How to Better Train Your Dog and Improve Their Behavior

An owner training a dog.

Dogs give us unconditional love and companionship, and in return, we owe them a lifetime of belly rubs, playdates at the dog park, and optimal mental and physical health. Cultivating good manners in your dog can enrich the relationship you have with him and help him interact appropriately with the world around him.

Try these useful strategies for promoting positive dog behavior from the team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital!

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Tips on Teaching Your Cat to Do Tricks

Owner training pet cat.

Your kitten or adopted cat may surprise you with clever antics like fetching or slam-dunking toys. Is it possible to teach cats to do other tricks? Here are some tips on cat trick training!

Why Teach Your Cat to Do Tricks?

Aside from your enjoyment of cat antics, teaching cats to do tricks or follow commands helps keep your pet active, engaged, and responsive. These are all good things for kitty’s mental and emotional health. Pets who are bored can become destructive and even aggressive. The more you can keep your kitty entertained; the happier and healthier your pet will be. 

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Raising Awareness About Dog Anxiety: How to Alleviate Stress in Your Dog

An anxious dog hides under a blanket.

May 2-8 is Dog Anxiety Awareness Week and the team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital wants to help spread awareness on this common condition. Dogs are reactive to many stimuli in the environment, and they react to it in ways that sometimes can become a phobia or anxiety

The difference between the occasional bout of doggie fear verses full-blown anxiety can be subtle. We want to help you recognize the signs of anxiety so you can help your dog feel his or her best.

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Why Socialization Is Necessary for Your Adopted Dog

A group of dogs in the park.

In a perfect canine friendly world, all adult dogs would have had the early training and socialization that makes them a well-mannered dog without any behavior problems. Unfortunately, many dogs, and especially those who end up in shelters, lack several of the essential life skills to keep them safe, happy, and trained. This is one of the primary reasons for dogs being surrendered.

Many pet owners are enthused about bringing home an adopted dog, only to realize that they have some work ahead of them. The team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital can offer you some great tips on how to socialize your adopted dog for a lifetime of happiness.

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Why Do Dogs Eat Grass, Anyway?

A dog sniffs the grass.

Spring is just around the corner, and dogs everywhere couldn’t be more excited to gobble up the first delicate shoots that emerge from the newly-thawed soil. 

Grass eating is common among dogs – some even make it part of their daily routine – and not necessarily a cause for concern. Let’s explore the reasons dogs eat grass, and when or if curbing this behavior is necessary.

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Pesky Puddles: Navigating Submissive Urination in Dogs

Almost nothing makes a pet owner’s heart fuller than the enthusiastic way that their dog greets them when they return home. That is, unless their pup’s hello is accompanied by a puddle of piddle. 

Thankfully, Blue Valley Animal Hospital has the tools to help you navigate submissive urination in dogs so that your homecoming can remain happy. 

Out of Control Urine

Submissive urination in dogs tends to be seen in puppies or adolescent animals and results in unexpected (and unwanted) urination, sometimes when you least expect it. 

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When Roughhousing Goes too Far: How Puppies and Dogs Play

One of the best ways puppies learn the ropes is by modeling the behaviors of their parents and older dogs.

This mock-fighting and roughhousing teaches them several things that can be useful later in life. This instinct for an adult dog to play-fight with puppies in an old one, deeply embedded in their DNA from the days of when they were wild.

Unfortunately, sometimes this form of play can become dangerous for a puppy when it is too aggressive. Your friends at Blue Valley Animal Hospital have a few tips for a safer way for puppies and dogs to play together. Let’s begin!

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Helping Pets Adjust to Life After Lockdown

Considering all the animals that were adopted or fostered prior to lockdowns, their sheer numbers are overwhelming. With so many people forced to stay at home, the calming warmth and reassurance of millions of new pets made all the difference.

Helping pets adjust to their new homes has never been easier, but what happens when we all return to work or school?

Constant Companionship

With everyone at home, the animals in our care have probably never been happier. There’s always something going on (even if it’s just another nap on the couch), and in households with kids, playful activities abound. Helping new pets adjust to a lively household may go easier than imagined.

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Wrapping your Head Around Pet Separation Anxiety

Once a routine is established at home, it’s not unusual for pets to embrace their daily dose of “me time”. That’s not to say they don’t get a little lonely or bored in their owner’s absence, but these normal reactions are a far cry from full-on pet separation anxiety. Instead of temporarily pacing or whining and then settling down to sleep, pet separation anxiety can make a pet simply come unglued at the sight and sound of keys, jackets and shoes. 

Equally distressing for pet owners, pet separation anxiety can be soothed with patience, understanding, and above all, love.

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From Frisky to Foul: A Look at Feline Aggression (and How to Deal With It)

Taut whiskers. Pinned-back ears. Thrashing tail. Dilated pupils. Any of these signs of feline aggression are powerful warnings, but when combined with a fierce growl or hiss, an attack is imminent. 

There are no questions about a cat’s ability to defend themselves, but when they act out of character around their loved ones, it can be extremely worrisome. What’s behind feline aggression, and how should owners respond to it?

Big and Bad

Cats are experts at efficiently communicating using specific elements of body language. A close look at tail positioning can reveal their mental state. For instance, when they are scared or feel threatened, they will hold their tail close to the ground. Whipping it side to side may also be seen.

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