Archives for October 2009

Dog Saftey Tips During Halloween

041It’s that time of year again. We get dressed in our most ghoulish costumes to hand out candy or have guests over for the evening. Although Halloween can be lots of fun for us, it can also be stressful on your dog, so here are some tips to help keep your dog calm and safe.

  • Keep dogs out of the candy bowl. Especially keep them away from chocolate and candy containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener. If you dog does either of these, contact your veterinarian.
  • Dispose of candy wrappers and make sure your dog can’t get into the trash. Wrappers can cause choking or intestinal obstruction.
  • If you’re carving Jack-O-Lanterns this year use a battery operated light rather than a candle. Dogs tails can knock items over or even get caught in the flame.
  • Walk your dog before trick-or-treaters or party guests arrive.
  • Make sure your dog’s ID tag is to date and securely attached to his collar.
  • Find a secure place in your home to keep your dog. Dogs can get loose when the door opens, and the presence costumed people can scare them, increasing the chance dog will run away.
  • If you want your dog around when passing out candy, use a baby gate to keep them away from the door.
  • Practice your dogs recall. If you dog does escape from the house, having a solid recall will help keep your dog from running away.
  • Keep your dogs indoors. This eliminates the temptation of ill-minded pranksters to frighten, agitate or even steal your dog.
  • Last, but not least, don’t take your dog Trick or Treating with you. The sights, sounds and scares of Halloween can be overwhelming for your dog.

If you keep these tips in mind you and your dog can both have a Happy Halloween!

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Tips for Moving with Your Dog

Sebassandiztc+006v2Now that I’ve had a chance to settle into my new home I thought it would be appropriate to give you a few tips to help make your next move a little less stressful for your canine friend.

BEFORE you move:

  • Take your time packing. It is less stressful for your dog if you pack your house over the span of a couple of weeks rather than in a panicked hurry. Make sure you leave some of your dog’s favorite toys out and pack them last.
  • Maintain your dogs normal feeding and walking schedule.
  • If possible, take your dog to your new house before you move in. This will help them get used to their new surroundings. Take them on regular walks in the new neighborhood so they can get used to the new sites and smells.
  • Purchase id tags with your new address and license your dog in your new city.
  • If your dog is not accustom to being in a crate (or doggy condo) you will need to get them used to it. This will come in handy for keeping your dog safe on moving day and for giving them boundaries in your new home. Some easy tips to acclimate your dog to their new condo are to feed them in it (with the door open), or give them their favorite toy or stuffed Kong. You can also practice obedience skills such as laying down when they go into their new condo.

If using a crate is not possible, you can always put your dog in a small room with their water dishes and toys. This will also keep them out of your way on moving day. Be sure to let the movers or your friends know that the dogs are in that room. You don’t want them getting out and possibly running away.

AFTER you’ve moved:

  • Unpack your dog’s favorite toys and food and water dishes first. Having familiar things around them will help them be more comfortable in their new surroundings.
  • Once again keep your dog in a doggy condo or small room, and consider giving them a stuffed Kong or their favorite chew toy. This will ensure that they are not underfoot or can get loose and run away. They will also have a positive association with their new environment.
  • Even a dog that is housetrained may have accidents in a new home. Make sure you clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleaner such as Natures Miracle. Also consider putting your dog back on a remedial house training schedule by taking them out frequently and using a leash when you do so.
  • If you need to leave your house, confine your dog to their doggy condo or a small room, this will make them feel more comfortable.
  • And most importantly create a new schedule for your dog by taking them for walks and giving them lots of love and attention.
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