Here is a peek at the lobby with the new colors. See our Facebook page for more pictures or stop in to see the new colors in action!
This is a great blog post by a fellow dog professional about dog daycare and why the whole world isn’t just an off-leash playground for our dogs. We do think there are a lot of behaviors that daycare can help, but if we have to have this conversation with you, maybe this will put it in a different perspective for you…..
The season when Kennel Cough goes around most commonly is upon us, so we wanted to share some information about the vaccine and the virus. Please note – we will use the terms “Kennel Cough” and “Bordatella” interchangeably in this blog to refer to the general “doggie cold”, but please know there are technically differences and nuances that we won’t get into here.
All dogs at The Dog Haus are required to have a yearly Bordatella vaccine. This vaccine works a bit differently than other dog vaccines like Rabies or Distemper. The Bordatella vaccine works similarly to the human flu vaccine – it helps, but it does not guarantee the dog won’t get Bordatella.
If a dog does contract Kennel Cough, he/she can be contagious before they show any signs of illness such as coughing – this is a big reason why it spreads. Again, this is similar to something that happens in humans – do you have a child who goes to daycare or school? You know how those colds spread before anyone even realizes they are sick.
Dogs who are otherwise immune compromised, which includes being stressed are more likely to contract Kennel Cough than dogs who are exposed to a lot of different situations and dogs.
Kennel Cough does not require a vet visit as it will go away on it’s own within 10-20 days. However, if you are concerned about your dog and want to take them to the vet, please know there is no test for Kennel Cough. Vets usually diagnose Kennel Cough off of symptoms and how much time your dog spends around other dogs in a setting such as daycare. Vets will usually prescribe antibiotics in case there is a bacterial infection along with the Kennel Cough, and a cough suppressant. If you are interested in home remedies, you could try giving your dog a little bit of honey on a small piece of bread to soothe their throat. Some folks have had success running a humidifier over night to help ease their dog’s coughing.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough are a cough that happens when the dog is active, that usually sounds like they have a hairball. Dogs don’t usually get fevers or have lethargy with Kennel Cough, but it can happen that way some times and you should contact a vet if you have any questions or concerns.
Just like in humans, a cough can be a symptom of other things. For example, it just turned chilly recently and we all turned our heat on for the first time. This wreaks havoc on our lungs, and it can do the same for the dogs. If your dog only coughs in the morning while he/she is still inactive, this may be the culprit. A cough could also be caused by seasonal allergies.
If your dog does contract Kennel Cough, please know that it is not a cleanliness issue of the daycare or anyone’s fault. It is an airborne issue and is a risk that goes along with dogs playing with other dogs. The daycare will ask that your dog not come to daycare until he/she has not been coughing for 7 days, whether they are on medicine or not.
If you have any other questions about Kennel Cough or the Bordatella vaccine, please ask a caretaker!
Here are a few additional resources if you’d like to read further:
Here at The Dog Haus we don’t just stand around watching your dogs play. We are actively involved in correcting and promoting healthy, respectful, and constructive behavior. How do we do that?
We use various methods to distract non-constructive behavior and use praise and positive reinforcement to promote good behavior. There is a definite set of common problems we see, and one of those is demand barking.
Demand barking is when a dog barks at other dogs, or caregivers, wanting to get their attention. When we encounter a dog who demand barks we will distract the dog by calling them away from the area, giving them praise when they stop barking, or maybe finding other dogs who are willing to play with them.
Another common problem is third-party playing. This is when a third dog insists on joining another play group of two dogs. We don’t promote third-party playing because it can quickly become overwhelming for one of the dogs leading to the possibility of scuffles. If a dog at daycare is being a third-party player we employ one of the tools in our toolbox listed in the previous paragraph.
The last common challenge we see is barrier frustration. At daycare we see this manifest as barking at dogs through the fence in a forceful manner. The tool in our toolbox for this is pretty straight-forward. Our play area is set up in a way that allows us to put fence-aggressive dogs in an area where they won’t have contact with a lot of the dogs through the fences. Since this problem occurs more frequently in the the morning or at night when dogs are being dropped off, we can also remove the dog completely from the area and have them resting in a kennel until the excitement level of the play area has calmed down. Just because a dog is fence aggressive does not mean they are dog aggressive. Most often this behavior stems from the fact that the dog can’t go up and meet the other dog properly. Once the dogs are in the same area together, the barrier doesn’t exist anymore and that particular challenge has been addressed.
In addition to active tools in our toolbox, we also employ various physical tools to help with promoting good behavior. In a previous blog we talked about the use of Gentle Leaders for calming dogs. Another physical tool we use is a Thunder Shirt.
It is normal for dogs to feel anxious and nervous during storms. Thunder Shirts have been designed to help the dog feel safer, and when properly introduced to dogs can help the dog associate with wearing the shirt to happy, warm feelings. At The Dog Haus, we also use Thunder Shirts for general anxiety or nervousness in dogs.For more information about Thunder Shirts please check out their website at: http://www.thundershirt.com
For help using our techniques at home, or if you have any questions about techniques that we use feel free to ask us questions!
When thinking about getting a new addition to the family, it is hard to ignore all the stereotypes surrounding certain breeds. Property managers and landlords sometimes won’t allow tenants to adopt certain dogs.
Keep in mind when doing your research on breeds you are interested in that all dogs in a certain breed aren’t going to follow the stereotypical “normal” personality about that breed. Meeting the dog, and introducing them to your family and any other pets is going to help make sure that the dog you want is a right fit for your family and lifestyle.
Breeds such as Pitt Bulls, German Shepherds and Rottweilers get a bad rep in part because they are ones that the media focus on. Any dog has the potential to bite, but with the proper training can be taught how to interact with other dogs and humans. One of the vets we go to often for the rescue we work with says he’d rather deal with any of the above breeds than a Dalmation or Chihuahua any day!
We don’t breed discriminate here at The Dog Haus, because we think that every dog should have the chance to be physically and mentally stimulated by coming to daycare. We do a thorough evaluation of each dog before they interact with the other dogs, and we are here in the play area every day with the dogs and constantly watching for any trouble behaviors and helping dogs work on their social skills. We strive for a safe, controlled chaos here – we want the dogs to play, but we want everyone to be safe. We spend a lot of time on training staff to recognize dog body language and signals so that we know what to look for when it comes to dogs talking to each other.
Our advice is to do research, check out local adoption agencies and make sure the personality, not the breed, fit with you and your family.
Check out this link to a blog that will blow even more stereotypes out of the water: http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/dog-breeds-stereotypes-pit-bull-border-collie-greyhound
In Wisconsin we aren’t strangers to drastic weather changes and extreme temperatures. But did you know there are things to help your dog handle the cold better? Even though they are covered in fur and they’re internal body temperature tends to be higher than us humans they are still at risk for hypothermia and frostbite.
Hypothermia is defined as an internal body temperature lower than normal. A normal dog temperature can range from 99*-102*F, so any temperature lower than those defined means the dog is hypothermic. If left untreated hypothermia will lead to body systems shutting down and their metabolism stopping. So how can you avoid your dog becoming hypothermic? If your dog is an outdoor dog ensuring they have a windproof, waterproof shelter that is raised off the ground and contains straw, hay or blankets will help them maintain their normal temperature. If your dog isn’t an outside dog limiting their time spent outside can help. Staying warm in the winter also means more energy is spent, so talk to your vet about proper feeding instructions to help maintain the right amount of calories needed to stay warm. Dogs that have shorter hair or no hair can also wear sweaters or coats to help keep warm.
Another common problem in the winter months is frostbite. Frostbite occurs when the body isn’t warm enough to maintain proper blood flow to extremities leading to tissue death. In dogs this occurs usually on the tips of the ears, the tail and the feet. These areas are affected because the body is cold so the internal blood vessels decide to save the essential organs and stop blood flow to the parts of the body that don’t need it. Frostbitten tissue will look grey or black and as it thaws can appear pink. It is very painful. Avoid keeping your dog outside for long periods of time and also watch them for signs of hypothermia or frostbite.
Another danger in the winter is Antifreeze poisoning. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which taste great but can be deadly. Only a tiny amount needs to be consumed to cause deadly problems with the brain and the kidney. Avoid leaving bottles within reach of dogs and make sure to clean up any spills. If you suspect that your dog has ingested any kind of poison, immediately call your Veterinarian or a local Veterinary Emergency Clinic.
Winter can be a fun time for you and your dog, but make sure they stay as healthy and as warm as you do.
This blog post was written by the amazing Kate De Felice, owner and operator of Pretty Pawz (located right inside The Dog Haus)!
Dog Grooming – it’s about more than just looking good!
Any dog owner will ask that question at some point. But the hard part is understanding why your dog does, or eats, what he does.
Did you know that dogs aren’t true carnivores? Unlike they’re feline counterparts, who are carnivores, dogs are omnivores. This means they will eat anything and everything that will fulfill their dietary needs. In fact, wolves, coyotes and foxes are even called scavengers. This means that if they come across something that another predator has already hunted, they will use this opportunity to get a meal themselves.
In the evolution of wolves to domestic dogs that scavenging instinct has not been lost. Ask an owner of a dog who won’t stay out of the garbage and they will confirm it: dogs eat anything.
While dog food manufacturers spend billions of dollars on formulating commercial dog food so that it meets the energy requirements and dietary needs of domestic dogs, eating grass may aid in replacing nutrients they might otherwise not be getting. It’s also harmless. Most professionals will say that eating grass won’t harm your pet and could actually aid in relieving an upset or gassy stomach.