animal friend

Anxiety in Dogs

iStock-August 09, 2008Dogs have different personalities. It really depends on the breed or the dog’s family history. From being a puppy to an adult dog, they are accompanied by their human masters. The dog’s everyday routine is usually dependent on their master’s lifestyle.    However, some dogs experience anxiety that almost comes instantly when they are left alone.  If they are left alone, these dogs can become destructive, which is their means of expressing frustration or loneliness.  This is called separation anxiety in dogs.  Dogs can become restless and bored, and if they see that their master is not around, they may go out to chew on anything that they can get their paws on – from slippers, to furniture, to other objects found in the house.

Chewing on certain objects that has the master’s smell (socks, shoe, the sofa, or even the door) is one of the many symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs. Other symptoms to watch out for are continuous barking, uncontrolled “pooping”, and various ways to get master’s attention.    Probable causes for such behavior often include dogs that were not properly socialized or dogs that have been living in different homes. With this in mind, owners should take a second look at their dogs and see if they exhibit such behavior. This will give them an idea if their dog might be suffering from separation anxiety.

Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs can be serious if not threatening for your carpet or sofa. Begin with a no “goodbye” technique.  Owners should not give their dogs any hugs before they leave the home.   This will only make the dog long for more attention from the owner. Another tip would be to leave some toys or goodies that will help your dog consume its time and take its attention away from its anxiety.

Great Tips For Getting Your Dog Toilet Trained

123RF-17245805_sOne of the toughest jobs that a family faces when a new puppy comes home is getting the dog housebroken. Here are some tips that will help:

When to House Train

A dog can be toilet trained at any age, but the best age to begin is between eight and twelve weeks old. If you set up a housebreaking routine as soon as you bring your puppy home, before long he will get the idea of where to do his business. A crate is a great tool for toilet training a puppy. It keeps him confined when there is no supervision and most dogs learn quickly that if they make it in their crate they will have to sit in it. Most dogs are fairly hygienic and won’t enjoy having to sit in dog doody or urine.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Keeping a close eye on your puppy is a key factor in getting him properly housetrained. Whenever you see that he is sniffing, circling or beginning to squat, immediately take him outside to the place where you want him to go and see if he eliminates. If he does, praise him lavishly. A good idea is to have a cue, such as “hurry up” so that your puppy knows what you want him to do. When he is going to the bathroom repeat the cue and then give your dog lots of praise for a job well done. It is better to take the dog out and nothing happens then to take a chance of an accident happening.

Have a Schedule

Feeding, watering and walking your dog on a regular schedule will make housebreaking that much easier. Puppies are like children and they thrive on a routine. Try and take the dog out around the same time every day so they will be able to adjust their bodily functions. The first thing you should do in the morning is take the puppy from the crate and don’t let his feet touch the ground. Bring him to the place where you want him to go, give the cue, and praise upon a successful completion. Take your puppy out at least every two hours, after eating or drinking and especially after play. Before you know it, your puppy will be letting you know it is time to go out and do his business.

Don’t Let the Puppy Roam

Letting your puppy roam around the house is a sure fire way to have accidents. If you have decided you don’t want to use a crate, and even if you do use one, confining the dog to certain areas of the house can make housetraining easier for everyone. It is difficult to keep track of a puppy when he has the run of the house, but if you gate him in the kitchen, he will still be able to be part of the action and can be better supervised in case of an accident.

Don’t Get Discouraged

There will be times when you first begin housetraining that you feel your pup is just not getting it. He may occasionally have accidents in the house. There is no need to be discouraged. If you stick to your routine, keep a good eye on the dog and make frequent outings to his outdoor bathroom, in no time your puppy will be housebroken. Another good idea is to use the same door all the time when you are taking him out so that when he has to go, he will scratch on the door to be let out. Once this happens, you can say “Hurray!” and know that your puppy is beginning to understand that going to the bathroom in the house is a no-no.

A Dog’s Golden Years

header-objectWith appropriate care most dogs live complete and happy lives.  Unfortunately, an adored pet never seems to live long enough.  Each breed has different life spans.  While taking care of your aging dog you need to adapt his environment for his comfort.  As dogs get older, they develop aches, joint pain, generalized weakness and an almost definite increase in medical problems.

Adjust his surroundings to minimize discomfort.  Protect him from excessive heat and cold.  Older dogs are unable to regulate body temperature as a younger dog does.

Try to give your dog regular exercise.  Make sure your dog’s health matches his exercise routine.  If your dog exhibits signs of heavy panting or opposes exercise you need to change his routine.

Adapt his diet and feeding schedule to his needs.  As dogs age they are less active and need fewer calories.  Prescription diets are available.  Discuss special diets with your veterinarian.

Older dogs can experience hearing loss and declining eyesight.  Accommodate for his safety.

Senior dogs require special dental care.  They are more likely to develop gum problems and disease.  Complete dental cleaning should be performed by your vet.  This does require anesthesia.  Make sure complete blood work is performed.

Older dogs need extra bathing and grooming.  Dry skin can be a normal part of aging or it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.  They also require more frequent nail trimming.

Take into consideration his age in human years.  If he is 13 in dog years, he may suffer the same aging ailments as a 75 year old human.

Continue with bi-annual vet exams.  Senior dogs need extra care with their aging problems.

Give his life quality!  Keep those memories alive!

Seven Tips on Choosing a Name For Your Puppy

dog-namesYou’ve picked out the perfect puppy.  Now what? He needs a name!  Over the course of its life, you will use your dog’s name more than 35,000 times. Be sure you’re picking a name you can live with and love. With these seven tips, the key to finding the perfect name for your puppy is at your fingertips!

  1. Dogs understand short commands. Easy names with two or fewer syllables work well.
  2. Your puppy’s name shouldn’t sound like any commands. “Stacy” and “stay” are too close for comfort. Such a name may confuse your puppy.
  3. Remember, you’ll be using your pup’s name in public. “Stinky” may be cute among your fellow fraternity members, but it won’t go over well at the veterinarians.
  4. Make your kids part of the decision.
  5. You may think it’s an honor to name your pup after your favorite Uncle Norbert. Naming your baby after him may keep you in the will, but naming your puppy after him may not.
  6. If you’re bringing home an older dog, ideally, stick with the name it already has. Can’t stand it because “Barney” was the first boy who broke your heart? Then stick with similar sounds when choosing a new name. “Barney” morphs into “Farley” easily.
  7. Once you’ve chosen a name, try it out for a day or so. You’ll know right away whether it’s a keeper. If not, there are always more puppy names on your list!

Take a look around you. Everywhere you are, you’ll find a variety of terrific ideas on what to name your pooch.  At first glance, a couple things will stand out about your new puppy. Enjoy him or her for a day or two and take these into consideration.

The choices are endless. However, with these simple tips and some thought, before long you’ll have found the perfect puppy name!

 

 

All Dog Foods are Not the Same

123RF-9099369_sYour dog’s health and wellbeing is important to you and your family. Carefully consider the food that you give your dog. It is important to pick the right one.

To keep your dog healthy he needs plenty of fresh water and should be fed good quality dog food in the right amount to meet his energy requirements. Always follow the guidelines on the dog food package for recommended feeding amounts.

Major dog food companies try to provide balanced proportions of vitamins and minerals for maximum benefit to your dog. Although you may see that many brands of dog food have almost identical labels, a reputable dog food company will provide an explanation for each supplement and how it benefits your dog.

Always read the label to see what proteins, vitamins and minerals are being provided to your dog. Try not to use store brand dog food as this may short change your dog on much needed nutrition.

There are many varieties of dog food to choose from. The three most popular types of dog foods are dry, semi-moist and canned products. Check the color of your dog food. Usually dog food made from natural ingredients will have soft earth tones and contain no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.

Choose a good premium dog food since it contains more energy and protein than an economy brand. Unfortunately not all dog food brands contain high quality and natural ingredients, so always check the label. It is best if you seek advice from your veterinarian before deciding on which dog food to feed your dog or puppy. He will know your dog’s dietary needs and you will find that veterinary offices and feed stores often carry excellent and natural dog food.

Overall it’s usually best to let dogs enjoy dog food and not our food, even though they may prefer what we’re eating! Of course you can feed your dog treats from time to time.

“Can I Have A Puppy?”

123RF-17245805_sSooner or later, every parent is likely to hear: “Please, can I have a puppy?”

Rather than dodge the question, parents should consider whether their family is ready for a pet, says Sharon Bergen, senior vice president of education and training for Knowledge Learning Corporation, the nation’s leading provider of early childhood care and education.

Bergen suggests that parents weigh the pros and cons of adding a pet to the household before agreeing to a child’s request. “A pet can teach children responsibility and become a wonderful addition to a family – or it can be a burden,” she says. Bergen recommends families consider the following before making a decision.

Who will care for the pet? Families should agree beforehand who will be responsible for feeding, walking, bathing and cleaning up after the pet.

Do you have space for a pet? Families living in apartments or townhouses may prefer a cat, a bird or fish, rather than a Labrador Retriever. Check the library or Internet to learn more about different types and breeds of pets to determine the one most suitable for your family.

Owning a pet is time-consuming and may be expensive. Family members should realize that they may have to give up other activities to properly care for a pet. If the prospect seems too daunting, parents should consider waiting until the child is old enough to help care for an animal.

Bergen recommends the whole family meet the animal before deciding to take it home. Owning a pet is a life-long commitment, so think carefully before adding a pet to your family.

 

Five Steps to a Better-Behaved Pet

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallWant to live a healthier lifestyle? Get a dog!  Studies show that pet ownership helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and fends off feelings of loneliness and depression.

While nothing can top the love and companionship of a dog, there are some unpleasant behaviors that just won’t do – from barking all night to having an accident on the floor to chewing on your shoes.

If your dog is exhibiting these behaviors, it may be acting out due to boredom, pent-up aggression or because of a lack of training. With proper lifestyle adjustments and diligent training, you’ll be on your way to having a happy, well-behaved pet. The following tips will help your furry friend become more obedient:

1) Spay or neuter. The Humane Society of the United States says that this common procedure can help your dog live longer, be healthier and have fewer behavior problems.

2) Help your pet relax. Just like people, dogs can get anxious, agitated and stressed.

3) Have a workout routine. Provide your dog companion with regularly scheduled walks each day. This will help your dog avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.

4) Go to school.  Enrolling your dog in an obedience class will teach you how to control your dog’s behavior both safely and humanely.

5) Be patient. Though teaching your furry friend to be more obedient may take determination on your part, it’s worth it. Your dog will appreciate bonding with you during the process.

 

 

Do Pet Stain Removers Work or are You Being Taken to the Cleaners?

iStock-August 08, 2010Pet stains on carpet and other types of flooring can be difficult to remove.  Pet stain removal products sometimes work and sometimes they don’t.  It depends on the surface that you’re cleaning and how extensive the damage is.

There are two different types of pet stain removers, volatile chemicals (chemicals that react with certain compounds) and enzyme products.  Chemical products work by changing the chemical make-up of urine.  However, if you’re using a chemical on your flooring or carpet chances are you’re not going to get all the chemical out.  These chemicals can remain in the dye pores and fibers of your carpets for many years.  Enzymes work by acting as a catalyst to remove urine.  Enzymes are natural, unlike man-made chemicals.

For infrequent pet stains or pet accidents, pet stain removers can work extremely well.  These products neutralize and eliminate pet stains on carpet surfaces or already sealed flooring.

Animal Lovers are Never Lonely

123RF-22885766_sHaving a dog or cat around the house brings animal lovers a lot of smiles. Cuddling, big round eyes sending messages of love, cute fluffy ears or a tail moving in signs of joy makes any heart melt. Animal lovers know that and they appreciate every smile a pet brings to their faces.

Animal lovers are never lonely, are always loved by their pets, and often receive the comfort that a human could not give them. Having an animal for a friend is having a true friend for life!

Another reason that animal lovers are never lonely is they are often communicative, generous, not selfish, always around to help their friends in need, loving and attentive. Animal lovers are very appreciated and loved by everyone.

If you are looking for company, animal and human, don’t forget animal lovers and their pets!

Six Easy Ways to Find a Good Dog Trainer

123RF-16565688_sWith so many people advertising in the field of professional dog training today, trying to determine who’s truly qualified to look after your dog can be overwhelming.  What to look for when choosing a professional to help you with dog training:

  1. A good reputation, ask around and get recommendations from your vet, other dog owners, or local kennel clubs.
  2. Experience. Inquire about their background, i.e. number of years of experience.
  3. A genuine love of and devotion to dogs.
  4. Extensive and up to date knowledge. Dedicated trainers keep themselves updated by attending dog training and animal behaviour courses, conferences, seminars and workshops.
  5. Their training methodology and handling skills. A good dog trainer’s first concern should be the dog’s wellbeing.
  6. Memberships with reputable associations, organizations and training clubs.