5 Great Ideas For Positive Reinforcement For Dogs (That’s Aren’t Treats!)

When it comes to dog training, the most common method of positive reinforcement is with the use of treats. And why not, when most dogs tend to respond well? But extra treats and food, if not monitored carefully, can lead to the battle of the bulge –  a common problem among U.S. pets. 

As a healthy alternative to treats, we thought we’d look deeper into positive reinforcement for dogs and give you some ideas for how to “treat” your dog – without the “treat.”  

5 Ideas That Don’t Rely on Food

First things first. Positive reinforcement is the idea that you reward your dog when he does something you want. So it stands to reason that your reward can be anything that your dog finds enjoyable and fun. Spend some time observing to find out what he likes best. 

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Why Are My Dog’s Eyes Red? Eye Redness in Dogs

Eye redness in dogs is easy to spot. You may notice redness around the eye, along with swelling, discharge, pawing at the eye, squinting, or repeated blinking. Eye redness can be caused by an injury, irritation, or even a disease.

Regardless of the cause, the condition can be uncomfortable and even painful for your pet, so a veterinary visit is in order right away. 

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Fun Dog Facts

We may be biased, but at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, we think dogs are amazingly cool. That may be why we’re so interested in learning more about them. From details about their mental and physical capabilities, to interesting facts about their behavior and tendencies, we are constantly entertained and wowed by fun dog facts. 

Keep reading as we share some of what we’ve learned about dogs over the years!

Why Do They Do That?

There are so many fascinating dog behaviors that it was difficult to select just a few. Here are our favorites:

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Pet Pee Pads: Convenient, or Not?

Training a pet to eliminate in the right place – at the right time – can be a hurdle for many pet owners. It’s not always easy, and it never happens overnight. But when it finally clicks, it’s an amazing relief for pets and owners alike. Pet pee pads can definitely help the process of house training, but they can also present certain snags to long term success.

Setting Goals

Housetraining a puppy or teaching a newly adopted grown pet is not something that can be done without time, patience, and consistent positive reinforcement.

Every pet is different and each has their own special preferences. Learning what they like goes a long way toward potty training success. Plus, this is an opportunity for pet owners to gain insight into what motivates their new best friends.

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Snake Bites: Don’t Wait, This Is a Real Pet Emergency

Snakes are as ubiquitous in Texas as country music and BBQ. Luckily, of the four types of venomous snakes found here, the coral snake, copperhead, rattlesnake, and cottonmouth (also known as the water moccasin), are rarely aggressive without provocation.

Through an understanding of snake habitat and behavior, pet owners can help their best friends avoid a painful, and potentially life-threatening, pet emergency.

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What to do About Chagas Disease in Dogs

An insect sits on a leaf

As responsible dog owners, we do everything we can to protect the health and wellbeing of our canine companions. Keeping our pets safe means understanding the threats to their longevity, whether it’s avoiding heat stroke, keeping up with their dental care, or making sure they take their medications each day.

Chagas disease, a major threat to the health of Texas dogs, is still relatively unknown among dog owners. We hope to change that by educating our readers about Chagas disease in dogs – what it looks like, and how to protect your pets.

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Do Pets Feel Guilt (and Other Complex Human Emotions)?

cat on table

A dog owner generally knows when their pup did something they knew was wrong. With tucked ears, droopy eyes, and a sad-looking scowl, their admission of naughtiness is written all over their face. But while the appearance of shame is super obvious to us, experts aren’t convinced that pets feel guilt the same ways that we do. That doesn’t mean, however, that pets don’t have their own versions of an emotional spectrum.

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The Amazing Canine Nose: Dog Nose Slits Explained

If you’ve ever marveled at your dog’s sense of smell, you’re not alone. The canine nose is definitely a doggy superpower. While it was originally developed to help them survive, a dog’s sense of smell has helped humans detect drugs, weapons, illegally transported plants and seeds, cadavers, missing people, cancer cells, and even low blood sugar. 

What’s behind the powers of the canine nose? Dog nose slits, the small openings on either side of your dog’s nostrils, are partially responsible for a dog’s amazing sense of smell. 

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Dog Leashes that are Safer than Retractable Ones

Of all the gear needed for responsible dog ownership, a good leash ranks pretty high. Of course, dog leashes vary in size, length, material, and the many ways they keep dogs and people safe.

For some, retractable leashes offer the perfect combination of freedom and flexibility. However, because they present serious injury risks, retractable leashes aren’t the best choice. So, what are the best dog leashes out there?

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Why Dogs Dig and What You Can do About it

Dogs can be puzzling and entertaining, but when they do things that seemingly defy human logic and understanding, owners can go from exasperation to anger in no time.

Consider digging, for example. An innocuous canine behavior most of the time, digging can become pretty destructive for some pets. Let’s take a closer look at why dogs dig and some possible solutions to redirect their one-track mind.

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