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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Stop a Dog From Whining for Attention

How to Stop a Dog from Whining for AttentionDogs really know how to get our attention, and one way to do so is by whining.

It works, right?

Whining almost always gets a reaction from us. We either laugh at the dog, talk to the dog, pet the dog or even scold the dog. Either way, the whining is reinforced.

Some dogs whine more than others, and sometimes it even becomes a really annoying habit. If you have a dog that tends to whine for attention, the following are some ideas to get the behavior under control.

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When Should I Replace My Dog’s Collar?

Personalized collars from dogIDsSome dog collars are made better than others. The same is true for dog ID tags. Some collars and tags are designed to last the lifetime of the dog, while others may only last a few months.

I’d like to start a discussion on when a dog’s collar should be replaced for the safety of the dog. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and let us know how often you have to replace your dog’s collar and tags.
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How to Help a Dog Feel Calm When Left Alone

Australian Shepherd (Aussie) Puppy Watching“Separation anxiety” is a phrase that’s often used when a dog becomes anxious when left alone. Some dogs with separation anxiety will bark all day when left alone. Others are so nervous they have accidents, and some dogs will destroy property in an attempt to get out of the house.

On the other hand, just because your dog is acting this way does not necessarily mean he has true “separation anxiety.” It could just be that he’s bored or that he’s not fully potty trained like you thought. Or maybe he’s just barking because he hasn’t been taught any other options.

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How to Stop a Dog From Eating Poop

Syurs I like to eat poopsicles Does your dog have the gross habit of eating his own poop? Or maybe snacking on your other dog’s poop? No one wants to receive doggy kisses after that! And how about when you’re at the dog park and sure enough there’s your dog munching on turds! Embarrassing!

Surprisingly, poop eating is actually a fairly common problem in dogs, right Syrus?

Syrus is one of the dogIDs dogs, and he has a tendency to snack on “poopsicles.” So, don’t worry if your dog is doing this. He’s not alone! Sometimes they grow out of the habit, and sometimes they need some help. I contacted a couple of dog trainers to get their ideas on how to stop this behavior. [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day: 4 Ways to Show Your Dog You Love Him

What are you doing for Valentine's Day?Are you planning anything special for your dog or cat this Valentine’s Day? Maybe a special treat or toy?

Or maybe your dog is sending a Valentine to someone he loves?

The following are four simple ways to show your dog you love him this Valentine’s Day, but more importantly I’d love to hear what you have planned for your pets!

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How to Stop a Dog From Digging in the Yard

Photo: Lindsay Stordahl

Photo: Lindsay Stordahl

Some dogs love to dig, but their owners are not exactly impressed by this behavior.

For example, my parents have a springer spaniel named Sophie who enjoys leaving little “potholes” throughout the yard as she searches for mice and who knows what else. This often means Sophie’s feet and toenails are covered in dirt and she has to have her paws washed before heading back in the house.

So, is there anything dog owners can do to stop this behavior? Or is it a lost cause? I asked some dog experts for their thoughts.
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Dental Tips for Dogs and Cats – What to Know

I’m taking my 11-year-old cat Beamer to the vet on Friday to have his mouth examined. The poor guy has some gross-looking teeth that might be causing him pain. Had I taken his dental care more seriously while he was younger, I could’ve prevented some of his current discomfort.

February is National Pet Dental Month, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, and I’m writing this to encourage other pet owners to do what they can to keep their pets’ teeth and gums clean and healthy.
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