Dog Training Tips Straight from the Pros

dog trainingJanuary is National Dog Training Month, and we couldn’t be more excited here at Billings Animal Family Hospital! We believe that obedience training is about so much more than having a dog who will follow commands (although, that is important too).

When done properly, dog training sets the foundation for a great relationship with your pet and helps to create a happy, well-adjusted dog.

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Ewww, Dog Germs! What You Need to Know About Kissing Your Dog

Billings_iStock_000076357617_LargeSome pet owners are a little more liberal with doggy kisses than others. Some of us channel a little more Lucy than others, avoiding contact with our pet’s tongue at all costs, while others believe that dogs have very clean mouths and don’t mind the extra affection.

So which is it?

Read on to learn more than you ever wanted to know about kissing your dog. Continue…

Petscaping: Creating a Pet Friendly Backyard

Arlington_iStock_000071200371_LargeA basic backyard for your pet should include fencing, access to water, shade, and his or her own patch on which to answer nature’s call. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, going the extra mile to design a truly pet friendly backyard has far-reaching benefits. Not only will your pet be happy and safe, you can rest assured he or she isn’t misbehaving. Let the design challenge begin!

Safety First

Depending on the size of your backyard, you may want all or part of it fenced in. Dog runs can be a great addition to a larger property that isn’t fully enclosed (as long as your pet doesn’t feel isolated). Always make sure your pet is safe within the perimeter and cannot easily escape (over or under the fence). The following considerations are also important: Continue…

Five Things Your Dog Wishes You Knew

Billings_iStock_000075088461_LargePerhaps you’ve seen the multitude of phone or tablet apps that are supposed to translate human speech to barks, growls, and howls that our dogs can understand. Or maybe you’ve read the articles about a machine that will let us know what our pup is trying to tell us.

While high-tech translations are a tempting idea, having some sort of universal translation device still seems like something from a B-rated sci-fi flick.And, unfortunately, much of what we have read about and tried is, indeed, science fiction.

So, until Fido can order out for doggy treats or communicate terms for couch sitting privileges, there may be some guesswork for what your dog wishes you knew. Continue…

Brushing Up on Your Pet’s Dental Health

iStock_000031982520_MediumThe line between fact and fiction used to be rather formidable, but these days, it’s downright fuzzy. Thanks in part to reality television and sensational media, we all seem to wonder what is actually real. Indeed, what is the truth?

In spite of this unclear outlook, Billings Animal Family Hospital knows some things are absolute, and one of them is the importance of your pet’s dental health. Our unwavering commitment to this will hopefully inspire you to pick up your pet’s toothbrush and get cleaning! Continue…

Brilliant! Using Social Media To Find A Lost Pet

Dog French BulldogSocial media has skyrocketed us all into a hyper-aware state of knowing all the details about what’s going on around the world at any given moment. Sure, we can all binge on a long lost pal’s vacation photos ad nauseum, but beyond reunions and event notifications, social media is a powerful tool in the case of a missing pet.

While it’s easy to romanticize humankind’s past methods of communication (who doesn’t long for a love letter written in cursive, penned in India ink, sealed with a wax stamp, and hand delivered?) Continue…

Decoding Doggy Behavior: Why Dogs Hump Things

 

Billings_iStock_000009502242_LargeIt always seems like it happens at the most inopportune moment: Your grandmother is over for dinner, or your kids are hosting a neighborhood playdate. Then, out of nowhere, your normally well-behaved family pet mounts a toy or, worse yet, one of your visitors.

What makes dogs engage in this embarrassing behavior? Most pet owners have wondered at some point why dogs hump and what they can do about it. Keep reading to become an expert in this common doggy indiscretion. Continue…

Parvo and the Importance of Prevention

White golden retriever puppyOne of the most frightening words a pet owner can hear is parvo. Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that attacks the white blood cells and causes serious damage to the intestinal tract and sometimes the heart. Parvovirus most commonly affects puppies or dogs under one year of age, since in most cases, they have not been fully vaccinated and have weaker immune systems. In fact, 85% of dogs diagnosed with parvo are between 6-20 weeks old. However, unvaccinated adult dogs are also at risk. Continue…