Category Archives: Health and safety for dogs

Your Four-Footed Running Buddy

August is back to school and for many that means back to routine exercise.
Dogs are motivated,reliable running partners. Some dogs are natural runners, including labs, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Doberman, German Shepherds and Pointers.
If you train your dog when he is a puppy her will learn to expect an endurance workout. Start slow and increase mileage gradually, stay well hydrated, stop immediately if there is any pain.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when running with your dog.
Start slow and easy
Tune in to pain signals. Your dog wants to please you and he’ll run through pain to keep up with your pace. Stop if you see your dog tiring or struggling in any way.
Hydrate often: Fill a water bottle for your dog and stop if he is panting heavily or excessively salivating.
Examine paw pads. Remember your dog runs on his bare pads not some fancy running shoes. Examine the pads for soreness and wear.
Excess weight can reduce your dog’s lifespan by as much as 20% – for humans, that’s the equivalent of fifteen-plus years. Obesity is dangerous because it can exacerbate serious medical conditions such as dysplasia, arthritis, diabetes and respiratory problems. Keeping your dog physically fit requires the right food as well a proper exercise.
Other exercises for your dog
Walk Play Fetch
Play frisbee
Go Hiking
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Water safety for your dog

LXdnSY1395706463Pools open, boats is ready, the ocean awaits and your dog wants to take a swim!
Water is often center stage during the summer months. The whole family is lounging by the water, grilling out and splashing around in the pool. Naturally your dog wants in on the action. whether your dog is a good swimmer or or not Greatpup has all your wet dog needs.
This goes with our saying, but do not ever allow your dog to enter the water area without your supervision. We have West Paw toys that float. These great toys allow you to play and interact with your dog in the water.
If you have a pool or your dog is on the boat with you mark an exit. Your dog will easily recognize the exit if you mark it with a flag, flowerpot, or lawn ornament of some kind. If your dog becomes disoriented for any reason, he’ll know where to go. Once they are out of the water every dog owner needs a soggy doggy shammy. The shammies absorb more than 7 times the amount of
water than a normal towel. They are great to have with your you whenever a wet dog/child is part of your day.
Remember that your dog needs lots of fresh water while pal playing in the water. Frosty bowls have a frozen blue core
that will keep your dogs fresh water cold for up to 8 hrs.

What Kind of Sleeper is Your Dog?

How Many times have you just laughed at how you dog is sleeping? Most dogs fall into 4 categories of sleepers:

Side and Belly Sleeper Most of the time when your dog is sleeping on his side or belly with all four paws laid out, he is dozing.

Solomon loving his toy

Solomon loving his toy

Back Sleeper This is the funniest of all positions.  A dog gets dream sleep and is most relaxed in this position.  The stomach is exposed so he is able to keep cool and none of his muscles are tense. This position is where you will see a lot of funny dreams states, including kicking, wagging tails, muffled barks, cries etc.

Bill sleeping upside down

Bill sleeping on this back

Curled-up-in-a Ball Sleeper This is the most common napping position.

dd43-dogs-5_1-1Lying Back-to-Back When dogs sleep back -to-back this is a sign of bonding and protecting each other. When they lie on their  backs next to you, they are bonding with you.

C H R I S T M A S G R E E T I N G S ! M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S 2 0 1 3 F E S T I V E E D I T I O N

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. If you are like me, I have decorations all around the house but the Christmas tree get

the most attention from my dogs. Here are few safety tips if you have a real Christmas tree: Pine tar is toxic. Commercial tree

preservatives can contain harmful chemicals. Consider adding sugar water instead. Place delicate and breakable

ornaments out of reach. The best solution is to train him to stay away from the tree. Tell him “no” in a firm voice.

Remember that poinsettias, holly berries and mistletoe are all toxic. Finally, secure all of those extension cords so that

they don’t become chew toys for your dog. If your dog seems distressed and you suspect he has gotten into something,

call your vet immediately. 76% of people include their pets in their celebrations which makes the special occasions even

more “special”. Here’s some great gift ides for your dog. Every dog loves a long lasting chews like elk and water buffalo

antlers. Or a guaranteed indestructible toy by West Paw. All dogs love to have their own bed. Molly Mutt duvets have a

variety of fabrics to choose from and are machine washable. Finally, keep your dog and floor clean with Soggy Doggy doormats

and Shammies. You can find all of these great gifts at Greatpup.com . Show him how much you love him this holiday season.

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Hygiene Tips for your Dog

woody-moyshe

soggy doggy mat

Everyone loves their pets but when your pet spends time indoor and out they start to smell.  No one likes a smelly pup. Below are a few tips to keep your pup smelling and feeling clean:

washable duvet

washable duvet

Tips for Good House Hygiene: 

  1. Wash your dog every three months, or more often if smelly.
  2. Use oatmeal based shampoo to avoid doggy dandruff.
  3. Buy a toy box where you can stash your pet’s playthings.
  4. Vacuum twice a week or as needed.
  5. Avoid using a combination food and water bowl that allows food to fall into the water.
  6. Use washable dog duvet to reduce hair and dandruff in the home.
  7. Brush your dog at least weekly outdoors.

Tips for Good Outdoor Hygiene:

  1. Remove any toy parts, trash and anything else your dog my ingest from the lawn.
  2. Keep doggy area pesticide free.
  3. Choose dog friendly, nonpoisonous plants that can withstand abuse or trampling.
  4. Keep a bowl of fresh water outside.
  5. Secure fences; look for any loose boards, holes or areas that would harm your dog.
  6. Make sure that your dog has an area that is covered away from the sun, rain or serve weather.
  7. Provide your dog with enough toys to keep him playing and not destroying your backyard.

Bathing and conditioning tips for Colder Weather:

  1. Test the water before you begin bathing. Luke warm is the best. Hot water dries out the skin.

2. Use oatmeal shampoo and lather your dog for five minutes.

3.  Brush your dog regularly. Use a soft brush that will not aggravate sensitive skin.

Watch for scabs, rashes and itching. Consult your vet if dandruff persists despite the tips above. Skin issues can indicate more serious health problems.

6407 Oatmeal Shampoo 16oz

Oatmeal shampoo

Avoiding the back to School Puppy Blues

With everyone gearing up to head back to school. The lazy days of summer coming to an end. Routines and schedules are changing and this  can mean loneliness and boredom for your dog.

Many dog owner find this time of the year is when they experience behavior problems with their dogs.

  • Chewing things
  • Soiling in the house
  • excessive barking
  • Emotional stress or depression

Never punish your dog for these behaviors, as it will make your dog more fearful and the behavior will increase.

Tips for Managing anxiety

  • Start by leaving your dog alone for short periods of time.
  • Create a schedule for exercising your dog in the morning before everyone leaves.
  • Once it is time to leave don’t make a big deal over it. Your dog  will pick up on your emotions and get emotional to.
  • Leave some interactive toys for him to enjoy while you are away.
  • When you return home don’t get your dog over stimulated.
  • It is easy to forget your dog after a long day at work. Trying to help the  kids with homework. Remember that your dog has been waiting for you all day and has unspent energy. Get out and take a walk and give them play time.

If you leave your dog with things to do then he will be busy and not so lonely. Zoe enjoying a bully stick.

 

Selecting the Right Bone for your Dog

ChaseWhether you have a new puppy or an old faithful friend one of the best things you can do for your dog is provide them with a chew bone of their own. It’s not only fun but it provides many health benefits.

All dogs chew. Puppies chew when cutting their teeth. While other dogs chew their whole lives.

Bones promote dental health.

Chewing on bones helps scrape away plaque that causes bad breath. It also cleans their teeth, exercises muscles and maintains healthy gums that can prevent serious dental problems.

Dogs have an innate urge to chew. Giving them their own bone prevents them from chewing on your furniture and avoids destructive behaviors.  Filled bones provide a stimulating activity that will keep them busy for hours. A bored dog is an unhappy dog.

Chose the right bone for your dog. 

Choosing the right bone can make all the difference. The following guidelines can help you select the perfect bone to fit your dog’s chewing habits. If you have a small dog or a dog that chew for a short time then they would enjoy a dental chew or a bully stick. They are softer and easy to digest. If you have an aggressive chewer with a  strong jaws that rips through everything then  antler, buffalo horn, tuffie and filled bones are the bones for you. These bones are tough and long-lasting.  They wear down slowly without breaking or splintering.

Like any dog chew, you do need to be careful when allowing your dog to chew on hard bones. The main concerns are breaking a tooth or choking on the  chew. To prevent these things from happening, be sure to supervise your dog’s  chewing. Do not allow him to bear down forcefully with his molars on the chew and do not allow him to chew on a piece that is of a size they could choke on.

www.greatpup.com is proud to offer your best friend the widest selection of bones in several shapes, sizes, and flavors.

Treat your dog to a greatpup bone today!Zoe enjoying a bully stick.

Adventures of Bill ( guide dog puppy in training) Weeks 11-12

11 weeks bill photo

I can’t believe how fast a little black lab puppy can grow. It makes me sad to see how quickly he is growing. This must be how parents feel about their children. We  want them to stay little forever. But they don’t, so we continue our pursuit to raise a great pup.

Training tips for 11-12 week old puppy

Bill is the first puppy that we have raised in the summer time. I must admit raising a puppy during the summer has it challenges. We live in North Carolina where the heat and humidity can before unbearable. Puppies dehydrate very quickly so it is important to have access to water at all times. I know what you are thinking, the more they drink the more they “busy” and you are right. I think of it as more opportunities to practice house breaking.

The other challenge that summer brings to raising Bill is the payment. We are to take Bill out to socialize him and practice walking on leash, but when the temperature is 90 degrees with the heat index of 100, it is difficult to put Bill in a hot car and go to the store and walk across a hot parking lot. You should test the payment yourself. I wear flip-flops a lot during the summer so I can easily slip them off and put my foot on the payment for about 10 seconds. If it is too hot for my foot it is too hot for Bill’s feet. Your hand can work just as well. When the payment is too hot, I just pick him up and put him in a grocery cart and push him across the parking lot. We work on walking on a leash when we get in the nice cool air conditioning store.  Remember if you can’t take your dog inside then don’t take him with you to the store on a hot day. A car can easily heat up to 110 degrees and cause a heat stroke and kill your dog.

Bill is ready to start learning commands.  The next two things I want him to learn is “off” and “sit”. We are getting out more and meeting lots of new people. The first thing that Bill and all puppies want to do is jump on people. When we meet someone I put Bill in a sit. I  tell the person waiting to pet him not to pet him until he sits.  At this point, I say “sit” while pushing his bottom down. When he sits I say “good boy”. When you first start this training you may have to keep your hand on his bottom while the person is petting him.  He will soon learn to sit if he wants someone to pet him. If he breaks the sit, stop petting. The nice things about this approach is Bill can’t jump on people if he is sitting.

I use the command “off” to mean, off  of people, furniture or anything I don’t want him climbing on. Whenever he jumps on something I say “no, off” and push him down. When he is no longer on the object I say” good boy”. He will soon learn not to jump on things.

Puppy kisses

Puppy kisses

Bill’s Accomplishment:

  • He is climbing up and down 3 to 4 stairs on his own.
  • Bill is learning the command to sit before eating, putting on his collar and leash, and being petted.
  • Bill weighs 22 lbs at 11 weeks
  • He learned how to play in the pool  to keep cool
  • He went to my mother’s house and met the rest of the family.
  • He has played with large and small dogs and loves them all
  • Bill made it through the 4th of July with no signs of fear with all the fireworksHappy 4th of July!Happy 4th of July!

 

The Adventures of Bill ( guide dog in training for the blind)

Meet Bill

Meet Bill

Sunday we got our fourth guide dog in training for the blind.  I have written about this before but for those who don’t know. My husband and I train puppies for the foundation of the blind in Long Island New York. Each year I say I am going to keep a blog about our adventures,  I get busy and never do. So here goes the first attempt.

Bill came to us on Sunday June 9th. He is a special puppy because his dad is Abner.  Another dog we raised a few years back.  His face  is on my blog page.   So technically he is our grand pup . He looks just like his daddy. A beautiful black lab, full of love and spirit.

Training tips for a 7-8 week old puppy

When you first bring home your puppy there are two things you want to focus on the first  two weeks:

1. House breaking you want to begin house breaking on day one, hour one and minute one.

  • We use the command “busy, busy”. You can choose to say whatever command you want.
  • You need to set a routine for your puppy. They are like babies and need to be on a schedule. Because they are so young they have a very small bladder and will need to be taken out every half hour to hour depending on the size of your puppy.
  • Always take them to the same spot on leash, give command and when they “go”, then praise, praise, praise. Then they can come inside and have free range of the house to play. If they are going all over your house let them play in their crate and take them out every half hour to “busy”. Puppies learn very quickly when they follow the command then they can go inside and play.
  • Always take them outside after eating and sleeping. Puppies take lots of naps throughout the day so each time they wake up take them out.
  • Don’t get frustrated with your puppy. House breaking takes time but with consistency  you will be successful.

2. Teach them the word “no”! Before your dog learns his name he needs to learn the word “no”.

  • Use the word “no” “leave it”  to identify the things around the house he is not allowed to play with, chew or touch.
  • As soon as he leaves the item alone them him “good boy”.
  • Give him an alternative toy. When your puppy is playing with something he shouldn’t, tell me “no” and give him a toy he can play with and when he begins playing with his toy say “good boy”.
  • Think long-term. Start limiting the things your puppy can play with or chew on . Sometimes when they are young it is cute that they are carrying around a shoe. It’s not cute when they eat your shoe at three years old.

Begin your first two weeks focusing on the training above.

Bill’s new accomplishments this week:

  • Learned how to play tug of war with Coal.
  • Got stuck under the coffee table.
  • Learned that he could run, jump and bark.
  • Went on his first outing to an outdoor restaurant and sat on my lap during lunch.

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Cool owners don’t let their dogs over heat

Cool owners don’t let their dogs over heat.

As the weather warms up, it is important to brush up on your knowledge of heat stroke in pets.

Signs that your dog is overheated: Panting is one of the most early and common signs, followed by the dog appearing dull or disoriented.

What should you do if you suspect your dog is overheated? Grab your dog, wet him or her with cool tap water, and head to the veterinarian ASAP!

What causes heat stroke? Heat stroke is usually caused by high environmental temperatures or over exhaustion due to running or swimming. Dogs with shorter snouts are more likely to suffer from heat strokes that other breeds.

Pets in hot cars

It takes only minutes for a pet left in a vehicle on a warm day to succumb to heatstroke and suffocation. Most people don’t realize how hot it can get in a parked car on a balmy day. However, on a 78 degree day, temperatures in a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees — and hit a scorching 160 degrees if parked in the sun! Rolling down a window or parking in the shade doesn’t guarantee protection either, since temperatures can still climb into the danger zone. And if the window is rolled down sufficiently, the pet can escape. Leave your dog at home on warm days.

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For people who treat their dog as a member of the family. This blog will give you the latest product trends for your dog as well as tips and news to make your dog a greatpup.

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