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Puppy Socialization Adventure Walks

Is your puppy ready to start exploring beyond the backyard? Expanding your puppy’s socialization beyond your home and their puppy classes requires a balancing act between needed exposure and needed vaccinations. Taking precautions and limiting where you go on puppy adventures will help minimize risk of disease while still allowing for crucial exposure needed during a puppy’s imprint period (which ends around 14 to 16 weeks of age).

As you’ll read below, these walks aren’t about direct interaction with people and other animals, but about positive exposure to these things from a distance. This makes it easier to manage disease-exposure risks and also practice recommended social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll want to carefully choose where you take your puppy on socialization adventures. Avoid areas where other dogs frequent or go to the bathroom (such as pet stores or near dog parks), and don’t allow your puppy to drink from puddles. You can further protect your puppy by taking them out for these walks in a stroller rather than on a leash. Speak with your veterinarian to ensure that your puppy is on track for their vaccinations, and what risks are prevalent in your area to be mindful of.

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Topics: Environmental Enrichment, Puppy, Dog, Dog Walking, Exercise, Behavior

Dog Boredom Buster: The Sniffari Walk

If your dog is bored and you're looking for new and fun ways to burn off some of their excess energy, go on a sniffari! Your dog will enjoy the freedom of getting to explore at their own pace and sniff all the wonderful smells they encounter. These walks also give us humans a chance to decompress and take in nature. And luckily, going on a sniffari can give you a way to get outside and still socially distance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Topics: Environmental Enrichment, Puppy, Dog, Dog Walking, Exercise, Behavior

Will Your Dog Enjoy And Do Well In Daycare?

What do you picture when you imagine dog daycare? Groups of dogs romping and running, happy tails and wide open-mouthed doggie grins, and snuggle buddies relaxing after a morning of fetch and fun? This idyllic picture is what most dog owners assume dog daycare must be like for their pups — and for the most part, it can be!

You might be thinking about whether your dog will benefit from joining a dog daycare but not sure if they'll be a good fit. Or you might be wondering what it means when your dog fails a daycare trial. Or what if your previously-daycare-loving dog gets dismissed from daycare altogether? Does this mean you have a "bad" dog? Not at all!

Well-run dog daycares consider carefully what dogs will fit in with their existing play group and work hard to ensure all dogs in their care are having a good time. Safety is the top priority for these groups, but emotional and behavioral well-being is another thing that should always be considered — for your dog and for the others in the group. There are some management and training techniques that can be utilized in a group environments, but some behaviors are incredibly difficult to train or manage in a large play group. 

Let's look at what canine temperaments do best in a daycare environment and what behaviors might mean that your dog will do better in a different set up.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Exercise, dog boarding, Dog park, dog daycare

Choosing the Best Daycare for Your Dog

Dog daycares have become a mainstay for dog owners across the United States, growing in popularity since they first popped up in the mid-1990s. For many dog owners, dog daycare gives their dog a safe place to exercise during the day while they're at work and provides much needed mental enrichment and companionship that dogs wouldn't be getting by themselves at home.

But how do you know which daycare to choose? With increased popularity, more and more people are getting in on the trend, and there are lots of options and styles available, from the large franchised "brand-name" daycare to the dog daycare your neighbor started in their home.

The dog daycare and boarding industry is under-regulated, so it’s important you find a daycare where your dog will be safe, happy, and well cared for. There are a few things to consider when interviewing different dog daycares, including the style of daycare, staff to dog ratio, staff experience and training, cleaning procedures, dog handling and training methods ... and more!

Before exploring different daycare options, first think about whether your dog will actually enjoy going to daycare. Check out this article for more information on how to tell if dog will enjoy and do well in a dog daycare.

Read on to learn what to look for and what to ask a prospective doggy daycare.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Exercise, dog boarding, Dog park, dog daycare

Recognizing and Helping Overweight and Obese Dogs

What do you think about your pet's weight? Be honest. Do you think that they're an appropriate weight? Do you think they're too thin? Too heavy?

Would it surprise you to learn that nearly 56% of the dogs, and nearly 60% of the cats in America are overweight or obese? This is according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, and based upon the results of their 2017 National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Study. What is perhaps even sadder, and will make the problem that much more difficult to combat, is that many owners were mistaken about their own pet’s weight.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Cat Diet, Dog DIet, Heat Stroke, Food, Exercise, Urethral Obstruction, How much should my cat eat, How much should my dog eat, Calories, Hepatic Lipidosis, Pancreatitis, Ideal pet weight, Obesity, Diabetes, Diabetic

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.