Aired (April 25, 2018)
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1. Show them you care by baking some HEALTHY treats from the “Dog-Gone Good Cookbook.”
Research for yourself what is a healthy portion size for your pet’s food and the quantity/quality of treats. Do you know if your dog is overweight? Do the simple feel test around your pet’s rib cage. If you can’t feel your pet’s ribs easily, there is a good chance they are overweight.
2. Go on long walks and change up your route for new smells.
Dogs use their noses more than their eyes, smelling their way around. They smell every shade of green we see. They smell a teaspoon in an Olympic size pool. Show your dog some love by taking them to new places, introducing them to new smells. Your dog will appreciate the fact that she’s got your undivided attention in a cornucopia of smells to delight her senses.
3. Teach your dog a new trick.
Check out all the tricks we have for you here.
4. Teach your dog some new words.
Watch the video below for some ideas:
5. Treat your dog to a day of doggie daycare.
6. Enroll in a training class.
Training is a great bonding time for you and your dog and taking time to take a regular class will strengthen your bond.
7. Play games together like hide and seek, fetch, and fly ball.
8. Brush your dog weekly.
Brushing stimulates the skin and allows natural oils to circulate. It prevents irritations and infections. It is also a great way to spend quality time with your dog.
9. Give your dog a nice relaxing bath.
10. Exercise with your dog.
Walking, running, hiking, and biking are all great forms of exercise to do with your dog. You build deeper bonds with your dog when you spend time exploring the world with your him.
Photo by Paxson Woelber
11. Take your dog to a local pet store for a visit.
Let them go down the aisles on a leash (of course) and pick out a new toy.
Giving kisses on command is a favorite dog trick for many people, especially children. It also happens to be one of the easiest tricks to train a dog to do.
What You Need
Some yummy treats are all that you need to train a dog to give kisses. Peanut butter or cream cheese works well because it’s easy to smear a small bit on your cheek or hand.
Here’s How to Do It
- Take a little peanut butter or cream cheese and place a dab on your cheek (or wherever you would like your dog to kiss).
- Give the command “give kisses.”
- Lean towards your dog, and let him do the rest. He should be eager to lick the treat from your cheek.
- Practice this dog trick for a few minutes several times a day. It won’t be long before your dog comes over to give you a big kiss every time you give the command!
Photo by Mike Baird
Basically pet fostering involves providing a temporary home for a rescued animal. As a foster family you provide love, attention, and care for the animal in your home while he /she waits to be adopted.
The duration of the animals stay can be anywhere from a couple days to several months and during that time you may assist with training or behavior modification. Any expenses related to the dog’s daily care, food, the shelter or rescue group generally covers veterinary visits, grooming. “ You get to do the fun stuff with the dogs. Love on them, take walks, and play with them.
How do you become a foster family?
Each shelter or rescue group has their own application process, but they all generally include some paperwork and home visit. The shelters look at the space an individual has at home and any other pets, and they talk to the family to make sure everyone is on the same page.
During the application process potential foster families can define the type of dog that will fit best in their life – big or small, active or laid back, even specific breeds. The most important thing is that the dog fits in well in the home.
The Joys and Pitfalls of Fostering
The fostering families get to know the dog in their care and often uncover some behavior problems. Chewing or destructive behaviors and potty training are some common issues foster families tackle. But the most challenging issues may be saying goodbye when the dog is adopted. While there are tips to decrease the chances of becoming too attached, most foster families still feel a connection to the dogs.
The joy of fostering comes from knowing that you are giving a dog a real chance at survival and giving the shelter an opportunity to help one more animal.
- Never name the dog. Giving the dog your own name increases the chances of becoming attached.
- Put your family and pets first. The foster dog is temporary and while you want to give them the best care possible, the needs of your family and pets should be primary.
- Don’t let them sleep on the bed or couch. Do give foster dogs their own space and toys.
- Remind yourself that you are preparing the dogs for their forever home.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are making a difference.
If your dog enjoys chasing tissues, sweet wrappers and any other type of garbage that crosses his path when out for a walk, take the opportunity to teach him an unusual and helpful trick. Teaching your dog to pick up your discarded wrapping paper is similar to teaching him how to play fetch.
Next time you take your dog for a walk, take some wadded up tissue or paper balls with you. Take him to a wide, open space and throw one paper ball onto the ground.
Command your dog to fetch the paper ball and bring it back to you. If your dog does not yet know how to fetch, start by pointing to the item you want him to bring, and repeat the command. If he does not respond, walk over to the item with a treat in your hand so that your dog will follow you. Guide him towards the item or pick it up and offer it to him until he grasps it in his mouth.
After your dog masters holding the item in his mouth, start moving away from him slowly while commanding him to stay. After you’ve moved back at least 10 feet, call your dog towards you. Give him a treat only if he returns with the item in his mouth. Only ask your dog to fetch your own garbage, avoiding sharp items and harmful chemicals.
The key to effective housetraining requires diligence.
When you find a mess in your house, clean the area thoroughly using an enzyme-based product: (Nature’s Miracle, Simple Solution, etc.). Any remaining residue will serve as a marker for your dog, indicating that this is a good potty spot.
After you’ve cleaned the area, make it inaccessible in some way—put a chair over it or cover it with aluminum foil.
If you catch your dog “in the act,” do not throw a fit. Take him calmly by the collar and lead him outside. (If your dog is small enough, scoop him up and carry him out.) You do not want to give the dog the impression that you do not approve of him relieving himself.
Reward the dog for finishing up outside with lots of praise and love.
In early puppyhood, puppies need to go out soon after eating, drinking, sleeping, or playing—in short, all the time.
Treat your newly adopted shelter dog like a puppy, regardless of his age.
Don’t put the dog out alone in a fenced yard, instead go out with him.
You can’t let him know he’s making the right choice if you’re not out there with him. Reward him for completing his business and make the reward memorable—a piece of garlic chicken, cheddar cheese, a walk.
Do not take the dog for a walk to do his business.
Instead go to your chosen potty area and wait. Once the dog goes to the bathroom, then begin your walk. If the dog doesn’t go within a few minutes, go back in the house and try again in a half hour. Many dogs on walks will hold off as long as they can because they know that once they’ve gone to the bathroom, their owner will turn around and head for home. Instead use the walk as a reward for going in the appointed area.
Prevent accidents by managing the dog’s environment.
When you’re home, tether the dog to your waist. You’ll be certain to notice when the dog needs to go out. If you choose not to tether the dog, you must actively supervise. Dogs tend to relieve themselves in low-traffic areas—behind the couch, under the dining room table. Don’t allow the dog out of your sight, even for a moment. If you are not home, use a crate to encourage your dog to “hold it.”
When you’re out, either use a crate or a puppy-proof a room to minimize the chance of damage. Until the dog has gone three months without an accident, do not leave him unattended or unconfined.
Our favorite housetraining book
Housetraining for Dummies by Susan McCullough
Other Reasons Your Puppy Might House Soil
Photo by Steph04 and can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7468249@N05/807731292
Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families.
But for pets? Halloween can be a downright nightmare.
1. Tricks/ no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
2. Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
5. Dressing in a costume for some pets can be very stressful. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au natural or donning a festive bandana/festive collar.
6. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets. We recommend sitting outside on your porch during peak trick or treating hours to avoid all the door knocking and doorbell ringing that puts your dog on high alert.
7. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside. Seeing kids in costumes can be confusing. And having the doorbell ring constantly can cause stress.
8. MOST IMPORTANT TIP: IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.
First, understand barking happens for a wide range of reasons. Some dogs may happily bark while they play. Others will bark out of excitement when people come to the door. Still others will fearfully bark at any new environmental stimulus they see (whether it’s a person, another animal, or an inanimate object). Some dogs relieve stress by barking. Others will bark because they are bored. All types of barking tend to have the same result for the humans…we get frustrated and annoyed if it goes on too long. Understanding the reason for the barking is critical to helping the dog.
Second, based on the reason for the barking, begin to implement some management options. There is no one size fits all when it comes to managing barking. What will work for one dog, may not work for another. You will need to experiment to see what works best for your dog. Here are a few methods to get you started.
- Distract and redirect the dog –This works especially well if your dog is frustrated or bored. Provide an alternative behavior such as coming to you to get pieces of chicken or steak, playing an interactive puzzle game, or chewing on a stuffed Kong toy. The goal here is to give the dog something else to do.
- Manage the environment – Practice makes perfect. Barking is one behavior we don’t want the dog to perfect. Set up the environment to prevent barking. Cover the windows so your dog can’t see out of them, or move him to another room when delivery people come by. Anticipate the times your dog might bark and break the cycle before it starts.
- Homeopathic remedies – Essential oils and Bach Flower essences can have a calming effect on many dogs. For dogs who are stressed or over-stimulated, you might try Bach Rescue Remedy in the water bowl, or lavender essential oil placed on a towel or bedding. You can also try a diffuser with dog-appeasing pheromones, such as Comfort Zone®.