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My BFF pet sitting now has a Thumbtack profile!!!

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Informative article for health of your cat!:)

Cats' ability to hide illness poses problems for owner

Cats are very good at hiding illness. This is a protective instinct from the wild. They do this to prevent potential predators from knowing that they are in pain, weakened or ill.

Unfortunately this means the pet owner may not realize there is a problem until an illness is fairly advanced.

Other factors can compound this. Many felines are a part of multiple cat households, and many felines live outdoors for part of the time. This can make it very difficult to detect decreases in appetite, the presence of vomiting or diarrhea, as well as changes in water consumption or urination. Outdoor felines are also at risk for contact with poison, getting attacked by other cats or dogs, and being hit by a car.

Cats are also great hiders. It can be very normal not to see them for long periods of time. When they are not feeling well, cats may hide to conserve energy or avoid pain. Be aware the living arrangements you provide for your feline can make it challenging to detect illness.

Bring your cat in for a veterinary exam when you first identify a health issue. It is well supported that bringing your beloved feline in for care at the first sign of a medical problem increases the likelihood that treatment will be successful.

Expect the veterinarian to run at least a blood panel, and possibly a urinalysis. Depending on symptoms and weight loss, X-rays may be recommended. Often a feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency test will be suggested, especially if your cat ventures outdoors. Treatment will depend on symptoms and diagnostic findings. Be aware that hospitalization on intravenous fluids and nasogastric tube feeding may be recommended if your cherished companion hasn't been eating well for more than a day.

There are several steps you can take to make it easier to identify sickness in your cat, even in multiple cat households.

» Try to feed cats separately. This gives you the best idea of how much each pet is eating. It is also a good way to feed a specialized diet or adjust calories for weight problems if needed.

» Look at each pet often, ideally daily to see if he or she has normal energy.

» Weigh your feline monthly. You can do this fairly easily with a bathroom scale. Simply weigh yourself with and without your pet and subtract your weight. Even if this value is not identical to a weight measured at a veterinary clinic, it will help you to identify changes early on.

» If your cat goes outdoors, check your yard regularly for signs of vomit or diarrhea. This is also a good practice for fly and parasite control.

» Ideally feces should be removed on a daily basis. Sometimes this can be difficult because cats can be very secretive about where they poop. If you cat uses a litter box, watch for changes in how wet the litter is, and how often you are needing to clean it out.

Cheers to good health for your felines in the new year!

Julie Damron is a veterinarian at Sierra Veterinary Clinic in Stockton. Contact her at features@recordnet.com.Blog here.

"Angels come in all forms"~Oprah Winfrey...

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Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez: Stars who adopt from Shelters and Rescue Animals!

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are getting serious, and their duo has now grown to a trio! We’re not talking about kids, people! They are only teenagers, after all. However, according to a report from Hollywood Life, Bieber and Gomez have adopted a puppy together!

While visiting Winnipeg, Canada, Gomez and Bieber stopped by a local animal shelter, and a volunteer at the shelter told Hollywood Life that the singers adopted a mutt — the puppy is apparently a husky mix, according to the worker at D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Center.

The couple visited the shelter on Oct. 21, and they were playing with a few of the animals before the husky mutt caught their eyes. “Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were here this afternoon playing with the dogs and puppies for over an hour,” the volunteer said. “They expressed an interest in adopting one of the dogs. They were both very down to earth and friendly.”

Although the worker says the couple was only interested in adopting the dog, Hollywood Life reports that the duo actually took the pup home with them. “It’s obvious that they are huge animal lovers and I am happy to see that they are both bright enough to come to an animal shelter instead of a pet store to look for a dog. Justin and Selena are wonderful role models,” the volunteer added.

This adoption doesn’t come out of the blue, since both singers are animal lovers and Gomez is very involved with animal rescue. Gomez has five rescue dogs of her own, and she spoke to The Bellingham Herald about adopting the dogs. “We found two in a parking lot and then we found one our neighbor moved away and left him in the backyard. So that was very sad,” Gomez said. “And then I shot a movie ‘Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie,’ as we saw a dog in Puerto Rico, he got hit by a car and we took him to the vet and took him home. So they’re all really nice. They’re very spoiled now.”

We can’t wait to see the pictures of the couple’s new pup!

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Pets are considered part of the family And are very good for our health!

According to the data from the APPA report, The increase in the human-pet bond has transformed pets into family members!

 

 

For years researchers have been touting the benefits of pet ownership to include:

 

Improved mood

 

Control of blood pressure spikes

 

Encouraging exercise

 

Increase pet owner social interactions

So by having pets in the house, they become a

natural source of relief for our day-to-day

tensions and frustrations.

Pets are not only companions, but preventative health measures

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WHAT IS A PET SITTER?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A pet sitter is a contracted service provider who takes care of a pet or other animal at its own home.

Professional industry

The professional pet-sitting industry is growing rapidly because many pet owners feel that there are advantages to using pet sitters, rather than traditional pet care options. Reasons people use pet sitters include:

 

  • Possible reduced stress on pets because pets are cared for in their own homes
  • No "travel trauma" to pets because they do not need to be transported anywhere
  • Exposure to illnesses and parasites of other animals is minimized
  • Required vaccinations are often less restrictive than those necessary at a kennel
  • Pets stay on their regular routines and do not need to adapt to a new environment
  • Not having to deal with neighbors, friends or family members feeling that they are inconvenienced
Professional pet sitters are often licensed, and insured for liability including care, custody, and control of the pets in their care. Many pet sitters are also bonded or insured for theft. Pet sitters usually have training, such as pet first aid certification, animal husbandry classes, or pet sitting accreditation. A number of professional organizations exist to help pet sitters improve their services.

 

In many areas, no special occupational license is required for pet sitters. The term "licensed" is often used by pet sitting professionals to refer to licenses to do business, kennel licenses, and/or animal transportation permits available within the coverage area of the business. These licenses may or may not be required, depending on the location. Licenses are not available in all areas.

Source

Description above from the Wikipedia article Pet sitting, licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here. Community Pages are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, anyone associated with the topic.
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Click on link for information on ALL BREEDS OF DOGS, CATS, HORSES

http://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds

WHY HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PET SITTER?

The Benefits of Using a Professional

Pet Sitting Services: What You Can Expect

Pets and their people are a unit. What's good for one is good for the other. At Pet Sitters International, we know that. It is why we stress strong ideals, professional standards and common-sense methods that reinforce our members with dependable know-how.

The PSI approach equips pet sitters with quality awareness, pet owners with quality assurance and pets with quality in-home pet care!

 

Why Pet Owners Hire Professional Pet Sitters

• Pets are happier and experience less stress at home.

• Diet and exercise routines are uninterrupted.

• Travel trauma for both owner and pet is eliminated.

• Pet's exposure to illness is minimized.

• Untrained or unwilling friends/family/neighbors need not be called.

• In-home professional pet care provides added peace of mind.

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Please support local adoption shelter(s). Please visit event:)!!

 
Adoption Event - Dogs Help To Soothe Arthritis

Date: Wednesday, October 12th

Time: 12:00 noon - 4:00 p.m.

Location: Massage Envy, Boynton Beach

Happy Tails Dog Rescue will be participating in an adoption event together with the Arthritis Foundation for "Healing Hands for Arthritis" outside of Massage Envy in Boynton Beach located at 1000 N. Congress, Suite #140. We will be raffling off prizes donated by local pet service providers!

Happy Tails Dog Rescue has exciting events coming up!! We hope you and all your dog loving friends can come in join in on the fun.... and maybe adopt a dog too!!

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URGENT: Please help if you can even if temporarily!!

We need a foster for a 6lb. Maltese for about 2 weeks so we can pull him out today.

Please contact www.happytailsdogrescue.org

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Solutions to seperation Anxiety and other behavioral problems

Separation Anxiety

One of the most common complaints of pet parents is that their dogs are disruptive or destructive when left alone. Their dogs might urinate, defecate, bark, howl, chew, dig or try to escape. Although these problems often indicate that a dog needs to be taught polite house manners, they can also be symptoms of distress. When a dog’s problems are accompanied by other distress behaviors, such as drooling and showing anxiety when his pet parents prepare to leave the house, they aren’t evidence that the dog isn’t house trained or doesn’t know which toys are his to chew. Instead, they are indications that the dog has separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.

Some dogs suffering from separation anxiety become agitated when their guardians prepare to leave. Others seem anxious or depressed prior to their guardians’ departure or when their guardians aren’t present. Some try to prevent their guardians from leaving. Usually, right after a guardian leaves a dog with separation anxiety, the dog will begin barking and displaying other distress behaviors within a short time after being left alone—often within minutes. When the guardian returns home, the dog acts as though it’s been years since he’s seen his mom or dad!

When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to resolve the dog’s underlying anxiety by teaching him to enjoy, or at least tolerate, being left alone. This is accomplished by setting things up so that the dog experiences the situation that provokes his anxiety, namely being alone, without experiencing fear or anxiety.

Common Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

The following is a list of symptoms that may indicate separation anxiety:

Urinating and Defecating

Some dogs urinate or defecate when left alone or separated from their guardians. If a dog urinates or defecates in the presence of his guardian, his house soiling probably isn’t caused by separation anxiety.

Barking and Howling

A dog who has separation anxiety might bark or howl when left alone or when separated from his guardian. This kind of barking or howling is persistent and doesn’t seem to be triggered by anything except being left alone.

Chewing, Digging and Destruction

Some dogs with separation anxiety chew on objects, door frames or window sills, dig at doors and doorways, or destroy household objects when left alone or separated from their guardians. These behaviors can result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped paws and damaged nails. If a dog’s chewing, digging and destruction are caused by separation anxiety, they don’t usually occur in his guardian’s presence.

Escaping

A dog with separation anxiety might try to escape from an area where he’s confined when he’s left alone or separated from his guardian. The dog might attempt to dig and chew through doors or windows, which could result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped front paws and damaged nails. If the dog’s escape behavior is caused by separation anxiety, it doesn’t occur when his guardian is present.

Pacing

Some dogs walk or trot along a specific path in a fixed pattern when left alone or separated from their guardians. Some pacing dogs move around in circular patterns, while others walk back and forth in straight lines. If a dog’s pacing behavior is caused by separation anxiety, it usually doesn’t occur when his guardian is present.

Coprophagia

When left alone or separated from their guardians, some dogs defecate and then consume all or some of their excrement. If a dog eats excrement because of separation anxiety, he probably doesn’t perform that behavior in the presence of his guardian.

Why Do Some Dogs Develop Separation Anxiety?

There is no conclusive evidence showing exactly why dogs develop separation anxiety. However, because far more dogs who have been adopted from shelters have this behavior problem than those kept by a single family since puppyhood, it is believed that loss of an important person or group of people in a dog’s life can lead to separation anxiety. Other less dramatic changes can also trigger the disorder. The following is a list of situations that have been associated with development of separation anxiety.

Change of Guardian or Family

Being abandoned, surrendered to a shelter or given to a new guardian or family can trigger the development of separation anxiety.

Change in Schedule

An abrupt change in schedule in terms of when or how long a dog is left alone can trigger the development of separation anxiety. For example, if a dog’s guardian works from home and spends all day with his dog but then gets a new job that requires him to leave his dog alone for six or more hours at a time, the dog might develop separation anxiety because of that change.

Change in Residence

Moving to a new residence can trigger the development of separation anxiety.

Change in Household Membership

The sudden absence of a resident family member, either due to death or moving away, can trigger the development of separation anxiety.

Medical Problems to Rule Out First

Incontinence Caused by Medical Problems

Some dogs’ house soiling is caused by incontinence, a medical condition in which a dog “leaks” or voids his bladder. Dogs with incontinence problems often seem unaware that they’ve soiled. Sometimes they void urine while asleep. A number of medical issues—including a urinary tract infection, a weak sphincter caused by old age, hormone-related problems after spay surgery, bladder stones, diabetes, kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, neurological problems and abnormalities of the genitalia—can cause urinary incontinence in dogs. Before attempting behavior modification for separation anxiety, please see your dog’s veterinarian to rule out medical issues.

Medications

There are a number of medications that can cause frequent urination and house soiling. If your dog takes any medications, please contact his veterinarian to find out whether or not they might contribute to his house-soiling problems.

Other Behavior Problems to Rule Out

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether a dog has separation anxiety or not. Some common behavior problems can cause similar symptoms. Before concluding that your dog has separation anxiety, it’s important to rule out the following behavior problems:

Submissive or Excitement Urination

Some dogs may urinate during greetings, play, physical contact or when being reprimanded or punished. Such dogs tend to display submissive postures during interactions, such as holding the tail low, flattening the ears back against the head, crouching or rolling over and exposing the belly. For more information about this problem, please see our article, Submissive Urination.  

Incomplete House Training

A dog who occasionally urinates in the house might not be completely house trained. His house training might have been inconsistent or it might have involved punishment that made him afraid to eliminate while his owner is watching or nearby. For help with house training, please see our articles, House Training Your Adult Dog and House Training Your Puppy.

Urine Marking

Some dogs urinate in the house because they’re scent marking. A dog scent marks by urinating small amounts on vertical surfaces. Most male dogs and some female dogs who scent mark raise a leg to urinate. For more information about urine marking and how to resolve it, please see our article, Urine Marking in Dogs

Juvenile Destruction

Many young dogs engage in destructive chewing or digging while their guardians are home as well as when they’re away. Please see our articles, Destructive Chewing and Digging, for more information about these problems.

Boredom

Dogs need mental stimulation, and some dogs can be disruptive when left alone because they’re bored and looking for something to do. These dogs usually don’t appear anxious.To learn about fun, effective ways to combat boredom and spice up your dog’s life, please see our articles, Enriching Your Dog’s Life, Exercise for Dogs and How to Stuff a KONG® Toy.

Excessive Barking or Howling

Some dogs bark or howl in response to various triggers in their environments, like unfamiliar sights and sounds. They usually vocalize when their guardians are home as well as when they’re away. For more information about this kind of problem, please see our articles, Barking and Howling

What to Do If Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety

Treatment for Mild Separation Anxiety

If your dog has a mild case of separation anxiety, counterconditioning might reduce or resolve the problem. Counterconditioning is a treatment process that changes an animal’s fearful, anxious or aggressive reaction to a pleasant, relaxed one instead. It’s done by associating the sight or presence of a feared or disliked person, animal, place, object or situation with something really good, something the dog loves. Over time, the dog learns that whatever he fears actually predicts good things for him. For dogs with separation anxiety, counterconditioning focuses on developing an association between being alone and good things, like delicious food. To develop this kind of association, every time you leave the house, you can offer your dog a puzzle toy stuffed with food that will take him at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish. For example, try giving your dog a KONG® stuffed with something really tasty, like low-fat cream cheese, Cheez Whiz® or low-fat peanut butter, frozen banana and cottage cheese, or canned dog food and kibble. A KONG can even be frozen so that getting all the food out takes even more of your dog’s time. (For KONG recipe ideas and more information about how to use food puzzle toys, please see our article, How to Stuff a KONG Toy.) Your dog might also love a Buster® Cube, a Kibble Nibble or a TreatStik® filled with kibble. Be sure to remove these special toys as soon as you return home so that your dog only has access to them and the high-value foods inside when he’s by himself. You can feed your dog all of his daily meals in special toys. For example, you can give your dog a KONG or two stuffed with his breakfast and some tasty treats every morning before going to work. Keep in mind, though, that this approach will only work for mild cases of separation anxiety because highly anxious dogs usually won’t eat when their guardians aren’t home.

Treatment for Moderate to Severe Separation Anxiety

Moderate or severe cases of separation anxiety require a more complex desensitization and counterconditioning program. In these cases, it’s crucial to gradually accustom a dog to being alone by starting with many short separations that do not produce anxiety and then gradually increasing the duration of the separations over many weeks of daily sessions.

The following steps briefly describe a desensitization and counterconditioning program. Please keep in mind that this is a short, general explanation. Please read our article, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, for a more detailed description of this treatment. 

Desensitization and counterconditioning are complex and can be tricky to carry out. Fear must be avoided or the procedure will backfire and the dog will get more frightened. Because treatment must progress and change according to the pet’s reactions, and because these reactions can be difficult to read and interpret, desensitization and counterconditioning require the guidance of a trained and experienced professional. For help designing and carrying out a desensitization and counterconditioning plan, consult a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB) or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB). If you can’t find a behaviorist, you can seek help from a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), but be sure that the trainer is qualified to help you. Determine whether she or he has education and experience in treating fear with desensitization and counterconditioning, since this kind of expertise isn’t required for CPDT certification. Please see our article, Finding Professional Help, to locate one of these experts in your area.

Step One: Predeparture Cues

As mentioned above, some dogs begin to feel anxious while their guardians get ready to leave. For example, a dog might start to pace, pant and whine when he notices his guardian applying makeup, putting on shoes and a coat, and then picking up a bag or car keys. (If your dog doesn’t show signs of anxiety when you’re preparing to leave him alone, you can just skip to step two below.) Guardians of dogs who become upset during predeparture rituals are unable to leave—even for just few seconds—without triggering their dogs’ extreme anxiety. Your dog may see telltale cues that you’re leaving (like your putting on your coat or picking up your keys) and get so anxious about being left alone that he can’t control himself and forgets that you’ll come back.

One treatment approach to this “predeparture anxiety” is to teach your dog that when you pick up your keys or put on your coat, it doesn’t always mean that you’re leaving. You can do this by exposing your dog to these cues in various orders several times a day—without leaving. For example, put on your boots and coat, and then just watch TV instead of leaving. Or pick up your keys, and then sit down at the kitchen table for awhile. This will reduce your dog’s anxiety because these cues won’t always lead to your departure, and so your dog won’t get so anxious when he sees them. Please be aware, though, that your dog has many years of learning the significance of your departure cues, so in order to learn that the cues no longer predict your long absences, your dog must experience the fake cues many, many times a day for many weeks. After your dog doesn’t become anxious when he sees you getting ready to leave, you can move on to the next step below.

Step Two: Graduated Departures/Absences

If your dog is less anxious before you leave, you can probably skip the predeparture treatment above and start with very short departures. The main rule is to plan your absences to be shorter than the time it takes for your dog to become upset. To get started, train your dog to perform out-of-sight stays by an inside door in the home, such as the bathroom. You can teach your dog to sit or down and stay while you go to the other side of the bathroom door. You can teach your dog to sit or down and stay while you go to the other side of the bathroom door. (If you need help teaching your dog how to stay, please see our article, Teaching Your Dog to Stay. You can also contact a Certified Professional Dog Trainer for assistance. Please see our article, Finding Professional Help, to locate a CPDT in your area.) Gradually increase the length of time you wait on the other side of the door, out of your dog’s sight. You can also work on getting your dog used to predeparture cues as you practice the stay. For example, ask your dog to stay. Then put on your coat, pick up your purse and go into the bathroom while your dog continues to stay.

  • Progress to doing out-of-sight stay exercises at a bedroom door, and then later at an exit door. If you always leave through the front door, do the exercises at the back door first. By the time you start working with your dog at exit doors, he shouldn’t behave anxiously because he has a history of playing the “stay game.”
  • At this point, you can start to incorporate very short absences into your training. Start with absences that last only last one to two seconds, and then slowly increase the time you’re out of your dog’s sight. When you’ve trained up to separations of five to ten seconds long, build in counterconditioning by giving your dog a stuffed food toy just before you step out the door. The food-stuffed toy also works as a safety cue that tells the dog that this is a “safe” separation.
  • During your sessions, be sure to wait a few minutes between absences. After each short separation, it’s important to make sure that your dog is completely relaxed before you leave again. If you leave again right away, while your dog is still excited about your return from the previous separation, he’ll already feel aroused when he experiences the next absence. This arousal might make him less able to tolerate the next separation, which could make the problem worse rather than better.
  • Remember to behave in a very calm and quiet manner when going out and coming in. This will lower the contrast between times when you’re there and times when you’re gone.
  • You must judge when your dog is able to tolerate an increase in the length of separation. Each dog reacts differently, so there are no standard timelines. Deciding when to increase the time that your dog is alone can be very difficult, and many pet parents make errors. They want treatment to progress quickly, so they expose their dogs to durations that are too long, which provokes anxiety and worsens the problem. To prevent this kind of mistake, watch for signs of stress in your dog. These signs might include dilated pupils, panting, yawning, salivating, trembling, pacing and exuberant greeting. If you detect stress, you should back up and shorten the length of your departures to a point where your dog can relax again. Then start again at that level and progress more slowly.
  • You will need to spend a significant amount of time building up to 40-minute absences because most of your dog’s anxious responses will occur within the first 40 minutes that he’s alone. This means that over weeks of conditioning, you’ll increase the duration of your departures by only a few seconds each session, or every couple of sessions, depending on your dog’s tolerance at each level. Once your dog can tolerate 40 minutes of separation from you, you can increase absences by larger chunks of time (5-minute increments at first, then later 15-minute increments). Once your dog can be alone for 90 minutes without getting upset or anxious, he can probably handle four to eight hours. (Just to be safe, try leaving him alone for four hours at first, and then work up to eight full hours over a few days.)
  • This treatment process can be accomplished within a few weeks if you can conduct several daily sessions on the weekends and twice-daily sessions during the work week, usually before leaving for work and in the evenings.

A Necessary Component of Separation Anxiety Treatment

During desensitization to any type of fear, it is essential to ensure that your dog never experiences the full-blown version of whatever provokes his anxiety or fear. He must experience only a low-intensity version that doesn’t frighten him. Otherwise, he won’t learn to feel calm and comfortable in situations that upset him. This means that during treatment for separation anxiety, your dog cannot be left alone except during your desensitization sessions. Fortunately there are plenty of alternative arrangements:

  • If possible, take your dog to work with you.
  • Arrange for a family member, friend or dog sitter to come to your home and stay with your dog when you’re not there. (Most dogs suffering from separation anxiety are fine as long as someone is with them. That someone doesn’t necessarily need to be you.)
  • Take your dog to a sitter’s house or to a doggy daycare.
  • Many dogs suffering from separation anxiety are okay when left in a car. You can try leaving your dog in a car—but only if the weather is moderate. Be warned: dogs can suffer from heatstroke and die if left in cars in warm weather (70 degrees Fahrenheit and up)—even for just a few minutes. DO NOT leave your dog in a car unless you’re sure that the interior of your car won’t heat up.

In addition to your graduated absences exercises, all greetings (hellos and goodbyes) should be conducted in a very calm manner. When saying goodbye, just give your dog a pat on the head, say goodbye and leave. Similarly, when arriving home, say hello to your dog and then don’t pay any more attention to him until he’s calm and relaxed. The amount of time it takes for your dog to relax once you’ve returned home will depend on his level of anxiety and individual temperament. To decrease your dog’s excitement level when you come home, it might help to distract him by asking him to perform some simple behaviors that he’s already learned, such as sit, down or shake.

To Crate or Not to Crate?

Crate training can be helpful for some dogs if they learn that the crate is their safe place to go when left alone. However, for other dogs, the crate can cause added stress and anxiety. In order to determine whether or not you should try using a crate, monitor your dog’s behavior during crate training and when he’s left in the crate while you’re home. If he shows signs of distress (heavy panting, excessive salivation, frantic escape attempts, persistent howling or barking), crate confinement isn’t the best option for him. Instead of using a crate, you can try confining your dog to one room behind a baby gate. (To learn more about crate training, please see our article, Weekend Crate Training.)  

Provide Plenty of “Jobs” for Your Dog to Do

Providing lots of physical and mental stimulation is a vital part of treating many behavior problems, especially those involving anxiety. Exercising your dog’s mind and body can greatly enrich his life, decrease stress and provide appropriate outlets for normal dog behaviors. Additionally, a physically and mentally tired dog doesn’t have much excess energy to expend when he’s left alone. To keep your dog busy and happy, try the following suggestions:

  • Give your dog at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity (for example, running and swimming) every day. Try to exercise your dog right before you have to leave him by himself. This might help him relax and rest while you’re gone.
  • Play fun, interactive games with your dog, such as fetch and tug-of-war. To learn more about these games, please see our articles,Teaching Your Dog to Play Fetch.  
  • Take your dog on daily walks and outings. Take different routes and visit new places as often as possible so that he can experience novel smells and sights.
  • If your dog likes other dogs, let him play off-leash with his canine buddies.
  • Frequently provide food puzzle toys, like the KONG, the Buster Cube, the Tricky Treat Ball™ and the Tug-a-Jug™. You can feed your dog his meals in these toys or stuff them with a little peanut butter, cheese or yogurt. Also give your dog a variety of attractive edible and inedible chew things. Puzzle toys and chew items encourage chewing and licking, which have been shown to have a calming effect on dogs. Be sure to provide them whenever you leave your dog alone. Please see our article, How to Stuff a KONG Toy, for more information.
  • Make your dog “hunt” his meals by hiding small piles of his kibble around your house or yard when you leave. Most dogs love this game!
  • Enroll in a reward-based training class to increase your dog’s mental activity and enhance the bond between you and your dog. Contact a Certified Professional Dog Trainer for group or private classes that can give you and your dog lots of great skills to learn and games to play together. After you and your dog have learned a few new skills, you can mentally tire your dog out by practicing them right before you leave your dog home alone. Please see our article, Finding Professional Help, to locate a CPDT in your area. 
  • Get involved in dog sports, such as agility, freestyle (dancing with your dog) or flyball.

To learn about more great way to give your dog the mental and physical exercise he needs, please see our articles, Enriching Your Dog’s Life and Exercise for Dogs

Medications Might Help

Always consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist before giving your dog any type of medication for a behavior problem.

The use of medications can be very helpful, especially for severe cases of separation anxiety. Some dogs are so distraught by any separation from their pet parents that treatment can’t be implemented without the help of medication. Anti-anxiety medication can help a dog tolerate some level of isolation without experiencing anxiety. It can also make treatment progress more quickly.

On rare occasions, a dog with mild separation anxiety might benefit from drug therapy alone, without accompanying behavior modification. The dog becomes accustomed to being left alone with the help of the drug and retains this new conditioning after he’s gradually weaned off the medication. However, most dogs need a combination of medication and behavior modification.

If you’d like to explore this option, speak with your veterinarian, a veterinary behaviorist or a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist who can work closely with your vet. Please see our article, Finding Professional Help, to locate one of these professionals in your area.

What NOT to Do

Do not scold or punish your dog. Anxious behaviors are not the result of disobedience or spite. They are distress responses! Your dog displays anxious behaviors when left alone because he’s upset and trying to cope with a great deal of stress. If you punish him, he may become even more upset and the problem could get much worse.

How to Ease your doggies seperation Anxiety!!

How to Ease Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

 

dog on blanket

If your dog uses his time alone in the house to bark endlessly, pee on the carpet, or tear up the sofa—and those behaviors are accompanied by depression or stress—your pooch may be suffering from separation anxiety, a very common doggy behavior problem.

Overcoming disorders like separation anxiety takes time, patience and consistency, but it can be done! Just take the following steps, and you’re already on your way.

Make sure the problem is separation anxiety. The first step in tackling behavior issues is to rule out any underlying medical problems that might be causing your pet’s misbehavior. Next, rule out other behavior problems. For example, consider whether your dog’s inappropriate elimination is due to incomplete housetraining.

Take action. So you’re sure the problem is separation anxiety? Try these strategies to address the issue:

  1. 1. Keep all greetings relaxed. When leaving, give your dog a pat on the head, say goodbye and leave. Similarly, when arriving home, say hello to your dog and then don’t pay any more attention to him until he’s calm and relaxed.

     

  2. 2. Give your dog a workout. Giving your dog lots of mental and physical stimulation goes a long way toward quelling behavior problems—especially those involving anxiety. Exercise can enrich your dog’s life, decrease stress and provide appropriate outlets for normal behavior. And once she’s all tuckered out, your pal won’t have much energy left to get into trouble.

     

  3. 3. Reward your pooch! Teach your dog to associate your departure with a reward, like a delicious stuffed Kong or other food-dispensing toy. This positive association can help resolve the problem, as well as distract your dog for the first few minutes you’re gone!

Let our experts help! Need a little more info? Visit the ASPCA’s top eight tips for addressing separation anxiety to learn more.

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Disaster preparedness plans should include pets

Disaster preparedness plans should include pets

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LOS ANGELES — A poll released Tuesday by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that 35 percent of dog and cat owners have no plan for dealing with their pets during a disaster that forces them to evacuate.

Forty-two percent of dog or cat owners polled in the survey said they would not evacuate without their pets, 39 percent said they would leave them behind and 19 percent said they didn't know what they would do.

The finding underscores something emergency management officials learned during Hurricane Katrina six years ago in New Orleans: Some pet owners won't evacuate in an emergency if it means leaving their animals behind, while others may be forced to abandon pets.

While Hurricane Irene has come and gone, September is disaster preparedness month, and with hurricane season running through November, the ASPCA is urging pet owners to identify a place in advance where they could bring their animals if they had to evacuate in an emergency. The organization also advocates microchipping pets as the best way to make sure owners can be tracked down if their animals get lost.

New Yorkers hunkering down for Irene this past weekend were lucky: The city permitted evacuees to bring pets with them to designated shelters. And the transit system, which normally only allows service dogs or pets in carriers to ride buses and trains, allowed leashed dogs onboard as a way of encouraging reluctant pet owners in flood zones to leave.

As a result, said Tim Rickey, the ASPCA's senior director of field investigations and response team, several hundred pets were brought to New York's shelters, which had crates and animal care teams to accommodate them.

In Joplin, Mo., after the tornado in May killed 160 people, the ASPCA took 1,300 lost or abandoned dogs and cats into an emergency animal shelter. Fewer than 5 percent of those animals were microchipped, said Rickey.

Only 500 of the Joplin pets were reunited with their owners. The rest were placed with new owners in a massive adopt-a-thon that drew 5,700 people from 24 states.

The ASPCA poll found that nationally, only 28 percent of dog owners and 24 percent of cat owners say their pets have embedded microchips. In addition, according to the survey, 21 percent of dog owners and 46 percent of cat owners say their animals don't have any form of identification that is on them all the time.

The survey, conducted for the ASPCA by Lake Research Partners between July 30 and Aug. 4, involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,005 pet owners nationwide. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Rickey, who has led pet recovery efforts for hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, and floods, ice storms and wildfires, said animals at the Joplin shelter included animals that were rescued, animals found as strays and pets dropped off by owners who couldn't keep them because they'd lost their homes. Some pets were so scared they had to be trapped by Rickey's crews.

Rickey has three horses, four goats, 17 chickens, four dogs, two cats, a wife and two daughters at home in St. Clair, Mo., and even though it requires a horse trailer, they have an evacuation plan that includes the whole bunch.

He urges pet owners to "always evacuate with your pets. If it's not safe for you to stay, it's probably not safe for your pet." And you never know if you will be gone for two hours or two weeks, he added.

Of course, while hurricanes are usually forecast in advance, tornados leave little time for people to take shelter — with or without their pets. In Joplin, when the sirens went off, people were lucky if they had time to grab family members and pets and huddle in a closet.

Virginia Anderson, 95, lost everything in the tornado but a couple of cabinets full of glass collectibles that were somehow protected by a wall that didn't blow away with the rest of her house. But she couldn't find the two things that meant the most to her — her cats, Pretty Kitty, 12, and Lucky, 5.

She moved in with friend and former daughter-in-law, Pauletta Daniels, on the other side of town. Three days later, Pretty Kitty turned up fine in what was left of a closet at Anderson's home. And two weeks later, Daniels found Lucky at the ASPCA shelter. Like every other pet sent home or adopted from the shelter, he got a microchip before leaving.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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3 IS A PERFECT NUMBER


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3 IS A PERFECT NUMBER

3 IS A PERFECT NUMBER

A feral black cat had kittens underneath my house! I did not know until the kittens were about 4 weeks old and hiding in the back yard, inside a hollow fence. My husband and I caught them and took care of them. They were feral and it took them a couple of weeks to become human friendly. We were planning on giving them for adoption, but it was too late - they owned us! They are CoCo (black and white), PurrBall (gray) and Cali (tortie). Their feral mama cat got fixed and still lives in our back yard where we feed her. She is friendly to us, but will always remain feral. The kittens are 16 months old now and a total bundle of joy.

Katja
Los Angeles, CA

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