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Does Your Dog Bark Too Much? Here’s What to Do

Does Your Dog Bark Too Much? Here’s What to Do

For most dog owners, barking is a normal part of life. Some dogs bark only when it’s appropriate, such as when mommy comes home from a long day at work, or if dad has forgotten to let Fido out into the yard to relieve himself. Dogs bark as part of their natural communication with people and other animals. In moderation, this is often fine. However, some dogs bark too much or under the wrong circumstances. Besides getting him a fur dog bed, there are several ways to deal with problem behavior.

First, rule out medical issues

While dogs bark excessively for many different behavioral reasons, some causes of barking are primarily medical. For instance, some dogs bark because they are getting old and experiencing cognitive decline. Your poor baby might forget that once-familiar sights and sounds are benign and bark out a warning in response.

Another reason why your buddy might be barking is a need for pain management. Pets that are suffering from injuries or arthritis will often bark from their comfy dog bed. Restlessness along with this barking is a major red flag that they should be taken to the vet pronto. Your vet can examine him and let you know what treatment, if any, is necessary.

Keep in mind, even young dogs can bark as a result of medical issues. Some pups aren’t as healthy as you think, or they could be teething. Even a growth spurt makes that fur dog bed, and the tranquility that goes with it, less inviting.

Next, think about exercise

As with children, pets often get antsy when they don’t get enough exercise. In extreme cases, dogs will bark to burn off steam. According to many behavior experts, one of the easiest ways to (sometimes) cure problem barking is with a lot of exercise. Besides walking in the neighborhood, many dogs enjoy games like fetch in the yard. Don’t have a yard? Consider some indoor games that redirect puppy energy without knocking over the lamp.

Another way to get your dog more exercise is by hiring a dog walker. These are professionals who will come visit Fido sometime during the day. This way, he won’t have as much energy for barking at the squirrels outside your window. Best of all, if you need to work late or run errands before getting home then your dog won’t need to go to the bathroom quite as badly. Getting your furbaby worn out so he can enjoy that donut dog bed won’t take as long, either.

Boredom? That’s easy to fix!

Similarly to barking from a lack of exercise, some doggies bark because they’re bored. This can be a result of being left alone all day, but it can also come from not having the right toys. Luckily, boredom often has an easy fix. Consider getting him some toys that feed treats in return for solving a puzzle. Putting food inside a hollow toy, such as a KONG, and then giving it to your dog helps as well. Cleaning the food out of the toy will keep him too busy to bark.

Of course, playing games with your dog also helps with boredom. Especially if you’re working from home, taking some time out for a bit of fun can be a big help. These days, it’s often necessary to kick the dog out of the room when participating in a virtual meeting. Games and puzzle toys go a long way to preventing your dog from begging to get back in before the meeting is over. Better yet, combine this technique with placing an inviting donut dog bed in the next room.

Barking out the window? Not anymore!

Another reason that dogs bark a lot is if they like to watch squirrels and other distractions out the living room window. Hunting breeds in particular love to “track” the prey in the yard and sitting in front of a window while mom isn’t paying attention provides great entertainment. If you dog can watch quietly, then surveying the scene from his favorite window is probably fine. Your dog is keeping his mind busy without bothering the neighbors.

However, many dogs like to bark at anything that comes into “their” yard. Besides impertinent squirrels and their bird buddies, people sometimes get barked at too. When dogs bark at anyone that walks by the house, it’s often because the person is seen as a threat. Alternately, the “intruder” might need a reminder that this isn’t their yard.

Regardless of what your dog is watching from the window, there are several ways to fix the problem. If you have blinds, consider closing them when you aren’t around. This way, the dog won’t see animals or people in his yard. With nothing to monitor, your dog will no longer have a good reason to bark. Instead, he is more likely to hang out on his donut dog bed with a bone.

Sounds that startle? It can be fixed.

For some dogs, any unfamiliar noise is a reason to sound the alarm. While most pups will be a doggie doorbell on occasion, barking at every sudden noise can become a nuisance. People that live in apartments or busy neighborhoods are especially likely to deal with this problem.

Fortunately, this one is also easy to fix. Most of the time. The first thing you should try is to give your dog a different sound to focus on. If you watch a lot of television, then running the TV on a relatively familiar channel while gone often works. Either your dog doesn’t realize you’re gone, or he has something else to listen to and will relax on his donut dog bed. Other versions of this technique include using a radio or sound machine.

Sometimes it’s psychological

Finally, excessive barking sometimes signals a psychological problem, such as separation anxiety. Besides trying an anti-anxiety dog bed, this problem typically requires professional help to solve. If you think that your dog is anxious, then be sure to get an appointment with your vet right away. She will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment for your furbaby.

Managing Dog Hair For a Cleaner Home

Managing Dog Hair For a Cleaner Home

Whether you’ve just brought home your first-ever furbaby or have been a lifelong puppy parent, chances are that dog hair seems like a constant battle. For many of us, it seems like every time we turn around there are new deposits of dog hair. These appear on the carpets, the curtains, the comforters, the cushions, and the closets. Often, going to the office means getting the evidence of our beloved pet OFF of our suit or dress. The only place that hair is welcome is our best friend’s donut bed. Is there any way to control the mess? There sure is. Here are a few ways to keep pet hair at bay.

Brushes are your best friend (almost)

While dogs will always hold a big piece of our hearts, brushes are our best ally in the battle against hair. Like humans, dogs need regular brushing to remove loose hair and prevent mats from forming. However, brushing is more complicated than many of us realize. Some dogs love to be brushed, while others hate it. We know of several precious pets that won’t sit still long enough to get a thorough brushing. At least, not without some convincing from mommy or daddy.

There are a few reasons for grooming resistance. For one thing, it is easy for us to brush too aggressively. For another, we often use the wrong tools. This problem is relatively easy to combat, however. While some brushes work for a variety of coat types, there is a brush designed for every coat type. In addition, there are specialized combs which are designed to control shedding. These combs will help keep even a donut bed cleaner. Many experts recommend checking with your vet or dog groomer to see what they would recommend.

Proper grooming is critical

Speaking of dog groomers, they are experts at hair control. That’s because groomers use specialized products which are designed to be healthier for doggy skin. Pet skincare experts have developed shampoos and conditioners that reduce shedding and doggie odor alike. Some dogs are difficult to bathe at home, while others can easily enjoy a soapy rubdown in the house before retreating to their donut bed. Just be sure to rinse, brush, and dry him first.

Even if you bathe your dog at home most of the time, be sure to purchase dog-specific products. These keep your precious pet’s skin from drying out, which not only increases hair shedding but the sloughing off of dead skin cells. Also, you should consider taking him to a professional groomer every 6 weeks to ensure that everything is done properly. Nail trimming is tough on dog owners.

Try grooming mitts

Even with proper brushing and frequent grooming, it might help to try grooming mitts. These allow you to gently clear loose fur from your dog’s coat without his realizing it. That’s because the “bristles” are so short and soft that it feels like you are simply giving him cuddles and belly rubs. However, you can easily extract hair and place it in the trash when bonding time is over. Best of all, there’s little risk of irritating sensitive doggie skin. What’s not to love?

Practice frequent cleaning

Even with frequent brushing and proper grooming, there’s no way to avoid a certain amount of shedding. The easiest way of keeping this remaining hair from taking over the house is with cleaning. In particular, vacuum cleaners are your best weapon. Many models are designed for pet owners, and these are especially good at cleaning up pet hair. Some even come with special attachments which ball up the fur and make it easier to remove. Pet owners with allergies should consider getting a model with advanced filtering. This way, the dirt and dander will not get blown back into your room. Emptying a canister of dog hair into your trash is much easier than picking it up by the handful before throwing it out.

If your dog is sensitive to the noise, consider shutting him in another room while you vacuum. To make him feel better, leave him with a toy like the Nightmare Before Christmas Snake. It’ll be over before he knows it. This sure beats having your pet “attack” the vacuum.

Slipcovers save the day

Especially if your dog is allowed on the furniture (or won’t stay on the floor), consider getting a slipcover for your upholstered furniture. Upholstery collects dog hair like crazy, so you probably don’t want that expensive material getting coated in fur. Even worse, it can be difficult to get the hair cleaned up. A slipcover, on the other hand, can be removed and cleaned. Consider a washable cover for minimal maintenance. Failing a slipcover, consider using a blanket or sheets. These can also be removed easily when company comes.

Tape rollers are great removal tools

When dog hair inevitably gets on your clothes or car cushions, tape rollers are a great way to get rid of it. There are commercial rollers available which are intended for dog hair removal. Often attached to a handle, tape rollers are run over your clothes or surface that needs hair removal. When one exposed area of adhesive is full of hair, you’ll pull off the tape to reveal another sticky surface. These are easy to put in the glove box of your car to use before work.

Many people have also had great results with duct or packing tape. In this case, you will rip off a section large enough to loop around several fingers. Run the tape loop over the surface, allowing it to “roll” around your fingers. When the tape loop doesn’t stick anymore, repeat as needed.

Finally, keep in mind that your dog’s bed also needs regular cleaning. At Best Friends by Shari, we only make beds and blankets that can be machine washed. This way, all that fur and doggie smell goes down the drain. Combined with other efforts, this will help keep your home cleaner.

Choosing the Right Dog Breed for Your Family

Choosing the Right Dog Breed for Your Family

Whether you have children who beg for a puppy regularly or just want a companion for yourself, choosing the right dog can be overwhelming. After all, there are almost 200 breeds that are recognized by the American Kennel Club. That doesn’t count hybrids, shelter dogs, or breeds which are only recognized abroad. Fortunately, by considering your living situation, lifestyle, and desired doggy traits, you’ll have the perfect pooch lounging on a comfy dog bed in no time.

Consider your living situation

First, consider your living situation, because doing so can help eliminate some breeds or characteristics. Probably the biggest consideration if you’re a renter are the terms of your lease. For instance, many apartment complexes have breed restrictions. These typically prohibit tenants from having certain breeds of dog. Another common restriction is size. Some apartment managers will specify a maximum size or weight on a dog. If you’re renting a house, these restrictions are less common, but you need to check for them in advance.

Homeowners must also check for restrictions. Some homeowner’s associations, for instance, have pet rules. Your insurance company might have a breed blacklist, meaning they won’t insure owners of those breeds. Finally, some local governments have restrictions on which breeds you can choose to enjoy a comfy dog bed in your home.

Another consideration is the ability of a dog to be happy in your living situation. For instance, putting a large dog in an efficiency apartment, even if technically permitted, is probably unwise. These dogs need a lot of space to run and play, or at least get plenty of walking. However, small dogs often thrive in apartments. With these factors in mind, you can start to eliminate some breeds.

Think about your lifestyle

Next, think about lifestyle considerations. As part of your family, a dog should be included in your activities. While most pups must enjoy their pet bed while their pet parents are at work, they need attention during off hours. The type of attention they get will depend on you, so it needs to be something they would enjoy.

Couch potatoes

Are you the kind of person who comes home from work and crashes for the evening? All dogs need exercise and bathroom breaks. However, their needs vary widely based on size and breed. There are breeds of all sizes that are highly active, and those which are more sedentary. Be sure to pick one that’ll greet you, enjoy a walk, and then lounge near you on their comfy dog bed.

Active adults

Alternatively, some dog owners are much more active. For instance, they might love going on a long bike ride or a jog before work. Maybe going to the beach every weekend or hiking in the woods is their kind of fun. If this describes you and your family, then consider selecting a more active breed. This way, you can train them to accompany you on outdoor adventures.

Specialty pursuits

If you’re a hunter, farmer, or horse person, then certain dog breeds are especially well suited. In particular, the AKC “sporting group” is made up of dog breeds that are often used for hunting. They tend to have a great sense of smell and will often chase certain kinds of animals. Farmers might want a dog breed that herds livestock. Alternatively, dogs that like horses will perform pest control duties, help their owners hunt on horseback, or just be friendly buddies to man and beast. In these situations, consider putting a pet bed out in the barn so fido can relax a little while you work.

Companionship

While most of us get a dog for companionship at some level, some people get them primarily for that purpose. Probably the most common example is with someone who lives alone and needs company. Single people and elderly couples often fall into this category. If this describes your situation, then you might consider a dog that craves attention. Smaller breeds in this category are often lap dogs. Others, however, might curl up next to you on the couch or a comfy dog bed.

Owner health

For some of us, lifting a 75-pound dog into the car is relatively easy. For these people, when a large breed dog needs to go to the vet it’s no problem. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to get a large dog for someone who can barely hoist a bag of groceries. Another way that owner health can be an issue is with allergies. Some breeds of dog are better suited than others for people with allergies.

Doggie characteristics

Once you’ve found dog breeds that fit your living situation and lifestyle, it’s time to consider more subtle characteristics. Many of these are personal preferences, while others address specific situations.

Coat type

Dogs have a wide variety of coat types. These include short and long hair, double coats, wiry hair, and curls. You can choose something you like in this regard or have specific reasons behind your preferences. Double coats, like those found on Labrador retrievers and Corgis, result in a lot of shedding. If this is a problem, consider something with wiry hair or curls.

Personality

Even among dogs that suit your lifestyle and living situation, there’s a wide range of personalities. Some hunting dogs, for instance, are outgoing while others are reserved. Certain dogs can be anxious when left alone all day, while others are perfectly happy to chill out on their comfy dog bed. Finally, some breeds are famous for their love of children.

Level of care

Some dogs take more care than others, and this isn’t always due to their coat type. Certain dog breeds have a lot of health problems which can result in a lot of medical expenses. And even sedentary pooches need different amounts of cuddling from their people.

Choosing the right dog breed for your family is critical for everyone’s happiness. Luckily, by sorting through the issues we’ve discussed here you should be able to narrow down your options. Then, when you’re ready to commit, be sure to seek out a reputable breeder or rescue.