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Why Your Dog Is Barking and How to Stop It


Barking dog driving you crazy? Your dog might be barking for various reasons, and barking is a natural dog behavior — just like talking is for humans! All dogs will bark (or yodel if you have a Basenji), but there are things you can do to minimize nuisance barking.

Knowing the why behind your dog's barking will help you better manage their environment and train them to be quiet when needed. Let's look at the different kinds of dog barking and what you can do for each type.

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Alert Barking, Barking

Delaying a Spay: Dog Behavior While "In Heat"


Sometimes dog owners decide to wait to spay or neuter their dog for a variety of reasons. Even for dog owners who were planning on having their dog spayed or neutered sooner rather than later, the current coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in those plans. Many veterinarians are postponing elective surgeries such as spaying and neutering, as they need to save surgical supplies, personal protective equipment, and minimize interactions to adhere to social distancing protocols.

No matter the reason, it's important to know what kind of behavior changes you might see as your dog hits sexual maturity. Especially if you have a female dog going into heat, you'll want to prepare for what that means and have supplies on hand to make your (and her) life easier. Read on for our tips on how to know if your dog is going into heat and what you should do.

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Topics: Dog, Dog Health & Safety, Spay & Neuter

Working Out at Home With Your Dog


If you’ve ever seen one of the many videos on Instagram or Facebook where someone is working out with their dog, you’ve likely thought about doing the same. It can’t be that hard, right? 

It can be very difficult, as I’ve found out.

As COVID-19 has closed gyms and recreation centers throughout the world, and even made outdoor workouts a bit more difficult, people have had to transition to at-home workouts. While I typically head to the gym to get a good workout in, I’ve had to alter my workouts and try to do similar exercises at home. And since I have a dog at home, I had to try to figure out how to workout with my dog in the same room.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Benefits of training

Homemade High-Value Dog Treats


I’ve been spending more time at home lately, so I’ve been using that time to teach my dog, Mary Berry, some new tricks. When trying to teach new behaviors, the treats I’ve been training with haven’t been as effective. I asked Cathy Madson, Preventive Vet’s certified dog trainer why this was happening.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Dog, Dog Treats, Dog Nutrition

Tips for Bathing a Dog at Home


Is the eau de dogue getting a bit too much to handle? The idea of washing your dog at home might seem like quite an undertaking, especially if your dog takes off running at the quietest mention of a "bath." But giving your dog a good scrub doesn't have to be hard, and learning how to do it at home can mean less frequent professional grooming appointments.

For some dogs, baths are as simple as wash, rinse, and dry. But there are a couple of things to be mindful of to prevent problems like matting and knots, impacted fur, hot spots, or ear infections. Proper bathing is important to keep your dog's skin and coat healthy.

You might be wondering how often you should bathe your dog, what shampoos are best for sensitive skin, or how to wash a dog that hates baths. Read on for tips and tricks to make bath time a breeze!

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Topics: Dog, Grooming, Giving a dog a bath

How to Help Your Dog Feel Better About Getting a Bath


It's not uncommon for dogs to absolutely despise their bath time, even if they're otherwise happy to jump in lakes or rivers, or even a kiddie pool in the backyard. The easiest way around this is being introduced slowly and in a positive way to the bath experience as a puppy. But even if your dog is grown, all hope is not lost!

Below are some steps to work on helping your dog better tolerate bath time, but it helps to connect with a certified dog trainer for a personalized plan on how to counter condition the bathing experience.

If you prefer to have your dog bathed or groomed professionally, choosing the right groomer is essential for building positive "spa day" experiences. Read our article "Finding a Groomer Your Dog Will Love and Trust" to learn what you should ask a potential groomer before you book an appointment.

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Topics: Dog, Grooming, Giving a dog a bath

Puppy Socialization Adventure Walks


Is your puppy ready to start exploring beyond the backyard? Expanding your puppy’s socialization beyond your home and their puppy classes requires a balancing act between needed exposure and needed vaccinations. Taking precautions and limiting where you go on puppy adventures will help minimize risk of disease while still allowing for crucial exposure needed during a puppy’s imprint period (which ends around 14 to 16 weeks of age).

As you’ll read below, these walks aren’t about direct interaction with people and other animals, but about positive exposure to these things from a distance. This makes it easier to manage disease-exposure risks and also practice recommended social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll want to carefully choose where you take your puppy on socialization adventures. Avoid areas where other dogs frequent or go to the bathroom (such as pet stores or near dog parks), and don’t allow your puppy to drink from puddles. You can further protect your puppy by taking them out for these walks in a stroller rather than on a leash. Speak with your veterinarian to ensure that your puppy is on track for their vaccinations, and what risks are prevalent in your area to be mindful of.

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Topics: Environmental Enrichment, Puppy, Dog, Dog Walking, Exercise, Behavior

Dog Enrichment: Toys, Games, and DIY Ideas


Providing enrichment for your dog is one of the most important aspects of pet care and it's easy to incorporate into day-to-day life.

Just like you, your dog needs a variety of activities to spice up their life and keep them happy and healthy. Enrichment helps to prevent boredom and can help with dog behavior problems, such as anxiety.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Behavior

Training Your Dog Without Treats


There are lots of different things that you can use instead of treats to train your dog! While dog treats are an incredibly powerful reward that motivate most dogs most of the time, you shouldn't have to rely on a piece of turkey in your pocket for your dog to listen to you. 

Real-life rewards are non-food items or activities that your dog finds enjoyable and rewarding. What your dog finds rewarding might change depending on what's going on in that moment. Dog trainers are always asking "what does the dog want in this moment?"  Then they can use that as a reward for the dog! While a lot of dogs will always take a treat, in many cases what the dog actually wants is a real-life reward.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Dog

Getting and Raising a Puppy During COVID-19


Raising a puppy is a lot of work no matter when you do it, but add in a coronavirus pandemic and there are a couple of extra things to think about.

There are pros and cons to adding a puppy to your life right now. We all would certainly benefit from the emotional boost that snuggling a puppy brings while we deal with social isolation. Extra time at home can make raising a puppy a bit easier — you'll have more time for frequent potty training breaks and to work on basic training skills. With children out of school, they can also get involved with caring for the new pup. But essential parts of puppy raising like socialization, attending group training class, and staying on track with puppy vaccinations are a bit tougher right now.

While it might not be the most ideal time for bringing home a puppy, it's not impossible to raise them into a happy and well-behaved adult. Below we've listed the biggest challenges you'll face having a puppy during this time, as well as some tips to help overcome them.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Behavior

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.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.