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How to Teach Your Dog To Do Anything in 4 Easy Steps


Do you want to teach your dog a neat new trick? Are you just getting started with puppy training and want to teach your dog the basics? I’m going to let you in on a dog trainer secret — when teaching dogs a new skill, no matter how simple or complex the behavior we want to train, we follow the same process every time. And once you learn this process, you can teach your dog anything! 

One of my goals as a dog trainer is to equip my human students with the tools to understand how dogs learn and the training mechanics for them to easily and effectively put into practice on their own. This means they'll have the means to train their dog for life, not only building a robust human-canine relationship but also helping to prevent problem behaviors. This empowers them to pursue lots of different activities with their dogs, from competition obedience to other dog sports like Canicross, Flyball, or Agility.

Let’s look at the process of how to teach your dog to do anything. Once you know these 4 steps, all you need is some creative thinking, problem-solving skills, and practice!

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training

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

Preventing and Treating Car Sickness in Dogs


Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from motion sickness during car rides or other types of travel. A dog can get carsick even during short trips in the car. A queasy dog makes car rides an unpleasant experience for everyone, but luckily there are things you can do to help your pup feel better when riding in the car.

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Topics: Puppies, Dogs, Anxiety in Dogs, Traveling with your dog, Car sickness in dogs

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

Celebrating Earth Day with Eco-Friendly Dog Beds and DIY Dog Toys


Here at the Preventive Vet office, we try our hardest to think of the environment all year long, not just on Earth Day. We have a robust recycling and compost program, and we always scoop our pets’ poop – this country song parody is proof

This year, we wanted to take our Earth Day festivities to the next level by expanding our eco-friendly habits to include upcycling and reusing things our office dogs use every day — their beds and toys!

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Topics: Dogs, Best pet products

Buckle up Your Pup


Does your dog love going for rides in the car? For long road trips or short trips across town, dogs are our trusty sidekicks. Does your pup buckle up?

If you don’t already restrain your dog when they’re traveling with you in the car, you should start. Not only is it safer for you and your pet, but it’s also safer for other people on the road.

When your pet is restrained, their risk of injury decreases dramatically — if you need to stop suddenly, your dog won’t go flying. Many pets are injured each year when their owner stops suddenly and they are projected forward, hitting the back of a seat, or worse, the windshield. Also, if you’re involved in a crash, the restraint helps keep them from getting injured and even from running away from the scene, since they’ll be scared.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Dog Harnesses, Dogs, Safety, Travel, Pet Booster Seats, Restraints, Harness, Crates, Trucks, Carriers

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.