Category Archives: AniEd

Husbandry Snippets!

Pill Poppin’

We’ve had a long weekend here and each day, I’ve shared some husbandry tips from recent practice with Decker.

Decker is the easiest dog to medicate because he views pretty much ALL ingestibles to be yummy food. We have also worked on teaching him to willingly take pills.

Here’s a fun way to teach pilling. To practice you can stick a little bit of kibble, or a hard treat, into the middle of the pocket and work up to adding empty pill capsules or appropriate supplements.

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Practice when your dog doesn’t have to take medication so that in this set-up your dog is happy and willing to accept whatever you give to them in that sausage.

Being ill and needing medication is bad enough, without pilling being distressing too!

More husbandry snippets!

Easy reinforcement for husbandry with K9 Connectables

K9 Connectables are an awesome Irish dog toy company who make innovative toys, with a wide range of applications.

Toys in their range work with our #100DaysOfEnrichment program and we, of course, use them ourselves. That’s why we are an affiliate and you can get 10% of your toys with our code: anied10

Here’s a great way to use a combination of their toys to set up easy reinforcement, keeping your hands free and it’s so helpful to establish a communication system: if the dog stops lapping, moves away, or moves away from the toy, we stop!

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Building that communication system is straight-forward and can be so beneficial in all sorts of ways and we’ve talked about it, with some examples, in our post on prepping for the vet: Vet Ready!

Husbandry Snippets

All Ears!

Decker has some ear inflammation likely in association with a superficial skin infection. Right now, there’s no infection in the ear but he has had a couple of infections in that ear, his left, about four or five years ago so this is not our first rodeo.

When he first developed infection in that ear, we started from scratch building toward cooperative treatment.

You can view the playlist of those sessions here:

Link to playlist here.

Some background…

While we certainly practice ear-work off and on, when his ears are not painful, I probably have not done that enough.

On top of that, Decker’s comfort with being handled in the vet’s has deteriorated. Pre-COVID we did cooperative care for almost everything but car-park consultations and him being brought in without me for two years has caused his tolerance of being handled there, by others, to seriously dwindle.

This is not at all to suggest his vets have been handling him inappropriately. It doesn’t require that, and they would never do that. They are excellent.

But during that period of going in without me, Decker also experienced some really serious illnesses & injuries requiring very invasive care and him feeling crappy.
Over these lockdown periods he has had a number of seriously injured pads/feet that were painful, a very serious GI upset as a result of contaminated canal water, TTA surgery (knee replacement surgery) after an accident and foreign body/intussusception gut surgery.

Since we’ve been going back in with the dog during treatments and consults, he’s experienced a mystery neuro condition (that spontaneously resolved) & neuro exams at two different vets, a senior check up, and rat poison ingestion. You can imagine that with or without me, Decker is going to associate being in that building and around those people with feeling pretty bad and probably scared too.

He’s pretty resilient and will eat from a food-fist throughout all exams with the vet, is happily muzzled for treatments, we plan and discuss with the vet-team ahead of time, and we manage vet visits with minimal stress for all. Like I said, they’re excellent.

Aside from that, I do plenty of treatment at home, for example, administering Cytopoint every couple of months and vaccinating him. Thankfully, we have a solid history of cooperative care at home for these procedures and all runs smoothly.

In the last week or so, he showed some pain in relation to his left ear. Decker is very stoic so if he’s showing pain, it’s definitely hurting. Off to the vet we went and he ate from a food fist throughout his exam, was muzzled and tube fed, through the ear exam, and then played ball while we chatted about his treatment.

We’ve talked about having a vet-visit plan before here and that really helps to minimise stress and discomfort; see Vet Ready!

At home, we started with some steroid drops for both ears to bring down the inflammation and provide pain relief.

All Ears! 2022

Here we go again!

We just started back with drops in sore ears on Friday, and here’s our first session:

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The procedures established here are quite important; they are put in place and taught over multiple sessions, rather than all in one go. The idea is to provide multiple steps with an out at every stage, so he can say PAUSE or STOP at any time.

The procedure is predictable so he always knows what’s coming and is built little by little:

  1. the ear drops bottle
  2. a hand touch behaviour
  3. hand approaching the ear
  4. drops bottle touching inside of ear
  5. medication administered into ear canal

This gives the dog lots of opportunities to stop the procedure and he always knows what coming next.

The set up is also important:

  • the food source is positioned to line the dog up – this makes everything more efficient and clearer for the learner
  • we establish a strong ‘yippee response’ to the presence of, first, the closed ear drop bottle, and then the open ear drop bottle
  • strong positive associations with holding a hand-touch behaviour and if he moves his face, we stop the procedure – long held communication as part of our relationship
  • holding the hand touch makes something touch his ear – to countercondition you could add a range of sensations, building up to delivery of drops
  • warm the drops to body temperature before we start – I usually carry them around in my pocket for a little while

We have worked on this a lot more with the left ear and he is more familiar with the procedure to that ear. We started with the right ear, took our time and then went to the left ear, and back to the right ear. We are moving toward familiarity and comfort throughout.

Practicing the individual skills, strengthening the association between each part of the procedure with yummies separately, as well as making sure administering drops is filled with yummie foods to catch and chase, and always the opportunity to take a break.
Treatment is less scary and startling when we know that we can make it stop, if we feel the need.

More Online Canine First Aid Workshops!

Thank you for booking onto our first Online Canine First Aid Workshop! The June dates are well overbooked and I can’t squeeze anyone else in. So we’re going to do another one…

Join us for a fun, interaction and very informative remote-workshop that might just help you to save a life!

This is designed for pet owners and non-veterinary dog pros, and is absolutely perfect if you have no background in medicine, veterinary or first aid.

This workshop will take place via MS Teams but you don’t need to download anything; just follow a link!

You can choose how much you would like to participate live on the evening, but you are encouraged to practice lots.

Our workshop and Canine First Aid & Emergency Care resources are evidence based to the most up to date information, based in valid research and best practice. Your instructor has worked in veterinary nursing here and abroad, we have participated in specific training for the delivery of canine first aid information, and regularly update our skills with veterinary professionals to stay on point.

Not only will you have access to quick reference guides, that you are advised to save to your phone, but you will also have access to online resources to continue your learning.

Book today by emailing info@anied.ie or messaging us via social media, such as Facebook or Instagram (@aniedireland).

Online Canine First Aid Workshop

Join us for a fun, interaction and very informative remote-workshop that might just help you to save a life!

This is designed for pet owners and non-veterinary dog pros, and is absolutely perfect if you have no background in medicine, veterinary or first aid.

This workshop will take place via MS Teams but you don’t need to download anything; just follow a link!

You can choose how much you would like to participate live on the evening, but you are encouraged to practice lots.

Our workshop and Canine First Aid & Emergency Care resources are evidence based to the most up to date information, based in valid research and best practice. Your instructor has worked in veterinary nursing here and abroad, we have participated in specific training for the delivery of canine first aid information, and regularly update our skills with veterinary professionals to stay on point.

Not only will you have access to quick reference guides, that you are advised to save to your phone, but you will also have access to online resources to continue your learning.

Book today by emailing info@anied.ie or messaging us via social media, such as Facebook or Instagram (@aniedireland).

Do you podcast?

Anne is talking-dog A LOT on this new Irish pet-owner friendly podcast: Bark Side of the Moon (@barksidepod)

This awesome new venture is spear-headed by amazing trainer, Graham, with whom AniEd has worked for many years.

We have been talking and recording on so many topics and you can listen to our chats about separation related behaviours, car comfort and welcoming visitors so far, where ever you listen to podcasts.

Up coming topics include working from home, canine adolescence, the pros & cons of group dog-dog play services/facilities, babies and kids and dogs.

Check it out!

We want more ideas too! What would you like to hear more about? Let me know in the comments, on Facebook or Instagram or via email (info@anied.ie).

What should we talk about next?!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2022 and it looks set to be another weird year. We can’t thank you enough for all your support and ask for your continued help as AniEd plans to come back to life somewhat after a lot of downtime.

#100daysofenrichment is always free and available and the perfect way to guide your and your dog’s New Year, getting 2022 off to a great start!

Make 2022 more dog!

Are you ready?

The countdown is well and truly underway and hopefully you have your Christmas plan in place for your pets during the festivities.

Some individuals certainly can find the celebratory activities overwhelming and stressful and may require even more specific help and support.

But don’t worry, we got you covered. Check out our Christmas Bites series for lots of tips and tricks so that this season goes off without a hitch.

You can get all the bites here.

We’ve prepared lots of stuffables, that are in the freezer, for the festivities and are well stocked up with pizzles & chews too!

I don’t often feed gullets because of the risks associated with unintentionally feeding thyroid tissue, but will use these cut-up dried beef gullets occasionally. Because they are a rare treat, they are even more special!

Get your stuffables into the freezer today so they’re extra challenging and entertaining!

Christmas Bites 6 Santa Paws Buys Irish!

This season, no matter how you celebrate, is all about giving and our dogs are worthy recipients.

This year, just like last, has been tough and we want to encourage pet owners to do their best to buy local and support small businesses.

Irish businesses (like us) have had a really tough couple of years. We are a teeny tiny and very independent Irish business and many of our graduates also run small businesses, doing their best to help dogs & their humans.

We are also Irish pet owners and want to do our best to support other Irish businesses. With Brexit continuing to cause changes and challenges to business here, we want to make a special effort to build support for Irish pet product manufacturers and retailers.

We’ve been taking suggestions on our social media channels:

Here are your wonderful suggestions so while I am sure you have got your Christmas shopping under control (?), please do think of these small, Irish businesses in the New Year, when things will be seriously more difficult.

Online/Pet Stores

Petstop

Nature & Nurture Petstore

Happy Hounds Pet Store & Groomers

Cotton Hound

Equipet

Pet Bliss

Pet Hamper

Kara’s Kanines

Fetch Your Pet Needs

Ollie’s Pet Boutique

The Dog Shop

Mutts.ie

Pet Parlour, Terenure

Shauna’s Pet Shop (plus they have an Irish-made section on their website listing lots and lots more!)

Mollys Pet Boutique

Decs Pets

Holistic Hounds

Shop In Ireland also has a large range of pet product companies too!

Collars, Treats, Toys & Accessories

Swaggles

K9 Connectables

Country Pet

Collar Squad

Wild Piccolo

The Pet Tree

Handmade by Golden for awesome snuffle toys

Hunddog.ie

Pawtique

Hounds & Heli’s

One Paw at a Time

Big Als Gift Barn bows

Animal Support Clothing

Pickles & Pals

AKD Designs

BLK Barkery

Zelda & Harley

Canine Crazy Accessories

Beds & accessories

Beddies

The Sheepish Dog

Moby & Mustard

Our Recommendations

In general, when it comes to products in almost all categories, manufacturers will add some gimmick, marketing trick, or notion in an attempt to stand out with their own USP. But, that doesn’t make it better for you and your pet 

We like to understand the mechanisms behind the workings and how that applies to your pet’s behaviour, and to your wallet. We are often more satisfied with simple design, while helping pet owners improve their skill in handling and using tools safely.

Harnesses:

Despite the range of harness, with all their bells & whistles, care is required in choosing the right harness for your dog.

This great video, on Facebook, illustrates the criteria for choosing the right harness for your dog’s build. Watch here.

Look for harnesses that don’t restrict your pet’s movement, especially the front assembly (straps that cross the shoulder), when fitted properly. Make sure that straps behind the elbow don’t ride up into the arm pit too.

Just because a design, like harnesses with large panels sitting over the back and shoulders, is popular, doesn’t mean that they are safe and appropriate for most dogs.

We tend to recommend a simple H/Figure-8 most of all:

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Take care with fitting and teach your dog, with a system like that shown above, to enjoy having their harness fitted from the beginning.

Collars:

I’m a self confessed collar-addict, particularly because Decker has little hair so it’s easy to see all the pretty collars I get for him…

Dogs in Ireland must be microchipped (registered, certified) and wear a collar with their owner’s identity when in public. Collars that are worn much of the time and for ID must not be tightening and should be well fitted, and with as little extras added that might get caught.

Take care with collars with snaps as these can weaken over time. Some come with security features to strengthen them, but only if fitted properly as shown in this clip:

Generally, the wider the band of the collar, the more comfortable it will be. There are a huge array of designs and types of collars available to suit almost every dog.

Greyhound collars and martingales, adjusted correctly, are safest to prevent escape.
Break-away collars, or no collar should be used when dogs play, particularly in groups, and when dogs spend time in crates or pens unsupervised.

Leads & Lines:

Use the longest, simplest lead you can manage and that works for the environments you use them.

You probably don’t need all the rings and fancy additions to many leads available now and for the most part, attaching extra weight, such as poop-bag carriers, is uncomfortable for dogs.

We prefer to use long lines when safe, as outlined in this clip:

But know that many people are surgically attached to their extendable lead; learn to use it safely:

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Confinement & Beds:

Most dogs will benefit from some form of confinement training and puppies or new dogs, especially, will benefit from having their own safe space where they can hang out safely.

Depending on the dog and the function of the crate, I use soft-sided, wire and plastic airline types.

I love to use baby-gates and pens the most so that access to the dog can be restricted as needed. Baby Dan pens are excellent because their bars are vertical which helps prevent climbing.

Have beds of lots of different types in lots of locations so that your dog can choose how they use resting and sleeping areas. More in Day 10 from #100daysofenrichment.

Toys & fun stuff:

I can’t emphasise this enough: your dog should have lots of fun stuff in their lives.

That means tons of outlets for doggie behaviour and lots of things that satisfy different needs such as things for chewing, sniffing, catching, chasing, squeaking, rolling, manipulating, challenging, thinking….

Not only will you be able to work out their preferences, but also provide items that can allow you both to learn to use them in fun and different ways.

Check out #100daysofenrichment for so many ideas for fun & brain games for you and your dog!

All your dog wants for Christmas is you!

While all the gifts and toys are awesome and very much appreciated by your dog, YOU are the most important part of your dog’s life!

Your time, your company and experiences shared with you; that’s what they want, what they really really want.
Indeed, that’s what they need.

Take some time to just be together, to hang out, to watch the world go by. Remember to help them to get back into the usual routine to prepare them when the post-holidays world starts up again though.

Make this one a Happy Sniffsmas for your dog, working through some #100daysofenrichment challenges with you, their favourite human.