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Halloween Night and your Dog: Tips to Keep Fido Calm this Holiday

Halloween and Dogs – not the best combination!

While Halloween is something that many families look forward to and enjoy, this is a holiday fraught with potential problems for dogs.
   “What costumes to wear?”
   “Who will take the children around the neighborhood?”
   “What candy should we get this year?”
For most families, these are the usual questions posed around this fun holiday. Another question is “What the heck is going to happen to the poor dog?”

shutterstock_153544523Halloween Hell

Just think about it. On a good day, most dogs are “set off” by an occasional doorbell ringing, someone coming to the door, or a person randomly walking past the house. On a bad day, a postal carrier or UPS delivery person will come to the door and the family dog intercepts this “intruder” with hackles up, incessant barking and possibly some lunging when the door opens.

On Halloween, we have kids of all ages and sizes arriving in scary costumes and masks, carrying strange objects to hold candy, and screaming “Trick or Treat” in a cacophony of sounds enough to make any average dog a little crazy! To a more reactive or young dog, this may feel like an onslaught and trigger underlying reactions you have never seen before or prefer never to see again.

On top of everything I just described, the whole purpose of the holiday, for those appearing at the door, is to receive food. It may be before the dinner hour or after, but most dogs are hungry all the time and believe me on this one, can smell the goodies through the wrappers. That said, the appearance of so much food may also trigger some “resource guarding” behaviors. Wrapped together, like a beautiful piece of candy, this is a set-up for the dog and one that might put an otherwise well-behaved dog into a world of trouble.

cinnamon eating bully stickSet for Success

If you feel the dog can handle the activity, in advance of Halloween, take out some masks and start your desensitizing process. Start by ringing the doorbell, and if the dog barks, discourage her with an “uh, uh, quiet” said in a deep, firm voice. Ring again, and, the second after the ring, be ready with a treat. Deliver the treat and a praise like “Good Job” said in a very happy voice. Have everyone walk around the house for a while with his or her masks on. Do this every few hours every day before the holiday.

On the day of the holiday, make sure the dog gets a great deal of exercise. In fact, if you take the dog to daycare, make an appointment for Halloween and leave the dog most of the day so when he returns he is thoroughly exhausted! A tired dog is a less reactive one.

If you have a very reactive dog, it’s best to put her in another room, with music or a TV on with something to do. Give the dog a marrow bone or a bully stick to chew on. It’s best for someone to stay with the dog, but at the very least, check on her often and make sure she is not freaking out.

Keep Halloween a happy holiday for everyone, including your best furry friends!

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.

Dogs and Kids: Introducing a New Dog into your Home

This is the 2nd post in a series by Deborah Rosen of Good Citizen Dog Training.

Last week’s post, Dogs and Kids: What you Need to Know, addressed items to consider when thinking about getting a dog for your family.

Get off on the right paw!

As promised in the last blog entry, I will now address some of the proper steps to take when introducing a new rescue dog or puppy to his or her new family. By taking these few easy steps, you will give your new fur baby a much better chance of succeeding with each new member of your household, especially with the children.

On the very first day the dog is due to arrive at your home, arrange for each person in your household to be present, even if they have all met the dog before. Ask each one to step outside the house where the dog will feel less confined and be more apt to feel less threatened.

Tuesday awaiting treatTake Things Slowly

Have each family member stand at least 5 feet from the dog. One at a time, have each adult and child call the dog’s name without looking directly at the dog. If the name has not yet been selected, a noise or a whistle will work just as well to simply get the dog’s attention. The second the dog looks at the individual, pop a very tasty treat in his or her mouth and say “good job” or “good dog.” Do this with each person, one by one. By doing this, we are telling the dog (in a way he can really understand) that the person he just encountered is a “very good thing”. And, by doing this with each person, you are helping the dog understand he has nothing to fear.

Assuming the dog had no difficulty with step one, move to the next step by having each person come up to the dog, one at a time. As they do, tell them to approach the dog sideways without giving the dog eye contact. It’s important, especially with small children to be very clear and concise. “Don’t look at the doggy yet.” Have them present the dog with an open palm and let the dog sniff. Quickly drop a treat in the child’s hand and let the dog take the treat. Do this over and over several times, and if the dog is comfortable, proceed to the next person.

shutterstock_79959028

Do this process over and over until the entire household is introduced without giving eye contact. If this process goes well without incident, start again with everyone now facing the dog squarely and looking directly at him. Once this process is complete, it’s time to go inside the house.

 

Check back next week for next steps to when introducing a new dog to your home.

 

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.

Dogs and Kids: What you Need to Know

This week we have the pleasure of introducing a guest blogger:

Deborah Rosen, Founder and Owner of Good CitiZEN Dog Training!

 

dog kid Just like in the movies.

 
Like Travis and Old Yeller, Timmy and Lassie, Rusty and Rin Tin Tin, dogs and kids have been put together for as long as we can remember. Because of how this is portrayed in the media, we often jump to making assumptions that kids and dogs are made for each other like apple pie and ice cream. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

When you see disclaimers in pet classifieds saying a particular dog is not “kid friendly” you will know these dogs were either not well socialized as puppies or became fearful of children for a variety of reasons. Certainly, these are dogs to stay away from as you look for a new furry family member. What you may not realize is that many rescues come without historical information. It is for this reason that I advocate for adopting either a well documented socialized older dog or a puppy to incorporate into a family with younger children. There are many puppies available through rescue organizations as well.
read more…

Dog Care 101: Caring for a Sick and Dehydrated Dog

Got Water? Water is essential to humans and pets for a healthy & happy life. When dogs becomes ill, it’s very easy for them to become dehydrated & lethargic.

Canine dehydration is a serious issue that can become life-threatening if not properly treated. It is important to constantly hydrate your dog back to health.

Here are some simple tips on how to care for a dehydrated sick dog and get him on the road to recovery & back to his old tricks again:

1. Seek out a certified vet. Your dog may be too ill or dehydrated for you to nurse her back to health and may need vet observation of emergency assistance.
read more…

The 4 W’s When Planning your Dog’s Bath

 SPRING is around the corner, and for many dog owners, that means rain, mud and extra time spent wiping Fido’s paws at the front or back doors! If your dog really enjoys getting dirty (an annoying and lovable quality at the same time), bath time can be a hassle.

Even if rain is not in the forecast anytime soon in your area, dogs do sweat (and smell), something we dog owners become more aware of as summer draws closer.

 We at BestBullySticks have compiled 4 things to consider planning to clean Fido– before the next Puddle fest or heatwave!

Why

If it’s not sweaty season, and he’s not smellier than his usual, a bath once a month should be plenty. If bathing this regularly, use a mild shampoo, perhaps one with oatmeal. Medicated shampoos should only be used every other time. If a bath is called for due to rolling in feces or an encounter with a skunk, a specially formulated shampoo and/or several baths will be necessary to eliminate the smell.

Who

Will you be the one to tackle Fido in the bathtub for this necessary task? If so, be sure to have a helper on hand– it will be faster and less stressful for your dog (and you!).

 Where

This time of year, it is probably still too cold to submit Fido to a bath outside. If possible, give him an inside bath until temperatures warm up.

When

Before breakfast or dinner is a great time to bathe your dog because mealtime will serve as a reward and calm him down if baths are unpleasant and distressing for him.

If you are a new dog owner or new to giving your dog a bath, we hope these tips prove helpful when planning your dog’s bath!

For more tips on canine health, see Healthy Dog Blog posts on Dog Health!

 

9 Easy Ways to Show Your Dog Love

Today is Love Your Pet Day, but Best Bully Sticks knows every day you can show your dog love in a number of ways! Here are 9 Easy Ways to Show Your Dog Love!

1. Take Your Dog For A Walk. Did you know a fit dog is 15% more likely to live longer? Taking your dog for daily walks in your neighborhood will not only make Fido a healthier, happier dog but can even curb behavioral and social problems. The same goes for playing around the house, playing fetch or tug! Plus, you’ll get some exercise, too! read more…

12 Crucial Facts About Your Canine’s Canines

February is Pet Dental Health Month and at Best Bully Sticks, we care about your canine’s canines! Check out our infographic below and find how why your dog’s teeth are so important to their overall health! 

Looking for an easy way to keep your dog’s teeth clean? Check out Best Bully Sticks full line of all-natural bully sticks for dogs

Rescue Spotlight: SNARR

Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation just wants to save animals. They take in some of the more dire cases but through a lot of passion, hope and networking, they save a lot of dogs and place them in loving homes. Read the inspiring story of Robin Menard, founder and director of SNARR, and her team’s mission to save animals.

When & Why did you start?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved with rescue efforts, whether it was helping my mother gather up stray cats or sneaking into places I shouldn’t have been to drag away dogs fought the night before. I have been in law enforcement, and I’ve worked at animal shelters; I constantly picked up strays, whether they’re dogs or cats, goats or pigs, turtles or the occasional possum. So it was a natural evolution to expand my passion into an organization with a national reach.

What’s different about your rescue?

Sadly I see a lot of rescues who mainly take in the dogs that are the most likely to be adopted. The cutest ones, or the puppies, or the pure bred, leaving behind the pits that are harder to adopt out , or the ones with disabilities, behavioral issues, congenital disorders, injuries and so on. SNARR mainly focuses on these cases, the ones least likely to pulled by other rescues that have extreme medical issues or deformities or require tone and training before placing them. Our dogs very rarely go straight into foster homes due to these issues and come to me first for rehabilitation before being placed into foster homes awaiting adoption.  I also see a lot of rescues who seem to “compete” with each other and think of rescue as more of a Competition. SNARR works hard to stay away from the drama of rescue and focus on the dogs not concerning ourselves with what the others are doing. If we see a dog in a thread that we was interested in pulling be rescued by another rescue we are happy to see it is placed as long as it’s a good rescue.  Because we rescue, foster and adopt out to approved homes nationwide we have established an awesome team of volunteers located throughout the U.S. that assist in transports over-nighting and so on. read more…

Doggy Travel Preparation Tips

Picture this: You’re headed out on a trip, and you think, “Did I get everything?” If you have to question it, chances are, you just might have! Best Bully Sticks knows preparation is everything!

As a professional organizer Bonnie Dewkett knows this, too. Bonnie is a Certified Professional Organizer and dedicates her life to forming “calm from chaos” through organizational systems. It’s not different when she travels with her dog Roxy, which she does often. Here is how she preps for a road trip with her pooch!

“I take my dog everywhere.  Most people take their dog in the car with them once in a while.  My dog is with me most often than not.  She only gets left home when I work with clients in their homes or offices.  And, when it’s going to be a long day she goes to “Grandpa’s Doggie Day Care.”

It’s important to me that Roxy is always comfortable and safe so there are a few things I did to make sure we are safe travelers.

The first thing I did to make travel easily is I designated a bag just for Roxy’s gear.  I keep it ready to go at all times.  It has a travel doggie bowl (plastic collapsible kind), a travel food bag, first aid supplies, a first aid bandana (for instructions), an extra leash, treats and toys. read more…

Dog Care 101 #223: Choosing a Pet Sitter

BBS Dog Care 101 - Choosing a Dog SitterSummer is prime time for vacation but sadly some dog owners don’t have the option of bringing their four-legged friends along. However, just because Fido can’t tag along doesn’t mean he can’t have fun at home while you’re away! BestBullySticks recommends owners look into getting a pet sitter as an alternative to dropping their pup off at the kennel.

Choosing between leaving your pup with a pet sitter or dropping him/her off at the kennel depends on a few key things. For instance, if your dog doesn’t play well with others, you’re better off finding a pet sitter. The one on one attention from a pet sitter can make all the difference to a dog when its owner is away. Also, leaving your dog in a familiar environment adds an extra level of comfort while their owner is away.

While finding the right pet sitter can sometimes be a challenge, we’ve assembled a handy list of tips and strategies to help ease the stress on your dog while you’re away.

Planning Ahead

First things first — make a list of important items your dog needs. At the very least, your list should include a leash, bags for waste, food, toys, medications, emergency phone numbers and plenty of bully sticks! Collect these items and set them aside for your pet sitter.

Keeping these items on hand will give a pet sitter more time to spend with your dog and less time looking for things he/she needs.

Selecting Your Dog Sitter

It’s important to find an individual you’re comfortable leaving with your dog and in your home. If possible, take the time to meet a few potential candidates for the job to make sure you find the right one. If you have a pet savvy friend or family member who is willing to watch your dog don’t hesitate to ask them. Dogs are often more comfortable with friendly faces visiting them at home than strangers. Picking someone your dog knows may have a big impact on their comfort level. read more…

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