Useful Pet Health Tips for People with Senior Dogs

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Are you a long-time pet owner with a senior dog? As your beloved dog gets older, their health requirements change. They may need different nutrients, higher-quality protein, fewer calories, slower walks, and warmer climates. Taking care to accommodate an older dog will help keep them happy and stave off age-related decline. Whether you’ve recently adopted a senior dog or you’re noticing some signs of aging in your lifelong friend, here are some tips to keep them healthy and comfortable.

Monitor Your Senior Dog’s Weight

Helping your dog maintain a healthy weight may get a bit more difficult as they grow older. Senior dogs tend to be overweight, putting them at risk of serious heart or blood pressure complications. Weigh your senior pet on a regular basis so you can make changes to their diet or exercise routine and keep them healthy. Bring your pet to the vet for a checkup if their weight changes by 5 to 10 percent, as this could indicate a more serious health condition.

Consider Giving Your Senior Dog CBD Oil

CBD oil is a hemp-derived product with numerous health benefits. In human studies, CBD has been found to treat pain, control seizures, stimulate appetite, reduce anxiety, and support heart health. Several pet owners have found that dogs can enjoy many of these same benefits; CBD oil may be particularly useful for dogs with joint pain, inflammation, skin issues, and anxiety. CBD oil even has cancer-fighting properties and may contribute to the death of tumor cells in dogs. For help picking the right oil for your dog, check out a CBD buyer’s guide for an organized breakdown of the best CBD oils of 2019. However, make sure to talk with your vet before starting any new treatments on your dog.

Take Your Senior Dog to the Vet Twice Per Year

Senior dogs should visit the vet at least once every six months. This frequency allows vets to catch health changes quickly and can set you up with a treatment regime to prevent long-term problems. During wellness exams, your vet may recommend diagnostic tests to check for age-related health conditions. VCA recommends having your pet tested before they develop an illness to give your vet a baseline for comparing future results. Also, ask your vet to conduct an oral exam to ensure your dog’s teeth are healthy.

Brush Your Senior Dog’s Teeth Regularly

According to Dog Quality, dogs of all ages and breeds are extremely prone to oral hygiene problems. Although this may not cause too many problems for young dogs, dental disease can lead to many health issues in older pets. Poor dental health can negatively affect the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, and digestive system. On the other hand, pets that receive regular dental care tend to live about two years longer than pets that do not.

The best way to care for your dog’s teeth is to brush them every day. Tooth-friendly foods, such as special kibble or dental treats, can also help support their dental health.

Make Sure Your Senior Dog Gets Enough Exercise

Regular exercise will help improve your dog’s joint flexibility, muscle strength, and circulation. Try to take your senior dog on slow-paced walks every day. Give them time to explore, sniff around, and greet people — this stimulates a dog’s mind and keeps them sharp. Let your dog walk you and pay close attention to their comfort. Make sure to keep your dog warm in cold weather since older pets have difficulty regulating temperature.

Make Your Home More Accessible

You can make your senior dog more comfortable in your home by making a few accessibility adjustments. For example, consider getting a raised platform for their food and water bowls so your dog doesn’t have to strain their neck to drink or eat. Non-slip mats can reduce the hazard of slipping on hard floors, ramps or stairs can help your dog get onto your couch, and comfortable bedding can reduce arthritis pain.

Putting in the time to care for your senior dog can make a huge difference in their quality of life. This extra care may even strengthen the loving bond between the two of you. Although you can’t do anything to stop your beloved pet from growing older, you can at least ensure their senior years are spent in good health and happiness.

A Dynamic Service Dog Duo that Helps Save Lives

Pro-Train Grads Oscar and Michael Make American Red Cross Headlines

Five-year-old German Shepherd Oscar is the proud service dog for Michael Pritchard. Michael is a longtime independent investigator working with the public defender’s office. and suffers a hearing deficit. And, after successful pairings and training with other dogs from Pro-Train for his family, Michael knew he and his work life would benefit from a trained service dog.

It was a bit of a rough start, however, as he was originally paired with a different dog (Gunner) who had been slated for a veteran suffering from PTSD. Gunner was very attuned to the amount of emotion happening in a court session.  And, while Michael loved Gunner, he could see that his beloved canine was not going to handle the rigors of his career well. That’s when he called Pro-Train founder and owner, Mark “Dogman” Castillero and they both made a bold move. Gunner was returned to Pro-Train to be paired more suitably with another owner. “It wasn’t my first choice, but I trusted the instincts of legendary trainer Dogman Mark.”

Owner and Canine Bonding

Mark delivered Oscar…a recently trained service dog pup, then just 9 months old. Oscar’s personality, according to Mark, was a better match for the daily grind of public service, in and out of courts and offices and near lots of different personalities and scenarios. “At first, it was me who struggled as I missed Gunner, but Mark encouraged me to take my time with him…and establish a true bonding,” recalls Michael. Bus rides, a trip or two to the bowling alley, a few visits to the local Costco…and it wasn’t long before Oscar and Michael were inseparable.

Oscar actually exceeded Michael’s expectations. He was so pleased to see that Oscar would provide “therapy” to his witnesses in his child dependency court cases. Even at a distance, witnesses and others in the court room would be more at ease with Oscar nearby.

He points to the phenomenal training that he and Oscar received through Pro-Train. “The great thing about Oscar is that he knows he has a job to do, but he’s just as well behaved with the vest off when out in public,” said Michael. Pro-Train makes sure that every dog, no matter whether it’s protection or service dog or basic obedience, has been well socialized and knows how to “play well with others.”

Trained to Play Well with Others

Speaking of playing well with others, the Bend, Oregon based duo have found an additional “calling” as Donor Ambassadors for the American Red Cross. Now semi-retired, Michael was looking for an opportunity to use his time to volunteer for a cause he is passionate about. He knew that blood transfusions had helped saved at least two of his family members.

At the start of their volunteering, Michael and Oscar were up before the sunrise picking up donations and delivering them to local hospitals. The duo has become so popular in the region, that at donation events they’ve seen an uptick in the number of willing donors after just meeting the two!

Featured in the American Red Cross Newsletter!

Michael and Oscar were featured recently in that region’s American Red Cross newsletter.The-Beat-Temp-issue-2–color (dragged) It speaks of this amazing inspirational duo, “Oscar alerts Michael when someone is speaking to him from behind. Since Oscar is such a good boy and donors continuously ask to pet him, Michael’s response is ‘sure you can…if you donate.’ It’s amazing to see how many potential donors will go through the process so they can give and get loves from Oscar.”

Of the 10,000 dogs trained through the years, this story is one of our favorites here at Pro-Train. Michael and his family have had six dogs trained in total over the past 25 years. Michael is quick to give kudos to not just Dogman Mark, but all the trainers he has used throughout the years at Pro-Train. Lead Trainer, Saheed Lawal trained Oscar, as an example. And Michael has used the “lifetime guarantee” for refresher trainings with Saheed and Oscar when he visits family in North San Diego. “It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in this lifetime…can’t imagine my life without my well-trained furry family members.”

To learn more about the amazing services of top-rated Pro-Train, contact us at We can’t wait to share more success stories with you. Plus, we custom tailor programs specifically to your needs. Check out more at

Dog Obedience Training San Clemente

Dog Obedience Training San ClementeAre you searching for the best dog obedience training provider in San Clemente, CA?

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Dog Obedience Training San Clemente

There is no dog too skittish, too aggressive, or too old.

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Dog Training Encinitas

What Areas Do We Service In San Clemente?

We’re proud to be North County ‘s premier dog training school and service all areas in the city of San Clemente, San Diego including: Alpine, Bonita, Bonsall, Borrego Springs, Bostonia, Boulevard, Camp Pendleton, Campo, Cardiff, Cardiff by the Sea, Carlsbad, North County, Coronado, Crest, Del Mar, Descanso, Dulzura, North County, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, Fallbrook, Guatay, Imperial Beach, Jacumba, Jamul, Julian, San Diego, La Mesa, Lakeside, Lemon Grove, Leucadia, Lincoln Acres, Mount Laguna, National City, Nestor, Ocean Beach, North County, Olivenhain, Pacific Beach, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Paradise Hills, Pauma Valley, Pine Valley, Potrero, Poway, Rainbow, Ramona, Ranchita, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Santa FE, North County (County Seat), North County State University, San Luis Rey, Rancho Bernardo, San Ysidro, Santa Ysabel, Santee, Solana Beach, Spring Valley, Tecate, North County, Valley Center, Vista, and Warner Springs.

What Local Zip Codes Do We Serve?

We serve the following cities and zip codes throughout North County, San Clemente: 92101, 92102, 92103, 92104, 92105, 92106, 92107, 92108, 92109, 92110, 92111, 92112, 92113, 92114, 92115, 92116, 92117, 92119, 92120, 92121, 92122, 92123, 92124, 92126, 92127, 92128, 92129, 92130, 92131, 92132, 92133, 92134, 92135, 92136, 92137, 92138, 92139, 92140, 92142, 92145, 92147, 92149, 92150, 92152, 92153, 92154, 92155, 92158, 92159, 92160, 92161, 92162, 92163, 92164, 92165, 92166, 92167, 92168, 92169, 92170, 92171, 92172, 92174, 92175, 92176, 92177, 92179, 92182, 92184, 92186, 92187, 92190, 92191, 92192, 92193, 92194, 92195, 92196, 92197, 92198, 92199.

Dog Obedience Training in the News

Dog obedience training for seniors – KAUZ

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 23:49:11 GMT

Dog obedience training for seniors??KAUZWICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) – The Obedience Training Club of Wichita Falls held a special class for seniors Wednesday. K-9?s practiced heeling and staying still …

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Las Vegas family’s dog injured in ‘Sit Means Sit’ obedience training – WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

Mon, 14 Jan 2019 02:26:00 GMT

Las Vegas family’s dog injured in ‘Sit Means Sit’ obedience training??WJW FOX 8 News ClevelandLas Vegas,NV (KTNV) — Pets are family members and, like children, we want them to be on their best behavior. Specialized dog training fetches top dollar …

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Dog Obedience Training on YouTube

Obedience Dog Championships – Day 3 – Crufts 2013 (Jenny Gould & Zankanja Bitter ‘N’ Twisted)

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Keep Your Dog Safe and Healthy During the Winter

Your dog is most likely an important member of your family and enjoys spending time playing with you outdoors.  All seasons have specific safety hazards to keep an eye out for, and winter is no different.  Temperature, ground conditions, and other factors can pose some safety concerns for your dog.  Here are some tips on how to address winter health issues before they become a problem for your pet.


Overall Health Check

Dogs should get a wellness check-up once a year, so before winter hits could be a good time to schedule one.  The cold weather and dry air can exacerbate some medical conditions like skin issues or arthritis.  Ask your vet for advice on how to manage those conditions and keep your dog comfortable during the winter months.

Also talk about nutritional health with your vet.  Offering specific foods, extra water, and adding a humidifier to your home can keep your dog hydrated and their skin in better condition during this season.

Update Emergency Information

Check to make sure your dog’s tags and/or chip registration is up to date with your current contact information.  More dogs tend to get lost during the winter if they slip off the leash or escape the yard.  Snow and ice on the ground can cover some of the normal scents they are accustomed to to find their way home.  If you want to go really high tech to keep tabs on your dog, a GPS dog tracker can clip to their collar and help you locate them more quickly.

Walking Your Dog in Cold Weather

Every dog’s tolerance threshold for cold weather may be different.  It varies by breed, coat length and thickness, size, and age.  Smaller, older, or shorter-haired dogs may get cold quickly and need a sweater or coat for them to tolerate the outdoors during this time.  Bigger, long-hair dogs such as Huskies and Shepherds may be able to handle the cold better, but still should limit outdoor time when it’s near or below freezing temperatures.  Diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and hormonal imbalances such as Cushing’s Disease can also make it more difficult to regulate body temperature and make your dog more prone to sensitivity to the cold.

If you do go out for a walk, be sure to check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of injury or damage.  Cold weather injuries, such as cracked or bleeding paw pads and frostbite can occur.  Massaging paw protectants like petroleum jelly on paws before and after walks can help limit injuries and irritation.  Signs of frostbite include discolored skin, swelling, and blisters.  Clip fur between your dog’s toes to discourage ice and snow from accumulating there.

Hypothermia can also occur from extended exposure to cold weather and can be life-threatening.   Be aware of signs of shivering, shallow breathing, weak pulse, and lethargy.  If you notice these signs, get your dog inside somewhere warm and call a vet if condition worsens.

When it’s too cold for a walk, your pet will still need to go out occasionally to go to the bathroom and get some exercise. If you have a fenced-in yard or patio, a doggie door can make it more convenient for you and your pup. Electronic options close completely to ensure cold air stays out, and you can program them so your dog only has access at certain times. Just be sure to do your research to find the best door for your home and your pet.

Winter Grooming

Bring a small towel with you on longer walks with your dog and clean off their paws periodically to keep them comfortable.  After walks, wipe your dog’s paws, legs, and belly.  De-icers and other chemicals might be sticking to your dog’s body, and you don’t want them to ingest it if they decide to clean themselves.

Try not to bathe your pet as often during the winter.  It can remove oils and dry out your dog’s skin more quickly than during summer months.  Use a moisturizing wash and rinse or try a water-less shampoo during the cold weather season.

Avoid shaving your dog’s fur in the winter.  Their thicker, longer fur will help protect them outside and keep them warmer.

Other Winter Tips

Your dog will need some options for comfortable sleeping arrangements, since he may get warmer or cooler in your house at different times just like we do.  Keep a soft dog bed or blankets in a few different rooms depending on where the dog might hang with you.

Think about gifts and seasonal items that come into your house during this time.  Chocolate candy is a popular gift item that can be harmful for your dog.  Poinsettias, common holiday decorations, are also toxic when ingested by children and animals.

Remember that antifreeze is also poisonous, even in small amounts.  Clean up any spills outside immediately and store it where your dog cannot access it.

Keep these tips in mind and your dog will weather the winter season happily by your side.


The Low-Down on Well-Mannered Dogs

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

In 2017, 89.7 million dogs lived in homes across the United States. Dogs are a big part of our culture, as well as our family, but let’s face it: they’re a lot of responsibility. Keeping your dog clean is hard enough, but getting them to be well-mannered and behaved is a whole different beast (no pun intended). Manners aren’t tricks or commands, but rather a consistent behavior. Why are good manners important for your dog? Not only does it make for better social interactions, but a friendly, polite dog is happier and better adjusted.

Walking Tall

Taking your dog on a walk is fun and good exercise for the both of you, but it feels more like a chore if your dog is having difficulty with leash training. Walking a rowdy dog is frustrating and disruptive, so it really tries your patience. Dogs can read your body language and this can affect their behavior, so even when you’re nearing your wit’s end, keep your cool. Use a calm voice to instruct or correct your dog to communicate a sense of security and well-being. If you have a dog that pulls the leash, it’s not necessary to reprimand; they may not even know what they’ve done “wrong”. Don’t pull back on the leash either, as this can hurt your dog and reinforces the idea of pulling. When your dog increases tension on the leash, begin to slow your pace accordingly. If they begin to outright pull, stop walking entirely until your dog stops pulling. When they stop, give them a pet and a treat to reward them for doing the right thing.

Making Friends

Just like people, dogs are social animals and enjoy interacting with the world around them. Also just like people, they don’t immediately make best friends with the new “kid (aka dog) on the block”. A dog that stays calm and collected when they come into contact with another canine influences the whole situation in a positive way, especially if the other dog isn’t as well-behaved. This not only reduces the odds of confrontation, but they may even make a new buddy.

When introducing two dogs, do so on neutral ground, and keep both dogs on leashes. Take both dogs on a walk, keeping around ten feet of distance between them, so they adjust to each other’s presence. Finally, move them closer to each other towards the end of your walk, and give lots of positive verbal cues to let your dog know everything is okay. Let the dogs sniff each other for however long they want to, so they don’t feel rushed, and continue to give them praise and “pets” to keep them calm until they show signs that they’re feeling more confident about the situation.

Manners are a learned behavior, so forming goods ones doesn’t happen overnight. You wouldn’t expect a child to learn to say “excuse me” in the course of just one day, and the same goes for furry family members. Whether teaching manners or training to do tricks, there’s one last thing you should always keep in mind: patience is a virtue.

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Dog Trainer in San Diego: The Dog Man Can.