Select a better bed for your pet

Advantages/Disadvantage of Various Materials

Whether it’s your local pet shop or a big box chain store, you can count on them to have a large and varied array of pet bedding materials. In selecting bedding the first rule should be: just because your pet’s species is pictured on the packaging doesn’t necessarily mean it’s OK to use. Find pet care professionals in your local area.

The bedding material that potentially can cause some health issues is soft wood, primarily cedar and pine. Cedar is popular because its aromatic qualities help cover odors in a pet’s environment, it has some insect repellent qualities, and can even kill certain moths, but it also can cause your pet to develop respiratory, liver or skin problems, or all

The culprit in cedar is a hydrocarbon called plicatic acid that can irritate the skin and the membranes of the eyes, nose and respiratory tract. Also, cedar has been linked to liver problems, as studies of lab animals have shown that the plicatic acid increases liver enzyme activity.

Some believe that pine shavings aren’t all that innocent, either. A hydrocarbon called abietic acid is said to cause problems similar to those caused by the plicatic acid, but the difference is that pine shavings are kiln dried which alters the effects of the abietic acid.

Certainly the anecdotal data are largely supportive of pine shavings as animal bedding. I spent two decades working at and owning feed and grain stores and, hands down, pine is the number one selling bedding for pets and livestock.

I live within an hour of 4 AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) accredited zoos that come under USDA scrutiny as well, and they use pine shavings. All facilities that house animals are inspected by the government and the requirements are head shaking. For example, if you and I have some blemished produce, we cut the blemishes out and serve it. Zoos aren’t allowed to do that.

Most everybody, pet owners and pet professionals alike, agree that aspen pine, a hardwood, is safer to use because it doesn’t contain some of the naturally occurring aromatic oils that soft woods do.

You’ll find that aspen pine shavings are more expensive than cedar and and conventional pine shavings, and you’ll find them wherever you get pet supplies. Stores that don’t specialize in pet products but have pet sections, such as grocery stores, will also usually carry aspen pine bedding.

Small animals usually do well in bedding made from recycled newspaper, which, by the way, is often recommended by veterinarians for newly declawed cats. It is highly absorbent and non-toxic.

Should the pet ingest some, it will likely pass through the digestive tract as added fiber; sort of like the powdered cellulose used in some dog and cat foods. The recycled newspaper bedding comes in various forms, such as pelleted or shredded.

Corn cob, another non-toxic bedding, enjoys some popularity with caged bird owners. The problem with corn cob is that you have to maintain it regularly because when it gets wet, it can produce mold, which is a neurotoxin.

During the winter months the best bedding in a dog house is straw. Shavings, being absorbent, quickly turn into a frozen mattress because of moisture the dog brings in and because of moisture from his breath.

Hay, aside from being extremely dusty, is not as good an insulator as straw. Straw, being hollow (similar to a polar bear’s fur), is an excellent insulator, and not nearly as dusty as hay. The polar bear’s hollow fur provides insulation (and buoyancy).

So, the bottom line is, it’s pretty much a craps shoot. Veterinarians will probably tell you that, yes, there have been health problems believed to be caused by wood shavings, but they’ll also probably admit that most of their clients use wood shavings without problems.

If your pets are in wood shavings, watch for indigestion, loss of appetite and diarrhea (which can be symptoms of liver problems), runny eyes and noses, skin lesions and coughing. If those symptoms appear, you should change the bedding type and make an appointment with your vet.

What About The Dog House

Owners who live in a region where the winters are cold want to be sure their dog is comfortable during the time it spends in its outdoor dog house. Keep in mind that most dogs other than short haired breeds are naturally adapted to tolerate winter’s cold temperatures a lot better than we mere humans are. In the fall, just as most wild animals do, dogs will grow a thicker winter coat, and will shed it in spring.

But if they’re lying on the floor of the dog house, they need a substrate that will provide comfort and insulation from the cold. The first things most people think of are blankets, pillows, or towels.

The problem with those choices is that moisture the dog brings in from the outside will be absorbed, resulting in the dog lying on a frozen mattress. Even his breath condensing on the surface creates that situation.

For my money, the best substrate is straw. Being hollow, it works on the same principle as a polar bear’s fur, trapping air and creating an insulating layer between the cold, damp floor and the dog. It also provides a measure of comfort.

I wouldn’t use hay. It doesn’t have the insulating power that straw does, and it can be dusty. The seed heads in certain varieties of hay create debris that can cause respiratory issues for the dog. You can find some very cozy dog bed sofa & dog car seats at


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How to Groom a German Shepherd

Learn How to Groom a German Shepherd Dog at Home

Do you want to learn how to groom a German Shepherd? Grooming your dog at home will save money and ease anxiety in some pets who don’t like to travel to a professional dog groomer. One of the best things about GSDs is that they only require a bath about twice a year, barring any dirty catastrophes.

One of the worst things about the German Shepherd Dog is the amount of shedding that comes with their coat. A regimen of daily grooming will greatly cut down on shedding, and I’ll show you exactly how to do it. I’m a retired dog groomer and I’ll also go through the steps of how to give a full groom to a German Shepherd, including ear cleaning and tooth brushing.

Most German Shepherds Love to Be Brushed

Groom Your German Shepherd Daily to Control Shedding

A Quick Daily Brush Out Makes a Big Difference for GSD Owners

The best tip to control shedding in German Shepherd Dogs is to comb or brush your pet daily. Stay ahead of the shedding by removing the loose hair daily and putting it straight in the garbage or outside. Daily grooming will also alert you to any skin conditions, fleas or ticks that may be on your pet. Most dogs enjoy a daily brushing, so treat it like a bonding experience with your pet.

Use the shedding comb to remove loose hair all over the dog. A shedding comb has small tines alternated with long tines to reach through the guard hairs to the dog’s undercoat. Lay the shedding comb flat and go in the direction of hair growth. Use short strokes, up and away from the dog’s body where the fur is the thickest. Clean the shedding comb as you go, put the hair right into a garbage bag to contain it.

Use the slicker brush to loosen even more hair. Start by going in the direction of hair growth. Remove as much loose hair as possible. Then brush in the opposite direction, against the hair growth, to loosen more undercoat. Follow up with a shedding comb again, or just turn the brush around and go back in the direction of fur growth.

As you brush and comb the German Shepherd each day look for pest infestations (fleas & ticks), as well as hot spots and general flaky skin. Report any severe skin irritations and hair loss to your veterinarian immediately. Treat any fleas or ticks immediately. If you notice your pet’s fur is oilier than usual or flaky, call your veterinarian for suggestions. Your pet may have an allergy.

Put that German Shepherd Dog hair to work by spreading it sparingly around your garden to keep the rabbits out!

Shedding Tools for Daily Grooming of a German Shepherd

Make grooming a German Shepherd easier by using this large slicker brush from Miracle Coat. The large size covers more area faster for those less tolerant German Shepherds too.

No German Shepherd grooming session is complete without using an undercoat rake. This double row rake with rotating teeth does more than its job with very little pulling.

How to Brush a German Shepherd Dog’s Teeth – Dental Care Is an Important Part of Dog Grooming

Dental care should be a part of the daily grooming ritual of every dog owner. Mouth infections can cause disease and illness, let alone costly dental bills for extractions at the veterinary office. It’s not hard to keep your dog’s teeth clean and your pet will thank you for it with fresher smelling kisses!

Put a small amount of dog toothpaste (never use human toothpaste) on the toothbrush.

With your non-dominant hand lightly lift the upper lip while holding the snout. Don’t be aggressive about it, but do be firm and in control. The key is to act like this is nothing to get excited about. It’s something we are going to do every day. Your dog will react based on your tension, so relax and just do it.

With your dominant hand gently begin to brush the dog’s exposed teeth from the side. There will be a lot of licking, just go about the business of brushing the dog’s teeth.

Switch sides and repeat the process. Take a little break in between sides if the dog is squirming too much at first. They will get used to the process and every day it will get easier. If you start brushing your pet’s teeth as a puppy they react very well to the process, so start early.

Tips: Stay away from canned dog food as much as possible. The preservatives and sugar will rot a dog’s teeth very fast!

Dog Dental Products – Make toothbrushing a part of everyday grooming!

This beef flavored dental paste makes for a drool-y job in some cases! This is the perfect dog dental formula for those dogs that need real tempting for tooth brushing.

How to Give a German Shepherd a Bath and other dog training tips

…and not drown!

Getting a bath is not the favorite thing for most German Shepherd Dogs. They just are not built for water. Luckily these dogs only need about two baths a year, baring any unforeseen (or smelly) incidents. Try to avoid giving a GSD a bath if possible.Even the best shampoos can build up quickly and make the skin flaky or the coat appear oily or dull.

Always use a quality protein or oatmeal shampoo when bathing your German Shepherd. Dilute the shampoo with water before putting it on the dog. This makes it much easier to rinse the soap off the dog and better disperses the shampoo. No conditioner is necessary on German Shepherd Dogs.

Put the dog in the tub, or preferably teach the GSD to jump in the tub all by themselves, and get your towels and shampoo ready.

Use a sprayer (or a large cup) to completely soak the dog’s coat. Use your hands and work against the hair growth to get water all the way to the dog’s skin.

Put the diluted shampoo on the dog and rub in all over. Don’t over use the shampoo! You don’t need much so just gradually add it and work in with your fingers all the way to the skin. Keep the shampoo out of the dog’s eyes and ears (just spot clean the face as needed with a clean wet rag).

Rinse all of the shampoo from the dog until the water runs clean. Keep the dog standing to make sure you rinse the tail area well.

Towel dry the dog in the tub.

Dog Grooming Secret: To stop a dog from shaking place one hand flat (don’t grab the scruff) firmly on the back of the dog’s neck and apply gentle pressure

You can’t go wrong with this oatmeal shampoo. German Shepherd Dogs don’t need conditioner (unless they have skin problems or it’s vet recommended), but they do need quality shampoo with protein and oatmeal as a base.

Dog Blow Dryers

It’s important to dry the dog’s coat after a bath. Dogs with thick coats can actually mold if they are not properly dried. Some dogs don’t like the sound of a blow dryer, but they dry much more evenly and faster using one. As with most of the grooming process, the earlier you introduce the drying process, the easier it is on the dog. They get used to things more quickly as a puppy.

You may want to blow dry a German Shepherd outside or in the bathtub enclosure to contain the hair. There is going to be a lot of hair flying during the drying process. This is another reason why blow drying is essential, it helps control shedding by removing all the loose hair at once.

Move the dryer around often. If you are using a handheld pet dryer move from side to side and over the top continuously. Fluff the fur with your free hand to loosen more hair and get down to the skin.

If you are cage drying the dog, make sure to move the dryer around so you don’t over dry any parts of the coat or overheat the dog.

Air Force Commander 2-Speed Dryer 4.0 HP Motor S

I use this blow dryer on my German Shepherd and she loses a ton of blown fur after her bath and blow dry!

Trim your German Shepherd’s toenails

How to Clip a German Shepherd Dog’s Toenails

…and Survive!

First and foremost, don’t skimp on the toenail clippers for a German Shepherd Dog. This breed has extremely thick toenails and they are usually all black. The double whammie for pet owners trying to clip their dog’s toenails at home. As long as you use quality heavy duty toenail clippers you’ll be fine.

Don’t use the guillotine style dog toenail clippers. They are not strong enough a GSD’s toenails. The odds are greater that the nail may split up the back, causing bleeding and possibly pain when the dog walks. Use the scissor style only for this dog breed. Buy the largest available, in whatever style handle feels best for you.

Have the dog lay down if you are alone. If the dog is well behaved during nail trimming standing is fine.

Take a foot confidently in your non-dominant hand and press lightly on the top of the foot to expose each toenail. Clip the toenail just below where the back ridge attaches to the front of the nail. If you aren’t sure where this area is, take short clips and whittle down the nail until you feel comfortable.

Don’t forget the dew claw! Higher up on the leg German Shepherd Dogs have a dew claw. This claw must be trimmed and may need it more often than the rest of the toenails since it never gets worn down from walking. Without trimming this nail can grow all the way around and into the pad up there. I’ve seen it happen too many times, so don’t forget the dew claw!

When you do cut a dog’s toenail too short, and it will happen, have the styptic powder ready. Place a generous amount of styptic powder on the end of the nail and pack it tight. The bleeding should stop immediately, leave it alone! Don’t beat yourself up over injuring your pet. Just be careful and don’t clip so deep from now on. Don’t over love the dog afterward. Just let them relax again and finish the job. The less you acknowledge the incident the faster they will forget.

Heavy Duty Toenail Clippers

You’ll need these heavy duty nail clippers to safely trim a GSDs toenails. I’ve been using this brand and style for over 10 years and they last for a very long time.

Trim the fur even with the GSD’s pads

How to Care for a German Shepherd’s Feet

Trimming Hair and Checking Pads on a Dog’s Feet

Use your fingers to work the fur between the pads of your pet’s feet out, checking for burs and cracks in the pads as you go. Use professional dog grooming shears to trim the fur even with the pads. Professional shears are much sharper than regular scissors and make fast even work of this job. They won’t pull the hair as they cut, so the dog should stay more relaxed.

Do not attempt to trim the fur all the way down between the pads unless you are a professional dog groomer using clippers. Tell your veterinarian immediately if you find a cut between the pads or if there are severe cracks with bleeding on the pads. Should you accidentally clip a pad (the tips of professional grooming shears are very sharp) use the styptic powder you have for nail clipping to stop the bleeding. Call your veterinarian immediately if the cut appears to be deep or the bleeding does not stop quickly.

How to Clean Your German Shepherd’s Ears

You know, those giant things on top of the head!

My veterinarian used to joke that he loved to clean German Shepherd Dogs’ ears because his whole arm could fit inside. Of course, that’s an exaggeration, but the fact that the GSDs’ ears stand straight up and are quite large makes them pretty easy to clean.

Tools: Ear cleaner, extra large cotton balls, paper towels

Gather your grooming tools and take the dog outside or to the grooming area.

Secure the dog. There is going to be a lot o head shaking. Stay in control, use a helper if needed, to keep the dog as calm as possible.

Soak a couple of cotton balls in the ear cleaner and, holding onto them tightly, use them to scrub the inside of the first ear. Squeeze out the excess ear cleaner into the ear canal. Work that in from the outside of the ear at the base. Gently rub the base of the ear to break up any deep dirt.

Use the paper towels to remove excess dirt and ear cleaner from the dog’s ear. Use a cotton swab as needed to remove dirt in the creases of the ear. Do not reach deeply into the ear canal with any object other than your finger with a paper towel!

Repeat the process on the other side.

Praise your German Shepherd for being a good dog during the ear cleaning process. Don’t give treats right away if the dog is too worked up or excited. Instead give hugs and let them run around and shake it off.

If you notice a large amount of dirt in your German Shepherd Dog’s ears or there is any blood in the ear canal call your veterinarian for an appointment. It may be ear mites or other pests. German Shepherds usually have relatively clean ears.

There will be a lot of head shaking going on during the ear cleaning process. The dirtier the dog’s ears, the more he is likely to shake. If the dog has ear mites it will be a slightly painful experience. Keep the dog as calm as possible and enlist help to hold him still. If the dog is too hard to handle let your veterinarian do the ear cleaning. For all your dog grooming needs yoou can buy dog grooming supplies & toenail clippers at

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Where to Sell Domains

The Internet is changing. How companies select
and leverage domain names will evolve drastically
as the adoption of new gTLDs (generic top-level domains)
increases. And despite the initial confusion
these new Web addresses are likely to cause, 62
percent of those surveyed for a Sedo report believe
the adoption will ultimately be successful.
For those interested in buying and selling domain
names for profit, these new gTLDs could
be an untapped revenue generator. First, let’s
explore some of the reasons why these new Web
addresses can shake up the industry.
“We’re going to see the market flooded with
hundreds of new domain extensions in the coming
months and years, and our data shows that
investors and corporations are evidently warming
up to the idea of using different extensions,”
said Tobias Flaitz, Sedo’s CEO in a company
statement. “It will take time and effort before
we see mass adoption of new TLDs, and Sedo is
contributing its part to raise awareness through
global marketing, sales efforts and partnerships
with applicants. The fact that more extensions
than ever are being traded and successfully used
for business is a promising development.”
In the past, companies have been restricted
to 22 TLDs, including .com, .org and others.
Now, hundreds of extensions will be released,
so brands can choose from .map, .book, .deals,
.vegas, .report, .ads, etc. Almost a dozen gTLDs
could be released each week. Most expect that
.com will still be favored by most businesses, but
the new gTLDs can help them secure more memorable
website addresses.
A lot of the success of these new extensions,
especially for selling them, will come down to
awareness and, of course, demand. There is a bigger
supply of extensions, so it will definitely dilute
the market. The popular consensus, however, is
that there will be “buzz” extensions that are highly
in demand, and thus, profitable while most of the
inventory might be useful to buy but not to sell.
That’s why it’s fun to be a domainer, right?
You have to play the digital lotto to win, so
where are the best places on the Interwebs to
sell domains today?
godaddy-logoGoDaddy Auctions is a massive
marketplace for buyers and sellers
of domain names, allowing
anyone to list their domains for
a flat $4.99 annual fee. Domain registrants can
auction their domain names and potential buyers
can bid on them, make offers or buy them on the
spot, depending on the listing type. Sellers can
also use various features to increase the exposure
of their auction listings, and receive free instant
appraisals of their domain names. The auction
platform is backed by GoDaddy systems and support,
which includes 24/7 customer assistance
sedo-logoDomain name and website marketplace,
Sedo is a domain name
and website marketplace and
domain-parking provider responsible
for more than 40,000 sales each year.
Sedo’s international auction capabilities and
domain trading platform, along with its global
network of domain brokers, makes its well positioned
to support the introduction of the new
gTLDs. Sedo also offers domain appraisals and
secure purchase, transfer and escrow.
flippa-logoProfessionals can sell online
property at Flippa in two ways:
at public auction or in private
sales. Flippa considers itself
to be like a matchmaking site
for online property buyers and sellers: they put
the two together, and help them work out if one
wants what the other party has to offer. Their involvement
ends when the auction or sale is completed.

Ecommerce conversion failures

conversion-fail2Many Internet retailers are failing to convert
enough visitors into customers. However,
much of the time, the reasons are
foreseeable. How does your site stack up
against this list of common problems?

Slow Page Load Speed
Internet visitors want it yesterday! Any delay
becomes seen as intolerable. Google is on a
mission to speed up the Internet, because
they have seen that even small increases in
page load speed can affect conversion. Your
page load speed not only influences your
search rankings, but also has a direct impact
on the conversion rate of visitors who land
on your site.
Often, just tweaking some of your Web server
settings can result in dramatic gains. Taking
the time to set up a content delivery network
(CDN) properly, purchasing the proper amount
of hosting power and bandwidth, and optimizing
assets like images and videos can also pay
dividends. Pay attention to your coding and
programming. Reducing the number of database
calls to the minimum required in server-side
code like PHP, Python or Ruby, or optimizing
client-side code like HTML, CSS and JavaScript
can all make major improvements in your page
load speed (or at least the time it takes for the
page to start rendering).
Lack of Visual Continuity between Mobile and Desktop
Mobile sites are fundamentally different from
desktop websites. You have less space to do the
important stuff. It’s necessary to reduce, but not
to change the experience. The content on your
mobile site should be highlights and essentials
from your desktop site. It should be information
chopped down to the specifics that visitors
might be looking for: a price, a phone number
or click to call, a few features and benefits and a
purchase button. It should be limited information
but not different information.
But even though mobile is increasingly a popular
choice for key activities, it would be a mistake
to think that mobile is always used alone. In fact,
in the “always-on” world that we live in, people
often bounce between devices and regularly use
more than one device simultaneously. So there
must be continuity among their experiences.
The style, colors, headlines and branding elements
should all stay the same. Logical aspects
like product categories and content hierarchy
should remain consistent so that your mobile site
is intuitive to people who have already shopped your desktop site.
Make your mobile site an extension
of your desktop site and your customers
will thank you with their hard-earned money.


Internet Hosting Services

Internet Hosting Services

When you use your business dollars wisely, you end up choosing Internet hosting services that meet not only your business needs, but your personal needs as well. The services that you are paying, for most are the services that you do not have to giving a second thought to during the course of doing business with these Internet hosting services month by month.

If you have to worry about the amount of downtime that the web hosting services has experienced during any given month, then you are not getting the best deal for the money you spent choosing Internet hosting services that you thought you could rely on. These web hosting services companies should have provisions in place to ensure that your customers never have to realize the amount of downtime that their servers had at any time of the day or night.

The provisions each web hosting services company will have in place at all times, when you are conducting online business transactions with them, should be taken into consideration when you go about choosing Internet hosting services companies. If web hosting services company has back up enerators then one of their provisions in place would mean, that their servers will never have downtime when storms come and cause power outages in the web hosting services companies buildings.

The amount of downtime, that an Internet hosting services company experiences, can be translated into lost revenues for you and should be considered “No Sale” time for you and your customers. The customers that rely on you for their shopping needs also suffer because of the error you made when choosing Internet hosting services from a company you could not count on.

When your site is not available for access, then a domino effect begins to occur. Not only have you lost access to the files and business information that is stored online on the web hosting services companies databases, but the lost online presence that your business has on the Internet, might make your customers think they made a bad decision in choosing Internet hosting services that included doing business with you.

To protect your business interests, when choosing Internet hosting services, take into consideration the web hosting services provisions for policies that promise zero downtime, and the web hosting services that can provide you with the web mastering tools to project a great image through the type of websites that they offer.

If your website is poorly planned and projects a low priced image, then it will be hard to get people to shop at your virtual storefront. Without the web mastering tools, you will have no way of marketing your company. When choosing Internet hosting services, check to see if they might offer any type of business marketing services.

If your web hosting services feature the latest technologies, then the quality of your website presentation preview will be absolutely stunning when your prospective customers access your storefront. Their positive comments and continued business will be a direct reflection on the amount of work that went into choosing Internet hosting services that will meet everyone’s needs. If customers see that they are doing business with a company in touch with the needs of the modern day business and consumer, then they will pass a recommendation on to all of their friends through word of mouth advertising techniques.

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