Should your pet be in pictures?

Of course! My local Humane Educational Society is hosting a 2018 calendar contest and we all need to enter our pets.  Tell your friends to vote so your pet might be on the cover! Here is the link:

 

https://www.gogophotocontest.com/humaneeducationalsociety

 

 

 

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3 Ways You Irritate Your Dog

Your dog might bug you occasionally, but guess what…you irritate him too! The most common cause of annoying your dog is when you expect him to be something he is not (or won’t let him be who he is).

1.Lack of discipline and structure

Normal dogs naturally live in a group. They understand rank and hierarchy. They love structure and order, but people can be random and inexplicable. We have to take steps to afford our dogs with routines and boundaries they can count on. They adore knowing where they stand in the pecking order (which is best to be below the humans in the household for everyone’s safety) and they want to be able to know what to expect. Having a predictable schedule with consistent bonding and playtime makes dogs feel in control and getting regular exercise helps balance their brain chemistry.

2.Placing value on things

Dogs understand the value of resource, but resources are things like food, water, and shelter. They will never understand why we would upset that they destroyed our possessions. Don’t enforce your value system on your dog, but instead try to understand the way he sees life. Shoes, pillows and house plants are just “stuff” to him. Don’t punish him if he doesn’t value items like you do. If an item is important to you, make it inaccessible to him, but don’t expect him to know not to damage it.

3.Imposing her friendships

We all have friends and they often have dogs. We imagine our dog wants to be friends with our friends’ dogs as well, but it may not work out. Dogs understand the value of coordination and teamwork, but they see you and your family as their pack. The family pack may not include your friend’s dog. If your dog doesn’t play well with a dog that you wish he would, give him space and keep everyone safe. Allow gradual acclimation and understand that some dogs are never going to get along. If the dogs must interact, keep them on leashes and carefully observed. Always reward your dog for ignoring or pleasant to the other dog and distract him from defensive or aggressive behavior. Stay safe in the event of a scuffle and never put your hands or body parts between fighting dogs.

Dogs are dogs and they have a different way of seeing the world than humans. Humans are supposed to be the brains of the operation, so make it your business to learn as much as you can about how your dog thinks. Think about life in a wolf pack. Our dogs are not wolves, but they share some similarities in their social structure. The more you know about your dog’s instincts and behaviors, the better friend you can be to him.

Do you love dogs? Join “the pack” on Facebook by clicking here and becoming my “fur-iend”.

 

Do you like Free Stuff? Great Pet Deals? Me too!

There is a brand new initiative called Fear Free Happy Homes and it is available to all pet owners at now charge.  Knowledge is power and this knowledge comes free! All you do is register and you get access to LOADS of great info!

Things like:

  • What puzzle toys to buy for your pets
  • How to set up routines for training
  • How to get rid of skunk smell
  • How to safely pet proof your home
  • Teaching your cat not to damage your furnishings
  • And more!

Check it out by clicking HERE. 

 

Does Your Dog Destroy Things When You Are Away? Find out more!

Have you ever come in the door to a scene that looks like the aftermath of natural disaster? Trash can turned over and stuff strewn everywhere? Have you ever wondered if your dog just gets bored when you leave and resorts to naughtiness?  It may seem like it, but it may not be that straightforward.

 

Don’t forget that your dog is an animal and not a human. His prime objective, down to his very DNA is to survive. Humans are wired similarly, but over time, we have evolved away from our primal roots. Dogs have changed too, but not quite as much. They are still dogs that have wild tendencies that are designed to help them survive against the odds in the wild.

If you think about the natural environment that wild dogs live in, you realize that the world is full of sights, sounds and smells. The wild environment is active and spacious. Wild dogs live in family groups. They know that there is safety in numbers. When wild dogs are alone, at the very least it is somewhat boring, but at the worst, it is downright dangerous!

On the one hand, you are right.  Bored dogs can turn to mischief, just to stay entertained. When we leave dogs home alone, we can provide some ways to manufacture entertainment for them. Lots of enrichment toys are available today and you can even create your own fun games. Try hiding toys and treats for your dog to find in your absence. You can buy a mechanical fetching apparatus or puzzle toys to make your dog think to get a treat. You can buy a hollow and durable chew toy and fill it with canned dog food. Then freeze the toy and it will entertain your dog for hours when you are away. We call these “popsicles”! Check out some other ideas by clicking here.

home early pug

Don’t forget that dogs that are anxious and stressed may try to self-soothe through chewing, foraging, or trying to dig. Truly anxious dogs, like ones suffered from separation anxiety disorder, can even hurt themselves. If you are not sure how your dog reacts when you are away, it is fairly easy and inexpensive to set up a web cam to watch. If your dog exhibits behavior, while you are away, that is physically or emotionally damaging, please seek help. Your veterinarian can provide advice and assistance. He/she might even suggest a consultation with a veterinary behaviorist.

Everyone has to leave their home sometimes. Leaving seems like it is not a big deal to you, but it might be to your dog. Some dogs are not stressed by your absence and merely seek entertainment, but some dogs are acting out because of true anxiety. Knowing the difference is a quality of life issue for you and your dog. If you are not sure which reason explains your dog’s behavior, ask your vet. In either case, making your dog’s time alone more busy and fun is always a good idea.

For more on how to entertain dogs (and be entertained yourself), follow me on Facebook by clicking here.

Are you worried about the pets that are trying to survive in the aftermath of real disasters? We are too, so we are spreading the word about some special groups that are helping pets rescued from this year’s hurricane disasters. Click here if you want to help. https://www.heschatt.org/give/harvey/

 

 

Cats versus dogs with Victoria Stilwell. Tips to help everyone get along.

Join me with the amazing Victoria Stilwell to talk about tips and tricks when you have to integrate these two ancient enemies. We talk about bringing a dog into a cat home and vice versa on Nine Lives with Dr. Kat. Learn about when is the best time to introduce these species and what you are up against with individual breeds and ages of pets. You can subscribe on iTunes or click here to listen FREE
http://petliferadio.com/ninelivesep7.html

Howl-o-ween DO’s and DON’Ts for dogs!

See if you already know these suggestions to keep it safe and fun.  (And add any that you don’t see!

From The Vet: DO’s and DON’Ts for Halloween