Buddy & Porky’s Pet Health: Getting The Dog Outside

Submitted article

Dear Buddy, I just adopted a new puppy, Minnie, and put up a nice strong fence in my back yard so she would have a place to play.  But she seems to hate going out there and then just sits  looking at me through the window.  What am I doing wrong?

Dear Sam,

She doesn’t want a doggie play yard.   She wants to play with you.  Although fenced yards provide a safe, handy place in which Minnie can relax, every dog still deserves at least one walk a day outside the yard. Walks provide a lot of benefits, including bonding time together.   Active bonding time provides an opportunity for you and Minnie to interact and establish mutual communication and a strong bond of affection. Dogs on a walk also get to socialize with other dogs. This is especially beneficial for puppies, who learn the rules of canine social interaction from meeting older dogs.

Walks also provide exercise.  Most dogs won’t run around a fenced yard enough to get the exercise they need. If you and Minnie walk a mile or more a day, you’ll both benefit by building strength and endurance, burning calories, breathing fresh air, and discovering what’s new in the neighborhood.

And walks prevent boredom.  Yard-bound dogs get bored from lack of variety in their lives. Walk past a fenced yard and watch the resident dog race along the fence line, press its face through the links, bark, pant, whimper; and practically turn somersaults to get your attention. Imagine being able to see a park, alley, or vacant lot from your yard but never getting the chance to explore it. No wonder dogs get frustrated.  They want to be out there in the world with their human pack!  So try it with Minnie.  You’ll like it.

Dear Porky,

My cat Tubby has very long nails that catch on my clothes and are sort of a nuisance.  A friend suggested that I could just cut his nails, but I don’t have a clue how to do that.


Dear Miranda,

One important aspect of maintaining your pet’s appearance is giving regular nail trims. For both dogs and cats, long nails can become painful and interfere with their ability to walk. This grooming ritual also helps you protect your floors and furniture from being unintentionally scratched and your clothes from being snagged. Here’s what you need to know to groom Tubby’s nails.

Before you clip, get him used to having his paws handled. Begin by speaking softly as you massage each paw, gently separating the toes. Tubby may instinctively pull away. If this happens, repeat whatever it was he didn’t like, but do it more slowly and gently until he begins to accept it. When you think your pet is ready, cut one or two nails. Have a treat ready for positive reinforcement.

How to actually clip the nails?  Hold the paw in your hand and locate the pinkish part of the nail. This is a blood vessel and should be avoided.  If you cannot see the pinkish part, just clip the very tip of the nail.  Snip the tip of the nail with pet nail clippers (available from any pet supply store).  Just be very patient, take it one nail at a time if you have to and don’t try to force Tubby.  In time it will just be a little ritual for both of you when you are cuddling.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Our office is located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email: [email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org.