1. Make sure to get your dog’s full attention when training them. Call out their name and make sure he or she is all-ears. Once they’re waiting on your command, that’s your cue. Make sure they know you have the authority and speak strong, with a steady voice.
2. Patience is key, for both of you. Dogs in training most certainly won’t get the trick the first time around, or the 10th time around, but they will eventually so bear with them. They won’t initially know what’s going on either, so just keep calm and have fun with it! Don’t let them get frustrated; stay happy and positive so they’ll enjoy training sessions and look forward to more.
3. Treats, treats, treats! Everyone knows that rewarding your pup with treats give them the incentive to repeat their trick. Make sure that the treats you’re rewarding them are healthy and in small amounts so they don’t get sick. Here’s a great snack to try! Grab some whole chicken franks and cut them into small pieces and throw them in the microwave until they puff up!
Not only is Hide and Seek the perfect game to play with your kids, but dogs love it too! This is a fun way to interact with your dog as well as build the bond between dogs and humans!
Here are a few tips to start a game of Hide and Seek with your dog!
- The trick to get it started is to start easy in the house. Go ahead and hide until they find you, then reward them with a small and healthy treat. Gradually start doing longer distances until they get the idea.
- Whistle or call for them to keep them interested in the game and to avoid distractions.
- Once comfortable in a house or yard setting, try playing in the park or outdoors, just make sure they don’t wander too far away!
Not only is this a fun pastime to do with your dog, but it teaches them obedience and the importance of finding you. For example, if you’re out on a hike together and you happen to lose each other their instinct will automatically tell them to go and find you. Good dog!
That’s right! We’ve done it again and developed a revolutionary “no pull” solution for dogs!
The ThunderLeash can be used as a standard leash, or quickly and easily converted into a “no-pull” harness when pulling becomes a problem. Simply wrap the leash around the dog’s torso, and secure using our specialty hardware design. It’s that simple! The gentle pressure on the dog’s torso when they pull will cause them to stop, making walks with your dog more enjoyable than ever! Extensively tested and reviewed by professional dog trainers, we know you’ll love our new ThunderLeash.
Ready to try a ThunderLeash?
Order risk free here! http://www.thundershirt.com/Product/ThunderLeash.aspx?item_guid=07665bd4-cc1c-4f0c-be5d-26c277e64b56
Barbeque season is just around the corner! Here are some fun activities to do with your dog during these family get-togethers.
Bring some bubbles. These are always a huge hit with the kids, have your dog play with them! The kids can blow the bubbles while your dog can chase after them, be sure to not use too much soap and that the bubbles are non-toxic.
Make a scavenger hunt. Hide some fun treats and toys for your dog while he spends the afternoon looking for them. This will give you some freedom to socialize while your dog has a blast of its own.
Doggie “pup”-sicles anyone? Freeze some toys and goodies in a water bowl with some chicken broth. What better way for your dog to cool off in a delicious way!
Kids love dogs. Dogs love kids…. in moderation. If your dog is comfortable around youngsters, arrange some fun activities they can do together. Playing fetch or throwing a Frisbee is always a great choice and both the kids and dogs are entertained. Make sure to pick a light-weight ball just in case they hit someone!! And pay attention to your dog to see if they’ve had enough playtime in case they need a break.
As always, be observant of your dog if they are becoming uncomfortable with large crowds or strangers in the house- consider their stress levels and make sure they have a place to retreat to if needed.
With spring in the air, flowers and plants are finally budding and blossoming. Although we all love our pets dearly, sometimes they don’t make nice with our beautiful gardens- and even worse, some plants can make our dogs sick! Here are some tips to keep them out.
First and foremost, if you haven’t yet built your garden, try to plant on a raised platform. The higher they are out of reach, the better.
If having a raised garden isn’t an option for you at the moment, try to find a spot for your dog to do all of its digging. Differentiate the difference and make it known. Do this by burying some goodies and this will give them that initiative to dig in their digging spot. They’ll start to really like that spot and hopefully not like the spot where you are planting.
Try leash training. Walk him or her around in the yard and tighten your grip when your dog gets close to the garden. Show and communicate that the garden is a no play zone.
Hopefully these quick tips will get you excited about the warmer weather and get “fido” less excited about the garden!
Believe it or not, dogs can be very similar to us when it comes to exercise: We feel better once we do it, and we can definitely benefit from it. If you’re planning on running with your dog it’s important to get them acquainted so eventually they can become the best of running companions!
It’s always smart to warm up before you start your run. Walk for about 5-10 minutes before you actually start running and check to make sure your dog isn’t experiencing anything abnormal like limping or excessive heavy breathing.
Make sure your dog stays hydrated throughout the day. Dogs can easily become dehydrated, especially on long runs or in warm weather. Consider bringing a portable doggie dish, or you can teach them to receive water from a water bottle as well.
Start out slowly, and then build your way up. Just as if you were training for a rave, it’s important to slowly build up your mileage. You don’t want to tire out your dog, and this is the best way to build your stamina, for the both of you.
Always remember, safety first! Avoid running when it’s dark, always have a leash, and watch out for any unusual signs from your dog.
Enjoy the miles!
Just in case you needed a few more reasons to love your four-legged friend, see the list below containing the “oh so many” great benefits of owning a dog.
Physical benefits of dog companionship
- Increase longevity after heart attacks. Dog ownership increases the odds for survival in persons who have had a heart attack from 1 in 87 to 1 in 15.
- Lower cholesterol and triglycerides. People with pets have been found to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels when compared to people who did not have pets, even when matched for weight, diet, and smoking habits.
- Decrease blood pressure and reduce stress. Studies of people undergoing stress tests or physical examinations have demonstrated that the presence of a dog lowered their heart rate and blood pressure during testing.
- Increase physical activity and functioning. People who own pets often have better physical health due to the need to exercise and care for their pets.
- Reduce medical appointments and minor health problems. The use of prescription drugs and the overall cost of caring for patients in nursing homes dropped in those facilities where companion animals became part of the therapy.
- Predict seizures. Some people who have periodic seizures have reported that their dogs can sense the onset of a seizure before they can. Now it has been found that dogs can be specially trained to recognize some type of change prior to a seizure, and signal the owner of the imminent seizure. These dogs are called ‘seizure-alert’ or ‘seizure-response’ dogs, and can be trained to signal their owners from 15 to 45 minutes prior to a seizure.
- Alert to hypoglycemia. There are also animals who alert their owners to episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which allows the owner to correct the level before serious symptoms develop.
Emotional benefits of dog companionship
- Adjust to serious illness and death. Children often turn to their pet for comfort if a friend or family member dies or leaves the family. Grieving adults who did not have a close source of human support were also found to have less depression if they had a pet.
- Be less anxious and feel more safe. Pet owners tend to feel less afraid of being a victim of crime when walking with a dog or having a dog in the home.
- Relax and reduce everyday stress. Pets can help us relax and focus our attention away from our problems and worries.
- Have physical contact. This ability to have something to touch and pet is very important. More and more studies show how important touch is to our physical and emotional health.
- Lift our mood. Pets decrease our feelings of loneliness and isolation by providing companionship to all generations.
- Feel less lonely. Pets can help ease the sense of loneliness or isolation we feel.
- Have something to care for. Everyone needs to feel needed and have something to care for. Many elderly citizens or people living alone will tell you their pet gives them a reason for living.
- Keep active. Having a pet can help us remain more active. We may not only get more exercise from walking a dog, but we also increase our activity through feeding, grooming, and otherwise caring for our pet.
- Have consistency. Pets provide some consistency to our lives. Caring for a pet can significantly affect our routine and gives us something to do and look forward to each day.
Social benefits of dogs
- Create a sense of closeness and well-being. Families surveyed before and after they acquired a pet reported feeling happier after adding a pet to the family.
- Offer a topic of conversation. A study in a veteran’s hospital showed that the residents had more verbal interactions with each other when a dog was present in the room than when there was no dog present. Dogs were also shown to increase socialization among persons with Alzheimer’s disease in a Special Care Unit of a nursing home.
- Promote interaction. Residents in long-term care facilities were more likely to attend activity sessions when an animal was going to be present.
Yep, it’s that time of year… the trees are blooming, the pollen is everywhere and our poor pets feel it too! While handling allergies is a pretty common fix for humans, dogs and cats can suffer from seasonal allergies as well. We’ve rounded up a few tips to hopefully make allergy season go a little smoother. Keep in mind; it’s always best to consult your vet if you feel your pet is experiencing any kind of allergy or condition.
Watch for allergy symptoms: Itchy pups are hard to ignore. Allergy symptoms can include excessive licking, redness (“hot spots”) or hair loss.
Monitor the pollen count: Allergy season for dogs can mirror that of humans, so bookmark the pollen forecast in your area and monitor your dog for symptoms. Also, wiping your dogs’ paws with a cool towel to remove pollen residue or scheduling a weekly cool water bath will help.
Don’t ignore household allergens: The most common environmental allergen is not pollen, but house dust mites and house dust. Do what you can to reduce the amount of dust in your home by vacuuming carpets well. Focus on your dog’s favorite spots in the house such as under beds and near windows. Don’t forget to clean window treatments regularly.
Sure we’ve all heard it, “alpha dog, spoiled Cat, etc.” And it’s true, our pets experience the same basic emotions as we do: fear, happiness, anger, and even, jealousy. While most pet behaviorists agree that pets may not actually have the same feelings of “jealousy” that we do, they do react to changes that a new person or animal may bring. Cats typically become super distant and aloof and dogs can become erratic and territorial.
For any anxiety-ridden emotion, the Thundershirt might be a great way to combat these actions and calm down your animal. Other tactics to help with pet jealousy include- giving your pet time to adjust to a new animal or person; providing separate areas for your pet to go to if they become stressed or erratic, and not immediately punishing them for anxious behavior.
It’s also important to try and maintain the original routine you had with your pet, or if you are changing the routine, be firm and be the pack leader so that your pet will know to listen and follow.
For more information on pet behavior, we recommend visiting Mikkel Becker’s blog on VetStreet.com.
Well as you may or may not know, we at ThunderShirt LOVE any reason to celebrate our furry friends! We hope you enjoy this fun, healthy St. Patrick’s Day dog treat recipe… who knows maybe it will bring you both good fortune!
Based off the flavors of the traditional Irish-American dinner of corned beef and cabbage, these treats are much healthier for your dog than the human version. In fact, one of the common spices in corned beef, paprika, is actually poisonous to dogs.
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon grated carrots
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
½ cup low-sodium beef broth
Shamrock cookie cutter
1. Mix flour, salt, carrots and parsley together in mixer
2. Add flaxseed oil and mix
3. Add beef broth; mix until all dry ingredients are moistened
4. Roll dough out on floured surface to a 1/8” thick sheet
5. Cut into shamrocks using a cookie cutter
7. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
8. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes
Makes about 10-15 cookies, depending on size of shamrock.
Be sure to let the treats cool thoroughly before giving to your dog. These make great party favors for St. Patrick’s Day guests, or just to spoil your own Irish-loving pup!