We teach dog owners new tricks

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December is a very busy but wonderful time of the year! Why not include your dog in the fun and festivities by attending Acme Canine’s Howliday Greeting party on Sunday, December 14 from 1:00 to 3:00pm.

There will be several droolicious treats for you to serve to your furry guest (and human ones too). Gingerbread cake and homemade dog biscuits are sure to please. While you are at it, create a pawprint ornament with your dog.  It’s only $10 and the proceeds will go to 4 Paws for Ability’s service dog program.

If you have some extra money to spend (I know it’s tough around the holidays) consider some of the unique dog items in Acme Canine Care Corner.   Discounts on Gordon MacIntyre lathering cleanser and products from our Moochie & Co. store are sure to create a festive and fun atmosphere.

If gifts for your dog aren’t part of your holiday custom, have his photo taken with Santa or dress him up in our red and white Santa hat and he will look just as adorable.  You’ll have a holiday memory that won’t empty your wallet.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday season….make sure to stay safe…but more importantly….have a HOWLING good time!

Teaching obedience commands is a great way to improve your relationship with your dog. Obedience will teach your dog focus and self restraint while making him better behaved. Obedience is also a great way to mentally stimulate your dog.

Here are some great ways to use commands to make life with your dog easier:

SIT

  • Have your dog sit at the door until verbally released before going out the door
  • Have your dog sit at the door until verbally released before entering the door and again when inside. You can even have your dog sit while you wipe each one of his paws dry of mud or rain.
  • A dog cannot run out of the house or jump out of the car if he is sitting
  • Have your dog sit while you examine his eyes, nose, mouth, ears
  • A dog cannot jump on a person if he is sitting
  • Have your dog sit in conjunction with giving him his food dish. You can also practice taking away his food dish while he is eating.
  • A dog cannot lunge at the end of a leash
  • Have your dog sit while someone is petting him
  • A dog cannot knock over a small child if you ask him to sit instead
  • Have your dog sit when putting on his collar
  • A dog cannot yank you on a leash while you are talking with a neighbor if he is sitting
  • Have your dog sit while you brush him or cut his nails

HEEL

  • Keeps your dog’s focus on you
  • Heel your dog to the car and have him sit before entering
  • Heel your dog when he is over-excited or anxious

DOWN

  • A dog can be kept out from underfoot while you are preparing dinner in a down
  • Put your dog in a down when answering the doorbell
  • A dog cannot knock or trample someone if he is in a down
  • Have your dog in a down while eating dinner
  • A dog can be kept from begging if he is in a down
  • A dog that will down for you in a public situation around distractions is a good sign the dog is under control. This dog will more likely be invited over friends’ and family’s homes, outdoor cafes, local businesses.

STAY

  • Can bring peace to your household

STAND

  • Is useful when you are at the vet
  • Have your dog stand when you brush him
  • Is useful when you are at the groomers
  • Have your dog stand while you bath him
  • Allows you to make your way around your dog when you need to

COME

  • Is taught so that you will have the ability to keep your dog safe should the need arise

 

 

The holidays are a busy time of year for all of us. Holiday parties, school activities and shopping all take us away from our homes.

Dogs can get stressed for the same reasons humans get stressed. They can get stressed when we are angry with them or punish them. They get stresses in situations of threat, of pain or discomfort, and even stressed by excitement. Dogs get stressed in situations where they feel unable to cope.

When stressed they get more hormones running around and the adrenaline starts pumping. The stress levels together with the activated defense mechanisms are necessary for your dog to survive. It helps them react fast enough and be strong enough to survive danger. Dogs can show stress in many ways. When stressed they usually start using “calming signals” to ease the stress.

Acme Canine offers daycare 6 days a week, from 7am to 7pm Sunday through Friday, to help reduce some of that holiday stress. With flexible drop off and pick up times, you can let us take care of your pet, allowing you to concentrate on other things – without the guilt of leaving your pet alone or the stress of stopping home to take your dog out or feed him or her. It’s also a great way to give your dog – or cat – a safe and fun environment if you are entertaining people with allergies or those who may not appreciate your 4-legged friend as much as you do.

What can make a dog stressed?

  • Direct threats by us or other dogs
  • Rough handling, pulling him along, jerking at the lead, pushing him down
  • Unknown places, noises, odors
  • Violence, aggression in his environment
  • Pain and illness
  • Inadequate diet
  • Being alone
  • Too little exercise or too much overexcited playing with balls or other dogs
  • Hunger , thirst
  • Sudden changes
  • Freezing or being too hot
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Never being able to relax, always being disturbed
  • Too high demands in training and daily life

Identifying Stress;

  • Licking or biting himself excessively
  • Panting
  • Scratching excessively
  • Barking, howling, whining
  • Shaking as if shaking off water
  • Unhealthy looking fur that seems to be hard, breakable, standing on end
  • Tense muscles
  • Sudden “attack” of dandruff, for instance
  • Diarrhea
  • Looking nervous, hiding behind handler
  • Running after his tail
  • Losing his appetite
  • Using calming signals
  • Unable to calm down, restless
  • Smells bad, both mouth and body
  • Having to eliminate more often than normal
  • Allergies, many are really stress scratching
  • Behaving aggressively
  • Losing concentration – can’t concentrate for more than a very short time
  • Refusing to interact with family; previously playful dog not wanting to play

What can you do to help reduce stress?

  • Change the environment and routines
  • Have the dog do down time in a safe and quiet place
  • Stop using harsh methods in training and handling
  • Find your dog’s balance of exercise he needs
  • Avoid putting him in a situation of hunger thirst, heat, cold
  • Make sure he has access to relieve himself when he needs to
  • Letting the dog be a part of the pack as much as possible so he is with you or someone in the family more
  • Learning to identify and use calming signals
  • Stop using all force, punishment, aggression, and anger

Calming Signals

  • Turning of the head: this can be a swift movement to the side and back, or the head may be held to the side for some time. It may be the whole head or just a tiny movement to the side.
  • Not turning the head, but having the eyes only to the side looking away to avert the direct stare is a signal similar to head turning
  • Lowering the eye lids and not staring in a threatening way
  • Turning to the side or turning your back to someone is very calming
  • Freeze, stand, sit or lie still, without moving a muscle
  • Play position; going down with front legs in a bowing position. You can do this by resting on your knees and then stretching your arms, straight out in front of you on floor.
  • Walking slowly and using slow movements
  • Turning his back to you and then sitting down or just sitting down when approached can be a signal
  • Yawning
  • Lying down with belly on the ground can be a calming signal
  • Sniffing the ground in a swift movement and up again. Or just holding the nose to the ground. This signal is really not something we can do
  • Going physically between dogs or people is a signal
  • Wagging tails; if a dog is crawling towards you, whining and peeing, the wagging tail is a “white flag,” trying to calm you down. Another one we can’t use.
  • Smacking their lips
  • Licking faces
  • Blinking their eyes
  • Lifting their paws
  • Making themselves small

 

The Bake-A-Bone dog treat maker is simple to use and easy to clean up. It comes with a recipe book containing 30 recipes and most of the recipes only require on average four ingredients that are usually stocked in most kitchens. They also have pre-made mixes that can be bought seperately but making your own mixes is easy, cheap and you have the peace of mind of what is actually in the mix.

Basically a glorified waffle maker, Bake-A-Bone makes soft, fresh, moist, bone-shaped treats in 5-10 minutes. The recipes are similiar to a waffle formula recipe, so the treat is fluffy and soft with crusty edges and a golden brown surface. A harder treat can be made by putting the finished Bake-A-Bone treats in a 350-degree heated oven, turning off the oven and letting them “bake” for 4-6 hours.

Using the Bake a Bone is a nice way to provide treats to dogs with dietary restrictions since you know exactly what the treats are made of.  Unfortunately because you aren’t adding any preservatives the treats don’t stay fresh for long unless you freeze them.

Overall, I enjoyed making doggie treats with the Bake-A-Bone treat maker because it does create dog treats with no preservatives, however while baking I kept wishing it baked more treats at a time because it is time consuming to bake only 4 treats every 10 minutes or so.

If you do decide to purchase one, buy it at a store rather than order it through the TV.  It seems the direct order company has some issues with delivery.

In any case, here’s a grain-free recipe from an Amazon customer to try with your waffle maker or the Bake a Bone:
* 1 sweet potato – cooked and skin removed
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup coconut milk
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1.5 tablespoons flax
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1/2 cup coconut flour

Directions:
* Combine the flax and water in a bowl and let it sit so that the flax makes a paste.
* Cut up the sweet potato and boil until soft. Let cool, remove skins and mash.
* Combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix well.
* Drop batter onto the bake a bone or waffle iron.
* Bake for 10 minutes.  Pull out and let cool.
* Store chilled in the fridge.
* Yields: About 30-32  dog biscuits

Have a product you’d like us to test?  Send us the product’s name and where it can be obtained and your favorite Central Ohio dog boarding center will do the rest!

 

Halloween can be a fun time of year. With all sorts of fall festivals, costumes, trick-or-treating and candy, most households, both with and without children, will join in the festivities to some extent.

While this can be a fun time of year for humans, it is not always fun or safe for our pets. There are many problems that may occur with dogs this time of year, and now is the time to begin working on them… ahead of time!

One of the most common issues is dogs bolting out the door whenever it’s opened. Chances are on Halloween, trick-or-treaters will be ringing your bell and you’ll be opening the door quite regularly. Practice now with your pet… teaching him that even if the door is open, he is not to run out. You may have to use his leash at first and it’s a good idea to practice at times of day when there are many distractions outside.

Also an important thing to address is very thorough socialization. Remember, while we know that the adorable little Darth Vader or Princess Witch is just a cute kid in a costume, our dogs may not realize. Work on socializing your dog with hats, masks, strange noises and anything else you can think of so he won’t be overly suspicious comes Halloween time. You don’t want your dog to become overprotective or extremely fearful which could result in a dangerous situation.

Supervision is another good idea on Halloween. Many people choose to sit out on their porches and wait for trick-or-treaters and a properly socialized dog can join in the fun by staying with you on a leash. Also be sure to keep your dog safe by not leaving him outside in your yard unsupervised for long periods of time. Cats, especially black ones, should be kept indoors to protect them from the rare (but occasionally real) cruelty that could occur.

Last but not least, remember that chocolate is toxic to dogs. Do not leave your bowl of goodies anywhere the dog might reach it and be sure that children know where to keep their booty as well.

By doing some training and taking precautions ahead of time, our dogs can be safe and enjoy Halloween along with the rest of us!

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