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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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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.

Hygiene Tips for your Dog

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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.

The Adventures of Bill ( guide dog in training for the blind) Week 9&10

Bill on the beach!

Bill on the beach!

I am always amazed at how smart puppies are and how quickly they learn. We continue to work on house breaking. Bill busy, busy’s every time we take him out. Our routine has made it easy for my husband and I to learn when he needs to go out. We still have accidents but every day he has fewer to none and every day he can go a bit longer between outings.

Training tips for 9-10 week old  puppy

The next three things you want to focus on with your pup is building trust, cutting teeth and loving his crate time.

1. Building trust: In order to successfully train you dog to be a loving, well-behaved dog you must build a trusting relationship. Remember a puppy associates whether you are pleased or angry with the last things he has done. No matter what you puppy may have done be pleasant and use kind words, a pat on the head and a smile. Teach your dog to trust you by being a safe place for him to come. When you call your puppy and then punish, you undermine trust in you. Say the puppies name as often as possible, “they are still learning their name” even when they bring you a shoe you say “no” and thank you when you take the shoe away from the puppies. Replace the shoe with a toy.

2. Your puppy is still cutting teeth. This is why they are putting everything in their mouth. It is important to give you puppy things to chew. One of the best toys for your dog to chew is a West paw toy. They are soft enough to chew but will not break into pieces. You can order them at www.greatpup.com.  Another great thing I do is give Bill ice cubes. They are free and they serve two purposes. One they give him something to chew and play with and they also work to soothe his gums by numbing them.  Bill loves ice-cubes!

3. The best thing for Bill, is his crate. This is his personal place. We can’t watch him 24 hours a day so there are times that he stays in his crate. You want your puppy to love his crate so the best way to start this love relationship is to feed your dog inside his crate. This makes the crate a happy place as well as keeping him contained while eating. Every time you put your dog inside his crate use the command “kennel up” and every time you get him out say

“out”. These command will help you later in training. No puppy should stay in their crate for longer than 3 hours at a time.

Crates have so many benefits:

  • they give your dog a chance for some alone time.
  • it is safe place that they can’t get in trouble or harm themselves.
  • It teaches them to control their bladder
  • It’s their den, which is what pack animals like.

Bill’s new accomplishments:

  • He went for his first vet visit, got shots and weighed in a 17 lbs
  • He went to the beach for the first time. We only walked, too early to introduce waves.
  • He rode in a shopping cart at a large supermarket in coat.
  • He spent half a day with both my husband and I at work.
  • He seems to be learning his name.
  • He learned he likes sleeping on his back
  • He has found the air conditioning vent and like to lay over them.
Bill sleeping upside down

Bill sleeping upside down

Bill with his West paw bumi

Bill with his West paw bumi

 

What type of dog owner are you?

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Finding the right toy for you and your dog. Different types of dogs

and dog owners, need different types of toys. What type of dog

owner are you?

Type 1: Mothering dog owner. This is the owner who worries and frets over her 71VWGha8qpL._SL1500_

dog’s well being. Wanting only the best of everything, If this is you then you are

looking for high quality toys like West Paw that contains all the fun of a ball, bone

and stick in one toy and guarantee to last. You would also like the innovative

Frosty bowl that provides your dog with fresh water and keeps it cold for hours. You

will never add ice cubes to your pet’s water bowl again.

Type 2: The gift giver. This is the owner who is at work and is away during the     hurley

day and has to leave their dog alone. They buy gifts for their dogs on a regular basis.

The toys for you are busy toys. The Bionic stuffer, Maze, Rocking treat ball and

Treat tower. These toys dispense treats keeping your dog busy for hours while you

are away.

8723Type 3: 38% of dog owner appreciate the benefit of

exercising with their dog. The toys for you are the

Frisbee bowl, which acts as a frisbee and then turn

into a bowl when its time to take a break. The Flying

pig sling shot toy that launches up to 100 feet.

Solutions for Muddy Paws

Today is the first day of spring and it’s time for new beginnings. Dogs that don’t get enough exposure to outdoor activities often suffer from behavior problems,anxiety, aggression, and compulsive behaviors. Outdoor are critical to your dog’s welfare. So, take advantage of spring and the extra hour of sunlight and get outside with your dog.

If your dogs are like mine they bring the outside indoors. April bring showers so then we have to deal with dirty paws. Here are some things I do to help with keeping my house clean when the dogs spend a lot of time outside.

1. Keep a rug by your door. I keep a rug on both sides of my door. I have an outdoor rug on my porch that my dogs run over first and then when they enter the house they run over another rug. This rug is the best rug I have ever had. It is called a Soggy Doggy and it is amazing. My dogs feet can be wet, muddy, or covered in grass clippings but when they run over this rug everything come off into the rug and they hit my hardwood floors dry and clean. Take two minutes to check out the video on this rug at www.greatpup,com .

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2. Another good method of cleaning dogs feet is to use baby wipes. This is an inexpensive way to clean your dogs feet before entering your house. The nice thing about the wipes is that you can throw them away and not worry about staining your towels.

3. If you are really ambitious you can teach your dog to wipe their feet. I have seen people, clicker train their dog to wipe their feet. Very cool.

Whatever method you use just remember it is worth it to your dog for a little fresh air.

 

It pays to be “green”

Here are the top five ways to go “green” with your dog supplies.

1. Buy dog toys that you can re-fill, re-use and re-love. Stuffer toys allow you to change it up with your dog. One day you can fill it  with yogurt, next day peanut butter. When the toy is dirty just throw it on top rack on your dishwasher and it comes out looking like new. This will save you money, you don’t have to go out and buy a new toy every few weeks.

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2. Invest in dog beds that are cost-effective like dog duvet bed covers. They are “green” in so many ways. The duvet is designed for inserting your old pillows, bedding and old clothes. When the bed is dirty just throw all the contents into the wash. The concept saves on reduction of waste and is less costly than replacing your dog bed once a year. Image

3. Give your dog all natural treats like elk antlers and water buffalo horns. These are products that shed annually and are not processed in any way. Image

4. Buy dog supplies that have multiple uses. Greatpup has a frisbee/water  bowl that with a flip of the wrist can easily be converted between the two.

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5. Buys dog products that come from recycled materials. This bottle tracker is make from firefighters water hose and you place a plastic bottle inside for extra fun.Image

 

All product suggestions can be purchased on www.greatpup.com. Save money while helping the environment.

What I have learned about opening a business on the web

A year ago today my website greatpup.com went live. When I reflect back over the last year and think of all I have learned. Wow, what a year.

My goal for my business is to offer dog lovers like myself high quality,safe and unique dog products at a reasonable price. Sounds simple but it has taken time and lots of effort to weed through all the dog products out there and  decide what is actually worthy of being on my site.

There are many companies in the USA that have some great products. West Paw is a company out of Montana and they create great toys that are for aggressive chewers and even offer a one time replacement if your dog chews the toys into pieces. I have sold hundreds of these toys and have only replaced a few. One thing I have learned is not every dog owner wants a to pay a higher price for a toy that is going to last a long, long time. Many people want to pay little money for cheap things made in China that their dog will destroy in a matter a minutes. Lesson learned; if customers will buy one West Paw toy they will see the quality and come back for more.

I have also learned that quality is not as important to others as it is to me. People don’t take the time to look at where their dog treats are made. The dog treats sold in the big pet stores and Wal-Mart are often made in China. China has no rules or regulations of production of dog treats. These dog treats have made dogs sick or even killed hundreds of dogs. I have studied and researched every bakery item, bully stick and dog treat that I sell on my site to ensure they are safe and made in the USA. Lesson learned: Customer come back and tell me that their dog is a picky eater but they will eat my treats. The reason they eat my treats, is not because their dog is picky, it is because they are all natural and organic.

Having a e-commerce store has taught me so much about the social media. I have learned about Facebook pages. I have page on Facebook Facebook.com/greatpup. It was easy to set up the page much it is much harder to get people to like your page. I have 82 likes and I have been trying to get to 100 since October. Many people like my post but not my page. Lesson learned; it take time and patience to reached the 100 likes on my page, it is harder than it looks.

Blogging is the next social media I have learned to do this past year. So much still to learn. How to get followers? What to write about?

When I look back on my first year as a business owner I feel good about what I have accomplished.  I know that I have stuck to my goals and have not compromised  what I know is best for both my customers and their dogs. I have had more fun talking to people and listening to their dogs stories than I could ever imagine. I know I have a lot to learn, but I look forward to the challenge. Happy Birthday Greatpup.com!

Below: a few of our satisfied customers!

Bumi is a great toy for two dogs to share

Bumi is a great toy for two dogs to share

Coco having a ball with her bottle tracker

Coco having a ball with her bottle tracker

Solomon loving his toy

Solomon loving his toy

Chase enjoying his antler

Our toys float!

Our toys float!

 

greatpup

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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