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7 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Behaved When Visiting Dog Parks: 101 Dog Care Tips

shutterstock_105853361_sm Who doesn’t love taking their four legged friend to the local dog park. There is nothing better than getting out to frolic in the fresh air with your loyal companion. Dog parks are a great way to for your dog to get some exercise while allowing them to socialize with other dogs. There is only one thing that can ruin a perfect day at the dog park: bad doggie behavior. Here are some easy tips to ensure a great day at the dog park while keeping your dog happy and safe.

1. Make sure your dog is not aggressive. Nothing can ruin a trip to the dog park than an aggressive misbehaving dog. So if you know your dog will be aggressive it is just better to skip the dog park until Fido gets some obedience training.

2. Come, Sit, Stay: It is very important that your dog responds to basic commands and can be controlled very quickly.

3. Where and what….make sure you know where your dog is at all times and what he or she is doing. It important to keep a watchful eye and sure your dog is not getting out of control or disturbing others.

4. Don’t be afraid to be a called tattletale at the dog park, speak out because safety comes first. If other dogs are misbehaving don’t feel guilty about telling their owners. Most likely the owner may not be aware that their dog is acting out of control and they will thank you.

5. Be #1 at the dog park by cleaning up #2! If your dog does their business, please pick it up!

6. Bring toys and balls and have fun! But be ok if you lose some to other dogs at the park.

7. If you have a small dog and a large dog approaches fear not, just introduce and make sure all tales are wagging. Don’t pick your dog up it draws attention and may make your small dog scared.

If you have other tips to keep your dog safe orhave funstories about your day at the dog park please leave a comment below. And remember don’t forget to have fun and be safe! No need to worry about your dog having fun. He or shewill find their place at the park and decide very quickly who they want to play with at just one sniff. Let them have fun and remember not to be over protective, it is important that your dog get his or her paws wet. Remember a socialized dog is a happy dog!

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How To Properly Clean Your Dogs Ears & Prevent Ear Infection- 101 Dog Care Tips- Tip 15

Has your dog mastered the art of not listening? Well perhaps there is underlining issue that needs dealt with and a good ear cleaning is in order. Regular weekly ear cleanings are important aspect of your pets care and should not be taken lightly.  Learning to clean your dog’s ear properly is the first step told prevention of discomfort, hearing loss, and ear infections. Ear infections are caused by bacteria that can lurk in the dark corners of your dogs ear canal. Although cleaning your dog-ears may seem like a chore and struggle at times it is VERY important.

Dogs and humans have a lot in common we both get waxy build up in the ears.  Over time if not cleaned the waxy build-up can set the mood for some bacteria & fungal growth leading to ear & fungal yeast infections.  Dogs with floppy ears have a higher risk of getting chronic ear infections. Their ears are warm, dark & moist with little airflow making them the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. With that said dogs with floppy ears should be cleaned twice a week.

So what are the signs of an ear infection that all loving owners should be aware of? Redness, swelling, pain, head shaking, frequent ear scratching, thick ear discharge and odor are sure signs. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, seeking the aid of a certified vet is key.

If not treated properly and in a timely fashion the infection can make its way to your dog’s inner ear where he or she can suffer from permanent hearing damage. Even resulting in a dog’s version of vertigo, where your dog is unable to stay balance.

Here are a few helpful steps that will make cleaning your dogs ear an easy task. Make sure to have lots of dog biscuits and praise along the way to ease any discomfort and fears your dog may have. It’s important that you stay calm and upbeat through the entire process. Don’t panic or get upset if your dog does not cooperate, this takes time.  But the squirming, whining and struggle is well worth enduring for your beloved pup and precious ears.

1.    First you will need the proper tools: ear cleaner, cotton balls (or cotton pads), Q-tips and lots of dog’s treats. Best Bully Sticks will surely do the trick and provide lots of chewing joy even after the ear cleaning is all said and done

2.     Warm up the ear cleaner bottle in a bowl of hot water for 5- 7 minutes, shaking the bottle occasionally and replacing the bowl of water with hot water as it cools.  Many dogs hate the thought and feeling of something cold in their ears. So, warming the ear cleaning solution will ease the discomfort and calm your dog.

3.    Sit the dog in a corner of a couch or arm chair and take your position alongside him.  This will help you and your dog maintain a comfortable position and prevent him from squirming out of the chair.

4.    Proceed by dampening a wet cotton ball or cotton pad with the ear cleaning solution and begin wiping the ear gently. Depending on how wet and dirty between the ears Spot is will determine how many cotton balls or pads will fall casualty. Once you have finished one ear move on to the next. Lucky for you and Spot this ear-cleaning regime will remove a lot of ear wax and dirt.

For floppy ear dogs, lift the ear upright so you can see the inside. Make sure the dog’s head is not tilted as you need the cleansing solution to go downward into the ear canal.

Did you know that fur inside a dog’s ear canal makes them more prone to bacteria build-up. If your dog has furry ear canals making it difficult clean, slowly and gently pluck away or trim those dog ear hairs. Don’t worry this is not a painful process.

5.    Then dampen both ends of the several Q-tips with the warm dog-ear solution and begin venturing in the cracks and crevasse and outer portion of your dog-ear to remove the wax.  Keep in mind dog ears are not only sensitive to sound but also touch, so never stick the Q-tip into the ear canal. Only clean the portions of the ear that are visible.

No matter how young or old your dog is they can still reap the rewards of regular proper ear care with gentleness and praise. But as always we do advise that if you have a young pup or thinking about adopting a pup to start them getting use to an ear cleaning regime early. This will surely make them more cooperative and un-afraid through their pup, teen and senior years.

How To Prevent Ticks From Frustrating Your Dog: 101 Dog Care Tips

webdog1One of the unavoidable – and unpleasant – inconveniences of owning a dog is the possibility of her getting ticks. Try to remember, she doesn’t like them any more than you do. You need to check her coat regularly, especially if she spends a lot of time outside. Otherwise, your pooch can contract Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and other illnesses. You might also find the pests inside your home.

If you have never seen a tick before, they can appear unsettling. There’s nothing to fear. In this article, we’ll explore how you can safely check for them and remove them. I’ll also explain how you can prevent their becoming a problem in the first place.

Checking And Removing Them

First, it’s important to realize what these pests do when they climb aboard your dog. They hide in grass and vegetation. When your canine companion brushes past, they transfer themselves to her coat. Then, they dig into her skin and begin feeding on her blood. They eventually fall off her body when they have finished feeding.

You should check your pooch’s coat every day if she ventures outside. The first step is to move your hand through her coat. If ticks are present, you’ll feel tiny bumps. If you find the pests, don gloves to protect your hands and use tweezers to extract them.

Be careful when using the tweezers. If you do the extraction poorly, you might inadvertently leave a portion of the body under your dog’s skin. Once you remove a tick, do not kill it by squeezing (that can lead to infection). Instead, place it in an enclosed container and flush its body down the toilet.

Your canine companion’s skin is going to be sensitive after you remove the burrowed ticks. Wash the affected area with soap and water, and apply an antiseptic in order to clean it.

Preventing Their Presence

There are a number of topical formulations and other products that are sold in pet supply stores which can help prevent your dog from getting ticks. But, none are infallible. Common products include K9Advantix, Frontline Plus, and Proticall, but speak with your veterinarian and ask for recommendations.

A Tick-Free Dog Is A Happy One

Your pooch can’t do the job alone. She can scratch and bite at the ticks which are burrowing under her skin, but she relies upon you to get them out for her. Check her coat every day, especially during the warm seasons. If you find them, remove them and clean the affected area. Finally, ask your vet to recommend tick prevention products. Not only will your dog be grateful for your help, but you’ll be glad you took the time.

This tip is brought to you by Best Bully Sticks a leading internet prodvide of all natural dog chews and treats!

101 Dog Care Tips: Positive Reinforcement

webdog 1Although it is very hard to refrain from yelling at your dog or punishing them when they do something wrong, research has shown the positive reinforcement is a better, more productive approach.

Positive reinforcement includes giving your pet something pleasant or rewarding them immediately after she/he does something you want them to do. Positive reinforcement makes your pooch more likely to repeat that behavior in the future.  It is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog’s behavior.

Correct timing is essential when using positive reinforcement. The reward must occur immediately, within seconds, or your pet may not associate it with the behavior warranting the treat or praise.  For example, if you have your dog to stay, but reward them after they have already come towards you, they think they are being rewarded for coming towards you.

Consistency is also very important.  If you only reward them periodically, they will become confused and not know how to respond.  In addition, the treats that you give as a reward should be irresistible to your pet.  Something that is just okay will not be enticing for them to continue the behavior.  Treats like pieces of lamb weasand, Kangaroo treats, and Plato dog treats are great things to try, because we have found our pooches to think they are “irresistible”!

101 Dog Care Tips – Selecting The Right Dog Trainer – Tip 12

Savvy Tips For Selecting The Right Dog Trainer

Take a trip to your local animal shelter. You’ll find dozens (even hundreds) of pooches who need a home. The tragedy is that many of them were exiled from their past homes because their owners grew frustrated with their behavior. So, they’re brought to the shelter and abandoned.

By enrolling your dog into professional obedience classes, you can curb his/her unacceptable behaviors or even prevent them from developing. Below, I’ll give you 3 tips for finding a trainer who can work with your pooch and turn him/her into a faithful, loving, and obedient companion.

Tip #1: Choose Positive Reinforcement

Even today, as canine experts continue to gain a better understanding about the most effective strategies for training dogs, some trainers still use negative reinforcement. In effect, they punish poor behavior. A hard tug on the leash or collar, shouting, and physically mishandling your pooch can cause pain and fear.

Take your canine companion to an expert who uses positive reinforcement. Your pooch’s acceptable behaviors should be rewarded while objectionable behavior should be ignored. Not only is such training more humane, but it’s also more effective.

Tip #2: Ask For Referrals

Similar to finding a dentist or mechanic, asking other people for referrals is a great way to find a suitable trainer. If possible, visit a few training facilities and interview the owners. Ask about their experience, where they were trained, and the strategies they use in the obedience classes.

Keep in mind that the industry isn’t regulated by any authoritative association. If a canine expert claims to be part of a professional group, that alone doesn’t necessarily mean he (or she) is qualified or competent. Ideally, you should ask other owners who have enrolled their dogs into obedience training classes. If they had a positive experience, you – and your pooch – will likely have one, too.

Tip #3: Enroll In Group Classes

Obedience training is normally conducted in one of two ways: within a group setting or alone. In group classes, your canine companion will not only learn to modify his/her behaviors, but they will do so while interacting with other dogs and their owners. The experience socializes him/her; they will grow accustomed to being approached and handled by other people. Your pooch will also learn to get along with their peers.

If you enroll your pooch into training that doesn’t provide this type of interaction, they will miss a valuable learning opportunity.

Don’t let your dog’s age deter you from enrolling them into obedience classes. The earlier, the better, of course (after a puppy has reached 8 weeks). But, even if they are older, they can still benefit from the training. Ask other owners for referrals, choose a trainer who uses positive reinforcement techniques, and consider group education. You’ll discover the experience carries long-lasting advantages for you and your dog.

Please make sure to check out our ever growing selection of all natural dog treats and chews like bully sticks !

Owning a New Puppy: Vaccines

shutterstock_79959028Owning a new puppy can very exciting, but also overwhelming.  You always want to start off on the right foot and here are few tips for vaccinating your pooches.   This is coming from owners that were very excited about their first pooch, but ended up being very sad after a vaccination reaction almost ended very badly.

1.  Your puppy may not need every vaccination out there.  Remember, the veterinary pharmaceutical companies are in the business to make money, so the more vaccinations sold, the more money made!  Discuss with your veterinarian whether all vaccinations need to be given.  Depending on your pooches lifestyle and where you live, you may not need them all.

2.  Smaller breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Pugs, Toy Poodles, Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apsos, are more likely to have reactions to vaccines. It is very important to minimize the number of vaccines given to small breeds.  It is also recommend to space out the vaccinations.  They should not all be given all at the same time.  It is also recommend to use a quarter to a half dose of the vaccine per visit rather than the entire dose.

3.  Homeopathic remedies, such as thuja and lymphomyosot which minimize toxicity, may be given to reduce the chance of a vaccine reaction.

4.  Certain supplements, such as antioxidants, may improve your puppy’s immune response to a vaccine, offering stronger protection against infectious diseases.

5. Once your dog is 2 years or older, consider a blood test (vaccine antibody titer test).  This will give you an idea of how long the vaccine is protecting you dog for.  This way you can reduce the time between vaccination (the vaccine companies may recommend yearly vaccinations, but the vaccine might be protecting your dog for longer). Current research shows that most pets only require a few vaccines throughout their entire lives because of the excellent immunity vaccines produce.

Please check out our all growing selection of dog chews and treats like bully sticks and if you have recommendations for future dog care tips please pass them along!

101 Dog Care Tips: Senior Dog Care

Our pets are living longer than ever these days, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and pet nutrition. As our dogs age, they face a variety of conditions that can negatively affect their health. Some of the conditions that commonly affect senior dogs include diabetes, kidney and liver disease, tumors and cancer, arthritis and other joint pain, obesity and thyroid conditions, as well as dental disorders.

Scheduling regular veterinary examinations is key in keeping your dog healthy. When dogs enter their senior years, regular exams are more important than ever (most recommend twice yearly). Senior care, which starts with regular veterinary exam, is necessary to diagnose or delay the onset of disease; and for the early detection of problems such as organ failure and arthritis.

Veterinarians depend on laboratory results to help them understand your dog’s health. When your dog is healthy, laboratory tests determine baseline” values. When your dog is sick, your vet is able to compare the “baseline” values and the current values.  Changes in these laboratory test results, may be a sign of the presence of an underlying disease (lab tests frequently include: blood count, urinalysis, blood chemistry and parasite evaluation).

It is also necessary to keep your senior pooch active.  Activity is necessary to keep your dog at a healthy weight, while helping to maintain proper muscle tone. In addition, choosing a premium dog food and healthy treats will help by giving your pooch the necessary protein and vitamins that they need to stay healthy.  As we mentioned in previous posts, fish oil is a great way to be preventative, none of us consume enough omega 3’s with our normal diets.  Also, including natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin in our pooches diet can help with hip and joint health (our beef trachea chews and fish chews are a great natural source of this).

Please let us know if there is a topic you would like to see covered!  As always, we appreciate your continued business and support!

101 Dog Care Tips: Fish Oil For Dogs

shutterstock_107501672-smVets originally used fish oil to treat dogs with allergy problems, but more recently they have found it to benefit many different aspects of our canines’ health.  Since our pooches cannot produce the fats contained in these oils themselves, they rely on their diet to supply the needed fats.

Much like it’s benefits for humans, omega 3 oils (fish oil) support heart, vision, and joint health, along with providing important nutrients for proper immune function, and a healthy skin and coat.   The icing on the cake is that… it’s a natural source of all sorts of other vitamins and minerals.

We have seen two forms of fish oil.  One is in pill form that can be taken in a piece of cheese or some peanut butter and the other is in liquid form.   We have found the liquid form is more calorie friendly (those pieces of cheese and peanut butter can add up) and just plain easier to give (putting over their food has worked well for us).

We do recommend that you consult with your veterinarian about specific doses for your pooch, although there are dosing instructions on most bottles.  Some dogs require more than others based on certain conditions.  Stay tuned to our website… we will be adding some very unique salmon treats and jerky’s to the site really soon!

We carry the Plato Salmon Oil for dogs which can be found by clicking the link, however there are many great oils on the market; and the important thing is to make sure to add it to your pups daily regimen!

101 Dog Care Tips: Spring Dog Care

shutterstock_105896411We are approaching spring and with that comes walks through the park, maybe a jog, and dangers that you should be aware of.

Heart-worm is caused by mosquitoes and can be fatal for our pooches.  Spring time is a major time for this because of the weather warming up and the mosquitoes becoming more active.  There are many products out on the market that can prevent this.  Check with your vet to find out which one is right for your dog.

As the weather warms up, we also need to monitor our dogs tolerance for heat and the sun.  Some dogs like pugs and bull dogs can not tolerate the heat for very long and can actually become dehydrated and get heat stoke.  Dogs can also get sunburn, like us, so monitor the amount of sun that your pooch gets.

Also be aware that it is also approaching flea and tick season.  There are many holistic flea and tick medicines that your vet can recommend.  Although it is recommended to treat your pet for fleas and ticks all year round, we are approaching the season when this medication is most necessary.

Although we think that fairs and concerts are a great bonding experience for us and our dogs, the noise and commotion can be stressful for your pups.  These are places that should be avoided for long periods of time.

Dogs love spring and summer because it means more outdoor time and more time to release all of that pent up winter energy.  By keeping tabs and following these few tips, you can ensure a safe and happy season for you and your pooch.

Please check out our every growing selection of unique and natural dog chews and dog treats !

101 Dog Care Tips – Best Bully Sticks Tip 7 – Toxic Substances For Dogs

101 Dog Care Tips – Best Bully Sticks Tip 7 – Toxic Substances For Dogs

As we continue our quest to bring you pertinent dog related information we wanted to highlight some common and not so common substances and foods that you should never give your dog.  If you have a suggestion for our 101 Dog Care Tips section please let us know!

There are many household items that you would never think to keep away from your pooch.  We all know about chocolate and its bad affects, but what about all of those other table scraps and snacks that we don’t even think about?  We all know when we see a cute begging face we feel the need to share any and everything.  Below is a list of typical household items that are not good for your pooch.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Caffeine, including coffee and chocolate
  • Fatty foods, especially drippings and grease from cooking
  • Chicken and turkey bones (Cooked)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions and garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Salt and sugar (are included in many dog products or dog treats, but in small amounts and carefully regulated)

**While this certainly is not a complete list we hope that you find it helpful**
In addition, just like babies, keep all household cleaners and chemicals away from pet friendly areas.  Also beware of where cords and wires are located, especially if you have a playful pooch.

If your dog does eat something toxic and is having symptoms, the best thing to do is call Poison Control at 1 (900) 680-0000, or the Animal Poison control center at (888) 426-4435, induce vomiting, and head to your local emergency veterinarian.

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