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Posts Tagged ‘Separation Anxiety’

Car Sickness in Dogs

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Many dogs, regardless of breed, can experience carsickness on either short or long trips because they are not able to adjust to the shifting movements and varying speed of your vehicle when riding in your car or truck. Sometimes even a smooth ride on a relatively calm auto trip can upset a dog’s delicate digestive system.

Car (or motion) sickness is caused by an over-stimulation of a dog’s inner ear and it can make a dog feel miserable. But did you know that stress can also make a dog carsick because many dogs associate car travel with an embedded memory, like an unpleasant trip to the vet or being left at a kennel overnight or for a longer period of time where they experienced separation anxiety. Also, if a dog is young and has ever been frightened by a noisy truck or car, he may become stressed when experiencing the same situation while traveling in your vehicle.

The most obvious symptom of car or motion sickness is vomiting. Your dog may also pant more rapidly than usual, salivate, or pace nervously by your car before you even load him into it. If your dog exhibits behavior like this before you even start the engine, it’s likely he’s not going to enjoy the ride and there’s a good chance he’ll get carsick.

Most dogs eventually outgrow motion-induced carsickness, but if you find that your pet is still having a particularly hard time traveling in your car, try using a natural supplement such as Calming Soft Chews from DogsHealth.com. These specially formulated chews have high potency natural ingredients that are properly formulated for optimal results. These chews will help your dog relax whether traveling or staying at home. Calming Soft Chews help with separation anxiety, nervousness, and pacing. They are a safer solution than over-the-counter products that can cause drowsiness in your pet.

You can also prepare your dog for traveling by car if you do not give him any food or water just before you leave on a trip. A dog will travel better if you give him just half or a fourth of his usual serving of food before you leave. Make plenty of rest stops if you notice your dog exhibiting any of the signs of car sickness. You may need to stop occasionally and take him on a short walk, or a little longer walk if he seems unusually stressed. This will give him an opportunity to walk off the stress.

If you have found other useful ways to handle car sickness in your dog, please feel free to share that with our other readers. They would appreciate it.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Separation anxiety in dogs occurs more often than most people realize and is not limited to just a few breeds, sizes, or ages of dogs. Separation anxiety is a dog’s panicked response to being left alone and if not treated and corrected, can eventually result in the deterioration of a dog’s mental and physical health.

Separation anxiety should not be confused with misbehavior. It’s a mistaken belief that when a dog digs up its owner’s garden or pees on the carpet, it’s simply seeking retaliation for having been left home alone. Sometimes the reason for this type of behavior is nothing more than boredom; but before dismissing the dog’s actions as bad behavior, you should consider whether the dog may be in a state of panic because you left the house and it suddenly found itself without the one person it loves the most.

Separation anxiety can also result when a dog suffers a traumatic experience, like a major earthquake or the death of a human or another pet in the same household. In a lot of cases, no single triggering event causes it. Some breeds are just genetically predisposed to separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety almost always includes one or more unacceptable behaviors when the owner is not at home:

* Destructive behaviors, such as chewing pillows or furniture, mutilating plants, or unrelenting door scratching;
* Constant barking, whining, or howling;
* Urinating or defecating in the house;
* Intense, persistent pacing around the room;
* Attempting to “escape” a room or dog crate to the point of self-injury.

Not all unacceptable behavior can be attributed to separation anxiety; in fact, most behaviors cannot. If the owner arrives home to find their dog chewing on a shoe or perhaps the furniture, in all probability the dog simply feels that what it is doing is enjoyable and since no one is home, the time is right for gnawing away uninterrupted.

There are several actions that indicate separation anxiety should be considered a serious matter:

1) The bad behavior occurs every time the owner leaves the house;

2) The bad behavior occurs only when the owner is not around;.

3) The dog visibly displays anxious behaviors before an owner even leaves the house. For example, the dog knows that when you put on a coat it means you’re leaving the house and starts pacing around the room and whining or howling.

Desensitization is a method that’s often used to treat a dog with severe separation anxiety and involves getting a dog accustomed to the owner leaving the house without taking the dog along. You’ll probably need to seek help from a veterinarian or dog trainer if you feel that desensitization would be the best treatment option. Be advised that it usually takes around eight weeks to bring a dog’s separation anxiety under control.

Separation anxiety in a dog has very little to do with the dog’s training or discipline. Its unwelcome behavior results from the severe panic the dog feels when its owner is absent. If the problem is not treated and eliminated, it can cause serious psychological suffering for a dog.

Car Sickness In Dogs

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Many dogs will experience car sickness on short or long trips because they are unable to adapt themselves to the shifting movements and varying speeds of a car. Even a smooth ride on a fairly calm trip can upset the delicate digestive system of a dog.

Car sickness, also called motion sickness, is caused by the over-stimulation of a dog’s inner ear, resulting in a miserable car riding experience for a dog. Stress can also make a dog carsick if it associates the car ride with an unpleasant memory like going to the vet and getting vaccinations or some other unwelcome treatment. If a dog is frightened by noisy vehicles – garbage trucks, semi-trucks, etc., it can experience stress whenever it’s in the car and near the source of these kinds of noises. Separation anxiety also can occur as a result of being removed from familiar surroundings and can trigger a bout of car sickness.

When a dog vomits while riding in the car, the most obvious reason is car or motion sickness. A scared dog may also pant more rapidly than usual, will salivate heavily, or even pace back and forth by the car and resist getting into the vehicle. Sometimes a dog will whine and pull away from you when trying to put it into your car. When a dog acts this way before the car’s engine is even started, it’s a pretty good indication it’s not going to enjoy the ride and will get carsick.

Desensitizing your dog to car rides does not have to be a difficult process. A good first step is to make the car ride more inviting and fun by acclimating your dog to the car itself. Load your dog into your parked car and feed it while the car stays parked without the engine running. This will help your dog associate the car with something enjoyable.

After your dog becomes accustomed to the car and appears to be looking forward to going for a ride, you can start the car while your dog is eating inside it, but don’t drive anywhere. Just stay parked wherever you are. Once your dog feels comfortable eating in the car and appears to have no problem with the engine running, take your dog for a short ride around the block.

Be sure to lower your car windows to equalize the air pressure and allow your dog to breathe fresh air. Keep your car cooled down if the temperature or humidity is high, as heat can increase the chances of your dog feeling nauseous. You may also want to bring along one or two of your dog’s favorite toys or treats.

The best way to prepare your dog for a long trip by car is to not give it the usual amounts of food or water just before setting out. A dog will travel better and is less apt to experience car sickness if it eats just 1/2 or 1/4 of its usual serving of food before the lengthy car ride. If a dog begins exhibiting signs of car sickness on the trip, make a stop and take it on a short walk. A little longer walk may be necessary if your dog seems unusually stressed by the ride. Spending more time walking will give your dog an opportunity to release some, if not all, of its stress.

Luckily, the majority of dogs will outgrow car sickness, although some dogs will always have a tougher time adjusting to traveling in a car. If this is the case with your dog, before putting your dog in the car, give it the natural supplement Calming Soft Chews. These chews will help your dog relax when traveling by car, and also work great for handling stress when a dog is staying at home. Calming Soft Chews have been proven to help dogs suffering with separation anxiety and nervousness. The Calming Soft Chews are safer than over-the-counter products which often cause drowsiness in a pet.

Dogs with car sickness do not make for a pleasant and carefree trip or vacation. Using a dog seatbelt may help your pet feel more secure and will diminish feelings of instability. A carsick dog is less likely to have an unpleasant trip and feel safer if it’s wearing a car seatbelt or harness when riding in the front or back seat.

When Dogs Behave Badly

Monday, October 3rd, 2011


Is your dog protecting you or is it just behaving badly?

There are many behavioral problems in dogs that make us wonder “why is my dog doing that? What causes my dog to act like that and what can I do to stop its bad behavior?” Here are some of the worst behavioral problems displayed by dogs:

Destructive behavior is one of the most common complaints from dog owners. When your pet dog continues to urinate on your expensive rug or carpet, chews up shoes left lying around, or destroys clothing belonging to a family member, it makes everyone involved unhappy. Destructive behavior can have many causes, including separation anxiety. If you are away from home for many hours during the day, and your dog demonstrates destructive behavior, you must be careful that any punishment be administered at the proper time. If you come home and find the dog has chewed something it was not supposed to, don’t punish the dog then. The dog will not be able to associate its act of destruction with the punishment because it will not understand exactly why you are upset. It will act ‘guilty’ because it knows you’re upset, but will not be able to associate your anger with its act of destruction. Don’t punish a dog for its bad behavior unless you catch it in the act. You can help your dog overcome some of the causes of destructive behavior by giving it Calming Soft Chews. This soothing formula has high potency natural ingredients properly formulated to treat dogs who have separation anxiety, are overly nervous, or won’t stop pacing. It’s the natural way to help your dog mellow out.

Another reason for destructive behavior is lack of environmental stimulation. Boredom is often the cause of destructive behavior, especially in puppies or large dogs that are not receiving adequate exercise. All dogs need environmental stimulation. You might consider getting a second pet dog to keep it company when you’re away from home, or you could buy interesting toys to entertain your dog during your absence.

Destructive behavior can also arise if you punish your dog by penning it in a closed room or a fenced yard. Your dog may be inclined to break through a fence or may destroy your door frame or door knobs.

To treat destructive problems in your pet, you must establish the exact cause of its behavior and make necessary changes. For example, if a young dog chews furniture but not doors, it is probably in need of more environmental stimulation. Try increasing the amount of time of its exercising, adopt another dog as its companion, or leave the TV or radio on when you are away from home.

Preventing bad behavior from developing is easier than treating it after your pet acquires it. Puppy owners should not give a new puppy old shoes or a piece of rug to chew on because the puppy will not be able to differentiate between old tennis shoes and your good leather shoes. Dog toys should be of the type that your dog can easily distinguish as being different from objects you don’t want chewed up.

Aggression is also a common complaint from dog owners and is usually a serious threat to public safety. Biting should never be encouraged when a dog is still a puppy because it will grow up believing that type of behavior is acceptable.

Excessive barking can really bug your neighbors as well as you. To cure your dog of this bad behavior, determine where and when, or at what it is barking. If it happens only when it’s out in the backyard alone, you should keep the dog indoors and only take it outside when on a leash. It is common for dogs to bark at strangers or visitors to the house. This is due to territorial behavior and the dog is simply protecting its property and you. You need to teach your dog to stop inappropriate barking by using positive reinforcement to modify its behavior. When your dog barks, call it over or command it to sit and reward it with a tasty treat. Negative punishment does not work in these instances because it can cause fear in the dog, which can make the barking problem worse.

Digging holes under your fence is usually the result of the dog trying to escape from your yard. Dogs will also dig holes to keep cool or to catch rodents. Place chicken wire where your dog likes to dig to discourage digging. If the dog is a natural digger like a Terrier then digging is part of its genetic makeup. You might consider marking off an area where the dog is allowed to dig. If your lawn also looks unsightly because your dog’s continuing urination causes your lawn to look like a hodge-podge of green and brown spots, try Lawn Aid, a formula designed to balance your dog’s urine pH to prevent unsightly discoloration of your lawn. The combination of Cranberry, Yucca, DL-Methionine and Brewer’s Yeast will help keep your grass green all season long. The Cranberry Extract in this perfectly balanced formula also supports proper urinary tract health.

Jumping up on people is a common behavioral problem that is usually minor, unless the dog is very large or you have small children. The dog will continue jumping up on people because it wants attention. The best way to stop this is to train the dog that jumping up will result in not getting any attention. You should ignore your dog completely when it attempts to jump up on you. Look up and fold your arms across your chest so the dog receives no physical or visual contact from you. Calmly command your dog to sit down. Once it sits, you should reward it with attention. You must be consistent and other family members also need to participate in this training. Your dog will soon learn that jumping up gets it no attention.

When a dog behaves badly try to put yourself in its place and ask “What is happening with the dog, or to it, that would drive

    me

batty or cause

    me

to demonstrate bad behavior too?

Older Dogs And Separation Anxiety

Friday, January 28th, 2011


Separation anxiety is one of the most common behavior problems seen in older dogs. Although younger dogs often display separation anxiety after their owner leaves the house, an older dog with separation anxiety will become very anxious when it senses its owner is about to leave the house.

When the owner does leave, the dog may become destructive, bark or howl, and possibly even urinate or defecate in the house. An older dog suffering from separation anxiety will often become overly excited when its owner returns home.

Older dogs often have a decreased ability to cope with changes in daily routines. Their vision and/or hearing loss may make them more anxious than normal, especially when they find themselves separated from their owner. Many veterinarians believe that neurological changes also limit an older dog’s ability to adjust to any changes in household routines.

    Treating separation anxiety in an older dog can be handled in several ways:

Don’t make a big deal when you do have to leave home – this only serves to reinforce the behavior.

Determine the length of time you can leave your dog alone before it becomes overly anxious. Start by leaving your home for short periods of time and then gradually increase the time you are gone, always returning before your dog becomes anxious. This may take several departures by you, or possibly as long as a couple weeks, so patience is the key.

Connect leaving the house with something good. When you’re ready to leave, give your dog a small treat. This may take its mind off your leaving. Anxiety can feed on itself, so if you prevent the anxiety from occurring when you leave, your dog may remain calm after you leave.
Make your dog’s environment as cozy as possible during the time you’ll be gone. A comfortable temperature, a soft bed, tuning your TV to Animal Planet, or playing soft, easy-listening music on the radio can have a soothing affect on your dog. Some dogs will be more relaxed if they can see outside, while others may become more anxious if left by a screen door or large window – especially if there happens to be small animals like cats or squirrels cavorting around outside. Only you can discover what’s best for your dog.

Teach your dog to relax. If you can teach your dog to relax by commanding it to “stay” for extended periods while you’re home, learning how to relax while you are gone will become much easier for your dog.

Change your departure signals. Many dogs understand that when the alarm goes off, it means today is a work day and you are going to leave the house. If your dog starts getting anxious as soon as it hears the alarm then it would be wise to introduce some small changes in your workday routine so your dog doesn’t know you’ll be leaving. For instance, pick up the car keys and then go sit on the couch. If it’s a Saturday, try getting up and dressing as if you’re going to work, but stay home. This may confuse your dog at first but should help break its association of the alarm going off with your leaving home.

If you are gone for extended periods during the day, leaving your dog all alone, you might want to have a friend or neighbor come in during the day to let your dog out and give it some exercise. Older dogs often need to go outside more often to urinate and defecate. By letting your dog outside more often, you may decrease its anxiety.

Some older dogs who have been house-trained for years, may start having “accidents” in the house. As with other behavior problems in older dogs, there can be several causes for this change in behavior. Medical conditions like colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, infections of the bladder or prostate, Cushing’s disease, and kidney or liver disease can result in an increased frequency of urination or defecation and could be the cause for these types of “accidents”. Also, degenerative joint diseases like hip dysplasia and arthritis can cause severe pain and make it difficult for the dog to get up and go outside to take care of its bodily functions. Treatment of these degenerative joint diseases with Winston’s Joint System will not only help heal your dog, but also allow it to regain mobility and can resolve any behavioral problems related to these diseases.

If degenerative joint diseases are contributing to the house soiling problem and arthritis or hip dysplasia is the cause, you may want to build a ramp to the outside so your dog won’t have to struggle going up and down stairs. Slick floor surfaces should be covered with non-slip area rugs or other material. If your dog urinates or defecates inside the house, thoroughly clean the area with an enzyme cleaner. And if your dog develops a need to urinate or defecate frequently, you may need to change your daily schedule or else find a friend or pet sitter who can take the dog outside when needed.

Some older dogs will become restless at night and stay awake, pacing through the house, and barking or issuing low, throaty howls. Pain from joint diseases, an increased need to urinate or defecate more often, a loss of vision or hearing, and neurological conditions can contribute to this behavior.

Older dogs need more love and attention than young puppies or young adult dogs. Give your beloved aging companion the love and care it deserves. You will be rewarded with more genuine love than you’ll receive from younger dogs.

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