Tag Archives: walking

Dog Backpack And Its Benefits

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I’ve been asked many times by pet parents, “What can I do to drain some of my dog’s energy?”  One of the things, there are a few, that I recommend to use is a dog backpack.  Here are some of my reasons:

  • A backpack will give your dog a job to do
  • It will drain your dog’s energy faster than just walking
  • It can hold treats, bags, water, etc.  (Please don’t over load it)
  • Your dog will look adorable

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Before you go out and get a backpack, please remember the following:

  1. Ask your vet if your dog should wear a backpack.  Senior, puppies, sick and dogs that are recuperating from an illness or surgery should Not wear one until your vet gives you her ok.
  2. Do not overload the backpack.  Start with nothing in it and then add light objects.
  3. Make the walk shorter until your dog gets used to walking with a loaded backpack.

Abby, in my opinion, looks adorable, but then I am her mom.  Does your dog wear a backpack?

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.

Excessive Pacing & Your Canine Companion

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I’ve had a few clients ask me, “My dog paces excessively in the house and I don’t know what to do.  What would you recommend to get rid of this annoying habit?”  The first thing I always tell them is to have their vet check their dog for it may be something related to his health.  Once the vet has cleared your dog and everything, health wise, is fine then you need to look elsewhere for an answer.

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Oliver, “I think I need a bigger bed.”

The answer could be one or all of the following:

  1. Are you providing adequate exercise to your dog?  A puppy or young dog needs at least a 1/2 hour brisk walk twice a day and this is the very minimum.
  2. Does your dog have a bed or crate?  Most dogs enjoy having a place where they know they can rest without being disturbed.
  3. How many times did you take your dog to potty?  Puppies and seniors need to go potty more often than adult dogs, but it also depends on the size of the dog.  Small dogs need to go potty more often than large ones.

IMG_4993Now, there is always that exception.  The handsome Aussie, Walter, most of the time preferred to hang out under our table, but in the evenings and night time he did go to his bed.

Also, please know that for dogs that you are adopting and/or fostering as well as those that are nervous, sensitive or were abused in the past, pacing will take a while to disappear.  Have patience and continue working with your dog.  As time goes by, you’ll see positive results.

Labor Day 2015

Roxy, a feisty Pomeranian

Roxy, a feisty Pomeranian

Most of us are looking forward to this holiday weekend, and some are already enjoying it.  Roxy is certainly not wasting any time at all.  I know napping will be one thing I will be doing this weekend.

Gir, mini Doberman Pinscher

Gir, mini Doberman Pinscher

Don’t feel like napping?  No problem.  Perhaps this weekend you will find fun and games to keep you occupied.  Gir is playing hide and seek.  He doesn’t seem to mind having his picture taken.

Walter and Alex (L to R)

Walter and Alex (L to R)

Ok, so perhaps napping and games are not your cup of tea.  If that is the case, I’d recommend you spend time with your canine companions at home.  They always seem to want to participate in activities such as: cooking, napping, eating, and of course, walking.  Regardless of what you decide to do this holiday weekend, try to include your furry kids in your festivities.  Enjoy your weekend.

Hanging Out With Alex, Our Senior Dog, in Malibu Beach, MA

malibu beach ma1This weekend we went to Malibu Beach, Dorchester Shore Reservation, to enjoy the beautiful day we were having on Saturday.  One thing we didn’t do while living in Maryland was explore the area and we don’t want to make the same mistake again, therefore little by little we’ll be exploring Massachusetts.  My two models didn’t seem interested in posing for me, then again, maybe they were striking a pose for the camera and I thought otherwise.

Alex, "Moms, look at the water."

Alex, “Moms, look at the water.”

Alex seemed to be enjoying herself while looking at this beautiful view.  Cynthia, on the other hand, had a different idea about fun.

malibu beach ma3Cynthia was doing her best to engage Alex on a game of chasing, but Alex just walked behind Cynthia as if saying, “Mom, what are you doing?  I don’t want to run.”

Cynthia, "Alex, chase me."  Alex, "Ok., but I am not having fun."

Cynthia, “Alex, chase me.” Alex, “Ok., but I am not having fun.”

Did Alex’s body language deter Cynthia?  Of course not.  She kept trying until I told her to let her be since I don’t want Alex to run because of her ACL injury.  We removed the brace so it wouldn’t get wet if Alex got in the water, and she only wears it for support.  She doesn’t limp any longer.

malibu beach ma7Anyway, after all that excitement, we put the brace back on, and Alex took a nap while we sat down and talked.  One thing you need to remember, if you have a senior dog, is to not over do it.  Alex can easily walk 30 straight minutes, but we take frequent breaks.  We also carried water, treats, poop bags, etc.  You can still have a good time with your senior dog, Alex just turned 13 this May, but keep in mind that your dog needs to go at a slower pace.  Enjoy your weekend!

Foster Failure – Bella, Our Girl

home1A little over 3 months ago, Cynthia and I went to BARCS to pick up a foster dog, and I truly wanted to train her and work on her behavior so she could go to her forever home, but that was never meant to be.  As time went by, I realized that Bella was a smart, beautiful, active, affectionate, strong, challenging dog.  In other words, perfect for us.  Cynthia fell in love with Bella from the beginning, but to be quite honest, it did take me a while to really feel a bond with her.  When did this happen?  Once I started to train her.  Training a dog is work for both the dog and the handler, so for those that have never trained a dog, let me tell you that aside from walking, training a dog allows you to form a bond with a dog even when you don’t realize it, like in my case.

home2Since Cynthia wanted to adopt Bella for a while, I went ahead, without telling her anything, to BARCS to fill out the application form and as of last month Bella became a permanent member of our family.  When I finally told Cynthia about it, do you know what was her reaction?  She had a smile from ear to ear, and then she cried.  Bella is our foster failure, and that’s ok with us.  Welcome home Bella!

Two Months With Bella – BARCS ID# A21561474

2monthsA little over two months have gone by since Bella, our foster dog, came to live with us.  The changes I see in her and the continuous progress she makes every day makes us all happy and hopeful that one day she’ll find her forever home.  Here’s a progress report on Bella:

Walking – On my last post, she was walking next to us, for the most part.  Nowadays when I walk her, and this is no lie, I truly enjoy our time together.  She walks beautifully, but fast like I do which I love.  With Cynthia, this is weird since she is the one that taught her how to walk properly, she tends to get a little ahead of her during their walks.  Overall, I’d say better than last month.

Feeding – She still makes those funny sounds like a piggy, bird, and who knows what else, but less than a month ago.

Pacing – She paces when she sees either Cynthia or I coming back home.  Now the pacing seems to be more out of happiness than anxiety.  In general, her pacing is less than before, and when she does it we stop her and ask her to sit or shake hands so she can snap out of it.

Training – Bella got her Basic Obedience completed on 3/1/14.  I am hoping to get her enrolled in another class in the near future.

Doggie manners – Bella is a little more careful and aware of her surroundings unlike before when she would step over Alex.  Progress!

We took her to an adoption event a couple of weeks ago, and she did great and got an application approved, but the prospective pet parents changed their mind due to their living arrangements.  I’ll be taking her soon to another adoption event so she can get some exposure and perhaps her forever home, but also this would give her an opportunity to meet more people and socialize with them.