News, Helpful Tips, Resouces for you and your furry friends.

   Importance of Socializing your Dog


Many dogs in our society today develop fears and anxiety from lack of socialization. Many dogs that come to us with these issues have one thing in common. They have a great home, a loving family, two square meals a day, and exercise playing in the yard or walking the neighborhood on leash. By not having many experiences beyond this routine, as they get older, changes in their routine can become frightening. This can be with new visitors, or encountering new people on walks, particularly after a move and a new neighborhood.

 Trips to the vet, groomer, kennel, etc, can also create a great deal of stress. Some of these dogs were even socialized as pups, but once they hit 6-9 months old, the efforts to socialize dwindle. Having your dog around a lot of people and dogs to socialize isn't enough. They need to have positive experiences around a lot of people and dogs. If your dog is young and social, this is easy, just get him around people and friendly dogs, maybe at daycare or even dog parks, although if you try the dog park, be one of the people that watch your dog, not form a huddle with the other parents and assume everyone is playing nice!If your dog is already showing some anxiety in public, you may start by going to public places several times a week and just walking around. Your dog doesn't have to encounter strangers initially. It's enough to just see and hear all the different sights and sounds, while being praised by you and even getting treats. Get the tail wagging in new situations, and keep sessions short, maybe 10-15 minutes each time. As your pet gains confidence, you may be able to progress to having strangers offer him treats as well. Remember, new situations with the tail wagging, equals growing confidence for your pet.


We want to take a minute and identify some common dangers that cause emergencies over the holidays. My hope is that you understand
what they are and act to prevent them in your dog.

After all - it is no fun spending part of your holidays with your dog at the hospital.

#1. Gastrointestinal Upset - This is a common problem that occurs during the holidays. Adorable dogs beg for human food that doesn't
agree with them. Alcohol and chocolate are toxic. Turkey bones left in an accessible place are irresistible to pets, and can lodge in an
animal's throat or block the intestinal tract. Remove leftovers from the table and don't leave garbage where animals can get to it.

#2. Ornament Ingestion - Some dogs play with ornaments like a "ball" to play and either ingest pieces of the bulb, the hook or be injured
by broken glass. Don't use edible ornaments or fragile, easily breakable glass decorations to trim the tree (especially on the lower

#3. Tree Dangers- Your pet may knock over the tree playing, trying to get to the bulbs or while playing under the tree. The needles (even
artificial ones) are indigestible and can cause gastric upset. You can keep your dog away from the tree (using a baby gate in the doorway or
low lattice fencing) or secure it so it can't be knocked over.

#4. Ornament Hooks. Don't use wire ornament hooks that can easily snag an ear or a tail, or, if swallowed, can lodge in the throat or
intestines. Instead, fashion loops of yarn, ribbons or lightweight twine.

#5. Ingestion of String, Tinsel or Ribbon. Ingestion of string, ribbon on gifts, or bulbs can cause what vets refer to as a foreign body.
That can require surgery. Prevent exposure of your pets to the gifts unless supervised.

#6. Burns and House Fires - Candles are popular this time of year and dogs can knock over a candle with their vigorous tails. This can cause
burns and even house fires. Another common cause of house fires (which has nothing to do with your dog) is a dried out Christmas tree. Keep
your tree watered.

#7. Drinking Tree Water. Some pets will drink water from the tree. Don't use preservatives in the stand water. They can be toxic if
consumed by a thirsty pet. Carefully cover the top of the stand with a tree skirt so your pet can't get to it.

#8. Potpourri - Liquid potpourri is commonly used during the holidays to give a nice aroma to the home. Dogs can be attracted and lick some
up. This can cause severe caustic burns to the mouth, gums, tongue and esophagus. These burns can be severe enough to require hospitalization and placement of a feeding tube.

#9. Electrocution - Some dogs (especially curious puppies) will chew on or bite electrical cords causing life-threatening electrocution.
Make sure electrical cords are out of reach, taped firmly to walls or floors.

#10. Plant Problems - Certain plants are a menace to dogs: Poinsettias irritate the stomach and eyes. Berries of the Jerusalem cherry are
toxic, and cause pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Holly and mistletoe, amaryllis, chrysanthemum, rhododendron and winter broom as well as
Christmas berry, cherry, pepper and rose can all cause problems to pets that ingest them.


Check out our training page to schedule your dogs next training class!



*Reminder to our Pet Fence clients-

Please remember to unplug your fence system during thunderstorms so your system does not get damaged.


One Nation Under Dog

Check out John Gagnon on HBO's "One Nation Under Dog". This is a documentary about the relationship our society has with dogs. This is a must see for everyone, especially anyone who volunteers in animal rescue. It's a documentary for people who want to see laws changed to help these innocent animals with no voice. It will be played at various times on HBO, check listings and On Demand for times.

Gooooo UCONN!!!!!

Jonathan the UConn Huskies mascot has found the resort! The UConn athletic club has officially named John Gagnon's Pet Resort as the only place that they will board or groom Jonathan! They also had our pet fence installed for him and he LOVES his newfound freedom! You can link to Jonathan's websites here! GO Huskies!

A letter from Jonathan's handlers:


Hi John,

  I just wanted to give you an update about Jonathan. He is a totally different dog now that he has his electric fence. He does not pull as much and is better behaved at events. He enjoys his newfound freedom. He is doing very well on the new food too; he seems to really enjoy it. His coat still looks very good even after being groomed a month ago. I also wanted to comment on his behavior after we have picked him up from being in your care. When we last took him to get groomed at his previous groomer he would not listen to commands and did not seem happy at all. When I picked him up from your resort last month he was very happy, which made me very happy. I just wanted to thank you again for all your support!


We really appreciate all your help!

Chrissy B.

House training tips:

This is simple, but time consuming as you need to be diligent and consistent. If you are, then your dog will quickly start to catch on. If you're not, he'll be confused and you'll struggle with this for a long time. Many dogs, more than you'd think, go their entire lives without being completely house trained because one or two details in the learning process are often missed. 

He must be watched at all times. When he can't be watched, he needs to be crated, although he likely can't go much more than four hours without being let out to go to the bathroom, maybe not even that long, for young pups. If you're training an adult dog for the first time, you have the luxury of working with a larger bladder! Every time he pees in the house without being caught in the act, he is immediately rewarded for doing it, because he feels physical relief, so watching him constantly is essential. Also if you let him out and he walks all over sniffing everything, then has to go back inside once he pees, peeing outside becomes a punishment of sorts, as he has the freedom to walk all over sniffing and exploring until he pees, then he has to go inside, ending the fun, after he pees.

Take him outside on a regular schedule, maybe once every hour to start, maybe every 3-4 hours overnight. As he matures he'll be able to hold it for longer periods of time. When outside, go to one spot in the yard, and quietly wait. Give him 2-3 minutes to go. If he doesn't, go back inside, but watch him like a hawk, or crate him. In another 10-15 minutes, try again, same spot, quietly waiting, not walking around.

Once he pees outside, praise him, and then walk around or play with him as a reward. This only happens after he pees. This will teach him to pee immediately when he gets outside.

If he pees in the house without being seen, clean it up, nothing else. Do not punish him for doing it, this will only teach him to avoid you when he has to pee, not to stop peeing in the house.

If he attempts to go to the bathroom in the house, run to him as fast as you can, scoop him up, and run outside with him. The idea is to startle him and make it an unpleasant experience. Don't spend time scolding him etc, from the time you see him starting to pee, to the time you scoop him up should be a few seconds, and from the time you scoop him up to the time he's in grass, should be just another few. It needs to happen that fast. Once outside, stand in one spot with him until he pees. It may take a minute for him to calm down from being startled. Don't walk around, just stand quietly and wait. When he starts to pee, calmly praise him, and when he's done, play with him outside for a few minutes, or even just walk around the yard with him. 

Things You Should Know About Kennel Cough


Kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) is an upper respiratory infection.


There are many different viruses that can cause kennel cough, but typically multiple viruses together are needed to affect most dogs. This is why some dogs are affected more easily than others. A dog with a strong immune system may be able to resist multiple viruses, where a dog with a weaker immune system may become ill from exposure to just one or two.


Vaccination reduces the chance of contracting the disease, as it reduces the number of viruses that will affect your dog. The only way to prevent kennel cough is to never allow them to have contact with another dog.


Injectable vaccine needs two doses, 3-4 weeks apart, and immunization begins 2 weeks AFTER the second dose. Dog should not have contact with other dogs for two weeks after second injection.


Intranasal spray done once. Immunity begins 4 days later BUT dog can spread kennel cough in that period. Dog should not have contact with other dogs for seven days after vaccine.


Dogs are contagious for 2-14 days prior to showing symptoms, making it impossible to know at any given time if a dog is contagious.


CVA envisions a future where all animals live in peace under the protection of strong laws. We work toward this vision by creating and improving Connecticut's laws and encouraging our elected leaders to make the well-being of animals their priority. We work with voters like you, legislators & other officials across CT government, and a hired lobbyist to introduce and pass pro-animal laws. We also fight the passage of harmful, inhumane laws. To learn how you can help go to their website-