Top 10 Ways to Better Care for your Dog

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Spending time with our dog at the parkJulie, Murry and Blue Belle recognize the importance of taking good care of your dog. The picture to the right shows Blue Belle shortly after she was adopted. We took her for a walk in the park. She loves to go for walks. Our guest blogger shares ten ways to better care for your dog, including spending time with them.

Guest Writer: Ryean Bishop

We all do what we can to make sure that our pets are healthy, happy and well loved. But could you be over looking something? Here are the top 10 things to do for optimum health and happiness in your pet.

  1. Spend time with them! It is not enough to simply leave them in a room with a toy all day, every day. Dogs need that interaction with you to form a bond, trust you, and respect and take direction from you. They need cuddle time, walks, or play time with you to combat loneliness and feel loved.
  2. Exercise, exercise, exercise! Our pets need exercise to keep them healthy just like we do. Exercise will help keep them from getting more health problems or becoming overweight. It will also help to work off all their built up energy; thus creating a less crazed, well behaved pet.
  3. You are what you eat! Make sure that what your pet is eating is helping out his health instead of causing more problems. Your Veterinarian will be your biggest help in this department-don’t trust what foods the neighbors use, but get professional advice about what is healthy for your pet specifically. Whether they have allergies, digestive problems, or constipation, switching dog food may be the simple answer.
  4. Healthy, Positive Discipline. Mastering this will make both you, and your dog happier. You will be happy because your dog is behaving better and he will be happier because he knows what is expected, right and wrong, and what is allowed versus what isn’t. This sets him up for success more than guessing and trying feverishly to get approval when he doesn’t quite know how.
  5. Vet Visits. The minimum requirement for Vet checkups is once a year for most dogs. Doing this can help prevent future health problems from happening or properly treat existing ones. When a pet is healthy inside and out, it is easier for him or her to fully enjoy life.
  6. Keep Their Brain Active! One of the most common causes of behavioral issues in dogs is that they are simply bored. Keeping their mind active will not only help their overall well-being, but keep your house intact. A dog that is not being challenged mentally by you will make up their own challenges and games, and their ideas you probably wouldn’t like. Having toys with treats trapped inside or training them new tricks are ideas of how to give them constructive challenges.
  7. Gorgeous Grooming. Grooming will not only make your pet pretty, but healthy as well. If fur becomes matted it is unhealthy for the skin, and skin infections may occur. Grooming also helps prevent dogs from getting ear infections, excess tartar on the teeth, and ticks or fleas.
  8. Use Positive Reinforcement. Pets need to be appreciated just like we do. You don’t want the only attention that he or she gets to be negative. Let them know when they are doing something right or being obedient. Give them lots of praise and positive attention when they are behaving well, and they will want to do that more often.
  9. Social butterflies! It is important for dogs to be socialized to other dogs, animals, and humans. Socializing your pet will make it easier to go for a walk, to the vet, or into a pet store without pandemonium. Teaching your dog to maintain his or her manners and remain calm in lots of different situations will help him to be a better behaved and well rounded pet.
  10. All you need is love! Your pet feeling love from you and a secure attachment to you is obviously crucial. However, do not confuse the concepts of love and treats. Throwing the dog a bone is a nice reward, but will not help him to feel the love. Spend the time, and give him actual love instead of just treats.

Add these ideas to your routine and customize them to your pet and your life. There is no cookie-cutter, perfect way to take care of a pet; so do it your way. By following these simple steps, your dog is on its way to being the healthy, happy pet you want him or her to be.

Author Bio– Ryean Bishop is a health and wellness expert for dogs. He is a strong promoter of annual Veterinarian visits. Please click here to learn more about pet checkups and what you can do to keep your pet healthy.

Learning Mandarin Chinese With Our Dog

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Teaching our dog mandarin chineseHave you ever tried to learn a second or third language? If you are not living in a country where you are completely surrounded by the new language, with people speaking to you, seeing signs everywhere, it can be quite a challenge to learn a new language.

My hubby and I are learning to speak mandarin chinese, but we are here in the U.S. We are not surrounded by people speaking chinese. We do have friends from Taiwan who have returned to their part of the world. We will keep in touch with them and look forward to visiting Taiwan in the future. We have a favorite chinese restaurant and enjoy our attempts to use our mandarin when visiting.

We decided to begin our education by using the same books that are utilized by the foreign language class at our local university, so we will learn pinyin and also learn to write chinese characters. In addition to a weekly study group we have with friends and a private tutor, we are also using online resources. I have found many resources on YouTube and some websites with free basic chinese lessons. Today I found the site LearnChineseEZ. They show you words and phrases in english and then in pinyin with a sound link so you can hear the pronunciation.  I listen and repeat, it has come in quite handy.  And of course google translate is very helpful, but you have to make sure of the accuracy.  I think one of my favorite tools is an online learning tool,  Quizlet, which provides study tools and games which can be used for learning anything, but is especially fantastic for learning languages.  Using Quizlet, I made up my own set of words and phrases and use the flashcard feature, the scatter game and the tests.  I have found many useful apps for my iphone, including an app for quizlet so I can practice my sets while on the go.

One advantage for us is that we are doing this as a family. Our dog, Blue Belle, will become a part of the learning process. We can speak to each other in chinese and we can speak to Belle. How long do you think it will take for Blue Belle to comprehend our new speech? She is such a smart dog, I think she will pick up on the new lingo rather quickly.

How about you guys? Have any of you taught your dogs a new language?

Dealing with Separation Anxiety

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Link to article about dog deparation anxiety

 

If you’ve ever come home to find that your otherwise well-behaved dog has destroyed furniture, had “accidents” on the carpet, or has been disturbing the neighbors with his loud howling, it’s very likely that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.

This article on the Pedigree website shares a number of reasons why dogs suffer from separation anxiety and 5 ways to nip separation anxiety in the bud. READ THE ARTICLE Dealing with Separation Anxiety.

Impressive Border Collie Working Dog Video

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While browsing around the internet for Dog related things I came across this awesome video about Border Collies. Since we have a border collie mix, Maggie, all things border collie are of interest to us. Of course it was a must see video. I’m sure Maggie would have loved to work along with these dogs herding sheep.

You can find his video “Border Collie Sheepdogs – Off Duty!” by clicking through my Amazon link below.

SURFice Dog – Amazing Video

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Get your tissue ready. This video will make grown men cry and dogs will howl with pride. The video includes a song by Taylor Hicks (Do I Make You Proud), which goes perfect with the story about one dog’s journey to becoming a surf dog for charitable causes.

docchat — November 17, 2009 — This video is copyrighted by: http://www.surfdogricochet.com. Kleenex alert! Each person who watches finds an individual message that touches them on many levels, & brings them to tears. It’s about acceptance, adjusting expectations, & focusing on the "can do’s" in life which allows for a celebration of amazing outcomes. This is Surf dog Ricochet’s journey from birth, to service dog training, to dog surfing, to surfing tandem with quadriplegic surfer, Patrick Ivison, to fundraising for charitable causes. She has raised over $20,000 in the last six months. She is currently leading a fundraiser for a six year old boy named Ian who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a horrific car accident that claimed the lives of his parents. For more info on Ricochet, dog surfing, and her charitable causes, please go to http://www.SurfDogRicochet.com. To follow her on Facebook & Twitter: "Surf Dog Ricochet"