6 Solutions for Dog Separation Anxiety

I had a dog who had severe separation anxiety.  One day I went out for a couple hours. When I returned, the house was a disaster.  He destroyed crystal, lamps, etc.  He got scared of being alone.  I hope this article sheds some light on the subject.  Diana Davidson,

As back to school craziness takes hold across the country, I worry about how all of our dogs are handling the inevitable changes in the family schedule. Fall can mean less time with beloved family members — particularly those who might be heading off to college or out of the home for work for the first time — and that can be a trigger for separation anxiety in dogs.

Separation anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, fear, or panic that develops when a dog is unable to be in contact with his or her caregivers. Often, symptoms of mild separation anxiety are missed by owners, since they tend to occur when we are not home or are misidentified as simply being a sign that our pet loves us. Dogs separation anxiety may include:

    • Frequently seek an owner’s attention( through pawing, barking, etc.) throughout the day
    • Follow owners around the house
    • Seek comfort from owners whenever something unexpected occurs
  • Greet owners exuberantly when they return home

Symptoms of established dog separation anxiety include:

    • Barking, whining, or howling when left alone
    • Destructive behaviors (e.g., chewing and clawing at objects in the home)
  • Escape attempts through or around doors and windows, crates, or fences

If you believe that your dog might suffer from separation anxiety, it is important to remember that he or she is truly terrified in your absence not being “bad.” Punishment of any sort is absolutely the wrong response to fear and will actually make the situation worse rather than better. Effective treatment for separation anxiety involves avoiding behaviors that reinforce “neediness,” teaching the dog to relax, and providing positive reinforcement for doing so.

Behavioral modification protocols often include recommendations like:

    • Pretend to leave (e.g., pick up your keys or purse) but then stay or walk out the door but immediately come back in. As long as the dog remains calm, gradually increase the amount of time you stay away.
    • When you do get home, ignore your dog until he or she is calm.
    • Do not allow your dog to sleep in your bed.
    • Ask someone else to do things with your dog that he or she enjoys (e.g., going for walks).
    • Get your dog to look forward to time alone by handing out special toys (food-filled ones work well) when you leave and putting them away when you are home.
  • If you often have a television or radio on when you are at home, keep it on when you leave.

Prescription and nonprescription anxiety relievers (e.g., medications, nutritional supplements, and pheromone products) can also help, but should be viewed as a way of enhancing the effectiveness of rather than replacing behavioral modification techniques. A dog’s primary care veterinarian can usually make recommendations for handling mild or moderate cases of separation anxiety, but if the situation is completely out of control, referral to a veterinary behaviorist may be in everyone’s best interests.

Dr. Jennifer Coates

How Can You Determine Pet Obesity

Is My Pet Fat?

 

We all know that food is love with out pets.  This is the number one way of showing our love;  however, fattening up your pet is not a loving thing.  It affects their health adversely, just as in humans.  Read this article.  Diana Davidson, Westside Dog Nanny

Hourglass figures aren’t only for Marilyn Monroe and a goal for women everywhere: Your pet should have an hourglass figure too.

Most pets these days are overweight, even if many of their owners are in denial about it.

“I don’t think pet owners truly appreciate how important it is to have their pet at a healthy weight,” says Ashley Hughes, DVM, a veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, DC. “I think people don’t believe me or think I’m exaggerating when I tell them an animal’s obese.”

But pet owners should listen, since being overweight puts your dog or cat at risk of many diseases, not least of them diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis.

And while your vet may diagnose an overweight or obese pet, it’s easy to determine for yourself, too.

Tools to Determine Your Pet’s Body Condition

 

The best way to determine whether a pet is obese is by using a system such as the body condition score, says Dr. Jim Dobies, a veterinarian with South Point Pet Hospital in Charlotte, N.C., and a member of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association.

Body condition scores can be easily found online, where there are pictures of what your pet looks like and what his ideal body looks like. Most websites give scores of one to five or one to 10, and your pet’s physique should resemble a picture of an animal in the middle numbers.

But you can also assess your pet without them, Dr. Dobies says.

The best way is to stand above pets and look down on them. “You should be able to feel their ribs but not see them. If you can see them, they are too skinny,” Dr. Dobies explains. “If you can’t see their ribs, and place your hands on the side of their chest and still can’t, they’re overweight.”

Both dogs and cats should also have a nice taper at their waist (between the abdomen and where the hips go into the socket), he says. “If there is very little or none at all, they are too heavy and they’ll be oval shaped. They’ll be egg shaped rather than hourglass.”

And a very obese pet, he says, “will have a pendulous abdomen, hip fat, and neck fat, all of which are very noticeable.” But pets don’t usually reach this point of obesity until they’re aged at least seven, he adds.

There’s another way to tell if your pet is overweight, and that’s by using the new, science based Healthy Weight Protocol, which was created by Hill’s Pet Nutrition in conjunction with veterinary nutritionists at the University of Tennessee.

This tool is “brilliant,” says Hughes, who likes it because it’s objective.

How does the protocol work? A vet takes measurements — four for a dog and six for a cat — then inputs them into a computer. The computer then determines the animal’s body fat index. By comparing this with a chart, the vet can tell you exactly how much weight your pet needs to lose if it is overweight.

“It’s much more specific and scientific than me saying a pet looks like he should lose two to five pounds,” Hughes says. “With this, we can determine exactly how many pounds pets should lose and how many calories they need per day.”

If you’re going it alone with your pet’s weight loss — and Dr. Dobies does recommend that pets have a physical with their vet every six months — you can weigh your pet on a scale, if they are small enough, he says, and monitor the weight over time.

Helping Your Pet Burn the Extra Pounds

 

If a dog or cat is overweight, cut their food intake by 25 percent, Dr. Dobies advises, and increase their exercise level gradually day by day.

“Don’t leave it up to the dog,” he says, “but make sure he gets out on the leash. Gradually you want to build up to a 30-minute walk, twice a day.”

It’s harder to force cats to exercise, he adds, so play with them more if you can, with kitty toys or a laser pointer, for example. But also recognize that cats are at their most active when the sun is rising and setting, so if you can play with them during these hours, you’ll be most effective.

Dr. Dobies also cautions against letting your kitty lose weight too fast. Rapid weight loss can lead to fatty liver syndrome (hepatic lipidosis), which can cause her to go into liver failure.

Having your pet exercise may also mean you don’t have to reduce his food as significantly, especially as his endurance builds up — and maybe soon you’ll have an hourglass figure, too.             By Amanda Baltazar

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Dog Microchip Can Save Your Dog’s Life

Summer may be winding down but there are still many outdoor days ahead so I thought this article would be helpful in keeping your dog safe…….and alive!

It is no secret that annually, millions of dogs are killed in dog pounds across the United States. A tragedy and a wrong that we are on the forefront to rectify, some of the most horrific cases occur when a family’s best friend gets lost in the midst someplace and consequently loses his life.

The Problem

When dogs are picked up as strays, they are OFTEN killed because his family has not been found/ notified or does not appear at the holding shelter in the VERY short time span that is given  before a dog’s life is snuffed out. 

This happens after days at the beach, a campground, natural disaster, or an open gate at home which sends Fido strolling perhaps to get lost and picked up by Animal Control.

It is nothing short of tragic… 

Fortunately, there is a simple fix  that every dog guardian can do to help assure their best friend does not become a statistic.

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That Tiny Life Saving Solution is a Dog Microchip

A microchip is a very small computer chip with a unique pre-programmed ID number. Once implanted, the I.D. number is permanent. A layer of connective tissue will form around the chip preventing movement.

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Implanting a tiny microchip such as the one pictured above is quick, easy and pain free. A quick injection under the loose skin between shoulder blades and it’s done !

Most veterinarians and animal shelters have scanners that can read that identification code.  Most use universal scanners that will read all brands of microchips.

Once complete, you must register the microchip, with your contact info and your veterinarian’s contact info which will be added to the database should your best pal ever get lost.

If a shelter  takes in your dog, they will scan to read the number and contact an agency managing the database. The only dilemma has been that there are different manufacturers and consequently different databases… and shelters are not very proactive after a call to one.

The good news here is that a  microchip database exists within the AAHA and is accessible online to make the search easier. According to their site the database enables veterinarians, humane organizations, dog guardians and others to search pet recovery registries and identify where a microchip is registered.

Ask your vet to scan your dog for the presence of a microchip and search the database if there is a chip, to make sure it is REGISTERED. This is very important and only take a few minutes.

Contact the microchip supplier at their customer service dept to confirm registration and that all of your contact information as to names, phone numbers, and veterinary information are up to date.

This is CRITICAL. Your dog may have only one chance at a dog pound to be reunited with you. Don’t leave to hope or chance what happens when a phone number supplied years ago is dialed…. 

And..IF YOU TRAVEL 

If you travel internationally, some countries require microchips in imported animals to match vaccination  records.  

MR Bruno
Adopt a Dog-  Protect Her Life With a Simple Microchip and ID Tag

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

 

 

Cat Behavior Problems

For a lonely kitty at home, the best remedy is a companion, right? But instead of getting along like siblings or civil playmates, your frisky felines are at each others throats. What’s the deal?!

There are a number of reasons why your feline friends might not be getting along. Cats, much like people, will definitely be a little reclusive and territorial once there’s a new kid in town if they’re not used to company.

Kitties that have had no socialization with other feline friends make a routine of its own. Any change or funk in its groove may upset them.  This may cause them to not be as welcoming to new additions as you hoped they would be.

Sometimes it may be hard for two unrelated males or two unrelated females to get along well, but it’s also highly dependent upon personality. Just like being assigned a roommate in college, cats don’t necessarily get to choose their housemates, and it may mean that your cats can have a negative nature towards each other.

However, there are a few factors that may cause your cats’ relationship to grow backwards too. Negative and scary situations, such as loud noises or unpleasant smells that are associated with one cat, may cause fear or stress in the other cat. Maturity levels are also an important dynamic in the relationship.

Here are some steps the ASPCA advises that you can take to make your home a happy place for both your cats.
• Make sure you see the signs before one cat walks all over the other.  A more timid cat may hide, spend more time alone, show signs of sickness, and only access shared resources when the other is not around.  The more assertive cat might intimidate the timid cat from eating, accessing sleeping areas, playing with toys, or even blocking its path.
• Give them a sense of ownership. Individual food, toys, bowls, beds, and even litter boxes in different parts of the house will make them less competitive.
• Don’t let your cats duke it out. Letting them fight will only make them more aggressive and hostile towards each other. If you feel a battle about to erupt, put a stop to it with loud clapping or spraying them with a water gun.
• Neutering or spaying your cat will subside their aggressive behavior.
• Give your cat space when he’s having a fit to let them calm down, so you can avoid being their next victim.
• Make sure to pay equal attention to both your cats to avoid competition.
• Use positive reinforcement and reward your cats when they are interacting with each other in a positive way.

As far as cats who’ve gotten along and are mildly aggressive or cats who’ve never gotten along and are severely aggressive towards each other, it’s may be a good idea to separate them in different rooms. For mildly aggressive cats, it may take a few days and for more aggressive cats a longer period time to reintroduce themselves to each other. But encouraging them to be close to each other, giving them the ability to smell and hear each other, and providing them with daily reintroduction sessions is key.

But if your cats become unruly don’t be afraid to ask for professional help. It may take more than your patience to get your crazy kids to get along. It’s not always easy but it can be done!

 Allison Espiritu


Read more at http://theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com

Understanding Dog Behavior: Why Does My Dog Cock Her Head?

I found this article about something dogs do that is really cute and mysterious;  cocking their to one side when hearing a noise.   While this article doesn’t give a sound reason why  they do it, it is fun to read.  Diana Davidson, Westside Dog Nanny.

 

It’s a classic dog move: Your pup hears something — a mysterious sound, a smartphone ring, a certain tone of voice — and suddenly her head tilts to one side as if she is contemplating what the sound wants from her. Internet videos of the behavior attest to its commonality — and to the fact that so many dog lovers find it so entertaining. Once you realize how your dog reacts to, for example, a question — “Who’s the best girl?” — it’s hard to resist repeating it over and over, just to see your already-adorable dog up the cute factor by cocking her head to the side. It’s like she’s puzzling out the precise meaning of your words.

Or is she? What’s really happening when your dog tilts her head?

The Better to Hear You With

The head tilt, although not fully understood, might actually signify your dog’s attempt to make sense of what she hears. Dr. Meredith Stepita, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists now practicing at East Bay Veterinary Specialists in Walnut Creek, Calif., explains that some experts believe that dogs tilt their heads when they think there is a possibility that what is being said could lead to something important to the dog — an activity they enjoy, for example. Since dogs can understand some human language, including words and tone of voice, a head-cocking dog could be concentrating on picking out a key word or inflection that relates to that favorite activity. So your dog may cock her head when you start talking about taking her for a walk or giving her a bath or playing a game of fetch — whatever it is that she loves to do.

Dr. Stepita notes that the way dogs hear plays a part as well. Dogs have movable earflaps that help them locate the source of a sound. In addition to moving their ears, says Dr. Stepita, dogs’ brains “compute extremely small time differences between the sound reaching each ear. Even the slightest change in the dog’s head position relative to the sound supplies information the dog’s brain uses to figure out the distance of the sound.” So, when a dog cocks her head, she could be trying to more accurately determine the exact location of a sound, specifically the height relative to the ears, adds Dr. Stepita.

Put these elements together and it seems pretty likely that dogs naturally engage in this behavior and then repeat it when reinforced. “If the dog is praised by the owner for cocking her head, she will be more likely to cock her head in the future,” says Dr. Stepita.

Is Head-Tilting a Sign of Intelligence? Or Something Else?

So is your head-tilting dog smarter than her canine peers? Although there are anecdotal reports of dogs with long, floppy ears being more likely to cock their heads in response to noises than dogs with erect ears, Dr. Stepita knows of no studies that associate the head cock with any specific classification of dog like breed, age or intelligence. She also notes that some experts have reported that dogs with certain socialization problems are less likely to engage in the head tilt when people speak.

While it’s easy to assume something as cute as your dog tilting her head at you is always benign, it is important to speak with your veterinarian about any behavior that could have a medical cause, including a head tilt. “A dog that consistently or even intermittently holds their head to the side, especially without an obvious external trigger present (i.e., a noise), may have a medical problem,” says Dr. Stepita, These types of health issues range from brain disease such as infection, inflammation, cancer, etc, to an ear problem such as infection, lodged foreign object or other mass. Only a veterinarian can rule these out.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

 

How Pets Are Grieving the Loss of a Dog

I lost my GSD, Logan, on April 22, 2013.  After much grieving and anguish, I have finally returned to the world of the “normal”.

I have 2 Abyssinian cats, Isabel and Abigail.  I already had Logan when Isabel arrived in my home at 3 months of age.  After she got over her fear of her new surroundings, she settled in and imprinted {I believe} on Logan.  He was not that interested in her…..yawn, a cat!…boring; but she was interested in him.  She would display her hiney to Logan and he would lick it.  [Now, this is animal behavior, so don’t get upset.]  She would also cuddle next to him when he was snoozing in the living room or  in my bedroom.

I also board an adorable Maltese named Gabe.  When Logan was here, Gabe used to steal his bones and run up onto the sofa and chew away.  Logan would go to sofa and take his bone back.  Gabe would steal the bone again and chewed all day long!

Since Logan is gone, Isabel has become a “velcro” cat!  She is almost constantly on my lap as I work on my computer.  She sat on my lap before, but never this much.  I think she misses Logan and is looking for me to comfort her and give her love.

I board Gabe a couple weeks a month.  He’s been here for the past week and has not touched the bone once!!  He just sleeps.  I guess it was such fun to steal the bones from Logan; and since he’s gone so is the thrill. 😉

Diana Davidson, WestsideDogNanny.com

 

 

 

 

Is Your Dog At Risk? Dangerous Dog Treats

I bought rawhide bones for my GSD.  I didn’t know that they were so potentially dangerous!  After reading this very informative article, I am buying bully sticks instead.-Diana Davidson, WestsideDogNanny.com

Sometimes even the best intentions can have dangerous or tragic results. 

As a good pet parent, you want your dog to have the very best life possible. That includes giving them everything you can to make them happy. One easy way that many owners show how much they love their animal companions is to treat them with a delicious snack. Our pets appreciate the treats and we get joy from giving them, so what could be wrong with a little extra goodie now and again? 

The problem is that all treats are not created equal, and what you may not know about some treats could put your dog in grave danger.

Over the years I’ve talked to a lot of my colleagues in veterinary medicine about treats. That includes my dear friend Dr. Debra at PetProductAdvisor.com, who has spent years and years studying the treats on the market. Together she and I have learned a lot about products including what dogs like and what is safe, and some of what we’ve found out is shocking.

As you may recall, in 2007 news broke of the horrific canine deaths and illnesses related to contaminated dog treats imported from China. The terrible situation came about because production standards in other countries are often less strict as they are in the United States. Most dog owners didn’t know this, and didn’t realize that their dogs’ treats were made in a country with lax regulations (such as China). The treats in question were packaged and sold under U.S. brand names but produced elsewhere.

Thousands of animals became sick as a result of consuming contaminated treats, and many others lost their lives. When owners became aware of the issue it led to greater attention to the dangers associated with imported treats. As a result, it also fed into a growing demand for natural treats that are made in the U.S.A. with U.S.-sourced ingredients. Two types of treats became much more popular during this time: rawhide chews and “bully sticks.” Today I’d like to talk a little bit about them and help you understand which is better for your pet. 

Rawhide Treats: Are They Safe?

It seems like rawhide treats have been around forever. These familiar chews come in lots of fun shapes and flavors, and dogs generally enjoy them. They’re also very affordable and they last for a long time. But there are also some health dangers associated with rawhide treats, so make sure you understand the risks before giving your dog this kind of item.

Rawhide is made from animal hide, which is not digestible. If your dog swallows a piece of rawhide whole, it can become a choking hazard. Swallowed rawhide cannot be digested. That means it must travel through your dog’s digestive tract where the sharp edges of the undigested rawhide can cause internal damage. It is not uncommon for veterinarians like myself to examine an x-ray only to find obstructions from rawhide. In some cases they even require a surgery.

Many owners find that rawhide treats don’t fit into their lifestyle of reduced chemicals. Rawhide goes through a lot of processing before it is ready for sale, including a chemical process where it is washed with degreasers and detergents then sterilized in hydrogen peroxide. With these things in mind, you might want to reconsider the use of rawhide as treats.

Bully Sticks: The Healthier Alternative

These strange-looking snacks might look a little unusual at first but trust me: dogs go crazy for them. Unlike rawhide, bully sticks are made with the meat of the cow – not the hide – so bully sticks are more easily digestible. This eliminates the potential choking hazards and intestinal obstructions associated with rawhide chews. Bully sticks are a little more expensive than rawhide, but they are long-lasting and much safer for your dog. Plus bully sticks are natural and do not contain chemicals.

After the dog treat contamination issues began in 2007, there was a growing demand for all-natural dog treats, including bully sticks that were American made. But did you know that most bully sticks are not made in the U.S.A.?

Today I’d like to tell you about a new kind of bully stick that is safe, tasty, long lasting, made in the U.S.A. of all-natural U.S. sourced ingredients… and it cleans your dogs’ teeth as they chew. Merrick Flossies Spiral Chews are a great choice for a high-protein, digestible, long-lasting bully stick. Their unique textured spiral shape cleans the tartar from your dogs’ teeth as they chew. Not only will your dogs get a tasty savory treat, every time they chew they’ll be improving their breath and cleaning their teeth and gums.                 Dr. Jon

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

 

KEEPING YOUR DOG SAFE: HOW TO TRAVEL WITH A DOG

Lately we have been talking a lot about summer activities which has of course included TRAVEL

What to take, where to stay, activities, food, and dog family attractions are all important and yet there is one especially important topic we should discuss..

Keeping Your DOG SAFE when TRAVELING

Too often we hear reports that a dog in a vehicle that was involved in a collision is thrown sideways, hurled through windows or windshields sustaining serious or life ending injuries.

It doesn’t have to happen

Seat belts, harnesses and specially designed restraints can save Fido’s life if you are in an accident…  Unfortunately, more than 80% of dog guardians don’t use one.

                                                 Seat Belts/ Harnesses

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   Dogs ride happy and safe when properly 

fitted in a seat belt or harness

The  AAA  conducted   a study  which not surprisingly found that dogs can be a distraction. It concluded that :

  • More than 1/2 were distracted if there dog was with them when driving
  • 1/3 were distracted if their dog climbed on  their lap
  • 1/4 held their dog when using  the brake
  • 1/5 allow Fido to sit on their lap in the car
  • 1/5 use one hand to keep Fido from climbing and one hand to drive  

Many dog guardians believe that Fido is safe when unrestrained or lap napping… 

But this is not the case

 

Here’s why you should never give your dog free reign of the car.

  • Airbags CAN BE FATAL A dog sitting on a driver’s lap can be struck and killed by a from seat airbag
  1. “In an accident, an unrestrained 10-pound  in a car going 50mph will fly forward with an effective weight of 833 pounds. An 80-pound dog in a vehicle going only 30mph will have an effective weight of 2,400 pounds – over a ton”. Cesar Milan 
  • Danger to first responders. Scared or hurt dogs may reflexively bite if a stranger approaches the driver
  • Running away. A scared Fido may run off, get lost or become injured by oncoming trafficMany states already have pet vehicle safety laws and others are following suit. States such as :Arizona, Florida, California, Connecticut, Maine and New Jersey hand out fines from $250-$1,000  if you let Fido sit on your lap while driving Hawaii prohibits unrestrained dogs in moving vehicles.
  • Most states have laws prohibiting dogs from riding unrestrained in the back of pickup trucks… It’s a law we wholeheartedly support !

More states are likely to follow suit….but it is really beside the point….

You MUST use a Harness, SEAT BELT or 

Dog Safety Retraint for Fido’s protection…

It just may save his life !

Types of Vehicle Safety Restraints

There are different types of dog seat belts that embrace Fido and keep him safe

Dog Seat Belt (like the ones shown above)

A dog seat belt is made of adjustable straps that fit a variety of shapes and sizes of dogs. Owners can purchase different types of canine seat belt harnesses that wrap around a dog’s body and safely secure them in a seat of the car

If you can’t get one for any reason you can make do with a tether attached to a harness in the back seat. Make sure that it is short enough to restrict activity but long enough for Fido to sit and recline comfortably…. 

  

What if you don’t want to use a seat belt, harness or tether?

No worries… there are multiple options 

Safety Barriers

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Some people use barriers made of steel or other material  that keep Fido in the rear area of the vehicle. You have to decide for your dog what will keep him/her the safest depending on size, typical activity level and length of trip,

Booster Seats  and Crates

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Another option is a booster seat designed for dogs, or a seat belt secured around Fido’s crate to prevent jostling.

We’ll be traveling again in a few weeks . About 20 years ago I discovered that seat belts were available for dogs…  

We NEVER leave home without our pack safely harnessed in the back seat.

They are comfortable, safe, happy and enjoy the trip…and we know everyone will get to our destination in one piece.

Doesn’t your best friend deserve the same level of peace and safety? If you already have a seat belt or restraint I congratulate an thank you…           MR Bruno

Adopt a Dog- Buckle Up for SAFETY !

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

 

Dog House Training Dos and Don’ts

Brindle and white puppy with red collar on

You’ve brought a new dog into your home—congratulations! Now comes your first dog-training challenge: house training.

House training is not an exact science—there’s no sure-fire formula or timetable that will work for every dog. The important thing is to make it a positive, not a stressful, experience. Beingattentive, patient and consistent are the keys to success, along with the following dos and don’ts:

Do: Closely supervise your dog. Limit the dog’s run of the house to the one or two rooms where you are able to see her at all times. Dogs usually show “pre-pottying” behavior such as sniffing, circling and walking with stiff back legs; all signs that you should get her to the potty area ASAP! As the training begins to take hold, you can slowly enlarge her territory as she learns where the potty area is—and that the house is not a toilet!

Don’t: Yell at or spank a dog for a mess she made earlier. If you catch her in the act, it’s okay to startle her by clapping or making a noise (hopefully this will stop her long enough for you to whisk her outside). But a dog will not learn anything by being scolded for a past accident, even one a few minutes old. Just clean it up and soldier on.

Do: Offer big, enthusiastic praise when she gets it right. Whether your goal is for your dog to eliminate on pee pads indoors or to do it outside, you have to really throw a party for her when she succeeds. Lavish her with praise, affection and some yummy treats!

Don’t: Rub her face in it. Ever!!! In addition to this action making your dog fear you, she’s incapable of making the connection that it’s the act of soiling indoors you object to—to her, you just really hate pee and poop. If she thinks that the waste itself is what you dislike, she’ll only get sneakier about hiding it from you.

 

Wet Dog Food vs Dry Dog Food

The dry vs canned debate.

What is better?

Canned

Here are the TOP 3 reasons why canned is often a BETTER food than dry.

1. Moisture Content – The first ingredient is water, and it more closely resembles what our pets would eat in the wild.

Cats and some dogs are notorious for NOT drinking enough fluid, living in a state of chronic dehydration.

This has health implications, especially with diseases such as Urinary Tract Crystals.

2. Animal Protein – in most cases this is the NEXT ingredient next to water – above any carbohydrate.

You can’t really make a canned food with high levels of carbohydrates.

Is this better? In my opinion YES.

A lower likelihood of diseases such as Diabetes. Less chance of obesity, and diseases linked to it such as Pancreatitis.

3. Digestion – It’s easier to breakdown in the stomach and intestinal tract. Canned food is already partly broken down.

This can mean less vomiting/intestinal gas, and potentially less incidence of diseases such as Bloat.

Think of the work it takes to digest these puffy, dry, fat sprayed on kibbles – vs moist, protein rich, canned food.

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

 

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