Doggy Play Dates: The Dos And Don'ts


As a parent, you know that your kids need to interact with other children so they receive the social development they need. This is why you set up play dates or enroll your child in school or activities.

Your dog also needs to learn how to interact with other animals, which is why it’s always a good idea to allow your dog to attend some doggy play dates or playgroups every now and then. Not only will your dog get the exercise he or she needs, but he or she will also have fun learning to play with other dogs.

As with any interaction, there are certain rules and general guidelines you should follow to ensure that the play date is successful. The following are common dos and don’ts for your doggy’s next play date.

Do: Have your dog current on his shots.

When your dog is playing with other dogs, it’s common that some roughhousing may occur, and your dog may become scratched or scratch the other dog. This is why it’s extremely important to be sure your dog is up to date on his shots and has all necessary vaccinations. If the other dog were to have a disease or illness, your dog would be covered from catching the disease or illness himself if their playing goes a little too far. Plus, since your dog will be spending time near the other animal, having them vaccinated and up to date on other shots will keep them from catching fleas or heartworm.

Don’t: Forget the water and treats.

Make sure that you bring plenty of water and treats for your dog (and the other dog) during the play date. Dogs will be spending a lot of time playing and running around, and they can become easily dehydrated if it’s hot. Make sure your dog and the other dog have plenty of water to consume on their date.

You will also want to make sure you have treats. This is a great way to get both dogs to listen to you during the play date, and it can be a great way to distract them if they start to misbehave.

Do: Give them room to play.

Doggy play dates are always more successful when there is ample room to play. Try to schedule the play date when the weather is nice so the dogs can be outside running through a yard, dog park or open field. When dogs are cooped up inside your home, their roughhousing may result in damaged furniture or injury to the dogs. If the weather is not cooperating, make sure you designate a large indoor area for the dogs to play that doesn’t have anything that could be damaged or cause injury.

Don’t: Ignore the dogs.

While you may use the play date as a chance to catch up with your friend or learn more about a new individual, it’s still important that you keep an eye on the dogs. It’s always possible that their playing may become too intense, which could result in injury to one (or both) of the dogs. Always make sure to pay close attention to the dogs and intervene if their play turns to aggression.


Danielle Nottingham is a vet tech and writer at who loves to write about proper pet etiquette for dog owners who are new on the scene.


Is Your Child's Behavior Dangerous To Pets?


My friend Linda recently told me that she has some concerns about how her son is treating their cat.  She said that her son locks the cat in cabinets, and plays too roughly with it.  I told her that most cats will tolerate some roughhousing, and then when enough is enough will fight back.  I suggested that she continue to put a stop to any mean behavior she sees, and keep telling her son that he must always be kind to animals.  I also told her to watch and see how the relationship changes when the cat decides she’s had enough, and her son comes crying with a bite or a scratch.  At that point things can go two ways, her son learns to treat the cat with kindness and respect, or he punishes the cat further, and if the latter happens, she should be very concerned.

It made me wonder though, when should a parent be concerned that their child has crossed the line between being rough with a pet, and being intentionally cruel.  If your dog or cat is ok with roughhousing, or being dressed up like a doll, you don’t need to worry.  You should always discuss how your child may be making your pet feel so that he learns compassion, and learns when to back off and give your pet a break.  Your pet is also very capable of putting a stop to harassment, though in the case of a dog, this could be dangerous.  Most dogs are incredibly tolerant of their human companion’s behavior, but if they feel frightened, their reaction can turn violent.

It is important that you put a stop to cruel behavior immediately.  Children don’t usually grow out of this kind of behavior, and the natural progression is that they move on to human victims.  Always set a good example in how you interact with pets to teach children to be compassionate and responsible pet guardians.

Watch For Signs

Signs that your child needs intervention to correct cruel behavior before it escalates:

If your child won’t release a pet that is struggling to escape or continues to chase it when it is obviously running away in fear.

If your child becomes more and more secretive about his cruel behavior after being told to stop.

Putting the pet in dangerous situations to terrify it, like dangling it out a window or over a balcony, locking it in a washing machine or dryer - even without turning it on, leading it out to the street.

Restraining the pet in any way, like locking the pet in a closet or cabinet to hear it cry in distress.  Tying it up near something that scares it like fire.  Binding it’s tail or paws tightly with rubber bands or string.

If your child appears to enjoy watching a pet in pain or frightened.

Obvious signs like cutting or burning a pet.

Getting Help

If discussing the problem with your child isn’t working, the next step is getting some professional counselling.  Talk to your child’s pediatrician about getting a referral to a counsellor or psychologist.  Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed about getting help for your child, it is absolutely imperative that you put a stop to this kind of behavior to prevent it from doing permanent psychological damage to your child.  


Danielle Nottingham is a veterinary technician and writer at who often writes about bad pet habits, or bad pet-owner habits, and ways to correct them.


Senior Pets for Senior People

Thousands of senior citizens find themselves alone when their families grow up and begin lives all their own. One way these senior empty nesters can enjoy some companionship is to get a dog. Choosing a dog, does however, have its disadvantages. Dogs need to be trained and they do require some exercise. Both necessary requirements can prove to be a challenge for an elderly person to manage.  Luckily, for them, there are senior dogs that are a much better suited for a senior companion, and many senior dogs are in need of rescue. A canine senior citizen could provide an un-demanding friend for the human senior citizen.
Less Demanding
Senior dogs have lower energy levels than younger dogs. Older dogs will not require walking nearly as much. Senior dogs are usually housebroken by the time they are available for adoption, so the senior dog owner will not have to clean up the messes they would with a much younger dog. They will need to be fed and perhaps bathed and brushed, but that is a small price to pay for the friendship that they provide.
The later years in a person’s life can easily be the hardest. Many senior citizens are looking for a purpose. Some have no family, and no one with which to socialize. When a senior buys a senior dog, they will enjoy a companion that is in need of a loving home. The owner gets a friend and a purpose. The dog gets a friend and a home. Studies have shown that elderly people with a dog have more exercise and more interactions with people than those without a canine companion.
Negative Reasons to Consider
There are a few negatives with buying older dogs however. Besides the obvious fact that they will not live as long, many senior dogs have medical problems that can be expensive. Older dogs can have many of the same problems as older people such as hearing and vision loss, and arthritis. In addition, if the dog dies before the person, it can be absolutely devastating for the owner. The dog might be the only thing the owner was attached to, his only friend. The loss of a dog could make the owner even lonelier than he was when he got them.
Nonetheless, it is better to have loved and loss than to never have loved at all. Being a dog owner is a very fulfilling experience and the pros greatly outweigh the cons. Older owners are better for old dogs because they will share their lives while letting them enjoy their own pace. They will not insist on a game of chase, or fetch. Both parties will be perfectly content to take it easy and live at a slower pace.
A senior citizen cannot buy a person to spend time with them, but they can buy the next best thing, a dog. A canine senior will provide an elderly person all the benefits of dog ownership but in a more relaxed way.

Being a veterinarian and invisible dog fence specialist is her career, freelance writing is her hobby. Advice and information by Susan Wright, can be found covering many topics including dog based, scientific research.

How To Choose The Right Vet For Your Pet

Choosing a vet for your pet can be a very difficult decision, with so many veterinary practices available, how do you make the decision of which one is the best for you and your pet? Whether you are choosing a vet for a regular check-up or you believe your pet may have a health issue, choosing the perfect vets is essential.

Here are some things you should base your decision on:

Animal and area of expertise

The majority of household animals you will be able to take to any standard veterinary practice, meaning you may find choosing the perfect vet a little more difficult. Standard household pets include:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Budgies, cockatiels, parrots
  • Hamsters
  • Guinea pigs and gerbils
  • Rabbits
  • Fish

If you have one of the above pets it is likely you will be able to walk into almost any veterinary practice and be immediately seen.

If you have a pet that appears to be a little less common, the choice of vets will be more limited – this can make choosing the perfect vet for your animal a little easier. To ensure your pet gets the best care possible, you will have to choose a vet that specialises in your area of animal. There is little point in taking a tortoise to a standard veterinary practice as it is likely they will not be able to perform the correct standard of care.

Budget and price

The cost of using veterinary services can vary by quite a lot; some vets may offer more affordable care whilst others may seem a little extortionately priced. You should factor in the cost of using the veterinary service into the decision of choosing a vet. There is little point in joining a veterinary practice if you are never going to be able to afford the services they are offering.

All veterinary practices must meet certain standards, meaning you should not be put off by the lower-priced vets.

Word of mouth and reviews

The best way to judge a veterinary practice is from the reviews it withholds. Ask close friends and family for any recommendations when it comes to taking your loved household pet to the vets – it is likely they would have had both good and bad vet experiences. Take all comments on board and do a little further research yourself. If it seems that the bad review does not match its highly-reputable service, it may be a one off bad experience.

Have a look online to see the highly-rated veterinary practices in your local areas, if any receive exceptional reviews that interest you, it may be worth enquiring.

Welcome offers

Many veterinary practices will advertise welcoming offers to new people and animals joining their practice. This is a way to entice new customers in, so this should not be overlooked. If the welcome offer is something that you are going to benefit from, it is worth putting them in your Top 5 list to choose from.

Choosing the perfect vet is essential to your pet health, it is important that your pet has regular check-ups to avoid any health issues.

Carlton Professional advertises vet nurse jobs throughout the country. They understand the importance of employing professional, caring vets up and down the country to care for your pets.

5 Tips For Camping With Your Dog

Camping is an awesome activity that the whole family can participate in almost equally and everyone can enjoy. The adults get to get away from the hectic pace of the everyday life, while the kids have the chance to explore and enjoy the beauty of nature unchecked by a commercial skyline and pollution. With the right precautions, it can also be a fun outing for Rover (or Fido), as well. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind when planning a camping trip where the family dog will accompany you.

Remember the Food!

Many people make the mistake of making sure they have plenty of human food when they go camping, only to discover that they have no dog food when they get to their campground. If you’re only going to be away for a day or two, or are really close to a market you can buy dog food at, that’s not much of a problem. However, if you’re hours away from “civilization” you may not have the option of jumping in the car and heading to the store.

Remembering the food requires you to consider what kind of camping you’re going to be doing. If your version of camping is pulling the RV into the “campground” and hooking up to water, power, and TV, you’ll be able to bring whatever you want for Rover to eat. On the other hand, if your version of camping entails strapping on a backpack and hiking up into the hills for a few hours before setting up camp, your dog food options are rather limited due to weight restrictions.

Ensure That Pets Are Allowed Where You’re Going

You get the family all excited about going camping, get everything you need for the humans packed, then pack everything you think you’ll need for the canine companions in your group. Next, you drive for several hours to where you’ve given a deposit for your campground. After you arrive and have had a chance to get everything set up to your liking, the ranger stops by to welcome you.

However, once he sees Fido, you’ve got a problem because you forgot to make sure Fido could come with you; that he was welcome according to park rules. Since Fido isn’t welcome at that camping spot, guess what? You get to pack everything up end your camping trip several days early because you failed to ask a single question.

Animal Safety

Your dog is part of your family and as such, you want to make sure he/she is safe when you’re camping. After you’ve made sure that dogs are welcome, ask them about any precautions you should take to ensure your dog’s safety. Are there predators you should be aware of?

Provide a Means to Keep the Dog from Wandering Off

Since you don’t want to wake up and discover that Fido has left the premises, you need to provide a means to ensure that doesn’t happen. This can be something as simple as a stake and rope to allow to dog to move around while keeping him close. You can also go to the extreme and bring a sleeping cage for your dog, which will also help if there are animals that can present a danger.

Remember His Health

Does your dog have health problems that require medication? If so, don’t forget those meds. Also, get your dog vaccinated for lime disease and get a supply of your favorite flea and tick repellant.

Neil Kilgore is the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.