Point Check List: What cost should you expect while owning a Dog?

According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the Pet Products Association,

67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet.

Numbering 63.4 million household dogs, the canine is one of the most owned pets in the country closely followed by cats.

Owning and caring for a pet isn't an easy job. It requires you to invest your time, money, and effort on a daily basis. And owning a dog doesn’t come cheap. You have to take into account their daily diet, exercise, yearly vaccinations, wellness checks, grooming, toys, accessories, etc.

Can you afford a dog?

This is a question every new pet owner must ask themselves before owning a dog. The cost of owning a dog is about more than just the expense of food. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to budget for a dog before getting one, leading to trouble down the road.

Pet abandonment statistics globally is thought to be around six hundred million every year. Around 3.5 million dogs and 3.4 million cats are abandoned every year in the USA alone. Many of these end up in shelters, while many of them aren't able to find new homes. Hence, a lot of them end up being euthanized.

According to ASPCA.org,

Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats)

The good news is that approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year. Although it may sound like a less number, it’s enough to bring about a change.

Dog Ownership Cost

In the year 2019 alone, $75.38 billion was spent on pet care alone.
The minimum basic annual expense for a dog is as such:

  • Items Expenses
  • Surgical Vet $426
  • Routine Visit $212
  • Food $259
  • Food treats $76
  • Kennel boarding $229
  • Vitamins $58
  • Grooming $73
  • Toys $48
    Source: American Pet Products Association.

INFOGRAPHIC MAGE: https://news.orvis.com/images/02-dogs/2014/10-oct/cost.jpg

The lifetime cost of owning a pet

The cost of owning a dog can be estimated at about $1,400 to $4,300 per year. However, the cost of owning a pet can be divided into two types: initial cost and general costs.
The initial cost basically includes buying or adoption cost, vaccination, ID tagging, training, etc. The general costs include expenses associated with a pet's lifetime including food, toys, vet care, routine visits, boarding, grooming, etc.
Here is the detailed list of expenses associated with owning a pet

Acquisition Costs

The acquisition cost refers to adopting or purchasing expenses. This is one of the most primary expenses related to owning a pet.
You can either purchase a dog from a breeder or adopt a pet from the shelter. Purchasing a dog from the breeder is typically influenced by the demand for that particular breed where a reputable breed will cost more. The adoption cost for each dog is fairly cheaper. They will only charge you for adopting a pet, microchipping, initial medical care and heartworm vaccination, and spaying or neutering.

The cost of all this care can be upwards of $800, but shelters rarely ask this much. The upper range of most adoption fees is around $500 but can be higher in some cases.

When buying from a breeder, you should be wary of buying from a backyard breeder. A backyard breeder often purchases from puppy mills. The dogs born and raised in puppy mills are ill-treated. While it may cost slightly more to buy from an ethical breeder, you can be sure that your new pet doesn’t come from a puppy mill.

Medical Costs

Medical costs associated with owning a pet is arguably one of the most expensive costs you’ll have to bear. The average vet visit can range anywhere from $50 to $400. The medical cost will include dental care, heartworm prevention, yearly vaccination, preventives, a wellness check, the surgical cost in case of any accidents, etc.

Vitamins usually cost around $100 per year, and preventative medication for fleas and heartworms are each around $20 per month.
Pet insurance is another expense that can be marked as a medical expense. If you haven’t considered buying pet insurance, you should do it pronto.

Grooming Costs

Pet grooming is a cleansing process that enhances your pet’s appearance and keeps it stay hygienic and clean. A recent study concluded that grooming helps to keep the pets stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

Grooming a pet, either dog or cat accounts for a relatively minor cost. Long-haired dog breeds require much more grooming than short-haired breeds. Short-haired dogs such as German shepherds may require grooming every 5-6 months. Long-haired and double-coated breeds like Akita, Alaskan Husky, and Alaskan malamute require grooming more frequently.

You can save a lot of costs by practicing grooming at home. Brushing your pet’s hair daily and trimming their nails at home can save up to $50 per month.

Food Costs

Pet food generally accounts for the largest amount of pet care expenses. It takes up a large portion of your yearly pet budget. When it comes to pet food, providing a balanced diet should be the priority over providing expensive meals.

Price isn’t the determining factor in the quality of pet food hence you should make sure to do your research on what best fits your budget and pet’s needs. The annual cost of providing pet food may range anywhere from $250 - $500. This includes pet food, food treats, and supplements.

It’s true that the food for a smaller breed costs lesser than a larger breed. You should take pet food into account before purchasing or adopting a new pet.

Equipment and Housing Costs

You have to take into account the cost associated with creating a pup to building a kennel in your yard. An indoor pet wouldn’t require a different kennel except for a cozy bed and mattress. Along with these, you must take into account the use of equipment associated with owning a pet such as building a fence in the backyard, adding a doggy pool, buying a leash, food and water bowl, equipment assisting pet’s daily life, etc.
The expense of adding new equipment in your home may cost more. However, be assured that it’s generally a one-time cost.

Training Costs

Training is an optional cost. A dog owner can choose to hire a professional trainer to train their dog or they can do it themselves. Although it’s true, a pet owner must be willing to spend money on acquiring a professional trainer or training equipment.
The training for a dog may begin from the time you bring it into your home. The crate training, loo training, learning basic commands, and advanced training are often associated with training a dog. If you have no idea about training a dog, you must seek professional help.
Group dog training with a professional trainer costs $30 to $50 per class on average, while private training ranges from $45 to $120 per hour. Be ready to pay anywhere from $500 to $1200 for dog training classes.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the Best Doggy Daycare in Urbandale. With years of experience in pet care and medicine, grooming, boarding, and training, our Certified Veterinarian will ensure to offer you one of the pet cares in Urbandale.

 

Point Check List: What cost should you expect while owning a Dog?

According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the Pet Products Association,

67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet.

Numbering 63.4 million household dogs, the canine is one of the most owned pets in the country closely followed by cats.

Owning and caring for a pet isn't an easy job. It requires you to invest your time, money, and effort on a daily basis. And owning a dog doesn’t come cheap. You have to take into account their daily diet, exercise, yearly vaccinations, wellness checks, grooming, toys, accessories, etc.

Can you afford a dog?

This is a question every new pet owner must ask themselves before owning a dog. The cost of owning a dog is about more than just the expense of food. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to budget for a dog before getting one, leading to trouble down the road.

Pet abandonment statistics globally is thought to be around six hundred million every year. Around 3.5 million dogs and 3.4 million cats are abandoned every year in the USA alone. Many of these end up in shelters, while many of them aren't able to find new homes. Hence, a lot of them end up being euthanized.

According to ASPCA.org,

Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats)

The good news is that approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year. Although it may sound like a less number, it’s enough to bring about a change.

Dog Ownership Cost

In the year 2019 alone, $75.38 billion was spent on pet care alone.
The minimum basic annual expense for a dog is as such:

  • Items Expenses
  • Surgical Vet $426
  • Routine Visit $212
  • Food $259
  • Food treats $76
  • Kennel boarding $229
  • Vitamins $58
  • Grooming $73
  • Toys $48
    Source: American Pet Products Association.

INFOGRAPHIC MAGE: https://news.orvis.com/images/02-dogs/2014/10-oct/cost.jpg

The lifetime cost of owning a pet

The cost of owning a dog can be estimated at about $1,400 to $4,300 per year. However, the cost of owning a pet can be divided into two types: initial cost and general costs.
The initial cost basically includes buying or adoption cost, vaccination, ID tagging, training, etc. The general costs include expenses associated with a pet's lifetime including food, toys, vet care, routine visits, boarding, grooming, etc.
Here is the detailed list of expenses associated with owning a pet

Acquisition Costs

The acquisition cost refers to adopting or purchasing expenses. This is one of the most primary expenses related to owning a pet.
You can either purchase a dog from a breeder or adopt a pet from the shelter. Purchasing a dog from the breeder is typically influenced by the demand for that particular breed where a reputable breed will cost more. The adoption cost for each dog is fairly cheaper. They will only charge you for adopting a pet, microchipping, initial medical care and heartworm vaccination, and spaying or neutering.

The cost of all this care can be upwards of $800, but shelters rarely ask this much. The upper range of most adoption fees is around $500 but can be higher in some cases.

When buying from a breeder, you should be wary of buying from a backyard breeder. A backyard breeder often purchases from puppy mills. The dogs born and raised in puppy mills are ill-treated. While it may cost slightly more to buy from an ethical breeder, you can be sure that your new pet doesn’t come from a puppy mill.

Medical Costs

Medical costs associated with owning a pet is arguably one of the most expensive costs you’ll have to bear. The average vet visit can range anywhere from $50 to $400. The medical cost will include dental care, heartworm prevention, yearly vaccination, preventives, a wellness check, the surgical cost in case of any accidents, etc.

Vitamins usually cost around $100 per year, and preventative medication for fleas and heartworms are each around $20 per month.
Pet insurance is another expense that can be marked as a medical expense. If you haven’t considered buying pet insurance, you should do it pronto.

Grooming Costs

Pet grooming is a cleansing process that enhances your pet’s appearance and keeps it stay hygienic and clean. A recent study concluded that grooming helps to keep the pets stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

Grooming a pet, either dog or cat accounts for a relatively minor cost. Long-haired dog breeds require much more grooming than short-haired breeds. Short-haired dogs such as German shepherds may require grooming every 5-6 months. Long-haired and double-coated breeds like Akita, Alaskan Husky, and Alaskan malamute require grooming more frequently.

You can save a lot of costs by practicing grooming at home. Brushing your pet’s hair daily and trimming their nails at home can save up to $50 per month.

Food Costs

Pet food generally accounts for the largest amount of pet care expenses. It takes up a large portion of your yearly pet budget. When it comes to pet food, providing a balanced diet should be the priority over providing expensive meals.

Price isn’t the determining factor in the quality of pet food hence you should make sure to do your research on what best fits your budget and pet’s needs. The annual cost of providing pet food may range anywhere from $250 - $500. This includes pet food, food treats, and supplements.

It’s true that the food for a smaller breed costs lesser than a larger breed. You should take pet food into account before purchasing or adopting a new pet.

Equipment and Housing Costs

You have to take into account the cost associated with creating a pup to building a kennel in your yard. An indoor pet wouldn’t require a different kennel except for a cozy bed and mattress. Along with these, you must take into account the use of equipment associated with owning a pet such as building a fence in the backyard, adding a doggy pool, buying a leash, food and water bowl, equipment assisting pet’s daily life, etc.
The expense of adding new equipment in your home may cost more. However, be assured that it’s generally a one-time cost.

Training Costs

Training is an optional cost. A dog owner can choose to hire a professional trainer to train their dog or they can do it themselves. Although it’s true, a pet owner must be willing to spend money on acquiring a professional trainer or training equipment.
The training for a dog may begin from the time you bring it into your home. The crate training, loo training, learning basic commands, and advanced training are often associated with training a dog. If you have no idea about training a dog, you must seek professional help.
Group dog training with a professional trainer costs $30 to $50 per class on average, while private training ranges from $45 to $120 per hour. Be ready to pay anywhere from $500 to $1200 for dog training classes.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the Best Doggy Daycare in Urbandale. With years of experience in pet care and medicine, grooming, boarding, and training, our Certified Veterinarian will ensure to offer you one of the pet cares in Urbandale.

 

10 Ways to Exercise with your Dog

Who doesn’t love working out with their dogs? It’s a fun activity and at the same time exercising will keep both of you fit and healthy. Dogs love to play and workout when their owners are equally proactive in exercising. Running together to the park, playing the backyard, hiking, playing catch, etc. are a few of the common activities you can do with your dog.

Walking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and does give your dog stimulation to the outside world; however, it does not strengthen muscles. Dogs need other forms of exercise to shed extra fat, keep their muscles lean, and maintain their mental wellbeing. 

TheHappyPuppySite reported that,

Dogs will often begin to yawn, whine, bark, howl, take long naps, or become destructive. Pacing, self-harming, over-eating (or not eating), inappropriate elimination, and aggression toward other family pets or people can also be symptoms of dog boredom.

It’s essential that you keep your dog occupied with different physical and mentally stimulating activities. Regular exercise is one of them. Here are some of the ways you can introduce regular exercise into your dog’s daily regimen.

Take a Hike

Hiking is a great idea for both of you but if you are not used to strenuous exercise then keep it to a minimum. A trail inexperienced dog can't walk a long distance. You'd need to introduce them to the trail slowly. Take a short walk for a few days until you're ready to take the hike.
If you don't have a hiking trail around your house, you can consider taking your dog for three walks a day and make one at least 20 minutes.

Go For a Trail Run

Trail running is all about running in nature. You’ll encounter uneven terrain including uphill climb and downhill fall. This activity is recommended for both humans and dogs. If your dog is unfamiliar to the trail, you should guide it for the first few times to avoid any accidents or pitfalls. The trail is safer for your dog’s sensitive paws too. This is also a great way to get some fresh air.

Go for a Swim

Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise. Add fun to it and it becomes an amazing exercise. Take your dog for a swim. If it’s hot outside, then you should definitely take them to the pool to cool down. If your neighborhood pool doesn’t allow pets, then you can take them to the nearby pond or a lake. Build a doggy pool in your backyard if you have any space. Swimming is great for a dog’s joints and is easier on their paws than running. 

Ultimate Frisbee

Most dogs enjoy chasing and catching stuff! The Ultimate Frisbee challenge can be a great workout and a fun experience for your whole family. You can throw Frisbee around for your dog to catch! The Frisbee can always be replaced with softball, stick, or anything light. This not only is a fabulous cardio workout, it challenges your hand-eye coordination and strategic skills. Your dog will get to strengthen its catching and chasing ability.

Frisbee challenge can be enjoyed indoors as well, especially with a smaller dog. Just be careful with things around you.

Play hide and seek

Play hide and seek by either hiding treats around the house or by hiding yourself for your dog to find. Hiding treats can be great fun. You, god, will have to sniff them out and run around looking for them.  If they’re new to it, you can teach them to search around. These are great physical and mental games for your dog since he has to use his brain and body to find the objects.

Enroll your dog in agility classes

Most doggy daycare and training centers allow daily or weekly boarding for dogs to indulge in exercises, agility training, and learning commands. These are challenging and fun and at the same time build human-animal bonding. It also helps to keep your god active while stimulating their minds. It’s a great chance for your dog to learn new commands, tricks, and maneuvers. Most agility training is targeted towards exercising their joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

Play tug-of-war

Playing tug-of-war is a fun experience for all ages of dogs. Kids love this too. In the case of canine, this game has them pulling and using their muscles and jaws to keep them in place and hanging on to that toy! This game will definitely help to strengthen you and your god’s bond. 

Build an Obstacle Course

Building an obstacle course for your dog is a fun activity! Your dog will engage with the game a lot. Scatter things in your yard to run around, get a hula hoop to jump through, or add temporary stairs. Obstacle courses can be set up inside the house as well but be wary of the things that could break or hurt your dog.

A good obstacle course can make your dog crawl through a low area, jump through a hula hoop, weave between stools, and backup through a narrow space. This will be physically uplifting as well as mentally stimulating.  Motivate your dog with small, healthy treats at the end of each course.

Teach them new tricks and commands

Dogs have an aptitude to learn. They love to learn new tricks if you motivate them in the right way. Learning new tricks and commands can be very stimulating and rewarding for them to interact positively with their owners or other people.
Essential tricks and commands can also help your dog to learn to sit, jump, run, shake, rollover, give high 5, crawl, sit up and beg, etc.

Doggy Massage

Consider giving your dog a massage on a regular interval. While massage certainly does not count as exercise, it is extremely beneficial for your dog’s health, flexibility, and circulation. It will help increases oxygen flow to the blood, relieves pain and muscle tension, alleviates anxiety, and remove the chances of the hip or joint dysplasia. 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to get the best doggy daycare service, canine training and conditioning, and boarding.

12 Dog Diseases You Can Combat with Vaccination

Canine vaccination is as important as human vaccinations. It not only helps to keep the serious disease on the bay but also protects your dog’s immune system. Each state in the US has its own law regarding canine vaccination with the exception of Rabies. The vaccination for rabies is mandatory in all states. You can be sure that like Rabies, you can prevent other serious diseases by administering vaccination to your dogs.

Why Canine Vaccination is Important?

Vaccines contain antigens that mimic disease-causing organisms in a dog’s immune system. It prepares a dog's immune system to defend itself from any invasion of the disease-causing organisms. The antigen mildly stimulates the immune system of the dog by having it recognize its presence.
The American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Task Force considers the following dog vaccinations to be core:

  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Canine Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Rabies

The non-core canine vaccines, but still important, include

  • Bordetella
  • Canine Influenza (dog flu)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme vaccine

12 Dog Diseases that can be prevented with Vaccine
Here is the list of 12 dangerous canine diseases that can be prevented by timely vaccination.

Rabies (Zoonotic in nature)

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain. It’s primarily passed to dogs through a bite from an infected dog or wild animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, etc. It can easily transmit through a scratch or when infected saliva makes contact with mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound.

Rabies is commonly treated by Nobivac®- Canine 1-DAPPv vaccine, a modified live virus vaccine for the vaccination of healthy dogs as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by canine distemper virus, adenovirus type 1 (hepatitis), and adenovirus type 2 (respiratory disease), canine parainfluenza virus, and canine parvovirus.

The only remedy for rabies is the proper vaccination. Dogs should be vaccinated between 3 and 6 months of age. They need a booster one year from that date. They’re generally vaccinated every three years.

Canine parvovirus infection ("parvo")

Parvo is a highly contagious virus that causes an infectious gastrointestinal (GI) illness in puppies and young dogs. The deadly virus spreads either by direct contact with an infected dog or through feces. The Parvovirus can survive at room temperature for months hence it can easily transmit to dogs. Check for telltale signs such as bloody diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, fever, vomiting, etc. in dogs.

Vaccines for the parvovirus are recommended for all puppies and are usually given in a series of three shots when the pup is between 6-to-8 weeks old, again at 10-to-12 weeks, and at 14-to-16 weeks. Like rabies, a booster shot is administered one year later and every 3 years after that.

Vaccines for the parvovirus are recommended for all puppies and are usually given in a series of three shots when the pup is between 6-to-8 weeks old, again at 10-to-12 weeks, and at 14-to-16 weeks. Like rabies, a booster shot is administered one year later and every 3 years after that.

Canine distemper

Canine distemper is a viral disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs. It not only affects dogs but also wild animals. It’s a contagious and serious disease that can easily transmit from wild animals to dogs.


Puppies and dogs most often become infected through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) to the virus from an infected dog or wild animal. Infected dogs often develop watery to pus-like discharge from their eyes followed by a fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, and vomiting.


You should administer a distemper shot to puppies at six to eight weeks of age. All dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often.

Leptospirosis (Zoonotic in nature)

Leptospirosis is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospires that live in water or warm, wet soil. Initial signs of leptospirosis in dogs include fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Experts say that any dog that regularly goes outside the home is potentially at risk of contracting this disease.

It takes about 4-12 days for the bacteria to incubate. The four-serovar vaccine is currently the only vaccine recommended by experts for Leptospirosis. Revaccinating annually is often needed to maintain the best immunity.

Canine adenovirus-2

Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) is related to the hepatitis virus, canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1). It leads to recessive or mild respiratory tract infections and may cause infectious laryngotracheitis and symptoms of pneumonia. It’s also one of the causes of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough.

The joint vaccine is a core vaccine that contains live attenuated canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus (CAV-2), canine parvovirus (C154), and canine parainfluenza virus. A joint vaccine is commonly administered to dogs to prevent CAV-2 infection.

Canine parainfluenza

Canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV) is a highly contagious respiratory virus common in dogs. It may develop in situations where large groups of dogs are close together for a period of time. CPIV is also one of the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough. It shouldn’t be mistaken with kennel cough. Although the respiratory signs may resemble those of canine influenza and CAV-2, they are unrelated viruses and require different vaccines for protection.

Canine enteric coronavirus

Canine coronavirus (CCoV) is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus which is a member of the species Alphacoronavirus 1. Most dogs with canine coronavirus are contracted by oral contact with infected fecal matter. A dog may also become infected by eating from contaminated food bowls or by direct contact with an infected dog.

Be wary, canine coronavirus (CCoV) is not the same virus as SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. Hence, the vaccine for CCoV should be used for treating COVID-19. The vaccine for CCoV is readily available but it’s not recommended for all dogs and will be administered based on your dog's lifestyle and risk assessment.

Canine influenza

Canine influenza or Dog Flu is influenza occurring in dogs that are caused by varieties of influenza virus A, such as equine influenza virus (H3N8). The Dog flu is airborne; respiratory secretions escape into the environment in the form of coughing, barking, and sneezing, where they are then inhaled by a new canine host. 

The vaccine for Canine influenza is easily available. This vaccine must be given twice initially with a two-week break, then annually thereafter.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection (Lyme borreliosis) caused by the bite of flea and tick. The ticks that carry Lyme disease are especially likely to be found in tall grasses, thick brush, marshes, and woods. They easily jump into your dog’s coat.

The most common signs of Lyme disease include fever, loss of appetite, painful or swollen joints. The treatment includes antibiotics, usually for at least 30 days. As a preventive measure, you can check for flea and tick collar, vet-approved flea and tick preventive, and a vaccine.

Bordetellosis ("kennel cough")

Bordetella is the most common cause of kennel cough. Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is associated with respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi.

The symptoms include a hacking cough, retching, sneezing, watery nasal discharge, pneumonia, inappetence, fever, etc.

Adult dogs that come into contact with large groups of other dogs should have a Bordetella vaccine annually.

Heartworm disease

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.

The symptoms include soft and dry cough, lethargy, weight loss, anorexia, difficulty in breathing, etc. 

It can be prevented with monthly chewable tablets; Ivermectin (sold under the brand names Heartgard, Iverhart, and several other generic versions), Milbemycin (Interceptor Flavor Tabs and Sentinel Flavor Tabs), and Moxidectin (ProHeart) administered as pills or chewable tablets.

Intestinal worms (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, etc., some of which can also infect people)

The intestinal worm is common in dogs. There are various kinds of worms contracted by dogs over their lifetime. They mostly contract it from their mother in the womb, by ingesting contaminated soil (soil with feces), eating another infected animal, and fleas.

We have a detail information on infographics as well:


You can easily get your dog screened for worm infections and find proper treatments. Flea preventive measure is often used as a vaccine to prevent intestinal worm.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our certified veterinarian can help you with all the questions regarding canine vaccines and preventive measures for healthy dog life.

Why you should Microchip your Pet?

The American Humane Association estimates that 1 out of 3 pets become lost at some point in their lifetime and close to 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the US every single year.

Many pets fall into grave danger when they get lost or stolen.  Almost 80% of the pets are never found!

Properly tagging your pet with an ID or Microchip can help locate it before it gets killed, lost forever, or is euthanized. Between 9.4 and 9.6 Million pets that wind up in shelters in the US are euthanized. Hence, a microchip ID can help find your pet before they walk up to “the Green Mile.”

There are many cases of missing pets mostly around holidays and celebrations such as Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July, etc. 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.

What is a Microchip?

Microchipping is the permanent method of ID-ing your pet. A tiny chip, the size of a rice grain, is implanted subcutaneously between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet's neck. It acts as the electronic ID which can be detected using the unique ID number and a scanner.
The ID number includes all the detail about the pet and the owner in the microchip database registry. It comes really handy when your dog is lost in places where manually searching an animal is virtually impossible. The vet, animal shelter, or local council can scan your pet for a microchip and contact you via the database.

It is very important to keep your contact details up to date on the database so that if you move house or change your phone number you will still be contactable in the event of your pet becoming lost/straying. You can check up with https://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ to search for your pet when it gets lost or stolen.

When should you microchip your pet?

Ideally, it’s best to microchip your pet prior to you purchasing or adopting it. This is the only effective way to trace the origin of your pet. You can also microchip your pet whenever you feel right. However, if your pet is not yet microchipped then we recommend that you make an appointment with your vet immediately. You can always get in touch with some local council and animal welfare organizations that microchip pets.

How long does it take, and does it have to be done by a veterinarian?

It takes no less than the same amount of time it takes to give any injection. Few seconds! However, it may take a while to do the paperwork. Although it isn’t compulsory that it has to be done by a veterinarian, it’s recommended an experienced veterinarian do it.

What does it cost?

Getting your pet microchipped with only cost $50. You might get it done at a lesser cost when you bring your pet for a wellness check or any other procedure.

Have studies found an increased risk of cancer in pets with microchips?

Yes, many Science journals have pointed out the fact that microchipping pets can be harmful in a few cases. There were animals that had developed tumors at the site of the microchip but it’s incredibly rare. Compared to millions of animals that have had microchips implanted in them and million others who have lost, it’s a greater risk not to have your pet microchipped. However, we suggest you to decide to microchip your pet with your own discretion.

How will it help me get my pet back if he is lost?

A microchip isn’t a GPS tracker which can be traced using a GPS gadget. However, you can find a pet ID or tag inbuilt with a GPS tracker to help locate your pet. It just isn’t possible with a microchip.

A microchip will only work if someone picks up your pet and takes it to a shelter or veterinarian’s office to be scanned for a chip. If your pet isn’t scanned for a chip, the chances of locating it become 50/50.

If my pet is microchipped, does he need a tag, too?

Certainly, your pet needs an additional name tag on their collar to help identify them easily. You must understand that a microchip is only one part of your pet’s identification system. A collar with tags on it will help to easily identify them without the need to scan for a microchip. This is the way most pets were located in the past and it still works.

Benefits of Microchipping your Pets

There are many benefits to microchipping your pets. Some of the most recurring benefits are as follows:

  • When a lost pet is found and taken to a shelter, the first thing they will do is scan the pet for a possible microchip. Once the chip is located and scanned, they will check the information in the microchip registry to quickly locate the owner of the animal. This will immensely reduce the time taken to locate a pet. 
  • Microchip technology is designed to last your pet’s lifespan so there is no need to replace after a certain amount of time. 
  • If the implant of the microchip is done right, which is generally done by the experienced veterinarian, you can be sure that your pet is safe from any microchipping related complications. 
  • If your pet was adopted from a rescue shelter, there is a high possibility that they were already microchipped. You can simply update the information through the microchip registry.

For more detail information here is a detail info graphics about it. 


Pets that are microchipped are more likely to be returned to their owners. A study found that Dogs with microchips will be returned 52.2% of the time while dogs without will be returned 21.9% of the time and Cats with microchips were returned 38.5% of the time while without the microchip only 1.8% of the time.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our certified veterinarian can help you with all the questions regarding safe microchipping on your pets. Get in touch with us today to find out more!

Safe Temperature for Dogs: How to prevent overheating?

Did you know that dogs can easily overheat when left in the sun? Like humans, dogs are prone to overheating and physical illness when the temperature rises above the normal.

There are many factors that determine the dog’s body temperature. One of the major reasons for overheating is the hot weather. If dogs are let out for a long time, they’ll quickly overheat and start dehydrating.

Dogs only sweat through sweat glands in the pads of their feet and noses. Unlike humans who sweat throughout the body, dogs lessen their body heat by continuous panting which isn't super-efficient so they can quickly become overheated.

Let’s learn more about overheating in dogs and how to control their temperature.

How to keep them safe from Overheating?

Here is how you can avoid your dog from overheating.

Never leave your pets in a parked car

Many pet owners choose to leave their pets inside the car! This can be fatal! You shouldn’t leave them inside a car even for a minute! Many owners claim that they keep the air conditioner on or windows open but this doesn’t help either. On a warm day, the temperatures inside a car can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85F day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened can rise up to 102 F within 10 minutes.

It can easily lead to overheating and your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or even die. It’s better to keep them on a leash and tie them somewhere near under the shade.

Watch the humidity

Dr. Barry Kellog, VMD of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association claims that,

"It's important to remember that it's not just the ambient temperature, but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly."

Some easy ways to control humidity includes

  • Air conditioning
  • Fans
  • Replace Furnace / AC filters.
  • Take shorter or colder showers.

Limit exercise on hot days

Although your dog loves to play outside, you should consider limiting outdoor visits during summer. It’s better to avoid going out when the sun is up. Instead, you can switch the outdoor schedule to either early morning or in the evening. On a hot day the asphalt can get very hot that can burn your pet's sensitive paws. If you’re stepping outside during a hot day, consider carrying water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating. Use dog shoes and Vaseline to avoid heat burn.

If you often allow your do to exercise outside, you can consider bringing them in during summer.

Provide ample shade and water

Dogs often get dehydrated on a hot day. The lack of water consumption can easily lead to overheating and dehydration. Make sure you keep them away from the direct sun. Keep them inside and provide ample fresh cold water to keep their body heat in check. The best way to provide fresh water is by offering them a Frozen Treat Bowl. Make a solution of nutritious items and water and freeze them to make frozen kibble. The dogs enjoy eating them. This will help to keep them cool as well as provide enough nutrition.

Watch for signs of heatstroke

Overheating can invite heatstroke in dogs. This is why you shouldn’t let your dog stay outside for a longer duration of time. The signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, seizure, and unconsciousness.

The best way to avoid heatstroke is by setting up a pet’s pool in the backyard so your dog can stay inside the water. You can also wrap a wet towel around them to avoid overheating.

How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke

When you notice that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, immediately move them into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Start applying ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

If the problem seems persistent, consider taking them directly to a veterinarian.

How to measure dog temperature?

There are telltale signs that your dog is overheating; excessive panting, lying on the floor motionless, or slowed breathing. It could easily turn into a fever and can be detrimental to their health but there’s no easy way to say this. You need to take your dog’s temperature to determine if it’s really overheating.

The thermometer should be placed in its bum to measure body temperature. As it can often be difficult to keep your dog still, it’s best if two people together on this particular project.

Before placing the thermometer, you should lubricate it well with Vaseline.

Raise its tail and push the thermometer into its rectum with a twist. It should go in one-three inches, depending on the size of your dog.

Hold it in place for two minutes, then remove it, wipe it quickly, and read the temperature.

Dog’s Fever

Fever is common in dogs throughout the year. However, in summer the fever becomes more common because of overheating, dehydration, and lack of nutrition. The normal body temperature for dogs is between 101 and 102.5 F, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 F for humans. This implies that dogs may feel feverish even when its temperature is completely normal. A temperature of more than 103 F is considered a dog fever, although it can be 103 if a dog is very excited or stressed.

Be aware of the rising body temperature because when the temperature reaches 106 F, serious and fatal complications can occur.

Although there are no definite signs, some symptoms for fever in dogs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depressed mood
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge

How to treat Dog’s Fever?

Here are some handy tips to treat dog fever.

Give them a bath

The first thing you can do is wiping their ears and paws with a tepid, wet cloth. This may help to bring its body temperature down.

Consider giving them a tepid bath. Ensure that the water isn’t ice cold. You can water a bit colder than lukewarm. Apply water to its ears, paws, chest, and abdomen. You can avoid using soap.

Hydrate them

Make sure your dog drinks a lot of water. Put fresh water in your dog’s water bowl and encourage them to drink water. This will help to prevent dehydration from fever.

Visit the Vet

Your vet probably has the medical history of your dog which will help to diagnose the fever. They can only offer a solution after conducting proper tests including a physical exam, urinalysis, blood count, or a biochemistry profile. This will help to ascertain the exact reason for the fever and provide a proper solution. Many times, the fever in dogs is caused by an underlying infection but simply overheat.

Here is a quick Infographics for the brief information.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. We provide both mobile and on-location emergency services for pets. Our certified veterinarian will ensure that your pet is immediately treated for overheating, dehydration, or fever. Get in touch with us to learn more about precautionary measures for overheating.

How do you introduce your Old Dog to a New Dog ?

Many pet owners are unaware that they must introduce their old and new pets before they could really settle in. It may take a few weeks or months for an old dog to settle in with the new dog. Dogs are territorial animals and they do not appreciate some other animal invading their territory.

For the pet owners who wish to adopt a second dog, they must prepare themselves to bring two animals harmoniously together.

Melissa Bain, a professor of clinical animal behavior at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine says that,

Dogs are social animals, like humans. But that doesn’t mean they always want to be around other dogs.”

It’s important to introduce a dog to other dog’s presence in different settings such as both in and outside the house.

How to introduce dogs to Dogs?

Here are some handy tips to help you introduce your old dog to a new dog.

Solve Your Old Dog’s Bad Behaviors First

Sue Sternberg, a canine trainer, says

If your current dog barks at other dogs on the street, he will teach those behaviors to the new dog,”

If you’re working on issues with your current dogs, especially with their aggressive behaviors, now isn’t the time to add a new dog to the family.

1) Decide on a meeting place

It's better if you can find a neutral territory where your two dogs can meet and know each other -around the block, park, or someplace else. Let them sniff each other, it's the dog's way of a handshake. You can start by learning the signs of dislike or aggression. If one or the other becomes aggressive, you must control them to resolve the issue there itself.

2) On-Leash and Off-Leash 

Be careful about introducing your dog off-leash. It's always good to bring them together on-leash and once they get familiar with each other, you can let them off-leash. When on a leash, they can often show aggression which is a simple way of trying to establish dominance. Don't assume that they won't get along. Let them cool down and then get them off-leash.

Note: If your dogs are on the leash, you can grab the leashes and pull them apart in case of a fight.

3) Let them determine the pace of the introduction 

Let them decide how long they want to take to know each other well. It may just start with some play with each other by the middle of the walk. It may take weeks or a month as well.

The most important thing is to take this introduction slowly. The more patient you are, the better your chance of success. Do not force the dogs to interact.

Tip: Once the dogs are able to view each other at close proximity, allow each dog to walk behind the other. If they remain comfortable and calm, you can allow them to walk side by side. Do not haste with this process.

4) Don't leave them alone

It's not a good idea to leave your two dogs by themselves when they haven't known each other very well. Your old dog will definitely become aggressive and territorial. This could lead to a squabble. Don't It's not worth an injured or dead dog. If they're puppies, you can keep them in separate crates in two different rooms. If they're adults, you can lock them up in two different rooms. Dogs act like kids sometimes.

5) Separate their toys

A dog would want the other’s toy. The old dog must have its toys which it definitely wouldn’t want to share with the other. Make sure that there are no toys, food, or treats left around the home that the dogs could potentially fight over. You can separate toys in different rooms and allow them to play with them without the presence of the other. This could help avoid the sense of jealousy in either of the dogs.

6) Dine them separately

Food is often a great fight starter. Always keep them separate, possible in different areas of the house, while feeding them. It's good to avoid the confrontation when one dog gobbles and the other picks through every bite. An alpha dog is more likely to gobble their food and then eat the others too.

7) Don't change the Sleeping arrangement 

If your old dogs sleep with you on the same bed, do not change the arrangement suddenly. You can keep the other dog in a crate, a separate room, or on the floor. It's important to housebreak the new dog before you can allow them to sleep at a certain place. Be done with their potty training first!

8) Train separately 

It's always good to train with them one-on-one. It helps both dogs recognize you as the alpha. This way you can recognize the triggers of both the dogs and train them likewise. 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the most reliable pet hospital in Urbandale. We also offer the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to help board, groom and train you canine. Leave them in the care of our certified veterinarian and daycare trainers. We provide a conducive environment for the mental, physical, and social grooming of your pet.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the most reliable pet hospital in Urbandale. We also offer the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to help board, groom and train you canine. Leave them in the care of our certified veterinarian and daycare trainers. We provide a conducive environment for the mental, physical, and social grooming of your pet.

 

 

Here are the 5 Solutions for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Like us humans, dogs are prone to experience separation anxiety when their favorite companion leaves them for a while. One of the most common characteristics of dogs when experiencing separation anxiety is that they become disruptive, destructive, or upset. This can lead to lots of problems for both the canine and the pet owner.

According to ASPCA.org,

Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.

 

Experts and dog trainers suggest that treating a dog with separation anxiety is the same as training a new dog. When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to resolve their underlying anxiety by teaching them to enjoy their own company or become tolerant when being left alone.

There are multiple reasons for a dog to experience separation anxiety which may include:

the sudden change of guardian or family

change in their usual schedule

Change in residence

Change in household

Common Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

These are the common symptoms shown by dogs who are experiencing separation anxiety.

Urinating and Defecating

Dogs including puppies often urinate or defecate when left alone or separated from their owner. Although there are many reasons for dogs to loosen their bowel, one of the most common reasons is separation anxiety.

Barking and Howling

Although it’s common for dogs to bark, it’s still uncommon for them to bark persistently when left alone. This could mean they’re missing their human companion.

Chewing, Digging and Destruction

Many dogs going through anxiety tend to bite or chew on stuff such as a couch, cushion, door frames, windows sills, clothes, etc. If you notice these unusual activities when you get back home then you must consult with your Vet or trainer to check if your dog’s experiencing any form of anxiety.

Escaping

Dogs are fine until they’re with their owners, the moment they are kept in confinement they immediately escape. A dog with separation anxiety might try to escape from an area where they’re confined when they’re left alone or separated from their guardian.

In such a case, dogs might want to chew their way out of a kennel, door, or window, which can be fatal to their health.

Coprophagia

Dogs experiencing separation anxiety often defecate and consume their own feces. If a dog eats excrement because of separation anxiety, he probably doesn’t perform that behavior in the presence of its guardian. You should be wary about this because many dogs eat their own feces because of medical problems that result in a decrease in the absorption of nutrients.

How to treat Dogs with Separation Anxiety?

Here are some of the proven methods and preventive measures to treat separation anxiety in dogs.

Training and Counterconditioning

Deploying the trainers to curb separation anxiety and anxiety disorder in dogs is common. Specific training and counterconditioning are one of the most effective ways to treat separation anxiety in canines.

There are several training strategies owners can deploy to treat their dog’s anxiety. Counterconditioning programs help to condition your dog’s response to the stimuli responsible for anxiety, usually by replacing the anxious or aggressive behavior with a more desirable behavior, like sitting or focusing on the owner. Another related practice is to desensitize the dog to their anxiety. It involves introducing your do the source of anxiety, preferably in small doses and at a decreased intensity. Repeated exposure and rewarding positive behavior can help curb anxiety.

Anxiety Medications for Dogs

Anxiety medication is recommended for canines developing a serious anxiety disorder. We suggest you not to take up antibiotics until you’ve tried alternative methods such as training and counterconditioning.

A veterinarian may recommend medications or natural therapies. SSRIs and antidepressants are occasionally prescribed for dogs with anxiety, including fluoxetine and clomipramine in conjunction with an antidepressant to help your dog cope with the stress.

Using CBD Oil for Dog Anxiety

Cannabidiol Oil or CBD Oil is an alternative medication administered to dogs experiencing anxiety. CBD is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Many down owners and humans themselves have found using CBD Oil effective in curbing anxiety. Although there is currently no scientific data to prove that CBD oil is effective in treating anxiety in dogs, many dog owners believe it works wonder. Consult with your veterinarian before using CBD Oil. Your veterinarian can help you determine if it might be a good alternative treatment for your dog’s anxiety.

Body Language

This is more of a preventive or a precautionary measure. You can start by learning your dog’s body language. Knowing when your dog feels uncomfortable or scared such as during thunderstorms, loud noise, outdoor visits, night time, etc, can help determine the reason or their anxiety. It can help you avoid negative experiences and instead use them as a positive training moment. Dogs with anxiety have noticeable physical gestures.

Socialization and Obedience

Socialization is the key to avoid separation anxiety. When your dog is used to seeing new faces including both humans and animals, they’re more likely to enjoy other companies. You can start by taking them to the doggy daycare where they can socialize with other dogs.

Note: Getting your dog a companion usually doesn't help an anxious dog because their anxiety is the result of their separation from you, not just the result of being alone.

Obedience training is another essential tool to prevent or manage dog anxiety. A well-trained and behaved dog is easier to socialize than a dog without training. Obedience classes run by professional trainers can help to desensitize dogs to the situations leading to separation anxiety.

What NOT to Do

You should be careful when you deal with your dog’s separation anxiety. Experts suggest that dog owners must not:

Scold or punish their dog. Anxious behaviors are not the result of disobedience or spite and negative discipline can lead to different behavioral problems in dogs.

Anxiety is caused because they’re upset and trying to cope with a great deal of stress. If you punish them, they are more likely to become upset.

Here is the quick infographics about the solutions for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale to help with dogs experiencing separation anxiety. Our doggy daycare is well equipped with qualified professionals to help train and groom your dogs.

Get inspired with the best ideas & solutions for a life with dog

Living with a dog is probably the most fulfilling time ever. Animals complete your life in so many ways that you will feel gratitude towards them. Getting a new dog takes a lot of planning, effort, consistency, and training. Don't make it hard for your dogs to get comfortable, make sure you provide for them and make them a part of the family.

An estimated 49% to 68% of Americans are pet owners. Over 90%of them own dogs and cats.

Owning a dog is associated with lower rates of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. When dogs can do so much for their human companion, why can’t humans do the same for their dogs?

Here are some best ideas and solutions to better your dog’s life

There are many ways you can better the life of your dog. Buying new toys, readjusting their kennel with heating pads and insulation for winter, buying new stainless steel eating bowls, etc. are a few of the ways you can provide for them. Here are some of the other ideas to better their life.

Make Life an Adventure

Dogs love adventure! They love exploring new things and places. You must have wondered why your dog always spring outside once you open the gate. They enjoy the feeling of going out and exploring either that be in your backyard, a park, or a hiker’s trail.

To make their outing fun, instead of taking the same walk every day, consider what your dog likes and find places that match its interests. It can be nearby forests, a new neighborhood, a new park, an unexplored hiking trail, etc. Be wary about the new place you wish to take your dog and assess the safety measures beforehand. You can also take them on a car or bike ride. It’s easier to keep them in an open-crate and ride on a bike if you have a small dog breed.

Let Them Decide

Most dogs love the freedom to make their own decisions. Let them explore certain places off-leash. We’re aware of the safety concerns –not to mention laws and common sense, but you can simply open your doors to let your dog loose in certain cases.

Don’t put them on a leash when you’re home. You should let them lose and enjoy their quality time exploring the backyard. When you’re in the park, you can let them off-leash. Take proper precautions before letting them free to ensure that they don’t land up in any trouble.

Encourage Playtime

We can’t emphasize enough how important playtime is to the canine’s happiness. Dogs are active beings and they enjoy using most of their time playing and exploring. Encourage more playtime in their daily schedule by introducing new games such as puzzles and finding clues that include treats. You can indulge them in “fetching game” too. Most dogs find things to do by themselves but they always enjoy the company of their human companion. Spend more time with them when you’re home! In addition to the obvious fun, the play also provides mental and physical exercise and socializing opportunities and leads to feelings of success as well as enhanced cooper

Make Toys and Chews a Priority

Dogs love playing with toys. It keeps them engaged for a long time! Each dog has its own favorite toy. Some love biting it while others like toying around with it. Enrich your dog’s playtime by introducing new and engaging toys. Such activities prevent canine boredom while providing mental exercise. Add new toys and puzzles in their life. These keep them engaged for a long time.

Chewing is another part of their daily to ensure good dental hygiene. Young dogs love chewing on things when they get new teeth. Don’t let them chew on hard surfaces which can distort normal teeth growth. Buy organically chewable such as all-natural pet chew made from Yak's Milk easily available in the www.urbanpetssupply.com online store.

Encourage Training and Socializing

The more you understand your dog, the easier it is to avoid misreading them and to successfully communicate with them. You can start brushing up on your dog body language by initiating training programs. You can hire a trainer or do it yourself by looking at the online tutorials. This helps to tame their behavior from an early age and provide a gateway to learn more about them.

Maintain a balanced diet

Maintaining a dog's daily nutritional intake is essential to ensure they remain healthy and safe throughout their life. Malnutrition or excess intake of minerals is common among most dogs. This can be prevented with proper diet chart provided by your veterinarian. Dog's daily nutrition should include 45% carbs, 25% fats, and 30% protein. Water and supplements such as Vitamin D and minerals are as important as their daily diet.

Vary their food by introducing different dog food brands after duration. Introduce them slowly to the new food brand.

Protect Them from What They Dislike

Many dogs hate the sound of crackers and loud noises, mostly during holidays. You need to ensure that you keep them away from any places close to creating loud noises. Few dogs hate to be around when there’s incessant noise from small kids. Assess if your dog isn’t stressed by the noise. If it is, you need to remove it from there.

Keep On Training

Training isn’t just a regime but a lifestyle. Nobody is ever done training a dog, and certainly not after one or two eight-week sessions. Training can vary from age and skills. There are only certain training you can conduct when your pup is young. Eventually, you’d need to introduce new training to instill new skills into your dog. Dogs that are well trained can be given more freedom, have more opportunities to socialize, and are able to go more places.

Learn To Rub the Right Way

Dogs love to snuggle with humans and being rubbed. They feel content when they’re being rubbed in exactly the right spot. You would need to find out the sweet-spots where they feel the most comfort such as their hips, neck, chest and the area just above their tail gently massaged. You can find different resources online where and how to rub them the right way.

Keep them tidy

Pet grooming is a cleansing process that enhances your pet’s appearance and keeps it stay hygienic and clean. The recent study concluded that grooming helps to keep the pets stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

  • Some of the benefits of regular grooming include
  • Eradicate health problems
  • General cleanliness
  • Keeps vital organs in check
  • Increase physical appeal
  • Ensure a stress-free environment

 Removing tangles helps them defecate more easily. Keep their toenails short to allow for easier movement comfortably. Never shave them fully, this can create rashes on their skin and invite germs.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Our in-house vets and trainers can always help you with training and grooming your dog. Being a pet hospital in Urbandale, we can always provide immediate medical assistance to your dog.

Most Effective Tactics for Training Your Dogs At Home

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

Trainers suggest that you can start training your dog at home by adhering to effective tactics by engaging, rewarding, and positive disciplining them.

When it comes to training a canine, you could find many known techniques such as reward-based training, scientific training, operant conditioning, pack leaders, positive reinforcement, dominance theory, the Koehler method, Cesar’s way, etc. The list goes on. But one technique doesn't always fit all.

Regardless of which method and techniques you use, effective dog training boils down to one thing-controlling the consequences of your dog’s behavior. If you want to influence the way your dog behaves, you need to:

Reward behaviors you like.

Make sure behaviors you don’t like aren’t rewarded.

Most effective tactics for training your dogs at home

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the most talked about and popular method for canine training. It was popularized by trainers like Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, who trained the Obamas’ dog, Bo.

The theory of “Positive Reinforcement” suggests that you should reward your dog for good behavior. If you reward them, they’re more likely to repeat good behavior. On the contrary, bad behavior does not get a reward or acknowledgment. However, the dog owners must practice positive disciplining to demotivate dogs from repeating bad behavior such as removal of rewards, like a toy or treat is taken away.

This method of training is often combined with clicker training which gives the dog a distinct sign of the exact moment the behavior was completed. Commands also need to be short and to the point such as Sit, Stay, and Come.

Start with continuous rewards every time your dog does the right thing. Then, gradually move to intermittent rewards as the behavior becomes consistent. It can also be easy to overfeed during the training, hence try using small treats or avoid using food every time you reward them.

It relies on four points:

  • Positive reinforcement –It reinforces their positive behavior.
  • Positive punishment -It discourages any behavior by adding something the dog sees as unpleasant.
  • Negative reinforcement – It increases behavior by taking something away that’s unpleasant.
  • Negative punishment – It demotivates behavior by taking something away that’s desirable.

Scientific Training

Scientific training is a mixture of lots of different training methods that are continuously analyzed, tested, and improved. Science-based dog training can be difficult to define as it relies on information that is continually building and changing.

The trainers aim to understand dogs’ nature, their ability to be conditioned, and the effectiveness of rewards and punishments while training any canine. Hence, training a dog slightly differs from training another dog.

Trainers work hand in hand with animal behaviorists who are constantly creating new studies and experiments to comprehend dog’s psychology. This method relies heavily on these studies to work with dogs. It relies on operant conditioning

Operant conditioning, sometimes referred to as instrumental conditioning, is a method of learning that employs rewards and punishments for behavior.

It mostly follows positive reinforcement and, less often, some forms of punishment. Trainers believe that it’s important to reward the positive behavior of dogs and punish the bad behavior to discourage its repetition. This method also relies on dog psychology to find ways to improve off-leash relationships between owners and their pups.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is the most basic form of a pet training method. It heavily relies on operant conditioning and follows the same principles as positive reinforcement. Mostly, it’s grouped in as a method of positive reinforcement, rather than as its own form of training.

The trainer relies on a device to make a quick, sharp noise, such as a clicker or whistle or to address a dog when a wanted behavior is accomplished. The advantage of using clicker training is that it helps dogs to easily comprehend and imbibe the desired behavior. As every good behavior is rewarded, the clicker also helps to signal the dog that with the completion of every command they’ll receive a treat.

First, the dog needs to be conditioned to know that a click means a reward is coming. Then the dog can associate a behavior with a click and a reward. Finally, verbal command can be introduced to form a new association.

Electronic Training

Electronic training is a bit extreme method of training a dog. It relies on the use of an electric collar that delivers a minimal electric shock or a spray of citronella when your dog is not performing the desired task. It’s mostly used for training at a distance when a leash can’t be used.

Shock collars are very effective when training a dog to stay within boundaries of an un-fenced yard or to teach them to work in fields or do hunting work. Unlike the popular belief, people who rely on shock collar claim that there’s less risk of a dog getting hurt than with choke collars or other mechanical devices.

This method mostly relies on punishment for bad behavior instead of rewards. Professional trainers believe that this may help the dog learn what they shouldn’t do, rather than what they should do. Using continuous punishment can also lead to a great deal of stress and permanent anxiety issues for dogs. It can be a weapon in an inexperienced hand.

Model-Rival or Mirror Training

The model-rival method of training, also known as mirror training, believes that dogs can learn by observing other dogs. By providing a model of good behavior or a rival to compete for resources, dogs learn to mimic behaviors.

This method may use another human or animal act as the model. The trainer will praise them for completing tasks on command or punishing them for unwanted behavior. The dog, as an observer, will learn from the observation. The model can also be used to act as a rival, competing to do the right task for a desired toy or treat as a reward, encouraging the dog to pick up on the task and accomplish it more quickly.

As the term stands, mirror training relies on mimicking good behavior. To put it simply, the dog learns by example. This training method is equally successful in training a canine as positive reinforcement or clicker training.

It’s also easier for the dog owners who spend a lot of time with their pets. Your dog spends a lot of time observing you and following you around making it easier to conduct the training at any time.

Alpha Dog or Dominance

Alpha dog or dominance training relies on a dog’s instinctual pack mentality to create a relationship of submission and dominance. It relies on the theory that dogs will follow a social hierarchy, as observed in captive wolf packs. When a dog sees themselves as the alpha, they need to learn to instead respect their human as the alpha and submit.

Trainers conduct this method by learning a dog’s body language and responding accordingly, projecting confidence and authority, and going first when it comes to eating, entering or leaving rooms, or walking on a leash.

The alpha training follows a strict guideline that enables your dog to understand that they must submit to you. You forbid them from sleeping with you on the same bed or eat on the same furniture. You also don’t get down to your dog’s eye level. That’s because these are signs that your dog has equal standing in the relationship. You are in charge; you are dominant.

Many modern trainers are critical of this method and claim that pet dogs do not rely on pack mentality as much as previously thought.

Relationship-Based Training

Relationship-based training relies on combining different training methods into one. It focuses on a more individualized approach for both dog and owner where the relationship between dog and human drives everything.

This method can help meet the needs of the dog and the trainer and helps to foster communication. It also helps to build a stronger bond between the human and the animal.

The trainer relies on understanding the dog’s body language. They also rely on positive reinforcement techniques such as rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior.

The dog’s environment is controlled to limit possible unwanted behaviors. New information is built on previous success.

There are many animal training methods and techniques you can adopt to train your own dog. Although it can be difficult for most new pet owners to conduct training at home by them, trainers can always step in to assist you whenever needed.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Our in-house trainers can always help you with training your dogs. Being a pet hospital in Urbandale, we can always provide immediate medical assistance to your dog.