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We are approaching the holiday season and it is always a fun challenge to find the right gift for our furry buddies. They are small and furry members of our family. When it comes to holidays and gift giving, purchasing dog gifts is a natural part of the shopping plan. Dogs can get bored just as easily as children do and they can take out their boredom in destructive ways such as chewing, scratching or digging. Give your smallest family member a new treat now and then to spark their interest and liven their day. You'll have a happy pet that won't act out as often.

Chewy Things
Every dog loves to gnaw on things, so it's a good idea to provide your dog with a variety of chewy objects with which he can spend his day. Rawhide chew bones are a popular choice, but larger dogs can go through them quickly, eating them like beef jerky. Some commercial pet supply companies make almost indestructible chew toys that dogs love to chase and gnaw on, making them a great choice for larger pets who like to lay in the shade and chew away the afternoon. Try giving your dog a thick knotted rope with fringe on the ends. Not only will he have a great chew toy, you'll also have the means for a great game of tug-of-war indoors and out.

Things to Throw
Dogs love to chase anything we throw for them, and many will go on chasing thrown objects for hours if you have the energy to keep throwing. Treat your dog to a collection of tough balls for him to chase. Make sure they're safe for animals and made of a material that doesn't easily break into pieces. For a more talented dog, buy a special dog throwing disk. While many dogs are a whiz at catching any Frisbee ever thrown, there are special types of disks made just for dogs that have a softer edge that is easier on the mouth. For hunting dogs, try one of the newer "stuffed" animals with no stuffing. These rabbits, ducks and other small animals look very realistic, but don't have the stuffing inside that many dogs are prone to spread all over the house.

Comfortable Things
While dogs can survive sleeping on the ground and eating out of a metal bowl on the floor, it's the little extra touches you give them that lets your pets know they are loved. Give your dog a special dog bed filled with cedar chips to repel fleas and covered in a soft, fleecy fabric. He'll cuddle up on the cushion every night and never give a thought to jumping on your bed ever again. If you have a larger dog, consider buying food and water dishes that come on a stand. Older dogs will especially appreciate this gesture, as they may have arthritic joints and have a hard time bending down to the floor to get their food and water. Find a soft fleece blanket and designate it as the dog's blanket. Like small children, many dogs get attached to a soft and small blanket, dragging it around the house and always making sure it's close by at night.

Your dog may just be a pet to the outside world, but he's a member of the family to you and your loved ones. Show him how you feel by treating him to a gift on holidays and special occasions.

Special Dog Gifts for Dog Lovers

It can be an  horrible sight a Seeing blood in dog urine, to say the least. The first thought that comes to mind is what's wrong with my dog? Is my dog going to die? Well, if you take proper and fast action, things can look a little better. Conditions that cause blood in dog urine are as follows:

In older male dogs, a prostate gland can cause blood in dog urine due to an infection of the prostate or prostate cancer. An infection of the uterus in females especially if she recently whelped a litter of puppies. Also, Kidney disease or canine renal disease, and urinary tract infection coupled with a bladder infection and or bladder stones.

The possibility exists that your dog might have gotten into a fight with another dog and was slammed to the ground causing internal injuries and internal bleeding. This can be a very serious matter in that internal organs might have been damaged. Or, he might have been hit by a vehicle. Get your dog to the vet immediately.

Your dog could have gotten into the garbage and swallowed something sharp like a chicken bone that punctured his stomach. In this case, the blood in dog urine is darker due to the digestive juices in the dog's stomach. And blood might be seen in his stool that is pitch black due to internal injury. The reason it is black is that it came from the stomach and was digested.

Accidental poisoning might have occurred when your dog got into the rodent poison the exterminator put down for rodent control. These rodent poisons are designed to cause internal bleeding and death to mice and rats.

Obviously, blood in dog urine has to be taken seriously, so get your dog to the vet immediately for an examination to see what's causing the blood. Once this is determined and treated, you can take steps to keep your dog healthy all year round especially if what he had was a urinary tract infection or bladder infection. The other causes for the blood in dog urine are really accidents.

When treated for whatever he had and is now well, you may want to change his diet to a more natural organic based diet which dogs have eaten in the wild for hundreds of years and start giving him natural remedies to improve and protect his urinary tract system health so that it can heal from within.

Specially compounded alternative treatments support the entire urinary tract system so infections are kept at bay. It has been documented that once a dog has had an infection or urinary problem the odds of it happening again are much greater so prevention should be what you strive for.

Let me just touch on the fact that the use of antibiotics as a treatment for infection carries with it some dangerous side effects, so do your homework and consider natural treatment that is safe and effective as preached by homeopathic vets.

Antibiotics are oftentimes needed for infections especially if there is blood in dog urine, but for all-around health and internal support, nothing beats the nutritional value of high-quality food and supplements, in addition, to exercise to help prevent problems from the start.

Causes and Treatment OF Blood in Dog Urine

The Labrador, who was a service dog for President George HW Bush, has been pictured resting next to his coffin, in an impressive tribute.

Mr Bush, who served as the 41st president of the United States between 1989 and 1993, died Friday at the age of 94. Sully the dog travels with the coffin on the trip from Texas to Washington and returns this week. The body is due to lie in the state this week before a day of national mourning.

The coffin is being flown from Texas to DC on board Air Force One - temporarily renamed Special Air Mission 41, in homage to the late president, and then returned on Wednesday, with Sully accompanying the body all the time.

Sully is named after the airline pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who landed a passenger plane on the Hudson River in 2009, saving all the 155 passengers and crew on board.

The dog was assigned earlier this year as a service dog to Mr. Bush who used a wheelchair in his later years.

A highly trained dog, Sully can perform a number of commands, such as opening doors and fetching items like the phone when it rings. Sully will now serve as a service dog, assisting with therapy for wounded soldiers.

The dog has his own Instagram account; here he is shown "assisting with voting" as Mr Bush cast his ballot in last month's US presidential mid-term election.

Not all Presidents of the United States were fond of dogs; although John F. Kennedy was allergic to dogs and Donald Trump does not have any.

President Bush has been receiving treatment for a form of Parkinson's disease and was admitted to a hospital with a blood infection in April. He died in Houston, Texas.

He will be buried in the Texas Presidential Library, beside his wife of more than 70 years, Barbara Bush, who died seven months ago.

George HW Bush's service dog Sully pays touching last tribute

Buy vet fees cover for your dog: Having your dog covered for any eventuality is very important. We all know how expensive vet fees are these days and if your dog ever needs any treatment (which they will do when they are young) or operation having cover will make the experience a lot less stressful.

Always be the pack leader: The best advice any new dog owner can receive is always be the pack leader. Sure your new puppy or dog looks really cute and all you want to do when you first get him home is cuddle and love him to death but you have to remember dogs are pack animals and need a leader and guess what? You have got it in one. You, my friend, will have to be the pack leader for your new dog because if you are not you are storing up a lot of future problems for yourself and your dog. Not to mention any visitors you get to your home. Always start as you mean to go on.

Socialize you puppy or dog: Always make sure you socialize you dog properly. This has to be one of the first steps in dog training because if this is not done then all the other training you do will suffer as a result. Just think about it for a second, if your dog is not socialized properly he can behave very unpredictably. A well socialized dog will remain calm when faced with unpredictable conditions. Socializing is about letting your dog know what is and what is not acceptable in the world. Being aggressive to humans or other dogs is one area that socializing will teach them is not acceptable.

Book your new dog or puppy into a training class: It is always advisable to book your dog into a proper training class as this will lay the foundation for the rest of your dog's training all through his life. It also has the advantage of socializing your dog with other dogs as well. There are many dog training schools out there so all you need to do find one you are comfortable with.

Use high-quality dog food: The two biggest problems dog owners face are health problems and behavioral issues. By looking after your dog's health by feeding high-quality dog food with all the necessary nutrients your dog needs to remain in tip top condition you will be keeping your dog's physical and mental health in good condition. This in turn will help minimize both of these problems.

Important Tips for New Dog Owners

Taking selfies of your puppy can be a very fun hobby you can engage it that would surely prove very useful in the end since it will allow you to preserve and share the special moments and memories that you have with your furry friend. Just try to imagine the joy you will feel when the time comes that you already have a large number of your puppy pictures and you have already compiled it as a whole album that is dedicated exclusively for your dog. Taking a selfie with a dog requires skillful multi-tasking; a lot can go wrong so the following are some quick and easy tips that can help you take some quality selfies of your dogs.

1.  Go to your dog. Never force your pal to come to you, just go to him. In other words, get down on your dog's level where you can look upon it straight to the eyes. By doing this, you can get a glimpse of what life looks like from your dog's perspective.

2. Bring it outside. It is better to take dog pictures outside instead in studio-like settings. Why? Dogs tend to feel more relaxed when they are free to move around.

3. Capture your dog’s personality. Brilliant dog photography can effectively portray a dog's personality in the photograph. You can start by capturing your pal's natural pose or its own version of a smile. Always think about what type of personality your dog has and try to capture that in your shots.

4. Use natural lighting. Lighting can make or break a photograph. Therefore it is ideal to always use natural light when taking pictures of your pet. However, avoid direct sunlight as it can affect natural coloring. Avoid using flash as it cannot only cause red-eye but can terrify the dog as well. Instead, try to go outside whenever possible.

5. Let your dog be comfortable with the camera. How can you exactly do this? First, let your dog have a good sniff of the camera, then you may start to casually shoot the surroundings. The idea is to let your dog be used to the camera so that it will act as natural and relaxed as possible.

6. Attempt to capture dynamism. Pets are active and always on the move. However, this must not discourage you from taking good dog pictures. Instead, use this as inspiration. Wouldn't it be great to be able to freeze your dog's action through using a fast shutter speed? Once you already got your shutter speed, be ready and anticipate your dog's actions. You'll be surprised at how wonderful it is to capture your pet's dynamism.

7. Focus on your dog's eyes. It is essential to give your photograph a strong impression. Dogs have impressive eyes that vary in color and pattern. Also, an up-close photo is a great way to bring out your pet's best features.

8. Experiment with angles and shots. Do not stick to boring conventional ways of taking pictures. Explore different angles, methods, and compositions. Don't be bound by any rules as there are no rules in brilliant photography.

9. Have a simple background. The key secret to any good photography is simplicity. It is ideal to have backgrounds that only have a maximum of two colors. Simple backgrounds, like green trees or white sand beach, will make your dog stand out. Pay close attention to color, as well. Pick colors that are clean and contrast to the subject.

10. Be Patient and have fun! Pet photography definitely demands patience - tons of it. Remember, if you are not patient enough, you can miss the opportunity to get a great shot. Have fun with your dog while doing it. And you'll see great photos of your dog just loving life.

10 Tips on How to Take the Best Dog Selfie

Crate training is a very polarizing issue, some people believe it's the best thing for the entire family, including the dog. Others believe that crating your dog is cruel and ineffective. There are absolutely instances where it is done improperly and becomes inhumane, but when done correctly it is an amazing tool, providing your dog with a safe environment that he or she will come to love.

Crate training, when done correctly, is not only humane but can even be enjoyable for your dog. One of the top mistakes people make is putting the dog in the crate just to get it out of their way, the crate is not meant for that. The crate is not designed for leaving the dog all day long and only giving it attention when it is convenient for you. The crate should absolutely be used for those times when you can not watch your puppy, but care should be taken not to use it too much.

With correct use, you will find there are many benefits to crate training. Top of the list, of course, is potty training. You can effectively teach a puppy not to use the house as its bathroom by using crate training judiciously. Utilizing the crate will also prevent your dog from getting into trouble when you are away, either by destroying things that will leave their families unhappy or getting into things that could harm or even kill them. It also directly benefits your dog by giving him his very own safe place to go to for comfort.

Dogs are descendants of wolves and, like wolves, are "den" animals. The den makes them feel safe, confident, secure and comfortable. Proper use of the crate creates that "den" for them and they will actually be happy to go to it when sent there. It also creates a place your dog knows he can go to for safety when he is uncomfortable or scared. Properly done, crate training will teach your dog that the crate is also his safe zone and when frightened or upset, your dog will go to it for comfort.

Crate training can also establish important boundaries for your dog. You should never use a crate to "punish" your dog for bad behavior, but you can show a dog what its boundaries are, to promote good behavior. Crating your dog when you are not home teaches them where they belong anytime you leave the house. They will become so comfortable with the crate and the known expectation, that they may even go to it on their own when you are away, and stay in it on their own even if the door is not locked.

The community of dog owners remains divided on whether or not crate training is a good thing; however, the facts show that when used correctly, crate training can be very effective and humane. Your guiding points should be: 1) purchase the best quality crate possible, 2) it should be neither too large nor too small, and 3) never overuse the crate inappropriately. You'll find that when you use crate training only when appropriate and necessary, the result will be a well-trained puppy or dog with a happy owner!

Why You Need to Crate Train Your Dog

Many dog owners grow weary of their dog's breath but they may not realize that bad breath could be a sign of a more significant dental problem. In order to maintain your dog's oral health, regular brushings and veterinary visits are critical. Indeed, brushing your dog's teeth is about more than just fresh breath; gum disease is an increasingly common condition in dogs that is easily preventable with regular brushing. So how do you brush your dog's teeth?

Preferably, you want to brush your dog's teeth daily. Unfortunately, this often seems like a difficult task for dog owners so most veterinarians recommend brushing at least 3-5 times per week. But if you have not been brushing your pooch’s teeth at all, any brushing will be beneficial but you should try to make it a regular activity.

Before you try to brush your dog's teeth, you'll need a few tools. You may either use a toothbrush specially designed for dogs, a small finger brush, or other specialized tools. choose the product that you feel comfortable using. You will also need a special toothpaste that is formulated for dogs and is available in a variety of flavors. All of these products can be purchased from your veterinarian or some pet stores. Do not use toothpaste designed for humans as dogs are likely to swallow the product during brushing and this may result in gastrointestinal problems.

How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth
Your dog may initially be uncomfortable with having his teeth brushed so take your time. Introduce the toothbrush and toothpaste gradually so your dog becomes familiar with them. Also, in the early stages, reward your dog with a treat after brushing so he learns to associate brushing with positive experiences. You may consider trying different tools (dog toothbrush vs. a finger brush) until you find one that your dog will accept.

When you're ready to brush your dog's teeth, follow these steps:
1.  Put some toothpaste on the toothbrush. Place your free hand on top of your dog's snout and gently lift his lips. Brush the exposed teeth and gums, gradually lifting his lips to reveal more teeth that can be brushed. You may want to brush for only a short period at first, and then gradually brushing for longer periods as your dog is more comfortable with the procedure.

2.  Next, gently open your dog's mouth by holding your free hand over the top of his snout. You'll carefully pull his mouth open so you can brush his lower teeth. You should carefully brush both the outer and inner surfaces of his teeth.

3.  If your dog struggles during brushing, take a break. Always reward your dog for appropriate behavior during brushing so he will grow to tolerate (if not enjoy) the activity.
If you're having difficulty brushing your dog's teeth, consider making an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she will be able to demonstrate the proper brushing technique and can help your dog obtain good dental hygiene.

Tips for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

During winter it is a good idea to take extra care to your outdoor pets. Basically we may say that they do not need water since is chill but that not true therefore pets should have water regularly. Having a thermostatically heated bowl of water which is controlled to certain temperatures during winter is a good idea.

During winter, maybe the dogs may tend to resist but the fact is that the floor tend to be cold and therefore you should take initiations and make sure that your dog stay comfortable out there. Try to get your pet a raised bed or make their sty an elevated one.

Another method of protecting your pets from winter is dressing them. It may sound weird to dress your pets but the thing is, you are doing well to your pet so there is nothing to loose.

These clothes come in different sizes and therefore it is a good idea to grab your dog a sweater or a jacket to make them warm. If you are troubled on how to care for these clothes, the designer has already put this into consideration and they are machine washable for easy care.

These clothes protect your pets from malfunctions like drafts. Taking care of the joints of the pets which are just right close to the cold ground is a good thing.

We should not opt out indoor pets also during winter as they also tend to notice the weather change during winter. It is normal that dogs have more fats than cats and therefore despite that they will be indoors, they feel cold faster.

Considering a heated mat for your pets where it tends to curl around during their relaxing time is a good idea as it will make your pet soothed and relaxing even at those harsh weather.

Also it is not a good idea to leave your pets outside for too long during winter due to the frostbites they which might affect your pet.

How to Care for Your Dog During Winter

Former American Vice President Joe Biden has added a new furry-buddy to his family: a German shepherd named Major.
"We are so happy to welcome Major to the Biden family, and we are grateful to the Delaware Humane Association for their work in finding forever homes for Major and numerous other animals," read a statement from the Biden’s, signed the former vice president, his wife, Jill Biden, and Champ, their other German shepherd.

The Delaware Humane Association publicized the adoption news on Facebook, writing in a post that Major "is from the litter of German shepherd pups that were surrendered and not doing well at all."
As soon as Biden "caught wind of them," he "reached out immediately," the Association said on Facebook, adding, "The rest is history!"

The Biden’s had been raising Major, the group said on Facebook, thanking the family and wishing them luck with their new dog.
"Today is Major's lucky day! Major did not only find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden!" the post said.

Joe Biden is considered a top potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. As vice president, he would hand out stuffed-animal versions of his other dog, Champ, to kids. Champ also goes with Biden into his office in Washington, DC, from time to time.

Former American Vice President Joe Biden Adopts A New Dog

There are several benefits of giving dogs probiotics. Just as they do for humans, probiotics help dogs prevent and relieve issues with digestion. Many may decide to start their pets on probiotics when their dogs are still puppies to take advantage of the benefits of probiotics. A puppy already has a clean and sterile digestive tract, so the tract can actually be fortified during this time. Weaning is also another time probiotics are very beneficial since they help the digestive system adjust from mother's milk to wet or dry dog food as well as adjust to digestion and absorption to nutrients.

Probiotics are also useful after an antibiotics treatment because antibiotics kill off all the bacteria in the dog's system including the good bacteria. These bacteria need to be restored and replenished in order to keep the dog's intestinal microflora in the digestive tract in balance. Dogs that have had digestive disorders, especially from infectious diseases, may also benefit from probiotics. There are many signs of problems with the digestive tract including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence and vomiting among many other symptoms. Allergies and other skin problems are also symptomatic of imbalance in the intestines as are signs of stress.

There are a lot of probiotic supplements that help dogs strengthen their immune system or help them recover from illnesses related to the digestive tract. Many are even organic or natural so contain no artificial elements. Supplements may be mostly found in powder form though digestible enzymes are also used. If a dog has special dietary needs such as a gluten or lactose free diet, there are a lot of supplements that with no lactose and no gluten . There are no known side effects to using probiotic supplements, but there are also alternatives if supplements are not the way to go for providing a pet with probiotics.

For instance, topping dog food with live yogurt cultures has the same effect as supplements. Vitamins are not known to work as well as supplements, but they do provide some of the same benefits. If supplements are on the agenda, there are many outlets including pet specialty stores and health food stores that provide a range of choices. Shopping around for inexpensive supplements will also save a little money as well as possibly bring up deals on bulk items. Probiotics for dogs are very important in seeing that a pet lives a healthy and productive life.

Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs