Archive for October, 2009

When Poor House Training Isn’t to Blame

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Owning a dog can be wonderful. Dogs are basically 4 year olds that never grow up, so you never have to worry about the cost of college. However, you do have to worry about them soiling the rug. Constant dog doo and urine stains on the carpet are enough to sour even the world’s biggest dog lover. Pooch messes can ruin a home, souring your living area with the noxious smell of a disgusting dog pound.

Sometimes a dog that messes up the house isn’t the result of poor training or a bad upbringing, but a serious medical condition. Infections, bladder stones, colitis, diabetes, cancer, parasites, and inflammatory diseases can all be the real reason your pooch is soiling the carpet, which no amount of training, finger shaking or pet treats will cure.

If your dog suddenly and surprisingly starts urinating indoors, it may be the result of a bladder infection. It’s always best to check with a vet if the behavior is new and not just the result of bad habits. Like humans, dogs can be cured of infections with proper medical care. When an infection is the source of the problem, clearing the infection is the key to getting your pet to use the proper facilities.

Also, it’s fairly common for older, spayed females to dribble. You can easily fix this with applied dosages of estrogen. Often, you can get away with tapering the dosages off after a few months after your pet’s hormonal system reaches a balance, although some dogs may require estrogen treatments for the rest of their lives.

Inflammatory bowel disease is often confused with irritable bowel syndrome because the results on the rug are similar. Unlike IBS which can be caused by stress, however, inflammatory bowel disease is the result of inflamed cells in the bowels, and the treatment is completely different. The source of the inflammation may be bacterial, dietary or parasitic. Removing these conditions should return the dog’s system to normal.

Worms and other parasites waste the dog’s body of nutrients and energy. As the pooch’s body struggles to rid itself of the parasites, it will go to the bathroom frequently, often uncontrollably. Consult a vet to see how to rid the parasites. Often, antibiotics and worm removal are key to curing the animal and returning it’s potty use to normal.

Kidney or bladder stones can also lead to frequent urination which the dog cannot control. Consult a vet to see how to rid the stones. If a dog is left inside, a proper indoor dog toilet method may be necessary, giving the dog a proper place to do his or her business without soiling your rug.

If a dog is suffering from cancer, failure to control its potty habits is often the first sign. Have the animal screened to detect problems early.

Failure to control its bowels may be a dog’s first sign of diabetes. Consult a vet to make sure. Like humans, animal diabetes can be treated with proper diet and exercise. You may have to buy special food. Indoor dog potties may be necessary to give the dog a proper place to go where the messes can be easily cleaned and maintained.

Bathroom problems may also be the result of a neurological disorder. This can be confirmed through blood work, radiographs and other tests. It’s fairly common in older dogs. In these cases, indoor puppy potties can be very helpful, giving the dog an easy accessible place to do his business that’s easy for you to clean up too.

If you have a housebreaking problem that doesn’t just seem behavioral, have the dog checked by a vet. Often, the reason is more medical than behavioral. By treating the medical condition, you get to the source of the problem, often eliminating it so the dog returns to normal bathroom behavior. Enjoy your relationship with your dog more by eliminating housebreaking problems at the source. Indoor puppy toilets can be an easy facility for your dog to use if he can’t control himself.

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Socializing Your Puppy

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Like children, you need to get your puppies young to raise them right. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By properly socializing your puppy from an early age, you can teach it important socializing behaviors it can carry for the rest of its life. Starting with a puppy is like beginning with a blank page. The first behaviors you teach it are crucial. With proper socialization, you can avoid serious behavior problems such as shyness, timidity and aggression.

Once a puppy has all its shots at about 16 weeks of age, it’s important to socialize it with other friendly dogs, as well as acclimate the puppy to environments outside of the home and property through regular walks on a leash.

If you raise your puppy in the country or a suburban environment, it’s best to gradually acclimate him to traffic noise, crowds of people and other everyday life situations he’ll experience in more populated areas. Starting at 8 to 10 weeks of age, a weekly visit to town can be very helpful in getting your puppy used to busier areas. This can be very helpful at preventing environmental phobias.

When socializing with other dogs, keep in mind that puppies with fewer than 3 or 4 series of vaccinations should avoid contact with other unfamiliar dogs. It may be best to carry them in a crate or a Sherpa bag to make sure they don’t make too early contact with other dogs that may subject them to disease.

If your puppy shows early signs of timidity, it’s best to gradually introduce him to new and unfamiliar people so he can learn confidence and trust. Visitors should avoid sudden movements to touch the puppy as this can increase his fear and inclination to react aggressively. Make sure the introduction is gradual and passive, allowing your puppy to first sniff the hand through a gentle means. Avoid eye contract and confrontational body language. Visitors should crouch near the floor with the body facing away from the puppy, holding their hand to the side while offering the puppy a treat. Allow the puppy to first take the treat from their hand, rather than forcing the treat onto the puppy.

If the puppy is shy, resist the temptation to coddle or treat the puppy like a “poor baby.” The visitor should always remain encouraging, friendly and upbeat.

It’s very crucial the puppy learn to socialize with his own kind. By only socializing with humans, your puppy can learn problematic behaviors when around other dogs, leading to anxiety or aggression.
If your puppy is timid around other dogs but fully immunized, begin with socializing the puppy around other friendly easy-going puppies and dogs. Beginning to medium sized puppies work best, gradually working towards bigger dogs as the puppy learns confidence and comfort. Notice the puppy’s body language as it interacts with other dogs. If your puppy is especially timid, one day play sessions work best.

There are easy to recognize signs that your puppy is stressed. Panting when it’s not hot or the puppy is not thirsty is one sign of an overly anxious puppy. Timidity shown by running away, shirking or hiding in your arms is another sign of fear. This is natural in the beginning and should go away as the puppy is better socialized with humans and other dogs.

Yawning repeatedly is another sign of a possible nervous tick. Other dogs may become more hyperactive, running around and barking excessively. It’s similar to how some people may become overly anxious and talk or fidget nervously. Some dogs may tend to withdraw as they are overwhelmed by the situation.

Be patient and gradual with your puppy, but start early. Like humans, the building blocks of behavior in puppies are laid at an early age. It’s important to establish a solid foundation for a well-adjusted and healthy dog for years to come.

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