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7 Tips For Flying With Your Dog

There is nothing better than traveling with your pet, going globe-trotting with your best friend. But, there can be a great deal of stress involved in traveling with an animal, especially if you’re not prepared. Safety, documentation, your dog’s anxiety levels, all of this needs to be accounted for. Here we’ll provide some solid tips and tricks on how to make flying with your dog as easy as possible.

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Speak with the professionals

First things first, you need to talk to your vet. The professionals know what they are doing, and they are much more qualified than even the best, highest quality website (unless other vets and professionals are running the said website). Your vet will do a check-up, he or she will confirm whether your dog can fly or not. Furthermore, some airlines, or countries, might require a health certificate and a clean bill of health for your dog, if it is to travel.

See if you can board early

You might be able to board early if you are traveling with your dog. Since it takes time to get onto the aircraft, and since your goal is all about keeping your pet safe, there is no good reason why you can’t simply ask. Most airlines will accommodate you, and some might even require this.

Is your breed restricted?

For reasons that some would call unfair or unscientific, certain airlines place restrictions on specific dog breeds. Boston terriers, bulldogs, and boxers are the most likely targets. However, some of these restrictive airlines might let your dog fly if it meets certain weight and size restrictions.

Photo by Marcus Cramer on Unsplash

Get it used to its carrier

If you haven’t already, we suggest you buy a comfy carrier for your dog as soon as possible. You want to acclimate your dog to the said carrier, and you want to get it used to the thing as quickly as possible. The point here is that your dog needs to look at the carrier as a safe place, a den. And this goes for any pet that might be flying with you – getting a suitable rabbit carrier for your pet bunny, a nice transporter for your cat, etc. Acclimate your pets by feeding them in the carrier or crate for days and weeks up to your flight. Put their beds in the carrier, their favorite toys and maybe something that smells familiar or comforting.

Keep an eye on pet relief areas

A nice addition to airlines and airports in recent years are pet relief areas. A pet relief area is a place where your dog can stretch its legs, relax, get some energy out of its system, and get ready for the remainder of the trip.

Try to lower your pet’s anxiety

Never give your pets medication that hasn’t previously been approved of by your vet. That means over the counter tranquilizers, pills, and supplements. Calming drops and CBD treats might be what you need, but even these should be brought up to your vet first.

Put toys and your dog’s favorite blanket in the carrier, when you’re traveling. Toys aren’t there just for fun. They are great stress relievers, and let your dogs get some extra energy and anxiety out during a trip. You also want to line your carrier to be as soft as possible, and to even place some puppy pads (just in case an accident happens).

Keep all your pet’s documents at hand

Airlines vary in their demands when it comes to flying with your pet. Still, most of them will ask for your pet’s passport or at least some kind of proof it got the vaccines it needs. We suggest you check with your airline, as well as to keep all relevant documents with you at all times. It’s best if you keep them at hand, to not slow down the boarding process.

Conclusion

Flying with your pet can be stressful, but keep your eyes on the prize and the destination. Everything will go much more smoothly if you work on lowering your pet’s anxiety through a comfy carrier and some toys. Always keep your documents at hand and listen to your vet. Do your homework – see if your dog can fly, if your dog’s breed is restricted, and if you can board early. Stay safe, don’t give your dog anything that hasn’t been prescribed by your vet, and you should be good to go.

Author: Jackie Brown

Pet expert Jackie Brown has spent 20 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet publishing industry. She is contributing writer for National Geographic’s Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness: The Veterinarian’s Approach to At-Home Animal Care (April 2019) and author of the book It’s Raining Cats and Dogs: Making Sense of Animal Phrases (Lumina Press, 2006). Jackie is a regular contributor to pet and veterinary industry media and is the former editor of numerous pet magazines, including Dog World, Natural Dog, Puppies 101, Kittens 101 and the Popular Cats Series. Prior to starting her career in publishing, Jackie spent eight years working in veterinary hospitals where she assisted veterinarians as they treated dogs, cats, rabbits, pocket pets, reptiles, birds and one memorable lion cub. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons and miniature poodle Jäger. Reach her at jackiebrownwriter.wordpress.com.

Senior Dog Care

How to Modify Your Home for an Elderly Pet

October 24, 2016 by Julia WeaverUpdated on July 1st, 2020

There is a shifting cultural change in how people see their pets — they’re not just pets, but family members. We love them so much that their presence in our lives improves our mood and our relationships with other people, all while promoting a host of physical benefits. Our relationship with our pets makes them feel good too! They look to us not only for food and shelter but love and support as well.

As they age, of course, they need more support from us. Elderly pets have a higher risk of arthritis and joint problems, weakness, heart disease, kidney disease, senility, and dental problems, so they need extra assistance around the house as their bodies change. Whether you live in a single-story home in Portland or a multi-level townhouse in New York, simple home modifications can offset the difficulties of aging for our furry family members.

Since cats and dogs are by far the most commonly owned pets in the United States, they’re the pets we’re focusing on in this article.

How Old is ‘Old’?

You may be wondering how you know when your pet is old enough to need extra care. It is common to not know the exact age of your cat or dog, especially if you brought home a rescue pet. Generally, a cat or dog is considered elderly when they reach six or seven years of age. For dogs, however, size factors into age because larger dogs have shorter life spans. For example, a dog weighing between one and 50 pounds is the human equivalent of about 45 years old at seven years, whereas a dog weighing above 50 pounds is the human equivalent of about 55 years old at seven years. Cats tend to have longer lifespans than dogs, so depending upon weight and breed, some cats may not be considered an elderly pet until they reach 10 or 11 years of age.

If you have no idea how old your pet is, it would be beneficial to visit your veterinarian and have them examine your pet’s teeth to give you a rough estimate of their age. Signs of aging to look out for in dogs include:

  • graying hair around the muzzle and eyes
  • less energy
  • lower caloric requirements from food
  • calluses on their elbows
  • brittle nails
  • thickened paw pads
  • dental issues
  • urinary incontinence
  • prostate enlargement
  • symptoms of cognitive dysfunction

Did you know?

“One of the most important and often neglected considerations for an elderly dog in the home is the potential for significant changes in relationships with other dogs that are in the home. The deterioration, diseases, and disabilities that elderly dogs often experience both physically and cognitively can compromise their ability to recognize, understand, and respond to important canine social cues and boundaries – negatively impacting the relationship between the dogs in the home as misunderstandings often increase.  Senior dogs often experience chronic pain and feel acutely aware of their vulnerability in regards to other animals, making them feel more defensive and irritable than they were in their younger years.” – Kim Brophey, Applied Ethologist, Owner of The Dog Door Behavior Center

A lot of the signs of aging in cats look similar to those of dogs, but cats require more calories as they age rather than fewer, their vision problems are worse than those of aging dogs, and they deal with stress more poorly than aging dogs. If you are unaware of your animal’s age and have not yet asked your veterinarian, be on the lookout for these external signs of aging.

Try this:

“Most aging pets will suffer from degraded vision as they get older and may even lose their vision completely. Your pet will rely on its familiarity with your home to move around safely, so avoid making major changes, such as drastically rearranging furniture.” – Scout

“Many pets start to have a decline in their eyesight so it is crucial to block off any staircases that your pet might be at risk of falling down.  Depending on the height of your pet you also may want to “nerf” corners of tables and any other furniture that may be at eye level.  There are tons of great baby-proofing products out there that can double as a way to senior pet-proof your home for your aging fur friends.” – Dan’s Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

Height and Mobility

As your pet ages, it may become more difficult for them to lower their neck to eat food or drink water. You may invest in a new raised platform, but it is simpler to use something around the house, such as a shoebox, to elevate the food and water bowls your animal already uses. It is also a good idea to provide several locations with access to fresh, clean water due to your pet’s decreased mobility, increased dehydration, and increased risk of kidney dysfunction. Food bowls for cats should be placed away from cat flaps, glass windows that reach the floor, and their litter boxes. They should also be placed in a location where your cat can approach from any direction and not be forced to have their back exposed to other animals in the household.

For older cats, arthritis and shrinking kidneys contribute to issues using their litter boxes. They may not be able to get in and out of their litter box or they may not be able to squat down to relieve themselves, resulting in spray on and over the sides of the box. There are litter boxes on the market with lower openings designed for older cats, but you can also use a storage bin with an entryway cut out in the front as a modification. This way, the sides of the box will be higher and better prevent accidents. If you have multiple cats in your household, you should have one litter box for each cat, plus an extra. They should be spread out, as cats are territorial and may try to prevent their housemates from having access to litter boxes.

Arthritis is a common problem in dogs as well. In fact, over 60 percent of dogs over the age of seven have developed arthritis. Arthritis, as well as other joint issues, can cause your canine pain, limping, and difficulty getting up or climbing stairs. An easy home modification to enable easier mobility for your elderly pet is to buy or build a ramp or shallow stairs. A ramp or stairs allows your animal the same freedom and access to couches, beds, and cars that they had when they were younger. Cats particularly love to sit in windowsills and look outdoors. A ramp to their favorite lookout spot would be an excellent idea.

Keep the weight in mind when purchasing or constructing this modification, as you may need to move it around for your animal. You can make a ramp out of plywood if it is a more permanent fixture, but if you are seeking portability, try crafting this one out of Styrofoam.

An easy modification you can make to stairs is to install anti-slip treads made from carpet or rubber. If your dog can no longer make it up the stairs at all, place their dog bed in a warm spot downstairs so that they have no need to be anywhere other than the first floor of your home. Placing a bed downstairs is also an easy modification for felines who are no longer able to climb the stairs.

Try this:

“Many elderly dogs experience a decline in mobility and muscle mass, and suffer from arthritis and joint and muscle pain.  For dogs that can’t jump up anymore, place stairs or ramps around the house to give them access to your bed or sofa. Block areas of your home that could pose a danger to your dog such as stairs or uneven surfaces in the back yard. Lay carpet runners over wood or tile floors so your dog can walk with ease and without the risk of falling down. Provide a therapeutic bed for better sleep and also so your dog is more comfortable when they are resting during the day. –Fitdog

“Feed your dog on a raised platform to make it easier on their neck and back. This is even a good idea for younger dogs, but senior dogs need extra help so they don’t have to strain while they are trying to enjoy a meal.” –The Pooch Coach

“It is important to keep your aging pets active while limiting any overexertion. Encourage slow walking and the use of stairs every day to help make sure core muscles and legs stay strong. Keep ramps or portable steps in the house to help bridge any physical gaps and consult with your doctor to make sure your pets are getting the right supplements to help keep them active and sharp. Consider acupuncture or hydrotherapy, and extra at-home time to comfort your pet.” – Pet Check

“Since elderly or even middle-aged dogs may struggle with keeping their footing on slick non-carpeted floors, a smart investment might be a stick-on floor mat that stays put but provides the traction your senior pup needs to stay upright when navigating your home. As hard as it can be to see our senior dogs struggle, it’s important to avoid jumping up in alarm every time your pup slips or tumbles, as this can add to their stress about the event. If you see your senior dog struggling, calmly and quietly get up and go assist them to a more comfortable position.” –Summit Dog Training

“Having an elderly pet does not mean that you need to uproot the way you live, and with a few simple changes, your home can become “elderly pet-friendly.” Jumping, running, and even getting down from furniture become painful and problematic for pets. Doggy stairs are fluffy and portable so they can be used at your bedside, sofa, or even to climb up to their favorite window sill. The stairs allow your pet to resume the activities they love in the places they love without the risk of exacerbating joint conditions.” Lauren Cora, Dogs Deserve It

Adjusting for Behavioral Changes

Urinary incontinence is when your animal companion cannot control the flow of urine from being released. It occurs in both elderly cats and dogs, albeit for different physiological reasons. Incontinence can create a lot of mess and odor, but there are some home modifications to circumvent the worst of it.

If you have the financial ability to alter the flooring of your home, try installing ceramic tile or carpet tiles designed for pet incontinence. If you are unable to alter your flooring or already have hard flooring that is easy to clean, invest in non-slip rugs, carpet runners, or even yoga mats for better traction for your elderly pet. Seek out materials that are easy to wash and do not absorb stains and odors quickly.

Another home modification for urinary incontinence is a doggy door or dog flap. These can provide the freedom for your canine to urinate outside as they need. You will want to install the door in a low area to provide ease of access for any mobility issues. Some dog flaps have magnets to adhere the flap to the door, but the magnets can make it more difficult for your elderly pet to push the door open. You also have the option of a magnetic door that operates in tandem with your pet’s collar. When they go to enter or exit your home, the door senses their presence and opens automatically for them.

As we’ve already learned, elderly pets suffer from arthritis and joint pain. Aging in your pets also causes nerve degeneration, muscle weakness, and cognitive decline, which all contribute to the inability to move around as efficiently as younger animals. We have already discussed the need for ramps or special stairs, but your elderly pet might also need special bedding. If your dog displays any of the behavioral symptoms of joint problems, an orthopedic bed is specifically designed for their needs. Orthopedic beds often offer special features to work in conjunction with your dog’s other physical needs, such as being made of memory foam as well as liquid and stain-resistant fabric. Smaller dogs should sleep in a bed relative to their size because they get cold more easily and may feel insecure in a larger bed. If you have a dog flap installed, place the dog bed near the door for easy access to the bathroom.

If your pet is an older cat, place their bed within the vicinity of their litter box, but not too close to it. Place their ramp near their favorite sleeping spot so they have easy access — they will still want to sleep in a high corner if that’s where they’re used to turning in each night. Cats also enjoy cave-style beds just like their ancestors. If it is more difficult for your feline to reach their favorite slumber spot, consider making a cocoon-like bed in a corner under a table in a spot that is difficult for other cats to reach them.

Try this:

“It’s important to remember that as your dog gets older, they also will not be able to last quite so long between potty breaks anymore. Try to plan out your workday so you can give them more frequent breaks outside or hire a trusted dog walker to visit with your dog. It will be a bright point in your dog’s day to be able to get some extra love, a little exercise to keep them agile, and some treats to bring them a little extra joy.” – Charleston Dog Walker

“An indoor potty solution for elderly pets gives them the freedom they deserve when it comes to potty time. Consider purchasing a grass patch from real grass as these are low maintenance, eco-friendly, and often require little to no training because dogs are already used to going potty on real grass. With the indoor potty solution, elderly dogs can use the bathroom whenever they need too, while also avoiding going up and down steps which can be painful for dogs with arthritis.” – DoggieLawn

“Limit the movement for your elderly pet and this begins with consolidating their living space. Move their bed, eating, and drinking dish into the same area of the home to avoid added walking. This allows your senior pet to conserve their energy for more important times.” – Prudent Pet

“As your dog ages, stairs can become more difficult to navigate. Keep your dog confined to the main floor and set up a secure area for your dog’s food and water dishes. Older dogs sometimes have difficulty sleeping through the night and tend to take more naps. To ensure your elderly dog gets quality sleep, consider getting him an orthopedic bed, and creating a safe space for your dog to sleep where he won’t be interrupted by foot traffic from family members.” – Dog’s Best Life

“Consider incorporating runner rugs down everywhere. Runner rugs allow your aging pet’s paws to grip and not slip, and help give support to those pets with weakening or arthritic legs.” – The Pet Lifestyle Guru

“Non-slip carpet runners can make a big difference in helping your pup live out their golden years comfortably. If your dog has trouble moving up and downstairs, let them outside at the door with the least amount of stairs and try making or buying a ramp for them to use.” – Sidewalk Dog

“Your senior pet may need a comfortable place where they can safely relax, yet still be close to the family. A modern looking dog pen can fit seamlessly with any decor. These modular enclosures come in a variety of sizes, colors, and configurations to meet your needs and express your style.” – Clearly Loved Pets

“Older dogs need soft, easy-to-enter and exit dog beds. With just a little research, you’ll find that there are countless options with a range of different features. We recommend purchasing a bed with super-soft fabric and surrounding pillowy bolsters with loftier center that won’t flatten. – West Paw

“You want to ensure that your dog has easy access to go outside. If you have stairs in your hallway you might have to start carrying them over the stairs. If your pet uses the bathroom inside your home, set up the litter or Weewee pads so they’re easy to clean and away from food area.” –NY Tails

Physiological Health

Older animals have more difficulty regulating their body temperature, so they are more sensitive to temperature changes and temperature that varies significantly from their own body temperature. Set your thermostat between 78 and 80 degrees and pay attention to your animal’s specific behavior. If they hang out by a fan or the heater, they may need an adjustment outside of the 78- to 80-degree range.

Both cats and dogs have slightly higher resting body temperatures than humans, so when it is colder outside make sure they have a blanket in their bed and an area to sleep in the sunlight during the day. Also be sure to dress your dog in booties and a sweater when taking them outside to potty, because extreme changes in temperature increase risk of illness.

Mental Health

There are also some simple home modifications you can make to improve your animal’s mental health.

Elderly pets have a reduced capacity to handle stress and are more likely to feel anxiety in response to change and other stressful situations. This can be due to their bodies’ decreased production of adrenal hormones or the amount of other health issues they may have due to their age.

There are several key ways of identifying signs of anxiety in your dog:

  • increased panting
  • trembling
  • sleep issues or restlessness
  • loss of appetite
  • separation anxiety, even when you’re at home with them
  • loss of bladder control (which is more severe than bladder incontinence)
  • disinterest or lethargy
  • significant barking or whining when left alone

Dogs are creatures of habit, so keeping their routine consistent will help mitigate anxiety. This goes for cats as well. As cats age, anxiety can be caused by disorientation and confusion, so a regular daily routine and consistent placement of your cat’s litter box, bed, and food is important.

Increased sensitivity to sound is stressful for older animals as well. Keep a white noise machine or background music playing in your home to prevent this source of stress. Breaking up their day with exercise and play is also essential to keeping your elderly pet mentally healthy. Have a play corner in your home where you keep all of your cat or dog’s toys and be sure to regularly engage with them here. Regular playtime in old age can keep your pet physically stimulated as well as mentally, fighting against anxiety and cognitive decline.

Finally, be sure to have space in your home where pet sitters can stay so that if you need to leave your canine companion for an extended amount of time, they can remain in their home where they feel most comfortable.

Try this:

“It is important to keep your aging dog’s brain fit. Simple Nose Work games can help motivate both your dog’s brain and body to stay younger. Scatter treats throughout your home for your dog to hunt and find, or create a “kibble trail” outdoors for a healthy brain game. The dog’s nose is a critical organ and using it this way creates low impact exercise and increased mental stimulation.” – Two Paws Up Dog Training

“With advancements in technology, one of the best gadgets to buy is a robot with a built-in camera. This way you can have peace of mind while away and also give reassurance to your senior pup. Robotic cameras allow you to follow your dog around the house, even encourage them to go outside and stretch their legs, all done remotely so you can work and provide the best care for them.”  – Puptown Houston Dog Training

Improved Quality of Life

These home modifications are not just home modifications to your elderly pet. They can improve your animal companion’s entire quality of life and increase their lifespan. It is important to pay close attention to your elderly pet’s behavior to detect signs of aging early on in order to ease their transition into a slower way of life. As pet owners, we are the center of our pet’s lives, and because they see us as their parents, we are the closest relationship bond they will ever have. Even though they are only one part of our lives, they improve our relationships with other people, stress levels and mood, as well as our cholesterol and triglyceride levels — and they deserve to live out their lives with security, comfort, and love.

Backyard Ideas That Your Dog will LOVE!

If you are a dog owner, you want your pet to be comfortable and content. Dogs require plenty of outdoors time, so they can soak up the sunshine and run around to expend pent up energy. Provide your pet with plenty of outdoor fun by considering backyard ideas your pet will love. From providing special fencing elements to adding shade, you can create a backyard space that you and your furry friends enjoy!

Installing a Deck
One of the best upgrades you can add to your home is a deck. A new deck can provide additional outdoor space, a place you can relax while your pet runs around the yard. Your dog can then curl up beside you to rest as well after playing. When considering this option, using a​ ​deck calculator​ is key. With this tool, you can calculate the number

of materials needed to ensure your deck will be the perfect size for your family, including kids and pets.
The project can take time to complete, so using the special calculator will ensure you have the right amount of materials to get the job done as quickly as possible. In no time, you will be resting on your new deck alongside your furry friend.

Upgrading Your Fence
A fenced-in property provides protection for your pet when they are outdoors. In busy neighborhoods, it helps your pet to stay safe and away from other pets that might be a problem. In rural areas, a fenced-in space provides protection from predators such as wolves or coyotes. Upgrading your fence can provide protection as well as fun for your pet.
With​ ​pressure-treated wood fencing​, you have a durable material that will last for many years, helping your pet to stay safe. You can even add a​ ​Dog dome​ to the fencing so your pet can look out into the great beyond! What is a dog dome? Well, it is a small bubble shape that can be added to the fencing at the height of your dog. Your pet can then look through the bubble to see out into the world safely. For larger pets, the peak through area allows them to satisfy their curiosity without trying to jump the fence!

Adding Shade
For your pet to be comfortable in the backyard, shade is a must. In the hot summers, finding shade can be difficult and your pet can become sick or just feel bad if they overheat. Find ways to add additional shading such as with overhangs or proper​ ​Patio ceiling​ additions to ensure that your pet is comfortable.
When you have a patio, adding a ceiling that is durable will ensure the space stays in good condition and will provide a cool space for your pet to relax when outdoors.

Water Feature
While playing outside, pets can easily become tired and thirsty. Adding a water feature is a fun way to provide a source for your pet to drink as well as cool off. This could be a low fountain they could jump in, sprinklers or other types of features.

Finding unique ways to add water to the outdoors can be fun for everyone in the family, especially if you have children. Your dog will love getting wet when they are hot and tired, as well as having an instant source of water for drinking!
Now is the perfect time to consider new projects when it comes to your dog and the backyard. Take a look outside today to see what changes you can make to create a backyard oasis that your four-legged friends are sure to enjoy!

Abi Pennavaria is a dog mom, avid​ ​vet volunteer,​ and co-author of​ ​Saved By The Bark blog. She enjoys sharing tips and tricks for dog owners of all breeds.

5 Tips for Building the Best Relationship With Your Dog

It is important to make sure you have a good relationship with your dog, not only for your benefit but for theirs too. Having a strong relationship with your pet will help you appreciate each others companionship and can help you cope during difficult times as they offer friendship without judgement. Here are 5 ways you can help build the best relationship with your dog:


Train your dog

Engaging your dog in training will create a bond with love, praise and playtime. When you bond with your dog they will crave your attention, which makes it easier to train him by giving or taking away attention. A trained dog also builds your trust with him more giving him more freedom. It will make so you can take him everywhere with you, even around people, thus creating a stronger bond.

Don’t just spend “time” with your dog, spend “quality time”

If training is the only time you spend with your dog, you’re forgetting the best part of having a dog. Play time! Find activities that your dogs likes and do it with him. Even if it is just getting down on the ground to play fetch or tug-of-war. Playing with him will create an even stronger and loving bond and a nice balance also helps them stay more focused during training sessions.

Don’t let your dog own you

Many dogs have an alpha tendency and when your new dog moves in with you, he might try to test who is king of the castle. It is important to let your dog know you are the boss early on in your relationship without using physical force. Dogs need structure and consistent discipline to feel secure and comfortable in your home. 

Without discipline, his behavior can become unruly and unpredictable. Some ways to show him that you are the boss is to make him earn treats instead of spoiling it with them, don’t let him enter a room before you do, set your pace when you go on walks and don’t let him pull you wherever he wants to go.

Feed Your Dog Healthy Food

Most dogs love food and like to eat as much and as often as they can. Feeding your dog healthy and delicious food shows that you love him. Also, hand feeding your dog can create a stronger bond because it builds trust and provides socialization. This is a great way to get your dog to pay attention to you, too.

Pet Your Dog on Purpose

Make sure your dog knows that you really care about him by petting him while looking into his eyes and telling him he’s a good boy. Don’t just pet him absentmindedly while you are doing other things like talking to someone or watching tv.

About the Author

Marlene Kingston

Marlene is the owner/breeder at My Doodle Maltpoos. Her blog is filled with information on the Maltipoo Breed and how to make the most of your time with your maltipoo. If you’re interested in adopting a Maltipoo, you can visit her available maltipoo puppies page.

Bilingual Dog Training

Have you ever dreamed of having a dog trained in a secret code? Spanish? German? Our trainers can help with exactly just that. We offered specialized training for no additional cost that allows us to transform your dogs commands from basic English commands to special terms, Spanish terms, German terms, French and even Dutch! We have had special requests for puppies to be trained in Portuguese, Hebrew and in Latin! Check out this awesome article featuring our trainers in the Houston Chronicle!

“Sheena Glazier, a trainer at Puptown Houston, said the company is currently training a Goldendoodle named Maverick using aviation terms. The dog was named for the Tom Cruise character in “Top Gun.” The business…”

Read the full article here https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Diversity-in-pets-Houston-area-shelters-14079266.php#photo-17819688

Dog Aggression Training and Rehabilitation

The Symptoms of Dog Aggression and What You Can Do About It

Everyone adores your dog until it gets angry. This aggression is extremely dangerous as an angry or agitated dog could hurt anyone severely. This is why; dog owners refer to professional dog trainers, behaviorists, and veterinarians.

Many people also think that not all, but dogs from certain breeds are aggressive. This isn’t true because any breed can become dangerous when angry. The only difference is that an aggressive pit bull can cause bigger damage than an aggressive Chihuahua.

In any case, it gets stressing for dog owners to deal with an anxious furball. According to experts, anger management is possible in dogs. This aggression indicates your dog’s dominance and frustration. They suggest the frustration occurs in dogs due to lack of exercise and lack of calm-assertive leadership leads to dominant behavior.

Moreover, these symptoms can also help to identify when your dog is angry.

  • It starts growling.
  • It becomes rigid and extremely still.
  • It shows teeth when super angry.
  • It barks and sounds threatening.
  • It attacks a person – which is referred to as a “muzzle punch.”
  • It snarls, which is a combination of showing teeth and growling.
  • It bites quickly and leaves a mark.
  • It keeps on biting.

Here is a guide to deal with your aggressive furball.

Schedule an appointment with a Veterinarian

According to experts, a medical problem could be a reason behind sudden aggression of your dog. This attitude shouldn’t be taken lightly as it might be a symptom of an underlying disease. In this case, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended. After a considerable checkup, he will identify the reasons behind your dog’s behavior.

Contact a Professional Behaviorist

Once you find out a medical problem, it is advised to contact a professional dog trainer. Sometimes this aggression is so intense that it gets troubling for you to manage alone. With the help of a professional, you will be able to work on certain behavioral aspects and characteristics of your pet.

Reasons behind Aggression

It is also necessary to find out what causes this rage and anger in your dog? It is noticed that most dogs growl when they sense someone is approaching them while they are eating. In most cases, it is observed that they react aggressively towards strangers. It is important for you to look for reasons that make your adorable pup angry.

Avoid Doing Things that can Anger your Pooch

After knowing the reasons that make your doggie angry, it is your responsibility to avoid any situation. You should keep away anything that makes them growl loudly. If your dog tries to attack strangers, you should keep it access limited to home to avoid unpleasant incidents.

Train your Dog

With the help of a trainer, you can plan how to calm your angry canine companion. Using positive reinforcement such as lots of praise and treats can do wonders for your dog. Try to show your dog that it is safe being with strangers by maintaining a considerable distance between a stranger and your dog. Give him lots of treats when it doesn’t growl. This practice will reduce your furry best friend’s aggression towards strangers.

Bottom Line

It is upsetting yet frightening to deal with your angry friend, but with the professional help and care, you can overcome it.

Training Your Dog To Come or Recall

The Importance Teaching Your Dog The “Come” Command

The “come” command is considered the most important recall-command in obedience training. This
is where training is initiated and your dog understands the meaning of following instructions. Dogs
require off-leash time and are generally excellent at finding their way back to you, to manage their
off-leash time it is necessary that your dog runs back to you as soon as you call him.
Having a trained and emotionally balanced dog is a blessing, but this requires an effort from the
owner. Your dog should be able to respond to basic commands such as down, fetch, sit and come.
This is essential for the safety of your dog and is sure to help you manage your schedule while taking
your dog out to the park.
Spending time training your dog and playing with it can be very positive for both your moods and
health, but if your dog is unable to follow even the most basic commands, taking your dog out can
be very stressful.

How to teach your dog the “come” command

 Start indoors: Your un-trained dog is safe indoors and there are hardly any distractions
similar to the dog park or anywhere else. Some dogs are extremely attached to their owners
and do not maintain distance, to overcome this problem you can tell a friend to hold your
dog while you walk to the other side of the room
 Use treats: Dogs love treats, and you can use this to teach your dog to run towards you
every time you call them. You can sit down and wave their favorite treats around while
telling them to “come” this will get an immediate response.
 Appreciate their attention: Once your dog listens to you, give them the treat and praise their
effort. Be specific that the treatment is associated with their good listening skills

4 Ways to Raise An Obedient Puppy

Adopting a puppy can bring you a lot of joy, but there are also challenges attached to it. Training a puppy for obedience can be difficult, and the first few stages of getting them to do things can take a while.

Puppies add a lot to our lives and become our undeterred companions. Raising an obedient puppy requires patience and time.  They need to be taught how to do things and not think of the living room as a toilet, much like children.

Puppies if not treated properly may show signs of aggression and bad behavior, which can lead to other problems. Remember taking a dog in is a responsibility; it does not matter if you are simply adopting it or buying it for your choices, and it is a two way relationship.

Training, a lot of affection and positive reinforcement are the keys to raising a loving, healthy and obedient puppy.

Here are a few tips that can help you a lot in raising your puppy right.

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the best way to get your puppy to obey. New experiences can be challenging for your puppy, they may feel afraid and overwhelmed, which can cause them to freak out. When taking them on their first walk or car ride, talk to your puppy and maintain a positive attitude, and yes, keep rubbing his belly. Make sure that they feel ready for the adventure. Whenever he listens to you or does something that is positive, give them a treat if they are acting-out or barking at people or jumping on them presuming a disappointed tone is better than resorting to extreme measures and punishment.

Hire a trainer

Rely on professional help if you need help; you can always take the time out to enroll your puppy into a board and train facility.  Professional trainers will teach your puppy how to behave obediently, they will potty train him and teach them how to act in crowds and whatnot – which will make things easier for you in the long run.

Obedience

Obedience is not just limited to your dog getting off the table; training your puppy to listen to you is a powerful means of keeping the little guy safe. Practicing multiple situations such as telling your dog to come to you when in the park, telling them to jump over an obstacle or avoid touching something that may be harmful; can set the right pace for you and your dog. Telling it to lie down, roll over and stand up are starter commands that can help your pup learn to be more obedient.  And of course, a treat can always help.

Trust

Puppies require attention and affection.  They can become attached to the individual spending the most time with them.  As a result, they may begin to become aggressive or intolerant of others.  So your family needs to be as involved in their daily activities as they can. Make sure all the members in your family are on the same page when you are adopting a puppy.

Bottom Line

Your efforts will make the right impact on your puppy and they will definitely respond to your approach and actions. Using the above mentioned tips can be extremely helpful in training a well-loved obedient little puppy.

 

Ask a Professional for Advice

If you have any questions about the above information, please contact us.  Or if you would like to inquire about training options where our professionals train your puppy for you at our facility, please call us today at 832-930-0073!

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Crate Training for your Puppy

Why to Crate Train a Puppy

puppy crate training houston tx

Dog crates can serve many purposes, but two stand above all others- potty training and safety.

Anyone who has raised a puppy knows they are like small human children, and must be watched constantly or the puppy could chew up electrical cables, bedding, chew the paint off walls (yes- that too), or swallow small objects that can pose a choking hazard. It is in the puppy’s best interest to be crated when it can’t be monitored, if only to keep the puppy safe.

 

How to Choose a Good Dog Crate

Consider a well ventilated crate large enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around in easily. Bear in mind as your puppy grows (and they do grow fast), he will need more room. It’s usually a good idea to invest in a full size crate adjusted for his expected adult growth! If your dog is a mixed breed, consider the expected size of the larger breed in the mix.

Also, try to avoid purchasing an overly large crate. Too much room might allow for your puppy to make a mess without disturbing his immediate bedding.

Be Patient

Crate Training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog’s past experiences. In the case of shelter dogs, workers sometimes can’t get to the puppy in time; proper training may take longer because the dog is used to eliminating in his enclosure.

Crating and Potty Training

puppy crate training houston txDogs prefer not to relieve themselves in small confined areas or where they sleep. In the crate, your puppy will hold his bladder as long as he can. Bear in mind- that is a very small and underdeveloped bladder; your puppy will need frequent potty breaks.

Make it Comfortable

Don’t think of your puppy’s crate as a cage, but more of a comfy doggy den! Make sure the bottom is lined with soft blankets or other comfortable material. Leave a favorite toy or two in your dog crate. Most of all- never, ever, associate your crate with punishment. In order for your training to run smoothly, you’ll want your little one to enjoy his little den!

Start Small & Familiarize

This is possibly both the most important step to the training process and the most neglected. In order to avoid anxiety from developing, you absolutely must be patient and let your puppy become accustomed to his or her crate. In other words, don’t start off the bat crating for hours at a time unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

Begin by letting your puppy inspect the crate with the door open. After you do this once or twice, start out by creating your pup for short 5,10 or 20 minute intervals while you are in the room. After you’ve done this a few times, you can begin crating and leaving the room for short durations.

If you have to work on Monday, try starting out Friday after you return home. In order to create further pleasant associations, begin feeding your dog in his crate at feeding time.

Be sure to set a potty training/ crating schedule for your puppy to help familiarize them to the process!

Your Puppy’s Perspective

Dogs all too often developed separation anxiety, sometimes to an extreme, possibly even causing injury in attempts to escape or tearing up blanketing to confetti, because owners start out by caging them for day- long periods. Remember, dogs do not understand why they are being caged, and often think their pack- family member and parent has left them, never to return. How would you feel if you were placed in a small cell with no explanation or other human contact?

The entire idea behind this gradual process is to give your puppy time to adjust, showing him or her you will always return and he doesn’t need to worry. Remember to crate various times throughout the day to help your puppy familiarize himself to the process!

Summary

Introduce your dog to the crate.
Begin crating while you are in the room.
Feed your dog meals in the crate.
Start leaving the room.
Slowly lengthen crating periods (with appropriate bathroom breaks).
Begin crating your puppy when you leave.
Crate your puppy at night.

Why Never to Use the Crate as a Punishment

Comfortability ranks right up there with familiarity and patience above. You always want your puppy to form positive associations with his crate at all times! If you crate your puppy directly after chastisement, he will learn ‘crate means my parent is upset; I don’t like the crate because I don’t want the parent to be upset’.

A Small Bladder

Crate training a puppy is different from crate training an adult dog. Even if you have to work, expect to come home to soiled bedding if you leave your puppy crated all day. Small puppies are still growing and developing, and need frequent potty breaks.

On the other hand, it is a good idea to begin crating your puppy overnight. He will probably whine at first, and you probably won’t get a full night’s rest (but that is to be expected for any young puppy owner). Most puppies should be able to sleep the entire night without a potty break by 4 months of age.

  • Barring sleep, puppies under 6 months of age shouldn’t stay crated for more than 3-4 hours at a time (Humane Society)
  • It is said puppies can be crated without potty breaks for their age (months) in hours plus one. Ex.- 3 months = 4 hours
  • In order to properly develop social skills, puppies shouldn’t be separated from litter mates prior to four weeks. Many experts recommend no less than eight weeks.

Ask a Professional for Advice

If you have any questions about the above information, please contact us.  Or if you would like to inquire about training options where our professionals train your puppy for you at our facility, please call us today at 832-930-0073!

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How to Be an Incredible First Time Pet Owner

 

Congratulations on deciding to get your first pet! Pet ownership is a hugely rewarding experience that allows you to build a deep bond with your four-legged friend. As special as those first few weeks and months might be, there will undoubtedly be challenges and some unexpected situations that will inevitably pop up, even if you’ve made all the appropriate modifications to your home.

 

Being a pet owner for the first time can be confusing. Chances are, you might not even know where to begin. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and know that you can do this. In fact, millions of people own pets in the United States alone. You can do this!

 

Now… where to start?

 

Are you sure?

Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’ve already made up your mind to get a pet. Just in case you’re still on the fence though, have you asked yourself whether you’re committed to taking care of a pet for the next several years or even decades? Do you have time for a pet? Can you afford a pet? Is your current living situation suitable for a pet? What will you do if and when your pet develops a serious health condition or disability?

 

Be patient.

It will take time to build a bond between yourself and your pet. This comes with practice – and yes, with making a few mistakes, too. Take it easy on yourself (and your new pet) if the two of you don’t quite have it all figured out just yet.
Training

You know those well behaved dogs you see your neighbors walking down the street? Or the animals in the movies who do the incredible stunts? Those animals (and their owners) have spent lots of time doing something called pet training. Training is one of the most important aspects of pet ownership because it builds trust, communication, and that strong bond we just mentioned above. For best results, consider watching some YouTube videos, getting a pet training book, or even hiring a professional to help you train your new pet.