Archive for » October, 2010 «

Top 3 Holiday Gifts for Dog Lovers

I cannot believe it is that time of the year again.  It is time to decide what to buy everyone on my holiday gift list.  This joyous process seems to become more taxing as the years pass.  I try to be creative, but this year I literally ran out of ideas.  I needed inspiration quick.  I turned to the internet for answers.  I researched online the best gifts for dog lovers, and came up with my own top three holiday gift ideas.  I am here to share these holiday shopping tips with you.

Inspirational Dog Stories

There are many books featuring true stories about dog owners rescued by their own pets.  It is remarkable to hear first-hand accounts about how a dog saved its owner from a tragic fire or accident.  It emphasizes the bond shared between a human and dog.  Any loving dog owner would appreciate this present.

Dog Car Safety Gadgets

Dog owners constantly worry about how to keep their pup safe in a moving vehicle.  It is a valid issue, and now there are many gadgets available to address this problem.  There are dog seat belt harnesses for all dog sizes.  Essentially, it keeps your dog buckled-up, safe, and in place while you are driving.  It makes the vehicle safer for you and your pet.

Handmade Presents

If you need to keep the cost down to a minimum and prefer a personal touch, then why not make a cross-stitch dog pattern piece and turn it into a pillow for the person to always keep.  This is an affordable, sentimental gift for someone to cherish.

There are many options for the dog lovers on your list.  If you need additional ideas, ask one of our Florida dog training or k9 obedience instructors today.  A gift certificate to one of our classes is the better route to go.

Call us today!

3 Holiday Foods Safe for Your Dog

It is that time of the year, when the kids come home to visit filling up the otherwise quiet house.  Family and friends gather around the dinner table, and exchange stories over delicious, mouthwatering Thanksgiving and Holiday food.  But what about your dog?  It is tempting to feed your dog a stash of the same food served on the dinner table, and it is  actually okay…if you know what is nourishing and wholesome for your dog’s development.

It is difficult to determine a solid list of foods that qualify under this category.  Too many blog posts and online information concentrate on what dogs cannot eat, including chocolates and other heavy fatty foods, but eliminate the human foods dogs are allowed to digest.  Thus, in this post, I am going to solve this issue by focusing on what human foods your dog can eat from the holiday table.  Here are the top three food choices that are safe and healthy for your dog.

Eat More Chicken

“Eat More Chicken” is a slogan seen on Chick-fil-A commercials nationwide, and it is true when it comes to feeding your dog.   Just remember to keep the chicken grilled, baked or rotisserie-style.  Do not give your dog any fried chicken.  Be certain it is not seasoned with onions or excessive garlic and salt.  Your dog does not need the additional salt, and neither does your waistline.

Who Knew that Dogs Love Bananas?

My dogs love bananas.  It is a tasty fruit packed with nutrients assisting in healthy development of your dog.  It is a fat-free, cholesterol-free and sodium free food filled with potassium.  Bananas have it all.  Try it out on your dog.  Find out if your dog likes bananas too.  It could be the next big winner in your dog’s meal plan.

Serve Green Beans but Hold the Salt

A serving of vegetables is very filling to a dog.  Green beans are the ideal foundation for any dog weight-management plan.  It contains Vitamin K, Iron, Vitamin C, Potassium, Protein and Fiber.  It also consists of one of the lowest calorie counts per serving.  Green beans are a healthy choice for a dog, but avoid putting any salt on this dish.  Too much salt can cause a dog kidney failure.

Your dog can enjoy in your holiday dinner feast.  The key is staying informed on what are healthy options for you, and your dog.

To find out more about what foods are safe to feed your dog, talk to a Florida dog training or a k9 obedience instructor today.

How to Stop Dog Barking in Parked Car

When I used to leave my dog in the car, he never barked.  He would sit still, lie down, and relax in the backseat until it is time to exit the vehicle.  Lately though, it has been a different story.  My dog barks nonstop in an unruly fashion.  It is frightful to passer-bys and unnecessary.  Thus, it is time to start implementing positive reinforcement dog training techniques to solve this problem.  These tips will keep your dog relaxed, calm, and quiet until it is time to exit the car.

Walk Out and Ignore

The Florida dog training tip I used was the ‘walk away and repeat’ method. This is how it went…I would drive my dog to a specific location, and exit the car solo.  I would walk away still remaining within hearing distance, but far enough to prove to my dog that I am not near the automobile.  Usually, around 15 feet is suitable for this technique.  Then, I stop. I stand with my back to the car and wait until my dog stops barking.  If my dog continues to bark, I do not react.  I hold my ground with my back to the car ignoring my dog.  If my dog stops barking, I turn around and walk towards the car.  I continue this method until my dog stops barking.  Once my dog is peaceful and silent, I walk the entire distance to the car and let my dog out.

This method even works when I take my dog to the dog park.

To find out more dog training tips, talk to a k9 obedience instructor today!

An Inside Look at Dogs and Cancer

Learning that someone has cancer triggers a frightening turn of events.  You do not know what to do, how to handle the situation and thoughts become jumbled turning you into one big mess.  Now, picture if this happens to your dog.  It is confusing, sad, and a ball of mixed emotions occurs. Your dog cannot express vocally that he/she is in pain.  You are unsure of what to do or if it is even happening.  Here are a few symptoms to look out for.

Dog Cancer Symptoms

Look out for some of these symptoms, and take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

  • Swelling
  • Lumps
  • Dark, black, tar-looking stools
  • Little or no appetite
  • Trouble eliminating waste
  • Struggle breathing

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it does not automatically mean your canine has cancer.  However, these are serious symptoms of fatal conditions, including cancer.  If you detect any of these signs have your pup thoroughly examined by a professional right away.

Dog Breeds with High Cancer Risks

There are certain dog breeds that have an increased risk of attaining cancer over others.  These breeds are large and giant breed dogs, such as Saint Bernard’s and Great Danes.  Boxers, Golden Retrievers, and Boston Terriers are also known to develop cancer cells.  Pay close attention to your dog’s health and behavior to be certain your dog is not falling ill.

How to Manage Cancer in Dogs

There are different types of cancer treatments recommended for dogs.  Chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy are the most common, but not every dog owner chooses these options.  Some believe in the quality of life.  In these situations, dog owners select pain management therapy rather than these harsh treatments ensuring your dog is comfortable and not in pain.

No matter what route you go with regarding cancer treatment, pay attention to the signs.  Early detection is the key to removing any cancerous tumors before it spreads throughout the dog’s body.

To find out more, talk to a Florida dog obedience training instructor or enroll in a k9 Acumassage session.  These experts will direct you to solid veterinarians in the area, and provide ample emotional support as you and your dog go through this devastating process.

Top 2 Fall Safety Pet Tips

Today I walked outside and was relieved to feel the fall, cool air.  Finally, there is a breeze blowing, leaves falling, and the temperature cold enough to run around outside with my dog.  It is the best time of the year.  Nevertheless, regardless of the scorching heat gone, there are still seasonal dog risks to take note of.  Here are some autumn safety tips ensuring you have a secure, fun, healthy fall season with your pet.

Watch Out For Mushrooms

This is the time of year where mushrooms grow rapid outside.  It is true that the majority of them are non-toxic, but there is a specific type to avoid which is difficult to distinguish when on the run.  So to be on the safe side, do not allow your dog to eat any while playing outside.  Harmful mushrooms cause fatal, health dog issues.  If ingested, rush your dog to the veterinarian immediately.  My best advice is steer clear of mushrooms growing in the wild.

Put Away School Supplies

Fall weather means back to school time.  Glue sticks, markers, pencils are just some of the school supplies required to finish a school project or assignment.  Some parents keep these items out for kids to utilize and access at any time.  Be careful.  These same items trigger severe digestive issues in dogs, if swallowed or chewed.  To prevent any issues from arising keep school supplies stored away where the dog cannot reach.  This way the kids can still finish their studies, and the dog remains safe and happy.

To learn more about fall tips for your pet, talk to a Florida dog training instructor or a k9 obedience teacher today.

What to Do About Fleas

Is your dog scratching excessively?  Does your dog exhibit scabs, pale gums, and hair loss?  If your dog is suffering from all of these symptoms, then fleas may be the culprit.

Why Fleas are Dangerous

Fleas are a big nuisance but also a major cause of several health issues and complications in dogs.  For these tiny bugs are able to consume fifteen times their own body weight in blood causing anemia in dogs.  Thus, a flea could cause a life-threatening situation in young puppies, smaller breeds, and dogs all around.  Take care of fleas immediately if found on your dog.

How to Treat Fleas

See your veterinarian and receive treatment immediately.  There are different routes to follow but the most effective method of ridding your pet of fleas is through prescription products.  Your veterinarian will provide the solution to fleas with proper instructions.

Furthermore, before returning home from the vet, treat the location where the dog resides in, and outside the house.  If your dog frequently sits in the car, prefers a favorite sleeping spot or lives in an outdoor doghouse, then all of these areas need to be treated prior to returning home with your dog.  You do not want a dog that is infected with fleas to return to a contaminated area.  Additionally, throw out any prior bedding to ensure the spreading of fleas does not occur.

If you have any questions about how to treat a flea problem, talk to a Florida dog obedience instructor or a k9 obedience teacher today.  He/she will advise you with personal experiences filled with solid advice on what the most effective method of prevention and treatment.

Vote Yes on Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act

There has been a growing problem with puppy mills.  But it has not been as prevalent as in the state of Missouri.

Puppy Mill Problem in Missouri

Missouri supplies more than forty percent of all dogs sold in pet stores nationwide and is the home to more than 3,000 commercial dog breeding facilities.  Experts state that almost seventy percent of all puppies sold in New York City pet stores come from Missouri.  Think about it for a minute.  Missouri is running the majority of the puppy store business, but exhibits an endless fault with puppy and dog care.
The dogs in these puppy mills are living in disgusting conditions where they are crammed into a tiny, unclean space unable to roam.  They are forced to live without proper food, water and exercise.  Disease spreads easily under such circumstances and causes a puppy mental and physical damage.  The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act puts a halt to such negative conditions.

Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act is Just the Beginning

On November 2, Missouri residents will vote on Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.  It requires the basic essentials to humane care supplied to the puppies and dogs in these facilities, such as regular exercise, clean water, and appropriate rest time for female dogs in-between litters.  It also limits the number of breeding dogs per facility.

The entire nation is watching this election anxiously awaiting the outcome.  For if this passes, then it may be the beginning of a law that shall arise in future elections across the nation.  This would finally be a positive step towards stopping puppy mills and creating a safer, healthier environment for dogs.

To find out more about how to train a puppy mill or shelter dog with positive reinforcement, talk to a Florida dog training instructor or a k9 obedience teacher today.

How to Travel with Your Dog for Thanksgiving

It is simple to fly with your dog during the Thanksgiving holidays, if you are fully aware of the dos and don’ts making travel effortless.  To find solid advice on how to travel with your dog, talk to a Florida dog obedience instructor.  In the meantime, I have composted for you the top tips you should be aware of before traveling with your dog over the holidays.

Before You Travel with Your Dog

Before you step on any plane, you need to make sure your dog’s medical shots are updated.  Meet with your vet 30 days before traveling to ensure everything is ready to go.

Next, check all airline and destination regulations.  If you are flying out of the country, there may be exact laws regulating certain breeds from entering.   Some places also have restrictions on what age a dog is able to travel.  Be well educated before jumping on any plane with your pet.

Day of Travel

Provide your pet with plenty of exercise before arriving to the airport.  You want your dog exhausted of any nervous energy.  It will help relax your dog during the flight.

Provide your canine with plenty of water and food in the pet carrier ensuring your dog does not run out.  Remember to fill up on the water once you pass airport security.  Liquids are one of the items prohibited to purchase or bring until after clearing this area.  Once you are through purchase the water and fill up your dog’s water bowl.

To find out more about traveling with your dog, talk to a Florida dog training teacher.  He/she will guide you through the process, provide safety regulations, and talk about the room needed in a pet carrier for your pet to be comfortable during the trip.

Do not wait.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Start preparing today!

Top 3 Tips: How to Adopt a Shelter Dog

Rescuing a dog from a shelter is a great way to add an additional family member to your home.  These dogs are in dire need of attention and love.  They crave it and when you provide them with a stable, healthy loving house then they respond positive to the surroundings and the entire family.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when adopting a shelter dog.

Volunteer at the Shelter

When you spend time at the shelter, you are able to see how different breeds interact with other dogs and people.  This gives you a better understanding if a specific breed dog is more suitable to your lifestyle and family make-up.  For instance, if you have other dogs in the house, then look for a breed at the shelter that gets along with others.  If you have an active lifestyle, adopt a dog that suits these attributes.  It helps to experience first-hand, which dog benefits the most from your home environment.  If you are unsure about volunteering, then spend some time at the shelter to attain the same information.  It helps you make the right decision.

Do Not Rule Out Adult Dogs

Puppies are adorable, and it is only natural to be drawn to them first.  However, take into consideration what comes with puppies.  Puppies take lots of training; engage in chewing up furniture and shoes.  There is the accident spill phase to get through ruining your flooring and furniture.  Why go through any of it when you could adopt an adult dog?  They are just as lovable, easy to train, and are able to adapt to the environment at a faster pace.

Prepare Your Home

Do not wait until you bring your new canine home to stock up on supplies.  Start collecting the right dog food, toys, bedding, leash, and collar.  These are all things you can do ahead of time.  Also, put away any electrical cords that might be in the way of the dog or other harmful objects lying around.  In addition, childproof your kitchen cabinets or anywhere you store cleaning materials.  You do not want your dog to digest something toxic.  Keep these items out of harm’s way.

To find out more about adopting a shelter dog, talk to a Florida dog obedience instructor or a k9 obedience teacher today.

Have a Safe Thanksgiving with Your Dog!

The entire family, including your dog, experiences Thanksgiving together.  It is a time to be thankful, eat good food, relax, go for walks, and just be together.  But you need to be careful about what you feed your dog and learn what to keep out of the doggie bowl completely.

Do Not Over Feed

The best word of advice is to create a balanced meal for your dog.  Your dog needs a mix of grains, vegetable and proteins.  Provide correct proportions and amounts.  Keep your dog in mind and do not overstuff.  Your dog could become very ill from overeating.

Remove the Bones

Turkey is something you need to watch out for.  Turkey is a good food for dogs to eat but you need to make sure you give a piece without any bone.  Turkey bones are hollow, splinter and become stuck in the intestines.  In serious situations, this requires surgical removal.  If you do choose to go the turkey route, choose white turkey meat.  It is leaner than the dark.

Avoid the Fat

Along the same lines as choosing white turkey meat, skip on the fat when feeding your dog.  Do not give your dog the items that were bathed in butter or high fat sauce.

And two foods to always avoid when feeding a dog are garlic and onions.  These can have fatal results on your dog.

If you would like to learn more about what to feed your dog for Thanksgiving, talk to a Florida dog training or a k9 obedience instructor today!