Bobby the Westie needed a walk as his elderly owner could no longer meet his needs. Not only that, he needed ear and eye medication on a regular basis but was very snappy and tried to bite anyone that put their hands near his face. His ears must have been very sore and infected as they were swollen inside. I had no idea that my Cinnamon pets would be this troublesome.
I had little idea that for my first visit I would have to muzzle him with a soft make-shift muzzle out of his owners tights so I could give him his medicine without him biting me!
There had to be a better way to treat him and to keep my fingertips intact – this had to be done three times a week!
I set about conditioning him to accept a muzzle
- Bobby was free-fed so using his normal food as treats to get him to focus was not really going to work. It had to be chicken! I placed a piece at the bottom of a basket muzzle (these allow normal breathing and drinking) and I introduced it to him.
- I kept letting him eat chicken out of it for a few seconds until he began to shove his own nose into it for me.
- Then I fixed the strap for a few seconds at a time.
- He wasn’t bothered by this as long as I kept offering treats through the basket.
- Eventually he just let me put it on him no problems
- Here’s a great video of conditioning your dog to a muzzle
His favourite activity was going for a walk so this is precisely what happened immediately after his eye and ear treatment was administered. The quicker he accepted the medicine, the quicker he got out to walk.
Since he had super-sensitive skin I bathed him at the vet’s recommendation once a week which he disliked. So when it came to bath time Bobby got to chomp on a bit of chicken as soon as it was over and then, weather permitting we’d go for a nice walk afterwards.
As his ears and eyes were getting better and as he was getting used to the treatment from me I no longer need to use the muzzle to administer his medicine. He actually looked forward to me coming towards his head, eyes and ears. I would say it took a couple of months to see all the changes taking place but it was well worth it.
Seeing him well was a joy. He trusted me and our relationship improved massively. He was more playful and much healthier.
Bobby was also deaf! So I got him to learn a hand signal to come back to me when outside. When he did this I fed him some choice chicken bits and I even let him wear the muzzle if he was a particularly good boy 😉
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