Happy 2022! With a new year comes new beginnings, new hope and new promise. And as we say goodbye to a few difficult years, our pups are eager to put their best paws forward this year. Many of you have brought new dogs in to your homes during COVID and face new challenges as we now return to more regular activities. I want you to know that this COVID separation anxiety is very fixable. Others are still hoping that one day Fido will stop pulling on that leash, or jumping on people, or peeing in the house, or being aggressive with dogs or people. These behavioral issues are all understandable and changeable.
I am Mara Brown, a Master Dog Behaviorist. I “speak Dog” and will teach that to you, so you understand why your dog is doing that thing that drives you nuts; and of course, I will fix the unwanted behavior. All bad doggy behavior can be changed. Our dogs want to be good. They want to please us. We just have to help them by teaching them in a way they understand how to be the best dog they can be.
Here are a few tips to keep your dogs happy and healthy as we begin this new year:
- Do not feed your dog table scraps. Our food often has ingredients that can be harmful to our dogs, or potentially cause them significant weight gain. Specifically keep your dogs away from chocolate, onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, most nuts especially macadamia nuts, coffee, alcohol, any of your medications (even Tylenol, Advil, Excedrin etc.) and anything made with artificial sweetener. It is a good idea to teach your dog the “Leave It” command to ensure you keep your dog safe if any of these items should accidently fall on the floor. In case your dog does ingest something that they shouldn’t, call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. They will answer 24 hours a day, 365
days a year.
- Do not give your dog a raw or cooked bone. Although this may seem like a treat for them, it could be very dangerous. They could choke on a bone, or if the bone splinters they could sustain a life-threatening injury to their esophagus or digestive tract. It is important to be sure “counter surfer” dogs get training to not have that opportunity to steal that yummy steak, ribs, chicken, turkey, etc. that may be sitting atop your counter.
- Take your dog for regular walks. All dogs enjoy a walk with their humans. It is a bonding and primal activity to do together. Try to walk your dog for a minimum of a ½ hour in the morning and ½ hour in the evening. If your dog pulls your arm out, or barks at other dogs, know that is behavior that can be addressed and fixed.
- Microchip your dog and also have your phone number on the tag or collar your dog wears. (And be sure the information on the microchip is up to date.) In case the unthinkable happens and your dog runs away, bolts or gets lost, having both these forms of identification will help to ensure a happy reunion. Bolting out the door can be stopped, and a reliable “come” command can also
be easily taught.
- Don’t leave your dog outside alone. This area has coyotes that would enjoy snacking on your pup. Even if you have a big dog, the coyotes have a strategy of engaging a larger dog in play and then circling that dog with the rest of the coyote pack. Be safe, not sorry and always be present with your dog when it is outside. Coyotes can jump 6-foot walls. Be aware and alert.
Hope these tips are helpful. My dog and I wish you and your dogs a very Happy New Year filled with lots of treats, licks, fun and play!
for more information visit
www.LifeCoachingForDogs.com or call (310) 467-2334
Article by Mara Brown