Monthly Archives: February 2016

Premium Grooming Products

Looking for an all-natural, cruelty free, premium grooming products for your pets? Look no further! Nature’s Specialties is recognized in the grooming industry as premium products and are used by many competitive groomers. We are committed to bringing you the highest quality and most natural pet grooming product out there!

wood_ad_12.11.15

6 Super Powers Dogs Have That Humans Don’t

6 Super Powers Dogs Have That Humans Don’t

Ask any dog owner, and we’ll bet they have at least one story about their four-legged friend performing a feat normally reserved for superheroes. They may not (always) wear capes, but dogs have several super powers that humans can only dream of having.

1. Smelling The Smallest Treats When Near Or Far

xOBnI8I

Source: Reddit

A dog’s sense of smell is anywhere between 10,000 and 100,00 times better than humans, which means they can smell things we can only dream of. To put this in perspective of eyesight, if you could see 1/3 of a mile straight ahead, your dog could see 3,000 miles ahead just as clearly.

While this supercharged nose can be used to help out humans, dogs also take advantage of this power for less heroic purposes. Have you ever come home from the grocery store with one of your dog’s favorite treats? The second you walk in that door, you are at the mercy of your dog’s nose and no packaging is going to thwart their ability. They can tell the moment their favorite food is nearby and they don’t waste a second looking for it!

2. The Detection Of Illness In Sick Hoomans

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 12

Source: @marloweandshakes / Instagram

A dog’s nose may be good for sniffing out a hidden treat, but they also use their super hero sniffing ability to help us humans. Amazingly, dogs, both with and without training, are able to detect illness in their human companions. While some dogs require formal training, like those trained to warn their owner about an oncoming epileptic seizure, other dogs can warn of us changes in our body due to illness, like cancer.

There are countless stories of dogs that have picked up on biological changes in the body resulting in cancer. Knowing that something is off, these dogs often persistently draw attention to a certain body part until their owner can no longer ignore the signs they are sending.

3. The Ability To READ YOUR MIND!!!

1024x1024

Source: SF Gate

Okay, dogs can’t actually read your mind per say, but they are pretty darn good at reading your behaviour and making inferences about your future actions based on it. The reason for this is dogs use eye contact and follow their human’s gaze to determine what their owners are thinking. They’re so good at it that you don’t even have to say a word and your dog will often know what your next move is.

If you ask us, it seems like this ability is heightened when something unpleasant for the dog is about to happen, such as being given a bath. The second they see you look at them, then the bathtub or towel, they’re hightailing it out of there!

4. Prediction Of Natural Disasters

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 12

Source: @lilyhope_pomeranian / Instagram

This is one of your dog’s more spooky super powers, as researchers today are still unsure about exactly how it works. After every natural disaster, stories begin to pop up about people who were warned about the upcoming event by their pet’s unusual behaviour.

Researchers are not yet sure exactly how dogs, and other animals, are able to sense natural disasters before they happen, but there are a few theories. Some believe that they can sense chemical changes in groundwater that occur before earthquakes, while others believe that they can hear very low-frequency rumbles created by natural occurrences, such as earthquakes or volcanoes. These are also numerous researchers who believe that dogs use their strong sense of smell to detect changes in the air before disaster strikes. Either way, if you start to notice your dog acting weird, you might want to check the weather channel.

5. Finding The Way Home Without A Map

Uu26ab4

Source: Reddit

For those of you who are chronically lost, even with the help of modern technology, this is one doggie super power you might wish you had. Dogs are often able to find their way home, even from long distances.

The crazy thing about this is that dogs don’t need to have walked the route before to be able to find their way back, so how do they do it? Not surprisingly, a lot of this internal GPS is due to dog’s keen sense of smell. If your dog is in familiar territory, they are able to follow their own trail back home. Don’t worry though; your lost pup will do just as well in an unfamiliar territory by keeping a nose out for familiar scents. Once they identify a familiar scent, they are able to follow it until they find another familiar scent, eventually making their way home

6. And Last, But Not least, The Ability To See Their Own Farts

Dexter-637x477

Source: Dog Shaming

I’m really not quite sure when this super power would ever come in handy, but it certainly would be entertaining. For some reason, researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology were curious to see how dog’s brains reacted when they were exposed to the sight of gases from their owner, a stranger, other dogs, and themselves. From their spot in the MRI machine beside a window, the dogs observed the gases being released in the next room and when their own farts were released, their brain lit up. Interestingly, this didn’t happen when they saw the gases of their owner, a stranger, or another dog!

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 1

Source: @thefluffypaw / Instagram

So there you have it, six amazing dog super powers that humans would only dream of having. While some may be more entertaining than others, you never know when one of them might come in handy.

Now the real question is, will your dog use these powers for good or for evil? Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Featured image via @jeffer126 / Instagram

10 Life-Changing Tips To Keep Your Home From Smelling Like A Kennel

10 Life-Changing Tips To Keep Your Home From Smelling Like A Kennel

There are many words I would use to describe my dog — “perfect”, “angelic”, and “life-affirming” immediately spring to mind (I mean, c’mon look at that face!) — but “aromatic” and “fragrant” don’t make the list.

oona

Source: @dublinspy / Instagram 

She can definitely produce some funky odors from time to time. Whether they originate from her butt region, her mouth region, or just her entire being in general, these unpleasant stenches can have my small apartment smelling less than stellar in no time. Luckily, just a few simple steps can stave off the stank and keep your home smelling fresh!

1. Baths On The Regular 

This may seem like a no-brainer, but making sure your dog gets a good shampooing roughly once a month is the first step is keeping your house from smelling like a kennel. Be sure to pay attention to your dog’s specific grooming needs, some require more tub time than others — but be careful not to overdo it as bathing your dog more often than necessary can strip their fur of natural oils and lead to dry, irritated skin.

dog bath

Source: shoehorn99 / Flickr

2. Thorough Brushing

Once you’ve got your pup smelling fresh and clean, and even on days when you don’t bathe them, it’s a good idea to run a brush through your dog’s fur to collect loose hair. This way, it won’t end up collecting on your floors where it can not only look unpleasant but collect odors as well.

fur dog shed

Source: Imgur

3. Embrace The Swiffer

Having a dog requires cleaning the floor far more often than you’d like, whether that means buying Swiffer refills in bulk or investing in a good vacuum and some pet-safe carpet deodorizer. Smells can hide deep in the fibers of rugs and carpets, using a brush can help completely eliminate stubborn odors.

puppy rug carpet

Source: Winniepix / Flickr

4. Nature’s Miracle Is Truly Miraculous

Accidents are bound to happen. Using an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle makes sure you aren’t just masking the odor, you’re actually eliminating it.

5. Lint Rollers Are Your Best Friend

I keep a lint roller in the bathroom, the bedroom, by the back door, and in every pocketbook I own. These sticky rolls of tape-like magic are invaluable when it comes to keeping your clothes, upholstery, and sanity fur-free.

lint roller

Source: 3M

6. Swab The Poop Decks

It’s an unpleasant reality that our homes are full of bacteria, both the harmless and the not-so-harmless kinds. Keep your surfaces clean and smelling as fresh as possible by wiping them often with pet-safe disinfectant wipes.

dog counter

Source: Ruff Life

6. Toss Their Bed In The Wash

Tons of gross smells can get tangled up in the place your dog spends much of their time — their bedding. Washing their bed regularly will make sure both your crib and your pup stay smelling fresher, longer.

dirty dog bed

Source: West Paw Design

7. Fresh Sheets For All! 

Or if you’re like me and let your pup sleep and spoon in bed with you, make sure to change your linens extra often so you don’t wake up smelling like a dog.

king charles puppy

Source: Doris Burfind / Flickr

8. Keep Air Filters Clean

An oft overlooked step in keeping your home smelling like a dream is cleaning and changing your air filters often. Not only will it help with the stench, it also makes sure their hair doesn’t clog filters which can break down your A/C.

9. Doggie Dentist

While most of the odors you’re battling on the homefront hopefully don’t originate from your dog’s mouth, the importance of staying on top of your dog’s dental hygiene can’t be overstated.

dog toothbrush

Source: Linda N. / Flickr

10. DIY Air Freshener

If you’ve ever walked into a Williams Sonoma store and wondered “HOW DO THEY DO IT? WHAT IS THAT HEAVENLY AROMA?” (and who hasn’t?), look no further. All you need to do is boil two cups of water on your stovetop, add a sliced lemon, several sprigs of rosemary, a dash of vanilla extract, and let that baby boil away. Your house will smell warm, inviting, and free of any puppy stank for as long as you let it simma’.

lemon rosemary

Source: Viral Nova

Featured Image via DogShaming

How To Train Your Dog Like A Military Working Dog

How To Train Your Dog Like A Military Working Dog

In order to train your dog to have the obedience of a military dog, you have to have high standards not only or your dog, but also for yourself as a trainer. Here are a few things the military takes very seriously when it comes to the training their dogs.

1. Patience

dogsofvalor

Patience is the steadiness, endurance, or perseverance necessary to help the dog develop the skill to perform a
task correctly. A handler must remain calm and self–controlled while working with the dog on each task.”

Some dogs, just like people, are better at some tasks than others. Differences in behavior and personality also determine a dogs capabilities. Having patience, as well as an understanding of your dogs strengths and weaknesses, will contribute to the success of your dogs training. Frustration, anger, and impatience, on the other hand, will not.

2. Repetition

mil2

Source: Armed Forces Press Service via Military.com

Practice practice practice. How much training a dog needs, of course, depends on several factors, like the capabilities and behavior of the dog. The US Army recommends handlers train with their dogs a minimum of 4 hours per week. Breaking that down into a 7 day schedule, handlers should practice with their dogs at least 30 minutes a day.

3. Praise

michele57danko

Source: michele57danko

Praise is vital to training your dog–it’s how they discover they are doing something “right” and it’s what motivates them to offer the behavior again in the future. The US Army points out that how you praise your dog is important as well. They advise handlers not depreciate the value of high-value rewards by giving them freely. Meaning, if your dog goes bananas for freeze dried liver, you should only give your dog freeze dried liver when he has executed a command correctly. Giving the reward freely or to often might depreciate the value of the reward.

airforce

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

Timing is also important when it comes to praising your dog correctly. The reward should be given immediately after your dog performs the required response. Any delay between the required response and the reward might confuse your dog as to what he is being praised for.

4. Socialize your dog

dteebs006

Source: dteebs006

Socializing your dog helps build your dogs confidence, as well as teaches them to work in a variety of environments. Socialization is also critical to helping your dog work well around strangers and other dogs.

4. Teach the following obedience commands:

  • SIT
  • DOWN
  • HEEL
  • STAY

bruiserandmacho

Source: bruiserandmacho

The US Army requires their dogs to learn commands with a verbal cue, as well as a visual cue, such as a hand signal.

5. Generalize Commands

To generalize a command means to teach your dog to perform a command in a variety of environments and/or under different circumstances. Take, for example, this sweet Bernard who has generalized the behavior of holding an object on his head. Because the command has been generalized, he can hold a variety of objects on his head, in a variety of different locations.

Generalization can be difficult for dogs (some more so than others). Sometimes it takes more than just practicing the command in a variety of locations (as in re-teaching the command altogether).

6. Practice with distractions

servicedogblaze

Source: servicedogblaze

After your dog has become proficient at a command, throw a few distractions in the mix. Distractions could be sounds, smells, or a stimulus (such as another dog, hooman, or their favorite ball or toy).

7. Practice on an obedience course:

klam07

While on an obedience course your dog is navigating lots of small puzzles and challenges. Not only are you stimulating your dogs brain, you are encouraging him to think his way through difficult situations.

H/t to Task & Purpose
Featured image via Air Mobility Command

Here’s What To Do When Your Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t

Here’s What To Do When Your Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t

Whether it’s a stick, a pair of socks, a toy or a tasty turd, certain dogs have a tendency to swallow items they shouldn’t. Some of these treasures may pass harmlessly through their digestive tract, but others can cause serious problems. There are several theories as to why these dogs repeatedly ingest items that aren’t food, however no one knows exactly what causes this behavior.

shoe

As a former veterinary technician, I have seen dogs pass foreign objects as large as tennis balls and as potentially dangerous as diamond stud earrings with no intervention other than a little extra fiber in their diet.

I have also seen dogs undergo extensive, painful surgery to remove blockages caused by hair, leaves and other materials that may not seem all that toxic. And, unfortunately, I have seen dogs die as a result of an ingested object causing an intestinal blockage. So what should you do if your dog thinks he’s a canine garbage disposal?

thief2

Eating feces is known as Coprophagia. Although disgusting, it’s usually not life threatening. Again, we don’t know exactly why some dogs do this, but it may be associated with poor nutrition, vitamin deficiency, thyroid conditions or diabetes, so consult your vet.

poopeater

If your dog is a connoisseur of feces from himself, other dogs or the family cat, regular de-worming and a round of a product like For-Bid should do the trick. If you live in a rural area where your pup has access to moose, deer, duck or goose poop, talk to your vet, as these may lead to less common parasites or bacteria.

duckdog

Ingesting foreign objects like toys, rocks or clothing can be far more serious. Here are some signs that your pooch may have swallowed something dangerous. Any combination of these symptoms should mean an immediate trip to the vet!

  • Nausea – gagging, drooling, licking the lips repeatedly
  • Vomiting – food may come back up undigested
  • Painful, swollen belly
  • Refusal to eat
  • Lethargy
  • Depression – refusal to play, irritability, behavior changes
  • Changes in bowels — diarrhea, constipation

If you know your dog has ingested a specific foreign object you should immediately consult your veterinarian. Based on the physical exam and X-rays, the vet can determine if your pup can pass the item the old fashioned way, or if medical intervention is needed. Treatment options will also depend on your dog’s age, size, symptoms and history.

xrayduckie2(1)

If the object is metal or sharp, vets will sometimes prescribe a high fiber diet to bulk up the stool and coat the item as it passes through the digestive tract. Even a tiny object can cause punctures or tears in your dog’s digestive tract as it passes, so surgery may still be required.

xray-lightbulb(1)

The size, density and material of the object your dog has eaten will also factor into the treatment plan. Feminine products can be quite dangerous because the material expands from the moisture of the digestive tract. Other materials like hair, carpeting and clothing can build up in the intestines over time if your dog is a repeat offender.

doghairball

No matter what your dog’s object of choice, there are steps you can take to prevent a foreign body emergency:

  • Always monitor your dog when outside
  • Use a short, non-extending leash on walks
  • Pick up all toys, laundry, etc when you leave the house or cannot monitor your pooch(remember, our dogs love items that carry our smell!)
  • Consider using a crate when you are unavailable
  • Line crates and bedding with safe materials only: ask your veterinarian for recommendations
  • Deworm your dog regularly
  • Know the signs and symptoms
  • Seek veterinary advice or care immediately if there is an incident

 

H/T to Pet MD & cesarsway.com

Featured Image via @kposselwhite/Instagram

What To Do About Your Dog’s Hair…Down There

What To Do About Your Dog’s Hair…Down There

There are many benefits to having a long haired dog. They are adorable, snuggly, and best of all, nearly shed-free! With a continually growing coat, comes the need for regular grooming. Some owners opt to have a professional groomer take care of all their dog’s hygienic needs from bathing and haircuts to nail trims and anal gland expressions.

For some breeds this can mean visiting the groomer every few weeks which can be costly and time consuming. Learning to perform a few grooming tasks at home can ensure that your dog stays healthy and comfortable between visits to a professional.

dogbutt3

Source: @Olane.the.Sheltie/Instagram

One of the most important skills to master is the “potty patch”. This is the term often used to describe a hygienic trim of the hair around the anus and vulva or penis. It may seem a little gross and rather personal, but neglecting these areas can lead to fecal impactions, urinary tract infections and severe matting.

dogbutt2

Source: @MLaurenx3/Instagram

You should always begin an at-home grooming regimen when your dog is healthy and free from any mats or tangles. Study your dog’s coat immediately after a professional groom. The hair around his or her potty areas will be trimmed very short, but not “buzzed”.

groomed

Source: @Uptown.Pet/Instagram

-Check the potty areas frequently as your dog’s hair grows out. Look for fecal matter or irritation around the anus. Scooting is a sign that your dog is uncomfortable in the rear end and may need to be cleaned or trimmed back there. (Note: persistent scooting could be an issue with the anal glands- see your vet or groomer.)

butt3

Source: @RirinT/Instagram

-Invest in a professional pair of grooming scissors or a set of clippers meant for pet hair. Clippers come with different attachments to prevent you from cutting the hair too short, or Dog forbid, nicking your dog’s skin. Decide which tool you feel more comfortable with.

-Place your dog on a raised surface to make it easier for you to see what you are doing. If your dog hasn’t mastered the stay command, having a helper to keep him from bolting off the table is a good idea.

groom2

Source: @KadashingKahini/Instagram

-Raise the tail so that it is completely vertical for trimming around the anus. This will provide a better view and cause the skin in that area to be pulled taut.

-Have your dog rest on his or her back for trimming around the penis or vulva. A second pair of hands to pet and calm your dog in this position is helpful.

floppydog

Source: @SunshineGallour/Instagram

-Remember, the goal is to keep the hair short and clean in these areas, NOT to cut it down to the skin. Trimming too short can be itchy and irritating to the skin.

-Clean around the anus and urinary area after your dog goes potty with organic baby wipes or wipes made especially for dogs’ sensitive skin to maintain cleanliness between trims.

buttwipe

Source: @SBez/Instagram

If you are concerned that you have waited too long to maintain these areas and your dog has matting, skin irritation or signs of an infection, do not attempt to groom him or her yourself! Your veterinarian can assess the problem and perform a hygienic trim if necessary or refer you to a groomer.

Featured Image via @PetitePetInn/Instagram