Flushable Dog Poop Bags?

September 22, 2009

Yep, they’re here! and I would love to do the research but I found this video that, I think, is funny and will tell you all you need to know about  Flush-able Poop Bags YouTube

But before you go off into YouTube land, Please for the planet, use either flushable or biodegradable poop bags. You can also save money by ordering on-line. Below is a direct link to the right kind of poop bags

Eco-friendly poop bags

Puppy Mill Awareness Day

September 17, 2009

This past weekend, was Puppy Mill Awareness Day in a few cities across the U.S. and Canada. Actually, everyday should be Puppy Mill Awareness Day. If you haven’t yet, please read my blog Pet Shops and Puppy Mills. Also below is a link  to a news story about this past weekend, where Victoria Stilwell  (whom I like better than any other trainer on t.v.) of Animal Planet It’s Me or the Dog fame, celebrated Puppy Mill Awareness Day in Intercourse, Pa. Other Puppy Mill Awareness days are scheduled over the next couple of months. Please lend your support when one comes to your town

Blog Pet Shops and Puppy Mills.

News story from Paw Print Post Puppy Mill Awareness Day

Boarding a Dog part 2

September 10, 2009

All my friends

All my friends

This is a continuation to Boarding your dog, part 1

Part 2:  As the manager of a Pet Hotel for several years I have some insight and tips to help you save money and find a good safe place for your pet to stay.

There is an airborne virus called Canine cough but many people refer to it as Kennel cough, because dogs can catch it while staying at a kennel. However, dogs can catch it anywhere, even in a vet office. Just like us catching a cold from a co-worker or a child catching something from a classmate, dogs can catch things from other dogs. In my opinion, the less your dog is around other dogs, the more susceptible they are to getting sick, that’s because their immunity is not as strong as the dogs that get out and around other dogs, but it also can depend on the individual dog and the strength of their immune system. This is why kennel operators require the Bordetella Vaccination. It’s best your dog gets it several days before boarding but be aware that having the shot doesn’t always protect them against every strain of the virus. If your pet was exposed to the virus, it could take a few days for them to show the symptoms. I’m not telling you not to seek attention from your vet if they start making a gagging or coughing sound,  I’m just saying if your dog is eating and playing (on their own) somewhat normally, I wouldn’t rush them to the vet. If however, they weren’t eating, showing a temperature and frequently gagging and coughing, then by all means seek medical attention. The antibiotics the vets gives don’t cure the dog from what they’ve caught but help avoid any secondary infections. Just like a child with a cold/flu, rest, lots of fluids (low or no temperature) the virus will run it’s course. FYI- Symptoms usually run their course in 3 – 7 days but can last as long as 14 days. (Use common sense, so when in doubt, seek medical attention.)

note: if your dog gets sick, in most cases, it’s not the kennel or managers fault, just like it’s not the Principles fault if your child catches a cold from another student. It is part of being a dog owner.

Boarding dogs can get very expensive, if you have more than one dog or you are a frequent boarder ask for a discount. You never know unless you ask. I would give discounts to military, seniors, students or people who were going to causes I thought were worthy of a discount.

Ask what dog food they feed, or ask if you can bring a special diet and do they charge extra for that? Buying a good dog food in bulk can get very expensive, so don’t expect the best quality food at the kennel, although kennels are now paying attention to what the costumer wants.

With some dogs, switching dog food abruptly can cause intestinal problems. In our facility we had a great track record with No bloating problems and only a small percentage of dogs having loose stools because  of the food change. If your dog has been on the same food all it’s life, you probably want to bring your own food. If your dog is accustom to a variety of foods, or a variety of high quality food, they probably wont have a reaction. My perceptions is, going from a low quality food to a high one usually causes the loose stools, I don’t find it happening as much the other way.

Do they do anything to help calm dogs nerves like having a T.V. on during the day (not animal planet). Air fans or a ticking clock during the day or night which helps drown out other dog or outside noises.

Does the kennel accept Titer verifications: You can get a blood test instead of giving a shot. The blood test is called “titer”. I believe over-immunizing can shorten your dog’s life. Read my blog “shortening a dog’s life”

A few other questions you might ask is what Vet do they use, is someone there at night and do they have an evacuation plan?

If you have any questions or comments for me, please fill out the comment form.

Direct and In-Direct

September 8, 2009

20081111164400_CaptureAs an animal behaviorist, I understand that there are  direct and indirect “causes” of behavioral problems. I also understand that there are direct and indirect “cures” for behavioral problems.

Direct and indirect causes of most behavioral issues:

1. Emotional hello’s and goodbye’s:  This one practice by the owner is a direct and indirect cause for many of a dog’s behavioral issues. I’ve posted a teaser blog; If you’d like the whole post, you’ll need to contact me.

2. Having no obedience on your dog: Without you or your dog having the knowledge to execute basic commands or solve problems, you are much more likely to have a dog with behavioral issues.

3. Allowing a young dog to sleep in your bed: This can in-directly cause behavioral issues like excessive chewing, digging, barking, etc. For the first year or 2  puppies or young dogs should have their own sleeping spot next to the bed. If after that, they dont have any behavioral issues, you can let sleep in the bed with you. Or not.

4. Bad timing: With dog training or behavior modification, timing is everything. By having -bad timing- can cause a dog to be confused and develop behavioral issues.

5. Using the wrong training methods or training equipment can indirectly cause behavioral issues.

Direct and indirect cures for behavioral issues:

1. Practicing no emotional hello’s and goodbye’s: Waiting  3-5 minutes before saying “Hi” to your dog is an effective way to help cure your dog’s behavioral issues. Not saying “hi” may sound mean but after you read my blog “Emotional hellos and goodbyes”, you may think differently. I will be posting that one soon.

2. Obedience training: Training has both a direct and indirect effect on curing a dogs behavioral issues. There’s nothing more to say. Every dog should understand at least 5 basic and 3 advanced commands, on and off leash, around distractions, with or without treats. If done correctly obedience training not only teaches a dog what to do, but it also teaches them and helps them learn what not to do.

3.  Sometimes doing the above won’t stop a dog’s behavior problem as some dogs need a more direct approach. With any behavioral issue the trick is to anticipate the behavior to happen or to re-create/ set-up the dog to repeat the bad behavior, BUT the trick is to counter-condition the behavior before it happens.

4. Timing is everything when changing a dog’s behavior. If you know how dogs think and learn, if you are quick to “mark” good behavior, ignore unwanted behavior, you can reverse behavior problems.

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