Posts Tagged ‘dog health’

Understanding Dog Aggression

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Aggression with dogs is understood as any type of behavior that aims at frightening or hurting another animal or human. Growling, snarling, showing teeth, and similar behaviors are all considered aggressive. Although they are normal, humans generally seem to have a problem with these types of behavior. From the dog’s perspective, there is always a reason to be aggressive.

Aggression towards strangers

dog aggressionPeople and dogs have different ways of communicating, which can often lead to misunderstandings between the two species. A person can be friendly towards a dog, but it can misinterpret this behavior as threatening or frightening. This doesn’t mean that dogs are necessarily schizophrenic, crazy, psychotic or sick when showing this behavior.

As it is extremely complex and result in serious consequences, aggressive behavior of your dog towards strangers should be consulted with a veterinarian or other dog professional.

Types of aggression

Dominant aggression

Dominant aggression is motivated by the struggle for social status of the dog or the control of social interaction. Dogs are animals that live in packs and consider their human family as pack members. Based on the outcomes of status struggle among pack members, hierarchy is established.

If the dog sees its social status as higher than your own, it is highly likely that it will challenge you in certain situations. Since people don’t always understand how dogs communicate, they can unintentionally challenge their dog to a fight for higher social position.

A dominantly aggressive dog can growl if disturbed while asleep, or if asked to leave its favorite spot like a couch or bed. Using force, even physically harmless attempts such as hugs can also result in aggression. Grabbing a dog by its collar or attempting to pet it on the head can also be seen as a social challenge.

Dominantly aggressive dogs can be friendly if not tempted. Dominant aggression is directed towards other animals and humans. The most frequents cause for aggression within a pack is instability in hierarchy.

Fear motivated aggression

Fear motivated aggression is a defense mechanism and it occurs when a dog believes it’s in danger. Keep in mind that this is seen from the dog’s perspective, it is not your fault if you cause such a reaction. For example, you can raise your arm to throw a ball and a dog can bite you thinking that you wanted to hit it. A dog can also react this way in the presence of other dogs or animals.

Protective, territorial, and possessive aggression

Protective, territorial, and possessive aggressions are closely connected and involve the defense of valuable sources. Territorial aggression is often connected to protecting property. The domain your dog believes belong to it can extend beyond your back yard. For example, if you constantly take your dog out for a walk to the park and let it mark a specific spot then the entire park becomes its territory.

Protective aggression is related to the aggression towards people and animals that the dog sees as a threat to the pack. The dog gets possessively aggressive when protecting its food, toys, or other valuable objects.

Redirected aggression

This type of aggression is relatively common. If a dog’s aggression is caused by danger of an attack, the dog can redirect that aggression onto someone else. In other words, when two dogs behind a fence see a dog outside the house, they can get excited, aggressive, and attack each other because they can’t get outside.

Author bio: Andrea Hudson is a professional photographer and a great dog lover. She is interested in dogs and pets related topics, and she is also the first person in the neighborhood who you call for help when you lose your dog, or any kind of pet. She is always there for her friends..

The Best Dog Treat Recipes on the Internet

Monday, April 29th, 2013

We love our furry little friends, and like humans, they too crave an occasional treat! While there are a plethora of treats available in any supermarket or pet store for dog owners to buy, many of the brands available are not exactly healthy for your pet and the name brands that are suitable can be quite costly.

As the dollar becomes less prominent and we become more knowledgeable about our pet’s health and well-being, many dog owners are embracing making their own homemade dog treats. Fortunately there are thousands, if not more, dog treat recipes which can be found on the Internet, free of charge. What’s more is that these recipes are healthy, cost effective and offer a wide variety of truly creative and scrumptious treats for your dog. For the best dog treat recipes check out these popular sites.

dog on beach

 

Allrecipes.com

Ordinarily Internet searchers come to this very popular site to find something new or inventive to make for dinner. However, in the recent months this site has added a plethora of dog treat recipes, all donated by faithful pet owners who have tried, and loved, them.

All the recipes are healthy for your dog and most of them include video tutorials should you need them. Go to allrecipes.com and in the search box enter ‘dog treats.’ This will bring you to a page with 40 or so different recipes along with full instructions of ingredients and preparation, as well as nutritional information and reviews from those who have tried them.

Dogtreatrecipes.org

This is a site devoted completely to dog recipes and it not only includes concoctions for treats, but it also has many recipes for homemade dog foods as well. The recipes on here are inventive, so much so that humans might be tempted to try some of them!

Some of their 5-star recipes include Peanut Butter Banana Pupcakes and a tasty sounding Cheesy, Meaty Homemade Dog Food. There are also many helpful links for other resources pertaining to all things canine.

Dogtreatkitchen.com

Another fabulous site devoted to dog treats, the index is easily navigated and here you will find the run of the mill homemade treats but also a lot more. Other recipes include gourmet treats, frozen treats for the hot summer days and even recipes for dog cakes and icing.

Pinterest

Pinterest has been around for a couple years now and on this site you can find everything from how to sew to where to find the latest makeup deals. Now dog owners can also turn here for some of the best dog treat recipes from all over the world, all of which have been reviewed and recommended. The site boasts hundreds of ‘pins’ for any type of treat you could ever want including recipes for diabetic treats and some that are weight conscious.

Dogs.thefuntimesguide.com

Although this site is not exhaustive, if you are looking for a short, quick, top 10 guide to dog treat recipes, this site is for you. The page is simple and fuss-free and offers the daily top 10 best treats found on the Internet.

Here there are vegetarian treats and party pupcake recipes and you can also find other helpful information such as dog walking, training and health care tips from professionals. Essentially this is an easy, one stop shop for dog lovers.

Dogpawprint.com

This is an all-inclusive site that has hundreds of dog treat recipes which are categorized according to different needs such as heart healthy recipes, vegetarian treats and fun treats. The site is packed with recipe gems, easy to follow instructions and also has a lot of tips and games with accompanying links. There is also helpful information on which treats an owner should give to their dog according to their breed.

dog treats

Dognutritionnaturally.com

For dog owners that are concerned with gluten or their dog’s heart health, this dandy site has thousands of recipes that are gluten free and are tested and proven to be weight smart and overall health conscious for dogs.

There are diagrams and nutritional guides as to what not to feed your dog as well as some facts about common misconceptions of dog treats and when or how to offer them. The site promotes healthy living and also offers other great tips about dogs for owners.

Dogtreatrecipeexchange.com

This site has 400 recipes which include gluten free, vegetarian, and wheat free recipes all categorized so they can be easily accessed. The recipes come from all over the world and each one is reviewed by those who have tried them. Users can also bookmark their selections so they can revisit them at a later date as well as share them on personal social networking sites.

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Dogs and their jobs

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

For most of us, a dog is a beloved family member, and a pampered pet.  We provide our canine companions with luxury dog beds, an abundance of squeaky toys, and the best pet food we can find.  However, not all dogs live pampered lives in return for performing the occasional trick to impress the next door neighbour.  Some dogs hold down full time jobs, using their strength, or their sense of smell, to earn their keep.

dogs and their jobs

Here’s a quick look at some of the jobs that a well-trained dog might do:

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs, or emotional support animals, are used to comfort people who are stressed, traumatized, or depressed.  They are used to help the elderly in nursing homes, calm young people testifying in courts, and offer support to survivors of natural disasters.  Some airlines allow emotional support animals to travel with their passengers, providing comfort for those who are scared of flying.

Military Dogs

Dogs have been used by the military for many, many years, and some of them have even been awarded medals for their bravery.  Today’s military dogs are highly trained, and are almost as well equipped as the humans they’re working with, being given bulletproof vests and high-tech cameras so that they can provide intelligence to their two-legged co-workers, whilst staying as safe as possible themselves.

Service Dogs

Most of us are familiar with guide dogs for the blind, but there are lots of other service animals.  People with epilepsy often have a service dog that will attempt to warn them of impending seizures, and fetch medication for their owner if a seizure occurs.  There are also hearing dogs for the deaf, and dogs that are trained to help patients in wheelchairs, and fetch items for them.

Racing Dogs

Dogs can be professional athletes too!  In Alaska, the Iditarod long-distance racing competition is a huge event, with entire villages turning out to watch the dogs (and the sled riders) pass through their village.  Teams have avid supporters, and the breeders consider training and caring for their dogs to be a full-time job.  Alaskan huskies are tough, strong, and have thick coats of fur, enabling them to survive in the difficult conditions of the Alaskan highlands.

Sniffer Dogs

Dogs have a far better sense of smell than humans do, and this makes them incredibly good at detecting illicit substances.  Police train dogs to sniff out a range of things, including drugs and explosives.  Dogs are also used in search and rescue missions, and customs officers use dogs to detect foreign produce that tourists might unwittingly (or dishonestly) try to bring into the country.

Medical Dogs

While this isn’t an official “job” yet, it could well be one in the future.  German researchers have ran some small scale trials to see if dogs could detect lung cancer by sniffing a patient’s breath.  The dogs had a 71% accuracy rate of detecting cancers, and a relatively low false positive rate too (just 7%).  More testing is needed, but it’s entirely possible that we may see dogs used in the diagnostic process in the future.
Guest post written and contributed by dog lover Amy Fowler, on behalf of House of Paws, specialists in luxury dog beds and other cat and dog accessories.

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Training Your Puppy without the Classes

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Choosing to get a puppy is a massive decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As well as all the costs and commitment, a puppy also requires a great deal of on-going training to ensure it grows up to be a healthy and happy dog.

Before you can train a puppy, you need to develop a mutual respect for one another. A dog won’t always do as you ask it to without a reward, whether this is a treat or plenty of attention and affection. Quite often, a puppy will seek a master in which it can follow and aim to please. This is usually the person who walks and feeds it, not necessarily smothers it with love and affection all the time. This relationship needs to be developed from an early stage to ensure your puppy looks to you for instruction.

Training Your Puppy without the Classes

House Training

So first things first, you will need to teach your puppy some basic house training rules to ensure it uses the toilet outside as oppose to inside on furniture and expensive flooring. Puppies, like babies do not know there is a right or wrong place to relieve themselves, so you need to teach them this. Under no conditions should you result to violence to correct your dog in any aspect of its training, as it can encourage vicious behaviour.

House training is usually achieved over a considerable amount of time, there is no short cut and there is bound to be slip ups from time to time as well. Encourage your dog to go outside at regular intervals, and when it does choose to urinate outside, reward it and give it affection. Take your puppy outside throughout the day, from the moment you wake up, before and after its meals and of course before bed time. This minimises the likelihood of accidents and also teaches your dog a positive routine.

Eliminating Biting

Puppies will usually bite and chew as it is a natural reaction to their teething process. Sometimes biting will be playful, other times out of boredom, and in some cases when your puppy is feeling a little tired and irritable. Again, avoiding using violence, encouraging good behaviour and discouraging bad behaviour will send the right message to your new four-legged friend that you and your belongings don’t appreciate being chewed or bitten, and that this will not earn it affection and rewards.

Another option is to encourage your pup to chew something else when you see it gnawing on your favourite piece of furniture. Supply it with a durable chew toy to keep it occupied, and in time your dog will learn that this is what should be chewed and played with, not the furniture.

Taking your puppy to training classes is of course not compulsory and by training your dog yourself; you will also save a great deal of money and build your very own bond with your dog. Training will be an on-going task throughout the dog’s life as its learning will never be complete and like humans, can occasionally make mistakes too.

Photo Credit: Adam E. Cole

This article was written by Sarah MacLeod on behalf of My Pet Stop, a UK based dog boarding company offing puppy training, dog grooming and much more.

 

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Why you should bake your own dog treats

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

We understand that you love your dog.  They don’t call dogs “Man’s best friend” for nothing!  They bring us joy, make us laugh, and comfort us when we’re feeling down.  They miss us when we’re gone, and get so excited when we’re back that you’d think we were gone for a year!  That’s why we are pet parents, not pet owners.  Our dogs are our children, and we love them as such.  So, why not feed them like we would feed our own children?  It’s easier than you might think, and a great way to get the kids involved!

There are a number of reasons to bake your own dog treats.  To start with, you are in control of exactly what is in your treats.  For anybody who has ever had a finicky dog, you know that there are some things they just don’t like.  This is especially true in the case of most treats you buy at the store; your pooch would much rather eat the burger out of your hand than chew on cheap, overly-processed treats that have an ingredient list a mile long.  So, why not compromise?  You can easily bake dog treats with peanut butter, pumpkin, cinnamon, or anything else you can think of, and those treats will be much better for your dog.

Why you should bake your own dog treats

Baking your own treats is healthier because you aren’t loading them with preservatives and importing them from some “kitchen” that may or may not care just how good those treats are.  Think of it like fast food; sure, you can get a burger through the drive through, but if you did that every day, your body wouldn’t be feeling quite as good as it would if you baked something healthy at home (and, honestly, who doesn’t love a good home-cooked meal?).

You also don’t have to worry about your dog having an allergic reaction, or developing allergies if you’re making the treats yourself.  Dogs can be just as sensitive as humans, so we should pay attention to what we give our pooch so they can live a long, happy, and healthy life.  Frequent allergies include beef, dairy, pork, soy, fish, eggs, and more.  Many popular dog treats contain these ingredients, too, limiting your choices if your pooch is allergic to any of these.

Now, you may argue that you’re not a whiz in the kitchen.  That’s perfectly understandable. Many people have grown up with a microwave oven being their primary food preparation device, so turning on the oven and baking something can seem like a foreign idea.  However, baking your own dog treats isn’t hard.  We’ve actually taken out a lot of the hard work and created something simple to bake.  If you’ve ever made a box brownie mix, you can bake your own dog treats.  That’s where Pupolicious comes in!

Pupolicious is a dog treat and icing mix, much like those boxed baking mixes you see in the store, that is quick, simple, and most important of all – healthy.  It comes with everything you need to start baking your own dog treats, and has 3 simple steps; mix, bake, and decorate.  The only things you need to make Pupolicious is a mixing bowl, rolling pin, baking sheet, a spoon, oil, water, and of course, an oven.  You can also easily flavor your treats, and http://www.pupolicious.com has flavoring suggestions and simple instructions for just that purpose.  It doesn’t stop there, however; Pupolicious is a great way to get the kids involved with the quick & easy icing mix (after all, what kid DOESN’T like decorating treats), so it’s something the whole family can do for your furry friend!

With Pupolicious’ safe, simple ingredients, you can easily bake dog treats at home, making it easier to show your dogs just how much you love them.  That’s why we call Pupolicious “the dog treat you bake with love.”

 

Author’s Notes:

Pupolicious is a new dog treat and icing mix available and made in the U.S.A.  You can read more and purchase Pupolicious at www.pupolicious.com

 

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Dog fouling: a messy situation

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Britain is living through a messy situation. Dog fouling is topping local news headlines across the land and councils are still scratching their heads about how to make people more responsible for their pooch’s bowel movements.

While some are charging owners found guilty anywhere up to £1,000 for their transgressions, others continue to install bins in our parks, towns and cities, full of hope that they’ll actually be used.

However, statistics seem to indicate the situation is still a major headache for local authorities. A recent survey of over 10,000 sites by Keep Britain Tidy, for example, found that dog mess was present on seven per cent of sites. Local newspaper articles, community meetings and neighbourhood watch gatherings seem to be constantly teeming with residents unhappy with the mess in their areas – and for good reason. Ingestion of dog excrement can bring on serious health conditions.

Toxocariasis is the most major infection associated with dog muck. While rare, with around 50-100 cases recorded a year, according to the NHS, toxocariasis can bring on a range of unpleasant symptoms, even leading to blindness if left untreated.

Of course it’s the social effects that tend to offend non-pet owners, and dog-owners alike. Just how can people have the audacity, the inconsideration, the lack of respect for themselves and their animal to leave mess on our beautiful public countryside?

Well, for those who haven’t yet learnt how best to clear up after themselves, here’s a few tips that could help turn around Britain’s messy nation.

Make sure you know when they need to go

You should really know your dog well enough to see the signs when they need to go. Although this isn’t always possible, you can even take an estimated guess based on your dog’s eating habits.

Keeping a regular routine is probably one of the best ways of letting your dog know whether it’s time to go for a walk or not. With enough repetition, and adequate dog training, they’ll come to understand the signs and will hopefully do their business before you leave the house.

Find an adequate place to walk them

Needless to say, you should try where possible to take your dog to locations where dog walking is expected, permitted, and where dog bins are nearby.

Even if you live in the city, you’re sure to find routes to the park that have more verges than others, offering your dog a chance to have a toilet break on a spot where less people are likely to walk.

Be equipped for the job

Vitally, you should always be prepared for the job at hand. Always leave the house with plenty of dog bags and treats. The latter of which you can of course reward your dog for good behaviour, such as going on the grass as opposed to the pavement.

Not only will you need bags to pick up mess, but also a decent collar or even harness, so you can keep them under control at all times. Red Dingo is just one supplier that sells a variety of well constructed products that might help keep your dog on the right side of you when going to the loo. Other Red Dingo products include bowls, mattresses and tags.

 

Even when using a lead, you should be careful that your dog doesn’t roll around in the fouling of other animals (fox and horse poo are favourites for most dogs) as you could end up bringing germs into the house.

With any luck these tips will help make sure you don’t add to the already very messy issue of dog muck in the UK.

 

 

 

 

Author Bio: Joseph Smith has a degree in Zoology, as well as having owned and taken care of many animals and pets in his career. Through this article he provides you information on how to select the right facility for your dog as well as high-quality products for dogs. For more information go to http://www.muddypaws.co.uk/red-dingo-m-20.html

 

 

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How Types Of Grass Can Make A Difference In Housebreaking

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

When it comes to grass litter boxes, there are two very different options you can choose from. Some grass litter boxes utilize natural grass while others utilize a synthetic solution. Because grass litter boxes are used as a tool to help housebreak a new dog, there are certain characteristics which should be considered before you settle on your particular form of potty terrain.

Dog Training

Synthetics

There are many different brands and styles of synthetic grass. Some utilize fibers that resist scent and others appeal with a texture that matches the real thing. Regardless, of who makes them, there are certain characteristics which make them appealing to dog potty applications.

Synthetic grasses are renowned for their longevity. Unlike natural grass, they don’t have a lifespan, but that doesn’t mean they can’t wear out. Some producers such as the Pet Zoom produce a patch which can last up to three years with the proper care, while others like Pup-Grass take synthetic to a different level, applying every aspect possible, such as fast draining, tear-resistant, and even scent resistant. While each producer has their own synthetic grass format, companies like Pup-Grass strictly produce synthetic grass for dog applications, including the entire yard.

Unlike natural grass patches that can be thrown away or discarded, synthetic grass does still requireits own unique maintenance. Some manufacturers require hand-washing while others can be machine washed without excessive wear. The only issue here is that the material does get dirty and it’s not exactly disposable, requiring that you spend time washing and maintaining it.

This “immortal” aspect does have its downside though, because as you may understand, synthetic grass doesn’t have the natural scent that real grass has. This can make it difficult for a young puppy to accept or adapt to it if they’ve been accustomed to using an outdoor area. In these cases, you may be required to utilize incentive sprays, some of which may not work, leaving you shopping around for a product that works for your dog’s particular nose.

The real thing

Natural grass has certain characteristics which can’t be replicated by synthetics alone. The texture and feel of grass tends to have a natural instinctive appeal to a dog. But because it does have a lifespan, it isn’t always the most cost-effective method for your dog’s long-term potty needs.

Additionally, it also acts as a transitional tool for a dog that is in the housetraining process. If you are working towards motivating your dog to potty outdoors, this can be a very effective way to familiarize your dog with the particular characteristics of where it’s good to potty.

There are many differences between synthetic and natural grass, some which benefit certain applications. If you’re working on housetraining your dog, natural grass is often the simplest solution. Though it does help to find an indoor litter box that can provide either solution so that you can give your dog what they prefer without investing in a completely new unit.

Author Bio:

Brandon Kennington is the inventor and owner of the Porch Potty – the world’s first automatic grass dog litter box. As dog owner and a busy business owner, Brandon invented the Porch Potty when he didn’t want his dog to have to wait all day to go. Porch Potty admires dog owners and also provides great tips for dog lovers on the Porch Potty Blog.

The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

How To Clean a Dog Leash: Home of the Germs & Flea Eggs

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Leash cleanliness (or lack thereof) is undoubtedly one of the most overlooked aspects of health and well-being for you and your pup.  Whether you live in the big bustling city of New York or a small fishing village in Japan, attention to proper leash care can lead to more sanitary living conditions for you and your dog.

How to Clean A Dog Leash

Consider this: How many of us wash our hands before a dog walk?  During any given dog walk , we clip the leash to the harness or collar, open the front door (and/or push an elevator button), pick up poop, perhaps switch no matter how temporarily, the hand that we are using to hold the leash, and also handle our house keys, which are all major sources of germ transfer.  That’s at least six different germ transfers per walk.  It’s not an understatement that it’s slightly gross and disgusting when you think about how many other unwashed, germ invested hands have also interacted with those high use items.

The question remains- how can you break the cycle of all of these germs getting onto the dog leash?  For some of you it may be months of germ and dirt buildup. For others of you years.  Germs, dirt and bacteria left to fester can lead to the slow erosion of the leash, be breeding grounds for flea eggs to hatch, and also to can also be an accessory to the spreading of colds and the flu. Multiply this by the number of people that use the leash (the dog walker, your children, spouse) and the number of people they interact with on a weekly basis.

If you follow a few precautionary steps, you will see how simple it is. First off, start by sanitizing your cloth leash in the dish washer (or for New Yorkers, in a tub of hot water and dish soap) at least once per week at a temperature of 150 degrees which can kill many bacteria and germs and flea eggs.

If you have a flexi-leash, you can wipe it down with Clorox and water.  To make life easier,  my personal recommendation would be to have three leashes in rotation, so you can get into the flow of regularly washing the harnesses and/or sanitizing the collars at least once per week and also regularly  wash your hands before and after each walk.  When you are at home, take off your dogs harness and collar to reduce the amount of dirt and germ transfer between the harness/collar and the dog.  As for your keys, the door handles and your front door handle- bleach and water.  For a green alternative, you can always use Dr. Bronners diluted with water.

Remember a clean, sanitary leash and getting into the routine of washing your hands before and after a dog walk is a small step towards creating a healthier, happier living conditions for you and your pets.

How often do you clean your leash? And do you have any advice? Let us know in the comments! Like this article? Please Share! 

Cynthia Okimoto is the owner of New York Dog Nanny www.newyorkdognanny.com and has been professionally caring for dogs since 2010.

The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

How to Tell When Your Dog Needs a Walk

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Humans take words for granted. If any of us need to take a break at the office or at home we can simply say “I need to stretch my legs for a few minutes.” Unfortunately, dogs don’t have the same luxury. Here are a few tips to help you know when your dog needs to be walked:

 

  • Is it time for them to be walked? Dogs form habits very easily, so your dog will get excited around their usual walk time. Try not to walk your dog early if they’re acting up around walk time: your dog may start exaggerating their behavior regularly because you’ve rewarded them for being dramatic. If your dog seems uncomfortable or hyper after you’ve tried to phase out a walk time, you should bring the walk back. Dogs can become anxious if their schedules are altered.
  • If your dog makes a beeline straight to you when you get home, it means they’re feeling very emphatic about telling you something. It probably means your dog needs to go for a walk. Dogs are tense when the walk in direct, straight lines and relaxed when taking curving paths towards their goal.
  • If your dog has recently put on weight, extending the length of their walk or adding a walk to their schedule is a great way to help your dog lose weight.
dog needs a walk?
  • Has your dog been having accidents? Your dog may have Cushings disease, or another issue with their elimination system.
  • If your dog is displaying anxious posture and looking at you with whale eye (large, circular shaped eyes with their whites exposed) this means your dog is very tense. If your dog is standing near the door, or alternating their gaze between you and the door, your dog is most likely telling you they feel tense because they desperately want to go outside.
  • Conversely, your dog may try to show you they need to go out by getting very excited. If your dog trembles, keeps going into “play bow” posture, or becomes extremely rowdy, your dog is probably trying to tell you they need to get out of the house and burn off some energy.
  • Puppies often touch their noses, or touch their paws to their mothers when they need something. If your dog keeps putting his paw on your knee or keeps touching you with his nose, your dog is trying to tell you they need something. That thing they need? It may be a walk.

Those are some simple ways to tell if your dog needs your attention. Remember that your dog will be less anxious and behave well if they’re walked and getting enough exercise. However, never let your dog order you to take them on a walk with frantic or disruptive behavior. It’s equally important that your dog know that you’re the boss at all times.

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Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Separation Anxiety in DogsSeparation anxiety is an issue that can easily go unnoticed or ignored, but is actually something that we should all be looking out for in Dogs. Because Dogs are pack animals, separation anxiety can affect their mental health quite dramtically. The condition happens when a Dog is left alone, and will typically pace around the house, barking, scratching, chewing and whining. The main issue here is that the Dog is highly stressed and it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been gone for a few minutes of a few hours, the stress levels are the same.

Before we look at some of the solutions to separation anxiety, we need to understand some of the causes. The main cause goes back to the ‘pack animal problem’ and leadership. In a pack the leader is allowed to leave on his own if he wishes, however a follower will never leave the leader. If your Dog sees himself as a the pack leader, then you leaving the house can cause considerable mental strain. This is one reason for separation anxiety.

Another – slightly easier to address – cause of separation anxiety is a lack of exercise. If your Dog isn’t getting enough exercise, the small amount of stress it causes them when you leave the house is intensified by a build up of energy. This will result in your Dog getting worked up and acting in a negative way.

These are the two most common causes of separation anxiety, let’s take a look at a few solutions.

1. Give your Dog some space

If your Dog is always around you, sleeping on you and gazing at you, this can be a cause of too much dependence. Get a Dog bed and train them to use it. Feeding, petting, and treats should all be given there, to reinforce that position as your Dogs ‘own home’.

2. Obedience

If your Dog isn’t very obedient, he may not be seeing you as the leader of the pack, which can be a big problem. Take time to train your Dog and make sure they’re responding to commands like sit, lie down, come here etc. Treats, playing, walks and attention should only be in response to good behavior.

3. Exercise

It goes without saying that exercise is extremely important for all aspects of your Dogs life. If you think your Dog has separation anxiety, you need to step it up a gear. Your Dog needs to be calm and relaxed after the exercise session for you to know it’s been enough.

Finally, make sure you’re acting calmly around your Dog, don’t come home extremely excited as this will increase the anxiety. Also, keep the same routine seven days a week. If you spend all day with your Dog at the weekend, the separation anxiety is going to be even worse on Monday. Routine and structure are important to all Dogs lives.

Have you ever had to deal with Separation Anxiety? Have you heard of any other solutions to this problem? Let us know in the comments!

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