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 

 

 

Happy National Pet Owners Day!

Top 10 Legal Tips for Dog Owners

by Helen Broadley for FidoActive

 

In my book, any day with my furry menagerie is a happy pet owner’s day but, I guess like Valentine’s Day, it just prompts us to reflect on how lucky we are to have them in our lives.

Any dog owner appreciates how rewarding a pet’s companionship can be.  But, just like your human best friend, your furry equivalent may also (inadvertently of course!) get you into some legal trouble if you aren’t too careful!

So, in celebration of National Pet Owners Day, let’s “paws” for a few moments to share some top legal tips regarding dog ownership, provided by the legal eagles at FindLaw.

#1. Driving with pets can get you a ticket. Some states have an outright ban against driving while holding an animal on your lap. Others may allow cops to ticket you if your pet is distracting your driving or if they’re not properly harnessed in. Keep your pet as safe as any other member of the family when you hit the road.

 

#2. Who gets the pet after a breakup or divorce? For the most part, pets are seen as property under the law, so whoever paid for or adopted the pet will probably be the one to keep it after a divorce or breakup. Pet custody arrangements can be made, however.

 

 

#3. Service animals and apartments.Landlords need to provide reasonable accommodations for service animals and their owners, even if the building doesn’t allow pets. This is because service animals aren’t considered pets under the law.

 

#4. Phony service animal claims are illegal. Although service dogs aren’t required to wear specific identification tags under federal law, states may be able to charge dishonest owners who are passing off their dogs as “therapy dogs” with fraud.

 

#5. Consider creating a pet trust (if allowed in your state).  The law doesn’t allow you to leave money or property to your beloved pooch in your will BUT some states do make it legally possible by using a pet trust.

#6. Workplace pet policies. Businesses that allow pets should have a written pet policy in place to avoid potential liability.

 

#7. Suing for your pet’s injuries. If your pet was injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to get compensation for the costs incurred.

 

#8. Breed-specific animal laws. Some states prohibit or require insurance for specific breeds, so make sure you do your research before you bring your pup to a new state – especially if your pup is a pit bull or another breed commonly deemed “dangerous” by lawmakers.

 

#9. Quarantines. If you’re flying, many foreign countries, and states, Hawaii in particular, have strict rules on pet quarantines, which can sometimes last as long as 120 days. There are ways to avoid this, however. Some requirements include confirming vaccinations and presenting a health certificate; you’ll want to check the rules and regulations for your destination.

#10. Your pets may be able to sniff out crime. Dogs may be able to spot the bad guys, but you’ll probably need some more tangible evidence to prove your case beyond your canine’s instincts.

[Reference credits: http://www.findlaw.com/]

So, make sure you stay the right side of the law and enjoy National Pet Owners Day!

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

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team 

 

About Helen Broadley 

Helen Broadley is co-founder of FidoActive, a small business of life-long dog owners and dog lovers who have been motivated, by their own experiences, to create superior, all-natural products that promote good health in all canine companions. Helen has been surrounded by dogs since her childhood and been a dog parent all her adult life – from pedigrees to mutts – but she loves them all the same!

She regularly volunteers at animal shelters, often having that as her main vacation activity. FidoActive also supports the amazing work of many community rescue shelters across the USA through product donations, to help get their furry residents in tip-top condition whilst waiting for their forever home.

 

The FidoActive team believe wholeheartedly that the best way to reward their best friends’ unconditional love and loyalty is by helping them to have a healthy, happy and active life.

You can find out more about FidoActive and their all-natural products on their website: www.fidoactive.com

Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally
Active is what we want every dog to be!

 

 

Easter time is fast approaching, and for most of us, that means one thing: Chocolate!

While you might well be looking forward to involving your dog in your celebrations and Easter egg hunts, please remember (and tell the kids!) that chocolate is toxic to dogs and can lead to severe poisoning.

As we all know, our canine family members are very smart.  Their sense of smell may be as much as 100 times better than ours. Besides being able to discriminate between different smells, a dog has a phenomenal olfactory memory – they can remember smells long after being exposed to the original odor. That, coupled with their super-human hearing, explains why your pooch seems to appear from nowhere as soon as you start to tear the candy wrapper!

So be careful where you hide you chocolate stash! My friend once put hers under a beautifully decorated ‘Easter tree’ which ended up with an emergency trip to the vet, after their appropriately named hound ‘Snicker’ tucked into the whole family’s chocolate eggs!

While some dogs will get away with eating chocolate unscathed, it’s just not worth the risk. In the unfortunate event that they do manage to get their paws on a large portion of this forbidden candy, please seek the guidance of a vet immediately.

We therefore recommend that you keep some dog-safe treats or canine cookies to hand, so they don’t feel left out of the fun.

Why not try the canine cookie recipe below – you can knock up a batch in about half an hour. CARE: please ensure you use a peanut butter that is safe for pets and don’t end up replacing one poison with another! Look at the peanut butter jar ingredients list and ensure it does NOT contain the low-calorie sweetener xylitol which is extremely toxic to dogs.

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA DOG TREATS

 

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES

 

All you need is 4 ingredients for these hypoallergenic treats! And the coconut oil makes these so HEALTHY for your pup!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats, or more, as needed
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (CARE: must not contain xylitol)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, bananas, peanut butter and coconut oil. Add an additional 2 tablespoons oats at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky.
  3. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness then cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. (For a quick alternative to shape, simply roll the dough into small balls in your hands then flatten each with the palm of your hand or a fork to create small discs ¼ inch thick). Place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.*
  6. Let cool completely.

*Baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the treats. Serving size will also vary depending on the desired shapes and cookie cutters used.

Wishing you and your canine companion(s) a very happy Easter!

 

Helen Broadley and the FidoActive team

You can find out more about FidoActive and their Products on their website: www.fidoactive.com

Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally
Active is what we want every dog to be!