Category Archives: Pet Tips

Why Is My Dog Chewing His Paws?

Dog barking

Have you noticed your dog chewing at their paws and nails a lot lately?

It’s not unusual for a dog to lick their paws sometimes, but if this behavior has popped up only recently, it could be a sign of another issue.

If they are licking or chewing excessively, you should take notice and look to see if there are any other noticeable symptoms that could indicate a problem. 

Concerning symptoms could include pink, red, or swollen paw, bleeding, stinky paw odors, and limping.

Let’s examine a list of the most common reasons your dog could be chewing at their paws.

 

Reasons a Dog Chews Their Paws

  • Injuries
  • Dry Skin
  • Allergies
  • Parasites
  • Anxiety
  • Boredom or Loneliness
  • Broken or Infected Nail

 

Injuries to paw

Houseplants Toxic to DogsThere are many potential injuries to your dog’s paw that could cause them to “lick their wounds” as the old expression goes.

This could be a sign of an injury to the paw, a puncture to the toe pads, or even a fractured or broken toe. It could also be a splinter or maybe an uncomfortable burr picked up outdoors. Very active dogs can be especially prone to these kinds of injuries.

You can try to self examine the paw and look for signs of injuries. Some can be more serious than others and may require a visit to the veterinarian.

 

Dry Skin

Dogs can suffer from dry skin caused by changes in the weather, just like humans can. This could especially be true during the dry months of winter. Since a dog can’t just grab a bottle of moisturizer like we would, licking their paws can provide some relief. 

Dry skin can also be an indication that your dog isn’t getting enough fatty acids in their diet. These fats in your dog’s diet help keep their skin healthy and if they’re not getting them, can cause dry skin. If this is the case, some adjustments to their diet could solve the problem.

 

Allergies

OleanderJust like humans, dogs can have allergies. These could include food allergies, reactions to seasonal pollens and molds in the air during summer months, or reactions to household chemicals.

Food allergies are often the most frequent cause of allergic reactions that can dry out and irritate their skin. If this is the case, it’s likely that an ingredient in their dog food is the culprit.

This can be harder to diagnose on your own but your vet can help you review your dog’s diet and figure out what the problem is. 

Related: 5 Dangerous Houseplants that are Toxic to Dogs

 

Parasites

Another common cause of itchiness in dogs will be parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mites. Their chewing could be their way of trying to ease the discomfort or get rid of the invader.

Check your dog for ticks first because they are the one parasite that will be easy to find if that’s the problem. Mites and fleas are more challenging to find unless they’re really to the point of being out of control.

If your dog is not getting regular treatments for fleas and ticks, then this could be the problem. Your vet can also help you in this situation. 

 

Anxiety

Anxiety or other psychological issues can cause your dog to chew at themselves excessively. It could be anxiety, depression, loneliness, or boredom causing them to chew. 

Licking at their paws may be a way with coping

soothe a dog’s nervous system when he feels “too much” or doesn’t receive enough play, stimulation, or affection.

Of course, some dogs are naturally anxious, particularly when mom or dad leave the house. Rescue dogs may have experienced neglect or abuse that turned amplified their anxiety and fear. Observe when your dog engages in the behavior and what else is going on in the home at that time.

If your dog is alone frequently, a loving dog sitter or dog walker can do wonders to help alleviate their stress.

 

Boredom or Loneliness

7 Tips for Winter Dog Walking SafetyA dog chewing at their paws could be a symptom of boredom or loneliness, especially for some breeds of dogs that require a lot of exercise or activity.

Some dogs who aren’t getting the walks or playtime they want will find other outlets for their needs, and this can lead to troublesome behaviors. They may find outlets such as getting into things they shouldn’t, or obsessive behaviors, such as chewing. 

If your schedule prevents you from giving your dog the attention they require, hiring a dog walker could really help them expend the energy they need to.

 

Broken or Infected Nail

Chewing at a paw or a nail could be a symptom of a broken, cracked, or infected nail. Sometimes a break at the base of the nail won’t be obvious to you but it can be a real nuisance to your dog. This could be a case of your dog licking at his wound, a type of self-soothing.

 


The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sittingdog walkingpuppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Aurora, Naperville, Joliet and Shorewood area.

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


New Years Resolutions for Your Dog and You

Dog New Year Resolutions

In this post, we list some New Years Resolutions for your dog, and for you, to make the new year even better for both of you.

It’s the new year! Have you made New Years Resolutions for yourself?

How about resolutions for your best and most loyal friend?

Your dog wouldn’t mind having a better year either!

Here is a list of ideas to improve your dog’s health and happiness in the new year.

 

New Years Resolutions for your dog (and you)

  • Go to the dog park regularly (or more often)
  • Get a new accessory (collar, leash, sweater) for your dog
  • Brush your dog’s teeth more often
  • Add ten minutes to the length of your walks
  • Learn more about your dog and it’s breed
  • Buy your dog their favorite treat
  • Get rid of old, worn dog toys
  • Make your car trips easier
  • Keep vaccinations up to date
  • Teach your dog a new trick or lesson
  • Make more time for play and snuggling
  • Make a homemade dog treat
  • Help out a local shelter

 

Go to the dog park regularly (or more often)

Do you go to the dog park often or almost never? It wouldn’t be a bad thing for both of you to get out and get a little more fresh air and social time.

Get a new accessory (collar, leash, sweater) for your dog

Did your dog get any new accessories for the holidays? If not, you should get something that will be to the benefit of the both of you, whether it’s a new fancy collar, leash or even a dog sweater. 

Brush your dog’s teeth more often

Most dog owners don’t brush their pet’s teeth enough. It’s okay, that is common. Resolve to brush their teeth more often this year.

Add ten minutes to the length of your walks

You are walking your dog regularly, right? Great! How about you extend the walking time by another ten minutes? You’ll both benefit from the added exercise. Over time, that 10 minutes a day really adds up.

Learn more about your dog and it’s breed

There’s always a little something more to learn about dogs, breeds, and their behaviors. You could learn something that could make your lives easier, healthier, or less stressful.

Dog chewingBuy your dog their favorite treat

It’s the holidays! Your dog deserves a special treat.

Get rid of old, worn dog toys

Time to get rid of any old tattered toys and start fresh.

Make your car trips easier

There are lots of ways to make car travel safer and more enjoyable for your dog and you, including new harnesses, car seats, calming treats, and car seat covers.

Keep vaccinations up to date

Hopefully, you are doing this already and your veterinarian is helping you. But make sure it is done, it really is important.

Teach your dog a new trick or lesson

No matter how the saying goes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Most will actually enjoy the challenge and reward of doing so. It can make life a little more fun.

Make more time for play and snuggling

Are you too busy or too tired after work for play time? Let’s fix that! Make sure you are setting aside time for play, you will both get so much closer and happier because of it.

Make a homemade dog treat

Is there a favorite treat your dog loves when you make it? Then do it! And if there isn’t, now is the time to learn how to make something new. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and your dog will be thrilled.

Help out a local shelter

Almost every local shelter could use some assistance, whether you volunteer, donate, promote, or refer friends and family. Do something to help out the other dogs out there that haven’t found their home yet. You’ll feel great.

 


The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sittingdog walkingpuppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Aurora, Naperville, Joliet and Shorewood area.

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


 

5 Dangerous Houseplants that are Toxic to Dogs

Houseplants Toxic to Dogs

Houseplants have many benefits in the home. They make a home cozier, can be used for medicinal purposes and purify the air. Unfortunately, there are some fairly common houseplants that can be dangerous to your dog. In this post, we will review some houseplants that are toxic to dogs.

Poisoning from these plants can occur in several ways such as:

  • Drinking the water from the plant tray or pot.
  • Eating the leaves, blossoms, roots or even the soil in the pot.
  • Skin contact with any plant sap or juice.

Before you purchase any houseplant protect your canine family member by doing a little bit of research.

Related: Plants That Are Poisonous to Cats

1. Philodendron
Philodendron

Philodendrons are very popular houseplants. They are fast growing, available in climbing and upright varieties and are easy to care for. These plants contain insoluble calcium oxalates which are toxic to animals and humans.

Symptoms of Ingestion: Oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.

2. Pothos or Devils Ivy
Pothos (Devils Ivy)

The Pothos Houseplant has amazing air purification properties and is easy to propagate from cuttings which makes it a very popular houseplant. Though only mildly harmful in small quantities, Pothos also contains insoluble calcium oxalates.

Symptoms of Ingestion: Oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.

3. Peace Lily
Peace Lily

Containing insoluble calcium oxalates like Philodendrons and Pothos houseplants, the Peace Lily can be moderately harmful to your dog.

Symptoms of Ingestion: Drooling, pawing at the mouth, oral pain, decreased appetite, vomiting.

4. Aloe Plant
Aloe Plant

Aloe is a very common household plant due to its medicinal benefits such as purifying the air and is also provides natural burn/sunburn relief. For dogs though this plant should be kept out of reach as it contains saponins and anthraquinones.

Symptoms of Ingestion: Vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, diarrhea. Foliage is more toxic than berries.

5. Ivy or English Ivy
English Ivy

Ivy is a beautiful accent to your home with the way it cascades from hanging baskets but is very harmful to your pet especially if consumed in large amounts. Beware.

Symptoms of Ingestion: Vomiting, depression, anorexia, changes in urine color, and rarely, tremors.
 
 


If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, call the APCC at (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible.

Sources:
The ASPCA
Pet Poison Helpline


The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, dog walkingpuppy training andpet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Aurora, Naperville, Joliet and Shorewood area.

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


How to Leave Your Dog Home Alone

Dog Home Alone

Is there a way to leave your dog home alone and not have to worry about your pet’s happiness?

Every dog owner will have to deal with leaving their dog home alone sometimes. As much as you love them, you have a job and other social obligations where you will have to leave your friend at home. 

In this post, we discuss tips to make your dog’s time at home safe and enriching, and how long you can leave a dog alone.

 

How to train your dog to be home alone

 
Dog chewingStart separation training right away – Even though it’s going to be hard, it is best to start training your dog to be home alone from the time you get them. You don’t want them to become too dependent on your company.

Get your dog a soft bed or crate, plenty of water, and a favorite toy. Head to another room with no fanfare while he is content playing. Start with a few minutes and gradually increase the time. Hold off opening the door if you hear him whining, crying, or barking. When he is quiet, you can enter the room and give brief praise. Slowly start adding short trips outside the house to the routine, following the same steps.

Related: Tips for the first 30 days of dog adoption

Treats – A special treat should be given only when you are leaving and not when you return. Your puppy may even learn to enjoy when you are preparing to leave for work, knowing that a treat is on the way.

Stay calm – You don’t want to make leaving too big of a production because that can actually add to their anxiety. The ten minutes before and after a separation should be serene and matter-of-fact. It may be hard to not give them giant special hugs and attention before leaving or right when you return, but it will be best for your dog.  When you return, hold off on the special attention until your dog is fully settled down.

Exercise before leaving – Make time to either play games or go for a walk before leaving. A dog that has had the chance to spend their excess energy will be less likely to get into trouble or be stressed. 

Related: How much exercise does your dog need?

Create a routine – Separations will be much easier if you have a regular schedule or routine. Consistent times for meals, playtime, and walks will have a calming effect on your dog. Maintaining a schedule will also make easier for a friend or dog-sitter to help you out when you’re not around.

Related: Tips for leaving your dog on vacation

All dogs are different, and some can handle more time at home alone than others.

Every dog needs bathroom breaks, exercise, and mental stimulation. By taking care of these needs, you will be able to make separation much easier.

 

How to leave your puppy home alone

 

How long can my dog go between bathroom breaks?

According to experts, dogs will usually need to pee between three to five times a day. The timing of potty breaks varies from dog to dog, and puppies and older dogs will need more bathroom breaks.

Here are common time limits for dogs of different life stages:

  • Puppies – One hour per every month of age (so three-month-old puppy can wait three hours to pee.)
  • Adult dogs – Age one year and up: up to eight hours, but ideally no more than six.
  • Senior dogs – Age eight and up: depending on size and health, anywhere from two to six hours.

 


The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sittingdog walkingpuppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Aurora, Naperville, Joliet and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


More Resources:

How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone? – Daily Treat

How Often Do Dogs Need Bathroom Breaks? – Paw Print Blog

How To Leave Your Dog Home Alone – Petcube

How to Leave Your Dog Home Alone and Happy – Orvis


 

How to Travel in a Car With a Cat

Cat in pet carrier

In this post, we discuss tips on how to travel in a car with a cat so that you can make the experience easier for you and your pet.

There will be times where you will need to transport your cat with you in your car. The problem is, unlike dogs, cats are not well known for enjoying rides in the car.

Cats do not travel well. They enjoy their routines and the safety of their home and territory. Cats don’t like changes.

If you’re just going on a vacation, we don’t recommend that you even try to take your cat with you. Cat sitting services are well suited to your cat, who will enjoy the safety of her familiar territory and in-home pet sitting

 

Why Cats Hate Cars

Cat BoredomFor starters, most cats have very bad associations with cars. Their first and often only experiences with cars are usually unpleasant.

Their first experience in a car is usually when they are taken away from the only home they’ve ever known.

The second is usually being taken to the vet. And often, that’s the only experiences they’ll have. Nothing about them make your cat want to go on another car ride.

The challenge is to help your cat build a more positive association with your car. You will have to spend some time conditioning them to associate your car with positive experiences.

 

Tips for Car Travel with a Cat

Your cat should always travel inside a pet carrier while in a car. A cat roaming around in the car is a distraction to the driver and can be dangerous. An accident could send your cat flying or get them crushed by an airbag. Crate train your cat ahead of any planned trips.

Related: My cat ate a mouse, should I worry?

Make sure your cat has identification in case they make a quick escape from the car. You might think you’ll be able to stop them or they won’t try to run but you would feel very bad if that happened and your cat would likely be terrified as well.

Allow your cat to wander around and rub their scent in the car before a trip. Before doing this, move their bed or a toy or favorite blanket into the car so it gives them something familiar. Get inside the car with your cat, close the door, and let him sniff and explore for five minutes before taking them back into the home. Do this five-minute car visit a couple times a day for a few days before leaving on a trip.

Related: 9 Weird cat behaviors explained

When your cat is starting to appear more comfortable in the car, give them a few meals in the car, or offer high-quality treats that your cat wouldn’t normally receive. If your cat is a big fan of catnip, you can use that as well. You want to begin having them associate special things with being in the car.

You should introduce the pet carrier when your cat has shown that they are becoming more comfortable in the car. Set it the carrier on the back seat and start the car. Then turn off the motor and get out without going anywhere. You should repeat this a few times a day until they are used to this activity. Give them a reward when it’s time to get out of the car.

Related: How to get your cat to use a litter box

Eventually, you should be able to back the car to the end of the driveway with your cat inside. Do this two or three times in a row, and then let them out after your return. If your cat shows signs of stress, you may need to slow it down a little. This can take awhile. When they are used to a trip to the end of the driveway, expand it to a trip around the block and then after that, around the neighborhood.

 


The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, dog walkingpuppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing

Dog chewing

Many dog owners have had to deal with coming home and discovering that your doggy friend has chewed on something she wasn’t supposed to have.

For puppies, chewing is a normal part of the teething process. When adult dog chew, they often do it out of boredom or stress. 

When your dog repeated engages in inappropriate chewing, it can be very frustrating as well as destructive to your property. It can also lead to medical problems and hurt the bond with your dog.

In this post, we look at steps you can take to stop your dog from chewing things that they shouldn’t and correct the behavior.

How to get your dog to stop inappropriate chewing

  • Puppy-proof your home
  • Rule out medical issues
  • Make sure it’s not separation anxiety
  • Encourage them to use a chew toy
  • Discourage inappropriate chewing
  • Use a dog chewing deterrent
  • Give them plenty of exercise

 

Puppy-proof your home

Make sure you remove items out of the reach of your dog that could be harmful. Start with electrical cords and household chemicals. Move on to your shoes, socks and kids toys that could be too tempting while your dog is still learning good behaviors. 

Prevent parasites in dogsRule out medical issues

Make sure that your dog does not have any medical problems which could lead to inappropriate chewing. Nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal problems, and parasites can trigger chewing as a coping mechanism for your dog. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out underlying medical conditions that can lead to chewing.

Related: Using Baking Soda to Fight Dog Odors

Make sure it’s not separation anxiety

Sometimes excessive chewing can be a symptom of separation anxiety. If you believe this could be the cause, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Related: Tips for Leaving Your Dog on Vacation

Encourage them to use a chew toy

You will need to encourage your dog to redirect their behavior to appropriate objects like chew toys. Every dog has their own preferences for what kind of toys they like, so you may need to try a few different types of toys before you find the right kind for your dog.

 

Discourage inappropriate chewing

If you catch your dog chewing on something they shouldn’t be, you need to correct the behavior right away.  Immediately take the object away and scold them. Direct their attention to one of their new chew toys and heap on the praise when they chew on it. Your dog will learn what objects are his and which are not.

 Related: How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking

Use a dog chewing deterrent

You may need to purchase dog chew deterrent spray from your local pet store. You can use this on things your dog likes to chew on that you just can’t hide, such as the leg of a chair. One bite and your dog will hopefully decide he doesn’t want to chew that anymore.

Give them plenty of exercise

Make sure that you spend plenty of time playing and exercising with your dog. If you don’t already, schedule a regular play time. You need to try and use up all that energy that your dog might be putting into chewing behaviors. A tired dog doesn’t have the energy to misbehave.

 

The Pets’ Home offers dog training services along with our popular dog walking and dog sitting services. You can get dog shuttle service available to and from training lessons. We also aim to teach pet parents how to break their own bad habits, as well, so your dog can have consistency. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841

 

More related sources:
5 steps to correct inappropriate dog chewing – Cesar’s Way
How To Stop Dogs From Destructive Chewing – Dog Time 
How to Stop a Dog from Chewing – American Kennel Club
Chewing: How to Stop Your Dog’s Gnawing Problem – Humane Society
Tips for How to Stop Dogs and Puppies from Chewing – Pet MD

Reasons to Keep Cats Indoors

Many different people choose to have their cats be “indoor-outdoor” cats. Their pets get to spend some time outdoors as well as indoors.

Others choose to keep their cats inside exclusively.

There are many reasons people use to keep cats indoors, and some of these reasons can be very beneficial to your cat and their health.

Let’s review the best reasons to keep your cat indoors.

The most important reason to keep the cats indoor is that the lifespan.

Outdoor cats can live for only 3 to 5 years average. On the other hand the, indoor cats usually live about 13 to 17 years. The huge lifespan difference should be enough reason to keep the cats indoors. Even though it’s a risk to leave the cats outside some cat owners to allow their cats to go out.

Cats should always have kept inside the house, so they are warm, cozy and most importantly, it is safe for them. Keeping the cats in the house is one of the most important action you can take to encourage the cat’s Safety.

Main reasons to keep the Cats indoors:

  • Indoor cats live longer
  • Vehicle danger
  • Risk of poisoning
  • Animal fights
  • Allergies
  • Cats can get lost

Vehicle danger –  Outdoor cats are always at the risk of getting hit by a vehicle. It is easy for pets to get distracted while running or chasing, therefore, it’s hard to form to keep an eye on the road while playing. That can result in an accident. Sometimes the cat can survive but they can still suffer from severe injuries.

Risk of being poisoned – It’s easy for outdoor cats to get poisoned since they have a lot of exposure outside. Poisoning risks include toxins like lawn pesticides, food from trash cans, and intentional or accidental poisoning from people. Outdoor pets are at risk for eating poisoned bait left out for rats, raccoons, and skunks.

Even though there is a risk of getting poisoned indoors by different kinds of toxic plants or chemicals, you have more control over keeping your home safe. Once a cat is free outdoors, you cannot control what they may get into.

Related: My cats ate a mouse – should I be worried?

Animal Fights – Cats that are outdoors can have unexpected encounters with wild animals. Though a raccoon may ignore them, wild animals such as coyotes can be a threat. Outdoors cats may encounter them and get injured.

They could also encounter a wild animal with a disease such as rabies. Other cats roaming outside, whether domesticated or feral may be extremely territorial and will fight if they encounter your cat.

Allergies – Though you may love your cat like your own family member, many people with allergies to cats can’t stand being anywhere near them. They may not “hate” cats, but they hate the way cat dander triggers their allergy symptoms, from mild fever to full-blown asthmatic attacks. Though they may not often be a threat to your cat, if these people are your neighbors they can put a strain on your relations.

Lost – It’s tough for a cat that sleeps all day on your bed to get lost. Indoor cats don’t get lost since they are in front of your eyes most of the time. They are also safe from human abuse since they won’t get targeted by the cat haters.

Related posts: Cats & Cucumbers

Health/exercise – Keeping cats indoors doesn’t mean that cats can’t exercise their hunting instinct. It’s up to cat guardians to provide a stimulating environment with plenty of cat trees, window perches, and scratches. Daily playtime keeps kitty aactive.

Do not risk your cat’s life. Keep them safe and motivated to stay inside the house. That way your cats can have a happy and healthy lifestyle for many years.

Related: Is your cat bored?

 

The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sittingdog sittingcat sittingdog walkingpuppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking

Dog barking

A dog barking is a totally normal behavior. With few exceptions, almost every dog barks. To them, it’s a normal form of communication.

Too much barking though can be a problem. It can be bothersome to you and your family, and even more so for your neighbors.

Is there a way you get your dog to stop barking so much?

Yes, there is, and as your dog’s pack leader, it’s your job to teach them how to behave. 

Let’s review how you can teach your dog to not bark so much.

First, it’s important to review the main reasons that cause a dog to bark. If you review this list, it may help you determine what the root cause of your dog’s excessive barking is. 

Why do dogs bark?

  • Warning
  • Excitement
  • Playfulness
  • Anxiety
  • To get attention
  • Boredom
  • Responding to other dogs

If you understand the reason for your dog’s barking, then you can figure out how to control that behavior.

For example, a dog that is bored needs more walks, play or exercise. If your dog is anxious, you can address the root causes or find ways to treat separation anxiety. If your dog barks at other dogs, you can desensitize them to other animals.

Training is also important. Your dog needs to know that there are times to bark and there are times to be quiet. Teaching them the basic speak/quiet commands is important.

Related: How to train your dog

If your dog has excessive barking issues, start working on addressing these as soon as possible. It will be easier to train them before the behaviors become too ingrained.

Related: Positive enforcement rules for you and your dog

Tips to help break the barking habit

  • Teach your dog the Speak/Quiet commands
  • Don’t yell. To the dog, it is like you are barking back at them.
  • Stay positive when you are working with them.
  • Be consistent with your dog at all times. Make sure everyone in the household is reacting to the behavior in the same way.
  • Do not comfort, pet, hug or give your dog a treat when they are barking for attention or out of anxiety. Even if it gets them to stop, it is encouraging and rewarding the behavior.
  • Get your dogs attention with a clap or whistle.  When they have quieted, redirect their attention to a toy or other reward.
  • Use the basic commands of sit and down in order to shift focus.
  • Do not let your dog bark constantly outside. Bring them in when they bark so they know they can’t be outside if they bark.

How to teach your dog to stop barking

Training Resources:

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking – Humane Society
Cesar’s best tips to stop dog barking – Cesar’s Way
Train Your Dog to Speak or Be Quiet – The Spruce

Related: How much exercise does your dog need?


We offer dog training services in the Plainfield – Naperville area with dog shuttle service available to and from lessons. We also aim to teach pet parents how to break their own bad habits, as well, so your dog can have consistency. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


 

Chocolate Overdose: What to do if they find your secret spot

Most of us have that secret spot of emergency chocolate, for those extra hard days.  Unfortunately, the chocolate stash can be very dangerous for our pets if they find it.

The question we end up asking ourselves is how much is too much chocolate, and what should I do if my dog eats chocolate?

How much is safe?

As long as you know how much was eaten and what sort of chocolate it is, it is relatively easy to work out if your pet is in danger. 

The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous, is the general rule. 

Dark, bitter baking chocolate contains more toxins than milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is not as toxic as dark chocolate, and white chocolate contains very little of theobromine, which is the concerning chemical found in chocolate. 

Other factors that may impact your pet include whether there were any other ingredients such as caffeine, sultanas, macadamias, and xylitol (also toxic to pets and used as an artificial sweetener).

Many pets are very sensitive to rich and fatty foods and will get a nasty bout of pancreatitis or gastroenteritis from overindulging. Also, pets that gobble the whole lot so quickly that they eat wrappers, foil and plastic are more susceptible to a foreign body problem as well.

What Does Chocolate Do to Dogs?

Chocolate contains theobromine which is a methylxanthine that stimulates the heart and nervous system while relaxing smooth muscle. The low-grade signs of poisoning often include vomiting, diarrhea, panting, restlessness, hyperactivity, and increased heart rate.

At higher doses, neurological signs such as tremors, seizures, coma, and death can occur. Often it takes a few hours to develop the dangerous symptoms and as theobromine has a long half-life it can take a few days for pets to improve even with treatment.

What Should I Do?

If you have a reason to suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, get them to the vet immediately.

If there is a chance that the chocolate is still in the stomach, including vomiting quickly is cheap, effective and safe. Usually, if the consumption was within an hour, inducing vomiting solves the problem. Insider tip: vets don’t mind making chocolate-eaters vomit – it smells so much nicer than the usual vomit!

 

Protect your dog from Mosquitoes

It’s almost summer, but to us dog owners we know what season really is almost here: flea/tick/mosquito season. It’s that time of the year when you become wary of letting you dog walk through ominous-looking grass and uncut lawns. After all, mosquito bites carry deadly consequences and can transmit diseases like heart-worm and West Nile. But if encasing your dog in a protective, impenetrable bubble doesn’t work for you, here are some ways to keep your dog sage and bite-free all summer.

Whatever you do, DON’T use human insect repellent on your dog.Mosquito Protection-Dog

Human bug sprays are great for us, but they’re toxic for our furry friends. Deet, the main ingredient in most drugstore bug sprays, can cause vomiting, seizures, and skin irritation when exposed to dogs.

When applying bug spray, make sure your dog doesn’t lick your skin, if they do, contact your vet immediately.

Avoid leaving standing water around your home.

Mosquitoes, much like humans, need water to live. Restricting their access to water is the best way to keep adult mosquitoes from breeding and, thus, unleashing more mosquitoes into your home.
To prevent this, eliminate any standing water around your home. You might also want to empty your dog’s water bowl at night when you know they won’t be drinking it.

Don’t walk your dog at peak mosquito times.

Just like how us humans have rush hours, mosquitoes have their own time of the day when they’re the most active, and those times are at dawn and dusk. Avoid walking your dog during these hours and they’ll be less likely to be bitten.

Buy insect-repellent products made for dogs.

Fairly self-explanatory, but stick to products that are made for dogs. That way you know they’re safe to use. Most flea and tick products are formulated to repel mosquitoes as well.
K9 Advantix and Bio Spot are two examples of great triple action products that should keep your dog free of bites all summer long. You can also buy sprays and other insect repellents from your pet store.

Don’t ignore natural remedies.Mosquito Protection-Dog

If you’re not comfortable using chemicals on yourself, let alone your dog, there are lots of natural remedies for mosquito prevention that work just as well as the chemical ones. Lemon eucalyptus oil is an effective repellent that keeps mosquitoes at with its repugnant smell.

Geranium oil and soybean oil when mixed together can also be used as a repellent. Although you can find products with these ingredients in health food stores, you can also mix together these oils yourself and make your own D.I.Y bug spray.

Fix any broken window screens in your home.

Most mosquitoes get into the home through open windows or broken window screens. If you wake up with new bites on your arms, your windows might not be protecting you and your dog as much as you think.

Be wary of any holes or tears in screens that might be letting bugs in. And don’t forget to fill in the gap between the air conditioner and the window frame, too.