.  Consider buying your dog a heavy duty water bowl.

It’s very hot outside, and dogs need a shaded area.  A doghouse is nice, but it gets hot inside that little space.  Try a beach umbrella or a small canopy.  Your dog can get sunstroke if he doesn’t have a shaded area available at all times.

It does get warm under our fur, but don’t have your dog shaved down to the skin.  Always consult your veterinarian before cutting your dog’s hair to keep him cool.  A dog’s fur isn’t given to only keep him warm.  It helps him to avoid getting sun burnt.  Also, for some dogs, if their hair is shaved, it will never grow back the same again.

dog swimmingSwimming pools are great for humans to cool off in and can sometimes be great for dogs too.  But never ever let your dog swim alone.  The edges of the pool are slippery, and your dog might fall in and not be able to get out.  Keep a little gate around your pool to keep your dog out when you’re not around.  Make sure your dog doesn’t drink the pool water either.  Keep in mind that not all dogs are born swimmers.  Some dogs just sink!  Consult your veterinarian before you let your dog swim with you.  Also, you might want to buy a dog life jacket.  If your pool is by a high surface, make sure your dog can’t jump in.  Once, when my humans’ pool was by the porch and I was very young, I jumped in.  Thankfully, one of my humans saw me and helped me out.  That was very scary!

The sun beats down on the sidewalk, and makes it very hot.  A dog’s paws are tough, but not as tough as a human’s shoes.  Before you take your dog for walks, feel the sidewalk with your hand.  Is it too hot?  If so, walk your dog when it’s cooler outside, such as in the early mornings and late evenings.  You don’t want your dog to have sore or burning paws!

chained dog

Leaving your dog chained or tied is very dangerous

Please never leave your dog outside tethered or chained.  Even if it’s nice outside or he’s in a shady spot near water, your dog can easily get tangled and strangle to death.  Also, if he gets tangled, your dog will not be able to reach water and will die of thirst.  You must also remember that dogs who are chained or tied are more likely to bite someone because they feel trapped.  It’s not good for your dog to be chained outside alone.  It is a detriment to his health, safety, and happiness.  Please do not risk your dog’s life.  Have a fence built or buy a kennel to let your dog play in while outside.  But please don’t leave your dog tied up outside.  It’s just too dangerous.

foxtail

Foxtails can be very hazardous for dogs

Check your dog regularly for any burs or foxtails lodged in his coat.  These can get stuck on your dog’s paws as well and sometimes even in his ears and nostrils.  If your dog has a bur or foxtail stuck in his ear or nose, don’t try to get it out.  You can easily push it further down.  Take your dog to the veterinarian for help with removing burs and foxtails from dangerous places.  Just remember that when the foxtail plant is green, it won’t harm your dog.  However, when it is dried and is tan in color, it can latch onto your dog, causing him much pain.

dog itching

Fleas and ticks can make your dog very uncomfortable

Fleas and ticks spell trouble for dogs.  These pests cause us to itch and scratch and can carry diseases.  This time of year is the perfect time for your dog to become flea and tick infested.  Ask your veterinarian and other dog owners what flea and tick preventive medicine works best for their dogs.  Also, mark your calendar or make a reminder on your phone to give your dog his preventive medicine however often the instructions call for.  Vacuum carpeted areas and wash pet beds often to help keep these nasty pests away.

Some dogs get overheated easily, especially dogs with a short snout like the Pug.  Research your breed, and see if he is extra susceptible to heatstroke.  Any dog, however, should not be left in the hot sun for too long.  If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Have a safe and fun summer with your dog!

 

 

Happy 4th of July!

two dogsThe 4th of July is a great holiday, full of dazzling fireworks and waving flags.  But this holiday can also be very frightening to dogs.

fireworksFireworks create big “booms”.  Your dog can hear much better than you, so the “booms” are very loud to him.  This is frightening to dogs and can make us cry.  Help your dog by putting him in a room where it will be hard to hear the fireworks.  Give him a very yummy bone to get his mind off of the loud noise.  Also, give him very special treats and praise him for ignoring the fireworks while he eats it.  Again, fireworks are upsetting to dogs, but if you distract your dog and tell him it’s alright, he’ll soon forget about his fears.

Flags are great to have in your yard on the 4th of July, but make sure they don’t frighten your dog.  If your dog has never seen a flag flapping in the yard, he may become alarmed and bark at it.  If your dog shows fear or aggression towards the flag, take the flag into your house and show it to your dog.  Give him a treat, telling him he’s a good dog while he observes the flag. This way he will see that the flag is nothing to worry about.

dog with tilted headIf you have a party on this holiday, make sure not to forget your dog.  Parties can be confusing to dogs, and we tend to get underfoot.  Put your dog in his cage or in a room where it is quiet, and give him some toys and a bone to keep him company.  Also, make sure to follow these party safety rules:

  • Put all purses and bags on top of the counter, away from your dog.
  • Don’t feed your dog any candy.
  • Make sure your dog is not underfoot, so he doesn’t get stepped on.  Ouch!
  • If your dog gets very excited when company arrives, put on his leash so he won’t jump on anyone.
  • Before company arrives, take your dog for a long walk or play a game of fetch.  This way, your dog will be tired during the party and won’t be jumping on anyone.  He will be very happy to lay on his bed and chew on his bone.

Following these safety rules, your dog can enjoy the party happily and safely.

dog looking out window

Fireworks scare dogs

Because of the loud noise on this holiday, dogs want to get away from all of the stress.  Some dogs jump or climb over fences.  Others dig holes under it and slip away from fear.  To ensure that your dog stays safe on the 4th, don’t let him outside when the fireworks start without supervision – even if you have a securely fenced yard.  You can never tell what your dog will do under stress.

If you’re going to a friend’s house or an event to watch fireworks, please don’t bring your dog.  He will probably become frightened and bark, whine, and possibly run away.  If your dog becomes scared, he may accidentally knock someone over or, even worse, bite.  So for your dog’s safety as well as others’ around him, leave your pet at home.

Fourth of July can be scary to many dogs, but if you distract your dog from the fireworks and take a little time to give him some extra attention his stress can be greatly reduced.

Sissy

Have a safe and fun 4th of July with your dog!

Happy Easter!

Puppies in basketEaster is a wonderful holiday.  Spring has sprung, and everything outside has turned to a lush green.  For many humans, Easter is a rush-rush time, filled with many activities.  After going to church, it’s time to see the family, eat a big dinner, and have some Easter candy.  It’s a very busy day, and it’s important to make sure your dog is not forgotten in all of the holiday bustle. Although your dog doesn’t know it’s Easter, you can still make his a happy one by giving him a special dog biscuit or showering him with belly rubs.

Some people have parties on Easter, and your dog can be part of that, too.  If family is coming over to your house or you are bringing your dog to another house, make sure you follow these simple safety rules to keep your dog safe:

  • Put all purses and bags up on a counter, out of reach from your dog.
  • If any presents are unwrapped, throw away all trash.
  • Don’t give your dog any candy.  It could hurt him.
  • If your dog is stressed out from all of the hustle and bustle, let him nap in a quiet room with a few toys to keep him company.
  • Leash your dog when the company is at the door.  This way, your dog won’t bounce up and down on them.
  • Always make sure your dog is not underfoot; it’s no fun to be stepped on.  Ouch!

pup

Many people, as an Easter tradition, will have an Easter egg hunt.  Plastic eggs filled with candy will be hidden outside or in the house for the excited children to find.  This is great, but just make sure your dog doesn’t find an Easter egg for himself and break into it.  Candy can make dogs very sick so it is best for us to stay away from it.

Keep all chocolate away from your dog.  Chocolate is poison to dogs.  Please place all Easter goodies up high and out of reach from your furry companion.  If your dog tangles with any chocolate, call your veterinarian right away.  If your dog eats too much chocolate, it could kill him.

As an Easter treat, you could bake your dog some homemade doggy biscuits.  Your dog will love you for it!  You could even put some dog biscuits into baggies and tie them up with pretty ribbon to give away to all of your dog’s friends.

Have a tail-wagging Easter!

Easter eggs

The Importance of Spaying/Neutering Your Dog

sleepy Lacy

Lacy

My best puppy friend, Lacy, got spayed recently.  That means that she was fixed so she can’t have any puppies.  Why is that so important?

great dane puppies

There are too many puppies without homes

It’s important because there are already too many dogs.  Too many dogs are in animals shelters, unable to find a home.  There are also too many stray dogs roaming the streets.  Some are lost but others were dumped because their humans couldn’t find a home for them.  These stray dogs can bite someone or carry diseases.  So it’s very important to spay your female dog or neuter your male dog.

Why have a male dog neutered?  After all, he won’t ever have pups.  However, male dogs who have not been neutered are more likely to roam, trying to find a mate.  They also will be more aggressive to other dogs and less obedient.  If you fix your male dog, he will be less likely to get certain diseases.  Have your male dog neutered so he can be a happy, healthy pet.

For a female dog, you will be spared the cleaning up after her, she will be healthier, less likely to have certain diseases, and you won’t have to avoid other male dogs when she goes into heat.  “Heat” means that it is the time for a female dog to mate with a male dog.  Please spay your female dog so she can be a happy, healthy pet.

boston terrier puppy

There are many benefits of having a spayed/neutered dog

Naturally, someone has to breed dogs, or we wouldn’t have our wonderful pets.  There are many good people who breed healthy and happy puppies.  They find homes for each and every one of them.  If they are unable to, they keep them until they can find the perfect family.  They also make sure that the puppies will never end up in a shelter by instructing new owners on the care of dogs.  However, these breeders always keep in mind the demand for their breed of puppies.  If the demand for Labs is down, they won’t breed because they won’t find a home for all of them.  But for your average dog, breeding is not a good thing.  The behavior issues, diseases they could get, and wandering are not good for a dog you intend to keep as a pet.

The great thing is, the operation your dog will have to be spayed/neutered is painless!  He or she will be put to sleep and won’t feel a thing.  Of course, your dog will be sore afterwards and a bit groggy.

So for the sake of your dog and his or her well being, have your pet spayed/neutered.  It’s for his health, and you don’t want any more puppies to end up homeless in shelters.dog smiling

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

be mine

Be my Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday for both you and your dog. On this special day, people will give candy, stuffed animals, and flowers to the ones they love. Even though your dog doesn’t know it’s Valentine’s Day, you can still make his day the best by playing an extra game of fetch or giving your dog a belly rub.

cookies

Do not feed your dog any candy, especially chocolate

On Valentine’s Day, many people eat chocolate.  Even though this candy tastes wonderful to humans, do not ever feed any to your four-legged friend.  It is toxic for us, and can kill dogs if we eat too much.  Even if you just feed your dog a little (don’t give in to those puppy-dog eyes!), he will still have a terrible stomach ache and might even vomit.  So keep all candy, especially chocolate, out of reach from your four-legged friend.  Also, always pick up and throw away all candy wrappers.  Your dog may try to eat them, since they smell good.  This is very hazardous for your dog, as he could choke on them.  Take extra care with foil candy wrappers.  If swallowed, foil becomes as sharp as a knife.  If you even think your dog has eaten wrappers or chocolate, call your veterinarian right away.

Sometimes, on this special day, people will have parties. Your dog can be involved in the party, too, and have loads of fun, but you need to take some precautions.

  • If any presents are unwrapped, throw away all trash as soon as possible.dog playing
  • Place all purses and bags out of reach of your dog.
  • Don’t feed your dog any candy.
  • Make sure your dog is not underfoot, so he doesn’t get stepped on.
  • If your dog seems stressed out from all the holiday activity, let him nap in a quiet room or his cage with a few toys and perhaps a bone or two to keep him company.
  • If your dog is known to get very excited when company arrives, play a game of fetch or take a walk before the guests come.  This way, your dog will be tuckered out and able to sleep quietly on his bed while the party goes on.

Some dogs like to jump up on people when they arrive at their house.  This is their way of saying hello.  Even though it may be cute, someone could get hurt.  Dogs have sharp claws!  Don’t punish your dog for doing this; he doesn’t mean to hurt anyone.  He’s just trying to give everyone Valentine’s Day kisses.  But this doesn’t mean you should let your dog get away with it.  Whenever I jump up on someone, my human helps me off and says, “Off, Sissy.”  This way, while I am practicing my good manners, I am learning a new command.

waiting

It’s loads of fun to give presents on this day, and, if you want to, you can get your dog a present. This present could simply be a homemade doggy biscuit or a new toy. A toy Kong would make a great present for a dog. Kongs can be stuffed with peanut butter or dog kibble and provide dogs with hours of fun.  They bounce funny and come in all sorts of chewing styles.  There are Kongs for a good price at Amazon.com.

Have a tail-wagging Valentine’s Day!

two assuies