Your Guide to Finding a Pup-Friendly Residence for You and Your Pooch

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?

Article Supplies

Tips On How To Disinfect Dog Toys

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.

Article Supplied

5 Tips for Planning a Road Trip With Your Dog

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.

For this reason, you should only ever use a harness or crate that’s been thoroughly crash-tested. Crash-tested harnesses are great for smaller dogs, but larger dogs need a tough crate to protect them during an accident.

You should also never allow your dog to put his head out of the window. Aside from the risk of being hit by a road-side object, the strong winds can damage a dog’s ears and eyes.

Make Overnight Stops as Comfortable as Possible
Dogs are creatures of habit, so many feel uncomfortable sleeping in a different environment.

An easy way to help your dog settle is to bring his normal bed and blankets. It’s best if these haven’t been washed for a few days, so they still smell comforting.

You may also want to use white noise to cover up sounds that might disturb your pet. A dog in a new environment is often more alert to new noises, which can make it difficult to sleep.

Summary
A road trip with your dog can be a wonderful experience. Many dogs love coming on family trips and exploring new places.

It’s your responsibility to keep your pet safe and happy though. So, when you’re planning your route and the attractions you want to see, remember to plan for your dog’s needs too.

Article Supplied

“Virtual” Dog Training

Dog Training

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 Rules www.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:

  • Technology
  • Approach
  • Communication/Interaction
  • Preparations
  • Environment

[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.]

Dog Training

General Considerations

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.

Technology

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.

Approach

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!

Dog Training

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!

Preparations

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.

Environment

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.

Summary

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.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDogHseRules

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theDogHseRules

Article supplied by: Stephen K Bell – The Dog House Rules

Dog Walking Tips During Coronavirus Lockdown

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.

Article Supplied

Happiest Dog Discuss Caring for Dog Paws with Dog Paw Balm

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.

Making sure your dog’s paws aren’t cracked and all dried up should be a top priority. One thing many pet owners overlook all of the time is their dog’s feet. One way to ensure your dog’s feet stay healthy and safe is by using a paw balm such as the one offered by

Happiest Dog.

Hyperkeratosis

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.

Paw Protection

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

Article Supplied

My puppy has worms, what do I do?

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.

Preventive methods

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.

Article Supplied

How To Treat Dogs With Dry Skin

Having a dog around gives you one of the best feelings in the world. Their joyful and playful nature fills the house with positive vibes. However just like humans, dogs also sometimes get under the weather. Here we are not talking about some major illness, but a very common yet quite irritating and annoying condition – dry skin!

The constant itching, irritation, scratching and licking caused by dry-skin can drive your four-legged amigo half crazy! Taking your dogs to the veterinarian should be your first course of action, but there are few other things that you can do to treat your dog with dry skin. Let’s take a look at these natural and home remedies that are effective for dry skin treatment.

Use Olive Oil or Coconut Oil:
We already know the miraculous properties of olive oil and coconut oil for our skin. Just like these oils are effective and remedial for our skins – they work wonders for the dog with dry skin treatment. Even veterinarians also recommend giving your dog oil massage often – with or without the dry skin. Simply just message the infected area with chilled-solid coconut oil. It will remedial for other allergies, eczema, insect bites & sting and yeast infections. Alternatively, you can massage your dog’s paws with some olive oil.

Give Your Dog Vitamin E:
Vitamin E is another remedial cure for dry skin in dogs. Your dog doesn’t need to take it internally. You can simply massage your dog with vitamin-E oil or add it in the bathwater. If you want to give Vitamin-E internally to your dog, then first consult with the vet – as some species of dogs require Vitamin A rather than vitamin E.

Give Oatmeal Bath and Paste:
Another effective cure for dry skin is ‘Oatmeal.’ All you need is grounded oatmeal. You can either make a paste and apply it over the infected area – or you can simply sprinkle the oatmeal powder in warm water and give a bath from it.

Chamomile and Herbal Tea Soaks:
Your chamomile and herbal tea bags are not just effective to burn the calories, but you can also use these teas to cure your dog with dry skin. Before the bath, soak 4-5 tea bags into tub or sink and soak your dog’s skin for at least 5 minutes in the water. Alternatively, you can make herbal/chamomile tea and pour cool tea on the infected area.

Feed Plain, Sugar-Free Yogurt:
Do you know that plain, sugar-free yoghurt is remedial for treating dry skin in dogs? Whether its the dry skin, or any other allergies, yoghurt is great for your dog. Feed a teaspoon to small dogs and 2 teaspoons to big dogs once a week.

50% Apple Cider and Water Spray:
The last but not least cure is the solution of Apple cider vinegar and water. Mix 50% cider and water and spray on the infected area.

Want to know more about dry-skin solutions? Then check out the evolutionpets site – where you can find remedial solutions for all the skin allergies and how to cure them!

Article Supplied

Our Top 5 Walks in North Wales

Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Old Mill Holiday Cottages are in the perfect location to explore the stunning scenery and beautiful views that North Wales has to offer.
Located in Flintshire a ‘Hidden Gem’ and only 1 hour from Liverpool and Manchester. Many of our favourite walks are lesser-known and are much quieter than in Snowdonia.
 
As a family, we’ve always enjoyed being out and about discovering new places, but with the addition of our new dog Eli, we’ve got more excuse now than ever!
 
I hope you love our ‘Top 5 Walks in North Wales’ as much as we do!
All of these walks give you the feel-good factor, but for walks that have stunning views, I’ve also included a ‘Stir-you-soul’ rating as well 😊

Top 5 Walks in North Wales

1. Penycloddiau Hill Fort, Llangwyfan
Difficulty Level – Moderate
Time – 2-hour circular
Footwear – Walking boots
Views to stir you soul – 5/5
Distance from the cottages – 3 miles

Penycloddiau is the largest hillfort in the Clwydian Range and one of the largest in Wales. Recent archaeological searches have found stone tools dating back 4000 years to the Bronze Age.

There are many walks in this area and on the main its usually very quiet (Don’t tell anyone!!).

Our favourite trail begins at the far right-hand side of the car park. The path takes you up a gradual incline through pine forest. (The path is a bit rugged in places, be careful of tree roots and uneven ground). Once through the wooded area, the views to the left over the Vale of Clwyd are just breathtaking!
Continue up the hill to the top of the hill fort – In good weather, you can see for miles around, the views are just stunning!

2. Moel Famau to The Jubilee Tower
Difficulty Level – Moderate
Time – 2 ½ hour circular
Footwear – Walking boots
Views to stir you soul – 5/5
Distance from the cottages – 10 miles

Park at the lower car park (Change needed for parking). Here there is a nice picnic area, play park and toilets.
Moel Famau is the highest hill within the Clwydian Range, there are several walks from this area, for a range of abilities – Which makes this, and Loggerheads the most well-known and popular of the walks listed.
 
There are x3 main trails signposted here. Our favourite is the purple trail – it’s a steady climb upwards (And gets your heart pumping!) It takes you through open countryside and woodland area, with beautiful views across the Clwydian Range.

The last section of this walk is the most challenging and includes a 30-minute steeper section – However, once you get to the top, you’re rewarded with reaching the Jubilee Tower, and stunning views across as far as Liverpool!

The Jubilee Tower was built to commemorate ‘Mad’ King George III and dates back to 1810 – However, it was never completed!.

3. Loggerheads Country Park
Difficulty Level – Easy/Moderate
Time – 1 to 2 hours +
Footwear – Sensible Foot-ware (Weather depending)
Views to stir you soul – 3/5
Distance from the cottages – 7 miles

Loggerheads Country Park is a very accessible walking area (Suitable for off-road prams as well) with a large car park, café, gift shop, picnic area and toilets. (Please note change needed for parking).

Loggerheads Country Park is such a wonderful place to go walking at any time of year. If you like, you can wander by the shallow river and quietly absorb the sounds and the beauty of the woodland. Or if you’d like a bit more of a work-out take a hike to the top of the cliffs, its hard work to get up there, but the views at the top are outstanding!
When you come back to level ground, there’s a café, gift shop and field where dogs and children can run and play games.

4. Clwydian Range – Afonwen – Known Locally as ‘The Tank Track’
Difficulty Level – Easy/Moderate
Time – 1 to 2 hours – Or much further if you wish..?
Footwear – Walking boots
Views to stir you soul – 4/5
Distance from the cottages – 3 miles

From the village of Afonwen, take the left turn towards ‘Afonwen Craft & Antiques Centre.’ (An ideal stop off – perfect for gifts and it has a great café.) Instead of branching left, continue straight up the steep hill. Please note – This road is known locally as the ‘tank track’ do drive carefully, the road is very steep and has main pot-holes!
 
Park in the small lay-by area. If you prefer a flatter walk, go through the 5-bar gate, to the right of the car park. Here you are on the Offa’s Dyke path, this is a much flatter and gentler walk, with sheep grazing in fields and isolated farms dotted around.

For a more challenging walk, climb to the top of the hill to the left – This is the chain of hills which make up the ‘Clwydian Range’. In the distance, you will be able to see Moel Famau. The landscape extends ahead of you, like a series of ‘big dippers’
For keen more experienced walkers, there’s plenty of scope for a long walk here…

5. Starting Point – The Old Mill Holiday Cottages
Denbigh Road, Melin-Y-Wern, Nr Mold
Difficulty Level – Easy/Moderate
Time – 2-hour circular
Footwear – Walking boots/wellies (Can be muddy in the Winter)
Views to stir you soul – 3/5
Distance from the cottages – 0 miles!

This is a circular walk, beginning at The Old Mill Holiday Cottages. The popular Cherry Pie Inn is just next door – An ideal stop for lunch or an evening meal after a day sight-seeing.
Cross in front of The Cherry Pie Inn. Take the footpath between the two bungalow cottages. Walk ½ mile to the end of the lane, at the T-Junction, you’ll see a bench, with a footpath sign to the right. Follow the footpath into the woodland.

On entering the wood, the footpath is clearly marked and meanders alongside the pretty stream. There are many shallow pools, making it perfect for children and dogs to paddle in.
Look out for the ‘Teepees’ (This is a lovely spot for children to play) Continue on through the woodland, until you reach a stile. Cross into the meadow (Fabulous wild-flowers grow here in the Summer). Walk diagonally to reach the top end of the field.

Cross the stile into the lane. Turn left downhill, into the pretty hamlet of ‘Nannerch Mill’. Walk up the hill (The lane flattens out) and after approx.1 mile, enter the rural village of Nannerch. With ‘The Cross Foxes pub’ opposite, turn left and through the village past the church. As you are leaving the village take the left turn. Continue straight on this lane, which gradually takes you downhill and back to the bench.

At the bench turn right – you have then completed the loop and are back on the lane to The Old Mill Holiday Cottages. (Cross the road in front of The Cherry Pie, for best visibility).
 
I hope this has inspired you to explore this beautiful part of Flintshire and Denbighshire in North Wales.

Dog walks in North Wales

Kindly Supplied by The Old Mill Holiday Cottages.

Article Supplied

The Truth About Puppies – They Steal Your Heart And Drive You Mad

Having a new puppy, particularly if you’re a first-time fur parent is so exciting.  Your puppy is the cutest little fluff ball on the planet and there is nothing you wouldn’t do and nothing you wouldn’t buy for your little bundle of delight. And boy are there plenty of things to buy; the best fluffy beds, top of the range food and drink bowls, toys, chews, some people even like to dress their pets in little outfits, and now this little bundle of fluff has stolen your heart It’s all fun fun fun – isn’t it?

Puppies

Or do you feel that it might have been easier if your puppy had come with a warning  “will chew your shoes, rip your belongings, wail loudly all night long or screech for hours every time you go out”.

And why did no one tell you that you would soon be wondering how something so small could make so much noise and mess, behave like its being murdered each time you try to take it out to toilet, and then produce enough poo and pee to sink a battleship when after what felt like hours in the freezing cold, defeated and deflated, you bring it back indoors, or how it can wriggle backwards at the speed of light when you try to attach collar and leash to go for a walk.

And what happened to all those who promised to always walk the pup forever and ever if only you would let them have him/her?  The family who said they would take turns to feed and walk the pup?  

Well you are not alone ….

I remember when one of my pup first arrived, I soon learned that initial excitement can quickly give way to frustration, I can clearly remember being so delighted that my boy Beau had learned to get upstairs all by himself that I squealed with delight – I squealed again some days later when I went upstairs and found the huge brown pool of diarrhoea that spread all across my beautiful mint green carpet.

And believe me when I tell you that there is not an alarm clock on the planet that gets you out of bed faster than being woken from a deep sleep by the sound of a retching puppy, only for you to step into a pool of slimy frothy vomit – how did all of that come out of something so small?

So whether it’s your first or your fifth, each pup is as different and individual as we are, so the chances are that the new puppy journey you have just embarked upon will have much to teach you.

To begin with think of your pup as a toddler who has no concept of right or wrong and you are the parent who has to teach them everything from potty training, walking on a leash, socialising and being well mannered – seems daunting at first doesn’t it?  

As puppyhood is the most important time for learning, I’d like to share a few tips that helped me with my pups and may help you in those first few months together.

IN GENERAL

Always try to have a calm but assertive approach when you’re when dealing with your pup, the aim is to provide positive, gentle and reward-based training.  Don’t get upset if your pup doesn’t “get it” straight away or if he/she does something wrong or has a little accident now and then.

Though there will be times when you may feel convinced that he/she is doing it deliberately to get on your nerves – believe me, they really don’t know any better at this stage so be patient as it takes time. 

A crate can be an invaluable tool particularly when potty training as it provides your pup with a secure area whilst you are busy.  If your pup is reluctant to go in at first,  persuade him/her by using a Kong with some natural peanut butter, (but make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol as this is a sweetener that is dangerous to dogs). Always praise your pup when it gets something right or does something you asked it to do. Don’t, however, leave your pup in the crate for too long as this can cause other issues.

A baby gate will also help to keep your pup out of areas that may be dangerous or simply “off-limits”, this will teach your pup what areas he/she is allowed to go into or not, and will help provide a safe area for your pup to play in.

If your pup cries all night – I won’t lie, I never had this problem because I always took my babies upstairs and they slept in my room until they decided to go elsewhere to sleep.  I know this is not an option for everyone and I’ve heard of lots of different things to try, old fashioned alarm clocks have a soothing ticking sound that is said to help the puppy sleep.  An old piece of your unwashed clothing to snuggle into or a teddy bear to cuddle with – it really is all trial and error.  Your pup will sleep when it feels safe, warm and protected – its for you to find that place so that you can all get some sleep.

Teach your pup the command “eyes on me” this is a great way of getting your dogs attention during training especially if they are easily distracted by other things around them in the big outside world.

Also teaching your pup to “go to your mat” is a good way to prevent them from running and barking in a frenzy every time someone arrives at the front door and will save you from receiving those embarrassing postcards from the post office telling you that your dogs behaviour is upsetting the postman – yes I’ve had them!

Do avoid giving in to things now that will lead to problem behaviour later on, no matter how cute that little face is. For example, don’t let your pup jump up at people when they visit. Though this seems so cute now, once the dog is grown it may not be so acceptable – I have lost count of the times I have been knocked into someone’s flower bed by an overexcited dog running out and jumping up to greet me.

Always make sure to distract your dog with something acceptable like a toy or a treat when you want to change their behaviour instead of just telling them off when they get it wrong.

Enrolling into a puppy training or obedience group is a great idea,  but make sure to attend a proper class where all the other dogs are up to date with their vaccinations.  It’s never too early to start training as it provides both mental and physical stimulation. It will not only help them to learn some manners but also help them to socialise with other dogs and help prevent difficult or dangerous situations from developing in the future. 

Training with your pup will help you develop a firm bond and provide you with a better understanding of what motivates him/her so that you can continue training accordingly.  Puppies just want to please you so this is a golden opportunity for you to show them how. Always be consistent and always be gentle, there is no place or excuse for any negative behaviour towards your pup.  They will take time to learn, they will make mistakes, and if they are anything like my boy Beau, they will embarrass you further by cocking a leg and peeing over the pup next to them.

CHEWING 

I get asked a lot about unwanted behaviours such as chewing and barking, and I’ve had a lot of personal experience of both behaviours with my girl Lola. In just one day she chewed my handbag to pieces, chewed the door frame and ate my husband’s library book so I know how frustrating it can be.  

There are lots of reasons why dogs chew but if a pup or very young dog is into this, its a strong indication that they are teething.  

Dog chewing

A good way of coping with this is to use a Kong or something similar and place some frozen peanut butter or other goodies into it and give that to the dog or simply buy toys and ropes of various textures so that your pup can chew on these – a word of warning, don’t buy shoe-shaped chews, you know where it will lead to.  

If it has happened and you are quick enough to intercept your pup as it makes off with one of your best shoes, then simply offer an alternative or a treat, once the pup drops the shoe say “good boy/girl” in a very excited voice (or at least a relieved voice), your pup will soon get the idea but you must be consistent. 

If your handbag or best shoe does fall casualty to your babies toofy pegs then you will have to write it off and learn your lesson that nothing is off-limits to a teething pup unless you make it so.

On the subject of teeth, a good habit to start at this stage is that of cleaning your babies teeth, do ask your vet for advice and use the smallest brush (not a human toothbrush) to begin with.  Tooth decay can cause a lot of medical problems particularly if you have a pup with a heart murmur as the decaying matter can make its way into the bloodstream and cause serious issues. A yearly check-up saves a lot of problems including a massive vet bill for a tooth removal.

BARKING

Is there anything worse than a dog that won’t stop barking?  Well yes I can think of a few, but constant barking can drive the most loving pet owner up the wall.

Again, there are any number of reasons why dogs bark and not all of them are negative, remember this is also the sound of the dogs own language.  It’s the way the dog communicates with others of its species or tells you when it wants something.  It can also be an indication of fear, frustration or excitement as well as aggression or warning. 

Dog barking

How to deal with it?

Pups usually bark because they want something, are excited or simply because they have just found their voice and quite like the sound of it – after all its new to them.  

At this point, it’s a good idea to try some distraction tactics by engaging the pup with something else or by taking them for a short walk provided they are fully inoculated.

 If the pup is barking because someone or something new has arrived in front of them, it could be an indication of fear. The pup will look to you for security so stay calm and tell them that it’s okay and provide them with comfort.  

Always seek to reassure the pup until you can ascertain what has caused the barking – remember how you deal with this now sets the scene for the future.  Never ever shout at the pup because this will only make matters worse and could create issues that prove difficult to deal with in the future.

Socialisation and training are key here, introduce your pup to many different situations, places and people as possible.  People with glasses, hats, beards, tall people, short people and loud people, children and other dogs – though always supervise the latter two carefully and never leave a tiny pup alone with small children until they have learned to handle the pup with respect and gentleness.  Always have treats on hand to reward your pup in new circumstances and never be afraid to tell other dog owners to back off if their dog gets a bit rough or overexcited with your pup.

POTTY TRAINING

This is a biggie for a lot of new puppy owners, here are a few tips that helped me stay sane not only with pups but also with adult rescue dogs I’ve adopted who weren’t potty trained.

Firstly, be prepared for accidents, your pup will get it wrong and so will you.  

The pup is not out to make your life a misery but do try to see things from their point of view some of the time – would you really like to go pee-pee in the freezing cold dark night or when it’s lashing down with rain?  You will get stressed, the pup will get stressed and the moment you step back indoors the pup will pee !!

Choose a particular area where you want your pup to toilet and take the pup out on a regular basis, particularly after meals and before bedtime. 

In the first few months, and if your pup is small enough, carry it to the designated area so that it gets the message that this is where you want it to toilet, reinforce this by saying something like “wee wee” so that your pup associates the place and the words with the action.

Use positive reinforcement, so that each time your pup does a pee or poo say “good boy/girl” in an excited tone of voice and provide a treat.  The pup will soon learn that it will be rewarded each time it goes to that place to pee or poo.

If your pup has an accident  – and it will – ignore this, clean it up and say nothing. Use a disinfectant that removes the smell as well as cleans or your pup will keep going to toilet there. Pets at Home have several good brands that will remove the odour and disinfect the floor. 

Never hit, shout or rub the pup’s nose in the mess – this is abuse and serves no purpose other than to terrify the pup and delay or prevent the training.

Remember it really is on you if your pup keeps going to toilet in the house and you need to increase your pups trips outside, never scold the pup for your mistakes.

If your pup is very slow to toilet train or continually relapses, seek advice from your vet and get your pup examined in case there is an underlying infection or problem.  

In the meantime, you can get (human) adult-sized disposable incontinence sheets from Amazon, that you can put down on the floor – they saved my sanity during some difficult times with my rescue dogs.

When out walking in public areas, always pick up after your dog, it is an offence not to do so and you can be fined.

MORE GENERAL INFORMATION

Puppies need lots of naps, it’s essential for them to grow so don’t be surprised at how much they nap.

Exercise your pup, but not too much too soon and only take them outside once they are fully inoculated, seek guidance from your vet if you are unsure.

Initially avoid taking your little pup into big shops or places where lots of other dogs go, parvovirus, other diseases and parasites can last a long time in areas that are not properly cleaned or where people have not picked up after their adult dogs.

Try to get your pup used to being handled, particularly around their face, feet, legs etc as this will help the pup cope with being handled on future visits to the vet and the groomer.  Always handle with care and gentleness and never allow children to “play” with your pup – remember they are only babies.

Get your pup used to travelling by car as soon as you can, this will help them with any travel sickness issues.

Ensure that everything your pup needs, such as beds and feeding bowls are in low traffic or quieter areas of the home so that they are not disturbed by lots of noise or people coming in and out.

SEPARATION ANXIETY

Does your pup cry, whine or bark excessively when you leave the room or the house for any length of time, or destroy and chew things up when you are not there?

This could well be separation anxiety.  

Before your pup came to you it lived with its mum and siblings and there was always someone to go to for comfort, food or whatever.

Now this beautiful pup has left its family behind and lives with you and your family, your pup doesn’t understand everything in this strange new environment.

You can’t be with your pup all of the time, you have to go out for whatever reason and the pup can’t always go with you. Now for some pups, this is no issue as they will use this time to catch up on much-needed sleep. However, for others, this will become a time of distress and worry that, if not addressed, can escalate to the point where the young dog damages its home or itself.

Separation anxiety is a complex situation that can require the advice and help of a suitably qualified person and in extreme situations may never be fully resolved.  Unfortunately, many dogs who suffer from this often find themselves put up for adoption or simply abandoned. 

The treatment of separation anxiety requires a consistent approach and can initially feel distressing. 

You may need to start with placing distance between you and the pup or young dog in order to reduce its dependency upon you.  

By simply ignoring your pup just prior to departure and again on return some cases can correct themselves without further intervention.   

However, some cases are more difficult to deal with because the pup is very needy and its relationship with you creates real distress when you are not there and the pup is left alone. 

In such cases you may need to lessen the bond with the pup by cooling the overall relationship, stroking less or getting someone else to feed  or take on things like walking and visits to the vet so that the pup gets used to other people in its life. 

Crating the pup may help to a certain extent but this should always be a short term solution. 

Providing sufficient exercise throughout the day coupled with obedience training and mock departures to help desensitise or diffuse the situation may also help to calm the pup. 

Providing an alternative stimulus such as leaving the television on or providing an acceptable object to chew can also help the pup to remain calm when you are out if all else fails the dog may require medical intervention, but that should always be a last resort.

Doggie daycare in an environment with a limited amount of other dogs is another way of dealing with long term issues as the pup or young dog gets one to one attention but also has the opportunity to enjoy the company and comfort of others – always ensure all the dogs get on with each other before making this a permanent thing.  

Large dog daycare facilities should be avoided until the pup is old enough to cope with it otherwise you could be swapping one type of anxiety for another.

ONE LAST THING

The answer to most things is time, love and patience by the bucket load so enjoy every minute of your adventure with your pup.

WHERE WE COME IN

Scamps and Champs Cardiff provide a whole range of individually tailored pet care services.  

We can step in when you need to step out – providing support, company, feeding and cleaning, dog walking, puppy visits or visits to the vet and groomers – in fact, anything your pup needs.

We can also provide daycare for your pup or young dog in carefully selected environments where they can continue both their training and daily routine.

Here in Cardiff we are open seven days a week and cover bank holidays so why not give us a call?

Ring: 0333 200 5827

Or Email us at: cardiff@scampsandchamps.co.uk

Article Supplied.