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Setting up a Dog-Friendly Backyard

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Setting up a Dog-Friendly Backyard

A quick walk around the block on a leash isn’t enough physical activity for dogs. Dogtime recommends 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day, depending on the type of breed and how active they are.

Setting up a Dog-Friendly Backyard

But what if you don’t live near a dog park for additional play? Make a dog retreat in your backyard complete with an obstacle course and design an inspired resting area. Here are five aspects you need to create a dog-friendly backyard that is fit for a king.

Shady Retreats

Dogs love playing and resting in the sun, but can get overheated after a day of play. Create a shady retreat in your backyard where human and dog friends can cool off. Position benches, an outdoor chaise or a porch swing attached to a tree to cool off. Make sure to put some of your dogs’ favorite calm down toys and lovies nearby so they can nuzzle and gnaw in the shade.

Place a few bowls of water out and break out the frozen treats to make it a family affair. Sugar-free popsicles or cucumber ice water for the kids and grown-ups and Frosty Paws for the dogs are a good place to start.

Doggy Dining Area

Dogs are loyal companions and want to be where the people are. Situate your outdoor patio furniture in a shady area, or add patio umbrellas to block the sun. Roll out an outdoor island or bar cart to stock with snacks and treats. Get inspired by the W Hotel’s Fido’s Kitchen in Los Angeles where patrons and pooches dine together with an organic dog menu of Apple Crunch cakes and blueberry scones.

Obstacle Course

Dogs often flee their yards because they’re bored or curious about the greener side of the grass next door. Set up your own agility obstacle course with tunnels, a teeter totter for running and balancing and plenty of things to jump through to keep them occupied. Try tying a tie to a rope and hang it from a tree limb that’s low enough for Fido to soar through. Situate a line of PVC piping to let your dogs weave in and out of the course and show off their skills.

Fencing

A fence is necessary for dogs and children to play safely in your backyard. But that doesn’t mean you need to let an unattractive wooden or chain fence distract from your dog-friendly retreat. Add green vines or paint a wooden fence with a mural or your favorite dog motif to turn it into a canine-inspired beautification area. Your dogs will feel more at home in their natural retreat and can watch the butterflies and birds playing along the green vines and flowers along your fence.

Doggy Sandbox

Dogs love to dig, so give them a place to do it that doesn’t involve your flower beds. Set up a dirt or sand box in a small wooden encasement and let your dogs dig and bury to their heart’s content. A tiny wooden fence or retainer around the box keeps the dirt where it belongs.

Arrange some favorite toys or bones nearby so your dogs can hunt, dig, hide and retrieve. If you discover your dogs are actually using their digging depot as a bathroom spot, create a separate dirt spot alongside it and put a small doghouse around it that makes it easy to hide and clean up later.

April 28, 2019 |

How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears

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dog ear cleaning

A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker

dog ear cleaningKeeping your dog’s ears free from moisture and bacteria is an important step in your regular grooming schedule. During hot summer months, and swimming season, you might be checking and cleaning your dog’s ears weekly or even daily. Think of your dog’s ears as a hot and moist petri dish for bacteria to flourish and grow. Think that’s gross? Try taking a whiff of the waxy brown stuff that you clean out. Yuck!

Here’s a few tips to keeping your dog’s ears clean.

  1. Check Them Daily
    This is the most important aspect of keeping your dog’s ears clean and healthy. It doesn’t take long (a few days) for a little moisture to grow into a full blown problem. Your dog might scratch at his ears, causing infection and another problem to add to the list.
  2. Keep Them Dry
    Moisture is usually the culprit. Simply swabbing inside of your dog’s ears with a cotton ball daily can help absorb anything moisture that crept in. It will also indicate if there is a need to clean deeper.
  3. Trim Hair Growing into the Ear.
    Especially important for harrier breeds, poodles and terriers. Hair can trap moisture and result in helping the petri dish environment flourish.
  4. Use a Soft Cloth Wrapped Over Your Index Finger as a Swabber
    Gently wipe inside of your dog’s ears. Diluted tea tree oil applied to the cloth is a wonderful antibacterial that will help prevent future build up.

Shaking of the head and scratching of the ears is NOT normal for dogs. If you see your dog exhibiting this kind of behavior, inspect thoroughly, as ear infections are extremely uncomfortable and can eventually lead to deafness. Also, remember, the more often you clean and check your dog’s ears, the less gross the job is!

April 2, 2019 |

Spring Safety Tips for Your Dog

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kandi in spring

kandi in springSpringtime is coming and everyone wants to get outside. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe:

  • Make sure your vacuum is cleaned. Flea larvae that can live in carpets and furniture can get sucked up in your into your vacuum and can hatch. Make sure that you empty your vacuum often. Bagless vacuum cleaners are great to ensure that flea larvae do not hatch.
  • Find organic/chemical free ways to rid your yard of fleas and other pests.
  • Get your dog groomed as to not get matted as easily. Find a dog groomer.
  • Keep dog beds clean as to not let any larvae hatch.
  • Everyone likes to get outside and run in the spring, remember to ensure that your dog’s tags are readable and up-to-date in case he gets out.
  • Be mindful of chemicals used to keep yards up during the summer which can be harmful to pets. Some fertilizers can be highly toxic.
  • Roads and the sides of roads can still have salt residue, make sure to wash your dog’s paws after a walk.

Have fun playing outside this spring with your dog(s)!

March 17, 2019 |

6 Springtime Items That Are Toxic to Dogs

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6 Springtime Items That Are Toxic to Dogs

6 Springtime Items That Are Toxic to Dogs

Springtime is here and it’s time to get out in the yard. When planting, remember some plants are toxic to dogs and other pets. Here’s a list of items to stay away from:

  • Oleander – It can cause serious issues including gastrointestinal tract irritation and abnormal heart function.
  • Lilies – They are toxic to cats and can cause severe kidney damage.
  • Tulips – The bulbs contain toxins that cause drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and heart abnormalities.
  • Cocoa mulch – Reacts like chocolate to dogs causing vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.
  • Aloe – Can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia and tremors
  • Azalea – May cause vomiting, diarrhea, weekness, and other issues.

Stay safe this spring and for more information about toxins in plants, visit the ASPCA.

 

 

March 17, 2019 |

Keep Your Dog Safe On Easter – Easter Pet Safety Tips

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Bowie Easter Bunny

Bowie Easter Bunny

The trees and flowers are blooming and your allergies are taking over. This could mean only one thing, it’s spring! While spring is a great time to get out in the yard and celebrate with your family, there are some potential hazards for your dog. Easter brings celebration but it also brings a lot of toxic dangers around for your dogs. Here’s a list to watch out for:

  • Easter Grass – That colorful fake grass used to make your Easter basket so vibrant. Ingesting this “grass” can be lethal to your dogs and other pets because they can not digest it. The threads get stuck in their intestines causing damage.
  • Plastic Eggs – Those shiny plastic eggs that contain goodies and sometimes, if you’re a really lucky kid, money. If chewed and swallowed the plastic can cause intestinal problems that may require surgery. Make sure you keep track of how many you put out and that they are all found by who should find them, not Fido days later.
  • Chocolate – We all know that chocolate is dangerous to pets, but make sure your children know. Besides, puppies love bunnies, they just shouldn’t have chocolate ones.
  • Easter Lillies – They are a sign that spring is a coming, brining new life out of winter. But, did you know that they are one of the most poisinous plants for pets? Especially cats. They can cause kidney failure in less than two days if untreated.
  • Toys – Don’t forget those small and fun toy bunnies, chicks and others Easter basket stuffers that post a potential choking hazard for Fido.

Find more information about pet toxins and poisonous items for dogs and cats at the Pet Poison Helpline at www.petpoisonhelponline.com. The helpline is also open 24/7 at (800) 213-6680.

Have a happy and great Easter with your family!

March 16, 2019 |
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