Note: Today I’ve partnered with MIU PET to bring you this post and giveaway.
My dog Ace sheds so much worse than other dogs!
I don’t know if it’s the short coat or if it’s because I don’t brush him enough but – My God – our carpets are always coated in black hair from that dog!
For this kind of extreme shedding, a standard dog brush is worthless, at least for my shorthaired Lab mix. His coat is smooth, like a beagle or a wiener dog. (Hey, his DNA test did suggest wiener dog!) He also sheds year round.
So what works for coats like this? A de-shedding tool. I can’t tell you what a difference a de-shedding tool makes. You just have to try it if you haven’t. You gently brush your dog with it and the loose hair easily comes out.
Do you have a serious shedding problem at your house? MIU PET is giving away a FREE de-shedding tool to 5 readers of That Mutt. More info here.
What is a de-shedding tool for dogs and cats?
A de-shedding tool is a pet comb with a stainless steel “blade” that uses fine bristles to remove loose hair and dramatically decrease shedding.
It can be used for dogs AND cats.
I use the same size (large) for my cats and my 70-pound dog so you probably don’t need multiple brushes for different-sized pets. It comes in medium, large and extra-large.
The de-shedding brush from MIU PET works just as well as the FURminator and generally costs around half the price. Order here for $13.99.
Brushing each of my pets for just five minutes once a week makes a HUGE difference in decreasing the amount of loose hair floating around on my floors, furniture and clothes.
It also cuts down on my dog’s MAJOR dandruff. Ace, I love you, but you’re gross!
[quote_center]it makes a HUGE difference in decreasing the amount of loose hair floating around on my floors, furniture and clothes.[/quote_center]
Some primary features of the MIU PET de-shedding tool
Works to remove loose hair on cats & dogs
Removes dead skin too
Has a push button to release the hair from the brush
The brush’s “blade” comes in sizes ranging from medium (2.7″ wide) to large (4.1″) to XL (5.1″)
Highly recommended by me for cats or dogs with short to medium coats (Labs, pitbulls, pointers, German shepherds, even a husky!)
Works just as well as other brands such as FURminator
More details on the MIU PET de-shedding tool
This particular tool has a button you can push to remove the dead hair.
One reason this could be helpful is it allows you to brush with one hand and hold your pet still with the other hand instead of constantly using your free hand to remove hair from the brush.
When you’re trying to brush a squirmy cat or a puppy, you need a free hand to help hold him still!
The push button didn’t work all that well for me, and that might be because of my pets’ coat types. That’s OK though, because the main thing is it works really well as a de-shedding tool.
By the way, I’m lucky my cat Beamer loves to be brushed!
I have a Lab mix, a Weimaraner puppy and two cats and I’ve left my older dog and cats loose together thousands of times. I know you can’t trust animals 100 percent, but, well, I trust those three 100 percent!
Sure, they’ll get into trouble but they don’t harm one another.
But how do I know?
And how does a dog owner decide when it’s safe (if ever) to leave two dogs loose together?
I have lots of experience with this through fostering dogs and offering overnight dog sitting in my home. The answer is always, it depends.
I’ll share some of my deciding factors below, and I’d also like to hear how you decide when it’s safe to leave two pets together (if ever). By safe, I mean you trust them not to harm one another.
These aren’t “rules.” They’re just some general guidelines. Let me know if you agree or disagree.
Leaving two dogs together when you’re not home
Don’t leave two dogs loose together if …
1. The dogs don’t know each other. For example, maybe you recently adopted one of them or maybe one is just visiting.
2. YOU don’t know the dogs. For example, maybe you’re watching them for a friend. It’s generally better to be safe and leave one or both in their crates or separate rooms.
3. There’s any chance the dogs will fight.
4. They’ve ever fought before.
5. Either dog tends to show possessiveness/guarding of food, water, beds, bones, the dog walker, toys, furniture, etc.
6. One dog tends to cause the other to get in trouble. For example, maybe they both bark when they’re together or maybe they chase and wrestle and break things.
7. One is not yet housebroken or tends to mark. You don’t want the other dog to start peeing in the house as well.
8. Either dog tends to become aggressive around certain triggers like the doorbell, the mail carrier or hearing other dogs outside. You don’t want one to re-direct the aggression to the other. Happens all the time.
What else would you add to this list?
Leaving a dog and a cat together when you’re not home
Don’t leave a dog and a cat loose together if …
1. For whatever reason, you have any doubts. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.
2. Your cat is nervous or tense around the dog or scared of the dog. Trust her instincts.
3. You haven’t had both pets for at least 2 or 3 months to really get to know them and how they interact. Even if someone told you “he’s cat friendly!” or “She loves dogs!” That means very little.
4. The dog tends to chase the cat, even if he’s just “playing.” Or if the cat tends to bolt away from the dog.
5. They’ve ever fought in the past.
6. If either tends to guard or show possessiveness of food bowls, beds, certain rooms, etc., and you’re not 100 percent certain the other will back off. For example, my cats won’t allow my dog Ace to enter certain rooms. He just turns around and leaves. Or cries.
7. You catch your dog staring at the cat or fixating on the cat, even if it seems “playful.” For example, is your dog obsessively following the cat around, whining or pawing at her? Not cool.
Again, let me know what you’d add to the list.
Taking precautions about leaving two dogs loose together
When I foster dogs with unknown histories around cats, I always leave the foster dog in a crate in a bedroom with the door closed. Then, I put my cats in another bedroom with that door closed. That way, there are two doors (plus the crate) separating the foster dog and my cats.
Sound extreme? Maybe, but I’ve had multiple dogs break out of their crates. One then proceeded to rip apart my door frame.
Sadly, I also know someone whose cat was killed by her foster dogs after the dogs broke out of their crates. Such a heartbreaking story.
– Pick up all food bowls, toys, bones, etc., before leaving dogs loose together until you’re 99 percent sure they won’t fight.
– Exercise both dogs heavily before you leave them home alone, especially the first couple of times.
– Start with leaving them for short periods. Are they OK while you take a shower? OK, how about while you leave to get the mail? How about when you run errands for a half-hour?
– Invest in some sort of pet camera so you can check in on them. You can’t put a value on Peace Of Mind!
– Don’t feel guilty if one dog needs to be crated for any reason, even if it’s for other reasons like chewing, potty training, etc.
– Animals are animals. Sometimes they do fight over unexpected things. Even my sweet, passive dog Ace has gotten into a minor fight over a Kong toy.
How did you decide when to leave your pets loose together, if ever?
Their barking has helped people for thousands of years by alerting us to intruders. Barking is their job!
But … today, a dog’s barking can obviously be a bit of a nuisance, especially if you’re starting to get complaints from neighbors, a landlord or roommates.
Heck, the barking is probably annoying YOU too!
So today I’m going ot share some tips on how to stop a dog’s indoor barking.
5 tips to stop a dog’s indoor barking
1. Try to figure out why he’s barking.
People always say, how do I stop my dog from barking? Well, it depends on why he’s barking in the first place. If your dog barks & you’re not sure why, leave a comment below and I’ll help you brainstorm.
Could it be …
A fear of being alone? A negative association with being in a crate? Boredom? Reacting to noises or things he sees outside?
Or maybe he’s not getting enough interaction, physical exercise or training?
Does he have certain “triggers” like people walking by in the hall of your apartment, dogs walking by outside or maybe just you picking up your keys to leave makes him anxious?
2. Change his environment.
Sometimes the barking is a habit and if you change the dog’s environment or routine a bit, you can take away his usual “triggers” and stop or decrease the barking.
For example, if his barking is triggered by people walking by the window, block him from the window by leaving him in another room or possibly a kennel/crate or even just closing the blinds.
If noises trigger his barking, can you block some of the noise by leaving a TV on, music or a loud fan?
How about simply moving his kennel/crate to a different room?
3. Double his exercise.
Increasing a dog’s exercise will not solve a dog’s behavioral problems but it sure does help. If your dog has the energy to bark all day, I’m guessing he’s not getting enough exercise.
I’ve had people tell me, “We walked a mile today, and he’s still not tired.”
Try FIVE miles, with a dog backpack and some running. And then do another mile or two in the evening.
I realize not everyone has the time for this. I realize others are not physically capable of that kind of movement.
But you just have to find a way to provide exercise. You just have to.
If you can’t afford dog daycare or a dog walker, then I’m afraid you’re going to have to get up early and exercise your dog for 90 minutes before work and another hour in the evening.
If you physically can’t walk or run, then you’re going to have to drive to the dog park every day or pay a dog walker.
Or maybe you’re broke, physically disabled and working overtime with four kids, but you still have to find a way! 🙂
4. Find ways to work your dog’s mind.
Working your dog’s mind by providing him with training, new experiences and challenges is just as important as physical exercise.
Dogs are intelligent and emotional creatures, and they get a bit crazy and frustrated if they have nothing to do!
Here are some simple ideas for providing games and challenges for your dog:
This is a rare problem, but it’s one that comes up every now and then in the emails I get.
For whatever reason, the dog “holds it” until the owner takes him for a walk. He refuses to go to the bathroom in the yard, only on walks.
You might be thinking, smart dog!
Yes, it’s very possible the dog figured out if he pees right away he gets taken right back inside. However, if he holds it longer he gets to be outside longer.
Of course, the real problem would be if he starts going to the bathroom in the house because he doesn’t want to go in the yard. Hopefully you’re not having that problem. If so, then it’s time to go back to the basics and treat him like he’s not potty trained.
Possible reasons your dog won’t go potty or poop in the yard
He’s distracted in the yard. (Neighbor dogs, certain smells, noises, he’s looking for other family members)
He doesn’t like the surface in the yard (or the potty area of your apartment complex), whether it’s woodchips, wet grass, dirty snow, etc.
He doesn’t like the smells from so many other dogs (if you’re in an apartment) or from himself (if you have a small yard).
He doesn’t want to step in the pee or smells from other dogs or from himself.
Your dog prefers to pee on bushes vs. grass & there aren’t any bushes in the yard.
He feels like your small yard is an extension of the house & he doesn’t want to soil the area.
He’s never had a yard before so this is new to him – Perhaps he peed only on concrete at a shelter or only on walks in a past apartment home.
Some dogs need to run around a bit before they have to poop!
Can anyone think of any other reasons? I’m sure there are many.
One related issue is some dogs just can’t seem to go potty while on a leash if they’re used to going potty off leash in a yard. You might notice this with a recently adopted dog or if you’re pet sitting a dog or if you’re traveling with your dog.
You might feel like it’s taking your dog forever to go, but really he’s just not used to peeing while on a leash. If that’s the case, I find that a retractable leash helps so you can give the dog a little more space & freedom.
What to do if your dog won’t go potty or poop in the yard
The first step is to try to figure out why your dog is “holding it.” Hopefully some of the above bullet points can help. If it’s a new environment, just try to be patient and remember to reward him for going potty in the right place.
Here are some additional tips:
1. Use the walk as a reward!
Stand with him for 5 or 10 minutes in the yard until he goes. Then take him for a walk as a reward! Even if it’s just a 5-minute walk.
Also, don’t end his walks or head for home as soon as he pees. Keep walking for a bit. The fun shouldn’t end because he peed!
2. Give him 10 minutes to go and then head back inside.
If he doesn’t go in the yard, then take him back inside. Put him in a kennel/crate if you’re worried he’ll have an accident. Then take him outside again in a half-hour. Repeat as needed. I realize you only have so much time in a day, especially if you’re trying to get ready for work, but that’s what I’d recommend if at all possible.
When he finally does pee or poop in the yard, head out for a walk as a reward!
3. Use highly valued treats.
Go back to some basics and reward your dog with highly valued food for peeing/pooping in the yard. Use jerky treats, real chicken, string cheese, hot dogs, whatever he loves! And try to walk him as a reward to when you can.
4. Try not to get frustrated.
I used to get mad at my dog Ace when he wouldn’t poop in the yard. I’d be like, “Hurry up!” in a mean voice. My obvious frustration caused him to feel tense and stressed and maybe even afraid of me and then he wouldn’t go to the bathroom for sure! Today I know I have to be patient and positive with him. He’s sensitive. 🙂
5. Does he need to move around?
Some dogs really need to jog around a bit in order to, shall we say, get things moving in order to poop! This is annoying because nearly every dog I take running will poop about two minutes into the run! That’s just the way it is!
If you think your dog needs to move around a bit, try tossing the ball or chasing him around the yard. He might poop then!
So those are my ideas. I know this is a strange topic but it really is a fairly common problem.
Have any of you dealt with this issue? How did you solve it?
Did any of you catch this post on the blog Puppy Leaks?
It’s about how some dog owners choose NOT to be present when their dogs are euthanized and that’s OK.
This is the kind of post that makes you stop and think. Read it here.
Not everyone wants to be there when their dogs are euthanized, and some people literally just can’t handle being present. We all process death and grief in our own ways.
I didn’t realize some dog lovers are so judgmental that they would actually criticize someone who chose not to be present or who could not be present. How terrible.
From Jen Gabbard at Puppy Leaks:
Some of us don’t handle euthanasia well, and some of us faint when faced with it. It doesn’t mean we love our pets less. It might be a lack of resilience or constitution, or it might just be our own anxiety, fear or post traumatic stress acting up. Whatever it is it feels terrible, and being told that we’re selfish for choosing not be there rips right into the heart.
We would love to be there, but some of us can’t. I wish I could have, I’d be filled with so much less regret if I could have stayed. But I couldn’t, and I have to accept that.
Do you personally prefer to be there when your pets are euthanized? Pictured is my golden retriever Brittni, the dog my family had before Ace. I’m thankful my dad and I chose to be present when Brittni was euthanized.
Blogger Lindsay Stordahl Lindsay Stordahl (with her mutt Ace) is the blogger behind That Mutt.
Blogger Julia Thomson Julia Thomson (with her mutt Baxter) writes regularly for That Mutt.
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