Monthly Archives: April 2021

Episode 811 – The New Normal: Distance Learning & Telecommuting

Victoria and Aly talk about how to be more effective when learning and working from home. Social distancing is the thing these days, but how do we keep from going nuts and what are the best practices to stay productive and efficient when working or learning from home. Dealing with the social aspect of isolation. Aly shares some top tips for how to be productive while staying home, including staying engaged and avoiding passivity. The use of rituals of physical, technical and mental preparation in staying efficient at home.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Episode 811 – The New Normal: Distance Learning & Telecommuting

Victoria and Aly talk about how to be more effective when learning and working from home. Social distancing is the thing these days, but how do we keep from going nuts and what are the best practices to stay productive and efficient when working or learning from home. Dealing with the social aspect of isolation. Aly shares some top tips for how to be productive while staying home, including staying engaged and avoiding passivity. The use of rituals of physical, technical and mental preparation in staying efficient at home.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three Secrets to Safe & Effective Exercise for Your Dog

It’s no secret that exercising your dog can lead to a happier and healthier pup – not to mention a quieter house and a happier you. The complication is that exercising your dog takes time and sometimes we struggle to find time to exercise ourselves. However, without safe and effective exercise, your dog can gain weight, risk costly injury, and tear apart the house in response to pent up energy. Consider how you exercise your dog now: perhaps you play tug with your Chihuahua in the living room, jog or play fetch with your active retriever, or ask your senior mixed breed to sit in the kitchen — all of these activities can exercise your dog both physically and mentally. Let’s further explore how you can make the most of your time with your dog while safely and effectively gaining the benefits of exercise.

Here are three secrets to safely and effectively exercising your dog through activities and games that you probably already play.

1. Discuss with your veterinarian

Before beginning any exercise (even training class!), it’s important to get a full health check with your local veterinarian. Let your vet know which activities you are thinking about pursuing, and ask which activities would be most appropriate for your dog’s age, musculoskeletal structure, and preferences. Remember, just like with children, jumping from high places or playing on hard surfaces can be detrimental to joints. Be sure to ask how long the activities should last, how intense they should be, and about any necessary equipment or weather precautions. Just because your dog wants to fetch constantly, doesn’t necessarily mean that this high impact, sustained exercise is healthy. Describe the activity and environment to your vet in detail, and be sure to get clearance before enjoying with your pup.

2. Explore variation

After speaking with your veterinarian about appropriate activities for your dog, plan to vary the types of activities each day. If your veterinarian approved some shorter distance jogs for your pup, perhaps the next day you could spread his food in the backyard as a scavenger hunt. Varying high intensity with low intensity workouts is just as stimulating for your pup, and the variation will keep him engaged. You can also vary exercises within the activity itself. For example, if you frequently throw a ball or disc for your dog until she lies down and pants, consider asking for tricks between different types of throws. By varying distances and body movements you can help your dog regulate her arousal and stay safe.

3. Remember warms up & cool down

Before beginning any activity, it’s important to set up your dog for success. Dogs have the same basic musculoskeletal components as people, and therefore they can sustain similar injuries from rigorous use or clumsy accidents. However, dogs are more athletic compared to humans (even your couch potato probably has a higher VO2max than you!), and they can exert a lot of energy at playtime. It’s important to warm up and cool down your dog’s muscles before use. Consider the type of exercise and what body parts are involved, and plan for a warm up. For example, if you’re about to open the back door for your dog to dash out with his powerful hind legs, take a couple walking laps around the living room first. Ask for a few repetitions of sit and put a treat in front of his nose to lure him in a few circles before opening the door. Much like a short jog, squats, and plyometrics before a sprint, these exercises can help protect your dog’s soft tissue before dashing off. The easiest part is that the same exercises can be performed in reverse for a quick cool down.

Using these three secrets, you can safely and effectively exercise your dog in the same amount of time and help you and your pup enjoy the benefits. Through warms ups/cool downs and varying your dog’s activities you can tire your pup out in no time at all. Talking to your veterinarian about the type, duration, and intensity of activity can also tailor the exercise to your dog and avoid costly injury. 

Many caretakers believe that their dog needs to sprint in order to get tired, when in reality sniffing, training, or a combination can be just as taxing. Check out the table below for more ideas! Challenge yourself this week to change one thing about your dog’s exercise routine, and see if you enjoy a calmer, healthier dog!

 

Activity

Variation

Warm up/cool down

Hide a treat/toy in the house

High/low places, obstacles, multiple rooms

Walk laps, sits, crawls

Sniffy walk

Hide treats, change route

Walk laps, sits

Tug

Side to side, stop/go, 2 tugs

Jog laps, play bow, weight shift

Fetch

Short/long distances, walking breaks, sit/down/spin/beg/back

Jog laps, downs, circles

Jog

Walk/run, canicross, sniff breaks

Sniff, walk laps, sits

 

 

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top Ten Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe & Calm this Fourth of July

 

 

read more

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Episode 811 – The New Normal: Distance Learning & Telecommuting

Victoria and Aly talk about how to be more effective when learning and working from home. Social distancing is the thing these days, but how do we keep from going nuts and what are the best practices to stay productive and efficient when working or learning from home. Dealing with the social aspect of isolation. Aly shares some top tips for how to be productive while staying home, including staying engaged and avoiding passivity. The use of rituals of physical, technical and mental preparation in staying efficient at home.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top Ten Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe & Calm this Fourth of July

 

 

read more

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Episode 836 – Free Work and Adolescent Dogs

Do you ever just stop and observe what your dog is doing? When was the last time you truly listened to him? Dog behaviour expert Sarah Fisher joins Victoria and Holly to talk about Animal Centred Education – an integrated approach to animal well being. Can you really learn more about your dog just by observing what he or she does off the lead and how does this help anxious dogs in particular? Don’t miss Victoria’s latest Positively Dog Training Podcast that will forever change the way you look at your dog.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Working Out Dog Weight Loss

Watching your pet’s weight is vital, and there are ways to make sure your dog is not packing on too many pounds.
overweight dog

For pet owners with an overweight animal companion, there can be a difficult balance between wanting to treat a pet and wanting to keep them in the best health possible.

However, with moderation and consistency, owners can ensure their pet reaches a healthy weight without discomfort.

Dr. Lori Teller, an associate professor in the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says that a healthy diet is integral to successful weight loss.

Treats, whether specially made for pets or table food, should not make up more than 10% of an animal’s diet, and when given, the calories of a treat should be included in a pet’s total daily intake, she said.

“Healthy treats may include green beans, baby carrots, celery sticks, or apple slices,” Teller said. “There also are other ways to treat pets besides food; many pets may be satisfied with some attention, whether that is a game of fetch, a catnip toy, or a chin scratch.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three Secrets to Safe & Effective Exercise for Your Dog

It’s no secret that exercising your dog can lead to a happier and healthier pup – not to mention a quieter house and a happier you. The complication is that exercising your dog takes time and sometimes we struggle to find time to exercise ourselves. However, without safe and effective exercise, your dog can gain weight, risk costly injury, and tear apart the house in response to pent up energy. Consider how you exercise your dog now: perhaps you play tug with your Chihuahua in the living room, jog or play fetch with your active retriever, or ask your senior mixed breed to sit in the kitchen — all of these activities can exercise your dog both physically and mentally. Let’s further explore how you can make the most of your time with your dog while safely and effectively gaining the benefits of exercise.

Here are three secrets to safely and effectively exercising your dog through activities and games that you probably already play.

1. Discuss with your veterinarian

Before beginning any exercise (even training class!), it’s important to get a full health check with your local veterinarian. Let your vet know which activities you are thinking about pursuing, and ask which activities would be most appropriate for your dog’s age, musculoskeletal structure, and preferences. Remember, just like with children, jumping from high places or playing on hard surfaces can be detrimental to joints. Be sure to ask how long the activities should last, how intense they should be, and about any necessary equipment or weather precautions. Just because your dog wants to fetch constantly, doesn’t necessarily mean that this high impact, sustained exercise is healthy. Describe the activity and environment to your vet in detail, and be sure to get clearance before enjoying with your pup.

2. Explore variation

After speaking with your veterinarian about appropriate activities for your dog, plan to vary the types of activities each day. If your veterinarian approved some shorter distance jogs for your pup, perhaps the next day you could spread his food in the backyard as a scavenger hunt. Varying high intensity with low intensity workouts is just as stimulating for your pup, and the variation will keep him engaged. You can also vary exercises within the activity itself. For example, if you frequently throw a ball or disc for your dog until she lies down and pants, consider asking for tricks between different types of throws. By varying distances and body movements you can help your dog regulate her arousal and stay safe.

3. Remember warms up & cool down

Before beginning any activity, it’s important to set up your dog for success. Dogs have the same basic musculoskeletal components as people, and therefore they can sustain similar injuries from rigorous use or clumsy accidents. However, dogs are more athletic compared to humans (even your couch potato probably has a higher VO2max than you!), and they can exert a lot of energy at playtime. It’s important to warm up and cool down your dog’s muscles before use. Consider the type of exercise and what body parts are involved, and plan for a warm up. For example, if you’re about to open the back door for your dog to dash out with his powerful hind legs, take a couple walking laps around the living room first. Ask for a few repetitions of sit and put a treat in front of his nose to lure him in a few circles before opening the door. Much like a short jog, squats, and plyometrics before a sprint, these exercises can help protect your dog’s soft tissue before dashing off. The easiest part is that the same exercises can be performed in reverse for a quick cool down.

Using these three secrets, you can safely and effectively exercise your dog in the same amount of time and help you and your pup enjoy the benefits. Through warms ups/cool downs and varying your dog’s activities you can tire your pup out in no time at all. Talking to your veterinarian about the type, duration, and intensity of activity can also tailor the exercise to your dog and avoid costly injury. 

Many caretakers believe that their dog needs to sprint in order to get tired, when in reality sniffing, training, or a combination can be just as taxing. Check out the table below for more ideas! Challenge yourself this week to change one thing about your dog’s exercise routine, and see if you enjoy a calmer, healthier dog!

 

Activity

Variation

Warm up/cool down

Hide a treat/toy in the house

High/low places, obstacles, multiple rooms

Walk laps, sits, crawls

Sniffy walk

Hide treats, change route

Walk laps, sits

Tug

Side to side, stop/go, 2 tugs

Jog laps, play bow, weight shift

Fetch

Short/long distances, walking breaks, sit/down/spin/beg/back

Jog laps, downs, circles

Jog

Walk/run, canicross, sniff breaks

Sniff, walk laps, sits

 

 

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sisyphean Housecleaning With Dogs

My stepdaughter and her son are coming to town for a visit. Hurray for vaccinations! They live in New Jersey, and haven’t been to this coast since her son was a newborn, five years ago. We moved into a “new” house three years ago, and they haven’t seen it yet! So my husband and I have been doing an extra-good job of mowing and our usual spring yard work outside and a deep clean inside – to try to restore a little of that new-house luster. (It was built in the 1950s, but even so, it’s the newest house we’ve ever lived in, and it had been professionally cleaned and painted before we moved in.)

Here’s the thing: In Northern California springtime, the grass grows a few inches a week. We’ve been mowing and weed-whipping and weed-pulling. The mornings are dewy. Add those things together and throw in a dog, and you have grass clippings and muddy feet getting tracked into the house all day. So you think, ok, the floors are the LAST thing we’ll clean.

I’m accustomed to a few red-dirt paw marks on the outside doors, down low. But when foster dog Kiki learned to open this door by jumping up and pawing the handle, the red stains got a lot higher on the door. 

I noticed that the doors are still muddy outside from where my little foster dog (still happily ensconced in her new home, hurray!) was in the habit of pawing at them to get let inside. Or let herself inside, once she discovered that the kitchen door has one of those handles that you just have to paw at to open. I wiped all the doors down, noticing with some dismay that our local red dirt has stained the white paint – but the wiping took the mud down a notch, anyway! That is, until Otto got scared by the backfire of a neighbor’s lawn mower and frantically pawed at the same door to get let into the house. No problem – wiping it down again!

In the living room, where the dogs spend most of their time when they are in the house, there is another problem of order. The room needs a really good vacuuming, aaaallll the way into the corners and under the couches, and the book shelves really need to be dusted, too. You should vacuum before you dust – because vacuuming tends to make more dust – but the last thing that needs to be done is vacuuming again, because it’s spring and the hair coming off the dogs is just relentless! The couches, especially, need this. If someone could please invent a self-vacuuming couch, I’ll put in an order now. 

This has been going on for days now! I wiped all the windowsills –and turned around to see water drops all over the kitchen windowsill; Woody is in the habit of drinking and then meditatively gazing out the window as the last of the water dribbles from his lips. Washed the floor mats inside the doors – and found a big grassy vomit all over the one inside the kitchen door (the dogs have been eating the spring grass like they were grazing cattle). Back into the wash it has to go. I swear, the dogs have never been so dirty!

Woody has a habit of carrying his last mouthful of water away from the bowl and letting it leak out of his mouth (all over the floor and windowsill) as he gazes out the kitchen window.

Cleaning my car took more time than anything in the house. Usually, I’m the only one driving it; my husband prefers our pickup, even just for errands. And I drive my dogs to our favorite walking spots, at least several times a week – and when I have adolescent foster dogs, daily! So I do tend to let the dog hair and dirt build up in the car; it’s too hard to keep it even kind of clean. After I pulled out all the sheets and blankets that usually cover the seats, it still took me about four hours with a Shop-Vac and towels and hair-rollers to get the car about 90% dog-hair free. And I will NOT allow the dogs back inside the car until our guests leave. We’re doing home-based recreation and exercise for the duration, because that was just way too much work.

Of course, the truth is, I don’t usually notice every single bit of dirt and grass and hair shed by my dogs – and especially after a year of virtually no visitors, I haven’t worried about it too much. Don’t get me wrong, our home is usually quite neat and fairly clean, but there is nothing like having a non-dog-owning guest, especially a non-frequent visitor, for giving you the incentive to do a nice deep clean. I just wish I could put the dogs in little hermetically sealed space suits until the guests arrive.

The post Sisyphean Housecleaning With Dogs appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment