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What to Do When Moving with Your Dog


Moving is one of my least favorite things. Yes, there’s the excitement of setting up a new home and exploring the neighborhood, but it’s the little things that I wish would just take care of themselves — the packing, the heavy boxes, the boxes that were never unpacked from the last move (should I just throw it away already?), the unpacking, the utility transfers and account cancellations … it can be really stressful!

I recently moved into a new home and thought a lot about how to make the move as stress-free as possible for my dog Sookie. Moving when you have a dog adds another layer of preparation and management, but with some planning and extra care, your dog can acclimate quickly to their new home.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Dogs, Puppy Training

How to Carve a Photo of Your Dog or Cat Onto a Pumpkin


Carving your dog or cat's face onto a pumpkin is a super fun way to get the whole family involved in the festivities.

First, we'll go over how to make your pet's pumpkin stencil and then we'll get our hands dirty, open the pumpkins up and start the carving.

This photo is of my cat, Mazel, standing next to the pumpkin I made of our Frenchie, Marshall, last year. This year, it's Mazel's turn!

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Dogs, Cats, Halloween, Pumpkin

Our Favorite Fun & Safe Halloween Costumes


Fall is such a fun time of year and Halloween is the perfect time to get your dog in the spirit with you! With so many costume ideas on the internet for you and your dog, you’re bound to find one that fits your dog’s personality or accompanies your costume.

If you’re thinking about dressing your dog up in a costume, first think of how they react to wearing things — if they hate things being placed over their head, or react negatively to velcro, stay away from those types of costumes. And, if your dog simply hates wearing anything, you’ll need to work on positive reinforcement training and desensitization to get them used to wearing a costume, which may mean not dressing them up this year.

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Dogs, Cats, holiday pet safety tips, Pet costumes, Halloween

How to Teach Your Dog to Stay


Teaching your dog how to stay is essential for their safety and your peace of mind — it's one of our Top 6 Important Behavior Skills to Train to Keep Your Dog Safe. Stay is quite useful in lots of different situations, from being able to look both ways before crossing a street while out on a walk, to preventing door dashing when you have guests over. It's also a wonderful cue to practice your dog's impulse control and encourages calm and relaxation. Let's first look at what stay means from a dog training perspective before jumping into the how-to of training your dog to stay.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Dogs, Puppy Training

The Top Halloween Dangers for Dogs & Cats


Ah, Halloween; the time of year when looking like a cast member from the Walking Dead is celebrated! And the one day when consuming mountains of chocolate is encouraged. While this night may be a wonderful time for you and your two-legged kids, it's important to keep in mind that ‘All Hallows Eve’ can present some new dangers for your cats and dogs and therefore may not be as fun an evening for your four-legged kids.

As with most things though, if you’re aware of the potential Halloween hazards for cats and dogs and take the easy steps provided here, your whole family will be far more likely to have a Halloween full of fun and great memories, rather than a night (and a sizable chunk of change) spent in the local Animal ER. To help you gear up for the ghoulish holiday, we’ve compiled the top Halloween dangers so that you can avoid a real nightmare for your dog or cat!

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Dogs, Cats, holiday pet safety tips, Pet costumes, Halloween

Top 5 Training Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe on Halloween


Halloween can be a trick or a treat for your dog, depending on how much they enjoy the constant buzz of activity at the front door or dressing up to join in the festivities. If you're wanting to include your dog in any trick-or-treating, costume contests, or have them help you greet the gremlins, princesses, and superheroes who ring the doorbell, there are a few things to consider to keep everyone safe and happy. We've got 5 dog training and behavior tips to help you and your pup enjoy All Hallow's Eve.

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Dogs, Xylitol Dogs, canine chocolate toxicity, Toxicity in dogs, Blog, Pet costumes, Dog costumes, Halloween, Trick or Treat

Getting Your Dog Ready for the 4th of July


While July 4th celebrations can be tons of fun for us humans, the loud bangs and other fireworks noises can be downright terrifying for many dogs. Even dogs who don't suffer from thunderstorm phobia or other noise aversions can become stressed by all the hubbub and flashing lights in the sky.

Dogs may show anxiety or stress in a variety of different ways. Pay attention and learn to recognize these signs for what they may mean. Signs of stress can include: panting, trembling, drooling, pacing, hiding, trying to escape, decreased appetite, potty accidents, dilated pupils or wide eyes, and whining or barking.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your dog through the fireworks and lessen their stress and anxiety. Let's look at things you can do ahead of time to prepare your dog, as well as things you can do the actual day of July 4th to lessen their stress!

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog, Fourth of July, 4th of July, Fireworks, Sedatives, Noise Phobias, Acepromazine, Thunderstorms, adult dog tips, puppy tips, supplements for dogs, noise aversions

What to Do When You Find a Lost Dog


Being able to reunite a lost dog and their owner is a rewarding feeling, but it’s also not always an easy task. Sometimes the dog won't come near you, or for other reasons you can't catch the dog. In this case, taking a photo or writing a description and posting on social media with the location can go a long way in helping someone track down their lost dog. 

If you see a loose dog and feel you are prepared and able to help, and if it’s safe to do so, here are some tips to help you find their owner as quickly as possible:

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog, Finding lost pets, Lost Pet

Teach Your Dog Leave It


Leave It is one of the top 6 most important dog training commands that keep your dog safe, and it's easy to start training! Leave It training is a great impulse control exercise for your pup and teaches them that not everything in the world is theirs for the taking.

It's extremely useful for when food or medication falls on the floor, which can be toxic for dogs. Some dogs think of themselves as vacuum impersonators and will try to eat everything they encounter on the ground, whether at home or out on a walk. Being able to tell them to leave something alone prevents ingestion of harmful items or possible intestinal obstruction. Leave It is also an important skill to have in your training toolkit if you live in an area where your dog might come in contact with snakes. See this article about teaching your dog snake avoidance to learn how to apply Leave It in those potentially dangerous situations.

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

Teach Your Dog Drop It


Dogs seem to love putting anything and everything in their mouths, and often they grab items that could be quite dangerous to their health. One training client of mine had a pup that loved to swipe kitchen knives off the counter and run around the yard with them. Yikes! Drop It is one of the top 6 most important dog training commands that keep your dog safe, since you don't want your dog swallowing inappropriate items that could be toxic or cause an obstruction or internal tissue damage.

I love training Drop It using play as the main reward, such as a game of tug, fetch, or chasing a flirt pole. This sets you and your dog up to not rely on food treats for such an important, and possibly life-saving, behavior. Using the game of tug to teach Drop It also helps your dog learn proper play manners and builds their impulse control. Plus, playing with your dog is an excellent way to build a stronger bond. 

Drop It is used only when a dog already has something in their mouth that you need them to let go. If they haven't picked up an item yet, and you don't want them to, use the Leave It cue instead.

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

Read on to see how easy it is to teach your dog to drop things on cue.

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

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.