Tagged: dog care

Understanding Normal Puppy Behavior

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black puppy nipping finger

As cute as they are, puppies are a handful!  You need be patient and understanding with your puppy, and work on training him as soon as he comes home with you.  If left unattended, cute puppy behavior will evolve into adult dog behavior problems.  Here is a list of training tips to help calm a few of the more unwelcome,  but normal,  puppy behaviors.

Mouthing and Chewing
Mouthing and chewing are very normal puppy behaviors.  It may seem like the nipping is never going to end, and it can be difficult to break the habit.  But break it you must,…

How to Prepare for Your New Dog’s First Few Days

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How to Prepare for Your New Dog's First Few Days

So you have decided to add to your family by bringing home a new canine companion.  Good for you!  This is the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship. To ensure that your relationship starts on good footing, here are a few tips on preparing for your new best friend.
First, we strongly suggest that you get identification for your pet within the first day.  Even if you’re not sure what your pet’s name will be, having your name and contact information on your pet’s collar makes all the difference in recovering your pet should they get lost.

Dog-Proofing Your…

Collar Fitting and Leash Pulling

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dog with harness and leash

The first step in training your dog to walk properly on a leash is to learn the basics of collar fitting.  There are two options available when shopping for a collar:
Flat Collars

  •  A flat collar is a basic collar secured with a standard buckle, or quick-release buckle.
  • Flat collars are made of a variety of materials and have a metal ring for attaching identification tags and leash.
  •  To fit a flat collar, measure your dog’s neck and use this measurement against the size range shown on your preferred collar.  You should be able to fit two fingers between the

Battling Food Allergies with My Canine Companion



Back in 2008 when I first met my pet daughter “Bella,” a Pomeranian, I realized we shared a few things in common. We both have food allergies to certain proteins, like beef and lamb, and we both have very sensitive stomachs. She was not in great shape when I rescued her. During her first vet visit, our vet determined she was 11-months-old, had poor coat quality, major allergies, and was malnourished from the litter she’d just had less than a month prior. Below you can see the picture I took when we first met.
I started feeding her a lamb…

6 How to Read a Pet Food Label


Westie with a carrot

Reading cat and dog food labels is confusing and tricky.  Are you sure you are feeding your pet the healthiest and most nutritious food money can buy?  I’m still trying to figure that out for myself and my westie, Yuki, but here are some facts I’ve learned along the way about production and labeling regulations.
Who’s in charge?
Pet food is regulated both federally and at the state level with standards determined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).  The AAFCO is responsible for establishing nutritional standards for each species and lifestage (ex: X% of protein for a…

7 Buckle Up for Safety – Safety Belts for Dogs


2 dogs wearing safety belts

What’s the first thing you do when you get into your car?  If you are obeying the law, it’s securing your seatbelt around you.  If you have children, the first thing you do when placing them in the car is securing their car seat, or making sure they are buckled securely.  That’s why I don’t understand why more people don’t do the same for their four-legged kids.  I predict that within 5-10 years there will be laws in place about securing your dog in the car, but if doing so can keep you and your dog safer, why wait?

Making Your New Adult Dog Feel at Home

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chihuahua under a blanket

Bringing home an adult dog from a shelter is an exciting time with some unique challenges.  Shelter dogs come from all backgrounds.  From dogs who were lost, to dogs given up for behavior issues, or because the owner was unwilling or unable to provide adequate care.  Consequently, dogs entering a new home may not behave the way you might expect “adult” dogs to act.

Housebreaking Issues with Adult Dogs
A dog who has not had a structured home environment may have no idea that your house doesn’t play double duty as a toilet.  Until they prove otherwise, it’s generally a…

9 Just Food For Dogs: The Future of Feeding Fido


just food for dogs ingredients and supplements

Before the days of processed dry kibble and canned pet food, dogs were fed mostly table scraps.  After the Great Depression, food rationing meant less table scraps for Fido to eat, and without any government regulations in place for what ingredients pet food manufacturers could use, the pet food industry boomed.  Pet food manufacturers were able to inexpensively purchase waste from the human food industry that would otherwise be discarded and rendered it into convenient, easy to serve and inexpensive kibble diets.
But is processed pet food really worth the (cheap) price? Without government regulation and very loose manufacturing standards…

4 BAD EATS: Holiday Pet Food Safety Tips


BAD EATS: Holiday Pet Food Safety Tips

With the holidays come holiday dinners, which can spell disaster for your pet if they ingest something that can be toxic or harmful to them.
For dogs, rich, fatty foods, such as scraps of fat from the Thanksgiving turkey, gravy or grease, can cause a sudden onset of pancreatitis, which occurs when the pancreas floods the body with digestive enzymes that begin to inflame and deteriorate surrounding organs.  This can result in pain, vomiting, and dehydration, which can be fatal if not treated immediately.  Often hospitalization is required for treatment.  A dog who is suffering from pancreatitis may adopt a…

Meatless Monday: A Vegan Recipe for Dogs



There are a lot of different options when it comes to feeding your dog.  You can choose from hundreds of commercially prepared dry and wet foods, purchase specially prepared raw food in small batches or even prepare meals yourself at home.   Some dog owners feed their dogs a vegan diet (usually because they are vegan themselves.)  We don’t have any vegan dogs at the office but we wanted to provide a good recipe because Snickers’ homemade dog food blog has gotten so much positive feedback (thanks readers!)
As luck would have it, I was contacted by a woman a few…