Mistakes Which Can Make Your Dog Depressed

Mistakes Which Can Make Your Dog Depressed

By Dr. Karen Shaw Becker and comments by Diane Weinmann

Science hasn’t figured out yet whether dogs suffer from depression in the same way people do. They certainly experience mood and behavior changes, but those changes are usually temporary and traceable to a recent event in the dog’s life. For example, perhaps the kiddos just headed back to school after a summer spent swimming and playing with their dog, and she misses having them around. Or maybe you’ve just added a puppy to the family and your older dog is feeling left out.

Dogs who suffer the loss of a family member (human or pet) often go through a grieving period. And of course many dogs abandoned at shelters suffer a period of sadness and uncertainty.  Grief relief in the form of a custom made bach flower essence can help the transition period of loss.  Contact Diane at Dianefortheloveofanimals@yahoo.com for a custom treatment bottle to deal with grief for yourself or your pet.

The problem with diagnosing clinical depression (which is different from short-lived episodes of depressed behavior) is that even in humans, there’s no biological test to identify the condition. Medical doctors take note of symptoms and what the patient tells them about their feelings to arrive at a diagnosis.

Many people who cannot talk and hear pets must rely on their powers of observation to determine if a canine companion is feeling down in the dumps. Generally speaking, when a vet or veterinary behaviorist or animal communicator describes a patient as depressed, the dog is displaying a change in normal behavior.

6 Reasons Dogs Get Depressed

1. She’s dealing with an undiagnosed medical problem

If your dog’s behavior changes, even if you suspect you know why, it’s always a good idea to check in with your veterinarian. Many changes in behavior symptomatic of depression, including lack of appetite, potty accidents in the house, sleeping more than usual, reluctance to exercise and sudden aggressive behavior in a dog who has never shown aggression, can also be signs of any number of underlying medical conditions.

2. He’s feeling ignored

A healthy dog who is feeling depressed may lose interest in eating or playing, become destructive, have accidents in the house or stop running to greet you when you come through the door. Like a sleepy, sluggish dog, a depressed pooch often just needs more quality time with his human.

Get into the habit of spending an uninterrupted hour with your dog each day engaging in physical pursuits, grooming rituals, training exercises and good old tummy rubs. It will lighten both your moods!

3. She’s not getting enough exercise

Sadly, some dogs become socially inhibited when they aren’t getting enough exercise and playtime. This can take the form of a decrease in interaction with other family members, or choosing to isolate themselves in their crate or another room. If your normally happy dog suddenly isn’t, consider the possibility that she needs more exercise.

Most dogs need much more physical activity than their owners realize. Your dog should be getting an absolute minimum of 20 minutes of sustained heart-thumping exercise three times a week. Thirty minutes is better than 20, and six or seven days a week is better than three.

Minimum exercise requirements prevent muscle atrophy, but don’t necessarily build muscle mass, strengthen tendons and ligaments, hone balance and proprioception, or enhance cardiovascular fitness, which is why more is always better. If you can provide your dog daily walks as well as additional daily training sessions to meet your other exercise goals, even better!

4. He’s suffered the loss of a human family member or pet

It’s not unusual for dogs to grieve the loss of a person or animal friend they are bonded with. According to the late Dr. Sophia Yin, a veterinarian and applied animal behavior specialist, dogs feel the same basic emotions humans do, including grief, fear, anger, happiness, sadness and even possessiveness.

When a dog is mourning a loss, depression is common. Signs of depression in dogs mimic those in people — sleeping more than normal, moving more slowly, eating less and showing a limited interest in playing.

If your dog seems depressed at the loss of a person or animal he was close to, engage him in activities he enjoys, such as a walk, a game of fetch or a trip to the dog park. It’s really a matter of distracting him with things he enjoys until sufficient time has passed and he’s no longer looking around every corner for the one who is now absent from his life.

And it’s best not to expect a quick fix. It can take from a few weeks to a few months before your dog’s depressed mood begins to lift.  Again as mentioned above,  a custom Bach Flower essences treatment bottle can help your pet deal with their grief holistically.

5. Her favorite human is depressed

Your dog is very observant of your emotional state, which she can detect by observing the tone of your voice, your body language and other subtle clues, including your pheromones (how you smell). The way you move, speak and behave all send subtle signals to your dog that indicate your mood.

For example, when you’re in a situation that’s stressful to your dog, such as at your veterinarian’s office, she’ll look to you to help her calm down. If, however, you seem tense and nervous, she’ll likely become even more anxious. Your dog is extremely intuitive; so if you’re feeling blue, don’t be surprised if she seems depressed as well.

6. He’s being subjected to punitive behavior training

Dogs who are punished for undesirable behavior instead of being rewarded for positive behavior may stop interacting with their owners in an attempt to avoid punishment. They adopt a depressive state of mind called “learned helplessness” because they feel powerless to avoid negative situations.

I can’t stress strongly enough the importance of positive reinforcement behavior training, not only to help your dog become a good canine citizen, but also to preserve and protect the close and priceless bond you share with him.

5 Tips for Helping a Depressed Dog

1. Keep daily routines as consistent as possible. Pets do best when they know what to expect from one day to the next. Try to keep mealtimes, exercise, walks, playtime, grooming, bedtime and other daily activities on a consistent schedule. Exercise is a powerful tool to help increase your pooch’s endorphins, or “feel good” hormones. Lots of walks (with plenty of opportunities to sniff) can be a powerful mood enhancer.

2. Keep your dog’s diet and mealtimes the same and spice up what’s on the menu. It’s important to continue to offer him the same food he’s used to, at the same time each day, but if you find your dog isn’t interested in eating much, consider offering a yummy knucklebone for dessert, or make a tasty treat for training time that he hasn’t had before.

Store what he doesn’t eat in the fridge, and offer it to him again at his next regularly scheduled mealtime. Use his hunger to help him get his appetite back by resisting the urge to entice him with unhealthy food toppers.

3. Be careful not to inadvertently reward your dog’s depression. It’s only natural to want to comfort your sad pet, but unfortunately, giving attention to a dog who is displaying an undesirable behavior can reinforce the behavior. Obviously the last thing you want to do is reward a lack of appetite, inactivity or other types of depressed behavior in your dog. Instead, you want to help her over the hump.

A better idea is to try to distract her with healthy, fun activities that provide opportunities for positive behavior reinforcement. This can be a walk, short training sessions, a game of fetch, nose work or offering her a food puzzle toy or recreational bone.

4. Give it time. Your dog’s depression may take a few days or even weeks to blow over, but eventually most pets return to their normal lively selves. If at any point you feel your pet is suffering unnecessarily or there is something more going on than a case of the blues, I recommend discussing the situation with your vet or a veterinary behaviorist.

5. Use natural remedies, if needed. There are some excellent homeopathic and Bach flower remedies that can be easily administered to your depressed dog until you see an emotional shift for the better. Some of my favorites include homeopathic Ignatia, several Bach flower remedies including Mustard and Honeysuckle, and Green Hope Farm Grief and Loss.  Custom treatment bottles for your unique situation can be obtained from Diane Weinmann at Dianefortheloveofanimals@yahoo.com.

 

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Feline inappropriate elimination

Feline inappropriate elimination

By Dr. Karen Shaw Becker and comments by Diane Weinmann

Feline inappropriate elimination — a fancy name for those times when kitty pees (or poops) outside the litterbox — accounts for about half of all reported behavior problems in cats. Sadly, it’s the reason pet owners give most often when they relinquish their kitty to an animal shelter. According to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a professor at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and founder of the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic:

“It is a cold, hard fact that cats who fail to use the litter box once a week are four times more likely to be relinquished; if they eliminate outside the litter box daily, these odds increase to over 28:1. About 4 percent of cats urinate outside the litter box weekly, and 1 percent eliminate outside the litter box daily.”1

Cats relieve themselves outside the litterbox for a number of reasons, some having to do with natural feline tendencies, and others involving their environment. Often there are both natural and situational factors underlying a problem with inappropriate elimination. The three main causes for feline inappropriate elimination are:

1.    A medical problem

2.    Urine marking

3.    Aversion to the litterbox

Estimates are that 10 to 24 percent of all kitties have an inappropriate elimination problem at some point in their lives.

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Inappropriate Elimination

If your cat suddenly forgets her manners and starts either peeing or pooping outside the litterbox — especially if she starts using the bathtub or a sink instead —the first thing I recommend is a visit to your veterinarian. There are a number of medical conditions that can contribute to inappropriate elimination, including feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), urinary tract infection, cystitis, obstruction of the urethra, diabetes, cognitive dysfunction and hyperthyroidism.

Diagnosing and treating an underlying medical condition is extremely important to your kitty’s health and to resolving inappropriate elimination behavior. Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam, and order a complete blood count, a blood chemistry profile, a urinalysis and check the thyroid if your cat is older. If the problem involves pooping outside the box, a fecal sample will be taken.

If your cat gets a clean bill of health from the vet but is a senior or geriatric kitty, it’s possible the aging process is causing changes in her elimination habits. For example, does she have to climb stairs to get to the litterbox? Is the box easy for her to get into and out of? It can be challenging to determine if a cat is uncomfortable or in pain. If your older cat is otherwise healthy but could be experiencing joint pain, make sure you’re doing all you can to make it easy for her to use her litterbox.

Urine Marking

Urine marking can be hormonally driven, but it’s most often the result of a natural system of feline communication, or stress. Both male and female cats spray, as do both neutered and intact cats. However, neutered cats spray less, and neutering can reduce or eliminate spraying in some cases.

Kitties who urine-mark generally use the litterbox normally, but also perform marking behaviors. Some cats do both house soiling and urine marking, but it’s easy to tell the difference between the two once you know what to look for.

Urine marking, when it takes the form of spraying, typically happens on vertical surfaces. However, some cats urine-mark on horizontal surfaces, which can make it more difficult to determine whether you have a marking problem or a house-soiling problem. Where your cat marks is of primary significance. Generally speaking:

·         If he marks under windows or on baseboards, he may perceive a threat from animals outside, usually other cats

·         If he marks on or near furniture or doors inside your home, he might be having problems with other cats in the household

·         If your cat marks personal belongings, such as clothes, bed linens, a favorite chair or a computer keyboard, he’s probably experiencing some anxiety about the human who owns those things

Other places cats are known to urine-mark are on shopping bags just coming into the house, heating registers and household appliances.

Resolving urine marking involves identifying and addressing the source of your kitty’s stress. When did the marking begin, and what was happening in your cat’s environment at that time? Just as cats favor certain scratching surfaces, they also return to the same spot to urine-mark. You’ll need to use an enzyme-based product for cleanups to remove stains and odor.

You might also want to spray a synthetic pheromone like Feliway on kitty’s favorite marking spots. Cats also “mark” by rubbing their cheeks against objects (for example, the top of their human’s head), and Feliway may encourage your cat to mark with his cheeks instead of his urine.

It’s important to note that urine marking can be difficult to manage, as often the root cause, if determined, can’t be resolved completely. And sometimes despite addressing all possibilities, cats still mark. 

One option is talking to an animal communicator, like Diane Weinmann to understand the underlying problems your kitty has.

Litterbox Aversion

Cats who are happy with their bathrooms behave more or less like this:

·         Approach and jump or climb into the box without hesitating

·         Take a little time to poke around and choose a good spot

·         Dig a hole

·         Turn around and do their business

·         Inspect the result and then cover it up with litter

Cats who are developing a litterbox aversion may approach it tentatively. They may balance on the side of the box or put only two feet in. They may actually use the litter, but immediately leap from the box when finished. Worst case they may walk to the box, sniff at it, turn, walk away — and eliminate elsewhere. Pooping outside the box, but very close to it, is almost always a litterbox aversion problem.

Your cat can decide she doesn’t like her litterbox for any number of reasons. Perhaps it isn’t being cleaned frequently, or not frequently enough for her comfort. Maybe she’s sensitive to a chemical used to clean the box, or perhaps she’s not fond of a box with a hood. The box may be in a noisy or high-traffic location, or where another pet in the household can trap her in there.

Tackling Kitty’s Litterbox Aversion

Extra boxes for multi-cat households. If you have multiple cats, you may need to add more boxes. The general guideline is one box per cat, and one extra.

Litter preference. It could be kitty doesn’t like the type of litter in the box, or it’s not deep enough (4 inches is recommended). You can discover your pet’s litter preference by buying the smallest amount available of several kinds of litter, and several inexpensive litterboxes. Place the boxes with different litters side by side and see which box gets used most often.

Studies on the types of litter cats prefer show they are quite particular about particle size. The cat’s evolutionary substrate, for potty purposes, is sand. When kitties started living indoors, clay litter came along and most cats were okay with it. But clay has its own issues, as do corn- and wheat-based litters.

These days, there’s a wide selection of organic and natural types of litters on the market, but many of them feature big particle sizes, which don’t appeal to most cats. Kitties also don’t like synthetic scents or odor control additives in their litter. The litter I use for my own cats is our own Biocharged Kitty Litter made with organic biochar. Biochar has a large surface area and is a recalcitrant, which means the charcoal itself holds onto things such as water and smells.

Our litter has incredible clumping properties, which means it lasts longer and there’s less total wetness and mess. It’s also 100 percent biodegradable and compostable. And it’s entirely fragrance-free, because the carbon helps to lock in odors.

Litterbox location. Find locations for litterboxes that are somewhat out of the way, and away from noisy household machinery and appliances. Choose warm locations in the house rather than the basement or garage. And make sure boxes aren’t close to kitty’s food or water bowls.

Litterbox cleanliness. Boxes should be kept scrupulously clean. They should be scooped at least once a day and more often if you’re dealing with a potential litterbox aversion situation. Dump all the used litter every two to four weeks (I recommend every two weeks, minimum), sanitize the box with soap and warm water (no chemicals), dry thoroughly and add fresh litter. Plastic litterboxes should be replaced every year or two.

To review, litter box aversion can usually be resolved by:

·         Determining the type of litter and litter box your kitty prefers

·         Using the right amount of litter (4 inches, minimum, at all times)

·         Keeping the boxes scooped, and doing a thorough cleaning at least every two weeks

·         Having enough boxes and locating them in safe, easy-to-access locations

Diane has encountered many litter box issues in her 20 years as an animal communicator.  Many litterbox problems are related to changes in the household, cleanliness and actual litter preference.  Please note that sometimes cats change their mind about the preference of litter they like so the tried and true litter you’ve used for years may not cut it any longer.  Contact Diane at Dianefortheloveofanimals@yahoo.com to schedule an animal communication session.

 

5 Classic Signs of Canine Aging

By Dr. Karen Shaw Becker

 

Much as we’d like our canine companions to stay forever young, sadly, just like us, they get older. The good news is it’s the care and love we give them throughout their lives that allows them to grow and thrive and reach their golden years.

Once your dog starts to show signs of aging, it’s important to focus on making his senior and geriatric years as happy, healthy and comfortable as possible. One age-related condition that many older dogs develop is canine cognitive dysfunc­tion (CCD), which is similar to Alzheimer’s diseases in people and is the result of an aging brain.

Clinical signs of cognitive dysfunction are found in 50 percent of dogs over the age of 11, and by the age of 15, 68 percent of dogs display at least one sign.1 And because large and giant breed dogs age more quickly than smaller breeds, dogs as young as 6 can begin to experience mental decline.

Symptoms of CCD

There are five classic signs of cognitive decline in dogs:

1.    Increased total amount of sleep during a 24-hour period

2.    Decreased attention to surroundings, disinterest, apathy

3.    Decreased purposeful activity

4.    Loss of formerly acquired knowledge, which includes housetraining

5.    Intermittent anxiety expressed through apprehension, panting, moaning or shivering

Other symptoms include failure to respond to commands and/or difficulty hearing, inability to recognize familiar people and difficulty navigating the environment. Additional physical manifestations of CCD can include excessive licking, lack of grooming, fecal and urinary incontinence, and loss of appetite.

5 Ways to Help Your Older Dog Maintain Cognitive Function

1. Feed a nutritionally balanced, species-appropriate diet

A species-appropriate, nutritionally balanced diet that is rich in healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids such as krill oil and other healthy fats, including MCT oil, is very important for cognitive health.

The perfect fuel for an aging dog is a variety of living, whole foods suitable for a carnivore. Eliminate all refined carbohydrates, which are just unnecessary sugar. No grains, potatoes or legumes. Replace those unnecessary carbs with extra high-quality protein. Eliminate extruded diets (kibble) to avoid the toxic byproducts of the manufacturing process.

Dog foods are manufactured in a way that creates byproducts that can affect cognitive health, including heterocyclic amines, acrylamides and advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. Fresh, biologically appropriate foods provide the whole food nutrients an aging brain requires. The right diet will also enhance the microbiome, which has been linked to improved cognitive health in humans, and I’ve seen an improvement in dogs as well.

2. Offer supplements beneficial to older dogs

When it comes to supplements, I typically recommend digestive enzymes and probiotics for all older pets. If your dog needs additional fiber in the diet, choose natural sources such as psyllium husk powder, ground dark green leafy veggies, coconut fiber or canned 100 percent pumpkin.

I also almost always recommend an omega-3 fatty acid supplement such as krill oil (my favorite), another fish body oil (but not cod liver oil) or algal DHA for pets who are allergic to seafood.

Most aging dogs can benefit from joint and antioxidant supplements such as glucosamine sulfate with MSM, cetyl myristoleate, egg­shell membrane, perna mussel (green-lipped clam), several homeopathic remedies, ubiquinol, supergreen foods and natural anti-inflammatory formulas (herbs such as turmeric and yucca, proteolytic enzymes, SOD and nutraceuticals).

3. Provide plenty of opportunities for exercise, socialization and mental stimulation

Senior and even geriatric dogs still need daily exercise to maintain good health and a resilient frame. While older dogs can’t exercise or compete with the same intensity as the younger set, they still derive tremendous benefit from regular walks and other age-appropriate physical activity. There are three types of strengthening exercises that can also be of tremendous help to aging canine bodies:

·         Passive range-of-motion (PROM) exercises can benefit both incapacitated and physically healthy pets

·         Balance and proprioception (spatial orientation and movement) exercises help older pets remain flexible while also encouraging improved balance and physical stability

·         Targeted strengthening exercises are designed to work the big muscle groups that help with standing, walking and running

No matter how old your dog is he still needs regular social interaction with other pets and/or people. As is the case with humans as we age, if your four-legged family member doesn’t stay active and involved in life, his world can become a confusing, intimidating place. He needs regular exposure to other pets and people, but take care not to over stimulate him — short periods of socialization and playtime in controlled situations are ideal.

Food puzzle and treat release toys provide fun and a good mental workout, as does nose work and brief training sessions to refresh his memory or teach him a new skill.

4. Minimize stress

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to minimize anxiety and stress in your older dog. Senior and geriatric dogs, especially those with CCD, are often disoriented, so sticking to a dependable daily routine can help your pet stay oriented, which will reduce her anxiety. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time each day, feed her at the same times and go for walks on a set schedule.

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight and physically active will help control arthritis and degenerative joint disease as she ages, ensuring she remains comfortable and mobile. Chiropractic adjustments, stretching, water exercises and acupuncture can also provide enormous benefits in keeping dogs mobile in their later years.

Regular massage can help keep your senior dog’s muscles toned and reduce the slackening that comes with aging. Massaged muscles are looser, which makes it easier for her to move around comfortably. Massage also improves circulation and encourages lymphatic drainage. It can ease the stiffness of arthritis, which helps your pet maintain his normal gait and active lifestyle. Massage also loosens the muscles around joints, which helps promote ease of movement.

If your dog is having some urine dribbling or incontinence as a result of her age (and not caused by an underlying condition that should be addressed), provide her with more frequent potty trips outside. You can also reintroduce her to her crate if she was crate trained initially. Acupuncture can also be very beneficial for age-related incontinence.

If your dog has problems hearing or seeing, use odor cues like essential oils or pheromone products to help her find her way around. Also consider purchasing or building ramps if your dog is having trouble getting into the car or up on the bed or a favorite chair, and if she’s slipping or unsure on bare floors, add some runners or area rugs.

For sleep problems, try increasing her daytime activity level. Let her sleep in your bedroom. Sleeping near you should help ease any anxiety that is contributing to her nighttime restlessness. Guide your dog with clear cues and easy-to-follow instructions, and when you talk to her, keep your voice quiet, calm and loving.

5. Schedule regular senior wellness check-ups

I recommend twice-yearly wellness visits for pets no matter the age, but this becomes even more important for dogs getting up in years. Keeping abreast of your animal companion’s physical and mental changes as he ages is the best way to catch any disease process early.

Ask your vet to perform a blood test to check your pet’s internal organ health to make sure you are identifying possible issues early on. Keeping abreast of your pet’s physical and mental changes as he ages is the very best way to catch any disease process early.

Over-vaccinating is something older animals do not need, so advocate for your older dog by refusing additional vaccines. You can replace the vaccines with titers. A titer is a blood test that measures protective immunity. Chances are your dog is very well-protected. Switch to titering to help reduce her toxic load.

 

 

Homeopathic remedies for Colic

by Dr. Dan Moore DVM

 

 It’s difficult for me to discuss any health issue without the mention of a few homeopathic remedies for colic is no exception and overload or excess of anything can often be helped with a remedy called nux- vomica It is my first response favorite remedy for anything related and is great at what I call energetically detoxing as well as for other health issues such as post-anesthesia.

 

It’s actually also good for people who have eaten or drank too much!

 

 Most homeopathic remedies are available as liquids but I prefer the little BB sized pellets packaged in lipstick tubes most health food stores and some big grocery change chains can carry them potencies of 30C or 30X are generally used by most people unless they are trained otherwise.

 

 I am totally convinced that homeopathic remedies can never hurt and can only help in any case we never leave home without a remedy box and there’s always one at the barn.

 

 Another remedy to consider is Colocynthis should the nux not give comfort it is especially helpful for cramps that would be characterized by kicking and rolling and looking or biting at the belly. Additionally, Colchicum especially if neither of the other remedies seem to work.

 

 I usually give nux a few times every 10 minutes or so followed by Colocynthis and Colchicum  rotating each at 10 minute intervals.  I also try to prevent rolling by walking the horse because this process often takes his mind off the pain and gets the gut moving

 

How to Stop Your Dog From Barking at Other Dogs

How to Stop Your Dog From Barking at Other Dogs

From PetPav and comments by Diane Weinmann

 

Dogs will bark for many reasons as it is their way to communicate and react.  And we never want our dogs to stop barking as it can help us to understand how our dogs are feeling or if there is a threat nearby.  However, if your dog constantly barks at other dogs, it can be a headache for you and distressing.  There are many things you can do to get your dog to stop barking at other dogs.

Below are some of the things you can try to keep your dog from barking at other dogs.  As always, consistency and repetition is key to stop the barking and/or any unwanted behavior.   You and all family members need to be on-board with the same behavior techniques to keep the training consistent.

Remove the motivation that causes your dog to bark

Your dog gets some kind of reward when he barks. Even if it is just attention from you.  If you can figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it, it’s the simplest deterrent.

If your dog barks at other dogs passing by the living room window, manage your dog’s behavior by closing the curtains or putting your dog in another room.  If you live in an apartment, try keeping the music or TV on to mask the barking sounds.

Block your dog’s access to doors and windows while he is indoors so he can’t see outside if the barking is continuous or put him in another room as other dogs pass by (at least while you are training).

There are also some devices that you can use that create a loud noise when your dog starts barking like the Doggie Don’t Device which are very effective to stop the barking.

Ignore the barking

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. Which means don’t give him any attention at all while he’s barking; don’t talk to him and don’t even look at him. When your dog finally quiets down, than reward him with a treat or a hug.  The point is that when the barking is done, all is good!

Be patient even if he barks for a very long time…just let the barking session end and then reward your dog at the end.  Your dog will learn that he gets the reward when he stops barking.  In other words –catch him doing something good and reward him!

Desensitize your dog to the stimulus which in this case means other dogs

Gradually get your dog used to whatever is causing him to bark or in this case, other dogs.  Try to get your dog used to the idea that merely hearing and seeing other dogs does not mean (or allow) barking.

A training technique that works is to have someone, a friend, relative who owns a dog to have his or her dog on a leash and walk towards you.  When your friend approaches, let her feed your dog treats.  When the dog walks away, you stop feeding your dog treats and therefore the dog will learn that when another dog is visible and your dog does not bark is a good thing!   And they are rewarded.

This can take some time so be patient and it’s a big behavior to learn.  It could take weeks or months but consistency is key.

Use the “quiet” command when your dog barks

When your dog starts to bark, teach him the “quiet” command.  When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his face. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.  Your dog will learn that “quiet” gets a treat and positive reinforcement.  If your dog masters the quiet command, you can apply it to other times when he starts barking.  Praise and reinforce the good, quiet behavior and don’t yell “quiet”- it will scare your dog and he won’t understand it.  Be aware that depending on the excitement level or stimulus all the training in the world may not make this effective 100% of the time.

Ask your dog for an incompatible behavior while barking

When your dog starts barking, ask him to do something that’s incompatible with barking. Teach your dog to react to barking with something that stops him from barking, such as lying down in his bed or chasing his favorite toy or ball.  In fact, you can even give him a toy or a chew toy to put in his mouth which will certainly stop the barking.  Barking, chew toy – no sound!  Again this will only work in the house or yard verses out on a walk.

Make sure that your dog isn’t bored and gets daily exercise

Make sure your dog is getting enough physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good dog (we’ve all seen the commercials) and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration.  Exercising is important for your dog for so many reasons and it can also help to control the barking.

If none of the above work and you really need more help, it’s best to hire a trainer who can work with you and your dog to stop the barking.   Always keep the training positive and don’t overdue the treats so your dog gains weight.  A hug and a ‘good boy’ is great for positive reinforcement too.

If training doesn’t seem to work you can always call me, an animal communicator to see if we are dealing with a root cause that is just not the normal and expected greetings from one being to another.  Sometimes there is a deeper motivation that we need to understand in order to combat it.  Additionally, if your dog is reactive on walks using bach flower essences before a trip into the public can help curb unwanted behaviors like barking, pulling and jumping.  Again contact me, Diane Weinmann at Dianefortheloveofanimals@yahoo.com if you need a custom bach flower essence treatment bottle.

Why Do Some Dogs Hate The Rain?

Why Do Some Dogs Hate The Rain?

by Amber King and comments by Diane Weinmann

 

It’s raining, it’s pouring, and the dog refuses to go outside. While some dogs seem drawn to water whether it’s a muddy puddle or a springtime rainstorm, others do everything in their power to stay perpetually dry. The threat of getting wet keeps them inside no matter how full their bladder, and even a slight drizzle on their daily walk is enough to launch them into panic.

If this sounds like your dog, you already know how challenging an aversion to rain can really be. No matter where you live, it’s bound to rain eventually. Your pup can try, but they can’t stay dry forever.

Here are a few reasons to explain your dog’s anti-rain behavior and how to help them work through their weather-related woes.

#1 – It’s Honestly Unpleasant

Umbrellas were invented for a reason. Getting dripped on by raindrops and pelted in downpours isn’t fun. You end up cold and damp, and the feeling of rain hitting your face and falling on your head is irksome. Dogs are sometimes more tolerable than humans when it comes to comfort, but that’s not always the case. A lot of dogs protest going out in the rain simply because it’s irritating.

If you don’t like getting stuck in a random rainstorm without your umbrella, you can’t be surprised that your dog feels the same way. Even dogs that are the first to jump in the pool don’t like the rain. It’s not because they don’t like water, it’s because being dripped on over and over is annoying.

 

#2 – Doggy See, Doggy Do

Dogs take cues on how to behave from the people they spend the most time with—their owners. In the case of the dreaded rainstorm, a dog could learn to hate the rain because they’ve observed their owner expressing similar feelings.

If you work yourself into a frenzy running around closing windows or moving things inside, your dog is going to pick up on your emotions. Your grumblings about bad weather may only be halfhearted, but your dog takes them seriously.

#3 – Negative Associations

Besides their owner’s reaction, a dog can also develop their own negative associations to the rain. If they’re afraid of thunderstorms, for example, they learn fast that rain is often a precursor to those scary booms. It could only be a light drizzle, but the memory of rain coming down during a storm is enough to put them on edge.

Another negative association toward water could have to do with how you discipline your dog. Spraying the dog with the hose when they’re digging in the garden or barking at the neighbor is never a good idea. The only thing they learn from being sprayed is that when water is falling from the sky, their owner is mad. The same concept works if you scold your dog for not doing their business fast enough in the rain. You’re inadvertently making a connection between getting wet and being punished.

 

#4 – Noise Sensitivities

It might not be the rain itself that bothers your pet; it could be the sound. Heavy rain can be pretty loud, and nervous dogs and dogs with noise sensitivities can react negatively to even the slightest pings of rain hitting a hard surface. Rain on the windows, roof, even your umbrella—it can make a dog nervous enough to want to stay as far away from it as possible. Bella’s House and Pet Sitting says,

 

How to Help

On sunny days, your dog’s habit of hating the rain is easy to downplay. It only seems important when the weather channel starts calling for clouds. There are ways to entertain your dog indoors if going out on a walk isn’t an option, but there’s still the problem of outdoor bathroom breaks. If your dog refuses to go outside in the rain even when they’ve been holding their bladder all day, you’ll need to find a solution. Here are a few ideas.

 

Gear Up

You don’t like going out in the rain without something to cover up with, and your dog might appreciate his own set of rain gear. A doggy rain jacket will keep his fur dry, and a fitted hood or hat will keep drops from hitting his face. Rain jacket material might also amplify the sound, however, so make sure your pup isn’t bothered by noise. Booties are also good for pups that don’t like getting their paws wet. If your pup isn’t the type to tolerate accessories, buying an umbrella big enough to cover the both of you might work.

 

Be a Partner

Fearful dogs look to their owners for support and reassurance. If you’re trying to force your dog out the door while you stay safe and dry inside, you’re sending a message that they’re on their own. Being alone in an uncomfortable situation will usually only strengthen their aversion. Leading your dog outside into the rain will tell them, “Hey, I’m doing it too. You’re safe with me.”

 

Start Water Desensitization

Desensitizing your dog to rain needs to be a slow process full of positive reinforcement. Your method of shoving them out the door and not letting them come inside until after they’ve done their business will only traumatize them further. Instead, Rover suggests techniques to make them feel more comfortable. They say,

Get your dog used to water by taking him out to pee after you’ve watered the lawn. You could also try feeding your dog on the wet grass or playing with them in a sprinkler or with a garden hose to create positive associations with the feeling of wet terrain.”

If it’s the noise your dog is afraid of, use the same method of desensitizing. Start with simulating the sound of rain with a hose or sprinkler and give your dog praise and treats at the same time. Your goal is for them to replace their fear with anticipation of a reward. While you’re at it, make an effort to completely halt all negative associations to water. When it starts raining, show your dog you’re happy, not disappointed. Never use water as a punishment.   I will mention that the rain make a huge racket on the roof of the arena in the stable that I kept my horse and my horse never cared—weird!

Just so you know, my husky hates the rain and of course, LOVES the snow.  My horse was the same way.  I think they all imagined that the sky was falling verses the gentle feel of drifting snow flakes on them.  So as you can see, I rarely rode in the rain (unless we got caught and then we’d hurry home) or walked the dog in the rain.  My husky will go out as far at the bottom of the driveway and turn around and go back inside!  What a bunch of wimps!!!!!

 

There ain’t no bugs on me!

Essential oils can assist animals with their healing using energetic vibration and the essence of the natural product. They can help bring balance and healing through their sense of smell which is the most receptive of the pet’s systems.

The oil stimulates the olfactory system which in turn sends a signal to the brain regarding the specific oil. The brain then activates the pet’s natural ability to begin the healing process.
Aromatherapy does not cure conditions, but helps the body to find a natural way to cure itself and to improve immune response.s the body to find a natural way to cure itself and improve immune response.

the body to find a natural way to cure itself and improve immune response.

AWAY

Ingredients:  Essential Oils of Eucalyptus citriodora, Catnip, Citronella, Lemon Tea Tree, White Cypress

Away was created for many purposes, but all are encompassed in the word “Away”.  Bugs go “Away”, smells go “Away”, and stale energy can also go “Away”!  I put it on my dog any time we are going into the woods or open field for a walk.Petting Technique
The petting technique is a way to apply the oils to your pet. This technique is well tolerated by almost every form of animal. The technique can be modified for small rodents, amphibians, or animals that may be difficult to handle, simply by having the oils absorbed into your hands, and then “cupping” and holding the animal within your hands.

Petting Technique
The petting technique is a way to apply the oils to your pet. This technique is well tolerated by almost every form of animal. The technique can be modified for small rodents, amphibians, or animals that may be difficult to handle, simply by having the oils absorbed into your hands, and then “cupping” and holding the animal within your hands.

s the body to find a natural way to cure itself and improve immune response.

Dogs:  Away can also be applied to most dogs topically using the “Petting Technique.”  Place 1-3 drops into your hands, rub them together until a light coating remains, then pet onto areas of need.  For insect repellent; rubbing down the legs, neck, shoulders, and back are good locations to concentrate on.  I especially focus on the “ankle” area of my dogs, since ticks will often contact this area first, as they start to climb up the legs.

Cats:  Diffusion of Away in a water-based diffuser is also recommended for cat households.  Away is wonderful for eliminating pet odors from the household, and litter box areas.

http://www.animaleo.info/order-animaleo.html

Petting Technique
The petting technique is a way to apply the oils to your pet. This technique is well tolerated by almost every form of animal. The technique can be modified for small rodents, amphibians, or animals that may be difficult to handle, simply by having the oils absorbed into your hands, and then “cupping” and holding the animal within your hands.

Away product sheet