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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

Socializing Your Puppy While Social Distancing


With coronavirus requiring social distancing between humans, new puppy owners are finding it harder to make sure their puppy learns about the great big world. But it is possible to provide your puppy with much-needed experiences even while you're social distancing — and have fun while doing it!

During this coronavirus pandemic, you can take advantage of extra time at home and help your puppy grow into a well-adjusted and well-trained adult. Social distancing with your dog might actually mean better behaved dogs when life gets back to normal.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Behavior

Working From Home: Helping Your Dog Stay Busy (and Quiet)


Many people are finding themselves working from home and dogs everywhere are reveling in having their humans around all the time.

But working with your pets around can be tough — just try being on a conference call with a barking dog in the background, or a puppy who wants your constant attention and keeps crawling onto your keyboard.

It can be hard to stay on-task and feel like you're getting work done from your home office. While including your pet in your work video chats is often appreciated by your coworkers, when you need to be productive and stay distraction-free, we've got you covered.

Below are our favorite ways to keep our dogs occupied, as well as how to set yourself up for success while working from home with your pet.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Behavior

Homemade Dog Treats – Fluffernutter Kisses


I was excited to get to try out this new recipe for dog treats since I’ve traditionally bought my dog’s treats or stuffed a KONG for my dog. I was able to put my baking skills to use without forcing my husband to eat yet another cookie that I stress baked while social distancing at home. And my dog was excited to finally be the taste tester of a baking session.

Finding low calorie treats that are nutritious, delicious, and have recognizable ingredients can be tough and expensive. Making your own dog treats can be an inexpensive, fun way to make sure your dog is getting healthy, nutritious, and delicious treats that are also good for their weight. 

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

Dog Boredom Buster: The Sniffari Walk


If your dog is bored and you're looking for new and fun ways to burn off some of their excess energy, go on a sniffari! Your dog will enjoy the freedom of getting to explore at their own pace and sniff all the wonderful smells they encounter. These walks also give us humans a chance to decompress and take in nature.

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

How Not Leaving Your Dog Alone Can Help with Separation Anxiety


Starting the journey of treating your dog's separation anxiety can feel overwhelming. Treating separation anxiety involves a commitment of time and effort, and often requires investment in expensive management tools and resources.

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Topics: Behavior & Training, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Separation Anxiety

How to Use Toys as Rewards in Dog Training


Does your puppy love to play? Is your dog not very motivated by food treats during training sessions? Are you trying to train without food treats in your training program?

You can use toys and play as an effective and easy way to train your dog. Not only will you have an option besides food treats, but playing with your dog builds a strong relationship — and it's fun for everyone!

If you're not quite sure how to use toys the right way when training your dog, we've got you covered. Read on to learn the basics, along with dog trainer tips and top toy reward picks. 

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Dog, Dog toys

My Dog's Separation Anxiety Journey: How Calmer Canine Helped Mary Berry


Our dog Mary Berry has been on the anxious side since we  brought her home as a puppy. The smallest noises or movements can still send her skidding across the room. She’s fairly timid and shy around new dogs and experiences. You’ll find her socializing with the humans and snubbing her doggy friends at the dog park.

While her general anxiety wasn't overly troublesome, her separation anxiety made us worry about leaving her alone. We thought that maybe Mary Berry would grow out of her separation anxiety, but when her symptoms stuck around for more than a year, we knew we needed to address it.

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Topics: Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Separation Anxiety, new puppy, puppy tips

What Kind of Treats Should You Use to Train Your Dog


The kind of dog treat you use when training your dog can make a big difference in how successful your training sessions are. With so many options available, it can be hard to know what dog treats you should buy.

There is a simple answer to this question. Use whatever training treat your dog enjoys! However, knowing how to "grade" your dog's treats and keeping them varied will benefit you in a few ways:

Read on for tips to figure out what training treats your dog likes best and when to use different treats to bolster your dog's training.

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Topics: What are Good Training Treats for Dogs, Dog, Dog Treats, Puppy treats

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.