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Four Reasons Why Australian Cattle Dogs Are the Best Family Dog

Four Reasons Why Australian Cattle Dogs Are the Best Family Dog

Some would say that having a dog in your family is an honor and a privilege. If you're a dog lover, then you undoubtedly agree with this statement. A canine companion fills an extraordinary place in the human heart, and if you have a family, your furry friend is definitely a big part of it. But, if you're thinking about getting a new pooch, what pup pal makes the best family pet?


If you have kids, then a dog that gets along well with children is undoubtedly at the top of your list of absolute musts. While certain dog breeds are known for being a good match for homes with kids, others are best suited for older owners. The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) can be great with kids; however, it’s typically suggested that the pup is socialized with children from the very beginning. Still, whether you’re buying a new pet or plan to adopt a dog, you always should meet the actual dog you plan to get before bringing Fido home.


Of course, knowing the ins and outs of which breeds are kid-friendly is an excellent and essential starting point.

Australian Cattle Dog in grass

The Australian Cattle Dog: Family Dog and Intelligent Companion

Australian Cattle Dogs, also called Blue Heelers, are extremely alert, pleasant pups with keen intelligence and a fierce sense of loyalty. These faithful friends are not considered aggressive and can be an excellent fit for families with kids.

However, if you have very young children, ideally, you should find a young pup that can grow up alongside your children and that you can properly train and socialize with your kids. Otherwise, this breed might be a better fit for older children, around 9 or 10 years of age. This is information worth keeping in mind when you’re trying to decide if you should buy or adopt an older or younger dog. ACDs can be a bit nippy, which can be alarming for smaller children; another reason early training is so necessary.

Although you should always withhold your final judgment until you meet your potential new housemate, an Australian Cattle Dog is a great choice when considering a new family pet.

Here are four reasons why an Australian Cattle Dog is the best family dog:

  • An Australian Cattle Dog is very active and has high-energy levels, making him excellent at keeping up with active kids.

  • An Australian Cattle Dog is exceptionally loyal, and if he grows up with your kids, he will no doubt watch over them and keep them safe.

  • An Australian Cattle Dog isn’t known for barking a lot, which is always a plus if you have young kids or children sensitive to loud noises.

  • An Australian Cattle Dog is very intelligent, so as long as you put in the time and effort, this pup will quickly catch on to how he should behave.

Australian Cattle Dogs in leaves

Getting To Know the Australian Cattle Dog

Of course, your dog’s personality is a significant factor in deciding if he’s the right choice for you and your family, but there are other things to consider too. It’s also crucial to understand the basics of any dog breed you think about bringing into your home. Different things like size, training needs, health issues, and other specifics can make a big difference in how well your pet adjusts to your home.


For example, a Boxer is an incredible choice for a family with kids, but if you don’t have the time to provide him with ample opportunities for much-needed exercise, things won’t work out too well. Therefore, always look at the big picture when you plan to get a new dog, no matter what the breed.


When you know the basics about your future pup, it can save you a lot of uncertainty and difficulties down the road. (For example, learning that the cute little puppy you just brought home to your small apartment will eventually grow into a 100-pound mammoth).

Here are some good-to-know facts about the smart and alert Australian Cattle Dog:


SIZE


An Australian Cattle Dog’s average height is between 17 and 20 inches, and the average weight is roughly 35 to 50 pounds. The males, as is typical with most dog breeds, are usually slightly larger than the females.


LIFE EXPECTANCY


This breed lives an average of 12 to 16 years, although some have lived for 20 years. In fact, the official holder of the world's oldest dog is an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey, who died at 29 years and 5 months of age.


GROOMING NEEDS


The Australian Cattle Dog has a smooth, double-layer coat that typically only needs quick weekly brushing and an occasional bath. However, this pup does shed his undercoat twice a year during the shedding season. Therefore, when it’s shedding season, you’ll need to brush him every few days to get rid of the dead hair that accumulates in his coat. Of course, as with all breeds, regular nail trims and proper dental care is important. Also, you should check your Australian Cattle Dog’s ears regularly to avoid the build-up of wax.


HEALTH ISSUES


A good breeder will screen her dogs for an assortment of health conditions, including deafness, progressive retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia. There are several evaluations the National Breed Club recommends, including those for hips, eyes, elbows, and several other tests. You can check out the Official Breed Club Health Statement for more information.


EXERCISE NEEDS


ACDs need a lot more than a quick walk around the block. Therefore, when it comes to proper exercise, while snapping on a leash and going for a run is a good start, this high-energy dog needs a lot more opportunities for work and play. Australian Cattle Dogs were bred to work and herd cattle, so this pup does great when he has a job to do. Of course, unless you live on a farm, you’ll have to find some alternative means to make your canine companion happy. Taking your pup on long, daily runs is great, as is enrolling him in canine sports like obedience and agility training.


TRAINING


Early socialization and basic obedience training are vital for the Australian Cattle Dog, especially with his highly keen sense of intelligence. Once you’ve mastered basic obedience with your pet, continued and consistent training and activities, like agility or herding, is recommended to keep this pooch properly stimulated and engaged. If you have to leave home for a bit, make sure your pup has had adequate opportunities to exercise and has something to do, like chewing on a Rolly Cannoli or other type of interactive toy. If you leave your dog alone with nothing to do, he will get into mischief.


Dogs and Kids


No matter what type of dog you decide to bring home, proper education for your children and your new pet is crucial. Ensure your children know how to handle and treat an animal, and introduce your pup to your kids as early as possible. If your kids are able, involving them in the training process can help develop the bond between them and your new family pet.


Once you’ve decided to add a dog to the mix, petfinder.com is a great starting point. You can also check out The Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association if you choose to help an animal in need. If you need more resources and tips to help you learn more about your super pets, NeaterPets has you covered! Check out the rest of our blog; you’ll find tons of valuable information you can use to be a fantastic pet parent.

  • Fernando Becattini
10 Best Dogs For People With Allergies

10 Best Dogs For People With Allergies

Imagine being allergic to your best friend. Unfortunately, if you’re a dog lover and suffer from allergies, this can sometimes be a challenging combination. However, allergy sufferers don’t despair! You can find the perfect pooch that won’t send you into a sneezing, itchy, eye-watering tizzy. Luckily, several dog breeds are an excellent match for people with allergies, thanks to the dogs’ hypoallergenic coats. If you think you could benefit from a dog like this, you definitely have some options to consider before buying or adopting your dog!

What Exactly Is a Hypoallergenic Dog?

First, it's time to clear up a little confusion. Many people believe hypoallergenic dogs don't shed their fur, and therefore they don't cause an allergic reaction in their owners. But in fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a truly non-allergic pet doesn't actually exist. However, several breeds make better options for those with pet allergies, giving these breeds the label of "hypoallergenic."

Can You Be Allergic to a Hypoallergenic Dog?

Technically, if you have a dog allergy, even a "hypoallergenic" dog can cause a reaction, even if it is a non-shedding breed. In other cases, you might have no issues at all, or they could be barely noticeable. The reason for this is because people aren't allergic to a dog's fur or hair. Instead, people allergic to dogs have an immune response to proteins found in dog urine, saliva, and dander, which of course, all pups have

How Can People with Allergies Benefit from a Hypoallergenic Dog?

Typically, a dog carries dander around in his coat (as well as other potential allergens he can pick up elsewhere, like pollen), and when he sheds, he spreads this dander around your home, on your furniture, your clothes, etc. If your pup shakes, he can send these particles into the air where they can remain for a long time.

All of this can set off an allergic reaction in almost anyone with allergies to dogs. Plus, even if you're not allergic to dogs specifically, a dog that sheds often can trigger other allergic reactions since he can spread other allergens around your home. However, if a dog doesn't shed or sheds very little, this reduces the amount of dog dander and other particles that can make their way inside your home (and into your nose and lungs).

Some supposedly non-shedding dogs do indeed shed, like the Shih Tzu, but their coats hold on to a lot of the dead hair. This quality gives the appearance that the dog doesn't shed. Depending on the nature and severity of your allergy, a dog that doesn't shed often or that holds loose hair in his coat might be a great choice for you.

long haired Shih Tzu

10 Dogs That Are a Good Choice for People with Allergies

If you're ready to add a dog into the mix, but suffer from allergies, check out these more hypoallergenic breeds:

  • Affenpinscher -- This small member of the toy group features a wiry coat that needs brushing about twice a week. He does not shed very frequently, and you can get by with the occasional removal of dead hairs and dander from his coat. 

  • Basenji -- This short-haired member of the hound group is very easy to take care of when it comes to grooming, only needing a quick swipe of the coat. He only sheds occasionally.

  • Chinese Crested Dog -- This pup comes in two varieties, powderpuff and hairless, and either is a good option for allergy sufferers. A member of the toy group, this pup’s hair is silky and unique from many other dogs’ coats. Despite its length, it’s super easy to brush. Plus, this pooch sheds infrequently.

  • Havanese -- This dog from the toy group has a silky coat that requires daily brushing. However, his long, thick, wavy coat helps hold on to hairs that he occasionally sheds, making him a good choice for allergy sufferers.

  • Irish Water Spaniel -- A member of the sporting group, this large pooch features a hypoallergenic coat that only sheds seasonally. Plus, he doesn’t have an undercoat, and his curls help trap the hair that he does shed.

  • Poodle -- Mild allergy sufferers can do well with this popular member of the non-sporting group. He sheds very infrequently, and his curly coat helps hang on to dead hairs.

  • Shih Tzu -- A Shih Tzu’s silky hair is the same as humans, making his coat need lots of attention but also causing little shedding. When this member of the toy group does shed, the few hairs usually remain trapped in his co

  • Wire Fox Terrier -- This member of the terrier group features a very dense, wiry coat, limiting his shedding significantly. However, he does require regular brushing to avoid matting.

  • Yorkshire Terrier -- Like the Shih Tzu, this member of the toy group sports human-like hair that needs daily brushing. However, this pup rarely sheds and is a great dog for people with allergies.

woman sneezing

Are You Allergic to Dogs?

If you're unsure whether or not you're allergic to dogs, there are a few things to keep an eye out for. Typical signs of an allergic reaction are red and itchy eyes and a stuffy nose. However, these same reactions can be caused by other allergens as well.

If a dog licks you or scratches you, and your skin in that spot becomes itchy or red, this can also be a sign of a potential allergy. Of course, as with any allergy, reactions can range from very mild to severe. If your reaction is mild, you might not even notice it; or it could take days to show up, which can make it hard for you to link the reaction to your pup.

Severe reactions usually occur immediately and often require medical attention. If you're not sure whether your allergy is because of your pup, the only way to know for certain is by visiting with your doctor and getting an allergy test.

How to Minimize Allergic Reactions to Your Dog

If your dog triggers your allergies, don't panic. There are several things you can do that don't involve rehoming your pet.

  • Don't let your dog sleep in your bed. Ideally, make your entire bedroom off-limits to your pooch.

  • If possible, limit the number of rugs and carpet that you have in your house. These items are allergen traps, and while vacuuming them is necessary, it can stir up allergens into the air. Therefore, wear a mask when you vacuum.

  • To help limit airborne allergens, run an air cleaner for at least four hours each day.

  • Use filters specially designed for allergy sufferers in your A/C, vacuums, air purifiers, and similar items. 

  • Brush your dog outside, or better yet, have someone else do the brushing.

  • Before your dog comes in from outside, give him a quick wipe down with a pet wipe or even a baby wipe.

  • After spending a lot of time with your pup, change your clothes as soon as possible. Plus, wash your hair often since allergens can hang out in your hair just like it does in your dog's

  • Likewise, make sure to frequently wash your dog’s belongings, including his bed, dog bowls, toys, etc.

If despite all of these efforts, you still have a lot of trouble with dog allergies, then you might need to talk to your doctor about special medications or allergy treatments.


For more helpful tips and resources about taking care of your pets, check out the rest of our blog! We have the information you need to be a well-informed, happy pet parent!

  • Kelsie Mertz
Excessive Barking: How to Train Your a Dog to Stop Barking

Excessive Barking: How to Train Your a Dog to Stop Barking

Dogs are a wonderful and welcome addition to a home, but if they’re barking constantly, maybe not as welcome as they could be. Whether your pup is a consistent nighttime barker, barks at his own shadow, or can’t help barking up a storm when he sees other dogs, it’s understandable that you would rather he not engage in his loud habit.  Plus, a dog that barks all of the time can be somewhat off-putting to visitors and to others when you’re out in public.

long haired dachshund barking

Why Does Your Dog Bark So Much?

Before you can figure out the best way to get your pup to stop barking, you need to determine why he’s barking in the first place. Dogs bark for several reasons, all revolving around communication in some way. For example, your dog might bark because he wants food or water, to send a warning, declare his presence, or just to say hello to people and other pups.

 

Is Your Dog Barking at Other Dogs?

If your pup barks at other dogs, it doesn’t automatically mean he won’t get along well with other canines. In fact, he could be trying to play or express himself to his fellow mates. But, if his barking is consistent and seems out of place, it may be that your dog hasn’t had ample opportunities for socialization. This is especially likely if there are no signs of aggression, like snapping, lunging, growling, and baring teeth, accompanying your pup’s barks. Other times, your dog might possess an intense need to protect you, and her barking could be telling other dogs, “Hey, back away from my human.”

 

Is Your Dog Barking All Day and Night? 

If your dog is barking all the time, whether other pups are around or not, try to pinpoint potential triggers. What happens right before your pup’s barking that might be setting her off? Your pup could be bored, lonely, or very nervous. Any one of these feelings, or a combination of them, can cause your dog to launch into a barking frenzy.

 puggle barking

Tips to Get a Dog to Stop Barking at Home

If your dog barks all day and night, there are a few things you can implement to get her to vocalize less. 


  • Reduce Distractions -- If your pup barks at everything she hears and every little thing that catches her eye; then minimize distractions. Keep the television on or play music in the background to drown out ambient noises. Keep your puppy's bed in an area away from windows, or draw the curtains or shades shut, do your dog isn’t tempted to bark at everything that passes by your house. 

  • Provide Ample Opportunities for Exercise -- An under stimulated dog is a hyper dog. Make sure your pup has adequate opportunities to burn off energy as needed. Take your dog for walks, ensure she has ample playtime, and provide her with stimulating and engaging activities and toys, like the Rolly Cannoli

  • Try a Crate -- Sometimes, your dog might feel a little overwhelmed by his environment; this is especially true if you adopt a dog from a shelter. Providing your dog with a comfy, secure place that is all his own, like a crate, can work wonders. The key is to leave the crate door open though, so your dog knows he can come and go as he pleases and is not “trapped.” 

  • Stay Positive -- Yelling at your dog to be quiet won’t help him, and it will only make him and you more upset. Keep your attitude and voice positive and upbeat with your pooch. When he barks, turn your back on him and ignore the behavior until he stops. As soon as he stops, reward him with praise and a yummy treat. This positive reinforcement training can help your pup learn that a calm and quiet demeanor is preferable to his non-stop barking. 

  • Reduce Separation Anxiety -- If your pup’s litany of barks and yips is due to separation anxiety, you can’t simply ignore the issue. You need to work on the anxiety itself. Get your dog used to being away from you in gradual increments. Start by leaving your pup alone for just a few seconds by stepping into another room, then go out the front food for a minute, then two, and so on, increasing the interval each time. You can also use a gadget like a dog camera to communicate with your pup while you are away. Some of these gadgets even dispense treats for your pup!  
Giving your pup a special toy or treat that he only gets when you’re away can also help, as can putting something with your scent in his crate (like an old shirt or handkerchief). 

 

  • Make Sure to Make One Final Potty Stop -- Before you leave home and before bed, make sure your pup gets one final potty break. You might also want to pick up your pup’s water bowl at night. If your dog has to go to the bathroom and no one is around to let him out, this can lead to some frenzied barking and behavior, not to mention unwanted accidents.

 

Should You Get Another Dog?

It might seem like a no brainer to get another dog to keep your pup company. Maybe if your dog has a friend, he won’t bark, right? Well, maybe yes, and maybe no. You still need to train and work with your new pup, otherwise, you’re likely just going to end up with two non-stop barkers on your hands. Dogs do this thing called honor barking where the submissive dog will bark whenever the alpha dog barks as a way to back him up and show support. So, if you want to get a second dog, ensure you have the time, money, and energy that double dogs require. 

golden retriever puppy barking

Tips to Get a Dog to Stop Barking At Other Dogs

If your canine companion is relatively quiet at home, but then goes berserk when he sees other dogs, you need to approach things a bit differently. Of course, staying positive and the other things mentioned above are important, but there are a couple of extra things to keep in mind. Here are a few additional items to try if your dog goes crazy when he sees fellow pups:

  • Have Treats at the Ready -- When you go out and about with your dog, have lots of treats ready to go. You can train your pup while you’re out and about, plus treats offer a great distraction. As soon as your dog goes to bark, you can use a clicker or vocal command to get his attention and reward him with a treat. You can also enlist the help of a friend with a (well-trained) dog to practice.

  • Invest in Basic Obedience Training and Socialization -- It’s important to give your pup the proper foundation for good behavior, and this comes in early socialization and obedience training basics like sit, stay and come. Provide ample opportunities for your pup to meet with other dogs on neutral territory, in other words, not in your house. You can try a dog park, an arranged doggy play date with a friend down the street, etc. 

  • Don’t Pull Your Pup Away -- When your dog starts barking at other dogs, it might seem natural to try and pull her away, but this can actually make her bark more. You’re sending the message that this dog is a threat and you need to get away fast. Instead, relax the leash and keep your mood relaxed too. Remember, dogs sense human emotions. If you are worried about what your pup will do, relax the leash and change direction so you and your pup are walking away from the other dog. 
dog barking

    Should You Get Professional Help for Your Dog’s Barking?

    If you feel like you’ve tried everything to squash your dog’s barking habit, but to no avail, then you might want to consider getting the help of a pro. You can find expert guidance by searching the Association of Professional Dog Trainers or asking for recommendations from trusted friends, family, or your vet. Sometimes, when you know you don’t have the necessary time to devote to training your pup with her barking habit, a pro is a good way to go from the outset. 

    Getting advice and help from a professional is well worth it, instead of letting frustrations and stress continue to mount. Before you hire a trainer, you can always ask your vet for some suggestions first. She might have some ideas you haven’t tried yet. 

     

    What About Debarking?

    Debarking is a surgical procedure in which a vet removes tissue from a dog’s vocal cords to reduce the sound of barking. It is irreversible and limits your pup’s ability to vocalize naturally. In fact, it is often considered cruel and many vets refuse to perform the procedure. If you get to a point where you are seriously considering having your dog debarked, it’s better to hire a professional trainer or find a new home for your dog. 

    If your dog’s excessive barking is making you want to howl, don’t lose hope! There are a number of things you can do to help your pup, and you can also reach out to a professional for extra help and advice. For more tips and resources about how to handle your pup’s quirky habits and be a great pet parent, check out the rest of our blog!
    • Fernando Becattini
    6 Reasons Why Bernese Mountain Dogs Are the Best Family Dog

    6 Reasons Why Bernese Mountain Dogs Are the Best Family Dog

    When you're a dog lover, if you don't have a dog, your home probably seems like it's missing something. There is undoubtedly something special about having a dog running about; it makes your family feel complete. But, choosing the right dog for your family is not a task that you should take lightly, especially if you have children. 

    Naturally, you would want your kids and your new pup to become the best of friends, which means you need to do a little research into what breeds are a good match for homes with kids. Of course, you always need to consider the individual temperament of the actual pooch you plan to bring home, but generally, certain breeds are known for getting along with children better than others. Therefore, whether you’re buying a new pet or plan to adopt a dog, ensure you know all of your options first. 

    Bernese mountain dog puppy

    The Bernese Mountain Dog: Family Dog and Affectionate Companion

    Bernese Mountain Dogs are extremely affectionate and good-natured, often believed to be one of the least aggressive dogs toward humans. Their sweet dispositions, calm natures, and willingness to play make them a great companion for children. 

    Although you should make your final judgment once you meet your potential new furry housemate, a Bernese Mountain Dog is a pretty safe bet when it comes to a good pet. Here are 6 reasons why a Bernese Mountain Dog is the best family dog:

    • A Bernese Mountain Dog has an even-temper and calm disposition, always a good fit for rowdy kids.
    • A Bernese Mountain Dog is patient, so he’s tolerant of energetic kids that may want to climb all over his big, furry body.
    • A Bernese Mountain Dog loves to please his owners, so if the kids want to play, the odds are good that your pup is a willing playmate.
    • A Bernese Mountain Dog, although not aggressive, is protective. He’ll have a strong desire to keep your kids (and the whole family) safe.
    • A Bernese Mountain Dog is loyal and devoted to his family. 
    • A Bernese Mountain Dog is easy to train, which is always a bonus when you have kids. It makes it easier to get the children involved in the training process. 

    Bernese mountain dog in snow

    Getting To Know the Bernese Mountain Dog

    When it comes to the perfect family pet, a Bernese comes very close to hitting the mark. Bernese Mountain Dogs are devoted, friendly, intelligent, and kind. This is undoubtedly a list of traits that would appeal to any dog-owner-to-be. 

    However, when you’re choosing a dog for your family, it’s not all about personality. You also need to consider the basic facts about the dog breed. Factors like maintenance, size, exercise needs, trainability, health issues, and other characteristics are also important determinants for picking the right pooch for you. 

    For example, a Labrador could be a wonderful playmate for children, but he won’t like being cooped up all day in a tiny apartment if you’re never home. Or, you could get a smaller dog that does great with apartment life, but grooming is a nightmare, and you simply don’t have the time to deal with it properly (or the budget to have it done professionally). Basically, it’s vital to look at the big picture no matter what dog you think about bringing home. 

    Knowing the basics of any dog breed in the beginning, makes it less likely that you’ll be hit with any major surprises down the road. 

    Here are some good-to-know facts about the patient and affectionate Bernese Mountain Dog:

    SIZE

    The average height of a Bernese Mountain Dog is between 23 and 27.5 inches, and the average weight is roughly 70 to 115 pounds. The males, as is common with most dog breeds, are usually slightly larger than the females.

     

    LIFE EXPECTANCY

    A Berner, as this breed is sometimes called, lives an average of 7 to 10 years, which is a critical factor when deciding if you should adopt a younger or older dog. This fact is especially essential to keep in mind if your children are still infants or very young. 

     

    GROOMING NEEDS

    With a double coat that features a long outer coat and thick undercoat, you can expect this pup to shed quite a bit, especially during shedding season. While this dog only needs occasional baths, you need to trim the nails regularly and plan to brush him regularly, too; about once a week. During shedding season, it’s best to brush him every day. You also should check his ears often for any signs of infection and brush his teeth regularly.

     

    HEALTH ISSUES

    Overall, this breed is healthy, but the National Breed Club recommends several evaluations, including elbow and hip evaluations, to test for things like hip dysplasia. It also suggests a cardiac exam, ophthalmologist evaluation, and a DNA test for Von Willebrand’s Disease.  Additionally, like other large breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs are subject to a condition known as bloat, so knowing the facts about these potential issues is always a plus. 

     

    EXERCISE NEEDS

    If you bring home a Bernese Mountain Dog, plan on spending some time every day ensuring he gets proper exercise. This breed needs at least half an hour each day of moderate activity.  While this pup loves to participate in canine sports like agility training, carting, and other activities, he’s also just as content for you to snap on a leash and take him on a long hike. 

    Even though this pooch loves the outdoors, he also loves to be inside with his family. But, it’s crucial to provide him ample opportunities for mental stimulation, especially when you are away. You can use interactive puzzles, treat games, and other engaging dog toys, like the Rolly Cannoli, to help keep him focused and happy. Otherwise, he might end up presenting some undesirable behaviors.

     

    TRAINING

    Of course, early socialization and basic obedience training are critical for any dog, especially large breeds, but luckily, the Bernese is super intelligent and eager-to-please. This combination of qualities makes him very trainable, but he’s also sensitive, so harsh training methods are not very useful. Instead, stick to positive reinforcement and an upbeat attitude.  

    bernese mountain dog laying down

    Bernese Mountain Dogs and Kids

    Although Bernese Mountain Dogs are an excellent choice for homes with children, it is still essential that both your new canine companion and your kids understand how to interact with each other. Ensure that your children know how to treat a dog and behave around an animal properly. It’s also critical to review any special rules regarding your new pup pal. Likewise, as soon as you bring your new Berner home, it’s imperative that you begin training him right away and set clear expectations about what behavior is acceptable and what is off-limits. 

    When you’re ready to add a Bernese Mountain Dog to the family, petfinder.com is a great starting point. You can also check out The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America if you decide that you want to help an animal in need. If you’re looking for more resources and tips to help you be a super pet parent, look no further! Check out the rest of our blog; you’ll find loads of insight, suggestions, and tidbits that can help you on your dog-loving journey.
    • Fernando Becattini
    15 Best Gifts for All Dog Lovers This Year

    15 Best Gifts for All Dog Lovers This Year

    As the holiday season approaches, you’re probably already trying to sneak in some shopping, searching for the perfect gifts for your friends, family, and maybe a Secret Santa or two. If you’re a dog lover, then you also likely have a few four-legged friends on your list too, but don’t forget about their devoted owners! When it comes to dog lovers, some of the perfect presents are the ones that remind them of their loyal, furry friends. 

    Nowadays, the world recognizes just how obsessed people can be with their pets, and companies have responded with all kinds of intriguing and delightful pet-inspired products. Plus, there are tons of ways you can get creative with your gift-giving with homemade surprises, various experiences, and thoughtful mementos. 

    From the quirky to the practical, these 15 gifts for dog lovers are sure to put a smile on any pup-parent’s face! 

    dog sitting in front of Christmas lights

    Practical Gifts for Dog Lovers

    Good for Dog Lovers

    If you love dogs, then anything that serves a function in your life can be better when it includes a pup or two! Whether it’s clothing, dishware, or office supplies, adding some canine flair to an item makes it even better for a devoted dog owner. 


    Dog Breeds Spiral Notebook -- What better way for a dog lover to jot down important thoughts and reminders than a notebook sporting various dog breeds? It’s the perfect way for any dog fan to keep track of to-dos or even sketch out some fun dog drawings.


    Dalmatian Bottle Opener -- Whether your pal has a dalmatian of her own or is a fan of this beautiful, spotted breed, this bottle opener is the perfect practical and fun gift! While you're at it, why not give your pal a bottle or two of her favorite beverage to go along with it?


    Wipe Your Paws Welcome Mat -- Perhaps one of the most iconic welcome mats for dog owners, this durable mat is the perfect touch for a dog lover’s entryway. It’s cute and practical, helping keep dirt and debris off of your floors.


    Dog Mom Baseball Hat -- This cute cap is comfy and stylish, and it’s the perfect touch for your gal pal that’s crazy for canines. The low-profile design is a great look, and the cap comes in a variety of different denim washes.


    Customizable Flip Calendars -- Give your friend a real surprise with a customized calendar featuring her beloved pup (or pups).  Design and upload the pics you want in the calendar, and the company sends you the completed product. You can also opt to get your friend personalized mugs, bookmarks, mousepads, and much more.


    Good for Dog Lovers and Pups

    Some items help make life easier for a dog owner. Often, these items also benefit your loveable pooch in some way, too, making them a win-win!


    Whistle Go Health & Location Tracker -- Keep track of how your pup feels and where he is with this handy tracker. You get a 24-hour view of your pet’s day, weekly wellness updates, and you can choose from 6 fun colors. And if your pup decides to go on an unplanned journey, you can find him in no time and make sure he gets home safe and sound. 


    Fusion Art Screen Dog Gate -- Safety is essential, but it doesn’t have to be boring. This gift lets any dog owner puppy-proof her home in style with its bold design. 


    Decorative Dog Bowl -- Obviously, a dog needs a dog bowl for his food and water, but you don’t need to keep a boring doggy dish on display. If your friend likes to keep things stylish at home, then a decorative dog bowl can be the perfect gift to help her keep her kitchen stylish while still being convenient for her pups. 

    smiling labrador with bow on it's head

    Just for Fun

    Okay, so sometimes you might give a gift to someone that he doesn’t actually need, but it’s so amazing that he absolutely loves it anyway! That’s what these gifts are all about; because we all need some fun and quirkiness in our lives!

    Good for Dog Lovers

    Dogs on Instagram -- This fun coffee table book is perfect for dog lovers, and it's created by dog-lovers too! This book is full of colorful pics, featuring over 400 crowdsourced photos of some of the most adorable, zany, and cool pups from the @dogsofinstagram channel. 


    Custom Dog Phone Case -- Okay, so you could probably argue that this gift could be in the practical section, but it’s still super fun! Imagine having your actual pup’s visage on your phone case, custom-drawn, and giving you puppy dog eyes every time you pull out your iPhone.  When you're out and about missing your fur baby, just pull out your phone for a peek. 

    Good for Dog Lovers and Pups

    Matching Collar and Friendship Bracelet -- A dog is man’s best friend, so why not have matching friendship collars and bracelets? This gift shows your dog-loving friend you understand entirely just how much her dog means to her. The sets come in several sizes and are available in pink, blue, and green. 


    Furbo Dog Camera -- True, this gift can have some practical uses too, but it’s also going to be great fun for your pooch. After all, one of its features is it dispenses treats! You can also check in on your pup and communicate with her through this dog-friendly gadget, as well as snap some photos of your pooch in action.

    person giving a gift to a yorkshire terrier dog

    Gifts That Keep on Giving

    If you want to add a little something extra to your gift, consider purchasing an item that supports animals in need. Many products agree to donate a percentage of sales to specific animal shelters, canine programs, and foster and rescue organizations. There is nothing nobler for a dog lover than lending a helping paw to those in need, so these types of gifts truly are extra-special. 


    Rescue Dog Soy Candle -- This handmade, elegant 100% soy wax candle features a black silhouette of your favorite breed on a reusable glass. A percentage of every purchase goes to various charities supporting dog rescue services.


    Customized Dog Portraits -- These unique portraits take a photo of your dog and transform it into a genuinely pup-tacular work of art. Portions of the proceeds go toward helping with various dog rehabilitation, rescue, and rehoming efforts. 


    Dog-Themed Garden Flags -- Drive by pretty much any house these days, and you'll see a variety of colorful garden flags that celebrate homeowner’s favorite things. Purchase one of these cute pup flags for your favorite dog lover, and you'll also feed five shelter dogs. 



    When you give the dog lover in your life a fantastic gift, it’s always nice to include something for Fido too. Why not an interactive, irresistible toy like the Rolly Cannoli? Dogs love it, and your pal will love how it keeps her furry friend engaged and stimulated.


    Whenever you're looking for useful resources that can help you learn more about your furry friends, let Neater Pets be your go-to place for fun facts, helpful tips, and more. Check out the rest of our blog for all things dog and cat-related! You'll find everything you need to be the ultimate pet parent.
    • Fernando Becattini
    Finding the Right Dog Boarding  (and How To Choose the Right One)

    Finding the Right Dog Boarding (and How To Choose the Right One)

    With the holidays fast-approaching, it’s typically a time for lots of traveling as people visit family and friends throughout the globe. Although you might bring Fido along with you on your vacation, sometimes, your canine companion has to stay behind. If this is the case, you might feel a little stressed about how your pup will fare while you’re away. 

    One of the most significant decisions you’ll make regarding your dog when it comes to this type of situation is where your pup will stay. If you have a trusted family or friend willing to dog sit, then that's likely your go-to solution. However, sometimes finding a boarding facility is necessary, and you might feel a little overwhelmed by all of the options. 


    How Do You Find a Dog Boarding Facility?

    You have a few options when it comes to finding a boarding facility for your pup. One of the best ways is to get referrals from trusted friends or family members. You can also ask your vet for a recommendation, as well as local animal shelters, dog trainers, and groomers. These different professionals likely have lots of first-hand knowledge of various shelters in the area and will know which ones are top-rated and which ones are best to avoid. 

    If you need to find a facility solo, you can check local listings and Google and other online sources like Yelp. Once you find a few potential places, it’s vital that you do a thorough check before booking your dog for a stay. 

    Verify that the kennel you consider meets all necessary certifications, is licensed, and you can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the kennel has any outstanding complaints. Check out reviews online as well, and get your vet’s opinion of any boarding places you’re leaning toward. 

    You can also check to see if the kennel is a member of the American Boarding Kennels Association. Although this accreditation is optional, it can be a big plus when you’re searching for a high-quality facility, and it can give you the peace of mind that the facility has met all requirements and meets a key code of ethics for kennels.  

    two dogs playing in a field

    Choosing the Right Dog Boarding Facility

    Once you find some potential options of where to board your dog, you need to narrow down your list and choose the best one for your pet. To save time, call your top three choices first and verify that the dates you need your dog to stay are available. If the kennel is full for those dates, then you might as well move on to the next one on your list. If your dog has special needs or there any extenuating circumstances, you should ask if the facility can accommodate your pet’s unique situation. If they are unable to do so, then once again, move on to the next option. 

    After you’ve verified the availability and workability of your top choices, then it’s time to do some deeper investigating to make your final decision. This investigation should consist of a tour of the facilities, meeting some of the staff, and asking any questions that you have about their operations. 


    What Should You Look for in a Dog Boarding Facility?

    Before you book Fido for an extended stay, take a tour of the kennel. Check out the environment’s cleanliness and how well it is maintained and disinfected to ensure the animals’ absolute health and safety. Also, look for signs of ample opportunities for dog socialization, exercise, and playtime activities. Many facilities have great outdoor areas for dogs to romp and play together, and some even have impressive pools for pups that want to do a little swimming. However, it is also crucial that if you witness dogs in a group setting, there are staff supervising at all times. 


    Here are a few questions you should ask when you’re checking out a boarding facility for your dog:

    • What is the daily routine for the dogs in the kennel?
    • How does the staff handle overnight care?
    • Does the staff have a regular cleaning regimen that they follow?
    • Are the staff members trained to handle large groups of dogs participating in group play?
    • What types of training or certification, if any, are staff required to have to work at the facility?
    • Is someone always present at the kennel? (There should be staff present 24 hours a day).
    • If your pup has any special health conditions, ask if there is someone on staff trained to administer medication. If so, ask to meet the person.
    • What is the kennel’s policy on handling medical emergencies?
    • What vet or emergency clinic does the kennel use?
    • Does the kennel have any type of surveillance that allows you to view your pet? (Many facilities have webcams set up in kennels and rooms so you can watch your dog from wherever you are).
    • How do the staff keep track of your dog’s special needs or conditions like medical problems or allergies?
    • Does the staff have any special way they deal with dogs with separation anxiety?

    Dog Boarding Red Flags

    When you take a tour of a boarding facility, it’s always good to know what to look for. Even more critical is to understand what you should NOT see when visiting a kennel. During your tour, keep an eye out for these red flags:

    • The person giving you a tour rushes you through. This could be a sign that the staff is over-extended and won’t have the proper amount of time to give your dog the attention she should get. 
    • If the kennel has deferred maintenance or an unclean appearance, this could signal several potential issues. 
    • There is no evidence of any places where dogs can play together or engage in appropriate exercise. 
    • The outdoor area is overgrown.
    • The staff can’t answer all of your questions thoroughly.

    Average Costs of Boarding Your Dog

    The cost to board your dog can vary widely from place to place and in different areas of the country. However, the average nightly fee is $40. If you’re boarding your pup for an extended period of time, weekly and monthly rates might be available. An average weekly rate is roughly $150, while an average monthly rate is $500. Many boarding facilities offer 10 to 20 percent discounts if you board multiple dogs, especially if your pups can share a room or crate. 

    If you opt for any extras, like grooming, additional playtime, special considerations like administering medicine, and other features, then the nightly cost will go up accordingly, or the kennel might add on an extra flat-fee.

    two dogs playing with a stick

    Pros and Cons of Dog Boarding

    As with anything, boarding your pup has some pros and cons.

    Pros

    • Your pup doesn’t have to get stressed out by a long road trip or flying in an airplane (and you won’t be stressed out either).
    • While you enjoy your vacation, you can relax knowing your pup is in an environment where he is safe and sound.
    • There is a staff knowledgeable about pets watching your dog, so if anything is amiss, it can be handled quickly and efficiently. 
    • Your pup will have more attention than if you leave him home alone and simply have someone stop in periodically to check on him. 

    Cons

    • Depending on your pup’s personality, being in an unfamiliar environment, and away from you might stress him out. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a con of a kennel specifically, but more so of any unfamiliar territory where your dog stays.
    • Your pup will be around quite a few other pets, and although animals typically have to be vaccinated to stay in a shelter, it does expose your pup to potential health conditions and parasites.
    • The cost could be high depending on where you go; boarding can get pretty costly compared to other pet sitting options.

    When you find the facility that feels like the perfect fit, schedule a few doggy daycare sessions before your dog's more extended stay. This way, you not only get a better feel for the facility, but your pup can get used to it as well. When you send your pup for his vacation, ask if you can send a special toy, like a Rolly Canolli, to help him with the transition. Some kennels might let you send your pup’s food or water bowl, too, as these little personal touches can help your dog feel more comfortable.


    For more great tips on how to take care of your four-legged pal, check out the rest of our blog! You’ll find all sorts of fun advice and information to help you learn more about your best friend.
    • Fernando Becattini