Helping Dog’s Separation Anxiety – How to Teach a Dog to Stay Home Alone

natural pet remediesMy mini doxy, Taz, breaks my heart into a million pieces every time I leave the house. Sometimes she’ll actually try to sit on my feet while I’m putting my shoes on. I hate to leave her, especially since she seems to have a harder time of it now that she’s getting older. Finding tips for helping with dog’s separation anxiety has become more and more of a priority for me as Taz ages.

Separation anxiety can be defined with behavior such as drooling, barking, whining, destroying items in the house, scratching at walls, doors and floors, and attempting to escape from the crate or room. Fortunately for me, Taz’s symptoms aren’t as severe as these, but do include pacing and panting and of course, the sad, breaking-mommy’s-heart face.

Causes of Dog Separation Anxiety

I’ve learned that I sometimes unknowingly encourage Taz’s separation anxiety. I make a big fuss when I leave or come home, and in doing so I think I make her think it’s a big deal. What I mean is, because Mommy’s concerned that she’s leaving/absent, then Taz is concerned. But it’s hard to just unceremoniously walk out the door, you know? I’m always practicing not making such a big deal every time I leave.

I’ve also observed that a change in Taz’s routine makes separation anxiety worse. She’s always thrived on routine – it’s like she’s more secure if she knows what to expect next. I try hard to make her little doggie days as routine as possible.

Also, I know Taz does way better with anxiety in general when she has regular exercise/walks. A couple of days without walkies, and Taz is pacing the floors! If I have a day when we can’t go for a walk, I try to at least spend few minutes tossing the tennis ball around in the living room for her to chase.

How to Prevent and Reduce A Dog’s Separation Anxiety

I think this starts when they’re a puppy. I think, for example, that when we bring our puppy home, and they’re in their little bed at night and start crying/whining, we automatically go and pick them up and give them comfort. Tempting, I know, but what it actually does is reward that behavior. We need to focus on teaching the puppy to be quiet and settle down for increasing periods of time. We need to teach them patience and calmness – rewarding them when they are calm, not when they are crying/whining. And even when they’re back out of bed, or back out of their crate, we shouldn’t attempt to give them constant attention . They need to learn to entertain themselves with their toys.

The Importance of Giving Your Dog Confidence

I’ve learned that I have to stop doing so much for Taz. It’s my natural inclination to help her whenever I can, especially if I see she’s having difficulty. But doing everything for her only decreases her confidence. If she can walk from the back yard back to the house, then I should let her – not carry her. If she can find her food or water bowl and help herself, I need to let her do that – not take her to the bowl or bring food/water to her. I need to give her the freedom to interact with guests, neighbors, and even other dogs in the neighborhood without my intervention. In other words, I need to let Taz do for herself – so that she feels CONFIDENT.

Providing Comfort for Your Dog

My dad always used to make fun of me for this, but I often leave a radio on for my dog when I leave the house. I think it achieves two things: one is that it’s a familiar sound which I hope provides a sense of security, and the other is that it helps to muffle sounds of horns beeping, cars going by, etc.

Helping Dog's Separation AnxietyTry Adaptil

I recently came across a product called Adaptil. It mimics a female dog’s pheromones, and the scent provides calmness and reassurance for dogs.   It comes in a collar (Taz wears one), a spray (like to spray their beds, the car for trips, etc), and also a room diffuser. The room diffuser is meant to help with overall anxiety and especially separation anxiety. Simply plug it in a few minutes before you leave, and the scent will help keep your dog calm while you’re gone.

Helping Dog's Separation AnxietyTry PetCalm

PetCalm is a safe, non-addictive, natural remedy containing 100% homeopathic ingredients especially selected to temporarily relieve symptoms of nervousness, helping to calm your pet and promote a balanced mood.

Helping Dog's Separation AnxietyFor More Help

For more help training your dog and dealing with common dog behavioral issues, visit this fantastic video based dog training website!  This website recommends learning How to Become a Pack Leader to treat separation anxiety and many other behavioral issues.

Helping Dog's Separation Anxiety

Helping Dog's Separation AnxietyI recently came across Cesar’s Way, a website created by Cesar Millan, the professional dog trainer who had that TV show, Dog Whisperer (love that guy!)  I’ve just started checking this site out – I’ll keep you posted on what I learn from Cesar!

I hope this article has given you some ideas to help your dog. And please, if you have other ideas and techniques that have worked, share them in the comment section below! Thanks so much.  Debra  🙂

Helping Dog's Separation AnxietyI Donate to Animal Charities

Thank you for visiting my website.  I donate 10% of all commissions I make on this website to animal charities.  You can see a list of the charities I donate to here.  If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every purchase helps animals!

running-dogFor More Articles About Dog Training, CLICK HERE

Taking Your Cat on a Vacation – Tips for Traveling With a Cat

It can be fun to take your cat along with you when you travel.  However, there are many things to think about and be aware of before you take kitty on a trip. Your cat’s comfort and safety are most important!

Taking Your Cat on a Vacation

Taking Your Cat on a Vacation Plan Ahead

Provide comfort from home.  Bring along your kitty’s favorite blanket or toy.  Something that feels (and smells!) like home will help calm your cat.

Clip their claws. Trim your cat’s nails before the trip to reduce the chances or your getting scratched while trying to put him in and out of the carrier.  If you’re not sure how, it’s best to let your vet do it.  Most vet’s offices will provide a quick trim either for free or for a low fee. Places like Petco will also trim your cat’s nails for you.

Identification and vaccinations. Make sure your cat is wearing a collar with a tag attached showing the cat’s name and your phone number. You can purchase these at www.pettags.com. And make sure to use your CELL phone number – you don’t want someone calling your house if you lost your cat while you’re away.  And remember not everyone checks, or even knows about micro-chipping – so make sure your phone number is on your cat’s ID on his collar. If you’re traveling across state or country borders, you need to have up-to-date vaccination records with you.

Taking Your Cat on a Vacation Carrier Travel

Pick the right carrier. Carriers are a must for traveling with your cat.  Make sure you pick the right size carrier – the cat should be able to stand and turn around inside the carrier.  I find the best prices for cat carriers on Ebay. And always check that all the hinges are closed correctly – many cats have dropped out of carriers because the carrier wasn’t latched all around.

Train your cat to be in the carrier. It’s important to get your cat used to being in a carrier, not just for travel, but for regular trips to the vet as well.  Your cat will be much more comfortable and calm when traveling if he’s already used to the carrier.  I recommend starting by putting the carrier in your living room with its door open.  Let the cat explore it.  Put a soft blanket in the bottom of the carrier, along with a couple of treats.  Catnip too if your cats likes that.  If your cat won’t go inside on his own, put him inside the carrier – letting him jump right back out the first time.   Put him in more and more often over a period of several days – providing positive reinforcement each time (cuddling, petting, treats). Little by little, he’ll get used to being in the carrier.  Then start closing the door, leaving your cat in the carrier for just a few minutes at first, then longer periods of time.  You might also put him in the car, without the car running – for a few minutes.  Then maybe a short drive around the block…you get the idea.  Take your time allowing your cat to get used to the carrier before just tossing him in there and taking him on a road trip!  LOL

Taking Your Cat on a Vacation Car Travel

Keep your cat safe.  When driving, always keep your cat in a carrier in the backseat, fastened with a seat belt or harness to keep the carrier from being thrown in case of an accident, and also to keep you from being distracted with the cat wandering around the car.  Putting your cat in the car without a carrier is extremely dangerous – he could jump out and run when you open the door, he could crawl under the seats and up under the gas and brake pedals – he could distract you to the point of causing an accident.  Please always use a carrier.

Provide water.  The best way to provide water in the carrier is to use a hamster water bottle.  Put that in place when you’re training your cat to use the carrier so he’s aware he can get a drink from that when you’re traveling. A few drops of water from a hamster water bottle is enough to satisfy a thirsty cat.

Keep your cat calm. Keeping kids calm in the car requires entertainment.  Keeping cats calm in the care requires QUIET and BOREDOM.  Don’t crank the music, and don’t constantly interact with your cat. If you feel your cat will not stay calm and is in distress, talk with your vet.  There are mild sedation medications that can help a scared kitty.

Feed your cat. Cats are more likely to eat a whole meal if it’s canned cat food instead of dry.  So if your cat doesn’t already eat canned food (which you should probably switch to, by the way, it’s better for them) – then for a few weeks before the trip start getting them used to it. Make sure you offer a small meal at regular intervals when traveling with your cat.  Try to keep the schedule as close to usual as possible.  And remember if your cat is taking any medication to help calm him, it usually needs to be taken with meals.  If your kitty tends to get car sick, talk to your vet about anti-nausea medication. For more information on what you should be feeding your cat, refer to this article, Best Food for Your Cat.

Never take your cat out of the car without the carrier!  People think their cats are calm and they have a, “He’ll stay with me” mentality.  But please – realize that when you’re away from home, it’s an unfamiliar environment, not to mention there are several things (car doors slamming, horns honking) that can startle your cat.  Don’t take the risk of your cat jumping out of  your arms while you’re away.  If they run, you may never seem them again.  It’s just not worth the risk. Put them inside the carrier with the door latched before opening the car door.

Taking Your Cat on a Vacation Plane Travel

Bring your cat in the cabin. Cats who are “checked” like baggage and end up riding in the belly of a plane are at risk in extreme weather and can get lost, just like luggage.  The safest way to fly with your cat is to bring your cat into the cabin with you.  Find an airline that allows pets in the cabin (which may include a fee) and make advance reservations. You will also need an airline-approved carrier and a health certificate signed by your veterinarian.

Anticipate emergencies. Be prepared.  Bring a couple of hand towels to line the carrier in case the cat vomits or pees, along with a few plastic bags to dispose of the soiled towels if necessary.  Carrying some paper towels and cat-safe cleansing wipes can also help with a clean up.

Taking Your Cat on a Vacation Traveling With Your Cat Doesn’t Have to Be a Traumatic Experience for Either of You.

By planning ahead, training your cat, and getting him used to traveling, you can take kitty lots of places! I hope you’ve found this article useful and please, comment below if you have more tips!  Debra 🙂

Taking Your Cat on a Vacation We Donate to Animal Charities

Thank you for visiting my website.  I donate 10% of all commissions I make on this website to animal charities.  You can see a list of the charities I donate to here.  If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every purchase helps animals!

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Taking Your Dog on a Vacation – Tips for Traveling with a Dog

Before you decide to take Fido on a trip with you, consider whether it’s feasible – and whether it’s even beneficial for the dog.  Taking your dog on a vacation takes care and planning!

Tips For Traveling With Dogs

Any veterinarian or professional dog trainer will tell you that before you decide to take your dog on any sort of trip with you, you should always consider what you are going to be doing, where you are going, and whether you will have time for your dog. If you will be sight-seeing in places such as museums, galleries or restaurants, it may be best to leave your dog with a friend, find a pet sitter or board your dog while you are away.

Short Car Rides

Buckle up your pooch. When traveling by car, even if it’s just a short trip, consider your dog’s safety. Invest in an accident-tested safety harness or dog seat to help your dog stay safe and secure in the event of an accident, and also, so that your dog stays put and is not distracting you from driving.  I once had a miniature doxy who was small enough to fit under the car seats.  While I was driving down the highway at 55 mph, she got under the driver’s seat, then proceeded to go directly under my feet – under the gas/brake pedals!  I could not push on the gas or the break – we could’ve had a very serious accident.  Not to mention the distraction it is when your dog is running all over the car, jumping on passengers, etc.  Buckle them up – it’s safer for everybody!

Avoid letting your dog stick his head or paws out the window.  I know it’s one of the cutest sites in the world – a dog with his head out the window, lips flapping in the wind…but just like humans on a motorcycle, eyes exposed to high speeds and wind without protection are prone to dangerous debris. Keep the air conditioning on, or just crack the windows to let them sniff the fresh air instead.

Dogs should never ride in the front seat with you. They can distract you from driving, and if you stop short, they could be thrown into the windshield or injured by airbags.  The same little doxy I mentioned earlier was once thrown from the front seat violently onto the floor when I had to stop fast.  Dogs should stay restrained in the backseat either in a dog seat or a crate.

Long Car Rides

Keep their collar and tags on. It might seem more comfortable for your dog to have his collar off in the car, but if you crash and your dog panics, he may run away. Not everyone checks for microchips, so the dog having a tag with his name and phone number on it might be what gets him back to you should you have an accident.

Remember your dog needs food, water, and pee breaks. Feed your dog a small meal a few hours before your trip. Then stop for food breaks as needed.  Don’t allow eating or drinking in the car.  Keeping a bowl of water sloshing around in the car while you drive isn’t practical.  Stop every hour or two, or when your dog seems restless — so you can both stretch your legs, get a drink, and go potty.  And always make sure you get your dog on the leash BEFORE you open the car door. You don’t want to risk their getting away from you, especially if you’re far from home.

It’s never safe to leave a dog alone in a car, even if the windows are open and it’s only for a few minutes.

Realize you are taking a risk if you do this.

Taking Your Dog on a VacationI am an affiliate for a website called, The Online Dog Trainer, run by professional dog trainer, Doggy Dan.  I promote the site constantly because I use it constantly.  It’s become my #1 go-to place for information and help with absolutely any issue I have difficulties with in taking care of my little doxy, Taz. Here is a video by Doggy Dan about how to calm a dog who is anxious on a car ride.  I hope you enjoy it!

For more videos like this,

visit The Online Dog Trainer.

Flying

Travel in the cabin. The best way to ensure your dog’s safety on a plane is to travel with them in the cabin. Unless your dog is small enough to fit under your seat in a travel-safe carrier, it is recommended that you do not fly with your dog. If you absolutely must, then be in communication with the airline personnel, make sure your dog is in a travel-safe carrier or crate – make sure the carrier or crate is clearly marked LIVE ANIMAL.  And I would strongly suggest you talk with your vet’s office because they will likely be able to offer much more advice on making sure your dog is safe.  Also, learn the airline’s pet policy. There are often fees associated with flying with your dog, and certain breeds are almost never allowed to fly or only allowed to fly seasonally. Some airlines will not even accept dogs as passengers.

Select the right size carrier or crate.  Your dog should be able to stand, sit, and turn around comfortably inside the crate or carrier.

Prepare your dog to be alone in the crate or carrier for hours. Practice with your dog before you get on the plane.  The dog should associate his crate with positive experiences, and be happy to spend some time in the carrier or crate with you nearby. Give your dog several weeks before the flight to form a positive association with being in the carrier or crate, and practice being calm and quiet in it. Leave the carrier out in your home with the door open, with a comfortable blankie in it. Feed your dog with the crate or carrier door open, then work your way up to feeding with the door closed.

Create a comfortable crate. If your dog has to be checked into the belly of the plane, I suggest you freeze a bowl of water. This way, it won’t spill when you’re transporting it, but will melt by the time the dog gets thirsty. You might also attach a small bag of dry food to the outside of the carrier or crate so airline staff can feed your dog if he gets hungry.  And make sure your dog has a favorite blanket or toy inside to comfort him.

Camping

Camping is one of the most popular vacation activities for families. And with so many new smells to explore in the great outdoors, it can be exciting for a dog. But there are also dangers to be aware of — from wild animals, to poisonous plants, and, God forbid, your dog getting lost. So keep your dog on a leash during a camping trip.  And though it may not be appealing to have a dirty dog that’s been playing in the woods all day asleep beside you, a dog tied up outside is at risk for weather hazards as well as dangerous, even possibly fatal encounters with wild animals.  Keep them in the tent, cabin or RV with you.

Hotels

Check the hotel policy on pets before booking. If you are bringing your dog to a hotel, do some planning. You don’t want to arrive at the hotel only to find that they have pet restrictions.

Bring your dog’s crate. Bring along a crate (and a dog bed if it’s practical) from home, as it will be familiar to your dog and will help him feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. By having a crate, your dog has a piece of home, and a place to stay when you aren’t in the room. Make sure to train your dog before the trip, so he will be comfortable and at ease in the crate.

Make sure your dog has proper ID. Specifically, either a microchip or a tag with his name and phone number. And make sure it’s your CELL number.  You don’t want people calling your house if you’ve lost the dog while you’re away. You might also bring vaccination records in case your dog bites someone, and of course bring any medication the dog will need for the duration of your trip.  You can get pet ID tags cheap at www.PetTags.com.

Consider the Dog’s Comfort and Safety

I go to several festivals during the summertime and I always get upset when I see people have brought their dogs.  The poor dogs are panting – it’s way too hot – they’re being forced to spend the entire day walking on HOT pavement. Honestly, do you really think the dog is having a good time?  I think when it’s hot outside and the event you’re going to takes place on a street/pavement, it’s better to leave the dog at home where he can have easy access to his water dish and be cool and comfortable.  He may give you the sad face when you leave, but it’s up to you to make smart decisions for the dog and decide whether where you’re going is something that’s good for him…or Not.

Taking Your Dog with You On Vacation Can Be Fun!

As long as you do some planning ahead of time, and consider all aspects of your trip and your dog’s safety and comfort, you and your dog will have a great time camping in the woods, hiking the trails, or running on the beach.  And after all, your dog deserves a vacation too!  Debra 🙂

I Donate to Animal Charities

Thank you for visiting my website.  I donate 10% of all commissions I make on this website to animal charities.  You can see a list of the charities I donate to here.  If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every purchase helps animals!

running-dogFor More Articles About Dog Training, click HERE

How to Make the Dog Lose Weight – Dog Obesity is More Dangerous Than You Think!

Your dog being overweight is more serious than you think.  It may be cute that your dog is chubby and loves nothing more than to eat.  And I know from my own experience that making your dog happy by giving treats is a wonderful feeling.  But being overweight or obese is just as dangerous for dogs as it is for humans.  It can cause numerous health problems and shorten the dog’s life.  If your dog is overweight, it’s up to you to learn how to make the dog lose weight so he can stay slim and healthy!  You owe it to your dog to make smart decisions for him.

Dog Obesity

Dog obesity is one of the fastest growing health issues for dogs today. In this article I’ll discuss how to determine the ideal weight for your dog, how to maintain an ideal weight, and how to help your dog lose weight if he’s too chubby.

how to help your dog lose weightDog Obesity is Treatable