One of the biggest mistakes new puppy owners make is not crate training. Teaching your puppy to sleep happily in a crate while you're in bed or while you're away for the day can make or break your house-training journey and save your favorite couch from sharp little puppy teeth!

Training Your Pup - Kennels and Crates

Choose the Right "Den"

Dogs are den animals, holding onto this evolutionary instinct from their wild predecessors. To your domesticated dog, his den is the place he will go when he's tired, frightened, or just wants to escape to "his" place. With a puppy, don't give him a huge crate. He needs something that's big enough to stand up, sit down, and turn around in. Any bigger will encourage him to potty in his kennel. You need to choose immediately if you want your dog to be an inside or an outside dog. Building a chain link kennel outside would provide ease in this process and will teach your puppy more self dependence.

Introduce the Crate

Leave the crate in the most frequented room of your house. If the family congregates mostly in the kitchen, then leave his crate there with the door open. Add a comfortable bed or even an old t-shirt that smells like his favorite family member. Leave the door off at first so he can go in and out unencumbered. Some dogs will immediately go in and get comfortable; if yours isn't one of them, entice him in by dropping tasty food treats in front of the crate and gradually just inside the door.

Let Him Eat in the Crate

Dogs won't soil where they eat so by feeding his meals inside the kennel, you're teaching him two things: this isn't where he's supposed to relieve himself and this is a safe, happy place. If he's willingly going in and out of the kennel, put the food bowl at the back. If he's still showing some reluctance, put it in just enough to keep him from being anxious. After a few days, he should be eating comfortably in the crate. This is when you begin shutting the door. The first time, open it as soon as he finishes his meal. Gradually, leave the door closed for a longer period of time after he's done eating.

Crate Him While You're at Home

It's important to not just shut him in the kennel and leave for your 8 hour work day. Instead, leave him kenneled for short periods of time while you're at home. When you let him out, give him praise but don't make it a big deal. His crate should be a daily part of his routine, not something that's out of the ordinary.

Leave for Short Periods of Time

When you finally leave him alone, make your trips short. Leave him in the crate just to run to the post office or to the grocery store for some bread and milk. Don't make a big fuss when you leave; urge him into the kennel, shut the door, and leave. Prolonged goodbyes can make a dog feel more anxious. Make sure that every time you put him in the kennel, you're putting him in at different times as you're getting ready to leave. Some days put him in while you're putting your shoes on, other times put him in right as you get out of the shower. If you develop a predictable pattern, a more anxious puppy will begin to fret when you hit the point in your routine where he'll be kenneled. When you get home, don't get excited to see him. Keep your arrivals low-key to prevent any anxiety.

Don't let a puppy's sad eyes make you feel bad for kennel training. Older dogs who have been properly introduced to the kennel seek their crate out as a safe haven and genuinely enjoy being there. Train your puppy gently and consistently and his crate will become a happy hideaway for the rest of his life.

 

Erika RemmingtonThis article was written by Erika Remmington. Erika is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and 18 month old daughter. Click here to contact Erika.

 

 

Informational credit to Lynx Brand Fence Products Ltd., An Edmonton Dog Kennel Chain Link Fence Company

By Natalie Gomez 58 days ago at 10:00 am 0 Comments
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If your dog loves the outdoors, then it should come as no surprise to know that the areas where your pet runs around in is where ticks may also hang out. When you find a tick on your dog it’s important to get the little bugger off as soon as possible, but with careful handling. Rushing to remove it can create more problems for both you and your pet. Below explains some simple tips on helping you remove the tick safely at home. 

Removing Ticks from Dogs
Prepare a Tick Container
Before you go plucking the little suckers off your pet, prepare a container that has some rubbing alcohol in it to place the tick in once it’s been removed. Simply flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away in the garbage won’t kill it. Plus it’s best to hold on to the evidence in case your pet falls ill from any bites that it attained from the tick.

Have Someone Help You
If your dog isn’t one to sit patiently as you pluck and part through his/her fur looking for ticks, have someone help you hold him/her down to soothe and calm their nerves. This will make the process easier as you search and pluck out the ticks in the deeper parts of the fur.

Don’t Use Bare Hands
One important thing to remember when doing an at-home removal for ticks is to never do it with your bare hands. Always wear some latex or rubber gloves to protect your skin from direct contact with your pet’s infected area and away from any tick. The little suckers can carry infective agents that can seep through your skin and can get you sick. So keep those hands protected throughout the removal process.

Use Tweezers for Removal
Before pulling out any ticks from your dog, be sure to rub the infected area with rubbing alcohol to sanitize it. Use a pair of clean tweezers and grab the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible and pull straight up with an even pressure. Once removed place that tick in a container to keep it from escaping.

Clean and Praise Your Dog
Even when you remove a tick from your dog, sometimes part of its mouth can still get stuck within your pet’s skin. In the case that this happens, check the area for any redness or inflammation and if there is none go ahead and gently disinfect it. After all that plucking and cleaning be sure to praise and give your dog a treat for being patient enough during the removal process.

Removing ticks off your dog at home is a simple process, but sometimes that may not be enough for your pet. In case of any irritation or persistent ticks on your dog call a professional, like the ones at Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic for either an at-home visit or a direct appointment, to have your furry little friend checked out.

 

 Karleia SteinerKarleia Steiner is a freelance blogger. You can follow her on Google+ and Facebook.

 

 

By Natalie Gomez on May 20, 2014 at 10:16 am 0 Comments
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Like many parents, you might be resisting the temptation to buy your kids a puppy even though they constantly beg for one. Kids always promise, “we'll take care of it!” With younger kids, we know that they might care for a dog during the first few weeks, but then they won't help with the feeding, cleaning, and other chores. If your kids are dying to have a dog, you can teach them the responsibility that comes with having a pet by buying a smaller, more low maintenance pet first. Read on to learn about a few pets that are good precursors to buying a dog if you want to teach your kids responsibility first.

Preparing Your Kids for a Dog

Goldfish

If your kids are really little, you may want to start small. A goldfish is probably the most low-maintenance pet you can have—all you have to do is feed it and change the water. These jobs are so easy, you can have even your toddler help you do them. You can give them the responsibility of feeding the fish when they wake up in the morning and before they go to sleep at night. Then, when it comes time to clean the bowl, involve your child in the process and teach them the importance of taking care of the pet to keep it clean, healthy and happy.

Turtles

If your kids are between the ages of 5 and 10, a turtle is another good pet that is easy to care for, but still requires attention. Water and land turtles are becoming so popular as pets that many chain pet stores (and some local specialty pet stores) are beginning to sell them. Many species of turtles are very sociable but also quite independent, which makes them perfect for families with busy schedules and erratic free time to play with pets.

Iguanas

Iguanas are just one of a number of reptiles that are becoming popular pets (the list also includes snakes, bearded dragons, and turtles). Iguanas are best for older kids who can learn how to respect their space. Iguanas can be an easy pet for kids because they stay in a cage and need to be fed. Iguanas need to be kept in a humid environment, but you can usually buy a heated lamp to place in the cage so they stay at the correct temperature. This is a fun pet for little boys who are fascinated with snakes, dragons, and anything that creeps or crawls.

Ferrets

For kids who want a pet they can interact with a little bit more than just a fish in a bowl, ferrets can make great pets. They are soft and cuddly, extremely sociable, and very active when awake (but they sleep a lot too!) Ferrets work well for families with limited space, and give kids a little more responsibility since they will need to take the ferret out to play every now and again. Granted, this is a better pet for older kids, but it is much less responsibility than having a dog.

Children usually don't realize what a big responsibility having a pet is. Whether you are the one who wants a dog, or your kids won't stop asking for one, you can help teach the whole family responsibility by taking care of a pet on a smaller scale first. Consider your smaller pet a trial run for having a dog. Once your kids have proven that they can take care of a pet on a smaller scale, they will be more prepared for having a dog around the house. Information for this article was provided by the animal professionals of Evergreen Veterinary Clinic in San Jose, CA.

 

Dixie SomersThis article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women's interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband, three daughters, and a spunky Jack Russel Terrier who makes life interesting! You can follow her on Twitter: @DixieSomers

By Natalie Gomez on Apr 30, 2014 at 10:01 am 0 Comments
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