Tips for Socializing Your Dog with Boundaries

When it comes to training your dog to be safe around the home, the yard, and other people, there are few tasks at hand. First, you need your dog to feel comfortable with you and with your surroundings. Comfortable enough where they are not retaliating or trying to escape, but also understanding who is boss in the situation. What you say goes and when you call them to come back or to stay out of a certain area they will obey the command. Working up to this goal isn’t always easy.  Here are a few tips when it comes to both socializing your dog and getting them to obey boundaries at the same time.

To start, in public, crowded places – especially with other dogs present, you should keep them by your side so they feel safe and when you are confident and able to unleash them, they should already understand and react at your command to come back. If they are still not good at doing this is could be difficult to get them to cooperate with other dogs and could also let other dog park attendees feel uneasy.

Practice at home, in your yard, or in the house and call their name.

When they listen and come at your call praise them with rewarding cuddles or a small treat until they will do it automatically. Test it out slowly, maybe on a solo walk with your dog, and see how they respond before you try this in a crowded dog park where they may lose focus with everything going on.

Social skills are another key step. Playing well with other dogs and knowing the difference between dog play and being too aggressive is very important to share space with other animals. This can be harder to work on in a solo environment. If you know others with dogs perhaps book a short outing together and see how the dogs do together. If they are getting rough, it will be easier to break them up and show them what’s acceptable and not versus lots of dogs running around while you try.

The other important thing when it comes to dogs understanding and obeying commands is respecting boundaries. Not just to protect your future and belongings but also to keep them safe. Perimeter training should be your first step in this task. You want to walk the perimeters of the yard or home with the dog so they will be where they are allowed to go. Do this several times. Repetition is key. It will take longer for some dogs to understand these are the boundaries. Incorporate treats and commands after time to show them when to stop at the boundary and not to cross over.

Sometimes though, despite best efforts, your dog will need some additional help and security staying within boundaries. And that’s Okay! With a pet containment system from DogWatch, your pet can roam and play freely within the boundaries you set. Not just while out in the backyard, but you can also keep your pet off the couch, away from the trash, and out of the dining room or kitchen. Need some assistance with the training? We can help with that too! Our professional trainers will teach your dog how to safely obey the hidden fence boundaries in a way that matches your pet’s personality.

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Acupuncture for Dogs and Cats

Pets suffer from some of the same health problems that humans do, and they can benefit from some of the same treatments. Although people often think that ailments should be treated with medication, holistic treatments such as acupuncture can be effective and don’t have some of the side effects that are common with prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

How Can Acupuncture Help Pets?

Acupuncture is a type of holistic care that focuses on the body, mind, and spirit. For dogs and cats suffering from inflammation, pain, arthritis, limited mobility, anxiety, digestive problems, skin conditions, and allergies, acupuncture can be helpful. Acupuncture needles can stimulate the nervous system, improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. Acupuncture may be used in addition to or instead of other treatments, such as medication.

How Does Acupuncture for Dogs and Cats Work?

Acupuncture treatments for pets are very similar to acupuncture treatments for humans. If your pet needs treatment, a veterinarian will first examine the animal and discuss its medical history. The veterinarian will insert thin acupuncture needles into your pet’s skin at specific locations to stimulate the nervous system. The needles are generally left in the skin for approximately 20 minutes.

The process isn’t painful. It may cause anxiety for your pet at first, but dogs and cats generally relax after a short time. Your pet may feel stiff or sore for a day or two after receiving acupuncture treatment.

Not all veterinarians offer acupuncture services. Acupuncture for pets should only be performed by a veterinarian with appropriate training. If your pet’s current veterinarian doesn’t offer acupuncture services, ask for the name of a qualified provider in your area.

Keep Your Pet Safe from Harm

Pets often need acupuncture and other forms of care because of injuries. While it’s not possible to prevent all injuries, you should do as much as you can to keep your pet safe. One way to protect your dog from harm is to keep it in your yard when you’re not taking it for a walk or a ride in the car.

Constructing a physical fence around your property can be expensive, and it can block the view of the neighborhood and the landscape surrounding your home. In addition, a fence can require expensive and time-consuming maintenance.

An outdoor hidden fence is an effective way to keep your dog in your yard, and it’s more affordable and easier to maintain than a physical barrier. An outdoor hidden fence can encircle the perimeter of your yard, or you can give your dog access to a portion of the property and keep other areas, such as a garden, off-limits.

DogWatch of Massachusetts has been making hidden fence systems since 1990. We’ve earned a reputation for selling quality containment and training products and for providing customer service with honesty and integrity. Contact your local dealer today to learn more.

Tips for Soothing Your Dog’s Heat Rash

The summer weather has been dangerously hot this year in New England. At the time of this post, we’re undergoing a record heatwave and parts of the nation are experiencing temperatures well above 100 degrees. While most dog owners know this weather is not a time to keep the dog outside, go for long walks or even take them for a drive, your dog could still experience problems due to the overall sticky, warm temperatures.

If your dog has a heat rash here are some things you can do to help keep them comfortable. You should always see a vet ensure the rash is irritation and not anything else – but even after they may have prescribed antibiotics or other topical – your dog may still show signs of being itchy or stressed over the rash.

Keep the Area Cool and Dry

While you’re waiting for your dog’s skin to recover, it’s important to help keep the area cool and dry. Anytime they get overheated and moisture sits on their coat and skin, there is the possibility for rashes and irritations to occur. When your dog is in from the outdoors before to give them a cool wipe down with dog wipes.

Stop Scratching & Licking

While your dog might not be able to help himself with all of the itchings and licking to soothe the rash it can lead to more issues so it’s important to keep them distracted or use “the cone” to divert them from the action while it all heals.

Use Topical Creams and Medicine

Depending on how serious the rash – or sometimes the resulting infection can be, your dog may have to take medicine like antibiotics or topical medicines to soothe the rash. If you have prescribed these meds it’s important to take them for the full recommended time to ensure that all infections are cleared up properly.

Keeping Your Doggy Cool Outside During the Hot Summer Months

Your dog may enjoy going along on trips to the beach and hikes in the woods during the summer, but you need to keep it safe in the heat. Know how to help your dog maintain a healthy body temperature and how to spot signs that it’s struggling to cope.

Don’t Expose Your Dog to Extreme Heat

If possible, keep your dog indoors if the temperature and/or humidity are particularly high. If you have a choice, take your dog for a walk or hike in the morning, before it gets too hot, or in the evening, after it’s cooled off.

If your dog has to stay outside during the day, make sure that it has a shady area where it can relax. A doghouse has poor air circulation, so it’s best to let your dog stay in an open area. Give the dog plenty of cool water. If you’ll be gone for a significant amount of time, put ice cubes in the water.

Never leave your dog in a parked car for any amount of time, even with the windows open. The temperature can get dangerously high in a short amount of time.

Avoid Surfaces That Could Burn Your Dog’s Paws

Pavement can get extremely hot on a sunny day and can burn the pads on your dog’s paws, even if it’s wearing protective boots. If the pavement feels hot to the touch, keep your dog off it. Stay inside, let your dog play on grass, or take it for a walk on a shaded trail.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated When Participating in Outdoor Activities

If take your dog along when you spend time outside, stop every 15 to 20 minutes to let it drink some cool water. Don’t give it too much water at one time. If possible, let your dog go swimming or run through a sprinkler to cool off. If your pet is panting excessively, move it to a shady area and give it more water.

Recognize Signs of Heatstroke

Pay attention to your dog’s breathing, energy level, and other cues when you spend time outdoors. If your dog seems tired or lethargic, or if its ears or tail droop, those are signs that it’s struggling to deal with the heat. Take a break from physical activity, give the dog some water, and let it rest.

If your dog pants or salivates excessively, vomits, has diarrhea or seizures, or seems disoriented or uncomfortable, it may be suffering from heatstroke. Take your pet to a cooler place and contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Keep Your Dog Safe While It Plays in the Yard

Exercising outdoors is good for your dog’s physical and mental health, but you need to be sure that it won’t run away and get injured by a car or another animal. A hidden fence from DogWatch of Massachusetts can keep your dog safe in the yard and give it the freedom to play. Contact us today to learn more.

3 New Trends in Dog Training

In 2020, a year of uncertainty and unprecedented events, one thing that did work out positively is the number of homes that welcomed pets into their homes. Clearing out shelters in need of companionship while social distancing, many have become dog lovers and pet families for life. As we see more and more pets making their way into the homes and hearts of many, it’s also important that a focus is placed on training.

Dogs young and old will likely need some kind of training or refresher on the actions they should be performing or not doing each day. Especially when they’re in new surroundings or those standards change. Training your dog doesn’t have to be difficult or worrisome.

According to an article by Karen London Ph.D. published by The Bark, the trends are continuing to evolve as we merge our pet’s lives more and more into our own. In the post, she outlined a few of the most notable trends in training she’s seeing. Here are the top 3.

Training People and Dogs Together

Most training only works when both humans and dogs understand what the other needs and expects. For this reason, more trainers are turning their focus on incorporating training tactics that condition both the pet and their owner on what to do and say to get an intended action to happen.

Playtime Takes Central Stage

More trainers today believe that you can get a dog to cooperate and want to do an action by making it fun. Like humans, dogs are driven by wanting to feel good and accomplished. If they feel like they’re playing a game, and not “working” it’s far easier to get them to cooperate.

Leaning on Science for New Ideas

An interesting new way for people to approach dog training is to turn to the science behind and behaviors and what is known about particular breeds. Leaning on this proven knowledge makes it easier to come up with new training tactics rather than just trying what’s worked for others in the past.

When you purchase a DogWatch Hidden Fence we also provide perimeter training so you and your dog will feel comfortable in their newly opened areas for play and exploration. Our years of obedience training experience enable us to teach all types of dogs and their unique personalities.

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Keep Your Dog Active

Staying active is something we’re told will help us to feel better – it improves circulation, boosts heart health, and even helps us drop pounds. The same is true for your dog. Not only do they love time outdoors playing catch with the ball – but many breeds are born to work. What feels like a long walk for you is something that physically feels good for them.

On days when the weather is poor or during cold seasons when all were outdoors less, you can tell the seasonal slump they get into. It’s because they miss the activity and using their bodies. This is also one of the reasons why it’s so important to find ways to keep your dog active.

Void of physical movement, your dog can be at risk for anxiety and also lack necessary mental stimulation.

Here are some great ways you can increase exercise for your dog including indoors.     

Play Hide and Seek or Tug of War

If you’ve ever noticed your dog’s tail begin to wag the moment you pull out a rope or tug toy then you know how fond they are of this game. There’s something about interacting with their human companion in a game of pull and tug. It’s also a great game to teach them safe play and keep their heart rate up.

Another great indoor game that offers a chance for dogs to run about and get in their daily movement is Hide and seek. Just like little kids love this game, many pups will be overjoyed at looking all around the rooms in the house and sniffing around and under things looking for what’s been hidden.

Doggy Play Dates

This is a great way to get your dog moving and feeling good and can be done in an indoor or outdoor setting. Schedule a time with someone you know and a pup that is also a good socialize. Bring some toys and treats and let them do their thing. They’ll thank you at the end of the day for a chance to be around another dog and release all of their energy playing.

Workout Partner  

Most of us have gained weight during the lockdowns of 2020 and are now working to reverse the extra baggage. Add your dog into that new workout regimen because it’s mutually beneficial for you both! Even if you hit the gym before work still add in a nightly walk or jog – it can only help to speed up your progress or grab a football and get out there tossing the ball with your dog – you’ll both be winded, getting a great workout and staying healthy.

Back to Work Tips for Leaving Dog Home Post-COVID

With much of the workforce now headed back to the physical work locations for their daily duties – many pet owners are worried about the emotional and behavioral effects it could have on their pets after a year of seeing and being in the home with them all day. 

If you’ve been asked to head back to the office and feel uneasy about leaving your dog home all day – here are a few tips to help you both get through it. 

Practice Early

Once you’ve received your return to work date from your employer, it’s important to start practicing and conditioning your pet to what being home all alone is like again. Allow them to adjust slowly by giving them some days where you leave the house for a few hours and remind them what it’s like. It won’t be a full 8 hour workday in the beginning and you’ll both be able to test the waters a bit before the start back date arrives. 

Leave Your Scent Behind

For dogs that you know are already and get super anxious you could also try the above recommendation and add in a shirt that you’ve worn for them to cuddle with. Your scent can sometimes help soothe their anxieties and feel like you are close – even if you physically aren’t.

Be Patient and Understanding

Just as many of us are not feeling so great about changing our lifestyles again in a post-pandemic world, dogs need their time to process and relearn and be okay with it too. If your pup has more accidents in the house or shreds things – try to be a little more understanding and patient with them as they readjust.

The Hottest New Toys and Gadgets for Your Dog

If you love your furry friend as much as we love dogs, then you probably can’t take a trip to the store without picking up some kind of treat or toy to bring back to your good boy or girl who’s sitting at home waiting for your return. Like most dog owners today – these four-legged balls of lovable fur are more and more like a member of our family than ever before.

A quick trip to the pet aisle in any store and you can easily see just how much we’re adopting them into our daily lives. From treats and food options designed to mimic human indulgences and holidays to aisles lined with gifts, toys, and decor to keep your pup happy and spoiled.

Here’s a quick look at a few of the hottest new toys and gadgets for your dog.

Treat Tossing Cameras

Finding ways to keep your dog entertained and obedient while you’re away can be difficult. In the past pet, cameras were used as a way to peek in on your pet during the workday to see how they were doing. But even if you saw them chewing up your newest pair of shoes you forgot to tuck out of reach before leaving, there was little you could do from afar. Now you can use the latest camera to speak to your dog as well as automatically toss them treats. 

Portable Water Bottles Designed for Dogs 

Dogs get thirsty quickly – especially in the warmer months you want to be sure you always have a clean, cool bottle of water for them to drink when they need it. Now you don’t have to worry about remembering to also bring a bowl and carrying that with you too. Portable doggy water bottles come in the standard size of a water bottle to carry with you as well as an extended piece at the mouth of the bottle where you can release some water into for them to lap up.

Dog Pools 

While many pet parents have already transformed the plastic kiddie pools into pup cooling baths in the warm months, there are now dedicated pools for your pets that you can purchase  – and the best part they’re foldable and tear-resistant so you don’t have to worry about storage space to keep the pool during off-seasons or at your pup having too much fun splashing at the water and tearing it up. 

Most Popular Dog Breeds in CT and MA for 2021

During the infamous 2020 pandemic, many families took some time to bring activities centered back around the home. As they fixed up their homes to accommodate this time spent socially distancing from the public, many also moved forward with bringing a four-legged furry friend into their homes too.

With the number of pet adoptions skyrocketing, it was the perfect time to look at the breeds most people sought after. 

Here is an overview of those popular dog breeds in each New England state. 

Popular CT Dog  Breeds

Over in Connecticut, a state known for its residential communities and the place where many New Yorks fled to at the height of the pandemic, saw an uptick in dogs being brought into homes. The most popular of those breeds were Labs (long known as being America’s favorite dog breed), Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds. These larger size dogs are known for being family-friendly and loyal. Shepherds are also known for being highly intelligent and protective of their families. 

Massachusetts Favorite Dogs

In MA, these same dog breeds made the list of top dog types. From labradors to golden retrievers, and German Shepherds – there’s so much for families and single dog owners to fall in love with these extremely loyal dogs. But over in Massachusetts, there is also a love for the Boston terrier, a cross between an English Bulldog and a White English Terrier and the official state dog since 1979. 

If your family is ready to welcome a new pet to your home, be sure you’re prepared to provide it with the freedom and peace of mind to roam around the house and yard without restrictions. Our hidden fence system creates a secure boundary to keep them away from gardens, swimming pools, and driveways but still enjoy running, playing, and exercising.

Give Your Pet Freedom Outdoors While Keeping Them Safe

Giving your dog some degree of freedom is important for its physical and mental health. Dogs need to get plenty of exercises and have opportunities to explore. Spending time outside can let your dog release pent-up energy and keep it mentally stimulated. A dog that is allowed to run loose at times is less likely to become agitated and misbehave. When your dog is outside, you need to be sure that it will stay in the yard, where it will be safe.

Why Free Time Outside Is So Important for Your Dog

Your canine friend needs to be able to run, play games, and enjoy itself so it doesn’t become stressed out. A dog that doesn’t get opportunities to be physically active will look for other ways to expend energy. Those often involve creating a mess inside the house.

Taking your dog for daily walks can allow it to get some exercise, but it’s important to also give your pet some unstructured time outdoors. The freedom to run, jump, and play can help your dog relieve stress and boredom.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe

If you live in a residential area where cars and trucks drive by frequently, your dog can be in danger if it leaves the yard. Your pet may be tempted to venture off the property to go exploring or to play with another dog or a person in the neighborhood. If that happens, all sorts of things can go wrong. This is why it’s so important to keep your dog confined to the yard.

Constructing a physical fence is one option, but it can be expensive. Installing an outdoor hidden fence is a much simpler and more affordable solution. It can create a boundary so your dog will stay in the yard, but it won’t block the view of the neighborhood. The boundary can be customized to suit the specific dimensions of your yard and to allow your pet in certain areas while keeping it out of others. A hidden fence is easy to install and operate.

Get a Quote for an Outdoor Hidden Fence

DogWatch of Western Massachusetts can help you choose the type of invisible fence that will be best for the design of your property and for your needs. We can explain the products we offer and their features so you can make an informed decision. Contact us today to learn more about how an invisible fence can give your pet the freedom to run and explore and keep it safe.