How to train your dog and get her to love you more

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? The answer to that age-old saying is a big YES! You can train and teach a dog to do anything you want them to as long as it’s physically and biologically possible. But the only thing that will determine your success is patience. Read more

Yes, as long as you are patient enough, you can eventually teach your furry little friend anything you want. So today, we shall give you doggy training 101 to make your and your fur baby’s life much easier!

Let’s begin!

Popular Training Methods
How Do Dogs Learn?
What Can You Train Your Dog To Do?
Useful Things To Train Your Dog To Do
Useful Commands To Teach Dogs
Useful Training Equipment and Treats
Things To Be Aware Of

Popular Training Methods

These are the two most popular training methods:


Training that uses punishment or the threat of punishment to modify a dog’s behavior is aversive-based. In simple terms, Aversive-based training means using negative reinforcement. It includes and is not limited to the following:
●     Physically hitting and beating
●     Cutting down on meals
●     Yelling or screaming
●     Using instruments such as shock collars, water sprayers, etc.

 This type of training is frowned upon by most people even though it delivers results. For instance, behaviors like aggression, disobedience, etc., can be fixed with aversion training. But the reason it is frowned upon is that it is abusive. While we agree that some dogs are disobedient and ill-mannered, they behave like that because they don’t know any better. You can’t expect another animal to behave according to your preferences.

Moreover, although fear is a great motivator, it will affect your relationship with the dog. Trust me, and it’s ten times better to have a dog that listens to you out of love than a dog that listens to you out of fear.


As the name suggests, this training method is about positive reinforcement and rewards. It includes:
●     Rewarding
●     Treats
●     Appreciation
●     Petting and Affection
●     Praising

This training method aims to reward the dog with the things mentioned above as soon as they do something you want them to do. They will slowly develop a positive association with the activity they just performed and repeat that activity in the future in hopes of receiving a reward.

This training method requires a lot of patience, time, and effort. But it is worth it. Because even though you will notice results at a much slower rate, the overall relationship between you and your dog will remain based on love and affection instead of fear and negativity and further solidifies your relationship.

Often reward-based training is paired together with clicker training as well. Many trainers do this so they don’t have to reward the dog constantly.

How Do Dogs Learn?

Boy training his dog

A dog usually learns in 3 main ways:


Learning is passed on in genes. Ever heard of the term “natural instinct” or “animal instinct”? This is the same. Offspring inherit the behaviors, mannerisms, etc., from their parents, so instinctive learning is an automatic process.


Obedience learning is whatever you teach or train your dogs to do. It involves demonstrating or acting out what you want the dog to do, followed by positive reinforcement. 


Adaptive learning is learned behavior and actions, basically learning from other dogs.

What Can You Train Your Dog To Do?

Dog performing a trick

Here are some of the things you can train your dog to do:

Crate Training

Crate training teaches a dog to be comfortable in a kennel or crate. The crate or kennel serves as a small, enclosed personal space for the dog.

It is best to start with brief sessions and progressively increase crate sessions. Your objective is to make the dog feel safe and understand that the crate is a safe space, so avoid using the crate as a punishment.

Leash Training

Leash training teaches a dog to be accustomed to having a leash around its neck and practicing restraint. When starting leash training, try to find a nice sturdy leash that is also comfortable for the dog.

You can start leash training indoors and then gradually move outside. Remember to keep treats for rewards and use commands like sit or stay to control the dog instead of pulling the leash.

Potty Training

Potty training is quintessential in turning a dog into an ideal family member. Potty training teaches dogs to respect the household and maintain hygiene. If dogs defecate in random places, it becomes an inconvenience and a health hazard. Lots of diseases happen to both humans and dogs that are borne from their excrement.

Bath Training

Even though dogs usually don’t pose too many problems in the bathing department, having them bath-trained is always a good idea. It is necessary to discipline them both for their well-being and overall cleanliness.

Basic Household Training

Here are some useful instances of household training:

Opening Doors

It is a handy trick you can teach your dog to do, especially if you live in an apartment or have a busy lifestyle. However, you need to be extra careful when training your dog to open doors so that they only listen and respond to the voice of only certain individuals instead of anyone.

You can have an electrician make a separate dog-friendly switch for opening the door within your dog’s reach. You can even combine speakers with the switch so they can hear your voice and recognize you before opening the door.

Pulling Ropes or Handles

You can find various creative uses for pulling ropes to allow your dog to perform various activities. For instance, you can teach your dog to pull ropes attached to drawers and doors to open things and retrieve your articles when you command them.

Some examples include: retrieving your phone from a drawer, getting you a nice cold bottle of water from the fridge, bringing you emergency items like inhalers or insulins from drawers, etc. Again you can teach them to pull ropes to turn up the shades for your windows or close them. The possibilities are endless.


Fetching is something all dogs are taught. It is not only a handy trick but also a playful activity. Trust me; dogs never get bored of fetching and playing fetch. You can throw the same object for the one-millionth time, yet your dog will still fetch it with its highest enthusiasm and joy.

Useful Things To Train Your Dog To Do:

Dog learning a useful trick

Here are some things you can train your dog to do or not do to make your life easier:

Training Dogs Not To Jump

Some dogs are too full of energy, so they often act out, which often means jumping onto people. It can get incredibly annoying and troublesome for your guests or family allergic to dogs.

Training Dogs To Be Quiet or To Stop Barking

Some dogs tend to be a lot more vocal than others. They become vocal for a wide array of reasons. Often this can become disturbing as it causes a lot of sound pollution for your family members and neighbors.

Training Dogs to Do Tricks: Playing dead, Paw Shake, Circles, Howling

 These are just some fun tricks to teach your dog. You can showcase their capabilities to guests and family members and show them what a good and talented boy/girl they truly are.

Useful Commands To Teach Dogs

Dog expecting a reward

All dogs need to be taught the following commands:


This command tells them to remain still at a certain spot and stop following you around.


This command tells dogs to remain seated at a particular spot and remain there indefinitely.


This command teaches dogs that it is time for bedtime or to get ready for sleep.


Again a common command for dogs, it teaches them to retrieve something like a toy or an article that they can carry or drag to you.


This command teaches dogs to run to you when you say come or call them by their name.


This command teaches dogs that you want them to stop doing whatever they are doing.

Useful Training Equipment and Treats

Dog training equipment

Here are some valuable training equipment and accessories to help you and your dog:


Toys are super important when training dogs, especially puppies. Always remember to buy toys that are safe for dogs and contain no harmful substances and something they can’t swallow. Dogs are notorious for chewing toys and things and always buy dog-friendly toys and accessories.

Cleanup supplies

Cleaning supplies, such as tissues, towels, wipes, disposable bags, etc., are crucial in the training phase of a dog. Before they are trained, dogs can do their business randomly and create a huge mess that needs to be cleaned up asap. So always stock up on cleaning supplies.


Any rope for dogs to chew and pull on must be sturdy and long-lasting, as dogs can easily chew through them gradually.


Dog leashes and harnesses need to be resilient and, at the same time, comfortable. They also should be made up of safe, non-toxic material.


They can be used to train your dog and as a plaything.

Treats and Treat Ideas

Treats are the most important asset for any dog owner. Each dog has its favorite treat, so once you figure out what your dog loves, you better stock up on that. One treat you can easily stock up on is jerky. Dogs love jerky. There are countless options available on the market.

Besides commercially produced treats, you can also make homemade treats. It includes bread, dehydrated meat, etc. There are countless recipes available online to help you in this department.

Things To Be Aware Of

A tasty treat after a job well done!

These are things you need to be careful about:

Balancing Training and Rest

There must always be a balance between resting and training. Consistent training is indeed irreplaceable, but that being said, too much training can become counterproductive. You need to strike that balance between training and resting to allow your dog to learn properly without over-exerting themselves.

Your Approach

The way you approach your dog is very important. Dogs are excellent at understanding body language, tone, and motive. So always engage with your dog in a friendly manner, maintaining a calm and composed demeanor and a smile on your face. Make sure to give them ample treats and praise them well, along with your good behavior.

Your Dog’s Reaction

Dogs have body language too. Once you have bonded with your dog, you can easily understand how they are feeling and what they are thinking by simply observing them. So always pay attention to how they react and observe them for signs of discomfort, sadness, sickness, etc.

How To Train a Dog to NOT Do Something?

There are many ways you can tackle this problem:
●     Stop talking to your dog when it is doing that activity you want it to stop doing.
●     Saying “no” or whatever command you use tells it to stop doing something else.
●     Using positive reinforcement and showing them what to do.

How To Train a Dog To Do Something?

Again there are many ways to approach this. The easiest ways are:
●     Positive reinforcement while doing that activity and after completing the activity.
●     Praising while doing that activity and after completing the activity.

What to do next?

Check out our Toys section for toy ideas for your dog. If bath time is a struggle, check out our article on how to bathe your dog.

How much does a dog cost per year? 5 biggest expenses revealed

A pet is a huge responsibility, and “How much does a dog cost per year?” should be one of the first questions you research before bringing a dog into your home. Read more

Some people get dogs and other pets without considering the cost of caring for and feeding the pet for the year. They think about the cost of feeding inexpensive dog food, but forget about vet bills and grooming. You can minimize some of these costs by feeding a good diet and purchasing pet insurance.

You need to consider the following costs of owning a dog:

Veterinary Expenses
Pet Insurance

Read below for more details.


While it might seem less expensive to feed cheap dog food, that could add to your vet bills. Instead, feed at least a medium-grade food unless you can afford a high-grade dog food. Your dog will be much healthier and, in the long term, will reduce vet bills.

The cost of food depends on the size of your dog and the brand of dog food you buy. Or, you can choose to feed a raw diet. Feeding a 50-pound dog ranges from $2 to $5 per day or $730 to $1,825 per year.

Veterinary Expenses

veterinary expenses of owning a dog
Dog examined by vets

Another necessity that varies widely per year is veterinary expenses, including maintenance medications, such as heartworm and flea medications. Most medications vary in price by the size of the dog. Certain breeds have more issues than others. Dogs are like little kids – they’re always getting into something, including scrapes with other pets or themselves. You should always have pet insurance plus a couple of thousand dollars set aside in the event of emergencies. Veterinary expenses could run from a few hundred to thousands of dollars annually. If your dog has a chronic illness, such as diabetes, the expenses could be much higher. At a minimum, your dog has yearly vaccinations, flea and tick medications, and heartworm medications that you must have on a monthly basis.


If you like to take your dog to the groomer, it might cost a couple of hundred dollars to thousands per year, depending on the size of your dog and the number of times you go to the groomer.

Even if you groom your dog yourself, you will most likely have $200 to $400 per year in brushes and shampoo if you have a regular grooming schedule.


Unless you have a breed that prefers to be a couch potato, you will need to keep your dog entertained. Otherwise, you could end up with chewed furniture, shoes, and even walls. Smaller dogs play with smaller toys, so the toy bill is less expensive than if you have a larger dog who is a power chewer that goes through toys in a matter of hours. The cost of toys could range from $100 to $1,000 or more per year, especially if you spoil your dog.

Pet Insurance

buying pet insurance
Dog owner buying pet insurance

You can save on vet bills for yearly care, emergencies or chronic illnesses when you purchase pet insurance. Pet insurance varies widely and is based on your location and your pet’s breed, sex and age. The average price for accident and illness insurance ranges from $40 to $60 per month or $480 to $720 per year. For accident only, the average price ranges from $15 to $25 per month or $180 to $300 per year.

If you are ready to get a dog, you can determine the yearly cost of owning a dog by knowing its size and breed. Be sure to research breed-specific issues to know if you are ready to invest in a pet that might have issues, especially as it ages.

What to do next?

Are you worried your dog may catch fleas or ticks? Check out our guides on flea and tick prevention and how to get rid of fleas. If you, or someone in your family is allergic to dogs, but would like to own one, check our guide to non shedding dogs. Looking for dog toys? Check the Toys section of our website.

How to bathe a dog: these 5 essential hacks will make a dog bath easy as pie

While it may sound straightforward, learning how to bathe a dog is important. To learn how, read this guide! Read more

New dog owners know how stressful it can be to bathe a dog for the first time. While some dogs are more well-behaved than others in the bath, most dogs find the experience stressful.

If your dog is panicking and struggling to get out of the tub, it can easily injure itself. Not only can it be dangerous and leave the dog feeling anxious, but it will also be almost impossible to wash the dog’s skin and coat if you are not bathing them right.

Given that the right bathing techniques will keep your dog’s coat dirt-, fungus-, odor-, and tangle-free, it is imperative to learn how to bathe a dog the right way. Luckily, we are here to help with our three-step method!

Not only will we explain the right way to bathe a dog, but we will also offer tips and tricks you can follow for the best results. So, let’s learn how to get your furry friend’s coat clean and smelling great!

How to Prepare for Your Dog’s Bath
3-Step Method for Bathing a Dog
5 Essential Hacks for Bathing a Dog

How to Prepare for Your Dog’s Bath

dog bath
Dog expecting great time

Before we get into our step-by-step instructions for bathing your canine companion, we will explain how to prepare before you bring your pup to the tub.

This will make the entire process easier and help keep your pup calm. First, decide where you want to bathe your dog and get the water ready. A hard-plastic kiddie pool is an excellent option for bathing your dog outside. A bathtub will work best if you prefer to bathe your dog indoors; however, a clean sink will also work if you have a toy breed or a small puppy.

Assemble the supplies you need, including dog-friendly shampoo that is life-stage appropriate for your dog. Just like human babies, puppies need a milder shampoo than adult and senior dogs. If you need help finding the correct type of shampoo, we recommend reading PetCareRx’s informative guide – How to Choose a Dog Shampoo.

You will need a pitcher or large cup that you can use to wash the shampoo from your dog’s coat. It is also a good idea to have a few dry towels handy. Use towels that you are not overly attached to, as they may get scratched or chewed.

Once you have everything ready, you can fill the tub or kiddie pool with a few inches of water. Ensure the water is lukewarm rather than hot or cold, as this will be far less shocking for your pooch. You do not need to fill the warm water too high, as you will be scooping it up with your pitcher and pouring it over your dog rather than submerging them.

You are now ready to get started!

3-Step Method for Bathing a Dog

1.  Brush Your Dog

Before your dog even steps foot in the water, you need to brush its coat thoroughly. Not only will this help to remove and loosen up tangles, but it will also pull excess hair from the coat.

 Removing this dead hair from your dog’s coat made it much easier for the shampoo to penetrate down the undercoat and skin level. This will help eliminate those pesky odors that can get trapped within a dog’s coat. It will also help the shampoo clean the surface of the dog’s skin, which will help remove dead skin, trapped bacteria, dirt, and various irritants.

 Brushing and de-tangling the coat before the dog gets into the water will also help shedding. This step is particularly important if you have a long-haired, double-coated breed, like a golden retriever or Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever.

 Make sure you own a high-quality dog brush suitable for your dog’s specific coat type. If you need help choosing the right dog grooming tools for your particular breed, we recommend reading this informative guide from Hartz – Choosing the Right Brush for Your Dog.

2.  Wet and Shampoo the Dog’s Entire Coat

Now it is time to introduce your dog to the water. Rather than dropping your dog into the water, slowly introduce them to the water with plenty of positive reinforcement. Remember, this can be a somewhat intimidating process for a confused and anxious dog, so it is essential to take this step slowly and offer plenty of encouragement.

 Once the dog is in the water, slowly and calmly wet the dog’s entire coat using the lukewarm water in the tub, kiddie pool, or sink. Again, make sure that you double-check that the water is not too hot or cold.

 After the dog’s coat is sufficiently wet, meaning the water has worked its way beneath the outer coat, you can apply the recommended amount of dog-friendly shampoo. Make sure you read the label ahead of time, as it will tell you how much shampoo you should use based on your dog’s weight, coat type, and age.

Using your wet fingers, work the shampoo into the coat from the dog’s neck down to the end of the tail. Ensure you are thorough, as you want to ensure the shampoo can penetrate the coat. At this point, avoid getting shampoo on the dog’s face, particularly around the eyes, mouth, and ears.

 Pay extra attention to the dirtiest regions, like the paws and underbelly. Once every other part of the dog’s coat and body have been shampooed, rinse your hands and apply a small amount of fresh shampoo to your fingers. You can now shampoo the snout, top of the head, and under the chin. Again, avoid getting shampoo in your dog’s eyes and inner ears. Getting water in your dog’s ear canal can lead to an ear infection, especially if they need frequent baths.

3.  Thoroughly Rinse Your Dog

Using one hand, cover the dog’s eyes and wash away the shampoo from the face with your pitcher. Be very gentle and offer encouragement and other forms of positive reinforcement.

 Once all traces of shampoo have been cleared from your dog’s head and neck, continue to work backward until you get to the tail. It is crucial to fully remove the shampoo from your dog’s coat and the surface of their skin, as leftover shampoo residue can dry out the fur and skin. This can lead to itchiness, flaking, and excess shedding.

 Congratulations, you have now successfully bathed your dog. Help your pooch out of the water and ensure they do not slip, especially if you have a tub raised off the ground.

 From here, all you have to do is dry your dog’s coat. It is much better to towel dry the dog rather than using a blow dryer, as the hot air can irritate your dog’s skin and leave the fur brittle and more susceptible to excess shedding.

 To learn how often you should bathe your dog, we recommend reading the American Kennel Club’s guide – How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

5 Essential Hacks for Bathing a Dog

how to dry a dog after bath
Dry your dog thoroughly after bath

Now that you know how to bathe a dog, we can get into a few tips and tricks that will make the entire process easier.

1.  Put Down a Non-Slip Surface

A non-slip rubber bath mat will go a long way to keep your pooch calm and injury-free during bath time. Your dog will become much more panicked and anxious if it feels it cannot get a good grip on the tub.

 Preventing slipping also helps your dog avoid painful muscle and joint injuries, which is particularly important for senior dogs, as they are far more susceptible to joint pain and tend to have poor balance.

2.  Peanut Butter Is Your Friend

A distracted dog will be far easier to shampoo and rinse than a dog that is hyper-focused on what is happening. Even a small smear of peanut butter on one of the edges of the bathtub or a reachable wall will keep your dog busy and distracted.

 Dog bath toys can be filled with peanut butter to make things even easier!

3. Block the Drain

If you want to make things easier for yourself, make sure that you are blocking the drain with a hair catcher. If you do not want to buy one, you can stuff the drain with a piece of steel wool, which can sit beneath the plug.

 As you can imagine, dogs shed a significant amount during baths, especially breeds with long, thick coats, and you don’t want that loose fur going down the drain.

4. Dry Your Dog Thoroughly After the Bath

While some breeds are drawn to the water, like Labrador retrievers and Newfoundlands, others despise being wet. To help calm your dog after you are finished with its bath, make sure you take the time to dry its coat.

 This may involve using several towels, so you may want to invest in large, absorbent beach towels if you have a larger breed. Not only will taking the time to dry your dog help calm them, but it will also prevent your dog from rolling around in the grass and dirt after you have just put all that time into cleaning them.

5. Give Your Dog a Treat Before and After the Bath

You want your dog to associate being bathed with positive feelings. Offering a reward at the start and finish will help to train your dog to enjoy the bath.

 You should also avoid raising your voice or punishing your dog in any way while they are near the bath, as positive reinforcement will be drastically more effective than negative reinforcement.

 Your life as a dog owner will be far more enjoyable if your dog learns to enjoy taking a bath! 

What to do next?

Do you need help training your dog to get used to baths? Check our guide to training dogs. If you’re looking for flea and tick prevention methods, our article lists all types to help you pick the most useful ones.

30 breeds of non shedding dogs: small, large and in between

All non shedding dogs need regular grooming. This article will help you pick a non-shedding dog breed, which grooming needs are manageable for you. Read more

Non shedding dogs are most suited to households with allergy sufferers, as they produce much less dander – the most frequent cause of human allergies to dogs. According to a paper published in 2018 in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Research, allergies to dogs affect 10%-20% of the population; between 1 to 2 in 10 people in your circle of family and friends is most likely allergic to dogs. To further reduce shedding dander, they need regular grooming; this article will highlight the grooming required for each breed.

It doesn’t matter if you’re hoping for an extra-large boy, a little pooch, or something in between—the following list includes different dog breeds in all three sizes!

We used the following parameters to classify our furry friends below:

●      Small dog breeds: Less than 22 lbs. and less than 13 inches

●      Medium dog breeds: 24–60 lbs. and 13–23 inches

●      Large dog breeds: More than 60 lbs. and taller than 25 inches

10 Small Non-shedding Dogs

If you live in an apartment and want to take a tiny pup home, you can pick one of the following breeds.

small non shedding dog
Small non shedding dog – Bichon Frise

1. Bichon Frise

●      Coat type: Double, long, and curly

●      Grooming frequency: Daily

Taking care of a Bichon Frise’s lovely coat can be tricky.

Since it’s curly, it’s prone to tangles if you don’t brush it with a soft-bristled brush every day. Plus, the shed hair, while minimal, can get caught up in the undercoat, so brushing is the way to get rid of stuck hair.

As for bathing, make sure to thoroughly wash your Bichon Frise’s coat once a month.

2. Chinese Crested

●      Coat type: Hairless or powderpuff (short or medium)

●      Grooming frequency: Once a week (hairless) and daily (powderpuff)

Chinese Crested dogs look low-maintenance because they only have hair on their heads, legs, and tails. However, that’s not entirely the case.

The hairless variety will need special care because its exposed skin can be subject to sunburn, irritation, and dryness. So, it’s important to consult a vet about the best grooming routine that’ll keep this dog’s skin in ideal condition.

As for the powderpuff variety, it’ll require daily brushing as its soft layer of hair can get matted easily.

2. Affenpinscher

●      Coat type: Wiry (short or medium)

●      Grooming frequency: 2–3 times a week

Another small dog that doesn’t shed is the Affenpinscher. Yet, you’ll spend a lot of time grooming this little boy!

Ideally, you have to brush his wiry coat several times a week to ensure it doesn’t form challenging knots.

Because the coat doesn’t have a fast growth rate, you’ll need to give it a trim every three months or so.

3. Maltese

●      Coat type: Long and silky

●      Grooming frequency: Daily

The Maltese dog is an adorable good boy that you may want to take home because of his non-shedding status. But you must be prepared to take special care of his silky coat.

He requires gentle brushing every day, bathing and ear cleaning every couple of weeks, and applying a suitable coat conditioner to maintain its shine.

4. Miniature and Toy Poodle

●      Coat type: Long and curly

●      Grooming frequency: Daily

A miniature or toy Poodle’s grooming requirements can be a bit much.

If you’ll be keeping this dog’s hair long, daily brushing is the way to prevent the hair from matting near the roots.

For a hassle-free life with a miniature Poodle, a lot of pet parents prefer to keep the coat trimmed short. A trip to the groomer once a month for a professional trimming after a bath is a must.

5. West Highland White Terrier

●      Coat type: Double and medium-length

●      Grooming frequency: Daily

The West Highland White Terrier is a little show dog that can easily win the hearts of millions thanks to his amiable personality and lovely coat.

To keep his coat in good condition, you must comb it every day to loosen any dead hairs that might get stuck in it.

Then, a visit to the groomer is a requirement every month for a bath and a trim.

6. Bolognese

●      Coat type: Long and wavy

●      Grooming frequency: 3 times per week

What’s better than the cute Bolognese dog as a low-shedding companion for people with allergies?

More interesting is the fact that this dog only requires brushing three times a week, which may be less if you keep the coat trimmed short.

Even with long coats, Bolognese dogs will only require you to trim the hair around their eyes for visibility.

7. Havanese

●      Coat type: Double, long, and silky

●      Grooming frequency: Daily

The Havanese has a long, soft coat, which automatically translates to gentle daily combing to keep matted hair at bay. You also want to get rid of any loose hair that may have nestled in the undercoat.

To shorten the frequency of grooming this dog, you can opt for a shorter trim and keep it maintained by visiting the groomer every 4–6 weeks.

8. Scottish Terrier

●      Coat type: Double, medium-length, and wiry

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

A Scottish Terrier needs hand stripping on a weekly basis, but you should do it monthly if it’s a puppy. This is to make it easier to gently brush the wiry topcoat.

Otherwise, you can always take your dog to the groomer for a coat trim once every two months.

9. Lhasa Apso

●      Coat type: Long and silky

●      Grooming frequency: 2–3 times a week

We like the Lhasa Apso dog because he’s fluffy, has a goofy personality, and has a low shedding frequency. Just get ready to meet its long coat’s needs!

Whether you’ll be keeping the hair long or trimmed, two brushing sessions a week is recommended. Then, a bath should be in order every two weeks, so you should alternate bathing and brushing at weekly intervals.

10. Brussels Griffon

●      Coat type: Double, short or medium-length, and wiry

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

The rough-coated version of the Brussels Griffon dog needs weekly brushing of his wiry coat. You can even trim your pup’s coat to make taking care of it a more straightforward task.

Regular bathing, nail clipping, and teeth cleaning are essential, too.

10 Medium-sized Non-shedding Dogs

Many medium-sized dogs are low-shedders, and here are our ten favorite pooches!

medium non shedding dog
Medium non shedding dog – Lagotto Romagnolo

1. Basenji

●      Coat type: Short and fine

●      Grooming frequency: Every 1–2 weeks

A Basenji can be the perfect fit for people who don’t want to concern themselves with long hair that can get easily tangled. Because this breed has short, flat hair, you’ll only need to brush yours after a bath.

Better still, Basenjis don’t need frequent bathing—only once every two weeks should do.

2. Irish Water Spaniel

●      Coat type: Medium-length and curly

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

An Irish Water Spaniel may be just what you need if you want a cute dog that doesn’t have to follow a demanding grooming schedule.

You’ll just need to brush his curly coat every week, give him a trim every 8 weeks, and maintain the cleanliness of his ears, teeth, and nails.

3. Lagotto Romagnolo

●      Coat type: Double, medium-length, and curly

●      Grooming frequency: Once a month

One of the most low-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming is the Lagotto Romagnolo.

Professionals advise against brushing this good boy’s curly hair in between monthly grooming sessions. Otherwise, unraveling the topcoat’s ringlets will cause the rough undercoat to mat more tightly.

Just leave it to the groomer to do all the work—trimming the coat, bathing, and taking care of the dog’s ears and nails.

4. Peruvian Inca Orchid

●      Coat type: Smooth and short (almost hairless)

●      Grooming frequency: 1–2 times per week

The Peruvian Inca Orchid dog is almost hairless, but the patches of soft, fine hair will need weekly brushing after bathing.

What you should focus more on is the exposed skin, as it’s prone to sunburn and irritation. Therefore, make sure to apply sunscreen to it if you intend to take your dog outside.

While indoors, it’s best to wipe your dog’s skin with a soft piece of cloth dipped in warm water daily.

5. Portuguese Water Dog

●      Coat type: Tight and curly or loose and wavy (long)

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

Without a doubt, the Portuguese Water Dog is one of the best non-shedding dogs you can get. However, grooming this boy is a big deal!

He needs brushing once or twice a week, occasional baths, and a trim each month or so to keep his coat looking fresh and clean.

6. Spanish Water Dog

●      Coat type: Curly or corded and medium-length

●      Grooming frequency: Once every 2 months

You’re not allowed to brush the Spanish Water Dog’s curly coat between full grooming sessions.

Just bathe him when the coat starts getting dirty.

Plus, if you want your dog to have the trademark corded coat, you’ll have to wait for more than two months before taking him to the groomer.

7. Tibetan Terrier

●      Coat type: Double and long

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

His coat sure looks intimidating, but the Tibetan Terrier is easy to groom.

He’ll require full-body brushes twice a week, a bath every two weeks, and a visit to a professional groomer for a trim every two months.

8. Bedlington Terrier

●      Coat type: Medium-length and curly

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

The Bedlington Terrier is a unique dog breed with fast-growing hair.

As a result, you’ll need to comb his curly hair once or twice per week, give him a trim every couple of months, and bathe him occasionally.

9. Kerry Blue Terrier

●      Coat type: Medium-length and wavy

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

To get rid of loose hair, you must brush your Kerry Blue Terrier once a week and give him a full groom every two months or so.

Also, make sure to trim his nails every week and keep his ears always clean.

10. Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier

●      Coat type:  Medium-length and silky or wavy

●      Grooming frequency: Daily

The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier should receive a daily dose of gentle brushing with a pin brush, followed by careful combing with a fine-toothed comb.

Whatever knots are left should be hand-smoothed.

As for bathing, you should only do it when the dog gets dirty.

10 Large Non-shedding Dogs

There’s a multitude of large non-shedding dogs, too, as you’ll see right below!

large non shedding dog
Large non shedding dog – Briard

1. Giant Schnauzer

●      Coat type: Double, medium-length, and wiry

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

The Giant Schnauzer requires weekly brushing of his double coat, regular clipping to prevent mats, and bathing on occasion.

Because not all pet parents know how to deal with a coat that has both soft and wiry hair, we recommend you leave all the work to experts.

2. Briard

●      Coat type: Double, long, and wavy

●      Grooming frequency: 2–3 times a week

Briard dogs are giant buddies that need extra care; so make it a habit of brushing the hair of yours a few times each week.

As for bathing and trimming, the frequency of those is usually monthly.

3. Greyhound

●      Coat type: Short and smooth

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

A Greyhound is the easiest to groom because his short, fine hair only requires weekly rubbing with a damp cloth. A full-fledged bath can happen every couple of weeks or so.

However, you’ll need to keep his nails in check, as they grow quite fast.

4. Komondor

●      Coat type: Long and corded

●      Grooming frequency: Once every two weeks

The coolest thing about a Komondor dog is that you should never brush him, but bathe him every couple of weeks to keep the coat healthy.

When the coat starts to get too long, you can visit the groomer for a neat trim.

5. Bouvier des Flandres

●      Coat type: Double, medium-length, and rough

●      Grooming frequency: 1–2 times a week

A Bouvier des Flandres needs periodic brushing sessions to prevent the matting of his coarse hair.

As for bathing, you’ll only have to do it every three months or so, followed by a clean trim. Nails should be trimmed at a two-week interval.

6. Cane Corso

●      Coat type: Short and smooth

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

The Cane Corso is a low-shedding dog that needs brushing on a weekly basis. During the shedding season, which only yields a few hairs here and there, you can amp up the brushing frequency to daily.

Bathe your dog occasionally and trim his nails once they get too long.

7. Saluki

●      Coat type: Short and smooth

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

Saluki dogs are simple to keep in perfect shape by combing their smooth coats every week.

They don’t even need to get into the bathtub that often—only when exceptionally dirty!

8. Afghan Hound

●  Coat type: Long and silky

●  Grooming frequency: 2–3 times a week

The Afghan Hound requires thorough brushing several times a week to get rid of annoying tangles in his coat.

You should also bathe yours regularly to keep his coat shiny and healthy. A trim is a good idea every month or so, too.

9. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

●      Coat type: Double, medium-length, and wiry

●      Grooming frequency: Weekly

It’s recommended that you brush or comb your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s coat once a week to get rid of loose hair that can get stuck on his outer wiry coat.

Occasionally, you’ll have to trim the hair around his ears and feet, as it tends to get too long.

As for bathing, only do it when it’s necessary, like if your pup hops into a muddy puddle!

10. Belgian Malinois

●      Coat type: Short and smooth

●      Grooming frequency: Once every 1–2 weeks

The Belgian Malinois isn’t a 100% non-shedding dog, but his shedding is low. So, when it’s not his shedding season, you can only brush him on occasion.

However, daily brushing is a must to remove dead hair when he starts shedding.

Bathing is okay every month or so, depending on how adventurous your dog is!

What to do next?

Are you wondering if you can afford a dog? Go to our guide how much does a dog cost per year. Is bathing your dog a struggle? Check out our guide on how to bathe a dog for useful tips. Is your dog likely to catch fleas or ticks? Head to our flea and tick prevention for dogs article.

Flea and tick prevention for dogs and how to choose the safest one

Here is a guide to flea and tick prevention for dogs. It will help you decide which method is best for your dog and works for you too! Read more below

As a pet owner, I am quite often faced with endless choices and a headache-inducing number of options. I decided to help fellow pet owners make their own decisions by putting all the facts together in one place for future reference. 

This is not veterinary advice. Consult your veterinarian before buying any prescription treatment, if you have a less than 8-week-old puppy or your dog is old, pregnant, or nursing.

This is what this post will look at:

Flea and tick prevention and control methods
How to choose the best flea and tick prevention for your dog
Natural commercial and homemade flea and tick repellents
Safety precautions

Read below to find out more details.

Flea and tick prevention and control methods

Dog’s happiness

Oral medications

Chewable flea and tick prevention tablets are sold on prescription. These contain insecticides that work by killing the existing live fleas or ticks as soon as they bite your dog and prevent your dog from catching more fleas and ticks in the future. One dose per month is required.
There are also non-prescription chewable tablets containing insecticides, that need to be given to your dog daily.
Non-chewable tablets are available without a prescription, but you will need to disguise them with food to ensure your dog eats a tablet.

Topical drops

Topical drops are mostly sold without a prescription, some are prescription only. Like oral medications, these contain insecticides but are absorbed through your dog’s skin rather than the stomach and intestine. They also work by killing the existing live fleas or ticks as soon as they bite your dog, and prevent your dog from catching more fleas and ticks in the future. When applying a topical treatment make sure you apply it to the spot your dog can’t reach and lick off. Also, make sure you part the hair to make the skin visible then apply the liquid slowly to give it enough time to absorb and not run off. One dose per month is needed.

Flea and tick collars

Dog flea and tick collars work as flea and tick repellents, but efficacy will depend on which product you choose. Some over-the-counter flea collars contain flea repellents that deter but do not kill fleas, making them suitable as preventatives but not good for infestations. Other insecticidal collars may kill fleas near the neck but leave other areas prone to fleas. The most effective dog flea and tick collars work much like topical flea preventatives, dispensing a long-acting flea control chemical that absorbs and spreads over the skin to kill fleas on contact. Depending on the product these will work for 3 months upwards.


The best flea and tick shampoo for a dog will kill pests on contact and wash away flea debris, eggs, and larvae. Look for non-irritating formulas with soothing ingredients like oatmeal. Pets with flea allergy dermatitis may enjoy the relief of an anti-itch or skin-calming formula. You can also find canine flea and tick shampoos with all-natural ingredients, and many of these also contain botanicals that repel fleas and ticks. Shampoos are not best suited for long-term flea and tick prevention for dogs.

Sprays and wipes

Dog sprays contain either insecticides or natural insect repellents: cedarwood oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, geraniol, peppermint oil, and cinnamon oil. These will work as long-term prevention, but will not be suitable during an active infestation.

Yard and home treatments

If you suspect that your dog may have caught fleas in your yard, you need to eradicate fleas or your dog will get infested again. There are specific insecticide treatments in liquid or granules form that can be used in your yard. You can also use natural products such as cedarwood chips (sold in garden centers) or diatomaceous earth. Cedarwood oil is a natural flea-repellent and diatomaceous earth dries out the flea and tick larvae.
Home treatments are either powders to treat carpets or sprays that can be used on any surface. Look for long-lasting sprays that can protect your home for up to 6 months.

How to choose the best flea and tick prevention for your dog

Choosing the right medication

When deciding what prevention method to use, consider the following:

How often it needs to be applied?

Some flea and tick collars can last up to 8 months but need to be kept on your dog at all times. Chewable prescription tablets and topical drops need to be applied once a month. Shampoos, sprays, and wipes need to be applied before or straight after your dog may have had contact with fleas or ticks.

Does your dog’s condition allow her to tolerate treatment?

Oral and topical medications are suitable only for puppies older than 8 weeks. You must also be careful if your dog is old, pregnant, or nursing. Consult your vet, who will be best placed to advise you.

How well it prevents infestation?

Both oral medication and topical drops get absorbed into your dog’s bloodstream and work on her entire body. Flea and tick collars work best on your dog’s head, neck, and back and may leave the hind part unprotected. Sprays will only work on the areas you have managed to apply them to.

Does it work on other parasites?

Some oral medications can treat and control roundworms and hookworm infestations and kill black-legged ticks that can transmit Lyme disease in addition to flea and tick prevention. Some others also work against heartworms and whipworms.

Do you have other pets it may be toxic to?

If you have a cat and a dog, make sure you check if the medication you buy is suitable for both. Some types of medications are only for flea and tick prevention for dogs and are toxic to cats.

Natural commercial and homemade flea and tick repellents

Lemon or rosemary water spray

If you prefer to limit the use of pesticides and insecticides in your dog, you can opt for ready-made repellents containing only natural ingredients. Check the active ingredients list and look for the following: cedarwood oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, geraniol, peppermint oil, and cinnamon oil.

You can also make your own water-based flea and tick-repellent sprays. Check out our guide how to get rid of fleas to find out how to make lemon water spray. To make rosemary water spray take a teaspoon of dried rosemary and add to 1 pint of boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain through a sieve to a clean bowl and add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar. Mix well, then pour into a clean spray bottle.

Another type of natural flea and tick repellent is yeast extract. These are commercially available in the form of chews.

Safety precautions

Dog in safety equipment

Make sure you keep your dog safe by following the dog safety rules:

Your dog’s age, condition, and weight

Oral and topical medications are suitable only for puppies older than 8 weeks. You must also be careful if your dog is old, pregnant, or nursing. Oral medication, topical drops, and flea&tick collars have dosages based on your dog’s weight. Make sure you weigh your dog before requesting a prescription (unless you visit the vet, who can weigh your dog for you).

Is the medication suitable for your pet?

Check the label before you use medication for your dog on your cat. Some types of medication for dogs are toxic to cats.

Follow the directions on the label

Read the label before you administer the product and always follow label directions! Apply or give the product as and when directed. Never apply more or less than the recommended dose.

Is the treatment safe for your dog?

Only buy EPA-registered pesticides or FDA-approved medicines. Be aware that certain flea and tick preventives are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while others are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It can seem confusing at first to figure out which agency regulates the product you’re using, but it’s actually pretty straightforward: if the product is regulated by the EPA, there’s an EPA number clearly listed on the package. If the FDA regulates it, there should be a NADA or ANADA number clearly listed on the package. Check the label for either an EPA or an FDA approval statement and number. If you see neither, check with your veterinarian before purchasing and especially before using the product.

Monitor your dog’s behavior

One pet may react differently to a product than another pet. When using these products, monitor your pet for any signs of an adverse reaction, including anxiousness, excessive itching or scratching, skin redness or swelling, vomiting, or any abnormal behavior. If you see any of these signs, contact your veterinarian.

What to do next?

Contact your vet if your pet has any unusual symptoms or develops unexpected symptoms after topical or oral flea treatment. If your dog already caught fleas, check out our guide how to get rid of fleas. And if you got rid of fleas but your dog is still itchy, read our guide to itchy dog skin home remedy.

How to get rid of fleas: a 4-step method to a flea free house

How to get rid of fleas? Use a 4-step method to get rid of fleas on your dog or your cat and in your house forever. Flea infestation will reoccur if you don’t follow all the steps described below. Read more

As an indoor/outdoor cat owner, I have been dealing with flea infestations coming from my cat’s encounters with local hedgehogs and have first-hand experience with how persistent these pests can be. I had to go through several sources of information to figure out how to handle flea infestation and none of these had a complete “how to” guide. I thought it would be really handy to have all you need in one place, a “how to get rid of fleas” recipe.

I created the following 4 step method:

step 1 identify: how do I know my pet has fleas
step 2 sanitize: how to clean my house of fleas
step 3 pet treatment: how to get rid of fleas on my pet
step 4 follow-up: how to get rid of fleas forever

Read on to find out what each step of the process involves.

step 1 identify: how do I know my pet has fleas

Dog nibbling at flea bite

flea infestation symptoms in pets

If your pet suddenly starts to intensively nibble and groom its lower back next to the base of its tail and scratches its neck in sudden bursts or gets itchy after you pet its back, it may be due to flea infestation. Check their fur for flea dirt. Part the hair on her neck and see if you can spot what looks like specks of ground pepper. Dipping those specks in water turns their color to reddish brown. 

You may be able to see live fleas if your pet’s fur is short, otherwise, fleas hide deep within it and are difficult to spot. You will need to use a flea comb to remove live fleas from your pet. Keep a dish full of soapy water next to you while combing and dip the comb in soapy water whenever you catch a live flea. Soapy water kills fleas instantly and does not give them a chance to hide in your home.

flea infestation symptoms in pet owner

You may notice flea bites around your ankles and on your feet. These look like bug bites and tend to be raised, lumpy, and very itchy.

step 2 sanitize: how to clean my house of fleas

Vacuuming all floors

pre-treating large surfaces

Clear all the floors in your house of small objects (you will need to clean all floor surfaces, so removing all small objects first will help you accomplish this task). Vacuum thoroughly with your vacuum cleaner in the highest setting. Make sure you vacuum the wall edges with the small vacuum attachment as fleas tend to hide in these crevices. If it’s a bag vacuum cleaner, make sure you dispose of the bag outside as soon as you finish vacuuming. Live fleas can escape the bag and stay in your house. If you own or can hire a steam cleaner it will help to clean your house of fleas in all their life stages even better.

pre-treating soft furnishings

Vacuum or steam clean all couches, armchairs, chairs, and any other items of furniture covered in fabric. Make sure you vacuum all crevices.

Wash all your bedding covers and your pet’s beds and bed covers at the highest temperature recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure you use a washing detergent or soap flakes (remember: soapy water kills fleas).

using flea control spray

Next, treat all floors your pet frequents with flea control spray for the home containing insecticides. You will find a few brands on Amazon. Make sure the brand you choose contains chrysanthemum extract, permethrin, or pyriproxyfen as these components are the most effective against fleas. Use the spray according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When spraying floors, start from the wall opposite the exit and walk backward toward the exit as you spray. The insecticide needs to dry for 15-20 minutes before you can walk on the floor again.

You can also use the spray on your pet’s bed after it is washed and completely dry.

treating the yard

If your house has a yard, you will need to treat the yard too. It is likely that your pet caught fleas there. Treating your yard will prevent reinfesting your pet and your home. Fleas tend to congregate in shaded areas, where your pet hangs out the most. Use an insecticide spray or granules there. You can also clip the low-hanging branches and remove dead leaves and twigs from the ground to allow more sunlight in these areas. It will act as a natural insecticide too. 

If you are dealing with a large flea infestation, call a local pest control company. They can deal with flea infestation for you.

step 3 pet treatment: how to get rid of fleas on my pet

Anti-flea dog bath

how to get rid of fleas on dogs

  • comb your dog’s fur paying special attention to the neck and lower back close to her tail with a flea comb
  • wash the comb frequently in soapy water (soapy water kills fleas)
  • wash your dog with anti-flea dog shampoo
  • use prescription or over-the-counter flea treatment topical or oral; topical treatment is usually a thick fluid applied directly to your dog’s skin once a month, oral treatment can be either tablets or chewable

how to get rid of fleas on cats

  • comb your cat’s fur paying special attention to the neck and lower back close to her tail with a flea comb
  • wash the comb frequently in soapy water (soapy water kills fleas)
  • use prescription or over-the-counter topical flea treatment for cats, a thick liquid applied to your cat’s skin once a month
  • DO NOT wash your cat

step 4 follow-up: how to get rid of fleas forever

Flea free house

Repeat step 2 at least 2 or more times within 5-10 days of the first application. If you decided not to use topical treatment for your pet, repeat step 3 together with step 2. Repeating these steps will ensure you get rid of fleas in all 4 stages of their lifecycle. Adult fleas in a dormant state can survive up to 155 days.

Frequently asked questions:

What kills fleas naturally in the house?

You can sprinkle baking soda, borax powder, or very finely ground salt on your carpets (put table salt in a blender and blend until the pinch of salt between your fingers doesn’t feel grainy anymore; make sure you use a face mask when sprinkling it on your carpets), rub it in, wait for 1-2 days and the vacuum the carpets.

You can make a lemon flea spray and apply it to your home floors, furniture, and bedding. You will need 3 lemons, 3 cups of water, and 1.5 cups of vinegar (distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar). Slice the lemons thinly (⅓ of an inch), and mash the lemons to remove excess juice (D-limonene that kills fleas is in the lemon rinds, so you don’t need the juice). Put the lemons in a pot and add water. Cover with a lid, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the lemons seep for 8 hours. Strain the liquid into a bowl, then add vinegar and mix well. Pour into a clean spray bottle using a funnel and your lemon flea spray is ready to use.

How long does it take to get rid of fleas?

If you follow the 4-step method described in this post, it will take 5-10 days to eradicate fleas completely from your pet and your house.

What kills fleas instantly?

Fleas die immediately when submerged in soapy water. The insecticides in flea control sprays and topical treatments also kill fleas instantly.

What to do next?

Contact your vet if your pet has any unusual symptoms or develops unexpected symptoms after topical or oral flea treatment.

Do you want to prevent flea infestation? Read our guide on flea and tick prevention for dogs.
Is bathing your dog a struggle? Our guide how to bathe a dog has tips and tricks on ways to make it easier. And if you got rid of fleas but your dog is still itchy, read our guide to itchy dog skin home remedy.

Dog itchy skin home remedy: 5 ways to help your dog

Here is the guide to home remedies for itchy dog skin and its common causes. These are both safe and budget friendly. Read more below

A dog owner friend of mine recently confessed that finding enough information on this topic in one place can be quite difficult. I decided to help out and spent days cross checking various websites to confirm or refute their claims.

This is not veterinary advice. If your dog’s symptoms persist for more than a couple of days or her condition gets worse, consult a veterinarian immediately.

You will find the complete list below.

#1 dog baths
#2 water-based sprays
#3 topical treatments
#4 diet and supplements
#5 how to prevent itchy skin in dogs

Keep reading to find out more information.

#1 dog baths

dog bath for itchy skin
Dog in a bath

If your dog is itchy in more than one spot, it is best to give her a bath. A bath will let the remedy act on its entire skin. Make sure you do not wash your dog too often as it will dry out her skin and make itching worse. As a general rule, only wash your dog when she’s no longer huggable. You can make a bath using a few different ingredients (use these separately to check which one works best for your dog). If your dog has any open wounds or raw skin avoid giving her a bath as it will sting.

Oatmeal bath

Use a grinder to grind a cup of plain oats into a fine powder (you can use breakfast rolled oats sold in supermarkets) and sprinkle it into a warm bath. Let it soak for a few minutes before letting your dog in it. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes in the tub for the oatmeal to calm your dog’s skin. Rinse her with fresh water and towel dry.

Epsom salts bath

Make sure you use plain Epsom salts without any flavoring. Artificial flavors can irritate your dog’s skin. To make the bath add roughly 1/20 cup of Epsom salt per gallon of water (use 1 cup if you fill half a standard bathtub with water). Let your dog soak for 10 minutes, then rinse her with fresh water, then towel dry.

Chamomile or green tea bath

Use 3-4 teabags and 1 cup of boiling water to make a very strong tea. Fill the tub or sink with warm water, then pour in the tea. Make sure the water is lukewarm before letting your dog in. let your dog soak in it for 10 minutes. No need to rinse her afterwards, just towel dry.

Baking soda bath

Fill your tub with warm water and add 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda. Mix well before letting your dog in. Let her soak in for about 10 – 15 minutes, then rinse her with fresh water and towel dry.

#2 water-based sprays

Dog spray

If your dog seems to have only a few itchy patches, you can make water-based sprays to use only on the affected areas. Avoid spraying open wounds or raw skin as it will sting her.

Apple cider vinegar and water spray

Fill half of the clean spray bottle with apple cider vinegar, then fill the remaining half with water. Shake to mix well. Spray the affected area and let it soak your dog’s fur, then towel dry.

Chamomile or green tea spray

Instead of a bath, you can use chamomile or green tea as a spray. Use 3-4 teabags and 1 cup of boiling water to make a very strong tea. Once it cools, pour it into a clean spray bottle. Spray generously the affected areas until your dog’s fur is soaked through and let it air dry.

Calendula tea spray

To prepare calendula tea, add ½ cup calendula flowers to 1 quart boiling water and remove from the heat. Let the flowers steep while the tea is cooling. Before filling the spray bottle pour through a sieve to remove the calendula flowers. Spray the affected area and let it soak your dog’s fur, then let it air dry.

#3 topical treatments

Dog paw

If the itchy patches on your dog’s skin are small and clearly visible or limited to your dog’s paws, you can use topical oil-based treatments or gels. There are a few options available, some may work for your dog better than others.

Coconut oil

Take a small amount of coconut oil and rub it into your dog’s skin (make sure you get underneath her coat, otherwise it won’t work). Coconut oil turns solid if you store it in the fridge, take a small piece and warm it in your hands until it softens. You can also use it to soothe your dog’s paws.

Vitamin E oil

Apply a few drops of vitamin E oil to the affected area. As it is quite liquid, it will easily get underneath the coat so you don’t need to rub it in.

Aloe vera gel

Buy natural aloe vera gel from your grocery store (check the ingredients to make sure it does not contain alcohol, alcohol will sting your dog’s skin) and apply it to the affected spots. Rub it in to help it get through the coat. 

Baking soda paste

Instead of adding baking soda to a bath, you can make a paste and apply it to the itchy spot directly. Take a teaspoon of baking soda, and add water drop by drop until it reaches the right consistency and is a little sticky. Then apply it to your dog’s skin by moving the coat aside. Leave it to dry, then brush your dog’s coat to remove it.

#4 diet and supplements

Dog eating her food

Your dog’s diet can be responsible for itching. You can make a few changes to make your itchy dog feel better. Considering the following additions.

Adding fatty fish to your dog’s diet

Oily fish like sardines or salmon are a source of omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. These acids are the building blocks of the natural skin barrier. When buying canned fish make sure it only contains fish and water, no sauce, oil or lemon. 

Omega 3 fatty acid supplements

Instead of feeding your dog fish, you can buy Omega-3 fish oil from the pet store of your choice. Make sure you follow the dosage instructions included in the packaging.

Coconut oil

Feeding your dog coconut oil is not generally recommended as it may upset their stomachs and even cause pancreatitis.

Natural yogurt

Natural yogurt helps fight mild yeast infections and can be helpful when trying to soothe your dog’s skin. Make sure you give your dog no more than a spoonful a day as dogs don’t tolerate dairy products too well and that the yogurt is unsweetened.

#5 how to prevent itchy skin in dogs

dog itchy skin home remedy helps keep your dog happy
Doggy playtime

There are a few actions you can take to prevent itchy skin in your dog:

Flea infestation

Check if your dog is infested with fleas. If your dog has just started scratching intensely or started turning around very quickly or jumping to nibble their lower back and you can see tiny specks of dirt in their coat it may be flea infestation symptoms. Visit your vet to have your dog checked and get a prescription flea treatment if needed. Start treatment as quickly as possible, flea bites are very itchy and make your dog really uncomfortable.

Home chemicals

Do not use any air fresheners or scented candles in your house. These contain chemicals that can cause allergies in your dog (itching is one of the symptoms of an allergy). Try to limit the number of chemicals you use to clean your house as well.

Washing your dog

If your dog needs occasional washing, make sure you use dog shampoo and don’t wash your dog too often (every 4 weeks should be enough). Using human shampoo removes the protective oily layer from your dog’s skin and the coat dries it out and makes it prone to itching.


Groom your dog as often as you can, even if it is a short-haired dog. Grooming removes dead skin and hair, dirt and any accidental parasites.

Mental stimulation

Sometimes your dog’s stress and anxiety can manifest as itching. Playing with your dog will give you both a chance to relax and have fun together. Check the toys section of our website for playtime ideas.

Changes in diet

Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior whenever you change her diet. Beef and dairy are the most common food allergens in dogs. Add only one new food at a time and observe your dog’s reaction to catch a potential allergy early.

What to do next?

If your dog’s itching persists or gets worse contact your vet and book a visit. 

Check out how to bathe a dog guide to make bath time less stressful. If you want to prevent your dog from catching fleas or ticks, read our article on flea and tick prevention for dogs.

Living with cats: cat owner’s manual you and your cat will love

All you need to know about living with cats and how to get ready to bring your first cat home. Read more below

Before buying my first cat I spent hours researching cat breeds and cat behavior (mostly looking at cute cat pictures). I completely neglected the practicalities of living with cats and spent the first hours as a cat owner frantically driving to the pet store to buy essential items. In this article, you will find a list of essential items to get before you bring your new cat home and useful tips on how to deal with a cat owner’s life.

You will find out:

#1 How to prepare your home for the arrival of your cat
basic equipment
placement in the house
household hazards for cats
protecting your house
adding another cat to the existing cat or dog
#2 What activities living with cats involve
socializing with your cat and playtime
vet care
establishing a routine
preparing for holidays
preparing for travel
adding more activities/equipment

Keep reading for more details.

How to prepare your home for the arrival of your cat

living with cats
Cat at home

basic equipment

You will need some basic equipment in your house before you bring your kitten or cat home for the first time. Make sure you buy the following items:

  • 2 litterboxes
  • Cat litter
  • Water bowl
  • Food bowl
  • Travel crate
  • 2-3 toys
  • Soft blanket or cat bed
  • Scratching post
  • Carrier crate
  • Cat odor removal spray

Ask for a sample of the food your cat or kitten has been fed and make note of the brand and type. You will then be able to buy the food your cat is used to. Switching to a different food is a gradual process.

placement in the house

Litterboxes need to be kept in a quiet spot, where there is no traffic and far away from food, water, or a cat’s bed. Avoid placing litterboxes next to cat flaps and full-length glass windows as cats perceive these places as threats.

Put food and water bowls on hard surfaces (laminated, tiled, or hardwood floors). You can use rubber mats to protect the surface. Make sure food and water bowls are as far from each other as possible (keep these in different rooms if you can). Cats prefer water not contaminated with food.

When positioning a cat bed or blanket, look at your cat’s behavior and place the bed where she tends to spend most of her time lying down.

household hazards for cats

Cats can nibble on plants out of curiosity. If you keep plants in your house, check if any of these are poisonous to cats. ASPCA keeps a list of plants toxic to cats. Be aware that some of these are ornamental flowers and can be inadvertently brought as gifts.

Make sure all cleaners, bleaches, disinfectants, laundry capsules, and concentrated liquids containers are sealed or stored in a place where your cat has no access. These substances can be ingested if spilled and groomed off your cat’s coat or paw.

Tight and hard-to-access spaces in your house may end up as your cat’s hiding spots, especially if she’s frightened and trying to hide. Seal the holes if possible. You will need to learn a new habit of checking open washing machines, tumble dryers, hot hobs, and chimneys before use to make sure your cat does not get accidentally hurt.

protecting your house

Your carpets and furniture will get assaulted by your cat eventually. You can minimize the damage by placing scratching pads and posts around the house. There are scratch pads you can attach to couches and armchairs. You can cover these furniture items with blankets to protect them from fur.

Make sure your vacuum cleaner can remove animal hair and vacuum regularly. This will help you maintain your house fluff free if you chose a long-haired cat.

Even the best-behaved cats may end up having accidents on your carpet or furniture. Get a bottle of odor-removing spray (there are brands designed for cat odor removal) and clean up immediately. Otherwise, your cat will learn to use that place instead of the litterbox.

Your cat will try to climb anywhere she can get a foothold. If you keep any fragile objects on open shelves, get a glass cabinet and use it as a display instead.

adding another cat to the existing cat or dog

Any new cat needs a careful introduction. Cats in the wild live either with related individuals or the ones they get on with. Do not force your cats to spend time together if they don’t want to. When introducing a cat to your dog make sure your dog does not start to chase or injure the new cat.

What activities living with cats involve

living with cats

socializing with your cat and playtime

Your cat needs your company! Take every opportunity to play with your cat whenever she expresses interest – it is the best way to socialize cats. Playing with your cat teaches her that you are safe and fun to interact with. Chasing a laser pointer or a fluffy cat toy will allow your cat to expend excess energy. Make sure you don’t use your hands to play with your kitten; she will grow quickly into an adult cat and her bites and scratches will be painful. Start using cat toys as soon as you get your cat.

vet care

Routine veterinary care such as yearly vaccinations, teeth, and health checkups will ensure that your cat is protected from most infectious diseases and that any cat health concern is caught early enough to address it before it becomes serious.

Make sure you book a yearly visit to get your cat vaccinated. This can be a combined visit, including a health checkup and a teeth condition check or teeth cleaning. The older your cat gets, the more frequent health checkups should be. Also if your cat has a chronic condition, you will need to book visits more often. Your cat will need to be spayed or neutered between 4 and 6 months of age.


Cats primarily eat meat and their diets must reflect that. They need a large amount of protein in their food. Adult cats should get at least 5.5 g/kg of protein daily. An average eight-pound cat needs to consume at least 0.7 ounces of protein each day. Make sure the cat food you buy is low in carbohydrates (look out for grains or potatoes on the ingredients list). Carbohydrates make protein less digestible to cats. 

Do not overfeed your cat. You will find links to more articles about feeders that slow down eating in the last section of this post.


Your cat will need your help with grooming. Even short-haired cats benefit from regular brushing. If you decide to get a long-haired cat, you need to brush its coat daily. Otherwise, its fur will get matted limiting your cat’s mobility. You will need to start brushing as soon as you adopt your cat to get her used to the process. If you don’t think you can commit this much effort, try looking for a cat groomer in your area. Make sure you choose an experienced groomer specializing in cats. An inexperienced groomer may inadvertently hurt your cat.

Make sure you trim the sharp tips of your cat’s nails regularly.

It is also a good idea to start brushing your cat’s teeth as early as possible to get her used to it. You can also ask your vet if they offer regular teeth cleaning services.

establishing a routine

Cats are most active in the evening and early morning. They quite often follow their own routine: hunt – eat – groom – sleep. You can use this model to set up a routine evening chain of activities to help your cat socialize with you (hunt), get fed, and then sleep. This is going to be a “trial and error” way to get to know your cat better.

preparing for holidays

Leave your cat alone for 2 days at an absolute maximum. Cats get lonely and suffer from separation anxiety just like humans. If you plan to leave your cat on its own and have already prepared your home to house your cat safely, make sure there is enough food and water spread in a few bowls around the house and several toys to keep your cat busy.

If you are planning to leave for longer than 2 days, your cat will need someone to look after her. You can either hire a cat sitter or ask a neighbor, friend, or relative who lives nearby. Make sure they come at least once before you leave to meet with your cat and learn where you keep cat food, toys, and fresh cat litter. Let them know about your cat’s habits, and what they do and don’t like. If your cat needs any medicine, write a detailed description of the dosing and when/how to administer it. 

There are boarding facilities for cats. These should be used as a last resort. Cats get stressed when they are removed from their territory and the sound and smell of other unknown cats make it even less pleasant for your cat.

preparing for travel

Getting your cat used to the carrier crate before you need to take her to the vet will make your and your cat’s lives much easier. Leave the crate open and let your cat walk around and sniff it. You can put some cat treats inside to encourage her to get inside. Repeat these sessions as often as you can.

When traveling with your cat in a crate in a car make sure you fasten a seat belt around it to hold it securely or put the crate on the floor. You can cover the crate with a blanket if it helps your cat to keep calm. Try taking your cat on a few short rides to get her used to it.

adding more activities/equipment

After a while, you will learn your cat’s favorite activities. If you want to spend more time with your cat and get a little exercise in your routines, you can teach your cat to walk on a lead. Look for the smallest size collars available to make sure she cannot get her head out of it and a non-extendable lead. Non-extendable lead gives you more control over where your cat can go.

If you keep your cat indoors, you can make your home more exciting if you buy a cat tree or tower. Check our cat trees article to find out what to look for. Try different types of toys and enjoy watching your cat play.

What to do next?

Visit the feeding accessories section of our website to pick the best food and water bowls for your cat. If you are planning on making your home more cat friendly, read our guide on Cat Trees: How to Choose Best Tree for Your Cat – The Ultimate Guide.

Cat lifespan: 5 tips to help your cat live longer

What you need to know about cat lifespan and how to let your cat live longer! Read more below

After we got our cat Cookie, my son asked me how long our cat would live, so I decided to do some research on this topic.

I found a lot of interesting facts, but not much actionable advice, so I decided to fill this gap. The last section of this article will tell you what to do to enjoy your cat’s company for longer.

Here is the key information:

#1 cat lifespan: average, shortest, longest
#2 how cat breed affects lifespan
#3 effect of lifestyle: outdoors vs indoor cats
#4 diet and longevity
#5 effects of veterinary care
#6 exercise
#7 how to help your cat live longer

Keep reading below to find out more.

#1 cat lifespan: average, shortest, longest

cat lifespan
Cat and kitten

Domestic cats live on average between 10 to 15 years according to PetMD. This number hides two extremes: cats that spend most of their lives outdoors unsupervised can live up to 7 years and indoors-only cats can live to around 14 years. The shortest-lived cats live outdoors without human supervision.

The maximum cat lifespan has been estimated at 22-30 years. The current Guinness World Record holder for the longest surviving cat is Creme Puff, who died in 2005, aged 38 years, 3 days.

#2 how cat breed affects lifespan

Cat breeds

Cat breed has little effect on how long cats can live. The differences in lifespan between breeds amount to only a few years. American Shorthair, Balinese, Bombay, European Shorthair, Russian Blue, and Siamese cats have a little longer lifespans than other breeds. Also, crossbred cats typically outlive purebred ones.

#3 effect of lifestyle: outdoors vs indoor cats

Cat at home

Indoors-only cats live longer than outdoor cats and the difference can be quite significant. Cats living outdoors are more likely to die early due to accidents or illnesses. Cats kept at home or at home and cat-safe patios are protected from traffic and feral animals and are more likely to live longer.

#4 diet and longevity

Cat food

Recent research suggests that the more a cat weighs, the shorter its lifespan. Avoiding cat obesity is one of the ways of increasing your cat’s longevity. Make sure your cat’s diet is rich in protein since cats evolved to get their energy from protein, unlike humans or dogs. Feeding your cat carbohydrates can decrease how much protein they digest and absorb.

#5 effects of veterinary care

Cat and his vet

Illnesses, especially chronic ones, can shorten a cat’s life. Routine veterinary care such as yearly vaccinations, teeth, and health checkups will ensure that your cat is protected from the majority of infectious diseases and that any cat health concern is caught early enough to address it before it becomes serious.

#6 exercise

Cat exercise

Cats exercise when chasing toys, climbing cat trees, or hiding and pouncing. This is their natural behavior as predators. Bored cats experience stress, which is not healthy for them. Cats can also be trained to walk on a lead and can be taken outside for regular walks.

#7 how to help your cat live longer

Cat friend

Routine vet visits

Make sure you book a yearly visit to get your cat vaccinated. This can be a combined visit, including a health checkup and a teeth condition check or teeth cleaning. The older your cat gets, the more frequent health checkups should be. Also if your cat has a chronic condition, you will need to book visits more often.


Female cats typically outlive male cats and neutered/spayed cats live longer than non-sterilized ones. Getting your cat neutered/spayed will prolong its life.

Diet  and exercise

Cats primarily eat meat and their diets must reflect that. They need a large amount of protein in their food. Adult cats should get at least 5.5 g/kg of protein daily. An average eight-pound cat needs to consume at least 0.7 ounces of protein each day. Make sure the cat food you buy is low in carbohydrates (look out for grains or potatoes on the ingredients list). Carbohydrates make protein less digestible to cats. Do not overfeed your cat. The less your cat weighs, the longer it is likely to live.

If you decide to keep your cat indoors, provide enough entertainment to keep it busy. This way you will keep your cat fit and healthy and make your furniture last longer. You will find a guide on how to buy a cat tree in the section below. 


Regular brushing will remove dead hair from your cat’s coat and prevent hairballs from forming in its stomach when grooming itself. It will also allow you to check your cat’s body for any lumps or sore spots.

Making regular teeth cleaning part of your cat’s grooming routine will slow down plaque formation and keep their mouth healthy. Oral disease can become a serious health issue.

What to do next?

Keeping your cat indoors is a surefire way to extend its lifespan. If you are planning on making your home more cat friendly, read our guide on Cat Trees: How to Choose Best Tree for Your Cat – The Ultimate Guide.

Cat Trees: How to Choose Best Tree for Your Cat – The Ultimate Guide

Here is a list of what to look out for when buying cat trees. I’m sure your cat will find it interesting too! Read more below

I have spent days going through “best cat tree for” articles, product descriptions and customer comments to discover the pitfalls of buying a cat tree. 

Once you start searching the online shops, you will find hundreds of cat trees vying for your attention. This article will give you tools to check if a cat tree you liked is the best option for you and your cat.

Here is what to consider when buying a cat tree:

#Size of cat/many cats
#Cat behavior/favorite spots
#Materials used/ease of cleaning
#Stability/positioning in the house
#Size and shape of the available space
#Additional cat tree features

Keep reading below for more information.

Size of cat/many cats

Large cats

Large cats will need wider cat tree platforms, larger cat condos and hammocks tested for cat weight. If you’re buying a tall cat tree, remember to check if the base is wide and heavy enough to counterbalance the cat’s weight when playing on the top perch. A tall cat tree toppling over may injure your pet and cause damage to your home. Look out for the baseboard size no smaller than 19 x 19 inches, ideally 20 x 30 inches. Not all cat trees come equipped with a wall strap or wall mount; check the item description whether it is included in the set.

Many cats

If you have many cats, you most likely do not want them to compete for space on the cat tree! Consider cat trees with several levels of perches or more than 2 branches and extra features as baskets or cat condos. Aim for baseboard sizes above 20 x 20 inches and either use the wall strap or place it in a corner of the room to make it extra stable since the tree will need to support the weight of many cats at once.

Cat behavior/favorite spots

Bush dwellers

Does your cat spend most of their time sitting under chairs, coffee tables or hiding behind sofas and around the corners? Cats are natural predators and one of their favorite hunting strategies is to observe potential prey from a safe distance before launching a stealthy attack. Cats displaying a bush dweller behavior prefer to keep their paws on the ground most of the time. They will most likely appreciate a lower cat tree with overlapping shelves or a cat condo close to the ground.

Tree dwellers

If you find yourself forever telling your cat to get off the kitchen counter or gave up on the idea of having open shelves displaying your favorite china collection and the back of your armchair is always occupied by your feline, your cat is definitely a tree dweller. This type of cat enjoys the safety of its high position in the house while watching the goings on from the distance. Your cat will appreciate the tallest tree you can find, one with a soft pillow in a basket as the top ledge.

Beach dwellers

Some cats prefer to spend their lives with all four feet on the ground, but unlike bush dwellers, they prefer wide open spaces, sometimes in close vicinity of other household members. If your cat fits this description, you may skip the rest of this guide. Your cat is unlikely to ever use a cat tree.

Materials used/ease of cleaning

Types of materials used in cat trees

Cat tree frame is built using engineered wood or wood. Wood makes the tree heavier and more stable, but it comes at a cost; you can expect wooden cat trees to be more expensive. Some cat trees or parts of cat trees can be made of cardboard. While this is definitely a much cheaper option, it is much less durable and you can expect it would need to be replaced more often, which makes it less budget friendly.

The baseplates and platforms are usually covered in soft and fuzzy fabric or carpet like material. Soft plush or fleece will be less durable unless you keep trimming your cat’s claws. Carpet or jute lining will last much longer. Most vertical cat tree elements are usually wrapped in sisal rope and serve as scratching posts. Look out for unoiled, natural sisal rope to make the most of scratching posts offered by your cat tree. 

Ease of cleaning

Cat trees are not the easiest parts of the house to clean. You will need to get familiar with your vacuum cleaner’s smaller attachments to get around a cat tree’s all nooks and crannies. Some cat trees offer removable carpets and cushions that are machine washable. These options will be useful if your cats tend to be messy.

Stability/positioning in the house


Tall cat trees above 64 inches are more prone to toppling over especially if your cat is larger than average (average weight of a domestic cat is 8.8 – 11 lbs) or if you have more than one cat. If your cat is a good jumper even a tree lower than 68 inches may not be stable enough.

When buying a tree make sure the baseplate is large enough (the larger the better). Larger base will make the tree more stable. Another feature that helps prevent wobbliness is more weight of the base; wooden bases with cat condos are the best option.

Some cat trees will come equipped with wall strap or mount. This is to help the tree stay stable; keep in mind that the tree will need to be positioned next to the wall and some drilling will be required to secure the strap/mount onto the wall.

You can also consider positioning your cat tree in a corner of the room and get it supported by 2 adjacent walls.

Positioning in the house

Have you noticed how often your cat will stare out the window watching birds, bugs or neighbor’s dogs? Cats are very interested in what is going on around them. Sitting on a high perch of their tree will give them an even better view of the outside world. The ideal position of the cat tree, especially a taller one, is next to the window. If possible you can hang a bird feeder outside the house, visible from the window, to give your cat a chance to watch exciting cat TV. If you happen to keep fish, your cat will be thrilled to watch the fish tank from his high vantage point in the cat tree.

Size and shape of the available space

Amount of floor space available

Usually the larger cat trees will take more space than the dimensions of the baseplate; check the total dimensions mentioned in the product description and use measuring tape to confirm the tree you intend to buy will fit into the space you want to set it up in. If you have many cats, the cat tree may need to have some space away from the wall to give your cats more room to climb.

Shape of available space

Most cat trees are squares or rectangles and will be ideal for positioning in the room corner. Some have more unusual shapes, particularly cat trees fashioned out of real trees and may need lots of space to fit. This kind of cat tree will need even more space to display it properly as  you can use it as a decorative element in your house.

Wall mounted cat trees

If you decide you want to save your floor space, but still let your cat have fun climbing, the wall mounted cat tree is your best bet. These cat trees come in all shapes and sizes, from a vertical trunk with perches on both sides to a cat playgrounds with mounted shelves, branches and suspension bridges. You can even buy 2 sets and combine them to create an indoor catio! The possibilities here are endless. 

As these must be wall mounted you will need to check what types of walls are in your house. Different wall types need specific ways to anchor the cat tree pieces (zinc drywall anchors may not require drilling, but plasterboard walls will need some drilling).

Additional cat tree features

Comfort features

Where in the house does your cat take his naps? Cat bed? Couch you picked for its soft pillows? Your bed? Then make sure the cat tree you buy comes equipped with pillows, baskets lined with soft fleece or hammocks. The soft fabric will encourage your cat to sleep on his tree while you can enjoy your couch. It will also soak the cat’s scent and make it feel safer there. You can try placing your cat’s favorite sleeping blanket inside the cat condo (if the tree has one) to help him get used to it.

Toys and scratch pads

Some trees come equipped with dangling, fluffy cat toys. These are sometimes attached to the tree with elastic string, which adds more movement. Cats can easily chew through it and if you can find trees with hanging sisal rope, this one will last longer.

Scratch pads can serve as extra ramps, if your cat is elderly and does not enjoy jumping while giving the cat more opportunity for scratching.

Cat trees with puzzles and tunnels will let you spend less on other cat toys and keep your cat busy for longer.


Cheapest options

You can find the cheapest cat trees on Amazon, Walmart or Petco websites. The cheapest options at the time of writing this article are $38. These are basic cat trees with either a cat condo as the base and one perch suspended on a scratching post above it or a scratching post with a ledge on top of it mounted on a baseplate.

More expensive cat trees

As a general rule the more layers and extra features the tree has, the more expensive it will get. 3-4 level cat trees prices start at around $80-90. Also better quality materials like wood and carpet will be reflected in higher prices. The only exception to this rule are cat trees sculpted out of driftwood, dead trees or cut trees. These will only provide a few perches and set you back over $1500, but will definitely make for a prominent focal point in your house and a great conversation starter!

Wall mounted cat trees are a little more expensive than their floor based counterparts as you also may need to add the installation cost to the cost of the tree you buy. Wall mounted trees may be a good idea if you want to build a cat playground, but don’t want to buy all the elements at once. Each element can be bought separately whenever you can afford it.

DIY cat trees

If you are comfortable doing your own DIY projects around the house, try building your own cat tree. The materials for the build are easy to find and are relatively cheap. You will be able to find downloadable free cat tree plans on some websites and there are a few YouTube videos showing how others have done it. If you decide to build a large cat tree, the total cost of materials will most likely match that of a ready-made one. You can also mix’n’match it, buy some elements (like cat condo) and build some others. If you decide to go that route, please share your results! Especially with your cat in the picture!

What to do next?

If your cat displays any behavioral or mobility problems, make sure you consult your cat’s vet before deciding on buying a cat tree. 

If you would like more information on cat behavior, check out our cat maintenance and living with cats guides.