When puppies start to lose their baby teeth, the process is painful and drives them to gnaw on just about anything they can get their mouths on. From slippers to furniture, if you don’t puppy-proof your home or provide puppy teething toys, you’re in for some nasty surprises when you get home from work. There are lots of ways to help your little dog through this difficult phase and provide relief with instruction and special teething toys.

Puppy

Puppy-Proof Your Home While You Can

When your puppy starts entering the one- to three-month phase, take time to put your shoes out of reach and keep your kids’ toys off the floor. Any time your puppy chews something he’s not supposed to, replace it with interactive puppy toys. Make sure to check that they can’t get at any electrical cords or cleaning chemicals.

Provide Cold Chew Food Items

Cold carrots or ice cubes can be a godsend. They numb puppies’ gums and give them some relief from the feeling of their adult teeth pushing through. If your puppy is in a lot of discomfort, providing them with some cold items that are all right for chewing can lessen the pain. Fill up their bowl with some of these frozen food items and see if the puppy takes to them.

Give a Mix of Toys for Approved Chewing

Every puppy is different and prefers different types of chew toys. Some puppies are more attracted to squeakers, while others like a good old-fashioned rope toy. When they’re teething, a wide range of toys can keep your furniture or slippers intact and help your puppy stay mentally stimulated.

We have a mix of teething-specific toys that will keep the little guy or gal occupied during this tough phase. Make sure to look through our nylon dog teething aid toys to choose some different types that can give your puppy something good to gnaw on.

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A friend called to ask me about this issue recently. Her dog had completely refused to eat commercial dog food, and my friend was worried her dog would starve to death. That is, until she spotted the dog eating from the cat’s bowl, which now had her not worrying about starvation but food poisoning. Many pet owners who have both dogs and cats in their household have experienced either the dog eating cat food or the cat eating dog food. Is it dangerous?

Dogs can eat cat food but there are a few risks.

First cats, unlike dogs, are obligate carnivores by nature. This means cats must eat food that has meat in it so as to get all the nutrients they require to live a healthy life. Cats can’t synthesize some amino acids on their own, such as taurine and some fatty acids such as arachidonic acid. Dogs on the other hand can synthesize these amino acids and fatty acids, so they don’t require it from their food as a necessity.

These nutritional needs make cat food high in protein levels and fat levels, levels that a cat can handle but a dog will have problems with.

A diet high in protein will leave dogs, especially those with sensitive stomachs, with diarrhea and vomiting. Even if they don’t develop upset stomach, the high protein levels could in time lead to pancreatitis, a disease that can be life threatening.

The high fat levels in cat food are ideal for the felines, but dogs have trouble handling it. Dogs that feed on cat food without moderation tend to be overweight and even obese, because they consume more fat than their body needs.

To keep your dog from gulping down cat food you can feed the two pets at different times or in different rooms. You can also serve the cat’s food at a high level that the cat can reach but is out of reach for the dog.

In conclusion, a dog can eat cat food but in moderation, maybe as a treat for a job well done during training.

 

When I first decided to own a puppy, I consulted with other dog owners and the one thing they all agreed on is how much work a puppy needs. I went into dog ownership prepared but I hadn’t realized a puppy really was that much work, especially when it came to house training.

I have come a long way since then and what I can now advice new owners are to be patient with their puppies. You see, it’s natural and healthy for your puppy to relieve herself. The problem comes in depending on where the puppy relieves herself.

If you want your puppy to learn to relieve herself outside you need to train her to do so. Start by introducing a crate that is just the right size for the puppy. Not too big to provide space to make a mess in a corner, and not too small that she can’t be comfortable in it. The rule of thumb is to provide a crate that allows the dog to stand and turn round comfortably, no more.

Teach the puppy to go into the crate by putting her favorite treat in the crate a few times during the day. With time she will learn to go into the crate on her own. Also put the crate in your bedroom at night so that she feels safe because she can hear and smell you at night. This also makes her recognize the crate as her safe place.

The use of a crate forces the puppy to get out of the crate to relieve herself. This is because dogs instinctively get away from the place they consider their sleeping quarters when they want to go.

Learn the signs that indicate the puppy wants to go. If she starts to circle and sniff, take her outside to do her business. Take the puppy outside every hour and after every meal, when you wake up and after an exercise session. When outside just go quiet and let her start relieving herself. Once she starts congratulate her with encouraging words and give her a treat when she is done. This lets her know going on the spot you have allowed her to relieve herself is a good thing and so she will want to maintain the behavior to please you.

Establishing a schedule is important if you want your housetraining to be a success. If you follow a routine whereby you take a puppy out to do her business at regular intervals soon she will go out on her own.

Remember that accidents will happen once in a while. Again, there is nothing wrong with your puppy relieving herself, just with where she does so. Therefore if an accident happens in your absence just ignore it because trying to correct the puppy after the act is already too late.

If you catch her during the process you can reprimand her and pick her and take her outside to the designated spot. Be careful not to make your dog think it’s wrong to go through this natural act because then she will be doing her business in hiding and in very unlikely places such as inside closets to avoid being shouted at, and you will have a hard time trying to  locate her messes. Correct her with patience and avoid such uncouth behavior as rubbing her mess on her nose in a bid to make her realize she went to the toilet in the wrong place.

If you find the task of housetraining is too tasking and it’s damaging the relationship you have with your puppy, enlist the help of a professional. A dog trainer will show you how to house-train your puppy and probably help with some lessons initially.

When it comes to dogs, I love them no matter what shape and size they come in. However, I would be lying if I said I don’t have a soft spot for small breeds with long coats, more so if the coat is a pure white. A Japanese Spitz or a Bichon Frise comes to mind. But if you are like me and you own a dog with a white coat that is also long here are a few things you need to know.

To maintain that coat in as good a condition as possible, you have to accept that your dog is high-maintenance. You will therefore need to set aside some time every day to combing and brushing the coat.

You also need to find a good groomer who is familiar with your dog’s breed.  A horror story is told of one owner who took her Bichon Frise to a groomer who had never interacted with the breed before. The groomer ended up grooming the dog as a Poodle, much to the displeasure of the owner. To avoid such problems find a groomer who has experience in the field so that he has the likelihood of having come across your breed in the past.

Just like humans, dogs’ coats and skin is a manifestation of what they eat. No amount of brushing or combing and no amount of professional grooming can hide the damage done by poor feeding. If you need help, consult your vet on which food is best for your dog’s breed.

 If your dog has special needs such as if he is old or he has allergies, find the right food to feed him so that his coat is already in good shape when you are grooming it. In this case grooming will just be the final touch on an already healthy coat.

As a bonus to a great-looking dog, don’t forget to clip his nails and also to brush his teeth with a doggie toothbrush. If the coat is looking great but his nails look pathetic, you won’t have the complete runway-ready look you crave for your furry baby.