Category Archives: Other Resources

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two dogs on leashes meeting - dog park etiquette

Dog Park Etiquette

Are you planning your first time taking the new furry companion to the dog park? Perhaps you just want to make sure you’re following all the rules when it comes to doggy socializing time. Many people don’t know proper dog park etiquette which is very understandable. A lot of dog park “should” and “should-nots” are not intuitive, but that’s why we’re writing this article! So, let’s dive straight in on a few quick tips to make sure you and your pup have a safe and fun time!

Doo Doo Diligence

First some basics: clean up after your dog. Nobody likes stepping in refuse. Get off your phone and pay attention to how your pup is interacting. Don’t let your dog be aggressive towards other dogs or attempt to dominate them. If this starts happening, it may be best to leave the dog park today.

Tame the Excitement

Before heading to the dog park, make sure that your dog has had some exercise! Wait, I thought exercise was for the dog park? Nope the dog park needs to be supplemental exercise. If your pooch hasn’t had any exercise all day and suddenly they are presented with an extremely stimulating environment, problems can easily arise.

Basic Obedience

Make sure your dog has excellent recall skills. This doesn’t mean coming every tenth time when there is no other external stimulation. Your dog needs to be able to divert their attention immediately to you and return when called in high energy situations. If your dog does not have recall skills and you bring her to a dog park, you are putting her and every other dog and human in the dog park in danger.

Health & Safety

Vaccinate! This one should probably come as a no-brainer. If your dog is younger than 12 weeks not up to date on their vaccines, don’t bring them to the park. Be mindful of any outbreaks or diseases endemic to your area such as Canine Influenza (CI) and ensure that your dog is properly vaccinated for these as well. Also, bring your own water bowl to reduce the risk of diseases in any public water bowls.

bulldog and beagle puppies wrestling - dog park etiquette

Freedom

Take your dog off the leash. When visiting dog parks for the first time, many owners are uneasy letting their dog run loose. However, this can make your dog feel trapped and anxious in this new environment. If another dog runs up and wants to play, your dog may become aggressive because they feel like they cannot get away.

Share

Don’t bring your dog’s own toys if they have trouble sharing. Your dog will not have a fun time at the dog park if they like to steal or guard food and toys. The dog park is a social experience for everyone involved and if your dog can’t play well with others then bringing them puts everyone involved in danger.

Size Matters

For smaller dogs, make sure you don’t put them in the same play area as the large dogs. Even if your tiny pup often plays with the bigger dogs, the predatory instinct can be triggered by their quick movements and higher pitched barks. It’s on you for whatever may happen to your pup when they overly stimulate a larger dog in the big dog play area.

Read the Room

Also, be careful when picking up your smaller dog. If they are being chased in what appears to be a menacing way, bringing them up into the air can trigger a treeing instinct in the chasing dog. With all the stimulation of a dog park, picking up your small dog may result in you being bitten or knocked down. In these situations, it may be better to simply lead your dog away from the confrontation.

It’s a Team Effort

Finally, make sure to be welcoming to other owners. Nobody is born with the innate knowledge of how to raise a dog perfectly or have great dog park etiquette. If you see someone who looks overwhelmed, talk to them and show them the ropes. It’s not rude to politely point at any mistakes that may be putting any dogs or people in danger.


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little girl in english garden with puppy - purples and greens and an old wooden fence - pet pictures

Taking Great Pet Pictures

Taking pet pictures helps us immortalize those candid or exciting moment so we can  relive them months or years into the future. However, we all know that photographing your pets is a much different task than snapping some pictures of friends, family, or a beautiful landscape. While we all love our companions, they don’t always listen, so capturing those key seconds the way we see them can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you get the best shots of your favorite animal friends.

Get them Used to the Equipment

Make sure your pet is comfortable with the device(s) you’re using to capture them with. The sound of the shutter can sometimes frighten or alter the mood of an animal companion who is not accustomed to it. Let them examine the camera – from a safe distance of course! Make sure that you aren’t doing anything else out of the ordinary because your pet may begin to wonder what is different about this scenario and become frightened or guarded. Nonchalantly begin taking pictures and don’t start distracting them with treats or talking in a different voice than usual.

Angles & Perspectives

Change the camera angle / perspective. Some of the most compelling pictures come from the eye level of our friends. Get down and capture what the world is like for them with them in it. Experiment with different perspectives. Take shots from behind, below, from the side, and even upside down.

Backgrounds & Contrast

Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure that you’re not capturing an overly complex background that will draw the viewers eyes away from your subject. Simple backgrounds that contrast with your pet will make them “pop” and create the most compelling images.

vintage pet photo album - pet pictures

How to Get a Smile

If you’re going for dog pictures and want to see that pearly white smile then make sure to run them a little bit beforehand. Play with them for a few minutes and you’ll see that happy active grin show up. Your furry companion will have all their attention on you, so you can get great portrait shots as well!

Lots of Pictures

Take lots of shots! You aren’t going to get the best shot every first, second, third, or even fiftieth time in most cases. Memory is cheap these days but great memories are priceless! Snap the same shot from different angles, trace your eye around the shot and make sure there isn’t something in it that you don’t want. Try portrait shots, landscape shots, different exposures. Odds are you won’t know which shot was the best until you review them afterwards, so take plenty.

Image Editing

Finally, a little post-processing can really give that extra kick to an otherwise mediocre image. There are plenty of free image manipulation tools on the web such as GIMP, if you don’t already have access to one. Mess with the saturation, exposure, and contrast. Remember that small tweaks go a long way unless you’re going for a very surreal look. There are plenty of short and simple YouTube tutorials out there as well targeted specifically at individuals taking shots of their pets. Now get out there and snap some shots of your animal companions!

More Tips

Here’s a video from Carli Davidson, a Portland pet photographer!


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“Pet Fooled” Documentary

An investigative exposé of the inner workings of the commercial pet food industry, Pet Fooled is an eye-opening documentary that all pet owners should watch.

pet fooled documentary

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