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Why Does My Dog Kick Up the Grass?


After doing her business, my dog Sookie will almost always kick up the grass with her paws. And if there's a dog nearby, she'll kick longer and with more vigor. My previous dog, a male Corgi mix named Mikey, would do this whenever he saw other dogs, and I've always wondered if she got the habit from him.

Many dogs do this backward scratching, and many owners assume that it's to cover up the spot they just went to the bathroom or clean their paws. It can be annoying for some people, especially if your dog is kicking up your freshly landscaped flowerbed or leaving divots in your lawn. Or, in Sookie's case, kicking dirt onto passers-by on the sidewalk — that's always fun.

Why do dogs kick their feet after going to the bathroom? Let's look at their true motives.

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Topics: Dog Behavior, Puppy Behavior

Top 10 Indoor Plants Safe for Dogs


Having a dog at home doesn't mean that you can't indulge in some indoor greenery! By choosing dog-safe houseplants and then placing (or hanging) them strategically in your home to discourage curious dog noses or paws, you can have quite a lush indoor sanctuary for both you and your pup.

Whether you prefer succulents, abundant green foliage, large leaves, or vibrant flowers, there's a pet-friendly plant out there for you. We've got our top 10 picks for gorgeous indoor plants that are safe for dogs to help get you started and keep you from taking an unexpected trip to the veterinary office.

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Topics: Dog Health, Dogs, Dog Behavior

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Jumping on You


While puppies jumping up for attention might seem cute, it's much less adorable when they're a full-grown 100 lb. dog leaping at your face. Not only can their nails scratch you up, but large dogs can knock you over in their excitement. And it's not just large dogs — small and medium dogs can just as easily knock over children or elderly adults. Toy breeds that jump on people might not be big enough to knock you over, but they can easily become a tripping hazard!

Beyond being a possibly dangerous behavior, it can be quite an intimidating experience to have a dog jumping on you. While the dog might be super excited and just want to say hi, a flying ball of fur, claws, and teeth can be quite scary for people not familiar with or comfortable around dogs.

Fortunately, stopping a dog from jumping on you or other people is easier than you might think — it just takes consistency on our part and setting your dog up for success! While it's always easier to start teaching a young puppy not to jump in the first place, it's never too late to teach a dog not to jump. Let's look at how you can teach your dog to stop jumping on you or other people and the reasons why dogs jump on people.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, puppy tips

Why Does My Dog Get the Zoomies?


After I give my dog Mary Berry a bath and towel dry her, she sprints away as soon as I set her on the ground. She then starts playing “chase” with herself, zooming back and forth around the house. She’ll often head to the couch and rub herself all over it, knocking pillows off and acting like an all-around crazy dog.

Why do dogs get the zoomies? I decided to ask Preventive Vet's certified dog trainer and behavior consultant, Cathy Madson.

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Topics: Dog Behavior, Puppy Behavior

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, Training, Dog Behavior, Alert Barking, Barking

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

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

Alert Barking: The Dog Equivalent to "Get Off My Lawn!"


Does your dog have to let you know about any and every person or animal that passes by your home? There are many reasons a dog barks, and we call this kind of barking "alert" barking or territorial barking – something that we humans originally preferred dogs to do, and we bred for it in the domestication process.

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

Camping With Your Dog

 

What’s better than camping with a dog? The correct answer is: nothing!

In addition to the awaiting adventure, relaxation, and more smells than could ever be smelled in one lifetime, camping with your dog also comes with a fair share of challenges. What should you pack for your dog? How do you get there without a stressful car ride, and how to be safe when you set up camp?

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Pet Travel Safety, Come When Called, Hiking, camping

Hiking with Your Dog — Preparation and Trail Tips


Hitting the trails with your dog is a wonderful way to explore the great outdoors and reap the benefits of being outside and physically active. Hiking not only provides your dog with much needed exercise, but also gives their noses and brains a work out too. Plus, studies have shown that spending time outside surrounded by green space reduces human stress levels and has other medical benefits.

Going on an adventure together as a team builds the bond you share with your dog and makes your relationship stronger. Before you take your dog on a hike or on a longer backpacking or camping trip, take these steps to ensure your pup’s safety while on the trail and you can reap the benefits of a fun trip together.

Want to learn more about your dog's behavior and get some training tips? We've  got 101 more for you here!

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Pet Travel Safety, Come When Called, Hiking

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.