Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tips for Training your Dog

Everyone loves a well-behaved dog but how can you train your new furry friend to stop jumping on your mother every time she visits?  Gear for Pets has a list of top 10 training tips that you may want to try before Mom visits again!  According to the ASPCA, in order to train a dog effectively you have to control the consequences of the dog’s behavior.  Kind of like kids!  If you reward good behavior, most dogs are inclined to repeat it.   You just need to be careful not to inadvertently reward poor behavior.  Learning how to train your dog can be fun for both you and your pet and because dogs are usually very eager to please, they tend to respond quickly to good communication and training.    

1. Communicate with your dog clearly and consistently; rewarding
 good behavior each time gives your dog a consistent message.  When a friend comes to visit and your dog sits instead of jumping, give him a treat, it may take a few times, but eventually he’ll remember.

2.  Remove the reward for poor behavior.  If your dog nips at your hand while you are rubbing his belly, pull your hand away and stop rubbing. If you consistently do this each time the pooch nips, your dog will be aware that her behavior caused you to stop rubbing her belly. 

3.  Be the leader, by this we mean control your pet’s behavior by controlling access to the things she loves, like a favorite chew toy.   If your dog wants to play, ask her to sit before you throw that toy.

4.  Keep training sessions short, dogs have a short attention span. Although it takes time to properly train a pet, keep each session short.

5.  Remember English is a second language when it comes to dogs.  Keep your commands short, and your canine companion will have a better time understanding what you mean.

6.  Reward your dog with things she’ll find rewarding. Pay her by using a reward that is really worth working for, like a small piece of meat, or a chance to run without a leash at the dog park.

7.  Be smart – don’t give your dog a command that you haven’t taught him to understand.

8.  Be prepared- always have a leash handy in case it’s needed.

9.  Smile at your dog – let him know that he’s your friend and favorite companion.  Pets are sensitive to our body language, so use yours to show your dog how much you love him.

10.  Have fun!  Training your dog can be rewarding and fun for both of you.

Now go ahead and invite Mom over for dinner, she’ll marvel at your well-behaved dog.  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cat Grooming – to Bathe or Not to Bathe

To bathe or not to bathe – that is the question especially when it
comes to cats.   Cats usually don’t need a bath, nor do they want one, but sometimes it can become necessary.   

Cats are usually immaculately clean animals that spend many of their waking hours bathing and cleaning themselves. But believe it or not this is not an innate behavior but rather a learning one.  Kittens learn how to bathe and clean themselves at an early age, usually at about 4 weeks old.   The mama cat introduces her babies to the art as soon as they are born.  By licking them clean she also stimulates them to release urine and feces, rouses them to suckle,
and it provides comfort.    Cats also use grooming to cool themselves in the warmer months, your pet relies on the saliva that is spread onto their fur to cool them as it evaporates.

Occasionally though, your cat may find themselves in need of a bath, maybe they wandered into something toxic or sticky and they are not able to clean their fur effectively.   This is when you’ll need to step in, but tread with care.  The ASPCA recommends that you clip your cats’ claws before attempting a bath and Gear for Pets wholeheartedly agrees!  Remove the cat collar, and thoroughly wet your pet with lukewarm water.   Taking care around the pet’s face, lather up with a shampoo especially formulated for cats.  Rinse completely and dry your pet with a fluffy towel.    Once the bathing ritual is
complete, your furry friend expects and deserves a treat and so do you. 

Bathing your pet can help you screen your cat for any problems that may be developing on the skin, plus it is a way to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Why should you use prevention against flea and ticks for your dogs?

Gear for Pets believes in happy and healthy pets.
Summer is approaching fast and the weather is getting warmer which means more bugs are approaching. Keep your puppies safe and update yourself on information of flea and tick prevention.

Fleas can nestle down into your dog’s fur and cause them to itch and scratch. Ticks attach to puppies skin and suck their blood which can cause infections and diseases. Both fleas and ticks can result in health problems for your pet.

Types of Flea and Tick Prevention:

Perform “Tick Checks” by brushing your dog daily and then combing through their hair with your fingers to feel for any ticks.

Topical Ointments or Serums can be squeezed between the dog’s shoulder blades once a month to protect against fleas and ticks.

Collars are a newer trend to flea and tick prevention. They last for several months and make taking care of your pet easy!

Chewable Tablets can also be used for fleas in combination with heartworm prevention. You would still need something else to protect your dog against ticks though.

Note: Other prevention treatments such as powders may be available but may not work as well as the ones listed above.

Bathing your dog is also important to its health and for flea and tick prevention. Be careful to not bathe them to much or you may damage the oils in their skin.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Did You Know May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month?

Gear for Pets is in love with all animals especially those we are
lucky enough to call our pets. Unfortunately the plague we call cancer can infect our pets just like it can humans. May has become the official month for Pet Cancer Awareness. The month is used to educate pet owners on treatment options, up to the moment research, and ways to support pet cancer research.

Pet cancer is the number one killer of dogs and cats, so to help keep our furry friends alive Pet Cancer Awareness put together a list of early warning signs to watch for:

Swollen Lymph Nodes
An Enlarging or Changing Node
Abdominal Distension
Chronic Weight Loss
Chronic Vomiting or Diarrhea
Unexplained Bleeding
Straining to Urinate
Oral Odors (caused by oral tumors)

These are some of the signs to watch for and if found arrange an appointment with your local veterinarian to have your pet checked out.

Want to help support Pet Cancer Awareness Month, join Blue Buffalo in the fight with Petco as they raise money this may and donate at any store or online so they can help over four pet cancer organizations for research and funds to help our pets have a fighting chance against cancer!

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