You Can Teach Your Dog Not To Be Afaid of People

Dogs can be shy unless well socialized

Many new pets, especially dogs, if not socialized enough, can be fearful of people.Whether the dog is from a shelter, breeder or foster home, the process can be very challenging for your new canine family member. It is not unusual for many dogs to be fearful of people, sometimes due to past abuse, natural anxiety, or lack of necessary socialization.The friendly folks at your local Rockford Petsmart at 6320 East State Street or Petco at 6305 East State Street can help with training tips and supplies. With patience, desensitization techniques, and positive reinforcement, you can help your dog overcome its fear of people.

To begin with, expose your dog to as many people as possible, making sure you instruct them not to force themselves on your dog. You want it to feel that people are not a threat, so protect it from any unwanted attention.

The earlier you start your training with your dog, the more successful you will be; however, the process also may work with a shy adult dog as well. It may just take a little more time and patience on your part. Some dogs never get over their shyness, in which case you must manage the behavior by not putting your dog in situations where it will be afraid.

Instruct people that come to your home to speak in a soft tone of voice, move slowly with their hands kept at their sides, and not to make eye contact with your dog.  Additionally, ask them to sit or squat once they enter your home; dogs feel less anxious when people are on their level. Show people how to touch your dog appropriately: never pat on top of the head (which is a canine show of dominance); but scratch behind the ears or under the throat.

Implement people-oriented training. Take along treats when you walk your dog, giving the treats to cooperative people you meet along the way. Hand them treats to give to your dog; praise it for accepting the treat. In this manner, you are building a positive association between your dog and the people it meets.

Continue your training on a daily basis until your dog’s fears disappear, or at least are reduced. Training your dog to get comfortable around people may take months, especially if it is an older dog. Be patient and consistent. Enlist the assistance of friends and family to help you by having them visit often and to meet you on walks, while socializing your dog.

End all training sessions on a good note, when the dog performs the acceptable behavior followed by a treat and praise. The next session should begin on a positive note as well.

Never scold your dog for being afraid; this will only increase the fears and reinforce a negative association with people. With these techniques, patience and perseverance on your part, you can have a happy, healthy and friendly pup.

Facts About A Heart Murmur in Dogs Like the Chihuahua

CeCe suffers from a heart murmur

The Chihuahua is considered to be one of the smallest and oldest breed of dogs in America. This energetic and graceful little dog originated, they say, from the Chihuahua, Mexico region. They have a muscular bone structure, a feisty bigger-than-life personality and are extremely loyal to their pet parents. The Chihuahua does have a few health issues though a heart murmur is not very common. You can help your Chihuahua with a heart murmur.


The veterinarian can hear a heart murmur in your Chihuahua at its earliest stages due to an abnormal heart beat. This is the result of an unruly flow of blood through and out of the heart. Sometimes a heart murmur can be an indication of a more serious condition. This  unruly flow of blood develops because there is a “hole in the heart” between two chambers or two arteries that are not normally connected. Once your vet knows your pup has a heart murmur, the condition will be monitored annually. Most often the condition does not progress until the puppy advances into the senior years.


The cause of a heart murmur can be congenital, genetic, an anatomic heart condition or any number of infections and conditions. Read complete information on causes of the heart murmur in dogs at — This article explains the many causes and/or underlying issues that cause a heart murmur in dogs.


Once your dog has been diagnosed and the heart murmur continues to progress into its senior years, your veterinarian can work with you. Following his directions, you can help your dog with a heart murmur. A heart murmur cannot be cured and treated. Your doctor will prescribe medication so that your dog can live a more comfortable life. Because of the “hole in the heart” there may be an accumulation of fluids that can cause your dog to cough and gasp for breath. To help alleviate some of the built up fluids in the heart, your veterinarian may prescribe a diuretic medication known as Salix tabs. Dosage is usually 12.5 mg, once daily. While on the medication you need to provide ample water for your dog as well as take your dog out more often. This medication is not often prescribed until the heart murmur appears to be in its accelerated stages.


If your dog does indeed suffer from a heart condition such as a murmur, your doctor may also prescribe Vetmedin, 1.25 mg, given as a chewable tab, once daily as well. Vetmedin works to open the vessels that pump the blood to the heart, reducing the work on your dog’s heart. Strengthening your dog’s heart beat along with elimination of excess fluids draining into the heart valves can help your dog live more comfortably. Both the Salix and Vetmedin can be given up to twice daily, per your vet’s instructions.


I myself have a Chihuahua named Ce Ce with a heart murmur. She has been diagnosed as a very young dog and for years has not had a problem with the condition. She is now eleven years old and has been afflicted with the effects of the condition. Because of her senior age, the murmur has been upgraded. She is on both of these medications which do help her. Ce Ce does still have bouts of coughing and gagging which sounds a lot worse than it is. Under doctor’s care, which she is, Ce Ce can live a normal life up to at least 15 years. I had a small dog a few years ago that also suffered with a heart murmur as a puppy and she lived to the ripe old age of 16.


Just know that a heart murmur is not a fatal sentence for your dog. Keep your dog under doctor’s care and monitor your dog. With his care and your love and care, your dog will give you years of unconditional loyalty.


Know The Telltale Signs of High PPH and Crystals in Your Dog’s Urine

Keep pup healthy from urinary problems

It is not unusual activity to take your dogs outside daily so that they can eliminate their bodily wastes. Sometimes, especially on cool mornings, the grass can be wet from dew. There is some speculation that when the wet grass is in contact with the dog’s private areas, the moisture remains there and harbors bacteria. This results most often in a urinary tract infection. Female dogs are more prone to urinary infections. This is due to the length of a female dog’s urethra which is shorter than the males, making it easier for bacteria to find its way to the dog’s bladder.

Such a situation has happened to my own dog in recent weeks. I noticed my dog was having accidents around the home unintentionally which set off red flags for me. While sitting on the couch, with my dog sleeping right beside me, I noted a wet spot on my clothes and the blanket covering the couch. She had lost control of her bladder, though it had no odor. My doctor was consulted and told me to get a urine sample which, when diagnosed, showed a high PH level as well as crystals in her urine. He proceeded to say that urinary tract infections have been of high occurrence in recent months and without immediate treatment the condition can seriously develop into bladder stones requiring surgery.

A high level of PH is a common incidence in dogs, along with a sign of small crystals which are known as Struvites. Sometimes there may also be traces of blood. Any of these signs is a cause for concern. Once your doctor has made a definitive diagnosis, proper treatment will be put into practice.  Depending on the type of infection is involved, medication will be prescribed.

If your dog does have high levels of PH in the urine, an antibiotic will be prescribed, usually once a day for a two week period. Along with the antibiotics, your veterinarian will advise you on the use of cranberry juice or V-8/tomato juice. Pour ¼ cup of the juice over your dog’s food each day, as my own vet stated, for the rest of your dog’s natural life. If your dog eats twice daily, split the juice portion between the two meals for a total of ¼ cup per day. Cranberry juice is a bit sour and many dogs would favor the vegetable juice over the fruit juice. The juice works to stop the bacteria from adhering to the bladder walls and growing there. The acidity prevents future infections.

I will be trying to post daily or weekly in 2011

Pets Can Teach Us More About Life And Love

Hit to All who may follow my blog – I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day / once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. The majority of my blogs will be geared towards the animal lovers of the world.  Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way. I would truly appreciate it as I want to cover subjects of interest to you in the world of pets.  Thanks so much





Horrifying treatment of pets

Me and my best bud!!

I just discovered from a dear friend and fellow-freelancer that he had lost a home full of pets at the hands of someone he loved and devoted his life to. When I heard this news, it was something that one would think only happens on Television, watching pet abuse on Animal Planet. As an animal lover, I frequent this show and it infuriates me how people can abuse poor defenseless creatures.

My friend came home one evening to find his seven cats and three dogs poisoned and perished at the hands of his wife who was nowhere to be found. It came as a shock to this man who felt no immediate problem in his relationship that would lead to such a horrible outcome. I cannot wrap my mind around the actions of many people who involve the lives of children and pets when a relationship fails. Both children and pets have nothing to do with the failure, certainly to no fault of their own, and should not be the ones punished for the actions and feelings of the adults in the family unit. Can you imagine coming home to find your pets deceased in your home due to the actions of someone you once loved and shared a life with? The thought makes me hyperventilate.

There is no better love than that of a pet!

What a life!

Wouldn't we all love to be this lazy?!

We wouldn’t trade our little darlings for anything in the world. Georgie is almost 3, laying in the front and Teena, who is going on 5, has a bark that is much louder than her size. Except for that vocal part of her personality, our Chihuahuas (one which is not pictured here) do not live up to their reputation as mean ankle biters who only love one owner. They adore both of us and anyone who comes to visit and give them any type of attention and love.

Their size varies as much as their personalities. Teena is a brindle colored girl, very long lean legs, sweet loving personality and loves to be cradled like a baby. Unfortunately, aside from some unnecessary barking, we have issues with feedings. Her name is probably in Websters under the term “finicky”. She may weigh a whole 5 lbs. when wet, can go days without eating and then will ever every meal for the next few days. I wish I could follow her way of eating. I could be a skinny old lady “model.” She does love to beg although we never, ever give our dogs table foods (for obvious reasons)

Georgie on the other hand is a gorgeous boy, hardly ever barks, is all black except for a white chest. He is just like a baby and loves to be carried all the time. Although he is short and was described as a “teacup” when I got him, it would take a large teacup for him to fit in. He loves his meals and weighs between 5 and 6 lbs. He is our mini retriever because he could play for hours if you let him, tossing him his favorite toy. He will retrieve it and bring it back, unlike our golden retriever that we lost a few years back.

CeCe is our oldest Chihuahua (curently). She just turned 11 yrs. old a month ago. She has had a heart murmur as a young puppy and it has gotten worse in recent months. You can read my article about it at When we first saw CeCe I fell in love with her. I never saw a charcoal grey Chihuahua before. Had to have her. Her momma was tiny and tan, about 3 lbs. but daddy was black and a big boy of about 10 lbs. CeCe battles with weight all the time, weighing in at 12 – 13 lbs. She is happy and healthy though we hate when she has bouts of coughing due to her heart murmur.

Our dogs fill our lives and when we lost our home and had to move, there was not way we could move on without them. Pets do complete our lives!

Two of the "good witches" at Halloween

Oh God, do we have to dress up?!

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