Stress in Dogs: Emotional

Dogs are naturally sensitive creatures and can easily become emotionally stressed based upon their surroundings. Stress in dogs is most commonly noted when there is some type of change in their environment. Stress in dogs is fairly common as there are many changes in our, the pet parents’, lives.

Emotional Stress in Dogs

Occasional stress is not a reason to be concerned; it is when the stress becomes a permanent part of your dog’s life when you should worry. Just as when we are stressed for long periods of time, dogs may also experience health conditions when exposed to long periods of stress and tension. Resistance to illness will decline, for example, when exposed to long periods of stress.

Signs of Stress in Dogs and Symptoms

How will you know if your dog is stressed? The most common sign is using the bathroom inappropriately. Your dog may begin soiling your home. Your dog may also appear unusually irritable. She may begin snapping, growling or exhibiting another type of irritable behavior when exposed to stressful conditions.

Solving the Problem

How to calm a stressed dog? There are many reasons your dog may be stressed. The most common reasons including separation anxiety or boredom. The best way to relieve the stress caused by separation anxiety or boredom? Time! Spending time with your dog will decrease their stress level significantly if they are experiencing these problems. Learn more about separation anxiety in puppies here.

Time spent with your dog will also assist you in bonding with him. In addition to your dog being happier, research has proven people who have a bond with their dog are happier and live longer lives with less medical problems!

Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist

Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.

Puppy Obedience Training: Don’ts and Must Do’s!

Your puppy sees everything as a game so, how do you get him to understand the information you are trying to convey. Of course! You need to keep him as stimulated as possible to maintain his interest! Following the tips below will assist you in training your little furry friend!

Puppy obedience training

Obedience Training: Commands

Since your puppy’s attention span, puppy obedience training can be frustrating and difficult at times. To maintain your puppy’s interest, you should try each command for only five minutes or so. You should then wait several hours and try the command you are attempting to convey for approximately five minutes once again. You should also not limit yourself as to the place of training. Try the command you are conveying in your living room, in your kitchen, outside or anywhere else you may be!

Obedience Training for Puppies: Positive Reinforcement

While training your puppy you should always use positive reinforcement. Negative punishments may also obtain the same result but will harm your bond immediately with your puppy. In order to maintain a strong bond, positive reinforcement is crucial. Dogs naturally want to please their pet parent so when they follow a command correctly, a treat or praise becomes associated with that behavior. Your dog will know she pleased you and will be happy she did so.

Whining in Puppies

Whining is a common problem pet parents face throughout puppy obedience training. Do not comfort your puppy when she whines. You may believe you are helping her; however, if you comfort her while whining this will result in her behavior becoming worse. She will believe she is praised for whining and will then whine when she wants your attention. Chewing is also a common problem in puppies. How to Stop Puppies From Chewing?

Go here and learn more about how to train a puppy?

Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist

Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.

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Novel Protein Diet

If your dog or cat has been experiencing symptoms of a potential food allergy or food intolerance, your veterinarian will likely recommend an elimination feeding trial to confirm a diagnosis. The food used to carry out this feeding trial is known as the novel protein diet.

Novel Protein Diet

Symptoms of Food Allergies and Food Intolerance

Food allergies rank as the third most commonly diagnosed allergies that affect cats and dogs. Food allergies can present in pets at any age. As with most allergies that afflict cats and dogs, the symptoms of a food allergy include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Hair loss
  • Recurring ear infections

Food intolerance differs slightly from a food allergy. Pets that suffer from a food allergy experience the above symptoms because an ingredient in the food is triggering an allergic response. Pets that suffer from food intolerance experience gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting or diarrhea, because an ingredient simply does not agree with them. Inflammatory bowel disease is one of the common conditions that can present with food intolerance. Whether your pet suffers from food allergies or food intolerance, the diagnosis and treatment are the same. Learn more about nutrition here.

What Is a Novel Protein Diet?

Most pet foods that are manufactured to be sold in supermarkets and pet supply retail stores contain chicken, turkey, beef, fish, egg or lamb as the protein source. The most commonly used carbohydrate ingredients found in these foods include wheat, corn, soy or barley. A protein source is the most common culprit to incite food allergies and food intolerance in pets, followed by a carbohydrate source.

In order to determine whether your pet’s symptoms are caused by one of these ingredients, your veterinarian needs to perform an elimination feeding trial in which your pet consumes one of the prescription novel protein diets that are available on the veterinary market. These diets contain limited ingredients that include protein and carbohydrate sources to which your pet has not been previously exposed, hence the term novel.

Alternate Ingredients of Novel Protein Diets

The pet food companies that produce prescription diets all offer several different novel protein recipes to choose from. Your veterinarian will discuss your pet’s dietary history with you before selecting one of the novel protein diets for your dog or cat. Lamb is one protein source that is used in some novel protein foods because some pets, especially cats, have not sampled commercial foods that contain lamb before. If your cat has been consuming chicken, turkey and fish, then a novel protein diet of lamb and green peas is an acceptable alternative if your cat has never dined on lamb before. Similarly, if your dog has savored a diet of beef, liver and chicken and has never before been offered fish, then a novel protein diet of fish and potato may be used.

If your dog or cat has been lavished with variety that includes all of the commonly used protein ingredients, then a novel protein diet that contains an exotic meat becomes the trial food of choice. These diets contain such protein sources as venison, rabbit, kangaroo and duck. Peas and potatoes are the novel carbohydrates that are contained in novel protein diets.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Once the particular novel protein diet has been selected, your veterinarian will discuss the food elimination trial. You will be instructed to feed your dog or cat solely the prescribed novel protein food and water for an extended period, which typically lasts for two to three months. It is imperative that your pet does not receive any other food, including treats, during this trial. The purpose of the trial is to eliminate all potential allergens from your pet’s diet, observing whether or not the allergy or intolerance symptoms subside.

If your pet’s symptoms have cleared up by the end of the elimination feeding trial, then the diagnosis of food allergies or food intolerance is confirmed. The treatment is to permanently ban the offending ingredients from your pet’s dish. The simplest way in which to accomplish this is to continue feeding the same novel protein diet that was used for the feeding trial. Refrain from trying the various novel protein diets to provide variety in your pet’s diet because you may need to turn to one of the other formulations in the future. Over time, some pets can develop allergies or intolerance to the novel protein diet that they have been eating, and then an alternate novel protein diet must be used.

Shock Collars for Dogs: To Use or Not to Use?

Shock collars for dogs are very highly debated in the pet community. Most pet parents have considered this as an option while training, though. There are pros and cons to using a shock collar while training. Essentially, it is the pet owner’s decision whether or not they agree with the use of a shock collar.

Shock Collars for Dogs; To Use or Not to Use

Shock Collars

The shock collar is not designed to punish the dog but rather to be used to deter the dog from an undesired behavior. The shock the collar emits is designed for the dog to associate the behavior with the shock. After one or two times of being warned and shocked, the dog often discontinues the behavior before the shock even occurs. The dog will cease the behavior as soon as the warning bell prior to the shock is emitted.

The shock emitted from the shock collar is completely safe and will not harm the dog but rather be somewhat uncomfortable and gain her attention. There are also varied levels of intensity so if it seems as if your dog is hurt by the shock, you have the ability to turn the intensity of the shock down. On the other side, if the dog is not reacting to the current level, you also have the ability to increase the intensity.

Automatic bark collars are not often recommended by pet trainers as this is not controlled by you but rather by the dog’s vocal cords. The automatic bark collars may shock the dog unintentionally and will not be effective as this will confuse your dog since they may be shocked without reason. The fear is also a factor in shock collars.

Fear in dogs could be dangerous to your dog so prior to using a shock collar, you should carefully consider your dog’s personality and ensure the dog will not be frightened by the collar. If the dog already has a fearful personality this may result in the dog associating people, objects or situations negatively. Learn more about dog training collars and how they work here.

The use of a shock collar is not advised without discussing the option with a pet behaviorist prior to use. If you have any questions regarding dog shock collars, our in-house pet behaviorist is available to help you.

Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist

Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.

Yearly Sweepstakes Status

Your dog or cat can win our monthly photo Sweepstakes and receive $100 for pet supplies! All you have to do is to upload a photo or video of your dog and/or cat with a funny quote or description of your pet and start sharing! Within 24 hours your post will be live after revision of our team and you can start sharing your pet´s photo or video on Facebook. The post with the highest Shares and Likes wins. Don´t forget to read our contest rules here. Every calendar month we will give away $100 and we accept entries all year round! Have fun uploading and sharing! For more information you can reach us here.

Puppy Mouthing and Biting

Puppies often spend a significant amount of their time investigating the world around them; this often includes mouthing and chewing on items. When puppies play with their pet parent, they may bite, chew or mouth on their pet parent’s hands. This puppy mouthing behavior is often seen as cute when the dog is a puppy; however, once they become older the pet parent no longer wants them to exhibit this behavior. Find out how to stop an adult dog from biting here!

Puppy Mouthing and Biting

Puppy Mouthing: What to Do?

If you do not wish your dog to mouth when he is older, it is absolutely crucial you stop the puppy mouthing while he is still young. There are several methods you can use to prevent this behavior. The pet parent should teach the puppy to understand their pet parent is sensitive and they must be gentle with their pet parent.

In addition to puppies having extremely sharp teeth, they also do not have control over their bite which means they do not understand they are being too rough with their pet parent. They must learn to be gentle over time. Puppies often learn to control the roughness of their bite with other puppies. Have you ever seen a litter of puppies playing? If you have, you may have noticed them biting one another. If one puppy bites the other and he yelps, the puppy that bit then understands he bit the puppy too harshly and needs to be gentle the next time. How to handle teething in puppies?

You can let you puppy play with you and mouth on your hands; however, once he bites too hard, you can yelp similar to a puppy-mate. Following the yelp, allow your hand to go limp as if it were hurt. He will then learn that he mouthed too hard. If your puppy then begins to lick you, you should praise your puppy to allow him to understand he is now being gentle.

Some pet parents have difficulties with their puppies coming up and mouthing while the pet parent is watching television or doing a chore. If this is the case, you should search for a toy your puppy enjoys chewing on and once he begins mouthing on you, substitute your hand for the toy.

If you have any questions regarding puppy mouthing and biting, our in-house pet behaviorist is available to help you. Learn more here about how to stop a puppy from biting your hand?

Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist

Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.

Dog Training Collars: How do They Work?

Dog training collars have been proven to be extremely effective in a number of situations including behavior problems, basic and advanced training. These are often recommended as a last resort; however, as they do provide a negative impact on your dog to assist in learning the desired behavior.

Dog Training Collars

Remote Dog Training Collars: What They Are

Remote dog training collars allow you to reinforce desirable behaviors in your dog and prevent undesired behaviors. Find here the top 10 most common problems in dogs. Many pet parents use these for problems with digging, chasing or running away. When you push a button on the remote, your dog will hear a ding, often similar to the sound of a bell, as a warning. There are several types of remote collars to choose from including a spray or static vibration.

How Remote Dog Training Collars Work?

Let’s say, as an example, you are training your dog not to dig. If your dog begins digging, you press the warning button on the remote which provides your dog with a buzz or a ding signal as a warning. If the dog continues to dig and is not listening to you, you can hit another button which will either spray your dog or give him a static shock. The shock does not hurt the dog at low levels but the dog will not like the spray or the shock. The dog will associate the ding with the spray or the shock with a negative action and will no longer perform that action once he hears the warning.

If you have any questions regarding dog training collars, our in-house pet behaviorist is available to help you.

Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist

Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.

What is Dog Agility?

As some may know, dog agility is a big topic in the pet field. Even if you have never heard of dog agility, you have most likely seen or heard of a dog agility contest. A dog agility contest is designed to test the relationship between the dog and the dog handler. The dog agility contest is an athletic contest which requires a significant amount of teamwork and training. Agility is an excellent way to bond with your dog as well.

Dog Agility

The Dog Agility Contest

In the dog agility contest, the dog has no incentives and the trainer is not able to touch the dog or the obstacles throughout the contest. The only factors the trainer may contribute are voice commands, movements and body language. This requires an extremely close relationship between the trainer and the dog as they must understand how to effectively communicate with one another throughout the contest.

Obstacles in the Dog Agility Contest

In the dog agility contest, there are obstacles set out for the dog by a judge in the contest. The surface on which the contest is held may vary based upon the judge’s wishes. The surface may consist of grass, rubber or dirt. The courses are very complex and the dog would not have the ability to complete the competition without directions from his pet parent.

Dog Agility Equipment

Equipment for dog agility includes dog jump cups, dog weave poles, tunnels the agility competition see-saw and more! The equipment is used to develop obstacles for the dog ability contest. Several items can be built at home if you would like to learn how to conduct a dog agility contest. For example, jumps can be made out of PVC pipes. The tunnels can be developed from child’s play tunnels temporarily while training. Finally, the weave poles; traffic cones can be used while training in place of weave poles.

Bonding and Dog Agility

As you can imagine, in order to complete the contest successfully, the pet parent and the pet in this competition must be very well-bonded. Of course, the training for this contest provides an excellent bonding experience for the dog and the dog’s parent. A large amount of time and energy must be spent to prepare for this sort of competition.

For more pet-bonding tips go here: dog and human relationship. If you have any questions regarding dog agility, our in-house pet behaviorist is available.

Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist

Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.

How To Read Your Dog’s Body Language?

Pet parents often wonder how to improve the communication between them and their dog. The first step is getting to know their dog’s body language and the meanings. How do you know what your canine companion is thinking? Of course, body language! Your dog’s body language services as their sole line of communication. They speak to you via doggy language; mainly their facial expressions and posture! Learn how to distinguish between emotions using this dog body language chart from PetPremium!

PetPremium’s Infographic: What is Your Pet Companion Thinking?

Heat Stroke in Dogs Infographic: When is it Too Hot?

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