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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. Lots of unplanned events can pop up and you don't want your dog to become stressed if they don't get their walk at the normal time, or you won't arrive home until later than usual.

For dogs that suffer from separation anxiety or isolation distress, they are extremely aware of routine events that predict your leaving, which triggers their anxiety. When working on separation anxiety with your certified dog trainer or board-certified veterinary behaviorist, modifying your pre-departure routines might be one of the first steps of treatment.

So when is a routine helpful versus a hindrance? Let's look at different reasons a routine might be a good choice for you and your dog, versus when you might want to mix it up.

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

Pee Pad Training: Is it a good idea?


Puppy Pee Pad Training — Pros & Cons

Congratulations on your new puppy! Puppyhood is a fun stage of your dog’s life, where you’ll get lots of licks and laughs, but there’s also lots of work to do to set your puppy up for success. You want to make sure you show your pup how to be a well-behaved member of the family, and, if you value your floors and your sanity, it starts with potty training.

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Topics: Dogs, Dog Behavior, Potty Training, Adopted Dogs

Puppy Zone: How to Set Up a Long–Term Confinement Area


Will Your Puppy Be in Their Crate For a Long Time?

When you start crate training your puppy, it’s important to plan ahead for when you’ll be away longer than your puppy should be crated. This could be anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours, depending on age. Check out this article on how to crate train your puppy for guidelines and more on how long your puppy should be in their crate. Puppies need regular potty breaks and can't handle being crated for a long time. This is where setting up a long-term containment area comes in. Think of this area as the designated "puppy zone."

Having a puppy zone gives you peace of mind while you need to get things done without bringing your puppy along or stressing about them being confined for too long.

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Potty Training, Separation Anxiety, new puppy checklist puppy proofing, preparing for a puppy, puppy proofing, new puppy, puppy tips

Why You Should Watch Your Dog Pee


Reading the 'Pee Leaves'

Did you know that the way your dog is peeing — or not — can give you some important information about their urinary, and even overall health. This article will highlight some of the signs you may notice when your dog pees that could indicate that a vet visit is needed.

Straining While Peeing

If your dog is struggling or straining while they’re peeing, it could actually be a very serious emergency condition. Both male and female dogs can have their urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside world) blocked by a urinary stone, scaring, inflammation, or even a tumor. Male dogs can also suffer a urethral blockage from an overly enlarged prostate (more of a problem in male dogs that haven’t been neutered, as the prostate grows under the influence of testosterone). You should always err on the side of caution if you see your dog straining to pee and bring them for immediate veterinary evaluation. Even if they’re not “blocked,” your dog will be happy that you had them checked to be sure.

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Topics: Dog Health, Urine sample, Blood in urine, Potty Training, Potty accidents

What to Put (and Not Put) in Your Dog's Crate


Outfitting Your Dog’s Crate Safely

What is and isn’t safe or OK to put in your dog’s crate is a pretty common question we get asked here at Preventive Vet. People often want to know … Is it ok to leave food or water in my dog’s crate? Should I leave one of my t-shirts in my puppy’s crate? What about towels and other bedding? Chews and other toys? 

Of course, every dog and every situation is different. Young puppies are different than adult dogs (in many ways!). Similarly, a dog just beginning their crate training is a different situation than a dog that’s already acclimated to and in love with their crate. All that said, there are some general insights and recommendations we can provide to help you as you ponder the safest and most comfortable “interior design” of your dog’s crate.

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Topics: Dog Safety, poisonous plants for dogs, Crate Training, Crate training puppies, Crate training tips, Potty Training, puppy tips

Cleaning Up Puppy Pee and Poo Accidents


Puppy potty accidents are just no fun. Not only might you not find them until you step in them, but even once found they may encourage your pup to potty in the same spot unless cleaned up promptly and properly. And like everything else about puppies, cleaning up their messes isn’t necessarily as straightforward as you might think. Just because you can’t see or smell the mess any longer, doesn’t mean your dog can’t! Below are the important steps and things to be aware of to best clean up dog pee and poop in your home.

A quick note about dog potty accidents themselves: Contrary to what some people might think, dogs don’t pee and poo in the house out of spite or because they’re stupid. Most potty accidents happen for one of three reasons … (1) your pup doesn’t yet understand where they’re supposed to go, (2) you’re not giving your pup ample and frequent enough opportunities to do their business outside, or (3) your dog has a medical problem (e.g., urinary tract infection, intestinal parasites or virus, or an anatomical defect, such as a patent urachus or ectopic ureter) that makes control difficult. Check out this article for more on the possible causes of puppy potty problems and how you can help them (and yourself).

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Potty Training, new puppy, puppy tips, cleaning potty accidents

Potty Training Problems for Puppies and How to Prevent Accidents


Potty training is certainly no walk in the park — though it may involve some! Every puppy is different, and everybody’s living situation and schedule is different, too. Just as there’s no “one size fits all” recipe for potty training puppies, there's also a whole range of potential reasons why your pup might not be picking up on this important life skill as quickly as you were expecting (and hoping).

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Potty Training, new puppy, puppy tips

How to Help Your New Puppy Sleep Through the Night


Has your new puppy been waking you up at night? Are you wondering why your puppy won't sleep? While your new puppy’s sleep schedule might not (yet) be in sync with yours, there are still plenty of things you can do to help both of you get as much sleep as possible.
For the first several nights and weeks, you should make peace with the fact that you’re just not going to get a full night’s sleep.

But the time and dedication you put in now will help you reach that point sooner (before sleep deprivation makes you start speaking in tongues to shadow people). Check out the tips below so you and your puppy can get back to that deep REM sleep as soon as possible.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Health, Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Potty Training

How to Exercise Your Dog Indoors


Cabin Fever: Is Your Dog Going Stir-Crazy?

It’s pouring down rain outside and you’ve got an antsy dog on your hands. What are you to do? You could dress to the nines in your rain gear, take a miserably wet walk outside, and then have to deal with dripping clothes, toweling off your dog, and that lingering ‘wet dog’ odor. Alternately, you could stay warm and dry by entertaining your dog with some indoor exercise and stimulation games.

Ready, set, go!

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Crate Training, GDV, Bloat, Puppies, Dog toys, Potty 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.