Happy, Healthy and Old
Providing quality care for your senior dog is easier than you think.
By Audrey Pavia
Nothing illustrates the quick passage of time more than watching your dog grow old. One day he’s a tiny puppy and before you know it, he’s a senior dog.
You want to keep your canine companion around for as long as possible, and the best way to do that is to give him the special care senior dogs need. Giving him special consideration can help him stay with you as long as nature will allow.
Vet Care for Senior Dogs
Start by taking your senior dog to the vet for a wellness exam. Small- to medium-sized dogs over the age of 6 years should make yearly visits to the vet for a physical. Larger dogs should start at age 4.
The veterinarian will give your dog a thorough exam, looking into his mouth and eyes, checking his skin and coat, and palpating his abdomen, kidney and other organs. The vet will also perform a blood test that will show whether your dog’s body is functioning properly. This entire exam is important because it might provide early clues to any illness that could be developing. Early detection is the key when it comes to treating older dogs.
In between regular exams, pay close attention to your dog’s behavior. If he stops eating, develops diarrhea that doesn’t pass in a day, is breathing rapidly, acts lethargic or behaves in anyway out of the ordinary, take him to the vet immediately. A host of ailments, ranging from parasites to kidney failure, can take a serious toll on an older dog if you don’t act quickly. Fast intervention is essential with senior dogs, who can succumb quickly to an illness they might have been able to fight off when they were younger.
Quality Food For Dogs
Older dogs sometimes need special diets to help them get the most out of their meals. Consult with your veterinarian to find out what you should be feeding your dog. Also consider giving him a joint supplement containing glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, since older dogs are prone to arthritis. Other nutriceuticals, such as fish oil and kidney or liver support supplements, might also be in order, depending on the results of your dog’s veterinary exam.
Provide the Pet Good Shelter
Most dogs spend a lot of time outside, sometimes in bad weather. Because of his advancing age, your older dog may have trouble staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer while he’s outdoors. In uncomfortable weather, bring your dog inside to spare him extreme cold or heat.
Physical Help for Older Dogs
Older dogs often have stiff, aching joints and weaker muscles. Give your dog a thick, soft bed to sleep in. Consider raising his food and water dishes up off the ground so he doesn’t have to bend his neck as far to reach them. If your dog is having trouble jumping up into your car or on your bed, lift him, or buy or make him a ramp.
Just because your dog is old doesn’t mean he doesn’t need stimulation. Take him for walks, or give him a light job to do around the yard (like fetching sticks for you or finding slugs in the garden). If he’s a playful dog, throw a tennis ball to him for a few minutes each day. Not only will the activity help him stay physically fit, it will do wonders for his attitude. It will also help foster the bond between you, which is crucially important to his state of mind as he ages. A happy dog will want to stick around longer.
About the Author: Audrey Pavia is an award-winning freelance writer and author of “The Labrador Retriever Handbook.” She is a former staff editor of Dog Fancy, Dog World and The AKC Gazette magazines. To learn more about her work, visit www.audreypavia.com.
Agility Dog Team – Richard Frejomil II &
Rocky Roosta Win Grand Championship Dog Agility Team of the Year in Long Island, N.Y.
Richard Frejomil II began training dogs as a hobby in 2008. With practice and basic experience, he developed a knack for training dogs. When the economic downturn hit, Richard decided to use his new found skills in dog training as a means to supplemental his income.
“I was able to get some work but not as much as I wanted,” he said. “People like to see some form of degree or certification before investing their hard-earned money.”
That is what led Richard to Animal Behavior College (ABC), which he began attending in January 2010. Richard really enjoyed going through the whole experience of the dog training curriculum.
“The best part of it was the externship,” he said. “I had to bring my pit bull Rocky to Mike Rueb at the Bideawee Pet Welfare Organization in Westhampton, N.Y., to demonstrate that I could train a dog. In Mike’s own words, ‘everything you have done with him is nothing short of amazing.’”
To this day, Mike continues to refer clients to Richard. By 2011, Richard’s reputation as dog trainer in the local area was growing. Port Jefferson’s mayor put Rocky in some of the town’s advertisements. Rocky was even featured in Newsday for his exceptional behavior in public.
In July 2011 Richard applied for a dog trainer position at the Rocky Point Petco, which had just opened up. During the interview, the regional dog training manager said to him, “Wait, I know you. You’re richedisdaman (Richard’s YouTube name). I saw your dog get a beer from the fridge. He then told the store manager about all the shows Richard and Rocky had done at local stores. Needless to say, Richard was hired on the spot.
Richard and Rocky Start an Agility Dog Team
After becoming an established dog trainer, Richard became interested in agility dog training. One day at a park, he had Rocky jump over parking rails, run along benches and weave between his legs. Not only did Rocky do it well but, he did it fast and enjoyed every minute of it.
“I always thought it would be cool to do; I just never thought my dog would have the drive for it,” he said.
After that, Richard purchased a beginner dog agility set. In one week, Rocky was performing the obstacles independently without any luring. Seeing the great promise and enjoyment agility training offered, Richard bought books on building agility equipment and beginner agility handling. Clearly, he was bitten by the agility bug.
In a month’s time, Richard decided to seek training from a seasoned agility handler. He went from knowing very little in the beginning to entering in an intermediate off-leash dog agility class at Canine Form and Function.
Richard and Rocky entered their first dog agility competition with Canine Performance Events (CPE) in June 2012. Rocky was, and still is, Long Island’s only pit bull agility dog—he was a big hit. The pair continued to compete on a monthly basis with CPE.
In May 2013, they went to Jean Jacobsen, the trainer at All Fur Fun Agility, to further increase their skill level. Jean specializes in distance training. Everything was going great until late June 2013. Rocky became ill; he kept falling over and began to develop facial paralysis. Richard pulled Rocky from training and competing. After seeing an holistic veterinarian, Rocky showed signs of improvement, and by September, Rocky was ready return to the agility ring.
Rocky returned to the agility ring even better than before. He scored a near perfect weekend score, which put the pair in the top eight for agility team of the year. The next level of competition was the October trial. In the last run it came down to two teams.. When it was all said and done, they won grand champion team of the year. Rocky is now in line to earn his first Canine Performance Events championship next summer. One more win for the pit bulls.
A Passion for Animals = Groomer’s Success
As a young boy, Blake’s love of dogs began with his family’s Labradors, which they bred and sold. Later on, he came to the realization that pet grooming could be fun after an experimental haircut with his roommate’s cat. After doing some research, Blake decided to pursue a career as a certified pet groomer, which led to his enrollment with Animal Behavior College’s (ABC) Grooming Instruction Program. Following graduation as an ABCPG, he became head groomer at a local grooming shop in San Francisco.
Most recently, he was promoted to District Manager for grooming salon franchise; Blake now oversees three grooming facilities in the Bay Area. When he is not at a salon, he volunteers at the local animal shelter P.A.W.S. and enjoys city living with his 1-year-old Labrador, Fiona. Blake loves what he does, even though it is a lot of work.
“It’s not always easy, but it’s always rewarding,” he said.
What Blake finds really rewarding is helping the cats and dogs at the shelter who are in need of a proper grooming. At the salon, his favorite breeds to groom are West Highland white terriers because of their flowing hair and cute, round faces. Blake is constantly working on his “style” and aspires to open his own groom shop someday.
As an active animal grooming professional, Blake is dedicated to continuing his training as a pet groomer. He is currently working toward a Master Groomer’s certification with the National Dog Groomers Association of America. Blake attributes his success to how much effort he put into it his education and ABC’s comprehensive program.
‘It shows what passion and a love for one’s career coupled with a great education can manifest,” Blake said. “ABC will give you the tools to handle anything that comes across your grooming table.”!
Dog Grooming and Animal/Pet Grooming Training & Certification is offered by Animal Behavior College. To find out more about becoming a Dog Groomer please visit http://animalbehaviorcollege.com/doggroomingprogram/
ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
Harley Haehn lives in Columbus, Pa., where she works at a popular restaurant known for having the best hamburgers and hotdogs in the region. When she is not working at the restaurant, Harley is pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinary assistant. Her long-term plan is to work at a zoo where she can interact with elephants, her favorite gentle giant. Continue reading
ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
Dog training is in Manny Pedroza’s DNA. His father was a professional dog trainer and inspired Manny to pursue his dreams. Having just completed his externship, Manny now trains part-time, offering group, private and in-kennel training at his mentor trainer’s location in Chino, Calif. As do many students, Manny found it daunting to speak in front of group classes, but he quickly got the hang of it. Manny attributes his success to his German shepherd-like disposition: smart, strong, quick-to-learn and persistent. Continue reading
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
Ryan Kwasnica lives in Springstein, Manitoba, Canada, and he trains in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. Ryan has four kennels attached to his home and he does in-home dog training as well. In addition, Ryan helps out a nearby rescue organization by rehabilitating some of its more troubled dogs. Continue reading
Julie Reber Helping Dogs Find Forever Homes
“We have been discussing the clear correlation between training and adoption for a number of years,” said Steven Appelbaum, founder and CEO of ABC. “It is wonderful that greater numbers of shelters and rescue organizations also get the connection. This is why we reach out to these groups whenever we can. We know that better trained dogs are easier to adopt and less likely to be returned.”
Animal Behavior College is very proud of all our students, each of them has donated 10 hours individually, for a combined total of over 93,000 hours donated to shelters. It is our passion to help dogs & cats find forever homes.
Continue reading this article: http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/blog/downloads/Julie-Reber-ABC-Dog-training-grad.pdf
Become a Dog Trainer
Karen Kennedy graduated from the Animal Behavior College Dog Training program in April of 2012. After 300 hours of dog training under her belt, Karen decided to become CPDT-KA certified. The CPDT-KA is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessment exam offered by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).
Karen sent us an email letting us know that she just received information that she has passed the CPDT-KA exam. Karen boasted that all she needed to do to prepare for the exam was review the Animal Behavior College Dog Training course materials. She is confident that her 300+ hours of training and the ABC Dog Training text books were the right source for her success in this achievement. Becoming a Dog Trainer is something Karen was very passionate about. She tells us “I read it cover to cover… it is a really good manual!!! What a treasure.” Karen has 6 five-star reviews on Yelp for her Dog training business KK Good Dog Training. http://www.yelp.com/biz/kk-good-dog-training-dallas
We look forward to seeing Karen at the ABC Dinner being held during the APDT conference on Saturday October 26, 2013 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Spokane, WA. See you at the show!
Animal Behavior College employee, Sueann, helps raise funds to feed and care for shelter dogs. Sueann has volunteered to share a cage with two shelter dogs at the Brittany Foundation in a local Agua Dulce, No-kill shelter. Your donations will free her and feed them!
Sueann is going to be sitting in a cage all day on Saturday 10/19. She is going to be living the life of a shelter dog for 24 hours.
The goal is donations to raise money for http://www.brittanyfoundationonline.org/
Here is the letter Sueann sent us:
I know you guys love dogs so please support me at Day In Their Paws on Oct. 19. All teams are trying to raise funds that will help the Brittany Foundation, a no kill dog rescue in Agua Dulce. These funds raised will assist the Brittany Foundation to operate throughout the year.
How does it work? Simply by volunteers like myself sitting in a kennel for up to 24 hours (1440 minutes) with adoptable dog(s). You can buy my freedom at the low cost of $1 per minute. Any size donation is appreciated and tax-deductible, too. Just click here (http://www.brittanyfoundationonline.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=48&Itemid=67), and find me on the site and click donate. Thank you so much!
SueAnn O’Connor – Volunteer for Brittany Foundation
As we said Sueann is going to be sitting in a cage all day on Saturday 10/19. The President and Vice President of Animal Behavior College have already donated to the cause. And, they are not the only ones.
If you would like to donate on Sueann’s behalf, please visit the link:
Save a Life: Adopt a Shelter Dog
By Lisa King
Adopting a dog from a shelter is one of the best things you can do to save pets from euthanasia and enrich your life. Dogs usually end up in shelters through no fault of their own. Foreclosure or other financial hardship, a death in the family, a divorce, a move or any sort of life change can cause perfectly wonderful pets to be put in shelters.
Before you visit your local shelter, decide on the type of dog your family wants. Do you live in an apartment or do you have a big yard? Are you athletic or sedentary? Do you have children? How old are they? Do you already have other pets?
Adopting a puppy is problematic. They are unquestionably very cute and appealing, but it requires a tremendous amount of work to train them correctly and keep them out of trouble. It’s a lot like dealing with a toddler. In addition, you only have a vague idea of how big the puppy will get or what his adult temperament will be, especially if he is a mutt. Adopting an adult dog means most of the tough training has already been done; they are usually housebroken and know how to walk on a leash, they won’t get any bigger and their temperament is readily apparent.
Once you’ve decided on the type of dog you are looking for—large or small, docile or frisky, cuddly or independent—stick with your decision. If need be, take a hard-nosed friend with you to prevent your choosing that affectionate, adorable Saint Bernard mix instead of the lapdog you planned to adopt.
If this is your first dog and you’re not sure how to evaluate dog behavior, ask a knowledgeable dog person to come with you. If you don’t have any dog-savvy friends, hire a qualified animal behavior expert to accompany you to the shelter.
Keep in mind that behavioral problems are magnified in shelters. The dogs are frightened, they don’t get enough sleep and they are often unnerved by overwhelming smells and noises. Spend time alone with your potential dog. Most shelters let you visit with a dog in an area away from the kennels. Often, you can walk the dog around the shelter to see how he reacts to the leash. Look for a dog who is eager for your attention and responds positively to you.
The shelter staff is a great resource for learning about the temperament and energy level of each dog. Also ask about the dog’s history, how he interacts with people and other dogs and if he has any health issues. At a good shelter, the staff will ask you as many questions as you ask them to ensure you are a good match for the dog you want.
Bring all family members to meet the dog you are thinking of adopting. That includes dogs you already own. If you have cats, ask the shelter staff how the dog gets along with them. Most shelters test dogs for compatibility with cats before adopting them out.
If you don’t find Mr. Right on your first visit to the shelter, don’t worry. Sadly, new dogs arrive every day. Check the Internet for new arrivals in your area (Petfinder.com is a good resource, as is BestFriends.org) or return to the shelter periodically.
Don’t buy supplies until you have chosen your dog. Size matters when it comes to food and water bowls, collars and leashes, toys and beds. Also, purchase the same food the dog has been eating in the shelter; you can transition him to a higher-quality food once he gets used to his new home.
Choose a veterinarian before you bring your dog home. Take him in as soon as possible for a checkup. Your dog will most likely be neutered or spayed and be up to date on his shots.
If you’re still unsure of what type of dog you want, volunteer to walk dogs at your local shelter. You can even foster a dog to see if he is compatible with your family before making the commitment to adopt him. Chances are, once you bring a dog into your home, you and your family will fall in love with him—forever.
About the Author: Lisa King is a freelance writer living in Southern California. She is the former managing editor of Pet Product News International, Dogs USA, and Natural Dog magazines. Lisa is also the author of the well-received murder mystery novel “Death in a Wine Dark Sea.”