Training Tip of the Month
Having issues with your dog continuously digging up your back yard? Here are some tips to help dissuade him from turning your yard into the surface of the moon!
Your dog needs entertainment
Dogs may dig to entertain themselves when they learn that roots and soil "play back." Your dog may be digging for entertainment if:
- He's left alone in the yard for long periods of time without the company of his human family.
- His environment is relatively barren—with no playmates or toys.
- He's a puppy or adolescent (under 3 years old) and doesn't have other outlets for his energy.
- He's a terrier or other breed that was bred to dig.
- He's a particularly active type who needs a job to be happy (such as a herding or sporting breed).
- He's recently seen you "playing" in the dirt (gardening or working in the yard).
What to do
Expand your dog's world and increase his people time in the following ways:
- Walk your dog at least twice daily. Not getting enough exercise is a leading cause of problem behaviors.
- Redirect your dog's energy by teaching him to fetch a ball or flying disk and playing with him as often as possible. (A tired dog is a good dog.)
- Teach your dog a few commands or tricks. Practice these every day for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Take a training class with your dog and practice daily what you've learned.
- Keep interesting toys in the yard to keep your dog busy when you're not around. Kong®-type toys filled with treats or busy-box dog toys work especially well. Rotate the toys to keep things interesting.
Diane’s Grooming Tip of the Month
Foxtails, the innocent looking bushy segments that grow on the tops of some grasses and resemble the tail of a fox, can pose quite a hazard to pets and people. The segment, or spikelet, lands on the pet's fur and the movement of the pet can cause the segment to move to the skin and actually burrow into the skin. Worse yet, the foxtail can burrow into hidden areas such as the between the toes of the paw, ear canal, nostril, gums, and occasionally under the eyelid. If the foxtail is still sticking out of the skin, it can be carefully removed and the area treated with antiseptic. However, once the foxtail burrows beneath the skin, antibiotics and surgery may be required. Left untreated, a foxtail causes serious infection, To avoid these problems, comb your pet frequently, especially after a hike or walk, and always check your pet over - paws, ears, nostrils, gums, eyes - for foxtails. If your pet is sneezing, shaking his/her head, rubbing ears, chewing at a paw, these could be signs of a burrowing foxtail, and a vet visit is advisable.