How to Decode Your Dog’s Bad Behavior

Newborn babies cry to communicate their hunger, fear, or discomfort, and our fur babies are no different. Dogs don’t always have perfect behavior, but their bad or destructive behaviors often have a root cause that you can address. Here’s what you need to know to connect with your dog’s needs and stop barking or chewing before it begins.

Constant Barking

Since barking can serve so many different purposes, it must be diagnosed by its function. Alarm barking, for instance, will cause your dog to bark at every single noise and sight, regardless of where you are. This type of barking is often combined with stiffer body language than a dog who is just barking to greet a newcomer. Other dogs bark to get attention, and if it works, they will continue doing so until taught otherwise.

You can try to resolve this type of barking by teaching your dog a routine. Let him bark three or four times, then calmly say “Quiet.” After you clearly say the command, gentle hold your dog’s muzzle closed with your hand a repeat “Quiet.” Release his muzzle, step back, and call him away from the window or door.

If your dog can continue to sit, give him a treat. If he stays beside you and remains quiet for the next few minutes, continue to give him small treats. Repeat the sequence as needed. It might take 20 times for your dog to learn, but eventually that bothersome barking will stop! Read more

How to Keep Your Pet Safe in the Florida Heat

The heat of Florida is great for the beach, but it has serious drawbacks as well – especially when it comes to your friends on four legs. Pets are extremely susceptible to heat-related health problems and illnesses, which makes it your responsibility to take precautionary measures to protect your dog or cat through the hottest months of the year. The following tips will help you and your furry friend enjoy a safe and comfortable summer.

Never Leave Your Dog Alone in the Car

Just like you wouldn’t leave your baby alone in a hot car, you should never leave your dog. A car sitting in the sun acts like a pressure cooker. It can easily become up to 40 degrees warmer than the outside air in mere minutes. Even if you are only running into the gas station for a soda, leaving your dog in the car isn’t safe. Only travel with your dog if you know that he will be able to join you for all of your errands. Read more

What to Do if Your Pet has Seasonal Allergies

Allergies are miserable for humans, but what about for pets? Even dogs and cats are at risk of suffering from seasonal allergies, especially in the fall when allergens are saturating the air. Just like you rely upon a daily antihistamine to survive your worst allergy symptoms, your pet needs appropriate medical care to avoid and prevent the discomfort that develops as a result of seasonal allergies.  

The Tell-Tale Signs of Seasonal Pet Allergies

If you try to identify your pet’s allergies based on common human systems, you won’t have much luck. Rather than the respiratory tract symptoms that humans experience, dogs and cats are prone to skin irritation and inflammation called allergic dermatitis. You’ll notice your pet struggling with very itchy skin; he will start scratching excessively, biting and chewing and certain spots on his body, and even rubbing himself against vertical or horizontal surfaces to try and alleviate the itching. Unfortunately, this itch and scratch cycle causes the skin to become even more inflamed and tender to the touch. Your pet will eventually experience hair loss, scabbing, and open sores on the skin if his allergies are not treated. Read more

Keeping Your Pup Safe During the Dog Days of Summer

These are truly the dog days of summer, especially in Tampa, Florida where it’s common for July and August temperatures to spike above 100 degrees. As much fun as summer can be, it is also a season of extra strain on your dog. Be sure to follow these simple tips to keep your pup safe during the long summer months.

Learn to Recognize Signs of Overheating in Pets

Animals display signs of overheating differently than humans, so you need to become familiar with the symptoms that indicate your dog could be overheated. The most noticeable sign is excessive panting and difficulty breathing. Drooling and mild weakness are also common symptoms. Read more

Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Summer Heat

The heat of summer has already reached Tampa, which means it is time to brush up on your summer safety habits. Florida’s hottest months can be uncomfortable and even dangerous to people and pets alike. As the temperature soars, these tips will help you keep your furry friends safe and happy until autumn arrives and brings some relief.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Imagine how parched you feel after walking a long distance in the heat or exercising, and remember that your dog feels the exact same way after spending time in the sun and humidity. It’s simple enough to prevent dehydration by making clean, fresh water available to your dog at all times. Just remain alert for any signs of dehydration like lethargy, sunken eyes, and tacky gums. Mild cases of dehydration can be resolved by giving your dog small amounts of water over the span of a few hours, but severe cases will require the attention of a vet. Read more

The True Importance of Neutering Your Male Dog

Times have changed dramatically from the days when dogs were permitted to freely roam neighborhoods without any form of protection. Today, families keep their dogs secured around the house, socialize them strategically, and make medical care a top priority. This medical care includes the process of neutering dogs shortly after they are born. From population control to behavior improvements and everything in between, neutering your own dog offers many important benefits. Read more

Two Dog Behavior Issues and Solutions

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Unlike the dogs in most children’s movies, our dogs cannot talk to us to explain what they want and how they think. It’s up to us humans to correctly interpret their behavior in order to keep our furry friends safe, healthy, and happy. So whether you’re trying to connect with a new dog or attempt obedience training with your puppy, you may need some help with these three specific issues.

Constant Barking Read more

The Critical Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

microchipTaking care of a pet isn’t so different from caring for a child. Your dog or cat relies upon you entirely for food, water, shelter, protection, and love, just like your child. If you take your toddler to the grocery store and lose track of his whereabouts, you’ll undoubtedly become frightened and panicked until he is found. When your dog or cat takes off through the open door and runs out of your sight, you can’t exactly rely on the grocery store staff and announcement system for help. If your pet is microchipped, you know you have a handy way to locate him and bring him back home safely.

What is Microchipping?

A microchip is tiny, about the size of a grain of rice, and is implanted in your pet’s skin to help track his location if he gets lost. It’s essentially a computer chip with a unique identification number that doesn’t risk falling off like a collar. All that’s needed is a scanner to pick up the radio signals that transmit the encoded chip ID number. Once the ID number is picked up, it can be used to track down the animal’s owner. Read more

How to Protect Your Dogs from the Harsh Summer Heat

dog-anxietyThe summer heat, especially in southern states like Florida, is no joke. You know how much you hate feeling overheated and dehydrated, which is why you need to devote extra effort to ensuring that your dog remains comfortable during the most intense summer weather. To avoid injuries and illnesses like heat stroke, foot pad burns, sunburn, and dehydration, just follow these simple tips.

First and foremost, never leave your dog in the car. Ever. For anything! If you can’t bring your dog with you when you park, then it’s best to leave him at home in the air conditioning instead. We have all heard the awful stories of petsand childrenbecoming trapped in hot cars and losing their lives. Accidents happen even to people with the best of intentions, so it’s smart to simply never put your pet in the position where an accident can occur.

Second, make access to cool, fresh water a priority. It may sound obvious, but it is easy to forget when you’re having a busy or stressful day. Your dog cannot cool himself down as efficiently as a human body can, so cool water is critical to avoid overheating. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to reach the point of dehydration on a very hot day. Read more

What is Leptospirosis?

dog sickIf you ever stopped to consider the number of diseases and infections that could potentially harm your pup, you may never let him outside again. However, modern medicine exists to battle these harmful conditions and ensure that your dog can live a long and healthy life. One of the diseases becoming more prevalent in dogs is called leptospirosis. Just like heartworms and pruritus, prevention and regular vet checkups are the keys to avoiding leptospirosis.

An Introduction to Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is an infection that dogs acquire when certain bacteria enters and spreads through the bloodstream. It’s not a well-known disease compared to other pet problems, but it is becoming more and more common around the world and leading vets to urge the implementation of preventative measures and more effective treatments for infected canines. Read more