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Why Your Dog Isn't Eating and What to Do

Is your dog turning up their nose when you put down their bowl? Has your senior dog gotten pickier about what they'll eat and when? It's important for your dog to get the nutrition and calories they need to stay healthy, especially as they age.

Let's look at reasons your adult dog might not be eating and what you can do about it. If your dog has skipped a few meals and you're worried about their appetite, read on for tips to help them chow down.

If you have a puppy who isn't eating, check out "Why Your New Puppy Isn't Eating and What You Can Do About It" for more life-stage specific reasons and tricks to increase their appetite.

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Topics: Dog Health, Dogs, canine dental health, Senior Dogs

Top Dog Products We're Thankful For

Let’s be honest, the year 2020 has not quite lived up to the expectations we had when it started. Also true is that our dogs have been the ones holding everything together.

Our dogs give us the opportunity to leave the house for an unreasonable amount of socially-distanced walks, make video conference calls better for everyone by randomly appearing on-screen, and are serious troopers dealing with stressed-out humans.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Preventive Vet team started thinking about what we're most thankful for when it comes to caring for our pets this year. What products and activities have made it easier for us? What do our dogs seem to love the most? Read on for the things that we've found most useful, entertaining, and comforting for our dogs and us.

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Topics: Dogs, Pet Gifts, Gifts for Dog People

3 Ways to Calm Down a Hyper or Anxious Dog

If you have a hyperactive dog, it can feel overwhelming when you just want to relax at the end of a long day. All they want to do is play when you really just want to sit back and relax. And even after some physical exercise, your dog might still be bouncing off the walls because they're overstimulated.

Or perhaps your dog gets anxious due to separation anxiety or noises like thunderstorms or fireworks, and you find yourself trying to soothe and comfort them to no avail. The constant pacing, barking, or clinginess can be heartbreaking.

Let's talk about three easy ways to soothe your dog and help calm them down, using naturally calming activities: sniffing, licking, and chewing.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs

How to Potty Train an Adult Dog

Potty training isn't just for puppies! Adult dogs might need a refresher on house training for various reasons, or they might never have learned that they're only supposed to go potty outside. Some dogs need help transitioning from using pee pads to only going to the bathroom outside.

Whether you've just adopted an adult dog that needs some potty training or your adult dog is suddenly having accidents inside, read on for reasons why this might be happening and how to house train your adult dog.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs

Training Your Dog to Stop Using Potty Pads

Has your puppy decided that their potty pads are best used as a bed? Or consider their indoor grass patch their new favorite chew toy to shred? It might be time for your pup to transition away from using pee pads altogether. Or perhaps you've relocated from an apartment to a home with a yard, and want to take advantage of using the outside as your dog's only potty spot.

If you're ready to get your puppy or dog to stop using pee pads, you'll want to go about it the right way! When done too quickly, it can confuse your dog and result in potty accidents. Avoid just removing the pee pad or indoor grass patch altogether — that's asking for your dog to find an alternative "pad" somewhere else in your home (like your bathroom mat or hallway rug).

Read on for tips and tricks for teaching a dog who uses pee pads to only go potty outside.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Pee-Pad Training, Potty Training

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

Resource Guarding in Dogs: What to Do (and What NOT to Do)

Resource guarding in dogs, also called "possessive aggression," can be quite alarming and scary for a dog owner to experience. You go to grab a chew that your dog has whittled down to a tiny piece, so they don't swallow it — but are confronted with teeth-baring, growling, or even lunging and biting. Or perhaps you go to sit down next to your dog on the couch and get a hard stare and a low growl. This can — and should — send a chill down your spine.

Resource guarding can happen between pets as well. A dog might act very possessive over their food bowl if another dog walks by. Or they might even guard you from the other dog, especially if there are food items or toys involved. If you've recently brought home a new puppy or adopted dog, your other dog might be showing some new possessive behaviors around their toys and food.

What should you do if your dog is guarding their food bowl, chew toy, or space? Your reaction to the behavior can either help resolve your dog's resource guarding or make it worse. Let's look at why resource guarding in dogs happens, what you should do to prevent it, and what to do if your dog exhibits resource guarding.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, Puppy Behavior

Reliable Recall: Teach Your Dog to Come When Called

A reliable recall, or come when called, is the most important thing you should train your dog to do. This behavior will help keep your dog safe and, at the same time, allow you to give your dog more freedom throughout their daily life. While your dog's recall is not a substitution for keeping them on a leash or in a fenced yard, it is a training skill that could save your dog’s life.

You must teach your dog that it's worth it to come when called whenever you ask, on leash or off (outdoors or indoors). Even more important, this should be done without the use of force or pain to make it happen. You simply don't need a shock collar to train a reliable recall.  A recently published study shows that dogs trained with positive reinforcement methods outperformed dogs taught using shock collars for the come when called behavior. They learned faster and responded faster than dogs trained using aversive training methods. There are many reasons you should avoid using shock collars altogether for training come when called (and every other dog behavior) — learn more in "Dog Training Aversives: What Are They and Why You Should Avoid Them."

Let's look at how you can teach your dog a rock-solid recall using fun, positive, and humane training techniques.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, Puppy Behavior

Choosing the Best Dog Treats

Veterinarians get asked this question all the time, “Which treat is best to give my pet?” As a veterinarian who has formulated many diets and treats for dogs and cats, I can tell you that if chosen correctly, treats can supplement your pet’s health as well as be very beneficial to their overall well-being.

Not to mention the training that often accompanies treating, or the mental stimulation of an interactive game.

Because every pet is an individual with their own personality and preferences, some treats may be accepted readily whereas some pets require a little trial and error before you find the treats they love. With pet individuality in mind, let’s explore what sorts of treats are ideal for dogs – treats that are pretty good, treats to avoid, best treats for puppies, and best treats for senior dogs.

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Topics: Dogs, What are Good Training Treats for Dogs, Dog Treats, Safe dog treats, Dog Nutrition

How to Teach Your Dog to Lie Down

Teaching your dog to lie down when asked is an important training skill — it's one of the six things you should teach your dog to keep them safe. Not only is it useful in preventing unwanted behaviors such as door dashing, but it's also a great way to increase calm, settled behavior from your dog. With a trained down cue, you can more easily enjoy sitting outside a coffee shop with your dog while they're settled next to you. Down is also helpful when teaching your dog other behaviors and tricks, such as go to bed or roll over.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, Puppy Behavior

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.