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Dog Automobile Safety Tips

No one will argue that you love your dog. You took great care in researching his food and the vet you use. You buy him cute dog toys and see that he gets a great walk every day. But do you take care to keep your dog safe in the car? No one would think of putting their child into the car without buckling up their seat belt or childseat… and you should take the same care with your other “children”, your dogs. Keep your pet safe.

Not only are dogs a major distraction to driving, it is dangerous for the dog to be loose in your automobile or to be hanging out of the window. A dog in a crash can become a major projectile delivering harm to passengers, driver and themselves. Although there is not adequate research, it is estimated that 30,000 accidents are caused annually by unrestrained pets who distract the driver. A pet that weighs 60 pounds in a 35 mph crash will have an impact force of 2700 pounds. That can do some damage!

Legislation is coming to enforce drivers to buckle safety belts for their dogs while riding in a car. Hawaii already has in place a law that prohibits dogs from riding in the driver’s lap. Troy, Michigan has a city ordinance which requires the dog to be restrained in the car at all times. Oregon currently has legislation under consideration. California prohibits untied dogs from riding in the back of pickups. Do we really need legislation to care for our dogs? I think not! So be a responsible pet owner. There are lots of pet safety products and dog safety gear available. It’s for your safety and your dogs!

An easy, familiar dog restraint is a harness designed for the car. It is the perfect choice for securing car safety for your dog. Unlike the one you use on your daily walks, a harness designed for use in the car will not break during the crash. It is simple to buckle and unbuckle from your existing seat belt system, making it easy to get your dog in and out of the car. They are also designed to remove stress from the neck area and transfer the impact of the crash to the dogs chest. They are adjustable, comfortable and allow the dog some room to move, lie down or sit up. The safest place to buckle your dog into the car is the middle of the back seat. This position will prevent him from hanging out the window but he can still catch the scent on the breeze. You do not want your dog hanging out the window, even if they love it, because even the smallest speck can seriously damage your dog’s eyes or nose. If he must hang out, purchase some doggles (dog goggles) to protect his eyes. You especially do not want to put your dog in the front seat if you have air bags. Air bags launch with such force that they could kill your dog with the impact.

You can also buy a car seat for your dog. Car seats for pets give a secure and comfortable place to ride and can even elevate your pet, making it easier to see out the window. Crates are another option. If you crate your dog in the car, secure the crate. Also make sure the crate has a crash rating. Splintering crates can become deadly missiles in the event of a crash as well!

Another reason to restrain your dog while traveling is to protect the dog if you are disabled in a crash. A loose dog may run away from the first responders to your accident. They could be injured and unable to receive immediate care. First responders may never even know your dog was in the car. Having some information about your dog and a photo somewhere in your car can help keep your dog safe and insure he gets responsible care.

You know you love your dog and it’s great to travel with your dog. It is fun to have them along on errands or for a ride to the park. It is the responsible pet owner who ensures the safety of his dog by buckling them into the car where they are secure and you know what they are doing!

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The Best Way to Change Your Dog’s Diet

In a word: s-l-o-w-l-y.

If you are changing from dry to wet food, or wet to dry, you’re asking a lot of your dog’s digestive system. Done too quickly, the results can be:
Upset stomachDiarrhea or its opposite, constipationVomitingStomach churning and gas

If these symptoms are bad enough, your dog may simply refuse to eat out of self-defense.

Take it slow

So it’s very important to change your dog’s diet very slowly, over a considerable length of time. What do we mean by slowly? Start off by exchanging 10% of the old food for new. Try this for 3 days and monitor your dog’s response.

If all goes well, on the 4th day, exchange another 10% of the old food for the new. So now you’re feeding 20% of the new food and 80% of the old.

Again, monitor for 3 days and if all is well, exchange another 10%. Don’t think because the first few times went well, you can suddenly switch over all at once when a 30/70 ratio of new food to old has been accepted. You still need to take this major change slowly.

Tough love

No matter which way you’re changing up your dog’s dinner, you may have to apply some tough love at first. Like us, dogs are real creatures of habit and are generally not happy with change. Hang tough, your dog isn’t going to starve itself to death. Be patient and you’ll see good results.

Wet or dry dog food?

Deciding whether wet or dry food is best for your dog, is a complex issue, and something you’ll want to discuss with your veterinarian. Many owners resolve it by feeding their pets a mixture of each, usually 60/40 dry to wet. Soft food can be more appealing to the animal, while hard kibble is invaluable for cleaning the teeth. Read the labels carefully on any dog food you’re feeding to ensure it meets your dog’s daily requirements.

An alternative to wet or dry food is feeding RAW food. This is growing in popularity among dog owners, and although that switch can be very challenging, most say it is well worth it. RAW or the BARF diet, is touted as the cure to skin problems, hot spots, ear infections and a longer life. BARF is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, and is based on human-grade whole foods including raw meat, finely ground bones, offal as well as fruit and vegetables. It really is the ‘original’ way we fed dogs for hundreds and hundreds of years.

In fact, commercial kibble wasn’t ‘invented’ until the early 1930s when American manufacturers were looking for a use for cereal and other food by-products — including peanut shells and sawdust sweepings from the rendering plant! Kibble was invented not to improve canine nutrition but to make our lives easier, and really took off after World War II when ‘convenience’ was the keyword for anyone running a home.

Be a canny consumer when it comes to dog food

Canned dog food also has its share of critics, so the best solution is for you to become as familiar as you can about dog nutrition, and to read all sides of the debate. One thing the massive pet food recall of March 2007 taught us all, is we don’t know a lot about what goes into the supposedly nutritionally-balanced foods we give our animals. The good news – there’s plenty of information online for us to review.

Deb Gray is a self taught expert and self confessed lover of Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese and their crossbreed, Morkies. Click to read more about finding Yorkie puppy names at Deb’s Squidoo site. And you’ll find practical advice, hints and down-to-earth tips; resources; forums and unique sources for gifts, equipment and more at Yorkie Puppy Training.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Deb_Gray

Deb Gray - EzineArticles Expert Author

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Four Steps On Potty Training A Chihuahua

It is of very much importance to train your Chihuahua to potty. It is because potty training a Chihuahua will make your dog responsible with her mess. This will also prevent you from cleaning up your dog’s mess throughout the year.

If you don’t know where or how to start your training project then you have to read this article for the basic steps on how to potty train your Chihuahua.

Before you can directly do potty training a Chihuahua, you must first provide your chi a crate. A crate is a box or somewhat similar to a cage which is larger than the size of your dog. It is made of plastic, wood, or steel. This is intended to limit your dog’s movements in the house which can cause her to litter anywhere. Just place some toys inside your chi’s crate to prevent her from whining.

Teach your chi basic commands for easy control. The commands that you are going to teach her are monosyllable words which she can easily understand. These words are sit, stay, down, heel, stop, potty, or no. These are just basic commands commonly used to housebreak a puppy. Use one command for one respective action. Make sure to let your chi master the first command before you proceed to the next command. This will help her comprehend easily.

Start the training proper. Start potty training a Chihuahua by leading her outside to potty early in the morning, after every meal or after every time she eats, and at evening before going to bed. First, you have to observe her actions when she feels like going to potty.

Through this you will know when to lead her out. Teach her remember the door where you are going out. You can hang a chime for her to comprehend the sound. Give her a treat every time she does your command correctly. Next, you have to lead her to the place where she is supposed to potty. Never leave her outside. Command her to potty. Give her treat if she is done. Then lead her inside again.

This time, you repeat the process. This is for the sake of practice and comprehension. Do not punish her if she does not make it right. Just be consistent. Keep on repeating the process until she remembers at least one part of the entire procedure.

Use positive reinforcement in potty training a Chihuahua. In cases when she soils inside the house, do not beat her or punish her. Instead, lead her outside to her potty area. If you have any companion inside the house, then you ask that person to take your pup outside while you clean the mess. Use odor neutralizing agent to remove the odor. This odor can make your chi go back to that area to potty again.

Potty training a Chihuahua is not that easy. However, it entails you of great patience and consistency in order to be successful.

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Feeding Your Pet Raw

By definition, raw feeding is the common practice of feeding domestic dogs and cats a diet consisting mainly, if not wholly, of raw meats, bones and organs. The practice is also often referred to as the BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones and Raw Food), or the raw diet. Proponents of this practice believe that the raw diet contains a higher nutritional value to the commercially processed pet food sold in stores. It is also believed that dogs and cats are not able to properly digest grain and therefore, it is believed, feeding many commercial pet foods that containing grains can lead to several of the known degenerative diseases. It is widely believed by proponents of the raw diet that feeding heat-processed, human engineered foods and forcing dogs and cats to eat in a way that goes against their physiology in general leads to many ailments and lower energy levels.

Dr. Ian Billinghurst, owner of the trademarked BARF Diet (mentioned above), argues in his book that the dog, although now domesticated, is a descendant of the wild animal and was programmed to eat a raw carnivorous diet. Arguments have also been made that modern zoos have adapted to feeding raw meats, and even entire carcasses to their carnivorous captive animals. And, while this practice has been widespread throughout Europe, it remains somewhat a controversial topic in North America. Some opponents argue that there is a social impact to feeding raw meat, creating a more aggressive animal. There are also concerns about food contamination and dental impactions. However, some of the benefits of the raw diet include better oral health, higher energy levels and better overall health.

There are several different types of raw diets. One method, the BARF method as mentioned above, consists of approximately 60% to 80% raw meaty bones and the other 20% to 40% consists of fruit and vegetables, offal, dairy, eggs, or other meats. Another model, the Prey model, is made to follow an animal of prey’s diet more closely. Actual entire prey animals are fed as much as possible and there are almost no supplements added to the diet.

Although there are still controversies surrounding the raw diet versus commercial kibble debate, more and more studies are being done on the subject. One problem surrounding the raw diet, however, is how to better monitor the nutritional content of the varying diets. While one person may be offering his or her pet a diet consisting of high quality meats in a variety of formats, thereby offering the needed vitamins and minerals for a healthy lifestyle, another household may be simply offering whatever scraps from the butcher they were able to grab. This second instance may not provide the necessary balanced diet in order for the pet to thrive.

So, if you are thinking of going raw for your pet, make sure that you do the proper research and provide a wholesome, balanced diet from a reputable raw dog food supplier.

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The Ten Best Little Dog Breeds of 2010 As Per The American Kennel Club

Some of the best things in life come in small packages and little dogs most certainly live up to the adage. They have their own charm, their own undeniable advantages, health problems, etc. They are wonderful travel companions and a great choice for those staying in apartments. And dogs big or small have the beautiful virtues of loyalty and loving us humans only for what we are, no questions asked.

Here are ten cool small dog breeds that were voted as the best out there by the reputed American Kennel Association

Bichon Frise: At 12 pounds and only 11 inches in height, these dogs are good representatives of the class. These cheerful dogs are comfortable in water. They have an attractive structure with a gorgeous tail.

Chinese Crested Powder Puffs: At approximately 13 inches in height and weighs 12 pounds; the breed is an interesting one. An intelligent breed, it can be trained to give company to the old and the infirm. The dogs have a fine coat that needs timely grooming to ensure that no matting occurs.

Toy Fox Terrier (TFT): The breed originated in the U.S; these are hunting dogs and with high levels of energy and are explorers by nature. This said, if you provide it with its daily dose of exercise, it will adapt admirably to a lifestyle in an apartment.

Yorkshire Terrier: A famous representative of the terrier breed; these dogs have a distinguished appearance and a feisty character. Again, an energetic breed, these dogs need to be given regular physical stimulation for energy release.

Chihuahua: The smallest dog breed in the world, the Chihuahuas originated in Mexico; a lifespan of up to 18 years means that you have a wonderfully intelligent and fun companion for a long time. Moreover, they don’t need much exercise and are therefore ideal for apartment dwellers.

Papillon: The word is French for “butterfly” and these dogs are so called because of their fringed ears that resemble butterflies. The dogs do not shed and that’s a big positive for apartment owners. However, these are restless dogs that demand activity.

Affenpinscher: This breed of small dogs comes from Germany and is so-called because of their primate-like appearance. “Affe” in German means monkey. They make admirable companion dogs once they are properly housebroken.

Japanese Chin: An old breed that was the favorite of Japanese royalty and Chinese nobility. These are sweet-natured dogs and intelligent too. The breed is considered cat-like in attitude.

Pomeranian: Another small dog from Deutschland. Pomeranians are smart, doughty, and noisy dogs. They will bark full-tilt at strangers and continue till the owner intervenes. These are outgoing, extroverted dogs that will reciprocate its owners love with whole-hearted loyalty.

Toy Poodle: The toy poodles are an intelligent breed that was once upon a time used as water retrievers. They need their dose of mental activity. These are affectionate animals that love their owners.

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How to Prevent and Cure Dog Calluses

Allergies, skin conditions, and zinc deficiencies can be some of the causes of calluses forming on dogs. To know why your dog has a callous you should consult a veterinarian. Having the right diagnoses is the first step in correcting any callus problem.

A fairly common place for a dog to form calluses is on its elbows. Elbow calluses do not generally pose a threat to your dog’s health. Calluses appear as a round, bald area of grayish looking skin on the elbow. The size of the callus may vary from small and barely noticeable to encompassing a large and visible area of the elbow. Medium to larger, short-haired breeds tend to be the most prone to these calluses as well as older dogs and dogs that are overweight.

What typically causes these calluses to form is when your dog’s elbow makes contact with the floor. Hard surfaces such as concrete, tile, hardwood flooring, and even carpets can with time cause the skin on the elbow to callus. When your dog is lying down or getting up, his body weight is resting on his elbows. This weight causes pressure to be placed on the elbows. Your dog’s elbows do not have much in the way of fat or muscle to act as padding between the bone and the skin, so any movement combined with the pressure of his body weight on the elbows against a hard floor will cause the skin to form a callus over time.

Once your dog has a callus it can be hard to get rid of. A common home remedy is to rub vitamin E in liquid form on the callus. This can help soften the callused skin. Make sure to rub it in until it is almost completely dry. You do not want your dog licking the vitamin E. keep him distracted until the vitamin E has had time to dry.

Providing your dog with a bed to rest on is a good way to help stop a callus from getting worse and can also aid in the healing process. There are numerous types of beds that can meet the needs and comfort preferences of your dog from orthopedic beds to fashionable beds that can match the decor of your room. There are even outdoor beds in case the offending floor happens to be an outside one. You can also use a throw in places where a dog bed might not be practical.

Having the right setup early on is one of the best ways to prevent your dog from forming calluses. If you have floors in your house that may lead to your dog forming calluses, or if your dog is of a size or age that makes him prone to forming calluses, providing him with the right bed that meets his needs both in comfort and padding for his elbows can reduce the chance of your dog forming any unsightly calluses.

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Five Dog Toys Jack Russell Terrier Owners Should Avoid

As any Jack Russell Terrier owner knows, keeping them entertained is a full time job, especially because they tend to destroy any toy you give them. I’ve tried every dog toy and human toy out there. They may be small (JRTS), but they’re mighty.

1. I started with a stuffed squeaky dog toy, three hundred dollars later (the vet bill) and a stomach full of stuffing, I no longer buy stuffed toys.

2. Next I tried tennis balls which seemed harmless enough, yea sure. The instant I looked away, a new game was invented, it’s called stuff the ball in the smallest space possible and dig it out. The rules are, retrieve the ball by any means possible. If that means digging or chewing thru a sofa, then do it. If that means after you stuff the ball under the refrigerator you have to break the kick plate off, than do it. And if all else fails whine and cry until someone moves it for you. Then do it all again.

Another great tennis ball game is give the ball a haircut, okay, not so great.

3. Well, if tennis balls are too small I thought I’d try something bigger so, I bought a child’s plastic ball, a rubber playground ball, and a soccer ball each one all popped within minutes. So, I thought I’d try something even tougher, a basketball. The basketball seemed like the perfect solution, wrong. Hours and hours of faster than the speed of light nose soccer seems like a good way to expend some energy. The first issue is the poor little raw nose, the second is the hours and hours. I would literally have to take it and hide it, and it’s not easy to hide something from a Jackie.

4. Another toy that Jack Russell owners should avoid are the harder plastic (not the rubber) squeaky dog toys, they can be shredded in a matter of seconds. Not only do they make a big mess, if ingested they may cause internal bleeding and/or a blockage, which may end in surgery. There is also the possibility of choking which could conceivably end in death.

5. Last but not least, avoid any toy that has any movable or removable parts, or any toy that is not one singular piece. No plastic eyes, no button noses, no puff ball tails, because even the smallest seam, nub or ribbon is a challenge to a JRT. How fast can I rip tear or break this thing apart, and/or eat it?

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