Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dog Walking Tips to Increase Stimulation and Socialization

Dog Walking Tips

Walks serve a greater purpose than a potty break and way to burn off a little extra energy. They also serve as a form of socialization and mental stimulation, and they have the power to positively impact a dog’s emotional state, behavior and bond with people. 

Incorporating a few additions to your walk can have a big impact. Here are five ways to help unleash the full potential of your dog’s walk:

Let your dog enjoy the smells.

While sometimes it's easy to rush through a walk, allowing your dog time to sort through interesting smells he discovers can allow enrichment without needing to cover much ground.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Training Your Dog to go Potty on Command

potty on command

Tired of waiting 10-15 minutes for your dog to do his business in the freezing cold/snow/rain/wind? Does your dog just plain refuse to go outside in inclement weather? The good news is you can actually train your dog to pee and do their business on command, just like any other trained skill. Like any other training, this will take time, patience, and a positive reward system, but the pay off is so great it will be worth it!

Figure our your dog's signal when he needs to go

Dogs typically need to go after eating or drinking, after sleeping or being in a crate for a few hours, and usually after playing. Take him out after these events occur, and look for signals that he may need to go – going to the door, sniffing a certain area, going in a tight circle, or starting to squat or lift his leg.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Harnesses, Martingales, and Head Halters...What's Best For My Dog?

Finding the right fit for what your dog really needs for walks can take a lot of time, money, and frustration. Everyone has their own opinion about what works best, but we thought we would write a blog post that balances the pros and cons of everything, so you can know what works best for your dog.

All styles, regardless which you choose, should be double and triple checked to make sure it is the right size and is fitted properly, preferably by a professional trainer.

Harnesses - Front Clip

front clip harnessA popular option, front-clip harnesses offer the owner control over the direction the dog is moving and allows for the dog to be redirected to face the owner if needed. These are often used by trainers to lessen pulling. Front-clip harnesses also offer directional steering, in that a dog can be turned around if needed.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Super Bowl Dangers for Your Pets

Super Bowl Pet Safety

Football fare is nearly irresistible for dogs — especially when sitting at eye-level — but even cats can grab a piece of the action. Unfortunately, furry fans who intercept game day grub are likely to catch more than they bargained for. Super Bowl pet safety is something that can be done with just a few preparations. We encourage would-be revelers with pets to think carefully before serving the following:

Beer:  Just like people, some animals have a taste for beer. But think twice before pouring your pet a pint: even a nip can cause fatal respiratory depression. Or, get your dog some special beer that is safe for him to enjoy!

Bones: Chicken wings have especially fine bones, which can splinter easily and puncture the GI tract. Besides, the sauces are virtually guaranteed to cause an upset stomach.

Onions: Onion rings are doubly dangerous: onions in any form are poisonous to pets and fried foods can cause diarrhea.

Toothpicks: Toothpicks make a nice presentation for cubed meats, cheeses and other appetizers, but can cause severe and potentially fatal damage to pets’ GI tracts, if swallowed.

Nuts: Many nut varieties have a devastating effect on dogs’ nervous systems. Walnuts and macadamias are especially toxic and can cause vomiting, paralysis and even death.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kitten Kindergarten: Socializing Your New Kitten

Kitten Kindergarten

While most people know that socialization is a very important part of a new puppy's life, some people are beginning to realize the same thing goes for kittens. A well-socialized cat will have the skills to cope with new situations and people.

Why do kittens need to be socialized? Well, you might think that whether or not a cat is standoffish or affectionate are based on personality, but like dogs it also has to do with their development. This is why some vet offices are now offering Kitten Kindergarten classes for kittens age 8-15 weeks.