In the video below, Ian Dunbar, veterinarian, animal behaviorist and the founder of Sirius dog training is explaining a successful way to train your dog to play tug of war.
Some trainers will have you believe that tug of war is not an appropriate game to play with your dog, especially the larger breeds, however Dr Dunbar shows you how to maintain control and teach your dog to release the toy. This way you are able to set the rules and both you and your dog are able to enjoy the game.
First you will want to find some treats that your dog really likes (usually small, soft treats are the best option) and also find a tug toy they will enjoy playing with. You will start by teaching your dog to let go of the toy by using the command “OFF”, or another word of your choice, and show your dog a treat at the same time. Once your dog releases the toy immediately give the treat. Repeat this step until you are comfortable that your dog has learned this command.
Next you will teach your dog when you want them to play. Again use a word that you choose, Ian has used “TAKE IT” to let his dog know he wants him to take the toy and start playing. Once you have rewarded your dog by playing with them for a while, use your release command “OFF” or “THANK YOU”. Once your dog releases the toy reward immediately with the treat. From here you can build up and further the training by having you dog sit quietly once letting go of the toy before you give the treat.
Dr Dunbar encourages you to take lots of breaks from playing and to not let your dog touch the toy until you have instructed them to. This gives you control of the game and also training your dog to release on command. This can come be handy if your dog decides to get into your sock drawer!
Whitney, RVT. Hurontario Veterinary Hospital Mississauga
In the video below, Ian Dunbar, veterinarian, animal behaviorist and the founder of Sirius dog training is explaining a successful way to train your dog to play tug of war.
Adopting or purchasing a puppy is a big responsibility. In the first few months of their lives they undergo many physical and developmental changes very quickly. One day you bring home a tiny eight week old puppy and within a matter of months you have an adult dog. During the first few months of a puppy’s life is the time where the puppy learns social behaviors, is quick to learn new commands and take direction, develops ideas in regards to fearful or threatening situations. This is a period where the puppy is highly influential and the things he learns at this time impact him for life. A large and very important part of raising your puppy is training. Training starts on day one when you bring your new puppy home. You need to establish rules for the home such as where will the puppy eliminate, where will they eat and sleep, daily routines, and acceptable behaviors. If you are an experienced dog owner, or if you are a first time dog owner, puppy training classes are a great tool.
Benefits of Puppy Training Classes:
- teaches you how to effectively communicate with your puppy in a positive manner
- can eliminate bad habits at a young age, while establishing good manners
- teaches day-to-day commands you will use for all of your puppy’s life
- socialization and play with other dogs where the puppy can learn how to interact with other dogs in a safe and comfortable setting
- gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with your puppy
- gives the puppy exercise
- exposes the puppy to a variety of people, other dogs and stimuli in a controlled environment; which can be useful for events such as: going to the veterinarian, groomer, boarding facility and meeting new people
When choosing a training facility, it is a good idea to go see the facility and meet the trainer. If you have the opportunity to, sit it in and watch how the trainers run their puppy classes. Get an idea if this would be a comfortable setting for you and your puppy to learn in. Puppy class sizes should generally have less than 8-10 puppies per class. There should be ample space for the puppies to move around in comfortably. The class and setting should be fun and positive with reward based learning.
Here are the names of training facilities we have heard good things about:
Dealing With Dogs
Office is located at: 2353 Belyea St., Oakville, Ontario
Classes are in Mississauga, Toronto and Oakville
Pupeez Dog Training
Joy Oja (905)815-9549
Toronto and Etobicoke
All age dog training
Swansea Dog Obedience Club
3962 Bloor St. W., Etobicoke, Ontario
Trimark Canine Services
Linda Webb (905)820-4414
2253 Dunwin Dr., Mississauga, Ontario
Good training books we recommend:
Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey
Perfect Puppy in 7 Days by Dr. Sophia Yin
Dog Training by David Weston
What is palliative care for dogs and cats?
Palliative care is the caring for patients who’s disease does not respond to a treatment cure. Included in palliative care is the control of pain and the psychological and social support for the patients and their families.
What is the goal of palliative care?
Quality of life is the prime concern and objective for patients and their owners. Quality of life can be inferred indirectly by the animals behavior. Is the pet alert, how is their appetite, what is their weight and body condition, how active are they and how their bowel movements and urinating function are.
Half of all animals with cancer will die of the disease, most will need pain and symptom control.
Controlling symptoms is the first step of palliative oncology. Symptoms of cancer such as painful urination and bowel movements, impairment of digestion respiratory distress, anemia, malnutrition, excess calcium in the blood and hypoglycemia can cause pain and discomfort.
A growing percentage of pet owners want to care for a sick or older pet and provide support and comfort when the going gets rough. Treatments range from a more comfortable bed, small changes in diets (more palatable), oral medications for pain, to surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other medications. The treatment path is individualized to the patient, changed and monitored depending on how the pet responds to treatment. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may not be effective in eradicating the cancer but it may slow the rate of cancer growth and or reduce symptoms that result from the cancer. Radiation is usually combined with inflammatory and pain medication. Medications used to ease symptoms include antibiotics, stool softener, anti vomiting drugs and many others.
Other medications to relive pain and other symptoms in animal cancer patients include steroids (eg Prednisone, dexamethasone), no-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) (eg Carprofen and Metacam). Opiod drugs like Fentanly patches have been useful for chronic pain. Morphine is sometimes used and in cats Butrophanol is sometimes used.
Pain can be observed indirectly in animals by changes in their respiratory and heart rate, pupil size, guarding of the stomach, general posture and difficulty in laying down. General unease and reclusiveness are other indirect signs of pain.
Cancer palliative care is just one type of palliative care offered, other palliative care may include care for Kidney disease, Heart disease, liver disease, arthritis and respiratory disease.
At the animal hospital we work with our Veterinarians, Veterinary technicians and Veterinarian specialists to help manage palliative care treatments and decisions.
Highlights of Canada’s Pet Wellness Report; by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA).
The study includes information on exercise, nutrition, veterinary care, life stage needs and overall health status of pets in Canada.
• According to veterinarians, overfeeding is the most
common mistake pet owners make in feeding their
dogs or cats.
• Weight control/management was cited most often
by veterinarians as one of the most important things
pet owners can do to increase the length and quality of their
• Veterinarians say dental disease is the most commonly
diagnosed health problem that most pet owners
are surprised to hear about. Veterinarians consider a pet’s weight, clean teeth and fresh breath among the best indicators of good overall pet health that pet owners can observe at home.
• Veterinarians believe most dogs and cats do not receive enough exercise to maintain good health.
“Pet owners need a better understanding of the health implications of inadequate exercise of their pets and the importance of basic decisions, such as what and how to feed them,” says Dr. Berry. “Otherwise their pets might be at risk for a range of broader health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and mobility issues.”
For the full report seeCanadian Veterinarian’s
You have a better chance of your pet being returned to you with proper pet identification. An effective method of pet identification, called microchipping, is quite popular. It involves the injection, using a needle, of a small identification “chip”, about the size of a grain of rice, under the skin of your pet’s upper back. Humane societies, municipal animal control offices, and most veterinary clinics have scanners, like bar code readers used in retail stores, which can be passed over the animal and pick up the implanted microchip. Owner identification is quickly made by accessing a central computer data bank available 24 hours a day. Many municipalities have moved to incorporate microchipping into their licensing program, often offering savings over the more conventional tag approach, especially if your pet is also neutered. This method avoids all of the pitfalls associated with the previous two identification methods, however does have one disadvantage – the microchip is not visible so a scanner must be used to identify the pet. To overcome this, most microchip manufacturers will provide the pet owner with a tag that lets the individual finding your pet know that the animal has a microchip. A simple method of pet identification is the dog/cat tag. This can be a municipal license, a rabies tag, or a personalized tag. The strengths are that this method is relatively inexpensive and is quick and easy to implement. However, the weaknesses limit its usefulness. As the tags are attached to your pet’s collar, they are often lost or can be easily removed giving no permanent means of identification. Also, with municipal or rabies tags, the specific owner must be retrieved through city hall or the veterinary clinic involved and this may not be possible for hours or even days, preventing a quick owner/pet reunion. Another concern is that this information is regional and may, therefore, not be easy to access if your pet is lost away from home. This may be avoided, to some degree, by personalized tags. A third method of pet identification is by means of a tattoo applied either to the inside of your pet’s ear flap or on the inner thigh region. This is generally used in purebred dogs for Canadian Kennel Club registration. This method’s strength lies in the fact that it is a permanent means of identification. The weaknesses are defined by several points. First, tattooing is a moderately painful procedure that often necessitates an anesthetic to perform. Second, tattoos often become faded or distorted with age, making it illegible. Finally, the same potential delay in information retrieval exists as with tags. Regardless of their individual strengths and weaknesses, using as many means of pet identification as possible will improve your chances of having your pet returned should he become lost. As a minimum, I would suggest the use of both a microchip as well as a form of dog tag. On a final note, don’t forget the best prevention against a lost pet – a collar and leash!
When most people think of adding a new pet to their family, most people think of buying a puppy or a kitten from a breeder or pet store. Who can resist that tiny little face and all the joys of having a puppy or kitten. Most people don’t think of adopting a pet. Why not consider adopting a pet when making that new addition to your family. There are many reasons why adoption is a good choice to make:
- An older dog or cat is most often house or litter trained.
- An older pet that is less excitable and calmer may be a great match for an elderly owner, who cannot keep up with a puppy or kitten.
- You avoid the teething and chewing stages of young dogs.
- If you adopt an adult dog, he or she will be fully grown. Sometimes when people purchase a puppy, they are not prepared for how big they can get as adults. Often in these situations the dogs are surrendered if the owner’s lifestyle does not accommodate the dog’s size.
- Some shelters and rescue organizations will let you take the pet home for a few days to see if he or she will get along with any other pets in the house and to see if they will adjust to your household, before making the commitment to adopt.
- You will be saving a life. Sadly sometimes there is just not enough room at shelters and some animals are put to sleep.
- You could be giving the pet a better life than they may have had previously.
- You are helping to fund the animal shelter or rescue organization as most of these facilities use the adoption fees for funding.
- Puppies and kittens cost a lot more up front to purchase from a breeder or pet store. Often pets are already spayed or neutered and vaccinated, decreasing the upfront costs of purchasing a younger animal.
- Adoption is a rewarding and positive experience.
While adopting a pet may be lower in cost initially, do make sure that you have the financial means to support your pet throughout their life. Find out prices from your local veterinary clinic for routine physical examinations, vaccinations and de-worming. Keep in mind that pets do get sick occasionally and treating a sick animal can be costly. Pet insurance is a good idea to purchase. There are many different pet insurance companies with a wide range of different coverage and fees.
Places to adopt a Pet:
1) Your local Veterinary ClinicOccasionally we have pets up for adoption here at Hurontario Veterinary Hospital. We usually have stray kittens that we take in to find homes for them. Sometimes we have older cats that need to find a new home as well.
2) Shelters/Humane Societies
Mississauga Animal Services:
(905) 896-5864 http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/adoptapet735 Central Parkway West
Mississauga, Ontario, L5C 4H4
Oakville & Milton Humane Society:
(905) 845-1551 http://oakvillemiltonhumane.ca/ firstname.lastname@example.org
445 Cornwall Road
Oakville, ON, L6J 7S8
Toronto Animal Services
(416) 338-PAWS (7297) http://www.toronto.ca/animal_services/centres.htm
There are 4 locations for the Toronto Animal Services:
146 The East Mall
(Hwy. 427 & Dundas St. W.)
140 Princes’ Blvd.
(Horse Palace, Exhibition Place)
821 Progress Ave.
(Hwy. 401 & Markham Rd.)
1300 Sheppard Ave. W.
(Keele St. & Sheppard Ave. W.)
3) Rescue Organizations:
There are many rescue organizations in the Greater Toronto area. The two that we are most familiar in dealing with are the Golden Retriever Rescue and the Felis Cat Rescue (listed below). If you are looking for a breed specific rescue organization.
Golden Retriever Rescue (The Canadian Golden Retriever Adoption Service Inc.)
(416)657-2445 http://www.golden-rescue.net/ email@example.com
Toll Free (866)712-8444
5694-4 Hwy. 7 East, Box 162
Markham, Ontario, L3P 1B4
Felis Cat Rescue
2-3415 Dixie Rd., Suite 529
Mississauga, ON, L4Y 4J6
4) Adopting pets from the Internet:
It may seem like an easy or convenient way of adopting a cat or dog, but sometimes you get more than you bargain for. Some animals sold on the Internet come from puppy mills or mass breeding facilities that have unsanitary living conditions for the pets, which can be breeding grounds for contagious diseases and parasites. A lot of dogs that come from these facilities have trouble being house trained as they have been caged in unsanitary conditions, and have become used to living in this manner.
If adopting a pet from the internet you should do your research. Find out as much as you can about the animal you plan to adopt: is there any pertinent medical history?, any behavioral issues?, are the pet’s vaccinations up to date?, if there were previous owners, have they taken the pet for regular/routine veterinary care?
It is best if you can go out and meet the pet and if applicable, the previous owners, before adopting your new pet. This way you get to see if you and the animal are right for each other, see the conditions in which the pet has come from and ask any questions that you have about the pet and his or her history.
Heather Gilmore, RVT
Trillium has found a good home. Thank you everyone for your interest. Hurontario Veterinary Hospital
The warm weather is about to arrive and with it will come some of our spring health concerns.
Depending on your dog’s lifestyle, heartworm testing may be required annually or every other year. Our goal is to move heartworm testing to the time of your pet’s annual examination. Heartworm prevention medication is given monthly starting June 1st through to November 1st. We would like to help educate you on heartworm prevention medications and select the one that is best suited for the needs of your pet and family. Please call us to arrange for heartworm testing and to pick up these medications.
Flea prevention for cats and dogs begins May 1st and runs through to November 1st. Various products are available. Please call the clinic to find out which product is best for your pet.
Wellness screens are blood tests designed for dogs and cats under seven years of age which detect early changes in kidney, liver, endocrine (thyroid and diabetes) and blood cell functions. The goal is to treat problems early, and know what signs to monitor. This is designed to be run at the same time as heartworm testing and with the annual physical examination and vaccinations.
Geriatric screens are profiles that are designed for dogs and cats seven years of age and older. These are in depth screens and are tailored to the individual pet and owner. These may include an extended physical examination, blood tests, urine tests and blood pressures. Our goal is to identify problems early and develop plans to slow down degenerative processes and keep our pets comfortable for as long as possible.
Please visit our hospital website. We have a new veterinary blog with a new topic monthly see www.hurontariovet.ca
Kathryn Hahn DVM, Susan Hedley DVM, Wendy Webster DVM,
Megan Vlasschaert RVT, Heather Gilmore RVT, Whitney Bickle RVT,
Justyna Gorska ACA/Receptionist, Lili Zander, Krystal Shamoo, Kristine Kertesz and Megan Black – Veterinary Assistants
1424 HURONTARIO ST., MISSISSAUGA, ONT. L5G 3H4 TEL (905) 271 8508 FAX (905) 271 7621
1.) Fleas: Dogs, cats, squirrels, raccoons and other small mammals can all carry the same type of flea. This is why your pet may get fleas from your back yard. Your dog or cat does not need to be around other pets or leave your yard to get fleas in the warm weather. Fleas also spread tapeworms and other blood parasites to dogs and cats. Summertime prevention is recommended.
2.) Heartworm Disease: The heartworm parasite is spread via mosquito bites. No direct dog to dog contact is needed. Infections are found every year in the GTA. Testing, prevention and treatment are available.
3.) Intestinal Parasites: Several of these parasites are common in our area. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms and giardia are some of the more common parasites. Visit our website library to learn more. Annual stool sample testing is recommended to find these parasites, as some can be contagious to humans as well.
4.) Dental Disease: Cats are very prone to developing cavities (small holes) in their teeth called resorptive lesions. We are now recommending full mouth dental radiographs for all of our feline dental patients to find and treat these painful areas as early as possible.
5.) Glaucoma: Dogs and cats get glaucoma too! This can be painful, and potentially lead to blindness. Some breeds and pets with certain medical conditions are more likely to develop glaucoma. Our hospital now has a special instrument to measure eye pressure called a “tonovet”. With it we are able to diagnose glaucoma much earlier than before and provide ongoing management of the disease.
6.) High Blood Pressure: Hypertension (high blood pressure) can be a serious disease in dogs and cats. It can lead to retinal detachment causing blindness and strokes. We are recommending annual blood pressure checking for all of our senior animals and other animals with specific diseases.
Dr. Kathryn Hahn DVM
Dr. Hahn received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ontario Veterinary College. She practiced at several small animal clinics until she started the Hurontario Veterinary Hospital in 1995. She is pleased to be able to work with Drs. Hedley and Webster.
Dr. Susan Hedley DVM
Dr. Hedley received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ontario
Veterinary College in 2002. She has worked as a small animal veterinarian in Ontario
and Prince Edward Island. She joined the Hurontario Veterinary Hospital in 2008.
Dr. Wendy Webster DVM
Dr. Webster received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ontario
Veterinary College in 2003. She has worked in small animal clinics and an emergency
clinic in Ontario. She joined the Hurontario Veterinary Hospital in 2009.
Dr. Kathryn Hahn, Dr. Susan Hedley, Dr. Wendy Webster
- Dog training from a Veterinarian
- Adopting another cat. Animal Hospital Mississauga news
- Puppy Training Classes in and around Mississauga
- Palliative care for cats and dogs with Cancer
- Canada’s Pet Wellness Report
- Pet Identification
- Cat Carriers
- Pet Adoption
- Trillium Has Found A Home in Mississauga
- I’m Trillium an 8 week old Kitten. I need a Home
- Veterinary Hospital Spring Newsletter
- Are Annual Exams Really Necessary?
- Kitty Vet Hospital Visit
- How to get your cat to the Vet Hospital
- Your Puppy’s visit to the Animal Hospital Mississauga
- Animal Hospital Mississauga holiday tips for your pet