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Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal: Which is Which?

You’ve probably noticed someone with a seeing eye dog, or seen the signs on the doors of businesses, “Service Animals Only”. These aren’t the only types of animals that can help their human friends, though; emotional support dogs, or ESDs, can be recommended by mental health practitioners to help with an array of mental or psychological conditions. Both service dogs and ESDs are used for specific purposes; the differences lie not only in their functions, but in their training and legal statuses as well. 

Service Dogs

Function

A typical service dog will be trained to help with physical or neurological conditions. They often assist people who are blind, deaf, unable to walk unassisted, diabetic, prone to severe epilepsy, or those who suffer from certain obsessive-compulsive disorders. If the service dog was trained to guide someone who’s blind or deaf, then their most important work would be done out of the house, as they’re responsible for interpreting the world for their owners. For other conditions, such as diabetes or epilepsy, the dog would be trained to sense when there’s a severe drop in blood sugar, or when a seizure is about to happen. In these cases, the dog would know to bring the medication that could prevent a medical emergency. Service dogs can even be trained to bring a phone when it sees certain things happen, like if their owner is conscious but unable to get up. 

Training Process

Each service dog has been trained for a specific purpose, in compliance with set certification procedures. If someone needs a service dog for a condition that’s not severe, then they could train a dog themselves, but most service dogs are trained by an agency. They go through a selection process that determines their aptitude for the job, and then go on to work closely with their handlers for at least a year. The length of the training depends on what skill the dog is learning. In the case of guiding a deaf person, for example, the dog has to be trained to see the world almost as a human would, and then to alert their owner with the appropriate cues. This kind of training involves filtering massive amounts of information in a way that’s foreign to its instincts, which would take quite some time to learn. Just one missed signal could put the owner in a life-threatening situation, so it’s important for the handlers to be thorough.

In some cases, someone might be able to get their service dog early, before it’s been fully trained. For people who have used service dogs their whole life, it can be better to skip some of the wait time and finish the training themselves. While this could make the first year or so with the new animal a little trickier, it can also strengthen the bond between the two. 

Legal Recognition

Service dogs are all certified according to the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the ADA, if the person with the service dog is allowed to enter a public or private area, then so can the dog. This means that they can go into restaurants, houses or apartments with no-pet policies, and even accompany their owners onto planes. For the people who got their service animal through an agency, the certification is already taken care of; if someone did the training themselves, then it’s up to them to apply for certification. 

Emotional Support Dogs

Function

Make no mistake – emotional support dogs do a lot more than just help you when you’re feeling “emotional”. They’re like the yin to service dogs’ yang. Instead of helping with primarily physical disabilities, ESDs support people who have psychological or cognitive conditions. Anyone who’s been diagnosed with autism, PTSD, anxiety disorders, bipolar or personality disorders, learning disorders, or depression might benefit from an emotional support dog. For some people, it’s as simple as needing something to love and take care of – a dog with the right characteristics could be responsible for lifting someone out of deep depression. Or, an ESD could be the calming influence that consistently pulls someone out of their flashbacks or nightmares. Some people are actually debilitated by their mood disorders, and their emotional support dog is the only thing that pulls them back to the life that they want. Maybe someone could just have a lot of generalized anxiety, and they choose to manage it with a dog instead of medication. 

Training Process

Emotional service dogs are generally trained by their owners. Since they have to match personalities as well as their responses to their owners’ issues, it’s more common for someone to choose their own dog when it’s young, and train it as it grows. Most of the training is just house-training, but to a fairly high standard; most ESDs are also taught to respond when their owner’s condition worsens in any way. Some dogs will place their paw on the person’s chest, or get them to sit down and lay their head on the person’s shoulder. They may simply snuggle up next to their owner to show empathy. Beyond house-training, the way in which the ESDs respond to their owners is up to the individual.

Legal Recognition

The ADA doesn’t recognize emotional support dogs in the same way as service dogs. Any establishment can refuse entry to ESDs, unless the owner is using an airline, or applying for a house or apartment. Even though very few businesses are legally obligated to let your emotional support dog enter, some of them still will. The key here is to make sure that you have proof of your dog being an ESD, and not just a pet. All you need is a letter from your mental health practitioner, stating what your diagnosis is, and how the dog helps you. 

Sometimes when modern medicine falls short, dogs can step in to fill the gap. Next time you see a service dog or ESD, you’ll know just how much they do for the person who takes care of them. 


The National Service Animal Registry has been helping animals help people since 1995. They provide information and services related to emotional support animals and service dogs.

Don’t make these six silly pet owners’ mistakes

“A man’s perfect companion never has fewer than four feet!” is a universal truth which no one can deny. Having a canine companion can be one of the best life experiences if the owner knows how to be a good pet parent in the first place. You have to understand that the pet isn’t just a recreational object you brought home for “fun” and that being responsible while looking after your furr-iend is of utmost importance. 

While getting home a beloved pet, you should take care of a few basic affairs in order to give your newest family member a happy and fulfilling life. It is your responsibility to get the best of everything the pet requires. Pets are considered amongst the most precious possessions, so getting insurance for your pet which covers the medical care it needs should seem as important as getting your diamond necklace insured. You can easily check pet insurance cost on the internet and choose the deal which suits you best. While a lot of new pet owners end up making few mistakes while raising their pets due to lack of knowledge, it is understandable that the mistakes were unintentional. Here’s a list of silly mistakes you should avoid if you’re about to get home a pawed member: 

  1. Visiting the vet only when your pet is having an ailment – You need to understand that your dog or cat cannot talk, hence it will not be able to tell you if it feels under the weather one fine morning. Just like us, pets too need regular check-ups. Only visiting the vet when your pet is ill can cause a lot of health related troubles. Always remember, prevention is better than cure. 
  1. Feeding the pet more than it can digest – We understand that you love your pet, but that doesn’t mean you’ll cause trouble to its health! A lot of time, pet owners don’t know where to draw the line and over-feed the pet out of “love”. A responsible pet owner should not be tempted by the idea of treats every now and then, just like the pet. Maintaining a healthy diet is important because you don’t want your pet to suffer from obesity and other health issues. 
  1. Neglecting vaccination and ligation – Vaccines play the key role in ensuring a long pet life. Pet owners often underestimate the requirement of vaccination and that only ends up reducing the lifespan of the pet. They are prone to various bacteria, viruses, etc and vaccines help prevent them from contracting such disease causing germs. Similarly, neutering the pet is also important because it reduces the chance of genital cancer. If you don’t want to become a pet grandparent, get your pawed buddy neutered ASAP! 
  1. Not going out on walks – It isn’t only you who needs to be in good shape, your pet needs it too. Not taking out your pet for regular walks only end up causing a lot of health problems. The pet becomes fat, the hind-legs get affected, and it gradually becomes difficult for the pet to even move around in the house if it doesn’t go on regular walks. Further, it also leads to mood swings and bad temper because staying indoor all day long can make the pet feel claustrophobic.
  1. Not having a set of rules – Who doesn’t love a well-behaved pet? Someone who won’t shout at guests, someone who would know where to pee, someone who would not go around tearing all the slippers around the house! Having a set of rules and training/disciplining your dog in a home environment is as easy as it sounds. No, you won’t need a professional trainer for this. Since domestic pets are fast learners, they can easily pick up the set of rules if you are patient enough to train them by luring them with small treats. It will not only help you earn a good reputation as a pet parent, your house will also seem welcoming and friendly to visitors. 
  1. Neglecting pet-proof housing – A household preparing for a new pet should also know how to make the pet feel safe in it. Forgetting to pet-proof the house before getting a tailed member can wreak havoc. Many first time pet owners forget to take precautionary steps like keeping small, easily swallowed objects out of reach, having a proper lock in the front door, removing objects like shoe-polish, detergents, etc. from easily accessible places. Neglecting the process of pet-proofing can lead to poisoning, choking, etc. and even destruction of household items. 

These are few of the most common mistakes made by pet owners, causing a lot of health issues to the pet and you definitely don’t want to commit one. In the end, a pet owner should always remember what will be best for the pet and give them a happy and wholesome life.

5 Ways To Take Great Selfies With Your Pets

Every year, the average person takes hundreds of selfies on their phones. They are taken with friends, with family members and even with pets. With the USA being home to tens of millions of pets, there is no shortage of pet selfies being taken and shared throughout the internet.

There are even online sites that can help you turn these pet selfies into great pieces of art. For example, Instapainting might be a great choice to consider. Of course, before any of that, you need to capture the photo. Unfortunately, getting them to sit still for a photo is never simple, so getting the perfect photo is easier said than done.

Thankfully, there are some ways to ensure they turn out good. With that in mind, here are 5 great ways to take awesome selfies with your pets.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Treats

When in doubt, using treats to get a pet to do what you want is a tried and true method. While it shouldn’t be solely relied on (as proper training is often preferred), it can work in a pinch, especially when you want to get some selfies. Simply showing your pet that you have a treat should get them to come right to you and do what you want.

In addition to treats, you could also consider using toys. For example, if you (or someone else) holds up a toy behind the camera, you can often better control the gaze of your pet. This can be a double-edged sword, however, as they also might want to go and play instead of sit and take pictures. Either way, it is worth a try if you are struggling to keep the focus of your pet.

Do it When They Are Calm or Tired

We have all been around calm pets, and we have all been around ones that are going a little wild. There is a good chance that 10 out of 10 times you will choose trying to take a picture with the calm one. A pet that is all over the place and full of energy will be next to impossible to get a good selfie with.

If your pet is hardly ever calm or relaxed, consider tiring it out first. A nice little bit of playing or a long walk is often the perfect recipe for a tired dog. When the dog is tired out, it will generally be more willing to work with you on taking a few pictures. Of course, be sure to do it quickly to ensure they can get back to resting after all of the playing they just did.

Make Sure They Are Comfortable

When taking pictures with your pet, it will be far easier to do it when they are comfortable. If you try and force them into a certain pose or position, it could make them less than excited and could agitate them. In addition to being simply a good thing to do, if your pet is comfortable, they will likely put up less resistance to getting their picture taken.

If you do what the pet does, instead of forcing it to do what you do, it becomes much easier to get the best photo possible. If they are laying down, go take a picture with them there rather than picking them up and trying to get one of your holding them. Make it as easy as possible for them, and you will often be rewarded with a fantastic selfie.

Be Patient

Patience is important when trying to get a good photo. It takes time to focus the camera and to make sure both you and the pet are in the frame. Also, ensuring your pet is looking at the camera and looking presentable can be a journey in and of itself. Patience isn’t always easy, but it is a key when it comes to getting that perfect shot.

The attention span of your dog or cat is likely much less than you, so they will be unable to focus as long as you will. Because of this, you need to be patient. Don’t get upset or frustrated at your pet simply because they want to play. Of course, if your pet simply isn’t in the mood and isn’t willing to work with you even after trying for some time, it’s best to simply try again in a few hours or another day.

Consider Using Natural Light

One of the most important things of taking a great selfie, whether with your pet or not, is the lighting. You want lighting that is flattering, but still bright enough to illuminate the subjects of the photo. While artificial light has gotten pretty good, nothing beats natural light. It is soft, not distracting and can often make you look much better.

In addition to making sure the photo looks good, using natural light is better for your pet. If you use a ton of artificial lighting, or a bright and jarring flash, it can hurt your pet’s eyes, as well as scare or startle them.

In conclusion, the tips included in this blog post will help make sure that the selfies you take with your pet are high-quality and come out just the way you want them.

What’s A Good Lazy Dog To Buy?

Are you a dog-lover who is longing for the companionship of a dog, but you don’t have a huge garden for a dog to run around in, and you know that you will not have enough time to take your dog out for lots of exercise? Then you may be wondering what’s a good lazy dog to buy. 

There is nothing to beat that tongue hanging out, tail wagging furiously, to greet you as you walk through the door after a long, hard day. Your dog will not be all sulky and grumpy because you left him alone at home all day while you went out to work. Dogs are the most forgiving creatures.

So what do you do if you are longing for that furry friend, but you can’t spend hours walking him every day? There is a simple solution – a lazy dog!

On PerfectDogBreeds.com, you can read about the many different breeds of dogs, but let us try to narrow this down for those of you who are looking for that perfect, but lazy pooch.

What’s a good lazy dog to buy?

Many big breeds are extremely calm and docile, and are happy with only a short walk around the block two or three times a day.

  1. The English BullDog may look fierce and angry, but nothing could be further from the truth. They love nothing more than lying around and doing absolutely nothing. They have a squashed up, flattened muzzle, a condition known as Brachycephaly. This often restricts their oxygen intake, resulting in a lack of energy and a need for lots of rest. 
  1. The Saint Bernard is the epitome of a gentle giant. They were originally bred for helping and guiding people through the Swiss Alps, making them highly energetic. But the breed has evolved over the years, and you are now more likely to find them curled up in front of the fire in your living room than frolicking in the snow outside. 
  1. The Great Dane, like the Saint Bernard, is really just an over-sized marshmallow. They are the most adorable, friendly dogs. Because of their enormous size, they can be prone to back problems, and sometimes develop painful bone deformities in their spinal column. Therefore they will often prefer a quiet, lazy life. 
  1. The Greyhound is a racing dog, so you may be wondering why he is considered to be a lazy dog. Well, precisely because a Greyhound is such a fast runner, he can only run short distances. Because they are so lean, and have very short, thin coats, they cannot tolerate very cold temperatures for long and need to be taken out only for short walks. 
  1. The Bernese Mountain Dog is an excellent choice if you are looking for a lazy dog. They are highly intelligent, and have a very faithful and loyal nature. They only need to be taken out for two or three walks a day. 

Of course there are also many smaller breeds of dogs. Let us look at a few lazy dogs that are smaller and therefore easier to manage if you live in a small apartment.

  1. The Maltese Poodle can occasionally be quite a frisky little pooch, but will usually love nothing better than to laze on the couch and doze the day away. Maltese poodles are easy to train, and only need a few short walks a day.
  1. The Shih Tzu adores being curled up on a lap. They are very quiet, calm dogs and don’t need much attention. Two short walks a day will be enough for them.
  1. The Pug, like the English Bulldog, is brachycephalic, with its little squished up face. Therefore it also has limited energy, due to restricted breathing, and will be a perfect lazy dog.
  1. The Chow Chow is an ideal family dog. They have a very loving and quiet nature, and are real ‘home bodies’. They will be quite happy indoors, with minimal exercise.
  1. The Pomeranian is a perfect example of a dog whose bark is worse than his bite. These little dogs are known for their loud yapping, but they don’t need to run around very much and will be quite content with a lazy, indoor lifestyle.

These are a few of the most popular breeds of lazy dogs. Any of these will be your ideal pet if you don’t have much time to devote to looking after it. However, it is important to remember that even the laziest dogs still need daily walks and a certain amount of exercise.

How To Become A Veterinarian

Becoming a vet requires a passion for animals and the determination to see it through. The process of becoming a vet is quite simple as long as you take some research to know how to go about it effortlessly.

In this article, we’ve compiled a simple guide on how you can become a vet.

  1. Research

Just as you would research any project that you wish to begin, you must research what it entails to become a vet. Researching a field of interest entails knowing the processes and passing expectations required.

By researching, you can also read widely about the different career paths that a vet can venture into. For example, food animal vets tackle illnesses in animals, while companion animal vets work to keep animals healthy in a private hospital setting. Food safety and inspection vets research to find animal diseases and prevention between humans and animals. Equine vets specialize in the medical treatment of horses, while research vets theoretically work to find new diagnoses and surgical techniques that can be operated on animals.

Researching these different paths will guide you regarding the steps you’ll need to become a vet.

  1. Obtain The Necessary Education

The path to education is neither uniform nor set. There are different educational paths you can take to becoming a vet such as veterinary continuing education. Such education provides the relevant courses that you need to pass and the practical assessments required.

For you to become a qualified vet, you need to pass the necessary academic courses. To help you out, find study methods that’ll increase your chances of passing, such as test and exam revision papers, extra classes enrolment, tutoring platforms, forming study groups with your colleagues, downloading study apps, and being attentive in your courses.

  1. Seek Additional Certifications

One can never get to a point where one believes that they learned all there is about a certain field. Fortunately, with information at our digital fingertips, you can find e-learning certifications to complement the necessary and additional education. By enrolling in these, you become more knowledgeable about animal care.

E-learning has the convenience of being able to choose courses that’ll fit into your schedule, and you can also learn at your own pace. Thus, you can choose courses that focus on the type of vet you wish to become.

  1. Interact With A Vet

Interacting with professionals can give you first-hand information about the field. While you obtain your education, you can discuss what you learn with a practicing vet. This way, you get to understand how the theory you’ve learned applies in real life.

You can write questions that you may ask and schedule a session with a vet. A professional can also provide information that isn’t found in the theoretic aspect of becoming a vet. For one, you can take into consideration the positive guidance that you may receive from a professional and include this in your journey to becoming a vet.

  1. Shadow A Vet

Having interacted with a vet, you can request a day that you can shadow them. Shadowing entails spending some time observing how the vet handles their animal patients.

This is important since practical observation can complement the theory and insight that you received, giving you an all-around take of what becoming a vet entails.

  1. Study Animals around You

If you keep animals in your home or have people who do, you can observe them and put what you’ve learned to practice. For example, if an animal is not feeling well, you can try diagnosing and measure what a professional vet would’ve diagnosed.

The advantage of having information at the tips of your fingers is that even if you don’t have animals around you to study, you can study them online. You simply have to search on a particular animal or breed, discover the various illnesses that they experience, the symptoms, and ways to diagnose these. You can also take animal quizzes that indicate the different types of animal behavior and its corresponding explanation.

  1. Enroll In Public Speaking Classes

Public speaking classes may help you flourish your career as a vet. The field entails having to interact with pet owners in an efficient, professional, and friendly manner. You also have to communicate with the animals in question since you have to calm them down and make them feel at ease as you tend to them.

Public speaking classes will help you sharpen skills of relaying appropriate messages in set tones and linguistic gesture. If you display characteristics of someone lacking in confidence when interacting with your clients, they may doubt your expertise regardless of how qualified and skilled you may be.

  1. Study a Business and Management Course

If you decide to take the path of becoming a private vet, you may need to understand how to run your business. You may be a skilled and qualified vet, but this doesn’t automatically mean you have the expertise to successfully run a business. You have to develop an interest in figuring out how a vet system efficiently works for quality services.

  1. Volunteer At An Animal Shelter

Volunteering at an animal shelter may give you the exposure you need to become comfortable with different types of animals. Spending an ample amount of time with animals may help you practice communicating with them and identifying a health issue.

Also, you should try to volunteer at different shelters rather than stick to a shelter that houses animals you’re already familiar with. For example, if you’re comfortable and knowledgeable about dogs, you should spend time with cats or reptiles. This is because, as a vet, you won’t only interact with animals that you’re used to and prefer. Thus, this pre-exposure may help your confidence when dealing with clients and their different pets.

Conclusion

Becoming a vet requires creativity and dedication. Other than obtaining the education and specifications required, you can read widely about the field, register for further certification with online-based courses, interact and shadow vets, as well as study animals around you.

Taking public speaking courses may also help you in terms of communicating with clients, and business management courses will be handy if you decide to start your own clinic.

Bringing Your Puppy Home- How To Make It A Welcoming Experience

Bringing your puppy home can be an exciting and unnerving experience. You can expect to feel apprehensive if it is your first time. The experience is often stressful for the dog as well. You will probably have to struggle with some challenges, though these are usually easy to resolve with the right approach and preparation. Everything boils down to making it a welcoming experience for the animal so that it feels comfortable and connected right from day one. Here are some useful tips that can help.

Prepare your family 

Raising a dog is a big commitment and requires several adjustments. Since your family is a part of the deal, make sure that they are just as prepared as you are. Prepare everyone before bringing the dog home. The most significant decision at this stage is about the choice of the primary caretaker because this member would be responsible for looking after all the needs of the animal, from feeding to walking, grooming, training, and more. If you want to train the pup professionally, seeing a professional in advance makes sense.  

Know the breed 

When you pick a dog, you decide to live with its imperfections. So it becomes important to know the breed and choose with care. For example, you may want to opt for a kid-friendly breed like GoldenDoodles if you have young children at home. Careful research about the prospective pet can make you comfortable and also ensures that you pick an animal that would blend with your family and lifestyle. You may also seek recommendations and advice from someone who owns the same breed. 

Stock up on supplies

Welcoming a dog home is as good as having a guest, though this one will be a part of your family for a lifetime. Before you get it home, stock up on supplies so that the dog gets everything it needs. Moreover, it would save you from frantic dashes to the store. The essential include food and water bowls, collar and leash, a crate, a bed, and some chew toys. You will also need dog food and some treats for training, but make sure that you get your vet’s advice before stocking it. Consider investing in dog gates if you want to block certain sections of your living space. Also, pick some odor-removing cleaners as you will need them till the pet is potty-trained.

Keep the first day pleasant yet low-key

When it comes to welcoming the dog home, the first interactions build the foundation of your relationship with the pet. Do not expect too much because a shy puppy or dog can be easily overwhelmed by a group of loud and excited strangers. The first few days should be pleasant yet low-key. Instruct the kids to maintain a distance and avoid inviting guests over until the pet settles in the new environment. Once things are sorted, you can start working on the animal’s routine and go ahead with training as well.

Your pet’s first experience at your home should be pleasant and comforting. It will make them bond easily with your family and ensure happy days ahead.

How To Choose Ruffwear For Your Pets

Whether you’re a new pet owner or an experienced pet parent, you need to learn how to choose the right performance gear for your pet’s needs. When it comes to performance gear, there are many options available that it can become confusing for first-time buyers. One of the most popular options is Ruffwear Canada due to its variety, durability, and comfort. 

Choosing the right Ruffwear can make a big difference as it’ll ensure your pet’s satisfaction. Thus, you have to make sure that you buy what your dog needs so that they’re comfortable and happy.

Here’s how to choose a Ruffwear for your pet:

  1. Decide What Type Of Ruffwear Best Suits Your Pet

Before choosing a Ruffwear, it’s important to understand its purpose. This can help you make a better decision when it comes to the kind of supplies you should buy.

Once you know what you want, you need to consider how many dogs you have and how big they are. This will help you narrow down your options as well as give you a better idea of which products will fit your dogs’ needs. You also want to pay attention to how much exercise and playtime your pet gets. Take note that some breeds require a lot of exercises, while others require little playtime to keep them active.

The other important factor to consider is the weather since tough weather will need different materials to help ensure your pet is comfortable.

  1. Pick A Style And A Design

When buying a Ruffwear, check the different styles and designs that they have available. The great thing about shopping online for a Ruffwear is the fact that you have a number of different options. While there are several popular styles, such as leather, micro-bristle, studded collar, and choker collars, the choice boils down to you and your dog’s personality.

The classic, traditional collar style can work well for most dogs. Most collars come with adjustable buckles that allow you to adjust the size and the length of the collar to suit your dog. There are also some collars that come with removable buttons or a snap fastener. The collar itself can come in either one or two layers of material, which is made from either leather or nylon. Many of these collars have a loop around the front or at the back to hold the collar securely on your dog.

A micro-bristle collar is a great option for those who don’t have a lot of time to walk their dog. Micro-bristle collars are great for dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors and can be removed whenever you need to go out. This collar is perfect for large breeds or for long walks. It’s also a popular option for training purposes.

  1. Pick The Right Materials

Make sure that you get something that’s made of materials that won’t cause any discomfort to your dog when they wear it. Additionally, pay attention to how they fit your dog because if they’re too small, they won’t be comfortable or appealing, and if they’re too big, they might fall off your dog, too. 

Leather is undoubtedly the most popular material. This is because it’s sturdy, and also very stylish. Leather is also durable to handle the rough and tumble world that some dogs go through. This means that you won’t have to replace your collar as frequently. However, they’re quite expensive when compared to other kinds of materials.

Another popular material is nylon because it doesn’t cost as much as leather. Thus, this is a great alternative for those who don’t want to worry about spending a large amount of money and who don’t want to compromise on their dog’s safety. However, nylon is not suitable as the primary material of a dog collar on dogs that are going to be left outside in harsh weather conditions. This is because nylon breaks down faster than leather

  1. The Size Of Your Pet

To ensure that you can use your Ruffwear for a very long time, make sure that it’s in the correct size. The two things that you need to know about your dog’s size is the collar and harness. 

To size your dog for a harness, find the ideal size for the particular breed of dog that you have. You want to take into consideration not only the general physical characteristics that your dog has but also how your dog’s head and neck are shaped.

The shoulders should fit closely together with an overhang between them that can go below the belly-button area. You should also make sure that the dog’s chest is not hanging out or drooping as this will cause the dog difficulty breathing. The back should also be comfortable with no slouching or bending as this can cause discomfort for your pet.

  1. Decide If You Want A Dog Collar Or A Harness

The best way to determine between a dog collar and harness is to look at the function of each one. A dog collar is used for both training and protection purposes. It has a buckle that can be released when the leash is removed or when the dog has finished a command.

On the other hand, a harness is much simpler. It’s simply worn around the chest or around the waist, either one at a time or with one in each hand. It’s designed not to restrain the animal, but to hold the animal while the owner walks. Some harnesses also have a loop for the leash, although this is optional. A harness doesn’t usually have any other attachment aside from its buckle. Still, some are available with an attached harness fastener and bags to hold equipment in.

When deciding between a dog collar and harness, keep in mind the safety of the animal in your care and the comfort of your dog. If you’re in the market for a collar, remember that harnesses tend to be more comfortable for the dog than collars. This may seem obvious, but there are so many types of collars available for dogs today that most owners don’t realize the comfort level they have in choosing a harness over a collar.

Pet accessories concept. Dry food, collars and rubber toys for pet.

Always Think About Safety

Take note that there are many brands that can be found in the market, but some of them will purposely try to sell you dog supplies that are low-quality. This is because they may not care about their actual product as they only want to earn money. Therefore, always make sure you’re checking for the quality. 

That’s why it’s important to buy from a reputable website or shop. When you buy your dog a Ruffwear from online stores, it’s easier to compare the prices and the brands. This way, you’ll know which one is best for your dog. You’ll also be able to save money when you buy online as most stores offer discounts.

How to Control Your Dog’s Behavior

Are you having a hard time controlling your dog’s energy? Overexcitement is problematic dog behavior, and it’s not a normal sign of a happy and healthy dog. Aggression and scavenging are also common dog behavioral problems. When left unchecked, undesirable dog behavior can cause harm not only to themselves but also to other dogs and people. 

This is the reason many dog experts recommend dog training. Dog training is more than just teaching them about obedience or skills like potty training. Dog training helps dogs control their behavior and establish you, the pet parent, as the pack’s alpha. You can get supplies to help you train and control your dog from vendors like MyBestBark. Getting high quality leashes, harnesses, toys, and treats are all key to providing your dog with the structure and stimulation they need to become happy and well-behaved.

Common Dog Issues and Their Causes

Before you can learn how to control your dog’s behavior, you need to understand why it’s happening and where it’s coming from. Here are some of the common dog issues and the causes of why they are doing these: 

  • Aggression – This is the most common and most serious behavioral problem, and it’s also the main reason why many pet parents want to train their dogs. Aggression happens for a multitude of reasons, and it also happens in different circumstances. Aggression arises when a dog feels that it is threatened or under attack. Dogs can become aggressive towards people and animals who they think may hurt you or them. 
  • Food Guarding – Some dogs tend to guard their food too much or claim other pets’ food. This behavior is also a form of aggression. The causes of this behavior may vary. For puppies, they may have this instinct to compete with food with their siblings. This behavior may arise for adopted adult dogs due to experience from an abusive owner or poor living conditions.  If you have another pet in your home like a cat, you need to teach train dogs not to eat cat food or food that is not theirs. 
  • Excessive Barking – Barking is your dog’s way of communicating with you and other animals. Sometimes, however, their barking can be excessive, and the cause of this varies based on their motivation for barking. For example, you may have rewarded your dog for barking in the past. This act makes them think that barking gets them what they want and will repeat the future behavior. Sometimes, dogs bark to get your attention or the attention of other people. Like other behaviors, you should understand the motivation behind the barking before understanding how to control them to be quiet as you demand. 
  • Destructive Chewing – Dogs chew to relieve stress or anxiety. Chewing things help dogs feel calm when they feel restless and you are not around. Some experts say that this behavior is a result of puppies being weaned early. Destructive chewing is also a sign that your dog might be hungry, and they are not getting the right amount of food to make them feel full after their meals. 

Ways to Control Your Dog

Ways to Control Your Dog

There are simple ways you should do to control your pet: 

  • Stop Encouraging Them 

You might be encouraging bad dog habits without realizing it. Giving in to their occasional puppy eyes or annoying barks gives the wrong message to your dogs. Giving affection when your dog suddenly jumps on your or when they show too much excitement is also a form of encouragement. 

When it comes to controlling your dog, you have to be firm and consistent with your reaction to their unwanted behavior. When you decide to punish them for barking too much, do it every time they repeat the behavior. When you see them chewing items at home, always show that you are not pleased with what they did. 

  • Encourage Calm Behavior

Encourage calm behavior by showing affection when they are in a calm and submissive state. This will motivate your dog to repeat the behavior, and it’ll tell them that what they are doing pleases you. Ignore them as much as possible when you think they are whining or barking too much to get what they want. Don’t make eye contact and don’t talk to them when they are in an aggressive or excited state. 

Positive reinforcement is also helpful when it comes to controlling your pet. For example, you say “stop” when you hear them barking too much, and they follow the command. Whenever they follow a command, give them treats to encourage them to repeat the future behavior.

  • Provide Them with an Outlet but with Limitation 

Dogs thrive on physical exercise and time to play with their pet parents. When they don’t get enough physical activity, they become bored. When dogs feel bored, they may feel anxious or stressed, which leads to developing bad behaviors like destructive chewing or digging holes in your backyard. 

Providing them with the mental and physical stimulation that they need every day will help dogs avoid developing bag behavior. Take time to play with them with toys they can catch or chew on. It is also important for dogs to go on walks in the park. 

Although they have this excess energy to burn, it’s still important to control their actions, especially when you are out. Make sure that you invest in high-quality dog leash so that you can control them while you are outside. 

  • Make Sure to Check Your Behavior

To effectively control your dog, you need to look at your behavior. Dogs can feel their owners’ energy, so when you feel frustrated or aggressive, they exhibit these behaviors as well. 

Do you frequently yell when you want your dogs to stop? Do you only give them attention when you are angry? These behaviors are encouraging them to be aggressive or to display bad behavior because dogs crave attention. When you see something you don’t like, be firm in saying “no” but avoid yelling and don’t show signs of aggression. Physically hurting them will not help as this will make them afraid of you. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to controlling your pet’s behavior, you should learn about what triggers them to do these things. After understanding their triggers, you need to evaluate yourself if your behavior encourages them to behave poorly. Use positive reinforcement using treats and affection to encourage them never to repeat bad behavior. 

Lastly, always remember that you can easily control a calm dog rather than an energetic one. It’s important to provide them with an outlet to release their extra energy and take this opportunity to bond and play with them. Giving them enough physical activity prevents boredom and anxiety, which are the leading factors in developing bad behaviors.

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What You Need to Know About Dog Training

When you get a dog as your pet, you need to understand that you have to care for it like your own child. You need to be prepared to take on this responsibility, particularly when it comes to training them. Your dogs require proper training and socialization, and it needs to be done in a quick and efficient manner. 

A word of caution: dog training can become overwhelming, especially if this will be your first time training one. Here is some information you need to know to help you get started: 

Naming Your Dog

The first step to training your dog is giving them a name. While a name is a personal choice of the owner, it can also make it easier for you to train your dog. According to dog trainers, short names that end in a strong consonant are ideal because they allow for your dog to hear it more clearly. Names such as Ginger and Jack are best.

 

If you have an older dog, you may think they are used to their name. However, changing their name can also bring positive outcomes, especially if you save them from an abusive situation. Baptizing them with a new name can help give them a fresh start. You have to understand that dogs adapt quickly, so just use the new name consistently, and they will soon associate with it. 

House Rules

You should establish house rules early on, as it will help eliminate confusion for both of you. Map out your rules before you introduce them to your pet, and be firm in your choices. Will they be allowed in your bed? Do they have a designated place in the living room? Where will they be potty trained? Keep these things in mind when crafting your dog’s new life. 

Crate Training

Like humans, dogs need their own space as well. Assign an area in your home where they can relax and rest after a day of training and play. Crates are an essential tool when you want to housetrain your dog. Once they are familiar with their own space, they will feel more comfortable and welcome. Reward your puppy when they stay in their area calmly. It is part of dog care, as well. 

Leash Training 

No matter what breed of dog you have, be it a husky or a pom, it’s important to train them to walk on a leash. Aside from abiding by leash laws, it is also useful to ensure that your dog can walk when leashed for their own safety. When leash training them, introduce the leash to your puppy slowly. Don’t rush them to accept it immediately. Once they feel comfortable with it, teach them to walk properly while leashed. Look for a dog trainer who can show you how to train your dog on a loose leash to make the experience more enjoyable for both of you. 

Basic Commands

Before you start teaching your dog any complicated tricks, start them with some basic dog commands, such as drop, up, walk, sit, and come. These commands strengthen your dog’s understanding of structure to help them overcome common dog behavior issues. Along with these basic commands, you should also train your dog to refrain from jumping. Dogs will show their happiness by jumping. When they do it, don’t reprimand them. Instead, turn your back from them to ignore. Let them settle down before doing positive reinforcement.

Proof Your Training

The last part of your dog training should focus on proofing your dog’s training. While your dog may behave when they are in a familiar place, will they act the same way when they are in your friend’s house? Make sure to practice training in different places. 

Consider all these when training your dog, and you’ll have a well-behaved pet soon enough.

7 Merchandise Giveaway Ideas for Your Winery or Brewery

With the holidays coming up, the demand for wine and other alcoholic beverages is likely to increase. After all, what’s a family event without some wine or beer?

If you own a winery or brewery, you’ll want to take advantage of this time of the year. Holding a giveaway of your merchandise is a great way to go about this. Because these kinds of promotions are largely driven by social media, it’s a cost-effective way to increase your brand visibility. You might even be able to tap into new markets such as pet parents.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to market your alcoholic products to pets. In fact, your giveaway items don’t need to involve actual alcohol at all. Keep things interesting and pet-friendly with these giveaway ideas:

Branded Pet Toys

Wine- or beer-themed pet toys are a great way to capture your customers’ attention. These products are also the perfect gift to keep their animal companions entertained during holiday get-togethers. You can get creative and create miniature toy versions of your best-selling products. For example, you could create wine bottle dog toys or cat teasers made to look like popping champagne. These make for cute prizes that any pet owner and fur baby will appreciate. 

Pet-shaped Bottle Stoppers

Losing a cork after opening a bottle of wine can be annoying. Fortunately, you can always get a bottle stopper to reseal them. Give pet parents a fun way to personalize their wine bottles with a set of pet-themed bottle stoppers. You can even go one step further by making your prize completely bespoke. For instance, you can create bottle stoppers featuring pictures of each giveaway winner’s pet.

Pet-Safe Alternatives to Alcohol

Did you know that dog beer and cat wine are actual products out on the market? Because these non-carbonated drinks don’t contain any actual alcohol, these tasty treats can be safely consumed by your pets. Additionally, many kinds of dog beer don’t contain any hops. Instead, they are usually made with some type of meat broth and malt extract. Meanwhile, certain brands of cat wine contain fresh beet juice infused with catnip to give kitties their own kind of high. Consider partnering with a company that produces these beverages, as they may be able to create customized versions with your branding on the label.

Animal-shaped Wine Fizzers

Wine fizzers make drinking a glass of wine more flavorful and fun. Why not shake things up by giving away a set of dog- or cat-shaped wine fizzers as prizes? As these fizzers dissolve in wine, they gradually release food-safe glitter, turning your ordinary glass of alcohol into an Instagram-worthy beverage. This is also a great way to market your own products if you already sell wine fizzers to begin with. 

Cork Display Holders

Pet parents who want to show off their love for wine will be more than happy to join your giveaway to potentially receive an animal-shaped cork display holder. The best part is that these displays won’t only be showcased during special occasions, as they can be used to add some visual interest to any living space. For instance, cork displays can be hung on a wall or used as a centerpiece on any coffee table.

Even if the giveaway winners may not be alcohol connoisseurs themselves, they may have friends and relatives who are. So if you’re looking for a future-proof giveaway item, going for something ornamental is always a good idea.

Pet-Themed Glass Markers

Some people like making their wine glasses look cuter or funnier by decorating them with glass markers. They’re also a practical way to prevent guests from accidentally picking up the wrong drink. They are most commonly sold in the form of stick-on felt markers or dishwasher-safe silicone mini-charms. That said, there are a number of interesting designs out there that can suit a variety of tastes. You could try coming up with animal-shaped glass markers to draw in pet parents who love to host parties or events. 

Cute Coasters

Did you know that wine lovers like to use a special type of coaster for their wine bottles? These are called wine bottle coasters. As the name implies, these products act as a barrier to keep a sweating bottle from creating condensation rings on wooden tables. You can easily customize these coasters by decorating them with your company logo. You can even go the bespoke route and add a printed image of the giveaway winner’s pet to the surface of the coaster. 

When it comes to choosing the right giveaway items, it’s important to keep things fresh. And given the rise in pet ownership these past few years, you don’t want your winery or brewery to miss out on marketing to pet parents. With a bit of creativity and some clever marketing, you’ll definitely be able to cater to unique new audiences.

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