When it comes to working out, you are probably well aware of the motivation factor. Dogs are one in the same – they need motivation! This can vary hugely, from being motivated by food, safety precautions and fun seeking motivation. Furthermore, we will explore how you can motivate your dog, in order to help you with training.

Start by asking yourself, what motivates your favorite animal? When it comes to dogs, motivation varies greatly from different breeds to temperaments. The only way to get familiarized with the most effective motivator for your dog is to try out a variety of things:

Food & Treats | Food & treats are the greatest reward for some dogs and can be extremely executive in dogs training sessions. Remember, you are reinforcing whatever behavior preceded the treat, don’t unintentionally reward hyperactive behavior. Wait until your dog is in the right frame of mind to give it. Here’s the situation you want to avoid. Your dog learns how to do a command… But he’ll only do it when he knows there’s a treat waiting for him at the end of it. Eventually, rely on treats and food less and less, sharing reinforcement by giving your attention or affection.

Freedom | Let’s face it, if you chose one word to describe why a dog struggles against you on the leash it would be freedom. The dog wants the freedom to get unattached from you. Doing what you can to safely gift freedom in ample amounts is not only a compassionate approach but also supports the working bong between you and your pup when an environment calls for a greater degree of self discipline.

Toys | Other dogs are more impressed by fun. Try letting your dog play with their favorite toy after a couple of training sessions and make a note if they are even more keen on playing with it after a training session – if this is the case, then, perhaps you’ve found your pet’s greatest motivator.

The key factor in finding what motivates your dog is paying attention to every physical part and behavioral pattern in your dog – every move, muscle and facial expression can tell you a story of its own.



The sun is shining and it’s a great time to head outside with your pet. Or is it? Hot weather poses heat related considerations for pet owners and it’s important to exercise caution to keep your pets safe during the hot temperatures – especially in relation to cars.

“Trapped in a steaming car with only hot air to breathe, dogs can suffer heatstroke in just 15 minutes, resulting in brain damage or death,” said PETA’s Lindsay Pollard-Post in a statement. “When temperatures warm up, no amount of time in a parked car is safe for dogs.”

Dogs release heat by panting and at extreme temperatures, are not able to release heat quick enough to efficiently cool off. Some dogs in particular are more prone to hear exhaustion and stroke, such as pups, older dogs, and also dogs sick or recovering from illness. Certain dog breeds also need to be watched more carefully such as short faced breeds, double coated breeds and dogs whom are bred for colder climates.

A dog’s regular body temperature is 101 degrees. Anything above 103 degrees is abnormal and signs of heat exhaustion may become apparent; between 105-107 degrees it can begin to affect their thought processes, says Tufts.

If the temperature is above 104 degrees, towels soaked in cool water (not ice cold) can be placed around your pet’s neck to help with the cooling down process. You could also spray your dog with a garden hose or put him/ her in a tub of cooler water for up too two minutes. If you’re thinking of using a garden hose, make sure you test the water before spraying your pet. Left over water in the hose can be scorching hot when first releasing water, potentially burning your pet. Make sure you test the water, and it’s at a cool temperature before spraying them. Also keep in mind that it’s possible to overcool your dog, keep regulating your dogs body temperature to prevent this and cool in moderation.

Prevention requires some very simple steps:

  1. Never leave your pet in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked.
  2. Limit exercise on hot days. Consider early morning or late at night as these are cooler parts of the day and will make the walk more comfortable for both you and your dog.
  3. Watch for signs of dehydration.
  4. Watch out for hot pavement. You might consider doggie booties available at your local pet supply store. Heat rises from the ground, especially asphalt, and since dogs absorb and release heat through their feet, walking on hot pavement can be dangerous for your dog and could cause damage or burning to the paws.
  5. Provide ample shade and water. Add ice to water when possible (dogs love this). Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. Use your judgment: it’s best not to leave your pet outside if it’s hot.
  6. Pay close attention to breeds of dogs more prone to heat stress (as described earlier).
  7. Never leave your animal under direct sunlight without access to shade or plentiful water.

You will want to do everything possible to avoid putting your pet in this kind of danger and prevention is key. By taking these steps, you will be assured that your furry friends remain cool and comfortable during the upcoming summer months!



There are many summer weather tips for pets that owners should be aware of. One of those tips is protecting your pet from heatstroke and often overlooked, your pets paws which can be easily damaged by the summer heat. Who doesn’t love taking their dog on a nice stroll? Many people forget one important detail, hot surfaces, especially pavement, can damage and burn a dog’s paws.

Be mindful of the temperature and where and when you walk your dogs. The best time to walk is in the morning or evening, when the pavement is cool. Try to avoid going during the afternoon hours because the pavement will reach it’s hottest temperatures, remember – sometimes during the summer the pavement gets hot enough to cook an egg.

Here’s a very eye-opening chart from the Humane Society of just what your dog is experiencing when they stand or walk on asphalt/ pavement in hot weather:

If you do end up taking your pooch on a walk during the warmer times of the day, be sure to stay on the grass and stick to shaded areas. Try to stay away from paved areas to avoid paw damage and burning. A shady park or a walk down local trails would be a great place to take your dog on a sunny afternoon!

Train your dogs paws! During cool times of the day, walk your dog on pavement or trails because the rough surfaces will toughen the pads on your dogs paws — making them tougher by providing a natural resistance to damage! You want your dog to have tough paws, but you don’t want them to get too dry or they will be more susceptible to cracking and cuts, which will then be easier to contract more damage/ burns.

Consider moisturizing your dogs pads daily with paw wax, especially in hot weather to prevent injuries and burns. Try to apply the moisturizer before bed — when they won’t be walking around. If your dog is one to lick it off, try and put on doggie socks after applying the moisturizer over night. Consistently moisturizing and performing these tips will leave your dog paw happy!



Crate training takes advantage of your dog’s natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog’s den is their home, a place to snuggle up and sleep, hide from danger and raise a family. Just like a wild dog’s den, the crate becomes your dog’s den; where they can find comfort and solitude while you know they’re safe and secure (and not shredding your house while you’re out running errands).

A crate is not a solution to common canine behavior or punishments, if not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped, anxious and frustrated. Your dog will come to fear the crate and refuse to enter. Puppies under six months of age shouldn’t stay in the crate for more than three hours at a time; they can’t control their bladders and bowels for that long, same goes for adult dogs. Crate your dog only until you can trust them not to destroy the house. After that, it should be a place they go voluntarily.

A crate may be your dog’s den, but just as you would not spend your entire life in one room of your home, your dog should not spend most of their time in their crate. | The Humane Society of the United States

The Guardian, a newspaper publication, states that your dog’s crate should be just large enough for them to stand up and turn around in. If your dog is still growing, choose a crate size that will accommodate their adult size so you can save some money – or see if your local animal shelter rents our crates for a more affordable route. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog’s age, temperament and past experiences.

It’s important to keep in mind while crate training, the best approach is non’t to go too fast – have patience. Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room! Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate (they love this) as well as taking the door off and letting the dog explore the crate at their leisure.

If yours isn’t one of them: encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that’s OK, try tossing in a favorite toy or bits of their food in the crate if they lose interest in the treats.

After introducing your dog to the crate, feed them meals near the crate, this will create a pleasant association with the crate.  Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further closer to the crate and eventually inside. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer.

After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you’re home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Encourage your dog to enter the crate with treats, toys or bits! Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you’re gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night!

Don’t make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate, and then leave. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return! Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you’re home so they doesn’t associate crating with being left alone.

To crate train your dog at night, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.



Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world.

Dogs are seen as a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, heartworm prevention for dogs is very important and treatment – when needed should be administered as early as possible.

Heartworm disease in cats is very different from heartworm disease in dogs. The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage (American Heartworm Society).  Moreover, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the tolling effects of heartworm disease.

How is heartworm transmitted? The mosquito plays an essential role in the heartworm life cycle. When a mosquito bites and takes a blood meal from an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into larvae.

When the infected mosquito bites another dog, cat, or wild animal the infective larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animals skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite wound which is how the heartworms formulate. Because of the longevity of these worms, each mosquito season can lead to an increasing number of worms in an infected pet.

Did you know? Once mature, heartworms can live for 5 to 7 years in dogs and up to 2 or 3 years in cats. 

To prevent a heartworm infection, we recommend that all dogs and cats should be on a monthly heartworm preventative such as Sentinel or Revolution.  All puppies and kittens should start a heartworm preventative regimen around 8 weeks of age and continue that regimen year round for their entire life. Heartworm preventatives are available by prescription only and are not available over-the-counter.

All dogs over one year of age are required to have an annual exam with a heartworm test in order to purchase heartworm prevention. All cats are required to have an annual exam in order to purchase heartworm prevention.


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A diet rich in vitamins and minerals can ensure life-long bone density. Your veterinarian can help you design an improved diet plan to keep your cat’s bones strong.  For more information on your pet, call DIAMOND HILL ANIMAL CLINIC at 401-658-0751.  All our pet companions are important and precious.  Let us help you care for them.  We are located at 35 Pine Swamp Road, Route 114, ready to provide gentle, full-service medical treatment for the animal members of your family.  We’re open six days a week.


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Management of fleas on pets must occur in conjunction with regular, thorough cleaning of your pet’s resting areas both indoors and out. When fleas infest a home, bringing it under control will require a vigilant program that includes vacuuming, eliminating fleas on pets, and cleaning up and treating shaded outdoor locations where pets rest. Call DIAMOND HILL ANIMAL CLINIC at 401-658-0751 to test your pet for parasites. We are located at 35 Pine Swamp Road, Route 114, and we’re open six days a week. Our small animal hospital offers complete health services for your cat and dog, including surgery and dentistry. With four licensed nurse/technicians, we can offer 24-hour nursing care for your beloved pet. Please feel free to call us anytime, and don’t hesitate to ask questions.


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While we love giving our pets treats, including human foods, some human foods are can be toxic or even deadly for your cat.  Consider that your cats could have allergies to some foods that are considered to be safe. The bottom line is to feed your cat nutritious food developed with his or her needs in mind and choose treats designed especially for cats instead of table scraps.  For more information on your pet’s behaviors, call DIAMOND HILL ANIMAL CLINIC at 401-658-0751.  All our pet companions are important and precious.  Let us help you care for them.  We are located at 35 Pine Swamp Road, Route 114, ready to provide gentle, full-service medical treatment for the animal members of your family.  We’re open six days a week. Ask about our boarding facility.  We offer indoor boarding with an outdoor exercise area.


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Xylitol is a naturally occurring chemical, used as a sweetener! It’s safe in humans, but not in dogs. Signs of toxicity can be seen as quickly as 30 minutes after xylitol ingestion in dogs.  Veterinary treatment involves close monitoring, supportive care and treating the resultant low blood glucose and possible low potassium levels.  We, at DIAMOND HILL ANIMAL CLINIC, are located at 35 Pine Swamp Road, Route 114, and are open six days a week.  Contact us at 401-658-0751 to make an appointment.  We are your cat and dog specialists.  We have our own in-house lab so most test results will be seen the same day.  At our pharmacy and store, we make available an extensive selection of supplies, cat and dog food, special diets, medicines, and nutritional supplements.


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There are several possible causes of inflammation to the pancreas. Although pancreatitis can occur in any animal breed, it has been found to occur more frequently with cats. At DIAMOND HILL ANIMAL CLINIC, we recommend regular checkups for all your animals. We are true animal lovers and want nothing but the best for your pets. Call us at 401.658.0751 to make an appointment. We are located at 35 Pine Swamp Rd., Rte 114. Our small animal hospital offers complete health services for your cat and dog, including surgery and dentistry.


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