The Discipline of Eating Well! -By Ben Kersen

The Discipline of Eating Well
By Ben Kersen

It can be tough to discipline yourself to eat well.  Here are some of my thoughts on the most important aspects of food and the challenges I battle with.

This clip was filmed in “the back 40” at Ben Kersen and the Wonderdog’s Pet Hotel and Training Center on Charlton Road.

Until Next Time,
Ben Kersen
Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs
Victoria, BC
www.wonderdogs.ca

Boarding – Considering your Outdoor Environment – By Ben Kersen

Considering your Outdoor Dog Environment –  By Ben Kersen 

Wondering where the best place is to position your outdoor dog pen? Based on my own experience building outdoor pens for Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs doggy day care in Victoria, sun, shade and sight lines are factors you will definitely want to consider when designing your own facility.

Video filmed on location at Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs, 1639 Charlton Rd., Victoria, BC

Until Next Time, 

Ben Kersen

Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs

http://www.wonderdogs.ca

Safety for Your Dog in Your Home – By Ben Kersen

Safety for Your Dog in Your Home
By Ben Kersen

Training gear (whether it’s a “choke”/check chain, harness or head harness)  should only be used for training. It is also important that the equipment is fitted properly so there is less chance of it snagging on something when you turn your back. Dogs can get a training collar that is too long caught on a shrub in the yard or on furniture in the house. If the dog is unsupervised, it may panic, and this can be fatal.

At Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs we tell all our clients to be careful with feeding and exercising their dogs.  Ensure you feed your dog 20 minutes or more after exercising, and NEVER right before. When a dog has a full stomach then starts to exercise, the stomach can ‘flip’ or bloat (also called a stomach torsion) and this can often be a fatal condition.

Chocolate, though yummy for people, is poisonous for dogs. Semi-sweet chocolate in very small quantities can be fatal; milk chocolate isn’t quite as toxic but can still kill a dog if eaten in large quantities.

Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs Poison Proofing

Dogs are natural-born scavengers, and they will head for the worst things: a spot of antifreeze in a driveway (which is HIGHLY toxic and often fatal), a discarded chicken bone, chocolate, etc. Because scavenging is such a natural instinct, poison proofing is a vital part of your dog’s training.

We offer Poison Proofing at Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs.  There are two different concepts when teaching this:

1. teach your dog to take food from your hand only and never to scavenge for food on the ground; or2. if you have to be away or kennel your dog at times, you can teach your dog never to scavenge for food on the ground, but allow it to take food from other people.

Poison proofing is a service that Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs provide with consistent results. This consultation can be done in our office or by telephone. Visit our website for more information: www.wonderdogs.ca.

There are also many houseplants and some outdoor plants that are poisonous. Most nurseries have lists of these. Before you bring a puppy home, you will want to make an inventory of plants around the house.

The following is a list of plants that can be toxic or fatal to dogs:

Aloe Vera
Amaryllis
Apple (seeds)
Apple Leaf Croton
Apricot (pit)
Asparagus Fern
Autumn Crocus
Avocado (fruit and pit)
Azalea
Baby’s Breath
Bittersweet
Bird of Paradise
Branching Ivy
Buckey
Buddhist Pine
Caladium
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Ceriman
Charming Dieffenbachia
Cherry (seeds and wilting leaves)
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Rose
Cineraria
Clematis
Cordatum
Corn Plant
Cornstalk Plant
Croton
Cuban Laurel
Cutleaf Philodendron
Cycad
Cyclamen
Daffodil
Devil’s Ivy
Dieffenbachia
Dracaena Palm
Dragon Tree
Dumb Cane
Easter Lily (especially in cats!!!!)
Elaine
Elephant Ears
Emerald Feather
English Ivy
Fiddle-leaf fig
Florida Beauty
Foxglove
Fruit Salad Plant
Geranium
German Ivy
Giant Dumb Cane
Glacier Ivy
Gold Dieffenbachia
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Pothos
Hahn’s Self-Branching Ivy
Heartland Philodendron
Hurricane Plant
Indian Rubber Plant
Janet Craig Dracaena
Japanese Show Lily (especially cats !!!)
Jerusalem Cherry
Kalanchoe
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lily of the Valley
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Marble Queen
Marijuana
Mexican Breadfruit
Miniature Croton
Mistletoe
Morning Glory
Mother-in Law’s Tongue
Narcissus
Needlepoint Ivy
Nephytis
Nightshade
Oleander
Onion
Oriental Lily (especially in cats!!!)
Peace Lily
Peach (wilting leaves and pits)
Pencil Cactus
Plumosa Fern
Poinsettia (low toxicity)
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Pothos
Precatory Bean
Primrose
Red Emerald
Red Princess
Red-Margined Dracaena
Rhododendron
Ribbon Plant
Saddle Leaf Philodendron
Sago Palm
Satin Pothos
Schefflera
Silver Pothos
Spotted Dumb Cane
String of Pearls
Striped Dracaena
Sweetheart Ivy
Swiss Cheese Plant
Taro Vine
Tiger Lily (especially cats!!!)
Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
Tree Philodendron
Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
Weeping Fig
Yew

Until Next Time,
Ben Kersen
Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs
Victoria, BC
http://www.wonderdogs.ca

Your Dog’s Safety Inside a Car – By Ben Kersen

Your Dog’s Safety Inside A Car
By Ben Kersen

If you were involved in a car accident, would your dog be safe? If your dog is free in the car, it could be thrown into a window, out of the car, or otherwise injured.

At Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs we believe in safety first.  The following are options for save travel for your dog:

1. Traveling crates: many people crate their dogs in a vehicle. This will be the safest if the crates themselves are thoroughly secured to the body of the vehicle.

2. Seatbelts: there are now a variety of dog seatbelt products that can be used in conjunction with human seatbelts.

3. Dividers: in station wagons and vans, dividers can be secured in a vehicle to create a special place for your dog. In pick-up trucks, your dog(s) may ride in a sturdy, canopy-enclosed box.  This option obviously isn’t as safe as the other two options as your dog can still be tossed a good distance in the event of an accident.

 

Traveling crates, dog seatbelts, and dividers can be purchased at most pet shops. Of course, these alternatives are only going to work if you use them consistently. If you have two or three dogs, ‘ buckling up ‘ before every drive can be time consuming. You will need to judge the value of the companionship and petting time you and your dog (s) share when they can sit beside you against the need for these vehicle safety measures.

Heat in Cars
If the temperature rises to 20°C outside, a dog left in a car may be at risk. With direct sunlight, the temperature in your car will rise dramatically. Even with all four windows open, a dog can suffer heat stroke very quickly on a hot day. Heat stroke can be fatal. In hot weather, parking in the shade or using sun reflector blankets to cover the front window can help, but they are no guarantee of safety. Always avoid leaving your dog in a hot car for its comfort, as well as its safety.

Car Windows
The “‘Houdini Dog'” syndrome can strike if you leave your car windows open too wide. The rule of thumb is that the window should not be open wider than the dog’s head. If a dog can get its head out the window, then it CAN get the rest of its body out.

Car Doors
Just a reminder: car doors are heavy and can cause serious injury. So when putting “Fido” in the car, hold the door until you are absolutely sure that all dog parts and the entire leash are well inside the car. Also, never slam the car door. Close it slowly holding the handle in case of “doggie door dash”.

Car Manners
When driving, the last thing you need is a hairy projectile ricocheting around the car. Also, never let your dog fire out through the car door as soon as it is opened. Teach him/her to sit and wait until given your “okay” to exit safely (more to come on this topic in an upcoming video blog). Car manners are easily taught with a little time and consistency. This a service that Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs provide.  Visit our website for more information: www.wonderdogs.ca.

Until Next Time,
Ben Kersen
Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs
Victoria, BC
www.wonderdogs.ca

 

Safety and Your Dog

Safety and Your Wonderdog (or perhaps not so much of a Wonderdog!):
By Ben Kersen

“Ben, be careful.” “Ben, don’t fall dear.” “Ben, look out for the…” These were the constant reminders during my childhood from Mrs. Kersen, my dear mother. Despite her best intentions, I managed to acquire my share of scraped knees and bumped foreheads.

As doggie parents, we are responsible for our four-legged children’s safety. Speaking of children, could you imagine leaving a young toddler to play near traffic without supervision? If you love your dog, and want to enjoy its company to a ripe old age, I would encourage you to take the same precautions as you would for a baby and more—dogs are MUCH faster!! Since opening my business (Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs) 30 years ago, I have seen some close calls… don’t let this be you!

All the good nutrition, training, and your loving care can be destroyed instantly by an accident if your dog isn’t safety trained. The next few blog posts (which were taken from my previous newsletter, Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs News & Tips) will offer general suggestions, but should not be used instead of going for active training with a qualified trainer.  For more info on training, visit my website www.wonderdogs.ca.

Until Next Time,
Ben Kersen
Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs
Victoria, BC

Country Living – Oh Deer!

Trying to keep the deer out? Proper fencing will be your #1 defense against the deer in rural Victoria.  Check out what we have been working on to keep the deer off the property and out of the garden.

Until Next Time, 

Ben