Ask Dr. Anna

Free Exam For Dental Disease At Guthrie Pet Hospital This February

dental diseaseDental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats, affecting 78% of dogs and 68% of cats over the age of three. Although most dogs and cats will develop some sort of dental disease, small dog breeds, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dachshunds and Toy Poodles, are more prone to developing periodontal disease than larger breeds. Continue…

CGC Test Stages 9 & 10: Have Confidence, O Canine!

CGC testThese last two stages of the CGC test are all about your dog’s confidence level when put in a strange situation. It’s about how your dog recovers from “distraction” (anything from a person in a wheelchair to a basketball being dribbled to a dude doing a happy dance in the middle of the street) and how your dog behaves when you hand his leash to a stranger and walk out of his sight and hearing (which seems cruel, but could be necessary in case you need to run into the store for a gallon of milk and lose your mind enough to leave your dog with a stranger… or in case you take your dog to the vet, and he needs to stay for some diagnostic work). Continue…

Two Top Tips When You Train Your Dog

train your dogNational Train Your Dog Month Is Here!

By Stefani Fortney, ABCDT

January 2016 is “National Train Your Dog Month”. Taking the time to train your dog is the most important thing you can do to build a stronger relationship with your canine companion. A foundation of basic obedience cues can build confidence, minimize frustration, and increase your enjoyment of your dog. While it can be amusing to watch a naughty dog from time to time, sharing a home with a wild child beast is exhausting.

When you train your dog, there are two things that are absolutely necessary to remember:

Consistency is key

Have you ever been in a relationship with a person who seems to expect something different from you every day? Every time you think you’ve figured out what they want from you, they change the rules. It’s frustrating, to say the least. When you train your dog, it’s important to be consistent in what you expect from him and how you communicate that expectation to him. If you allow him to jump up to greet you, he’ll assume it’s also okay to jump up to greet your toddler and your elderly mother. If you reward him for good behavior by feeding him treats, then slip him table scraps when he begs, he’ll assume that begging is a good behavior. Consistency. It’s really important.

Patience makes perfect

When you train your dog, it’s similar to teaching English as a second language. You can say the words over and over again, as slowly as you like, but the person won’t understand. You have to give physical examples. Maybe you have to play charades. It takes patience. Our dogs don’t have a spoken language. To expect them to understand us immediately is unfair to them. We have to maintain our cool, take the time to show them what we expect, and reward them every time they get it right. There are times that our dogs make us want to send them to boarding school. It’s okay to get frustrated. Take a breath. Take a break. Take it from the top.

Take these tips, take some treats, and take some time to train your dog!

Foster Dogs—Helping Animals Find Forever Homes

foster dogsFostering a homeless pet is one of the most fulfilling experiences Stefani Fortney has had. Here in Guthrie, we are always in need of more foster homes who are willing to help care for animals who are transitioning from homelessness to finding a permanent home.  Foster dogs are in need of your help right now. Continue…

Canine Good Citizen Stages 7 & 8: Coming When Called and Reaction To Another Dog

Canine Good CitizenWe’re getting close to the end of our series on the Canine Good Citizen test. This week, Stefani Fortney takes you through stages 7 and 8 of the test. These test two behaviors that can keep your dog, the public, and you safe in situations where your dog may see something s/he wants very much. Having a strong recall (Come) and being able to exist around other dogs without acting like a heathen are skills that show a willingness for your dog to focus on you, his handler, rather than the more interesting world around you. Continue…

Better Cat Care: Do They Need To Visit The Vet?

cat careDespite the fact that cats outnumber dogs in United States households, cat care from a veterinarian is much less than dog care.  Many people believe that because their cat is indoor only they do not need vaccines.  Better cat care should include an annual visit to your veterinarian. Continue…

When Forever Doesn’t Last: The Heartbreaking Reality Of Pet Rescue

pet rescueStefani Fortney usually writes posts about dog training or pet grooming. Today, I’m taking a detour down a different path. For years, I’ve been involved with pet rescues who, for a variety of reasons, have been surrendered or abandoned by their owners. It’s disturbingly common. I feel like you should know what it’s like to be involved with pet rescue. Continue…

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