As most dog owners know, puppies love to chew and it is an important part of the teething process. However, as puppies become adult dogs, chewing is OK if your dog is simply chewing a bone or toy. But, when your dog starts to chew on your shoes, the couch or any other household item, this is usually due to boredom and/or a way to release pent-up energy or stress.
Below are some tips on how to stop your dog from chewing up your household!
Give your pup plenty of exercise
If you want to stop your dog from chewing, tire him out by giving your pup plenty of exercise. A tired pup will be less likely to get into things. Exercise also produces endorphins for your dogs and, similar to humans, the endorphins have a calming effect. Endorphins are stimulated by chewing, so if your dog is not getting enough exercise, he could be seeking to replace the endorphins by chewing what he isn’t supposed to!
Dog proof your Home
If your dog is chewing your shoes, make sure to move them or keep them in a closed closet. As with any type of behavior you wish to change, one of the most important things to do is manage the environment. We are all familiar with puppy proofing our homes by removing tempting items and /or putting our puppies in a crate when we can’t actively supervise them. Adult dogs sometimes need the same type of management to keep them out of trouble. However, try not to keep your adult dog in a crate all day unless he or she is happy there and has a toy and food.
Always have a chew toy for your dog
If your dog tries to chew an inappropriate item, give him a chew toy instead. Try to interrupt the bad chewing behavior and re-direct your dog to an appropriate chew toy. It can be helpful to have a stuffed Kong toy handy so you are ready to go if your pup starts to go at the wrong item. Many pups have certain times of day when they are more likely to chew, so try to choose that time of day to give the dog an approved chew toy.
Try a bad-tasting, toxic –free repellant
To stop your dog from chewing household items, you can try a spray or toxic-free repellant. There are many different types on the market that won’t harm your pup, but will simply make the inappropriate items undesirable. If your dog smells it or tries to eat it one time, it is unlikely that he or she will try it again.
Occasionally chewing or tearing things up is a symptom of a more serious problem such as separation anxiety. If you suspect separation anxiety, the first thing you need to do is schedule an appointment with your veterinarian and/or a dog behavioral specialist. This anxiety usually occurs if an owner has moved or changed his or her schedule and the pup isn’t used to it.
If you try all of the above, especially exercise and a chew toy for your dog, he or she should be back to chewing the right items sooner rather than later. It might take some time, so try to be patient. Good luck!
As cat owners, we are lucky enough to have an inside litter box for our cats where they can do their business! However, sometimes kittens or even an older cat starts to miss the litter box and/or will start peeing elsewhere. More likely than not, there is a behavioral issue involved, especially if it is a younger cat. With an older cat, it could be a failure of your cat’s kidneys and you should take your kitty to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Marking a territory
If your cat has suddenly started to pee in a certain place or spot, it is usually a sign that he or she is marking a territory. If you catch your cat with his back up to a vertical surface, standing with his tail quivering, and direct a spray of urine on the wall or other vertical surface, this is a sign he is marking his territory. He will usually leave the area without sniffing. This behavior is not limited to male cats, as females will also sometimes spray, but for different reasons.
As annoying as this behavior is, do not punish a cat for peeing in the wrong place, by yelling, rubbing his nose in it or throwing him into the litter box. You'll create far more problems than you'll ever cure, even if you catch him in the act. You'll teach him nothing but fear and distrust.
Make the Inappropriate Area Unattractive
The first step in stopping your cat from peeing is to remove every bit of evidence of your cat’s urine from the new area he or she has been using. There are a number of cleaning products for this purpose, but you can start with plain dish soap and water on a hard-surface floor, and a regular carpet cleaning solution on carpets, provided the urine is fresh. If you don’t clean up the urine immediately, your cat will try to cover the spot with his own scent by peeing again.
Plain soda or seltzer water can also be effective in neutralizing fresh urine odor, but for badly soiled carpeting, you'll need an enzyme-based product. There are a number of new products on the market for removing the scent of urine most of which are chemical free. You can also try aluminum foil over the area where the cat has peed. Cats don't like the noise and feel of aluminum foil, and as long as they have a new, clean litter box, the switch should be successful.
Move or Change the Litter box
You can also try to switch to a new litter box and/or move its’ location. Cats are very private about their elimination and don't like to be observed. Make sure that the box is no next to a noisy appliance as that will distract and disturb him. There are a number of new litter box products on the market that feature privacy in one way or another. Just be sure the box is placed in an area where other cats can't sneak up and intimidate the cat who is using it.
If the box sits on a hard, cold surface, try putting a carpet remnant or washable rug under it, as cats like to scratch around the box. It should be in an easily-accessible location. Young kittens and senior cats may not be able to climb stairs easily.
Once you've set your plan into action, watch your cat and praise him every time he uses his box. This retraining can take time, but with dedication and patience, you and your cat can once again be back to the normal routine.
If your dog is seemingly lethargic and/or not acting like his usually upbeat self, he or she could be sick. As an owner, you are probably aware of your dog’s behavior, so if he is not quite himself and doesn’t want to go on a walk or eat, he could be “under the weather”. However, you don’t have to always run to the vet at his or her first sign of illness. Sometimes this affliction (or whatever it is) can pass in a day.
Do an overall glance at his body
Similar to human’s, if your baby or child is sick, you take his or her temperature and check their overall condition. In a dog, you can check his or her whole body, from nose to tail, and look for signs of illness such as matted fur, swelling or unusual discharge. There should be clear fluids form his nose and a normal pulse for a pup is within the range of 50 to 130 beats per minute, depending on the breed. In addition, check for dehydration by twisting the skin of his shoulder. A healthy dog's skin will snap right back.
Next step if your pup seems sick
While some signs of illness are general and can be indicators of any number of dog diseases or problems, other symptoms point to specific, common illnesses. Try to write down everything you see and hear down in your dog's medical diary and get to the vet as soon as you spot a real problem. If you take your dog for a checkup every year and generally keep up with normal preventive care, you'll usually be able to get him or her feeling normal in no time.
When to Call the Vet
There are many common canine ailments, some more likely to afflict certain breeds than others. Although vaccinations will generally keep your dog safe from infectious diseases such as canine distemper, parvovirus, Lyme disease and rabies, there are times when disease will get through to your pup. You should always be on the lookout for signs of illness, no matter how many booster shots your dog gets.
Parvovirus (known as parvo) is a disease that damages your dog's intestinal lining, and is often fatal to young or unvaccinated dogs. The signs are usually a fever, weakness, a poor appetite, depression followed by vomiting and severe diarrhea. If you suspect it is parvo, take your dog to the vet right way. Because parvo is picked up via the stool of an infected dog, keep your dog away from the feces of others.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious and dangerous health condition in a dog so make sure your dog is vaccinated. The signs are usually loss of appetite, nose and eye discharge, neurological problems such as drooling, head shaking and even seizures. Look for hard skin patches on the feet or nose.
Viral or Bacterial Infection
This used to be called kennel cough and can be treated by a vet with medication. The signs are usually coughing, hacking, listlessness and poor appetite, followed by a recurring cough.
Of course there are many other infections or illness that can afflict your pup, but the above are the most common. If you do keep up with your dog’s annual vet visits and shots, he or she should not be sick for too long. Try not to wait for more than a couple days to take your pup to the vet if his or her behavior isn’t normal. Good luck!
As a pet owner, we love our cats and dogs and sometimes don’t recognize when things are, well, not right. I was visiting and petting one of my neighbors dog, Lucy, and I almost had to jump back. Her breath was horrendous! Her owner sort of laughed it off, but I sensed there was a bigger problem than simply smell.
There are many reasons, besides hygiene, that your dog has bad breath. As always, bring your dog to your veterinarian, if you think your dog’s breath is unusually bad.
If your dog has “doggy halitosis” – the first place to look is in his or her mouth. If your dog’s teeth are not white, but have yellow and brown marks, this usually means that there is plaque build up that needs to be scraped off. If your dog’s plaque is dark yellow and hard, he or she could have a type of periodontal disease. The bacteria that harbors in the plaque and calculus can cause bad breath and if left untreated can multiply and migrate.
Other Common Medical Conditions Caused by Bad Breath
If your dog’s breath has an unusual smell, it is important to look out for some other medical conditions. Sometimes an unusually sweet or fruit smelling breath is indicative of diabetes in dogs. Your dog might also be drinking and urinating more often than usual.
Breath that smells like urine can be a sign of kidney disease. An unusually foul odor accompanied by vomiting, lack of appetite, and yellow-tinged corneas and/or gums could be symptomatic of a liver problem.
Preventing Bad Dog Breath
Many people assume that bad breath in dogs, especially at a certain age, is normal, but that’s not the case. In fact, being proactive about your pup’s oral health will not only make your life together more pleasant, it’s smart preventive medicine.
Bring your dog in for regular checkups to make sure that he or she has no underlying medical issues that may cause halitosis. It could be as simple as brushing your dog’s teeth and/or your veterinarian can give you a plaque remover. If you do try to brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis, make sure that you use toothpaste that is formulated for dogs and not humans.
Feed your dog a high-quality, easy-to-digest food. As in children, if you give them high –sugar content food, it is more likely they will have dental issues and/or other medical ailments.
Try giving your dog a hard, chew toy that allow your dog’s teeth to be cleaned by the natural process of chewing. You can purchase chew toys at your local pet store.
Give your dog high quality treats that are formulated to improve his or her breath. Again, there are many treats on the market that can help your dog with his ‘breath’.
I hope the above tips help. Just remember that occasional bad breath in dogs is normal. However, if the bad breath lasts for more than a couple days, make sure to bring your beloved canine to the vet.
We know that our beloved cats are not fond of changing their normal routines. Therefore, moving to a new home can be very stressful for you and your cat. However, if you prepare for the move and are patient with your feline friends, the transition can go smoothly.
Preparing for the Move
The first thing to remember when you move with your cats is that no matter what you do, it will be stressful for your cat. Therefore, you should try to keep your cats routine as normal as possible until moving day. Make sure to feed your cat at the normal times and try not to pack everything with your cat’s scent on it until right before you move.
When you’re packing, remember that cats are very curious and might want to climb on top of stacked boxes. This could lead to injury if your kitty knocks the boxes down, so don’t stack them too high and make sure the stacks are stable. Your cat might choose to hide in or behind things that are now exposed because of the move, such as ovens and refrigerators. Be careful when you begin to move these items.
On the day of the move, it is best that you place your cats in a secure room that people will not be continuously going in and out of. It should be as far away from the commotion as possible and have a litter box, food, water, and a hiding spot available. A kennel carrier with a blanket with your scent is a good place as well.
Move your cats last if possible after everything else has been moved. Place your kitty cat in a carrier for safety in the vehicle. Make sure to have your cat drive with you and not in a moving van. If you are moving a long distance, make sure to have plenty of water and a litter box available.
Make stops every few hours and allow the cat out of the kennel (but not out of the vehicle) to drink, use the box and stretch. If your cat is likely to be extremely stressed, you might be able to get a mild sedative from your veterinarian.
Introducing Your Cat(s) to Your New Home
When you arrive at your new home, choose one room as the “safe room”. This will be a quiet area away from all the noise and commotion where your cat can hide. Provide food, a litter box, water and a hiding place (again a cat carrier is a good start). Once safely in the room, open the door to the carrier, then leave the room and shut the door behind you.
For several hours, leave your cats in the room alone and let them come out when they are ready. Constantly coming in and out of the room to check on your cats could cause more stress and make the adjustment process longer.
Gradually you can let your cat explore other areas of the house. Allow access to only a few rooms at a time taking notice of any tight places your cat may hide but could get stuck. Try to keep the same feeding schedule you had before. Also spread items with the cats’ scent, such as toys and blankets, throughout the house so the cat knows that it is allowed to be in certain areas.
For an outdoor cat, let your cat out at the same time every day. When it is time to let your cat out, start with short, supervised trips around the immediate area of the house and yard. You can put a harness on your cat (at first) then work up to letting the cat off the leash while you walk with her as she explores.
If you follow the above steps and watch your cat for signals as to how he or she is adjusting, the transition should go smoothly. Some cats will adjust instantaneously while others might take a little longer. But, soon enough, your cat(s) will love their new home and new places to explore.