Introducing Your Dog to Your Baby

Expecting a new baby can change a lot of things, including your adult dog’s behavior. His position in your family will change and you don’t want him to blame the baby. Make as many changes in your home environment and your dog’s routine as early as you can. If certain areas of your home will be off limits, like the nursery, establish that now. It’s also a good idea to teach your dog the difference between his toys and the baby’s. For dogs that have trouble differentiating between certain toys, use scent recognition to teach them the difference – put a dab of Listerine on the baby’s toys, truss the scented baby toy and a dog toy, then play the game “which one is yours?” Playing this game once a week, most dogs learn the difference within a month. The sound of a crying baby also upsets a lot of adult dogs, so it’s a good idea to desensitize your dog to the sounds before the baby arrives. Use a tape of a baby crying, put it in the crib, turn it on, and see how your dog reacts. Some experts recommend that you go so far as to get a doll and rehearse various activities that you’ll perform with the baby in the dog’s presence.  When your dog acts indifferently to the crying or the activity, he is desensitized. Finally, when the big day arrives, dad should wait in the car with the baby while mom goes inside and greets the dog. Once the initial excitement is over, she should put the dog on a leash and have him sit or lie next to her while dad enters with the baby in his arms. Mom then slowly walks the dog toward the baby and dad. If the dog balks, acts nervous or anxious at any point stop and try again later. If all seems fine, let your dog sniff your baby. Most dogs treat babies with indifference and move on. The key is to introduce them gradually, don’t force it and don’t make a fuss. And no matter how well you know your dog, never leave him alone with your baby.  Most dogs adjust quickly to the new addition. COMPLEMENTARY TREATMENTS HERBAL REMEDY If your dog has a nervous disposition, try skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) to calm him down. First, talk to your vet. HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY Kali phosphoricum 6x can be beneficial for hyperactive dogs. Give this salt daily for four weeks. For more information please visit www.chagrinfallspetclinic.com

2018-05-17T21:11:26+00:00 By |

The Scoop on Pet Sitters – The New Age of “Boarding” Your Dog

It seems for most that kenneling your dog is a thing of the past. Why pay for your dog to sit in a cage for days or weeks at a time when you can often pay the same thing for your dog to either stay in the comfort of their own home or go to someone else’s? Pet sitters are wonderful alternatives to boarding your dog. Often, we consider pet sitters to offer a vacation away from home for pets while their owners are away on vacation. 1.       No Worrying about Kennel Cough - Without having to kennel your dog, you also don’t have to worry about the communicable diseases that dogs can pass to one another. 2.       No Worrying about Vaccinating your Senior Pet - While vaccines are good for some pets, they are not good for others. Leaving your pet at home and having an in-house sitter eliminates the need to vaccinate your pet just to have them boarded. 3.       Dogs who Require Hospice Type Care or Specific Health Needs - Leaving your pet with an experienced pet sitter (Vet-Techs Who Pet Sit are the best for these dogs) allows you to travel without the worries of your pet falling ill or missing their much-needed medications. Often these sitters will stay in your home or take your pet to theirs. 4.       Dogs who Don’t Mesh well with Other Dogs - Pet sitters are also great for dogs who don’t like other dogs. No need to keep them in isolation at a kennel, when they can be free to live their life normally while your away. 5.       Pet Owners with Multiple Pets - For those pet enthusiasts with multiple pets in the home, pet sitters are a steal. Usually charging the same fee or minimal upcharge for additional pets. Your pets can stay in their own environment and enjoy the comfort of their own home. For more information please visit www.chagrinfallspetclinic.com

2018-05-17T21:01:26+00:00 By |

Feeding People Food to Pets: What’s the Truth?

Should pet owners feel guilty…? As a practicing, integrative veterinarian for over 20 years, our clinical results document dogs enjoying superior health and longevity when fed “human food,” rather than commercial dog food. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to wholesome nutrition “food is food.” The statement, “you are what you eat” doesn’t just apply to people. It’s as true for you as it is for your dog! Why would the billion-dollar pet food giants spend thousands of dollars hiring graphic artists to draw chicken breasts, fresh vegetables, salmon, and the like on pet food labels, if they didn’t want dog owners to believe that is what’s in their dog’s food? Obviously, they wouldn’t. Why all the hype about feeding “people food” to pets? Many pet owners question how they would “balance” their pet’s diets. Others worry about feeding their dogs potentially toxic foods like grapes. Most pet owners are concerned about cost and many are looking for convenience. So, what’s the truth when it comes to your pet’s food? What are the Facts? The fact of the matter is that it costs money to eat healthy food no matter whether you have 2 feet or 4. If you buy 40 pounds of kibble and save a few dollars today then end up spending triple that amount a few years later in your vet’s office, what have you really saved? Do you honestly think the vitamin-mineral premixes from China being added to dry pet food to meet AAFCO’s guidelines offer your pet “balanced healthy nutrition?” Today’s Pet Food Giants spend thousands of dollars each month brainwashing veterinarians and pet owners alike as to the benefits of feeding commercial pet food and the dangers of home cooking for your pet. Why? Do we see similar ads, commercials and warnings about what and when to feed ourselves? Do grocery stores sell food categorized as “adult” and “senior?” How is that benefiting our health? Why are over half of all Americans suffering with obesity and diabetes? Why are one out of every three children today diagnosed as being “pre-diabetic?” Why are cancer rates surging in people and pets? Is there a connection between these diseases, which are reaching epidemic proportions to what we eat and what we put in our pet’s food bowls? What About Feeding Pets Table Scraps? Many well-meaning pet owners offer their canines the wrong types of human foods, like table scraps and pumpkin.  With respect to feeding table scraps, if you don’t eat it, neither should your dog. Pumpkin fed in excess leaches the nutrients and minerals out of your pet’s gut. Garlic is also another overfeed nutrient. Fed on daily basis, garlic can lead to a lack of red blood cells or a condition called anemia in pets. Feeding Brewer’s Yeast to your pet?  Brewer’s Yeast is a low-quality source of B-Vitamins thought to help repel fleas. In species like people who sweat, B-Vitamins including Brewer's Yeast as well [...]

2018-05-17T21:04:50+00:00 By |

Dog First Aid 101

What do you do if your dog stops breathing Do not move your dog, if something is stuck in their throat you do not want to move thing around. Call your vet immediately and if they are closed proceed to the nearest emergency room. You can check his mouth and throat to see if anything may be stuck or lodged that you can easily remove. You can then proceed to tilt the neck back and provide CPR, at the same 30:2 ratios as humans. Close their mouth and breath into their nose, and you can do chest compressions but use you best judgment depending on your dog's size. Regardless of your choice, proceed to the nearest vet ASAP. The Heimlich for dogs and how is it done? Only use this method if you are sure there is something lodged in your dog's throat that you cannot see nor get out. The process if very similar to that in humans with a slight difference in details. The Procedure for both Large & Small Dogs: Kneel behind the dog, have the dog face away from you. Put your arms around the dog's waist. Use the knuckles of one hand and place them just below your dog's last set of ribs on the soft part of the abdomen. Place your other hand flat on the dog's back to keep him steady. Give a quick, hard poke with your knuckles. Press in and up four to five times gently, in a thrusting motion. Not more than four to five times. 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. Check the dog's mouth and remove any objects that may have been dislodged with your fingers. What do you do if your dog gets too cold? Temperatures below 20°F are too cold for most dogs. Cold weather can cause frostbite and sub-normal body temperature called hypothermia. The area's most susceptible to frostbite are the extremities. The nose, toes, ear tips, and tail. Frostbitten tissues turn a grayish-white color and require gradual rewarming. Don't rub or irritate the areas. Give a lukewarm bath and offer warm fluids like chicken broth. You can also wrap your dog in a heat retaining blanket as well. Most importantly take the pet into a warm area, and gradually let them heat back up, take to a veterinarian for immediate help. What do you do if your dog overheats? Remember dogs DO NOT SWEAT, they have under developed sweat glands which is why dogs pant, to realize heat from their bodies. Always use caution when taking your dog outside in hot weather. You can follow these tips to avoid a heat stroke: Use a self-cooling vest for dogs, like the RuffWear Swamp Cooler, "Evaporative cooling exchanges the dog's heat as water evaporates from the coat's reservoir. Temperatures drop through the phase transition of liquid water to water vapor, mimicking [...]

2018-05-17T21:06:48+00:00 By |

How to Potty Train Your New Puppy

Good housebreaking techniques teach your new puppy to relieve himself where and when you’d like him to.  Dogs instinctively mark their own territory.  Therefore, your goal is to teach your puppy the boundaries of his or her territory.  Housebreaking can be learned in four to eight weeks and can start when your puppy is eight weeks old. What Puppy Owners Can Do First of all, buy a crate.  Be sure it’s the right size:  it should be large enough for comfort, but not too big because your puppy will sleep at one end and use the other end for his business.  If you get an airline-approved crate, you can also use it like a mobile home when you’re traveling.  You might be able to find a crate with an adjustable divider and slide the divider back as your puppy grows. Puppies need to go outside when they wake up, after every meal, and before bedtime.  Most puppies eliminate within the first hour after eating.  They should be fed two to three times each day, at the same time.  Food should be left out for 15-20 minutes, and the last meal should be finished five hours before bedtime. Take your puppy out on a leash through the same door to the same spot every time, and when he does his business, reward him with praise.  If your puppy does not eliminate when you take him outside, bring him inside, put him in his crate for 15 minutes, and repeat the procedure until you achieve success.  At that point, when you bring him in don’t put him back in his crate. Confine your puppy to a relatively small, safe area of your home and provide constant supervision until your puppy is completely house trained. If you have to leave your puppy at home alone each day for several hours, restrict him to a larger area like a small room or a playpen.  This area should provide enough space for sleeping and eating.  Several feet away, place papers at the elimination site. A common mistake is to let your puppy go outside alone.  Many well-meaning pups come back inside the house and then do their business.  This causes most people to become upset.  Their reaction inadvertently reinforces the negative behavior. If your dog relieves himself in front of you, softly tell a shy dog “no”, or use a firmer tone with a stubborn dog.  Then take him to the spot on a leash where he is supposed to relieve himself and offer him immediate praise. Correcting your puppy after the fact – even if it only happened a few minutes before – is ineffective because dogs have no way of associating your discipline with a past behavior. If your puppy does make a mistake inside, it’s important to get rid of the odor.  Effective pet urine odor remover products such as Canine Elimin-Odor are available commercially and may be recommended by your vet.  Using ammonia to clean up [...]

2018-05-17T21:09:54+00:00 By |