Those Terrible Teens: You and Your Adolescent Puppy

Much like human pre-teens and teens, adolescence in dogs can be a challenging time. 

Like a teenager, in fact, you may notice your dog expressing themselves in ways you don’t always appreciate, such as ignoring commands, wanting to roam, etc. This age – when your pet is 6 months or so – is prime time for reinforcing good behavior, especially if you don’t want the “bad” behaviors to stick.

Your friends at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center are here with suggestions for you and your adolescent puppy. We can help explain what to expect during the terrible teens to make them terrific for you and your bestie. 

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Preventing Separation Anxiety in Pets After the Stay-at-Home Order Ends

After months of constant togetherness during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the post-lockdown life can feel like another big change. We have to adjust to setting our alarms and dealing with the daily commute once more. Kids will soon be out and about during summer activities and the busy life as we used to know it will return. During COVID-19, your furry one may have reaped the rewards of you being by their side during the day. But, what now?

If your pet has been struggling with the transition, your friends at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center are empathetic with this scenario. We are here with some suggestions to help your loved one deal with separation anxiety and its associated problems.

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Too Close For Comfort? What to Do About Kids and Dogs at Home

There’s no question that dogs are great for kids. They help teach responsibility, and the close companionship experienced can develop self-esteem and empathy. But when everyone’s at home day in and day out, is there such a thing as too much time together? 

We all need our space sometimes, and dogs are no exception. With that said, there are some important guidelines to ensure kids and dogs stay safe and happy at home.

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Pets and Pee Pads: A Conundrum

Pet pee pads may not be the most glamorous thing to have around the house, but they can be indispensable when it comes to housetraining a puppy or a newly adopted adult dog. Although they can be helpful in many circumstances, care and planning should be used to avoid pet pee pads from becoming a crutch and thwarting long-term housetraining.

Animal Family Veterinary Care Center explores the pros and cons of using pet pee pads. 

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What to Expect When a Pet Goes Blind

A close-up of a blind brindle dog

Blindness is not uncommon in cats and especially in dogs. Blindness can occur rapidly, as with an injury, or over time when a pet develops macular degeneration. Since, like us, sight is a necessity for navigating the world, when a pet goes blind it can be frightening and can create several situations that will need to be changed in order for them to cope.

The team at Animal Family Veterinary Care wants to explain why some pets go blind, what you can do about it, and how to help a blind pet thrive despite their obstacles.

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Leaving Your Dog Home Alone: How Long Is Too Long?

We don’t call dogs our best friends for nothing. They enjoy our company and are hardwired to protect us, work for us, and be our companions. In a perfect world we’d spend all day with our dogs, but for most of us this just isn’t a possibility.

Leaving your dog home alone doesn’t mean you’re a bad pet owner. Fortunately there are some great ways to enrich your dog’s life (and keep your house intact) while you’re away from home.

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During Street Fest, Keeping Dogs Safe in Crowds Is Key

During Davenport Street Fest, Keeping Dogs Safe in Crowds Is KeyIt’s that time of year again! Davenport’s beloved Street Fest 2018 is officially underway July 27-28th, and we couldn’t be more excited. Whether you partake in the food, music, gorgeous arts and crafts booths, or come down to celebrate the final day of RAGBRAI (which concludes right here in Davenport this year), it’s sure to be a fun event.

Bringing dogs to Street Fest is a tradition for many pet owners, but the crowds, noise, heat, and other factors can quickly turn a fun event into a disaster if you aren’t prepared. If you are considering bringing a four-legged companion to Street Fest this year, we offer you the following tips and tricks for keeping dogs safe in crowds… Continue…

Canine Careers:  Working Dogs and Their Jobs

Young Girl Being Visited In Hospital By Therapy DogIf you are like most adults, you probably punch the clock in one form or another. Working can be a pain, but it brings us a source of income, a feeling of fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. Believe it or not, many of our canine friends are no different. Keep reading to learn more about working dogs and what type of jobs they have beyond being loyal friends.

Working Dogs Who Help the Public

Public service is a place where our working dogs excel. They are a natural at many of the jobs asked of them. Dogs who work in the public sector may work with the military or law enforcement and often specialize in particular areas such as: Continue…

A Walk in the Park: Creating a Safe and Enjoyable Dog Park Experience

Funny catchingDog parks can present several benefits for our canine companions. From opportunities to socialize to essential mental and physical engagement, our dogs thoroughly enjoy those daily or weekly dog park excursions. But, there is a caveat: dog parks can also be sources of dog fights and irresponsibility on the part of pet owners.

Whether you’re new to the dog park routine or are simply looking for some tips to make your dog’s social experiences more enjoyable, we will cover some dog park basics that are often overlooked or ignored. Continue…

Animal Family’s Easy Guide to House Breaking your Puppy

 When it comes to puppy training consistency is the key.

 

  • Always use the same door to take your puppy outside to eliminate. 

 

  • Take him or her to the same area.  Hopefully once that area smells like urine and stool their sense of smell will help stimulate them to eliminate.

 

  • Go out with them, so you can praise while they are going and give a treat right afterwards.  Don’t give them their treat once they are in the house.  If you do,  you praised them for is coming back in, not going potty outdoors.

 

  • Always use the same word for elimination, Start talking as soon as you take them out of the kennel and continue until you get to the designated place outside.  Choose a word.  It can be “go potty”, “do your business” or any other phrase that works for both you and your puppy.

 

  • If your puppy starts going to the door on his or her own, ask them to let you know it’s time to go out.  An easy way to do this is to hang a bell by your door.  You can teach the pup to touch the bell or simply reward them when they do it inadvertently. 

 

  • If your puppy goes outside and doesn’t get down to business (within 5 minutes or so) bring them back indoors and put them in their kennel (yes I do recommend crates or kennels).  Wait about 15-20 minutes and try again.  Make a big deal about it when they go outside (“YEH!!! GOOD PUPPY, GOOD JOB….LOOK HOW SMART YOU ARE!!!!!”)  Go ahead and give a treat as well. (Remember,  give the treat while they are outside.)

 

  • Anytime your puppy has been playing for more the 30 minutes go outside again…… Puppies can’t engage in more than  30-50  minutes of active play without needing to eliminate!

 

  • Puppy stays in the kennel when you can’t give them 100 %  of your attention!!!! That way they can’t sneak off into another room.  Use it like a play pen or crib for babies .  As they get better, try using the kennel less and less. 

 

  •  If your puppy makes a mistake in the house, clean it up thoroughly and be more vigilant.  The fewer mistakes your puppy makes indoors the faster he or she will learn.  No corrections unless you catch them in the act.  If you see your pup going potty in the house, startle and redirect.  Yell, shake a penny can or throw a toy towards them and then quickly take them to their designated area outdoors.  Spankings just scare and confuse the puppy.

 

  • Repeat as needed for good house breaking…. If you put all of your work in at the beginning you and Rover WILL SUCCEED! 

 

  •  House breaking is easier in the winter.  I find that you and your dog spend very little time outside, so the puppy really learns what you want.  Whereas in the summer, when both people and pets want to spend a lot of time outside,  puppy can potty any time and may have a much harder time understanding the actual mission.  Still if you are consistent you will get the job done.