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September Newsletter 2018

Vital Visits News, Tips, and Fun!
 

How to Teach Your Dog Four on the Floor

Jumping is the number one behavior that dog parents want to change about their best friend. It’s a natural behavior for a dog; they are excited to see you! Dogs prefer face to face greetings, and the only way to get near your face is to jump up. Our pups don’t understand that people think jumping is just plain bad manners.

There are a lot of different methods to teach your dog that you’d prefer they keep 4 on the floor (4 paws, of course) but the most important part of teaching is consistency. Whichever method you choose, you have to do it every time.

Here are some simple solutions to keep Fido jump free.

Ignore – When your dog jumps, fold your arms tightly across your chest and turn your back on them. Once he calms down and has all 4 paws on the floor turn around and pet him. Give him a lot of attention but keep it calm. If he starts jumping up again, fold and turn. At first, you may spend a lot of time with your back to your buddy, but if you’re consistent, this works quickly with most dogs. When you know there are going to be guests over (or on a dog walk) have your dog on a leash (they can drag it around the house) and when they jump, pull them down and have the guest turn their back to your pooch.

Delay – Does your dog jump when you come in the door? Start to enter and if they jump, step back out and close the door most of the way. When they settle down, try it again. Your neighbors may think you’re a little crazy, but this works. When you have a guest come over put your dog on a leash and open the door. Ask your guest to wait, back up a bit and get your dog to sit. Have the guest take a step or two forward and if your dog gets out of the sit, the guest walks out the door, and you try again.

Toy Trick – Many dogs, if you give them something to hold, a ball, a chew, a Kong, instead of jumping they will prance around and show off their favorite toy.

Level Changes – Many dogs just want to get close to your face and kiss you, so for some dogs kneeling down solves the problem. Of course, this doesn’t help when you’re out on a walk, and a stranger wants to say hello.

Here are a few what not to do ideas.

Don’t get excited – your dog will mirror your demeanor. Don’t yell at your dog if they jump, stay calm. Don’t grab your dog or push them away, to some dogs that seems like a game. Do not knee your dog, step on their toes, or cause any pain or discomfort; it never helps them learn faster. A calm, loving pet parent wins the day every time.

You won’t change this behavior overnight, and sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. Be consistent and you’ll be surprised; our dogs just want to please us.

 

Vital Visits News!

Did you know we offer a variety of pet services? Dog walking, overnights, potty breaks, litter cleaning, pet taxi service and more. Our services are listed here.

Dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, even rats. We give love and care to your pets! View some client pictures here.

Returning clients can schedule their pet care here. If you have any questions give us a call:  214-664-2579.

 

Common Pet Food Mistakes

Big containers – do you pour your pet’s food into a big bin? It might be time to stop. You can put the bag of pet food into the container, but it should be left in the bag and folded over to keep it fresh. Some foods degrade rather rapidly and contamination, like Salmonella, can occur. If you do pour their food into a big plastic bin, it should be a food-safe container specifically made for pet food.

Food left in the bowl – don’t leave your dog’s food sitting out. Just like people food, it can go bad and lose nutritional value if left out. It can safely be in your dog’s dish for 2 – 4 hours.

Sunlight and humidity – don’t store their food in an area where it is in sunlight or where the temperature or humidity is high. It can quickly go bad in this environment.

Clean bowls – you have to clean your pet’s bowls regularly, which means, every day. You wouldn’t want to eat out of dirty dishes, would you? Salmonella and Listeria can easily grow in their dishes, so run them through the dishwasher or use hot soapy water every day.

Plastic bowls – avoid using plastic or ceramic dishes as they scratch easily and bacteria and odors can settle deep into the scratches. The very best are stainless steel or porcelain.

Kids and pet food – don’t let kids play with the pet food. Kids are not known for their superior hygiene; they can introduce bacteria to the pet food. Plus, you wouldn’t want junior to start munching on their kitten’s kibble!

Check dates – pay close attention to the expiration date on your pet’s food to ensure the food’s shelf life. Most often the date is on the bottom or side of the package.

Unwanted guests – be sure to keep your pet food away from bugs and rodents, they love to raid pet supplies. Don’t store it in the garage, shed, or a back porch.

These simple rules will ensure your best friend is getting safe and healthy food!

 

The Difference Between Stray & Feral Cats

It’s a common sight in most neighborhoods, an unfamiliar cat. It might be dashing across the street, poking around your backyard, or howling at a full moon! These freewheeling cats fall into one of 3 categories.

Pet – a neighbor’s pet that’s out for their evening constitutional
Stray – a cat that is either lost or has been abandon
Feral – these cats are essentially wild

We all know they are all the same species: domestic cats. But there is a world of difference between them, and it all boils down to one word: socialization. Figuring out which of these 3 types you are dealing with will help you help the cat.

It’s not too hard to recognize the difference between a pet, a stray, and a feral cat. Pets and strays have been socialized to people. Although a stray may not run right up to you, they will feel comfortable being around and living with people. A stray tends to rely on humans for survival. They will live close to you, approach you for food, meow, and even rub against your legs given a little time to get acquainted. They are almost always alone.

Feral cats, on the other hand, have minimal contact with people and they don’t want to change that. They tend to live in cat colonies. As long as you leave them alone, feral cats don’t pose much of a threat to pets or humans. A feral cat won’t vocalize with you, they may not make eye contact, will almost always keep a distance from you, and run if you attempt to close that distance.

Why does it matter what type of cat you’ve got hanging around? A stray needs and wants a home, so call your local shelter to see if your new cat visitor has been reported as lost. If not, give it a home or let your local shelter take care of it so it has a chance at adoption. Living their life as a pampered pet is what they want.

Most feral cats (unless found very young) will not be happy or safe living inside. If you take them to a shelter, they will most likely be euthanized. If you want to help the ferals in your area – they do deserve compassion – there are some things you can do. You could call your local shelter and find out what their policy is for feral cats. You could leave out food and water for them. Lastly, you could contact an organization like Alley Cats that practice TNR (trap, neuter, release) in your area. They will neuter the cats, so they don’t reproduce, and they will provide food and water. There are pluses and minuses to all of these solutions.

No matter which type of feline you find in your neighborhood, treat them with compassion and you may find a new ally even in alley cats!

 

Great Pet Links!

Here are some interesting pet articles, pictures, and videos we’ve found on the net this month.

 
 
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