Do You Dread Returning to your ‘Home Alone’ Hound?

If you leave your beloved pooch alone do they whine and cry like a baby? Does it break your heart to hear them do this even when you go into another room? If you leave them home alone do they ransack the house and chew your precious personal possessions?

This is Separation Anxiety -but the good news is that you can take steps to reduce this in your dog, so that they are able to accept you leaving them when you need to go to work or other occasions where it’s not possible to take them with you.

Some dogs will bark and howl like crazy for a long time, which can be annoying and put a strain on good neighbor relations. Others will salivate excessively and leave a mess all over your sofa. Sometimes there is damage to your furniture and other items in your home, as they literally try to scratch their way out and escape the “prison” that you have left them in, with the simple aim of reuniting with you.

If any of these things describe what your pooch does when you leave them alone, then it is time for you to take action.

It’s probably worth mentioning that there are other crafty canines that will simulate separation anxiety. In this situation the dog knows that if they behave badly they will receive the much wanted attention that they crave. There is no stress for the dog in this situation and is just “acting up”. You can easily change this behavior through proper exercise, obedience training and by being a strong leader.

What causes Separation Anxiety in dogs?

As dog owners we can blame ourselves for creating most separation anxiety in our dogs because of the fuss that we make when we are going to leave our dogs alone for a while. We make the same fuss when we return home to them.

As a good dog owner, you probably went everywhere with your pooch when they were a puppy and they became very attached to you because you gave them security and confidence. Taking your dog everywhere with you will do a lot for their socialization but it can make leaving them alone very difficult.

Dogs like a stable routine and if this is changed then they can definitely suffer from separation anxiety. If they are not receiving the correct amount of exercise then they can spend their pent-up energy by chewing up and destroying your living room when you leave them alone.

But let’s not forget that they aren’t doing it because they are naughty, they are doing it because they love and miss you.

How you can you prevent your dog from experiencing Separation Anxiety?

If the problem is really bad then a lot of dog owners will consult their vet first. The vet may well provide you with a prescription for medication that has the aim of calming your pooch down. But drugs are NOT a permanent answer to the problem. The only way to stop separation anxiety is to get to the root cause and treat it.

Most dog owners reward their pets when they cry. If you leave them alone for just a minute and they start crying then you rush back into the room to comfort them. You have to learn to only give a reward when their behavior is correct and what you are trying to achieve.

With young pups, you need to train them to settle down and be quiet for ever increasing periods of time. When they achieve this calmness and improve their patience then this is the time to reward them.

When you are out with your dog do you feel the need to interact with them all of the time? If you do then perhaps try to vary playtime activities, so your pal learns how to keep themselves entertained with things that are around them such as toys and balls.

You can overcome separation anxiety with good obedience trainingand, as always, based on positive reinforcement. You need to let your dog know what you expect from them and then reward the good behavior consistently so that they develop this as a habit. Your dog will learn the difference between good and bad behavior.

 

Train your pet to lay down while you leave them alone for ever increasing amounts of time. Do this in small steps but be consistent here. If your dog starts to cry or whine when you leave them then do not reward them for this. Reward them for being calm and waiting patiently for you to return.

Chewed shoes are common signs of separation anxiety – but maybe that’s because your furry friend associates those with the last thing you do before leaving them. Incorporate this into the training by putting on your jacket and shoes but DON’T LEAVE the house; just walk around the doing your usual chores or just sit on the settee relaxing – this will help break the association in their minds.

Can Crate Training help prevent Separation Anxiety?

I would personally prefer not to keep a dog in a locked crate for any length of time, but I do recognize that for some particularly stressed dogs, these can be a good way of helping overcome separation anxiety, as it provides an environment where they feel safe and secure.

Introduce your dog to the crate and get them to spend more and more time in it starting with short time periods. Make it cozy with their favorite blanket, give them their favorite food while they are in the crate and encourage them to relieve their stress in the crate with a chewable toy or a bone.

The crate should be the place where your pooch feels the most secure and has the most fun if you are with them or not. Make sure that the crate is large enough for your pet to stand up in and lie down comfortably in.

Practice leaving your dog when they are in the crate. Do this quietly and do not make any fuss. You can do things like opening the front door and starting your car. Go back into the room where your dog is and pay them no attention. You can smile and wave at your pooch if they are being quiet. If they are causing a commotion then ignore them.

Once they are used to the crate, you can actually start to leave the gate open and they will still use it, but they also have the freedom to walk around or sleep on the sofa (if allowed!).

At the end of the day it is important that you set the expectations of your pooch so that they accept that they do not have to be part of everything that you do. Always be consistent with your actions and make sure that other family members do the same.

Eventually they will come to understand that you love them and will always return to them.

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

www.fidoactive.com 

 

 

Adopt Don’t Shop…and Let the Fun Begin Early!

If you are considering adding a new furry friend to your family then you need to think carefully about how you will obtain your next best friend. Many people will think that a trip to the pet store is in order, but this is not necessarily the best thing to do. Adopting your new dog is much better, and in this post we will examine the reasons why adopting is the preferred choice.

Adopt one dog and you save two lives

Are you aware that in the United States there are 2 million shelter dogs euthanized every year? How heartbreaking is that? At the same time puppy mills are producing 2 million pooches that they supply to pet stores and elsewhere across the country.

There are just not enough dog adopters for the number of animals found in shelters. One of the main reasons for this is that people do not think about adopting from a shelter when they are looking for a new furry friend.

If you immediately think about a pet store then I really hope you will consider the alternative. Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue center will mean that,not only will you save a loving pooch by adding them to your family, you will also create a much needed space for some other poor animal, giving them a lifeline too.

Surrendered due to circumstances not bad behavior

Each year in the US around 3.3 million dogs enter shelters, but sadly only 1.6 of these canine companions are adopted. There is no logical reason for this, as animal shelters are full to the brim with healthy and happy pooches that just want to go home with you and lead a normal life as part of a loving family.

The dogs in shelters are mainly there because of human problems such as moving, divorce, financial difficulties or death of their owner. They were happy with their families and did not do anything wrong. Most of the dogs are already housetrained and well-socialized with people and other dogs because they were part of a loving family before.

 An adopted pooch will cost you less

If you go to a pet store for your new furry friend then you can easily spend from $500 to $1,000 and even more. The average cost of a dog adoption will be between $50 and $200. Also, you are likely to find that when you adopt a pooch their first vaccinations and neutering or spaying costs are included in the price.

Plus, because many shelter dogs will have housetraining already and some will also have been discipline trained, so this will save you money as well. Why pay over the odds for your new companion when you don’t have to?

Adopting your new friend will make you proud

You should be very proud if you have saved a pooch from an animal shelter. Tell the world about it! I always love it when I’m out walking and people stop to admire and pet my dog; I love it even more when I watch their jaws drop when I tell them I got him from the local rescue.

Oh, and remember to take selfies of you and your new best friend and get them out on social media. People will just love your pictures, and it will help to get the message across about adopting rather than buying.

Adopting puts pressure on the puppy mills

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) recently published statistics reporting that 34% of new dogs come from breeders while only 23% are adopted from a shelter. The term “breeders” is an interesting one. These numbers will contain animals purchased online, from a pet store or even a market.

The problem is that most of these pooches come from factory style puppy mills. They are profit driven businesses and the welfare of the animals comes a distant second. There are usually very inadequate living conditions in these puppy mills, and there is very little medical attention.

There are literally mom dogs held in cages just for breeding the next batch. These animals have very little human contact, and if the dogs don’t sell quickly then they end up euthanized, abandoned or sent to an auction.

There are very shady practices going on in some of these puppy mills. The only way to put them out of business is to stop buying dogs online, through classifieds and in pet stores. Adopting your next pet is the best way to make a stand against these dreadful places.

You can choose the dog that you want to adopt

A lot of people believe that if they adopt from a shelter then they will not have much of a choice and they won’t get a pure-bred dog. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can visit the Shelter Pet Project website and find puppies or adult dogs of every breed, color, size and temperament in shelters near you. 

Around 17 million people a year decide to add a pet to their family. If you are one of these then please adopt don’t buy. You will have saved your new best friend from a pitiful existence and you will also have changed their whole world.

As individuals, adopting one dog seems a drop in the ocean when there are at least 10000 shelter dogs euthanized EVERY DAY, but if 17 million people adopted, just think what a difference that would make.

Finally, please believe me when I say that there is no love than the love of a rescued dog – it’s as if they know what you have done for them and they will reward you with unconditional love, loyalty and devotion for life.

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team 

Dental Hygiene in Dogs – The Root of Many Evils

Your pooch relies on you to provide the dental care that they need. Before we start it is worth pointing out that your dog will not suffer with a similar number of cavities like we do. But they do suffer with similar dental problems such as gingivitis and plaque.

In fact, The American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of three have some form of gum disease.

If these kinds of problems are not treated, then your dog can suffer from worse problems such as kidney disease, liver and heart problems. So, it is essential that you take care of your dog’s teeth and this article will provide the tips and advice that you need to do just that.

Clean your Dog’s Teeth Properly

If you have never cleaned your furry friend’s teeth before then you are in for a treat! They will not be excited about it at all and you need to be a bit cunning to get the job done. It is best to go for teeth cleaning when your pooch is tired – say after a long walk. They will be a lot happier to sit and let you wield the toothbrush.

Start the teeth cleaning process slowly and speak soothingly to your pet as you make each attempt. If you do not manage an effective clean the first time around don’t worry – keep practicing every day until you get it right. Honestly, they will get used to it eventually if you persevere and like any training, remember to use positive reinforcement. I know it sounds strange to give them a treat after cleaning their teeth, but it’s not like giving your kid a sweet after they’ve cleaned theirs. Alternatively, you can give them their favorite toy to play with.

The earlier you start teeth cleaning the better. If your dog is older then they will take to it eventually. If you have a puppy then start straight away.

CARE: NEVER use human toothpaste for the job as it will contain fluoride which is dangerous for dogs. Be sure to buy special dog tooth paste for the job – and if you get a particularly stubborn hound who doesn’t like fresh minty breath, you can even get flavored toothpaste, so they think they’re actually getting something tasty whilst you’re doing the dreaded deed!

How eating and chewing benefits doggie dentures

It is even more important to clean your dog’s teeth regularly if they eat wet food rather than dry food. The reason is that wet food can stick to their teeth and cause decay more easily.

Your dog can clean their teeth through the act of chewing hard dental and hard rubber or nylon chew toys also massage their gums and exercise their oral structures. A nice bone to chew on will also help get rid of tartar build up and strengthen your dog’s teeth.

Look out for these possible dental problems

If you are brushing the teeth and you notice blood or your pooch cries out in pain then this is a sure sign they probably have a problem that needs professional attention.

Try to check inside your dog’s mouth regularly – like once every week. There are a number of symptoms that can indicate dental hygiene problems and these include:

  • Your canine has suddenly changed their eating habits
  • They are drooling excessively
  • You can see that they have a tooth missing
  • Their gums look swollen, overly red or there are signs of bleeding
  • You can see growths in their mouth
  • They have really bad breath
  • They have started to paw at their mouth

If you spot any of these then it is time to take your beloved pet for a check-up with the doggie dentist! You should visit the veterinarian at least once a year for an overall health check-up anyway and this will include an oral check, but please don’t delay until the annual appointment, if your pooch displays any of the above signs.

Us humans clean our teeth twice a day, so it should be no surprise that it’s recommended we clean our dog’s teeth once a day. But, in case you do skip it now and again, the daily addition of a dental hygiene chew to a regimen of tooth brushingevery other day has been proven to reduce the risk of gingivitis and accumulation of dental deposits (plaque, calculus and stain). There are lots of suitable chews available on the marketin various shapes and sizes – my dog loves getting his teeth into Dentastix or Greenies and they certainly seem to do the trick.

 

Help your pooch by paying particular attention to their dental care – it will avoid painful problems for them and save you a lot of unnecessary expense. That’s a win win in my book!

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

 

 

FidoActive donates a portion of sales revenue to charitable organizations in the USA for animal rescue and rehoming. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, which goes towards helping these incredibly worthy causes too.

Become a Neighborhood Chained Dog Detective!

Why chained dogs need YOUR help

Can you imagine being chained up for several hours each day? How would you feel if you could only move around a couple of yards? You would have to eat, drink, sleep and attend to your bathroom needs all in this tiny space. It wouldn’t be very nice would it?

There has been a growing awareness over the past few years through national campaigning by dog lovers, leading to the introduction of laws regarding the chaining of dogs in many (but not all!) States.  However, these laws are only enforceable if they are brought to the attention of the necessary authorities and that’s where the problem lies.

It is impossible to resource this centrally, meaning many poor dogs have not seen a jot of difference and continue to live a lonely and miserable existence in appalling conditions.

We want to help continue to highlight their plight and put theissue in perspective with this article, so that you understand the suffering that a dog experiences when chained up and what each and every one of us can doabout it.

Why do people chain up their pets?

Often people will chain up dogs with all of the best intentions. They know that their pooch enjoys being outdoors but they are busy and do not have the time to supervise their pet. They are also worried that if their canine does not have a chain or leash that they will run away.There is also a belief that a dog chained up outside will guard the home well but, in fact, they will do a better job if they are left inside the home.

If a dog is chained up what are the consequences?

Deprived of Social Interaction

Our canine friends like interaction with others and are social creatures. Chaining up a dog means you are depriving them of this interaction. In this situation it is possible that a pooch can change their behavior and even become hostile and aggressive, but this reaction is normally only through fear, as they can’t run away from strangers or other dogs that they perceive as a threat.

Become more Territorial

You probably already know that your dog is a territorial animal. By confining them to a very small space you will heighten this instinct. They can take it upon themselves to aggressivelydefend their small territorial area and this can be a problem for anyone that comes into contact with them.

If you keep your dog on a chain for long periods then you can cause deep psychological problems. Your dog can become unhappy, neurotic, aggressive and anxious. These problems are usually a result of the environment and when the poor pooch is actually unchained, they will normally resort back to being docile with no aggression – but ALWAYS approach a chained dog with caution.

Chains and other Restraints can cause Injuries or Death

A chain, leash or zip line can be dangerous on several fronts:

• Owners run the risk of their pooch experiencing back or neck injuries, and the chances of this happening increase significantly if the chain gets tangled up with something else.
• The potential of hanging through falling from a raised platform such as a deck or porch. This is too horrific to think about but sadly it happens far too often.
• 
They may accidentally knock over their food and water, resulting in hunger and dehydration.
 If the dog were to break free from a restraint then they may face injury or even death by wandering on to a busy road or highway.

Extreme Weather Exposure

Depending upon the location, chaining a dog can expose them to all kinds of problems such as extreme weather, bites from insects and even attacks from other animals. Often when a dog owner chains up there is an “out of sight out of mind” scenario. This is not intentional but the poor pooch suffers.

If there are severe weather extremes then a chain may restrict a dog’s ability to shelter in extremely hot or cold conditions. Also a dog may need more food or water. If the weather is really hot then water that is exposed will evaporate very quickly.

How YOU can help a chained dog

If you see a dog in your neighborhood that is constantly chained then please do everything that you can to stop this. People are busy but hopefully you can now understand how much these poor animals rely on caring animal lovers like you.

It is all too easy to for people to leave adog outside and then get involved in other things and forget about them. If a canine is chained up then this will make things a whole lot worse. Owners need to think about alternative ways to give their dog a good balance of indoor and outdoor life without the chain.

In manyStates chaining dogs up for too long is illegal, but it still happens. If you see a chained-updog here is what you can do:

 Have a conversation with the owner – talk to them politely and point out that their pet doesn’t look very happy/safe/comfortable on the chain and ask if there isanything you can do to help. The owner may be elderly and not as able to look after their dogs needs like they used to and unable to take them for walks.
 
If you notice that the dog is low on food and water then do what you can to give them more.
• 
It you get a hostile reception from the owner, then walk away and file a complaint with the local authorities or ASPCA– take pictures of the dog, note down the details of the residence and tell them everything you have observed.

These poor animals are reliant on being discovered by someone like you, so become a chained dog detective. When you are out walking,please beon the lookout for dogs constantly tied outside with chains or lines and be their voice, to secure a better future for them – a one they truly deserve!

Wishing you and every dog a happy and healthy life!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Help Take the Strain and Pain off Your Old Dog’s Joints

Just like humans, as our dogs get older, they get to the point where the mind is willing but the body isn’t quite as able! 

Not surprisingly it’s the joints that take the brunt of it, as they have to support the body 24/7, whether at work, play or relaxing. I know that our glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM based supplement for dogs helps alleviate the pain and increases the flexibility in damaged or arthritic joints.

However, there are other things that I have implemented to help take the strain off my old faithful’s joints and prevent painful accidents that could worsen his condition. I thought you might find it useful too…

If you’ve got an ageing pooch suffering with stiffness or arthritis too, or one that has previously undergone surgery for broken bones or torn ligaments, please check out the top tips below and see if you can help stop your furry best friend suffering in silence.

 

Top Tips to Help Ease Your Dog’s Painful Joints

• Provide a cushioned bed and position away from drafts

Most dogs sleep 12 hours a day.  Ease your pet’s pain by adding extra fleece or blankets to their bed, and be sure to keep their bed away from windows and other drafty locations.

Exercise for shorter periods but at regular intervals

Exercise is so important to break the vicious circle of joint decay.Pain reduces mobility, which leads to muscle wastage and weakening of the surrounding ligaments and tendons; the joints then become less stable, leading to more wear & tear, more joint decay and more pain.Exercise is therefore essential to keep the muscle tone necessary to support the joints, prevent the decay from worsening and lessen their pain.

Keep your Fido active but take care not to over exert!

Apply a warm water bottle for 15 minutes twice a day

This relaxes the muscles and also promotes blood circulation for faster healing. You can easily tuck one under their blanket when they go to rest after exercise and believe me, dogs love this comfort just as much as us humans!

Help them with obstacles and heights

So they can continue to enjoy their exercise and woodland walks, why not treat them to a harness coat with a strong handle
so you can help them out of water, lift them over obstacles like fallen trees, in and out of vehicles and up steps, without putting pressure on painful joints. Also, attaching the leash to the harness provides more control, helps to stop them pulling and relieves strain on their neck. Another great bonus is the harness will also help keep them dry, warm and promote good blood circulation at the same time! 

Jumping up onto porches or even into the car trunk can be even more difficult and painful, as they put more weight on their hind legs. For larger dogs, lifting them up may not be an option if they are too heavy for you (or you may be suffering from aching joints yourself!) In this case a ramp is an ideal solution to provide a gradient they can manage and help you at the same time.

Provide traction on slippery floors

Dogs, especially those with hip dysplasia, often have a hard time on slippery floors, such as vinyl, polished wood, tile or laminate, so lay carpet down or put a pet gate to keep them out of the area.
If your dog doesn’t travel in a crate, then you can install carpet or a non-slip liner on the back seat or cargo area of larger vehicles, SUVs, station wagons and vans, to provide better stability for your 4-legged friend and prevent them from being thrown around when you’re on the move.

Keep your dog out of damp, chilly weather

It’s not actually the cold and wet that causes the problem but fluid pressure within the joint. It’s the drop in atmospheric pressure that allows the joint tissues to swell, causing stiffness and discomfort. It’s not always possible to walk your dog at the most favorable times of the day, so just make sure they are kept warm or maybe consider indoor alternatives.

Hydrotherapy

Swimming allows the natural movement of muscles and joints in a buoyant environment and helps to build muscle around diseased joints, which in turn relieves the pressure on them when walking or running. The water’s warmer too so blood vessels can do their job properly, supplying healing nutrients to muscles and skin. It certainly helped my dog’s recovery from a cruciate ligament operation and it’s also a fun way to help a slightly porky pooch lose weight!

Important
: Ask your veterinarian about your dog’s suitability for hydrotherapy, just in case there’s a valid reason why they should not swim.

Massage

Massage the muscles around your dog’s hip joints, gently rubbing in a circular motion with your fingertips for ten minutes at the most. BUT pay attention to your companion’s response – If massage seems to irritate your dog’s hip, don’t continue.

Healthy Balanced Diet

Weight control is very important as extra weight puts more stress on the joints. A FidoActive supplement nugget can be given as a healthy treat instead of their normal titbits, so your best friend won’t think they’re in the ‘dog house’!

Positioning of feeding stations

Dog arthritis can be prevalent in any major joint; if your dog has shoulder or neck pain, raise up their water and food dishes so they don’t have to bend over.

Regular Check-ups

Remember to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian – not all conditions are visible to the eye in the early stages and you could save your best friend a lot of unnecessary pain.

I hope you find some of these tips help you to manage your dog’s pain and help them enjoy a happier and more active life.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

For more information about FidoActive and our all-natural supplements visit www.fidoactive.com or visit Amazon

 

 

 

 

FidoActive donates a portion of sales revenue to charitable organisations in the USA for animal rescue and rehoming. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, which goes towards helping these incredibly worthy causes too.