Category Archives: Pets & Animals

Great Guard Dogs

By Article Contributor, Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Many dog breeds have a specific job they were bred for.  The best guard dog breeds were bred with stock, property and personal protection in mind.  Some guard dog breeds are well-known, while others are just coming to the awareness of the general public.

German Shepherd

Great Guard Dogs 389x291 Great Guard DogsThe German Shepherd is one of the most popular and recognized guard dogs in the world.  These versatile dogs are used to herd stock, lead the blind and for personal and property protection.  German shepherds are extremely loyal, and they have a natural instinct to protect their owners from harm. The German shepherd as a guard dog has one drawback.  Many of these dogs are from poor breeding.  There is a high incidence of hip dysplasia in the breed.  Only purchase a GSD from a very reputable breeder.

Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is the result of a cross between the bulldog and the English Mastiff.  This breed was originally used as a gamekeeper’s dog on large estates.  Their mission was to protect the estate’s game from poachers.  The Bullmastiff was to find a poacher, chase and knock him down and then hold him until the gamekeeper could arrive.  These dogs make excellent property guardians.  They require firm discipline to curb any attempt to dominate the owner.

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a type of shepherd dog that is slightly smaller than a German Shepherd.  These dogs are becoming the breed of choice for many police departments in the United States.  The United States military is using these dogs extensively in Afghanistan to sniff out IEDs and weapons caches.  These are high-energy dogs that require a great deal of exercise.  The disadvantage of this breed for guarding work is their size.  They do not have the knockdown power of some of the larger breeds.

Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is an impressive dog that has obtained a reputation for high aggression in recent years mostly due to poor breeding.  A well-bred Rottweiler is one of the best property guardians available.  They have a possessive nature for what they claim as theirs.  This includes their owner and their owner’s family.

Beauceron

The Beauceron is a French shepherd that is distinguished by its set of double dew claws.  These dogs were used by the French military as messenger dogs, guard dogs and as mine detection dogs.  Today, the Beauceron is often seen in protection dog competitions. Some particularly nasty Beauceron’s can be seen in the James Bond film “Moonraker”.

Doberman Pinscher

Karl Dobermann was a German tax collector who wanted a breed of dog that would protect him while he performed his tax collection duties.  Mr. Dobermann crossed the Thuringian Pinscher, the Beauceron and the Rottweiler to create the breed we know today as the Doberman Pinscher.  These dogs are usually seen in their black and tan coloration, but red, fawn and blue Dobermans are not uncommon.  If choosing a Doberman for guard dog work, be aware that Dobermans are not as aggressive as they once were.  Breeders have been working toward a calmer and more stable dog.

Image c/o Vladimer Shioshvili

Eric Blair is an animal lover and avid pet blogger. Eric feeds his pets NuVet to ensure they live a long and healthy life; you can read NuVet Reviews to find out more.

Can Your Furry Friend Help With Bed Bug Detection?

By Article Contributor, Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dogs are loyal and intelligent animals. People like them because they are wonderful companions, and they can be trained to do so many different kind of things. But did you know that these adorable animals are also invaluable in the process of pest detection? This is largely due to the fact that dogs have a very powerful sense of smell, and scientists have yet to develop a device that can equal a canine’s smelling capabilities.

Dog Sniff Nose 389x294 Can Your Furry Friend Help With Bed Bug Detection?A Dog’s Sense of Smell

Average dogs can easily become aware of a pest infestation. The reason for this is quite obvious – a dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times better than a human’s. Its nose contains more than a hundred million scent receptors compared to a person’s five million. All in all, your furry companion heavily relies on its nose to interpret his surroundings. This brilliant ability can be honed so that a dog can be used as a tool in pest detection and ultimately elimination.

With the right training, canines can be taught not only to detect, but also to make people aware when there is an infestation and to pinpoint the area that is affected. This is not really a surprise since a dog’s olfactory prowess has made it a very helpful tool in detecting many things that affect people and communities in different ways. For example, there are bomb-sniffing dogs, as well as canines that uncover drugs, weapons, and even some types of cancer. Rescue teams often use dogs to find people too, and, nowadays, more and more pest control companies use dogs to detect common household pests.

Dogs and Bed Bug Detection

A few years’ back, bed bugs were not a problem since these bloodsucking critters were almost thoroughly eradicated from homes with the help of some pesticides, like DDT. But as international travel became easier and more common, people began to reintroduce the bed bug into many U.S. homes by way of their suitcase on returning from a trip aborad. Up to now, it is a scourge that afflicts so many individuals and families.

It can be difficult to detect bed bugs because they are nocturnal creatures which means that they are very active only at night. Today, several pest control companies use dogs that can sniff out bed bugs. This is very helpful because the earlier that an infestation is discovered, the better the chances are of controlling it and eradicating it.

How Dogs Detect Bed Bugs

Bed bugs emit a certain odor that a dog can readily perceive. As a canine is being lead around a home which is suspected to have bed bugs, it can easily identify the specific pheromone that the bed bugs release. However, though most dogs can distinguish the odor, not all of them know how to tell people about an infestation. This is why dogs must first be trained to become sniffer dogs. Generally, before a canine can “work” as a pest-sniffing dog, it must first obtain the right training and get certified.

License: Creative Commons image source

Claire Brent is a full-time freelancer who has done a lot of research about pest control and how certain tools and even animals can help detect an infestation. She hopes that her articles will increase awareness in people as regards the available methods that they can use to eliminate pests. Click here to read more about related issues.

Great Gadgets – GPS Fence For Dogs

By BraveM, Friday, March 1, 2013

Dog Fence Husky 389x275 Great Gadgets   GPS Fence For Dogs The advancement in technology in recent years means that there are constantly new and exciting gadgets being released into the market place. More often than not people will be talking about the newest smart phone or tablet but this GPS dog fence is a fantastic gadget that will excite any dog owner. This GPS mapping system allows the pet owner to map out a boundary which allows your dog into certain areas and restricts them from other areas. It is quite a specialized gadget which you will be able to source in good online pet stores.

How It Works

This gadget is quick and easy to set up and consists of just two components. Firstly a special dog collar that contains a GPS tracker and secondly, a GPS central transmitter which is used to create your boundaries and to monitor your pet’s location. If your dog approaches a boundary, the collar will warn them with a beep before it releases a small and harmless shock. It will not take long for the dog to learn that the beep means turn around. You can adjust the strength of the shock to suit your dog and you can try it out on yourself to see exactly what it is like. This is not harmful or painful to your dog but more of an unpleasant sensation.

 The Advantages

 There are many advantages to this fencing system over traditional fences or wire boundaries. They are as follows:

 

  • No time or money spent on the construction and maintenance of a protective fence.
  • Keep your flower beds looking beautiful by not allowing your dog access to them to dig holes and create a mess.
  • This wireless systems means that no wires need to be buried around the perimeter of your garden like with other invisible dog fences.
  • The aesthetics of your property and garden are not affected by installing physical barriers to restrict your dog from particular areas.
  • Will work as a tracker if your dog somehow escapes or gets stolen.
  • You have the ability to let your dog out and about your garden or property without having to keep a close eye on them as you know that they will be safe.
  • No risk of your dog escaping and running away or being injured.
  • No risk of your dog wandering into neighbor’s gardens and possibly biting somebody.

Conclusion

There are many different types of GPS dog fences currently on the market. Be sure to do your research and find one that suits both the needs of you and your dog. For example, different devices will allow you different maximum radius’s so it will depend on the size of your garden which type you will need. They also range in price depending on the specifications of the product but are available to suit most needs and budgets.

Author Bio: David Gire is not only a dog owner who is mad about dogs but also a technology and gadget enthusiast who has worked in both the pet care industry and the technology industry for many years.

Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

By MPNorman, Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Although dogs are the most popular pet in the United States, they can act aggressively in certain situations. Recognizing aggressive behavior in dogs can help to keep yourself and your loved ones safe around a potentially dangerous dog.  Some people believe that certain breeds are the only dogs that will act aggressively, but in reality, any dog can react in an aggressive manner to something it views as threatening.

386915 beware of dog sign 250x250 Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

Image courtesy of www.123rf.com

Recognizing Dangerous Dog Behavior

It is important for everyone to recognize possible signs of aggression. If a dog is displaying signs of aggression, a person should move away from the dog and avoid confronting it. Some of the most common signs of aggression include:

Repeatedly showing teeth to an owner, visitors, or other animals

Showing signs of protectiveness over food or toys

Growling or whining when stranger or strange dogs approach

Snapping or biting

These do not necessarily mean that a dog is going to harm you, but they are behaviors that should be taken seriously.

Types of Aggression

Dogs can act aggressively for many reasons.  The following are some different types of aggressions:

Territorial Aggression—Dogs are instinctively protective of their home, yard, and anything they consider a “safe space.”  When others get too near to their territory, they may act aggressively towards the intruder.

Possession Aggression—Protecting items that the dog views as theirs can lead to aggressive behavior.  Often, dogs are overprotective of treats and food, but the behavior can be triggered by anything.

Dominant Aggression—When feeling threatened by another dog or person, some dogs will attempt to prove dominance in the pack.

Fear Aggression—When dogs are afraid, their instincts may tell them to fight the thing that is frightening them.

Punishment Aggression—Dogs that are being punished may be afraid for their well-being or unhappy that their toy was taken away.  This can sometimes trigger aggressive actions.

Predatory Aggression—When a dog’s instincts to hunt are triggered, their aggression levels may increase.  They can be triggered by joggers, squirrels, or anything else that is running away from them.

Maternal Aggression—Mother dogs may react aggressively towards people or animals that approach their litter.  This behavior is instinctual and intended to protect their babies.

Whether you are visiting friends, hanging out at the park, or observing your own pup, understanding the possible causes of aggressive behavior may help you to avoid an unnecessary injury.  Teaching your children and loved ones the importance of recognizing this type of behavior can also help them to stay safe around dogs they are unfamiliar with.

Victims of dog bites may have the right to file claims against the owner of the dog for failing to control their pet.  Often, these cases are intended to provide the victim with financial compensation for the costs of their medical treatment and other expenses.  By working with a dog bite lawyer, victims may be able to take the legal action needed to protect their rights.

 

Author Bio

Matthew Normal is a full-time blogger dedicated to sharing personal injury news and topics.  He regularly contributes to personal injury blogs in an effort to keep readers up to date on important safety information, legal news, and news stories.

Top 5 Tips for New Pet Owners

By WriterEvan,

dog home Top 5 Tips for New Pet OwnersBecoming a pet owner is one of those decisions that will completely change your life. Bringing home a new dog, cat or other furry friend gives you a constant companion, a source of unconditional love and support, and a very real responsibility. If you are not up for all of the challenges that entails, you could find yourself regretting your decision. The last thing anyone wants is for you to give a pet up to adoption or the pound because you realize too late you’ve gotten in over your head. So carefully weight the pros and cons of pet ownership before you bring a new little buddy home. But if you’ve decided that the time is right, follow these top five tips to help ease your transition into pet ownership. Continue reading

Facts You Didn’t Know About Reptiles’ Eyesight

By Anne Smart, Sunday, May 6, 2012

Our cold-blooded friends have many impressive characteristics, from the Nile Crocodile being able to adapt to life in caves to the chameleon changing colour to match its surroundings. But as a whole, how impressive the vision capabilities of reptiles?

Reptiles’ activity during the day and their sleeping at night categorises them as diurnal animals. That said, their vision has evolved over thousands of years to be adapted to daylight conditions (as it’s this time of day they need their eyesight most).

Colour vision

The reptiles’ ability to see colour is far better than in amphibians and other common mammals. This is most likely due to their daytime activity and their changing surroundings.

Lizards: an impressive reptile

Lizards have incredibly deep colour perception, which is down to the importance for it to locate and catch prey and also for communication, particularly for chameleons. Many lizards rely a great deal on body language, and will often adopt particular positions to give off specific messages.

Anoles, a lizard with an extended dewlap (or beck area), also have patterns on their backs which are only visible under UV light, another impressive characteristic of their appearance.

Turtles, tortoises and terrapins

Reptile Eyesight Facts You Didnt Know About Reptiles’ Eyesight

When casually swimming in shallow waters, turtles submerge their whole body underwater – all except for their eyes and ears. Snapping turtles have eyes on the top of their heads which are closer together than those of other turtles. Sea turtles have tear ducts next to their eyes which can rid the body of excess salt that is taken in when they swim in the ocean.

Turtles have exceptional night vision which is due to the vast amount of rod cells that are housed in their retinas. Their colour vision is also impressive, and they can see anything from near UV to red.

Land turtles don’t have overly impressive ability to focus on moving prey, but this generally isn’t needed as they are slow moving animals. Sea turtles however have better movement pursuit abilities and can snap their beaks quickly to catch prey.

Snakes

Our slippery friends don’t have overly good vision, and often rely on heat sensing to catch their prey. In particular, pit vipers, boa constrictors and pythons have well developed heat sensitive pads next to their eyes. This allows the snake to completely engulf prey in complete darkness, just by sensing body heat.

Amy writes about eyesight and eye conditions for Direct Sight, a leading online provider of glasses and sunglasses including varifocals.

Natural Methods to Eradicate Spiders

By Anne Smart, Sunday, April 15, 2012

Garden Spider Insect Natural Methods to Eradicate SpidersLike many kinds of arachnids, spiders are found almost everywhere. They can live in places with tough climates, except in sea habitats or in snow-covered Antarctica. There are over 40,000 species today and because spiders ensnare and eat many varieties of more devastating pests, several kinds of arachnids are beneficial to farmers and gardeners. However, these animals are considered by homeowners as pests. As summer approaches and days get warmer, spiders are forced to find shaded areas. This is why people often perceive an increase in spider population during hot months as more of these animals attempt to gain entry into the cooler interior of homes. They usually like kitchens and restrooms or any sheltered area near water sources. Although there are individuals who don’t mind that they are coexisting with arachnids, some do not like these animals outside and most especially inside their homes as spider webs can be a chore to clean up. More importantly, many species are venomous, which make them potentially dangerous. Though spiders rarely attack or bite people, it is still more prudent to get rid of spiders, particularly if these are black widows or other poisonous types, like the brown recluse.

A number of things can deter spiders from entering homes. Here are some easy-to-do ways to discourage spider populations from invading properties.

Cleaning Tips to Prevent Spider Invasions

Spiders like wood and items made from wood. So, they can typically be found in or near cardboard boxes, piles of paper or inside cabinets. Opting for plastic containers is one way of eliminating areas that are attractive to these animals.

Screens and tiny door or window holes should be patched up since these can be used by spiders as entry points. Another way to keep spiders away is by cleaning doors and windows with a blend of ammonia and water. You can also use kerosene. Wipe on the substance and let dry. This leaves minute deposits that spiders don’t like.

Proper garden or landscape maintenance is also a must. Don’t allow plants to grow uncontrollably. Dense vegetations are wonderful hiding places for these animals. A lot of pests that spiders prey upon also live in thick foliage. By trimming vegetation and keeping areas clean, there will be fewer bugs. When only a small number of insects are available, web spinners will also leave and find other areas where they’ll have plenty of food items.

Plants that Keep Away Spiders

A variety of plants can repel bugs. As for spiders, they usually avoid eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and citrus scents. If plants are not available, purchase essential oils. Because these kinds of oils have very strong aroma, only a few drops are often required. Then, mixtures should be sprayed in areas where spiders will most likely enter a home, as well as on corners and other nooks and crannies. Vinegar can also help in stopping spiders. This can be mixed with vanilla to reduce its acidic smell.

Nature-friendly Pesticides

Most bug sprays that work on other insects also destroy spiders. But with increasing concerns regarding the detrimental effects of pesticide use on the environment, people are now turning to natural earth-friendly ways for spider removal. An example of a safe pesticide is diatomaceous earth or DE. Sprinkle this substance on or near areas where spiders are most likely to pass through. DE is quite sticky so spiders, and many other insects like ants, will get attached onto it. When animals can no longer move, they cannot forage for food as well. A reminder – though DE is not a poisonous substance, it readily clings to mucosal membranes, like the covering of the respiratory tract. Hence, users must wear masks for protection.

The author, Claire Wallace, is an expert in pest control in Houston and surrounding areas. Her specialty is in spider control and eradication.

Seven Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before You Get a Pet

By Anne Smart, Wednesday, April 11, 2012

As you know if you’ve ever had a pet, caring for this little addition to your family is a hefty responsibility. Before you take the plunge, there are several question you may wish to ask yourself that will help you make an informed decision—and one that you won’t end up regretting.

Cat with Neck Collar 389x367 Seven Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before You Get a Pet

1.   Do you have enough space to accommodate the pet you are considering?
A goldfish bowl takes up virtually no space, but get a guinea pig and you’re talking about dedicating a larger area for a cage. If you get a cat you will need dedicated space for a litter box and with a dog, depending on size, it may be important to have a yard in which to run around.

2.   Can you afford to adequately care for the pet’s needs?
Pets can get expensive. While you probably have considered the cost of pet food, have you considered the additional expenses? Your pet will need regular vet care to stay healthy and, of course, should it get sick you will have to pay for veterinarian care and medicine. There are additional expenses depending on the kind of pet you choose, like preventative flea and tick treatments and grooming costs.

3.   Does your family have the time to devote to a pet?
It wouldn’t be fair to welcome a pet into your home and then never be there to spend time with it. It will add a significant burden to your daily responsibility chart to provide for your pet’s basic needs, but depending on the pet you choose, it very likely wants something more from you—your time and attention. While some pets are more self-sufficient (a cat uses a litter box, for example), and some pets are caged, pets like a dog will require you to come home and let it outside on a regular basis.

4.   Who will be the pet’s primary caregiver?
It is a common issue when families bring a pet home. The kids are typically very excited and eager to take on the added responsibilities at first, but as the excitement wanes and those tasks become ‘chores,’ all of a sudden they may become reluctant. Are you ready to deal with that if it happens? Will you be able to either enforce your rules or take over the responsibilities yourself? Keep in mind the pet will need care regardless of who performs it.

5.   Do any of your family members have allergies?
This is an important consideration. If you or a family member is allergy prone or has ever experienced a problem around someone else’s pet, make sure you check with a doctor before your pet search.

6.   Does the pet you are considering fit your lifestyle?
It’s important to have the space for a pet, but there are other lifestyle considerations as well. If you travel quite a bit, will you have someone who can care for your pet, or better yet, can it go along with you? Can you accommodate the exercise needs of a large pet like long walks for a large dog, for example?

7.   Can you pet-proof your home?
You have to pet-proof your home much like you would baby-proof it when bringing home an infant. Pet’s can become quite ill if they ingest certain foods, plants, garbage or medication, so you will need to rethink where you keep certain items. And, you need to be vigilant about keeping things safe, so those holiday decorations and other expensive décor may need moved to avoid being broken. Pets are messy too, so expect there will be some accidents along the way. But, most pet owners will agree, the love they share is so worth it.

Trevor Lawrence is a huge fan and lover of animals and a pre-veterinary student at Texas A&M. He uses a grammar checker before turning in any schoolwork to ensure the work is both grammatically correct and clear. He is currently working on a To Kill a Mockingbird project for his English class.

A Dog Owner’s Guide to Paw Care

By Scholarly Writer, Sunday, April 8, 2012

Healthy paws are vital to your dog’s health and happiness. They not only help your dog get around, but the pads on your dog’s feet provide cushioning to protect your dog’s bones and joints from shock, they protect against extreme temperatures, and they function like shoes when your dog walks on rough surfaces. Because of their importance and the daily abuse they are subjected to, it is essential to regularly check your dog’s paws for damage or infection and to take proper care of them.

Consequences for Neglected Paws:

In addition to impairing your dog’s mobility, unhealthy paws can lead to muscle and bone disorders and behavioral problems. Failure to exercise can lead to lack of energy and weight gain, which in turn contributes to a variety of health problems, including diabetes and arthritis. Dogs that experience pain during activity are more likely to become depressed, withdrawn, and aggressive. These changes can lead to increasing social problems and reluctance to eat, creating a harmful cycle of behavior.

Symptoms of Unhealthy Paws:

In many cases, it will be obvious if your dog’s paws are injured, infected, or otherwise unhealthy. Unhealthy paws are generally painful and cause limping or trouble walking. Signs of infection include redness, fever, foul odor, and a discharge. The infected paw may also be hot to the touch. Injuries generally cause swelling and redness. There may or may not be obvious signs of a cut or fracture. Report any signs of infection or injury to your veterinarian right away.

Paw Care Tips for Dogs:

Regular paw care helps prevent injury and increases your dog’s comfort. Caring for your dog’s paws takes only a few minutes each day and can be incorporated into your normal brushing or grooming routine.

Keep your dog’s nails the right length by trimming them regularly and checking for broken or cracked nails. The nails should not be too short, but should not be so long that they make contact with the floor when your dog walks. If you are uncomfortable trimming your dog’s toenails, consult your veterinarian or a groomer for advice.

Comb the hair on your dog’s feet and between his toes every time you brush the rest of his body. If the hair between his toes is long or matted, carefully trim it with scissors. While you are at it, check between each toe for pebbles, glass, and other debris that may cause injury.

Protect your dog’s paws from extreme weather by moisturizing them in the dry winter months with a veterinarian-approved pad moisturizer and washing them after he spends time walking in salt or chemicals. During the summer months, keep your dog off scalding pavement to prevent burns. If your dog’s paws become burned, apply an antibacterial wash to prevent infection and then cover the affected paws with a loose-fitting bandage.

Clean cuts and other wounds promptly and see your veterinarian for any cut that is deep or larger than a half inch in diameter. Also, see your veterinarian right away if your dog appears to be in pain or is limping. Taking care of your dog’s paws will ensure his continued happiness and health.

Paw Care guest post provided by VetDepot, an online supplier of discount pet meds and pet supplies.