Tips to Help Prevent Dog Bites

Crossbreed dog sitting, looking intimidated, isolated on whiteMost dogs are friendly, but any dog can potentially bite, especially if the human fails to read the dog’s signals.

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association. It estimates there are 70 million dogs living in U.S. households, and more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.

To learn more about how to prevent these incidents, I talked with a couple of dog experts to get their tips.

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Five Ways to Prepare for a Puppy

Five Ways to Prepare for a PuppyMost new dog owners know what basic supplies they’ll need for a puppy. They know to purchase a leash, toys and food, for example. But what are some of the less obvious necessities new puppy owners may not think about?

The following are a few of my ideas, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments.
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What to Do When an Off-Leash Dog Charges You

off-leash dogYou’ve probably been out walking your dog, minding your own business, when someone’s off-leash dog charges you. While this is often annoying, it’s usually no big deal as long as both dogs are friendly. But what if your dog isn’t friendly? Or, what if the approaching dog isn’t friendly?

The following are some tips on possible ways to handle an approaching dog, keeping in mind that every situation is different.

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Common Mistakes at the Dog Park

Common dog park mistakesVisiting the dog park is a positive experience for a lot of dogs and their owners. However, it can also be stressful or even dangerous when dog owners aren’t paying attention to their dogs or aren’t picking up on their dogs’ signals.

I asked two professional dog trainers to share some of the most common mistakes dog owners make at dog parks. Hopefully the rest of us can try to avoid these errors and set our dogs up for success.

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Does Your Dog Need a Waterproof Collar?

Does your dog need a waterproof dog collar?My Lab mix Ace is a gross dog.

He drools and sheds more than most, which means there is often crusty hair and drool stuck to his collar. He’s always dirty and loves to dive head first into any source of open mud or water.

Of course, I love my dog anyway, and one of our favorite things to do together is go to the beach so he can retrieve a tennis ball from the lake or ocean. Over the years, we have ruined several nylon collars due to this habit. They just never seem to get clean again after a day at the beach, and that “dog odor” is there for good.

If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider a waterproof collar for your dog.
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Tips for Socializing a Puppy

How to socialize your puppyWe hear about the importance of socializing our dogs and puppies to new things, but what exactly does that mean?

At what age should we begin exposing our puppies to new places and other dogs, and how can we go about it without scaring them or exposing them to diseases?

I reached out to some professionals for their ideas on how to socialize a puppy safely. Here’s what they had to say.
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The Best Leash for Running With Dogs

Mendota slip leads KC Dog Runners

Photo: Jeff Graves

The following is my interview with Jeff Graves, founder of KC Dog Runners in Kansas City.

KC Dog Runners is Kansas City’s first and only dog running company, and Jeff and his team of runners take dogs on running and walking sessions throughout the Kansas City area. They also offer a pet sitting service and a yard cleanup service.

Jeff has been using Mendota Slip Leads from dogIDs to run with his clients’ dogs, so I wanted to ask him a bit about his business and why he prefers this product.

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When Can a Dog Be Left Loose in the House?

When to give your dog more freedomIf you currently leave your dog in a crate when he’s home alone, you may be wondering when you can trust him to be left loose in the house.

This will depend on the dog, of course. Some dogs may never be able to be left loose in the house. If that’s the case with your dog, don’t feel bad. Crates are great tools to keep dogs safe and out of trouble. Or, you might be leaving your dog in a bedroom or in the kitchen with a pet gate, and that’s fine too.

The question is, when (if ever) should a dog be given more freedom?

The following are some tips to help you decide.

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Common Puppy Potty Training Mistakes

Common Puppy Potty Training MistakesHave you ever heard a puppy owner say something like, “She just doesn’t get it! I take her outside and she still pees in the house”?

Some puppies are harder to potty train than others, but a big factor is actually how consistent the owner is with the training. It’s about rewarding the good behavior, but it’s also about preventing the unwanted behavior.

Even with all the information out there about puppy potty training, new dog owners still seem to have problems. I asked three dog trainers to share some of the most common puppy potty training mistakes. Here’s what they said:

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What to Know About Flying With a Dog

What to know about flying with a dogIf you fly through a commercial airline with your dog, the following are some preparations you’ll want to think about in advance.

Every airline is different, of course. Plus, fees and policies could change at any time. If you plan to fly with your dog, make sure to do your own research and stay up to date with that airline’s specific policies.
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