If you've just bought or adopted a young dog, you are in for a lovely time sharing your life and your home with a loyal, good natured four legged friend. A dog has a way of always bringing a smile to your face when you least expect it. However, there are certain things they do that are a bit unwelcome, and which need to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible. Below are a few tips to new dog owners which may come in very handy if your pet suddenly starts behaving badly.
Dogs can be devils when it comes to bolting down their food. Some dogs may have had to compete for their dinner when they were young and this leads to them developing this rather bad habit. Bolting food down usually results in a dog being sick, they bring it all up again on the kitchen floor or worse still on a carpet or rug.
However, bolting food can lead to more serious problems in their guts too which means you need to stop them from doing it. A very easy way of slowing dogs down when they eat is to put some big, clean stones in their feeding bowls. This means they have to eat around the large stones, preventing them from taking big mouthfuls of food. The stones have to be large though because if they are too small, your dog may just end up swallowing them – something you want to avoid at all costs.
Have you noticed your new pet is scratching themselves a little more than they should? You may suspect a flea problem but cannot find any of these nasty parasites in your dog's coat. The best way to confirm if there are any fleas is to brush your dog when they are standing on some damp white paper. If you see any reddish/brown coloured blobs appearing on the paper – your suspicions have been confirmed and it's time to organise a flea treatment – preferably through your vet.
If you've been out for a lovely walk with your new furry friend and come home to find they have sticky feet covered in chewing gum – then you need to get it off them as soon as you can before they eat it themselves! The best way to get nasty chewing gum off your pet's paws is to put liberal amounts of mayonnaise on their paws. Amazingly, this will work every time and the gum comes off really easily. The downside is you might have problems keeping your dog from eating the mayonnaise as you are doing it!
You may find your dog suffers from weepy eyes which become really sore. A nice soothing way to alleviate the irritation is to bathe them in cold camomile tea. Camomile has amazing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and as a bonus it has an analgesic effect soothing the sensitive areas under your dog's eyes. The best thing to use is some sort of lint-free pad and soak it in cold camomile tea.
If however, your dog's eyes are swollen, bloodshot, closed up or have any sort of thick discharge coming from them, you need to take you pet to see the vet as soon as you can because they may have a foreign object lodged in their eye or another type of infection which needs immediate treatment.
Dogs adore rolling in the smelliest of things, so if you have been out for a wonderful walk in the countryside where they've been off their leads, the chances are they have found something glorious to roll in. The problem is that no matter what shampoo you use on them, you can't get rid of the smell. One brilliant method that comes from the US, is to coat the stinky area with tomato ketchup and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off. The odour will have vanished completely, solving your dilemma of a stinky dog!
You may come home from an energetic walk only to find your beloved pet has picked up some wet tar on their paws. This is a particularly nasty sticky substance to get off a dog's feet without hurting them. One very good way of doing it, is to coat the area with some butter and then apply a bandage of sorts. Leave it on for around five minutes before removing the bandage, all that's left for you to do is rinse off the tar which should wash away with no problem whatsoever causing your pet no pain.
If you are new to owning a dog, then coping with their shedding fur can be a bit of an issue. The worst are the annoying fine dog hairs that seem to be able to weave into everything they come into contact with. However, there's an easy way to deal with the problem which cheap and effective. Don a pair of rubber gloves and then simply vigorously wipe the areas covered with dog hair which dislodges them nicely, ready to be hoovered up and gone forever!
A few dogs take great delight in drinking water out of the toilet bowl and other disgusting places where it has collected. The problem is that many people put disinfectants in their toilets to keep germs at bay and these can be highly toxic to dogs! The only way to stop them from doing it, is to make sure the toilet lid is always down but another way to break the habit, is to buy your pet a water fountain!
Dogs always prefer to drink from sources of running water and they like their water cold. A dog's water bowl may start out with cold water in it, but as the day does on, the water gets to room temperature which is not as appealing to your pet. Moving water has less bacteria in it too which means dogs (and cats) seem to know instinctively that moving water is safer for them to drink.
Owning a dog is a wonderful experience, it's a lifelong commitment that is full of pleasure and as a bonus research shows just how good our canine friends are for our health. If you are thinking about getting a dog, make sure you are totally prepared for the responsibility that goes hand in hand with having one. As long as you are happy you can take care of your pet, then you're in for a great time!