Posts Tagged ‘dog safety’

Fido Fun: Dog Park Events for Apartment Communities

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Fido fun! It’s true – apartment communities have gone to the dogs. As the trend towards pet friendly housing continues to grow, property management companies are going out of their way to feature both dog friendly amenities and housing offers to attract families with pets. Here are some great dog park event and “pawty” ideas that your four-legged and two-legged residents are sure to love.

Yappy Hour: People are busy, and sometimes it’s not easy for residents to meet each other. Yappy Hours are a fun way to get human and dog residents mixing and mingling. Dogs are the perfect conversation ice breaker, which helps even shy residents come out of their shell. Hosting is fun and easy, and best of all, this event will have a ton of interest. Hold your Yappy Hour at your bark park (or community room if you don’t have a bark park). Offer wine and other traditional happy hour beverages along with appetizers for the humans, and dog treats and water for the pups. You may even want to partner with a local pet store who would attend and serve their own dog treats for free! Pet stores would love to spread brand awareness to potential customers at your community. Yappy Hours give a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to forming lasting friendships among your human and K9 residents.

Doggy Olympics:  If your apartment has dog agility equipment, you know how much fun pooches have playing on it. Why not host an agility contest to see who’s top dog? Give your residents enough time to practice with their dogs and then set a date to show off their skills. You can even rearrange your agility course with our portable Eco Dog products. Judging the agility contest doesn’t have to super serious – consider having medals for “Most Enthusiastic”, “Most Creative”, and “Most Distracted”.  And if you really wanted to have fun with it, you could have a very special medal for the pooch who just can’t hold it…like this champ!

Puppy Pool Party: If your apartment community has a pool, there is most likely a “NO DOGS ALLOWED” sign nearby. But that could change for one, glorious day of the year. Many municipal pools allow dogs right before they’re drained for winter closures or regular maintenance. Apartment communities can do the same thing! If your community has a seasonal pool, invite your doggy residents for a dip the day before closing. It will be an event pet parents will look forward to all year! Make sure to supply lots of water resistant dog toys and balls for an extra good time. It’s good idea to advise pet owners to bathe their dog after swimming in chlorinated water to ensure healthy skin and if you might need a pet wash station to prevent bathing in bathtubs or sinks, we’ve got you covered!

Classes: Healthy pets make happy pets, which is why dog CPR and first aid are so important for pet owners to be familiar with. Many guardians have never had the opportunity to learn animal CPR from a professional and would be thrilled to attend one held in their apartment complex. Use your community room as ground zero for these classes; dogs don’t need be in the class but will benefit greatly from their human companions attending. You can find dog first aid and CPR professionals in your area by searching on Pet Tech.

Another wonderful class to hold in your bark park is basic obedience. An apartment community that is populated by dogs with good manners will make life easier for everyone. Residents will be so happy to attend with their dogs, teach them new tricks, and achieve better puppy manners. You can find certified trainers in your area who would love to come and share their knowledge through The Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

Need more ideas?  Check out our Pinterest page.

Puppy Proofing Your Home…and Office!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

With two rambunctious Great Dane puppies (and litter mates!) recently welcomed into the Dog-ON-It family, we’ve been busy puppy proofing just about everything we can.  Here are some tips to help make sure your pup is as safe as they can be when they’re not snoozing the day away.

Otto & Gozer

The Chew:  Puppies, just like human children, go through teething…in addition to exploring the world around them with their mouths.  We’ve found a few ways to help distract them from chewing on things they shouldn’t (like furniture or you)! Our blue Dane boys love elk antlers and bully sticks, and keeping them occupied with food dispensing puzzle toys is a fantastic way to direct their energy towards something positive.  The Kong Wobbler is especially popular here and we use them to feed Otto & Gozer their lunch; they have to knock it over to dispense the kibble and the hard plastic makes it pretty chew proof as well.  Another option is to stuff a standard Kong or other durable chew toy with treats, peanut butter, yogurt and/or anything else your puppy loves.  Even better?  Put it in the freezer for an hour or so for some relief for those puppy teeth and gums.

 

slippers

Crates are Great:  Ok, folks, this is a lifesaver.  Dogs are den animals and love having a quiet space they can call their own.  Make sure the crate isn’t so large that they could use part of it as their bathroom (crate dividers are helpful!) and also keep it stocked with a favorite blanket and some toys.  But…most importantly, never use the crate as punishment.  They should want to go in on their own and it always helps to use treats or positive reinforcement to reward that behavior.  We especially like the light travel style crates for the office and the sturdier wire, collapsible ones for our home.

Highway to the Danger (Free!) Zone:   Puppies are notoriously curious and even with the best of intentions, can get themselves into a pickle.  Whether it’s a particular food, something they’ve discovered in the yard, or anything that might not, ahem, pass, keep your eyes peeled for potential problems.  Also, if Fido is smarter than the average bear, child-proofing cabinets in both your bathroom and kitchen where cleaning supplies are usually kept is not a bad idea.

Keeping your puppy fed and full with the right foods can help to prevent dumpster diving for less than ideal snacks, and can also help to prevent pancreatitis, a painful and potentially deadly illness.  Some common foods to avoid:

Chocolate, raw onions, anything with xylitol, cooked bones – particularly poultry, caffeine, grapes/raisins, alcohol and even though it’s legal now in some states…marijuana.  Vet offices are seeing a huge increase in marijuana related visits, so please keep your stash “high” and out of reach!

We like to supplement our puppies’ meals with some healthy people food too.  Fresh veggies such as green beans, peas, shredded carrots are well received as are roasted root vegetables like sweet potatoes, turnips, and rutabagas.   Eggs are popular too, along with limited amounts of cottage cheese and plain yogurt.

OG

X-Ray Vision: Well, we don’t really have x-ray vision, but we do keep a super close eye on the floor.  Here at the office, things like random staples, paper clips, and tape can easily end up in a dog’s mouth.  Making sure your floors are tidy is an easy way to prevent obstructions and digestive upset. Another big one – cords.  Yep.  Our pups love cords.  And since you can’t really unplug everything, Bitter Apple Spray along with a firm “NO!” is a great deterrent. Remember to praise your pup when they drop or walk away from whatever you’ve asked them to!

Hopefully some of these tips might help keep your puppy safe and you sane – woof!

Boys

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!

Hound Heroes: Strays Who Saved the Day

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Hero Dogs

We all know dogs are loyal companions, they perform acts of selflessness, courage and even stray dogs can have a sense of duty and protection. Here are several stories of hound heroes who not only saved the day, but saved lives. Dogs truly are man’s best friend!

Firefighting dog

 “Firefighting Fido”

In 1935, a stray dog came to the rescue of a family whose house had caught on fire in San Mateo, California. The family was unaware of the fire and had it not been for the dog barking and alerting them to get out of the house, they might have perished. Dogs have an incredibly strong sense of smell and can detect smells much better than people. Whereas humans use sight as their strongest sense, for canines it’s their nose and they use them for everything, from wet nose wake up calls in the morning and saving strangers from house fires!

nanny

“Nanny Dog”

In 2005, near the Ngong Forests in Nairobi, Kenya a caring canine came across an abandoned newborn baby. The child was wrapped in tattered clothes and a plastic bag. The dog carried the child across a busy road, through barbed wire and into a shed where she was keeping her puppies. A man who owned the shed discovered the baby and alerted the local authorities. A dog’s maternal instincts are something to be admired. They are loyal, loving, caring, and protective creatures.  Did you know Pit Bulls used to be referred to as Nanny Dogs? They earned this nickname in the 1900’s and were considered to be the strongest, most protective, loyal, and loving animals towards children.

aussie

“Aussie Hero”

During 2009, in Maningrida Australia, a stray dog intervened in a domestic fight.  A man had beat his partner in front of family members, and then dragged her outside where our Aussie Hero Dog came to the rescue.  The dog stopped the violent assault by biting the attacker and saved the woman from further harm so authorities were able to capture him. Dogs have been protective of their owners since the beginning of time, but what provokes a dog into helping a stranger? Studies have shown dogs have a sixth sense about people’s intentions. One breed that is particularly protective is the German Shepherd who are characterized as dogs who listen well, learn quickly and are obedient – all of these characteristics are also why these heroic dogs are used so often by police departments and the military. They’re also pretty cute! sheps

So the next time you see a stray dog, remember these stories of our hound heroes! Help prevent animal abuse by helping a dog in need.  If you come across a dog who may be lost, check Fido for any tags with guardian information.  If he doesn’t have one, please take him to a local vet clinic or humane society where they can scan for a microchip and provide a safe haven. They would do the same for you!

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.

Pet Health: National Poison Prevention Week

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Protect your pets! There are many foods that can hinder your dog’s health and Dr. Justine Lee has some wonderful insights and much needed information for all pet owners. Dr. Lee is a world-renown veterinary speaker, DVM, DACVECC, DABT and a double board-certified emergency critical care specialist and toxicologist. She’s also the CEO and founder of VETgirl, which is a subscription-based podcast and webinar service offering RACE approved continuing education.

'Whoa! Slow down, kids! Your mom will neuter me if I bring you home with stomachaches from eating too much of that junk.'

According to this expert some of the most ten commonly talked about poisonous foods for dogs are actually more of a question mark. Avocado, for example, isn’t poisonous at all. While fertilizer might have scary looking names on the list of ingredients, most of the contents are natural and harmless. Garlic is another food that pet owners don’t need to worry about. An average-sized dog would need to eat a lot of garlic before they showed any signs of sickness, but talk about bad breath! What are you going to do when your animal comes up to you with garlic breath? Give your furry friend a “doggy” breath mint.

On the other hand, there are some foods which are dangerous, but not rarely are they deadly. Grapes and raisins are poisonous to dogs and can damage their kidneys, but scientists aren’t sure what chemical in the grapes and raisins actually affect dogs. What’s more unusual is that not all dogs appear to be affected by the toxin. Then there is caffeine, this can be found in large doses in coffee beans and other stimulants. You might need your morning coffee, but dogs can accidently ingest caffeine if these products are left within reach. Please be careful when throwing your coffee grounds in the trash.

Dr. Lee also points out some foods and substances which are extremely poisonous and you should keep your dog far away them. Bread dough is one of them because it contains unrisen yeast. There are a couple of concerns for a dog that has eaten bread dough. First of all, there is a large mass of dough in the stomach that is continuing to rise. Plus, the warm environment of the stomach promotes ongoing fermentation of the alcohol in the dough, which can result in ethanol toxicosis. Chocolate is horrible for your pets as it has high amounts of theobromine which is extremely toxic to dogs. Xylitol is poisonous as well and can be found in chewing gum, mints, toothpaste, nasal spray, and over-the-counter medications. Xylitol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, which causes a release of insulin from the pancreas. This release of insulin results in a rapid decrease in the level of blood sugar. If untreated, these conditions can be life-threatening.

chocolate-toxicity-chart-pets

We love macadamia nuts around here, but make sure your dog steers clear of them. They are 80% oil and the high fat content can inflame your dog’s pancreas. There is also an unknown toxin in the nuts which can affect your dog’s brain waves and muscles. Last but certainly not least, is mold. Mold can be dangerous to everybody, including your dog. The most common sources of toxic mold are found in pasta, nuts and cheese.

In order to make sure your pooch lives a long and healthy life, please keep these things out of reach and spread this important message to dog owners all over the world.

Dog Park Design Considerations: Large & Small Dog Areas

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Great Dane
As dog parks continue to grow in popularity, the debate on whether or not the dog park design should separate the little guys from large dogs has started to gain a lot of attention, so we’d put in our two paws, err, cents worth. Here at Dog-ON-It Parks, we have designed and outfitted dog parks in all shapes and sizes. Our verdict? Space permitting, we feel it’s safer all around to have separate large and small dog areas.

The separation helps ensure that both the dogs and their owners are able to enjoy their time at the park and also provides an opportunity to meet the needs of all park users, regardless of the size of their pets. This alleviates the need to have requested time slots for big or small dog play time and can also help to maintain the peace, so to speak. An important consideration in establishing separate areas is also providing clear communication in regards to the size restrictions for each area. Posting dog park rules and signs like these is an easy and affordable way to help make sure everyone is on the same page.

dog park car

The magic words “Go for ride?” are sure to excite any pooch, especially if they know where they’re going and sometimes that excitement may be too much for a dog new to the park, or just a dog that is a little less confident. And when you add size to the equation? It’s even more challenging.

Large and small dogs often have different play styles and different breeds have distinct (and often humorous!) personality traits which can factor in as well. Even unintentionally, big dogs can end up injuring a smaller pup because they just aren’t aware that there’s a little guy running around with them. Also, if a scuffle does happen to break out, having a more even playing field from the get go can possibly save a dog’s life.

This concept is also ideal for shy or timid dogs. The smaller area is often calmer and less overwhelming than the larger area would be with four big dogs hurtling towards you and your pooch to greet you. Starting out in the small and/or shy dog area of the park is a great way to introduce your pup to the dog park in a more neutral environment, so they can have a positive experience.

Sometimes due to space or budget considerations, it isn’t feasible to separate the pack so here are some suggestions to promote a safe and fun environment for everyone:

1. Always supervise your dog.
2. Make sure your pooch has a strong recall. Practice makes perfect, and if your dog is less than enthusiastic about coming when called, work on this skill at home with some high value treats. Pretty soon, you calling their name will equal “On my way!” instead of “Nope – I’d rather play!”
3. This is a biggie. Please, please make sure that your dog is properly socialized before visiting your local dog park. You are responsible for your pet’s success and safety. Not sure if your dog is ready? Try visiting the park during off hours where there aren’t as many dogs present to see if it’s a good fit.
4. Know the park rules before you go. Many dog parks don’t allow small children, food, puppies and dogs in heat, among other local rules that may vary from city to city.
5. Have fun!

mainstream

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