The Benefits of Dog Training and Socialization

Dog owners typically seek out training because of the good it does for the household, but the truth is, dogs are the ones who benefit from the experience. Dogs don’t inherently know or understand what’s expected of them. They don’t always know how to play well with others or recognize boundaries. However, with proper training and socialization opportunities, dogs can become wonderful canine citizens!

Continue…

Third Wheel: How to Help Your Pet Adjust to Your New Baby

The reasons why people surrender their animals vary considerably, but sometimes this painful separation is triggered by a new baby at home. It doesn’t have to be this way, especially since owning pets helps expectant parents with their new roles and responsibilities. Plus, having pets around during emotional or stressful times (like pregnancy and the first few weeks after baby arrives) can make life easier and a lot more fun.

So, how can you help your pet adjust to your new baby? Time, practice, and loads of patience.

Continue…

Understanding Pet Depression and Beating Back To School Blues

MtnView_iStock_000015117537_LargeSummer is coming to a close and the start of the academic calendar is upon us. The excitement for families doesn’t always transfer to the family pet, and without the high-energy squeals of delight, extra cuddles, or surreptitious nibbles of peanut butter beneath the table, an actively engaged pet can get a little blue.

Pet depression is very real, and can become obvious to pet owners at the start of each school year. Let’s beat the back to school blues with our tried and true coping methods.

Confused And Lonely

Your pet loves to be in your company (or in the presence of your entire family) and there are few things that compare with his or her smile and happy antics. That wagging tail, floppy, hanging-out tongue, or a perfectly executed head butt or shin rub…your pet loves you – and loves to be loved by your family. Continue…

Coprophagy – The Down and Dirty

Mrs Smith quietly closes the exam room door.  Chanel, her perfectly groomed Pooper Scooper DoggieMaltese sits ever so quietly on the table, pink diamond encrusted bow perched upon her stately head.  I suspect there is an issue.  A private issue.  “Dr. Boggier,” she begins, “Chanel has started with a behavior that I find quite embarrassing”.  Mrs Smith goes on to tell me how she was horrified to find Chanel had not only defecated in the house, something she occasionally did, but then proceeded to choke it down like it was prime rib!  All this in full view of the guests at her monthly dinner party.  Mrs Smith was NOT happy.  Chanel, on the other hand, had a completely normal physical exam, er, minus the breath issue.

 Coprophagy, or stool eating, is a common malady in dogs and occurs for a variety of reasons.  Most people assume the pet is deficient in key nutrients in his or her diet and that is why they tend to perform the, uh, ultimate in recycling.  Not true.  The cause can be a tricky to ascertain.

Doc, you may say, I would like to have friends over again, how do I stop this behavior?  If the underlying cause can be identified (not always possible), several treatments may be attempted.  For example, if your pet has parasites, you veterinarian can dispense a quality deworming medication to address the issue.  Metabolic diseases such as pancreatic deficiencies would require further testing.  Anxiety or stress can be managed with a combination of behavior modification and or medication.  If your pet just likes the taste?  You may need to take some cooking classes.  Otherwise, you have a few options ForBid, Dis-Taste, Deter and all examples of products you can put in the food to make the stool taste bad (or worse).

As distressing as this problem is, there is hope.  Coprophagy may be an undesirable condition, but rarely does it lead to more than your loss of social status in the neighborhood.