The 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers

Searching for the perfect gift for the dog lover in your family?  People who love dog lovers often have trouble finding the perfect Christmas present.  It’s easy to assume that your dog lover already has everything they need to care for their dog (because they probably do!) and don’t know what they might like.  Don’t worry–I’ve put together this great guide to some of my favorite dog-related finds.  This gift guide for dog lovers has art, really neat gear, and home decor that your dog lover doesn’t know they want.

Just click on the pictures to visit the merchants for these gifts.

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How To Remove Skunk Smell From a Dog (And House!)

Living out in the sticks, I grew up seeing lots of wildlife.  Deer, foxes, raccoons (oh, so many raccoons!), woodchucks, and even a few possums.  One night, I let the crew out for their just-before-bed potty, and I heard it.  They had cornered something.

A few seconds later, and I discovered what they had cornered.  I now had one of the least pleasant tasks in dog ownership.  I had to remove skunk smell from a dog–actually three dogs.  (One had realized this was a bad plan.)

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Teach Your Dog Manners: Why Your Dog Should Wait To Eat

Dogs love food.  Well, most dogs do.  Some have better manners than others, but most treat dinnertime as a free-for-all.  Dinnertime is a great opportunity to teach your dog, and using that time to teach your dog manners means they won’t be knocking the bowl out of your hand, or fighting with each other.

Learn about why your dog acts up at dinner time, and how to get him to knock that nonsense off.  It’s important in the long-term respect that your dog should have for you, as well as keeps your kitchen clean and family safe.

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2017’s Top Dog Christmas Gifts

dog Christmas gifts

What does your dog want for Christmas?

Finding the perfect Christmas gift is tricky.  I know that for me, I have to find something that the recipient doesn’t have, and maybe doesn’t even know they want.  My brother & his family always get us the best Christmas presents.  They’re always gifts we didn’t even know we wanted, but use all the time.  This list has that kind of gifts for your dog.

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How to Stop a Pushy Dog

As a life long retriever person, I know a lot about pushy dogs.  Labs love everything.  They are not known as a breed with impeccable manners. When my Labs want something, they go for it with much enthusiasm and not much forethought.  I haven’t met a Lab that wasn’t a pushy dog in some way.

So, when trying to maintain a pack of them, I had to teach them all to wait for my command, because otherwise anarchy reigned.  I learned these techniques to keep my pack in order and my sanity intact.

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How to Keep Chocolate Toxicity from Killing Your Dog

Last week, we talked about things that can hurt your dog during the holidays.  With the holidays fast approaching, your home probably has much more chocolate in the cupboards than normal, with more coming in just a few weeks.  Chocolate toxicity is a real danger to dogs, especially small breeds who don’t have enough body mass to metabolize the chocolate before it kills them.

Luckily, most times a dog eats chocolate, it’s both large enough to metabolize the chocolate safely (since it’s harder for small dogs to get on the counters or in the cupboard), and it’s diluted as milk chocolate.  I’m going to walk you through the steps to take if your dog does eat chocolate, and how serious the situation may become.

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9 Things That Can Kill Your Dog This Holiday Season

9 Things that Can Kill Your Dog This Holiday Season

The holidays are, in my opinion, the best time of year.  You get to see your family, even those from far away.  The food is amazing.  I have a cousin who bakes the most amazing cookies, and dozens of kinds.  She uses my grandmother’s recipes as well as her own, and it’s amazing.  And everyone else makes their own specialty, so it’s all the family favorites at the table.  I also work in retail, and love that the store is crazy-busy, and the customers are stressed but perfectly happy to stand in long lines.

But this season is dangerous for your pets.  Many foods that we enjoy can kill dogs.  Guests inadvertently leave the door open, and dogs escape.  Hot kitchens lead to spills, and winter weather approaches.  Use these tips to keep your dog safe this holiday season.

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Five Great Puzzle Toys for Dogs

Do you think your dog might be bored?  Dogs need more than physical stimulation.  Regardless of their intelligence, all dogs need mental stimulation to stay active and happy.  Most dogs love to use their nose to solve problems, and these great puzzle toys for dogs will help your dog keep his mind sharp.

These toys also work great for dogs that eat too fast or are prone to bloat.  They have to work to get the food, so they can’t gulp it all down in one bite.

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Why Neutering Your Dog Makes Him Happier

After being involved in animals for over twenty years, I recognize that in the United States, we have a huge problem with unneutered pets.  The problem isn’t just that they aren’t neutered–it’s that their owners don’t understand the consequences of having an intact dog.

I’m not talking about the pet overpopulation problem.  Neutering all male dogs would affect the overpopulation problem, but many other valid reasons exist to neuter.

Most pet owners I’ve talked to about neutering feel that their dog “deserves love” or “should get some” or, if male, unconsciously reach in the general direction of their crotch, thinking about having things cut off.  The fact that a product called Neuticles even exist tells us a lot about the human element.

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How to Get Your Dog’s Attention

A few weeks ago, I finally had the opportunity to attend a dog show again.  I used to show my Labradors in conformation and obedience, and even dabbled in agility and working certificate tests.  My son and his father are allergic to dogs, and neither can live with them in the house.  It was a heartbreaking necessity to place my pets.

I miss this part of my life, so I went along to hang with the old crowd.  The Ann Arbor Kennel Club put on the event, and over a thousand dogs entered the show.  The show is held outdoors, under a large tent, with smaller breeds inside.  As I was standing under the tent, they handed me a leash to hold, with the warning that “Walker is naughty.”

I stood under this tent, with this “naughty” dog, and began thinking about the huge divide in “naughty” between breeders and pet owners.  This “naughty” dog occasionally pulls on his leash or tries to play with other dogs.  He was engaged with me and my requests of him, and actively looked for direction.

Wouldn’t you love for your definition of “naughty” to include those behaviors?  “Wants my attention.”  “Occasionally checks out other dogs.”  “Mostly stands around waiting for something to happen.”  We’re standing under a tent, with hundreds of other dogs, and can’t hear any barking.  No dog fights.  Every dog in the place behaves, except one little English Springer puppy that doesn’t want to be brushed.

I was amazed by this realization.

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7 Important Reasons Why Every Dog Needs a Dog Crate

Dog crates are often seen as a “necessary evil.”  Many pet owners feel squeamish about locking up a beloved companion, especially for hours when the pet is alone.  I’m here to assure you that a dog crate is not only helpful, but nearly necessary for helping your dog maintain a positive relationship with the human world.

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The Destructive Dog: Combating Boredom

You just love your dog.  He’s smart, funny, and energetic.  But you work a 9 to 5, and every day he destroys the house.  Garbage everywhere.  Scratches at the windows.  Pillows de-stuffed.  You don’t want to know what he did to your daughter’s stuffed bunny.

Some destructive dogs suffer from separation anxiety, but before assuming your dog suffers from a medical condition, he may just be bored.

Think about it.  He sits at home, alone, for 9-10 hours straight.  He has a few toys, but they don’t really do anything without a friend.  He can’t play tug by himself, or keep-away, or fetch.  So, he entertains himself with what’s available.

Implement just a few of our boredom-busting tips, and soon he’ll be too tired to destroy the house.

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Dog Safety: Dog-Proofing Your Child

keeping your child safe around dogs

A few weeks ago, I posted this great article about Baby-Proofing your Dog.  Dog safety is hugely important for me, because even though we can’t have dogs due to allergies, everyone else in our social circle has at least one or two.

Dog safety doesn’t just come from the dog, it’s super important to teach your kids how to behave around dogs.  Your children will have friends and acquaintances with dogs.  They will play in the same parks as people with dogs, and they will meet dogs all the time.

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How To Train Your Dog to Tolerate Fireworks

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, everyone is focusing on fireworks and parades and some good barbecue.

What many families aren’t thinking about this week is their dog’s safety.  Unfortunately, many pets will run away this weekend in a complete panic.  Today, I want to talk about some great ways to keep your dog calm this week, as well as during other stressful events (like thunder storms.)

How to teach your dog to tolerate fireworks

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