See How Prevention Works
It is said that an “ounce of prevention” is worth a pound of cure.”
I have never figured out what a pound of cure is worth, but I do know that prevention of certain behaviors and medical problems does save a great deal of money, time and emotional output.
Understanding your dog’s behavioral changes and the reasons for them can prevent them from annoying the neighbors, destroying your property or escaping from the yard.
Obedience training for your dog is one of the best gifts you can give the dog and yourself.
As I have said before in a previous article, “Rules Were Made for Dogs to Follow.”
Your dog needs to know what is acceptable behavior and what is not.
However, you too, need to know and to understand your dog’s breed and the reasons it does what it does.
It is a two way street, with both of you understanding each other.
Excessive barking is one of the most annoying pastimes a dog can have. Dogs bark for many reasons, we know it is fun, but with a little detective work on your part you can figure out the reason and put an end to it.
Rule number one, however is do not yell or scream at your dog to “shut up.”
Your reaction lets the dog think you like the barking (remember they do not understand much English.)
Dogs love attention and your yelling certainly gives them the attention, many of them want.
Barking at the mailman or other people outside can become a favorite pastime for a dog. The dog thinks it is scaring the intruder and when they walk away, the dog gets a certain feeling of self satisfaction.
What is the solution, especially if you live in an apartment and work all day? <
Closing the blinds, keeping the dog in another room during the day with no access to a window, or putting a barrier on the couch or chair, if the furniture is near the window to prevent the dog from getting on it, are ways to help stop the noise. Empty boxes work well on the furniture to create a barrier.
If you are home try saying “quiet” or “hush” and give a treat every time your dog obeys. Eventually your dog will get the idea not to bark and you can decrease the treat part.
Barking for attention is another favorite trick.
The solution to that is “ignore the dog.”
It may be hard for you to do that, but if you persist in ignoring the dog, your dog will soon realize that it is not fun anymore.
Give your dog attention when it is quiet.
Dogs bark when they are bored.
It is your job to make certain your dog has toys to play with and has plenty of exercise.
A tired dog is a good dog.
Chewing up the household is another behavior that can be prevented.
Puppies chew because it is fun and it feels good when new teeth are coming in.
Dogs chew because they are bored or lonely.
Plenty of chew toys are needed for puppies, exercise is needed for dogs and do not leave your pet for long extended periods of time without human companionship.
A persistent chewer needs to be confined to a space that only has its toys in it.
Do not give your puppy or dog old shoes to chew or any other personal articles, as a dog does not know new or good from old and worn out.
It is your responsibility to keep your stuff out of reach.
Leaving the yard is another preventable behavior with a few exceptions.
The exceptions being, that some dogs are natural born diggers and will dig themselves out. Certain breeds were bred to dig, so learn your breed and know what to expect.
Most dogs are happy to be in their own yard providing: they are not lonely or bored, have had playtime with you in the yard and know the yard is a fun place to be and have adequate toys to play with.
Playing, training and relaxing with your dog in the yard as well as in the house will create an impression that the yard is a happy safe place.
Do not leave your dog alone for extended periods of time in the yard. Loneliness and boredom will drive the dog to find greener pastures outside the fence.
Obedience training, opportunities to socialize with other dogs and plenty of exercise are the secrets to having a well behaved and happy dog.
Dogs do not do anything out of spite, they only want to please, but you need to show them what it is you want from them.
Preventing Medical Expenditures: Are you aware that over 80 percent of all dogs over the age of three years have periodontal disease?
A dog’s teeth can be one of the most expensive items in your veterinary budget.
It’s a bite that can take a chunk out of your wallet and cause your dog much pain.
However, it is preventable, if you will take some time to brush your dog’s teeth.
I realize this sounds silly and dumb to many people, but it goes with the responsibility of owning a dog.
You can either take a few minutes, a few times a week, to do this or you can let your vet do it for you, once or twice a year for a good bit of cash.
If you start when your puppy is a few months old by touching its teeth and gums and gradually work up to the brushing bit, you can save yourself a bundle of cash.
Your vet or other animal care provider will be happy to give you instructions and the market place now has everything you will need to do a good job on caring for your pet’s teeth.
You really have no excuse not to do it.
The tide is changing in the world of veterinary medicine and the need for annual vaccinations, after the puppy shots and first year boosters is getting a new look.
Researchers and veterinarians are finding new guidelines that will keep our pets healthy, but prevent “over dosing” of certain vaccines.
It is coming to light that like people, each dog has its own individual needs.
Some dogs need more, some less, depending on its lifestyle and the area in which the dog lives.
Take the time on your next visit to your vet, to discuss what shots are necessary for your dog and how often they should be given.
Granted some states and cities will have their own rules, but for the most part it is very possible to cut back on the yearly vaccines for most dogs.
Discuss with your vet your dog’s activities, general health and your concerns about over vaccinating.
Your dog’s health and well being are important considerations and prevention of any diseases should be upper most in your mind.
Dogs are wonderful companions, they deserve the best care you can give them.
A happy dog is one that has been trained, has some rules to follow and is loved.