Posts Tagged ‘dog people’

Office Dogs: Pet-Friendly Survival Tips

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Truth: It’s hard to leave your best friend at home while you go to work. Saying goodbye each morning to those sad eyes can be the hardest part of the day. Thankfully, more and more companies (like us!) are pet-friendly. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself working for a company that lets your four-legged friend share your space, here are some office dog survival tips to help make life easier on you, your pooch and your coworkers.

Office dogs Otto & Gozer

     Must-Have Supplies

Being with you all day will make your dog’s tail wag with happiness, but there are several key items that will keep Fido healthy and comfortable. Create a cozy spot for your pup by bringing in a dog bed or fluffy blanket – even better if they smell like home. If they have a favorite toy, make sure to have it on hand along with poop bags and a pet safe disinfectant in case an accident does happen. Accessible food and water is a must, as well as any medication they may take during the day. Toys and bully sticks (tip: go for the odor-free ones!) are a great outlet for your dog to help pass the time while you work. For nervous dogs, plugging in a hormone releasing diffuser can calm them down and make them feel more at ease. Puzzle games are particularly fun for dogs and will keep their minds engaged all day.  And don’t forget the treats!

   Introductions Matter

Can’t we all just get along? Unless you work in office Babylon, there’s a good chance that a few of your co-workers might rub you the wrong way – just like Jim & Dwight from The Office. The same can be said about dogs. Fluffy and Muffins may never be best friends, but if you introduce them properly, they may be able to tolerate each other. To help prevent doggy drama, it’s important that dogs meet in a neutral place so nobody gets territorial. The office parking lot or a nearby park are both good choices; take several minutes for them to check each other out, do a few sniff tests and become familiar with each other. Then, walk them back into the office together. This can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping the puppy peace.

Doggy Proof Your Office

Things that seem boring to you at work can seem like a lot of fun to dogs! It’s a good idea to hide any electrical cords they might chew on, as well as secure any toxic materials that they could get into. Items like permanent markers, pesticides, office snacks, and poisonous plants are best kept away from your furry friend.

   Stay in Tune with Your Dog

Just like there is no “I” in “Team,” there is no “Pee” in “Office, so it’s important to know your dog’s bathroom schedule. Make sure that your pup has enough opportunities to relieve himself outside rather than in Barb from accounting’s office. And of course, keep lots of poop bags on hand to clean up after a potty break.

Office life agrees with some dogs, and stresses others out. You know your pooch best, so watch out for signs of agitation or stress at work. Additionally, if your dog is aggressive, excessively shy, or very excitable, the corporate world may not be right for him.

 Respect Your Coworkers

Although you love your dog with a capital L, some of your coworkers may not feel the same way.  Even if your pet-friendly office feels more like a zoo than not, it’s best to check and ask if anyone is allergic to dogs or doesn’t feel comfortable around them before bringing Spot in. There may be workarounds for these situations, and you’ll also know to keep him away from these particular colleagues.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram for more pet-friendly tips and tricks!

Office Dog of the Month: Buddy

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Buddy 1

Say hello to Mr. July and our featured office dog, Buddy! Buddy was born in Redding CA, the most docile of his brothers and sisters, and oh so sweet and loving. The minute we saw him…we just fell in love! He loves to be pet so much he’ll even do a back bend over your legs to get your attention and some rubs behind the ears. He, like all dogs, is perceptive to his surroundings and the feelings of his family and loved ones. His big bark echoes through the house when the doorbell rings, but he wouldn’t hurt a soul.

When Buddy was about 2 years old he found a bird and as Golden Retrievers were bred to do, he tried to “retrieve” it.  However, once he cornered the bird, Buddy just sat there…he didn’t know what to do with i! He just waited patiently with his new best friend until we came over to get him and of course told him he was an amazing pooch. It was so cute and proved just how loving he really is.

One of our favorite things about Buddy is that he seems to have forgotten how to jump when it comes to getting in and out of the car. He can leap up a hill in one stride, but refuses to get in the car unless someone picks him up and puts him in it, no matter how low to the ground the vehicle happens to be. Just one of his funny little quirks!

Buddy 3

As dog of the month, Buddy would like to thank everyone for nominating him and taking the time to recognize what a wonderful pooch he is.  He knows there are 16 other office dogs to choose from (you’ll meet them all soon!) so he appreciates his five minutes of fame!  Cheers to Buddy, a gentle soul, who will play with everyone, loves babies and children, avoids judgement (except when you’re slow giving him a treat!), and sees the world as we all should…with a loving heart. Woof!

Buddy 2

Time to Be Positive: Dog Training Tips & Tricks

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Pawsitive Reinforcement:

When it comes to dog training, there are many options and opinions as to the best method, however we believe that positivity breeds more positivity! Positive-reinforcement training techniques use non-confrontational methods to engage your dog’s brain. This is done by rewarding positive behavior, and establishing rituals and training actions that are incompatible with negative behavior. Essentially, you reward the positive and either ignore the negative, or direct them to a behavior you do want.  Easy, right?  Doing this can help to lessen your dog’s frustration with the learning process, while still allowing the dog to feel good. There should be no forceful actions as this can damage your pup’s trust. Think about you it…how fast would you sit down for a cookie, some praise or a nice pat on the back? To a dog, those actions are not only treasured but an important part of their lives. Here are some tips on how to incorporate positivity in your dog’s training.

Treat Generously: 

First of all, when using positive reinforcement timing is key; the reward must be given within seconds or your pet might not connect the dots.  An example is when you give your dog a treat for sitting down at your command. You don’t give them the cookie after they’ve sat back up and their attention is on something else, you reward them when all of their attention is focused on you and what they are doing. There are several types of positive reinforcement, it can encompass treats, praise, petting, or even a favorite game. Although most dogs (including our office crew!) are highly food-motivated, and this type of reinforcement can often yield the best results.

Sit. Stay. Play: 

You also want to pay attention to the type of commands you are using with your pet. Keep them short! Use simple one-word commands which are easier for your dog to understand. Some examples are: Come, Sit, Stay, Down, Heel, Off, etc… You might also want to inform your family or those you live with of these to help avoid confusion for your dog later – consistency is key! Your training sessions should also be short and fun, and the goal is to have your dog associate good things while training.

More How To’s:

As time goes on and your pet becomes more skilled (and hopefully better behaved!), it is a good idea to gradually back off the treats and use them only on occasion. Eventually, the treats should no longer be necessary, however you should always reward Fido with verbal praise and a pet. It is important that you continue to use these techniques to maintain the behaviors you want from your dog.

Reward-based dog training helps create a range of desirable behaviors, which builds mutual feelings of trust and confidence, and a bond that will last for years to come. If you’d like more info on positive reinforcement and dog training, we highly recommend Victoria Stilwell’s website.  It’s a wonderful resource for all things dog. Good luck and woof woof!

Minty Fresh! Tips and tricks for cleaning your dog’s teeth

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Does your dog suffer from bad breath? And do their sweet doggy kisses make you want to plug your nose? The solution is simple. Dogs need clean teeth just like you and me! They are at risk for gum disease and tooth decay, as well as infections which can spread and cause life threatening conditions.

dog toothbrush

Here are some tips on how to set a healthy dental routine with your furry loved ones. Brushing just three days a week can make a huge difference. First, pick a time of day when your dog is calm and relaxed, maybe after a nice long walk or in the evening when things are winding down. It doesn’t matter what time as along as your dog is calm enough for you to stick a toothbrush in their mouth without an impromptu game of tug ‘o war. Using a toothbrush made for dogs can be helpful because the bristles are softer and special angled. Also be sure to use dog friendly toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste when brushing your dog’s teeth because it contains ingredients that are potentially dangerous for your pet. Many major brands contain additives such as sudsing agents which can lead to liver damage if enough is ingested.

Two other toxic additives are xylitol and fluoride. Xylitol is commonly used as a sweetener, and dogs who ingest it are at risk of a surge in insulin followed quickly by a precipitous drop in blood sugar. It can also cause severe liver disease. Fluoride can cause a multitude of problems from digestive upset to irregular heartbeat, so please be safe and make sure to purchase pet toothpaste at your local pet supplies store.

blacklab

Comfort is key, so make sure your dog feels safe and relaxed – it’s always a good idea to kneel instead of standing over/above your dog. You don’t want your stance to be at all intimidating and if your dog seems too upset or anxious, just stop and try again later!

When it comes to your dog’s oral health, gums are just as important as teeth. You might want to start by gently using your finger to massage along your dog’s upper gums to help them get comfortable with the sensation. Next, try putting a small amount of toothpaste on your finger to and let your dog taste it so they can get used to the smell, flavor and texture. Then, put these two steps together and try this in combination with the toothbrush. Lift the upper lip and angle the bristles to reach the gum line, then gently brush in small circles.

If you’re just getting started with regular brushing routine, some slight bleeding may occur. However, if your dog’s gums bleed every time you brush their teeth, it may be a sign that you are brushing too hard or they have a pre-existing condition that may need attention. If so, contact your vet!

Last, but not least make sure you are reassuring during this process by patting your dog’s head and whispering sweet nothings into their ears and please end on a positive note. Give your dog a healthy teeth-cleaning treat (We love treats from The Honest Kitchen) and tell them they did a good job!

dog-smiling

Pet-Friendly Home Design

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Giving your dog a space to call their own is important as it adds structure to their life and strengthens the pet/guardian bond. Take napping for example; isn’t it more comfortable to sleep in your own bed? Dogs feel the same way!

rules

Here are some ways to help make your home pet-friendly without breaking the bank:

The kitchen; the heart of every home. Building a spot for your dog in the kitchen allows them to be part of the family’s hustle and bustle while still keeping out of the way if necessary. Incorporating a small eating area into your kitchen design with space for a food dish and water bowl is a fun way make Fido happy. This can be something as simple as a small shelf on the end of an island, pantry space or a bottom drawer.

feeder

With large and often heavy food bags, storage can be inconvenient for dog owners but they can easily conquer that problem by inserting handy storage compartments somewhere in the kitchen. They can be built into the kitchen cabinets or under the counters, giving the owner quick access to the food at feeding time and keeping the food out of site from any mischievous pets who might get into to trouble should they find an open bag (Labradors – you know who you are!). To keep toys at bay, it’s a good idea to think about an open hamper or basket where toys can be easily tossed into for quick clean up as well as easily retrievable by the pet. If you don’t want your pet getting into their toys unsupervised, you can use a decorative basket which can be closed and therefore keeps toys out of reach.

dog toys

Pets have all sorts of different reactions to taking a bath, but to make it easier on the owner there are ways you can turn part of your laundry or utility room into a washing station. An oversized stainless steel sink for smaller dogs or a commercial floor mounted sink for medium to large sized dogs are both inexpensive and convenient. For a larger pet, a walk-in shower is a great solution for grooming along with a handheld shower head. This can make it much easier to bathe your dog because you have control of the water flow and direction of the spray wherever you want…especially if your dog is being difficult! Just make sure to keep towels nearby for both your pooch and the puddles on the floor. You don’t want your pooch to catch a cold or lose their footing and slip.

Pet_Designs_Shower

Now what about flooring? If you have hardwood floors, keep reading. When you’re considering hardwoods make sure you specify them as “unfinished”, and then add a durable top coat so the occasional accident doesn’t seep through. Also, be aware that hardwood flooring can be stressful for some pups. Older dogs can have trouble navigating them and every dog finds hardwood a bit slippery, so a slide and fall incident can cause serious injuries to their hips, knees and elbows.
To help prolong the life of your floors, make sure you keep your pets nails trimmed to avoid scratches as much as possible and throw down some area rugs. They can help to brighten up a living space and also provide your pup with a comfortable spot to rest (along with helpful traction)!

dog on rug

Whenever you make changes to your home it is imperative that you keep your dog in mind, it’s their home as much as it is yours and making simple changes for their comfort and your organization can change the lives of both you and your pet for the better.

Fact: Dog People Make Better Dog Park Equipment

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Let’s just start off by saying we’re dog people. You know, the kind of folks who have dogs running around the office (see Exhibit A below), make their own dog treats, cross the street just to say hello to another dog, go to 4-H/agility/drafting events on the weekends, belong to a raw food co-op…the list goes on and on.

Quincy

When it comes to designing dog parks and dog park equipment, we think this makes all the difference in the world. Why, you might ask?

Would a restaurant hire a chef who didn’t actually enjoy eating? Because you can surely “cook” something, but it makes a huge difference when made by someone who truly loves food and has the knowledge to make something amazing. Would you trust hopping into an airplane if the engineer didn’t have a basic knowledge (and more would be better here, right?) of physics and how to get a giant piece of metal with wings to fly at 30,000 feet?

dog pilot

We believe the same school of thought applies to dog park equipment. Our office and design team have collectively 30+ years of experience in dog agility, metal fabrication, playground design and dog behavior.

What that means for our customers is that they get the best everything. All of our dog agility components are tested for safety and durability with our office pups who range in size from 15 pounds (Hello Sprocket!) up to our large breed mob of Bernese Mountain Dogs and Labradors, so we know what works for the little guys, the big dogs and every size in between.
6405 with dogs

Design questions? Yep, we got you covered. As the first company in the US to specialize exclusively in dog parks and dog park amenities, our customer service can’t be beat. We can guide you through surfacing options, whether it’s feasible to include a pet fountain or water feature, irrigation considerations, fencing and best of all, respect your budget.

So when you’re looking for a company to help you with your dog park, consider the following points:
1. Do they offer a lifetime warranty against rust on the agility equipment? Hint: We’re the only company in the US that does and believe us, you want this. Between environmental factors such as rain, mud, salt air and male dogs who, ahem, like to water everything in sight, rust is a huge problem in dog parks.

2. How long have they been in business? Dog parks, and dog park businesses are a hot commodity nowadays which means a lot of new companies have dipped their toes into the water. Sure, it gives people more options but they’re not experts like we are. So make sure you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing and isn’t trying to sell you more equipment than your park has the space for or equipment that is potentially unsafe.

3. Customization: Does the company offer color and text customization? We know that some customers want bright, playful colors and others prefer more muted, natural options. That’s why we offer agility components in two color palettes and have the option for many other colors including blue, gray, black, yellow and more. Also, nothing screams “This is our dog park!” like custom benches and equipment with the park name. We offer that too!

Tire Jump

So whether you’re just getting started and are looking for a turnkey dog park or have an existing park that could use some perking up, make sure you’re getting the best advice. From us, of course!


Made in the USA
Cooperative Purchasing
Member of NRPA, WRPA, WMFHA, NAA, AAMD, TAA, FAA & AMA
Click here to access Dog-ON-It-Parks’ design files including cad drawings, specifications, videos and related documents. The CADdetails program is developed specifically for design professionals with the goal of getting manufacturer-specific product information into their working plans.
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