Archives for December 2010



Training Akita Puppies

Akita puppies are the cutest, most adorable, bear-like dogs you can find. They are soft, regal and smart.

That said, training Akita puppies is easier than training adult dogs. They wont stay this small forever, so it’s important to take advantage of their naivete and innocence (not to mention their lack of strength).

While they’ll still be cute and adorable when they grow up, they won’t be as pliable. They’ll also be stronger, more set in their ways and much more stubborn.

You can start your training early, first by potty training your Akita. Once you get through that little hurdle (after a few weeks), you’ll be set to tackle more advanced (for puppies) training.

Be patient with your little furball. Akitas are naturally headstrong and will often do as they please. That’s why it’s essential to get a collar and leash and teach the young pup that you are in charge.

It’s much easier to teach a ten-pound puppy than a hundred-pound dog.

You will find that it is essential that you be consistent with your training. Do not let the pup “get away” with not obeying you.

You don’t need to hurt the dog or be harsh with it, but Akitas only understand one thing: dominance. If you’re unsure about the best way to deal with Akita dominance, search around the Internet for articles and read forums.

Training an Akita is not like training other dogs. There are similarities, yes, but each dog has its own quirks. Also, as adorable and cuddly as they look, Akitas do not make good first-time dogs.

If this is your first dog, look into puppy-training obedience schools so that you can start your dog ownership on the right track.

While Akitas are good guard dogs, they will not bark at every little noise they hear. The rule of thumb (or paw) is if your Akita is barking, check it out.



Do You Need to Send Your Dog to Dog School?

It seems like almost every week that there is something on the news about a dog attacking somebody. It’s a sad reality that many people people who own dogs simply never bother to train them. The truth is all dogs should receive some training and this is especially true for big dogs.

If you have trouble controling your dog, no matter whether it is a big dog or a small dog you need to do something about it’s behaviour. For one thing your life will be so much easier of your dog actually obeys your commands! There will be no need to stand shouting at your dog hoping it will come back to you if you have it trained.

For people that have hectic schedules, dog school is definitely an option. Usually there are dog training schools in most local communities and even though it’s not cheap, it will be worth every penny in the long run. Dog schools are the easiest way to train your dog simply because you don’t have to do anything. All you need to do is drop your dog off at the school and then pick it back up later.

Obviously depending on bad your dog’s behaviour is, it may take quite a few lessons.

Another option if you don’t want to use a dog school, is to buy a shock collar. Shock collars for dogs enable you to teach your dog how to behave by means of delivering an electric shock. The electric shock is delivered to the dog via a remote control unit.

Many people think that shock collars for dogs are cruel however what you need to understand is that the actual electric shock delivered is only a static shock which means your dog won’t actually be hurt, only surprised. The static shock delivered through these type of shock collars is just enough to interrupt your dogs behaviour pattern.



Cod Liver Oil For Your Best Friend

Not the one you met in 6th grade, or who was matron at your wedding, but the one whose day is made when you come home, who never gets tired of listening to your stories, and who may have a little slobbering problem and a fixation on the local fire hydrant. How does cod liver oil benefit your dog?   The benefits of cod liver oil for humans have been known for many years.  The vitamin D in cod liver oil prevents rickets and its vitamin A prevents night blindness.  It also contains the essential fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

Dogs have similar requirements for vitamins and minerals to those of humans.  Dogs can manufacture their own vitamin C, so Fido doesn’t need a daily glass of orange juice, but dogs require the fat-soluble vitamins A and D just like we do.    The vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids in cod liver oil help relieve symptoms of arthritis, maintain a healthy and glossy coat, and keep him active and functioning optimally.

Vitamin A is active in maintaining a healthy reproductive system and eyes.  A deficiency can cause dry eyes and night blindness, and skin and hair problems, as well as slow growth.   According to Provet Healthcare Information, an excess of vitamin A given to a pregnant dog can cause cleft palate in the offspring.  Since cod liver oil is very rich in vitamin A it is important to follow dosage directions to avoid vitamin A toxicity.  Doctor’s Foster and Smith recommend a daily minimum dose of 2272 IU (International Units) per pound of vitamin A and 227 IU per pound of vitamin D.  A lack of vitamin D can result in problems with the eruption of the permanent teeth, as well as muscular and skeletal problems since vitamin D plays a role in the regulation of calcium in the body.  Of the essential fatty acids, one gram per day is recommended for an adult dog.

In dogs that eat a completely natural diet consisting of fresh raw meat with bones, fat and organ meat, all these requirements would presumably be met, as they would be for an animal living in the wild.  A city dog living on dry dog food can benefit greatly from cod liver oil.

Recommended amounts of cod liver oil vary.  One manufacturer makes a cod liver oil formulated for pets and recommends a quarter teaspoon a day for dogs under 20 pounds, half a tsp a day for dogs between 20 and 55 pounds, and for dogs heavier than 55 pounds, 1 tsp daily.  Their product is claimed to have low levels of vitamins A and D.    For your particular brand, check the number of IUs per teaspoon, and adjust the volume you give accordingly, using the daily minimum dose mentioned above as a guide.

If your preferred dog food already has a high level of vitamins, or you are concerned with vitamin toxicity, you might opt for giving him or her fish oil instead.  The benefits of fish oil are mainly its high concentration of essential fatty acids without any vitamins.



Potty Patch – House Training Aid for Dogs

Potty Patch is the perfect restroom for your pets. The owners often find their favorite exotic and fancy carpets, couches and floors messed up by spots and stains and honestly, it makes harder to live with the pets. But the potty pads presented by the American Kennel Club helps you in keeping your home clean and pets happy.

The product is pet-friendly and there is no doubt that both you and your pet would love it. These interesting pads gives your pet the freedom to go wherever they need to go but at the same time ensuring the cleanliness and hygiene of the house. Potty Patch is made up of three tiers. The base of the pad consists of a collection tray that can hold up to a gallon of liquid so as to minimize the cleaning of the tray. A gate placed between the collection tray and top most artificial tray makes the contact between the two impossible. Lastly, the top most layer of soft artificial glass lets the liquid ooze into the collection tray while it also makes the pad appealing to the pets. The pads are easy to wash, just rinse them with soapy water and the work is done. Also, you can upgrade it to a plush bladed anti-microbial grass.

The Potty Patch could be used on patios and indoors and it is a great gift to those who have a high rise apartment. You can leave your pets indoor for the day and forget all your worries about your home and your little buddy in. These pads would protect your floors from your pets in cold weather when their tendency to relieve themselves increases. They are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate your pets well.

Gift your pets an indoor comfortable and enjoyable restroom and show it how much it means to you. A stylish and designed potty pad would you and your pet happy and satisfied.



Tips on Taking Great Puppy Portraits

We have just got our second Labrador puppy this year. Our last chocolate male Labrador Sam, we were shooting photographs with film. We lost most of his puppy pictures to a bad roll of film. Shooting photographs with digital now is much easier to get lots of great puppy pics.

My number one tip is shoot lots of photographs of your puppy. When they are puppies there is not too much time during the day when they are laying around waiting to have their picture snapped. I am watching my 14 week yellow pup grow everyday now. As dog owners we want to have lots of shots to look back on when they get bigger. So take lots of shots to make sure you capture those fleeting moments.

When they are not in motion they are usually sleeping. So my second tip is to run them around and get them a little tired before you shoot. They will be more likely to lay and chew on a stick for you’re when they have that energy run out a little prior to your session.

Next you want to get down to their level. This will mean you are going to have to lie prone on your stomach in order to get the shot. Shooting down on your pup will give you an interesting angle but you do not want all of your photographs from the same point of view. In order to get those calendar portrait shots you need to have the camera on the level of your subject. Unless your pup is on a bed or some furniture this means getting down on the floor or ground.

Next you want to fill the frame with your subject. This translates into either getting in close to your puppy or zooming in. Most of the time what you see on the lcd screen or through the view finder, with a digital camera, is about 80 to 90 percent of the whole image. If you leave too much space on the sides of your subject you will likely take the viewers attention away from the subject and have the subject smaller than you intended. Fill the screen with your subject and you will get some beautiful shots.

One of the golden rules of professional dog portrait photography is to make sure the eyes are sharp. This means you will focus on the eyes drawing the viewer’s attention to them. With autofocus mechanisms you will need to make sure you have the screen indicators on the eyes when shooting.

A more advanced tip is to use a shallow depth of field in your photograph. This will produce a shot that the subject, your pup, is in focus while the background is softly out of focus as not to distract from your subject. If you have a digital SLR camera this will mean using a smaller aperture by setting the aperture setting to 5.6 or below. If you are using a point and shoot camera you may have a portrait mode that will automatically do this for you.

To recap:

  • take lots of photos
  • get to your pups level
  • get close
  • fill the photo with subject
  • focus on the eyes
  • use shallow depth of field

Most of all have fun; your pup grows way too fast and will be a big dog before you know it. Make sure you have lots of photos to look back on as you continue your journey with your dog.



Soft Carriers Mean A Happy Pet

Pets are a large part of life. They give companionship, comfort, love and security to the owners. They love to go with their owners as well just like children. This is why there are a number of pet accessory manufacturers that create many ways in which to take pets along and keep them safe and comfortable as well.

Pet carriers used to be boxes made of hard plastic with metal grates for the opening and gate. Though this style is still acceptable it may not be as comfortable or warming as other options. Soft pet carriers are the latest fashion for smaller pets such as chihuahuas, Yorkshires, terriers and the like. Cats also prefer a softer bed to travel in during car rids to the vet or just to take them on a bike ride through the park.

These fashionable items come in a variety of colors and materials. Some are quilted with a mesh front that allows the pet to see. They usually zip closed so there are no free standing steel prongs that could possibly hurt the dog if hitting a bump while driving. Others are lined with faux fur or have sheep wool inside to maintain warmth in the back of a truck.

The soft pet carriers are great for just about every trip. They can be used for taking onto planes in some cases as carry on luggage. It is much better for being stored in the plane cargo area too as it gets rather cold. Bus trips are also made more comfortable for the pet. For those who have larger dogs there are a few companies that carry padded, soft covered, steel framed pet carriers as well. Making the sheep dog, Labrador or Rottweiler feel safer without having them lay on the frame is a great thing that pet owners can do for their dogs and other pets. I have a small dog and I travel with him a lot using a dog backpack carrier. He seems to love the comfort of it.

All soft pet carriers can be found at any number of pet supply stores or at a local department store. They are a great investment and most are washable for the convenience of the owner and pet alike.



Using Dog Clippers to Help Reduce Grooming Costs

There are two major expenses associated with dog owners: a sturdy plastic dog kennel and routine grooming fees. Finding the right type of kennel to safely contain your pet when you must run into town for short periods can be an unavoidable expense. However, grooming fees can become less expensive. Would you like to know how? Pet owners can shed the cost of grooming fees by grooming their pets in the privacy of their own homes.

The first step in cutting grooming cost is acquiring the right equipment. The owner should be sure to purchase the highest quality professional dog clippers available. Please note that trimming tools vary in shape and size according to the temperament and breed of the dog. This will require some research on behalf of the dog owner to ensure the right equipment is used. But remember, regardless of the shape or size, the best cutters are durable, and equipped with a variety of blades that are interchangeable to help achieve desired results.

Switching the blade style when needed allow owners to easily cut and groom every part of their beloved companion…even hard to reach areas around the paw. With the right set of tools, the owner can perform the same functions used by professionals at the shop. Equipped with a variety of blades neatly organized and encased, the novice animal groomer will begin to look and feel like an expert!

Cordless clippers can help make the grooming process run much smoother. Using a cordless trimmer is an excellent alternative for the smaller long-haired breeds. On the other hand, industrial strength plug-in styles are better for larger dogs that tend to have rougher fur. Tamed and manageable dogs can also benefit from plug-ins. There is less risk of the dog getting entangled in the cord due to excessive movement. For removing stubborn pet dander and shedding, vacuum systems are highly recommended.

By owning and utilizing your own set of dog grooming clippers, you can eliminate the dependency of an outside service to keep your canine clean and healthy. You will also save valuable time and money which is much needed with the driving costs of today’s society. But most importantly, it allows you to gain a new perspective on how to bond with your furry best friend!



Litter picker tools for responsible waste management

With the increasing awareness of global warming in the world and having considered garbage to be one of the causes, certain institutions have spearheaded communities, schools, private and public places in convincing members of the society to take part in the responsible management of trash. The use of litter picker tools such as mechanical grabbing arms made the job of picking up litter less straining to the back of adults and more enjoyable to kids.

Mechanical grabbing arms or technologically advanced litter picker tools are devices that have metal or plastic handles replacing the traditional sticks that are at least 35 inches long with claws at the bottom that take the role of our hands in picking up litter. They may also have some reflective parts on the device to make its user visible even at night as is the case with litter pickers in stadiums or national parks assigned to do their jobs at night.

Though these devices are largely purchased by governments, sports stadiums, golf courses and the likes, a cautious citizen like you who want to take part in picking up trash in your community as a pastime and responsible endeavor is not restricted from buying these devices. Today, schools are also educated on these actions, so your child might be interested to do the same. There are child-friendly versions of these tools, so you can make this activity a bonding time with your child while teaching him to be environmentally concerned.

When going about this activity, remember to wash your hands after litter licking even when your hands did not have direct contact with the trash. When you have encountered some problems in your community related to trash that need immediate action, inform your homeowners’ association or the chief department assigned with waste management in your town right away.



How to choose the best litter picker tools

Litter picker tools help us take care of trash or transfer objects from one place to the next without having to bend over or pick them up by hand. Picking up trash or objects in long periods by hand will cause back strains, and it also gets you in direct contact with germs or bacteria. Litter picker devices avoid those dilemmas. You may not feel the need to purchase one because probably you are not a volunteer litter picker. However, be convinced that in one way or another, you need this extra tool in your house to help you pick up things just in case you have back problems.

There are plenty of brands to choose from when buying a genuine litter picker tool. In the USA, Newmohawk has products that can grab the smallest penny or a 2 liter plastic bottle. When choosing a product, the first thing you must consider is a tool that allows you to operate it by one hand. Its handle must be easy to use which should probably be in aluminum or stainless steel materials. The trigger must activate a firm grip and its release mechanism is effortless. As with the claws, you might want to have one that can be adjusted through 180 degrees for maximum versatility. Also, make sure that the brand you are purchasing has spare parts that can easily be bought at the nearest hardware supply store. The possibility of worn out parts is inevitable, so it is practical to choose a brand with parts that are easy to find when the product calls for some minor or major repairs.

Always remember that the purchase of high-quality products depends on the consumer’s knowledge on the factors that he must consider in order to get the best value for his money. Do your own homework, and assess for which purpose you will be using the litter picker tool.



Helping Hand Company litter picker tools

The Helping Hand Company has a variety of litter picker tools that you may purchase online should you wish to become an active member of an organization in your community who take action in collecting litters to ensure the cleanliness of your neighborhood. Litter pickers are used all over the world in forest parks, amusement parks, residential areas, stadiums, golf courses, and so much more so that the management of litter would not have to be causing strains on the back caused by bending over in picking up trash by hand. Most of their products may not be available worldwide, but by contacting their head office in the UK you will be directed to a local distributor.

The following are some of the company’s litter picker tools:
1)    Litterpicker Extra Reacher. It is 50 inches long and is ideal for use in ponds, tall trees, high hedges and streams.
2)    Litterpicker Ranger-curved handle. This product is ideal for use on hard or rough objects, such as bricks. It has what they call as jaws that work like an extension of your hands to firmly take a grip of an object. It is strong but lightweight. It Is 35” long.
3)    Straight Handle Litterpicker Ranger. Stretching at 35 inches long, this is similar as #2 above, only that it does not have a curved handle but a straight one instead.
4)    Graptor Litterpicker. This is a perfect product for children who want to become full-pledged community litter pickers! It is 27 inches long, and its dinosaur design will help kids look at litter picking fun and exciting!
5)    The Litterpicker ’09. Available in 85cm and 93cm, its rubber teeth hold items securely and the reflective strips will make you visible even in quite dimmed areas.
6)    The Streetmaster ’09. The latest design help you attain increased visibility with its bright color and reflective strips.