How to Recognize Signs of Cancer in Your Pet

Posted by: LaVonne Wilson | November 19, 2018 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Health

You know about the signs of cancer your doctor tells you to watch out for, but do you know the signs to watch for in your pets? Cancer is just as common in cats and dogs as it is humans. Unfortunately, our pets can’t tell us how they’re feeling, so we as pet owners have to be observant. Here are some signs to lookout for:


• Lumps, tumors, or unusual growths: A lump isn’t automatically a cause for alarm because tumors aren’t always cancerous. However, a veterinarian should check any lump you find on your pet to ensure it’s not cancer. You can perform a monthly “lump check” to keep track of any changes.

• Weight loss/appetite change: This is one of the first signs that is important to pay attention to. If there is no change in diet or food, but your pet’s eating behavior has changed, and they aren’t eating their food, have them checked out by your vet. Weight loss can indicate a possible tumor in the stomach.

• New behaviors: Cancer can cause changes in your pet’s behavior, such as coughing or heavy breathing, lethargy, and the like. If you notice your pet’s personality change, take precaution and visit your vet. You don’t want to let something go unnoticed or progress too far before action is taken.


Again, early detection is extremely important. While there is no reason to be paranoid, be sure to stay informed, keep your eyes open, pet your dog and cat all over to check for bumps, and see your family veterinarian regularly for checkups. If you have any questions, call Central Bark today for more information!

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Healthy

Posted by: LaVonne Wilson | September 21, 2018 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Health

All pet parents want to keep their furry family members healthy. You may not have complete control over certain health illnesses, but by following these tips below, you can help ensure the long-term health and happiness of your dog.



  • Expert Veterinary Care: It’s crucial to bring your pet to a high-quality veterinarian because this sets the foundation of your dog’s overall health. Routine wellness checkups should be performed by your vet at least once a year. Senior dogs and puppies should visit a vet even more frequently. Routine visits to your vet allow them to closely monitor changes before your dog’s health gets out of your control. Since dogs age much quicker than humans, many subtle changes can develop over a six to twelve month time period.
  • Proper Nutrition: A balanced diet is fundamental in keeping your dog healthy. Like people, diet has a direct effect on your dog’s skin, coat, weight, and energy level. Be sure to research the ingredients of dog food before you buy it, or learn how to make a homemade diet!
  • Consistent Exercise: If you’re feeding your dog a healthy diet, they should have plenty of energy. However, if that energy cannot be released with exercise, your dog might release pent up energy on your furniture, items, or carpet. In general, dogs need at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day, and if you don’t have the time to bring your dog on a walk – consider dog daycare! Here at Central Bark, we’ll provide the proper level of exercise needed for a happy and healthy pooch.


Prevention is the greatest cure, so be sure to follow the tips above to guarantee your dog lives happily and healthily. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call or come in and speak to one of our trained professionals!

Is Your Dog Getting Enough Exercise?

Posted by: LaVonne Wilson | September 17, 2018 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Daycare, Dog Health

Just like us, dogs need regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. How much exercise your dog needs can depend on breed, age, size, and more. Some dogs are fine with a daily walk, but others need more vigorous activity. Here are three common signs that your dog may not be getting enough exercise:


• Weight Gain: Weight gain is one of the most obvious signs that your dog needs more exercise. If you notice your dog has gained a few pounds, you might want to consider increasing their amount of physical activity every day. It’s also important to take into consideration your dog’s diet to be sure you’re not over feeding either.
• Destructive Behavior: If your dog starts destroying items in your home, or is acting out of character, it may be a sign that they need more physical activity. Specific behaviors to watch out for are chewing on shoes or furniture, getting into the trash, and increased aggression towards other pets and people.
• Hyperactivity: If your dog gets over-excited when you take out his leash or when you’re about to head out the door, it may be a sign that he is restless and needs more physical activity. Excessive leash pulling is also a sign that your dog needs to burn more energy, so be aware of these signs!

Since our dogs spend a lot of their time in the house, it’s up to us to make sure they’re getting the daily exercise and play they need to stay healthy. Exercise has many benefits which include:

• Keeping your dog healthy and fit
• Controlling your dog’s weight
• Reducing behavior problems
• Keeping your dog happy
• Reducing digestive issues

You can make sure your dog is getting all the exercise he needs by bringing him to Central Bark! Your dog is certain to have a fun-filled day of activity playing, chasing, tugging or just hanging out with their pals, dogs of all ages will feel right at home in our huge backyard. Contact us today to book your dog’s next visit!

Cookouts, Food, and Pet Safety

Posted by: LaVonne Wilson | July 26, 2018 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Health

Summer feels like it’s flying by! It’s a great time to sit back, relax, and get outdoors to enjoy cookouts with family, friends – and pets! While we’re outside enjoying the marvelous weather and our favorite summer foods, it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of our tasty treats aren’t healthy for our furry friends and can pose serious health risks. Even simple ingredients, like onions or guacamole, can be dangerous to our pets’ health. Before you fire up the grill, here are some tips for ensuring a successful and safe cookout with your dog:

— Don’t give your dog too many scraps: It’s easy to fall victim to those puppy-dog eyes, but it’s important to be sure you’re not giving your dog too many “treats” during your cookout. Not only can it upset your dog’s stomach, but it’s possible for your dog to choke on certain scraps like bone-in chicken wings.

— Pay attention to your dog: Pay attention to your dog’s behavior to ensure they aren’t getting too tired, hot, or over-excited during the barbecue. With a lot of people around, your dog can become antsy or aggressive, so you may want to consider bringing them inside for a while. While your dog is outside, be sure to check that he or she has enough water – especially during a hot sunny day.

— Keep the grill away from pets: Be sure your dog is far away from the grill at all times, especially when guests are playing with him or her. One misstep can seriously injury the dog, your guest, or both.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to give us a call or come in and speak to one of our trained professionals!

The Importance of Dog Socialization and the Benefits it Provides in Daycare

Posted by: LaVonne Wilson | March 27, 2018 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Daycare, Dog Socialization

_MG_2261 (2) As a dog owner, you may be wondering why socialization is so important. It’s your responsibility to turn your hyper little puppy into a well-behaved and obedient adult dog. It’s similar to human socialization. It teaches us to be polite and how to interact with and respect the boundaries of others. It’s important to try and socialize your dog at a young age – if possible.

However, socialization is a process that should never stop! It will determine what kind of personality your dog is going to have, and how friendly they will be around people and other animals. If your dog isn’t exposed to new places, people, weather, objects, sounds, etc. they can develop a fear of anything new.

Taking your dog on walks on a leash is a good place to start in socializing them. Places like puppy classes, dog parks, dog daycare, and stores that allow pets can be good places for supervised interaction and socialization. Just the act of your dog being in public will help build their social skills! An under socialized dog can be timid, fearful, and even aggressive at times.

To be clear, your dog is born knowing how to be a dog. Constant socialization with other dogs as they grow up is necessary to reinforce their learning about the language of dogs – how to listen, how to interpret another dog’s mood, and how to control their actions. Here are few other reasons why dog socialization is so important:

  1. It reduces fear and anxiety. For a puppy, the entire world is new to them. But, as your dog grows older and isn’t exposed to various situations, new experiences can be frightening. If you socialize your dog he’ll learn to enjoy new experiences and will be able to handle them appropriately.
  2. It will make your life easier as a dog owner. Long car rides or traveling with your dog can be really stressful if your dog isn’t socialized. But, if you start traveling with your dog at a young age you’ll find it much easier to take him on long trips.
  3. It will reduce aggression. Some breeds are simply less aggressive than others, but socialization plays a key role in determining how your dog will interact with other dogs they’re unfamiliar with. It’s important to introduce your puppy to other dogs so they can form positive relationships and positive memories of those interactions.

You’ll have the greatest canine companion imaginable if you start socializing them at a young age! Remember, good health includes early socialization. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call or come in and speak to one of our trained professionals!

The Importance of Puppy and Dog Training

Posted by: LaVonne Wilson | March 12, 2018 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Socialization, Dog Training

When we bring a puppy or dog into our homes and lives, we are asking them to change a lot of which is natural about their existence. Certain training is absolutely necessary – like housebreaking – while some is just for fun – like teaching your dog to balance a biscuit on his nose! A well trained dog is a happier dog because a trained dog requires fewer restrictions and has more freedom.  Training is an important aspect of socializing your dog to safely interact with people and other animals. It helps increase your dog’s sociability, which is critical to their psychological health. We need to teach our dogs what rules we want them to follow to make everyone’s lives easier.

Master playing with his little golden retriever dog on the lawn

 

Training classes provide dog owners with the much needed skills and knowledge of dealing with common dog behaviors – starting with puppy behaviors like teething and housetraining. No matter what age your dog is, foundation training provides the basis for any activity.  Foundation training includes commands like sit, stay, come, down and heel. Once your dog is trained with basic good manners, they can join in on the fun when company comes over, when you go to the park for sports games, hikes, swims, or going to a friend’s house! If your dog is going out with you all the time, and being around new people and animals they will be a happier dog. The happier your dog is, the less likely they will have behavioral issues, which will lead to a positive, happy relationship for your life as a pet parent.

 

Training also equals safety! If your dog can stay and sit at the front door when it’s opened, then they won’t be dashing out every time the door is opened, potentially getting harmed along the way. Not only that, but if your dog runs out the door every time you open it, he could scare someone walking past your house and upset your neighbors. When you train your dog properly using positive training methods, you can help make life a lot safer for them. A trained dog will know to pay attention to you, as the owner, and look to you for guidance.

 

Training has been shown to be the single most important thing that keeps dogs in their forever home. Here at Central Bark, our dog trainers are really smart humans and use positive training methods to help your pooch learn basic manners! Contact us to set up your appointment for training lessons!

What is the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and why should I get my dog tested?

Posted by: LaVonne Wilson | February 7, 2017 | Posted in Ask the Trainer, Dog Behavior, Dog Events, Dog Training

Going through a training class that focuses on (and tests for) a CGC certification is not only a great way to bond with your dog but will also give them a solid obedience education.

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What is the CGC certification?
The Canine Good Citizen is a program started by the American Kennel Club (AKC) back in 1989 to reward dogs who possess good manners at home as well as in the community.
A class is taken focusing on specific criteria and then your dog is tested afterwards. Here’s what you’ll learn:
TEST 1: ACCEPTING A FRIENDLY STRANGER
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness.

TEST 2: SITTING POLITELY FOR PETTING
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

TEST 3: APPEARANCE AND GROOMING
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

TEST 4: OUT FOR A WALK (WALKING ON A LOOSE LEAD)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

TEST 5: WALKING THROUGH A CROWD
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

TEST 6: SIT AND DOWN ON COMMAND AND STAYING IN PLACE
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

TEST 7: COMING WHEN CALLED
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

TEST 8: REACTION TO ANOTHER DOG
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

TEST 9: REACTION TO DISTRACTION
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

TEST 10: SUPERVISED SEPARATION
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, “there, there, it’s alright”).
(taken directly from the AKC’s website http://www.akc.org/dog-owners/training/canine-good-citizen/training-testing/ )
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What that all means?
Your dog will be a joy to live with! They’ll have better manners around people and other dogs and respond better around the house to your commands. Plus you’ll be providing training that stimulates your dog’s intelligence and makes their quality of life, as well as yours, much better!

What to do after the class and certification?
Many dog owners choose CGC training as the first step in training their dogs. Some go on to work as service dogs while others progress to activities such as agility.
For additional information check out PetMD http://www.petmd.com/dog/training/evr_dg_canine_citizen
Sign up for the next CGC class at Central Bark https://central-bark.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/CB-Spring-2017.pdf

How Training Can Create a Better-Behaved Dog

Posted by: Pack Leader | November 20, 2016 | Posted in Ask the Trainer, Dog Behavior, Dog Training

They say that dogs are man’s best friend. But would you want a best friend who bit, barked, and misbehaved? A dog who isn’t trained isn’t going to make many friends, human or otherwise. For that reason, it’s extremely important to put forth the effort to teach your dog to behave correctly. Whether you choose to hire out for Seattle dog training or handle things yourself, here are a few tips and tricks to ensure that your dog cultivates some manners. (more…)

3 Easy Ways to Ease Your Dog’s Anxiety at Daycare

Posted by: Pack Leader | October 31, 2016 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, Dog Health

 

If you have to start taking your dog to doggy daycare in Seattle–either on a daily basis or just for a few days while you go on a trip–you should avoid just dumping them and leaving. You need to prepare your dog for this new environment so they don’t experience extreme anxiety. Here are a few quick tips for doing just that. (more…)