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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How to Stop a Dog From Barking in the Yard

Stop a dog from barkingDogs bark. They bark at the door. They bark in the yard. They bark when they see other dogs. They bark when they’re scared or excited or frustrated.

Not surprisingly, one of the most common behavioral questions dog owners have is how do I stop my dog from barking?

Of course, it all depends on the exact situation and the exact dog. For this post, I’m focusing on one of the most common problems with barking: Barking in the yard.

I’ll share some of my own tips on how to stop this behavior, along with some ideas from a professional dog trainer who focuses on positive reinforcement training.
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How to Introduce a New Dog to Your Cat

How to introduce your new dog to your catMany of us live with both dogs and cats and they all get along fine. I have a Lab mix and two cats, and the cats definitely rule the house. Still, whenever a new dog visits I always make sure to consider the safety of my cats during introductions. Even though my cats are used to dogs, I never know exactly how the visiting dog will react and it’s just better to use precaution.

If you already have a cat and you plan on adding a dog to your home this year, the following are some tips to set everyone up for success.

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What Dog Breeds are Best for First-Time Dog Owners?

Best dog breeds for new dog ownersWhich types of dogs are best for first-time dog owners?

Every dog is an individual, regardless of her breed or mix of breeds. When you’re thinking about getting a dog, you’ll receive tons of opinions about which breed of dog is best for you and you’ll have to take that advice in stride. For example, golden retrievers and Labs are often recommended as great family pets, but some retrievers can also be unruly and excitable.

I asked other dog experts for their opinions on the best breeds for first-time dog owners. Their responses are below, but keep in mind it’s all a matter of opinion. The perfect dog for one person may not be the perfect dog for someone else. But that’s a great thing about dogs! They come in a huge variety of sizes, personalities and energy levels.

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How to Stop a Puppy From Biting

iStock_000015214910SmallIf you’ve ever been nipped by a playful puppy, you know how bad those little teeth can hurt. It’s important that we teach our puppies not to bite so they don’t continue to do so when they grow up. The following are some tips to teach your puppy appropriate manners.

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Do Dogs Need Boots in the Cold?

snow-and-go-dog-boots-in-use_1841_310x310You may have wondered whether your dog needs boots to protect her feet from the cold and ice. Really, it depends on the individual dog’s cold tolerance as well as her breed and how long she will be outside. My own dog has sensitive paws, and he tends to lift them up once it dips below 10 degrees Fahrenheit or so. On the other hand, some dogs act like they don’t even notice the cold on their feet.

So how do you know when your dog might need some extra paw protection? [Read more...]

Puppies as Christmas Gifts – What to Think About

Puppies as gifts - what to think aboutAdopting a new dog or puppy is an important decision that should involve the entire family. That’s true no matter what time of year it is. Keeping that in mind, the following are some tips to consider if you’re planning to give a family member a dog or puppy this Christmas.

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Should You Allow Your Dog on the Bed?

Dog on the bedI don’t allow my dog to sleep on my bed because he’s a little, um … gross. Ace is one of those big, drooly-types who always has “shoelaces” hanging from his mouth. If I do allow him to sleep in my room on the floor, he’s constantly waking me up by flapping his ears, flinging drool or snoring. Needless to say, my dog does not sleep on my bed.

But what if your dog isn’t as noisy and slobbery as mine? Is there really anything wrong with allowing your dog on your bed? I talked with a veterinarian and an expert in canine behavior to get some tips on this topic, but I’d also love to hear from you in the comments.

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