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Tips to Help if Your Dog is Leash Reactive
Best Ways to Socialize Your New Puppy or Kitten
Keep Up with Your Dog’s Grooming Between Professional Appointments”

Tips to Help if Your Dog is Leash Reactive
Having a dog means taking nice long walks. However, if his behavior becomes unmanageable while on a leash, he may be leash-reactive, making that walk unnerving.

According to the article, “These Dog Training Tips Can Help Your Pup Overcome Leash Reactivity” at, “Leash-reactive dogs are triggered by stimuli in the environment, responding with over-the-top behaviors that increase stress levels for the pet parent, the dog and everyone within barking distance.” Additionally, behaviors “can range from fear to frustration to true aggression,” however, there are dog-friendly ways to remedy the issue.

Leash-reactivity can mean a dog is anxious, fearful and trying to get away from the “stimulus,” the article said. The defensive reaction is used to “prevent further confrontations.” It can come from:

1. Lacking proper early socialization
2. A bad experience while walking
3. Punishment after he reacted
4. “Barrier frustration” whereby he is moved away from interacting with another dog before he is ready

You can help by “changing your dog’s perception of the stressor,” the article said. The goal is your dog eventually will associate more positively to the stimulus. Include treats and a “marker” such as a clicker or a particular word.

• Determine the buffer zone and keep your dog “below the point where he reacts to the trigger,” the article said.
• When your dog sees the “trigger,” mark it with the clicker or the associated word. Then provide the treat as a reward, continuing as necessary until you see the dog associating the trigger with the treat.
• As your dog is more relaxed, you can “begin to decrease the distance between your dog and the trigger during walks,” the article said.

Continue the method and always keep an eye on your dog to see how he is reacting. Keep treats with you as well.

Best Ways to Socialize Your New Puppy or Kitten
One of the many joyous occasions in life is bringing home a new puppy or kitten. You have to think about training, vet care, bedding, potty training, litter boxes, toys, etc. And don’t forget socialization.

According to the article, “Socialization of Dogs and Cats” at the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Socialization is the process of preparing a dog or cat to enjoy interactions and be comfortable with other animals, people, places and activities.” It’s best to start at 3 and 14 weeks for puppies and 3 and 9 weeks for kittens.

Start early so your puppy will be “a more confident, relaxed and well-adjusted canine,” according to the article, “Your Guide to Socializing a Puppy” at, which offers these tips:

• Teach your puppy to be relaxed in different situations so she can react confidently.
• Introduce her to sights, sounds and objects calmly and reward with a treat or toy.
• Expose her to other dogs, livestock, horses, birds, etc., avoiding dog parks at first, the Vetstreet article said.
• Introduce her to a variety of people, grooming, the vet’s office, car rides, shopping carts, visitors to your home.

The article, “Your Guide to Socializing a Kitten,” also at, says to introduce your kitten to different people, sights and sounds, which makes for a confident adult cat. Speak to your vet about when to expose your kitten to other cats.

• Get your kitten used to being touched and handled by different people.
• Expose your kitten to a variety of experiences so she is not scared or threatened later on in life, including a car ride, vet’s office, a crate, music, harness, groomer, other animals, tooth brushing, nail clipping and bathing.

The earlier you prepare your puppy or kitten for social interactions, the better adjusted and happier you both will be.

Keep Up with Your Dog’s Grooming Between Professional Appointments
Whether you have a dog who is high maintenance and needs regular grooming or a dog who is groomed less frequently, it’s important to keep up with grooming in between professional appointments.

“In addition to maintaining your dog’s beautiful coat, making sure that your pet is groomed will reduce the chances of many health problems, including painful tangled fur and the presence of flies and all the issues they present,” according to the article, “Keep dogs happy in between grooming sessions” at

The article offers simple advice:

• Remove your dog’s collar every so often when at home to reduce matting and irritation of the skin
• Brush your dog’s coat regularly.
• Clean your dog’s ears, especially if your dog has floppy ears, which are more prone to infections.

If you plan on at-home grooming in between professional appointments make sure you feel confident. You will get to know you dog, get in some bonding, and also notice anything unusual on his body, including lumps or bumps, according to the article, “7 tips for safe, stress-free grooming” at Animal Wellness Magazine. The article offers the following advice:

• Buy the right tools and keep in good condition, including brushes/combs, shampoo, scissors and clippers, blow dryers and nail trimmers.
• Find a good, safe and secure place to bathe your dog.
• Be patient and use positive reinforcement. Keep treats on hand “to reward good behavior, and give him lots of love,” the Animal Wellness article said.
• Go slow and let your dog get used to the experience and sounds.
• Groom regularly.

If you’re uncomfortable doing a full groom at home, do the basics and leave the rest to your professional groomer. You don’t want to accidentally hurt your dog or make him stressed so that he is afraid of getting groomed at all.

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November is the Perfect Time to Give Thanks to Your Pets
The Do’s and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Dinner and Your Pets
Got Cats? Find Out What’s All about the “Flap?”

November is the Perfect Time to Give Thanks to Your Pets
Thanksgiving is around the corner. With so many things to be thankful for, make sure you don’t overlook your pets. They bring so much joy and add so much to life, and November is the perfect time to give them thanks.

According to the article, “Reasons to Be Thankful for Pets” at, your pet “is a member of your family and deserves to be appreciated for all the love and companionship he offers you.”

Some of the great things you get from pets include snuggling sessions, their excitement when you arrive home from work, laughter, they are playful, they are great companions so you’re never alone, and unconditional love. “Pets don’t care what you look like, what you do for a living, that you bite your nails or clean only when company’s coming over,” the article said.

Pets truly “make us whole and happy,” according to the article, “10 Reasons To Be Grateful For Pets This Thanksgiving,” at The article offers some more reasons to be grateful for pets:

• Animals keep us present and “remind us to be mindful.”
• Pets give us purpose. When you help homeless animals or shelter pets, “it feels worthy and meaningful.”
• Animals are good teachers by allowing us our imperfections and accepting us as we are as we learn and grow.
• Pets keeps us active. We walk our dogs and go on hikes, and we play with our cats and rabbits. They help keep us physical and young.
• We become better. “Studies show that petting an animal can reduce a person’s heart rate as well as their blood pressure, and animals keep us physically healthier overall because they keep us moving,” the article said.

For all pets bring to life, being grateful to them is the least we can do.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Dinner and Your Pets
Many of us wait all year for Thanksgiving to come, dreaming of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie, oh my! If you have sneaky dogs or cats who enjoy hiding under the table or standing at your leg begging for a morsel, it might be hard to resist their cute faces. However, think twice before you drop that turkey.

Nothing ruins a Thanksgiving feast more than a sick dog or cat. “In fact, abrupt changes in diet or too many rich, fatty foods are just a few of the reasons why veterinary clinics see an uptick in cases of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and gastrointestinal upset right after Thanksgiving,” according to the article, “10 Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Pets” at

Many Thanksgiving foods are detrimental to pets who should stay away from things cooked with garlic, butter, sour cream or bacon drippings. “Don’t leave food within reach of counter surfers and take garbage outside so your pets don’t into it while you’re engrossed in the football game,” the article said.

Some foods are literally poisonous to pets. According to the article, “Thanksgiving Pet Safety” at (American Veterinary Medical Association), keep pets away from fatty foods that are hard for them to digest, poultry bones that can do damage to the digestive tract, and some holiday sweets that have ingredients that are poisonous.

The AVMA article offers tips:

• Some poisonous foods for pets include onions, raisins and grapes. Even a bit of turkey or turkey skin can cause pancreatitis.
• Keep pets away from desserts especially ones with chocolate and xylitol, an artificial sweetener.
• Yeast dough may cause bloating and gas.
• Keep trash away and out of pets’ reach.

If your pet eats anything poisonous, call your vet, emergency clinic and/or ASPCA Poison Control: 888-426-4435.

Got Cats? Find Out What’s All about the “Flap?”
Cats are amazing animals. They are intelligent, adorable, fun, playful, and sometimes sneaky. Ask any cat person, and they’ll tell you all that and more. They also may tell you about their cat’s saggy belly. Not all cats develop that flap underneath near the belly, but some do. What is it?

Sometimes cats who are not overweight otherwise may have a hanging belly. “Unlike most dogs that generally have firm bellies, this pouch of saggy skin just in front of the rear legs is common in cats and can often be seen swinging merrily from side to side as the cat trots along,” according to the article, “Why do many cats have a saggy belly?” at

The saggy belly is a part of your cat’s natural anatomy. The technical term for the flap of skin is the “primordial pouch,” which also can be seen in some lions and tigers, the article said. “This bit of loose skin and padding at the belly provides extra protection and insulation to your cat during fights when a cat’s practice of “bunny kicking” with the rear paws could result in severe abdominal injury to their opponent.”

It is also said that the flap allows the stomach to stretch in order to hold more food, which would make sense for cats in the wild, according to the article, “Why Does My Cat Have a Flabby Belly?” at Pawesome Cats.

When a cat ages and his metabolism slows, he may store more fat. This could cause the pouch to increase its size as well.

Remember that even though the flap is part of your cat’s overall anatomy, it’s not a reason to keep him otherwise overweight. Keep your cat at a healthy weight to help him live a long life.

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We all know that exercise is not just good for the body but the mind as well. It keeps us healthy and makes us feel good, if not during then afterward. Sometimes getting up off the couch to exercise can seem like a chore. However, an exercise partner can help with motivation. You might not know it, but the best partner can be your own dog.


Most dogs love at least a good walk, which can be great in and of itself. But many dogs can be up for much more than that, and they’re always eager to get outdoors and exercise. “That energy can be contagious: research from Michigan State University found that canine owners were 34% more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week than folks who didn’t have a dog,” according to the article, “13 Fun Ways to Work Out With Your Dog” at


Get Moving


There are so many more exercise activities for you and your dog. According to the article, some include:


  • If you’re a runner, your dog will keep you moving as soon as he learns your routine. Be careful when it’s too hot and humid though.
  • Stand-up paddle boarding. This is great for dogs who love the water. While you are paddling and getting fit, your dog rides on the nose. It’s great for dogs of any size. Make sure your dog wears a life preserver.
  • Dog-friendly boot camp. Who knew? But it’s a thing. These classes for people and their dogs are sprouting up more and more, “In a typical class, you’ll run through high-intensity moves for strength, balance and cardio while your four-legged companion practices obedience drills,” the article said.
  • This is especially great for herding dogs, such as border collies and Australian shepherds.
  • Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. This is great when it’s cold outside and you don’t want you and your pup to be stuck indoors. Not only is it great for cold-weather dogs such as huskies, but other dogs love snow as well. Try snow booties.


Then Came Yoga


More people and their dogs are doing yoga. Some yoga instructors are now even teaching “doga” or yoga with dogs, according to the article, “Doga: Doing Yoga With Your Dog” at


With doga, members of a yoga class “perform yoga poses that incorporate their dogs,” the article said. “While the dogs aren’t doing the exact same poses as their human partners, they are either participating by performing a compatible dog-friendly pose, or are contributing by becoming an extension of the yogi’s pose.”


Yoga can be great for your dog, especially if he is anxious. The benefits are many and include spending time with your dog, teaching him to trust you, and both of you enjoying a sense of peacefulness.


It just goes to show, that incorporating your dog into your exercise plans makes for happy healthy dog and human.