How To Care For your Pet Dog

He will be there by your side, as your loving companion – he will offer you protection if ever the need arises. Pet dog owners in turn must know how to look after their pet dog, and be responsible for it. The dog’s needs are simple and easy to follow. When puppies come home they need lots of love and attention. They may stress a little at first, as this is probably the first time they are away from their mother and their littermates. It is important that you begin the process of socialization, generally integrating your new pet into your family and teaching it to relate to people and other animals through gentle play, interaction and having pleasant encounters with family friends and pets

A stress free environment for your puppy

Try and avoid sudden loud noises such as children screaming or doors slamming. Also limit the visitors your new puppy has – gradually allowing it to get used to more and more strange faces.

Provide a warm comfortable bed – or alternatively a cardboard box with many layers of newspaper and a washable blanket on top. Make sure your puppy will still fit into it as it grows. Place the puppy’s bed where you want it to sleep as an adult or grown dog – usually the best place would be a quiet, private corner. For the first few nights – settling period – a fluffy toy and a warm (not hot) water bottle placed beneath the bedding will help. The puppy may be noisy and stresses at night immediately after separation from its littermates. A low radio or ticking clock can help sooth it.

When the puppy is awake during the day – give it lots of body contact and talk to your puppy in a soft voice to express friendship and a gruff voice to express disapproval of any of its unwanted actions.

Keeping your puppy safe

The following are things to consider when preparing for the arrival of a new puppy. Lock away household and garden chemicals.- Make sure electrical cords are out of biting reach.

Be extra careful when using lawnmowers, skateboards, roller blades or any other similar thing.

Make sure the puppy cannot get through’ any swimming pool fencing.

Teaching your puppy the house rules

The newest member of the ‘family pack’ must learn that you are the pack leader and that it is the bottom dog in the pack. Once the new puppy recognizes its place in the family hierarchy it will be happier and easily trained to obey commands. The puppy will look to its pack leader to protect it and make decisions for it.

Nutritional needs

It is best to start by feeding your puppy the same diet it ate before it joined your family. You can introduce any changes slowly over several days to avoid causing digestive upsets. Commercial puppy foods are recommended and later commercial adult food – a well balanced good quality dry food is essential. A constant supply of fresh clean water should be available. A deep stainless steel or earthenware bowl will keep the water cooler and in summer ice can be added to the water.

Play time with your Pet Dog

Puppies love to play and this helps them to grow and learn. In the early days when they play among their littermates, it gives them exercise and is the way in which they compete for their order in the pack. Don’t be rough with your puppy – but it’s also important in these early stages that your puppy learns that family members are dominant. Chewing helps puppies through teething – but it is also a way of investigating their environment. This need is easily satisfied with chewable objects and toys. Make sure they don’t resemble objects that you don’t want chewed, for example how does the puppy distinguish between his old shoe and all of the other shoes in the household?

Puppy Dog Potty Training

Anticipate toilet needs. Take your puppy outside as soon as it wakes up, as well as before and after every meal. Go right outside with your puppy – this is very important. Take it to a specific area of the garden and wait until it has finished – always praise the puppy afterwards.

The importance of Exercising your Pet Dog

A retractable leash is ideal for a puppy, in this way you can’t force the puppy to over exercise. Adult dogs also need exercise and play – walking a dog everyday is great, or play in the park with a ball or stick. If everyday is too hard to manage, try at least four times a week.

Grooming your Dog

Get your new dog used to being groomed, handled and examined as soon as possible. Your grooming equipment should include a dog brush and comb. Establish a daily routine where you examine your dogs mouth, teeth, eyes, ears, abdomen, paws and other parts of its anatomy, and although it may not need grooming do it anyway. If your dog is regularly groomed you will only need to wash it if it gets really dirty or smelly. It is best to use lukewarm water and give the dog a brush out first. Use a proper dog shampoo and dry it off with its own special dog towel, before it gets cold. Nails should be clipped as needed depending on the breed of the dog and the surface that the dog usually walks on. If it’s a hard surface they walk on the nails will wear down naturally. Special dog nail clippers are available – if you are not confident with this process ask your vet or a dog groomer to show you the process.

Following these simple steps will ensure you, your family and the newest edition to the family will have a happy, healthy and rewarding time together.

(c) By Katharine Logan, 2005

5 Reasons Why Cats Are Better Than Dogs As Pets

Cats vs. dogs… Cat owners vs. dog owners. It’s a war that has been waged for as long as people and pets have lived together. While some animal lovers are what I would call “ambi-pet-rous” (equally fond of both cats and dogs), there are just as many die-hard fans of dogs, and cat connoisseurs that would have no other pet.

Today, we’re going to take the stance of the cat lover, and discuss 5 valid reasons why cats are better than dogs. Now, before all you dog lovers start growling at me, in a future article I promise to take the opposite viewpoint, and give dogs their day.

So, without further adieu, here are the top 5 reasons that cats are better than dogs!

  1. Cats are self-training. Many a dog owner has been faced with the problem of house training their puppy. And some dogs, despite the owners’ best efforts, never quite get it. Kittens, on the other hand, take to the litter box like ducks to water. It’s a cats’ natural instinct to dig a hole and bury it’s pee and poo. All a cat owner needs to do is ensure that their pussycat has a clean litter box tucked away in a quiet corner, and that’s pretty much it.
  2. Cats are quiet. One of the most frustrating aspects of dog ownership is barking. And barking. And even more barking. Many dogs will seemingly bark when so much as a flea farts. Not so with cats. Although some breeds of cat, such as the Siamese, can be more vocal than others, cat owners definitely do not need earplugs.
  3. Cats are healthier. With the exception of some purebred cat breeds, cats tend to be healthier than dogs. Dogs can suffer from numerous health problems, including such things as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, arthritis, allergies and skin conditions. Cats, on the other hand, are generally healthier and live longer – as much as 25 years.
  4. Cats are low maintenance. Cats self-regulate their feedings. Leave a bowl of good quality cat food down for your kitty, and you can rest assured your cat will eat only as much she needs – when she is hungry. Dogs, on the other hand, can only be fed what they should eat, otherwise they will eat, and eat, and eat (and eat). Dogs wolf down their food and go looking for more.
  5. Cats are self-reliant. It’s a rare occurrence that a cat will suffer from separation anxiety when the family is away at work or school. Cats are happy to take a nice nap while on their own, but still enjoy the companionship of their family when home. Dogs and puppies are not good when left on their own. They can become destructive, anxious and neurotic, and very often need the care of a sitter, or someone to be home with them most of the time.

These are just a few of the reasons cats are better than dogs. I’m sure cat owners will have many more. So if you’re looking for an affectionate family pet that is lots of fun but not so much work, consider a cat or kitten.

Tarpaulins As Animal Feed Covers

Not having a barn or shed to store hay and feed keeps people from realizing their dream of owning a horse or a few head of livestock. Having handy storage saves many trips back and forth to the feed store. Heavy duty tarpaulins and cattle panels provide an easy do-it-yourself answer to this storage dilemma.

The directions that follow will build a waterproof hoop to store hay or feed in. The items needed for this project are a wooden pallet, a heavy duty tarp, a cattle panel, 4 T-posts or 4 lengths of rebar.

Find a suitable place to store your animal feed where it is easily accessible. The pallet is the “floor” of this structure and keeps the hay or feed off the ground to prevent rotting or contamination. Lay the pallet down in the place you’ve chosen. Pound one T-post in about three inches from each corner. These posts will provide stability to the cattle panel and keep it in place.

Stand the cattle panel on end between the T-posts and pallet on one side. You want to position the panel so the narrowest end is the end resting on the ground, sandwiched between post and pallet. Grab the opposite end and bend the panel over the pallet and shove it in between the T-posts and pallet on the other side. If you’ve done this right, this should now form an arch over the pallet.

The tarp you choose should be long enough to span this arch from side to side. It should be wide enough to completely cover both ends with a couple of feet laying on the ground. Thread twine or wire through the tarp’s grommets and tie securely to the panel. Do this for every grommet on both sides. This will keep the wind from blowing the cover off. The other ends will have to be weighted down to keep from blowing up.

This provides waterproof storage and if kept out of the sun, will last for several years. Using a UV resistant tarp will also increase the longevity. Check periodically and replace any broken or rotten ties. Be certain the tarp on each end is well weighted down. This is important, because with gusty winds the tarp becomes a big sail and blows away. The hoop can be added onto, and is limited only by your imagination.