How to Make Your Dog Training More Effective

dog trainingBy Langley Cornwell

There are some breeds of dog that have a reputation for being very smart, eager to please, and easy to train. What some people don’t realize is that all dogs are smart and can be trained; it’s just a matter of knowing what you are doing and being willing to challenge your dog. Many times, inexperienced trainers will stick with the activities their dogs have picked up quickly rather than training to their dog’s weaknesses. It’s important to continue practicing and drilling the activities your dog seems to have a block about, to gently and expertly push him to learn the things that seem hard for him to catch on to. This will obviously result in a better trained dog, but it will also foster a stronger bond between the two of you.

Dogs can be headstrong. For example, if you have a dog that you have taught to shake hands by lifting a paw, it can be difficult to get that same smart dog to shake using the other paw. Just like humans, dogs develop habits and it is up to the trainer to help erase any mental blocks a dog may have developed. Rather than just accepting that your dog only shakes with his right paw, it will benefit your dog to work with him so that he can and will alternate as you ask.

When a dog has learned and eagerly performs a series of “tricks” in order to get a CANIDAE PURE Chewy Treat, he knows what to expect. He may have to sit, shake, lie down and roll over, but as soon as the routine is complete he wants his dog treat. In order to train to a dog’s weakness, that routine needs to be changed up a bit. If you reward him for the same rote performance day in and day out, he is not being challenged and basically he has you trained. Dogs need mental stimulation. A dog that is not challenged may become bored and obstinate, and may eventually refuse to perform the skills he knows well.
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Do Dogs Have a Perception of Time?

dogs tell time anna foxBy Linda Cole

The one thing my dog Keikei loves almost as much as her CANIDAE treats is when it’s time to go outside. She seems to get the exact time right every day. Sure, she could be picking up on my actions that indicate I’m getting ready to take the doggies outside. However, sometimes she is asleep in another room and appears just as I’m getting ready to move. Many dog owners who return home from work to find their pet waiting by the door or watching from a window believe that dogs can tell time. Skeptics would say this behavior is just an uncanny coincidence rather than proof that dogs have a perception of time. What do you think?

According to scientists, our ability to remember is one thing that sets us apart from other species. Our understanding of time is in the passing of seconds, minutes, hours and days. We have an episodic memory that gives us the ability to remember contextual information of past events. It records life experiences and specific events we can recall at different times in our lives. We can travel back in time as well as look forward to something in the future. Most people remember where they were on 9/11 or when JFK was assassinated. Star Wars fans remember the six movies from the past and the order they were released. We can remember good and bad things from childhood, and continue family holiday traditions based on our stored knowledge of past years. Our concept of time includes what, when and where something happened, and encompasses the past, present and future.
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Caring for a Terminally Ill Pet

sick pet 1By Julia Williams

Recently my cat, Mickey, was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). There is no cure for CKD, only management until “the end” which varies with each cat. Since then, I’ve been learning all I can about caring for a terminally ill pet. I don’t know how much time I have left with my sweet boy, but I do know I’ll do whatever I can to make sure it is quality time. I also know I will have done everything I could for him; that’s all any pet owner can do.

When you love an animal deeply, it’s a very scary time when they are sick, whether it’s a treatable illness or not. As I said to a friend, pet ownership is not for sissies. Caring for a sick pet can be an emotional roller coaster, but there are things you can do to help yourself as well as your pet.

Be Informed

This is, I believe, the most important thing you can do. When I first found out Mickey had a terminal illness, I felt hopeless. My discussion with the vet about my options was brief; I left thinking there wasn’t much I could do for my cat. As I soon found out, that isn’t really true.

Once home I logged into the cat blogging group on Facebook. I hoped there would be someone here who had experience with CKD and could give me guidance. The internet can be a great resource for pet owners, but it’s also rife with misinformation and it’s important to know where to go for help. My cat blogging friends pointed me to a reputable website devoted to kidney disease in cats, and a Facebook support group for the same. As a result, I’ve learned there are several things I can do that may help slow the progression of Mickey’s disease, none of which were mentioned by my vet.

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Can Dogs and Cats Get Asthma?

asthma nisa yehBy Linda Cole

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that affects around 25 million people in the United States. It can also affect dogs and cats. Fortunately, there are effective treatments that can help our furry friends maintain a good quality of life.

Although there is a difference between asthma and allergies, the two conditions go hand in hand. Certain chemicals in the body react to irritants in the air and can produce similar reactions. An allergic reaction can trigger a response in the nasal membranes, eyes, skin, tongue and breathing passages. Symptoms range from itchy watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose, to red, itchy irritated skin. Asthma is a disease of the bronchial tubes in the windpipe that moves air in and out of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Triggers in the respiratory system create an excess of mucus production and irritation in the airways which can narrow or block them. Pollutants that cause an allergic reaction can also trigger an asthma attack.

Asthma is more common in cats, but dogs can also be susceptible to it. The disease affects pets in the same way it does humans. An attack can be sudden and brought on by irritants and allergens in the environment. It can be difficult to determine which pollutants are causing the problem, but it’s important to try so you can eliminate them from your home, if possible, to help prevent future attacks.
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How to Travel in Extreme Cold with Your Dog

dog winter travel jurvetsonBy Laurie Darroch

While some dogs thrive in the cold, not all dogs handle it well. Factors such as coat thickness, the age or health of the dog, and the level and type of cold may make it difficult for your dog to deal with extremely chilly temperatures while you travel. Taking your dog on a winter vacation with you may sound like fun, but you need to make sure they can handle the cold first. Even dogs who love the cold may need some extra precautions when you take them traveling or exploring in the wintertime.

Prevention

If you plan on being outside with your dog when you are traveling, keep her coat and feet in good condition. Proper grooming helps keep the fur in the condition necessary for growth and warmth.

Good nutrition helps the healthy growth of their skin and coat as well. A high quality dog food such as CANIDAE Grain Free PURE has the ingredients necessary to help maintain a shiny coat and healthy underlying skin.
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Aspergillosis in Dogs

aspergillosis roxannaBy Langley Cornwell

As responsible pet owners, we all want to make sure our pets are happy and healthy. This often means staying apprised of conditions and diseases we may not have ever heard of. One condition that may be unfamiliar to many dog owners is called Aspergillosis, and it is a source of serious concern. Essentially, this is known as an opportunistic infection. It is a fungus that is unable to settle in and take hold until a dog’s immune system is compromised by another condition or disease.

So if your dog has an immunodeficiency or has recently had a health problem that affects his immune system, you should know about Aspergillosis and be on the lookout for it.

Where Does Aspergillosis Come From?

Dogs are curious creatures, and it isn’t uncommon to find them rolling in grass clippings or sniffing dust bunnies. Sadly, this is how Aspergillosis can get into a dog’s body. There are two kinds of Aspergillosis: nasal and disseminated. The aspergillus fungus is a species of mold that is found in dust, straw, hay and grass. Because of this, dogs that spend time outdoors or on farms are most likely to develop any type of Aspergillosis, rather than inside dogs that are supervised when they go outside.
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