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Category Archives: Dog Training

How Service Dogs Help Ease PTSD, Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

Service dogs are often thought of as companion animals for the visually-impaired. In reality, these amazing canines can do so much more. Trained service dogs have the power to provide life-saving benefits to people with physical and emotional disabilities, including conditions such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Benefits of Pet Ownership on Human Health

Dogs make wonderful companions for adults and children of nearly all ages. According to the CDC, the bond between humans and their pets can boost fitness, lower stress, and bring joy to pet owners. Having pets have also been found to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and loneliness.

Dogs can even help boost your mood on a chemical level. Playing with your pup can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, according to, which can induce a calming effect in humans.

Woman With Dog in Nature

Pets for Vets, Paws for Veterans & Similar Organizations

The ADA defines a service animal is any dog that is professional trained to perform tasks that help people with certain disabilities, including sensory, intellectual, physical, psychiatric, or other mental disabilities. There are many incredible organizations dedicated to helping military veterans suffering from PTSD, such as Pets for Vets, Paws for Veterans, and K9s for Warriors.

According to Pets for Patriots, a non-profit organization that connects veterans with pets through a companion animal adoption program, veterans suffering from severe symptoms of PTSD are often prescribed a psychiatric service animal. Many veterans do not need to qualify for a service animal to reap the benefits of a companion pet.
Service Dog with Solder

Finding the Right Pet for You

In a recent survey published by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute, approximately 74 percent of pet owners said that having a pet improved their mental state. However, choosing the right pet for you isn’t always easy. Good service dogs have been well-trained, socialized, and have undergone extensive medical testing to ensure that they’re up for the job.

You’ll also want to consider the traits necessary to be a successful service dog, such as a calm demeanor, friendly and focused, and the ability to perform the same tasks day in and day out without getting bored.

Service Animals and How to Get One

According to Mental Health America, to qualify for a service animal you will need written documentation from your healthcare provider that you are being treated for a psychiatric or emotional disorder or disability and require the support of an animal. Service dogs are trained to meet a person’s particular needs before being placed in their home. Know that most dogs that have already served as pets cannot be later trained as service dogs.

People who have non-debilitating anxiety may not require a service dog but could benefit from an emotional support animal. Not just limited to dogs, emotional support animals can include cats and other domestic pets intended to provide comfort and companionship.

Woman and Cat

Other Resources

Contact Us

Please reach out to us if you have questions about adopting a dog in Northern California. Submit our website contact form below or call our Santa Rosa location at 707-595-3834 or our Rohnert Park location at 707-206-9000.

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Taking Your Dog or Cat Camping or Hiking

Before you head out on that camping trip with your dog or cat, make sure to do a little extra planning. If your dog or cat is used to camping, you already have half the battle conquered. Otherwise, you’ll have to figure out what kind of camping trip is best for your furry friend.

Car Camping or Back Country Camping

Car camping is a good place to start for a cat or dog who has never been camping. The campgrounds are not quite so wooded and feel more like a home setting because of noise from other campers. Back country camping may be a little different since you might be the only person and dog or cat camping out in a tent in the pitch black woods.

It’s important to check to see if your pets are allowed and whether they need to be on a leash. In most cases, you’ll want to keep your furry friend on a leash due to leash laws. However, if the area does allow off-leash pets, you must know your pet and how it reacts to other pets and wild animals. Yes, don’t forget the wildlife. Your dog could chase after it through the next state or could be injured or killed. Your cat could be injured or killed by wildlife.
Cat on a Leash in a Field

Always check with the area you are going to make sure your pet is welcome. Some places may welcome pets but could have areas where pets are not allowed. Either way, call the location or research it online to find out where your pet is allowed.

Is Your Pet Comfortable in an Outdoor Setting?

Your pet may not be comfortable in an outdoor setting. Before you leave for your trip, it’s a good idea to acclimate your pet to sleeping in a tent or an RV and to get familiar with the woods, beach or other areas you will be camping. If not, and you aren’t able to make day visits to get your pet used to the different environment, you should keep your pet leashed. If your pet enjoys chasing other animals, they should be kept on a leash, even if there isn’t a leash law.

Man Hiking With 2 Dogs

Keep in mind that a tent is very different than an RV when it comes to your pet. Even the smells in the RV are different than the smells in your home. Make your pets feel at home by bringing a favorite toy, blanket or your pet’s bed with you. If your pet is used to a crate, you might wish to bring your their create so it can feel secure. It’s also a good idea to have your pet crated while you are traveling – this is for your pet’s safety.

8 Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe and Happy While Camping

Keeping your dog or cat safe means keeping an eye on them at all times. Some things to watch out for or to teach your pets include:

  1. Know which plants are poisonous to your pets – or don’t let them eat plants at all. It is normal for your cat and dog to be curious and eat grass and other plants. The ASPCA has lists of poisonous plants for cats and dogs.
  2. Teach your pets to have a strong recall.
  3. Know what to do if your pet runs away or gets lost.
  4. Always keep your dog or cat with you – don’t leave them alone in camp.
  5. Know how to administer basic first aid for your pet.
  6. Keep an eye on the weather, including the temperature of any asphalt, concrete, or dirt trail. Remember, your pets are barefoot!
  7. Bring plenty of water for your pets to ensure they stay hydrated, especially if your pets are hiking with you.
  8. When you keep your pets safe and plan your trip ahead of time, you could have some of the best fun you’ve ever had when you take Fido or Kitty camping with you.

Woman Camping

Additional Resources

Camping with your pets is a great way to strengthen your bond with them, while you both relax and enjoy some fresh air, exercise and beautiful scenery. We hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare to camp with your furry family members. If you prefer to rest assured knowing that your animal is safe and well-cared while you travel solo, call our team at Paradise Pet Resorts or submit our website form below to make a pet boarding reservation.

Teach Your Children How to Handle Pets Safely

Almost everyone has seen adorable videos of children and animals interacting together. And just as many have heard stories of times when either a pet or a child has been hurt when an interaction didn’t go the right way. It is up to both human and pet parents to help children as well as pets learn the necessary skills to keep relationships between animals and the children in their lives as positive as possible.
Boy and Puppy

Preparing Your Pet to Live With Children

In many cases people have pets in their home before they have children and they bring their new baby home to a place where a pet has already been there for a while. Because newborns are vulnerable, and pets, especially dogs, can be territorial, your pet will need some schooling in order to understand how to be gentle with a baby and play safely as the baby grows.

It can be hard for a pet to adjust to a new family member, so it is important to allow them to acclimate as gradually as possible. If your pet is not trained in basic obedience skills, it is important to enroll them in any necessary courses as soon as possible. Be sure that they know and respond to commands such as sit, stay, and down. Make sure they have a safe place they can access that will give them a much needed break from the children and adult humans in the house when they need it.

Before the baby comes home, allow your pet to smell an article of clothing, such as a hat, that the baby has worn. They will then recognize the baby as a member of the family that belongs rather than an intruder. Keep in mind, however, that regardless of how much effort you put in to preparing your pet, proper supervision is always necessary between babies or young children and pets to protect both from any behavioral slips.

Preparing Your Child for a New Pet

As many children start to get old enough to express their own opinions, they may indicate that they want a pet of their own. Whether that pet is a dog, a cat, or another animal, it is important that they are able to understand their pet’s limitations and their role in making sure that pet is properly cared for. Although the ultimate responsibility for caring for a pet lies with their adult owner, giving a child age appropriate supervised, pet responsibilities will help him in to feel like a part of your family’s pet experience. It will also help your pet, especially a dog, see your child as one of his masters, rather than a rival.

Child holding budgie

Observing Animals Together

Even if you do not choose to have a pet in your home, it is important that children learn to respect animals in their surroundings and appreciate them. You can take the first steps by just watching the animals that are in your own yard, a local park, or a humane zoo or rescue center. Even if you don’t have a lot of opportunity for first hand interactions, watching movies or other videos that show interactions between humans and animals is helpful. Making and filling outdoor bird feeders or watching rabbits or squirrels run through your yard can help your children learn that animals are an important part of the world, just like they are.
Girl and cat

The Positive Side of Kids and Pets

There are times when kids who are not properly educated about pets may be too rough with a pet, hugging it too tight, or pulling ears, or some other similar treatment. But when both children and pets are taught to respect one another and any necessary boundaries, the results can be very positive. Children raised with pets are often more cooperative and willing to share, and are stronger overall emotionally, including having a positive self image. Pets too learn to be gentle and protective of children in their lives.
Child Petting Dog

Contact Us

If you have questions about how to care for your pet, submit our website contact form below or call our Santa Rosa location at 707-595-3834 or our Rohnert Park location at 707-206-9000.

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6 Tricks to Teach Your Dog

At Paradise Pet Resorts we love teaching new tricks to the dogs and puppies in our care.Trainer Teaching A Dog Tricks And then, of course, there’s the joy we feel watching their joy when we give them a treat for their hard work!

Our clients often ask us how we have been able to teach their dog the tricks they’ve learned at Paradise Pets, when they have been unable to learn them at home. No trade secrets revealed here – it’s a simple mantra that dogs — and kids at Halloween — learn very early: tricks and treats. To get to the tricks and treats, however, you must also apply equal measures of praise and patience. Really that’s all there is to it. For dogs, that is. Kids quickly learn that while they may get praise for their costume on Halloween, getting candy doesn’t require a lot of patience!

Kids, Dogs, and You

The kids and dogs idea got us thinking about a new angle to take for this blog on teaching dogs cool new tricks. Adults often decide to add a new puppy or dog to the family as the children come along. The tangible and intangible rewards of growing up with a dog in the home are hard to measure, but dogs remind us all of the importance of play. So in the spirit of play, we wanted to find some tricks that you, and your children can learn to teach your dog as you all grow up together.

While the interwebs offer hundreds of great articles that walk you through how to teach your dog new tricks, we think we’ve found a unique one to point you to that details just what you need to do to teach certain tricks to your dog. We’ve plucked ones that more or less follow the various age-specific milestones for kids as they grow. So, with a big thank you to Dog Notebook for doing the legwork on the article we’ve linked to below, here are six dog tricks to grow on. Whether you have a newborn and a new puppy at home, or a high school senior and a senior dog, we hope you and your family will enjoy the play that comes with learning and teaching these dog tricks!

  1. Babies & Puppies: Peek-a-Boo

  2. For parents with young children and a new puppy, a great trick to teach is peek-a-boo, which is just adorable whether you’re playing it with puppies or babies! And now they can play it with each other (when you let the baby have a turn)! Trick: Peek-a-Boo

  3. Toddlers & Adolescent Dogs: Pick Up Their Toys

  4. Toy accumulation in America is not just a childhood phenomenon. Dogs may not have quite as many, but the Pet Product Industry is working on that and we spend billions per year on stuff for our dogs and pets. Why not teach your dog to pick up his or her toys when you’re beginning to teach your child to do the same. Trick: Pick Up Toys

  5. Children & Dogs: Handstand

  6. Kids gravitate to tumbling activities by about 3 or 4 years old, so while you’re showing your child how to do a handstand, you can teach it to your dog, too. Of course, we think it is misnamed here, so we’ll call this Trick: Paw-stand

    Dogs Playing Soccer

    Photo courtesy of

  7. Tweens & Dogs: Playing Soccer

  8. You’ve taught your dog to catch and fetch. Take it to the next level and get your tweens out in the yard running around playing with the dog in the process. Your tween may not want to play with you as much anymore, but you can get them moving when they play soccer with the dog. Trick: Play Soccer

  9. Teens & Dogs: Skateboarding

  10. Youtube is awash with videos of dogs doing extraordinary things. After all, the web is not just for cat videos! And if you’re reading this from somewhere in Northern California, chances are good that next to watching Youtube vids, your teen likes riding a skateboard. Combine two teen loves to get your teenager to teach your dog this cool Trick: Skateboarding

  11. Prodigies: Play Piano

  12. OK, learning to play the piano does not make your child a prodigy, but teaching your dog to play the piano may convince your friends that she is one. Prodigy or not, “neuroscience research has shown that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training” so if that can happen for your kid, think what it might do to your dog’s brain when she learns this Trick: Play Piano

Bonus Dog Trick for Any Age: High Five

Well, we humans likely learned the High Five by the time we learned to pick up our toys, but let’s face it, the High Five is cool at any age, and no age matters when it comes to teaching your dog to give you a High Five!

Want to learn about a whole slew of other fun pet tricks you and your kids can teach your dog? Check out the full article with all 20 Unusual Tricks You Should Start Teaching Your Dog Today.

Teaching Your Older Dog New Tricks

Dogs Focused on Dog TrainerFans of the MythBusters television show watched as the myth that says ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ was officially busted. At Paradise Pet Resorts we see older dogs learning amazing new tricks every day at our pet care facilities in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, and we’re here to say it is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks! If you have adopted an older dog, you may be amazed at her ability to concentrate and learn new things.

Regardless of the now-debunked dog training adage, adult dogs can in fact be easier to train than puppies, simply because they have the ability to remain focused on you for longer periods of time. Most senior dogs also adapt quickly to new routines, so dog training routines such as housebreaking are not as time-consuming provided you are consistent about giving your dog sufficient outdoor time and/or walks. Adult dogs generally have more control and they also don’t have to take as many trips outside as pups do just to get their business done!

Dog Training Tips for Older Pets

Training commands such as sit, fetch, lay down, and come can be taught to older dogs using doggie treats to lure your new pet to perform the behavior you’re seeking to teach. Be sure to give lots of immediate praise before you provide a treat–this allows your dog to learn to work for praise alone.

If you find your older dog is not motivated by treats when you begin a new training, you can gently place him into position, offer lots of praise, and repeat the routine several times until the dog begins to understand what you expect. It can take up to a month of regular repetition for a new trick to become a habit, so it’s important to make time for training every day during a month when you are teaching a new behavior.

Old Dog To prevent behavior problems such as destructive chewing or digging (yes, all dogs enjoy these activities, not just pups), make sure you provide plenty of exercise for your dog, as well as appropriate chew toys for her size. Chew toys are especially important if you are away during the day and perhaps forgot to make your reservation at Paradise Pet Resorts for the day!

Even if you have a fenced-in, secure backyard, spending lots of time in the yard does not ensure a dog is getting the outlet he needs. Long walks, fun-filled days, or having an active game of fetch that really tires out your dog will help ensure good behavior in the evening when you and your family have settled down for the night.

Be sure to consistently reward your dog when he is doing the right things, and manage the environment he is in during alone time to prevent him from doing inappropriate things. Should you have any problems that you can’t easily resolve, please don’t hesitate to call us to ask for advice from one of our dog trainers or consider taking your pet to one of our Adult Dog Refresher classes.

Most dog behavior problems can be corrected once your pet settles into her new surroundings and learns what is expected, but occasionally a problem may be related to a medical issue or lack of socialization in your dog’s puppy years. If you are concerned, we recommend you contact your vet to rule out any physical cause.

Thank you to the American Animal Hospital Association for resource material on training older dogs.