Month: February 2019

On Dog Kennel Size Requirements and Finding The Right Crate For Your Large Breed

lying brown dog

Almost every dog owner knows just how difficult it can be to purchase the right size kennel for your canine companion. What’s too big, what’s too small, and even what material should it be made out of? When it comes to your dog’s kennel, it’s important to choose the right size. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive article combining two of the questions that dog owners are asking: what size kennel do I need, which brand of kennel is best, and what are some tips on how to crate train my pet?

relaxing with dog

Dog Kennel Size

When it comes to dog crates, size does matter, and in this case, bigger is usually better. A kennel that is too small can make a dog uncomfortable; generally, you want to let the following dog kennel size requirements guide you

Dog WeightCrate Length

35-40 lbs 24-30 in

40-70 lbs 36 in

70-90 lbs 42 in

90-110 lbs 48 in

110+ lbs 54 in

In general, the smallest dog kennels are around 24 inches long. However, if you have a puppy that’s going to grow into a pretty large dog, buy the size kennel that will fit the average adult-size dog of their breed. You can use dividers inside the kennel to make it smaller and take them away as the pup gets bigger (more on this below in “tips on how to crate train”).

For large breed dogs, it’s best to use a metal kennel. While plastic and soft-sided kennels are okay for smaller and medium dogs if your canine is 90 pounds or up they can damage non-metal cages if they get too excited or anxious. 

And aside from crates to keep your dog in while you’re away or overnight, there are open kennels that can be used as play places! These are great for giving your dog a safe, fenced-in area to run and play, and can be used indoors or out! These kennels are also multi-purpose and can be used to keep pets out of certain, off-limit areas. 

Here are the sizes of kennel you might want to consider for these popular dog breeds: 

  • Golden Retrievers: Around 42 inches long. If you’re wondering about crate size for a golden retriever puppy, remember that you can use dividers to make the full-size crate smaller while the dog is young
  • Mini Goldendoodle: If you’re wondering about what size crate for mini Goldendoodle is appropriate, the answer is about 36 inches long. For a standard Goldendoodle, you’re probably looking closer to 42 inches long.
  • Bernese Mountain Dog: Lastly, if you’re wondering what size crate for Bernese mountain dogs is appropriate, you’re going to be looking at around 40 inches long which could be considered as extra large dog crate.

And if you’re wondering “how big should an outdoor dog kennel be?”, the answer, once again, depends on the size of the dog. However, as a general statement, you want your dog to have enough room to run around and play, as well as have a specific area where they can eliminate waste. 

As a last quick tip: if you’re not sure what size to get, it’s safer to go up. Better to be safe than squished! 

Which Brand Of Kennel Is Best

Now that you know what size kennel to purchase, your next question is likely which kennels are the best. As mentioned above, metal kennels are generally preferred for large breeds, but beyond that, there are a wide variety of kennels available. Below are some of our favorites.

Folding Metal Dog Kennel

This product is great for large dogs because it is available in 36-, 42-, and 48-inch sizes, perfect for an average size dog, all the way to a ginormous dog breed. Since it’s foldable, it’s easy to transport and store. It also comes with a removable plastic tray bottom, making cleaning a breeze! 

Dog Crate & End Table

If you’re looking for a dog crate that will blend into any room as a mundane piece of furniture, this product is just what you need. The upside is that it comes in several colors! The downside, unfortunately, is that it can only accommodate dogs up to 80 pounds. 

This product is also made of non-toxic plastic, not metal, so if your pet likes to destroy furniture, this might not be the best option for you. 

3-Door Folding Soft-Sided Crate

If your pet doesn’t do well in a traditional crate, they might like this soft-sided product a little better. It’s sold in 36- or 42-inch sizes (great dog travel crate sizes) and is made from steel tubing that is covered in polyester fabric. It’s also very lightweight, making it very convenient for travel and storage. 

On the downside, this crate is more fragile than its metal or plastic competitors, so if you have a Destructo-dog, this might not be the right choice. It’s also, as far as dog kennels go, a little on the pricey side. 

Frisco Heavy Duty Dog Crate

This crate is perfect for a pet who is hard to secure since it’s made of heavy-duty 22-gauge steel. Four wheels beneath the crate make it easy to move around, but also lock into place when you need it to be secure. With a removable bottom tray and a dual locking mechanism, this kennel will surely keep any escape-artist dogs safely inside. 

If you’re a single-pet parent, you may need a friend to help you with assembly. This hefty product often takes two people to put together. 

Ruff Maxx 36″ Large Dog Kennel

This is one of the most popular dog crates that are available at Walmart. While it’s made from plastic, it is relatively sturdy and very easy to assemble. It is also fairly light, making it convenient for travel, and is recommended for dogs between 50 to 70 pounds. 

Mahogany Large Dog Kennel

Another product for owners who want their dog’s kennel to look more like a piece of furniture than a cage, this 42-inch dog crate is very pretty. Featuring mahogany wood paneling over steel wires, this could be the statement piece your living room has been missing. 

The removable plastic tray bottom makes cleaning quick and easy, and the wood panels snap off to allow for easy transportation. Can you say convenient?

Crate Training Tips

Between the research, you’ve probably done on what size kennel to get for your dog, and the research on what brand of the kennel to purchase, you might’ve forgotten to research the most important part: how to crate train your dog. 

Have no fear, as below, we have a comprehensive list of tips and tricks to make crate training a snap! 

What Is Kennel Training And How Does It Work?

Crate training “takes advantage of your dog’s natural instincts as a den animal”. In many senses, your dog’s crate becomes their den, which is why it’s so important to make the right choice when purchasing. 

Crate training can be used for a variety of reasons, such as housetraining or transportation, as well as give your pup a place to sleep or be when you’re not home. Please note, your dog’s crate should not be used as a punishment, as your pet will come to fear it and refuse to enter. 

Crate training for Bernese mountain dogs, or other large dog breeds, can be overwhelming at first, but in the end, as long as you stick to the process, everything should turn out great. Generally, the process can take a few days or weeks, depending on your dog’s age and temperament. Remember to be patient with your dog and move slowly; always give your dog a treat or encouragement when they go into their crate to associate it with something positive. 

You can start by introducing your dog to the crate. Put it in a place where you and/or your family often are, like a living room. You can put blankets or even small dog beds in the crate to make it more comfortable, and allow them to explore it at their leisure. Many will be naturally curious about the kennel, but others might be wary. If this is the case you can encourage your dog to enter the crate with food, treats, or toys. 

Once your pet has become acquainted with the crate, you can begin feeding them their meals inside. After a few meals, you can try closing the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this make sure you open the door when they’re finished eating to let them out. Eventually, you can start leaving the door closed for longer, up to intervals of about 10 minutes. 

Over time, your dog should begin to get more and more comfortable being in the crate with the door closed. Once your pet shows no signs of kennel anxiety, you can begin to increase the amount of time you leave them in the crate once again. To do this, start by sitting near the crate for a few minutes, before getting up and moving into another room. After a few minutes, return and sit by the crate again, and then let your pet out after a few minutes. 

This process can be repeated, incrementally increasing the amount of time you leave your dog alone until you’ve reached around 30 minutes. After this, you can try leaving your pet in the crate while you’re gone, or overnight. Upon doing this, make sure you continue crate training while you’re home as well, so your pet does not begin to associate the crate with your leaving. 

As far as crate-training a puppy goes, there are very few differences. If you do decide to purchase the kennel size for the average adult of your puppy’s breed, make sure you’re blocking off excess crate room with dividers or cardboard so that your pup can’t potty on one side of the kennel and the sleep on the other. In general, your puppy needs just enough room for them to stand up and turn around comfortably. You could also find some right crate size for puppy training.

There are potential problems that can come out of crate training your dog, which I feel is worthy of mention. In particular, crating dogs can lead to whining; if your dog whines while left alone in the cage, it’s important to try and determine why they are whining. Do they want out of the cage, or do they need to use the bathroom? Instead of yelling or pounding on the crate, wait a few minutes to see if your dog stops. If the whining persists, use the phrase your dog associates with going outside, and if that elicits an excited response, let them out to use the bathroom! 

big brown furry dog

The other potential issue with crate training your dog is fostering separation anxiety in your pet. Some dogs have natural separation anxiety, and if you use a crate to try and quell that issue, you’ll only make it worse. Instead, try seeking out the advice of a professional animal behaviorist!

All in all, learning about what size kennel you need for your dog, what brands are the best, and how to actually train your pet might be overwhelming at first, but it’s actually not too difficult. While there are a lot of options and opinions out there about which crates are best, as long as your dog has enough space, he or she will hopefully be happy in their new cozy den.

How to Choose A Sofa for Your Living Room

When it comes to choosing the perfect sofa for your living room, there are so many things to take into consideration. You cannot just go into a furniture store and pick the first thing that catches your eyes. Trust me, you will regret that decision later. I know; I’ve done it. So to spare you that pain, I have created a list of things for you to consider when choosing the best sofa for your space!

1) What is your personal style?

There are four main interior design styles: modern, minimalist, glam, and farmhouse. Most people’s personal style consist of a combination. For example, you could be 80% glam, 18% minimalist, and 2% modern. You should know this before you begin shopping. It will help you choose what is best for your style. There are a ton of interior style quizzes on the web. Take a few of those to determine what you like if you do not already know.

2) Does the sofa match the furniture already present in your home?

If you are on the hunt for a new sofa, I am guessing that you want it to compliment the furniture you already have in your home. There’s nothing worse than getting to the store and finding something you like but then question if it will match what you already have. My best advice for this is to take pictures of your other pieces. Lots of pictures! Close-ups. Wide angels. Whatever will allow you to see the other pieces in their entirety. While you don’t necessarily have to match material, most people want to stay within their color family. 

The style of furniture is also extremely significant. If your home is super glam with sleek, acrylic items, you do not want to add a sofa that would normally be found in farmhouse decor. It will throw everything out of balance and look odd. 

3) What type of family do you have?

This is one of the most important things to think about before you even look at a sofa. Do you have children? Do you have pets? How big is your family? All these things matter. If you have children, think about their mannerisms. You probably don’t want a sofa that you cannot clean easily. Meaning that luxurious velvet sofa that looks amazing in the display at the store will not be the best things for you. Also, pets have hair. Pets are known for shedding said hair. You will most likely not want a couch where the hair fibers tangle in the sofa fiber. You also might not want a sofa that snags easily with children or pets. 

Also, think about the size of the sofa. It needs to be big enough to hold your entire family. If it’s you, a spouse, and one child, then a regular three-cushion sofa might be perfect for you. If you need more room, a sofa section that you can rearrange will do the trick. 

4) What is your budget?

I probably should have mentioned this first, but have a budget in mind before you go shopping. That way you can eliminate furniture stores that are outside of your budget. While most furniture stores do offer payment plans, some of them do not. So knowing what stores fit your budget is important in case you do have to pay up front. There will be no surprises in price when you find a sofa because the store is already in your budget. 

5) Will it fit inside your living room?

Measure, measure, and then remeasure! I cannot emphasize this enough. A sofa too small will make your living room look empty, and a sofa too big will make your space feel cramped. Neither is good. 

While there are other things that could go into choosing a sofa, I find these to be the most helpful. I hope they help you with all your sofa shopping adventures!

5 DIY Face Masks That Will Make Your Skin Shine!

Hello Friends and welcome to another edition of Shine, Skin Shine! 

Today we’re going to share fabulous ways to make your pretty little face shine like the sun. 

Let’s get to it. 

First and foremost, we’ll cover some important things to consider then we’ll get into making face masks using some basic kitchen ingredients. 

Important Thing #1) It is highly advisable to do a small skin test to the ingredients that you will be applying to your face. If your skin turns red, itches or swells, rinse, pat dry then move on to the next mask. 

Important Thing #2) Less Is More. We’re big fans here of using what you have because everything you need is in the kitchen. Keep it simple, less is more! 

Important Thing #3) This is going to be so much fun! As you are preparing your ingredients thank them for doing a wonderful job of making your skin shiny. Thank you avocado mask for your wonderful oils and making my skin so shiny and pretty. This is a wonderful experiment in delight, you get to play with your food and eat it too! 
Whenever possible, use organic ingredients. Clean in is clean out. 

Important Thing #4) Wash off the mask with warm water then rinse with cold. This is a wonderful form of hydrotherapy that gives your skin a nice rosy glow. 

Important Thing #5) Whatever you do, do NOT mix vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda fizz like a mini volcano. Put another way, keep vinegar and baking soda away from each other. 

Alrighty then, now that we understand a few important things, let’s make some shiny skin masks. 

Shiny Face Mask #1) Molasses Grapefruit or Honey Lemon. 
These masks are a wonderful combination of sugar and citrus acids designed to slough off dead skin cells revealing the beauty below. You can mix your favorite citrus to any of these sugar acid substances like molasses and honey. We’ve found that molasses works well with olive and dark complexions, and honey works well with lighter ones. 
Feel free to mix your own perfect ratios of sugar to citrus. Leave on your face until you feel mummified, about 15-20 mins then rinse. 

Shiny Face Mask #2) Cool Black Tea Bags. Take some tea bags and let them soak in cool water with vinegar* for a few minutes. Take out tea bags and gently squeeze out excess moisture. Place tea bags on your face in a reclining position until you feel the moisture has dried up. No need to rinse unless you feel like you want to. This is a great mask for tightening pores. You can even drink the liquid when your done. 
*Keep tea bags soaked in vinegar out of eyes as vinegar will sting the eyeballs. 

Shiny Face Mask #3) Avocado Lime Salt Mash. Mash an avocado, squirt some lime and add salt for this delicious mask. The oily avocado does a great job of shiny skin. Keep this mask out of your eyes as well because the lime and salt will definitely sting the eyeballs too! 

Shiny Face Mask #4) Olive Oil and Baking Soda. Take any oil* you have in the kitchen, butter even and add a pinch of baking soda to it. Mix and apply to face. This mask you can rub off and pat dry with cool water. Be careful with this mask because oils and butter stain clothes. 
*Canola oil and lard are not recommended. Though if you must, do a small skin test first. 

Shiny Face Mask #5) White Egg Peel. Take the egg white and whip it lightly. Apply to face for 15-20 minutes then rinse with warm water then cool. This white egg wash is also excellent for burns, battle tested in many a fire station. 

There you go, Friends! Have fun with your shiny face masks and we’ll see you in another life!