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Welcome to Petplan’s blog, a space where you can read up on the latest pet-news, find out interesting facts and tips about keeping your pets happy and healthy, and share your views on hot topics.

Why your dog keeps scratching itself

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog skin scratch irritation

Q: My Manchester Terrier cross is constantly nibbling and scratching herself, mainly on her lower back. The vet cleaned the glands near her tail, but this hasn’t helped. What can you suggest?

A: Many dogs’ skin irritations are due to pollen, but there could be medical causes, such as pain, or behavioural reasons, such as stress. Skin problems are notoriously difficult to deal with, but your first port of call has to be back to the vet.

Have you been vigilant with your flea treatment? Even one bite can cause some dogs a lot of irritation.

Keep a diary of when and how often your terrier is nibbling. Giving your vet as much information as possible will mean they’re more likely to determine whether the problem is medical or potentially behavioural.

Should I use a choke chain on my dog?

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog training lead choke chain

Q: My dog is always pulling on her lead and a dog trainer I’ve consulted says I should use a choke chain and jerk her back. I’m not at all keen to do this, but do you think it’s a case of me being too soft?

A: No, you are being very sensible. Choke chains are a very old-fashioned method of training dogs. They can cause pain and even damage the dog’s neck.

I suggest that you find a trainer who uses reward-based techniques. Go along to watch a class and make sure you’re happy with the methods used.

You should also take note of whether the dogs and their owners are enjoying the class, because training should be fun and pleasurable for both dog and owner. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is a voluntary organisation that advocates kind methods, and lists its members on its website (www.apdt.co.uk).

Is your dog stirred by the scent of foxes?

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog barking garden foxes scent

Q: We have foxes in our garden, and when I let my Collie out for his bedtime wee, he charges about barking. How can I stop this?

A: It seems your Collie is being aroused by the scent and possibility of foxes. It’s almost impossible to stop them coming on to your property, so, rather than letting him into the garden last thing at night, why not take him out on his lead for a quick pavement walk instead?




How to stop your puppy weeing indoors

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Posted on by Petplan
Q: I've had my seven-month-old German Shepherd pup since he was 11 weeks old. He was easy to toilet train at first but for the past six weeks, he's been weeing by the back door at night, even though his last wee is at midnight. I don't chastise him but it's frustrating. The vet says he is in excellent health.

A: You are absolutely right in not telling your pup off for urinating in the night. Although puppies often learn quite quickly

My dog's aggressive on walks. What can I do?

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog aggression
Q: My one-year-old Shih Tzu doesn't seem happy on her walks. She's very aware of everything around her, and I can't talk to people when we're out because she starts to bark and snap. She has started to growl at everyone she sees and is quite aggressive towards other dogs. If I try to block her view she turns that aggression onto me. She also has a sensitive tummy, so I can't give her too many treats to help train her out of this behaviour. It's a shame because she is lovely when we're in the house. What can I do?

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