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November 2015

Easing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

 by petbucket on 24 Nov 2015 |
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Having a dog with separation anxiety isn't that uncommon. Many dogs experience it, especially those who were adopted. Separation anxiety occurs when the owners leave the home or the room. When left alone, dogs with separation anxiety will usually bark, whine, howl, be destructive, try to escape the home or place they are confined, and may urinate or defecate inside the home.    Sometimes, the behaviors associated with separation anxiety can be deterred through training. The training doesn't focus on curbing these behaviors, but instead focuses on easing the dog's separation anxiety when you leave. The training can be summarized in two words--leave often. Begin the training by leaving for a few short minutes. Before leaving, follow the routine you would if you were to leave for work or to run errands. This includes picking up your keys, purse, phone, wallet, and whatever else you might bring with you when you leave the house. After you walk out the door, stay quiet, out of sight, and near the home. The first time you attempt this training, stay outside for about five minutes before entering the home again. It is important to wait until the dog is quiet before entering the home. Continue to do this and leave for longer periods each time you attempt it. This helps the dog to understand that you haven't left them forever.   While training can help to alleviate separation anxiety for some dogs, other dogs have a much more severe case. If the training hasn't eased your dog's separation anxiety, talk to your vet. There are medications that can help dogs deal with their separation anxiety. While this may seem like an extreme step to some, for others it's essential. Having a dog placed on an anxiety medication can help keep them calm while you're away, and prevent them from injuring themselves. Once a dog is properly medicated, the training discussed above should be added to the regimen to help ease the dog's separation anxiety even more.   If you aren't comfortable medicating your dog, there are some other options. Some vets say that using calming oils, such as lavender, can help to relax the dog. There are other options available that uses pheromones to help relax the dog which are usually available at your local pet store.   The important thing to know is that there is no right answer when it comes to easing separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is different for every dog so it's important to be flexible about finding a solution. Don't be afraid to talk to your vet as they may have some other helpful suggestions.

How to Cope with Teething Puppies

 by petbucket on 12 Nov 2015 |
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You love your new puppy beyond words, but you have some choice terms for his incessant chewing. Relax. Puppies must chew during the teething stage to ease the pain caused by their erupting teeth. It's a phase, and will pass, but it's important to make sure your puppy tries out his new choppers on appropriate materials and not on you or other family members. Shoes, handbags and similar items are also at risk.     Puppy Teething   Puppies don't have teeth at birth. The initial, "baby" teeth begin coming in at about 3 weeks of age for most puppies, and they have all of their first teeth by the age of 6 weeks. At about 12 weeks - when puppies are often in their new home - the baby teeth start falling out and the permanent teeth begin erupting. First to appear are the incisors, followed by the fangs, or canines. Next to arrive are the premolars, with the molars coming in last. The entire process takes several months, but your dog should have all of his permanent teeth by the time he's 8 months old. In the meantime, you have to deal with his need to chew. Best Chew Toys   Ask your veterinarian for chew toy recommendations. You want to ensure that the chew toy is safe for your puppy, with no choking hazards.  Avoid buying cheap chew toys. Even if they aren't dangerous - and many are - they don't last long. A well-made chew toy may cost more, but it will last longer and give your puppy much more chewing time. Quality chew toys aren't brittle and easily snapped. Instead, they are flexible and firm. Chewing on a firm object helps relieve teething mouth pain.   Set Up for Success   Set your puppy up for success during the teething process with some simple do's and don'ts: .   DO provide him with plenty of suitable chew toys. .   DON'T give him old shoes or any household items to chew on. Your puppy doesn't know the difference between a worn-out sneaker and Manolo Blahnik. .   DO put shoes, leather goods and other potentially chewable items away from the puppy's reach.  For a puppy, anything left on the floor or an easily accessible sofa or chair is fair game. While you may concern yourself more with the loss of shoes, etc., it's the smaller items that are likely to cause a health hazard. That includes rubber bands, hair clips and power cords. .   DON'T allow your puppy unsupervised run of the house. It's just asking for trouble. When no one is home, put him in a crate with water and plenty of appropriate chew toys.  Considerations   Generally, the smaller the dog, the longer the teething process lasts.  That might result from the pain caused by 42 adult teeth trying to fit into a tiny mouth. Dental disease especially strikes the toy and miniature breeds, so it's important to learn to brush your pet's teeth every day and take him to the vet for annual checkups. While larger dogs go through the teething stage more quickly, that's not true of every breed. "Mouthy" breeds, such as various types of retrievers, may continue to chew voraciously until the age of 2, even though all of their teeth have erupted. Just be patient and continue to supply him generously with chew toys. Many dogs enjoy a good chew toy well into old age, even though their teething stage is long gone.
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