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Pet Bucket Blog

July 2019

How to treat a dog with compulsive disorder

 by ben on 31 Jul 2019 |
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We’re all familiar with obsessive-compulsive disorder, but few know that compulsive disorders can also impact dogs. Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects up to 3 percent of the human population, but many people don’t realize that the same disorder also affects our pets. Canine compulsive disorder, or CCD, can cause serious physical damage to your dog as repetitive attention to one spot on his body can lead to lesions and infections. Here are a few ways to recognize compulsive behavior and help your canine companion: Compulsive disorders take root in instincts that are necessary for a species to survive. Dogs are natural predators, diggers and groomers, for example, so canine compulsive behaviors often manifest as the repeated version of these actions. In fact, the first established CCD was acral lick, or the repetitive licking of the wrist, paw or leg. Other compulsions commonly observed include tail chasing, snapping at imaginary flies, running in repetitive patterns, or sucking at his flank or a blanket, though many others exist. Often, this repeated behavior can lead to infection as pets create open wounds or lesions over time. While antibiotics can cure an infection, it’s important to address the underlying cause of Fido’s obsessive behavior. Genetics play a role in pets’ susceptibility to CCD, but chronic stress or anxiety act as triggers for compulsive behavior. Though an action may initially be a response to one particular, stressful event, dogs may begin to perform this comfort behavior any time they feel stressed. While your pet cannot attend counseling sessions, there are many ways to manage his stress and compulsive behavior. Provide him with daily exercise through walks and play and, whenever possible, offer your pet the chance to socialize with other dogs and humans. You can strengthen the bond you share with your pet and stimulate his mind with activities such as agility training, nose work, or fly ball. Chronic boredom or loneliness can lead to frustration that triggers compulsive behaviors in some pets, so consider a pet sitting service or companion animal of you’re away from home for long periods of time. Because physical conditions can cause signs similar to canine compulsive behaviors, it’s important to take your pet to the veterinarian to rule out any medical causes behind Fido’s actions. After a complete physical examination and lab work, you may consider seeking treatment for CCD. As in humans, effective treatment of canine compulsive disorder involves medications that lower arousal and conflict, as well as behavior modification that gives your pet an alternate strategy for coping with stress. This is often a lifelong process and treatment can be hard, but the prognosis for your companion is much better if you catch the early stages of development of a compulsive disorder and start treatment before it becomes a chronic state.

How does the Seresto flea collar work?

 by ben on 22 Jul 2019 |
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The Seresto collar provides up to eight months of flea and tick prevention, making it one of the most convenient and cost-effective treatments on the market. With the huge range of flea and tick treatments on the market, many pet owners turn to the most convenient and cost-effective medications to fight an infestation. That’s why the Seresto collar has become thousands of consumers’ go-to solution for pest prevention. This revolutionary flea and tick treatment provides up to eight months of protection from biting pests, protecting dogs and cats from disease and giving owners peace of mind. Manufactured by time-honored veterinary science company Bayer, Seresto contains two active ingredients that fight fleas and ticks. An insecticide proven to be highly toxic to biting insects, Imidaclopridfights fleas at both their larval and adult stages. It is found in hundreds of other pet, garden, and home products and works by binding to receptors that block pathways in the nervous system of fleas and ticks. Because it is much more effective on insects’ nerve cells than mammals’, Imidacloprid has been proven to be safe for use on dogs and cats. Bravecto’s other active ingredient, Flumethrin, also attacks the nervous system of parasites, fighting fleas in their nymph, larval and adult stages. This pesticide is found in low doses in the collar and does not pose a risk to pets or to the people around them. In fact, field trials found only a small percentage of dogs and cats faced minor side effects, such as irritation, hair loss, scratching and hair discoloration around the area of the collar. Imidacloprid and Flumethrin work together to fight fleas and ticks for up to eight months, thanks to Seresto’srevolutionary design. The active ingredients are contained in a polymer matrix that slowly releases medication from the center of the collar to its surface. Seresto begins work almost immediately on contact with an animal’s fur and skin, where it forms a thin layer of protection against fleas and ticks. This odorless and non-greasy shield prevents parasites from attaching to your pet, where they can cause allergic reactions and transmit disease. And, because Seresto’ssustained release ensures a steady, low dose of medication, your pet will receive safe protection for up to eight months from each collar. Seresto is water resistant and provides effective treatment for pets that spend a great deal of time in the water and receive regular baths. The collar has been deemed safe for use on dogs seven weeks or older, cats 10 weeks or older, and comes in several doses for dogs of varying sizes. Seresto has even been found safe for pets who chew on their collars, so you can rest assured that your companion is getting the best and longest-lasting protection from fleas and ticks.

What you need to know about feline senile dementia

 by ben on 11 Jul 2019 |
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We all know some people experience a mental decline with age, but cats can also be affected by feline senile dementia. Just like humans, cats experience changes to their physical and mental health as they age. Among these are feline senile dementia, which affects brain function in some senior cats. Recognizing the signs of feline senile dementia in your pet is important, as knowing the symptoms can help you make lifestyle changes that slow the progress of the disease and increase your pet’s quality of life. Much like their human counterparts, our cats can experience dementia as they age. Also known as cognitive dysfunction system, or CDS, this impairment to the mental processes can manifest itself in many ways, from affecting a cat’s ability to learn and remember to altering his awareness of his surroundings. In some cases, cats experiencing CDS become anxious or afraid, leading to the seemingly gratuitous yowling observed in some older cats. Often, pet owners are perplexed when symptoms of CDS first appear, but there are a few signs that can clue you in when your cat is experiencing the onset of feline senile dementia. Look for changes in his grooming habits and especially an unkempt coat, shifts in his sleeping patterns or overall lethargy, increased irritability or anxiety, fluctuations inKitty’s activity levels, general disorientation or confusion, and increased instances of incessant yowling. It’s important to note that these can all be symptoms of a host of other feline health concerns, so it’s important to take your cat to the veterinarian to rule out arthritis, hearing problems and other causes behind your cat’s behavioral changes if he’s exhibiting symptoms of CDS. Once your vet has ruled out other issues, you can begin taking special care of your pet knowing he’s experiencing the onset feline senile dementia. While there is no cure for CDS, you can help your pet maintain his quality of life with a few simple changes. Keep up his brain and motor function by ensuring Kitty gets plenty of physical and mental exercise each day. Playing with your cat each day has been shown to slow the onset of symptoms, so invest in a fishing pole or other interactive toy for your pet. As a general rule, cats do not like change, and this applies doubly to pets experiencing feline senile dementia. Try to move your cat’s food and water bowls, litter box, and even your furniture as little as possible to reduce stress on your pet. Likewise, it helps to feed Kitty at the same time each day. If your pet ventures outdoors, try to limit his time outside to reduce the chances he’ll get lost, too. These small changes should serve you and your cat well into his senior years. However, pets experience severe cases of feline senile dementia may need extra help. If your pet is having trouble finding his water dish or litter box, consider adding more around the house. Take your cat to the vet for checkups more often – about twice a year – to ensure no other health problems. While it can be difficult to care for an aging pet, making a few simple modifications to your cat’s daily routine can help combat the impacts of CDS, ensuring he stays happy and healthy well into old age.

Help! My dog doesn’t come when called

 by ben on 01 Jul 2019 |
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Not all dogs come when they’re called, leading to embarrassment in social situations and potentially putting Fido in danger if he escapes into oncoming traffic. All dog parents have experienced a mix of horror and shame when their four-legged friend refuses to come when called. Whether Fido slid out the front door or refuses to cooperate during a day at the dog park, recovering your companion is the first step toward effective training. Read on for a few tips to help you master the “come” command: 1. Understand the problem: It’s important to remember that whatever the reason behind Fido’s breakaway, he’s not defying you out of spite. For some pets, especially younger dogs, the instinct to run is simply stronger than any training they’ve received to date. Other dogs may pick up on your angry or frustrated tone and fear being scolded when they return, so choose to run instead. In other cases, dogs may simply be ignoring your command—a behavior that likely stems from a lack of respect for you as their owner. Whatever the cause, be sure to use a calm, collected tone when calling your companion and never punish him when he does return. 2. Avoid future breaks: Every time your dog is in a situation where he can ignore the command to come, it reinforces bad behavior. This means off-leash time in public places is off limits until you master the command. You can use a long training leash to ease your pet into better obedience, but be sure to use a harness with this sort of leash, as a collar can lead to a painful jolt if your pet takes off running on a longer lead. 3. Punishment is not the answer: No matter how frustrated you are, punishing your dog when he returns to you creates the opposite conditioning to what you want. Instead, shower Fido with praise and treats when he returns. This will make following your commands a rewarding experience that your dog will want to replicate in the future. 4. Use positive reinforcement: Although you may want to call your dog when you’re ready to leave the park, this will seem like a punishment to your pet and make obeying the “come” command unattractive. Instead, call him over, reward him with a treat and praise, and release him back for further playtime. By showering him rewards, your dog will form positive associations with the “come” command over time. 5. Practice makes perfect: The only way to overcome your dog’s runaway habit is to practice until he has mastered the “come” command. Start by practicing on a long leash until you’re completely confident your pet will return when called. Use plenty of praise and treats as positive reinforcement each time your pet obeys the command. With some practice and consistency, your dog can master this essential pillar of obedience, keeping him out of harm’s way and strengthening the bond you share with your pet.
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