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August 2015

Dog Walking Etiquette

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Dog Walking Etiquette

Easy Infographic

Besides providing exercise, taking your dog for a walk is also a fantastic way for the two of you to bond, spend quality time together or simply have fun. But only under condition that you follow the rules of dog walking etiquette. There are not many but there are some very important rules to follow to make the daily walk with your dog an enjoyable and rewarding experience not only for the two of you but for other dog walkers, joggers, cyclists, etc. as well.

Always Keep Your Dog on a Leash

This rule should never be broken even if you have the most highly trained and obedient dog in the world, for both his and other people’s (and dogs’) safety. A leash enables you to have full control of your dog at all times. It enables you to prevent him not only from chasing cats, attacking skateboarders, etc. but it also enables you to prevent him from running on the street and get hit by a car. And the last but not the least important, it reassures other people that they won’t get attacked or disturbed by your dog.

Teach Your Dog to Obey and Respond Instantly to Commands Such as “Come”, “Sit” and “Leave It”

In addition to having control of your dog physically, it is crucial to control him mentally/psychologically as well which is especially important if the dog is from a medium- to large-sized breed. Unless he is controlled through voice commands, he can be impossible to manage even if leashed. What is more, the leash is of little use if the dog doesn’t obey his owner. For that reason it is crucial for your dog to be well trained and above all, to obey and respond instantly to commands such as “come”, “sit” and “leave it”.

Remember that Some People Don’t Like Dogs and that No One Likes Misbehaved Dogs

Dog Walking Etiquette

Keep your dog away from other people and their properties. Most people love dogs, especially if they are well behaved but remember that there are also people who don’t like dogs for one reason or the other. And they don’t want to be approached by dogs and much less to be jumped on. Speaking about jumping, no one likes it, not even people who own dogs themselves. So respect other people’s space and teach your dog good manners.

Know the Rules of Dog Greeting

Don’t let your dog approach other dogs without asking their owners for approval. Let him greet the other dog by sniffing his rear end only if the owner agrees and be sure to pay attention to both dogs’ body language. If you notice any signs of tension or stress from either side, move your dog away immediately.

Pick Up Your Dog’s Poop

In addition to being unsightly, smelly and annoying, uncollected dog poop can also spread various parasites, viruses and other disease-causing microorganisms to other dogs and in some cases even to people. Always carry a plastic bag in your pocket to be able to pick up your dog’s poop and dispose it in the nearest garbage can.

Dog Walking

Great Dane – Breed Information

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Great Dane – Breed Information

Also called the Deutsche Dogge and German mastiff, the Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds in the world. Despite its large size, however, the breed is known to have a very friendly personality which earned it the nickname the “Gentle Giant” and made it one of the most popular breeds in the United States.

History of the Great Dane

Great Dane

The Great Dane is one of the oldest dog breeds around. Large dogs similar to the Dane date back to at least ancient Greece. However, the modern breed was developed only a few centuries ago in Germany, while the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed in 1887.

Great Dane Appearance and Physical Characteristics

As mentioned earlier, the Great Dane is a huge breed. Males reach up to about 34 inches and usually weigh 120 to 200 pounds. Females are slightly smaller both when it comes to weight and height although they can weigh as much as 130 pounds as well. Due to their size, the Great Danes have a relatively short lifespan which is in average 8 to 10 years although some also live up to 13 years.

The breed has a short and thick coat. According to the AKC, there are 9 standard colors: black, white, black and white, brindle, blue, mantle, merle, harlequin and fawn. Very common is also chocolate and variations of chocolate which, however, is not a recognized color.

Great Dane Personality and Temperament

Aside from their large size, dogs of this breed are also known for their gentle personality, calm temperament and friendly character as well as for being very obedient, sensitive and well behaved. But it is highly important to have them properly trained at an early age. The breed gets along well with kids but due to the large size and tendency to seek attention, the Dane can be very difficult to manage by young children.

Great Dane Grooming and Care

The Great Dane’s short coat doesn’t require any special care other than regular grooming and periodic bath. Just like other breeds, the “Gentle Giant” should also be regularly cleaned his ears, trimmed his nails and brushed his teeth. This can easily be done at home but you may want to ask your vet to show you the best techniques.

Great Dane Diet and Exercise

Just like other breeds, the Great Dane needs a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet to live a long and happy life. For help in selecting the best formula, determining the amount and frequency of feeding, turn to a vet who will also help you develop an optimal diet based on the dog’s age, weight, health and other specific requirements.

The “Gentle Giant” doesn’t need much exercise. In fact, he mustn’t be over-exercised, especially in puppyhood. Due to the rapid growth, puppies are at increased risk of developing problems with bones and joints. And exercise makes these problems only worse.

Great Dane RRAH

Great Dane Health

In comparison to crossbred dogs, the Great Danes are more likely to develop health problems such as hip dysplasia, bloat, eye problems and cardiac disease. To both reduce the risk and manage these health issues, it is crucial for the dogs to get proper diet, exercise and care as well as regular vet checkups and all the recommended vaccines.

Things You May Not Know About the Great Dane

– Zeus, the largest Great Dane ever recorded was 44 inches tall
– Great Danes don’t need a large fenced backyard to get the necessary exercise
– the breed is very popular with people who live in apartments
– Scooby-Doo is a male Great Dane

Cleaning Dog Toys

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Cleaning Dog Toys

Dog toys provide fun, stimulation and distraction, and are very effective against boredom, especially when your pet is home alone. But unfortunately, they get very dirty in a very short period of time. This is because for dogs, playing means mouthing or chewing, or both. As a result, your dog’s toys soon get a breeding ground for all kinds of germs, many of which pose a potential health risk not only to your pet but to you and your family members as well. For that reason it is of utmost importance to keep your dog’s toys clean. But it is also highly important to clean them safely.

Hot Soapy Water is Effective Against Most Germs

You don’t need any special products to clean your dog’s toys. On the contrary, an ordinary dish soap and hot water do the job perfectly when it comes to most dog toys that are made from rubber or plastic/vinyl. Simply fill the kitchen sink with hot water, add a little bit of dish soap and submerge your dog’s toys. If they are really dirty, let them soaking for a few minutes for the dirt, food remains, etc. to come loose. Wash every toy individually using a sponge or brush, rinse under running water and let them dry. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and shake or squeeze out excess water.

Simply Throw the Toys into the Dishwasher

Cleaning Toys

Even more convenient and equally effective method to clean your dog’s toys is to simply wash them in the dishwasher. However, you are highly recommended not to use any detergents or rinse products. If not rinsed off thoroughly, they can be toxic for your dog. Instead of detergent, add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar which will kill the germs safely and effectively. Run the entire cycle, shake or squeeze out excess water and leave the toys to dry. Obviously, the dishwasher is appropriate for rubber and plastic/vinyl toys only but you can also use it to sanitize rope toys.

Wash Stuffed and Plush Toys in a Washing Machine

Before you run the washing machine, however, be sure to check whether the toys are suitable for machine washing and at which water temperature to wash them. Use detergent sparsely or don’t use it at all. Again, you may replace the detergent with white vinegar to kill the germs. And don’t worry, the toys won’t smell after vinegar. You may place washed toys in a dryer for a few minutes but you can also put them to air dry immediately.

Stay Away from Harsh Chemicals

Even if you rinse the toys carefully, tiny amounts of potentially very dangerous chemicals may remain on the inner or outer surfaces. The above mentioned methods are both safe and effective, so there is really no need to use any harsh chemicals to clean your pet’s toys. And remember, dog toys occasionally need to be replaced. So if the toy is really dirty or if it has any loose parts, tears or unpleasant smell even after washing it, simply throw it away and buy a new one.