How to Find a Vet When Travelling With Your Dog

If you need to take along your dog on a journey, it is thoughtful to visit your vet and undergo all necessary procedures like blood tests, vaccines, planting an identification microchip, health certificates for destination territories etc.

Chances are that your dog may still get some serious illness or injury on the journey. How you find a vet when travelling depends on how quickly you need one. Here are a few cases.

  • Routine Pet Care

Vaccinations, annual examinations and other regular scheduled visits to the vet are considered as routine care. We recommend you to seek your regular vet and schedule the appointments accordingly for such check-ups.

In case you switch places frequently, ask for the reviews and recommendations from the pet owners of the area. You can also check the reviews online and then schedule an appointment.

The routine care sometimes reveals some serious illness that requires immediate attention. Depending on your case, seek help from your regular vet or the vet you find in the new area.

  • Immediate Pet Care

Those visits to the vet where your dog’s illness is not life threatening but it must be addressed within 24 hours time. We classify them as immediate/urgent care.

For example, an ulcer developing on your dog’s cornea or the urinary tract infection following a series of X-Rays.

In such cases, we suggest you to ask advice from your home vet. Call her and ask if she knows anyone in the area.

If your vet doesn’t know anyone in the area, seek help from friends, family or nearby management, it could be the hotel management you are staying in or some local office in the area.

Keeping the suggestions, check for the nearby vets online and decide by reading their reviews.

 

  • Emergency Pet Care

The life threatening scenarios are the emergency cases for obvious reasons.

It is recommended that you locate the nearby vet whenever you stop by a new place. Note down the address in case you need to seek him.

We also suggest you to keep an emergency bag ready while travelling with your dog. Keep the following in your bag:

    • Your dog’s past records scanned in a USB drive
    • Names and dosages of your dog’s regular medicines
    • Your regular vet’s contact information
    • A snack for your dog in case you can’t find anything nearby

 

  • Vet Specialist

Once in a while you need to seek a specialist’s advice on certain matters related to your dog. For example, a vet neurologist, a vet ophthalmologist etc.

Again, you may ask your vet for a specialist or find one online. The specialists will ask for some referrals. You can have it from your regular vet easily.

If you are a regular traveller, we recommend you to keep the records updated in a USB drive and ask for your dog’s complete file from every vet you visit. Also keep your vet’s notes with you. It will help the new vet to treat the case with ease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What You Should Know About Protecting Your Dog During Play

When you look at your dog during play, you might think of the play as a fight. That’s the reason researchers refer to dog play as ‘play fighting’. Dogs exhibit behaviors that are seen during actual fights. For example, when two dogs are playing, they might chase and tackle one another. Some dogs are seen biting on the neck of another dog just to pin him to the ground even when they are playing not fighting.

Get a fence

We advocate some kind of fence if you’ll be playing outside with your dog.  A fence is especially important if your dog has a tendency to get overexcited during play which causes him to chase cars, harass people, or attack other animals.  One of the best fence companies in NJ, NJ Fence Pro, points out that there are many types of fence, including wireless fencing, that will contain your dog.

Do you need to intervene?

Despite the overlap in play and fight behaviors, you can always differentiate play fighting from a real fight. For example, some dogs will offer a competitive advantage to the weaker dog during play fighting by rolling on their backs or doing something else to handicap them for a while. This never happens during a real dog fight.

In most cases, play fighting is different from an actual fight and it is easy to tell that they are just playing despite showing behaviors similar to actual fight. However, there might be situations when you’ll need to intervene. For example, if the dogs start growling and their behavior intensifies, their play is about to turn into a real fight.

Despite the fact that majority of people think they are intervening the fight and playing it safe, but this might not be the case. When dogs are play fighting, they are actually negotiating new relationships and there might be a chance to develop a long lasting relationship. When you interrupt, you confuse your dog who is trying to communicate with another dog.

However, sometimes you may actually need to intervene since sometime play fighting can become ‘inappropriate’ play.

How to tell if your dog is ‘play fighting’?

When your dog is play fighting, you could tell from its postures and facial expressions. When it starts getting into a real fight, these two things will change. The dog will move differently and it will be tense.

On the other hand, when your dog is play fighting, it will be relaxed and its movement will be rather bouncy. The mouth will remain open as if it is smiling. This is sure sign that your dog is playing and communicating with the other dog rather than initiating a fight.

What to do if you’re not sure?

Sometimes you might be unsure whether your dog is play fighting or starting a real fight. This is where you have to make an intervention but you’ve to be really careful.

When you intervene, make sure that you keep it light. Don’t pull your dog away with force. Just hold it back gently and see how it reacts. If it cuddles you and hides its face from the other dog, it means your interruption was a relief for your dog. You judged it right. They were not playing but preparing to fight.

On the other hand, if your dog is trying to go back by pulling against your grip, it’s a sign that the dog was communicating and playing. You should release your dog and let him continue playing.

How To Set House Rules For A New Dog

When it comes to training your dog with the house rules, there’s a lot more than commands like sit, stay, jump etc. No doubt, such commands are important to teach so you can control your dog when needed. But you also need to set some house rules for your dog so he should behave when not on command.

There’s nothing like right or wrong about house rules for dogs. Depending on you, these house rules could be whatever behaviour you want to allow to your dog. But make sure once you set a rule, you remain consistent and strict with it to avoid confusion for your dog.

Here are some common rules you may want your dog to learn.

  • Furniture Rules

You have a wide range of options regarding furniture rules. You may want to keep your dog completely off the furniture or your dog is completely free to access all your furniture.

There could be an intermediate option, letting your dog access some of the furniture items and staying away from some. You may allow your dog to consume the furniture when people are not using it. It could be that you allow your dog to access the furniture only when he’s asked to.

It is hard to decide on what to allow and what not to. A practical approach will be to consider the size of your dog and whether he’s a drooler or a heavy shedder. The rest depends completely on how you want to have fun with your dog.

Training the dog to completely stay off the furniture or have free access to any piece are the easiest. With dedication and consistency, you can train your dog within a few days. The rest demands you to dedicate a lot of time to your dog’s training.

  • A dog-free zone maybe?

Whether you allow your dog to wander around the whole house or you want him to stay away from certain areas like your kitchen, the baby room, the formal dining area etc. The decision is again completely up to you.

It is easier to train your dog with new boundaries rather training him to stay off from the areas he used to wander around. Therefore, these decisions should be made before you bring your doggy friend home.

  • Can he jump on people?

While some people enjoy it, mostly don’t. You should make a wise decision whether or not to allow your dog to jump on people.  Most pet owners with small dogs don’t bother about it, but whether big or small, your dog can scare off people specially children. Train your dog to alternate behaviours when he needs attention or when he wants to greet people such as sitting. Some pet owners having big dogs enjoy hugging them, we suggest you to train your dog otherwise or restrict the behaviour to you only.

  • Crossing the doors and gates

You need to teach your dog not to cross through the open doors and gates. It is crucial for your dog’s safety and a mandatory house rule that every dog owner must follow. Train your dog that he can’t cross the doors or gates unless given a command like ‘free’ or ‘okay’. The rule applies every time a door is opened.

These were some really important house rules that every dog owner needs to set. Make sure you discuss all these rules with your family members so the training can be consistent and dedicated.

 

7 Ways To Keep Fleas And Ticks Off Your Dog

It’s no secret that the spring and summer months are difficult for dogs, especially when fleas and ticks have setup their camps in your dog’s fur. It won’t be fun removing these ticks as they are difficult to dislodge once they have started feeding on your pet’s blood.

Fleas and ticks aren’t just uncomforting for your pet but if left unattended for long, they can cause some serious health issues. So what’s the way out? What can you do to get rid of these buggers? Here are some ideas that might help you to put your dog back to happy mode for the summer.

  1. Over the counter spot-on and oral medications

Spot-on over the counter treatments is one of the most effective ways to get rid of fleas. You can purchase these medications from your vet or from a pet store in your local market. You can also purchase these medications online.

These medications are good for your pet when it has fleas. Once your dog uses these medications, you and your pet can forget about fleas for a month.

Before you use such medications, be sure to get some advice from a qualified vet on which one to use. Reading labels on these medications can help a great deal.

The only concern about these spot-on medications is that your pet should stay away from children and cats for a while after you have applied the medication. If it’s a problem for you, consider using oral medications.

  1. Medicated shampoo

A medicated shampoo is a good way to kill ticks that have hidden inside your dog’s fur. Such shampoos aren’t expensive but you will need to apply them at least once every week to keep the ticks and fleas away.

  1. Tick and flea collars

These collars are a wonderful invention. They keep the ticks away and protect your dog from other similar parasites. However, the only limitation with these collars is that they are only good for neck and head area. Fleas would still be able to hide in dog’s tail, legs and spine. Some dogs can be allergic to these collars so be sure you examine your pet closely after putting on the collar for the first time.

  1. Combing your dog’s fur

Although this might take some time and require attention, it works especially when fleas haven’t laid eggs. You will go through your dog’s fur with a comb especially designed to grab fleas. You will comb your dog once a day. You can rub some oil or petroleum jelly on the comb to make sure that fleas stick with it.

  1. Vacuuming dog’s bedding and other areas

You should regularly vacuum carpets, floors and pet bedding to suck fleas and ticks into the vacuum cleaner. Although this method won’t remove fleas from your dog’s fur, it will definitely help you get rid of fleas from your home and your pet’s bedding. So the chances of getting fleas back on your dog will be really low.

  1. Use tick and flea powders

Flea and tick powders are great topical medications for your pets once they have been attacked by these pesticides. The only limitation with flea powder is that you need a lot of care while applying it. You don’t want to put the powder in your pet’s eyes.

  1. Medicated tick and flea sprays

Medicated sprays work great especially when the only option is to use a topical medication. There are numerous sprays in the market that do a great job. However, it is always a great idea to consult a vet before you choose a medication for your pet.

 

5 Ways You Can Introduce Variety In Your Dog’s Diet

Dogs appreciate a little variety in their diet. You don’t want to give them the same food every day even if you are short of cash. There are inexpensive ways to introduce variety in your dog’s diet. Here are some easy ways to do it.

  1. Mix some higher-quality dry food with standard food

You might be short on budget and it could be a difficult time to introduce variety in your dog’s diet. However, if you shop intelligently, you can easily buy a bag of better-quality food and mix it with standard food to create some variety.

As a result, your dog will be consuming a higher amount of vitamins and minerals. You can increase or decrease proportion of the mixture to give something new to the dog every day.

When you give your dog full meals consisting of higher-quality dry food, he might have stomach problems. But when you mix it with standard food, your dog will easily digest it.

  1. Purchase some canned food for your dog

If you want to bring in more variety, you can simply buy canned wet food instead of dry food. You can then add a spoon or two of this canned food in your dog’s regular food and create variety. Just make sure that you only go for highest quality canned food to keep your dog healthy.

Wet canned food usually contains proteins which is great for your dog’s health. However, some inexpensive canned wet foods have padding materials such as soy. Avoid purchasing these if you want to get the maximum value for your money.

  1. Mix food scraps from your family meal

Although feeding your dog with food scraps directly from the table isn’t healthy, you might want to set aside some healthy scraps to be added to your dog’s bowl. Make sure you only add healthy food scraps to his bowl to keep his stomach functioning normal. You can consider any of these foods for the purpose of variety.

  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Beans
  • Beef
  • Carrots

Make sure you don’t feed him any cooked bones as they might result in choking. Similarly, learn about foods which aren’t good for dogs. Don’t give your dog any of those foods.

  1. Add a raw meal to weekly menu

There is no doubt that raw meal is the healthiest diet for a dog. However, it costs more and takes a lot more time and effort when you try to prepare it yourself. That’s the reason you’d want to include it once a week only.

If you are going to purchase raw food for your dog, make sure that you buy from a recognized brand. Then keep the raw food in freezer. Alternatively, if you are planning to prepare your own raw food, then you will need raw meat, bones, vegetables and grains. You will find many recipes for raw dog food online.

  1. Use different brands during the week

If none of the above seems to work for you for one reason or the other, the last option is to try to purchase standard dog food from different brands and rotate them during the week. Since different brands offer a different mix of standard ingredients, your dog will have something with a different taste every day.

5 Amazing Games You Can Play With Your Dog

We know that you love to play with your dog. The most loved game among dog owners is fetch and play. It is the best opportunity for you to have fun with some exercise as a side advantage.

But if you are looking for some new options to try with your dog that will keep them active and occupied, go for some brain games. It will be great fun. Here are some ideas:

  1. Treasure Hunt

Letting your dog try his nose will be great fun. Keep the level easy in the beginning so that your dog won’t get discouraged. And as your dog gets trained, increase the difficulty level.

Put your dog in a sit-stay and hide his favorite toy at some obvious place. You may let your dog watch you doing it. Give him a signal to find it. Reward your dog every time he gets successful.

As your dog develops interest in the game, hide it in another room or in his food dish. You may increase the number of items to find as days pass. Your dog will enjoy this treasure hunt.

  1. Hide and Seek

We have tried this game as kids, now it’s time to recreate the fun with your dog.

Excite the fun of treasure hunt by being the treasure yourself. You’ll need someone’s assistance to play this game. One person will distract the dog and give him stay and release cues. The other person will hide meanwhile. You can enjoy this game both indoors and outdoors.

  1. The “New Trick” Game

This game is quick to learn for dogs that undergo clicker training. But even if your dog isn’t one of them, don’t panic. Keep the game simple until your dog learns the deal and make it hard gradually.

Here’s how you play it:

You say “new trick” and your dog sits. Give him a treat.

Say again “new trick” and your dog stands maybe. Give him a treat.

“New trick” and your dog rub his nose. Give him a treat and so on.

Repeat the game and give a reward to your dog every time he does something new. If your dog repeats behaviour, don’t reward him. Tell him to do something else.

This game is great fun and your playing sessions may last 30 – 40 minutes.

  1. Hot and Cold

Another clicker training exercise, this behaviour shaping game is awesome. If your dog has a strong brain and he doesn’t get frustrated fast, then this game is perfect for you.

All you need to do is to sit on a couch and make your dog do things you want it to do. Be it anything like opening a door knob, picking keys from the floor or fetching the blanket from the room. Grab your bag of treats and shout HOT when your dog is closer to your target object and throw a treat. When your dog moves away from your target object, quietly say cold and reserve the treat.

  1. Jumping Rope

This game will improve your dog’s eye and body coordination. You need to train your dog on concentrating the pace of the rope, a target object and jumping of course. Train your dog on how to concentrate on a target. Once learned, use a rope. Every time the rope touches the ground, cue your dog to jump. This game demands a lot of physical and mental effort on your part as well as your dog’s. But once trained, you’ll both have a great time.

These were 5 amazing games for your dog. Try them and share your experience with us.

 

 

7 Ways To Keep Your Dog Organized

Sometimes it’s difficult to keep all of your dog’s things organized simply because you don’t have time for it. It becomes overwhelming after a while as you keep bringing more things for your dog every time you find something cute in the local pet store.

If you don’t pay attention to all the clutter, it can overrun your house and make life difficult for you. You can do many clever things to organize everything nicely. For example, you can create hidden storage to put away your dog’s toys. Similarly, you can use spice racks to keep dog’s medicines safe. All it costs is a weekend. Ask everyone in the house to help with it.

  1. Purchase a dog bed intelligently

When you’re out in the market to purchase the basic dog items such as dog bed, be sure to look for items with some bonus storage space. You will find dog beds with a lot of bonus storage. Some have drawers underneath while others have drawers under the bed-stairs. The beds with elevated bowls often have space under. These small drawers can be extremely handy.

  1. Mount new shelves in the kitchen for your dog’s items

Your kitchen is a great place for storage. You can easily mount spice ranks on one of the walls and use it for storing dog’s medicines or other stuff. Similarly, you can build new shelves under the cabinet doors and keep all dog food and supplements there.

  1. Use your doors

You can easily use over-the-door hooks or install a shelf unit on the door to make some more space for your dog’s things. Make sure you go for the shelf unit that has pockets so that it can hold different items.

  1. Turn your furniture into storage space

If you’ve a lot of stuff lying around that belongs to your dog, you may consider turning your furniture such as sofas and tables into storage areas. It won’t cost much to add some storage space under the furniture. Just find a good carpenter in your neighborhood.

  1. Focus on the location of storage

Storage alone isn’t going to solve the problem. Your house might be overrun with your dog’s things even when you’ve created storage in the kitchen and under your large sofas. The reason could be location of the storage space. Look to create storage near the areas where your dog spends most time. You will find it more convenient and do-able to organize the toys and other stuff when your dog is done playing once the storage space is somewhere closer.

  1. Learn about your dog

Keeping your dog organized could be real simple once you know your dog personally. Be friends with him. Learn about his favorite play time activities and figure out the areas where he spreads the most clutter. Learn how your dog acts to different toys. Once you have gained all that knowledge about your dog, organizing his things would be easy.

  1. Get rid of some toys, every now and then

You don’t want to keep all the toys you ever bought for your dog. You want to keep only the toys that help your dog have a better time. Figure out which toys he loves the most and discard the rest. If you don’t do this every now and then, you’d end up having so many dog things around that it would be impossible to keep them organized.