Now that nice weather is here many of us will take to spring cleaning, home remodeling projects, or even outdoor gardening. Although we may be looking forward to a new, fresh look, our pets on the other hand may not be so fond leading to increased stress and behavioral problems. With some advanced planning and following of the tips below, we can help you to keep your pet stress free.
- Alert any workers that a pet is in the household. Ask that they alert you if any hazardous fumes or sprays will be used in the process. If you will be doing projects DIY, try to pick products that are pet safe and use natural ingredients.
- Make up a safe and comfortable place for your pet to escape the noise, ideally in a room as far away from the work zone as possible. Be sure to move in all of your pet’s essentials: food, water, litter box, bedding, toys, etc. Pets that are crate trained may feel safest in their crate. Remember to put a sign on the door alerting those in the house that your pet is in the room and to keep the door closed at all times.
- You may try leaving a TV on or playing calming music to help drown out any construction noise. We recommend playing the music for your pet prior to your project in order to get your pet familiar with the sounds. Be sure to offer positive reinforcements such as treats and praise each time you start the music selection.
- Each evening after workers have finished for the day and before you let your pet out of its room, check the construction area for any hazardous materials or escape routes (E.g. holes in the wall or open doors and windows).
- Pick up any small objects that may be left behind like nails, staples, or tacks that your pet may swallow or injure itself on.
- Check for any poisonous substances such as paint or paint thinner that may get on your pet’s fur. Cats especially are prone to grooming excessively and may become ill if ingesting any foreign substance. While gardening, make sure to avoid any poisonous plants, fertilizer, and insectiside that may be toxic not only to pets but also wild animals such as visiting birds and squirrels.
- Remember to spend as much time playing and socializing your pet. This will help ease both of your stress and strengthen the bond between you.
- There are many anti-anxiety products on the market today. If your pet will tolerate clothing, you may consider trying the Thundershirt, a pet product that provides gentle, constant pressure to help calm your pet. There are also pheromone-based products, such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs that help ease anxiety during stressful situations and deter destructive behavior (E.g. urine marking, scratching, or aggressiveness). If your pet still exhibits destructive behavior despite these tips, you may consider using an anti-anxiety medication that can be prescribed by your veterinarian.
If you notice any behavioral changes in your pet or increased anxiety, please discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.
We are no strangers to the traumas that may occur during training exercises with your pet. We don’t claim to have seen it all, but we have seen enough (hit-by-cars, rope burns, leash injuries) to warrant caution when choosing your pet’s training equipment.
Although one of the hottest selling pet products in recent years, you may be surprised to learn that retractable leashes have also drawn much criticisms from the veterinary profession. According to a recent article on the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), communities have considered trying to ban the devices, and some pet-friendly businesses and dog-related events discourage owners from using them. Even most puppy training classes and behaviorists require you to use a standard 6 ft. leash in class because they give you more control over your dog, keep your dog at a manageable distance, and it is relatively easy to use especially during the early learning stages.
Use caution when using products such as retractable leashes, prong collars, choke collars. Improper use of these training mechanisms can be very problematic for both you and your pet.
Teaches dog to pull on leash.
Having your dog on a retractable leash, allows them too much freedom especially if used for training. Your dog may not learn that there are pressure restrictions while being on a retractable leash, allowing your dog to pull even harder.
Many times it also puts the handler in a position of constantly being reactive instead of proactive on the walk. A dog may be allotted too much leash and for whatever the reason, run into the road with oncoming traffic or even fight with other animals before the owner has time to retract the leash.
Referring back to our previous article, Dog Training Part One: How to Choose the Right Collar and Leash, you must take on the role of the pack leader and train your dog to view you as the one in charge. A dog that thinks that he/she makes decisions AND that he/she is entitled to unlimited space and freedom is a dog that will never recognize you as a leader, which has the tendency to cause greater behavioral issues down the line.
Easy to break
The cables aren’t infallible, especially for use with strong, energetic breeds. Always check your gear for bites or rips before walks. During training exercises, practice calling your dog back a lot, so it works in an emergency. If all else fails, make a game out of it to try to get your dog to chase you should he brake off his leash. Remember, to have your pet microchipped or use a GPS locating collar for instances like these.
May cause injuries to both pets and people if not used properly.
The most common injuries reported are muscular injuries (such as neck strain or sprain) or more severely, a cervical intervertebral disc herniation from the pet being yanked back with the leash (DeGioria, 2014). To prevent such occurrences, always use a back-attachment harness when using retractable leads, never a prong collar, head collar, flat collar, or front-attachment harness, because of the damage they can inflict on your pet. It is also possible for the pet to be entangled in the leash cord or ingest the cord, both of which may cause even further harm to your pet.
People certainly aren't immune to injury, either. Manufacturers warn that if used improperly, a suddenly yanked retractable leash can cause people to fall or sustain friction burns or get fingers/hands tangled in the cord itself.
With so many options available nowadays (from traditional leashes to harnesses and gentle leaders), it is no wonder the immense amount of time one can spend in the pet aisle searching for the best collar and leash option for you and your pet.
Please refer to our previous blog articles listed below for training tips and recommendations for collars/leashes or contact our office directly for specific recommendations for your pet based on his/her medical and breed background to ensure your pet’s safety and happiness.
DeGioria, Phyllis, Injuries, Behavioral Problems Linked to Retractable Leashes, The Vin News Service. March 27, 2014. http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=31352&callshare=1
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) began the Earth Hour campaign to unite people across nations to protect the planet. Each year, the global environmental group organizes the event on the last Saturday of March at 8:30 pm local time as a committment to reducing the environmental impact. Numerous individuals, cities, landmarks, and businesses turn out their non-essential lights for an entire hour to signify to everyone that the world's environmental issues don't have to overwhelm us. Even the smallest of efforts can have a huge impact for a better tomorrow.
WE DID IT! We have over 500 fan friends and just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for their continuous support in growing our Morena Pet community! We cherish your comments, photos, and views more than we can say.
*****Here it is as promised, Our 500 FAN GIVEAWAY!*****
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1) Like this status post
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Our #Giveaway will run until the end of March, so be sure to share with your family and friends!
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