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Tips & Tricks

As both a photographer and a dog lover there aren’t many things I love more than
“oohing” at and photographing dogs. Photographs can be some of the best presents
you can give to your loved ones, so if you’re looking for a birthday gift or
anniversary gift think about sharing a memory, even digitally by sharing via digital
So many factors go into whether or not a shoot will go smoothly or be a little bit
more of an adventure. Whether you are an experienced photographer or a dog
parent looking to get the perfect shot, I’m sure you will find a takeaway.

Maybe I have just been lucky, but I have yet to come across a mean dog. Dogs, like
people, all have different personalities. They can be shy, scared, mean, outgoing,
mischievous, or any other personality trait. Remember that although many dogs will
warm up easily to a stranger walking down the street, not all dogs are like that. If
the dog seems shy or scared, slowly approach them and let them get comfortable. It
may be beneficial to play fetch for a few minutes to build trust with them. If you ever
feel uncomfortable with a dog make your concerns clear to the owner and take
precautions if you are scared the dog may become aggressive.

Treats may seem like a good idea at first, but they may not be the best way to get a
dog’s attention. If you are trying to take a couple good photos of your dog, treats
may be an excellent choice, but if you are at a shoot the dog will most likely be
begging from the time the treat comes out to when the shoot is over. Always bring
some just in case you can’t get the furry family member to pay attention, but try to
get them to look your way by making a wide variety of noises and movements first.
Try and make sure that the dog has been fed and properly exercised before a shoot
so that they aren’t too hyper or too exhausted. If the circumstances aren’t perfect
and the dog isn’t calm you can still get excellent photos though. If the dog you are
trying to photograph is too hyper it’s playtime for you too. Try and run the dog
around for a while to calm them down, but don’t forget to pull out the camera for
some great running or jumping shots. If the dog is played out by the time the shoot
begins you have an excellent opportunity to get some cute sleeping photos. Once
you have enough sleep shots you can pull out a couple of those treats to help perk

Different perspectives can add a ton of variety into your photos. Many people spend
the day staring down at their pets so it’s natural to want photos of them from that
angle, but there are so many other options as well. Getting on the floor or crouching
down to the animal’s eye level can add a lot of emotion into a photo, especially if
they make eye contact with the lens. If you want to add more variety you can stand
straight over the dog, or lie on the ground with the dog above you. It is fun to move
around and change the angles up in order to get a diverse selection of photos.

While you can definitely take excellent shots with today’s smartphones it’s best to
use a DSLR camera if you’re trying to get a good shot of a hyper dog. Smartphones
and handheld cameras aren’t as equip to handle how fast dogs can run, jump and
roll. DSLR cameras allow you to change the shutter speed of the camera, which
means it can capture fast-moving dogs.

If you don’t have a DSLR camera don’t worry. Make sure that you have good lighting,
preferably outdoors, and take your time. Some of the best photos are candid, and
since we are constantly attached to our phones they are our best chance at getting
those candid shots. Just remember to be patient and don’t give up if the first few
photos don’t come out the way you want them to.

Taking photos of your dog can become some of your best memories with them, so

take your time to soak in the moment, and to capture the perfect shot, helping to
make that memory permanent.

Laura O’Donnell writes smart content on behalf of the digital photo frame experts at Nixplay. As an avid writer and learner, she loves to use her skills for engaging others in important topics in creative and effective ways. When she is not working, she loves meeting new people, traveling, and bringing her Pinterest dreams to life. Find her on LinkedIn.

Written by Eric Bittman — August 16, 2016

Quite a number of people are aware of the fact that exposure to household toxins such as asbestos can cause mesothelioma in humans. Pets are even more susceptible to such dangers.

This increased danger, is because pets are smaller and are closer to garage floors, lawns and carpets that may harbor residue of pesticides and chemicals. Since they are naturally curious and are not aware of toxic dangers around them, pests are more likely to come across substances that are harmful to their health.

Most pet owners try their best to make sure their pets are safe. However, there are hidden health risks that they do not pay attention to. Here are some unseen household cleanliness issues that can impact negatively on your pet’s health.

Household Cleaners

Cleaning products with ingredients like chlorine, bleach and ammonia can put your pets at a risk of developing cancer, kidney damage and anemia. These toxic cleaners still pose health risks even when they are closed and put away since they leave behind harmful vapors. Ammonia vapors from household cleaners are irritating to the skin. Chlorine is a poisonous breathing nuisance and can cause a serious damage to the skin, eyes and other membranes of your pet. It is a common ingredient in multipurpose cleaners, disinfecting wipes, mildew removers, tile scrubs and laundry detergents. Chlorine is denser than air and settles in low-lying areas where pets normally stay.

Laundry detergents that remain on clothes and pet blankets also pose health risks to your pet. If your pet has a habit of drinking from the toilet bowl, there is a likelihood of it ingesting even the toilet bowl cleaners, so training your pets to stay away from areas you naturally use extra care when cleaning is more important because of the risk posed by the cleaners before you even think about any hygiene issues.

Household Garbage

Household garbage remains to be the leading health risk to pets. Animals get attracted to the smelly refuse from such garbage. Dogs often like picking through the trash in search of anything that smells good. This is an awful hazard since garbage cans have a variety of household refuse such as poisonous batteries, medications and paper towels used for cleaning.

Broken glass, say from window panes, can be dangerous to your pet’s tongue or gums. If swallowed, broken glass can cause horrible damage to the stomach or esophagus.


Most antifreeze formulations that people use today are made of ethylene glycerol as the main ingredient. Animals are drawn to the sweet smell of ethylene glycerol. Consumption of ethylene glycerol leads to deadly side effects. A half of teaspoon of spilled antifreeze is enough to kill an average-sized cat. If you do not realize it early enough, the ethylene glycerol can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys of your pet.


Formaldehyde exists in most of the new furnishings and household cleaners in your home. It is also present in construction materials. It is a toxic substance and can cause health concerns if inhaled or penetrates through the skin. According to US Environmental Protection Agency, formaldehyde can cause cancer to animals.


Anything that poses health risk to people does the same to animals as well. These hazards you normally overlook can lead to silent but deadly illnesses in pets. Particularly inhaled toxins can cause cancer, respiratory difficulties and circulatory disorders in animals.

Bear in mind that there are lots of environmentally friendly cleaning products available, that are highly effective, and won’t have the same impact on your pets. Consider using powerful, natural cleaners, such as vinegar and baking soda, in favor of abrasive chlorine based cleaners, for example, and you can go a long way to improving the conditions in your home for your beloved pets.

Some Further Reading

Written by Eric Bittman — August 16, 2016

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It’s interesting that we are a society that spends tons of money picking out the right food, the right bedding, and all the best toys for our pets, yet we’ve been so slow to embrace the concept of pet insurance. We don’t know about you, but the pets in our household are very much a part of the family, which means we take their health just as seriously as our own. If that’s the case for you too, then you might want to consider pet insurance. There are five main benefits of pet insurance, so take a look and see if these make sense for you.

You Can Pick Your Own Vet

Unlike human insurance policies that may require you to use specific health providers or you pay more money, pet insurance allows you to use any licensed veterinary clinic you’d like. This is helpful for those who travel with their pets, and it’s also helpful for those who move often for work. Regardless of why you might change vets, with pet insurance, you can do so without worrying about being charged more for out-of-network visits. You simply send the bill to your pet insurance company, and they reimburse you for all qualifying expenses based on the levels you chose at the time you signed the policy.

Does Not Restrict Age or Breed

You can insure your pet no matter their age or breed, but keep in mind that some pre-existing health conditions may prevent you from insuring your beloved pet. That’s why it’s important to insure them as soon as possible. If you’re adopting a pet, have your vet check them out, and then once you get the clean bill of health, insure them. However, you can still insure them as they get older if you need to, but the benefit of insuring them early is that the premiums are often lower.

Provides an Easy Way to Budget Pet Care Costs

Another benefit of pet insurance is that it makes it fairly easy to budget for pet care costs, at least on a monthly basis. Pet insurance policies can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, and you can decide which payment plan works best for you. Because you get to decide, it’s easy to budget those costs. Based on your preferences, you’ll know exactly how much to pay, when to pay, and how to pay. There are also options to help lowers costs, as well. For example, most insurance companies offer discounts when you insure more than one pet with them.

Prevents Dipping into the Emergency Fund

Families who actually have an emergency fund are ahead of the curve, and it can be a tough pill to swallow when you need to dip into it. If you have pet insurance, even if you do have to borrow from it, you know you’ll be able to put that money right back in five to 14 business days. The ability to avoid using that fund and having to rebuild it can be a relief to families. Also, it means those funds are available for unexpected car repairs or other emergencies that come up.

Delivers Peace of Mind

A lot of times, families put off going to the vet because they know they can’t afford the bill. The guilt eats at them because they know their pet is suffering, and that guilt affects other areas of their life, as well. Pet insurance gives families peace of mind because they can take their beloved pets in for the care they need, and families don’t have to choose cheap care that may do more harm than good. Most pet insurance policies reimburse families 80% of costs after the deductible is met, and some even reimburse 90-100%, if they’re willing to pay a higher premium. Knowing that you’ll get at least 80% back on an unexpected $7,000 vet bill takes some of the sticker-shock away.

You may love your pets unconditionally, but if something happens, and they need unexpected vet care, you might find yourself in a stressful situation trying to figure out how to pay for it. Rather than stress yourself out, or make your pet suffer, you can look into pet insurance to help make sure your beloved pet receives the care they need without bankrupting you. As you can probably tell, there are several benefits of pet insurance that work in your favor. Although you still have to pay for costs upfront, it’s a little easier to deal with when you know you’re getting that money back at some point in the near future.

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Written by Eric Bittman — July 11, 2016