Tag Archives: dog training

Dog Park Safety Tips

One great thing about living in Tampa is our warm weather. While many of our friends up north are bundling up against frigid winters, we’re still able to soak up some sunshine. Our canine pals also benefit from our climate, as they get to run and play outdoors all year long. One great way for Fido to get some fresh air and exercise is by visiting the dog park. Here, a Brandon, FL vet offers some suggestions on taking your pet to a park.

Training

Make sure you can control your dog at all times. Before you take Fido to a park, make sure he knows basic doggy obedience commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down.

ID

We strongly recommend microchipping Fido. Also, make sure that your records are correct in the chip manufacturer’s database. Your canine companion should also be wearing current ID tags.

Preventative Care

Dog parks are a high-risk location for heartworms, which are spread from pup to pup via mosquitoes. Keep up with Fido’s parasite prevention products. Your furry buddy should also be current on his vaccinations. Keep copies of his paperwork with you, either in your car or on your phone.

Heat

Fido can overheat and/or get dehydrated very quickly by running and playing with his friends on hot days. Always bring water along for your pooch. You may want to get a water bottle with an attached dispenser. Keep an eye on your furry pal, and watch for warning signs. Panting is usually the first one you’ll spot. If you know or suspect that your pet is getting too hot, immediately give him some water and take him to a cool area. Call your vet if signs persist.

Fido’s Buddies

Before letting Fido off leash, take time to watch the pups in the park. Look for pooches that are acting aggressive or unruly and/or bullying other dogs. Also, watch for female dogs that may be in heat. If you see dogs fighting or acting rowdy, take your canine buddy for a walk instead, and try again later.

Timing

If possible, avoid going to the park during peak times. You also don’t want to stay too long, or linger long after dark. Aim for about a half hour to an hour tops.

As your Brandon, FL vet clinic, we’re here to offer great veterinary care. Please call us anytime.

How to Pamper a Puppy

Did you know that Spoil Your Dog Day is coming up August 10th? If you have a puppy, this is a great way to make sure your little buddy knows he is loved. Here, a Brandon, FL vet lists some great ways to spoil your new pet.

Doggy Daycare

Little Fido has a lot to learn. Your pooch will not only need to be housebroken, he’ll also need to learn basic doggy obedience commands, like Sit, StayCome, Heel, and Lay Down. Consider enrolling him in doggy daycare or puppygarten.

Photos

Your pet’s adorable toddler phase will pass quickly. Snap some cute photos of your furry pal on Spoil Your Dog Day. This could be a great start for an annual tradition!

Toys

Toys help keep puppies occupied and entertained, and also keep them out of mischief. Chew toys are also a must for young dogs. Pick up some new playthings for your pet!

Puppy Party

There’s no cuter way to wind down after a long day than by hanging out with friends and family members … and playing with dogs. Invite some people with friendly, polite pups over for a barbeque. Set out treats and toys for your furry guests. This will also be good for little Fido, as it can help with socialization.

Treats

Snacks are a definite must for this special occasion! Little Fido can have regular doggy treats, but you can also give him some plain, cooked meat, fish, or chicken, without the skin, bones, or fat. Doggy ice cream is another good option. You can also make homemade doggy treats. Check online for recipe ideas.

New Digs

Do you have a yard for your canine pal to play in? Why not get the little guy a doghouse? If you haven’t gotten little Fido a crate yet, this is also a good option. When you go shopping, buy things that will fit your pup’s expected adult size. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace it. A kiddie pool is also a great option.

Love

The best way to brighten up your pet’s day is really just to spend time with him. Take little Fido for a long walk, and then indulge him with a fun play session. Don’t skimp on the belly rubs, either!

Please call us, your Brandon, FL pet clinic, for all your puppy’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Great Ways to Celebrate National Dog Biscuit Day

Dogs have many adorable habits, but one of the cutest ones is the way they get excited when you hold up a treat. In fact, Fido’s enthusiasm for snacks has inspired an adorable doggy holiday. February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day! Read on as a Brandon, FL vet offers some tips on making Fido’s favorite day fun and special.

Make A Homemade Snack

Store-bought treats are great, but you can also make some snacks for your furry best friend. Just be sure to stick to ingredients that are safe for Fido. Some good options are plain, cooked meat, fish, or poultry; cheese; eggs; bacon bits; sodium-free broth; natural peanut butter; and/or wheat germ oil. You can also incorporate certain fruits and veggies, like apple slices, bananas, blueberries, peas, spinach, carrots, and pureed pumpkin.

Eat Out

Want to really treat your pup? Take Fido to a pet store that allows four-legged visitors, or bring him to a doggy café. Get your canine pal a special snack. Then, keep that tail going by visiting a dog park or a dog-friendly beach.

Learn A New Trick

Many of our canine buddies actually like learning new things. Training can be fun for dogs! It’s also another way for you and your pet to communicate. If your pooch doesn’t have doggy obedience basics down yet, work on these first. Otherwise, teach Fido something new. The Leave It command is always useful. Of course, if you want to keep things light and fun, you can go with something cuter. Shake Paw, Roll Over, Beg, and Play Dead are always adorable!

Strike A Pose

Dogs are absolutely adorable, and they can really take some charming photos. Snap a shot of your pup while he’s got his eye on a treat. Or, take a short video of Fido catching a snack mid-air. (This is even cuter with dogs that can’t catch.)

Donate To Dogs That Need Treats

Animal shelters are filled with sweet, lovable pooches that need homes. Even if you aren’t ready to adopt, you can still get some tails wagging by dropping off a package of treats or perhaps a gift card to a pet store. Just call first to find out about any rules or stipulations pertaining to donations.

Please reach out to us, your local Brandon, FL vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

Tips for Walking Your Dog

Does your dog get excited when you grab his leash? Those daily strolls aren’t just important for sanitary reasons. They’re actually very beneficial to Fido, and are great for him, both mentally and physically. In this article, a Brandon, FL vet discusses walking your canine buddy.

Training

Does your canine friend know basic doggy obedience commands, such as Sit, Stay, Heel, Come, and Lay Down? If not, take Fido back to school. Teaching your pooch simple commands is very important for both good petiquette and for safety reasons!

Safety

Speaking of safety, we have a few tips for that as well. If you’re walking on the side of a road, keep Fido to the outside. You’ll also want to walk on the left side of the road, towards oncoming traffic. Don’t let your pooch walk across driveways or parking lot exits before you. You’ll also want to avoid bringing your canine pal near lakes or ponds, as there could be gators lurking. Last but not least, if you use a retractable leash, get one that locks. Keep it at about 4-6 feet, unless you’re in an open, grassy area.

Weather

When it’s really hot out, keep a close eye on Fido and make sure he isn’t overheating. It’s a good idea to bring water with you. You’ll also want to be extra careful when there are thunderstorms rolling in. Many dogs are terrified of storms! Make sure you have a good grip on the leash, in case a thunderclap frightens your furry pal.

Precautions

We can’t stress enough how important it is for dogs to be microchipped and wearing ID tags. Fido should also be current on his vaccinations and parasite control products at all times.

Paw Care

If you’ve ever stepped onto hot tar barefoot, you know how painful it can be. Keep Fido on soft grass as much as possible, and use paw balm to protect his paws.

Exploring

There are certainly lots of parks and dog beaches to explore around Tampa Bay. Be sure to pay attention to park rules! Also, bring baggies along, and pick up after your furry friend.

Ground

Keep an eye on the ground, and watch for things like broken glass, holes, and, of course, snakes. Better safe than sorry!

Please contact us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care.

6 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog

November is Adopt a Senior Dog Month. Dogs are still just as sweet, loyal, and loving as seniors as they are when they are puppies. Unfortunately, pups in their golden years often have a very hard time getting adopted. This is very sad, because they really can make amazing pets. Read on as a Valrico, FL vet lists some great reasons to adopt an older pooch.

Less Activity Needs

Fido is pretty active when he is young, and needs lots of toys and exercise in those first few years. However, as dogs age, they slow down, and won’t need as much activity or entertainment. This makes senior dogs an excellent choice for anyone with mobility issues. They are also great for anyone who just doesn’t have the inclination, ability, or energy to take their pets for long hikes or indulge them in vigorous play sessions.

They’re Full of Tail Wags

Dogs are very loving pets, and often want nothing more than to spend time with their human buddies. Fido’s lovable, friendly nature often becomes even more pronounced as he ages. Older dogs often develop a super-sweet, affectionate nature that is sure to melt your heart.

Prior Experience

Another great thing about older dogs is that they have often already been trained. Most senior pooches are already housetrained, and know basic commands like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down.

Less Behavioral Issues

Fido is a great pet, but he isn’t perfect. Our canine buddies do have some bad habits, such as digging and chewing. These issues are much less common in older dogs, however. Pets in their golden years are typically more interested in napping and collecting belly rubs than in making mischief.

They’re Adorable

Older pooches are just as cute as puppies in their own way. Fido can be absolutely charming as he is plodding along on a walk or snoring in a sunbeam!

Save A Life

Senior dogs face some pretty stiff odds when it comes to getting adopted. By adopting an older dog, you’re giving that one lucky pooch a second chance at happiness. It’s a truly beautiful thing to save an animal’s life. You’ll be rewarded with tail wags and unconditional love, which are both precious gifts in our book.

Please call us, your Valrico, FL vet clinic, with any questions about senior dog care. We are here to help!