Category Archives: Pet Training

Hello Cat Meet Dog ; Dog Meet Cat…PEACEFULLY

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Prince Nino

I have had my new Shih Tzu puppy , Prince Nino for almost three weeks now. I will tell you, it has not been easy introducing Nino to his new siblings of dogs and cats. The older pets simply don’t like him. And I’ve been working on different strategies to help them get along. I get that Nino is a puppy. Puppies can be annoying. My older pets have no issue with letting him. And when Nino cries, I get very upset and feel bad. I know what it’s like to be rejected too.

Well I have developed some strategies and want to pass along the tips to anyone going through the same thing.

It’s exciting to add a cuddly new pet to your life, except maybe when you have to introduce it to another pet that has already staked claim to your home. That’s especially true if one’s a dog and the other’s a cat. But whether you’re introducing a new dog to your cats — or a new cat to your dogs — it doesn’t have to be hard. Here is some expert advice to help keep peace during the transition.

Watch the Dog

If there’s going to be a problem during cat and dog introductions, it’s usually caused by the dog. SURPRISE!

Most dogs will chase a rapidly moving object. So if a cat gets frightened and runs, a dog often feels honor-bound to chase it.. It’s important to nip that in the bud. If you don’t, the result can be injury, and even death, for the cat.

Basic Rules

Make sure your cat can run and hide if it wants to. Whether your cat is the newbie or the senior pet in the house, the cat needs to be able to move freely when the introduction is made. There should be perches or cubbies for hiding, someplace where the cat can get off the floor and settle in. You basically want an elevated resting place [for the cat].

Make sure your puppy or dog is well restrained. Your dog shouldn’t be able to chase, even if the cat darts away. This is a bigger issue with herding breed dogs, who have a prey instinct. But it’s really a hardwired response in all dogs to chase small fluffy things that run away quickly.

Consider baby gates. Gates can help you gradually introduce dogs and cats, and the barrier minimizes danger to the cat. A baby gate is often better than a cat carrier because it gives the cat much-needed freedom.

Age Can Make a Difference
When introducing a new pet to the household, youth can be a virtue. That’s because puppies are much less dangerous to adult cats, and kittens can be quite fearless with adult dogs.
The same safety rules still apply, though. When adding a kitten or puppy, you may want to enforce separation longer or extend your period of supervision. That’s because kittens tend to scurry (an enticing behavior for dogs) and puppies are just goofy and will want to pester the cat.

4 Don’ts

Here are four common mistakes you don’t want to make when introducing cats and dogs:
Forcing physical proximity: Picking up your cat and holding it in your dog’s face by way of introduction will tempt your cat to scratch the dog and encourage the dog to not like the cat. Always let kitty decide when or if it will approach the dog.
Not knowing the background of the dog you adopt. Adopting a dog from a shelter is often a wonderful idea, especially if you don’t have other pets. But people rarely know a shelter dog’s past. If a 2-year-old dog is looking for a home, there’s usually a good reason. In some cases, the dog may be aggressive, destructive, or have other problems. If you want to bring a canine into a feline household, I do recommend getting a puppy.
Not preparing your pet for change: Make changes like moving your cat’s litter box, putting up a baby gate, or closing certain doors before you bring your new pet home. That way, your long-time pet has a chance to get used to the changes before the new pet shows up.
Not thinking about your pet’s reaction. Try to think about the changes you’re making in your home from your pet’s perspective. For example, be aware that if you move the litter box and the cat has to walk past the dog’s kennel to get to it and the dog is barking that’s going to be stressful for the cat.
When to Get Help

If you’re lucky, it can take just a few minutes for a new pet to settle in, although it’s more likely to take days or even weeks.

But if you’ve come home to find your kitty cowering in fear, if one pet is always hiding, if your dog is displaying resource guarding behavior (such as snarling around its food) or being aggressive toward your cat, get help.

Don’t wait until a pet gets hurt. Talk with a veterinary behaviorist (a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior). These professionals can help you troubleshoot so that your old and new pets get along.

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Training Your New Puppy

I am so excited, overwhelmed, overworked yet very happy!  This is the new edition to our family, an all black Shih Tzu named Prince Nino.  My Nino is smart, affectionate , very energetic and a quick learner and he is only 8 weeks old.   It hasn’t been hard to train him because of several reasons. He listens well and is growing up with three other Shih Tzus in the house . He knows when to eat, and how to ask to go outside to potty.  He even knows to pee on the pee pad. We have had only one accident and that happened on the first day.

Yes, we are lucky but you can be lucky , knowledgable and an expert too with training your new pup. I just want to give some of my tips as well as a professional dog trainers advice.  There are some things that professional trainers believe you should do that I don’t do such as crate training. I am including it because every dog breed is different. So where I don’t believe in it for my shih tzus, it doesn’t mean it is not appropriate for let’s say a German Shepard.

 

EASY PUPPY POTTY TRAINING

It’s normal for a young puppy to be a little ‘input-output’ machine. Since they are growing and developing rapidly at this stage, they eat more food, burn up more energy and seem to need to eliminate constantly! Puppies have not yet developed bowel and bladder control, so they can’t ‘hold it’ as long as adult dogs.

Puppies need time to developed a “den” instinct to cause them to want to ‘hold it’ and not soil the den, i.e., your entire house. In their litter, puppies just go whenever and wherever they happen to be! Successful house training depends upon your diligent supervision so you can be there to show your pup where to eliminate.

Just so you know, a puppy is never completely housetrained until they are 6 months old. For some breeds, even later. This means that though you may be making tremendous progress housetraining, there will be “mistakes”. Sometimes for reasons you can’t figure out! Don’t fret about it. Stay focused on the progress you are making. Your confidence in the techniques you are using to house train your puppy will ensure your success.

Your Five Rules for House Training

• Give your puppy frequent access to his toilet area – prevent soiling in the house.
• Reward the pup for peeing or pooping in the right place – use a special treat.
• Never punish the pup for housetraining “mistakes” – scolding has dire consequences.
• Put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule – in/out clockwork.

• Know when your puppy last eliminated – keep a diary.

How often do puppies have to potty?

Most puppies have to eliminate about every 30-45 minutes except, of course, when sleeping. Their elimination schedule will depend upon when they last ate or drank water; rambunctious physical activity; and the big unknown – personal preference! That’s right – every pup has their own inherent elimination schedule. The good news is, puppies sleep alot!

The section below on “HouseTraining Taxi Service” will tell you WHEN to give your pup immediate access to her toilet area. For now – keep reading.

If your puppy is not sleeping in her crate or pen, and is out in the house, you must follow her around to know what she is doing: chewing a bone, running circles, getting a drink of water, etc. In fact, don’t take your eye off of her! If you cannot watch her continuously, you must put her back into her pen or crate to prevent potty training “mistakes”.

Regular feedings will house train a puppy faster

It’s very important to put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule; What goes in on a regular schedule will come out on a regular schedule. Every pup is different; some poop immediately after eating; with others it may be 30 minutes to an hour after eating. Unless advised by your vet for some medical reason, do not free-feed. That is, do not leave food out all the time. For two reasons: First, your pup’s elimination schedule will be random at best. And second, she will not necessarily associate you as the provider of her food (see our article on being a pack leader and winning a puppy’s respect and trust).

Always leave water out for your puppy. Check the water bowl frequently to note how much she is drinking and to make sure the water bowl is full.

The best way to potty train a puppy

Confinement to a small area such as a bathroom or an enclosed exercise pen in combination with confinement to a crate works best.

This method is the most effective and flexible. Your pup needs to develop his natural “den instinct” and learn where to eliminate – and where not to. To potty train our puppy we must condition a desire in the pup to avoid soiling the “den” – your house. Confinement and your due diligence in providing access outside the “den” to potty and poop will develop this instinct and eventual desire. When and how to use confinement is described in detail below.

Choose a designated toilet area for House Training

So, where do you want to train your puppy to always potty and poop? The puppy toilet area needs to be accessible very quickly. 

• If you live in a high rise apartment, or a street level apartment or home with DIFFICULT outdoor access, use a bathroom or pen in the home for housetraining. 

• If, however, you live in a street level apartment or home with EASY outdoor access, use a specific, very close outdoor location and use “Housetraining Taxi Service.” You will still use an indoor pen for housetraining purposes, but outdoors will be your puppy’s primary toilet area.

Get the items you need for housetraining and set up the household:

• A few bottles of Nature’s Miracle or similar product to remove urine and fecal stains and odor. Place these in a central or multiple locations in your house with paper towels.
• A crate that will fit next to your bed but only large enough to accomodate your puppy when full grown. I prefer the wire type for a full view of the puppy. Get one that also collapses for easy transporting.
• An exercise pen that your puppy cannot jump out of. Put the exercise pen in a central location where you spend most of your time at home. You may want to put a tarp down first then set the pen on top of it.
• Special housetraining treats (rewards) – something small and special, reserved and used only for a housetraining reward. These treats should be kept close to the designated toilet area.

• An uplifting, cheery, excited tone of voice to carry with you at all times ( do they have that at the pet store? ).

“HouseTraining Taxi Service”

What ? To house train my puppy I have to call a cab? Well, not exactly, here’s the scoop. Puppies will decide to potty or poop instantly, giving you no warning. So many times when housetraining, a puppy is led to the door and on the way they just stop and do their business. This usually happens because the puppy has not developed enough bladder or bowel control yet to “hold it” until they get to the toilet area or they simply don’t know where the toilet area is yet. Not only has the pup made “a mistake,” but you have lost a chance to reward for going in the right place.

The key to house training is preventing “mistakes” and rewarding the puppy for going in your chosen spot.

“HouseTraining Taxi Service” is simply picking the puppy up into your arms, taking them to the designated toilet area, setting them down and praising them for going where you want. If you are going outside, put a collar and leash on the pup immediately after picking them up, unless the toilet area is safely enclosed and escape proof.

When should you provide “HouseTraining Taxi Service”
• Immediately upon your puppy waking up (morning, noon or night).
• Immediately after they finish eating, get a big drink of water, and after excited play
• When you think they might have to go – about every 45 minutes.
Better too often than too late! 
• When your puppy whines in the crate in the middle of the night or whines in their pen during the day. Take them out to potty, reward for going and put them right back. If they continue to whine, see our article on whining and crying.
• When your puppy is standing at the door to the outside. Why not just let them out, you say? Well, he may not make it all the way to the toilet area, potty or poop in the “wrong” place and you have missed a housetraining opportunity!

For how long should you provide “HouseTraining Taxi Service” ? 
Taxi your pup for about one month (until the pup is about 3 months old as this should give the pup enough time to develop some bladder and bowel control). By doing so, you will prevent many mistakes. At the same time you will train a stong preference in your pup to eliminate in your chosen spot. The pup will also learn that being picked up gets – kisses ! 

If you have a large breed puppy and can’t pick them up, slip on a leash quickly and “rush” them to the potty area, do not stop until you are there !

House Training Warnings – “I’m gonna go!”

Guess what, you get no warning before a young puppy is about to potty! They just squat and do it… in an instant. So, if they potty in the wrong place, you didn’t take them to their potty area soon enough – plain and simple.

However, with a poop you might get some warning – sometimes sniffing; usually circling by the puppy. By paying close attention to your puppy when they are out and about in the house, you may get a heads-up.

What to do if you catch your puppy in the act of a potty training “mistake”…

If pup is peeing in the wrong place… you may be able to stop him. Move quickly towards him when he begins to pee and pick him up. Urgency is key here – you want to startle the pup just a little as you move towards them to pick them up, but you DO NOT want to scare the pup. You are redirecting your puppy to the right spot – not disciplining him. Immediately after picking him up, take him to the potty area and patiently wait. Most pups will finish there. Reward your pup with exuberance!

If the pup is pooping… let them finish. Puppies are not able to shut off a poop like they can shut off a pee. More likely than not, you’ll just create a huge mess by trying to interupt a poop.

As always, never make a big deal about cleaning up after your puppy when an accident occurs.

Housetraining at your bedtime and when you wake up

Just before you go to bed and turn out the lights, go get your puppy, no matter where she may be, asleep or not, and taxi her to the potty area. Reward and praise as always for eliminating. Put her in the crate next to your bed and retire for the night. 

First thing in the morning, take her out of the crate and taxi her to the potty area. Return her to the crate or pen unless you are able to supervise her without distraction. Feeding is usually next up. Feed your pup breakfast around the same time each morning and in the same location.

House Training When you are NOT Home

Confine your puppy to his, ‘puppy-proofed’ bathroom or an exercise pen and paper (or wee-wee pad) the entire floor. Put his bed, toys and food/water bowls there. At first there will be no rhyme or reason to where your pup eliminates. He will go every where and any where. He will also probably play with the papers, chew on them, and drag them around his little den. Most puppies do this and you just have to live with it. Don’t get upset; just accept it as life with a young puppy. The important thing is that when you get home, clean up the mess and lay down fresh papers.

While your puppy is confined to the bathroom or his pen, he is developing a habit of eliminating on paper because no matter where he goes, it will be on paper. As time goes on, he will start to show a preferred place to do his business. When this place is well established and the rest of the papers remain clean all day, then gradually reduce the area that is papered. Start removing the paper that is furthest away from his chosen location. Eventually you will only need to leave a few sheets down in that place only. If he ever misses the paper, then you’ve reduced the area too soon. Go back to papering a larger area.

Once your puppy is reliably going only on the papers you’ve left, then you can slowly and gradually move his papers to a location of your choice. Move the papers a little bit each day. If puppy misses the paper, then you’re moving too fast. Go back a few steps and start over. Don’t be discouraged if your puppy seems to be making remarkable progress and then suddenly you have to return to papering the entire area. This is normal. There will always be minor set-backs. If you stick with this procedure, your puppy will be paper trained.

House Training When You ARE Home

When you are home but can’t attend to your puppy, follow the same procedures described above. However, the more time you spend with your puppy, the quicker he will be house trained. Your objective is to take your puppy to his toilet area every time he needs to eliminate. This should be about once every 30-45 minutes; just upon waking; just after eating or drinking; and just after a play session. Provide house training taxi service to avoid unnecessary “mistakes”.

When your pup does eliminate in his toilet area, praise and reward him profusely and enthusiastically! Don’t use any type of reprimand or punishment for mistakes or accidents. Your puppy is too young to understand and it can set the house training process back drastically.

Don’t allow your puppy freedom outside of his room or pen unless you know absolutely for sure that his bladder and bowels are completely empty. When you do let him out, don’t let him out of your sight. It is a good idea to have him on leash when he is exploring your home. He can’t get into trouble if you are attached to the other end of the leash. Never, ever tie the puppy’s leash to something and leave the puppy unattended.

As your puppy becomes more reliable about using his toilet area and his bowel and bladder control develops, he can begin to spend more time outside his room or pen with you in the rest of your home. Begin by giving him access to one room at a time. Let him eat, sleep and play in this room but only when he can be supervised. When you cannot supervise him, put him back in his room or pen.

Active House Training

The most important thing you can do to make house training happen as quickly as possible is to reward and praise your puppy every time he goes in the right place. The more times he is rewarded, the quicker he will learn. Therefore it’s important that you spend as much time as possible with your puppy and give him regular and frequent access to his toilet area.

The Key To Successful House Training

Consistency and Patience. Never scold or punish your puppy for mistakes and accidents. The older your pup gets, the more he will be able to control his bladder and bowels. Eventually your pup will have enough control that he will be able to “hold it” for longer and longer periods of time. Let your puppy do this on his own time. When training is rushed, problems usually develop. Don’t forget, most puppies are not completely house trained until they are 6 months old.

Last But Not Least

Recommend this blog for Pet Tips and Happy Walk Happy Dog For Pet Sitting & Other Pet Care Services

2015 Pet Holidays!

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Are you looking for pet holidays that recognize the special role that dogs, cats, and other pets play in our lives? You’ve come to the right place. This extensive calendar, updated throughout the year, features fun pet holidays as well as serious pet awareness days, weeks and months that focus attention on challenges in the pet world.

January

National Train Your Dog Month

Walk Your Pet Month.

Adopt a Rescued Bird Month.

Jan. 2, 2015: National Pet Travel Safety Day.

Jan. 14, 2015: National Dress Up Your Pet Day.

Jan. 22, 2015: National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day.

Jan. 24, 2015: Change a Pet’s Life Day.

Jan. 29, 2015: Seeing Eye Guide Dog Birthday.

February

Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. (Humane Society of the United States)

Pet Dental Health Month.

Responsible Pet Owners Month.

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month.

National Prevent a Litter Month.

Unchain a Dog Month.

Feb. 7-14, 2015: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week.

Feb. 16-17, 2015: Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show. Held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, this event is televised.

Feb. 14, 2015: Pet Theft Awareness Day.

Feb. 15-21, 2015: National Justice for Animals Week.

Feb. 20, 2015: Love Your Pet Day.

Feb. 22, 2015: Walking the Dog Day.

Feb. 23, 2015: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.

Feb. 24, 2015: World Spay Day. Annual campaign by the Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States; held the last Tuesday of February.

March

Poison Prevention Awareness Month.

Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month.

March 7, 2015: Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins. Called “The Last Great Race on Earth,” this grueling race travels along a path that alternates between two paths, changing in even and odd years. The race crosses two mountain ranges in conditions that range from 30 degrees above to 30 degrees below zero.

March 3, 2015: If Pets Had Thumbs Day.

March 1-7, 2015: Professional Pet Sitters Week.

March 5-8, 2015: Crufts. Held in Birmingham, England, this is the world’s largest dog show, featuring nearly 28,000 canines in its four days.

March 15-21, 2015: National Poison Prevention Week.

March 23: National Puppy Day.

April

National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This event is an effort by the American Red Cross to draw attention to the need to know specialized pet first aid.

Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. (ASCPA)

National Pet Month. (UK)

April 12-18, 2015: Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week.

April 11, 2015: National Pet Day.

April 18, 2015: Pet Owners Independence Day.

April 22, 2015: Earth Day.

Third week in April. Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week. An effort by the Humane Society of the United States.

Third week in April. National Pet ID Week.

April 26, 2015: National Kids and Pets Day.

April 25, 2015: World Veterinary Day. This event from the World Veterinary Association is always celebrated on the last Saturday in April.

April 25, 2015: Hairball Awareness Day.

May

National Pet Month (US)

Responsible Animal Guardian Month.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Pet Cancer Awareness and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research. (Also see November events.)

Chip Your Pet Month.

National Service Dog Eye Examination Month. The American College of Veterinary Optholmologists hosts this annual event when over 200 veterinary optholmologists donate their services to provide eye exams to service dogs in the US and Canada.

May 1: National Purebred Dog Day

May 4-10, 2015: American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week. This week-long event has been celebrated since 1915. Always the first full week of May.

May 3-9, 2015: National Pet Week. Always held the first full week of May by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

May 4-10, 2015:American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week . An initiative of the HSUS, this week is always scheduled to begin the Monday before Mother’s Day.

May 18-24, 2015: Dog Bite Prevention Week. This event by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) along with the United States Post Office (USPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) focuses attention on preventing dog bites.

June

Adopt-a-Cat Month®. From the American Humane Association.

Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. From the ASPCA.

National Pet Preparedness Month. This month, timed for the first month of hurricane season, urges people with pets to make preparations in case they should be hit by a disaster…and that includes making plans for what you would do with your dog in case of a hurricane, tornado, flood or other natural disaster.

June 4, 2015: Hug Your Cat Day.

First week in June. Pet Appreciation Week.

June 9, 2015: World Pet Memorial Day.

June 10-14, 2015: World Dog Show, Milan, Italy. This large show is hosted by a different county every year.

Mid-June: Animal Rights Awareness Week.

June 26, 2015: Take Your Dog to Work Day.

July

Dog House Repair Month.

July 4: Independence Day. This US holiday is no holiday for dogs; the sounds of fireworks causes many dogs to panic and run, resulting in many lost dogs every year.

July 15: National Pet Fire Safety Day. Sponsored by the The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), ADT Security Services and the American Kennel Club® (AKC).

July 21: National Craft for your Local Shelters Day.

July 31: National Mutt Day. Also see Dec. 2.

August

Aug. 1: DOGust Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs. The North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, declared August 1 as a birthday for all the shelter animals whose birthdays are unknown. Happy DOGust!!

Aug. 5: Work Like a Dog Day.

Aug. 2-8, 2015: International Assistance Dog Week.

Aug. 15: National Check the Chip Day. AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) joined together to create “Check the Chip Day.”

Aug. 15, 2015: International Homeless Animals’ Day®. From the International Society for Animal Rights.

Aug. 17: National Black Cat Appreciation Day.

Aug. 26: National Dog Day.

Aug. 30. National Holistic Pet Day.

September

National Disaster Preparedness Month. Led by FEMA’s Ready Campaign, Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council, this effort encourages individuals, families, businesses and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies. Visit Ready.gov and CitizenCorps.gov.

Second Sunday in September. National Pet Memorial Day. Established by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries (IAPC).

Last full week in September: National Dog Week.

Last full week in September. Deaf Pet Awareness Week. By Petfinder.com.

Sept. 13, 2015: Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day. A day dedicated to the issue of pet birth defects including information on identification, prevention and treatment. Sponsored by the MBJungle Foundation.

Sept. 23: Dogs in Politics Day (also known as Checkers Day). Recognizing the dogs of politicians.

Sept. 28: World Rabies Day. Sponsored by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control.

October

Adopt-A-Dog Month®. By American Humane Association.

Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month. By ASPCA.

National Animal Safety and Protection Month.

National Pet Wellness Month.

1st Week of October. National Walk Your Dog Week.

October 4: World Animal Day.

1st Full Week of October. Animal Welfare Week (AVMA)

Oct. 11-17, 2015: National Veterinary Technician Week. Sponsored by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America.

Oct. 16: National Feral Cat Day.

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Oct. 16: National Feral Cat Day.

Last Saturday in Oct.: National Pit Bull Awareness Day.

Oct. 28: Plush Animal Lovers Day. A day that most dogs will be happy to celebrate…as they unstuff them…

Oct. 29: National Cat Day.

Oct. 30: National Black Cat Day in the UK.

November

*MORE November holidays; observances

Adopt a Senior Dog Month. By ASPCA.

National Pet Awareness Month.

National Senior Pet Month.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) and the Animal Cancer Foundation. (Also see May events).

Pet Diabetes Month.

National Dog Show. Always broadcast in the US on Thanksgiving, this event is held at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania and is hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. Sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, the event features 2,000 dogs.

First full week of Nov: National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week. by The Humane Society of the United States.

Nov. 17: National Take a Hike Day.

Nov. 17: National Black Cat Day.

December

Dec. 2: National Mutt Day. Also see July 31.

Pets At The Office : A Positive Or A Negative ?

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Hanging out with man’s best friend is a huge part of our daily routine, and for many families a dog or cat is like another child. But as much as we pamper our furry friends, we can’t take them everywhere with us. And when it comes to those 8 hours (or more) we spend on the clock, it seems like our family pets are just never welcome to spend time with us while we are at work.

But not all professions believe in working without their trusted animal friends. For centuries, cats have been prowling breweries and farms to kill rats and mice. K9 units couldn’t function without their canines, of course, and many hospitals and nursing homes have on-staff dogs or cats to comfort patients. Even some bookstores have cats prowling the stacks.

And increasingly, “regular” offices are encouraging pets to become a part of the work day. But are animals in the office a source of distraction, or a legitimate tool for increasing productivity?

The Challenge

If anyone in your office suffers from allergies, bringing a pet to the office would be inconsiderate, even if you are at the top of the food chain. But respiratory conditions aside, there are plenty of other problems with having an animal in the workplace that could severely impact your productivity.

For one thing, an ill-behaved pet can cause havoc in all kinds of ways, from “accidents” to jumping up on your desk and knocking over your computer or stacks of papers. An animal that is too energetic should not be constrained to an office environment, for the sanity of you, your co-workers, and the pet itself.

Sick pets should stay at home; no one wants to walk into your cube and see a pet dragging its back end across the floor. And it should be obvious that animals with aggression problems should not be in an office….unless you want to get sued.

Therapy animals or service animals, on the other hand, should always be welcome in an office setting.

By the Numbers

According to one study conducted by Christopher Honts and his colleagues at Central Michigan University, dogs in the office can help to boost productivity.

And according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers, 17 percent of Americans work at pet-friendly companies and 23 percent believe pets should be allowed in the workplace. The survey also found that 70 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace reduces stress, and 46 million believe having pets in the workplace creates a more productive work environment.

Since 1996, people have been celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day every June, with over 10,000 companies participating in the United States. The next Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 24th, so start buttering up your boss now to get them to take part.

Success Stories

In Portland, Oregon, the local opera company has a resident cat named Nerissa. The Opera’s general director Christopher Mattaliano also allows dogs at work.

“I feel a happy staff is a productive staff,” says Mattaliano.

“During stressful times here, I get people coming in from a different floor just to connect with [my pet]” adds Noelle Guest, the director’s executive assistant.

Elsewhere in the country, Linda Goldstein Dunay, president of a marketing and public relations firm, is also a fan of pets in the workplace.

“From the beginning, I wanted my company to feel like a community,” she says. “I find that having dogs around, and allowing people to have their pets with them, is a big morale-booster.”

Murray Low, director of The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School, adds that allowing employees to bring pets to work can be an inexpensive way to bolster productivity and reduce stress. “If the pet’s at work, it’s not as difficult for the employee to stay till 10 at night.”

What Are The 5 Most Common Questions I Get Asked As A Professional Pet Sitter?

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An industry with an industry that has really taken off is the Pet Sitting Industry. Let’s face it , we all love to spoil our fur babies . If we could, we would take our pets to work, shopping, out to eat with us and vacation. Unfortunately, for us crazed parents , these are not reasonable options. There are going to be times when we will have to depend on others to help out. When family , friends or neighbors are not around to help us in the long term , one of the best options available to you is a professional pet sitter. So let’s start off with the first question.

A) What Is A Professional Pet Sitter?

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Anyone can put an ad in the newspaper or Craigslist offering their services to care for your pet. Let’s suppose you have a three week trip coming up over seas. Your fur baby, Milo, has diabetes. You see an ad by a twelve year old kid offering to care for your pet. Do you really want to leave that responsibility in the hands of a seventh grader?

A Professional Pet Sitter has three qualities beyond loving pets that pet parents should consider. 1) Formal Work Experience with animals. 2) Completed Pet Related Courses and Continued Education and 3). A Code of Ethics which is set by the organization. Generally reputable Professional Pet Sitters can be through NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters) or PSI ( Pet Sitters International ). Both organizations provide pet sitter accreditation to those with these three main qualities.

B). What Qualifications Do You Have As A Pet Sitter?

Our fur babies may be four legged creatures but they are our family. Here’s a list of other qualifications and characteristics one should consider before trusting anyone with their pets.

1) Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?
2) What training has the pet sitter received?
3) Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
4) what backup plans does the Petsitter have in place?
5) Does the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog training , pet taxi or the selling of pet supplies and foods?
6) Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
7) Ask the Pet Sitter for references from clients that are willing to share information with you.

C) How much time does the pet sitter spend in your home to care for your pet(s)?

The average in-home visit to care for one pet is 30 minutes, but additional time may be required if you request special services such as dog walking, pet grooming, etc. or have a multiple pet household.

D). What are the payment terms?

Some pet sitters require payment in full for first time customers while others require a deposit upon reservation and balance paid at the end of the assignment. There is no industry standard for payment terms, so be sure you understand in advance the terms of the pet sitting business you utilize.

E) Does the pet sitter (or agency) have established fees for pet care they can quote over the phone and/or in company literature?

A professional pet sitter should have a published list of fees that cover the most common pet-care requests. Fees for special services may be worked out on a case-by-case basis.

If you are interested in more questions to ask or be concerned with, visit my page : 15 Questions To Ask Any Pet Sitter ?

Til Next Time……

Guess What’s Happening For The Smart Pet Owner?

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Hello HWHD Clients & Followers!

There is really exciting news for pet parents that are determined their furry babies have a happy and long life!

There is a new innovative conference for ALL pet parents to get all of their questions answered from the best of the best. More importantly , it’s free!!

I know many out there , that are like myself that constantly worry about their furry babies the minute one tiny thing happens. We can’t help it, they are our children. We want to make sure we are doing the best we can so they may have a fulfilling , happy healthy life.

For those that have come to me and have asked questions from grooming to training to dental health and serious health issues, look no further!

On January 17th, the best of the best in veterinary care are coming together to answer EVERY concern, you as a pet parent have. You can participate out the comforts of your own home and the best part, it’s FREE!!

So if you have concerns about training, ASK!
If you’re worried about immune illness such as heart issues, ASK!
Maybe you’re concerned about peculiar behaviors with a pet , ASK!
Ever wondered why your cat constantly love bumping you with their head? ASK!
What is the deal with so many Pet Food Recalls? Ask!
If you have any questions as a concerned parent then this is the Event For You!!

It’s a Pet Conference offered in the form of a webinar…To Register: Click Here Now

To learn about the Veterinarians that are participating , CLICK HERE.

Don’t let this Fabulous opportunity pass You !

Register NOW For Free

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Pet [ Oh, and For You Too :- ) ]

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Goals Aren’t Just for People

The start of a new year can signal a fresh start for pets needing a change in their routine. For example, with over 50 percent of pets in the U.S. classified as overweight, there’s no better time for owners to commit to a new diet and exercise regimen for their pets. Need more ideas? Here are ten resolutions to make this year your pet’s healthiest year yet!

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#10 Measure Your Pet’s Food – Every Time!

Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily intake and pour that into a bowl, usually resulting in overfeeding and weight gain. It’s important to use an 8-ounce measuring cup to ensure your pet isn’t taking in more calories than they need. The recommended feeding guidelines on the bag are good place to start to figure out how much food Fido (or Kitty) really needs. Older pets and those who have been neutered usually have lower energy needs than young, intact animals.

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#9 Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet

Growing pets have very specific nutrient requirements to ensure their bodies grow healthy and strong. For example, some senior pets may have lower energy requirements, but have other medical issues like degenerative joint disease that may be helped with the appropriate diet. Choosing a diet specifically tailored to your pet’s life stage is a great way to keep them in optimal health.

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#8 Try a New Activity with Your Pet

From doga to hiking, skijoring to kayaking, it’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into a new exercise routine. It’s a great way to bond, it’ll get you both out of the house, and both owner and pet will reap the rewards of a healthy physical activity. Meet-up groups are a great way to find like-minded pet owners to join you in your exercise, too!

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#7 Incorporate (More) Playtime into Your Routine

Cats love the thrill of chasing a laser toy; just don’t tell them it’s exercise! Toys that trigger a cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to get them off the couch and engaged in a little aerobic activity. Experiment to see what really gets your cat going — in addition to lasers, catnip toys, crinkly balls, and climbable cat trees are perennial feline favorites. Even a cardboard box can become a cat cave that satisfies a cat’s desire for a hiding place.

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#6 Make a Date with Your Vet

Yearly examinations by the veterinarian are a key component of good preventive care. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or obesity are common in aging pets and much easier to manage when detected in the early stages of the disease process. Veterinary visits are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting your bonding with your pet.

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#5 Groom Your Pet Daily

Brushing your pet serves many purposes. It removes excess fur from the coat, reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture. It helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Lastly, daily grooming is a bonding activity that demonstrates to your pet how much you love them by taking care of them in a very soothing manner.

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#4 Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits with Your Pet

Daily toothbrushing is the best way to keep tartar and plaque at bay — just be sure to use a toothpaste meant for dogs and cats. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be a helpful tool in keeping teeth clean. And even with all of these tricks, regular cleanings by a licensed veterinarian are the best way to keep those pearly whites in tip top shape long into your pet’s senior years.

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#3 Teach an Old Dog a New Trick

Studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. In other words, keeping your senior pet’s brain active can actually make it healthier! Teaching your pet new tricks and practicing those they already know are a great way to keep those neurons firing. Puzzle feeders, which force a pet to think through a task in order to be rewarded with a treat, are also an excellent way to keep a pet’s mind engaged.

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#2 Update Pet ID Info

Over the course of a year, a lot can change — people move, get new phone numbers, and forget to update their pet’s tags. Often they only remember once the pet is lost. If any of your contact information has changed in 2012, don’t wait — update their tags and microchip information today! It’s the best way to ensure a lost pet makes their way safely home.

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#1 Consider Fostering

You think you want a new pet, but you’re not 100 percent sure it’s right for you? Try fostering. Many animal shelters and rescues need loving homes to provide safe and temporary living arrangements for pets. It’s the perfect way to test the waters of pet ownership without the lifelong commitment, since you are simply hosting a pet while they wait for their forever home. Who knows? That home just might end up being yours.

Prevent Your Inside Cat From Becoming A Lost Outside Cat

image  Pepper Grayson aka “Peppie, My Love”

 

 

I like to think of myself as a Dr. Doolittle or a Pet Whisperer. I tend to form special relationships not only with my pets but with other animals. They listen to me, understand me and love me to the point I know they would never run away. They also worry about me when I’m not well. This year was pretty tough , health wise. I was in the hospital 6 timexs this year , with each visit lasting at least one week. When I disappear like that, my pets make it a mission to find me. Well obviously I needed extra help and my parents came to help out. It does matter what rules I give them that are applicable to my pets, somehow something always happen. Well this November, while in the hospital , my youngest cat did a number on them. They were afraid to tell me my cat was missing so waited until I got home into the garage to say, ” Oh by the way, your cat is missing.” Needless to say I was extremely upset. Don’t worry my cat is home and safe. He came back that next morning after I came home. I could tell, he was looking for me. Now I’m not crazy, but oblige me please. To increase the probability of your cat returning safely , if this ever happens to you, here are a few suggestions to get him home safely.

1. Create an enriched, stimulating environment for your indoor cat

By providing a catified home for your cat, you’ll prevent boredom, and they won’t even want to go outside. My Peppie and my female cat, Princess have two big pet condos, catnip, toys, feathers , food and companionship. Now who would leave a home like that?

2. Consider leash training

Some cat experts recommend leash training indoor cats so they can safely go outdoors. I agree with this recommendation. Peppie is leash-trained. Note however, leash training depends on your cat’s temperament, but for some cats, giving them a taste of the great outdoors, even if from the safety of a leash and harness, can satisfy his curiosity about what is going beyond the comforts of his home.

3. Train your cats to come when you call them

This is not all that hard to do. Call their name, and reward them with a treat each time they come to you. For many cats, simply hearing the sound of the treat bag coming out of the cabinet will do the trick, and that’s fine, too. You need a reliable signal that tells your cat she needs to come to you. This will not only help in the event that your cat does get out, it will also be useful in emergency situations.

4. Use caution when opening doors

Cat sitters , like myself, are well aware that many cats are door darters, and they act accordingly. My home has dogs and cats. So to keep my pets safe, one thing I do is let my dogs go outside from an area that intimidates my cat. That area for Peppie is doing everything through the garage. Peppie is afraid of the garage door as well as the sounds from a car. So when that door opens, he darts upstairs. I know that is not every cat therefore , you as the owner need to know the areas of the house your cat is and isn’t afraid to venture.

5. Treats Will Do A Kitty Cat Good!

If you have a cat who consistently darts for the door when it’s being opened, distract him. Throw some treats into the hallway behind you before you leave, or ahead of you when you enter. Use a laser pointer to distract cats who respond to it. Don’t use squirt bottles to deter your cat. Squirt bottles do not stop undesired behavior. All they do is ruin the bond between you and your cat.

6. Front Door Not Always the Best Door

Another option is to not use your front door at all. I have friends who never let visitors enter through the front door. The enter through the garage and the adjacent laundry room. This way, the garage door can be closed before the laundry room door to the house is even opened. I like this “double entry” system. Even though My cats are not door darters, this way of entering the home is safer when you have your hands full of bags, or when delivery people show up.

Make sure that all family members know that letting the cat out is never okay. ( I did that and it STILL didn’t work but it is still great advice!)

7. Locked Doors

Lock your cats into a room when you have service or repair persons at your home. Service persons may need to frequently enter and exit your home during the time they work inside your house. It’s safer to keep kitty away from the activity until the repairs are completed.

8. Make sure your cats are micrcochipped

In the event, that your cat gets lost, a microchip may be the only way he/she find their way back home. Collars are important, too, but they can come off. If your cat wears a collar, make sure that it has updated contact information. A great thing to do is provide all thecat’s collar tags with inscribed words : “I’m lost if outside.”

It’s very stressful to worry about the safety of your cat outside. I hope some these suggestions help. Anyone have anymore suggestions?? Please Respond in the Comments Section!

Until Next Time…….

10 Reasons Your Children Should Own Pets

 

 

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Decade after decade, the debate continues – is it good for children to grow up with pets? There are many positive reasons why children should own pets. Not only do pets teach children many life skills, they are also wonderful friends. Check out 10 reasons why your child should have a pet.

1. Responsibility

Children with pets develop a sense of responsibility and care for others early on in life. Pets need care and attention all the time. They depend on their humans to feed, entertain, and exercise them. Children who are active in raising their pets usually learn how to be empathetic and compassionate. Learning how to be responsible for another creature will allow the youngsters to better take care of themselves as well.

It is important for pet owners to help their children take care of the pets, gradually releasing responsibility to them over time. When they are young, children can help their parents fill the water or food bowls. As they get older, the assistance can gradually increase.

2. Self Confidence

Along with responsibility for a pet comes the building of self-confidence. When children are successful at raising their pets, they feel good about themselves. In turn, their self-esteem increases and they carry a confident air about them. They are, in a sense, proud of their accomplishments.

3. Less Prone to Allergy & Asthma

Multiple studies over the years have shown that children who grow up with pets are less prone to develop allergies and asthma. When exposed to pet dander and other allergens before the age of one, children tend to develop stronger immune systems. Results published inClinical and Experimental Allergy state that boys who grew up with indoor pets were half as likely to develop severe allergies later on in life

4. Exercise and Play

Pets, especially dogs, need exercise and play. The activities that children participate in with their pets are usually physical. This allows boys and girls to stay fit. In general, families spend more time outside when they have pets. The sunshine and fresh air are good for everyone. Learning about the need for exercise for pets to stay healthy helps children apply the same concepts to their own wellbeing.

5.Calm

Pets tend to bring about a sense of calm for children. Some youngsters are more relaxed around their pets than other humans. Like adults, children turn to their pets when they are feeling sad, angry, or otherwise upset. Magically, pets will bring peace to the situation and provide their humans with unconditional love.

6. Relieve Stress

Along the same lines of keeping children calm, dogs are also great to have around as stress relievers. Being around dogs can be extremely therapeutic for the entire family. Just cuddling with the family pooch can bring about a sense of safety and security for children, let alone the rest of the family. Often, people turn to their dogs for comfort. They make good sounding boards as they are good listeners and never talk back. They never try to give advice when it is not wanted. They are simply there as calming influences for people who are flustered and stressed out.

Although cats are not as compassionate, as pets, they can still help relieve undue stress. There is something to be said when cats cuddle up. Their soft coats and purring can help their owners feels a sense of calm. There are gentle sides to cats – they just don’t like to show it very often.

7. Improve Reading Skills

Many children are more comfortable reading aloud to pets than they are other humans. Perhaps it is because pets do not judge – pets do not correct the children and make them reread. The bottom line to improving reading skills is to practice it repeatedly. The more children read, the better they get at it. At younger ages, it is best for children to read aloud so that they can hear themselves.

When pets are used to help children read, they essentially support the improvement of fluency. The oral practice children experience when reading to their pets helps them become fluent readers, resulting in better comprehension of what they are reading.

8. Learn About Consequences

Caring for pets can teach children a great deal about consequences. When pets are not cared for properly, the results are real and easy for children to grasp. If fish are not fed, they die. If dogs don’t exercise, they get agitated. When cats are ignored, they will seek revenge and do something mean. If a gerbil or hamster’s cage does not get cleaned out, it will start to really smell bad.

9. Learn About Commitment

Growing up with a pet is a huge commitment on the part of the human. Pets are not things children can just put on shelves when they get tired of taking care of them. They need to be fed, cleaned, exercised, played with, and otherwise loved every single day. Having a pet is a total commitment and cannot ever be treated as a part-time job. This teaches children to commit and follow through with the task.

10. Discipline

When growing up with a pet, children learn a great deal about discipline. If they have a dog at home, they learn to train it and teach it how to listen. It’s been scientifically proven that having a dog helps children learn about discipline. Some would argue that cats discipline their owners naturally.

There are many sound reasons why children benefit from owning pets. There are many life skills they learn as a result of caring for another being and committing to the responsibility. As an added bonus, children would be able to share their youths with automatic best friends.

 

Fear Issues In Dogs

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There have been a lot of questions lately addressed to me about fear issues in pets. So I want to address the issue about fear/aggression issues in this blog. I am a member of the Pet Professional Guild and one of the issues we talk about are fear issues with animals. Here is a great write up by one of our members who is a professional dog trainer. Her name is Leah Roberts.

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Aggression always (or at least 99.9% of the time) is a fear issue. Just like when we feel threatened we have the choice between fight, flight, and freeze, so do dogs make a similar choice. They may hide behind something and shake, lunge and attack, or just freeze on the spot. In all cases, you want to address the underlying fear, not the behavior. Once you have healed the fear, the behavior will change on its own.

There are two methods of dealing with fear that work beautifully. Both are ways of associating good things with the trigger (object of fear) and replacing that with the perception that the trigger is threatening.

Open Bar/Closed Bar: As long as the trigger is in sight, chicken (or a very special yummy treat) is being shoveled into the dog’s mouth. I also like to “cheerlead” – praise in a happy tone of voice. When the trigger moves out of sight, the chicken and cheering stop.

Click the Trigger: Watch the dog’s eyes. As soon as the dog looks at the trigger, click (or use a verbal marker) and immediately hold the chicken to the side of the dog’s nose, so that his eye contact is immediately broken to take the treat. Repeat. Repeat.

In both cases, it is ultimately important to start at a distance/level of intensity where your dog notices the trigger, but is not bothered by it. If he’s already reacting, you are too close. In both cases, you are working toward getting a “yay, there’s the trigger” reaction. Not just tolerance, but happy excitement. Once you get that, you move a teensy bit closer and start again.

If even once during the therapy your dog is placed “over threshold” – where he feels threatened – you have lost your progress. So you may have to change your routine. If you normally walk your dog where there are other dogs who appear too close for comfort, walk elsewhere for a while until your dog is fine with that level of intensity. If you have your dog out in the house when visitors come and he’s upset, put him away before you have visitors in until he is happy to see them.

Best case scenario, locate a force-free trainer who uses these scientific principles of counter-conditioning. Never “correct” a reaction, because you will associate “bad things happen when that trigger is around” and lose your progress. Note that if you get a reaction, YOU made the mistake, not the dog. You’re too close.

First place to look for a force-free trainer: http://petprofessionalguild.com/

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