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National Walk Your Dog Week: 5 Free iPhone Apps to Try

In honor of National Walk Your Dog Week we have put together a list of 5 free apps to help keep you and your pup on a walking schedule.


Brought to you by Subaru. Dog tested. Dog approved.™


  • Calorie tracking can also help with your personal fitness goals.
  • Tracks and measures time, distance, pace, speed and elevation
  • Synchronizes with MapMyWalk.com
  • GPS tracking that allows you to view your location and where you have traveled
  • Tweet your walk data to your followers
  • Ability to select and control your music while the app is running
  • Photo Geo-tagging automatically uploads photos taken during your walk to MapMyWalk.com


Dog Walk – Track Your Dog’s Walks!
By Tractive

Dog Walk

  • Shows you the exact duration and distance of your walk and you current position on the map
  • Track where your dog is doing its business
  • Take pictures along your walk while the app keeps tracking
  • Apple Watch compatible

By WoofTrax, Inc.


  • Don’t just take your dog for a walk … Take your Walk for a Dog
  • This app donates to the animal shelter or rescue of your choice every time you take your dog for a walk
  • The amount donated varies depending on how many people are walking for the same organization


By Kentshire Software, LLC


  • Use your phones GPS to track the route, duration and date/time of your walks
  • Record the location of when and where your dog is taking care of business
  • Record feeding and set up feeding notifications
  • Share your favorite route with your fallowers on Facebook and twitter
  • This app can notify your pooch’s other caretakers when records are made so everyone can stay up to date

Family Dog
By Cooply Apps


  • GPS track your walk route, time and distance
  • Connect and compete with friends and family
  • Integrates with social media for easy sharing

Walking your dog regularly is great for your dog and you! Regular walks can help you get in shape or stay fit check out this blog post, Walking the Dog – How Exercising with Your Pets Can Motivate You to Stay Fit, for some tips on getting started.


8 ways to exercise your dog indoors

Just like us our pets can pack on a few extra pounds over the cold months. Here are some tips to help keep your dogs active as the temperatures drop.


  1. Hide some of your dogs favorite treats around the house and put his natural instincts to work sniffing them out.
  2. Visit your local pet store for some socialization and a long walk through the aisles.
  3. Most human treadmills can be utilized for K-9 family members too. Make sure to take time to train you dog safely to use a treadmill, and never leash your pet to the treadmill.
  4. Play fetch with an indoor safe toy like the Chuck-It indoor roller. Add a little extra to the work out by throwing the ball up the steps!
  5. Make meal time more fun and stimulating with some interactive puzzle toys!
  6. Create an indoor agility course for your pup out of things around your house.
  7. Have a play date with one of your dogs 4legged buddies.
  8. Rotate your dogs toys so he stays interested and doesn’t get bored.

Assistance Dogs: Facts & Resources on These Amazing Animals!

Assistance Dog
It’s no secret that dogs are known as “man’s best friend”. On a daily basis our dogs (cats and other furry & feathered friends, too!) provide us with unconditional love and loyalty thus making a positive impact on our lives. The therapeutic and healing benefits of a canine’s companionship are next to none, simply petting a dog can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. This trait, along with their amazing trainability is what makes them so successful at being assistance dogs and aiding those with disabilities. With the help of hardworking and devoted assistance dogs, individuals with physical, emotional and mental disabilities are able to experience an enhanced quality of life.

3 Types of Assistance Dogs

While formal training standards for guide dogs have been established for over 70 years, the use of assistance dogs alongside individuals with physical and mental disabilities is a more modern concept. Nevertheless, hardworking assistance dogs of all types significantly impact their partners’ lives in many ways every single day.

Guide Dog

Guide Dogs: For individuals who are blind or visually impaired. In public, a guide dog can be identified by a harness and U-shaped handle which promotes communication between the assistance dog and their partner. In this team, the human’s role is to provide verbal commands, while the dog ensures their partner’s safety by avoiding obstacles, signaling changes in elevation, locating objects, negotiating traffic and so on.

Hearing Dogs: For individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. Hearing dogs assist by alerting their partners to household sounds, such as doorbells, alarm clocks, smoke alarms, a crying baby and more. They are trained specifically to make physical contact and lead deaf partners to the source of sounds.

Service Dogs: Service Dog is a broad term for canines who support partners with disabilities other than those related to vision or hearing. These dogs can be specially trained to handle a multitude of situations related to improving their partner’s well-being. Service dogs can work with wheelchair bound individuals, those with autism and also those with other medical concerns to perform potential lifesaving duties. Service dogs can also aid those seeking emotional support. A veteran may find that an assistance dog has a huge, positive impact on their quality of life by providing them with stability & comfort after returning from overseas.

Among many others, here are a few tasks specially trained service dogs can help with:

  • Retrieving out-of-reach items
  • Pulling wheelchairs
  • Opening & closing doors
  • Turning light switches on & off
  • Barking to indicate assistance is needed
  • Providing balance & counterbalance
  • Seizure alert & response- Dogs trained to operate push button device to call 911, etc.
  • Alerting to other medical issues, such as low blood sugar- Dogs trained to fetch insulin kit or respiratory assist device if necessary.


Assistance Dog Standards

service-dog-1396291Assistance dogs, their trainers, partners and associated programs are held to a high level of standards that are crucial for defining what an assistance dog is. After completing screenings for emotional soundness, physical health and working ability, the dogs must complete labor-intensive training plans which include obedience and task work, such as retrieving, carrying, nose nudge and harness based tasks among many others. Once training is complete, assistance dogs are matched to best suit the needs of their partner and must show they are capable of performing the tasks deemed necessary to alleviate their partner’s disabilities. In turn, assistance dog partners must be able to provide their assistance dog with a secure living environment as well as take responsibility for the dog’s emotional, physical and financial needs.

While many service dog programs use Golden retrievers and Labradors, there are many other examples of breeds that have been successfully trained in aiding individuals with disabilities. The partner and their type of disabilities is a large deciding factor in what type of dog they will be matched with. Breed, size, shape and color aside, a good service dog is very people oriented, not protective or overly active and is confident, but not dominant or submissive.

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in applying for an assistance dog, training an assistance dog or helping to educate others about these specially trained animals, check out the resources below.

  • Assistance Dogs International
    ADI is a coalition of not for profit assistance dog organizations. If you are interested in applying for an assistance dog, you can find resources from Assistance Dogs International to locate programs in your local area.
  • Celebrate International Assistance Dog Week
    This website is a comprehensive resource about International Assistance Dog Week (August 2nd through the 8th). Locate events in your area to help celebrate & raise awareness about assistance dogs.
  • Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services
    Do you know an organization or individual who could benefit greatly from some therapy dog interaction? KPETS, out of Lancaster, PA, is a network of therapy teams that provide therapeutic and supportive benefits to those with disabilities through human to animal interactions. These services are provided to organizations and/or individuals in need free of charge.
  • Phoenix Assistance Dogs of Central PA
    Interested in training an assistance dog? Phoenix Assistance Dogs is a community program created to locate and train puppies to help those in need. PAD can also help individuals in finding and training their own assistance dog if they wish.


Service Dog © Found Animals Foundation | Flickr
Service Dog with Wheelchair © betta5 | freeimages.com
Guide Dog © Leonardo Tote | freeimages.com


Puppy Training: Housebreaking Tips for the New Member of Your Family

Hi Pet Blog Readers!  As we eagerly anticipate the weekend, we have an article from guest blogger Sam Buddy.  He has written a nice post about bringing a new dog into your home.  Housebreaking a new pup or dog can be a trying task.  Sam has a few ideas that should help you get prepared for the new addition to your home.  If you have any questions or comments, or any new puppy housebreaking ideas of your own, let us know in the comments section.  Have a great weekend!



He’s so fluffy, you could die! The latest addition to your family, a lovely, furry little thing that can literally turn you into that overexcited little girl in the movie “Despicable Me” – he’s so great for cuddling and nuzzling. All of you are likely to be blindly in love with the puppy for, at most, a week. After that, all members of the family will be pointing fingers at who should have the turn to take the cutie out for a tinkle or a poop session. You all love the pup dearly but he will prove to be quite a handful and a big challenge for the family.

One of your responsibilities as new pet owners is to housebreak your pup. This way, before his natural temperament completely takes over and habits form, you can lead him to the right path of development that will not only benefit him but also your whole family. To housebreak the doggie and protect your home dynamics and relationship, here are tips from trusted professional breeders of purebreds and designer dogs, Chevromist Kennels.


    • Do your homework.  Learn more about the specific breed of your puppy because their breed will determine their characteristics and developmental needs. Knowing these things will allow you to modify your own behaviours as primary care providers, and even your home design.



    • Designate places for your puppy’s daily routine.  Chevromist advises pet owners to make sure the dog has a safe place to relieve himself. Over time, this specific area will tell your dog that it’s where he can do his “business” comfortably.


    • Install convenience and safety features for the dog.  These will allow him to create and stick to the routine easier so even if nobody’s home to take him out to urinate or defecate, or give him food, he can still smoothly go about his daily activities.


    • Be patient.  Habit formation takes time and patience; dogs are sensitive beings and the way you deliver instructions and your reactions to them impact their ability to learn important lessons. Screaming at your pup or rushing him while he’s trying to relieve himself will stress him out and make it harder for him to work with a routine, to trust you, and at times, it may even cause him to lose control over his bodily functions.


  • Reinforce good behaviour with rewards.  This is an essential part of dog training and this doesn’t need to be an edible treat all the time; extra cuddles, loving coos, affectionate pats on the head will have the pup learning necessary behaviours, like going outside to relieve himself, that would earn him such treats.

About The Author: Sam Buddy is a pet owner and a freelance writer. He feels a special connection with his pets, most especially to his dog. He treats them as part of his family. He even brings his dog with him every time he travels. He spends most his time learning and sharing informative content about pets. Sam uses this resource for helpful pet care information: http://chevromistreviews.com.au/.

Dogs and Babies: Tips for Introducing Your Pet to Your Newborn

When my husband and I were expecting our first child, part of our preparations included getting Chester (our 6 year old hound dog) ready for the baby. We have all been told to bring something home from the hospital with the baby’s scent on it but did you know there are other ways you can help prepare your dog for their new little brother or sister?

Set Up The Stuff

Babies come with tons, and I mean TONS, of stuff. You can help your dog prepare by slowly putting the new items out. Set up your crib one day and then that fancy new swing or play mat a few days later. Take it slow and let him get used to each item before adding the next. Introducing these items gradually will give your dog a chance to smell and explore each one, and then when your baby arrives he will already be used to those things being in the house.

Bring Babies Around

Have friends with babies? Have them over. If your dog has never been around a baby you may want to see how he reacts to the crying and all the new little movements. Some people have even used those electronic babies you were forced to bring home from health class. Lucky we have lots of family and friends with kids, so Chester has had exposure to children of all ages.

Set Boundaries

Let your dog know what’s okay and what’s not. If he won’t be allowed in the nursery after the baby comes, don’t let him in now. If you let him do things now that you won’t let him do when the baby arrives it’s going to confuse him and he could end up resenting you or your little one.

Tell Him About The Baby

Everyone says that dogs can tell when you are pregnant and I really believe that Chester knew. It might sound silly to a non pet owner, but I talk to Chester like he’s my best friend so naturally I told him all about his little sister before she arrived. I like to think he understood and that helped him prepare.

Stock Up On Treats And Toys

In the weeks after you bring your little one home your front door will be like one of those revolving doors at the mall, people coming in and out all the time. Chester is extremely food motivated, so we stocked up on lots of different types of treats. We got some of his favorite training treats to reward him for good behavior or if we needed to temporarily distract him from the door or other items. We also loaded up on some long lasting treats like Greenies , filled bones, and Indigo chews. These were good to have when he would get a little too excited and we needed to divert his attention for a longer period of time. If you are worried about over treating or your dog is on a diet, toys can also be used to keep your pup occupied.

Have A Plan

This may be common sense but make sure you have a reliable pet sitter on call. Child birth is unpredictable–you can go into labor at any time and be in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time. Make sure you have one, if not two, pet sitters that will be able to get your dog within a few hours when the big day comes.


Control The Introduction

Chances are that you haven’t seen your dog for a few days, so he is going to be really happy to see you. Give him a little time to get his excitement out and give you all the kisses he wants before bringing in the baby. What worked for us was to have my mom take Emmalynne into her nursery when my husband brought Chester home. Once he was over the excitement of seeing me he sniffed around at the diaper bag and car seat then we took him in to meet his little sister.

Keep Calm

Your dog can tell if you are nervous and that can make him uneasy, if you stay calm and don’t make a huge deal out of him meeting the little one he won’t either. Remember to take it easy on your pup; this is a huge adjustment for him too. Dog toys and baby toys are surprisingly similar so you can’t really blame him for chewing on one you leave out.

Don’t Forget Your Dog

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise and attention. Try to stick with his normally scheduled feedings and walks; you don’t want to have to deal with accidents just because you didn’t have time to let him out. We take Chester with us everywhere that we are allowed to. So even though it might be easier to leave him home sometimes, we make sure that if we would have taken him before Emmalynne was born, we take him now. I look at it more like; we now have two kids rather than one kid and a dog.

These are some of the things that helped Chester make the transition from only child to older brother. Emmalynne is now two months old and Chester has taken on the role of her protector. When someone new holds her he is watching their every move. He is more alert and curious about abnormal noises. In the mornings when she’s in our room sleeping and I’m getting ready he lays in the doorway where he can keep an eye on both of us. It makes me feel good knowing that he is looking out for her (as all big brothers should). I think he has accepted her as a member of our family and I am excited to see how their relationship grows as she gets older!


Three Ways Your Dog is Training You

dog training fail from memdiary.comEver hear that joke about how a group of aliens visits Earth and see us (humans) feeding, bathing, picking up poop, and otherwise caring for our pets and they make the assumption that the dogs and cats are the ones in charge here on Earth? The thing about humor is that its funny because there’s a partial truth in the butt of the joke. Please welcome our guest poster, Brittany West, with an article about how our pets just might train us and not the other way around:

As pet owners, we like to think we have our animals well-trained. My dog uses the doggie door without a problem, and the cat comes on cue. But if I had a nickel for every time someone jokingly said that the animals have me trained, I would be exceedingly wealthy. That is one of the most common phrases that pet owners use amongst each other, and for good reason. Here are just some of the ways that your pet may be training you.
Read More »

Confession of a dog lover: I have a fearful and aggressive dog

Where's the cheese-dogsI have a confession to make. One of my dogs is aggressive. She is an aggressive dog out of fear of the unknown, but aggressive nonetheless. Believe it or not, even someone who works with and around pets day in and day out can have a reactive dog and still not know what to do about it or how to fix it.

Sara was an unplanned rescue that I brought home during a vacation in Florida three years ago. I don’t know the details of her early life, other than it was a little rough around the edges: terrible nutrition, flea infested, possibly beaten. She was around 7-8 weeks when I rescued her.

Sara’s my latest addition to a pack of three. My boys, while they don’t behave like angels, are well-adjusted dogs with your usual issues. They’re a little over friendly with visitors, they beg for food, and one even likes to chase the kitties. Nothing too serious (I swear, the cats LIKE to be chased. He doesn’t hurt them, just wants to play).  They know the basics; sit, stay, lie down, come, leave it, and how to walk on a slack leash, but that’s as far as we took our training. I like my dogs to act like dogs. It’s part of the fun of being a dog owner! I like to steal Tripawd’s motto and say “Be more dog!” when life gets too serious.

IMG_1256Back to my confession: I brought Sara to work with me every day when she was a pup. She met lots of people, other dogs and children. She was happy, healthy, fluffy, playful, and wiggly, though never much of a snuggler. She was rather indifferent towards most people. I thought she was well socialized. I guess I was wrong. Read More »

Walking the Dog – How Exercising with Your Pets Can Motivate You to Stay Fit

Ready for a WalkI’m not what you would consider an athletic person. For years I struggled with laziness and weight gain and not even my own deteriorating reflection looking back at me couldn’t get me up and moving to do anything about it. But about a year ago, spurred by an office “biggest loser” competition and the possibility of a substantial cash prize, I finally made the leap and started a walking regime, and walking the dog was the natural way to get going. But you know, it wasn’t long til the money didn’t matter…I started feeling great, eating right, and best of all, I came to realize that daily walks were as rewarding and beneficial for my dog’s physical and emotional well-being as my own. Daily walks and explorations became a necessity, a welcome obligation, and my dogs have become two of my biggest motivators to get moving and get fit.

Now don’t get me wrong, my dogs are active and get plenty of exercise, but that’s all thanks to having access to a fenced back yard, a lovely local dog park, and family lands where they are free to roam, play and run as much as their hearts desire. It’s always been easy just to open the door or take a short drive to let them run, while I enjoyed a maple-shaded park bench or a nap in the grass. Involving my pets in my newly adapted physical regime has become not only one of the most motivating aspects, but also priceless bonding time and a unique chance to really see my four-legged friends in the elements they love. I don’t think I could imagine two better walking partners to keep me on the path to success. Let me tell you why… Read More »

Choosing the Best Collar, Lead, or Harness for Your Dog

So you got a new puppy or adopted a new forever friend and now you’re in a mad dash to find the perfect accessories for your new pet. It seems like it should be an easy thing to do, but your choice may not be so cut-and-dry once you’re faced with a row of products to pick from. Lets talk a little about some of the popular products and maybe the decision making process will be a little easier for you.


There are lots of different collars on the market made of lots of different materials and designed to help you best handle your pet.  You can find collars constructed of nylon, rubber, vinyl, leather, recycled materials, natural fiber like hemp or bamboo, or metal; some are embellished with gems, ribbons or other decorations.  Typically, the material of the collar is choosen for durability and to appeal to you, the handler.  These materials are also used to provide the ultimate comfort to your pet. For the most part these materials are inert, but on rare occasions dogs with sensitive skin or skin allergies may develop skin irritations to some materials. If you notice frequent itching or irritation around your pet’s neck, you may need to consider a collar of a different style or material. A collar of any of these materials can have a long life…but your choice should be influenced by your dog’s personality and lifestyle. The most popular collars are basic, reliable woven (or leather) with either metal or plastic buckles. These collars are easy to adjust, easy to clean, and perfect for everyday wear. Rubber and rubber-coated “ultimate” collars share a similar design, but are resistant to water, odors and stains, great for swimmers or sporting dogs! Read More »

Loose Leash Walking – Training Aids

I’d like to look at a few products available in stores that can help you while you are retraining your dog to walk without pulling. None of these products work miracles; you still need to train your pet to walk on a loose leash, but these products can be useful in training particularly stubborn dogs.

Standard Harnesses

Contrary to popular belief, standard harnesses do not curb leash pulling. They are really just an alternative to a collar. Some dogs will benefit from a harness, especially those that tend to slip their collars, breeds that have short noses, and breeds that are more prone to suffer collapsed tracheas from pulling (such as small breeds). I’ve actually found harnesses make it easier for some dogs to pull, because they are not pulling against their windpipe and gasping for air. You can still teach your dog to walk on a loose leash using a standard harness, but it will not serve as a ‘helper’ for the training. Read More »

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