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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Wondering why your dog “smiles?”

In case you’re among the dog lovers who’s never had the pleasure of owning a smiling dog, some canines actually “smile!” It’s a bit like showing teeth, except the pet’s body language is very relaxed and submissive.

Dog smiling is actually reserved exclusively for humans; it’s not a behavior that’s ever exhibited to other dogs. This fact has led many behavior experts to believe that it’s literally a dog’s attempt to mimic a human’s smile!

Dogs who smile do so as an act of submission. The canine smile is often paired with “bowing” the front portion of the body, rolling over and showing the belly, along with averting the eyes/looking at you out of the corner of their eyes  – very different from the intense stare, tenseness and stillness that’s associated with truly “showing teeth.”

Dog smiling is an act of submission, designed to elicit a friendly or loving response from you, the human. Some dogs smile as an attempt to “soften” you when they feel like they’re in trouble or when they suspect that you’re tense or upset. The most submissive dogs will smile simply because they want your attention!

So next time you see your dog smiling, you’ll know exactly what this behavior means!

 



Do you have a dog with long hair that’s constantly getting tangled and matted?

Are you looking for a solution that will keep your pet’s long hair sleek and free of tangles (short of buzzing your dog’s hair off?)

There are lots of conditioners, including spray-in conditioners, that are specially-formulated for dogs. But these products aren’t always well-tolerated and sometimes, they can actually exacerbate tangling and matting by leaving a residue that makes the hair “sticky” and more apt to tangle.

But there’s an easy, well-tolerated solution that may already be in your kitchen cabinet! It’s apple cider vinegar! It can be applied in place of conditioner during your pet’s bath. Simply apply to your pet’s coat, work it through and leave it on for a couple minutes. Then, rinse thoroughly for a sleek, tangle-free coat.

Apple cider vinegar can also be mixed 50-50 with water in a spray bottle. Then, apply on occasion as a light grooming spray to keep the pet’s hair sleek and free of tangles.

Like anything that you apply to your pet’s fur, spot-test a small area and wait 24 hours to ensure it’s well tolerated. Apple cider vinegar is typically well-tolerated, but there are always exceptions to the rule and some individuals are more sensitive than others.

This same method is also suitable for your own mane!

Another tip? If your pet has tangles and mattes, it’s always advisable to brush them out while your pet’s hair is dry; wetting the mattes and tangles can cause them to “lock up” even tighter. Wet hair is also more prone to breakage.

 



Does your dog or cat suffer from chronic dehydration?

Does your dog or cat suffer from chronic dehydration? Kidney problems? Or are they simply obsessed with running water? Even drinking from the toilet?

There’s a clever water bowl that can help! A pet water fountain is a water bowl that features a simple pump that results in a constant flow of water. Most include a filter mechanism to ensure your pet’s water remains fresh and clean.

Pets are naturally attracted to running water. It’s an instinctually-driven attraction, as running water tends to be healthier and cleaner than bacteria-ridden and often-foul stagnant water. That’s why your cats and dogs are so attracted to the faucet, the hose and the toilet!

A pet water fountain is the perfect way to ensure your dog or cat gets enough fluids – ideal for dogs and cats who suffer from chronic dehydration or kidney problems. Cats who suffer from bladder crystals and urinary obstructions can also benefit, as the extra fluids serve to flush their system. Pets who drink from the faucet or toilet are also less inclined to take part in these activities when they have their very own pet water fountain!

Many cats will bat at and play with the water, but the filter serves to keep the water fresh! A pet water fountain is a fun and clever pet item that will promote better health and keep your pet amused!

 



Are you the type of pet owner who’s constantly taking photos?

Not sure what to do with all those fabulous images of your beloved furry? Well, if you’re a crafty or creative type, consider making a pet scrapbook!

Of course, there is the traditional old-school method of scrapbooking. There are many papers, stickers, cutting patterns and other scrapbooking supplies available specifically for pets. It makes the perfect keepsake for pet lovers; it’s also a wonderful gift idea.

There’s also digital scrapbooking, which is an increasingly popular option among creative but not-so-crafty pet owners. This option is ideal for those who are adept at “Photoshopping.” And the web is home to tons of digital scrapbooking supplies.

Another idea? Consider making a coffee table book of pet memes. A meme is a photograph with a funny or clever text overlay. Make a series of pet memes with your favourite or funny photos and compile them into a coffee table book – available from a wide array of photography websites like ShutterFly and SnapFish.

A pet scrapbook or coffee table book makes a fabulous keepsake or a very unique gift idea! Plus, these projects serve as a perfect way to use and display all those wonderful pet photos that are living on your phone or laptop!

 



Are you the proud owner of a mixed breed dog?

With many crossbreed dogs – sometimes better known as a “mutt” – the dog’s breed composition is very obvious. They may have features that are extremely easy to identify as belonging to a particular dog breed.

But some other mixed breed dogs are a mystery! This is especially true for dogs who are born to crossbreed parents; this means they can be a mix of a half dozen or more breeds!

Are you intensely curious about your dog’s breed background? Knowing your dog’s breed composition isn’t just handy for satisfying your curiosity; it can also provide important hints about which conditions or ailments that your dog may be predisposed to developing.

Today, there’s no need to guess about your dog’s genetic heritage!

You can now get answers with a canine breed identification DNA test! These DNA tests analyze your pet’s breed composition with tremendous accuracy, though there are some limitations (which vary from test to test.) For instance, some tests are not considered accurate for pit bulls due to the extreme variation in blood lines that exist for this particular breed. Other tests have limitations concerning the “percentage” of composition. For instance, the test may not be able to accurately identify a breed in your dog’s heritage if it comprises less than 10% of the overall equation.

Nevertheless, a dog breed DNA test is a fun way to learn more about your mixed breed dog’s background!

 



Colourful pet hair dyes that you see in the grooming salon

Perhaps you’ve noticed those colourful pet hair dyes in the grooming supplies section of your local pet supply shop or pet boutique. It’s these fun dyes that are responsible for those blue, pink and purple dogs that you’ll see on occasion! But are they really safe for your pet?

Pet hair dyes are specially-formulated to be safe for a pet’s skin and coat. But just like humans, there are some individuals who are hypersensitive to chemicals that are supposed to be safe and well-tolerated. So just like you would with a human, it’s important to perform a spot-test on a small area to ensure they respond well to the dye. Wait 24 hours to look for any signs of redness or irritation.

Applying the pet hair dye is simple. Don gloves to avoid dying your hands and apply it to the pet’s fur. Leave it on for the recommended amount of time, then rinse well. Conclude by shampooing and conditioning as usual.

To apply streaks or to dye small portions of your dog’s fur, use a toothbrush to apply the dye. This allows for much greater precision. Also, remember to stay clear of their eyes and mouth, especially while you’re rinsing.

Also beware that some residual dye may wipe off on your towels, so just keep it mind while you’re towel-drying your pet! Pet dyes fade naturally over the course of a couple weeks.

 

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Nail polish colours in the pet boutique

You’ve probably seen those fabulous nail polish colours in the pet boutique or pet supply shop’s grooming section. But are they really safe for your pet? And how do you wrangle a dog to paint his or her nails?

Most pet nail polish formulas are specially formulated to be safe and non-toxic. In fact, it’s important to check to ensure the nail polish that you purchase is, in fact, non-toxic. If you’re dead set on painting your dog’s nails but can’t find a non-toxic pet nail polish in your local shop, opt for a non-toxic, fast-drying child’s formula instead.

Painting your pet’s nails can be difficult if they’re unaccustomed to having their paws handled. That’s something to work on over time – hold and manipulate your dog’s paw while you’re relaxing and with time, nail trims and manicures will be a breeze!

For some pets, the easiest way to paint their nails is while they’re sleeping. You may only get to one or two nails at a time, though.

Many pets want to sniff and lick the nail polish, which can be a problem until it dries!. If your pet falls into this category, simply distract your pet with treats or a walk  while the polish dries.

With these tips, your pet will have a fabulous manicure that’ll be the envy of all the other neighborhood pets!