Rehoming a Shelter Dog – Preparing Your Home and Garden Before You Bring Your New Dog Home

If you are serious about rehoming an unwanted dog, please read the following before you bring your new dog home. It will save you a lot of money and distress if you take some simple precautions. You have done the right thing by choosing a shelter dog but you have to remember the dog doesn’t know this. If its had a history of abuse or neglect or both you are going to have to prove yourself as a competent pack leader it can trust. This will take time and patience from you but it is well worth the effort.

Choose which rooms your dog will be allowed in and make sure all the family agree on this. It is OK to ban your dog from certain rooms if you are worried about dirty paw prints or any other mess. However, you will have to allow your dog in to at least one area of your home. This will help your dog settle quicker. If you leave it outside alone on its first night, it is more than likely to bark, howl and/or run away.

Make a bed for your dog from old towels or use an old one. Don’t worry about buying it a new, expensive bed at the moment. It may soil its bed or rip up the bedding from stress. Place some toys, treats and other things you think the dog will like near its bed. Normally a dog won’t soil in the area where it sleeps but stressed and unhealthy dogs may do so you might be better off letting it live in the laundry for a while.

Get a water bowl and food bowl ready. When your dog arrives home, give it some food but not a lot.

Be prepared, the dog may scratch at the door and damage it. It might try to get out or it may want to be closer to you. Fix thick cardboard to the door along the edge where it opens. This will have to be replaced and may make a mess at first but it will save the paintwork and you a lot of time and money.

A new dog may go to the toilet inside because it hasn’t been trained properly or because it wants to leave its mark. There is information at regarding toilet training which will be useful. In particular, cleaning up the mess and not making the dog more anxious which may cause it to repeat the behaviour.

Don’t leave the dog inside on its own for very long. You are only asking for trouble. I did this once and came home to find every curtain ripped and shredded. Remember your new dog may not have had much experience being inside a nice home. The best place is to leave it in a room where it can’t do a lot of damage like the laundry or bathroom, but don’t forget to remove all chewable and poisonous objects.

Check the fences then check them again. I know of a dog that jumped on the rubbish bins, the neighbour’s garage and then got itself stuck in a tree when it first arrived home. Don’t ever under-estimate how high or low a dog can get to run away. Remember, it is only running away from stress and loneliness. You have done the right thing by rehoming it but it will need some time to adjust.

If you are worried about the dog digging out, place dog proof wire along the bottom of the fence about 30cm out from the fence and about 30cm up the fence. If you are worried about the dog jumping over the fence, place a piece of string 1/3 of the way down the fence and 30cm out from the fence. This will break the dog’s line of sight and it will think it won’t be able to get over the fence. Remove anything from the fence, shed or garage that the dog can use to jump on and get over the fence. These things can be taken down later on.

Remove anything and everything from the yard where the dog will be staying. Again this is only temporary but you don’t want the dog developing the habit of destroying your property. This would include shoes, boots, mats, pot plants, garden furniture, hoses, garden tools, ornaments and any other feature that can be chewed or ripped up.

You can use strong pepper or citrus smells to keep dogs away from certain areas. This may include gardens or verandahs. Some shelter dogs are used to going to the toilet on concrete because they’ve had little choice to go anywhere else. A light sprinkling of red pepper powder will deter the dog from going near this area but remember to take your dog to the area where you want it to go so it has an alternative.

Make a safe area outside for your dog. Wild dogs are den dwellers so a kennel would be the perfect choice. If not, a dry area with a bed off the ground is just as good. You may want the dog to make the choice, it after all has to sleep in the area and it will choose a place that it feels safest in.

Ask your neighbours to report to you any barking or howling that might have gone on while you are not home. Record the time and see if there’s a pattern. Ask them for help and to keep an eye on your new dog until it has settled in. If any problems occur, get onto a dog trainer straight away. Don’t allow your new dog to become aggressive or destructive. Don’t allow them to get worse because they won’t get better on their own.

Enhance the Beauty of Your Garden With Garden Furniture

Garden furniture is a very important part of every garden. They can add on to the beauty of a garden as well as spoil the beauty of a garden. And people who really love gardening take pride in keeping their garden and the garden furniture well matched.

Living in these competitive times is not easy. People take in a lot of physical and mental pressure at the office as well as at home. And living in a concrete jungle adds on to these pressures. Therefore everybody loves to return to the comforts of a home which has a lush green garden with comfortable furniture where they can recline and find both mental peace and physical relaxation.

A lot of effort goes in maintaining a garden. The right kind of outdoor furniture enhances the beauty of a garden. It can make a garden look very elegant and classy. Most of the garden furniture is made of wood, rattan, plastic and even cane.

Though wood and cane make very beautiful furniture they need very high maintenance if kept in the garden. The rain and the strong sun may spoil the glossy surface of the furniture and make it look dull. But cane is still the most common material use to make outdoor furniture as they are very light weight, comfortable, inexpensive and also make for attractive garden furniture. So if you are still keen on using cane for making your garden furniture take a little more care like do not expose them to the sun and the rain. You can either build a shed to place them in the garden or move it inside in rain or in the strong sun.

Plastic outdoor furniture is very low on maintenance and can withstand any kind of weather. They are also available in a variety of exquisite designs. They can be easily known as the all weather furniture.

Rattan garden furniture is also very commonly used. It creates a kind of warm environment which looks very inviting when placed amidst the greenery of your garden. These are comfortable and generally have cushions to increase the comfort level as well as add to the beauty of the furniture.

These are more contemporary in design when compared with cane and wood furniture and classier than plastic furniture. They give the garden a very modern look. If you can maintain the furniture there’s nothing better than cane or wood garden furniture. But if you don’t have time to maintain the garden furniture plastic will be the best choice for you. The good news is that there are many websites which are offering this furniture online. So what are you waiting for? Just choose your design and enhance the beauty of your garden.

What Is Flower Garden Maintenance?

The basic needs for a healthy flower garden are simple – well-prepared soil, careful sowing and planting at the right time, warmth, food and moisture; attention to pest and weed control.

Undisturbed weeds will compete with your garden plants for food and moisture and can be, a source of diseases and pests. For fruit, flowers, vegetables and shrubs, all of them can be, controlled with chemical and cultivation measures.

Chemical methods use weed killer on paths or drives. Aminotriazole or simazine are suitable materials when used to the manufacturer’s guidelines, and, are very affective in most conditions. Cultivation is the most convenient method to use in most gardens. Use a hoe regularly in the summer to chop off the seeding weeds before they have a chance, to develop and take over. Start this job in the morning or as early in the day as you can. In the winter months dig the weeds into the soil. Large weeds are best dug out completely or cut off and pulled out.

Stopping and dis-budding Stopping means removing the growing point after four or six leaves have formed. (The first two leaves which form do not count.) This causes the plant to make shoots and to bear more blooms in a bushy way, rather, than a tall slim form. Sweet-peas, dahlias, antirrhinums, fuchsias and geraniums respond very well to this procedure. Some varieties produce more shoots than can be, supported and bloom to perfection, but by judicious thinning better quality, earlier flowers can be, produced to beautify the flower garden.

Create Your Private Retreat Using Garden Furniture

Enjoying the beauty of nature is one of life’s simple pleasures, especially when you are fortunate enough to have a garden around your home. You can reflect in comfort by using garden furniture; there are many design styles available in different materials such as natural wood, bamboo, rattan or cane, aluminum, plastic, cast iron and wicker.

It is a proven fact that a green environment can provide you with many therapeutic health benefits; trees, plants and flowers offer a soothing balm to the spirit mind and body. You can choose garden furniture as an extension of the decorating theme used inside your home or create a totally different atmosphere for outdoor living.

The first garden furniture used by the Egyptians was functional and gardens were extremely popular, playing a significant role in their lives. To them as much as it is to us in modern times, the garden symbolized the order of life on earth. Contrary to belief that garden houses are a modern idea, the ancients were enjoying this alternative way of outdoor living centuries before us.

The people of England in the eighteenth century also fell under the magical spell of creating enclosed parks and the distinctive garden furniture design, such as the “Windsor” chair that has become so much a part of our lives. Indeed, the distinction between indoors and outdoors became blurred by the creation of garden rooms which emulated the design of an English sitting room.

It was this movement of indoor furniture onto the lawns of English homes that we see depicted as garden furniture in many paintings of this period with an assortment of mahogany tea tables, long benches, and Windsor chairs as the backdrop of society in formal poses.

Today in addition to the simple bench and table, you will find a vast array of items that make fresh air entertaining as convenient and enjoyable as when you entertain inside your home from settees, ottomans, hammocks, to tables with umbrellas, deck chair, shares and swings.

When you complete your daily activities, give yourself the opportunity to “stop and smell the roses” by taking pleasure in nature at your leisure. Imagine yourself relaxing on a well manicured lawn in a comfortable deck chair with floral pattern cushions that add color and charm to your environment or picture yourself entertaining friends outside on a balmy afternoon or evening around a beautifully designed set of wooden table and chairs.

It is our connection with nature that has made crafting beautiful enclosed private spaces and the selection of garden furniture as much of what makes a house a home as your indoor furnishings. Whether large or small, it can be your refuge from world.

If your garden is large enough to have colorful, flowering plants, a cast iron garden furniture setting adds the presence of strength and fluid grace to complement this softness. When you are in need of stress relief, what could be better than relaxing amidst the fragrance of flowers; this is the original aromatherapy.

Today’s garden furniture can be a lovely addition to your home whether you choose the airy, delicate design of wicker, comfortably strong teak wood or the curvaceous lines of bamboo, cane or rattan, you will be able to relax even when you are shopping; there are designs to fit every budget.

Simplify Your Garden Maintenance With These Eight Tips

Does your beautiful garden turn into an alien landscape by the middle of summer?  Why not use some expert tricks to keep maintenance to a minimum?  Yes, you have to invest a couple of weekends in the beginning but the pay off is a place to relax, entertain your friends and add to your home’s well kept appearance with a minimum of effort.

  • Develop a garden plan – Your plan can be as simple or complex as you want to make it.  It’s purpose is to give a sense of direction to your gardening efforts.  Your plan will help you realize that even if some things have to be put off until next year, they will come eventually.  This step alone reduces the stress of creating an outdoor living space.  What do you want this space to be like?  Is it for outdoor entertaining or simply a place to relax after a busy day?  Your master plan will help your make quality “easy care” purchasing decisions when it’s time to shop.
  • When choosing your garden’s hard surfaces, consider future maintenance.  Are you starting with a deck or a cement patio?  By developing the seating area first, you can begin to use the area even before the rest of the garden is finished.  If the deck or patio is already installed, does it need to be refinished? Sealing it will prolong it’s life and keep it cleaner. Remember, a little care now can add years to its life.  If you are starting with bare ground, you might prefer a greener option.  A patch of lawn looks nice but remember that it will need ongoing care.  If your site is very shady, another option is to install patio blocks with a low growing moss between them.  It’s an attractive option that doesn’t need constant mowing.
  • Define your planting areas.  Do you need to add trees?  If so, the sooner the better because each year will increase their usefulness.  Don’t forget to consider the density of the shade they will produce, their mature height and if they are very messy.  Some flowering specimens are beautiful but do better in the corner of your landscape where you don’t have to deal with dropping blossoms or seed pods in your seating area.
  • Now consider the planting beds themselves.  If the ground is very compacted, it is worth it to rent a tiller or have someone do it for you.  Have your soil tested for ph and adjust if necessary.  This is a good time to have organic matter and compost worked in as well.  The better your soil is, the more successful your future gardening efforts will be.  Once the beds are ready, plant permanent greenery that will become the backdrop for your seasonal additions.  This is one of the secrets to having gardens that don’t require starting from scratch each year.  Once a permanent bush is planted, you can easily add color with flowering plants in front of it.
  • Plan to water – Not all of us can afford an automatic watering system but you can simplify your watering task.  Even if you can’t afford timers this year, you might be able to set up a pvc sprinkler system that can be manually operated.  Doing so will give you better water coverage and simplify the task.  Timers can be added when your budget allows.  If that is outside your budget and you have to rely on a hose and sprinkler system, consider adding separate hoses for each area that you have to water.  A simple shutoff splitter will direct the water where it’s needed without having to reposition the hose each time.  You are more likely to stay up with needed watering if all you have to do is turn a valve.
  • Put landscape fabric under your mulch.  Some people use strips of plastic but unless you poke holes in it, the rain can’t penetrate.  Other people use newspapers, whatever you choose, putting mulch on top of a weed barrier keeps weeds from taking over your garden.  If any do sprout, you will find that they have shallow root systems and pull out easily.  Along with this, add permanent edging.  It not only defines the edges of your flower beds, but also helps to keep grass from creeping into them.
  • Pick tables and chairs that are weatherproof and easy to clean.  If you are in an area that gets a lot of rain, add a garden chest where chair cushions can be kept clean until you need them.
  • Choose a garden statue over a fountain.  Both add charm and help to give your garden an established look but fountains need to be cleaned weekly.  If you want something that makes soothing sounds, try larger windchimes that ring in a lower note.