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Posted by on Nov 8, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Alleviating Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

If your dog has difficulty with separation anxiety, you will want to deal with the problem aggressively so they are not upset if you need to leave them alone for any length of time. Dogs that become very attached to their owners may find it disturbing to be left alone. This can lead to depression or destructive behavior as they wait for their owner to return. Here are a some tips to use to help your dog adjust to time apart from you.

Change The Timing Of Affection

If you regularly say goodbye to your dog by petting it and showing it affection, only to walk out the door afterwards, your pet will feel upset that you give attention and then abruptly take it away. This can confuse a dog. Give affection when you plan on staying at home for a while. When you leave the home, do not make a big deal of the situation by giving a long goodbye.

The same advice goes for when you arrive back home. If you act as if coming and going is a part of your everyday routine instead of an event, your dog will start to associate affection with times you will be around rather than when you are not at home.

Exercise Your Dog Before You Leave

Take your dog on a long walk an hour or two before you plan on leaving for a while. You can incorporate some playtime into the walk by stopping at a dog park or field so your dog will be able to run around for a bit as well. This exercise, followed by a nutritious meal, will tire out your dog so it will be relaxed and perhaps allow it to nap. Since your dog will have a subdued demeanor, it will be less apt to become upset if you walk out the door.

Increase Time Away Slowly

When you first start the process of trying to reduce separation anxiety in your dog, leave your dog alone for only five or ten minutes. When you walk out the door, do so calmly and do not go back inside even if you hear your dog barking or whimpering. When your return, you can give your dog a quick verbal hello and do something in another area of the home. Continue with several five or ten minute getaways. Gradually increase the time by a few minutes each time you leave your dog.

Give The Dog Time Alone Away From Home

To help your dog adjust to your time away from it, bring it to a few activities outside of the home where you will be able to leave it in the care of other people. Bring your dog to a friend’s home and see how it adjusts to you being gone while your friend is the one giving the attention. Take your dog to a groomer and leave it in the room with the employee. Bring your dog to an obedience class. Consider visiting a dog boarding facility like All Creatures Inn to give your dog some pampering and exercise with other dogs. These small steps can help your dog become more adjusted to time when you are not in their presence.

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Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

3 Ways To Determine Whether A Used Fabric Dog Toy Is Still Safe For Your Puppy

Since puppies are typically so energetic, you’re going to need a wide variety of toys to keep one entertained. But since fabric toys in particular are prone to disintegrating into small choke hazards when they’re worn down, you need to be careful about employing used ones for your puppy. To determine whether a used fabric dog toy is still safe for your puppy, use one or more of these three methods.

Pull On Any Loose Threads And See If They Easily Come Off

Individual loose threads on a fabric dog toy are an early sign of decay. However, if only a few threads have broken off from the toy’s main body instead of many, your puppy should still be able to play with and chew on the toy without danger.

It all comes down to whether the threads are still connected to the toy enough to not budge when you pull on them. If any of them easily come off, you can be sure that your puppy will get all sorts of fabric in its throat if it tries to chew the toy.

Soak The Toy In Water And See If It Starts Coming Apart

The better the condition of a fabric dog toy, the better it should hold up when it’s soaked in water. It should both remain in one piece when you take it out of the water and dry quickly when you smother it with a towel.

If one end of the fabric dog toy completely unravels when you dunk it in water, don’t be sad that you ruined it. If your puppy had put one end of the toy in its mouth for a long period of time, its saliva would’ve had the same effect on the fabric as ordinary water. The only difference would be the puppy’s risk of swallowing a bunch of loose threads.

See How The Puppy Bites And Chews On The Toy

When a puppy’s teeth are just coming in, the animal will be tempted to chew and thoroughly tear apart almost any toy that’s available. In this case, even a relatively sturdy fabric toy that only has a few loose threads on it is in danger of completely coming apart.

While you play with your puppy for a few minutes, use only the fabric toy in question. The harder the puppy tears at loose threads, the more wary you should be of leaving the animal alone with the toy.

Since puppies are smaller than normal dogs, they’re more likely to choke on small objects. While this shouldn’t be taken as motivation to take all your dog toys away from a growing puppy, you need to be circumspect. Learn more about puppy care here.

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Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Preparing Your Horse for Pediatric Therapeutic Riding Equipment

Equine therapy, or therapeutic horseback riding, has become popular with families of children with physical and developmental disabilities. A recent study shows that a 10-week therapy course can provide significant improvement in children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. If you have a horse and you are interested in helping with this type of therapy, there are some unique pieces of horseback riding equipment your horse will need to get used to. Here are some of the different types of equipment used in therapeutic horseback riding.

Adaptive Saddles

Depending on a child’s disabilities, he or she may need to use an adaptive saddle. These saddles are designed to help keep the child sitting in a safe, upright position while riding. They can be a bit more cumbersome than traditional saddles, and your horse will need to learn how to walk while wearing them. You can get your horse slowly adjusted to these saddles by practicing with them for a half hour each day, gradually working up to longer lengths of time.

Mounting Ramps

Mounting ramps help children who are wheelchair bound or who have difficulty with gross motor skills. These children may not be able to use the traditional method of mounting a horse. The ramp lets them walk or roll up to the horse for effortless mounting. You will, however, need to teach your horse to remain calm while standing next to the ramp so the child using it doesn’t get scared.

Therapeutic Riding Bolsters

Not every person who uses horseback riding therapy will be able to sit in a saddle. Some children have difficulty with muscle control, making it difficult or impossible to sit up long enough to enjoy horseback riding. Therapeutic riding bolsters help these children enjoy riding a horse but allowing them to lie on the horse’s back with the aid of a large, specially designed pillow. While your horse may need to get used to having children lie down on its back, the bolsters are actually quite comfortable. You may even find that your horse enjoys the bolsters more than traditional saddles.

Once your horse is used to the special equipment that goes along with therapeutic horseback riding, found at stores like The Riding Store, you can begin to practice some of the different techniques used to help kids with developmental and physical disabilities. You and your horse may find this line of horseback riding to be particularly satisfying.

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Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Is Your Dog Stressed Out? Why Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder May Be the Problem

If you are a new dog owner, you might think that you’ll have a lot of fun all the time. While this is true for many pet owners, there is also the possibility that your dog can suffer anxiety from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a scary event or injury. Here is what you need to know about PTSD and what you can do to help.

Causes of Post Traumatic Stress in Dogs

Types of traumatic events for dogs are severe weather or natural disasters. Due to the heightened hearing and other senses of dogs, severe storms can be extremely frightening for animals.

Other causes of stress could be some sort of household or car accident in which the animal is injured. Painful injury can create anxiety and stress. Finally, if another animal or a human has attacked your dog, it may exhibit signs of PTSD.

Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress in Dogs

All animals have to endure stressful situations. The distinguishing symptom of PTSD is a prolonged or undue response to a trauma or stressor. An uncontrolled bark, excessive whining, running in circles, or uncontrollable trembling are signs that your dog is stressing out in a big way.

Two animals may experience the same situation and respond differently. If your dog is affected more severely or longer than would seem appropriate for the situation, it may be dealing with PTSD.

One way to observe if the dog’s condition is prolonged or severe is if the anxiety is worsening as time passes. After experiencing a traumatic event, it is normal for the dog to have anxiety or hesitancy. However, as time passes this anxiety should fade. If the stress increases over time, it is a sign that the dog is dealing with trauma.

How to Help Your Dog with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

If your dog shows signs of PTSD, you should seek professional help. Ask your vet about whether or not a veterinary behavioral therapist is appropriate.

This specialist observes your dog’s behavioral patterns and prescribes therapeutic treatment to help curb the anxiety. The therapist may prescribe food, herb, or pheromone treatments as part of the therapeutic plan.

Comfort your dog when they are showing signs of anxiety. For example, if they whine, bark, or try to hide when a storm is approaching, pet them and speak gently to them to let them know that you’re there and that all is well. It might not make the PTSD go away, but you’ll at least provide them with a little comfort.

It’s impossible to prevent all traumatic events from occurring. But, you can help your pooch if they become fearful and anxious. Seek help from your vet, such as Midtown Veterinary Clinic, if your comforting and love is not enough to keep PTSD at bay. 

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Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Don’t Make These Common Dog Brushing Mistakes

Brushing your dog might seem simple enough, but if your dog isn’t brushed properly, you will leave your dog open to several problems. Ideally, you should take your dog to a groomer periodically. But if you’d like to save money or only have time to groom your dog yourself, you will need to avoid these mistakes.   

Not Brushing Short-Haired Dogs

Pet owners usually know that they need to brush the hair of long-haired dogs, but they may not take the time to brush a short-haired dog. However, doing so can also have benefits because brushing will make it easier for you to inspect your dog for fleas, ticks, bumps and other concerns. Brushing will also remove dirt, loose fur and other contaminants. Brushing your dog more frequently also helps improve fur growth.

Not Training Your Dog

If you are concerned about whether your dog will behave itself as you are brushing, make sure that you begin grooming your dog as early as possible. The younger your dog, the more easily accustomed to grooming it will be. Make sure that your dog does not decide when the grooming session is over by misbehaving. If your dog learns that it can misbehave to bring the grooming session to a close, your dog will learn to behave this way in the future.

Letting Your Dog Become Matted

Continue to brush your dog consistently because you will not want to give your dog an opportunity to forget what it has learned. Also, if your dog’s fur becomes tangled and matted, your dog will experience more pain when you try to brush it. If you have to cut out your dog’s mats, you will compromise its insulation, making your dog colder. Fortunately, you can prevent mats in the first place by brushing your dog’s fur before it walks through the rain or takes a bath since brushing will remove dead fur. You should also brush after bathing your dog to further remove tangles.

Not Brushing in the Winter

Many pet owners believe that they do not need to brush their dogs in the winter. However, the longer hair does not usually do enough to keep your dog warm, so you might as well continue brushing your dog.

Not Brushing Everywhere

It is best to go to a local dog groomer (such as one from Hickman Creek Kennel). You will need to do a thorough job brushing every part of your dog’s body, not just the top and sides. Make sure that you are gentle around the belly, eyes, ears and nose.

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