How to Prepare Your Dog for Fall

The hot sunny days are coming to an end. As the leaves change, so do your dogs wants and needs. There are certain things you must do to prepare your pup for the cold months ahead.

1. Check for allergies: Just like humans, dogs also experience seasonal allergies. As plants start to hibernate for the winter months, they will release potential allergens into the air. If your dog suffers from seasonal allergies, you will notice them sneezing, scratching themselves, or redness in their eyes. The best way to help your pet is to take them to a vet. The vet may prescribe some type of allergy relief, as well as, advice on how to change their diet. Changing their diet will help the immune system become more anti-inflammatory.

2. Watch their skin and coat: As the temperature drops, we all notice more dryness in our skin. The same goes for dogs. It is essential to check their skin to make sure their dryness is taken care of. You can improve the dryness by making specific changes with their diets.

3. Find an exercise schedule: It is so hard to go outside in the winter months, but your dog still needs exercise. Decrease exercise can lead to weight gain. If you do not want to endure the coldness outside, you are in luck because we have the best alternative. Take your dog to a board and training facility. The board and training facility can provide your dog with appropriate exercise but also help train them in other ways. You will see an overall improvement in your dog’s health and attitude.

Happy fall!

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Winter Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe

With Winter around the corner, it is time to start prepping to keep your dog happy, safe, and healthy during the coldest months of the year. Ensuring that your dog is warm and safe from the blistering cold will allow your dog to have a wonderful winter.

Making sure your dog has boots will keep their paws safe. Ice and salt can cut up a dog’s pads and when they are cut, the salt will make the cut worse. By putting on dog boots you will give your friend better traction and the ability to keep their paws safe and sound.

A coat for your dog is great, especially if they are a short haired breed. Coats and sweaters will keep your dog from shivering and being exposed to harsh weather. Make sure the coat or sweater fits your dog first. If it does not it is too tight or not easy to move in, and your dog will be unlikely to want to wear it.

Happy running dog in the white snow

Leaving your pet in your car can have the same result as summer does. The interior of a car will often be colder than the exterior and leaving your dog in the care can cause them to have no protection against the elements. Leaving your car running is also a bad idea. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a very serious threat and can affect a dog much faster than a human. Make sure to leave your dog at home instead of in the car during short trips in the winter.

Providing thicker bedding in the home will allow your dog to stay warm inside during the cold winter months, as well as allow them to warm back up faster when they come back inside. Placing thicker bedding in indoor or outdoor kennels will allow your dog to be warmer and more comfortable

When Winter comes make sure you keep your dog safe with a coat, boots, and safe places to be when it’s cold out.

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Ways to Improve the Recall Abilities of your Dog

Having a strong recall for your dog is one of the most invaluable things you can teach your best friend. Without a strong recall, your pet could get you and themselves into trouble. Here are some tips for improving your dog’s recall. The most important tip is to choose one recall word or phrase and stick with it.

Don’t add other language because it can confuse your dog. Also, you need to give your dog a good reason to “come here” because if it is only used for negative behavior they will be less likely to come to you. Take small steps when working with dog recall, literally. Do short distances at first, praising them for listening every time and ignoring them when they don’t. Eventually, do longer distances.

Young girl with golden retriever walking away into sun

Be consistent in command and in the way you act when they come. Always be very happy and reward them with pets and affection. Don’t forget to reward your pet with treats sometimes. Also, make sure to give them praise when they are getting closer, this will reinforce their behavior at the moment and ensure they come all the way to your heels. Changing the reward can also be great for your dog because they will be excited and intrigued every time. Remember that your dog is never too old or too young to learn recall.

Another important tip to remember is not to repeat yourself. Once, maybe twice is enough, after that the dog is just training you. Using the services of a professional can help you instill a strong recall for your dog that will allow you both to have enjoyable, rewarding experiences where you don’t need to worry about the whereabouts or safety of your dog.

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Patience with your Puppy

Being patient with your puppy can be a challenging task. They like to bit, jump, tug, bark, yip and do everything possible to annoy you. But in reality, they are asking for your time and attention. A long walk will calm them down. Play with a rope or ball will release some of their energy. Next time your new best friend ruins some of your belongings, think about the attention they were receiving in the moments leading up to that event. More often than not they were probably not being paid attention to at the moment leading up to that event.

Walks are great for dogs because it allows them to expend their energy. Being aware of what traits your breed has and then finding ways for them to work for you will save you tons of stress in the future. Remember to take a step back and breathe when you get frustrated and that it is ok to stop and return to training later. It is not healthy for you or the dog to train when you are stressed or angry.

dachshund puppy brown tan color and lilac purple

While difficult, the training should be reserved for when you are in a state of mind to be patient. Practice does make perfect. The more time you spend with your dog now, the fewer worries you will have with them later. Often times dog owners will choose to hire a professional to train their dog. This will save you time and stress.

Now a professional won’t be able to magically transform your dog into a perfect pet, but with enough help from you on the back end, you and your dog will be able to use the skills learned from a professional and practice them for years to come. If you want to to give your dog the best life possible, train them immediately, be patient, and use professionals who do this for a living help you by giving you and your dog the skills needed to be the best of friends.

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Training an Old Dog

We all know the saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But it is false. It can be harder, and more time consuming to show an old friend new behavior, especially if their previous behavior is now expected.

For example, if you want to teach your dog to stop coming into the kitchen, then you can no longer feed them or pet them in the kitchen. They need to re-learn that this is an area in which they are no longer allowed. Teaching an old dog new tricks is often times harder for the owner since they have allowed the dog to continue forward with this behavior for awhile.

Old Man And Cute Dog Kissing

Teaching an old dog actual new tricks may be more difficult. Things like fetch, or running obstacle courses and things of that nature may be hard to train because of their age. But with enough patience, you can teach your dog these things as long as their health allows them to participate in these activities. At this time in your dog’s life, it is best to have them crate trained, if they are not then that should be the first thing to focus on.

Crate training can be hard for the owner because at first, the pet can whine and complain, leaving you broken hearted. But if you let them out when they cry that is just reinforcing the behavior that every time they do that you will let them out.

Effective discipline from the owner combined with patience will enable your dog to be a better version of itself. Often times, when paired with obedience classes from kennels that specialize in that area, older dog training is more useful for the dog and the owner.

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Fall Tips for You and Your Pet

With fall right quickly approaching we want to give you some tips to keep your dog clean this fall. If your dog has long toe/feet hair it is best to keep them well groomed in that area since leaves and stickers attach themselves to that area and then can be tracked into your home. Another tip is to keep a towel and alcohol-free wet wipes in your car. This will keep your pet dry and can also be used to clean their paw pads. The wipes are safe and can be used for your pet and your car. If your dog is smelly after a walk a little bit of dry shampoo or dryer sheets can help until a full bath is given.

A self-service dog wash will be your friend in the fall. Or a place in your yard (if you have one). Later in the Fall, the water can be very cold so we recommend that a self-service dog wash is used when the temperature drops.

Teenager with Golden Retriever in the Fall

If your pet lives outside it is important to keep their shelter full of warm cozy blankets and to make sure their kennel or wherever they are staying is checked for leaks and drafts. Some simple caulking can help your dog stay warmer. With the dog days of summer behind and the grueling winter ahead, fall is the best time for you and your dog to go for walks. Doing so now will help calm them and keep them happy.

Also, fall is a time when fleas and ticks are rampant so be sure to keep your dog away from densely wooded or grassy areas. And if you do take them in such areas clean and wash them after, making sure to comb their fur to keep all the pesty mites away.

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Hot. Dog.

Seven and half ways to keep your dog cool

August. Thirty-one days of the end of summer. Alden’s Kennels knows that, here in the Midwest, the greatest number of heat advisory days fall in the month of August. Large or small, your dog has to rely on your good judgment to keep him or her from overheating. And they overheat just as easily as we do. Here are tried and true hot-weather tips for the furriest family member.

1) Don’t turn down the air when you leave home, at least not all the way. We use the A/C for our comfort during the hot days… so does your pet. Make sure shades or blinds are closed to help keep the house cool when you’re out and about if you’re being energy conscious. A sealed-up home gets hot fast during the long hours of sunlight.

2) Water is critical. Dogs may not sweat, but they pant. You don’t want a panting dog. A good tip is to double up on the water dishes.

2.5) Water is even more critical outdoors. If you’re outside with your pet, or the dog is in the yard alone, bring a water dish for fresh water. A splash pool might be fun as well as a cool respite for an outdoor pet. Keep that water fresh, too. If you’re walking, bring enough water for both of you.

3) Exercise in the cooler parts of the day. Older dogs, overweight dogs, and dogs with snub noses are the most susceptible to heatstroke. Early morning or late evening walks are going to be more comfortable for you and the dog. An added bonus to morning walks is that the pavement is cooler. Speaking of pavement…

4) Sidewalks and streets can be as much as 30 degrees hotter than the air and they hold the heat for a long time. This is especially true of blacktop. Feel the surface, knowing that paw pads are sensitive even if they are thicker.

5) Mind the humidity. It gets sticky in August. A high dew point day might make it harder for the dog to cool down. Even on overcast but humid days, your pet is in danger of heatstroke.

6) Be cool. Popcicles are fun for kids, but the sugar and colorings aren’t the smartest pet treats. Get your dog an icecube tray. Throw a couple chunks of kibble into each slot, add water, and freeze. We’ll bet that even a dog who didn’t chew ice before is going to like this treat, which does double-duty by cooling him or her off.

7) Keep grooming. Removing mats and loose hair can help the dog keep cool. You don’t want to shave a dog yourself without checking with your vet: The same hair that keeps them comfy in cold weather may be insulating them from the harshest heat, too. Grooming will also alert you to ticks and fleas, which are more active in August than just about any other month, and mosquito bites. Mosquitoes carry heartworm.

Alden’s Kennels is vigilant about every pet in our care and encourages you to watch for the same signs we do: Heavy panting/drooling, rapid breathing or heartbeat, dark red tongue or lips, weakness, and/or agitation. See these? Call your vet.

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