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Internet Success Website Designer from Boise, Idaho. Designing websites for small businesses in the Northwest. Dogblog writer "A Dog's Eye View".

Stay with Me: Helping Your Dog Cope with Separation Anxiety

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

Dog with separation anxiety

Photo by Andrew Welch on Unsplash

20-40% of all dogs are estimated to experience separation anxiety at some point in their lives (College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign). Separation anxiety is a serious behavioral problem that has a critical impact on pets and their owners. Some signs of anxiety and stress are destructive behavior, self-harm, restlessness, and an inability to eat. While pet owners might see these behaviors as being vindictive, they are not. They are symptoms that your pet is stressed and unhappy when you are away. If you are a pet owner and notice that your dog exhibits certain symptoms of separation anxiety, there are things that you can do to improve care and help cope with stress for an overall wellbeing.

The Causes of Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety among pets is not well understood. A few existing research studies indicate that dogs that are abandoned and/or abused like rescue animals are likely to feel anxious. Certain breeds of dog are also susceptible to the disorder such as Labrador Retrievers or German Shepherds. Emotional distress is the primary reason for anxiety disorder and manifests when the owner is absent or not around. If you notice that your pooch suddenly starts whining or pacing as soon as you put on your shoes or grab your coat in preparation to leave the house, they might be feeling anxious. What you see when you are back home might even confirm your suspicion that your dog has a separation anxiety issue. Is your sofa chewed in several places? Maybe, you’ll find feces and urine that are more frequent when you are away. Your dog also becomes hyperactive, starts barking, howling and scratching without good reason. These are the typical symptoms of separation anxiety. It makes you both nervous and unhappy which is why you should get help immediately. Continue reading

Top Tips for Protecting Your Dog in Winter Weather

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Guest Blogger: Bernie Boxer

Dog in winter

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Winter brings special challenges to dog owners.  When temperatures drop and freezing weather moves in, you’ll need to take extra measures to ensure your dog is safe and comfortable.  Here are some tips for managing hazards the season brings.

Winter wellness.  Chilly weather can aggravate certain medical conditions such as arthritis.  If your dog hasn’t seen your veterinarian prior to winter, it’s important to make an appointment for an exam.  What’s more, as the American Veterinary Medical Association points out, dogs who are in top physical condition fare best facing winter weather.

Know your pooch.  Every dog is different, and just like people some mind the cold more than others.  There are physical factors that can affect how well your dog tolerates colder conditions, such as body fat stores and coat length.  Age and medical conditions can also weigh into your dog’s comfort during winter.  Bear all this in mind and make choices based on your dog’s personal comfort zone.  For example, dogs with shorter coats or who tend to get chilly benefit from a sweater or jacket when they go outside to potty. Continue reading

Renting When You Have a Dog

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

Renting with dogs

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

 

 

According to The Humane Society of the United States, 72% of renters have pets, yet finding and keeping rental housing is one of the main reasons pets end up in shelters. When you have to move, many renters find that looking for accommodation that welcomes your furry friend is one of their leading anxieties. Here is some advice on renting when you have a dog.

Know where to search

Pet friendly apartments are definitely out there, you just need to know where to look. The key is to start looking early and search smart. Reach out to your local pet community for recommendations, and use pet friendly filters on apartment listing sites.In addition, if you are choosing a new city to live, bear in mind some have a more pet friendly reputation than others. Real estate listing site Trulia researched which areas were most accommodating to animals on their listings and confirmed that San Francisco and Dallas are pet friendly cities.

Open up a dialogue with your potential landlord

Good communication can be the key to finding a pet friendly apartment. Be ready to discuss the good qualities of your dog and consider writing a pet resume to showcase their good qualities. Landlords are human and often open to negotiation. They may be willing to make exceptions even if they didn’t advertise a pet friendly property.That being said, you should never sign a lease that says ‘no pets’ as you then lose most of your legal protection if your pet is asked to leave.

If you are really concerned, some people try to find a landlord from their friends or acquaintances; a family let can be a good solution because your landlord will likely know your dog and its behavior as well as trusting you as an individual.

Service dog?

It must be noted that the rules are different if your pet is a service animal. This is because the Fair Housing Law protects against discrimination on grounds of disability. Your potential landlord can not violate your house rights if you require a dog for your wellbeing. Expect to be asked to verify the need for your assistance dog, so prepare your doctor’s letter.

While renting with pets is undoubtedly more hassle than moving pet free, it is definitely possible to find a place that is both right for you and your dog. Start early, utilize the internet, your connections and communications skills, and your new home will be just around the corner.

Building a Beautiful, Safe, Fun Garden for Your Dog

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

If you have just taken a pup or dog home and you are excited about enjoying the best of the outdoors life together, take a look at your garden: is it completely safe for your pooch? In the spring and summer months, the garden will probably be one of his favorite ‘chill out zones’, but it can also form the perfect backdrop to energetic games like fetch, tag, and hide-and-seek. While keeping your furry friend active and entertained, pay heed to these tips to ensure he is always completely safe.

Beware of Toxic Plant Species

It is shocking for some to discover that many everyday plants and flowers, including lilies, daffodils, azaleas and sago palms, are toxic to dogs. Sometimes, plants can cause mild digestive upsets but at other times, organ damage and even death can occur.

If you have a very small garden and know the exact species in it, simply remove any plants that are on the SPCA poisonous plants list. To play extra safe, have an expert gardener come in to possible spot any poisonous plants you may have missed.

If you spot any signs of poisoning, including vomiting, drooling, and fatigue, see your vet immediately.

Go Natural and Organic When You Can

Keeping our lawn beautiful is key, since when the weather is good, we use the garden area to entertain, catch a few rays of Vitamin D, and even enjoy activities such as outdoor yoga.

To reduce the need for harmful chemical fertilizers, pick the right lawn mower – one that you can program to cut only a third of grass blades. This top layer is thin and leafy, and decomposes quickly, providing up to one third of your lawn’s nitrogen needs.

When purchasing fertilizers, try to opt for organic varieties with non-toxic ingredients.

Finally, to keep insects away, use neem juice diluted in water as an effective repellent that is harmless to dogs.

Store Potential Irritants and Toxins Away

A garden shed that is large enough to store all your products and tools well is key. Leaving tools on grass can cause injury, while curious dogs enjoy sniffing and chewing on bottles, potentially harming their health.

Prevent Quick Escapes

To stop your dog from digging an escape route under the fence, build a smooth cement walkway between the fence and the lawn, or use large pots to act as a barrier between the two. To keep him happy and busy, build him a makeshift sandpit, burying toys under the sand to pique his interest.

Having a beautiful, safe garden is a matter of relying less on chemical products, removing poisoning risks, and preventing escapes. Keep your lawn as clear of clutter as possible, so your dog can enjoy running freely and playing the many games you have in store for him.

Advice for Dog Owners in the Moving Market

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Guest Post by Bernie the Boxer

Black german shepherd

Image via Pixabay

Relocating is exciting, but it is a lot of work. Not only do you have to work with a real estate agent to find a new place, but you also have to help your family adjust to the changes that lie ahead. One family member that may have a particularly difficult time is your dog. He doesn’t really know what is going on, but he can sense that there is a big adjustment coming up. Dogs can pick up on human distress and start to experience it themselves. As they struggle with these feelings of anxiety and not knowing what is coming, they may start to show destructive behaviors as a reaction.

These behaviors include:

  • Excessive licking of self or others.
  • Chewing on furniture, shoes, or other non-chew toy items.
  • Barking at inappropriate times.
  • Howling at night or when separated from owners.
  • Digging holes in the yard.
  • Going to the bathroom indoors.
  • Hiding from owners.
  • Darting out the door or digging holes under fences to escape.
  • Pacing nervously.

If you want to help prevent your dog’s anxiety as you move and make the transition as comfortable as possible for him, take these following precautions into account. By finding the right place that fits your pup’s needs, sheltering him during moving upheaval, and taking the time to help him acclimate to your new place, you can make moving easier for your dog. Continue reading

Is Your Dog Affecting Your Quality of Sleep – In a Good Way?

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Is dog in bed OK?

Photo by Andy Omvik on Unsplash

Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

For many dog lovers, as the snowflakes begin to fall and the temperatures outside reach gelid lows, few things appeal more than snuggling up to our beloved pooch, ‘naughtily’ allowing the little gremlin to burrow under the blanket on occasion. There seems to be plenty of conflicting information when it comes to allowing access to bedrooms for dogs; on the one hand, we know that having pets can actually help keep allergies at bay and boost children’s immunity. Pets also wield important benefits to our mental health. On other hand, it is not uncommon to read warnings about the ‘dangers’ of allowing our dogs to get too close.

What Science Says

Early studies (such as one Mayo Clinic study carried out in 2002) found that of 300 people surveyed, 60% had pets who slept in the bedroom; in the latter group, there was a 57% chance that the dog would sleep on the bed. The study found that 53% of participants had sleep disruptions caused by movement in the bed, pets snoring, and whimpering.

In 2012, the Mayo Clinic repeated this survey, finding that around 20% of those who slept with a pet in their bedroom or bed said their sleep was disturbed by their pets. However, 41% felt that their pets helped them sleep better.

The Mayo Clinic finally conducted their own study in 2017, tracking 40 participants via activity trackers. The findings were clear: while those who actually let the dog in the bed had less quality sleep, yet when dogs slept in the room (but not on the bed), their owners actually slept better! The conclusion is that there is no need to miss out on the treat of having your dog nearby. Continue reading