Playing Hide-and-Seek!

 

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“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

You quickly run your hands along your dog’s head, back and belly, and, finding no ticks, you think your job is done.

Actually, finding ticks on your dog is not so simple. These tiny bloodsuckers are good at playing hide-and-seek, particularly when their host is covered in thick dark hair. Ticks can latch on to your furry friend and live in hiding, feasting on blood for several days at a time. Even dogs with flea and tick collars and other forms of protection can be targeted by these parasites.

Checking your dog carefully for ticks is extremely important since these parasites can make pets and humans seriously ill. Anaplasmosis, Lyme diseaseRocky Mountain spotted fever, and tick paralysis are just a few of the potential diseases caused by tick bites.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council predicted that 2017 would be a big year for illnesses transmitted by ticks and mosquitos, noting that the threat of diseases continues to spread into new areas, “creating a year-round menace to both pets and their owners.”

How Ticks Find Their Victims

Using heat sensors, ticks find a victim and typically latch onto the warmest places on the dogs body.

“The head, neck and ears are prime places, but ticks can occur anywhere,” says Dr Ann Hohenhaus.  “Look and look again. You have to look everywhere. You can easily miss ticks.”

You might be surprised by some of the places ticks have been found on dogs.

In the Groin Area

The groin probably isn’t the first place you would look for ticks on your pet. However, they can get attached in and around your dog’s bottom. You should check the perianal area. Ticks are drawn to dark, moist areas on the body. Also make sure to check your dog’s tail.

Between the Toes

Ticks have nothing against your dog’s paws. Though it takes extra to latch on, a tick can become attached between the toes. If you find one there, use hemostats or tweezers to remove it. Grasp the tick without crushing it and pull it straight out.

In and Around the Ears

At DoveLewis, a very sick Sheltie named Ollie was at the hospital about to be euthanized. As an intern, who was working alongside the veterinarian, reached out to comfort Ollie and as she scratched behind his ears, found a tick engorged with blood. The quantity of fecal material suggested the tick had been attached to the dog for some time.

The tick was removed. Thinking the dog could have tick paralysis, the veterinarian discussed the possibility with Ollie’s owner and sent the dog home. Within hours, Ollie was back on his feet, fully recovered and eager to go outside.

Tick paralysis is really uncommon, but is something dog owners should be aware of.

Unlike other tick-transmitted diseases, tick paralysis will go away without lasting health effects once the tick is removed, says Dr Hohenhaus, who treated a Yorkie with paralysis caused by a tick found on the dog’s lip.

She also recommends checking inside your dog’s ears, including the ear canal. “I’ve found ticks on the inside of floppy ears,” Hohenhaus says.

Under Clothes and Collars

If your dog wears a collar 24/7, it’s easy to forget to remove it during tick inspection. Ticks can hide under your pets collar, harness or any article of clothing they are wearing. If your pet wears a T-shirt or sun protection shirt, those have to come off. People often times don’t think to remove articles of clothing while checking for ticks.

The Eyelids

Is it a skin tag or a tick on your dogs eyelid? Sometimes it’s hard to determine says Dr Hohenhaus.

Dogs can develop skin tags anywhere on their bodies, but they frequently appear near the eyelids. You don’t want to rip off a skin tag so make sure that the black mass on the eyelid is actually not a tick.

Information courtesy of: PetMD

Talk to your vet to determine the appropriate tick preventative that best suits you and your dog!

http://www.ruffacademywi.com

The link above offers many resources and solutions available to help you and Fido  start out on the right paw! Behavior issues to potty training and basic commands, we’ve got experts to help with that!!!

Fun Fact: Puppies navigate by smell from the moment they are born, when their eyes are closed and their hearing has not developed.  Your puppy even has a special organ on the roof of his mouth that allows him to “taste” certain smells.

Training Tip: Provide by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy agility trainer. There are lots of distractions while doing agility. Lots of excited dogs and it usually takes place outside. Make sure you have practiced obedience with lots of distractions before starting agility so your dog will listen to you.

 

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The Big Bang Theory!

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“Two Paws Up Tuesday”
How to Look After Pets During Fireworks
Eighty percent of pet owners have owned a pet afraid of fireworks. Do you constantly worry about your pets during firework displays close to your home? Do you fear you may come home to find that your pets are unhappy or, even worse, dead because of the extremely loud noises? If you can’t ask for quieter fireworks, you will have to do the best you can to comfort your pet. July 4th has the most reports of lost dogs out of any other day of the year. Here are some ways to keep your pet safe and cared for during fireworks.
1. Know when fireworks will be happening and how they’ll impact your home. Contact your local municipality to find out when your area is likely to have fireworks. Mark the dates on a calendar so that you can keep track of when to ensure your pets are cared for. If you know or suspect that the fireworks will be heard at your house, take the precautions outlined in the following steps.
Check that your pets’ ID tags and microchips are in date. If your pet does go running off during fireworks events, it’s much easier to be able to identify its ownership with these features. Fireworks upset pets as a result of the noise, smell of sulfur, and flashing lights.
2. Prepare your pet for dealing with noise by exposing it to other sounds. Desensitization of noises helps to prevent a phobia of loud noises. Use a CD like Sounds Scary, well before the firework season, or after the event. This process should start at least 3-4 months before the celebration of our Independence.

3. Prepare the house. The house becomes your pet’s safety zone, so it’s important to prepare it properly. Keep some lights on. Keeping a light on will calm your pet and make him feel more secure, rather than being scared in a dark room.
Dampen the noise. Close the curtains in the room and, if your animal is a caged one, cover up the cage in a thick blanket, but make sure it is breathable so your animal doesn’t suffocate. This will also help to stop the flashes of light affecting your pet.
Plan to use familiar sounds to drown out the noise of the fireworks. Music from a stereo or turning on the TV are likely familiar sounds that can sooth your pet. Just make sure not to play these sounds ridiculously loud as they can become bothersome themselves. Classical music calms pets. Play the music loud enough to hear over the fireworks, but not to loud to bother the pet.

4. Prepare the room. Select a suitable room where you will contain the pets for the duration of the fireworks. An inner room that is least impacted by the noise is ideal. It should be a room that you can close off to prevent your pet from running about the house and injuring itself, wrecking furniture, etc. If you have more than one pet, be sure they don’t mind being confined in the same room, or select several rooms for different pets. For example, dogs and cats will usually appreciate being kept separate. Make the room cozy. Put down familiar, clean bedding somewhere pleasant such as under a table, on or behind a chair, etc. Add some familiar chew toys, scratch pads, balls, etc., to keep your pets amused and distracted.
Ensure that the room temperature is pleasant; warm if it’s cold weather, or cool if it’s hot weather.
Consider whether sound might be soothing. If your pet is used to music, turn some on at normal volume. Also, the sound of rainwater is very soothing to pets.
Use lavender. This is optional, but you might like to use lavender scented items to help calm your pet. Using heated scent oils or incense is not recommended as a frantic pet can knock them over and start a fire or injure themselves.
Remove any sharp items from the room in case your pet starts jumping or running around.

5. Prepare yourself. In the desire to ease our pet’s pain, sometimes we can transfer some of our anxiety and upset to the pet. If you’ve prepared properly in advance, there is no need to feel upset and worried as you can be reassured about the safety of your pet. Realize that the startled and frantic reactions of your pet are often the principal source of your own upset. Being ready for their reactions can help to keep you calm as well.

6. Confine your pet. Half an hour to an hour before the fireworks are due to be set off, place your pet into the chosen room. If you’re concerned about not being able to locate your pet (for example, cats aren’t always easy to find), consider finding your pet several hours earlier. Mealtime is a good time to round up every pet, provided it falls before the fireworks are set off. Be sure to exercise and run your dog before fireworks are scheduled to start. Doing this can help calm and relax your pet if they are tired. Even if your pet is kenneled, place it into the secure and comfortable room you’ve selected.

7. Provide food and hydration. Be sure to leave sufficient water and food for your pet in the confinement space. Many pets will be uneasy, or even frantic. If your pet has access to water, it will help calm him, and food supplied in your pet’s regular portion will make him feel like it’s a normal day.

8. Keep an eye on your pet, and if possible, stay with them. Comfort and talk to them. Be friendly Stay happy and upbeat, this will make your dog feel less anxious. It is false that comforting your fearful animal can reinforce that fear, just like comforting a child fearful of spiders will not make the child more afraid of spiders. If it’s not possible to stay with her, perhaps because you’re out or busy you may be at the firework display, don’t worry – the previous steps should ensure that your pet has been adequately cared for. Allow your pet to hide somewhere in the room if wished. It’s your pet’s way of coping (a “bolthole”) and dragging them out of a safe spot can increase their anxiety levels. Don’t fuss over them too much.

9. Check on your pet after the fireworks. Reassure him and remove the protection (blankets, etc.) as long as you’re sure that the loud fireworks are over. Let him have free run of the house to see how he behaves before considering letting him return outside (it might be best to wait until morning, if possible). Check for signs of stress in your pet.
Signs of stress include barking a lot, running away, soiling the house, hiding and cowering, clinging to owners, whimpering, trembling and shaking, pacing and panting, and refusing to eat.
If your pet is stressed, keep him indoors overnight.  If you feel it’ safe to do so, walk your dog after the fireworks but don’t let him off his harness and be sure to stay with him the whole time.

10. Do a yard sweep before letting your pets back outside. Collect any sparklers, firecrackers, etc., as well as party items and broken objects. This will prevent your pet from being injured by unfamiliar objects.

Check with your vet for specific medications that may help calm your dog based on the type and breed of dog. Your vet is a valuable resource when making decisions to help protect your pet.

Some information courtesy of: Wikihow

Training Tip: Desensitize your dog early to loud sounds and noises. This process can be started as early as 6 weeks old. During this process, be sure to make it rewarding for your dog by doing this around meal times and play times and ALWAYS end on a positive note! 

Fun Fact: Dogs with upright ears, like German Shepherd Dogs, use their ears almost like radar antennas, thanks to the 18 muscles they have in their ears that allow them to control the ear’s position and essentially “turn up the volume” on their hearing.

http://www.ruffacademywi.com

Visit the link above for various training sessions, Play Times, Private Training and Board and Train programs just to name a few. Numerous Social Clubs are also available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Today The Day?

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“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

 

Picture this: You’re out for a stroll on a gorgeous day, and suddenly, an adorable puppy is bounding towards you. You pet him, you tell him how cute he is, and you think to yourself, “I should get a puppy.” We’re all guilty of this – if you say you’re not, I don’t believe you. However, whether you’re planning on buying a puppy or adopting an older dog, there are certain factors you need to take into consideration before bringing a new dog home.

Let’s start with the basics.

1. Are you allowed to have pets where you live? The idea of having a dog to keep you company is wonderful, but it is important to consider restrictions by your landlord or building management company. Many apartments, especially in cities, have breed or size restrictions, or don’t allow dogs at all. Unless you own your home, make sure your landlord is okay with the specific breed you plan to get, and ask whether there is an increased cost in rent.

2. Can you afford a dog? Dogs are expensive, regardless of whether you get a puppy or an older dog. According to the ASPCA, annual dog care costs range from $420-$780, and that doesn’t include unexpected trips to the vet, or moments of weakness when you see a dog toy that your furry friend just “has to have.”

3. Do you have time for a dog?  What kind of dog fits your particular lifestyle? A dog is not like a fish – you can’t just feed it and then otherwise forget it exists (no offense to our committed fish owners out there). By adding a dog to your family, you are taking on the responsibility of another life, so make sure you have time to dedicate to caring for your pup. Dogs – especially puppies – require lots of love and attention. If you travel frequently, often find yourself working extended hours, or will be leaving your pup alone all day, you may want to reconsider your timing on getting a new dog.

4. Will exercise with your dog fit into your daily schedule? Dogs need to be exercised. Whether a new puppy or a 9-year-old adoptee, your dog needs exercise. While it is true that a puppy needs more exercise than an older dog, you need to make sure you have the time to commit to exercising your dog on a daily basis, whether that be going for a morning and evening walk, throwing a ball around the yard, running, etc.

5. Do you have the patience to train a puppy? Training a puppy isn’t easy. Puppies are naturally curious. They will chew stuff and destroy stuff, and require training to become well behaved. Enroll your new family member in puppy and Obedience classes.  Visit http://www.ruffacademywi.com for a wide range of classes to choose from that best fits the needs of you and your furry friend. The same goes for older dogs – even if the dog was previously trained at another home, your dog will probably need to be re-trained – especially after leaving a shelter. Try not to get mad if he has an accident or chews something – he may be nervous and will need time to adjust, just as a puppy would. Be patient, gentle, and caring.

Now for the less obvious stuff:

6. Do you have everything for the arrival of your new dog? Buy the things you’ll need in advance. It is better to be overly prepared than completely unprepared when it comes to bringing a new dog home. You will need a properly fitted dog collar, ID tag, a dog leash, food and water bowls, a dog bed, and dog toys to make your new friend feel at home. Buying these necessities ahead of time will make your dog feel comfortable the second you bring him home, and help with the transition to the new environment.

7. Do you have a vet selected? Ask for recommendations from family and friends. Do your research when choosing a vet that best fits your needs and the needs of your puppy. Just like a Family Pratice Doctor for you and your family a good vet can make all the difference in raising a happy healthy puppy who will be a part of the family for a very long time. You should plan to schedule a visit within the first week of bringing him home. That way, you already have him established in a practice in case anything unexpected happens, and the vet can make sure your pup is up-to-date on any needed vaccinations.

8. Are you aware of the importance of getting your dog spayed or neutered? Speaking of the vet, always get your new dog spayed/neutered. If you adopt a dog from a shelter, the shelter may have already taken this step for you, but always check with the shelter to be sure. However, if you have a new puppy, you will have to make sure you take him or her to get neutered or spayed. This is so important because, not only do you likely not want tons of puppies running around, but it also helps your dog live a healthier, longer life by preventing uterine infections and certain types of cancers. The recommended period for spaying or neutering your dog is between six to nine months. However, it can be done as early as eight weeks, if your pup is healthy, and can also be done later in life, though there is a higher risk of complications.

9. Are you familiar with common pet hazards? Do some research on pet hazards from household chemicals to people food to house plants. Do not let your dog play with a bottle of cleaning solution or medicine. These things are blatantly poisonous. There are also a lot of little things you may expect that can seriously harm your pup. Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine can cause vomiting and diarrhea in your dog, as well as an abnormal heartbeat, seizures, and death. Onions and garlic are also hazardous to dogs – they can cause gastrointestinal problems and lead to red blood cell damage. For a complete list of foods to avoid feeding your pet, visit the ASPCA’s animal poison control page. Remember, your puppy is like a toddler, curious about everything and completely fearless. Odds are, if they shouldn’t have it, they want to get into it! So needless to say, you need to puppy proof your house just as you would baby proof it.

10. Do you know how your dog should interact with other dogs? It’s imperative to socialize your dog. Many dog owners seem to think that other dog owners don’t want their dogs to interact for fear of a fight occurring. But again, dogs are naturally curious creatures, and chances are, they just want to say hi to another dog friend. When walking your dog or visiting a dog park, if you see other dogs, feel free to let your dog approach other dogs instead of holding him back (just check with the other dog’s owner to make sure it’s okay).

Always remember your dog is now a member of your family – make sure you treat him that way!

Some information courtesy of: Kurgo

Training Tip: Training tip courtesy of Amanda Mondloch a RUFF Academy trainer. If you are on flea and tick or heartworm  preventive, make sure you’re  getting a quality product either at your vets office or prescribed by your vet. “Bargain” products can cause more harm than good.

Fun Fact: When dogs get hot, the best way for them to cool off is by sticking their feet in cool or cold water. Dogs sweat through their feet! 

We Appreciate YOU!!!!!

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“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

After interviewing Mans Best Friend we found out that pet parents could use a gentle reminder of ways they should celebrate Pet Appreciation Week, so we’ve taken the liberty to put together a little list of ideas!

Pampered Pet Priorities
We’ve determined through meticulous research what pets want most. Our needs can be distilled into the following:

Food 
Shelter
Safety
Quality time

We want yummy, healthy food! I’ll admit it. I have a deep appreciation for food. As a fine connoisseur of all things fabulous, I have to make a plug for quality kibble.

It’s common sense that good food makes for better health. Though high-quality foods may seem like a lot more money than bargain foods available through mass retailers, any savings will be nullified with more vet visits.

Also under the food category, we dogs love treats! It pains me to say this, but don’t overdo the treats – even if we give you the “puppy-dog eyes.” Some dogs have literally been “loved” to death with too many treats that lead to obesity.

I keep my trim figure through a rigorous exercise regimen, but I still have to limit my snacks. If I’m going to indulge, I make sure my treats are of the highest quality. To be on the safe side, treats made in the USA under USDA standards are best or bake them yourself. You can find so many Rufferific homemade dog treat recipes that are simple to make and delicious to Fido!

Dogs like posh digs! By “digs,” that’s hip-doggy speak for a comfy abode. Dog houses are so yesterday. Su casa es mi casa! And in my house, I’d like a comfy bed and a safe place to retreat to ponder the deeper meaning of life.

Safety is imperative. It’s tough to get away from the paparazzi when you look so fabulous! I’ve been known to sneak away on occasion and I hate to admit this, but sometimes I get lost in my efforts to retain privacy.

My fellow dogs aren’t likely to admit that they sometimes wander off as well and may forget where they went. Do your pets a favor and get them a proper identification tag and microchip. Helping us find our way home is the ultimate way to show us love.

Quality time with our humans! How about a long walk on the beach? You could take us to a dog park or for a scenic walk in the woods. If you’re in the area, RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training offers a safe enclosed supervised environment to play and meet up with all your buddies. Some of us just want to play a game of fetch. Belly rubs are always appreciated!

Some information courtesy of: Baxter and Boo

http://www.ruffacademywi.com

Visit the link above to find all things DOG!!! Become a member of a club and enjoy all the perks and benefits a dog could want. Our 35,000 square foot enclosed outdoor play area is complete and ready for Fido to run and play in a supervised environment. Come see what all the barking is about!!!

Fun Fact: Puppies are born deaf, and they can’t hear until they are about 3 weeks old. Once their hearing kicks in, though, they hear four times better than most people, making your dog’s hearing much more reliable than yours!

Training Tip: Training tip provided by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy Agility Trainer. Keep agility fun! All dogs and people have bad days. If you are having a hard time, finish with something your dog does well and end your session on a good note!