Canine Influenza in the Treasure Valley

Released February 16, 2018

This week the first case of canine influenza (H3N2/H3N8) was diagnosed in Boise.  Although there are no reported cases in Canyon County, and we have not seen any cases at Doodle Dog, we do know the canine influenza virus is a highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs and cats.

At Doodle Dog we have established cleaning and disinfection protocols to reduce the risk of infection, but in an effort to keep our canine community safe and healthy Doodle Dog is recommending all of our guests contact their veterinarians to determine if the H3N2/H3N8 vaccination is right for your furry family member.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Canine influenza is transmitted through droplets or aerosols containing respiratory secretions from coughing, barking and sneezing. The virus can remain viable (alive and able to infect) on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours.

AVMA indicates the Canine influenza has an incubation period of 1 to 5 days, with clinical signs in most cases appearing 2 to 3 days after exposure. Dogs infected with H3N2/H3N8 may start showing respiratory signs between 2 and 8 days after infection. Dogs are most contagious during the incubation period and shed the virus even though they are not showing clinical signs of illness. Some dogs may show no signs of illness, but have a subclinical infection and shed the virus.

In short, this virus can be anywhere a dog or cat travels, including the sidewalk in your neighborhood, in retail stores that allow pets, the veterinarian’s office, the dog park, hiking trails, training classes and even through the fence of your own back yard.

Although we are not currently requiring this vaccination, we do recommend it for all of our guests. 

Spot’s Academy Training

Doodle Dog will be partnering with Training Spot to host a six week training course at Doodle Dog Daycare.  The class will be starting Monday, June 6th.

Please click the link below labeled “Spot’s Academy”  for information on the course and on how to enroll.

Spot’s Academy 

 Hopefully we will see you and your furry friend there!!

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Tick Season is Upon Us!

With Spring, comes ticks.  It is important to protect your dog from ticks and know how to remove a tick properly if your pup does bring one home.

Preventative Measures

There are many products and medications available to help repel ticks.  You can provide a topical medication or us a tick collar, both of which are readily available at your local store.  Another option, Rose Geranium, an essential oil that is often used as a natural repellent.

Checking for Ticks

Check your dog for ticks each day.  Brush your fingers through their fur applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps. Don’t forget to check between your dog’s toes, behind ears, under armpits and around the tail and head. If you do feel a bump, pull the fur apart to see what’s there. A tick that has embedded itself in your dog will vary from the size of a pinhead to a grape depending on how long it has been attached. Ticks are typically black or dark brown in color but will turn a grayish-white after entering an engorged state from feeding.

Removing Ticks

Removing embedded ticks is a delicate operation.  It is easy for a piece of the tick to break off and remain in your dog’s skin if done improperly. Follow the removal steps below or consider bringing your dog to a veterinarian. Infection can occur after 24 hours, so if you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away.  Always wear rubber gloves to protect yourself from possible injury or infection.

  1. Grasp the tick very close to the skin with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
  2. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Avoid crushing the tick to prevent infection.
  3. After removal, clean your dog’s skin with soap and warm water and dispose of the tick by placing it in alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.

Following these steps can help ensure the successful removal of ticks. Never use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish or other products to remove a tick. Doing so can harm your dog and may cause an embedded tick to release more disease-carrying saliva.

Watch your dog for symptoms of tick-borne diseases.  Some symptoms include, arthritis or lameness that lasts for three to four days, reluctance to move, swollen joints, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite and neurological problems.

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Pet First Aid Kit


Doodle Dog Staff and Friends at Pet First Aid and CPR Course, March 12, 2016.

With these items below, you’ll be prepared to help your dog through most dangerous situations that they’re likely to come across, but remember, it’s always best to seek veterinary care. A first aid kit should just be used in an emergency until you can get to the vet or to address minor injuries like a superficial wound.

Wound spray

There are all kinds of ways your dog can get cut, scratched, or otherwise suffer injury to their skin, both around the house and outdoors. There are many different kinds of sprays you can find at your local pet store, Amazon, etc.

Self-cling bandage
If your dog suffers a serious laceration or other injury, you’re going to want to cover it with a bandage after using the wound spray. Look for self-cling bandages that won’t stick to your dog’s fur to avoid painful removal later.

Eye wash and ear wash
If your dog gets some kind of pollutant or other contaminant in her eyes or ears, it can cause itching, stinging, burning, or worse. Dog-safe eye wash and ear wash can help you flush out the problem materials with a dropper nozzle and can even be used on any dressing needed.

Dog cone
The problem with eye and other head-related issues is that your pup is going to do whatever he can to scratch and rub at the area with his paw. Prevent this from happening by using a dog cone, which will also prevent your dog from being able to chew at stitches from surgery or lick at a hot spot during treatment.

Hydrogen peroxide
If your dog consumes poison, you might not have time to get them to the vet. Depending on the poison, making your dog vomit can be an important tactic until you can get them to treatment. One safe and effective way to induce vomiting and get the poison out of their system is to force them to drink hydrogen peroxide. Always keep a fresh bottle on hand.  But don’t assume that hydrogen peroxide is the answer in every situation. Call your vet to get their recommendation on how to handle the situation right.

Other Items to Consider
Antibiotic ointment, gloves, cotton balls, q-tips, pet wipes, and any other items you think may assist you in helping your dog.




Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Socializing your Adult Dog

Socializing an Adult Dog with Other Dogs

 Take Your Dog Out to Observe

  1. Visit a dog park but don’t go in.
  2. Allow your dog to watch the other pups and observe their behavior.
  3. Every time a dog comes near the fence, give your dog a treat. This creates a positive association with other dogs.
  4. If your dog reacts aggressively towards the dogs in the park, move further away and slowly move up until he is quiet.

Resist Tugging While Walking

When out walking and another dog comes into view, resist jerking on the lead and yelling at your dog. This reinforces seeing other dogs as a negative experience. Instead, distract your dog with a treat or toy, use the command “Watch me!” and praise him when he pays attention to you.

Go to Obedience Class

Dog obedience class is a great way to help socialize an adult dog before attempting going into dog parks or daycare. Because your dog is learning commands, he is distracted most of the time.

Go to a dog daycare facility

Allow individuals who know dogs and dog behavior well to help introduce your dog to other pups.  This allows your dog to meet other dogs in a controlled environment and under and observant and knowledgeable eye.


Socializing an Adult Dog with Humans

Socialize with Family

The first step is to socialize your dog with your family. This is best done slowly and patience is a virtue here. Dogs and humans speak a different language so you’ll both be learning how to communicate.

Ignore Your Dog

When your dog runs to hide from you, don’t go after him and pull him from under the bed. Ignore him and do something that will persuade him to come out like playing with his toys or frying up some bacon. Dogs are curious and social creatures and they’ll eventually become bored and lonely by themselves. Reward him with a bit of that bacon when he comes out.

Be Casual

By acting as if your dog’s behavior is no big deal, you’re creating a calmer environment and, thus, a calmer dog. So when he streaks under your legs because the postman is at the door, go on about your business as usual.

Introduce People Slowly

Very slowly add people into your dog’s life. When they meet your dog, have them offer a treat and speak in a happy, low, encouraging voice. You don’t want to use a high pitch which could excite him. Keep your dog on a leash at first but do not force him to go near the person. Let him take his time.

The main thing to remember when socializing an adult dog is to be positive and to make each new experience a good one with praise and treats. Corrections do not work well here and will likely will create a more nervous dog.

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Socializing Your Puppy

Socializing your Puppy is an incredibly important aspect of their training.  However, if done incorrectly, it can be counterproductive.  First always consider your dog’s health and that the places you visit are appropriate based on where the dog currently is with their shots.  Take your puppy to lots of different places, environments and situations.  Take him to different stores, the vet waiting room, to friend’s homes, to open spaces, etc.  Let him experience many surfaces underfoot, from grass to concrete to leaves to metal gratings.  Teach him to uses stairs and to get in and out of your car.

Variety of People: Make sure your puppy has interactions with a wide variety of people.  Be sure to introduce your dog to both men and women.  Make a point of being multicultural in your introductions.  Some dogs are suspicious of certain physical features – a beard, hats, dark sunglasses, a walking cane or wheel chair – try to introduce your dog to as many of these potentially different characteristics as you can.

Other Animals: The same goes for animals.  A puppy who grows up knowing cats is less likely to treat them as prey when he grows up. As for other dogs, screen them! Your puppy should meet dogs and puppies who you know for a fact are friendly and healthy. A well-run puppy manners class, play group or daycare facility are great options for this. Avoid even well-managed dog parks until vaccinations are complete.

Sounds: Many dogs are afraid of unfamiliar sounds. Make sure your pup hears police sirens, fire trucks, trucks backing up, lawn mowers, etc.  Introduce them to household noises, pots and pans, phones ringing, alarms and sharp noise.  You may consider downloading clips for less common noises and playing them on your phone or computer.

Is your puppy being shy?:  Say you’re introducing your puppy to a friend with dark glasses and a beard, and your puppy exhibits behavior showing they are uncomfortable and shying away. Take a deep breath, relax, and let your puppy retreat. Ask your friend to sit down and ignore the puppy. Let your pup approach at his own pace, while your friend pays him no mind.  Praise your puppy softly and warmly when he explores. If he relaxes completely near your friend, they can offer him a treat.

Follow the same pattern for anything or anyone your puppy doesn’t take in stride: let him retreat to a distance where he feels safe, then venture forward in his own good time. Praise his bravery but do not lure.

Come back next week to read about socializing a more mature dog!!

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Watch Me Command

The Environment:

  • Make sure you are in a controlled environment, with minimal distractions and you have lots of small treats on hand.

Learning the Behavior:

  • Get down nearer your dog’s level and have them sit.
  • Being completely silent, hold a treat in each hand and bring them to your dog’s nose to smell so they know you have them. Don’t feed your dog the treat yet.
  • Extend your arms out in different directions and out of the reach of your pup. Your pup will likely look at your hands, possibly even jump at them
  • The moment your dog returns their attention to you making eye-contact, immediately reward them with a “Yes!” and both treats

Reinforcing the Behavior

  • Continue this sequence until your pup understands eye contact is the rewarded behavior.

Bring in the Command Word:

  • While both arms are extended out, say the command “Watch me.” Only say the command once, using any command multiple times enforces to the pup it does not need to respond immediately.
  • As soon as your dog’s eyes meet yours, repeat “Yes! Watch me!” and dispense the treats

Continue working with your pup to require longer eye-contact before they receive the treat reward.  A dog who has mastered the watch me command will be easier to control in situations the present lots of distractions, and will help keep your dog focused for future training.








Tips & Tricks Tuesday: The Sit Command

For all training remember to take it slow.  You want to have your dog’s full focus during training.  The sit is one of the easiest skills you will teach your dog.

  1. Standing near your dog, hold a treat near his nose, slowly move the treat from his nose towards the back of his head, as you do this he will lower to a sit.
  2. When he sits, release the treat and offer praise.
  3. After your dog has mastered sit with this motion, add in the use of the word “sit” in a firm tone.
  4. Repetition is key. Work with your dog a few times a day for brief periods until he is sitting with only one firm use of the word “sit.”

Other things to try… Have your dog sit when you open the door to prevent him from bolting.  Or teach your dog to sit when he hears the doorbell.  Just make the sit command coincide with these other actions.

Good Luck Training!

New Year, New Dog: Choosing The Right Dry Food For Your Pet

A little time researching and learning to read dog food labels will take you a long way in choosing the best food for your dog.  You know your pet better than anyone. You will see changes for the better or sometimes for the worse when you have introduced your dog to a new food.  Be sure to keep an eye on your pet if you are trying something new to make sure they do not have any allergies to the food and that it agrees with their system.

Keep in mind, ingredients are listed in order of the volume of percentages in the food.  Below are a few dos and don’ts of finding the right dog food.

What to look for in dry dog food:

  1. MEAT!! Dogs are carnivores and thrive on a meat based diet.  The source of the protein is important to your pet’s health.  Look for dog foods where the first ingredient or first few ingredients are a meat or a meat “meal,” something such as, turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, salmon, etc.   You want a dog food that specifically identifies the sort of meat.
  2. The next couple of ingredients should be a vegetable, and unless the formula is grain free, a whole grain source such as brown rice, and possibly a fruit. Often grain free formulas will include potatoes as a starch to hold the food together during processing.
  3. Look for food preserved with vitamins E and C, often called tocopherols.

What to avoid in dry dog food:

  1. If your dog food lists corn or soy in any form on the ingredients, put it back on the shelf. Corn is a cheap filler ingredient, with no nutritional value to pets as well as a known allergenic.  Soy can wreak havoc on your pet’s endocrine system.
  2. Avoid foods where the first ingredient is a non-descript protein and non-descript protein meals. These might include the following: Meat, Poultry, Animal, any kind of meat by-product, etc.  By-products can contain things such as parts of beaks, feathers, feet, hooves, hair and even tumors.
  3. If you see any of these on the label, reconsider its purchase: Ethoxyquin (a cousin to antifreeze), BHA (butylated hydroxyamisole), BHT (butylated hyroxytoluene), and propyl gallate, are all chemical additives used to preserve dog food and are not allowed in human food due to their link with carcinomas.

Start the new year off right for your pup with a healthy food that’s right for them!