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Archive for the ‘Dog Care’ Category

Chance is a strong, sturdy dog and a very stubborn puller when being walked. The pronged collar was the right choice for him.

As I’ve said before exercising your dog is essential to their leading a healthy and happy life. But as much as I’ve stressed how important it is to walk your dog daily I have yet to talk about the proper tools to use when you’re setting out to do this.

The vital question here is when to use a collar and when to use a harness and what types of each to use. This can vary based on your dog’s size, health conditions and how well he or she walks.

First and foremost, if your dog has trachea problems, troubles breathing or spinal damage do not use a collar when walking them especially if they are prone to pulling. Use a harness to take the pressure off their necks and throats.

There are a variety of collars to choose from if your pet is not a puller. Traditional collars should be chosen to coordinate with your canine’s size and strength. They should fit snug, high on the dog’s neck with room enough to fit two fingers in between the neck and the collar.

Chain-slip collars are a good training tool for mild pullers and involve a quick tug and release movement for correction purposes. Pronged collars are the step up from this and are for more stubborn pullers.

Last, but not least, there are the halter-type collars which fit over the dog’s nose and chin somewhat like a muzzle and provide maximum control for the owner.

Harnesses are a completely different concept. They are mainly for pullers that refuse to be corrected or dogs with health issues that make harnesses a safer and more comfortable option for them. Harnesses attach around the neck and behind the front legs. To find the right harness you must measure for size and fit in width, length and tightness for individual dogs.

Regardless of whether you think a collar or a harness is the best choice for your pet remember to check fit frequently, attach tags to whatever they wear and remove their collar or harness if they’re being left home alone or in a crate.

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Healthy, happy and hairy

Dogs are just like people. They need exercise, mental stimuli, regimented diets, sleep and of course fun and play with friends. If dogs don’t get what they need in all these categories, they can lead unhealthy, unhappy and often quite short lives.

If you keep your canine companion on the right track in every aspect of his or her life, you’ll notice some improvements in coat, eyes and nose, heartbeat, weight and temperament. Here are a few tips to help your furry friend lead the happy, healthy life he or she deserves:

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Exercise is essential

Having a play date with other dogs can stimulate a dog's mind as well as provide physical exercise.

Exercise is very beneficial on a multitude of levels. We’ve all heard it countless times. What many people overlook though is that the same applies to your dog.

43 million dogs in the US are estimated to be overweight or obese. The problem can lie in an owner’s conscience neglect to exercise his or her dog, but it can also be that the owner simply doesn’t realize how overweight their pet is getting.

A 12-pound Yorkie is equivalent to a human female of average height weighing 218 pounds and a 90-pound female Labrador Retriever is equivalent to a 5’9” human male weighing 217 pounds. Dogs can seem very small or light to us, but in reality be quite overweight within their own species or even breed.

Regardless of breed, all dogs need a daily exercise regimen. Without one, dogs can become obese as well as develop poor muscle tone, heart problems, bone disorders, emotional problems and behavioral quirks. Usually, anywhere from two 15-minute to two 30-minute walks a day should be sufficient. But this can vary based on age and size. You should monitor your individual dog to regulate how much or what kind of exercise he or she needs.

For example, many breeds or types of dogs don’t do well with heat. Younger or older dogs, dogs with short muzzles and black dogs will need more indoor exercise when the outdoor heat is too much for them.

Very extreme hot or cold weather will prevent all breeds and types of dogs from getting normal outdoor exercise. In times like these it’s good to throw toys and play fetch, run up and down the stairs or around the house, or even teach your pet new tricks which can also induce some needed mental exercise.

A well-known saying I once heard goes “a tired dog is a happy dog.” If your canine gets the exercise he or she really needs it will prevent many physical and mental health issues as well as keep him or her quiet, calm and happy.

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Every year 70,000 dogs and cats are born.

Every year 4 to 6 million animals are euthanized because they cannot find a home. This means that of all the animals that enter animal shelters in the U.S. only half of them ever find a home. The other half is euthanized.

This can easily be prevented. Spay or neuter your pet or, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, sponsor an animal at a shelter to help pay for their sterilization.

In states where spaying/neutering laws have been put in place it is estimated that the number of animals euthanized in the state is reduced by 65 percent.

As well as having benefits inside shelters across the U.S., spaying and neutering also offers benefits within the home. Dogs that have been spayed or neutering generally live one to three years longer than an unsterilized canine.

Temperament is also improved in spayed or neutered animals. Males tend to be less aggressive, less distracted. Females will have less mood swings as well. Both will be less tempted to roam.

Those that are against spaying and neutering pets argue that the cost is too high. In reality, there are many facilities that offer low cost spaying and neutering and many shelters have the procedure done before they adopt the animals they have out. The cost is also much less than the costs of having and taking care of a litter of puppies. As well as the costs that will crop up if your pet develops uterine cancer or something of the like.

Many are wary too of the risks of anesthesia in the medical procedure as well as a pet’s likeliness to gain more weight and exercise less. Weight and exercise is one problem that can be easily monitored and maintained by a pet’s owner. But in the end, the pros of having animals spayed and neutered far outweigh the cons.

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