Canine College Blog

Keeping Your Dog Safe, Healthy & Happy This Winter

With the winter months quickly approaching, there are many changes that come along with the season not just for us, but for our furry friends too. The temperatures changing drastically, the snow on the ground making, lack of sunlight, etc., take just as much of a toll on them. Check out our tips to make this winter bearable for your dog. Cozy Bedding   Creating a warm bed for your dog to sleep in this winter is essential. Floors can get quite cold in the winter time, especially if you have ceramic or porcelain tile floors. Make an elevated bed, with warm blankets and pillows. You can even buy a heated, elevated pet bed to get them off the hard floor. Place it in a warm spot away from drafts near the door or windows, preferably on a carpeted surface. Get Some Sunshine Try to take your dog for a walk in the late morning or early afternoon, if possible. Avoid early morning walks or late evening strolls, as this is typically the coldest part of the day. Let them get some sunshine and playtime after being cooped up in the house. Keep Dog Away From Heat Sources Just as we do, dogs tend to gravitate towards heat in the cold winter weather. Be careful of space heaters and fireplaces, as they can burn your dog if they come in contact. Never leave your pet alone near a fireplace, even if there’s a glass or mesh door. Pets can still get injured.   Don’t Overfeed You’re probably not getting as much exercise this winter, and neither is your dog!... read more

Halloween Candies to Keep Away From Your Dog

The Fall is always a season filled with traditions and festive activities. One of the most popular among families and children, probably being Halloween. For most, this is a fun holiday with sweet treats and silly costumes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the holiday isn’t enjoyed the same by everyone, AKA your furry friends. With so many sweet treats around the house at this time, it’s important to remember that they can be quite harmful to your dog and pets. Even if you choose to not keep these harmful sweets in your house, on Halloween night when your child comes home and dumps out their big bag of candy from trick or treating, there’s a good chance they may have inherited some of these goodies from the neighbors’ house. Some of these Halloween candies are among the most dangerous foods for dogs to consume. Here’s a guide to help identify, and keep your dog safe from the treats that will inevitably be around the house in a few weeks. Chocolate Bars It is fairly well known that chocolate is a toxic food for dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic in high doses and can lead to symptoms such as vomited and diarrhea.In more severe cases it can also cause excitation and seizures. There may also be GI obstruction of they consume an excess amount, or the paper wrapper can cause obstruction and bloat, or even a twisting of the stomach which could be life-threatening. So to be safe, keep all chocolate candy bars out of your dog’s reach this Halloween season. Chocolate Covered Raisins In... read more

Pumpkin Season… For Your Dog, Too!

The temperatures outside are starting to drop, the leaves are slowly dancing their way from tree branches to the ground, and school is back in session; Fall is finally here!… And guess what, you’re not the only one that enjoys a daily dose of pumpkin spice! Did you know that your dog may also be a big fan of pumpkin? Although, they may not crave it for its tasty flavor, but rather the benefits it provides for their health. So, what is it about pumpkin that makes it good for your dog? How Pumpkin is Beneficial for Your Dog Although dogs aren’t going to sit at Starbucks with you and sip on a pumpkin spiced latte, they can benefit from small amounts of canned pumpkin supplemented into their diet. Research has shown that pumpkin can be used as a remedy for an upset stomach, promote a shiny coat and even improve your dog’s immune system. Pumpkin has many nutrients that can be beneficial to your pet. It is high in fiber, low in fat and cholesterol, and loaded with beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamin A and C. The fiber helps regulate their digestive tract, which is helpful if your dog is experiencing constipation or diarrhea. Additionally, the oils found in pumpkin seeds can support urinary health. Lastly, if your dog is a bit overweight, pumpkin is low in calories, so it may be a good dietary supplement to help your dog shed a few pounds. How Much Pumpkin Should Dogs Eat? Depending on the size of your dog, the amount of pumpkin that they will need in... read more

Integrating a Second Dog Into Your Home

If you’re anything like us, once you have one dog, you just keep wanting more! You couldn’t get enough of their puppy days before they grew up…It’s almost like baby fever for us dog lovers. And after all, wouldn’t your dog love a friend to play with when you’re out? Adding a second dog can mean double the cuteness… but it can quickly turn into double the trouble, if he’s not properly integrated into your home. Just as there are steps you need to take in order to “puppy proof” your home when getting a first dog, there are steps that need to be taken to make the adjustment smooth for both the new dog and your beloved first furry friend. If you do choose to get a second dog, take precautions, and avoid these common mistakes to ensure that both dogs will be healthy and happy in their environment. Common Mistakes When Getting a Second Dog:   1.Getting two dogs of the same sex and breed Who doesn’t love twins, right? Wrong. Although it may be adorable to walk around with two dogs that are almost identical, you’ll probably realize that there is quite a bit of tension between the two. Studies have shown that two dogs in the same household of the same sex and breed are much more likely to have inter-dog aggression. Since they have the same “hardwired” behaviors, it will take a lot of work in the training phase. When it comes to dogs, opposites certainly attract. Try getting a second dog whose behaviors will complement those of the first dog. 2. The two... read more

The Rules of Positive Reinforcement

When training your dog and teaching him basic commands, positive reinforcement can be a highly beneficial tactic to use. Dogs love a good treat, so it is an effective way for them to learn behaviors that you want them to know. However, if positive reinforcement is used incorrectly, it can actually confuse your dog and lead him to pick up some bad habits without you even realizing. We’ve laid out a few simple rules for you and your dog to follow, to avoid confusion and have successful training sessions. Timing is everything Dogs have a fairly short attention span, so it’s important to reward them on “dog-time.” Be sure that the positive reinforcement happens immediately following the good action. This ensures that they know exactly which action you are happy with, and they will be likely to do it again in the future. A delayed reward could confuse them into associating the wrong action with the positive reaction. For example, if you tell your dog to sit and you wait to reward him until he stands, he will think that by “sit” you actually want him to stand. It is essential that they are able to understand which actions you are praising. When to give treats When using positive reinforcement, it’s important to know how often you should be treating your pet. After all, the end goal is to get him to do the behavior on his own out of instinct. When your pet is first learning a new behavior, you should use “continuous reinforcement,” rewarding him every time he does the behavior. As your pet starts to understand... read more

Pet Fire Safety

According to a study by the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 500,000 pets are affected by home fires every year. Not only is it important to keep your pet safe from home fires, it is often overlooked how easy it can be for your pet to accidentally start a fire. As pet owners, it is our job to protect them and take precautionary measures to ensure their safety. These simple preventative actions could make a huge difference some day. Safety Precautions Keep pets near entrances when you’re not home- Since pets cannot escape on their own in the event of a fire, it’s recommended to keep them near an entrance if you’re going to be gone for a while. Keep them near a door with their collar on, and a leash at the ready. This way, a firefighter would easily find them and quickly be able to rescue them. Smoke detectors- In addition to a traditional smoke detector, you may also consider connecting a monitored detector that signals emergency responders. This will allow them to be contacted when you’re not home in the case of an emergency. These systems give an added peace of mind for you and your pets. Pet alert window cling- In the case that your pet is not near an entrance and easily accessible, it is important to have a static cling on your front window listing the number of pets inside. This saves the rescuer time when trying to find your pets, ensuring that no furry friend gets left behind. Extinguish open flames- Our pets can’t help their generally curious nature, so it’s important we are... read more

Keeping Your Dog Safe & Cool In The Summer Months

The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising, and the summer months are finally upon us! On those warm days, you’re not the only one starting to break a sweat…just imagine how it would feel in a fur coat! Here are a few tips to help keep your dog safe and cool during these hot summer months. Schedule Walks Accordingly The best time to take your dog for a walk during the summertime is early in the morning, or later in the evening. You should always check the temperature of the pavement; if it’s too hot to place your hand on for more than a few seconds, then it is too hot for your dog’s paw pads. Try to find a shady sidewalk or park to take a stroll in. If your dog is going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, consider applying some doggy sunscreen. As always, don’t forget to bring a water for yourself, and for your animal. Collapsible water dishes are a convenient way to keep your dog hydrated on walks!   Never Leave Your Dog In A Car Your pet should never be left in a parked car for any period of time. On a warm summer day, temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees in a car within a matter of minutes. Even if the windows are left open, your car will heat up just as quickly. So if you’re going somewhere that your dog cannot go inside, it’s best to leave him at home! Help Your Dog Cool Off On those 95 degree days where you can hardly... read more

Why Choose In-Home Private Dog Training

At Canine College, we love it when our clients bring their dogs to our Holbrook facility for training classes. However, sometimes group dog training just isn’t in the cards for both the owner and their dog. In these instances, we’re here to provide in-home private dog training for Boston area residents. What Does In-Home Dog Training Entail? Glad you asked! In-home dog training from Canine College includes any type of training that we have available here at our Holbrook facility. Whether you have a puppy that needs basic Puppy Kindergarten or Elementary I courses, or a trained dog that’s ready to learn some new tricks. Our professional private dog trainers will come up with a custom-tailored training course for you and your pup — right from the comfort of your home. Why Choose Private Dog Training? Aside from the fact that private in-home dog training works around your schedule, there are a number of added benefits, including: One-on-one, full attention training We focus on the issues you want to focus on Cost effective in that private training courses will lead to quicker results Your dog will be less stressed Great for dogs that have temperament issues or are shy More bonding time with your dog If you are hoping to enroll in specialty dog training courses such as dock diving, show dog training and trick dog training, then these courses can also be provided at our Holbrook facility as a private lesson. Whatever your needs are, we always have a professional trainer on hand to meet you either at your home or in Holbrook for private dog training. Contact us today... read more

Does Grooming Improve My Dog’s Health?

Heading to Canine College for dog grooming services isn’t just to make your pet look presentable; in fact, there are a number of other benefits as to why dog owners should be grooming their pet on a regular basis. No matter whether your dog has short or long hair/fur (although longer does require more frequent grooming), the process is a good habit to pick up. Why Dog Grooming is Beneficial Healthy Hair and Skin. Just as we humans have a ritual in order to improve our skin’s natural glow and our hair’s natural shine, grooming your dog will also do the same for their hair and skin. Routine brushing with a bristle or wire brush will help remove and trapped dead hair, hair clots, dirt and dandruff. Doing this will also help spread your dog’s natural skin oils across their fur, resulting in a brighter and shinier coat. Detecting Health Issues. Regular grooming is a way for you to keep tabs on your dog’s health. During bath time you (or your regular dog groomer here at Canine College) can check for abnormalities such as lumps, rashes, infections and inflammation. Just as we are often checking ourselves as preventative health measures, so too should you be checking your pet. After all, they deserve a long and healthy life. Finding Ticks & Fleas. New England is notorious for ticks and fleas during the warmer months and they have been an increasing issue for dog owners due to the fact that many towns have made an effort to improve and create more outdoor spaces and parks. Bathing your dog as well as brushing them will... read more

What Vaccines Are Mandatory For My Dog?

Owning a dog isn’t just about taking it on long walks or cuddling up on the couch — there are a few “adulting” things you’ll need to take care of before you and the pup can have some fun. One of the most crucial things you’ll need to do (if you haven’t done so already) is head to the vet for vaccinations. Why is Vaccination Important? Vaccines help your dog’s body fight infections, viruses, and other disease-causing organisms. Although their bodies are pretty rugged and can take quite a beating (remember that time they ate that whole chocolate bar?), there are some viruses you don’t want to mess around with. Vaccinations help protect both your dog, other dogs, other animals, and even humans as some viruses can spread from one species to another. These vaccines are equipped with a minuscule amount of antigens which look identical to the original virus but don’t actually cause harm to your dog. Your dog’s immune system then develops it’s own antibodies to “fight” this antigen and stores copies of the antibodies for later in case your dog is exposed to the virus again in the future. If this happens, then the immune system already has a defense against this disease. What Vaccines Are Necessary? The core vaccines your dog needs to have include: Adenovirus (aka Canine Hepatitis) Distemper Parvovirus Rabies These vaccinations should all be given when your dog is still a puppy or — if they are a stray — as soon as possible. Non-Core Vaccines That Are Still Recommended Depending on a number of factors such as the age of your... read more
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