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5 Ways To Prevent Your Dog from Getting Fleas

5 Ways To Prevent Your Dog from Getting Fleas

When your dog has fleas, it's not fun for you or your pooch. Fleas can make your pup extremely uncomfortable and cause several health issues like dermatitis, tapeworms, and anemia. Plus, the little pests can also pose a bunch of problems for you and your home. Using proper dog flea prevention techniques can make a huge difference in your pup's quality of life and prevent unpleasant flea infestations. 

brown puppy scratching

Does Your Dog Have Fleas?

It’s common for your pup to get a random flea now and then. If your dog is on flea prevention, the occasional flea is not typically an issue. However, if your pup is showing signs of being continually bothered by fleas and not on any flea prevention, you might have an infestation on your hands.  Here are the signs that can point to a bigger flea problem:

  • Your dog is continually scratching, biting, and licking everywhere he can reach on his body. Your pup could have fleas, or allergies, or a flea allergy; you need to investigate so you can give your pup the help he needs.
  • You can see the fleas crawling on your pup, through his fur, and maybe even see the fleas jumping.
  • You discover flea dirt on your pup (small bits of very dark specks that look like dirt).
  • Your dog is more anxious than normal.
  • Your dog has bumps or red patches on his skin or is missing fur.
  • Your dog’s gums are pale (flea infestation can cause anemia, pale gums are a common sign of this condition).

If your pooch already has fleas, it’s vital to get rid of them as soon as possible. If fleas are left untreated, they can turn your life upside-down in no time and cause many problems and inconveniences. 

Use a flea comb dipped in soapy water (you can use dish soap like Dawn) to sift through your dog’s fur and find the fleas. The soapy water will help slow the fleas down and make them easier to catch. 

Use your fingernails to remove any fleas that you find, squeeze the flea, and drop it into a bowl of sudsy water. If the flea is still alive when you drop it in the bowl, it won’t be able to jump out of the water and eventually drown. 

You can also bathe your pooch with a medicated flea shampoo for extra good measure. Then, don’t forget to treat your yard and home for fleas (and flea eggs) too. If you skip this critical step, the fleas will simply find their way back onto your pooch and the whole cycle will continue. 

There are several different flea sprays and powders used for treating flea infestations in yards, carpets, and other specific areas. Read the directions carefully and make sure to apply the product according to the instructions. Many of these products advise that you keep people and pets away from the treated areas for over 24 hours. Therefore, you may want to prepare to stay somewhere else for a couple of days while your home is being treated. 

Finally, you want to get your pup on effective flea prevention to keep an infestation from recurring. 

yellow lab scratching in a field

Five Ways To Prevent Fleas on Your Dog

When you get a dog, you doubtless do all sorts of things to puppy-proof your home for your new arrival. You want to make sure that your pup’s new surroundings are comfortable and safe, and you also want to protect your home from your new inquisitive housemate. 


However, equally important to taking the proper precautions to make your home safe for your dog is keeping your dog healthy. One of the ways that you can best protect your pup is to make sure you incorporate dog flea prevention into your canine care routine. 


Fleas can wreak havoc on your pooch and your home, so it’s best to stop them in their tracks before they can do a lot of damage. Here are five ways to prevent fleas from “bugging” your canine companion:


  • Flea Collar

Flea collars are an excellent way to prevent fleas, but collars will not get rid of existing fleas in your home or rid you of an already existing flea infestation. If used as a preventive, flea collars can offer long-lasting prevention; some collars can work for up to 6 to 8 months. Flea collars contain certain insecticides that kill any pests on contact. 

Depending on the collar you get, you might need to leave the collar on your pup or opt to put it on when you go outdoors. Flea collars are not meant to be a replacement for your dogs’ regular collar or used with a leash. Therefore, you might have to see how your pup deals with having double collars on -- if he isn’t a fan, use a different method to prevent fleas.

 

  • Flea Spray

Flea sprays are applied directly to your dog’s skin and coat. You can apply a spray to your pup before you head out somewhere where there might be fleas, such as the park, an area with multiple dogs, or if your dog is participating in any activities that might expose him to fleas. Check the directions on the spray you end up using, as some can be used more often than others. Also, some sprays only protect against fleas, while others will prevent a number of different pests from bothering your pooch. 

 

  • Essential Oils

If you want a more natural form of flea prevention, several essential oils can be used to repel fleas. You can dilute oils like rosemary, cedarwood, peppermint, and rose geranium and make them into a spray to help prevent fleas on your pup. However, it is recommended that you check with your vet to ensure none of the oils will interfere with your particular pooch, especially if she has any health conditions or is on any medications.

 

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Looking for another natural alternative to ward off pesky fleas? Apple cider vinegar has been used for a long time as a remedy for several different ailments and issues. To help combat fleas, mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into one liter of water in your dog’s bowl. Have your pup drink it till there are no more fleas. The acidic nature of the vinegar gives your dog’s coat an acidic touch that repels fleas. Do NOT apply apple cider vinegar directly to your dog’s skin. 

 

  • Flea Prevention Medication

One of the most effective ways to prevent fleas on your dog is by using a flea prevention medication. There are several options available, and your vet can recommend the ones that are a good fit for your dog. Some of these medications kill fleas on contact, while others are designed to break the flea life cycle. The great thing about many flea prevention products is that many of them also help protect your pooch from other pests like ticks, keeping your pup safe from Lyme Disease, and other problems. 

Fighting fleas can quickly become a never-ending battle if you don’t take the proper precautions. Getting your dog on the right form of flea prevention can make all the difference in your pooch’s quality of life, and yours too! 


For more resources and helpful tips about how to care for your pets, check out the rest of our blog! Neater Pets has all of the information you need and great products to help make your pets happy and healthy.
  • Fernando Becattini
How To Find a Good Dog Breeder

How To Find a Good Dog Breeder

When you decide to add a dog to your family pack, you have several options as to where you can find your new canine companion. You can rescue or adopt a dog, you can look at various pet stores, get a pet from someone you know whose dog might have had a litter of puppies, or you can find your potential pooch through a reputable breeder. 

There are many places that are simply puppy mills in disguise, cranking out defenseless pups for the sole purpose of turning a profit. It is important to understand that a good breeder has nothing to do with puppy mills. In fact, a reputable breeder is rarely in the dog-breeding business to make money; she does it because she loves it and truly cares for the animals that she breeds.

Therefore, if you decide to find your pup through a breeder, what are you supposed to look for to find the right fit for you? What qualities make a good breeder? Likewise, what are the red flags that signal you to turn and run from certain “breeders?”

puppies at a dog breeder

What Are the Qualities of a Good Breeder?

Knowing what traits distinguish a good breeder from a poor one is critical to making an informed decision. You also need to know where to look. A good starting point is to ask your vet for the names of trusted breeders that she is familiar with and she recommends. You can also search for legitimate breeders through the AKC (American Kennel Club) or UKC (United Kennel Club), or your friends and family members could have suggestions based on breeders that they have used in the past.

No matter where you find your breeder, before you proceed with any transaction, it’s critical to assess the breeder’s qualifications. 

Here are some positive traits of a good breeder:

  • A good breeder has no problem with you visiting where she keeps her dogs. In fact, she should even insist on showing you the dogs’ environment. Her dogs should have adequate access to food and water, engaging toys, and ample space to exercise and play.
  • A good breeder is open and honest about any and all issues concerning her animals, including health concerns, pedigree, and any other relevant information. She will have all of the necessary paperwork available and at the ready. 
  • A good breeder will be updated on all of her dog’s vaccines and provide you with a shot schedule. 
  • A good breeder will screen her dogs for a number of health issues including hip dysplasia and other conditions that are prevalent in the specific breed. 
  • A good breeder will provide you with a list of references.
  • A good breeder will hold her puppies for at least 6 to 8 weeks, and in many cases, will keep the puppies for even longer. She understands that the most important thing in the whole process is the health of the dog, and she is in no rush to get your money. 
  • A good breeder isn’t in it for the money, and it’s very likely that dog breeding is not her main profession. Therefore, it is common for a breeder to have another job or a different source of income. 
  • A good breeder is willing to sign a contract with you that states she has been upfront with all information. She will also offer her services to you throughout the course of your pup’s lifetime, being on hand to answer any questions that come up over the following years. 
  • A good breeder will also ask that you sign a contract that states you will properly care for the pup, and if anything does not work out, you will return the dog to the breeder. 
  • A good breeder might have dogs of her own that she shows regularly. 

In addition to these qualities, you should also determine how you feel about a particular breeder. You most likely will have a gut instinct or reaction to someone. If it feels right and the breeder checks all of the boxes, then you most likely found a great match. If something feels off, whether the breeder possesses the right qualities or not is a moot point; it’s time to look elsewhere if your heart isn’t in it. 

Another essential quality of a good breeder is that she will always be willing to answer all of your questions, and you should be prepared to ask her a lot. But, a good breeder will also ask you many questions to assess whether or not you are a good candidate for dog ownership, especially owning one of her dogs. 

puppies at a dog breeder looking down

What Questions Should a Good Breeder Ask a Potential Dog Owner?

 A reputable breeder has her dogs’ best interests at heart. If a breeder does not believe that you are the right owner for one of her pups, then she can decline to do business with you. If a breeder jumps at the chance to sell you a pup without asking you any questions, this is a big red flag. 

Here are some of the questions a reputable breeder should ask you before selling you a dog:

  • Why do you want a dog? Why this particular breed?
  • Do you have any dogs right now? (If you do, the breeder should ask you for your vet’s info so she can do a reference call).
  • Where will the dog live? Have you made sure that you can have dogs in your current living situation? Have you taken the proper precautions to puppy-proof your home?
  • Do you have time to properly care for your dog? What is your schedule like?
  • Will you take care of the dog by yourself or are there others, like a spouse or family member, that will share in the pup’s care?
  • Are all members of your household on board with getting a new dog? Have you set clear parameters about what the dog can and cannot do?
  • Will you train and groom the dog yourself or use professionals? If you plan to use professionals, do you have the budget necessary to handle it?
  • Do you plan to show the dog? If not, the breeder will likely include a section in your contract that you agree to have the dog spayed or neutered. 

new born puppies at a dog breeder

Red Flags To Look for in a Dog Breeder

Here are some big red flags that signal a breeder is not all that she seems, and you should continue your search:


  • Something doesn’t feel right, and your gut reaction is to walk away.
  • The breeder doesn’t ask you any questions.
  • The breeder is evasive or vague when she answers your questions.
  • The breeder makes all of her income from dog breeding.
  • The breeder tries to sell you other supplies like designer dog beds, special foods, or supplements. Basically, you get the feeling that she is only in it for the money. A good breeder should focus solely on her animals. You can find all of the pet supplies you need, like dog bowls and other useful items through companies like Neater Pets!
  • The breeder works with multiple breeds of dogs. (Most good breeders will concentrate their efforts on one or maybe two breeds at the most).
  • The breeder refuses to provide you with any references. 
  • The breeder refuses to show you where her dogs are kept (or if she does, it’s unsanitary or inadequate). 
  • The breeder cannot supply you with the proper paperwork for your dog. 

If you notice any of these red flags, it is best to walk away. If you feel a breeder is unethical or running a puppy mill, you can file a report with the Humane Society. Ultimately, it’s all about the safety and well-being of the dogs.  For even more helpful tips to prepare you for dog ownership, make sure to check out the rest of our blog! Once you find a good dog breeder, you can be confident that she will be by your side to answer your questions as you try to be the best pup parent that you can be.
  • Fernando Becattini
Why Australian Shepherds Are the Best Family Dogs

Why Australian Shepherds Are the Best Family Dogs

There’s something extra special about bringing home a new dog, especially if you have kids that are eager to have a furry friend and playmate. However, if you do plan to add a dog to your family, there are always things you want to consider when you make your decision. Of course, one of the biggest deciding factors is how well your new potential pooch is with kids. 

When it comes to Australian Shepherds, or Aussies as they are sometimes casually called, you likely can find a good match for your family. These pups are loyal and love to play, and this breed can make a great mate for older kids. If you have young children, it’s worth noting that this herding dog does have a tendency to let his natural instincts come out, and won’t hesitate to try and herd you kids by nipping at their heels. 

All that being said, when it comes down to purchasing or adopting a dog, the best way to ensure you’ve found the one is to meet the actual pup that you will bring home. Every dog is unique with his own distinct personality, and the breed is only a broad suggestion of how a particular pooch will behave with children. 

 Australian Shepherds with blue eyes

The Australian Shepherd: Family Dog and Companion

Australian Shepherds can be fantastic with kids, especially older kids, and there are many qualities that back up this statement. Still, as with many breeds, the more your Aussie is around kids, the better behaved he will be with children. It’s also important to address training and socialization early on to make sure your dog is comfortable and familiar with his environment and understands exactly what is expected of him. 

If you’re thinking about adding an Australian Shepherd to your family, this pup can make a great member of your pack. Here are 6 reasons why an Australian Shepherd can be the best family dog:

  • An Australian Shepherd is very loyal to his family. 
  • An Australian Shepherd loves to play and will make an excellent playmate for your kids, keeping up with them no matter how active they might be.
  • An Australian Shepherd is very affectionate.
  • An Australian Shepherd will look after your kids as members of the pack, letting their natural herding instincts kick into action.
  • An Australian Shepherd is very intelligent and eager to please, making training a great way to bond and get your kids involved in the process.
  • An Australian Shepherd is very tolerant, which is always a plus with curious kids.

 puppy Australian Shepherds in field

Getting To Know the Australian Shepherd

An Aussie might have the temperament that’s right for a home with kids, but what about other important factors like size and exercise needs? It’s critical to look at the big picture with any dog that you are thinking about bringing home to your family. 

For example, if your family tends to be laid-back and isn’t into doing a lot of physical activity, no matter how sweet an Aussie is, he won’t be a good match for you. This pup needs a lot of exercises or he can get pretty mischievous, so it’s always a good idea to look at every angle of your new potential pooch. 

When you know the basics of the breed you are considering, you help safeguard you and your family from unexpected (and unpleasant) surprises down the road. 

Here are some good-to-know facts about the energetic and sweet Australian Shepherd:

SIZE

The Australian Shepherd stands roughly 18 to 23 inches tall and weighs between 40 and 65 pounds. As is common with most breeds, the females tend to be on the smaller end of these scales, so if you don’t want a very large breed you might want to opt for a female, although it is no guarantee that you’ll get a smaller pooch.

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

When trying to decide if you want to adopt a younger or older dog, it always helps to know the average lifespan of the breed. An Aussie lives to be between 12 and 15 years old, which meshes well if your kids are already around 4 or 5 years old.

 

GROOMING NEEDS

This breed is pretty easy to take care of when it comes to grooming, needing only an occasional bath and regular brushings to get rid of loose hair. Of course, Aussies also love to spend a lot of time playing outdoors, so how many baths your pup needs will depend on how messy he gets during his playtimes. You also need to stay on top of regular dental care and nail trims and be prepared to brush your pup more frequently during the shedding season.

 

HEALTH ISSUES

Overall, Australian Shepherds are healthy pups, and reputable breeders will screen their dogs for a number of issues including hip dysplasia, cataracts, and certain cancers. The National Breed Club recommends several exams and tests for this breed including hip, elbow, and eye evaluations. For more information regarding this breed’s health, you can check out the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

The Australian Shepherd needs an extreme amount of daily exercise, and ideally, would love a home with a large fenced-in yard that allows him to run and play frequently. This pup also enjoys accompanying his family on long hikes and any opportunity to work, like agility training, herding livestock (or your kids), or any number of other creative canine activities.

Use a leash early on to train your pup to stay by your side on walks and jogs, and provide him with a variety of interactive toys like the Rolly Cannoli to keep him occupied when you are not at home. The Aussie needs to be properly stimulated and have ample opportunities to be active or else he becomes unruly and can be hard to handle. 

 

TRAINING

An Aussie is extremely smart and keen, and he needs to be thoroughly trained from very early in his life. Many of the times an Australian Shepherd ends up in a shelter or rescue situation, it is usually because his owner had trouble handling him due to improper training and socialization. However, if you put in the time and effort early on, then this pup can be a fantastic companion to you and your children. You can also teach him fun tricks that will help to keep him engaged as well as provide a wonderful way to bond. 

 baby Australian Shepherds

Australian Shepherds and Kids

An Australian Shepherd can be a wonderful addition to your family unit, but it is of utmost importance that you are prepared to commit to the rigorous training program that will be needed. Make sure your kids understand how to interact appropriately with a dog, and also set clear expectations for your pup about how he must behave. It is also key to always follow through and be consistent. As with any breed, supervise young children with your pup and correct any issues as soon as they occur. 

Do you think you’re ready to bring an Australian Shepherd home with you? A great starting place is petfinder.com; you can find pups that meet specific sets of criteria from all over the country. If you think rescuing an Aussie is something you would be interested in, you can check out the National Australian Shepherd Rescue Groups to find a pup that is right for you. Check out the rest of our blogs for more helpful information and advice that can help you with your pets. The Neater Pets family wants you to have everything you need to be all that you can be for your furry friends.
  • Fernando Becattini
Why German Shepherds Are the Best Family Dog

Why German Shepherds Are the Best Family Dog

When you're a dog lover, no matter how many things or people fill your home, it never quite feels complete without a fluffy pup or two running around. If your family has decided to add a dog into the mix, it can be a huge choice to make. There are a bunch of different considerations that need to be addressed when you're going to get a pooch, especially if you have children.

Of course, every dog is different but there are still breeds that are considered to be a better fit for homes with kids. On the other hand, you also have breeds that are known to be a bit more unpredictable, which is why they can be found on what's known as the insurance blacklist. This is a list of breeds that insurance companies consider red flags, and if you own a dog that falls on the list it could potentially affect your premium or even have your coverage denied in certain situations. 

German Shepherds are one of a handful of breeds that appear on this list, but this doesn't mean this pup can't make a good family dog. It just means that if you’re thinking about getting a German Shepherd, there are some extra factors to consider and some additional steps you will need to take before you purchase or adopt a dog to make sure you get a pup that is the perfect fit for you and your family. 

german shepherd on a leash

The German Shepherd: Family Dog Material?

You never want to assume a negative trait of a breed occurs in an individual dog, because you could miss out on the perfect pooch! It’s always best to get to know the actual pup that you plan to bring home.  Here are four reasons why a German Shepherd can be the best family dog:

  • A German Shepherd is very intelligent, and he can be taught a number of fun tricks that will delight your children.
  • A German Shepherd is loyal and will bond well with the family children if started at an early age.
  • A German Shepherd has a lot of stamina and energy, making him a great playmate for active kids. 
  • A German Shepherd is protective of his family and will watch out for your kids, but it’s important to use caution with other children.

german shepherd laying down

Getting To Know the German Shepherd

A German Shepherd can make a fabulous addition to the family, but there are certain precautions to consider first. For one thing, with this breed, it appears best to get a young pup that can grow up with the children, and early socialization and training are paramount. In addition to these important points, it’s always a good idea to get to know the basic information about any breed that you plan to add to your family dynamic. For example, if you want a small dog, a German Shepherd isn’t the best choice, no matter how adorable and small he is as a puppy. 

Here are some good-to-know facts about the noble and smart German Shepherd:

SIZE

The German Shepherd can grow to be between 22 and 26 inches tall and roughly between 50 up to a whopping 90 pounds, making him a definite member of the large breed club! In other words, this is not a pooch who will stay small. It’s important to consider the combination of this dog’s size with his high-energy level, as he can easily overcome your kids when they are playing; which is why proper training is so critical. 

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

A German Shepherd has a relatively low lifespan compared to other dogs, averaging 7 to 10 years. Although you might be on the fence about whether to adopt a younger or older dog, it’s important to weigh all of the different pros and cons of getting a puppy. While you can raise the pup with your kids, it comes with the price of having your child’s best furry pal likely pass on when your kids are still young. 

GROOMING NEEDS

This dog regularly sheds but a lot of the hair sticks in his double-coat, so regular brushings will help get rid of the loose hairs and prevent them from accumulating on your furniture and clothing. Besides his regular brushings, this pooch only needs an occasional bath, regular nail trims, and proper dental care. 

 

HEALTH ISSUES

Most German Shepherds are relatively healthy, especially when you get your pups from reputable breeders that screen their breeding stock for a number of health conditions like hip dysplasia and various eye issues. Like other large breeds, German Shepherds are susceptible to bloat, which can be a potentially life-threatening condition, so it’s always important to arm yourself with the proper knowledge you need to keep your pal healthy and happy.

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

A German Shepherd requires extensive exercise and ample opportunities to engage in physical activity. If this pup doesn’t get enough chances to run and blow off steam, as well as exercise his mental and cognitive muscles, he is likely to develop some unpleasant behaviors. No matter how well-trained your dog is, remember to always keep him on a leash in public settings and look into a variety of different activities that can keep him properly stimulated. 

Shepherds do well with various events like agility training, tracking exercises, and other canine competitions. Depending on your pup, swimming could be another potential activity, but it is one that needs to be taught; German Shepherds aren’t necessarily natural-born swimmers. 

It’s also important to provide your pup with interesting things to do when you’re not at home, like giving him interactive toys like the Rolly Cannoli or treat puzzles. Giving your German Shepherd things to entertain and intrigue him will keep him satisfied and out of trouble.  

 

TRAINING

A German Shepherd needs to be properly socialized from a very young age and it’s imperative to start a training routine with your dog as soon as possible. Enrolling your pup in puppy classes and obedience training is key to developing a well-mannered and patient pooch. Luckily, this breed is extremely eager to please and very trainable, and you will find that training your pup can be a wonderful bonding experience. You can even teach your dog a number of fun tricks that can make him the star of any show (or at least with your kids). 

german shepherd playing with frisbee

German Shepherds and Kids

While it's always important to make sure that both your children and your new pup understand how to interact with each other, German Shepherds require extra preparation. Make sure to lay the ground rules with your family before your dog moves in, and make sure to start a training program with your pup as soon as you bring him home. Of course, always supervise your children when they are playing with any dog, and make sure all of your kids understand basic rules like avoiding dogs that appear sick, agitated, or injured, or not making contact with dogs who are eating. 

A German Shepherd can make a great family dog if you take the time to integrate him into your family in the right way. When you’re ready to find the perfect pooch for your clan, petfinder.com is a great place to start. You can also scope out National German Shepherd Rescue Groups if you decide to rescue an animal in need. For more fantastic tips and helpful information that can help you beef up your pet parenting abilities, check out the rest of our blogs! At Neater Pets, we strive to bring you everything you need to know so you can do the very best for your pets!
  • Fernando Becattini
Why Huskies Are the Best Family Dog

Why Huskies Are the Best Family Dog

Are you looking for a good-natured, fun pooch to be the newest member of your family? If you’re a dog lover, then your home probably doesn’t feel complete without a furry housemate galloping around, but if you have kids, you may be hesitant about what kind of dog to bring into the mix. This is understandable since it’s natural for you to want to find a pup that will be an excellent companion and playmate for your children, but also a dog that will be gentle and kind with your kids as well. 

Before you purchase or adopt a dog, it’s always highly advised to set up an in-person meeting with the actual pooch. There are many dog breeds that are known for being extremely lovable and a great fit for homes with children, and there are many that have a reputation of being better off with child-free homes. However, every dog is unique, just like every human, and it’s important to know everything you can about the actual dog you are considering.

husky puppy running

The Husky: Family Dog and Loving Playmate

Huskies are very sociable, loving dogs that love to play and bounce around every chance that they get. Your kids will be absolutely delighted at the Husky’s desire to play and run around all day, but keep in mind that a dog with this much energy needs to be properly stimulated and trained from a very early age. Huskies make wonderful companions, but they can also be a little high-maintenance, so again, always get to know your new potential pup before jumping into anything.

Overall, Huskies make a great choice for a playmate and pet.  Here are 8 reasons why a Husky is the best family dog:

  • A Husky is very sociable and loves to be around all people.
  • A Husky is very loyal and pack-oriented, so he loves being a member of a family.
  • A Husky is even-keeled when it comes to his temperament, and is not known for being aggressive, which makes him a great fit for homes with kids.
  • A Husky loves to play as much as possible.
  • A Husky has a LOT of energy, so he will be eager and willing to run around with your children and be their constant playmate.
  • A Husky is not possessive, but he will look out for your children, after all, they are members of the same pack.
  • A Husky is not a big barker, which could be a good fit for homes with babies and very small children, although this pup does like to howl.
  • A Husky tends to have a pretty predictable temperament, which is always a plus if you have young children in the home. 

two huskies in the snow

Getting To Know the Husky

Obviously, while you want to get to know the actual dog that you plan to add to your family, knowing the basics of the breed is still super helpful. After all, you still need to know things like how big the dog is expected to get when he is fully grown, what kind of grooming a dog requires, and other helpful tidbits such as how easy he is to train (or not) and if he is prone to any particular health conditions. 

Knowing these breed basics can help save you from some unfortunate or inconvenient surprises down the road. For example, you end up with a dog that is twice as big as you were expecting and you don’t have enough space for him in your tiny apartment. 

Here are some good-to-know facts about the lively and sociable Husky:

SIZE

The average height of a Husky is between 20 and 23.5 inches, and the average weight is roughly 35 to 60 pounds. The females are usually smaller, so this is worth considering if you are set on a Husky but don’t want a very large dog; just be prepared though, since there’s always the possibility that your pup falls closer to the higher end of the scale. 

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

A Husky lives an average of 12 to 14 years, making him a good constant companion for your three or four-year-old. This pup could be around with your children until they go off to college, which is always worth considering when you are trying to decide whether to adopt a younger or older dog.

 

GROOMING NEEDS

A Husky as a family pet actually doesn’t require extensive grooming. In fact, for a pup that is considered a bit high-maintenance in terms of the attention that he needs, this doesn’t hold true when it comes to grooming. A Husky will do a pretty good job of keeping himself clean, only needing a few baths a year, and a weekly brushing to take care of loose hair and to help keep his skin and coat in good shape. The Husky has a double coat, and his undercoat sheds about twice a year, so using a pin brush to rake out loose hair is also recommended. Otherwise, keep up with regular nail trims and dental care, and this pup is good to go!

 

HEALTH ISSUES

Overall, Huskies are considered a healthy breed, and reputable breeders should screen their dogs for certain issues like hip dysplasia, as well as eye issues with a full ophthalmologist evaluation to check for a variety of problems including juvenile cataracts. It is recommended that this breed be seen by a canine ophthalmologist on a yearly basis. You can learn more by reading the Offical Breed Club Health Statement.

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

This pooch is a very athletic dog who requires extensive opportunities for exercise and engaging in both physical and mental activities. Huskies were also born to run, so unless you are playing in a large fenced yard, it’s important to keep this pup on a leash when you are out and about. Huskies can tend to have a bit of a mischievous streak, so making sure your dog has ample opportunities for play and to engage in a variety of activities can keep him happy, healthy, and out of trouble. When you are away from home, it’s a good idea to leave some fun, interactive toys like the Rolly Cannoli with your Husky to help keep him entertained, but keep in mind, this pup craves human companionship and doesn’t like to be alone.

 

TRAINING

Like many breeds, Huskies benefit from early training and early, positive socialization. This pup loves his family, but he can also be a bit stubborn. When you mix a Husky’s high energy with his stubborn streak, you can have a recipe for disaster if you don’t start a training program as soon as possible. If you are unsure about what to do on your own, talk with your vet about puppy classes in your area and trainer recommendations. Once you get the basics down with your Husky, you can attempt a few fun tricks on your own and with your kids; this can be a great way to bond with your pooch. 

brown husky smiling in grass

Huskies and Kids

Huskies are incredible dogs for families with children, but it is still important that both your new pup and your kids know how to interact with each other in a positive and appropriate way. Make sure to set clear expectations for both your children and your pup, and always supervise your dog with young kids. When everyone is on the same page, you’ll have an incredible new addition to your pack, a lovable Husky: family dog and faithful friend. 

Ready to find the perfect Husky for your family? A great place to start is petfinder.com, or if you are considering looking into different rescue organizations, you can check out National Husky Rescue Groups and help out a pup in need of a good home. When you’re ready for more great tips and resources that can help you be a great pet parent, make sure to check out the rest of our blogs! We’re always adding new information that can help you learn all you can about your amazing pets!
  • Fernando Becattini
Why Labradors Are the Best Family Dog

Why Labradors Are the Best Family Dog

If you're a dog lover, then your family most likely doesn't feel complete without a canine companion and the pitter-patter of four little paws running about your house. A dog brings something very special into the family dynamic, and if you have children, your pup and your kids can quickly become the best of pals. 

If you have visions of your dog-to-be and your children frolicking together in the backyard and being an inseparable bunch, then you are no doubt paying close attention to which dog breeds are supposed to be a good match for families. While some breeds, like Labradors, are known to be a better fit than others for homes with kids, every pup is different and unique. Therefore, before you purchase or adopt a dog, make sure you get to meet your potential new pooch before making your final decision. 

three black labradors in a field

The Labrador: Family Dog and Ultimate Companion

Labradors are one of the most lovable and playful dog breeds on the planet, and they are known for being exceptionally great with children. Of course, Labs are also extremely energetic and bouncy bundles of fur, which might explain why they make such a perfect match for young kids. These loving dogs are also very faithful and relaxed, but won’t hesitate to stand alert when needed, making them excellent guard dogs. 

While you never want to make assumptions about any dog, you can be pretty confident that adding a Lab to your family is a great choice. Here are 8 reasons why a Labrador is the best family dog:

  • A Labrador is full of energy and vigor, making him the ultimate doggy playmate.
  • A Labrador is very loving and friendly.
  • A Labrador, while active, is also very relaxed, making him very tolerant of young children. 
  • A Labrador is family-oriented and loves being a part of his human pack.
  • A Labrador is loyal to his family, and although not aggressive, will stay on alert like a faithful and devoted guard.
  • A Labrador is very patient and even-tempered. 
  • A Labrador has a high threshold for activity, and can keep up with the most active of children.
  • A Labrador is eager to please and very trainable.

yellow lab puppies playing in a field

Getting To Know the Labrador

When it comes to positive qualities, there’s a long list for the Labrador: family dog, faithful friend, constant companion, devoted guard, and many more. However, no matter how wonderful a pup’s personality is, that isn’t the only thing that you should consider when selecting a dog for your family. You also need to take into account the basic facts about the breed, such as size, grooming requirements, trainability, and health concerns. 

For example, a Lab might be a great companion for your kids, but what if you live in a tiny apartment with no backyard? In this situation, getting your Labrador the exercise he desperately needs might become a bit of a problem. On the other hand, you could find a dog that is the perfect size, but requires extensive grooming that you aren’t prepared to handle. In other words, personality and temperament are not the only considerations when it comes to finding the best dog for your family. 

Knowing the basics about any dog breed is important before you decide to bring a pup into your home. The more you know in the beginning, the less likely you are to be hit with any major surprises down the road. 

Here are some good-to-know facts about the intelligent and exuberant Labrador:

SIZE

The average height of a Lab is between 21.5 and 24.5 inches, and the average weight is roughly 55 to 80 pounds. The males, as is common with most dog breeds, are usually slightly larger than the females.

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

A Labrador lives an average of 10 to 12 years, so keep this in mind when deciding whether to adopt a younger or older dog, especially if your children are still very young. 

 

GROOMING NEEDS

A Labrador doesn’t require extensive grooming, but he does have a thick, double-coat that sheds. This pup just needs an occasional bath, regular nail trims and dental care, and a good once-over with a brush every week to help get rid of loose hair. 

 

HEALTH ISSUES

Overall, Labs are a pretty sturdy breed, and if you get your pup from a reputable breeder, then he’s likely to be screened for a number of different issues like hip dysplasia, heart conditions, eye problems, and muscle weakness. Like other large breeds, Labs are subject to a condition known as bloat, so knowing the facts about these potential issues is always a plus. 

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

A Labrador needs to exercise a lot and he needs to do it every day. If your Lab doesn’t get enough opportunities to engage in appropriate levels of exercise, the result is likely to be a dog that ends up getting into mischief and is rather unruly and hard to handle.  Therefore, one of your main responsibilities is to see that your dog gets adequate exercise, whether it’s snapping on a leash and taking him along on your morning jog, tossing a frisbee at the park or any number of creative activities that you can come up with. Labs also really enjoy swimming and participating in a variety of events like agility training and tracking. 

When you aren’t able to play with your pup, or for times when you’re not at home, provide your Labrador with items that can help keep him stimulated and focused, like the Rolly Cannoli and other interactive toys or treat puzzles. 

 

TRAINING

A Labrador is very intelligent and eager to please his family, but he’s also very energetic, so early training is key to help him focus. It’s also important to provide ample opportunities for socialization by exposing your Lab to a variety of positive people, places, and events so he can become the well-behaved and well-mannered pooch he’s meant to be. You can start with the basics by enrolling him in a puppy obedience class, which is also a great way for him to socialize, and then you can progress to teaching him some fun tricks that are sure to make your kids smile.

a black lab and a yellow lab playing in a yard

Labradors and Kids

Although Labs are known for being great dogs for homes with children, it is still important that both your new pup and your kids understand how to treat each other. Make sure that your children know how to properly interact with a dog and that they are aware of any special rules regarding your new furry family member. Likewise, as soon as you bring your new Lab 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 Labrador to the family, petfinder.com is a great place to start your search. You can also check out National Labrador Rescue Groups if you decide that you want to rescue an animal in need. Don’t miss out on more awesome tips and helpful information that can turn you into the super pet parent that you want to be! Check out the rest of our blogs, and learn all about how you can do the very best for your pets!
  • Fernando Becattini