Thursday, June 8, 2017

How do I get my dog to stop chewing our shoes?

Shoes are a unique combo of everything your dog loves: they’re chewy and smell like the dog's human "parents". Chewing your shoes COULD be considered a compliment if they didn’t cost so much!
It begins with a sniff. Then, a few innocent licks, and before you know it a full “chew on” is in motion. Most dogs feel a little guilty after they’ve destroyed your shoe. Honestly, they didn’t MEAN to do it.  They KNOW you don’t eat shoes. They only meant to experience it a just “little” bit.

We believe there are 3 causes of shoe chewing: Temptation, Loneliness and Boredom.
Remove Temptation
Because it’s an addictive behavior, you’re just going to have to remember to put your shoes away. For that matter, your dog may resort to chewing on other things that smell like you, so clothes are another target. Imagine how neat your bedroom is going to look!
To control the cravings, give your dog something else to gnaw on such as a Kong or a Nylabone toy. Because rawhide smells A LOT like shoe leather, please don’t give him a rawhide chew! It will only serve to confuse him.
Replace Loneliness
He’s chewing on your shoes because he misses you! We often leave our furry family members alone for 8-10 hours at a stretch which is a long lonely day for these social creatures. Dog daycare may be a great substitute for those days you can’t be home. Or, perhaps consider getting her a friend who stops by in the middle of the day for a quick toss of the ball, a belly rub and a treat.
Ban Boredom
Just like your neighborhood teen, your dog needs a job. When your dog has something else to focus his attention and energy on, besides your stilettos, and the problem goes away. Ask your dog to do something for you. A friend of ours asks her dog to keep their house safe. So, she periodically asks him to look out the window and let the neighbors know that the house is protected by the meanest chocolate Labrador in town!

We hope these tips help!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dealing with your Pet's Separation Anxiety

Have you ever come home to find an “accident” left from your pet cat or hear a complaint from your neighbor about too much barking? If so, your furry friend may be suffering from separation anxiety. When left alone dogs or cats may become panicked and destructive and it can strike at any age. Pets can be hyper-attached to one or more owners according to our vets. Changes in a pet parent’s work schedule or a move to a new home can make a pet feel stressed. They may act out by scratching on doors or chewing on your favorite pairs of shoes or the family couch.

According to a recent study, 20% of dogs suffer from separation anxiety. That’s over 16 million dogs in the US alone! Here are some helpful ideas to put into practice to help your pets feel less abandoned:

Practice makes Perfect!
Building it up from a few seconds at a time to long stretches, leave your pet alone for a long as he can tolerate it and then come back into the room. Continue to increase the length of your absence while making sure your pet remains calm. Practice this with them 5 days a week for a total of 20 minutes a day.

Comfort Food!
While your pet is relaxing in his favorite room or on her favorite blanket, leave a food dispensing toy filled with treats. Kong Wobbler, found at All for the Pet, is a great choice. Each time you head out the door leave them the feeder to keep them occupied and to teach them that “good things happen” when momma leaves.

Crating Caution!
Crating may further exacerbate the situation and could also lead to confinement anxiety (fear of being in an enclosed environment). No Bueno! Choose to use a baby gate and keep Fido in a single area instead. Other dogs find comfort in the crate and that’s a perfectly fine option.

Meds can help!
If practicing short absences doesn’t provide your pup any relief, you may consider having an anti-anxiety medication prescribed. Although most pet owners use this solution as a last resort, you could, instead, provide your pet with some relief earlier in the process of practicing your short absences to help ease him into it.

Pet Cams!
Keeping an eye on your pet while you’re gone will help you determine what’s really happening. 

Signs of separation anxiety include:

*Attempts at escaping * Panting * Pacing *Excessive grooming (cats) *Long periods of barking or meowing *Drooling

So, be patient with your pet. Together you can work through it by taking small steps each day. Just remember, he misses you!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Traveling with your Pet this summer

Tips when Traveling with your Pet:

Check with your vet before the trip

Bring proper supplies – favorite toys, food, treats, medicine, etc.

Use a crate to keep your pet safe (also a requirement for airline travel)

Bring a recent picture of your pet(s)

Consider a permanent form of ID for your pet such as microchip

Research potential hotels before booking rooms to ensure they accept pet guests

Pack extra water bottles, a bowl and leash for roadside stops

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cold Weather Pet Safety

As we get into the heart of winter, sometimes it's good to remind ourselves of some of the problems our pets face during the cold winter months. Some dogs and cats need minimal care, while others don't fare well at all. Taking some preventive measures can make winter easier for both you and your pets!


For pets that spend more time inside during the winter, the indoor heat can take its toll on their skin and coat. It causes moisture loss and dry skin, resulting in uncomfortable itching. Their winter coat becomes too much for them, and they start shedding to get comfortable again - the reason why many people feel their pet has been shedding all winter.

Coat strippers help remove the dead hair coat without damaging the remaining coat. They're excellent for double-coated dogs with winter coats that want to mat. A 
dematting comb will remove dead hair mats with little pulling of the skin. The result is a fluffed-up coat that keeps your dog warm outside and breathes on the inside, which helps your pet feel more comfortable in all temperatures.

Once the dead hair is removed, bathing helps clean the skin and replace the lost oils and moisture. Many people forget that some dogs are itchy just from the winter grime of everyday living, so bathing is important for healthy breathing skin. 
VET BASICS® Oatmeal Protein Shampoo replaces winter moisture loss while cleaning the winter grime from the skin and coat. You know your dog's coat: if you feel you have an extra dry coat, use a cream rinse such as Fresh 'N Clean Crème Rinse every 2 weeks to rejuvenate the coat. Cream rinses help the coat repel moisture and ice, so they're great for dogs that spend time outside. They're most helpful when used in the cold of winter and in the hot summer sun.
Rough ground and surfaces help wear down your pet's nails naturally, so it's easy to rely on nature to trim your pet's nails during the summer. However, nail trimming is often forgotten during the winter, which results in long nails that tend to break or crack, causing pain.

Foot restraint is a submissive problem for pets, and many are uncomfortable with it. Before you trim for the first time, rub and massage your pet's feet when he is relaxed. This will help him realize that it's okay to let you restrain his feet. Start slow until you and your pet are comfortable. The 
Oster® Gentle Paws Nail Trimmer is perfect for the novice nail trimmer - it's essentially a powered emery board. It won't let the nail get too short, and dogs like the sanding effect, which won't twist the nail like clipping sometimes does. Before touching the nail, rub the leg and paw with the trimmer running so they get used to the quiet sound. Once they calm down, you can trim one nail at a time while speaking softly - they should respond in kind.
Ears build up more waxy material in the winter because the skin is trying to replace the lost oils. Clean the ear canal at least twice a month to avoid issues. Check the ear canal and put a small amount of VET BASICS® Ear Cleanser, in the ear, rub gently, then wipe with a soft tissue or cotton ball. If the ear is infected or irritated, clean the ear several times, then daily until resolved. Most ear infections can be cured with daily cleaning if they are caught early.
Some dogs also need inside-out support for skin and coat care. Fatty acid supplements such as Doc Roy's® Tri Omega 3 are helpful for preventing cracking and replacing the oils of the skin from the inside out. Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory effects that help with joint and pad trauma, while Omega 6 will keep the tissue soft and the pad pliable. Both keep trauma, ulcer and deep pad cracks in check.

The footpad is actually a huge, thick callus that heals quickly with care. Salt and snow melts dry out the pad, causing cracking and licking. Be sure to wash winter ice melt off your dog's feet and apply a moisturizer. If repair is needed, use 
Doc Roy's® Rescue Derm to moisturize and heal the damage. House dogs usually need boots or socks to prevent excessive licking and chewing of the pad. Children's socks work, but they can be difficult to manage on hardwood floors.
Feet problems are common in winter and surprisingly, most are arthritis-driven. Sore joints will cause limping and poor foot placement, which increases trauma to a pad. Oral glucosamine and chondroitin, such as Doc Roy's® Aches Away, will increase the joint fluid, easing fatigue and trauma. The result is a pad and joint system that will give to the concussion trauma of running. Pain-free running will help your dog place his feet correctly, which decreases the wear on the joints.

These problems could happen to anyone. Preventing winter issues on the outside and the inside can make winter easier for you and your pets. A few of these prevention practices can keep your pet healthy and feeling good all winter long.

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