Beware of the Dog Sign; Pros and Cons

So you made a decision and became a dog owner… so what now? Do you or do you not put a sign on your gate advertising the fact?

Well, this is a question that some of us find very troubling. I guess this simple task of screwing a nice metal or plastic plaque onto your gate can have some consequences. So should we or shouldn’t we advertise the fact that we own a dog?

I wish there was a simple answer to this question but there isn’t one. Things to consider…

Trespassing… A beware of the dog sign can be a nice little reminder that you are about to enter someone else’s property, just in case the fence or gate wasn’t a big enough clue, but isn’t this an admission that your dog is dangerous and might bite? Some people think it is… This doesn’t mean that the sign shouldn’t be there but you might want to rethink what it should state… unless you have a truly protective dog like a serious guard dog and it probably will, in fact, attack the intruder, then a sign stating the fact is fair game in my eyes.

Security… of both your dog and your property… yes, you are reading it right… dogs might protect your property and a sign like this might make some robber think twice before picking on your household but what about the dog? I remember a few years ago there was a huge spike in reports of household dogs being stolen…a sign like this may make it easier for some nefarious individual to identify what house comes with a dog. I assume people stealing dogs isn’t your everyday situation but still, it is worth a consideration.

Ease of access… depending on your property layout and how gated it is, it might be nice to warn a delivery person for example that you own a dog, especially if it is the barking type. I can imagine that being surprised by a “barking monster” on the other side of the fence isn’t a pleasant experience for them. Just remember to keep your gate locked at all times, you don’t want to risk the dog running away simply because someone didn’t lock the gate behind them.

Choice of signs… beware of the dog isn’t the only sign out there, there are a lot of different dog signs to choose from or you can even design your own sign. You might want to consider something like “Dog running free”, or “Dog in the yard” or “I can make the gate in 3 seconds, can you?” – They all suggest you have a dog without implying that the dog is a vicious killer.

All of these thoughts to consider and we still aren’t any closer to an answer, should we or shouldn’t we…

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer here. It all depends on why you want to put a sign up, what the sign will say and what breed of the dog you own… think about it and make your own mind.

Do you have a dog sign on your gate?

Did you ever consider putting one up?

 

The 3-Step Solution to the Dog Jumping Up Issue

There is nothing worse than a dog that jumps up on people when they walk into a room or enter your home. You want to prevent a dog from jumping up as early as possible to keep it from becoming a serious problem as the dog grows.

It is in a dog’s nature to greet people enthusiastically, particularly when they are puppies. They want to smell the new person’s ears and head and get to know them. That’s just what dogs do. They want to do the same to you and let you know they are happy to see you and would love your attention.

This may be cute when they are a puppy, but once they are full grown it is not so cute. That is why it is important to nip this behavior in the bud and learn to prevent a dog jumping up as soon as possible. Training your dog when he is a puppy is much easier for everyone and faster.

It’s easy to inadvertently give positive feedback to a puppy that jumps up on you. He’s happy to see you and you greet him by petting his head. We don’t realize until it’s too late that what’s cute in puppyhood can be annoying when the dog is older.

A full grown dog that is a large dog has the ability to knock a person to the ground, especially the elderly and children, and this can be dangerous.

Preventing Dog Jumping Up in Three Easy Steps:

  1. Start from the very moment you decide to break your dog of this habit and to make it clear to the dog that this is not appropriate behavior. The best way to do this is to turn your back on the dog and ignore him. Do not make eye contact with the dog. A dog who jumps up on someone is trying to get their attention. Do not give him what he wants and it will begin to deter the behavior. Do this consistently to prevent dog jumping up on you and your guests.
  2. The second step to prevent dog jumping up and make it a consistent behavior is to reward the dog for good behavior. When the dog calms down, tell him to sit and kneel down to his level and give him lots of praise. He will learn that good behavior is rewarded with attention.
  3. If you can gain the support of a visitor or two that comes to your home on a regular basis while you’re working to prevent dog jumping up behavior, ask them to follow the same routine when they come to the house. Reinforcing the lesson in this way will speed the process along and reinforce the lessons he is learning with you.

Final thoughts. As always, when teaching your dog new behavior, be gentle but consistent. Don’t forget to consult your vet about what your dog’s dietary and exercise needs as well and stick to any prescribed pet meds you receive from your vet, remember a dog not in full health will also not want to learn new behaviours willingly.

Making sure your buddy doesn’t jump on everyone he meets is part of responsible dog ownership and is as important as making sure your dog is free from parasites and always on some flea killer product like Frontline plus for dogs . Basic dog care that is sensible and appreciated by others you meet.

* This is a collaborative post.

How to Decipher Pet Food Labels

Let’s be honest, most food labels, being human or for our pets, are not really designed for your average Jo… you really do need specialist detailed knowledge if you wish to fully understand what you or your pet are eating. Human food labelling is slowly getting better, the regulations are changing and some labels are becoming straight forward, but what about pet food? Not so fast to change, so how do you go about deciphering that?

Well, this is a good question. Unclear terms and tons of marketing babble can make it really hard to truly understand what’s inside the packet.

Recently, I came across an article “Calls for clearer labelling on pet food” by Dogs Monthly, which features an infographic by Data Label. There was a part which really made me think.

What is Meat Meal?

Well, apparently there is no official definition of it, but it seems to be a high concentrated lower grade protein powder obtained from rendering down parts of an animal, which cost a fraction of the whole animal…

Every time you read on your label dehydrated, powder, dried, meal, concentrated… this is not whole meat, those are parts of the animal which are either surplus requirements in the human food industry or are not intended for human consumption… doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?

Now here is another pet food labelling dilemma. Let’s say, I just bought a puppy and I want to buy a high protein dog food to help him grow up big and strong… I look at the labels, I study all the numbers and tables and pick the one which shows the highest amount of protein… sounds good, right? Well, not really… it’s maybe not the right choice or even a good choice because I have no idea what type of protein they are using… protein from the whole chicken does not equal proteins obtained from say chicken beaks or feet… yet looking at the labels I will never know which grade of protein is in the pack.

A lot of people think that naturally the more expensive the food, then the better quality it is… I personally strongly DO NOT agree with this! I think if this would be the truth then there would be no need for mystery labelling… I think the company would be proud to clearly state what’s in their food for everyone to understand without having a degree in deciphering mystery labels. Don’t ever underestimate what a fully funded marketing department can achieve.

If you hoped this post will give you an answer as to how to read pet labels, well, I am sorry I couldn’t help…

Pet food labelling shouldn’t be a mystery, it should be clear, simple and understandable to everyone, to all customers.

I hope one day this will become a reality!

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More on the topic:

The Science of Pet Food Labels

How to Read a Pet Food Label

Understanding Pet Food Labels

How To Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs

* by Casey Dickson

Whether you’re watching someone else’s pup or on an adventure with your own, keeping canines cool in the heat of the summer is a top priority. In a season full of dog-friendly lakeside lounging and strenuous hikes, it’s best to stay afloat of these key tips to prevent heat stroke.

Preventing the signs before they happen

If your dog has any of the following traits, be extremely careful in hotter climes. Make sure they have plenty of water, access to shade, and time to rest.

  • Long and/or thick coat
  • Short-nosed, flat-faced breeds—brachycephalic breeds such as pugs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Chow Chows, and Chihuahuas suffer from airway troubles that make panting less effective at cooling them down in more extreme temperatures
  • Extreme age: young puppies and older dogs are more vulnerable to high heat conditions
  • Obesity or prior case of heart trouble

And be extra-vigilant in extreme heat and humidity—and not just from outdoor adventures. Make sure your four-legged pals aren’t enclosed in unventilated conditions such as hot cars, rooms, or grooming dryer cages.

And if Fido starts to show signs of heat stroke…

Which is generally thought to be a body temperature above 106° F. If left untreated, heat stroke (also known as a non-fever form of hyperthermia) in dogs can cause multiple organ dysfunction. The symptoms are plenty, but the most common are along these lines:

  • The more obvious include excessive panting and drooling, and abnormally small quantities of urine
  • Other signs include reddened gums and rapid heart rate and an irregular beat
  • At the worst phases of heat stroke, your dog may vomit blood, produce black stool or have a wobbly gait, known as ataxia. In these scenarios, take your dog to the nearest vet right away.

And to move from the grim to the more fun tips…here’s some pup-friendly summer fun that will keep energetic pups happy and healthy!

  • Find a dog park that’s attached to a beach and add an extra splash to rousing rounds of fetch
  • Keep chopped pineapple in the freezer for a sweet and icy treat that will quench summer heat better than the everyday bone or pig’s ear
  • Fill a kiddie pool with water for your own makeshift puppy pool, or turn on the sprinkler during at-home games of tug or fetch

As long as you’re careful, prepared and vigilant, there’s no reason to worry about Buddy getting sick from heat stroke. So enjoy all that summertime has to offer, with these easy-to-remember tips in mind.

* About the author: Written by Casey Dickson, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

Pet Wearables – Tabcat & Whistle

Pet Wearables – Tabcat & WhistleThese days wearable tech isn’t only for us humans, pets have their share of the market too. GPS or activity trackers are actually super useful and can make our everyday life so much easier! Easier for us and more secure for our beloved pets. To date we have tried two different types of pet tech, Tabcat for cats and Whistle for dogs, they both work in a different ways and serve a different purpose.

Tabcat RRP: £69.99

Tabcat is a tracking device which works on RF technology for accurate, energy efficient tracking (one battery will last up to 12 months). It comes as a standalone unit; one transceiver plus two homing tags with plastic protectors, which you can attach to just about anything you want, your cat included 🙂 There is an option to purchase additional tags as the device can track up to four subjects on one unit. The homing tags are super lightweight (only 6 grams) so your cat shouldn’t even notice it.

Pet Wearables – TabcatIn general I really like the idea of Tabcat but its 122 meter distance isn’t far enough for us. I know cats are territorial creatures but as it ended up ours wonder much further so I am still losing track of them. I think Tabcat would be ideal if you cats like to hide and you struggle with finding them around the house or nearby garden.

Whistle RRP: $79.95

Whistle offers two options, GPS tracker or an activity monitor. We tested the activity monitor version and I have to admit, I totally love it.

Whistle’s Activity Monitor is a health tracker for your dog. It attaches to any collar and measures your dog’s activities, giving you a new perspective on the day-to-day behaviour and long-term trends.

Pet Wearables – WhistleThe device is app based and it can be highly personalised. In addition to tracking the activities or sleep duration of your dog, you can also track food or medication; all the data comes in the form of graphs so it’s super easy to track the progress and if you want there is a Whistle community you can join too.

The Whistle itself is a round disk 1.5” in diameter, it might be a bit big for very small dogs but for Bunk is just perfect. It comes with a collar attachment and a USB charger. The battery last around 7 days, which isn’t bad. It takes about 1 hour to fully recharge it and the device provides a clear green light indicator when it is fully charged.

I am not able to fault it in any way. Even in the UK climate with all its tons of rain it still works well and is still performing as intended so its waterproof feature is spot on. If you fancy a kind of Fitbit for your pet, I think Whistle might just be just the way to go.

Have you ever used any wearable tech for your pet?

Can you recommend something new we haven’t tried so far?