April Showers and May Flowers
By Nancy Milburn
Well what a winter we had. Mother Nature sure had an icy grip, and the snow! Well enough said. But all that snow is melting and joining with the rain to make walking around quite wet and muddy. This means that keeping your dogs clean so that they do not track it into the house can be challenging.
Sometimes there is no other way but to give the dog a bath. But you can mitigate the effect of the dirt coming into the house most days, with a little training and preparation.
For just a wet dog, you can easily train them to shake the water off before they step into the house, and more importantly –the car! Dogs naturally shake when they get wet, so you create the action by shaking a few drops of water onto their head and rubbing the fur up backwards. This will in most cases induce the shaking motion in the dog, then you reward with treat. If you use the same word every time “Shake” is what I use, then the dog will shake on command… Getting them to do this twice in a row will remove virtually all the water in the coat. Remember to stand facing the head of the dog or you will be covered in water!
Watch the video to see my dog Spud shaking water off after a walk in the rain, and before he gets in the car
How to make your dog shake the water off in included in My book Trick your dog into Obedience Available on Amazon
For mud a different approach is needed. Keep an empty yogurt container for small dogs up to a bucket for the larger breeds. Half fill with water and place by the door, before you leave the house for a walk, on your return pick up each dirty paw in turn and swish in the water. All the mud and dirt will fall to the bottom, now you have a clean paw to wipe with a towel. For dogs that have a “skirt” hanging down underneath, splash water on the dirt and then wipe with towel.
Now that spring is finally here, our thoughts turn to the garden, and planting for the summer. When choosing plants for your garden be aware that many common plants are highly toxic to pets. The common Daffodil is one, Lilly of the Valley, and Hostas are some of the others. Make yourself aware of the poisonous plants you have in your garden and also any where your pets might go. The following site gives you pictures and symptoms to watch for. http://www.growerdirect.com/flowers-and-pets If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian immediately.