Solving the Dog & Skunk Problem

Having a dog you love and who enjoys the backyard and time with your family is a truly rewarding experience. There are things that can happen out in nature, that aren’t as pleasant though – like when you’re beloved furry friend has an encounter with a skunk.

The noxious smell alone is so unpleasant you may even contemplate not letting him back in the house – at least not until the odor is gone. But we all know how impossible it is to leave our babies abandoned. So here is what you can do to solve the dog and skunk problem you’re encountering.

Clean Them Up Immediately

Because the smell can spread to surfaces, it is critical to keep your dog outdoors until you can hose him down and wash him up. The last thing you want is for the dog to come inside and rub against furniture where the odors will stick and reside. You want to do this as quickly as possible before it has time to set into your pet’s fur. Start by spraying them down with an –oil-based, soapy cleaner made to de-skunk or that you create at home missing baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dishwashing soap. Scrub the soap in and rinse it thoroughly to remove residue. After the rinse, you should follow up with your pup’s usually shampoo and conditioner treatment to ensure the hair is clean and fluffy again once it’s dried.

Get a Hidden Fence

There’s no better way to protect your dog from mischief and wandering out into other areas outdoors that he shouldn’t be, than with a hidden fence. While skunks can make their way into the yard regardless, this will still be a great resource to give you peace of mind that your dog won’t wander into the skunk’s territory and risk being sprayed.

Our new SmartFence™ Containment System is the world’s first connected outdoor hidden pet fence to keep your dog safe while they enjoy the backyard. With SmartFence you can check remotely and get texts and emails for total peace of mind.

Pet Care Apps Bring Joy & Help to Owners and Their Companions

As any good pet owner knows, having tools to help care for them is critical. From the proper diet to toys and training – everything we do for our pets helps make the time spent enjoying their company that much better. Companies are capitalizing on this need as more pet owners incorporate their furry friends into their daily lives with the introduction of gadgets, gear, and even mobile apps designed specifically with pets in mind.

A few of the hottest mobile apps out there right now aimed at pets include training apps so you can teach your pet tricks, get the potty trained and even teach them to stop nipping and other bad behaviors.  With one app, you pay to have access to virtual sessions with professional trainers who will guide you through training tips via live chat and with 24/7 messaging access.

The American Red Cross has also put out a free app for pet owners to help them understand and administer emergency care for their pets if needed. The app features step-by-step tutorials for things like CPR on your pet and what to do as soon as you notice something could be wrong with your pet.

Need access to their medical records in one easy to locate the place or to see a vet immediately, no matter where you are? There’s an app for those things too! Virtual telemedicine calls with vets are now possible thanks to apps that connect pet owners with veterinarians for a monthly fee.

And there’s fun to be had too. Many apps are being offered that allow you to interact with your pet when you’re not home. Connected treat dispensers and cameras make it easy to talk to your pet and interact with them from anywhere.

If you haven’t already seen some of the viral videos on social media, pull out your tablet, because new mobile app games – like catfishing are as you guessed it – interactive, fun play for your pet to sit on your lap and enjoy with you.

Sales for Pet Treats Are Booming

If there’s one thing we pet lovers love to do – it’s to spoil our furry friends. Now, more than ever, our pets are becoming members of our households. Sharing mealtimes, vacations, and even holiday gift exchanges! In fact, one report from market research firm Packaged Facts uncovered that by the end of 2022 we could see this market hit $9.87 billion and continue soaring over the next two years to come. 

Treats for both cats and dogs have been on the rise ever since the COVID-19 pandemic when many were staying home, social distancing, and bringing new furry friends into their homes. 

It’s about more than just rewarding and spoiling our pets, but consumers are turning to treats to help add more nourishment and health to their diets too. Their study into these increasing consumer purchases of pet treats also found that many are looking at things like plant-based formulas, environmental impacts, and even alternative proteins for their pets. 

Whether you are a new pet owner or have been an animal lover for years, it’s important to ensure that you are keeping your pet healthy and safe all the time. Not just in the foods, they are given to eat but also in their environment. Our wireless pet containment systems provide freedom and peace of mind for pet owners and their furry friends. 

The DogWatch Hidden Fence is the most technologically advanced and the easiest to use, and it is backed up by a no-hassle Lifetime Warranty from a company with more than 25 years of keeping pets happy and safe.

Our number one concern is the safety and well-being of your pet. We provide the support you need to ensure successful training and happy containment.

Should You Invest in a GPS Dog Fence?

There are few things more joyful to watch than a dog exploring and playing outdoors. Dogs love a romp, and they love to have the freedom to play and give their world a good sniff. But while we like to provide dogs with space to play, we also have a duty to keep them safe.

Traditional wired (underground) electronic dog fences are a great way to keep dogs contained while allowing them to maintain some freedom without the need for above-ground physical fences. There is also the option of a GPS Electronic Pet Fence.

Unlike a buried, wired fence, a GPS wireless electric dog fence makes use of satellites to map a specific boundary, such as your yard, creating what’s known as a “geo-fence.” Essentially, the area the pet is allowed access to, or the fence boundary is mapped in advance using satellite technology. This safe area will take the form of a circular region. (There is no other configuration possible.)

The dog then wears a collar into which the center of the area (the radius) is programmed. The wireless shock collar then calculates using software built into the collar the dog’s current position and sends an alert to the receiver collar if the dog approaches the boundary and corrects the dog if it does not retreat from the pre-mapped boundary.

What Are the Drawbacks of a GPS Electronic Pet Fence?

Many dog owners are attracted to GPS-based fences because they’re perceived as easier: there are no wires to lay, the system can be up and running in minutes, which also means you can move the system to another residence or a vacation home.

There are, however, several drawbacks to a GPS-based invisible fence compared to a buried, wired system. These include:

A mismatch with the shape of your yard. The GPS option works based on a circular safe zone: it cannot be custom configured to the shape of your yard, unlike a wired fence. This circular safe zone may not cover every corner of your property.

Confusion for the dog. For a dog that is accustomed to being able to roam the whole yard, a GPS system that relies on a more limited, circular shape, may confuse the dog and require additional training.

Interruptions in satellite signals. GPS satellite signals can also be subject to interference from a variety of sources, including nearby tall buildings and poor weather conditions. So, GPS wireless dog containment fences are often not recommended for properties with potential obstructions.

Cost. GPS pet fences are often pricey to purchase and maintain, and they often have shorter battery life than wired systems. This might put your dog at risk if you skip or delay battery maintenance.

Are the Drawbacks of GPS Solutions Too Numerous?

We think so. At DogWatch, we are committed to providing the safest, most effective electronic pet fences on the market. At this time, we believe wireless GPS fences do not provide the same level of safety and reliability as traditional wired systems.

DogWatch of Western Mass has proudly served the Pioneer Valley and surrounding areas since 1990 and belongs to the international DogWatch Dealer Network. We are committed, trained professionals offering years of experience in installation, training, and customer service. Being locally owned, we have a vested interest to keep our customers – and their dogs — happy!

What We Feed our Pets Matters

Today, our four-legged friends are becoming even more important members of our households. It’s far more than just a pet-parent relationship for many. In fact, ever since the pandemic, families across the country have introduced new companions into their homes, and the “humanization” trends as experts refer to the phenomenon are skyrocketing.

What this means is we’re now allowing our pets to sleep in the bed, share TV time with us and even eat in the kitchen with us at mealtime. For many buying holiday gifts and adding pets to the holiday festivities along with the rest of the family are all becoming commonplace.

One area that’s seen recent growing interest is the food our dogs are eating. Just like humans are striving to feel better and eat better, they’re also looking to find natural and healthy meal options for their pets so they too can live a long, quality life.

Projected to reach up to $81B by 2031, the pet food market is certainly on the upswing.

As this shift happens, we’re seeing more people move away from mass-produced kibble and foods with tons of fillers and ingredients that no one can pronounce. Instead, they are being replaced with fresh options that are organic, natural, and have sustainable ingredients.

So what are some great options to feed dogs? Things like fruits and vegetables (that are prepared properly and are not toxic to your pet) are key. For some breeds, heavy meat-based meals may be okay, for others grain-free.

Natural food diets can have so many benefits. It’s all about understanding your dog’s unique needs and ensuring they get the properly balanced diet to support them.

Just as with humans, eating better translates to feeling better. Not just inward but also our appearance. Better skin, less inflammation and allergy issues, and more.  As such, many pet parents are also looking for holistic and nutritional ways to help their pets improve their skin and coat health as well as strengthen their joint and digestive systems.

It’s important to talk to a board-certified vet if you plan on making drastic feeding changes for your dog to ensure the changes are not just healthy but also what they need.

How to Create a Stress-Free Space for Your Dog

Stress-free environments are good for everyone. Both humans and our pets crave areas where they can feel safe, protected, and unwind. It can be difficult to achieve this if you’re co-living with pets and haven’t set appropriate boundaries. Things like keeping out of the kitchen or the shoe closet. Or staying within your own backyard’s property line has to be taught and guided.

Plus, having a dog that’s happy and comfortable means getting in the right kinds of foods, enough bathroom breaks, and physical activity that’s vital to their functioning. This balance can make you both feel great when it comes time to snuggle at the end of a long day.

Here are a few ways you can create a stress free space for your dog.

Establish an Actual Safe Haven

Dogs find great comfort in having an area where they can tuck away and lay unbothered. Yours may have already chosen a spot, perhaps under a table or in a hallway where you’ll typically find them relaxing away from everyone. If they haven’t chosen a spot yet you can dedicate one for them by using a bed, crate or blankets tucked in a corner. Make it away from foot traffic and comfortable enough for them to retreat to when they want to relax.

Create Consistent Routines

There’s nothing more relaxing and safe feeling for a dog than staying on routine. Establishing consistent practices helps them to feel they are meeting their goals daily and gives them a pattern to follow each day. This level of comfort can also decrease stress and help them to feel more at ease.

Invest in a Hidden Fence

Our hidden fences create a safe space for either indoor or outdoor time for your dog. You’ll both gain peace of mind knowing there’s the freedom to roam without getting to unrestricted or dangerous situations. Contact DogWatch of Western Mass today!

What is the Best Age to Train a Dog?

Training a dog is something most people think about when they bring home a new puppy. Like human children, these young pups often need some extra care and attention to show them right from wrong and the correct ways they should eat, play nice with others, and even use the potty.

Sometimes, older dogs or those that have experienced trauma or illness may also need to be trained again. The age that a dog can be trained and have effective results can vary from dog to dog but with the right dedication and patience, an old dog can certainly learn some new tricks.

Early Stage Dog Training

According to experts, the ideal time to train a dog is when they are around 7 to 8 weeks old. This is a great time as they are still new to the world to start to understand commands and what is expected of them.  Since most of the things your pup will be doing every day – like mealtime, using the bathroom, and socializing will all be introduced at this time too it can be easier to get your dog to just learn what you’re asking of them all at the same time.

Benefits of Training Older Dogs

While you may think an older dog has seen his best days and cannot be trained to do things he’s already conditioned to do one way, there are actually many benefits over young pups when it comes to the training experience. For one, the older dogs are going to be far more intelligent and less hyper, and distracted as you teach them new commands. That means less having to repeat yourself and more time spent showing them the task at hand. Another benefit of training an older dog is that if they already have the basics like “sit,” “lay,” “down” then they can move on to more advanced tasks like scent tracking or rollover.  

You should of course always adjust your training for older dogs based on their condition. If they are having a hearing, vision, or other physical constraints you should take these into consideration no matter how much they want to please you by obeying the new commands you’re giving them.

At DogWatch Hidden Fences of Western Massachusetts, we provide safe, secure, electronic underground dog fence and pet containment systems so you can both feel comfortable living in and around your home. We also offer training & installation to help your dog get comfortable with their new boundaries.

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Pool Safety for Dogs

Dogs love to participate in fun activities, including swimming, with their human companions. Your pet may get overly excited in and around the pool, which is why it’s essential to train your dog and take precautions to keep it and others safe.

Enroll Your Dog in Swimming Lessons

Dogs instinctively know how to swim to some degree, but they tend to use only their front legs, which causes them to get tired quickly. In swimming lessons, your dog can learn to use both its front and rear legs, which is more effective and will help your pet conserve energy.

Don’t push your dog too hard. If your pet is overweight or sedentary, it will get tired quickly. It will need time to build up its endurance.

Some dog breeds have difficulty swimming because of the way they are built. In that case, a flotation device can keep a dog safe in the water. A flotation device can also be helpful for a pet that has arthritis, tires out quickly, or is still learning to swim.

Teach Your Dog How to Get in and out of the Pool Safely

Dogs often love to jump into a pool but have trouble getting out. Teach your dog to enter and exit the pool via stairs. That will help your pet calmly and safely get out of the pool when it’s tired. Teaching your dog to use stairs to get in the water, rather than jumping, can prevent a collision with a person and serious injuries.

Keep Your Dog away from the Pool When Humans Aren’t Around

If you don’t have a fence around your pool, you should install one. A dog can get tired in a pool and drown if it can’t get out. A dog can also drown if it falls or jumps into a pool with a cover.

An outdoor hidden fence from DogWatch of Massachusetts is an effective way to restrict your dog’s movements in the yard. You can decide where you want your pet to be able to go and which areas should be off-limits. Those areas can be marked by an underground wire that emits a radio signal.

Your pet can wear a waterproof collar that will emit a warning signal if the dog gets too close to the boundary. The collar will emit a correction, a mild but safe stimulation if your pet goes farther. With training, your dog can learn where the boundary is and stay away from the pool area. Contact us today to learn more about how an outdoor hidden fence can keep your dog safe or to request a quote.

3 Things to Do When Your Dog is Behaving Badly

Training your dog to behave well is something many owners struggle with. Whether you welcome a new puppy into your home or adopt a dog from a shelter, taking the needed time to train and help dogs improve their demeanor and communication is key to a fruitful and mutually pleasing relationship.

While dogs are great companions and friends, it’s important to remember that they possess qualities unique from humans. The way they understand commands and their instincts all play a role in their actions.

The key thing you want to do to start working on their behavior issues is to find the sources of them. Yes, there is usually more than one cause. Here is a closer look at the typical reasons why your dog is having behavior issues.

Tip #1: Identify Reason for Bad Behavior

Oftentimes dogs will act out when they are lacking or wanting something else as a way of communicating that issue to you. Things like boredom can affect their personalities and end up becoming bad behaviors. Before you try to help your dog try and see if there are things they are needing or wanting that could help correct some of the poor behaviors.

Tip #2: Reward Good Behaviors Only

It’s important as you work on helping your dog to learn new behaviors and replace the bad ones with corrected actions that you only reward them at a time when the job was done well. Many owners will provide rewards and treat to dogs even after a bad behavior and this teaches them it’s ok to still do wrong and get the treat.

Tip #3:  Use Training to Correct Behaviors

The great news is that training – both on your own or with a professional can be used to correct and retrain dogs out of bad behaviors. Whatever things they are doing (chewing shoes, barking constantly, etc.) they can likely be trained out of with the right techniques.

Dogwatch of Western Mass provides wireless pet containment systems for both indoor and outdoor use. We also provide perimeter training to help your dog understand the boundaries. When your dog feels free and confident they will also display that appreciation in their behaviors.

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Tips for Socializing Your Dog with Boundaries

When it comes to training your dog to be safe around the home, the yard, and other people, there are few tasks at hand. First, you need your dog to feel comfortable with you and with your surroundings. Comfortable enough where they are not retaliating or trying to escape, but also understanding who is boss in the situation. What you say goes and when you call them to come back or to stay out of a certain area they will obey the command. Working up to this goal isn’t always easy.  Here are a few tips when it comes to both socializing your dog and getting them to obey boundaries at the same time.

To start, in public, crowded places – especially with other dogs present, you should keep them by your side so they feel safe and when you are confident and able to unleash them, they should already understand and react at your command to come back. If they are still not good at doing this is could be difficult to get them to cooperate with other dogs and could also let other dog park attendees feel uneasy.

Practice at home, in your yard, or in the house and call their name.

When they listen and come at your call praise them with rewarding cuddles or a small treat until they will do it automatically. Test it out slowly, maybe on a solo walk with your dog, and see how they respond before you try this in a crowded dog park where they may lose focus with everything going on.

Social skills are another key step. Playing well with other dogs and knowing the difference between dog play and being too aggressive is very important to share space with other animals. This can be harder to work on in a solo environment. If you know others with dogs perhaps book a short outing together and see how the dogs do together. If they are getting rough, it will be easier to break them up and show them what’s acceptable and not versus lots of dogs running around while you try.

The other important thing when it comes to dogs understanding and obeying commands is respecting boundaries. Not just to protect your future and belongings but also to keep them safe. Perimeter training should be your first step in this task. You want to walk the perimeters of the yard or home with the dog so they will be where they are allowed to go. Do this several times. Repetition is key. It will take longer for some dogs to understand these are the boundaries. Incorporate treats and commands after time to show them when to stop at the boundary and not to cross over.

Sometimes though, despite best efforts, your dog will need some additional help and security staying within boundaries. And that’s Okay! With a pet containment system from DogWatch, your pet can roam and play freely within the boundaries you set. Not just while out in the backyard, but you can also keep your pet off the couch, away from the trash, and out of the dining room or kitchen. Need some assistance with the training? We can help with that too! Our professional trainers will teach your dog how to safely obey the hidden fence boundaries in a way that matches your pet’s personality.

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