Photo: Zendritic Find it hard to leave home because your pooch starts barking like it’s the end of the world, or worse, you come home to find everything destroyed? We have some great tips for you today that outline how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs, but remember, it takes lots of patience and consistent training to make your pup feel safe when you’re away. Calm, Cool and Collected When you leave the house, make sure you do so in a calm, nonchalant manner. The more hassle you make of leaving the house, the more you’ll stimulate your dog’s anxiety. It’s a good idea to refrain from to talking to your dog, touching him, or making any eye contact while you quietly slip out the door. Say Goodbye Earlier than Later A good fifteen to twenty minutes before you leave, spend some time with your dog saying bye, giving her all the attention she needs. Rather than get her excited with a game of tug, you should try sitting down with her, giving her love through petting and rubbing so she’ll be in a calm state as you get ready to head out. Once you’re done with the one-on-one time, try to avoid eye contact, calling her name, or any other type of stimulation so you can more easily head out the door in a calm manner. Start Small To train your dog to be comfortable while you’re away, you need to start out small. Practice leaving for two minutes (with all the steps above), and then five minutes, gradually working your way up to thirty minutes. Tired Dogs Are Calm Dogs The best way to make sure your dog is calm when you leave? Take him on a long walk before to make sure he’s good and tired, then when you say goodbye to him in advance and put him in a calm state, he’ll likely doze off while you leave. Most of all, have patience with your dog and don’t give her negative feedback for feeling anxious. Separation anxiety is a sign of fear and not disobedience, so instead, try to be understanding, gentle, and diligent in your training and your pooch will overcome their fear more quickly.
Almost 50,000 dogs were brought to the RSPCA in 2012/13, and a heartbreaking 20 per cent of them were euthanised. While most of these puppies ‘put to sleep
Photo: Zebarnabe Proper dental care is crucial to your dog’s overall health, but between the varying degrees of bad breath, vast array of chew toys, and mysteries of brushing a dog’s teeth, it’s easy to get lost in what works and what doesn’t. We’ve cut through the noise and set out below an easy routine to follow that should keep your pooch’s smile happy and healthy, so grab that toothbrush and get ready to polish some pearly whites! Regular Brushing Is Key We can’t stress enough how important it is to regularly brush your pup’s teeth! Just like humans, bacteria and plaque builds up in a dog’s mouth, and if you don’t clean your dog’s teeth at least several times a week, that plaque can become tartar and open the door to an array of dental infections and diseases. Having a hard time getting your dog to let you brush her teeth? Flavored doggy toothpaste can change that! From peanut butter to chicken flavors, letting your dog lick a tiny bit of the toothpaste will make her enjoy the experience more as she’ll associate the process as a treat rather than as unpleasant maintenance. Proper Brushing Technique Make sure you get a toothbrush specifically made for dogs. Depending on your dog’s temperament, you can get ones with handles or ones that are finger brushes (kind of like soft thimbles). For my dog, I use a finger brush vs. a handled brush because she’s more passive with my fingers inside her mouth (we’ve trained her not to bite), so I can better clean her teeth. When brushing, don’t forget to brush gently along the gum line, as well as on the inside wall of her teeth. Start brushing your dog’s teeth when she’s young—this way, she can get used to it from an early age and won’t put up a fight when you try to get the grit off her pearly whites. Dental Toys—Effective or Not? Chew toys are a great way to strengthen your dog’s teeth and gums, but only in addition to a regular brushing routine. Chopping down on rawhide, nylon, rubber, and even rope toys help massage your pooch’s gums and scrape soft tartar off their teeth. But remember, dental toys are a great supplement to a brushing routine, and not a substitute. The Many Degrees of Bad Breath Okay, so your dog’s breath might not smell like roses, but that’s okay—dogs aren’t known for particularly fresh-smelling breath. Next time you’re at the vet, have her smell your pooch’s breath to see if it’s in the norm. If it is, use this as a guiding point so you know if your pup’s breath is within the healthy range, and once it’s not, take him to the vet for a dental checkup. Other signs that your dog might be suffering from a dental infection or disease are swollen gums (his gums should be pink, not red or white), loss of appetite, or vomiting. The moral of the story? A simple, regular dental routine will keep your dog’s teeth healthy, and healthy dogs are happy dogs. Brush his teeth at least several times a week, make sure he has some chew toys to chomp on, and check his gums and teeth weekly for any signs of infection or disease.
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These days, technological advances offer new ways to find lost pets. Have you tried them yet?
The Boston Globe reports of a deadly, highly contagious virus sweeping the Massachusetts town of Lowell. City officials warned residents Monday [August 18, 2014] to protect their pets from an outbreak of canine parvovirus that has infected 15 dogs in the neighborhoods of the Acre and Lower Highlands [Massachusetts]. The highly contagious viral disease interferes with the animal’s intestinal tract and may be fatal if left untreated, said Lowell Animal Control. Canine parvovirus is spread when a dog has contact with the vomit or feces of another infected dog. Owners should seek veterinary attention immediately for dogs showing symptoms of lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea , Lowell Animal Control said. — Rachel Riley, Globe Correspondent; firstname.lastname@example.org Parvo is spread when a dog has contact with the vomit or feces of another infected dog. Parvo (Parvovirus) and kennel cough take the lives of many puppies and shelter dogs each year all over the United States; coast to coast. Annual vet check-ups are encouraged as more and more cases come to the surface. Please vaccinate your pets! To receive discounted vetting and vaccinations, please contact your local animal services department and veterinary offices. Spread the word and help save a life with Finding Rover.
Photo: Lauren Mitchell Find yourself sneezing and rubbing your runny eyes every time you step outside? Well, you’re not the only one! Dogs get allergies too, and we’ve listed below the three most common ways to tell if your dog is having an allergic reaction to something. The two most prominent types of dog allergies are environmental ones (such as allergies to pollen, dust mites, and fleas) and food allergies, and these three behaviors will let you know if your pooch is suffering from one of these two common types of allergies. Itchy & Scratchy Is your dog constantly itching way more than usual? At first, you’ll notice that your pup’s skin is getting drier and flakier, and then the dry skin will progress to sores and lesions if she continually scratches in the same spot without treatment. Take your dog to the vet to first figure out whether the allergic reaction is due to an environmental or food intolerance, then your vet will probably have you switch foods (if food-related) as well as bathe her in special sensitive shampoo until her itchiness alleviates. Sneezy If your dog is coughing, sneezing, or reverse sneezing, he’s very likely allergic to something in his environment that he’s inhaling. An additional sign of this type of environmental allergy is an increased secretion in his nasal and eye discharge (the color will be particularly yellow as well). When this happens, take your pooch to the vet for a check up. If your dog is allergic to something that is airborne, you may have to get some sort of air purifier for your house. Another good way to keep your dog from having sneeze attacks is to vacuum and dust frequently, but keep your dog out of the house while you do so as vacuuming and dusting makes allergens airborne before they are removed. Upset Stomach When your dog starts vomiting or having diarrhea for more than one day, there’s a big chance she could be allergic to something she’s eating. Take her to the vet right away, and if it turns out that she’s having an allergic reaction (and not something more serious), you may have to start doing an elimination diet with her. Start out by making a list of all the new foods or treats that may have been introduced to her diet recently and remove those items first, and if she still doesn’t get better, go back to your vet with a clear record of what she has eaten in her streamlined diet and which foods within the diet have been introduced to her the most recently.