Posts Tagged ‘petmd’

Bravo! Recalls Select Dog and Cat Foods

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Please pass along these important recalls!

Bravo! is recalling select lots of Bravo! pet food due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

The following Bravo! pet food products are being recalled:

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! BEEF BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes
Product Numbers: 52-102, 52-105, 52-110
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

BRAVO! BALANCE PREMIUM TURKEY FORMULA (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)

3 lb. box with (12) 4oz. burgers

Product Number: 31-401

Best Used By Dates: 1/07/16 and 2/11/16

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! LAMB BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes
Product Numbers: 42-102, 42-105, 42-110
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! LAMB BASIC FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
2lb. tubes
Product Number: 42-202
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! BEEF & BEEF HEART FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
5lb. tubes
Product Number: 53-130
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! 100% PURE & NATURAL PREMIUM GRASS-FED BUFFALO FOR DOGS AND CATS (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
NET WT 2LBS (32 OZ) .91KG (Tubes)
Product Number: 72-222
Best Used By Date: 1/7/16

BRAVO! TURKEY BALANCE FORMULA (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
NET WT 2 LBS (32 OZ) .09KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 31-402
Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16

NET WT 5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 31-405
Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! LAMB BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 42-105
Best Used By Date: 2/11/16

bravo recalls

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Additionally, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

If you or your pet had contact with the recalled product, you are advised to watch for symptoms that may develop. Common symptoms associated with Listeria infection include high fever, severe headache, stiffnessnausea, abdominalpain, and diarrhea. If you, your pet or a family member is experiencing these symptoms, you are urged to contact a medical professional.

According to a company release, Bravo! discontinued all manufacturing in New Zealand on Oct. 10, 2013, and will work immediately with distributors and retailers to properly dispose of any affected product left on freezer shelves.

The recalled Bravo! pet food products, which can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube or on a label on the box, were dispersed nationwide to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers.

At the time of this release, a limited number of dogs were reported to have experienced nausea and diarrhea that may have been associated with the recalled Bravo! pet food products. The company has received no reports of human illness as a result of these products.

Pet owners who have product(s) affected by this food recall are advised to dispose of the product(s) in a safe manner such as placing the item(s) in a securely covered trash receptacle. Customers can also return to the store where the product(s) were purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo! website www.bravopetfoods.com for a full refund or store credit.

More information on the Bravo! recall can also be found atwww.bravopetfoods.com, or call toll free 1-866-922-9222.

Source: FDA

Click here for the full recall from Bravo!

http://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/bravo-recalls-select-dog-and-cat-foods-31663

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Puppy-Proofing Checklist

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time, but it also can be a bit overwhelming especially when it comes to the dangerous items your new family member can get into. Petmd.com has a great checklist for “puppy proofing” your home in preparation for your new puppy! Enjoy!

Trash

Hide your trashcans and diaper pails in closets or get securely-locking lids. Watch out for any trash or recycling that might be strewn around the house, such as aluminum foil, plastic wrap, cans with sharp edges, and even plastic canisters, which puppies can get their heads caught in!

Electrical

Invest in covers for your outlets, which puppies can lick, and get covers for or secures your wires, especially around the holidays when you have more lighting in the house.

Furniture and Decor

Secure lamps, bookshelves, and decorations that puppy can pull or knock down. Move any open storage, like baskets and crates full of craft supplies, coins, shoes, or toys to a closed closet or up on a high shelf.

Medication

Puppies have no problem chewing up child-proof lids and gobbling what’s inside. Move all medication and toiletries out of reach.

Cleaning Supplies

Drain cleaners can be deadly if swallowed and most other cleaners are toxic. Secure all of your cleaning supplies in cabinets and get cabinet locks if needed!

Garage/Yard Supplies

Antifreeze can be fatal, so lock it up and clean up spills using a clay based litter or by hosing the area down thoroughly. Any liquid you keep in the garage, whether a fuel or cleaning supply, is probably toxic to dogs (and cats). Make sure heavy tools are secure and that small tools like screws and nails are stored way up off the ground. Bug and rat bait and herbicides might entice your pet, but will kill them if swallowed. Don’t use them unless absolutely necessary. Most importantly: Puppies could run though closing garage doors or sleep under parked cars. Always check before operating either machine.

Outside

While you should always supervise your puppy, it’s important to look for weak spots in your fence and make sure your pool is secured. Drowning is a possibility, even if your puppy can swim. And you’d be surprised how little space they need to crawl out of a secure yard!

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/puppycenter/adoption-getting-a-puppy/evr_dg_puppy_proofing_checklist

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Clipping Nails: A How-To Guide for Puppies (and Dogs)-Petmd

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

This is a great article from Petmd.com that gives you a tips and guidelines for trimming your puppy or dog’s nails. 

An important part of a puppy’s grooming is the regular trimming of his nails. Allowing your dog’s nails to grow too long can cause his toes to spread, which in turn puts stress on the ankle joints. If this happens, he may experience some difficulty in walking around. A dog with long nails is also more prone to scratching floors, furniture and even people.

Most owners are apprehensive about clipping their dog’s nails, but if you begin doing this soon after you bring your puppy home, you will find it is very easy to do and you will get the puppy used to being still for this part of the grooming process so that it is not something to dread.

Before You Begin

Start off by just clipping the very tips of his nails. This will allow your puppy the experience of having his nails clipped, and at the same time will help you to become more confident. If you still are nervous about clipping your pup’s nails, you can visit a professional groomer or ask your veterinarian to show you the proper technique.

It is best to clip your puppy’s nails once a week, and only when using professional nail clippers that are designed for the shape of a dog’s nails (they are markedly different from human or cat nails). You may even want to ask another person to help you out the first few times. The other person can hold the puppy still while you clip the nails. As your puppy becomes accustomed to this kind of grooming, there will no longer be any need to restrain him.

Getting Started

To clip your puppy’s nails, place his paw in your hand and hold each toe with your index finger and your thumb. Do not squeeze the toe, but hold it firmly. If the puppy tries to pull his paw away from you, or struggles to get free, give him the “No, stay!” command, and praise him immediately when he follows your command. Hold the nail clipper with the other hand. This position will give you more precision and prevent you from clipping the nails too short.

It is important to avoid cutting into the vein that runs halfway through the nail. This vein is called the “quick” and it is quite easy to spot in nails that are white or nearly transparent. Just as human nails have a white part of the nail above the fingertip, dogs have a section of white, nerve-free nail, and below it, an extension of the toe that is a light pink color. You do not want to cut into the pink part of the nail, as this is full of nerve endings and blood.

If your puppy’s nails are not clear — they may be brown, grey or black in shade — the quick may be more difficult to spot. You will just have to be extra careful that you do not cut through it. It is best that you clip off only the tips of the nails once a week if this is the case.

If you do accidentally cut the quick by mistake, be prepared for some bleeding. This is not something serious, but it can lead to an infection if it is not treated properly. Just apply a small amount of styptic powder or alum to stop the bleeding.

Image: Melissa & Bryan Ripka / via Flickr

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Adding Years to Your Pet’s Life- Petmd.com

Friday, March 14th, 2014

We found this great article from Petmd.com full of tips for lengthening your dog’s life. Here are some of the tips that they recommend:

1. Feed a high quality diet.

Pets fed a high quality diet have a shiny hair coat, healthy skin, and bright eyes. A good diet can help strengthen your pet’s immune system, help maintain his or her intestinal health, help increase his or her mental acuity, help keep joints and muscles healthy, and much more.

Read: 4 Reasons Life Stage Diets Will Help Improve Your Cat’s Health

Read: The Importance of Life Stage Feeding

2. Keep your pet lean.

Pets that are overweight are at risk for a myriad of health issues. Obesity is the number one nutritional disease seen in pets currently and studies have shown that being overweight or obese can shorten a dog or cat’s life span by as much as two years. Why? Being overweight or obese puts your pet at risk for joint disease, heart disease and diabetes, among other things.

Read: How Obesity May Shorten Your Pet’s Lifespan

3. Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly.

All pets, including both dogs and cats, require regular veterinary care. However, veterinary care goes far beyond routine vaccinations, even though those are important. A routine examination by your veterinarian can uncover health issues of which you are unaware. In many cases, an early diagnosis improves the chances of successful treatment. Early diagnosis is also likely to be less costly for you than waiting until your pet’s illness has become advanced and serious before attempting treatment.

Read: The Importance of Veterinarians for Cats

Read: The Physical Exam: What to Expect at the Veterinarian’s Office

4. Keep your pet’s mouth clean.

A common problem among dogs and cats, dental disease and oral health issues can cause your pet pain, making it difficult for him or her to eat. If left untreated, oral health issues may even lead to heart and kidney disease. In addition to regular dental checkups, the most effective means of caring for your pet’s mouth at home is to brush his or her teeth at home. If your pet isn’t a big fan of toothbrushes there are other alternatives as well, including dental diets, treats, and toys. Ask your veterinarian for some recommendations.

Read: 10 Tips for Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth Clean

Read: Oral Hygiene and Your Dog’s Health

5. Do not allow your pet to roam unsupervised.

Allowing your dog or cat to roam free may seem like you’re doing your pet a favor. However, pets that roam are susceptible to a number of dangers, including automobile accidents, predation, exposure to contagious diseases, exposure to poisons, and more. Additionally, allowing your pet to roam unsupervised may alienate your neighbors should your pet ever “relieve” him- or herself in their lawn or dig up their garden.

Read: Should I Keep My Cat Indoors?

Read: 10 Common Poisonous Plants for Dogs

Following these tips can go a long ways towards providing a long, healthy and happy life for your pet.

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_multi_life-lengthening_pet_health_tips?icn=HP-HEALTH&icl=evr_multi_life-lengthening_pet_health_tips?icn=HP-HEALTH&icl=5%20Life-Lengthening%20Health%20Tips%20for%20Your%20Pet

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Top Puppy Names-Petmd.com

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The list or the “Top Puppy Names” are in! Are the names of any of your furry friends on here? Happy Monday, everyone!topnames

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/petcare?icn=TopNav&icl=3_petcare

 

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Pro-Pet Recalls Select Dry Dog and Cat Food-PetMD.com

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Important Recalls, please pass along!

propet_Logo

Pro-Pet, an Ohio-based pet food manufacturer, has issued a voluntary recall for a limited number of dry dog and cat foods due to possible Salmonellacontamination.

The following products are included in the recall:

Product

Best By

Lot Code

UPC Number

40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 1219033878
40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 1219033878
18 lb Hubbard Life Cat Stars Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 1219033873
40 lb Hubbard Life Maintenance Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 1219033875
15 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 7065407721
40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 7065407713
40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 7065407713
20 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 2A 2351780103
40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 2A 2351780104
40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 1A 2351780104

 

According to a press release issued by the FDA, the products affected by this pet food recall were distributed through select retailers, distributors and online consumer purchases in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

At the time of this report, no illnesses have been reported.

If you or your pet had contact with the recalled product, you are advised to watch for symptoms that may develop. Common symptoms associated with Salmonellapoisoning include diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. If you, your pet, or a family member is experiencing these symptoms, you are urged to contact a medical professional.

Customers are also advised to immediately discontinue use of any impacted product and contact Pro-Pet at 1-888-765-4190 for disposition. Customer service representatives will be available Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM Central Time.

Source: FDA http://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/pro-pet-recalls-select-dry-dog-and-cat-foods-31301

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Performing the Heimlich Maneuver on your Dog

Monday, January 20th, 2014

As we all know, dogs can get in to things that they aren’t always supposed to and sometimes these items can be harmful to your dog or too big for your dog to ingest. Hearing your dog try to cough up whatever he got into is always a scary thing, especially if they can’t! We found this very informative article on Petmd.com which gives you step-by-step instructions on how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on your dog and what to watch for!

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver if your Dog is Choking

Most dogs will chew nearly anything: bones, toys, shoes, socks, etc. But would you know what to do if something became lodged in the windpipe or stuck on the palate and your dog began to choke? It’s important that you do not wait for veterinary assistance, as the dog may suffocate.

What To Watch For

If the dog is suffocating, it will often panic. A dog may paw at its mouth if something is lodged, though this does not necessarily mean it is choking. Another suspicious sign of choking is an unresponsive or unconscious dog; in these cases, check the throat and mouth for foreign objects.

Primary Cause

Almost any small object can cause choking, though the most common are hard rubber balls, lumps of gristle, and chew toys or sticks that have become swollen due to moisture.

Immediate Care

Be very careful when dealing with a choking dog, as even calm animals will panic when they cannot breathe. Protect yourself by restraining the dog, but do not muzzleit.

  1. Use both hands to open the mouth, with one hand on the upper jaw and the other on the lower.
  2. Grasping the jaws, press the lips over the dog’s teeth so that they are between the teeth and your fingers.
  3. Look inside the mouth and remove the obstruction with your fingers.
  4. If you can’t move the object with your fingers, use a flat spoon handle to pry it away from the teeth or roof of the mouth.

If the dog is still choking and you can’t see anything in the mouth, or the dog has fallen unconscious, follow these guidelines.

For a SMALL Dog

Pick the dog up by its thighs and gently shake and swing it. If his condition does not improve, apply forward pressure to the abdomen just behind the ribcage.

For a LARGE Dog

Do not try to pick up, shake, or swing a large dog; you’re more likely to do further damage due to the animal’s size. Instead, perform the equivalent of the Heimlich maneuver:

  1. If the dog is standing, put your arms around her belly, joining your hands. Make a fist and push firmly up and forward, just behind the rib cage. Place the dog on his side afterward.
  2. If the dog is lying down, place one hand on the back for support and use the other hand to squeeze the abdomen upwards and forwards.
  3. Check the dog’s mouth and remove any objects that may have been dislodges with your fingers.

Note that the object might be quite a way back towards the throat, so you might have to hunt around and hook it out with your index finger. If the dog required artificial respiration or CPR, seek immediate veterinary attention.

Veterinary Care

It is likely objects stuck in the throat have caused damage. Depending on the length of time the dog was without oxygen and the damage to the throat, the dog may require hospitalization for a few days. In some cases, bronchoscopy (whereby a small camera is inserted into the windpipe to visualize and remove the foreign body) may be recommended.

Although this may just be minor scratching, it is still important that a veterinarian examine the dog for potential problems. Sometimes foreign bodies stuck in theesophagus such as bones can cause respiratory distress and mimic choking.

Prevention

The best way to prevent choking is to treat your dog as you would a small child. Although it’s almost impossible to stop them putting things in their mouth, you should always be present and keep an eye on what they’re chewing. Avoid moisture-swollen chew toys or sticks, and cut up large chunks of food, especially gristle. T-bones are also known to cause choking when given to dogs.

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_choking

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Five Life-Lengthening Health Tips for Your Pet | petMD

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Five Life-Lengthening Health Tips for Your Pet | petMD.

By Lorie Huston, DVM

Anyone who has ever had a dog or cat wishes just one thing — that he or she has a healthy and long life. Here are five tips that can help your pet do just that.

1. Feed a high quality diet.

Pets fed a high quality diet have a shiny hair coat, healthy skin, and bright eyes. A good diet can help strengthen your pet’s immune system, help maintain his or her intestinal health, help increase his or her mental acuity, help keep joints and muscles healthy, and much more.

2. Keep your pet lean.

Pets that are overweight are at risk for a myriad of health issues. Obesity is the number one nutritional disease seen in pets currently and studies have shown that being overweight or obese can shorten a dog or cat’s life span by as much as two years. Why? Being overweight or obese puts your pet at risk for joint disease, heart disease and diabetes, among other things.

3. Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly.

All pets, including both dogs and cats, require regular veterinary care. However, veterinary care goes far beyond routine vaccinations, even though those are important. A routine examination by your veterinarian can uncover health issues of which you are unaware. In many cases, an early diagnosis improves the chances of successful treatment. Early diagnosis is also likely to be less costly for you than waiting until your pet’s illness has become advanced and serious before attempting treatment.

4. Keep your pet’s mouth clean.

A common problem among dogs and cats, dental disease and oral health issues can cause your pet pain, making it difficult for him or her to eat. If left untreated, oral health issues may even lead to heart and kidney disease. In addition to regular dental checkups, the most effective means of caring for your pet’s mouth at home is to brush his or her teeth at home. If your pet isn’t a big fan of toothbrushes there are other alternatives as well, including dental diets, treats, and toys. Ask your veterinarian for some recommendations.

5. Do not allow your pet to roam unsupervised.

Allowing your dog or cat to roam free may seem like you’re doing your pet a favor. However, pets that roam are susceptible to a number of dangers, including automobile accidents, predation, exposure to contagious diseases, exposure to poisons, and more. Additionally, allowing your pet to roam unsupervised may alienate your neighbors should your pet ever “relieve” him- or herself in their lawn or dig up their garden.

Following these tips can go a long ways towards providing a long, healthy and happy life for your pet.

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_multi_life-lengthening_pet_health_tips?icn=HP-Hero&icl=life-lengthening_pet_health_tips#.UtRpfp5dXCI

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Winter Walking Dangers for Cats and Dogs

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Winter is here and we have finally seen our first light snowfall in Washington, so we thought this would be a perfect article to share with all of you pet owners out there. If your dog or cat spends time outdoors in the winter, it can be very dangerous. This article has great information on the hazards of Winter weather.

Chemicals on the Ground

It is common practice to apply chemicals to sidewalks and driveways so that the ice can be made to melt, or just to make it so that the feet can grip the ground easier. The problem with these chemicals is that they get onto animals’ unprotected feet, where they can irritate the skin or get into small abrasions in the foot pads. The animal may also lick the chemicals off of their feet and ingest them, resulting in stomach and intestinal problems. There are products that are relatively safe for animals, but not everyone uses a pet-friendly product for their sidewalks and driveways.

One solution is to outfit your dog with a set of booties, so that the foot pads are protected. Booties are also good for keeping hard snow and ice out of the spaces between the toes, something that can be very painful for an animal.

If your pet will not tolerate wearing booties, you will need to be vigilant about cleaning your pet’s feet and underside as soon as you return home from a walk. A simple rag that has been dipped in warm water will do the job.

It is also a good idea to make a habit of checking your dog or cat’s feet on a regular basis after they come in from outside to be sure that the footpads and toes are clean and free of abrasions.

Ethylene Glycol (Antifreeze) Poisoning

Another common winter practice is the changing of antifreeze/coolant in the car engine. There will always be unintentional spills to watch out for, and not everyone is conscientious about cleaning up the spills in the driveway or on the garage floor. While a lot of companies have changed the formula of their antifreeze products so that they do not have a sweet taste, there are still plenty of antifreeze products on the market that do have that tempting sweet smell and taste to them. Dogs and cats, of course, do not know any better, and they lap up spilled antifreeze solutions when they find them on the ground.

The main ingredient of most antifreeze solutions is ethylene glycol, an extremely toxic chemical that leads to a lot of accidental illnesses and deaths in pets every year. If there is no one around to witness the pet ingesting antifreeze and the symptoms are not treated immediately, the animal may suffer severe nervous system and kidney damage within a short period after ingestion. Even the newer pet-safe products have a degree of toxicity, and the only way to avoid accidental poisoning is keep the products out of reach of pets, and off of the ground.

All antifreeze products need to be carefully secured in an area that is out of reach for pets – and children, for that matter. All spills should be cleaned immediately using a water hose or similar procedure. In addition, if you are out walking and see a puddle in the street or on a driveway, do not let your pet walk through it or drink from it.

 

If you suspect that your pet has ingested even a small amount of antifreeze, the best thing you can do is call your veterinarian or local emergency animal clinic immediately. Ethylene glycol is a fast acting chemical, and minutes can make a difference.

Frostbite

Your pet may not be complaining about the cold, and is probably even having a blast playing in the snow, but just like us, animals do not always notice that their skin has started to feel funny. As the body’s temperature decreases in response to the outdoor temperature, blood is diverted to the core systems, leaving the outer organ, the skin, at risk of freezing. Once the skin has been frozen by the ice and snow, there is tissue damage, basically causing a condition akin to burning. At highest risk for frostbite are the footpads, nose, ear tips and tail

Upon returning home after being outdoors for an extended time, or when the temperatures are especially low, check your pet’s risk points (along with the rest of the body). Early symptoms of frostbite include pale, hard skin that remains very cold even after being inside. As the skin warms, it may swell and change to a red color.

Your pet may try to relieve the irritation by licking and chewing on the skin, in which case you will need to have the skin treated and covered immediately before permanent damage is done.

Never apply direct heat to the skin, water or otherwise. Only tepid to warm water should be used on the skin, and non-electric blankets to cover the animal. You may need to consult with a veterinarian to make sure that the condition is not severe.

In some cases of severe frostbite the tissue needs to be removed, or the limb removed before the dead tissue allows infection to set in.

Hopefully, this has educated you and not frightened you. These are just some of the ways you can protect your pet, so that you do not need to worry yourself over anything, and so that you and your pet can have a great time in the snow and on the ice.

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_winter_walking_dangers?icn=HP-Hero&icl=evr_winter_walking_dangers

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Tips on Crate Training

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Families always ask us for tips on crate training their puppy, and this article is a great guide on how to make crate training as easy as possible for you and your puppy. PetMD.com has wonderful articles on first time puppy owners and lots of helpful information.

Crate Training for Puppies

When making the first introduction, it is best done in steps. The last thing you want to do is frighten your puppy to the point that he is reluctant or unwilling to get into his grate. Ideally, you want your puppy to get into the crate at your command. But why?

Benefits of Crate Training

There are a lot of good reasons for crate training. For one, it is an essential part of housebreaking. Puppies will not usually soil their bed. Therefore, if the crate is set up as a resting space, the puppy will wait until he leaves the crate to do his business. This will put you in control of where and when your puppy relieves himself.

You will find that the crate is also useful for sequestering the dog when you have company over, car travel, and for making sure that the puppy is safe at night — i.e., not eating thing left within reach, tearing at furniture, or soiling on the floors. Think of the crate as a little cave in which your puppy can feel safe and secure, and he will respond positively to it.

 

Making Crate Training a Pleasant Experience

To avoid making crate training a traumatic experience for the puppy, make sure that he feels at ease throughout the entire process. You can do this by placing an old shirt or blanket on the bottom of the crate so that he is comfortable.

A puppy must never be locked up and left alone if it is his first time inside the crate. This can be a very traumatic experience for your puppy and will only make it more difficult for you the next time you try and get him to go inside the crate and behave.

Instead, tempt the puppy to enter the crate by placing some kibble inside. Be generous with your praises, as he enters the crate to eat the kibble. If he does not make a move to enter the crate, pick him up and slowly put him inside with the door left open. Reassure your puppy by petting him if he seems agitated and frightened. Once the puppy is inside the crate for a few moments, call him to come out of the crate to join you. Praise him with simple words and pats when he comes to you.

After practicing going in and out of the crate willingly several times, once the puppy appears to be at ease inside the crate and does not show any signs of fright, then you can close the door slowly. Keep it closed for one minute, as long as he remains calm all throughout. After that, open the door and invite him out while generously praising him.

What if He Whines?

Once you have passed the initial hurdle of familiarizing your puppy with the crate, you will want to get him comfortable to going into the crate and staying there quietly. Similar to before, the best trick for getting a puppy to go inside a crate willingly is to tempt him with food. Fill a bowl with a small amount of puppy food while you let him watch. Let him sniff the food and then slowly place the bowl of food inside the crate.

Once the puppy is inside, slowly close the door (so as not to startle the puppy) and allow him to eat. He will likely finish his food inside and only begin to whine or bark after he is done with his meal. When he starts to bark and whine, tap the door of the crate and say “No” in a strong, commanding (but not loud) voice. With repetition, this will make him stop crying and eventually train him not to whine when he is placed inside his crate.

You will gradually increase the time the puppy stays inside the crate. If he whines, wait for him to quiet down — or five minutes, whichever is first — before you open the door to let him out. Praise him when he comes out, and take him outside to relieve himself immediately. Repeat this a few times a day.

After some time, your puppy will begin to feel at ease inside his crate and may even go to his crate on his own. This is the time to lengthen his stay inside, although you must keep in mind that there is also a limit to the maximum number of hours that your puppy can spend inside his crate before becoming uncomfortable.

A puppy should not be made to spend almost an entire day in his crate, nor is it right to imprison a puppy inside his crate for long periods of time. He must be given breaks to walk and play around.

The purpose of a crate is so that the puppy/dog can be tucked inside overnight when you are sleeping and cannot supervise him, when you need to travel, and when you need him to be sequestered from visitors or children. It can also be a very useful tool in housetraining. You can keep him inside his crate until the scheduled outside time — when you can take him out to relieve himself – and in so doing, the puppy learns how to control his body functions as an internal schedule is being set, so that he becomes accustomed to the times when he will be going outdoors. This method works well because it is a dog’s natural inclination not to soil in his own bedding. He will learn not to eliminate until he is let out of his crate, and later, at the scheduled time.

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/puppycenter/potty-training/evr_dg_crate_training_for_puppies#.Up4orMRQGAk

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