Tag Archives: dogs

5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Dog Deal with Fireworks

5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Dog Deal with FireworksWith summer just on the horizon you can pretty much assume that there is going to be some fireworks coming up too. Not just because of the 4th of July holiday but summertime seems to be when fireworks are at their peak usage. Unfortunately, many dogs can be alarmed and fearful of the sharp, abrupt and loud sound that comes with the spectacle of fireworks. If your dog is one of these sensitive pups, here are a few things you can do to help your pooch feel more at ease around fireworks.

Be Ready

If you know that a fireworks-filled event is coming to your neighborhood then you might choose to make this an opportunity to head out of town and visit some friends or family – away from the fireworks.  It is not always feasible to get away, especially around the 4th of July but knowing when fireworks will be coming can also help you do some of the following things to help prepare your dog for the noisy festivities.

Create a safe place

Like their distant wolf cousins, dogs are happy to have a den of their own, which is where they feel safe. In many homes, dog parents will choose to have a crate or other space that is just for Fido, which acts like their den. Before the fireworks start blasting, make sure your dog’s special place is safe and secure. This is where you can keep your pooch. It is generally a good idea to shut out as much of the noise as possible by closing windows or placing a thick heavy blanket over your dog’s crate. Maybe even try to procure some harp music to play as dogs have been shown to enjoy harp music. Try and stay calm for Fido. Chances are you might become agitated knowing your pup is going to be uncomfortable. Remember Fido can sense this and you don’t want him to feel any more fear.

Desensitize

You can try to desensitize your pup to the sound of the fireworks by gradually exposing him to the sound on a regular basis. You can locate sound samples of fireworks on the Internet to play around your four-legged friend. Start out with the volume low and gradually increase it to the levels that might be encountered inside your home during a fireworks show. The more you dog is exposed to this sound, the less likely your dog will be negatively impacted by the sound of the fireworks later.

Have Fun

Another great way to get your dog less afraid of fireworks is to create a fun environment during a fireworks display. The best way to do this is to play with your dog and reward him for his jovial behavior. Make sure your dog is in the midst of a good time when you reward him, as we want your pup to make positive associations not negative ones. Petting or giving your pup treats when he is scared will only tell him that fearful behavior is okay.

See your Vet

If you are finding that your pooch is having a very hard time around fireworks to the point where you are concerned, don’t hesitate to see your vet. He or she may prescribe medication to help your dog have an easier time during this particularly noisy activity.

5 tips for Helping Your Dog Learn to Swim and Be More Comfortable in The Water

nuvetreviewsSummer is quickly arriving, and you are probably thinking about all of the fun things you will be able to do with your dog. You’ve probably heard the old adage that all dogs can swim, but it’s not quite true. While most dogs can be trained to learn how to swim, some dog breeds will never be good swimmers. It’s important to understand the limitations of your own dog, and to make sure that your pet is comfortable in the water before you take your pet swimming in the ocean, a lake or your pool.

 

5 Tips for Helping Your Dog Learn to Swim and Be More Comfortable in the Water

  1. Make the idea of swimming or getting in the water appealing to your dog by going for a nice, long walk first. Like humans, dogs prefer to get wet when they are warm and tired. A dip in the pool might be more refreshing and exciting to your dog if they are in the mood.
  2. When you begin to enter the body of water, don’t rush your dog. If your dog seems uncomfortable, take it slow. If your dog is resisting, do not force your pet. You do not want it to be a negative experience.
  3. Work with a professional dog trainer in order to teach your dog how to swim. A person who has experience in helping dogs swim will be able to teach your dog the right techniques, as well as help you learn the correct commands to use while in the water.
  4. Invest in a life vest for your pet in order to ensure that your dog is safe at all times. Never leave your pet unattended near or in the water.
  5. Consider your dog’s age. It is best to introduce your pet to the water during its early years, as it will likely adjust better. Also, an older dog who has never swam before may not be healthy enough for the activity. Consult with your veterinarian before swimming with your dog.

 

Tips to Safely Trim a Dog’s Nails

Clipping a dog’s nails can be a tedious job for many dog owners. While some dogs may willingly oblige, many others are completely resistant. In either case, it’s important to be cautious with your pooch’s nails and following some safety tips may help keep your pet’s paws up to par.

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1. A clotting powder is something to have on hand before you begin trimming your dog’s nails. This hopefully will be just a precaution, but if you do end up needing it, you will be happy that it is close by and accessible.

2. Sharp clippers is the first step to dog nail cutting. Sharp clippers allow you to quickly, accurately, and precisely trim nails. Also, a quicker cut may be beneficial when dealing with a fussier dog’s manicure.

3. Avoid cutting the quick in your dog’s nail. The quick is the vein that runs down your pooch’s nail. This can typically be seen in dog’s nails that are light in color, however can be difficult when cutting darker nails. The quick will bleed when cut or nicked and it typically is difficult to stop.

4. If your dog has a dew claw, make sure you trim that as well. These can sometimes get overlooked and become overgrown. After trimming the dew claw, make sure that it is smoothly trimmed and not rough or ragged. While cleaning themselves dogs sometimes use their front leg as a tool. In turn, the dew claw is used as well. If the dew claw is not trimmed properly or is sharp, your dog can scrape their face or cut themselves with it. Filing can help remove a rough nail, which leads into the next tip.

5. Filing dog your dog’s nails is another way to help keep them at a comfortable length. Filing has an added bonus as well since it helps smooth the nails, which may help with the scratching of surfaces and your dog’s skin as well.

If your dog is relentless and still won’t allow you to trim their nails, a visit to the vet or groomer may be unavoidable. Either way you choose to care for your pup’s paws, it’s important to maintain their nails regularly as part of their routine care.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween

Once considered just a children’s holiday, Halloween has grown over the years into a festive night for all ages – and species! Including your pet in the fun is a great way to celebrate Halloween, as long as you take some simple precautions to make sure your furry friend stays safe.

  • Check that your pet’s identification tag and microchip are up-to-date and that the tag is securely attached to the collar he’s wearing. With doors opening all day long, the chance of a cat or dog getting lost increases on Halloween.
  • If your pet is prone to darting through open doors, keep him in another room behind a secure barrier during trick-or-treat hours. This is also a good rule of thumb if your dog or cat doesn’t respond well to strangers. You’ll avoid the risk of bites, as well as the stress that having scores of noisy people in odd costumes puts on your pet.
  • Only dress up a cat or dog that enjoys it. If a costume causes a change in behavior or obvious attempts to remove the apparel, opt for a festive collar or bandanna instead.
  • Keep pets away from lit jack o’ lanterns and exposed cords and wires attached to decorations. The ASPCA notes that curious, playful kittens are especially prone to burns.
  • The Animal Poison Control Center warns against having glow sticks and jewelry around pets, especially cats. Easily punctured, the fluorescent material inside can cause sensitivities and excessive drooling.
  • Be mindful of pranks involving pets around Halloween. Avoid theft or injury – intentional or otherwise – by keeping your pet inside when you are away from the house. Even outdoor cats should be monitored more closely, especially black cats.

 

How to Ease Your Dog’s Fear of Loud Noises

Your dog is your companion, playmate and sometimes protector. There are other times, though, when you have to protect your dog. If your dog is afraid of loud noises – like thunder, fireworks, car sounds, door slams or even wind –  distraction, desensitization, medication or a combination of these may ease his fears and lessen the stress on both of you.

Understand the Cause

Knowing why your dog is afraid of a noise may help you effectively care for him. Some dog breeds are inclined to loud noise phobias, mainly herding varieties, either out of a genetic predisposition or from more acute hearing. If your dog is one of these breeds, be on the lookout for potential adverse reactions to noise so you can ease the fear before it takes over.

Other phobias arise from bad experiences, like being stuck outside during a thunderstorm or having his tail clipped accidentally by a vacuum. An affected dog may always associate loud pops, or even just the change in weather, with fear and abandonment, or the sound of a vacuum with a clipped tail.

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If your dog starts to exhibit fear towards a particular noise, for instance thunderstorms, by showing more than a passing interest in it, make a positive association with the sound. When rain falls, start playing with his favorite toy. If his attention drifts toward the lightning or thunder as it begins, work on obedience commands he knows well, overly praising him.

Provide a safe place for a dog with a fully developed noise phobia. If he normally hides under your bed or in the bathroom when you vacuum or fireworks go off, make that location a comfy, preferably sound-proofed, spot with his favorite toys, treats or food. Even if you’re out of the house when the noise occurs, your dog will have a safe place to go.

Behavior modification is a method of desensitizing your dog to the noise he fears. The process is complicated, with the potential to cause more harm if done wrong, and therefore best done under the supervision of a professional. Your veterinarian may recommend medication if all else fails.

 

Strange Pet Holidays

Pets are there for you every day with affection and unconditional love. While you might remember them during the holiday season, you might not have realized the number of strange animal holidays that fall throughout the year, which make for great excuses to celebrate your four legged friend even more.

Cook for Your Pets Day – November 1

Cooking for the four legged members of your household can be a fantastic way to let them know how much they are loved and appreciated. This holiday is dedicated to promoting some good old-fashioned home cooking and to show pet owners how simple and rewarding it can be to prepare fresh food for your pets. Cooking for your pets does not have to be complicated. Do a little basic research about foods to avoid, and celebrate your pets with a little something extra this November.

Take Your Dog to Work Day – June 20

Take Your Dog to Work Day is organized with the intention of promoting pet adoption. As someone who has already welcomed a furry friend into your home, you already know the joy and value that a pet can bring to your life. Spread that joy to others in your workplace by organizing a Take Your Dog to Work Day with your boss or those in human resources.

National Scoop the Poop Week – April 1-7 or April 24-30

Despite the prevalence of signs about the importance of picking up after pets, it seems as though many dog owners have yet to get the message. These designated weeks are set aside to promote the importance of cleaning up after your canine companion. The potential environmental damage of dog poop, such as the waste run-off it generates, can adversely impact a variety of ecosystems. Celebrate this holiday by proudly bringing out your pooper-scooper and encouraging all the other pet owners you know to do the same.

When it comes to celebrating your pet, you already use all the traditional tricks. Make sure your furry companion has optimal nutrition and you buy them a special treat during the holiday season. Take advantage of some of these strange, but enjoyable pet holidays to find even more ways to love and cherish your pets.

What to Do If Your Dog Bites Somebody

No one wants to deal with a dog bite scenario. However, whether your dog is at fault, or whether he was provoked, there are a few things you must do if your dog bites someone. Taking the following steps will protect you and your dog, and help everyone involved recover from the incident.

Seek Medical Care

The most important thing you should do if your dog bites someone, is to obtain medical care for the person or animal that was bitten. You may also need to obtain medical care for your own dog; there are many cases where a dog is attacked and bites in self-defense.

Obtain Witness Statements

When a bite happens, this may be the last thing you think of at the time of the incident. Everyone may leave the scene amicably, with promises that everything is alright. However, situations and feelings can change, and you may find yourself facing a lawsuit. Obtain witness statements on the scene to protect yourself and your dog.

Contact Your Insurance Company

You should also contact your insurance company right away to find out what your rights and options are. You will likely be responsible for the medical expenses of the person or animal that your dog bit, so you will also want to find out what your coverage amounts are.

Contact Local Authorities

Depending upon who your dog bit, and the circumstances surrounding the event, it’s generally a good idea to contact local law enforcement agencies. An officer can come out and take statements from all parties that were involved. This can protect you and your dog later if a legal situation arises from the incident.

Contact an Attorney

Again, depending upon the circumstances, you may wish to contact an attorney. Even if the other party has not threatened litigation, contacting an attorney can help you protect your rights under the law, and protect your dog. In addition, you will have an attorney on hand should you be facing a court date.

Dry vs Wet Dog Food: Pros and Cons

For as long as there have been different types of dog food, the debate has raged about which type is better. Should you feed your dog dry food or wet food? Ultimately, the choice depends upon which your dog prefers and which suits your needs and your budget better. Before deciding, you should weigh the following pros and cons to make sure you make the right decision for your dog.

Wet Dog Food Pros:

Wet dog food can be a great source of water for dogs that don’t care to drink from their water bowl. Wet dog food is also easier to ingest, which is a benefit for senior dogs or those with problems with their jaws or teeth. Wet dog food also has a richer, stronger scent which can help entice your dog to eat his own food and stop begging at the dinner table.

Wet Dog Food Cons:

Wet dog food is generally more expensive than dry, and your dog may need to eat more of it to feel full and get his recommended daily calorie intake. Wet food also does not last as long as dry kibble; it must be used within hours after it is opened.

Dry Dog Food Pros:

Dry dog food encourages chewing, which can lead to better jaw health, and better health for your dog’s muscles and bones in his face. Dry dog food also helps to chip away at plaque buildup on your dog’s teeth, keeping his teeth cleaner and reducing the amount of oral hygiene work you have to perform. Dry dog food is usually less expensive than its wet counterpart, which can help you stretch your budget.

Dry Dog Food Cons:

Dry dog food can cause a problem for dogs that are elderly or have problems chewing. Likewise, if your dog has weak teeth, dry kibble can cause his teeth to chip or crack. If you believe any of these issues may be a problem for your dog, you should talk to your vet.

5 Things You Never Knew You Shouldn’t Give Your Dog

Most people know that chocolate is a major no-no for dogs. Like sharing your morning coffee or a late night alcoholic beverage, it may seem cute to let your dog taste the food and drinks you’re enjoying, but these and many other items can be toxic and even fatal for your furry friend.

1. Grapes and Raisins

The ASPCA acknowledges that the exact reason grapes and raisins are toxic in canines isn’t clear. Some dogs can even eat them without any issues, but others experience symptoms after just a few pieces of the fruit. Pay attention to your dog’s urination levels. If it increases briefly and then drops or stops altogether, get him to the veterinarian right away. Without care, this can cause death in as quickly as three days.

2. Corn on the Cob

It may seem funny to watch your dog try to get the kernels off a cob of corn, but your pup doesn’t actually care if he eats part of the cob while he chomps on the juicy corn. He’ll digest the corn without problem, but the cob may get lodged in his small intestine. The only way to prevent a fatal blockage is to have it surgically removed.

3. Onions and Garlic

Lump all the relatives of these seasonings into the warning. High concentrations, like onion and garlic powder or onion soup mix, are the most hazardous. Orange or red-tinged urine and weakness are signs of toxicity from these foods.

4. Candy and Gum

Sugar has the same unhealthy effects on dogs as on humans – so consider a natural supplement to replace your dog’s sugar-filled treats. Many treats actually contain xylitol, a no-calorie sweetener that can cause high insulin levels and other severe conditions in your dog. Disorientation can begin as early as 30 minutes to a few hours after ingestion.

5. Bread Dough

Yeast is the culprit, whether in the raw dough or on its own. The moist, warm surroundings of your dog’s digestive tract encourage the yeast to increase and expand. The mound of yeast can affect blood flow to the stomach or prevent the diaphragm from fully functioning, while the expansion produces alcohols that can poison your dog.

Senior Moments: Signs Your Dog is Aging

Signs of Aging in Dogs

Your dog is exhibiting behaviors that are a little “off” from his normal routine. Sometimes these behaviors are a sign of a health issue, other times they are simply normal signs of aging. If your dog is getting up in years and showing signs of slowing down, the following information can help you discern whether you need to rush to the vet, or if it’s a sign of nature taking its course.

Reduced Appetite

As dogs age, they need less in the way of calories. If your dog’s appetite has decreased slightly, this could be a sign of advanced age. However, if your dog stops eating completely and even treats and table scraps don’t entice him to chow down, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian to see if something else is going on.

Reduced Energy

Reduced energy levels are also a sign of aging. Your dog will slow down as he ages. Shorter walks and shorter play times at the dog park are normal, as is letting the neighbor cat walk by the front window of your home unmolested. However, if your dog is lethargic and reluctant to move from his favorite pillow, this is another instance when you might want to call the vet.

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Other Health Concerns

As your dog ages, his coat will become less bright and fluffy, and his fur will thin out some. He may also turn gray or white around his muzzle. His hearing may not be as sharp, nor his sense of smell. Just like humans, dogs will also lose muscle mass as they age, especially in the hindquarters. Your dog may have a difficult time climbing up on your favorite chair with you, or take a little longer to get out of bed in the morning. These are all natural signs of aging for dogs. As a dog parent, you know better than anyone when your dog is sick. If something feels “not quite right,” it probably isn’t, and you should visit your vet to get a professional opinion.

How to Assist Your Furry Friend as He Ages

Routine Vet Visits

It is important to obtain routine vet care for your dog, no matter his age. Not only does this help you keep up your dog’s routine medications, it can also help your vet identify any issues right away. Like humans, as a dog ages, there are many medical issues that can come into play. The sooner these are identified, the easier it is to keep your dog in good health.

Diet and Exercise

One way you can reduce the signs of aging in your dog is to ensure that he is getting the proper nutrition. A diet comprised of a high-quality dog food is helpful; a grain-free food that is high in protein is best. Some experts believe that dogs that eat a grain-free diet have healthier skin and coat, as well as healthier bones and joints. It may take some trial and error with different foods to find one that suits your dog’s individual nutritional needs as he ages. You should also provide your dog with the right amount and type of exercise that fits his needs and abilities.