Your thoughts on modern pet ownership

Swag from BlackmoresRecently I was written to by the folks over at PAW by Blackmores about a research study they had completed into modern pet owners (and they sent us some cool stuff to try as well!). You can read the results on the survey and my top tips for managing pet care with a busy modern life over in my article “An insight into modern pet owners“. I wanted to share some of your stories, tips, guilts and pressures around taking care of your pets in a modern life.

Frankie and Ernie wrote:

WHAT??????? No table scraps fur us!!!!! You Know that is just WRONG don’t you. We gotta have THOSE.. and TREATS and SNACKS (which are NOT the same thingys….. even when they ARE) and WAY more Play time and TRIPLE the Snuggle and Grooming… with DRY Brushes and Dry Furs ONLY… NO BAFFS…

I do like some of Frankie’s ideas! I do hope you are getting plenty of healthy treats though!

Gizmo‘s owner wrote:

I really try to be a responsible pet owner but my dog is so accommodating and willing to love me no matter what it’s sometimes easy to prioritize everything but the dog…i do stay vigilant about feeding nutritious food on schedule and limiting treats to those that are dog appropriate, meaning no scraps…So what am i guilty about? Baths…Gizmo really should have a bath about every ten days but I get lazy (he really hates baths) and it ends up being more like 3 weeks or a month … and walks…like everyone else, he is so non-complaining that walks are easy to postpone till later…or tomorrow…

I also have the same issue with walks. Cynder is happy just to play fetch in the yard for a while every night, which in itself is great, but I really enjoy the time we spend together on walks and I know how much she does as well. I am going to commit myself to walking her first thing in the morning from now on!

Liz wrote:

We adopted an older (12) rescue dog about six months ago, and the one thing I vowed is that he would be walked every, single day just because he LOVES it so much. As soon as I pick up my kicks he totally loses it.

According to Liz it’s been so far so good as well! It’s awesome to see that he is not letting his age stop him from really enjoying life to the fullest!

Kim, The Fur Mom wrote:

Carrots have been a life saver in our home. Our dogs love snacks and I love to treat them so we stock up on carrots, buying them in bulk at Costco. We don’t get to walk them daily, because we leave at night and come home at night and we live in a rural area, but they have access to their own fenced yard and when we come home, we play with them (in the dark and rain) outside. The house has lights all around so it’s fine.

Carrots are a great snack! My Border Collie, Cynder really loves them as well and you can have the peace of mind that you are treating them to something healthy! A great tip we once got was to roll the carrot in peanut butter and then put it in the freezer! Great for a warm day.

I also heard from Mango Momma who wrote:

One of the things I have to keep reminding myself is that a little training goes a long way. I’m not referring to what the dog actually learns, but the quality of the time together when training. Just five minutes brings me closer to Dex.

This is fantastic advice and something that I will try and remind myself everyday. I always feel like I’m letting us both down if we don’t train everyday, but really any time we have together to bond is great quality time for both of us and I owe it to Cynder to keep it fun and exciting.

Thank you all for your comments, if you want to join the discussion feel free to comment below or join me on Facebook or Twitter!


Four ideas to stop your dog digging up your yard

IMG_1687 Following on from my last article, where I went through some of the common reasons why dogs dig, I’m going to take you through some of the methods I’ve come across on my journey to stop your dog from relandscaping your yard. All dogs are different though, so sometimes you need to try a few different methods before you find the method that will work for you.

Here are four ways I have tried (and with differing levels of success) to stop Luna, Cynder and Sprocket from digging up the yard:

  • Burying their poop: If your dog is prone to digging because they want to try and find things underground then this is something you can try. Bury some of their poop in one of the holes they have dug. The idea is that they will dig it up, think that it’s not that interesting after all and give up on the digging. I’ve tried this one and the Beagle, Luna just went and dug somewhere else.
  • Burying a balloon: Another one for the serial diggers out there. Take a balloon, blow it up part way and bury it in the hole. The theory behind this one is that when the dog digs up the balloon they should pop it with their nails and the fright they get will be enough of a deterrent for them to stop.Training 250
  • Chilli flakes or citronella: I tried these two methods in an attempt to stop the Beagle, Luna and the Border Collie, Cynder from digging along the fence line and in the bark that is there. Both of these methods aim to deter the dog away from the area. The Beagle, Luna was quite fond of chilli flakes, so that didn’t really help but both tended to stay away from areas where citronella was sprayed. We used a citronella oil concentrate which is available from most hardware stores.
  • Chicken wire: This was one if the final methods we tried, quite successfully I might add, to stop the Beagle, Luna from digging under the fence and escaping the yard. We got a roll of chicken wire and some metal pegs from the hardware store and cut the chicken wire so that it would cover the length of the fence. The Beagle, Luna had been digging the bark at the edge of the fence so the first step was to rake this back, lay the chicken wire flat along the fence, with one edge right on the fence line, and use the pegs to secure it down. Once this was done along the line we raked the bark back over and you can’t even notice it at all. Now if either of them try and dig at the fence line they hit chicken wire and don’t bother trying to go further.

These methods were all given to me as advice from a dog behaviour specialist. If you are having serious issues with your dig digging then please consider speaking to your vet or getting a dog behaviour specialist to visit to discuss your options.

Training 253If your dog is digging to stay cool, then make sure they have somewhere shady and cool to go to beat the heat, even consider a small wading pool, such as a shell pool, with a little bit of water on really warm days, as well as plenty of fresh drinking water and maybe even a Pupsicle or two.. Check out my article on how to keep your pup cool on a warm day for a few more tips.

Your dog may also be digging just because they are bored, if this is the case then make sure they have plenty of toys and stimulation, such as kongs or raw meaty bones, to help keep them occupied whilst you aren’t at home. You could also build them an area where they are allowed to dig, and teach them where it’s appropriate. I’ll take a look at that in a future article.

Is your dog, or has your dog, been a digger? What are your tips to stop it from happening?