Dog Walk Etiquette: Training Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

When you live in any community, big or small, it is necessary to keep your dog on a leash when you are out in public. It seems easy, right? Unfortunately, many dogs resist the leash and it can be a struggle to have a pleasant walk when they are squirming and miserable. The case for leashes is important, though, to keeping your pet and others safe. It’s a necessary part of training your dog, in fact.

This is why your friends at Redwood Veterinary Clinic are here to give you some expert tips on training your dog to walk on a leash. Let’s get going!

Tips for Training Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Leash walking is something all dogs need to know, whether they spend a lot of time outdoors or not. In fact, municipal laws dictate that dogs should be on leashes when they are in any public areas that are not deemed off leash dog parks.

There are some basics to know before you venture out with your bestie.

  1. Choose the right leashWe recommend a harness and leash system when you are training a puppy or leash resistant dog. It gives you more control while training and prevents any injuries to the neck and trachea. These should be used for tiny breeds for safety. However, a traditional leash and collar are fine if they are made of sturdy nylon or leather. Avoid retractable leashes as they have been known to cause injury.
  2. Start in the backyard Instead of taking your dog right downtown, avoid noisy and busy areas by practicing in the backyard, getting your dog used to the feeling of being on a leash. Use your commands, such as “sit” and “stay” to see how well they respond. Move to the front yard, then around the block when they continue to gain confidence.
  3. Stop and start Any time your pet starts to get antsy or pulls, get them to sit down. Stay until they are calm, then say, “let’s go” and continue on your path. Wait for them to calm down each time before moving forward. This will train them to know that they can only move when they aren’t pulling ahead.
  4. Cross over when you see other dogs – If your pet reacts to dogs or other animals, cross  the street when you see them approach. Likewise, move your dog over to a lawn and have them sit until the other animal has passed by with their owner.
  5. Turn around when there is trouble brewing If your dog reacts to another dog, person, squirrel, or any animals in the midst, turn and go. This avoids any negative interactions with others and gets your pet’s attention to rest on you once again, rather than the trigger.
  6. Reward your pet While you are training them to walk on a leash, give them a small treat as a reward. Each time they follow a command or walk without pulling, give them verbal praise and a treat. (Extra points when they behave while a pesky squirrel runs by!)

The Leash Reactive Dog

Some dogs are prone to escape or resistant to a leash when on them. In some dogs, it can be a fear or phobia for them to feel confined in any way. There are certain causes for this behavior, including:

  • Lack of training with basic commands
  • Undersocialization
  • Fear of strangers, other animals, noise, etc.
  • Traumatic experience in their development
  • Frustration over one too many stimuli in their surroundings
  • Other dogs that are off leash can create tension and fear

If your dog isn’t jibing with the leash, please reach out to us. We can offer suggestions and a behavioral consult for your pup.

Success with Leash Walking

With a lot of practice and consistency, your dog will soon learn how to walk on the leash with ease. Much of this requires practice, understanding triggers or barriers to your training, and redirecting your dog with rewards based training. If you have any questions about leash walking your best friend, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us.

Slithering Surprise: What You Need to Know About Snake Safety and Dogs

If you are an outdoorsy type, chances are, you have encountered at least a few snakes while on the trails or exploring nature. Each year, thousands of dogs get bitten by snakes, an estimated 150,000. Much of these bites are from rattlesnakes, but there are other venomous snakes to be aware of, too, especially if you travel to areas where there are other species of snakes. 

The good news, though, is that you can keep your pawed pal protected through education, awareness, and precautionary measures. Let’s take a closer look as your friends at Redwood Veterinary Hospital explore the topic of snakes safety and dogs.

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We are an Essential Service Offering Curbside Care

Redwood Veterinary Hospital has always believed that protection of good health, both human and animal, requires a multifaceted community-based approach. As our community addresses the challenges of COVID-19 together we want to keep you informed about how we’re doing things a little differently these days. 

Designated by the State of California as an essential service, Redwood Veterinary Hospital continues to provide critical care to sick or injured animals as well as wellness care, such as all important health check examinations and vaccinations. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how we deliver healthcare to animals. We call this new approach “Curbside Care”. Below we explain how this will affect your experience at Redwood Veterinary Hospital in the months ahead.  

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When’s the Right Time to Build a Catio? Right Meow!

What if you could keep your indoor cat super safe while allowing them access to the wonders of the backyard? You can! With a catio (a cat patio), you can create opportunities for your cat to use all of their senses while ensuring they aren’t at risk of illness, injury, or getting lost. 

There are a variety of ways to build a catio, but one thing is for sure: your cat will be fur-ever grateful!

Indoor-Only Cats 

With fewer chances to get lost, experience altercations with other cats or large dogs, get hit by motor vehicles, or simply pick up parasites, it’s hard to argue with the fact that indoor-only cats live longer, healthier lives. But not much is said about how happy they are about their longevity. Indeed, if it were up to them, some indoor cats might decide to check out what lies beyond the threshold.  

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Fireworks, Parties, and Thunderstorms: Addressing Noise Anxiety in Pets

Most pets are sensitive to loud noises because their hearing is much more acute than our own. This sensitivity to sound is what causes some emotional and physical disturbances when your pet hears loud noises. Couple that with the unpredictability of some of these sounds, is cause for stress in some animals.

The team at Redwood Veterinary Hospital is here to address noise anxiety in pets to help you identify the triggers and minimize the symptoms in your little one.

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Redwood Veterinary Hospital is Celebrating 41 Years of AAHA Accreditation!

This year at Redwood Veterinary Hospital marks our 41st year of accreditation by AAHA and we couldn’t be more proud! This is no small accomplishment and we want to make sure that all of our friends and family know exactly what that means and why they should care. It is one thing for us to be proud, but we know you’ll join us once you know what AAHA accreditation means for you and your pet(s).

AAHA Accreditation

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) was founded in 1933 to help ensure the best care for our animal friends possible. Today AAHA is respected internationally as a leader in the veterinary world, setting standards of excellence for veterinary care and services. 

While the AAHA guidelines and standards for high quality veterinary care are available to the entire profession, not every veterinary hospital follows them. All veterinary hospitals in California are legally required to meet certain minimum standards of care. AAHA accredited hospitals, like Redwood Veterinary Hospital, are required to meet higher standards of care. This takes considerable time and effort and generates a lot of pride here at Redwood. 

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What You Need to Know About Canine Leptospirosis

Canine Leptospirosis is still a relatively unknown disease that is carried by wildlife. It affects millions of dogs worldwide and is most often found in the soil and water. Even in urban areas, the disease is becoming more prevalent because it’s carried by rodents, who thrive in our cities.

But what is Canine Leptospirosis? Is your pet at risk? The Redwood Veterinary Hospital team is here to explain and help pet owners protect their furry loved ones.

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Not So Sweet: The Dangers of the Sweetener, Xylitol 

Xylitol, a name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, is commonly found in a wide range of food and non-food products including sugar-free foods, drinks, snacks, supplements, oral hygiene products, gums, cosmetics, hair care products, sunscreens/gels and more. While it may benefit people in their sugar-free ways, it is the bane of pets, especially dogs – as it is extremely toxic. 

Xylitol ranks among the top 10 poisons reported by the Pet Poison Helpline each year, yet many people are unaware of this dangerous ingredient. Have you heard about xylitol? The team at Redwood Veterinary Hospital is here to explain why this substance should be kept away from your four-legged friend. 

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Taking Care Of Their Smile: How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

It seems easy; if you want pet care advice, just ask Alexa or Siri or do a short Google search. Of course, it’s always hard to know what and who to trust on-line.

At Redwood Veterinary Hospital we believe your source of reliable pet care information should be your family veterinarian. In that spirit, we’d like to share with you the importance of preventative dental care for your pet and more specifically, how to brush their teeth. When it comes to pet health and longevity, caring for your pet’s oral health can play an important role, and we believe can improve the quality and quantity of your pet’s life.

Issues with the teeth in pets are often “silent” problems, and pet owners may not even know their pet is suffering with dental disease. Dental disease is one of the most common pet health conditions we see.  It affects a whopping 85% of pets by the time they reach 4 years of age. 

A Dental Care Plan of regular exams, professional cleanings, and x-rays, as well as home care can help keep dental disease in check. At-home brushing plays a critical role by slowing the return of plaque and tarter between cleanings. Learning how to brush your pet’s teeth is not difficult, and in most cases can be mastered with a little time and patience.

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Retrospective: Our Top 5 Pet Blogs of 2019 

Can you believe another year has come and gone? And what a year it was! At Redwood Veterinary Hospital, we have been blessed to care for so many wonderful fur friends and partner with their loving families. Our goal is to always give our pets the greatest quality of care in veterinary health for a long and happy life. 

The aim of our blog is to provide relevant, informative content on all things relating to pet health. We also throw out the occasional entertaining and light-hearted blog for good measure. We are pleased that we have had so many loyal readers, and we look forward to providing excellent content for pet owners. 

So, now to our top 5 pet blogs of 2019!

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