The Importance of Pet Vaccinations

The Importance of Pet Vaccinations

Grooming is vital for your pets. It not only helps keep them clean but also ensures you are made aware of any issues vital to their wellbeing. Before taking your pets to the groomers, you need to make sure that you follow certain safety precautions. One of the most important is to ensure your pet has had its vaccinations, something required by all professional pet groomers.

Pet vaccinations are not only aimed at protecting your pets from viruses and diseases. These vaccinations prepare their immune systems to help them build resistance. Each state has a list of mandatory vaccinations for pets, but there are also some other vaccines recommended by vets. Pet vaccinations offer protection for you and your pets, but also for pet groomers and their businesses.

Diseases spread easily in areas where pets congregate. Whether you are taking your pet to the vet’s office, boarding kennels, the groomers, or the pet store for supplies, vaccines ensure that your pet is always safe.

Currently, nearly all states in the US require pet groomers to maintain proof of the rabies vaccination from the owners of the pets they groom. A copy of a medical record, veterinarian statement, or vaccination certificate must be kept by the business for up to a year. Pet grooming businesses are liable for a fine if they cannot present this proof. Most importantly, pet groomers are potentially harming their business’s reputation if they are punished for the offense. That is why they demand proof from you of your pet’s vaccinations.

Why must you vaccinate your pet?

Vaccines are not cheap, and many people prefer to administer only those required by their states. Pet owners must check with their local governments or humane society about mandatory vaccines. Your veterinarian can also tell you which other vaccines are important to ensure your pet lives a long and healthy life.

Pet groomers play an important role in educating pet owners about the required vaccines. Protected pets are not only healthier, but they also cannot spread any unwanted diseases and viruses during their visit to the grooming salon, play park etc.

One of the major reasons people avoid vaccinating their pets is the cost because pet vaccines are not free. However, pet health insurance plans can help minimize this burden.

Do vaccines hurt?

Yes, vaccines do hurt pets, just like they hurt humans. Certified pet groomers are both knowledgeable and experienced to offer advice on how to relieve any discomfort or confusion your pet may feel after its vaccination.

Pet groomers usually advise their clients not to bring their pets in for grooming immediately after pet vaccinations. The tenderness to the area of the jab can make your pet grumpy. A later appointment date, usually at least 2 days after the vaccination, allows the pets a few days to recover in the comfort of their home. This waiting period ensures your pet has no side effects and is fully protected.

Why are vaccine schedules important?

Like with humans, most pet vaccines require a repeat dosage to ensure their immune systems are maintained. These booster shots are vital, and often pet grooming clients may forget them. Pet groomers understand the importance of a healthy pet, and they are often the ones who encourage or remind their clients to keep to their pet’s vaccination schedule.

On the other hand, some vaccines are not repeated but are given on an as-needed basis.

Pet groomers are also trained to watch pets for any unusual behavior. Whenever they have any concerns, they approach their clients to make sure the pet has not had any traumatic changes or is exposed to situations affecting its health.

Can pet vaccinations have negative reactions?

All medications and vaccines present some risks. It is extremely rare, but yes, sometimes a pet may have a negative reaction to a vaccine. Pet vaccines are considered safe because they are extensively tested before they are circulated. One of the most common side effects is discomfort or swelling where the vaccination is administered.

These are some of the symptoms to look out for according to veterinarians:

  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Decrease in appetite
  • A sudden change of mood
  • Skin reaction at the injection site
  • Diarrhea, fever, or vomiting
  • Itching or swelling
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

Sometimes your pet may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This is very rare, but you should contact your vet immediately if you notice any severe changes.

Which vaccinations should your dog have before going for grooming?

Because diseases can spread easier when your dog is out and about with you, there are four very important vaccinations they should have. American Humane warns that pet owners need to keep in mind that most vaccines need anything from a few days to a couple of weeks to become fully effective.

After each vaccination, ask your veterinarian for the record to send to your pet groomer to keep on file. Vaccinations are usually administered 2 to 4 weeks apart to ensure they are most effective.

These are the four most important vaccines:

Rabies

The rabies virus is extremely dangerous to both dogs and humans. Because it is so deadly, it is required in most states. Unfortunately, there is no cure for rabies, and prevention is the only way to prevent the virus. Dogs are usually first vaccinated for rabies at about three months, and the vaccination is repeated a year later.

Parvovirus

Parvovirus is becoming very common and is an extremely deadly virus. It typically appears with the presence of bloody diarrhea and is spread by infected feces. Sometimes, the parvovirus can kill a dog in just two days, and the virus can linger for up to two years. The vaccine is the only way to protect your dog.

Bordetella

Commonly known as kennel cough, Bordetella can spread rapidly, causing inflammation in the dog’s upper respiratory system. This leads to coughing and increases a dog’s chances of developing other illnesses. Kennel cough is treatable, but it’s best to have your dog vaccinated.  Your dog is given two doses in the first 16 weeks and this is followed by a booster shot every two years.

Canine influenza

Canine influenza is a dog flu that is transmitted from dog to dog when coughing, sneezing, or barking. The virus lingers for hours, making it easily transmittable in shared spaces. The symptoms include a nasty cough, fever, decreased appetite, and lethargy. These symptoms can take up to three weeks after exposure to develop.

Other precautionary vaccines

Other vaccines commonly administered include those for leptospirosis and Lyme disease. The best way to ensure your pet is covered is to discuss your pet’s lifestyle with your vet who will accurately assess its risk of exposure to infections and offer the necessary protection.

What are the essential vaccines for your cat?

Cat grooming is essential for cats because it helps prevent dangerous blockages from hairballs. Pet groomers also cut your cat’s nails and offer vital ear care. Just like with dogs, some vaccines are vital to your cat’s health. There are several vaccines for cats that are not essential but are often recommended by vets, including for chlamydia, Bordetella, and feline leukemia.

These are the two most essential vaccines:

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP)

This is commonly known as the “distemper” shot. This combination vaccine protects against three diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (often called feline distemper).

Rabies

Just like in dogs, the rabies virus is fatal to cats and other mammals, including humans. Rabies vaccinations are required by law for cats in most states.

What is the right age to groom a puppy for the first time?

As soon as a dog’s vaccines are up to date, it is ready to visit the pet groomers. This is usually between 12 and 16 weeks. At this stage, your dog will have had enough vaccines to fully cover it against most diseases. The earlier your puppy is exposed to other environments; the better it can acclimatize.

By 16 weeks, most dogs have had their DHPP (distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and adenovirus) shot and its boosters. At this stage, they are fully protected against rabies – the most essential vaccine required by pet groomers before accepting a puppy at their salon for the first time.

Regular grooming services from this young age help to train your puppy for future grooming, and sessions are much shorter to ensure it is comfortable throughout the process. Depending on your dog’s breed, regular grooming sessions vary from monthly to three months.

Providing vaccination proof

Preventative pet care is important, and pet vaccinations are one of the most important ways to ensure healthy pets. Your favorite pet grooming salon follows the rules set out by the federal and local authorities to ensure your pet is protected from dangerous viruses and bacteria while being groomed. Therefore, they require you to provide proof of your pet’s vaccinations. This is kept on their database, making sure they have the information available for future reference.

If you want the very best for your pet, then you need look no further than Pet Groomer Finder to make an appointment with a reputable pet groomer near you. At Pet Groomer Finder you save time with features that include reviews, online schedule appointments and your pet’s appointment history. Book your pet grooming appointment today!

Introducing Cats and Dogs to Each Other

Introducing Cats and Dogs to Each Other

There is nothing wrong with mixing cats and dogs as pets, and it is always exciting to add a new animal member to the family. Unfortunately, once one type of pet has already staked a claim to your home, the introduction of another type becomes more difficult. This is especially true with  introducing cats and dogs to each other.

Often, cats and dogs take to each other immediately, but that is not always the case. Depending on their personalities, it can sometimes take up to a few months before they get used to one another. Your aim is not to make them the best of friends, but happy to ignore each other when they are in the same room.

The Dog is the One to Watch

According to Cesar Millan, it is usually the dog one needs to watch most. When a cat runs away from a dog, the dog is built to go into predator mode. However, often when they are puppies, dogs are playful, but if this playful behavior is not checked on time, it can later turn into aggressive behavior. This can result in your cat getting injured, or even killed.

Can You Match a Cat to a Dog?

  • Whether you are thinking of getting a cat in a home with a dog or a dog in a home with a cat, you must consider both animals’ personalities. Sometimes, it’s better to look for a pet that has already had exposure to the other species.
  • Look out for any signs that will indicate your dog shouldn’t be introduced to a cat. Observe if your dog attempts to aggressively chase, pick up, or pin cats. Does your dog growl, obsessively bark, or lunge at cats? If you still decide to get a cat, proceed with caution.
  • Likewise, observe your cat. If it growls, swats at, hides, or runs from dogs, you might consider that it prefers not to have a dog around.
  • A fearful and shy cat won’t be happy with a dog who loves chasing things around. Similarly, an energetic cat who runs and pounces would also drive the dog crazy. A calm, confident cat who will not run playfully or out of fear would make the best choice as a companion for a dog.
  • Some dog breeds play rougher than others, and these are best avoided if you have kittens or elderly cats. This is because these ages are more vulnerable to serious injuries. Adult cats that are playful may be more interested in playing with a dog and are also confident enough to ensure they are safe.
  •  A high-spirited or playful cat will enjoy a playful, but gentle, dog.
  • If you have an elderly, quiet or anxious pet, then a calm companion is best. Avoid riotous pets who may annoy, alarm, or bother the other one.

Introducing the Pets

Whether you already have a cat or dog, the first introduction between it and the new addition is a very important part of the process of getting them to adapt to one another. Follow these four steps to help you ensure a positive meeting:

1. Choosing the Right Location for introducing cats and dogs

Resident cat to new dog:

Introductions are best made at home when you are bringing a new dog into the family. For health and safety reasons, never take your cat to a shelter, or any other place where there are many animals, to meet a dog that you are adopting.

Resident dog to new cat:

If you are adopting a cat from a shelter, do not take your dog there because it is a highly stressful and traumatic experience for the cats. Don’t forget, if your dog goes crazy on seeing all the cats, it is not necessarily a good indicator of how he will react once you take your chosen cat home.

If adopting from a shelter, try and adopt a cat that is already dog-savvy. Perhaps the adoption counselors will allow your dog to meet your chosen cat under controlled conditions at the shelter.

Shelters usually offer advice and help you choose a confident cat or one that is used to dogs. You could also first try introducing your dog to a friend’s cat who is used to dogs. The best way to introduce your new cat to your dog is to bring it home. Here you can follow the steps required for a home introduction.

2. Separate Initially when introducing cats and dogs

Create a roster and rotate which animal is confined and which one is free to investigate the other’s scent. If necessary, confine the dog to a crate or room to ensure it cannot chase the cat if the cat darts away. This allows the cat then much-needed time to investigate the dog’s scent.

Baby gates are a wonderful way to gradually introduce dogs and cats. They act as a barrier, minimizing the danger for the cat while allowing it more freedom than a cat carrier.

If your dog obsessively digs at the separation barrier or barks at the cat for more than a day or two, you might have to accept that the interaction most probably won’t work. Your best bet is to seek proper training with the help of a professional.

When there is no one at home, always make sure one of the two pets is securely confined. This ensures no unsupervised interactions are possible.

Proceed to the next step only once the dog and cat are both calm. The dog mustn’t be obsessed with the cat, and the cat should be eating and using the litter box normally.

3. The Leashed Introduction

  • Now, you can allow both animals to be in the same room together, but you must keep the dog securely leashed.
  • Continue doing this until the dog is calm and ignoring the cat. The cat must also be calm and fearless as she goes about her normal functions (eating and using the litter box).
  • If you notice any signs of fear or aggression on the part of either animal, revert to step 2 a little longer.
  • The leashed introduction can be continued indefinitely until both pets are relaxed and happy around each other.
  • Always make sure one of the two animals is securely confined when no one is home to supervise their interactions.

4. Allowing unsupervised interactions

Only when you are positively sure the cat and dog won’t hurt each other can you consider allowing unsupervised time together. It is normal for this to take longer than a month.

Does Age Make a Difference introducing cats and dogs?

Puppies and kittens are easier to introduce to other pets, and both pets don’t need to be young animals. Puppies are less dangerous to adult cats, and kittens are generally fearless of adult dogs. All the above steps of introduction are still necessary, and it may require longer periods for them to get used to each other because kittens do tend to run and hide; while puppies love to pester cats.

Crate training makes it easier to introduce a puppy to a cat. When separating the two, make sure you place the cat in a room with its food, water, and litter box.

Some Extra Tips and Warnings for introducing cats and dogs

  • Interactions must never be forced between the two pets.
  • Distract the dog if it is staring at the cat, or the door separating them, with treats. Use the treats to help the dog look away. You can also use a gentle, happy voice or gently guide the dog away on a leash. Once he is away from the cat, offer a treat. If the dog takes the treat, continue repeating the exercise until he no longer focuses on the cat.
  • If the dog refuses to take his eyes off the cat or the door, remains overly focused on it, ignores you completely, or lunges suddenly as soon as the cat moves, consider it unsafe to leave the dog near the cat. If you have noticed your dog behaves like this with other cats, perhaps you shouldn’t get a cat.
  • It may prove difficult for you to keep the cat if your dog lunges at, growls, or shows any aggression toward it when the cat is calm.
  • If a cat attacks a calm, quiet dog, then you may also need to concede that you cannot keep both. Get professional help if you want to keep both pets.
  • Continual hissing, growling, and swatting from a cat to your dog or continued questionable behavior from your dog may mean you need to try a different cat or dog. You may need to keep just your original pet. It is unfair for either cats or dogs not to be able to tolerate each other.
  • If you notice your cat is not eating, drinking, sitting with you, or using the litter box, she is not happy. Consider finding a better dog match, or get help from a professional animal behaviorist.

When your two pets get used to each other, you will find that they will either ignore each other completely or become the greatest of friends. Whatever the case with your cat and dog, be sure that they will both require grooming from time to time. If you are looking for a well-trained pet groomer in your area, you need to look no further than: https://www.petgroomerfinder.com

How to Introduce Dogs To Each Other

How to Introduce Dogs To Each Other

Americans love their pets, and statistics show that at least 40% of households have more than one dog. Since most people don’t buy their pets at the same time, families getting a second dog must introduce the new addition to the rest of their dog family. Learning how to introduce dogs to each other is important in having a peaceful household.

Bringing a new dog into the existing pack does not mean chaos needs to follow. Whether human friends are moving in together with dogs, dating, or just adding another pet to the family, there are several steps to make it a smooth transition.

Introducing a new pet to your household is an exciting venture for its humans, but can be a daunting experience for the family’s existing furry friend and the newcomer. Be prepared, because presenting the two dogs often takes longer than expected. You might even need professional help. Keep reading to learn how to introduce dogs to each other.

Plan the Meeting Properly to Introduce Dogs To Each Other

Many people don’t realize that dogs cannot be introduced to each other by just placing them in the same space together in the territory of one of the dogs. It is natural for dogs to assert ownership by defending their territory. Your dog might become fearful or submissive, but then again, there could be a huge fight.

One of the first rules for introducing dogs to each other is to do it on neutral territory. You cannot do this on your own, so get somebody who knows your current dog well, to help you.

The protocol is to let the dogs meet on neutral territory first, followed by a long walk together until they get used to each other. When they come home, the humans enter first, they are followed by the dogs that live there, and last, the new dog follows.

By walking the dogs together, you are allowing them to first bond as a pack. The new dog then enters the home by following the dog currently living there. This method ensures the older dog doesn’t end up feeling as if his territory has suddenly been invaded.

What do you need to introduce dogs to each other?

Bringing dogs together will require that you follow the following rules:

  • Use a calm and happy voice.
  • Maintain control of the leash, but never hold the dog too tightly.
  • You want to encourage a positive relationship between the two dogs, so don’t punish your dog for barking at the new pack member.
  • There must be one person for each dog, and make sure the person with your older dog is familiar to him.
  • Go to a neutral area for both dogs, you don’t want any territorial behavioral flare-ups.
  • Allow plenty of distance between the dogs.
  • Bring some delicious treats for encouragement.

How to walk the dogs?

  1. The walk must always start on neutral territory where both dogs have never been before. The area must have plenty of space. This can either be a park, an open field, or a quiet street.
  2. Each dog is on a leash and held by the person responsible for it. The handlers must have a loose grip on the leashes and a calm demeanor.
  3. Starting on opposite sides of the chosen space, you both walk in the same direction. Whichever dog looks at the other one, gets a treat.
  4. Both of you keep walking until the dogs are no longer focused on each other.
  5. Repeat the same walk and reward method, but moving about 3-5 feet closer.
  6. Continue walking if the dogs are still paying more attention to you than to each other. If you notice the dogs become too focused on each other, add more distance again. The idea is to walk and give treats, and to avoid head-on meetings, but let them get used to each other.
  7. Continue decreasing the distance until both humans can walk next to each other with the dogs to the far right and left of them. The idea is to move forward without each dog obsessing over the other one. Reaching this point can take quite a few attempts.
  8. You can trade places with the other team to let the dogs sniff where the other dog walked and to investigate their potty spots.
  9. Once everyone is walking well consistently, allow the dogs to circle and sniff each other for a few seconds before leading them away. Repeat this several times.
  10. When the dogs’ bodies go still, lead them away, giving everyone a break.
  11. After several meetings where the dogs’ bodies are still and relaxed, leave the two dogs loose in a fenced area where they can move around at will.

Establishing a Hierarchy

Dogs cannot be forced into a hierarchy. Once they become a pack, you must accept that this is a natural process that they establish themselves. After a while, you may notice that the dogs may have an equal role, or one is more dominant than the other. Don’t try and force a more submissive dog into a dominant position – even if it’s your first dog and you believe this must be his position. Forcing a dog in a hierarchical position can lead to it becoming insecure and anxious.

How To Prevent a Dog Fight Turning Ugly?

If you do accidentally introduce dogs to each other too quickly, one fight may not be as disastrous as your reaction. Inevitably, even dogs that have lived together for a long time may squabble over territorial disputes, toys, etc.

Unless the dogs are fighting aggressively, there is no need to break up small fights immediately. This is because dogs use small fights, snapping, and herding to establish their hierarchy. Use your instincts when there is an aggressive fight to calmly break it up as quickly as possible. Make the dogs aware that fighting is not allowed without shouting at them, otherwise, you may increase their aggression. Remain calm and use touch or an upward pull to separate them.

Strong pack order is essential in preventing fights among your dogs. The only way to do this is to get your dogs to see you as their leader to prevent competition among them. Do this by establishing rules, boundaries, and limitations.

Dogs need to feel that they are working toward a common goal. Once they are used to each other, always walk them together, side-by-side, allowing them to understand that they are not against each other. Always watch for positive (waggy tails) or aggressive (tense posture, hard stares, and lowered tail) body language.

Never isolate dogs after a fight. Dogs naturally fight over territory, and isolation creates a further source of conflict. Socialization is the most important way to ensure well-balanced dogs.

Some useful tips for how to introduce dogs to each other

Even though the best circumstance for introductions is walking the dogs, these are not always possible. Here are some useful tips for home introductions:

  • First, do an outdoor introduction before bringing the two dogs into the house together.
  • Always leave the leashes on the dogs, allowing you better control if needed.
  • Remember to remove your resident dog’s bones, toys, and food bowls before the introduction otherwise, he will feel the need to protect these from the new dog.
  • If you need to leave home, separate the dogs while you are away. Only leave them together once they are completely comfortable with each other.
  • Always supervise their interaction when you are at home. Remember, they need breaks from each other. Crating them or walking them separately is a good way to do this.
  • If there is an altercation, separate the dogs for a few days. This gives them a break from each other and allows their stress hormones to return to normal otherwise, the fighting might get worse. After a few days, start working on creating a positive relationship again.
  • The Animal Humane Society warns that as dogs become more comfortable with each other, it is normal for some mild aggression to occur. Don’t start fretting, just separate them and start over. If you feel you aren’t winning, get some professional help.

Conclusion

Whatever way you choose to introduce dogs to each other is fine. Just remember that while you are gone, the chances of a dog fight are greater. Crate the dogs, or if the older dog is used to being free, you can crate the new one in an area where he cannot be taunted.

Feeding can easily become an issue with dogs. Until you recognize which one is the alpha dog, prefer feeding them separately. Once the hierarchy is established, always keep the order by feeding the alpha dog first, giving him treats first, and letting him out the door first.

Finally, don’t change the sleeping arrangements of the first dog. However, you must get both dogs used to the new sleeping arrangements. Crate the new dog in the beginning until it is housebroken.

If your older dog sleeps on the bed with you, it’s probably best to leave the arrangement as is. Don’t let the new dog on the bed from the start because it may stress your older pet.

Your hard work and patience will pay off sooner or later. The first steps to introducing dogs to each other are as essential as dog grooming is for them. Dogs are happier when they are clean and pampered. Find pet grooming services near you here: https://www.petgroomerfinder.com/

An Introduction to Basic Dog Training

An Introduction to Basic Dog Training

Even if you don’t plan to take your dog to competitive sporting events, or to take him with you on hunting trips, you still need to give him basic dog training. Dog training teaches your dog to be comfortable around others, walk on a leash, listen to your commands, and obedience. These all help to keep him safe and ensure he always responds to you.

No doubt teaching your dog the basics will take time, but once he learns them, you and he can be safer in any type of situation.

Top Basic Dog Training Tips

  • Dog training should always be fun for both you and your dog.
  • It also helps to exercise his brain.
  • Training him yourself helps you build a great relationship between the two of you.
  • Always use positive reinforcement, and never punish your dog when training him.
  • Never physically force your dog to do something – always show him how.
  • Be consistent with your commands, keeping them to one word and your dog’s name.
  • Exercise patience and never frighten your dog. He just wants to please you, so offer plenty of praise.
  • Training sessions should be short because you want to keep them fun, not boring – 10 to 15 minutes is enough.
  • Never train in busy areas full of distractions – save going to these once he learns to listen completely to your commands.

What you will need for your dog’s introduction to dog training

  1. Your dog, a positive mindset, loads of praise, and realistic expectations!
  2. Initially, an area free of distractions, but this can change once he starts listening to your commands.
  3. Treats that are nibble-sized are one of the best rewards at the beginning, but you can also offer a toy. If the treats are too large, they will fill your dog up too quickly – you want to train him, not fatten him up!
  4. A short and long leash.

Best age for dog training

Simple training can start from as young as a few weeks, so the minute you bring your puppy home start with simple obedience training. The younger your puppy learns to listen to you, the faster you will be able to take him everywhere.

When you start to train your dog, it doesn’t understand what each word means. You need to make sure that he associates the word of the command with the action you want him to take by indicating the action. Therefore, one example is the word “sit”; saying it is not enough, you must indicate he has to place his rear end on the floor.

 What are the basic commands every dog must learn?

According to the Dogs Trust Organization in the UK, five basic commands are essential for every dog to learn. These are: sit, stay, down, come, and walking on a lead.

Even introduction to dog training takes time and patience, but every dog owner has a responsibility to make sure they offer their dog this fundamental training. Proper training and socializing a dog may be trying, but if you don’t have the time or patience, get expert assistance. Professional dog trainers can help you train your dog, and they can help you correct problem behavior if needed.

Have plenty of treats handy when teaching your dog these basic commands.

1. Teaching your dog to “sit”

  • Let your dog stand in front of you.
  • Have a treat in your hand, and show it to him.
  • Move your hand with the treat above and over his head towards his tail, and say the command “sit.”
  • Usually, his head will go up as he tries to reach the treat and his bottom down into the ‘sit’ position.
  • Don’t push his bottom to force him to sit because he may push up, something which can result in a back injury.
  • Be consistent and always use the same command, otherwise, you may confuse your dog. Remember: the command is always “sit” because “sit down” will end up confusing him when you try to teach him the “down” command.
  • Once he sits, give him the treat and offer praises.

2. Teaching your dog the “down” command

  • Get your dog to sit and show your hand and the treat.
  • Move your hand down slowly towards the ground just in front of his feet as you give the command “down.” Your dog will follow your hand with his nose and lay down as commanded.
  • Offer him the treat and praise.
  • If you are having some trouble getting him to lie down it helps to place a coffee table or a chair between you and him before trying again. Your dog will have to get down under the barrier to get the treat, showing him what you expect him to do. Once he gets the knack of what you are trying to teach him, remove the barrier.
  • Once again, never push or force your dog’s back down.

3. Teaching your dog to stay

  • Ask your dog to sit or lay down.
  • Move back one step as you command him to “stay,” and count to three silently.
  • Step toward him, give him the treat, and praise him.
  • If he gets up, get him to sit again and repeat the “stay” command.
  • Once he masters the ‘stay’ command, gradually increase the distance or time between you and him. If he gets up before he should, decrease the distance or time again before gradually increasing again until you are satisfied that he is listening to your command every time.

4. Teaching your dog to come

  • With your dog on the leash and in the down, sit or stay position, walk a short distance and say “come” while indicating with your hand.
  • Don’t pull on the lead.
  • If you see that your dog is hesitant to follow, get closer to his level when giving him the command. This makes him feel more comfortable.
  • When your dog reaches you, reward him with the treat.
  • Once your dog is doing this every time, practice doing it with you in the standing position.
  • As he gets better, start training him without the leash on in a fenced area. He might be hesitant to do this without the leash, you can use the long leash for a while until he is happy to do it without the leash.
  • Finally, you should never leave your dog without a leash anywhere until he has learned this command properly. Read up on the leash laws before having your dog off-leash in public areas.

5. Teaching your dog to walk on a leash without pulling

Leash walking is very important if you want to enjoy pleasant walks with your dog. First practice at home, where there are fewer distractions.

  • Choose the side that you prefer for your dog to walk on.
  • Always hold the lead in the opposite hand, keeping it loose, and have a treat in the hand closest to your dog.
  • Before walking forward, show your dog the treat.
  • As he follows your hand, say “heel” and give him the treat.
  • With another treat in your hand, keep going. After a short distance, as he keeps to your side, say “heel”, and give him the next treat without stopping.
  • If your dog doesn’t keep up with you or pulls in another direction, change direction suddenly to distract him and encourage him to come with you.
  • When he catches up, praise him, and give him a treat.
  • Keep this up until he understands what he’s supposed to do.

Dogs love to explore the area they are walking in. They do this by sniffing everything around them for the scent left by other dogs. When you are walking with him, allow your dog to sniff around. You can teach your dog to know when he is allowed to sniff around and when not by giving him a command.

Phasing out treats with secondary reinforcements

When you first start basic dog training, your dog needs to see the food in your hand. This allows you to capture his attention and to guide him to do what you are teaching him. But, as your dog is keener to comply, start hiding the food in your hand as you continue giving your training commands. Always reward his obedience with a treat and praise.

Your dog will soon come to expect a treat each time he completes a task, and you don’t want that. Gradually move on giving the food treat randomly during his training time, and only offering praise and an affectionate pat for each completed task.  Soon your dog will respond to all the rewards eagerly, including secondary reinforcement like kind words or affectionate pat. Secondary reinforcement is important because you won’t always have food around to get your pet to obey you, and you don’t want a dog that only obeys because it is getting a treat.

In the beginning, you will only be asking your dog to perform tasks during his training sessions, but with time, get him to practice the things he has learned randomly.

Final take on Dog Training

The introduction to dog training can be tough, and if you or your dog ever feel overawed, consider training classes. Additionally, if you are training a young puppy, you should know that sometimes they go through a period of anxiety and fear. This is at around 14 to 16 weeks. Under no circumstances must you overwhelm or push your puppy. Be gentle and supportive, and he will soon overcome this stage.

Like basic training, dog grooming is an essential part of your dog’s routine. A clean and well-groomed dog is happier when it is going through the routine of learning good behavior. Pet owners and pet groomers connect here at https://www.petgroomerfinder.com/.

Pets and Their Care as Owners Go Back to Work After Lock-down

Pets and Their Care as Owners Go Back to Work After Lock-down

Over a year has passed since the initial lock-down was implemented to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Most people across the globe had limited access to others during this time, and pet ownership and adoptions increased almost everywhere. Even for those that were already pet owners, the bond between pet owners and their pets increased during this difficult time. 

Vaccines are rolling out at a fast pace, meaning that restrictions are gradually being lifted. As we prepare to return to the office, we can’t help feeling concerned about how being away from home will affect our pets. 

Pets thrive on routine and theirs changed as dramatically as yours. They have gotten used to having you around at home all day. There is no doubt that initially, your pet will be shocked not to have you around. The adjustment curve will be bigger for any new pets you acquired or adopted over the last year. 

Here is a short guide to help you prepare your pets for your return to work. The earlier you prepare them the easier the transition is!

How to prepare your dog for your absence?

The best way to prepare your dog for your absence is to start making gradual changes to its routine for a few weeks before you return to work. Dogs adapt easily to changes, but when these are sprung on them at short notice, they can become anxious and suffer from separation related problems.

Often, working from home means a complete change of routine for you, and this also changes the routine of your beloved dog. Perhaps you were getting out of bed later in the morning because you didn’t have to worry about the commute or dropping the kids off at school. That means you have also probably adjusted your dog’s feeding, walking, and playing routine.

Without a doubt, your dog has probably enjoyed having you around all day. Dogs left alone for too long tend to struggle because they are social animals. Remember if you have been at home all this time, your dog will struggle with the changes your return to work will bring. 

1) Create a new routine

The whole idea is to get your dog used to the way things will be once you are back at work. This includes your dog’s feeding and walking time, especially if you changed these during the lockdown. To prevent frustration and anxiety, start with gradual changes to your dog’s daily schedule.  

  • Start well before it is time to return to work.
  • Make sure to slowly ease into the feeding and walking adjustments that will match your working hours. 
  • Changing your dog’s feeding place can help to alleviate separation anxiety. Start feeding your dog somewhere away from you. This is a trick to teach your dog that it can still enjoy his feed, even if he is separated from you. 
  • This new routine may appear strange for your dog at first, but if it was a routine from before the lockdown, your dog will soon re-adapt to it. Even a new dog will quickly learn to accept the new routine. 
  • Even if you did go out a bit during the lockdown, your dog probably got used to many more hours of interaction with you. Prepare him for less time together – decrease the attention you give him and increase the time he spends alone. 

2) Prepare your pet for longer alone time

Start preparing your dog by not playing with him every time he seeks attention. However, if you completely ignore your dog, you will confuse him. Instead, offer him something better to do while you carry on doing something else. This can be a little treat or a new toy. 

  • Give your dog clear signals that can help it understand when you are too busy to interact or when you have some time to play. Offer your dog interactive or chew toys during your “busy time.” 
  • Start easing your interaction time to the hours you will be available once you are back at work. 
  • Another thing you can do is to gradually start leaving the house for longer every day, gradually building up your absent time to the hours you will be away at work. Most dogs will ease well into your longer absences, but if you notice any signs of distress, consult a qualified dog behavior specialist.  

3) Getting used to a new walking routine

  • If you are going to rely on the services of a dog walker once again, you will need to reintroduce them. Your dog might initially be very apprehensive or super excited, so be prepared to join them the first few times to offer your dog support. 
  • If you adopted a dog during the lockdown, you will need to support him the first few times he goes out with the new dog walker, especially if you were the only person walking him during the lockdown. 

4) Do you need to retrain your dog?

Re-training your dog will make your departure less stressful. Start training your dog with gradual changes. Reward-based training gives the best results. Offer small treats and interesting pet toys to reduce stress and distract your pet while you are away. 

If you stopped crate training during the lockdown or have never tried it, start it gradually. Crate training is invaluable in teaching your dog to happily accept alone time. 

5) Relieve stress with exercise

Increase the amount of time you exercise your dog in the morning before leaving for work. This will rid your dog of excess energy, making him so tired that he will spend the rest of the day sleeping instead of being anxious. 

6) Daycare for your dog

Pet daycare may be the best solution for your dog if you work long hours. Here he can socialize and play in a safe environment, forgetting that you are now away from him for long hours. There are concerns about COVID-19 and pets, so make sure the daycare you choose is taking all the necessary safety precautions. 

How to prepare your cat for your absence?

Each cat has an individual personality. Unlike dogs, who thrive on attention from their owners, not all cats enjoy human companionship. Some cats may have enjoyed spending so much time with their owners during the lockdown, while others may have preferred finding a quiet spot.

Whichever kind of cat you have, you still need to know that they are sensitive to any changes in their routine which can lead to stress once you return to work. Therefore, it is important to make gradual changes to your cat’s routine to help it adjust. 

1) Interaction time

Start reducing the amount of interaction you have with your cat gradually. This will help prepare it for your long absence during the day. Reduced interaction time often causes frustration and stress in cats. If your cat is already happy with less interaction, adjust the hours you interact with it to match your working hours. 

2) Take note of your cat’s behavior

Watch your cat’s behavior before and once you return to work, this will help you learn a lot about what it likes and how it is feeling. Once you get back to work, your observations will help you understand any changes in your cat’s behavior. 

If your cat seeks more interaction and plays more roughly with you, it could be frustrated and bored. Offer it the playtime and interaction it wants. Then again, if it is quiet, withdrawn, or more irritable, your cat could be stressed and could want some quiet time in a quiet space. Leave your cat alone, it will come to you in its own time.

Once you do go back to work, make sure to spend quality time with your pet in the morning before leaving, and when you return. Play with it and take it through its favorite grooming routine. 

3) Gradually make the changes to your cat’s routine

There are various steps you can take to ensure you prepare your cat properly for your return to work.

  • All changes in your cat’s routine must be introduced gradually until they match your working hours – including your cat’s feeding and its playtime.  
  • Offer your cat interesting hiding places and some elevated resting places. These areas help your cat to relieve stress since they provide a safe place to hide when it’s feeling anxious. 
  • Don’t add to your cat’s stress by over handling it or trying to comfort it, especially if it doesn’t want to. If you pick your cat up or follow it when it’s already stressed, you make it more anxious. Let your cat choose when to come to you for comfort. 
  • While you are at work, help to alleviate boredom by providing your cat with interesting toys, puzzle feeders, and scratching posts. This is especially necessary if your cat is kept indoors. 
  • You will be a lot busier after the lockdown, but make sure you offer your cat some quality time every day. 

4) Following your cats’ cues

As we said earlier, dogs are a social species, whereas cats mostly thrive in small family groups, often not minding a solitary life. Therefore, cats sometimes seem standoffish and very independent, often ignoring their human owners.   

Even if your cat is an independent character, it can still get stressed once you return to work. Make the transition as stress-free and smooth as possible. Once you do go back to work, you’ll probably be very excited to return to your cat after a long day. 

Try to not get over-excited as you greet your cat after a day away. Keep calm, and wait for cues from it to see if it feels like playing or being alone. If your cat approaches you with its tail held up and pointed, then it feels like getting some attention. If your cat is hiding on your return home, it will come out when it’s ready to play. 

Final take

These are the simple steps to follow as you help your pets adjust to your longer absences. With both cats and dogs, it is vital to make gradual changes to their new routine. 

Grooming continues to play an important role in the lives of your pets, contributing to their well-being and health. If you were grooming your pets yourself during the lockdown, you may find that you don’t have the time to groom once you are back at work. 

Connect with a local pet groomer, and make an appointment for your pet’s grooming session today. Your pet will love you for it!

Importance of Cat Grooming for Your Cat

Importance of Cat Grooming for Your Cat

Our amazing feline friends are very clean by nature and they can spend hours grooming themselves daily. Despite the amount of time your cat spends daily to smooth down its coat, clean its paw pads, and wash its face, it still needs some cat grooming aid from you. 

Regularly grooming your cat is vital because of its well-being. It is the best way for you to observe any changes to its fur, skin, teeth, and nails that may indicate any health issues or the presence of parasites. 

Your cat’s grooming routine needs to be pleasant for both of you. Approach the whole process gently and slowly. Always stop if your cat appears uncomfortable, and just repeat the process later. The best way to start getting your cat accustomed to grooming is from when it is quite young. Offer rewards for good behavior until it becomes accustomed to your pampering. 

Benefits of brushing for Cat Grooming

Regular brushing, especially for longer-haired cats, helps remove dead hair and dirt from its coat. In turn, this ensures your cat’s fur doesn’t matt to the point where it becomes unmanageable. Brushing also helps prevent a buildup of hairballs in your cat’s digestive system. 

Hairballs are a result of your cat’s natural grooming habits. Their tongues are specially designed with tiny hook-like growths to remove the hair they are shedding. Normally, the hair passes through their digestive tract, but sometimes some hair stays behind in their stomachs. As the hair collects in the stomach, gradually a hairball is formed. This your cat will present to you by vomiting it out of its esophagus, leaving the cleaning up for you.

 Another benefit of brushing your cat regularly is a huge decrease in the number of hairs it sheds in your home. A final bonus – brushing allows you to have positive interactions with your cat, leading to better bonding between you. 

Brushing tips:

  • Brush your cat at least once a week if it is short-haired and more often for a long-haired breed. 
  • Get the right grooming tools for brushing your cat. Bristle brushes and grooming mitts are popular, but if in doubt ask a cat groomer or your veterinarian. 
  • Before using the brush, allow your cat to familiarize itself with it.  
  • Start by brushing gently, where she likes to be stroked. This is usually under the chin and along the back. 
  • As your cat grows accustomed to the brushing, it becomes more comfortable. Start introducing a gentle brushing of its abdomen, tail, and legs. 
  • If your cat may start to object when you introduce new areas, go back to brushing those areas it prefers.
  • Initially, your cat’s grooming sessions need to be short, work toward gradually increasing the time until it sits through a whole brushing session.  

Should you bathe your cat? 

Bathing is not typically necessary for your cat unless it has stubborn dirt that can’t easily be removed, your cat can’t groom itself, or has a skin condition that requires bathing. 

You can bathe your cat at home, but if you feel it will be difficult take it to a professional pet groomer. 

Home bathing tips:

  • Always use a mild shampoo for cats and warm water.
  • Only wash your cat’s body with shampoo.
  • Wipe its face with a damp washcloth. 
  • The whole process needs to be gentle and fast to reduce stress. 

Cat Shaving

Long-haired cats often suffer terribly during the hotter months. Shaving can help keep it cool and comfortable. Some people also shave their cats to keep their fur mat-free. Don’t undertake shaving on your own because you may accidentally nick your cat. A pet grooming salon or your veterinarian knows how to do it safely. 

Cats and Nail Trimming

You may notice that your cat’s nails are sometimes rough or prickly. The cause of this can be because it was caught on a mat or your furniture. Your cat should get used to having its nails trimmed regularly for its own comfort and to prevent it from scratching you when you play. But, before attempting to trim its nails, you must first get it used to having its paws touched. 

As always, start slowly by touching its paws. Do this by gently pressing on one of its paw pads when it is sitting calmly by you. You will notice that with a gentle push onto the paw pad, your cat’s nails extend. 

Once your cat gets used to this, you can attempt cutting its nails. Only trim the white tips of its nails. Avoid the quick, which is in the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves. If you do cut it, it causes discomfort and bleeding. 

Nail trimming tips: 

  • Place your cat on your lap, facing away from you. 
  • Hold your cat gently as you trim its nails. 
  • Press on each paw to extend its nails and gently trim the tips.
  • You can repeat this every two to three weeks. 
  • Your cat should get accustomed to nail trimming if you don’t take too long. It is a painless procedure. 
  • If you or your cat aren’t comfortable, a grooming professional is the best option. 

Paw Care 

 Clean paws are important for your cat’s overall health. Besides walking on them, your cat uses its paws for its grooming routine, and any dirt there will inevitably find its way into your cat’s mouth. Remove any thorns and wipe its paws with a damp cloth regularly. 

Importance of dental care as a part of Cat Grooming

Cats living in the wild have a different diet to your house cat. They keep their teeth clean by chewing on bones or grass. Remember, your cat can’t tell you if it is in pain, so preventative dental hygiene is the best way to ensure its ultimate health. Regularly check the state of your cat’s teeth and gums to ensure that there are no obvious issues.

Eight out of ten cats over the age of three have problems with their teeth and gums, caused by bacteria, plaque, and debris. Plaque forms on the outside of their teeth from the food they eat. With time, this coating of germs hardens to form tartar which starts to irritate their gums and leads to gingivitis. All this can eventually lead to tooth loss. If the tartar scale goes unnoticed, the condition is irreversible. 

Any inflammation in your cat’s mouth can make it difficult for it to eat or drink. In some cases, the bacteria can enter its bloodstream, damaging the kidneys or other vital organs.

Periodontal disease is the most common disease in cats, but it is preventable with good oral hygiene and an annual visit to the veterinarian. 

Check your cat’s mouth regularly for any signs of dental issues. Its teeth should be white, clean, and free of chips. Check for any foreign objects, like string, stuck between the teeth. Its gums and the rest of its mouth must have a healthy pink color with no signs of ulcers, bumps, redness, bleeding, or swelling.

Take note of your cat’s breath too. A bad odor usually indicates infection, either in the mouth or somewhere else in its body. A check-up is the best way to determine the cause. Other signs that could indicate dental disease include drooling, difficulty swallowing, changes in weight or eating patterns, and pawing at the face.

Keeping your cat’s teeth and gums healthy is not difficult with regular tooth brushing. This should be done at least twice a week, but you can also do it daily. It’s vital to get your cat used to this from when it’s a kitten, otherwise, it will resist. 

Teeth brushing tips: 

  • The sooner you start, the quicker your kitten will get used to having its teeth brushed. 
  • Use a piece of gauze covered in toothpaste specially made for cats. 
  • You can also use a rubber toothbrush or finger brush specially designed for cats. 
  • Never use your toothpaste on your cat because the fluoride is bad for them.
  • Never use dental floss on your cat because it may swallow it, causing intestinal damage. 
  • You can buy a complete dental care kit from a pet store, groomer, or veterinary clinic. 
  • Try covering your finger in some liquid from a can of tuna to make the experience more pleasant. 
  • Cradle your cat from behind and gently tilt its head back.
  • Lift its chin to open its mouth, making it easier for you to access its teeth.

Other cat grooming tips 

  • From the beginning, get your cat used to a daily paw massage. Do this by running your hand down each of its legs, and gently squeezing the center of the paws. This is the first step to getting your cat used to nail trims. 
  • It is easier to groom your cat on a countertop with it facing away from you. Otherwise, try sitting on the floor with your cat between your legs. Some cats feel most comfortable when you are sitting in a chair, holding them in your lap.
  • If your cat has severely matted hair, don’t cut it with a scissor. It’s best to let a pet groomer handle the situation.  
  • Your cat’s whiskers are critical to its safety. NEVER cut or trim them.  
  • Watch out for any signs indicating a health issue and call your veterinarian clinic. These include too much or too little grooming. Sometimes problems like obesity and arthritis make it difficult for your cat to reach certain areas of its body. If you notice your cat licking, biting, or scratching more than usual, it could have a skin or behavioral issue. 

Cat grooming plays a vital role in your cat’s well-being and is a great opportunity for you to bond. However, if you find it too traumatic to maintain your cat’s physical appearance, find a pet groomer near you: https://www.petgroomerfinder.com