This is for all dogs.
It is for the Redbone Hound riding shotgun in a pickup truck,
ears blowing in the breeze like Fruehauf mudflaps.
It is for the Chihuahua with the soul
of a Mexican Retriever.
It is for the mature dog, well-behaved out of respectfulness,
not out of submission.
It is for the younger dog,
still on a path to finding
It is for the dogs who know the answer
to the age-old riddle of
"why we chase our tails."
This is for all dogs
who embrace the moment,
and greet each day with the confident awareness,
"We. Are. Dogs."
House Parts, Inc.
Of course, most of the world calls today The First Day of Fall. To mark the change in seasons, I think a howling good funny story is just what the world needs right now. I found this in an old dog calendar from years ago. You'll know that it's a REALLY old story because we don't have ushers in movie theaters anymore, but here it is for your amusement:
A dog owner and his pooch were sitting in a movie theater. The dog's eyes were glued to the screen. He barked at the villains, wagged his tail to cheer on the hero, and howled at all the jokes. Noticing the dog's exuberance, an usher commented, "It's amazing, sir, how much your dog enjoyed the movie!"
The dog owner replied, "I can't figure it out, either. He hated the book!"
Bingo encourages you to groan now.
As we move into fall, it is likely that your dog will be spending more time indoors. Don't want your dog destroying your home and belongings due to boredom? Here are ten activities to engage your dog's body and mind.
1. Brush Up on the Basics. Make sure that your dog knows the following basic commands: sit, stay, down, drop it or leave it, and come.
2. Interactive Dog Toys. Filling a Kong with treats inside will keep your dog entertained for quite a while. You can also make your own interactive dog toys. Some dogs enjoy chasing ice cubes on the linoleum floor.
3. Teach Your Dog to Clean Up Toys. Make sure your dog knows the "drop it" command. Have your dog pick up a toy. Stand by the toy basket and call your dog to you. Give the "drop it" command while pointing to the basket. When your dog drops the toy in the basket, give big praise. Repeat to reinforce the learning.
4. Play Tug of War. You can use commercial dog toys or make your own by braiding the arms of an old sweatshirt or tying a knot in an old sock. Again, make sure your dog know "drop it" or 'leave it." This is Bingo's favorite game.
5. Alternate Dog Toys. Dogs can get bored with the same toys. Only leave out a few toys in the toy basket, then swap them out with older toys in a week to keep your dog engaged. Playing Fetch with old toys makes them fun again.
6. Play Hide and Seek. Give the "sit" command. Leave the room. Call to your dog and praise it lavishly when you're found. I used to play this with my cat!
7. Make Your Own Obstacle Course. You can create your own simple obstacle course by having your dog jump over folded towels, navigate and weave its way through old toys, pick up toilet paper tubes and drop them into a box and finally lie down on its towel or mat. You can create more difficult tasks once these are mastered.
8. Play Tag with Your Dog. Two humans with treats sit across the room from each other. One person calls the dog over and give it a treat. The other person then calls the dog over and gives it a treat. This may sound simplistic, but your dog will LOVE it!
9. Chase the Bubbles Game. You can buy pet bubble making toys or buy a non-toxic bottle of bubbles made for kids. Blow bubbles from a soapy wand and let your dog catch them. Highly entertaining for you to watch!
10. Grooming/Belly Rubbing/Snuggle Time. Dogs love to have your undivided attention as you groom, rub and cuddle with them. If you do it regularly, your dog will expect it at the same time every day or night. When Baily puts herself to bed at night, Bingo heads for the toy basket in the family room and shakes a toy in my face, challenging me to play Tug of War with him.
There you have it - 10 great tips to entertain your dog indoors. Do you have a way to keep your pooch happy? Let us all in on your secret by posting a comment.
Some people swear by them; others swear at them. Cities and counties have designated land to be used solely for the purpose of providing an area for you to exercise your dog off-leash. Is taking your pooch to a park for dogs good or bad? Let's examine some pros and cons of The Great Dog Park Debate.
* FREEDOM - Inside the fence of a gated dog park, your dog can roam off of your leash while you know it is safe. Dog parks are ideal for dogs who are high-strung and don't walk well on a leash, yet they love to walk with you and need the exercise. This describes our dog, Baily, to a T.
* SOCIALIZATION - Dogs want the company of other dogs. At a dog park, they encounter a variety of dogs during every visit. At the dog park we frequent, our dog, Bingo, has been nicknamed "The Mayor" because he goes up to every dog he meets and talks to them. If he could, he'd shake their paws.
* EXERCISE - Both you and your dog benefit from walking around the park. This is a win-win situation!
* MENTAL STIMULATION - Not only will your dog benefit from the physical exercise, but also from engaging all of the senses as it sees, hears, sniffs, touches and yes, tastes what the park has to offer that day.
* NO WATER - Dogs need to have drinking water available all the time. If the dog park doesn't have a fountain or spigot available, you'll need to carry in water for your dog or keep it in your vehicle. Also, be careful if the park includes a pond of stagnant water because your dog can become ill after drinking from the pond.
* FEES - Dog parks need constant maintenance. Somebody has to groom the walking trails and empty the garbage cans. Many require you to buy a one-time use fee or a yearly permit. You must display proof of a paid daily pass or yearly permit, usually in your vehicle's front window. The fine for not buying a pass or permit is often a lot more than the pass is in the first place, so pay the fee.
* NO SUPERVISION - This is the biggest objection to dog parks by dog owners. Vets have stated that they love dog parks because the parks keep them in business. Dog fights do break out in dog parks and injuries can occur. Big dogs can target little dogs or younger dogs - bullies do exist in the canine world just as they do in the human world. Dog owners need to stay with their dogs and watch them as much as possible, not simply stand around talking with each other and ignoring their dog's behavior. There are heavy fines and severe consequences for aggressive dogs, so it is in your best interest to monitor your dog's behavior at all times within the park.
We love the off-leash dog park in our community. What do you think? Weigh in on The Great Dog Park Debate and tell us about your dog park experience.
With the premiere of the new movie, The Secret Life of Pets, opening in theaters all over the country, I thought that it might be fun to talk about our pampered pets and their behaviors. Here are the five top reasons why it's good to be a dog.
1. Nobody expects you to bathe every day.
2. Nobody cares where you scratch yourself. Anytime, anywhere.
3. Other people take care of combing your hair and manicuring your nails.
4. It's okay to have hair that grows in weird places.
5. If you pack on a pound or two, it's somebody else's fault.
It's good to be a dog in our house when Don is making treats because our two dogs get all the leftovers. YUM! Why is it good to be a dog in YOUR house? Write back and let us in on the not-so-secret life of your faithful companion!
Is your dog a "scaredy cat dog?" As in, afraid of loud noises and bangs and booms of all kinds? Our dog, Baily, is (see photo to the left). It's perfectly normal for a dog to be afraid of loud noises, and their systems go into high alert. Their instincts tell them to run away. More dogs go missing over the Fourth of July celebration days than at any other time of the year. They also may be reacting to the odor given off when fireworks are ignited.
How can you help your terrified best furry friend to survive a scary night of fireworks or thunderstorms? Here are 6 ideas for you to try.
1. KENNEL. If your dog is comfortable in a kennel or crate, put a treat or a favorite toy in the kennel and let your dog go into its safe place. Help create an atmosphere of calm by closing the windows and blinds, even playing soothing music. Staying in the room with your dog until the event is over will also help your dog to calm down.
2. NEW LOCATION. Take your dog to a different location, away from the noise - a relative's or friend's home, or even a doggie day care with cement walls. Again, staying with your dog is most important.
3. SWADDLING. You can buy a kind of shirt at most pet supply stores that is wrapped snugly around your dog's torso. The snug fabric wrapped around the body is supposed to help slow down your dog's breathing and help it to feel more calm.
4. MODELING BEHAVIOR. Dogs are pack animals and will follow the lead of the pack leader (that's you). Be calm and act as if the event is no big deal. They take their cues from your behavior.
5. SEDATION. You may choose to speak to your vet about homeopathic calming solutions or anxiety medication. Remember to give this to your dog BEFORE the panting starts and your dog is showing signs of distress.
6. OUR SOLUTION. On the 4th of July, at 9:00 p.m., we go to our dog park out in the country and let our dogs run around with little lights on their collars for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Then we pile them into the truck, turn on the AC, turn up the music and drive down the highway for an hour or more as they relax and go to sleep. By the time we get home around midnight, the fireworks are over and our dogs aren't freaking out.
Hope these suggestions help you with the coming holiday and storm season. Have you found a way to keep your dog calm through noisy events? Please share your comments with us, and have a wonderfully patriotic - and safe - holiday with your family and friends (two- AND four-leggeds)!
Great idea from Kim,. A sound machine to mute the sound in your home.
PROTEINS. Now we come to energy. Proteins are the building blocks for organs, tissues, bones, blood, nails and hair. Dogs totally love the proteins found in:
Jane Hoffmann is a retired middle school teacher, professional soprano soloist and author of 31 books for teachers to use in their classrooms, as well as a devoted dog mom for over 20 years.