Every time you take your cat to the veterinarian, it’s a learning experience for her. Whether that experience is good or bad is up to you. Although it may never be a place kitty loves, you can do some training to help lower her stress level. Bring some treats, baby food, canned food or even just pieces of her kibble. Offer her a treat while in the waiting room.
When in the examination room, have the technician offer more treats before beginning to handle her. One way to help a cat who is very nervous about procedures such as temperature taking is to offer a small spoonful of baby food or canned food. Even the vet can help reduce the cat’s stress level by greeting the cat and offering treats.
As we approach the summer season, it is most likely that our pets will be outdoor more often than usual.
Not too many summer activities are more enjoyable than a walk though the woods with your pooch. But, as the caretakers of our pets, it is important that we be on guard against deer ticks, the woodland arachnids that transmit Lyme disease.
They are so tiny that in most cases of a tick bite, the tick is never found. Left undetected, Lyme disease can lead to kidney failure as well as vascular and nervous system issues. Symptoms include a loss of appetite, lameness that appears suddenly, a temperature of 103 degrees and swelling of the joints.
The best way to prevent tick bites is through a properly administered tick control program. Consult with your veterinarian regarding proper tick control methods.
The allergies I am talking about has nothing to do with hay fever or runny noses but instead skin issues. If your dog is constantly itching and scratching, losing hair at key sites on his or her body, and licking excessively you may be dealing with an allergy.
Allergies are a major cause of skin disease, discomfort and distress in dogs. Puritis or intense itching is the most characteristic sign of allergies. The itching is caused by the release of histamines from mast cells located throughout the body. Hair loss, redness and skin infections may result secondary to the allergy.
The treatments include antihistamines. This is a good time to take your dog to your vet for consultation and treatment.
Why Won’t My Dog Listen To Me?
- Do you have to raise your voice every time you want your Dog to listen to you?
- Does your Dog always come or sit on command – anytime and anywhere you want him to?
If your answers are mostly in the negative, its time you seriously reconsider your role as a sincere Dog trainer and an ideal pet parent.
Get Your Dog To Listen To You
Before you begin any training, you must first establish yourself as the “ALPHA dog” of your family. Your Dog must know that you’re the leader of the pack and it is YOU who is in charge.
Here is a list of simple DO’s and DONT’s that you must follow if you want to be the Alpha:
- Always go out or come in through the door first – remember you are the leader;
- Always eat first – give your Dog something to eat only after you’ve finished your meal;
- Don’t circle around your Dog when he is lying on the floor – make your Dog move out of your way instead;
- Don’t let your Dog set the rules – pay attention to him when you think fit and not whenever he demands;
- Don’t permit your Dog to sleep with you in your bed – demarcate his sleeping area clearly.
Once you successfully established yourself as the Alpha, training your Dog and making him listen will be a lot easier than you can imagine. Remember, if your Dog does not learn to “listen”, all your training efforts will be in vain!
Does your Dog know his name? Does your Dog look at you whenever you call him by his name? This is the first and the most critical step involved in Dog Training. If your Dog doesn’t respond to his name, you cannot have his attention for teaching him any other commands.
To make sure that your Dog recognizes his name, take a treat in your hand and hold it away from your body. Call your Dog’s name. He is most likely to look at the treat in your hand. Continue calling his name until he turns and looks at your eyes. Give him the treat immediately. Repeat this exercise by holding the treat in the other hand. Once you’re sure that your Dog has learned to recognize his name, just call his name and reward him for looking at you by petting or with a hug.
You must understand that dogs respond far better to positive reinforcement than they do to coercion or force.
Bird nutrition is vital for your pet bird to remain happy and healthy. A balanced diet will ensure that your bird will live a long healthy life and be able to cope with mental and physical stress. An unbalanced diet will lead to poor health and perhaps even death.
Of importance is the fact that seed alone will not provide sufficient nutrition for seed eating birds, even if a variety of seed is offered. To supply your bird with the necessary vitamins and minerals, include pellets, fruit and vegetables as part of its diet. Formulated diets consist of seeds, grains, vegetables, fruits and proteins. Fresh fruits and vegetables must be washed and remnants left in the cage must be thrown away before it begins to rot.
Non seed eating birds are fed on a formula which is served either dry or moistened.
Also important for your bird’s nutritional need is water. Fresh water must be given daily or more frequently if your bird fouls up the water.
Gardening For Cats Safety And Pleasure
Spring is just around the corner and it’s the time of year when our thoughts turn to outdoors. Gardeners generally fall into two categories:those who enjoy watch their cats sniffing and luxuriating in the greenery, and those who will be happiest if cats just give their gardens a wide berth.
There are many ways to solve this problem. First you can plant kitty grass which is much safer than eating the lawn grass, which may have harmful chemicals. You can purchase ready made trays of wheat grass in health fool stores, and some pet outlets offers both wheat and oat grass kits on their web site, both in containers and also packages of seed.
Plants Attractive To Cats
- Creeping Rosemary
Many plant nurseries have resident cats. If your local nursery has a cat try to find out what plants that cat prefers.
Most communities require each cat in a household to be registered and some have limits on the number of cats one household can own. Keeping your cat indoors avoids problems with neighbors and protects your cat from being hit by a car, encounters with unfriendly dogs, or attacks by other animals. If your cat is allowed outdoors, train her to wear a safety collar with an expansion device and a tag that gives your cat’s name and your telephone number to distinguish your cat from stray cats. Proper identification enables someone to contact you if your pet wanders far from home.
Cats who are allowed to roam may damage neighbors’ gardens or use planters as their litter boxes. If you allow your cat outside, keep a watchful eye on her. If she leaves to visit a neighbor, bring her back to her own yard.
A cat who is not neutered or spayed may become an undesirable neighbor. Female cats come into their first heat cycle between five and seven months of age and may have several heat cycles throughout the year. Spaying eliminates the problem of a female in heat who attracts male cats and annoys the neighbors. A male cat who is not neutered can be prone to roam and fight. He also sprays urine, which has strong, unpleasant odor.
Keep you cat well nourished by feeding a nutritionally complete and balanced quality pet food. Take her to your veterinarian regularly to keep her vaccinations current and to be certain she is free from internal and external parasites and in general good health.
The first step in making your Dog fit for polite company would be to potty train him. Some see this training as a hassle and some as a challenge.
For me, it is part of bringing up a pet.
There are a few things you need to know before you actually start potty training a puppy or adult Dog. I enumerate these below:
- You need to understand your dog’s body language. Watch for signs that will indicate to you when your pet wants to eliminate.
- If you own puppies, remember that they need to go potty at fairly frequent intervals – as soon as they wake up, after short naps, after play-time, after meals, before and after being crated and finally, before retiring for the night.
- Take your Dog for walks at the time that he usually does his potty. Take him out to the yard and then to the same place there every time he needs to answer nature’s call.
- Praise your Dog after he eliminates at the right place. Some Dog owners even give treats to their dogs. But remember to do this every time he does it right. He will relate the rewards to his having “done it right” and zero in on the spot where you want him to defecate regularly.
- With time, you can try signal training. This is so that you know when your doggie wants to go. You can hang a bell at his level near the door and teach him to push it with his nose or pat it with his paw on his way out.
- Until your Dog has been fully potty trained keep him under strict vigilance. Do not let him roam around the house freely.
- Use a crate. A crate-trained Dog is usually very happy to get his own den. The advantage of crating is that dogs do not soil the place where they sleep. So, he will naturally not eliminate inside the crate.
- If you have a small dog and if you live in a high-rise building or in a place that does not have a proper backyard, you can try litter pan training. What you do is create a space for your pet to eliminate in your house itself.
- Use positive reinforcements while housebreaking puppies or adult dogs. Do not scold or hit him as you will gain nothing by doing that. He will only associate punishment with your return from outside. If you catch him in the act, a stern ‘NO’ or ‘FREEZE’ will do. It will startle the Dog enough for him to stop pooping.
- Be prepared to return to a soiled home if you are keeping your Dog home alone for more than 4 hours as separation anxiety is quite common among home – alone dogs.
- Accidents will happen. It is unusual for a trained adult Dog to work against its house training. But medical problems or health disorders may lead to sudden accidents.
- Many dogs mark their territory. These can be a leg of a table or a particular wall. Intact male and female dogs mark their territories by urinating. Use deodorizers to spray on the places where your Dog has marked.
- If you are patient and are ready to accept that house training a dog takes time, even months sometimes, you will end up having a good house trained Dog.
Now we will move on to how to potty train puppies and adult dogs.
Potty Training A Puppy:
Irrespective of breeds, house training a puppy is considered to be one of the biggest challenges by dog owners. If you think house training your puppy simply involves a steady supply of old newspapers, then think again.
A puppy does not develop full control over his bladder until it is over 4 or 5 months old. Since they are growing and developing rapidly at this time, puppies eat more, burn more calories and need to eliminate more frequently than an adult Dog.
After each nap, meal, drink or play, take your puppy to his designated area (indoors or outdoors, wherever you have decided) and stay there until it eliminates. Then bring him to his crate.
Repeat this situation everyday until he has developed a habit out of it.
How Well Is Your Dog Groomed?
The reason one should groom his/her Dog is simple – your dog’s physical state influences the way he feels and the way you look at your dog. Extreme cases, where lack of proper care, cleaning and grooming can directly affect the behavior of your Dog, are not rare.
Proper grooming not only infuses a healthy glow to your dog’s appearance, but also helps develop his self-esteem; while it makes you a very proud parent, when you show off your Dog to others.
The first step involved in dog grooming is: Brushing!
Brushing has been universally acknowledged by expert dog groomers as the single most important step in grooming.
The benefits of brushing are many. To name a few:
Better blood circulation
Shinier and healthier coat
Even if you know how crucial brushing is for your Dog’s health and well-being, we all know that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing anything. And without doubt, you would like to do everything the RIGHT way when it comes to your Dog.
Yes, there’s a method to follow while brushing your Dog.
Here are FIVE steps to successfully brushing your Dog that will prove to be extremely useful:
- Brush against the growth of the hair first with a slicker brush and then with a medium or wide-toothed comb.
- The slicker brush removes all the loose hair and the comb takes care of the tangles.
- Brush your Dog along the hair growth and make sure you reach the skin as you brush his way.
- Then use a flea comb over the coat to get the fleas and remove any remaining tangles. Part the coat and start from the root and then comb through.
- If your Dog’s paw pads are hairy, then clip them using electric clippers. Do not clip the hair in between the pads. Clip only the excess hair.
Brush your Dog’s hairs to prevent it from matting. Matting can be a very painful experience.
Regular brushing untangles the matted hairs on your Dog’s coat. Since this is a risky job to do, the best way out is to prevent them from forming in the first place. And doing this is simple: just brush and comb your Dog regularly. If and when you see any mats or tangles, use a detangle solution and a medium-toothed comb.
Don’t wait until your Dog is dirty or matted to introduce him to grooming. That would make him associate the experience with unpleasantness. Moreover, many dogs learn to see their routine brushing as an alternate form of petting, i.e. another source of affection and attention.
Basics of Dog Training
It’s essential for Dog parents like you to know certain basic factors that determine your relationship with your Dog and can go a long way in training him effectively.
Before you begin training your Dog, it is absolutely essential that you build a loving bond with him. This is important as it helps you to understand his needs and instincts and also allows your Dog to have complete trust in you.
Let us see how…….
How To Bond With Your Dog
Building a bond with your Dog is the first and the most crucial step involved in training him successfully. As soon as you bring your Dog home, you must first try to develop a caring and loving relationship with him in order to win his trust and confidence.
When Dogs are secure in the knowledge that they belong to the family, they are more likely to respond better to their owners’ training commands. Just like with any relationship, there must be mutual trust and respect between you and your Dog.
Trust takes time to develop and respect comes from defining boundaries and treating any breach of those boundaries with firmness and fairness.
Without enforceable limitations, respect can’t be developed. And when there is no respect, building a bond with your Dog is almost impossible.
4 Golden Rules To Building A Relationship With Your Dog :
- Spend quality time together;
- Take him out in the world and experience life together;
- Establish and promote a level of mutual respect; and
- Develop a way of communicating to understand each other’s needs.
Building a bond with your Dog will not only help you manage him better but will also make your Dog calm, quiet and an extremely well-adjusted pet.
Love Your Dog and He Will Love You back
Once you’re succesful in building a bond with your Dog, you can rest assured that training him and teaching him new and clever tricks will be a cakewalk.
How Your Dog Learns…
Your Dog’s learning period can be divided into five phases:
The Teaching Phase – This is the phase where you must physically demonstrate to your Dog exactly what you want him to do.
The Practicing Phase – Practice makes Perfect. Once a lesson is learnt, practice with your Dog what you have just taught him.
The Generalizing Phase – Here you must continue practicing with your Dog in different locations and in an environment with a few distractions. You can take your Dog out for a walk, or to a nearby park and command him to practice whatever you’ve taught him.
Practicing the learned lessons in multiple locations and in the presence of small distractions will help him learn and retain lessons better .
The Testing Phase – Once you’re sure that your Dog has achieved almost 90% success….he responds correctly almost every time you give a command, you must start testing his accuracy in newer locations with a lot of distractions.
Example: Take him to the local shopping mall and ask him to obey your command. He may not come up with the correct response the very first time you do this, but you must not lose hope.
The idea is to test your Dog to see how he responds in an environment which is new to him. Set-up a situation where you are in control of the environment and your Dog.
There are only 2 possibilities:
- Your Dog succeeds!!! (Trumpets please!)
- In case your Dog fails, re-examine the situation. Review and/or change your training. Then try testing again.
Keep on testing until he succeeds. Follow the rule of the 3 Ps – patience, persistence, praise.
Internalizing Phase – Finally, comes the extremely rewarding phase where your Dog does everything he is taught to do even without your commands.
- Never scold your Dog if he fails. It’s not his fault. You have failed as a trainer!
- You must be patient and persistent for your erewards.
- Appreciate and love your Dog when he does it right! A little encouragement will work wonders for your Dog.
- Dog Training is easy when you do it right.