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Keeping your Pet's Safe from Coronavirus

Posted on April 10, 2020 at 6:57 PM Comments comments (106)
 Keeping Your Pets Safe During the COVID-19 Crisis


Can My Pet Contract the Coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the disease is spread to humans through person-to-person contact. There have been no reports of pets or livestock becoming ill or spreading the coronavirus in the U.S. Likewise, the World Health Organization has stated that there is no evidence that dogs or cats have become ill with this particular virus.

Wash Your Hands

Although there is no current evidence that suggests the coronavirus can be transmitted to or from companion animals, it’s always a good idea to follow basic hygiene practices around animals. This includes washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day and before and after direct contact with your pets, their food or their supplies.

Stock Up on Pet Supplies

Prepare a kit with essential supplies to have on hand in the event of an emergency. Your emergency kit should include a 30-day supply of your pets’ medications, as well as at least two weeks’ worth of food. 

Designate an Emergency Caregiver

Proactively identify someone who could help with their short- or long-term care in the event you are unable to care for your pet. Consider a family member, friend, neighbor or your favorite boarding facility.

Create a Pet Dossier

If your emergency caregiver’s assistance is needed, make it easier for them by having all of your pets’ information in one place. Consider including things like habits, food preferences, medical conditions and medications taken, veterinarian contact information, and any behavioral tendencies.



















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Foods Your Pets Should Avoid During Cookouts

Posted on July 6, 2017 at 10:38 AM Comments comments (57)

Foods Your Pet Should Avoid

                                   Hot Dogs

While tasty, hot dogs are not the healthiest food for us humans, and they are even worse for pets. Hot dogs are packed with tons of salt and preservatives, both in levels that dogs are just not used to. Excessive amounts can lead to diarrhea and indigestion. It’s our recommendation to avoid them altogether, but if you must must must give in to temptation and treat your dog, please exercise moderation. Also, it’s helpful to cut them into bite-size pieces to avoid choking hazards.

Snack Foods

Chips are pretzels are also full of salt that can cause excessive thirst and urination.  And who wants a dog peeing everywhere!?  In all seriousness, snack foods are just as unhealthy for dogs as they can be for us and we should exercise caution.  If your dog gets too many snacks it can lead to sodium ion poisoning, the effects of which can include vomiting, diarrhea, fevers and even death.

Bones

The leftover remains from ribs, steaks or chicken wings can be dangerous in the mouth of your dog.  Bones can splinter easily  and if they are digested they can cause puncture wounds in your dogs mouth, stomach or digestive tract.  They can also lead to obstructions and other health hazards.  For your dog’s safety, make sure everyone knows where they can safely dispose of their food.

Fruits and Desserts

Fruits in general are high in sugar and can lead to blood glucose issues, but the main culprits to watch out for are grapes and raisins.  They have been shown to cause serious kidney issues and even death when consumed by dogs.  Desserts that include chocolate or Xylitol are no-nos for dogs, as they can prove fatal quickly.

Choking Hazards

Many cookout foods are also choking hazards.  Hot dogs, bones, and corn cobs can get lodged in your dog’s airway.  Keep an eye out for anything that is larger than bite size.

Alcohol

An ice cold beer or mixed drink might be the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day, but it is not going to have the same effect on your pet.  Even a small amount, just a few licks or laps, can be dangerous or even fatal.  In a festive environment, once drinks start pouring it’s not uncommon for a few glasses to get abandoned here and there, so make sure you clean up after your forgetful friends.
 





















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Easy Way to clean pet toys

Posted on January 1, 2017 at 1:09 PM Comments comments (50)

If your sweetie's favorite cuddly toy is starting to give off a smelly odor even after you have washed it, it could be that the scent is being caused by bacteria or germs trapped in the soft absorbent fibers.

To eliminate the odor for good, combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a large container, sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the toy and submerge it in the solution. Soak it for 10 minutes, then wring it out. Let it dry.

The combination of vinegar and baking soda will kill odor-causing bacteria so your pal can play with her beloved toy again.


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Hairball Messes

Posted on January 1, 2017 at 12:57 PM Comments comments (55)
I found this article in my First for Women magazine on how to clean up a hairball mess off of your carpeting.

Apply a dollop of shaving cream to the spot.  Let it sit for 5 minutes, then scrape off the foam, dab the area with a wet washcloth and vacuum.  Shaving cream's concentrated soaps will break down the stain, leaving your carpet looking like new.
















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Quieting Barking

Posted on September 25, 2016 at 5:48 PM Comments comments (89)
Clever way to quiet barking

Every time you let Baxter out, he gets hyper and barks nonstop.  Train 

him to keep calm in the yard by creating a scent trail:  Before letting 

him out, go outside and drop training treats every few feet.  The next 

day, leave more distance between the treats so he has to work harder to 

follow the scent.  Repeat for a few days-he'll get used to focusing on 

putting his nose to work as soon as he goes out.  Once he stops barking 

upon leaving the house, you can cut back on the treats.




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Kitty Entertainment

Posted on September 25, 2016 at 5:42 PM Comments comments (63)
Entertain your kitty for pennies

When its too hot to go outside, keep your cat busy indoors with a wine-

cork toy.  To make:  Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to widen the hole 

originally made by the corkscrew, then thread a few pieces of colorful 

ribbon through the hole.  Hang the toy from a doorknob and your 

sweetie will entertain herself/himself by batting it around.  Hint:  You 

can make the toy even more appealing by stuffing a bit of catnip inside 

the cork.













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Hot Weather Safety

Posted on June 2, 2016 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (32)
Tips for Dog Walks in Hot Weather


Happy Summertime!

It is starting to get warm already.  Make sure that you use all of the safety precautions that you can when you are out walking your furry family members.

  • Stay hydrated.  That goes for you and your dog.  Bring extra water and a dish for your furry family member.  It doesn't take much to have a heat stroke.

  • Stick to shady places if possible.  Parks are always a great place to go.  They have shade and usually a water fountain.  The nice cool grass is a great way for the dog's to cool off.  Also, dog beaches are a great way to cool down for both of you.

  • Booties.  You can purchase a pair of dog booties at your local pet store and that will help protect their paw pads.  A rule of thumb, if you can't walk on the pavement in your bare feat, the dog's will not be able to as well.

  • Sunscreen.  I read an article the other day, and it said that you can also use particular sunscreen on your dogs.  I would check with your local vet. and ask them for a recommendation.

  • Wear a hat.  It helps protect your skin and cuts down on the rays.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please post them!  I love to hear feedback.

Enjoy the beautiful weather!



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Crate Training

Posted on March 7, 2016 at 4:44 PM Comments comments (21)

Crate Training

"Private room with a view. Ideal for traveling dogs or for those who just want a secure, quiet place to hang out at home."

That's how your dog might describe his crate. It's his own personal den where he can find comfort and solitude while you know he's safe and secure—and not shredding your house while you're out running errands.

Crating philosophy

  • The primary use for a crate is house training. Dogs don't like to soil their dens.

  • The crate can limit access to the rest of the house while he learns other rules, like not to chew on furniture.

  • Crates are a safe way to transport your dog in the car.

Crating Caution!

A crate isn't a magical solution. If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated.

  • Never use the crate as a punishment. Your dog will come to fear it and refuse to enter it.

  • Don't leave your dog in the crate too long.  A dog that’s crated day and night doesn't get enough exercise or human interaction and can become depressed or anxious. You may have to change your schedule, hire a pet sitter, or take your dog to a doggie daycare facility to reduce the amount of time he must spend in his crate every day.

  • Puppies under six months of age shouldn't stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can't control their bladders and bowels for that long.  The same goes for adult dogs that are being housetrained.  Physically, they can hold it, but they don’t know they’re supposed to.

  • Crate your dog only until you can trust him not to destroy the house. After that, it should be a place he goes voluntarily.

Selecting a Crate

Several types of crates are available:

  • Plastic (often called "flight kennels")

  • Fabric on a collapsible, rigid frame

  • Collapsible, metal pens

Crates come in different sizes and can be purchased at most pet supply stores or pet supply catalogs.

Your dog's crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in. If your dog is still growing, choose a crate size that will accommodate his adult size. Block off the excess crate space so your dog can't eliminate at one end and retreat to the other. Your local animal shelter may rent out crates.  By renting, you can trade up to the appropriate size for your puppy until he’s reached his adult size, when you can invest in a permanent crate.

The crate training process

  • The crate should always be associated with something pleasant.

  • Training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast.

Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate

Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at his leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away.  If yours isn't one of them:

  • Bring him over to the crate, and talk to him in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten him.

  • Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If he refuses to go all the way in at first, that's okay; don't force him to enter.

  • Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If he isn't interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days.

Step 2: Feed your dog his meals in the crate

After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding him his regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate.

  • If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate.
  • If he remains reluctant to enter the crate, put the dish only as far inside as he will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the crate.
  • Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he's eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as he finishes his meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until he's staying in the crate for ten minutes or so after eating.
  • If he begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving him in the crate for a shorter time period. If he does whine or cry in the crate, don’t let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so he'll keep doing it.

Step 3: Lengthen the crating periods

After your dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short time periods while you're home.
  • Call him over to the crate and give him a treat.
  • Give him a command to enter, such as "kennel." Encourage him by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand.
  • After your dog enters the crate, praise him, give him the treat, and close the door.
  • Sit quietly near the crate for five to ten minutes, and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time, and then let him out of the crate.
  • Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length of time you're out of his sight.
  • Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving him crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting him sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.

Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave

After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving him crated for short periods when you leave the house.
  • Put him in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the crate.
  • Vary at what point in your "getting ready to leave" routine you put your dog in the crate. Although he shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate him anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving.
  • Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give him a treat for entering the crate, and then leave quietly.

When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to him in an excited, enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low key to avoid increasing his anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so he doesn't associate crating with being left alone.

Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night

Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night, and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside.

Older dogs, too, should initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation.

Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with his crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

Potential problems

Whining. If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether he's whining to be let out of the crate, or whether he needs to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from his crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, he'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at him or pounding on the crate will only make things worse.

If the whining continues after you've ignored him for several minutes, use the phrase he associates with going outside to eliminate. If he responds and becomes excited, take him outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore him until he stops whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what he wants. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.

Separation anxiety. Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but he may injure himself in an attempt to escape from the crate. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counter-conditioning and desensitization procedures. You may want to consult a professional animal-behavior specialist for help.

















































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Valentine's Day Toxins for Pets

Posted on February 3, 2016 at 11:17 PM Comments comments (130)
Valentine's Day is right around the corner and you would think that it a harmless enough holiday. Think again.

Here are a few dangerous and toxic things to watch out for:

  • Roses.  Roses have thorns that can cut your pets mouth or paws.  If ingested, it can cause bowel obstruction. 

  • Chocolate.  Chocolate is very toxic and can poison your animal if they ingest a large amount. Especially, dark chocolate. Feed them a healthy treat instead.

  • Xylitol.  This is a commonly used sugar substitute.  It can be used alone or in combination with other sweetness.  Found in frostings, cookie sprinkles, and etc.





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6 Common Dog Discipline Issues

Posted on July 24, 2015 at 3:42 PM Comments comments (48)




Dogs and humans don't always speak the same language. When humans ask their dogs to follow the rules, oftentimes the animals don't listen. These misunderstandings are perceived by owners as discipline issues.John Wade, of Canada's "Ask the Doggy Guy," and Marc Morrone, of the show "Petkeeping with Marc Morrone," agree: discipline issues are not the problem when it comes to training a dog.Here are some common dog behavior issues and tips on how to deal with them.
  1. Jumping 
    Keep your pooch on a leash when you're expecting company or are out for walks. "Leash training is important, even inside; keep the leash on as the dog runs in the room so you can control them when needed," says Wade. If the pup jumps, pull it down by the leash to modify the behavior.Morrone believes in training with rewards, then gradually removing the reward as the behavior is corrected.
  2. Unruliness and Barking 
    Morrone advises people to understand the history of human beings and dogs living together. "The first pet dogs shared caves with no worry of behavior issues, since their human counterparts lived in nature much as they did," Morrone says. "The first dogs were wolves and did not bark. The savviest would make a low sound when they saw something to warn their human friends about. Barking evolved from humans teaching dogs to alert with a sound. Through evolution and breeding, these sounds grew into [the] barking that is innate in today's dogs."Dogs feel as if they are helping their owners when barking as they see people pass by a window. In the dog's mind, he is chasing intruders away. Morrone advises you to simply close the window shade.
  3. Lack of Attention 
    Wade says, "Owners need to learn to be teachers all the time. Shape a dog as you would in nature. Do not ignore bad behavior by rewarding only good behavior." In other words, "Balance training is creating a balance between bad behavior and good behavior adapting for each particular dog."
  4. Destroying Objects 
    Dogs are creatures of habit, so it is important to never give them the option to chew on an object that is not theirs. Dog proof your house. Don't feed a dog from the table. Close closet doors and pick things you don't want your dog chewing on off of the floor. Crate training your dog will also prevent him from destroying things while you're out.Dogs may also chew out of stress or lack of exercise. If your dog isn't getting enough stimulation, he may be taking that excess energy out on your favorite pair of shoes. Take some extra time in the mornings to walk your pup a little further. If you come home to a chewed object, refrain from scolding. Your dog won't be able to connect the scolding to earlier actions, and you'll both end up frustrated.
  5. Leash Pulling
    Always direct your dog to sit and stay while putting on his leash, and don't let him get too far ahead of you outside. You want to be leading the walk, not the other way around. Modifying behavior is the key to curbing leash pulling.Morrone teaches dogs to listen and learn through a reward system. Direct the dog to stop pulling on the leash by giving the pup a directive, followed by a reward for the proper behavior. "Behavior training are directives, not commands, that have positive results for dogs," Morrone explains. A dog will always do a behavior when he or she knows that there will be benefits, such as treats, when directions are followed.
  6. House Training
    Wade and Morrone both express the importance of using the dog's natural instinct to not go where he or she sleeps. Pet owners have to act as the mother dog and teach pups the proper place to eliminate.Crate training is a key component to house training. Morrone teaches the dog to perceive the entire house as a "sleeping den" not to be soiled by beginning with crate training and gradually letting the dog move into the rest of the house.It also helps to have your dog on a schedule. "Teaching a routine is key to house training," Wade shares.

Both experts agree that dogs' behaviors and actions are derived from biology. Everyone, including animals, has evolved into how they approach life. In order to cohabitate peacefully, it's important to understand where their behavior was born and how to work with them to maintain a harmonious relationship.





















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