Archive for February, 2016

Don’t Let Winter Weight Gain Get You Down

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016
Bundled up for Chicago Weather

Bundled up for Chicago Weather

Chicagoland winters bring many things to mind: cold, blustery days, fewer hours of daylight, quick trips in and out of the house, layers upon layers of bulky, figure-camouflaging clothes and, for some, dwindling motivation to exercise and hit the gym (be honest, that New Year’s Resolution has long since fallen by the wayside).

Regrettably, as so many of us are painfully aware, this is the perfect recipe for waistline expansion.  The winter weight struggle can be a yearly battle for many of us.

What many people do not realize is that it can also be a struggle for many of our pets.

Our dogs and outdoor cats suffer the most from the cold temperatures and shorter days, which limit their walking and playing time, thus decreasing their daily caloric requirements.  Additionally, shorter daylight hours trigger hormonal changes in pets which act to slow metabolism and conserve calorie expenditure.

Since most owners do not adjust their pets’ diets to compensate for decreased calorie expenditure during the winter months, it is not uncommon for pets to gain weight once the cold strikes. (more…)

Crate training your dog

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Why should I crate train my dog?

Benefits of crate training

There are many benefits to crate training

Crate training benefits you and your dog by creating a safe and designated space for your pet. This space becomes a refuge and a place that a dog instinctively does not soil. This is useful for housebreaking or potty training your puppy or dog. Also, if your dog needs a respite or resting place, their crate can satisfy this need.

Another very useful side benefit for you and for us as Veterinary professionals is that your dog’s crate becomes a place for recuperating from medical procedures,  if ever needed.

Crate training for housebreaking my dog and more

Everyone seems to be on board when using a crate for training a dog to eliminate outside, but it is not uncommon that the crate is then phased out as the dog becomes an adult. We think that there are many great reasons to keep that crate around (despite the aesthetics)!!

If your dog has been raised spending relaxation time in his/her crate then you have created positive feelings about this space. Thus the crate is an oasis or a place to escape if anxious about a new visitor or a loud noise outside. The crate becomes a safe haven and a sanctuary for comfort and a break.  Dogs are den animals by nature. They curl up in tight spaces to rest and escape and feel safe.  A crate can serve to satisfy these instinctual drives. (more…)