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The Right Way to Give Your Dog a Treat

Dog TreatWhether it's for good behavior or just because you want to treat your dog to something special, everyone loves to give their dog a treat. Surprisingly, there are right and wrong ways to give your special companion treats.

One of the most common ways of giving a dog a treat is by holding it way high up in the air, so the dog has to stand on his back legs or jump in order to get it. While this may be fun and entertaining, there could be some negative consequences that come with it. There is a chance that when trying to jump and grab the treat out of your hand the dog may accidentally nip your finger. This isn't done on purpose either. Dogs have less control and vision of their teeth when they are jumping to grab a treat. Also, this may teach your dog that things, such as jumping, are good. This can make it harder to control your dog from jumping in other situations like greeting people.

The best way to give your dog a treat is to hold the treat at the dog's level, where he doesn't have to jump or snap to get it. If you still have problems with your dog accidentally nipping your finger after doing this, try offering the treat with a flat, open hand. This will keep your fingers away from the treat and make it safer to give to your dog.

There is also a behavior factor that comes into play when giving your dog treats. When you give your dog a treat you are rewarding him for whatever he was doing before the treat was given. For example, if you tell your dog to fetch and he brings the stick back to you, giving him a treat will teach him that retrieving the stick means getting a treat. On the flip side, don't give your dog a treat just to distract him from doing something. Giving your dog a treat when he is pawing at you or barking will just teach your dog that those actions mean reward and your dog will continue to do that more and more. Instead, only reward your dog when they deserve it and when they are showing good behavior.

People also often wonder how often they should reward their dog and how big of a treat to give their dog when rewarding him. Rewarding in multiple smaller pieces of treats will usually work better when teaching your dog, rather than just giving your dog one large treat. This way you are able reward your dog multiple times before you have to stop giving him treats. Rewarding your dog with too many treats could put him at risk for obesity and stomach upset.

Rewarding your dog can be fun for both yourself and your beloved canine. Just make sure that when you are giving your dog a treat, you are doing it the right way. Think about the dog's behavior before giving him a treat and think about ways you can change your tactics in order to better teach your dog.

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How You Can Turn Your Feline Friend Into a Lap Cat

CatHeredity plays a big role in your kitten’s personality. A friendly mother or father usually results in friendly kittens, but you are also a big part in developing your kitten’s personality. Kitten’s between 3 and 7 weeks old who get handled with love and care from humans usually develop a friendly, loving personality. However, if you weren’t a part of your cat’s early life and would like to turn your new feline friend into a lap cat, here are some tips to help you!

  1. Stay calm when you are around your cat. Sudden or aggressive movements around your cat may make him feel threatened or scare him. Move around slowly to help him stay calm and get used to you.

  2. Don’t stare at your cat. Cats usually don’t like it when you stare at them and won’t want to interact with you if you do. Instead, you can slowly blink your eyes at your cat and he will probably do the same, slow blink back. Think of it as a kiss to your cat, but with your eyes!

  3. Pet and rub your cat right away when you get them. Most cats love to be scratched and pet. Spots between the ears or underneath the chin are usually spots where they will love to be scratched. They also love to be pet along their spine. Try to stay away from the belly and the base of your cat’s tail. Touching your cat’s belly may make him feel threatened and cat’s don’t like it when you pick up their odor from their tail glands.

  4. Groom your cat. Cats always like to groom themselves and even others, so why not do it for them! Your cat may love to be brushed slowly and gently, but make sure you watch to see if he is enjoying it before you keep going.

  5. Reward your cat with treats. Give your cat a nice treat any time he comes to snuggle with you on your lap or comes to you for attention. This is sure to bribe him!

Make sure your cat likes the attention that you are giving him. A recent study found that cats can be stressed if you pet them when they don’t want to be pet. Easy signs that your cat wants some attention can be jumping on your lap or rolling over in front of you and showing you an area he wants to have pet or scratched. Be patient and follow these tips and surely your feline friend will turn into a loving lap cat!

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Are Rivers, Lakes, or Oceans Safe for Your Dog to Drink From?

DogOutdoor water sources, especially stagnant water, have the chance of containing chemicals and organisms that could potentially harm your dog. Some of the chemicals and organisms in the water could even put your personal health at risk too. Here are just a few things that could be in outdoor water sources:

  • Bacteria can be in water sources that are contaminated by animal or human waste. Stagnant water that is accompanied by wildlife is often an easy place to find this bacteria. Mild infection in your dog can lead to diarrhea, while more serious cases can be much more severe. This bacteria can also be spread through the feces and urine of your dog, which could potentially lead to infection in humans if not handled correctly.

  • Blue-green algae is another type of bacteria often found on the surface of water. This bacteria may form colonies of blooms that rest on top of the water, which may then be swallowed by your dog while swimming or ingested when your dog is cleaning himself after. Vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures are often signs that you will see soon after your dog ingests this bacteria.

  • Parasites and chemicals from runoff or boaters can often be in bodies of water as well. Diarrhea is often a sign if your dog has been infected by these.

  • Salt could potentially harm your dogs health as well. A small amount of ocean water most likely will not harm your dog, but too much ocean water could lead to electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, or diarrhea.

If you want to be safe and keep your dog healthy, bring a water bowl and fresh water for your dog to drink from when you go outdoors, instead of letting them drink from lakes or rivers. Stay away from dirty, smelly stagnant water if you think it may be risky for your dog to drink. If your dog isn’t his same, playful self after a day outdoors and you think he may have drank dirty water, be sure to take him to your veterinarian right away. It never hurts to safe. A good rule of thumb to go by to keep your dog safe and healthy is to not let your dog drink any water that you know you wouldn’t drink!

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Testimonials

  • Temperance

    My wife and I have been taking our dog to Countryside Vets for about three years now. We had an unfortunate encounter with our previous veterinarian but switching to Countryside Vets years ago has been the best decision! She has always been treated well at Countryside and Dr. Popp has always been more than friendly! Thank you!
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