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Trick or Treat Smell my Feet

Stack that candy ya’ll……

It’s that time of year again! During this festive time of year it’s easy to forget pet safety. Here are some things to think about, whether you are taking your pet trick or treating, or just handing out candy to your neighborhood “ghouls and goblins”.

Are you planning on dressing your pet up this year? If you are, please make sure his/her costume is the right size. If you choose something too small, it may harm your pet by constricting airways. If it is too large, it can be a tripping hazard. No matter how cute we want them to be safe.

dog in funny glasses
Photo by Braydon Anderson on Unsplash

 

If you decide to take your pet our trick or treating, be sure they have something reflective. This way other families and vehicles can see them easily. This helps preventing them from getting hit if they are in the road or keeps them from startling small children. Evan if it is the time for scares, we want everyone to have an enjoyable holiday. Always keep your pet on a leash to prevent them from running or jumping on others.

Let Fido Chill……

When handing out candy, be sure your pet is in a safe place. Safe for them, and of course, for your trick or treaters. You don’t want to scare away your guests with a barking pet. Also make sure they are on a leash, as they can sometimes be unpredictable with so much excitement. You wouldn’t want the fun spoiled by your pet knocking down a princess, chasing a ghost, or nipping at a pumpkin. Even as a an accident it can lead to some bad fall out.

If you have an overly aggressive dog, or one that is bothered by frequent visitors to the door, consider letting them stay with a friend who has less traffic. Or even consider boarding them at their favorite local puppy hotel.

No matter what you decide keep these things in mind to keep your holiday safe and fun. Don’t forget to keep an updated pet id tag on your dog! This will help ensure he/she gets safely home no matter what situation arises. From OvernightPetTags.com have a safe and fun filled Halloween!

 

While you are at it……

Check out these hilarious dogs and people in costumes

Dogs in Costumes … https://www.pinterest.com/moderndogmag/dogs-in-costumes/

53 Funny Dog Costumes … https://www.womansday.com/life/pet-care/g1653/dog-halloween-costumes/

19 of the best dog + owner outfits … http://www.wideopenpets.com/best-human-and-dog-halloween-costumes/

The 57 Greatest Pet Costumes. EVER. … https://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/greatest-pet-costumes-ever

 

 

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Invisible Fences

While this may be a great option for some pets, keeps them in your yard with no big expense of a fence, it can be tricky with some pets. Invisible fences can be a great way to keep your pet out of the road when you don’t want, or are not allowed, a normal fence. However some dogs can get “barrier frustration”.

Some signs are your pet becoming less social, or showing more aggressive behavior in your yard. This is because your pet has learned that while other dogs can come into the yard, he cannot go out. Which forces him to be submissive during play, when he would rather not be. He may bark and become very protective of your yard from both other pets and people.

This is what is called “learned aggression”. You can help your pet by doggy parenting. If your dog is showing aggression to other dogs in his yard, shoo those other dogs away for him. If he seems happy and wanting to play, encourage this. Try to keep the other dog from running out of your pet’s boundary. But make sure he is not being worn down too much or forced to be too submissive. You’re looking for happy play, where the dogs take turns jumping on and chasing one another. You don’t want one dog running the other one down. If you are still seeing problems, it is always good to talk to your vet or trainer. They will have good suggestions for you.

 

Hope you have a tail wagging kind of day!

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Eat your own food

Dog and Cat Sharing Bowl

Dog and Cat Sharing Bowl

 

If you have a household with multiple pets, I am sure you have faced the problem of your animals stealing food from one another. Most common is dogs eating all the cat food. This may not bother you at all, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you are like our household, the cat food is a bit more expensive than the dog food. By now you’ve realized that scolding the dogs, while it does help somewhat, will most likely lead to the dogs eating the cat food while you are away, sleeping, or busy elsewhere. Here are a couple things you can do to help. If you don’t mind the cats on the counters, putting the food dishes up there would be the simplest solution.

I am one that does not care to share my counter space with my cats. Another option is to put the cat food in a closet, or space the dogs cannot get to, and install a cat door. This is obviously a more costly option, though cat doors are not usually too outrages if you shop around for it. Something else you can do is feed the cats less.

 

Only give them food while you are present 2 or 3 times a day, and return any leftover food to the food bag or container. This will teach the cats to eat all at once and will give the dogs less food to steal. I hope these tips and tricks have been helpful. We wishe you best of luck on your food, and money, saving mission.

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Christmas and your pets

christmas dog

christmas dogTo start, are poinsettias poisonous to cats?

During the holiday season many pet owners like to decorate their houses with the beautiful red flowering Christmas plant… the poinsettia. However, according to poison control centers the poinsettia IS mildly poisonous to cats AND DOGS! The milky white sap from the plants contains chemicals that can cause mild vomiting, excessive drooling, and sometimes diarrhea in our four legged friends. Unfortunately, there is no antidote to the poison in a poinsettia. No reason to worry, according to sources the low level of toxicity of the plant rarely requires medical treatment.

Chewing Christmas light? Will my puppy get shocked?

In a short answer….YES. Please keep all pets away from Christmas lights and always watch your children as well. If you notice that you have a string of lights that has been chewed you are going to want to replace that set of lights to prevent a fire or shock to you or your pets.

Thanks for reading and as always make sure that your pets have updated pet id tags!

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How to “target” train your pets

Have you ever heard a vet or dog trainer use the term “target train”? If not, it is a very simple technique to train your pet for all sorts of things. If you have heard of it, or now upon hearing about it want to learn how it works, here are the basics.

First of all, target training can be used for all sorts of things. It can be used to relieve fears of objects (appliances, crates, furniture, ect.), to teach your pet a specific “restroom” area, or even just as a cool and fun game to play. Once you and spot get the hang of it, I’m sure you can come over with all kinds of other ideas you can use it for.

Target training is actually very simple. Just like most training it takes a little time and sometimes a lot of patience. All you need is a flat object, which will be your “target” object, some pet friendly treats, a clicker (there are usually pretty cheap and available at any pet store) and some time. Here’s how it works. Simply place the target in a desired area, or any area if you are not training for a certain location. Touch your pets’ nose to the target so they know what you want them to do. Click, than treat. Soon your pet will get it, touch the target, hear a click, and receive a treat. Your pet will have so much fun playing this game; it’ll make training very easy.

Best of luck and remember to always have fun and enjoy your pet.

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Teaching your dog their name

pet names training

Once you have picked a name for your puppy and ordered your pet tags, you need to teach him or her what it is. Your objective is to teach your dog that when his name is called your pet must immediately give you his full attention, that is, stop what they are doing, turn their head and look directly at you.

As you go on to teach your pet other commands, such as come, sit and stay, you’ll do this successfully if your puppy is focused on you while you are teaching them these commands – this is why it’s so important to make sure your pet knows it’s name and responds to it.

Your puppy will start to learn that the sound of their name will be followed by a command, so for them, their name means ‘I must look at my owner because they want me to do something’.

When you use your puppy’s new name it must always be associated with good things. Don’t call his name and then proceed to yell at him because he’s chewed something he wasn’t supposed to. If you do that too often puppy will start to associate his name with being in trouble and won’t respond when you call his name. This is easier said than done, believe me, particularly when your puppy has just chewed through your carpet or favorite blanket, but it’s worth the effort in the end!

How To Do It

Arm yourself with a few treats and put your pet on a leash, that way you have full control if puppy gets distracted by something.

Call the name in a happy voice – puppy’s love to hear the sound of your voice and as long as your tone is friendly they will naturally look towards you when they hear you speak. What you do is reward that behavior by giving him a treat and praise when puppy looks at you or comes to you when you call his name.

Use words like “Good boy” or “good job”. After a couple days of this repetition you will notice puppy is responding. If he doesn’t look at you the first time, gently pull his leash or pat him to get his attention until he looks at you.

Next, call puppy and hold the treat near to your face so they have to look at you, reward him with the treat and praise once eye contact is made. Once your puppy does this consistently, switch the treat for a toy. Then puppy’s reward for looking at you will be to play with you for a couple of minutes.

The next step is to introduce some distractions, so try it with other people around or in the room, someplace new, or when there is a noise that will catch puppy’s attention. Don’t rush this step and always make it easy for your new pet to succeed, he really just wants to please you, so make it easy for him to do just that!

You need to teach your new puppy that wherever you happen to be, whatever the distraction, if puppy hears his name, he needs to look at you and wait for the next command.

Tips to Remember:
• Keep all training sessions short;
• Maintain a friendly demeanor
• Give lots of love and praise when your puppy does what you want them to do;
• Try to train before meal times so puppy isn’t tired and is interested in the treats;

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Controlling Cats and Clawing

Cat with claws out

One of the hardest things to do is train your cat. However, most of the time, it can be done. Here are a couple tips I have learned to help control and “train” your cat. As much as they allow you to train them. The great thing about cats is they defiantly have personality, although part of that personality can often be stubbornness. If you are taking on this project I wish you luck and hope these tips work for you as they have for me.

One thing you can do when a cat is doing something you don’t want them to, is make a hissing sound and sort of run at them. This is startle them. Another thing you can do is buy a spray bottle and spray them while making a hissing sound when they are doing something you don’t want to do. Of course this only works if your cat is typical and does not like water. If you already noticed the pattern it is the hissing sound. I’ve learned by combining these 3 in random patterns I can get my cats to stop doing pretty much anything at this point by simply making the hissing sound, the rest is no longer required.

Although the above tricks are things that work for me and should work for you, sometimes you just cannot help having to do slightly meaner things to get them to cooperate. They do make a pad that will send an uncomfortable but not hurtful shock through kitty if they climb on something you don’t want them on or in. Something else that is now made, is a low voltage shock collar that has a button you can push to again stop them from doing whatever they were not supposed to be doing.

Hopefully you will try the less harsh treatments first before submitting your animal to anything unpleasant. Whatever you do, best of luck and I hope you found some working ideas from my efforts. It is also very important for your cats to be wearing pet tags in case the are lost.

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Pets in clothes…cute or not?

Dog in Tux

Dog in suit

Some people are often looked at as; let’s face it, a nit crazy for dressing up their pets. To some people it’s hard to understand. The thing is, it all depends on the type of person you are and “what” you dress your dog in. First off I do not care who you are, any small dog in cloths is usually cute. Even if the clothing is on the silly side, still cute…usually. For bigger dogs it’s a bit harder to stay on that fine line of cute and quirky to just plain weird.

 

The key to any size animal is minimal. It’s fine to put on a hat and a sweater but when you have an animal in pants, a shirt, a hat, and little boots….well honestly you’ve gone into a bit crazy territory. If you are doing it for say weather, it’s understandable; otherwise you just look desperate for a child. I understand our pets are our kids and we love them, but just like your kid you do not want people thinking that kid is not safe with you. In conclusion have fun with your pets, love them, and ignore the crazy people stares. Again, the most important piece of “clothing” your pet will ever wear is his or her pet id tags. Pet tags are the most important item to purchase for your pets. They insure that your pets will safely make it home if they ever wonder too far.

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The expense of having pets

Doggy with cash in mouth

One of the hardest things about having a pet is the expense. Going to the vet can use up a huge chunk of your bank account. Taking your pet to the vet and keeping them well is a necessity. Having two animals myself that require extra care I can give you a couple tips on how to keep taking good care of your pets without dropping mass amounts of money a couple times a year.

Call around to your local vets and ask them about pricing. For example: How much are x-rays or tests. What one vet charges $130 for another will charge $60.

Every time you go in be sure to ask for a quote or estimate on everything they are going to do. I was once asked if they could keep my cat for a couple hours to get a urine sample and when I went to pick her up I ended up paying an $18 boarding fee and $40 for IV sedation on top of the amount I was already paying for testing, and the office visit. The vet never told me it would cost to keep her and never called to ask if they could sedate her.

Never feel like you have to do every test or exam the vet wants. I had a vet that wanted us to take our animals in once a year no matter what for a “wellness exam”. While this sounds nice and all its $40 each time, plus if I failed to go and took an animal in for something else, all of a sudden I would be getting a charge for a “wellness exam” that I never gave permission for. Be firm that your only paying for what you gave permission for.

Do not be afraid to question your vet or call another office for a second opinion. I do not know how many times I would’ve saved hundreds of dollars if I just would’ve gotten ALL the information I needed.

I hope some of you will find this information useful. I’m not going to lie I am a strong believer in “you get what you pay for”. However I am also a believer that you can only say that if you KNOW what you are paying for. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or demand answers. Your pets are important and you cannot take care of them for life if you run out of money to do so. Your cheapest expense is likely to be your purchase of pet id tags for your pets. Pet tags are an essential tool in helping your pets return home if they are ever lost. It is extremely important to make sure that the information on the pet tags is updated if you move or your phone number changes.

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Pet Insurance

Veterinarian Petting Dog

I have noticed that owning pets can become costly. If you are a pet owner this is something you have no doubt noticed as well. Especially if your pet has some sort of medical problem. What a lot of pet owners do not have, is pet insurance. While I am sure you have heard about it, most people have never looked into the cost and benefits of having it. I have done some research and this is what I have discovered. Now obviously, if you only need to take your pet in once a year and occasionally for a small problem here or there, there is no need for this added expense.

 

However, if your pet needs costly medication, yearly blood work, and x-rays on top of that yearly appointment, pet insurance is defiantly something you should look into. I have found you can usually find a basic plan for one animal at around $25-$30 per month. So all together we are talking around $300-360 a year. Most of the plans you can find will cover basic exams, 2 per year blood work, and most vaccines as well as heartworm tests ect. Some have a deductible and some do not. If you do the research you can find a company with a plan that is suitable for you. To some people spending $360 a year may sound like way too much money for an animal. On the other hand once you have added up the cost of office visits, blood tests, medication and all the other expenses $360 may not sound so bad.

 

Really in the end it’s up to you to make the best decision for you and your pet.  And as always,  make sure your pets are wearing Pet ID Tags.