Monthly Archives: October 2015

Make Halloween Less Scary For Your Dog

dreamstime_m_45187111_2Let’s make Halloween less scary for your dog by preparing her. Think about it … the doorbell ringing, people dressed up in costumes and ghosts jumping out of the bushes. Who wouldn’t be frightened?  Here are some tips to ready your dog for a safe Halloween.

 

Before :
Make sure your dog’s id tags and microchip are up-to-date.  I recommend you keep her collar on for this day, even if you don’t typically have a collar on her.

If she is lucky enough to get a costume, try it on before the holiday.  Not every dog will tolerate being dressed up; you’ll want to know that before showing her off.  You can put a themed bandana on her if she won’t accept the costume.

Trick or Treat night:
Bring all of your pets inside.  There are too many pets reported missing after Halloween.

Put her in a separate room or put up a gate to restrict her from running out the door.

Or head the trick or treaters off at the pass.  My wife and I usually take turns sitting outside with the candy while the other sits inside with our dog.  If it’s a cold, rainy night, I always volunteer to stay with Maksim!

Keep the pumpkin, candles, and candy out of your dog’s reach.

After:
Keep your eye out for dropped candies on your walk the next day.  Our beagle, Winkler, was excellent at sniffing out dropped candies and wrappers.  You already know the list of toxic food and candies, don’t you?

Thanks for reading these ideas and preparing for this scary night.

Adoption May Be A Good Option

dreamstime_m_56996001_2Have you ever adopted a dog from a shelter or rescue facility? Some people have the wrong impression that these dogs are in shelters because of some behavioral problem they exhibit. Many people fear they have too much baggage because of abuse or neglect. In reality, dogs usually end up in shelters through no fault of their own.  They are often victims of divorce or a change in the family’s living situation, such as a move to an apartment that doesn’t allow dogs.

Conversely, many people believe that purebreds will have fewer problems because of their pedigree.

Unfortunately, both of these assumptions are not 100% accurate.  I have trained everything from mutts to purebreds, from puppies to senior dogs. When everything is factored in, the one thing that makes the biggest difference is dog training.  I am not just saying that because I am a dog trainer. Good behavior doesn’t just happen; it is learned. Imagine a baby was given no guidance in life, or rules to follow.  How do you say “juvenile delinquent in the making?”  The chances are good that baby would not be headed in the right direction.

Regardless of age, dogs can be trained to learn new behaviors.  It takes perseverance, patience, reiteration and communication – things that can be emphasized in training lessons. Therefore, whether you get a dog from a shelter or a breeder, YOU can be the one who determines her future.  It’s the actions of the dog owner that make the biggest difference between an unruly dog and a well behaved dog.

The saddest part is that dogs can be given up to shelters for behaviors that could be corrected – the dog owner may not have had the time or the training to know how to deal with the dog’s problems. That’s why I feel so good about what I do – I can help clients save dogs from being euthanized or abandoned because they display unwanted behaviors.

Currently, there are 6 to 8 million pets that need a home.  Of these, there are 2.7 million dogs that are euthanized each year. Just like every child in a foster home deserves a forever home, so too do dogs. Here are just some of the reasons adoption may be a good option for your family:

  • You will save a dog from being euthanized. Thousands of unwanted, abandoned, neglected, and stray animals pour into animal shelters across the country every day—far outnumbering the good homes available to take them in. Unfortunately, some dogs may have to be euthanized due to overcrowding.
  • You will save money. Purebreds can be quite expensive. Adopted animals have usually been spayed or neutered which helps to prevent overpopulation. Many have also been vaccinated and can be adopted for a small adoption fee.
  • There is a large selection. Some rescue organizations cater to certain breeds, but others have a variety of dogs. Young or old, from Labrador to Chihuahua you should be able to find one ideal for your family.
  • You will gain a best friend. Studies have shown that dogs can help people emotionally to feel better. Dogs provide unconditional love and all they ask for is a little love and the basics.

Remember the old adage you can’t buy love? You can. It’s called a dog from an animal shelter.