They Call It Puppy Love!

There is one thing about dog lovers that I really do love. We’re creative. We have to be in order to live with a creature that does not speak our language and yet communicate with him every day. That takes ingenuity, patience and more than anything it takes love.

newshirtI had a successful T-shirt campaign in the past, and it was far past due to have another. Only this time it is not meant to help me or my business. This time half – 50% – will go to a charity that does so much and saves so many lives every single day. You may not hear about it because this one of a kind non-profit does not post sick or injured animals on Facebook to beg for attention or money. They don’t wait for donations to roll in before making the choice to save a life. If the Sanctuary has space – the animal is saved. No question about it.

Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary has helped me, personally, many times with my own critters. Be it information or offering a permanent home for an animal that has no place else to go, Critter Camp was always there. They may not be a dog rescue, but a furry, scaly or feathered family member does not need to be a dog to deserve love, trust, and medical care. That is why I have chosen Critter Camp to benefit from half of the money raised from this new campaign.11183439_10153568219866383_2628250851517749190_n

Buy a shirt, share the campaign, and above all hug your dog!

https://www.bonfirefunds.com/they-call-it-puppy-love

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T-Shirts & Natural Dog Wash vs. Dog Shampoo

This blog must start off with a great big THANK YOU to those who purchased shirts from our Teespring campaign! We reached our goal thanks to you guys that loved the design and believe in our goal of bringing a top quality and professional service to those in the Rock County, WI area.

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With the newest Teespring campaign over with, it’s time to think about your dog’s fur, keeping it clean, refreshed and healthy.  If you’re like any other pet owner, your dog will get a routine bath just to make sure he’s clean, groomed and has a healthy skin and coat. Maybe you take him to a professional groomer, or perhaps you feel you are adequate with a regular bath in your own shower or tub.  Unless you’re cutting through some serious dirt like mud or skunk spray, your typical dog shampoo just may be too much on your dog’s skin. Even puppy formulas may be over kill!

Your average dog shampoo or soap is going to have a base of detergents. These detergents, while balanced to your dog’s correct pH of his hair, will scrub away all the natural oils that protect his coat.  These natural oils are what keeps your dog’s skin and fur from drying out. If your dog has a dry or itchy skin problem and you’re feeding a natural, raw diet then his shampoo may be causing harm!  If you just want a regular, ordinary routine bath to rid him of that doggy odor or greasy feel then maybe a natural dog wash will be better suited for the two of you.

Create your own dog wash easily with items you can find at your local grocery store or health food store.  All you need is some organic apple cider vinegar, 100% food grade vegetable glycerin and a safe pure essential oil of your choice such as lavender or tea tree oil.  In a clean spray bottle combine about 4 tablespoons of the vinegar with 1 tablespoon glycerin and only 1 or 2 drops of essential oil. Voila! Fill the rest with hot water, shake vigorously before each use and spray on your dog for bath time.

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This spray is useful for baths as well as in-between cleanings. It is even a natural conditioner, all rolled into one items!  When using it as a wash, first wet down your dog and instead of using his shampoo that’s full of detergents spray a hearty amount of the wash all over his body, but avoid the face (you can use a wash rag that has been sprayed with the mix to wipe his face!)  Rub it through his coat all the way down to the skin. He may enjoy a little massage while you’re there.  After about two minutes, rinse thoroughly.

For in-between cleans, just lightly spritz your pooch with the spray bottle, that’s it! Easy peasy for a clean, fresh dog.  The vinegar will rid your dog of fungus and bacteria that contribute to the doggy odor while balancing his pH. The glycerin will lock in moisture and make his coat and skin soft, smooth and lustrous. The oil you choose is both for scent and depending what you choose can even help keep pests away.  Sounds better than the run of the mill dog shampoo, right?

Meanwhile, shampoos and soaps do have their uses. Specifically for dogs who decided to take a roll in the mud, dig up your yard or anything else that requires heavy duty scrubbing.  After you use the shampoo and rinse it well, you can still use this handy-dandy vinegar mixture to restore and heal his coat after the use of harsh detergents.

Keep a watchful eye for future blog posts, a continuation of how to leash train your dog, and other information regarding future Teespring campaigns as well as eBook deals. Subscribe to the newsletter for FREE on the front page of The Natural Dog’s website so that you can be alerted first when a new blog has arrived, or find it on Facebook!

End Leash Pulling Today, and Walk Your Dog Right

You’re walking your dog and your arm feels like it’s about to pop out of socket.  You get jokes from neighbors and passer by about how he is really walking you, not the other way around. You’ve heard it all before as you struggle to get your dog under control while he charges ahead to get wherever he wants to go.   Sound like you?

Maybe after dealing with this for some time, you begin to really dread walking your dog.  It’s embarrassing when you cannot keep him under control and it’s a real pain, literally, when he jerks your arm around.  This leads to other problems as he becomes bored and begins to bottle up energy that he is no longer able to express.  Then other  problems begin to peak it’s ugly head, including hyperactivity, excessive chewing and more. What if you could just walk your dog as he happily trots next to you on a loose, controlled leash? You can begin to take charge today on your walk.

A plethora of products on the market exist to help end walking instantly, but none of them will live up to their potential if you do not combine them with training. After all, they’re meant to be tools used during training your dog to walk with acceptable manners on leash. One item The NaturalDog suggests is the front clipping harness, as it prevents pulling which create more scenarios in which your dog can be rewarded for not pulling. There are various brands, and any will work just as good as the next. The idea is to remember it is for training, not exercising your dog!

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Start training in your home. Attach your dog’s leash to him and have a handful of treats ready to go. If you use a clicker, have that ready to go as well.  Walk backwards, facing your dog, and encourage him to follow you. When he catches up to you, mark that behavior with a “Yes!” or a click of your clicker and give him a reward. Do this for about 3 to 5 minutes once or twice a day until he is reliable in easily following you.

You need to take this exercise outdoors to raise the criteria, but stay in a quiet area in the beginning.  Just walk backwards and call him to you. Instead of using the same command you use for recall, make sure you have a different one just for getting him to follow you, such as “Follow me!” When you’re doing this outdoors your may want to also increase the value of the treats to hold his attention and encourage him to listen to you instead of being distracted. You want his action of following you to be more reinforcing (with your reward) than anything that could be going on around you guys.

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This is just the first step in getting your dog into leash shape, but just be doing this one exercise you will see an improvement in your dog’s leash manners if you can also use it in real life situations in which you lose control over your dog on a walk. Just implement the same exercise, and watch the changes happen.

Subscribe to our blog or email newsletter to find out first when the newest blog posts are available, and to learn the next steps in training your dog for loose leash manners.

Don’t forget The Natural Dog Diet or our T-shirt campaign which will be coming to close in a matter of days!

The Easiest (and Most Affordable) Flea & Tick Prevention

We are told over and over by vets, pet store employees, breeders, rescuers, shelter workers and other pet owners to always use flea and tick prevention on our animals. This is a fantastic idea, and can keep your dog safe from all the diseases that come with a parasite infestation, from anemia to Lyme’s disease. What they don’t tell you are the dangers associated with conventional spot on formulas. The cost you may pay is more than just the product’s price tag, but perhaps your dog’s comfort, health and even future vet expenses.

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On the pet store shelves you will see a variety of spot on treatments along with sprays, powders and collars that all claim to do the same thing – protect your pet from biting insects. Most of them work, but not all to the same degree. A few of them may be safe for your particular dog, but his skin is still absorbing toxic pesticides over a long period of time with each and every monthly dose. Those collars hardly even work as they tend to only protect your dog’s neck and face while the rest of him is eaten up by fleas, ticks, flies and mosquitoes. There arealternatives.

The Natural Alternative

The NaturalDog prefers to go with the safest and most effective route as possible with nearly every situation, including flea and tick prevention. A little tip that so few dog owners are even aware of could save their dog from these horrible pests while also saving their wallet from expensive and dangerous spot on treatments that most vets and all pet stores carry these days. Not only is it natural, but it is also safe – even for puppies! (Do not use on pregnant or nursing animals or puppies under 12 weeks of age.) It’s time for some explanation.1004662_419823398126337_882442087_n

Neem oil is an extract derived from the pressed fruits and seeds of the neem tree. This is a type of evergreen native to India. I won’t go on about how many years this plant product has been used to keep biting bugs away from the people of India or it’s other healthful properties when used in the correct context of a health condition, but I will say that this oil has been tested in a laboratory environment against biting bugs. It has been used as a biopesticide for organic farmers as it deters harmful bugs while not harming beneficial bugs in a garden. Neem oil, so beneficial in many ways can save your dog from harmful chemicals in the battle against fleas, ticks and even mosquitoes!

The cheapest and most effective way to use this oil is to buy a bottle of 100% pure organic neem. You can find it at some health food stores, but you may find it more affordable online. Use just a few drops in a 4 oz spray bottle, add a few drops of a carrier oil such as olive or mineral and fill the rest with hot water. Give it a good shake and spray your dog before heading outside. That’s it. Easy to use, safe to use, cheap and it works!

Be Creative!

Have any other ideas on how to cheaply, and safely keep your pet free from fleas and ticks? Speak up in the comments below!

We are coming up on only 7 days left to buy your Tee-shirt from our current campaign. Buy now or forever be without!  

HEADS UP! The Natural Dog Diet is now only 99 cents. This is only a limited time price, so get it now or pay more later!

Feed Me Convenience, or Feed Me Death; Raw Diet vs. Kibble

On TV, online, the radio, magazines and basically anywhere marketing is allowed you will see ads. Ads for one brand of kibble or another. “All natural, well balanced, and veterinarian approved” are all terms we have heard and read over and over thanks to these ads. We believe them.  These are foods made just for our precious pooches, right? Why would they say it’s balanced when it’s not? Why would they say veterinarian approved if it wasn’t healthy? After all, they do have our pets best interest in mind, right?

At what point did we all forget that these companies are businesses that need to make a profit?  When did we decide that big business should be telling us what is good for us, much less our canine companions? While not all businesses are going to cut corners and deliberately hurt our pets, their customers, to get ahead that does not necessarily mean they have our pets’ health in mind every step of the way. After all, they are a business, not pet nutritionists, selling kibble; over cooked, dehydrated pellets with added flavors, sugars, dyes and of course synthetic vitamins and minerals to make up for the lack of nutrients that have been cooked out of the real food ingredients. This is not what dogs, or any canines, were meant to eat! Real dogs deserve real food.

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Now, not all kibbles are little bite sized horrors that will send our dogs to the emergency room from a poisonous substance contaminating their chow, but honestly why risk any of it? You can fully control your dog’s diet, and in turn his health all on your own. The Natural Dog Diet covers all of this and so much more. You can get started cheaply, easily, and with peace of mind in feeding your dog a raw, natural diet specifically for canines.