Wednesday, August 23, 2017

4 Things You Should Be Telling Your Vet – But Aren’t

Has your pet ever done something out of the ordinary and you’ve wondered whether or not you should tell your vet?
 

It can be hard to identify when differences occur in your pet if you’re being over protective or just concerned and unsure.

In some cases, changes in your pet can be harmless, however they can also be serious and possibly life threatening.
So what should you be telling your vet on your furry friends next checkup? 


vet, dog and owner


1. If Your Pet Ate Something Unfamiliar


If your fur friend is feeling unwell, you should tell your vet everything they have digested including food, treats, chew toys, bones and things your dog may have found.

Don’t hide anything, especially if you think they have had anything toxic. Letting your vet know will allow them help. 

It’s not the end of the world if your pet ate something they found, however it is still best to inform your vet as it may have been something dangerous. Therefore they will be able to solve the issue sooner rather than later.

cat licking lips



2. Specifics – Not ‘Handfuls’


When it comes to your dog’s eating habits, specifics are key. Telling your vet, you give your dog or cat ‘about a handful or so’ won’t help in the long run.

Exact measurements will ensure you dog isn’t under-fed and suffering from nutritional deficiencies or over-fed and risking the chance of becoming obese and suffering from health problems that follow.

Spending a little extra time measuring your pet’s food will allow your vet to asses if you are feeding them the right amount. Just because your pet is hungry, it doesn’t necessarily mean they should be eating more. 

pug food



3. Behavioural Changes



"Any change in your pet's behaviour from what it normally does is a reason to see your veterinarian."


Behaviour is what animals do to interact with, respond to, and control their environment. It is generally an animal's “first line of defence” in response to environmental change.

Therefore careful observations of behaviour can provide your vet with a great deal of information about your pets' requirements, preferences, dislikes, and internal states.

All behaviour changes should be mentioned when visiting your vet, this includes water drinking habits, appetite, playfulness, energy level etc..

sad dog


4. Unusual Symptoms


Much like behaviours, our pets will let us know if they aren’t okay through change in symptoms.

Honest communication is essential when informing your vet about how long symptoms have been occurring for –you won’t be believed when your dog has a huge infection and you say it appeared overnight.

One of the best ways to spot serious medical problems is by paying attention to what is going on inside your body.

Unfortunately, our dogs are not able to tell us when something is wrong. This is why you, as the owner, should always keep track of your pet’s symptoms and honestly let your vet know about them.

Specific symptoms you should be telling your vet are; vomiting, diarrhoea, persistent coughing, hair loss or itchy skin, fever, unexplained weight loss, distended abdomen, difficulty breathing and red eyes. 

sad-cat


Tired of being pulled along by your dog during your leisurely afternoon walk. Find out how.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How to Stop Your Dog from Pulling on the Leash

I think we all know someone with expert-leash walking skills.

You know the ones that aren’t constantly being pulled or getting wrapped around trees. The ones that are able to easily enjoy an afternoon stroll with their pooch by their side.

So you may be asking yourself the question: where did I go wrong?

If you’re over being yanked along, it’s time you take back control of the leash and implement some training methods that’ll get your pooch walking like a pro in no time.



dog on leash


Before You Get Moving


  • Remove any distractions – train somewhere where it will be easy for your dog to focus whether that is in the backyard or even indoors.

  • Short, sweet training sessions are optimal. Keep the training anywhere between 5-10 minutes a day so both you and your pup don’t get frustrated.

  • Reward your pup with treats each time they co-operate with you. 

dog on leash walking



Steps to Calm Leash Walking



  1. For your dog to learn they need to stay on one side of you when walking, ask your dog to sit next to your left leg (or right), with their shoulder in line with you.

  2. Hold a treat in your hand to get your dogs attention.

  3. Step off with your left leg, while saying ‘heel’.

  4. As soon as he takes off ahead, turn around and start walking in the opposite direction.

  5. As soon as your dog catches up and reaches the correct position next to your left leg say ‘heel’ and get his attention with a treat.

  6. Repeat then turn-around each time your dog surges ahead and correct him by saying ‘heel’.

  7. Initially reward them each time they are in the heel position and walking by your side (this will also teach them to look to you for direction). As your pooch progresses, get them to walk for a longer period beside you before they get the treat.

  8. Enjoy your walk and continue to occasionally reward your dog for paying attention and walking with you. Once the behaviour is established, rewards can be in the form of treats, play or just simply a ‘good boy’ when they are doing the right thing.

two dogs on leashes


Are bones really safe for your dog? Find out the answers here.