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How to Greet a Dog

You know that feeling you get every time you see a new dog? That somewhat uncontrollable urge to run over scoop that pup up and snuggle it for hours. As tempting as it may be, think about it from the dog’s point of view, scary right? If a dog sees you as a threat they may feel like they have no choice other than to bite. Here are some tips on how to greet dogs in a non-threatening manner.

  • Always ask the dog’s owner
  • Do not make direct eye contact
  • Approach the dog slowly
  • Get down on his level
  • Wait for him to approach you
  • Pet gently
  • Pay attention to his body languagegreeting-a-dog

Water Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Summertime is full of opportunities for most of us to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. But as we all know, that searing summer sun can be intense and in the search for some reprieve we often find ourselves poolside, in local stream, river, lake, or on the beach. If you’re like me, you likely have your pet along too. My pup is a water-lover; if there is a way for her to get wet she will be. While it’s always fun having her along to play or go for a swim, it’s also important to keep any pet’s safety in mind while on, in, or near water.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you splash through summer with your favorite four-legged companion.

 

Does Your Pet Like The Water?

The first thing to think about (especially if this is the firstdoesyourpetlikewaterseason you’ll be taking your pet in or near water) is that not all pets can swim, swim well, or want to swim. While some dogs seem like they were born to swim and take to it immediately, others struggle with fear of the water, panic in the water, or even find themselves in peril due to their own physiology. In my experience, toy breeds tend to be less than enthusiastic about water. I’m sure there are exceptions to my observations, but in general they have no interest and may even tremble at the sight. Likewise, breeds and mixes with thick bodies, short legs, cropped/short tails, and short snouts are prone to being terrible swimmers. Though they may be interested in swimming, you may find that it just doesn’t work out for them without a little help and constant supervision. You may consider purchasing a life vest to help to keep your pet afloat. Never force your dog into the water. Allow them to approach and investigate on their own under close supervision. If he or she seems anxious or scared, water play may not be for your pet, and taking them into the water may only increase that fear or anxiety.  Some pets like to take a quick dip, others may stay in the water all day if you let them. You can usually tell when it’s time to take a rest just by the way your pet is holding himself. Know when it’s time to wrap up play time, especially when the temperatures soar to avoid over exertion.

Other conditions may also make it hard for pets to partake in water activities. Small dogs and dogs with little or no fur can become cold quickly, even in warmer water. Older dogs and dogs with pre-existing heart, joint, ear or skin conditions could have flare-up after going for a swim.
 

Check Your Surroundings

My pet and I tend to seek out freshwater rivers, streams,checksurroundings and lakes to cool off. When you take your pet somewhere
to swim (no matter where) be sure to look around the area.  Posted signs such as “no swimming” signs should not just apply to you, but to your pet as well as there may be unseen safety hazards.  Avoid bodies of water that smell bad or may be prone to farm waste, roadway runoff or other contaminants that may be harmful to you or your pet.  Also be aware of potential hazards in the shallows or on the shore such as broken glass, fishing line/hooks, sharp rocks or branches, and other potential hazards.  Be sure the area you choose has slow current and areas where he or she can reach the bottom or the shore easily to take a breather.
 
 
If you live near the coast, you may be lucky enough to take your dog to the beach for playtime. It’s particularly important to pay attention to wildlife and water condition warnings at these locations. Strong tides, waves and undercurrents can pull your pet under or carry them out into deeper water. Jellyfish and other sea life (such as toxic pufferfish), alive or dead, may be washed onto the shore and can make a pet sick or inflict other injuries.
 

Boat Safety

Some pet owners even take their pets boating. Pets should boatsafety
be acclimated to traveling on watercraft before you embark.
The motion of the water rocking the boat may cause them to feel unstable and nauseated and it may cause nervousness and anxiety. The sound of the boat motor may also frighten some pets, so make sure your pet isn’t alarmed when the motor is started or changes pitch. Once they’re accustomed to the new sounds and sensations, be sure to observe the same boat safety for your dog as you do for yourself and other passengers. Invest in a pet life jacket in case your pet jumps or falls overboard.  Keep tackle and other potentially harmful objects and materials out of the dog’s reach to avoid injury or ingestion. Provide plenty of fresh cool water and a place for your pet to get out of the direct sun. Sunscreen for pets and eye protection such as doggles or a doggie visor are also recommended supplies,
especially for repeated or longer trips.
 

Pool Precautions

Some of you may have a pool in the backyard. If you allowpoolprecautions your dog to take a dip on hot days, teach him how to get out of the pool on his own by helping him up the stairs or ladder a few times. Make sure he knows where the way out is and that he can get out on his own!  Keep fresh-chlorine free water near the pool on the deck or patio so he doesn’t take to drinking to pool water. The chlorine and other chemicals that keep the pool crystal clear can give your pet quite a tummy ache.
 
 
 
 
 
 

When Playtime is Done

When your day of fun is done, rinse or shampoo your dog toplaytimedone remove pool chemicals, salt and other residue from his skin and coat.  Take care to clean and dry his ears to avoid ear infections. Even a well-conditioned swimmer will be sure to sleep well after a day in the water, your pet may even be a little stiff and sore if he doesn’t have a workout like that often. Rest assured that in a day or two he’ll be ready for his next swim session!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

July 4th Fun & Fireworks – Pet Anxiety & Safety Tips

The July 4th Holiday is upon us, and unfortunately it is one of the busiest times for animal shelters due to the overwhelming amount of dogs lost during the fireworks & festivities. The fireworks may be fun for us, for some of our canine friends it can be downright terrifying.

During fireworks displays, or even while setting off fireworks in your backyard and neighborhood, your usually calm family pet may become extremely stressed. The stress overload can cause some pets to try to escape the house or yard. By following a few simple tips for this holiday weekend you can avoid coming home to an empty house and the anxiety of a missing beloved family pet.

SAFEjuly4

  • Avoid bringing your pet to fireworks displays, even if they are not usually startled by loud noises or thunder.
  • Keep your pet indoors in a quiet, safe, sheltered area. Keep doors and windows closed and locked (I’ve heard stories of dogs opening slider doors or even jumping through windows to escape). Leave the TV on or play soothing music at a normal level to distract him from the noise outside
  • Prepare a safe “den” for your pet. If they choose to hide under the bed, in their crate or somewhere else in the house, allow them to. If your dog is not crate trained, and you would like him to be please visit our comprehensive crate training guide.
  • Feed your pet before the displays begin and keep a special chew treat on hand as a distraction.
  • Nervous or stressed dogs may chew to ease anxiety. Make sure to provide proper chew toys and make sure all cords and other dangerous objects are out of reach
  • Try a calming aid to help calm anxiety, or ask your vet for medication to help with your pet’s noise phobia.
  • Do not leave your pet outside during the festivities. Even with a fence or a tie-out a dog can go to great lengths to escape the source of their anxiety.
  • Always make sure your pet is wearing a properly fitted dog collar with up-to-date ID tags. Consider having your pet microchipped for extra security.
  • Try not to reward anxiety with extra attention. It may be hard not to cuddle or fawn over your pet when he is scared, but do your best to ignore axious behavior or practice distraction techniques to turn their focus away from commotions.

Follow these simple steps to enjoy a worry free Independence Day. The knowledge that your family pets are safe and sound will make your holiday all the more fun. Have a great holiday weekend!

Severe Weather can also be very stressful on our pets. Check out this post for tips on keeping you pets calm during severe weather.

Top 3 Crate Training Questions, Answered

Continuing our series on crate training, this segment will answer some of the top questions we get when people are considering crate training their dogs or puppies. Our previous posts included why you should consider crate training and the three main steps for crate training your dog. Hopefully by now you know that crate trained dogs don’t view their crates as punishment, but as a refuge in a world that is constantly changing around them. You also know that crate training can be a slow process. That leads us to our first question:

How Long Will Crate Training Take?

The answer to this very common question is “It depends.” It depends on your dog’s age, temperament, personality, and any past experiences they may have had in a crate.

It is very important not to rush the process of crate training. Take your time and only proceed when your dog is comfortable with the last step in the training process. If you move too fast, your dog may become anxious or fearful of the crate. The purpose of your dog’s crate is to provide a safe, comfortable environment where your dog can retreat to if they are anxious, scared, or there is too much excitement in the house.

The crate should always be a safe, welcoming and enjoyable environment, which is why you should never use the crate as a tool for punishing bad behavior. Make sure to provide plenty of treats, praise, fun toys, and love while you are crate training. Your dog will learn to enjoy time in the crate and will begin to use it on his own, without you asking him to go to his crate.

The second most common question we hear has to do with whining. Many puppies have this issue in particular and it can be heart wrenching to listen to. Lets talk about some steps to try if your dog is whining while they are inside their crate.

What do I do if my dog is whining?

You never want to let your dog out of the crate when they are whining. This only serves as a “reward” and they’ve now learned that whining will get them out of the crate. Consider first that your puppy may be whining because he needs to go to the bathroom. Calmly take him straight outside to do his business and return him to the crate without any stops along the way.
Read More »

How to massage a dog | becoming your dog’s masseuse

massageMost people enjoy a nice, long relaxing massage. Why wouldn’t pets like one too? It turns out that with the increase in the number of holistic veterinarians that massage and acupuncture have become big news in the canine world too.

My dogs are either way too hyper and energized away from the house or, in Sara’s case, very wary of strangers, so finding a dog masseuse isn’t an option for me. Luckily, there are loads of resources out there for people such as myself to learn how to give your dog a relaxing massage.

Massaging your pets is extremely beneficial for both you and your pet! First, the contact between you and your pet increases the human-canine bond that you feel and releases endorphins in both of your blood streams. Even if Fido is the one being massaged, you’ll reap the benefit and feel calmer too.

Secondly, massage increases circulation, eases constipation, lowers blood pressure, relaxes stiff muscles, and regular massage can help you find anomalies (like lumps and bumps) on your pet before they become problematic. There are schools where you can go to learn specific canine massage techniques, such as Tellington Touch (TTouch massage), Acupressure, Healing Touch therapies or Reiki therapy. The purpose of this article is to instruct you on giving a basic, relaxing massage to your pet and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat ailments without the aid of your veterinarian.

Here is my method to learn how to massage a dog, feel free to change it up as you see fit while you working with your dog, since every canine is an individual.
Read More »

Severe Weather Safety Tips for Pets – Keeping Pets Calm and Safe

StormWe’ve had our share of storms and rainy days in the Northeast so far this year, with more deluges in the forecast! Meteorologists and other media entities are quick to warn about the possibilities of flooding and other consequences of consistent rains, and they often give tips and pointers about how to stay safe if flooding should occur in your area. But what about your pets? What do you do to keep your pets safe and prepared in case severe storms, flash flooding or some other cause for evacuation should occur? It’s certainly best to plan ahead for a weather disaster, and with just a few simple steps you can have your pet prepared to deal with a variety of disasters sparing you both from possible heartache.

One of the simplest and most important things you can do for the safety of your pet, pending weather event or not, is to get them an ID. Whether it’s in the form of a metal dog tag, a tattoo, or an injected Microchip ID, these small applications can help to get your pet home if you should get separated for any reason. You can have a simple metal tag custom etched for a few dollars here at That Pet Place or at many other pet stores. I’ve even seen kiosks at places like Lowes and Wal-Mart. Tattoos (lifetime licenses) and micro-chips are permanent markers which can’t be lost if your pet loses his collar. Most shelters are equipped with a scanner, and one of the first actions is to check all animals for a microchip before they evaluated. Some shelters and vets offer micro-chipping and/or tattoo services, and micro-chipping clinics are popping up more and more, at very affordable prices. Read More »

Water Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Summertime is full of opportunities for most of us to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. But as we all know, that searing summer sun can be intense and in the search for some reprieve we often find ourselves poolside, in local stream, river, lake or on the beach. If you’re like me, you likely have your pet along, too. My pup is a water-lover; if there is a way for her to get wet she will be. While it’s always fun having her along to play or go for a swim, it’s also important to keep any pet’s safety in mind while on, in or near water.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you splash through summer with your favorite four-legged companion. Read More »

July 4th Fun & Fireworks – Pet Anxiety & Safety Tips

The July 4th Holiday is upon us, and unfortunately it is one of the busiest times for animal shelters due to the overwhelming amount of dogs lost during the fireworks & festivities. The fireworks may be fun for us, for some of our canine friends it can be downright terrifying.

During fireworks displays, or even while setting off fireworks in your backyard and neighborhood, your usually calm family pet may become extremely stressed. The stress overload can cause some pets to try to escape the house or yard. By following a few simple tips for this holiday weekend you can avoid coming home to an empty house and the anxiety of a missing beloved family pet.

SAFEjuly4

  • Avoid bringing your pet to fireworks displays, even if they are not usually startled by loud noises or thunder.
  • Keep your pet indoors in a quiet, safe, sheltered area. Keep doors and windows closed and locked (I’ve heard stories of dogs opening slider doors or even jumping through windows to escape). Leave the TV on or play soothing music at a normal level to distract him from the noise outside
  • Prepare a safe “den” for your pet. If they choose to hide under the bed, in their crate or somewhere else in the house, allow them to. If your dog is not crate trained, and you would like him to be please visit our comprehensive crate training guide.
  • Feed your pet before the displays begin and keep a special chew treat on hand as a distraction.
  • Nervous or stressed dogs may chew to ease anxiety. Make sure to provide proper chew toys and make sure all cords and other dangerous objects are out of reach
  • Try a calming aid to help calm anxiety, or ask your vet for medication to help with your pet’s noise phobia.
  • Do not leave your pet outside during the festivities. Even with a fence or a tie-out a dog can go to great lengths to escape the source of their anxiety.
  • Always make sure your pet is wearing a properly fitted dog collar with up-to-date ID tags. Consider having your pet microchipped for extra security.
  • Try not to reward anxiety with extra attention. It may be hard not to cuddle or fawn over your pet when he is scared, but do your best to ignore axious behavior or practice distraction techniques to turn their focus away from commotions.

Follow these simple steps to enjoy a worry free Independence Day. The knowledge that your family pets are safe and sound will make your holiday all the more fun. Have a great holiday weekend!

Severe Weather can also be very stressful on our pets. Check out this post for tips on keeping you pets calm during severe weather.

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