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Getting and Raising a Puppy During COVID-19


Raising a puppy is a lot of work no matter when you do it, but add in a coronavirus pandemic and there are a couple of extra things to think about.

There are pros and cons to adding a puppy to your life right now. We all would certainly benefit from the emotional boost that snuggling a puppy brings while we deal with social isolation. Extra time at home can make raising a puppy a bit easier — you'll have more time for frequent potty training breaks and to work on basic training skills. With children out of school, they can also get involved with caring for the new pup. But essential parts of puppy raising like socialization, attending group training class, and staying on track with puppy vaccinations are a bit tougher right now.

While it might not be the most ideal time for bringing home a puppy, it's not impossible to raise them into a happy and well-behaved adult. Below we've listed the biggest challenges you'll face having a puppy during this time, as well as some tips to help overcome them.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Behavior

Socializing Your Puppy While Social Distancing


With coronavirus requiring social distancing between humans, new puppy owners are finding it harder to make sure their puppy learns about the great big world. But it is possible to provide your puppy with much-needed experiences even while you're social distancing — and have fun while doing it!

During this coronavirus pandemic, you can take advantage of extra time at home and help your puppy grow into a well-adjusted and well-trained adult. Social distancing with your dog might actually mean better behaved dogs when life gets back to normal.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Behavior

Working From Home: Helping Your Dog Stay Busy (and Quiet)


Many people are finding themselves working from home and dogs everywhere are reveling in having their humans around all the time.

But working with your pets around can be tough — just try being on a conference call with a barking dog in the background, or a puppy who wants your constant attention and keeps crawling onto your keyboard.

It can be hard to stay on-task and feel like you're getting work done from your home office. While including your pet in your work video chats is often appreciated by your coworkers, when you need to be productive and stay distraction-free, we've got you covered.

Below are our favorite ways to keep our dogs occupied, as well as how to set yourself up for success while working from home with your pet.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, 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.

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

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

The Top 3 Reasons Your Dog Doesn't Do What You Want


It can be really frustrating when our dogs don’t respond when we need them to, not to mention scary if their lack of response puts them in danger. But your dog's non-response isn't because they are ignoring you, being stubborn, or they've decided to do something else even though they "know better." Dogs simply don’t think that way.

So why does your dog not do what you want? Let’s look at the top reasons your dog isn’t doing what you ask.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog

What You Should Ask a Dog Trainer (and What Their Answers Should Be)


Before you hire a dog trainer, you want to do your homework to make sure that you and your dog will be in the right hands.

Training is an important part of dog ownership as it can keep your dog safe in certain situations, help them cope with stressful experiences, and builds the trust needed for a strong human-canine bond.

The dog training industry is unregulated, meaning anyone can call themselves a professional dog trainer, behaviorist, dog whisperer, behavior consultant, or pet expert.

Unfortunately this has led to a regression in the types of dog training methods used to teach our furry friends, as uneducated and uncertified "trainers" are not up-to-date with the latest behavior science, humane methods, and are not held to any standard of business practice.

These "trainers" tend to rely on the outdated alpha, pack theory, or dominance-based philosophies even though these have been shown to actually increase fear and aggression in dogs

Before signing up for a puppy class, group obedience class, board-and-train, or hiring a dog trainer for a private in-home lesson, you'll want to interview them to make sure they are qualified, use humane and science-based methods, and are the right match for your learning style. Below are questions that you should ask when interviewing a dog trainer:

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Topics: Puppy, Training, Dog, Behavior

Alphabet Soup: What Does That Dog Training Certification Mean?


As you're interviewing a dog trainer to work with you and your dog, one of the questions you should be asking is if they hold a certification in professional dog training or canine behavior consulting. For more questions, you should be asking, read "What You Should Ask a Dog Trainer (and What Their Answers Should Be)."

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Topics: Puppy, Training, Dog, Behavior

10 Boredom Busters for Your Dog


Is your dog barking for no apparent reason? Have they started digging up your flower beds? Is your puppy chewing up your shoes or the couch? Constantly bugging you to interact while you're trying to get some work done?

In many cases, there is a simple explanation: your dog is bored! Dogs get bored just like we do, so it's important to provide them with exercise, training, interactive toys, and brain games to keep them busy and entertained. Giving them appropriate ways to burn that extra energy also means your flower beds, shoes, and couch won't become unfortunate casualties. 

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Behavior

Alert Barking: The Dog Equivalent to "Get Off My Lawn!"


Does your dog have to let you know about any and every person or animal that passes by your home? There are many reasons a dog barks, and we call this kind of barking "alert" barking or territorial barking – something that we humans originally preferred dogs to do, and we bred for it in the domestication process.

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Alert Barking, Barking

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.