At the start of the year, I have a list of the things I’d like to accomplish for my furry kids and myself, and for 2023 the list looks like this:
More exercise – I do my best to walk my furry kids twice a day, Mon thru Fri, but there are times when I fall short of this goal, so for 2023 I will make it a point to stick to a minimum of 2 walks, each at least 30 minutes. Unless it’s raining, in which case we’ll stay home. Yes, we will!
Measure my dogs’ food….and mine as well – I rarely do not measure their food, but I’ve realized that when it comes to my food, measuring does not exit. Could you believe that?
Improve my dogs behavior and training – Abby, for the most part, is where I’d like her to be. But this took me a long, long, long time. Charlie, on the other hand, is somewhere in the middle therefore I’ll need to be more diligent and work with both of them.
Incorporate playtime – this could be fun for both, pet parent and dog, and you could use it as part of your behavior and training. How? Before you throw the ball, ask your dog to sit, once he/she does that, throw the ball. There!
Try a new activity – I haven’t used my bike to run with Charlie so this is something I’d like to do this year.
Visit new places – I am going to keep track of the places and businesses we visit during our walks and outings.
Brush their teeth – I am pretty good at this, but I have to confess that the only day I don’t brush their teeth is Sunday. Why? It’s a mystery to me. Also, any day I fall asleep on the couch in the evening so when I noticed this, I ended up brushing their teeth right after they ate dinner. This year I will treat Sunday as any other day and brush their teeth.
Schedule vet visits – both go to see the vet once a year. Abby will probably have to go twice in a couple of years when she gets a bit older.
Anyway, I think that that is a pretty good list for 2023. Every month I take a look at it as a reminder of what I need to do otherwise I’ll forget. Do you have any new year’s resolution for your and your canine companion? What suggestions do you have to add to my list? Have a great week!
I haven’t met anybody that has said that they are ready for Xmas. Have you? I’d venture to say that most of us are concern about food, traveling, our dogs, presents, etc., but that’s fine. Just remember that although holidays tend to be a bit stressful, if you take sometime for yourself, you just might enjoy getting together with your family. Yes, even that aunt, uncle, cousin, etc., that drives you up the wall. Merry Xmas to all of you! Stay safe.
Let me start by saying that most of the time I feel cold. I see people wearing shorts and t-shirts during fall season and I am in awe of them because I’m already cold during this time.
Charlie, our GSD mix, was wearing a backpack, but no sweater, the same goes for Abby and Remy. The day was beautiful so there was no need for that. By the way, when it starts to get warm, Abby hates to walk with a backpack so I do not subject such a beautiful creature to such cruel and unusual punishment, but it took me a little bit of time to realize that. Sorry Abby!
I am a big advocate for walks regardless of the season, but please make sure that you and your dogs bundle up when the weather starts getting cold. Also, walk in different areas to make it interesting for you, and your doggies. Take care!
Abby, “Mom. Mom! Where’s Charlie? Did you forget Charlie again? Man!”
Today is the first day of Autumn and although lots of people enjoy Summer more, I prefer the former. It gives me more opportunities to be out with my dogs and do different things with them. Yes, that includes walking!
Anyway, enjoy this wonderful season with your canine companions and aside from walking, hiking, etc., what do you do with your dogs to keep them active? Stay safe!
Anxiety in dogs is something that pet parents have a hard time dealing with or recognizing for that matter. These are some of the signs a dog will exhibit when anxious: pacing, drooling, barking, destroying things, nipping, etc. I always recommend for pet parents to have a vet do a physical exam to rule out any medical condition their dog may be experiencing, and once they get a clean bill of health we could start addressing the anxiety in their dogs.
Charlie, a GSD mix, had a lot of anxiety when we got him from the SPCA in Annapolis, MD. By the way, most dogs from shelters are very anxious, it’s rare to find one that is not. Our Charlie went from screaming murder at the top of his lungs any time: we left the room; we exited the car; we went to a new place, etc. How is he doing now? Way better and still working with him, but understand this, your dog’s anxiety will disappear with time if you are consistent with the following:
Walk him! Yes, this gets a lot of that anxiety and pent up energy out of them
Don’t talk too much to your dog. Use your body language, energy and intention instead
Start working with a trainer on basic training and behavior modification
When you are overwhelm, walk away, take a deep breath and work with your dog once you are on a relaxed state of mind. No, you cannot drink wine. Sorry!
The above is just a few of the things you could do to start dealing with your dog’s anxiety. Charlie is super smart, he is a GSD mix after all, but I am still working with him and I have seen amazing results. Don’t despair, be consistent and your dog will one day bring you joy rather than stress. Enjoy your week!
A few pet parents have asked me how do I manage a multi-dog household and this is what I tell them:
Exercise is the #1 ingredient and the most important of all. If your dog is tired, chances that he will have the energy to get in trouble highly decreases. He can run, walk, hike, etc.
Each dog needs to have his own area for eating. If you use a crate, great!
Never leave your dogs loose in the house while you are out running errands
Manners! Dogs have manners so there will be no pushing, pawing, steeping over one another, etc.
Do your best to spend a few minutes with each individual dog
I have Abby and Charlie as my dogs and demo dogs, but I also get my clients’ dogs that stay with us for short and extended times so I make sure that my pack gets along with each other. Now, aside from what I listed above, you, the pet parent, have to practice being a zen person. What is that? A zen person lives peacefully and has a sense of bliss. Yes, this may be the hardest part for most of us to do, but this is good for our dogs, and for us as well. Any questions? Stay safe.
Are you just as confused as other pet parents when it comes to deciding what to feed your canine companion? Don’t feel bad, you are not alone. Alex, our first dog, ate mostly kibble til she got to be about 10 years old or so. Because I saw how much her mobility was declining, after doing some research I ended up mixing kibble and fresh food. Result: within days she was moving around without a problem. Seeing this made me, depending on the dog, mix fresh food and kibble and so this is what Abby and Charlie usually get:
Abby gets, depending on the level of activity planned for that day, about 1/2 cup of kibble and 2 cups of fresh food for the day. Once every blue moon, she gets a little bit of wet food. She weighs about 30lbs.
Charlie gets about 1 cup of kibble and 2 1/2 of fresh food for the day. He weighs about 70lbs.
When I fed them only kibble, Abby’s tush stunk and she did #2 often-more than twice a day-and her mouth smelled, while Charlie’s #2 was too soft and he licked his butt like crazy.
Through trial and error, I figured out what worked best for my dogs and that is a mix of fresh food and kibble. I’d suggest you do some research-books, nutritionist, other pet parents-and slowly see what works for your dog. Just like humans, what works for one person may not work for another. Feed what’s best for your canine companion and don’t forget to take her out for a walk. Stay safe.
I enjoy going to downtown Annapolis, and that’s what we did this past weekend not knowing that it was time for the annual sailboat show. To say that there was a lot of people would be an understatement, and because of that I asked Cynthia to wear her mask, and only remove it for this picture. Safety first pet parents!
How did Charlie do? Surprisingly well. Abby and Charlie barked at a dog while we were walking because such dog barked at them first, but other than that we had a nice time walking around and taking pictures. We are trying to expose Charlie to as many different things as possible just like we did with all our other doggies. Sharing your life with dogs is quite an adventure so let’s enjoy the ride! Stay safe.
I believe that all pet parents speak dog-some are quite fluent while others are just learning-even if you think otherwise. Once we have lived with a dog for a while, we figure out her likes, dislikes, and quirks. In the above picture, all of them are in the traveling mode. Easy to see and figure out.
Roxie and Charlie (from left to right) wearing a Gentle Leader or Halti.
What do you think about the above picture? Come on, give it a try! They are both alert and relaxed. This is the body language and state of mind that you want to see in your dog. Anyway, dogs do not come with a manual, and even if they did, dogs are individuals so that manual will only get you so far. My advice to you is to enjoy your dog. Celebrate the little victories when you can, and don’t be too hard on her and yourself when she is not at her best behavior. And when you really don’t know what to do with her, hire professional help. Stay safe.
Our Alex, a pit bull mix, was one of the best dogs I’ve ever had as a pet and as my helper when working with other dogs to modify their behavior, but my girl, when we got her as a puppy, had bad separation anxiety so it took us a while to get her to be balanced. Let me tell you that she was worth it. We had her for 13 years, and even now I don’t think that it was long enough.
Our Charlie, the new addition to our family, has separation anxiety and he is getting better as time goes by:
-We couldn’t leave him in any room by himself because he would scream murder at the top of his lungs. Nowadays, he is able to stay by himself for a short period of time.
-Charlie would bark/whine when Abby went out to do her business. Recently, he only makes a funny sound, yes sometimes he still whines, but the intensity and length of time is but a couple of seconds.
-When we placed Abby in the car first, Charlie would go berserk. As time went by, he understood that he would get in the car too so he does get excited, but it’s manageable.
The above is just a few of the things we’re working on with Charlie and his separation anxiety. To those pet parents that are probably asking themselves, “How long will it take for that separation anxiety to disappear?” Let me tell you that it depends on the dog, the activities you are doing with him, the behavior and training you are working on, and the consistency and commitment on your part. Work hard, but also remember to take a break every so often. Stay safe.