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Blended Pet Families PDF Print E-mail
Written by Laura Scott Schaefer   
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 00:00

Kids and parents aren’t the only ones becoming part of blended families through marriage.  Our dogs often get new furry siblings too, which can be a big adjustment!

So how did my two rescue dogs with opposite personalities integrate with each other, along with a couple of rabbits, hamsters and frogs in the mix? Time, patience and positive reinforcement, just like in our own good human relationships. I am still not certain who trained whom but we got to a good place, humans and pets, in our new blended family. And you can too!

Manage Expectations

Don’t expect much from the first interaction. People don’t like pressure and neither do dogs.

My dog, Crumbles, was a nervous wreck even before another dog came on the scene. (He even narrated a kids’ chapter book about it called The Crumbles Chronicles: Battle of the Paper Bags).

Let the dogs meet outside in neutral territory so they can sniff, walk away, be aloof, sniff some more or whatever it is that makes them get a sense of each other. You may not be able to tell if they like or dislike each other at first. That’s okay - it’s like a first date. Positive tone and praise will help when they meet each other.


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Preparing Home for Drop-By Visits PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stacy Mantle   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 00:00

For many people whose lives center around their pets, nothing inspires fear like the words, “We thought we would drop by for a visit. See you in an hour!”

It's about much more than just valuing our privacy or being classic "introverts" who prefer our own space... It's also about not wanting to see our pets stressed out. It's also worrying if you got that last bit of hair cleaned up from the couch or worrying if your home smells like wet dog.

But rest easy - having animals shouldn't mean we have to worry about these things. We can, and should, set a precedent for keeping our pets calm and our homes clean and odor-free. Nowadays, there are plenty of tools and shortcuts available for us to do this without giving up our precious time.

Training Your Pets

Chances are good you may not have pets who are accustomed to a lot of activity. If your friends are bringing kids over, you want to make sure your pets are under control. This may include child safety gates to keep pets out of reach, or just putting them out back for an hour. The important thing is that you keep all members of your home (human and animal) safe during visits. (See the end of this article for a handy chart you can post to let child visitors know about the rules). Always make sure your pets can easily escape unwanted attention by crate training them or offering them an area (like an amazing cat enclosure) to help them escape.

For those who are concerned about the appearance of their home, we have a few suggestions to make clean up quick and simple.


Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 16:55
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Dog Etiquette: Leashes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stacy Mantle   
Monday, 27 October 2014 00:00

Recently, we posted on Facebook that we were out walking our dogs and experienced two small, off-leash dogs aggressively running to our much larger, leashed dogs. My dogs were both on-leash and controlled, but I was still annoyed. After posting my experience, I received a lot of responses - some of which were a bit negative due to the fact that one of my dogs looks like a pit bull (apparently I shouldn't be walking him?).

Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if my dogs are pit bulls or chihuahuas or golden retrievers. In fact, I could have been walking alone, or riding a horse, or walking my cat. The fact is, dogs of any size should never run up on another person or animal without being invited to do so. It’s a common courtesy that could save your dog’s life.

Here are just a few reasons why...


Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 15:15
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Training Tips: 7 Symptoms of Digestive Upset PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kathrine Breeden   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 18:04

I recently read an article on the subject of dogs who lick excessively and it made reference to the fact that one of the causes can be digestive troubles.

This is just one of many symptoms that owners are often unaware of which can indicate gastrointestinal problems. Such problems, if not treated, can ultimately lead to a dog becoming diabetic as well as other conditions.

Here is a list of symptoms you should be on the lookout for, take note of and consult your veterinarian:

Licking

If your dog is licking herself, the couch, the carpet, people or other items more than is normal, talk to your vet. It’s not “normal” to lick carpets & couches!


Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 20:32
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Backyard Enrichment Activities for Dogs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stacy Mantle   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 16:07

Enrichment activities are a very important part of any animal’s life. Whether you’re dealing with a zoo lion or a dog and cat, animals get bored just as humans do. Enrichment activities will help your pets beat the boredom, particularly once the kids have returned to school.

Backyard enrichment areas are areas that provide an outlet for exercise (with or without you actually being present). These areas can go a long ways towards tiring your dogs most physically and mentally, which can result in easier training and a much better behaved dog.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 16:58
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