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Encouraging Quite Behavior in Dogs

1. Watch your dog for calm, quiet behaviors and provide attention, affection, play, or food as rewards during this time.

2. When the dog is barking, do not give any attention or any form of reward, until it is quiet. Mild attempts to discourage the barking may reinforce the behavior by giving the dog attention.

3. Barking should be ignored until the dog is quiet, and then, that quiet behavior immediately reinforced.

4. Verbal corrections, yelling, punishment, or your own anxious behavior may further aggravate your dog’s barking and anxiety.

5. Use of a bark-activated device (audible alarm, citronella spray, bark-activated collar) may inhibit barking in some dogs. Once the barking stops, you should wait for 5 – 10 seconds of quiet behavior and give a treat, toy, or play to reward the quiet behavior and keep the dog distracted.

6. Avoid leaving dogs outdoors unsupervised if they have barking problems. The dog may be motivated to bark by passing stimuli (other dogs, strangers) or may bark to attract your attention. Going out to the dog will serve to reinforce the barking behavior. Unless you are present when the dog is barking you cannot train quiet behaviors.

When barking arises out of anxiety, the first step is to seek help as to how to reduce the anxiety. Simply attempting to stop the barking is unlikely to be successful, unless the underlying motivation for the barking is addressed and treated.


Ball Pythons

Ball pythons are among the most popular of all pet snakes because they are good “beginner” snakes. They are docile and moderately easy to care for, although, they require a lot of space in their habitat. Ball pythons are a shy species that will coil around his/her own head and into a ball when frightened. Avoid fast or menacing movements around your python as you could startle him/her. A python can bite if frightened. A ball python’s bite is a superficial wound.  

These creatures are nocturnal and prefer to hunt their prey at night. They spend much of the day resting in their hide box. They can be finicky eaters and can occasionally go lengths of time between meals. Ball pythons regularly shed their skin. As your snake gets ready to shed, their eyes will turn a milky blue/grey color over the course of a few days and their body color will start to dull. To assist in normal shedding cycles, ensure the humidity of the habitat is correct. To facilitate a more difficult shed, you may bathe your snake in a large container that allows his/her entire body to be immersed. You could also provide a shed box or a hide box with sphagnum moss that will aid in the shedding process. NEVER attempt to remove eye caps by yourself at home, ALWAYS seek professional veterinary care.


Red Flags:

  • Unusually frequent or infrequent shedding

• Vomiting
• Lethargic
• Reluctant to eat
• Abnormal feces
• Bumps of spots on skin
• Labored breathing
• Difficulty shedding
• White/cheesy substance in mouth


We are having our phones upgraded on April 13th & 14th. After the upgrade, we will no longer be using the clinic cell phones. Please remove 517-928-0993 and 517-928-0944 from your records. Thank you!


Employee Spotlight:

Cimone Hardrick, Receptionist

Cimone, originally from Detroit, graduated from MSU in May of 2019. She received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with a concentration in companion & exotic animals. During college she enjoyed her time with livestock including sheep, goats, cows, pigs, chickens, and horses. She spent time post-graduation as a lab tech where she cared for guinea pigs.

She currently lives in Lansing with her animals (turtles, dogs, and hermit crabs) and her boyfriend Xavier. In her spare time, she enjoys naps and eating. She and her boyfriend are excited to welcome their first child this summer. Cimone hopes to return to MSU for her Veterinary Technology degree in the future. Her favorite things about working at Caring Animal Hospital are seeing all the puppies and exotic animals.

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