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Dog Beds, Crates, and Carriers

When your dog grows older, you'll still want to care for him as well as you can. At this stage of his life, an orthopedic bed may be in order. Orthopedic beds that are made with medical-grade orthopedic foam are perfect for easing pressure on your dogs joints and will shape according to the contour of your dog, each time he lays down.

Some orthopedic dog beds have quilted covers that can be removed and washed. These covers come in different designs and the zippers are covered. You can buy an extra cover to have a spare when needed. Some dog beds with medical-grade foam come with heating ability that is low level and safe. The heat is therapeutic for dogs with muscle strains or arthritis.

Gel beds are good dog beds that keep your dog warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The bed has thick insulation for the winter and the gel has a cooling effect for the summer. Dog beds also come in styles like spindle beds, loungers, mats, chaise beds, crate beds, and there are iron bed frames.

Dog crates are useful and can be a safe haven for a dog properly crate trained. A folding crate to use when traveling with your dog by air comes in handy. Some of them fold down as small as a briefcase. And have straps to carry the crate that can be used as a leash. Breeding crates and whelping crates are available. There are replacement floor pans for some crates. Dog crate pads and beds are available.

If you like to go camping, to outdoor events or the beach, then a dog pup tent can be useful. They are made with sunscreen material, have good airflow, have screened windows, and a zipper. Soft crates made of nylon are another alternative and they are lightweight. If you are into showing your dog, this may be a good item for you. Mesh type crates that setup with two poles have good ventilation, create a den effect; some can be locked with a padlock. The soft crates and tents may not be appropriate for dogs that chew a lot or puppies.

Dog carriers are another useful item. They are good for taking small dogs to the vet. There are different kinds of dog carriers such as leather, denim, fur, and checkered. You can get backpack dog carriers, city carriers, and travel carriers. Some carriers are airline approved. Some of the dog carriers are combination carriers that can be used as a backpack or used like rolling luggage.

Doghouses like igloos are made that have vents for airflow and are insulated for the winter. These doghouses have conduits that move rainwater away from the door of the doghouse. These doghouses have moats that trap any liquids inside and whisk it away from the dog.

There are such a variety of doghouses, carriers, beds, and crates on the market today; there is something out there for every dog owner and each dog.

 


Dogs in Heat: The Facts

There are numerous questions that people ask, when learning about dogs in heat. There are practical answers that help dog owners to understand the estrous cycle.

The proper name for heat is the estrous cycle and during this cycle a dog can become pregnant. The obvious sign is bleeding from the vagina and the vulva might be swollen. The bleeding isn't profuse, especially in small dogs. She will urinate more often. The biggest clue is the sudden surge of male dogs hanging around your yard. Observe the small dog before her first cycle more carefully, as it can be harder to tell when she first goes into the estrous cycle.

The majority of female dogs come into heat at between six to twelve months of age, though it can be sooner or later. For some it it as long as fourteen months. Have your vet examine your dog, if she hasn't cycled in fourteen months. They normally come into heat twice yearly. The smaller dogs are the ones that might come into their cycle earlier and the larger breeds might take longer than the usual time.

The estrous cycle is broken into four parts.

1) Proestrous is the initial stage. Its duration is between four and twenty days. The dog bleeds, is usually shy, her vulva is swollen, and she isn't receptive to male dogs.
2) The estrous part of being in heat is from five to thirteen days long. The female dog is receptive to males and the blood secretion is a lighter color.
3) Diestrous is the next stage and now her secretions lessen and she begins to lose interest in the male dogs. If she got pregnant, the pregnancy duration would be between sixty and sixty-four days.
4) Anestrus is the period when the dog's heat cycle finishes and she stays in in his stage for five to eleven months.

The majority of the cycle is around three weeks and doesn't include the most of the anestrous period.

When your dog is in heat, she will be more excitable and can use some extra attention. Brushing, petting, and talking to her will soothe her nerves. You can control the mess made through bleeding by putting a doggy pad on her or keeping her in her area when inside. The space normally set aside as her place to sleep is her den. Visit her often, if she is confined to this space.

Breeders of dogs usually test for progesterone levels, which signifies the dogs most fertile days. Normally those days are the 11th through the 15th day of heat. She can become pregnant during her first heat. The majority of breeders don't breed their dogs that soon. They usually have genetic testing done prior to breeding. Some serious hip problems aren't apparent until the dog is about two years old.

Spaying her is advisable, if you don't want her to have puppies. The traditional advice has been to allow her to experience one cycle or have puppies once before spaying. But vets now spay earlier. Ask your vet how soon you can have your dog spayed.

 


A Look at Discount Dog Beds

Many people want to make sure their family pet has just the right bed, but might not be willing to pay the (often quite hefty) price.

It's actually more difficult to find designer and luxury dog beds especially for oversized pets than it is to find discount dog beds for average sized animals. If you're not too fussy about the design of the fabrics being used in the bed; if your dog is of average size and weight; and if her sleeping habits are not too extreme in the curling up or stretching out situations; you can probably save a lot of money when you purchase a dog bed that's right for her.

To begin with, a lot of the more expensive bed-makers change their designs just like clothing designers do for people, if not quite as often. The changes do result in closeouts and discontinued items being drastically marked down at pet shops across the country and on the Internet. Then there are the many pet supermarkets and discount retailers who carry a variety of comfortable beds, in a variety of colors at prices much reduced from the luxury beds available at upscale pet shops.

Then there is always the option to go ahead and make your own dog bed. If you've got any sewing ability at all, (and for the most part, a dog bed is more about being comfortable and durable than about looking great) you can produce an average-sized, comfortable, washable dog bed for just a few dollars worth of fabric and filler material. Cut a couple of pieces of fabric - it can be from an old sheet, a shower curtain, or a nice comfy old bathrobe - and sew them together to make a pillow of the right size. Stuff it with filler material and you have a comfy, simple dog bed. You may also create a fancier dog bed with an upper ring by cutting a long rectangle of fabric and creating a tubular pillow to go around the edge. Then fasten the upper ring to the original base with hand stitching.

You have just created a comfortable, washable bed for your dog made with love by your own two hands using a piece of fabric you'd probably throw away, some kind of filler material and a little bit of your precious time. What better way to save money and take care of your loving pet at the same time? You'll enjoy the process of making the bed just as much as your pet will enjoy sleeping in it.

 


Some Luxury Dog Houses Are Nicer Than My House!

Dog houses come in all shapes and sizes, just like the dogs who inhabit them. At first flush you might think that dog houses are just so bla, bla, bla, right? But I'm here to tell you, they're not. Yeah, there are some really basic ones, but there are also luxury dog houses that most dogs only dream of living in. But lets slow down just a bit and start with some fundamentals before we get into all that. Did you ever take time to think about what role the dog house has in your own life? And no, I'm not talking about whether you have to sleep there or not. That's between you and your significant other to work out. I'm talking about your memories and associations with dog houses. Here, let me show you what I mean.   

When I think about dog houses I can't help but feel a little nostalgic. It's a tug of sentiment for my own childhood I'm sure. I have positive associations with the dog houses I remember from when I was a kid. I can't help but think of things like: The Little Rascals, Norman Rockwell paintings, pulling my small red wagon with my pooch dutifully on board (attentive to all as we moved along as if nothing in the world could be more important than what we were doing right then), and, of course, Pluto and Snoopy. Now those two had great adventures around, in, and even on, their dog houses. Theirs weren't luxury dog houses by any means, and neither was my dog's. Theirs were just basic four wall dog houses with a cutout door in the front, a sloped gable roof and maybe a name painted above the entrance. But as I mentioned earlier, there's quite a difference between these and some of the luxury dog houses out there. Consider this.   

Did you know that you can actually get a dog house that has running water, heat and central air? I know! And the exterior design options are endless. You know those home plans books with all the little drawings of home plans? That's basically what's available now in luxury dog houses; pretty much anything you want. There are even some with actual furniture like couches and beds in them. The list of amenities goes on and on: indoor and outdoor lighting, stone facades, dining tables (with cutouts for food and water bowls), windows, bath tubs, welcome mats, insulated walls, multiple rooms, and of course, all beautifully landscaped. The super luxury dog houses are huge; big enough for you to go visit your dog at their place! I'm not sure who is buying these things, but it's nice to know there are dogs out there living the life of luxury.

As for me and my dog, we like living together, most of the time. Don't get me wrong, I think luxury dog houses are great. They certainly put to shame the four-walled wonder I nailed together last summer. But, I figure what he don't know won't hurt him. And besides, I let him in the house quite a bit. I guess my dog sort of has it in the middle. He has lots of space and some indoor comforts, but he isn't allowed to sleep on the couch or bed, and he certainly doesn't join the family for dinner at the table!

 


Crate Training For A Good Relationship

All training starts with taking advantage of your dog's natural inclinations to reinforce the behavior you want. The only place your dog will not, by nature, mess, is its sleeping place. Crate training works with your dog's instinct - he never has the opportunity to be "bad."

Crate training is fairly intense for you. The rule is: if you are not actively paying attention to your dog, your dog is in the crate. Period. Even if you're in the same room. If you're not watching your puppy, it's in the crate. If you think "caging" your dog is cruel, get over it. It's worse for your dog not to know the rules of the house.

Crate training is not an excuse to ignore your dog for hours at a time. A puppy cannot go more than a couple of hours during the day without a "bathroom break. " If your dog learns to mess in its crate the behavior is very difficult to correct. It's one of the biggest challenges when adopting strays or rescues from shelters. It can be done, but requires patience and dedication.

Dogs should be taken out at regular intervals; after meals, after naps and after play sessions. And "business" walks are not playtime. Put the collar and leash on, take the dog to a specific spot you want it to use for its toilet area, give your dog a command "go potty. " If it does, reward it with praise and cookies, say "good go potty. " Forget about public embarrassment. If you're easily embarrassed, don't get a dog. Of course you can use any words you want - a friend of ours used "hit it" with her dogs. She just had to be careful not to use the phrase under other circumstances.

Your puppy should also sleep in the crate, ideally in your bedroom. Dogs are social animals, they need to know their "pack" or family, is close by. If the dog wakes you in the night, take it out on leash. Give it 10 minutes to "do its business," go back in, pop him in his crate, say goodnight and go back to bed. Don't let the dog out by itself, even in a fenced yard. Again, this isn't playtime.

As your dog learns what's expected of him, the next phase is to keep the dog on leash, out of the cage. Tie the leash around a belt loop so that you can go about your daily routine with both hands free. Keep one eye on the dog. When you see his "gotta go" signals, drop what you're doing and go. Some people are successful in hanging a bell on the doorknob. They ring the bell whenever they take the dog out. The dog learns, over time, to ring the bell when it has to go. Others teach their dogs to "speak" as a signal to go out.

Our dogs are always crated when we leave the house. At this point, they see us reaching for their crate toys (which we stuff with a little peanut butter or kibble) and run for their crates. We don't necessarily even lock the crates, but they are available to the dogs at all times. It's their "room," a safe place they can always go to.

Just a note of caution and safety: never leave a collar or harness on your dog in the crate. It can get caught and cause problems.

 


Don't Do These Things & Train Your Dog Easier!

A well-train dog usually leads a happier and healthier life and its owner also can enjoy a trouble-free life long companion. Dog training - basic obedience, house and potty training are therefore essential and important to a dog's education.

The conventional method of dog training tips and guide would be to list a series of things that you should "Do" and you might even know the A-Z of dog training! But sometimes what should be done can be said best by telling what should not be done. Hope you agree with me!

This article seeks to list 18 "Don't" when you train your dog. The reasons for the don'ts will become evident as the lessons continue and each one is based upon the distinctive psychology of the dog's mind.

1. Don't punish your dog while you are angry or lack control of yourself.

2. Don't punish your dog with the lead or any instrument of training or anything he should associate with duty or pleasure.

3. Don't sneak up on your dog or grab him from the rear.

4. Don't chase your dog to catch him; he must come to you or run after you.

5. Don't coax your dog to you and then turn upon him with the whip. You will regret the deception.

6. Don't trick or fool or taunt your dog. It is cruel and inconsistent to tease your dog to come to you when he can not.

7. Don't punish a dog by stepping on his paws needlessly. They are exceedingly sensitive. Don't twist his ears playfully or otherwise. Never strike him on the backbone, in the face or on the ears.

8. Don't grab your dog or reach for him quickly. He should never fear his master, should not be made nervous by his master, and should feel that punishment given is deserved.

9. Don't nag your dog; don't be giving orders to him constantly; don't pester him with your shoutings.

10. Don't praise a dog for doing a certain act, then at a later time, scold him for doing the same act. If you permit him to bite your toes today and think it fun, do not strike him for doing it tomorrow, when you are not in good humor. Consistency is a chief virtue in dog training.

11. Don't train your dog immediately or soon after he has eaten.

12. Don't lose patience with a puppy younger than six months. Never throw or kick a puppy nor lift him by the head or leg or skin of the neck.

13. Don't train him in feats requiring much strength or endurance until he is at least six months old.

14. Don't work your dog without some short rest or play periods during training. A five-minute rest for every fifteen minutes of training is desirable.

15. Don't permit everyone to give commands to your dog. While you are training him, he must be a one-man dog, depending on you alone to feed him and care for him.

16. Don't consider tricks the chief end or the chief part of training. Usefulness is the object sought in all instruction of the dog. Acts that spring naturally from the dog's instincts are to be fostered.

17. Don't expect your dog to be a wonderful dog after a few weeks of training; four months to a year may be necessary in order to make the master proud of him, but the work is worth the effort. Training never ends.

18. Don't jump to the conclusion that your dog is dumb. He may differ with you believing that the trainer should know more than the dog.

To end, try to remember these 18 Don'ts rules, enjoy training your dog and most importantly have lots of fun along the way!

 




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