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Archive for April 22nd, 2016

Watch Out For Rawhide

Friday, April 22, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogboneThere are many opinions as to whether chewing rawhide bones are good or bad for your dog. Rawhide consists of the inner layer of hide that is usually from a cow. Many people give their dogs rawhide to chew in order to keep them occupied and to protect their teeth. Dogs have the natural instinct to chew and rawhide helps to stimulate this instinct. Make sure that your dog cannot swallow a large piece of rawhide. This can make your dog ill and will affect his digestive system by causing vomiting or diarrhea.

If you offer rawhide to your dog, give it to him in limited quantities. Make sure that you throw away uneaten pieces. If you give your dog rawhide pieces that are pressed and glued together with a gelatin base, watch for any bad reaction. Call your Vet immediately if you notice any reaction.

Choose rawhide that are made in the United States and make sure that the size fits your dog. Small pieces may cause a large dog to choke.

The better brands of rawhide bones are more expensive but well worth the price. You may want to consider an alternative to rawhide bones. There are many varieties of vegetable and meat flavored bones that are available at your pet store. It’s a good idea to offer your dog a variety of “chewables.”

It’s better to keep your dog occupied by giving him plenty of exercise and dog toys that he can fetch. There are dog treats that are safe and healthy for your dog. If you keep your dog confined in a dog crate, try taking him outside to run around. This will tire him out so you don’t have to occupy his time with rawhide bones.

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Getting Your Dog To Stop Barking

Friday, April 22, 2016
posted by Jim Murphy

dogbarkSo you have a barker. You love him but maybe your neighbors would rather that you move. Here are some tips on how to control your dogs barking. These tips are recommended by the Humane Society.

  1. Remove the motivation –Your dog gets some kind of reward when he barks. Otherwise, he wouldn’t do it. Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.
  2. Ignore the barking –Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him any attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to him, don’t touch him, and don’t even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a dog treat.
  3. Desensitize your dog to the stimulus- Gradually get your dog accustomed to whatever is causing him to bark. Start with the stimulus (the thing that makes him bark) at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things (dog treats!).
  4. Teach your dog the “quiet” command -It may sound nonsensical, but the first step of this technique is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the dog treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.”
  5. Ask your dog for an incompatible behavior -When your dog starts barking, ask him to do something that’s incompatible with barking. Teaching your dog to react to barking stimuli with something that inhibits him from barking, such as lying down in his dog bed.
  6. Keep your dog tired – Make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive  dog toys.

Remember, your pets count.

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