How to Crate Train a Puppy

http://www.centralparkpaws.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Dog-chewing-need-crate.jpg

Crate Training Puppies

Bear – his registered name was Ursus Americanus – was the second dog I ever owned.

An obsidian black Chow Chow without a speck of any other color anywhere. From his black fur to his black nails and every square inch of him. My little licorice jellybean was a fluffy bundle of energy and love.

Who tried to eat the house.

Yes, the house.

He’d chew on anything that he could get his mouth onto. Oh, yeah, there were the usual victims of shoes, and I can’t even begin to guess how many socks. But he would chew on the couch, the windowsill, the door frame, my desk chair, the stairs, the cabinets.

I had him for less than 2 weeks and every single room in the house bore the scars from his chewing. He could not be left alone for more than a couple minutes or something would fall prey to his little habit.

And apparently he wasn’t even teething yet.

I discovered he was also digging up the carpeting in the closets to hide treats.Dog chewing need crate training

Where does a 12-week old puppy learn to rip up carpeting to hide treats?

When I caught his mouth on the base of my 12″ dob telescope, I knew I had bitten off more than I could chew where this puppy was concerned.

I called the breeder for some advice, and they suggested investing in a case of bitter apple spray and a crate.

I had never used a crate before, because I thought they were cruel. How was a crate going to teach him not to chew and besides – what if there was a fire?

After about a week and a few conversations with the breeder, my vet, the local pet store, and the guy doing some of the repairs on my woodwork, I decided to try the crate training my puppy.

It took a couple weeks, but I successfully crate trained Bear. After another couple months of training – and re-training – we got his chewing habits under control with appropriate toys.

I came to the conclusion that rather than being cruel or dangerous, that the crate offered a sense of security to Bear, his own personal space, and was actually helpful for housebreaking.

Although I must say, up to that point he had been breaking the house just fine.

By the time he was 6 months, Bear was a happy, well adjusted little gentleman, and I became a believer in kennels and crates.

Why Should You Crate Train Your Puppy?

There are several good reasons why you should crate train your puppy – and none of them are harmful to the emotional or physical growth of your new best friend.

Crates and kennels are a throwback to their wolf lineage and lairs, so a personal den gives them a tie to their roots.

Is crate training good for dogs?

Courtesy of Jinx McCombs

  1. Private space is as important to your canine as it is to you. A kennel or crate is a place of their own, and helps build their self-esteem, as well as trust. It’s his own space to be alone with himself away from the other animals – 4-legged or 2-legged kinds.
  2. Oddly enough, crates can be a source of comfort when they’ve got a tummy ache, have been a naughty boy (provided they sulk in there on their own accord), or because they have the blues from missing you.
  3. Crate training can keep your Fido from forming bad habits, such as chewing or other destructive behaviors. Roaming the house unsupervised can lead to exploration – and 99% of the time, that exploration is done with their teeth. Trust me on this one.
  4. Crates provide safety not just by keeping your little bundle of energy from getting onto trouble when you’re not home, but since crates are required when traveling in cars or airplanes, having them trained to remain calm inside one makes any travel safer.
  5. Overall, kennel and crate training includes open and latched doors. The door should always remain open for their access, and depending on your situation and preferences. The door can be left open or closed overnight, although for the first 6 months or so, the door is generally closed to prevent overnight accidents.

Please remember – never force a puppy into a crate if he is clearly afraid of it.

What NOT to Do When Crate Training

If you choose to crate train, it’s vital that you avoid a few pitfalls in order to keep a happy and healthy puppy and adult dog.

  1. Crates are not punishment. You should never put your puppy of dog in “time out” because they had an accident or chewed something while you were out of the house. Any correction needs to be at the time of the misdemeanor, not hours later.
    1. That being said, you can – and should – use the crate when there are guests and the puppy excitement gets out of hand. Place him in the crate until he calms down, and make sure none of the guests pay any attention to him until he has calmed down.
  2. Crates are not play places for kids, period. Crates will quickly become your dog’s personal sanctuary, and they will often go in and out of them according to their mood and whim. You should never allow kids in them for any reason. At all. End of story.
  3. Crates are not so you can have some peace and quiet. Puppies are a handful on a good day – and a test of your sanity on bad ones. But never, ever put your puppy in their crate because you need a break from their energy, or some free time.

How Long Does Crate Training Take?

There’s no easy answer to this one – no matter how disappointed you might be by it.

How to crate train a dog

Like any training, there are several mountains and valleys – and plateaus – before success.

It takes commitment and endurance not to slack off when you think that there’s no hope you will ever get it done.

Or, being lulled into a false sense of security during a plateau and slacking off training prematurely.

On average, it takes up to several weeks to get your pup to get used to going in and out of his crate and having it closed for periods of time.

Some take to it immediately, some take a little longer.

A few years ago I had a puppy take to it the first day – I’d never seen anything like it. She waltzed right into the kennel the minute I put her stuff in it like she owned the space, and for the most part that was all it took.

I had another dog that was so terrified of his crate, after a few weeks of not going near it we abandoned the idea altogether. He never went into a crate – not his, not any of the others.

How to Crate/Kennel Train a Puppy

Step 1: Choose an appropriate kennel.

You don’t want to go too small, or your dog will outgrow it too fast, and you may be tempted to continue to use it past the size limit – which will cramp more than just your dog’s style.

On the other hand, one that’s too large may lose the effect of a cozy den, and provide an area for your pup to conduct business rather than learning to hold it.

Your best option is a kennel that will be an adequate size for your breed when fully grown, and simply use a divider panel to make the area smaller – and move it back as he grows to enlarge the area.

There are several styles of crates and kennels on the market, from a standard wire kennel to a soft-sided nylon.

Up and coming on the market are kennels that are a cross between wooden furniture and wire kennels, and can be purchased or made, if you’re very handy. These hybrids can be very stylish – and very size adaptable.

As nice as they are, I’d steer clear of the soft sided Nylon crates if your pup is as destructive as mine except as temporary traveling equipment. Nylon just screams, “chew me!”

Step 2: Buy a bed.

Be sure to include a crate pad for comfort. Obviously, one that has a waterproof liner is best, but at the very least make sure it’s washable.

Never use harsh chemicals when washing; you want some of your dog’s own smell to remain so he knows it’s his. Also, consider throwing an old shirt that you’ve recently worn in there. Your fluffy baby loves your smell, and finds it comforting.

If possible, introduce the bed a day or two before the crate – placing the bed near where the kennel will be. Encourage him to sleep on the bed, and in the very least play with him on it several times a day.

This will start transferring his scent – and ownership – to the bed, and help in the next step of crate training.

Step 3: Place the crate.

Dog with toys in crate

Toys make a doggo happy!

Place the kennel in a well-traveled area in the home, where most of the action occurs. You can move it later, to give him privacy and quiet, but right now your little furball wants to be near you.

Constantly.

And the best way to have him get used to this new monstrosity is to have it in an area that you are in, and he sees you are not afraid of it.

In addition to a familiar place near his humans, be sure to have some of his toys and blanket scattered around the area.

Leave the crate open for a day or two, and simply ignore it. If your pup happens to venture into it, don’t react at all. Keep a discrete eye on him, but try not to respond to his actions.

Step 4: Introduce the puppy to his den.

This should be done slowly, and you should expect this part to take some time. Start by moving the new bed into the crate.

Puppies are naturally curious, and within a few hours he should wander into the crate, if for no other reason then to check out his bed. Toss a favorite stinky treat in there on top of the bed and walk away, staying in the room and ignoring the crate.

If, after a week, he is still too hesitant to go in, then use the treat enticements and a calm voice to talk to him as you pick him up and put him in front of the crate, petting him and talking to him.

Do not, under any circumstance, simply put him in and shut the door of the crate as his first experience – this is pretty much guaranteed to make him afraid of the crate.

Step 5: Nap time.

Once your puppy has ventured in and out of the crate a few times, start placing him in there for naps. This is most easily done by picking up the sleeping puppy and placing him on the soft bed inside the crate, and let him wake up on his own.

Happy crate trained dog

Nap time!

If you can be in the same room when he wakes, then all the better. If there’s a favorite snuggle toy he sleeps with, then it should go in the crate permanently.

If he takes it out, then return it to the crate in a matter-of-fact manner – don’t make any fuss.

Eventually, if you play with him near the crate, he will start to go in there for his naps.

If you are training your puppy to voice commands, especially a ‘lay down‘ command, this is a perfect time to incorporate this training. As he gets used to the kennel as a place to lay down and sleep, we move on to the next step.

If your puppy – or dog, for that matter – is afraid of the crate, do not jump ahead to this step and hope that waking up inside the crate will suddenly cure him. It’s just plain cruel.

Step 6: On Command.

Decide on a name and command for the crate, and start using it. Common choices are “kennel”, “crate”, and “place”. Personally, I use “lair” because it sounds cool and it’s not a word than can be confused with any other command.

Whatever you choose, when you see your puppy go into the kennel, tell him “good, kennel” – or whatever you want the command to be. Toss treats or toys into the crate, and reinforce the name each time each time he enters.

To move from passive to active in this command, kneel near the crate and show him a much favored treat, followed with the command “kennel”.

Give him a chance to respond before repeating. If he doesn’t understand, then draw him into the crate with the treat in your hand, while vocalizing the command. Like any other instruction, this will take patience and consistency.

The goal is for him to enter the crate on command.

Step 7: Shutting the door.

This step shares some similarities with placing your baby in their crib to sleep; knowing when to pick them up, and knowing when to let them cry for a couple minutes.

The first time you shut the door, do it while the pup is eating a treat or chewing on a toy. Close the door, and open it right up again. Keep repeating this until they choose to come out of the crate.

crate training puppies

Who could shut a door on this face?

Then, do it a few more times with them outside of the crate. If your little pup has learned to lay down on command, then ask him to lay, and then close and open the door.

The key to this step is to open the door before they have a chance to get upset or cry. Do this several times a day, over several days.

As long as he does not react to the door closing in a negative manner, you can leave it closed a few moments longer each time, staying in direct sight.

Keep practicing this step until he doesn’t pay much attention to the door closing and opening.

You can make this a game by playing with his toes through the door.

One option you have at this stage is closing the door and letting your pup nuzzle it open. You can also leave the door partly closed during the day, and let your pup want to go into it, and paw it open. This teaches him not to be afraid of the door.

Step 8: Latch the door.

This is an important step, and should not be done until your dog is comfortable being in the crate. The first time you latch the door, be sure to stay in plain sight, and latch it for only a handful of seconds.

Let him rattle the door, but do try to open it before he wines. The last thing you want is to associate the door opening as a result of his whining.

If he whines first, then wait several hours, or until the next day, to try again – and be sure to do a shorter length of time.

Repeat this pattern over the next few days and add a few seconds each time as you can. Remain right at the crate with your hand on the latch, talking to your little guy the whole time.

Step 9: Walk away.

When you have been able to extend the time the door is closed and latched to about a minute, start putting distance between yourself and the kennel.

Start by standing up – because he can still see you it will not cause separation anxiety or any fear. Simply stand up and sit back down, and open the door – even if this was a shorter period than you’ve been working on.

Slowly, add distance with the door closed. Back away a couple steps, keeping eye contact and speaking softly and cheerfully, and return. Repeat, adding a step or two, for the next handful of days until you can make it to a doorway.

Once you’ve achieved this distance with no whining, it’s time to walk away from the crate. Start this step over, but this time turning and facing away from Fluffy.

As before, incrementally increase the distance away from the crate until you can make it to the door.

Step 10: Increase crate time.

Once you can walk to the doorway and back, its time to begin increasing the time in the closed kennel while you are in the room. Start by sitting against or near the crate, with your phone.

Crate training for puppy

Pup loves his crate

Try and be quiet, but make sure you put a few toys in the crate first. Slowly start extending the time and distance until about 30 minutes, and you’re on the other side of the room.

Once you have a calm pup with 30 minutes in their crate – preferable calm ones! – then it’s time to start leaving the room.

Close and latch the crate, walk out of the room until you are out of sight and then return to the room, but do not open the crate immediately.

Do this several times throughout the day, varying the amount of time out of sight, but as you increase it do so by only a minute or two each time.

Increase these periods gradually, and consider starting an overnight routine.

You Did It!

At this point your little guy is crate trained; that is he goes into the crate and remains with the door closed without crying. Now, you will begin to increase the time from half an hour up to several hours.

A hotly debated topic among breeders and trainers, is feeding in the crate. It undoubtedly shortens the crate training timeframe, because you can close the door while they are distracted by the food.

On the other hand, after several weeks training you may find your pooch will not accept his food anywhere but inside the kennel, which can cause a whole heap of new problems.

And remember, above all never give in to whining at the beginning of training. Your puppy should whimper when he needs to potty during the night, but he should not be rewarded by coming out unless it’s for a bathroom break.

Crate Training Tips

A few added tips for a successful training, and a happy puppy…

  1. In the early stages of training, do not cover the crate with blankets; he draws his reassurance from seeing you. Once he is fully trained you can try it – but not yet.
  2. Plan your potty breaks when you know you will be leaving for any amount of time. Don’t let him play hard, slurp up all his water, and then put him in the crate for a few hours. It’s just like family roadtrips when you were a kid, “go to the bathroom before you leave”.
  3. Rule of thumb for crating puppies up to 12 months old is one hour per month, up to six hours. So, a four month old should not be in the crate more than four hours without a break, and an 11 month old no longer than six hours.
  4. Tired puppies are easier to crate for any length of time, because they will fall asleep. A puppy full of energy and wanting to play will be stifled and unhappy.
  5. Crating a puppy while you are at work isn’t the best idea; their bladders can’t take the extended time, and the boredom will cause them to act out. If you must leave your 4-legged child for more than 6 hours at a time, consider having a trusted neighbor kid come over and take the pup out into the yard for an hour every day. Heck, they’d probably do it for free! If that’s not an option, consider putting an exercise pen around the crate and leaving the door open. Or, put the crate in the kitchen or another room and allowing them full access and put up a child-gate.
  6. Make “good bye’s” short and sweet. Don’t let them drag on, or be emotional. Simply put Fido in the crate, give him a treat, and tell him you have to leave for a while.
  7. If you’re planning on keeping your puppy crated at night, remember that the best place for them to sleep is in your room, where they can see, hear, and smell you. This may involve moving the crate daily, or purchasing a separate crate.
  8. When letting your puppy out of the crate, do not make a big deal out of it; you’re not releasing him from prison. Be just as matter-of-fact as you were when you left.
  9. Once your dog is fully housebroken, and trustworthy not to eat the house – or every pair of shoes you own – you can opt leave the crate door open during the day. Crate training isn’t necessarily teaching them to be locked in a crate all day, but rather being able to be in a crate, as well as making it a part of their personal routine and space.
  10. Crating does not solve separation anxiety, especially if you’re still in the room.

The perfect recipe for successful crate training takes 3 ingredients; patience, consistency, and commitment. As long as you keep these at the forefront of your training motivation, you will have a crate-trained puppy in no time.

 

And Bear? Well, he eventually outgrew his termite phase, and appreciated his crate once he got used to it.

We were able to leave the door open while we were at work or shopping, and he found it a great escape from the hustle and bustle of family life.

He still stashes his treats – but now he hides them in his crate.

The post How to Crate Train a Puppy appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/dog-training-tips/how-to-crate-train-a-puppy/

Best Indestructible Dog Beds

http://www.centralparkpaws.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/chew-proof-dog-beds.jpg

Ever have one of those days where you wish you could hit ‘rewind’? Or just crawl into a little hole and not come out for an hour – or a year?

Yeah, I had me one of those recently.

My husband walked in on me coming absolutely, positively unglued – something that in all of our years together he’d never experienced – over the actions of one of our dogs.

I have no doubt the view of me raving like an under-medicated lunatic who just broke out of her restraints, contrasted with our dogs calmly laying around enjoying the show with their tails and tongues wagging, is what lead to him dropping his stuff and (after a moment of initial shock) practically busting a gut laughing at the scene.

Not one of my finer moments, I must admit, but I suppose I can appreciate the entertainment from his point of view – and the dogs, too.

In my defense, I had good reason to crack like a dropped egg.

Caña de Cerveza had chewed up another dog bed. I swear, that mutt is shooting to beat a personal best score.

They say every moment is a teaching or learning moment – and heaven knows on that day I did both! – as a result, and weeks of research, I became an unofficial expert on “indestructible” dog beds.

So What Makes a Dog Bed “Indestructible”?

chew proof dog beds

Some dogs will chew ANYTHING!

So many manufacturers tout that their beds are “indestructibly” or “chew proof”, but if you’re like me, you want to know how they gauge what makes the cut.

Is it simply because it takes a lot more effort for a dog doesn’t rip it into a million shreds the minute Mom walks out of the room?

Or is it made from materials that taste nasty so your pooch doesn’t want to bite into it?

Is there a balance between durability and safety?

And for heaven’s sake – does a dog bed even exist that won’t be turned into stuffing at some point with a little effort and a whole lot of motivation from a bored pup?

To answer those questions, we need to decide what defines “indestructible” – and if it’s right for your dog.

To start with, “indestructible” and “chew proof” in relation to dog beds are used interchangeably by the manufacturers as the same thing; it might still be chewed, but without excessive damage – and your pooch may lose interest in it.

While we’re at it – these so-called “chew-proof” beds aren’t an automatic requirement. Unless your pup has left multiple bed carcasses in their wake, try choose a bed based on comfort – especially for an older dog.

Most tougher beds are, obviously, made from tougher materials – and those canvas-type materials aren’t the most comfortable.

Keep in mind most dogs chew out of boredom. If you have provided enough stimulation while you’re not at home – especially larger soft chew toys – then there’s less chance that your furbaby will resort to ripping the stuffing out of his bed.

Of course, some dogs chew because they’re jerks – uh, I mean, because they enjoy it.

When choosing an indestructible bed, remember that it’s all about the construction. The best outer materials can fail quickly with poor construction, and sub-par materials can actually hold up much longer than expected if stitched and assembled well.

Outer Material

The general construction material of the bed will determine the chew-worthiness of the bed.

While we want to balance durability and comfort, our focus is a bed for our four-legged friend that will not look like a stuffing factory exploded in the living room.

1680D Ballistic Nylon

If you think 1680D Ballistic Nylon sounds a lot like the material that your backpack is made from – you’d be right. Although not technically “indestructible”, this is a classic chew proof material because of the dog’s lack of interest in chewing it, as well as its resilient durability when chewed.

Canvas

Not as durable as 1680D, canvas is a good choice for its durability and also because it is a material that does not naturally entice chewing.

Denim

A less durable material, but a dog that has never had denim toys – like one made from an old pair of jeans – will generally not begin to gnaw on this.

Microfiber

best indestructable dog beds

Have you ever come home to this?

The microfibers – including microsuede – are not the preferred choice for dog beds since they mimic the plush stuffed tows our chewers delight in disassembling.

Inner Material

I’ve always been a bit disappointed by the lacking of real regulation and labeling of materials on dog beds, but there’s not much we can do about it.

Unless your dog has special needs (age, arthritis, allergies) the materials aren’t as important as long as it’s adequate for comfort.

Waterproof

This really isn’t a “make or break” rating – unless a bed claims to be waterproof and fails. But let’s be honest – waterproofness is only important if we specifically need it, and then it’s gotta be on point.

Construction

Don’t settle for anything less than double stitching at the seams.

Remember for beds constructed with multiple layers of fabric, one layer may fail and the next – for whatever reason – may not; unless your dog breaks all the way through to the inner cover or filling, the bed may not be considered “failed” by the manufacturer.

Warranty

This is a tricky one. Most manufacturers offer a 30 or 90 day warranty – but limit the replacement of the cover only or the bed to one-time. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the warranty before purchase.

Lastly, try to resist the urge to treat your dog bed with anti-chew sprays. At best they can cause your pup to avoid their bed – and at worst they can cause chemical burns when chewing, or other irritations to eyes or nose when snuggling.

Best Indestructible Dog Beds

There are dozens of tough dog beds on the market, touting their indestructibility in some form or another.

The below were chosen from a stringent assortment of scientifically methods, including flipping coins and pointing to pictures and asking the dogs which the liked.

As with other items from our reviews, those products that passed well are donated to a local shelter.

DIY Durable Denim Duvet

chew resistant dog bed

This option intrigued me from a do-it-yourself aspect, but also because of their dual claims of “chew resistant” and “not chew proof rated” – so that seemed like acceptable grounds to check it out.

For our review, we focused on the 1680D nylon cover – but be advised if you choose the microsuede that you’re just creating a giant stuffed animal – and we all know what happens when our chewers sink their jaws into a soft, plush toy.

Technical

  • Size: Multiple availabletough duvet for dogs
    • Medium (36″ x 29″)
    • Large (48″ x 29″)
  • Color: Seal Brown
    • Also available in black, tan, brown, olive, blue, and grey depending on cover material chosen.
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
    • Also available in canvas, denim, oxford, or microsuede depending on color chosen.
  • Inner Material: Consumer provided pillows or other filler material.
  • Chew Rating: 4/5 for material chosen and reviewed.

Overview: The concept was a good one, when you think about it; a tough outer cover added to a waterproof inner cover that allows you to make your dog bed from the best materials for their personal needs.

The three pillow option of the large bed held the pillows nicely, although it led to an awkward size for my test-mutt.

Unfortunately, it’s important to carefully pay attention to the material when choosing color, since you may wind up with a cover made of microsuede that entices chewing rather than one of the sturdier covers.

The inner “waterproof” cover was definitely not what was pictured, and unfortunately didn’t hold up to the water balloon test for waterproofness.

Tails Up (Pros): The 1680D ballistic is a durable material. A serious chewer will still try it, but lose interest before any damage occurs. The ability to change the inner materials was surprisingly easy and refreshing, as opposed to hours searching for the perfect combination of cover and comfort.

Tails Down (Cons): The sizing of the duvet is awkward, since it’s long and narrow. Also, the waterproof inner cover seems to barely register as water-resistant. The zipper really needs to be more durable. The pillows shifted around easily, leading to uncomfortable hard spots.

Verdict: Good idea, but falls short due to the inner cover, inability for the pillows to stay in place, and ordering confusion.

goDog Bubble Bolster

goDog Bubble Bolster review

This manufacturer makes some of our favorite stuffed toys, so it was a no-brainer to include a review when this came up on my radar.

There are several options for the loft of the outer material, and for the sake of this review, the XX-large size in cocoa we chose is the high pile plush constructed material.

goDog beds are not self-classified as indestructable, but rather “guaranteed to last longer than standard plush beds”.

Technical:

  • Size: Multiple available
    • X-small (18″ x 13″)tough dog beds
    • Small (23″ x 17″)
    • Medium (30″ x 19″)
    • Large (35″ x 23″)
    • X-large (43″ x 28″)
    • XX-large (49″ x 30″)
  • Color: Cocoa
    • Also available in tan, beige, and grey
  • Outer Material: Unspecified, shaggy material
  • Inner Material: Unspecified
  • Chew Rating: 1/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: Like with the other beds, the first thing I did when setting the goDog Bubble Bolster bed on the floor was to crawl onto it and check it out myself for comfort – and boy was it!

The plush material was soft and the feel of the hardwood through the bed was definitely decreased. It could easily lend itself to a nap were it not for the other canines demanding their turn.

The bed boasts a bolster, which is not much more than a raised edge around the bed, and the overall stitching. The Chew Guard Technology™ is a proprietary process that adds a tear-resistant mesh lining.

The seams are reinforced and the bed as a whole is machine washable.

Tails Up (Pros): The overall construction appears well done, the no-skid bottom is a nice touch, and their sizing is geared towards fitting standard crating, allowing the bed to easily pull double-duty – a bonus when your pup is traveling away from home.

Tails Down (Cons): The bed is not waterproof or water resistant, and the fluffy plush material of the bed was no more than a giant chew toy.

Verdict: This bed had an impressively short lifespan because the plushy soft material is indistinguishable from a standard chew toy.

DogBed4Less Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed

DogBed4Less chew resistant Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed reviewAn orthopedic dog bed that’s indestructible? Sign me up! With numerous sizes available to choose from, a single piece, 100% gel-infused memory foam interior cushion, with an inner waterproof liner and a tough exterior made from 1680D.

I didn’t read much more of the description before adding it to the cart.

Technical:

  • Size: Multiple availablenon chewable dog bed
    • Small/Medium (35″ x 20″)
    • Medium/Large (37″ x 27″)
    • Large (41″ x 27″)
    • Extra Large (47″ x 29″)
    • Extra Large (40″ x 35″)
    • XX-Large (55″ x 37″)
    • Jumbo (55″ x 47″)
  • Color: Navy Blue
    • Also available in seal brown
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
  • Inner Material: 4″ 100% gel-infused memory foam (non-toxic)
  • Chew Rating: 5/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: This orthopedic bed is not fully chew proof rated from the manufacturer – but the dogs don’t know that. After a few discrete test chews (yeah – she didn’t think we saw her!) the interest in the bed as a source of entertainment subsided.

The exterior is rougher than some of the more indulgent materials, but that’s to be expected – we’re shifting from softness to durability.

The waterproof interior certainly held up as waterproof, and the orthopedic core held up to sleep and play.

Tails Up (Pros): This bed was surprisingly comfortable, and the cool gel was definitely welcome in the recent heat wave.

Tails Down (Cons): Replacing the core after washing was a wee troublesome, and the zipper of the bed we tried was a bit stiff – but easily remedied by a bit of beeswax.

Verdict: A great bed that was generous enough in size for multiple large dogs to flop on for cool comfort.

K9 Ballistics Crate Pad

K9 Ballistics Crate Pad reviewSpecifically a crate pad, the manufacturer advertises this bed for light to moderate chewers only, and will resist about 90% of chewing. The overall construction of 1680D is not water resistant or waterproof.

Technical:

  • Size: Multiple Available
    • Toy (23″ x 17″)k9 ballistics crate pad for chewers
    • X-Small (30″ x 19″)
    • Small (35″ x 23″)
    • Medium (41″ x 28″)
    • Large (47″ x 36″)
    • X-Large (51″ x 36″)
  • Color: Green Camo
    • Also available in black, blue, grey camo, green, red, tan.
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
  • Inner Material: 1.5″ thick polyester fill
  • Chew Rating: 3/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: As a crate pad, the K9 Ballistics is an acceptable option. The 1680D nylon holds up well to scratching and the double-stitching lends itself to quality construction. The cover is not removable, but the whole unit is machine washable.

Like with any 1680D, there is ancillary noise when the dogs move around on it. When used as a stand-alone bed, it did not fall victim to chewing – but it wasn’t used much, either. Probably due to the thinness of the overall bed.

As a crate liner, the loft was adequate, but dogs to tend to chew their crate bedding more, and its lifetime is definitely limited if you have a crate chewer.

Tails Up (Pros): The 1680D is good construction material, and the sizing fits the popular kennels.

Tails Down (Cons): The thin pad is not protective enough, and the crate ties are an enticement for chewers

Verdict: the K9 Ballistics Crate Pad has an adequate design and good materials, but it’s too thin for comfort.

Please note: This bed is also available in an orthopedic version, consisting of a 2″ core, consisting of a 1″ layer of memory foam on top of a 1″ layer of dense foam.

Kuranda Elevated Dog Bed

Kuranda Elevated Dog Bed reviewAn elevated, PVC-framed dog bed that is basically a hammock design, which will avoid base pressure points. The PVC frame is walnut colored, and assembled at home with enclosed stainless steel hardware.

There is an optional fleece pad available for extra comfort. PVC glue is NOT recommended for use during assembly.

Technical:

  • Size: Multiple Available
    • Small (30″ x 20″)unchewable dog bed
    • Medium (35″ x 23″)
    • Large (40″ x 25″)
    • X-Large (44″ x 27″)
    • XX-Large (50″ x 36″)
  • Color: Khaki
    • Also available burgundy, forest green, smoke.
  • Outer Material: Cordura®
  • Inner Material: None
  • Chew Rating: 5/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: As it is, this bed really is chew-proof – but I wouldn’t consider it indestructible due to the construction. There is no specific weight for the Cordura® but it feels like standard canvas weight, or about 1000D nylon.

The Kuranda elevated dog bed is basically a raised cot, commonly used for teaching “place”. The dogs go to it easily enough as instructed, but it is not a chosen place for a nap – although it became more attractive when their regular bed was put on top.

Unless your dog has had experience with these raised cots, there will be a long curve for them to get used to it between the insecure footing and noisiness of the material. Assembly required.

Tails Up (Pros): A simple design that easily lends itself to the indestructible label.

Tails Down (Cons): Uncomfortable without additional padding (that may be chewed!), definitely not a good choice for arthritic dogs. Dogs not familiar with cots will shy away from it.

Verdict: Considering only the chew factor, this option receives a 5/5 – but there is no real comfort unless the fleece pad is ordered, or a folded blanket is placed over the top, and even then its unique design may likely be rebuffed due to insecure footing.

Slumber Pet Toughstructable Bed

Slumber Pet Toughstructable reviewWhen I came across this bed touting to be the “future in chew-proof dog beds”, with its advertised chew-proof ripstop material, double-stitched seams, and reinforced corners, I was excited.

I clicked the button to add it to my cart, and anxiously awaited its arrival.

Technical:

  • Size: Multiple Availablewaterproof dog beds
    • Medium (36″ x 23″)
    • Large (42″ x 28″)
  • Color: Tan
  • Outer Material: Polyester
  • Inner Material: Polyfil
  • Chew Rating: 0/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression – and boy did this bed make an impression. Just not a good one.

I’m not sure what they consider ripstop material – but this is definitely not what I’ve encountered.

The Slumber Pet Toughstructable bed felt like the material my aunt’s curtains were made out of.

The double-stitched seams weren’t, there weren’t channels for the filling, and there was no indication of reinforcing at the corners.

I know this for a fact – the bed’s remains were strewn across the living room in less than 2 hours. Oh, and don’t bother looking for a warranty – there was none.

Tails Up (Pros): The Velcro closure was nice, I suppose.

Tails Down (Cons): Hmmm … Just throw $65 in small bills on the floor and it would probably last longer.

Verdict: Poorly made, falsely advertised, and overpriced.

KONG Chew Resistant Heavy Duty Pillow Dog Bed

KONG Chew Resistant Heavy Duty Pillow Bed reviewI stumbled across this one completely by accident, so I added it to my cart – and quickly deleted it. Just shy of $300 seemed a bit pricey, even with my Prime shipping.

But it was Kong so I poked around and found it at PetSmart for less than $100. Pleased with my frugalness, I put in my order and waited for my treasure.

Technical:

  • Size: 30″ x 40″
  • Color: Brown
  • Outer Material: Polyester
  • Inner Material: Polyester
  • Chew Rating: 3/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: I won’t say this was the worst bed reviewed – but in light of the company reputation, it was by far the most disappointing.

I fully expected the same Kong toughness that I had enjoyed with their soft toys (well, not that I chew them personally – you know what I mean!) but that was not the case.

The polyester was certainly not going to stand up to roughhousing for long, but for whatever reason none of the dogs tried to disassemble it – maybe because of the faint funny odor.

The piping around the edge is definitely a chew enticement, as is the carrying handle. More size options would have been nice.

Tails Up (Pros): The dogs didn’t chew it. It’s a Kong. It seems comfortable enough to me.

Tails Down (Cons): The Kong dog bed is definitely not up to the standards of other Kong products. The handle feels like it can be easily ripped off, and the material definitely doesn’t feel like it will withstand much pawing.

The dogs didn’t have much interest laying on it unless instructed to.

Verdict: Let’s be honest – Kong knows how to build tough toys that could withstand Jaws on a bad day and come back for more. Beds… not so much. It’s really no surprise that these beds are not listed on the Kong website anywhere. Be sure to price shop!

K9 Ballistics Original TUFF Dog Bed

K9 Ballistics Original TUFF Dog Bed reviewThe next step up from their crate pad, the K9 Ballistics TUFF Bed option is designed in true dog-bed style. A more colorful pallet of 1680D nylon exterior and a thick channeled poly fiber fill was more than I could resist – so I didn’t.

Technical:

  • Size: Multiple Availablebest dog bed for chewers
    • Small (18″ x 24″)
    • Medium (27″ x 33″)
    • Large (34″ x 40″)
    • X-large (38″ x 54″)
    • XX-Large (40″ x 68″)
  • Color: Sunny Sky Stripe
    • Also available in black, blue, gray camo, green, green camo, lattice, marine blue stripe, red, and tan.
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
  • Inner Material: Polyester stuffing
  • Chew Rating: 5/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: The 1680D nylon is tough, and the ripstop pattern will definitely stop small rips from expanding through standard use. The K9 Ballistics TUFF bed is definitely not waterproof; according to the manufacturer, it’s designed for any wetness to pass right through – and it actually does.

The velcro strip replacing a zipper will eliminate any chewing enticement.

Tails Up (Pros): This bed is easy to clean, and comfortable for the dogs. The fluffy filling doesn’t compact as much as I thought it would, and it withstood digging and rough-house play.

Tails Down (Cons): There is definitely more outer material than inner material, leading to an under-stuffed look.

Verdict: Well made tough dog bed that definitely lives up to the standards of toughness set by K9 Ballistics.

Please note: This bed also comes in a bolstered version; a couch-style with arms and a back for those pups that like to snuggle into their beds.

K9 Ballistics Deep Den Dog Bed

K9 Ballistics Deep Den Dog Bed reviewAnother K9 Ballistics option (mostly because I like the name!) for the nesters and snugglers of the house. The rounded oval design, high sides, and generous stuffing make for a comfortable sleeping spot for young and old dogs that like to curl up.

Technical:

  • Size: Multiple Availableround indestructible dog bed
    • Small (24″ x 28″)
    • Medium (30″ x 24″)
    • Large (36″ x 28″)
    • X-Large (45″ x 38″)
  • Color: Black
    • Also available in lattice and green camo
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
  • Inner Material: Unspecified
  • Chew Rating: 4/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: As expected, the Deep Dog Den bed was another well made product from a manufacturer determined to get their super-durable dog beds right.

The full perimeter wall allows the pup to be fully snuggled in without the annoyance of an opening.

The fluffy filling is soft and non-clumping, and the overall design can be tempting for committed chewers.

Tails Up (Pros): Rugged material and quality construction. Smaller sizes are machine washable; the X-Large size needs to be cleaned with a hose.

Tails Down (Cons): The interior lining may not hold up to extended digging – typical for nesters and snugglers. The overall design could be a chew enticement, especially the removable bottom pad.

Verdict: Although not chewed by my dogs, the removable bottom pad and high sides could definitely be chewing enticements.

Hugglehounds Chew Resistant TuffutLuxx Bed

Hugglehounds Chew Resistant TuffutLuxx Bed reviewOne more manufacturer of tough toys tossing their offering into the “unchewable” dog bed arena. The fashionable colors of their removable outer cover feature contrast quilted-stitching to give an extra classy look.

The manufacturer touts their beds as “Abrasion resistance more than 6x higher than most tough chew dog beds”. With claims like that, it needs to spend some time with my chewer.

Technical:

  • Size: Multiple Availableindestructable beds for dogs
    • Medium (36″ x 27″)
    • Large (42″ x 30″)
    • X-Large (48″ x 36″)
  • Color: Atlantic Night
    • Also available in Belgian chocolate and champagne
  • Outer Material: Unspecified nylon
  • Inner Material: Polyfill
  • Chew Rating: 4/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: Without a doubt, the Hugglehounds TuffetLuxx is a nice looking bed. The quilted stitching gives the nylon outer a little more of a softer feel, and the polyfill is fluffy and adequate.

The zipper flap is well stitched, although the zipper itself was stiff and snaggy.

Advertised as waterproof, only the inner cover held up to water balloons.

Tails Up (Pros): Nice looking bed sure to go with any décor, comfortable and sturdy. Held up well enough to canine tug-of-war.

Tails Down (Cons): Although only one of the dogs chewed through (can you guess which one?), the threads snag and rip easily when pawed; this can lead to weak areas that will tear.

Verdict: Not a bad bed at all, although it fails to meet the high expectations that come from their lofty claims.

Bottom Line

We’ve looked at just a sliver of the “indestructable” dog beds on the market, and K9 Ballistics are a clear forerunner overall – although the DogBed4Less was our clear winner for their chew-proof orthopedic design, overall construction, and bang for your buck.

Unless constructed out of chainmail, no dog bed is truly indestructible for a committed canine.

Also bear in mind when choosing a bed that each dog is different, and their chewing needs are just as varied – and their toys will give you a good indication of construction material that are the better choices.

For example, if you use old jeans to make chew and tug toys for your pup – what do you think will happen to a denim bed?

You definitely get what you pay for – but before dropping several hundred dollars on a bed, do a little price shopping. Also, check your local pet store; an afternoon spent trying out beds could go a long way to choosing the best one for your pooch.

Above all, remember that dogs will be dogs.

It’s been a few months now, and Cerveza hasn’t chewed up her new bed.

Now if I can just get her to stop hoarding cheese under it…

The post Best Indestructible Dog Beds appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/pet-beds/best-indestructible-dog-beds-reviews/

What Type of Dog Should I Get?

http://www.centralparkpaws.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Giant-Mastiff.jpg

Puppy Love: Finding the Perfect Canine Companion

Of all the animals in the world, there’s no greater variety than found within Canis Lupus Familiaris – better known as the common dog.

Big and small, tall and short, fat and thin, hairy or naked, and pretty much any color combination you can come up with, these majestic – and sometimes silly – animals have been dubbed man’s best friend, and rightfully so.

For pretty much any human need, there is a canine that can fill it.

  • Need a traveling buddy for all those weekend adventures? Get a dog.
  • Need a protector from the creepy neighbor down the street? Get a dog.
  • Need a companion to watch the game and yell at the refs? Get a dog.
  • Need a playmate to dress up in fru-fru outfits and bows? Get a cat – and a first aid kit.
    Giant Mastiff

    Giant Mastiff

Once you start looking at the different breeds, that’s where the differences start to show up.

The regal Afghan Hound with her tall stance and silky, flowing hair.

The Giant Mastiff with its coat that’s three sizes too large.

The exotic Peruvian Inca Orchid, a mid-sized hairless dog that sports a natural mohawk that matches the boy your daughter brought home senior year.

The downright creepy Chinese Crested that’s almost so ugly it’s cute – but you still wouldn’t want to meet the 6lb little beast in a dark alley.

It’s almost beyond belief that these widely varied animals are all descendants of the Wolf.

Fact really is stranger than fiction !

With so many differences in the dogs on the outside, there’s just as many differences in their overall personalities and temperament – so it’s important to pick one to perfectly match YOUR personality and lifestyle.

Yeah, the German Shepherds are without a doubt the most awesome (me, biased? noooo…) dog on the planet – but are they appropriate for a tiny apartment in the middle of the city where the most excitement that ever happens is a new season released on Netflix?

Location, Location, Location

It’s true in real estate and it’s true in searching for the perfect dog – it’s all about the location.

Your living conditions really are one of the most important considerations, because your home is his home.

An 800 square foot apartment in the city would not be the best living conditions for, say, a Great Dane with a shoulder height of almost 3 feet and an average weight of 175 pounds – and that’s before adding a human and furniture!

Your living conditions are usually – but not always – reflective of your basic lifestyle.

Apartment Life

For the most part, apartments are on the smaller side, which limit the space to romp around inside.

Also, most apartments relegate any exercise for your canine to walks – and this usually eliminates the ability to really get in a good run to stretch their legs.

Don’t forget that most apartments frown upon a dog that barks at every little noise.

Bulldog

Bulldog contemplating life

A smaller living space should shift your focus to one of the small or mid-sized breeds that require less consistent exercise and tend to be a quieter breed.

Be sure to check your rental agreement for animal regulations and size limitations!

  • Bulldog: quiet and calm, these dogs tend to be unfazed by the world outside the walls – and don’t require a lot of exercise.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are a favorite of female apartment dwellers due to their loving demeanor and small size.

My House, My Rules

A better option for a canine is the typical single-family home. More interior room as well as a yard allow your dog to get their wiggles out as needed, and fresh air does their soul good.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever knows what you did

Longer walks through the suburban neighborhoods allow for more investigation of smells, and parks are perfect for a game of fetch or a romp with the canine neighbors.

  • Bull Terriers are perfect for houses with small or mid-sized yards, and are known for hanging out and playing in the yard for hours without constant supervision.
  • Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the ‘burbs, being friendly with the neighbors and other dogs as well.

Where the Buffalo Roam

Often misunderstood as the perfect scenario for dog owners with the endless acreage for day-long excursions and the other animals for companionship, the farm isn’t without its own unique set of hazards.

Wild predators and nuisance animals like skunks can all add up to trouble for a dog owner who erroneously thinks he can have an ‘open range’ dog – not to mention what bugs and diseases he can bring back!

Just like any other housing arrangements, a dog is a pet and a responsibility.

  • Border Collies are almost a natural for a farm. They love to run and explore – and thrive when given chores to do.
  • Catahoula Leopard Dogs are popular in the south, and are common on farms for their protectiveness of livestock and their ability to cover miler each day – and never miss their dinner bell.

What I like to Do For Fun

Your personal lifestyle is another factor in the equation for the perfect canine companion.

How you spend your time during the week days and weekends is important because your dog doesn’t understand the work week – they just know if you’re home or not.

These are a few of your priorities that need to be weighed in light of the needs of the dog you choose – whether you want a snuggler of just a distant companion. Besides, if you’re not home to take care of your four-legged fur baby, who will?

Days

Maltese short hairHow do you spend your daytime hours? Do you work from home or pull a typical 9-5, or are you an 80 hour-a-week workaholic who uses home as a place to nap and shower between stints at the office?

  • Shar Pei’s are those adorable dogs that are covered with rolls and wrinkles – and are noted for their low energy.
  • Maltese is a beautiful white fluffball that likes to be the center of attention – or left alone for hours on end to nap in the sunshine.

Weekends

What is your leisure time like? Are you a weekend adventurer, hitting the trails for a new adventure? Bar hopping to take in all the games and as much alcohol as humanly possible?

Basset Hound Puppy

Those ears!

Or are you a ‘Netflix-n-chill’ kind of person – weekends spent with your favorite movies and series, with Chinese and pizza delivery on speed dial?

  • Basset Hounds are probably some of the lowest maintenance dogs on the planet. They require little exercise and lots of sleep – and like to hang out with you on the couch with Netflix and a lot of pizza.
  • Labrador Retrievers are perfect canine companions for those adventures, and can handle just about any weather or terrain you encounter.

Socialization

Are you a hermit who likes to keep to yourself, or do you stop and talk to every person you meet? Opposites might attract – but when it comes to your puppy, it’s best to be more suitably matched.

  • Bullmastiff is a large breed – and just as lazy – will enjoy those calm evenings and weekends at home, provided they get a few short walks in … And some of the pizza.
  • Irish Setters are playful and energetic – and love making new friends, no matter what species they are. Their luxurious coats grabs attention and are conversation starters.

The Whole Gang

Pug

Who shares your home and life with you? Are you running a bachelor pad for your college buddies, or are you a single mom with young kids? Newly wed or cohabitating?

The amount of time and attention you actually have free, as opposed to your good intentions, is an important consideration.

  • Pugs are perfect companions for households that are busy or constantly shifting; they have great dispositions and low stress levels – and just like to be around humans!
  • Welsh Corgis are the queen’s favorite for a very good reason; they are fun and frisky and people pleasers to the core.

Why I Want a dog

Ah, the bottom line is always why. And that’s the most important thing you need to figure out before you run out and hit the local SPCA or pet store – why do you want a dog?

There’s honestly no right or wrong answer. It could be as simple as you just want one. Or, you could have very specific reasons.

Either way, the more on target you are with what motivates you, the better you can make the perfect match – and eliminate any possible disappointments or unmet expectations for you as well as the new pup.

Above all, remember that a dog is a permanent addition to your life – so if you’re looking to fill a temporary opening, consider a hobby or a goldfish.

For the Kids

If you’re hearing the begging of tiny little voices and pleading little eyes – you’re probably past the point of no return.

Weimaraner

Happy Weimaraner

While it’s true that kids who grow up with dogs have higher self-esteem, miss less school, are healthier and are overall more responsible, you need to understand that the promises of doing everything required to take care of it will, in fact, become you doing the majority of the work – kids need to grow into the role of canine caregiver.

But the rewards are out of this world.

  • Newfoundlands are gentle giants with an endless supply of patience and eternally devoted – perfect for families and young ones, especially as a first dog.
  • Weimaraners stand out for their unique gray coats, but are friendly and most importantly, incredibly obedient.

Working or Hunting

Is there a specific job that you expect your dog to do? Are you looking for a duck chaser on hunting days, or a deterrent to keep unwelcome guests out of the business yard?

If you’re looking for a working dog, you also need to decide if it’s going to be a straight working dog – trained to do its job – or will be pulling double duty as a family pet.

  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever is probably the greatest water hunting dogs due to their coat and webbed feet – and their ability to master the land as well as water.
  • Dogo Argentino is an excellent guard dog – and when trained to hunt boar, is unrivaled for its tenacity and ability to take down a full-grown wild boar.

Midnight Blues

American Eskimo

American Eskimo

Not to be compared to the crazy cat lady up the street, are you looking for a dog to fill a certain void in your life – or as a complement to your life? Are you between loves and looking for someone to come home to?

  • Pomeranians are cuteness overload, and all they want do is cuddle and get loved.
  • American Eskimos are sometimes called miniature Samoyed’s – but these dogs are bursting with affection and will follow you anywhere.

Critter Manager

If you’ve decided that a dog is the perfect animal to keep mice or other small rodents under control, we have to have a talk … But there’s always the Rat Terrier, which is a smaller breed, bred for – you guessed it – catching rats.

But seriously, you should leave the mice catching to the cats. Just sayin’.

Adventurer

German Shepherd

German Shepherd is ready to go!

Are you a weekend warrior who tackles the trails or camping spot every weekend? Is your idea of fun trudging through the backwoods and blazing new trails?

Are mosquitos your best friends? Do you spend most time covered in mud and sweat?

  • German Shepherds are the perfect companion dogs; from Saturday hikes to a week in the Smokey Mountains, the GSD is a faithful companion that can keep up and, with a canine backpack, can pull his own weight … Unlike Mike on our last camping trip…
  • Siberian Huskies aren’t just for the snow – but it’s no doubt that’s where they shine. From wooded trails to open country, the husky is at home out in the open.

Three’s Company

Are you looking to enlarge the herd? Got a single dog that you think might be a little bored – or is too clingy when you’re around and trying to get stuff done?

If you’re looking to add a dog to an existing household, there’s a few things to keep in mind before taking the plunge;

  1.  Dog expressions don’t match human expressions. In other words, just because they look lonely doesn’t mean they are lonely
  2.  A clingy dog might not need a friend – they might just love you to pieces!
  3.  Does the current canine occupant get along with other dogs it encounters?
    Beagle

    Sleepy Beagle

If you’re still committed to adding to the flock, there are several breeds that are naturally social with other dogs

  • Beagles are the smallest of the hound family, and unquestionably is a friendly and happy dog that loves everyone and everything.
  • Boston Terriers are fun loving social butterflies that try to make friends with every other animal they meet.

Get Your Game On

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier ready to play

How often do you see a jogger with a dog and think, “That could be me!”? If you’re considering a dog for a workout partner, I guarantee that they will be a buddy that never begs off that 5 mile run in favor of sleeping in.

 

  • Greyhounds are perfect dogs for loafing around the house all day, and taking for an extended run after work or on weekends. There are hundreds of ex-racing greyhounds available for adoption across the country.
  • Jack Russell Terriers are little perpetual motion machines that will keep up with you on and off the workout circuit.

I Wanna Talk About Me

Probably the most important part of choosing a dog is matching their personality traits to YOUR personality.

By taking a few minutes to consider some traits about yourself (hey – we’re not judging here!) you might realize that dream dog you thought you wanted could, in fact, be your worst nightmare.

Just think about it and decide yourself – we promise we won’t tell anyone.

ID, Please

Your age goes a long way in choosing a dog. Whether for your adult-self or as your child’s first pet (for the love of God – don’t buy a puppy for someone else’s kid!), age and maturity level goes a long way.

  • Bichon Frise are the perfect match for senior pet owners with their quiet demeanor and loving personalities.
  • Chihuahua’s are noted for their ability to bond and pledge their undying loyalty to one person.

Have A Heart

Chow Chow

Chow Chow

Do you wear your heart on your sleeve, or do you suck it up? Do you need hugs and kisses, or just a beer and a little peace and quiet until the commercial? Your emotional sensitivity level needs to match your puppy’s.

 

  • Irish Wolfhounds are giant teddy bears when it comes to sharing the love with their humans – and their giant size matches their heart.
  • Chow Chows are hard to miss with their large fluffy bodies and jet black tongues. Originally working dogs in China, their loyalty is matched by their sense of independence.

Martha Stewart’s Nightmare

Are you a neat-freak, with a place for everything and a low tolerance for muddy footprints? Or are your housekeeping skills enough to send Martha Stewart into cardiac arrest?

Is the lawn perfectly manicured, or are your neighbors taking up a collection to buy you a goat?

No matter your level of cleanliness, as crazy as it might seem – there’s a dog for that!

  • Alaskan Malamutes are playful and affectionate companions – and can’t walk across the floor without leaving a thick trail of hair in their wake.
  • Xoloitzcuintlis – the Mexican Hairless Dog – is the perfect companion for a neat freak because hey – you can’t have dog hair everywhere if the dog is bald! But its loyalty and protectiveness is unsurpassed.

Pass Me A Tissue

Labradoodle

Oodles of Labradoodles

If you dread the change of seasons, or sneeze at the sight of a dandelion, have no fear – allergies don’t keep you out of the running for dog-parent of the year.

Check our article on Hypoallergenic Dogs to see that dogs and allergies really can co-exist.

  • Poodles are the most popular “hypoallergenic” dog breeds. Bred in a wide variety of sizes from 3 pound toys to 60 pound standards, there’s a perfect size for anyone.
  • Labradoodles are wildly popular due to their hypoallergenic status thanks to the poodle and their easy going, fun attitude from the lab side.

Early Birds and Night Owls

Your preferred hours of activity might make you think that you’re eliminated from the puppy owner pool – but nothing could be further from the truth.

If you start getting into your groove when the clock hits midnight, or prefer to start your day an hour before the sun even thinks about popping up over the distant hills, your dog could certainly adjust their circadian rhythm to match yours.

The question is what you do during these non-standard hours of activity. If you’re a night owl, are you an active and outside? Or do you do your best gaming online during those overnight hours?

  • Great Pyrenees are a livestock guard dog – and given the choice prefer the night shift. So if you’re a daytime sleeper and have the room for a companion who keeps the same hours, it’s a match made in heaven.
  • Belgian Malinois is gaining in popularity among single men, and their energy level – especially at sunrise – makes you think that there’s an instant on switch in there somewhere.

Indoor Plumbing, Please

Dalmatian

Dalmatian, probably named ‘Spot’

If you prefer the conveniences of modern technology and can’t go a city block without your designer coffee, or if your role model is Crocodile Dundee, you need to take that into consideration before bringing home a 4-legged bundle of love.

  • Dalmatians are actually a lot higher maintenance than most people realize. Contrary to the calm canine sitting on top of the fire truck, Dalmatians need a lot of room to run – and a lot of free time to do it.
  • Dachshunds are easily identifiable by their oversized ears and body, and undersized legs. The short legs allow them to get enough exercise without having to venture out into the world on a regular basis.

Which One Will You Choose?

We’ve already said it, and it’s still true – you need to carefully consider what you expect from your future canine companion and be sure you’re able and willing to have this addition to the next decade of your life.

You’ll be so glad you did!

The post What Type of Dog Should I Get? appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/dog-training-tips/what-type-of-dog-should-i-get/

The Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes

http://www.centralparkpaws.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/dog-food-recipes.jpg

Why I Switched to Homemade Dog Food

A few years ago, I came home to find my poor 16 year old pup lying on the ground in agony. I quickly rushed her to the vet to find out that she had broken her back leg, probably from something as normal as jumping down from the couch, and had to have it amputated.

But that wasn’t the whole story.

It turned out that her bone was extremely brittle due to cancer.

That terrifying ‘C’ word.

The vet recommended a biweekly course of chemo for my baby. It would cost about $500 a visit and there was only a 30% chance of survival.

I decided, after seeing my aunt and stepfather go through the process, that I would rather enjoy the remaining time I had with her rather than subject her to that poison.

Of course, I didn’t just take it lying down, I researched as much as I could about the condition and what I could do about it.

That’s when I came across an article (can’t find it now, unfortunately) that led me to believe that Lady’s food might have something to do with her problems. So I decided to do something about it.

I began cooking her meals of chicken (livers, gizzards, breasts, etc), black beans, and rice in a big batch every Sunday evening.

Within a few weeks, my old girl was acting 10 years younger, her coat was looking better than it had in years, and she was much less “snippy” with the other animals.

She outlived her “life expectancy” by 3x, and passed away happy and full of life. My final memories of the dog that had been with me for all of my major life events are of how she really was, not slowly, painfully deteriorating away.

And I credit that to feeding her homemade dog food instead of relying on a big brand mystery bag.

Why You Should Make Your Own Dog Food

If that story wasn’t enough for you, there are many other reasons to ditch the bag and make your own dog food.

dog food recipesFirst, I would like to point out that commercial pet food is much less regulated than you think. The FDA and AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) have rules in place but they are not as strict or scrutinized as hard as human food.

Which means that these companies can put almost whatever they like into your dog’s food. And they put a lot of trash in there. Why do you think pet food is constantly getting recalled? And pet owners CONTINUE to buy it!

So that’s why you shouldn’t buy commercial pet food but here’s why you should make your own:

Homemade pet food typically has more nutrients, less preservatives, can be tailored specifically to your furry friend, and actually costs less than store bought food!

That’s right, you can save money while providing your pup a healthier food option.

And if your canine companion has health issues like irritable bowel syndrome or allergies, DIY dog food can make a huge difference.

How to Make Your Own Dog Food

Making your own dog food really isn’t difficult as long as you follow a few simple rules.

First, unless your pup needs a special diet like grain free or vegan, you should try to stick to this meal ratio: 50% protein, 25% veggies, and 25% grain. You can also follow this ratio of 40-60% raw meat/protein, 20-30% cooked starch, and 20-30% raw vegetables/fruit.
how to make your own dog food

Second, be sure to know what foods dogs can and can’t eat. I’ll go into this more later.

Lastly, add supplements to their meals to make up for nutrients that they aren’t getting from the food alone. There are 6 essential nutrients that every dog needs.

The National Academies of Sciences has put together an amazing resource detailing which vitamins and minerals dogs must have and the exact amount to feed them daily based on age.

But don’t start worrying that you’ll need to take a science class to feed your dog, we’ve compiled a collection of over 80 recipes below that cover almost every type of diet.

Resources

What Should and Shouldn’t Go Into Your Recipe

Of course, dogs can’t eat all of the same foods that we can. So before you start whipping up something in the kitchen for your pooch, you’re going to need to know what you can and can’t feed a dog.

Can

Here are some popular ingredients to use when cooking for your pup. These are only the most popular so if you’re not sure, consult an authority like your vet or a trusted website like the AKC or PetMD.

Proteins

The protein portion of your dog’s diet can come from poultry (chicken, turkey, etc) – including organ meats such as livers, hearts, and gizzards – eggs, beef, tuna, salmon, venison, lamb, or pork (be mindful of the fat though).

There are also a few less common safe meats like kangaroo and rabbit, just check with your vet before adding to your menu.

Veggies

Some of the best vegetables to add to your pet’s bowl include broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, cucumbers, green beans, peas, spinach, and sweet potatoes. So basically everything that your 3 year old won’t eat.

Grains

If your dog has a grain allergy, or you just prefer a grain free diet, feel free to skip this section. If grains aren’t an issue to you, especially for larger dogs who take more to fill up, oatmeal and rice (preferably brown rice) are great choices and they are ridiculously cheap.

Supplements

Which supplements your dog needs will depend on what you choose to feed them and what conditions they may have. For example, glucosamine would make a good addition for older dogs – especially those with arthritis.

For dogs with digestive issues, you may want to try out a probiotic.

We’ve also included a few recipes down below for “toppings” to add to your dog’s food that can make up for missing nutrients.

Resources

Can’t

Here are some of the most common foods that are dangerous to dogs. This list is not exhaustive so if you’re not sure, do your research first.

  • Grapes/raisins
  • Cherries
  • Avocado
  • Onions/leeks
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Garlic
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Uncooked spinach
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus
  • Coconut and Coconut Oil
  • Milk and Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Chives
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast Dough

Tips for Making DIY Dog Food

As with most things in life, preplanning can make your life a lot easier. Many of these meals can be made in large batches and used throughout the week (obviously you should refrigerate it).

how to make homemade dog food

Most of them can also be frozen if you decide to make a really big batch. Don’t worry, I’ve included a section for that too.

And if you don’t have enough freezer space, you can also can your homemade dog food for long term storage.

Lastly, if you’re making a meal with eggs, don’t throw away the eggshells, add them to the mix for extra calcium.

Choosing the Right Diet for Your Pet

The diet that you ultimately decide on for your pet will, of course, depend largely on your pet (breed, age, medical conditions, size, etc), your budget, and your schedule.

There are meals that can help with diabetes, healthy coats, arthritis, allergies, weight loss, and diarrhea. There are also recipes specific to puppies or senior dogs.

Here are a few resources:

Homemade Dog Food Recipes

I know that was a lot of information and you’re probably overwhelmed. But really all you need to do is pick a diet plan and then choose a recipe that you like from the list we’ve compiled.

Many of these meals can fit into multiple categories (like a grain free puppy food that can be made in a crockpot) so be sure to scan through them all.

If you can’t find one you like, you can create a free pet recipe here.

Healthy Dog Food Recipes

While almost all home cooked dog food recipes are healthier than commercial pet food, the ones below are specifically designed for dogs with diabetes, arthritis, diarrhea, and general health.

Cookbooks

Dog Food Recipes for Puppies

puppy power smoothies

Puppy Power Smoothies!

Puppies need extra nutrition to feed their growing bodies. These recipes pack in a lot of nutrients into a smaller package. You might want to think about adding supplements to your puppy’s food as well.

Recipes for Senior Dogs

Older dogs require a different diet than their younger counterparts. Their food is generally easy to chew and has supplements for joint pain relief. Cutting calories while maintaining protein intake is also important as their metabolism slows down.

Grain Free Recipes for Allergies

Grain free meals have many benefits over those with corn, wheat, rice, soy, or oats. Many dogs have an allergic reaction to soy, corn, and/or wheat, causing them to scratch incessantly, develop sores, sneeze, or have digestive issues. Fortunately, switching to a grain free diet can solve many of these issues quickly and without medication.healthy dog food recipes

It is important to note, though, that many dogs are also allergic to protein sources such as beef, chicken, or eggs.

You can also make any of these other recipes grain free by following this guide.

Cookbooks

High Protein Recipes

Most dogs, especially younger ones, need a large amount of protein. Pregnant and lactating dogs also need a lot of protein. Canines are not carnivores though, they are omnivores like us. So don’t feed them just meat.

High protein diets can also be used for weight loss since extra protein doesn’t get stored as fat.

Cookbooks

Low Protein Recipes

Woof loaf for dogs

Woofloaf

Low protein diets are typically recommended for dogs with kidney disease. However, the article above, by T. J. Dunn, Jr., DVM, argues that that myth was started by a study using rats, not dogs. And rats don’t eat meat naturally.

Cookbooks

Raw Food Diet Recipes

While there is a lot of hype around raw food diets, both for pets and humans, many vets aren’t as quick to jump on board. Some even recommend cooking the meal before serving (is it still raw food at that point?).

If you do decide to go with a raw food diet, be careful of salmonella. Up to 80% of animals on raw food diets were exposed to it.

Cookbooks

Easy Crockpot Dog Food Recipes

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love my crockpot. It’s almost magical how I can put food into it in the morning and come home to a meal.

If you want to cut down on the time you spend cooking your dog’s meals, a crockpot can do that for you.Easy crockpot dog food

Cookbooks

Vegetarian Dog Food Recipes

As we established before, dogs are omnivores. Which means they eat meat and plants. So can dogs survive and stay healthy on a meatless diet? The short answer is yes (but NOT cats).

For those owners who would like to switch their dog to a vegetarian diet, there are a lot of options. Here are a few:

Cookbooks

Natural Dog Food Recipes

Preservatives and chemicals are what you’re trying to avoid by not buying dog food from the store. So why would you use foods with preservatives and chemicals when you’re making Fido’s dinner?home cooking for your dog

Cookbooks

Dry Dog Food Recipes

While all of these recipes are nutritious and delicious, they are a bit of a pain to serve. But dry dog food keeps longer and can be served with one hand in ten seconds. Or you can make your wet food stores last longer by mixing them with some kibble.

Cookbooks

Recipes for Weight Loss

With America leading the globe in obesity rates, it’s no wonder that our dogs get fat too. And just like us, this extra weight can have a negative impact on their health.

If your pooch needs to lose his pooch, try out a few of these recipes. He’ll get back into his beach body in no time.

Cookbooks

Frozen Dog Food Recipes

For those of us who are short on time, or just like to do everything at once, making a large batch of dog food and freezing it is very handy. Take them out the day before or in the morning and they’ll be ready for Fido’s dinner.

Cheap Dog Food Recipes

diy dog food beef stew

Getting prepped to make beef stew

Most of the recipes on this list are pretty cheap to make, especially when you cook in bulk. Here are a couple of meals that won’t dent your wallet.

Food Addins/Toppers

Whether your dog isn’t getting enough nutrients out of his regular diet or he needs extra supplements for a medical condition, adding what he needs into his food is pretty easy. And there are a lot of options. Adding glucosamine can ease joint pain and if your pup is lacking calcium, sprinkling egg shells into his meal can be a simple solution.

Of course, there are plenty of companies out there more than willing to sell you a pill or powder to add to your dog’s food but we’re talking about homemade solutions here! So check out these food toppers for improving your dog’s health:

Dog Food Recipes for Small Dogs

When feeding a small dog, there are some things you need to keep in mind. They have smaller mouths so whatever you feed them shouldn’t be too large for them to eat or get stuck in their throats. They also have smaller stomachs (go figure!) so adjust their portions proportionally.

For more information on their nutrient needs, check out this article.

Dog Food Recipes for Large Dogs

This might come as a shocker to you but large dogs weigh more and have bigger bones than their smaller cousins. Carrying around all that weight means that the larger your dog, the more prone to joint pain and calcium deficiencies.

Big dogs are also more likely to have digestive issues.

Your Turn

Do you have a recipe for homemade dog food that you’d like to share? Send it on over!

The post The Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/dog-food/best-homemade-diy-dog-food-recipes/

Arthritis in Dogs

http://www.centralparkpaws.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/canine-arthritis.jpg

It was so subtle, we actually missed it.

It’s not that we didn’t notice – we did – but it was just easy to rationalize away…

It’s cold, he doesn’t want to leave the warm spot in front of the fire.

He was up late barking at that stupid cat, he’s just tired.

He doesn’t need to go out again, he just went.

It’s hot out, he’s just being lazy – I don’t want to go out in this heat, either.

But it started to add up, and after a trip to the vet, we had our diagnosis; our beloved Choco had canine arthritis.

What Canine Arthritis Is

Similar to humans, canine osteoarthritis is inflammation and degeneration of the joint and surrounding tissue.

It generally starts as erosion of the cartilage of the joint, and while there could be numerous other root causes, the end result is the generic term “arthritis” as a diagnosis.

As a rule, arthritis is progressive and degenerative – and usually irreversible.

And it’s not relegated just to older dogs. It’s an equal opportunity disease.

That being said, keep in mind there are two types: primary and secondary arthritis.

Primary is just what you think it would be – there’s nothing else going on but the arthritis.

Arthritis as a secondary diagnosis means there is some other primary issue, and that the arthritis is either in addition to, or a result of, that problem.

Both are treatable.

canine arthritis

Don’t let sore joints bring your dog down

The main types of arthritis are:

Inflammatory (Rheumatoid) Arthritis

This type of arthritis causes the immune system to go on the fritz and start attacking the joints. Not nice.

Infectious (Septic) Arthritis

Like its name suggests, this type is caused by an infectious agent, such as bacteria or virus. Although the infection can be treated, and damage done may likely be permanent.

Metabolic Arthritis

The formation, or excess, of uric acid at the cellular level results in a crystalline formation causing joint pain. This is also known as Gout. Treatable and controllable, just like in humans.

Although advanced cases of arthritis damage are irreversible, the treatment options still offer an increased quality of life – and if caught early enough can add years of active play for both of you.

What Canine Arthritis Isn’t

When there is joint pain in our four legged companions, it is often instinctive to assume it’s a natural process of age – which it certainly can be.

But all too often, the uninformed self-diagnosis of “arthritis” is given to other ailments – and doing so may cause not only increased and unnecessary pain and joint damage, but the wrong diagnosis may interfere with other treatment options.

It’s important to remember that arthritis is oftentimes an end-result diagnosis that stems from another primary diagnosis – which treatment. Some other joint diseases include:

Dysplasia

Affecting the hip and elbow, dysplasia is basically a malformation of the joint. Although genetically driven, nutrition and exercise can be factors in the severity of dysplasia.

There are several treatment options for the various stages of dysplasia, but a quick and accurate diagnosis is imperative.

Dietary

Diet plays an important part in our pet’s life. There’s a delicate balance between quantity and quality, and the various arguments of grain free, GMOs, and raw food diet bombard us from every side.

While diet can unquestionably contribute to arthritis, a poor diet that leads to obese malnutrition (think the equivalent to you eating fast food every day), or an overly rich diet, can lead to their own issues – but sometimes it just comes down to the dog limping because it’s too fat. And that we can correct!

Lyme Disease

In the past years, instances of Lyme disease transmission have been on the rise – but so has our defense. We protect ourselves and our children, both 2- and 4-legged, with the best mixture of chemicals legally available for sale.

But infection does happen, and in its early stages it is most noticed by the lameness and swelling of joints – and this added to the lethargy can be confused for arthritis, especially if your furball is on a flea and tick prevention.

Injury

A torn ligament or a hairline fracture can be overlooked until we see our canine companion favoring a leg. Left untreated, this easily correctable condition can lead to permanent – and irreversible – damage.

Cancer

We hate to include this, but it is a fact of life – as much as we love them and do the best to give them a life filled with play and treats and snuggles, the cruelty of life rears its ugly head. An early diagnosis leads to a better outcome.

What Causes Arthritis in Dogs?

The causes of arthritis are wide and varying. It can be a result or side effect of other joint disease, genetic disposition, or simply from old age.

Apart from these obvious origins, there are several other subtle causes that, if left unchecked, can result in arthritis as well as other diseases.

The good news is that several of these are completely controllable, and some instances you can stop the damage before it gets to the point of interfering with the quality of life – or requiring treatment!

joint pain relief

This old boy is still happy

Age

Just like anything else – from our cars to our parents, the older it gets the more prone it is to breakdowns. It’s inevitable, and the price we willingly pay for the unconditional love we receive and give.

Poor Weight Management

Yeah – you knew this was coming! We are absolutely NOT going to start down the slippery road discussing which food is better than another, or if this ingredient causes cancer, or any of the other conspiracy theories.

Suffice it to say a fat dog is an unhealthy dog – and needs to go on a diet!

Exercise

I joke with a friend of mine about going to the gym; they say it won’t kill me and I reply that I’m not willing to take the chance.

But the truth is that over-exercising our dogs is a serious matter, especially if they are prone to dysplasia or have suffered an injury. Having a puppy enrolled in agility training before their joints have fully formed can result in an early-onset joint disease and arthritis.

It’s also advisable to consider the terrain – walking or running only on concrete or pavement will quickly take its toll on hips, shoulders, and elbows.

Injury

Some injuries are avoidable. Letting your dog ride in the bed of a pick-up truck while driving through a neighborhood full of squirrels is just asking for trouble.

Puppy bowling by throwing toys down the hallway after waxing the floor for the dogs to chase and slide … Well, my bad.

Dog Arthritis Symptoms

There are two levels of symptoms; those we see and those we don’t.Symptoms of arthritis in dogs

Symptoms We See

The observable signs of arthritis are straightforward, albeit somewhat vague at times;

  • Stiffness
  • Limping
  • Slow to get up
  • Restlessness
  • Inability – or refusal – to get up on the bed or couch
  • Wincing or crying from pain

Symptoms We Don’t See

The symptoms we don’t see are – such as the actual joint damage, or the wearing away of cartilage – are only observable through x-ray. Sometimes, palpation by a vet in just the right spot can reveal inflammation while it is still asymptomatic.

Because the symptoms can be so vague, and especially if our pup refuses to slow down, treatment can be delayed.

It bears mentioning that sometimes we all get an ache for a day or two from working or playing too hard, and our dogs are no different. Running to your vet for every little thing can quickly result in the average household going broke – but a thorough examination every year can make a huge difference.

You can also make a difference by starting to familiarize yourself with Fluffy’s bedtime habits and keep an eye out for any changes that last more than a few days.

Dog Arthritis Treatments

If you’re received the diagnosis of arthritis, don’t panic.

Seriously. It’s not the end of the world, and it’s absolutely not a death sentence.

Knowledge is power, and now time is on your side.

Depending on the extent of the damage, there are numerous options available. And although there’s no way to regenerate the lost cartilage, there are options that can improve joint lubrication and reduce inflammation – and those are important for quality of life.

There are also surgical options, which should be discussed with your veterinarian, or referred to a specialist.

It is also important to mention that unless the primary cause for the arthritis (if the arthritis is a secondary diagnosis) is addressed, then the deterioration will continue.

Once the cause is stopped, the joint damage will stop – and arthritis can be held at bay.

Lifestyle Changes

Probably some of the simplest changes that can make a large impact are modifications to the daily routine. They can be done is small increments so as to not throw the household into an uproar – and can easily be tracked and tweaked.

Physical Aids

There are many little things you can do that will add up to big helps, without spending a fortune or undertaking a massive construction project. Consider one or more of the following, depending on the size of your dog and their physical needs:

Ramps or stairs can help your dog get where he needs to without jumping up or down. Especially useful for smaller dogs to be able to get onto your bed or couch, if Fluffy is used to snuggling up with you, this can help enable that while making it easier.how to treat your dog's arthritis

And just like puppy love makes us feel better – they need lovin’ from us as well.

Raised bowls make eating and drinking easier for the larger breeds, but arthritic dogs can do better with an elevated feeding and watering station as well.

Harnesses are not for all breeds (like, uh, huskies – unless you want to be drug down the block) but if your pooch has arthritis in his neck or front end, these are definitely preferred over regular collars.

Knee braces for dogs sounds odd but go down to your local park and you’ll see middle aged men jogging around with at least one on. The same reasoning goes for your dog. The less pressure put on their joints, the less pain they’ll have.

– Consider clothing. Yes, I know – I’m the one who swore my dogs would never be seen wearing a fru-fru sweater in public, but the truth is that for an arthritic dog, sweaters, coats, booties, and socks can have a dramatic impact, especially in cold weather.

Just think of how Aunt Ida’s arthritis acts up when it’s cold out. And our canines can’t complain like she can. Come to think of it, no one can complain like she can…

Diet Change

Yes, there it is. The “D” word that makes us all cringe and hide our Kit Kats. But we all have to face dietary changes in our lives for various reasons, and Bruiser is the same.

In humans, losing one pound of weight converts to FOUR pounds of pressure on your knees. While there is no exact formula to convert it over to canines, it’s still obvious that eliminating excess weight can have a huge impact on joints.

Some things to consider;

– Check the nutritional content per cup fed. As you reduce the amount per feeding in an effort to reduce excess weight, it’s important that you are not sacrificing protein, vitamins, and minerals. One cup of Brand A may not equal the nutritional content of one cup of Brand B.

One of my dogs is on a specialized diet because it’s all I can do to get that 80 lb GSD to eat two cups of food – even with mixing in chicken or beef. A different popular brand required FIVE cups of food to equal the same nutritional content – so if she only ate 2 cups she would quickly become malnourished.

Bottom line: read the label.

– When changing brands of foods, be sure to do it gradually, over 5-7 days to eliminate any tummy trouble. No one wants a dog with tummy trouble!

– Consider the add-ins to increase the protein and other vitamins or minerals. Meat (cooked or raw – I don’t judge) or fresh veggies can go a long way to fill the belly and stimulate the taste buds.

– Eliminate the table scraps. Seriously – stop them. Table scraps not only add more of fat, salt, and sugar than your canine needs – they also teach bad habits of begging.

Exercise

Dog Arthritis Treatments

Be sure to keep walks to soft areas, not pavement

Okay, so this one’s tricky, because exercise can be what got your pup in this predicament to start with. Too much or the wrong type of exercise can compound the pain and damage while better choices can ease the pain and build muscle – which can in turn aid in support.

– Walking should be done on soft surfaces only. A short car ride to the park should be chosen over a walk around the block. Avoid pavement or concrete walking as much as humanly possible.

– Like with humans, water therapy can do wonders. Most community pools do not allow dogs, but with a little help from Google you should be able to locate a pond or lake that will do nicely.

– Slower is better – but don’t completely eliminate running and playing. Try rolling balls along the ground to eliminate jumping into the air, and definitely try to avoid any agility training type of obstacles.

Orthopedic Dog Bed

It’s amazing what a difference a good night’s sleep can have on our outlook on life. It’s the same for our canines. A well-researched orthopedic dog bed is absolutely worth the negligible investment. For a review of the most popular brands, check out our review of the best orthopedic dog beds for 2017.

Keep in mind that more expensive is not necessarily better – but above all you need to choose the best quality your budget will allow.

Sleeping without pain and being able to get upright easily will make an incredible difference in the quality of life – and a better quality of life can translate into a longer life.

Dog Arthritis Medications

There are a number of over the counter medicines available from your local pet store, your vet, or trusted online retailer that do not require a prescription. Your veterinarian can recommend which would be the best for your pup based on several factors, including ingredient, dosage, and side effects.

NEVER give your dog human medicine without consulting your veterinarian. Not the internet – an actual real, live veterinarian.

Caveat: Do not purchase any products that are regulated by prescription, from a source that will sell them without said prescription. Ingredients and dosage is extremely important, and only a less than reputable business would circumvent this process – and as a general rule they do it with inferior or expired medications.

Joint Supplements for Dogs

Most joint supplements are either Glucosamine, Chondroitin, or a mixture of both. While they do not regenerate cartilage, there does seem to be improvement of symptoms with continued use of these products, most likely due to the increased lubrication and decreased inflammation.

Since they aren’t harmful, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try.

Nutramax Cosequin DS PLUS MSM

Active ingredients (per 1 tablet):Glucosamine for dogs

Overall Impression: The initial period and maintenance dosage instructions are straightforward and easy to understand. The pills, although somewhat large, are scored for easy snapping in half.

Nutramax is a well known brand name, and the product is made in the USA.

NaturVet Senior Wellness Hip & Joint Advanced Plus Omegas

Active Ingredients (per 2 soft chews):over the counter arthritis medicine for dogs

  • 250mg Glucosamine
  • 50mg Chondroitin Sulfate
  • 250mg Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  • 100mg Omega-3
  • 25mg Omega-6

Overall Impression: The dosage seems to be a little bit more, shall we say, ‘open to interpretation’, but with the lower amounts of active ingredients it’s not surprising.

This option’s formula is marketed for senior dogs, a more inclusive formula, and is wheat free. Made in the USA in an FDA audited facility.

Prime Paws ActivFlex

Active Ingredients (per 2 soft chews):joint supplements for dogs

  • 625mg Glucosamine
  • 210mg Chondroitin Sulfate
  • 325mg Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  • 500mg Turmeric
  • 235mg Vitamin C

Overall Impression: The addition of turmeric (a natural anti-inflammatory) aids in treating canines with stiff and sore joints by reducing the pain, which boosts their activity level.

The formula – made in the USA in an FDA inspected facility – is all natural and gluten free, with no corn, wheat, soy, or added sugar. The combination of ingredients is formulated to relieve joint pain and improve mobility.

As a give-back, for every bottle purchased, they donate 1 lb of food to a shelter. I like that.

Veterinary Naturals ‘Hemp & Hips’

Active Ingredients (per 1 soft chew):dog joint supplements

  • 450mg Glucosamine
  • 50mg Chondroitin Sulfate
  • 225mg Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  • 125mg Turmeric
  • 10mgs Hemp oil

Overall Impression: This formula is based on the ‘healing properties’ of hemp. Don’t worry, your dog won’t be getting stoned or the munchies. The dosage is straightforward with no initial plus maintenance dosages.

Made in the USA at a FDA registered facility, for every bottle sold they will be vaccinating 3 street dogs in Nepal. Don’t ask – I don’t know why or how, either.

Anti-Inflammatories for Dogs

I said it before and I’m saying it again; NEVER give human medication to dogs – even if you read on the internet what kind of dosage to give. Human medications have a different mixture of active and inert ingredients that can be deadly to your pooch.

The most common medications are NSAIDs – non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs – and are available from your local pet store. For higher doses, or a stronger dose, see your vet for a prescription option.

Aspirin

The most popular OTC option due to its ability to reduce pain, aspirin should be given carefully because of its anti-coagulant properties – and never for extended periods of time. Do try to purchase only the coated tablets to ease and potential stomach upset.

Ibuprofen

Not as readily available over the counter as aspirin, ibuprofen is another in the NSAID family that works as an anti-inflammatory. Should be taken with a bit of food.

Acetaminophen

While available, acetaminophen is not widely recommended due to the potential to damage the liver when taken for extended periods of time – and contrary to popular belief, it is not an NSAID. There is a brand formula available by prescription.

Pain Relief

If you’re wondering what you can give your dog for pain, there are more than just pills as a treatment option for pain relief – and oftentimes they can be more effective by way of building muscle and increasing blood flow. Pain relief also increases quality of life – and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Acupuncture

Like in humans, the core claim of acupuncture is to have the ability to reduce or even relieve chronic pain. It’s a highly debated topic, and a personal choice.

Acupuncture for joint pain relief

Massage

Who doesn’t find a massage soothing and relaxing? With the result being that the tensed muscles relax and relaxed muscles ache less, and joints can relax as well.

Physical Therapy

The prime directive of physical therapy is range of motion. With range of motion comes building of muscle and loosening of ligaments – all will serve to benefit arthritic joints and increase mobility.

Natural Remedies for Dog Arthritis

We always want to try the natural remedies first. From grandmas concoctions for ‘whatever ails ya’ to the local organic food store, there’s a cultural shift away from laboratory produced chemicals to a product that comes right out of the earth, naturally.

Above all else, stay away from any manufacturer that refuses to list their ingredients. There are many companies that claim to use small-farm harvested herbs, all-natural ingredients, or essential oils – but do not list what those “ingredients” even are.

For a brand to claim “proprietary formula” is all well and fine – but think twice before you give your beloved pet a smorgasbord of unknown chemicals because you’re starting a game of Russian roulette that’s too easy to lose.

Turmeric

Also called ‘Indian Saffron’, is a natural pain reliever, and is often a primary or secondary ingredient with Glucosamine or Chondroitin for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Some of the side effects of turmeric include constipation, kidney stones, and stomach upset. It is important that turmeric should never be taken simultaneously with aspirin.

And stay within the dosage when used as a stand-alone supplement.

Yucca

The Yucca plant itself is poisonous to dogs – it’s the root that boasts therapeutic properties for managing arthritis pain – but must be closely monitored and used in only small doses. More is NOT better.

Licorice Root

When monitored for quality and consumption, licorice root can be effective combating inflammation and pain. The chemical compound glycyrrhizin is similar to the cortisone produced by the body, and supports the immune system.

But the same caution applies; too much or extended usage can lead to serious side effects.

Ginger

A wonderful, holistic root that’s bursting with benefits – for humans. Dogs, not so much. While it does aid in gastric upset and muscle pain, it should only be given in controlled doses – and preferably under the direction of a veterinarian.

Alfalfa

Natural alfalfa is rich in nutrients, and effective in combating the pain of arthritis. When purchased through a pet store or an organic grower, the health benefits are plentiful.

But, as with any other herbal remedy, the devil is in the fine print. Improperly dried alfalfa can cause severe digestive issues, and unfiltered seeds are toxic. Also, if the alfalfa is harvested post-bloom, it can trigger pollen allergies.

Cayenne

Derived from hot peppers, the potency comes from capsaicin and is supposed to block pain and increase circulation. I don’t know about you, but when I watch guys chewing on hot peppers to prove their virility – I sure don’t see pain relief.

Commercially, the cayenne is processed into cream or pills. The major drawback with the use of cayenne for pain relief is the potential shortcut of grabbing the jar of cayenne pepper from the spice cabinet and sprinkling it onto Fido’s food. That’s bad.

Like, really bad.

Will Your Dog Die From Arthritis?

Arthritis isn’t the end. It’s not a death sentence.

It’s a natural process of life, and oftentimes a result of injury.

And just like in us humans, your beloved dog will learn to live within his new limitations – and we will do what we can to make their life as healthy and happy as we can – like we have always done.

There are numerous treatment options available – medicinal as well as natural – and more than a few that are just plain common sense. Starting with the lifestyle changes and then adding a joint supplement could be the first step towards a new life for your arthritic pooch.

As far as Choco – he’s still going strong at 11 years old. He has good days and not-so-good days, but the good says outweigh the bad. His quality of life is good, albeit a little slower.

Except when he is stealing a slice of pizza off the dining room table.

The post Arthritis in Dogs appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/pet-health/arthritis-in-dogs/

PetArmor Plus Flea & Tick Drops for Dogs Review

http://www.centralparkpaws.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/51RjG4dkamL.jpg

It’s that time of year again; the sun is shining, the snow has finally melted for good, the flowers and trees are blooming.

Cookouts rule the long, warm days and campfires rule the cool nights.

Summer is here.

But with summer comes the bloodsucking and disease bearing pests – fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and the IRS.

And right along with them comes my biannual trip to the pet store for buying flea and tick control.

Like other parents of furbabies, we want the best product available to keep our four-legged kids protected from all the nasty biting things.

But let’s be honest – we all cringe when we drop $300 at the vet’s office or your favorite online or brick and mortar store for a little box containing itty bitty tubes of prevention every 6 months.

I was at my go-to pet store to pick up my usual brand (Advantix®) when the new associate helping me suggested the PetArmor Plus ®.

After a quick sales pitch highlighting the product’s active ingredient as the same as my usual major brand and a much lower price tag, I decided to give it a try on just one of the dogs – you know, what could it hurt? – and also so that there was a good comparison of the two products (you can’t teach an old dog new tricks …).

Besides – who doesn’t want to save a couple hundred bucks a year?

So I grabbed a pack (for use on 45-88 pound dogs), invested part of my savings into a Grande Unicorn Frappe, and headed home with my tiny tubes of liquid gold – and my pride.

Do’s and Don’ts

Like most products along these lines you should NOT use PetArmor Plus on cats.

PetArmor Plus flea treatment reviewIf you have a mixed household, it’s important to keep the freshly treated canines away from the felines for 24-48 hours, allowing the product to fully penetrate and disperse.

PetArmor does offer a feline version of their product, but because of a cat’s system, and their tendency to groom anything they can get their tongues on, this family of products is fatal when absorbed or ingested.

Also, make sure you’re able to apply the product. I know, as silly as that sounds – it’s actually kind of a big thing.

If you’ve got a squirmy little perpetual motion machine that’s running laps around the house in their sleep, make sure you’re able to hold the little escape artist motionless long enough to apply the product.

Otherwise, a pill form might be more appropriate.

Oh, and never use on puppies under 8 weeks and NEVER use on any dog (of any age) that is less than 4 pounds.

Overview

Easy to apply

Snip and squeeze – can flea and tick treatment possibly get any easier than this? The six-pack (6 month of coverage) of tubes easily snap apart.

Then – pointing the top away from your face, just in case – snip the end off. The package insert recommends applying the product all in one spot, between the shoulder blades. There’s no need to comb it through or massage it in.

Easy peasy.

Breaks the flea life cycle

Killing – and repelling – the nasty flea is all well and fine, but what about the eggs? Larva? PetArmor Plus doesn’t offer only one facet of protection.

By targeting and breaking the life cycle of the flea, you’re ensuring the best type of management; prevention and treatment at the same time by 1) driving any live fleas off your dog at the time they hop on, and 2) killing existing fleas, larvae, and eggs.

More than just Lyme disease

Although it’s the most popular concern this time of year, ticks spread more than just the dreaded Lyme disease.

There are six – yes, six – major diseases in addition to Lyme that are spread to canines by ticks that are potentially fatal if left untreated. There are numerous other less-common diseases as well.

If this isn’t motivation enough for you get out and grab some protection, just remember that many tick-borne illnesses are spread to humans, too.

That means when the tick has had his fill of Fluffy and drops off, it’s a gamble if it reattaches to your dog – or YOU.

Convenient dosage schedule

Once a month. That’s it. In less than 60 seconds you can be confident that your precious pooch will remain flea and tick free for 30 days.

No worrying that every time Tank runs through high grass that he’s bringing home Lyme disease to share with your family, or if you have a doggie play date, that they’re bringing home extra little jumping friends to take over your home.

No pre- or post- play treatment required. One tube and they’re done. Repeat in 30 days.

Product Specificationspetarmor plus flea treatment for dogs

  • For use on dogs only
  • Single-tube application
  • Waterproof
  • Controls fleas, ticks, lice, and controls mange infestations
  • Available in 4 packages, based on canine weight;
    • Up to 22 lbs
    • 23 – 44 lbs
    • 45 – 88 lbs
    • 89 – 132 lbs

The Good (Pros)

It sounds silly, but I liked the separate calendar card they enclosed in the box. With multiple dog households like mine, you mark the name of the dog and dates of application and stick it on the fridge.

I know – sometimes it’s the little things that make me happy. Simple things for simple folk I suppose – but whatever works to keep the protection current, especially if for whatever reason they are not on the same application day.

PetArmor Plus application tubes

Snap, snip, and apply

The packaging took convenience to a whole other level. I usually have to use a crowbar and three sticks of dynamite to break into each individually foil-wrapped tube of my regular brand – but not with PetArmor.

Simply snap one tube away from the others. Snip the top off, and away you go.

Application was a breeze, too.

I followed the recommendation my vet made several years ago for applying liquid treatment; rather than squirting the contents into one puddle, I followed her spine from about her mid back up to the center of her shoulders, leaving a few drops every couple of inches.

This allows for easier application on two levels; because your hands parting their hair is masking the feel of the application, as well as helping to avoid skin irritation from a single-zone, concentrated application of the product.

The Bad (Cons)

Simply put, this product didn’t work on my dog.

At all.

A few days after application, I noticed she started to scratch.

On the weekends we take all the kids out to a nature area with a grassy field to romp without leashes, and then down the trail to a wooded area with a stream to play in the water.

Because of the thick canopy of trees, and the water, this area is usually teaming with mosquitos in the middle of the day – and my poor girl was constantly stopping to bite back.

She found some relief splashing in the water with the others – she always enjoys the water! – but heading back into the woods the biting started again.

When I dried her off before getting back into the truck, I saw it.

There was a tick on my baby girl.

The Ugly (Worse Cons)

I pretty much knew we were in trouble when, about an hour after application, I noticed that my girlie had multiple little bald patches everywhere I put the PetArmor Plus.

I don’t mean greasy spots where the hair matted over that looked like bald spots – I mean the hair was gone. >>POOF<< the hair was GONE!

Since the drops were already applied, I decided to run with it. The weekend romp settled it in my mind that the product was not appropriate for our family.

A quick visit with my vet the following week confirmed the reaction and to discontinue use of the product – and a small lecture about switching products without research up front.

Unfortunately, she confirmed that I shouldn’t apply another product until this one had reduced concentration on my dog. Not even powders or sprays could be used because of the amplification of effects and potential toxicity.

As a result we were in for about a month of baths and flea combing after every outing and trip to the park.

Oh yeah, my dog loved that.

Her poor skin was so irritated that by the end of the month we stopped going out of the house for more than a potty run.

30 days later – and an application of my regular product – we were out of quarantine and on the trails.

Buying Advice

Like with any pet medication – you should only purchase this product from a reputable source, such as your veterinary office, your local pet supply shop, or a trusted online retailer. Like everything from purses to little blue ED pills, there are overseas knock-offs flooding the market.

flea and tick drops for dogs

Ever heard of this brand? Me either

And while getting purse-shamed when your Coach bag is called out as fake can be distressing – when it comes to medications (human or animal) it can be a matter of life or death.

The convenience of dosing by weight makes purchasing the product easier – but make sure you have the correct weight of your dog before purchase. The little ball of fur you thought weighed 21 pounds might actually be 25, or your 90 lb Rottie might actually be only 84.

Never mix-n-match tubes, or buy a double size thinking you’re going to use half a tube and get double for your money. It don’t work that way.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to do a little research. There are many reputable products that are generic formulas and work perfectly fine.

But in this day of Google and Amazon, there’s no excuse for not arming yourself with a little information before making a new purchase, or changing brands.

Closing Thoughts

There were several lessons learned in my experience with PetArmor Plus®;

Understand the ingredients.Active ingredients in Pet Armor Plus for dogs

Like with human medication, it’s not just about the primary ingredient. We all know someone who can take the name brand of a medication, but not the generic – or vice-versa.

The ‘inert’ compounds can change the way a product works in a body, which can mean life or death for your pet.

These inert ingredients – while harmless on their own – can change the way a medication acts, reacts, or is absorbed.

Do your research

Know if there’s an open or recently settled class action lawsuit against the product – and why.

CAL’s are started everyday for frivolous reasons. Remember the action against Subway because their ‘footlong’ wasn’t actually 12″? Like I said – frivolous.

But sometimes these lawsuits can be warning flags about something going on with a product that might not make it worth the savings. Knowledge is power.

Every dog is different

I know several people who use this product without any problems. Like any other animal (humans included), sensitivities to ingredients and amounts vary.

If your canine is already on PetArmor Plus® and doing well – and it’s keeping all the nasties away – then that’s great! Keep it up.

It’s not always about the money

I’ve said it for years, about many things, “If it was all about the money, we’d all be driving Yugo’s.” It’s not always just about the price tag.

Yes, in these days where the economy and job market doesn’t know what it’s doing from one minute to the next, it’s hard not to keep a grip on the wallet.

There are areas to cut a bit, and there are areas not to. It’s important that YOU do what is right for YOU and your four legged kids.

After PetArmor Plus application

Bottom line: The PetArmor Plus ® is not the same as K9 Advantix®, and the associate clearly had no real understanding of the product past the superficial sales pitch.

Although PetArmor Plus does boast the same primary ingredient as Frontline™ (Fipronil), it is not the same chemical compound or end product – as we’ve seen, the ancillary ingredients can make a huge difference in the absorption or action of the medication.

That being said, if your dog is on PetArmor Plus ® and doing well – especially if he has been on it for some time – then there is really no reason to make any change based on this review, or the 2012 class action lawsuit.

Remember: Every dog is different.

In my personal experience, K9 Advantix II (check out my review) keeps away the fleas, ticks, biting flies, and mosquitos without any side effects on any of my dogs.

And my dogs agree.

The post PetArmor Plus Flea & Tick Drops for Dogs Review appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/flea-medication/petarmor-plus-flea-tick-drops-dogs-review/

Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed: Is There Such a Thing as a Hypoallergenic Dog?

http://www.centralparkpaws.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/hypoallergenic-dogs-cats-dont-exist-300×200.png

They say that relationships are like the old Kenny Roger’s song The Gambler: You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away – and know when to run.

Such a sentiment would have been laughed at until a couple years ago when I met Hubby … because our happily-ever-after, almost wasn’t.

I think it was sometime just after our engagement that the shoe dropped.

He was allergic to dogs.

I had moved to town a few years earlier, and was looking forward to ditching the apartment in favor of a house with a yard and a dog or two (or ten…).

How could this happen? I was a life-long dog lover – and the love of my life was allergic to them?

What’s a girl to do?

So we took to Google – and his doctor – in search of a compromise.

What Causes Pet Allergies?

The most interesting fact we uncovered is that about 10% of the population is allergic to dogs and cats. That’s a lot of Zyrtec™! The real surprise, though, was that the allergy was primarily to the pet dander, not the animal itself.

So we set out to identify what pet dander actually was – and what we could do about it.

Boy, was that enlightening.

What is Pet Dander?

Basically, pet dander is teeny tiny flakes of dried skin from fur or feathered animals. It’s microscopic and very lightweight, allowing it to go anywhere and is very difficult to clean with the average monthly dusting of the furniture.

So if you’re allergic to dogs, you’re allergic to birds, cats, mice, guinea pigs, and any other little critter that has fur or feathers.

The Other Cause of Pet Allergies

The other half of the allergy is an enzyme. It can be found in your pet’s saliva and urine. This enzyme – added to the dander – kicks up the allergy a notch. The instances of sensitivity to the enzyme alone is very small, but to both is more common.

How to Live with Pet Allergies

There are several ways to reduce the dander of your existing pets and environment, which may go a long way to controlling the allergy and making cohabitation tolerable:

  •  Consider a whole house air purifier, such as Breathe Fresh’s 5-in-1 (my mother has two and swears by them). A high-end air cleaner will remove irritants and allergens – like pet dander from – while circulating the air.
  •  Increase routine home maintenance such as dusting, and vacuuming all soft surfaces weekly.
  •  Shampoo the carpets more frequently (especially if you have fleas).
  •  Bathe and groom your pooch once a week.
  •  Avoid letting your dog lick you.
  •  Consider a hypoallergenic pet.
    hypoallergenic dogs dont exist

    credit: AAFA

Armed with this information, we were able to make choices that were best for us – which was starting with a “hypoallergenic” dog.

Sniff This: There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog.

The canines that are classified as “hypoallergenic” have hair rather than fur – which lends themselves to eliminating a large slice of the allergy (the dander). They also tend to have a non-shedding coat, which again will eliminate the exposure to the allergen.

The flip side to this is that these dogs need actual maintenance. Not just an occasional bath or trip to the groomers – actual washing and clipping and trimming.

And just like ladies and little girls (and some guys) the longer the hair, the more maintenance is required.

But don’t think that a hairless dog will get you out of any extra work. Bald skin needs lovin’, too.

If you – like me – find that you can’t live without a four-legged bundle of energy, we’ve helped out with a list of the most common breeds that will help control the allergies.

“Hypoallergenic” Dog Breeds that Don’t Shed

Afghan Hound

Hypoallergenic Dogs - Afghan HoundProbably the most aristocratic of any canine breeds is the Afghan Hound. This tall canine is easily one of the most striking, and beautiful dogs to watch in action with their long hair flowing in the breeze.

It’s easy to see why they were bred and kept by royalty, and are the preferred pet of upscale ladies.

  •  Typical size: Large.
  •  Typical weight: 60lbs.
  •  Temperament: The Afghan Hound is a beautiful dog – and knows it. Yet for their aloofness, they are a loyal breed with a sweet disposition.
  •  Color: Most commonly seen in golds or tans, this breed actually has a wide range of coloring and marking.
  •  Coat: Very long and flowing.

Thoughts: The most common name for this breed is “Rapunzel” – and for good reason. The extra-long hair requires dedication to maintain, especially since tangling and matting can occur quickly.

American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless TerrierThis hairless breed is just that – hairless. As bald as Uncle Jimmy. The puppies have a fuzzy coat that is usually gone by about 10 weeks.

The adult may have very fine, short hair. It’s this hairlessness that lends themselves to be considered an appropriate choice for those with allergies.

  •  Typical size: Medium.
  •  Typical weight: 25 lbs.
  •  Temperament: These originated from a breed of working dogs, and have retained their active disposition.
  •  Color: Varying shades and markings.
  •  Coat: Hairless, although they may retain a coat of very short, very fine hair.

Thoughts: An active breed that loves adventure, these curious and fearless dogs are a good match for children, and do best with ample space to run.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise Non Shedding DogThis adorable white puffball is one of the favorites of allergy suffers and the elderly. Although one of the smaller breeds, the Bichon Frise is a sweet and playful bundle of energy that is full of love and snuggles.

  •  Typical size: Small.
  •  Typical weight: 20lbs.
  •  Temperament: A friendly breed, very affectionate.
  •  Color: Predominantly white, although they may slightly beige.
  •  Coat: Long hair that can be clipped and primped.

http://www.animalplanet.com/embed?page=5099
Thoughts: Their sweet disposition and energetic personality make this breed an excellent choice for a child’s pet. The adult is less playful and tend to be excellent elder companion dogs, and do well in an apartment setting.

Labradoodle

Labradoodle Assistance_DogsAlthough not always officially recognized as a breed of its own, the Labradoodle is exactly what you’d imagine – 50% labrador and 50% poodle.

This cross-breed originated in Australia, and has taken the world by storm by taking the best of both dogs; the temperament of a lab and the shedless-ness of a poodle.

  •  Typical size: Medium to large.
  •  Typical weight: 25 – 80 lbs.
  •  Temperament: Feisty, family dogs with an affinity for waterplay.
  •  Color: Color varies from white to black, usually solid.
  •  Coat: Medium length hair, can be fairly straight to downright curly.

Thoughts: The wide range in size is due to the parentage – whether bred with a standard or miniature poodle. This highly intelligent breed is an excellent family dog, and requires space to romp on a daily basis.

Maltese

Maltese short hair

Maltese long hair

Maltese with long hair

Another of aristocratic origin, this small breed is known for its long, white hair – and it’s boundless energy. Groomed either naturally long hair, or a shorter trim, it’s not at all unusual to see these small dogs with ribbons and bows, and prancing about like a little princess.

  •  Typical size: Small.
  •  Typical weight: 8-14 lbs.
  •  Temperament: Seeks human companionship. Playful but gentle.
  •  Color: White.
  •  Coat: Long, silky hair.

Thoughts: Because of their unusual disposition to allowing primping with ribbons, bows, and other hair accessories, and gently playful demeanor, the Maltese tend to do well with elderly and little girls.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer doesn't shedUnlike other miniature versions of larger breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer looks like a standard schnauzer was hit with a shrink ray. The temperament is similar, and the body proportions are similar – just smaller.

  •  Typical size: Small.
  •  Typical weight: 12-18 lbs.
  •  Temperament: Friendly and very obedient.
  •  Color: Two-tone; black and white, black and silver.
  •  Coat: Coarse, wiry hair.

Thoughts: Like other schnauzers, the Miniature Schnauzer has a pleasant temperament, is quick to learn and eager to please, making crate training a breeze. The coat is often rough and bristly.

Poodle

standard poodle has hair not furThe Poodle is a truly versatile breed, and like automobiles are available from toy up to full size. These highly intelligent animals make excellent family dogs, being versatile and adaptable to their environment.

  •  Typical size: Toy to large.
  •  Typical weight: 5-60 lbs.
  •  Temperament: Affectionate, family oriented.
  •  Color: Varies, but generally solid.
  •  Coat: Curly and coarse.

Thoughts: The Poodle is the most common canine when considering a hypoallergenic dog. These dogs are highly intelligent and friendly. No matter the size, the poodle appears – according to some – to gain an air of dignity when clipped or shaved.

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water DogA lesser known breed that is becoming popular among allergy suffers, especially men, because of their athleticism and adventurous spirit – as well as their cool name.

These are truly a working dog, originating in Portugal they retrieved nets, herded schools of fish, and were even trained to carry messages from the sea to land and back again. Their most unique characteristic is their webbed feet.

  •  Typical size: Medium to large.
  •  Typical weight: 35-50 lbs.
  •  Temperament: Affectionate and kid friendly.
  •  Color: Black, brown, or two-tone.
  •  Coat: Wavy or tightly curled.

Thoughts: This highly intelligent canine does best with a yard and activity, and are becoming a newer favorite of duck hunters.

Standard Schnauzer

Standard Schnauzer

Commonly referred to as “old man dog”, the Schnauzer is easily identifiable by the long eyebrows and moustache – but unlike their nickname these dogs are anything but feeble.

Highly energetic and intelligent, this breed can play from sunup to sunset, but also has excellent self-control for when romping is deemed inappropriate.

  •  Typical size: Medium.
  •  Typical weight: 30-40 lbs.
  •  Temperament: Protective and family centered.
  •  Color: Black, grey, two-tone
  •  Coat: Thick and wiry,

Thoughts: The Schnauzer is an intelligent animal that is quick to learn and please. Mastering the basic commands should be a breeze to them.

They do best with consistent human interaction and are excellent family dogs.

Less Popular Breeds to Consider

This is not an exhaustive list of breeds that are referred to as “hypoallergenic” (no canine is truly hypoallergenic!). We wanted to highlight the common breeds available nationwide. Some of the lesser-common breeds could include:

Sniff This: If you’re thinking of pulling a fast one by saying you’re allergic to dogs because you want to get a cat – be sure your obfuscation will find you out!

Which Non-Shedding Breed is the Best?

Because bringing a new furbaby into your home is a lifelong commitment, rather than a recommendation of one breed over another, here are a few final thoughts …

  1. With a solid commitment to grooming schedule with daily brushing, and a once-a-day allergy pill, many people who are hypersensitive to dog dander find they can coexist with just about any breed without any undue suffering. Check with your doctor.
  2. Before bringing a dog – or cat, for that matter – home, make sure to let your kids spend some time around them to ascertain if there are any allergies. Bringing a new member into the family only to have to give it up isn’t fair to anyone, and can be avoided with a little planning and some clever recon.
  3. When choosing a dog, the choice needs to be mutual. Spend time with the litter and take home the puppy who doesn’t want to leave you. In that fuzzy little jellybean you will find your lifelong companion.

As far as my lifelong companion, we now have several dogs – most of which do not fall into the “hypoallergenic” category – with the aid of a consistent grooming and housekeeping schedule.

The post Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed: Is There Such a Thing as a Hypoallergenic Dog? appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/pet-facts/dog-breeds-that-dont-shed/