Are You Ready To Adopt a Dog?

Owning a dog can enrich your life, but it is also a huge commitment that takes time, money and patience. If you think an adopted dog may be right for you, the next step is deciding whether you would make a good adoptive owner. Dogs in need of homes come in a full array of shapes, sizes, and personalities. They can also have drastically different needs. When potential owners do their homework, they can find pets whose needs best match their lifestyles and personalities. Even the best match, however, must come along at the right time in an owner’s life.

Your Freedom Will Be Limited
As a dog owner, you are committing yourself to coming home directly after work for the next 10-15 years of your life. What will you do when you travel? Are you going to ensure your dog is socialized well enough that you can leave her with another dog owner or dog daycare facility? Continue reading

What to Look For in a Dog Bed

As a responsible pet owner, it is very important that you provide your dog with a comfortable and warm bed of their own. A designated place to retreat to at night and nap in throughout the day. Below, are a few of the ways a dog bed can benefit both you and your dog.

Cushion: A good dog bed provides your pet with a comfortable, soft place to rest his joints and bones. This becomes increasingly important as you dog get older.

Insulation: A dog bed offers an important source of insulation during the winter and summer, acting as a protective layer between the cold floor or hot ground.

Hair And Odor Control: Dog beds are a great way to help keep your house clean by keeping the hair and odor concentrated in a single area. Quality dog beds are also water resistant and easy to clean.

Personal Space: Your dog needs a space where it feels safe, protected, and relaxed just like you and the rest of your family do. By providing your dog with its own bed, you can help your dog feel like a valued member of your family.

How To Choose A Dog Bed
Consider the following factors to determine the best bed for your dog:

Size: Be sure to choose a dog bed that can accommodate the size of your dog when he or she is stretched out. A helpful tip is to start by measuring your dog, and then choosing a bed that is at least 5 inches wider and longer.

Ease Of Cleaning: Consider choosing a water-resistant bed for a quick and easy cleanup.

Location: If your dog sleeps outside, be sure to choose a bed that is resistant to all environmental conditions.

Quality: Choose a bed that is made of durable, superior materials.

Contact Black Birch Farm
For more information, contact Black Birch Farm today at 203-874-0084.

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Five Simple Ways to Extend Your Dog’s Life

We all want to keep our fur babies with us as long as possible, which is why we need to give them a certain level of care. Depending on their size, most dogs can live ten to fifteen years if they are in good shape mentally and physically. Below are some things that you can do to extend and improve the quality of your dog’s life.

Maintain Your Dog’s Teeth: Tooth decay is a very common problem for dog’s yet a dangerous health problem. Tooth decay not only creates dental problems, but it can cause infections throughout the body, especially in the kidneys and heart.

Maintain A Healthy Weight: Your dog can become overweight if they eat a lot of fatty human foods, or even if they eat too much pet food and do not get enough exercise. Try to make an effort to keep them at a healthy weight at all times. Continue reading

Proper Foods for Your Senior Dog

As your dog ages, they develop a slower metabolism and lose the ability to naturally repair their bodies and maintain normal functions. Feeding them the right diet is essential in the care of an aging dog. Some dogs require a diet with fewer calories and nutrients because they have a low activity level. Meanwhile, other dogs may develop digestion issues, which would call for more calories and nutrients. Always be sure to choose the right regimen to meet your dog’s specific needs, starting with food formulated for aging dogs.

What Are Senior Foods?
Senior foods are specifically designed to help older dogs live happier, healthier lives. Most senior life-stage dog foods have higher amounts of specific supplements and vitamins and are lower in protein, phosphorus and sodium to support aging hearts and kidneys. Continue reading

Health Benefits of Walking Your Dog

Spring is finally here. That means it is the perfect time to go outside and get in a good walk with your dog! Going out for walks is an important part of a dog’s life. Walking your dog is a simple task that can reap plentiful health benefits for both of you. How far you go and how fast you walk your dog depends on its age, breed and body condition. Here is just a sample of those benefits.

Exercise
Dogs need exercise to keep muscles fit and calories burned, along with a proper diet. Dogs that do not have a yard to run around in, a good brisk walk is essential. Both you and your dog will enjoy a boost to cardiovascular fitness, strengthened muscles and bones and healthier blood pressure that will add precious time to both of your lives. Continue reading

Training: Is a Treat Always Necessary?

If your dog is food motivated and you want him to learn basic obedience skills, like sit, stay and come, then dog treats are one of the best ways to start training. You have to bear in mind that dogs are not naturally programmed to respond quickly and accurately to commands. It is up to you, as their owner, to put in the effort and time to train them properly, to teach them to want to respond.

Positive reinforcement is a way to increase or maintain a behavior by giving the dog some type of stimulus. This could be a pat on the head, a toy or a treat as a reward for good behavior. Positive reinforcement can be used for initial training and also to maintain existing good behavior. Furthermore, positive reinforcement has been shown to increase correct behavior when given intermittently once a dog has associated the reward with the behavior. Continue reading

The Unique Needs of Toy Breeds

Toy breeds are loyal, loving, energetic, typically long lived, easy to care for but most of all embody all that it means to be a companion. Best of all, these small dogs are just as suited to city apartment life as they are to life in a country home. But despite their diminutive size, these favorite friends have unique lifestyle, health, and nutrition needs that can rival their larger counterparts.

Proper Nutrition
Extremely active toy breed dogs need premium, high protein and nutritionally balanced dry food. Because toys breeds have smaller stomach size, they are better suited to two or more meals spread throughout the day. Dog treats can be offered sparingly, but stick to high protein. Continue reading

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth should be an enjoyable time for both of you and not a chore. If you take your time and give your dog lots of praise, you and your dog will look forward to your brushing sessions.

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
The process of brushing your dog’s teeth should be introduced slowly. All you need to start is a toothpaste that your dog finds appealing, a toothbrush and a special treat to reward your dog.

Start off by putting a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and letting your dog lick it. Do this a few days in a row to get your dog use to the taste of the toothpaste and follow it with a reward and praise. Continue reading

How to Find a Reputable Groomer

Grooming your dog is essential for his health and hygiene. When your dog has a healthy, clean coat, he is much happier. While some dogs are easy to bathe and brush at home, others need regular trips to the groomer. Here are some tips for finding the best groomer for you.

Referrals
The best way to start a search is to ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Word of mouth, experience and reputation all matter when it comes to the care of your dog.

Questions To Ask
Ask questions if you have them. A good dog groomer will always be open to your questions. They are dealing with a loved companion of yours. Additionally, your dog trusts you to find the right care for them. Continue reading

Why Train Your Dog?

Training your dog has many benefits. Dogs are social animals and without training, they will behave like animals. Without proper training, your dog can acquire behavior issues like barking excessively, destroying your belongings, digging holes in your yard or even bite you or others.

Communication
The main reason and best benefit of training your dog is communication. Communication is the cornerstone of relationships. When your dog obeys a simple request of sit or come here, he or she is showing compliance and respect for you. When the lines of communication are open and established the relationship with your dog grows and gets better and better. Continue reading