HELP YOUR DOG DEAL WITH SEPARATION ANXIETY
It is important to train your dog from the very beginning so he does not have to endure separation anxiety for a long period of time. Separation anxiety is when your dog is very sad when they are apart from you and can start crying, howling and barking calling for you. They can also be destructive where they start chewing on the furniture or clothes or shoes. Clawing and digging on doors and window frames awaiting their owners.
There are many reasons this can happen, even a well trained dog may have some family trauma that may instigate separation anxiety.
How to help:-
Treat arrivals and departures like minor things. Ignore your dog for the first few minutes after you get home. Leave your dog calmly and don’t get them so excited with hugs and good byes.
Start with shorter outings and then start increasing the time
Leave clothes/blanket at home that smells like you.
Leave a special chew toy for them and only let them have it when you go out. This will then be a distraction for them and will help keep them occupied.
Leave a radio on to muffle any outside noise that can help them ease and not bark at noises. The sound of the radio presenters will help calm your dog.
Let them know you are coming back.
Exercise – A well exercised dog is a happy dog and it helps with stress levels. Also when you are out, it then give them a chance to have a rest.
Make sure their bed area is nice and cosy and makes them feel secure
Make sure they have a chance to go to the toilet before you leave
Stay Confident and in control. If your dog senses your anxiety of leaving them alone this will trigger then even more
Please do not punish your dog for showing any anxiety issues. This can create even more anxiety and can then take longer to help with the anxiety. Keep following the above and repeat until your dog feels at ease and understands your systems and trusts you will return.
Change can also affect separation anxiety, when you are at home for a long period of time over Christmas and Easter you spend more time with your dog so its natural they will find it difficult to go back to their routine, just like we do when we go back to work. dogs also suffer from ‘the holiday blues’. Before the holiday ends start with the above routine again so they get used to you going out.
If none of the above helps, you can look at hiring a dog sitter and then slowly reducing the hours and also you may decide to visit a vet.
A dog is a member of your family, so why not celebrate its birthday like every other member of the family. Everyone loves a celebration and it’s another reason to spoil and make a fuss out of your dog.
The way you celebrate is personal and unique to your own set up. Your dog will love the affection your give it and it’s your opportunity to say thank you for all the lovely ways the dog helps your family.
If you decide to host a birthday party here is some ideas for you to consider:-
1 – Invitations & Theme
What theme if any would your dog like? 101 Dalmatians, pamper puppy theme, paw party or a bone theme, the list is endless.
Who would you like to invite? Friends you walk the dog with, friends from the park, family? How large a party would your dog feel comfortable with? This will depend on your Dogs individual personality.
A dog play date and a small get together may suit you better. Once you have decided it’s now time to send out the invites.
2 – Food & Drinks
A dog menu with all your dogs’ favourite foods and treats will be perfect and we can’t forget the birthday cake.
Again consider your party theme. Some paw cookies or a paw or bone shaped cake and you can cut some cheese and fruit into paw shapes. Please remember not to let dogs have grapes or chocolate as they can be violently sick.
You can bake your dog a birthday cake with special designated dog friendly cake mix and choose the flavours that he/she loves. They will love eating it all up.
3 – Venue
You have various options from your dog’s favourite park, grooming place where they have treatments done or you’re back garden where you can have a groomer attending and pampering the dogs with a doggie massage. Choose the right venue dependent on your party theme and your dog’s personality.
If you have the party in your garden you can then decorate the garden with games and get the Frisbee out for the dogs or play hide and seek and all have a play. Dogs love to play and also spend time with you.
You may consider a dog friendly restaurant that provides dog treats.
When you have cut the cake, you can give your dog its birthday present. Be prepared they may love unwrapping the present more than the actual present!! How about a new toy, blanket, chewier or dog bowl? Dogs love their toys, and what better time to treat them to a new one than on their birthday!
4 – Party Bags and Clean Up
At the end of the party give your dog’s friends a goody bag, with doggie treats and biscuits, toys. The dogs will keep on remembering the party when they have gone home and use the items in the party bags.
Tidy up and clean up all the wrapping paper and plastic as these can be dangerous to your dog.
Make sure you took lots of pictures on the day and you and your dog can keep looking at them throughout the year. When everyone has gone home, it’s time for you to stop and relax and maybe watching a Doggie movie that evening before you start planning next year’s birthday party.
A MAN’S BEST FRIEND – OWNERS AND THEIR DOGS THAT EXERCISE TOGETHER, STAY FIT TOGETHER.
It’s a win-win situation for both a dog and its owner. A dog spends special quality time together with its owner and the family in the great outdoors.
Research shows us that if you have a dog you as an owner are likely to be fitter than non dog owners. Walking with a puppy leads to a 28 percent increase in walking speed, compared to a 4 percent increase when walking with another human. A healthy dog and healthy owner is a winning formula.
There are various exercises you can do together:-
Walking – Be it in the local park, walking around your neighborhood or a longer family country walk. Any walk, be it short or long will ensure you both stay happy and healthy mentally and physically.
Running – Another great way to bond with your dog is when you run together and they can really help motivate you to go that extra mile. Certain breeds of dogs need to run to really get the benefits of outdoor exercise.
Cycling – A dog may be faster than you, so take your bike to a cycle path where you can cover a long stretch together.
Scooter/Roller blades/Segway – You may have a scooter area or a park near you; this can be a great place for you to explore. What better fun and way to play together.
Swimming – Dogs love water and getting wet. Just like their owners, dogs enjoy water games, so grab a ball or some toys. It’s a great way of exercising whilst not feeling like you actually are.
Frisbees/Ball Games – within your walk and run add in some fetch games, your dog will love them.
Exercise is important for dogs as well as owners; for dogs it helps keep their heart, lungs, joints and digestive system functioning well. In today’s world dogs can become obese so it helps control a dog’s weight and helps keep them fit and healthy.
Dogs love spending time with their owners racing around freely and having fun which also has psychological benefits in helping reduce anxiety leading to less destructive chewing and biting that may occur.
If you are just starting to exercise with a dog, take it at a slow pace and start of gently. Every dog and breed is unique and may need to build up their endurance levels. Puppies and elderly dogs should not exercise strenuously as it can damage bones and joints. Taking your dog for a walk around the block is a great start, and it might be enough for breeds with lower exercise requirements.
The weather is also another element to consider. Just like humans, dogs can feel the cold and also suffer from heatstroke. So try and pick a time of day that is weather permitting for you both. Water breaks are important to ensure they stay hydrated. Do not allow your pet to drink from puddles in the street as they may be contaminated.
The most important thing is that you have fun together and enjoy spending some rewarding bonding time together whilst also keeping fit.