Top tips for pooch hygiene – even your pooch can be spring cleaned!

t1larg.dog.bath.jpg

If there is one thing we know about dogs, its that they love to get messy. Constant exposure to the elements however can leave a build up of dirt on your beloved canine. Here at PetLondon HQ, we have some great tips on how to keep your pooch clean and healthy, even if they insist on playing in dirt every day!

It is important to wash your dog regularly! Ideally, introduce your dog to bathing from as early an age as possible. We suggest that you bathe your pooch at least once a month using a specialized dog shampoo. If you wish to clean your dog more often than this its recommended that you just use water, as using dog shampoo too often might irritate your dogs skin. To make bath-time less of an ordeal for you and your furry friend, its worth trying to make a positive association for your dog. For example, make sure that bath-time involves lots of their favorite treats and affection. A great tip is to practice letting your dog sit in the empty bathtub for a while, giving them a treat so that they associate being in the tub with treat time! You can then gradually add lukewarm water to ensure it is less of a shock to the system! When bathing your pooch, be sure to keep the ears, eyes and mouth dry, therefore its best to wash from the neck downwards. Ideally, a little cotton wool over the ear canal is perfect for keeping water out, but we understand some pooches absolutely won’t stand for that!

 

Grooming-1024x10241.png

Here at PetLondon HQ we have some great recommendations for safe and effective dog shampoos. For example, one of our personal favorites is the Soothing Oatmeal Shampoo, available on our PetLondon website! Oatmeal based pet products are great for sensitive skin, and help to keep your pooch’s coat lovely and soft. When rinsing the dog shampoo or dog soap out, make sure that all of the product has been washed out. For a pooch with longer hair, perhaps opt for the Detangling Apricot Spray, a perfect product for helping to prevent matting of the hair after bath-time. This spray is great as you need only spray it directly on the knot, and then brush it through. It’s a good idea to also brush through your dog’s long hair before the bath to minimize the tangles.

The location of pooch bath-time is completely up to you. Small breeds can be bathed in sinks or purpose bought tubs, whereas larger breeds can be bathed, weather permitting, outdoors or in the bath. Its always good to use as many towels as you can spare when drying off your soggy hound, preferably one for the floor, one for your dog’s body and another to ensure the face and ears are bone dry. Pay special attention to drying your dog’s feet and paws so avoid any slips! After drying is the time to completely brush through your dog’s hair to avoid tangling, this grooming will also help you to bond with your pooch as it shows how much you care! When drying and grooming your pooch after bath-time, be sure to look out for any ticks or fleas.

Don’t forget the paws! Your pooch’s precious paws need taking care of too! Bath-time can be a great opportunity to carefully clip your dog’s nails. Guillotine clippers tend to work best.

trimming-dogs-nails.jpg

When it comes to pooch hygiene, its not just all about the exterior! Your dog’s dental hygiene needs taking care of too! That’s where we, as devoted owners, have to help our furry friends out! The most important way of looking after your dog’s dental hygiene is to brush their teeth. The ideal doggy toothbrushes are those at a 45-degree angle, and with bristles on both sides to brush smaller and larger tooth surfaces, like our Double-Headed Dog Toothbrush.

In addition to brushing regularly, there are a range of products that can be utilized to maintain great canine dental hygiene. For example, Fresh Breath Drops, available on our website, are a wonderful way to keep your pooch’s breath consistently fresh. Suitable for dogs and cats, simply add three drops to your pet‘s water bowl, they’re also made with natural ingredients!

 

Dental-Care-1024x10241.png

Keeping your pooch clean is all about ensuring that doggy hygiene is part of your routine. Factor in even just an hour a week to give your dog a good pamper session! Bath-time for your pooch may seem like a recipe for disaster, but if you start early and get them used to it, your squeaky clean pooch will thank you in the long run!

Boredom Busters, Ideas to Try at Home to Keep Your Dog Entertained

Make your pooch’s day by creating a fun doggy scavenger hunt!

dog_question-300x225

We understand that it is sometimes difficult to always keep your dog entertained, especially when living in a city! With Easter just around the corner, what better way to entertain your dog than an indoor scavenger hunt? Dogs are natural scavengers, so this fun game creates a challenge and plays on their instincts, allowing them to exercise their canine hunting skills, even when cooped up indoors!

Warm up by having your dog in sit-stay, and show him/her a healthy treat – our Coconut Chia Treats are full of chia seed goodness and work perfectly. Place the treat behind a chair and say ‘Find the treat’, or something similar and let your dog search for and retrieve their treat. Repeat as many times as necessary until your pooch gets the hang of it.

IMG_6547.PNG

Once your dog has grasped the game, pretend to hide treats all around the room, but in fact only hide one or two. Keep it simple for the first few times. After a while you can make things more advanced by hiding the treats in empty boxes or wrapping them in a doggy blanket to mask the smell. Empty herbal tea boxes or toilet rolls work well for this. As well as providing entertainment on a rainy day, this indoor scavenger hunt allows you to practice your commands with your furry friend. Add an extra level of fun to the game by incorporating some toys! Filling one of our Mojo Flavoured Treat Balls with a tasty treat and hiding it will create even more of a challenge once your dog sniffs it out! The oblong shape of the toy creates a random and unpredictable bounce that is sure to keep your pooch entertained for hours, with the added bonus of cleaning their teeth and maintaining their dental hygiene!

Simply begin the game with your chosen command and let your dog scour the room for the prizes. Be sure to praise your happy pooch when they find them! Happy scavenging!

 

 

Peaceful Living

dog-312375_960_720

It’s a nice warm, sunny, breezy Saturday in England. You’re enjoying the relaxing weekend. No stress. No worries. Not a care in the world. Your pups are around the yard playing with toys and enjoying nature. You’re planning on having company soon. They should be arriving any time now.

**A car pulls into your drive**

BARK. BARK. BARK. BARK. BARK.

‘There they go again’ you say. The dogs go hysterical. They won’t stop barking. It’s almost ear piercing. Company has arrived. So what do you do? You try telling them to be quiet. So the dogs begin barking even louder. And so the games begin. BARK. Be quiet. BARK. Be quiet. BARK. The dogs win.

Adam, our in-house animal-behaviour consultant says dogs just want something to talk about. When your dog barks and you tell them to be quiet in a raised voice, they really think you’re barking with them and so they’ll bark even louder.

Quick fixes:

  1. Simply put, don’t communicate back in a raised voice.
  2. Gently say “quiet”. He will understand that you’ve heard him, and that will stop the barking.
  3. Try to distract the dog with a favorite toy to take their attention away from the fact that someone is arriving.

What are your tips and tricks? We’d love to learn more about our furry friends. Comment below.

Putting Away Toys

We have all had the feeling when cleaning up a room strewn with toys, wouldn’t it be nice if Fido could keep his own toys tidy. Well that is not impossible! Have a go with these training tips and see if you can have your dog put his/her own toys away when requested.

IMG_2159.JPG

  1. Give your dog a toy and encourage him to hold it in his/her mouth with the cue “Take It” As soon as they have it, click the clicker and verbally praise them.
  2. Bring the toy box right next to you
  3. Call the dog over to you, so that if he/she released the toy in their mouth it will drop straight into the toy bucket. Praise them for coming over to you when called
  4. Repeat the steps above a few times and then ask them to “Leave It” or “Release”as they are standing over the toy box
  5. Gradually replace the two cues “Take It” and “Leave It” with one cue “Toys Away”
  6. Gradually build up the number of toys being used at one time

images

Adamals Top Tip: remember It will take lots of patience and practise, this is not something to be mastered in a day!

Learning to “Speak”

It may not seem like the most obvious command you would want to teach your pet. However, being able to “Speak” on cue is one of the most commonly requested skills that PetLondon Models are asked to perform on film sets.

speak-logo_546

When dealing with a dog, by the term “Speak” this would mean a Bark, Whine or Howl that you could ask him or her to do at a given moment. You can imagine the uses for this in for example a television commercial or a feature film.

In this short article we are going to give you the basics if you would like to give this a try at home. Please remember that as with all new skills, it takes plenty of patience and practise before it will be perfect.

dog-open-mouth

  1. Find what cue it is that makes your own dog bark at you. It may be that its a knock on the door, a phone ringing, holding their favourite toy in front of them etc.
  2. Reward and click the clicker when they bark
  3. If the cue is something not portable then find a way to mimic the cue. An example here, would be, if its a knock at the door, knock on a table or book, something that can easily be done anywhere…
  4. Every time he/she does bark when this cue happens reward your dog both verbally with praise and excitement and depending on your animals age and dietary requirements then with a treat (beware of overfeeding and use healthy snacks in moderation). You can also simultaneously use a clicker and click each time it happens just before the reward is given
  5. Repeat the cue-and reward for a bark-at least 20 times
  6. Say to your dog the word “Speak” every time, just as the cue is happening and just before they start to bark
  7. Do not click or treat for any barking other than in response to the cue
  8. If barking occurs at other times or in error, turn your body away and ignore the dog to make it clear this type of barking will not be rewarded

Its as simple as that! Happy Practising

The Basics: Teaching your dog to sit

Teaching your dog to sit is one of the first commands they should learn, it shouldn’t be too tricky and will help you build a foundation of good behaviour and control (which means you can get onto some of the more exciting advanced tricks and activities with your pup!).

We have two easy methods you can try to teach your dog, play around with both and find out which option works for you. With both of them remember to use the tone of your voice to teach. When your dog is sitting properly praise them in a high pitch tone. When your dog moves from position use a growling tone of voice to say ‘acck!’ and put them back into a sit.

Method 1

With your dog near to you, show them a yummy treat and hold it just above your their nose. Do keep it above the head so they have to reach up to sniff it.

As you hold it up, say the command ‘sit’, as they look up at it they should naturally get into the sit position.

When your dog sits, remember to praise them lots and give them the treat. This will reinforce the ‘sit’ command.

sit_poppy_blog

 

Method 2

If your dog gets too overexcited and doesn’t respond well to seeing the treat, put it in your pocket and try to shape your dogs sit.

Put one hand on your puppy’s chest (the bit where the chest and neck meet).

Say the sit command while you gently guide their chest slightly up and back. At the same time, let the other hand slide down your dog’s back tucking their hips down and under as you do so.

Again when your dog sits, remember to give them lots of praise and you can offer them the treat.

poppy_treat_2

 

Good luck, and happy training!