Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Safety Tips for Turkey Day

Today we liked the post for the If They Could Talk blog so much that we decided to make it ours as well!

Visit this link to learn some ways to keep your pet safe tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Welcome Workouts

We all know that pent up canine energy can lead to destructive household behaviors, but how much exercise is right for your pooch? As with most canine issues, the subject of exercise depends a lot on your dog's age, size, breed and health. Some retrieving breeds may be happy with long games of fetch or a 5 mile run, while puppies and smaller breeds are content to engage in training or thinking games. Older dogs' workout routines should be modified to their mobility and energy levels. Before starting any exercise program, be sure to keep these things in mind...

Puppy Play
For puppies, we recommend about 5 minutes of structured on-leash exercise for every month old he or she is. Of course, you'll need to gage your puppy's energy level: if he's four months old and seems pooped after fifteen minutes of focused exercise, you shouldn't hesitate to cut the session short. Good sources of puppy play include play in the garden with toys, thinking games and problem solving games. Puppies need to spend most of their time growing and sleeping. 

Active Adults
For full-grown dogs, a leashed walk around the block generally isn't going to cut it; most need about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. Here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Active breeds need a minimum of 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise most days of the week.
  • Many toy/small breeds can't get enough exercise just moving around the house.
  • Extremely hot or cold weather is unsafe for your dog. You can teach your dog tricks to engage his mind, throw toys or run up and down stairs inside where it's safe.
  • Good exercise uses both mental and physical muscles.
  • Live by the philosophy that a tired dog is a happy, good dog. 
For dogs of all ages, we recommend asking your veterinarian for his or her advice on the best exercise(s). 

Workout Wonders
There are plenty of ways to give your puppy the workout he needs! Regular walks around the neighborhood, or visits to dog parks or doggie day care are some of the best places to develop a canine exercise routine, but as we mentioned earlier, there are things you can do in your own home. For some dogs, agility is another great source of exercise. There's also obedience training, fetch games and swimming. Just be sure to mix things up if your dog appears to be tiring of any one activity. Just like us, your dog will love having a variety of play/exercise options to choose from!

The Costs of Insufficient Exercise
Inactive dogs are often overweight, which can mean health risks. Obesity significantly contributes to a dog's risk of diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease. It can also exacerbate hip dysplasia and arthritis, and stress joints, ligaments, and tendons. Geriatric dogs often have a hard enough time getting up without the added problem of lifting excess pounds. 

So hop to it! Once you've determined the right type and amount of physical activity for your pup, go enjoy tiring him (and yourself) out!

Source: ASPCA

Friday, November 5, 2010

Is Doggie Daycare For My Dog?

We recently read a feature article in The Whole Dog Journal entitled "Doggie Daycare Can Be a Wonderful Experience: But is it For My Dog?" by Pat Miller. The article begins with a long discussion about what makes a suitable or unsuitable candidate for dog day care, such as his ability to get along with other dogs, age and health, whether he experiences separation anxiety or his need for some fine-tuning of social skills. But just because your dog isn't ready for daycare now doesn't mean that he can't be ready at a later date.

Morris K9 Campus offers a lot of services (daycareobedience, agility, fun events) to help dogs with behavioral and social issues become more comfortable in a variety of situations. For example, in daycare, we often encounter clients who may have a fearful dog with poor social skills. We have had success boosting their confidence and getting them to interact appropriately with other dogs. For dogs who may not be suitable for daycare, we can offer one-on-one private lessons, Boot Camp and day training.

Morris K9 Campus Daycare Room
The latter half of this article offers some great tips for assessing a doggie daycare if you are in the market.  The author suggests touring the facility prior to leaving your dog there, meeting the staff, asking about vaccine requirements, how play groups are determined, etc. All wonderful advice and practices we enforce every day at Morris K9 Campus. As Pat Miller suggests in her article, our play groups are carefully matched by size, age and play style. You're welcome welcome to call or stop by any time for a visit; any of our staff members would be happy to answer your questions, take you for a tour or discuss our safety policies and screening process. 

At Morris K9 Campus, our goal is to successfully match you and your dog with a program that increases all-around comfort in varying environments, improves behavior and leads to a better quality of life for everyone.