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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.

Dog Toys for the Brain, Teeth and Feet

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallThinking of the best toys that suit your dog? Below are some suggestions:

1. Kong Jump’n Jack:  Kong Jump’n Jack is a dog toy and a teeth cleaner and gum exerciser at the same time. It has a very unpredictable bounce that makes it a lot more fun for the dog to play with. It has surfaces that clean your dog’s teeth. Kong Jump’n Jack also has slits that are useful for the gums to be exercised.

2. Squirrel Dude (Busy Buddy):  This is a unique and innovative rubber toy. It has four rubber prongs that slightly cover the hole, which challenges the dog to give more effort to taste the food treats inside. The Squirrel Dude is durable and very chewable.

3. Biscuit Block (Animal Planet):  This chew toy has four grabbing chambers distributed throughout the toy. Varieties of dog treats can be inserted inside to keep pets happy and busy. It has a crazy bounce brought about by its square shape with cut corners.

4. Ball Stomp’r (Launch and Throw Ball Toys): This dog toy enables both young and old to have a great time playing with their dogs. The Ball Stomp’r is the first ball launcher of its kind. The ball needs to be loaded, then stomped on and it will eject to a height reaching 100 feet with the regular ball.

5. Dinosaur Egg Baby (Plush Puppies) – Intelligence Building Toy.  The Dinosaur Egg Baby has three eggs inside that make a squeaking sound. It has a secret opening underneath to test your dog’s instinct in getting hidden rewards. It is 6 inches in height, 5 inches wide and 12 inches long.

These are all toys that exercise dogs, cleanse their teeth, rejuvenate their jumping ability and test their intelligence.

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!

“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.

 

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.

How to Know if Your Dog is Sick

-k9-kear-up-guaranteeMost dog owners will notice any sudden or odd changes in their dog’s normal behaviour but it is helpful to know which specific symptoms to look for. If your dog shows symptoms of excessive drinking, sudden loss of appetite, continual vomiting or diarrhoea, or unusual lethargy you should be concerned.  Discharge from the eyes or inflamed eyes, a shallow or rapid breathing pattern or persistent coughing can all be signs of something serious.

Typically when a dog is sick they will show a raised temperature, indicated by a hot, dry nose. If your dog has a high temperature or a very low temperature you should seek professional advice from your veterinarian.

A dog’s temperature will be raised after strenuous activity or excitement, and not be a reliable indication to its health at that time.

If you know or suspect your dog is ill, make sure you keep them calm and display a reassuring manner until you get them to the veterinarian. Dogs can be very sensitive to your tone of voice and will pick up any worry or anxiety in your demeanour.

Understanding your dog’s needs and keeping an eye out for symptoms of sickness and ill health ensures that you can take swift action and have your dog is cared for immediately.

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!

Five Great Gift Ideas for Pet Lovers

123RF-9880980_sWith the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of gifts to give your friends and loved ones. Finding unique gifts can present a challenge, and most people never consider giving pet-related gifts. Since the chances are good that more than one person on your holiday gift list has a pet that he or she adores, why not give a distinctive gift that they will treasure? Here are five great gift ideas to get you started:

1. Fine Art Animal Prints

Dogs may come in many shapes and sizes, but each has a personality all of its own. One of the most delightful gifts you can give to a pet lover is a fine art print of his or her breed.

2. Crystal Animal Statues

Whether your gift recipient has a dog, cat, horse, or rabbit, he or she is sure to enjoy an elegant crystal animal statue. Hand-finished animal statues are beautiful yet whimsical. Crystal animal statues can depict a wide variety of pets.

3. Stone Animal Statues

Who wouldn’t love a playful stone animal statue depicting their beloved pet? Animal garden statues are perfect gifts, as are stone animal statues for the home and office. While some statues – like a sleeping spaniel puppy or an eager dachshund – make you feel warm inside, others – like a cat holding a pair of binoculars up to his eyes, ever watchful for a bird – make you chuckle. Stone animal statues are available for virtually any type of pet, and are certain to be cherished.

4. Animal Posters

If you’ve ever owned a pet, you know how funny they can be. Animal posters depict pets in a variety of outlandish situations (remember the cat in “Hang in There”?), and are affordable.

5. Entertainment

When it comes to gifts for pet lovers, there’s nothing more unique that pet-related entertainment. There is actually a music company that creates music for animals, so consider giving a gift of music about and for cats, dogs, or birds. Another great gift idea is to buy a DVD or video that is designed to entertain your recipient’s pet. They can play the DVD or video while at work or out running errands – guilt free!

It’s both original and thoughtful to give a gift that acknowledges someone’s pet as a central part of his or her life. Pet lovers will appreciate and treasure your thoughtful gift.

 

Dog Obedience Tips

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallTraining should be a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. If you are not in the right mood for training, don’t even begin. Always reward your dog for obeying your commands promptly. A reward is anything that your dog wants and is willing to work for. Treats are an obvious reward but other rewards could be verbal praise and toys.

Several shorter sessions are usually better than one long one. Training should not involve any negative components or punishment. There should be no shouting, no hitting or smacking, no chain jerking on choke chains or collars, and absolutely no electric shocking.  Each training session should be enjoyable and positive with rewards for jobs well done.