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Technology has certainly come a long way in recent years, and our furry friends have not been left behind. One of the most ground-breaking and interesting pet products that’s recently come out is also one of the simplest: the talking paw buttons. These are programmable pads that you can train Fido and Fluffy to step on when they want to communicate certain words. A local vet offers some tips on teaching your pet to use them in this article.
You won’t have much luck getting Fido to ask you to walk him if he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘Walk’ yet. Choose words that your furry buddy is already familiar with, and get them used to those phrases. Popular options for dogs include things like Treat, Outside, Toy, and Play. Kitties may demand things like food or playtime. (Fluffy may also request complete world domination, but that’s another topic.) Be consistent: don’t say Walk one day and Potty the next.
You may find it easier to organize your pet’s button using a foam board. This is also helpful in that it allows you to group words in a manner of your choosing. Some manufacturers offer boards, but you can also make them from foam tiles or even cardboard.
Only use words your pet associates with things they like. ‘Treat’ or ‘Playtime’ are good options. For Fido, you can also start by teaching him to associate a button with going for a walk. Start by putting a button in a spot where he’ll have to pass it to get outside. You may want to choose the word ‘Walk’ or ‘Outside’ to program. Every time you take him out, press the button so your pup hears the word. For a cat, you may want to try incorporating a ‘Dinner’ button just before meals.
If you’re consistent, your four-legged friend will sooner or later learn to associate the button with the desired action or object. Sooner or later, they may try pushing the button himself. When he does, immediately provide the associated response. For instance, if Fido pushes the ‘Outside’ button, take him outside.
Once your pet has the basics down, you can add more buttons and start incorporating combinations. Some of our animal companions become amazingly concise at communicating with their humans!
Do you have questions about your pet’s behavior? Contact us, your local pet hospital, today!