Put Doggie Tech on Your Wishlist

If you love your dog and need some gear, it’s a good time to start dropping hints about what you and your dog need. Read on for gift ideas that will make your relationship with Fido even stronger.

Dog monitoring camera

You may be curious about what your dog does while you’re at work. The solution? A dog monitoring camera. This technology has come a long way. Most of these cameras are affordable and unobtrusive, occupying about the same space as a landline telephone. And they generally connect through your wifi.

Some cameras have live streaming capabilities that allow you to issue a firm “No” if you see your dog tearing into your favorite shoes. Some cameras even allow you to dispense treats remotely while you’re telling Rover “Good boy!”

Pet cams are particularly valuable to people who suspect that their dogs are barking too much during the work day and annoying the neighbors. You can dispense a treat when your dog is being well behaved and quiet to reinforce good behavior. Your gifter may be able to score one of these cameras for only $70!

Dog tracker

Does your dog keep gaining weight even though you have put her on a diet and kept it up religiously? You may need a dog tracker that tells you how much exercise she is getting. These new trackers are invaluable for showing you that your dog really isn’t working out in the backyard. Or you might discover that she has trouble going up stairs.

A GPS tracker, which fits right on your dog’s collar, will tell you exactly where your pooch is at any time. This new technology is a godsend for people who worry about losing their dogs. If your dog has ever tunneled under the fence or run out the door when you were bringing in the groceries, you should definitely put one of these trackers on your wishlist. Pet Life Today has a list of the best GPS dog trackers.

Same thing if you go camping or traveling with your dog. Basically, any time you have your dog off leash and away from home, there’s a risk he will run away. So a tracker gives you peace of mind.

Dog bed

Many of us sleep with our dogs, but science tells us we really shouldn’t share our human bed with them because that’s disruptive to sleep. A dog in your bedroom, however, has been documented to improve sleep.

The solution? A good dog bed in your bedroom. There are many different good dog beds out there. In general, you want one that:

  • Is definitely big enough for your dog.
  • Allows for cuddling with other animals if you have cats or a ferret that are also in love with your dog.
  • Has features specific to your dog’s needs, like spine support for smaller dogs with short legs or cooling materials for dogs who overheat.
  • Is washable.
  • Is not ugly to you. It will be part of your decor for quite a while.

Make sure that your wish list specifies exactly what kind of dog bed you want so your loved ones don’t make a regrettable mistake.

If you are getting a bed for a second dog, be sure both beds are big enough for the biggest dog. Little dogs are known to commandeer the bigger bed, leaving the good-natured big dog trying to fit his frame onto the smaller bed.

In conclusion, technology has really improved the lives of dog owners. We can now know that our dogs are safe, secure, and appropriately behaved at all times. So don’t hesitate to put dog tech on your wishlist.

How to Find a Qualified Pet Sitter

Having your pet by your side at all times sounds like the ideal scenario, but sometimes you just have to leave your furry friend at home. Whether you’re travelling for work, or the hotels you’re about to stay at while you’re on vacation are not pet-friendly, your four legged-friend will have to stay behind, and it’ll require proper care while you’re away. Therefore, it’s essential that you find a professional and qualified pet sitter for your cat or a dog that will make sure all of their needs are met during your absence.

Ask around

One of the first things that comes to mind when you’re looking for the right pet sitter is to ask any of your friends if they can recommend someone trustworthy. No matter how professional or qualified a sitter may appear on the commercial, it’s best that you find out whether they’re good or not first hand. Therefore, if any of your friends or colleagues at work may have trusted their pet with a sitter, make sure you ask for their number and see for yourself how dependable they are.

Talk to your vet

A support network is one of the crucial segments in every professional pet sitter’s work, so they will be connected with various veterinarians. Therefore, the next time you take your pet to an exam, and you know you’ll go out of town soon, make sure you ask your pet’s veterinarian for any recommendations. This is an especially good idea if your dog requires special care and has special needs. If the vet and the sitter are already familiar with each other, you won’t have to worry about your pet getting the best care in case of any emergency.

Look up online

The internet is filled with various pet sitting agencies, so it’s always a good idea to look up a professional online. In a sea of good agencies, look for the one that offers professional pet minding services, and has trained and certified pet sitters with long experience in pet sitting. Once you think you’ve found the right one, make sure you also find out if anyone you know has had experience with the agency, so you can be sure they’re the right choice.

Ask for references

Once you’ve chosen the person you’d consider for taking care of your pet, make sure you do an interview with them and ask for references. The longer the experience they have in pet sitting, the better. A professional and qualified pet sitter is most likely to have several regular clients, as well as a few pet care services that will give them the highest recommendations. This will also mean that they’ve already learned what dogs and cats need, how they’ll react to your absence, and what the best way to calm them down is in case they feel too sad for being left behind.

Give them a tryout

If you’re satisfied with a sitter’s references, you’re only one step away from hiring them. Namely, you should have them spend a day with your pet and see how the two will get along. Even though the minder you chose may have a lot of experience, every pet is different and it doesn’t necessarily mean they will like the sitter. Therefore, give your pet an opportunity to meet the minder, and vice versa. If you see that your pet approves your choice of sitter, look no further and seal the deal at once. Only after all of the previous criteria are met will you be able to have peace of mind while you’re away.

Finding a reliable pet sitter may seem like a piece of cake, but it’s not always that easy. Your pet is like a family member, and trusting them with a stranger is a serious step, so it’s vital that you find a person who has good references, a long experience in pet sitting and one that will get along with your pet well.

Moving House? Tips For Dog Owners

Your home is also your dog’s home, so it makes sense that if you have to change houses you take your pup’s needs into consideration. When shopping for a new home, pick something that has enough room for your dog, amenities for him to enjoy, and is close enough for you to get home to him as soon as you need to. Take these things into consideration while house hunting.

Is the house safe for your pet?

A fenced-in yard is essential for pet owners. Dogs have a natural prey drive that can cause them to dart out the door or go after a squirrel in sight. Even with a fenced in yard, you should monitor your dog’s behavior while in the yard to make sure they don’t dig holes under it and escape. While it’s not always under our control, try to find a place in low traffic area. If your dog does escape, you want to lessen the chance of an accident.

If you have an older dog with mobility problems, stairs are probably not the best idea. Even if you look at a one-story home, stairs leading down from the deck into the yard may present a problem. Of course, you can always install a dog ramp for stairs if you really fall in love with a place.

Is there enough space?

If you have a large dog, he’s going to feel cramped in a tiny townhome. A dog needs enough room to roam around and find peace and quiet. On the other hand, a super large house may not be the best idea for a tiny dog. However, regular kenneling can keep them from becoming destructive or getting lost.

Is the neighborhood pet friendly?

Puppies need socialization, so if your dog is still developing, it’s in your best interest to find a place near a dog park you can easily take him to. You can also tell if a neighborhood is pet friendly if there are if there are dog waste stations along walking trails and sidewalks.

Even if there are no waste stations, always carry waste bags when your walk your dog. Pet feces contaminates water and contains harmful parasites. Most cities have laws and/or ordinances requiring dog owners to pick up after their pups.

Are you close enough to get home in time to let him out?

Adult dogs need to be let out at least 3 to 5 times a day. If you plan on being the one to let your dog out midday, you need to find a place a short distance from your place of work. If your dog needs to be let out during the day and you aren’t close enough to let him out, hire a dog walker that does the job for you. Some people also opt to put their pup in “doggy daycare” where professionals watch him all day, let him out periodically, and there are plenty of other dogs to socialize with.

Acclimating your dog to your new home

Once you’ve picked the perfect place, you’ll want to make the transition as smooth as possible for your dog. Dogs love consistency, so a new environment can be stressful for them. Once you’re settled, set up his bed, dishes, and toys in places that are easy for him to access. Allow him to spend time in private adjusting and don’t overindulge him. Dogs can sense when you’re acting weird and it can make them act out as well.

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Moving when you have a dog takes a little extra work. You need to find a new home that fits both of your needs. Take your dog’s safety into consideration and find a place with a secure fenced-in backyard. Your house’s size should be appropriate for your dog and it’s a good idea to find a neighborhood that is dog friendly. You’ll also need a place close enough for you to go home to let him out, or else plan to spend money on a dog walker or doggy daycare. Finally, set things up to be familiar and don’t overindulge your dog while he’s becoming acclimated. You want to keep things as normal and routine as possible.

Home Prep for Your New Puppy

Getting a new puppy is truly a wonderful moment for you and everyone in your family. After all, a dog is a man’s best friend. So, it’s only natural that you make sure that your young pup is safe and happy in your home as well, right? In order to do that, you should take the time and effort to prepare your home. You may think that pups don’t need much since they’re small, but precisely because of that, you have to create a comfy, secure and warm space that everyone will love and enjoy.

Dog-proof your home

This is definitely the first step that you need to do. Pups are curious and playful by nature, and if you’re not careful about how your home is organized, they can get into some dangerous trouble. With that in mind, make sure that you hide away any cables and accessories that your pup can chew on or knock over. Moreover, numerous chemicals and even plants that are not dangerous for humans can be very toxic for a dog, especially a small one. Therefore, you need to remove any cleaning agents and plant pots that may cause your pet’s health problems.

Designate the puppy’s own space

It’s very important that you prepare a specific area in your home where your puppy will spend time at first. In general, when left to explore the entire home, the puppy can get overly confused and even scared because of different sounds and smells. Therefore, it’s better to keep them in a kitchen, laundry room or some other space that has just enough room for them. Of course, following the previous advice, you should make sure that this space is pet-proofed. Also, you have to consider the fact that your puppy has a way to go until it learns not to soil random areas in your home. This is why you need to restrict the pet’s area of movement for a while, until they’re not ready to explore the home to the fullest.

A comfy place for sleeping

Puppies may be energetic but they also need their sleep. Therefore, it’s essential that you prepare their crate and bedding as well. You may find the crate unnecessary at first. However, it’s better for a puppy to get used to lying and sitting in a crate when young. Don’t force them to get into the crate but leave the door opened and put comfy bedding inside so that your pup can go in there whenever it wants. Of course, you should purchase a proper bed and other comfy accessories that come with it. Just like with the crate, you should be very careful about choosing the right bed size, as well.

Get the other essentials

Obviously, there’s a lot more to prepping your home for pup’s arrival aside from choosing their space and getting them a bed. You have to make sure that your pup has everything it needs to be healthy, happy and comfortable. Therefore, don’t forget to buy and store the food recommended for the pup’s breed. Also, it will need at least two bowls – one for food and one for water. Toys for small dogs are also very helpful for young canines. Obviously, there are some other things that you should think about. For example, you may want to get an easy-maintenance rug for your home and prepare for the time when your dog will go in and out of your home. Also, don’t forget about dog shampoos and other grooming essentials. You may even want to consider getting a special pet bath tub or organizing your own bathroom in a different manner.

Before your pup settles in your home, a smart move would be to look for a vet that you trust and love. This will make things a lot easier for you and your dog when the need for medical help arise.

Companion Animals as Alternative Therapy for Mental Disorders and Addiction

Mental health problems are difficult to treat with medicine and therapy. There’s usually no cure, and mental health problems can present suddenly and without warning. People struggling with mental health disorders may need therapy for the rest of their lives, or they must rely on medication that may have little to no effect on their problems or that has uncomfortable side effects. It doesn’t help that suffering from a mental health disorder carries a stigma and can lead to isolation. Sufferers often cut themselves off from people, medical help, and reality. The difficulties of treating mental health issues are so concerning that medical professionals have adopted alternative therapies in an effort to help their patients.

Animal-assisted therapy is an alternative form of mental health therapy where patients are given a companion animal to help them recover. Companion animals, also known as Psychiatric Service Animals, are pets that instill feelings of companionship, responsibility, and accountability in patients. Companions animals are technically not service animals. Service animals are specially prescribed by doctors and therapists to help patients with specific disabilities, diseases, disorders and mental problems. Companion animals decrease loneliness, paranoia, feelings of isolation, and help patients reconnect with people and the world.  Their calming abilities allow for a mental clarity that can aid therapy and medication. Studies have shown that companion animals can also help drug addicts in recovery programs.

Any Animal Can Be a Companion Animal

Almost any animal can act as a companion animal, but dogs in particular are very effective as because of the incredible emotional bond that exists between humans and dogs. Things to keep in mind before getting a companion animal:

  • Any breed of dog can act as a companion animal.
  • Make sure that your home is suitable for a pet.
  • Make sure the pet is size appropriate to serve the patient’s needs.
  • Make sure the patient is prepared to clean, groom and take care of a pet.

Companion Animals Offer Hope to People in Need

Companion animals have an extremely calming effect on people. They can level out or increase the natural chemicals in our bodies that cause happiness and contentment. Medical professionals turn to animals when medicine fails, or to relax people so that they respond better to medications. Sometimes the animal is a final option in treatment. Companion animals can help people with:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Bipolar disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Drug addiction
  • Psychosis
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicidal thoughts

Companion Animals Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Substance abuse can make addicts selfish, manipulative and worried about their own needs. This behavior isolates them from society, people and much-needed help. And while addiction can be difficult to overcome, researchers believe that companion animals can help a lot in addiction recovery therapy programs.

  • Studies show that petting or hugging a pet has great calming effects and can reduce aggression.
  • Companion animals and the comfort they provide can be used as a coping mechanism during recovery and sobriety.
  • Caring for a dog can provide a model for responsibility and accountability.
  • Dogs react to behavior shifts and mood change. They can act as a mirror for an addict to see what they’re doing to themselves.
  • A companion animal, which needs constant care, inspires an addict to think of something besides their own needs and cravings.

In addition to being an alternative therapy, a companion animal can become a lifelong friend. The moment a pet realizes he is yours and you are his, you become instant partners without hesitation. He will be by your side the moment you need him, and always give you the benefit of the doubt.

A companion animal is not a cure-all. A person has to be motivated to get better and to care for the animal so it will care for them. If a patient accepts a companion animal as part of alternative therapy, they have a strong chance at increasing their chances of recovery.