3 Simple 4th Of July Pet Tips

4th of July

It’s the biggest party of summer! July 4th brings about family and friends, cookouts, fireworks and fun. But your pets may not find the holiday as much fun as you. So we’ve compiled three simple 4th of July pet tips to help you out.

Fireworks make the Fourth of July holiday the number one day each year when pets are reported lost. The crackle and booms of fireworks draw oohs and aahs from humans, but they can be downright terrifying for dogs and cats.

Don’t let your pet add to the statistic this Forth of July. Take a few steps to ensure they are ready for the big celebration. Here’s a few 4th Of July oet tips to keep your happy safe this July 4th:

dog id tags1. Update your pet’s microchip information and secure their ID tags today: Start with the worst case scenario: your pet escapes during the fireworks display. Give them the best chance of being returned to you by updating their microchip information and add tags to their collar with their name, your address and phone number.

 

dog walking2. Walk your dogs and feed your pets late afternoon: Don’t wait until dark to take your dog for a walk. Take them out before sunset to do their business. Feed them early to help move along the process.

 

cat sleeping3. Create a safe zone in your home: Pick a room with few or no windows. Create a comfortable place for them with their favorite blanks, bedding or toys. Turn on the TV, radio, or use a white noise machine to muffle sounds. If possible, don’t leave your pet home alone. (If you are taking your pet along to a celebration, make sure they are not left alone. Keep them by your side and for dogs, bring lots of treats to reassure them during any big fireworks displays.)

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate with family. By taking these simple steps, you’ll create a holiday that’s enjoyable for you and your furry family members.

Windermere Pet Sitter Says: Don’t Forget Your Pet’s Care

Summer here is here and it’s time to finalize those plans for summer vacation. You’ve made packing lists and have your passports, birth certificates and boarding passes all set to go. New toothbrushes, travel size everything has been purchased. But…

Did You Call Your Windermere Pet Sitter?

2013-11-25_1385392018Big Paw Pet Care has been serving Central Florida since 2011, bringing it’s loving brand of care to your pets, in your home. If you’re worried about the effects of boarding your pet, you’re not alone. Cats find new environments to be stressful. Dogs can be taught to potty inside with most indoor-play yards at local boarding facilities. And we haven’t even discussed diseases and fleas picked up at local boarding facilities.

Hiring your Windermere Pet Sitter means your dog or cat enjoys all the comforts of home…at home! We try to keep their routine as normal as possible with dog walks throughout the day, playtime and more.

Keeping Your Home Safe Too

Pet Sitting In OrlandoDays of no movement at your home makes it enticing to burglars. With Big Paw Pet Care’s services we always include free concierge services like plant watering, bringing in the mail or newspaper or packages. We also rotate lights, and open/close blinds to give your home that lived in look.

But My Friends and Family Watch My Pets

pet sitterYou love your pets and treat them like family. But don’t be fooled into thinking your friends and family love your pets as much as you. We’ve worked with hundreds of clients and many of them use us because they no longer can trust their friends or family to be there when they need them.

Some clients even tell us they’re surprised that the neighbor’s child didn’t perform as well as expected. Big Paw Pet Care’s pet care providers are experienced pet care professionals trained in pet health, safety and CPR/first aid. Do you believe your pet’s are getting the best care from the neighbor kid?

Big Paw Pet Care makes it easy with online reservations, predictable care and daily updates from your pet care provider. Never worry about your pet’s getting the love and care they deserve with Big Paw Pet Care.

Create your profile today by clicking here and schedule a FREE Meet & Greet with a pet care provider. Big Paw Pet Care services pets and their families in Dr. Phillips, MetroWest, Gotha, Ocoee, Windermere and Winter Garden.

Give yourself some peace of mind this summer vacation and call Big Paw Pet Care for your pet care needs.

“Ruff” Week? Time For Yappy Hour in Dr Phillips

Yappy Hour in Dr PhillipsThe week has barely started and you’re already looking forward to a weekend of wine and spending time with your dog. Well, Big Paw Pet Care and Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips have a TREAT for you! Join us Wednesday May 20, 2015 from 6pm to 8pm for a Yappy Hour at:

Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips
7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Suite 8
Orlando, FL 32819
(located in the Dr Phillips Marketplace next to Publix)

Bring Your Dog to Yappy Hour in Dr Phillips

This isn’t your normal happy hour. Our Yappy Hour in Dr Phillips will be a great time for you AND your furry best friend. Explore the shop and it’s delightful fresh baked treats. Mingle with other pet lovers like yourself. You’ll also enjoy:

  • Free wine and snacks for people and dog treat samples for your pup (while supplies last).
  • Bring your dog training questions and learn a new technique from Big Paw Pet Care’s Dog Trainer, John Standefer
  • Learn how a simple weekly wellness assessment can keep help keep you better informed about your dog or cat’s health with Mike Meibuhr, Certified Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR Instructor.
Please RSVP For You and Your Dog Too

We can’t wait to meet you and your dog this Wednesday!  For more information please call Big Paw Pet Care at (321) 345-7387 or Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips at (407) 363-5550. RSVP on Facebook by clicking here.

About Woof Gang Bakery Dr. PhillipsYappy Hour Dr Phillips

Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips is your neighborhood pet store! Your dogs will love their full service dog spa for a simple bath or full groom. Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips offers a full line of natural dog and cat food, fresh baked treats, chews, bones, cool collars, leashes, toys and more. Don’t forget: All four legged friends welcome.

About Big Paw Pet Care

Big Paw Pet CareBig Paw Pet Care® is Central Florida’s Total Pet Care providing pet sitting and daily dog walking services 365 days of the year. Big Paw Pet Care® provides pet sitting services for cats, dogs and small mammals like hamsters or guinea pigs. Big Paw Pet Care also offers a “PAWsitive” approach to dog training with both private and class room style dog training. And as Orlando’s best resource for Pet First Aid and CPR training, you can learn skills that may save your pet’s life taught by our PetTech Certified Instructors.

Orlando Dog Trainer: The Positive Interrupter – A Tool More Powerful Than No

Nobody Likes To Hear No

Many people get frustrated when they can’t seem to communicate with their dogs. Often times they will fall into a cycle of saying, “No” “No” “No” when their dog is doing something they don’t like. Unfortunately, dogs don’t speak English.

Dogs can certainly tell by the tone of your voice that you are displeased. In all likelihood, telling or yelling “No!” over and over will increase stress in your pup. Most likely, Sparky may even tune you out.

This Orlando Dog Trainer Believes In Positivity

Orlando Dog TrainerLet’s do a little Classical Conditioning with your pooch. (Remember Pavlov’s dog?)

For the next few days make a kissing noise and give your dog a really delicious treat-for NO reason.

His behavior is irrelevant. He doesn’t have to look at you. He doesn’t have to sit. He doesn’t have to stop what he is doing.

Just walk up to your dog, make a kissing noise and give him a piece of grilled chicken or chicken hot dog. Make sure it’s something extraordinary, not his normal treat. Do this a dozen times a day for several days.

Happy Results

What you will notice very quickly is that when you make that kissing noise, your dog will swing his head around in anticipation of the really delicious treat. Now you’ve got a “Positive Interrupter” that you can use to get your dog’s attention away from unwanted activities and you can redirect him to something YOU want him to do.

Instead of inducing stress with “No!” You are interrupting him with the positive feelings of your Classically Conditioned kissing noise.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, feel free to call me any time at 321-345-7387 ext 2.

Classical Conditioning: A Foundation Of Dog Training

2014-10-13_1413210572My dog, Chase is a “rescue” dog in the most literal sense of the word, rescue. We learned about Chase when we were just launching Big Paw Pet Care. All we ‘knew’ about him was from a frantic email exchange from a friend; an older German Shepherd Dog with a broken leg, and he had 15-minutes to live.

What we got was a one-year-old possible Australian Cattle Dog mix that had been living on the street with a dislocated toe and a huge fear of diesel trucks.

The Adoption

The exchange went down like a hostage swap in a Hardee’s parking lot halfway between Orlando and Sebring, FL. Chase was 35 pounds of skin and bones and looked like a malnourished coyote even after 10 days of dog-pound food . We found on the ride home, Chase’s fear of all things truck. When we would approach a semi truck driving down the highway, this soon-to-be 53-pound dog would try desperately to crawl under the back of the passenger seat of our Saturn Vue.

After letting Chase acclimate to his new ‘foster’-home, our first plan of attack to work on his fear of trucks was to try and create positive associations. We had to desensitize the poor little street urchin through Classical Conditioning.

What is Classical Conditioning?

Classical ConditioningClassical Conditioning is defined as: In Psychology, a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired; a response that is at first elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone.

Think Pavlov’s dog. Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist. A short version of what Pavlov did: Pavlov would ring a bell immediately before giving his dog food. He found after repeatedly pairing these two stimuli that when he would ring the bell, his dog would salivate even without the presentation of food.

Putting Theory To Work

With this in mind, Chase and I loaded up in the car with a stash of chicken hotdog bits and went out hunting down diesel trucks and semis. Every time we neared a truck, I would quickly start flipping little pieces of hotdogs into the back seat. It helped that Chase was extremely food motivated. Chase would squirm and get as far away and a low as possible when we got too close. But, it didn’t matter. As long as we were in the presence of trucks, hotdogs would fall from the sky.

Unexpected Result

A few short weeks later, as I was stopped at a stoplight and distracted with my own thoughts, I noticed Chase standing with his front paws on the center console. As I turned to him, I noticed a semi-truck directly next to us. In my blissfully unaware state, I had failed to see the truck pull up beside us.

But Chase didn’t. Chase knew that the truck meant something. In his mind, he was saying, “Hey, where are my hotdogs? Hotdogs should be falling from the sky!”

We successfully modified the association Chase had with trucks from one of fear to one of pleasure. Trucks no longer meant terror. Trucks meant something delicious.

3 Reasons To Avoid Rawhide

In our Pet Tech First Aid and CPR course we cover many aspects of your pets daily life to promote a safe, healthy environment for your pet. During our section on choking management, the discussion inevitably turns to chew toys and treats. As pet sitters, we encounter all types of products visiting our clients at their homes. Some are relatively safe when used with supervision, others are dangerous from the outset and should be avoided. 
 
The one item that always falls into the danger category, even under close supervision, is rawhide. 
 
What Exactly Is Rawhide? 
 

pet sitter“Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. During manufacturing, the hides are cleaned and cut or ground. Then they’re pressed into chewable dog treats of different shapes and sizes. To make them more appealing for dogs, some rawhide treats contain beef, chicken, or liver flavorings.” (Source: Pet WebMD: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/rawhide-good-or-bad-for-your-dog)

 
Why Avoid Rawhide? 
 
1. Choking: Chunks of soggy, yet firm hunks of rawhide can easily be swallowed by your dog. These flat pieces of semi-rigid, processed flesh can swell when they become wet with saliva. They can lodge in your dogs throat, blocking airways and cause choking. In most instances of choking by a dog, the cause most often is rawhide (more than handballs, small tennis balls and other chew toys).
 
2. Turn Stomachs Into Knots: Some dogs, especially puppies, cannot digest rawhide. Being a processed form of animal skin, it doesn’t remotely resemble the organic nature of prey food that a dogs body is able to digest. Moreover, some dogs are allergic to rawhide and may vomit or have loose stools after consuming it. And going back to point one, if your dog is able to swallow a piece of rawhide, but vomits, it doesn’t mean it won’t become a choking hazard on the way back up. 
 
3. There Is WHAT In Rawhide?: Rawhide is not a food, but a highly produced byproduct of the food industry. And the details can be downright gruesome: 
 
Removing the hair from hides often involves a highly toxic recipe: sodium sulphide liming. A standard practice is to procure rawhide in the “split lime state” as by-products from tanneries, facilities that top the list of U.S. Superfund sites. In the post-tannery stage, hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide. And that’s just one step.
Other poisonous residues that may show up in rawhide include arsenic and formaldehyde. Even dog skin is a possibility. [sic] Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.” (Source: http://thebark.com/content/dangers-rawhide-dog-chew-toys)
 
 
A Better Chew “Toy”
 
The fact is for dog owners, you need to supply your pet with something to chew or else you’ll end up with chewed furniture and chewed shoes. Unfortunately there’s not one perfect solution for all pets and pet owners. So we recommend several items for dogs who need to satisfy the need for chewing: 
 
pet sitter1. KONG brand chew products (unstuffed) 
2. Nylabone brand chew products can be safe as long as you select the size appropriate for your dog and they are not consuming pieces bigger than a grain of rice
3. Deer/Elk Antlers or Raw Beef Bones: Depending on your comfort level with raw bones, both beef bones or antlers can be a long-lasting product for your dogs to chew. However, some dogs have been known to break teeth on these types of products, so check with your vet on your dogs dental condition before offering these to him. 
4. Bully Sticks are an all natural, safe alternative to rawhides. 
 
It’s important that you never leave your dog by themselves when chewing a chew toy or bone. Supervision is always required. Additionally, after each chew session you should wash the item with hot water, and a mild soap, as you would your pet’s food dishes, to avoid bacterial growth and contamination. 
 
For more advice on safe pet products or advice, feel free to call us anytime at 321-345-PETS (7387)

Pet First Aid 2013

Pet First Aid Classes: Saving Even More Pets

We’ve had a great year with our Pet First Aid and CPR classes. We started off this year by helping pet owners like you earn a Pet CPR and Pet First Aid certification to care for their own pets in the event of an emergency. As the year progressed we were able to help local pet-businesses, pet sitters and pet boarding facilities earn certifications for their staff.

Most importantly we were able to roll out special Pet First Aid classes to support the missions of local pet charities like Pookie’s Rescuefest and the SPCA of Central Florida. We’ve raised over $1000 for the SPCA of Central Florida. With the economy still in the dull drums pets are still being abandoned at an alarming rate. Your support has helped ensure a second chance for hundreds of local pets.

Our final class of 2013 will benefit the SPCA of Central Florida. We’ll be holding it in the Community Room of the SPCA’s Orlando location near the Mall at Millenia. Space is EXTREMELY limited and fills quickly at this popular location. Please remember, even if you register online your space is not reserved 100% until your payment is made.

To register now, please click the date below:

Sun Nov 17 – 12:00 PM at SPCA Orlando – Benefiting the SPCA

Big Paw Pet Care is proud to offer classes benefiting the finest pet charities in Central Florida. If you have a charity group or rescue that would like to offer a unique and valuable fundraiser to your supporters please contact nick@bigpawpets.com to discuss the options we have for you. Get Pet First Aid and CPR certified today!

Visit our Pet First Aid page to learn more.

Orlando Dog Trainer: Life Rewards and Food Treats

You’ve finally gotten to the point when your dog is regularly responding to your vocal or hand cues for behaviors.

It’s now time to pull back with the treats and replace them with other rewards. For my dog, the sound of the leash is an exciting time. Rewarding him with a walk for a job well done is always welcome. For other dogs some fetch with a squeaky ball or frisbee is like heaven!

The point is you’ve now moved on to “life rewards”, rewards based on other things your dog enjoys beyond treats and food. You’re showing your dog you indeed are NOT a treat PEZ dispenser. Instead he is learning that by doing as you ask, and making you happy, he gets something that makes him happy too.

Sure we can still pepper in treat based rewards as a surprise every now and then but you want to make sure you diversify your rewards. Dogs love surprises like this and you’ll be motivating them to work even harder to keep the rewards coming.

Have a question for me about your dog’s behavior? Call 321-345-7387 for a free phone consultation.

Orlando Dog Trainer: Bribing Versus Rewarding Dogs in Training

How do I define reward based training versus a bribe?

Ask a dog to do something. The dog does it. Give him a treat. That treat is a reward.

Ask your dog to do something and it’s something he’s done repeatedly before. But this time there’s no action. So you wait. Maybe you ask again. You reach into your treat bag and suddenly your dog is completing the requested task.

THAT is a bribe.

You asked him to do it and he didn’t until he knew the reward. A good dog trainer will help you avoid this pitfall of dog training. If you find yourself only getting a reaction once the treat is visible, your dog has just trained you!

With professional dog training we use techniques that avoid bribery and continue rewarding good behaviors. Knowing when you’re teetering into bribery is a skill that your dog trainer can see, but you may not.

I’ve got a couple more days of insight for you so keep checking back. Don’t hesitate to call me if you have any questions about your dog’s behavior. Dial 321-345-7387 for a FREE telephone assessment.

Orlando Dog Trainer: Using Food As Rewards In Training

Food is a huge motivator for me. I can down a juicy hamburger in minutes. I love grilled salmon and vegetables  My mouth waters just thinking about it. However, burgers, salmon and the like just don’t show up in my refrigerator. I have to work for them.

Like humans, food for dogs is a pretty valuable part of life. Dogs know that food is good as soon as their born. Ever have a puppy climbing all over you while you’re at the dinner table? They may never have tasted a pork chop, but they know they want it!

Most every dog enjoys praise, petting and game play – which are all great rewards. But food is primal. If you want to get an animal’s attention you want to go for what it’s mind, body and soul are craving.

That is food.

Dog owners and trainers alike express concern about using food as a reward in training. Using food exclusively can turn into a bribe where the dog only reacts to the food and not to your command without it. But that’s why using a professional dog trainer is important. To know when your dog knows whats expected and how to transition their expectations of reward away from food and towards other things.

Keep checking back while I post more insights into the dog training process in the coming days. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your dog’s behavior feel free to call me at 321-345-7387 for a FREE telephone assessment.