The best way to make sure your pet is at their ideal weight is not by actually weighing them, but by their Body Condition Score!
A Body Condition Score (BCS) chart lays out specific guidelines to help pet owners and professionals have a hands-on assessment of fat and muscle mass. It is either scored 1-5 or 1-9 depending on what chart you use.
Click the link below to take a look at a BCS chart and figure out where your pet stands!
Here are a few things you should know to keep your pet safe, and everyone happy during this time of year:
Oh, Christmas Tree!
Mistletoe and Holly
Making Spirits Bright
If chewed on, wires can give a nasty electrical shock and leave burns in their sensitive mouths and esophagus. Your pet can also get tangled in the wires, and cause injury to their limbs and other body parts.
Sweets and Meats
Chocolate and sweets with xylitol can be toxic to dogs. Usually causing some gastrointestinal upset, but it can also cause neurological impairment and can be fatal.
High-fat meats and other fixings can have an effect on your pooch’s digestive system, causing GI upset, and can lead to an inflamed pancreas. This can leave you with costly medical bills and one sick puppy.
If you follow these tips and keep your pet safe this holiday, it means everyone can enjoy this magical time of year!
As you begin to decorate for Halloween keep these few things in mind:
1. Keep Halloween Plants Out Of Your Dogs Reach
2. Keep Electrical Cords & Wires Out Of Your Dogs Reach
3. Keep Chocolate & Candies Out Of Your Dogs Reach
4. Keep Decorations That Can Become A Coking Hazard Out Of Your Dogs Reach
5. Avoid Putting Up Decorations That Appear Threatening To Your Pets
Pet insurance is becoming increasingly popular. It is believed that this is due to the fact that in this day and age, people are more inclined to do what they can to increase the lifespan of their beloved companions. The reason's why we believe pet insurance is worth it:
1. Allows you to choose treatment for your injured or sick pet without being restricted by your finances.
2. Makes it easier for veterinarians to provide your pet with optimal care.
3. You can pick and customize a plan based on your dog's needs.
4. Like everything else, Veterinary costs are on the rise.
5. Can make it easier to help your pets live a healthier and longer life.
6. Overall peace of mind.
1. Set up a mini obstacle course in your house and show your dog around it with treats the first time to teach him the course.
2. Run your dog up and down the stairs, this forces them to use different muscles than running on flat surfaces.
3. Use Bullwrinkles Tenderchips to train your dog to run on the treadmill.
4. Throw a ball in short distances but high up, to encourage your dog to focus and catch.
5. Play tug of war with your pup's favorite toy.
6. Make your pup work for small treats, ask him to pull out all of his tricks (in exchange for a tiny reward).
Tips From A Pro: Jessica Moll- Registered Vet Technician
There are a lot of different reasons why people want to crate train their puppies or dogs. Despite the “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” mentality, you can train dogs at any age, especially if you make it a positive and inviting experience. The key is to get your dog to see their crate as a safe space to escape to - much the same way your bed is your place to relax and escape. It is imperative that the crate is NOT used for ANYTHING else. Too many people shove their noisy or whining pup in their crates where they cry as they’re ignored. If you start to use it for punishment, this pretty much guarantees a stressful, frustrating exercise for both trainer and trainee. Below are steps that can ensure positive results.
Place the crate in an area that your dog spends a lot of time in - if you treat it like another piece of furniture, your dog will grow accustomed to it and therefore alleviate distrust and suspicion. Leave the crate door open, fill it with a cozy blanket, a couple toys and treats - I suggest Bullwrinkles Liver Lovers. Let your dog approach it on their own without influence - do not try coaxing them into it. You’re trying to teach that it is their choice: their space. Some dogs will willingly go inside and sniff around, others need that push with additional treats. For the dog who need an extra push, place a few more Liver Lovers in front and around the crate. Keep up this process until your dog feels comfortable going inside. This doesn't always happen overnight, but it is very important to be patient and let them do it on their own.
The Power of Persuasion
After your pup gathers the courage to go in and out of it a couple of times, the next step is to get them comfortable with staying in it for longer periods of time. This can be accomplished by using food to create a positive association with the crate. As pretty much all dogs LOVE meal time, you can start by putting each bowl of food at the back of the crate. Again, just place it back there and let your dog explore - DON’T try to encourage them. If you started with a pup who was hesitant or slightly spooked about going to the back of the crate when it was first introduced, start by placing the food closer to the front of the crate, gradually moving the bowl further back as the days progress.
Closing The Crate
Once your dog is comfortable eating at the back of the crate without stress or nervousness, it’s time for them to adapt to closing the crate. Continue doing this each time, gradually leave your pup in the crate a couple of additional minutes after each meal as over the course of the next few days.
If your pup is whining and putting up a fight, slowly open the door and do not leave him as long the next time. If he starts complaining at the previously allotted time, let him whine, wait until he stops and then open the crate. This way you are not teaching him that whining makes the crate open.
Longer Crated Periods
Once you have mastered the steps above and your pup is spending more time in the crate stress-free, it is time to try getting out of sight when they are crated. Use a Liver Lover or favourite toy to encourage them to get into the crate and close it. Sit beside the crate for a few minutes and then venture off to another room in the house where you can not be spotted by your dog. Return to the crate and sit beside it again for a few minutes before opening. Once your pup has reached the hour mark of being in the crate without seeing you, they are ready to be left for short periods of time or overnight.
Coming and Going
There a couple more factors in the success of long-term crate training. The first is to remember to avoid excitement. Encouragement and praise can be used when asking them to go in, but don’t overdo it. When you get home and they are super excited to see you, ignore them for the first minute while you put your stuff down and take your coat off, then proceed to the crate.
Crate training can be a slow process, but a very successful one if completed with patience from start to finish. Ensure that your crate is large enough for your pup to stand up, sit down and completely turn around in. Also, ensure you use a highly palatable (extremely stinky and tasty) treat to train with, you want to keep them focused and happy about the process. This is why I recommend Bullwrinkles Lover Lovers.
A great blog post from James WellBeloved about how to choose a dog.