Tips and Advice

December 2017: Winter Newsletter is here! Winter Newsletter 2017

January 2017: Winter Newsletter is here!  winter-newsletter-2016

December 2015: Winter Newsletter is here!  Does your dog have new years resolutions? Winter Newsletter 2015

September 2015: I made it into the local paper!  To see the article “Taking Physical Rehabilitation to the Dogs” click here.

May 2015: Spring / Summer Newsletter is here!  SpringSummer Newsletter 2015

April 2015: Preparing for agility season by doing “doggy squats”.  This video was viewed by over 3000 people!  Take a look by visiting my Facebook page.

March 2015: Do you let your dog run loose or use an extending leash?  Please be considerate of those dogs that are shy or nervous and don’t like strange dogs getting in their space.

Space Etiquette for Dogs

Space Etiquette for Dogs

February 2015: Too cold outside, too icy, too snowy, too buggy, too hot?? I now have a DogTread treadmill for fitness and conditioning work. If you want to exercise your dog without braving the elements, give me a call! 2015/02/img_0387.jpg

February 2015:  High impact exercise should be avoid in young dogs until their growth plates have closed.  The only true way to know if the growth plates are closed is to do an x-ray, but this chart gives a general idea.

Growth Plate Closure

Growth Plate Closure

February 2015: Would you know what to do if your dog had a cardiac arrest? Watch this video of how to do canine CPR.

February 2015: ‘Dog in a Box’ is a great trick for teaching your dog where his feet are. Start with a large box or laundry basket and ask your dog to step into it. The front feet usually go on without a problem, but the back feet are where it gets interesting! Keep working at it and reward often. Once your dog is consistently putting his feet into the box, move onto something smaller. For a video, check out my Facebook page.

January 2015: Do you struggle to stabilize your peanut while working with your dog?  I recently got this awesome ‘peanut holder’ from Muskoka Agility Equipment.

Peanut Holder

Peanut Holder

January 2015: The iliopsoas muscle is commonly injured in agility dogs, and it can be a long road to recovery.  Read more about injury prevention and rehabilitation here.

December 2014: Here is the Winter Newsletter!! Winter Newsletter 2014

November 2014: This video is quite long (about an hour), but it does a really nice job of explaining conformation and its effect on gait pattern and function in dogs.

November 2014: Another hectic agility season has been and gone. Hartley earned his Advanced Agility Dog of Canada, Advanced Games Dog of Canada, and Master Agility Dog of Canada titles – we have been busy!!

August 2014: Here is the Summer Newsletter!! SpringSummer Newsletter 2014

July 2014: Conditioning and body awareness exercises can be done with puppies, but it needs to be done with care to protect those young joints that are still forming.  Read more here.

June 2014: How good are you at reading canine body language?  This fun poster has an important message:

Canine Body Language

Canine Body Language

May 2014: Have you heard of Limber Tail?  This is an extremely painful condition which can be caused by, amongst other things, excessive swimming in cold water.  It can respond well to low level laser treatment.  Read more here.

January 2014: Take a look at my Winter Newsletter!! Winter Newsletter

October 2013: Wow, what a summer. Things got a little hectic with a very busy agility season. Hartley earned his Starter Games Dog of Canada and Agility Dog of Canada titles, and Chase got his first ever Qualifying Score!! Now that agility is pretty much wrapped up for the season, updates will come more regularly. Remember to check out our Facebook page for current news.

September 2013: Trying to decide at what age to spay or neuter your puppy?  Current evidence suggests that it is better to wait until they have finished growing in order to reduce the risks of joint injuries and other illnesses in the future. Read more here.

2013: Summer is here!! In hot weather, watch your dog for signs of heatstroke, and never leave your dog in the car. It can get hot in there quicker than you think.

Heatstroke in dogs.

Heatstroke in dogs.

June 2013: Teaching your dog to ‘play bow’ is a great way to stretch and strengthen their front legs.

Hartley performing the 'play bow'.

Hartley performing the ‘play bow’.

June 2013: What would you like to know about canine rehabilitation? Send me your questions via the Contact Us page. For the answers to some great questions, visit our Facebook page.

June 2013: A balance disc is a great tool for strengthening the core, and the front and back legs.

Chase on Balance Disc

May 2013: Did you know that canine rehabilitation is an unregulated profession? This means that anyone, even someone with no training at all can say they do canine rehabilitation. Make sure your dog receives treatment from someone who is qualified. Check out the Register of the Animal Rehabilitation Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

May 2013: Did you know that you can buy exercise equipment for your dog? FitPaws make canine conditioning equipment that can help with core stability, strength, balance and endurance. Check out the FitPaws website, and then contact me for more details and prices!

May 2013: Asking your dog to sit up and “beg” or “sit pretty” can be a great way of testing their core muscles. It is not necessarily the beast way of strengthening them though as it is not a functional position for most dogs. If your dog has any kind of back injury, this is not a good exercise for them. Please contact me for an appointment where we can discuss suitable alternatives.

Chase Begging

Chase Begging

May 2013: Do you have pet insurance? I highly recommend that you get pet insurance as soon as you get your dog. It might seem like a lot of money to pay each month….. But consider that emergency medical costs can run into thousands of dollars. Surgery for fractures or cruciate ligament repair averages $3500. Treatment for cancer can be $10,000 or more. If you have insurance, some or all of these costs may be covered. Many insurance policies also cover additional therapies including rehabilitation, acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage.

April 2013: Do you have an active dog that has been injured? Looking for a good way of exercising them without it being high impact? Have you considered scent detection training? This is a low impact sport that provides a lot of brain work and can still tire your dog out! In scent detection classes your dog will learn search techniques and eventually to identify a particular scent or scents. It is fun for your dog as he will be rewarded for doing what comes naturally – using his nose!

April 2013: Do you want a great resource for buying books and DVDs specific to dogs and dog training? I am pleased to announce my affiliation with Dogwise, where you can find thousands of books and DVDs related to “all things dog”!
Dogwise, All Things Dog!

April 2013: You can help improve your dogs balance by getting them into a stand, and then picking up one leg for them.  It can be a front or back leg depending on which area you want to work harder.  You can progress to lifting diagonal opposite legs, and eventually two legs on the same side.  This is easiest with a small dog.  If you have a large dog, you should get someone to stand on the opposite side in case they lose their balance!

April 2013: Are you thinking of getting a new puppy?  It is important to visit the breeder and meet their dogs.  Meeting the parents of your prospective puppy can help you judge its temperament.  Visiting the breeder and checking out the conditions will help to ensure you are not buying a puppy mill puppy.  Remember to check that the breeder has had both parents health tested for common genetic conditions and illnesses.  The breeder should be able to show you certificates that they have at least tested their breeding dogs hips and eyes.  Make sure you are given a health warranty with your puppy.  This usually means that if your dog develops a genetic illness within a specified period of time, the breeder will accept responsibility and assist with veterinary fees.  A good breeder will interview you as much as you are interviewing them, they will want to make sure that the puppy is going to go to a good home.  A good breeder will often insist that you contact them if you are no longer able to keep the dog.  Rather than take the dog to a shelter, the breeder may take the dog back or help you to find them a new home.  Even with the best will in the world, some dogs will get sick or develop orthopaedic conditions, or have behavioural problems, but if you get a puppy from a reputable breeder you are getting off to a good start!

Hartley Graduating Puppy Class

March 2013: When you get a new puppy, it is important to take the time getting them used to being handled all over. In particular, focus on their feet, mouth, ears, and tail area. Get as many people as you can to handle your puppy. This will make sure they are comfortable being handled all over by different people, and should make visits to the vet in the future a lot less stressful.

March 2013: Teaching your dog to walk backwards is a great way to work on their balance, and hindlimb coordination and strength. Try standing your dog next to a wall, stand in front of your dog with treats in your hand and walk towards your dog. Hold the treats right in front of your dog’s face and he should walk backwards. You might need to block with your outside leg to stop them from swinging their hips out away from the wall. With practice, your dog should be walking backwards easily, in a straight line!!

March 2013: Did you know that if you control your dogs food intake and keep them at a healthy weight, you can increase their lifespan by up to two years. To check if your dog is a healthy weight, take a look at the chart below. Your dog should score between 4 and 5 to be at their ideal weight and body condition.

Canine Body Condition Score

March 2013: Did you know that teaching your dog to perform “Puppy Push-Ups” is a great way to strengthen their front legs and shoulder muscles. Just ask them to sit, then lie down, and back into a sit again. Then repeat!