How to Improve a Dog's Emotional Development

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In order for a dog to emotionally develop in a proper fashion, it's important for the owner to create an environment that is conducive to development. Find out how to keep dogs from forming bad habits with help from a veterinarian in this free video on dog health and emotional development.

Part of the Video Series: Dog Health
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Dr. Greg McDonald. I own McDonald Animal Hospital in Southern California in Santa Barbara. We're going to talk a little bit about dog care today and one of the things that owners often ask me when they get a new puppy is how they can help with their dog's emotional development. Dogs are a lot different than people quite obviously. They are pack animals. They like to have other dogs present. Dogs are also chewers and they like to chew on things and that's kind of normal for them and so as a good pet owner we really want to provide an environment for them that will actually enhance their development and especially their emotional development because dogs that don't get this kind of emotional development given to them develop a lot of bad habits. Dogs with bad habits that can create problems for owners are things like barking, chewing, anxiety, and they actually can even get depressed if they are not really taken care of properly so once again providing lots of different things for the dog's environment that they can play with, other dog would be really important if you can have more than one dog in your situation, that would be the very very best thing because again dogs are pack animals. When you have to go off to work if you leave your dog alone they're not going to be very happy they're going to be looking for things to do and some of the things that they may want to do is start chewing. One of the things that I like to provide for a dog especially a young dog that you have to leave alone is a product called a Kong. A Kong is a big rubber chew toy and we can actually pack things in this. What I like to tell people is to put a little bit of their own dog food in this and then put this in the freezer, you may have two of these, one to play with during the day and one to freeze during the night so the dog takes some time trying to get the food out of it during the day. It gives them something to do while you are away. Also again dogs like to chew a lot and so this is a good toy because they can chew and chew and chew on it without hurting themselves or actually hurting the toy. It's also good to just provide lots of different toys for them. You may have to experiment a little bit with things. We keep a whole box of toys in the hospital here so that when animals are here boarding we can try and keep them excited and let them have something to play with. One of the real popular ones that we have is a tennis ball and it's a simple little tennis ball but you do have to be careful with tennis balls because they're abrasive. If a dog just sits there and he chews and chews and chews on an abrasive ball like this they may very well flatten their teeth off and I can actually look at owners and I tell the owners your dog is a tennis ball dog isn't he because they have square teeth. So again they're fun to use to play with, dogs like to run and chase and bring things back to you but you shouldn't let them just sit there and chew on it.

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