Is your dog a destructive chewer?
When kids tell their teachers that their dogs ate their homework, teachers tend to not believe them. But the fact is, some dogs will chew on anything and everything in sight!
I've heard story after story about dogs that chewed up everything from iPhones and remote controls to shoes, furniture and toys. You name it and, at one time or another, a dog has probably chewed on it.
Is your dog a destructive chewer? Has he destroyed things in your home or personal items, like clothes, shoes and electronics?
It's a real problem.
The fact is, dogs LIKE to chew. So, if you don't give your dog his own personal things to chew, he will be forced to satisfy his natural instincts by chewing the things around him ... YOUR things! And trust me, he will find plenty of things that are pleasing to chew.
Destructive chewing can be a very difficult behavior to deal with, but here are some tips that may help:
1. Give your dog a good quality chew toy. Make sure he has plenty of toys and that he knows what is acceptable to chew on and what is not.
2. Rotate your dog's toys so he doesn't get bored with the same toy.
3. If your dog chews up toys, choose durable toys that are nearly indestructible, such as Kong® brand toys.
4. Make sure there are no removable parts that can be easily torn off and ingested.
5. Avoid toys that are small enough for your dog to swallow or too large for him to play with comfortably.
6. When you first give your dog a new toy, supervise his play to make sure that he plays with it appropriately.
7. Choose washable toys. Between the dirt and drool, your dog's chew toys can become pretty disgusting ... not to mention a natural breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria.
A good chew toy will satisfy your dog's natural urge to chew, help keep his life interesting and keep him contentedly entertained for hours on end. It can also help break your dog of those destructive chewing behaviors.
When you're shopping for a good chew toy, choose wisely. My staff and I are always on the lookout for the best new dog toys, so we've tested plenty of chew toys over the years. Recently, we found a very inventive new chew toy called Bottle Crunchers. The idea behind this toy is very smart ... and dogs just LOVE it!
For some reason, dogs just love the popping/crunching sound the plastic water bottles make when they chew on them. But as your dog chews, the sharp edges from the bottle's broken plastic can create a real health hazard, often slicing your dog's gums and mouth. Bottle Crunchers make the activity safe by protecting your dog's mouth. These brightly colored
protective "sleeves" (designed to look like a cute animal) fit snuggly around the empty water bottle and keep the sharp edges from cutting your dog's mouth. So he can chew to his heart's content.
Bottle Crunchers clean up nicely. Just throw them in the wash to remove all the dirt and drool. And when the water bottle inside wears out, just open the Bottle Crunchers sleeve and insert a new one.
One more comment about destructive chewing. If a dog chews up and ingests items, it can cause serious health problems for your dog . Eating the stuffing in those pillows and sofa cushions can lead to serious gastro-intestinal problems that can require surgery.
How much Water does your Dog need?
That's a tough question. But before it's answer it, I want to stress how vital water is to your dog's health. It is essential for life. It helps digest food, carry and absorb nutrients, flush out waste and control body temperature.
Next to oxygen, water is the most important nutrient in your dog's body. Dogs can go for days without food. A dog's body can lose all of its fat and up to half of its protein and still survive. But when a dog loses just 10 percent of his body's water, bodily functions shut down causing serious illness. A 15 percent loss of water will kill him.
So how much water does your dog need? It depends on his stress level, how active he is, his size, his age, his health and the kind of food he eats. Even the weather can be a factor.
There is no steadfast rule. In general, animals should take in two and a half times more water than food. Another useful guideline for dogs weighing 20 pounds or less is that they need about 1 cup (8 ounces) of water for every 5 pounds of body weight. So, a healthy 15-pound dog would need 3 cups of water a day.
Dogs don't have to DRINK their daily fill of water. They also get water from the food they eat. Wet food has a lot more water than kibbles or dry food. Snacks like apples are also a great source of water.
When fresh, clean water is available a dog will generally drink all he needs to survive. The fresher the water, the more appealing it will be to your dog.
As a general rule, change the water in your dog's bowl at least 3 times a day.
Make sure your dog's bowl is clean. If you wouldn't drink from it, chances he won't want to drink from it either. You need to wash your dog's water bowl every day and disinfect it regularly to control bacteria.
The better the water tastes, the more likely your dog is to drink it. Try using bottled or filtered water. Dogs also prefer cool water. That's why a pet fountain is a great way to help your dog drink more. It filters the impurities so the water tastes better; and the constant motion keeps the water cool, just the way your dog likes it.
Shedding problems? Myths and Facts
We all deal with shedding right? It's almost the inevitable when it comes to being a pet owner. At some point or another we all end up with our pet's loose hair on the floor and on the furniture. Oftentimes, it's a big indicator to other people that we're pet owners because our clothes are covered with it when we leave the house.
Because shedding is such a common problem, you find so many pet owners talking about it, asking each other questions and looking for answers. There's a wealth of information out there - some myth and some fact. Many may even come up with advice and potential homemade solutions on their own. Well here are some facts to set the record straight about shedding once and for all:
MYTH: All dogs shed.
FACT: Some dog breeds shed while others don't shed at all. Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards for example tend to shed in very large amounts whereas breeds like Yorkies, Poodles & Bichon Frises barely shed, if at all.
MYTH: Dogs shed all the time.
FACT: While some dog breeds shed all year round, dogs typically shed most during the Spring & Fall. In the Spring, our dogs lose their winter coat to adjust for the warmer seasons ahead. In the Fall, our dogs lose their thinner coat to make way for a thicker coat that keeps them warm in the Winter.
MYTH: Excessive shedding is perfectly normal.
FACT: While some dog breeds shed in large amounts, excessive shedding could be a sign of illness, like ringworm or mange. In these cases, it's best to speak with your veterinarian.
For those of you still fighting the shedding battle, I'd like to tell you about a product my staff recently tested called the Bissell ShedAway Vacuum Attachment . Now this product is really efficient because it's a 2-In-1 pet hair removal system. It removes loose hair from both your dog AND your home. The attachment powerfully vacuums away hair yet is gentle enough to safely use on your dog. Now that's a powerful combination!
Check it out: www.petproductadvisor.com/bissell-shedaway