Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Few Tips for Dog Owners New and Old

I want to offer some tips I have learned while caring for dogs over the years. I see it too often that people adopt a dog only to return it hours, days or sometimes years later. Once you commit to a dog, it should be a lifetime commitment. I would rather see a dog go back to a shelter than be abused or killed by selfish owners, but so many times dogs are returned over incredibly petty reasons. My mom has a dog that was returned to a kill shelter once or twice for supposedly “digging”. She has never caught her digging out of the yard or even digging holes in the middle of the yard. However, she has destroyed multiple dog crates (kennels). She was not going back to the pound as death would likely be inevitable. She purchased an aluminum crate through Cabela’s for Lily. It is a crate sometimes used for hunting dogs as it can be attached to the bed of a pickup. Lily is no bird dog but she has learned to love her crate. She sleeps in it at night and stays in it while her mom is at work. Below is a photo of what it looks like:
Sadly, I do not think Cabela’s still carries these crates but if you go to (using Amazon Smile means you can donate part of your purchase to your favorite local animals shelters) and search for “aluminum dog crates” you can find her crate (it is pricey at over $600 for an extra-large crate) but there are some similar aluminum crates that would likely offer the same ability and stability as aluminum is much more durable than any of the steel wire crates. Another idea I learned from attending adoption events is using a small metal pail along with what is called a “double bolt snap” for a water source. The double bolt snap can typically be found in a farm store in the horse department. Below is a photo of this set up that helps provide water while taking up minimal space and preventing spillage:
Finally, thanks to a worker at Home Depot, I learned how to keep one of my boys from digging up under the fence and through the wooden planks. Below is a photo of the steel lath that prevents dogs from digging. It can be found in the lumber department at Home Depot and is about $7 dollars per sheet. A sheet is about 2 feet by 8 feet. You can trim to fit. You can place it on the ground and then cover with dirt to camouflage it from view. I also placed cement cinder blocks on top of the mesh since my boy is so strong and I figured he may try to pull it from up under the fence. I also lined the wood in the fence with it since he will scratch the fence when he sees bikes, cats and other dogs. It keeps him protected as well as anything outside the fence. He is a sweet dog but easily stimulated by things outside of his yard area. To connect the mesh to the fence, I used “U” shaped nails. I also reinforced it with staples via staple gun. The mesh works because it hurts their paws but it has not caused their feet any cuts or other injuries. However, it will cause your hands damage if you handle the edges so use gloves when handling it and keep it away from younger children. Here is a link to the steel lath: Below is a photo of one sheets:
I hope some of these tips will help people to keep pets they are thinking about rehoming or taking to a shelter due to digging, crate issues, etc. I also hope it will help keep pets safe and hydrated if they are crated. If you know of any other novel ideals please feel free to share them with this blog.

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