7 tips for first-time pet owners

1. Curtain call - Be sure your windows are properly draped with materials that deter cats from using them as a scratching post, repel pet fur and dander and aren’t hazardous. Consider a window treatment designer to get the right look that’s also pet safe.

2. Plant perils - A number of plants found in your landscaping may be pleasing to the eye, but can be harmful to your pet. Be sure to ask your veterinarian what could be poisonous and develop a plan to replace it.

3. Sit, stay - Obedience training is a must for new dogs with no manners and old dogs with bad habits. Your pooch can be the Emily Post of the canine world — with a little guidance from an expert animal trainer.

4. Fenced in - No matter how much outdoor space you have, protecting your pets by fencing your yard is a smart move. If you don’t want to hinder your view, think about installing a hidden fence — no one will ever know it’s there.

5. Chemical ills - Household cleaning supplies and chemicals need to be out of reach, both in the home and the garage. Build shelves for storage or keep the materials behind closed cabinet doors because one taste could spell disaster for man’s best friend.

6. No room to run?  Busy schedules and cramped quarters can leave any pup feeling antsy. A highly rated dog walker can help to ensure Jack gets to stretch his legs on a regular basis.

7. Stain pain - No one is immune to accidents and a stain’s a stain regardless whether it comes from a furry four-legged friend or a clumsy two-legged one. A professional carpet cleaner can eliminate any unsightly soiled spots that might occur.


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How a Capitol Hill Cemetery Came Back to Life as an Off-leash Dog Park


Dog park in D.C.
Neighborhood dog owners can join the dog park for $225 per year or visit for $10 a day. (Photo courtesy of Historic Congressional Cemetery)

Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C., is one of the city's largest off-leash dog parks. Membership is required, but day passes are available for a fee.


verry interesting

Nothing enlightening.. just common sense. Useless.

only good advice, don't use an invisible fence.

The invisible fence suggestion in #4 is a very bad idea. invisible fences rely on shock collars, never a good idea. The fences do not work against a highly motivated dog who may bear the shock and crash through the fence to get or chase after what it wants. Then, when the powerful motivating factor is gone, fear of the shock will keep the dog from coming back into the yard. An invisible fence leaves the dog unprotected from other animals or people who can enter the property at will and harm or steal the dog. Some responsible rescue organizations will not place a dog with anyone who uses an invisible fence.

The article was pretty worthless.

The ASPCA's web site has an extensive list of plants that are toxic and non-toxic to cats-- easier than asking a vet.

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