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(NewsUSA) â€“ American households keep 78.4 million dogs according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. And every one of those 78.4 million dogs, at some pointâ€¦wellâ€¦smells like a dog. â€œWashing your dog doesnâ€™t have to be an unpleasant experience for you or your pet,â€ says Patty Mueller, pet care expert and founder of Rinse Ace brand pet products (www.rinseace.com). â€œBathing your pet indoors is an easy, less-stressful alternative to a groomer -; or a backyard garden hose and bucket. All you need are a few inexpensive items and a little planning.â€ How frequently you bathe your dog depends on its lifestyle and breed. Bathing too often can irritate the skin. A good guideline is to wash your dog only when its coat gets dirty or begins smelling â€œdoggy.â€ Here are some tips to make bath time easier and less stressful for pet and owner: - Gather your supplies without your pet present to reduce pre-bath anxiety. - Place a bath mat at the bottom of the sink or tub to prevent your pet from slipping and to protect the surface from nail scratches. - Place a screened cover over the drain to catch pet hair. - Brush or comb the entire coat before bathing to remove mats and tangles. - Attach bathing tethers to your dogâ€™s collar to secure them in the sink, tub or shower. This holds the dog in place and frees up both your hands. - Use a shower hose with a sprayer that controls water flow, such as the Rinse Ace Pet Shower Deluxe. This will save water and keep you from â€œspookingâ€ your pet. Hold it close to thoroughly soak the coat and skin. Usually, cupfuls of water canâ€™t fully saturate a pet, especially its underbelly. - Always use shampoo and conditioner made specifically for dogs. Never use products made for human use. - Instead of applying shampoo directly to the dog, apply it to a shampoo mitt first for better distribution throughout the coat. Work it into a deep lather, and rinse with the shower hose until the water runs clear. Repeat process with conditioner. Make sure to rinse well, since any shampoo or conditioner residue can cause irritation. - Let your pet shake off initial water, then squeeze out any excess water with your hands and finish by towel drying. Keep him or her indoors, away from drafts, until its coat is completely dry.
The great crate training debate has been one that people have argued for or against for quite some time. People are split almost down the middle on whether or not they should try this training method on their dog. For anyone who is unaware of what this term means, it is the process of teaching your pet to accept their cage or crate as their safe and familiar place to be. Through time and a lot of patience, this little area can become their den which can be used to transport the dog. It can also be used as a place for them to be when the owners are not home. Some even use it as a time out area. The pros and cons of using a cage for a puppy or grown dog are numerous. There are plenty of reasons people stand behind their decisions, on both sides of the issue. We will go over some of the pros and cons so that anyone considering this option can make an informative decision. One of the biggest pros that comes with successful training has to do with potty training. For puppies, and dogs of all ages that may suffer from potty issues, a crate can help them and you to control those problems. Another high point is that your dog can be confined in a safe space for several hours as needed. Being in their safe zone allows them to relax and not stress out because they are home alone. If you travel frequently, their crate is a perfect way to get your dog to any destination. Whether it is a veterinarian visit or a vacation, your dog can be transported safely and stress free. Once your dog is fully trained, they will often seek out their cage as their safe haven in order to relax. Here are a few cons to think about. Crate training may not work for every dog. In rare situations, a dog may become more stressed or anxious inside this confined area. You might occasionally see this if the dog was not introduced to it as a puppy. If the cage is not the correct size, and is too big, it can actually cause the training to fail. This can easily be remedied however, by making sure the cage or crate you use is the correct size. If you decide to go this route with your dog, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind. A dog is more willing to comply when tired, so try to get them some exercise before you begin each training session. Remember to use positive reinforcement as well, so they will associate good feelings with their new area. It really is up to the individual owner and dog to figure out if crate training will work for them. Weigh the pros and cons and then if you want to try it, make sure you spend the time necessary to train your dog to the crate.
A Gentle Leader is an item that fits in the leash, harness, and head collar categories. People sometimes use it as a training tool or a restraining device. How this collar works is it helps the owner to control their dog in a way that the dog will better understand. It goes around the neck and there is a loop for the muzzle of the dog as well. When slight pressure is applied to the loop, your dog will understand that you are the "leader of the pack" and not them. This all follows their natural patterns to communicate with other dogs, in order to distinguish their hierarchy. The main purpose for using a Gentle Leader is for walking your dog. They can be used to train puppies, or to correct behaviors such as pulling on the leash. It may not work one hundred percent of the time, but most people who use them with their dogs definitely notice an improvement. For those of you who may weighing your options when it comes to these devices, there are plenty of pros and cons. As far as pros go, one of the biggest is that you can entirely control your dog on walks. For anyone who owns a large dog, this means no more getting walked by your dog! Another advantage is that these nifty items are also very affordable. They adjust to fit to your dog, and they are much safer to use than choke collars or possibly less humane products. The cons of using a Gentle Leader differ depending on a personal perspective. Some people believe that it is uncomfortable for the dog to wear. This depends highly on the type and size you use for your dog. If it is the wrong size it can become an issue. A clear disadvantage of this harness is for the people who buy this it and do not use it properly. If you allow your dog to get to the end of the leash, their head will whip around and it could cause a head or neck injury. This can all be avoided by making sure you know how to use it beforehand. Another minor negative is that some people don't know what it is and think you've muzzled your dog because he bites. When you run into this situation, you'll just have to explain what you're using and how it works. It is ultimately up to each individual to decide whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of using a leader. Although all dogs have their own different and unique personalities, they all share the same types of natural instincts. This head collar is made specifically to help owners control their dogs while walking, all by using the dogs natural instinct to lead or be led. As with all new items for your dog, make sure you introduce the Gentle Leader to them and allow them to get comfortable with it before taking them on a long walk. This will ensure they create a positive association with it, which will make it easier for both you and your dog.
Up until around ten years or so ago, you use to only be able to get your dog's teeth cleaned professionally, or with a dental care kit. These days, you have a huge number of items to choose from that all work differently to help keep their mouths clean and fresh. We will discuss some of the more popular ways to do this below. The old tried and true method is to use a doggie toothbrush and toothpaste from your home. The toothpaste is often flavored to their liking, and it is totally safe for them to use. While this is one of the best possible methods to choose from, it can be rather messy and difficult to do at times. Another tooth cleaning product for dogs is the increasingly popular finger brush. The advantage to using one of these little items is that you can personally get a deep clean in the mouth of any sized dog. The little knobs on the tip of the finger brush allow you to get the most stubborn things left behind off of their teeth, gums, and even tongue. The obvious disadvantage to this apparatus is if the dog decides to bite down on you while you are cleaning. Can you say ouch? There are a couple of different types of sprays and water additives people are turning to more often. Sprays like the Plaque Attack and additives like Dental Fresh are thought to help keep bad breath and dental issues at bay. While they work rather nicely and are completely safe to use, they are not a replacement for a professional cleaning. Doggie dental treats can be a great way to help keep their mouths clean in between professional cleanings. Products such as Greenies and Dentastix are specially designed to help keep plaque and tartar off of your pooch's teeth. This is done through the chewing they do while eating these treats. They work good in moderation, but usually need to be used with other products as well. One final way you can give some dental care to your dog from your own home is to supply him with several different dog toys. There are many dog-approved toys out there that cater to helping them keep their gums and teeth clean. The biggest benefit to using these toys is that your dog will have a blast while getting their clean on. The biggest negative is they have to be replaced if a piece breaks off, and that can add up in terms of money. When you look at it, there are plenty of pros and cons for just about every doggie dental product out there. You know your dog well, so you will know which types of products will work well for him and which will not. If you are unsure, you can always experiment or even ask your veterinarian for recommendations.