Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Dogs are pack animals and social creatures. They form strong attachments to other dogs and people. With an increase in those who are gone for long hours and have a busy schedule, it’s important to help your dog stay alone. It is critical that your dog understand that your absences are tolerable and temporary.

Separation anxiety occurs in the first hour of your dog being left alone. Keep in mind that your dog’s dependence on you is significant, and it is likely to cause anxiety when you leave. Although this might be flattering, it’s not fair to your dog to be so stressed by your absence. Signs of separation anxiety occur when your dog is prevented from being close to you. Like people, dogs cannot stay in an uncomfortable state of anxiety for too long, and will resort to doing anything to reduce the tension.

Here are some circumstances in which separation anxiety can occur:

  • Too strong of an attachment to one person.
  • Separation from his mother and littermates.
  • Owners who let their dog follow them wherever they go and who bring their dog everywhere they go.
  • A very exciting departure and welcome.

Here are some signs of dogs trying to reduce their separation anxiety:

  • Destruction, digging, chewing, or excessive vocalization.
  • Hyperactivity, depression, or aggression.
  • Diarrhea/vomiting, urination/defecation.

How to help you and your dog cope:

  • If all else fails, ask your veterinarian about drug therapy. A good anti-anxiety medication shouldn’t sedate your dog, but simply reduce his overall anxiety.
  • Take your dog to a doggie day care facility or kennel when you have to be away.
  • Leave your dog with a friend, family member, or neighbor when you’re away, or use a pet sitter.
  • Take your dog to work with you, if possible.
  • Use a pet door in conjunction with an invisible fence so your dog can get out of the house and run around. This will help him burn off some energy and anxiety..

How to treat separation anxiety:

  • Ignore your dog when leaving.
  • Mix the leaving routes (the back door, garage, and so on).
  • Practice false departures.
  • When you return, be as calm as possible. Do not display any excited behavior or rewards.

What won’t help:

  • Punishment. Punishment isn’t effective for treating separation anxiety and can make the situation worse.
  • Another dog. Getting your dog a companion usually doesn’t help an anxious dog because his anxiety is the result of his separation from you, and not just the result of being alone.
  • Crating. Your dog will still engage in anxiety responses inside a crate, and he may urinate, defecate, howl, or even injure himself in an attempt to escape. Instead, create other kinds of “safe places” for your dog.
  • Obedience training. While formal training is always a good idea, separation anxiety isn’t the result of disobedience or lack of training.

Here are some other tips:

  • Leave clothes with your scent on them around the house.
  • If your dog is left outside, hang an old bike tire, a bunch of dish rags knotted together, or a shoe from a tree so that your dog can play with them. Do not use a leash or tie-out, this can injure your pet when you are gone. It is better to use an underground dog fence or wireless dog fence to contain your dog safely.
  • Put the radio on a talk station and leave it on while you’re gone. The noise muffles any other kinds of sounds your dog might worry about and it’s comforting. He hears the same sounds as when you are home.

It’s not fully understood why some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and others don’t. But it’s essential that you be as understanding as possible of your dog’s behavior. He needs your help with finding the best solution to alleviate the tension of your being gone and of him being alone.

Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.

How Often Does Your New Puppy Need to Go Out?

The rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold her urine for the number of hours that correspond to her age in months, plus one. So a two month old puppy can hold it for three hours (2+1). Keep in mind this is the maximum time she can hold it but she may feel the urge before that. If you are unable to let your puppy out at the required time, you may want to consider using a dog crate to protect your carpeting and other belongings.

Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.

Dogs Working in Haiti

The rescue efforts in Haiti wouldn’t be possible without the work of search dogs. That’s a fact. Every day, TV news programs show video of dogs sniffing through the rubble for the sounds of people breathing or calling out for help.

One dog, a Border Collie named Hunter, and his firefighter owner, Bill Monahan, located three girls who had been trapped alive in the devastating earthquake. They were combing through an area near the Presidential Palace when Hunter detected the survivors’ scent under four feet of rubble.

Hunter alerted Monahan using a “bark alert,” and a rescue crew from California Task Force 2 dug out the girls and provided them with immediate first-aid.

Hunter and Monahan were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a nonprofit organization that partners rescued dogs with firefighters and trains them to find survivors from natural disasters.

Hunter and Monahan did great work in Haiti. Another reason we love dogs so much.

Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.

Top Dog Products We LOVE!

There are thousands of pet products on the market today. Estimated to be a $54 billion a year industry, pet supplies are big business with manufacturers trying to grab on to as much of the pie as possible.

Interestingly, it seems that the pet industry has not been affected by the recession as severely as businesses in other sectors. Pet owners still seem willing to shell out big bucks for products to pamper their pooches. But this is not surprising when we stop to realize that, for many pet owners, their dogs and cats are members of the family.

We have evaluated these pet products in a variety of ways, some more intensely than others.

  1. Rapid Bath. Dogs need to be bathed regularly. But when a groomer bathes your dog, it can be quite expensive. We wanted to find a good quality product that lets you quickly and easily bathe your dog at home – and we found it. That product is Rapid Bath. This dog washing system attaches to any faucet, so you can use it to wash your dog in your shower or bathtub, or outside with a garden hose. It requires special shampoo cartridges, and I’ve been very impressed with the quality of these shampoos that include formulas for soothing, whitening, deep cleaning and allergies. This is a very good product that will bathe your dog in 5 minutes or less. For more information, go to: Rapid Bath.
  2. Drinkwell 360. It is important that pets drink enough water, but just like us, many pets don’t drink enough water to meet the daily recommendations. (After all, how many of us drink eight full 8-oz glasses of water a day?) It is hard to get pets to drink if they don’t want to. But the Drinkwell 360 pet fountaincan help them drink more. This is a great quality fountain with filtered streaming water. Pets prefer fresh running water. If I were to offer water in a bowl vs. the fountain, dogs go to the fountain. The Drinkwell 360 is recommended for small to medium size dogs weighing less than 50 lbs. For more information, go to: Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain.
  3. Drinkwell Big Dog Fountain. Big dogs need big fountains, and this one is REALLY big! With a reservoir that holds more than 2-gallons of water, this is the largest capacity pet fountain on the market. The Drinkwell Big Dog Fountain is perfect for larger dogs and multi-pet households. Most dogs don’t drink enough water, but this fountain can help your dog drink more. This is a great quality fountain with filtered streaming water. Pets prefer fresh running water. If I were to offer water in a bowl vs. the fountain, dogs go to the fountain. For more information, go to: Drinkwell Big Dog Fountain.
  4. PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Stations. The PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station is the first gravity food system with a removable-stainless steel bowl that is easy to clean and is dishwasher safe. Simply sanitize the stainless steel bowl at high temperatures in your dishwasher to eliminate potential bacteria that can cause your pet harmful infections from micro-organisms, allergic reactions or skin and nose irritations. The coordinating PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station and Healthy Pet Water Station are designed to complement most home decor. Space-saving footprints and modern style are ideal for kitchens, laundry rooms, garages and other indoor areas.. The healthier way for your pet to enjoy dry food! For more information, go to: PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Stations.
  5. Garmin Astro 220 GPS Dog Tracking System. The Garmin Astro 220 GPS Dog Tracking systems features a bright color-screen and the rugged, all-weather collar. The collar has an integrated GPS transmitter and is specially weighted so the antenna will always point to the sky for optimum signal. To get started, just take Astro outdoors and turn on the handheld transmitter to acquire GPS satellite signals. Then attach the collar to your dog. Now you’re ready to turn him loose – no other setup required. For more information, go to: Garmin Astro 220 GPS Dog Tracking System.
  6. Pooch Ball Dog Toy.  Pooch Ball is an ideal interactive toy, two toys in one. Aids in helping alleviate boredom. Your pet will focus at getting to the tennis ball, once he finally gets it out simply reinsert the ball and the fun starts all over again. Toss it on land or water (it floats). Helps promote healthy gums and teeth. For more information, go to: Pooch Ball Dog Toy.
  7. Poop Posse Pooper Scooper. The Poop Posse Pooper Scooper is the ultimate pooper scooper. Designed for double-duty, the unique design features a rake on one side for yard cleanup and a scraper on the other side for hard surfaces. This heavy duty, long-lasting pooper scooper is rust proof and super easy to clean. No metal parts to rust, all hygienic, heavy-duty plastic. Easy two-piece assembly simply clicks together – no tools required. For more information, go to: Poop Posse Pooper Scooper

Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.

Report: U.S. Pet Product and Service Sales Up 4.8%

U.S. sales of pet products and services increased 4.8 percent to $54 billion in 2009, according to a report released Jan. 19 by market research publisher Packaged Facts.

“True to the market’s ‘recession resistant’ claim to fame, sales of all pet products and services rose 4.8 percent in 2009 to reach $53 billion, meaning that the market added $2.5 billion in the midst of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression,” states the report, “Pet Supplies and Pet Care Products in the U.S., 8th Edition: Pet Health and Pampering: The New Value Equation.”

Sales of veterinarian services increased the most at nearly 10 percent, followed by pet food at 5 percent, other pet services at 4 percent and non-food pet supplies (which includes grooming products and bedding) at 3 percent, according to Packaged Facts.

The human-animal bond played a particularly important role in insulating the industry from recessionary cutbacks, according to Packaged Facts. The company pointed to an informal survey in which the majority of U.S. pet owners indicated that they value the comfort and security their pets offer more than ever. Packaged Facts suggested that this means pet owners are willing to invest in goods directly beneficial to their pets’ health, such as natural and organic pet supplements, heated pet beds and dog toys.

Premium demographics are also significant contributors insulating the market, because wealthier households are less likely to feel the financial pinch of a downturn as quickly or intensely, according to Packaged Facts. In addition, the company noted that wealthier consumers are more likely to read labels and pay attention to health claims. As a result, this group is said to consider higher priced products as worth the extra money.

Packaged Facts cited the growing clout of premium demographics as an indication of the success pet supply marketers have had in tapping into pet owners’ willingness and desire to pamper their pets with the healthiest products available.

Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.