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Responsible Dog Ownership

dog and owner doing high five

We all love our dogs, but it takes more than love to be a responsible owner. Do you have what it takes? Here's how to be the kind of dog owner who is conscientious and caring about not only your dog, but others in the community.

Doing the Right Thing for Dogs
Dogs Spotlight10

Puppy Love

Wednesday April 16, 2014

puppies

It's so hard to resist a puppy. If I did not struggle to exercise self-control, I'd have a household full of yapping, piddling furbabies and my house would smell like puppy breath. Puppies are great, but they take dedication. They also grow up. No matter how cute and sweet that little pup is now, before you take her home you should make sure you are ready for a dog, puppy or not. If not, get your babydog fix by checking out some puppy photos.

Think you're ready to take the plunge? Learn all about puppies before you fall in love with one so you can start her life off right.

Photo © Stockbyte/Getty Images

It's Puppy Time!

Monday April 14, 2014

Newborn Puppies

Now that Spring is here, you might start to see more puppies around than usual. In fact, this time of year is sometimes dubbed "puppy season." Of course, plenty of puppies are born year-round, but there seems to be a boom in the Spring. Animal shelters often have a puppy surplus beginning in March or April, so if you are ready for a dog, please consider adoption! And, don't forget that adult dogs need homes too.

Bringing a new puppy into your home will change your life forever. Puppies are definitely a lot of work, but they also bring plenty of joy to your world. Whether you are getting your first puppy or just need a refresher course, there are many things you'll need to know. For starters, socialization is an essential part of raising your puppy. Proper puppy socialization leads to a happy, well-adjusted adult dog.

Want more puppy information? Learn all there is to know about puppies from About.com Puppies Expert Amy Shojai.

Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

It's Shedding Season Again

Monday April 7, 2014
Picture of Dog Hair and Shedding Dogs

As many dog owners have already noticed, shedding season is here. Some dogs shed more than others, but if you have a dog that sheds at a high rate, you might be starting to see the "hair bunnies" gather in the corners of your home. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time to even bother cleaning the house until July. Unfortunately, the shedding must be managed - not only for our own sanity, but for the health of our dogs. The good news is that there are several ways to handle shedding in dogs.

First of all, you might find it helpful to find out more about why dogs shed in the first place. Then, learn about some basic ways to deal with dog shedding. It's not too bad if you stay on top of it with regular grooming and routine housecleaning. I never said it was fun, but at least it's not that difficult to do.

Part of tackling the shedding is to find the right tool to use on your dog. My personal favorite is the FURminator deShedding tool. Hair be gone! How do you prefer to deal with shedding season at your house?

Photo © tamadhanaval on flickr

Help! Dog Pee is Killing My Lawn

Thursday April 3, 2014
French Bulldog in Grass

Happy Spring! For many of us, this season is synonymous with green grass and beautiful, plush lawns. But many dog owners experience the unsightly spots of yellow and brown grass "burns" that result from dog urine. Personally, I gave up trying to grow grass a long time ago. For me, the problem is not just the dogs, but the set-up of my yard (mostly shade, poor soil condition, etc.) and my general lack of commitment to maintaining grass. I can take care of critters under the most difficult circumstances, but I am bad news for gardens, lawns and even houseplants.

Anyway, back to the dead spots on the lawn. Why does dog pee make the grass turn brown? Can it be stopped? The answer is yes - usually. You don't necessarily need to accept grass burns as an inevitability of living with dogs. You love your dog but you would like a nice lawn too. And that's okay.

There are a few ways to prevent dog urine from damaging your lawn. All require a bit of effort on your part. Personally, I have heard mixed results about supplements you can give your dog to stop grass burns. I think it depends on the dog. Obsessively watering the lawn after each potty break can get exhausting. I think the best option is to dedicate a potty spot and teach your dog to use it.

Have you experienced the frustration of yellow or brown grass spots from pets? How have you dealt with the problem?

Photo by Frank Gaglione/Getty Images

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