Back to Work Tips for Leaving Dog Home Post-COVID

With much of the workforce now headed back to the physical work locations for their daily duties – many pet owners are worried about the emotional and behavioral effects it could have on their pets after a year of seeing and being in the home with them all day. 

If you’ve been asked to head back to the office and feel uneasy about leaving your dog home all day – here are a few tips to help you both get through it. 

Practice Early

Once you’ve received your return to work date from your employer, it’s important to start practicing and conditioning your pet to what being home all alone is like again. Allow them to adjust slowly by giving them some days where you leave the house for a few hours and remind them what it’s like. It won’t be a full 8 hour workday in the beginning and you’ll both be able to test the waters a bit before the start back date arrives. 

Leave Your Scent Behind

For dogs that you know are already and get super anxious you could also try the above recommendation and add in a shirt that you’ve worn for them to cuddle with. Your scent can sometimes help soothe their anxieties and feel like you are close – even if you physically aren’t.

Be Patient and Understanding

Just as many of us are not feeling so great about changing our lifestyles again in a post-pandemic world, dogs need their time to process and relearn and be okay with it too. If your pup has more accidents in the house or shreds things – try to be a little more understanding and patient with them as they readjust.

The Hottest New Toys and Gadgets for Your Dog

If you love your furry friend as much as we love dogs, then you probably can’t take a trip to the store without picking up some kind of treat or toy to bring back to your good boy or girl who’s sitting at home waiting for your return. Like most dog owners today – these four-legged balls of lovable fur are more and more like a member of our family than ever before.

A quick trip to the pet aisle in any store and you can easily see just how much we’re adopting them into our daily lives. From treats and food options designed to mimic human indulgences and holidays to aisles lined with gifts, toys, and decor to keep your pup happy and spoiled.

Here’s a quick look at a few of the hottest new toys and gadgets for your dog.

Treat Tossing Cameras

Finding ways to keep your dog entertained and obedient while you’re away can be difficult. In the past pet, cameras were used as a way to peek in on your pet during the workday to see how they were doing. But even if you saw them chewing up your newest pair of shoes you forgot to tuck out of reach before leaving, there was little you could do from afar. Now you can use the latest camera to speak to your dog as well as automatically toss them treats. 

Portable Water Bottles Designed for Dogs 

Dogs get thirsty quickly – especially in the warmer months you want to be sure you always have a clean, cool bottle of water for them to drink when they need it. Now you don’t have to worry about remembering to also bring a bowl and carrying that with you too. Portable doggy water bottles come in the standard size of a water bottle to carry with you as well as an extended piece at the mouth of the bottle where you can release some water into for them to lap up.

Dog Pools 

While many pet parents have already transformed the plastic kiddie pools into pup cooling baths in the warm months, there are now dedicated pools for your pets that you can purchase  – and the best part they’re foldable and tear-resistant so you don’t have to worry about storage space to keep the pool during off-seasons or at your pup having too much fun splashing at the water and tearing it up. 

Most Popular Dog Breeds in CT and MA for 2021

During the infamous 2020 pandemic, many families took some time to bring activities centered back around the home. As they fixed up their homes to accommodate this time spent socially distancing from the public, many also moved forward with bringing a four-legged furry friend into their homes too.

With the number of pet adoptions skyrocketing, it was the perfect time to look at the breeds most people sought after. 

Here is an overview of those popular dog breeds in each New England state. 

Popular CT Dog  Breeds

Over in Connecticut, a state known for its residential communities and the place where many New Yorks fled to at the height of the pandemic, saw an uptick in dogs being brought into homes. The most popular of those breeds were Labs (long known as being America’s favorite dog breed), Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds. These larger size dogs are known for being family-friendly and loyal. Shepherds are also known for being highly intelligent and protective of their families. 

Massachusetts Favorite Dogs

In MA, these same dog breeds made the list of top dog types. From labradors to golden retrievers, and German Shepherds – there’s so much for families and single dog owners to fall in love with these extremely loyal dogs. But over in Massachusetts, there is also a love for the Boston terrier, a cross between an English Bulldog and a White English Terrier and the official state dog since 1979. 

If your family is ready to welcome a new pet to your home, be sure you’re prepared to provide it with the freedom and peace of mind to roam around the house and yard without restrictions. Our hidden fence system creates a secure boundary to keep them away from gardens, swimming pools, and driveways but still enjoy running, playing, and exercising.

Give Your Pet Freedom Outdoors While Keeping Them Safe

Giving your dog some degree of freedom is important for its physical and mental health. Dogs need to get plenty of exercises and have opportunities to explore. Spending time outside can let your dog release pent-up energy and keep it mentally stimulated. A dog that is allowed to run loose at times is less likely to become agitated and misbehave. When your dog is outside, you need to be sure that it will stay in the yard, where it will be safe.

Why Free Time Outside Is So Important for Your Dog

Your canine friend needs to be able to run, play games, and enjoy itself so it doesn’t become stressed out. A dog that doesn’t get opportunities to be physically active will look for other ways to expend energy. Those often involve creating a mess inside the house.

Taking your dog for daily walks can allow it to get some exercise, but it’s important to also give your pet some unstructured time outdoors. The freedom to run, jump, and play can help your dog relieve stress and boredom.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe

If you live in a residential area where cars and trucks drive by frequently, your dog can be in danger if it leaves the yard. Your pet may be tempted to venture off the property to go exploring or to play with another dog or a person in the neighborhood. If that happens, all sorts of things can go wrong. This is why it’s so important to keep your dog confined to the yard.

Constructing a physical fence is one option, but it can be expensive. Installing an outdoor hidden fence is a much simpler and more affordable solution. It can create a boundary so your dog will stay in the yard, but it won’t block the view of the neighborhood. The boundary can be customized to suit the specific dimensions of your yard and to allow your pet in certain areas while keeping it out of others. A hidden fence is easy to install and operate.

Get a Quote for an Outdoor Hidden Fence

DogWatch of Western Massachusetts can help you choose the type of invisible fence that will be best for the design of your property and for your needs. We can explain the products we offer and their features so you can make an informed decision. Contact us today to learn more about how an invisible fence can give your pet the freedom to run and explore and keep it safe.

Why Perimeter Training for Your Pet Is Essential

A dog that spends most of its time cooped up indoors needs opportunities to exercise to protect its physical and mental health. Taking your dog for walks on a leash may allow it to get some exercise, but it won’t let your dog run, jump, play, and explore in a way that can promote optimal overall health.

Your dog may be much healthier and happier if you give it chances to run and play unencumbered by a leash. Setting up a hidden dog fence on your property can give your dog the freedom to exercise in its own way while keeping your pet in your yard and away from potential dangers. For a hidden dog fence to be successful, your dog will have to undergo perimeter training.

How a Hidden Dog Fence Works

A hidden fence can be either wireless or in-ground. Though the two types work differently, either can allow you to designate a specific area where your dog is permitted to go and keep it from venturing into places where it may face cars and other dangers. If your dog tries to cross the predefined boundary, it will receive a shock from its collar letting it know that it has ventured too far.

Why Perimeter Training Is Necessary When Using a Hidden Dog Fence

Since a hidden fence isn’t visible, your dog will have to learn where the boundaries are located so it can understand where it is and is not permitted to go. Perimeter training can use a series of voice commands and flags to teach your dog where the boundary lines lie so your pet will learn to stay within them.

Training takes just minutes per day, and most dogs are fully trained in a week to ten days. Once your pet has learned where the boundaries are and understands that it must respect them, you will be able to set your dog loose in the yard without having to worry that it might go somewhere it shouldn’t.

Get a Quote for a Hidden Dog Fence

DogWatch sells several models of hidden dog fences that are designed to suit the needs of specific pets, pet owners, and properties. With a hidden fence, you will be able to define the boundary to suit the design of your yard and your needs and preferences. For example, if you want your dog to have the freedom to run around the backyard, but you want to keep it out of a garden, the boundary lines can be set accordingly.

One of our experienced trainers can work with you and your pet to teach your dog to respect the boundary. Our trainers have experience working with dogs of many breeds and personality types. Contact us today to learn more.

The Differences Between Wireless and In-Ground Dog Fences

A hidden dog fence can keep your pet on your property without the need for a physical barrier that will block the view. If you do some research on hidden dog fences, you will find that they fall into two categories: wireless and in-ground. It’s important to understand the differences between them so you can select the type that’s best for your needs.

How Wireless and In-Ground Dog Fences Work

A wireless fence will give your dog a static correction if its collar no longer picks up a signal from the transmitter. That can happen if your dog ventures outside its boundary, but it can also occur if something between the transmitter and your dog, such as a hill, blocks the signal. A metal object or building can also interfere with the collar’s ability to pick up the signal from the transmitter.

Wireless signals can be inconsistent. That means that the exact parameters of your dog’s boundary may change due to fluctuations in the signal.

If a wireless fence wouldn’t work for you, an in-ground fence may be the right option. A boundary wire can emit a signal and activate your dog’s collar whenever it picks up the signal. Since the boundary wire is underground, interference isn’t an issue.

Areas Hidden Dog Fences Can Cover

A wireless fence can cover a circular boundary area, usually up to 25 acres. If you have a large property or one with an irregular shape, a wireless fence may not be the right choice.

An in-ground fence can be customized to suit the unique layout of your property and your specific needs. The boundary wire can be laid in a way that allows your dog to go into certain areas and keeps it out of others. An in-ground dog fence can cover a larger area than a wireless fence (generally up to 100 acres).

Set-up and Maintenance

A wireless fence is easy to set up. If you take your dog with you somewhere else, such as a vacation house, you can take the wireless system with you and use it there. Installing an in-ground fence is more difficult and time-consuming, but you may decide that it’s worth it due to the ability to customize the boundary area.  

Maintaining a wireless dog fence is simple and straightforward. You will just have to replace or recharge the collar’s battery and may have to replace other components from time to time.

If you choose an in-ground system and the boundary wire breaks, it will have to be repaired. First, you’ll have to locate the site of the break, which can be challenging.

Learn More about Hidden Dog Fences

DogWatch offers several types of outdoor hidden dog fences, as well as other products that can help you train your pet and keep it safe. Contact us today.

New Alerts Feature Added to DogWatch SmartFence WebApp

One thing we care most about when it comes to assisting with your pet’s freedom is ensuring they are always comfortable and secure in the boundaries you have set. In addition to hidden fence technologies, we also believe in behavioral training and ongoing monitoring for your peace of mind and your pet’s comfort.

Recently, a new feature was rolled out for the DogWatch SmartFence App called Boundary Challenge Alerts. This new option provides text and/or email alerts whenever your dog gets close to the areas marked to be avoided. Getting closer to the boundary of the hidden fence already releases an audible or vibration warning and correction – when this is triggered it will now also issue the new alert notification.

The SmartFence® underground fence system uses patented FM radio technology and mobile connectivity features so your dog will stay safe and happy, and you’ll stay connected at all times.

Other features customers already enjoy as part of the offering include SmartCollar™ alerts, like a Low Battery Alert.

After listening to requests from customers and dealers for features they’d like to see available, this feature was created to not only provide data but also help reveal areas where pets may need some retraining or additional reinforcements. It can even show the frequency and timing of these attempts to get past the boundaries for further investigation of potential events causing the behavior (like a mail person, lawn care company or school bus arrival.)

The new alerts are being automatically rolled out for customers. There will also be a link to easily disable the notifications being sent for Boundary Challenges.

Have questions? Want a DogWatch connected hidden fence installed on your property? Give us a call today!

The Importance of an Invisible Dog Fence

Keeping your dog confined to your yard can protect it from danger. A fence can keep your dog from being hit by a car, getting into a fight with another animal, or wandering off and causing damage to a neighbor’s property. You have several options when it comes to fencing, but an invisible dog fence offers unique advantages compared to a physical barrier.

How an Invisible Dog Fence Works

A radio frequency is broadcast and travels along a cable that is buried in the yard a few inches underground. The cable creates a clearly defined boundary that limits where your dog can go. A receiver in the dog’s collar detects the radio frequency.

If your dog gets close to the boundary line, it will receive a warning via an audible sound or a vibration. If your dog attempts to cross the boundary, it will receive mild stimulation from the collar. The settings are easy to adjust to suit your pet. Your dog will learn where the boundary is located and will learn to stop before reaching that point.

An Invisible Dog Fence Is Easy to Install and Affordable

Installing a physical fence can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, especially if you have a large yard. An invisible dog fence is easier to install, even if it has to cover a large, irregular space or enclose an area with water or woods. It may also cost less than constructing a physical barrier.

An Invisible Dog Fence Won’t Block Your View

If your yard is surrounded by an attractive landscape, you probably don’t like the idea of blocking it with a wood or metal fence. If you decide to install an invisible dog fence, you will still be able to enjoy the view without worrying about your dog escaping and getting into trouble.

An Invisible Dog Fence May Do a Better Job of Keeping Your Dog Confined Than a Physical Fence

Countless homeowners have installed a physical barrier to keep their dog in the yard, then found that their pet simply dug under it to get out. Some dogs may chew a hole in a fence so they can squeeze through, and some may even jump or climb over a fence. With an invisible dog fence, those methods of escape won’t work.

A physical fence can’t keep your dog in the yard if you forget to shut the gate or don’t check to make sure that it latched securely. If you install an invisible dog fence, you won’t have to be concerned about slipping up and having your dog run loose through the neighborhood.

Learn More about Invisible Dog Fence Options

If you have been struggling to figure out how to keep your dog in your yard without blocking the view of the surrounding area, an invisible dog fence is a solution. DogWatch of Western Massachusetts offers several models with a variety of helpful features. Contact us today to learn more.

Can Booties Help Protect my Dog’s Feet?

The winter season has been extreme across most of the U.S. this year. Here in New England, we’ve seen our share of snow accumulation and bitter cold temps. These weather events have created a challenge for travel, keeping our homes warm and especially for many dogs and their parents. Long exposure to cold snow can harm your pet in many ways but when they must go outside for bathroom breaks it’s hard to avoid having them walk through frozen, cold snow. Over time this can dry the skin out and cause painful cracking and bleeding.

One option for protecting their paws is to have your dog wear dog booties or dog shoes. If you’ve ever tried getting your dog to use this, perhaps you have seen how funny they walk or unsure they are about taking steps while using them.

In this post, we’re reviewing some important tips for teaching your dog how to wear shoes and feel confident while they do.

First, it’s important that you choose the correct shoe size and type for your dog. There are numerous options on the market, from soft bootie style shoes to rain-resistant material and shoes with rubber soles for better grip. Understanding which shoe you’ll need should take into consideration your dog’s age, activity level, and the surfaces where they’ll likely be walking.

Choosing a proper fit for your dog is also important. You don’t want anything too tight or even too loose that slides of their feet as they are walking. There are some online guides you can use for measuring the span of your dog’s paw and length but trying shoes on for comfort is best.

Once you are trying shoes on your dog, or the first time they actually wear them, be sure to be overly excited and happy with them and give them a treat so they know this new behavior and accessory is a positive thing.

If you’re slowly working on getting your dog used to the new shoes you can even try putting just the hind shoes on first so they still have their front footing and can ease into the feeling of wearing and walking with shoes on. After they show comfort and ease with the hind shoes on you can slowly start adding on the 1 front shoes and continue to provide positive reinforcement as they do.

The most important thing is to be consistent, and keep trying. Some dogs will jump right into using their shoes with no problem and some will need to slowly become comfortable with using them. Trust the process and most importantly have fun!

Tips for Doggy Dental Health

Taking good care of our pets is important for their livelihood, health and safety. There’s so much more to caring and raising an animal in your home than a few walks and vet visits. Today, pets are an additional member of the household that enjoys family outings, bonding time and provides companionship for all.

One important aspect of their health that isn’t always thought of is their teeth. Dental hygiene and health are just as important for dogs. Dental disease is a very common problem for dogs so understanding the best care you can provide is important. 

Since February is dental health month, we thought it was a great time to review some of the steps you can take to help protect your pet’s teeth and gums.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth 

In case you never knew about it, there are dog toothbrushes and toothpastes available that can help with the task of keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. If you’re unable to do the task on your own there are professionals that can assist with a tooth cleaning service. If your dog does allow it though, it’s good to brush up to every day before bedtime if possible – just like you do with your own teeth and for all the same reasons – prevent cavities, decay, etc.

Choose Tooth-healthy Treats 

While treats should not be given too frequently to dogs, it’s important to choose a quality option when you do. This should include treats that are created to assist with tooth and gum health. Often they will feature fresh minty scents to help with breath and even ridges and bumps that dogs will chew on and can help prevent tartar buildup between dental cleanings.

Schedule a Dental Exam

If your dog’s teeth are a concern, you should schedule a visit with your vet and arrange for a dental exam where they can look more closely at the teeth, any issues that may be occurring and even address any problem area before they become an issue for your dog.