Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Danger of Rawhide Chews

When it comes to dog treats there are many reasons to make your own tasty and healthy tidbits. If you follow us on Facebook you will have seen the many updates we've posted about recent treat recalls from several popular manufacturers due to salmonella contamination.

When it comes to Rawhide Chews you should avoid these altogether. Rawhide is non-digestible. Large pieces, swallowed whole, can cause significant choking dangers and intestinal blockages. Most rawhide chew treats are made in China and have been chemically treated.
Consider giving your dog a treat made from natural bone or a durable Nylabone.

Here is an easy recipe for Sweet Potato Treats that you can make at home. Simply wash and slice sweet potatoes, place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 2 to 3 hours until crisp.

Your dog will enjoy these vitamin packed treats you can make for about $1 per pound!
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Potty Training 101

Potty Training 101

Jameson loves play time
There is a secret to Potty Training and I'm going to share it with you. Set your puppy up for success. The better you are at this, the faster your puppy will learn how to please you - no matter what you are trying to train her to do.

How do you do this when it comes to potty training? Understand and outsmart your puppy's biology. Your puppy will need to go potty:
  • Upon waking up. Take her out on a leash to your designated potty place and use a command like "Go Potty!". 
  • Shortly after eating. Typically this is about 10 minutes. Watch her carefully for signs and take her out on a leash after about 5 minutes. 
  • Every 20-30 minutes during play time. This is the danger zone as it is the most unpredictable. Let her play for 20 minutes then take her outside on a leash to her potty place. She may be more interested in grasshoppers or leaves but don't go away from the potty place until she does her business.
Keep the play sessions short, not more than an hour until she is 12 weeks old. During this time you should take her outside twice. Keeping a leash on her during play time for the first week can be a handy trick! Always give lavish praise when she goes potty outside. When play time is done take her outside then put her in her crate for a nap.

Marvel has a cozy den
Crate training is the single most effective way to be successful. Some people resist this training because they feel that it is caging the puppy. Your puppy has a den instinct built in and the crate satisfies this need for a quiet and safe place to sleep. Your puppy is going to spend 20 hours a day sleeping. 

Here are the guidelines for potty breaks from nap time:
  • 8-12 weeks every 3 hours
  • 12-16 weeks every 4 hours
  • 16-20 weeks every 5 hours
  • 20 + weeks every 6 hours
This may sound like a daunting schedule, especially if you work outside the home or will otherwise be away longer than the above time periods. Don't worry! We're here to help. Just schedule potty breaks as needed and we'll come by to let her out, feed her a scheduled meal, play with her and let her outside again before putting her back in the crate for her next nap (oh to be a puppy!)

Accidents happen! You may spend 15 minutes outside with her before thinking she doesn't really need to go potty only to have her go as soon as she is back inside the house. Adjust your timing and learn her signals, her success is your job! In the meantime, have paper towels and cleaning supplies handy and remain calm. Never physically punish her for having an accident.

Within 10 days to 2 weeks you should have mostly mastered Potty Training 101. Send pictures of your new puppy, we'd love to see them! 

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