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VOL 4 • ED 3

MAY/JUNE 2014

CLEARING UP COMMAND CONFUSION

Photo by Melissa Kelly Photogtaphy

THE SOUND OF SILENCE PROFILE:

THE COMMON DOG

DOES YOUR MARKET TRUST YOU?


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FROM OUR READERS:

PUBLISHER Barkleigh Productions, Inc.

“Locked Up and Late” As a one-owner, small doggie daycare, I struggle sometimes with clients being late and it really messes up my schedule. I’m going to say 75% of the time, it’s families with children because it is what it is, right? Well, this family (whom I promised not to use their name in between laughing so hard I was wetting my pants) gets the award for Best Reason to be Late for their Drop off Appointment. The very sweet mom called to say that her son ‘accidentally’ got ahold of her husbands handcuffs and put them around his little feet and they don’t have a key. I should say that her husband is a PI, just to be clear with WHY they would have handcuffs at their house. Luckily, they don’t have to catch a flight anywhere. This will be a story that she can tell her grandchildren someday.

– Lisa Martin

Critter Sitters Boarding and Grooming Stockbridge, WI

PRESIDENT Todd Shelly EXECUTIVE EDITOR Gwen Shelly MANAGING EDITOR Rebecca Shipman ART DIRECTOR Lucas Colton GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Laura Pennington Lance Williams CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER Adam Lohr DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AND MARKETING James Severs

TAILS & TALES UNBELIEVABLE (BUT TRUE) STORIES FROM PET PROFESSIONALS LIKE YOU! Have an embarrassing “oops” moment at your facility or a crazy client – on two or four legs? Tell us about it! Email your true tale (no more than 200 words, please!) to rebecca@barkleigh.com, and you just might see yourself in the next issue of Pet Boarding & Daycare!

ADVERTISING CONSULTANT Maggie Gellers MARKETING COORDINATOR Lucy March CONTACT General: (717) 691-3388 info@barkleigh.com Editorial: rebecca@barkleigh.com (ext. 225) Advertising: maggie@barkleigh.com (ext. 207) james@barkleigh.com (ext. 224)

Copyright May 2014. Pet Boarding & Daycare is published bimonthly by Barkleigh Productions, Inc, 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. Postmaster: Send change of address to Pet Boarding & Daycare c/o Barkleigh Productions, Inc., 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Editorial offices: 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. (717) 691–3388 FAX (717) 691–3381 Email: info@barkleigh.com

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CONTENTS

Profile of Success: The Common Dog

50

The Sound of Silence

32

8

BUSINESS

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

14

To Leap or Not to Leap: What is Your

40 Clearing Up Command Confusion

Risk Tolerance?

42 Dreaming of Quieter, Calmer Days?

18 Does Your Market Trust You? 24 Get Into the Green 30 The Busy Summer Season Is the Perfect Time

6

Dogs Don’t Say I Love You with Hugs

to Add Probiotics to Your Offerings

FACILITY DESIGN

Think Like a Dog, Act Like a Dog

ANIMAL HEALTH 46 Helping Pets Navigate Stressful Events

INDUSTRY NEWS

36 Artificial Grass: How to Get It Right

52 Product News

54 Classified Ads

and Keep it Right

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PROFILE OF SUCCESS

THE COMMON DOG Their Passion is Pooches

F

rom the moment you step inside this gorgeous 14,000-square-foot facility located in Everett, Massachusetts, it becomes obvious that there is nothing “common” about The Common Dog. Canine guests enjoy a unique 5,500-square-foot dog park with its exciting Splash Zone water features, their 43 bedrooms and suites, the many training programs and spa services—including canine massage therapy—and more. In 1999, Laura Donnell met Chris Murphy, who owned The Common Dog. She completed an internship with him to become a dog trainer. Ms. Donnell became a part-time professional dog trainer for The Common Dog for several years, and throughout the following years, she stayed in touch with Chris Murphy. When the opportunity to purchase The Common Dog presented itself, Ms. Donnell knew that it was just what she had been looking for.

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By Kathy Hosler

“The corporate life just wasn’t for me. I needed a career where I loved what I did everyday, and I love dogs!” —Laura Donnell, owner Laura had a “real” job in corporate America, but she found that it just wasn’t very fulfilling. “I’ve had dogs since the day I was born,” says Laura with a quick chuckle. “The corporate life just wasn’t for me. I needed a career where I loved what I did every day, and I love dogs!” On July 1, 2013, Laura became the official new owner of The Common Dog, and she couldn’t be happier with her choice. “The Common Dog has a staff of 16, and we can accommodate about 120 dogs. We work as a team to operate all of our services seven days a week. We are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM,” says Ms. Donnell. “We offer a multitude of services—a small

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

retail area, daycare, boarding, full grooming services, training, canine massage, and our shuttle bus service. “Training is my true passion,” shares Laura. “We are very focused on training. We call it our ‘Doggie University.’ Training brings out the confidence in dogs and helps them in every facet of their lives. We offer evening and weekend classes, in-home private training, daycare training, and our really popular Board & Train programs. When we train, we don’t just work with the dogs, we work with the owners, too.” Overnight boarding at The Common Dog is not a typical chain-link run setup. Each dog is housed in a real room. Clients can choose from small,


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cozy bedrooms to large, luxurious suites. Their expansive dog park is the highlight of every dog’s visit to The Common Dog. It is modeled after Boston Commons. The Splash Zone area of the park is really fun for the dogs. It’s a lot like a kid’s water park. The pool is king-size, but the water is only about three inches deep. It’s got lots of misting areas and water ports that shoot streams of water straight up and at different angles. The dogs love it! If you compare it to playing with your dog with a water hose, this park takes that to the level of Disneyworld. There is a main park attendant and one staff attendant for every fifteen dogs. That assures that they are wellsupervised at all times. The park is equipped with live webcams that allow the pet parents to watch their fur kids enjoy the park as they play with their doggy friends. In daycare, the dogs are separated by temperament and size. They often have groups for the “littles,” the “senior lounge,” and “romper room” puppies. During the warmer months, they also have an outdoor area with trees and K-9 grass for the dogs to romp and sun themselves. The dog park is kept at about 70 degrees year round. They have a specially designed HVAC system for the park, which brings in air from the outside and puts it through a hospitalgrade HEPA filter, and the air gets changed out every 15 minutes. Another unique service that The Common Dog has offered since 1999 is their private shuttle bus service. “Traffic around the Boston area can be terrible,” says Ms. Donnell. “For our clients’ convenience, we have several stops in Charlestown and the Boston area where owners bring their pets to catch our shuttle. We decided to have pick-up points rather than door-to-door service,” says Laura, “because traveling to each pet’s house would increase the time the dogs were on the bus and decrease the time they have to play, socialize, and exercise at The Common Dog.” The shuttle also picks up dogs for training, grooming, or overnight boarding. The pets sit on the bus in their individual seats, and they each READER SERVICE CARD #R1430 10

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“The pool is king-size, but the water is only about three inches deep. It’s got lots of misting areas and water ports that shoot streams of water straight up and at different angles. The dogs love it!” –Laura Donnell, owner Photos by The Common Dog

Heads really turn when people see The Common Dog Bus come past with the dogs sitting in their seats and happily looking out the windows—just like little kids headed to camp. wear a harness and a seatbelt. Heads really turn when people see The Common Dog Bus come past with the dogs sitting in their seats and happily looking out the windows—just like little kids headed to camp. At the end of their day, the happy, tuckered-out pups are returned to their waiting owners. “Clients of The Common Dog can become members of our Gold or Silver Bone Clubs,” says Laura. “These are for clients that have dogs who come for daycare at least ten days a month. These memberships offer up to a 43% discount on daycare rates, a discount on boarding, and they also get priority reservations. About one half of our clients become members of the clubs,” Ms. Donnell continues. “It’s a win-win situation—they get a discount, and I

know how to plan my staffing.” As busy as she is, Laura Donnell has another fabulous project in the works…and it’s big—really big! Laura will be opening a satellite location of The Common Dog later this spring in a very unique location. “There is a new pet-friendly apartment complex being built, and The Common Dog will provide on-site daycare exclusively for the tenants of the complex,” shares an excited Laura. “Construction of the daycare is in the final stages of completion. We will also have shuttle service to our main location for anyone who wants training, grooming, or overnight boarding.” And just like their main location, there will be nothing “common” about it! n

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BUSINESS

TO LEAP or

not to leap

what is your risk tolerance? By Courtney Emken

A

s entrepreneurs, we take risks every day. Most are seemingly small. Should I hire this person? Do we have enough cash flow for our employee to go to a conference? Should I purchase a booth at this new event coming up? Although each decision seems only mildly significant at the time (what’s one more silent auction donation?), it is the cumulative effect of those small choices that can make a big difference in your business long term. In the early years, we took large risks involving opening our facility, making big policy changes like becoming an all spayed and neutered facility, investing in new buildings, or having more than one manager on staff to help us run this place we call our own. After 18 years, it seems like the biggest risk we’ve taken is the one we’re taking right now. Changing our software from a system made just for kennels to a customized CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), which can work for any business, has been unbelievably

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Although each decision seems only mildly significant at the time, it is the cumulative effect of those small choices that can make a big difference in your business long term. scary but at the same time a completely exhilarating experience. More than 10 years ago, we were using a software designed for kennel owners by a kennel owner. Brilliant, right? There were definitely things that worked the way they should; reservations, a contact database, and the ability to email from the software and print reports were all nice features to have. But the software came with limitations: no customization abilities, reports couldn’t be sorted or filtered, email was text based, and ideas for improvement could take years to implement if ever. It was clear that we had outgrown our system, but what else

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was out there? After doing my research, I was humbled to see that the answer was “Not Much.” It was a year ago now that I was contacted by a global giant in CRM. The company was very clear in their message that this would not be an inexpensive route to go. Signing on meant that I would go from spending thousands in total to tens of thousands annually. Customization by an endorsed software development company would cost another 30K. By the time it’s all said and done, I could have had someone design my very own custom software that I could turn around and sell. The difference here is that this company is so large that it integrates


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with other companies that I already use like Quickbooks and HubSpot. Am I taking a risk? You bet. But here’s the benefit, if it works in my favor: completely customizable fields, reports, and an unlimited amount of things I can track. I wonder how many of my Golden Retrievers have completed our Canine Good Citizen class? Done! I can now track not only reservations but all of our training, all of our retail, reserve special events, and

even track members of my private dog park. I finally have the ability to see all the details of each and every client, how we interact, how they spend their money, and what my staff does to say thank you. If you’re thinking, “There’s NO WAY I would spend that kind of money on software!”, then you’re not quite the risk taker I am. If you’re thinking, “That sounds amazing! I’ve got to find out more,” then you just might be up

petexec Pet Daycare & Boarding System

for the roller coaster. I’m not writing to tell you to switch software. My goal is to make you think about taking a risk and then to do the impossible. Take a deep breath, trust your instincts, and JUMP. n Courtney Emken is the co-owner of DogBoy’s Dog Ranch in Pflugerville, Texas. In her free time, she spends time with her family, helps people with their health and fitness, does consulting, and speaks nationally on a variety of topics relating to business. She has two blogs at http:// dogboys.com and http://fitclubaustin.com. She can be reached by email at doggirl@dogboys.com.

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DOES YOUR MARKET TRUST YOU? By Robin Bennett and Susan Briggs

I

s your marketing message on target? Does it really differentiate you from the competition? Are you emphasizing the concerns of pet families in search of pet care? The industry has grown and changed tremendously in the last five years and we see a great opportunity for pet centers focused on quality to differentiate themselves by changing their marketing focus. The Dog Gurus recently surveyed dog families on their use of professional pet care and educational subjects of interest in living with their dog. We were somewhat surprised by the response that more than 50% never take their dog to a daycare or boarding center. There were many reasons and most of them had an underlying theme, lack of trust! We have some ideas that can help you establish trust in your operations and marketing message. We’ll use the acronym TRUST so these points are easy for you to remember.

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By focusing on the safe and responsible care you provide you will make it clear that questions about “who is in charge of my pet?” are not being addressed by other providers. Trained Staff Survey respondents voiced concern over the level of staff training of those caring for their dog. We know many pet care centers are investing in staff training, but are you communicating this to your market? Let them know details about the training you provide on your website, social media marketing and during tours of your center. If you have created your own training program, be sure to write up the details and share them with your community.

Responsibility Stand behind the quality of care you provide and include this in your marketing message. Many pet centers offer pet health warranty programs which

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

All about t.r.u.s.t.

Trained Staff Responsibility Understanding Your Clients Safety Think fun! Key ideas in establishing trust with your market!


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Be sure to emphasize how you effectively care and know each individual pet in your center. Find a way to say yes to custom requests (which can include a fee for the added services) and confirm to the customer that you do care about the needs of their individual pet. are strong evidence of the confidence you place on your care. We recently spent time reading terms and conditions of a growing home care provider network and were struck by the fact that they specifically exclude taking responsibility for the care provided during the stay. Unfortunately, most pet owners will not fully read the terms and conditions to realize this, but you can emphasize the responsibility you do take in your marketing. By focusing on the safe and responsible care you provide you will make it clear that questions about “who is in charge of my pet?” are not being addressed by other providers. You don’t need to bad mouth others, just strongly market and point out all that you do to keep the dogs safe.

Understanding Your Clients A consistent theme in our survey pointed to the fact that many families select pet care providers based on how well they seem to provide individual attention and care to their pet. It’s as if families believe that if their dog is one of many, the pet care facility staff will not know their dog as anything other than another “animal.” We know it’s challenging to balance policies and procedures with the varied needs and requests made for individual pets. However, we also know quality providers do know the majority of pets in their care as the individuals they are. Be sure to emphasize how you effectively care and know each individual pet in your center. Find a way to say yes to custom requests (which can include a fee for the added

services) and confirm to the customer that you do care about the needs of their individual pet.

Safety Concerns regarding dog safety were voiced repeatedly, especially related to attending dog daycare. It is important to communicate the policies you have in place focused on keeping dogs safe during play which should include 100% supervision by trained staff members, separating dogs by size, interactive activities and rest periods. Related to your boarding services, respondents had a strong preference for a “home environment” for their dog. We understand that safety is higher in the “dog proofed” environment of pet care centers, but the public sometimes views

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lodging options as a “stark jail.” Include “homey” touches to your lodging environment and educate owners on the importance of being dog safe. The unfamiliar “home” environment will be just as stressful to the dog and can also include high risk safety issues related to fencing, exposed electrical cords, plants and other ingestible items. Additionally, your trained staff and numbers of pets cared for helps ensure early observation and action on pet health emergencies (e.g., bloat, heat stress, seizures). Make sure all these facts are communicated to your clients via your website, social media, and any literature you provide to the client. If bad things happen to dogs at other centers, use that as tool to help educate owners on the safety measures you have in place to prevent incidents from occurring in your center.

Think Fun! Focus on the activities and fun pets have at your center. Include lots of photos of pets engaged in fun with your staff and other dogs in playgroup on your website and social media

pages. Rather than describing the size of your boarding enclosures, focus on customizing a fun itinerary that gets the pets out of the sleeping quarters multiple times per day. Paint the image of a vacation stay or a day of active fun that includes physical exercise and mental work for the dogs while at your center. Be sure to let your clients know that their pet will likely have a better time on vacation than the family will! That’s what owners really want to know. Your biggest competition is not the pet center down the street. Rather it is the choice families make not to use professional pet care at all as they do not trust the care provider or see the value in your services. Your marketing message needs to build trust and place value on safety, physical exercise and mental stimulation for their pet. You are a pet professional that invests in staff training and takes responsibility for the care you provide. To compete in the changing pet care industry your marketing message must include educating pet parents on the real value of professional pet care. n

As “The Dog Gurus,” Susan Briggs and Robin Bennett’s mission is to improve safety in the off-leash dog play industry. Check out their pet professional site at www. SafeOffLeashDogPlay.com. Robin Bennett and Susan Briggs’ newest venture is an education and resource site for dog families. Their mission on the new site is to ensure dogs are safe and happy with a focus on canine body language made easy and helping families select the best care providers for their dogs. Check out their new public site at www.TheDogGurus.com. In 2008 Robin and Susan published their book Off-Leash Dog Play: A Complete Guide to Safety & Fun. This successful book inspired a Dog Body Language poster set and pocket guide tools for pet professionals using the traffic signal safety colors. It was also the resource for Knowing Dogs Staff Training a two volume “staff training in a box” program on dog body language and group play produced in 2012. All resources are available from Robin’s website (www.RobinKBennett.com). Professional pet care is a passion for Susan resulting in development of Crystal Canine, a consulting and training resource for the pet industry (www.crystalcanine.com).

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get into the

green By Wheeler del Torro

24

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE


P E T BOA R D I NG & DAYCA R E E X PO

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EXPO H E R S HE Y, PA

NEW LOCATION!

HERSHEY LODGE & CONVENTION CENTER HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA

NOVEMBER 10–13, 2014

The best show for pet care professionals in the boarding and daycare business just got a whole lot sweeter! In 2014, Pet Boarding & Daycare Expo will be moving to it’s new location at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center in Hershey, PA.

BIGGER

Along with the fancy new digs, expect a bigger trade show and bigger classrooms. If you have never been to PB&D Expo, this is the perfect year to attend!

&BETTER!

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W

hy incorporate green practices? What does the environment have to do with your business? Even if you have not gotten into the green movement in your home life, there are compelling reasons to consider it for your business. In addition to good karma, sustainable practices have been shown across markets and industries to have positive effect on growth and helps your business stand out from competition in a way that justifies charging a premium for your services.

Where to start?

Dogs can go green?

If you are in the planning stages of your business, there are many techniques to make your facility green from the ground up with everything from construction materials to lighting. What about established businesses or companies who would like to start small and see quick results? Green dog treats can be a great entry into “going green” because of their relative ease, straightforward marketing tie-in, and potential for expanding your offerings.

Just like food for people, the most beneficial foods start with the best ingredients. The whole, organic ingredients that are planet-friendly also are often the healthiest. Dog treats made from human-grade veggies, grain, and easy-to-digest protein eliminate the fillers, chemicals, and factory farms that contribute to pollution in the environment – and our bodies. Dogs are naturally opportunistic eaters – that is to say that a healthy dog eats more than kibble. They have developed characteristics that permit digestion of a varied diet. Plant-based treats with high-quality ingredients can be easier to digest, provide antioxidants, support a doggie’s weight loss program, and increase energy. Plant-based foods are also being studied for their potentially positive effect on common diseases in animals and avoid many of the additives in processed meat and dairy products.

Four out of five consumers say they stick with environmentally friendly products and services even when the prices are higher and the economy is wavering.

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Four out of five consumers say they stick with environmentally friendly products and services even when the prices are higher and the economy is wavering. The hallmarks of a green consumer are loyalty, consistency, and a willingness to spend their money on companies that share their values. •Stand out from competitors by marketing your green practices and products •Increase your prices as your business becomes known for its planetand dog-friendly practices •Reduce money spent on processed treats •Create easy gifts for clients - both the treats and recipe cards for treats they can make at home •Show clients you are committed to the health of their dogs


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Plant–based treats •Can provide antioxidants •Support a weight loss plan •Increase energy •And are currently being studied for their effect on common diseases. Try these quick and easy planetfriendly recipes to get started going green. Taste tested and approved by our dogs, but as with any treats or food, check with owners and vets before

feeding anything to dogs.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream This all-natural ice cream has a smooth finish dogs love. Try making it with your favorite organic peanut butter. Yield: 1 quart Ingredients 2 cups soymilk 3/4 cup peanut butter In a medium-size saucepan, combine

Just like food for people, the most beneficial foods start with the best ingredients.

soymilk and peanut butter. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Refrigerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Applesauce Biscuits 1/3 cup applesauce 1/3 cup water 1 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour 1/2 cup oatmeal Preheat oven to 375 °F. Combine the applesauce and water in a small bowl. Combine the flour and oatmeal in a large bowl. Pour the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and mix. Knead the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Be creative with cookie cutters. Try different shapes and sizes for client gifts and celebrations! n

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the busy summer season is the perfect time to

add probiotics to your offerings By Jody Rodgers

T

hose of us in the business of caring for pets know all too well the challenges of keeping them healthy and happy while in our hands. Stress is often at the root of declining health issues, and the sources of stress are abundant: separation anxiety, diet change, exposure to new routines or other dogs. The list goes on and on, but the result is often a bout of diarrhea, runny eyes or nose, upset tummy, or weight loss. We spend a huge amount of time and money on cleaning and disinfecting, verifying vaccinations, filtering and controlling airflow, and offering routines to combat stress. Despite these efforts, we continue to see the intestinal upset and the “back-end” and communicable issues that create operational problems and threaten animal health and our treasured reputations. The reality: the solution may be as simple as offering the right treats to your canine guests. The pet industry is following yet another humanization trend: suggesting the regular use of probiotics for the health of our dogs and cats. These

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Not only do probiotics help regulate digestion, but they also support nutrient absorption, boost immunity, and may even help with things like ear infections. beneficial bacteria are often prescribed by veterinarians for dogs undergoing antibiotic treatment or having chronic intestinal problems. Not only do probiotics help regulate digestion, but they also support nutrient absorption, boost immunity, and may even help with things like ear infections. Interest and research into just how extensive these benefits may be for our family pets has grown dramatically in the last several years. There are currently probiotic dog treats on the market that offer a great solution for ensuring dogs get their daily dose. Some are in chew and biscuit form, and others are available as frozen

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

yogurt treats. The frozen treats serve a dual purpose, as the licking is a destressor for dogs. Most of us are familiar with the yogurt and Activia craze that has overtaken America and the world, for that matter, by storm. You would be hard pressed to find a human physician or vet that wouldn’t support the addition of yogurt to one’s diet. It’s healthful claims for digestion, immunity, and overall health are widely recognized and supported. The live cultures or probiotics are the key to these healthful benefits. Many of you may be aware that, in general, dairy products are not well tolerated by dogs. This is due


to the presence of lactose in these products. Dogs, like people with lactose intolerance, lack the enzyme necessary to break down lactose molecules properly. Fortunately, the fermentation that creates yogurt acts to break down the lactose, making it easy for dogs to digest. Yogurt is a great way to add

to a dog’s diet protein and calcium in addition to the probiotics it offers. As a pet care professional, think of the advantages of incorporating probiotics or a healthy yogurt treat into your daily offerings. It is an upsell, increasing your bottom line, while showing your customers how much

you care about their pet’s health and well-being. Probiotics can turn around non-eaters and gently introduce them back into eating or simply give them an edge against the unavoidable effects of stress that come with a change in surroundings and routine. If you offer daycare services, consider suggesting an ongoing probiotic routine to your clients. You will encounter fewer outbreaks of pesky health issues and ensure the dogs are healthy enough to come back day after day. The savings in time and effort on clean up and operations is an added bonus. Everyone benefits when dogs come and go from your facility in happy, healthy condition. What are you waiting for? n

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FACILITY DESIGN

the sound of

silence

noise control in your facility By Kathy Hosler

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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE


S

ound affects us in so many ways – whether it’s calm and pleasant, like the beautiful song of a bird as it serenades its mate - or as harsh and annoying as the non-stop bark, bark, bark of an unhappy pet. Dogs barking and kennel noises are very distracting and stressful to you, your staff, and the other pets in your care. A noisy kennel can drive clients away. Kennel and daycare operators know only too well how disturbing the excessive noise can become – and so do their neighbors – who may complain loudly about the unwelcome noise. Controlling noise in your business is a necessity…but where do you start? There are two different facets to sound control. One is sound absorption and the other is the concept of barrier. The typical surfaces that are found in kennels and daycare facilities are concrete and metal. They absorb an average of only three percent of the noise of a barking dog. That’s why products that aid in noise reduction are so important to those of us who are in the pet industry. We spoke to Mr. Frank Tropea, National Sales Manager for the Noisemaster Corp. and the Proudfoot Company Inc., about noise control. He understands the problems that the pet industry faces in this area. His companies have provided products and advice for lots of facilities in the pet care industry including many of the Camp Bow Wow’s. “Sound absorption deals with the absorption of sound to try and reduce the reverberation time, which is the time that a noise takes to decay down to nothing,” says Mr. Tropea. “If you have a reverb time of five seconds and you want it to go down to one second, you have to install enough absorption material to do that. “Absorption is expressed by a percentage of how much it absorbs – called a noise reduction coefficient,” he

continues. “If you have a sound panel and its noise reduction coefficient is .85 it means that it absorbs 85% of the noise that hits it.” Transmission loss is another method of noise reduction. Transmission loss is not about lowering reverberation time; it’s about reducing decibels as they pass through mass. If you’ve got 100 decibels of noise on one side of a wall and you hear 50 decibels on the other side of the wall, then the transmission loss was 50 decibels of sound as it traveled through the wall. “Eliminating echo – that’s what noise reduction is,” says Mr. Tropea. “The shorter your reverberation time, the less echo you have, until you have no echo at all. In the kennel itself, it’s noisy, with the barking, etc. If you can lower the reverb time, you won’t have

that entire echo.” There are many products on the market to help achieve this. Polyethylene baffles are the product of choice for many facility owners. They are inexpensive, they are cleanable, and they absorb 85 – 100% of the sound that hits them. They come in 2’ by 4’ panels that are extremely light in weight, and are very easy to install. Most of the baffles are class A fire rated and are water resistant. They are hung from the ceiling in rows. The number of rows is dependent upon how much noise needs to be absorbed. Noise can bleed through to the office areas and other indoor rooms. Noisecontrolling wall panels are available in many attractive fabrics and colors. Acoustic ceiling tiles that absorb the noise can be installed in many parts of

The typical surfaces that are found in kennels and daycare facilities are concrete and metal. They absorb an average of only three percent of the noise of a barking dog.

READER SERVICE CARD #1449 PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

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your facility. Exposed ductwork throughout your facility allows the noise that hits it to ricochet and amplify. Existing ductwork can be wrapped with sound dampening barrier or it can be replaced with flexible acoustical ductwork. The outside play areas present a different problem. Controlling the amount of noise that can emanate from them can be a real challenge. But if you don’t, you can be sure that you will receive complaints from your neighbors. And if there’s one thing that you want – it’s happy neighbors. To prevent that noise from traveling, you can install soundscreen curtains on your existing outdoor fences or walls. These quilted soundscreen curtains combine an absorber with a barrier. The curtains prevent sound from passing through them, and also absorb sound to keep the interior of the play yards a little quieter. If you are doing a new construction, you can install noise reduction products

as you build. Sound barrier products can be placed between the studs behind a sheetrock wall to block noise. Another unique product you can use when erecting a new structure are SOUNDBLOX® Masonry Units. The Proudfoot Company is the designer of SOUNDBLOX. They have the same compressive strength as standard hollow concrete blocks – but what makes them so unique is their cavityslot resonator construction that absorbs noise. And, their sound transmission loss (STL) is superior to ordinary concrete block construction. They have 200 manufacturers throughout the country that are licensed to make SOUNDBLOX. Excessive noise has long been a problem for many pet care facilities. Now, there are many solutions to control it. To obtain the best results, you should consult an acoustical consultant with any questions that you have about reducing the noise in your facility. They can assess your problems,

The outside play areas present a different problem. Controlling the amount of noise that can emanate from them can be a real challenge.

evaluate your needs, and discuss the products that can correct the issues. Knowing the correct products to install to solve your noise issues will save you substantial money and countless headaches. Reducing the unwanted noise in and around your facility will make a dramatic difference. It will create a much calmer and pleasant, destressed atmosphere for you and your staff, visitors to your establishment, neighbors of your facility, and all the pets you accommodate. And, when you have solved the problems associated with excessive noise in your facility – you can go into your office, turn on a little Simon & Garfunkle, and enjoy listening to “The Sound of Silence”! n

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Sometimes the bark can be worse than the bite!

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Environmental noise can affect the health and well being of animals in shelters, the people who work there, and potential adopters who visit.

Noisemaster® products offer a range of solutions for groomers, kennels and doggie day care facilities to cut down on the echoes and reverberations of barking dogs.

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artificial grass: how to get it right and

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Dog Park Photo by ForeverLawn

keep it right By Ken Karmie

A

rtificial grass in your pet facility is typically a significant investment. It can take an unsightly and semi-functional area and turn it into a beautiful, easy-to-maintain, play-andpotty palace for the dogs. When it is done right, it can pay for itself within the first year. Done right, it can be a key difference-maker for you and your business providing beauty and peace of mind for years. Notice the emphasis on “done right,” because taking short cuts in product, installation, or maintenance can leave you dissatisfied. This article does not provide detailed specifics on all the desired product features and installation techniques. Previous articles in Pet Boarding & Daycare have covered much of that. This article highlights the most critical features as they pertain to the three key success components: product, installation, and maintenance. There is a basis of information you need to ensure success and alignment with your expectations. Unfortunately, many turf providers do not know

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about the unique needs of the boarding industry. Experience with golf greens, football fields, or playgrounds does not translate into expertise in pet facilities. A “pet-friendly name” does not make it a “pet-friendly product” or installation. 

The success of this type of installation will be determined by the following: • The effectiveness of keeping liquids moving quickly and efficiently through grass and base. You want urine to pass effectively and high volumes of water from cleaning processes and weather to pass and never puddle. • Making the area easily cleanable and maintenance compatible with your installation.

Product The single most important feature is how well the liquids pass through. Get a sample and look at the backing. Most artificial grass products are manufactured with a coating on the back (often black, but be careful--it can

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

also be clear), which is impermeable (does not allow water to pass). Drainage holes are typically drilled or burnt into the product to allow liquids to pass. There may also be seepage areas where the coating is lighter and liquids seep through. Products with coated backing typically have low drainage rates and therefore inhibit the passage of urine and liquids during the cleaning process. Remember, the more effectively they permit water to pass, the better. Be diligent to research and even test drainage rate claims. Hold it up to a light. The places where you see the light shining through are the places the water can pass. Place your sample in the sink or up to a hose and let water run through it. Turn the water on high and watch to see if the water passes through or runs over the edges. The higher you can turn on the water and have it pass through the better (full blast if possible). Artificial grass blades are made from nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene. Each one of these products is hydrophobic (i.e. water resistant). This is important to know as there


Photo by ForeverLawn

When it is done right, it can pay for itself within the first year. Done right, it can be a key difference-maker for you and your business providing beauty and peace of mind for years. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Dog Park - Photo by ForeverLawn

has been some misinformation that has been circulated suggesting nylon absorbs urine and therefore causes odors. Anyone suggesting that is either misinformed or being deceptive. The only way artificial grass products made from any of these materials become a source of odor is 1) due to poor backing design, causing inadequate drainage, and/or 2) the maintenance is insufficient. If the grass product requires any infill (e.g. sand, rubber, zeolite, etc.), the drainage rate you witnessed in your test will be further reduced. Additionally, more liquids (urine) will be retained on the surface of the product. While many of these products are water resistant, it is the spaces between the granules that hold the liquids. Infill also inhibits your ability to clean the area. Hair and debris will build up over time if it is not being removed, causing odors and potentially unsafe conditions. We will consider this in maintenance.

If the base is aggregate, the stone should be angular, and the amount of “fines� (stone dust) should be kept to a minimum. A quick test that you can run is to take a hose, turn it on full, and let it run for several minutes. You should not see water flow on the surface any further than a couple of feet, and there should be no puddling. There is often a sub base to consider, and this is the material that is under

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Installation The drain-ability of the grass product is only as good as the surface (base) that it is installed over. Whether it is an aggregate (gravel) base or a grid system, make sure the base is designed to allow the rapid movement of water.

the base (aggregate or grid). If it allows liquids to percolate into soil or sand, this is good, and natural elements quickly mitigate and consume the waste. If, however, it is impermeable (clay, solid rock, concrete), it is important that the surface is sloped and there is a point to which liquids flow and exit the area. Additionally, avoid the use of landscape fabrics or other products that

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may absorb and retain liquids. A good rule of thumb is that if it inhibits the drainage, flow, or removal of liquids, do your best to keep it out of the solution or know that you are going to need to account for that in the maintenance.

Maintenance

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Dog Park - Photo by ForeverLawn

Once we have taken the necessary steps to get the right product properly installed, we have one other major component to consider: the maintenance.

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Once we have taken the necessary steps to get the right product properly installed, we have one other major component to consider: the maintenance. We want the grass to be clean and safe every day as long as you have the grass. There are the obvious things like removing solid waste and disinfecting. Just like when the natural grass is high in the yard, locating and removing the solid waste is inhibited by longer blades, which is why I advise purchasing a product with short, dense blades (about an inch long). Less obvious, hair and debris will build up over time. If it is not removed, it will likely impede drain-ability and can hold urine and undesired waste. As silly as it may sound, that is why having the ability to run a vacuum over the grass or some other mechanism to remove this debris is very important. Unfortunately, that is not possible if the artificial grass was installed with infill (e.g. sand, rubber, zeolite, etc.) on its surface. A vacuum would remove infill along with the hair and debris,

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so my advice is to find a product that does not use infill, and make sure you have instructions on the frequency of vacuuming that is required. The use of enzyme products will reduce residual waste (urine and feces) and is typically advisable as part of regular maintenance. Anyone that currently has artificial grass and is looking for the cause of odor or drainage issues can leverage what we have just covered. 

Analysis of Issue Step 1. Try to find out as much about the product as possible to understand if it may be the source or even contributing to the problem. Ideally you hope to eliminate it as a potential source by confirming it is designed to have superior flow rates that are required for use with dogs. If you learn that the product is deficient in its design (typically urethane-backed and/or has infill), you will likely need to seek expert advice with regard to enhanced maintenance procedures to compensate. This can get expensive, and there are limits to the level of success

Start with the right product, make sure the base meets similar drainage criteria, and the maintenance will be simple and straightforward. that can be achieved. It is best to start with the right product design, and the rest becomes easy. Step 2. Analyze the maintenance protocol. Assuming a “pet-compatible” product was used, it is common to find that built-up hair and debris have neutralized its ability to drain. Aggressive steps (vacuuming) can be taken to remove the hair and debris combined with some heavy enzyme treatments to correct the problem. Step 3. If product and maintenance both seem to be okay, then look to the base. You will likely find that an incorrect material was used, and it is inhibiting drainage. This is correctable by pulling back the grass, working on the base, then making the necessary adjustments. Success with artificial grass in pet

facilities starts with purchasing the right product (quality isn’t cheap, and cheap isn’t quality), having it installed correctly, and then maintaining it properly. While there are a variety of things to consider, the most critical aspect is the drain-ability. Start with the right product, make sure the base meets similar drainage criteria, and the maintenance will be simple and straightforward. When you can check all three as done correctly, I can assure you that you are in a fantastic position to take full advantage of the aesthetic, functional, and monetary benefits that artificial grass will provide. n

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ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

clearing up

command

confusion

I

f you have ever investigated books

about dog training, you may have run into some concepts that appear to defy common sense and logic – and you would be absolutely correct. In the world of dog training, there is as much superstition as there is solid knowledge. For instance, a common practice among dog trainers is to give a command, wait for the behavior to happen and then offer praise that includes the command word. An example would sound like this – the trainer says “Sit” – the dog sits --- the trainer then says “Good Sit.” Trainers who attempt to explain this practice claim that it helps the dog connect the praise to the proper behavior. I hate to burst the bubble, but that is highly unlikely. To understand that type of sentence, a dog would also be able to fathom the following sentence. “Man, that man was selected to man the mandrel, man.” Most humans would have difficulty following that sentence because of the switch between the word

40

By Gary Wilkes

It is common for people to assume that words or “commands” cause behaviors to happen and that we can willy-nilly say things and our dog will somehow understand. “man” as noun, verb and adjective. Expecting a dog to understand that the word “good” is an adjective modifying the verb “sit” and that “sit” is used both as a verb in the imperative mood and a noun, is a bit much. Regardless of the intent of the trainer, the word “sit” as part of the praise doesn’t make any sense because it doesn’t change the consequences of sitting. It’s simply lazy-talk. If that sounds a little odd, don’t be surprised. It is common for people to assume that words or “commands” cause behaviors to happen and that we can willy-nilly say things and our dog will somehow understand. From that perspective, it makes sense that it is the end result of a behavior that determines PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

how, when and where a behavior will happen again. For instance, if we give a dog a treat every time it sits, the overall behavior of sitting will become more likely – whether we say anything or not. If we decide to stop reinforcing “sits” the behavior will decrease in its likelihood – regardless of what we say. In essence, the words we say are signposts along the road that point to a destination – they can indicate the way to travel, but inevitably it is the destination that “causes” the journey. Once we realize that consequences control behavior, we can sweep some of the superstition from our training program. For instance, it is also common for people to chant, growl and yell commands at a dog in expectation


that the tone will somehow cause the behavior to happen. This is usually an open admission that Fido’s good performance has been insufficiently motivated. The average dog can hear the crinkle of a potato chip bag from three rooms away. Hearing that sound triggers instantaneous and enthusiastic response. If a faint sound can cause a dog to race at full speed to get a potato chip, but must be screamed at in order to “sit,” the problem isn’t with the command – it’s with the payoff. The way to test our theory of “behavior by consequences” is really very simple. Go get a shallow bowl and some palatable food treats. Touch a treat to your dog’s nose and then move the treat back toward the dog’s forehead. Hold the treat about an inch above the dog’s nose, so the easiest way for the dog to get the treat is from a sitting position. If the dog sits, say “Good” (bite your tongue and don’t add the word “sit”) and offer a treat. Now repeat the sequence about 15 times. On repetition number 16, don’t lift the treat over the dog’s head; merely say “sit” in a soft tone of voice. If the dog sits, say “good” and offer the treat. If the dog doesn’t sit, say “wrong” in a normal tone of voice and try it again. After a 15 minute session, put the treats away and take a break. Later in the day, stash a couple of treats in your pocket and go about your business. At some point, when your dog is relatively close to you, say the word “sit” in a normal tone of voice. If the dog does, say “good” and offer a treat. If the dog doesn’t sit, say “wrong” and go back to what you were doing. Wait a couple hours and try another training session Now we get to the fun part. After creating a pretty consistent “sit” in response to a normal tone of voice, we are going to test the sit-good sit theory. In your next training session, say “bad sit” in a normal tone of voice. If the dog sits, say “good” and give the dog a treat. If the dog doesn’t sit, move the treat over the dog’s nose and lead the dog into a sitting position. Do this about 10 times, so that the term “bad sit” becomes the cue for sitting.

After you have created the “bad sit” cue, it’s time to flip the coin and screw up the phrase “good sit.” On your next session, say “good sit” in a normal tone of voice and see what happens. If the dog sits, say “wrong” and walk away and ignore the dog for 30 seconds. Continue with this until saying “good sit” causes the dog to just stand there and do nothing. Your goal is to have the dog respond to two different patterns. When you say “good sit” the dog doesn’t sit and when you say “bad sit,” the dog sits, every time. Now, here’s the point of this oddness. After teaching your dog to sit in response to the words “bad sit” you have made something plainly obvious. Your dog doesn’t care a fig about the words you use to describe behaviors as long as the words predictably point to an opportunity for a reward or, if by complying, they avoid something unpleasant. So, the factor most

responsible for “causing” a behavior to happen is whatever consequence comes from doing that behavior. To put this more simply, behaviors and patterns that “pay off ” are likely to be repeated. Being a better trainer requires that we understand the simple mechanisms that create and maintain behavior. Within the basic rules of behavior is the concept that, usually, the results of your behavior will affect your future behavior. For instance, if you happen to say “sit” while leaning forward and your dog sits, the chance that you will lean forward the next time you say “sit” increases. Likewise, if you are in the habit of saying “sit, good sit” as the cue to make your dog sit, your dog’s behavior will reinforce your superstition. The secret to cleaning up this misuse of commands is to start listening to what you say and immediately following the word “Sit,” stop. Good stop. n

Being a better trainer requires that we understand the simple mechanisms that create and maintain behavior. USE READER SERVICE CARDS AND GET QUICK RESPONSE FROM ADVERTISERS! See number below every ad.

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dreaming of quieter, calmer days?

THINK LIKE A DOG,

ACT LIKE A DOG By Laurie Wagner

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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE


I

f you are like most daycare and boarding proprietors, you hear a lot of barking. There’s also the jumping, humping, nipping, and of course the occasional fights. None of us enjoy breaking up a fight and having to tell a client, “Your dog got a little boo-boo today.” It’s not always as fun as people think, is it? I’m here to tell you it can be! I learned to “speak dog” many years ago by watching my regal German Shepherd, Cleo. She would walk over to rowdy dogs, offering a low growl, and they would immediately stop acting up. If they didn’t, she would give them a quick, controlled bite, and they stopped. She left a message, not a mark. By watching how she carried herself, the behavior she corrected, and how she did it, I was able to emulate her and achieve similar results. A fresh, excited Lab once bumped into her, and she gave her a good message: “Don’t you ever bump into me again!” Again, no marks. Just a good, clear message. Next time the dog gave her plenty of space when running past her. This is how we manage our daycare. We reject upon evaluation only the dogs we believe have bad intentions. Rude dogs, fearful dogs, bold dogs – we accept them all, because we know we’ll be able to help them check their egos at the door. No dogs are allowed to bully the fearful dogs. All dogs enjoy a great time, because they are secure and calm. Fearful dogs come out of their shells, because they know we will protect them. Everyone goes home tired, happy, and feeling good about their next visit. The root of behavioral problems stems from not having mental control over the dogs in one’s care. If you and your staff can change your perspectives and learn to think and act like a dog – the alpha dog – the dogs in your care will start treating you like the leader because they respect you. This means they will listen to you, so they will be much easier to “reach” and connect with no matter what the situation. This

makes for a much happier, peaceful and quiet environment, meaning happier dogs, happier clients, and happier staff. Chances are you’ve built a successful business by demonstrating leadership skills in many aspects of your work. Here are some keys to combining your leadership skills with a “think and act like a dog” approach to create a calm, comfortable, happy environment

for everyone: When taking a dog into daycare, first slow him down and get him “under your thumb” so he realizes he answers to you. Bump the dog with your foot or knee to startle him. Think to yourself (not aloud), “How dare you charge past me like that?” Take a step into the dog’s space so he backs up. He should look up at you with a look that says, “Oops!

READER SERVICE CARD #1458 PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

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Dogs’ native tongue is energy, attitude, and body language. The key to thinking like the leader dog is to stay calm, cool, and collected. Sorry.” Take three deep, calming breaths to solidify your message. Now enter with the dog. Notice how much more subdued the dog is. This is called “checking egos at the door.” It is guaranteed to have immediate impact on calming the atmosphere, which means fewer altercations, and everyone is going to enjoy their day much more. If a new shy dog is afraid to come in, we have someone on the inside backing up the dogs from crowding the door, and we allow the nervous dog to come in when ready. This sometimes means standing in the doorway with an open door for several minutes. Once inside, we push back all the dogs that want to crowd and inspect the new dog until the dog is less nervous. Dogs with a soft approach are allowed to sniff unless the nervous dog feels the need to react (i.e. snap). Remember to avoid relying on talking to the dogs to get what you want. Dogs, of course, don’t speak English. Imagine yourself in a foreign country. If you get plopped into downtown Tokyo and everyone is

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speaking Japanese to you, you will probably become very stressed. Have you ever listened to people speak another language in front of you? You typically just tune them out right? That’s what dogs do, too! I’m not saying they don’t understand a few words here and there, but it is definitely English as a Second Language! Dogs’ native tongue is energy, attitude, and body language. The key to thinking like the leader dog is to stay calm, cool, and collected. Excitement is a weak, undesirable energy. Look around at the dominant dogs in your care. I don’t mean aggressive, but dominant. They walk tall, stand tall, and they walk – saunter – past dogs who then just back away, relinquishing space. They aren’t bullies. They don’t growl or attack. They just have a nononsense attitude about them, which dogs respect. They have a “presence” about them. This should be your approach as well. One way to practice is to walk up to any dog in your care, front facing. Does the dog look right up at you with

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

a soft face? If not, give the dog a nudge and a firm look. You now have their attention, and they will start to see you as a dominant figure. Once you can get any and all dogs in your care to look up at you with a soft face and a low, humble tail by front-facing them without talk or touch, you can quietly command the room. As a result, you can keep the peace, because they respect you and trust you. You will be able to prevent dog play from getting too intense. If you can walk into the middle of two roughhousing dogs and back them both up with just your posturing, you can bring down the intensity level, preventing a possible fight. The dogs will be able to play in a more relaxed manner, and the nervous dogs will come out of their shells faster. Now let’s look at ways to stop unwanted behaviors such as jumping, barking, nipping, or humping. Dogs jump out of excitement, but they won’t do it to someone they respect once you show them that it is not acceptable. When a dog jumps on you, flick him off with your knee. Using your hands isn’t optimal. Take a step forward so the dog backs up. Lean in and give him a dirty look. Think “How dare you?” Count three breaths. The more you keep regulated breathing, the calmer you will be and the more responsive the dog will be. You won’t appear out of control and irrational. Think of how a dominant dog would act with a fresh young dog jumping in his face. Bottle that attitude! If a dog is barking, calmly go over to him without a word and give him a firm bump with your knee. He should stop and look up at you. The key here is “without a word”! Inclination is often to chat away, adding to the chaos. The quieter you are, the more effective you will be at “playing dog.” The key is to stand there looking at him with a scowl on your face (think of a dog’s growling) until he stops. When you see one dog getting ready to hump, go over to him and, without a word, give him a firm nudge. Stare at him until he lowers his head. He has to change his mind to prevent him from going back again, so give it a few seconds (count breaths, not seconds). Humping is a privilege in the dog world,


and he (or she!) shouldn’t think they can get away with it on your watch. Nipping is another fresh behavior, mostly from young pups who haven’t yet learned manners. With the leadership skills you develop from these methods, you can control nipping. It’s showing a dog you are not to be treated that way and are not going to allow it. Follow the same instructions for controlling jumping. Once you and your staff are able to command respect and attention, you will find your facility will be quieter and a lot more peaceful. As a result, the dogs and your staff will be happier. The dogs will play at a lower, more manageable intensity level, which

prevents dog fights. Nervous dogs will feel more secure in a bully-free zone. You can feel good about allowing dogs that may be not welcome at other daycares, because you and your staff can control minor behavior problems. You will see a difference in demeanor, and so will your clients. Our clients are thrilled that their dogs with previous social awkwardness are now able to walk down the street with ease, and yours will too. n Laurie Wagner, owner and founder of Doggie Fun and Fitness, LLC in Kingston, MA, and professional member of the IACP (International Association of Canine Professionals) since 2006, has been

Once you and your staff are able to command respect and attention, you will find your facility will be quieter and a lot more peaceful. As a result, the dogs and your staff will be happier.

a professional dog trainer for 13 years. She opened her daycare and training facility to integrate proper socialization as a key component that was missing from a lot of dog training. She has recently launched her national Walk This Way program to better educate the public on the benefits of proper dog walking and how socialization can help balance a dog with behavior problems. To learn more about her guaranteed program – your dog will not pull, jump or nip – she can be reached at WalkThisWay-fordogs. com and facebook.com/WalkThisWay. fordogs. You can view videos of all these and other demonstrations at http://www. youtube.com/laurieandcleo.

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ANIMAL HEALTH

HELPING PETS STRESSFUL NAVIGATEEVENTS By Leslie Sinn, DVM, CPDT-KA

S

tress happens! Whether it is something planned, such as a home improvement project, or something beyond our control, such as this past winter that just didn’t want to end, we and our pets deal with stressful events often on a daily basis. Stress is necessary to prime living creatures to deal with challenging situations, but chronic stress can have a long-term negative impact on the physical and mental health of us and our pets. The following are some basic steps you can take to help minimize the effects of stressful events on your beloved pets. You may even want to practice some of these techniques on yourself and your human loved ones!

1) As much as possible, maintain the household routine. Everyone takes comfort in a predictable environment, including pets. If there is a lot of chaos (e.g. workmen and repairs), attempt to isolate the pet from the confusion if at all possible or attempt to mitigate 46

Be careful NOT to reinforce anxious behavior by rewarding attention seeking. Reward the dog with verbal praise and/or small treats when the dog is quiet and settled--NOT when it is anxious and pacing. the situation by providing comfort items such as familiar bedding, pieces of clothing, toys, or a radio/TV for background white noise. Providing comfort items will also help if for some reason you have to board your pet while trying to become reestablished.

2) Set aside a specific playtime or interaction time with your pet When the household has a lull, usually in the evenings after work and dinner for most people, take 10 to 15 minutes to interact directly with your pet. This could be something active like playing ball or going for a walk or something more peaceful like gentle grooming or massage.

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3) Dogs are pack animals and will tend to seek support and active interaction with family members. Be careful NOT to reinforce anxious behavior by rewarding attention seeking. Reward the dog with verbal praise and/ or small treats when the dog is quiet and settled--NOT when it is anxious and pacing. People attempt to reassure their dogs by talking to them as they become more and more anxiety driven (i.e. pacing, drooling, circling, vocalizing, hyperactive). The best bet is to model calm, relaxed, quiet, steady behavior and reward your dog ONLY when it mirrors your body relaxation cues. This is good practice for both owner and pet! Think “doggie meditation.”


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4) Unlike dogs, cats react to stress by withdrawing People, being primates, want to “tend and befriend” and then wonder why their cat bites them as they try to pull it out from under the bed! Do not force your cat to do anything. Provide it with hiding areas (a partially opened closet or under a bed are favored spots), but even something like a nicely padded large cardboard box or paper grocery bag will do in a pinch. Reward ANY attempts by your cat to socialize. Find a highly favored treat (e.g. smoked salmon or some other delicacy) that is given to the cat ONLY when it socializes or makes an attempt to be bold and brave. Be patient. Parallel activities may also help. If your cat won’t readily come and visit in the evening, go and read a book or fold laundry for 15 minutes in the area to which the cat has withdrawn. Reward ANY attempt by your cat to interact with you.

5) Animals are very scent oriented There are dog- and cat-appeasing

pheromones available, which appear to reduce stress and have a calming effect in some situations. The dog product is called DAP (dog-appeasing pheromone), and the cat product is called Feliway (cat-appeasing pheromone). Using these products in the environment on a daily basis certainly will not hurt and may well help. If you have trouble obtaining these products, lavender oil is more commonly available and has been shown to reduce anxiety during car rides in dogs. It may well be worth trying in an attempt to minimize stress and has the added bonus of a documented calming effect in people, too!

6) Distraction works for pets just like it does for people Food puzzles provide a way to provide some additional mental interaction to dogs and cats. You can purchase food puzzles (Kongs are the best known product) or you can make your own. With cats, taking a plastic

If your cat won’t readily come and visit in the evening, go and read a book or fold laundry for 15 minutes in the area to which the cat has withdrawn.

soda bottle with a screw-on cap, cutting a few small holes in it, and filling it with a half cup of dry cat food will provide entertainment for quite some time. Make sure the cap is on tight and that the plastic is tough enough that the cat can’t chew through it. Since dogs are such good chewers, avoid flimsy toys that they could ingest. Instead offer rawhide chews or pig ears. Make your own frozen treat using a large bowl, filling it with bouillon water and bits of meat, freezing and them dumping it out in an area where your dog can happily make a mess! By following these basic, easy steps you can help to minimize the effects of stress on your pets and your family. n

Additional fun reading Sapolsky, Robert M. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping-Now Revised and Updated. Macmillan, 2004.

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers Annual Educational Conference & Trade Show! October 15-18, 2014 Hartford, CT Learn from training and behavior experts - featuring four days of seminars and extensive trade show! www.apdt.com/conference Can’t make it to Hartford? Live-streaming and an online library will be available! We also have an extensive library of online ondemand and live courses on all aspects of dog behavior, training and care!

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READER SERVICE CARD #1462 PET BOARDING & DAYCARE


sample health report card ____________________________________’s Report Card Last Name ______________________________________ Examined By_______________________ Date: ________

VACCINATION PROGRAM ___ ALL OK ___ DUE q Distemper/Parvo

q Lyme

q Bordetella

COAT & SKIN q No problems found q Dull/dry q Matted q Abnormal Lump

q Rabies

q Rattlesnake

q Flu

q Distemper q Leukemia

ABDOMEN q Excessive shedding/hair loss q Itchy q Parasites q Other: ________________

q No problems found q Abnormal lump q Tense/painful q Distended q Other: ______________________________

LUNGS EYES q No problems found q Cloudy lens: L ___ R ___ q Discharge q Other: ________________ q Inflamed q Eyelid Problem:_________________________________

EARS q No problems found q Inflamed q Itchy

q Abnormal lump: L ___ R ___ q Excessive wax/hair q Other: ________________

q No problems found q Breathing too rapidly q Coughing

q Breathing difficulty q Congestion q Other: ________________

DIGESTIVE SYSTEM q No problems found q Excessive gas q Vomiting q Eating disorder

q Abnormal feces (BM) q Diarrhea q Other: ________________

URINARY/REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM NOSE & THROAT q No problems found

q No problems found q Abnormal urinations q Breast lump(s) q Genital discharge q Anal gland problem q Abnormal testicles q Other: ________________

q Nasal discharge

MOUTH, TEETH, GUMS q No problems found q Broken teeth q Inflamed lips q Loose teeth q Ulcers q Bleeding gums q Abnormal lumps q Tartar buildup q Other: _____________________________

WEIGHT: _____ lbs q Normal range q Too heavy

q Too thin q Recommended weight: _______

INTESTINAL PARASITES/WORMS LEGS & PAWS q No problems found q Lameness/pain

q None seen q Seen during exam q Suspected q Joint/nail problem q Other: ________________

COMMENTS:

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dogs don’t say “i love you” with a HUG -AND WHY YOU SHOULDN’T EITHER

FIVE DOG MYTHS THAT CAN LEAD TO TRAGEDY

By Melissa Berryman

I

t’s the kind of headline that makes dog behaviorist Melissa Berryman’s blood boil: “Dog on Trial after Attacking Child.” According to the report, a pointer-hound mix named Milo, a dog that had never caused any problems, was napping on the couch in his home when a six-year-old neighbor arrived. The boy sat down on the couch and started petting the sleeping dog. The child was bitten in the face after being left alone with the dog. No one witnessed the incident. “The dog was put on trial for an accident that’s preventable when people understand what our behavior means to dogs,” says Berryman, who has spent years studying dog bites and is the author of “People Training for Good Dogs: What Breeders Don’t Tell You and Trainers Don’t Teach.” She also teaches classes on safety and liability protection for dog owners, provides community safety solutions, and promotes the right way to behave around dogs through the Dog Owner Education and Community Safety Council. “Dog owners are set up for failure,

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“When one dog ‘hugs’ another, it’s an act of domination. It should be a given that people do not hug dogs.” because our default is to blame the dog. Owners get fined or sued for repeated human mistakes. Dogs often pay with their lives for mistakes made by people,” Berryman says. That’s the case for Milo. At his hearing in Mansfield, Mass., selectmen voted to euthanize him. The owners have 10 days to appeal. “Prevention has to be the priority,” Berryman says. “Sure, it’s cute to us when the baby hugs the dog. But dogs do not say ‘I love you’ with a hug. When one dog ‘hugs’ another, it’s an act of domination. It should be a given that people do not hug dogs. Yet the message for children to hug dogs is prevalent in our culture and the facial bites continue.”

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What are some other common misperceptions people have about dog and human behaviors – and how you can change to prevent catastrophes? Berryman shares five:

Myth #1: When greeting a new dog, you should extend your hand for it to sniff. Fact: Dogs don’t sniff each other’s paws when greeting and, like us, prefer to be asked before being touched by a stranger. Instead, ask the owner and then also “ask” the dog by tapping your hand on your thigh, which simulates a wagging tail, and act friendly. The dog will relax and nuzzle you, need to sniff more to get to know you, or will stay away. 


Myth #2: Breed dictates temperament. Fact: Dogs, first and foremost, are predatory canines that live in groups. Breeds are generalizations that enable breeders to better market the product they sell. What dictates temperament is their pack position, the role that you as the human play in the group, and the rank of group members. Dogs have superior/inferior interrelationships and command and defer accordingly. Just as siblings in a family have the same parents yet are very different, one cannot purchase behavior by buying a dog of a certain breed.

Myth #3: When a dog charges, there is nothing you can do. Fact: When a dog charges you, it’s trying to decide if you are friend, foe, or prey. Their eyesight is poor, so hats, sunglasses, and other objects you may push or carry can scare them. Act like a friend and pretend you are not afraid. Stand facing the dog with relaxed body language, tap your thigh with your

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Any dog can bite, especially when it feels personally threatened, is exposed to prey behavior, or thinks that someone lower in rank threatens its resources, such as food, toys, bedding, and the attention of its owner. hand, and use a high-pitched voice for a friendly greeting like “good girl.” Fake it if you are afraid.

Myth #4: Posting a “Beware of Dog” sign will protect you from liability if your dog injures someone on your property. Fact: Dogs can only read body language. These signs make people react to your dog in a fearful manner, which is more likely to cause a dog to consider visitors prey and bite them. Use “No Trespassing” and “Dog at Play” signs instead.

5. Myth: Only bad dogs owned by bad people bite. Fact: Even responsible dog owners operate under the same false beliefs about human and canine behavior. They are also encouraged to take a passive role concerning their dog. Any dog can

bite, especially when it feels personally threatened, is exposed to prey behavior, or thinks that someone lower in rank threatens its resources, such as food, toys, bedding, and the attention of its owner. n

About Melissa Berryman A Massachusetts animal control officer from 1993 to 1999, Melissa Berryman is a national dog bite consultant who founded the Dog Owner Education and Community Safety Council (www.doecsc.org) and works with communities, rescue groups, dog owners, and bite victims. She also designed and teaches a safety and liability class for dog owners, from which “People Training for Good Dogs” is derived. She has worked with more than 10,000 dogs. Berryman holds an undergraduate degree in Animal Science PreVeterinary Medicine and a master’s in Public Administration.

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PRODUCT NEWS

PetChatz® A Greet & Treat® Videophone

PetChatz® is the first-ever Greet & Treat® videophone that lets you interact with your pet from anywhere using a smartphone or computer. When you’re at work. Or on vacation. Or just feel like checking in. PetChatz is there when you can’t be. Hear and see each other while apart. Reward your pet with snacks and sniffs they love. Record and share fun videos. Play even when you’re away! PetChatz lets you be there from anywhere. PetChatz is currently available for pre-order only in the United States and Canada. Expected delivery is Summer 2014. Go to PetChatz. com or call 855-444-6544. For more information, request Reader Service Card #1466.

These tags come in 11 different colors and two different shapes. A round 1 1/8” tag, or a 7/8 x 2” rectangle tag. Both tags come with a custom logo on the front, and a writable surface on the back. We sell these tags to Kennels, groomers, and veterinary offices. They are completely safe, as they have no metal content, or anything that might catch on the four legged friend that will be wearing them. Another great benefit of these tags is the ability to advertise your business since they stay on your pet even when leaving your place of business. These tags are sold in quantitys as small as 500 for .50 each and quantity discounts, can get you down to as little as .42 each. There is a one time set up fee of $35.00. Go to Safekidz.com or call 1-866-846-6339. For more information, request Reader Service Card #1467.

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recipe is made with great ingredients like real beef, chickpeas, celery, squash, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and cranberries. According to Bravo co-founder Bette Schubert, “We set out to create super premium treats that are natural, nourishing and delicious. We think that means using only the finest, freshest ingredients; starting with real meat or poultry. And that ís exactly what we did.” Available in Chicken, Beef, Turkey, and Duck varieties, new Crunchy Delights come packed in resealable 5 oz stand-up pouches and have a Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of $6.49. Retailers interested in stocking and selling new Bravo Crunchy Delights oven baked treats are invited to contact their Bravo distributor or call 866-922-9222. For more information, request Reader Service Card #1468.

During the Global Pet Expo 2014, Bravo! debuted a number of products stylishly sporting their newly rebranded logo, slogan and package design, including the new Crunchy Delights all natural treats. This new line of canine treats starts with real, premium meat or poultry, then adds a hearty helping of mixed vegetables and quinoa. Each ingredient is carefully selected to create a pet-pleasing reward that is as wholesome as it is nourishing. For example, the Crunchy Delights beef

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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE


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GRAMERCY PRODUCTS TO EXPAND NERF DOG LINE WITH PET SPECIALTY COLLECTION

Hasbro, Inc. announced that NERF Dog, a breakout line introduced last year, will expand its product range to include over 40 new dog toys designed for pet specialty retailers. The new line debuted at the industry’s largest trade show, Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL on March 12th. Seeking to build on the

tremendous success of the launch this summer of NERF Dog, the new NERF Dog Pet Specialty line will expand the collection by adding new colors, designs, technology, materials and sizes for smaller dogs. This collection will encourage the inner drive shared both by dogs and their owners to engage in over-the-top active play. The NERF DOG Pet Specialty Collection will be available at Petco & Pet Supplies Plus stores nationwide beginning May 2014 at price points from $6.99 - $14.99. For more information, request Reader Service Card #1471.

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Pet Boarding and Daycare - May/June 2014