Charlie has been pretty grouchy the past few weeks, snippy and snappy and I didn’t understand why. On Saturday, the snow had finally melted enough in a few areas of the yard that I was able to traverse the ground in my boot-cast for the first time since I broke my foot, camera in hand. Charlie was ecstatic.
His modeling was next level ~ he pranced around catching the light, staring down the camera, posing and smiling and singing. He seemed to know I was limited in my capacity for movement because he ran a few loops repeatedly, consistently, like he knew that if he did that, I could get my framing and focusing down because I knew what was coming and exactly where he’d be.
I hadn’t photographed Charlie for three weeks due to my broken foot – the longest stretch of time, by far, that we’ve ever gone without shooting together – and I think this is perhaps why he was grumpy, like he thought he was getting “aged out” of his modeling career and was insulted when he didn’t have the opportunity to display his fabulous perfection for the world, for all of you, for posterity.
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Adding a new pup to your pack can be fun and exciting, at least for the human. For the dogs involved, it can cause confusion, reactivity, and other change in behaviors. All you want to do is grow your family, but that’s easier said than done.
Introductions are highly important when a new dog will be coexisting with your current dog. As territorial creatures, canines may show possessiveness over their homes and humans, reactivity towards each other, and may want to establish who is in charge. First impressions between dogs, especially dogs who will be living together, will set the pace for their relationships moving forward.
So, how do you make their introduction as smooth as possible?
Location, Location, Location
Bringing your new pup home may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. Your home is territory that belongs to your first fur friend.
Instead, pick a neutral place like a park. In parks they’ll have a safe space to sniff around, plenty of room to move around, and other things to distract them (squirrels!).
Letting the two cut loose off-leash may be moving a bit fast. Keep both pups leashed until they’re more comfortable with each other. When introducing the dogs, make sure you have help. Each pup should have a human holding the leash in case tempers flare and they need to be restrained.
Allow them to move and do their thing, but keep a close eye on their body language. If you think one pup is feeling overly anxious or is being too rough, separate them for a bit. Make sure the dogs are calm before trying another interaction. While the pups are together, make sure your voice and tone are happy and encouraging. Dogs take cues from humans, so make sure you’re conveying the right messages!
Go For A Pack Walk!
Another way to get your pups to casually meet, instead of simply just letting them hang out in the park, is to walk them together!
The Animal Human Society suggests that handlers “take the dogs for a walk together, keeping 10 feet between them so that they can’t greet each other or stare. The idea is to acclimate them to each other’s presence without causing tension.”
You can also try the “side along” method. The owner starts walking their dog, and after a few hundred feet the helper begins walking the new pup in the same direction. They casually join the owner and the first dog while keeping distance between the two. Keep an eye on the two little ones to make sure they don’t get too close or are over-stimulated by the environment. You want them to notice each other, acknowledge each other, but keep moving forward.
It’s a fact that dogs love treats. It doesn’t matter if they’re your first, second, or third dog – treats are great. Make sure you have some during your introductions. Save them to reward the four-legged friend for good behavior, but refrain from offering tasty goodies when they’re socializing.
It’s time to finally go home. That’s where the real work begins.
Allow your walk from the park, or any neutral area, to end at home. If your home has a yard, allow for some time there before going straight inside. If the two seem more comfortable with each other, feel free to let the pups go free with the leashes still on. You want to make sure the leashes are still on so you can quickly grab the leads and separate the pups if needed!
When going inside, try to get the pups to enter at the same time. Don’t tolerate bumping and jostling, it’s not polite. These pups will become family, so teach the dogs what is expected of them moving forward.
Food & Water
To avoid territorial behavior, ensure each dog has their own bowl for food and water. They should be kept in separate rooms during feeding. Don’t change the location or process of feeding your resident pup. Make sure their routine stays the same. Designate another room for your new family member where they can feel comfortable while eating.
Eventually, after a few weeks, they’ll be able to eat in the same space, just make sure you don’t leave them alone when food is accessible.
Similar to the food situation, keep your first pup’s daily and nightly routines are normal as possible. Allow them to sleep in their normal spot. Whether it’s in your bed, in their own bed, on the couch, or on the rug – it’s their spot.
For a while it may be best to crate your new canine companion during the night. You wouldn’t want to wake up to your dogs fighting. It’s just best to keep them apart while you’re not around to supervise.
Dogs are social creature and love company. For the first few weeks, or until you’re totally confident with your fur kids, don’t leave the dogs alone while playing. It can only take a second for playing to turn into something more serious.
Instead of leaving them to play on their own, play with them. Not only does this allow you to easily supervise them, but when you join them during play time it causes them to focus on you instead of one another. Redirecting their focus to you, their favorite human, can make play time much more smooth and fun for all involved.
Remove All Dog Toys…At First
When it come to canines, dog toys are obviously important. They stimulate their brains, entertain them when you’re not home, and redirect pups from “playing” with your shoes or furniture.
However, before allowing your new family member access to your home, do a clean sweep of your first pup’s toys. Removing the toys will remove a possible point of stress between the two. The toys belong to your resident dog and they may become territorial over the plushies.
You can slowly reintroduce the toys one-by-one after the pups have become more comfortable with the new family dynamic.
Want to reward your dogs, both new and old, for getting along so well? Get your pack a BarkBox subscription, starting at $25/month. Each creatively themed box has innovative toys, tasty treats, and all-natural chews for your fur kids. BarkBox is shipped right to your door, which means you have more time to spend with your two favorite dogs instead of browsing the pet aisle. BarkBox does all the work for you and your fur family! For more information reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the BARK office, we obsess over designing products for our dogs. After 7 years shipping out millions of BarkBoxes, we also know a bit what makes dogs happy, healthy, and comfy. Your dog’s bed (or beds for all those spoiled doggos out there) is one of the most-used items in your dog’s life. Why not put a little bit of extra thought and care to find the perfect one for their sleep style?
Why Buy A Dog Bed?
It is very important for your pup to have their own special place to sleep and snuggle. Extended nap sessions on the floor can lead to body aches which may inhibit play time. Whether your family has a big burrowing mutt or a mischievous chewing Dachshund, we made a quiz to help you figure out the best bed for your 4-legged love. After all, we all want our pups to have the best place to dream of catching ALL THE SQUIRRELS.
***Looking for something other than the most perfect bed to blow your pup’s mind? Spoil them with a BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription!
***Looking for a gift to help encourage your pup to get into the bathtub? Try BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription!
Sometimes it’s clear when it’s bath time for your pup – after a day hiking in the mud or a few hours at the dog beach, it’s obvious that it’s time for a suds and rinse. On the one hand (or paw), your dog doesn’t need to have muddy paws tracking dirt all over your furniture for it to be time for a regular bath. On the other hand, you can also bathe your dog too frequently. So what’s the sweet spot? Here are a few things to keep in mind when determining how often to bathe your dog.
Fur Type And Breed
While it’s not as simple as determining that dogs with longer coats needs baths more frequently than those with shorter coats, the fact is that if your dog has long fur, there’s a higher chance that dirt and debris will become caught in their fur. That may mean more frequent baths. You can reduce the number of baths your long-furred pup may need by regularly grooming long-haired dogs such as a Maltese, for example, with a brush and keeping their fur trimmed by taking them to the groomer regularly.
Some short-haired dogs, on the other hand, may require baths only every few months. Beagles, for example, benefit from seasonal baths every couple of months. In fact, their coats may become dry and itchy if you bathe them too frequently.
Siberian huskies, with their long, double-coated fur, require more regular brushing to keep their fur looking healthy, but still can go about six weeks between baths. The same goes for other thick-coated dogs such as Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. These dogs naturally grow and shed their fur seasonally – bathing them too frequently can dry out their skin, getting in the way of their natural growing and shedding process.
A good rule of thumb regardless of breed and coat type is to avoid bathing your pup any more frequently than once a week. Exceptions should be made, of course, for those days they come home from the dog park covered in mud.
Use your best judgment to decide whether your dog needs a bath based on activity level in addition to breed and coat type. If it’s winter and your well-behaved dog is spending a lot of time indoors, there’s no need to bathe them as frequently as in the summer.
If, on the other hand, you’re the proud owner of a puppy who simply won’t stop rolling in the dirt and proudly showing off the holes they’ve dug, that should affect how often you give your dog a bath. In general, if you’re planning to take your dog to the beach, camping, or simply to get their zoomies out at a dog park the day after it’s rained, you should plan on bath time afterward.
General Bathing Tips
Bathing should be part of a regular grooming routine, which is different than a human’s routine. That means the shampoo you have in your shower for your own tresses isn’t right for your pooch. Check out different kinds of shampoo for your dog’s breed – some are good for dogs that have dry skin, others are designed for dogs with fur that tends to get oily more quickly.
Before you put your pooch into the tub, give them a good brushing first to get rid of any tangles and excess fur. Keep water temperature in mind, too – slightly warm but not hot is ideal, and never use overly hot water on your dog. If it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your dog.
If you can time your dog’s bath to days when it’s warmer in the house for their after-bath run-around (you can count on it), that’s great, so they won’t have to shiver while they dry off. That’s not always possible, though, which means on days when it’s chilly in the house, make sure to get them as dry as possible as quickly as possible.
Regardless, use a large towel to dry off your dog after they’ve emerged from the bath. This will probably suffice for short-haired dogs, but for long-haired pups, give them the full salon treatment and break out the blow dryer. Again, not too hot. Sure, you know better than your dog, but if they’re showing any signs of discomfort, turn the blow dryer on a lower setting and move the blow dryer farther from their skin.
No matter the frequency of their bathing routine, whether every couple of weeks or every couple of months, some dogs love bath time – others will hold it against you for a while. How can you make it a bit easier on your dog while still getting them sudsed up and left fresh and clean until next bathtime? Treats. You can give them treats afterward for a job well done, but don’t shy away from giving your pooch treats throughout bath time while they’re standing in the tub.
It may help them stand still and keep calm while you wash them. No guarantees they won’t shake water all over once you’ve let them out of their bath. They’re just trying to include you, after all.
***Looking for a way to get a bunch of toys for your pup on a regular basis, and not just the rope kind? Try BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription!
Long or short, thick or thin, multi-colored or not – rope toys are great for dogs! This classic dog toy is a staple in the doggy toy box. It allows your pal to fetch, chew, and thrash. Your canine companion can also test their strength in an epic match of tug-of-war!
Inexpensive rope toys help your tiny pup satisfy their chewing obsession when they hit the teething stage. It will also help save your furniture and shoes. Another tip for the tiny ones is to always have more than one on hand as a back up! As with all toys, if the strands come loose or pieces come apart, take the toy away from your pooch. Human supervision is always necessary during play time.
If you don’t feel like shopping around for the perfect size for your dog, that’s okay. These toys are so easy to make that you can DIY one yourself. Re-purpose your old shirts by turning them into a toy for your favorite pup! Learning How To Make Your Own Dog Toy Out of T-Shirts is simple and takes less than 10 minutes!
There are special rope toys for older pups made with textured material added to the rope to secretly help take care of plaque build-up as they gnaw away on the toy. They think they’re just playing, but you know they’re also cleaning their teeth.
There are various types, sizes, and functions of rope toys available in pet stores and online. It’s not always easy to find the perfect match for your special friend. So, what are the best rope toys?
Although there are tons of materials used to make fun tug toys for dogs, we suggest searching out rope toys made with t-shirt material. The t-shirt fabric is tummy safe – which means that it’s easier on the digestive track in the event it’s accidentally ingested. It’s easier to pass than nylon or other fibrous materials used in rope toys. Don’t know where to start searching for tummy safe rope toys? Don’t worry, all of the work has been done for you! We’ve gathered 11 of the best t-shirt rope toys to make sure your pup is healthy and happy during playtime!
Filled with fluff and ready for fun! Tugimals have plush bodies and tummy safe t-shirt rope for a fun game of tug-of-war. The soft plush bodies also make the solo thrash session a little less aggressive. With a wide range of cuties, your pup will surely find their new best friend.
The Pretzel Rope toy has everything your pup craves! The pretzel is filled with t-shirt rope, squeakers, and ballistic nylon material. You can play tug with your pup or they can squeak away on their own – either way it’s the most fun your pooch will have with a pretzel!
The Single Braid Ball toy is made from completely recycled materials. These toys are eco-friendly and fun. T-shirts and tennis balls that have been recycled are given new life as a toy to entertain your chewsy pup!
Another twist on a rope to is the Shredible Arrangement. Not only is the stem made from the tummy-safe t-shirt rope, but the plushy strawberry has a hidden toy inside for those who love to destroy! If your pup likes to crush the plush, there’s a super fun spiky ball core attached to the rope, so your pal will still have a great toy to play with later!
The All Glowing Eye it a tug toy, thrash toy, fetch toy, and a glow-in-the-dark toy rolled into one! Not only is the tummy safe t-shirt rope toy perfect for tug-of-war, but also for the ultimate game of fetch at night.
These tug toys are handmade, can have a single loop or a double loop, and can also be customize with your own specific colors! PlayPawsTeeToys also give you the option of ordering a t-shirt rope toy to donate to a rescue pup. The ropes are inexpensive, so you can grab one for your dog and donate another!
It’s a party! The Heli-Yum Balloons are soft squeaky tug toys. This multi-part rope toy set is ideal for doggy shindigs and can be used as party favors when separated. The thin twisted ropes are easy for smaller pups to grip in their mouths and go to town.
The Bow Wow Pals T-shirt Rope toy is much like the classic rope toy, except it’s made with jersey shirt material, which is a bit stretchier than the original t-shirt rope toys. Easy to grip, but soft in the mouth, this tug toy is up for the strength challenge!
Mix up the textures with the Dogzilla Tee Tug Toy. The bumpy texture and rope helps stimulate gums to promote dental health, and the toy is made to withstand tough chewers. The toy comes in small, medium, and large, so there’s one to fit all sizes of pups!
***Looking for a gift for your new dog? Spoil them with a BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription!
How to appropriately introduce a new dog into a home with a cat is a frequently asked question for good reason. The rivalry between cats and dogs is a common stereotype. It’s assumed that these two species dislike—nay, hate—each other and thus are constantly at war. However, relationships between felines and canines can often be loving and strong (not to mention highly entertaining). How does one achieve this symbiotic relationship in their home though, especially if a new dog is being brought into the domestic territory of a cat?
As it turns out, a calm, controlled and informed introduction between a new dog and cat is key. If you’re bringing home a canine when you already have a resident feline, here are several tips and precautions to keep in mind:
Choose the Right Dog for You AND Your Cat
Even before the inevitable meetup between cat and dog, there are several factors to analyze. While everyone would love to have a cat and dog that snuggle and play together, this simply isn’t possible for each pair of animals Therefore, if adopting/acquiring an older puppy or grown dog, it’s important to consider their past experience, personality and reactions to cats.
Nowadays, animal shelters will usually list whether a dog is “cat friendly” or not. Often times they’ll test a dog’s reactions to cats by having it sniff or pass by a cage with a cat inside. If possible, they’ll also gather information from the previous owner on whether the dog had contact with cats and, if so, how the dog behaved. That said, whether you have background information about a particular dog’s experiences with cats or not, you should also evaluate your potential new dog’s demeanor.
For those playing “matchmaker” between dogs and cats, look for a calm, gentle and good-natured dog. An overexcited and jumpy dog could potentially get into some trouble around your cat unless you’re able to calm her down. Or, a dog that displays a strong prey drive during a test walk may view your feline friend as something to chase. (Or, worse, as supper.)
As well, evaluate your own cat’s behavior. Is he calm, confident and playful? Does he adjust to new situations quickly? Or does he hiss, growl, swat or run and hide in response to a dog sighting? If your cat doesn’t seem to enjoy the presence of new animals, take a moment to consider your decision to get a dog at all. If one or both of your animals will be miserable in each other’s presences, it’s likely best not to bring a new dog into your home.
First off, taking the stance of “let’s just see what happens” is never a good idea when introducing new animals together, regardless of species. In order to get off to a good start, make sure to have a game plan. For the protection of your cat (or to protect a puppy or small dog from a potentially angry cat), it’s best to keep both parties separated at first. Allow your new dog to sniff and adjust to her new home environment without the extra stress of a hissing or growling cat.
You should also plan for baby gates, crates and/or leashes to be involved in the meeting process. Instead of letting both dog and cat free roam in the house, which could potentially lead to a chase or fight, control the environment. Letting a new dog sniff a cat who is confined in a room or cage will help you gauge the reactions of both animals. Or, keep your new dog on leash while meeting the kitty. Just remember not to apply tension to the leash, as well as to take charge if you feel that your cat is in any danger.
If you need to leave the house, remember to never leave your new roommates alone together. Separating them into two different rooms or kenneling your new dog is vital to preventing any conflict.
Watch for Warning Signs
Even if your new dog and cat seem to be coexisting relatively peacefully, it’s still vital to monitor their behavior for signs of conflict during those preliminary weeks. Here are some warning signs that there’s trouble in paradise, and some suggestions for how to deal with them:
If your cat continues to growl, hiss, swat or raise his hackles at your new dog, then he’s likely very stressed out. Thus, it’s important to create a sanctuary space for your cat. Having a dog-free zone to retreat to will allow your cat to relax and take a breather from his new housemate. Although you can continually keep a “cats only” room in your house, the goal should be to have all your animals coexisting peacefully. Thus, continue expanding the number of hours a day that all of your animals are together.
If your cat not only displays “I don’t like you” behaviors towards your dog, but also shows further signs of stress, more intervention may be needed. Unhappy cats will sometimes stop eating, drinking, socializing or using the litter box. A cat who is urinating or defecating on the floor in response to the presence of a new dog is particularly at risk for suffering from stress. In that case, it’s best to speak with your vet or an animal behavioralist. Having a dog may be unfair to your cat. In this case, tough but responsible decisions will need to be made.
If your new dog focuses on your cat with an obsessive gaze, your cat could be in danger. Furthermore, if your dog seems to be holding herself back from lunging, attacking or chasing, this match is likely not a good one. At some point, fixating and/or stalking could turn into action. In this case, the focus should be on how to protect your cat while evaluating and making decisions about your new dog’s behavior.
If your new dog regularly lunges at, chases, tries to catch, growls or snaps at your cat, this is absolutely not a safe match. Again, the situation will likely not resolve itself on its own. Thus, tough decisions need to be made in order to keep both animals safe and happy.
Don’t be afraid to get a trainer! That’s what they’re there for.
In the wonderful case that your new dog and cat are getting along well, you can eventually introduce unsupervised time between the two. That said, this scenario should only happen once you’re confident that neither animal is at risk of scaring or hurting the other. Hopefully, with time, you’ll foster and play witness to a heartwarming feline-canine friendship.
***Looking for the perfect gift for a dog dad and his pup? Try BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription!
Father’s Day is right around the corner—which means it’s time to start shopping for the dog dad in your life.
But what, exactly, should you get them? Let’s take a look at some of the best dog dad gifts the internet has to offer:
Petcube Play allows your dog dad to get an insider look at exactly what his pup is doing when he’s not around—and say a quick “hello” if his dog seems lonely—thanks to this two-way interactive monitoring camera.
Why We Love It
Adjustable mount allows pet parents to get the perfect angle of their four-legged friends.
Free shipping over $50.
Buyers get a $20 discount when they purchase the camera and mount together.
We’re sure the dog dad in your life has taught his dog a few tricks—but we’re also sure his dog has taught him a few as well. These tumblers, which feature four distinct lessons from Fido, are a fun way to enjoy a cold one.
Why We Love Them
Colorful illustrations make for a unique tumbler set.
Coloring is not only a great way to make fun (and easy) art, but it’s also a great stress reliever. And for dog/art lovers, what better way to make some art and relieve some stress than a dog-themed coloring book?
Why We Love It:
Over 30 different dog designs.
Each design features a different breed and theme.
Can be used with a wide variety of coloring tools, including markers, crayons, and colored pencils.
If your dog dad is constantly snapping photos of his pup (and let’s be real—what dog dad isn’t?), this lens, which conveniently clips onto his phone, will jazz up his shots with macro magnification and a 180-degree spherical effect (also known as a “fisheye view”).
Why We Love It
Compatible with multiple mobile devices, including iPhones and Samsung.
Easy to use; just clip-on phone and snap away!
Lends a professional feel to phone photos.
Get the Olloclip Fisheye + Macro Essential Lenses HERE.