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How To Socialize A Puppy

 

socialize a puppy Wagging Tails Pet Sitter Dog Walker Mobile Groomer Southington Cheshire CTHow to socialize a puppy…first, what is puppy socialization?

This article will explain to you what socialization is and how to put it into practice to ensure your dog has few, if any behavioral problems later in life and is able to interact well with dogs and other species.

The importance of socializing a puppy can never be over emphasized, but what exactly does that mean?

Socialization is the process whereby a puppy learns to recognize and interact with other individuals of its own species, with people of different ages, races and genders, and with other animals that she is likely to come into contact with, such as cats and horses. The dog will learn the skills necessary to communicate with and interpret the other animals’ intentions, thus avoiding unnecessary hostilities. The dog will also learn to cope with stress and will suffer less as an adult in stressful situations. When talking of socialization, we often include habituation, that is, getting a puppy used to different places, sights and sounds so that she becomes confident in new situations and gets used to as many different stimuli as possible.
 
There are certain periods in a puppy’s development that are more important than others. The most sensitive socialization period begins at around 3 weeks of age and begins to reduce by 12 weeks. Peak sensitivity to socialize a puppy is between 6 and 8 weeks of age. It is important to remember that many young dogs need continual social interaction to maintain their socialization, and failure to do so will mean that they regress or become fearful again. The 6-8 month period is another sensitive time to socialize a puppy. Owners and trainers can use this window to further habituate and german-shepherd-puppy-wagging-tails-pet-sitting-mobile-grooming-southington-cheshire-west-hartford-farmington-ctsocialize their puppy to different surroundings, people and animals.
 

And how does one socialize a puppy?

 
So, now we know why and when socialization should be carried out, we must look at how to undertake this. It is recommended that your puppy be introduced to new stimuli and other people and pets in a systematic and controlled way. Remember that these formative experiences will shape the behavior of your pet for the rest of her life, so the idea is that they should be pleasurable and fun. They may well also be challenging, but if done in the right way, the puppy will learn that there is no threat and that she is safe to explore and meet new friends and situations without being fearful. This ensures the best chance of her developing a sound temperament and capacity to cope in all circumstances.
 
Early socialization is, of course, in the hands of the breeder and if they are conscientious and responsible they will ensure that the puppies are handled frequently, as well being exposed to normal household stimuli such as the television, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, doorbell etc. Puppies who are raised in a quiet kennel or room will have trouble adapting to a normal family environment.
 
So once the puppy is at home with you, it is your job to continue carefully introducing her to different people, animals and stimuli. It is however important to introduce the puppy to new people, places, objects and situations only when you can completely control the experience. A frightening experience will be detrimental – avoid unfriendly dogs and adults and children who do not understand how to be kind and gentle with animals. Invite friends to your house soon after you bring your puppy home to teach her that guests are friendly and welcome in her new home. Give your friends treats to give to the puppy so she is rewarded. Introduce her to one or two other friendly, healthy, fully-vaccinated dogs  – she can join in with bigger groups once she has all her shots and has learned some dog social skills and has over-come any fear. Always be ready to intervene if your puppy is scared, threatened or being bullied by another dog.
 
Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter, Dog Walker will most certainly assist in ways to socialize your puppy. Keeping your puppy safe at home, where risk of disease or parasites is very low, is a preferred alternative to dog day care or kenneling. A Professional Pet Sitter will visit your home while you are at work or away for the day and socialize your puppy. Exercise, companionship, socialization, relief are all great services provided by a midday dog walk, or puppy potty training session from a local Professional Dog Walker.
 
When socializing your puppy, you must evaluate your lifestyle and environment and assess what situations are lacking. For instance, if you live in the country, take your puppy to town and gradually and carefully let her become accustomed to crowds of people, noise and traffic. If, however, you live in a town and these things are no problem, take your puppy to the countryside so she can see and smell farm animals and become accustomed to them too. Make sure your dog meets some cats who are dog-friendly. Don’t let her chase them as this will start a life-long habit that will be difficult to change. If your household has no children, introduce your puppy to some children who can regularly play gently with her. Always supervise them to ensure the children are gentle and that your dog is responding well and not becoming nervous or aggressive.
 
Remember always to protect your puppy’s health, before she is fully vaccinated. Don’t put her down on the ground where there may be dog urine or feces, and don’t let her interact with other dogs that may carry disease. You can still socialize your puppy by carrying her into different situations and taking her in the car, allowing her to see many different things in a safe environment and she will get used to trips in the car at the same time. Use treats and praise to reinforce good behavior. Do not comfort your puppy if she is fearful as this can be interpreted as praise for the wrong behavior. Simply change the situation (i.e. ask an approaching person to step back or pick up your puppy to get her out of a difficult situation) until she feels safe and secure once more.
 
All interaction with your puppy at this age involves consistently rewarding desirable behavior which will increase the likelihood the dog will repeat this behavior. It will also help to prevent the development of undesirable behavior.
Another helpful step would be to enroll in puppy socialization and training class. This provides a great opportunity for puppies to socialize with other dogs, for puppies to learn obedience training in a playful environment with plenty of distractions and also for owners to learn training and communication techniques.
 
Thank you for reading How To Socialize A Puppy. Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service in CT offers over 23 years of pet care experience. Check out our other informative and helpful blog articles!
 
 

Important Steps To Raising Your Dog

Raising Your Dog – Important Steps to Take raising your dog Wagging Tails Pet Sitter in ConnecticutFrom 1 to 3 Years of Age

When acquiring a newborn puppy, there are certain critical steps that need to be taken in the 1 – 3 year timeframe of raising your dog.
 
Physically, he is in his prime, and will continue to develop heavier bone, a deeper chest, a fuller coat, as well as greater strength and endurance. Large breeds attain their full physical maturity and definitive proportions between the ages of 18 months and 2 years, while smaller breeds reach their maturity a little sooner.
 
An adult dog no longer needs a body-building diet, but more of a maintenance one that is adjusted to his daily energy requirements. Too much or too rich a diet will lead to obesity and perhaps more serious health problems.
 
Psychologically, he is unconditionally devoted to you and may become jealous and possessive. He may even begin to resemble you in some ways. His inteyorkie raising your dog Wagging Tails Pet Sitting Mobile Groomer Cheshire CTlligence and receptivity are at their peak, and he vastly enjoys collaborating with you in work and play, as well as acquiring new skills. He knows and understands you and your habits as well as you know and understand him. These should be the most harmonious and rewarding years of your life together.
 

The most important tips for raising your dog:

What he needs most is training for work, sport, or merely for fun and to exercise his intelligence, lots of mental and physical activity, mutual loyalty and devotion from a loving owner. 
 
Wagging Tails Pet Sitting and Mobile Grooming Service LLC in CT was established in 1995. Since then the staff of Professional, bonded, trained, certified, pet caregivers have offered award winning, nationally recognized pet care to thousands of CT’s amazing pets.  Convenient services in your home, keep your pet healthy and safe, where they’re happiest.
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Can I Have A Puppy? What To Consider Before Getting A Puppy For Your Family

Wagging Tails Pet Sitters in CTSooner or later, every parent is likely to hear: “Please, can I have a puppy?”
Rather than dodge the question, parents should consider whether their family is ready for a pet.
 
Parents should weigh the pros and cons of adding a pet to the household before agreeing to a child’s request. A pet can teach children responsibility and become a wonderful addition to a family, or it can be a burden. 
 
Families should consider the following before deciding.
 
charlie-yellow-lab-puppy-wagging-tails-midday-dog-walker-berlin-ctWho will care for the pet? Families should agree beforehand who will be responsible for feeding, walking, bathing and cleaning up after the pet.
 
Do you have space for a pet? Families living in apartments or townhouses may prefer a cat, a bird or fish, rather than a Labrador retriever. Check the library or Internet to learn more about different types and breeds of pets to determine the one most suitable for your family.
 
Owning a pet is time consuming and may be expensive. Family members should realize that they may have to give up other activities to properly care for a pet. If the prospect seems too daunting, parents may suggest waiting until the child is old enough to help care for an animal.
 
Children between the ages of 8 to 10, are at a reasonable age to learn and understand the responsibility of  caring for a pet. The bond they develop with their new puppy, will be for a lifetime. Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service
 
Wagging Tails Pet Sitters & Mobile Groomers, a 22 year pet care company in CT, recommends the whole family meet the animal before deciding to take it home. Owning a pet is a long-term commitment, so think carefully before adopting a furry new family member.
Make sure everyone is fully on board and in agreement before making this commitment. www.waggingtails.com

How To Keep Your Pet Safe In Cold Weather

Cold Weather Pet Safetyice storm and blizzard Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming

You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?

Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather:
Winter wellness: Has your pet had his/her preventive care exam (wellness exam) yet?  Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get him/her checked out to make sure (s)he is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.
Know the limits:  Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. The same goes for very young and very old pets. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.

Provide choices: Just like you, pets prefer comfortable sleeping places and may change their location based on their need for more or less warmth. Give them some safe options to allow them to vary their sleeping place to adjust to their needs.

Stay inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather.
Make some noise: A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it’s deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.
Check the paws: Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of iceball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes.
Play dress-up: If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat. Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside. Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder. Some pet owners also use booties to protect their dog’s feet; if you choose to use them, make sure they fit properly.
Wipe down: During walks, your dog’s feet, legs and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that could be toxic. When you get back inside, wipe down (or wash) your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk that your dog will be poisoned after (s)he licks them off of his/her feet or fur. Consider using pet-safe deicers on your property to protect your pets and the others in your neighborhood.
Collar and chip: Many pets become lost in winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that might normally help your pet find his/her way back home. Make sure your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information. A microchip is a more permanent means of identification, but it’s critical that you keep the registration up to date.
Stay home: Hot cars are a known threat to pets, but cold cars also pose significant risk to your pet’s health. You’re already familiar with how a car can rapidly cool down in cold weather; it becomes like a refrigerator, and can rapidly chill your pet. Pets that are young, old, ill, or thin are particularly susceptible to cold environments and should never be left in cold cars. Limit car travel to only that which is necessary, and don’t leave your pet unattended in the vehicle.
Prevent poisoning: Clean up any antifreeze spills quickly, as even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly. Make sure your pets don’t have access to medication bottles, household chemicals, potentially toxic foods such as onions, xylitol (a sugar substitute) and chocolate.
Protect family: Odds are your pet will be spending more time inside during the winter, so it’s a good time to make sure your house is properly pet-proofed. Use space heaters with caution around pets, because they can burn or they can be knocked over, potentially starting a fire. Check your furnace before the cold weather sets in to make sure it’s working efficiently, and install carbon monoxide detectors to keep your entire family safe from harm. If you have a pet bird, make sure its cage is away from drafts.
Avoid ice: When walking your dog, stay away from frozen ponds, lakes and other water. You don’t know if the ice will support your dog’s weight, and if your dog breaks through the ice it could be deadly. And if this happens and you instinctively try to save your dog, both of your lives could be in jeopardy.
Provide shelter: We don’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl). The floor of the shelter should be off of the ground (to minimize heat loss into the ground) and the bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment. The door to the shelter should be positioned away from prevailing winds. Space heaters and heat lamps should be avoided because of the risk of burns or fire. Heated pet mats should also be used with caution because they are still capable of causing burns.
Recognize problems: If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia. Frostbite is harder to detect, and may not be fully recognized until a few days after the damage is done. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Be prepared: Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days.
Feed well: Keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter. Some pet owners feel that a little extra weight gives their pet some extra protection from cold, but the health risks associated with that extra weight don’t make it worth doing. Watch your pet’s body condition and keep them in the healthy range. Outdoor pets will require more calories in the winter to generate enough body heat and energy to keep them warm – talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional needs during cold weather.
This article provided by the AVMA and shared by Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service LLC

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socmed&utm_campaign=gen

A Wagging Tail – What Is Your Dog Trying To Tell You?

Is a wagging tail a sign of joy?

What is your dog trying to tell you?pup

Is barking a form of language among dogs with precise significance, or just playful noise?

Dogs exchange information among themselves less by voice than by a wide range of facial expressions, body postures and gestures, as well as by various scents. Dogs, who bark at night, are probably working off excess energy or announcing their presence, and this is undoubtedly the only message conveyed to other dogs within ear shot.

When a dog goes to his owner and deliberately barks, it is simply meant to attract attention. You must try to guess his general behavior, rather than from the circumstances and his general behavior, rather than from the particular form or pitch of bark he makes. The howling or baying of hunting dogs is an instinctive hunting cry informing the pack that the dog is on a trail. Barking at strange noises is a warning as well as a threat display.
A lonely dog who howls may be sending out a gathering cry to other dogs nearby. Wild dogs on the other hand, never bark, they only howl. Could the barking of domesticated dogs be a form of communication more closely resembling speech? A pet dog that shares a close relationship with his owner and has been taught to understand many words obviously makes an effort, sometimes quite successfully, to give meaning to his own utterances.
A dog who wishes to assert his importance and boldness instinctively employs all of the effects that make him look bigger and more frightening, raising his back to increase his height and holding his head high in defiance.
A dog who wants to show submission does just the opposite, making himself look small by crouching down with his tail between his legs and his ears laid back flat.
A dog who wishes to assert his dominance will take a perpendicular position with his head over the other dog’s shoulders, while nudging or pushing, with his neck arched, head and tail raised and tense. The conventional play invitation is a posture with the forehead crouched, the hind quarters high, a wagging tail, bright eye and a little yap. A rigid stance with a steady gaze and a high, trembling tail is hostile. A high, steady tail signifies self confidence, and held low indicates inferiority, fatigue, ill health, or a bad mood.
Pawing at the neck is an expression of affection, nose-nudging is another invitation to play. Paw-giving is a conventional canine gesture with two possible meanings. When he gives his paw to his owner while avoiding eye contact he’s saying “Please forgive me” or when he wants attention, he is saying “I’m here, don’t forget me.” When he offers his paw to another dog, it’s a sign of submission.
An owner, who takes the trouble to observe his dog and pay him the courtesy of listening to him, can establish a simple two-way communications system with his pet. Canine messages are generally very elementary, as he asks much less of us than we do of him. “I’m hungry,” “I’m thirsty”, “I need to go out”, or “Come with me I think something is wrong” are among the messages he manages to convey very well considering his limited means. His most eloquent utterance is the emotional gurgle of barks that means to say “I’ve missed you!”
Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service in Connecticut is a professional pet care company of 22 years, award winning, bonded, insured and looking forward to caring for your pet!

5 Tips To A Better Behaved Pet

Want to live a healthier lifestyle? roxy tongueGet a dog.

Studies show that pet ownership helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and fends off feelings of loneliness and depression.
While nothing can top the love and companionship of a dog, there are some unpleasant behaviors that just won’t do – from barking all night, to wetting the floor, to chewing on your shoes when you’re not looking.
If your dog is exhibiting this type of behavior, it may be acting out due to boredom, pent-up aggression or because of lack of training. With proper lifestyle adjustments and diligent training, you’ll be on your way to having a happy, well-behaved pet. The following tips will help your furry friend become more obedient:
* Spay or neuter. The Humane Society of the United States says that this common procedure can help your dog live longer, be healthier and have fewer behavior problems.
* Help your pet relax. Just like people, dogs can get anxious, agitated and stressed. That’s why some veterinarians suggest giving your dog a calming product, such as an all natural Calming Spray, to help relieve hyperactivity.
Made with natural ingredients, Pet Calming Sprays act quickly to relieve restlessness, fear, nervousness and aggression and helps antsy pets sleep through the night.Karen M. Wagging Tails Pet Sitter Southington CT
* Have a workout routine. Provide your canine companion with regularly scheduled walks twice a day. This will help your dog avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior. Hire a Professional Pet Sitter and Professional Dog Walker such as Wagging Tails Pet Sitters in Connecticut, to visit your pet regularly and walk them, while you’re at work.
* Go to school. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, enrolling your dog in an obedience class will teach you how to control your dog’s behavior both safely and humanely. Your Wagging Tails Pet Sitter offers puppy potty training and regular reinforcement of any training techniques that you currently follow to assist in educating your dog on good behavior.
* Be patient. Though teaching your furry friend to be more obedient may take determination on your part, it’s worth it. After all, as man’s best friend, your dog will appreciate bonding with you during the process.

Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service is celebrating 22 years in business in CT.  Contact us today for your pet’s care!

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Halloween Candy Is NOT Safe For Your Pet

josie-costume-wagging-tails-pet-sitting-mobile-groomingHalloween Candy Can Kill Your Pet!

For millions of families, the celebration of Halloween includes every sugary, sweet, gooey treat imaginable. As parents, we often warn our children “Now don’t eat too much or you’ll make yourself sick.” At worst, a child who stuffs him or herself with chocolate may develop nausea and a stomachache.
But for our furry friends who get into the Halloween goodies, “getting sick” may be the least of it. Many of the sweet treats distributed for Halloween  can actually be fatal to dogs, cats and other small animals (such as ferrets.)
As responsible pet owners, it’s our job to protect our pets from harm. And though pet owners routinely give their companion animals human food, this is almost always a mistake.
Yes, many pets prefer to eat what we eat. Yes, household pets (especially dogs) really like sweet, sugary foods. And yes, it feels good to pamper Fido or Fluffy by giving them “just a little taste” of what we’re having for su pper. But many of the foods that humans enjoy can not only cause illness for your beloved dog or cat, they can even be fatal. And given how small a cat or dog is compared to a human, sometimes it doesn’t take much.

Chocolate is one of the most deadly foods for pets

(both cats and dogs; dark chocolate is worst, white chocolate has the lowest risk). It’s not only high in fat (pets don’t need lots of fat any more than humans do), it contains two nervous system stimulants, caffeine and theobromine. The fat can make your pet vomit or cause diarrhea — unpleasant, but usually not fatal.
ill-do-a-trick-for-a-treat-1But it’s the stimulants that sometimes cause death. Theobromine is both a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. A dog that ingests an overdose of chocolate may be fine at first, but will probably become excited and hyperactive within a few hours. It may pass large quantities of urine and become unusually thirsty. The theobromine will cause your pet’s heart rate to accelerate or beat irregularly, either of which can cause death (especially with exercise.)
But it’s not just chocolate that’s the problem. All sugary foods can cause dental problems, lead to obesity, and contribute to diabetes in pets, too. So be sure to keep your stash of chocolate securely out of your pet’s reach.
Children are notorious for sorting and trading candy, so make sure they don’t leave candy laying around (or candy wrappers, either, which can cause choking) And don’t forget how flexible and persistent a pet can be when it smells something yummy in a trash bin or garbage, either.
If you do have reason to think that your pet has gotten into the candy, call your vet and describe their symptoms. (Symptoms of chocolate toxicity are nervousness, vomiting, shaking, and overreacting to noises, touch, lights, et cetera.) If your vet is closed, call an emergency vet center. If you don’t have one of those in your area you can call one of the national animal poison control lines such as the Pet Poison Helpline: 1-800-213-6680. (There is usually a fee for this service.)
It is up to you to make sure that Halloween candy and other dangerous foods are kept securely out of the reach of your household pets — so your whole family can enjoy the holiday!  www.waggingtails.com

Happy Halloween from Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service in Connecticut!Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service

Dog Care: 6 Easy Steps For A Terrific (And Safe) Romp In The Woods

Have a fun and safe romp in the woods this fall with your dog!running in fall leaves

Leaves are falling and paws are crunching in the parks….. In this beautiful autumn weather, a walk in the woods with your dogs can be exhilarating.
What a beautiful time of the year to get out with your canine companion and enjoy the crisp, cool air, frolic in the falling leaves and take in the visual splendor of nature.  A walk in the woods can be an exhilarating experience for you and your dog, especially if you’ll take a moment for some basic dog care preparations. Minimize surprises and emergencies by following these simple steps.
I don’t know about you, but I will drive hours to find a place where the dogs can run free in nature. We all love it and often spend the whole day in the Conneciticut hills together. I’ve developed a list of easy dog care to-do’s to ensure we have a great time and arrive and leave together safely.

I recommend the following items for your outdoor adventures and dog care:

1) Orange vests for you and your dog
This may sound like overkill, but I recently had an experience with my dogs that scared me. I was out in the woods with my dogs when I heard shots fired not far from me. I couldn’t see my dogs and terror ran through me. Immediately I realized we were not prepared for the hunters.  Bright colored vests would have helped the hunters know we were not deer, and please don’t shoot us.  Every year you hear the stories of accidental shootings. Don’t be the next casualty — don your orange vests!
2.  Current dog tags on collars
Keeping a collar and current dog tags on your dog helps others get him home if you get separated. One thing I have recently done is change the dog tags to read “I must be lost.  Please call Mom.  (xxx) xxx-xxxx”.  This gives all the pertinent information, yet doesn’t provide information for an easy abduction.  I don’t want someone to know my babies’ names, which might lead the dogs to believe the stranger is a friend.
3.  Foot and body check during and after the outing.
I check my dogs’ paws and body frequently to remove the debris from the fall season — gum balls, seeds, burrs, rocks, thorns, pine needles, and leaves can add up to irritation or lameness.
4.  Fresh water and a bowl
If I can help it, I don’t let my dogs drink standing water. I carry fresh water instead.  I have had to deal with stomach problems in the past from bacteria in standing water. Carrying your own water is a small thing, but doing it can prevent lots of pain and suffering, a vet bill, and a 10-day supply of antibiotics.
5.  Towels
I love towels, lots and lots of towels.  To me, dropping dirty towels in the washer is much easier and less smelly than detailing a car or working to get that horrible wet, dirty dog smell out of fabric and carpet in my truck.
6.  Whistle — long range
Lastly, I whistle-trained my dogs. If we do separate, a blow on the whistle has them running to me.  Chances are, they don’t like not being able to see me and will be happy to have me back in their sights.  I highly recommend the ACME whistle that sounds from 2-5 miles.  Get it on a lanyard and carry it with you.
These 6 simple steps can make your outdoor trip so much more enjoyable, for you and your dogs. And paying attention to the basics in dog care shows your dog just how much you love her.
Happy hiking!

How To Help Your Dog Overcome Separation Anxiety

pug-separation-anxiety-wagging-tails-pet-sitting-dog-walking-grooming-west-hartford-ctMany dogs have separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety in dogs exhibits behavior problems when they’re being left alone at home. This often leads to excessive barking, whining, chewing, house soiling and other types of destructive behavior. If your dog can comfortably spend the night away from you, then it is very likely your dog does not suffer from separation anxiety. However, if he has been throwing tantrums by showing some kind of dramatic anxiety response every time you leave home, your dog probably has it. It is important to understand that when dogs behave in this way it is not an attempt to seek revenge or punishment for leaving them behind. It is indeed a natural panic response for being away from the owner even for a short period of time.

Separation anxiety is one of the most common complaints of dog owners

and in most cases they don’t even realize it. You need to find out whether your dog has separation anxiety so that proper treatments can be given to correct this behavior.
Keep a boring, low-key departure. Long-dramatic farewell will create more anxiety in him. A casual “Goodbye” or “See you later” will do. When you first arrive home, ignore him for a couple of minutes, and then calmly pet him.
Always provide him with lots of exercise and playtime. A tired, well-exercised dog is a happy dog. He will be much more contented to sleep during the day while you’re away. Mental exercises such as training and socializing with other dogs are all great activities for your dog.
Provide your dog with some of his favorite toys and treats so that he will have something to do while you’re gone. Stuff some treats into his toys to keep his mind occupied rather than waiting anxiously for you to come back.  Leave a tv or radio on for your pet.  Wear an old tshirt to bed, and then leave it with your pet. Your smell will comfort them-and we’re pretty sure you’ll often find him sleeping on it!
You need to train your dog to be accustomed to your departure. First, leave him for a couple of minutes and then come back to him. Do not a make fuss over your dog. Repeat this step until he’s not anxious anymore. Then, gradually leave for longer periods of time and comes back. Make sure to practice this over and over again until he gets used to being alone at home.
Let’s face it, most people aren’t home all day with their dogs.  When you have to leave the home to go to work, school or away for the day, hire a professional pet sitter or professional dog walker.   A visit to your home to socialize and interact with your dog also serves as a much needed potty break. Separation anxiety should diminish with the regular visits by a friendly, energetic, professionally trained dog walker/handler.   www.waggingtails.com    (860) 621-7387 (Pets)
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4 Things To Think About Before Declawing Your Cat

delilah kitty Wagging Tails Cat Sitter Pet Sitter ConnecticutDeclawing is a major surgery known as onychectomy,

performed under anesthesia, that removes the tip of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the cat’s forepaws. There is a slight chance of death in the surgery, and a declawed cat may have an increased risk of infection and life-long discomfort in its paws. This surgery is not recommended for an adult animal and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some countries (see below).

People generally have cats declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Rarely, vicious cats are declawed. In the United States, some landlords require that tenants’ cats be declawed.
Veterinarians are generally critical of the procedure and some refuse to perform it because the absence of claws in a cat.    However, each cat and owner’s circumstances are different.  Often the choice is between declawing your cat, or having to find him another home. This is a difficult decision to make on either end. If the decision is made to declaw your cat, after the surgery, they MUST be indoor only cats. They must NOT have access to the outdoors.

4 things to consider before declawing your catWagging Tails Pet Sitter Cat groomer mobile groomer ct

1. Deprives it of its main defense abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
2. Impairs its stretching and exercise habits, leading to muscle atrophy;
3. Compromises its ability to balance on thin surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falls;
4. Can cause insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite.
This operation is rare outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing is forbidden by the laws against cruelty to animals. In many other European countries, it is forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless “a veterinarian considers [such] non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of (the) animal”.  In Britain, animal shelters find it difficult to place imported cats that have been declawed and subsequently most are euthanized.
soft paws cat declaw cat claw Wagging Tails cat sitter CTAn alternative to declawing is the application of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic replacement when the cat sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). However, the cat will still experience difficulties because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.
Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service, an award winning, pet care service of 21 years in Connecticut offers the service of applying Softpaws, or vinyl nail caps, on cats claws. For more information about our services, please visit www.waggingtails.com  or (860) 621-7387 (Pets)Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service CT