Okaw Veterinary Clinic LLC

140 West Sale Street
Tuscola, IL 61953



Mind Your Manners






 - Pet Craft Day

Make some new toys or beds for your pets. We will provide fabric and other crafting supplies. You are welcome to bring your own fabric, supplies or patterns. We will have people running sewing machines to help with sewing. We will hold the crafting event on Sunday Dec 4th from 2 - 4 pm at the dining room of Jarman Center. Jarman is located at 704 N. Main St. in Tuscola. 

- Santa Paws - Hands 4 Paws fundraiser

Santa will be here to take pictures with pets and children. Each photo is $5.00. Santa will be here on Sat Dec 3 and Sat Dec 10 from 1 - 4 pm at the Summer camp room of Jarman Center. For more information visit Hands 4 Paws website, email hands4pawsinc@yahoo.com or call 253-3221


Help Needy Dogs and Cats

Hello peoples! It's me again, Ranger! The girls let me write in this month's newsletter. I have to tell you about something the girls are doing. Do you remember that I told you a few months about people in the area who can't afford to buy food? And that the girls had a food drive for SAM food pantry? Well guess what... the girls are going to collect dog and cat food for SAM food pantry! They said the people who can't afford to buy food also can't afford to buy their dog or cat food! This is not good for the kitties and doggies! I feel bad for them. So I decided to help these kitties and doggies. I am asking you to bring small bags of dog or cat food (under 8 pounds) or cans of dog or cat food to donate to the kitties and doggies.


So, peoples please bring your foods to me. I live at the Okaw Vet Clinic at 140 W. Sale Street in Tuscola. You can bring your foods through Dec 12th. Bring your foods when the clinic is open on Mon & Fri 8 am - 7 pm, Tues & Wed 8 am - 5 pm and Sat 8 am - 3 pm. I promise I won't eat any of the donated food. And I will keep Mercy away from it too.



Mind you Manners Tethering

Naughty Bella is counter cruising!
It is interesting how one training problem can actually be related to another. For example, last week a n puppy parent commented that were having a little difficulty with house training. The pup could hold it  but occasionally would have accidents. No one wants to battle house soiling, so I pressed for more details. As we discussed the whole scenario of accidents, it turns out the puppy was highly active, getting into trouble and would then eliminate. Wisely, the family did not want to use the crate for a punishment or isolation area and was not sure what to do. All the highly active "naughty" play that is typical for a pup was difficult to find a solution for. Getting the history of what a puppy is doing wrong is extremely important to help that family get on the right track, and that puppy to learn good manners in a positive way.
Typically in a scenario like this I would suggest a baby gate to keep the puppy in the room you are in. What is difficult is that many homes now have a large open floor plan so a baby gate won't work. There are some pet gate models that expand up to 72" wide, but  that may not solve the problem in some homes. So how does one keep a puppy out of trouble? 
The answer is a tether. A tether is a leash or two joined to give a puppy about 10 feet to play, chew on toys, and  a bed to rest on. Tie the tether to the leg of a strong chair, table or put a screw eye in the wall for attachment. The tether is enforcing that this puppy has to stay in the area the owner is in, and prevents the pup from chewing on cords, furniture or going to an accident area. 

Yummy plastic peanut butter jar for tether time!
Even if the puppy is not happy on the tether, they will settle down and accept it after they see they are not going to be released. Now when the puppy is settled, praise the puppy and give an occasional treat. This teaches the puppy to settle down on the bed when you are not able to play with them. When you can play and give them attention, they are off the tether and played with continuously for at least 15 minutes to wear them out. Off the tether means fun, games and activity; on the tether means quiet time. The crate can also be used for quiet time, but if your puppy is in the crate for more than 10 hours a day, they need to have more time in other areas of the home.


Bella is tethered for a moment so Butter can be leashed in peace 

Some people may think a tether looks mean or that the pup will think they are being punished.  When you give a reward like a food toy when they are tethered, the effect is the opposite. The tether means good things are coming and the pup wants to stay put to get them. Do not release your pup from the tether if they are barking or pulling unless you are suspicious that they need to go out. If so, take them directly outside and praise them. If they have not eliminated, do not take them off the tether. Otherwise they will learn to bark to get off the tether!
I still need to use the tether on Bella our family dog who will be 3 soon. She gets a wild hair to start pulling things off the shelf when she wants to have extra attention. She will come to the tether (yes a little reluctantly) when I call her and get content on her bed with a stuffed Kong. For her it is almost as if she needs to be tethered to settle herself. She is a very active dog and it is hard for her to self settle at times. The tether is her friend, and she knows it. She gets to lay close by as I am working on the computer, or enjoying TV time with my family. She is still loved and now knows she cannot just demand attention all the time.
Looking pitiful at the kitchen table, but it beats counter cruising
So use a tether to teach good manners and calm settling. It is a great alternative to constant crating, especially if you have a large open floor plan. Make it happy with a nice bed to lay on and some rewarding toy or treat. Use this technique as your pet grows up to remind them of good settling manners.

For more information on pet behavior and positive handling go to my website.




Bella's Boot Camp

nullI am going to blog daily (or as close to daily as I can) this week. After listening to Dr. Sophia Yin's talks at the Illinois State Veterinary Medical convention in Peoria this weekend, I decided to give her version of the learn to earn program a try to decrease Bella's innate impulse drive. Our little black beast Bella - who is loved very dearly- has been increasingly naughty in the mornings pulling things off the counter, grabbing the tv remote if it is not up, etc. Tethering as needed has helped,yet I felt that she did not see me or my family... [Read More] 



12 Tips for a Pet Friendly Holiday

  1. Give you pet gifts. If your pet doesn't like to unwrap his or her gifts, try this. For dogs, put a couple yummy treats in with their gift and then wrap the gift. For cats, put some yummy treats or catnip in with their gift and then wrap the gift.
  2. Keep candles and fragrance warmers out of your pet's reach. Dogs and cats can sniff or bump into these decorations and get burned.
  3. Cats keep climbing in the tree? Keep them out by spraying the lower branches with an antiperspirant containing alum.
  4. Tinsel and popcorn strings sure make the tree look pretty. Cats and dogs think so too. They often eat these decorations and become sick.
  5. Dogs and cats can chew on light bulbs and cords decorating the tree. So keep those lights tucked into the tree branches.
  6. Real trees have a pan of water that many dogs and cats like to drink from. Keep them out of this water! The water is contaminated by chemicals that have been sprayed on the trees.
  7. Hang ornaments out of your pet's reach. And hang them with thick ribbon instead of metal hooks. Dogs and cats are curious and play with ornaments. The hooks can get stuck in your pet's intestines. The ornaments can also do the same if your pet eats them.
  8. Flowers and plants work great as decorations. Just keep them out of your pet's reach. Some plants, such as Amaryllis and Norfolk pine are poisonous top pets. Read more about poisonous plants.
  9. Yummy food is great for people, but most shouldn't be shared with our pets. Chocolate, sugar free candy, alcohol, fatty foods and bones can make your dog or cat sick. If you want to share your meal with your pet, try giving a few green beans (not casserole), carrots, celery or apple slices to your pet.
  10. Watch the aluminum foil, plastic cling wrap and raw meat wrappings. These are very yummy smelling and tasty to your pet. Your cat or dog can not only eat the bits of food, but will also eat the foil or wrap.
  11. Does your dog or cat run and hide when you have guests over? Help your nervous pet, pick up some D.A.P. spray or collar for your dog or Feliway spray for your cat. D.A.P. and Feliway are calming sprays and collars. Also keep these pets in a "safe" area, such as a bedroom, away from guests. Play the radio to help soothe your pet.
  12. Protect those tender toes. Use pet safe salt on sidewalks and driveways. Clean snow and ice from your dog's feet. Snow and ice can pack into your pet's paws and cause discomfort.


Gift Cards Available

Need a gift for your pet loving friend or family member? Purchase a Gift Certificate for veterinary care here at the Okaw Vet Clinic. Gift Certificates are available in a variety of amounts and are good for 1 year. If you are interested in purchasing a certificate, please stop in. If you have questions, please call us at 253-3221 or email okawvetstaff@mchsi.com

Okaw Veterinary Clinic
140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953
(217) 253-3221


Mon & Fri 8 am - 6 pm
Tues & Wed 8 am - 5 pm
Sat 8 am - noon
Closed Thurs & Sun

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