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How to Use Dog Training Treats the Right Way


When you begin training your dog, it’s all about finding a reward that your dog is willing to work for. When we go to work, we expect a paycheck, and it’s only fair that we pay our dogs in their preferred currency for a job well done.

I don’t know about you, but I’d probably accept bacon as my preferred currency. Maybe that’s where the saying bringing home the bacon came from … but I don’t think bacon would pay the bills. (And please don't ever give your dog bacon... it's a sure recipe for painful and expensive pancreatitis!) 

Thankfully, almost every dog I’ve met is willing to do things for a piece of kibble, and even more excited to work for a little piece of chicken or cheese. You can take full advantage of your dog's desire for food, if you go about it the right way. Treats are just one tool in our dog training toolkit, and a very powerful one.

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Topics: Puppy Training, What are Good Training Treats for Dogs, Puppy, Dog, Dog Treats, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy treats, Dog treats for training

Be A Slot Machine: How to Fade Out Treats in Training


One of the ultimate goals in training your dog is being able to trust that they will do as asked without needing a food treat reward every time.

What dog owner wants to walk around with a pocketful of turkey everywhere they go, every day, for the rest of their dog's life? That's certainly not very realistic! (Thankfully, it's also not necessary.)

Dog treats are important and useful when first introducing a new behavior when you’re training your dog, and are an integral part of positive reinforcement training. We wouldn’t show up to work every day if we didn’t get a paycheck, and treats are a high-value currency to our dogs.

They deserve to get paid for their work. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons dog owners opt for more punishment-based or ‘balanced’ dog training is the myth that if they start with treats to train their puppy, then they’ll always have to have food treats to make a behavior happen.

Good news is, this simply isn’t true! It’s easy to fade out the use of food rewards while training your dog — and it’s one of the most important steps in teaching a behavior.

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, Puppy, Dog, Dog Treats, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy treats, Dog treats for training, Schedule of reinforcement

Shopping List: Help Your New Dog Settle In Easier


Bringing home a new dog — whether they're a puppy or adult — is an awesome thing, no doubt! But it can also be a bit overwhelming, both for you and your new dog. Regardless of where your dog came from — shelter, rescue, foster home, breeder, or even your neighbor down the street — joining your family is a change. An awesome change, but a change none-the-less. And change can be stressful for dogs. This is why many dogs will go through an "adjustment period" when they first come into a new home.

You can ease and shorten their adjustment period — and minimize your own stress — by being well prepared with products and aids that can help your new dog settle into their new life. This article aims to make things easier for you, with some behavior and safety awareness, shopping tips, and recommendations for products that may help you and your pup during this time of transition. I cover everything from calming aids (including pheromones and music), to how to make bedtime "sleeptime," as well as safe toys and crate essentials. 

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Chewing, Dog Treats, new puppy, puppy tips, adjustment period, bedtime for puppies

#IfOnlyIKnew: Baking Healthy Killed This Dog!


Like many health-conscious people these days, Melissa Wardrop is eating healthier and watching her and her family’s consumption of sugar. She’s also a very considerate person, both generally and also in terms of taking her friends' sugar-free eating habits into consideration. Sadly, it was the two “thank you” loaves of sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free zucchini bread she baked for her friends that led to the loss of her beloved family dog, Lucy, a beautiful and sweet 5 year old Lab.

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Topics: pet safety, Dogs, Xylitol, Xylitol Products, Dog Treats, #IfOnlyIKnew

What Kind of Peanut Butter is Safe for Dogs?


For the most part, peanut butter can be awesome for dogs and most dogs LOVE it! Peanut butter is great as an occasional "high value" treat, it’s useful for hiding pills, and it can even be used to distract your dog while giving them a bath or trimming their nails.

While most peanut butter brands are safe for dogs, not all types of peanut butter are safe and not all amounts of peanut butter are safe, either.

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Topics: Emergencies, Dog Health, Xylitol Dogs, Xylitol, Pancreatitis, Diabetes, Toxicity in dogs, Poison control, Blog, Dog Treats, Seizures, Safe pet treats, Peanut butter, Hypoglycemia, Hepatitis

Is Peanut Butter Good for Dogs?

 
If you’re looking for a high-value treat, a handy way to sneak some pills into your pooch, or something to stuff into an interactive feeder, you can’t do much better than peanut butter. Not only is peanut butter a great snack to place in interactive feeders for dogs, but the sight of a dog vigorously smacking their chops never gets old. 

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Topics: Emergencies, Dog Health, Calories, Diabetes, Blog, Dog Treats, Safe pet treats, Safe dog treats, Peanut butter, Diet

An Open Letter From Your Dog's Pancreas


Hi, I'm your dog’s pancreas

You may not know exactly what I am or what I do, but trust me when I tell you that I play a vital role in maintaining your dog’s health and comfort.

Who knows, maybe you’ve already seen what happens when I'm not “on my game”: diabetes, pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatitis? As you can see, much like The Hulk… it’s best not to make me angry.

I'm reaching out today specifically because of all these bouts with pancreatitis… you know, the condition where I become inflamed and you and your dog pay the price. I'm tired of being the bad guy, but I’m also tired of having to work so hard because of all the extra “treats” you keep giving your dog. Now I'm not talking about the occasional dog biscuit or the carrots and green beans you give him. Those are fine. What really bothers me, what really hurts me, what really inflames me are all of the “extra special” treats — the bacon and sausage, the prime rib leftovers and steak bones, the scraps from your holiday feasts.

And that bacon grease you keep adding to your dog’s food in hopes of giving him a shinier coat. Really?!?! Who ever gave you that idea? what website or chat room did you read that one on?? Please stop, you’re killing me! Literally.

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Topics: Dog Health, Pancreatitis, Vomiting, Blog, Dog Treats, Diarrhea

Which Bones Are Safe For Your Dog?


There are dangers, regardless of whether they are raw or cooked bones, big or small.

It's a myth that raw bones are OK but cooked aren't

Are there dogs who chew and/or eat bones without incident? Of course. BUT there are also plenty of dogs, who do so with incident, including plenty who had previously done so without. In fact, there were so many reported illnesses and deaths due to "bone treats" in 2017 that the FDA issued a warning to pet owners.

What kinds of problems do we vets see with dogs chewing or eating bones?

Plenty. This type of dog emergency is painful, distressing, and costly. Some are even fatal. Here’s a sample of the bone-chewing/eating problems commonly seen by vets and experienced by dog owners:

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Dog Emergency, holiday pet safety tips, Dog, Blog, Dog Treats, Dog Tips, Bowel Perforation, Digestive obstruction, Christmas pet hazards, Are bones safe for dogs, Safe pet treats, Safe dog treats, Pet Hazards at Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Safety, Broken teeth, Digestive irritation, Deer antlers, Cooked bones, Digestive tract perforation, Raw bones, Pet emergency, Pork bones

Thanksgiving Safety For Cats and Dogs

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday and a great time to join together with friends and family - be they two legged or four (or even three, lest we forget about our tripawd dogs and cats). But as you’re preparing your Thanksgiving plans, it’s important to be aware of the common pet hazards associated with this day of friends, family, feasting, fun, and football. For if you’re not, you may be enjoying your Thanksgiving in the animal emergency room uttering another word beginning with ‘f’. Oh, that’s right, ‘phooie’ begins with a ‘p’… my bad ;-)

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Grape and Raisin Toxicity in Dogs, Are Raisins Safe for Dogs, Cats, Dog, Pancreatitis, Blog, Dog Treats, Dog Tips, Bowel Perforation, Gastroenteritis, Onions, Are bones safe for dogs, Safe pet treats, Yeast, Safe dog treats, Pet Hazards at Thanksgiving, Turkey, Stuffing, Thanksgiving Safety

#IfOnlyIKnew: A Dog Treat Kills This Dog. And It's Not Because He Ate It


Since launching our Pet Suffocation Awareness and Prevention campaign, we’ve heard from many people who’ve had their heart broken from the devastating loss of a pet due to suffocation. Much like Bonnie Harlan’s story, most of these cases yield little empathy or significant action on the part of the manufacturer who makes the product and packaging that these pets have tragically suffocated in.

Pet Suffocation: What corporate responsibility looks like

One story though has a very different, very encouraging, and very meaningful result in terms of corporate response. We’re sharing it here to demonstrate what true corporate responsibility looks like within the pet industry, we hope that this shining example will spread far and wide and will help to bring about the necessary changes from the folks at Frito-Lay (the company that Bonnie is petitioning to add a warning label to their packaging - see link below) and other snack food manufacturers.

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Topics: Dogs, Blog, Sunshine Mills, Doritos, Dog Treats, Frito-Lay, Pet Suffocation, Chip Bags

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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