Save Money And Have Your Pet Live Longer.

Is there a new wave of dog dog owners who have overweight pets? With everything going retro, what happened the good old fashion brisk walk?  Maybe the outbreak of overweight dogs is simpler that we think. A past article in the WSJ suggests that maybe this phenomenon coincides with the dream of owners “managing to find time.”

I believe there is a simpler answer. Could it be as simple as flipping less chips to our dogs?  Less human food leftovers, more dog owner self control, and just organizing your daily or weekly routine to include a 20 minute walk or 10 minute game of fetch.

So, is it merely a matter of finding the time or is it really just making the time?

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

  • More than half of US dogs and cats are overweight or obese
  • Obese = 30% above normal weight
  • 20% of dogs and cats are obese
  • Research suggests that pets fed less over their lifetime can live significantly longer

New efforts are afoot to stem what many vets believe is the single most preventable health crisis facing the country’s 171 million plus dogs and pet cats. They include software for doctors to track a pet’s “Body Condition Score”, a blood test that could quickly determine animals’ body-fat percentage, Weight Watchers-type pet diet plans and doggie treadmills. Utah-based Pet Zen Products LLC makes “Dog Tread” treadmills ranging from  $599-$999.

 

How to tell if your pet is pudgy: 

 

  • Can you feel the pet’s ribs easily? If you have to dig around, the animal is likely too heavy
  • Look at the animal from the side –You should see a tucked abdomen.  A hanging belly indicates excess fat.
  • Look at the animal from above.  You want to see a moderate tapered “waistline,” not a broad, flat back.

 

What to do:

  • Calculate calories — See petobesityprevention.com
  • Measure meals –Don’t just fill the bowl.  Talk to your vet, take charge and look for a low calorie food. Look out for over treating and substitute vegetables and fruits, such as sliced carrots and apples, dogs love them.
  • Exercise daily  –For dogs, 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking. You’ll both look fabulous before New Years! Go figure, self control, save money and exercise, exercise, exercise. Now you have a partner in crime.

Tip of The Day

 

            ”Failure is the only opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”                                                                                                                     Henry Ford

 

Dogs And Food. 3 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know.

What does dog food have to do with dog training? The answer is… Everything! I know, it’s a billion dollar industry with an enormously expanding menu of options. It gets very confusing for dog owners to decide which food to buy, and why, when and how to feed it.

 What does that mean in regards to training your dog? How, when, where and what your dog eats can have direct impacts on peeing and pooping in your house. How your dog gets along with other animals in your house is often food oriented, at least may become so over time. And an array of other behavioral issues, health concerns, as well as, potential allergies (leading to medical bills) may become food related over the course of your dogs life. Even how your dog interacts with your children! It all begins with you– No pressure.

O.k. so let’s get to the meat of it: dog training, dog food, how it correlates and why? It can get really confusing to many owners. Many behavioral issues can develop in dogs and stem from how owners feed them. Here is a little Q and A to wet your appetite on the subject matter.

 

When do you stop puppy food and when to start feeding adult food? Generally speaking when your dog is a year old, make the switch to adult food. This can vary according to size and breed. But make the switch slowly over a few days gradually adding in the new food.

Why should I time feed my dog? This is really helpful for finicky eating dogs. Time feeding your dog helps housebreaking issues.

What if my dog is a pig? Dog’s that eat their food as if they were vacuum cleaners also have issues. There is something called bloat to look out for as an owner. This is cause for concern and it has to do with feeding your dog. What is bloat? Please ask your vet for more information on this topic. According to my research and first-hand experience, it is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer. The technical name is “Gastric Dilatation Volvulus” or (GDV). This is where the dog can swallow too much air while eating rapidly. Drinking water or stress can be a significant factor in swallowing air. As the stomach swells, it can twist and obstruct the veins leading to shock, damaging the internal organs and quickly killing your dog. The breeds of dogs this can affect may surprise you.

Dogs that are at risk for bloat are usually deep rib caged breeds, big and small. German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retrievers, Labs, Dachshunds, Pekingese, and even Miniature Poodles can be at risk! The point is, even if a dog does have a healthy appetite could benefit from training tips. It could save its life.

 

Training your dog to eat slower is a healthier option.  Finicky eaters need to learn to eat in one sitting which will in turn help with housebreaking issues, potty accidents, child safety around dog food bowls, and will ward off potential dog fights in multiple dog households. Just dome food for thought, and a treat from your trainer!

 

Owning Dogs And Holiday Entertaining. 3 Easy Tips To Teaching Dogs Not to Jump on Guests.

Holiday entertaining and dog ownership can mean many things to different people. Dog hair on sofa’s, the wet nose of goosing a guest. For some toy breed owners it may mean passing out ear plugs to mute the sound of the barking, as guests attempt to enter your house. Other young dog masters feel body gear (to block the massive jumping up on guests) to be in order. Party favors of such a nature are not what most people envision when they finally get the dog of their dreams. Matching reality to expectation can sometimes be a long road. So how do you achieve calmly being able to open the front door, greet guests, and not chant NO at your dog? Wait until he’s 15 years old?

All can be elegantly achieved within a few weeks. It just requires a little organization. Front door dog training and a few dog owner tips. A little effort and isolating the area of your lifestyle that’s the trigger to the behavior.  All of these tips can help slowly ease the tension between your dog and you in that particular area in your house.

Paws for a Minute®: Lifestyle

1. Tip: Keep a leash by the front door.

Doing so helps maintain the mayhem. Too easy? Remember, I’m on your side. The leash help you guide your dog into a sit. Gently lifting up on the leash as you say sit, gains eye contact from your dog to you. It changes the whole scope. Yes, eventually you will not need to use the leash, but for now it adds the structure needed. You can practice with no one at the door, a few minutes a day, 2 minutes here and 2 minutes there. Dogs are very routine animals and they LOVE to please you so you can make it a fun game. Why not treats, instead? Well, for this exercise, I like to use your voice and praise for sitting as the treat.

2. Tip: Place a jar of treats outside the front door.

Here is where the treats can be be added. A jar can be just out side the front door and have a family member or friend  ring the door as a guest would. Practicing the bell can help simulate the sound and train your dog to focus on you at the same time. Dogs don’t bark when the phone rings, right? So by simulating the sound desensitizes your dog. As the guest ( friend ) walks in have them gesture the letter “J” with the hand holding the treat. THis is the hand signal for sit, as they walk in. This conditions your dog to greet your guest, get a command, sit as a greeting and get a treat. If he jumps up, you get to redirect him to sit because he is on a leash.

3. Tip. Every time you come home, greet your dog silently.

Yes, no voice. Zip it.  No, of course it’s not mean. Pup’s respond like crazy to voice inflection and it encourages them to jump! You can show love in MANY different ways. When you come in the door, crouch down and silently give your dog a massage as a hello. This will teach him to see you and expect a slow massage instead of a hyper hello. 

All of these tips together will help condition your dog in a few weeks to be less hyper at the front door, just in time for the holidays.

 

 

Gift Ideas For The Posh Pup. 7 Things We Love.

Naughty or nice, this year?

Well, if it’s nice, here are seven very cute things to give your posh lil’pup this year, or friend. This list is mainly for the pee-wee’s. The BIG dog list is coming soon…

 

 

 

Kiehls since 1851 makes a spray-and-play

Makes dogs smell great and you not embarrassed. It’s wonderful to have in the house for the holidays. Terrific for in between baths. Just spray on and your dogs, and they will smell lovely before the guests come. To solve goosing guests at the front door, keep reading. $13.00

 

I love this orange quilted canvas dog mat or blanket.

Great for the car or to throw over the couch or chair.

Also comes in honey and cream. Washable.

$168.00

 

Dog rain slicker. This is an old school look made mod.

$124.00

 

 

 

Cute rope chew toy. Peace sign comes in blue and red.

Made by Jax and Bones.

$12.00

 

 

This is a very posh shearling harness.

Comes in black and natural.

$575.00

 

 

Shearling Coat- Large

I’m not sure what large means… but it looks snuggly for the short haired dog who gets cold.

Size details available

$725.00

 

 Perfect tote for the Chihuahua, Yorkie, Mini Dachshund. I know I’m leaving many others out, but you get the idea.

Made by Mungo and Maud

Pod Bag

$575.00

All of the beautiful items are available at www.barneys.com

Dogs, Divorce and Children.

No question about it, divorce sucks. Especially for kids. The holidays can make it even worse. Having to go to different houses or not seeing one parent on special occasions. I know, not a festive topic, but a real one for many. A proactive, fun and potentially positive way to make a bad thing better is to add a dog. On your mark, get set, ready for the PUPPY? On the wish list for many kids, but when is the right time to make that commitment? Getting a dog is a huge responsibility and must be something you, as the parent, are ready to take on. Do not, I repeat, do not expect your children to take on the duties without your total supervision. 

This largely depends on your time, past pet experience and the age of your children. If you are considering the the addition, a dog can be an amazing teacher for children and help out during an emotionally stressful time. They help teach care, unconditional love and responsibility.

All of which, becomes especially important if your family is split. Divorce is never easy, especially not for children, who are often caught in the middle. Having to split time between parents and internally knowing not everyone is happy, despite the adult emotional coverup.  If your family has gone separate ways, sometimes adding a dog can help a child redirect emotions on to a positive happy focus.

Parents can absolutely use the experience of raising, caring and loving the family dog in a proactive way. Using the daily care of a new pet can become the catalyst to teach a child compassion, time management and structure, at a time that’s unstable.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying get a dog because your getting a divorce. It’s not a cure for your child. However, the change in routine that happens when a family split’s up can be made a little more tolerable to a child by infusing a positive project. Raising a puppy or adding the right rescue dog can help bridge the adjustment of having to go to two different homes by creating a new routine with pet care. It’s helpful if both parents are on the same page and agree to apart of the pet project. The involvement of training, walking, feeding, housebreaking and even vet appointments can help the kids build into this “new” family unit.

Even if the new dog stays with one of the parents, both can be included in activities and involved in the successes of the pet. Besides, even the process of looking for a great dog is a fun experience and help children with the adjustment of the split. Check out www.petinder.com for awesome pets in your area.

More on this topic… in blog posts to come.

Can Your Dog Help You Find The Right Relationship?

Relationship rescue with rover? What is your dog telling you about your dating choices or lack of them? Okay, some people may be laughing already thinking I know what mine is telling me, “open the door stupid and let me out, I have to pee.”  Others bark for biscuits CONSTANTLY, like mine do. The quirky traits that we might find adorable but your new or on going partner may think otherwise.

Like children, if they’re not yours at the onset, it’s sometimes something that needs to grow on you, or not! Dating and dog ownership can tell you quite a bit yourself and who YOU’RE dating, and sometimes how long the relationship is meant to be. 

Most die heart dog owners will stand readily on their soap box and warn, that if you don’t dig their dog, then there’s the door! But hang on… is that right? Maybe drawing a line in the sand over pet allergies sufferers, or partners who fuss over too much dog hair, are good indicators of trouble spot issues elsewhere. Or maybe you need to change your approach. Dating can create insights over your “deal breaking” issues however, maybe it can also teach the opposites to attract. Does the significant other in your life have to be a dog or animal crazy person to really be truly compatible? Well, after years of training people in their homes, I will say it helps. However, it’s not a major deal breaker. I’ve seen great relationships evolve where one person was not a great lover of animals and grew to love the pet they lived with.

As a trainer, who teaches owners and dogs together how to live in true mutt-rimony, often the deal breaker with dating couples, becomes more about the approach the person (owning the dog) in the new couple, then the dog. Yup, this is where a little gentle patience comes in handy and little reverse psychology.

Over the many years of teaching people, I found that people who were not experienced dog people just needed a little time and bonding before they warmed up to the wet nose. Therefore, giving the new person rights, or at least a little say… in matters, such as, who sleeps in the bed, can go a long way. I found that when I taught new couples, the non “dog” person was eager to learn, but needed time to adjust. 

Doing a re-train or a brush up in obedience, on a leash, with your dog or joining a group class (as a three some)  is a very helpful tool for bonding. It actually helped the new couple learn insights to each others personality.

It time the dog hair, slobber, and the occasional goose hello, seemed to be acceptable after a while, just not initially. So my die hard single pet loving owners, be gentle and respectful of dates who may not LOVE your dog immediately.

My tip: Make it more about your date, then the dog, at least at first. lol.

Holiday Leftovers, Find Out What’s Healthy For Dogs

Holiday leftovers can be a great treat for dogs. But did you know that some can cause problems.

A fantastic treat option is sweet potatoes, and dogs LOVE them. No butter, please. Great for dogs that have food allergies and a great money saver alternative to expensive dog treats. Microwave, let cool, slice into cubes and keep refrigerated.

Turkey is also a fantastic snack. However, without the skin and NO BONES. Cooked bones can splinter and cause bad things to happen and be very dangerous, plus it could cost you mucho $$ at the vet.

Honestly, if your dog is not used to human food and you don’t want to create a beggar, coffee table surfer of food snatcher in the future, then try to control yourself. For some dogs and cats, even the hint of a new food can create stomach problems. The whole experience may not be worth the treat with the surprise after effect.

Paws for a Minute® health

The real tip for today is that there’s one holiday dish “ingredient” to keep in the pantry, just for your dog! Did you know that “canned” pumpkin is a great natural remedy for your dogs upset stomach. Dog’s love it and it should help solve the problem. Also a great natural treat. A little will go a long way.

5 Must-Have Training Tips To Prepare Your Dog For Holidays And Children. Wild Ones.

Congrats, you made it, you have it all and your living the dream. The house, the kids and now you have the dog! Or even if you don’t and all you have are a slew of fur kids and the human kind only come to visit, I thought I’d give you some basic tips that can help around the holidays. Approximately,  5 Million children get bitten by a dog a year in the U.S. and the main culprit? The family dog. 

Unpredictable children, shy dogs and add a little food dropped on the flor and that’s a recipe for a potential disaster!  Not good or merry, if that happens.

Your dog is counting on you to create some boundaries. Dogs often see children as submissive beings. In other words, dogs see children as they would another dog. Which means they want to play, nip, chase and growl even warn or snap.You need to be aware. Not every dog is used to being around kids. Sometimes it’s a size issue others it’s an age issue and fluffy cute dogs are the biggest target.  Think about it, your relatives dog is not always socialized trained or used to being around kids.

The main thing to be careful of is furniture, dogs and small children. Dogs go underneath chairs and tables. They may growl and a young child does NOT heed to the growl.  Growl is a warning that I’m going to bite. Not if, when. 

Paws For A Minute: Holidays- Child and Dog Safety 

1. Time feed your dog.

In other words do not leave the food out at all times. Create a feeding time for your dog. Put the food down for 20 minutes and if your dog does not finish “sorry Charlie” until the next feeding. I know your thinking not a problem…my dog wolfs his food. However, some dogs may be finicky eaters and this is not a great thing around kids. You don’t want your dog to be or become food possessive, even if he never has been before!   This can be especially true with older dogs and young children. Baby gating your dog in a space so he can eat in peace helps too.

 

2. Exercise, before the feast.

A tired dog is a great dog. Especially before people come over. So best to schedule the time. If you are going to let your dog and your children play together try to tire your dog out first. I know who has the time. But really if you can play fetch or let your dog rip around the back yard for a few minutes before the kids especially toddlers go outside this will help. Large breed puppies can over power kids unless they get their ya-ya’s out first.

 

3. Walk your dog around the house for a few minutes on the leash.

Sounds crazy I know… but this is especially helpful with young exuberant dogs and toddlers or small children.  Walk around your living room and when you stop pull gently up on the leash and ask your dog to sit. This will create eye contact from your dog. Then you can praise him.

This technique sets a positive tone for your dog and calms him/her down, instead of busting into a room and mowing down a child. Children get to see the dog and perhaps give a treat in a controlled manner. If your dog goes koo-koo on the leash, then quickly pivot and say lets go. Walk a few steps to change the focus while using a upbeat voice, This will redirect the initial barking.  Lastly and obviously, if your dog simply isn’t good with children then don’t risk it.

4. No rough play

I know sorry Dad’s.  It sends a mixed signal to the dog. Avoid games like tug of war. Not good, it promotes growling.  Remember your little kids are like playmates to your dog. Therefore rough play can transfer to your dog wanting to tackle your kid.

5. Teach your dog to fetch

Create a ball-o-holic out of your dog. This is a great activity for the kids to play with the dog. Parents need to implement it first. This is a great way to bond and interact. It takes the intensity off the child and dog and onto a ball. The child gets to watch and participate. Here’s how… The key is to use one special fetch ball. Keep it in a special place and only use it during the game of fetch. When teaching your dog to fetch use anticipation as the incentive.

Ask our dog to sit. Then throw the ball as you say o.k. As your dog gets the ball, crouch down and clap your hands, praising your dog. As he runs towards you take a treat out of your pocket suddenly stand up and say sit. Your dog will spit out the ball for the treat. Then begin again. The key is to only throw the ball twice then put the ball away. The next day throw it three times, the next day four, etc.

Before your know it you will have a bona fide ball-o-hollic. Then your kids can take over and have a fun safe game to play with your dog