The 5 Most Important Commands to Teach Your Pet

Training your pet during their early stages of development is incredibly important. Not only will communicating with your pet strengthen your companionship with one another, it will also help you discover more about your pup’s behavior.

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The Precise team has defined the top five commands to teach your pup and how to jumpstart training! First, why don’t you pick up our Healthy Habits® treats to assist in your efforts.

Sit

To train your pup on how to sit on command, get down to your pet’s eye level. Grab a treat, and hold it close to your pet’s nose and move the treat up while holding your pet’s gaze. Your pup’s bottom will then naturally move downward. As this happens, say “sit.” If your pup sits, reinforce their good behavior by giving them a treat!

Stay

The “stay” command can be a bit tricky when all your pup wants to do is snuggle; however, it is a very important command to master. First, put your pet on a leash. Then, lower your palm flat toward their nose and say “stay.” Step away from your pup for a few seconds, and then move back beside them. If they stay, reward them, but also be sure to free them from the “stay” position by saying a release word like “okay.” Practice this command in multiple locations!

As we said before, “stay” can be tricky so be sure to be patient with your pup. They will grasp it before you know it!

Come

After you’ve mastered “stay,” try getting your pup to stay seated while you back up 10 feet. After holding your pet’s attention, bend down and wave your pet to come forward while saying “come” in an encouraging tone. When your pet comes to you, reward them. Try practicing this command a few times, backing up further and further each time.

Having trouble? The Humane Society has two other methods that may help!

Wait

Ah, the patience command. This one is quite tricky, especially at meal and playtime. Following playtime outside is a good time to practice this command. Stand by the door and get your pet in the “sit” position. Slowly open the door while reciting “wait.” If your pet breaks the “sit” position, close the door and begin again. If your pet sits and “waits” until the door is fully open, give them your release word, “okay,” and allow them to walk outside. When this is complete, reward them and continue practicing!

Leave it

The command “leave it” is communicated to dogs to stop them from interacting with a certain object. Sit on the floor with your pup. In one hand, hold a Healthy Habits® treat; in the other, hold a small piece of bread. Place the piece of bread in sight of your pup. When your pup goes to inspect the bread, cover it up while reciting “leave it.” If your pup leaves the bread and returns to the sitting position, reward them with the Healthy Habits® treat.

Practice makes perfect! Be sure to repeat the exercises above before mealtime, prior to walking your pup, or whenever you have free time. When they are successful at performing a command, do not forget to reinforce their good behavior by giving them a good back scratch, praising them, or giving them a treat.

Think we left anything out? Or did we get a paw-fect 10? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Off to Deutschland we go!

So you’ve probably heard the buzz; we’re expanding!

Thanks to our friends at Kodo, Inc. in St. Helena, C.A., more pet parents, like you, will be able to provide their beloved cats and dogs with nutritious pet food for a strong and healthy lifestyle.

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To kick off the excitement, we’re heading to Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany May 26-29 to show European pet owners the benefits of our formulas.

What’s Interzoo you ask?

Well, it’s the biggest trade fair for the international pet industry. We’ll be setting up our booth alongside of Advanced Nutrition Formula Pet (ANF Pet, Inc.) a.k.a, the world’s first super food premium pet food formula, so we’ll be in great company.

Why are we so excited?

This is our opportunity to introduce ourselves, and what our formulas can do to an entirely new region. We are excited to expand our knowledge of the nutritional needs of our furry friends in Europe, and to help provide them with a pet food that’s right for them!

Our tails are wagging with excitement as we prepare for our retailer family to grow! Stay tuned for live updates of how our trip is going.

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Detecting Signs of Cancer Early in Dogs

This is easily one of our least favorite topics to blog about; however, it’s also one of the most important: detecting signs of cancer early in canines. This month is National Pet Cancer Awareness month, and we are honored to participate in the fight to help pet parents detect signs early, and take the appropriate measures needed to keep your pet healthy and happy.

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It’s no secret that pets have helped sniff-out signs of cancer in humans, and now, it’s our turn to return the favor. Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10; fortunately, experts say that half of all cancers in canines are curable if caught early. Here are some symptoms to be aware of in some of the most common pet cancers:

Mast Cell Tumors: Skin Cancer

Though your dog has a full and healthy coat, they could still develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Mast cell tumors are defined as slow growing and rubber-like, found on the “trunk” of your dog’s body, and occasionally on the legs. This form of cancer is easily treatable if caught early. Dogs with lighter coats have a greater chance of becoming infected; be sure to take note of your dog’s time outside during the summer months and make sure they have easy access to a shaded area. Small tumors can also form on the hairless parts of your dog such as the nose or paw pads, so make sure those areas are protected by shade or sunscreen.

Malignant Lymphoma

There are five types of lymphoma, with the most common being Multi Centric Lymphoma, or painless swelling of the lymph nodes. The symptoms include a loss in appetite, accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, shortness of breath, excessive urination, fever, anemia, and inflammation of the body and the lymph nodes.

Mammary Gland Tumors: Breast Cancer

Symptoms of mammary gland tumors include small or large metastatic growths that can occur in one or more of your pet’s glands. Be sure to routinely check your pet for unusual growths on their chest. Reduce the risk by spaying your pet. Hormones induce breast cancer in female dogs, so spaying your pet will greatly decrease the possibility.

Bone Tumors: Osteosarcoma

If you notice visible pain in your dog and swelling around the joints, it could be a sign of Osteosarcoma. Further symptoms may include: trouble swallowing and pain in opening the mouth, increase in sensitivity, irritability, aggression, lack of sleep, inactivity, and weight loss due to a loss of appetite.

If you notice any of these symptoms, or would like to have your dog checked-out, consult your veterinarian immediately. Our intention with this blog post is not to scare you, but simply, to make you aware of these symptoms in order to stop them in their tracks.

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Top 5 Dog Parks in America

Sunny skies and warm weather are on our horizon. As summer makes its anticipated debut, your dog is probably itching at the chance to get outdoors and play; well, it’s no secret that we are too. The Precise team has taken the liberty of rounding up the top five dog parks in America that you and your furry friend should add to your summer bucket list:

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Fort DeSoto Paw Playground and BeachTierra Verde, FL

This park features two sectioned fenced-in play areas for large and small pets, allowing your pup to run leash-free for a few hours. And get this, there’s a dog beach in the Paw Playground. Make a splash with your pooch, and clean off afterwards by the park’s convenient hosing station. Honestly, what could be better?

Point Isabel Regional ShorelineRichmond, CA

Think your pet is a well-behaved good listener? Then you definitely want to add this Californian destination to the list. Not only is Point Isabel an off-leash park for mannerly pups, it also features a Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub and Sit & Stay Café, a favorite among   visitors four-legged and two. Clean-off your pet at Mudpuppy’s DIY dog bath areas, and   be sure to take a gander at their toys, treats, and supplies. Then you can hop over to Sit & Stay Café to grab a treat for yourself; you deserve it.

Fort Woof Dog Park at Gateway ParkFort Worth, TX

For a happy dog: 1. Go to Fort Woof 2. Unleash; that’s the motto of this non-profit associated destination. Equipped with two fenced in areas for pups large and small, a watering station with bowls, and waste bags galore, this doggie-do hosts a variety of events year-round such as dog fashion shows, and the annual Barktoberfest. Think your pup could use some socialization? This seems like the place to be.

James Island County ParkCharleston, SC

Dog park, sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, splash zone water park, climbing wall, saltwater fishing, and play fountain…we’re in. This park definitely features fun for four-legged friends of all breeds and sizes to enjoy! If you and your furry friend can’t bring yourself to call it a day, even after tiring yourselves out with everything this park has to offer, James Island features a campground featuring 124 sites and 10 vacation cottages to extend your stay. We’ll start packing our bags now.

Beau’s Dream Dog Park at Buchanan ParkLancaster, PA

Owner Angela and her dog Beau hit the jackpot after winning a contest that brought $500,000 to Lancaster’s Buchanan Dog Park. With a huge makeover under their belt, it’s safe to say that this park is probably the most PAWesome in America—no joke. Featuring a small and large dog area with splash pads, a doxi tunnel and even a launching tennis ball tree, this park has been the bark of the town since it’s grand opening in 2013. The image above is a good indication as to why!

Whatever excursion you plan, bring plenty of water for your pet to keep them hydrated throughout the day and be sure to have plastic bags in tow to clean up after pet messes.

We hope you have a “barking” good time!

Image Credit: Beau’s Dream Dog Park at Buchanan Park Facebook

 

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Earth to Pet Owners: Reduce Your Carbon Paw Print

We’re sure you know the importance of reducing your carbon footprint, but what about your pet’s?  Yep, your beloved companion has an environmental impact, too, and it might be bigger than you think.

Earth Day

So, in honor of Earth Day, we’ve got some tips to help you become a more eco-friendly pet owner and reduce your carbon paw print. It’s time to get your green on! 

Feed Your Pet Properly

Fill your pet’s food bowl with holistic, organic or sustainably sourced food (queue  Precise) they’re great for your pet and for the planet!  Chicken and fish based products especially tend to have lower environmental impact.  Try to buy in bulk when you can to reduce packaging waste, and purchase from your local retailer to eliminate pollution from long distance shipping.

Do Your “Dooty”

When nature calls, it’s your job to pick it up! Pet waste can be a hazardous pollutant- especially to nearby water sources (check out our last blog post for more info). Make an effort to use biodegradable or flushable doggie bags for poo pick up that aren’t harmful to the environment, and even consider composting your pet’s waste.  Composting is nature’s way of recycling, and, believe it or not, pet waste can be an effective ingredient for compost that can be used for fertilizer!  Just make sure you don’t use it for plants or crops meant for human consumption.

Kitty Litter

Unfortunately, the majority of cat litter is clay-based, which is strip mined and non-degradable.  Next time you’re out, reach for the litter that’s made with sawdust, pine pellets, or other biodegradable ingredients.  To save money, you might even consider making your own at home!

Eco-friendly Accessories

Look for toys and accessories made with organic or recycled materials to keep playtime eco-friendly.  Before throwing out old toys that your pet no longer loves, donate them to your local animal shelter instead.  After all, one pet’s trash is another pet’s treasure.

Spay/Neuter

This is probably your most important responsibility as a pet owner.  Spaying or neutering your pets is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent further overpopulation.

As pet owners, we know it’s your priority to keep your furry friend happy and healthy, so why not throw Mother Nature a bone while you’re at it?

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3 Tips to Prevent the Possibility of Lyme Disease in Dogs

April showers bring May flowers, and lots of time outside for you and your pet. Spring has sprung, and the warm weather has us all itching to get out and seek adventure on a hike in the woods, in a pasture, or at the park.

Lyme Disease - Outside

For these reasons, April has been deemed National Prevention of Lyme Disease Awareness month, as ticks are prevalent in these outdoor areas, and are ready “suck” the fun out of outdoor playtime.

What’s lyme disease exactly? Well, it’s a tick-borne illness, caused by the transmission of infected bacteria, commonly from a “deer tick,” also known as the black-legged tick; we have 3 tips from our global veterinarian, Dr. Stephan Leoni, on how to help stop these biters in their tracks.

Grab a Good Repulsive Spray, or Drop-On

These two preventative methods are recommended for pets because of their ability to repel ticks, fleas, and mosquitos alike, while also remaining water and sweat proof. This composition can be placed between your pet’s shoulder blades, or all along their body, depositing into sweat glands where the active ingredients will be released over several weeks’ time.

Search, search, search

Ticks hide out in warm places: in-between your pet’s toes, under their armpits, behind their ears, and around their tail and head. If you feel a bump, separate the fur surrounding the tick and grab some tweezers. Proceed to pull the ticks body away from the skin, being cautious not to crush the tick, or leave any limbs of the insect behind. After removal, clean your pet’s skin with soap and water, and flush the tick down the toilet. The longer the tick is attached to your pet’s skin, the greater the risk becomes of being infected (more than 48 hours).

Get Some Immune Support

Incorporating a diet packed with vitamin E and C along with carotenoids and flavonoids will help boost your pet’s immune system, in case of infection. This will allow your pet to help fight the bacteria until they are able to receive medical attention, and will also serve as a great source of nutrients if your pet is recovering from the disease. Might we recommend our Precise Holistic Complete line of dry dog food formulas?

Though the risk of becoming infected is minor, nothing can rule out Lyme Disease indefinitely. If you notice the following symptoms from your pet after playing outdoors, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

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4 Ideas to Celebrate National Pet Day That Your Companion will Love

National Pet Day? More like National Best Friend Day. That’s right, the annual furry friend appreciation day is nearly here! You may have already planned your Monday to be filled with snuggles, outdoor fun, and special Healthy Habits treats but if you’re stuck in the planning process, have no fear—we’ll take it from here.

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Don’t you need a vacation?

What better way to honor your furry friend’s companionship than with a getaway! Camping, hiking, kayaking, beach fun, you name it—your pet will enjoy coming along for the ride. Check out these articles to see the most pet-friendly outdoor destinations in America and Canada to help kick-off your next adventure!

Test your pet’s agility with an obstacle course!

Let’s take playtime to the next level and create an obstacle course for your dog or cat! Make sure you have plenty of water and treats at the ready! For pups, it’s probably best that the fun is held outside, especially for high-energy dogs that are eager to get their agility on. For our feline friends, the fun may be better suited for the indoors. Obstacle courses can be created with items lying around the house, or in your garage. Check out these DIY obstacle courses for cats and dogs! Not only is an obstacle course a great way to shake up the playtime routine, it further strengthens your bond with your pet.

        Cat owners…grab your lasers.

Share the companionship.

Your pet is your best friend; why not share the love with patients at your local hospital? Not only will all of the attention make your pet smile, it is proven that pets, especially dogs, provide a variety of therapeutic benefits to patients. Before you plan your visit, be sure to contact your local hospital to make sure you follow their specific guidelines during your stay. Make sure that your pet does not wander into individual patients’ rooms, and only greets them in public areas of the hospital.

Relax.

Watch a movie, bake some homemade treats, and pet your loving companion until it’s time to snooze. Sometimes lazy days, are the best days.

No matter what your day entails, your pet will appreciate the extra time spent together this Monday. What will you and your pet be doing to celebrate? Let us know in the comments below!

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4 Reasons to Pick Up the “Number Two”

We really weren’t kidding, it is National Pooper Scooper week—and yes, we’ve written a blog post about it. Whether you’re at the beach, the park, even sitting in the comfort of your home, there is no escaping nature’s call. Litterboxes ease your worry for indoor cats, outdoor felines are known to burry their “number two;” and dogs, well, they’ll go just about anywhere. It’s easy to feel a bit lazy, and confident that your pet will take care of their business with no help from you, but until the day pets stand upright and utilize the toilet, that’s not reality. Here are 4 reasons why it’s time to stop being lazy, and pick up your pet’s business.

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1. Storm Water carries it all around town

And directly into our waterways; this means that nitrogen from the waste is added to the water, depleting the oxygen that keeps underwater wildlife alive. This process may also transmit diseases such as E. Coli and Salmonella to humans who unknowingly drink the contaminated water.

2. You don’t want your guests thinking “what’s that smell?”

If your pet does their duty in a litter box, it’s your job to grab the scooper. Lucky for you, many pet litters will deodorize the smell somewhat, but not all. Cats can be quite peculiar about their bathroom habits, and if they aren’t met, they will find an area that is. They like a clean area with a neutral smell, and may prefer a certain litter over others. It is recommended to scoop out your pet’s litter box daily while replacing the litter twice a week.

3. It’s common courtesy

And your responsibility as a pet owner, especially when your pup decides to venture off through the neighborhood and mark its territory on other lawns. Help end the worry of pet landmines for beach goers, other pet owners by the park, city explorers, and yourself by scooping!   

4. And it’s the law

The reasons above should be a clear indication as to why…

Now that’s what we like to call the ugly truth; we know, we wish it wasn’t so too. Happy scooping!

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The Lifetime Journey of Socializing Your Pup

Being a pup may seem like a happy-go-lucky gig, but for some of our furry friends, it can be a bit stressful. Learning and seeing new things each day can be quite the adventure; socializing your pet further helps teach them how to respond with less fear and stress to new experiences throughout their life.

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Here’s how to give your pet skills to cope with new situations:

Treats:

Not only do treats reinforce good behavior to our pets, they also serve as a form of comfort, and assurance. When socializing your pet in the future, be sure to grab a handful of treats to carry along your journey. To your pet, being rewarded with a treat will signify that they are acting appropriately, and the situation is positive. Might we recommend our Healthy Habit Treats?

Take them around town:

Adults aren’t the only ones who can have downtown fun. If your hometown or neighboring city is pet friendly, get your pup in on the action! Not only is the exercise worth the trip, your pet will be exposed to a variety of experiences and events while getting lots of love and attention from pets and people alike!

Here are some of the most pet-friendly cities in America and Canada. Did your city make the list?

Dog parks and neighborhood barks:

Like humans, pets need friends too. What better place to find a playmate than at your local dog park, or even in your neighborhood?! When setting up play dates for your furry friend, be sure to stay with them. Sometimes the fun can get a bit rowdy, and both pets need a bit of relaxation and water when the fun is done!

Remember, puppyhood is not the end of socialization. Be sure to keep your pet happy and healthy through adulthood by continuing to find new adventures to embark on together!

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Collar vs. Harness: Which is best for your pup?

Shopping for collars can be overwhelming these days. With all the harnesses, halters, and varying types of collars, it’s hard to know which equipment is best for your pet. Don’t worry, the Precise Team is here to help.

Collar vs. Harness

Collars

Simple and convenient, collars are certainly the most traditional option for walking and training pups. Collars are good for every day use on dogs of any size that don’t pull, tug or lunge, as these actions can put pressure on dogs’ necks and potentially cause injury.

Martingale collars, also known as slip collars or “greyhound” collars, are great for dogs that tend to slip out of their collars. This is usually a problem with dogs who have little to no size differentiation between their head and neck- we’re talking Greyhounds, Whippets, Pits, French Bulldogs and Bull Terriers. Martingale collars automatically tighten when pulled, laying flush with the neck and preventing your dog from getting loose.

Harnesses

Small dog breeds and dogs who pull, tug and lunge excessively are the best candidates for harnesses. Harnesses take the pressure off the neck, making them safer for dogs and easier to control for you. There are two main types of harnesses that cater to different canines’ needs:

Front clip harness: The best option for for larger breed dogs, front clip harnesses provide maximum control and come in handy when there’s a big mismatch in size, speed or strength between you and your dog.   A harness with the leash ring in the front middle of the dog’s chest lessens the force of your dog’s forward pull, and will gently turn him toward you.

Back clip harness: These are perfect for small and toy breed dogs, who don’t need the same amount of control as larger breeds. Back attaching harnesses don’t create the same pressure as front attaching harnesses do for large breed dogs and protect their tracheas are from bruising if they lunge or pull.

Whichever you decide is the best option for your companion; make sure your pup is always wearing identification and medical information in case they get lost.

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