Annoying Habits Your Dog Does

Annoying Habits Your Dog DoesDear Adam:

My Springer Spaniel has gotten a little more resistant to the come command when she knows it means “Get in the kennel.”  At night, she goes in between nine and ten. And like clock work, she wakes me up at 2:00 am. I am sure I have started a bad habit, but I am afraid the neighbors are being disturbed. She still digs once or twice a week during the day. It’s like she goes into a panic after 4 to 5 hours in the kennel.

Thanks,
Dick

Dear Dick:

1. Go to her and make her come when you call her, if you do not see that she moves to respond within 1/2 a second of your command. But I personally like to use a specific command such as, “Get in the kennel.” If she doesn’t immediately move towards the kennel, I will go and get her and walk her in the kennel. If you wait to see if she’s going to respond, then she will wait to see if you’re going to make her. (That is, until the behavior has become a conditioned response.)

When you say kennel, you mean a crate– for at night, right? If not, then this is where she should be sleeping at night. Put her in the crate and then give her a cookie. This will reinforce that going into the crate is a positive thing.

2. For the outside kennel, buy some hardware mesh or chicken wire and put it under the entire kennel run and then put about an inch of dirt on top of that. Dogs don’t like digging and clawing against this type of material.

3. Increase her exercise regimen. Buy yourself a bike and take her for a 2 mile run each day. It’s good for you, too… and it will work wonders in reducing your dog’s boredom.

That’s all for now, folks!
Adam
Dogproblems.com

Allergic To Your Dog Or Cat?

Allergic To Your Dog Or Cat?Pets definitely help us live longer and healthier lives. This is especially true of the elderly and those of us who live alone. Pets make wonderful and faithful companions. They are always there for us. However, this relationship can become strained, and sometimes even be broken when someone in the household develops an allergy to a beloved pet.

Studies show that approximately 15% of the population suffers from an allergy to a dog or cat, and about one third of those with an allergy to cats choose to live in a household with a cat despite the allergy. Some allergy suffers live happily with a pet for a year or two before an allergy starts.

There are sometimes long term health ramifications of repeated allergy flair up’s, especially for children. Repeated flair-up’s can cause permanent lung damage in children. This should be carefully and thoroughly discussed with your physician. One of the ways to live happily with an animal you are allergic to is to decrease your exposure to the animal. Keep the animal outside if possible.

If the allergy sufferer only has a mild reaction to the animal there are ways for the two of them to live together in harmony, but it takes work. The animal should not be allowed in the allergy sufferers bedroom or on the bed. Keep the animal off of any upholstered furniture in the house as dander can be transferred to upholstered furniture. Use a room purifier to remove airborne animal dander. Remove carpets from the home if possible and replace with wood floors. Wash area rugs on a regular basis with warm water. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter in order to trap dander. The allergy sufferer should wash his or her face and hands after handling the animal. The animal can be bathed weekly in specially formulated shampoo that removes dander.

In some cases where the above methods and the use of over the counter antihistamines and decongestants do not help, the allergy sufferer may need to seek the help of an allergist. Immunotherapy can be thought of like a vaccination against your allergies. Given on a regular basis as shots, immunotherapy helps your body build up a natural tolerance to specific allergens.

With the use of the above methods you’ll be able to live a long and healthy life with your pet!

Aging Cats’ Nutritional Needs Change After Age 11

Aging Cats' Nutritional Needs Change After Age 11America’s most popular pet, the cat, lives more than half of its life in the senior years. Although advances in veterinary care, better nutrition and better educated owners have helped improve the quantity and quality of these years, studies reveal that senior cats continue to struggle with weight as the result of reduced activity levels and a steady decline in senses, nutrient absorption and fat digestion.

“One of the most important goals when feeding senior cats is maintaining an ideal weight and keeping that weight stable,” said Dr. Arnold Plotnick, who developed a senior wellness program to address the special needs of aging cats at his veterinary clinic, Manhattan Cat Specialists in New York City.

Owners of senior cats can help their aging felines maintain an ideal body weight throughout the senior lifestage by feeding a diet that addresses their unique nutritional needs. Purina Pro Plan, for instance, has reformulated its entire line of senior cat foods to address the changing nutritional needs of aging cats in two different phases of the senior lifestage: ages 7 to 11 (mature) and 11 and up (senior).

As cats age, there’s a gradual decline in the body’s ability to repair itself, maintain normal body functions and adapt to stresses in the environment. Disease and weight changes are common throughout the senior lifestage.

Cats are more likely to face weight gain during the mature years when activity level declines and metabolism slows. But around age 11, weight loss becomes a greater concern.

The 11-plus years are particularly problematic for cats because their sense of smell and taste often diminish at this time, which affects their interest in food. The ability to absorb key nutrients and digest fat declines, making eating itself less efficient.

The undesirable result is that more food passes through as waste and less is used for energy, causing a drop in lean muscle mass and body fat that leads to potentially harmful weight loss.

In addition to providing the proper diet, owners of senior cats should pay close attention to their cats’ activity levels, weight, and eating, grooming and elimination habits and report anything new or different to their veterinarian.

Though many of these changes are a normal part of aging, others may signal a more serious problem. Scheduling veterinary visits at least twice a year is good practice during the senior years as many potentially serious conditions are treatable if caught early.

Adopting A Protection Dog

Adopting A Protection DogMackie writes:

My good friend who is a dog trainer offered me his 5 year old Belgian Malinois for adoption. He is trained as a protection dog so he can guard his master, bite on command, release the bite on command, stay until released and others. He has a trophy as third placer in Level 1 protection in a protection dog competition. I have two dogs at present: A one year-old and a nine month-old Labrador… both are females, obedience trained and not neutered.

I would like to adopt him and I know I can take care of him. Will he accept me after being my friend’s favorite dog for 5 years? My friend assured me that he can transfer the loyalty of the dog to me. He is a fierce dog when in competition but a very quiet dog when outside the training ring. In fact my friend brings the dog with him all the time and I know of several occasions that the dog is off leash. He is giving him up because he wants to replace him with a younger dog.

Should I take him up on his offer?

Dear Mackie:

Yes… the dog will transfer his loyalty to you.

Here are two major issues you should consider before adopting this dog:

1. The Belgian Malinois (especially one that is bred and trained for bite work and protection dog sports) will require a lot of work ON YOUR PART to learn how to handle this dog. You’re going to need a lot of training… one-on-one style… to successfully integrate this dog into your life. It’s like driving a Ferrari or a race car. The car already runs great, but if you don’t learn the right way to drive it, you’ll end up killing yourself. And just because you already know how to drive a Subaru doesn’t cut it… we’re talking Ferrari, here. And the Belgian Malinois is a Ferrari with the tricked out Turbo engine.

2. The breed is an extremely HIGH DRIVE breed. This dog needs TONS of exercise and mental stimulation. TONS. Please take the time to recognize that adopting this dog will be a major responsibility.

If you decide to do it, and you are successful, you’ll have an amazing companion. The breed is quite healthy and you can be content in knowing that you own a KING OF KINGS as far as working dogs are concerned.

Part of me has always wanted what you’re thinking about getting. But my lifestyle and dedication to the exercise and training requirements are something I do not have at this current point in my life.

P.S. Make sure that the dog isn’t dog aggressive before you decide to take ownership.

That’s all for now, folks!
Adam