Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pizza Pawty Safety

Julie Bagley and April Malinowski

Pizza is an all-time favorite for humans and dogs alike. It’s hard to resist the temptation of giving your dog a slice after the delivery man comes to the door. However, not all pizza is made with safe ingredients for your dog. It is best to feed an alternative to make pizza night into an enjoyable experience for everyone. The treats in Daisy-Care’s Pizza Pawty Care Package include all the great pizza flavors but made for dogs so you know exactly what your dog is ingesting. You can even throw your dog their very own pizza party!

Daisy-Care Pizza Pawty Recipe for Success

·        Olive Oil: We left out the oil since large amounts of fatty human food can lead to pancreatitis.

·        Olives: We are an olive free zone due to high salt content and potential for digestive upset

·        Salami: Most meat toppings can contain spices that cause digestive upset. We included savory sticks for a meaty option.

·        Tomatoes: We left out whole tomatoes and those seeds that can cause digestive upset.

·        Cheese: Most dogs are lactose intolerant so we opted for cheese bites that are 99% lactose free.

·        Mushrooms: No mushrooms here, they can be toxic

·        Dough: Yeast can cause digestive upset so we chose a pizza biscuit treat for dogs.

·        Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce can contain onions which dogs lack the enzymes to break down. We chose tomato herb fillet stix as a substitute.

Potty Training – How to Establish a Routine

April Malinowski

Consistency is the single word that describes the key to training your dog anything and potty training is no exception. Since potty training requires constant training, versus daily sessions, establishing a routine is one way to help stay consistent with your normal day to day schedule. 

Although puppies usually come to mind when potty training is mentioned dogs of all ages may need training. Dogs who were previously outside dogs, in shelters, or other environments where they may not have had the relevant training also benefit from an established routine. Even dogs who have been potty trained will often need a refresher when you bring them home for the first time. So expect that all dogs will need a moment to learn the rules, layout and let you know how they will signal to go out.

What to Learn

·        How often your dog generally needs to potty. Dogs are not born knowing how to “hold it”. Getting older and training will help them condition their bladder/bowels to hold it until they are outside. Take your dog out frequently, paying attention to the time between eliminations (peeing or pooping). If you are unsure with how often is frequent then start with every 2 hours. Also pay attention to how soon they have a bowel movement after eating. If they have an accident mark the time so you know how to adjust. Consider using a dog walker if you are going to be at work or out for most of the day.

·        Decide what feeding schedule works best. A regular feeding schedule makes potty times a little more predictable. So plan on feeding times that you would have time to take them out afterwards. Age, diet, and exercise can all influence how quickly a dog will need to go after eating. I would recommend removing water bowls an hour or two before bedtime until trained.

·        Figure out what motivates your dog. Some dogs love praise, others a good scratch behind the ears, others will do anything for a treat and some would love a good walk around the block. Figure out what your dog will respond to consistently and use that when they potty outside. Timing of the praise is crucial here. You will need to wait until they are completely done eliminating so you don’t distract them from the task at hand. However, don’t wait until they are back inside because they may not make the connection.

·        Pick your visual and verbal cues. It can be helpful to pick a spot in the yard to always take them to and give the command “go potty”. If they get easily distracted you can put them on a leash to prevent wandering and focus on the task at hand. In general getting your dog used to going potty on a leash is helpful if they will be travelling with you. With Daisy I also use the command “Night Time Potty” so she knows it is the last potty break until the morning.

·        Learn your dog’s body language. There are many ways a dog can signal they are about to potty or need to go outside. Going to the door, squatting, excessive sniffing, circling, barking, scratching at door are all common signals. Knowing what they are can help prevent accidents. If you don’t want your dog to bark or scratch then you can consider using a Daisy-Care Potty Training Care Package to teach them to ring a bell.

·        Be realistic about your ability to stay vigilant and how long it will take. If you aren’t able to supervise and prevent accidents or catch them in the act then your progress will be limited. Consider crating when you can’t offer your full attention. Don’t try to move through training too fast, continue training and rewarding even if you think they got it to prevent setbacks. I usually keep the training up until they have gone a month with no accidents then I start to slowly back off training.

Example Potty Schedule

Below is an example schedule I used for one of my clients based on his activity level, eating schedule and natural sleep cycle. The dog in this example is a toy breed puppy who came from a breeder with no potty training done prior.

·        Wake up for the day (usually between 6am and 7am)

·        Potty break

·        Two hour long playtime with access to food and water

·        Potty break

·        Nap time until they wake up on own or noon

·        Potty break

·        Lunch time and water in play crate (usually 15 to 20 minutes)

·        Hour and a half long playtime outside when the weather is good

·        Nap time until they wake up on own or 8pm

·        Potty Break

·        Two hour long playtime with access to food and water

·        Potty break

·        Bedtime

·        Night time potty breaks as needed (he will cry) – this has varied from 6 hours to sleeping the whole night.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Recharge Outdoors with Your Dog

Julie Bagley and April Malinowski

One great way to bond with your dog in the late summer months is snuggling in a tent on a camping trip. There is something about sharing the great outdoors with your dog for an extended refresher. If this is your dog’s first camping trip here are a few tips – or reminders if you and your dog are camping pros - for a successful trip.

Before you leave on your adventure

Let your best friend check out the gear. Like with anything else, dogs love to inspect new things and you’ll know ahead of time if there’s anything like might spook your dog. If you have time, set up the tent, make him comfortable inside with his favorite things and plenty of treats.

Pack the necessities. Food, water, leash, bowls, towels, poop bags, and a way to give water on the go. It is also a good idea to bring a shot record and vet information with you. Double check that your dog is up to date on heartworm medication and consider bringing pet safe insect repellent like the one in our OutdoorExplorer Care Package.

Plan ahead. Check the weather and think about the activities you have planned. If a quick dip in a lake is on the agenda you might want extra towels or waterless shampoo. If it is going to be hot then you may want to pack booties to protect their paws and it may not be wise to tackle a trail with very little shade for your dog. Or if it is going to be cold at night your dog may appreciate an extra blanket. Double check the pet policy of your destination (it may have changed since you were there last) and look up where the nearest emergency vet center is.

On your adventure

Keep a leash on things. Hiking up a ridge or going to the bathroom, it is better to keep your dog on a leash. It might seem counter-intuitive with the freedom of outdoors but it is the best way to stay safe and usually there is a leash law in-force. Remember, there are amazing smells everywhere!

Health checks. Don’t forget to check your dog for ticks, foxtails, burrs and thorns. Your dog is less likely to stick to the middle of the trail, therefore, has a better chance of being exposed so it is best to check them from head to tail and in-between their toes too. It is also a good idea to regularly check their pads for injury.

Follow the rules. Rules may vary from location to location but there are two golden rules I see everywhere. One - pick up after your dog and dispose of poop bags properly. Two – don’t let your dog bark excessively, especially at night. Places that have responsible pet owner guests are more likely to keep allowing pets.

Have FUN! Most importantly, have fun! Take pictures and videos of your dog having the time of their life. It will make for great memories that you shared.