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Why exercise matters

Reducing risk of disease, keeping us buff and making us happy – what’s not to love about a good walk? Read about the benefits for both you and your pooch here

Filed under: Advice

Launch of puppy raising tutorials

Congratulations to our friends at Montignie Stuart Kennels on the launch of their online puppy raising tutorials! The video series educates beginner to intermediate level dog owners on the often tricky task of raising a puppy.

The series was filmed over 12 months and follows the life of one puppy as she is moulded into an amazing little dog. It consists of 28 videos broken into four categories showing all the necessary steps in raising a happy, healthy and social pet.

Subscribers to the site will receive access to all the content right away and they are encouraged to watch the series from the beginning. The series covers choosing a breed all the way through to basic obedience and a few tricks thrown in for fun.  The series is not strictly for puppy owners, rather anyone that is ready to take training of their pet dog up a notch by using a back to basics approach.

MS Kennels is a team effort between Sam Montignie and Pat Stuart. Sam is a highly experienced third generation Military working dog trainer. He is the first Australian Army member to win the service dog trials with his then Police dog Uri. He has spent his entire adult life raising and training puppies for specific purposes. Sam took Pat on as an apprentice of sorts and they have been training dogs together since 2011. With Pats background in training and education their combined effort gives clear and simple explanations with a huge depth of experience and subject knowledge.

For more info or to subscribe, visit http://www.mskennels.com/

Filed under: Advice, Community, Dog News

Pool safety for dogs

In Australia we’re surrounded by water and it’s highly likely that our dogs will encounter the beach, a swimming pool or a river, at some stage in their lives. As dog owners we often take it for granted that our dogs instinctively know how to swim, hence the phrase doggie paddle, however this is not the case. Just like us, dogs need to learn how to swim in order to become confident swimmers and to be safe in the water.

Dogs that love to swim have generally had positive experiences with water in the past whereas dogs that are nervous around water may have had a negative experience or may not have encountered a large mass of water before. For this reason, it’s important that we introduce our dogs to water early on and make it a fun and positive experience.

Here are some tips on introducing your dog to the joys of swimming:

A gradual introduction

Even if your dog is an adult, it’s better late than never when it come to introducing them to water. However, it’s very important to make the introduction fun and gradual. A kiddie pool in the backyard is a great way to start. At first, only fill it with a few centimetres of water. Then throw some of your dog’s favourite toys in the pool to encourage them to jump in. You can get in too for added encouragement. Once your dog is comfortable playing in a small amount of water you can gradually increase the amount of water in the kiddie pool. Over time your dog will get used to swimming and playing in deeper water.

Then you can introduce your dog to a larger body of water such as the beach, a swimming pool or lake but make sure you let your dog explore these places at their own pace. If you throw your dog into a large mass of water they’re likely to get a fright and have a bad experience. This may result in the dog becoming fearful of water and avoiding it in the future. If you have a dog that’s particularly nervous in water a doggie life jacket may help to build its confidence.

Toys can be used to encourage your dog to swim in these areas.

Potential Hazards

Now that you’re ready to take your dog swimming it’s important that you are aware of potential hazards in different swimming locations:

Beaches Don’t allow your dog to drink the salt water, it can make them sick. Also watch out for poisonous sea creatures such as jelly fish and blow fish.

Swimming pools Ensure your dog can get out of the pool safely. Specially designed dog ramps, such as the ‘Skamper Ramp’ are essential if you own a pool and can prevent your dog from drowning if they accidently fall in.

Rivers and lakes Avoid rivers with strong currents as these are a drowning hazard. Also be careful allowing your dog to swim in murky lakes and rivers where rubbish and debris cannot be seen.

Swimming is great form of exercise for dogs. A dog that is confident in water is a joy to watch. Be safe and have fun with your dog in the water this summer.

Kate Mornement, BSc (Hons) is an animal training and behaviour consultant based in Melbourne.
Pets behaving badly
Filed under: Advice

Feelin’ hot hot hot

Blue skies, beaches and barbies are all part of the Australian summer. Unfortunately, so is pest increase and risk of heat stress. Read about how you can help protect your dog this summer here

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Happy New Year?

As you get set to celebrate the New Year, don’t forget to prepare for the fireworks and how it can affect your furry friend. A dog scared of loud noises such as fireworks or thunder may cause significant injuries to themselves and your home in their attempts to escape.

Read about how you can help your dog get through the trauma of loud noises here.

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Taking care of pets in the cold weather

Winter brings its share of ills for dogs and the cold weather affects dogs in most of the same ways that it affects their owners. Pets can be struck down with tired muscles and even arthritis. Some dogs are more prone to weight gain during winter because they are generally exercised less. It’s also important to watch the usage of winter toxins like antifreeze or car radiator fluid as these contain ethylene glycol which can cause kidney failure. Follow these top tips from Dr. Lisa Chimes to keep your furry friend in top health this season:

- Pets are less active in winter, which can make them prone to weight gain – ensure you monitor their diet and feed them for their ideal body weight.

- Signs of arthritis can be worse in the cold weather – help your pet out with gentle daily exercise and physiotherapy at home.

- Be careful of antifreeze (often present in radiator fluids) – it causes fatal kidney failure in dogs and cats if ingested.

- Pet coats/jackets can be helpful for small dogs and elderly animals that really feel the cold. Plus they look very cute!

- Remember that ticks can be present in some areas of Australia all year round, so don’t let your guard down just because it’s winter.

Dr Lisa Chimes is a qualified Veterinarian, and well known as the co-presenter of the popular TV show ‘Bondi Vet’. Lisa also treats all manner of small animals ay Sydney’s SASH hospital. Follow Lisa on Twitter

Filed under: Advice