The New Year is in motion and we can finally go back to our routines. It was great seeing family during the holidays and we all had our share of holiday food and entertainment. With the holidays came new additions to the family. Puppy, kitty, Buddy and Daisy are happy to be with their new family and now is the best time to start with their training. Yes – you can train Kitty too! Here are some reasons why we should train our pets:
1) Build a Positive Relationship: One of the best ways to build a healthier relationship with Buddy is to make it rewarding, successful and easy as possible for the both of you. Positive training, which rewards and motivates a pet for good behavior, allows you to develop a relationship with your pet based on mutual trust and respect, instead of fear and intimidation. Our faithful companions that are taught using positive reinforcement methods are more tolerant and self-controlled and behave much more predictably in different situations. When giving treats as a reward, some dogs are allergic to specific items, such as certain protein sources, gluten, or grains like wheat and corn, so they should only be given chew treats that are free of those allergy triggers. Read the ingredients list of any treats you give your four-legged friend to be sure that you are doing your best to help keep him both happy and healthy!
2) Basic Manners 101: Every pet needs to learn how to live successfully in a home environment. Teaching your pets basic manner skills and providing them with enough mental enrichment and physical exercise will prevent them from developing anxiety and other stress related behaviors such as destructive chewing, inappropriate barking and aggressive display.
3) Socialization: Social interaction will give your pet the confidence to deal with the pressures training your pet to have good manners and behave well in different situations requires effort, but consistent commitment ensures success. We have high expectations for our pets, encouraging them to be friendly with everyone they meet, even if they are uncomfortable in certain situations. It is vital to socialize Buddy by giving him good experiences in the presence of all kinds of people, animals and environments. As for Kitty, socializing with only his siblings is best.
4) Kitty Training 101: Cats are really smart and they can be trained. Start to train them while they are still kittens to like their carrier. This is most helpful as they grow and need to visit their vet. Make it a positive situation. Put Kitty in his carrier and carry him to a different area of the home. Open the carrier and praise, love and give him a treat! This way he won’t associate the carrier with vet time. There are other ways to train a feline and yes – there are even cat trainers!
4) Loyal and Companion: Pet parents who make time to teach their pets lead more fulfilling lives with their canine companions. A healthy balance of learning manners, encouraging sociability and providing your pet with the right kind of outlets will ensure them success. Having trained pets will make life so much easier for everyone and your pets will understand what is expected from them once trained. Both you and your pets will have an amazing bonding experience throughout the years!
Get involved in the training classes with your trainer and ask questions! Training your pet is an investment and like all pet parents, you want the best for your pets! If you’re not sure where to start, please call Pacific Animal Hospital and we’ll be happy to help you! We are open 7 days a week, Monday – Friday from 8 am to 8 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm. Basic Manners 101 will be so rewarding for everyone!
2017 is almost here! Are you and your pets ready? Don’t forget to make a list for your fur babies New Year resolution too! With the everyday hustle and bustle, we tend to put things aside and before you know it- yep…it’s the end of the year. What a great way to start off the New Year and get your pets on a healthy schedule! Here are some important resolutions for your healthy pets:
Date with their Vet: Twice a year examinations by your veterinarian is very important. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or obesity are common in aging pets and much easier to manage when detected in the early stages of the disease process. Veterinary visits are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting bonding time with your pet.
Oral Hygiene: Daily tooth brushing is the best way to keep tartar and plaque away. Be sure to use toothpaste meant for dogs and cats. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be a helpful tool in keeping teeth clean. Regular yearly cleaning by your veterinarian is the best way to keep those pearly whites in tip top shape long into your pet’s senior years.
Weight Management/Exercise: If you, like me have this on your list, then it’s important for your pet as well. The recommended feeding guidelines on the bag are a good place to start to figure out how much food Max or Kitty really needs. The best person to ask is your vet. If your pet needs to lose a couple of pounds, your Dr. can prescribe a diet. As for exercise, if your pet is social, the best place to get exercise and mingle with furry friends is at a doggy daycare or a park that is enclosed for pets that want to run and play with parents supervising.
Grooming: Just like us, your pet needs their coat brushed/combed and shampooed for upkeep. Keeping their skin and coat clean is a benefit for the both of you. When brushing out your pet, it removes excess fur from the coat and you have amazing bonding time with each other. Tangled, matted hair can be painful if not taken care of. This type of coat won’t go away and it would be best to make an appointment with your groomer.
Pet Identification: I.D. tags can wear and tear. Order a new one for the New Year! If you have moved or have a new phone number, make sure the new information is on the tags. If you are taking your pets camping with you etc., make sure the phone number on the tag is with you and you can get reception. If any of your contact information has changed in 2016, don’t wait — update their tags and microchip information today! It’s the best way to ensure a lost pet makes their way safely home.
Start off the New Year with a positive and fun. Stay on track with your pet’s preventative care- this is so important. Our pets can’t talk and tell us what’s bothering them or where it hurts. Routine twice a year vet checks is worth the visit! If you have any questions or concerns about your pet, please don’t hesitate to call us! Have a very happy New Year and thank you for letting us take care of your fur babies!
This is Halloween…this is Halloween….Oh- hello dearies! It’s that time of year where pet parents (I’m guilty!) love to dress up their pets for Halloween. We need to be very careful and monitor our pets closely to make sure they are not stressing out wearing a costume and limit their movement. Beware of choking hazards such as ribbons, frills, bow ties, bells or other loose items around your pet’s neck that might cause issues if it gets stuck. Always watch for these kinds of items and any potential choking hazards, like hanging beads or pieces that might fall off. If your pet acts annoyed, uncomfortable and you are constantly fixing their costume- it would be best to take it off. When going out to trick-or-treat, it’s better to leave your furry K9 at home. Dogs can be easily excited by the Halloween commotion, and a bite or a lost dog will quickly end the evening’s fun.
When taking candy inventory with your kids once trick–or- treating is over, it’s best that your pets are not in the same room. Treats, such as chocolate, gum and xylitol (a sweetener used in many foods), are hazardous to our pets. Candy may drop to the floor and your furry ones may get to it before you do. If your pet is like mine, she is right at your feet waiting….or eyeballing me from afar. When food is accidently dropped onto the floor, this 5lb sweet Chihuahua becomes a greyhound and grabs the food and runs under the kitchen table. She suddenly becomes deaf too. Goodness….. If you suspect your pet has eaten something that’s bad for them, call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately. Don’t take any chances.
Throwing a party? Keep your pets out of harm’s way. Even if you are just having a few friends over for a Halloween party, keep your pets away from the festivities in a safe room. Masks and costumes change how people look and smell to a pet, so even familiar people may become frightening. Keep your pets away from dangerous decorations. Some hazards are obvious, like lit candles. Changes to your home can make your pets, especially cats, nervous or frightened.
Bring your pets indoors before night falls. Cats are always safest inside with you, but on Halloween it’s especially important to secure all pets inside.
In case they escape, make sure that all of your pets are wearing tags with current IDs (hopefully they are microchipped). Opening the door repeatedly for trick-or-treaters gives your pet the opportunity to slip outside. Give your pets a haven where they can feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed—tucked away from any Halloween hazards. Pacific Animal Hospital will be open until 8 pm on Oct. 31, if you have any questions or concerns. Call us at (760) 757-2442. Have a happy and safe October 31 darlings……