10 Pet Charities Worth Helping

10 Pet Charities Worth Helping

With so many cat and dog charities to choose from, it can be hard to know where to send your hard-earned cash. At KeepDoggieSafe.com, we donate monthly to a charity and do special outreach whenever there is a disaster. We’ve rounded up some great organizations that will put your donation – no matter how big or small – to good use. 1. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) The ASPCA, a nation-wide not-for-profit organization, is the oldest humane society in North America and is still one of the largest. The ASPCA‘s mission as an animal charity is to prevent animal cruelty and the organization has the legal authority to back it up. ASPCA agents can investigate and arrest people for crimes against animals. They also have community outreach and adoption programs, and provide animal health services. Thanks to both donations and private funding, the ASPCA also offers grants to animal welfare organizations and agencies across the country to aid them in their individual efforts. To make a contribution, go to aspca.org. 2. Dogs for the Deaf This 33-year-old dog charity places dogs in the houses of hearing impaired and special needs people. Rescued from animal shelters in the Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho areas, these dogs receive medical treatment and microchips, then are professionally trained to assist those in need. Dogs for the Deaf’s programs also include Autism Assistance Dogs for children and families living with autism; Miracle Mutts for those with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and more; and Program Assistance Dogs that aid those who work with the disabled or challenged. Visit dogsforthedeaf.org to learn more about their programs and make a donation. 3. Foster Parrots, Ltd. For over 20 years, this pet charity has been dedicated to rescuing and providing sanctuary for unwanted, abused or neglected parrots. In May of 2008, Foster Parrots opened The New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary in Hope Valley, Rhode Island, where they are able to provide permanent housing for unadoptable parrots and other exotic animals. And in 2009 Directors Marc Johnson and Karen Windsor were honored with the MSPCA’s 2009 Animal Hall Of Fame “Human Hero Award” for their service. Get involved by visiting fosterparrots.com and making a donation, virtually adopting a parrot of your choice ($50 to $100), or sponsoring an aviary for a whole year ($1,000). 4. Too Many Bunnies This Los Angeles, California based pet charity and rescue group works with both individuals and animal shelters to find loving homes for domestic rabbits that have been abused, abandoned or neglected. Housed in foster homes, these rabbits are rehabilitated and receive veterinary care before being put up for adoption. Completely operated by volunteers, Too Many Bunnies relies solely on donations and 100% of these monetary gifts go to helping these animals. The pet charity also strives to educate people about rabbits and their necessary care needs, and even allows families to borrow a bunny to see if he or she will be a good fit before adopting. Visit toomanybunnies.com to volunteer or make a donation and, as the site says, “somebunny will thank you!” 5. Guide Dogs of America One of America’s more notable dog charities, Guide Dogs of America’s mission is to provide the blind and visually impaired with a guide dog and companion to increase their independence and mobility. In order to increase the pet charity’s success rate, Guide Dogs of America breeds their own dogs – a mix of 70% Labrador Retriever, 15% Golden Retriever, and 15% German Shepherd – and they are cared for by foster families, called Puppy Raisers, in the In-For-Training program until they reach 18-months. The dogs then enter the Guide Dog Program. The cost to put a dog through the 6-month Guide Dog program is upwards of $21,000, but for as little as $25, you can get a new puppy started in the program with his own leash, collar, ID tag, toy, and food. Nearly 80% of all donations (which they rely on completely for program funding) come from individuals, corporations, and organizations. Visit guidedogsofamerica.org to make a contribution. 6. The Pets for the Elderly Foundation By supporting this pet charity, you can give a senior citizen a new lease on life. By partnering with 58 shelters in 30 states to cover the costs of adopting a pet, The Pets for the Elderly Foundation helped match 6,500 animals with people over the age of 60 last year alone. Pets can help people get over the loss of a loved one, depression, and remind them that they are loved and needed, so for the elderly and homeless pets, this charity is a win-win. To make a donation that will help allow even more shelters to participate, go to petsfortheelderly.com. 7. HALO Animal Rescue HALO, which stands for Helping Animals Live On, is a no-kill pet charity that houses animals most in need. Rather than accept animals from the public, HALO gives dogs and cats that are about to be euthanized at open admission shelters a second chance by providing them with a temporary home at their adoption center facility in Phoenix, Arizona until a permanent one can be found. Since it was founded in 1994, HALO has aided in the adoption of over 20,000 animals. To make a cash or commodity donation, go to halorescue.org for info about their Angel Club and wish list of things for the shelter. 8. PetSmart Charities This independent, wide-reaching pet charity partners with over 2,000 animal welfare organizations across the country to create and support programs that save the lives of pets. PetSmart Charities has Adoption Centers located in PetSmart stores and often hosts fundraisers like PetWalk, a festival and 5-k walk to celebrate pets. Other programs focus on giving relief to pets during natural and manmade disasters and increasing awareness of animal-welfare issues, such as putting an end to euthanasia. To learn about all the ways to donate and get involved, including when PetWalk festival and fundraiser will be coming to a city near you, visit petsmartcharities.org. 9. Millan Foundation Founded in 2007 by “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan, the Millan Foundation’s primary goal is to provide financial aid and educational materials to non-profit shelters across the country in order to assist in the rehabilitation and re-homing of shelter dogs. The pet charity’s Shelter Stars program currently provides any non-profit shelter that wants to enroll with free copies of Cesar Millan’s Mastering Leadership DVD series volume 3: Your New Dog & Beyond to hand out to families when they adopt a shelter dog. Another way Millan lends his expertise is through the Mutt-i-grees humane education curriculum, which is distributed in shelters too. The organization also gives grants to non-profit shelters to spay and neuter animals in order to keep the animal population under control. Make a donation or learn more about how to get involved in the charity’s upcoming initiatives at millanfoundation.org. 10. The Animal Rescue Site Not your typical pet charities website, The Animal Rescue Site is an online activism site that helps fund food and care for rescued animals with every purchase or click you make. For example, the site shows that one $15 ceramic paw print mug is worth 14 bowls of food while a $20 pair of shoes might be worth 28 bowls of food. Instead of making a product purchase you can visit the Gifts that Give More tab to make a monetary donation, for as little as $1, to a specific cause, such as Care for a Special Needs Shelter Pet for a week ($15). There’s also a purple “Click Here to Give – it’s FREE” button at the top of the main page that you can press and 100% of the sponsor money goes to charity. These donations are made by the advertiser that purchased space on the thank you page. Visit theanimalrescuesite.org to contribute your allotted one click per day. With the overwhelming amount of dog charities to choose from, you want to make sure you’re donating money to the organization perfect for you. To say the least, there are an overwhelming number of animal charities. So while it’s great that you are inspired to help the many dogs out there in need, you may have a tough time deciding exactly what animal charity you want to be involved with, or how exactly you can help. For those experiencing this “volunteer’s dilemma”, Petside can help. Here is a list of 10 dog-specific charities that we love, and that would welcome your help! 1. Animal Adoption Center The Animal Adoption Center has a simple mission: to rescue and lovingly support the local community and all of the animals that enter the center. Since the founding of the Animal Adoption Center in 1990, they’ve fulfilled their mission with devotion to the furry friends they’re trying to service every day. 2. Canine Partners for Life (CPL) Founded in 1989 by Darlene Sullivan, a former special education instructor and animal trainer, Canine Partners for Life (CPL) is dedicated to training service dogs, home companion dogs, and residential companion dogs. CPL devotes as much time and energy as possible to improving the quality of life for those living with disabilities through the use of specialized dogs. Over more than 20 years, CPL has provided upwards of 400 service dogs to individuals in need and in that time, has become a leader in the service dog industry. CPL dogs receive customized training programs to meet the unique needs of their human partner. Their goal is to pair up the perfect match of man and man’s best friend to create the perfect partnership. 3. Brown Dog Foundation, Inc. The Brown Dog Foundation is a public charity that helps fund veterinary bills for the families who just can’t afford them. The founder, Carol Smock, had personal experience with the heartbreak that this brings. It all started because of her dog Chip, a chocolate Labrador who was diagnosed with brain cancer, heart arrhythmia, and a condition that caused his liver to begin to fail. Like many, Smock could not afford Chip’s treatments, and seeing no other alternative thought it best to let him go. Smock and others decided to start the Brown Dog Foundation so that unfortunate events such as the one she experienced do not happen. Money should never have to be the choice between your pet’s life or death, and the Brown Dog Foundation aims to see that it isn’t. 4. The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc. (AKCHF) The Canine Health Foundation’s mission is to help dogs through funding scientific research and making health information to prevent, treat, and cure canine disease readily available. The CHF has become the largest funder of solely canine health research in the world since the foundation was founded in 1995. Over 15 years, the CHF has made dramatic discoveries in dog health care. They’ve also been associated with research that has improved various disease treatment including cancer and heart diseases. Visit AKCHF website for more information. 5. Dogs Deserve Better A national nonprofit organization, Dogs Deserve Better speaks up for chained and penned pets. In 2003, they were the First Place Winner of the ASPCA/Chase Pet Protector Award. Recently, they made news when they purchased Michael Vick’s infamous Bad Newz Kennels in order to transform the horrific habitation into a loving shelter for rescued dogs. Dogs Deserve Better firmly believes that pets shouldn’t be chained up like prisoners. If you desire to donate to a charity that takes a stand against the mistreatment of four-legged companions, then this is the organization for you. By supporting this charity, you can liberate a dog from abuse and give them a new lease on life. 6. Leader Dogs for the Blind For over 70 years, Leader Dogs for the Blind has provided guide dogs for blind or visually impaired individuals. Through the training and distribution of guide dogs, those people are given independence, their mobility is enhanced, and their quality of life gets better. Through donating to this foundation, guide dogs are provided to those in need free of charge and Leader Dog was recognized as a “Best In America” Charity by the Independent Charities of America (ICA). 7. Last Chance for Animals In 1984, Hollywood actor Chris DeRose founded Last Chance For Animals (LCA) to fight and expose the inherent cruelty of vivisection, a.k.a. operating on live animals. DeRose and LCA activists dedicated their time to employing non-violent, peaceful protests to raise their voice against animal testing. As time went on, LCA has expanded their goals and now it’s not just vivisection they’re concentrating on, but many animal rights issues like farming, fur, and pet theft.  LCA is a national, nonprofit organization that ultimately aims to eliminate all animal exploitation. Visit the LCA website for more information about the organization. 8. Canine Companions for Independence Canine Companions for Independence is an organization that provides assistance dogs to adults and children alike, free of charge. Now the largest assistance dog organization in the world, they continue to provide dogs for people in need. Canine Companions for Independence employees over 100 volunteer puppy raisers, over 100 volunteer breeder caretakers, and over 3000 volunteers nationwide. The organization’s goal is to enhance the lives of both the individuals and their four-legged companions. 9. Rescuing Unwanted Furry Friends (RUFF) RUFF, run completely by volunteers, isn’t just about helping abandoned animals in the southern California area. The organization is dedicated to getting animals’ veterinary assistance, no matter where they come from or how much help they need. If owners cannot afford health care for their pets, RUFF will try as hard as it can to be of financial assistance. RUFF volunteers help an average of more than 1000 animals each year by providing financial support. Veterinary care has become so costly, that many owners struggle to afford proper health care for their pets, but RUFF does its best to help both the owner and their furry friend. Check out more about the non-profit organization here. 10. Animals Abused & Abandoned, Inc. All across the country, animals have been discarded onto streets, struggling to fend for themselves after they were left for dead. Animals Abused & Abandoned is a charity striving to end animal abuse by funding the cost of medical and surgical emergencies, paying for food, medicine and operating supplies, and funding spay neuter surgeries. If you’re looking to help the helpless animals that are struggling to survive after being abandoned, this is a charity that is right up your alley. Visit the Animals Abused & Abandoned website here.

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It only takes a second …

As I’m writing this heartfelt blog, I’m reflecting upon  several dog stories we have experienced in this last month.  Here’s the lessons to learn to continue to protect your best friend and your neighbors. This will take you 30 seconds to read and the lesson is to think about that ONE SECOND that YOU DON’T EXPECT that could change your life forever.

SCENARIO #1 – Your Dog is outside in your  yard or by your garage with you

You love having your dog outside with you, your dog sits by your garage door and loves watching the activities on your cul de sac.  You feel safe and good about having your dog about with you while you work.  Neighbors pass by with their dogs and your dog sits and watches.Then,  your dog sees a squirrel and darts out in the street, a car hits him.

IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND.

Or he decides at that moment they he no longer likes the dog that he sees every day and run out in a menacing manner and gets bit.IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND.

Or he decides to snoop around a little and you don’t notice and next time you look up, he’s gone. IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND.

IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND.  Dogs are dogs, they are wonderful but can react differently in one second.  Accidents are called accidents because you don’t expect the situation or the circumstances.  With dogs, an accident is a ONE SECOND away, so please be OVERLY DILIGENT and keep your dog on a leash while you are outside ,even in your front yard.

SCENARIO #2 – Your dog is getting in your car to go on a ride

You forget your purse or your wallet so you pop inside the house, thinking he always just hops in the car.  NOT THIS TIME. He sees a cat and darts in the street, OR in the case of our neighborhood, he see another dog and viciously attack the innocent dog walking on a leash in the neighborhood. In this case, the dog was almost killed and the dog that ran out was taken away from the owners. WHY ? Because it ONLY TOOK ONE SECOND.

SCENARIO #3 – Your take your dog in the car for a very short errand

You decide not to use his seat tether or dog seat to secure him, since it’s a couple of blocks away.  Out of nowhere, your car is hit and your dog goes flying.  Why didn’t you secure your dog?  You put on your seat belt.

IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND

SCENARIO #4 – Your dog is so friendly, you take him out quickly without a leash

IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND when your dog is unsecured for any of these scenarios:

He chases a cat and runs away, out of your line of sight … anything can now happen.

A coyote is laying in wait for his next meal- IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND.

Your neighbors son is taking his motorcycle out for a test drive, he’s in the neighborhood, so he takes the corner fast -IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND.

A neighbor’s aunt is visiting and is walking her unfriendly dog SAFELY with a leash, your dog walks up to him unexpectedly-IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND.

At Keep Doggie Safe, we are professional dog walkers, dog sitters and loving dog owners.  We are guilty of all of the above behaviors but as of today, after witnessing two near deaths in two weeks- We have decided to lead this initiative.

When we do something,we will now take a second to remember, IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND and take that second and SLOW DOWN, so that our dog is safe and the unexpected can be avoided.

Please join this group. IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND

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Warning Signs of a Dog Attack

     

  1. Here’s the  common signs of aggression (and non-aggression):Growling, snarling, and baring teeth are obvious displays of aggression and should be treated as such.An angry dog may show the whites of his eyes, especially if these aren’t normally visible.

    Pulled-back ears laying flat against the head are a telltale sign of aggression, whereas normal floppy or elevated ears usually signal a dog’s nonchalance.

    If the dog approaches you with its body relaxed and with a sloping curve in its midsection, the dog is probably not going to attack. A dog whose body is tenses, straight and stiff (head, shoulders and hips aligned), on the other hand, means business.

    A loping gait means the dog is playful and checking you out. An even, steady run means the dog may be dangerous.

  2. Handle a Dog Attack Step 1.jpgNever aggravate a dog. Most dog attacks are the result of insufficient containment of the dog, poor training, or taunting. Unfortunately, the world will never be rid of bad owners, so it is wise to be prepared. Common sense should tell you not to aggravate any kind of animal.
    • Never irritate a dog who’s eating or carrying for her pups. Dogs are extra-protective during these behaviors.
    • Avoid smiling at the dog. You may be putting on a friendly face, but an aggressive dog sees you baring your teeth for a fight.
    • Dogs that are chained or tethered to a stationary object for extended periods of time are more likely to be aggressive, so do not come within their reach.[4]
  3. Assume all unknown dogs are threats until proven otherwise. In general, the best policy when it comes to dog attacks is to do everything you can to avoid them in the first place. If you see a dog that may be dangerous, stay away. Report any dangerous-looking dogs or possible strays in your neighborhood to the authorities. Teach your children never to approach unfamiliar dogs until they are sure they are safe. By giving all unknown dogs a wide berth until you find evidence that they are safe, you can avoid the majority of dangerous dog encounters.Keep Safe & Enjoy your best pal.

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How to Protect Your Dog From the Sun

Unfortunately, pets get skin cancer too. Just like us, dogs and cats are susceptible to sun damage. Excess sun exposure can lead to sunburns and skin cancer for our best friends.

Most dogs and cats have hair that protects them from sun damage. However, hairless cat and dog breeds, like the Sphynx and Mexican Hairless dog, respectively, are highly susceptible to sunburns and skin cancer. In addition, it is important to realize that even pets with hair can be vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays. Areas like the ears, nose, lips, eyelids and belly often have little to no hair on them and thus are very susceptible to sun damage. Also, pets with light skin and short or thin hair, like white cats, are also more susceptible to developing skin cancer, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. So what can you do to protect your pets this summer?

Minimize Time in the Sun
Keep your pets indoors when the sun is strongest. This is usually in the afternoon between 11 am to 3 pm, but obviously depends on where you live. A good rule of thumb is if it is peak tanning hour this is not when you want your pet outside.

Protective Clothing & Hats
If your pet seems to worship the sun and always wants to lie down in full-sun to catch some rays, consider protective clothing. Body glove Pets makes rashguards and visors to protect your dog.  It’s critical to keep their eyes protected so they don’t get cataracts. As an FYI, do not let the groomer trim their eyelashes.  Dog’s longer eyelashes protect their eyes.

Dog Cooling Coats also are made out of material with UVP protection.

http://www.keepdoggiesafe.com/sun-protection.html

Sunscreen
If your pet can’t stay out of the sun or you can’t dress your pet in protective sun wear, consider using pet sunscreen on your pet’s ear tips, nose and other areas vulnerable to sun damage. Just make sure to avoid getting it in their eyes. Many human sunscreens contain ingredients that can be toxic if your pet licks it off or ingests the sunscreen. I recommend only using a veterinary approved sunscreen  But before you lather your pet, make sure the sunscreen doesn’t contain zinc oxide.  It’s poisonous for pets.

We like the three in one pet sunscreen and flea repellent.

http://www.keepdoggiesafe.com/flea-repellent.html

Protect your Pet and Protect Yourself from the sun but most importantly, enjoy your time together.

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Why Does My Dog Do That?

Why Does My Dog Do That?

We love our dogs but they can do such strange things.

Here’s  a look at some of our best pals’ strangest behaviors, and then try to understand them from a dog’s perspective. Most often, there’s a good reason for the behavior if you just look closely enough!

Coprophagy
Why would any animal eat its own waste or that of another animal? It’s a bizarre behavior from our perspective and one that can sometimes be detrimental to a dog. So then, why would your beautiful little fur ball stoop to such a vulgar level?

Several reasons exist for a dog eating what would seem to be such a poor food source. If you have ever raised a litter of puppies, you’ll know that their mother will normally clean up after them by eating their feces. This is not only a sanitary solution, but an age-old survival mechanism. In the wild, predators hungry for a bit of puppy could locate the den simply by the scent of feces. It became necessary, then, for the mother to get rid of this evidence. Good canine mothers today do the same thing, even though those nasty predators are by and large no longer a threat.

Additionally, in dirty kennels, puppy mills, or overcrowded shelters, the waste of puppies and other dogs can lie around for hours; the curious puppy will often eat the feces, which still contains some scent of food. This behaviour self-reinforces over time and when the puppy goes to a good home, the nasty habit often goes with them.

Another cause of coprophagy is poor diet. If a puppy or adult dog is eating a nutritionally deficient diet or is not being fed enough, it will instinctively seek out another food source. This often means feces in the yard or dog park.

And Then There’s The Special Treat – Cat Cavair

And then there’s the litter box, a distinct issue from the above as most dogs adore the taste of cat poop. This is most likely due to feline food (and therefore feces) containing a higher percentage of meat than dog food, as well as  different flavors than what dogs are used to. Cat feces can be in a litter box or dispersed randomly outdoors; with the power of your dog’s nose, it’s nearly impossible to stop him from finding these delicious cat leavings.

To prevent coprophagy, keep your dog’s environment perfectly free of any waste. Pick it up right away! Try not to leave a dog with this habit alone in a yard or dog run for any length of time, as he will eat the waste and self-reinforce the behaviour. Be sure to feed the best food possible, in amounts suitable for your dog. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian on this. Then, whenever you’re walking your dog, let him sniff around only in spots where you know there is no other waste present. That means you decide when he gets to defecate or urinate! Lastly, if you have a cat, locate litter boxes in areas your dog cannot access—either high up or inside a room with a door propped open only a few inches, allowing cat access, but not dog. And try and get your neighbors to clean up after their outdoor cats!

Humping
It’s an awkward moment when your dog saunters over to another dog at the park and starts humping away. Even more awkward is when it happens to human guests in your home. Why is this happening?

Though humping is a sign of sexual excitement and is often paired with signs of physical arousal and a desire to mate, it’s not that simple. The motivations for humping/mounting are varied. Though unneutered males are the most likely culprits, any dog—male, female, young or old—can develop a humping habit. Often evolving out of play, puppies will often hump each other, as will older dogs. The anxious, isolated dog can evoke this behaviour as a stress release mechanism. Status confusion among a group of dogs and/or humans can result in a dog humping sequential “victims,” in an attempt to clarify his/her standing. Some pushy dogs will do it simply as a way of controlling others, while the un-socialized dog just might not know any better, because no other dogs taught him or her the finer points of getting along. Lastly, humping can become an obsessive-compulsive behaviour; like barking or tail chasing, it can self-reinforce over time and be nearly impossible to stop.

Solutions to humping are comprehensive. First, make sure your dog is getting enough stimulation. Exercise, play, socialization, training, and routine are all vital. Obedience train, as it teaches your dog to think, calms him, and gives you a way to control and refocus. For instance, instead of letting two dogs hump each other all over the yard, put them both through some obedience exercises such as down/stays, paired walking, or recalls.

Neuter or spay your dog at the appropriate time to lessen sexual urges. Keep a strict routine in the home—feedings, walks, training, play—to create anticipation and focus. And if a dog compulsively humps people, employ a plant spray bottle filled with water. A mist in the schnoz and a “Quit” can be effective in shutting down the behaviour. Ignoring compulsive humping won’t work, so consider the spray bottle in severe cases, as well as keeping a short lead on your dog to guide him away from a potential “victim” before it happens. Put him in a down/stay, then reward with a treat after a few minutes. This alternative can minimize the compulsion.

Reverse Sneezing
Your dog suddenly sucks air into his nose, while making a snorting, choking sound. He extends his neck and head and seems to be choking on something. After a few moments, the event is over, and he seems fine. This is the “reverse sneeze,” one of a dog’s most bizarre behaviors.

Technically known as “paroxysmal respiration,” reverse sneezing sounds awful but really isn’t. Reverse sneezing can be caused by an irritant in the air, by eating or drinking too fast, by a foreign body or hair balls, or even a nasal infection. The resultant irritation of the palate or throat causes a spasm, resulting in quick inhalations of air into the dog’s nose. The trachea can narrow, causing difficulty in air movement. The condition is more common in older dogs.

To reduce the chances of reverse sneezes, minimize chemicals, cleaners, rug deodorizers or other potential irritants from the home. Groom your dog often, and vacuum up hair very day. If a nasal drip is present, see the veterinarian.

During a reverse sneeze, try rubbing your dog’s throat to ease the spasm. Very briefly cover his nose to encourage swallowing, which can dislodge a foreign body. Look into his mouth if need be, to see if anything is obstructing his throat. If so, remove it. Though a disconcerting experience for you and your pooch, it’s nothing to worry too much over, though if this happens all the time, it never hurts to see your vet.

Tail Chasing
The sight of a dog whirling around in a circle with his tail in his mouth is funny for everyone.   It’s a behavior that often starts early on; a puppy, barely aware of his own individuality, sees the tail and begins to whirl around after it. It’s fun, and they  need to chase something. When we laugh it encourages the dog on. And so the behavior slowly becomes engrained.

Other dogs go for their tails because of a flea, tick or worm problem; they try to chew on it to relieve the itch. Dermatitis or dirt can also initiate the need to bite the tail. Still other dogs begin the behaviour out of boredom, or because of underlying stress.

Tail chasers often slip into an obsessive-compulsive mode. Some will literally spin and spin until dizzy, or until their nails or pads wear down from the constant friction.

To prevent obsessive tail chasing, be sure to keep your dog as pest-free and clean as possible, thus preventing tail biting spurred from infestation or dirt. Remove tangles from his tail fur, use a flea/tick preventive prescribed by a veterinarian, and get dermatitis diagnosed and treated. Exercise your dog and provide enrichment to prevent boredom and anxiety resulting from isolation. Socialize and train and never encourage the spinning. Usually dogs with another dog around won’t tail chase; it’s almost always an “only dog” issue, so consider a second dog or play dates.

If your dog tail chases, ramp up obedience training to divert him into more appropriate behaviors. Use a “Quit” command when you see him begin to spin; match this with a soda can filled with pennies tossed nearby if the behavior has become obsessive. If you can divert and redirect him quickly the moment he begins the spinning, you can eventually extinguish the behavior.

Rolling in Stinky Stuff
Why would a perfectly normal dog choose to roll around in garbage, dung, or rotting corpses? Like it or not, some do, and seem to get great pleasure out of it. And it’s rarely the dog’s own mess; rather, it’s nearly always something just laying around waiting to be gross: horse manure, dead frog carcasses, and worse !

Why? One theory claims that dogs want to mark over a strong scent with their own smell, rising to the olfactory “challenge.” Others posit it’s a holdover from when dogs wished to camouflage their own scent in order to sneak up on prey. Or it may simply be that dogs to whom scent is everything, simply revel in the fragrances emitted by gross things. To dogs, what we find horrid is actually interesting. Think teenage boys wearing cheap cologne.

To prevent your dog from rolling in rancid treasures,  keep things as clean as possible around home and property. While on walks, make sure you decide when your dogs stops to relieve themselves, or investigate. Keep an eye out for garbage, dead animals, or generally stinky stuff. Work on the Leave it! command, as well as a reliable recall command to stop an off-leash dog from rolling in stink.  Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot on dog shampoo.

They do make us laugh and of these strange behaviors are part of their character, than we love them even more.  Let’s face it, we are strange to them with our cell phones, and chasing balls around with a racket !

 

 

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Keep Your Dog Away From Your BBQ Grill!

Keep Your Dog Away From Your BBQ Grill!

Summer is coming and one of our favorite activities is having friends over for a BBQ. Our dog loves our friends and he loves the food that we cook on the grill. We have to be extra vigilant to keep him away from the hot sauces and yummy food to make sure he doesn’t try to eat any of it and to keep him safe.

Unfortunately, many dogs get hurt when around BBQ grills. Here are some tips to keep your doggie safe!

  1. Continuously monitor the grill

Keep your dog away from the grill. They are attracted to the aroma of BBQ cooking, but can easily get burned if they get too close. When serving food, take care to make sure that none of it falls on the ground. The food is hot.

  1. Carefully remove any trash.

Any trash on the ground could be dangerous as well. Make sure to dispose of BBQ trash carefully as corn cobs, meat foil, peach pits and other food debris look tasty to your dog, but could cause serious health problems.

  1. Note the weather

Summer season can be warm and your dog can fall ill if left ignored. If you think it’s getting too hot outside, use one of our many cooling products to keep your doggie cool. We offer a wide variety of products including cooling pads, cooling vests, cooling collars, and scarfs. Also make sure to have plenty of water nearby. Cool dog boots are a great way to keep your dog’s paws safe from hot payment.

  1. Do not feed your dog cooked bones

Apart from a choking hazard, cooked bones may do serious damage to your dog’s teeth, mouth and intestinal organs. That’s why we suggest that if you are sharing with your dog, you give them meat that is off the bone.

  1. Use lighted collars for complete safety

If you are having a nighttime BBQ, put a lighted collar or collar light on your dog so you know where they are at all times. This is a great way to spot your dog in the night even from far away.

Have a great time this Summer! Hopefully, these tips will help keep you and your doggie safe.

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Four Tips for Safe Hiking With Your Dog

Four Tips for Safe Hiking With Your Dog

Hiking is a lot of fun, both for you and for your doggie. To ensure that you have a safe, fun, hike, first, make sure that your dog is fully vaccinated and all of his or her tags are on their collar or harness. Make sure that your contact info is on there as well in case your dog gets away from you during the hike. Here are four more tips for safe hiking with your dog:

  1. Make sure your dog is properly hydrated to avoid overheating

Proper hydration is essential especially if you are going out on a hot summer day. Bring a doggie water bottle with you on your hike. The Gulpy is our favorite because it’s a bottle and a bowl in one.  Don’t let your dog drink from streams or other bodies of water, as you don’t know if there are toxins present. Use fresh water from your home. And bring water for you too!

  1. Have first aid protection with you

Injuries, wounds, bee stings and other maladies can happen during a hike. Bring a well equipped first aid kit with you.

  1. Use a standard or lighted leash

Don’t use a retractable leash while hiking. Your dog can get tangled in the brush or wander off the trail. Use a leash that helps you control your dog during the hike. Also, do not let your dog wander off leash. Too dangerous, for you and your dog, who can easily get distracted by a small animal and run after it.

  1. After the walk

When your hike is finished, examine your dog for ticks and other parasites. Examine your doggie’s belly, ears, skin folds, crevices and other areas. If you find a tick, use a tool like the Tick Twister to remove it. Ticks can easily transmit infections to your dog and to you, so be careful not to have any contact with the tick’s blood. Wash the area with alcohol to prevent infection.

When you get home, make sure to reward your doggie for a hike well done!

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The Best Dog Collar Light- Waterproof & Durable

The Best Dog Collar Light

There are number of challenges that a dog owner can face while walking with their dog at night. Crossing a road in the night with a dog can be dangerous. We sell a lot of great lighted products at Keep Doggie Safe. We won’t sell anything that we don’t think is an excellent product. One of our favorites is the Guardian Dog Light, a very bright light that uses technology originally designed for the military.  This is the ONLY WATERPROOF DOG LIGHT on the market.  It is used by miners, the military, search and rescue and all organizations that need bright, dependable lights.

We like Guardian lights because they are durable, waterproof and fit easily on both collars and harnesses.  They also are the most durable and impact-resistant. It has been trampled on by troops and even tanks and still worked well.  They are visible from up to one mile away, waterproof to 300 feet deep, can withstand harsh temperatures and are impact resistant.

Benefits of Adventure Lights -Guardian Dog Collar Lights:

  • Fully-waterproof
  • Attaches to the top or side of the dog’s collar so they are visible from any angle
  • Sends up a beacon so you can see the dog easily
  • Long lasting battery and excellent durability
  • Flashing & steady on modes
  • Easy to change batteries
  • High visibility, lightweight, impact resistant and easy to use

Choosing the Right Collar Light for Your Dog http://www.keepdoggiesafe.com/shop-by-brand-guardian.html

Small Dogs – up to 12 lbs. The Smaller size dog light is perfect for smaller dogs with 3/8 inches. It’s lightweight and much smaller, so there is not so much bulk on their collar.

For Medium-Large dogs –who don’t wear a 1 inch collar. We recommend the standard guardian light which also comes with a Velcro strap to attach to the collar.

For the medium and small size guardian lights, we recommend you stock up on extra batteries.  The batteries are secured together so it’s easy to flip the batteries when you want to change the setting from steady to flashing mode.

For Large dogs –who wear a 1 inch collar. We recommend the hunting guardian light which fits on a one inch collar (doesn’t come with the extra Velcro strap) and has two extra batteries.

There is quantity discounts available on all of the lights when you buy 3 lights.

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Tips to Help Your Cat & Dog Get Along

Pet parents totally understand the phrase “Fighting like cats & dogs” but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s a quick guide to teaching your pets how to co-exist.

1. Prepare your home

Create a safe space for your cat by putting a baby gate on the door to his favorite room. This will allow him to get away from the dog if he needs a break. Put your cat’s litterbox in that room and feed your cat in a place out of the dog’s reach. Give your cat some tall furniture so he can watch the dog from above.

2. Consider each animal’s age

A puppy may be a better choice for a cat household. The size difference is less pronounced than with an adult dog, and the puppy will quickly learn the cat’s boundaries and limits: There’s nothing like a claws-out swat on the nose to tell a dog “enough is enough!”

3. Know the dog’s background

If you adopt your dog from a shelter (and I highly suggest that you do), be as sure as possible that the dog is familiar with cats and will interact safely with them.

 

4. Know your cat’s background, too

If your cat has been socialized to understand and live with dogs, you’ll be much more likely to succeed as a “bi-petual” household. On the other hand, if your cat was attacked or otherwise traumatized by dogs, you may want to avoid bringing one into your household.

5. Keep in mind that some dog breeds (and breed crosses) work better than others

When a cat feels threatened, his natural instinct is to flee, and if the dog’s natural instinct is to chase, the results can be tragic. Some breeds are more likely to chase than others — sight hounds and terriers, for example.

6. Exercise the dog before introducing her to your cat

Take the dog on a nice, long walk or engage her in an energetic game of chase-and-retrieve before you bring her home. If the dog has used up all of her extra energy, the odds are better that she won’t freak your cat out with her enthusiastic greetings.

 

7. Keep the dog on a leash when she meets the cat

It’s crucial to restrain the dog when you introduce her to the cat. Interspecies meetings can be tense because of differences in body language. A wagging tail can mean “nice to meet you, let’s play” in dog language, but the same “wagging” tail means something very different to a cat. Dog play gestures can also be intimidating to a cat.

8. Train your dog

As soon as possible, teach the dog to respond instantly to safety commands like “come,” “sit,” “stay,” “down,” and “drop it.” And, of course, the more training you give your dog, the happier she — and you — will be.

9. Watch for signs of strife

If your cat is always hiding when you’re home or if the dog is becoming aggressive with your cat or other people and pets, get help from a dog trainer or a behaviorist.

 

Yes, you can have a harmonious home. It takes some work, for sure, but it’s well worth the effort if you’ve dreamed of getting a dog brother or sister for your cat.

Have you introduced a dog to your cats? Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Please let us know in the comments.

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Sports for Dogs

Some dogs enjoy being couch potatoes and love bugs more than anything in the world.  But, there are other dogs that seem to have a calling in life.  They can have hidden talents, or not so hidden talents.  Does your dog get a kick out of playing frisbee?  Does he live for diving and retrieving things in the water?  Is he great at jumping over objects or catching a ball on the fly?  Or maybe your dog can dance like Fred Astaire?

There are numerous sports and activities for dogs with special talents or simply for dogs and their owners who enjoying doing things together.

Agility is the fastest growing dog sport in North America with thousands of dogs and owners competing each year.  The sport calls for the dog, with on-course supervision by the handler, to complete an obstacle course.  The course is usually comprised of such obstacles as a teeter-totter, weave poles, jumps, a tunnel, and other objects.  The dog with the fastest time wins.  Penalties in handling the objects add time faults to the score.  Agility is a fast-paced, exciting sport that continues to grow in popularity.  There are several organizations that offer agility competitions from the American Kennel Club, which caters to purebred dogs, to the United States Dog Agility Association and the North American Dog Agility Council, in which mixed breed dogs are welcome to compete.

Flyball is another very popular sport for dogs and their owners.  Flyball pits relay teams of dogs racing against each other.  The dog streaks down a short course over small hurdles toward a box, touches the box and makes a ball pop out, grabs the ball and then races back toward his teammates so the next dog can set out on the course.  Fastest team wins.  The sport is fast, exciting and lots of fun for all of the dogs and team members.  In North America the sport is overseen by the North American Flyball Association (NAFA).  There are flyball teams found virtually everywhere these days or it’s easy enough to start your own group with some friends.

Canine Freestyle is what many of us call dog dancing.  It is basically a choreographed performance of dog and owner with music.  It’s also known as heelwork to music and this is how the training is often done for this sport.  If you can teach your dog to heel and follow basic commands then you can teach him the moves required to dance to music.  Canine Freestyle is often presented as a demonstration but the World Canine Freestyle Organization also holds events for judging so dogs can receive titles.  The Musical Dog Sports Association holds workshops and demonstrations, as does the Canine Freestyle Federation.  Canine Freestyle can be a beautiful event to watch as the dog and human move together in choreographed steps to carefully chosen music.

Schutzhund is German for “protection dog” and it refers to the training which develops and evaluates the canine traits that are important for that work.  There are three parts to Schutzhund:  obedience work, tracking and protection work such as that used by police dogs.  Schutzhund as a sport demonstrates a dog’s intelligence and utility.  Schutzhund was originally developed to test German Shepherds but it is now applied to other breeds which seek to do the same kind of protection work.  Many people enjoy training their own dog in Schutzhund.  It allows them to improve their own training abilities and to bond more closely with their dog.  Schutzhund is mentally and physically challenging for both dog and owner.  It also provides owners with the chance to form friendships with other people training in Schutzhund.  In the United States most Schutzhund training is affiliated with the United Schutzhund Clubs of America (USA) or the German Shepherd Dog Club of American-Working Dog Association.

o you enjoy watching Purina’s Incredible Dog Challenge?  Have you seen the big diving dogs?  The name of the sport where the Labrador Retrievers go leaping into the pool is actually called Dock Jumping.  You don’t have to have a Labrador Retriever to compete.  Any water-loving dog can take the leap.  This “big splash” is lots of fun for dogs that love the water.  Don’t feel bad if your dog can’t leap 20 feet after a training dummy.  It’s all for fun and small dogs can splash, too.  There are a number of local and regional clubs for the sport but there doesn’t seem to be a national governing body at this time.

If your dog loves to play Frisbee there is a sport for catching the flying disc.  Disc Dog is fun and exciting for both dogs and spectators.  Dogs have the fun of chasing and catching the disc and on-lookers can oooh and aaah over the spectacular catches.  Mixed breeds and purebreds can both play.  There are competitive trials for Disc Dog.  They can span everything from accuracy and distance to freestyle and team trials.  Several organizations hold tournaments in the United States including the Canine Frisbee Disc World Championship, Skyhoundz, the UFO World Cup Final, and the US Disc Dog Nationals.

Earthdog trials are a lot of fun for Terrier breeds and other dogs that love to “go to ground.”  If you have a breed that was originally bred to hunt rats or other vermin then he probably loves to dig and hunt in the earth.  If he’s born to rat then you may want t
o check out Earthdog events for him.  Earthdog events usually use tunnels that have been dug underground and which are supported by wooden sides.  They have exits dug at the ends so the dog can be brought out when he finishes the course.  The tunnels are laid with the scent of the dog’s natural prey (such as a rat) and the dog is turned loose to go in the tunnel and navigate his way around.  (The prey is not in any danger during the test.)  If your dog has natural earthdog instincts he will probably find these tests very fulfilling since they let him do what he was originally bred to do.  AKC Earthdog trials offer titles for purebred dogs just as other AKC events do.

If you have a dog of a herding breed, such as a Border Collie or a Sheltie, then you may want to try them out in herding competitions.  Herding dogs often have a natural instinct to herd and round up sheep, ducks, chickens, or anything else they can move around.  If you’ve noticed this tendency in your dog then your dog may enjoy a herding trial.  There are events ranging from basic instinct tests to advanced herding work.  Events are offered by the American Kennel Club and by several breed organizations which seek to preserve herding instincts in working herding dogs.

Many people in the United States enjoy hunting with their dogs and the dogs enjoy it, too.  Sporting dogs have been bred for at least 1000 years to hunt birds, while sighthounds such as Greyhounds have been used to hunt rabbits, small game and, in some cases, wolves, for over 4000 years.  Scenthounds like Bloodhounds and their smaller cousins Foxhounds and Beagles have been used to hunt rabbits and small game for hundreds of years.  The Bloodhound goes back to the time of the Roman Empire.  With so much inborn instinct dogs like Pointers, Setters, Greyhounds and Beagles love to have a chance to do what they were bred to do.  If you have any interest in hunting you may wish to give your dog a chance to see what the real thing is like.  The American Kennel Club and other field organizations offer various events for hunting dogs.  The AKC has hunt tests which test a dog instinct (this leads to the Junior Hunter title), as well as offering Master Hunter and Senior Hunter titles.  The Amateur Field Trial clubs of America also offers titles for hunting dogs.

The AKC also offers similar events and titles for lure coursing.  The American Sighthound Field Association also offers events and titles.  Lure coursing simulates hunting conditions for the sighthound breeds, usually by using a plastic lure on a fishing line for the dogs to chase.  Coursing in field events is more like actual hunting since the dogs are allowed to chase real prey.

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