Monthly Archives: February 2015

Walking Your Dog : It’s Important, Do It Well

Most dog breeds were developed with a specific purpose in mind, for example, sporting, working, herding and so forth. Consequently, whether your pet is a purebred or mixed breed, chances are he carries genetic traits that drive him to pursue an activity.

Many modern day dogs don’t get opportunities to do what their breed instincts tell them to do. In addition, it’s a rare dog that exercises on his own, and your backyard doesn’t provide the variety of sensory stimulation most dogs need to ward off boredom.

Dogs need walks for both exercise and mental stimulation.

According to Clinician’s Brief:

Generally, people walk their dog for 4 reasons: elimination, mental stimulation, exercise, and training. Dogs like to go for walks to get outdoors, sniff and engage with their environment, exercise, and perhaps socialize with people and dogs outside the home. There is no reason that a walk cannot encompass and meet all the needs of both humans and dogs. Because time is often at a premium, it is useful to help owners understand and find creative ways to meet these needs.

Why and how to walk your dog may seem like a ‘no brainer’ topic to many of you, but the fact is there are lots of pet owners who:

  • Don’t walk their dogs at all, or don’t do it routinely
  • Don’t make the most of the activity
  • Dread walks because their pet actually walks them, or exhibits other bad leash manners


Before You Head Out the Door

The best way to develop a positive dog walking habit is when your pet is a puppy.As soon as her immune system is strong enough to protect her from communicable disease (discuss when it’s safe to take your pup outside with your vet) , she’s ready for walks with you or other family members.She should already have her own secure-fitting collar or harness and ID tag, and sheshould be used to wearing it before you attempt to take her for walks. Some puppies have no problem wearing a collar; others do. If your dog is fighting it, as long as you’re sure it isn’t too tight (youshould be able to easily slip your fingers under it) or uncomfortable for some other reason, distract her from fussing with her collar until she gets used to it. It shouldn’t take more thana couple days for your pup to forget she’s even wearing it.Don’t try to take your pup for a walk if she protests wearing a collar. Get her used to wearing her collar first.If you plan to use a head halter or harness for walks (which I recommend for any dog at risk of injury from pulling against a collar/leash combination), the next step is to get your puppy comfortable wearing it. As with the collar, this needs to happen before you attempt to attach a leash and head out the door.Once wearing her collar and a halter or harness (if you choose) is second nature to your dog, you’re ready for the next step. Attach about four feet of light line — cotton awning cord or light cotton rope will do – and let your puppy drag it around the house with her under your watchful eye, of course. She’ll get used to it being attached, as well as the tug of it when she steps on it.Once your pup is used to the four-foot line, swap it for a 10 to 15 foot line of the same material, and head outdoors.

Starting Off on the Right Foot

Initial walks should be short for most puppies – the main goal is to get your dog used to being attached to you by a lead.

Find a safe environment. Allow puppy to drag the line behind him for a bit, then pick up the opposite end. Let him lead you around for a few seconds while you hold the line just off the ground. Slow down so he’s forced to slow down, ultimately to a stop. Take a short break for praise and a little playtime.

Next, let him trail the line again, but when you pick up your end this time, call him and stand still. If he pulls, hold your ground without pulling him in your direction. The goal is to teach him to put slack in the line himself by moving toward you. When he puts slack in the line, praise him and call him to you.

If he comes all the way to you, more praise and a training treat are in order. If he stops on his way to you, tighten the line just enough to apply a tiny bit of pull to it. Immediately call him to come again. Give praise as he moves toward you and treats when he comes all the way back.

Two or three repetitions is all many puppies need to understand lack of tension in the line is what earns praise and treats.

When your pup has learned to come towards you to relieve tension on the line, you can begin backing up as he’s coming towards you to keep him moving. 

Next, turn and walk forward so he’s following you. If he passes you, head in another direction so he’s again behind you.

The goal is to teach him to follow on a loose lead. Once you’ve accomplished the goal, you can continue to use the light line or replace it with a leash.

Depending on your pet’s temperament, five to 15 minute sessions are sufficient in the beginning. Practice controlling your dog on the lead for 30 second intervals during each session. Exercise patience and don’t engage in a battle of wills with your pup. Don’t snap, yank or otherwise use the line for correction or punishment. Stop before either of you gets frazzled or tired. 

After each short session on the lead, liberally praise your dog and spend a few minutes playing ball or some other game he enjoys. Remember — you’re building the foundation for an activity both you and your dog will enjoy and look forward to throughout her life.

Problem Pullers

Some puppies stubbornly fight the pressure of the line rather than create slack.

If your puppy freezes on a tight line or routinely pulls against it, my first recommendation is to use a halter or harness rather than a collar attached to the lead. Your dog can create serious neck and cervical disk problems by pulling on a collar/leash combination.

Next, make sure it’s not you creating the problem. Our human instinct is to hold the leash taught, so you must also train yourself to keep slack in the line. Your dog’s natural response to a tight line is to pull against it. 

Next do the following when your puppy refuses to create slack or move toward you:

  • Maintain the tension on the line and turn your back on her. Allow time for it to occur to her she can’t win by pulling against you.
  • Remain still with your back to her holding the tension in the line – don’t jerk the line, don’t pull or yank her toward you, and don’t put slack in the line yourself, which will teach her the way to get slack is to pull at the line.

The message you want to send your pup is pulling on the lead doesn’t accomplish a thing. It doesn’t change the scenery and it doesn’t earn praise or treats. Eventually, your puppy will stop doing what doesn’t work – especially when she is consistently rewarded for desirable behavior.

The very first second you begin leash training, make sure your puppy accomplishes nothing by pulling on her line. It takes some dogs longer than others to learn to keep the leash loose, but with patience and persistence, any puppy can learn to follow on a loose lead.

Different Types of Dog Walks

Once your dog has been taught good leash manners, I recommend you vary the purpose of your walks with him.

If your habit is to walk him to his potty spot to relieve himself, that’s a purposeful walk – usually of short duration.
Then there are mentally stimulating walks during which your pup is allowed to stop, sniff, investigate, mark a spot and so forth. Most dogs on a leash don’t spend as much time sniffing and investigating as off-leash dogs. (This is probably because leashed dogs sense their owners aren’t really into the same things they are!)
Allowing your pet some time to sniff around and investigate is good for him mentally. Dogs gain knowledge of the world through their noses. You can train your dog with commands to know when he’s out for a mental stimulation walk, a training walk or an exercise session.

Regular exercise is a necessity for your dog, the natural athlete. Regardless of his size, breed, gender or even his age, he needs physical activity in order to be a balanced, healthy animal. Exercise will keep his frame strong, his weight in the healthy range, and it can also help prevent or alleviate arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases.
Exercise consistency is really important. Dogs need exercise every three days, minimum, in order to maintain muscle tone and prevent muscle wasting. In my opinion, consistent daily aerobic exercise should be the goal. It’s important to elevate your pet’s heart rate for 20 minutes during exercise sessions. If your dog is out of shape, you’ll need to start slow and build gradually to 20 minutes per session.

Ongoing training throughout your dog’s life is a great way to keep his faculties sharp and boredom at bay. It’s also a wonderful way to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Training walks can be about improving leash manners, learning basic or advanced obedience commands, ongoing socialization – just about anything you can think of that can be done on a leashed walk.

Your dog depends on you for her quality of life. Walking her every day or at least several times each week – taking advantage of different types of walks to stimulate her mentally and physically – will help your canine companion be balanced, healthy and happy for a lifetime.

 

 

Advertisements

Ten Most WTF Pet Pics…..

1. This dog who might also be Harry Styles.

IMG_0875

2. This dog who’s been chosen by the thug life.

IMG_0876

3. This pair of steamy seductresses.

IMG_0877

4. Ummmm…OK

IMG_0878

5. This pair of relaxing guinea pigs enjoying a refreshing summer cocktail.

IMG_0880

6. These real-life dogs at a poker table.

IMG_0882

7. This pony who found himself in this terrible bucket situation.

IMG_0884

8. This very angry turtle on a tricycle.

IMG_0885

9. Whatever this sock monster is.

IMG_0886

10. And this baked potato.

IMG_0887

Feeding Your Cat : Cat Foods 101

Scoop The Poop!

IMG_0823
Princess & Pepper

Usually, I talk about dog food and the issues of recalls. Today, I want to focus on Cats’ Health. Cats are carnivores. That’s the most important thing to keep in mind when considering what to feed yours.

Cats are different from us and from dogs. When it comes to nutrition, they are very inflexible, and owners must realize that. Compared to what their owners should be eating, cats need to eat a lot of meat for protein and for fat.
If we ate like cats, we’d have heart disease by age 20. They are not at all the same as humans and they are not little dogs. The reason this is brought up, it’s not uncommon for owners to treat their cats the same way they treat dogs, which can eat a variety of foods and remain healthy.

Dog food can be fatal to cats over time…

View original post 1,287 more words

Love Your Pet Day! Tell Us Why You Love Your Pet

Scoop The Poop!

Do you love your pet? Of course you do! Tell us why and Post us a picture or video in the comments section below.

IMG_0824

Let Your Pet Get Their 15 minutes of Fame!

Pets are great, aren’t they? They’re always there to give you cuddles when you need one, make you smile when you’re sad and they love you unconditionally.

So it’s about time a day was set aside so we can fully appreciate our furry (and non-furry) friends, right?

Well we’re in luck, because Friday, February 20 is Love Your Pet Day!

To celebrate, we want you to tell us why you love your pet and Post a picture or video of them.

IMG_0858

Whether it’s a dog, cat, rabbit, horse or a fish that’s stolen your heart, we want to know about it.

We would love to know the Unique things your pets have done to steal your heart❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

View original post

Socialization : The Importance For A Quality Life for Your Dog

Scoop The Poop!

IMG_0853

Did you know behavior problems are the number one cause of relinquishment of dogs to shelters?

Another very disturbing statistic: over half the dogs entering shelters in the U.S. will be euthanized.

It’s a well-known fact that puppy classes help prevent behavior problems and increase the likelihood a dog will become a great pet and lifelong companion.

Given the reason most dogs are turned in to shelters and the success of early socialization in preventing behavior problems, it seems obvious the risks associated with an unsocialized dog are much greater than the minimal risk of disease transmission during puppy classes.

It is for this reason the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) believes it is necessary to socialize puppies before they are fully vaccinated.

Dog owners are strongly encouraged to weigh the small risk of contracting disease against the enormous benefits derived from early, effective socialization. The wisest choice…

View original post 1,507 more words

Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Dry Dog Food Recall

image

 

Tuffy’s Pet Foods, a Minnesota-based pet food manufacturer, has announced a voluntary recall of limited lots of Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria.
A routine sampling by the Ohio Department of Agriculture discovered the presence of Salmonella in one 4 lb. bag of the dog food. The manufacturer is issuing the recall action out of an abundance of caution, to safeguard customers, and is coordinating this voluntary recall with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The recalled products are specific to the 4 lb. bags of Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food. They can be identified by the first 5 digits of the affected Lot Codes, which can be found on the upper back of the bag, the Best By Dates on the upper back of the bag, and the UPC Code on the lower back of the bag. No other Nutrisca foods, treats, supplements, or other products are affected by this recall.

To determine whether your dog’s food is affected by this recall, look for this information on the package:

Nutrisca 4lb Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

First five digits of Lot Codes: 4G29P, 4G31P, 4H01P, 4H04P, 4H05P, 4H06P

Best By Dates: Jul 28 16, Jul 30 16, Jul 31 16, Aug 03 16, Aug 04 16, Aug 05 16

UPC# 8 84244 12495 7

At the time of this article, no illnesses in animals or humans in relation to this product have been reported.

If you or your pet had contact with the recalled product, you are advised to watch for symptoms that may develop. Common symptoms associated with Salmonella poisoning include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. In some rare cases, Salmonella poisoning can result in more severe symptoms. Pets may also be infected without symptoms and may pass the infection to other pets or humans in the hosuehold. If you, your pet, or a family member is experiencing these symptoms, or if you suspect infection, you are urged to contact an appropriate medical professional.

Consumers who purchased the 4 lb. bags of the recalled dry dog food product should stop using it immediately and discard it in a secure trash container or return it to the place of purchase.

Those who wish to contact Nutrisca for information or to ask questions may do so at their toll free number, 1-888-559-8833.

Want To Know The Best Things About Men Who Love Cats? Chime In!

image

I remember when I was 12 years old and how my love for animals started growing more. I wanted a cat. My Dad didn’t want cats in the house. And my mother is really not fond of animals. So do you know what they told me to dissuade me from wanting a cat ? They said ,” Real Men don’t like cats! “And that I would run the risk of becoming the old lady with a bunch of cats that no man would want. What a cruel thing to say to an adolescent! I LOVE animals with no regret . I’m different from my parents. Well do you know what I told them? I said , ” Any man that judges a woman negatively because her heart is more than big enough to love other species, is no real man. And definitely not one I would want!” Yes, I’ve been called eccentric because I never back down from what I believe in. I adore men that love animals . I love men that love cats. Check out , what is great about these manly men and chime in yourself!!

IMG_0838

There is a trend that celebrates confident men who adore and appreciate their feline friends for what they are: wonderful, caring little companions. We’re taking our turn to share what we consider the best things about fellas who care for kitties.

They Respect Moods

Even the friendliest cats sometimes don’t feel very amiable. Cat guys understand how quickly the tables can turn during a belly rub bonding session and are cool with a sudden “don’t touch me” attitude. Those mature men know when to lay off and when to welcome their cats back into their lap for snuggles.

IMG_0839

They’re Responsible

Although some people believe that cats are easy to care for, cat men know that, while a cat may not need to be walked or let out several times a day, felines need attention, companionship and love. Plus, cat guys scoop the litterbox. Need we say more?

IMG_0840

They Appreciate Multi-Dimensional Personalities

Cats are sweet, standoffish, lazy, active, boring, funny and so much more all rolled into one. Men who love cats obviously appreciate the complexity of the feline personality. The accepting and flexible nature of such men likely spills over into their human relationships, as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They Have a Sense of Humor

You have to have a sense of humor if you own a cat. Men who love cats appreciate the funny things cats do, even if the cat doesn’t mean to be funny. Cat guys laugh at the middle-of-the-night races to nowhere. They giggle at the stalking and pouncing on invisible prey. They chuckle at the 4 a.m. wake-up calls. They get a kick out of the cat lounging on the morning newspaper (or keyboard or anything else taking dad’s attention away from kitty). Guys with a good sense of humor are always more fun to be around — especially if they have a cat on their lap!

image

 

They’re Good Guys

Bottom line: A cat guy is a guy who loves animals, and what’s not to love about that? P.S. : I have a family of my own now. We have two cats. And guess who is madly in love with both? That’s right my parents :))  it’s really hard not to.

Exercises To Help You Bond With Your Pooch!!

Scoop The Poop!

There is one challenge the we, as humans share with our fur babies. It’s obesity. Up to 50% of dogs in the U.S. weigh too much. Like people, overweight dogs are at risk for health problems, from arthritis to heart disease. This is one challenge you and your pet can face together. Want to stick to an exercise program starting today? Well,people who exercise with their dogs are more likely to stick to a fitness program. Not only can you look forward to a healthier lifestyle. You can have a healthier lifestyle with activities you and your fur baby can enjoy.

IMG_0819

Walking

Brisk walking is an ideal exercise for both man and his best friend . The benefits include a stronger heart, lower blood pressure, more energy, denser bones, and a lower risk of depression. In dogs, regular walks can also reduce common behavior problems. There’s no set rule for…

View original post 648 more words

Want to Keep Your Pets Safe & Show Them Love On V-Day? Follow These 7 Steps

Scoop The Poop!

image

Nothing’s better on Valentine’s Day than getting flowers, truffles and those little heart-shaped candies with the cute sayings printed on them. But for pets, all that romance can be dangerous.

While we are celebrating Valentine’s , lets recognize the traditions that can be dangerous for our pets . Show them love by following these 7 tips.

1. Lose the lilies. : One of the biggest concerns you should be aware of is the Lily Flower. All lily flowers are extremely toxic to cats and will cause fatal kidney failure . Even a tiny nibble of any part of the lily plant can be deadly to felines. If you have cats in your home, make sure that mixed arrangements of flowers do not contain any type of lilies and, if they do, pluck them out. Cats can get almost anywhere. And as the lilies wilt, the petals can fall off…

View original post 425 more words

Understanding Periodental Disease in Dogs

Scoop The Poop!

Continuing To Honor Pet Dental Month – Don’t Forget To Watch the Short Video Below By Vet Vid , on “How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth”

IMG_0801

Despite the fact that proper dog dental care is essential to good health in your pooch, statistics show that two-thirds of all pet owners do not take care of their pets’ teeth as recommended by their veterinarians. The unfortunate result of this lack of dental care is shown in the 80 percent of all dogs that have symptoms of oral disease by their third birthdays. Because dental problems can affect other areas of your dog’s body, including the lungs, kidneys and heart, it is essential that you care for your pet’s teeth right from the very start of his life. These AAHA guidelines will help you to do just that.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease can become a major problem for your dog if…

View original post 771 more words