What is the worst part about these strikingly common conditions dogs get? They are all entirely preventable. Obesity, periodontitis, and overgrown nails affect more dogs in the United States than any other diseases, and can be just as harmful.
Yes, raising and training a puppy takes work, but it doesn’t need to feel overwhelming – at least, not the majority of the time! The more you know, the easier it gets. As I think about my own approach to raising and living with dogs, and that of many of my colleagues, I realize we engage in numerous behaviors that are extraordinarily helpful – yet it’s often difficult to get the pet owners we work for to try them! Don’t resist! The following five tips can help you train like a pro.
Marking is different from urination; a dog urinates to relieve his bladder of the sensation of feeling full. In contrast, marking does not involve full evacuation of the bladder; instead, the dog releases a small amount of urine as a communication strategy. Urine contains pheromones, chemicals that provide critical information regarding a dog’s age, gender, health, and reproductive status – all very interesting and important olfactory reading if you’re a dog. This is why dogs are so intent on smelling where other dogs have fully eliminated or marked.
Two of the most frustrating but common parasites your puppy might be hosting are Giardia and Coccidia. These are not worms, but two species of protozoa – single-celled organisms that reproduce in the intestines of infected animals and shed their spores into the environment through the infected animals’ feces. These spores can survive in watery environments and soil, long enough to be incidentally consumed by other animals, either by drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated grass, or just walking through (or sitting or lying on) contaminated soil and then grooming themselves.
No one enjoys walking with a dog who constantly pulls. It’s terribly unpleasant and in some cases can be downright dangerous. Dog owners often end up avoiding walking with their dog altogether, which inadvertently can make the problem worse – the less often the dog gets to go for a walk, the more excited he becomes when he eventually does get to go, the faster he walks, and the stronger he pulls! It’s a vicious circle.