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Important Dog Safety Tips For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is right around the corner, here are a couple of tips to keep your dog safe during the holiday. Valentine’s day is a special holiday filled with sweets, flowers and other gifts. As it is already known, chocolate is extremely bad for dogs. Make sure to keep your sweets out of your dogs reach. Take note, some flowers are highly poisonous when digested by dogs. Most dogs eat anything they can, especially if they enjoy the scent coming from objects.

Chocolate is a known cause to illness to dogs. Especially the fancy chocolates that are prearranged for Valentine’s Day. A lot of dogs enjoy chocolate. Some even take the time to eat just the chocolate and leave the wrapper. The chemicals that are used in the making of chocolate is the main reason they say chocolate is horrible for dogs. If your dog gets a hold of one piece of chocolate, there is no reason to panic. But, if you come home from your date and realize that all of your chocolate is gone, then you have a serious problem on your hands. Furthermore, dogs can also get ill from the wrappers that the sweets are wrapped in.

There are many flowers that are toxic to anyone, especially dogs. It is hard to tell if your dog has eaten a plant or flower; mainly because they can eat the whole thing and leave no trace of evidence. The problem with most flowers or plants they are grown to defend themselves. For example, roses grow with thorns for protection. If your dog is to try and eat a rose the thorns can get stabbed in their throats, gums and tongue. With out you being home, you have no way to help out your dog if they mistakenly digest one of your flowers or plants.

The other gifts that are received are teddy bears, stuffed animals, etc. Leaving any of these gifts out can cause harm to your animal if they get a hold of them. Most stuffed animals or teddy bears have small pieces attached to them that dogs seem to rip out, such as, eyes, nose, buttons, etc. The problem with this is that the animals can choke on the small pieces they get from chewing them off of the gifts.

Dogs are highly intelligent, but they are similar to little babies. The only way a dog can tell what something is by sticking objects in their mouths. The only way to protect them from things they are not supposed to have is by putting them out of reach of your animal. So before you decide to go out this holiday make sure to puppy proof your houses and not to leave your new gifts in reach of your dogs. Following these tips will keep your dog safe for Valentine’s day.

Teaching Your New Puppy Good Sleeping Habits

Bringing your little puppy home for the very first time is a special day. It might be really exciting for you, but the weeks to follow could be challenging. They might be cute and cuddly but the late night potty trips or play time might give you some trouble. I will give you a couple tips on making those midnight trips a little less stressful.

When training a puppy to have a steady sleeping pattern there’s a couple ways you can do it. The best way is to have the puppy sleep in your room, so you can keep an eye on him. Another option is to have your own dedicated area for him. If you choose to leave Fido in another room leaving a fan, music, or even a white noise machine on will soothe him to sleep. You will start to see results in a short period of time.

Some of the preparations are before you put Fido to sleep. Puppy’s tend to sleep a lot and they don’t seem to care when it is. For the pup to sleep during the evening will make him want to get up and play in the middle of the night when he is rejuvenated. Try to avoid the evening sleep. Another thing is try to stay away from food or water before bed. Giving the pup any food or water before bedtime is a guaranteed rough night for you when there belly or bladder is full. Roughly 3 hours before bed is best.

Now comes that dreadful moment, the late night potty trip. This is where the puppy usually finds out he can wake you up by whining or making noises. When this time comes to let your little pup out to go potty remember its strictly business time. Avoid talking or playing. If you tend to play around and talking to the dog at night he will think he can get more attention by making noise at night. Just keep it to a “good boy” and back to bed. Be sure to not let him sit there and bark when the pup needs to go, take him out.

If you stick to these tips and keep the puppy on schedule you will see an improvement in no time. Your pup will be sleeping through the night in no time.

Keep Your Dog Safe & Happy On Halloween

As you can imagine Halloween can be a daunting ordeal for your family dog. Each Halloween, veterinarians across the USA deal with dogs getting hurt. All of which could certainly be prevented. The following are some important tips to keep your animal safe healthy and happy during this fun holiday for children.

The first great example would be making sure you take your dog outside for any walks or general playing prior to the time kids head out for trick or treating. However if you absolutely must take your dog out while kids are out, its recommended that you keep a tight grip on your leash, it’s very easy for dogs to get overwhelmed by the mask’s and costumes the children are wearing. If you or your family members are wearing a mask, let your dog see the mask first and then put it on after really slowly. This way they can clearly see who you are prior to putting the mask on, this could help your pooch cope better with the situation.

If your dog is not wearing a collar, this time of year is an important time to reconsider.

You may want to put your dog in a room away from the front door if loud noises stir up your dog, if there a very excessive barker, or tend to be aggressive towards people they don’t know. Get your dog their favorite toy, and perhaps turn the television on to animal planet or the discovery channel to distract them with nature programming. This could very likely put a smile on your pups face.

Many dogs can get out of the house when the front door is opened, then they see costumed people and become very frightened. If your dog becomes to frightened it could possibly run out the front door and get lost. You could however, put a baby/dog gate in front of your door if your dog isn’t too big.

When planning your Halloween decorations think proactive so your dog can enjoy Halloween with you.

It’s extremely important that your dog can’t reach candles inside the house this could set fires and also harm your dog. Outside make sure they cannot touch your jack-o-lanterns the same problem could occur with the dog hurting its nose or face being burned by the candle. Decorations that have any small parts could potentially be swallowed so keep them out of the dogs.

Despite the delicious treats you might enjoy on this festive night, under no circumstances should you be feeding your dog any candy. Get rid of any candy wrappers before your dog can find them and swallow them. Wrappers can cause your pet to choke or become sick. Take your Halloween trash outside as soon as possible.

It’s very possible to have fun with your dog on this holiday. Maybe get your dog a safe plush toy and always keeping an eye on them. It can also be very fun to dress your dog up in a costume. Have a happy Halloween!

Tips for Avoiding Common Dog Training Mistakes: (Part 1)

One of the easiest mistakes that can be made when training your dog is not paying attention. If your attention is elsewhere for even a short while, suddenly you may find that your puppy is off doing unspeakable things to you’re your furniture in the living room. You can not properly correct him unless you catch him red handed. All puppies have an incredibly short attention span. So, even just five minutes ago no longer exists. They will not make the mental connection when you are yelling about something they did minutes ago. When you can not pay attention to your puppy, he should then be in a safe place, like his crate, or perhaps by your side at all times.

Your dog will not know he has done something right when you fail to reward him for his good behavior. It is also crucial to communicate your praise to him in a language he can understand. The rewards do not necessarily always have to be something such as a treat. No matter what reward you may go with, your dog will need to connect the reward to his action in order for him to get the correct message. Instant praise is the best reward you could ever give. It’s instant gratification for your dog, and gives you a few seconds to provide the tasty treat reward if you have one. Those few seconds will fill in the gap between “Yay, I did things right!” and “Wow, what did I ever do to deserve an outcome like this?” This is extremely important during the earlier stages of the training process. This is especially true for when you are trying to get your dog to correlate his actions to your commands.

Another common mistake is to put things off for much too long. You may look at your little puppy, and think “it’s not absolutely necessary for him to need to learn anything just yet”. But what about walking on a leash, stay, coming when you call? This is especially true when a puppy’s natural instinct is to generally be by your side anyway, without incentive. But if you let things go for too long, your pup will not want to cooperate any longer. Training while your pup is still relatively young is the most solid way to get the basics into your dog’s head for good.

Train Your Pup To Behave When Left Home Alone:

Coaching a puppy that spends a lot of time home alone could prove to be quite the challenge, but it’s not impossible. The best thing to do is to start training your pup right away. Serious habits and issues in growing dogs usually begin to develop around six months of age or older.

As the care giver of your new pup, it’s crucial for you to offer a place of comfort, safety and belonging. Puppies that are well nurtured will generally transform into a more mentally stable adult. Puppies that are denied the safety of affection and positive reinforcement will grow up fearful and filled with anxiety.

The very first point you need to establish in your new puppy, is that his new home is a place where he is accepted. As soon as your puppy feels he is secure and cherished, he’s ready to begin obedience training.

This form of training should execute as a matter of routine. Training sessions must be performed in a peaceful method, which should always end on a positive note. Your pet will look forward to each session especially if you reward his efforts with a treat. Be careful not to show any frustration and anger as this could reverse any previous training success.

There is a fine distinction between a dog requiring a firm hand because he behaves headstrong and willfully refuses to obey, and a canine requiring endurance because he lacks confidence or doesn’t quite understand. The fact of the matter is very simple. Generally, all dogs want to please their owner and be your best friend.

Training sessions should ultimately last no longer than 15 minutes. A puppy’s attention span is very similar like that of a small child’s. Curiosity will undoubtedly take over. Forcing a younger puppy to endure sessions longer than 15 minutes can be frustrating for the both of you. It may also be non-productive, and sabotage all training efforts.

A puppy that is left home alone for more than 4 hours a day requires proper coaching to be taught during that time without excessive barking or other destructive unruly behavior. Your puppy’s first learning experience begins the second that he enters your home. A useful tip is to have a TV or radio on low just before you leave the house as this may provide a setting where he does not feel completely alone.

How to Break Common Excessive Behaviors & Simple Solutions:

Excessive Digging:

Digging occurs for many reasons. They dig cooling pits when it’s hot and warming pits when it’s cold. Dogs dig to bury and recover bones. Digging is a highly enjoyable and natural canine activity. Lack of exercise, prolonged confinement and boredom can also be the blame. Once digging starts, it can quickly become a habit.

Providing your dog with regular walks, play-time and proper training, the better chances you will not have a digging problem. But until your dog has been taught that digging up your yard is unacceptable, he should not be given free access to these areas when you are not there to watch over him. Confinement is not the solution. It is only a temporary measure until your dog can be trusted out in the yard.

Excessive Chewing:

When yelling at your dog for chewing something up, such as a newspaper, both the owner and dog are completely misunderstanding each other. We feel that when the dog has his head down and looking guilty, that he must know what he did was wrong. The dog’s body language is actually showing he is frightened and submissive. So in reality, he is avoiding punishment. He may indeed know you are angry about the newspaper, but what about the newspaper? Are the pieces not small enough or is the job not done well enough?

Whatever the dog is thinking you are mad about, it is not for the act of chewing because that is not what he was doing when you scolded him. In order for him to know you are mad about chewing the paper, he must be caught in the act of chewing.

Excessive Barking:

Barking is the most natural thing for a dog. It’s a dog’s way of communicating, like humans when talking. You cannot expect to own a dog and not have a certain amount of barking, whining and howling. Barking is simply what dogs do. You can however, train your dog to bark less frequently than he might already do.

Every time your dog barks, after two or three barks, praise him for sounding the alarm. Then ask him to, stop barking. At the same time, wave a favorite treat in front of his nose. Most dogs immediately stop barking because they can not enjoy a treat and bark at the same time. During this time, continuously praise him.

Why Does My Puppy Bite and How Do I Take Control?

Your puppies need for biting is a perfectly natural and essential phase to go through, especially when they are teething. With this being said, however, it is not acceptable to have your pup chewing on you, or anyone for that matter.

Puppy biting or nipping starts out as a bit of fun, but needs to be controlled quickly to avoid ongoing problems. Most puppies can be trained to regulate and minimize the biting fairly easily. The sooner you get started educating your puppy not to bite, the easier it will be. Remember, the younger the pup, the “softer” the bite.

Proven Techniques:

If you catch the biting, just try to redirect the biting from your flesh to a toy or chew bone. For very young puppies this method is often all you need do. As soon as your pup starts to bite your hands just let out a firm ”No!” and replace your fingers with a chew toy.

Make your puppy think he is hurting you each time he has a nip at you. This method replicates the way dogs sort out this biting amongst themselves. When puppies are biting and nipping each other it only stops when one puppy lets out a yelp. We can use this natural way dogs learn by letting out an “Ouch!”  every time your puppy bites. The trick is to startle your dog using your voice, and then pull away and stop playing with your puppy for a while. Your pup will soon learn that when he begins to bite, his friend goes away.

In bad biting cases, as soon as your puppy latches onto your hand say “No!” and quickly put your thumb inside his mouth under his tongue. Your other finger will be under his chin and pinch down, but not to tightly. This will feel uncomfortable to your puppy and he won’t be able to bite you.

If your puppy has an even more severe biting problem, try putting on a pair of gloves and apply a foul tasting substance to them. Your dog will soon understand that if he bites you, it won’t be very pleasant! This method produces a strong negative association to your dog every time he decides to bite you. Some dogs are smart enough to realize that when you take your foul tasting gloves off, it is fine to bite you again.

Why Oh’ Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?!

Do you have a puppy or older dog that has taken a fancy to eating their feces? This filthy habit, also known as “Dog Coprophagia” is one dog problem, we as owners… HATE! This is generally more common in puppies up to a year old, but can occur at any stage throughout your dog’s life.

There is good news for us dog lovers though. Several proven techniques and training methods can be called upon for correcting this before it can become a permanent habit.

*NOTE* If your dog has this problem (Coprophagia), ensure that all dog vaccinations and worming treatments are current or up to date. The reason for this is that various diseases and internal parasites can be passed from dog to dog due to the eating of their feces.

Possible Causes:

Sadly, in most cases, your dog just thinks poop tastes fantastic. Just the thought of this alone is absolutely disgusting and I’m sure most would agree.

Your dog may have a mineral or vitamin deficiency and they will eat their feces in an effort to help compensate and restore this balance.

It may be a sign or symptom of anxiety, stress or your dog is just suffering from plain old boredom. Certain medications or antibiotics for your dog have even been known to cause this habit to form.

This can be the result from over-feeding your dog. This will not allow for the proper digestion of food, which means his feces will still smell and taste the same as when it was consumed. With this being said, its also a possibility due to feeding your dog too little, such as once a day, some dogs become very hungry and will scavenge around for any kind of food.

Possible Solutions:

Feed your dog twice a day as appose to only once.  Try to get your dog interested in a nutritious and well balanced meal.

If you catch your dog in the act red handed, try to provide him with a distraction. Call him over to you right away with a reward in hand to praise him with. This should be sufficient enough to break this habit, but you must stay consistent when doing this.

You must enforce your strategy every time and stick with it. The longer you let your dog do this, the harder it will be to break the habit.

Easy Dog Training & Tips:

Dog training has long evolved from its roots as simply a way to get your k9 to perform acceptable behaviors. It has become a full fledged science. This particular topic has been well studied and researched to create several known aspects about the art of dog training. Here is a list of several dog training facts that are interesting to know about dogs and their behaviors.

According to their size, larger dogs age faster than smaller dogs (large dogs at 7 years per human year, small dogs at 5 years per human year). However, all dogs age roughly 12 years per year over the first year of life. By 2 years old, all dogs are roughly the equivalent of 24. But at 12 years old, large dogs are 94, while small dogs are only about 74.

Dog tricks are more effective when you use a single syllable command (Sit, Stay, etc.) rather than a two syllable command. On the flip side, however, your dog is more likely to know its name if its name consist of two syllables. “Marley” is easier for the dog to understand than “Spike” if you want your dog to know you are referencing to him with each use of the name. When your dog knows its name, training is much easier. Training is more effective when you use your dog’s name before the command, instead of saying “Sit!,” say “Marley, Sit!”

Dogs are more prone to learning behaviors when they have received a sufficient amount of exercise. If you want your dog to learn a new trick, make sure you are taking your dog on frequent walks. Dogs learn in context. As a result, if you only train your dog inside, your dog may not understand the commands if you try to do them outside, because the context of the command has changed. It is best to train your dog in multiple locations to help make the training more context neutral.

If you own more than one dog, you should know that it is healthier for your dogs if you do not treat them all as equals. Every dog pack has a hierarchy, and dogs that know their place suffer from less anxiety (reducing illness) and exhibit more desirable behaviors. Watch your dogs closely, figure out where each of them appears to fit in the pack, and treat them as such. This greatly improves your success with obedience training.

Dog Pregnancy Care Tips:

A pregnant dogs body is going through many changes as the puppies are growing inside her therefore her needs are going to increase. They need special care to ensure they are in tip top shape before the big day. A dog’s pregnancy generally last from 60 to 63 days.

The symptoms and signs of a pregnant dog:

Three weeks after mating, the female dog may have an upset stomach and not want to eat for about a week to 10 days. One way to tell if your dog is pregnant is to check her vulva. The swelling would not have gone down after her heat and looks enlarged. Thirty days after being bred a blood test can be done by a veterinarian to confirm pregnancy. At 21 days an ultrasound can be done to confirm pregnancy and at 45 days radiographs can be taken for an accurate count of puppies inside.

During the first 30 days of pregnancy she can eat her normal diet, only as long as it is a high quality dog food. This food has plenty of nutrients. During the last month of pregnancy start switching her over to a high quality puppy food, make the diet change over a week’s time. Also, be aware that there are some vitamin supplements that can cause birth defects so check with your veterinarian before choosing the wrong one. Do not give her any vitamin supplements.

Try to take her on several daily walks for a good source of exercise. It is important that she does not become overweight during this time and the walks will keep her in shape for delivery. Letting the dog run in the backyard is not equal to a walk, a walk is mental and physical exercise. During the last 3 weeks of gestation do not take her out and do not expose her to other dogs as added protection against disease.

Never give a pregnant dog any kind of vaccination. Some vaccines can cause still births. Vaccinations should be given prior to breeding so that the protection can be passed to the puppies by the mother’s milk.

One week prior to birth, start taking the mothers body temperature. A normal bodily temperature for a dog is about 100.5 – 102.5. About 24 hours before giving birth, her temperature will drop a few degrees. This will give you time for necessary preparations.