Your dog is part of the family. Are you raising him right?

These are ten life tips to help you and your dog weather your relationship!

1. Life Balance

Your dog is part of your family it's important to manage your time properly. We are all pretty busy especially if we are parents shuttling our children around to their various sports and hobbies. Juggling that with work and a dog, it is essential you schedule time in your calendar for you, your dog, and your family.

Be sure to schedule some interactive time with just you and your dog. Spending quality time with your dog strengthens your relationship with him and can relax a busy person like you!

Do not forget to schedule dog-free time too.  Schedule time in everyday where he is left completely alone to rest. Crate training your dog can give him a safe space just his own. He needs the break.


2. Foster Good Self Esteem

Dogs have self esteem?  You bet. Dogs are creatures that learn. Mistakes are part of learning. Pet owners need to be careful to let their dog work out problems for themselves.  Do not micromanage or help them too much, especially when they are trying to learn something new.  Just stand back and give them a few seconds to work it out.  If they get confused, just restart the challenge in an easier form or give your dog a hint.

For example, you are trying to teach your dog to sit. Rather than pushing on his hind end, pulling on the leash,  or repeating "sit, sit, sit," stand silent and wait. If he needs help, restart the problem by backing up several steps, say "sit" once, pause a second, then lure his nose up and back with a treat in your hand. Reward!


3. Set Limits

Just like children, dogs thrive on rules and structure.  Your dog should have a clear and consistent set of rules that everyone in the house follows with the dog. Post them on the fridge!

My favorite is wait at the door.  Teach your dog he may not run through doors to the outside without your permission.  Make sure everyone in the house follows this rule - Always! Keep in mind, dogs are very bad at generalizing.  This means that you should not let your dog jump on you when wearing workout clothes, but yell at him when he jumps on your work clothes. This will only confuse or frustrate your dog and cause naughty behavior.


4. Management vs Relationship

While it is very important to have limits, not every interaction should be obedience. Too many rules, and you will have a stressed out human and dog! Have rules for things that are important to you and the safety of the dog. Going overboard is no fun for anyone and does not help your relationship. Be thoughtful and selective about the rules you will enforce.


5. Responsibility

Responsibility goes both ways.  It is up to you to learn how to positively train your dog so he understands what you want.  Often dogs misbehave because training has not been practiced enough, the instructions were not clear, or you expected too much out of the dog too soon.  Rewards such as treats and play are used as communication with the dog throughout the learning process.  Since your dog cannot ask you questions, he must learn through trial and error.  There will be a lot of rewards given in the beginning.  Then it is your dog's responsibility to learn that he does not get a reward for every single cue (command) given. Once your dog can follow a cue successfully at least 80% of the time, start fading out the rewards.


6. Giving Space

Dogs need space to be a dog. I often see owners getting frustrated with their dog's during a walk because they are pulling them from one thing to the next. Other owners have dogs walking down the street in a heel position head down and tail still.

We often forget how unnatural it is for a dog to walk by our side down a street for long periods of time.  It is much like expecting a three year old to walk through a toy store without pulling you to look at any of the toys on the shelves.  Who is the walk for anyway?

After constant jerking on the leash "nagging" the dog just gives up and does what he wants.  Or even worse the punishment causes the dog to "shut down" no longer enjoying his time out with his people.

So how is this dilemma solved?  Have two walks! One with the dog wearing a harness he can pull in and another with his normal walking flat collar or front attaching harness on. Yes! Dogs can tell the difference!  My dog even has a special mushing harness and leash she wears while pulling me on my bike!  Once her normal collar is attached to the leash, she walks nicely.

Keep the fun walks long and the training walks short!

7. Do Things Together

It’s why you got a dog in the first place, right? This tip is the quickest way to turn a frustrated owner into their pet's biggest fan again.

So, what should you do with your dog?

•play games



•fun walks

•group training classes


•dog sports

•nose work - search work for pet owners

•dock diving


There are so many fun activities you can do with your dog!


8. Model Your Values

Remember, you are your dog’s advocate. It is important that you teach people how to properly greet and interact with your dog. Never let anyone get away with being rude to your dog, even if your dog seems to not mind at the time. Rude is leaning over, sticking their hand in the dog's face to sniff, patting on the head, or hugging your dog. What people learn from you will affect their interaction with other dogs they meet in the future. Walk away if someone does not follow your rules, no exceptions.

Along the same lines, you are an advocate for other dog owners as well. Keep your dog on a leash when out in public and clean up after your pup.


9. Have Age Appropriate Rules

Whether you just brought home a puppy or adopted an adult dog, your rules should fit the dog. It is always best to have strict rules at first, then relax them later after dog no longer makes mistakes.  This is especially important when house training a dog. Keep them in a safe confined place like a crate or dog safe room when you cannot watch them 100% of the time they are out.  Most accidents happen because a dog slipped out of sight for only a second.  Never leave anything out your dog can destroy. Set him up for success. If your dog is difficult to manage while out, consider tethering him to you until he learns the ropes.


10. Love Your Dog

You have this dog for the rest of his life. Sometimes it is hard to enjoy your dog after he misbehaved. Remind yourself to love your dog independent of his behavior. He loves you unconditionally.

"Strive to be the person your dog thinks you are; especially to your dog."

Green Dog Poop Meaning

When your dog has green poop, it often leaves you wondering, “Why is my dog's poop green?”

Being mindful of your pet's poop can give you an insight into what is happening inside their bodies—how they are feeling and what they have eaten. Pay attention, particularly to any changes in the color and consistency of their stool.

lthough Fido does not usually pass green poop, it can occur occasionally. The poop color indicates how well his digestive system ingests and absorbs the food. 

There are plenty of other reasons behind this occurrence. While some are not a significant concern, others will require an immediate vet visit. 

Why is My Dog's Poop Green

Occasionally, the characteristic of your dog's poop may look odd enough to catch your attention.

When your dog poop is green, the color might not be the only thing off. The consistency of the stool may range from runny to greasy and mucousy. 

Sometimes, you will notice bloody streaks or brownish chunks with a strong odor. 

In addition to the color and consistency, take note of your pet's attitude, changes in appetite, and energy level. Other signs to watch for are vomiting, fever, and weight loss. 

Monitoring other symptoms is crucial as it will help the veterinarian identify the underlying causes of the change in stool color. 

Knowing what may have caused the change of color can help you understand and deal with the problem better. 

Parasite Infestation

The presence of parasites in your dog's intestinal tract may have caused green-colored poop with slimy consistency. Also, watch out for any signs of constipation or straining.

Take note of the signs and the characteristics of your excrement so you can share them with the vet. 

For instance, Giardia is a typical dog parasite that causes your dog's poop to become soft and unusual.

Be careful when cleaning dog poop infested with Giardia because the parasite can be easily transmitted between dogs and humans.

Something Your Dog Ate

The most common reason your dog has green poop is that he may have overeaten something green.

For instance, when your dog eats a lot of grass or plant material, a large amount of chlorophyll can contribute to the color of the stool.  

While munching grass is normal and not harmful to your pup, it can indicate a lack of nutrition in their diet. You can quickly resolve this problem by adding more fiber to their diet to get their poop back to normal.

Other causes include overeating green stuff, such as Crayolas. While Crayolas are non-toxic, they can cause stomach upset when consumed in large quantities. 

Intestinal Problems

Intestinal tract problems, like colitis or gallbladder disease, can cause your dog's poop to turn green in color.

When your dog's digestive tract fails to absorb the bile, its green tint will be passed along with poop. Other signs of gastrointestinal problems include slimy, runny stools. 

If you suspect your dog has intestinal problems, contact the vet ASAP!

Other gastrointestinal disorders that cause your dog's poop to become green include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Idiopathic hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  • Food allergies
  • Small interesting bacterial overgrowth
  • Viral infections
  • Colitis
  • Hepatitis
  • Cholangitis

    Rat Bait Poisoning

    Ingestion of toxins, such as rodenticide, is another reason why your dog's poop has turned green. Rodenticide has a green-tinted pigment, which is highly toxic when consumed. 

    Your dog may not initially show any adverse reactions, but this is an emergency. Rodenticide, when ingested, can cause your dog's blood to lose its clotting ability. It makes even the smallest of cuts and bruises life-threatening to your dog.

    If you believe your pet might have ingested rodenticide, it is vital to get them to a vet immediately.

    Take the box of rodenticide so the vet can get the proper treatment for your dog. Fortunately, the treatment can be as simple as Vitamin K. 

    Fatty Diet

    A diet high in fat affects the appearance of your dog's stool and overall health. It can result in greasy, greenish-brown poop. 

    A fatty diet can put your pet at risk of pancreatitis, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even death if left unchecked.

    Changes in Diet

    Sudden diet change can also be a factor that contributes to the change in poop color.

    In most cases, it takes time for your pet's digestive system to adapt to specific dog food. Sudden changes can disturb their usual digestive balance, causing the poop to become green and runny. 

    Expect about 7 to 10 days to slowly change your old dog food to a new one by adding an increasing amount of new dog food to the old.

    Characteristics of Green Stools in Dogs

    Sometimes, the colors may not be enough to determine that there's something wrong with your dog's health. It's best to look at their texture and other characteristics.

    Watch out for these other aspects if you notice your dog pooping on green-colored stools. 

    Hard, pebble-like, or crumbly

    Dehydration and constipation can cause overly hard stools. Make sure your pet drinks enough water. Also, add more moisture and fiber to their diet. 

    Runny and watery

    Runny and watery poop usually indicates your dog has diarrhea, which sudden diet changes, impending illness, or environmental stress may trigger. 

    Slimy, covered in mucus

    If you notice a mucus-like substance coating the stool, your dog may suffer from mild colon inflammation, gastrointestinal infection, or parasitic infestation.


    Several causes contribute to blood-speckled excrement. Constipation may cause abrasions and minor cuts within the anus when your dog. Also, parasite infestation can trigger bloody dog poop

    Different shades of color

    Whether your dog passes bright green or dark green poop, it tells much about your pet's digestive condition.

    Make sure to determine that the change in color is due to ingesting green-colored foods and not an underlying health condition. 

    When is Green Dog Poop a Concern 

    Often, green-colored poop in dogs is not a cause for concern. However, it is something that you should not ignore.

    It could indicate a problem in your dog's health, and here's when it becomes a problem:

    • Although green dog poop is often a result of GI tract disturbance and rapid movement of the food through the large intestine. When the food moves too fast, the bile does not have enough time to break down and get absorbed. 
    • Other factors that require immediate vet care and treatment include liver shunts, Addison's Disease, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

      What To Do if Dog Poop is Green

      Green-colored poop is not an emergency, especially if you know why. If you notice your pet consuming grass or eating the frosting off your Saint Patrick's Day cupcakes, expect your dog to pass green stools.

      The moment you start seeing green dog poop, you can do the following steps:

      • If you see your dog frequently out grazing, try adding high-fiber foods into his diet to help them get the digestive regulation they are looking for. 
      • If you have recently switched your dog's diet and noticed that their poop turned green, feed them back with their old food and try a more gradual transition to prevent stomach upset. 
      • Slowly transitioning their diet helps clear this problem, especially if your pet shows no other signs. 
      • Make sure to have your dog checked for potential intestinal parasites and get treatment as soon as possible.

      However, if your pet passes green poop several times or shows other distressing signs, act quickly and take them to the nearest veterinary clinic for a checkup and treatment.

      • For mild digestive problems accompanied by occasional vomiting, try not feeding your dog for 4 to 6 hours and only providing him with a small amount of water. 

      When you feed your dog a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice for several days, it may help alleviate stomach upset.

      However, moderate to severe GI infections like parvo require diet changes, fluids, antibiotics, and anti-nausea medications. Treatment can cost between $200 to $2000, depending on the severity of the condition.

      • When your pet has green diarrhea that occurred more than once or is accompanied by frequent vomiting, abdominal pain, or fever, take your dog to the vet for prompt treatment.

      It can also indicate a severe parasitic issue or gastrointestinal infection. Diagnostics and treatment may include fecal examination, blood work, imaging, antibiotics, anti-nausea medication, and hospitation.

      Treatment costs may vary depending on your dog's condition, ranging between $200 to $2000 or even more.

      • If you think Fido ingested rat poison, take him to the vet right away for an antidote or treatment. Rodenticide ingestion treatment can cost you about $200 if detected early.

      However, the treatment cost can go as high as $2000 or more if your pet starts to show signs and requires blood transfusions and hospitalization. The earlier you get treatment, the better the outcome.

      When to See a Vet for Green Dog Poop

      If your dog has green poop with unusual consistency, frequency, and odor, monitor them closely for a few days as long as your pet does not show any other signs, such as lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, or weight loss.

      If the issue does not clear up after 48 hours, take your dog to a local vet clinic. 

      What Does Giardia Poop Look Like in Dogs?

      The most common symptom that your dog has an active giardia infection is greenish, loose, and slimy stool.

      While in some cases, diarrhea may also be yellowish or brownish in color, it will always be watery. Your dog's poop can also be tainted with blood due to giardia infection.

      Can Chicken and Rice Make Your Dog Poop Green? 

      Feeding your dog chicken and rice may cause him to pass green-colored excrement.

      Common food allergies may trigger this problem, but the symptoms usually disappear within 2 to 3 days.

      If the symptoms do not clear after a couple of days, consult a vet right away. 

      If your dog has a sensitive stomach, make sure to reduce the number of chicken and rice meals. Wait for several days until your dog's stomach has fully recovered before transitioning your dog's foods to a standard diet. 

      Green Dog Poop: Summary

      The thought of checking your dog's poop may sound gross, but as pet owners, it is an excellent way to analyze your pet's overall health. Also, it helps you understand and deal with green dog poop issues. 

      Here is a quick summary of what to do in case your dog poops green excrement:

      • Identify what is causing your dog to pass green stools. It could be eating too much grass, sudden diet changes, ingesting rat poison, giardia infestation, fatty diet, or viral infection, such as parvo. 
      • A healthy poop is brown in color, shaped like a log, and has consistent texture and odor, 
      • If you notice that your dog is eating too much grass, it could indicate that your pet craves the nutritional fiber in the grass. Make sure to add more fiber to this diet. 
      • If your dog's poop is consistently green, visit your trusted vet for a more thorough health checkup. 

      Poop is more than a solid bodily waste of undigested food and bacteria. Its color, texture, consistency, amount, and content can provide insight into your dog's health and potential problems. 

Dog Adoption Tips – Bringing Home a New Rescue Dog

Bringing home a shelter dog that you adopt may be a rescued stray or a dog that someone has voluntarily surrendered for adoption.

Whether he was born in the bushes behind the laundromat or an adolescent abandoned on the streets by his once-upon-a-time owner, the streetwise stray can be a real challenge to incorporate into your life. The famous “he followed me home, can I keep him, Mom?” canine is a special animal that needs time and space, patience, and understanding.

The first few days in your home are special and critical for a pet. Your new dog will be confused about where he is and what to expect from you. Setting up some clear structure with your family for your dog will be paramount in making as smooth a transition as possible.

Bringing a puppy home, they need more than just a bed and a food bowl to thrive. They also need constant care and attention. While a puppy’s first night at home may require a lot of work initially, it’s well worth the effort down the road. Establishing good habits in those first weeks will lay the groundwork for a lifetime of happiness for you and your dog. Remember, you have a responsibility to help your puppy grow into a happy and healthy dog. Here are some tips for puppy care to help first-time dog owners get started:

Before You Bring Your Dog Home:


  • Determine where your dog will be spending most of his time. Because he will be under a lot of stress with the change of environment (from a shelter or foster home to your house), he may forget any housebreaking (if any) he’s learned. Often a kitchen will work best for easy clean-up.
  • If you plan on crate training your dog, be sure to have a crate set up and ready to go for when you bring your new dog home.
  • Dog-proof the area where your pooch will spend most of his time during the first few months. This may mean taping loose electrical cords to baseboards; storing household chemicals on high shelves; removing plants, rugs, and breakables; setting up the crate, and installing baby gates.
  • Training your dog will start the first moment you have him. Take time to create a vocabulary list everyone will use when giving your dog directions. This will help prevent confusion and help your dog learn his commands more quickly.
  • Bring an ID tag with your phone number on it with you when you pick up your dog so that he has an extra measure of safety for the ride home and the first few uneasy days. If he is microchipped, be sure to register your contact information with the chip’s company, if the rescue or shelter did not already do so.

First Day:


  • We know moving is stressful — and your new dog feels the same way! Give him time to acclimate to your home and family before introducing him to strangers. Make sure children know how to approach the dog without overwhelming him.
  • When you pick up your dog, remember to ask what and when he was fed. Replicate that schedule for at least the first few days to avoid gastric distress. If you wish to switch to a different brand, do so over a period of about a week by adding one part new food to three parts of the old for several days; then switch to half new food, half old, and then one part old to three parts new.
  • On the way home, your dog should be safely secured, preferably in a crate. Some dogs find car trips stressful, so having him in a safe place will make the trip home easier for him and you.
  • Once home, take him to his toileting area immediately and spend a good amount of time with him so he will get used to the area and relieve himself. Even if your dog does relieve himself during this time, be prepared for accidents. Coming into a new home with new people, new smells and new sounds can throw even the most housebroken dog off-track, so be ready just in case.
  • From there, start your schedule of feeding, toileting, and play/exercise. From Day One, your dog will need family time and brief periods of solitary confinement. Don’t give in and comfort him if he whines when left alone. Instead, give him attention for good behavior, such as chewing on a toy or resting quietly (Source: Preparing Your Home For A New Dog).
  • For the first few days, remain calm and quiet around your dog, limiting too much excitement (such as the dog park or neighborhood children). Not only will this allow your dog to settle in easier, but it will also give you more one-on-one time to get to know him and his likes/dislikes.
  • If he came from another home, objects like leashes, hands, rolled-up newspapers and magazines, feet, chairs, and sticks are just some of the pieces of “training equipment” that may have been used on this dog. Words like “come here” and “lie down” may bring forth a reaction other than the one you expect. Or maybe he led a sheltered life and was never socialized to children or sidewalk activity. This dog may be the product of a never-ending series of scrambled communications and unreal expectations that will require patience on your part.
  • Keep him off balconies, elevated porches, and decks. Keep all cleaning supplies, detergents, bleach, and other chemicals and medicines out of the puppy’s reach, preferably on high shelves.
  • Remove poisonous houseplants, such as amaryllis, mistletoe, holly, or poinsettia, or keep them in hanging baskets up high, where your puppy cannot reach them.
  • Keep toilet lids closed, unplug electrical cords and remove them from the floor, and keep plastic bags and ribbons out of your puppy’s reach.


Following Weeks:


  • People often say they don’t see their dog’s true personality until several weeks after adoption. Your dog may be a bit uneasy at first as he gets to know you. Be patient and understanding while also keeping to the schedule you intend to maintain for feeding, walks, etc. This schedule will show your dog what is expected of him as well as what he can expect from you.
  • After discussing it with your veterinarian to ensure your dog has all the necessary vaccines, you may wish to take your dog to group training classes or the dog park. Pay close attention to your dog’s body language to be sure he’s having a good time — and is not fearful or a dog park bully. Have a long and happy life together with your dog, stick to the original schedule you created, ensuring your dog always has the food, potty time, and attention he needs. You’ll be bonded in no time!
  • If you encounter behavior issues you are unfamiliar with, ask your veterinarian for a trainer recommendation. Select a trainer who uses positive reinforcement techniques to help you and your dog overcome these behavior obstacles.
  • Bring your puppy to the veterinarian for regular checkups. Talk to your veterinarian about any signs of illness that you should watch out for during your puppy’s first few months.
  • Ensure Your Puppy Receives Proper Nutrition. Your puppy also needs complete and balanced nutrition to help him grow properly. In fact, the first year of his life is critical in ensuring the proper growth of his bones, teeth, muscles, and fur. As a growing animal, he’ll require more calories than an adult dog. Read the labels, and find a food that has been specifically created to ensure the proper balance of protein and fat for a puppy. Check the food package for the recommended feeding schedule and serving size. Never feed your puppy bones, table scraps, or big snacks in between meals.

Responsibilities for the Parents of the Newly Adopted Dog:

Courtesy of Rondout Valley Kennels, Inc. (Sue Sternberg


  1. Never, ever leave a child alone with your new dog. Not even for a second to turn your head and answer the phone. The type of relationship we see on TV between children and dogs is a fantasy, and not a reflection of what real dogs can be like with children.
  2. No one in the family should be encouraging rough play, wrestling, or the dog to play with his mouth on human body parts or clothes. This is especially relevant when an adult member of the household plays with the dog in this manner, because when the child next excites the dog, the dog may be stimulated to play in the same rough manner, thereby putting the child at risk for injury.
  3. Your dog should be fed his meals in an area completely protected from and away from children, as much for a bit of peace and privacy as it is to prevent guarding behaviors. The dog should also be fed portions that are quickly finished, so there is nothing left in the bowl for the dog to linger over and guard. Empty bowls should be taken up and put away, so the dog won’t consider guarding the feeding area.
  4. Most children are not bitten by their own dog, but by a friend or neighbor’s dog. This means two things: watch your own dog closely when your child has a friend (or friends) over. Many dogs will tolerate a lot from their own family’s child, but not tolerate a visiting child. Visiting children often do not behave as well as, or may behave differently from your own children, and could bother or provoke your dog. Consequently, if your child’s friends have dogs, you need to, (as a responsible parent) go over and meet the friend’s dog BEFORE you allow your child to visit their house. It is a good idea to see the size and general nature of your child’s friend’s dog, and check to see if the owner of this dog will allow unsupervised interaction between the children and the dog, to ask where and when the dog is fed, and to check if there are any chewable toys or bones lying around, and then to either request that they be picked up and put away while your child visits, or ensure that their dog has no possessiveness problems.

When to Phone the Shelter for Advice:


  • Any signs of physical rough play from the dog towards the child
  • Any signs of displays of rough, physical strength from the dog towards the child
  • Any growling (even during play)
  • Any snapping or nipping
  • Any humping or mounting of the child OR adults
  • Any avoidance or resentment of physical contact (dog backs off or leaves the room when child hugs or pets or gets close to your dog.)
  • Any signs the dog is afraid of the child (your dog backs away or tries to escape when the child appears or gets close.)
  • Your dog seems “jealous” of intimacy or physical affection between parents or especially between child and parent (the dog barks or cuts in between people during intimacy.)
  • Any signs the dog is guarding his food bowl, his bones, his toys, or “stolen” items (the dog may tense up, freeze, stiffen, growl, snap, show his teeth, snarl, or just give a ‘hairy eyeball’ to anyone approaching or coming to near his item.
  • Your dog seems out of control or disobedient and “wild” with children who are playing or running around.

Remember that with proper puppy care, your new pet will grow into a happy, healthy dog — and provide you with love and companionship for years to come.

Dog grooming tips

A shelter dog posed for a photo after a haircut

Grooming your dog keeps him healthy and is also an important part of your relationship. When you're grooming your dog, you're not only keeping his coat, skin, feet, ears, and teeth healthy, you're becoming familiar with his body so that you'll notice early on if anything is unusual and needs veterinary attention.

When you're learning to groom your dog, be patient and use lots of treats. Start slowly and add more as your dog accepts what you’re doing. If you start getting frustrated, stop and come back to it later. Remember to keep it positive and fun, and take your dog to a professional groomer if needed.


How often 
Unless your dog has gotten into something smelly or dirty, he will need to be bathed only every two to four months. Bathing him too frequently will dry out his skin and strip the natural oils from his coat.

Getting started
Make sure to use a shampoo that’s made for dogs. Human shampoo can be too harsh for your puppy’s skin and coat. Put a non-slip surface, such as a bath mat or towel, in the bottom of your tub (or sink, kiddie pool or wherever you are doing your bathing). Lather up the coat, and then rinse thoroughly. Be sure to rinse completely or the shampoo will leave a dull residue on your puppy’s fur. Avoid getting shampoo and water directly in the eyes, mouth, and inside the ears.


Regular brushing removes dead hair, distributes natural oils for a clean and healthy coat, stimulates the surface of the skin, gets rid of dead and dry skin, and helps you become familiar with your dog’s body.

How often
You should brush your dog every couple of days no matter the length of his coat. Sometimes your brushing can have a specific purpose, such as removing hair mats or helping your dog shed his seasonal coat, but most often you’ll be doing general-purpose brushing or combing.

Getting started

  • Choose the right brush. Some brushes are general purpose and others have specific uses. If you're doing general brushing choose a general-purpose brush like a comb, pin-head brush, or the Zoom Groom. If you're planning to remove your dog's dead coat or hair mats use a brush for this purpose, like a shedding blade or a universal slicker brush.
  • Let your dog see and smell the brush, then begin brushing while you reward him with treats and praise.
  • Keep your sessions short at first and increase the length of time as your dog learns to enjoy it.

    How often
    Regularly trimming your dog’s foot hair keeps tar, rocks, ice balls, salt, and other debris from getting caught in the feet.

    Getting started
    Use a scissors to trim the hair growing over the top of your dog’s foot and around the paw pads so that the hair is level with the paw pads. Do not try to trim in between the toes.


    Since dogs' nails grow in a curve, letting them get too long will cause their toes to splay or twist when they walk. This can be very uncomfortable and can lead to broken toes. Regular nail clipping can prevent this and reduce the risk of torn nails. It can also save on wear and tear of your floors and carpeting.

    How often
    Nails should be checked and clipped about every two weeks. If you can hear them click as your dog walks across the floor, it's time for a trim.

    Getting started

    • Pick a pet nail clipper that feels comfortable in your hands, has a clear line of sight to where the blade is cutting, and a sharp blade.
    • Keep a jar of styptic powder handy to stop the bleeding in case you accidentally clip the quick (the vein at the bottom of the nail).
    • Start slowly. In the beginning, let your dog sniff the clipper, hear the sound it makes, and feel it against his paw and nail before you start clipping. When you’re just starting out, it may take a week or longer to do all four paws. Keep the sessions positive and reward your dog with lots of treats and praise while you’re clipping.
    • Clip off the tip of the nail, being careful not to clip the quick. If your dog has clear nails, you will be able to see the quick through the nail. If your dog has black nails, clip off a little at a time, looking at the nail tip straight on after each clip. When you start seeing a pale oval in the tip, it means you are near the vein and should stop clipping. If you clip your dog's nails on a regular basis, you will notice a hook develop at the end of the thicker part of the nail. The hook portion is what can be clipped off.
    • Don’t forget to clip dew claws if your dog has them!

      Keeping the inside surfaces of your dog’s ears clean feels good to your dog and helps prevent ear infections. Also check the outside surface of your dog's ears for wood ticks, fleas or anything else unusual.

      How often
      Clean your dog's ears about once a week.

      Getting started

      • Use a cotton ball or a piece of gauze with ear cleaning solution, or a baby wipe wrapped around your finger. Don’t use water because it doesn’t evaporate very easily.
      • Wipe the inside surface of your dog’s ear, going down only as far as your finger easily fits.
      • Don’t use Q-tips or try to put anything further down the ear canal or you will risk causing an ear injury.
      • If you notice an unusual smell or a discharge coming from your dog’s ears, let your veterinarian know.

        Regular teeth cleaning will save you vet expenses and eliminate the stress of having your dog anesthetized for cleaning procedures. Dogs can suffer from many of the same dental problems as humans (i.e. cavities, gum disease, tartar buildup, etc.). Bacteria from gum disease can get in your dog’s bloodstream, causing other health problems.

        How often
        Clean your dog’s teeth two to three times per week.

        Getting started

        • You may need to start by getting your dog used to brushing by rubbing his gums with your finger and then moving on to a brushing tool.
        • Use a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger, a finger cap scrubber made for pet teeth cleaning or a toothbrush designed for dogs.
        • Use toothpaste formulated for dogs, baking soda or just water. Do not use human toothpaste because it foams too much and can upset your dog’s stomach.
        • You only need to clean the outside surface of the teeth. Your dog’s tongue will keep the top and inside surfaces clean.

Hiking With Your Dog - Tips and Tricks

Looking to escape the stresses of urban living? Get out and go for a hike with your canine best buddy. Hiking is an amazing activity that will give you and your pooch the necessary exercise amidst fresh air and lush surroundings, allowing for an incredible bonding opportunity.

Why Should You Hike With Your Dog?

Exercise - Both dogs and we hoo-man need loads of exercise to stay balanced and happy. Your cardiovascular health will thank you for it! A tired pooch is a happy one, and the same goes for humans! 

Better Mental Clarity - No one likes to be bored. Hikes are an excellent way to stimulate the mind, whether you want a break in your routine or to unwind after a long day at the office. Sunshine and fresh air never hurt anyone! 

Bonding - What better way to enjoy the time with your dog than to appreciate the great outdoors together? 

Socialization - Not only will your dog have valuable socialization opportunities, but you might even get to meet a dog parent or two. 

Tips On Hiking With Your Dog

While hiking is a low-impact, fun activity that can be enjoyed by all, some small tweaks might make it just a little more enjoyable. 

Watch The Weather 

As summer fast approaches, watch out for the weather and know when it is too hot for a walk. Try sticking to grass and trail instead of asphalt and concrete that absorbs and retains heat way more. 

Water, Water, Water! 

Hydration is important for all living things, so make sure you bring loads of water for both of you, together with a lightweight, collapsible water bowl.

Use A Harness, Not Collar

Get an appropriately-fitted harness for your dog, especially if your dog is going to be leashed. Too much pulling and tugging on the collar can damage the sensitive trachea of your beloved pooch. Loose-leash-trained dogs can wear collars, but if you’ve got a puller, it would be better to use a harness. 

Check the Paws

Dogs get footsore too, especially when scrambling over rough terrain and rocks. Check your pooch’s paws regularly for any cuts and scrapes, and think about bringing some dog booties along, especially if your dog has sensitive paw pads that are prone to abrasions and cuts. 

You really don’t want to have to carry a 100 lb dog out of the forest! 

Up-To-Date Vaccinations

As always, check on your pooch’s vaccinations and make sure that everything is kept up-to-date and in order. There are plenty of dogs on popular hiking trails, and the last thing you want is your dog getting infected.

Apply Preventative Medication

With warm weather come the bugs! Make sure you’ve administered medication like flea and tick meds and heartworm pills. You’ll need to protect your dog from any bug-borne and transmitted diseases that might escalate into more serious illnesses.

During the hotter months, you can also think about using medicated flea shampoos, or switch to a flea collar until the bug situation eases up. 

Final Thoughts On Hiking With Your Dog 

Fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and the companionship of your four-legged best friend. What’s there not to like? Grab that leash and head out now for some nature time! 

5 Tips and Tricks for Potty Training Your Dog

5 Tips and Tricks for Potty Training Your Dog

Being firm when dealing with dogs, especially if they’re quite young, can be a struggle for many pet parents. However, letting your pups do as they please with no boundaries in place can do more harm than good in the long run.

This is why, like any fur parent, you need to start potty training your pet so that you can coexist happily and maintain an acceptable level of cleanliness in your home. Teaching your dog the correct bathroom spots is a repetitive process that requires patience and commitment, but it’s a natural rite of passage that all pet owners must go through to raise well-behaved pups.

Are you in the process of teaching your pup where their designated toilet is? Here are some tips you should consider when potty training your dog:

Take Your Pup Outside Frequently

The first thing to do is to make sure that your pup knows the right potty areas. Your pet needs to understand that neither their crate nor their beds—especially any customizable dog beds you’ve invested in—are acceptable places for peeing and pooping.

So, take them outside for potty breaks every two hours to establish that the activity is something that they need to do daily. Use items like custom leashes to guide your pup to the designated bathroom spot and keep them from getting distracted.

When it’s time to go potty, find a small area and stand still for five minutes while watching your pup do their business. Avoid making unnecessary sounds and movements to keep your dog focused on peeing or defecating and to prevent them from interacting with you. Your pup will eventually get bored with exploring and will want to go potty as soon as they can!

If your pup doesn’t eliminate within five minutes, give them a break by taking them away from their designated potty spot for ten to twenty minutes before starting the process again.

Create a Routine

Dogs are smart creatures of habit that learn best when you set specific times for eating, playing, and answering the call of nature. In general, a two-month-old puppy can control their bladder for around two hours. However, it’s best to keep in mind that bladder endurance may differ for each pup.

Puppies require feeding two to three times a day, depending on how old they are. Having a set feeding schedule gives you an idea of the specific times when your pup needs to go. If they tend to pee at night, try taking away their water dish two and a half hours before their bedtime to limit their need to pee while they’re sleeping.

After your pup wakes up, you can take them outside for a walk to go potty. You can also give them a potty break during or after playtime and after they eat or drink. Consider establishing a designated word for pottying that’s easy for your pup to remember, too.

Praise and Reward Your Pup

Positive reinforcement is a key component of dog training. Your pup needs to know that potty training is a small task that warrants a reward for their obedience. This can be done by giving your dog some treats as soon as you’re sure that they’re finished doing their business. Praises such as cheering or clapping will also encourage your pup to do well in potty training.

If you’ve chosen to reward your pet with tasty treats, be sure to give them small food that's easy for them to digest. And even if you’re proud of your fur baby for a successful potty, remember that giving them treats too early will only distract them. Only give them the treats once they’ve gone potty successfully.

Observe and Supervise

Potty training requires consistency as well as intense observation. Keep an eye on your pup and monitor their potty habits, especially when they’re indoors. Take note of how they call your attention when they need to do their business. Do they bark, scratch, sniff around, or circle the area?

If you notice that your dog is squatting, pick them up and make a beeline to the designated outdoor bathroom spot! To reinforce their behavior, give your pet rewards or praise after they’ve done their business outside in the right place.

Make Potty Time Fun

Remember, you need to establish that potty time isn’t a tedious chore! If you have a backyard or if there’s an area near your home where it’s safe to take off your dog’s leash, give your pup an off-leash period after they potty. This will let them know that potty time usually leads to playing.

Potty training is a team effort between you and your pup. Just as it teaches them to go potty properly, it also teaches you the values of patience and responsibility. Be sure to keep these nifty tips in mind so you can have more fun times with your pup without the stress of cleaning up after their mess.