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How to Prevent Foxtail Injuries and Remove Foxtails From Your Dog


Until you have a dog, you’ll probably marvel at rolling fields of grass at sunset. But once you have a dog, that bucolic scene can look more like a hotbed of potential pain and injury from foxtails (also called “grass seed awns”).

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Walking, Children walking dogs, Dog Leash, Retractable Leash, Grass Seeds, Grass Seed Awn, Dog Booties, What's a foxtail look like, Foxtail, Hunting Dogs, Dog face protection

Teaching Your Dog to Play Fetch (and Return)


There are three types of dogs in this world: dogs that don’t care about fetch, dogs that fetch but don’t retrieve, and Labradors.

Unless you have a Labrador or live in a perfect 1950s Pleasantville, (in which case you probably have a Labrador) you’ve most likely had to face the crushing reality that a lot of dogs don’t have the fetch instinct. 

Plenty of dogs will happily run after a thrown toy, but then refuse to bring it back — or they might pick up the toy and make you chase them around just for funsies. Other dogs are more interested in the hair between their toes than the fetch toy you’re trying to get them excited about. 

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Topics: Dog Safety, Loose-leash Walking, Behavior & Training, Dog, Dog Walking, Dog Leash

Lights for Dogs at Night and How to Safely Walk Your Dog in the Dark


Nighttime safety for dogs is important any time of year, but even more so as the days get shorter and the dark settles in during autumn and winter. When waning daylight forces more people to take their dogs on walks in low-light conditions, it’s important to raise awareness that the pre-dawn and post-dusk hours are more dangerous for dogs. Sadly, it’s not uncommon for dogs to get hit by cars or sustain other injuries resulting from decreased visibility.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Walking, Benefits of training, Dog Behavior, Blog, Accidents with retractable leashes, Children walking dogs, Dog Leash, Retractable Leash, Self-illuminating dog collars, Walking your dog at night, Nighttime dog collars, Reflective leg bands for your dog, reflective gear for dogs, LED dog collar

6 Tips for Taking Your Dog Off Leash


Nearly every dog owner has the same worry about letting a dog off their leash: What if they don’t come back?

It’s not hard to imagine the reasons for keeping a dog on a leash — safety from cars, other dogs, other people, and potential hazards like rodenticides in public parks — but are there benefits to having your dog off-leash? There certainly can be! Here are a few of the benefits that dogs can experience when they're allowed to go (safely) off-leash:

 

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Topics: Dog Safety, Loose-leash Walking, Behavior & Training, Dog, Dog Walking, Dog Leash

Finding the Best Collar for Your Puppy


You’re preparing for a new puppy, and though it may not be one of the more exciting things on your new puppy checklist, you’re likely wondering what type and size of collar to get for your new fur bundle.
Maybe you’ve already stood in wonderment (and confusion?) in the dog collar aisle of your local pet supply store?

With so many different types of dog collars on the market, it can be difficult to know which kind is best for your new puppy. A standard neck collar works well to display your puppy’s identification and contact information should they become lost, but is it the best option when taking your puppy for a walk? From collars to harnesses, we’ll review the various options so that your puppy is best equipped for leash walking.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Dog Collars, Dog Harnesses, Dog Walking, Dog Behavior, Dog Tips, Dog Leash, Retractable Leash, Collapsing trachea, Laryngeal Paralysis, Larpar, Slipped disc, Horner's Syndrome, Dog Neckwear, Kennel Cough, Wobbler Syndrome, Neck Collar

How to Find the Right Dog Walker


Choosing a Dog Walker

There are a lot of great reasons to hire a dog walker. Maybe you recently adopted a new puppy or an older dog, and you want to make sure they get the potty breaks they need. Maybe your schedule has changed, perhaps you just had a baby or it’s busy season at work, and you can’t take your dog out as often as you used to. Or maybe you’ve noticed some behavioral issues, and believe your dog will benefit from some extra exercise and stimulation. Whatever your reason, finding the right dog walker can make a wonderful difference in your dog’s life, and in yours. So here are some tips on finding dog walkers, and on the questions you should ask to ensure that you’re choosing the best dog walker for your pup and your situation.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Walking

In Your Own Yard: Dogs and Poisonous Mushrooms


Don’t forget to check your yard for mushrooms each year, especially during a wet Spring or Autumn.

Mushrooms can kill dogs, and they can do so quickly!

Many dogs are sickened and killed each year after eating poisonous mushrooms. And depending on the type of mushroom and the size of your dog, it may not even take much to send you and your pooch rushing to the Animal ER.

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Topics: poisonous plants for dogs, Dog Emergency, Dog, Dog Walking, Poison control, Blog, Hunting Dogs, Ataxia, Amanita mushrooms, Seizures, Mushroom identification, Poisonous mushrooms for dogs

Nighttime Visibility – Help Drivers Avoid Your Dog

With the days getting shorter, I’d like to take a moment to raise awareness of low-light safety for your dogs. Sadly, it’s not uncommon for dogs to get hit by cars or sustain other injuries resulting from decreased visibility on their early morning and evening walks this time of year.

Aside from always keeping your dog under leash control, increasing their visibility in low-light conditions can go a long way towards helping to keep them — and you — safe. Here are some tips:

  • Carry a flashlight with you on your walks, or wear a camping head lamp
  • Walk only on well-lit streets
  • Wear a reflective jacket or hat
  • Use self-illuminating and/or reflective gear on your dogs (see list below for some recommendations)


Here are some of the self-illuminating and reflective dog safety products I’ve used.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Walking, Benefits of training, Dog Behavior, Blog, Accidents with retractable leashes, Children walking dogs, Dog Leash, Retractable Leash, Self-illuminating dog collars, Walking your dog at night, Nighttime dog collars, Reflective leg bands for your dog, Nighttime visibility for dogs, reflective gear for dogs, LED dog collar

Retractable Leashes – Useful or Harmful?


On any given day you’re likely to see lots of retractable leashes in use. You may use one yourself, or might even be considering getting one?

What you may not appreciate is they are dangerous and can cause harm to both dogs and to people.

Here’s just a sample of injuries that retractable leashes have caused…

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Walking, Benefits of training, Dog Behavior, Are retractable leashes safe, Dangers of retractable leashes, Accidents with retractable leashes, Children walking dogs, Dog Leash, Retractable Leash

Loose Leash Walking


If your dog pulls on the leash whenever you walk, then those walks are neither healthy nor relaxing for either of you. Those walks aren’t safe either. When I see a  dog who pulls on his leash during walks, I also see it as a sign that he and his owner are not paying attention to each other. It takes two to pull, after all. Walking with your dog should feel like a walking meditation, not a battle.

Pulling on the leash can be very rewarding to a dog


The action of pulling doesn’t feel so bad at the time and it often gets them where they want to go. Any behavior as rewarding as pulling on the leash takes a lot of commitment from the owner to fix. But trust me, it can be fixed and it will be worth it.

Below are some important keys for preventing and correcting leash pulling.  If you have more than one dog, practice the following leash training techniques with each dog separately at first. Eventually you’ll be able to practice and walk them together more easily. Then everyone will have more fun.

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Topics: Leashes, Loose-leash Walking, Puppies, Dogs, Walking on a Leash, Dog Walking

Looking to keep your dog happy, healthy, and safe?

10 Tips eBook by Dr. Jason Nicholas

Take a look at these 10 Tips... your dog will thank you!

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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