Happy Fourth!

155549_465296336842020_990052181_n

Leroy wants to make sure that everyone stays safe today!  Here are some great tips from our vet, Dr. Reisner.  We are sharing some Do’s as well as Don’ts 🙂

1. Don’t assume your dog will be fine, especially if he has shown signs of fear — trembling, panting, pacing and restlessness — of booming noises in the past. Pay attention to the fear by redirecting activities, food and muffling outside noises. Reassure to your heart’s content – the Fourth can be a scary day for your dog!

2. Don’t scold or reprimand your dog for behaviors based in fear. Panicked dogs may dig, chew and scratch at barriers (whether trying to go out or to come in), urinate and defecate, or relentlessly solicit attention.

3. Don’t leave your dog outside unleashed and unattended. Frightened dogs are very adept at jumping, digging and escaping.

4. Don’t take your dog to the community party – July 4th picnics are followed by fireworks, and your dog should be nowhere near the fireworks.

5. Don’t give your dog medications without a veterinary prescription or at least a conversation; human sedatives can increase agitation in dogs, and acepromazine (a commonly used dog tranquilizer) might increase sensitivity to noise. Yes, some medications can be helpful, but they also have side effects and interactions. Please talk to your veterinarian first.

6. Unless your dog is deeply in love with his crate and goes there on his own when stressed or frightened, do not leave your dog alone in a crate during fireworks. Frightened dogs, especially those unaccustomed to being crated (or shut into a room), can severely injure themselves – or worse – trying to escape.

Five tips to Finesse Fireworks Fear: 

1. Turn on every background noise device in your home including TV, radio, fans, and sound machines. Download a free ambient sounds app such as “White Noise Lite”. Shut the windows and turn on the AC if you have it.

2. For your dog’s sake, stay home on the Fourth. Since you’ll be home anyway, watch a Harry Potter marathon (see #1).

3. Before the fireworks start, cook up an irresistible food such as chicken breast, special meat cookies, popcorn. Cut meat into tiny pieces and stock a treat bag. Feed one piece at a time to your dog throughout the fireworks to countercondition and distract. If your dog is willing, make a game of it and ask her sit, down, shake hands and other distracting cues. Freeze a Kong with kibble mixed with baby food. Feed dinner through the toy.

4. If your dog likes to nest in a corner, closet, under a table when frightened, prepare her favorite spot with blankets and make it into an inviting sanctuary.

5. If your dog is nervous, go ahead and reassure him. He is frightened – he will not feel rewarded for being terrified. He will feel reassured.

 

17592_10151708434867661_770389430_n

And we also found this cute graphic from our friends at OP Barks with some statistics on missing pets.  Are your dogs chipped and wearing their ID tags?!  Safety first.  We hope you have a great day and that all your pets are in their favorite spots in the house with lots of fans on.  Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Advertisements

Dog Accessories

As a dog person, I constantly have my eyes open for the newest dog accessory.  In my house, we are fully equipped with a variety of collars, leashes, and harnesses.  We have a head halter and a cage muzzle.  We have tshirts, a life vest, sun screen, poop bag holders, clickers, and treat bags.  So what are the best accessories?  What stuff is worth coming back to?

So here is a run-down of what Leroy is currently, or most often sporting.

700

Freedom No Pull Harness

The Freedom No Pull Harness is an awesome tool.  There is a latch in the front and back of the harness, and it comes with a double connection leash.  You can choose to hook one part on the front and one on the back, two on the front, two on the back, or just one to create a longer leash.  I usually opt for both sides hooked to the front, or one on the front and one on the back.  However, my favorite part about this harness is the velvet armpit straps.  The Freedom is similar to the more readily available Easy Walk harness (being modeled on Drake), which is found at most pet stores.  But the nice straps help with rubbing and are especially appreciated for the short haired dogs.

1040

Holt Walking Collar

Commonly mistaken for a muzzle, the Holt Walking Collar is probably the best training tool I’ve found.  This tool helps to control your dog’s head.  It works the same way as the horse bridle; so when you control the face, you can easily control the body.  The downfall to this tool is that it takes some acclimation, and Leroy often tries to rub it off on the grass.  But despite some random grass rolling, he walks much nicer in this than anything else.  I especially like the Holt brand of head halters because it has an additional clip to attach the halter to the dog’s collar.  The Gentle Leader makes a head collar that simply has a leash attachment.  However, I feel much more secure knowing that my leash is attached to Leroy’s head halter, which is also attached to his collar.  So this, is my go-to walking accessory.

320504_137047196392546_1521632445_n

Martingale collar and ID tag

And the daily accessory; Leroy’s martingale collar and name tag.  I have a lot of dog collars.  More than I need, certainly.  But I have grown to really like the martingale.  Granted, I don’t use it for walking.  But it is very secure, and super cute 🙂  It needs to either be adjusted or vigorously pulled over his head if I want to take it off.  I like knowing that it is really on him.  So if I ever had to grab hold in an emergency situation, the collar and tag would be sturdy.  The ID tag is a simple, custom, adorable, neck tie design that is engraved with his name and my phone number.

As you may have noticed, the training tools and techniques I use with Leroy are all known as “Force Free” or “Positive Reinforcement”. No prong collar, force, intimidation, or pain is used.  But I would like to know- What do you use?  What have you tried and not had very much luck with?  What are your dog’s accessories?  🙂

 

Sponsor us here– 5k Race to Rescue