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Food, Shelter & Love: Making a Difference

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Healthmtest on October 29th, 2013

Thousands and thousands of pets are currently waiting and hoping to find a forever home in a local shelter. Back in 2002, Hill’s Science Diet® recognized the need shelters have to feed the pets in their care, and they decided to do something about it.

In 2002 Hill’s created their Food, Shelter & LoveTM Program to donate Science Diet brand foods to shelters nationwide. For Hill’s, the goal of the program was simple: to provide dogs and cats with superior nutrition that will make them healthier, happier and more adoptable as they wait for their forever home. Healthy pets are more adoptable pets, and every pet deserves a forever home.

In the last 11 years the Food, Shelter & Love Program has donated over $240 million worth of Science Diet brand foods to nearly 1,000 shelters nationwide. It helps feed more than 100,000 homeless pets every single day. Not only do they donate to the shelters, but they also provide the food to the shelters at a significant discount to help shelters be able to provide for their pets on a regular basis. Part of the program also provides a free bad of Science Diet ® pet food or a $5 off coupon to the pet’s adopting family, along with a new pet parent site with tips and tools to giving their newest family member the best start in their new forever home.

Hill’s furthered their commitment to giving back in May, 2013, with the announcement of their National Disaster Relief Network to Help Pets During Emergencies. This is a network of nearly 100 shelters across the country that work with Hill’s during disaster events, and help to distribute emergency food supplies to the pets who need it most.

Hill’s shared a first-hand account in their May 8, 2013 press release, “I saw firsthand the tremendous work that Hill’s does when they supported my shelter during the wildfires in Colorado last year,” said Jan McHugh-Smith, President and CEO of the Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs. “It was remarkable how fast they were able to respond and how committed they were to making sure we had enough food for our shelters, including the temporary shelters that we set up (to) accommodate the influx of displaced animals.”

Hill’s program continues to grow and their commitment to supporting shelters and giving back grows with it. To request assistance during an emergency, shelters can contact Hill’s at DisasterRelief@hillspet.com.

This post is sponsored by the Hill’s.

About the Author: Chloe DiVita is the COE, Chief of Everything, of BlogPaws, a Pet360 Media division. She is a blogging expert featured on the February 8th episode of Who Let The Dogs Out and writes for the BlogPaws Be The Change For Pets blog. When she’s not engaging on line, she is serving her two dogs, Twiggy the Greyhound and Onyx the Pit Bull Shih Tzu mix – figure that one out!

Study Shows Dogs Yawn After Owners

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Behavior,Dog Healthmtest on August 13th, 2013

by Courtney Temple

Have you ever noticed once someone yawns, you suddenly feel the urge to yawn, too? Better yet, have you ever noticed your dog yawning immediately after you do? If so, you’re not alone.

According to NBC News, a new study conducted by a research team at the University of Tokyo revealed that dogs tend to yawn after their owners. The study concluded that the dogs were more sensitive to yawns from their owners rather than from strangers.

The researchers tested a total of 25 dogs, including Pit Bulls, Papillons, and Poodles. Two cameras were used to record the responses of the dogs while their owners called the dog’s name followed by a yawn, or the owner yawned after making direct eye contact with their canine.

Read More: All About American Pit Bull Terriers

The research team measured the heart rates of the yawning puppies and adults, and concluded that the heart rates were stable. The results showed that the yawning response from the dogs was a sign of empathy and not related to anxiety or distress.

“Our results show that the emotional bond between people and their dogs is reciprocal,” says Teresa Romero, an animal behavior researcher at the University of Tokyo who conducted the analysis.

This isn’t the first study that tested the yawning patterns in dogs. Back in 2008, biologists in Britain showed that yawns were contagious between humans and their canines.

This behavior trend has been observed in other animals, including chimpanzees, bonobo monkeys, and gelada baboons.

All we know for sure is that we can now say that our furry friends know exactly how we feel.

What do you think of this new study? Did you ever notice your dog yawning right after you? Please leave your comment in the section below.

This article was originally published on partner site Pet360.com.

Why I Rescued My Dog Finn

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Behaviormtest on May 20th, 2013

By: Rebecca Braglio

When I first rescued my dog Finn, I had zero history on him. He was found wandering the streets of North Philadelphia. He was a pretty severe neglect case, and although I didn’t really know what I was taking on, I took him in as a foster dog.

Our first month together was pretty blissful – except for one thing. He wouldn’t let me groom him. Whenever I came near his face (he has terrible tearstains) with a washcloth, comb or scissors, he went ballistic. I mean, exorcist ballistic. He growled. He snapped at my face. He ran under the bed and hid.

I knew I was in over my head. So, I hired a vet tech to come to my house to groom his face and clip his nails.

It took her 2 hours just to clip his nails. And that was with a muzzle on.

I then spoke with my vet, who recommended that I have Finn sedated for grooming. She said it was a very stressful event for him – clearly he had a traumatic experience with grooming and being handled. In her opinion, at the moment he was beyond any behavioral training. If he were sedated, it would be easier on everyone involved. But, that’s kind of pricey.

I decided that I could get it done on my own. After all, Finn loves me. He greets me when I come home with play bows and tail wags. He loves to cuddle on my lap.

And then one day, he bit me. Badly.

I was trying to wipe his tearstains with a washcloth. He was hollering big time, but I kept at it, which was my mistake. He managed to get in a sucker-punch and clamped down on my hand.

Thankfully, Finn only has 4 teeth (he had 15 pulled because they were so rotted). But it only takes one to break skin – which he did. He also managed to bruise the bone in my hand. Finn’s a little guy – only 7 lbs – but there is some serious power in that jaw. He’s quick like a professional boxer in the ring. It’s been about a month since he bit me, and my hand still hurts.

But now I have even a bigger problem – he’s starting to extend this aggression to other situations besides grooming. All I keep thinking is that now, Finn is a liability. I don’t trust him. I can’t trust him.

I’m not giving up on him. I can’t. When I adopted him, I made a promise to him that he would never go back to the shelter or end up back in the streets. I think we all know what would happen to Finn if he went back to the shelter.

But this is a new experience for me. I’ve never had an aggressive dog – and I’m finding it a bit heart breaking. It saddens me that he gets so stressed out that he bites. I wonder what on earth happened to him that he is so petrified of being touched. I’m grateful that he at least growls before resorting to biting.

But, I’m worried that he’s going to bite someone and I’ll have to put him down. I ‘m worried I won’t be able to get this under control.

I’ve made some adjustments already – he’s no longer allowed up on furniture and is sleeping in his own little bed now. We are working with a trainer who specializes in neglected dogs and aggression. He is on some supplements to help out with his other health issues and his overall anxiety. He is also being closely followed by his vet. There’s been some progress, but we have a very long road ahead of us.

This article originally appeared on Pet360.com

Do you have or have you ever had an aggressive dog? How have you managed?

Stem Cells Allow Dogs to Walk Again

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Healthmtest on March 18th, 2013

by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

Pet parents with dogs that have suffered paralyzing spinal cord injuries know how heartbreaking it is to see their 4-legged kids struggle, even if they have specially designed wheels that help them to get around.

That’s why a recent study that involved stem cell research gives new hope to these pet parents.

According to Popsci, scientists at Cambridge University in Great Britain successfully removed stem cells, called olfactory ensheathing cells, from the noses of affected dogs, multiplied the cells in a lab, and then injected them into the injury points of the animals.

According to the article, which cited the BBC, many of the 23 dogs in the study that received the injection had improvement in walking. There were also 11 dogs used as a control group; none of those dogs recovered the use of their hind legs.

The dogs that regained use of their hind legs had been using especially designed wheel chairs for dogs. After the injection, which allowed the dogs to grow new connections in the affected nerves in their spinal cords, the dogs were able to relearn the ability to walk using all four feet.

The study involved mostly Dachshunds, which are prone to injury. “Weiner dogs” have a long body and are typically quite active. Jumping or even running or playing can sometimes cause spinal cord injury.

Jasper, a Dachshund in the study who could not walk at all regained full use of his legs. “When we took him out we used a sling for his back legs so that he could exercise the front ones. It was heartbreaking. But now we can’t stop him whizzing ’round the house, and he can even keep up with the two other dogs we own,” Jasper’s owner, May Hay, said in a statement. “It’s utterly magic.”

Stem cell therapies have come a long way for our 4-legged pets in the past few years. Many veterinarians now use stem cell therapy to help dogs suffering from hip dysplasia, a common painful genetic condition that affects many dogs, especially German Shepherds and some other large breed dogs.

More than 30 years ago, I saw a dog in a wheelchair for the first time. A neighbor of my in-laws had a Chihuahua that suffered some sort of injury that rendered her back legs useless. The man had designed and built the dog a homemade wheelchair. I thought it was brilliant, but my mother in law thought it was cruel. I could never reason that logic. The dog was not in pain and seemed happy wheeling around the yard.

Could these stem cell therapies help humans as well? “We’re confident that the technique might be able to restore at least a small amount of movement in human patients with spinal cord injuries, but that’s a long way from saying they might be able to regain all lost function,” said Robin Franklin, a regeneration biologist at the Wellcome Trust MRC Stem Cell Institute and study co-author.

We didn’t even know this could be done 30 years ago. I think it is more hopeful for both humans and pets than we might realize today.

Stem Cells Allow Dogs to Walk Again originally appeared on Pet360.com

The Good Goodbye

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Lifemtest on March 12th, 2013

by Dr. V

This last weekend, I had to say goodbye to my dear lab Kekoa, who was suffering from a tumor in her leg. As a veterinarian, many people assume this process becomes easier over time as it’s part of my job description. And my response to that is: well, yes and no.

Helping people say goodbye to their pet, and giving them a dignified death, is one of the roles I take most seriously in my chosen career. Has that become easier for me? Yes, because I feel very confident and comfortable in the process. I know that my job is to help validate my owner’s intuition that now is the right time, to reduce fear and stress, and to make the whole process as peaceful as possible.

I’ve learned the right things to say and not to say. I know how to determine whether a pet should have a sedative before we give the last injection. I know that I can provide an environment that is quiet and peaceful. That when I give the overdose of anesthetic agent, the pet will drift quietly asleep, maybe snore a few times, and then stop breathing. I know, because I always check, that the heart stops usually within a minute.

People who have not gone through it before often express surprise that the process is so quick. Some wish that they had known this so they could ask for more time before the injection, while others want to get it over with quickly. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but if you know ahead of time what to expect, you can prepare.

It’s not the death I dread. Surprisingly enough, it’s what comes before. The anticipation of loss, looking over at a sick pet and wondering, will he be here next month? Next week? Is this our last walk? Living in a state of dread of knowing what is coming, but not when.

That part- well, that part hasn’t gotten easier at all. Over the years, I’ve lost pets to various diseases, most of them cancers. But each disease follows a different course; some linger, some rush in and knock you over. Even the best oncologists in the world talk in ranges and ‘median survival times’ because the truth is, no one knows exactly how a disease will progress.

If your pet is diagnosed with a terminal disease, I encourage you to spend some time researching and talking to your vet about what is likely to happen. In Kekoa’s case, I knew that she would be in pain long before she stopped eating, Willingness to eat is one the benchmarks people use to answer the “when is it the right time”, but it’s not the only one.

Even with that knowledge, when Kekoa reached the point where she was in pain and the medications were no longer helping, it was not an easy decision. No matter how much you help other people conclude that the time is right, it’s different when it’s your own pet. Just like all of you, I talked to my veterinarian friends and felt very comforted by their assurances that I was making the right decision.

The euthanasia itself was very peaceful and quick. I am fortunate that I have a friend who has a housecall practice who could come to our home. I was very grateful to be able say goodbye to my pet in her own familiar surroundings. We sat on her bed, listened to some quiet classical music, and I fed her from a huge pile of treats. She didn’t even notice the small prick of the butterfly catheter. When she drifted out of consciousness, she was enjoying ice cream.

I tell you all of this because so many owners come to the clinic for a euthanasia filled with fear because they don’t know what to expect. Expect peace. If you go to the veterinary clinic, bring your pet’s favorite blankets, toys, or treats if they are still eating. Feel free to talk to your pet. Request whatever time you need from the vet and don’t hesitate to ask questions.

For all the sadness that comes with Kekoa’s death, I know that in the future I will remember with a smile that she passed blissfully eating ice cream. It is my wish that all pet owners are empowered to make the process equally meaningful to them.

The Good Goodbye originally appeared on DR. V’s blog on Pet360.com

The 10 Most Popular Dogs for Kids

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Personalitymtest on January 23rd, 2013

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Image: Cia De Foto via Flickr

While Lassie and Lady and the Tramp are fun to watch, they’re probably not the best way to choose a family dog. Instead, choose the breed by its disposition, temperament, size and energy level — all of which should suit your family’s lifestyle. Just remember, always meet the dog and ask the breeder or shelter worker lots of questions before making such an important decision. Without further ado, here are 10 kid-friendly dog breeds approved by petMD.

#10 The Bulldog

The Bulldog has a sturdy build that is perfect for kids who like to roughhouse. However, it won’t win any awards for “most energetic dog.” A docile, friendly and loyal dog, the Bulldog gets along well with other pets and dogs, too. The Bulldog is comfortable living in large houses as well as small apartments.

#9 The Beagle

While your Beagle most likely won’t have a bird named Woodstock as his best friend, you can still name him (or her) Snoopy. Originally kept as hunting dogs, Beagles fit well in homes with active kids, as they are sturdily built and are never too tired to play a game. Smart, friendly, and happy, the Beagle usually gets along with other pets, too (except for a bit of chasing here and there). They do shed fairly heavily, however, and require frequent brushing and bathing.

#8 The Bull Terrier

Unfairly branded as an aggressive breed, the Bull Terrier was actually bred to be a companion dog — friendly and loving towards grown-ups and kids alike. This well-framed dog also has a high threshold for pain, making it perfect for rambunctious children who are learning how to properly treat dogs.

#7 The Collie

This is the dog breed that “Lassie” made famous. Collies are a very gentle and predictable breed, easily trainable and rarely aggressive — which is perfect for families who are unfamiliar with dogs. Collies get along great with children and love to please their owners and protect their family.

#6 The Newfoundland

Nicknamed “Nature’s Babysitter” (think “Nana” from Peter Pan), the Newfoundland dog loves children and is very protective over them. Gentle, kind, and patient, this breed is almost like the Mother Teresa of dogs. Both young and old will quickly fall in love with this wonderfully sweet, large dog.

#5 The Vizsla

This may be a breed you haven’t heard of before, but because of its need for regular exercise, it’s actually one best dog breeds for active and energetic families with older kids. The Vizsla has a lively disposition but a gentle manner; it is loyal and affectionate. Additionally, it is obedient, confident and smart, forming close bonds with its family and able to learn new tricks quickly. Best of all, the Vizsla has very little “doggy” smell about it.

#4 Irish Setter

Known for its red coat, the Irish Setter is playful, energetic, loves being around people, and plays well with children. This doggy needs lots of exercise, and is a good match for energetic kids and active families. A smart and trainable companion, the Irish Setter is especially perfect for people with a yard.

#3 The Poodle

Often given rather curious haircuts by their owners, the Poodle is a very smart and gentle dog. It’s also great for kids with allergies, as it sheds very little. It does, however, require scheduled grooming, or its hair will get out of control. This is a proud and elegant dog that is both caring and loyal. Seldom annoyed or bored, the Poodle’s good nature, friendly demeanor and patience make it an excellent playing partner for a child.

#2 Labrador Retriever

This is one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S., and for good reason. The Labrador Retriever is playful, patient, loving, protective and reliable. In fact, its sweet personality and intelligence is only matched by its beauty. What does this mean for you? It means the perfect family pet.

#1 The Golden Retriever

Not as big in size as the Lab, the Golden Retriever is a confident, smart, kind and loyal dog. Neither aggressive nor timid, the Golden Retriever is extremely patient, which is perfect for kids. While it does need a lot of exercise, its love of play makes this an easy task to achieve.

Dog Arthritis Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Health,Dog LifeDoggySpace on November 12th, 2010

Dog arthritis, which most commonly occurs in older dogs but may also be witnessed in younger canines, is a degenerative disease that primarily affects the joints. While there are various strains or types of dog arthritis the most common form is osteoarthritis which can be caused by joint stress, trauma to the affected joint, or simply age.

Canine Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is specifically caused by the breaking down of cartilage causing the bones to rub together. This culminates in sore joints and other symptoms. There are healthy and effective ways to help naturally combat some of the symptoms of dog arthritis as well as more direct forms of treatment.

Which Dogs Are Most Prone To Arthritis?

Arthritis is most common in older dogs but can be witnessed in canines of any age. It is also more common in dogs that are considered overweight because this means that they are less likely to get adequate exercise. However, degenerative diseases are also linked to arthritis and ailments such as osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia can be found in very young dogs with the problem exacerbating over time.

Seeing The Signs

Early detection of degenerative arthritis can help you take action before it really gets hold. Arthritis can be an acutely painful condition that makes life miserably and painful and without intervention of some sort the problem is not only likely to persist but worsen too.

Symptoms

Stiffness, limping, and even lameness may be a sign that your dog has arthritis. Weight gain, loss of appetite, inactivity, and unusual sleeping patterns are other possible symptoms. Any kind of action or reaction that may indicate pain from movement could point to the onset of arthritic complaints. If your previously house trained dog starts urinating in the house then this may be a sign that he or she does not want to walk outdoors because of the pain.

Treatment

Canine arthritis cannot usually be fully treated but the symptoms can be managed. This is especially true if you catch the signs early and take your family companion to the vets as soon as possible.

Exercise and proper diet are encouraged. Exercise improves the muscle mass around effected arthritic joints and this relieves the tension put on the joints. It helps ensure that joints remain flexible rather than becoming stiff and painful.

The effects of degenerative arthritis are usually worsened through bad diet, especially if a previously active dog becomes less active. Overweight dogs should be put on a diet to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight and there are special food products that are designed especially for this purpose.

Medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly prescribed for dog arthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties means that they can provide rapid pain relief in many cases. However, they do not repair the damage that has already been done to the cartilage. Certain medications including aspiring may also be prescribed but you should never give your dog human remedies or drugs for their arthritis or any other illness or complaint.

Prevention

Prevention is better than cure and in the case of canine arthritis this means the prevention of the arthritis from getting worse. A holistic program can be worked out with your vet that includes diet, exercise, and even supplements. These can strengthen muscle mass, improve joint movement, and prevent the arthritis from worsening. Orthopedic dog beds can prevent pain while sleeping and give your dog somewhere comfortable to sleep and you should ensure that you have a comfortable collar and leash for walking too.

Canine Arthritis

Canine arthritis can be incredibly painful for dogs, as it can for humans. There are medications that can be prescribed by the vet that will help ease the symptoms and good exercise and diet may prevent the problem from worsening but there is very little that can be done to repair the damage that has already occurred in the body.

Article by Matt Jackson and photo by monkeyc

Housebreaking a Puppy

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog TrainingDoggySpace on October 11th, 2010

Having a new puppy is fun. Think about all the things you and your puppy can do together. Imagine all the tricks you can teach your puppy. Before you get caught up with the things you want your dog to learn, don’t forget that housebreaking a puppy is one of the most important things you have to do to make your dog adjust effectively to its new environment. There are several ways on housebreaking a puppy. Choose the method that is convenient for you so that dog training is easier on you and your dog. Understanding your puppy and building communication between the two of you are important factors in determining your success of potty training a puppy.

Communication is an essential part of dog training. If you don’t communicate well with your pet, potty training a puppy may be harder for you. Housebreaking a puppy should be started as soon as you bring the puppy to your house. You should start by having a consistent command phrase you can use to mean that your dog needs to relieve himself on the spot where you want him to. A command phrase or word can be anything like “outside”, “go” or “potty time”. The phrase you choose is not very important, what’s important is to use the phrase frequently and assign a consistent meaning to that phrase. You can’t use the word “go” to mean “potty time” today and use it tomorrow to mean “run”. Frequency and consistency in meaning is very important, especially on the first days of dog training.

Understanding your pet’s behavior is also an important part when potty training a puppy. One of the mistakes most pet owners make is to not know the signs their pets do when they need to relieve themselves. You need to know these signs so you can take your puppy out or bring him to the area of the house where you want him to pee before your puppy actually does. Some of the most common signs are walking around in circles, pacing and sniffing.

2 of the most popular method in housebreaking a puppy is crate training and paper training or the use of puppy pads. You need to have time and patience in whatever dog training method you choose. There is no cutting corners to potty training a puppy. When crate training, make sure to use a crate big enough for your puppy to be comfortable in. The principle of crate training is to teach your puppy that the crate is his bed and he should not soil it. Keep him in his crate several hours a day. Let him out when you see signs that he needs to relieve himself. After a meal or a play session, it’s important that you take him out so he can do his thing before you put him back in the crate. Balance the time your puppy is in and out of his crate. A dog that’s put in the crate for a very long time may become destructive and noisy. Let him out several times a day so he can run around the house or play with you.

Paper training is usually used for small dog breeds like a Cocker Spaniel or Chihuahua. Have several layers of newspaper on the area that you want your dog to relieve himself. Every time your puppy relieves himself, throw the top layer of the newspaper. This way, it will be easier for your puppy to smell his way to the spot where he needs to pee or defecate. Other pet owners prefer to use puppy pad for potty training a puppy. With a puppy pad, your dog will just follow the scent of the pad to lead him to your chosen area where you want your dog to relieve himself. Paper training and crate training are just some of the methods you can use in dog training. There are other methods you can try for housebreaking a puppy.

Housebreaking a puppy should not be a hard time for you and your dog. The most important thing you need to know when housebreaking a puppy is to give your dog enough time to adjust and get used to his new routine.

Photo by ★ɱark and article written by Alysson Price

How to Clean Pet Urine and Neutralize Odor

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Behavior,Dog TrainingDoggySpace on July 23rd, 2010

Whether your pet has a problem with indoor accidents or is simply trying to mark his territory, cleaning up pet urine is imperative to preventing recurrences. Your pet enjoys a particularly strong sense of smell and can easily identify areas where it has urinated in the past. If you have other pets, the smell of the urine may cause them to urinate in the same spot – even if they typically only urinate outdoors. Thus, when cleaning up pet stains, you must clean the stain thoroughly enough to neutralize the smell to both humans and animals.

Step One: Blot Away the Urine Stain

As soon as your pet urinates on the floor, blot up as much of the stain as you can with a towel or dishcloth. Terrycloth is perfect for this job. Your goal is to clean away as much of the urine as possible before it has an opportunity to soak into your carpet’s padding and dry there.

After you’ve soaked up as much of the urine as you can with a towel, use a thin, absorbent material, such as a paper towel or napkin, to absorb any remaining pet urine. Place the paper towel or napkin over the stain and press down as hard as you can. You can even stand on the spot to ensure that you’re applying adequate pressure. Do not stop blotting until the spot appears completely dry.

Step Two: Dilute the Remaining Pet Urine

Pour club soda liberally over the pet urine stain, giving it a few seconds to soak in. Club soda dilutes pet urine both beneath your carpet and on the carpet’s surface, making it less likely to give off a noticeable smell. While club soda is ideal for this, you can also use plain water or equal parts water and white vinegar.

After the club soda has a chance to soak into the carpet, blot it away using towels and paper towels in the exact same manner that you cleaned up the initial pet stain.

Step Three: Neutralize Pet Urine Smells

Once you’ve cleaned up the pet stain and diluted the remaining urine within your carpet, you can further combat the smell using baking soda. Pour baking soda over the spot where your pet’s accident occurred. Press the baking soda into the carpet using even pressure. This can be done by stepping on the pile of baking soda several times or placing a heavy object over the spot. Let the baking soda sit on the pet stain for at least one hour before vacuuming it away. The baking soda will pull any moisture you may have missed out of the carpet while also combating the unpleasant odor of pet urine.

Step Four: De-grease the Pet Stain

Even if you begin cleaning your pet’s urine stain as soon as the accident occurs, the ammonia in an animal’s urine gives it a greasy texture that allows it to rapidly adhere to fabrics such as carpeting. The end result is that neutralizing the urine may not remove the stain. Standard carpet cleaning sprays may also be ineffective at preventing a permanent pet urine stain on your carpet. Household degreasers, however, are perfect for this job.

Spray a household degreasing product, such as Greased Lightning, directly onto the pet stain. Use a warm, wet cloth to work the degreaser into the stain, wiping vigorously. Keep a bowl of water next to you throughout the process since you’ll want to rinse the cloth out frequently. If you have concerns about degreaser staining your carpet, test it out on an out of the way area of carpeting before applying it to the pet urine stain.

Step Five: Prevent the Smell of Pet Urine

While club soda and baking soda work wonders for neutralizing pet urine odor, you can opt for additional odor prevention by purchasing one of the many specialty products available for neutralizing the smell of pet urine on carpets. Call your veterinarian for a recommendation before making a purchase, as some products work better than others.

The best cure for pet urine stains is prevention. Consider installing a doggie door or taking your dog for more frequent walks if indoor urination becomes a problem. If you have a cat that urinates on the carpet, clean its litter box more frequently. Your cat’s definition of a full litter box and yours may vary! You can also provide your cat with more than one litter box to encourage it to use the litter box rather than your carpet. Should occasional accidents still occur, however, prompt cleanup ensures that your carpet will remain pristine and pet urine odors don’t become a problem.

Photo by jaimieo

Puppy Socialization

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Dog Life,Dog TrainingDoggySpace on June 10th, 2010

Puppy socialization is the foundation for a lifetime of good dog behavior. A properly socialized puppy will respond to new situations, people, and environments without the fear and aggression that often develops in dogs that are under emotional stress. While the most important period in your puppy’s socialization occurs between 8 and 12 weeks, when the puppy’s mind is going through a fear imprinting stage, good socialization should not end after 12 weeks.

In order to properly socialize your puppy you must make sure to expose him or her to as many healthy new environments and people as you can. Since the point of exposing your puppy is to teach him or her how to handle and react to potentially stressful situations, it is important that you remain in control of the situation, as well as your own reactions and emotions. Even young puppies can sense your emotional responses to stimuli and, like human infants, will react according to the impressions they get from you. Happily greeting strangers as you take your dog for walks, or settling in comfortably with a large group of human friends show your dog how he or she should respond to these new situations as well.

Because of health concerns it may not be safe to socialize your dog through visits to the dog park, or places where other animal’s poop is likely to be found. Instead, substitute controlled play dates with other pups, training and socialization classes, and frequent walks for potentially health-effecting socialization. Taking your pup for frequent car rides and to visit the homes of friends will also help him or her to adapt easier to new environments.

Besides new environments it is essential to familiarize your dog with objects he or she may perceive as threatening or strange. These things may include tall men, hats, umbrellas, loud noises, children, and wheelchairs. Having the individuals possessing potentially frightening characteristics or objects interact positively with your dog, even offering them treats and affection, will help your dog come to love these strange characteristics.

As your puppy grows remember to encourage him or her to enjoy new things, and seek out new experiences and stimuli to expose him or her to. By taking the time to socialize your dog with intention and control you will ensure a happier outlook for your pet and minimize stress and aggressive reactions. Properly socialized puppies often turn into better behaved adult dogs, and will make your dog ownership a joy instead of a headache.

Photo credit manyfires

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Doggyspace is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who love dogs. People use Doggyspace to keep up with friends, upload funny dog videos, and to give their dogs their own cyber place.

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