• Tips & Advice for Pet Owners

     

    Sometimes your pet’s behavior can have you at your wit’s end! Please browse these short tip sheets for useful information you can use right away. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the files, which are in PDF format.

    Basic Dog Training Techniques
    DOES YOUR DOG GET ON THE FURNITURE and refuse to get off? Nudge your hand and insist on being petted or played with? Refuse to come when called? Defend his food bowl or toys from you? If so, a training technique called “nothing in life is free” may be just the solution you’re looking for.
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    Cats: Destructive Scratching
    Because scratching is a normal behavior and one that cats are highly motivated to display, it’s unrealistic to try to prevent them from scratching. Instead, the goal in resolving scratching problems is to redirect the scratching onto acceptable objects.
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    Crate Training Your Dog
    Crate training takes some time and effort, but it is a proven way to help train dogs who act inappropriately without knowing any better. If you have a new dog or puppy, you can use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the house rules—like what he can and can’t chew on and where he can and can’t eliminate.
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    Dogs: Destructive Chewing
    SOONER OR LATER EVERY DOG LOVER returns home to find some unexpected damage inflicted by his or her dog…or, more specifically, that dog’s incisors and molars. Although dogs make great use of their vision and sense of smell to explore the world, one of their favorite ways to take in new information is to put their mouths to work. Fortunately, chewing can be directed onto appropriate items so your dog isn’t destroying items you value or jeopardizing his own safety.
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    Dog Toys: Why You Need Them
    FOR DOGS AND OTHER ANIMAL COMPANIONS, toys are not a luxury, but a necessity. Toys help fight boredom in dogs left alone, and toys can even help prevent some problem behaviors from developing.
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    Introducing a New Cat to Other Pets
    WOULDN’T IT BE NICE if all it took to introduce a new cat to your resident pet were a brief handshake and a couple of “HELLO, My Name Is…” name-tags? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple, which means you’ll need to have some realistic expectations from the outset.
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    Solving Litter box Problems
    YOU’RE HAVING A HARD TIME persuading your cat to head for the litter box when it’s appropriate, it may be time to draw a line in the sand. Most cats prefer eliminating on a loose, grainy substance, which is why they quickly learn to use a litter box. But when their preferences include the laundry basket, the bed, or the Persian rug, you may find yourself with a difficult problem.
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    Dogs: Reducing Separation Anxiety
    We don’t fully understand why some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and, under similar circumstances, others don’t. It’s important to realize, however, that the destruction and house soiling that often occur with separation anxiety are not the dog’s attempt to punish or seek revenge on his owner for leaving him alone. In reality, they are part of a panic response.
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    Unusual Eating Habits in Dogs and Cats
    YOUR PET HAS AN APPETITE FOR such oddities as socks, rocks, or even feces, chances are you’ve wondered—and worried—about her unusual eating habits. In this case, your worry may be justified: Not only can your possessions be destroyed or damaged, but objects such as clothing and rocks can produce life-threatening blockages in your pet’s intestines.
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    Reducing Urine-Marking Behavior in Dogs and Cats
    Some pets may go to the extreme of urinating or defecating to mark a particular area as their own. Urine-marking is not a house soiling problem. Instead, it is considered territorial behavior. Therefore, to resolve the problem, you need to address the underlying reason for your pet’s need to mark his territory in this way. Before this can be done, however, take your pet to the veterinarian to rule out any medical causes for his behavior.
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