Monthly Archives: July 2016

Summer Safety Tips For Walking Your Dog

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“Take my picture already.”

When I lived in Maryland, I would wake up early, around 6am, to walk my dogs every single day.  Once I moved to Massachusetts, I was able to walk my dog a bit later, around 8am, but even like that I always have to remember the following:

  1. I need to walk Abby early in the morning.  I will probably have to start waking up at 6am again because the weather is hitting 90 degrees as of late.
  2. I have to make sure to take water with me.
  3. I need to pay attention to Abby’s body language.  If she starts panting too much, I will stop the walk, find a shaded area, give her water, not cold water for this can shock her instead of helping her, and wet her chest and head.
  4. Once we come back, I always check her paws, brush her, and wipe her off.  This way I keep her clean but at the same time I check to make sure that she is ok.
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Gorgeous dogs.

My last 3 dogs, pit bull mixes, were mostly white therefore they were able to handle the heat better than other dogs.  In the above picture, the white pit bull will probably handle the heat and humidity better than the dark one.  Please keep in mind that dogs of dark color overheat very easy.  Abby is a perfect example of that and that is why I need to pay attention to her body language.

Go out and enjoy a nice walk with your dog, but try to make your walks early in the morning and/or late in the afternoon and pay attention to your dog’s body language.

Dog Behavior And Walking Your Dog

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This picture was taken in DC. From L to R: My Alex, yours truly, Sarris, and Dozer.

When I do a consultation, the first thing I want is for the pet parent to tell me what issues his dog is exhibiting and what is it that they want to accomplish.  Once they do that, usually my first question is: how many times a day do you walk your dog and for how long?  Some pet parents look at me a little funny, but what they don’t know is that providing a dog with physical and mental stimulation makes a difference between having a balanced dog or a nightmare of a dog.

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A beautiful day in DC.

A walk, as I tell all my clients, is to be a structured walk.  What do I mean by that?  Your dog needs to be on your right or left side, not ahead of you and not smelling every single thing on his/her path.  In the above picture, I am walking 3 dogs, from left to right: Dozer, a Doberman Pinscher mix; Sarris, a Weimaraner; and my Alex, a pit bull mix.  All of them are walking beside me not ahead of me.  Walking is draining them physically, and walking while paying attention to what I am doing and I want is draining them mentally.  When we got home, they were all out like a light.  Well, to be quite honest, I took a nap too.

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Alex, “Mom, I think someone is taking our picture.”

I’ve written a few times about the importance of walking your dog, and do you know why?  Because some, if not a lot, of the behavioral problems exhibited by dogs are the result of a lack of physical and mental exercise.  In the above picture, they are all alert but calm.  That you’ll get from your dog if you take the time to walk him/her.  Before I forget; walking is an excellent exercise for us pet parents.  So go out and walk your dog:-)

Fishy Smell, Kibble, Fiber and Dogs

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Abby, “Mom, is my breakfast ready?”

About a month or two ago, I noticed that Abby smelled a bit fishy so I took her to the vet to have her anal glands expressed, and I took that opportunity to ask questions about what to do in order to prevent this from happening again.  What was the answer?  This, “Nothing.  Just bringer over whenever she needs to get her anal glands expressed.”  Well, that was the last time I took Abby to Banfield.  When I work with pet parents and their dogs, I give them not only the tools and knowledge they need to get a balanced dog, but more important I give them a long list of the things they need to do and avoid in order to prevent unwanted behavior before it happens.

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Abby’s breakfast.

Fiber, for a dog like Abby, is very important and so with that in mind this is what she had for breakfast:

  • 1/2 cup of kibble.  This is the only amount of kibble she eats for the entire day
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon of oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of egg shell.  I washed and dried egg shells and then used a blender to make it into powder.  Excellent source of calcium
  • 8 blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of apple.  You can substitute this with 1/3 of a small banana

Since I started to feed Abby more human food than kibble: her cute butt doesn’t smell anymore; her #2 is firm and she does it either once or twice a day; she no longer licks her butt; and she has lost weight.  But when Abby had to eat more kibble than human food her fishy smell and butt licking returns.

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Abby, “Yay! Breakfast.”

I started to give Abby human food in very small portions over the last couple of months and I like the changes I see in her.  By the way, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind: the recipe in this post is for a dog of 35 to 40lbs; provide plenty of water for your dog; and make sure to exercise your furry kid.  Enjoy your weekend.