Friday, November 6, 2009

Posts about Dogs, Dog Hair, Puppies, and All That

Nina Rotz, via Associated Content (November 06, 2009):
  • "How to Keep Furniture Free of Dog Hair"
    • "A dog can be a faithful companion that will greet you happily at the door even on your worst day. Having a dog means dealing with massive amounts of dog hair, and having to clean it up! Keeping your furniture free of dog hair is not only good housekeeping, but it also makes life more comfortable for everyone in the household. You cannot shave your dog and you cannot knit sweaters out of pounds of dog hair laying around your house. You can, however, use simple methods to keep dog hair off your furniture...."
  • "13 Steps to Puppy Proofing Your House"
    • "Puppies are cute, awkward and entertaining. They fall over, trip on their own feet and can shred a roll of paper towels into the smallest pieces. A puppy needs a safe environment where potentially dangerous and hazardous items are unreachable. Puppy proof your home by organizing, cleaning
      and keeping hazardous objects away from your dog....
  • "Household Items that Could Harm Your Dog"
    • "As a responsible dog owner, you know not to feed your dog chocolate or chicken bones. You take your dog to the vet regularly and give it plenty of attention. Your home is cozy and has everything the dog may need. You may not know, however, that some of these common household items can be
      harmful to your dog. ...
This trio of posts look like a pretty good set of advice for dog owners. You should bear in mind that I've never owned a dog: but the author's ideas seem to be common sense.

About furniture and dogs: There's a whiff of Martha Stewart some of the advice. "The covers can be removed once a week and washed", for example.

After looking over that post, I got the impression that the best, easiest, option for a dog owner would be to limit the home's furniture to steel, concrete, and the more durable synthetics - and hose the place down from time to time.

Or, accept dog hair as part of the decor.

Puppy proofing: "A puppy is much like a baby, they do not know that bathroom time is done outdoors or that mom's new shoes are not chew toys." That could be a one-sentence summary of the post. There's more detail, of course.

Household items that are harmful to dogs: Some animals, like dogs, are carnivores. Their diet consists almost entirely of meat. Some are herbivores. They eat almost nothing but plants.

Human beings are opportunistic omnivores. We can - and do - eat just about anything organic. A few things will poison us - and some, like wood, we can't digest. But by and large, if we can arm-wrestle it down our throat, we can digest it with little more than maybe a touch of indigestion as a consequence.

Each culture has a list of things that are "food" and other edible substances that are considered unpleasant or inappropriate - but won't actually hurt us.

Dogs, on the other hand, are a trifle more fine-tuned. As the post says: "Certain human foods such as chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts, walnuts, grapes, raisins, tomatoes, raw eggs, nutmeg, salt and sugar can be toxic and extremely dangerous to dogs."

Like I said, I've never owned a dog - but I've known people who do. And one of those dogs had gotten at chocolate - repeatedly - and lived to bark. Of course, that might have been a fluke - or the amount was below some critical threshold. It was a big dog.

And then there are electric blankets.

Bottom line? These three posts aren't the last word in how to care for a dog and your house - but they look like a pretty good resource.
A tip of the hat to writingdivas, on Twitter, for the heads-up on these posts.

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