Monthly Archives: December 2010

Tips on Choosing Winter Accessories for Your Dog

By Tamara L. Waters

You might be thinking it’s a simple thing to choose which winter accessories your dog needs to be warm and cozy in cold weather, but there are a few things to consider.

Winter Coats and Boots

There are winter accessories that would be good choices for your dog based upon his time spent outside. When going out for a walk, the snow and salt on sidewalks, roadways and yards can hurt your pooch’s paws (or at least make them very uncomfortable) so buying him some boots would be a good choice. You can choose disposable boots or reusable ones.

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Earn a Dog’s Trust with Positive Reinforcement

By Linda Cole

Dogs can be as difficult to figure out as humans are, but if we followed the same rule with our dogs as we do with people, we would treat them like we want to be treated. Dogs respond much better to positive reinforcement than they do to force. Training a dog with trust, respect and positive feelings is also much easier for the average dog owner. We should do no harm while interacting with our dogs. We often create unintended behavior by either not training our dogs or by not treating them with respect and understanding. Trust and respect goes two ways, and positive reinforcement will earn both. Gaining a dog’s trust should be as important to us as that of another person.

Most dogs respond to us in the same manner we treat them. Affection, attention, understanding and patience are just as necessary when interacting with dogs as it is with children. We don’t automatically get a child’s or dog’s trust or respect just because we’re bigger than they are. Both have to be earned, and positive reinforcement is the path to that goal.

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Fun Indoor Activities for Your Dog

By Suzanne Alicie

Sometimes it is just too cold to be playing outside with your dog, but Fido still needs exercise and entertainment. So what do you do with your dog when you’re confined inside? Anyone who loves dogs knows that there are many ways to interact with your dog indoors, but to actually get some exercise and expend some of his canine energy may require a little more than having him lie on your cold toes to keep them warm. Well, maybe that is just me; my favorite thing about winter is a warm dog to cuddle with! For the rest of the time, here are some indoor activities you and your dog can enjoy together.

Indoor Fetch

A tennis ball or a chew toy can be used in a fun game of indoor fetch with your dog. If you don’t have a lot of room, don’t worry – you aren’t going to actually be throwing the toy. It may take a few times for your dog to understand the game, but once they catch on they’ll be just as eager to play indoors as they are outside. Call your dog and show him the tennis ball or chew toy, then either roll it across the floor or hide it behind you. Your dog will be excited to either chase it across the floor or bound around you to try to get it from you.

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K9 Nose Work – a Fun New Sport for Fido!

By Julia Williams

First there was surfing. Then there was Musical Canine Freestyle. The latest sport that really makes me wish I had a dog is K9 Nose Work. I love my cats dearly, but as anyone with kitties knows, there are limits to the fun things you can do with them. The only sport I know of for cats is Feline Agility, and my skittish kitties would not do well in that arena. But if you’re a dog owner, you really ought to look into the relatively new sport of K9 Nose Work.

What is K9 Nose Work?

All dogs have an incredible sense of smell, said to be a thousand times more sensitive than a humans. Whereas we have a mere 5 million olfactory receptors, a dog has more than 220 million, which makes them a natural for scent work.

The exciting sport of K9 Nose Work evolved from the important scent work that detection dogs and professional handlers do, e.g., searching for explosives, drugs and cadavers, tracking, and search and rescue operations. Three Southern California dog trainers started K9 Nose Work (also called fun nose work) to give everyday dog owners a chance to let their canine friends put their impressive sniffers to use while having a good time. K9 Nose Work was designed to develop a dog’s natural scenting ability by utilizing their curiosity, desire to hunt and fondness for toys, food and exercise.

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What Pets Teach Us about Life

By Linda Cole

For years my family and friends have teased me about my love for animals of all kinds. They’ve accused me of caring more about animals than I do for most people. My pets have seen me at my worst and my best, and have always been there when I needed a friend. The bond we have with pets is unique, and we know what the benefits of owning a pet are for us and children who grow up with a pet in the home. The bond we share with a pet opens our eyes and allows us to learn from them things about ourselves and life. It’s been said, “The eyes are a window into the soul” and if you take the time to really gaze into your pet’s eyes, you can see more than you think and learn things about yourself. What pets teach us about life isn’t found in books; it’s found in simple pleasures and the basic needs for life.

Pets have no concept of wealth or power, and are content to live in the moment. If you pay attention to them, they teach us lessons every day. What happened yesterday or an hour ago is forgotten and tomorrow’s possibilities are wide open. If the sun isn’t shining, it’s OK because dancing in the rain can be just as much fun. I’ve learned the simple things – the freebies of life – are what make it worthwhile. Hiking with your best canine friend by your side, or sitting by a campfire under a star-filled sky away from the noise of the world helps to put things in order. Pets teach us to enjoy the little wonders in life, and that it’s worthwhile to look under a bush once in awhile.

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Great Christmas Gifts for Your Favorite Feline Fan

By Tamara L. Waters

Christmas,  Christmas time is here, time for joy and time for cheer. . . chipmunks may sing about what they want for Christmas, but what do cat lovers want? Is there a song for that? Probably not, so instead, here are a few ideas for your favorite feline fancier. Give them something that appeals to their love of cats and you’re sure to make them purr (sorry, bad pun).

Cat Pattern Blankets – Buy or make fleecy blankets that have a kitty pattern on them. Your kitty lovin’ friend will enjoy a snuggly blanket with pictures of their favorite animal scattered all over it – great for a chilly winter evening!

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