Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish
Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

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2015

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Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

Tag Archives: tips

It’s Spring! Time to Start Thinking About Fleas and Ticks…

Happy Spring! Can you believe that spring has officially begun? Time for spring cleaning, changing the batteries in the smoke alarms, and time to start thinking about spending some more time outdoors. Depending on where you live, this means that our furry family members will be outside more and will be exposed to those pesky fleas and ticks. Fortunately, as a responsible pet parent, you are going to be proactive about their protection.

As you may know, there are A LOT of flea and tick products out there. Your veterinarian and the veterinary team are your best resource in determining which product is the best for your particular needs. They can also help you make sure that the product is labeled for use in dogs or cats and that it is the right strength based on your pets weight and age.

If you are going to use a topical product, be sure to follow the label directions carefully. Your veterinary team can also help show you how to apply these if you’ve never used them before. Be sure to wash your hands after applying and don’t let children or other pets play with the pet until the product has been completely absorbed and the area is dry. If you have multiple pets in the house, it may be easiest to treat them all at once and then put them all is separate rooms until the medication is absorbed into the skin.

If you live in a house with both dogs and cats, you may think that you can use the same flea and tick products for both. DON’T! Cats are actually very sensitive to many of the medications that are used in dog flea and tick products so if you use a dog product on a cat, you can make them VERY sick (these intoxications can sometimes even be fatal).

The flea and tick products that are prescribed by a veterinarian have been extensively tested for safety and efficacy. Sometimes however, an individual animal can have an unexpected response. If you are using a flea and tick product for the first time on your pet, be sure to keep an eye on them for a few hours following application. If you see any vomiting, lethargy, difficulty walking, etc., call your veterinarian right away for advice and bathe your pet with warm water and soap to remove any residual product.

Using flea and tick preventives not only protects our pets against rashes, itching, and hair loss but they are also critical in protecting our furry family members against life-threatening infections that are transmitted by these pests. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian today to ensure that your pet is protected.

To find a Best Friends affiliated veterinary hospital near you, click here.

Tags: Ask the Vet, Cats, Dog safety, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet behavior, Pet health, Pet info, Pets, Tips, Vet

Pet Dental Health: More Important Than You Think!

February is Pet Dental Health Month so we wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of keeping up with the dental health of our furry family members. Luckily for us, we recently had a veterinary dental specialist join our Best Friends family. His name is Dr. Gary Goldstein and, not only is he our new Chief Medical Officer, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry and is certified in Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery.

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Tags: Ask the Vet, Cats, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet health, Pet info, Pets, Tips

Train Your Dog Week- Do You Know The Basics?

Best Friends professional Trainers recommend that you begin training your dog as soon as he arrives in your home. This will avoid irksome problems and let your new pooch know what’s expected of him.

Successful dog training depends upon on establishing yourself immediately as the leader. A dog is a pack animal, and when he enters your home, he expects to follow rules and obey the leader. Once he understands you are the pack leader and he knows his role within the family “pack”, he will be more comfortable and easier to train. Set boundaries, be firm and offer rewards, especially love and kindness.

Learning the basics
Every dog should learn at least the basic obedience commands. Let’s focus on Come and Sit.

COME:
Choose a time when your dog is relaxed, but not sleepy, and a quiet area with few distractions. Early training sessions should be short; it’s better to spend a few minutes with your dog several times a day than to try to sustain his interest for a single long period.

Start with the “come” command, which is important for your pet’s safety. Best Friends Trainers recommend using the leash method. Begin by putting a collar on your puppy. Once he’s accustomed to wearing it, attach a leash and standing several feet away, say “come,” and gently pull him towards you. As he reaches you, praise him, using a happy tone of voice.

Gradually, your pet will begin to associate the word with the action and you won’t need to pull on the leash. Once that happens, practice the command without a leash. Remember to give him lots of praise when he responds by coming to you.

Don’t try to accomplish too much at once. End each session on a high note, just after your dog has successfully performed a command. This will make the training process enjoyable and something to which he will look forward.

SIT:
Learning to sit is an important and useful skill for your dog to have. It is also often the foundation upon which other training tricks are based. The sit command can be taught in a variety of ways. One of the easiest way to teach your dog the ‘sit’ command is to place him on a leash in front of you, hold a treat above his head, and give the command ‘Sit’. By having your dog look up at the treat, that forces him to slightly lower his rear end. You can then move the treat toward his tail which forces your dog to completely adopt the sit position. You should repeat this exercise several times until your dog gets the sit position right, rewarding you dog with the treat and praise when he responds correctly.

Once your dog has correctly grasped the sit command, you should practice it in regular situations around your home, while you prepare his dinner, before opening doors, when you have company around, and so on. If you have visitors at home, you can also ask your dog to sit and quietly observe everyone and everything that goes on. Use this command frequently and be very consistent.

As you see your dog make progress with these first two commands, you can move onto to “stay” and then “down”. Once he has mastered these commands, you can begin to teach him to walk properly on a leash.

Getting started
One of the best ways to get your dog’s training started is by joining a group class. With the help of a professional trainer, you will learn the proper ways to teach, reward and correct your dog.

Training classes also provide an opportunity to socialize your pet, which is important to his emotional well-being. Dogs that aren’t adequately socialized can become shy and fearful. In fact, many behavior problems in older dogs stem from lack of adequate socialization as a puppy. Check your local Best Friends Pet Care Center for Puppy Kindergarten and Basic Obedience classes.

However you decide to approach training your new pet, remember that three “p”s of successful dog training: patience, persistence and praise!

Tags: Dog training, Dogs, Pet advice, Pet behavior, Pet info, Pets, Professional trainers, Tips
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