How to Strengthen My Dog’s Teeth

It is critical to take care of your dog’s oral health. Poor oral hygiene can contribute to liver, kidney, and heart damage in dogs. To properly care for your pet’s teeth:

  • Talk to your vet and create a dental care program for your dog.
  • Brush your dog’s teeth daily. Daily brushing will take some time to train your dog to accept, but it is possible to teach them to enjoy it. If you start this process when they are puppies, training is easier. Fluoride is toxic for dogs, so you mustn’t use human toothpaste.
  • Dental chews for dogs are also a great way to promote their oral health. Use dental chews that have the VOHC seal of approval. Remember, the dog needs to spend time chewing for the dental chew to be effective. If they swallow immediately, the chew is not doing its job, and you need to find a new brand. If your dog does not like dental chews, you can rub some peanut butter on the chew. Organic peanut butter is a safe and healthy treat for dogs, and most love the flavor.
  • Feed your pet dry food that is clinically proven to help with dental maintenance. You can feed your pet these foods on a rotating basis with their regular diet.

To keep your dog’s teeth strong and healthy, you will need to remain vigilant about their chewing habits. Many dogs have a strong desire to chew. Some toys and other items they may chew can erode enamel and do additional damage to your pet’s teeth. Animal-based chews like bones and hooves can wear down and chip or break your dog’s teeth. Tennis balls, the ever-popular toy for many dogs, can trap grit and sand. This grit and sand can act as an abrasive element against your dog’s teeth, wearing off the enamel. Instead, use rubber balls designed for play. As a bonus, rubber balls designed for dogs will last longer.

Dogs also love sticks and other pieces of wood. These are dangerous for your dog’s teeth and their overall health. Wood can splinter, leaving a splinter in your dog’s mouth. The splinter can become infected and make it difficult for your dog to eat. If the wood splinters and the dog swallows it, it can perforate the digestive tract. Do not allow your dog to chew on sticks or wood.

Give your dog a natural rawhide with anti-tartar properties. Rawhides will help clean and strengthen your dog’s teeth while satisfying their need to chew. As a bonus, rawhides are an inexpensive treat found at most pet stores.

Synthetic chew toys and bones help strengthen your dog’s teeth, as well. Just make sure they are rugged and durable. If your dog can tear them apart, then he may end up ingesting part of the toy. Check with your vet about which brands are recommended for your dog. You also need to make sure you buy appropriately sized toys. Giving a large dog a synthetic chew meant for a small dog could result in a choking hazard.

Establish the habit of checking your dog’s teeth and gums once a week. With your pet facing you, open their mouths. Look for any signs of chipped or broken teeth. Make sure their gums remain pink. If the gums appear pale or have new spots on them, you should see your vet. Look at the teeth to make sure there are no brown stains near the gum line. Doing this weekly helps you find any oral problems that may develop between check-ups quickly.

A dental care plan, high-quality dental chews for dogs, proper toys, and the right food can help your beloved pet remain healthy. Oral health is an essential part of an overall plan of care for your dog. It is important to monitor what your dogs put in their mouths, as many items dogs love to chew on can be dangerous. Help keep your pet healthy and happy by investing a little time and money into their oral care.

Image source: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2014/01/16/15/13/dog-246400_960_720.jpg

 

Which are the Best Pet Hair Cleaning Tips for your Home?

There’s nothing more annoying for pet owners than cleaning their pets’ hair which lies around everywhere around the house. Allowing your pet to sit on the sofa with you, makes you regret it immediately after it climbs down and you see the pile of hair, waiting for you to clean.

Even if you restrict your pet’s access to the sofa or armchair, you would still find fur on the floors and naturally on your clothes. As much as you get used to it, you would never be ignorant to the pet hair invasion which has struck your home.

The only way to cope with this issue, is by regular cleaning of every object affected by it. It’s a time-consuming and dull activity, but it’s certainly a way of showing the real affection you have for your pet. If you want your cleaning to be as efficient as possible, read the following furniture, floors and clothes-related cleaning tips.

Furniture

If you haven’t got rubber gloves, now would be the right time to purchase a pair, as they’ll help you with removing your pet’s hair from furniture. Certain fabrics such as cotton or synthetic are a magnet for attracting hairs which suggests frequent cleaning of your sofa and upholstery.

Get the rubber gloves slightly moistened and go over every piece of furniture in the house. The rubber material attracts fur, so it’ll easily transfer from the fabrics to the gloves. When you’ve collected enough fur, wash the gloves and repeat the procedure as many times as necessary.

The same cleaning process can be done by using a sponge instead of rubber gloves. Moreover, if you wish to get rid of your pet’s hair and smell at the same time, use a small amount of soda or fabric softener to dampen the sponge, which would eliminate the bad smell and provide a fresh scent around the house.

Floors

There are special kinds of cleaning tricks for various types of floors around the house. The carpets are most efficiently cleaned with a vacuum cleaner which you are supposed to control in different directions as it’s more likely to collect some hair you missed. Also, you have to go over the carpets and rugs more than one time to ensure better cleaning.

If your vacuum cleaner doesn’t have enough power to collect most of the fur, then you should invest in purchasing a pet hair vacuum which is characterized by a greater suction power in comparison with the standard ones. There are numerous online pet vacuum reviews, which can help you with the choice. You can choose between the corded and cordless type, but the latter is certainly more convenient for reaching all inaccessible places due to its numerous extensions and features.

Also, you should take a good maintenance care, regardless of the type of vacuum you’ve got. A regular filter clean-up is obligatory, if you want your vacuum to employ most of its suction power.

On the other hand, wooden floors are most efficiently cleaned by using a moistened mop, but you need to moisten it with a wood polish product as water can be wood’s biggest enemy. When it comes to cleaning the kitchen or bathroom, the best tool for tiles would be a rubber broom. Rubber attracts the hair from the floor which makes it easy for you to collect.

Clothes

Perhaps the most annoying thing for pet owners is when they see themselves covered in pet hair, particularly before heading out somewhere. Therefore, it’s practical to keep a lint roller near to the door as you can use it to remove the hairs you’ve collected in the last minutes. Don’t forget to go over your back as well. As an alternative to lint roller, you can use tape which is also going to remove the fur, thanks to its stickiness.

Most pet owners practice frequent laundering of their clothes, but that doesn’t necessarily help. A better idea would be to put the clothes in the dryer first, only for a couple of minutes, along with a wet towel or cloth which would attract the fur. After drying them, the following step would be to put them in the washing machine and wait for the results. Check this for more detailed information on the drying laundry procedure.

Wrap up

We hope that you’ll find these tips useful in your everyday struggle to keep your house fur-free. Your home would never be a hundred percent clean, but the least you can do is to try these functional tips and experience a slight improvement.

Clean your furniture, floors and clothes regularly, as they are the most powerful pet hair magnets. A cleaner home, is a happier and healthier place for you and your family!

 

Wild Animals That Are Not As Dangerous As People May Think

Modern era of technological development nurtures our curiosity with scientific documentaries, infographics, pictures and various clips of beautiful, scary and breathtakingly powerful animals. Unless we see adorable and harmless cubs, the information we receive from aforementioned channels leads us to make the following conclusions: wild animals can be especially dangerous and it is sensible to avoid them. Although, it is wise to consider their physical advantages, it is even more important to know which animals should not cause you to experience the sense of fear for your life.

Cheetahs

In spite of being the world’s fastest animals who also happen to be stealth-sprinting predators, cheetahs are actually very shy and timid creatures. These long, tall, slim, quiet and cute savannah cats do not pose a threat to a human. However, height advantage can be a seriously determining factor. Cheetah’s average length varies from 1.1 to 1.5 m. And luckily for us, it is less than average height of a human, which is 1.5 m.

Vultures

Largely due to the heavily influence of pop-culture, fictional literature and films in particular, vultures have one of the worst if not the worst reputations among all of the birds on Earth. Many people find their visual image scary and their food ration disgusting (as they feed on carrion), but these scavengers make a great input in disposing dead animals that may become a breeding ground for disease. And according to animals.mom.me they do not pose a threat to people:

“Despite their intimidating presence, vultures are pretty harmless. They have no incentive to attack humans and they lack the physical attributes that could pose a threat. Although they are carnivorous, most vultures feed only on animals that are already dead. Some vultures will spew projectile vomit as a defense mechanism, which is about the extent of their hostile behavior. While gross, it is hardly life-threatening.”

Gorillas

Gorillas are animals people often use as comparison for a big person that should not be messed around with. Although, gorillas do have sharp fangs, big muscles and enormous body build, they prefer to show their dominance by using scare tactics. Gorillas do it by with iconic grunts, ground pounds and chest bumps. At the same time they rarely attack primates like us. According to Dian Fossey (a primatologist who lived and studied gorillas for almost two decades) these giants are not violent, but rather peaceful animals.

It is inadvisable to make defensive moves and try to run. This type of behavior will only make you look like a victim. Some African tribes consider it humiliating to have gorilla bite marks or scars on your body. As it implies that the person who has them probably got scared of gorilla and tried to run. Thus, you are very unlikely to encounter with a gorilla if you simply avoid provoking the animal.

About the Author: Zack Hargrove is a remote editor. Many of his topics are dedicated to music, fitness, education and ways of strengthening your scientific curiosity. His teammates are willing to help anyone who googles “pay to write paper” and to assist those who need “programming homework help.” Good luck at finding him on Twitter @zackhargrovejr.

 

What Kind of Advantages Does CBD Oil Have For Your Dog?

Natural medicine is always the best choice for any illness. Of course, no two diseases are the same. Some of them require stronger medication, while others can be treated with natural remedies. First, you need to have a diagnosis, and then you can start the treatment. The same goes for animals as well. They need medicine to get stronger and better.

Speaking of natural remedies, you should know that CBD oil is still a taboo topic in some states. This is because smoking weed is illegal in many countries throughout the world. Since the oil is made from the cannabis plant, it scares people that it might provoke substance abuse. This is not possible because the product doesn’t contain any THC traces. In fact, since it is made from a plant, it has a lot of health benefits that will get you better. Read more on this page.

Nowadays, studies are also performed on dogs, as well. If the oil is helpful for people, why wouldn’t it be useful to pets as well? Some studies have shown evidence that, indeed, there’s an improvement in dogs after using the oil. You just need to make sure that your vet is okay with it. Here are some health issues that can be prevented with using the oil:

Seizures

Pets can experience them too. If this happens continuously, then you need to take action. First, take your dog to a professional because they will diagnose it. A vet can offer some medication for it, but don’t be surprised if the doctor recommends the CBD as well. The product is made from such compounds that will eliminate the seizures once and for all. You can put several drops of oil into your dog’s food or water. This will definitely show results after a couple of days. Just make sure not to overuse it.

Inflammation

The doctors usually recommend the product against inflammation, as well. Your dog can suffer from one too. The important thing is to act quickly. Not treating the inflammation at once will make matters even worse. That’s why it is recommendable that you use the product to minimize the damage. You can use it for yourself as well. It has proven effective in people, but in dogs, it is still debatable. However, there’s promising evidence that suggests that dogs are improved with using the oil. Always remember that you need to do some research or consult your vet first before giving your dog CBD.

Anxiety

Dogs can easily experience separation anxiety. If your dog is really used to you and wants to be around you all the time, then you might have trouble with it. You see after you leave the house to go to work, your canine can start barking loudly and exhibit restless behavior. Who knows? It might even hurt itself in some way. Separation anxiety is quite common in canines, but you should do your best to minimize it. A few drops of the product can provide a soothing effect, and your canine will be more tranquil. No more barking loudly.

Pain

Just as you experience pain, your dog can too. Usually, we take pills for that matter, but this is not always a practical solution. It’s not good to get your body used to chemicals. However, CBD oil is all-natural and extremely helpful against pain. The product can manage pain in different ways. Therefore, if you notice that something strange is going on with your pet, chances are that it is hurting. You can try giving it CBD and wait a couple of days to see what happens. Chances are pretty high that the pain will stop. Check out the link https://www.caninejournal.com/benefits-of-cbd-oil-for-dogs/.

Nausea

If your pet continues to vomit regularly, then they surely have a problem with their stomach. This is where your pet needs constant care and lots of fluids. But first, you need to make sure that the vomiting stops once and for all. The CBD oil can help with that a lot. Not only that, but it will stimulate appetite once again. You won’t have to worry about your dog not eating anymore. Just wait a couple of days, and you will definitely notice a difference.

 

Grey Tabby Cats

Tabby cats are found to be more distinct from other cats because their personalities are more like dogs. Tabbies, for short, love to play and explore. They can even play fetch with their humans, which is pretty intelligent for felines. They are also amusing and affectionate, making them excellent companions. Grey tabby cats, in particular, also have distinct characteristics, among other tabbies.

What Tabby Cats are NOT

Before we go on elaborating about grey tabby cats, we’ll have to clarify one thing about tabbies in general. Namely, the fact that tabbies are NOT a particular breed of cat. Rather, tabby pertains to a coat pattern.

The tabby gene is pretty dominant compared to solid or bi-color coat patterns. As such, you will be able to find the tabby pattern in all domestic cats. This tabby pattern also comes in different variations – stripes, spots, ticks, and swirls. There are also different colors: silver, ginger or orange, grey, and red. As mentioned above, for this post, we’ll talk about the grey tabby cats.

What’s Interesting about Grey Tabby Cats

Eye Colors and Paws

One of the first things you’ll notice is that a grey tabby can have different eye colors. More so, on their paws, you’ll see either brick red or grey pads.

Genes

Unlike orange tabbies, grey tabby cats are pretty standard in both sexes.

Further, since the tabby pattern is a dominant trait, it can be seen in many different cat breeds. It is an excellent camouflage for felines. Predator cats such as the lynx, sand cat, Pallas’ cat, and Scottish wild cat can look like innocent and domestic.

Great Companions

Although there are predator cat breeds that have a tabby coat, the majority of tabbies are still domestic and friendly.

Despite their breed, tabbies, in general, are warm, affectionate, and love human contact. However, grey tabbies, in particular, are found to be quite lazy. They would refuse to do things that will require much effort from their part. As such, they are perfect for cat owners who prefer slow and relaxed days.

Word of Caution

Grey tabby cats are a great addition to your home. They will naturally love you without asking anything much. Also, you won’t be expected to play with them outdoors or even indoors.

However, since they are the quiet tabbies, you have to be intentional in regulating their diet. Otherwise, their lack of exercise may result in obesity or other health issues.

 

What to do if you Find a Lost Pet

Most people are compassionate animal lovers. When they see a pet lost or in danger, they want to help reunite the animal with their family.

 

In the days before social media, it was not an easy process. You could put an ad in a newspaper, check for signs in your neighborhood and community bulletin boards and maybe put up a found pet flyer. Then you just had to hope that the owners would find you.

Technology has come a long way since then. When you find a lost pet, there are several steps you can take to increase the odds of seeing the animal returned home.

 

  1. Check the collar. If the animal has an identifying tag with the owner’s number, call right away.
  2. Take the animal to a local shelter or veterinarian to check for a microchip. Microchipping pets is becoming more and more popular, and the odds are good that the animal may have one. Unfortunately, owners do not always think to update their phone numbers and other information in the national registry.
  3. If neither of the above steps results in finding the owner, then it is time to take a good picture of the animal. Remember, please keep some information about the animal private. Examples are if an animal has scars, distinctive markings in one area, or perhaps even the sex. You want to make sure that anyone who claims the pet can identify something about the animal that is not visible on the picture.
  4. Use an app like FindShadow. If someone has lost a pet, apps like this one are the first place many owners turn. FindShadow also has a team of volunteers that scour social media and shelter websites for photos to help match missing and found animals. Take the best picture possible and upload it to the app.
  5. Let your neighbors know about the animal you have found. Word of mouth is often a great way to see a happy ending for lost pets.
  6. Use the power of social media. Post the picture of the animal both on your personal profile and in local lost and found groups.
  7. Contact area shelters to see if they have a missing pet report that matches the pet you have found.
  8. Put up a “Found Pet” Flyer with a picture of the animal.
  9. Keep your phone, and any messaging apps used as a contact nearby and check them frequently. Remember, whoever lost their pet is probably frantic and will want a response as soon as possible to know their animal is safe.
  10. Give it time. It is often difficult for those who find lost pets to keep them safe. They may live in a place that does not allow pets or have other animals that do not get along with the new animal. If you find yourself in this situation, try to find someone to safely foster the animal for a few days while you attempt to find the owners.

If you are unable to find someone to foster the animal, then contact a local rescue. Rescues are usually preferable to a local animal shelter as the animal will be kept in a less stressful environment. If you must turn the animal over to a shelter or rescue, please continue to search for the owners so that you can let them know the location of their pet.

If you are able to keep the pet with you and the owner does not turn up within five days, please consider taking the animal to a veterinarian for a wellness check. This helps to ensure that the animal is healthy and is a good opportunity for you to learn how to care for the animal.

 

Most lost pets are reunited with their owners. Unfortunately, after 5-7 days, you may need to consider if you are able and willing to take responsibility for caring for the pet. If you cannot care for the pet yourself, then please work with friends, family, neighbors, or a reputable rescue to home the animal. During this time, remember to keep updating lost and found sites, social media, and apps like FindShadow.

Some people are not equipped to care for animals. Even more disturbing, some people seek to use animals for nefarious purposes like breeding, fighting, or as “bait animals.” If you must re-home a found pet, please be responsible for your choice of finding a new home. Do not put up an ad offering the animal for free without any way to check the home or the potential owner’s intentions.

 

 

CBD Dogs Seizures: Cannabis for Your Canine

 

There are many types of drugs in the world right now. There are the over-the-counter drugs that you can buy almost anymore. They are relatively safe to use as long as you control the dosage. There are also drugs that need a prescription from a physician before you can even get them. These are usually for specific diseases, usually very serious and sometimes need more medical attention than just medicine. They can also be antibiotics, which lose their effectiveness if you skipped the prescribed dosage. However, there are drugs that are considered to be dangerous that they are illegal all over the world.

Most of us are fully aware of the existence of these drugs, but most countries find them difficult to control. There is always some sort of drug that would ravage the lives of many people. Opium, for example, was considered a problem in Asian countries, particularly in China and Korea. Cocaine was considered as a cure for many diseases but it was found to be addictive. Methamphetamine is considered a part of the modern slew of drugs which still affects many communities to this day. Learn more about the statistics on drugs here.

Meet Marijuana: Friend or Foe?

However, there is one drug that is slowly changing its status as an illegal drug. Cannabis, also known by its street name marijuana, is a drug that can be extracted from the plant of the same name. There are five species of this specific plant that lives in this world right now. All of their extracts are known to be hallucinogenic. There are some people who believe that it is potentially dangerous if used excessively. There are even some who also believe that it can be incredibly addictive that it is known as a “gateway drug” for other more toxic drugs.

This has been changing in the past few years. As many scientists are looking for cures for diseases and mental disorders, there have been studies about the potential of cannabis as a cure which you can read about here: https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/medical-marijuana-research-web#1.

As cannabis extract is a combination of multiple compounds, each of these has a different effect on the body. When scientists isolated these compounds, they have found one that can be really useful for the field of medicine. This is cannabidiol and it is now being made into CBD oil. There are a lot of products that can be made using this oil, but it is usually in this form that is the most popular one in places where marijuana is legal.

One of the main ways that CBD oil can really help is with mental disorders, particularly anxiety. As marijuana can be a hallucinogenic, it will also calm someone when used. This is the part that can be imparted by CBD to the patient. There are even other producers who incorporate CBD oil to their products like soaps and shampoos.

Pet Them Right: CBD for Pets

Did you know that you can also use CBD oil to your pet dogs? It is actually really helpful with pain relief because of its calming properties. You will really know when your pet is in pain because of his or her physical reaction. It is such a heartbreaking sight, and CBD can potentially help with that.

There is also another sickness that CBD can potentially alleviate: seizures. Dogs can have them due to various reasons like genetics or viral-borne disease. CBD oil can help in a similar way it can also help a human with epileptic seizures by anticonvulsive treatment. CBD is said to be anti-inflammatory and can help targeting the part that causes seizures with your canine friend. It can also promote a healthy nervous system for the dogs since most of them are physically active already. It is important that they are healthy all over so that you wouldn’t have to experience any kind of behavioral problems.

If your dog is experiencing any kind of problem, it is important to go immediately to a veterinarian to diagnose his or her condition. Your veterinarian will have to issue a prescription so that they can actually cure the dog using medicines. Don’t try to self-diagnose your dog’s health as this can potentially be even harmful. Let the professionals handle your dog’s case and it will be alright.

 

Starting Puppy Off On The Right Paw: Picking The Best Food

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

It’s puppy season and a lot of people are bringing home a new puppy to be part of their family. There’s a lot involved in being a new pet parent and one of the most important decisions you’re going to make is picking what food is right for your new furry family member.

Walking down the dog food aisle at your local pet supply store can be an overwhelming experience. You definitely want to pick a brand you can trust, with quality ingredients, and complete and balanced nutrition so your puppy can grow up to be happy and healthy.

Many puppy foods are going to be higher in protein and enriched with vitamins, minerals and fats to speak to the higher calorie needs of an active, growing puppy, but keep an eye out; if you notice that your puppy is gaining too much weight you may need to adjust the portion size. Obesity is one of the biggest health concerns to our pets, so it’s important to keep your puppy at a healthy weight from the start. You’ll want to pay attention to how your puppy reacts to their food as well: if you notice that your puppy has an upset stomach or other symptoms that might indicate a sensitive tummy or food allergies, you’ll need to talk to your vet to address those issues as soon as possible.

Symptoms that your puppy may be allergic to his or her food may include:

  • Ear infections
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive scratching
  • Dry flaky skin
  • Hot Spots
  • Unable to sleep through the night, fidgeting
  • More than one to two bowel movements a day
  • Diarrhea

There are a lot of people who may not want to start their puppy off on a puppy-specific formula for various reasons and that’s okay too. You might have another adult or senior dog at home and who wants to have to buy different kinds of food for different dogs who may be in different life stages? Changing from puppy food, to adult dog food later in life can be a complicated process that many dog owners are looking to avoid altogether. Whatever your reasons may be, many modern dog food companies offer all-life-stages formulas so that your puppy can eat the same food from the moment you bring him home, until he is an adult and even into his senior years.

Companies like Natural Balance have created many complete and balanced formulas like their latest innovation Natural Balance® Wild Pursuit™ which is designed specifically to meet the needs of all your dog’s life stages. Wild Pursuit™ is designed for both puppies and adult dogs alike. It’s a high-protein, grain-free food with a balanced blend of three animal-based protein sources. Products like this meet the needs of growing puppies and can be fed throughout adulthood (as long as the feeding quantity is adjusted for your dog’s age and activity level) so you never have to switch formulas and can avoid the complications and hassle that can come when changing any dog’s food.

Whatever you decide to feed your pup, you’re going to want to make sure to pick a high-quality, easily digestible, dog food whose main ingredient is an animal based protein source. Check the dog food label for quality ingredients (like animal based proteins, garbanzo beans, peas, blueberries, etc.) and to make sure you are using the right feeding portion. Be on the alert for upset stomach or symptoms of possible food allergies. With the watchful eye of a loving human and the right dog food, your pup will grow up healthy and live for many happy years!

 

Diet and taurine deficiency in dogs

If you have concerns about taurine deficiency in your dog, you’ll want to take a long, hard look at your dog’s breed and diet. The following article discusses nutritional choices for dogs that are predisposed to low taurine levels.

There has been a lot of information circulating online about taurine and dog health, with some sites suggesting taurine supplements and feeding dogs meat-based diets. While it’s true that meat-first diets are preferable to grain-first or vegetarian diets, should you be concerned about the taurine in your dog’s diet? Why is it important?

Taurine is an amino acid that supports healthy organ function. Most dogs are able to synthesize taurine from nutrients that are required to be present in commercially available pet foods, and do not need taurine supplements. However, some dog breeds are predisposed to a condition that prevents this synthesis from occurring, and therefore may suffer from chronically low taurine levels if the condition is unaddressed. These breeds are:

  • American cocker cpaniel
  • Retriever (golden and Labrador)
  • English Setter
  • Newfoundland
  • Great Dane
  • Saint Bernard

While taurine deficiency itself doesn’t cause physical symptoms, the underlying cause of some dogs’ taurine deficiency – such as cystinuria – will be symptomatic. If your dog has difficulty urinating or if there is blood in their urine, have them checked by a vet immediately.

Your vet will conduct tests to determine if your dog’s taurine levels are low. If it is discovered that your dog is suffering from a taurine deficiency, your vet may recommend taurine supplements or a pet food rich in taurine. Foods with high taurine content include dark meat poultry and fish. Zignature dog food taurine levels are naturally high enough to meet most dogs’ nutritional requirements, but you should check with your vet before making any significant modifications to your dog’s diet. Moreover, your vet may suggest alternatives that address other health issues for a more holistic nutritional solution.

To read more on topics like this, check out the food & health category.

Crate training: What you need to know

When it comes to crate training, how you approach the process can make the difference between success and disaster. In this second of a two-part series, I’ll discuss the do’s and dont’s of crate training.

While crate training is an excellent behavior management tool for dogs, there are a few things to remember if you want to ensure a happy outcome.

Do: Find the appropriate sized crate for your dog.

Your dog’s crate should be big enough for them to stand comfortably at any angle and lie down. Though you might be tempted to get an overly large crate, big crates may give your dog the impression that its big enough to relieve themselves inside.

Don’t: Use the crate to punish your dog.

It is extremely important that the crate is viewed as a positive place for your dog – if you use it as a punishment, they won’t go into it voluntarily, and it will make them anxious and stressed.

Do: Crate train as early as possible.

Puppies are the most responsive to crate training – get a crate before you bring your pup home. Older dogs may associate crates with kenneling, punishment or unpleasantness, and as a result might respond poorly to the crate. If you have a rescue dog who has experienced trauma, consult a professional trainer or dog handler to discover the best training methods for your dog’s disposition.

Don’t: Leave small items or choking hazards locked in the crate.

This includes towels and blankets, as well as small toys.

Do: Crate your dog in stages.

Proper crate training should be conducted incrementally in the following steps.

  1. Make the crate a happy environment. Leave treats and toys in the open crate and allow your dog to voluntarily enter.
  2. Close the crate door after they have stayed inside on their own. Don’t just shut the door as soon as they walk in – wait for them to lie down and relax. Remain in the room the first few times you close the door.
  3. Leave the room for a few moments with the door closed. Once they’re accustomed to the door being closed, you can start to leave the room for brief periods.
  4. Leave your dog in the crate overnight. Once your dog has been successfully left in the crate for a full night, they will likely be comfortable being in the crate when you leave the house.

Your ability to move from stage to stage will determine the success of the training. If you are never able to proceed – if your dog never voluntarily goes into the crate or exhibits destructive behavior when the crate door is closed – they may not have the correct temperament for crate training.

Don’t: Be deterred by mild crying and whining.

If and when your dog begins crying during the overnight stage of crate training, simply allow them to discover that their cries aren’t yielding the desired results. Periodic high-pitched cries are not an indication of real distress – they’re just asking for their way. However, if the cries are urgent and desperate, your dog could be feeling heightened anxiety, and it could be unsafe to leave them crated.

Do: Develop a consistent routine.

Dogs are comforted by routines. Make sure your schedule is the same every day – the same mealtime, walk time, time to relieve themselves, and crate time. This will help your dog accept what is expected of them.

Overall wellness is essential to success in crate training – some medical conditions may make crate training an impractical technique, including heart disease and DCM. Zignature, Blue Buffalo and IAMS are affordable and reliably high-quality pet foods with formulas for dogs with health concerns. In the long-term, consistent crate training can help your dog feel comfortable and relaxed in your home.

I’m a doggie blogger, pet parent to two deviously smart rescue pups, and enthusiastic amateur photographer.

To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.