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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: 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…

Happy National Dog Day!

national doggy dayNational Dog Day is a time to celebrate and honor our four-legged best friends even more than we already do! For their unconditional love and devotion, for selflessly saving lives, for keeping us safe, and for bringing comfort to the sick, the blind, and the needy, we come together and encourage (loving) dog ownership all over the world. We spread awareness of how all dog breeds, mixed and pure, have helped us every single day, and we embrace this opportunity to give our own dogs a loving, happy, and safe life!

To keep your dog extra happy and healthy on this 10th annual National Dog Day, Best Bully Sicks offers a large selection of treats and chews perfect for your pooch!
read more…

National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Emergencies do happen. Making it to the vet can be difficult, especially in the middle of the night. That is why being familiar with Basic First Aid procedures for pets is a great way to minimize harm and prevent emergency situations.

First and foremeost: Advanced veterinary first aid should only be administered by certified individuals or a veterinarian. Even if you’re certified to administer first aid on people, don’t try to play veterinarian! The American Red Cross is a great resource for education on the subject and even offers courses in Pet First Aid. Here are some basic steps you can take to ensure that both you and your pet prepared for anything.

First Aid Supplies

Keep a list of phone numbers on hand including your veterinarian’s number, and others like the Animal Poison Control Center: 888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435) and a local emergency veterinary clinic. In the event something happens to you, keep a friend’s number handy who is capable of caring for your pet in your absence. It’s also a good idea to maintain your pet’s medication and vaccination history for reference. The American Veterinary Medical Association has compiled a comprehensive list of pet first aid supplies that should be in your emergency kit.

Basic Procedures and Treatments

As important as these supplies are, proper knowledge of their use is crucial. BestBullySticks encourages all pet owners to become familiar with basic pet first aid. To get you started, we’ve put together a brief guide below outlining some common pet-related emergencies and treatments.

Choking

One of the most common emergencies, symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing and an excessive pawing of the mouth. First, look into your pet’s mouth to see if any foreign objects are present. If there is something blocking their airway, use tweezers or a pair of pliers to gently remove the object. However, be careful not to push the object further down the throat or spend too much time trying to remove it; you might be better off seeking immediate medical attention.

Animal First Aid AwarenessFractures

Limping or an outright inability to use a limb is usually an owners first sign of fractures or breaks. Pets should be immediately muzzled and checked for any bleeding. Carrying your pet can cause further damage and they should be placed on a stretcher for transportation. Never try to set a break or fracture yourself. Done improperly, this may cause irreparable damage.

Seizures

Do not attempt to restrain your pet during a seizure. Doing so may injure you and your pet. Move any heavy objects your pet could bump into such as furniture and be sure to time the seizure (usually 2-3 minutes). After your pet has come back around, contact your veterinarian.

Bleeding (External)

After muzzling your pet, identify the injured area. Using gauze or a clean bandage, apply firm pressure to the affected area for at least 3 minutes or until bleeding stops. If bleeding is severe and located on your pet’s legs, use an elastic band or clean t-shirt as a tourniquet between the wound and body. Once you’ve stopped the bleeding, seek veterinary attention.

Poisoning

More difficult to identify, there are a wide range of symptoms exhibited by an exposure to toxins. Vomiting, convulsions,  diarrhea and weakness are among the most common. Do not induce vomiting. Instead, identify the source of poisoning and contact poison control.

sick dog

Animal CPR

If you ever discover you pet to be unconscious, administering CPR can save a life. The American Animal Hospital Association has assembled a thorough guide for performing pet CPR.

Of course, not everyone needs to be certified — or even take courses for that matter — but knowing how to respond and care for animals properly in an emergency situation is important. BestBullySticks hopes you never run into an emergency. Being prepared never hurts, though. From our selection of dog apparel — essential for extreme climates— to custom dog tags and leashes, we’ve got you covered! So take the time to review the information above and if you are interested, enroll in the American Red Cross’ first aid course.

For even more information, check out our four-part series on animal first aid covering first aid kits and disaster preparedness, treating dog burns, treating dog bites, and CPR and Heimlich for canines.

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!

 

BBS Product Spotlight: Anxiety Solutions for Your Dog

September means back to school for over 75 million students around the country and over 7 million education personnel. With students and teachers out of the house, quite a few four-legged friends are facing a quieter, less active day-to-day routine than they’ve become accustomed to over the past few months. For those pups who suffer from separation anxiety, this means more than just fewer belly rubs a day. Dogs who experience extreme stress from being left alone or drastic shifts in their daily routine can exhibit physical side effects ranging from excessive chewing, barking and urinating, to more upsetting signs like diarrhea and vomiting. To help these pups deal with change, Best Bully Sticks offers a variety of anxiety solutions for your dog:

Animals Apawthecary Tranquility Blend: Reduce your dog’s stress – and thus your stress – with this glycerine-based herbal relaxation formula by Animal Essentials. Ideal for dogs and cats, this made in the USA pet product contains certified organic extract of skullcap herb for alleviation of nervous tension, valerian root and passion flower for their anti-anxiety properties, and oat flowering tops for additional soothing and relaxation. With a sweet taste and alcohol-free formula, this 1oz bottle contains a big sigh of relief inside.

The Anxiety Wrap: The Anxiety Wrap is a pressure wrap designed to lessen fear and anxiety in dogs through maintained stress-relieving acupressure. The first of its kind on the market, the wrap targets acupressure points on the dog’s body with a light pressure to release a calming effect. Featuring adjustable elastic bands for customization to each individual dog, the wrap relieves stress without inhibiting the dog’s ability to use the bathroom, eat or perform other daily activities. Available in sizes mini to large, and accompanied by a 100% satisfaction guarantee and free online support, the Anxiety Wrap is a great way to relieve anxiety without the use of medication.

Bach Rescue Remedy: Bach’s Rescue Remedy is all-natural stress relief for dogs. Safe and gentle, this alcohol-free formula helps reduce your pup’s tension and restores emotional balance. Recommended by vets worldwide, this soothing remedy includes cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, rock rose and Star of Bethlehem. Available in a 20ml bottle, this made-in-the-USA product is mixed together to help your dog overcome emotional stressors such as separation anxiety, adjusting to new surroundings, and visits to the groomer or vet.

 

For additional help with separation anxiety or during other stressful times, also consider giving your dog an all-natural bully stick to gnaw on for tension relief!

Follow BestBullySticks on Facebook & Twitter and be the first to hear about the latest news, product giveaways, and specials!

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…

BBS Training Tip #10: Canine Body Language

Training Tips from BBSTraining your dog can be exercise in patience. Then again, it doesn’t have to be! Dogs are incredibly expressive creatures and if you know what to look out for, you’ll be amazed by how much your dog is telling you — a lot of times we’re just not speaking the same language. There are consistent bodily expressions all dogs show. And lucky for us, this doggie dialect isn’t too hard to pick up! If you aren’t already, BestBullySticks will have you talking with your dog in no time.

Speaking Dog

There’s a whole lot to cover when it comes to canine body language. Your dog uses nearly every part of its body to express feelings and emotions – so instead of trying to describe specific situations, we’ll focus on key expressive behaviors your dog uses to communicate. This way you will be better prepared to figure out what a dog is trying to tell you at any given moment. You’ll be surprised just how much your pup can say with their furry faces and wagging tails!

Eye Contact

Dogs seldom make eye contact with each other. Catching a direct gaze from another dog is usually a sign of aggression. However, for people, this isn’t always the case. If your dog has a relaxed facial expression and he keeps making eye contact, chances are he’s just looking for some attention.

If a dog holds a tense fixed gaze he probably doesn’t want much to do with you. This type of eye contact is usually regarded as a sort of “first warning” by other dogs. The same goes for people, too. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #214: Caring for Senior Dogs

As we near the end of “Adopt a Senior Dog Month,” we at BestBullySticks wanted to set aside some time for a very special group of dogs — seniors. For aging canines, there are special considerations that need to be kept in mind. Keeping a keen eye on behavior and general health in addition to some fine tuning in diet is all that’s needed to maintain healthy living into the senior years. Old age comes at different times for different breeds, though. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to not only identify aging, but also how to properly care for your dog as a senior.

Expectations

Knowing what to look out for is half the battle. If you’re able to spot signs of health complications early, there’s a good chance the damage can be minimized. Here are some common health issues to watch out for:

Graying: Of course, there’s nothing dangerous about going gray, but it is a good indicator of middle-age and early seniority. It should be noted, some dogs go gray early despite still being quite young.

Vision & Hearing: Inevitably, vision and hearing deteriorate with old age. For vision, some signs to watch out for are increased clumsiness and cloudy eyes. Cloudy eyes, which are often harmless and a normal process of aging, are the product of lenticular sclerosis. This is sometimes confused with cataracts — a clouding of the lens inside the eye — which is very detrimental to sight. If a clouding of the eyes occurs, make sure you promptly pay a visit to the vet. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #199: High-Five Trick Dog Training

Yes, your dog is cute. But how cool would it be to give your dog a high-five?! “Good Boy, Fido!” followed by a head pat can quickly become “Good Boy, Fido! High-Five” followed by interspecies coolness. What’s more awesome than that?

BestBullySticks.com knows once your dog has mastered standard training commands and a few tricks, your dog will not only be the cutest and best behaved at the dog park, but the most talented as well! 

Teaching the High-Five Trick

Need: Training Treats, Training Treat Pouch & a Clicker

If you’re not familiar with clicker dog training, read up on it here. Also, your dog must have the “sit” command mastered before teaching this trick.

Step 1
Have your dog sit in front of you. Place a desirable treat in your hand and make a fist. Let your dog sniff your hand to let them know the treat is there. Move the hand with the hidden treat above your dog’s head, just out of reach. Have the clicker ready in your other hand. read more…

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