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Friday, August 4, 2017

3 Advantages of Crate Training Your Puppy

When you bring home a new puppy, there are many decisions you will have to make regarding its care and training. Whether you buy your puppy from a breeder or adopt from an animal shelter, the way you train your dog can have a lifelong impact on its behavior. One choice you will have to make about your dog is whether you will invest time in crate training. While not all training experts agree about the necessity of this type of training, there are several advantages it could offer you and your pet.

1.     Your Dog Has Its Own Space


From the time you bring your puppy home, offering it a crate can give it a safe place for it to retreat to when it feels tired, threatened, or fearful. The crate can act as a den for your puppy, and since it is natural for dogs to seek out an enclosed space to retreat to with food or for sleep, your pup will soon associate the crate with safety and security.

If you want your puppy to accept its crate as a safe space, put it somewhere out of the way in your home and do not shut your puppy away in the crate for punishment. Leave the door open for your puppy so it can enter it whenever it likes and encourage your puppy to take toys and chew bones there to reinforce the idea that the space belongs to your pet.

2.     A Crate Can Assist with Housebreaking


One of the challenges you might be facing as a new puppy owner is the housebreaking process. While some dog breeds are easier to train than others, crate training your puppy can assist with housebreaking because once your puppy accepts the crate as its den, it will be less likely to urinate or defecate in it.

If you want to housebreak and crate train your puppy at the same time, create a schedule that includes taking it to its designated potty spot each time you let your pet out of the crate, especially in the morning. Soon it will associate potty time with leaving its crate and housebreaking may be an easier task to accomplish for you both.

3.     Your Puppy Will Stay Safe


Puppies are a bundle of fluffy joy, but they are also mischievous and can get into trouble in the blink of an eye. From poisonous plants in your home to choking and electrocution hazards, a crate can help keep your puppy out of trouble when you are not home or otherwise occupied.

Crates can keep your puppy safe while they are in your car as well. Secure the crate with an approved belt or other device. Some states have laws about how animals should be transported, so it is a good idea to educate yourself about them. For example, if you live in Miami or Boca Raton, you can ask a Florida dog trainer for advice on how to crate your dog for transport.  

Crate training your puppy has several advantages that can benefit its safety and your peace of mind. From keeping your pup safe to offering it creature comforts, a crate can be your dog’s second-best friend.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cat Meets Dog: How to Ensure a Happy and Safe Cohabitation

There is no reason that a dog and a cat can’t live together in perfect harmony. They’re not natural competitors in the wild and don’t actually have any beef with each other; dogs just happens to be a lot larger and stronger than cats. To introduce a new dog to a resident cat means than your dog needs to understand that the feline isn’t a toy; if you don’t put sufficient time and energy into making this happen, you’re going to end up with a very unhappy kitty.

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Image by: Pexels

Follow these steps, however, from bringing the puppy home to the final introduction and cohabitation, to make their relationship as smooth as possible. It requires an obedient dog from the beginning, so make sure you’re up to date on the puppy training.

Bringing the Puppy Home

From the moment your new pet steps into your home, it should be on a leash. The initial meeting is a sensitive moment and you’d want to send a clear signal to both the confused cat and the energetic puppy that inside means being calm and under control. Don’t let the two of them meet yet - they still have weeks left of getting used to each other’s presence via scents.

Find a confined room for both your pets; you’d want a room where your cat feels perfectly safe and comfortable, as well as a place where you can keep your dog under control. They should both have access to food, water, a bed, and toys, as well as anything else that ensures their happiness. If you have a stair gate anywhere in your home, you should make use of it when introducing your pets later on. That way, they’ll be able to see each other without having access to other’s space.

Keep in mind that introducing a small kitten to a large dog requires even more care and attention. Not only are kittens more vulnerable due to their size, but they also tend to be more playful. Ensure that the kitten doesn’t get the chance to excite your dog too much and that she doesn’t slip through the stair gate.

Scent Swapping

Put something with your dog’s scent in your cat’s room, and the same with one of your cat’s things - a blanket or a toy are good alternatives. You want them to get as used to each other as possible, and exposed to the smell of the mysterious other when they’re in a comfortable situation.

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Image by: Pexels

Spend time with each pet and make sure neither feels ignored; pet and stroke the coat of your puppy and treat your cat the same way without washing your hands. This has the same principle as scent swapping with toys, but this time you’re bringing yourself into the picture as well. You’re not just a comfortable and safe person to them - you’re also their leader. A new and unsettling scent is suddenly a lot more comforting when it’s mixed with yours.

Keep the scent swapping up for a while before they meet. With a damp cloth, gently stroke the new family member’s fur and dab it around your home to spread its smell. It’s what your new pet would have done in any way if it had the chance; when you take care of it, you avoid having the two of them meet prematurely.

The First Meeting

After a few weeks - or even months of this, your two fur children are ready to meet. Remember that the longer you keep up the subtle work of scent swapping and making them get used to the other’s presence, the better their foundation for getting along will be. Your cat is the weaker one of the two, so make sure she has an easy escape route back to the safe room.

The desired outcome of these first few meetings is to keep a positive tone, prevent the dog from chasing the cat and allowing the cat to observe the dog’s behavior. Cats like to watch from a distance, and it’s a good idea to let the cat approach when she feels like it - if you were to carry the cat yourself, you might end up with a couple of scratches.

Have some treats handy for each of them and keep the dog behind the stair gate. Each animal reacts differently, and it’s difficult to predict their behavior - but with a young puppy, he is likely to get a bit excited at the sight of your cat. Use the dog treats to distract him from barking or becoming too energized, as well as to reward calm behavior. Keep an eye on the signals your dog is sending, by the way; if he stares at your kitten for a long time, use the treats to break up the interaction.

Developing Relations

If any of these first meetings ends sourly, go back to keeping them in separate rooms and swap scents as you used to. When they’re able to go through a few sessions under your supervision, without barking or appearing frightened, you can allow them to interact more freely - although you should still supervise them to make sure your cat is safe. It’s a good idea to keep your dog on a house line to prevent any chasing, as well as installing pet doors so that they both have access to their areas. Look at the best pet doors for dogs as well as the best ones for cats before you decide.

Some dog breeds are more prone to barking and chasing than others, and you know your dog’s behavior better than any. End the interaction as soon as either of them appears worked up or frightened. If each of these first meetings can be kept short and sweet, you’re in for a long and happy cohabitation.

Remember not to expect too much of your pets to begin with. The goal is to see both of them accept the other rather than chasing them or feeling frightened; if you master this, you’ve already come a long way.


Can You Still Care For Your Dog If You're A Super Busy Person?


Owning a dog is one thing, but providing it with the care and attention it needs is quite another. With our busy lives, few people have the time they’d like to properly take care of their dogs and give them the time they need to be healthy and happy. This has led many people to cry foul, but is there anything you can do if you’ve got no choice but to be busy?

It turns out that there are quite a few options open to you. Even if you think that your timetable is completely full, there are often still opportunities to look after your dog and keep it happy. Unlike children. Dog’s don’t care if you’re on the phone or not talking directly to them: they just want to feel part of the pack, which is why they’re so easy to look after even when you feel as if you’re not paying them any attention at all.

There’s no need to assume that just because your life is hectic, your dog will necessarily be neglected and stressed. Here’s what you can do to make your dog’s like better, even if you’re a super busy person.

Take Your Pooch To Work

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Think taking your dog to work isn’t an option? Check with your employer first. Most people are surprised to find out that many places of work have a dog-friendly policy. Some offices allow dogs one day a week; others allow them all the time. The reason for this is because most business owners love dogs and they’ve found over the years that when dogs are in the office, people are actually more productive. It’s a win-win for everybody, including your precious hound.

Find A Playmate For Your Pooch

Dogs are pack animals. As a result, they get stressed and upset when they’re on their own. For a dog, being alone means being without security and having to fend for oneself - not something which would have been beneficial back when dogs lived as wolves in the wild. The instinct to find company has stuck with them ever since.

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If you aren’t able to spend a lot of time with your dog because of work or something else, consider getting them a playmate. You might think that having two dogs would be ever harder than just looking after one, but it can actually have the opposite effect, reducing the amount of attention your dog needs.

Even if you don’t want to get another dog outright, you could organize play dates with other dogs in the local area. What about sharing dog sitting responsibilities with a neighbor? You could have their dog over at the weekends and in return, they could look after your dog on weekdays while you’re out at work.

Put Your Dog Into Doggy Daycare

Just as there is daycare for children, there’s also daycare for dogs: places where your dog will be looked after by experts along with plenty of other dogs. You might think that your pooch isn’t up for all that company, but it turns out that dogs absolutely love spending time with other animals. Just like kids, they’re often beaming after a playdate.

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The great thing about doggy daycare is that many of the centers offer correctional training too. If you haven’t had time to train your dog and you have problems with discipline at home, sending them to daycare every day where they can be trained by the staff can often improve their behavior in the evenings.

Daycare also helps dogs socialize and play sensibly with other dogs. This can make walking your dog a lot more fun and stop them from running off and jumping up at everybody you meet in the park.

Put Dog Time In Your Diary

Although you can pass over a lot of the responsibility for owning a dog to other people, you still need to make a personal connection with your pooch. But the good news is that you don’t need long to be effective. Just 10 minutes in the morning of high-quality dog time is usually all it takes to let the dog know that you’re an important member of its pack.

Whatever you do for bonding, make sure it’s fun. You use the time for training, playing ball or even feeding healthy treats. Just petting your dog can go a long way to creating a deep bond.

Get Somebody Else To Walk The Dog For You

One of the main reasons busy people don’t get a dog in the first place is because they’re worried they won’t have time to take it for walks. But the truth is, they don’t have to have the time. There are plenty of dog walking services out there that will happily take your pooch for a long walk every day if required.

The great thing about dog walkers is that they can help break the monotony when you’re out of the house. Plus, your dog gets to spend time with other dogs. Regular walks will make your dog far more manageable in the evenings after a hefty dose of exercise, making the time that you do have together more relaxing and special.

Build A Routine

As a busy person, you know that you can get a lot more done when you stick to a schedule. Your morning routine is your way of packing as much into as short a space of time as possible. But what if you got up 30 minutes earlier? Would you be able to fit in doggy time too?

If you’re super busy, it’s a good idea to follow a strict schedule. Set feeding times, walking times and bonding times. Your dog will soon get used to the pattern and learn what to expect. Dogs will be most active when you are, so if you take your pooch out in the morning, expect them to be very active and attentive at this time of day. By setting up a regular, predictable schedule, your pooch will hopefully be less anxious and worried when you're not around.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Special Care for Dogs with a Leg Injury

Dogs can communicate emotions such as happy, nervous or excited quite well. However, dogs aren’t able to let their owners know their pain level. In fact, they may try to go about their normal activity even when they have injured themselves and are in pain. They depend on their owner for help them in times of illness or injury.
Extra Support

Dogs can injure a leg simply by running and playing. An injury can occur when they jump off a bed or sofa or other elevated places. Sometimes, the vet will recommend rest and stabilization of the injured leg. In more serious situations, a dog may require surgery. In either circumstance, a dog leg brace is going to play a large role in keeping your pet comfortable during the healing process. A high-quality brace that provides support can play a significant role in expediting your pet’s recovery.
Extra Attention

When the activity level of an active dog is reduced to protect an injured leg, you may need to monitor your dog’s diet more carefully. It’s important that it does not put on extra pounds during the healing process. A reduction of food or a change in the type of food you feed them may be necessary. Instead of letting your dog out in the yard where it can run and possibly do further damage to the injured leg, you may need to walk it outdoors on a leash. If you have more than one dog, you may need to separate the injured dog from the other dogs while you are away from home. Even with an injury, your dog might try engaging in playtime with the other dogs. 
Special Accommodations

While your dog is wearing a brace, you need to be sure that they have a bed they can easily get on and off of.  Teaching a small dog to use a ramp to get on and off the sofa or your bed will enable it to continue its routine habits and can help prevent future injuries. If the vet instructs you to limit the amount of walking your dog does while recovering from a leg injury, you will need to place its food and water close to its sleeping area. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rabbit Reproduction

Our  doe lionhead bunny, Pippin had a first pregnancy and gave birth  to four kits on March 5th.  That's roughly 5 weeks after we brought the  two lionhead bunnies home.  We didn't even know that she was pregnant until I  discovered  her kits laying underneath her cage.  Anyway, only two of her kits survived with her first set of kits.  We named the two Lilo and Stitch , we  got to see them  grow and it was really a learning experience for us especially for our kids.  
Then on June 7th, she gave birth again  (surprise, surprise).  This time she only gave birth to two kits but  both of them did not survive.  They were both dead when I saw  them.  I thought she won't get pregnant again because we seldom let her out together with the male rabbit but she  got pregnant again and gave birth to 4 kits on July 13.

Two of them were dead when I  saw them and we thought the two will survive but they did not.  It's disappointing because we really want a white one and  every  pregnancy, she has one white but they never survived.  
I told my kids not to let Pippin out with Plumley for a while because it is disheartening seeing the kits died.
Here are a few key facts: A rabbit has a gestation period of just 28-31 days, will give birth to an average of 6-9 kits, and can get pregnant again moments after giving birth.

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