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5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe on the 4th of July

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dog and fireworks infographic

Fireworks have long been the nemesis of our best friends along with thunder. The loud booms can be frightening and cause even the most mellowest of dogs to freak out and run out the door aimlessly trying to find shelter. Our friends at K9 of Mine have put together the below infographic to help with safety.

dog and fireworks infographic

From our friends at K9 of Mine.

June 23, 2019 |

Keeping Your Dog Calm During July 4th Fireworks

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4th of july

4th of julyA DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker

Hopefully, you’ve already pre-planned your mid-week holiday this year. You’ve got burgers for the grill, cold drinks, a summer playlist, and maybe even guests coming over. If you’re a dog owner, add to the list one-on-one time with your pooch, plenty of exercise during the day, and potty time before dark. All of the loud noises (bangs, pops, sizzles) can wreak havoc on a dog’s nerves, so it’s important to plan for your dog’s comfort during this potentially stressful time. If you’ve already brought your dog inside, drawn the curtains, turned on the lights, started the music, and lit the calming aromatherapy candles, you should be in good shape. If, however, your dog still shows signs of fear and stress at the sound of each firework going off, here’s a few tips to help soothe him.

1. Stay calm and gentle. Don’t mirror your dog’s anxiety.
This is your time to shine as the alpha leader of your family. Be empathetic but confident, so your dog knows that he is protected and doesn’t have to play that role for you.

2. Don’t punish your dog or command that they “relax.”
Your dog’s surprise by all the noises would be the same if your house came under air raid. Imagine how you would feel with someone sternly telling you to lay down and relax.

3. Try distracting your dog.
This is a great time to bring out special toys (like the ones that squeak in ways that might drive you to drink). Or, special occasion treats. If you have a combination, even better! There are many toys that feature areas to stuff them with a treat where the treat removal becomes a puzzle for your dog. But, if your dog doesn’t want to play or eat treats, don’t force the issue.

4. Let your dog be in the place that he feels safest.
This might mean your lap, which could be comfortable if your dog is a pug, not so comfortable if it’s a German Shepherd. If your dog wants to be on the floor at your feet, let him. Don’t command that he be on the couch with you, where it’s more comfortable for you to pet and soothe him. Try getting on the floor with him to see if that helps.

5. Stay in an enclosed room with your dog.
Basements and man caves are typically already designed to drown out the noises of everyday life. These are great places to retreat with your dog and put on some music or a movie to help cover the erratic sounds of fireworks.

If your dog is scared by fireworks noises, be sensitive. July 4th isn’t a good time to try to desensitize your dog to loud noises or ignore them. If, in fact, you get through the holiday with loving comfort but find that your dog does get fearful and stressed by the ruckus, consider working with a certified trainer to help ease their stress in future situations.

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June 23, 2019 |

5 Non-Fireworks Tips for a Safe 4th

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July 4th Safety Tips for Dogs

July 4th Safety Tips for Dogs

As everyone knows, fireworks scare most dogs. But as we celebrate our independence, keep in mind these other safety tips to ensure you best friend has a great 4th too!

  • It’s hot out and you may have friends over. Make sure that fresh water and access to shade/indoors is always available so that Fido can escape the crowd and cool off.
  • Keep those cold cocktails and beer on high ground. When a crowd is around drinks often end up in low places that the pups can reach.
  • Watch the food and deserts. That card table may not be tall enough or sturdy enough to keep the hot dogs away from the dogs. Cakes and chocolate are dangerous so keep everything on high ground.
  • Keep a lid on it. Ensure all of your trashcans have lids so that no one goes dumpster diving and bringing out embarrassing gifts.
  • Remember these summer foods that are poisonous to dogs:
    • Grapes/raisins
    • Onions
    • Avacados
    • Tomatoes
    • Garlic
    • Rhubarb

Have a safe 4th from everyone at DogGeek.com!

June 19, 2019 |

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 |
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