Pet strollers are available with one of two types of wheels: air-filled or EVA foam. E.V.A. stands for ethylene vinyl acetate and is simply a sturdy, molded plastic. Let’s take a closer look at the two types of dog stroller wheels.
Advantages of EVA tires include:
Lighter weight than air-filled tires, which is beneficial when folding and carrying the stroller and when stopping a moving stroller
They don’t flatten
You don’t need to inflate them or replace them
Reasons to choose air-filled tires:
Traction on uneven road is better with air-filled tires compared to EVA
The stroller is easier to maneuver off-road with air-filled tires
Air-filled tires provide a smoother ride than EVA
In some strollers, having heavier tires makes the stroller sturdier
Some people prefer the smoother ride for their pet and better traction when off-road, with the air-filled tires, while others like the idea of not needing to maintain the tires and managing a lighter weight stroller. There isn’t much maintenance with the air-filled wheels, however, and some strollers include a portable pump.
Examples of air-filled tires on pet strollers are the Pet Gear Jogger, PetZip Happy Trailer, the Solvit Houndabout, and DoggyRide trailers.
Examples of EVA foam tires on pet strollers are Pet Gear AT3, PetZip 1st Class Jogger, PetZip Monogram and the KittyWalk Original SUV.
How do dogs sense fear? Do they actually smell fear, or are there loads of behavioral indicators that make them afraid? We do know that dogs have a sense of smell that is about one million times more sensitive than humans. It is believed that dogs identify humans based on their individual smell. It’s possible that dogs sense fear in a situation when they smell sweat coming from a human who is in distress.
Two olfactory systems in dogs have been identified. The main olfactory system allows dogs to recognize smells such as a newly opened can of tuna fish, or freshly baked cookies. These types of smells release airborne molecules that attach to olfactory receptors. The accessory olfactory system begins with the Vomeronasal organ, or the Jacobson’s organ, which is located at the floor of the nasal cavity. This system detects emotional states such as territory, aggression and reproduction. Animals communicate with each other by giving off different scents.
Many dogs are fearful of loud noises, such as humans screaming, thunder, the vacuum cleaner and construction equipment. They are also sensitive to the body language of humans. For example, if we run towards a dog he is likely to cower or take a defensive stance. Dogs are superior observers. They probably sense a situation is out of the ordinary just by the way a human behaves.
How can we soothe a dog that is fearful? It isn’t wise to overly coddle a scared dog, but it is helpful to reach out and offer comforting pets and a reassuring voice to calm them down. If too much attention is given then the fearful behavior might be reinforced. It is also a good idea to try and redirect their attention away from the fearful situation. Offer them something to chew on or engage them in play. There is a product called the Thundershirt that has shown to effectively reduce anxiety and fear in dogs, almost instantly. It works by constantly providing gentle pressure on a dog’s nervous system. Often just reassurance by the owner will help to calm your dog until their fear has passed.
The benefits of owning a pet are well-known. Pets improve the quality of life for many humans. I’ve known plenty of people who prefer the company of dogs and cats over other humans! When we get older, this phenomenon potentially becomes even more evident; pets are good company, they give people a purpose, a sense of responsibility.
As your physical, and mental, capacity declines the need for nursing, or personal care home, placement becomes greater. It’s been the norm not to accept pets at these residences. Lately, however, may nursing facilities are allowing residents to bring their pets with them, or the facilities are adopting their own pets for community enjoyment. Animals that are taking up residence in nursing homes include dogs, cats, birds, ducks, fish, even miniature pigs. Giving up your residence is a signal to some that you are giving up your independence. Asking people to give up their beloved companions, often of many years, seems cruel. Kudos to all the facilities that encourage and adopt pets!
It’s easy to go about your business and not think about the consequences of your actions. Applying pesticides in the garden is one action that needs some monitoring by you if you have pets. Two pesticides to avoid are two of the top 10 chemicals responsible for accidental pet poisonings.
Disulfoton is one that is no longer commonly found in pest treatments, but many Rose-care products do contain this chemical. This is one that is appealing and tasty to dogs and will cause them to have diarrhea and to vomit.
Metaldehyde is found in snail and slug bait and, when ingested by dogs, can cause tremors and seizures.
Herbicides are generally thought to be acceptable to use, in moderation, but pets needs to stay inside until it dries. Critics of this opinion feel that because herbicides are often waterproof that they continue to be harmful to pets even after they have dried.
There doesn’t seem to be any good research on long-term effects of pesticides and the harm they cause to pets, but we do know that cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs. There is ongoing research on what harm garden chemicals are capable of doing to pets.
Consider a few homemade options to keep those pests at bay:
Garlic Bulbs – Planting them in your garden will help keep beetles and aphids away. Crush garlic and mix with water to create a spray for your leaves.
Feverfew Flowers are mild insect repellents. They have a bitter aroma that scares pests away, leading them to believe there is nothing tasty in the area for them.
Tansy Herbs – Plant them in your doorway to keep away ants, or hang them in a doorway to keep away flies.
Many people believe that since their dog’s feet are “bare” that they must be really cold on the cold ground. A study from Japan demonstrated that this is not the case. Veins in dog paws are very close to arteries. When the paws begin to cool down, the dog’s heart pumps blood through the arteries causing the paw pads to get warmer. This adaptation was already seen in other species, but it’s exciting to know that it also exists in domesticated animals.
This information will make dog owners feel better about their dog being outside in the cold. The study suggests that booties are not needed to keep dog paws warm. I haven’t seen a dog that actually likes wearing booties, at best they seem to barely tolerate the cumbersome covers.
Dogs and yards will sometimes clash. Many dogs like to dig and pee in the yard. Some also eat flowers and/or dig up shrubs. There are a few things you can do that may help reduce your frustration.
If your dog likes to dig, try to create a “digging” zone for him either in the garden or a special spot away from the garden. Maybe you can add treats and bones to the digging zone.
If your dog likes to roll in your flower beds, perhaps shredded mulch is not the best choice as it gets embedded in the fur. Pine chips are an option to keep your dog from dragging the mulch into the house.
For grass areas that get peed on, try to dilute them by spraying water. This may minimize brown spots on the lawn.
Carefully choose plants. If your dog likes to chew on the leaves, then keep rhododendrons, azaleas and oleander out of his reach.
Add a water feature. If you use a bird bath, be sure the water is clean. Your dog is likely to take a drink. The recirculating water from an outdoor fountain is a good option for thirsty dogs.
Our faithful companions have long provided us with love and friendship and now they also have demonstrated an increase in the hormone oxytocin in our brain. Researchers in Japan studied eye contact between dogs and their owners and both dog and owner had elevated oxytocin levels after a soulful gaze into each others eyes. Oxytocin is the hormone associated with nurturing and bonding, similar to the relationship between parent and child. The researchers reported that through domestication, dogs came to find humans as their most important social partners.
In contrast to domesticated pets, animals in the wild tend to view eye contact as a threat. The researchers attempted to measure eye contact between wolves and humans and there was no evidence of eye contact or of elevated oxytocin levels. In addition to reducing our blood pressure and lowering our pulse rate, this is another example of how our relationship with our pet improves our overall mental and physical health.
When the doorbell rings, my dogs bark like crazy. I can’t tell whether they think they are barking to protect the domain or whether the excitement of a new person coming in is overwhelming. Either way, you should get your dog to stop barking before opening the door. Opening it while the barking is going on only reinforces the bad behavior.
Another annoying phenomenon is when your dog barks while you are trying to talk to another person. Instinct says to stop talking and tell your dog to be quiet. Experts suggest, however, that the best solution is to ignore your dog until they demonstrate calm and quiet behavior. You can then reward him or her.
Barking in the car is also difficult to control. Your dog may be excited to see other cars or dogs, or they may be fearful and anxious. A widely held view is that dogs will be more likely to behave if they are secured in a crate in the rear part of the car. This way their vision of the things outside the car is limited and you could provide some distractions with toys and treats.
I had always been a medium, English Springer Spaniel, or large, Shepherd-Husky, dog owner until 6 years ago when we adopted our French Bulldog/Pug mix dogs. With bigger dogs, it seemed natural that they would need to be trained to fit into the household. Larger dogs tend to potty train easily and it seemed as though they followed most rules without difficulty.
Our small dogs are another story. I think part of our problem was our perception, likely a misperception, that they didn’t need as much structure or activity because they were small. A trainer once told us that smaller dogs are more difficult to potty train because their view of the house is more vast and therefore there are more spaces to pee on. We tried to make their space in the house smaller so that they would be less likely to pee where they live. This did seem to work for one of the dogs, but the male still pees on the refrigerator and the dishwasher. While I agree that we have not been the most diligent of trainers, I do wonder if small dogs just have some disagreeable traits.
A recent study by Applied Animal Behavior Science looked at small dog behavior in relation to owner training, or lack of training. Researchers found that:
Small dogs are seen as less obedient, more aggressive and excitable
Small dogs are seen as more anxious and fearful
Small dog owners are more inconsistent in interactions with their dogs
Small dogs owners engage less in training and play activities than large dog owners
More consistent owner behavior with more frequent engagement in training and play resulted in better obedience in small dogs.