It is that time of the year again. Fear of fireworks affects many of our pets and it is time to condition your pets before New Years Eve! DO START NOW!!
According to The American Humane Society of the United States, "so many pets are frightened and try to escape the sights and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during this holiday time." “New Years Day is a busy day at animal shelters, as companion animals that fled in fright the night before are found miles from their homes, disoriented and exhausted.
Anxious families often find themselves searching the streets and shelters looking for a treasured family member whose fear drove him to jump a high fence or break his leash or chain. If your pet is upset by thunder, a door slamming or other loud noises, New Years Eve fireworks will be utterly terrifying.”
This happened to me years ago with my storm phobia dog. I had my dog confined to my bedroom where she was safe but one of the guests children didn’t listen to the instructions to stay out of the bedroom and opened the door. Of course, off ran my dog. She was so afraid that she climbed the back yard fence and just ran. When a pet is fearful they don’t remember the way they went in order to find their way home. The State Police found her the following day laying in a ditch in shock. Luckily she was returned to me alright. She was wearing her ID tags and back then the police didn’t take her to the dog pound. That was a great lesson for me and I don’t leave my pets alone on the 4th of July or New Year’s Eve when I know there will be fireworks. I currently have a dog with fears of fireworks. My pets are too important to me to leave them alone a few days a year when they can be traumatized. I have worked very hard with energy work, and other techniques to reduce my one dogs trauma to take a chance to let anything else happen.
Here are some recommendations for keeping your pets safe during the fireworks.
Behavior Modification can work with fearful dogs. It isn’t an instant fix but I have had success over time with different techniques. I currently have a dog that has fears of storms and especially fireworks. She had a large firework drop down at her as she walked out our door and that was very traumatic for her. Some animals are more predisposed to these fears than others. Sometimes you can use a recording with sounds of something exploding and gradually play it louder and louder while engaging the dog in some play or training activity that she enjoys over a period of days to weeks. Playing the sounds didn’t work for my dog because there wasn’t any vibrations or pressure associated with the recording. The problem is that listening to a recorded sound doesn't have the vibrations created by the actual fireworks. If your dog is food motivated you can couple a favorite food or treat with the increasingly louder sounds, so the dog becomes conditioned to understand that the loud noises come with tasty snacks. Storm phobia is harder to help a dog get over — much harder — and why is not clear. But if you want to desensitize your dog to storms, be sure to introduce the dog to the sounds of storms in the same gradual, structured way that you would reintroduce her to anything else she's afraid of. That's how you will instill confidence in the face of adversity. Again the barometric pressure change created by the storm and the earth vibrations will not be felt by playing the recorded sounds of fireworks or thunderstorms.
If you have a basement you can take your dog to the basement during a storm to help muffle the noise, Unfortunately many of us don’t have a basement, therefore, try to get to the quietest place in your house or the place your pet is most comfortable being at. Draw any blinds or curtains while playing white noise or calming music in the background to help drown out the sights and sounds of the storm. Don't sympathize or agonize over what your dog is going through, because that only reinforces the fear. Instead, distract your dog by playing fetch or engaging in some other game or routine that she enjoys. If you stress about their fear they will feel your stress and that doesn’t help the situation. As the dog begins to focus on the fun, and relaxes some maybe during the second, third, or fourth storm, gradually increase exposure. Open the blinds a bit.
Sometimes a thunder jacket (available online or at most pet stores) or a home made wrap can work. Research suggests that for some dogs, storm phobia is not about the noise but about the buildup of static electricity on the dog that causes shocks similar to feeling the pressure. (You'll often find a dog in the bathroom pressed behind a pipe during a storm; pipes conduct electricity away.)
I have had great success with using therapeutic grade essential oils, healing energy work, sound therapy relaxation music and behavior modification through PWC dog training to calm the animals. This is all part of my Pawsitive Wellness Center’s Business. All techniques can be done in the comfort of your pets home or from a distance You can diffuse the oils or play the relaxation music daily to relax the animal. This will need to be done ahead of July 4th so the dog learns to relax under normal conditions and especially so they don’t associate the essential oils or music with the fireworks or thunderstorms.
I am offering a special on the Tuning Fork Music now through the month of July and it is an easy download from my website. This has been very effective for calming my animals as well as my clients.
Article by Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM
I am sharing this article for our pet parents to keep their furry friends safe on Thanksgiving.
The general rule of thumb is that dogs should never get cooked bones. The cooking process makes bones indigestible which can result in intestinal obstruction. From time to time, I hear about dogs getting into cooked bones. If this happens to you, I suggest that you feed your dog a 1/4 to 1 cup of cooked squash and add 1/2 to 2 tsp of steeped flaxseed (which is made by pouring hot water
Read the entire article here!
I just had my 10 month old puppy trained to avoid rattlesnakes for I walk in the desert each day with my three dogs and I needed to know that my young puppy would also know to avoid the rattlesnakes for she is very curious and it is warm enough in the desert for a rattlesnake to be active when the sun warms up to around 70 degrees or more. I just wasn't comfortable being in the desert without her having the rattlesnake avoidance training like my other two dogs had. The video is of my older dog doing a retake test after being trained about four years prior to this retake in 2017.
Many of you live in the desert or an area where there is concern of rattlesnakes. A rattlesnake bite can be deadly especially if the dog is struck in the head while investigating the snake. If the dog survives the vet costs can be very high and the effect on the dog's immune system can be greatly compromised.
I took my two dogs to be retested two weeks ago and it was interesting to watch my dogs reaction as we arrived at the home of the tester, Big Jim from Vipervoidance in New River, AZ. He also offers the testing at other locations which can be found on his website.
Neither wanted to get out of the car because they got a smell of the snake in the front yard at a distance from the wind. Jim has two different rattlesnake setups. One setup in the front of the yard is for initial training and for the retest he has a rattlesnake in a cage down a trail on the side of the property.
On the retest the dog is off leash but the area is totally fenced. I did get my older dog out first and encouraged her down the trail. As we got near the caged snake she became more cautious and then when she got a strong scent she backed off and headed back up the trail without us.
She will usually stay with me when we are in a strange place but she didn't that day. It had been two years since my dogs were retested but I had moved to a place in the country where I was told there are many more rattlesnakes so I had them retested for my sanity.
I then walked to the other caged rattlesnake in the front yard and she wouldn't come with me no matter how much I coaxed her. She just wanted to get back into my vehicle.
I took my younger dog out to have her retested and she reacted the same way. I felt very relieved to know that neither one of my dogs wanted to get anywhere near the caged rattlesnakes. They stayed at least 15-20 feet away. The dog actually goes by the scent so if the wind is strong they can smell the snakes scent much farther away.
9 Reasons Not to Dress up Your Dog for Halloween
by Dr. Karen Becker
Please note: The following also applies to cats and other companion animals, but since it's dogs we most often see in Halloween costumes, I'm referring to them to illustrate my point.
1. Dogs aren't humans. Unlike an adult human, or even a child, your dog can't tell you with words how he feels about being dressed up. But it's a sure bet if he's trying like crazy to get those tuxedo trousers off, he doesn't like them. He may be itchy and overheating. It may feel confining. It may even be terrifying.
Now, if your pet doesn't mind dressing up, is not panicked or upset while wearing the clothing, then all is probably well. Get your pictures taken. Do the costume party walk-through (and hopefully your dog wins!), then take the costume off. And while it's on, please be vigilant about monitoring your pet's body temperature and ensuring the costume is not too constricting or abrasive to tender skin.
2. Dogs aren't dress-up dolls. They aren't inanimate objects or toys to play with. They are sentient beings with their own perceptions and feelings. 'Owning' a dog doesn't give us license to force things on her for our own amusement. Yes, those photos of dressed up dogs are darn cute -- but only to humans.
3. It's unnatural. Your dog has her own wardrobe – it's called fur. It's a good bet she's not interested in fashion, even if you are. If your pet likes being naked, you should respect that. Also, adult dogs who weren't dressed up as puppies will rarely find the experience enjoyable, so you should respect that as well.
4. Most dogs just plain hate wearing costumes. If you're honest with yourself, you'll probably recognize that even if your dog isn't fighting tooth-and-nail against that ballerina tutu, she wants nothing to do with it and it's a huge relief once it's off. Remember those cute photos of dressed up dogs? Ever notice the dogs never look amused?
I've experimented with putting clothes on all of my dogs for a few minutes. Their responses ranged from standing completely still, refusing to walk, to a fight or flight response, indicating they are stressed. My dogs don't do costumes. Rosco does sweaters; more on that later.
5. It's probably humiliating. Since you don't know what your dog is feeling and he can't tell you, it's quite possible he's shamed and embarrassed in a costume. Imagine you arrive at work one morning and you're met at the door by the boss. To your shock and dismay, you're forced out of your clothes right down to your underwear, and told you'll be spending the day in your skivvies. You're mortified, and all day long co-workers pass by your desk, laugh and take pictures of you to email and post on Facebook.
Is this anthropomorphizing? Yes. Do we know dog behaviors and responses change after haircuts and being shaved? Yes. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
6. It can be hazardous to the dog's health. Depending on the outfit, the temperature, the type of fur on your dog and his weight, it's easier than you might think for him to overheat inside that costume. Dogs have also been injured when their range of motion, vision or hearing is restricted by a costume. Injuries also occur when dogs try frantically to remove the costume. Buttons, bows and other small accessories can be pulled off and choked on or swallowed.
Last year I saw a corneal abrasion (scratched eye) from a bumble bee head piece that had slipped forward across the dog's eye. He couldn't even use his paw to try and rub the material out because the bumble bee suit was so constricting he couldn't extend his arms.
7. Your dog wants to make you happy. If she doesn't seem to mind being costumed, it's probably because she senses it pleases you. Most dogs live for the attention and approval of their human. So if your dog seems happy in her costume, it's probably because she's getting positive feedback from you. Teach her a new trick or command instead and reward her with praise and approval. Give her attention by taking her for a walk, or bathing and brushing her.
8. Dog outfits are expensive. I recommend you take the money you'd spend dressing up your dog and use it instead to upgrade the type of food you feed your pet. Or purchase a puzzle toy to stimulate his mind. Or put that money toward an acupuncture or chiropractic treatment. In other words, use those funds to provide your pet with something that will improve his health and quality of life.
9. This is about your dog. Consider him first and your own desires second. It's hard to go wrong that way.
By Dr. Peter Dobias
Hi my dog lovers,
Halloween is a spooky time and we should embrace our wild and crazy sides to celebrate. Normally, I am not into dressing dogs up but lately, I have been thinking that dogs love to have fun and get attention, and some of them may actually love to be in costume.
However, Halloween brings a few more serious challenges to our dogs:
What to do if your dog is sensitive to noise
I suggest that you give a remedy called Aconitum or Aconite. Most homeopathic pharmacies and health stores carry either 6C or 30 C potency. Give one dose, three larger (a mint sized) or 20 ( a poppy seed sized) pellets in the morning, a second dose at noon and a third dose in the evening. If you need to give the treatment for longer than 24 hours, repeat 1 to two doses per day for up to 3 days.
Most dogs respond well to the treatment and it has no side effects.
What to do if your dog eats an indigestible object.
Some of you have already read my blog but this is such an important article, that I decided to share it with you again. I also hope that you will share it with those you care about.
Happy Halloween and please keep your dog safe and stress free!
I have personally watched my two dogs on Halloween and they did like the people but it seemed hard for them to feel comfortable with a person wearing a mask for they would recognize the voice but couldn't see the face so that was confusing to them. They enjoyed seeing the people without masks much better. This can be stressful for our pets when there is a lot of commotion and they don't understand what is going on since this isn't their normal activity. This also has to do with putting a costume on a pet. Some animals are used to having things on them but others aren't and having something strange on them also with a lot of commotion can cause the animal anxiety so pay attention to your animals signals.
I also use a calming blend of essential oils for an animal that might get stressed with the door bell ringing and children hollering "Trick or Treat". I personally won't put my dogs through that since one is a bit more sensitive to excessive loud noises.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR BELOVED COMPANION ANIMAL
I have shared this information each year but I do want to keep our pets safe so please take the time to check this out.
Halloween is associated with spooky haunted houses, pet costumes (in the case of pet parents) and most of all, Halloween candy! Candy can be toxic and very dangerous to pets. Below are five dangerous Halloween candies for dogs and cats.
1. Candy Corn & Other High Sugar Candy
Candies that are made with pure sugar can cause severe gas and diarrhea. The sugar not only provides a great source of food for gut bacteria to indulge in, it can also pull water into the colon and cause a bad case of diarrhea.
2. Chocolate Covered Raisins
These tasty treats combine two potentially deadly ingredients in dogs and cats. Chocolate is toxic to pets and can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. Raisins (and other grape products) can cause severe kidney failure. The two of these combined is the ultimate toxic nightmare for pets. If your pet eats any chocolate covered raisins this Halloween, take them to your veterinarian immediately for treatment.
3. Candy with Wrappers
When dogs get into the candy bowl, they don’t usually bother to unwrap the treats first. Plastic and foil wrappers pose a health risk since they can cause an obstruction in the intestines and irritate the lining of the GI tract. Sometimes, pets can pass the wrappers without a problem, but it is best to keep all wrapped treats away from pets just in case.
4. Bite-size Hard Candy
Hard candy often has a delicious taste to dogs. These treats pose a major choking hazard for pets. Hard candy becomes slippery when mixed with saliva and it can be inhaled into the trachea (wind pipe), causing a choking hazard. Be sure to keep these candies away from dogs and cats.
5. Sugar-Free Gum
This type of gum may contain Xylitol, a sugar-substitute. it can be deadly if ingested by a dog or cat.
Xylitol causes a severe drop in blood sugar that can happen within minutes after ingestion. Pets may become lethargic, unable to walk and start having seizures. If they survive the initial symptoms, they often will have severe liver damage and potentially fatal liver failure. This is the most dangerous type of Halloween candy for pets.
Keep your pet safe this Halloween by keeping all of your Halloween treats in a safe, secure place. Remember, up on the counter may not be out of reach - my dog Pepper would "counter surf." Best to put candy in drawers or cupboards.
Credit to Murdoch University
You will have to enlarge the photo to read the print. The body temperature chart is in centigrade.
Please watch your pets in all summer heat conditions!
Don't forget all the things associated with Easter that are harmful to your pets! Pet proof your home to have a safe Easter weekend with your pets.
Especially in households with younger children, it is very import to pet-proof your house for Easter festivities! Between sneaking chocolate from baskets, eating candy wrappers strewn across the house, and mistaking fake, plastic grass for the real deal... Easter weekend is an ingestion hazard waiting to happen.
The best place to start is by avoiding all fake, plastic Easter-basket-grass as it can be lethal when consumed by an unsuspecting pet (not to mention it's very hard to recycle!). Here are some favorite go-to replacements are:
As with all holidays, I always recommend pet-proofing your GUESTS as well as your house to avoid incidents and to reduce the stress on your pets.
Especially with less-frequent guests, give visitors a quick run-down of your pet-rules-of-the-house - i.e. keeping outside doors closed, not feeding the pups from the table, don't chase or handle the animals, unless advised how to.
However, in any situation with many visitors to your home, your pets will inevitably have heightened anxiety and stress. In these situations I've found two products to be incredibly effective in keeping my pets happy and relaxed - Diffusing doTERRA Essential Oils and playing calming music. They can both calm your pets!
I have experienced many friends losing their special dear pets this month and it brings up memories of how we all miss our beloved pets when they transition across the Rainbow Bridge. Each pet leaves special memories in our heart. Some transitions are more expected when a pet has become a senior and the body is failing or unhealthy but when it is because of an accident it is harder for the parent(s) can feel guilt for not protecting the pet from danger. Today I experienced a family’s special friend run through an open door and into the street where he was hit by a car and died instantly.
My purpose for writing this blog is to help pet parents understand the importance of some basic training to help prevent situations like this. As pet parents we are responsible for the safety of our pets just like we are responsible for the safety of our children.
It is highly recommended for pet parents to have a basic pet training class to teach our beloved best friends to sit at the door and never go through the door before we do. This waiting for us to go through the door first and then inviting our dog to follow us can prevent so many accidents from happening. Pet basic training should be something every dog parent does for the safety of the pet and their wellbeing. Our dogs love to please us and they do love training. It is great bonding time for the pet and parent(s). It also creates mental activity that can drain some extra energy from the younger dogs. Pet Training also makes pets good citizens.
Here is a bit of advice for keeping your pets safe. Has your pet ever eaten something they shouldn’t that could block their digestive track and cause major complications if they develop a blockage in their digestive track? I have had this happen twice with one of my dogs that thinks things are a treasure to keep and eat instead of letting someone else have them. I experienced this with this dog years ago when she decided to swallow a leather baseball cover instead of letting the other dog that she was playing with keep it. The leather cover stitching broke on the ball and she managed to get the cover off the ball that was in his mouth. Needless to say we took an emergency trip to my vet who just happened to have a cancellation that morning and induced vomiting to remove the cover. If the cover would have entered the digestive track she would have had to have surgery to remove it. This happened close to my vet so I was lucky.
Yesterday this same dog decided to play keep away with the packaging of chicken which consists of the Styrofoam tray and the pellet type lining that is use to absorb the juices to keep them from leaking while packaged. She was outside and wanted to play keep away and swallowed the packaging and pellet substance instead of giving it up. It was my fault for being careless of were the packaging was left for disposing of it. I knew she was going to have to vomit this up but I was miles from a vet or emergence clinic and it was past regular office hours. I decided I would have to use a technique that I knew about to induce vomiting in pets. Amazingly it worked and the unwanted substance was out of her and on the ground within 10 minutes. I was so happy and I want to tell you about this method of inducing vomiting. Hopefully you will never have to use it but I feel it is something you should know. What will induce vomiting is a 3% solution of Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide. IT MUST BE FOOD GRADE! The dosage is generally 1 tsp/10# weight in dogs. I mixed it with some raw chicken and water. I was also told that it should be a unopened bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide to be effective. I always keep an unopened bottle just for this purpose.
You can google it to find out more details for cats. Make sure it hasn’t been two hours since the animal ate the unwanted substance. Look for more details online for dangerous substances that should not have vomiting induced. You should never induce vomiting with brachycephalic pets (pets that have a smooshed face and are more at risk for inhaling vomit into their lungs. Brachycephalic breeds include the following: English bulldogs, Pekingese, Shih-Tzus, Pugs, etc. You can check the link below for more precautions.