The Dog Daily The Dog Daily en-us Copyright ©2016 Studio One Networks Wed, 3 Feb 2016 06:36:31 EST Wed, 3 Feb 2016 06:36:31 EST Health sonCOMAND 60 The Dog Daily <![CDATA[Deciding when your dog is ready to be left out of the crate can be tough. Here are some guidelines to follow.]]> Many pet owners start to use a crate when they bring home a puppy for housetraining purposes, and preparing your home for a puppy to run around in takes a bit of work. Nayiri Krikorian is a professional trainer with Zen Dog Training, and a member of the Harry's Picks Advisory Panel. If you think your dog might be ready, Krikorian recommends being proactive by rolling up and storing your rugs and purchasing some enzymatic cleaner in case of any accidents.

After that, Krikorian suggests a few steps to puppy proofing your home:

1.  Get down on the ground and identify anything in your room that might be a particularly tantalizing chew "toy”. What about all the cords connected to your television? Take a look the magazines on your coffee table, not to mention the coffee table itself. Are your sofa cushions safe? If you can remove some of these items from the room, then do so temporarily.

2. If you are worried about your puppy chewing furniture, you can spray the surfaces with a chew deterrent, like Bitter Apple.

3. Create a containment area using baby gates or an exercise pen. Inside should be her crate, with its door open so she can relax there and snooze inside if she pleases, some toys and maybe a water bowl and food dish. By including her crate inside the containment area, you’re basically expanding her feelings about her crate, comfort, cleanliness and security into the new space. After you have your confinement area, start teaching your dog to treat the space the same way she treats her crate. Start off small; have her new “room” be only slightly larger than her crate. If she's successful in there (meaning a few consecutive days free of accidents or destructive behaviors) gradually increase her square footage.

With a little patience, time and training soon your dog will have free reign of your home without having accidents or tearing apart your possessions.]]>
Expert Q&A Mon, 9 Sep 2013 00:00:00 EDT
<![CDATA[Read this before you decide to whip your dog up a sampling of Grandma’s old-fashioned stew. (Or any other homemade recipe, for that matter.)]]> Q: Can I feed my dog homemade food?

A: It’s only natural that we would want to share some of our favorite recipes with our favorite friend – our dogs. But is that a smart idea? Here’s what Oscar E. Chavez, DVM, MBA, Member of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition, has to say about it:

You certainly can feed your dog homemade food – as long as it’s a balanced, tested recipe. Just five years ago, I would have leaned toward a ‘no’ answer, as there weren’t many proven options to support pet parents in making their own dog food. That’s changed, though. Here’s something to remember though: Wild dogs, without veterinary nutrition and care, only live about six years, on average. Thus, the incredibly long lifespan we are achieving in our domestic dogs today must be due to something, and it’s unlikely to be just evolution, as the time range is too short for them to have evolved an advantage in this respect, and there are no natural selection pressures in the pampered pooch lifestyle.

Thus, biologically, the only explanation is balanced veterinary nutrition. For this reason, a home-made diet must be balanced in order to continue to provide the life extending benefits we have come to expect. My dog, Rey, is a 16-year-old Golden Retriever still going strong—and he’s had a balanced meal all his life.

“Good” recipes will attempt to balance a majority of the food with wholesome ingredients. Keep in mind, though, that achieving a daily complete nutritional balance with ingredients alone is practically impossible. Just as we need our daily multivitamins, homemade diets are balanced by adding a specifically compounded vitamin and mineral supplement blend to the food at the end of cooking it.

And beware of ‘one size fits all’ powders or blends that claim to balance any mix of ingredients. Instead, a specific blend should be used for each ‘recipe’ of home-made ingredients, custom tailored for that specific purpose.

Find out what your dog’s nutrition has to do with his appearance here.]]>
Expert Q&A Mon, 19 Aug 2013 00:00:00 EDT
<![CDATA[Grooming your dog can get expensive. Here’s how to tell if what you’re paying is normal.]]> Getting your dog groomed not only makes your pooch clean, but it’s vital for her optimum health. The services that a professional groomer provides vary, and there are a few you can do yourself, while others are best left to the pros.

The first thing to decide is how often your dog should go. Nicole Rigger, owner of Pets a Go Go, suggests having dogs cleaned on quarterly basis, to include basic beautification like baths, brushing, trimming and/or filing or nails, and cleaning and brushing teeth. For longer haired breeds, undercoat maintenance is important in warmer months, as well.

The average prices for grooming services will vary depending on location, frequency of service, breed, type/condition of coat and desired services. For example, Pets A Go Go’s services range from $35-$125 for grooming. “A good groomer will include nails, ears and teeth within their price point, and will not charge for every add-on service,” says Rigger.

A full service groomer will provide many additional services such as show and puppy cuts, basic baths, anal gland expressing, nail care, ear cleaning and hair removal, sanitary shaves/trims, and teeth brushing and/or scaling. 

If you’re looking for a more tailored treatment, those are available at certain places, as well. “Depending on color and type of coat, specialized services such as blueberry facials, dematting, hand stripping, shave downs and even de-skunking can be within the repertoire [of the groomer],” says Rigger.

Want to try your hand at grooming your own dog? “Depending on skill and desire, a pet parent can easily learn to furminate (remove undercoat), cut nails, brush teeth and clean/remove ear hair,” explains Rigger.

Check this piece out for more ways to groom your dog at home]]>
Expert Q&A Mon, 12 Aug 2013 00:00:00 EDT
<![CDATA[I want to adopt a dog for my older parents. What are some of the best breeds for the elderly?]]> A dog can be the perfect companion for older people -- if you pick the right one. “A dog can give [elderly people] of feeling of self worth,” said Jacqueline Geary, LVT. “It will allow them to satisfy the need to take care of something.”

When choosing a dog, Geary recommends a dog that is older than 4 years old. “An older dog in general is a calmer one,” she said. “They have already gone through their ‘crazy’ puppy phase of chewing and teething, and most are already spayed or neutered.”

As an added bonus, if you decide to adopt from a rescue organization or shelter, you’ll likely to get an older animal that has been through a behavior screening. Most of these animals have a basic understanding of living with people, and they may even know some commands.

Find out more about adopting an adult dog here.

The type of breed that would work best for someone who’s older depends on their level of activity. For example, if the couple likes to travel, they may want a small breed dog, such as a Yorkshire Terrier or miniature Poodle, that’s easy to tote around. For people who are less active, Geary suggests rescuing a mixed breed from a shelter. You might want to consider sticking with a dog that’s under 50 pounds, as well, since a bigger dog may pull too hard on a lead and could be too much for an elderly person to handle. Some pure bred breeds that make good choices are Beagles, soft-coated Wheatons and Golden Doodles.

You might also consider adopting a dog through your local veterinary hospital. Most places receive calls from people who are looking for homes for older dogs after their owners have passed away or relocated. 

Expert Q&A Mon, 29 Jul 2013 00:00:00 EDT
<![CDATA[Are greyhounds a good breed for adoption?]]> The greyhound is a wonderful choice of breed to adopt into your family. Greyhounds are bred to race at high speeds, and once they are retired from the track, the dogs need to find forever homes. There are organizations that take in the ex-racers and help to place them. Lisa Sallie, the president of Grateful Greyhounds, says, “Greyhounds make a great companion dog, regardless if you are an active family or a retired couple looking for a pal.”

In terms of their demeanor, greyhounds are calm and relaxed, and they enjoy going for walks and a run around a fenced in yard to stretch their legs. “They are a mellow breed, and more often than not are found sound asleep on the couch,” said Sallie. The breed is also very good around children, which makes greyhounds a great choice for a family.

Here is a list of other breeds that are good for children

An important fact for potential owners to know is that the greyhound is a sight hound. “That means that the dog needs to be on lead at all times unless in a fenced in area,” says Sallie. “If the greyhound sees a rabbit or something that catches her interest, it will be natural for the hound to investigate.”

Expert Q&A Tue, 23 Jul 2013 00:00:00 EDT
<![CDATA[My dog is well-trained, but he does misbehave from time to time. How can I quickly get it to stop? ]]> Expert Q&A Mon, 24 Jun 2013 00:00:00 EDT <![CDATA[I need to buy my dog some new food and water bowls, and I'm looking at some inexpensive plastic ones. What do you recommend?]]> Skip plastic water and food dishes for your dog, if at all possible. Here's why: Dogs with a penchant for chewing may bite into the plastic, possibly injuring themselves and destroying your purchase in one swift chomp. Even if your dog's biting doesn't outright break the dishes, the gashes on the bowls could have microscopic rough spots that can be difficult to clean, leading to bacterial growth.

A recent study shows that plastic emits potentially harmful chemicals into food and water, which is why I always look for glass containers when purchasing bottled liquids for my own family.

Finally, plastic can absorb flavors and odors. This can put a damper on your scent-sensitive dog's enjoyment of food. You may not like the odors the dishes leave in your home after mealtime too, so pass up the plastic. Instead, select dishes made from sturdier materials that are easier to wash and maintain, such as thick ceramic.

Expert Q&A Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 EDT
<![CDATA[Over the summer, I will be visiting a few beaches in different states. Do state laws concerning dogs at beaches widely differ? ]]> Expert Q&A Mon, 10 Jun 2013 00:00:00 EDT <![CDATA[How old should a puppy be before I adopt it?]]> Expert Q&A Mon, 3 Jun 2013 00:00:00 EDT <![CDATA[Dog lovers sometimes claim that owning dogs can lower the owner's medical bills. Is there any truth to this?]]> Expert Q&A Tue, 28 May 2013 00:00:00 EDT