Tag Archives: Health

What’s With The Manly Protection Once A Dog Defacates

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Anyone who owns dogs has seen this stance and many other stances from our beloved pet after he has relieved himself.  He’s gets quite protective of his remains as if he’s ready for war with anyone goes near.  As a professional pet sitter, it is my least favorite task to do. You know, scooping the poop.  But we all have to do what we have to, to keep the finances flowing .

The Question Remains : What is the purpose of these  dogs scratching, protecting and burying  with their paws after they eliminate?

This has actually been a popular  discussion topic  lately on Facebook and other groups I’m involved with. We’re determined to understand the psychosis meaning of this dog behavior.

Dogs of both sexes commonly scratch or scrape the ground with their hind paws immediately after defecating. Some dogs also perform this action after urinating. This is a normal behavior — it’s your dog’s way of leaving a scent and visual message to other hounds that might pass by later. Wolves, the ancestors of domestic dogs, perform this behavior for the same reason.

Purpose
Dogs have scent glands under their paws and in between their toes. When the dog scrapes at the ground near his fresh poop pile, the scent from these glands is transferred to the ground. Before dogs became domesticated, it was useful to mark their territory using the scent from their glands. Wild dogs, and their wolf ancestors, use this method of marking to protect territories that were too large to patrol each day.
Message

When wolves and dogs roamed wild, they needed to warn other animals away from their territory. This was the dogs’ way of protecting their food sources, for example, the rabbits living in their territory, and also their breeding females. You might think that the dog’s feces is sufficiently pungent to warn off competing animals, but much of the scent is lost once the feces dries out. The scent from the dog’s feet glands is more enduring. Additionally, the long and deep scrape marks left by the dog’s paws and claws let other dogs know that your dog is strong and powerful.
Health Concerns
If your dog usually scrapes the ground after defecating, it can be a warning sign if she stops this behavior. When dogs develop arthritis or other health problems affecting their mobility, they may stop scraping. As arthritis progresses, dogs may have trouble reaching a squatting position for defecation. This can lead to problems with the dog soiling herself.
Practical Considerations
A dog’s scraping after defecation can make cleaning up his poop more awkward. It’s best just to let your dog finish his scraping before you bend down to pick up his poop, otherwise you risk getting dirt or worse kicked up into your face. Most dogs will not tread in their own poop as they scrape, as they spread their paws wide enough to avoid the feces. Unlike cats, dogs do not scrape and scratch to cover up their poop. The intention is to leave the feces visible to other dogs, with an extra marking scent surrounding the poop. Don’t try to train your dog out of scraping as it’s a natural and instinctive behavior that takes only a little time and doesn’t cause significant damage to the landscape.

 

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Here Are A Few Brilliant Ways Cats Are Secretly Helping Their Owners Live Healthier Lives

This is an article  found The Huffington Post that I thought Cat Lovers might enjoy!! Happy Easter Everyone!!

 

 

 Here are a few brilliant ways cats are secretly helping their owners live healthier lives

Curator : Kit Sudol

Cats.

The Internet loves ’em. You probably have a family member that has at least 20 of them and maybe sends you cat photos every day. If you don’t have that family member, then you probably are that family member (just a heads up).

Anyway, most folks agree that cats are pretty amazing. But here’s the thing: There’s more to cats than videos of them hanging out in boxes or memes about having a cheeseburger. In fact, cats can do so much more than entertain the Internet.

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(“I’m just a kitten on the Internet tryna have a good time.”)

FACT: Cats can help you live longer.

It’s true! And before you go off to your local shelter to adopt a zillion of them in hopes of becoming some kind of immortal cat-themed super-villain, let’s put our protective safety goggles on and dig into some science facts. (And then we can talk about adopting cats and/or villainy!)

 

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(I mean, we were all thinking about Catwoman here, right?)

How does this work? Well, cat purrs actually promote healing.
We all know what cat purrs are, although veterinarians aren’t entirely sure what the deal is them — and no, that’s not a setup for a Jerry Seinfeld-style joke

 

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(I am so, so sorry.)

They really aren’t sure why cats purr. Some suggest cats do it when they’re content, which makes sense. But they also purr when they’re injured or scared, which probably means they aren’t content. Like, at all.
But … what’s the science?

FACT: It turns out that those cute cat purrs exist in a super-special vibration range that has the potential to be medically therapeutic.

Your average house cat’s purr has a frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. That’s interesting because that’s also the frequency at which muscles and bones are able to best repair themselves. So cats might be self-healing.
But that’s not all: Those super-special, super-adorable cat purr vibrations also exist at a frequency that’s good for humans too. The Fauna Communications Research Institute found that every single cat in their study had purr vibrations well within the “medically therapeutic” range (20-140 Hertz).

What does this mean?

Uh, well, that your purring cat can help with bone and muscle repair, pain relief, dyspnea (shortness of breath), and so. Much. More.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
FACT: Owning a cat may mean less stress in your life.

Well, unless your cat likes to jump out and scare you (like mine)

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(Pictured: My cat hiding in a paper bag. Because why not?)

But science says that in studies about pet owners versus non-pet owners, folks who owned cats had significantly fewer stress symptoms. Dog owners were #2 in low stress. And in last place? People without any pets.
And here’s the kicker: Owning a pet (cats and dogs) in general reduced stress-related blood pressure more than medication designed specifically to do that (aka ACE inhibitors).

Now, having way lower stress because of an adorable little fuzzball in your life is actually a really big deal health-wise because…

FACT: Cats can reduce the likelihood of having a heart attack! By 40%!

The University of Minnesota found that owning a cat might actually be good for your heart, and not just in an, “Oh my gosh, I am just so overwhelmed with love for this animal!” kind of heart stuff way.
In their study, they found that folks who did not own a cat were 40% more likely to have a heart attack and had a 30% higher chance of dying from heart disease than cat owners did. Which is just like … what?!
So, why is this? Well, researchers at the University of Minnesota said this:
“If we assume that cat ownership is directly responsible for the benefits, then the most logical explanation may be that cat ownership may relieve stress and anxiety and subsequently reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.”
See? Less stress, less anxiety = fewer heart and blood pressure issues. Also, probably more tripping over cat toys at two in the morning, but I couldn’t find anything about that in the study. Oops.

FACT: Correlation doesn’t always equal causation…

… as my former stats professor used to say.
Yes, studies have found that cats can reduce stress, the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, and even potentially give you some purr therapy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should quit your job and hang out in a cave with some cats to live forever.
In fact, these findings could say more about the lifestyles of the average cat owner than the mystical powers cats have over the human body.
But, still, these studies are pretty compelling, and hey, if that means I can go around telling people that cats are actually magic, then I’m totally down, y’all.

(That cat is performing magic behind me, obviously.)

So, yeah. Cats? Adorable little monsters who just want your love and they also can heal you (maybe). And now for the infographic to prove it, just in case all this wordsmithin’ isn’t enough and you need some fun visuals to really get the point across.

  

Aww, yes, that information looks even better in infographic form.

But you know what’s better than infographics? 

Adopting a cat from your local shelter!

According to the ASPCA, 7.6 million animals are put in shelters every year, and of those, 3.4 million are cats. It gets worse because an astonishing 1.4 million cats are euthanized. That means around 37% of cats in shelters are adopted … while 41% are put down.

So there are wonderful adoptable cats out there, just waiting for your love and time and attention. Actually, there are a ton of them, so if you can, you should totally adopt. And in return? They’ll possibly use their magical healing powers on you … and love you. A lot. And there’s nothing better than that.

If you can’t adopt right now, you can always foster a cat. Or volunteer some of your time at your local animal shelter. Who knows, if you stay there long enough, maybe you too will become immortal.

Hey, it’s worth a shot, right?

 

ABOUT:

Infographic found on Visual.ly, originally created by the talented Gemma BusquetsCatwoman GIF via Giphy. The Jerry Seinfeld meme created with Meme Generator. Thumbnail via Thinkstock. All photos of my cat Scout were lovingly taken by me. No Scouts were harmed in the writing of this article.

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10 Must Have Apps For Dog Owners

1. Tagg

Tagg is essentially a GPS attachment for your dog’s collar, and because of its many features, it can give you peace of mind. The app will track your dog’s activity and send you a message if he goes beyond the boundaries you set. Not only that, Tagg allows you to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise by measuring movement.

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2. Doggy Datez

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3. Pet Phone

The Pet Phone app lets you track your dog’s health with ease. You can keep track of vet appointments, medications, allergies and food preferences for each of your pets, and the app can be synced with your calendar to get reminders.

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4. I-Cam

If you want to see what your dog is up to in real-time, iCam is the app to get. You can watch your canine friend remotely, just to make sure everything’s all right. This is especially useful if you’re leaving your dog home for the first time, you recently moved or you’re traveling.

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5. Petoxins

It’s tough, if not impossible, to know everything that is harmful to your dog. The Petoxins app from the ASPCA helps you out by having a impressive list of poisonous plants, and most of them you probably didn’t know. For example, did you know that tulip bulbs are hazardous? Now you can keep similar vegetation out of your dog’s reach.

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6. MapMyDogwalk

With MapMyDogwalk, you and your dog can get fit at the same time. You can log your walks, track your calories and map your favorite routes using GPS. The app also has sharing and geotagging features for photos and data.

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7.Pet First Aid

Raising pets is fun, but it’s also a big responsibility, which means there can be some scares. If anything should happen to your dog, Pet First Aid helps you take the right steps to make sure he’ll be OK. Detailed videos and illustrations include restraint, muzzling, CPR, bandaging and more.

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8. Pet Minder Pro

Pet Minder Pro helps you keep track of your dog’s actions, and it’s presented in an easy way so you can use it while interacting with your dog. By tapping custom buttons, you’ll never forget when you last gave your dog medicine, fed him, took him for a walk or took him to a play date. You can also track training phases for puppies, set up reminders and share information via notifications.

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9. Petsie Dog Breeds

Answering the question “What kind of dog is he?” isn’t always easy, especially if your dog is a rescue or mix. As a tool, Petsie Dog Breeds can help you figure it out, but it’s also full of adorable photos and information. You can even use it as a fun social network by creating a profile for your dog.

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10. Weather Puppy

It’s useful to check the weather before you take your dog out for a walk, but Weather Puppy takes it to a new (and very cute) level. The app shows more than 100 dogs depending on the time and weather, and you can even add a pic of your own dog. Weather Puppy partners with non-profits and shelters across the U.S.

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Bonus : FourSquare

This might seem like an obvious one, but it really comes in handy for dog owners. You can organize all of the dog parks in your city, find nearby pet stores and vets when you need them and see if any friends with dogs are in your area.

The Dirty Dozen: 12 Pet Treats to Avoid

By: Brandy Arnold of The Dogington Post

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If you were making your own dog treats, using the freshest and most wholesome, healthy ingredients, would you ever consider dumping sugar into the mix?

Of course not. So why, then, do a number of the most popular dog treats on the market contain high amounts of sugar? Because dogs love it.

According to a press release from Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) and author of “Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter – A Vet’s Plan to Save Their Lives” (2010 HCI),

…the problem is linked to money – lots of it. With US pet treat sales estimated to be nearly $2 billion in 2010, the treat bowl has turned golden. “Sugar is incredibly attractive to dogs. If a dog gobbles a treat quickly, an owner is more likely to give another – and another. This adds up to more sales – and profits. In the race for pet treat profits, our pets’ health is being bankrupted.”

With 45% of American dogs and 58% of cats considered overweight, an estimated 89 million pets are at high risk for developing conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

In addition to obesity, sugary treats lead to behavioral problems as well.

“Numerous studies in rats demonstrate that overfeeding sugar can create symptoms similar to drug addiction. A dog’s daily sweet treat may be contributing to overeating and other undesirable behaviors. This is why I call today’s high-sugar treats ‘kibble crack.’”

Still, pet treat manufacturers blame pet owners. They are, after all, the ones that purchase and feed the sugary treats.

So, Dr. Ward listed what he calls “The Dirty Dozen,” the 12 most popular sugary dog treats that should be avoided. Pet parents should be aware of what they’re feeding their pets, understand ingredient labels, and to avoid treats that masquerade as healthy and nutritious while silently contributing to the obesity epidemic.

His goal is to help pet parents to be more aware of what they’re feeding their pets. “Pet owners definitely have a feeding disorder when it comes to their pets. Ultimately it’s up to each owner to control how much they feed their pets. What I want to bring attention to is what ingredients are in pet treats – and why. Pet owners must begin to question why there is sugar in a treat that claims to help teeth,” he said.

Dr. Ward’s Dirty Dozen – Popular Sugary Pet Treats

Pet Treat Added Sugar
Canine CarryOuts Chew-lotta Dextrose first ingredient
Snausages SnawSomes! Beef and Chicken Flavor Sugars 3 of first 4 ingredients
Pedigree Jumbone Mini Snack Food for Small Dogs Sugars 2 of 3 first ingredient
Petrodex Dental Treats for Cats Dextrose second ingredient
Pedigree Jumbone Sugar third ingredient
Milk Bone Essentials Plus Oral Care Sugar third ingredient
Pup-Peroni Lean Beef Recipe Sugar third ingredient
Science Diet Simple Essentials Treats Training Adult Treats with Real Beef Sugar third ingredient
Cesar Softies Dog Treats Sugar third ingredient
Milk-Bone Chewy Chicken Drumsticks Sugar third ingredient
Meow Mix Moist Cat Treats Corn syrup fourth ingredient
Pedigree Marrobone Sugar third ingredient
Other common sugar-containing treats according to Dr. Ernie Ward:

Pedigree Jumbone – Sugar third ingredient
Beneful Snackin’ Slices – Sugar fourth ingredient
Pit’r Pat Fresh Breath Mint Flavored Cat Treats – Maltodextrin first ingredient
Three Dog Bakery Lick ‘n Crunch – Dextrose third ingredient
Beneful Snackin Slices – Sugar fourth ingredient
Busy Chewnola – Maltodextrin second ingredient
Exclusively Dog Vanilla Flavor Sandwich Creme Dog Cookies – Sugars first two ingredients
Canine Carryouts Dog Treats – Corn syrup second ingredient
For more information, visit http://www.PetObesityPrevention.com or http://www.DrErnieWard.com .

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Do Dogs Whine When They’re Bored? by Chris Miksen, Demand Media

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I didn’t write this article. But I think it’s a great article to read and educate yourself. So Enjoy!!

Your pup whines and attempts to stop him lead only to more whining. Eventually he goes into full-blown crazy mode, moaning, spinning around and nosing you. There’s a good chance he’s just bored and wants to play, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes he wants something else, like food, or he’s crying because he’s a sick puppy.

To continue article, click this link.
http://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/dogs-whine-theyre-bored-2312.html

What Every Person That Owns A Dog Need To Know

By: Jennifer Carter

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Dogs require more than food and hugs. Your dog needs attention and love all day. How can you learn what to do with your dog? The following information in the article will give you tips used by both dog experts and other dog owners.

Be sure your dog is neutered or neutered. Research shows that this can give extended life to your animal live longer and reduce their cancer risks. Also, dogs that have been neutered or spayed stick closer to home, lessening the chance of them getting lost or hurt.

If you have prescription or over-the-counter medication in the house, keep it in a place the dog can’t access it. Call your vet as soon as possible if you suspect that the dog swallows any pills.

Be careful of the ingredients in many flea treatment you’re going to use on your dog. A lot of these medications have chemicals that might be bad for kids! Talk to the vet about different forms of treatment that are safer for your dog.

Speak with your vet about the amount of food should your dog each day. Some people feed the dog based on their food package recommendations, but those guidelines are not always right and using them can cause your dog to become overweight. Ask your vet for your dog’s needs.

Schedule a veterinary checkup for the new dog. The veterinarian will do a complete health check and set up a vaccination schedule. You should also want to check with the vet about fixing your dog neutered or spayed to cut down on pet overpopulation.

Trim the hair around your dog’s paws so it doesn’t get matted up. A comb is a good tool to straighten it before you do any cutting. If you have a hard time with this, a professional can always step in to help.

A lot of people give their dogs to the city pound when they can no longer keep their dog anymore. Just give a quick call your local pound to find out what breeds they have available. You could save a dog’s life in the process.

If your dog is a female and in heat, be careful with her when she goes into heat. Male dogs can tell your dog is in heat when they are five miles. This may also make other dogs fight or impregnation if a male dog spots her.

Ensure that your dog will return by placing some type of identification on them. A common method to make sure your dog is to use a breakaway collar and ID tag. This tag needs their name and your own contact you. You can also have a micro-chip inserted into your dog micro-chipped.

Make sure your dog. Annual dog physicals can prevent lots of unneeded expenses later on.

Take the dog for regular vet visits. Puppies tend to need the vet more often than adults. You also should see a vet as soon as possible if your dog seems sick or hurt.

If you have a dog but are thinking of getting another one, allow your existing dog to meet the new one before you make your final decision. Dogs happen to be social creatures, though not all get along well. Finding a compatible dog will be best for everyone in the long run.

Were you aware that some vitamins can be harmful to dogs. Your dog doesn’t need vitamins in addition to eating right. Too many of some vitamins can damage joints, particularly the bones, and blood vessels.Speak to the vet before starting your dog’s vitamin regimen.

When you first start training, you should give a number of reward systems a shot. You should try to find out what motivates your particular animal. If your pet loves food, reward it with tiny hot dog pieces. If your canine likes playing with toys, have a quick game of tug of war once your pup does what you want. Certain dogs respond well to petting and affection whenever they behave.

You must pay attention to your canine’s water and food bowls. You need to wash the bowls every day.

If you have children, you’re aware of scheduling around their lives. Dogs are also of a similar to this. Your dog might not sure what to expect.The behavior they show will reflect their mood.So make it that you have set times for training, meals, sleep and play.

By taking time out to learn all there is to know about caring for dogs, the better off you and your pet will be. Your dog is ready to shower you with unconditional love. In return, why not do all you can for your pet’s health and well-being? If your dog could, wouldn’t you like him to learn all he can about you?

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What to Do Before You Get to the Vet in 12 Emergency Dog Situations

Great Article to Read

Some health crises need immediate veterinary attention, but your attention is also crucial.

Dr. Eric Barchas

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Last week my column discussed a dozen of the most common and serious canine veterinary emergencies. Once you recognize such an emergency, it is imperative that you get to the vet as soon as possible.

But dogs can’t be magically and instantly transported to the vet. You will have to drive, or take a taxi, or arrange for a ride. If it’s the middle of the night you may decide to dress before heading to the vet (although I can attest from personal experience that plenty of people show up at emergency clinics in bathrobes and slippers). If you’re on a walk you’ll need to get home, or call someone to help you transport your pet. If your dog has collapsed and he is too big for you to lift you will need to find someone to help you get him into the car.

 

To Continue Story …http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/dog-health-emergencies-before-ask-a-vet

Dog Almost Dies After Eating Raisins

English: A pile of Sunmaid raisins.

English: A pile of Sunmaid raisins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Charlie is a five-year-old Lab that eats just about everything he can. His appetite almost cost him his life when he jumped onto his owner’s kitchen counter and ate a packet of raisins. It nearly killed him, but veterinarians were able to save his life.

 

Click this link to find out what happened Dog Almost Dies After Eating Raisins

 

Corn in Dog Food: Dispelling the Myths

Written on 02/27/2013 by  in Food Guidelines

While some people insist corn is a nutritious ingredient in a dog’s diet, others claim that it is nothing more than just an unhealthy cereal grain in Fido’s grub. But what really is the truth? Is corn good or bad as part of our pet’s food? Well, the answer actually depends on whom you throw the question at.

To Continue Reading, Click Here: Corn In Dog Food: Dispelling the Myths

 

How To Break Up a Dog Fight : A Pet Sitter’s Experience

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As a Professional Pet Sitter and Dog Walker , one thing I run into on occasion are dogs fighting. Usually the dogs are part of the same household . I was recently conversing with two colleagues that ran into this issue as of late. It can be a scary situation and unless you understand animal behavior it may become a challenge to you.

Here is the reality, although dogfights look and sound frightening, most of them end with no damage to either party. ( Pet Owners now breathe)
You are correct in that dogs are capable of seriously injuring each other. But because of that, much of their aggression is ritualized. Arguing dogs might growl fiercely, bark, snap and show their teeth—or even bite each other’s faces or loose neck skin. However, most dogfights, especially those between well-socialized dogs, don’t result in injury. A dogfight is usually the equivalent of a brief, heated argument with a friend or family member. There may be a lot of bravado and noise, but actual damage, aside from the odd scratch or scrape, is relatively rare.

Play Fighting or Get Down Dirty Fight

New dog parents may get a little anxious because what is deemed normal dog play can seem pretty violent. In fact, during most dogs play, the looks and sounds can resemble two dogs that are trying to kill each other. Dogs use their mouths to interact, communicate and explore their world, and a certain amount of growling, snapping and gnawing on one another is to be expected during playtime. If your dog is playing with another and you can’t tell if you’re witnessing rough play or an actual battle, watch the dogs’ bodies. Playing dogs don’t look rigid or stiff. Instead, they appear loose and bouncy, usually with wagging tails and happy faces.
If you’re not sure that both dogs are interested in playing roughly, especially if it looks as though one is picking on the other, try separating them. Pick a time when it’s safe to grab the “bully” dog by the collar or noose him with a leash, and gently lead him away. If the other dog immediately follows after the two of you, trying to engage her friend in play again, the dogs were probably fine and you can allow play to continue.

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Is It a Real Fight or Just Good Fun?

I will admit , because two of my dogs think they are the alpha dog, I let them fight it out. Hey I mean how much harm can two 10 lb dogs do to each other? When I say “That’s enough!” , magically they stop

Rules to Prevent Dogfights

Go for Good First Impressions
If you have brought a new dog into your home, please see our article on Puppy Socialization to learn how to do a calm, gradual introduction on neutral ground. You can also use the techniques in the article to introduce your dog to a dog who’s just visiting your home or to a new playmate who lives elsewhere.

Do Not Encourage Competition over Food and Valued Objects
Lets say you have multiple dogs in your home like I do, it’s a good policy to feed them in separate rooms or crates. Since I don’t crate, my pets are taught what room they go to during feeding time. Trust me you do not want added extra stress around feeding time. All pets deserve to eat in peace. Follow this rule to keep track of toys, chewies and other valuable resources as well. If you suspect that your dogs might fight over something, pick it up when you’re not able to supervise.
Pick up all toys, chewies and food bowls before the arrival of canine buddies to your home or unfamiliar dogs in the area. Even if your own dog doesn’t guard things from other dogs, the visitor (dog) might, so removing valued objects is always a good idea.
Be the Referee
I adore energetic dogs and if you have multiple energetic dogs in your home, you know that playtime can sometimes get out of hand. The owner is the one in charge. After all you are the one who brings home the dog food and pays the bills, so you should also be the one who decides how rough dog play can get in your household. There are many rules established in my home. You the owner should institute rules like “no wrestling in the living room” or “all dog play must happen outside.”
Other options,you can simply interrupt play when you think your dogs have become too noisy or rowdy. Teaching your dogs to reliably come when called can help you get your dogs’ attention easily. (Please see our article on Quick Tips To Get Your Dog To Listen: A Pet Sitter’s Point of View) After you’ve interrupted the play session, you have a number of options:
A) If you’d like to let your dogs continue to play, just put them in separate areas for 30 seconds to 2 or 3 minutes so that they can cool down. Then you can let them play again.

B) Another option is to take your dogs outside so that they can continue their play in a fenced yard, where they’ll have plenty of space to romp.

C)If you think it’s time for a play break, you can take the dogs for a walk or engage them in a game of fetch or tug. Encouraging other active behaviors may help them expend some of their pent-up energy.

D) Have some quiet time. Sometimes dogs get overly excited and just need to chill out for a while. To help your dogs cool down, give each one something to chew, like a tasty bone or a stuffed Kong toy.

Teach and Reward Calm Behavior

Being a Pet Parent isn’t always easy. Inevitably, conflict will arise. Many arguments between dogs in the same household happen.Teach your dogs to remain calm during outings or other situations can prevent the excitement from turning into agitation. Good training is key. You can teach your dogs to sit or lie down and stay instead of rushing up to greet visitors. You can teach your dogs to wait for permission to walk through doorways, exit cars or pass through gates. (Instead of using a single word to release all of your dogs at the same time, release each one separately by saying her name.) You can teach your dogs to settle on a mat in many situations—whenever they get too rambunctious. All of these skills help dogs learn to control their impulses and can keep them from starting arguments with each other.

 

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Worse Case Scenario:Breaking Up a Real DogFight

How to Stop a Scuffle between Two Dogs

Sometimes, despite your best efforts to monitor their interactions, dogs get into fights. Luckily, most fights last less than a few seconds, and you can often interrupt them by simply shouting at the dogs. If the fight continues, however, you should be prepared to physically separate them.
Breaking up a dogfight can be dangerous. To reduce the likelihood of injury to all parties, follow the guidelines below.
General Advice

Have a plan.

Decide in advance exactly what you’ll do if a fight happens. If you live with multiple dogs and other people, make sure everyone living in your home knows about the plan.

Don’t panic.

Remember that most dogfights are noisy but harmless. If you stay calm, you’ll be able to separate two fighting dogs more safely and efficiently.

DO NOT grab your dog by the collar if she starts to fight with another dog. It seems like the natural thing to do, but it’s a bad idea. Your dog might whip around to bite you. This kind of bite, called redirected aggression, is like a reflex. The dog simply reacts to the feeling of being grabbed and bites without thinking. Many pet parents get bitten this way—even when their dogs haven’t shown any signs of aggression in the past. Another reason to avoid grabbing your dog’s collar is that it puts your hands way too close to the action! You might be on the receiving end of a bite that was intended for your dog.

Plan A: Startle the Dogs or Use a Barrier

Before you physically separate two fighting dogs, try these methods:

A) A sudden, loud sound will often interrupt a fight. Clap, yell and stomp your feet. If you have two metal bowls, bang them together near the dogs’ heads. You can also purchase a small air horn and keep that handy. Put it in your back pocket before taking your dog somewhere to play with other dogs. If you have multiple dogs who get into scuffles, keep your air horn in an easily accessible place. If a startling noise works to stop a fight, the noise is effective almost immediately. If your noisemaking doesn’t stop the fight within about three seconds, try another method.

B) If there’s a hose or water bowl handy, you can try spraying the dogs with water or dumping the bowl of water on their heads.

C) Use a citronella spray, like SprayShield™ or Direct Stop®. Aim for the fighting dogs’ noses. If you walk your dog in an area where you may encounter loose dogs, it’s wise to carry citronella spray with you. If an aggressive dog approaches, spraying the deterrent in his direction may stop him in his tracks and prevent a fight. If he attacks, spraying the deterrent on or near his nose may break up the fight.

D) Try putting something between the fighting dogs. A large, flat, opaque object, like a piece of plywood, is ideal because it both separates the dogs and blocks their view of each other. If such an object isn’t available, you can make do with a baby gate, a trash can or folded lawn chair. Closing a door between the dogs can also break up a fight. Throwing a large blanket over both dogs is another option. The covered dogs may stop fighting if they can no longer see each other.

Plan B: Physically Separate the Dogs

If other methods don’t work or aren’t possible, it’s time for Plan B. If you’re wearing pants and boots or shoes, use your lower body instead of your hands to break up the fight. If they’re covered, your legs and your feet are much more protected than your hands, and your legs are the strongest part of your body.
If you feel that it’s necessary to grab the dogs, use this method:

1. You and a helper or the other dog’s pet parent should approach the dogs together. Try to separate them at the same time.
2. Take hold of your dog’s back legs at the very top, just under her hips, right where her legs connect to her body. (Avoid grabbing her lower legs. If grab a dog’s legs at the knees, her ankles or her paws, you can cause serious injury.)
3. Like you’d lift a wheelbarrow, lift your dog’s back end so that her back legs come off of the ground. Then move backwards, away from the other dog. As soon as you’re a few steps away, do a 180-degree turn, spinning your dog around so that she’s facing the opposite direction and can no longer see other dog.
The Aftermath
After the fight stops, immediately separate the dogs. Don’t give them another chance to fight. It’s important to make sure that they can’t see each other. If necessary, take one or both dogs into another room or area. If the dogs are friends and you’ve interrupted a minor squabble, keep them apart until they calm down.

 

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