How To Play With Your Puppy

new puppy albuquerque
new puppy albuquerque

Are you wondering why you are about to read a blog that tells you how to play with your puppy? It may sound strange, but there is a “right way” to play with your dog if you want to help them grow up to be a properly behaved pooch. Playing is not just having fun, it is also behavioral training and is core to helping your pup feel safe in secure in your family “pack”.

When you are a dog owner and bring them into your family you are now their pack. Dogs are pack animals. This means that they will love and defend the pack. There will be a pecking order, and one person will the head of the pack, or alpha “dog”. You may be the alpa dog in your family pack. As the alpha dog, you have a responsibility to follow the rules such that your dog understands what is appropriate, and when. This keeps them behaved and feeling safe.

Do’s and Don’t of Puppy Play

TUG!-Dogs love to tug, it is instinctive to them. But there is a right and wrong of tug play. Shaking and thrashing is not good, however. Shaking and thrashing is “kill behavior”. This is what dogs do when they are trying to kill an animal they are hunting. When your puppy starts shaking and thrashing, play needs to stop. 

Drop Command- Teach your puppy to “drop it” early on. Dogs love to play keep away but they also need to know that they must drop their toys, or whatever they have in their mouth…especially if it is your socks or your sun glasses. This is also a good command to have your puppy be responsive too because it can be a good tool when they too excited during playtime. 

Toy Time- Your dog needs to know 2 things. 1. Toys are a treat and a reward. 2. Toys are not theirs. Making sure that your dog only has toys during playtime reduces territorial behavior and also encourages them to calm down when it is not playtime. Not all time is playtime!

Playful or Aggressive? – Every dog plays differently. Some like to bark and jump around, or play rough. Depending on the dog this may or may not be aggressive. If you know how they play with you, you can learn what is their playful behavior and what is aggressive behavior. This is important to know, especially when they are playing with other dogs or kids. This way, if you notice aggressive behavior you can remove them from the situation. If you are unsure about what is play and what is aggressive, you can ask your local Albuquerque Vetco vet

Finger Chewing – Finger chewing is really cute, especially when your puppy is small and they have those little teeth. Unfortunately, this is also training your dog to bite. You do not want to have your dog bite anyone, so do not play with them in a way that says this is ok. 

Play with your puppy the way you want them to play with you as a full grown dog. Yes, this might mean less chewing, licking, jumping and all that other cute stuff, but it also means less biting, licking, and jumping when they are full grown dogs. 

For more tips be sure to check out the website or speak to your local New Mexico veterinarian by calling (505) 292-3030 during our normal office hours any time.

FLUTD or just Pee? Cat Urinary Tract Infections

FLUTD is more than just an acronym that sounds funny if you try to say it out loud. Flu-ti-duh…Fl-UGH-tee-dee….FLU-tee-dee….yeah, it is awkward. What it stands for is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease….and wow does that sound intense. In fact, the acronym is not entirely accurate. It is not a disease but a condition or conditions that can affect the bladder and/or urethra of cats.

FLUTD is a potentially life threatening condition for your cat, and at the very least, is extremely uncomfortable. Here are the SIGNS and SYMPTOMS:

  • Painful peeing- But how can you tell if it is painful, its not like they come over and tell you “it burns when I pee.” You have to read their body language. Do they strain when they try to pee, do they cry out, do you notice anxiety around going pee? These are all signs of painful urination,
  • Increased frequency of urination: If you see your cat peeing all the time, it could be a sign of an infection or inflammation. Typically a cat should be going pee a couple tines a day.
  • Blood in their urine: Sometimes you cannot see the blood, and it is only detectable when a vet does test, but if you see blood, then you know there is definitely a problem.
  • Peeing outside the litterbox: Most cats, once they are potty trained, prefer to pee in their litterbox. Cats are very neat like that and prefer to keep things tidy. If you see them peeing outside their box, or in inappropriate places then this is a big sign of something wrong. Typically this happens because of the urgency that can happen with an infection and your cat is not able to make it to the box in time.
  • Over grooming: Yes cats like to groom themselves, but when they do it should be all over their body. If you see your cat licking their urethra (what they pee out of) a lot, then this can be a sign of irritation or pain in that area.
  • Unable to pee: If you see your cat straining to pee but nothing comes out, this could be the sign of a blockage. This is more common in male cats than female cats, but can happen in both. This is an emergency situation and your cat needs to go to a vet immediately!

Healthy Cat Healthy Pee

Typically if your cat is a healthy weight, with a healthy diet, and a healthy exercise routine, they are at a lower risk of getting a FLUTD condition. Middle aged cats are at a higher risk, indoor only cats (because of the lack of exercise and issues with boredom which can cause excess licking), over weight cats, and cats that only eat a dry food, are all at a higher risk of FLUTD.

Common Causes of FLUTD

  • Bladder stones
  • Bacteria
  • Obstructions in the urethra from damage, or bacteria.
  • Tumors
  • General inflammation of the bladder

If you suspect your cat has a problem peeing, it is important to bring them to your Albuquerque vet immediately. This can be a very serious and life threatening condition. It is important to pay attention to your pets bathroom habits and the quality of their bathroom habits, we know it is not the most fun part of pet ownership but it is important to having a healthy cat..

Upcycle Gifts For Dogs: 5 DIY Dog Gifts

DIY dog toys albuquerque
DIY dog toys

Upcycling is a great way to make fantastic gifts for your pets that they will love, that will save your money, and that will keep our landfills free of trash. It is a win, win, win!

Are you tired of spending money on everything? Our pets, our kids, our life, can all be a big drain on our bank account. Spend your money on your pets on what is important, such as vaccinations, microchips, spay and neuter, and your pets overall health. You don’t need to spend your hard earned money on toys when you can make great ones that your pets will love!

Here are some great DIY gift ideas for your pets that won’t break the bank and are fun and easy to make that we found on some great sites.

  1. Crinkle Shirt – wrap an empty water bottle in an old t-shirt. When your pup chews on it, it makes a great crinkly sound. Read the DIY instructions.
  2. Dishtowel Braid – take your old dish towels and make a braided chew toy. Great recycling and makes a great chew. Read the DIY Instructions.
  3. A milk jug! – Yup, that’s it. Take an old milk jug, wash it out and let them play. It is fun to run around with because they can grab the handle with their mouth. If your dog is a chewer, then don’t give this as the pieces can break off.
  4. Frozen sock balls – Yummy, feet! Take a sock, tie it in a ball. Dip it in water then freeze. Give the frozen sock to your dog. They will chew it for hours.
  5. Tennis ball puzzle treat – Take a tennis ball and cut a slit in it so when you pinch it it opens like Pacman. Put some dog treats in it. This will keep your dog busy for hours as they try to get the treats out. You can also cut an X which can make it easier to get the treats out.


Dig through your closets to find great potential toys that your pets will love. All it takes is a little creativity and some fun upcycling. Don’t let your pet savings stop there, Vetco offers the lowest cost vaccinations, spay and neuters, and microchipping in any Albuquerque veterinary clinics. You can also save a little more by visiting our promotions page before you bring your pet in. Come by to our daily walk-in shot clinic at the Albuquerque Vetco on Menaul, or make an appointment for a low cost spay or neuter.