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What are the Most Effective Ways to Break Up a Dog Fight?

Dog fight

Body language is used by our pets as much as in humans. While around other dogs, make sure to pay attention to their communication. Oftentimes, a stiff body, direct eye contact, and dilated pupils can indicate aggression towards another dog. If you witness your dog or believe them to be showing this aggressive manner, it is important to remain calm. By preventing panic, you will be much more effective in preventing or stopping fighting dogs.

If possible, preventing the dogs fighting is the most desired outcome. It is often recommended to distract the dogs. Separating them with an object so that they cannot see each other before a fight can allow a diffusion of stress and an avoided altercation. Another possibility is throwing a towel or a large blanket over the dogs. Similarly, this method prevents the animals from seeing one another which will stop some dogs from fighting. It is also possible that spraying the pets with water can distract them enough to end the fight.

If a fight does break out that involves your dog, and you cannot distract the animals, it is recommended that you physically separate them. Make sure to keep in mind that many dogs are powerful so it is important to assess the situation and the pets’ sizes to determine what level of protection you will need to separate them and stay safe. If separating the dogs, it is best to remove them at the same time by using the top of the hind legs. Grabbing them on the lower hind legs risks serious injury. Once separated, it is important to keep the dogs from seeing one another so removal of one or both dogs is the best course of action.

Suffering from Allergies? Your Pet May Be Too.

Dog

With Georgia coated in yellow pollen again, we are reminded of our allergies. But, keep in mind that your furry family members could also be allergic. Unlike humans, pollen is absorbed through the skin of animals so watch out for licking, biting, and scratching. The ASPCA recommends also looking for itchy or runny eyes, sneezing, and snoring due to an inflamed throat. If you find any symptoms in your pets, a trip to the vet will be the most effective solution. If you cannot make it to the vet, the ASPCA suggests some home remedies; wiping the coat several times a day with a damp towel to remove pollen, bathing them in hypo-allergenic shampoo, or administering allergy medication such as Benadryl. It is important to note that medication should only be given to pets under the counsel of a trained professional because of the possible dangers of differing doses and effects.

            If you recognize that your pet is experiencing symptoms out of pollen season, it is possible that they have another form of allergy. Some of the most common seasonal allergies for dogs are; dust, dust mites, grass, and flea bites. It is highly recommended that you visit your vet if allergy symptoms persist in your pets.

To visit the Georgia Public Broadcast article to learn more, visit:

http://www.gpb.org/blogs/tails-of-the-city/2013/04/12/how-to-help-your-pet-cope-with-pollen-allergies

What is the Best Way to Train my Dog?

What is the Best Way to Train my Dog.

There are many different opinions on the most effective dog training techniques but all of them come back to rewarding ideal behaviors and making sure behaviors that are not ideal are not rewarded. Therefore, you need to be consistent in your training efforts because dogs learn through immediate reward or consequence.

            The two most prevalent teaching efforts are; (1) teaching your dog what you want them to do and (2) discouraging your dog what you do not want them to do. While both can impact behavior, teaching your dog positive behavior through positive reinforcement is usually much more effective and can also be enjoyable for yourself and your companion. Rewards such as food, games, and praise will help them learn but also grow your relationship with your pet. In contrast, punishments are likely to produce fear which is not a positive environment for the animal or owner.

            While you need to maintain the rewarding of positive behavior the discouraging of negative behavior needs to occur but this does not need to come as punishment! Simply, your dog needs to understand that unwanted behavior will not receive reward. For example, if a dog jumps on you and you pet them, you are rewarding the jumping behavior. But, if a dog jumps on you and you ignore them, they will learn not to continue the behavior. In any training, make sure to stay consistent and keep consequences immediate for your companion to elicit any learned response.

Copperhead Snakes and Your Pets

Copperhead Snakes and Your Pets

Anthony DeVingo, owner of Ever Green Landscape Management says that, “In Georgia, you’re only about 10 feet away from a snake at any given time.” Luckily, this is not a bad thing! Most of these snakes are harmless and can even be helpful. Rat snakes and corn snakes are extremely common but have no interest in harming you or your pet.

            Copperheads are the exception. While they are not likely to seek out and attack your pet, there have been increasingly prevalent cases of bitten companions. A bite may cause only swelling or pain in humans, but can be deadly in pets. The size of the bitten animal is extremely important. The smaller the pet, the more critical the situation.

If your pet experiences a copperhead bite, it is most important to get them immediately to a veterinarian who will be qualified to assess the situation and determine if the animal requires anti venom or other treatment. If in this situation, call ahead to the practice so you can be redirected if no anti venom is on hand at that office. If more than one person is present to care for the animal on the way to the veterinarian, it is recommended that they keep the animal calm to prevent a rapid heart rate that could transport venom quickly. A trained veterinarian will be able to help your pet best.

Why Does My Dog… Lick and Chew His Feet?

DL for dog licking pawPlenty of owners observe this common behavior in their dogs and wonder if they should be concerned. In some cases, dogs will gently but insistently lick one or both paws, but other canines will go so far as to chew on their toes, which can be disconcerting for any pet owner.

So should you be worried?
The short answer is yes. You should always consult with your vet about this behavior, especially if it comes on suddenly, persists for long periods of time, or is accompanied by redness, swelling, odor, bleeding, limping or other possible signs of pain and infection.

Although most dogs engage in this behavior occasionally for unknown reasons, others are prone to lick or chew their feet excessively. In these cases, the feet (especially of light-colored dogs) will often look stained a pink or rusty color, which is the result of chronic contact with porphyrin pigments found in saliva.

Possible Causes for Sudden Licking and Chewing
There are a variety of reasons why your dog would suddenly lick or chew his feet, including puncture wounds to the toes or paw pads, fractured claws or toes, burns, corns (especially common in Greyhounds), and foreign bodies that may be lodged between the toes, such as ticks, grass awns and burrs.

Canines will also engage in this behavior due to other, more serious causes, such as interdigital cysts, tumors and other cancers, allergic skin disease and autoimmune diseases of the nail beds or paw pads.

Possible Causes for Chronic Licking and Chewing
Allergic skin disease is the most common reason why canines lick and chew their feet on a chronic basis. Food allergies, in particular, are typically the culprit, and secondary infections from yeast and bacteria can further exacerbate the behavior.

Many dogs who lick and chew their feet over long periods of time will also do so because it apparently feels good to them. In these cases, vets look for an underlying nonbehavioral disease that may have initially triggered the obsessive behavior. For example, dogs with lick granulomas — wounds caused by obsessive licking of the tops of the feet and lower limbs — may have been initially drawn to lick the area because of an injury, simple itch or a reaction to an allergen.
Regardless of the cause, if you notice that your dog is licking or chewing his paws, seek veterinary advice, especially since most of these cases are treatable if addressed by a professional early.

What plants are toxic to cats and dogs

Make sure you know which plants are most deadly to avoid your dog or cat from getting into these poisonous flowers and poisonous plants!
Autumn Crocus. …
Azalea. …
Cyclamen. …
Kalanchoe. …
Lilies. …
Oleander. …
Dieffenbachia. …
Daffodils.
For more info see website: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com

Check out these non-toxic plants.

Money Tree. …
Palms. …
Spider Plant. …
Boston Fern. …
Tradescantia Zebrina. …
Wax Plant. …
African Violet. …
Moth Orchids.

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month

Many toxins that are harmful to our pets are extremely common so it is vital that all pet owners know what to do in case of an emergency. The ASPCA has released their free Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) Mobile App for iPhones and Androids to raise awareness. The app features information on substances that can be harmful for many species of pets as well as the actions that need to be taken if ingested by a pet. The app also has quick access to the hotline for immediate access to a toxicologist.

            To best protect your pet, make sure that your animals cannot access chemicals such as cleaners, rodent bait, and anti-freeze. In addition, some of the most common poisons to both cats and dogs include; vitamins, mouse or rat poison, and medications. Some of our foods can be dangerous to our pets such as alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, and citrus. Knowing what is dangerous to your pets is the best way to protect them! For more information and full lists of what can be harmful for your pet, visit the Animal Poison Control website at:

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

Cat Litter Explained

Cat

Ever wonder why there are so many types of cat litter? Like us, most of our cats have preferences including toward their litter! Keep in mind that most cats are not a huge fan of change so unless there is a problem, there should not be a big rush to change litter. If you’re not sure what type of your cat would like best, it is recommended to try multiple types and let your pet decide.

Until now, clay litter has been most popular. They are most cost efficient and come in two types; clumping and non-clumping. One reason for their recent decline is that they can cause respiratory issues in cats. Clumping clay litter is not biodegradable. While non-clumping clay litter is biodegradable, it poses a higher risk of respiratory issues and is less odor-absorbing.

Corn or Pine litter is biodegradable, does not pose respiratory problems, is cheaper, and typically lasts longer than clay litters. Although, some cats do not prefer the added or natural scents common in these litters.

Paper is less commonly used but environmentally friendly! Recycled paper litters are extremely absorbent, biodegradable and have no dust – aka no respiratory issues. It is reviewed as very easy scooping.

Crystals are costlier. These litters last the longest. Made of gel crystals, they are highly absorbent, keeping smells down, but are harder to scoop because they do not form clumps.

Your Pets and Valentine’s Day Danger & Prevention

dogcatVday

We all LOVE giving and receiving Valentines sweets, gifts, flowers and cards. Chocolates, various edible fruit and nut arrangements, beautiful roses and other florals, gift wrappings and decorations. Our pets are definitely curious if these gifts are for them especially with their keen sense of smell. Unfortunately, each year pets become very sick and even worse we lose them due to ingesting hazardous toxins from these gifts.
Here are the top 5 things to Keep Out of Paws Rage to protect your pets:

  1. Chocolates and Candies
  2. Roses, Lilies and many other flowers
  3. Candles that are lit
  4. Decorations, bows, ribbons wrapping paper
  5. Stuffed animals not made for pets

This is a time when extra intriguing items are displayed in our living spaces which most of us share with our fur family. So be cautioned to keep the areas safe.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pets Need Dental Health Too!

petdental

February is National Pet Dental Health Month! If left untreated, plaque and tartar buildup can lead to painful periodontal disease. As with many health issues, prevention is the best medicine.

Here are some ways you can take a proactive role in keeping your pet’s teeth healthy.

Brush their teeth! It might take patience and practice, and some treats or rewards, but eventually it can even turn into a bonding experience. Make sure to use toothpaste that’s safe for pets. Brush gently for 30 seconds on each side of their mouth at least every other day.

Dental treats, toys and food: While not as effective as teeth brushing, products that are specifically designed to promote oral health are a good alternative. Check for the Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council to ensure the product meets the standards for effective plaque and tartar control.

Regular dental exams: Just like humans, pets need to have their teeth and gums checked by a vet once or twice a year. A basic dental exam can usually be done without sedation, unless your pet becomes aggressive or they are in pain.

Diet: Overall health begins with a good diet, but many dental health problems can be caused by malnutrition. Ask your vet for recommendations if your pet has nutrition issues that need to be addressed.
Keeping your pet’s teeth and gums healthy has tremendous benefits—some studies have shown that maintaining oral health can add up to five years to your pet’s life.