Posts Tagged ‘puppies’

New Kid on the Block: Tips for introducing a dog into your family

Monday, July 29th, 2019

Whether you’re adopting a puppy or an adult dog, nothing is more exciting than bringing a new furry friend home! If you live with other dogs, remember that first introductions matter. How you introduce your new dog to your established pack can have a lasting effect on their relationship. These tips are designed to help integrate your new pup to the pack in a way that will reduce stress for everyone (human and canine alike).

Find Switzerland: Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Ground

Before making introductions, bring home an item that smells like the newbie for your established dogs to sniff. Maybe it’s a toy, or a piece of clothing that your new dog has been in contact with. By smelling the new pup first, your current dogs can familiarize themselves with their smell and recognize it when they are all introduced! Arrange their first meeting at a neutral location. By meeting somewhere like a dog park or a Sniffspot, nobody will feel like their territory is being threatened, and their first interaction is more likely to go smoothly.

Leash all the dogs meeting each other, and walk them together with about 10 feet of spacing between. This helps to get them used to one another without the stress of a “forced” meeting. Once the walk is done, take the pups to an open area and let them sniff each other for a few moments leaving the leashes on and loose. Remain upbeat and positive through the whole introduction process. Lastly, reward them like crazy so they associate the new dog in their pack as a good thing. If you see any type of aggressive or fearful reactions, separate them and get each dog to focus on the person they are with. You can try another introduction later and be sure to always end on a positive note!

There’s No Place Like Home

Once the dogs have met on neutral turf, it’s time to bring your new pooch home! This can be a pretty scary experience, so to help make things easier on him, bring him home to an empty house (get a friend to watch your other dogs for an hour or so). Also, put away any food, toys, and bedding that belongs to your other dogs. If you have adopted a puppy, be sure to puppy proof your home!  Bring Fido in on a leash, and spend some time walking him around the house and yard so he can get familiar with his new home.

After some time, you can let him off leash to freely explore but keep an eye on him at to make sure he’s not getting into anything he shouldn’t. That’s directed at you, Labradors! After he’s finished the tour, bring your other dogs home and re-introduce them out in the yard first. Even if they’re getting along, keep food and toys separate for the first several days as mingling these items can trigger territorial aggression.

Make sure your new pup isn’t feeling overwhelmed by giving him alone time from your other pets. This could mean time in another room, a crate, or on a solo walk with you. Also be sure to monitor each dog’s body language for the first week to make sure everyone is having a positive time and not displaying aggression or fear. If things between your pack are tense at first, no need to panic! Experts say that it can take up to a month to work out the kinks of their new relationship. If you do notice any signs of aggressive behavior, keep periods of interaction brief. Halt any escalations with a firm, consistent command and then separate them for a short period. When they behave well together praise them equally.  You can also bring in the help of a dog trainer to aid in the transition. With time, training, and praise, your new and established dogs will create a new pack hierarchy, and have their own very special bond!

Dog Behavior: The good ,the bad and the weird

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Even though dogs are our best friends, it’s time to recognize something. They are total weirdos. Dogs are infamous for some very strange behavior like sniffing butts, humping legs, chasing their tails, and eating poop. There’s no doubt that you’ll recognize some of the wacky traits listed below, so let’s figure out the logic behind some of our best friend’s more quirky dog behaviors.

Butt Sniffing

“Hello? Anyone home?”

Butt sniffing may seem crazy to us, but it’s a source of *very* valuable information for your pup. Unlike humans, a dogs’ primary sense is smell. Their little snouts are about 100,000 stronger than our human noses. They can even smell from each nostril separately! Think of butt sniffing as dogs exchanging business cards with each other; their anal glands excrete scents that hold key information that is instantly translated through scent. Just by a brief butt sniffing session, your dog can find out their new friends’ gender, health and reproductive status, temperament, and what foods they eat regularly.  So rather than be grossed out the next time you see your dog and another dog greet each other with some butt sniffing, be amazed at how much they’re learning about each other!

Dining on Doo Doo

Oh, the shame!

Poop eating is truly the most bizarre and yuck inducing behaviors a dog can exhibit. The worst part is that after they’ve indulged, they usually want to lick your face – ugh! Thanks, but no thanks! What on earth would compel your cute, beloved, snuggly friend to eat poop? The scientific name for this disgusting phenomenon is coprophagia. A recent study by veterinarian Benjamin Hart at the University of California discovered that 16% of dogs are habitual poop eaters, and 24% of dogs are rare to occasional poop eaters. Poop eating is normal in puppyhood, but if the behavior is not addressed it may carry on throughout a dog’s entire life. There are health issues that could prompt a dog to eat feces such as poor digestion and plain old hunger. If a dog has poor digestion, the food may come out in a very similar way to how it went in, prompting a dog to have dinner, version 2.0. Parasites can also take nutrients from their food, so Fido may opt to eat anything he can get his paws on to feel full. If you suspect your dog is eating poop due to a health condition, contact your vet right away.

Tail Chasing

I’m gonna get you…someday!

Tails are just plain entertaining for humans and dogs alike! For a playful pup, seeing a fluffy tail (even one that’s on his own body) may just be too fun to resist. Often chased, though seldom caught, tail chasing is usually just a dog burning off excess playful energy.  It’s like your dog is twiddling his thumbs! Tail chasing can be a genetic predisposition in breeds such as German Shepherds, Bull Terriers, and Dobermans. Just like us humans, dogs can develop obsessive compulsive disorders. One common display of OCD is wait for it, compulsive tail chasing. If you notice that your dog seems fixated on chasing his tail rather than playful, seek help from a canine behaviorist. They can use behavior modification training and anti-depressants (if necessary!) to help stop compulsions.

Humping

Get a room!

Is your dog being physically amorous with other dogs at the park? How about with inanimate objects, or worse…your leg? What exactly is causing this blush inducing behavior? If you have a humper at home, know that you’re in good company. It’s a common issue, and one that may not need to be addressed. First, it’s important to understand that both male and female dogs hump. Spayed and neutered dogs may hump as well, and though dogs under the age of one are more frequent humpers, many dogs don’t age out of this behavior. The first reason for humping is a sexual impulse. Whether it’s another dog, your leg, or a pillow, dogs will hump any dang thing for sexual gratification. Dogs of both sexes (especially those whom have not been fixed) can begin humping when they start reaching sexual maturity. Female dogs in heat are will hump another dog of either gender to signal mating. It’s vital to spay and neuter your pet to not only cut down on the humping tendencies but prevent successful mating. Usually dogs aren’t emulating mating behavior when they hump. The ol’ bump and grind can be caused by nonsexual arousal (caused by stress or boredom), and play is another reason that dogs hump each other, which should be totally acceptable if both dogs are fine with it. You should intervene if one of the dogs looks annoyed or is being overpowered by the humper. Social dominance is another reason that dogs hump each other. It’s a vital part of establishing the pecking order within a pack, and to test the submissiveness of another dog. If your dog compulsively humps, a canine behaviorist can help find the cause and help calm your little Romeo down.

Shy Dogs & Dog Parks

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Shy dogs have a special place in our hearts! Anyone who has ever loved a dog will tell you that they absolutely have their own personalities and funny quirks.  Though their temperaments vary from pooch to pooch, shyness is a fairly common trait. It’s especially noticeable in dogs who have experienced abuse or poor socialization early in life. Rescue dogs are even more susceptible due to trauma associated with being in a noisy shelter, going from foster home to foster home and essentially a lack of stability.  For a shy pup, the dog park can be an overwhelming and scary place at first. Thankfully there are ways to safely introduce Fido to the dog park to ensure that they have a life filled with fun visits and play.

Signs your dog may be timid or shy:

If your family has recently adopted a dog and you’re unsure about their temperament, body language can help give you some insight into how they feel. If your dog exhibits some or all these traits, they may need some extra TLC and training:

  • Ears are flat against his head
  • Often in a cowering posture
  • Shies away from interactions with other dogs and/or people
  • Tucks his tail between his legs
  • Panting or shaking
  • Excessive yawning (a sign of stress)
  • Skulking, pacing, hiding, or escape attempt
  • Whining or barking
  • Raised hackles
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Nipping, biting, or sneering
  • Submissive urination

Dog Park Introduction Techniques

Basic Obedience: For safety purposes, every dog should respond to basic commands before visiting a dog park. Obedience training can be your best friend’s best friend here! If a shy dog knows exactly what you’re asking/expecting, he may be less likely to panic during a stressful situation. Start at home with simple commands such as “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Come”, and be sure to use lots of positive reinforcement!  Once your dog has mastered those commands indoors, try taking them outside where there are more distractions. Working closely with your dog will boost their confidence and give you peace of mind as well.

Additional Training: Sometimes a timid pup can overreact when they feel threatened or nervous.  This can be something such as anxious barking, but can also be more problematic if they resort to fear-based responses such as nipping or biting.  Fortunately, most reputable trainers offer classes and/or one-on-one sessions geared towards shy dogs.  These classes build upon basic obedience and focus on confidence building and strengthening the dog/guardian bond.

Doggy Playdates: If your dog is timid around other dogs, consider an at home playdate before introducing him to the dog park. The best BFF candidate is a calm and gentle dog who is confident around both people and pets. Not only is this a big step in socialization, but your dog will learn appropriate behavior just by being around a laid-back canine. If you don’t have any dogs like this in your life, ask a local dog trainer!  Many of them would love to bring a “canine mentor” to a training session or allow your dog to test out a day at doggy daycare where they can learn those same skills in a managed environment.

Practice Park Activities: Teach your dog games like “Fetch” and “Hide and Seek” at home or in your backyard. This not only gives your dog a chance to learn while playing, it also trains them for activities you’ll likely engage in at the dog park. Giving treats or using a clicker can help him focus on the positive and stay out of worry-wart mode.  It may sound simple but for a timid dog, just learning that they can initiate an interaction with a predictable outcome can make all the difference.

Putting it All Together: When it’s time to load your pup into the car and head to the park, start slowly.  That means doing some background research first: does your local park have a shy/senior dog section?  What are the slowest and busiest times (so you can plan accordingly)? Are there any reviews of the park from other park users that might be helpful? Can your dog trainer meet you there to provide an extra set of eyes?  Do everything you can to set your dog up for success, but be patient! It might take a few tries, or visiting a few different parks for the stars to line up.  And it’s possible that Fido just isn’t a dog park kind of dog, and that’s fine too!

Hopefully these tips will make the dog park a happier place for both you and your pup.  Woof!

 

 

Bee Safe! How to Prevent and Treat Bee Stings

Friday, June 8th, 2018

Bee safe! Dogs are famous for being curious and playful, which are two of the reasons we love them so much! However, these personality traits don’t mix well with bees and other poisonous insects. To a dog, what could be more fun than scampering after a low-flying bee? Unfortunately, our best friends have no clue that what they’re chasing has a stinger on its rear end that could give them a world of hurt!

A Pound of Prevention

Before you and your dog go out and play in the back yard or park, take a quick look around for hives and bee attractants. Many bees build underground nests, so scan for hives at ground level as well as in trees. Should you discover a hive, leave it to the professionals and don’t attempt to move or destroy it yourself.

Traps are a great option for nuisance bees such as Yellowjackets and Wasps: the non-toxic pheromones only attract those varieties and not our beneficial Honeybee friends.  Placing a few of these  near high traffic areas can make a big difference.  Bees are of course attracted to flowers, so it’s a good idea to check for any activity in your garden before your four-legged friends go outside to smell the roses.

Food…who doesn’t love it? If you have your dog with you at a BBQ or picnic, burning a Citronella candle can help keep bees away (along with pesky mosquitoes!). Citronella isn’t harmful to bees, but they will avoid areas infused with its smell.

How to Treat a Bee Sting

If you notice your pooch has met the wrong end of the bee, keep a careful watch for an allergic reaction. Just like humans, some dogs are severely allergic to the venom. Symptoms to look for: difficulty and/or rapid breathing, weakness, vomiting, pale gums, diarrhea, and a large amount of swelling that extends away from the sting site. Contact an emergency vet immediately should you see any signs of an allergic reaction. If your dog is not allergic to bees, but is stung multiple times, you should also consult your vet immediately, as reactions can be more dangerous than a single sting.

Try to remove the stinger if possible; it will make your best friend more comfortable and decrease the likelihood of infection. You can treat the area with a mixture of water and baking soda, and by wrapping an ice pack with a towel and applying to the site to reduce swelling. Benadryl is a safe and effective antihistamine for bee stings.  Proper dosing for dogs is 1 mg per pound. Most Benadryl comes in 25 mg tablets, which is easier to dose for larger dogs but for small dogs, try children’s Benadryl in a 12.5 mg dose (the liquid option makes it easy!).

What happens if your dog swallows a bee? Trapped in your dog’s mouth, a bee will sting anywhere. If your dog has tried to swallow it, the stinger may be at the very back of the tongue or even down the esophagus. This can be a very dangerous situation as swelling could occur and block their airway.

Long story short, keep your vet’s number handy along with Benadryl, and keep a close eye on free range pups during these warmer summer months!  Bee safe out there!

Puppy Proofing Your Home…and Office!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

With two rambunctious Great Dane puppies (and litter mates!) recently welcomed into the Dog-ON-It family, we’ve been busy puppy proofing just about everything we can.  Here are some tips to help make sure your pup is as safe as they can be when they’re not snoozing the day away.

Otto & Gozer

The Chew:  Puppies, just like human children, go through teething…in addition to exploring the world around them with their mouths.  We’ve found a few ways to help distract them from chewing on things they shouldn’t (like furniture or you)! Our blue Dane boys love elk antlers and bully sticks, and keeping them occupied with food dispensing puzzle toys is a fantastic way to direct their energy towards something positive.  The Kong Wobbler is especially popular here and we use them to feed Otto & Gozer their lunch; they have to knock it over to dispense the kibble and the hard plastic makes it pretty chew proof as well.  Another option is to stuff a standard Kong or other durable chew toy with treats, peanut butter, yogurt and/or anything else your puppy loves.  Even better?  Put it in the freezer for an hour or so for some relief for those puppy teeth and gums.

 

slippers

Crates are Great:  Ok, folks, this is a lifesaver.  Dogs are den animals and love having a quiet space they can call their own.  Make sure the crate isn’t so large that they could use part of it as their bathroom (crate dividers are helpful!) and also keep it stocked with a favorite blanket and some toys.  But…most importantly, never use the crate as punishment.  They should want to go in on their own and it always helps to use treats or positive reinforcement to reward that behavior.  We especially like the light travel style crates for the office and the sturdier wire, collapsible ones for our home.

Highway to the Danger (Free!) Zone:   Puppies are notoriously curious and even with the best of intentions, can get themselves into a pickle.  Whether it’s a particular food, something they’ve discovered in the yard, or anything that might not, ahem, pass, keep your eyes peeled for potential problems.  Also, if Fido is smarter than the average bear, child-proofing cabinets in both your bathroom and kitchen where cleaning supplies are usually kept is not a bad idea.

Keeping your puppy fed and full with the right foods can help to prevent dumpster diving for less than ideal snacks, and can also help to prevent pancreatitis, a painful and potentially deadly illness.  Some common foods to avoid:

Chocolate, raw onions, anything with xylitol, cooked bones – particularly poultry, caffeine, grapes/raisins, alcohol and even though it’s legal now in some states…marijuana.  Vet offices are seeing a huge increase in marijuana related visits, so please keep your stash “high” and out of reach!

We like to supplement our puppies’ meals with some healthy people food too.  Fresh veggies such as green beans, peas, shredded carrots are well received as are roasted root vegetables like sweet potatoes, turnips, and rutabagas.   Eggs are popular too, along with limited amounts of cottage cheese and plain yogurt.

OG

X-Ray Vision: Well, we don’t really have x-ray vision, but we do keep a super close eye on the floor.  Here at the office, things like random staples, paper clips, and tape can easily end up in a dog’s mouth.  Making sure your floors are tidy is an easy way to prevent obstructions and digestive upset. Another big one – cords.  Yep.  Our pups love cords.  And since you can’t really unplug everything, Bitter Apple Spray along with a firm “NO!” is a great deterrent. Remember to praise your pup when they drop or walk away from whatever you’ve asked them to!

Hopefully some of these tips might help keep your puppy safe and you sane – woof!

Boys

Hound Heroes: Strays Who Saved the Day

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Hero Dogs

We all know dogs are loyal companions, they perform acts of selflessness, courage and even stray dogs can have a sense of duty and protection. Here are several stories of hound heroes who not only saved the day, but saved lives. Dogs truly are man’s best friend!

Firefighting dog

 “Firefighting Fido”

In 1935, a stray dog came to the rescue of a family whose house had caught on fire in San Mateo, California. The family was unaware of the fire and had it not been for the dog barking and alerting them to get out of the house, they might have perished. Dogs have an incredibly strong sense of smell and can detect smells much better than people. Whereas humans use sight as their strongest sense, for canines it’s their nose and they use them for everything, from wet nose wake up calls in the morning and saving strangers from house fires!

nanny

“Nanny Dog”

In 2005, near the Ngong Forests in Nairobi, Kenya a caring canine came across an abandoned newborn baby. The child was wrapped in tattered clothes and a plastic bag. The dog carried the child across a busy road, through barbed wire and into a shed where she was keeping her puppies. A man who owned the shed discovered the baby and alerted the local authorities. A dog’s maternal instincts are something to be admired. They are loyal, loving, caring, and protective creatures.  Did you know Pit Bulls used to be referred to as Nanny Dogs? They earned this nickname in the 1900’s and were considered to be the strongest, most protective, loyal, and loving animals towards children.

aussie

“Aussie Hero”

During 2009, in Maningrida Australia, a stray dog intervened in a domestic fight.  A man had beat his partner in front of family members, and then dragged her outside where our Aussie Hero Dog came to the rescue.  The dog stopped the violent assault by biting the attacker and saved the woman from further harm so authorities were able to capture him. Dogs have been protective of their owners since the beginning of time, but what provokes a dog into helping a stranger? Studies have shown dogs have a sixth sense about people’s intentions. One breed that is particularly protective is the German Shepherd who are characterized as dogs who listen well, learn quickly and are obedient – all of these characteristics are also why these heroic dogs are used so often by police departments and the military. They’re also pretty cute! sheps

So the next time you see a stray dog, remember these stories of our hound heroes! Help prevent animal abuse by helping a dog in need.  If you come across a dog who may be lost, check Fido for any tags with guardian information.  If he doesn’t have one, please take him to a local vet clinic or humane society where they can scan for a microchip and provide a safe haven. They would do the same for you!

Our Office Dog of the Month: Duchess

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Duchess

Meet Duchess, the newest addition to our office dog team! Duchess is a 12 week old lab mix and was adopted from a local animal rescue organization (we love to support dog rescues!). This little puppy is the sweetest girl who loves nothing more than being cuddled. Her favorite hobby is to grab her stuffed hippo and curl up in your lap while she plays with it.

She has been experiencing a lot of firsts and encounters every new task bravely. Stairs seem to still pose a challenge for her (and her face with all of the falling she does!) but we are confident she will master them soon.

Eating and playing with snow is also near the top of her list of favorites until she realized how cold it gets. She wasn’t sure about her new snow vest at first, but quickly learned to love it once it warmed her up… and we love how cute she looks in it.

She brings so much happiness to our office and has truly become part of the Dog-ON-It family! We are excited to watch her grow, experience the world and learn dog agility like our other office pups.
Stay tuned next month to meet office dog Rory!

The 12 Pets of Christmas

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

These elves are on the naughty list this year…
Blog 1

And Santa Paws himself is making a special guest appearance!
blog 2

Proof that no dog can resists cookies (or any food group) left out for Santa.
blog 3

And who else can Santa Paws rely on other then his trusty reindog?
blog 4

At least one of these guys looks like he’s having fun…
blog 5

…and every ugly sweater party has to have THAT guy who went a little too crazy with the eggnog.
blog 6

Don’t forget the Santa Paws imposters at the mall. They don’t fool anyone.
blog 7

Christmas just isn’t the same without a cat to brighten the holidays.
blog 8

This pup who is tired of taking holiday pictures and has reverted to the “forced smile”.
blog 9

This cat plotting to get his puppy sibling in trouble every chance he can get…
blog 10

And the ongoing battle between good and evil.
blog 11

And last but definitely not least, our favorite –The Fainting Tree. Timber!
blog 12

Happy Holidays from the Dog-ON-It-Parks team!


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