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postheadericon Education begins at home, but it doesn’t end there

Education begins at home, but it doesn’t end there. It’s important that you supplement your dog’s home schooling with a good obedience class – or several! Why is obedience school so necessary? Well, here’s a starter list:

1. You and your dog will learn more advanced commands. You’ve got a good start with “sit” and “let’s go,” but in class you’ll master exercises like “down,” “stay,” “heel,” “stand” and “come” as well – the vocabulary she’ll need to become a really responsive and trustworthy friend and partner.

2. Your instructor can address your specific needs. Books and videotapes are great, but they can’t stay after class to discuss your dog’s individual problems or strong points, they can’t demonstrate new moves to you, and they can’t tell you whether you’re holding your leash funny or giving your dog a confusing command. There’s really no substitute for the one-on-one attention and suggestions of a good instructor.

3. You ‘II learn from the other people and dogs in the class. Your classmates may have new ideas for you, or you may pick up tips just from watching them. And you’ll find that they’re sympathetic to your problems and proud of your successes in ways that your non-dog-loving friends may not be.

4. Your dog will get used to other people and dogs. This is a biggie. No amount of backyard practice can teach your dog to behave in the presence of other exciting people or pups. And if your dog is still a little worried about the world at large – and many of them are – obedience class will give her a chance to make friends and gain confidence. So even if you’ve already been through obedience class with another dog and know the ropes, it’s a good idea to take your new dog to a class of her own.

5. It’ll give you an incentive to train your dog. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s tough to get motivated for your daily training sessions when you know only a couple of exercises and you don’t have an instructor and classmates to keep you from getting lazy!

6. You’ll have a terrific time. Obedience class is fun! You’ll make new friends (I know several married couples who met in obedience class) and get lots of exercise, and your relationship with your new dog will soar to new levels. And who knows? You might just get hooked on dog training and find yourself with a new hobby.

postheadericon Many people are concerned about commercial dog foods that are readily available in stores

Many people are concerned about commercial dog foods that are readily available in stores. With the many recalls lately, people are justified to worry whether there is any healthy dog food available any more. The truth is that just as people are concerned when purchasing processed foods for their own consumption, dog owners are also justified to be concerned when purchasing food for their canines.

There are several ways people can check to find out whether the food they are buying for their canines is healthy for them or not. It is very good practice for people go through the ingredients used by canine food manufactures to try and ascertain whether they are buying healthy dog products or not. People will be surprised to find out how much a quick scan at the ingredients list can tell them about the particular product they want to purchase.

Undoubtedly your canine is omnivorous by nature and so the food you purchase for it should reflect this fact, if it is indeed healthy. This means that at least the first three ingredients of the healthy food you want to buy should contain some kind of animal protein. The first three ingredients should therefore include proteins such as beef, fish, chicken or turkey. Experts suggest that a healthy dog meals should at least bear a 50% meat, 40% vegetable and 10% carbohydrates ratio for it to be considered healthy dog food.

People should also be aware that some low quality canine food manufactures have found a way to go around the ingredients expectations on the label. While indeed they include animal proteins as the first ingredients on the label, this is often followed by other by products which disrupt the meat to vegetable to carbohydrates ratio mentioned above. The inclusion of such unnecessary fillers in the ingredients of some commercial dog foods can be a good indicator of low quality food.

Moreover, scanning the label on a commercial dog meal products can expose the commercial dog dishes that do not carry a company name, a web address and a telephone number of the manufacturing company on the pack label. In such a case the odds are that dog food is not healthy dog food for your dog. You should therefore not purchase it.

Ultimately, a sure way people can be certain that the food they feed their dogs is healthy dog food is by preparing the food themselves. People who follow this option are, however, advisable to always ensure that they are feeding their dogs’ organic food that is free from chemical preservatives and such artificial ingredients. Canines have a different digestive system to human beings and so it is good not to constantly feed dogs’ human food. These can ensure that your dog will thrive on healthy dog meals.

postheadericon You bring your cute, fun loving puppy home for the first time and of course you want your him to sleep with you

You bring your cute, fun loving puppy home for the first time and of course you want your him to sleep with you. All furry, cute, warm and snuggly. But that is not the best thing to do for you or your hound. You really need a dog bed to establish correct behavior at the outset. It may be OK now, but when your dog grows to his full size at over 100 lb, will it still be fun?

Now that we have established that a dog bed is an essential item for your pet, what type do you get and what kind of things are you looking at?

How Do You Pick a Dog Bed?

First off ask yourself these questions. Does he like to be able to rest his head with a view of the entire room? Does he hang his head over the edge? Does he avoid the bed because he needs to cool off? Watch your dogs behavior and you’ll quickly learn which type of dog bed best suits him

Benefits and Features of a Dog Bed

The Indoor/Outdoor Bed is tough, water repellent and can be used inside or out. Orthopedic foam tends to provide additional warmth too so if you live in a warmer climate, your dog may prefer a cooling bed like the Canine Cooler to the traditional orthopedic bed. Using a dog bed in your home can help reduce injuries to your pet such as jumping off the couch; which is probably your canines favorite place to lie, especialy when you are away.

Picking the right dog bed will help with your allergies and even clean up. Using a dog bed provides you with one area where the majority of the shedding and/or dander is contained. Just pick up the bed, (or bedding), and put it in the washing machine. Of course make sure it’s machine washable first!

It is important for an older hound to have a comfortable rest area. Senior dogs over the age of 10 are similar to a seventy-year-old person. Can you imagine your grand parents curled up on the floor for the evening? Quality beds such as the Memory Foam Bed or the Thera Ortho Mattress are designed to relieve sore joints, bones and other problems that may arise due to your pets age or weight. They even make orthopedic dog beds now to help address this issue. Similar to humans, dogs also experience changes as they age. Their joints can stiffen, or their bones become thinner. If your older hound has slept in a kennel his entire life, it is good to learn that there are beds specifically designed for use in canine crates.

How to measure your dog for a bed: Different dogs sleep in different positions, as humans do so look at how your canine sleeps and determine the best size bed for your dog. Measure your dog when his is comfortably sleeping and add about 5 inches to ensure that he has enough room in his bed. Watch your canine sleep. Does he usually curl up or stretch out? If he’s relaxed to his maximum size, make sure the bed is big enough to support his entire body.

Spend some time determining which bed is best suited for your dog, keeping in mind that this will become a favorite resting place for your pooch! If your dog likes his head on a pillow, try a lounge bed or couch. Beware, low quality beds are easily torn and fall apart. They never really offer your hound the benefits of a higher quality bed.

Think of your dog bed as an investment, any number of high quality beds will last the lifetime of your canine, and so will their benefits!

postheadericon Preventing dog health problems should be a top priority for dog owners

Preventing dog health problems should be a top priority for dog owners.

If you are like me, my dog is an integral part of my family.  I want him to live a long, healthy, and happy life.

Our dogs are completely dependent on us.  They are just like our children.  They count on us to give them what they need in their lives.

My dog, Romeo, is the little white guy sitting in my lap shown in the picture at the top of the page.  He is very healthy.  My wife and I have made it a point to provide him with the very best.

You and I make lifestyle choices to boost our immunity and live a healthy life.  We should do the same thing for our dogs.  We should have their best interest at heart.

Listed below are 6 basic things you need to give your dog.

If you are considering getting a dog and are not willing to provide the dog with these things, then my suggestion is to save your time and money.  Forget about getting a dog.  Invest your money in a person you love.

I’m sorry to be so blunt.  But I feel that all true pet lovers probably agree with me.  So here is the list of 6 things you must give your dog:

  1. Exercise – Exercise should be an extremely important part of your dog’s daily routine.  This is a great way to help prevent dog health problems.  It helps to detoxify its body.  Just like the human body, exercise stretches and strengthens its muscles, gives a cardio workout, and helps get rid of stress.  I walk with Romeo every morning – anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 miles.  His little legs can really move.  I know he really enjoys himself.
  2. Water – Your dog should have access to plenty of water throughout the day.  The bowl should be frequently replenished with fresh, clean water.
  3. Food – Your dog should be fed a high quality, nutritious dog food.  I don’t have enough room here to fully address this issue.  Feeding a food bought in a grocery store or even a pet specialty store will probably lead to health issues.  The food should be very fresh and free of by-products, corn, wheat, soy, and chemical preservatives and colorings.
  4. Treats – We all want to give our dog some treats throughout the day.  And the dog certainly enjoys them.  My advice is to limit the number of treats you give your dog. The treat should be functional.  In other words, it should fulfill a specific purpose.  For example, it should be a healthy treat and provide dental care, or anti-oxidants, etc.  Most treats you find in a store are not healthy, they lead to weight gain, and only tend to satisfy the dog’s hunger.
  5. Natural supplements – Your dog should have a daily supplement or vitamin.  Each dog, just like a human, has a different body chemistry.  The supplement provides the nutrition the dog does not absorb from the food he eats.  This helps to prevent health issues.  Larger dogs should take a supplement that will prevent or, at the very least, postpone arthritis, dysplasia, and other joint issues.
  6. Weight management – This is extremely important.  I see so many dogs that are overweight.  There is no excuse for this.  Lack of proper exercise can be part of the problem.  Overeating is a major reason for obesity in dogs.  You should be able to feel your dog’s rib cage.  There should be a thin layer of flesh over the ribs.  If you do not easily feel the ribs, you need to cut back on the quantity of food you are feeding.  Don’t feed more than what is suggested on the label. But cut back that amount if your dog shows signs of being overweight.

postheadericon Miniature schnauzers have a striking and unique appearance

Miniature Schnauzers have a striking and unique appearance. Their look, and overall health, is dependant on good dog grooming practices.

Miniature schnauzers have a double coat. This means that they have a soft, short haired coat under a long haired coat. Occasional “haircuts” are required to help keep the coat from matting. What other upkeep is required?

Besides the coat trimming, the dog needs regular baths, nail trimming, tooth brushing and having the anal glands expressed. Some owners enjoy doing the grooming themselves, while others prefer hiring a groomer to do it.

If you decide to use a groomer, visit the groomer before taking the dog. Check for cleanliness and if the groomers are adequately trained. Another consideration is what chemicals or soaps will be used on the dog. Also check the area where your Miniature Schnauzer will be kept before and after grooming.

Like any other business, get referrals and call them. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints.

There are several grooming aids that you’ll need if doing the grooming yourself. These items include clippers, combs, shears, toenail clippers, dog shampoo, conditioner and dog toothpaste. They should all be readily available at the larger pet supply retailers.

Before clipping your pet, take a look at a Schnauzer grooming chart. This will give you an idea of how to get the look that’s associated with this breed of dog.

It’s also important to regularly brush your dog’s coat. If the dog isn’t brushed frequently enough, its coat can become so matted that the mats have to be cut out.

An area of grooming that’s sometimes overlooked is dental hygiene. Some dogs love having their teeth brushed. Others act like they’re being killed. Regardless to how your dog reacts, it’s an essential element in grooming.

Not brushing can lead to tooth and gum disease that can threaten the dog’s life. Be sure to use dog toothpaste. Dogs may drool sometimes, but they can’t spit. Some of the ingredients in human toothpaste may be harmful to the dog if swallowed.

Your Miniature Schnauzer will periodically need to have its nails trimmed. This is frequently included as part of the package at the groomers. If you’re going to do it yourself, be sure to get dog specific toenail clippers. You might want to get a styptic pencil too.

The thing to be careful of when trimming nails is that you don’t cut the quick. That’s where the styptic pencil comes in. Even the pros occasionally make a mistake!

Another, sometime unpleasant, aspect of dog grooming is expressing the anal glands. The anal glands are two small sacs located on either side of the dog’s anus. They secrete a fluid into the feces during the dog’s bowel movement. This fluid produces a scent unique to that dog.

When this fluid isn’t released it begins to thicken and can lead to infection. For the dogs health it’s important that the groomer or vet periodically removes the fluid.

Pet owners need to make sure that all of these aspects of dog grooming are addressed. This will lead to a happier, healthier Miniature Schnauzer.