Canine College Blog

4 Most Common Health Problems in Dogs

Dogs are one of the most loyal and loving additions you can add to your family. A new furry friend is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of responsibility. Your dog depends on you to recognize and treat health problems they may be suffering from. They can’t use words to express pain or symptoms they’re feeling, so it’s up to you to be aware of the warning signs. Ear Infections Ear infections in dogs are extremely common and have many potential causes. Allergies, bacteria build-up, and hair growth deep in the ear are a few of the most common culprits for canine ear infections. Luckily, ear infections in dogs can be easily treated with antibiotic drops if it’s caught early. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s time to schedule an appointment with the vet. Head shaking Lack of balance Ear scratching Discharge from the ear Worms Worms are something that can be easily prevented in dogs, but many dog owners fail to take those preventative measures until it’s too late. Worms are an internal parasite that lives in the digestive tract of your pooch. Treatment methods will vary slightly depending on the severity of the condition, but it’s typically a quick and easy fix with a trip to the vet. Signs of worms in your dog include: Vomiting Diarrhea Lack of appetite Scooting bottom against the floor Fleas Fleas are something that every pet owner is familiar with. They multiply and spread very quickly, so catching a flea problem early is the key to protecting your pup. Fleas are commonly picked... read more

Teaching Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

When you’re first training your puppy, there are many important commands and skills you’ll want to teach him. As always, it’s best to start with the basics; Sit, stay, come, etc. Once he’s mastered these, teaching him to properly walk on a leash is an important skill that you’ll want him to have as soon as possible. After all, it’s something he’ll use almost daily! The earlier he learns it as a puppy, the easier it’ll be. Here are a few tips to get started!  Introduce the Collar and Leash First, it may take some time for him to get used to wearing the collar. Start by putting it on for short periods of time around the house. If you introduce the collar and leash during playtimes or while giving treats, he’ll start to associate the leash with positive and fun things, rather than developing negative feelings towards it.  Use a Cue Once you’ve got the collar and leash on him, you’ll want to teach him a cue that signifies food or a treat is coming. Some people use a sound, such as the clicking of their tongue, or one word to get their attention. Whatever you use, stay consistent so your dog knows what to expect. Once he catches on and starts coming to you for the treat, reward him to encourage that behavior.  Teach him to Come During the session, as he’s on his way to you, you can gradually start walking back a few steps at a time, to encourage him walking further on the leash. The goal is that with the cue noise, he’ll automatically... read more

Why Should I Train My Dog?

Dog training now is a lot more than teaching your dog cool tricks to do, there are actually rewards for both you and your dog to benefit from! Dogs are sharing our homes and lives in closer ways than ever now and it’s important to train them for their safety and enjoyment. Training Benefits Both Dog and Owner When it comes to training, your dog isn’t the only one reaping the rewards; you benefit too! Training your dog can help you better understand his needs, making you a better owner and companion to your dog. Using positive reinforcement, or using constructive guidance, instead of disciplining misbehavior while training your dog will help him understand what wants/needs for a happy life with you, his owner. Training increases the bond of loyalty and companionship between both of you! For Their Own Safety The better you can control your dog, the safer he will be. Teaching voice commands like “stay,” “sit,” or “come” will keep your dog out of harm’s way, whether they are leashed or not. A dog that bolts off the leash is more likely to run in front of a car or sneak out the front door when you’re trying to leave. Training your dog to be well-behaved and listen to commands is beneficial to their own safety, so you don’t have to worry about his every move.  Helps Your Dog Be More Sociable This not only helps your dog but other dogs and people too. The more friendly your dog becomes, the more equipped he will be to deal with the pressures of his everyday life. Expanding your... read more

Yummy Treats You Can Give Your Dog This Summer

There’s something about the warm weather that makes people start to have cravings for yummy and sweet treats. Although that statement typically applies to people, what would make dogs any different? Of course, they want to enjoy a yummy treat with you to cool off! Unfortunately, the summer treats we enjoy aren’t always suitable for dogs. Check out these summer snacks that will help your dog cool off and keep them satisfied.  Homemade Ice Cream Homemade ice cream is much safer for your dog than traditional ice cream. The ice cream that we eat is high in lactose that isn’t suitable for dogs. They can suffer from bloating, gas, vomiting, and more if we try to share our treats with them. A simple homemade ice cream recipe includes peanut butter, bananas, and a small amount of yogurt. Yogurt does contain lactose, but in a much smaller amount than ice cream does. Combine the ingredients and freeze them to create dog-friendly ice cream! You can even add oats, apples, and other healthy snacks your dog enjoys.  Vegan Ice Cream If you don’t have the time to make your own ice cream, vegan ice cream is a great option you can find at the grocery store. This ice cream doesn’t contain any lactose that will upset your dogs’ stomach, but you still need to be wary of artificial sugars. Stick to either vanilla or fruit flavors and only give your dog a small amount at a time. After the first serving, observe your dog for a period of time to ensure they aren’t having a reaction to the ice cream. Avoid... read more

Why Training Your Dog is Important

Dog owners have a special relationship with their animal. In most cases, the dog is a part of the family. Of course, that means that you want what’s best for your pooch! Dog training is something that’s been around for a very long time. Despite the fact that it’s an old profession, the methods used are constantly evolving. If you’re on the fence about training your dog, check out these 4 reasons why it’s more important than you realize. Building a Relationship Training your dog is a wonderful way to build a relationship with them. You’ll be able to gain a deeper understanding of how your dog processes and learns new things, as well as what types of positive reinforcement they respond the best to. Dogs that are trained with understanding, patience, and positivity show better results than those who are trained with intimidation tactics. Show your dog that you’re proud of them as they continue to learn! Teaching Daily Skills An important part of training your dog is teaching them daily life skills, not just cool tricks. Simple things like learning to greet without jumping, only chewing on their designated toys, and controlling their barking will make daily life easier for both of you!  Loyalty  Training your dog using positive reinforcement creates a strong bond of loyalty between you. Your dog will trust you more than ever before and they will look to you for guidance during stressful situations. Keep this loyalty intact by continuing to offer constructive criticism to bad behaviors, such as a time out, rather than using an intimidation tactic.  Reducing Negative Behavior  When you’re... read more

Helping Your Dog Deal With Anxiety

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from anxiety too, for a variety of different reasons. It could be separation anxiety, which may be common in rescue dogs that were abandoned as puppies, or travel anxiety, thunderstorm anxiety for dogs that fear loud noises, and more. Depending on what triggers your dog’s anxiety, you may notice different symptoms. There are several ways you can help your dog deal with this. The first step is recognizing the signs of anxiety. Common Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs Include: Trembling/shaking Panting Having accidents around the house Excessive barking or whining Shedding more than normal No interest in toys, food, or treats Destructive Behavior Hyperactivity However, it’s important to remember that just because your dog is displaying one of these signs, doesn’t necessarily make it a cause for concern. Pay close attention to his behaviors, and determine if these behaviors are out of the ordinary, when they’re happening, and then take action from there. Exercise Similar to how some humans deal with anxiety, exercise is a great way to help mild forms of anxiety. While it’s not necessarily a “cure” that will make the anxiety disappear completely, it certainly will help. You should aim to get your dog out for a minimum of 1 hour per day for a walk or other form of physical exercise. This can especially help dogs with separation anxiety, as it reduces boredom and allows you to spend more quality time with your furry friend.  Treats or Toys When you were a kid, you probably had a favorite stuffed animal or blanket that brought you comfort. When you were... read more

New Puppy Checklist

Getting a new puppy can be one of the most exciting times in our lives! Just like welcoming a newborn baby into the family, it’ll be a big adjustment for the whole family. Puppies can be a lot of work, so it’s crucial that you’re prepared with all the essentials before he arrives. We’ve put together a checklist of a few necessities you’ll want to have on hand before bringing your new furry friend home. Dog Crate First, you’ll want to have a crate to bring your puppy home in! Crate training has many advantages for you and your new friend. A crate acts as the dog’s den, and becomes a safe space for them. This can be especially helpful if you’re rescuing a puppy, or have a puppy with anxiety. The crate is a place where they can go to find comfort and security. It’ll also allow you to be able to leave your dog at home for a few hours while you run errands, without having to worry about him tearing up the house while you’re gone! To ensure that your puppy doesn’t develop negative feelings towards the crate, never use it as a punishment and avoid leaving your dog in there too long. Chews In case you’ve never had a puppy, we’re here to tell you; they love to chew everything! Having good dog chews can help redirect them from chewing furniture, clothes, or shoes, to the chews you give them instead! These are key to have around until your puppy matures and loses his puppy teeth. Toys This one may be obvious, but you can... read more

How to Freshen Your Dog’s Breath

Dogs have a reputation for having bad breath, but the truth is that when taken care of properly, dogs really should not have bad breath. If your dog’s breath is bad enough to make you gag or recoil it’s time to make a change. Bad breath in dogs can actually be a sign of a severe health issue. Visit the Vet Bad breath in dogs stems from the teeth, much like it does in humans. If your dog has bad breath, it indicates bad oral health. The first step in getting rid of it is to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned and treated by a vet. This will give you a fresh start in an oral care routine for your dog. It can also be a time when your vet may tell you gum disease has progressed far enough that some teeth need to be pulled. Getting to the vet sooner rather than later can save your dog’s teeth and risk further health complications. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth The next step is to get into a regular brushing routine with your dog. The more you brush their teeth, the less chance you will need another expensive trip to the vet to have their teeth cleaned. This might be something your dog hates, but pet stores have everything you need to make the process easier. There are dog-friendly kinds of toothpaste in pleasing flavors and toothbrushes that fit right over your finger, so you are always in control. Make sure you never use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. Dental Chews Your pet store will also have dental... read more

Spring Activities to do With your Dog

Temperatures are warming up outside, the sun is shining, the snow has finally melted; The long-awaited spring season is finally here. Chances are, after a long winter of being cooped up inside, you’re not the only one that can’t wait to get outside! Your dog is probably running in circles wagging his tail, grabbing his own leash, and waiting for you by the door to go out and play! Here are a few fun activities you can do with him outside this spring to get him moving, and even learn some new tricks. Set up a DIY Obstacle Course Working on your dogs agility and tricks doesn’t have to involve any fancy equipment or facility. Use household items that you already have to make a DIY obstacle course in your backyard; Set up lawn chairs, hula hoops, cardboard boxes, and other objects to make a safe and fun course to challenge your dog.  You’ll both enjoy some fresh air outside, and he may even learn some new tricks along the way! A day at the Beach It may not be bathing suit weather just yet, but that doesn’t mean you and your pup can’t enjoy a fun adventure to the beach! Grab a tennis ball, frisbee, soccer ball, and any other toys to play with. Your dog will love having some open space to finally run around freely and stretch his legs. He might even be brave enough to splash around in the water for a bit! Spring Cleaning This one might benefit you even more-so than your dog, but he’ll still have fun! Cleaning out the closet can... read more

Hiking With Your Dog in the Winter

If you and your dog are an active pair that don’t like to be cooped up inside even on cold winter days, hiking can be a great way to let out some energy! While it may seem obvious to bundle yourself up in a warm coat, scarf, hat, mittens, and appropriate hiking boots, it may be a little more difficult to determine exactly how to get your furry friend ready for the adventure. Check out the tips below to keep your dog warm and safe during your hiking trip. Protect his Paws The toughness of a dog’s paw pads will vary greatly depending on his breed. While some pups may be able to withstand a rough terrain with ice and snow for hours without pain, others might be bleeding or sore under the same conditions. As a general rule of thumb, most dogs will require booties on frigid winter days. Be sure to let your dog wear them around the house to get comfortable and break them in beforehand, or he might not last very long on the trail. You can also rub his paws with musher’s wax to prevent ice from accumulating between his toes or in his fur. Even with these preventative steps, it’s important to regularly check on his paws to remove ice buildup or notice if he’s experiencing any pain or discomfort. Invest in a Dog Jacket On cold winter days, sometimes his own fur coat just isn’t enough. Buying him a dog jacket will not only keep him warm, but will also cut the wind, and protect his fur from being covered in icy... read more
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