Many dog owners need the services of a Behaviourist, but don’t know exactly what they do or where to find one. Our next guest blogger is Caroline Healy Dip.dog.psy Moc MSFTR. Caroline is a well respected, qualified dog psychologist and is a member of the U.K. Therapist Register.​ She works with many different breeds and ages of dogs, with wide ranging problems.

It is my pleasure to welcome Caroline to our blog…….

My name is Caroline , I have loved dogs since a young age , they are loyal , honest and their love is unconditional. I have a soft spot for rehomed dogs , most of you will know who have visited dog shelters ….you see the dog behind the bars wagging his tail at you and looking at you with his big brown eyes and immediately fall in love! you look at the card with his info on it ,” runs away “,” does not like other dogs “, “only home with teenage children”. This instantly makes your mind up to walk away because this dog has too many issues.

This is why I wanted to train as a dog behaviourist. I wanted to learn why dogs have certain behaviour issues and to re-educate the owner how to know why their dog does certain things and how to correct them in a gentle and kind way.
A behaviourist usually gets called in when an owner has tried to rectify their dogs behaviour issues on their own but has had no luck or the behaviour is getting worse. I deal with all sorts of behaviours , from all breeds , dog to dog aggression ,dog to people aggression , jumping up , food guarding , toy possession , constant barking and extreme anxiety problems are the usual dog behavioural issues that I deal with. Sometimes these just come as one issue sometimes it is a mixture of these that have to be dealt with

A behaviourist has a complex job , they have to observe the dog usually in the house as this is where most of the behaviour issues stem from. The owner gives details of what has been happening and the behaviourist puts together a picture , but what the owner does not realise is that they have missed lots of important information that the behaviourist sees but the owner doesn’t , because the owner doesn’t fully understand why a dog does things or thinks like he does until the behaviourist points certain things out.
The behaviourist should give the owner lots of gentle techniques , guidance , direction and routine for their dog. With this help the owner will have to work with the dog so that the dog works with the owner and that the owner learns to read the dogs body language and small signs that otherwise would go un-noticed , after all that is how dogs communicate with each other.

A good dog behaviourist should get to the root of the dogs behaviour issue not just correct the symptoms. Whilst Clickers and Cheese can work for dog training nothing will replace understanding your dogs psychology.

To find a reputable dog behaviourist go to your vet ,they are most likely to point you in the direction of a qualified behaviourist , this is where I recieve a lot of enquiries from. The behaviourist should have Dog Behaviourist or Canine Psychology Certificate(s) and refferals from past clients .Ask the dog behaviourist lots of questions on how they correct issues , if they have worked with your dogs breed before and if they offer a follow up visit or if you can phone or email anytime when things might take a backward step in your dogs behaviour before you book a consultation , go with your gut instinct …are you happy with their answers? All dog behaviourists are different in the way they work , be happy and trust your instinct in the behaviourist that you choose , they should offer lots of advice , show you gentle and kind correction techniques and explain anything that you do not understand.

Caroline
http://www.topdogfalkirk.com

Daily Doggie Tip # 23

Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil is another great oil to add to your dog’s food as a supplement. Cod Liver Oil is as the name suggest, extracted from the liver of cod. It is used in human medicine, as not only is it a rich source of the essential fatty acids; it is also naturally high in Vitamins A and D (unlike many of the other fish oils). However, this means that when giving your dog cod liver oil, ensure that you only give the correct dose as high amounts may cause toxicity.

This is because vitamins A and D are fat soluble vitamins and can be stored in the liver of the dog. They are not water soluble and can’t be excreted in the urine if given in excess. Therefore these vitamins can stay in the dogs’ liver and can cause toxicity in large amounts.

However, Cod Liver Oil is still an excellent supplement for your dog used correctly. Do not be scared to use this fantastic oil, just ensure that you know the correct amount to give your dog. The best way to buy it is in capsules/bottle made for the pet market. By doing this, there will be clear instructions marked on the bottle as to the correct dose per weight of the dog. Many people buy cod liver oil capsules that are made for humans, and that is fine too. But it is strongly recommended that if you choose to do this, talk to your vet first to ensure that you are giving a dose that is right for your dog.

Cod Liver Oil is great for the skin and coat of your dog, as it contains high doses of the essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6. These fatty acids are also beneficial to ageing and arthritic dogs. It is also very good for your dog’s bones and eye health due to its naturally occurring vitamins.

As with any new supplements, if you are unsure about giving it, or of the dosage, or your dog is taking prescription medication, then please consult your vet first. Please remember that the Daily Doggie Tips are not written by a Vet , and should NEVER replace professional Veterinary advice and treatment. If you are worried about your dog, always seek the help of your vet.

Daily Doggie Tip #22

Salmon Oil

As there are so many oils that can be good as supplements for our dogs, I thought that this week’s tips could be all about the oils. Yesterday was Hemp Oil, and Tip #11 was Coconut Oil, so I thought that today I would focus on Salmon Oil.

Salmon Oil has multiple health benefits for dogs, and can help in the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, kidney disease and arthritis. It has also been known to help the metabolism work more effectively. Many of the fish oils contain high levels of omega 3 and 6, but salmon oil is one of the best sources. Salmon can be caught wild or farmed, but the best oil is known to be from the wild caught salmon. This makes it more expensive, so it is all down to personal taste.

As dogs age, the natural ageing process means that the body’s own joint lubrication decreases and joints can become stiff and painful. Salmon Oil can help to the body to keep the joints lubricated. It is also an effective anti-inflammatory, and is therefore very good for dogs with arthritic tendencies. It has also been found to sharpen the memory of older dogs.

Salmon Oil is also good for:

• Strengthen a dog’s immune system

• Prevent or decrease allergies

• Improve the condition of a dog’s skin, helping to prevent dry skin, eczema and dermatitis

• Improve the condition of a dog’s coat, decreasing shedding and giving it a beautiful luster

• regulate a dog’s metabolism

• Improve wound healing

• Improve liver function and help prevent liver disorders

• Strengthen an older dog’s teeth and bones

• Help pups develop strong, healthy bones

As with any new supplements, if you are unsure about giving it or of the dosage,or your dog is taking prescription medication, then please consult your vet first.

Daily Doggie tips #21

Hemp Oil

There are many oils that can be added to your dog’s food. Hemp oil is a good example of this, and is a great supplement for your dog. Natural Hemp Oil can be purchased at any good health store and is available in a liquid form or as capsules. It can be used either as an alternative to fish oil or in conjunction with high quality fish oil.

Hemp seed oil is not only super-foods for people, but can also do wonders for your pet (please do not confuse with any illegal marijuana oil). Hemp is filled with important and crucial nutrition including polyunsaturated good fats [with naturally occurring ideal 1:3 ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs)], protein, vitamins (including vitamin B1, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E), antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, calcium, fiber, iron, enzymes, and more – making it an excellent addition to your pet’s meal plan.

The benefits of hemp for your pet’s health include:

• strengthens the immune system

• supports a healthy weight

• supports cardiovascular system

• increases energy

• improves condition of skin and fur

• helps fight infections

Unlike many other foods, hemp is easily digestible by the body and shown to aid the system in any recovery work it needs to do, as well as for the maintenance of good health. (Source NA Hemp & Grain Co.)

It has been found that supplementing with hemp oil can help dogs with allergies, plus is a great anti-inflammatory and is therefore good for dogs with arthritic tendencies.

If unsure of dosage or your dog is taking prescription medication, then please consult your vet before giving any new supplement.

Daily Doggie Tip #20

During the hot weather, we all like to take our dogs to the beach for a swim and a cool down. However, there can be many dangers at the beach, including seaweed. The attached article warns of the dangers of your dog eating the sun parched seaweed that it finds on the beach, and the potentially fatal consequences that it can have:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/pets/10175639/Dog-owners-warned-of-lethal-dangers-of-dried-up-seaweed.html

Daily Doggie Tip #18

Teeth

Oral health is just as important for your dog as it is for you. You should get your dog used to having his teeth checked, so that any potential problems can be picked up. Regularly cleaned, your dog should have happy healthy teeth and fresh breath. Bad breath, facial abscesses, heavily plaque ridden teeth and bright red and sore gums are all signs that your dog has dental problems. Constant pawing of the mouth, drooling, going off of food and generally acting as if in pain can all be signs that your dog has a sore mouth. Regular vet checks should include a look at the teeth, and some vets run dental weeks so that you can have your dog’s teeth checked for free. Should you suspect that your dog has teeth or gum problems then you should consult a vet immediately.

There are many chews on the market that claim to be teeth cleaners, and a good bone (raw only, never cooked as they splinter) also help to keep teeth clean. Carrots given raw as part of the diet also helps. You can also use a doggie tooth brush and tooth paste and clean them 2-3 times per week. Never use a human tooth paste on your dog, as it contains many ingredients that are harmful to dogs. If you need any advice on your dog’s teeth or how best to keep them clean, talk to your vet.

I have attached some helpful links:

How to clean teeth :

http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/az/d/dentalcare/howtocleanyourdogsteeth09.aspx

Dental care :

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/dogs-teeth-toothaches-problems

How to check teeth :

http://www.petnet.co.uk/health/home-health-checks/how-do-i-check-my-dogs-teeth-are-ok

Anatomy of your dog’s mouth:

http://www.colliesonline.com/july2011/dental_1_070911.php

Daily Doggie Tip #18

Taking your dogs on holiday

It’s that time of year again, when the kids have broken up from school and many families are going on holiday.

If you are taking your dogs with you on holiday, then there are a few things that you need to consider:

• Make sure you pack all the obvious things, food, bowls, water, bed, leads, harnesses, collars, tie out stakes, first aid kit etc. Make sure your dog has access to water whilst travelling.

• When in the car, ensure your dog is comfortable and safely strapped in. Either with a seatbelt harness or behind dog guards.

• If you do breakdown, make sure the breakdown company are aware that you have dogs with you and how many.

• Take any pet insurance documents with you, in case you need veterinary treatment. Some pet insurances offer extra holiday cover, which may give extra peace of mind.

• Make sure you tell your microchip company that you are on holiday, and give relevant contact numbers and address of where you are staying in case your dog strays. It’s also a good idea to have an up to date photo of your dogs with you for the same reason. Some people like their dogs to wear an additional collar tag that contains all the information of the holiday address.

• Make sure that you know where the local vets are and that you have a telephone number for them. If your dog has a medical condition that requires regular medication and frequent vets trips, then it may be best to call the ‘holiday’ vets and talk to them about your dog, so you have peace of mind in the event of a problem occurring.

• When travelling with your dog, ensure that you give the dog plenty of rest breaks and time to stretch their legs. It is a good idea to keep your dog on a lead in unfamiliar surroundings. You will be surprised how many dogs stray when on holiday.

• If it is a very hot when travelling with your dog, remember to increase the amount of comfort breaks, and never leave your dog unattended in the car, not even for a couple of minutes. Hot cars kill dogs.

• When you reach your destination, ensure to check all boundary fencing to make sure it is of adequate height and completely dog proof. Never let your dog all over the furniture of the holiday cottage and always clear up after your dog. Unless previously arranged, never leave your dog unattended in the holiday cottage. A change of surroundings could make a placid dog destructive.

• Try to keep your dogs routine as normal as possible.

This list is not exhaustive, and much more information can be found at :

http://www.chudleys.com/pet-dog/nutrition-advice/taking-your-dog-on-holiday.html

If you are holidaying abroad with your dogs, then you will need an up to date pet passport. The exact requirements can be complex, so rather than try to explain them; I have added a link to the Government website:

https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad

Daily Doggie Tip #17

Epilepsy

Here at Malamute Matters, we are trying to raise money and awareness of Canine Epilepsy, with the sale of our ‘It’s a Mootiful World’ range. This is to support the Animal Health Trust (http://www.aht.org.uk/ ) in their research into this neurological disorder.

Canine Epilepsy is a serious and frightening condition for both dogs and owners. Seeing your dog fit for the first time is terrifying. Sometimes, for reasons that cannot always be explained, a dog will have a seizure then never have another one, others then go on to have more and more regular seizure activity. Epilepsy can be simply defined as the tendency to have recurrent seizures and the term ‘Idiopathic Epilepsy’ means that no underlying cause for the seizures can be identified. Epilepsy is the most prevalent canine neurological disorder. Many different breeds suffer from epilepsy although the age of onset and the type and pattern of seizures can differ between breeds. Diagnosis can be a lengthy process. There is no cure, but with the right treatment and support it can be managed.

I have attached a link which explains Canine epilepsy in detail:

http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/seizures-and-fits/epilepsy-in-dogs/

I am also including the link to Blu’s tale. Blu was abandoned due to his epilepsy, but was rescued and placed in the most loving home. After some terrifying clusters of fits at Easter, Blu had an MRI and was cleared to take part in a new trial run by the Royal Veterinary College in the UK

You can follow Blu’s Tale at : https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/BlusTale

Daily Doggie Tip # 16

Today’s tip is about hot spots on dogs. These are a form of moist dermatitis that can appear very quickly and can be difficult to heal. I have found 2 very helpful articles that give great info on hot spots and how to deal with them. Hot spots can spread very quickly and can be very painful to your dog. Just a point to note: as we are having a heat wave here in the UK, many of us are either hosing down our dogs or have provided them paddling pools to keep cool. If you a have a double coated dog, if it is not dried properly, a damp undercoat can be the trigger for hot spots to occur. If your dog gets a hot spot, consult your Vet as soon as possible to prevent the spot becoming bigger, more inflamed and possibly infected.

http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/dogdiseasesh/a/hotspots.htm

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/hot-spots-on-dogs-acute-moist-dermatitis