1. If you’re taking your animal to the vet for an ailment, get video of them coughing, breathing strangely, limping, etc. Animals may not show the ailment at the vet’s office and the video can help the vet diagnose your furry friend.
My dog has had epilepsy for over six years but because she also has a heart murmur every time she had an episode, our old vet would want expensive ekg’s and start talking about heart meds.
We take one video of her episode and immediately the new vet says that has nothing to do with cardiovascular ailment, that’s neurological. And she’s been fine since on the right meds.
2. If you lose your dog in unfamiliar terrain leave your coat overnight for the dog to find
If your dog takes off in a panic when they are in unfamiliar terrain it may take them a good while to stop panicking and running. By the time they calm down they may be completely lost. If you have to stop searching at night you should leave your coat or a blanket that smells like you/your home/your dog at the place you were last together. If the dog retraces its steps at night and finds a familiar item they will often just lie down on top of it. If you make sure you are back at first light in the morning you might find them there waiting for you.
Also socks. Your socks have a stronger smell. And your dog smells that all the time. Due to proximity. I know lads who have lost hunting dogs left their socks at place they last seen the dog. After checking for three days, when they went to see if the dog was back and their she was. Wagging her tail.
3. Adopt an adult dog from a shelter if you want a companion but don’t have time/ patience to train a puppy. They are already potty trained in most cases and love you all the same.
The best dog I ever owned was a 2 year old American Bulldog. He was there at the shelter for so long that a donor paid for his obedience classes and all. He was the sweetest, quietest, most behaved pup I ever owned and I honestly don’t think I could ever find a dog with that personality again. Quiet, and chill, and smart, fun and not a box of endless destructive energy
4. Want a good dog? Take them with you everywhere you go. There is a reason that dogs of street people are amazing, and cooped-up condo dogs are hyperactive spaz dogs.
Ever notice how homeless people who have dogs – their dogs are amazingly calm, follow their owners everywhere? They have life experience. They’ve been out, seen the world a lot, socialized a lot, and just want to follow and hang out with their owners.
If you were kept in a room your whole life, you’d freak and spaz and mis-behave the couple of times a day you were let out too.
5. Your relationships with your pets will improve drastically if you remember that your pets are companions for you, not worshipers or ego inflators. Treat them with respect and a sense of humor, as you would a friend.
Creating rigid expectations for your pets or taking bad behavior personally (“my feelings are hurt because my dog likes X more than me” or “my dog makes me look bad when he does Y”) often makes problems worse.
If you want to develop a stronger relationship, build it through play, training, and kindness. Don’t do things that bother your pet for fun (like picking up a cat that doesn’t like it, touching a dog in a way that annoys them, etc.).
And remember that every animal is an individual and has a different personality. Some animals don’t appreciate some kinds of connection with others, or have traumas to contend with that make their bonding take more time. Have expectations of your pets that are rooted in fairness and love, not ego or the expectation to be worshipped.
Last but not least, if your pet needs help, get them the appropriate help, as you would a friend. This will also help build trust.
6. When walking your dogs, make them sit and wait before crossing streets. This will make them hesitate about running into roads if they ever get loose.
This was taught to us long ago and we’ve implemented with all of our dogs since. Recently one got out of the side fence and we saw her run to the street, stop, look around, then run back. It’s not foolproof but it is good instilled behavior in case of an unfortunate incident. Works well for kids too.
7. Keep your dog leashed in public at all times no matter how well trained you think he/she is.
Not everyone likes dogs. Some are allergic. Some are deathly scared. Dogs can also react to sudden unexpected movements in surprising ways. Even if you lose your grip on a leash, it’s easier to catch a leash than the unleashed dog. Keep your dog on a leash at all times in public. For everyone’s safety, including your and other dogs.
8. If you use puppy pads for your pets don’t buy the pads in the pet isle. The human incontinence pads are cheaper, better quality, and you get more in the package!
I have an older dog so I have ended up saving hundreds of dollars on training pads! The can be found next to the feminine hygiene and adult briefs typically by the in store pharmacies.
9. If you are raising a puppy right now, you should try to spend a few hours a day separated from it
If you’re at home because of the current world situation, and you recently got a puppy, try taking a nap in a separate room or keeping it out of whatever constitutes your “home office” right now during working hours. If your pup gets used to you being home and available 24/7 it’s likely that it will develop some form of separation anxiety. Being physically separate and not letting up when the puppy claws at the door or whines will help it cope with being apart from you/alone.
10. Place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can’t hold it there for more than 5 seconds. It’s too hot to walk your dog.
11. If your dogs gets out and comes back, don’t scold it. Reward it for coming back.
What I’ve done is randomly reward my dogs with treats whenever I call them in from the yard. One of my dogs would often ignore me when I called him in. Now he runs in immediately every time.
12. Don’t yell at your dog if they are barking for non-threating reasons. You are just justifying their stress. Calmly side step in between your dog and the source of barking trigger and maintain the position
This is a way to tell your dog, “dont worry about protecting me, i got this.” give your doggo treats after he/she calms down and/or walks away. if the barking is to get owners attention, owners should silently walk into a room and close the door on them. only come out once doggo has calmed down and give em treats.
13. Teach your dog to relinquish food, toys, etc. willingly (and do it *before* there’s an emergency). It might save her life someday and/or save you from getting bitten.
This is a game I play with every puppy I’ve ever had. Take a toy, one with which they love to play tug of war. Play with them with the toy, get a good game of tug of war going.
Once the dog is firmly gripping the toy, say “Release”, then present the pupper with a dog treat right at nose level. Even the most devoted toy-tugger will sniff the treat and eventually let go to get the cookie.
Just keep doing this, over and over, for at 15 minutes a day at least. Doesn’t take long at all before letting go of an object on command becomes second nature.
I’ve used this to save my dogs from all kinds of potential dangers from things they may pick up on our walks, like discarded chicken wing bones.
14. Train your puppy to ring a bell you hang by the door so he/she can let you know audibly when they need to go outside. It gives them a chance to audibly ask to go outside even when I’m not near the door. This in turn prevents scratching at the door (which can cause damage) and helps prevent accidents earlier on in life when potty training.
What I do is I start by ringing the bell and giving a treat. I do this for a while until I notice the dog has associated the sound with receiving a treat (they’ll lick lips or run over to the bell or something similar once they get it).
Then I’ll ring the bell but make them go outside to get the treat (training them that bell rings, then you go outside, then you get a treat).
Then I’ll take their paw or snout and physically make them touch the bell. Then we go outside and they get a treat.
Eventually they’ll connect the dots. Bell = outside. Treats can be withdrawn as outside is a reward in and of itself (running in the yard, peeing, chasing a squirrel, etc).
It hasn’t taken me long – just a couple days with even a few month old puppy. They learn fast!
15. Handle your pets how they’ll be handled at vet checkups from the start
Handle their feet, legs, face, ears, neck, tail, everything. Get them used to being laid down on their side physically, not just taught a command (they tend to not listen when they hurt and are nervous and don’t know the person asking). Look up common restraint positions and get them used to pressure on those spots (sitting behind, arm around jaw, hand holding leg; sitting and having head held slightly up and looking just to the side). If possible, get them used to the sound of hair clippers even if you don’t use it on them.
A lot of times, especially with puppies (in my experience, can’t speak for raising kittens), even if they’re acting like they’re getting murdered/will get their revenge on you when you touch their feet or hold them, given enough repetitions they’ll get desensitized and be okay with it as adults. Even as adults! Dogs at work who used to bite at me touching their feet now just look sad.
Having your pet used to being handled in these ways makes it so much easier, SAFER, and less stressful for the vet staff and your pet! Though they may not know us, and they hurt, we aren’t asking them to do anything they’re unfamiliar with. Restraint is as much for their safety as ours. Plus, if they’re even semi cooperative instead of out right fighting us, we’re more able to work with them (hold this way instead of that, give cookies/scratches to distract, less pressure in this spot) instead of unable to do anything without sedation (in terms of drawing blood, xrays, ultrasounds, etc).