Keeping your dog safe at Howloween.

Howloween Safety Tips for Dogs

Most pet parents are aware of safety issues for children at Halloween, but what about our dogs? Unfortunately, this holiday can be an unexpected safety hazard for dogs if we’re not diligent about keeping them from harm. Here’s a checklist of things to keep watch of.

  • Chocolate is a very real danger to dogs. Even relatively small amounts can do damage. Theobromine is the ingredient in chocolate that’s poisonous to dogs; it’s related to caffeine, and can present a number of symptoms including hyperactivity, muscle tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate and increased urine output. Unfortunately, the outcome for many dogs who ingest large amounts of chocolate is death. The darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is to dogs. Therefore, baker’s chocolate is the worst for dogs, while milk chocolate contains the least amount of theobromine.

Should you worry if your dog eats just one M&M? Not if he’s a Great Dane. But if he’s a Chihuahua, call your vet immediately! The usual course of treatment is to administer a vomit-inducing agent if your dog ate the chocolate within the previous two hours; after that, activated charcoal is usually given to your dog to help absorb any of the chocolate remaining in his digestive system. To try to cut down on damage to his heart, intravenous solutions may be administered.

On a busy Halloween night, candy may be left around waiting for trick-or-treaters, and your kids will surely come home with a bag full of goodies, so the potential for chocolate poisoning is high. Kids need to be taught never to give their dogs candy, particularly chocolate, and the goodies they bring home need to be put away where your dog can’t reach them. As always, have your vet’s emergency phone number taped near the phone. Even if you have a big dog, don’t assume a small candy bar won’t be dangerous — you need to immediately inform your vet so she can decide the appropriate protocol.

  •  Does your dog like to make a run for it when the front door is opened? Even a very well-trained dog can become stressed during Halloween trick-or-treat time, with all the commotion, new people to meet, and interesting activity in the streets. Please be sure your dog is safe, comfortable in his crate and occupied with stuffed Kongs, and teach your dog to go to bed when the doorbell rings for all the other days of the year! Haven’t yet microchipped your dog? Oops — make sure he at least has an ID tag on his collar, just in case!
  • Watch out for jack-o’-lanterns, electrical cords and decorations.
  • Keep your dog in the house. Your dog may be too tempted to dig under a fence or wall to get to all the fun stuff going on!
  • Be sure your dog is adequately clean, from top to bottom. Take care of his feet by trimming your dogs’ nails and his head by brushing all along the skull.
  • Dogs are territorial. Anyone approaching and ringing the bell can be seen as a potential threat to your dog. Unless he’s very well socialized and used to this kind of commotion, as well as very reliable when given a command, it’s best for everyone if your dog is taken out of the picture, crated as described above, or kept in a bedroom with someone who’s watching TV. Don’t leave your dog alone; his stress level will go up if there’s no one around for him to interact with. Play games or have a training session; just don’t be passive, allowing stress to build up because of the noise and “intrusions.”
  • If you have a puppy, take him or her with you and walk around where the kids are, allowing lots of interaction but being oh-so-careful no candy is grabbed from the goodie bags! This is a perfect opportunity to introduce new things to your puppy, including weird costumes and small children. Get really happy when you approach a kid in a silly costume, so your puppy sees it as a good thing, rather than potentially scary. Bring treats with you to give your dog, and let people feed him treats, too. You can also have your puppy on the porch with you, if he’s on leash. Be sure to have doggie treats with you that the kids can feed him. Forego the potentially distracting dog Halloween costume for young dogs, and focus on socialization!

What to do if you dog cant hold his leaker.

Your dog leaking uncontrollably is a very bad habit for the dog and a very frustratiting thing for an owner.I will try here to address the basic steps you need to take in order to help your dog pee in an organised manner.

How to train your do to abolish these nasty behaviours.

Look at their daily routine and environment. Since they’ve both started acting stressed at the same time, it very well could be something’s changed, such as how long they’re home by themselves, new construction close to your home (which can be very stressful for dogs because of the perceived invasion of their territory and the loud noises) or someone has joined or left the household.

If your boyfriend is new to the household, for example, that could easily spur the behavioral changes. I suggest introducing some fun, easy new things to your dogs to lower their stress levels.

The licking Abbey is doing isn’t an “attack,” per se, but a symptom of her feeling insecure and stressed. If Bubba only cries at the kitchen door when your boyfriend goes into the kitchen, I’d say it could be that your boyfriend’s possibly giving Bubba some extra treats, which Bubba expects when your boyfriend goes in the kitchen. However, I don’t think so in this case, since he’s also acting depressed and anxious.

To help get Bubba and Abbey’s stress levels down, you’ll need to begin some rituals with them that enrich their lives with structure, routine and fun.

Train Your Dogs!

Start by teaching your dogs basic obedience commands. When you’re working with a dog, using motivational techniques and positive reinforcement, they become very focused on the activity, using a lot of mental and physical energy. It also creates a bond like nothing else!

Please refer to these training instructions before you begin:

When you start, work with Abbey while your boyfriend works with Bubba in another room. Switch dogs each training session. After your dogs have become addicted to the training game, you can train them in the same room, because their focus will be on who’s working with them, not the other dog or person.

Be as consistent as you can with your hand and voice signals, but perfection isn’t the goal here. De-stressing your dogs is the goal, so focus on keeping the sessions upbeat and fun, and be very happy with a bit of progress each time. Tell them what geniuses they are! Don’t overwork them, asking them to do too much too soon. Focus on having fun, being their cheerleaders and being as silly as it takes to get them to really enjoy their training.

A good rule of thumb for how long to train is to do it during commercial breaks when you’re watching TV. That way, it’s a piece of cake finding the time to train, and keeps your sessions short. An hour-long TV show gives you about six nicely timed little training sessions.

The Importance of Exercise

You can train a dog to title-winning levels, but if he’s not given enough exercise to help get rid of his energy and release calming endorphins, you’re opening the door to any number of stress-related symptoms, including those you describe. A tired dog is a happy dog!

Take your dogs for a walk when you get home, so they (and you!) can enjoy the benefits of the walk for the rest of the evening. The value of the walk is optimized when the four of you take off together for a half hour each evening and walk  as a “pack.”

Look at this very informative video, on how to train your dog to pee in a specific place

Other Factors

It’s very important that your dogs have enough interactive toys when you’re not home. Present some awesome toys to them as you leave.

As long as your dogs don’t get possessive over their food, be sure to give them both some biscuits or other hollow toys stuffed with their regular food (read my “How to Stuff a Kong” instructions) to give them a really good outlet for any stress they may be feeling during the day.

Get at least six biscuits so you always have some stuffed and ready to go. To get your dogs really hooked on the toys, stuff the biscuits loosely the day you buy them so your dogs get the food relatively quickly.

Put the biscuits in the refrigerator and say, “Want your biscuits?” Act really excited about it. Ask your dogs to sit, then say “Yay!” and toss them their biscuits. Get ready for the next morning by stuffing more biscuits with food, more tightly this time. The more tightly packed the toys are, the longer it will take your dogs to score the food.

You must be very careful though with how many biscuits you give to your dog. Check this article about clucosamin and how to best feed your dog.

Make your leaving and coming home very unemotional. Keep your morning interaction with your dogs to a minimum 15 minutes or so before you leave. Head to the fridge, ask the dogs to sit, act excited, then toss their biscuits away from the front door area. You’ve just shifted their emotional energy from watching you go and feeling some stress to “Oh boy! biscuits?!”

After about a week of this, they will be glad to see you go, because it means it’s time for their stuffed biscuits. Major emotional improvement!

Routine and predictability are also key to keeping their stress down, so any time there’s a change in their environment or routine, increase the amount of training sessions and walks. And be sure to ask your dogs to sit or lay down for everything they get that’s a reward for them: their meals (preferably in a Kong), getting up on the couch with you, going out the door for walks, being patted, etc.

Happy training!


How glucosamine and chondroitin contribute to your dog’s health

Many dogs – perhaps yours – take glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. But what are they, and how do they contribute to your dog’s health?

Glucosamane is found in almost all desserts  so be careful and read our Halloween safety tips for dogs.

What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a type of amino sugar produced in the body that plays an important role in forming and repairing joint cartilage. Cartilage is the main tissue that cushions and protects joints during movement. Glucosamine provides the raw materials needed to strengthen cartilage, while also inhibiting enzymes that break down cartilage.

What is chondroitin?

Chondroitin is an element of cartilage, which functions in a way similar to glucosamine. It is part of a large protein molecule that gives cartilage elasticity.Does my dog need a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement?
As your dog gets older, the amount of glucosamine and chondroitin his body produces decreases, leading to stiff joints, lessened mobility and joint pain. Decreases in glucosamine also contribute to conditions such as arthritis. Joint injuries or surgery can also affect the amount of cartilage protecting your dog’s joints.

Supplementing your dog with glucosamine and chondroitin can help replace lost glucosamine and restore the proper glucosamine balance.

Benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements

Your dog can benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin supplements if:

He is very active and exercises regularly
He participates in agility events and other high impact activities
He has previous joint injuries
He has had joint surgery
He has signs of pain and stiffness of joints
He is a senior dog (7 years or older)
He is limping or lame
Because glucosamine and chondroitin are a naturally occurring substances in the body, there are very few side effects. There have been no reported drug interactions with glucosamine.

However, take the following precautions before giving your dog glucosamine and chondroitin supplements:

Consult with your veterinarian if your dog is diabetic — glucosamine may increase insulin resistance
Discontinue use one week prior to surgery, as it may have a mild blood-thinning effect
Do not use if your dog is on medications that thin blood
May cause mild digestive upset such as nausea and diarrhea
If lameness worsens or persists, consult your veterinarian
Safe use for pregnant animals or animals intended for breeding has not been proven