Making your world a better place

Learn more

How To Exercise Your Dog Safely

Dr. Chris gives you a couple of tips for making it a safe and enjoyable activity...

Before you begin the training, it's best to check off this list before you and your pal start:

DO: Use a fav toy or ball

DON'T: Use a stick as this can be dangerous for dogs and may result in splinters and other injuries

DO: Bring some treats with you

DO: Check that the area you are taking your dog to allows for your buddy to be taken off their leash

DO: Be prepared to praise your dog ALOT!

To begin the training, shake the toy in front of your dog, to help show that it's an important object and your dog should want it.

Then when you throw the toy they should run after it - If they don't you can always walk your dog to the object and heap on the praise when they pick it up.

If your dog runs after the toy and picks it up, praise them and call them back to you. Once they arrive pull out a treat, they should drop the toy right away to get the treat.

When they do drop the toy call out "drop" as soon as it leaves their mouth, this will help the dog understand the command later into the training.

DON'T: Pull the toy from the dogs mouth

Keep up with praise and treats each time they return with the toy, gradually supply treats less and less until the command "drop" and praise is all they need.

Soon your buddy should fetch your toy and return it time after time!

Cockatiel plucking her feathers

Hi! I hope you can help me with my cockatiel, I write from Spain and here they aren't that common so vets don't know much about treating them. I have a 5 years old female cockatiel and she is very affectionate, 2 years ago I had to spend a couple of months at a hospital and my parents during that time were either working or visiting me, so she felt lonely and started plucking her feathers. Even after I went back home she continued with this behaviour and hasn't stopped. I took her to different vets, they told me to give her small amounts of a syrup that was meant for calming itching and an antibiotic in case it was something producing an itching, but neither worked. I also tried a spray called "Pluck-no-more" with the same results. In case she was lonely we got her a mate, but it may be also female since they don't pay attention to each other at all. She rubs her cloaca on the perch often but the other tiel ignores it (the pet shop said it was male but they said the same with her and then she laid an egg...). The layer that covers the feather while growing (not sure of the name in English) doesn't grow normally, looks more like bland plastic than a hard cover like the ones on my other birds pin feathers (besides her, I have another cockatiel and a lovebird). Is as if the feathers on the plucking areas aren't growing correctly. The areas she plucks are under the wings, the part where wings join the body, and the body area that is covered by the wings while resting. While plucking she lets out small cries. The fluff covers these areas so by just looking at her isn't easy to tell, unless you watch her while preening. I let her play outside of the cage very often, but lately she can't fly well and I think it may be caused by the loss of these feathers. As I said, vets in this area are more specialized in cats and dogs and know little about parrots, so I hope you can advise me since these birds are native to Australia. Is there some kind of balm or spray I can apply on her skin to soothe it? Some medicine I can ask my local vet to use? I love her and it hurts seeing her in pain everytime she preens. Any advice would be much appreciated. Greetings from Spain!