Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why to never buy a puppy or kitten from a pet store!

Have you ever heard of a puppy mill? Puppy mills are breeding facilities that produce purebred puppies and kittens in hefty numbers. Often these puppies and kittens are sold across the country to pet stores. Puppy mills have been around for decades, and the reason these dog and cat breeding operations can continue to flourish, is because people always want to buy the cute puppy looking at them at the pet store, or the beautiful Persian kittens bouncing around the cage. These canine and feline breeding facilities keep dogs and cats in shockingly pitiful conditions. Dogs live their entire lives in cages, without any walks, human contact, proper grooming, no veterinary care, barley any food or water, and no socialization what so ever. Dogs are usually housed in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, and all they do is breed, and have puppies. Female dogs are bred at every opportunity possible, and given no recovery time between litters. When the males and females are unable to perform their task, they are killed. Hundreds of thousands of dogs suffer in puppy mills every day. They are over bred and in most cases are the subjects on inbreeding. These dogs are used to make pure profit from the puppy sales, with no regard to the dog’s health or well being. They are bred over and over again, until they die. Breeding is their only purpose. Several hundreds of thousands of puppies are shipped cross country to be sold in pet stores. The results of these facilities are adorable puppies that have generations of hereditary defects. Puppies that arrive at the pet stores usually carry a lot of diseases including:
• Chronic Diarrhea
• Parvovirus
• Heart worms
• Mange
• Upper respiratory infections
• Distemper
• Kennel cough
• Giardia
• Pneumonia
• Fleas and ticks
• Intestinal parasites
These are only some of the problems that the puppies may face in their lifetime.
We can take a stand and help prevent these places from staying in business. One way to do this is by eliminating the demand for these puppies. Support the ASPCA or Humane Society in getting legislation passed, that will ensure the proper care for these pets, and that they are raised in healthy conditions.

Here are some ways we can help stop these Puppy mills.
• Do not buy a puppy from a pet store unless it is associated with the ASPCA.
• Boycott pet stores who sell puppies
• Never buy a puppy from someone who will not allow you to see where it lives, and won’t let you meet both of its parents
• Don’t ever buy a puppy from a website online. If you can’t meet the dog, chances are it’s a puppy mill. Truly responsible breeders will want to meet the family to which their puppy is going.
• Buy a puppy or kitten from a shelter
• Always spay and neuter your pets to eliminate any chances of breeding
• Do research on the place you want to get your pets from. Contact them more than once, and be sure to look closely at the parent’s health.
If you follow those steps you can help shut down these horrid puppy mills. Below is a link to a very touching video on you tube. It gives some more information on puppy mills, and the horrifying conditions these poor animals have to live in. I hope this will make you think twice before purchasing that cute puppy in the pet store window. You may feel you need to save him, but in the long run, you are only funding the puppy mills to make more puppies.

Sheena Diane, Freelance Writer

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The dangers of "humanizing" your dog.

I hear it all the time. "Fluffy is like my sister!!" "Scooter is like my other son." "Muffin is my baby!!"
These are cute. However, they are not in the dog's best interest.
Let me flip the script for a second to see if this makes sense.
A lady has a baby. A beautiful little girl named Piper. She holds her lovingly, snuggles her, strokes her tiny little head. She then gets home from the hospital, lays a little mat on the floor, and puts the baby on it. In the morning she puts a leash around the baby's neck, and pulls it out for a walk into the yard. When she brings the baby in, she puts some water and kernels of food in a bowl and sits the baby in front of it so it can eat. When the baby accidentally pees on the floor, the mom takes it by the neck, sticks it's nose in the pee, and smacks it on the butt.
Sound like a negligent parent?
Because a baby is not a dog, and shouldn't be treated like one. Humans have different needs then dogs that need be met.
So, why is it ok to do the above with a puppy?
Dogs have a certain set of needs that we don't. They crave exercise, they crave leadership, they crave something to do. They have an ingrained need to migrate. When these aren't met, we wind up with a dog with psychological issues.
Putting a chihuahua in a bag and toting it around town is cute and all, but, where is the dog's need to walk being met? It's not. This is for the benefit of the dog owner, not the dog. A dog who is allowed to sleep in bed with you, or to lay around on your furniture is also being done an injustice. Dogs in the wild follow rules. They have limitations. They are allowed to do certain things by their pack leaders and not allowed to do other things. They live with structure, and crave structure on a deep psychological level. We let our dogs go wherever they want, yet smack them or punish them when they do something wrong.
Wait, what? How could they do something wrong when they could do whatever they want?
Dogs need rules and structure. Actually, we do too. We just like to think we don't.
I am not saying don't love your dogs, or don't carry them, or pet them or whatever. What I am saying is, don't treat them like they are humans because then you are taking away the basic needs, and this is not only unfair, but can cause problems. Remember they are a dog first, THEN they are Fido. Treat them appropriately.
The Doggy Guru
Helping you, help your dog.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exercise and your dog's behavior issues.

The majority of my clients come to me because their dogs are nuts. They chew up furniture, chew up shoes/socks/blankets/clothes. They bark incessantly, they jump on everyone. They chase their tails or just don't listen. They drive their owners nuts as well. issues like aggression is usually a lot easier for me to deal with, as well as the owners, since it is a specific problem. It is almost tangible. However, a neurotic dog leaves the owners feeling totally clueless and helpless. Obedience training doesn't seem to work, nor does positive/negative training. So, what is a helpless dog owner to do?
Go for a walk to clear your head. Take Fido with you.
That's it. Usually.
As with children, a dog has TONS of energy. Leaving them at home all the time keeps that energy from being spent. Your four legged friend is left with all this pent up energy, and it has to manifest itself somehow. So, what do they do? They decide to chew something up. They decide to run around like a maniac. They decide to bark and howl and make life miserable for you. Taking them out and walking them, or running with them, helps them use up this energy, and keeps them balanced.
It's no different then it is for us.
We sleep better when we exercise.
We think better when we exercise.
We look better, and work better, and are more productive and creative when we exercise.
It is the same with our canine companions.
Exercise is nature's way. Out in the wild, a pack of wolves don't lay around all day. They walk up to 10 hours a day, looking for food, migrating, etc. Their metabolism is up and running. It's how they were built.
WE keep our pets in sad shape, physically, as well as psychologically, by keeping them locked up within the four walls of our homes. And the backyard is no better. It is simply a bigger, four walled kennel with no top. They still don't feel like they are going anywhere.
Walking is a very important part of a dog's life. It's what they do.
Fish swim.
Birds fly.
Dogs walk.
So, if you have a dog who is a good dog most of the time, but is acting all weird and neurotic, take him/her out for a nice, long walk. Not a walk where it sniffs every tree, stops at every bush, and marks every patch of ground it sees (imagine how long it would take a pack of 40 wolves to get ANYWHERE if they stopped at every tree to mark!!) A walk where you go for a long time (30-45 minutes) focused on moving forward. You "migrate". This feeds an ancient and programmed need within your dog, and helps keep them balanced and fulfilled. Also, by the time you get home, they are usually spent. They lay around and rest, which is much better then tearing up your newest shoes.
Now, this is not the end all/be all of dog training. This is not going to cure all your dog's issues. However, it certainly doesn't hurt!!
Walk your dogs.
Run with your dogs.
Get in shape with your dogs.
Think of them as furry, four legged fitness machines.
Not only will you feel better about yourself, but your dog will act better as well.

The Doggy Guru
Helping you, Help your dog.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Winter pet safety tips.

Winter time is here, and now is the time to take all the extra precautions to keep your pets safe in the cold weather. If your pets stay indoors, there are less things to worry about then if you have outdoor pets. Indoor animals can keep warm and dry, but if your pets are outdoors, they run the risk of serious illness or even death caused by the cold. Even if you have a dog house, that may not be enough protection against harsh winds and cold. Make sure the doorway is covered or closed, and be sure to have a lot of warm blankets. Older pets should never be left outside in cold climates, and if your pet does not have a thick coat, then it will not do well in extreme cold. Here are some things to watch out for in the winter months.

Metal bowls - Anything metal that you keep food or water in can become a great hazard to pets outside in the cold. Pets tongues can get stuck to the cold metal and injure themselves by trying to pull away or run. As a solution, switch to plastic or ceramic bowls until the temperature gets warmer again.

Ice salt - Chemicals and salt that are used to melt the winter snow can be toxic to your dogs or cats. They can pick it up on their paws and lick off the salt, causing upset stomach, or other sickness. Be sure to wash your pet’s paws in warm water after walks or extended periods outside.

Car engines - Before you start up your car, always check under the car to be sure no animals have crawled up into the engine. Cats and raccoons are drawn to the heat of your car, and you may find one cuddled up beneath the car engine to keep out of the harsh weather. If you start the car before checking, it could cause the animal serious injury or death. To avoid damage to them and your car, bang on the hood or honk your horn to scare any animals away.

Dehydration - If your cat or dog spends a lot of time outside you’ll need to increase the amount of food and water you give them, because keeping warm requires a large amount of energy. Try a heated bowl to prevent the water from freezing. Provide them with extra food because of the calories they burn generating heat.

Lost pets - More pets are reported lost in the winter months than in any other season. This is due to the fact that they lose track of the scent of home, because of snow and sleet. This causes them to become disoriented and run away. Be sure to keep your dogs on a leash at all times during walks. This is also a good practice if you live near water. An animal may run over to a pond, and fall through the ice. During these cold months, keep a close eye on your pets.

Frostbite - No matter how long your pet is exposed to temperatures below zero, they can still get frostbite. Most cases are seen in the feet, nose or ears. Check to see if skin looks grey or white and may be peeling. The best way to prevent it is to remove any snow or ice from their fur and paws right away.

The winter months can be harsh not only on us, but also on our pets, so take some extra time to ensure the best environment for them in the cold weather. If you do, you and your pets can enjoy the season a little better.

Sheena Diane - Freelance Writer

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Remember it's an animal first.

Today, a horrible incident happened at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. A whale trainer was grabbed and killed by a Killer Whale, during a show. Having been an alligator wrestler in the past, this is a situation I can relate to, as we always worked with the knowledge that at any moment, we could also be grabbed and hurt. Some of us were.
Why do I bring this up here on a dog training and pet care blog?
As unfortunate as the incident above was, it serves as a reminder that they were working with animals.
Whales are among the smartest and most adaptable animals in the world, but they are still animals.
Whale trainers take a huge risk getting into that water and working with these enormous, powerful creatures.
Dog trainers do as well.
I have been bit during training sessions.
Dog owners take on this risk too. This is something that is sometimes over looked, but it's true. Dogs, no matter how much we try to humanize them, are animals. They are NOT our children, brothers, sisters, etc. They are animals, and potentially dangerous ones at that.
Different scenerios to think about:
Dogs around infants.
There is definitely a jealous streak in the canine world. They get used to the attention we lavish upon them, and suddenly, when another "creature" comes along and becomes the object of everyone's attention (the infant), there can arise a confrontation. Dogs have been known to go after babies. It is very important to properly introduce the dogs to the babies when bringing them home from the hospital. I will be posting a blog on this in the near future, as it is a very important ritual that should be performed for both the dog's and baby's well being.
Dogs on our beds.
Many people have been bit by their dogs as they slept. Why? Because they made the mistake of allowing their pooches to sleep on their beds with them.
This is a no no from a canine's perspective. We do not let them sleep on the bed for their sake, we do it for our own reasons. WE want to hold them, WE want them next to us, WE want to feel safe.
However, the dog sees things differently. They suddenly see themselves as the pack leader, and this becomes THEIR bed. Many clients in the past have told me their dogs growl at them anytime they try to get them off the bed.
Of course they do.
It's now the dog's bed. Why would it want to get off?
The danger comes when the owner is sleeping, and maybe rolls over on the dog, drapes a leg or arm on the dog, or kicks the dog. He/she doesn't realize you are asleep, and a bite occurs.
This could be bad.
Same goes for the couch or living room chairs.
Be very careful allowing the dogs to take over the house, because it can cause an unbalanced and potentially aggressive situation.
In conclusion, let this Seaworld situation remind us that we are dealing with animals. Potentially dangerous animals. Love them. Hug them. Play with them. But never, ever forget to respect them.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Walking with a leash.

Many dog owners have very well behaved dogs, and "reward" them by walking them off the leash.
This is not the best of practices for the dog's health and safety.
Even the best trained dogs can have moments of urgency. Depending on the dog, a squirrel, cat, or bird could make Lassie take off after them. The danger is of the dogs running into the street, and possibly getting run over, or of them running away from you, the owner, and possibly getting lost. Also, there are a multitude if chemicals out on the street, from engine oil to Anti freeze, that your pup may lick up. A dog's tongue gives it a lot of information about other dogs, or the world around them, so it is natuiral for a them to want to lick things, just to check them out. A tongue full of anti freeze can cause serious injury, or even death. A dog not on a leash can go to a foreign puddle and lap it up before you get to it.
If this is a smaller dog, there is always the danger that a larger dog will see it and try to attack it, chasing it away, and leaving you helpless to do anything to protect your beloved canine.
Another thing we usually don't think about when it comes to the leash is the connection it gives us to our dogs. They, after all, look to us for guidance and leadership. Your energy dictates to your dog how it should behave more then your words ever could, and during the walk, that leash acts like a conduit, allowing your energy to flow down to your pup and let it know what you are thinking.
A bit metaphysical, I know, but you get my point. It is your link to you pooch.
So, when going out for a walk, remember, it is in your dog's best interest to keep that leash on. Lead it, guide it, and most of all, keep it safe from harm.

9 Tips For Potty Training A New Puppy

You just got a puppy and you are so excited, but now what? If you start training your puppy from the moment it comes home, then you can bypass a lot of bad behaviors. I feel the main problem dog owners face is when the puppy gets in the habit of going in the house. Once the habit is started, it makes house breaking more difficult. It is important to not let your puppy get into that habit. Below are nine ways that you can potty train your puppy.

1) Consistency – It’s essential to take your puppy out routinely. Keep it on a schedule so it can learn to hold it until the next potty break. If you can stay consistent with your routine then that is the first step. Puppies younger than four months may need at least twelve or fourteen potty breaks a day. Make a schedule and stick to it. Best times are first thing in the morning, after you puppy gets up from a nap, about five minutes after eating or drinking, and anytime you see the puppy sniffing the floor.

2) Words – Once the puppy is outside doing its business, repeat the same words each time. For example you can say “Go Potty” or “Potty time”. Saying this every time will teach them what those words mean, so later you can say “Go Potty” and they will know it’s time to go. You must remember to use the same words each time so the puppy will not get confused.

3) Play time – Remember that potty time is not play time, so once the puppy goes potty; you must bring it back inside right away. There is a time to play, and during bathroom breaks is not it. The puppy needs to learn the purpose of going outside, and that is to use the bathroom only.

4) Crate training – Everyone has a different opinion on crate training. However I have found that crate training has worked the best. Crates create a safe haven for dogs, and it taps into the natural instincts of keeping its den clean. Dogs do not like using the bathroom in there crate, so this is why crate training has proved to work. A crate is also seen as a safe, comforting place for your dog to come and relax. Once you take your dog outside, and it does not do its business, put it in the crate for thirty minutes, and try it again. Repeat until the puppy has gone potty outside.

5) Scents – Dogs rely on their scents of smell, so the best way to continue to have your dog go potty outside is by taking it to the same spot each time. Once it smells it’s urine from the last potty break, it will most likely go there again and again. This is why it’s so important to clean the accident areas in your house very good, or this could cause an issue with the puppy wanting to use the potty in the house instead of outside.

6) Make a schedule – First potty break should always be in the morning when the puppy wakes up. Having a new puppy is a round the clock reasonability and the puppy will need to learn your schedule. It is not reasonable to expect a puppy to hold its urine or feces until you get home from work, so you will have to work out a schedule that will work for you and your puppy both. Once you get a schedule that works, stick to it. Remember consistency is the key!

7) Signs – Learning what signs to look for, will help you know when your puppy needs to go out. Keep an eye on it at all times, and look for cues. Sniffing the carpet, circling, wiggling, or squatting are all sure signs that your puppy needs to be taken outside NOW!

8) Have patience – Every dog is different, just because your best friend potty trained her dog in a month, does not mean it will be the same for you. It could take you longer, or less time to house break your puppy. You cannot housebreak any dog over night, and you must be prepared to clean up some accidents. If you just stay persistent, then you can try to eliminate those accidents all together. Once your puppy does not have an accident in the house for one month, you can proudly say your pup is now potty trained.

9) Potty time – Once your puppy is potty trained, and learns to associate outside with potty, they will begin to show you when it’s time to go. Some dogs may stand by the door, waiting to be taken out. Others may bark at the door or leash. Some may even beg or whine. It’s your job to learn the signs that your dog needs to go out. Once you do, accidents should be few and far between.

Sheena Diane, Freelance Writer

The challenges and rewards of senior pets.

We all love our pets, and whether you are considering adopting an older pet, or yours has gotten older, there are challenges you may face. Senior pets require a different diet, a more relaxed exercise plan, and a bit more understanding from us. Here are some things to think about if you have an older pet.
• More medical expenses – Though this may not always be the case with your pet, a lot of older animals need more medical attention for health problems they acquire.
• Unable to adapt to changes – Some animals have a decreased ability to cope with changes in their routine. Moving to a new place or unfamiliar people moving in can cause them stress.
• Separation anxiety – This is one of the most common behavior issues found in older pets. A lot of older dogs start to bark, howl, and even urinate or defecate in the house. They become very anxious and nervous when you leave.
• Aggression – This is not always the case, but some dogs or cats may start to show signs of aggression. Most the time this is a result of pain, or a medical problem. Watch and see if you can find any signs of stress if this happens.
• House soiling – Some older pets who have been house trained for years, can out of nowhere start having accidents. This could be a result of a bladder infection, and should be treated by a veterinarian right away. Also another factor to consider is it may be harder for the animal to hold its urine like it once did. Try taking them out more frequently and see if the problem decreases.
• Fearful – Some older pets may become very timid or jumpy with noises or new smells. This goes with hearing loss, or blindness that a lot of older animal suffer from. If you see them being more jumpy, let you veterinarian check them out to make sure everything is okay.
• Pain – A lot of older pet’s especially seen in dogs, will have pain in their legs and joints. Goes a long with age, some smaller dogs do not suffer as much as the bigger ones. You may find them having a hard time going up the stairs, or jumping down. Keep a close eye on them, and if you see them struggling, you can always get stepping stools to give them some extra help.
• Diet – Older animals need a different diet then younger ones. They need more calcium for their bones, and less fat. Be sure to get the right type of dog food for your senior pet, or it could cause them to not be as healthy as they could be.
Owning a senior pet is very rewarding. If you are adopting, you will not have to worry about the puppy stage or training because older dogs have already been taught. On the down side, you may not have them as long as if you were to get a puppy, however the rewards are much better. More time loving, less time training and correcting. Older dogs are calmer, and much more relaxed. They do require more focus, but having an older pet can be exactly what your household needs. If your pet has been with you for a long time, then this is your chance to make each day with them count. Lots of love and attention will help them feel at ease.

Sheena Diane, Freelance writer

How to train your dog not to bark in the yard.

Barking is a natural behavior for dogs; however there are a lot of things that can cause your dog to bark obsessively. Dogs that are lonely, bored, frustrated, frightened or unbalanced will bark more than dogs that are happy. If you keep your dog outside most of the day, you may think he is getting exercise, but the truth is all that running in circles, darting around, or pacing is more like fidgeting, or a nervous behavior. If you provide your dog with fun things to do, like a place to dig, or special toys to play with, then they can get more enjoyment out of being outside. Here are some things you can do to help your dog to not bark in your yard.

1. Exercise – This is on the top of the list because a dog that gets good exercise is more likely to sleep most of the day. They are more balanced and happy. By exercising, that does not mean letting your dog out in the yard, it means taking them for a long tiring walk or run.

2. Training – You can always hire a professional dog trainer, or you can buy a book and do it yourself. Teaching your dog obedience is a great way to establish trust. If you can get your dog to listen to you and want to learn, then you are becoming the boss, and in the canine world being the boss is the only way to get your dog to respect you. If you need further guidance there are plenty of shows on TV you can watch. A few of my favorites are Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisper) on National Geographic, and Victoria Stillwell (It’s me or the dog) on Animal Planet.

3. Social exercise – A dog that is outside most of the day will need more social involvement from you. Walks around the neighborhood, and dog parks are a good way to get them out and about. Bring them inside the house when you are home so they can feel a part of your life. You can also come home and groom them for some one on one time.

4. Attention – Your dog may be barking to get your attention. If every time it barks you go over and give it affection, then you are training the dog that barking equals attention. You can start by letting the dog bark once, and then let him go outside. When it barks twice let him come back in. Be consistent and only let the dog in and out when it barks the right amount of times.

5. Quiet – You can begin to teach your dog a word to keep him quiet. For instance you can use the word “Hush” or the sound “SHHH”. When the dog stops barking for three seconds, give him a treat and lots of praise. Each time that the dog begins to bark, repeat the training. As you continue to use this exercise, increase the amount of time the dog stays quiet before giving the treat. Before you know it you will see improvement. You have to be patient and keep practicing. You may not see results over night, but if you stick with it you should see improvement with in a matter of weeks.

If your dog is left alone or confined for long periods of time without supervision, it’s more likely to bark. Dogs get anxious and sad when they are alone, much like a child does. If you are gone during the day be sure to give the dog a lot of exercise before you leave for work that morning. If you stay persistent, you are bound to see a difference.

Sheena Diane, Freelance Writer

How to puppy proof your home.

It’s so exciting to get a new puppy, but much like a human baby, you have to prepare your home first! Puppies like to chew, and can get into a lot of trouble if your house is not ready for them. Here is a list of things you can do to puppy proof your home, and keep your new furry baby safe.

· Poisonous plants – Believe it or not, there are a lot of plants that we keep in our home that can be toxic for our dogs. If you want to find out more on all the different types you can visit:

· Chewing – Puppies begin chewing at about four months of age, this means you need to make sure anything that can harm them, if chewed, is hidden or put away (electric wires, anything metal or plastic that will break or chip teeth). The same as baby proofing with a newborn, we must do this with a puppy, so chemicals or sprays need to be put up high. Puppies will chew on anything, including aerosol cans that can explode if punctured, and cause damage to the puppy’s eyes and face. Also put away anything you don’t want to be ruined, like your shoes or belts. Give them plenty of toys to chew on, so you will not have holes in the bottom of your furniture. There is also a great spray you can buy if the chewing becomes excessive called “Bitter Apple”. You can find it at your local super market or vet’s clinic. It’s a spray that tastes bitter, and makes the dog not want to eat or chew on anything that has the spray on it.

· Toilet – Always keep the toilet lid down. Puppies tend to play in the bowl, or drink the water. This can be very harmful if you use chemicals to clean the toilet, and may result in an emergency Vet visit.

· Crafts – If you have a craft room or are a person who likes to do crafts, make sure you do not have any needles, buttons, pins, or ribbons left on the floor or in reach of your puppy. Needles and pins can be swallowed, and cause internal damage. Ribbons, buttons or string can chock them, or also be eaten and be harmful. A good rule of thumb is if it’s harmful for a child, it’s harmful to a puppy as well.

· Pets – Small pets, such as hamsters, small birds, or just about any pet that a puppy could fit in its mouth, could be in danger. Be sure to keep all of your caged pets up high where the puppy cannot climb up to reach them. Not only are the small pets in danger of being eaten or killed, but your puppy can get injured as well. Breaking glass or the other pet fighting for its freedom can injure your puppy just as much. Never leave your puppy alone in a room with smaller animals!

· Children – Small children can be a danger to puppies as well as the puppy may be a danger to them. Children don’t know that squeezing the puppy can harm them. This goes especially for breeds with big eyes such as the Pug, French bulldog or Boston terrier. These particular breeds have pushed in faces causing their eyes to bulge. If squeezed to hard their eyes can actually pop right out of the socket, causing a lot of pain for the puppy, and a costly Vet visit for you. Puppies love to chew and what greater chew toy then a playful child who rolls around with them. The puppy is only playing, but this can hurt your child and may even cause them to not like the puppy or be afraid of it. Children also love to pull on puppy tails, and this is also a painful experience for the new puppy.

· Candy – Chocolate and raisins are toxic to dogs, so be sure to keep all sweets in an area where the puppy cannot get to it.

These are only a few things to watch out for when bringing a new puppy home. Only you know what hazards you have in your home, so get on your hands and knees and go through every room your puppy will be allowed in. Anything within eye’s view that can be chewed on, or harmful, needs to be put away or secured so the puppy cannot get to it. Your puppy is a baby, and much like a human baby, it needs guidance, training, and content supervision. Having a new puppy will keep you busy, but with the right environment and training, it can grow to be a loyal and loving companion for many years to come!

Sheena Diane "Freelance Writer"

Exercise and dog issues.

Chewing up shoes.
Tearing up furniture.
Chasing their tails.
Excessive licking, jumping, barking.
These are all signs of a bored dog.
We usually take them for granted, or think they are cute (like the tail chasing issue), However, these are NOT normal behaviors for a dog.
A wolf, which is the predecessor of our house dogs, do not do these things.
They do not chase their tails, or excessive lick each other. They don't bark all day long.
Well, there could be many reasons, but one of the most common is lack of exercise. We, as pet owners, need to take our dogs out for a nice, long, stimulating walk.
Yes. Mentally stimulating. We have to give them a job, which is to follow us. If they are concentrating on that, their brains are getting a work out, as well as their body. People usually say they don't understand, since they let their dogs out into the yard to run around.
A yard is nothing more then a big kennel with no roof. There is no sense of migration in a yard, and this is of the utmost important to your dog. Cooped up at home all day with nothing to do, a dog will FIND something to do.... like tear up your curtains.
Why not? What else is there to do?
Give your dogs some exercise, make them work and think, and watch that neurotic dog come back to it's senses.

The Doggy Guru.
Helping you, help your dog.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Don't "waste" time.

My pregnant wife has me thinking about babies. We already have a daughter, but this new one has me thinking about what lies ahead. Noisy nights. Confusing cues (is the baby crying because it's hungry, or is it sleepy?). Eyes filled with wonder. Lots of love and affection.
They also bring with them the dreaded diaper change!!
Out of all the annoying little habits babies can bring with them, none is worse then the dreaded diaper change. Better yet, the POOPY diaper change. Most can deal with a wet diaper, but a..... creamy one? Those are the worst. Many a strong, tough man has fallen at the feet of his small, fragile wife when it comes time to change a diaper.
Pets are a lot like babies. Depending on the pet, many cause noisy nights... at least at first. Many are in a constant state of wonderment when looking at the world. Many need love and affection. I say many for these because some pets, like reptiles, or even some birds, need less affection, or show less wonderment then dogs or cats.
However, ALL pets bring with them the same dreaded poopy diaper change that babies do. Granted, they don't WEAR diapers (although I have seen some cruel dog owners embarrass their canines by putting some on them. LOL). However, the poop clean up is still there. Some pets, like reptiles (snakes, lizards, etc), rodents (hamsters, gerbils, ferrets) and birds (parrots, McCaws, parakeets, etc) leave a dirty cage or enclosure to clean. Cats leave a smelly, but relatively simple to clean litter box to clean. Dogs, while usually taken for walks, still leave a little mound to deal with (since NOONE leaves the dog mess to soil our streets!!). Some leave a landmine of a backyard to carefully navigate through.
This is the worst part about owning pets. Cleaning up after them.
We at The Doggy Guru recognize this need, and have developed our waste removal program designed to help pet owners with their messes. Don't "waste" your time cleaning up after your pets. Reclaim your backyard and walk barefoot through it if you want. Let The Doggy Guru pick up after your little ones.
Your pets, not your babies.
Get more information on our website,

The Doggy Guru.
For all your pet sitting and dog training needs.

Why "in-home" pet sitting and dog training?

One thing that we at The Doggy Guru strive for, other then excellence in service, is convenience. We try to make things as convenient for our clients as possible, and not just the pet owners, but the pets themselves. When called upon to help someone deal with a dog with behavior issues, we come to the client's home, since this is where the cause of the dog's behavior lies. We monitor it's activities, as well as those of the family and/or other pets to get an in depth view of what exactly is causing the imbalance. Why is the dog peeing constantly in the house? Why is he or she always chewing up clothes or furniture? What is causing this pup to growl, lick, or cower incessantly? These are not the problems themselves. These are but symptoms of a larger problem. We try to figure these things out and fix them.
As for in-home pet sitting? The Doggy Guru discovered a long time ago that not only are the pets themselves more comfortable staying at home, where they feel safe, but the pet owners also seem to feel more at ease knowing their loyal companions are being taken care of at home. Some pets, such as reptiles, pretty much just need to be fed and watered. As long as these basic needs are taken care of, they are good to go. Other pets, however, like birds, dogs, cats, etc, need more then that. They may need a walk. They may need some affection. They may need to play. They're needs are physical AND psychological. We try to meet those needs.
Some folks put their pets in kennels while on vacation. This is all well and good, and kennels definitely fill a need. However, they are not a perfect system. Many kennels keep the animals in cages all day, which puts undo stress on them. With so many animals in such close proximity, many diseases become rampant. Kennel cough, skin infections, viruses, respiratory disease, all can conspire to ensure that your pet's stay in a kennel becomes a very uncomfortable, and possibly costly (from a vet's point of view) visit. We try to keep stress to a minimum by coming to your pet's home and watching over them there. Is there a favorite toy they like to play with? Are they fed a specific diet? At a specific time? Do they need exercise or affection? The Doggy Guru will take care of it.
We at The Doggy Guru try to cover all the bases to make your vacation, work day, or training session as pleasant and memorable, and above all, CONVENIENT, as possible. Visit us today at and find out more about our services.
The Doggy Guru, for all your pet sitting and dog training needs.