What better way to celebrate the special bond you share with a pet than with some fun selfies? Whether you’re hitting the park for a rousing game of catch or just relaxing on a rainy Sunday, taking selfies with your dog can help you create lasting memories.
Unfortunately, it can be challenging to encourage your pet to work their angles and strike a pose. Here are some of the best ideas for taking photos of you and your furry friend.
Lock in Your Lighting Finding the right lighting is the difference between a good picture and a great picture. If possible, opt for even, natural lighting for your photo. Avoid using the flash, as this can be shocking and damaging to your dog’s eyes.
If you’re in a dim room or plan on moving around, lock in your lighting. On an iPhone or Android, you can lock the AE/AF feature by tapping and holding the area where you want the camera to focus. This won’t make your photos blurry but will keep the lighting the same as you move around.
Zoom Out and Crop We all love the up-close selfies of people with their dogs. However, it can be difficult to get the perfect snapshot when zooming in. Leave your camera zoomed out instead and crop as needed.
Taking zoomed out photos also gives you more room to edit and transform your images into something else. You can visit Instapainting and have your favorite animal selfie turned into an oil paint portrait or use editing software to replace the background.
Use Burst Mode Burst mode will be your (second) best friend when taking a selfie with your dog. By snapping multiple shots, you’re more likely to get one where you both look great. Using burst mode also prevents you from having to check your pictures and reposition yourselves after every failed photo.
Choose the Right Timing Keep your dog’s feelings in mind when trying to get a selfie. Try to avoid snapping photos when you know they’re hungry or itching to get out the door for their daily walk. Plan your selfie schedule around their existence, rather than the other way around.
Move Around Them Learning how to move around your dog is a must for capturing the perfect selfie— especially if you have a large breed. It’s not as easy to get your dog into a position for the right shot as it is to position yourself.
If you maneuver your pet into a pose for a picture, check to ensure they’re comfortable before proceeding. Remember to give them lots of love and pats for their cooperation.
Use Sound Effects and Props One of the challenges many pet owners face when trying to get photos of their pet is getting them to look at the camera. Fortunately, there are a lot of creative options for capturing your pet’s attention during selfie time.
One way to get your pet looking in the right direction is with sound effects. There are apps and features you can use on your phone to play dogs barking, cats meowing, and birds chirping.
Another way to get great pet selfies is to use treats and snacks attached to your phone. Get a phone attachment that holds a treat or toy to keep your pet’s attention for the photo. Remember to reward them with the treat or toy after your session is done!
Practice Makes Perfect Practice makes perfect when it comes to taking selfies with your furry friend. The more you do it, the quicker the process will become. With some time and patience, you’ll be able to capture amazing selfies with your pet!
There are thousands of dogs out there who require a forever home. If you’re looking to bring home a puppy then why not think about adopting instead? Find out everything you need to know, right here.
What to Expect There really are so many reasons why pets end up in animal shelters. Usually it comes down to the personal circumstances of the owners, as opposed to it being the dog’s fault. It may be that you end up moving house, changing jobs, undergo a divorce or even have a new baby. Dog-ownership can be challenging to say the least and this is why so many people end up taking their dog to a rescue centre. Sometimes when you go to a shelter, you will soon find that they have so many family-friendly breeds as well as puppies. They also have adult dogs too. It’s vital that you research as many breeds as you can in advance, as this could help you to highlight some of the characteristics that your dog might have.
Choosing the Right Dog It’s highly recommended that you try and choose a dog with your head as opposed to your heart. It’s very easy for you to fall in love with an animal right away but at the end of the day, you’ll want to stay somewhat detached if you can so that you can keep in mind what you’re in store for. If you want to save yourself some heartache, then don’t choose a dog that does not suit your lifestyle. The staff who work at an animal shelter, or a rescue centre will have so much experience in helping you to choose the right dog, but at the same time it helps to have an open mind. You might have a shortlist of all of the potential dogs you want, but at the same time, you need to make sure that you are open to bringing a dog home that wasn’t what you had in mind to begin with, but is right for your home. Your dog should have no health issues when they come to you, but sometimes they can develop conditions soon after leaving the shelter. Read more here about diseases such as kennel cough, as this can be very common in dogs that are young.
Behavioural Issues Some rescue dogs will have behavioural issues that you need to address with patience and consistent training. It may be that your dog has aggression towards other dogs or even people. You will need to make sure that you are tough in your training because it is more than possible for you to curb these issues in no time. At the end of the day, most dogs will have a backstory. It may be that your dog was taken away from the mother too soon and that they like to snuggle. On the flip side, it may be that they have not been socialised enough at that crucial age.
Getting your Home Ready Before you even think about rehoming a dog, you need to have a check done by the staff who work at the animal charity. They will have so much practical advice which will help you to ensure a smooth transition from start to finish. You have to remember that some dogs are happy to sleep in a crate too, so you need to make sure that you are comfortable having something like this in your home if you want to try and keep your rescue as comfortable as possible at all times. It’s also helpful to have everything you need before you pick up your dog, such as grooming tools or puppy toys.
Dogs of all ages and sizes are vulnerable to a range of health problems, especially infection. The hardest part is that we can’t entirely avoid bacteria infection. They can quickly spread through the air and stay on surfaces where there is a dense concentration, such as your dog’s kennel, beddings, grooming equipment, bowls, and bodies.
The best way to determine any signs of illnesses is to warrant a check-in with your vet as soon as possible. It’s equally important, nonetheless, to know the common indicators that your dog is sick. Be wary if your dog is showing any of these symptoms as they can have major underlying causes.
There are two reasons why your dog throws up. First, it’s trying to get rid of undigested food, which usually stays in its oesophagus or stomach. This action is called regurgitating, not vomiting. Your dog usually regurgitates almost fairly shortly after its meal, especially when they gobble their food too fast. It’s very normal.
However, if your dog is forcefully throwing up its partly digested food from its stomach, it’s called vomiting. It could be a sign that your dog is suffering from clinical diseases, ranging from mild to severe conditions, which can either be the following:
Side effects of medication
Ingestion of foreign bodies
Ingestion of toxic substance
Kidney or Liver failure
Moreover, a dog vomiting virus is currently spreading throughout the U.K. Affected dogs would usually vomit for up to five days, more frequently than is commonly seen with canine gastroenteritis. They tend to throw up profusely with five or more bouts within 12 hours while showing symptoms of lethargy, loss of appetite, and diarrhoea.
Worse is there’s a spike in cases of prolific vomiting in dogs recently. It’s very worrisome, but you have to stay calm and prudent. You’ll know your dog is about to vomit when it shows symptoms like retching, drooling, or experiencing contraction on its abdomen. Should you suspect your dog is suffering from prolific vomiting, contact your local vet right away.
Decreased Appetite and Thirst
It’s no cause for alarm if there’s a slight decrease in your dog’s water and food consumption. It usually happens when your dog gets less exercise, especially during cold weather. When they’re inactive, they feel less thirsty and hungry.
However, if your dog persistently shows disinterest in water and food, it can be caused by a disease. Health issues, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and some cancers in dogs, can cause your dog’s thirst to fluctuate.
Decreased thirst could even be one of the signs of a dying dog. It usually happens when a dog is infected with a bacterial or viral infection, like the Parvovirus. This virus attacks the cells of dogs’ intestines, particularly those of young puppies and unvaccinated dogs.
When your dog’s gut can’t absorb vital nutrients, your dog will suffer from fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, depression, loss of appetite, and, worse, death. Parvovirus easily spreads through body fluids, so it’s highly contagious. And with no up to date cure, dog owners can only rely on vaccination. Make sure to protect your pup against this fatal infection by vaccinating them.
Urinary incontinence happens when your housetrained dog loses its bladder control due to some abnormal health conditions, which generally vary depending on your dog’s age and gender. Check WebMD Veterinary Reference from the ASPCA for more in-depth information.
For the most common causes of urinary incontinence in dogs, here’s a rundown categorized into age and gender.
Any age Spinal problems Urine Infection Urine Blockage Urinary Tract Injuries Urinary Tract Tumors
Urinary incontinence can cause your dog to change its appetite, drink more, and pee more than usual. In the worst scenarios, your dog might be in pain while peeing, suffer from pain in its back legs or lower spine, or bleed while peeing.
While it doesn’t directly cause your dog’s demise, medical research shows that it’s a reliable predictor of death caused by another medical disorder. Hence, urinary incontinence in dogs is entirely abnormal and shouldn’t be ignored.
Changes in Gum Color
This is a very common indicator of a dog’s health condition. Your dog is very healthy if it has nice moisty bubblegum-pink gums. It means that there’s oxygen-rich blood circulating throughout your dog’s body.
On the other hand, dogs with dry, whitish or bluish gums are usually terminally ill and dying. Sad to say, there’s nothing much that we can do to reverse the gum colour to normal. A vet may advise emergency transfusion or euthanasia, depending on the dog’s condition.
Reduced mobility, disinterest in food, declining hygiene, social detachment and other signs of illness shouldn’t also be overlooked. For the most part, any changes in your dog’s behaviour are among the first signs of their sufferings. If these changes occur, don’t wait and consult a vet immediately.
House hunting as a fur parent can be a lot more challenging than most people would imagine. As a result, it can take you quite a while to find the perfect accommodation for you and your pooch. And, if this is the first time that you are attempting a move with your pup, you may feel a little lost.
Well, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. It is easy enough to find a new place to live as long as you know the right tips and tricks. So, if you are looking to make this process easier, here is what you should do:
Be Aware of What Your Dog Needs Not all homes are suitable for dogs. So, when selecting a house or a flat, there are several elements you should pay attention to.
The good news, though, is that your dog doesn’t need as much space as you may think. Even big breeds do relatively well in small spaces. Due to this, you can comfortably house your pooch in a flat without feeling an ounce of guilt.
However, outdoor space is important. If your dog doesn’t have access to a yard or garden, you need to be mindful of the location. Most dogs need a fair amount of exercise. And, more importantly, they need a place to take care of business. Thus, you need to make certain that you can readily find this space for your pup.
This is why it is a good idea to look at the area around the flat or the house and not just the property itself. Is the place very close to a busy street? If so, it may not be the ideal spot for your pup. Instead, look for somewhere where you can take your pup on long walks or, at least, play with them.
Start Your Search with Pet-Friendly Accommodation To avoid wasting your time, start by looking at places that accept pets. Now, this can be a bit tricky. Around 78 percent of pet owners admit to finding it difficult to discover such accommodation. The good news, though, is that it has gotten a little easier.
Several websites can help you with your search. These sites give you the option of narrowing down accommodations that specifically allow dogs. This way, you don’t have to go through the additional hassle of convincing the landowner to let you keep your pooch with you.
It should be noted that there may be limitations with these accommodations. After all, many landlords haven’t listed their properties with such sites. Thus, you may not automatically find what you are looking for on these sites.
Fortunately, there are still some options available to you under these circumstances.
Convincing Landlords to Allow Your Pooch More often than not, you may just have to convince a landlord to allow your pooch to stay with you. Needless to say, you are going to have to resort to a few tactics to make this work.
Your pup may provide you with emotional assistance. They may have even been “prescribed” by a psychologist or mental health expert. If so, they can be called an emotional support dog.
Thus, you should work on acquiring an ESA letter for your dog. While there are no laws protecting animals in the UK, some landlords may make an exception for you. After all, if you have proper certification, it means that you genuinely need your pooch by your side. Due to this, they may be more inclined to allow you to move in with your pup.
To improve your chances even further, gather proof that your pooch is a well-behaved dog. For instance, you can ask your current landlord to write a letter of recommendation. You can even show pictures of your residence as evidence that your dog isn’t destructive.
If your dog has had any kind of obedience training or just training in general, provide proof of this as well. The more evidence that you have to back up your claims, the better.
If the landlord has specific concerns – ruined furniture, etc. come up with how you can prevent or counteract these issues. Showing the individual that you can solve virtually any issue that they come up with will let them know that you have nothing to worry about.
In the event that the landlord continues to have doubts, arrange a meet and greet between your pooch and the landlord. If you have a cheerful, well-behaved pup, you will find that even the hardest of hearts will soften towards puppy dog eyes and a wagging tail.
Paying the Fur Tax In some instances, you need to be willing to come to an agreement with the landlord. Some individuals will see things your way for the right price. Now, this could involve a type of “pet rent” that you pay on a monthly basis.
Or, your landlord may be required to put down a deposit. This way, if there is any damage done at all, the cost of the repairs will be deducted from this deposit. Such an arrangement gives the landlord peace of mind and shows them that they will be able to recoup all their money.
At the same time, it is important to know your rights. You shouldn’t let the landlord get away with quoting exorbitant amounts at you. Such costs often mean that the landlord is trying to cheat you. There is no denying that it can take some time to find the ideal place for you and your pup. However, it isn’t an impossible endeavor. As long as you have the right strategy, you will find that it is a lot easier to locate a good place to live.
Just remember to start your search early on. This way, you will have more time to find a place that is perfectly suited to you and your pooch. Then, everyone will be happy with the arrangement – what more could you ask for?
Pets bring energy, joy, and companionship to our lives, but one of the things we don’t want them to bring is germs. Disinfecting your dog toy can be an easy and effective way to keep germs and bacteria at bay and protect your canine companion from illnesses. When not well sanitized, a pet’s toys can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.
In this post, we’ll explain why disinfecting your dog’s items is important and give you some helpful tips on how to maintain the cleanliness of dog toys to keep your beloved pet happy and healthy.
Why Is Dirty Dog Toys Dangerous? Dirty dog toys can be dangerous because it can be a good host for germs and bacteria since they are often used many times in a day. Pets often use their mouths to play with their toys and this is a common way for germs to easily spread from the toys to pets.
According to some vets, your dog’s toy could even make them sick. That’s why they encourage dog owners to wash their pet’s toys at least once a month. Apart from bacteria, a filthy dog toy could be hosting harmful fecal coliforms, like E. coli, which could also affect humans. However, the good news is that pets are capable of dealing with a lot more germs than humans are, so the health risks are not as great.
Contrary to popular belief, canine acne is rarely caused by hormonal imbalances or changes during their early growth years. In fact, it mainly affects pups that chew on filthy toys and generally eat in bacteria-infested areas. Grime and bacteria can accumulate in the hair and pores on their face, leading to irritation – which manifests as red bumps or even pustules.
Disinfecting your pup’s toys and their other items is a suitable solution for puppy acne. Provided the dog’s bowls and toys are properly cleaned and maintained in a sanitary condition, this issue is unlikely to reappear. The actual danger of dirty dog toys is to humans. You might not realize how often you come into contact with your dog’s items; let alone the bacteria and germs that have accumulated on them.
Dirty dog toys also tend to get damaged faster as well. Depending on its material, a dog’s toy will start to weaken and break easily, posing a choking hazard. Therefore, be a responsible owner and do a proper and regular cleaning. This will allow you to examine your pet’s toy to ensure they are in great condition.
But how do you disinfect your dog toy? Let’s find out below:
How to Disinfect Dog Toys?
Hard and Plastic Toys In order to clean hard and plastic pet toys, start by putting a little white vinegar in a container with water. Soak the toy in the mixture, clean them thoroughly and then let them dry naturally.
Soft and Plush Toys The main purpose of disinfecting your dog’s soft toys is to eradicate dust mites. These tiny bugs are responsible for the allergic reactions that make pets and humans sick. Wash soft and plush toys by putting them through a mixture of baking soda and hot water in your washing machine on a gentle cycle. Use low-level heat to dry them.
Rope Toys Plush animals and rope toys should be washed more regularly than other types of pet toys. Rope toys have soft, absorbent fibers that can absorb drool moisture and make them a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Start by removing any metallic parts, soak the toys and put them in the microwave for at least a minute. Once they are dry, they will be germ-free and ready for your dog to play with them.
Rubber Toys When it comes to disinfecting rubber toys, we recommend using vinegar. This natural disinfectant is gentle enough not to destroy the toys. You can soak rubber, nylon and silicone toys in warm water and 5% vinegar solution for around 10 minutes, and then scrub them gently with a clean brush or sponge to get rid of any accumulated dirt. Be sure to air dry the toys properly before giving them back to your canine companion.
Homemade Disinfectant Tips for Dog Toys Disinfectants kill germs but they don’t get rid of dirt. Before you use any disinfectant, a thorough cleaning is necessary.
Start by removing all toys. Carefully wash and disinfect one toy at a time. Use a scrub brush and gentle detergent to scrub the surfaces to eradicate dirt and waste. Rinse properly to remove detergent before disinfecting.
Although bleach is effective as a disinfectant, it can cause any metal parts to corrode and damage clothing. Moreover, it can irritate your pet’s airways and sinuses.
Vinegar contains 5% acetic acid that acts as a disinfectant to kill germs. To produce your disinfecting mixture, add vinegar to an equal amount of water. Add a little baking soda to eradicate odors. Apply vinegar and water solution to the toy to disinfect and leave it on for around 10 minutes and then rinse them thoroughly.
Ways to Maintain Cleanliness of Dog Toys So, here are a few tips to maintain the cleanliness of your dog toys so they can enjoy them for longer.
Check labels: Check labels before buying new products for your dog. Choose products that are easier to clean. If they are fabric or cloth, this is even more important.
Wash frequently: Although you don’t have to clean your canine’s toys on a daily basis, it’s advisable to regularly wash the ones they use often.
Sanitize: Keep germs and bacteria at bay with pet-safe disinfectants.
Control the chaos: Create a dedicated play area to help maintain an orderly home.
Toss out damaged or broken toys: This will also help prevent them from becoming a choking hazard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to bleach dog toys? No, it is not safe to bleach dog toys. It’s best to avoid using them or any other harsh cleaning products since it can cause skin irritation – thus, you should try and avoid it. Instead, try using apple vinegar and baking soda solution.
Will vinegar hurt dogs? It depends. Vinegar might not be completely safe for dogs, but most pet parents add diluted white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to their pup’s regimens due to its supposed ability to clean, heal and reduce orders. Nonetheless, administering vinegar to your pooch is not an ideal solution as compared to any cleaning requirements your pet may have.
What Laundry Detergent Is Safe For Dogs? A gentle detergent with no fragrance or dyes is safe for dogs. Make sure to toss them in the dishwasher or washing machine when they start to smell.
How often should I wash my dog’s toys? You should wash your dog’s toys at least once a month to keep germs at bay. More, depending on how active your dog is. Without proper care of their toy, these products would become be hazardous in a long run. And washing your pet’s toys regularly can also prolong the life of these products – thus, allowing the pooch to enjoy them for an extended period of time.
When Should You Throw Away Dog Toys? You should toss dog toys into the garbage bin if they are torn, broken or damaged. It’s sad, but sometimes the time comes to part ways with your dog’s favourite toys. Once they are damaged, they can break or crack. This means that your pooch would end up eating small parts of the toy when they are chewing on it.
Conclusion Keeping your dog toys clean and sanitized isn’t always easy- and at times it feels impossible. However, considering how much your pooch loves his toys, putting in the effort to clean and disinfect them can be a great way to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. It is also important to get the right type of toys for your dogs. Some dogs may be sensitive or dislike certain materials. Fortunately, Well Pet Coach covers this in-depth about the best dog toys to have and how these toys can help to keep them both physically and emotionally healthy. As pet parents, we want the best for them and knowing what suits them is important. Do check out this Facebook page to read more of such relevant insights.
Travelling with a dog can be fun, but it requires extra planning compared to “human-only” road trips. Aside from keeping your pet safe, you also need to ensure he doesn’t get anxious, stressed or bored.
With that in mind, here are five tips for a safe and enjoyable road trip with your dog.
Remember to Pack the Essentials Dogs travel lighter than most humans, but there are still many items you need to pack.
The most important are a harness, leash (plus a spare), water bowl, food bowl, and enough food for the journey. While you can always buy more kibble or wet food, switching to a new brand can cause an upset stomach – which is the last thing you need on a trip.
If your dog takes any medication, remember to bring enough for the whole journey. You should also take medical records and vaccination certificates, along with any grooming equipment you might need.
Other essential items include: Plenty of dog bags A dog first aid kit, with items such as cotton wool, gauze, sterile pads, and bandages Your dog’s bed and blankets A crash-tested harness or crate (see below) A chew toy or bone to entertain your pet in the car Other favorite toys, such as tug toys or a ball, to play with during stops A recent photo of your dog
You should also make sure your dog is microchipped and his tag’s contact information is up-to-date.
Plan a Dog-Friendly Route With Plenty of Stops Setting off on a road trip without a fixed destination can be a liberating experience, but it’s probably not a good idea if you have a dog. It’s important to check that your route is dog-friendly before you leave.
If you’re staying overnight in a hotel or B&B, you’ll need to find one that allows dogs. This limits your route, as many hotels won’t allow dogs in rooms. Dogs also need regular breaks on a car journey. These stops aren’t just for going to the toilet, but also for allowing your pet to stretch his legs and relieve boredom.
Most motorway service stations in the UK have at least a small patch of grass. These are perfect for giving your dog time outside the car, although you’ll need to keep him leashed. If you’re travelling on smaller roads, you might need to plan rest stops more carefully.
Keep in mind that some dogs get car sick. It’s best to feed your pet several hours before you leave each day, as this minimizes the chance of sickness. You should also research veterinary surgeries along your route – including those providing an out-of-hours service. If something were to happen to your dog, getting him to a vet quickly could be vital.
Decide Whether It’s Fair to Take Your Dog Some dogs love spending time in the car and will happily go on a road trip. Unfortunately, other dogs find cars scary or stressful, which would make a road trip a horrible experience.
It’s important to be honest about whether your dog would enjoy a road trip. If your pet is terrified to go near a car, it isn’t fair to take him on a long journey.
The good news is that positive reinforcement training can often teach a dog to find journeys less stressful.
Start by taking your dog near the car, while giving lots of praise and a few treats. Gradually progress to getting into the car, giving a few treats, then getting straight back out. Once your pet is happy to do this, you can start turning the engine on without moving, pulling in and out of the drive, and eventually taking short trips.
This process can take weeks or even months, so start long before your road trip. Always watch for signs of stress, as these indicate that you’re moving too fast for your dog.
The above process works best for dogs with mild anxiety about car rides. If your dog is petrified of the car, put any plans for a road trip on hold and contact a qualified canine behaviorist.
Safely Restrain Your Dog It’s frightening how little protection a regular dog harness or crate provides. During crash tests, most disintegrate on impact, either allowing the dog to fly through the car or be crushed by their own crate.
As several countries, including the United Kingdom, gradually relax their “lockdown” restrictions (albeit with distinct differences across our constituent nations…), it is worth reflecting that although many businesses have sadly had to suspend or severely curtail their physical operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a fair number [including us, here at The Dog House Ruleswww.thedoghouserules.co.uk ] have been able to continue in the “virtual” space.
Education and training is a key area of course, where there is already a vast range of material available online and providers focused on physical delivery have moved quickly to add to this. This includes “live” conferences in our own canine world for instance, offering wider access and additional features in the process.
Dog (and other animal…) training itself may not be an obvious candidate for “virtual” delivery, given the traditional view of how it has operated in-person, through classes or private sessions.
However, taking dog training online is not merely feasible, it actually has a number of benefits for the client, the dog and the trainer. Of course, there are various aspects to be considered, but we are likely to see an ongoing and sustained shift towards this mode of delivery.
“Virtually” the Same…
There are elements of dog training and behaviour services that clearly cannot be done online, such as training your dog for you through options like Day Training and/or “Walk & Train” (see note below) or that may be inappropriate for safety reasons, such as bite aggression directed towards the handler. Most of the time, however, we are in “coaching” mode, teaching the owner and potentially other family members how to train their dog and design their own training sessions, whether it is foundation behaviours, new “tricks” or even advanced skills. This is a great opportunity for those who are still furloughed, on reduced hours, looking after family or self-isolating and likely to be seeking new activities. Those newly working from home will have some extra time without their daily commute. Children can get actively involved and the dogs will love it too!
Although animals (it does not just apply to dogs…) do introduce a whole new set of variables, there is actually very little difference between the physical coaching process and the online version. When the trainer is not in the same space, the potential impact of this for the dog and the owner is removed. Another major advantage in the current context is that it is of course totally risk-free from the COVID-19 perspective. Despite those 5G stories, the virus cannot be transmitted electronically!
Having said that, along with the general considerations, there are a number of elements to be addressed for the client and the trainer:
[Note: It is possible within Government guidelines to do coaching in person outdoors and also training or walking your dog for you, with a proper risk assessment and all necessary precautions in place. We have COVID-19 Risk Awareness Certification. However, many people will understandably choose the absolutely safe “virtual” option.]
People may focus on the challenges or barriers in working online, such as the technology or thinking that the trainer actually needs to be there to observe the dog in action. However, similar considerations exist in other sectors and there are a number of distinct advantages. It drives best practice on the part of the trainer in various ways – the overall approach, profiling, observation and communication, as well as planning and logistics. A more normal, less stressful environment is maintained for the dog, avoiding “strangers” and other distractions (like someone else with treats!) and there are no additional safety concerns. The client may also be more comfortable without new people in the house. Of course, appropriate safeguards and precautions still need to be in place for an online presence. There is more flexible scheduling and the opportunity to help a much wider (potentially global…) population through a particular niche or specialism that may not be readily available to the client physically in the local area.
There is already a very high level of “engagement” with internet technology, in particular through smart phones with social media and communication applications. Another outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is that with the severe restrictions on gatherings, people have turned to these online tools, including those who have never used them before. Services such as Facetime, Skype, Google Duo, WhatsApp and Zoom have seen a dramatic increase in usage as physical meetings become virtual ones. The business and professional world has been doing this for some considerable time of course, but even those who would normally shy away from such things are embracing video calling and sharing activities remotely with family and friends such as quizzes, games, singing, dancing and so on – the list is endless and limited only by imagination and creativity. So, the technology itself is much less of a barrier here and instruction in its use can be given directly and/or through widely available videos produced by the software organisations and by users themselves. If necessary, a regular phone call can be used initially to guide people. Quite often there will be youngsters around who are already experts!
We use Zoom (www.zoom.us ) for consultations and coaching, due to its reliability and simplicity for the client – it is free for them, they do not need an account and simply have to click on a link sent to their device. For the trainer, Zoom has additional features and flexibility as well as being scalable, to run classes and webinars for example. We add WhatsApp for follow-ups between sessions. With the recent Zoom upgrade, both are now fully encrypted and secure.
The other key elements are video and sound at both ends and the connectivity between client and trainer. For the client, a smart phone is usually fine and typically has a very high quality camera. It is often helpful to have more than one angle and a family will typically have other smart phones, a tablet or laptop that can be used for this. They simply log on to the session as another “participant” with the same link, just making sure that only one device is enabled for audio to avoid echo problems. It is also possible to connect a second camera to a laptop and switch between the two.
Zoom is very tolerant of internet connections and generally works well even at low speeds. A strong and consistent WiFi signal within the local environments is important though.
Everything can be recorded and a recap at the end can be “trimmed” and provided as an instant summary for the client.
The trainer may want to invest in a more professional set up for “live” and recorded demonstrations. Video is a very effective training mechanism and now an essential part of the “toolkit”. The sessions themselves would be recorded.
We employ only science-based principles with a positive approach and never condone any form of coercion or correction. Unfortunately, we do hear stories of trainers grabbing dogs from their owners and forcing them to do something or punishing them for not complying – an option that is removed online. If the owner themselves is asked to do this, there is no “pressure of presence” and they can simply and literally switch off!
Communication & Interaction
There may be a tendency to get “carried away” in an online session in particular and the welfare of the dog must always be paramount, along with the attention span of the owner!
Carefully structuring the sessions will help with this, incorporating frequent breaks and alternative activities for humans and animals alike.
The best approach is to break everything down into small steps, with clear and concise instructions. We use TAGteach (clicker training philosophy applied to humans: https://www.tagteach.com/). We explain the skill, why it is important, including extended practical uses in “real life” and then use the “WOOF” principle:
What you want
One thing at a time
Observable or Measurable
Five words or fewer
The initial session is likely to be an extended consultation, gathering information and exploration of options, including management. Coaching will probably then start without the dog, introducing the owner to the core principles and practice, demonstrated by the trainer using video, a toy dog, their own dog or even a “dog hand”, which they always have with them! In subsequent sessions, the first part would review progress, ideally supported with video taken by the owner. The actual training is kept very short, typically just a few minutes at a time, with reviews and adjustments in between. The owner can practice (with video) before the next online meeting. The second part can then be focused on a “show & tell”, followed by the next stage or something new, broken down into those small steps.
Again, the advantages are that the trainer cannot be tempted to “take over”, they have to explain and demonstrate everything very clearly and carefully and also there are no additional distractions for the dog!
Being fully prepared is of course another essential aspect for both trainer and client, whatever form the interactions take. When working online, it is even more important to ensure that the client has everything they need readily to hand and the trainer has planned out the session carefully and in detail, including actions to be taken under particular circumstances – people and dogs are not necessarily predictable!
Connections are also not 100% reliable, so there needs to be a clear plan for this situation.
Items required by the client will depend on the exact method being used (for instance a clicker), but will typically include a treat bag/pouch and tasty treats, already cut into small pieces. Also appropriate are food puzzles, kong, toys, chews etc to keep the dog occupied whilst they are not actually engaged in training and a mat or bed for them to rest on (or in a crate if this has been appropriately trained), plus of course a plentiful supply of fresh water. For the trainer, as well as the plan for the session, a timer is essential – in “silent” mode to avoid disturbing the dog, who may be wondering where the noise has come from! It may be helpful for the client to use wireless earphones so that they can still hear the trainer clearly and have full movement without encumbrance.
A quiet, well-lit environment is important and distractions would be introduced gradually, so any other pets and children would ideally be in another area, unless they are to be directly involved in the session. It is also important that the dog has an “escape route” and safe place whenever they need it.
Having an appropriate space is also vital, so that both dog and owner can be in full view. This is both to observe the actions of owner and dog, but also to check the body language of the dog. The camera angle will affect this and as mentioned above, it is possible to have another device as an additional “participant” and a second camera connected to a laptop for instance can be used. This will only be needed for the “live” training in the second part of the session.
Whilst some training can only be carried out in the physical space and that may be the owner’s choice and preference, online training is here to stay.
There are a number of advantages for the dog in terms of lower stress, familiarity and fewer distractions. It is safer and encourages best practice on the part of the trainer.
Potential unfamiliarity with the online environment can be readily addressed and it is well worth considering for any owner.
Ask your trainer about their approach and ideally, to go through a checklist with you. This will ensure you are comfortable that they are fully prepared and have covered all of the key requirements.
Please feel to free to contact us if we can help of if you have any questions.
The coronavirus pandemic has an unmeasurable effect on all our lives. All aspects of our daily routines and plans for the future needed to change somehow, to adapt to this new situation with all the restrictions, threats, and limitations. Being a dog parent has also changed, and for many reasons, it became harder, especially for those who don’t own a garden or even the smallest backyard. You can still provide your furry best friend with their favourite Canidae canned dog food, love them and caress them, but all dogs need their daily walks, and not only because of their physiological needs. With the abundance of information and constant changes, it may be challenging to know what you can and can’t do, what you should and shouldn’t do, so in this article, you will find all the helpful and useful tips on walking your dog during the COVID-19 lockdown.
You can walk your dog on a regular basis If you don’t show any symptoms of the infection, you feel well, and you haven’t received a letter from the government ordering you to stay home, you can leave your house to exercise, which includes walking your dog. However, you need to remain cautious. It’s better to keep your dog on a lead, especially in the areas with more people around, to avoid situations where they may approach strangers, and you will be forced to do the same. You have to stay 2 metres apart from all people and ask them not to pet your dog.
You can walk your dog wherever and whenever you want, so don’t hesitate to use this opportunity There aren’t any limitations as to where you can walk your dog, or how often you can do it; it is advised that a person do it once a day, so if your household includes more people, it’s best to do it in turns.
As long as you keep your distance from other people, you can spend hours exploring sites with your Fido, which we strongly recommend. It’s a challenging situation for your dog as well as for you, especially that animals don’t understand the world as profoundly as we do. You may not realize that your dog is more tense or upset, but they can feel what you’re feeling, and they certainly notice changes in your routine.
You may consider longer walks with your furry friend. If you have a possibility to explore new routes, you should allow your dog to discover new smells and sights. There aren’t any limitations in the UK when it comes to travelling to open spaces, so if you have a car, you can drive your dog to a nice place. However, take into consideration that spring (with almost summer weather) is here, so there will probably be more people everywhere; keep your distance. Plus, as the temperature gets higher, remember to keep your dog hydrated at all times.
Make it fun As dogs don’t understand changes, they can easily get frustrated by the whole situation. That’s why it’s crucial to discover new routes, offer something fresh to your Fido, and try to make it all more fun. Don’t merely go for a walk, but use toys, carry treats, play with your dog to make sure your furry friend stays entertained and happy.
What if your dog isn’t used to walking on a lead? You can let your dog run freely only if you’re absolutely sure there aren’t any people in the area, so probably only in your own garden. In other cases, it’s best to keep your dog on a lead. If you’re both not accustomed to this, it is the best time to change it. Introduce the habit of wearing a loose lead by using positive rewards, e.g. treats.
Don’t pet other dogs While experts say that humans can’t contract the coronavirus from dogs, it is not advisable to pet other people’s pets. It may not be possible for them to contract and spread the disease as humans do, but they can temporarily carry germs, just like your phone and other items. So you probably should keep yourself away from other dogs and ask people not to touch yours.
Can someone accompany you while you’re walking your dog? As of today, if you live in the same household, you can walk your dog together. If you want to walk your dog with a person you don’t live with, you can do it as long as there’s only two of you, and you stay 2 metres apart at all times.
What if you’re unwell? If you’re feeling unwell, even if it’s not the coronavirus, you should arrange for someone to take care of your dog while staying 2 metres apart, of course. It’s essential that your dog stays in their routine and does their daily exercise. It’s also possible to walk your dog once a day if you’re self-isolating, but then, you need to avoid the more popular dog walking sites, and keep your dog on a lead at all times. In this case, it’s even more important to keep your dog happy by organizing their time indoors.
Protect yourself and a person who walks your dog If you’re unwell or busy and arrange for someone else to walk your dog, make sure you do everything possible to keep everyone safe. It may be a good idea to prepare a whole separate set of walking essentials for the other person to keep, e.g., another lead, separate toys, different pack of poo bags. Make sure you wash your hands after dealing with your dog walker, while also maintaining the required 2 metres distance. It all also applies if you are the dog walker for another person, of course.
A hot, dry, or cold environment could cause dogs to experience some discomfort and irritations, especially in their paws. Considering how sensitive dog paws are, harsh weather conditions like snow and ice could result in them getting calluses and lesions. Since dog’s paws are susceptible to injuries, it is vital to ensure that they are protected by a quality dog paw balm like the Dog and Snout Premium product offered by Happiest Dog.
Since dog paws are quite delicate, always make sure that you inspect your dog’s paw pads at least once a day, especially during days when the weather is cold or scorching hot. And the best time to do this is while your dog is resting or sleeping.
Even if you have a resilient dog breed, it is worth keeping in mind that his or her pads are still vulnerable and susceptible to injuries, especially when it is hot outside. As your dog walks around, his or her delicate paws are exposed to various things like bacteria, dirt, and other objects that might cause them to experience paw problems. Since stepping on a sharp object or walking on a hot pavement could injure your dog’s paw, you, as a pet owner, will find yourself having to deal with one type of paw problem or another at some point.
Here is What You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Paws
When young, a dog’s paws are pinkish and soft and quite susceptible to injuries. However, as they mature, the skin becomes tougher, rougher, and less delicate. However, special care is needed for dogs who spend most of their time indoors since their paws are still quite sensitive because the skin hasn’t had the chance to grow thicker and tougher.
We, as humans, regulate heat by sweating. Dogs, on the other hand, regulate body temperature in certain ways since they only sweat in specific parts of their body. When a dog gets too hot, it will start panting in an effort to regulate its body temperature. And while their paws sweat, it is so little that it’s barely noticeable.
It is worth noting that dogs basically have five paw pads that are all covered with a thick fatty tissue coating found under the layer of their skin. The work of these pads is to absorb pressure when the dog is walking, easing the muscles around their joints. And while paws do an excellent job of relieving tension, they are the ones that are exposed to the environment and different elements.
Dealing with Dog Paw Issues
If your dog is experiencing any paw problems, make sure you sort them out as soon as possible. This is because most paw issues quickly become more serious problems if left untreated. As a dog owner, make sure you check your dog’s paws for signs of tears, cuts, or cracks regularly. It is always advisable that you treat any issues as soon as you notice them; otherwise, they could result in infections.
It’s also worth noting that some dog breeds are born with hyperkeratosis, a genetic disorder that causes their skin to thicken. The condition does affect a dog’s nose or paw pads.
This condition is acquired when the dog’s body produces too much keratin. The result? A build-up of extra skin on their paw pads. This excess skin makes their paws thick, dry, rough, and very hard. So, if your pet has hyperkeratosis or is experiencing issues due to extreme weather conditions, do your best to ensure his or her sensitive paws are protected with a high-quality paw balm.
Dog Paw Balm from Happiest Dog is convenient and very easy to apply. An extra layer of protection will ensure their paws stay moisturized while keeping them from becoming injured or irritated.
Using Happiest Dog Paw Balm Products
As we have already seen, extreme weather conditions like the cold of winter or heat of summer can aggravate a dog’s paws causing it to become excessively dry. Sadly, there are pet owners who never check on the state of their dog’s paws. Ignoring and not taking care of your dog’s paws could lead to severe issues that could develop into even more complicated health problems.
To ensure your dog’s paws stay healthy and well protected, consider applying dog paw balm from Happiest Dog on his or her feet. However, it is worth keeping in mind that paw balms are different from paw wax. While they may seem to have similar characteristics and traits, the two products are manufactured to serve different purposes.
Paw wax products are generally made to protect paws using wax-based ingredients. While some paw balms do contain wax in them, that does not mean that they are the best solution for your dog. Dog paw balm from Happiest Dog are designed to moisturize and soothe dog paws, especially if the dog in question has hyperkeratosis or dehydrated skin.
However, how does one tell their dog needs paw balm? Some of the signs to look out for include rough, dry, chapped, and flaky skin. Paw balms are designed to protect the paws of dogs from extreme temperatures, whether the condition is hot or cold. They are also intended to protect their paws from debris, sand, road salts, ice, and other potentially-toxic substances the dog might step on when out for a walk.
One of the most practical ways of protecting your dog’s paws from the wide variety of external elements that pose a danger to them is to massage the pads with dog paw balm Happiest Dog. When applied, the balm creates an extra layer of protection that prevents particles from getting in between your dog’s paws and keeps the paws from coming into contact with toxic substances.
When using dog paw balm from Happiest Dog, make sure you apply it regularly right before your pet starts their routine. After you’ve walked your dog, make sure you check the soles of their feet to see if there is anything lodged there – make sure your wipe off any debris that might be stuck between the paws.
As a dog owner, you know that dogs are known for their excessive chewing issues and will probably directly or indirectly ingest anything you apply on their paws. Happiest Dog’s all-natural products are perfect for dogs since they don’t contain any ingredients that could harm your dog. Apart from using the balm on your dog’s paws, you could also smoothen his or her paws with shea butter, aloe vera, or coconut oil.
Benefits of Using Dog Paw Balm
Paw balm products create a barrier that shields the dog’s paw from anything they come into contact with while outside. They also serve as a protective coating that protects the paw from damages caused by chemicals. Apart from that, they also serve as an insulation that protects their feet from extremely hot or cold weather.
Paw balms also help keep your pet’s paws comfortable, smooth, and moisturized. These products are not just useful on paws; they can also be used or applied to their nose.
In instances where a dog has stepped on unwanted substances and has torn or cracked their paw(s), paw balms also work as effective first aid solutions as they contain healing properties.
Paw Care Tips
While applying dog paw balm from Happiest Dog on your dog’s feet helps protect it from injuries and discomfort, it is not the only solution to ensuring his or her paws stay healthy. As a pet owner, you need to take other precautionary measures, which is why you are advised to take your dog for paw check-ups regularly. This will help ensure that things like salt and other toxic materials that might be affecting your pet’s paws are addressed.
If you use paw balm on your dog, there are several ways to monitor if the product you are using is working to your pet’s advantage. To ensure that what you are using is effective, take the time to inspect your dog’s paws to see if there are any irritations. Any foreign objects or substances on your dog’s paws can make them uncomfortable.
A cracked paw could lead to serious infections. If you notice cracks on your dog’s paws, make sure you wash the feet with warm water and apply some Dog Paw Balm. To ensure your dog’s paws are well taken care of, make sure the paw balm you are using is safe and effective. For more added protection, consider getting him or her some dog shoes, booties, or socks.
Why 100% Natural Dog Paw Balm Products are the Best
When looking for a paw balm for your dog, make sure you get a product that contains 100%-natural ingredients. Natural ingredients tend to be gentler on the skin and prevent irritations. To determine which balm is effective and safe, check the ingredients used to make the products you are considering.
When Is It Time to Visit a Vet?
Fortunately, most paw problems can be easily treated from home. However, there are paw issues that might require you to take your dog to the vet for a check-up. If you see some of these signs on your dog’s paws, take him or her to the vet immediately:
– Sores on their paw pads
– Crusts forming at the base of your dog’s toenails
– Deep and bleeding cracks
– Excessive bleeding
– Calluses so thick that your dog’s toes appear misaligned
Having a puppy is fun. It’s your small companion with whom you can spend free time, play and go for a walk. It brings a lot of joy and love to every family. But deciding on a new four-legged friend entails a huge responsibility, too. You need to devote it as much time and care as you can. It needs your affection, but also professional help when something is going wrong. Dogs and puppies similarly to humans may suffer from many conditions, including worms. It’s actually one the most common issues concerning pets, especially puppies, which are more prone to have them than adult dogs. Then, it’s the role of the owner to help them. So, anytime you observe worrying symptoms, such as pot-belly, weakness, diarrhoea, vomiting, belly pain, weight loss, or roundworms in their poop or vomit, then it’s time for your reaction.
Even if your puppy doesn’t have any of the signs described above, you can do many things to prevent them from having worms at all. To find out more on this topic, and feel more confident when it touches your pet, feel free to read the following article, which tries to explain to you the reasons for having worms, the best preventive methods, as well as the ultimate treatment for your bundle of joy.
Reasons for having worms
First of all, you should realise the source of your puppies’ worms. As My Sweet Puppy experts claim, puppies can have them from their mother that was infected already during the pregnancy and shared them with their offspring. Even if your puppy was lucky enough not to catch the worms from its parent, it could suck them out with the mother’s milk after birth.
Another reason for having worms is sniffing or eating infected faeces of other animals, found outside, in the neighbourhood. Then, they are likely to catch roundworms, which live in the intensities.
Moreover, puppies are highly exposed to fleas and other insects, such as mosquitos, which can infect your pet through biting. However, this time, they’ll suffer from heartworms, another type of worm found in the lung, heart, and blood vessels, which can lead to severe damages to these organs. These types of infections are much more dangerous, and in extreme cases, may cause even the death of your pet.
Even though your puppy is healthy and you don’t suspect that it’s infected, better safe than sorry. So, the first thing you can do is to provide it with regular vet’s appointments, and check it in terms of worms a few times a year, when it’s a small puppy, and once a year, when it’s older. The vet should also deworm it for the first time when it’s young, ideally at the age of 2 or 3 weeks.
What’s more, keep clean your pet’s habitat, the place where it sleeps, eats, and spends most of the time. Always clean after it either in the yard or in the park. And don’t let it use playgrounds or sandboxes as their litter boxes. It’s highly insanitary, both for children who play there and for your puppies, which can catch some diseases.
Also, you can buy your puppy, a special flea-free collar or medicines applied to the dog’s skin since fleas are one of the causes of the worms. So, keeping it away from insects can be an effective preventive method.
Except for roundworms, you should also protect your fur friend from heartworms, which are carried by mosquitoes, and exist in the blood; hence they are more challenging to detect. For that purpose, ask the vet to prescribe your pet the right medication for heartworms, which usually also treats roundworms.
Since most worms can be easily transferred from dogs to people, and they are equally harmful to them, often wash hands after playing with your puppy. Also, don’t allow them to lick or kiss you and your kids. And most of all, don’t enter them into your bed at night. They have their own place to sleep. Otherwise, you may come across eye, heart, lung or neurological problems.
Deworming is the most effective treatment
However, if all these methods haven’t helped and your puppy is anyway infected, then you definitely need to see the vet. First, try to take the sample of your pet’s poop, which is necessary to take tests. The vet can also check it during the visit, and then examine the stool under the microscope, whether it contains worms or worm eggs. If so, then the proper treatment will be incorporated. Nowadays, many medicines can help your puppy. They are given to adult dogs as well but in higher doses.
That’s all you can do to your pet when it’s infected with some pests. Although the whole situation may be stressful at the beginning, keep calm so that you won’t stress your doggie additionally. It can be as frightened as you.