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  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
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  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Archive for the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ Category

Dominant Dogs

Monday, September 14th, 2015


Dominant dog behavior usually develops over a period of time. Dominant dogs will often growl or bark at their owners when the dog’s demands aren’t being met.

If there are two or more dogs living in the same household, the dominant dog will be considered by the other dogs as the alpha dog, or leader of the pack. Such dominating dogs often try to gain leadership over their owners also.

To prevent this type of unwanted behavior you must learn how to recognize dominant dog behaviors and take steps to change those behaviors if you want to have an obedient and loving companion rather than a terrorizing monster running around your house.

Some of the symptoms of dominant behavior in dogs are similar to the symptoms of separation anxiety so it is important to distinguish between the two. To determine if your dog is really showing signs of dominating behavior you’ll have to find a way to monitor its behavior to see if it behaves in a dominating manner around other dogs or only when left alone.

If you notice any of the following symptoms of dominating dog behavior you may want to seek the assistance of a professional trainer who can train your dog to be more obedient. If you find that your dog’s disobedience and dominant behavior is resulting in biting and aggression, most trainers won’t work with your dog.

Some of the signs of dominant dogs are:
Always acting stubborn, barking loudly, consistently ignoring your commands, pushing ahead of you whenever you open a door in the house or to the outside, resistance to being walked with a leash, growling and barking when it doesn’t get its way or when corrected for doing something wrong.

It isn’t easy dealing with dominant dogs. If your dog disobeys you and growls at you when you try to correct it, don’t shout or express frustration. You have to remain calm and speak to it in a firm commanding tone.

Although it can be a daunting and challenging task to permanently change the behavior of a dominant dog, it is possible to successfully change your pet’s behavior if you remain calm and persistent at all times during any training sessions.

Potty Training a Puppy

Monday, August 24th, 2015


Potty training a puppy or housebreaking a puppy can be an easy task if you know how to do it properly. It can be easy, but also requires a lot of patience, constant monitoring of the puppy, and dedication to getting the job done while remaining loving and supportive of your new puppy.

Puppies don’t have complete control of their bladder until they reach at least 6 months of age. The more time you can spend with your new puppy, the faster your puppy will be housebroken.

Here are some things to consider when you start potty training a puppy:

Most puppies will let you know when they need to go. Obviously they can’t talk and are not mature enough to understand that they need to give you a “distinctive signal” when it’s time to take care of business, but if you pay close attention to your puppy you’ll learn to recognize the warning signs.

When you see your puppy repeatedly making the signs it uses when it has to go outside, act fast and immediately take your puppy to wherever you’ve chosen as the place to “do it.” When your puppy does eliminate itself, praise it and reward it with a doggy treat. The puppy will then learn to expect praise and a treat when it eliminates outside at its “toilet”.

When you’re not available to supervise your puppy, you can limit it to a specific area of your house by installing childproof “gates” to keep it confined to that area.

Try to keep your new puppy on a regular bathroom schedule. Take the puppy outside as soon as it awakens every morning and do the same every night before putting it down to bed.

Most puppies, since they still have small bladders, will have to relieve themselves about 15-20 minutes after eating and drinking water. Puppies will usually have to go potty immediately after playing or walking for exercise, and almost always after waking up from a nap. If you set a routine schedule for exercise, walks, and mealtimes, the potty training will become embedded in the puppy’s brain, and as each day passes, your potty training job becomes easier.

If your puppy doesn’t relieve itself within 10 minutes or so after going to its designated “potty spot”, take the puppy back in the house and watch it closely for 10 to 15 minutes. When you feel it’s ready to go, then take it to the “potty spot” again. Your puppy should take care of its business the second time around.

Potty training a puppy doesn’t mean you’ll never have to clean up its mess inside your house. Should this happen, immediately pick up the puppy and take it to its designated spot. Never punish your puppy for going potty in your house, and never, never yell or rub its nose in the soiled spot, or the puppy will be afraid of going potty whenever you’re around.

How to be a Pet Groomer

Monday, July 20th, 2015


Are you thinking about starting a career as a pet groomer? Pet grooming is ideal for people who love animals, but make no bones about it, a career in the pet grooming business can be difficult to get started in. But once you’ve established yourself as a qualified and experienced groomer it can be a very rewarding career and a lot of fun working with dogs of all sizes and types of coats.

To become a successful pet groomer you’ll need to enroll in a professional grooming school. These schools can be found in the yellow pages of your local directory, or for quicker searching use the internet. Professional schools provide their students with the tools, techniques and skills needed to break into the pet grooming profession.

It may surprise you to know that many people who work as dog groomers haven’t attended a professional school, but instead learned the grooming procedures and techniques by taking correspondence courses or night classes at their local college.

As a new dog groomer just starting in the business, it helps to get a job with an established grooming shop as a trainee or assistant. Working for a good dog grooming service will provide you with hands-on experience and the additional training needed to assist you in propelling your career forward in the pet grooming business.

There are many different breeds of dogs, all requiring special techniques for proper grooming. As a dog groomer you’ll have to know how to groom every breed of dog. For example, the grooming style of a Golden Retriever is very different than that of a Yorkie.

When you have been trained and are starting your career, you can ask friends and family if they will let you practice your grooming skills on their pet dogs at no cost to them. This will help you in improving your skills and your friends and family will probably be eager to give you a good reference when you’re searching for the right place in which to begin your career.

When you’re finally ready to be a pet groomer and you feel comfortable enough to proudly say so, you can choose whether you want to work in an established grooming shop, work from home, or even set up a mobile dog grooming business and travel to a client’s home.

Choosing a Pet Sitter

Monday, June 29th, 2015


Pet sitters do a lot more than just provide your dog with food and water while you’re away from home. A good pet sitter will spend time with your dog, exercise it, and know when it needs veterinary attention.

Some pet sitters will offer to do additional things for you like bring in your mail and newspaper, water your plants, and turn lights on and off so your house looks occupied.

But just because someone says they are a pet sitter doesn’t mean they are qualified to do the job

When you have to be away from home for travel, or if an unexpected emergency arises and you don’t want to board your dog in a kennel, who can you depend on to take care of your dog?

Many pet owners will ask a friend or neighbor to stop in every day to feed their dog and give it fresh water. But will this limited amount of attention be enough?

Unfortunately, unless your friends and neighbors are dedicated dog lovers, they may not understand proper pet care and could leave your dog susceptible to injury or stress from separation anxiety. Many friends and family members won’t tell you, but they often resent having to look after your pet and make frequent visits to your house – especially if they are young or have busy schedules in their lives.

To satisfy your own fears, you may want to consider hiring a professional pet sitter to care for your dog while you’re away.

A pet sitter can offer both you and your pet many benefits. Your pet will be able to stay in the environment it is most familiar with; will have its same diet and routine; and won’t have to stay in a boarding kennel with other unfamiliar dogs.

The benefits for you are numerous also. Keeping your family, friends and neighbors happy because they won’t be burdened with caring for your dog; the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pet is being cared for by a professional; having someone to bring in your newspaper and mail so burglars don’t know that no one is home; plus other errands or chores a sitter can do for you while you’re away.

The best way to choose a pet sitter is to ask for a recommendation from your family and friends, or you can check your Yellow Pages under “Pet Sitting Services.”

It is very important that you learn all you can about any potential pet sitters. Interviewing prospects on the phone or at your home can reveal a lot about a the qualifications of a pet sitter.

Whether on the phone or in person, you should ask the prospective pet sitter if he or she has any medical conditions that might interfere with taking care of your dog; whether he or she has a backup person to care for your dog in the event of a personal or family emergency; will your dog be taken on regular walks to get its exercise, and are there other services that can be handled like picking up your mail and newspaper.

If you find a pet sitter that provides live-in services in your home, find out the specific times that person will be home with your pet; for example, do they work, or do they have appointments scheduled with a doctor or dentist during your absence? Will the pet sitter provide you phone numbers of other clients as references?

It is of vital importance to have any prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your dog before deciding on who to hire as a pet-sitter. During this in-person interview, observe how the person interacts with your dog and whether your dog is comfortable with that person.

You have responsibilities to the pet sitter also. You should make reservations with your pet sitter early enough for them to plan their life around your departure and return. Be sure your dog has current identification tags and is up-to-date with its vaccinations. Leave clear instructions for the pet sitter detailing specific pet-care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian.

Be sure your dog has sufficient pet food and any necessary medications. Leave an extra key with a neighbor as a backup.

A pet sitter will be spending a lot of time alone in your home, so you want to choose a pet sitter who is the most reliable and trustworthy person. Ask them about their past work history and be sure to check references with their former clients.

Should You Adopt a Rescued Dog

Monday, April 27th, 2015


Too many people feel that if you adopt a rescued dog you’re just settling for a pet no one else wanted. You might think there must be something wrong with the dog or it wouldn’t be in a shelter. Or maybe you feel that if you can adopt a cute little puppy, why would you want to take someone else’s “used” dog?

Not all dogs in animal shelters or dog rescue organizations are animals that nobody wanted. A more common scenario is that the dog had a loving home and was well cared for by its owner but ran away or was picked up by an animal control officer and the dog had no ID tag to identify its owner.

Another reason a good dog can end up in a shelter is because its owner was no longer able to care for it due to illness or death, and sometimes due to financial hardship. Some wonderful dogs are surrendered to a shelter by their owners simply because there is a new baby in the family and the owners are afraid of keeping the dog in the same house as a newborn. If you spend some time visiting an animal shelter you will hear many heartbreaking stories about adorable and devoted dogs being given up by their owners for many different reasons.

It’s also true that some dogs are surrendered to shelters because their owners could not afford the medical costs to treat a curable disease the dog has developed, or in some cases they were just disappointed that the dog was not behaving exactly as they expected it to.

A rescued dog may have survived anything from mistreatment to sheer cruelty and it deserves a new life in a home where it will be loved and properly cared for. Rescue means to “save something from a dangerous or harmful situation or to prevent something from being discarded or rejected.” Whatever the reason a dog ends up in a shelter, it has in some way been discarded or rejected.

There are many advantages if you adopt a rescued dog. The previous owner may have had the dog vaccinated already which saves you money. There’s a good chance that most of the dog’s basic training may have been completed, making it much easier to acclimate a new dog to your home and lifestyle. Rescued dogs usually make perfect pets and companions as they are so happy to be out of the confines of a shelter and find someone new to be devoted to.

Today’s society is a disposable one. Everything we buy seems to be disposable at some point in its existence. If so much of what a person owns is deemed to be disposable, why not a pet that’s no longer needed? Unfortunately this way of thinking is more common than most people realize. When you adopt a rescued dog you’re really adopting something previously thought of as disposable, and making it useful again.

All dogs, and especially rescued dogs, deserve another chance to be man’s best friend and indispensable companion. When you adopt a rescued dog it will love you for its entire lifetime.

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