Menu
North Austin: 512-215-2368 South Austin: 512-892-8848 downtown: 512-350-2277

BIGGIES BLOG

Biggie header

Back to School with Healthy Pet!

Back to school means learning is in full-swing, so what better time to teach your pooch some new tricks?   Teach your dog how to high-five! Teach your dog how to high-five your kids once they’ve completed their homework! Start by commanding your dog to sit, and reward him with a treat. Next, hold a treat in front of him but slightly out of reach. The goal is to have your dog smell the treat and paw at your hand. As soon as your dog reaches out and paws your hand, reward him with the treat. Repeat this step until your dog is consistently reaching out to your hand. Once this is accomplished, open your hand in the “high five position” and each time your dog touches your open palm, reward him with a treat and add a verbal cue of “high five” whenever he touches your hand. Eventually, you should be able to give the verbal cue and get a high five without providing a reward.   Teach your dog to pay attention: In the classroom, it’s important to pay attention! Teach your dog to pay attention to you with a few simple steps. Start by saying your dog’s name and give her a reward when she looks at you. Repeat this several times and ensure your dog is actually looking at you and not just moving her head slightly toward you. Eventually, you will get actual eye contact and longer periods of attention from your pooch.   Teach your dog how to shake Use your pointer finger to lightly tap the back of your dog’s paw. Your dog may instantly pick up his foot to move away from the gentle tapping or you may have to tap the paw a few times before he lifts up his foot. As soon as he starts to bend his foot and move away from your finger, move your hand forward and pick up his paw. Praise your dog verbally and reward him with a treat. Repeat this until your dog starts to lift his foot as soon as you reach toward it and then add the verbal cue “shake” as you reach toward his paw.   Teach your dog how to wave! If your dog already knows how to shake hands,  you can easily teach him to wave to your kids as they head off to school! Face your dog and hold out your hand as if you are going to shake. When your dog lifts her paw to shake, don't grab it, just pull back your hand, and say "Wave". Waving your hand a little may help to get his paw into a waving motion. Repeat and reward with a treat until your dog gets the waving motion down.  

Read More

Heat Awareness Day - May 23

In light of National Heat Awareness Day on May 23, we at Healthy Pet want to make sure you’re fully prepared for the rising Texas temperatures! Overheating can be sudden, and fatal, for dogs. Since healthy pets love playing and relaxing in the warm weather, now is a good time to keep an extra watchful eye on them. Dogs don’t have the sweating mechanism humans do to stay cool; therefore, it’s a pet parent's job to know if a dog is getting too hot. Key signs of overheating include:
  • Heavy panting
  • Deep, rapid breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dry or pale gums
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
Overheating can be prevented by staying near shade, having water handy and not overexerting your dog. And NEVER (we repeat NEVER) leave your dog in the car — even with the windows down! A car’s temperature can spike to dangerous heights within minutes. Even a quick, five-minute run into the store is not worth the risk. If your dog starts to suffer from overheating, wet him with cool tap water, take him to the veterinarian and let the office know you’re on your way. In serious cases of unconsciousness, take him to the nearest Animal Hospital immediately. Texas summer and warm weather is no joke, y'all. With some preparation (not just on National Heat Awareness Day but all summer long), you and your pet are sure to have a safe and happy season! And don't forget to stop in at either Healthy Pet location to say hi!Read More

February is Pet Dental Health Month

It is no surprise to owners that dogs can develop some pretty bad breath. After all, a dog’s mouth is warm and moist, making it a perfect home for bacteria and their associated toxins to grow. Most bacteria is normal, but once plaque and tartar develops, a door to more serious diseases will open. Luckily, knowing a few tips and practicing good oral hygiene on your pup can help prevent dental diseases and promote overall good health.   Since dogs cannot care for their own teeth, it is important for owners to brush their teeth daily. However, if a teeth-brushing is too difficult to squeeze into your schedule every day, brushing 3 to 4 times a week should do the trick. Human toothbrushes can get the job done without any harm, so long as the brush is soft and the appropriate size for the dog’s mouth. We sell options, too, that are shaped so that it makes the job easier for you (and not so stressful for them).  On the other hand, human toothpaste should be avoided at all costs. It’s crucial your dog is given a canine toothpaste that is safe for swallowing and ingesting. The types we carry will also offer a flavor that will be more appealing to your pup, so they won’t mind the daily ritual quite as much.   Other ways to maintain your pup’s oral hygiene is by giving them chew toys and feeding them dry kibble. Dry kibble helps scrape food and bacteria off teeth, whereas canned food can easily hide in crevices. If your dog prefers canned food, simply rotate their wet food with the dry kibble or buy a dental chew toy that they’ll enjoy gnawing on while their teeth reap the benefits.   Lastly, make sure your dog becomes comfortable with humans handling his mouth and muzzle. This will allow you to frequently check on the status of his health, as well as allow veterinarians to perform successful check-ups. Whenever he is your lap, just run your finger over his mouth and gums.   Dogs, especially when adults, are pretty susceptible to severe dental diseases. Fortunately there are several actions, toys and dental treats that you can build into your dog’s routine for a happy, healthy life!  Read More