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My Dog's Separation Anxiety Journey: How Calmer Canine Helped Mary Berry


Our dog Mary Berry has been on the anxious side since we  brought her home as a puppy. The smallest noises or movements can still send her skidding across the room. She’s fairly timid and shy around new dogs and experiences. You’ll find her socializing with the humans and snubbing her doggy friends at the dog park.

While her general anxiety wasn't overly troublesome, her separation anxiety made us worry about leaving her alone. We thought that maybe Mary Berry would grow out of her separation anxiety, but when her symptoms stuck around for more than a year, we knew we needed to address it.

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Topics: Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Separation Anxiety, new puppy, puppy tips

What to Consider Before Getting a Pet for the Holidays (or Ever)


The gift-giving season has arrived, and for many children (and adults), a cute, snuggly dog or cat is on the list of what they are wishing for. Even though we know that dogs and cats aren't staring at a calendar lamenting their holiday plans, there is something especially festive and heartwarming about giving a home to an animal over the holidays, especially if it means getting them out of a shelter.

Over the years, there has been a lot of controversy when it comes to whether or not gifting a pet for the holidays is a good, or terrible, idea. Thankfully, from the data currently being reported, it seems as though a Hanukkah Husky, Christmas Calico, or Kwanzaa King Charles Spaniel isn't such a bad idea ... as long as you do it the right way.

The key to adding a new pet to your life the right way, is by being prepared — not just on the day you bring your new animal home, but for every day after. A pet is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Below you'll find tips on what to consider before getting a new dog or cat for the holidays (or any time of the year), and how best to prepare for your new pet!

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Topics: New Kitten, holiday pet safety tips, New Dog, new puppy

Home Alone: Why It's Important to Teach Your Dog to be Alone


At some point in their life, your dog will need to be left alone. Unfortunately for us, we just can’t take them with us everywhere we go. (Nor should we ... don't forget about the dangers of dogs, and especially puppies, in hot cars!) An important part of raising your puppy or welcoming a new dog into your life is to help them get used to being alone.

If your dog never learns how to stay calm when home alone for varying amounts of time, they can develop separation anxiety — which is a tough condition to treat. It’s much easier to prevent separation anxiety than it is to fix after the fact, and teaching your puppy or dog how to be alone is the number one thing you can do for anxiety prevention.

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Topics: Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Separation Anxiety, new puppy, puppy tips

Do Dogs Need a Daily Routine?


You might have heard that keeping your dog on a daily routine helps with behavior and training — which is true in some cases. But sometimes a strict adherence to a routine creates anxiety issues in your pup when all of a sudden they have a day where the routine gets thrown out the window.

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Potty Training, Separation Anxiety, new puppy, puppy tips

Preventing Separation Anxiety When You Work From Home


As a dog owner, working from home is the best! You don’t have to worry about finding someone to walk your dog, you have excuses to take breaks throughout the day, and (bonus!) you get to work with the best coworker! But, are you giving your dog enough time alone?


Dog owners who work from home or are retired and home most of the time are faced with dogs who can become used to constant companionship. These dogs can have a tough time being left alone for any time at all, and if the owner’s schedule or lifestyle changes and they are no longer present all of the time, these dogs can have a very tough time adjusting.

If your dog never gets used to spending time alone or learning how to entertain themselves, they can start to develop separation anxiety.

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Topics: Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Separation Anxiety, new puppy, puppy tips

Choosing the Best Dog Crate for Your Dog and Your Life


Crate training your dog is one of the best things you can do — not only is it an extremely helpful training tool for potty training, it can also help provide a safe place for your dog to retreat to when they're anxious. It also gives you a positive management tool when you need to prevent unwanted behaviors (like jumping on guests), and can also be used for safe containment while traveling.

After you've chosen a crate you'll want to learn how to get your dog to love their crate. But first — it's time to choose your dog's crate! There are different options out there, and the type you choose depends on what you plan on using it for, where it will be placed in your home, and your dog's size, behavior, and needs. And, believe it or not, sometimes you'll want more than one crate for your dog. Read More

Topics: Crate Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Crates, Crate training your puppy, Puppy crate training, Crate training dogs, Crate training puppies, Puppy crate training tips, Crate training tips, Crate training a puppy, Crate training your dog, Dog crate training, new puppy, puppy tips

Choosing Your Dog's Leash


When choosing what walking tools and supplies to outfit your new pup with, the variety of options seems endless! Leashes are an important training tool, and something that you’ll use almost every day — which means it’s important for you to find one that matches your needs and preferences.

You’ll see dog owners walking their pups on lots of different widths and lengths, styles, materials, and even different clasp and handle types. Which is best for you and your dog?

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Topics: Leashes, Loose-leash Walking, Puppy Training, Puppy, Walking on a Leash, Dog, Are retractable leashes safe, Dangers of retractable leashes, Dog Leash, Retractable Leash, new puppy, puppy tips

4 Easy Steps to Teach Your Dog to Go Potty On Cue


We’ve all been there – tapping our foot waiting in the dark or the rain for our dog to do their business. Don’t they know we’ve got things to do and people to see?

Teaching your dog to go to the bathroom on cue can be helpful in saving you time, as well as helping you potty train your pup. It’s easy as a puppy to get distracted by the sights and sounds outside and forget the purpose of the outing in the first place; sometimes they need a little reminder. Let's put it on cue!

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Pee-Pad Training, Potty Training, new puppy, puppy tips

Dogs Swimming: Safety in Rivers, Lakes, and Oceans


Swimming is a great form of exercise and entertainment for your dog. And if you live near a body of water such as a river, lake, or ocean (or are visiting one), the water can provide hours of fun for you and your dog.

Does your dog know how to swim?

It’s a good idea to get your dog used to the water at an early age, since not every dog naturally knows how to swim. You can help your pup get comfortable with the water by introducing them to it early and safely — whether it be in the local lake, at the beach, or even a pool in your own backyard. Learn more about teaching your dog to swim.

Water can also carry its own share of significant hazards for dogs that you should be aware of and keep an eye out for to prevent problems. Below is a list of the most common and serious water and swimming-related hazards for pups swimming in rivers, lakes, and oceans. After all … knowing is half the battle!

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Swimming, Water, new puppy, puppy tips, Water hazards

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

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.