By Penny Martin. Thank you Penny for writing this and sharing it with our readers.
Service dogs play a transformative role in the lives of individuals with disabilities, offering them a unique blend of companionship and practical assistance. These specially trained dogs are not just pets; they are skilled helpers that enable their owners to navigate the complexities of daily life with greater ease and confidence. For people facing various physical, sensory, or mental health challenges, the presence of a service dog can significantly enhance their independence. In this article, the numerous ways in which service dogs contribute to the lives of individuals with disabilities will be explored.
Choosing the right animal
It’s crucial to take your time choosing the right service animal for your needs. Do some research on different breeds, taking note of which ones tend to work better for specific disabilities. Look for expert advice on how to care for a service animal and how to keep them safe when you’re both in public spaces, which can be tricky. This research will give you peace of mind when you’re ready to choose your companion.
Simplifying travel with service dogs
Traveling with a service dog can significantly simplify the journey for individuals with disabilities, providing not just companionship but also essential support in unfamiliar environments. To ensure smooth transit, it's crucial to have easily accessible pet records, and one practical solution is to use it to convert to a PDF file for convenient sharing and verification. This digital format of pet records enhances travel preparedness, ensuring that all necessary documentation is readily available and easily presented when required.
For individuals with hearing impairments, service dogs provide crucial assistance. These dogs are trained to alert their handlers to important sounds, such as doorbells, alarms, or someone calling their name. This not only enhances communication but also ensures safety in various situations. The presence of a hearing assistance dog can significantly reduce the sense of isolation often experienced by those with hearing challenges.
Service dogs offer physical support and assistance to individuals with mobility challenges. They are trained to help with tasks such as opening doors, retrieving items, and even providing stability when walking. This support not only enhances freedom and independence but also boosts confidence in daily activities. The physical assistance these dogs provide is invaluable, allowing for a more active and autonomous lifestyle.
Encouraging exercise in walkable areas
Service dogs can also encourage physical activity, especially in areas with high walkability scores, which make exercise more comfortable for both owner and animal. Regular walks with a service dog promote physical health and well-being. This daily exercise routine can improve cardiovascular health, strength, and overall fitness. The companionship of a service dog makes these activities more enjoyable and sustainable.
Seizure alert and response
Service dogs trained in seizure alert and response provide a life-saving service. They can detect the onset of a seizure and take appropriate action, such as alerting someone or providing physical support. Beyond their practical assistance, these dogs also offer emotional support during and after medical emergencies. Their presence brings a sense of security and comfort to individuals prone to seizures.
In addition to their physical assistance, service dogs offer vital emotional support. Their constant presence can alleviate feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. The bond between a service dog and their handler often leads to improved mental health and a better quality of life. This emotional support is an integral part of the healing and coping process for many individuals with disabilities.
Service dogs significantly enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities by improving mobility, safety, and providing emotional and medical support. These animals play a crucial role in helping their handlers manage personal and professional responsibilities more effectively. Beyond aiding in daily tasks, service dogs empower their owners to live more independently and enrich their overall quality of life, underscoring their transformative and essential role in fostering independence for people with disabilities.
Looking for professional positive reinforcement training for your dog? Learn more about our services today to see how we can help.
Dogs love being part of family celebrations and it can make the festivities even more memorable having them be part of it. But there are things that we have in our homes during this time of the year that can be a potential danger to their health. In this article, I will share seven common potential hazards so that you can keep them safe during this bountiful and festive holiday season.
1. Christmas Trees
If you have a fresh tree be careful of fallen needles. They can be toxic to dogs if ingested, can cause gut obstructions and hurt their paws. The water that the tree is standing in can also be harmful as it may contain needles, pine sap and fertilizer or other additives that can be toxic to dogs.
2. Poisonous Plants
During the holidays there are some specific plants that we have adorning our homes such as lilies, poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe. Though they look beautiful, they are all toxic to dogs so make sure that they are out of their reach.
Some of the materials that decorations are made from can be toxic to dogs, but also if ingested they can cause blockages. Just ensure that they are out of the reach of your dog.
4. Electric Cords
We all have these around the inside and outside of our homes at this time of the year with holiday lights, holiday inflatables and other Christmas decorations. Ensure to supervise your dog around these wires as they can become entangled in them easily. They could also choke or if they chew on them, give them a shock or worse, so supervise them well around these items.
If possible, opt for the LED flickering candles which look equally as effective. It reduces the risk of a rambunctious pup or that strong wagging tail knocking over a lit candle.
6. Holiday Garland, Tinsel, and Ribbon
These are beautiful on the tree or adorning our bannisters in the home, but if ingested by a dog can cause gut obstructions so do your best to keep them out of reach of your furry family members.
7. Holiday Food Items
We all have our favorite treats and sinful delectables during the holidays and we can and should enjoy them but keep in mind that some of these can be harmful to your dog as follows:
It's a Wrap!
When it comes to gifts don’t forget to have a few under the tree for your four-legged family member! And don't neglect the opportunity to ensure that your dog gets plenty of exercise. Even on that special day get your dog out for some fresh air, preferably a nice long sniffy walk where they can take in all the “pee” mail and other wonderful smells in the environment and come back home feeling relaxed and calm before your guests arrive.
It’s also a good idea to have a “safe space“ for your dog such as a room, a dog pen or crate for them to relax. There is a lot of activity and noise that they are not always accustomed to and for some dogs can be quite overwhelming. That safe space can make all the difference allowing them to take time out and have some rest.
In case of an emergency, be proactive in knowing the number and address details of the nearest 24/7 emergency clinic.
Happy Holidays everyone and best wishes for a Happy, Healthy, and Safe New Year!
By Penny Martin. Thank you Penny for writing this and sharing it with our readers.
As a first-time pet owner, you may feel a little overwhelmed by everything you need to do to take care of your new furry friend. If so, don't worry - Chitra Walmsley is here to help! Today, we will cover some essential advice, including preparing your home for your pet, bonding strategies, and keeping pet stress to a minimum. Let's dive right into it.
Preparing your home for your new pet
When you bring a new pet home, you want to make sure that your home is prepared for its arrival. This means creating a safe and comfortable environment for them to live in. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for a new pet:
Bonding with your new pet
Bonding with your new pet is an integral part of pet ownership, and there are a few things you can do to ensure the process goes smoothly. First, take some time to get to know your pet's personality. Observe their behaviors and try to understand what makes them happy, scared, or agitated. This will help you best approach them and build a positive relationship, particularly if they are anxious rescue dogs.
Second, create a routine for your pet and stick to it as much as possible. This will help them feel comfortable and secure in their new home and help them acclimate to their new life. Be sure to include regular meals, potty breaks, playtime, and cuddle sessions in your pet's daily routine. Finally, be patient! Building a strong bond with a new pet takes time, so don't get discouraged if they're not immediately attached to you. With patience and love, you'll be best friends in no time.
The importance of early socialization
Early puppy socialization and training are vital components of raising a well-adjusted and confident adult dog. By exposing puppies to a variety of people, places, and other animals during their formative months, they learn to feel comfortable in different environments and situations, reducing the risk of anxiety or aggressive behavior later on. Additionally, early training helps in building a strong bond between the puppy and their owner, establishing trust and respect. This early bonding not only creates a more enjoyable relationship but also helps in effectively teaching basic commands and obedience, laying the foundation for a harmonious and happy life together.
Reduce your pet's stress
Did you know that pets feel stress just like humans? According to research published in Scientific Reports, pets are deeply impacted by human stress levels, which can affect their emotional and physical well-being. That's why it's essential to keep your stress levels in check to minimize your pet's anxiety, as this could lead to them acting out in public. In addition, work-related stress can cause listlessness and fatigue in pets.
Finding the right vet
Like you would for yourself or a family member, you need to find a qualified, compassionate veterinarian. Here are some tips for finding the right veterinarian for your pet:
These tips will help you get off to a great start as a first-time pet owner. Enjoy your new furry friend, and don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it! Don't forget to keep your and your pet's stress to a minimum by being mindful and helping them acclimate successfully, along with digitizing your records to make it easier to stay organized.
If you are in need of an experienced dog trainer, Chitra Walmsley can help! Reach out today to get started.
As a pet parent, you want nothing but the best for your furry friend. You want them to be happy, healthy, and well-behaved. However, sometimes dogs can exhibit bad behavior that can be frustrating and even dangerous. This is where Chitra Walmsley comes in. As a certified Boston-area dog trainer, she offers the best dog obedience training services to help pet parents eliminate bad behavior and create a harmonious relationship with their furry friends.
Why Choose Chitra Walmsley for Dog Obedience Training?
Chitra Walmsley has years of experience in dog training and behavior modification. She understands that every dog is unique and requires a customized training plan that meets their specific needs. She uses positive reinforcement techniques to teach dogs good behavior, allowing pet parents to enjoy a happy and stress-free relationship with their dogs. Chitra Walmsley offers the best dog obedience training services in the Boston area. Her services include:
If you're a pet parent in the Boston area and you're looking for the best dog obedience training services, look no further than Chitra Walmsley. Don't let bad behavior stand in the way of a happy relationship with your dog. Choose Chitra's services for a professional and effective training experience!
Are you tired of constantly scolding your furry friend for their bad behavior? Does it feel like you're not making any progress with traditional dog training methods? If so, it might be time to try something new and give positive reinforcement training for dogs/puppies a try. And who better to guide you through this exciting and effective training method than Chitra Walmsley?
So what are you waiting for? Give positive reinforcement/reward training for dogs a try with Chitra Walmsley, and watch your furry friend transform into a well-behaved and happy member of your family. With Chitra's expert guidance and positive approach, you'll both enjoy the process and see results in no time!
Keeping your furry family safe amidst the joyful chaos
The Holiday season is an exciting and dazzling time of year! Beautiful decorations adorn our homes with plenty of delicious savory and sweet food on the menu! It can be a hectic time of year so here is a list of things to keep your dogs’ away from to make the holidays fun, festive and safe for everyone!
If you want to treat your dogs as you tuck into your festive meals, remember there are lots of different recipes that you can find to fill a Kong and freeze it for their treat, or spread on a Licki Mat. Or, if there is a long-lasting chew that your dog loves, let them enjoy that!
Don’t forget to have a few presents under the Christmas Tree for your dog(s) to get excited over. A fancy new harness, collar or leash are great ideas as are puzzle toys for mental enrichment, tug toys or if you don’t already have one for your dog, a dog flirt pole!
Dogs can get excited or fearful of large family gatherings that we typically have during the festive season. To help alleviate some of the stress, it’s a good idea to exercise them for at least 30 minutes before guests arrive so that they are relaxed and maybe even a little tired when your guests arrive. It’s also a good idea to give them a break away from company in their crate or in a room with their dog bed.
Be proactive in knowing the number and address details of your nearest 24/7 Emergency Clinic should you need to rush your pet to the vet for any emergency.
Happy Holidays everyone and best wishes for a healthy, happy and safe New Year!
Written by Aurora James for Chitra Walmsley
Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show 29.8 million people moved in 2019. While many moved into larger homes, others downsized to save money or to have a more manageable home. If you're joining those looking to downsize and you have pets, follow these tips to keep your pets safe.
Getting Your Home Ready
Since most home buyers choose a previously owned residence, you have the advantage. But most buyers also want a house that doesn't require major renovations. Make repairs and fix pet-related issues, such as stained carpets or chewed trim. Having your home professionally cleaned and removing most of your pet paraphernalia helps make the home more appealing to prospective buyers who don't have pets.
Finding Pet-Friendly Homes
As you check out new homes, look for pet-friendly features, such as a fenced-in yard or an out-of-the-way spot for the litter box. Determine what your budget can handle, and proceed quickly when you find a pet-friendly home that meets your requirements. With the rates changing on a daily basis, you should check on current mortgage rates throughout your home search process to know if you are getting the best deal possible. Lower rates can also mean more cash on hand to make pet-friendly modifications to your new home should it be missing important features, like a fenced yard or doggie door.
Downsizing Your Belongings
Evaluate your new space to determine how much stuff you can keep. Take measurements to ensure your furniture fits, and sell or donate things you no longer need or want. If you need a self-storage unit to hold some items, expect to pay $100 to $300 per month, which can cut into the savings you realize from downsizing.
Keeping Your Pets Safe
As you prepare to move, keep your pets in a safe area away from where you're working, such as a bedroom or the backyard. On moving day, hire a pet sitter or take your pet to a kennel to keep them out of harm's way. At your new home, keep a close eye on your pet when they're outdoors.
Hiring movers for the big day can help you to get through your move quickly. Plus, it will allow you to focus more on keeping your pet safe if they are present with you. You can find local movers online, but make sure to read reviews before committing. If your pet will be on the property for move day, look for reviews or ask specifically about how they handle pets. Some companies will be more accommodating than others.
Preparing Your New Home
Your new place may need some upgrades to make your pet feel at home and be safe. For example, adding a fence to contain your dog will require you to spend some money, but the total depends on your location, yard size, and fencing material. Meet with local contractors to get a written quote and discuss your needs. Read online reviews, verify the contractor you choose is licensed and insured, and make sure they follow safety guidelines, such as checking for underground utility lines. Other possible upgrades include dog doors, an outdoor catio for feline friends, and removing poisonous landscaping.
Helping Your Pet Acclimate
In your new home, stick to your normal routine when possible, including regular mealtimes and walks. Set up your pet's space immediately, so they have comfortable, familiar things. Be empathetic and patient with your pet, and keep the home as calm as possible.
Make sure that you have a good leash, harness, and/or collar for your pet so that you can safely keep them with you on walks and in the yard. Look online for product reviews from veterinarians to find the right way to secure your pet. Remember, this can be a stressful time for your animals, and they may not respond in their normal ways. It’s always better to be safe and keep your pets secured for awhile until you’re sure they are comfortable in their new home.
Controlling your stress is one of the best things you can do for your pet throughout the downsizing process. Pets pick up on your anxiety, stress, and worry, and they may become anxious. Work on reducing your stress and spending time with your pets in a calming, loving way.
Start the Process
Keeping your pets in mind makes the move smoother and safer for them. If you're ready to downsize with your furry family, invest in some additional training time to strengthen your bond and solidify basic commands that will come in handy in your new neighborhood. Chitra offers on-site and virtual dog training sessions using positive reinforcement. Visit her other pages to learn more about her methods and to read reviews about her work.
(plus 4th of July considerations!)
Have an enjoyable and safe summer!
Written by Aurora James for Chitra Walmsley
As a loving pet owner, you want nothing more than your furry friend to lead a happy and healthy life and grow old alongside you. As your animal pal enters their later years, you will have to adjust your care plan to their changing needs. Discover how you can nurture your senior pet below.
Modify your home to pay for your senior pet's needs
Older animals may struggle with mobility issues. Make sure your space is free of clutter that could impede a pet's progress and keep the house tidy. A clean home can reduce the presence of dust mites and other allergens that ruin air quality and impede comfort. Other helpful modifications for senior pets include adding no-slip rugs for traction, placing steps and boxes for climbing, and installing night lights. If you live in a chilly climate like Canada, make sure there are plenty of soft, cozy, warm spaces for them.
Make grooming a top priority
Older cats and dogs may become less vigilant about grooming, so it's on you to help them. Whether you pay for a professional groomer or do the job yourself, follow best practices when helping elder animals with their hygiene. These include keeping sessions short, using soft brushes, and using a non-slip surface. Also, keep an eye out for health problems on their body as they groom, such as skin lesions.
Invest in quality healthy food made for older animals
As animals get older, their metabolism slows down, which means they may lack an appetite. You need to ensure your cat or dog still gets the nutrients they need while eating less. Towards this end, look for dog or cat foods geared specifically towards "senior" pets. Consult reliable sources for top-rated foods. For example, the American Kennel Club provides tips for brands that are ideal for older dogs.
If your senior pet is scratching frequently, is acting submissive or aggressive, or isn’t eating as much, these can be telltale signs of stress. Fortunately, there are a few things that pet owners can do to help reduce stress in their older pets. First, it's important to keep them healthy by providing them with a nutritious diet and regular exercise. Second, create a predictable routine and stick to it as much as possible. And finally, make sure to spend quality time with your pet, providing them with the love and attention they need.
Be prepared for accidents
Beware that older animals may lose bladder control and have accidents indoors. Remain patient and don't get angry at your pet if this happens. It's simply part of the aging process. You can cover furniture or carpets to help protect them, and get a waterproof cat or dog bed. When accidents happen, clean them thoroughly. You want to remove stains and smells completely or you risk a repeat of the incident. This guide explains how it's done.
See your veterinarian regularly
You should schedule veterinary visits regularly at any point in your animal's life. However, these checkups become even more important as they get older, at which point they are more prone to various illnesses. Your veterinarian can also make personalized recommendations on everything from pet food to addressing accidents.
Prepare yourself emotionally for the big goodbye
As your pet gets older, you will have to prepare yourself for the inevitable loss that comes with their death. While it might seem morbid, preparing in advance can make it easier to let go when the time comes. For example, you might want to make sure you're taking plenty of pictures and videos of your pet in their later years to remember them by. When the time comes, follow these tips from Psychology Today for preparing for the process.
You want to do all you can to help your pet live their best life in their later years. Trust the tips above to help. You can then rest easy knowing you've given your favorite furry pal the happiest and healthiest life possible.
For positive-reinforcement, force-free training, trust professional dog trainer Chitra Walmsley. Virtual training sessions are also available!
Puppy milk teeth start coming in between 2 and 4 weeks of age. In total they have around 28 milk teeth and by the time you get your puppy home at 8 weeks to 12 weeks they will have a full mouth of milk teeth. From that point until your puppy is around 6 months of age, they will begin the teething process as their adult teeth start to push through. Adult dogs have 42 teeth.
As puppies go through the teething process this can be a very painful period much like the process that human babies go through when they are teething. As those adult teeth are pushing through, this is the time that your puppy may find things to chew on as the act of chewing helps to sooth their discomfort and helps to calm them down.
It is the time that if your puppy is not properly supervised, they may go for inappropriate objects to chew on such as chair or table legs, remote controls, glasses, shoes, slippers, and phones! If this happens always remember that your puppy has no concept of right and wrong; they do not know it is inappropriate to chew on your new pair of shoes. If it’s there and within reach, they will go for it! So how to do you prevent this? Answer -- Puppy Proof your home to set your puppy up for success in the same way that you would child proof your home to keep young toddlers from accessing things that could be potentially dangerous to them.
This means putting away shoes and items of clothing, and keeping phones and remotes up high and out of reach. Ensure plants are put up high or in a room that the puppy is not allowed to roam, and when you think all is safe what I have found helpful is getting down on the ground to see if there is anything hanging low that a puppy might be able to grab and if so, remove it. Remember this is not forever, it is just for a window of time, and it will keep your puppy safe and your items in the home free from puppy teeth marks!
Helpful Tips to Prevent Puppy Nipping & Chewing
Puppies are fun and are a ray of sunshine that can bring much joy, laughter and happiness to a family. Just be prepared to put in the hard work when they are young, teach them in a positive way, socialize them to their world so that they are confident in their living environment both inside the home and outside and train them so that they understand their boundaries and learn what is appropriate. Once you guide your puppy through the first year of their life you will have a very loyal and happy K9 member of the family.
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