April 1, 2011
This week on Dog Tails, we want to bring to your attention a recent controversial decision concerning electronic radio collars (e-collars) for dogs and cats. These radio collars (often mistakenly referred to as ‘electric’ collars) are widely used worldwide for pet training and containment. None-the-less, all e-collars have been banned for any purpose in Wales (see map), including for use with hidden underground fences. In addition to voicing our objection to such a blanket ban, we want to alert you to the possibility of this ban spreading to England, Wales’ neighbor to the east.
What was a debate between individual dog owners about whether to use electronic collars became political when the Welsh Assembly – supported by several animal rights groups – banned the collars outright. The ban went into effect one week ago (March 24, 2010). Punishments for noncompliance include fines of up to 20,000 pounds (approximately $32,000) and six months in prison. There is now talk of introducing a similar ban in England.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), who support the ban, argue that there is “no place for shock collars in modern animal training and recommended the use of reward-based methods instead.” Opponents argue that the ban will have a negative effects on a large portion of the dog and cat populations. (There were roughly 20,000 e-collars in use in Wales prior to the ban.) They point to the animals whose lives have been saved by pet containment systems, and aggressive dogs who benefited from e-collar training and as a result, kept their homes or found new ones. In passing the ban in Wales, the legislature seems to have largely ignored the positive aspects of e-collars, the safety features and the lack of evidence that e-collars cause either pain or harm when properly used.
As a company that specializes in pet containment systems, DogWatch Hidden Fences has a clear stake in this debate. Yet in addition to being professionals, we are also pet owners and pet lovers ourselves. We believe that electronic radio collars are a valuable and effective tool to help you keep your dog or cat safe, healthy and happy for life. Our hidden fence collars are designed not to inflict pain, but rather to protect pets from potentially life-threatening injuries caused by automobiles and other dangers when they leave their yards. Hidden fences allow your pet to run and play outdoors as they were born to do. We like nothing better than to see a dog or cat enjoying the freedom of roaming free in their backyard, sniffing and digging and rolling around to their heart’s content. Banning e-collars, especially for pet containment systems, will cause more harm than good.
October 14, 2010
Last month, we focused on tackling your dog’s back to school blues. Now, for many pet owners across the country, we have another change to contend with: the cold weather. We’ve compiled a quick guide to help you prepare for the chilly days ahead. Whether it is your dog’s first winter or his tenth, we recommend taking the following steps to ensure a happy and healthy season.
The first step is especially key for new pet owners – know your breed. A number of breeds are particularly well-suited to cold weather, including Huskies, Chow Chows, Saint Bernards, Akitas, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. These dogs have thick coats that protect them from the cold, and they are often just as content running around outside in January as they are in July.
Other breeds with short hair, like Chihuahuas, Greyhounds and Whippets, or no hair at all, like Chinese Cresteds, are more susceptible to the cold weather. Sweaters and coats, if they tolerate them, will help keep these breeds warm during winter walks.
The next step is protect your dog’s paws. A dog’s paws are very sensitive to the salt used in walkways and roads during the winter. Dogster reports that “prolonged contact with de-icers can lead to chemical burns on paws.” Salt is also harmful if ingested, which may happen if you dog licks her paws after a walk. Furthermore, dogs can also slip on the ice and injure themselves just like their owners!
Cloth dog booties are a great way to protect your dog’s paws and prevent slipping, yet not all dogs will tolerate them. In that case, another option is a paw wax like Musher’s Secret. Applied to the paw pads before each walk, the wax will protect against the harmful salt. You may also want to keep a bowl of warm water by the door to wash your dog’s paws and your own shoes before stepping back inside after a walk.
For dog owners who use an “in-ground” fence system, such as a DogWatch® Hidden Fence, the next step to prepare for cold weather is a winter fence checkup. For example, it is important to make sure driveway and walkway cuts are sealed and that no wire is exposed that might be damaged by snow plows or shovels. Also, if you have had a fall yard clean-up or aeration, check your transmitter to make sure the wire has not been accidentally cut. If you have questions about your DogWatch system, check the videos in the Customer Service section of the website or contact your local DogWatch Dealer. Also, if you do not have a hidden fence but are looking to install one soon, think about scheduling an appointment in the fall, before the ground freezes.
June 16, 2010
Summer may not officially start until Monday, but the weather isn’t waiting. The hot days are already here, and no doubt you’ve already made steps to beat the heat. As you pull down your summer clothes, turn on the AC and stock up on water, don’t forget to take care of your dog during these dog days.
DogWatch Hidden Fences has compiled a checklist to help keep your dog healthy in the summer heat.
1) Keep your home cool
We know that keeping the AC on at home while you are at work can be expensive. At the same time, it is important to maintain a healthy temperature if you leave your dogs in the house on really hot days. If you have an air conditioner, setting it to a higher temperature, such as 80 or even 85 degrees, will be a little easier on your wallet while helping to keep the house from getting too hot when the outside temperature reaches 90 or above.
Hydration is also important. Make sure your dogs have plenty of water during the summer. Plan to bring along water during long walks and any trips out of the house.
For dogs that stay outdoors during the day, make sure that they have plenty of readily accessible shade and water. DogWatch Hidden Fence users will want to make sure that there is enough shade in the fence area for their dogs, and that they leave plenty of water for their dog within that area.
January 20, 2010
Welcome to Dog Tails, a fun and informative blog by DogWatch®. Dog Tails is our official launch into the cyber social-sphere where businesses of every industry and size can effectively communicate, network, share and learn from each other and from their customers and fans. We’re convinced that social media is to business in 2010, what a website was in the early 1990s; social media is the new Public Relations and it’s here to stay! As we like to say at DogWatch, “There’s no getting around it.”
Weekly posts will provide opportunities for our readers to get to know all of us here at DogWatch, and for us to get to know you. We will blog about a variety of topics that we hope will enhance your experiences as a dog owner—or a cat owner! At DogWatch, it may be “All about your Dog” (that is one of our tag lines), but cats are more than welcome, too! More about that in future blogs!
Our blog posts will feature ‘tales’ from and about our local Dealers, and the knowledge and experience they bring to training dogs and to pet containment strategies which enable our canine and feline friends to experience both freedom and safety, something which is important to them and to us. We’ll also provide information about interesting and important traits and characteristics of different dog breeds, and will be sharing some of our favorite stories with you. Other topics will include tips on addressing challenging behaviors, issues important to first-time dog owners, rescue dogs, separation, remote training collars (e-collars) and how to send clear messages.
We know passionate dog owners like to keep up on everything dog-related (same with cat owners!) and we’ll be bringing you information about new and noteworthy books, blogs, online publications, apps and the ever-expanding dog culture.
We look forward to your comments and suggestions, and connecting with you on Facebook and Twitter.