How to Train Your Dog to Stay?

It is easy to inhibit basic commands in dogs when they are young. Dog trainers and behaviorists insist on providing basic command training at an early age to prevent any difficulty faced by a dog at later years.

“Stay” is probably the most difficult exercise to teach according to many pet owners because many dogs just hate being still! With persistence and short, frequent training sessions your dog can master this exercise. Get in touch with the best pet training service in Des Moines.


How to train a dog to stay?

Learning to stay is one of the most difficult yet basic commands that all dogs will know eventually. It can be useful in many situations like if you have a guest coming in and you don't want your dog jumping all over them.

Getting Started

  • While being ready to train your dog, keep yourself free in a mood. If you're not feeling well or are too busy, you might not be able to provide the necessary energy to a train your dog.
  • Plan on a short training session to avoid fatigue or boredom. Training sessions should only last a few minutes and be spread evenly throughout a week.
  • Give Rewards to your dog for positive reinforcement. Training will involve a lot of positive feedback which involves giving your dog its favorite treat.
  • Plan on continuing this training for a while before your dog picks up on it because dogs don't speak our language and it’s important for them to learn to associate certain commands with actions.
  • Have your dog sit in a comfortable spot. You'll want to start with your dog sitting a good spot.

How do you train to stay command?

Training your dog to stay follows a series of command. You can find multiple commands prompts to train your dogs. One of the easiest and most followed training is as follows;

Continue the “Sit” command for a while before your dog picks up on it

It’s important that your dog learns to associate certain commands with actions because they don’t understand our language. Some dogs are able to pick up faster than others, however, it’s important to remain persistent and patient with your training until your dog gets it.

dog training

Have your dog sit in a comfortable spot

Make sure the ground isn't wet, cold, or covered with anything that might make your dog uncomfortable. This may result in training a distracted animal.

Use basic commands

  • Place your palm out in front of the dog's face while saying 'stay.' The use of the verbal cue and the hand gesture will help your dog associate the commands with the word.
  • Repeat the word 'stay' a few times before doing anything else so your dog learns the word. Say it in a happy and firm tone to make it assertive to your dog.
  • Be sure to use these same commands every time you tell your dog to stay. Using multiple signals will confuse them
  • Take one or two steps back. Keep your hand out and keep saying 'stay' while you do this. Your dog will probably follow you the first few times. When it starts to move from the sitting position, you can correct it with a 'No' or 'ap ap ap' in a firmer tone.

dog training

Praise it and offer a reward when it sits back down.

Repeat the step as needed. This first few times will probably be the hardest but persistence will eventually pay. Do not offer a treat when your dog makes a mistake.

Give a treat

Remember to give your dog its favorite treat for following each correct command. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train a dog. They will associate the treat with the correct command and will continue to follow each command. Reinforce its obedience with a treat.

Have your dog come to you

Once your dog has become proficient at staying, you can complete the task by having it come to you. Come up with a word, command, or signal that the dog can attend to.

Use a different command for a treat

Whatever word you use to release your dog from the stay, make sure you say it in a different than what you would normally speak. Otherwise, your dog might start expecting a treat every time you say the command.

Increase the distance

When your dog gets proficient at staying start increasing the distance – Go 5 steps back, then 10 and increase the distance. The point is to make sure that the dog stays as long as you continue telling it. Remember to praise the dog and give a treat every time he succeeds.

dog training

What is the best dog training method?

There are many dog training methods an animal trainer may use, however, the most used and reliable dog training remains ‘Positive reinforcement.’

Positive reinforcement is one of the recent methods that was popularized by trainers like Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz. It theorizes that dogs will repeat good behavior when it is followed by a reward. Bad behavior results in zero treat or reward. The punishment is never physical but the form of removal of rewards, like a toy or treat is taken away. Physical punishment often results in a disobedient pet.

Reward the dog immediately or within seconds. This way the dog will associate the behavior with the reward. Positive reinforcement requires consistency, therefore everyone is in the house must use the same commands and reward system. Start with continuous rewards every time your dog does the right thing. You can gradually move to intermittent rewards as the behavior becomes consistent.

If you’re using an edible treat, it is often easy to overfeed your dog during the training, hence you can use small treats when you are rewarding with food.


How do I get my stubborn dog to listen?

It is often a case when the newly brought dog is stubborn. Sometimes, your own pet can become stubborn. This can be curbed by the positive reinforcement method.

Reward your dog with a highly desirable treat when it behaves. This will help it to associate good behavior with a reward.

You can use alternate positive reinforcement method if your dog isn’t fond of edible treats. You can praise it, offer tug toy, ball, or pet it to make it feel good.


At what age should a dog be fully potty trained?

Animal behaviorist and trainers recommend that you begin house training your puppy when it is between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, it has enough control of its bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.

It may take 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained. For some, it may take up to a year. Smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms that require them to make frequent bathroom trips.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort for the premier pet training in Des Moines.

What causes Aggressive Dog Behavior?

dog-behavioral problem

It can be unusual for a canine to suddenly become aggressive and attack the owner or other people. It can be a frightening experience when a docile and friendly dog becomes hostile. In extreme cases, the dog may bite or even maul your family member and other pets.

It is important to understand how to curb the aggression of the dog and try to minimize the harm that it can cause to itself.

According to a recent study, aggression has become the most common and serious behavioral issue among dogs. It’s also the number-one reason why pet parents seek professional help from behaviorists, trainers, and veterinarians.

What causes aggressive Dog Behavior?

Every animal has a wild instinct that makes them aggressive. Among dogs, aggression encompasses a range of behaviors that may give signs of extreme aggression. Dogs that show aggression may exhibit some of the following sequences:

  • Becoming still and rigid
  • Guttural bark that may sound threatening
  • Lunging forward or charging at others
  • “Muzzle punch” (the dog literally punches the person with her nose)
  • Growl or showing teeth
  • Snarl (a combination of growling and showing teeth)
  • Snap or quick nip that leaves no mark
  • A quick bite that tears the skin
  • Bite with enough pressure to cause a bruise
  • Repeated bites in rapid succession
  • Bite and shake

Although a dog may or may not show any of these signs, it is essential to check with your veterinarian to ensure that your companion isn’t suffering from aggression-inducing issues.

Some of the major causes for the sudden aggressive outbreak are as follows;

i. Illness and Injury

Illness or injury can cause dogs to become aggressive. The onset of diseases or illness can cause a dog to show signs of aggression such as growling, snapping, and biting.

The medical condition may cause pain to dogs that are too often stressful. It may make them react to things. Some possible causes of pain include arthritis, bone fractures, internal injuries, various tumors, and lacerations. Injury to the head may also cause a sudden outbreak of aggression among pets.

The best possible way to deal with it is to take your dog to the nearest vet for the assessment.

ii. Fear

Most fearful dog become defensive or aggressive in most cases. It’s natural for dogs to exhibit aggressive behavior if they sense they're in danger.

When animals are afraid of something, they prefer to run away which is called the flight response. But if escaping isn’t an option, most animals will switch to a fight response.

Fear aggression is characterized by rapid nips or bites because a fearful dog is motivated to bite and then run away. Male and female dogs are equally prone to fear aggression.

To prevent this type of aggressive behavior, you should approach unknown dogs carefully, better yet, let them approach you. Training and socializing help to curb fear in the future.

iii. Possessiveness

Possession aggression occurs when a dog becomes possessive about food, a toy, a bed, or any other forms of possession. A dog exhibiting possession aggression will growl if someone approaches its possession.

Dogs evolved from wild predecessors who had to compete for food, shelter, and mates to survive. Even though they do not have to face such harsh situations, many still show the tendency to guard their possessions against others.

iv. Frustration

Aggression induced by frustration is often referred to as redirected aggression or barrier frustration. Over time, a dog can learn to associate restraint with feelings of frustration. This may explain why some dogs become aggressive when put behind a gate or inside a cage.

A dog may often feel frustrated at not being able to get to something. This type of aggression is often seen in dogs that spend a lot of time tied up, restrained on a leash, or behind a chain-link fence.

As a pet owner, it is important to take your dog off the leash and allow it to roam under supervision. Socializing with other pets or park-play time can help a lot.

v. Territorial Aggression

Inhibiting territorial aggression from their wild relatives such as wolf, a dog can show tendencies of defending the territory from other animals or humans. Dogs sometimes show aggression to establish dominance. Territorial possession can induce dominance among pets.

Territorial aggression can occur along the boundary regularly patrolled by a dog. Other dogs show territorial aggression only toward people or other animals coming into the home.


Can an aggressive dog be cured?

Aggressive behavior in dogs can be cured. It will be impossible to say it can be permanently be cured but the behavioral modification can help to prevent any future hostile behavior.

See Your Veterinarian

The first things you can do is call up your veterinarian. Dogs that show sudden aggressive behavior might have an underlying medical problem that can be assessed by veterinarians. Hypothyroidism, painful injuries, and neurological problems such as encephalitis, epilepsy, and brain tumors can cause aggressive behavior in dogs. The treatment or medication differs from one dog to another.

Call in a Professional

If your dog doesn’t have any medical problem, it's time to call in a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist. Many dogs may have behavioral problems that can be curbed by proper training, guidance, or therapy offered by an animal behaviorist.

Behavior modification is the safest and most effective way to treat an aggression problem. Rewarding your dog for good behavior through praise, treats, and toys can help a lot.

Avoid Punishment

Many pet owners resort to Punishments for aggressive behavior in dogs. Physical or mental harm can usually backfire and can escalate the aggression. Hitting, yelling or using some other aversive method should be strictly avoided.

Consider Medication

In some cases when the behavioral modification isn’t enough, dogs that are aggressive will require medical attention. You should consult with your vet regarding administering medicine for your pets to relieve them from fear, stress, or anxiety. Fear in many dogs prevents them from learning.

Counterconditioning

Counterconditioning involves using proactive relaxation techniques that the dog will be in without the presence of offending stimuli. Classical counterconditioning involves pairing experience with something positive so that there is an almost reflexive association between the events.

You can help curb the aggressive behavior in your dogs by taking them to the best doggy daycare in Des Moines.

dog body language

How do you calm an aggressive dog?

You can follow the basic steps provided by your vet or animal trainer to calm down an aggressive dog.

a. Be calm

Keep yourself calm before shouting at your dog! The first instinct is always to shout with your pet, but that can be a terrible idea. Loud scolding can cause your dog to become more defensive which may result in an attack.

You can reduce tension and stay safe by removing social pressure. Pause, slightly turn your head, lower your gaze, and relax your body while remaining still. It’s always better to move away from the dog when off-leash.

b. Practice prevention

It is important to understand what ticked off your dog. Is it because they were fearful of something or someone or did someone tries to meddle with your dog during playtime or while eating?

An animal behaviorist can help you identify what caused your dog to become aggressive, however, it may take them to show up. In the meantime, you must be prepared to calm your dog. Practice management to prevent putting yourself and your dog in a scary situation again.

c. Understand body language

You will get the physical cues when your dog is close to becoming defensive such as hard stare, mouth tightening, pulsating tail (not wagging), and tense body posturing. If your dog positions itself.

Your dog is communicating that it’s uncomfortable. If you try to take away it toy or food or call it out, you’re asking for trouble.

d. Never punish aggressive behavior

As suggested by the experts, you should never scream at your dog, yell, or stick your face in your dog’s face while he’s growling, snarling, or snapping. Adding force and anger to an agitated, uncomfortable, and volatile situation can cause serious injury to both you and your dog.


Can you rehome an aggressive dog?

It can be a bad idea to rehome your dog with a behavioral issue. Rehoming an aggressive dog may sound like an easy option, however, if you are struggling with your dog it is very likely the new owner will too. Re-homing is a very stressful event for most dogs, and this most likely will result in amplified levels of fear and aggression.

Obviously, you can consult a veterinarian or an animal behaviorist before considering to rehome an aggressive dog.

Get the best insight on how to control an aggressive pet from pet medical service in Des Moines. Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines specializing in training, grooming, and curbing behavioral issues.

How to take care of your dogs?

pet safety infographic

No pet owner ever consider a dog only a pet. For us, they are a family member. Taking care of your pet is as essential as taking care of yourself.

Owning a canine can be the biggest joy in life. It is also a big responsibility. If you are considering bringing a canine into your home, consider seriously about the commitment and responsibility a dog owner entails.

How often do you need to visit Veterinary?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends for dogs and cats to have check-ups annually, at least.

As a pet owner, it is essential to recognize the signs of common illnesses among dogs. Vaccination is another important thing you should always remember.

Vaccination, the onset of common diseases, and aging factor are few of the reasons to frequent vet clinics.

Wellness Check for Pets

A regular check or wellness examination is a periodic medical test of the pets to assess their overall health. A wellness examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'. The need for a wellness check is to ensure that your dog remains healthy throughout its life.

A wellness check may also include vaccinations such as regular shots for rabies, flu, etc.

The time and duration for well checks or periodical visits may differ according to the age of the dog.

Puppy

In general, you should take your pup to your vet every 3 to 4 weeks for necessary vaccinations to ensure if it isn’t developing any complications or other physical ailments. The regular-check may include, shots for rabies and distemper-parvo. Your pup might need shots if it’s displaying symptoms of kennel cough, influenza, or Lyme disease.

Adult Dogs

Adult dogs range from the age of 1 to 7 years (depending on breed). These dogs require an annual wellness check, including a heartworm test and other tests your vet recommends based on the results of the check.

A booster shot for rabies and distemper-parvo can be essential, typically every 3 years.

Older Dogs

Older dogs range from the age of 7 to 10 years. These dogs require wellness to check every 6 months or bi-annually. Like humans, older dogs are prone to developing certain diseases and complications as they get older, including arthritis, gum disease, diabetes, vision problems (blindness), kidney disease, cancer, and dementia.

dog different age


7 Common Dog Diseases

Cancer

50% of dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer at some point. Malignant lymphoma (a tumor of the lymph nodes), mast cell tumors (skin cancer), mammary gland tumors, breast cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas are few of the common cancers found in canine.

Some of the common symptoms of cancer include a lump or a bump, an unhealed wound, any kind of swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, a lameness or swelling in the bone, and abnormal bleeding. It is necessary to take your pet to the veterinarian and take immediate medical measures.

Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. Diabetes mellitus is more likely to be found in overweight cats and dogs.

It is estimated that anywhere from 1 in 500 to 1 in 100 dogs will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include consistent thirst, urinating too much, a ravenous appetite and rapid or sudden weight loss.

The treatment for diabetes includes diet (diet plan recommended by a veterinarian), exercise (exercise to avoid a spike in glucose level), and insulin injections.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough (Canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a term loosely used to describe a complex of respiratory infection (both viral and bacterial) that causes inflammation of a dog’s voice box and windpipe. It’s a form of bronchitis and is similar to a chest cold in humans.

Dogs commonly contract kennel cough at places where large amounts of canines congregate, such as boarding and daycare facilities, dog parks, training groups, and dog shows. Serious cases of kennel cough can lead to pneumonia if left untreated.

Heartworm

Heartworm is one of the common heart diseases among most dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature.

It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no simple way to tell if the mosquito is infected, hence, every dog must be prevented from heartworm.

Heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected animal. The worms travel through the bloodstream—harming arteries and vital organs as they go—ultimately completing their journey to the vessels of the lung and the heart chamber about six months after the initial infection. Several hundred worms can live in one dog for five to seven years.

How to prevent Heartworm disease in dogs?

7 Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

Some of the common symptoms of heartworm disease are as follows;

  • A soft and dry cough
  • Inactivity or lethargy
  • Weight loss or anorexia
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Bulging chest
  • Allergic reaction
  • Collapse

Canine Coronavirus

Canine Coronavirus is an intestinal infection that affects both feral and domesticated dogs. The virus is limited to the upper two-thirds of the small intestines. A lot of the time the infection will clear up by itself, however, it can be problematic for young pups or adult dogs with other infections such as parvovirus.

Older dogs may not show any symptoms. Some of the rare symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Treatment will involve administering extra fluids and electrolytes. If you suspect your dog has contracted coronavirus, it is important to take it to the bet.

Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats, dogs, and humans. Vaccination is important to curb the contraction of the disease. Rabies is transmitted to people from animals, with over 99% of cases due to dog bites. It is transmitted through the exchange of blood or saliva from an infected animal.

Ringworm

Dermatophytosis is the fungal infection affecting the skin, hair, and/or nails (claws) that is more commonly referred to as a ringworm. A ringworm infection on a dog may simply look like a bald spot, with very little inflammation or redness. The inflammation isn’t really itchy. This highly contagious disease can lead to patchy areas of hair loss on a dog and can spread to other animals and humans too.

Healthy Food for Dogs

Here is the comprehensive list of foods and supplements that can be provided to a dog on a daily basis.

dog nutrition chart

Homemade Vs. Store Brought

Homemade food is always better than store brought, however, you must give time to prepare a balanced diet. Grains and starchy veggies should make up no more than half the diet. Good choices include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and pasta.

You can introduce store brought food into your dog's daily diet along with a homemade meal. Daily Dog Food should contain;

  • 50% of muscle meat
  • 10% organ meat
  • 15% uncooked bone
  • 20% of vegetables
  • 5% fruit

How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner?

Being a responsible dog owner is easy – you must keep your dog’s health first.

Pet-Proof Your Home

Like baby proofing your home, you should pet-proof your dog to keep it away from harm’s place. Many items that are used to baby proof your home can be used for pet-proofing as well. Safety locks for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, power outlet covers, safety lid for toilet seats, etc.

Dogs have a tendency to chew on anything they find, hence it’s important to keep medicines and leftover in an inaccessible place. Valuables like jewelry, designer shoes, and clothes can be kept out of reach.

Microchipping

There are many cases of missing pets mostly around holidays and celebrations. Most pets who wander outside the house are easily lured or distracted. To ensure their safety, make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag). This helps to locate them and bring them home quickly.

Basic Obedience Training

Basic obedience training covers basic commands for the safety of the dogs. Basic commands like sitting, look, emergency recall, leave it, drop, lie down can be life-saving in many cases. Basic obedience training also helps in keeping them in check outdoors.

Housetraining, leash training, socializing, and proofing is a few of the other essential training guide for your dogs. These ensure that your dog follows basic manners and keep themselves out of any trouble at home or outside.

Exercise

Just like humans, dogs require exercise on a daily basis for optimal mental and physical health. The amount of exercise your dog needs depending on their breed, age, and level of physical fitness.

Obesity is common in dogs with poor diet and less exercise. Finding time to work out can be difficult for dogs with a busy owner. There's also an increased risk of health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and arthritis.

If you’re unable to give time for your pet, you can consider dropping them off to daycare.

Check-Ups

Regular checkup or wellness check is essential to keep your dog in a fit condition. Regular checkup ensures that your dog is safe from common diseases, they’ll get vaccination on time, and can enjoy a long life through preventive Medicare.

Golden Retriever or Labrador [Infographic]

Do not confuse these two distinct breeds with their latter name "Retriever." Golden Retriever or Labrador, both are the most loved dog breeds throughout the US.

The basic difference between the two dogs lies in their temperament, skin coat, fur, life-span, and epidemiology.

Golden Retriever Or Labrador

golden retriever or labrador

Appearance

  • Labradors have a sturdy built and well-defined body cuts.
  • Golden Retriever looks more of the goofy kind. They are bigger than labs most of the time and their body is longer than a lab.

Coat

  • Labs are double coated just as the Golden, but they have shorter fur (Hardly an inch long).
  • Goldens have longer, lot more fur and a super fluffy tail.

Temperament

  • Goldens are known to be eager to please their owner when compared to Labs who are mostly food/treat driven. They are very obedient and one of the easiest dogs to train.
  • Labs are mostly couch potatoes - most of the time, all they worry or think of is food and treats.

Zoonotic Diseases Facts [Infographic]

Zoonoses or Zoonotic disease can be caused by a range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Of 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans, 61% are zoonotic in nature.

Did You Know? Urban slums have the highest cases of zoonotic infection.

In the direct zoonosis, the disease is directly transmitted from animals to humans through media such as air (influenza) or through bites and saliva (rabies).

zoonotic diseases facts

Prevention from Zoonosis

  • Properly wash hands after tending to the cattle, pets, or other animals
  • Properly wash fruits and vegetables before consuming.
  • Prevent contamination of water sources
  • Proper Pet vaccinations
  • Avoid contact with the wild animal

Major Health Ailments faced by Bulldog [Infographic]

Bulldog, also known as the British Bulldog or English Bulldog, is a medium-sized breed of dog. It is a muscular, hefty dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose. 

Here is an infographic highlighting the major health issues faced by Bulldogs.

National Siamese Cat Day

April 6 is celebrated as the National Siamese Cat Day throughout the USA. Everyone loves Siamese Cats, and April is marked as a month to celebrate their existence in our life.

DID YOU KNOW? – Siamese Cats are the oldest domestic felines.

Although known for their pleasing look and class, Siamese cats make a great pet. They are one of the first distinctly recognized breeds of Asian cat that became one of the most popular breeds in Europe and North America in the 19th Century.

Few Facts about Siamese Cats

Origin

Siamese Cats originated in Thailand, then known as Siam. They were also described as being held in high esteem by royal families. It was believed that after death the soul of a family member enters the body of a Siamese.

700-year-old breed

There are depictions of Siamese cats in Thailand dating to the 14th and 18th centuries. They were favored as royal pets.

Presidential pets

A Thai diplomat gave President Rutherford B. Hayes's wife Lucy a Siamese cat named Siam in the late 1870s. Since then, cats have started occupying the White House.

They had crossed eyes and kinked tails

Siamese cats originally had crossed eyes and kinked tails, though these traits were eventually bred out of the breed.

According to one legend, a group of Siamese cats was tasked with guarding a golden, royal goblet. Performing their duties, the cats stared at the goblet with such intensity that their eyes crossed. And because they wrapped their tails around the goblet for extra security, their tails became permanently bent.

15-pound fat cats

The average male Siamese weighs in between 11 and 15 pounds, and the average female weighs in between 8 and 12 pounds.

They're movie stars

They are movie stars too. Siamese cats have appeared in films including "The Incredible Journey" and "Lady and the Tramp"

Intelligent and Outgoing

Siamese cats are known to be very intelligent, talkative, and affectionate. The Siamese is not an aloof breed, but one that demands its owner attention and affection.

National Puppy Day

March 23 is celebrated as the National Puppy Day through the U.S. Puppies are probably the most adorable animals on Earth. Thanks to their undying charm, innocent eyes, and timid limbs, they manage to capture our affection.

National Puppy Day is all about raising adoption awareness. Tons of homeless puppies land in the shelter every year. They are basically stuck in the rescue center throughout their life until they are adopted or euthanized.

National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Celebrity Pet & Home Lifestyle Expert and Author, Colleen Paige, who is also the founder of National Dog Day and National Cat Day (among many others).

The benefits of adopting a Puppy

a. Cheaper to Adopt

It's cheaper to adopt a pet than to buy one. Almost 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters every year. Each year 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized, simply because there isn’t enough space for new pets that land up in the shelter.

It costs lesser to adopt a pet than buying a new one from the pet-farm or Puppy mills. Adopt a pet from your local shelter or rescue. There are more than just dogs and cats that need homes, pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and farm animals need homes too.

b. Prevent Puppy Mill

It helps to prevent puppy mills from producing pets meant for commercial selling. Pet farms are the breeding center of pets that put profit above the welfare of dogs. The pets in farms are generally poorly housed and ill-fed. Most animals from puppy mill land up in the shelter when they aren’t brought by anyone.

c. Awareness about Animal Rights

Adopting a pet raises the concern for shelter animals. People who aren’t aware of shelter animal will learn about them. Those who are unaware about the ill-treatment of animals will learn about the issues faced by innocent animals. This helps to place a new law or legislation for animal rights.

d. Happy Time

You get to spend lots of time playing and cuddling with a puppy. The recent scientific study revealed that spending time with your favorite pet helps to reduce stress and depression. Most old-age homes have started adopting pets to spend time with their elder members.

How to Celebrate National Puppy Day?

  • Adopt a puppy from your local shelter, rescue or pure breed rescue organization.
  • Are you prepared for puppy parenting? Start off on the right paw! Hire a professional that can help you.
  • Donate money, food, and toys to your local shelter.
  • Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies.
  • Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of Puppy Mills in your state.
  • Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their puppy.
  • Have a puppy party and invite all your friends and their puppies!
  • Join a fun, dog-friendly community online and post pics of your puppy for the world to ooh and ahh over!
  • Host a community event to raise money for your local animal shelter.
  • Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a puppy or play with a puppy, clean cages or anything else they need help with.
  • Have a portrait painted of your puppy to suspend the fleeting magic of puppydom.
  • Buy your puppy a fun, new puppy toy.
  • Give your puppy some fun exercise by taking him or her to puppy daycare.
  • Brush your puppy to eliminate excess fur.
  • Give your puppy a massage or holistic spa treatment.
  • Get your puppy some leash training lessons.
  • Buy your puppy a cute new outfit or fashionable collar and leash.
  • Have a tee shirt made with your puppy's photo on it.
  • Take your puppy to the beach.

March 3 is National If Pets Had Thumbs Day

It’s hard to believe but you have to believe it anyway. March 3rd is celebrated as "If Pets Had Thumbs Day."

The thumb in humans and apes serve a great function. It rotates at the carpometacarpal joint, and it is, therefore, opposable to the other fingers and may be used in combination with them to pick up small objects. It helps in stronger grip and precision grip which is practically impossible for other animals.

Many of our pets manage to get into all kinds of trouble without a thumb, so we’d like to imagine what could happen if pets had a thumb. Maybe they would rule over the world.

Things Pets could do with Thumbs

Hitchhike

Imagine your pets standing at the side of the road with their hands stretched and thumbs up in the air stopping the car. This can be possible if they had a thumb. Pets can be very mischief at times, hence, hitchhiking to their favorite spot won’t be impossible.

Give a Thumbs up

What if your pet could approve you all the time? That can be possible if they had a thumb, It would be nice if they could give a little back. How great would it be if they could give us positive affirmations? Somehow, the idea of your pet giving you a "thumbs up" seems really awesome.

Thumb wrestle

How great is the idea to thumb-wrestle with your favorite pal at home? Kids love thumb-wrestling. The only thing preventing pets from thumb-wresting is that they don’t have a thumb. If they had one, it would be awesome to thumb-wrestle with them all the time.

Open the Fish Can

Cats love eating fish. They can devour the entire can of sardine or tuna if they find an open can. Imagine if they had a thumb, wouldn’t they just open their favorite can of food and finish it all up before their human companion showed up?

Texting

Texting is our favorite time-pass activity. Would your cat or dog just love to text their mates whenever they are sitting idle? Although having thumbs sounds like an exaggerated idea, it would be cool for pets to pick up the phone and text. Do you think your pet would text you all the time?

Open the Refrigerator

Speaking of food, why limit the choices to canned food only? Your pet would always want to open up the refrigerator and munch on their favorite meals all the time. Kitties would be screwing off the lid to the milk jug and your dog will be feasting on the steak almost all the time!

How to Prevent Pets from Fertilizer Poisoning?

It’s quite common for animals to ingest chemicals sprayed over the fields. Most chemical fertilizers contain varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (potash) as indicated by the three numbers on the packaging (i.e., 30-10-10 or 10:0:40).

Most fertilizers contain insecticide used specifically to kill germs, insects, and pests that can be hazardous to home pets when consumed.

As a responsible homeowner, you should prevent your pets from wandering around the lawn for 72 hours or 3 days before the chemicals subside.

fertilizer poisoning

What is Fertilizer Poisoning?

Plant Fertilizer is commonly known as "Plant food." It is commonly used to fertilize plant or vegetation in the garden. The fertilizers keep plants healthy and allow them to grow faster. Most fertilizer comes with a pesticide that is used to kill plant pests from damaging the plants.

When a human or animal ingests these chemical or comes in close contact with it, they act as a poison. The fertilizer poising can range from mild to severe complications. Depending on the length of time of contact and how the fertilizer poisoning occurred, these complications may include oral burns and stomach irritation. Chemicals such as herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides in addition to the compounds such as phosphorous, iron, nitrogen are toxic when consumed in large amounts.

The immediate thing you can do when you notice your pet is suffering from fertilizer poisoning is to take it to the nearest vet or clinic. No fertilizer is hundred percent safe, even advertised as so, hence keep your pets away from the garden, lawn, or plants.

Homeowners often use fertilizers during spring and fall to sprawl up their lawn.


Types of Fertilizers

The fertilizer comes in two types; granular and water-based. These are sprayed over the plants. The chemical residue on plant’s leaves and hangs and soil can remain active for a while.

Inorganic Fertilizer

Inorganic fertilizer is composed of chemicals and chemically produced compounds. They need to more productive and highly nutritious than organic fertilizer.

Some of the popular inorganic fertilizers include Nitrogen fertilizer, phosphate fertilizer, potash fertilizer, micronutrient fertilizer, and compound fertilizer.

 

Organic Fertilizer

Organic fertilizer is known as farmyard manure of natural fertilizers, mainly from animals and plants. When applied, it can supply carbonic materials for plants growth. It contains organic acid and rich nutritions.

Examples of organic fertilizer are such as

a. Agricultural waste

Agricultural waste includes straws, bean pulp, cottonseed meal and the kitchen waste such as cut vegetables.

b. Livestock manure

Livestock manure is a popular form of fertilizer. It comes from livestock's waste such as pig manure, chicken manure, rabbit manure, and cow manure. Although they are very productive they contain hazardous substance such as Escherichia Coli and nematode that can harm seedling. To reduce harm, you should only apply livestock manure after composting.

c. Industrial waste

Industrial waste such as distillers' grain, vinegar residue, and sugar-free grains can be useful to reduce industrial waste and increase agricultural productivity.

d. Municipal sludge

Municipal sludge is produced by sewage treatment plants. It contributes to soil amelioration as well as reducing pollution. The biggest advantage of using municipal sludge is that it repurposes the sewage waste.

What is Mulch?

Mulch is any material that is applied or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering to conserve soil moisture, improve fertility and health of the soil, reduce weed growth, and to enhance the visual appeal.

A mulch may or may not contain organic matters. It may be permanent (e.g. plastic sheeting) or temporary (e.g. bark chips) that are applied to bare soil or around existing plants.

Mulches of manure or compost will be incorporated naturally into the soil by the activity of worms and other organisms.

Cocoa Mulch

Cocoa mulch is made from shells or hulls from the cocoa bean that is often used for home landscaping. It is chosen for its fragrance when first placed in the yard and smells faintly of chocolate. Dogs may be tempted to ingest it because of the smell. Cocoa or chocolate is harmful to dogs. Chocolate contains caffeine, theobromine, and high-fat contents which are toxic for dogs and cats

Signs of cocoa mulch poisoning include:

  • Not eating
  • Drooling/hyper salivating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • A racing heart rate
  • Constant panting
  • Dark red gums
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

How to Prevent Pet Poisoning

The first step to stop fertilizer poisoning is to prevent poisoning. Here are a few of the steps you can undertake to ensure that your pet remains safe and healthy.

i. Keep Fertilizer Bags out of reach

An open bag of fertilizer will warmly welcome pets to nibble or taste. The direct consumption of fertilizer can cause seizure, trauma, or even death. As a responsible homeowner, you should keep the harmful substance from out of the reach of your pets. The safety of their life can only be ensured by you.

ii. Do not allow pets into the lawn

After spraying the fertilizer into your lawn, leave it for rest for at least 72 hours before you allow pets and family member to step into the lawn. The leaves and soil still consist of the chemical residue which can be harmful if ingested by pets or children. Although mild, the effects of the chemical can be troublesome.

iii. Properly wash your hand before touching your pet

It’s important that you properly wash your hand before touching or grooming your pet after dealing with fertilizer. Most foreign agents or enzymes enter your pet’s skin through touch. Your pets may easily inhale or lick the chemical residue off your hand.

iv. Use hazard-free fertilizer

There is much bio-degradable and non-hazard fertilizer available for sprawling the lawn. Care to buy the bag with least hazard. This can be beneficial for your health, your pet’s health, the quality of soil, and the surrounding environment.

v. Remove debris and dead pests

After spraying the fertilizer, you should check if there are any dead pests, chemical residue, or debris left open. These are mostly digestible and your pet may find it fascinating enough to nibble or eat altogether.


Signs of Fertilizer Poisoning

Some of the common signs of fertilizer poisoning in animals include;

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting (acute or delayed onset)
  • Diarrhea
  • Abnormal posture due to abdominal pain
  • “Muddy” colored gums
  • Severe lethargy/collapse
  • Excessive tearing
  • Urination
  • Abnormal heart rates
  • Difficulty breathing (due to bronchoconstriction)
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Death

How to treat fertilizer poisoning in pets?

The treatment of fertilizer poisoning in pets may depend on the size of the dog, the quantity of fertilizer consumed, and how long the fertilizer was on the skin or system.

  • The main therapy involves supportive means as such stabilizing your pet and controlling their breathing and heart rate.
  • Other steps include medication to increase urine output and bowel movements, gastro protectants for stomach issues, poison absorbents, and topical medicines for skin irritation.
  • A vet will try to remove toxins from the body to bring it to normal.

 

If you notice any symptoms of pet poisoning, you should consider visiting the nearest veterinarian in Des Moines. An immediate medical response is important to ensure that your pet remains safe.