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Is your pet becoming less active, less playful, or desiring shorter walks? The following symptoms could be early signs of OCD, Arthritis or Hip Dysplasia.

  • Moving more slowly
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Weight shift to another leg
  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Posts Tagged ‘Dog Behavior’

How to Stop A Puppy From Barking

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Stopping a puppy from barking can be a difficult task, simply because barking is a natural form of communication for puppies. Puppies bark for many reasons: attention seeking, anxiety, boredom or just playing. Puppies and barking are a natural combination.

If you can establish the reasons why a puppy is barking so much, it will be easier to find a solution to the problem.

To figure out why your puppy is barking uncontrollably you first need to determine the situations or conditions that precede an episode of barking. If your puppy is barking at you, it’s usually trying to get your attention. If this is the case, just ignore it and avoid eye contact. When the puppy stops barking you can shower it with all the attention you want.

Don’t talk to your puppy while it’s barking at you and don’t relent and give in if the barking continues. If you do give in, the undesirable behavior will be implanted in the puppy’s brain as the best way to get your attention whenever it wants something.

If a puppy continues to bark while standing over its food bowl it’s just letting you know that it’s guarding its food. Puppies who bark for no discernible reason may simply be frustrated or bored.

If left alone, a puppy often becomes anxious and will bark continuously until its human returns. If you find out that your puppy barks a lot while you’re gone from the house it could be anxious about being alone, it could be bored, or there may be something disturbing it like dogs barking outside or noisy cars and trucks.

If you make your puppy’s surroundings more interesting the unwelcome barking may end. You can also give your puppy different toys to play with every few days, and be sure it gets a lot of exercise. If the puppy barks a lot and seems bored when you’re home try spending a little more time playing with it and giving it the attention it craves.

Stopping a puppy from barking too much will help calm shattered nerves, whether they’re yours or the next door neighbor’s.

Safer Trips with a Dog Car Seat

Monday, April 4th, 2016

A dog car seat can make car rides safer for both you and your dog by confining your pet to a safe space, keeping it off your lap and avoiding danger in case of an accident.

Dogs can be an problematic distraction when you’re driving. Dogs who aren’t well-behaved can distract you by barking out the window or jumping on your lap while you’re driving.

Even well-behaved dogs should be secured in a dog car seat when riding in the car with you because airbags can cause serious injury to your dog just as they can to a young child.

Another life-threatening concern is that your dog might fly right through the windshield if it’s sitting on your lap or standing on your front seat. Securing your dog in one of these seats protects it from the impact of a crash, and keeps it from distracting you while you’re driving.

An unrestrained dog can become a deadly projectile in the event of an impact, potentially causing injury to you, your dog and any other persons riding in the vehicle.

Another concern is that in the event of a serious accident, your dog may escape from your car and run away in fear; even worse would be if your dog became violent trying to protect you from emergency personnel who may need to act quickly to save your life.

For safer trips with a dog car seat, be sure to choose the appropriate size for your dog. The seat can be used as a booster seat in the front, raised high enough to allow your dog to see out the window easily, or if you wish, it can be secured in the back seat.

There are also varieties of car seats that attach to your car’s middle console in the front or back seat. Most of these models are available only for small dogs, but it is possible to find dog car seats that can hold a large dog.

If your dog isn’t comfortable being fastened into a dog car seat, you can buy special harnesses to secure it when traveling. These harnesses attach to the seat belts in your back seat and allow your dog limited freedom to roam around the back seat while the car is moving. Harnesses are available for all sizes of dogs.

You can also purchase nets and gates that will block your dog in the back seat and are available for sedans and SUV’s. Although these products won’t protect your dog in the event of an impact, they will prevent a dog from flying through the windshield.

No matter which method you use protect your dog when driving, please have a safer trip with your pet safely ensconced in a dog car seat. Car seats, safety nets and seatbelts are available at all local pet stores.

Dog Saliva – Myths and Facts

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Dog saliva is often used by canines to help heal their wounds. A dog will instinctively lick its wounds in an attempt to relieve pain. The dog’s saliva forms a film on top of the wound, numbing the area and reducing the pain.

Compounds in dog saliva may assist in healing the wound and will neutralize certain bacteria. However, dog saliva may also contain bacteria that can be harmful to humans.

Dog saliva is believed to contain antibacterial microorganisms, enzymes and antibodies that can speed up the recovery of a dog’s wounds. It’s also thought to be effective in helping a dog fight bacteria such as staphylococcus, streptococcus canis, or E. coli.

One dog saliva myth is that it’s beneficial both for dog wounds and human wounds. There is a bit of truth in this belief, but putting dog saliva on a human wound can result in any number of problems. The bacteria in the saliva may infect a human’s skin and prove to be harmful for the human.

When a dog excessively licks its wounds, it’s not always good for the dog either as it can lead to the formation of acral lick granulomas and patches of hair loss. Also, the dog may develop an obsessive-compulsive behavior of licking, chewing and biting the wound. Some vets believe that when a dog licks its wounds too much it destroys all the benefits canine saliva has on the wounds.

Another dog saliva myth that has been proven wrong is that dogs will pass on their illnesses to you through their saliva. Most of the bacteria in a dog’s saliva is specific to canines and won’t harm humans.

Some other myths and facts about dog saliva include the belief that since dog saliva contains a special enzyme to promote healing of a dog’s wounds, it will have the same effect on human’s cuts. The fact is that enzymes in a dog’s saliva will only work on the wounds of dogs. Allowing your dog to lick your cuts doesn’t mean the cuts will heal faster and it could lead to infection from any germs the dog may have in its mouth.

Another dog saliva fact and a potential health risk from having a wound licked by your dog, is the transmission of roundworms. These intestinal parasites are commonly found in kittens and puppies and are passed through licking of a wound. The symptoms of roundworm are coughing, fever and headaches. Hopefully your dog has been given deworming medication in the past and has subsequently been tested on a regular basis. If this is true, your risk of contracting roundworm is slim.

Hopefully this little tidbit of information about dog saliva myths and facts will spur you to do a little research on your own, even if it’s simply asking your vet for his or her opinion.

Jack Russell Terrier Training Tips

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Jack Russell terrier training is essential, especially if you adopt a Jack Russell when it’s a puppy. Like most terriers, Jack Russells were bred to hunt and kill rodents and they have a lot of energy. Because of that energy, they require a lot of exercise, training and mental stimulation to live peacefully in a family situation without driving everyone crazy with their antics.

During adolescence Jack Russells have loads of energy, and it’s almost impossible to train one unless it’s getting the proper amount of exercise; this means up to an hour and a half of active running each and every day.

If not allowed to run full bore and burn up excess energy, Jack Russells will find things to do – things like tearing up cushions on sofas and chairs, ripping up plants in the garden, and chewing on every shoe in the house. It’s easy to understand why an owner needs to be sure that a Jack Russell terrier gets a lot of outdoor exercise.

Jack Russell terriers are easily distracted, and without exercise, those distractions can result in non-stop barking, in the house and outdoors as well.

Jack Russell terriers were bred to be diggers as most rodents live underground. If you don’t want your garden or yard dug up every week, you might want to put a sand box in your back yard and let the dog’s natural instincts for digging take over. You may need to put some of the dog’s toys and bones in the sandbox to spur it’s digging activities.

To stop a Jack Russell from chewing on everything in your house, you’ll have to limit the dog’s access to certain areas of the house during the day when no one is home. When family members are home they can guide the dog away from items you don’t want it to chew on and redirect it to things that are okay to chew on.

The most effective way to accomplish this is to teach the dog a “Leave it” command by holding several treats. Give the dog a couple of treats while saying “Take it.” Then close your fist and say, “Leave it.” Wait for the barking to stop, then give praise and reward with a treat.

Once the Jack Russell learns to obey these commands, you can start practicing with objects the dog likes to chew but should not be messing with. These could be shoes, remote TV controls, or anything lying around the house that seems to be irresistible to the dog’s attention. When the dog obeys your command to leave the object alone, reward it with a treat or one of its chewing toys.

These dogs make great pets, but instituting Jack Russell terrier training and seeing that it has plenty of exercise, will make them a welcome addition to almost any family.

Training Dogs to Obey

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Training a dog to obey can be fun or frustrating, depending on how you go about it. Probably the most effective and important thing you can do during training is to be consistent in your actions and words so your dog knows what to expect each time it obeys your commands.

Training for an adult dog is handled differently than training a puppy. Dog obedience training for adult dogs covers all aspects of dog training whether your dog is disobedient, overly aggressive, begins biting people, starts chewing on your shoes or furniture, starts attacking small children, or is not properly house trained.

There are many books available on training an adult dog and you can find easily find exactly what you need with a quick scan of the dog sections in Barnes and Noble, Borders, or even your public library which usually carries a wide choice of books on training dogs.

If your dog jumps on you or someone else and you want the behavior to stop, don’t yell at it, push it or kick it. Your dog won’t understand these actions because all it sees is that you’re paying attention to it, talking and touching it, which is exactly what it wants from you.

Instead, shake your head and keep repeating “No!” each time the dog exhibits this behavior. If your dog is barking non-stop, get up and leave the room but don’t yell at your dog because this just reinforces the bad behavior.

Dog owners feel that their dogs “know they’ve done something wrong” because they “act guilty.” The reality is dogs don’t realize what they’ve done wrong unless you catch them in the act. Punishing a dog minutes after an unwanted behavior does not work. Your dog is “acting guilty” because your body language is interpreted as being angry, and dogs are very perceptive of a human’s body language.

Even if you are able to catch your dog at the time bad behavior is being demonstrated, it may not understand why you are punishing it.

Training a dog to obey you requires good communication from you. Dogs do not understand situations the way humans do, so it’s important to relate to a dog on its own level. Always be sure you’re not unintentionally rewarding bad behavior. Instead, teach your dog what you want it do and reward that behavior.

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