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.

Thanksgiving  Safety Tips


Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also a time for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.

Check out the following tips from the ASPCA for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too:

  • Talkin’ Turkey: If you decide to feed your pet a small bite of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria. Do not give your pet the left over carcass–the bones can be problematic for the digestive tract.

  • No Bread Dough: Don't spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him access to raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.

  • Don't Let Them Eat Cake: If you plan to bake Thanksgiving desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

  • A Feast Fit for a King: While your family enjoys a special meal, give your cat and dog a small feast of their own. Offer them made-for-pets chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a food puzzle toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.

A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.


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- 

John Gagnon's Pet Resort

227 Upton Road

Colchester, CT 06415



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