My friend Susan has a dog that she adopted that she loves with all her heart. He has been doing really well around the house, likes the other pets and is even OK with new people. But, he tends to be anxious as he learns to adapt to his new surroundings.
The symptoms of an anxious dog vary but can include pacing, barking, licking constantly, or urinating in the house. Some causes for anxiety include separation from owners, loud noises, a new home or unknown causes. Some breeds of dogs tend to be more anxious than others. And, it is very common for a newly adopted dog to be anxious.
Below are some tips to help you calm an anxious dog:
Exercise your dog regularly
Exercise your dog on a regular basis especially before you leave the house each day. What seems like anxiety could just be boredom which often leads to the undesirable behavior such as chewing on furniture or shoes. Walk your dog for a half hour at least once a day, two or three times if possible.
Practice short times of separation
Practice short times of separation. Say "I'll be back" and walk out the door, then walk back in. A little later, repeat the same thing, but stay outside for a little longer. Slowly increase the times you are gone and the dog will learn to associate "I'll be back" with your short return, helping to minimize its anxiety.
Giver your dog a toy distraction
Give your dog a toy to chew on especially when you leave the house. The Kong is a very popular toy among dogs; it is a rubber toy that you put treats inside. The dog has to chew and play with the Kong to get to the treats. This activity usually preoccupies the dog and will make him or her less likely to go back to the anxious behavior.
Try to ignore your dog when you first arrive home
I know that this is a difficult one, but if you ignore your pup when you first get home, he or she will be calmer. And, conversely, if you make a fuss over your dog, it reinforces the negative behaviors that are symptoms of his or her anxiety. Just wait a few minutes and then give your dog a treat when he or she settles down.
Crate training is an option
Consider crating your dog when you leave the house or during times of stress such as when company visits. Some dogs actually like a close, confined space with water, toys and blankets. It makes them feel as if they have their own cave or home. If you make the crate comfortable, your dog very well could enjoy it.
If all of the above doesn’t seem to alleviate your dog’s anxiety, then it is time to take your dog to the vet. Some anxious dogs might need medication to treat their anxiety. Usually the medication is given every day to help dogs deal with a daily separation anxiety they might have.
I hope these tips help. If you spend time with your dog and teach him how to be more assured and trust that you will be back, his or her anxiety should lessen.
When you first bring home your kitten, there are so many new questions and variables to consider. Where will he or she sleep? Will she like her new family? And, first and foremost, what do I feed my kitten? With so many different kinds of cat/kitten food on the market, how do you decide what is best for your new bundle of joy.
Kittens need protein
The first thing you need to know is that kittens and cats are inherently carnivores. Because they evolved to be carnivores, they lack certain enzymes needed to convert vegetable proteins into the amino acids they need. Therefore, your kitten can not live on a vegetarian or vegan diet. So, even if you do follow a vegan diet, make sure that your kitten does not.
Kittens, because they're growing so rapidly, need much higher amounts of energy in their food. By the time your kitten is six months old, he or she still needs about 25 percent more nutrition than an adult cat. This is why you should feed your kitten a food specifically designed for kittens' nutritional needs, and you should continue feeding kitten food until your feline friend is about a year old.
Read the labels
The label on yourkitten food contains feeding instructions. These guidelines are very general recommendations and it's possible that your kitten may need more or less food than the label suggests. Talk to your vet to be sure you're feeding your kitten the right amount and type of food.
Cat foods are made with cats' nutritional needs in mind and are fortified with amino acids to keep your cat healthy. However, dry food has a lot more carbohydrates than a cat needs. When assessing your options, note that canned foods have a higher percentage of meat.
Feed your kitten three times a day until she's at least seven months old. Kittens' stomachs are very small and they need to fill up regularly. Free feeding with kibble is OK if you can't be around all day to feed them.
You shouldn't need additional supplementsas long as you feed your kitten a nutritionally balanced diet. If you're concerned that your cat isn't eating enough to get proper nutrition, discuss this with your vet and get his or her opinion before giving supplements.
High Quality Food
Feed your kitten the highest-quality food you can afford. Good food is insurance for your kitten’s health in the long term and it's worth the extra money to buy products that have better-quality ingredients and fewer chemical additives. There are so many healthy brands on the market that it should be easy to find one that your kitten loves. If you buy in bulk, it will lower the overall cost.
Enjoy your new, wonderful feline family member and hope he or she makes you very happy!
Come and join, Sammy, the site administrator for petpav.com, and he will be your first friend!
As most dog owners know, it can take time to housetrain your puppy and sometimes there are ‘accidents’. You come home from work and there is a puddle in the middle of your floor. When this happens, it is usually just that, an accident. However if this continues, you will need to retrain your puppy and/or find out the cause.
A dog doesn’t usually forget his training; it’s more likely that changes in the environment are the cause. Retraining is part of the process, but only after the other issues have been considered. If you don't take the time to determine what change has caused this problem, it will happen again later.
Below are some tips and/or recommends for a puppy and/or new older dog that has an accident in the house.
Changes that Can Cause Accidents
1. Medical Problems- Have you puppy checked for any medical problems such as urinary infections. This is the number one reason for an ‘accident’.
2. Children- If there is a newborn in the house or if the older children are suddenly louder this could throw your puppy off. An accident might also be a cry for attention.
3. Unfamiliar sounds- If construction has started outside your house or there are new neighbors in the area that are really loud, this can contribute to the problem. And, of course, moving is a huge stress on an older puppy.
4. Feeding and Water- Make sure that you don’t change the puppy’s water amount and/or feeding schedule.
5. Finished Crate Training - If you finished crate training and you've only recently started leaving your puppy out of the crate, this can cause confusion.
Obviously, the easiest way to stop the accidents is to figure out what change in the environment has occurred and try to fix it (if possible).
Working on housetraining with an older puppy is different than a young one. For one thing, it's likely that you no longer pick him up to rush outside if he lifts his leg. Also, it's more likely that he'll have an accident when you're gone.
To retrain an older puppy, below are five recommends.
1.Establish a routine.
2.Praise your puppy when he eliminates outdoors. Positive reinforcement always works.
3.Make sure that the ‘bathroom’ spot is just outside the front or back door.
4.Use the same ‘bathroom’ spot every time you go out. Consistency!
5.Use a command such as ‘Go potty here!’ every time your puppy starts to go.
I hope these tips help. And, remember, that an occasional accident up to a year-and-half is completely normal. If you are consistent with your praise and commands, your dog will be ‘accident’ free in no time!
Some cat owners complain that they have cats that scratch or bite them. I know that Sammy scratches me sometimes when he is playing or gets in his aggressive cat mode. I also know how to handle him when he does so. However, if your cat is scratching or biting you for any other reason than play, there are ways to stop him or her.
As kittens, biting and scratching is an important part of their development. A kitten and then cat’s main form of play involves biting and scratching whether the recipient is another cat, a toy mouse, or sometimes you! And, this kind of biting is acceptable behavior for a kitten. However, if as a cat, he or she continues to bite and scratch you, there might be some disciplinary lessons in order.
First and foremost, always trim your cat’s nails. This will help you with the initial pain if your cat does scratch you and should be done on a regular basis for your cat’s physical health. See my article on how to clip your cat’s nails:
Below are some tips to help you when your cat scratches or bites you:
Say ‘Ouch’ loud and clear
If your cat bites or scratches you, say ‘Ouch’ loudly and clearly in a disciplinary tone. Then slowly remove your hand or his or her paw from wherever he has bitten you. Do not yank it away or your cat will think you are playing with him and he will grab it again.
Pick your cat up by the back of the neck
If you can grab your cat by the back of the neck and say ‘no’ , this is an effective form of discipline for your aggressive feline! It mimics the punishment given a kitten by his mother when he becomes unruly. Try to hold your cat in this position for only three or four seconds and then let him go. Your cat will probably walk away as he or she tries to recover his dignity. But he'll remember this lesson for a long time!
Try to redirect your cat’s attention
Usually, your cat will bite or scratch you merely because he or she is bored and your hand is his or her fun toy. If this happens, redirect his or her attention by giving your cat a play object such as an interactive toy. Or you can just play with your cat with a fishing rod, catch the mouse, etc.
Medical causes should never be ruled out if biting or scratching is a new behavior and/or pattern. Your cat might have a hidden wound, fleas or even a hormonal imbalance. If an otherwise sweet-natured cat starts behaving aggressively towards you, especially when being handled, you should go see your veterinarian.
As we all know, every cat is different and his or her form of play and interaction vary. My Sammy is a bit more aggressive so his scratches are a form of play. It is important for you to really get to know your kitten or cat, so you can determine what is normal and what isn’t. This will help you deal with not only scratching and biting, but his or her overall mental and physical health.Good luck!
Come and join, Sammy, the site administrator for petpav.com, and he will be your first friend!
A friend of mine who has kids is getting ready to adopt a dog. She asked me if there is a certain breed or type of dog that gets along well with children. I know that every dog is different but there are some questions, considerations that you should think about when bringing a dog home.
First and foremost, there really isn’t a particular breed that works better with children. In choosing a dog, you should think about your home and what are the best dog traits that will work with your kids rather than the best dog breeds. By looking at the dog’s traits, rather than breed, it also allows you to choose from one of the thousands mutts that would make great family dogs.
Below are some tips on how on how to make an easy transition with your dog and kids:
1. The most important aspect of a dog's reliability in getting along with children is his or her socialization history. Puppies that are well-socialized with kids grow into dogs that are more reliable around children.
2. If you have an infant or very young child, raising a puppy and a baby simultaneously can be more work than you bargained for and can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted!
3. Adopting an older dog is a great solution for many families. Its socialization history might not be known, so you want a dog that is already very kid-friendly and that is gentle and tolerant with kids. You can usually bring a dog home and make sure that he or she works well with your kids. This is a great benefit of adopting!
4. Watch for signs of a dog being stressed such as lip licking, backing away, growling or hackling, frequently looking away, and/or urinating when approached by children. These signs usually mean that a dog is uncomfortable around kids.
5. No matter how well socialized your dog is or how well behaved your child is, dogs and small children should not, under any circumstance, be left unsupervised together. Virtually all dog bites on small children are from the dog being unsupervised even just for a minute. This could have been prevented altogether by monitoring dogs and children at all times when they are together.
6. It is also important to keep your kids safe from your dog and your dog safe from your kids. If your child harasses a dog, you have a responsibility to control the situation. Give the dog a safe place to go and make sure that your dog and child are separated. It is not acceptable to let young children handle dogs roughly. Make sure that your dog and children always act gently and respectfully toward one another.
I hope these tips help and you certainly can find a dog that gets along with your kids. It is simply a matter of trial and error. Good luck!