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Best Pet-Friendly Flooring

Best Flooring Choices for Fido and Fluffy

Utility, style and value are not mutually exclusive when it comes to what goes under your and your pets’ feet.

By Stacy Mantle

Pet friendly flooring, what to know about purchasing flooring with pets in mind

These days, we have more flooring choices than ever. More than 60 percent of families in the U.S. share their homes with pets, so it’s no surprise the flooring industry is getting creative with options that are durable, inexpensive and stylish. Here is a look at some of the best pet-friendly flooring options on the market today. 

 

Cool, Natural and Affordable Solutions

Those in warm southern climates can benefit from the cool, natural flooring options that are so often associated with showcase homes.

Stone: Naturally beautiful, scratch-resistant and easy to clean, stone is probably one of the best options for a pet-friendly household. Since it’s not as slick as tile, you won’t have pets falling throughout the house or causing injury to their hips, and if you’re in the Southwest, it can keep you cool all summer long. The drawback is stone can be uncomfortable for pets to sleep on throughout the day, so it’s very important you provide them with plenty of options for bedding, particularly senior pets.

Tip: Look for stone that doesn’t need to be sealed.

Tile: Easily one of the most popular flooring options for pet owners with allergies, tile is cool, easy to maintain, inexpensive to install and very pet-friendly. Be sure to incorporate some stylish, nonslip rugs into the design. Rugs help ensure young animals don’t slide into walls while playing and create a soft area for senior animals to rest their arthritic bones.

Tip: Stock up on extra tiles at time of purchase to keep color consistent during repairs.

Concrete: Decorative concrete is the new “in” design across the country. Whether you choose to stain, stamp or paint, there is a look you can mimic using the highly versatile concrete. There are an unlimited number of ways you can make concrete look as expensive as marble. Rated as the best alternative for people with pets, concrete can make a beautiful and inexpensive option for your pet-friendly floor.

Tip: Incorporate radiant heating into design to lower winter heating costs.

 

Warm, Inviting and Durable Solutions

If you live in an “all-weather” region, you might likely be on the hunt for warm, durable solutions. These include vinyl, laminate and carpet-tile options. While wood is beautiful flooring, it’s one of the least durable options for homes with pets—sharp claws can make short work of the floor. Instead, look for chic, aesthetically pleasing options that are easy to maintain.

Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is very durable and resistant to moisture, which makes it a favorite in the rainy areas. Simple to maintain, it has the added bonus of muffling the sounds your pets nails make as they click across the floor. Vinyl flooring comes in a large variety of colors and designs so you never have to sacrifice style for comfort.

Tip: Inlaid vinyl is thicker and has richer colors.

Laminate: If you’re looking for the aristocratic feel of wood floors without all the maintenance; laminate flooring is a durable solution that can hold up to the hard nails of your pet without scratching. While it’s not quite as durable as vinyl, laminate is affordable, easy to maintain and lasts much longer than wood.

Tip: Check the warranty—they range from 10 years to a lifetime.

Carpet Tiles: This is an excellent alternative to heavy floor rugs or to cover up and preserve wood floors. Simple to assemble, these can be used as an entire floor or as a way to preserve a high-use area. Cleaning is as simple as removing the carpet tile that is soiled by running it under water or tossing it in the washer. A vacuum can clean up any larger areas. Use as a runner for areas your pets like to charge through and eliminate any problems of getting toenails caught in shag. The pattern variety enables custom design and you can also make it the perfect option for concrete floors.

Tip: Visit Flor.com for clever ideas to create unique, affordable designs.

 

Green, Natural and Renewable Solutions

Flooring made from long-lasting, renewable resources is in vogue, which makes cork and bamboo two of my favorite flooring options.

Cork is a natural antimicrobial that reduce smold and other allergens—making it a perfect flooring solution for homes with pets. It also absorbs sound nicely (an excellent selling point if you dogs bark a lot). However, cork floors can fade and discolor if they see too much sunlight, making it a bad option for sunny regions. Consider coating it with a high-quality urethane to reduce wear and tear.

Tip: Avoid cork-vinyl composites. If using sealer, select a low-VOC product.

Bamboo is also an excellent option as it’s the hardest of hardwood—making it very durable and long-lasting. Cleaning is a breeze but remember, while cork and bamboo floors are naturally water-resistant, you need to get stains cleaned up quickly as they will eventually cause discoloration.

Tip: Look for FSC-certified products that have had no formaldehyde added.

Whatever new flooring you select, focus on easily maintained, durable and mildew-resistant designs. Any of the above options can last a long time and add value to your home. Pet-friendly (and pet-resistant) flooring also ensures you won’t grow frustrated with damage caused by your four-legged family members. These days, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and durability for style.


About the Author: Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com and the bestselling author of “Shepherd’s Moon.” Learn more great tips for living with animals by visiting PetsWeekly.com or get to know a little more about the author at  www.StacyMantle.com

Forever Warriors Founder – Training Service Dogs While Changing the World for Vets

Jason Young puts Animals & Soldiers First in His Quest to Change the World for Veterans.

Training Service Dogs in Los Angeles

Jason Young Founder of Forever Warriors. Now training service dogs with Big Paws Canine in Los Angeles, CA.

Young, a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Dog Obedience Program is now Training Service Dogs While Changing Veteran Lives.

ABC Graduate Dog Trainer Jason Young

Jason Young served in the Navy Seabees Construction Battalion.  After coming home from his tour, Jason Young was in school to complete his education in Computer Networking. During his program training he was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  His doctor recommended that he consider a new career while going through the rehabilitation recommended to heal his TBI.

“Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a complex injury with a broad spectrum of symptoms and disabilities,” according to http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com.

“One moment the person diagnosed can be seen as normal and the next moment life has abruptly changed. Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. Recovery is a functional recovery, based on mechanisms that remain uncertain. No two brain injuries are a like and the consequence of two similar injuries may be very different. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days or weeks after the injury.  Most often, these body structures heal and regain their previous function.” says  traumaticbraininjury.com.

After considering his options Jason again consulted with his doctor. He mentioned that he may want to pursue a vocational career that involved peer counseling. Young’s doctor recommended considering a career in training service dogs. Jason liked the idea of rehabilitation training that could benefit the lives of soldiers and veterans using Dog Training as the tool to heal himself and others.  He loves working with service dogs and highly recommends Animal Behavior College to other veterans as a great place to learn Dog Obedience Training.

Jason graduated from Animal Behavior College in September 2013. Before completing his final exam and externship he was offered a position as a Dog Trainer at Big Paws Canine Academy and Foundation, Inc.

We had the chance to ask Jason Young why he chose Animal Behavior College and specifically the dog training program? Here is what he had to say:

“The course was great! I loved the externship and working at the shelter. My main goal before I started the course was to learn to train Service Dogs for Veterans. Myself being a veteran wanting to help other vets I had thought about becoming a peer counselor, but I didn’t want to bring that home with me every day. After one of the VA doctors asked me if I had ever thought about training service animals. It was the perfect idea, considering all the service dog providers there are popping up all over the country very few people are looking at becoming a dog trainer. I have been communicating with numerous providers in the last year like: Pets for Vets, TADSAW, Battle Buddy and many others. I would refer veterans to whichever one that was closest or fit the Veterans needs best. About a week before I received my certificate in September, Big Paws Canine Academy offered me a training job training Veterans and their dogs at the VA hospitals. It is the perfect fit for me. I can help other veterans alleviate anxieties caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) naturally and possibly lower the doses of mood altering medications that some veterans are becoming dependent upon for every day life. It’s a win, win{situation}, for me. I get to work with animals and help heroes.”

Jason’s passion truly shows that it is not about the money. He actually turned down a paid position at Big Paws Canine Academy and opted for working as an intern so that Big Paws CA could afford to hire more trainers. Together Jason and Big Paws CA are on a mission to make rehabilitation available to more vets returning from war.  They are not the only ones. Jason is also participating in the Battle Buddy Run, a 5K fundraiser to assist the placement of service dogs with soldiers who have PTSD. This event is taking place in Fresno Calif. on October 26th.  https://www.facebook.com/battlebuddyrun

Service Dog Obedience Training by Jason at Big Paws Academy

Jason teaching Service Dog Obedience class at local Lowe’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his spare time Jason enjoys speaking with other soldiers and vets.  He assists injured soldiers and vets by pairing them with an organization that would best suit their needs. He also posts content about service dogs, service dog news, and information needed on his Forever Warriors page. https://www.facebook.com/WeAreForeverWarriors?ref=stream

 

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is
National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

Shelter dogs and cats deserve a forever home. By adopting or fostering a shelter pet, you are saving an animal’s life. Even if you can’t adopt a new pet, there are several great ways you can help save a dog or cat who is currently living in a shelter.

Use Social Media to Raise Awareness
Share with your friends and followers that October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. By doing so you become a part of the saving lives formula. Help raise awareness by using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, 4square, Tumblr, and Instagram. Consider using #hastags such as #welovedogs, #savedogs, #fosterdogs, #traindogs, and #dogs in your posts. This helps them be found by people searching for industry-related articles on social networking trend walls and blogs, as well as RSS feeds.

Volunteer to Train Shelter Dogs

At Animal Behavior College (ABC), our students and employees have been training shelter dogs since 1998.  It is a fact that a trained dog in a shelter is far more likely to be adopted then one who has not had behavioral training. Since 2004, ABC’s dog training students have collectively donated more than 93,000 hours to animal shelters. This program is called Students Saving Lives. The success has been revolutionary in the fight to save animal lives.
Read more about Students Saving Lives.

Animal Behavior College also offers a Continuing Education Program called Training Shelter Dogs. This program is a great way to help certified dog trainers establish themselves in the dog training industry while doing their part in assisting shelter dogs by providing the behavioral training they need.

Foster Pets from Shelters like, Best Friends or Unwanted NYC Pets

If you love pets but aren’t ready to adopt, opening your home as a foster parent is a great way to help out. Many foster programs make it as easy as possible, giving you the support you need. Here’s how it works:

You provide a temporary place to crash, water, exercise and love.
You receive food and supplies, veterinary care, any support and guidance you need, endless love from your foster pet, and the satisfaction of helping an animal in need.

Best Friends will work with you to find the best match possible for your home and lifestyle. If at any point the foster situation is not working out, Best Friends will take the animal back into its care and find another that will work for you.

Take the Pledge
Join the more than 100,000 people who have already taken the “No Pet Store Puppies” pledge to help fight puppy mill cruelty by refusing to buy anything—including food, supplies or toys—at pet stores and from websites that sell puppies.

Animal Shelters & Rescues in the U.S.

Best FriendsBestFriends.org

Best Friends Animal Society is the only national nonprofit animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement for more than 30 years, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals (at its headquarters), regional centers in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and New York, as well as life-saving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country.

Did you know that more than 9,000 dogs and cats are killed each day in America’s shelters? More than 4 million lives are lost each year simply because they don’t have a safe place to call home. These pets deserve to be saved. At Best Friends Animal Society, they believe no animals should have to die in shelters when solutions exist to save them—solutions like adopting, fostering, spaying/neutering and Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR).

Unwanted NYC Pets - UnwantedNYCpets.org
Unwanted New York City Pets or Unwanted NYC Pets is spearheaded by Betina Wasserman and her team of close knit animal confidants. Together they rescue pets from the kill list and save dogs and cats from all across New York City’s Tri-borough area. Betina is also the founder of Unwanted NYC Pets, a 501-C3 non-profit organization. The Unwanted NYC Pets team is determined to help make the world a better place by saving the lives of dogs, who would otherwise be put down if not rescued. Betina’s message: Don’t buy dogs, please adopt them! Read More

Animal Shelters & Rescues in Canada

Animal Rescue and Outreach Society (AROS) is a charitable, non-profit organization serving the Alberta Capital Region. Their mission is to rescue and rehabilitate displaced pets, and to provide education and support to pet owners.
Learn more about Animal Rescue and Outreach Society

How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner

How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner

By Lisa King

Responsible owners make sure their dogs get enough exercise and play time.

Responsible owners make sure their dogs get enough exercise and play time.

Dog Ownership 101

Being a responsible dog owner starts before you even get a dog. Before visiting a shelter or calling a rescue, be certain that you have the time, energy and finances to properly care for a new pet. Here are a few rules to follow before the fact:

1. Don’t get a dog for your children unless you are prepared to do 100 percent of his care, if not right away then when they move out of the house. This is the voice of experience speaking.

2. Do your research and choose a breed or mix whose activity level matches your own. If you’re a couch potato, don’t get a Border Collie. If you want to go running or biking with your dog, forget the Pug.

3. How much space do you have? A large dog will be miserable in a studio apartment, while a small lap dog will be quite comfortable.

4. Do you want to deal with all the training required for a puppy? Adopting an adult dog who’s already housetrained puts you ahead of the game.

Now that you have an idea of the type of dog you’d like, go online and search local shelters for a dog who fits your requirements. If your heart is set on a purebred, these can sometimes be found at shelters. Breed-specific rescues are also good sources for purebred dogs. If you go to a breeder, do some research to ensure she’s reputable. DO NOT buy a dog from a pet shop—these adorable puppies usually come from puppy mills, which keep breeding animals in deplorable conditions.

Dog Health Tips

Once you get your dog home, follow these 10 tips to ensure he has a long, happy and healthy life.

1. Take him in for regular vet checkups. Spay or neuter your dog if it hasn’t already been done. Keep him current on shots, dewormer and flea and tick protection.

2. Give your dog plenty of exercise according to the needs of his breed or breeds.

3. Train your dog. Take him to a training class or train him yourself by consulting books, magazines and online resources. He should know basic commands such as “Come,” “Leave It,” “Sit” and “Lie Down.” Keep him on a leash when not in a secure, fenced yard. Even a well-trained dog with a strong prey drive can be distracted by squirrels or other small animals and run into traffic.

4. Brush your dog regularly to prevent mats. The frequency of brushing depends on his coat type. Take him to a reliable groomer if he is a breed that needs more complicated grooming, such as a Poodle or a Maltese. Keep his nails clipped. If you’re nervous about clipping them yourself, have your groomer or vet do the job.

5. Wash your dog regularly. Depending on the dog’s coat and environment that can mean once a month, once every couple of weeks or even more often if he gets into something nasty. Use a high-quality natural shampoo. Don’t wash him too often, though; too-frequent baths can cause dry, itchy skin.

6. Secure your dog in the car, either in a crate or with a harness that hooks onto the seatbelt. A dog who’s loose in the car becomes a dangerous projectile in a crash. If he’s in the front seat, or God forbid on the driver’s lap, he can be killed if the airbags deploy.

7. Provide proper ID for your dog so he can be returned to you if lost. Attach a tag bearing his name and your phone number to his collar. For added safety, consider having your vet microchip him.

8. Feed him the best diet you can afford. Your options are many: kibble, canned, frozen raw and freshly made cooked. Find a food that makes you both happy. Keep dishes clean and always provide plenty of fresh water.

9. Be a good neighbor and pick up your dog’s poop. Cleaning up after him even in your own yard is important to keep harmful bacteria out of groundwater.

10. Provide plenty of love and affection; it will be returned tenfold.


About the Author: Lisa King is a freelance writer living in Southern California. She is the former managing editor of Pet Product News International, Dogs USA, and Natural Dog magazines. Lisa is also the author of the well-received murder mystery novel “Death in a Wine Dark Sea.”

 

Dog Walking Etiquette

Dog Walking Etiquette

By Stacy Mantle

Walking the Dog

Following commonsense rules when walking your dog makes the experience enjoyable for everyone.


Walk Your Dog Each Day

In a world where many different species enjoy walking each day, it’s important to understand the rules of the road for canines. The rules below are not hard and fast, they aren’t legally binding and they aren’t meant to be regulated. They are intended as good “common sense” rules for any pets who enjoy walks.

1.  Respect personal space. Whether you’re on a trailhead or at the dog park, there are people who will not love your dog. Even fellow dog lovers are hesitant around other breeds. Some small-breed lovers will be in complete fear of your large-breed dog no matter how friendly, and vice versa. Never force your dog on another person or animal.

Teach your pet to keep his nose to himself. People don’t generally like to be sniffed—particularly if they are running or walking or just enjoying the day. Keep your pet under control and never allow her to pull at the leash in search of a quick sniff of another dog or person.

2. Leashes are required. Besides being good common sense, leashes are required by law in nearly every state and that includes state and national forests. It doesn’t matter if your dog is friendly, it doesn’t matter if your dog always listens. If any other person views your pet as a threat, they can legally defend themselves, which can lead to tragic results.

Keep your leash short. This can help eliminate problems with tangled leashes, territorial sidewalk users and other such problems. The only exception to using a leash is in a designated off-leash area.

3. Clean up after your pet. You should not allow your pet to urinate or defecate in a person’s yard, a golf course or in a public park. Urine can leave ugly brown spots and create problems for a property owner. Look for a public, remote area for your pet to do her business. If an accident does happen, be courteous and clean up after your pet. It’s the law in most municipalities and it makes for good neighbors.

4. Not all dogs are friendly. You should never assume that because your pets are friendly, other people’s pets are friendly, too. Don’t allow your pet to approach other animals without an invitation. You never know how controlled the other animal may be.

5. Be respectful of other species. Cats are going out on walks more frequently, as are birds, ferrets and even other lesser-known and more unusual species. This is why you should never allow or encourage your dog to chase any type of animal. Your dog may interpret a cat to be a squirrel, leading to disastrous consequences. Train your pets to recognize and be receptive to other species.

6. Announce your arrival. When running or walking with your dog, it’s always polite to inform those ahead of you that you’re coming up behind. This can be done with a simple “Behind you” or “To your left” announcement, letting them know you’re planning to pass. This is particularly important when using public walkways.

7. Teach children. Nearly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year and more than 72 percent of those are children. We have to begin educating kids (even other people’s children) on the proper way to approach an animal. This begins with you and your dog. Let parents and children know they need to approach slowly, ask to pet your dog and always keep their faces away from the dog.

8. Elevators and enclosed areas. When in an elevator or other enclosed area of a public building, your dog should move to the back corner of the elevator and sit quietly near you as people get on and off. Keep your pet on a short leash, as some people have a real fear of being in an elevator with a dog.

9. Stop and sit at crosswalks. Your dog should always stop before a crosswalk and sit quietly beside you. While not all dogs can be trained to do this, it’s important to work up to it. Not only that, it could save their lives if they ever got loose.

10. The five training commands. Come, drop, leave it, heel and sit-stay are the five basic commands every pet should know before walking out the door. If your pets cannot do these things, you should focus your training until they can.

Owning a pet is about being a responsible pet owner. You are responsible for teaching your pets good etiquette as they will not learn from others. Together we can make the world a better place for our animals and other humans.


About the Author: Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com and the bestselling author of “Shepherd’s Moon.” Learn more great tips for living with animals by visiting PetsWeekly.com or get to know a little more about the author at  www.StacyMantle.com

Pet Grooming Tips for the Summer

Summer Pet Grooming - Dog or Cat Grooming Careers

Grooming your pets in the summer. Advice from an Animal Behavior College Dog Grooming certificate program graduate. Why you may not want to groom your dog when it gets hot. Pet Grooming Training Tips shared by Student Graduate of Dog Grooming School.

Pet Grooming Tips in Summertime

Although your pet may have a warm thick coat, long-haired cats and dogs are actually kept COOL from this. The coat acts as insulation and it regulates the dog or cat’s body temperature, so when it’s hot, it keeps the cool in, and vise-versa.

The best way to keep your pet cool is to keep your pet’s coat mat-free, well-brushed, and clean.

If you are considering grooming your cat or dog this summer, try to leave at least two inches of fur to protect your pet from the elements. Be aware that once shaved, a double-coated pet’s coat will never grow back the same.

Read the Entire Article: http://didntknowsit.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/summershave/

 

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Pet Grooming Tips for the Summer – by Animal Behavior College Graduate

Steven Appelbaum Guest Post – Car Safety for Dogs

Car Safety for Dogs

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Enjoying a Car Ride. Can you take advantage of the safety harness for your dog, when traveling with him/her in your car or truck?

The President of Animal Behavior College, Steven Appelbaum, wrote a guest post on WayCoolDogs.com which talks about safety harness crash test results for dogs.

The non-profit Center for Pet Safety tested several brands of pet harnesses using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 213). The crash test was conducted at an independent laboratory that also tests for the Department of Transportation, using life sized dog test dummies.

Steve believes that all pet products designed to keep a pet secured in an automobile will be held to the same or similar standards as human seat belts.

Read the entire blog post about Dog Safety for the Car or Truck at: http://www.waycooldogs.com/car-safety-for-dogs/

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Dog Training: The Ultimate Mobile Skill?

 

Christina O’Bryant has loved being around animals since she was a little girl, when she started volunteering at a local shelter at the age of 13.  In 2009, just having graduated from high school, she learned about Animal Behavior College (ABC) and was happy to find out that Continue reading