Help make our Pomeraninag feel at home in a new house.
October 5, 2009 7:52 AM   Subscribe

How can we make a nice, safe and attractive area for our dog in the new living room?

We just moved to a new place, yay! It is a first floor one bedroom apartment. We have a Pom doggie who has issues (rescue). He like to bark and sometimes pees inside (he was neutered very late, at 3, just beforew e got him from a shelter).
He is a little too hyper and shouldn't be so because of collapsed trachea. Thus he needs to be in an enclosed area for his own safety when we are out of the house. At the previous apartment where we had more room, we had him in a baby pen with a heavy duty rubber mat under. Now, place being smaller, we halved his pen by removing some segments and also cut the rubber mat in half.
We would like to purchase a new pen and a more attractive mat for him, that would look better than what we have right now and also would be easier to move around. Products ideas are welcome!
Also, any suggestions for alternative indoor sheltering options are welcome! We haven't tried crating, I am unsure if that helps at all. He is also developing arthritis and likes to stretch sometimes.
Ideally something that would be easy to clean too, and that would prevent his hair from spreading everywhere.
Doggie is bigger than toy Pomeranians, he is about 17 pounds.
posted by spacefire to Pets & Animals (14 answers total)
It really depends on the nature of the peeing. If he has an incontinence problem, I would consider it... unkind... to crate him because he will effectively be left standing in his own urine. If he's peeing at will, then crating him may be beneficial as dogs tend not to pee in their own bedding when they can help themselves.

Otherwise, a Pack 'N Play Play Yard (which we used to call a play pen, but apparently we no longer "pen" our children) with a washable pad could work. They're super popular and I'm sure you could score one off Craigslist or Ebay for cheap.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:59 AM on October 5, 2009

@DarlingBri: would the bottom be able to withstand his claws? He sometimes scratches at stuff, I think the groomers can't ever get his nails trimmed properly because he is a nippy fellow.
posted by spacefire at 8:06 AM on October 5, 2009

@DarlingBri: oh and I guess I should have been more specific, he doesn't have incontinence problems
posted by spacefire at 8:08 AM on October 5, 2009

Get a crate with a removable tray/liner. One of the best side effects of the crates I have for my dogs is that the dog hair collects neatly around the edges and can be easily picked up or swept up. (Both dogs are pug mixes and they both shed insane amounts...I had exactly no idea that short hair dogs could shed this much.)

Both of my dogs love their crates.

Do the groomers not have muzzles? The first few times I took my dog Lulu (14lb pug/chihuahua mutant) to get her nails trimmed I had the nice ladies at the groomers muzzle her just to be on the safe side. She gets her nails clipped, the groomers don't get eaten. Everyone is happy. Now Lulu likes the groomer's enough that she does not want to eat the nice ladies there.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:26 AM on October 5, 2009

Forgot to mention - you can usually find crate covers on ebay or more stylish options at etsy...I'm not seeing anything particularly stylish listed at etsy right now BUT I bet if you posted on the etsy forums someone would happily make a custom crate cover for you.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:31 AM on October 5, 2009

I am a dog trainer, but I am not *your* dog trainer. :)

Is he peeing or marking? Marking is done with a leg lifted, usually on vertical surfaces (walls, doors, drapes, etc) and usually as high as possible. Both behaviours can be corrected by training, but as a quick measure you should look into bellybands, AKA "male diaper wraps". You can make them very easily and inexpensively, or you can buy them at most pet supply places for around $20 each. Put a panty liner in there, make sure the wrap is Velcroed snugly but not too tightly, and make sure that his sheath is INSIDE the bellyband. He will walk in an incredibly funny, stiff-legged manner while he gets used to the wrap, but he'll get used to it. Think of it like toddlers and clothing -- they're a little constricting and so the animal wants to get them off, but soon enough wearing clothing (or bellybands) feels completely natural.

Once he's bellybanded, look into local dog trainers. Don't go with Petsmart or Petco, they're too expensive for the level of quality you're going to get for their "private lessons". Talk to local obedience clubs, people at the dog park, etc. and ask for recommendations for private trainers who will come out to your home and help you work with your dog one on one. A good trainer is going to help you and your dog be calmer, happier, and get him over his issues (it can be done, I promise!).

Finally, a properly sized wire crate with a removable bottom is going to be really easy to clean, will help contain the hairballs, and will also be big enough for him to sit, stand, stretch, and move around in. Your trainer will be able to help you pick one out that's of the appropriate size, especially if you're working on housetraining/anxiety issues.

MeMail me if you have any specific questions. Good luck!!
posted by Concolora at 9:16 AM on October 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you get a wire crate with a removable bottom you can also replace the bottom separately if it gets too scratched up. Our dog ate the bottom of hers when we first starting crating her
posted by ghharr at 10:30 AM on October 5, 2009

Regarding the nail trimming, some groomers are just not aggressive enough with the nail trimming. It might be worth bringing this up with your groomer - let her know that you know he is fussy about his feet but you would really appreciate them trying to trim his nails as well as possible, and that you have no objection to him being muzzled.

My Corgi hates having her nails trimmed, and the one groomer I've brought her to didn't do a great job on them. I try to plan our vet visits spaced out enough that Sunny needs a nail trim when we go in - for $7 the vet and the tech are really good about wrangling her and getting a good "pawdicure" in.
posted by radioamy at 10:30 AM on October 5, 2009

I am starting to warm up to the idea of having a crate that is portable, easy to clean and has a removable top, such as
this one:

Now...are there any removable pads that can double as a bed, are scratch resistant and washable?
posted by spacefire at 10:34 AM on October 5, 2009

Soft crates, like the one in your link, are great for taking on airplanes, but are rubbish for kenneling purposes. From what you described about scratching, it'll probably take less than a week for him to chew/dig through it and be out around the house unsupervised.

Something like this is going to be your best best. Put a washable bed in there, give him a Kong stuffed with peanut butter or a raw marrow bone when you put him in it before you leave, and everything's going to be great.
posted by Concolora at 11:09 AM on October 5, 2009

My chihuahua stays in this PetGear playpen when we're not around. Friends with babies have said that it's basically the same thing as a Pack n' Play, but since this is made for pets, the bottom is more durable and the front unzips. It comes with a heavy-duty mat that attaches to the bottom (and can easily be taken out for cleaning) as well as a soft washable pad.
posted by Fifi Firefox at 11:23 AM on October 5, 2009

Check out Pooch Pads from PetCo. I LOVE mine. (Well, my little Pom loves it, I guess.) It holds lots of liquid, and he hasn't torn it apart yet, despite his habit of maniacally scratching at carpet, rugs, pads, and the bare floor.

I just don't see any dog wanting to sleep on the same pad that they pee on, no matter how big it is, but maybe you can figure something out.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:20 PM on October 5, 2009

Both of my dogs love their crates.

This is one of those things I found very counter-intuitive until I saw it for myself. We had to crate a dog for a while when we were working and didn't want him eating all the cat food, it quickly became his "Safe Place" and he went there willingly when he got tired. I figured it was like a cage, but he viewed it as his own little house.

We use ones similar to this, as it keeps the hair trapped nicely inside. The whole top comes off, but it's honestly easier for me to just reach inside the door when I clean it.
posted by quin at 3:15 PM on October 5, 2009

if I buy something like this, is there a way to keep hair from blowing everywhere?
posted by spacefire at 4:32 PM on October 5, 2009

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