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ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist: Barking

January 22nd, 2010

Barking is one of many forms of vocal communication for dogs. People are often pleased that their dog barks, because it alerts them to the approach of people to their home or it tells them there’s something that the dog wants or needs. However, sometimes a dog’s barking can be excessive. Because barking serves a variety of functions, you must identify its cause and your dog’s motivation for barking before you can treat a barking problem Read the rest of this entry »

Breed-Based Activities for Dogs

January 21st, 2010

There was a time when every dog had a job. The border collie herded sheep, and the komondor guarded them. The Siberian husky moved the men of the North, while the Alaskan malamute hauled freight. Depending on geography and game, any number of breeds helped bring home dinner. Meanwhile, back at the homestead, terriers kept busy chasing the fox out of the hen-house and exterminating any vermin that crossed their path. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Your Dog Running

January 20th, 2010

Dogs can make terrific running partners as long as you take their physical condition and abilities into account. Also keep in mind that your dog may need time to work up to your intensity.

Make sure you check with your veterinarian before taking your dog running, and follow any recommendations that may be provided.

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Keeping Your Dog Busy

January 19th, 2010

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Dogs are very intelligent animals and they blossom in environments where they have plenty to do. City dogs are often required to spend substantial periods of time inactive. “In the old days”, dogs lived on country properties and spent their days exploring the grounds, scrounging from the compost, trotting after the tractor, rounding up the livestock, playing with the kids, and napping under the shade of an oak tree. The average urban dog experiences a very different reality: after 7-8 hours of sleep, they get a brief morning walk around the block to eliminate, followed by a well-balanced breakfast served in a bowl. Read the rest of this entry »

Dog Separation Anxiety and How to Deal with It

January 18th, 2010

How much exercise does your dog get? How much daily training? How often do you play with her? How long are you separated each day? How often does she socialize with other dogs appropriately?

Many dogs have deficits in socialization (with humans and dogs), mental stimulation (training, toys, play), and/or physical stimulation (running, swimming, walking, hiking, playing). Make sure to provide your dog with an opportunity to engage in all three daily. If dogs are not provided with this stimulation, boredom digging, chewing, barking, will likely ensue. Fulfilling basic needs remedies behavior problems related to boredom. Read the rest of this entry »

Teach Your Dog To Come

January 16th, 2010

This video from dog trainer Zak George gives the basics on an important command that all dogs should comprehend – to come when called.  It can be a life saving command and one which Charleston dog owners should make sure their dogs understand.

Weight and Treat Calorie Guide for Your Dog

January 15th, 2010

Check out this handy guide from the folks at the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention which details the visual signs you should look for when monitoring your dogs weight.  Also included is a quick calorie guide for the most popular dog treats on the market today.  Please keep in mind that the caloric intake from treats can easily sneak up on a dog’s waistline.

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Obesity and Dogs

January 14th, 2010

I have been told that my dog is obese and must be put on a diet. Is this true?
Nearly one-third (33%) of all adults in the United States are obese. Unfortunately, this same number now applies to our pets. Obesity leads to several diseases both in pets and people. Type II diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis are the most common weight-related disorders.

Diet and weight reduction are key to ensuring that your pet lives as long and healthy a life as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Heavy Isn’t Healthy for People or Pets

January 13th, 2010

Carrying around extra weight is as big of a deal for your pet as it is for you-minus the impending swimsuit season of course. In fact, experts say that up to 60 percent of all adult dogs are overweight or likely to get that way due to age or activity level. Read the rest of this entry »

Separation Anxiety: When Your Dog Misses You Too Much

January 11th, 2010

Is your dog clingy? Does he whine or cry when you leave the house? Do you come home to find torn-up curtains? Are there deep scratches on your doors? If so, your dog may have separation anxiety.

It is often difficult to determine the cause of separation anxiety. Some pets are genetically predisposed, but there are many other causes, such as poor socialization, past neglect or abandonment, and changes in routine, to name a few. Read the rest of this entry »

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