Taming Dog Aggression

By Susan Garlinghouse DVM

Puppies usually learn how to interact with other friendly dogs during early life . However, for a variety of reasons, that doesn’t always happen, and such pups can grow up with poor social skills, unable to decipher and understand the body language of other dogs. As they mature, they can develop fear-based dog aggression—barking, growling, lunging or worse, which often gets more ingrained with time.

It would intuitively seem like the best way to discourage such behavior is to rebuke the dog or give a quick pop on the leash to reprimand for dog agression. However, doing so actually makes things worse, as punishment simply reinforces his anxiety that being around other dogs means bad things will happen. Read the rest of this entry »

Starting Down the Right Path with Puppy Socialization

Puppy SocializatiionBy Susan Garlinghouse DVM

One of the most important steps to having a great adult dog is to  provide thorough puppy socialization, especially during the critical learning stages between 7 – 16 weeks.  Puppies develop much of their personality and confidence in their world during their early life, so exposing them to lots of new, positive experiences is an important step towards a happy and self-assured adult.

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The Power of Prevention: Rattlesnakes and Pets

rattlesnakes and petsCalifornians are no strangers to rattlesnakes. Like it or not, they are a part of our landscape and we must learn to live alongside them safely. As humans, we adapt to and avoid disturbing them, but our animal friends do not always catch on as quickly.

Rattlesnakes and pets shouldn’t mix. Preventing a bite is preferable to treating one, leaving proactive pet owners searching for ways to protect their four-legged family members. At Goldorado Animal Hospital, we take teaching our clients about rattlesnakes and pets very seriously.

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How Not to Say “Bite Me”: Avoiding Dog Bites

Avoid Do Bites

By Susan Garlinghouse DVM

This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, so let’s talk about how to avoid being either the owner or victim of dog bites.  According to the Centers of Disease Control, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, with 1 in 5 (that’s over 800,000) requiring medical attention.  The most common victims are young children and the elderly, and most are bitten during everyday activities by a dog familiar to them.

Any dog can bite if provoked, regardless of size, age, breed or gender.  Usually, dogs bite as a reaction—either out of fear, from pain, to protect their territory or possessions, or during play that gets out of hand. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Let the Dog Eat Your Homework: Back to School Tips for Your Pet

back to school dog

The summer is drawing to a close, and all the kids are heading back to school. Already, the sleeping in, going to the beach, and free time is being replaced with early mornings, homework, and grumpy kids. Getting children back on track for school is difficult, but your kids aren’t the only ones who need to adjust – your pets will need help as well!

After spending the summer with a full house, your pets might experience some stress when all their playmates are missing during the day. If that stress isn’t properly addressed, it can lead to separation anxiety and even behavioral issues in your pet.

We have some tips below that may help your pet transition to the new household schedule. Read the rest of this entry »