Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy During Cold Winter Months

You may be ready for the colder winter months, but is your dog? It’s important to your pet’s health to be aware of potential winter dangers and ensure your dog stays active.

PREPPING YOUR PUP

As beautiful as your dog’s coat may be, fur does not provide perfect insulation. If your pet’s coat gets wet, the fur loses much of its insulating abilities. If your pet will be outside, please make sure they have warm, dry, and draft free shelter. If your dog will be outside, their doghouse should be well insulated with the entry facing away from the wind to avoid exposure.

Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors may need more food. Keeping warm forces your dog to expend more energy. Monitor your dog’s water bowl or use a heated bowl if it is kept where it may freeze. Using plastic or ceramic food and water bowls will insure your dog’s tongue does not freeze to the dish.

Even a short time spent in below zero temperatures can cause frostbite to your pet’s feet, nose, or ears. Indicators of frostbite include red, gray or white discoloration of the skin and possible peeling skin. Remove ice and snow from your dog’s paws and fur immediately. Be sure to thoroughly check your dog’s paws, including between the toes.

Check for antifreeze leaks from your car. Pets are attracted to the sweetness of antifreeze and it is deadly to your dog if consumed and not treated immediately. You may also consider using a pet-safe antifreeze which is free of ethylene glycol, the ingredient dangerous to your pet.

POINTERS FOR AN ACTIVE AND HAPPY DOG!

A nice brisk stroll is a good way to break up your dog’s day if he or she is kept inside. Keep in mind most sidewalks are treated with salt or chemicals to prevent ice, which can be harmful to your dog. Protect their paws with booties or be sure to rinse them upon returning home.

Turn mealtime in to a stimulating game! Offer your pup’s meals in a feeder toy rather than a bowl. This will not only slow down how quickly they eat which helps prevent gastrointestinal issues, but studies show dogs enjoy their food more when they have to work for it. The same can be done for giving your dog treats. Place them in a treat dispensing toy, or even put your pup in another room and hide treats for them to come back and find.

Winter is a good time to teach your dog fun new tricks. Start with simple tricks like “stay” or “shake.” Work your way up to tricks such as “roll over.” Try to keep training/trick sessions limited to about 15 minutes.

These pointers and being aware of potential dangerous will help you keep your dog safe and happy during the upcoming cold months!


Halloween Safety Tips

Keep your dog safe this Halloween by keeping these tips in mind!

dog daycare

1. Trick or Treat candy is not for your pets.
All forms of chocolate are dangerous for your pet, especially baking chocolate and dark chocolate. Many Halloween candies contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, which is poisonous to your pup. Xylitol is also found in sugar-free gum and some peanut butters, please be aware of your peanut butter’s ingredients before you give it to your pup.

2. Don’t give your pet a chance to escape!
Keep anxious pets confined or away from the door and trick or treaters. Strangers dressed in costumes may frighten your dog, causing them to dart outside. Halloween is not a night to be looking for a lost family pet.

3. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.
Everyone loves a jack-o-lantern, but dogs and fire do not mix. Keep lit pumpkins out of reach of your dog, your pet may get too close and burn themselves or knock it over causing a fire.

4. Don’t dress you pet in a costume they don’t love!
If you decide your pup will make the perfect Robin to your Batman, make sure the costume fits correctly and is not annoying to your dog. The costume should not constrain movement, vision, hearing or breathing. Testing the costume a day or two before to see how they do is always a good idea. A bandana covered in bats or pumpkins is always a festive alternative.

5. Identification, Please!
Always make sure your pet is wearing identification. A dog tag with contact information or a microchip could save your puppies life, and increase the odds they will be returned safely to you.


Potty Train Your Puppy With 6 Simple Steps

The key to potty training is consistency. Follow the 6 simple steps below to quickly potty train your pup:

  1. Your puppy will need to go out frequently.  During training, puppies should be taken out every hour, also shortly after meals, playtime, naps, first thing in the morning and last thing before they go to bed at night.  In between these times, watch for signs your puppy may need to go to the bathroom, such as pacing, whining, sniffing, circling, etc.
  2. Choose a keyword or phrase you will use to encourage your puppy to go to the bathroom.  This can be any phrase, “outside,” “go potty,” “get busy” and so on.  Use a keyword you will not say frequently around your puppy at times when you do not want him/her going to the bathroom.
  3. Accompany your puppy outside.  Be sure to give your dog enough time, 5 to 10 minutes, to go to the bathroom.  During these outdoor potty sessions, do not let your dog play, instead walk around the yard with your puppy.
  4. Repeat your chosen keyword (command) as your puppy begins to show signs they are going to go to the bathroom.  Depending on your dog, you may not want to say the command word while they are in the act, it may distract them.
  5. Immediately reward your puppy with praise (“Good outside!”), attention and even a treat.  If your puppy does not go potty, do not give them a treat, take them back inside to keep an eye on them and try again later.
  6. If you catch your puppy in the act while inside, clap sharply two or three times, enough to startle your puppy and get their attention.  When startled, your puppy will stop going to the bathroom, immediately run them outside.  Let them finish going to the bathroom and reward your puppy.

You will learn the individual needs of your puppy quickly and can accommodate the frequency with which he/she will need to be taken outside.  Even once your dog has a handle on going to the bathroom outside, use of the keyword will encourage your dog to go to the bathroom on command.  You will appreciate this when you don’t want your dog, or yourself, spending too much time out in the snow during the winter!