Canine Anxiety and Homeopathic Remedies

As a dog owner, you should consider the dog’s physiological health when observing behaviors. Health and behavior are intertwined, and a dog who is healthy will behave quite differently from a dog who is experiencing pain or illness. Behavior issues such as lethargy, poor focus, or even aggression can be caused by an imbalance in the dog’s health. Often, owners want a quick fix for a behavior issue and think training is the first option. However, determining the root cause of the behavior is the most effective first step, and ensuring the dog’s health and well-being is in order should be the initial consideration.

Just as some humans may struggle in social situations, canines can also feel uncomfortable around other dogs or people. Canine Social Anxiety is a syndrome that affects a dog’s ability to socialize and communicate well with others. While there are several classifications of anxiety, social anxiety occurs in situations where the dog is in contact with other animals or people. This can include dog parks, walks, daycare, or visiting friends and families with pets.

Symptoms of social anxiety can resemble other behavioral issues, so it’s important to consider the dog’s responses, environment, and changes in behavior. Common symptoms may look like attention-seeking, such as barking, whining, and pacing. They may also pant or lick as they attempt to soothe themselves of their worries. Dogs with social anxiety may also look scared, taking a crouch position, tucked tail, and ears back. In some cases, a dog may also show aggression around other dogs as a response to their stress.

Assuming a veterinarian has given a comprehensive medical check and determined the dog is not injured or ill, treating the dog’s social anxiety becomes a vital step in ensuring the dog’s well-being. There are several natural remedies that can support an anxious dog. Trying several options and monitoring the dog’s response are the best ways to determine a personalized treatment plan. One such option is using lavender oils and scents to help create a relaxed atmosphere. Lavender is known for its calming properties, and using a small amount can create a tranquil mood. Skin-safe lavender oil can be massaged into the dog’s skin, or sprays and sachets can be placed around the home to produce the scent.

Another organic option is Bach’s Rescue Remedy. This is a liquid combination of five flower extracts that help produce a calming effect for the dog. It consists of Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, and Clematis. This tincture is often delivered as a few drops on the tongue or mixed into water. Dosage does not depend on the dog’s weight but rather, the dog’s stress level. Starting with a small dose and observing the effects will help determine the correct amount.

A more recent option for treating anxiety in pets is CBD oil. CBD is a cannabinoid compound found in hemp. While some people misunderstand this oil as a drug that will make the dog high, there is no THC in this oil. CBD can safely help anxious dogs return to a healthier state of mind. CBD oil dosage is based on dog weight, and is about 1-5mg per 10 pounds. While it’s hard to overdose to a toxic level, dosing too high may cause lethargy and an upset stomach.

Any combination of treatments can be used to encourage calmer, more social dog behaviors. They should be considered support rather than a cure-all. Healthy socialization and desensitization training should also be done to help the dog overcome its anxiety. All of these options should first be discussed and approved by the dog’s veterinarian. They will have background information, as well as a strong understanding of your particular dog’s health needs. These natural treatments can provide some levels of relief, but should also be done in conjunction with regular health visits to a certified vet.

The Importance of Dog Training

Dogs are considered man’s best friend. They are there for you day in and day out. Owners should be the same way! A great way to do that is to train your dog. Training your pup is no small feat, but it can be done. To help you get started, here are some examples of an end goal, the important reasons why your dog should be trained, and some tips on how to get started. Keep in mind that all dogs and owners are different, and that these are just some general suggestions.

What Does a Well Trained Dog Look Like?
To be honest, dog training will look different for everyone. Each dog is different, and each human has different wants and needs for their relationship. Dog training is not a one size fits all. However, here are some general ideas for a what a well trained dog looks like.

1. Good Listener
A dog who listens to commands from their human is a well trained dog. By coming when called, leaving the object they were told to leave, or staying when told to stay, that dog is a safer and happier dog with a happy human.

2. Gentle On Their Leash
Loose leash walking is a great way for a dog to get proper exercise and mental stimulation. If your dog is pulling you down the road, neither of you are really having a good time. By walking loosely there is no pulling or straining, but rather time (and patience!) to stop and smell the fire hydrants.

3. Calm With Guests
A family friend comes over for a visit. As they walk in your house they are barked at, backed into the wall by an overly obnoxious sniffing nose, and even jumped on! A well trained dog will listen to commands and be kind when new guests arrive. This makes for a pleasant experience all around.

Why Should You Train Your Dog?
Training your dog has many benefits, and is truly vital for a good human-dog relationship. By not training your dog, you may be doing both you and your dog a disservice.

1. Mental and Physical Stimulation
Dogs are smart, and can be hyper. By training your dog, you can provide your dog with mental stimulation. This prevents destructive boredom habits, such as chewing. It also provides for positive physical stimulation. Being able to have your dog run through the house when called, or walk calmly on a leash makes for great physical exercise!

2. Training Creates a Strong Bond
If you dedicate 10-20 minutes every day, solely to your pup, you are bond to grow closer. Positive training sessions allow for you and your dog to learn how to listen to one another, and how to respect one another.

3. A Safer Time
A dog who isn’t trained, will not come when called. A dog who isn’t trained could break away from you on a walk. A dog who isn’t trained, isn’t as safe as a dog who is. By training your dog, you can be confident your dog will walk with you, and come back if called.

What Are Some Tips For Training?
Training is not one size fits all, but here are some basic tips to hopefully inspire and push you in the right direction. Find what works for you and your pup. Don’t be afraid to not use some things, or add more.

1. Socialization!
This should be done as early as possible. Introducing a dog to the world can be frightening at first. New smells, sights, and sounds can all come at once. By socializing early your dog will get used to exploring new places, meeting new dogs, and meeting new people.

2. Take Breaks
Dogs have an attention span just like us! They will get bored, they will have bad days. It is no reason to give up. Maybe today is not a day for repetitive sits, but rather a game of hide and seek to practice recall. Don’t be afraid to get creative, and make sure to have patience.

3. Proofing and Proper Toys
Make sure to provide your dog with proper toys. The best-trained dog still needs to chew. By putting objects out of reach, and providing proper toys, your dog is bound to be well behaved! This will save you time, money, and frustration.

4. Seek Professional Trainers
There’s nothing better than learning from a professional. Do some research and see if there are any local trainers. Meet up with them, talk with them, and see if they’re the right fit for you and your pup. You may have to meet with multiple trainers to find the right one, and that’s perfectly okay. Taking the time to find the right trainer is better than working with the wrong one for you.

5. Have Fun
Owning a dog is a special thing. It’s not meant to be homework, though caring for a dog is a challenge! Your dog is your best friend, companion, and someone who loves you unconditionally. Make sure to have patience, but also to have fun. Training your dog can be an awesome experience, one that you can learn so much from.

How to Prepare Your Dog for the Winter Months

The Dog Blog – How to Prepare Your Dog for the Winter Months

The winter months seem to come around all too quickly, so it is important to make sure that your dog is well prepared for the change in temperature. You will need to consider things like a dog coat, dog boots, a warm winter bed, and some extra cozy blankets for your pet. It is worth remembering that some dogs will be able to withstand the cold weather better than others, so you should find out as much information as you can about your dog’s individual requirements beforehand.

Invest in a dog coat and boots

Unless you have a cold-tolerant dog breed, like a husky or Newfoundland, you should consider investing in a dog coat and boots for your pet. When you begin looking at winter dog clothes, you will find yourself spoilt for choice with so many colors and designs to choose from. It is important to make sure that any coat you purchase for your dog fits well and doesn’t restrict their movements in any way. It is, therefore, best to measure your dog before you start looking at protective clothing and, if possible, try the items on your pet before you buy them.

It may take your pet a little while to get used to wearing a coat and boots, but plenty of patience and understanding should eventually pay off. If your dog really dislikes wearing boots, you could try using paw wax instead to protect their paws.

Brush your dog well after walks

It is important to brush your dog regularly during the cold weather, especially after walks, to remove any dirt from the coat and prevent it from getting badly matted. Ungroomed coats can also harbor unwanted pests such as fleas, and lack the insulation required during the cold weather.

Look after the ears and paws

Always dry your dog off well after a walk, paying particular attention to the ears and paws. Keeping the fur short between your pet’s toes can help to prevent sore, cracked pads and ice balls from forming, and trimming the hair inside their ears will help to prevent ear infections.

When walking your dog in cold conditions, especially if you live in a city, try to avoid walking on too much rough terrain. You should also be aware that there may be salt, grit, and pools of antifreeze underfoot, and these can all irritate your pet’s paws.

Limit your dog’s time outdoors

If the temperature plummets, it is important to limit your dog’s time outdoors to avoid the possibility of frostbite or hypothermia. Cold air can also have an adverse effect on a dog’s muscles and joints, so it is necessary to make sure that outdoor kennels or any other outdoor dog accommodation is well insulated.

Keep your pet hydrated

You should always remember to keep your pet well hydrated, even during cold weather conditions, as daily exercise, outdoor clothing, and an extra warm dog bed with additional blankets can have an impact on your pet’s hydration levels. Remember also to use plastic water bowls outdoors for your dog during cold weather, as metal bowls can freeze.

Provide a warm and cozy bed

All dogs should have a bed of their own that they can snuggle down in whenever they need a nap. Your home may be warm inside when the heating is on in the winter, but the temperature will drop quite quickly once it is turned off. It is therefore important to provide your pet with a bed that is insulated enough to keep it warm during the colder parts of the day. You may need to purchase a winter dog bed for your dog, or you could simply invest in some extra blankets. You could even consider buying a heated dog bed or a heating pad to place inside the bed.

Keep an eye on the calories

During the cold weather, your dog will burn up more calories than normal and will probably demand more food. Don’t be afraid to provide a few extra treats to keep your pet’s energy levels up. However, remember not to let your pet overindulge, and ensure that any extra food you provide is healthy.

Stay safe

When the winter arrives, the nights and early mornings start to get darker. It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that both you and your dog are visible in the dark. It is a good idea to avoid wearing dark clothing on walks and to invest in some reflective gear for you and your dog. You should also avoid slippery paths as much as possible and stay away from frozen ponds and lakes.

Conclusion

Remember to keep old dogs with health issues and small puppies indoors if the outside temperature dips to extreme levels. Make sure that you have stocked up your cupboards with plenty of dog food and any required medications before the winter sets in. Keeping your canine friend warm and safe during the colder months of the year will ensure that they stay fit and well.

Should You Buy Wet or Dry Dog Food for Your Dog?

Most dogs will eat whatever food they are given when they are hungry, but how do you know whether wet or dry dog food is best? Choosing food for your dog is generally down to personal preference, as both wet and dry dog food products offer plenty of variety and nutrition. It may also be the case that certain dog food products are more suitable for some dogs than others.

The benefits of wet dog food

The main benefit of wet dog food is that it has a high water content (around 60 – 84%) which can help to ensure that your dog is kept well hydrated – especially if it doesn’t drink as much water as it should. Wet dog food has a stronger taste and smell than dry dog food, so it may be a better choice if you have a dog that is a picky eater or is losing its sense of taste and smell. Wet dog food can also help your dog to eat more slowly and maintain a lower weight.

The benefits of dry dog food

Dry dog food, or kibble, has quite a low water content (around 3 – 12%) and doesn’t deteriorate when left out in your pet’s bowl for long periods of time – therefore leading to less waste. Kibble has a high calorific value that enables you to feed your dog comparatively less food and, due to less packaging, is more environmentally friendly. Kibble is a more cost-effective option, too, because you can buy it in large quantities and adjust portion sizes more easily.

When you are training your dog, dry dog food can make the perfect treat to reward good behavior. Using dry dog food as treats can prevent you from overfeeding your dog, as you can use the treats as part of your dog’s daily food intake. Dry pet food is also lightweight and easy to clean up, making it a great choice for trips out and holidays.

Can you combine the two?

Both wet and dry dog food offers your dog different benefits, and therefore shouldn’t generally be served at the same time. Mixing two different types of dog food also makes it more difficult to keep track of your dog’s daily food intake. It is worth noting that some dogs may be sensitive to certain ingredients, so mixing two different types of food could lead to stomach upsets. Overall, it is best to find a food that suits your dog and stick with it.

Age can matter

Older dogs may struggle to eat dry dog food, due to dental issues and difficulty in chewing, so it is important to consider this situation when choosing food for an aging pet. When it comes to feeding puppies, it is important to buy dog food that is suitable for the age of the dog. Puppies may also benefit from having dry dog food moistened up with a little warm water at first until they get used to the hard consistency.

Consider the content

There are so many dog food products available to buy these days that it is difficult to know which ones are best for your dog. You should always read the back of the dog food packaging carefully before buying to ensure that you are getting the purest ingredients and all the nutrients your dog requires. Dog food products are essentially made up of around 70% meat and 30% vegetables, along with permitted fats and oils. Avoid any dog foods that list high levels of artificial flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners.

Conclusion

There is no such thing as a perfect dog food product that suits all dogs, as every dog has different requirements and preferences. If you decide to move your dog over to a new dog food product, remember to change it over slowly in case any adverse reactions are experienced. Whether you decide to give your dog wet or dry dog food, remember that the most important thing is that your dog remains in good health and enjoys its food.

 Should You Buy Wet or Dry Dog Food for Your Dog?
Should You Buy Wet or Dry Dog Food for Your Dog?
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