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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

Take Control of Your Dog's Well-Being

Sunday March 30, 2014
sick dog

Most dog owners worry about their dogs' health and safety at one time or another. Even the healthiest of dogs can become sick or injured. What is a good dog owner to do? Rather than worry about our dogs getting harmed or becoming ill, it makes more sense to learn how to prevent these problems in the first place. It also helps to understand the risks. Here are some ways to begin:

While none of the above actions can guarantee your dog's health and safety, they are some great ways to minimize the risks and give you some peace of mind.

Photo: David Young-Wolff/Getty Images

Bugs and Your Dog

Monday March 24, 2014
Photo of Itchy Dog Scratching

Spring is finally here, and depending on where you live, the days are probably getting longer and warmer. But nothing positive comes without some negative; Spring also brings bugs. For dogs, this means parasites like fleas and ticks. Warm weather also bring mosquitos, which are carriers of heartworms. These icky critters are ready to prey upon our beloved companions. Most of us are horrified by the idea of any kinds of bugs on our dogs. These three types of tiny vampires are downright nasty insects that pose health risks. It doesn't help that they are quite annoying to humans too. Fortunately, modern science has made it much easier to control these pests today than 20 years ago.

The key to flea, tick and heartworm control is prevention, and it is helpful if you understand the enemy. Learn all about fleas on dogs and get a jump on these nasty little jumpers. Read about ticks and your dog to find out about these disease-carrying bloodsuckers. Most importantly, educate yourself about heartworm disease and prevention. Heartworms can kill your dog!

What are your favorite forms of heartworm, flea and tick prevention? Has your dog ever had a health issue related to heartworms, fleas or ticks?

Photo © LOLren on flickr

Spring is Here, Time To Play Outside

Thursday March 20, 2014
saint bernard dog smells flowers spring

Today is the first day of Spring, and it can't seem to get here soon enough! Although many parts of the U.S are still chilly, temperatures will be coming up in time. Your dog is probably aching to get outside and enjoy some exercise, and he wants you there with him. Participation in dog sports is a wonderful way to get active and connected with your dog. While many require agreeable weather, other dog sports and activities can be enjoyed indoors. Agility is one of several dog sports can be done indoors or outdoors.

Perhaps you are looking into a sport for you and your dog. Or, maybe you are just curious about canine athletes. Check out today's top dog sports. There is pretty much something fitting for any dog/owner team. Even if you decide it's not the time to get involved in a dog sport, be sure to get out there and play with your dog once the weather is nice. Walk, run, hike, visit the dog park or play fetch. Your dog will thank you!

Photo © Rory

Common Health Issues in Dogs

Monday March 17, 2014
sad-dog-sick

Vomiting. Diarrhea. Skin issues. These are just of few of the most common health problems seen in dogs. Sound familiar? There are a number of health issues that can affect your dog, some more serious than others. Many of us are lucky enough to have healthy dogs that rarely get sick. However, any dog can get sick for a variety of reasons.

As a dog owner, it's a good idea to become familiar with some of the more common health problems that can affect dogs. Learn to recognize signs of illness. Know when to get your dog to the vet. This way, when the time comes, you can be just a little bit more prepared.

Has your dog experienced any of the most common canine health issues? Tell us about it.

Photo: Martin Rogers/Getty Images

Let's Play Tug-of-War

Thursday March 13, 2014
dog and owner play tug of war

My dog gets really into a good game of tug-of-war. We tend to play it more on really cold or rainy days in lieu of a long walk. She's pretty strong for a medium-sized dog, and once she gets going, it's really hard to end the game. I have found that a good game of tug-of war wears us both out just as much as a good walk.

Most dogs love to play tug-of-war, and it's actually good for them. There has been some debate over playing tug-of-war with dogs. Some people fear it will bring out an aggressive or dominant side in their dogs. In truth, the game is a healthy display of dogs' predatory nature. Tug-of-war is excellent mental and physical exercise for your dog. Learn how to set down boundaries and guidelines to help you make the most out of tug-of-war.

Do you and your dog love to play tug-of-war? Tell us more!

Photo: Getty Images

Small Dogs, Big Hearts

Monday March 10, 2014
Labrador Retriever Looking at Yorkshire Terrier - Dog Breed Contrasts

Some dog lovers are all about big dogs. Others prefer little dogs. Personally, I've always preferred medium to large dogs. I even used to think little dogs were yippy and fragile. However, once I got to know some small dogs, I realized that they can be wonderful. Many are braver and bolder than their large counterparts!

Small breed dogs are extremely popular for several reasons. They are portable, meaning they can fit in little carriers and go with you many places. In general, they require little space and some do well in cramped homes and apartments. However, many little dogs make up for their size with huge personalities. This often comes with a stubborn streak and plenty of independence, so training them takes a special approach. Here are some tips to help you get started on training your small dog.

Do you have a preference for dogs of a certain size? What about a favorite breed? Tell us about it.

Photo: Getty Images

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