Posted: Mar 28 2012
PupLife Dog Blog » Tips
Everybody needs a comfy place to sleep. And, since most dogs and cats sleep 10-16 hours a day or more, it's important to choose the right bed for your precious pet.
Today, dog and cat beds are fashionable as well as functional, so it's easy to mistakenly buy the dog bed that looks best to you or will coordinate with your couch. Before making your purchase consider the following: Size, Shape and Texture.
Mistake #1: Choosing The Wrong Size Dog BedThe biggest mistake people make when purchasing a bed for their dog or cat is guessing on size. First and foremost, measure your pet's length. This will give you a general idea about the dimensions your pet needs. There's nothing worse than a bed that's too small. Can you imagine trying to sleep with your feet hanging off the bed? Of course not!
Mistake #2: Choosing The Wrong Shape Dog BedTake a day or two to analyze how your pet sleeps. Does she curl up in a ball or does she like to stretch out? Most pets will sleep in a variety of different positions but if you spend some time watching your pet's behavior you can get a good idea which type of bed he or she will most enjoy. Beds are available in round, rectangular and square shapes. Additionally, beds come in a variety of styles, like traditional stuffed style, bumper style or flat mat style. If your dog is older or has joint or muscle pain, consider opting for an orthopedic dog bed for extra support and comfort.
Mistake #3: Choosing The Wrong TextureJust like people, pets have their own unique preferences. Some dogs and cats prefer nappy textures, while others like smooth fabrics. Take a look at the spots your dog likes to flop and this will help you determine the best kind of fabric for your pet's bed.
Additionally, consider the climate in which you live. If you're in a colder area, think about getting a heavier fabric like a berber or fleecy fabric. In warmer climates, a sleek, cool faux suede dog bed might be more appropriate.
Keep in mind, it can take some time for your dog or cat to warm up to a new bed. Just like new sheets, new dog beds require a breaking-in period. Think about washing the outer cover to soften it. Dogs and cats are very sensitive to smell and may prefer the scent of their old blanket or bed to the new one so give you pet time to adjust. You can also make the bed smell more like you (which your pet also likes) by putting your old t-shirt on the bed for a few days. Making the bed smell familiar to your pet is key.
Dogs are social creatures and they want to spend time with you. It's a good idea to put your dog's new bed in the room where you are. Don't be afraid to move it around from room to room. Where ever you happen to be hanging out is where your pooch wants to be!
Finally, you can create a reward system when your pet uses his new bed. Take a few minutes each day and train your dog to sit on his bed. Using positive reinforcement, it's easy to teach your dog a basic sit/stay right on the bed. Reward your dog with a dog treat each time. Soon enough, your dog will associate his new bed with really good things.
Posted: Mar 26 2012
At PupLife, your pet's safety is of the utmost importance. We are always searching for ways to keep your pet safe, so when we learned that Embrace Pet Insurance created a Pet Poison Prevention Center, we knew it was something we just had to share right away.
The Poison Prevention Center was created to educate and inform pet owners about the most common household poison threats to dogs and cats. Streamlined and easy-to-use, the Poison Prevention Center offers a quick overview for pet parents. From food to chemicals to poisonous plants, this page offers valuable information to help keep pets safe. This guide contains information on pet poisons that can be found in human food, household chemicals, human medications and more. In addition, the center lists the 17 most common poisonous plants.
While do not endorse one pet insurance company over another (or the choice to use pet insurance over a pet health savings account), we certainly commend Embrace Pet Insurance for posting this useful guide to pet poisons. Please remember to keep your pet safe!
Posted: Mar 20 2012
Looking for a way to improve your mood, your health and your relationship with your dog? Take a walk. Walking your dog regularly provides benefits to the dog and owner.
A recent study conducted at the George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services and reported in Arthritis Today found that pet owners who walked with their dog regularly had an overall lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those that did not, fewer chronic health problems and a lower incidence of depression. The study's author, Cindy Lentino, says her results indicate dog walking is something medical and health professionals should include when talking about activities that promote a healthy and active lifestyle.“There’s definitely something special about dogs. They are inherently active animals,” Lentino says. “Dogs give owners a sense of purpose in that they need to be walked and humans need exercise, so I think that is the key. “
3 Tips For Creating The Perfect Dog Walking Routine
1) Pick a time that works for your schedule. Morning, noon or night: your dog will be there when you are ready! It's important to pick a time slot you can stick to with some regularity otherwise it's hard to make it a permanent habit.2) Get the right equipment. Luckily walking is one of those activities that does not require a lot of expensive equipment but you want to make sure you and your dog are comfortable. It's important to have a pair of supportive shoes and a well fitting collar with tags and leash for your dog. If your dog is a puller, consider investing in a no-pull training harness to make your walks more enjoyable.
3) Choose the right location. It might be right out your front door and down the street, but if you don't happen to live in a neighborhood with sidewalks or you live in an area with lots of noisy traffic consider talking your walks in a more serene location. You want the experience to be pleasurable for you and your dog so pick a quiet park or nature preserve.
It's easy to make something a habit when you look forward to doing it. With just a few minor considerations, you can implement your walking routine immediately.
Posted: Mar 15 2012
Spring is in the air, and with the excitement of warmer weather, longer daylight hours, birdsong, and new green sprouts, we know it also means thunderstorms. If your dog suffers from thunderstorm anxiety now is the time to prepare in order to help your dog cope this common behavioral issue.
Many dogs suffer from thunderstorm anxiety and can exhibit behaviors including excessive shaking, digging, panting and whining during storms. In addition to providing a safe, indoor space for your pet during storms there are several natural, holistic products available that utilize your dog's sense of smell and touch to help them stay calm.
Canine Calm offers soothing aromatherapy with essential oils including bergamot, lavender and geranium. This soothing mist can be lightly sprayed behind your dog's ears or in her crate or bed for a gentle, effective way to calm jittery nerves.
Sleepy Time Tonic is an herbal elixir made with all-natural valerian root and Bach flower remedies. Custom formulated by leading herbalist, Robert McDowell, Sleepy Time Tonic works to balance the metabolic system and the nervous system providing relief for overstimulated dogs.
The Anxiety Wrap has been providing gentle, effective relief from thunderstorm fears for over a decade. Based on the Tellington Touch method of Maintained Pressure, the Anxiety Wrap affects your dog's sensory receptors that communicate with the brain and the central nervous system. Our blog post on how the Anxiety Wrap Helps Dogs That Are Afraid Of Thunderstorms is a great primer. Wearing the Anxiety Wrap, your dog receives positive input that is even, rhythmic, and repetitive, producing a calming of the mind and body even during the worst storms.
Posted: Mar 05 2012
More and more Americans are choosing to vacation with their pets. If you're planning a trip with your furry friend, here are some secrets to creature comfort on the road.
Identification Is ImportantMake sure your pets are outfited with collars and ID tags that list your current cell phone number(s) so in case of emergency you can be reached immediately. It's also a good idea to pack a photo of your pet(s) along with vaccination records and microchip information. Better safe than sorry.
Car SafetyMake sure you clear a comfortable space for your pet in your vehicle. Many dogs like the security of traveling in a crate and there are some great travel crates on the market. If a crate won't fit in your auto, consider packing your dog's favorite bed or blanket. For safety and security, do not allow your pets to ride in the front seat or jump back and forth. And, while tempting, never let your dog hang her head out the window while traveling at high speeds to avoid potential injury.
Fast FoodBring plenty of fresh water and healthy snacks for your pet. It's best to stick to your dog's regular diet to avoid tummy upsets. You may find feeding smaller meals throughout the day a good option while traveling as well. Dehydrated foods are especially handy when traveling and are easily prepared on the spot or in advance and kept in a travel cooler.
Rest StopsAlways keep your pets leashed at rest areas or where ever you make a pit stop. Even if your dog has a solid recall at home, you don't want to take a chance when you're on the road and far from home. Also, remember that other folks and families may be traveling with their pets and it's not polite to let your pooch run up to an unfamilar dog.
Hotel StaysMake sure to call ahead and reserve a pet-friendly room. Many budget hotels and upscale properties set rooms aside for patrons with pets but be aware they may charge a pet deposit. When checking in to your hotel make sure to potty your dog before settling in for the night. If your dog does have an accident clean it up with a little water and baking soda (that you've packed for the occasion).