What to look for in a dog park


Her name was Sarah and she was a German shepherd mix rescued from the pound. Sarah, my significant other, and I all lived in a rather crowded walkup that was simply unequal to the task of keeping Sarah exercised despite the long hardwood hallway, the length of which was perfect for tossing her ball down. Sarah, and our downstairs neighbor, was thrilled at the prospect of finding the perfect doggy playground for her to stretch her legs. Finding the perfect dog park however, is as much about trial and error as any other factor. These three tips should help you narrow down your search considerable in the hunt for an outdoor play space.

Know Your Dog…

Dog parks, like people parks, have their hours of peak attendance, and if your dog stresses out easily, or shows aggressive characteristics, you should consider bringing them to the park when few other dogs are there. Unfortunately, on our first sojourn to the local dog park, our previously mild-mannered pup identified the largest dog in the bunch before making a beeline towards him and started attacking him. My wife and I dragged Sarah off him, and hauled her back to the car along the path of shame, before vowing to find deserted times for her to get exercise.

Know Your Neighbors…

When we talk of neighbors, we are speaking of our human neighbors at the dog park, not the disgruntled ones living below. Engaged owners who are playing with their furry family members and not merely leaving them to their own devices, so you should be able to identify which pooch goes with which parent. We accept that dogs will be dogs, and that is why we love them, but when an animal’s owners abrogate responsibility for their pet’s behavior, it ruins the fun for everyone.

Know Your Facilities…

When assessing the merits of a park’s amenities, look more for what will benefit the dog than the owner. Rather that scouting for picnic tables and benches, you should make sure that there are adequate water sources, secured fencing, clean, and separate play areas so the little guys can have just as much fun as the big dogs whether they choose to stay on or off the metaphorical porch.


Cats Take on Their Owner’s Habits and Personality


When humans adopt cats as a part of the family, the feline adapts to the way of life that the owner keeps. Extensive studies followed cats and families to discern how cats attempt to fit into a family situation by mirroring the owner’s habits.

Cats that are inside only adapt much more to an environment than cats that are allowed to be inside and outside. When an inside cat’s owner goes to work the feline rests and eventually can tell about when the owner will return. Food, of course, drives the cat through hunger to know when the owner will return and eat their dinner and feed them. Cats adapt to the feeding schedule of humans and often eat at the same time. A cat is smart enough to open a partially opened cabinet or closet door to access their food in the owner’s absence.

Inside only cats pick up the owners sleep schedule as well and rest at night at the same time the owner does. Pet owners that take naps on weekends or days off from work can expect a feline friend to nap at the same time as well.

Many cat owners place the litter box in the bathroom. Cats often have an uncanny sense of when their owner uses the restroom and goes to the litter box at the same time.

Felines that are both inside and outside cats and spend the night outside revert to a feral instinct. These cats will roam at night and not stay in their home environment all night long. This part of the study proves that if you want a feline companion to join your family it is best to keep it inside at all times so it can better adapt as a family member. After all, the companionship of a purring ball of fur is worth its weight in gold for a human.

Testimonial Tuesday: Dog Grass Allergy Edition

Another rave review for Skin-eze. We’re so happy to hear that the allergy treatment is working for Jane’s Border Collie!

Once again I would like to say how fantastic your Skin-eze is, my Border Collie was diagnosed as allergic to grass!! Unbelievable – and the vet said she would have to be on steroids forever – anyway I looked up your product on the internet – this was some 3/4 years ago and thought I would give it a go. The raw red rash on her tummy went and she stopped the continuous scratching. She has been fine for ages but has just started again so I thought I would get some more of your capsules. Thank you and I will be no doubt ordering some more in the future.


Tips for taking your dog to the beach


Taking Fido to the beach can seal your status as the best pet parent ever in their eyes. The shear array of exotic scents and sounds can send them into a sensory overload of canine joy. To make sure that the experience is as safe for them as it is exhilarating, pet parents need to be cogent of a few basic safety facts and learn to recognize warning signs overheating and exhaustion.

Sun and Heat…

The message is getting out concerning the dangers of leaving a dog inside a locked car in hot weather, and many of the same dangers of that environment exist for your dog at the beach as well. Ensuring a fun, safe day requires that pet parents are aware of all aspects of their furry friend’s beach activity. Light colored dogs, short-coated breeds, and those with pink noses or hairless are particularly susceptible to sunburn just as humans are. Prior to your summer outing, you should check with your vet about getting some doggy safety approved sunscreen. Additionally, you will want to have copious quantities of fresh water for your pup and a shady place for them to rest in between bouts of frenzied activity.

Warning Signs of Overheating…

As your pet frolics in the surf or burrows down to the nether regions of Middle Earth, keep your eyes open for signs of overheating of heat exhaustion in your animal. Specifically, take note of the following symptoms of overheating:

  • Coordination issues
  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Collapse

The moment your canine companion hits the beach, he will be on sensory overload, so it is up to you to make sure that is body can keep up with that excitement and remain safe.

When he HAS to come to you EVERYTIME…

As mentioned, the smells, sights, sounds, and distractions will play havoc on your dog’s ability to stay focused on your commands, and for his safety, that is the worst possible time for her to be forgetting her basic obedience skills. Since it will be far too late to work on those recall commands as your dog hurls himself towards the edge of the cliff, it’s imperative that you practice your recall commands, so that regardless of what’s going on around him, your dog will come to you when called 100% of the time.

Feline Constipation


When it comes to owning a cat there are about a million different things that owners need to worry about. What food works best, what bedding they like, and what type of allergies they may have. Knowing a bit about felines and common issues like feline constipation can help any cat owner get their act together and really figure out what their cat needs to be healthy and happy.

Feline constipation is a fairly common issue that cat owners may need to deal with on a daily basis. There are a few common causes for feline constipation and the first is most likely food choice. Foods can make a huge difference when it comes to the regularity of your pets bowel movements. Things like food that are too high in certain vitamins and minerals, that are too dry, or that have certain ingredients that your pet may be allergic to can cause your pet to have issue with going to the bathroom. If you are having trouble with your pet using the bathroom, it may be necessary to switch up food choice to see if it helps.

Yet another reason your pet may be having trouble going is of course a change in their surroundings. Cats are creatures of extreme habit. If one thing changes in their day to day routine it is likely to make them act differently. Something as simple as changing the type of litter that you use can make your pet uncomfortable enough that they are unable or unwilling to use the bathroom. If you are experiencing issue with your pet using the bathroom, try determining if there have been any life changes that may be disrupting your pet’s day to day. Still another reason for constipation may be something more serious like a blockage. If this is suspected, it is always best to talk to your vet about treatment options.

Tabby Cats and Allergies


Cats are great companions and they can help make your life more enriched, happy, and fulfilled. That being said, they can also have allergies that can make some lives more uncomfortable. For those that love cats but have cats with allergies, there are a few different things to consider. The first issue to contend with is of course what is causing your pet’s allergies. This could be something as simple as pollen and grass in the yard that they have come in contact with or something as hard to deal with as an allergy that is undiagnosed and hard to treat.

Skin allergies are the most common issue with cats. Things like flea bites, scratches, and even common irritations from other animals can cause your cat discomfort and even pain if it becomes a bigger issue. Taking the time to choose a product like skin-eze is a great way to ease your cat’s allergies and help them feel more comfortable. Skin irritations are the most common allergy in cats and often there is little that you can do aside from getting a prescription from your vet to help block the histamines that cause the irritation.

Skin-eze is a great medication that helps your pet feel much better without having to give them allergy shots or more brutal and harsh medications. Allergies are often a part of your pet’s day to day life but they do not have to be a constant. There are also things that you can do that do not involve medication. Things like isolating your cat, taking note of life style changes and any other issue that may cause irritation in your pet’s skin can help you to make your pet more comfortable. It may be beneficial to take the time to make sure your pet is actually experiencing an allergy rather than stress from some life change.

Devastating Effects of Chiari Malformation in Toy Dogs


New research is finding that Chiari malformation is on the rise among toy dog breeds. Some of the most commonly affected breeds include those who are specifically bred to have doll-like or apple shaped heads, such as Chihuahuas, Griffons Bruxellois and even Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. A study from the University of Surrey has uncovered some of the problems that Chiari malformation causes among these breeds.

In humans, Chiari malformation occurs when seams in the bones of the skull fuse too quickly in young patients. This causes pressure that pushes parts of the brain through the base of the skull. While many toy dogs with Chiari malformation show no symptoms, others can have severe problems. The increased pressure can cause headaches and push spinal fluid into pockets along the spinal cord. In serious cases, affected dogs can have poor motor function or even paralysis.

Experts say that the soaring number of Chiari malformation among toy breeds is the result of selective breeding. Scientists measured the skull and spine of 155 Griffons. As they compared the measurements, it became clear that dogs and puppies with exceptionally tall foreheads were at much higher risk for this condition.

By purchasing puppies from reputable breeders with responsible breeding programs and veterinary supervised health programs, future pet owners can help to reduce the number of dogs with Chiari malformation. Dr. Clare Rusbridge from the University of Surrey warns that breeding dogs for specific traits isn’t always beneficial to the breed.

Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Surrey have teamed up with geneticists from the University of Montreal. With as many as one in 1280 humans affected by this disease, the hope is that they can find better ways to treat this condition in both humans and dogs.

Dogs and the Dinner Table


If man’s best friend is becoming a nuisance at dinner time, the are some things that you can do to better
Fido’s table manners. From distraction to restraining, there are some easy ways to keep your dog from begging for table scraps.


One easy trick to try is simple distraction. If you begin to train your dog that each time you have dinner, he gets a treat, it will be easier to keep him from begging.

A great way to do this is with a toy from a company like Kong. They make interactive chew toys that can be filled with peanut butter or treats. This keeps your dog busy the entire time you are eating, and not only that, he will come to know that each time you get ready to sit down for dinner, he is getting his Kong.


If you have crate trained your dog, it is easy to direct him to his crate during meal times. Simply give him a treat so that going into the crate is not a punishment, but more of a reward for his good behavior during meal times.

No People Food

Another, somewhat simple, way to keep your dog from begging during meal times is never to get him started on people food in the first place. If you begin by feeding your dog during your dinner time, and never share your food with him, he will not get a taste for human food at all. If you both eat at the same time, begging won’t be a problem.

This also means that you must keep your guests from sneaking your dog scraps from the table, too. We all know a family member or friend who just cannot help it, and hates to say no to a dog. Just let them know that you have trained your dog not to beg, and ask them please not to share their food with your pup.

There are several ways to perfect your dog’s table manners, and starting with these from an early age are key. Good luck!

Top 3 Pet Friendly Car Options


Children, drinks, and even grocery bags, have secure places to ride within a vehicle, but what about Dog-Kids? Gone are the days of only taking Fido on car rides for yearly vet visits. As more humans live in urban areas, we like to bring our pets on hikes, to playgrounds made just for them to play with other pets and even to stores that cater to their needs. Pets commonly ride in vehicles, and now some manufacturers are making vehicles with these pets in mind.

Safety and comfort are the two top priorities when it comes to transporting your pup.

Jeep Liberty

The Jeep Liberty Offers tons of extras made just for pet owners to fit perfectly into the model. It also has back seats that fold down, and allow your pet and his buddies room for the ride that is comparable to the back of a pick up but safer.

Dodge Journey SE

The Dodge Journey offers something that not many vehicles have, it has a cooler in the dash to keep water so you and your pet can stay hydrated after a hike in the woods. This SUV is rated high on safety and off road capabilities as well.

Subaru Forester

This vehicle can go off road, so taking your pet off the beaten path is safe and easy. Side Curtain Airbags, will protect the four legged passengers in the passenger, or back seat. While they ride in comfort on the leather upholstery.

Remember to keep your pet safe while on the road by keeping lose items secure in the vehicle and not allowing them to hang their head out the window unless you are going really slow down a back road.

7 Common Dog Discipline Problems


Sometimes pet kids can become overwhelming when they develop discipline problems. It can be frustrating to find the furniture, or shoes ruined, or to have the neighbors complain about the noise. Most pet behavior problems can be addressed if the owner is willing to put in the time and show both discipline and patience.

Common Dog Discipline Issues

  • Chewing. Puppies are going to chew, and should have plenty of safe toys to ease their gums on. However, when the chewing returns after teething and it ruins your things there is likely an issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Barking. Many people get a dog because of the security of having a dog bark at intruders, however some dogs take this to an extreme that interrupts the sleep of the entire neighborhood.
  • Defecating or urinating inside after potty training has been accomplished. If a pet starts eliminating inside the house after he/she has already been trained, there is likely an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Do not be too harsh, because the issue may be medical.
  • Jumping. Dogs just love company, and greeting their family when everyone comes home. However jumping can hurt, and ruin clothing there are ways to deter jumping without hurting the dogs excited, loving feelings.
  • Chasing. Dogs have had jobs in the past, and they get bored. Chasing is a way for a dog to work, but it can be very dangerous to the dogs life and must be addressed by offering the dog a different “job” to pass the time. Something like finding a hidden toy, and leading on long walks.
  • Begging. This bad habit is likely a direct result of the dog being given treats during human meal time. It may be cute, but it is also likely a hindrance when attempting to have a family meal.
  • Growling or biting. This may be the worst habit of a dog because it endangers other people. Even a small breed can cause the need for stitches. Addressing this behavior is of up most importance.

All of these discipline problems can make pets hard to handle, but treating most problems is a matter of putting in time and addressing each issue individually. After making sure that the bad habit is not caused by a health problem, training techniques such as distraction, rewards, set schedules, and addressing issued early on before they become habits can make life much more peaceful for Fido.

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