Twelve Golden Rules of Dog Ownership

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Dogs are attentive, loyal, life-affirming, and understanding companions. But owning a dog means taking responsibility for him and making sure your relationship is built on a solid foundation. That’s where these rules come into play: They can help you create a tighter bond with your pet by establishing roles, rules, and routines.

Twelve golden rules

  1. Love, admire and respect your dog.  Your dog is a wonderful, beautiful and intelligent member of the canine species. Be patient with him. Don’t hurt, abandon, or ignore him. Get help before you give up on him.
  2. Spay/neuter. Consult your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your dog if you know you will not breed him. These procedures help to control the severe pet population problem, and also have health benefits for both male and female dogs.
  3. Routine health care. Provide regular veterinary care for your dog. Annual vaccinations, checkups, and dental exams are essential to good health.
  4. Dog license and ID. Rabies vaccination and licensing are required by law in most states. In addition, you should identify your dog with a name tag, tattoo, or computer chip in case he gets lost.
  5. Healthy diet. Feed your dog a balanced diet and provide fresh water at all times.
  6. Train your dog. After all, good manners don’t just happen. So be patient and follow a proper training routine. If you need help training your dog, there are many articles on this site that can help. And if you still need assistance, ask your vet to recommend a good trainer or dog obedience school in your area.
  7. Keep your dog clean and groomed. Regular grooming keeps your dog looking his best and helps to detect and control skin parasites that could be passed to people.
  8. Play with your dog. Playtime should last at 20–30 minutes a day. Avoid chase games, tug of war, and wrestling.
  9. Exercise your dog. Depending on the age and breed of your dog, a good exercise session should last at least 30 minutes daily. And it’s not just good for your dog—it’s a great way for both of you to keep in shape.
  10. Socialize your dog. Provide your dog with a chance to socialize with people and other dogs. Try not to keep him cooped up in the house or yard because it could lead to barking and aggressive behavior.
  11. Know and obey local leash laws. When in doubt, keep him leashed when you’re both out and about.
  12. Scoop that poop. Always clean up after your dog in public places.
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Giant Breeds

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Giant breeds such as Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, and giant schnauzers have unique dietary requirements. Very few commercial puppy foods offer the ideal mix of calcium, energy, and protein levels that these breeds need. We can provide you with feeding recommendations that will encourage your dog’s maximum growth potential without causing developmental problems. For added convenience, we also stock veterinary-approved diets for giant breeds.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s nutrition or if you would simply like to discuss this topic with us.

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Medicated Baths

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Medicated baths can help ease many skin conditions in your pet. If he or she suffers from seborrhea (a noncontagious condition that can cause skin to become dry and flaky or oily and scaly), a medicated bath can help alleviate the itching. Pets with allergies, flea infestations, and other skin issues may also find relief with a medicated bath.

We can recommend a bath after we’ve examined your pet and diagnosed the problem. Illnesses unrelated to the skin, such as thyroid disease, can also cause skin problems in pets, so we want to be sure we’re treating the root of the problem, not just a symptom. Call us so we can help your pet feel better.

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Military Discount

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Stafford Animal Hospital now offers a 10% military discount on all services on Tuesdays! We are proud to support our troops! *Must present valid ID.

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Home Alone! Keeping Your German Shepherd Entertained

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German Shepherds are among the most social breeds in the canine world. They just love spending time with you, whether taking a walk or just curling up next to you. So when it comes time for you to leave the house, it can make your Shepherd a little anxious.

For some dogs, the anxiety is so great, it can lead to extreme behavior such as persistent barking or howling, destructive chewing, scratching or digging. These are signs of separation anxiety.

The following tips can help you keep your Shepherd entertained while you’re out.

Confine your dog. Try to keep him in an enclosed area when you’re out, such as a crate with water, toys, and soft flooring (such as a rug, pad, or blanket). Dogs are den animals, and even large dogs like German Shepherds feel safer in their own small space.

Hire a dog-walker. German Shepherds love people—and there is nothing better than an extra person to love. A dog-sitter can play with your dog, take him for walks, and provide a welcome break while he’s home alone.

Doggy daycare. The social German Shepherd is a good candidate for doggie daycare. Just make sure that the facility you choose is equipped to handle dogs that are big and active.

Distractions. Distractions such as puzzle-type chew toys, television, or the view from a big window can cure his loneliness. These tricks can help keep your dog entertained and playing long enough so that he may not even remember you’re gone.

Alter your habits. Do you have a set routine each day before you leave the house? Perhaps you jingle your keys, put your bag or briefcase near the door or kiss your spouse and kids. Your dog picks up on these cues, and associates them with your leaving. Try to mix up your normal routine by doing your usual activities in a different order.

Go for a long walk. Taking your dog out for a walk before you leave will help make him too tired to misbehave after you leave.

Try not to cure your dog’s anxiety problem by giving him even more attention—you’ll only create a vicious cycle of neediness. Likewise, never get angry when your dog acts clingy as you prepare to leave. This can cause even more anxiety because your dog will associate your absence and return with punishment.

With some time and a lot of patience, your dog will have a renewed sense of security—and you can be confident knowing that your dog is fine being home alone.

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Online Profile

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Is your pet a client with us? You can now set up their online profile to keep track of medical records, request a service and more! http://ow.ly/hoCk30nSgw3

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Boarding

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Ease your concerns about leaving your pet behind while you’re away: Let our qualified staff take care of him or her. We will provide your dog or cat with a safe, comfortable, “home away from home” atmosphere. We are happy to accommodate any special care or needs your pet might have. Just let us know when you make the reservation.

We provide amenities such as clean bedding and food and water bowls, but feel free to bring your own if you’d prefer. Toys and other personal items that are washable are welcome. We will administer any needed medication and follow your specified feeding regimen. (Alternately, we can provide a high-quality diet and treats for no extra charge, although eating their own food tends to agree better with most boarded pets.) We can also provide grooming services before you pick up your pet.

Veterinary technicians regularly check on the pets, and our kennel staff monitor the boarding area. You have the added benefit of knowing that one of our clinicians will promptly begin treatment if your pet gets sick during his or her stay.

To keep all our patients as healthy as possible, we require pets that are boarding with us to be current on the following vaccines:

Canines: Rabies, Distemper/Parvo, Leptospirosis and Bordetella. We require that the Bordetella vaccine be administered every six months.

Felines: Rabies and Distemper.

All required vaccines are to be administered at least two weeks prior to boarding. In addition to being current on the above vaccinations, all boarders must be on flea and tick prevention. Please call us for more information.

Schedule your boarding reservation today! For a tour of our boarding facilities, feel free to drop by anytime.

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