Fido to the Rescue: What Does it Take to Become a Service Dog?

A service dog can mean a better life for those that need them.Dog lovers everywhere know how wonderful it can be to share life with a canine companion; the bond we share with dogs is truly unique, and their ability to detect and respond to our feelings and concerns is nothing short of incredible.

For the thousands of men, women, and children living with a physical or mental disability, the bond with a dog can actually be life changing. Service dogs offer their handlers the chance to live independently, move freely, and can even save lives.

What is a Service Dog?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service dog is not a pet. A service dog is defined as one that has been “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” Some of the ways in which a dog can be of service to a human handler include: Continue…

Safe Strategies: What to Know About Running with Your Dog

Running with your dog is good pet exerciseRunning has exploded in popularity in recent decades, and there’s no doubt that this type of regular aerobic exercise brings with it a myriad of health benefits, a sense of accomplishment, and is even fun for some. Your dog may seem like a natural fit as a running partner. After all, they have plenty of energy to burn and love spending time with you.

But running with your dog requires training and an eye on safety. Does your dog have what it takes?

Before You Begin

Before you start running with your dog, you’ll need to make sure they are healthy enough for high-impact exercise. Dogs who are too young or old (puppies under 18 months should not go running, as their bones and joints are not fully developed) are not good candidates for a jog. Flat-nosed breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, have shortened airways, which could make running difficult or dangerous for them. Stick to a daily walk in this case. Continue…

It’s a Good Thing You’re Cute: Dog Training for the Ornery Pup

Dog training is super importantIf you’ve seen a well-behaved, calm, intuitive dog, it probably took a process to get that way – one that likely included a lot of patience, commitment, and hard work. Sure, all dogs are sweet and have the potential to be great housemates, but without an investment in dog training, your home life might become a bit strained from time to time. The Pet Experts not only recommend signing up for a class, we offer one that fits the bill!

Payback, Baby

Dog training is fun! When both you and your pet find it enjoyable, the dividends are huge. But before we get into details, it’s important to approach the process lightly. Keep your sessions short and effective and consistently reinforce new skills. Whether you’re training a younger dog or an older one, enjoy the process, and make sure it’s rewarding. Continue…

Does Your Dog Eat Cat Poop? Ways to Stop This Gross Dog Behavior

Dog behavior can range from adorable and sweet to unruly and revolting within seconds. Dogs can surely be well-mannered, but they can’t easily shake all of their inherited instincts. Eating cat poop is one example of a dog behavior that many owners wish they could banish. The Pet Experts discuss whether it’s realistic to curb “litter box mouth” or if dogs will simply be dogs.

Continue…

Fictitious Fido: Debunking Popular Dog Myths

There are myths and misconceptions about virtually every animal, but when it comes to pets, there are so many more! This is because we spend our lives observing and interacting with them so closely and often form many assumptions about their health and behaviors.

In a previous blog, we debunked several common cat myths. This week, The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center want to discuss popular dog myths and how these seemingly innocuous beliefs could result in negative outcomes.

 

 

 

 

Continue…

Summertime Splashtime: How to Teach Your Dog to Swim

Dock Jumping BuddiesWhether your plans entail time on the beach or lounging poolside, hitting the water often means a tail-wagging good time for dogs and their owners. However, keep in mind that many dogs need practice before swimming confidently. Contrary to popular belief, this is not an innate skill; teaching dogs to swim requires training, patience, and practice. Continue…

Cat Travel: Is Your Pet Ready?

White cat sitting in a bag for the animals on the benchThere are pros and cons to nearly all of life’s conundrums. We aren’t asking why boxing rings are square or what the best invention was before sliced bread came around. Instead, our ponderings always involve pet care, which is why we’re wondering: Should your cat travel with you this year?

Before You Decide

The most important factor in regard to cat travel is whether your pet is healthy enough to leave the comforts of home. Before taking off, schedule an appointment with us. Your senior cat may not cope well on a road trip or airplane ride. Similarly, traveling with a cat who requires medication may also not be a great idea. Continue…

Protect Your Pooch! Get the New Canine Flu Vaccine

Yorkie DentistSome of you may remember this time last year, when a new strain of canine influenza rocked this region. When this new bug emerged, there was no vaccine that was effective against it, thankfully that has changed. The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center are one of the first to have our hands on the new canine flu vaccine and are eager to share this with concerned pet owners. Continue…

Managing Canine Diabetes

iStock_000049715082_Large.jpgDiabetes is no longer just a human problem, over the past thirty years, the incidence of diabetes in dogs have increased three-fold. Finding out your dog has diabetes can be frightening for any pet owner and will likely leave you with many questions and possibly leave you feeling powerless and overwhelmed.

The Pet Experts are here to help you and your pet navigate the path toward your dog’s wellness. With proper veterinary help and home care by a dedicated pet parent there is no reason why your dog can’t live a normal life with canine diabetes. Continue…

Dog Park Finesse: Do You and Your Dog Have What it Takes?

Elmhurst_iStock_000003940303_MediumDuPage County boasts several natural areas, parks, lakeside trails, and other outdoor recreation possibilities. Because of this, it’s no wonder that so many dog owners are anxious to get out there with their intrepid canines as soon as the weather permits.

For many, dog parks, such as Mayslake Forest Preserve Dog Park – a sprawling off-leash, fenced-in wonderland for dogs – are a natural choice. Unfortunately (and you probably know what we’re about to say), some dogs are not exactly prepared for the social occasion. Continue…