Information for Dog Owners
Our love of dogs and respect for the role they play in our families is central to Orvis. We are proud to offer our customers a carefully selected and field-tested collection of innovative items to help keep dogs happy, safe, and secure. The articles below provide more information in detail about how you can help your loyal companion live a long, healthy life.
Crate Training Your Dog
All dogs have a natural tendency to seek out the comfort and security of a den. Providing your puppy or dog with an indoor dog crate kennel will satisfy their need for a safe, den-like enclosure. In addition to being an ideal housebreaking tool, a dog crate can reduce separation anxiety, prevent destructive behavior, and keep a puppy away from dangerous household chemicals and electrical wires.
It usually only takes 2 to 3 weeks of working with a dog crate for a puppy to be successfully house trained. Once a dog is housebroken, a crate can be left open all the time; your dog will continue to use it as his or her own private refuge.
Orvis Dog Crates
We offer a variety of crates suited for all sizes of dogs and all home decors.
If you travel with your dog, consider our Folding Nylon Dog Crate. It sets up and folds down in seconds.
Choosing the right size
Follow these simple guidelines when choosing a dog crate by size:
Be sure to choose a crate that provides enough room for your dog to turn around and lie down comfortably.
Bloat: A Critical Emergency
Bloat: What Causes It?
Bloat is a critical medical emergency. A dog’s stomach can fill with air and twist upon itself, resulting in a painful death if not aggressively treated.
Symptoms to Watch For
Signs include drooling, trying to vomit, pacing, and sometimes obvious abdominal distension, shock, and eventually, death.
Any dog demonstrating these symptoms should be taken to an emergency clinic or veterinary hospital immediately. Every second counts in increasing your dog’s chances of survival.
While all breeds of dogs are susceptible to bloat, dogs over 100 pounds and dogs in the "deep-chested" breeds (including setters, great Danes, wolfhounds, German shepherds, and mastiffs) have a 20% greater risk. The most common age for bloat to occur is 7-12 years, with males being slightly more at risk than females.
Reducing the Risk for Bloat
We still do not have the answers to why, but we can recognize predisposing factors and take steps to minimize the occurrence of this deadly syndrome.
Get Emergency Veterinary Care Immediately
Beware of owner "emergency bloat" kits. Spend this precious time on getting your dog to a veterinarian instead of trying to deal with this life-threatening emergency by yourself.
By Dr. Gretchen Allen, DVM
Causes for Anxious Chewing
Over the course of thousands of years, humans and dogs have forged a strong bond. If our dogs become too dependent on us, however, they can suffer extreme anxiety attacks when left alone. This serious distress can manifest itself as destructive behavior, constant, high-pitched barking, or loss of bowel and/or bladder control. You can help your dog develop a healthy attachment to you while fostering a sense of independence.
Please see your veterinarian for additional help and information on preventing anxiety attacks in your dog.
Memory Foam Dog Beds
All memory foam is not created equal
Orvis memory foam dog beds are simply the best therapeutic dog beds you can buy. Our memory foam has been engineered specifically for dogs, whose weight is distributed over a much smaller surface area than humans. All Orvis memory foam dog beds incorporate the following features:
These combined features ensure that your dogs will experience maximum comfort when sleeping, and feel better when they’re awake.
Memory foam beds can ease the discomfort and stiffness associated with joint and muscle pain, whether from age, arthritis, hip dysplasia, or injury. By conforming to your dog's individual body shape, less stress and pressure are put on the joint and muscle pressure points. Excessive callus irritation over joints is also minimized.
Benefits of a Dog Bed
A dog bed is an essential piece of equipment for all dogs regardless of size, breed or age. A good dog bed:
It may also save your furniture, as your dog will soon prefer his bed to your sofa. All Orvis dog beds are washable and 100% guaranteed.
Traveling with Your Dog
More Americans are traveling with their pets than ever. Before your take your dog on a major road trip, there are a few important safety precautions you should consider:
1. Plan your route accordingly. Sporting breed dogs need to be active, so plan plenty of long stops for exercise. A bored dog can destroy a car's interior.
2. Give your dog access to fresh water in the vehicle or during frequent stops.
3. Make sure your dog is seated in a secure area and unable to hinder the driver.
4. Older dogs may need a ramp to comfortably get in and out of a vehicle. Senior dogs and puppies can hurt their backs jumping into a tall SUV or truck seat.
5. If possible, buckle your dog in for car trips. This will keep him safe in case of an accident and prevent him from running out into traffic when you stop.
6. And, most importantly, never leave your dog in a car unattended and without fresh air. Fatal heat stroke can occur very quickly.
Prevention of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease in dogs is not just a New England disease anymore. Common symptoms include fever, severe joint pain, and chronic arthritis. More serious symptoms include lymph node swelling, neurological signs, and irreversible kidney failure.
Prevention of this serious disease is key.
1. Always thoroughly check your dog for ticks daily, especially during the high tick seasons of early spring and late fall. The ticks tend to be found on the neck and head.
2. Have your dog's blood tested for the disease yearly, and if you think your dog has symptoms, contact your vet immediately. Vaccinate per your vetrinarian's recommendation.
3. Use a preventative collar or topical flea and tick products monthly.
Raised Feeding Stations
Practical Comfort for You and Your Dog
While the scientific evidence is just now being collected, the anecdotal evidence that raised feeding bowls promote healthy eating is compelling. While veterinarians continue to scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of raised feeders, for purely practical reasons, bringing the bowl up to your dog’s shoulder height just makes sense.
Reduces Neck and Back Strain
For all dogs, especially large dogs or dogs with joint conditions, eating from a raised feeder reduces neck and back strain. If you want proof, just try eating without using your hands for a while, ducking your head to your plate over and over again!
Easier to Fill
And for practical reasons, raised feeders make sense. They’re easier to fill, (especially if you, the owner, is the one with a back condition) which means you’ll likely refresh your pet's water and clean the dishes more often, a key to a healthy animal.
Less Mess and Easier to Clean!
Raised feeding stations are easier to clean around. Anything that spills out of the bowl can be swept up without lifting or pushing dog bowls out of the way. The High Style Feeding Station cradles the water and food bowls so your dog can’t tip or bump them across the floor while eating. The stainless steel bowls have rounded bottoms so food remains in place where your dog can easily get at it; they won’t push food out of the bowl chasing the last bits. And, for complete safety, the bowls are food grade stainless steel. Upgrade your pet’s feeding health today with an Orvis raised feeding station.
Healthy Older Dogs
Stonewall, a 12-year-old yellow Lab from Vermont, relaxes on a sage faux suede Therapeutic Memory Foam Comfort Couch in size medium.
Tips for a Healthy, Comfortable Older Dog
Our pets age faster than we do. While we can’t stop the aging process, Orvis is committed to helping to make your pet’s years as healthy, happy, and comfortable as possible.
Making Your Dog Comfortable in Colder Weather
The arrival of cold, damp weather presents special challenges for our aging pets. Your dog may sleep more, his joints and muscles can stiffen, and existing arthritis may become aggravated. A heated or low-profile memory foam dog beds can help make sleeping and resting more comfortable.
Exercise and the Older Dog
Exercise—depending on age and health—helps to keep older dogs’ joints flexible, muscles properly toned, and minds stimulated. Consider 1⁄2 mile walks three times a week, health permitting. In winter weather, consider using a warm jacket to help retain body heat, booties to provide traction and protect feet from salt injury, ramps instead of icy steps, and reflective jackets for nighttime walks.
Their Changing Nutritional Needs
Nutritional requirements change for our senior pets, too. There are many excellent senior foods available to help meet your pet’s changing nutritional needs. Obesity can lead to health complications such as diabetes, heart problems, and stress on already-arthritic joints. Ask your veterinarian for advice on the appropriate diet for your senior pet.
Because the aging process accelerates in later years, biannual visits to your veterinarian for routine physical exams and blood work are an essential part of keeping your older dog healthy and comfortable. Detecting problems before they become serious is the best way to help your dog have a long, happy, healthy life.
A Closing Word of Advice from Dr. Gretchen Allen, DVM
"As our dog gets get older—and it's important to remember that they age much faster than we humans do—we must take special care to make sure they stay comfortable and healthy. You can help your older dog cope with the effects of arthritis by giving him a memory foam bed. Just as it does for humans, memory foam reduces the effects of pressure points and eases joint discomfort, helping your dog remain pain-free and active longer. Beds with waterproof liners protect the bed's interior from the hazards of incontinent dogs, while absorbent covers can help shield your floor and furniture. Consider a specialized bed with built-in heater to help your older dog remain proper body temperature year-round."
Why does my dog need a containment gate?
Imagine these scenarios:
These are not uncommon events. But each one has the potential to harm your dog.
Other potential hazards in your home include power cords, common medications, garbage, household cleansers, soaps, pesticides, and certain foods.
Dogs are not aware of these dangers, but you need to be. A containment gate creates a safe space for your dog and provides you with peace of mind. With the wide variety of Orvis gates, you’re certain to find one that fits your individual need.
The Complete Line of Orvis Dog Containment Gates
Our Wood Door Frame Dog Gate attaches easily in a doorway or hallway opening, has a latching door, and stays securely in place. Zig-Zag Dog Gates are a great way to block off an area quickly. They are easy to set up, easy to store, and can be customized by adding as many panels as you need. The Free-Standing Dog Gate is a sturdy option for larger spans. It adjusts to fit a wide range of doorway or hallway openings and can be moved quickly to wherever it's needed.
Orvis Dog Gates: Utility Function with Distinctive Home Styling
Orvis dog gates not only make your home safer, they also look great in any décor. Old-world attention to detail including hand-sanded, rounded edges, hand-applied finishes, and nail-free construction all contribute to the classic look of these gates.
Feel free to call or visit us online with any questions you may have about our containment gates. We look forward to helping make your home a safer and happier place for you and your dog.
Collar & Clothing Size Chart
Basic Guidelines for Dog Collars
Proper collar fit is vital for your dog’s health and safety, yet many dog owners don’t know how to determine whether their dogs’ collars fit correctly. Choose a collar that allows you to easily slip three fingers into the collar without touching your dog’s fur. Of course, you don’t want the collar to be too loose, but it should be one notch away from being able to slide over your dog’s head.
Choose a comfortable cloth, webbing, or leather collar. Bare chains are too rough and can get caught on obstacles, leading to injury. If you must use a chain-type choke collar, choose a style that features a protective fabric cover encasing the chain. Collars that encircle the muzzle are excellent for firm control without discomfort, and do not restrict breathing the way traditional choke collars do.
- Dr. Gretchen Allen, DVM
To determine the correct collar size, you will need to measure your dog's neck. For a regular day- to-day collar, use a fabric tape measure and measure by wrapping it comfortably around the base of your dog's neck, with enough room to fit three fingers in between the tape and your dog. For a control collar, you will need to take another measurement at the top of the neck, directly behind the ears, to correspond with the size of the collar in the closed position. Once you have taken these measurements, let our Orvis Pet Experts help you select the right collar size.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes,as do our coats and jackets. This chart will help you identify the correct size for your dog. In most cases, the girth measurement (taken around the widest part of the chest or rib cage) and weight will be the best indicators of fit size. The Length measurement shown here is from the base of the neck to the base of the tail.
Does my dog really need a jacket?
Just because your dog has a natural coat, doesn’t mean he’s always warm. Cold, wind, and inclement weather can affect dogs the same way they affect humans. And when your dog is uncomfortable, he’s unhappy. A dog jacket will keep the chills out, protect him from the elements and still allow the full range of motion necessary to run and move around naturally. Our dog coats are so comfortable, your dog will quickly forget he’s even wearing one. He’ll just know he feels great.
Dog Coat Sizing
Choosing the right size for your dog coat is easy. Our dog apparel measurements reflect the neck-to-base-of-tail length. To quickly determine the your dog’s jacket size, measure from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. See our collar and clothing size chart for details.
The Orvis Dog Jacket and Apparel Collection
We offer a wide range of dog clothing specifically designed for all dogs, seasons, temperatures, and conditions.
Dog coats are more than an accessory.
A dog jacket isn’t simply a fun accessory. It provides warmth, protects from the elements, and above all, keeps your dog warm and comfortable. You wouldn’t head out on a cold day without your coat - make sure your dog is properly attired as well.
Coping with Porcupine Quills
All it takes is one quick swipe of a porcupine's tail, and your dog could be dealing wth a face full of painful quills. Even worse, dogs looking to grab the porcupine can get quills throughout the mouth and throat.
Guidelines for determining whether a trip to the veterinarian is necessary include the number of quills (anesthesia makes multiple quill removal less painful) and whether the quills are in critical areas, such as your dog's mouth or tongue.
Home removal of small numbers of quills can be accomplished with a pair of pliers. Grip the quill close to the skin and gently pull or allow the dog to pull away from you.
The Orvis Personalized Dog Collar to the Rescue: A True Story
A little boy in search of his lost dog. It’s the stuff of which movies are made.
A few summers ago, with the help of one of our personalized dog collars, we were involved in just such a drama. Seems Buddy, a golden retriever tagging along to a family reunion far from home, decided to do a little wandering and soon found himself in a dog pound.
Just by chance that day, Orvis customer Peggy Hinson stopped by the pound and took notice of Buddy. Driving away from the pound, she just couldn't get the dog out of her mind. When she got home, she called back and asked if the dog had any identification. She was told he had an embroidered dog collar with his name and phone number-but no area code. Suddenly it clicked with Hinson that Buddy was wearing the familiar Orvis dog collar.
She took down the information, tried the local area code to no avail, and dialed up Orvis. It took just a minute for Customer Service to search out Buddy's owners, using the seven-digit phone number from the unique dog collar.
Eight hours later, a thankful Buddy was reunited with one happy five-year old boy. "Orvis is big in my heart," says Hinson." You saved not just a dog, but a little boy's heart." And just in case Buddy's wandering days aren't over, Orvis has sent him a new personalized dog collar which includes his area code.