Puppy Shots—What Vaccines Your New Pup Needs (and When)

Is it time to go to the dog park, or take a puppy class?

The places your new puppy is allowed to go and the other pups and people they can meet along the way is influenced, in part, by what vaccines they’ve had. So we've put together this overview of the "shots" (vaccinations) that puppies should have during their first several months of life, as well as the "why" and "when." Take a peek to and discuss with your veterinarian to ensure that your new pup is as protected as they can be from the conditions that can sicken or otherwise cause them (or even you) harm. 

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Topics: Dog Health, Puppies, Socialization, Vaccines, Vaccination, Vet Exam

Choosing the Best Interactive Toys and Food Puzzles For Your Dog

Interactive Toys & Food Puzzles For Dogs

There are a great variety of puzzle feeders and interactive toys for dogs on the market: some that are meant for chewing, toys that involve mental exercises, and others that are designed to be nudged or tossed around. As a dog trainer, I highly recommend food puzzle toys for dogs because they provide a wealth of benefits for both you and your pup.

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Crate Training, GDV, Bloat, Puppies, Dog toys, Potty Training

Help Your Dog LOVE Their Spa Days

Warm water gently flows down the body. Strong, yet tender hands massage the perfect combination of soaps and conditioners from head to toe. Each hair is expertly styled—bringing out all the beauty that hides beneath. Finally, the nails are shaped, filed and finished to rival the best mani-pedis around. 

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Topics: Puppies, Dogs, Socialization, Anxiety in Dogs, Blog, Grooming

Choosing the Best Chew Toys for Your Dog—The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Safe Chew Toys: Important things to know and consider

Your dog is going to chew… it’s just a part of being a dog. And it’s actually quite an important part, too! Whether they’re a young puppy going through their teething period or exploring their new world, or an adult dog chewing to pass the time, keep their masticatory (chewing) muscles strong, or keep their teeth clean… all dogs need to chew.

Because chewing is good for your dog’s mental and physical health, it’s important that you provide them with plenty of things to chew on. Fail to do so and they’ll come up with their own chew “toys”… which often wind up being your most expensive pair of shoes, the legs of your dining room chairs, the nearest electric cord, or even your own arm! None of which are desirable, and several of which are downright unsafe, too!

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Puppies, Breathing problems, Dog toys

Loose Leash Walking

If your dog pulls on the leash whenever you walk, then those walks are neither healthy nor relaxing for either of you. Those walks aren’t safe either. When I see a  dog who pulls on his leash during walks, I also see it as a sign that he and his owner are not paying attention to each other. It takes two to pull, after all. Walking with your dog should feel like a walking meditation, not a battle.

Pulling on the leash can be very rewarding to a dog

The action of pulling doesn’t feel so bad at the time and it often gets them where they want to go. Any behavior as rewarding as pulling on the leash takes a lot of commitment from the owner to fix. But trust me, it can be fixed and it will be worth it.

Below are some important keys for preventing and correcting leash pulling.  If you have more than one dog, practice the following leash training techniques with each dog separately at first. Eventually you’ll be able to practice and walk them together more easily. Then everyone will have more fun.

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Topics: Leashes, Loose-leash Walking, Puppies, Dogs, Walking on a Leash, Dog Walking

An Introduction to Clicker Training

Good dog trainers often use a small box called a clicker. The clicker makes a distinctive clicking sound when you press on it. This sound tells your dog “Yes, that is what I want you to do,” and it promises her a reward for a job well done. The clicker marks the exact moment she has done what you like. If you don’t like using gadgets, your dog is afraid of the clicker or you can’t use a clicker for some other reason, you can use a marker word, like “YES” instead of the clicker. You can also use a hand signal or the flash of a penlight if your dog is deaf. I will assume you are using a clicker below, but if you are using something else to mark the behavior, just use it in the places where I say to click.

The clicker is a stronger reinforcement than “YES”, but you almost always have your voice with you! I use the clicker to teach new behaviors, and then transition to a verbal marker when the dog understands what behavior I’m asking for.

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Topics: Dog Training, Shaping Behavior, Behavior & Training, Clicker Training, Puppies, Dogs, Luring Behavior, Targeting, Capturing Behavior

Top 10 Pet Proofing Tips for Puppies and Dogs

Congratulations! You’re bringing a new dog into your home. This is an experience that I believe everybody should have at least once in their lifetime. It’s important to remember during all the excitement, to take some time and follow these simple steps to pet proof your home. This will go a long way to help ensure that your new pup stays with you – and stays safe and healthy – for many years to come.

If you already have young (human) children, you may think you’re already mostly pet-proofed. You’re right, but there are some important differences in home safety needs between young children and young (or even older) dogs. After all, we don’t expect too many infants or toddlers to chew on electric cords or eat the dirty laundry, but give a puppy the chance to do either and, more often than not, he’ll do so happily. So invest a bit of time now to evaluate (or reevaluate) the safety of your pup’s environment. Then you can focus more on the fun and excitement in the days, months, and years to come.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Children, Puppies, Children and dogs, Dogs, Biting, Pet Proofing, Safety, Family, Kids, Parents

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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