Thursday, April 30, 2015

Walking your Dog: Do's and Don'ts


Here are some "do's" and "don'ts" so you and your dog can have a leisurely stroll!


Do's:
  • When getting ready to go on a walk, call the dog to you; do not go to the dog to put his leash/collar on. Once the dog approaches you, have him sit quietly before putting on his leash or collar. Make sure you leave the door first and return through the door first. Remember, the Leader always leads! 
  • If you're walking a puppy, make sure he gets familiar with the leash before you start using it to take him on a walk. 
  • Before you set off on your walk with your dog, you need to have him focus on you, not everything else around you. Simply hold the leash by the handle. There should be six feet of loose leash between you and your dog. Start walking. As soon as he gets to you and begins to pull, give a slight tug on the leash and direct him back to you by changing direction. 
  • Along the walk, guide your dog to heel. Your dog should walk along side of you or in back of you. Don't let the dog decide when to heel because once again he would be establishing himself as the leader of the pack. 
  • Walk with your shoulders high and your head back, establishing yourself as a confident leader. 
  • Walk your dog daily or make sure he gets some type of exercise. An un-exercised dog can become hyper and exhibit destructive behaviors (chewing, digging, etc.) from being bored. Remember that dogs are walkers/travelers by instinct. 
  • Watch out for poisonous plants or animals and avoid anything that can be problematic for your dog. 
  • Make sure your dog has the proper identification in case he runs away. 
  • In cold weather a jacket is essential especially for Short haired dogs and booties, which not only protect against the cold but also chemicals and salt that are on the streets and sidewalks. 


Don't:
  • Don't let the dog walk in front of you. It gives him the impression that he is in charge and is leading you. 
  • Don't let him drag you on a leash or walk you versus you walk him. 
  • Don't let your dog mark all over the place just for the sake of marking. Cue in to whether or not he needs to relieve himself. 
  • Don't use a retractable leash. They make it harder for you to control the dog, and can be dangerous. 
  • Don't let your dog off his leash unless you're in an off-leash dog area. Even then, you need to be careful because other dogs can be unpredictable. 
  • Don't go to the same place every day ... mix it up! Your dog will like the variety and the new sights and smells. 
What To Bring On a Walk

Don't leave your house empty handed! Be respectful of your neighbors and their property. Always bring:
Water for your dog, particularly if it's warm outside or you are jogging.
Poop bags for when your dog relieves himself (recycle your grocery bags).

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How to Treat (and Possibly Save!) An Overheated Dog


With the warm weather of summer just around the corner, many areas of the country are already heating up! Dogs, in general, are intolerant of too much heat. Because of this, it is crucial that you’re aware of the signs of heat stress or heat stroke, and how to treat them if they occur. Knowing exactly what to do when your pooch gets overheated, and immediate action can save his life.
A Brief Overview
Heatstroke normally happens when a dog loses his innate ability to regulate his body temperature. Dogs do not sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Their body temperature is chiefly regulated by respiration such as panting. If a pooch’s respiratory tract fails to clear heat quickly enough, heatstroke may take place.
If an animal experiences heatstroke, you may notice hyperventilation, excessive panting, dry gums that become pale, increased salivation, erratic or rapid pulse, confusion, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly rectal bleeding. If the dog continues overheating, his breathing efforts will become slow, or worse, absent. This in turn can lead to seizure or coma.
To prevent overheating during the hot summer months, make sure your pet has a shaded, breezy place to rest, away from direct sunlight. Always provide plenty of fresh, cool drinking water. And, don’t push your dog too hard to play or work – give him plenty of breaks throughout the day.


Treatment Guidelines
Because overheating can be life-threatening if not treated immediately, noticing the early signs of heat exhaustion will reduce the chances of canine heatstroke and death.