How To Stop Your Dog From Barking: 5 Tips And Tricks

blog-barking


Barking is a natural means of dog communication. Why and how much a dog barks, however, can depend on a number of factors.

Genetics is one of them. Some dog breeds just bark more than others. Hunting dogs, for example, were bred to bark as a way to signal a target.

Common Reasons Dogs Bark

Another reason dogs bark is to communicate physical and emotional needs. If a dog is hot, cold, thirsty, hungry, sick, or otherwise uncomfortable, they might bark as a way to say, “Hey, how about a little help over here?” In addition, if a dog is bored, anxious, excited, or understimulated, they might bark in order to request attention, or they may develop a barking habit as a way to release energy and frustrations.

And of course, a dog may bark if they are scared, threatened, or trying to warn you of danger, like if an intruder were to come onto your property or if another dog were to threaten them.

Many times, barking is conditional, meaning that it is in response to a situation and stops when the situation changes. Other times, barking can be excessive and become a real problem.

Here are some tips on how to stop your dog from barking. If you need additional help, don’t hesitate to contact a trainer or animal behaviorist.

Tip #1: Cultivate a lifestyle that will minimize barking.

The best way to stop barking is to prevent it. Create a lifestyle and environment for your dog that will reduce their likelihood of becoming anxious, bored, scared, or otherwise needy.

  • Make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise. Dogs who are understimulated or have excess energy are more likely to develop a barking habit.
  • Offer your dog a safe and comfortable place to rest. Leaving your dog in a cramped crate or a cold backyard may induce anxiety and barking.
  • Ensure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times, including when you are out of the house. You should also ensure that you are feeding your dog the correct amount of food; check with your veterinarian.
  • Socialize your dog. A well-socialized dog who is comfortable around people, other animals, and new environments is less likely to feel anxious, threatened, overexcited, or respond to stimulus with a bark.
  • If you need to be out of the house for long hours, leave stimulating toys, turn the radio on, and consider buying some dog-friendly DVDs. You may also want to hire a dog walker or sitter to offer your pup a break from the isolation, which can promote barking.
  • If your dog barks only when you leave the house, teach them that it’s no big deal. You can do this by practicing coming and going for short periods of time and gradually increasing the time that you are gone. You should also avoid making a big deal about coming and going; don’t offer long, emotional goodbyes or hellos. If you do, your dog will assign a great deal of significance to your absence and presence, which can promote separation anxiety when your dog is left alone.

RELATED STORY: OCD In Dogs

Tip #2: Don’t yell at or punish your dog for barking.

A lot of barking is attention-seeking behavior, and if you yell at your dog (or acknowledge them at all, really) it shows them that hey, it worked! And hey, maybe I should do that more often! When your dog barks, try to ignore it. Avert your eyes, walk out of the room — whatever it takes. Then give your dog attention and praise when they stop barking on their own. You should also be careful about using the crate as a way to punish barking; the crate should be a safe and happy place for your dog, not one that they associate with punishment.

Tip #3: Teach the “quiet” command.

To teach your dog “quiet,” approach them when they are calm and not barking, say “quiet,” and then offer a treat. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times a day. Then, when your dog is barking, wait for them to stop, say “quiet,” and then offer a treat. Repeat this whenever your dog barks. After a couple of weeks, you can begin using the “quiet” command to instruct your dog to stop barking. Be patient, though, and put in that early work. If you try to stop barking with the “quiet” command too soon, your dog is likely to get confused and think that you are actually rewarding them for making a ruckus.

RELATED STORY: Products To Improve Your Dog Training

Tip #4: Teach the “speak” command.

Once your dog knows the “quiet” command, you can teach the “speak” command. That’s right; we’re suggesting that you teach your excessively barking dog to bark. Sound crazy? What it actually does is teach your dog when barking is appropriate (which is when the command is given by you). It also gives you another way to reinforce the “quiet” command.

To teach “speak,” wait until your dog is barking, say “speak,” and then give them a treat. Repeat this as often as necessary until your pal learns the command.

Tip #5: Talk to your veterinarian about alternative methods.

If your dog is barking due to severe anxiety, your veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medications. You can also ask your veterinarian about herbal anti-anxiety food drops and citronella collars which release an unpleasant odor when your dog barks.

Do you have a dog who barks excessively? Tell us your story below, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more.

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6 Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog or Cat

 

As cuddly as your pet may be, there are a few sicknesses that can spread from felines or canines to humans and it helps to be careful. Any infection that can spread from an animal to a human is referred to as “zoonotic.” Here are the details, and how to protect both your pet and your family from these diseases.

1. Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis in an infection caused by salmonella bacteria; it can infect cats, dogs, and spread to people. Dogs and cats who are immune-compromised, or who are very old or very young, are most at risk of picking up this gastro-intestinal distressing bug.

Feeding your pet raw or undercooked meat can cause the infection, or they can catch the disease from another sick animal. If your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea, then thorough cleaning, disinfecting, and hand-washing are all important precautions you can take to prevent the spread of the bacteria.

2. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis, a parasite, is problematic for those with compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy. “Don’t clean the litterbox!” many an obstetrician has told pregnant patients who are cat-parents.

Although millions are infected and don’t even know it, Toxoplasmosis is most known to humans due to the increased risk it poses to pregnant women in the form of miscarriage or birth defects to the fetus.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Truth About Toxoplasmosis in Cats

3. Cat Scratch Fever

You might have heard of Cat Scratch Fever due to the popularity of the Ted Nugent song by the same name. Also known as Cat Scratch Disease, Cat Scratch Fever is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans from the saliva of infected cats. While mostly asymptomatic in cats, swollen lymph nodes are the main symptom of the disease in people.

Cat Scratch Fever is normally mild and resolves on its own, although it’s possible to experience other symptoms such as a slight fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, rash, sore throat, or general malaise. To keep your cat from being infected, make sure you use a good flea preventative, since cats catch the disease from fleas.

 RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Common Skin Issues in Dogs, and When to Worry

4. Roundworm

Roundworms are parasites that can infect a dog or cat’s intestinal tract and cause malnourishment as the parasites consume the pet’s food and block the intestines. Diarrhea is the most common symptom as roundworms latch onto the intestines. When the worms travel through the lungs and throat, dogs and cats can exhibit coughing.

If your pet shows symptoms, take them to the vet to get diagnosed and treated with a deworming medication. If transmitted to humans, most cases of roundworm won’t cause severe symptoms.

RELATED ARTICLE: Parasites and Worms in Dogs and Cats

5. Hookworm

Hookworms are intestinal parasites that feed off of your pet’s blood. Prevention is easy! Keep your pet on a once-monthly preventative medication like Heartgard to prevent hookworm, heartworm, and other parasites. There are some great treatments out there for hookworms if your dog or cat is already infected.

While hookworm in humans is uncommon and generally clears up on its own, it can cause an itchy skin disease called “creeping eruption” (ew!)

RELATED ARTICLE: How Parasite And Worm Treatment Works

6. Ringworm

Scaly or inflamed circular bald patches on your dog or cat can signal ringworm, which is actually a fungal infection. While it’s not technically serious, ringworm is highly contagious and should be treated immediately to avoid infecting other pets or people.

Has your pet ever come down with a yucky infection and then given it to you? Let us know in the comments! Prevent and treat infections by signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more.

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How To Pick The Perfect Pet Name


Bringing a pet home for the first time is one of life’s greatest joys. To prepare for your new pal’s arrival, you’ll need to select food, toys, a veterinarian, household supplies, and oh yes, a name! The sooner you begin using your buddy’s new name, the sooner they’ll learn it and start feeling right at home. So how does one come up with a good pet name? Check out these useful tips.

General Tips For Choosing A Pet Name

When it comes time to choose a pet name, consider these basic guidelines:

  • Pick a name that your pet will easily understand. One or two syllable names tend to be the best.
  • Avoid names that sound similar to command words. The name “Bo” might be too close to “No,” for example.
  • Avoid names that sound like the names of other people or animals living in the house. Is your son named Jack? Don’t name your dog Max.
  • Don’t change the name of a shelter pet or pre-owned pet. Trying to a force a new name on your pal may confuse them and make them feel anxious.

RELATED STORY: How To Adopt A Dog Or Cat: Every Question Answered

How To Come Up With A Pet Name

Ready to start brainstorming names? Need a little inspiration? Here are some ideas:

Pull From Pop Culture
Are you a movie buff? TV fanatic? Music enthusiast? Bona fide bookworm? Why not take inspiration from your favorite form of entertainment? If you’re a David Bowie fan, you could name your furball Ziggy. Do you love the Star Wars movies? How about the names Obi, Yoda, or Leia? The possibilities are endless when you look to what you love.

Answer The Call Of Nature
Nature is filled with loads of lovely names for pets. If you have a fluffy Chow Chow dog, you could name them Bear! Or how about a gray kitten named Pigeon? There are plenty of great flower and plant names, too. We like Aster, Quince, Fig, and Tulip.

Explore Other Cultures
Consider your breed’s heritage when choosing a name. Do you have a German Shepherd or German Pinscher? Check out some German human names, such as Wendel or Bamey. Bringing home a Persian cat? Look up Persian names like Gita, Ebi, and Lila.

Pick From The Most Popular
Looking for a name that is a guaranteed winner? These are the top dog and cat names of 2013 according to Vetstreet.com.

Top 5 Female Puppy Names:
1. Bella
2. Daisy
3. Lucy
4. Molly
5. Sadie

Top 5 Male Puppy Names:
1. Max
2. Buddy
3. Charlie
4. Rocky
5. Cooper

RELATED STORY: The Most Popular Dog Breeds

Top 5 Female Kitten Names:
1. Bella
2. Lucy
3. Kitty
4. Luna
5. Chloe

Top 5 Male Kitten Names:
1. Oliver
2. Max
3. Tiger
4. Charlie
5. Simba

RELATED STORY: The Top Cat Breeds In The U.S.

Once you choose a name for your pet, start using it right away, but only when you want to get your pet’s attention. If you use it too often at first — for example, in conversations with your significant other – your pet may simply think it’s just another common word.

When you do use your pet’s name, offer them praise, attention, and treats when they look at you. Eventually, your pet will recognize their name and you can stop rewarding every acknowledgement.

How did you come up with your pet’s name? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more.

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How to Make a Great First Impression on a Dog

 

It’s a common tactic to try to decode a pet’s body language, but what if we want to talk back? How does the way we hold and carry ourselves communicate to a dog we don’t know well? Here are a few tips to get your messages across loud and clear, without saying a word.

1. Keep your hands to yourself.

When meeting a dog for the first time, it might feel natural to extend your hand, whether it’s to let the dog sniff it or to offer a friendly pat on the head. However, many dogs, and especially a dog who isn’t familiar with you, would really rather you kept your hands to yourself because extending your hand can be perceived as an invasion of space or an act of aggression.

Instead, let the dog come to you and sniff at their leisure. Dogs love to sniff hello, so just relax and let it happen.

RELATED ARTICLE: Reading Dog Body Language

2. Avert your eyes.

When you look a dog in the eyes, they perceive it as a sign of hostility or an attempt to dominate them. If you’ve ever tried to make eye contact with a dog, you might notice that they look away. They are either being polite or submissive to your gaze. It’s best to give the dog the once over without locking eyes.

3. Pet strategically.

While it’s normal to think dogs don’t mind a pat on the head, it’s not quite right, especially as you’re getting to know a dog. As your hand travels above their eyes and out of sight, many dogs start to feel pretty nervous. Instead, keep your hands in plain view, and pet a pup where they can turn their head and see your hand. Many dogs enjoy a good scratch on the rump.

RELATED ARTICLE: 20 Dog Commands You Need to Know

4. Get on your forearms to play.

If you know a dog’s owner well enough to engage in some physical play with their pup, then ask permission first just to rule out the chance their dog has some issues with aggression or rough behavior. If it’s okay, then get down on your forearms with your tush in the air. This is the signal for “Let’s play!” in the dog world. Get ready to rumble!

How do you communicate with your pet? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more. 

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Dogs Can Do Math

 

People often think that dogs are not capable of reasoned thinking, but recent studies prove that many dogs are capable of fantastic feats. One of the more miraculous tasks dogs are now undertaking happens to also be taught in schools to children across the globe — math!

While these dogs are not learning how to calculate the hypotenuse of an isosceles triangle, or how to solve for X, they are surprising handlers with their ability to perform some basic arithmetic (albeit VERY basic).

Meet Poco, The Counting Labrador

Poco is a Black Lab with one of these exceptional skills — he can count. And though he can only count to five, for a canine that is still a pretty remarkable feat. Poco shows off his ability through a modified game of fetch.

How it works is his handler holds out up to five identical toys, shows Poco how many toys he has, and tosses them all across the yard. Once the toys are all strewn out, Poco begins the hunt, bringing back one toy at a time. “Poco, fetch!” says Poco’s handler every time he returns with a toy, and Poco heads back out to search for another toy. Once the number of toys is reached, the handler repeats the command “Poco, fetch!” to which Poco replies with a knowing bark, signifying that all the toys have been collected.

So, if the handler tosses out three toys, the fourth time he says “Poco, fetch!” Poco responds by heeling and barking “No more toys, dummy!” proving that Poco can, in fact, count up to five.

Doggies Doing Math

In another study, dogs were given a test similar to one given to infants, used to determine whether babies are capable of grasping basic arithmetic. Pinning itself on the principle of “preferential viewing,” or that we have a tendency to focus longer on something unexpected, in this test, the expected would be 1+1=2, and the unexpected being 1+1=1 or 1+1=3.

The test works like so:

The experimenter shows the dog a treat on the table. He then puts up a screen, blocking the treat from view. Then, he shows the dog a second treat, placing it down beside the first treat, still out of view. Finally, he removes the screen.

The test (or trick, depending on how you look at it) comes into play when the results are revealed. Sometimes, behind the curtain there are the two treats, side by side, just like one would rightfully infer. No surprise there. Other times, just one treat would be there, causing the dog to stare more intently, as if to question, “What happened to the second treat?” Or, in some tests, the curtain will be removed to reveal three treats, causing the dog to focus in the same way, asking, “Where did that extra treat come from?”

The fact that the dogs responded to the test in much the same way as babies shows that they have a capacity for understanding the basic principles for addition. Not exactly groundbreaking, but for a dog, still pretty impressive.

Source: Modern Dog Magazine — Mutts Doing Math: Not So Far Fetched

PetPlus is a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more.  

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5 Ways To Cure Your Cat’s Boredom

 


Many people assume that cats are independent creatures who have little need for stimulation. The reality is that cats are social and complex animals who can bore just as easily as dogs, and if left with nothing to zap their energy or exercise their minds, they may become anxious, aggressive, or destructive. Whether you are looking for ways to occupy your cat when you’re away from the house or activities that will reduce attention-seeking behaviors when you are home, check out these five cures for a bored cat.

1. Rotate Stimulating Toys

Has your cat’s fuzzy mouse been collecting dust in the corner for a week? Has their squeaky bird fallen silent under the sofa? The best way to keep your cat engaged with and stimulated by their toys is to switch them out regularly and introduce new toys when you can. In addition, you should save your cat’s favorite toys for times when you really want to keep them occupied; for example, if you have to be out of the house for several hours or need some uninterrupted time at home. Look for toys that will tap into your cat’s desire to hunt, and consider trying a puzzle toy that will require your cat to problem solve in order to catch their “prey.” You can even make your own puzzle toy at home out of a cardboard box — check out our DIY instructable!

RELATED STORY: 14 Essential Products For Every Cat Parent

2. Cat Scratchers and Condos

Cat scratchers and condos are two of the most popular products purchased by cat parents, and for good reason; they satisfy two of a cat’s natural instincts: their desire to scratch, and their desire for privacy and security. Cat scratchers keep your cat from shredding the sofa or drapes by giving them a surface especially designed for nail dragging, and cat condos offer your cat a cozy place to curl up. Try making your own scratchers and condos at home, and if your cat gets bored of those after a while, make new ones! After all, variety is the spice of life.

3. Captivating Critters

Cats love to watch animals, whether it’s other cats, dogs, squirrels, birds, or fish. Give your cat a show that will last for hours by setting up a bird or squirrel feeder outside of their favorite window. An aquarium filled with fish can also fascinate your cat; just make sure to set it up in a safe place where your cat won’t be able to go fishin’ or accidentally tumble in.

RELATED STORY: Crack The Cat Language Barrier: Learn To Understand Your Cat

4. Meow-Worthy Media

Have you ever caught your kitty peeking over your shoulder at the TV? Or maybe your feline’s furry ears perk up when the radio turns on? Just like people and dogs, cats are often amused by television and tunes, and if left alone, having some visual or auditory stimulation can ease their anxiety, too. There are even DVDs on the market made especially for cats that include videos of animals such as rodents, birds, and fish.

5. Wear Them Out With A Walk

A tired cat is less likely to be bored, and one way to wear your cat out is by taking them on a walk. Yes, that’s right; plenty of felines have learned the satisfaction that comes from taking a stroll, and yours can too. All you’ll need is a leash, a cat harness, and an ID tag. It may take a little practice to get your cat used to walking on a leash — and used to the great outdoors if they’ve always been an indoor cat — but with consistency and tasty treats, your cat will eventually hit their stride.

How do you cure your cat’s boredom? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more. 

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4 Must-Read Twitter Feeds of Hilarious Cats

I’m lucky. My husband works from home, so when I wonder what our cat, Vera, is up to, I can easily find out. The answer is usually that Vera is napping in a sunbeam, although sometimes my husband will catch her staring forlornly at the refrigerator in hopes of wet food, or running maniacally up and down a long hallway in our apartment for no apparent reason.

RELATED STORY: Find the Right Cat for Your Personality

Even with my knowledge of her daily activities, Vera remains somewhat impenetrable, in that way of cats. If she knew how to use Twitter, I’d love to read Vera’s 140-character updates to find out what she’s thinking. Fortunately, I can turn to these four cat tweeters to satisfy my urge to know the deep thoughts of felines:

@sockington: Perhaps the first of the cat tweeters? Sending 140-character bulletins from Waltham, MA.

@angrykittysays: The musings of an opinionated and sometimes grumpy cat.

 

@ChoupettesDiary: The tweets of Karl Lagerfeld’s cat.

 

@HenriLeChatNoir: The musings of an existential cat.

 

 

RELATED STORY: Best Creative Cat Toys

So those are some my favorites! Do you know of any good pet twitter handles? Leave a comment below and let us know! Consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more. Check it out at PetPlus.com

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One Woman’s Mission To Help Homeless And Needy Pets

Financial hardship doesn’t only affect people; it affects their pets, too. Lynn Molnar realized this back in October 2011 when she noticed people around her struggling to keep their pets and began hearing stories of abandoned pets.

“I remember being at the dog park and a woman who was a realtor came in with her dog, and she shared a story about going to a house to look at it and finding a Golden Retriever abandoned inside,” Lynn said. “I think this was the clincher for me, because I have a Golden Retriever, and I know how much they love and want to be a part of a family. I couldn’t imagine the anguish that dog went through to be left alone, then my heart turned toward the people — imagine their pain, their fear, their tears.”

Lynn decided to start Thankful Paws. Thankful Paws is a pet food bank located in Bel Air, Maryland that serves financially needy people, with a priority given to veterans, the homeless, and the elderly. Thankful Paws delivers pet food and supplies once a month to homes and a homeless resource center.

“Anyone is eligible if they fall within the Federal Poverty Guidelines,” Lynn said. “But we are small and deliver food personally, and try to keep our client base to the elderly, veterans, and the homeless. We help those we can. The first year we were in full operation, we delivered 12 tons of pet food. Last year that number jumped to 20 tons! The need is great!”

Paw Sign

 


Fulfilling The Needs

When delivering to homes, Lynn and her team take food right up to the door. Because delivery is once a month, they try to offer a month’s worth of food and supplies. When delivering to the homeless resource center, the provided supplies are based on a sign-up sheet where homeless pet owners can list what they need.
“Homeless populations go through leashes and collars at a much faster rate than non-homeless because of the constant wear-and-tear,” Lynn said. “We usually bring a big box of such supplies and let them take whatever they need. I believe in totally respecting a homeless person. Can you imagine living in a tent with your dog — rain, snow, heat? It would be so easy to abandon the dog and go to a shelter, but many take the harder way because of love. We serve them because of love, too.”

In doing this work, Lynn has seen some extraordinary compromises made by financially needy pet parents.

“Last year, an elderly woman shared with me that before we came to deliver food, she stopped taking her medicine because she couldn’t afford the medicine and cat food,” Lynn said. “Now, she is healthy and so is her cat! It may seem like a small thing – cat food – to but some it is like bars of gold!”


Most of the food and supplies that Lynn delivers come from PetValu, a pet food and supply store. Thankful Paws also receives donations from the Maryland Food Bank and individuals. While food donations are great, Lynn says that Thankful Paws is in need of financial donations, too.

“We are growing and need to hire staff,” Lynn said. “So far it has been all volunteer, but the workload is too demanding and we need a warehouse, trucks, and some paid positions. In the first quarter of 2014 we already picked up 7 tons of food!”

The Value of Giving Back

Despite all of the hard work, Lynn says that her job brings her tremendous joy. As a pet parent herself, she is familiar with the unique love that pet parents feel for their pets, as well as the value that a pet can bring to your life. She has a cat named Happy and a Golden Retriever named Hero.

 

“I knew early on that something was special about Hero, and it taught me that universal love — the unconditional love of a dog — is something we all need. People need love and to be accepted. People should do that for one another, but somehow we are forgetting to do so. Dogs represent that love and never judge us and always welcome us. We can learn a lot from dogs!”

Just last week, Lynn put those beliefs into practice when she saw a homeless man standing on a median with his dog. She stopped her car and talked to the man, and found that he’d fallen on hard times. She offered him a bag of dog food and a box of Milk Bones that she had in her car for Hero.

“After I left him and I was waiting for the traffic light to change, one of the man’s homeless friends came over to him and asked about the bag of dog food,” Lynn said. “I couldn’t hear everything, but what I did hear warmed my heart. He said to his friend, ‘I don’t know, this lady came out of nowhere and gave me the bag.’ That’s all I could hear. The light changed and Hero and I went home. I chuckled to myself, ‘this lady came of nowhere…’ I kind of felt like a superhero for a minute.”


We definitely think that Lynn is a superhero, and to thank her for all that she does, we are giving her a free trial of PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more.

If you want to support Thankful Paws, head over to the website to make a donation or volunteer: http://www.thankfulpaws.org

 

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7 Ways to Puppy-Proof Your Summer BBQ

Summer parties are a blast, and what better way to introduce your dog to your clan and friends than hosting a BBQ? To make sure everyone stays safe and has fun, here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Create a Puppy-Only Lounge

Dogs need a lot of sleep, and it’s exhausting to get passed around all day long. Make sure there’s a VIP spot your pup can retreat to when he needs a time out; create your set-up so that your dog may be gated away from the festivities when he needs to rest.

RELATED STORY: Create a Special Space for Your Dog

2. Keep a Dog’s Eye View When Setting Up

Imagine what this party is going to look like from your dog’s point of view, and set up accordingly. Don’t place hors d’oeuvres on end tables, coffee tables, or anywhere else that’s within reach of the dog. Resist the urge to use candles, especially on low tables where a tail-wag could knock a candle over, or on a table with a tablecloth in case the dog ever decided to climb or pull on it.

3. “Don’t Feed the Dog!”

Spread the word far and wide: Do Not Feed the Dog. There are too many people foods that are poisonous for dogs, and besides, many pet parents don’t want their dog to learn obnoxious begging behavior by being fed people food at every turn. It’s a great idea to place a sign on the food table telling guests not to feed your pet so that you don’t have to nag.

RELATED STORY: The Most Poisonous Foods for Dogs

4. Puppy-Gate the Grill

Avoid painful burns by keeping your dog away from the grill. All that sizzling food smells delicious, but spare your dog from splatters by making sure he can’t get near a hot grill, bon fire, or other cooking surfaces.

5. Lifeguard Your Pup

It’s a common mistake to think that all dogs are strong swimmers. Drowning accidents are quite common amongst pets, so be sure to supervise the pup around the pool.

RELATED STORY: 5 Tips for Dog Safety Around the Home

6. Watch the Dog Around Kids

Dogs and kids just seem to go together, except when they don’t. Some kids can get a little too rough around pets. Likewise, many dogs might bite when provoked by behavior that’s perceived as aggressive or unpredictable. Make sure an adult keeps an eagle eye on the situation anytime kids and pets mix.

7. Bus the Tables

Parties are really fun for dogs, especially when food scraps are left unattended! Make sure you have a crystal clear system for bussing the tables and making sure leftover food isn’t left where the dog can nab it. Clear scraps immediately, and also don’t let trash overflow.

How do you plan on enjoying the warmer weather with your pet? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus to save on your pet’s medications, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

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5 Ways To Make Your Senior Pet More Comfortable

Senior pets are special pets. By the time your pal reaches their golden years, they’ll have exhausted most of their high energy and will be content to lounge around the house, take easy-going walks, and curl up by your side. Basically, senior pets are big-time sweethearts, and you can love them back by making the final years of their life as comfortable as they can be.

In addition to special foods or supplements that your veterinarian may recommend, there are a number of accessories that can help your senior pet live a more comfortable life. Let’s take a look.

1. A Better Bed



Senior pets snooze away a large portion of each day, and because they spend so much time catching zzz’s, their resting spot should be as comfortable as possible. Consider a bed with bolstered sides that will support your pet’s back and give them a sense of security, or a soft plush bed that will cushion their joints and bones.

2. Elevated Eating (And Drinking)



Adjustable, elevated food and water bowls
make it so that your pet doesn’t have to bend, thus reducing stress to the joints and neck. Elevated food bowls also aid in digestion because food moves more easily down your pet’s esophagus when their head is upright.

3. A Step Up


Because of sore joints and bones, senior pets sometimes have a hard time jumping off or onto furniture. In addition, jumping can further damage already worn out joints. A set of pet steps will keep your pet from jumping while allowing them to still join you where you are.

4. Bathroom Accident Aids


Aging pets need to use the bathroom more frequently, and they may even become incontinent and have regular accidents. Your pet doesn’t like it any more than you do, so don’t get frustrated. Instead, think about purchasing some supplies that will give your pal more chances to “go” and ease your cleanup, too. Wee pads and diapers (disposable or washable) are both great options. For cats, you may also want to consider a ramped litter box that makes it easy for your cat to get in and out.
RELATED STORY: 8 Reasons For Cat Incontinence And Out-Of-Litter Box Messes

5. Balancing Booties

Sometimes, dogs with joint problems end up splay-legged on slippery surfaces, like the floor of the waiting room at the vet’s office. Help your pal to stand up straight with booties that are worn over the feet and have non-slip bottoms. In addition to helping your pet keep their balance, booties also protect your pet’s feet from heat, cold, and foreign materials.

How do you help your senior pet feel comfortable? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus to save on your pet’s medications, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

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