Stop! Your Dog Can’t Eat That!

List of foods that are bad for your dogThe lure of supplementing your dog’s chow with fruits and vegetables from your table is strong. After all, these foods are considered healthy for human consumption, so why not also for your dog? In the alternative, you are serious about feeding your dog a nutritious chow that is formulated for its dietary needs. Yet you have noticed that he has been getting into your pantry. Should you move some of the groceries?

List of Foods That Are Bad for Your Dog

In fact, there is a list of inappropriate and dangerous foods that Doctors Foster and Smith have put together. Examples include:

  • Caffeine. Whether it is in your chocolate stash, your coffee grounds or the tea leaves, caffeine has proven to have a toxic effect on the canine’s nervous system as well as on the heart.
  • Foods that are dangerous to your dogCat food. If you are feeding your pets together, it is not unusual for the dog to also gobble up the cat’s food. The problem here is that food for feline consumption is usually formulated with elevated levels of protein and fat. This will lead to obesity in dogs. Separate the food bowls and do not give cat food to your dog in a pinch when you run out of regular chow.
  • Raisins. It may be funny to watch your dog catch a raisin out of the air, but consider that grapes and raisins contain a toxin that adversely affects the pet’s kidneys.
  • Onions. Famous for containing sulfoxides, onions have been connected to anemia in dogs as well as cats. Extremely light-colored gums are a sign of possible anemia.
  • Rawhide. Dog’s Best Life Magazine warns that rawhide is a common culprit in cases of digestive tract obstructions. In many of these cases, speedy veterinary care is of the utmost importance to avoid death.

It is imperative to bar access to any of these foods.

What’s the Best Dog Food?

Is chocolate bad for dogsSo, what should you feed your dog? The ideal chow is natural and does not contain any of the fillers that are so common in grocery store dog food. The protein should be of the highest quality, which means that your dog absorbs more of the nutrients. As a result, you will be able to feed less than you have been accustomed to when using store-bought chow. Therefore, you actually save money when switching to high-quality food.

We recommend Life’s Abundance. The standard all-life-stage dry dog food contains 26 percent of crude protein and 16 percent of fat. Fiber is present to the tune of 3.5 percent. If the pet requires a weight loss formula, choose the specially formulated diet mix. With 28.5 Best dog food to feed my dogpercent of protein but only 11.5 percent of fat, the dog receives the necessary nutrients but without a lot of the fat. This will assist your companion canine with weight loss. Of course, a second part of this equation is regular exercise for the pet, play time and also off-leash run time at a dog park.

The latter is only possible when your dog is properly trained. If you are worried about your pet’s behavior toward other dogs or their owners, contact Sit Means Sit for our popular Lunch and Learn program. We work with businesses that would like to see a demonstration of what proper training could achieve in the average dog. We even bring pizza for lunch or bagels for breakfast! So, do not feed your dog inappropriate foods. Eliminate opportunities for the pet to sneak into your trash or pantry. Exercise it more, and ensure that its behavior is up to par for a visit to the dog park.

Lunch and Learn at Sit Means Sit

Image credits: WebMD

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Suki, The Lab, Learns She Gets To Go Where She Wants If She Does It Calmly!

Cortnie with Sit Means Sit Austin had a fun week teaching Suki, the yellow lab that Suki needed to slow down instead of pulling everywhere to get places. She is a much calmer, happier dog with training!

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Why Is a CGC Test So Important for Your Dog?

What is a CGC Test from the AKCThe Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program was actually started in 1989 by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The goal is to train a dog in the kinds of behaviors that make it a well-mannered asset to any home and community. Yet it is more than that. The CGC program also enlists the animal’s caretaker in the process of enabling the pet to respond in the desired ways. Thus, the program is really about the successful collaboration between dog and human.

CGC Test Basics

Participation in the program is open to properly vaccinated dogs of all breeds, which includes mixed breeds. The AKC is very clear in stating that it is never too late for a dog to become a good citizen. After undergoing the training program associated with the test, a dog should be able to behave politely when greeting a friendly stranger, walking in a crowded room or interacting with other dogs. Basic commands are followed. The dog allows itself to be touched for grooming. Walking on a loose leash is achieved with basic voice commands. The dog is confident and will behave appropriately even if its primary caretaker is not present.

Therapy Dog Training Austin and San AntonioSit Means Sit Dog Training advocates CGC testing. We believe that a well-behaved dog is a happy pet. We do offer preparatory classes that help you to get your animal ready for the actual testing. After your dog passes the test, you have a number of options that allow you to take your – and dog’s – experiences further. For example, an AKC Good Canine Citizen is permitted to participate in the AKC Therapy Dog program. This type of pet works with its caregiver to bring comfort to patients in a variety of therapeutic settings. This includes hospitals and nursing homes. The dogs are also welcomed in the schools that are currently trying out new reading programs, which allow children to read out loud to therapy dogs. This has shown immense promise in heightening the reading abilities of challenged students.

More Options After the Test

Of course, there are also other options open to you and your pet after successfully passing the CGC test. For example, you may choose to train for (and participate in) agility and tracking events as well as performance events. If you have ever dreamed of competing in an AKC event but have discovered that your pet is not registered with the organization, Dog Training San Antoniothere is now a chance! To give these dogs – and their owners – another chance, the organization has devised the Purebred Alternative Listing program. An animal of a registerable breed that has passed the CGC test may be eligible to participate.

As you can see, training for and passing the CGC test opens a myriad of doors that have the power to change your life and that of your companion animal. Talk to our friendly dog training specialists today to get more information on the training, the preparatory classes or the test. Remember: No dog is too old to get started! Who knows, this might be the year that you and your dog will brave this challenge and discover some new hobbies or volunteer opportunities in the process.

GCG Test Austin and San Antonio

Image Credits: Andrea Arden / carterse


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Deafness and Your Dog

Deaf Dogs Sleep BestIf you whistle for your pet and he doesn’t respond, he might simply choose not to answer, he might be distracted by something even more interesting – or he might not be able to hear you. Deafness afflicts dogs and humans alike, and it can pose some special risks and dangers for your animal. Let’s look at how you might be able to help prevent the condition, or failing that, how to communicate better with your hearing-impaired friend.

What Causes Deafness?

A variety of things can cause deafness in dogs. Genetics may cause some animals — notably often all-white dogs with pink noses — to be born deaf. Hearing loss can also occur later in life, either suddenly or gradually. An infection or injury that damages the eardrum, for instance, might bring on deafness. Or your pet might lose his hearing through age-related degeneration of the parts of the ear that convey sound to the brain. Annual wellness checks are one way you can make sure infections, such as those caused by ear mites, get detected and treated early. Your vet might even find that the deafness was caused by nothing more than wax buildup. If you notice your dogs ears stink, it might be a yeast infection and if left untreated can cause hearing loss.

Deaf Dog PictureWhat if my dog is deaf?

Even if your dog’s deafness is not preventable, you can still relate to him and even train him. Dogs are amazingly adaptable. If they are born deaf they don’t know that they cannot hear. If they go deaf, they will adapt and so should you! Hand signals are always a viable option; you can also use a laser pointer to get your message across. Ecollars (electronic collars), when used correctly, can also be extremely helpful  for getting your pet’s attention without hurting him. Used at low levels, they make excellent tools for issuing recognized commands, teaching new commands, and warning your pet away from potential dangers. If you’d like more advice on training and communicating with your deaf dog, don’t hesitate to contact your friends as Sit Means Sit!

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Otto the Crazy German Shorthair Pointer Learns How to Politely Walk On a Leash!

Krystal with Sit Means Sit San Antonio definitely had a maniac on her hands with Otto, the crazy German Shorthair Pointer. He was eager to learn and learned quickly. In a short period of time he learned how to walk next to other dogs without being crazy and to also be off leash with excellent recall.

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Melo, The Bull Terrier Is Not Very Mellow! He’s the Quite The Opposite!

Jacob with Sit Means Sit Austin had a blast training this young bull terrier. Melo was quite stubborn at first, but he caught on quickly. He learned that instead of pulling on the leash to get somewhere, he still gets to go where he wants but on a loose leash!

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The Importance of Microchipping Your Dog

Lost Without MicrochipYou probably take many important steps already to preserve your pup’s wellness, from vaccination and dental checkups to proper diet and exercise (not to mention training and other forms of mental stimulation). But have you microchipped him yet? This tiny device can make an enormous difference in your pet’s ultimate well being if he is ever separated from you, so here at Sit Means Sit we think of it as a pretty important wellness measure that every owner should adopt.

What kind of surgical procedure are we talking about?

Lost Pet Return RateNone at all, actually. The microchip in question is so tiny that your veterinarian can just inject it underneath the skin, in the area between the shoulder blades. It’s not a complicated device — it doesn’t have any GPS tracking capability, or even a power source. It does, however, have a unique ID number in it, and it responds to scanning devices by transmitting
this number to whoever’s doing the scanning. So if your lost pet winds up at an animal shelter, the shelter personnel can scan for the microchip ID. The ID number is registered with a national database so the shelter can look up your contact information and tell you to come pick up your pet.

Please don’t forget to register your ID. Often people will rescue a dog or have it microchipped and then not go to the website to add their contact information. This is obviously a very important step!

Ordinary Pet ID Tags

Sure, you can attach an ordinary ID tag to your dog’s collar, and we recommend doing that too, in case whoever finds your pet isn’t armed with an RFID scanner. But tags alone aren’t sufficient. They can easily be torn off, leaving your dog with form of identification. Your pet could also be stolen and a vet can scan your dog and see that someone else owns it. Having a microchip implanted is great extra insurance, if nothing else, that you might someday be reunited with your missing pet. Microchipping is quick, simple, and relatively cheap, so do the right thing for pet’s well being and schedule it with your veterinarian today! In fact, at the time of publication, you can do FREE microchipping at the Austin Animal Center and many rescues will also include microchipping.

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Keeping Training Fun While Working With Dogs!

All our trainers with Sit Means Sit San Antonio & Austin love training and working with our clients dogs. But it’s not just training and all work. We love to have fun with the dogs and teach them that training is fun as well!

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Oliver the Lab Shepherd Mix Squirms Everywhere With All His Goofiness

Jacob with Sit Means Sit Austin [] wasn’t quite sure what to do with Oliver at the beginning of the two week immersion training. But Jacob quickly showed Oliver structure and it was smooth sailing after that!

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Socializing Your Pet with Sit Means Sit

With Austin being so pet friendly and with dogs practically everywhere, you want to make sure your own dog can behave with other animals around town.

Troy Pfeifer with Sit Means Sit talked about socializing your pet on Studio 512.

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