Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It may be easier (and safer) to treat your dog. If your concern is fleas and ticks, there are topicals that you can use that are proven effective and safe. Frontline, K9 Advantix, Vectra 3D are just a few that are applied monthly. Newer oral meds can be given for flea control if you don’t want to use a topical. Ask your vet about NexGard or Bravecto.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Nature`s Lawn & Garden – Yard Guard Natural Outdoor Insect Control – Concentrated Cedar-Based Spray for Lawn, Garden, & Foundation – Safe for Pollinators, Non-Toxic, Pet-Safe.
Boundary Training. Another method to confine your dog to your yard without a hard fence is to teach boundary training. This shows your dog the perimeter you don`t want him to cross. This is usually done by starting with a visual barrier by a line of small flags you can purchase that defines the perimeter.
Pooper-scoopers are a classic tool for dog owners. They help prevent extraneous waste, and unlike plastic bags you never feel the squish. Plus, they`re easy to clean with a garden hose! There are many kinds of pooper scoopers, including handheld models, long-handled rakes and vacuum-like power tools.
The best ones that are safe for pets include basil, catnip, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, and spearmint. They can help keep mosquitos, fleas, and other pests from infesting your yard.
Lemongrass is toxic to dogs due to the cyanogenic glycosides and oils in the plant. Lemongrass poisoning, however, is rare in canines since dogs must ingest large quantities of the plant to trigger severe symptoms.
Wondercide – Ready to Use Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Yard Spray with Natural Essential Oils – Mosquito and Insect Killer, Treatment, and Repellent – Plant-Based – Safe Around Pets, Plants, Kids – 32 oz.
Yard Guard is a non-toxic, natural, and ready-to-use bug spray for outdoor pest control. It is designed to kill and repel insects such as mites, ants, fleas, mosquitoes, ticks, and many other pests. Yard Guard is a ready ready-to-use version of our outdoor bug spray concentrate Natures Defender.
Perhaps your dog loves to wander and explore as most dogs do. Unfortunately, it is neither safe nor appropriate to allow your dog to roam free. In general, dogs should not be allowed off-leash, even with supervision.
Although invisible fences protect dogs by preventing them from leaving the yard, they do not prevent hazards from entering the yard. Stray dogs and wild animals can still access the yard and interact aggressively with pet dogs.
It`s hard to imagine a dog or a cat thriving if they`re spending their time in a place where dust and parasites have gathered. Our pets look to us to provide a clean and safe place for them to live, and with just a few extra steps in your normal cleaning routine, you can ensure they get it.
It`s especially important to rinse hard surfaces as soon as you discover urine as it can leave a stain if not removed quickly. Using a sprinkler or hose on grass after urination also helps to reduce the chance of urine burn on grass from the nitrogen in your dog`s urine.
Something that is generally very effective is vinegar – dogs seem to hate the pungent, acrid smell of vinegar, and its application in a few strategic locations may do the job. Another popular – although sometimes controversial – option is cayenne pepper or strong chili powder.
White Vinegar

This natural and inexpensive cleaning agent can be used on just about anything, including efficiently dissolving dog stools; you simply have to mix two cups of vinegar with two cups of water and pour the mixture over the areas you want cleaned.

Not only will a vinegar and water solution eliminate urine odor if your dog has already peed on the rug, but it will also deter them from urinating on the same carpet again. The acidic smell of vinegar is known to repel dogs from peeing on area rugs as they do not like the smell of vinegar.
Baking Soda

It supposedly prevents the grass from turning yellow. However, as we established before, lawns turn yellow because of the nitrogen concentration in your dog`s urine. Baking soda can`t neutralise Nitrogen. It`s not going to save or protect your grass.

Ryegrass and Fescue are the most urine-resistant type of grass, while Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda are the most sensitive. Feed your dog a dietary supplement. Certain dietary supplements, such as Green-UM and Drs.
Spraying undiluted vinegar around the perimeter of the lawn creates a sort of invisible fence that drives off both dogs and cats. A roaming dog will take one sniff of your lawn and turn away, but you should keep reapplying the vinegar on a daily basis. Also try to apply vinegar where the dog has urinated.
Best nontoxic insecticides for indoor-outdoor use

Diatomaceous Earth is a powder made from fossilized marine phytoplankton that`s harmful to insects with exoskeletons, but completely pet and human safe. Nagy says it`s especially helpful for dealing with a slug or ant infestation.

Aside from smelling citrusy and pleasant, lemongrass repels fleas and ticks while promoting healthy skin. Lemongrass essential oil is typically safe for dogs!
Can dogs eat lavender? No, never feed your dog lavender buds or essential oil. They both contain linalool, a compound that is toxic to dogs in large amounts.
Citronella is toxic to pets

Citronella candles and oils are a popular mosquito repellent, but the citronella plant is toxic to pets. Use caution when using citronella products around your pet, and make sure they don`t have access to any citronella plants in your garden.

Toxicity to pets

Most insecticides (typically those that come in a spray can) are basic irritants to dogs and cats, and result in clinical signs of drooling, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Ingestion of pesticides is common in dogs and is consistently one of the top 10 toxicities among pets reported by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Toxicity from pesticide poisoning can range from mild to life-threatening—depending on what specific substance was ingested and how much.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. My dog is house trained but has started pooping in the house, why is she doing that?
ANSWER : A. It could be the type of food you are feeding. If you are feeding a lower quality kibble, it will be packed with fillers. These fillers will cause your dog to poop more than is necessary, and it can cause your dog to poop indoors because of the excess poop. Finding a higher quality kibble like Taste of the Wild, Orijen, or a high quality food like Ziwipeak, or Honest Kitchen, will help with that issue.

Remember to NEVER scold for accident indoors. The more you scold, the more fearful your dog is of pooping in front of you, the less your dog will want to poop in front of you outdoors, the more he will poop indoors, the more you scold… it’s a vicious cycle.

Have you been cleaning messes with Nature Miracle? Pick up a bottle, and try cleaning with that instead of regular cleaner. It will eliminate the smells deep down (even to your dog), which will discourage him from potting in that spot again.

Maybe he needs to be taken outside more often, and maybe he needs to be kept outside longer each time. He should be allowed at least 10 minutes of roaming outside before he has to come back inside. Allow him 10 minutes every single time you bring him outside, just in case he has to poop. He needs every opportunity you can give him. Bring him outside every hour if he’s full grown, every 40 minutes if he’s an adolescent (6-10 months), and every 30 minutes if he’s a puppy (2-6 months). If you have a doggy door, you should still be bringing your dog outside yourself to encourage him to stay outside longer, and poop. When he does poop outside, you should praise him, and reward him with lots of treats!

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. My cocker spaniel is 9 years old. He has involuntary bowel movements (little drops) very frequently, especially when he is asleep.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog on a senior dog food? I would get your dog on a high quality high protien dog food. Ask a pet store assosicate or your regular vet for a food recommendation. When you buy a better food the dog will have to eat less to get the same amount of energy from the food. The dog has to eat more of the cheaper foods to get the energy it needs from it. Meaning more poop and buying more food. So the cost really evens out. So the lessen your dogs bowel movements get on a better senior dog food. Next talk to your vet they may have a recommendation. If you switch dogs do it slowly by mixing the foods. Start with 10% new 90% old mixed for at least a week until you have switched to 100% new 0% old. Senior foods have more fiber to help with bowel movements. Take the dog outside to go potty more frequently, right before bed time.

Read Full Q/A … : Symptoms Questions & Answers

Q. Why do dogs eat grass?
ANSWER : A. Some pet parents get concerned when they see their favorite canine nibbling on grass in the yard. They wonder whether it is because hunger, boredom or an indication of an underlying illness. Often the consumption of grass will result in vomiting because it irritates the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. This is an extremely common problem for dog parents. There is no one reason for why dogs exhibit these behaviors and it is very much dependent on each dog. Here are some of the reasons why our dogs choose to eat grass:

1. Nutritional Issues

Historically speaking, dogs are considered omnivores, which mean they consume a variety of both meat and plant-based food. There is some indication that dogs with a low fiber diet may choose to scavenge in the grass to fulfill this nutritional deficiency. These dogs may also find that grass has an appealing flavor and consistency. If you feel that this may be the reason for your beloved canine consuming grass then consider discussing with your veterinarian on how to incorporate more fiber into your dog’s diet.

2. Boredom

Many dogs who are not receiving adequate exercise will be become bored and search out activities to occupy their time, including eating grass. Evaluate how much exercise your dog is getting on a daily basis and consider more walks or other fun activities, such as playing fetch or tug of war.

3. Upset Stomach

There is a belief that dogs with an upset or gassy stomach will self-medicate by consuming grass. Vomiting often follows this grass eating activity eliminating the contents of the stomach or changing the gas distension within the gastrointestinal tract. However, there is not much scientific evidence to back up this theory. If you are concerned about too much gastric acid in your dog’s stomach or any other underlying medical issue that could be the reason for their grass eating, consult with your veterinarian.

Overall, grass eating is usually not toxic to your dogs unless your lawn contains chemicals, including pesticides or herbicides. Monitor your dog’s behavior along with his diet and exercise to determine if there is a reason for the inappropriate grass snacking.

Q. My Beagle listens to me, but cries & whines when I’m gone & doesn’t listen to my parents. I adopted him just a couple days ago. Any tips for my folks?
ANSWER : A. I really highly doubt that your Beagle listens to you and has formed a connection with you in just a couple of days. It takes months to build up any kind of serious connection with your dog. You need to work on communication with your dog through training them to understand different cues. For instance the Leave-It cue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

You have to work on bonding with your dog through mental stimulation. Training is very important. Luring each new behavior from scratch, and training using treats is how you form a strong bond with your new dog. No scolding is ever necessary… work on being calm, and positive, all the time.

If your dog is crying/whining when you leave, this may be separation anxiety. You’re going to have to separation train this dog from scratch. This dog needs to learn that separation can be a good thing! Tell your “folks” to NOT scold the dog when he is crying/whining after you leave, because that will make your dog MORE anxious when you leave next time. Your dog will be dwelling on the negative if your parents fuel your dogs negative feelings towards you leaving. FUN things should happen when you leave. Your parents should pull out the treats and start doing some basic obedience training with your dog. Your parents should stuff a Kong filled with awesome treats (peanut butter) and give it to him so he feels happy when you leave.

I have some excellent separation anxiety exercises you can work on. If you’d like, you can purchase a consultation with me, and I will go over how to separation train from scratch. It will make your dog comfortable being alone, guaranteed.

Read Full Q/A … : I Don't Like My Mother

Q. My dog keep hacking like a cough or something in her throat, what can I do?
ANSWER : A. Hacking and coughing can be caused by a number of things ranging from foreign bodies such as twigs stuck in the mouth or throat, to infections or illnesses such as Bordetella or Kennel cough, common in dogs that frequent kennels, dog daycare or dog parks. In older dogs, heart and lung issues can also be indicated by a cough that does not go away.

If you think there may be a foreign object stuck in your dog’s throat, you can sweep a finger gently through the back of the mouth or throat if your dog will let you. If something feels stuck and is not easily moved by the finger, it is best to contact your vet to have the object safely removed. This usually requires sedation so that your dog does not become panicked or move, causing the object to become further stuck or cut the throat.

If your dog is showing other symptoms of illness in addition to the cough such as runny nose or eyes, fever, lethargy or changes in appetite, it may indicate a viral or bacterial illness such as kennel cough. These are usually treated with a cough medication in severe cases, plus rest and treatment of any additional symptoms until the condition improves. In bacterial causes, antibiotics may also be given to help your dog feel better.

If your dog has a constant cough that does not go away, or has had changes in ability to exercise, breathing, or appears to have swelling around the chest or abdomen, in may indicate a lung or heart issue. Your vet can thoroughly examine your dog for any signs of heart or lung problems and can then offer care as needed depending on the cause.