Pethealth - Dog Dialogue http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue Dog Dialogue - All things to do with dogs and their ways. Please note this blog is moderated. Only comments relating to dogs and their care and welfare will be published. Comments from SEO spammers are not published and will be deleted immediately. Why reward-based dog training triumphs over punishment http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/reward-based-dog-training-techniques <h1><strong>Punish the bad or reward the good?<img style="float: right;" title="Reward based training triumphs" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/hi5.jpg" alt="Reward based training triumphs" width="224" height="183" /></strong></h1> <p>There are two ways of changing your dog's behaviour - you either punish the behaviour you want to weaken or reward the behaviour you want to strengthen.</p> <h2><strong>Which is better?</strong></h2> <p>Mostly, rewarding the behaviour you want is better that punishing your dog's unwanted behaviour.</p> <p>The main reason for that is you can reward the behaviour you want many times per day but you can't punish the behaviour you don't want many times per day - unless you are cruel, heartless and uncaring.</p> <p>With reward-based training, you manufacture better results with speed, develop a stronger relationship with your dog and improve your dog's contentment and quality of life.</p> <h2><strong>What is reward-based training?</strong></h2> <p>Reward-based training is where you focus is on creating behaviour change using a reward when your dog exhibits the behaviour you want - or one that's getting progressively closer to what you want.</p> <p>That is in contrast to the most commonly-used means of punishment-based training which usually entails adding something unpleasant to reduce an unwanted behaviour.</p> <p>The interesting point is that whenever your dog is doing something wrong, you almost always have the choice of rewarding an alternative, more appropriate, behaviour or punishing the behaviour that annoys you.</p> <p><strong>That means you have a choice.</strong></p> <p>For example, if your dog is<strong> barking at the fence at another dog passing by</strong>, you could punish the dog by saying "No - bad dog", or you could throw a tin can with rocks inside at your dog or you could use a remote, electric stimulus collar.</p> <p>Alternatively you could command your dog to <strong><em>Come</em></strong> and <strong><em>Sit</em></strong> and combine that with rattling a food-treat container to indicate a reward is not far away.</p> <p><strong>Now it's your dog that has a choice.</strong></p> <p><strong><em>To bark, or to eat: that is the question: </em></strong><br /> <strong><em>Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to be a woofer, </em></strong><br /> <strong><em>Accepting the dins and screams of my enraged owners, </em></strong><br /> <strong><em>Or to take the charms of an alluring treat against this sea of troubles, </em></strong><br /> <strong><em>And by accepting that? To eat: To rest: To learn.</em></strong></p> <p>Apologies to Shakespeare but if you are close enough and your dog is food-focused, it's likely to work well.</p> <p><strong>The punishment technique above is a problem because:-</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong></strong>Your dog is not doing just one thing when you punish him or her - so you are expecting your dog to know which of the many behaviours it's doing at that poing is the wrong one. I am sorry but your dog is just not that smart.</li> <li>Punishment does not remove the dog away from the stimulus causing the problem - once the punishment stops the dog will go back to bark again which means you will have to punish your dog again. So, your dog becomes more confused.</li> <li>Punishment does not create a calm state - and if your dog is barking it needs calming.</li> <li>And punishment does not show your dog what he or she is supposed to do when another dog is passing by.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Rewarding your dog for coming away from the fence is good because:-</strong></p> <ul> <li>When your dog gets a reward for the <strong><em>Come</em></strong> and then the <strong><em>Sit</em></strong> you are rewarding a pin-point sequence of just two actions. Even the dumbest dog gets that.</li> <li>Rewarding the <strong><em>Come</em></strong> even without the <strong><em>Sit</em></strong>, moves your dog away from the stimulus of the passing dog. Your dog starts to become calmer.</li> <li>Creating the <strong><em>Sit</em></strong> and maintaining that for five seconds, creates a very calm state where your dog is no longer thinking about barking.</li> <li>And it shows your dog what he or she is supposed to do when a dog passes.</li> <li>And even if your dog is not good with <strong><em>Come</em></strong> and <strong><em>Sit</em></strong>, rewarding just a bit of progress towards that goal is terrific because you can keep rewarding that simple sequence in many other situations and the behaviour is bound to become stronger.</li> </ul> <p>Rewarding 'little bits' of an achievement towards an ultimate clearly defined goal is called <strong>shaping a behaviour</strong> and is one of the strengths of reward-based behaviour.</p> <p>Shaping creates a situation where your dog is enthusiastic about learning a new behaviour and will rapidly accumulate new knowledge. Just be clear on your own goal then shape your dog's behaviour to achieve that goal.</p> <h2><strong>Punishers you should try to avoid</strong></h2> <ul> <li>choker chains and prong collars</li> <li>slapping, hitting or kicking your dog</li> <li>the awful technique of stringing dogs up by their collar until with their four feet off the ground</li> <li>electric stimulus collars</li> <li>ultrasonic punishers</li> <li>throwing tin cans</li> <li>using a rolled newspaper</li> <li>using BAH, AH AH, NO, and your dog's name as a punisher</li> <li>the 'dominant down' - in fact anything to do with the dominance concept</li> <li>scruffing your dog</li> </ul> <p><strong>Reward-based training triumphs because it:-</strong></p> <ul> <li>encourages your dog to think for itself.</li> <li>gives your pet a better chance to learn what you are teaching.</li> <li>works well with hand actions.</li> <li>helps new 'dog knowledge' to accumulate quickly.</li> </ul> <h3><strong><em>Example - Baby the Body Basher</em></strong><strong></strong></h3> <p><em>A principle of reward-based training is that, whenever you can, you<strong> ignore the bad but reward the good after creating it.</strong></em><strong><em></em></strong></p> <p><em>Let&rsquo;s take Baby for example.</em></p> <p><em>Baby is a loving, bouncy Maltese Terrier cross, who loves jumping up on her owners to get attention.</em></p> <p><em>Her owner's reaction is to automatically push Baby down shouting <strong>NO! BAD DOG</strong>.</em></p> <p><em>Baby is not getting the message because when her owners push her away and shout at her, Baby's need for attention is not being satisfied.</em></p> <p><em>The reward-based solution is to create a Win-Win situation.</em></p> <p><em>Baby's owners were encouraged to simply turn around with their arms folded and ignore her when she jumps.</em></p> <p><em>Immediately they then encouraged Baby to SIT for 5 seconds. (That was easy to create with food).</em></p> <p><em>Then they rewarded the sit after five seconds.</em></p> <ul> <li>Baby gets what she wants - the attention.</li> <li>Her owners get what they want - a non-jumping dog</li> <li>And the Sit-for-five-seconds can be repeated hundreds of times per week very easily</li> </ul> <h2><strong>What can you use as a reward?</strong></h2> <p>Many items can be used as rewards - not just food.</p> <p><strong>The list can include:-</strong></p> <ul> <li>small food treats (no bigger than your smallest fingernail)</li> <li>toys</li> <li>pats, strokes, cuddles.</li> <li>squeaky voices</li> <li>a smile</li> </ul> <p>It&rsquo;s a good idea to use a variety of rewards, rather than just sticking to one or two.</p> <p>You could, for example, use a treat after one behaviour, a toy after another, and a squeaky voice and cuddles after another. In fact, mixing the rewards up like this is a good way to prevent your dog from becoming dependent on only one type of reward &ndash; we&rsquo;ve all heard of the dogs that won&rsquo;t do anything unless there&rsquo;s food involved.</p> <p>So now that you know what reward-based training is all about try it with your own dog. All you need is a few rewards, pats, and a positive attitude.</p> <h2><strong>More information</strong></h2> <p><strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/dog-training-brisbane-and-pet-behaviour-management">Dog training pet pick</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10352">Get help with your pet's behaviour</a></strong></p> Nine simple steps to combat your dog's storm fear http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/nine-simple-steps-to-combat-your-dogs-storm-fear <h1><strong>Dogs with noise phobias worsen without effective remedies<img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Storm fears are deadly" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/lighteningSMALL.JPG" alt="Storm fears are deadly" width="144" height="177" /></strong></h1> <p>We have been hammered by bad weather of late.</p> <p>That's no news to you but how is your dog coping?</p> <p>If your dog is fearful of thunder he or she is exhibiting one of the most common phobias that affect dogs.</p> <p>Dogs also react to lightening, explosive noises, hot-air balloons and many other noises that are part of a dog&rsquo;s life in a human environment.</p> <h3><strong>If your dog is sensitive to thunder, the nine point plan below will help.</strong></h3> <p><em>For solutions to noises other than thunder please work through our <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/noise-fears-pet-behaviour">Noise Fear Pet Pick</a>.</em></p> <h2><strong>1. Predict the problem</strong></h2> <p>When you compare your dog&rsquo;s fear of thunder with other noises that may worry it, thunder is&nbsp;different. Thunder is&nbsp;reasonably&nbsp;<strong>predictable </strong>if you listen to weather forecasts, the radio or look at weather or radar websites.</p> <ul> <li>They mostly occur in the afternoons and less so in the evenings or overnight</li> <li>Weather forecasters over-predict thunderstorms (which is better than under-prediction)</li> </ul> <p><strong>The major problem with thunderstorms is that:-</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Your dog hears the thunder booms and lightening cracks</strong></li> <li><strong>Your dog will see the ominous darnkess before the storm</strong></li> <li><strong>Your dog will feel the storm if he or she is left outside during a storm</strong></li> <li><strong>And your dog will smell the approach of the storm which is why you dog is so able to predict the storm before you can.</strong></li> </ul> <p>So that means, predict the storm,<strong>take action BEFORE</strong> the storm, and above all remove your dog from your garden and place is a safe sound-proof location.</p> <h2><strong>2. Be home with your dog</strong></h2> <p>The worst problem is when your dog experiences a thunder fear when you are <strong>away from him or her.</strong> Your dog will be much more fearful if left alone during a thunderstorm. So, if you have predicted that a storm&nbsp;will occur, <strong>be home with your dog at that time if at all possible of have someone care for your dog.</strong></p> <h2><strong>3. Remove your dog from your garden</strong></h2> <p><strong>Dogs left outside </strong>during a thunderstorm&nbsp;are much more seriously affected than dogs which are inside. Dogs left outside will attempt to <strong>escape</strong> form your yard or to &lsquo;<strong>inscape</strong>&rsquo; into your home. While the damage to your fences and your home can be extreme and costly it&rsquo;s <strong>the damage your dog could do to itself that is dangerous &ndash; or deadly. </strong></p> <p>The best location for your dog is the <strong>most sound-proof area</strong> of your home.</p> <h2><strong>4. Place your dog in a sound-proof Den</strong></h2> <p>You know thunder is&nbsp;noisy, looks scarey, smells a lot and your dog will feel it if outside.&nbsp;&nbsp;So an obvious move is to move your dog to a <strong>sound-proof room </strong>inside your home where he or she will not hear, see, smell and feel the storm.</p> <p>This room is called a <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/denning-a-dog-for-noise-phobia-and-separation-anxiety-treatment"><strong>Den</strong>.</a></p> <p>Go from room to room to find the most sound-proof location but you are likely to find that:-</p> <ul> <li><strong>Brick walls</strong> are much better at sound proofing than timber walls and block walls (e.g. Besser block walls) are often the best</li> <li><strong>Walk in wardrobes</strong> are often very sound proof because they are surrounded by many walls and the texture of your clothes (and the smell of your shoes) may help your dog to be comforted</li> <li>Stop firework noise entering through windows of your Den by covering the windows with heavy curtains.</li> <ul> <li><strong>Foam rubber </strong>cut to fit the window cavity is ideal</li> <li>Cut an old mattress to fit or visit your local foam rubber shop with the dimensions of the window and they will cut the foam rubber to fit.</li> <li>If needed <strong>build a sound-proof </strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/denning-a-dog-for-noise-phobia-and-separation-anxiety-treatment"><strong>Den</strong></a><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20120422034748/http:/www.pethealth.com.au/Page/denning-a-dog-for-noise-phobia-and-separation-anxiety-treatment" target="_blank">.</a> using sound proof wall cladding. You local hardware store will help with that</li> </ul> </ul> <h2><strong>5. Use masking noise</strong></h2> <p>Another way of reducing the noise is to mask it by adding other noises to the Den your dog is in. This is the same principle as the music used in shopping centres to mask the noise of activity in the shop.</p> <p>Play a <strong>radio</strong> in the Den or better still, use our <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/frightful-noises-audio-cd"><strong>Frightful Noises Audio CD</strong></a> to teach your dog not to react to fireworks and then use the firework tracks on the Audio CD to mask the real firework noise. (More details below).</p> <h2><strong>6. Use medication where needed</strong></h2> <p>If your dog is seriously affected, your vet will be able to prescribe <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/medications-for-anxious-pets"><strong>medication</strong></a> that may help. Generally speaking a &lsquo;when you need it&rsquo; occasional use medication can be helpful but ..</p> <ul> <li>Ask your vet to avoid heavy tranquilisers if possible &ndash; some tranquilisers can make dogs more sensitive to noises</li> <li>You MUST test the dose needed BEFORE the event to know:-</li> <ul> <li>what <strong>dose</strong> is effective</li> <li>how long it <strong>takes to work</strong> and</li> <li>how long <strong>it lasts for </strong></li> </ul> </ul> <p>That will allow you to use the right dose <strong>long enough before</strong> the fireworks to help your dog.</p> <p>Some pet owners find that <strong>homeopathic</strong> preparations are useful.</p> <h2><strong>7. Use Pheromones</strong></h2> <p>Dog pheromones (called the<a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/adaptil-for-dogs-ceva-products-pheromones"><strong> Dog Appeasing Pheromone</strong></a>) can be very effective for calming noise-fearful dogs with up to 70% effectiveness.</p> <p>These will not work for dogs that are outside but they combine very will when placed inside a sound-proof Den.</p> <p>You will find more details, including podcasts, on our <strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/pheromone-therapy-for-pets-adaptil-and-feliway">Pheromone Pet Pick.</a> </strong></p> <h2><strong>8. Practice calming strategies</strong></h2> <p>When your dog is panicking, it needs to develop a calm demeanour.</p> <p>Thus, your job is to do whatever you need to do to <strong>create calmness. </strong></p> <p>Sometimes that DOES mean <strong>giving the dog comfort and attention</strong> when it&rsquo;s panicking. Many advise that &lsquo;praising the fear&rsquo; by giving a panicking dog attention rewards the panic.</p> <p>This is nonsense.</p> <p>A panicking dog is not able to learn. He or she is far too &lsquo;emotional&rsquo; to consider you may be rewarding its fear.</p> <p>You may be able to calm your dog by:-</p> <ul> <li>Using calming <strong>massage</strong> concentrating on the major muscle groups such as the cheek, forehead, neck and shoulder muscles</li> <li>Using firm finger-tip massage doing a circle about the size of a 50 cent piece. Use your thumb and index finger in tandem</li> <li>Using a novel device called a <strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/calming-caps">Calming Cap</a></strong> in combination with a <strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/lead-walking-accessories">Gentle Leader</a> </strong></li> <ul> <li>these two devices used together can have a significant calming effect on dogs but your dog needs to be trained to happily accept both before the firework event</li> </ul> <li>Wrapping your dog&rsquo;s body tightly with a <strong>towel</strong></li> <li>Giving your dog a<strong> firm hug</strong> around his or her chest</li> <li>And showing your dog YOU are calm by:-</li> <ul> <li>cradling your dog&rsquo;s face in your hands as if it was a football and <strong>make it look at you</strong></li> <li>then <strong>blinking</strong> your eyes as if you were falling asleep</li> <li>show <strong>a soft smile</strong> (and certainly not a worried expression)</li> <li>and <strong>whispering</strong> to your dog is the softest whisper you can manage.</li> </ul> </ul> <h2><strong>9. Teach your dog to tolerate thunder noise</strong></h2> <p>Desensitising your dog to the noise of fireworks is often possible using quality recordings of thunder. These recordings are incorporated into the <strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/frightful-noises-audio-cd">Frightful Noises Audio CD</a>.</strong></p> <p>There are more details on this process <strong>here</strong> but the steps are:-</p> <ul> <li>Determine if the recording, when played through your audio equipment, does alarm your dog but do this once only.</li> <li>If so, expose your dog to a level of the recording that causes NO fear and repeat that daily for a few days.</li> <li>Then incrementally increase the volume of the noise daily while ensuring your dog remains calm and content.</li> <li>Once successful, the same noise tracks can be used mask the noise of fireworks as detailed in section 5 above.</li> <li>If the recording played through your audio equipment does NOT alarm your dog, then you can immediately move to using this as a masking (see section 5).</li> </ul> <p>Solving fear of noises is very complex and difficult. If you want personal assistance with this problem please contact our consulting rooms on 07 3341 9153 or <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10352"><strong>complete an assessment form.</strong></a></p> <h2><strong>Other information of use</strong></h2> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10145">Nine Steps to Calm Your Dog In Thunder</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/noise-fears-pet-behaviour">Noise Fear Pet Pick</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/escaping-dog-pet-pick">Escaping Dog Pet Pick</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/separation-anxiety-in-dogs-pet-pick">Separation Anxiety Pet Pick</a></p> <strong>http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/nine-steps-to-calm-your-dog-in-thunder-noise-fears</strong> Oh Yuk! http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/when-dogs-eat-bad-things <h2 align="center"><strong>When dogs eat bad things...</strong></h2> <p>You don't really want to read this! Dogs really do some revolting things occasionally but when your dog eats its own droppings, it can really make your stomach turn - especially when it wants to come and greet you afterwards with that oh-so-lovely Fetid Fido grin.</p> <p>I am sure you do not want any more gory details, but some dogs eat their droppings when their produce has matured on the ground for a little while. Some eat them while they are factory fresh and steaming and others prefer the offerings of other animals, especially cattle, horses, cats and kangaroos.</p> <p>Just to prove there is a word for everything - the term for this charming behaviour is coprophagia.</p> <h3><strong>What are the solutions?</strong></h3> <p>Firstly, ensure your dog has no medical reason for its wayward behaviours. Ask your veterinarian to test your dog's stool for parasites of any type. Your veterinarian may also wish to test the functioning of your dog's pancreas.</p> <p>Put Pooch onto a highly digestible and nutritionally <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/pet-nutrition-pet-care">balanced diet</a> to eliminate any chance that a dietary problem is the cause.</p> <p>The digestibility will ensure that it can extract as many nutrients as possible from the food presented and will reduce the volume of faeces produced.</p> <p>The faeces will also be consistent in form and nature. Lastly, such a diet will ensure that no dietary deficiency is causing the coprophagia.</p> <p>If your dog has a dietary allergy causing bowel irritation, then this may lead to coprophagia too. Therefore, to normalise bowel function even further, it is also a good idea to feed your dog a restricted protein or hypoallergenic diet. These diets contain protein sources that are not commonly used in dog food.</p> <p>A suitable diet to achieve all the above is available from your veterinarian.</p> <h3><strong>Behavioural Remedies</strong></h3> <p>Having eliminated any medical cause, now turn to behavioural therapy.</p> <p>Bored dogs that live in small backyards and have dull lifestyles often practice coprophagia. Such dogs need the <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/no-bored-dogs-pet-pick">No Bored Dogs Routine</a> technique to blow away boredom.</p> <p>To keep a dog on its toes and to provide brain work, a <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/dog_toys">Kong Toy</a> is perfect. These pyramid shaped balls bounce unpredictably and are great for aerobic exercise.</p> <p>When you have finished playing with your dog, you can place some food treats in the hole in the middle of the Kong and leave it with your dog. Pooch will then spend quite some time exercising its brain and working out how to get the food out of the hole.</p> <p>Training the dog not to eat its own produce, or those of others, can be done in a variety of ways, but, how can you train the dog if you do not know when it is going to gobble the googlies?</p> <p>Try to make the passage of your dog's own googlies more predictable.</p> <p>Generally your dog will want to soil within an hour or so of eating. If possible, restrict it to one meal a day. Conveniently time the meal so that an hour afterwards you can watch the dog closely. Perhaps you will need to keep the dog inside the house so that you will know when it wants to go out.</p> <p>Try to catch the soiling behaviour so that you can either praise the leaving-it-where-it-is behaviour or softly discipline the google-gobbling behaviour</p> <p>When motions are produced, praise the leaving behaviour. Use a technique I call the A Good Dog Routine for this. Wait till your dog passes its offering, then,in a kind voice say 'leave'. Wait for about five seconds, and if Pooch does 'leave it' call him or her to you and liberally praise this sequence of good behaviours.</p> <p>The above method is the preferable one. However, occasionally, disciplining googly gobbling is necessary. The method is similar to the last but with a different emphasis. It is a process I call the ABad Dog, Good Dog Routine.</p> <p>Timing is critical. Wait until Pooch goes to take a mouthful. Then, in a very stern voice, shout 'Leave'. The voice should be as sudden as a gun shot and be stern enough to distract and punish the dog. Wait for five seconds to see if you have had effect. Call the dog to you, make it Sit and Stay, and then praise this alternative good dog behaviour.</p> <p>Usually, the '<em>Bad Dog Good Dog Routine'</em> is replaced in time with the '<em>Good Dog Routine' </em>as the dog learns and punishment is no longer needed.</p> <p>A process I call the 'Stool Pigeon' approach can be tried too. This is a form of 'self-discipline'. Leave a tasty-looking stool in an obvious spot but cover the stool with a hot sauce or a bittering spray such as Bitravet (available from veterinary surgeons). It is even better if the sauce or Bitravet is injected into the stool so your dog cannot smell the additives.</p> Lastly, a product called <em>Wild Forage</em> (available from our office) is also useful. When added to the dog's diet this often helps to control coprophagia.<br /> <br /> <br /> If you need help with this problem, feel free to <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/veterinary-behaviourist-consultations-and-services">book a consultation with Dr Cam</a> - he's seen this many times before! Caring for Your Pets at Holiday Time http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/caring-for-your-pets-at-holiday-time <h2><strong>Holidays are complicated when you have pets. What are you going to do with them? Do you take your pets with you or leave them behind? <img style="float: right; border: 0px;" title="This car is packed for a good time" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/Dogs/Travelwithpets.jpg" alt="This car is packed for a good time" width="166" height="192" /> </strong></h2> <p>There are many effective and easy remedies you can choose when it comes to who should care for your pets when you are away on holiday.</p> <p>I am sure you won't practice what some irresponsible holiday makers do. Some find a pet too much inconvenience and think nothing of&nbsp; dumping their cat or dog before they go away.</p> <p>Certainly leaving your pets unattended at home is also not an option. Such lonely animals often escape when the boredom of solitude hits. These stray pets often suffer injuries from accidents and they can become lost.</p> <p>Of course most people are very responsible and want to ensure their pets are safe while they are away.</p> <h2><strong>Can you take your pet with you?</strong></h2> <p>Many folk couldn't bear to be without their pets when they go off for some rest and recreation. If you can take your pets with you then they will enjoy the change in routine as much as you.</p> <p>Be careful if you are going camping and save embarrassment.&nbsp; <strong>Many camping grounds are National Parks where pets are totally prohibited.</strong></p> <p>Look for a book produced by&nbsp; Life - Be In It called Holidaying with your Dogs.&nbsp; It lists a variety of camping grounds and accommodation alternatives which allow dogs.</p> <p>There are also many farm-stay organisations which are very happy to allow you to take your pets.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Boarding Your Pet </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you are intending to book your dog or cat into a boarding kennel, then ensure you do so months before. Many boarding kennels and catteries book out for the Christmas and Easter holidays months in advance. Other holiday periods are almost as bad.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I always advise pet owners to view their pet's potential accommodation to ensure the facilities are clean and well managed. Boarding kennel owners are usually happy with this but you may have to arrange the visit with them beforehand. In a boarding kennel, there are certain times of the day when the owners cannot allow visitors through due to the potential of noise from the dogs barking and the disturbance visitors may cause to other scheduled duties.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If a kennel owner flatly refuses, then I would go elsewhere.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Home Visit Services </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Several organisations offer a home visit service for pets. With such services, the pets are left at home and the care-giver visits during the day to feed and exercise the pets. They will water your plants and also provide other services. For pets with the right temperament, this is a good alternative.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>However, be aware that your pet will still be alone for most of the day and many pets will not tolerate this.</strong> If your pet is very attached to you it may not be content if you are gone for a long period. Another alternative may be better.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>House Sitters </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many folk will have a house-sitter stay in their home when they are away.&nbsp; The pet stays in its home environment and that can be a very effective remedy.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The pets often enjoy the new face and the small change in routine.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Naturally, the house-sitter needs to have good credentials. I have friends who do this and it seems to work very well for the home owner and the house sitter.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>A Holiday With Relatives </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Alternatively, having your pets cared for at the home of a friend or relative is a good idea.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If this is your preference, check that the fences will prevent your pet escaping.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Why not take your pet to visit this friend a few times before the holiday so it can acquaint itself with their house and garden?</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Identification is Vital</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Lastly, no matter the system of care you use when you are on holiday, be sure to fully identify your pet with tags or a microchip. Should your pet roam while you are away, identification will assist in its return to you otherwise, you may never see it again.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Holiday Health Care<br /></strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Remember that your pet will need to have its vaccinations up to date before being admitted into the kennels. For your pet's protection, its vaccinations should be given at least 10 days before the date of boarding as the vaccines won't cause immunity immediately.</p> <p>While your veterinarian will advise more fully, a <strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/caring-for-a-new-puppy">C5 vaccine</a></strong> covers your dog for both of the germs that can cause Canine Cough and those that cause Distemper, Parvovirus and Canine Hepatitis virus. Canine Cough is a contagious upper respiratory condition that can be a problem wherever dogs group together - especially in kennels.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For cats, the<a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=111"> <strong>F3 vaccine</strong></a> is the minimum needed but you may also like to ask your vet about some of the new vaccines that are now available for diseases such feline leukaemia and feline AIDS.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This is also a good time to have your dog or cat wormed with an all-wormer tablet and to check that their heartworm preventative is up to date.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are many alternatives for your dog's heartworm preventative, but my advice is to consider the<a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/once-a-year-heartworm-prevention"> <strong>Once-A-Year Heartworm Injection</strong></a> which you can have done at the same time that you have your pet's annual vaccinations.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Don't forget a bath or at least a good flea treatment is essential and if your pet is on medication of any sort, for example for arthritis or anxiety disorders, now is a good time to ensure you are well stocked with medication.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>With a little forethought, you and your pets will have a happy holiday and you won't be dogged by the hassles that hound many others.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/holiday-pet-care">Back to Holiday Care Pet Pick</a></p> Easter Feast http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/easter-feast <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="float: left; margin: 5px; border: 0pt none;" title="Easter eggs" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/Newsltr/Easter%20egg.JPG" alt="Easter eggs" width="163" height="198" />Easter is just a few sleeps away with all the fun of the feast and, if your house is like mine, there will be chocolate eggs a plenty. And with every scrumptious egg being unwrapped, there will be a pooch or a puss with a 'Me too, please' expression on its&nbsp; face.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Now, on occasion, you have to be cruel to be kind, and this is such an occasion. Chocolate and pets are not a good combination. Now a small piece will not cause any damage, but some impatient pets will plan a seek-and-destroy mission and will discover the stash of Easter eggs.&nbsp; That's where problems will start.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Large amounts of chocolate can be dangerous for pets. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If your dog eats too much chocolate, it could become over-excited and hyperactive. Due to the diuretic effect, it may pass large volumes of urine and it will be unusually thirsty. Vomiting and diarrhoea are also common but it is the effect of theobromine on your dog's heart that is the most dangerous.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Theobromine will either increase your dog's heart rate or may cause the heart to beat irregularly. Death is quite possible, especially if your dog exercises after the binge.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is possible for a pet to eat a large quantity of chocolate and not show the effect for some hours afterwards. Death can occur within 24 hours.</p> <table style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 12pt; color: #1c58a1; font-family: Arial; border-collapse: collapse; background-color: #97bee7; border: 1px solid #1c58a1; width: 75%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="100%"> <p style="font-family: Arial; font-size: small; color: #1c58a1; text-align: center;"><span style="color: #1c58a1; font-family: Arial; font-size: small;"><strong>Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocol</strong></span><strong><span style="color: #1c58a1; font-family: Arial; font-size: small;">ate being the least dangerous.</span></strong></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p style="text-align: left;"><br /><strong>Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms</strong>. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The good news is that there are many other ways to help your pet celebrate Easter that don't rely on chocolate and that are a lot more fun for Pooch and Puss.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>An Easter Bon-Bon</strong></h2> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Easter bon-bon" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/foldingovertheend.jpg" alt="Easter bon-bon" width="200" height="133" /></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Use a toilet roll core as an Easter bon-bon. For dogs, fill the core with sensible food treats, fold the ends over and wrap it in colourful paper. Let Pooch do the unwrapping because for dogs, that most of the fun.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Cats are a bit more restrained in their gluttony so rather than wrapping the bon-bon, fold just one end over and place some flavoursome treats inside. Allow the furry paw to explore the toiler roll core.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">You can achieve the same with a tooth-paste carton and for big dogs, hide a raw, meaty bone inside a wrapped cereal box.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Frozen Gloup </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">For another Easter delight, start with an empty margarine container. Fill this will nutritious snacks such as dry food, some liver treats, maybe a chicken wing or an ox tail or a even a lump of teeth-flossing tough steak. Now the finishing touch - poor some vegemite broth or lactose-free milk (pets don't tolerate cow's m<img style="float: left; margin: 5px; border: 0pt none;" title="Beagle_puppy_white" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/Beagle_Puppy_White.jpg" alt="Beagle_puppy_white" width="150" height="150" />ilk well) over the whole lot and freeze it!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Present that to your pooch for its Easter surprise and, while you might think the Gloup is revolting, your Pooch will love the puzzle of working out how to remove the goodies and the bone from inside the ice puzzle.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Chocolate Meat Balls</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">For those of you that cannot resist the temptation to give Pooch or Puss a small amount of chocolate, try this safe delight.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Roll a dessertspoon of raw mince into a ball and freeze it.&nbsp; Now cover the whole frozen rissole with the milk-chocolate version of Ice Magic and when it sets, give that to your pets!!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">They will think all their Christmases have come at Easter!&nbsp; This small amount of chocolate is quite safe.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But if you want to be really safe, there are many carob-flavoured dog treats that your pooch will love.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Keep yourself safe over Easter!</p> <p><strong>More information</strong> </p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/pet-nutrition-pet-care"><strong>To Pet Nutrition Pet Pick</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/human-foods-that-poison-pets"><strong>Other Poisonous Foods</strong></a></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Easter bon-bon" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/foldingovertheend.jpg" alt="Easter bon-bon" width="200" height="133" /></h2> Eliminating Easter Escaping http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/when-dogs-roam <h1 style="text-align: center;"><strong>Banish Backyard Boredom this Easter</strong></h1> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong></strong><strong>We ask much of our 21st century canines</strong>. We confine and constrict them to a minuscule morsel of mother earth in our back yards, thinking little of their yearning for the freedom of the open spaces that were once the provinces of their ancestors eons before.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We leave daily for work, always at the same time and always in the same manner, with Fido watching every repetitious move. The poor old pooch is left alone, day after day, in the same old back yard, in the same old way, at the same old time.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">You probably take Fido for walks along the street, even on a daily basis. Fido will enjoy that for sure, but on your return, you discard Fido in the boring old back yard again. The street is interesting, stimulating and changing, associated with adventure, fun and excitement. The backyard is ..... dull, boring, routine and uniform, associated with the hum drum 'normalness' of life.&nbsp; Nothing changes, nothing happens, no excitement occurs.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">And some dogs even <em>hate </em>their back yard because of the traumas they have experienced.</p> <h2 style="text-align: left;"><strong>Escaping from Back Yard Boredom Blues</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: left;">Considering so many of us work 50 - 60 hour weeks, it is far from surprising that backyard boredom is an increasingly common ill with dogs. It is also not surprising that the wand<strong></strong>erlust often strikes and Fido flees for the freedom of the fiords, to explore, have fun and to enrich his own lifestyle!</p> <p style="text-align: left;">However, if you allow Fido such freedom, problems are bound to arise. Dogs which are allowed to roam usually <strong><img style="margin: 5px; float: right;" title="Beagle_Pup_escaping-SML" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/Beagle_Pup_escaping-SML.jpg" alt="Beagle_Pup_escaping-SML" width="200" height="300" /></strong>have a short life span and are never popular. They are often seriously maimed or killed by cars. They are commonly baited or shot because of the nuisance they cause an<strong></strong>d t<strong></strong>hey often roam so far that they become lost or stolen, never to be seen again.</p> <h2 style="text-align: left;"><strong>Good Fences Prevent Escaping</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: left;">You have several solutions that you can utilise to prevent your dog from roaming the street.&nbsp; The easiest and most obvious solution is to construct a fence that is secure enough to keep your dog in your own property and out of your neighbour's. However, you should also think about the boring nature of the backyard and do all you can to solve that problem and whether having the pet <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/desexing-do-your-dog-a-favour">neutered </a>will help.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">A good fence will solve most problems and the rule the 'bigger the better' is a reasonable one.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">'What not to use' is the first consideration. Chicken wire is not suitable for a dog enclosure as it is too weak and barbed wire should never be considered. Mesh with wide gaps is also a danger as a dog that has a need to escape can often stretch the mesh sufficiently to get its head and neck caught. The results are often very dangerous.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">A chain mesh and pipe fence is the standard type of dog fence, and is probably the cheapest. It should have a tension wire at ground level to which you should securely attach the mesh, and another at the top. Ideally, you should install a horizontal pipe at the top of the fence as this will give additional strength.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">A picket fence makes a good dog enclosure, especially as it partially obscures visual access to the street outside, thus reducing barking. However, there is a significant danger with picket fences. Dogs which try to jump fences often get their paws lodged between the pickets at the top of the fence. I have known dogs that have died from being caught in such fences when their owners were away. You can easily prevent this danger. All you need to do is to cover the gap between each picket at the top with a horizontal paling, running the entire length of the fence.</p> <h2 style="text-align: left;"><strong>Special Fences for Ballistic Barkers </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: left;">For dogs that are chronic barkers, a solid fence, usually a wooden one, is well worth consideration. The common 'good neighbour' fence is ideal.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Dedicated 'Pavarotti Pooches' also benefit by being secured away from the boundary fence&nbsp; facing the main cause of&nbsp; barking. This is usually, but not always, the street. Such fences commonly extend from the side of the house, leaving a dog-free front garden and a doggy back yard. Having achieved this, enriching the back yard environment is very important. This is discussed later. When distanced from the continual stimuli of the street, many previously noisy dogs become surprisingly quiet and peaceful.</p> <h2 style="text-align: left;"><strong>Fences for Escaping Experts </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: left;">Some dogs are so intent on escaping that they will do all they can to find a weak portion of a fence. If they can't find one, they will create it.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img style="float: left; margin: 5px;" title="Sad_dog_at_fence-SML" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/Sad_dog_at_fence-SML.jpg" alt="Sad_dog_at_fence-SML" width="200" height="132" />The problem with such dogs is that the more they escape, the more they are reinforcing their own behaviour. For such dogs, the escaping routine can be very difficult to solve.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">For such dogs, a secure fence is vital. A concrete footing at the bottom of the fence is easy to construct and will prevent the dog from digging under the fence to escape. It is ideal if you bury the bottom of the fence in the cement, or for pipe and mesh fences, if you can place a horizontal footing pipe just above the concrete footing.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The best dog fence by far is a solid wooden fence, where the horizontal supporting beams are on the opposite sides of the fence to where the dog is housed. Many dogs are able to use the horizontal beams as a ladder to help them get over the fence.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">For those escape artists that jump or climb the fence, sometimes making the fence higher is not the answer as they still manage to jump or climb. The best solution is to construct a 'lean-too' section on top of the fence. This is an attachment, angled at forty-five degrees and facing inwards. You can construct this easily by attaching angled steel to each post and placing chain netting between each angled section.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The effect is that the dog cannot climb the fence due to the angled section, and cannot jump the fence because of the appearance of width the fence now has.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">For human safety, ensure that the angled sections are above head height.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/escaping-dog-pet-pick" target="_blank">More information</a></p> <h2 style="text-align: left;"><strong>Does Neutering Have any Effect on Escaping Behaviour? </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/desexing-do-your-dog-a-favour" target="_blank"><strong>&nbsp;</strong>Neutering male dogs </a>is an important consideration. One study has shown that, in 90 percent of entire male dogs, roaming is solved after castration. This is because roaming is often induced, at least initially, by the attractive scent of female dogs on heat in the neighbourhood. The territorial perception male dogs develop by urine marking trees and posts while roaming is also important. The more they roam, the more they mark and thus the more they perceive the neighbourhood as their owned territory.</p> <h2 style="text-align: left;"><strong>Relieving Backyard Boredom </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: left;">The routine nature of a suburban dog's life, as discussed earlier, is a modern day ill. For barking and escaping dogs, providing an enriched lifestyle in the backyard is vital.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a title="Wobler with free express post delivery" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/kong-wobbler-large-australia" target="_blank"><img style="float: left; margin: 5px;" title="Honey sitting with the Wobbler" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/Honey%20and%20the%20Wobbler,%20sitting.JPG" alt="Honey sitting with the Wobbler" width="156" height="207" /></a>On a daily basis, you should play with your dog in your backyard by giving it daily aerobic exercise, 'brain work' or mental stimulation and also giving welcome cuddles and companionship. This is a formal program I call the ABC's Technique and <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=186">is available here.</a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Briefly, throwing Frisbees and balls in the backyard is good and just running and jumping with your dog is good exercise for both of you.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">I often advise my clients to use a special dog toy called a Kong Ball. The ball bounces unpredictably and resists a dog's chewing too. It has a hole in the middle in which small amounts of food can be placed to create even more interest.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">But what's better than the normal Kong is the <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/kong-wobbler-large-australia">KONG Wobbler</a>. This one is hugely popular, and is weighted on the bottom so that when your dog knocks the toy over to get a treat, the Wobbler bounces straight back up into the standing position popping out food treats at the same time.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/kong-wobbler-and-other-kong-products">Free express post delivery on Kong Wobblers for&nbsp; short time.</a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Brain work involves a fun training routine in which you teach your dog to do different things for no reason other than for fun. Teach it to walk along balance beams, to climb over garden furniture and other obstacles, to roll over, crawl and to 'play dead'. Also encourage your dog to play 'hide and seek'. For this game you place your dog in a 'down and stay' position and encourage it to 'seek' you, other members of your family or even tidbits of food hidden around the back yard.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Have you seen our <em><strong>No Bored Dogs Routine</strong></em> yet?&nbsp; We have developed many cheap cheats to help with boredom relief. <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=337">More information on that here.</a></p> <h2 style="text-align: left;"><strong>Some Escaping is Abnormal</strong></h2> <p>Some escaping has nothing to do with boredom.&nbsp; In our world as behaviourist, we see dogs escaping because they are suffering from mood disorders. The commonest of those are separation anxieties, separation panic disorders and noise phobias.&nbsp; Some escaping behaviour is best described as cause by back yard ghosts.</p> <p>If your dog is distressed while he or she is trying to escaping that's something you should never ignore. Contact us for advice on that or jump the queue and <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/solve-pet-behaviour-problems-with-veterinary-behaviourist-dr-cam-day" target="_blank">book a behaviour consultation online here.</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Remember, escaping behaviour can be a fatal condition.</strong></p> A Carton of Magic http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/a-carton-of-magic- <h3><strong>The pet-toy market is flooded with so many different types and makes of toys. So it can be difficult to choose the right one. </strong></h3> <h3><strong>But have you ever considered making your own dog toy using standard throw-away items you would normally put in your recycling bin!</strong></h3> <p>That's where the Carton of Magic routine comes in!<span style="color: #000000;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-family: arial; font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></span></span></p> <h2><strong>How Can a Milk Carton Provide Hours of Fun for a Pet?</strong></h2> <p>There is one gift for a pet that is the cheapest and best of them all. It's one that you have already but I bet you don't realise its value - the milk carton!</p> <p>A milk carton, plastic or cardboard, is magic for dogs, cats and even for birds.</p> <h2><strong>The Daily Rabbit</strong></h2> <p>For instance, try the Daily Rabbit for an entr&eacute;e.&nbsp;</p> <p>What self-respecting wolf ever eats its meal from a stainless steel bowl? Their 'daily rabbit' appears at random and the wolf delightfully chases the rabbit, catches it and eats the poor little bunny.</p> <p>There is a way to mimic that without risking the welfare of any small critter. Use a milk carton with a hole in the side.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s8TwFQrSnM">VIEW A VIDEO OF THIS ROUTINE HERE</a></p> <p>&nbsp;So, take a one or two-litre plastic milk carton and, using a knife and a sturdy pair of scissors, cut a nose-sized hole in the side about half way up. Smooth the edges of this cut surface by running a flame from a match quickly around rim.</p> <p>Now, place a small quantity of your dog's dry food inside the milk carton and give it to your pooch just before you leave for work. Pooch will be perfectly puzzled trying to work out how to get the snack out of the carton.</p> <p>This mimics the natural tendency of a dog to want to eat their prey animal such as it's Daily Rabbit.</p> <p>To answer a common&nbsp;question - no this does not cause a dog to develop aggression to small furry animals!</p> <p>You can do the same for cats, and even for a pet bird such as a Cockatoo.&nbsp; Alter the size of the hole to suit the size of the pet.</p> <h2><strong>Carton of Magic Extreme</strong></h2> <p>Two and three litre milk cartons can also be made into exciting brain expanders for dogs and cats by hanging them from the rafters of your Pagoda or the beams under your house.</p> <p>Run a dog lead through the handle of the milk carton by placing the clip end through the hand loop, tighten the loop around the handle of the milk carton then attach the clip to a strong bungee cord or a tension spring that you can purchase for a few dollars from a hardware store.</p> <p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ18EqEYzzE&amp;feature=player_embedded">WATCH THE VIDEO HERE</a></p> <h2><strong>The KONG Wobbler</strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/kong-wobbler-australia" target="_blank"><img style="float: right;" title="KONG Wobbler" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/KONG%20Wobbler.jpg" alt="KONG Wobbler" width="100" height="150" /></a></h2> <p>The KONG company are famous for their brain-expanding toys but they have really excelled themselves with the KONG Wobbler.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Wobbler can replace your dog's food bowl and exercise&nbsp;your&nbsp;dog's bored brain in an instant.</p> <p>We regard the Wobbler as being one of the best behavioural toys currently available.</p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/kong-wobbler-australia" target="_blank">More Details Here</a></p> <h2><strong>Paw Propellor</strong></h2> <p>For cats, make a Paw Propeller. Using a milk carton again, stretch a rubber band from the cap to the base and in the middle of the rubber band secure a paddle-pop stick like a propeller so that is just wide enough to catch on the edge of the bottle. Wind up the rubber band and when puss places a paw inside the hole, its paw is likely to activate a few turns to the 'propeller'. That'll keep it guessing. &nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>The Cunning Carton Cruncher</strong></h2> <p>The Carton Cruncher is another alternative. Place dry food inside a cardboard milk carton with a hole in one side or you can also employ a toothpaste box for small dogs and cats or a cereal box for the big dogs. A toilet roll core is also useful - put food treats inside and fold the ends over like a bon-bon.</p> <p>Would you like a sneaky way to feed your cats during the day? Try the Tricky Bickie Feeder. Get a one-litre plastic milk carton and cut a 20-cent-sized hole in the bottom edge. Fill the carton with dry biscuits but include a small number of highly flavoured dry treats such as Whiskas Cravers, to add some interest. Secure the bottle upright with a rubber band looped onto a chair leg or similar.</p> <p>The Perplexed Puss will soon work out that a paw placed inside the hole will scoop out some biscuits. As it learns the technique, make the task slightly more difficult by cutting a small 'door' in the bottom rather than a hole. Make the hinge of the 'door' at the bottom, so that when puss pulls at the door, the spring effect is likely to shoot a biscuit or two into the air.&nbsp; Puss will be happy!</p> <h2><strong>The Sneaky Leaky Milk Carton</strong></h2> <p>For dogs and cats that are bored during the day, the Sneaky Leaky Milk Carton is a devious treasure.&nbsp; Use a drawing pin to place a hole in the bottom of a milk carton. It will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes for 250 millilitres of water to leak out of this hole. Place the leaking milk carton on the end of a DVD case high on a ledge where your dog or cat can't get to it. Now place a Milk Muncher or a Carton Cruncher on the other end of the ruler. When enough water leaks out, the leaking bottle will be too light to counter the weight of the gift on the end and the gift will then be delivered to your delighted pet. &nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Bucket of Fun</strong></h2> <p>And now for the Bucket of Fun. Make a Sneaky Leaky Milk Carton from a two or three litre milk bottle - one with a handle on the side. Tie a two the three metre length of nylon washing line to the handle and run the line though a pulley secured to a beam on the roof of your pagoda. On the other end of the line, suspend an ice-cream bucket at head height. (The metal clasp from a dog lead serves nicely as a pulley.) Now place some food treats, a bone or your pet's favourite toy in the bucket. In the leaking carton, place 250 millilitres of water to act as a counter-balance. When enough water leaks out, the heavier bucket will slide down to the ground, thus delivering the day's delights to the pooch. &nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Water Treat</strong></h2> <p>The Water Treat is also a useful idea. If you want to be sure your dog's water is always fresh, fill a two litre milk carton with fresh water and place a hole, the size of a knitting needle, three to four centimetres from the bottom of the milk carton. Be sure the cap is secured. Place the carton into the dog's water bowl and secure it upright to a post on your deck or pagoda with a belt or rope. When your dog drinks the water below the level of the hole, air will be allowed inside the carton and water will leak out until the hole is covered again.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When using a milk carton, safety is important. Where necessary, remove the lid of the milk carton and the plastic sealing ring in case you pooch tries to swallow it. Be sure the size of any hole you make is not large enough for your pet to get its head stuck inside!&nbsp; Also, don't use any of these techniques if your pet is likely to chew and then swallow bits of the plastic.<strong><br /></strong></p> A Wee Problem With Pups http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/a-wee-problem-with-pups <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Fuseaction=wysiwygpage&amp;wysiwyg_id=327"><img src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/dogs/cutepup2small.jpg" alt="" width="204" height="226" align="right" border="1" /></a>When you think about it, it's amazing that any pet learns house-training manners at all. When your pet's bowels say 'Now!', your pet has to put into motion several complex thought patterns. </p> <p>It has to analyse what the stretch receptors in the bowel or bladder are saying. It has to decide where is the most appropriate place to do its deed, and then how it's going to get there.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It may have to let you know that it needs to go outside, hope that you are listening, and that you will open the door. Perhaps it has to negotiate a high flight of steps, which for a small pup, is like climbing Mount Everest and it may have to overcome its dislike of weather conditions that may make the garden unattractive. And what if it has a stomach upset that causes diarrhoea?<br /><br />There can be many barriers making it difficult for a pup to develop the correct habits and which may thus persuade the pet to take the easy route and deposit nature's call in the house.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you are a parent, how long did it take you to toilet-train your children? It probably took months before the nappies were hung out to dry for the last time. Most dogs and cats can be toilet-trained as pups or kittens in a week or two. That just goes to show how clever they really are!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The program I use for my clients&nbsp; is one I term 'Wee Time'. &nbsp;Try it and you will find your pup is housetrained in no time. The process is broken into sequential steps.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Step One: - Select a toilet spot in the garde</strong><strong>n.&nbsp; </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="float: left; margin: 5px;" title="beaglepointing" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/beaglepointing.jpg" alt="beaglepointing" width="149" height="148" />Rather than allow the pet to soil anywhere, it makes it easier for the pet and you if they have a particular toilet spot. Select a toilet spot and clearly demarcate the area by surrounding it with rope or string or with a simple timber barrier for a short while.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If the pet defecates inside the house, collect the droppings and place them in the toilet area&nbsp; to decay for a day or two. Hose the droppings&nbsp; into the soil. The smell will give the pup the message that this area is the toilet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <h2><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10224"><strong>Contents of Next Page (membership required)</strong></a></h2> <h3><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10224"><strong>The Following Magic Methods Include :<em></em></strong></a></h3> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10224"><strong>1. Step One: - Select a toilet spot in the garden</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10224"><strong>2. Step Two: - Predicting the Need</strong><strong></strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10224"><strong>3. Step Three: - Catch and reward the desired behaviour</strong><strong></strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10224"><strong>4. Step Four: - Why you should avoid punishing the house-soiling</strong></a></p> <table style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; background-color: #97bee7; border: 0px solid #97bee7; width: 580px;" border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="Are you a member" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotareyouramember.jpg" alt="Are you a member" width="291" height="69" /></td> <th style="background-color: #ffffff; border: 1px solid #ffffff;" scope="row" rowspan="3" align="center" valign="top"> <p><img style="vertical-align: top;" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotyellownotebookmark.jpg" alt="memorynotyellownotebookmark" width="159" height="160" />&nbsp;</p> </th></tr> <tr> <td style="height: 116px;" valign="top">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Form/member-login" target="_blank"><img title="Login here" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotloginblueyellow.jpg" alt="Login here" width="145" height="116" /></a></td> <td style="height: 116px;" valign="top"><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/membership-application" target="_blank"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="Sign up" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotsignupblueyellow.jpg" alt="Sign up" width="145" height="116" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="height: 54px;" colspan="2" valign="top">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10224"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="go to next page" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotgotonextpageblue.jpg" alt="go to next page" width="271" height="54" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Check Up Time! http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/check-up-time <h1 class="CDCTitle" style="color: #1c58a1; text-align: center;"><strong>Check Up Time!</strong></h1> <h2 class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;"><strong>Are you a forgetful pet owner? </strong></h2> <p style="color: #1c58a1;"><span><img src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/Newsltr/vetinclinic.JPG" alt="" width="147" height="188" align="left" border="0" hspace="4" /></span></p> <p style="color: #1c58a1;"><span>Many of us neglect our once-a-year pet-care jobs because we forget when those duties are due.&nbsp; Nevertheless, it becomes easier to remember such things when we link them to a particular annual event such as the group of holidays that occur around this time. Times like this can be used to remind us of our yearly duties for our pets.</span></p> <p style="color: #1c58a1;">That way, whenever the fire is crackling and the kids are home from school, you'll remember that you also need to get cracking with your pet's vaccinations, yearly heartworm injection, worming medications and other important pet care tasks.</p> <p style="color: #1c58a1;">It's easy to be complacent about pet care because many deadly diseases are so easy to control nowadays. While this complacency can lead to forgetfulness, neglecting tasks, such as your pet's yearly health care check for instance, can have dire consequences.</p> <h2 style="color: #1c58a1;"><strong>A Family Affair</strong></h2> <p style="color: #1c58a1;">So, for a holiday activity, get the kids together so the whole family can take the Pooch and Puss Cat to the local veterinary surgery for their annual check ups. That way, your whole tribe can become immersed in the responsibilities of caring for the family pet.</p> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">Ask your vet about the new vaccines that are now available for your dog and cat and be sure you are getting the optimum cover for your pet.</p> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">Holidays are also a good time to check on how well you have been getting on with your pet's heartworm protection. Have you been the perfect pet owner and given all the heartworm preventatives your pet needs or have you forgotten some?</p> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">If you feel you have missed a few, then a simple heartworm test will show if your dog has a problem and if the worst happens and your pet has a heartworm infection, at least you will know this and your vet can implement treatment before serious problems commence.</p> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">If you are forgetting your dog's heartworm pills regularly, perhaps you would be better to change to the once-a-year heartworm preventative so that you can adopt the principle of 'inject and forget'.</p> <h2 class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;"><strong>Start Young</strong></h2> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">The principle is to get into the habit of preventative care when you pooch is a pup. When your pup is about three months of age, it can receive its traditional puppy vaccinations and its heartworm injection at the same time.</p> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">Your vet will then take on the role of reminding you when your dog's next injections are due.</p> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">Intestinal worms are another consideration. Your pets should be dosed with a good-quality intestinal wormer every three months, so the holidays are one of the times you should ear-mark for this task. Use an all-wormer that lays a claim to zapping away all the wrigglers that your dog and cat can harbour.</p> <h2 class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;"><strong>Tooth Truth</strong></h2> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">Now is also the time to think about your pet's teeth. Being such a responsible pet owner, I am sure you have been brushing your pet's teeth every day, but<img style="margin: 5px; float: right;" title="teeth001" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/teeth001.jpg" alt="teeth001" width="164" height="122" /> just in case you have missed a day or two in the last 365, maybe having Fido's or Felix's teeth cleaned at your vet's clinic is a good idea.</p> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">This will probably involve an anaesthetic because, unlike humans, pets don't stay still when their teeth are cleaned, and unlike human patients, pet sometimes bite the dentist! Don't let the anaesthetic concern you - modern anaesthetics are very safe and the risk of an anaesthetic is a drop in the ocean compared with the risk involved if your pet has diseased teeth.</p> <p style="color: #1c58a1;">It's this time of year that heralds the beginning of chilly weather.&nbsp; This means that the evil fingers of arthritis will be prodding the old bones of senior pets, thus causing pain and discomfort.&nbsp; There are many new and effective treatments for arthritis that will minimise the pain and return mobility, so no pet should be forced to hobble its way through winter.</p> <h2 class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;"><strong>Better be Better Behaved</strong></h2> <p class="CDCWebpage" style="color: #1c58a1;">Lastly, with a bit of extra time over the holidays, why not tackle some of your pet's problem behaviours?&nbsp; That annoying barking behaviour your pooch is practising or your calamitous cat's claw sharpening behaviour that is wreaking havoc on your furniture could be remedied quite easily.&nbsp; Having a week or two of holiday time means you can get stuck into the behaviour therapy so that the change occurs much more quickly. All you need is the right advice and we can help! If you'd like a consultation with Dr Cam, <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Category&amp;CategoryID=9"><strong>click here</strong></a>. If you're after some holiday training with Cassie, <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Category&amp;CategoryID=11"><strong>click here</strong></a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/pet-behaviour-consultations-online-bookings"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="DrCam_Help_Button" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/DrCam_Help_Button.gif" alt="DrCam_Help_Button" width="250" height="102" /></a></p> That's So Lame http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/what-causes-a-dog-to-limp <h1><strong>What Causes a Dog to Limp?</strong></h1> <p>It shouldn't happen to a dog - but it does. Hind limb lameness is a real pain and not something that should be ignored. <br />For convenience, let's divide the causes of lameness into two categories: the first where lameness occurs suddenly, and the second where it occurs slowly or progressively worsens. <strong><span style="color: #1c58a1; font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></span></strong><strong><br /></strong></p> <h2><strong>Immediate Lameness</strong></h2> <p><img style="float: right; margin: 5px;" title="dogfearful200jpg" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/dogfearful200jpg.jpg" alt="dogfearful200jpg" width="200" height="313" />Immediate lameness is usually due to some form of traumatic injury. This can range from simple and usually obvious causes such as a cut, wound or foreign body (e.g. a splinter) occurring in the pad or pads of the foot or to more devious conditions such as ruptured ligaments, fractures or joint diseases or infections.</p> <p>Talking about a dog's feet for a moment, if a dog is licking its paws excessively and is lame, this could suggest a cut or foreign body affecting the pads or skin of the foot, but it can also suggest an infection called Interdigital Dermatitis that often occurs between the pads on a dog's paws. This dermatitis is, itself, sometimes caused by an injury or allergy that the dog has being licking excessively. The more it licks, the more it itches so the more it licks. This 'lick/itch' cycle establishes quickly and veterinary treatment is often necessary to resolve the problem though sometimes, bathing the wound in salt water and applying a soothing cream may help.</p> <p>One common cause of immediate limping occurs when a dog ruptures its Cruciate Ligament in the knee joint. This is often seen in active, energetic dogs. The typical history is that the dog was racing around the garden playing with the owner, often chasing balls, when it suddenly slipped and was then lame.</p> <p>The Cruciate ligaments cross through the middle of the knee joint and stabilise the joint. When ruptured, the tibia (the shank or shin bone) and the femur (the thigh bone) which meet at the knee joint, slip and slide over each other in a most unhappy fashion. The joint loses its strength and stability and the dog experiences pain and discomfort. The best cure for this condition is surgery to repair or replace the ligament.</p> <br /> <table style="background-color: #97bee7; border-collapse: collapse; font-family: Arial; color: #1c58a1; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: bold; border: 1px solid #1c58a1; width: 75%;" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;" width="100%"><strong><span style="color: #1c58a1; font-family: Arial; font-size: small;">Occasionally, lameness in the hind limbs has nothing to do with the legs at all. It is often caused by decay of the discs in the spine</span></strong></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fractures are a common cause of lameness and usually follow some significant accident like being struck by a car. When fractures cause lameness, they can be almost anywhere in the leg or hip. They can range from mild (but painful) greenstick fractures where the bone is only cracked, to major compound fractures where the bone is shattered into pieces, sometimes with fragments of bone poking out through the skin.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Some owners report an unusual form of lameness in their dogs. Characteristically, they will say their dog was suddenly very lame in one back leg, dragging the leg behind them with the leg stiff and straight. They will then say with wonder that suddenly the dog became normal again. Often they ask if the dog had a fit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While fitting does sometimes causes this problem, dislocating kneecaps (luxating patellars) are a much more common reason. This can occur in any breed, but seems to be most common in small breeds such as Chihuahuas and Poodles. It is caused by the sideways movement of the kneecap. When the kneecap moves out of position, it acts like a wedge and tightens the ligaments around the knee so that the animal cannot bend its leg. Suddenly the kneecap slides back into position and the dog can walk normally again.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another condition of small dogs, especially young ones, that will cause lameness is a condition known as Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease or Femoral Head Necrosis. This is often a condition these small dogs inherit from their parents. Due to a failure of the blood supply to the neck of the femur (the 'ball' part of the hip) the neck decays and a fracture occurs. Severe lameness then results.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Occasionally, lameness in the hind limbs has nothing to do with the legs at all. It is often caused by decay of the discs in the spine and the protrusion of those discs into the spinal cord (a slipped disc). This often occurs around the neck or in the spine in the middle of the back. By pressing on the spinal cord, the disc affects the transmission of signals down the nerves and if the nerve affected goes to the legs, lameness can occur.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When chatting about lameness, we should not forget ticks and their associated problems.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In a 'text book' tick paralysis case, the dogs initially develop a weakness in the hind limbs that can look like lameness. Usually this quickly progresses to the stage that the dog cannot bear weight on its hind limbs and is unable to walk. At the same time, paralysis of the front legs is usually developing, as well as a moist cough that sounds as if the dog is trying to vomit or choke.</p> <br /> <h2><strong>Gradual Lameness </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">When lameness occurs gradually, it is usually due to some progressive condition. The commonest condition by far that causes lameness in the hind quarters is arthritis in all its forms.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Arthritis is often an 'old age' condition and is caused by a number of changes in the structure and function of the bones, joints and ligaments. It can occur in almost any joint but is common in the hips, along the spine, and in the knee joints. A very common cause of arthritis is the condition Hip Dysplasia where there is a deformity of the ball and socket joint of the hip. Instead of the joint being a silky smooth "ball and socket", it is more like a "square peg in a round hole" that grinds and grinds away as the dog walks.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Arthritis can cause its effect through the formation of bony bridges and spikes in and around joints or the bony protrusions can push against nerves along the spine. Typically, a dog with arthritis will have trouble rising after lying down for a while and when first walking will be very stiff, slow and sore. Usually, they get better as they 'warm up' and the joint fluid starts to mobilise.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Thankfully, there are many new anti-arthritic medications on the market that give arthritic dogs a zest for life again.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the more serious conditions causing a gradual onset of lameness is tumour development. Tumours in the central nervous system and in the bones often cause lameness. The nastiest are bone tumours or osteosarcomas for which chemotherapy and usually amputation of the affected limb is needed.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Lameness and limping can certainly be serious problems for dogs and cats. If your animal is showing any of the signs above, see your veterinarian as soon as you can to prevent your pet experiencing unnecessary pain.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.swiftpage3.com/camdayconsulting.camday/SurveyBAF/Survey.aspx"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="DrCam_Help_Button" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/DrCam_Help_Button.gif" alt="DrCam_Help_Button" width="250" height="102" /></a> Dog house-soiling case study http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/dog-house-soiling-case-study <h1 align="center"><strong> </strong><strong>Sudden onset nocturnal house-soiling with urine and faeces in a young dog with &lsquo;wet foot fear&rsquo;</strong><strong> <br /></strong></h1> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/membership-application"><strong>Upgrade access with membership</strong></a><strong></strong></p> <h2>&nbsp;<strong>Behaviour Definition<img style="vertical-align: middle; float: right;" title="Download this case study" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/bichon-closeup_210.jpg" alt="Download this case study" /></strong></h2> <p>Blossom is a 10 month-old neutered Bichon Frise living in a single storey home.</p> <p>Over the last three weeks she has developed sudden-onset house-soiling behaviour. This involves urination and defecation inside the home but there is no component of urine-marking (she is a desexed female dog).</p> <p>This behaviour appeared to have coincided with a bad patch of rainy weather three weeks ago.</p> <p>She is known to be reluctant to travel to the garden when the lush lawn is wet under foot.</p> <p>She is taken out before bedtime but often will not soil in the garden at these times.</p> <h3><strong>Frequency of soiling</strong><strong></strong></h3> <p>She will now urinate and defecate on a daily basis inside the home.<strong></strong><strong></strong></p> <h3><strong>Time of Day</strong></h3> <p>Mostly overnight when the owners are asleep.</p> <h3><strong>Location of Soiling</strong></h3> <p>The location of the soiling is mostly in the kitchen.</p> <h3><strong>Are their barriers to travelling to the garden?</strong></h3> <p>She can get outside during the day but not over-night. There is no dog door but nocturnal wildlife (toads and snakes) may make free access at night dangerous.</p> <h3><strong>Are medical conditions relevant?</strong></h3> <p>While her faeces were normal in consistency there was a suggestion that Blossom was producing more urine than normal</p> <h2><strong>Solutions advised </strong></h2> <p>1.&nbsp; <strong>Is there a medical cause?</strong></p> <p>Due to the possible increase rate of urine production, the owners were advised to consult with their local veterinarian and to provide a urine sample for analysis.</p> <p>Medical conditions can increase urine and faecal production causing an &lsquo;overflow&rsquo; effect where a dog cannot contain the excess levels of urine and faeces overnight.</p> <div align="center"> <table style="width: 567px; height: 95px;" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="background-color: #1c58a1; width: 136px; text-align: center;" valign="middle"> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; color: #ffffff;"><strong>Medical Causes of Behavioural Problems</strong></p> </td> <td style="background-color: #ffcc00; width: 335px;"> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; color: #000000;">Some behaviours have a medical cause and this must be treated otherwise the behaviour will not abate. For instance house-soiling can be caused by bladder or bowl disease. Self-mutilation of a paw can be due to skin disease and aggression can be caused by pain. More details from the link on the right.</p> </td> <td style="background-color: #97bee7; width: 96px; text-align: center;"> <p><strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/medical-causes-of-pet-behavioural-problems">CLICK HERE</a></strong></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/membership-application"><strong>Upgrade access with membership</strong></a><strong></strong></p> <h3>&nbsp;<strong>2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong><strong>Is there a &lsquo;barrier&rsquo; which stops house-training and is it an anxiety-based problem?</strong></h3> <p>Barriers to effect house-training can be physical or emotional.</p> <p><strong>Physical barriers</strong> can be a door which is closed when it is normally open. Or the lack of a dog-door to allow easy exit, especially at night when owners may not notice the dog is signalling to get out.</p> <p>Occasionally other pets will guard a dog door to prevent the subject pet from exiting.</p> <p><strong>Emotional barriers </strong>are anxieties and phobias which may make a pet reluctant to travel to a preferred soiling area.</p> <p>&lsquo;Wet foot fear&rsquo; is a very common problem with small dogs and some larger ones. Some dogs dislike getting their feet wet and will choose to soil inside (often on dry mats which is a grass alternative) than to travel the &lsquo;Mount Everest trek&rsquo; to the wet garden.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s just too difficult for them.</p> <p>Other dogs experience traumatic incidents in the garden (my dog was attacked by a carpet python at night when 4 months old) and that creates a phobia of the garden which is an &lsquo;emotional barrier&rsquo; that stops the dog soiling where it should.</p> <p>For Blossom, there was a suggestion that &lsquo;wet foot fear&rsquo; was an issue but it was not obvious.</p> <p><strong>Pulsed, reward-based training</strong> can often overcome anxieties and fears and the &lsquo;alarming technique&rsquo; below is a version of that which was implemented to &lsquo;unstitch the ugly jumper of discontent&rsquo; and to re-knit the jumper the way it should be.</p> <div align="center"> <table style="width: 567px;" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="background-color: #1c58a1; width: 127px; text-align: center;" valign="middle"> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; color: #ffffff; text-align: left;"><strong>Anxieties and Other Mood Disorders of Pets</strong></p> </td> <td style="background-color: #ffcc00; width: 325px;"> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10px; font-weight: bold; color: #000000;"><strong>Do pets have moods?</strong><strong></strong><strong>You know the answer to that is &lsquo;yes&rsquo; but to what extent do the moods of pets reflect the moods of people? </strong><strong></strong><strong>Let&rsquo;s take a trip through the mood disorders of humans and determine if there are pet correlates </strong></p> </td> <td style="background-color: #97bee7; width: 115px;"> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/anxieties-and-other-mood-disorders-of-pets">CLICK HERE</a></strong></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/membership-application"><strong>Upgrade access with membership</strong></a><strong></strong></p> <h3>&nbsp;<strong>3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong><strong>Implementing the Alarming Technique to Solve House-soiling</strong></h3> <p><strong>For Blossom this involved:-</strong></p> <ol> <li>Knowing that dogs <em>should</em> be able to retain urine and faeces overnight and then soil on rising when an opportunity is given.</li> <li>The Alarming Technique means setting an alarm to remind the owners many-times-per-day to provide the opportunity for Blossom to soil outside.</li> <li>This creates a mathematical &lsquo;practice run&rsquo; of the &lsquo;Mount Everest trek&rsquo; to the garden thus creating many opportunities to reward soiling where it should be occurring.</li> <li>Refer to the <strong><em>Alarming Technique</em></strong> below for more details.</li> <li>This technique un-stitches any fear of the outside garden.</li> <li>It also gave Blossom&rsquo;s owners the opportunity to more accurately know if she is &lsquo;empty&rsquo; on retiring at night.</li> </ol> <div align="center"> <table style="width: 567px;" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; color: #ffffff; background-color: #1c58a1; text-align: left;" rowspan="3" valign="middle"><strong>&nbsp;&lsquo;Alarming&rsquo; Technique for House-Training Dogs</strong></td> <td style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; color: #000000; background-color: #ffcc00; width: 332px;" rowspan="3" valign="top">This technique works wonders for dog owners who are having a hard time training their pup to go to the toilet correctly. It is simple to use and easy to follow.</td> <td style="background-color: #97bee7; width: 116px; text-align: center;" rowspan="3"><strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/solutions-for-weeing,-peeing,-pooing,-house-soiling-puppies-and-dogs" target="_blank">CLICK HERE</a></strong></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/membership-application"><strong>Upgrade access with membership</strong></a><strong></strong></p> <h3>&nbsp;<strong>4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong><strong>Additional Considerations:-</strong></h3> <ul> <li>Should be <strong>confined to the bedroom at night</strong> to prevent soiling in the kitchen?</li> <ul> <li>Placing a barrier/baby gate at the bedroom door will prevent her exiting to soil in the kitchen. While that creates a risk that she may then soil in the bedroom, it also may mean that the owners are able to pick her signalling that she wants to soil so she can then be taken outside where soiling is rewarded.</li> <li>That requires the owners get up in the middle of the night so it&rsquo;s not a preferred technique. It also means the owners could be establishing a new pattern of promoting night-time soiling, thus &lsquo;creating a rod for their backs&rsquo;.</li> <li>Mostly these problems can be prevented in the long-term with the proactive technique in the next section. The owners were advised that a movement sensing alarm could be used to waken and alert them to Blossom&rsquo;s movements at night so that if she leaves the bedroom they are alerted and can move to take her outside. Again this is not a preferable technique because it requires the owners to wake up in the middle of the night.</li> </ul> <li><strong>Proactive training </strong>means &lsquo;getting in front of&rsquo; the behaviour. In this case the owners could choose to set an alarm to get them to rise at say 2am to allow soiling. This is done for two nights. The time is then changed to 3am, 4am, and then 5am in two to three night jumps so that Blossom is trained to withhold urine&nbsp; and faeces, knowing she is given an opportunity to soil &lsquo;in the near future&rsquo;.&nbsp; Being a labour-intensive &lsquo;getting up at night&rsquo; method, this technique is usually only implemented for complex cases.<strong></strong><br /><br /></li> <li><strong>Crating </strong>overnight in the bedroom would prevent soiling and will move the production of urine and faeces to the morning when the owners could take Blossom outside. However, in this case, Blossom was not crate trained and that added another involved step in the training regime to create that.</li> </ul> <h3>&nbsp;<strong>5.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong><strong>Cleaning up Blossom&rsquo;s Deposits</strong></h3> <p>&nbsp;Additional advice was given on how to clean up Blossom&rsquo;s urine and faecal deposits. This is best achieved with cleaners that are odourless but that have enzymatic qualities. <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/how-to-clean-pet-house-soiling">SmellGone</a> is our preferred product for that.</p> <div align="center"> <table style="width: 567px;" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="background-color: #1c58a1; width: 80px; text-align: center;" valign="middle"> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; color: #ffffff; text-align: left;"><strong>Talking Scents</strong></p> </td> <td style="background-color: #ffcc00; width: 369px;"> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; color: #000000;">This facts sheet talks about animals and their sense of smell and why cleaning up a pet's excretions is important.</p> </td> <td style="background-color: #97bee7; width: 118px;"> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/solutions-for-scent-marking-with-pets-territory-marking-animals">CLICK HERE</a></strong></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/membership-application"><strong>Upgrade access with membership</strong></a><strong></strong></p> <h2><strong>Summary</strong><strong></strong></h2> <ol> <li><strong>Medical causes of soiling need to be examined and treated if present.</strong></li> <li><strong>Look for physical or emotional barriers that prevent the journey to the preferred soiling area.</strong></li> <li><strong>Teach dogs to soil where they should by allowing many opportunities to do that and then rewarding soiling when it does occur.</strong></li> <li><strong>Clean up in the most effective way by leaving no odour behind.</strong></li> </ol> <div align="center"> <table style="width: 567px;" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; color: #ffffff; background-color: #1c58a1; text-align: left;" valign="middle"><strong>More details on remedies for&nbsp; dog house-soiling<br /></strong></td> <td style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; color: #000000; background-color: #ffcc00; width: 315px;">Do you have a 'wee' problem with your dog or maybe&nbsp;your pooch is soiling its reputation with you by making a mess around the house. If your dog is doing doo-doos or whoopsies in areas where it shouldn't then the information in this Pet Pick is worth its weight in dog biscuits.</td> <td style="background-color: #97bee7; width: 128px; text-align: center;"> <p><strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/house-soiling-dog-pet-pick">CLICK HERE</a></strong></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p align="center"><strong>To get Dr Cam&rsquo;s help with this problem </strong><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/solve-pet-behaviour-problems-with-veterinary-behaviourist-dr-cam-day"><strong>click here.</strong></a></p> Fireworks phobia in an older dog http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/fireworks-phobia-in-an-older-dog <h1><strong>Case Study:- Fireworks phobia in an older dog with medical issues</strong></h1> <p><em>Alice from Delhi in India asks about noise fears in Houdini, her 11 year old male, entire Cocker Spaniel. <img style="margin: 5px; border: 0pt none; float: right;" title="fireworks2 on river.jpg" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/fireworks2%20on%20river.jpg" alt="fireworks2 on river.jpg" width="200" height="305" /></em></p> <p><em>Houdini is a house dog living with four adults, and somone is mostly home. Houdini has significant medical issues including congestive heart failure caused by cardiomyopathy.</em></p> <p><em>He has responded very well to his heart medications over the last year but takes several medications on a daily basis.</em></p> <p><em>Alice&rsquo;s concern is his nervousness and anxiety around fireworks and other noises. </em></p> <p><em>They are heading towards the festive season in Delhi where fireworks will be a regular occurrence. When Houdini is taken for a walk and a firecracker is heard he runs home.</em></p> <p><em>She is worried the noise phobia, given Houdini&rsquo;s heart condition and age and asks if the Adaptil pheromone would be useful and if it is safe for dogs with heart conditions.</em></p> <hr /> <p><br />Alice, there&rsquo;s a lot going in with Houdini and you are correct to be concerned about the danger of the <strong><a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/anxieties-and-other-mood-disorders-of-pets','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=600,height=800');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/anxieties-and-other-mood-disorders-of-pets">noise phobia and the panicking</a></strong> that occurs with that.</p> <p>Houdini&rsquo;s reaction will cause an increase in heart-rate as he heads towards the flight component of the &lsquo;flight/fight&rsquo; response.</p> <p>Pheromones will certainly help but are best combined with other strategies.</p> <h2><strong>Why a Den is needed</strong></h2> <p>Firstly, in the simplest sense, if Houdini can&rsquo;t hear the fireworks, he won&rsquo;t react to them.</p> <p>Therefore you need to avoid walking him when fireworks are likely. I presume the fireworks occur mostly after dark so that&rsquo;s a time to avoid walking if you can.<br />Further, at home, put Houdini into the most sound-proof room you can find. This will implement a principle called the <a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/denning-a-dog-for-noise-phobia-and-separation-anxiety-treatment','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=600,height=800');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/denning-a-dog-for-noise-phobia-and-separation-anxiety-treatment"><strong>Denning Principle</strong></a> which is vital for noise phobic dogs.</p> <p>You can measure the level of sound-proofing in the room easily by using a free App on your smart phone. Good rooms are below 20db and a bedroom (especially a walk-in wardrobe) is often one of the most sound-proof areas inside a home.</p> <p>Improve sound-proofing by closing drapes or by adding sponge rubber inserts (these can be made cheaply) to the windows to prevent noise entering.<br />Add &lsquo;masking noise&rsquo; such as radio, air conditioner or an overhead fan. Such noises have a &lsquo;Muzak-like&rsquo; effect to partly hide environmental noises.</p> <h2><strong>Add Pheromones to the Den</strong></h2> <p>Pheromones are safe to use in combination with his heart medications and they could help dramatically.<img style="float: right;" title="Dog Appeasing Pheromone Diffuser Complete. (Inc. diffuser, 1 bottle of pheromone) But will Adaptil work for your pet? Ask us! CURRENTLY ON SPECIAL. 20% REDUCED PLUS FREE POSTAGE PLUS ADVICE! No-one matches that. " src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/products/DAPCOMPLETEt.jpg" alt="Dog Appeasing Pheromone Diffuser Complete. (Inc. diffuser, 1 bottle of pheromone) But will Adaptil work for your pet? Ask us! CURRENTLY ON SPECIAL. 20% REDUCED PLUS FREE POSTAGE PLUS ADVICE! No-one matches that. " border="0" /></p> <p>Add an<a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/adaptil-diffuser-complete-dap-dog-appeasing-pheromone','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=600,height=800');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/adaptil-diffuser-complete-dap-dog-appeasing-pheromone"><strong> Adaptil Diffuser</strong></a> to that Den and leave in on all the time during the fireworks season. Turning the diffuser on and off reduces its effectiveness because the wick inside the bottle then dries out.</p> <p>Also the constant level of Adaptil is likely to draw Houdini into the Den and make that a known comforting sanctuary for him.</p> <p>If you can predict when the fireworks are about to start, then using the <strong>Adaptil Spray</strong> (ring for supply) before the event is useful.</p> <p>Spray this on a bandana (e.g. a handkerchief) and let that sit on a table for five to ten minutes to allow the alcohol carrier to evaporate. Then place that around his neck.</p> <p>If have to take him out when fireworks are occurring, then spraying his bandana with Adaptil before the walk may help.</p> <p><strong>Adaptil collars</strong> may be available in your area. They are useful if he spends a lot of his time outdoors.</p> <p>If the problem is severe, because there are no side-effects with pheromones, you can do a &lsquo;triple up&rsquo; using the collar, the diffuser and, when needed the spray.</p> <h2><strong>Use a Homeopathic Preparation<a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/homeopet-products','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=500,height=500,left='+(screen.availWidth/2-250)+',top='+(screen.availHeight/2-250)+'');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/homeopet-products"><img style="float: right;" title="Homeopet Storm Stress 15ml - dogs up to 10kg. This homeopathic product may aid in providing relief from storm stress in dogs. Select freight options at check out." src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/products/HOMEPSS1t.jpg" alt="Homeopet Storm Stress 15ml - dogs up to 10kg. This homeopathic product may aid in providing relief from storm stress in dogs. Select freight options at check out." border="0" /></a></strong></h2> <p>In some cases a homeopathic calmative designed for pets is useful.</p> <p><strong><a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/homeopet-products','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=500,height=500,left='+(screen.availWidth/2-250)+',top='+(screen.availHeight/2-250)+'');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/homeopet-products">Homeopet Storm Stress</a></strong> is a harmless preparation you could try. Give him 15 drops (in a small amount of food as that makes it easy to measure) before the fireworks event. That should be compatible with your dog&rsquo;s heart medications.</p> <h2><strong>Calming Massage</strong></h2> <p>While it may sound a bit unusual, we are often surprised about the benefits of calming massage for dogs that are anxious and panicking. It doesn&rsquo;t work for all dogs but costs nothing to try.</p> <p>Rather than describing that, look at this <strong><a onclick="window.open('https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6_qE-mUG8w','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=600,height=800');return false;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6_qE-mUG8w">YouTube Video</a></strong> we have created which demonstrates it well.</p> <h2><strong>Medications</strong></h2> <p>Many dogs benefit from the use of <strong><a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/medications-for-anxious-pets','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=600,height=800');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/medications-for-anxious-pets">targeted anti-anxiety medications</a></strong>. Considering he is on many other medications, you will need to consult with your veterinarian about the safety of the combination but, mostly, your veterinarian should be able to implement a combination that&rsquo;s safe. Stay away from heavy tranquilisers as some of those have side effects on the cardiovascular system.</p> <p>If the fireworks season is a long one in your area in India your vet may suggest a slow-onset long-term medication.</p> <p>If it&rsquo;s a short season then a &lsquo;when you need it&rsquo; medication may fit the bill but your vet will need to be wise about which one to use.</p> <h2><strong>Desensitising him to the noise of Fireworks<img style="float: right;" title="Dr Cam's Frightful Noises Audio CD. More than 60 minutes of expert advice on noise fear therapies - and not just a collection of meaningless sound effects. NOW INCLUDES 1 MONTHS MEMBERSHIP TO PETHEALTH " src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/products/FNCD_plus_Mt.jpg" alt="Dr Cam's Frightful Noises Audio CD. More than 60 minutes of expert advice on noise fear therapies - and not just a collection of meaningless sound effects. NOW INCLUDES 1 MONTHS MEMBERSHIP TO PETHEALTH " border="0" /></strong></h2> <p>You may also be able to teach Houdini to better tolerate the sounds of firecrackers by using quality recordings. While recording are not always effective the goal is to create a calm state with low-volume fireworks noises and increase the volume as calmness is proven.</p> <p>Full details are included on this <a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/frightful-noises-audio-cd','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=600,height=800');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/frightful-noises-audio-cd"><strong>Frightful Noises Audio CD.</strong></a></p> <h3><strong>More information:-</strong></h3> <ul> <li><a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/noise-fears-pet-behaviour','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=600,height=800');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/noise-fears-pet-behaviour"><strong>Noise Fear Pet Pick</strong></a></li> <li><strong><a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/animal-dog-cat-solve-fireworks-fear-noise-phobias','','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=600,height=800');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/animal-dog-cat-solve-fireworks-fear-noise-phobias">Nine Steps to Solve Fear of Fireworks</a></strong></li> </ul> Heat stress in pets http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/heat-stress-in-pets <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <h1 style="text-align: center;"><strong>Hot Dogs and Cool Cats</strong></h1> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><strong>Preventing Heat Stress in Pets<br /></strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">We have wonderful weather in this Sunshine State in Australia and over the holiday period we are likely to be out and about more with our pets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">However, the sunshine can cause another state - heat stress.&nbsp; You need to be careful that you don't put your pets at risk over the next few months.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Helping your pet to keep its cool this summer is vital and there are some 'tricks of the trade' that will help you to do just that.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The Basics - Shade and Water<strong><img style="float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Provide water aplenty" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/dogdrinking.jpg" alt="Provide water aplenty" width="250" height="390" /></strong></strong></h2> <p>Stating the obvious, be sure your pets have adequate shade and water.</p> <p>Water bowls should be emptied and refilled at least once a day.</p> <p>When the weather is hot as it is now, provide <em>twice the number&nbsp; </em>of water bowls.</p> <p>Be sure the water bowls cannot be tipped over - placing a clean rock in the bowl may help with that.</p> <p>The water bowls need to be in the shade.</p> <p>Cats love running water - consider a table-top fountain available from hardware stores but watch the hygiene of these as there is no filter.</p> <p>Better still buy a Drinkwell Pet Fountain for them.</p> <ul> <li>I<strong>f your pet is outside be certain it has adequate shade in a breezy spot.&nbsp; </strong></li> <li><strong>If you have a caged bird ensure its cage is not in the direct sunlight as the day wears on.</strong></li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>The Hair of the Dog </strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">It's easy for us to shed unwanted clothes in summer but not so easy for long-haired dogs and cats to shed their coats.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Having your pet clipped now is a good idea and there are many grooming parlours around town that will do the job for you.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Most pets are shedding their coats at this time of year and daily grooming to remove unwanted hair will make your pet more comfortable and will help it to shed excess heat.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Grooming aids, such as Slicker brushes, that are designed to strip loose hair from your pet's coat, can be found at your pet shop and veterinary surgery.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>A Cool Abode</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is essential that your pets have adequate shade to rest in at this time of year. It's the afternoon sun that's the killer and therefore you should ensure that a shady spot is provided on the eastern side of your house so that the house itself provides shade. Kennels on the western side are nothing but hot boxes.</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><strong>The coolest area in your home is underneath the house, and thankfully our Queenslander and Colonial houses provide just the spot for a pet's afternoon snooze.</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">This is the spot where your pet's water bowls (more than one) should be situated so that they remain cool.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Icy Solutions</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">To help your pet keep its cool while you are at work, provide some frozen treats for it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It's a good idea to freeze a cup or two of water and place them in your dog's water bowl in the morning to keep the water cool.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Also, in a plastic lunch box, margarine container or similar, make a nutritious soup by placing a pet <strong>multivitamin mixture into some Vegemite broth.</strong> Then throw in some chunks of fresh meat, some liver treats and a few veges and freeze the whole lot.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When you go to work, remove the frozen delight from its container and place it into your pet's bowl. It will provide your pet with a stimulating and nutritious boredom blaster during the day that will also keep your hot dog cool.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Pooling Resources&nbsp;</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>A clam shell sand pit</strong> in a shady spot is a great summer treat for a hot dog. Fill one half of the sand pit with sand and wet the sand in the morning. This will give poochie a cool bed to snooze on. Fill the other half with water and poochie can drink it, sit or paddle in it or play in it, just like a kid at the beach.</p> <h2><strong>Heated Arguments&nbsp;<img style="margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: right;" title="Dogs die in hot cars" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/dogtravelling.jpg" alt="Dogs die in hot cars" width="200" height="132" /></strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Apart from keeping your pets cool at home, be very careful about their care when they are out and about with you because mistakes are too easy to make.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The saddest mistake of all is when a<strong> dog dies in a hot car</strong>.</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><strong>The rules are simple. At this time of year, your dog should not travel with you if you are going to stop anywhere other than at your final destination</strong>.</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many say "But I'm only going into the shop for a litre of milk - I'll be just a minute". The 'just a minute' extends very quickly if the shop is busy or if you happen to meet a talkative friend.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The highest temperatures are reached in cars of dark colour and with large glass areas. Hatchback cars are the worst, with temperatures quickly exceeding <strong>70 degrees centigrade.</strong> This is lethal for any living being, including children, as we have seen recently.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Short nosed breeds of dogs, such as Bull Dogs, Pugs and the Pekingese, are very susceptible to heat stress.&nbsp; Obese dogs and cats are at risk too, especially 'small fat' dogs. Dogs or cats with poor circulation and dogs with any respiratory disease are also susceptible.</p> <h2><strong>Jogging Dogs&nbsp;<img style="float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Be careful jogging dogs" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/walkingadog210.jpg" alt="Be careful jogging dogs" width="210" height="229" /></strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">I cringe when I see people cycling or jogging with their dogs struggling behind. A dog is so faithful that it will try to keep up when it should stop and rest. The owner knows when he or she is getting too hot. However, the dog is so faithful it will ignore the messages from its body that say 'stop'.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The dog's tongue is dangling in a futile attempt to cool its body and it is obviously struggling to keep up. Dogs like this often collapse from circulatory failure.</p> Heat stress is a major concern over summer but a little common sense is all that is required to help your pets keep their cool. Please be careful.</div> How to do surveillance on pets http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/how-to-spy-and-do-surveillance-on-pets <h1 style="text-align: center;">How to do surveillance on pets</h1> <h2 style="text-align: center;">and how to spy on your pets when you are not home</h2> <p><img style="float: left; margin: 5px;" title="catlookingoutwindow200" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/catlookingoutwindow200.jpg" alt="catlookingoutwindow200" width="90" height="136" />Spying on your pets when you are not home is not only interesting and fun, but it's also very useful if you are researching 'home-alone' behaviours.</p> <p>Spying on your pets allows you to determine when, where and how often <strong><em>unwanted </em></strong>behaviour occurs. It also allows you to determine the <em><span style="font-family: mceinline;">other</span></em> side of the argument - when, where and how often <strong><em>wanted </em></strong>behaviours are occurring.</p> <p>That means you can amplify the wanted behaviours and dilute the unwanted ones.</p> <p>Because we have found some excellent free or low-cost means of spying on your pets, you can found out all you need about your pet's home-alone behaviour by following the links that appear below.</p> <h2><strong>Barking and excessive vocalisation when you are not home</strong></h2> <p>One of the main reasons pet owners need to spy on their pets is because they have received complaints from their neighbours or their local council about their dog's excessive barking.<img style="float: right; margin: 5px;" title="howling_dog_200" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/howling_dog_200.jpg" alt="howling_dog_200" width="200" height="232" /></p> <p>In Australia there used to be legal limits to how much barking is allowed. While this has now changed, most Councils still use the '6 minutes per hour' guide as a yardstick. The details for the <strong><a href="http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/laws-permits/animal-laws-permits/cats-dogs/barking-dogs/index.htm" target="_blank">Brisbane City Council can be found here.</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Councils usually consider barking a nuisance if it occurs for more than:</strong></p> <ul> <li>six minutes in any hour between 7am and 10pm on any day&nbsp;</li> <li>three minutes in any&nbsp;30 minute period between 10pm&nbsp;and&nbsp;7am on any day&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>You should not regard that as being a defined limit because most Councils will favour neighbours if they have special needs such as shift workers or those will illnesses that require adequate rest.</p> <p><strong>Behaviourally and considering the welfare of pet dogs, we always advise dog owners to limit their dog's barking to:-</strong></p> <ul> <li>two minutes per hour of 'normal' barking</li> <li>one minute per hour for vocalisation that involves distress such as howling, crying or screaming.</li> </ul> <p>Mostly that's achievable when the reasons for the barking are determined.</p> <h2>Solving Other Home-Alone Behaviours</h2> <p><img style="float: left; margin: 5px 20px;" title="airedalechewingonboot75" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/airedalechewingonboot75.JPG" alt="airedalechewingonboot75" width="134" height="169" />You will also be interested in measuring your pet's home-alone behaviours if your pet suffers from:-</p> <ul> <li>separation-related problems</li> <li>noise phobias</li> <li>escaping and roaming behaviours</li> <li>destructive behaviours</li> <li>inter-dog aggression that occurs when you are away</li> <li>self-injurious compulsive behaviours</li> </ul> <p>Measuring your dog's distress or alternatively, his or her contentment while you are away can greatly speed the cures of such home-alone hassles.</p> <h2><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10193"><strong>Contents of the next page (membership required)</strong></a></h2> <h3><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10193"><strong>The Following Magic Methods Include :</strong></a></h3> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10193"><strong>1. Simple Spying Strategies</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10193"><strong>2. Sound-Activated Recorders</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10193"><strong>3. Webcam Software</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10193"><strong>4. Mobile Phone Surveillance</strong></a></p> <!--Coding for Membership or not table --> <table style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; background-color: #97bee7; border: 0px solid #97bee7; width: 580px;" border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="Are you a member" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotareyouramember.jpg" alt="Are you a member" width="291" height="69" /></td> <th style="background-color: #ffffff; border: 1px solid #ffffff;" scope="row" rowspan="3" align="center" valign="top"> <p><img style="vertical-align: top;" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotyellownotebookmark.jpg" alt="memorynotyellownotebookmark" width="159" height="160" />&nbsp;</p> </th></tr> <tr> <td style="height: 116px;" valign="top">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Form/member-login" target="_blank"><img title="Login here" onmouseover="this.src='http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotloginredyellow.jpg';" onmouseout="this.src='http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotloginblueyellow.jpg';" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotloginblueyellow.jpg" alt="Login here" width="145" height="116" /></a></td> <td style="height: 116px;" valign="top"><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/membership-application" target="_blank"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="Sign up" onmouseover="this.src='http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotsignupredyellow.jpg';" onmouseout="this.src='http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotsignupblueyellow.jpg';" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotsignupblueyellow.jpg" alt="Sign up" width="145" height="116" /></a></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="height: 54px;" colspan="2" valign="top">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10193"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="go to next page" onmouseover="this.src='http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotgotonextpagered.jpg';" onmouseout="this.src='http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotgotonextpageblue.jpg';" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/memornotgotonextpageblue.jpg" alt="go to next page" width="271" height="54" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.swiftpage3.com/camdayconsulting.camday/SurveyBAF/Survey.aspx"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="DrCam_Help_Button" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/DrCam_Help_Button.gif" alt="DrCam_Help_Button" width="250" height="102" /></a></p> How to get good behaviour from your dog http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/explaining-reward-based-dog-training- <br /> <h1 align="center"><img style="float: left; margin: 5px;" title="howling_dog_200" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/howling_dog_200.jpg" alt="howling_dog_200" width="154" height="180" />How to get good behaviour from your dog</h1> <h2 align="center"><strong>From Imperfect Pooch to Canine Einstein&nbsp;</strong></h2> <h4><strong><em>"My dog doesn't do a thing I tell him. He jumps all over me and is constantly annoying me with his pawing and nuzzling for attention. And he drives me crazy with his barking - no matter how much I yell at him, he doesn't obey."</em></strong></h4> <p>I hear complaints like this continually but, by following a few simple strategies, your dog will soon be a canine Einstein.</p> <h3><strong><br /></strong></h3> <h3><strong>All you have to do is to:-</strong></h3> <ul> <li>Talk Like a Dog and convert your 'English' concepts into 'Doglish' language</li> <li>Use the Two Command Rule and the lure of the liver treat rattle to stop unnecessary English</li> <li>Ensure you are consistent</li> <li>And roll it all together in the Circle of Commands, a speed-teaching system which you can use to teach your dog all it needs to know in the shortest possible time.</li> </ul> <hr /> <h2><strong>Talk Like a Dog</strong></h2> <p>Talking to your dog in language it understands is the first step. So many dog owners berate their dogs with a cascade of ineffective English words.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>'Come over here, Rover, come on, good boy, come here now, come on, Rover. What is wrong with you - come -come on - come - good dog. Why don't you ever listen to me, Rover?'</em></strong></p> <p>The words are background music and mean nothing to your dog. That's because you are talking in 'English'.</p> <p>The 'Talk Like a Dog' Principle refers to the use of a COMMANDING voice to get a dog to do something.</p> <p>This is a firm but pleasant voice but it's best to consider the words as 'mini dog barks' rather than English language.&nbsp; So, your 'English' words then have a 'Doglish' accent!</p> <p><strong><em>For instance if you want your dog to come to you, use the word COME but&nbsp; make it a short, sharp, almost 'spitty' sound rhyming more with the word DRUM than, for instance, the word HOME.&nbsp; </em></strong></p> <p>Then you need to reward its response.</p> <p>To do that, you should use the GOOD DOG voice which is much higher and very joyful. For some dogs, the GOOD DOG voice is better done as a whisper which in many cases has a calming effect on an over-active dog.&nbsp; Either way, said correctly your English words, to your dog, will sound like puppy squeaks!&nbsp; That's good!&nbsp; That's 'Doglish'.</p> <p><strong><em>Here's a cheat!&nbsp; rattle a liver treat container and you will suddenly become so much more attractive to your dog.&nbsp; That rattle is 100% 'Doglish'&nbsp; - no more vague English imprecision!</em></strong></p> <hr /> <h2><strong>Here's another trick of the trade - the 'Laser-Lock SIT'.</strong></h2> <p><strong>Whenever you command COME - almost always you should finish that with a SIT.</strong></p> <p>But not a normal SIT.</p> <p>You need to create the <strong><em>Laser-Lock </em></strong>sit where your dog:-</p> <ul> <li>Sits for five seconds...</li> <li>Looking laser-like at the liver treat in your fingers...</li> <li>And you are silent.....</li> <li>Until the end of the five seconds when you praise your dog for a further 5 seconds with a soft 'puppy-squeak' voice (Doglish revisited)</li> <li>And then give your normal 'ok to eat it' word which for us is the word SEEK.&nbsp;</li> <li>You can then either throw the liver treat along the floor or place it into your dog's mouth.</li> </ul> <p>That Laser-Lock focuses the main reward on you and your voice and the liver treat is a bit of 'sloppy desert' which you throw away.</p> <h3><strong>You are the main focus, not the food.</strong></h3> <table style="width: 90%;" border="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="center" valign="middle"><img style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; display: block;" title="laser-lock-sit-one-dog" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/laser-lock-sit-one-dog.jpg" alt="laser-lock-sit-one-dog" width="200" height="250" /></td> <td align="center" valign="middle"><img style="vertical-align: middle; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="laser-lock-sit-two-dogs" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/laser-lock-sit-two-dogs.jpg" alt="laser-lock-sit-two-dogs" width="200" height="250" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" valign="middle"><strong>Laser-Lock Sit One Dog</strong></td> <td align="center" valign="middle"><strong>Laser-Lock Sit Two-Dogs</strong></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h3><strong><br /></strong></h3> <h3><strong>If you need to punish your dog - then pause.</strong></h3> <p>Most people over-use punishment and the less you use it the better you will be.</p> <p>If you need to use voice punishment then use the BAD DOG voice which is deep, dark and loud, but punishment is NEVER to be encouraged. It confuses dogs and cripples their ability to learn.</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><strong>If you are finding you are using the Bad Dog voice more than the Good Dog voice then you need help as your imperfect pooch is not getting your message and you are using the wrong techniques.</strong></h3> <h2><strong><br /></strong></h2> <hr /> <h2><strong>The Two Command Rule</strong><strong></strong></h2> <p>Now that your voice is toned and terrific, you need to use the Two Command Rule. Simply put, when you want your dog to respond to you, expect is to <img style="float: right; margin: 5px;" title="Commands for good behaviour" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/waitstay.jpg" alt="Commands for good behaviour" width="220" height="296" />respond to the first command.</p> <p>If necessary drop to your second and last command BUT don't ever get to the third request.</p> <p>For instance, if you want your dog to come to you, issue the command COME, using the commanding voice. Wait five seconds to TEST your dog's response.</p> <p>What happens?&nbsp; Either your dog comes to you - or it doesn't. It's simple because now you only have TWO roads to travel.</p> <p>If it is coming, finish with a SIT and then praise it with the GOOD DOG voice. Then do a series of Sequential Rewards (see later).</p> <p><strong>If it is not coming rattle a liver treat container as you command COME and your pooch is so much more likely to respond.</strong></p> <p>Thus, you have used the Two Command Rule to gently show your improper Pooch there is a limit to a non-response.</p> <p>Using the Two Command Rule like this, the dog is gently encouraged to comply and you set a definite boundary to its non-response.</p> <p>To really tone up the grey matter now do a series of Sequential Rewards.</p> <p>Having won the first COME and SIT, your dog may not be totally focused on you.</p> <p>So, fix it.</p> <p>Do a series of COME - SIT - GOOD DOG! sequences by just walking a short three to five steps after each sequence.</p> <p><em><strong>COME - SIT - GOOD DOG! - 5 steps - COME - SIT - GOOD DOG! -5 steps -COME - SIT - GOOD DOG! -5 steps- COME - SIT - GOOD DOG! -5 steps -COME - SIT - GOOD DOG!.</strong></em></p> <p>At the end of&nbsp; a sequence of rewards like that, your dog is much more likely to have the YOU focus rather than THE THING THAT CAUSED THE BAD BEHAVIOUR focus.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The Sequential Rewards also mean that your dog is being rewarded for a sequence of good behaviours rather than the old fashioned focus of punishing your dog for just one bad behaviour.</strong></p> <hr /> <h2><strong>Precision Timing&nbsp; </strong><strong></strong></h2> <p>Using perfect timing is also essential to stop your dog doing something you don't want it to do. Taking action immediately a behaviour start brings the end of the behaviour up to the beginning and the problem middle bit evaporates.</p> <p>For example, as soon as your dog issues the first WOOF, immediately command your dog to be QUIET.&nbsp; Don't wait for the second, third or fourth woof as you will then be allowing the middle of the behaviour to develop.</p> <p>But that's not the important bit. After getting silence - reward a more appropriate behaviour.</p> <p>Mostly that's a COME and then SIT.</p> <hr /> <h2><strong>Be Persistently Consistent&nbsp; </strong><strong></strong></h2> <p>Now we can really tighten things up by ensuring consistency. If every occurrence of a behaviour is corrected (correctly), the behaviour will disappear. For instance, if your dog barks ten times per day, reward silence every time and get ten out of ten.</p> <p>However, some behaviours occur too frequently for every incidence to be won in every case. In this case, Cone Down on the problem.</p> <p>That means that you shouldn't allow the behaviour (such as barking) to occur when you can't deal with it.</p> <p>Alternatively, set up two sessions per day, say one in the morning and one in the evening,&nbsp; when its suits you to deal with the behaviour and when ALL occurrences will be corrected.</p> <p>For barking, perhaps you should only allow your imperfect pooch near the front fence twice per day when you are with it to correct it and keep it inside with you when you are not wanting to deal with the behaviour.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <hr /> <h2><strong>The Circle of Commands </strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong><strong></strong></h2> <p><img style="float: left; margin: 5px;" title="The circle of Commands" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/leave2.jpg" alt="The circle of Commands" width="244" height="210" />The last piece of this good behaviour jigsaw is to train your dog the meaning of the words you use to stop unwanted behaviour when it is <em><strong>not doing the unwanted behaviour.</strong></em></p> <p>Using barking as an example again, if you want your dog to COME and SIT instead of running at the fence and barking, why pick on it when you have the problem and you are likely to fail?&nbsp;</p> <p>Instead, take your dog to the fence when there are no bark-inducing stimuli present and train it to respond. To do this, use the Circle of Commands.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol> <li>Firstly, throw a food treat towards the fence and command your dog to SEEK the food treat.</li> <li>As it is doing this, walk off a few paces.</li> <li>When it gobbles the food, command COME and then SIT.</li> <li>Your dog is very likely to respond because of the food.</li> <li>Then repeat the circle again - SEEK - COME - SIT.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <p>This is just another version of the Sequential rewards.</p> <p>It should only take you five minutes to repeat this circle fifteen times in the morning. Repeat the sequence again in the evening. That makes thirty times a day you are practicing perfect behaviour control of your previously wayward pooch.</p> <p><strong>NOW do that for seven days. Do your maths. That make 210 repetitions of a perfect routine. This is speed teaching</strong></p> <p>How many dog owners would EVER think about teaching their dogs to be perfect 210 times per week. NONE - except for you!!</p> <p>Using the Circle of Commands, you are picking on your dog at times when it is calm and concentrating and, therefore, when it is able to learn.</p> <p>Trying to correct a behaviour when the dog is immersed in the emotion of the behaviour is picking on it when it is freaky and frantic and when it has very little ability to learn.</p> <p>The Circle of Commands is a valuable tool that can be applied to many problem behaviours including aggression, attention seeking, boisterousness and bossy behaviours.</p> <p>The Circle of Commands is also part of the Leave Routine - a routine I use regularly for problem behaviour management.</p> <p>Information on the Leave Routine is contained in another facts sheet.</p> <p>So, getting good behaviour from dogs involves using the correct voice, consistently and as soon as the behaviour is about to begins. Couple this with the Circle of Commands and your dog will soon be a Canine Einstein.</p> <h3><strong>More information for well-behaved pooches:</strong><strong></strong></h3> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/dog-training-brisbane-and-pet-behaviour-management">Dog training pet pick</a><br /> <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/talk-to-pet-talking-to-animals-speaking-to-animals-understanding-dogs-talking-to-dogs-language-of-dogs-training-dogs-voice-">Talk Like a Dog</a></p> Panic Disorders in Dogs – The Ghosts of Traumas Past http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/anxiety-and-panic-disorders-in-dogs <h1 style="text-align: center;">Panic disorders in dogs</h1> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><strong>The 'ghosts of traumas past'<br /></strong></h2> <h3><strong>In the last two weeks I have seen some interesting panic disorders in dogs, all of which have had the theme of &lsquo;back yard scary ghosts&rsquo;.</strong></h3> <h3><strong>What is a panic disorder?</strong></h3> <p>A panic disorder is the ugly parent of an anxiety disorder and is easily recognised. <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10158">(More information)</a></p> <p>Panicking dogs show severe signs of distress and almost always include:-</p> <ul> <li>hyperventilation</li> <li>trembling</li> <li>excessive salivation</li> <li>hypervigilance and hyperactivity</li> <li>dilated pupils</li> <li>posturing signals of ears being tucked back, tail tucked&nbsp; and tenseness of facial musculature.</li> </ul> <p>If the owners are present, the dogs usually demonstrate profound comfort seeking (which is different from <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=145">attention seeking</a>) usually by</p> <ul> <li>climbing onto the owner&rsquo;s lap</li> <li>nuzzling</li> <li>distressed vocalising</li> <li>frantic clawing of the owners.</li> </ul> <p>If the owners are absent, the dogs will often attempt to escape from the area they are confined in (usually the garden or backyard) or will try to &lsquo;inscape&rsquo; into the home. The damage to fences or to back doors can be immense.</p> <p>This is an attempt to flee from the &lsquo;ghost&rsquo; causing the trauma.</p> <p><strong>But it&rsquo;s the damage the dogs do to themselves that distresses the owners.<br /></strong></p> <p>Sometimes the &lsquo;ghostly cause&rsquo; is obvious &ndash; thunderstorms and firework events are common traumas. However, in many cases the cause is not at all obvious and impossible to determine.</p> <p>The latter we call <strong>&lsquo;back yard panic disorders&rsquo;</strong> because we don&rsquo;t know the ghost that&rsquo;s causing the problem.</p> <p>Here is an interesting case study &nbsp;that will help if your dog is showing signs of panic.</p> <h3><strong>Molly - back yard panic disorder of unknown origin<img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="staffordshireterriers" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/stafforshireterriers.jpg" alt="staffordshireterriers" width="201" height="250" /></strong></h3> <p>Molly is a 5 year old purebred Staffordshire Bull Terrier living on an acreage property with another male Staffordshire Bull Terrier of the same age. The owners are retired and mostly home.</p> <p>The dogs are allowed to free-roam the property at night via an always-open dog door.</p> <p>Molly&rsquo;s panic is nocturnal only starting at about 1am.</p> <p>During this time she comes into the owner&rsquo;s bedroom and practices extensive comfort-seeking with clawing of the owners to wake them up. At such times she is hyperventilating, hypervigilant and inconsolable.</p> <p>This behaviour started suddenly, three weeks before the consultation. &nbsp;For years previously she has not demonstrated this behavioural problem. The panic did not occur during the day and was not shown by her in-contact Staffordshire Terrier.</p> <p><strong>So, what was the cause?</strong></p> <p>Simply put, we don&rsquo;t know.</p> <p>The features are that Molly is allowed garden access during the night, the panic disorder is only expressed at night and it started suddenly rather than being of slow and gradual onset.</p> <p>So a &lsquo;ghost of the night&rsquo; is affecting the dog and it appeared to be of a traumatic origin.</p> <p>While there could be many causes,&nbsp; our thoughts were mostly centred around interactions with nocturnal wildlife and particularly snakes.&nbsp; Carpet pythons were known to be present.</p> <p>A diagnosis of a post-traumatic panic disorder was made.</p> <h3><strong>Treatment</strong></h3> <p>In the absence of a defined cause, the dogs were prevented from accessing the garden at night to determine if the &lsquo;ghost of the night&rsquo; was a &lsquo;garden ghost&rsquo; or an &lsquo;inside the house ghost&rsquo;.</p> <p>The dog was already being treated with routine doses of two different anti-anxiety medications.</p> <p>An <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Category&amp;CategoryID=2">Adaptil diffuser</a> was added to the bedroom to provide additional comfort.</p> <p>The owners were asked to ring to report progress in 7 days and at 14 days.</p> <h3><strong>Follow up</strong></h3> <p>At 7 days, the owners reported a complete cessation of the nocturnal panic which occurred from the first night of confinement.&nbsp; Caming medication was being used nightly.</p> <p>Because we were not convinced the nightly calmative was needed, that was stopped at this time. The second anti-anxiety medication was continued.</p> <p>At 14 days the owner reported the panic disorder was eliminated apart from one minor issue of attention seeking on one night which was easily diverted.</p> <p>A plan was implemented to review the need for the second anti-anxiety medication and the Adaptil in eight weeks but in the interim the owners were planning to test some garden access at night to see if the problem re-occurred with that change.</p> <h3><strong>Conclusion</strong></h3> <p>For this case the cause of the trauma is unknown. The concept of testing if the trauma was garden-related or &lsquo;inside-the-house&rsquo; related was considered important.</p> <p>If the panic had continued with night-time in-house confinement, further investigations would be needed to determine if there was a cause. Common &lsquo;inside the house&rsquo; causes are high-pitched burglar alarms and smoke alarms and also home invasions. However none of those seemed to be the cause in this case.</p> <p>We therefore concluded the trauma was an unknown event that occurred in the garden only.</p> <p><em>We have a similar case we have just started working with involving a Staffordshire Terrier cross with panic-related escape behaviour. It is likely this dog is suffering repeated bite wounds from backyard insects. We are three weeks into the remedy and the dogs is remarkably better - likley the problem has now resolved. The remedy was as simple as using insect repellant.<br /></em></p> <h4><strong><em>More information</em></strong></h4> <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=10158"><em>Anxiety disorders in dogs</em></a><br /><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=220"><em>Noise phobias in dogs</em></a><br /><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=344"><em>Escaping behaviour</em></a><br /><em><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=306">Separation Anxiety</a><br /></em> Brain Games for Smart Puppies http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/iq-testing-dogs-and-dog-training <h1 style="text-align: left;"><strong>Brain Games for Smart Puppies</strong></h1> <p><strong>How clever is your puppy?&nbsp; Do you think you have a Canine Einstein or does your pooch have an IQ that is surpassed by that of a plank of wood?</strong></p> <p>There are many canine IQ tests in books and many appear on the internet and because of breed differences and testing variables, it could well be impossible to create a scientifically valid IQ test for dogs - but who cares? It's fun seeing how inventive your pooch can be.</p> <p>You will note that, in some of these tests your pup's body length is used to standardise test distances used with each assessment. This is an attempt to cater for pups of different sizes and to give better consistency with the results.</p> <hr /> <h2><strong>Set Up and Qualification </strong></h2> <ol> <li> <p>Mark a 'start' line on the ground by using a piece of chalk or similar.</p> </li> <li> <p>Measure the distance of your puppy from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail (where the tail joins the spine) and ask your assistant to hold your dog four puppy-lengths from the start line.</p> </li> <li> <p>Let your puppy smell its favourite food treat, then place the treat on the ground on the start line. Encourage your pup to 'SEEK' the treat. Repeat three times.</p> </li> <li> <p>If your pup picks up the food each time within five seconds, your pup has proven it is a pig and has thus qualified to compete in the test!!!</p> </li> </ol><hr /> <h2><strong>Test 1 - Toilet roll turmoil </strong></h2> <p>You will need three toilet-roll cores, a small quantity of food treats or <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Product&amp;ProductID=393">liver treats</a> and an assistant (and your dog!).</p> <ol> <li> <p>Place the three toilet roll cores, side by side, on the start line. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>Place one food treat in the centre of one of the toilet roll cores.</p> </li> <li> <p>Your assistant releases the puppy as you encourage it to 'SEEK' the food.</p> </li> <li> <p>Use a stop watch to time how long it takes your pup to retrieve the treat from inside the toilet-roll core. Start timing at the moment your pup crosses the start line.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Repeat three times, noting the time for each.</p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/files/BonnieTR2.zip">Download a video of this test&nbsp; 6MB MPEG</a></p> <hr /> <h2><strong>Test 2 - The Puppy Cup </strong></h2> <p>This test is similar to Toilet Roll Turmoil except that the pup can see the food, not smell the food. It is a more difficult test.</p> <p>For this test you will need three disposable see-through plastic cups of the type commonly available from supermarkets for party supplies.</p> <p>1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Place the three cups, side by side, on the start line.</p> <p>2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Let your pup see you place a food treat under one of the cups.</p> <p>3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Your assistant releases the puppy as you encourage it to 'SEEK' the food.</p> <p>4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Use a stop watch to time how long it takes your pup find and then to retrieve the treat from under the cup. Start timing at the moment your pup crosses the start line.</p> <p>Repeat three times, noting the time for each.</p> <hr /> <h2><strong>Test 3 - In the News </strong></h2> <p>For this test you will need several sheets of newspaper and your dog's favourite food treat.</p> <h2><strong>Teaching the Routine </strong></h2> <ol> <li> <p>Place a sheet of newspaper opened flat on the ground on the start line. Have your pup held by your assistant.<img style="float: right; margin: 5px; border: 0pt none;" title="Small Lab White Pup" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/Labrador_Retriever_Cream_984336%20small.JPG" alt="Small Lab White Pup" width="143" height="176" /></p> </li> <li> <p>Drop or place a food treat in the middle of the piece of the newspaper and use the word 'SEEK' to encourage your pup to get the food. Repeat three times</p> </li> <li> <p>This will teach your pup to expect a find a food treat on the newspaper.</p> </li> </ol> <h2><strong>Testing Your Pup </strong></h2> <ol> <li> <p>Now place the food treat in the centre of the newspaper but fold the newspaper in half to hide the treat.</p> </li> <li> <p>Again encourage your pup to 'SEEK' the food treat and time his or her attempt starting at the moment the pup crosses the start line.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Repeat three times, noting the time for each.</p> <hr /> <h2><strong>Test 4 - Carton Quiz </strong></h2> <p>For this test, you will need a clean three-litre plastic milk carton. Cut a large, round, oval hole in one side of the carton, essentially cutting out the label. Do this by inserting a sharp knife into the side of the carton to create a slit and then insert a pair of scissors into the slit to cut the hole. Be sure there are no sharp edges on the rim of the hole.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Teaching the Routine </strong></h2> <ol> <li> <p>Place the carton on the ground, cut surface down on the starting line.<img style="float: right; margin: 5px; border: 0pt none;" title="puppy_jack_russel_white200" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/puppy_jack_russel_white200.jpg" alt="puppy_jack_russel_white200" width="200" height="200" /></p> </li> <li> <p>Place a food treat onto the surface of the carton and encourage your pup to 'SEEK' the food treat.</p> </li> <li> <p>Repeat three times to teach the new routine.</p> </li> </ol> <h2><strong>Testing Your Pup </strong></h2> <ol> <li> <p>Now stand the carton vertically with the cut surface facing away from the pup.</p> </li> <li> <p>Place a food treat inside the carton and encourage your pup to 'SEEK' the food treat.</p> </li> <li> <p>Time your pup's attempt but don't distract the pup with your laughing!</p> </li> </ol> <p>Repeat three times, noting the time for each.</p> <hr /> <h2><strong>Test 5 - Hide and Sneaky </strong></h2> <p>For this test you need yourself, an assistant and your pup.</p> <h2><strong>Teaching the Routine </strong></h2> <ol> <li> <p>Your assistant holds your pup at the end of your hallway.</p> </li> <li> <p>Walk off into your bedroom and hide behind your bed.</p> </li> <li> <p>Call your pup enthusiastically and when your delighted pup finds you, praise it and give it a food treat.&nbsp;</p> </li> </ol> <p>Repeat three times.</p> <h2><strong>Testing Your Pup </strong></h2> <ol> <li> <p>Now hide in a different location in your bedroom such as in your wardrobe.</p> </li> <li> <p>Call your pup.</p> </li> <li> <p>Use a stop watch to determine how long it takes your pup to find you in the new location.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Repeat three times, noting the time for each.</p> <hr /> <h2><strong>How Clever is Your Pup? </strong></h2> <p>Now let's determine if your pooch has the intellect of a Canine Einstein or door mat on a bad hair day!</p> <p>For each test, take the fastest score of your three measurements. You will have five scores.&nbsp; Add them together to get an overall score.</p> <p><strong>Overall score below 15 seconds</strong> - You have a Canine Einstein. Contact the Guinness Book of World Records for inclusion in the next edition!</p> <p><strong>Overall score between 15 and 25 seconds</strong>.</p> <p>Your pooch is a Mensa Mutt. Enroll him or her at University - it's a scholar.</p> <p><strong>Overall score between 25 and 35 seconds</strong>.</p> <p>You have a normal pet with normal intelligence. Give it a big hug.</p> <p><strong>Overall score between 35 and 60 seconds.</strong> &nbsp;</p> <p>Well cerebral dexterity may not be its strong point but it has enough intelligence to find a food bowl at 10 paces and that's all life requires!</p> <p><strong>Overall score&nbsp;longer than 60 seconds</strong>.</p> <p>You were testing the door mat. Now repeat the test with a real dog.</p> What's the Difference between Cats and Dogs? http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/whats-the-difference-between-cats-and-dogs <h1>What's t<strong>he Difference between Cats and Dogs?</strong></h1> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;"><img src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/GSD%20and%20Cat%20kissingsml.JPG" alt="" width="236" height="156" align="left" border="1" hspace="20" /><strong>Why is it so difficult to train a cat to COME or to SIT - a behaviour which a dog learns with ease?</strong></p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Your dog learns this in five minutes but it could take you five weeks or more to do the same with your cat.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Nevertheless, cats will learn to use a litter tray with almost no training but to train a small dog to do the same takes more persistence than most owners can invest.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">The reason for such differences is that 'what's important' to dogs is not the same as it is for cats. For a start, dogs are group animals and cats are not.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Dogs are social, gregarious creatures and are most content in a pack situation. For pet dogs, the most important pack members are usually their owners and owners who provide proper <em><strong>leadership</strong></em> for their dogs are usually viewed as pack leaders. This is the reason why dogs left alone during their owners' working hours commonly develop separation anxieties even to the extent that, when several dogs share the same household, one can still develop a severe separation anxiety in its owner's absence that is not solved by the presence of its canine buddies.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;"><strong>Leadership is not the same as dominance. Leadership is a compassionate, progressive process based on reward-based training. Dominance infers aggressive encounters and is mostly based on punishment-based techniques.</strong></p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">What's important though, is that a dog's attachment is to its group and much less to its territory. For example, a dog taken to his or her owner's work place to be with its owners will be just as happy as when it is at home. By comparison, a cat taken to its owner's workplace is usually very fearful and anxious.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Why does this difference exist?</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Cats are not, generally, gregarious and do not develop strong pack structures where leadership is an important function. Wild or feral cats are mostly solitary creatures, hunting alone. While they will form groups, this is more a sharing of a common territory than the establishment of a cohesive pack.&nbsp; Cats are extremely territorial and, when fights over territory occur, the result is that the loser learns to avoid that successor but not to leave the territory. Leaving the territory only occurs if aggressive encounters continue.</p> <h2 style="color: #1c58a1;"><strong>A Cat's Attachment is to Its Territory</strong></h2> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">So a cat's attachment is to its territory not to its group. How often have you heard the turmoils of a cat owner attempting to establish his or her cat in a new<img style="float: right; margin: 5px;" title="Cats attachment is to its territory." src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/camdaywebsite2.jpg" alt="Cats attachment is to its territory." width="270" height="179" /> home which is in the same neighbourhood as the old home? Commonly, the cat will return to the old home repeatedly.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">So, dogs learn from observing and interacting with other pack members to which they are bonded. For wild dogs, such as wolves, the interactions generate a cohesive pack that hunts together successfully. Similarly, dogs learn by interacting with, and being close to, their owners. Thus, when reward-based therapies are utilised by owners for behaviours that 'group the pack' such as 'COME' (closer) and 'SIT' (close to me) - the dogs respond readily. It's part of their innate behavioural coding.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">For cats, that's just not important.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Wolf cubs also learn what behaviours to avoid by the growls and snaps received from higher-ranking pack members, so punishment can be effective as a training tool but rarely will punishment drive a wolf cub away from the pack - the lure of group dynamics is just too strong. For this reason, a dog continually punished by its owners shows appeasement behaviours where the dog is effectively saying 'don't hit me again'. Sadly, most people assume this is 'guilt' response and the punishment continues.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;"><strong>Punishment should be avoided. When your dog does something 'wrong' look for the 'invisible' behaviour - the one your dogs <em>should </em>be showing in that situation.</strong></p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;"><strong>Then create that, reward it, and then re-create the same behaviour several times. That way the wanted behaviour will grow and the unwanted behaviour will wilt.</strong></p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">There is another difference between cats and dogs. Cats live in a three-dimensional world because they can jump and climb, whereas dogs exist more in two dimensions. So the concept of 'flight or fight' becomes important.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Cats climb to hunt and to escape. Dogs can't do this well so hunting mostly requires a pack to be effective. For the same reason, dogs use assertive forms of aggression (fight) because flight is more difficult. By comparison, cats tend to develop flight responses to harmful stimuli because they are agile enough to escape.</p> <h2 style="color: #1c58a1;"><strong>What does all this mean? </strong></h2> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">To establish the correct pack environment at home, an owner should provide his or her dog with proper leadership.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Cats are more attached to their territory than their group, so provision of a secure and comfortable territory is more important to them. Food provided helps!</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Dogs learn readily when leaders do things that enhance attachment (such as the 'COME' command).</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Dogs will learn from punishment but it confuses them.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Cats don't learn from punishment - they avoid the source, for example their owners.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Achieving behaviour change with cats is often a compromise - find out what the cat wants, provide it first and then try to progressively change the established behaviour to fit your needs.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Despite all of the above, the real&nbsp;difference between cats and dogs&nbsp;can be summarised&nbsp;easily; 'My dog looks at all the things we provide for her and says to herself&nbsp; 'You must be God'.</p> <p style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">My cat looks at all the things I provide for him and says to himself 'I must be God'.</p> <br /> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.swiftpage3.com/camdayconsulting.camday/SurveyBAF/Survey.aspx"><img title="DrCam_Help_Button" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/DrCam_Help_Button.gif" alt="DrCam_Help_Button" width="250" height="102" /></a></p> Stopping dog separation anxiety in 10 steps http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/stop-dog-separation-anxiety <h1 style="text-align: center;"><strong>A10-Point Plan to cure your dog's separation anxiety</strong></h1> <h2><strong>Stopping a dog's separation anxiety is not difficult when the solution is crafted around your lifestyle and the lifestyle of your pet.<br /></strong></h2> <h2 style="text-align: left;"><strong>What is a Separation Anxiety?<img style="margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: right;" title="Separation Anxiety cures" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/destructive%20daschundsml.jpg" alt="Separation Anxiety cures" width="218" height="143" /></strong></h2> <p>A separation anxiety is a subset of the group of behaviours called <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/anxieties-and-other-mood-disorders-of-pets#anxiety"><span style="color: #0000ff;">anxieties</span></a>&nbsp;where your dog &nbsp;exhibits signs of distress when separated from you.</p> <p>While there are many signs which are well-described in this member&rsquo;s sheet called <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/cures-for-separation-anxiety-animal-seperation" target="_blank">Home Alone and Anxious </a>a quick summary is:-</p> <ol> <li> <h3><strong>Your dog will show an emotion related to sadness, moroseness or anxiety when you are preparing to leave</strong></h3> </li> <li> <h3><strong>It will show anxious behaviours while you are gone such as distressed vocalisation, escaping, house soiling and other behaviours.</strong></h3> </li> <li> <h3><strong>And it will be over-attentive when you arrive home.</strong></h3> </li> </ol> <h2><strong>Assessing your dog&rsquo;s separation anxiety<a onclick="window.open('http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/pet-behaviour-consultations-online-bookings','Behaviour consultations with Dr Cam Day','location=yes,scrollbars=yes,menubar=yes,resizable=yes,toolbar=yes,status=yes,dependent=yes,width=700,height=800,left=300');return false;" href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/pet-behaviour-consultations-online-bookings"><img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Book a pet behaviour consultation here" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/reducedfeeconsultationswithdrcam.jpg" alt="Book a pet behaviour consultation here" width="225" height="309" /></a></strong></h2> <p>There are several ways you can assess your dog&rsquo;s separation anxiety.</p> <ol> <li>Complete this <strong><a href="http://www.swiftpage3.com/CamDayConsulting.CamDay/SurveyBAF/Survey.aspx" target="_blank">assessment form</a></strong> and use the DIY email we then sent you.<br /><strong></strong></li> <li><strong>Book a <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/online-bookings" target="_blank">consultation with Dr Cam </a></strong>but remember that members get at least a 10% reduction in fees and free telephone support, and many other benefits.</li> <li><strong>Listen to the <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/separation-anxiety-cures">first few Podcasts from one of Dr Cam&rsquo;s seminars </a>on Separation anxiety. (Here's the first one <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/files/01Home%20Alone%20Behaviours%20-%20Introduction.mp3">Home Alone Behaviours - Introduction <em class="ymp">&nbsp;</em></a>)</strong></li> </ol> <h2><strong>Here's Your 10-Point Plan to Solve Your Dog's Separation Anxiety</strong></h2> <h3><strong>The solutions you employ depend on the way in which the anxiety presents and the severity of the anxiety.</strong></h3> <ol> <li>It&rsquo;s really important you ensure your dog is medically fit because medical disorders can certainly contribute to separation anxiety behaviours. Refer to this sheet &ndash; <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/medical-causes-of-pet-behavioural-problems" target="_blank">Medical Causes of Behavioural Problems</a>. Your veterinarian will help you to determine if a medical issue is contributing to your dog's problem or we can help with that when you book a consultation.<br /><br /></li> <li>The sheet <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/cures-for-separation-anxiety-animal-seperation" target="_blank">Home Alone and Anxious</a> is the main page you need to read. It stitches the solutions together very well and is the keystone sheet you can use to get the problem solved. That sheet is really detailed so be sure to work through it all.<br /><br /></li> <li>You can also listen to the whole collection of Dr Cam&rsquo;s Separation Anxiety Podcasts (2 hours of audio) <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/separation-anxiety-cures">via this link&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;and you can download them to your iThing or MP3 player. Membership is needed to access them.<br /><br /></li> <li>Perhaps your dog&rsquo;s anxiety is mostly manifest by barking and howling in which case this <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/barking-dog-solutions-and-barking-dog-brisbane" target="_blank">Barking Dog Pet Pick </a>contains a wealth of<a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/dog_toys"><img style="float: right;" title="KONG Wobbler" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/KONG%20Wobbler.jpg" alt="KONG Wobbler" width="100" height="150" /></a> information and an additional two hours of podcasts which are well worth the small cost of membership.<br /><br /></li> <li>If your dog is destructive in your absence then you may be interested in our <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/no-bored-dogs-pet-pick" target="_blank">No Bored Dogs Pet Pick</a>. For us, boredom relief is one of the key concepts that allows the development of techniques called <em>Trial Separations</em> and <em>Staged Leavings (</em>which are also mentioned in <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/cures-for-separation-anxiety-animal-seperation" target="_blank">Home Alone and Anxious</a>).<br /><br /></li> <li>You may also benefit from reading solutions to <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/hole-terror-holes-hole-dig-digging-destructive-no-bored-dogs-separation-anxiety-escaping-kong-toys" target="_blank">hole digging behaviour here </a>and boredom-relief toys such as the <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/dog_toys" target="_blank">Kong Wobbler </a>can really help to create an easy separation from your dog.<br /><br /></li> <li>Some dogs develop separation anxiety when <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=191" target="_blank">you move to a new house.<br /><br /></a></li> <li>Alternatively you may feel the solutions your dog needs relate to the means by which you can keep him or her happy and content so <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/happy-and-content-pets-its-as-simple-as-abc-boredom-bored-dogs-no-bored-dogs-digging-destructive-barking-agility-flyball-obedience-training-border-collies-working-dogs-cattle-dog-active-dogs-playing-games-with-dogs-lure-coursing" target="_blank">Happy Pets &ndash; It&rsquo;s as Simple as ABC </a>is what you need to read<a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/pheromones">.<br /><br /></a></li> <li>A comfortable wolf-like Den can be important for some dogs and very comforting too, so refer to this sheet on the <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/denning-a-dog-for-noise-phobia-and-separation-anxiety-treatment" target="_blank">Denning Principle</a>. (It&rsquo;s a member&rsquo;s file).<br /><br /><strong></strong></li> <li><strong>Calming Dogs with Separation Anxiety can be Life-Saving</strong></li> </ol> <p>If you are looking for means by which you can calm your dog then look at the <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Product/homeopet-anxiety-relief" target="_blank">homeopathic product called Anxiety.</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/adaptil-and-feliway-pheromones-for-pet-behaviour-therapy"><img style="vertical-align: middle; float: left;" title="pheromones20reduced" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/pheromones20reduced.jpg" alt="pheromones20reduced" width="221" height="89" /></a>The <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/pheromones" target="_blank">Dog App</a><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Category/pheromones" target="_blank">easing Pheromone</a> can be very effective for calming your dog and there are three versions available including a power-point diffuser, a pheromone collar and a pheromone spray.</p> <p>For really serious anxieties, especially those where your dog is panicking or injuring itself and your property when you are away, medications can be vital and life-saving. <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/medications-for-anxious-pets" target="_blank">Curing Panicking Pets </a>is what you need to read in that case.</p> <h2><strong>Re-assessing your progress</strong></h2> <p>No matter what solutions you implement, mark a point in your diary three weeks from now when you will review your dog&rsquo;s progress. You should be able to make significant progress in three weeks. If that&rsquo;s not the case, contact us for assistance by <a href="http://www.swiftpage3.com/CamDayConsulting.CamDay/SurveyBAF/Survey.aspx" target="_blank">completing this assessment form </a>or by ringing us on 07 32550022</p> Arthritic diseases in pets http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/treating-arthritic-diseases-in-pets-in-winter <h1 style="text-align: center;"><strong>Cold Weather = Arthritic Pain in Pets</strong></h1> <h1 style="text-align: center;"><strong>BEWARE</strong></h1> <p>With the start of the cooler months, comes the start of the most painful season for some of our older pets. The painful appendages of older pets can certainly cause bad behaviour - pain is a common cause of aggression - so knowing how to minimise arthritic pain is important.</p> <p>Pets with arthritis often creak and hobble around the house, struggle up and down stairs and work especially hard to get to their feet in the chilly mornings.<br /><br />Don't assume that this is a normal 'old age thing' and that nothing can be done. The truth is that old pets with arthritis can have a new lease on life if treated properly and there is no reason to allow your dog or cat to suffer the pain of 'old bones'.</p> <h2><strong>What Causes Arthritis?</strong></h2> <p>Arthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints in an animal's body. One in five dogs is affected by arthritis. In dogs more than six years of age, 65% <img style="float: right;" title="dogfearful200jpg" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/dogfearful200jpg.jpg" alt="dogfearful200jpg" />have arthritis.</p> <p>Sometimes the cause is some form of trauma to the joints such as that which occurs with sprains and fractures. For instance, when a dog suffers from a ruptured cruciate ligament in its knee joint, arthritis in the damaged joint is quite common.</p> <p>In other cases, the joints develop in an abnormal way and arthritis results.</p> <p>Hip dysplasia is a common developmental abnormality where arthritis often results. Normally a dog's hip joint is a smooth 'ball and socket' joint but in hip dysplasia, the ball and socket more closely resemble a square peg in a round hole. As the dog walks, the 'square peg' grinds&nbsp; away mercilessly at the joint and arthritis develops.</p> <p>At the front end of pets, shoulder joint abnormalities are also common.</p> <p>Inflammatory conditions and infections in the joints will also cause arthritis.</p> <p>Once a joint is injured, a cascade of damaging enzymes is released from the injured tissues.</p> <p>These enzymes cause further damage to the joint structure. The damaging enzymes spread deep into cracks that appear in the joint cartilage, severely damaging the underlying bone. The irritation causes the bone to react aggressively and bony outgrowths and spikes grow into and around the joint, crippling the pet and causing continual pain.</p> <h2><strong>How Can I Tell if My Pet Has Arthritis?</strong></h2> <p>Arthritis makes movement painful. For this reason, an affected dog or cat will be reluctant to exercise and is less likely to jump, play or chase balls. Your pet is likely to have difficulty climbing stairs and many owners note the dog hesitates before it jumps into the back of the station wagon or utility, whereas previously this was no problem.</p> <p>Sometimes, these early signs are missed or ignored.</p> <p>That's a big mistake because early treatment will really slow down the progression of the disease and will give pets a much better quality of life.</p> <p>Once a joint is injured, a cascade of damaging enzymes is released from the injured tissues. These enzymes cause further damage to the joint structure.</p> <p>Dogs which have difficulty in rising after resting usually have arthritis. However, after they have struggled to get up, they tend to move more freely after they 'warm up'. Dogs with arthritis&nbsp; will often lag behind during walks and they may limp.</p> <p>They have a stiff, stilted gait and show an exaggerated swinging of their hips as they walk. Some will yelp with pain when touched. Many dogs will start to soil the house because it is too difficult to go outside and some will become <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=270" target="_blank">aggressive </a>if they are disturbed or when owners or children try to move them.</p> <p>Arthritis is common in old cats as well but it is very often missed. Affected cats have problems grooming themselves and look untidy. They walk with little, quick, stilted&nbsp;back leg movements and often have difficulty <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=328" target="_blank">using their litter tray accurately </a>as they cannot squat when toileting.</p> <p>Certainly an animal with arthritis 'loses its spark' and has a reduced quality of life.</p> <h2><strong>How Will My Vet Treat the Arthritis?</strong></h2> <p>Your veterinarian is likely to use medication to reduce the pain and to give your dog back some quality of life and will advise on weight management and the use of compounds called nutraceuticals.</p> <p><img style="float: right;" title="veterinarian_giving_a_dog_an_exam-sml" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/veterinarian_giving_a_dog_an_exam-sml.jpg" alt="veterinarian_giving_a_dog_an_exam-sml" width="105" height="159" /></p> <p>Recent research has provided vets with a wide range of safe anti-arthritic medications.<br /><br />Approximately 80% of dogs improve with medical treatment, and the new range of medications can slow and, in some cases, reverse the arthritic changes.</p> <p>Your vet is also likely to advise the use of compounds often called nutraceuticals. A nutraceutical is any substance that is a food or part of a food that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease.</p> <p>Chondroitin and glucosamine are two nutraceuticals that are useful in arthritis as they assist in rebuilding the cartilage of the joint surface.</p> <p>There is also a variety of prepared pet foods that contain these same nutraceuticals and are therefore very useful in keeping your dog pain free and mobile. The best ones are prescription diets and as such, are only available from your veterinarian. These specialised diets can improve mobility in 21 days.</p> <p>To reduce the stress and strain on your pet's joints, be sure to keep your dog in trim condition.</p> <p>Obesity contributes significantly to the pain arthritic pets experience, so reducing your pet's weight by feeding it a low calorie, weight-reducing diet is important. Your veterinarian will be able to help with that.</p> <p>Careful exercise is also important but don't overdo it because you will place strain on the damaged joints. One of the complications of arthritis is that the muscles in the affected legs wither away because the pet is too sore to exercise.</p> <p>Gentle exercise will prevent that. Try to involve your dog in 'low impact' exercise such as swimming. If this is not possible, then gentle walking is good. Avoid running and jumping.</p> <p>In cold weather arthritis is always worse. Make sure your dog has comfortable bedding and a warm place to sleep. Consider a dog coat to keep it comfortable and if it is an outside dog, ensure it has a warm kennel with a raised floor.</p> <p><strong>Remember - early treatment for arthritis is the key to pain-free years as your pet ages.</strong></p> <p>But please don't forget that pain is a common cause of aggression. Take no risks. Don't punish your aggressive dog - find out the underlying reason and treat that.</p> <h3><strong>More information</strong></h3> <ul> <li> <div><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=326" target="_blank">Senior dog pet pick</a></div> </li> <li><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=307" target="_blank">Senior cat pet pick</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Do=View.Page&amp;PageID=209" target="_blank">What causes a dog to limp?</a>&nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/aggressive-dog-solutions">Solutions for aggressive behaviour</a></li> </ul> <div style="text-align: justify;">Cheers and keep warm!<br /><br /><br />Dr Cam <strong><br /></strong></div> Separation anxiety, noise fears and soiling - a question answered http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/separation-anxiety,-noise-fears-and-soiling-a-question-answered <h1 class="span-14"><strong>A question answered about separation anxiety, noise fears and soiling</strong></h1> <p>My dog suffers anxiety problems from loud noises (thunder, cars back firing etc) to separation anxiety. If I go away for a few hours, he sits at the fence and cries/howls and looks really cranky when I return.</p> <p>My partner said not to molly coddle him as it will make the problem worse so I try to talk to him to settle him down.</p> <p>He will often breath really heavy and his heart beats quickly. I really don&rsquo;t want to revert to drugs to settle him down but I have now become anxious thinking about him.</p> <p>I love him so much but he is getting older and set in his ways and I want to make his last few years the best. What should I do?</p> <p><em>Mary - Carina Brisbane</em></p> <hr /> <p class="style1">HI Mary,</p> <p class="style1"><a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Fuseaction=wysiwygpage&amp;wysiwyg_id=306">Separation anxiety</a> and <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Fuseaction=wysiwygpage&amp;wysiwyg_id=220">noise fears</a> are two of the most common anxiety disorders from which dogs can suffer. The problem is that each on its own can be severe and together they are bad bed mates, each feeding off the other in a dog-debilitating frenzy. Wether to &lsquo;molly coddle&rsquo; or not is an interesting point. What you dog needs is to be calm and happy and if that means giving him attention then that&rsquo;s not a crime.</p> <p class="style1">So, the goal is to make your dog calm and content in your absence. This can sometimes be created by lifestyle enrichment techniques. We use something we call the <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Fuseaction=wysiwygpage&amp;wysiwyg_id=337">No Bored Dogs Routine</a> for that. You should also teach your dog to be calm and content when you are away by practicing getting him away from you for short periods when you ARE home and use the <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Fuseaction=wysiwygpage&amp;wysiwyg_id=337">No Bored Dogs Routine</a> to create that separation.</p> <p class="style1">If your dog is inside when you are absent from him then look at how <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/index.cfm?Fuseaction=wysiwygpage&amp;wysiwyg_id=305">Pheromones</a> can help by creating a Den-like environment for your dog that calms him in your absence.</p> <p class="style1">For the noise fears, remember that dogs hear, see, smell and even feel (the rain and wind) of storms and this can terrify many dogs. So a sound proof Den is ideal for the fears that occur when you are absent. Many use a laundry for that or a walk-in wardrobe can sometimes work. If he panics with noises when you are home then try derailing the cascade of fear with game play routines. Some dogs really become calm when massage is combined with a calming voice.</p> <p class="style1">And lastly &ndash; many anxious or panicking dogs can benefit from the wise and thoughtful use of <a href="http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/good-pet-behaviour-starts-here">medications</a> but you will need to see your vet for that or contact us for more information.</p> <p class="style1">Cheers</p> <p class="style1"><br />Dr Cam</p> <p><em><br /></em></p> Heat stress in pets http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/stopping-heat-stress-in-pets <h1 class="heading2blue" style="text-align: justify;">Ten Cool Tips for Hot Pets</h1> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Don't let your pet get hot under the collar this summer. The summer heat can kill but here are ten timely tips that will help your pet to keep its cool.</strong></h2> <h2 class="heading2web" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>&nbsp;1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Heated arguments</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">One tragic mistake that pet owners make too commonly at this time of year is to leave their pets in a hot car. Dogs die in hot cars in a very short space of time and it shouldn't happen.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;Any car can be a fatal furnace for pet. The highest temperatures are reached in cars of dark colour and with large glass areas. Hatchback cars are the worst, with temperatures quickly exceeding 70 degrees centigrade. This is lethal for any living being, including children.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;Short nosed breeds of dogs, such as Bull Dogs, Pugs and the Pekingese, are very susceptible to heat stress.&nbsp; Obese dogs and cats are at risk too as are those with poor circulation and dogs with any respiratory disease.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The rule is simple. At this time of year, your pet should not travel with you if you are going to stop anywhere other than at your final destination. Many say "But I'm only going into the shop for a litre of milk - I'll be just a minute". The 'just a minute' extends very quickly if the shop is busy or if you happen to meet a talkative friend. Your pet may be dead - and it only takes 'just a minute'.</p> <h2 class="heading2web" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>&nbsp;2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Jogging Dogs</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">I cringe when I see people cycling or jogging with their dogs in summer. The owner knows when he or she is getting too hot but the dog is so faithful it will ignore the messages from its body that say 'stop'.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">How many times have you seen dogs with their tongues dangling in a futile attempt to cool themselves while they struggle to keep pace with their owners? Dogs like this often collapse from circulatory failure.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;If you are exercising your dog in this weather, please do so in the early morning or after dark.</p> <h2 class="heading2web" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>&nbsp;3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A Cool Kennel</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is essential that your pets have adequate shade at this time of year but you should be aware that it's the afternoon sun as it slides to the west that's the killer.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;Ensure that a shady spot is provided on the eastern side of your house.&nbsp; Perhaps your house itself provides a cool spot on the eastern side or, with a high-set house, the area underneath the house is often the coolest.&nbsp;&nbsp; Shade cloth placed in a sensible, strategic position will help. Perhaps you can provide access to your garage or laundry via a dog door to give your pet shade.</p> <h2 class="heading2web" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>&nbsp;4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Toasting Tiles and Concrete</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Does your pet wear shoes?&nbsp; I doubt it and therein lies a problem. Tiled, concreted and bitumen-covered areas around your home become frying-egg hot in summer. Prove it to yourself by placing your open palm on concrete and tiled areas around your outside entertainment areas. If your pet is forced to walk along such areas regularly or if its bed or kennel is placed onto pavement-covered areas, the radiant heat will make the area very uncomfortable for your pet.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;Placing artificial grass over the pavement often helps to keep the tiles cool and your pets smiling.</p> <h2 class="heading2web" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>&nbsp;5.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Water Good Idea</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Your pets need plenty of fresh, cool water at this time of year and their water bowls should be cleaned and refilled daily.&nbsp; Provide more that one water bowl in case your pet knocks one over and, for your dog, provide water in buckets, not in bowls. Dogs often like to 'bury their heads' in buckets and to bite the water in play. This is a good way of them cooling themselves down and should be encouraged.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sipper drinkers that attach directly to a tap are also available from pet shops. When you dog nuzzles the drinker, fresh water is released. Be sure your dog has alternative water sources until you are certain it know how to use these devices.</p> <h2 class="heading2web" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>&nbsp;6&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Pooling Resources</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Those clam shell sandpits that are available cheaply from children?s stores are ideal for pets.&nbsp; Fill one side with water and your pet may like to drink the water, wade in it, stand in it or lie in it. Place sand in the other half and wet the sand. The combination will provide a cool, beach-like distraction for your heated hound. No hot dogs at this beach resort please!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Place a sprinkler in the bottom of the water pool and connect that to a cheap electronic hose timer. These are readily available. That way your pet can have an occasional fountain in its cool pool.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Alternatively, with the hose connected to a timer set to permitted sprinkler hours, tie the other end of your hose to a tree. The hose will come to life during the day and give your pets a watery wonder world.&nbsp; Cool!</p> <h2 class="heading2web" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>7.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Hair of the Dog</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">It's easy for us to shed unwanted clothes in summer but not so easy for long-haired dogs and cats to shed their coats. &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Having your pet clipped now is a good idea and there are many grooming parlours around town that will do the job for you.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Most pets are shedding their coats at this time of year and daily grooming to remove unwanted hair will make your pet more comfortable. Buy a suitable brush from your pet shop and the job will be more hair-raising!&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="heading2web" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>8.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Wet Pets and Fan Fare</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">If your dog has trouble coping with the heat or if you need to leave it on a hot day, it?s a good idea to hose your dog before you leave. The water will evaporate and cool the pooch and make it much more comfortable.&nbsp; Provide a fan for your dog or cat and, if it is wet, the evaporation will be even more effective.&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="heading2web" style="text-align: justify;"><strong>9.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Icy Solutions</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">To help your pet keep its cool while you are at work, provide it with some icy delights.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Freeze a cup or two of water and place the ice blocks in your dog's water bowl in the morning.&nbsp; Maybe a frozen bone or a Kong toy will be useful.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Also, make some Frozen Sloup by placing some Vegemite broth or similar into a plastic lunch box or margarine container. Throw in some chunks of fresh meat, some liver treats or a sensible bone and freeze&nbsp; the whole lot.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">When you go to work, remove the frozen delight from its container and place it into an empty food bowl. It will provide your pet with a stimulating and nutritious boredom blaster during the day that will also keep your hot dog cool.&nbsp; Icy!</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>10.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Small Concerns</strong></h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">Let's not forget the needs of cage pets such as birds, chickens and guinea pigs. Be sure their enclosures are in shade and adequate water is provided. For cage birds at a window or on a veranda, be certain that they are not trapped in the afternoon sun as it arcs over your house. &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Livestock also need adequate shade. So many horses and other hobby-farm pets are forced to bake in the sun all day. A shade cloth shelter is cheap to construct and will provide essential comfort.&nbsp;</p> Heat stress is a major concern over summer but a little common sense is all that is required to help your pets keep their cool. Please be careful. From calm to chaos and back http://www.pethealth.com.au/Blog/dog-dialogue/Post/calm-to-chaos-concept-in-pet-behaviour-management <h1>From Chaos to Calm &ndash; The Complexity of Mood Control in Pets</h1> <h2><strong>When it comes to mood control, dogs and cats are not experts.</strong></h2> <p>One thing that is said to me commonly is that<strong><em> </em></strong></p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;When meeting another dog, my dog barks and lunges aggressively and will not listen to a thing that I am saying. I pull him on the lead and say &lsquo;BAHH. Bad Dog&rsquo;- and he never responds".</em></strong></p> <p>The reason is that the dog has reached an over-aroused state where it cannot think in logical processes &ndash; and at that state of arousal &lsquo;stupid English communication&rsquo; rarely works. Neither will Japanese, Russian or Cantonese!!</p> <p>So the dogs goes from a state of calm, to a state of chaos.&nbsp;</p> <p>He or she will regain the state of calm at some stage because all behaviour has:-</p> <ul> <li>a beginning</li> <li>a middle-bit and</li> <li>an end</li> </ul> <p>Working with the &nbsp;&lsquo;calm to chaos to calm cycle&rsquo; is a vital part of behaviour modification and the goal of behaviour modification is to move the &lsquo;end&rsquo; up to the &lsquo;beginning&rsquo; thus eliminating the problematic middle bit.</p> <p>Now considering your dog or cat, look at the graph below.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 5px auto; display: block;" title="Calm to chaos and back" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/chaostocalmgraph.jpg" alt="Calm to chaos and back" /></p> <p>The pink dog or cat is likely the one you are worried about.</p> <h2><strong>Let&rsquo;s look at the time-line of the graph</strong></h2> <p>On the time-line of the calm to chaos cycle a &lsquo;stimulus&rsquo; occurs that heightens your dog&rsquo;s arousal level. (That&rsquo;s the oval circle on the graph.)</p> <p>In cases that I see, the stimulus is often one that worries a dog. (In more correct terms the dog becomes anxious about the doomful event ahead). &nbsp;</p> <p>Common anxiety-inducing stimuli are</p> <ul> <li>another dog approaching</li> <li>a thunderstorm developing in the distance</li> <li>an owner getting ready to leave for work and doing the &lsquo;run to the line&rsquo;.</li> </ul> <p>In some cases the stimulus might be one that creates a happy state of arousal such as the opportunity on the way for a dog to chase a ball or play tug of war. Later, we will talk about this &lsquo;happy state of arousal&rsquo; can be used therapeutically.</p> <p>As the matter progresses, left unchecked, the dog&rsquo;s anxiety increases to the point where it finally goes above the &lsquo;blue line&rsquo; to a state of over-arousal. Then there is such a conflict of neurotransmitters that the dog has no ability to respond to &lsquo;stupid English words&rsquo;.</p> <p>This over-aroused state is commonly referred to as the flight and fight response. When worried about an approaching anxiety-inducing challenge, some animals will flee (think of a gazelle being charged by a lion) and some dogs and (more so) cats will flee.</p> <p>However, dogs are predators. Fleeing is not a common response for predators and dogs will therefore often proceed to the fight version instead where they raise their hackles, start to vocalise by barking or growling and then will lunge forwards. Sometimes as they get closer to the anxiety-inducing challenge they will change from fight to flight.</p> <p>Freeze and fiddle are two other alternatives when pets are over-whelmed by anxiety. A &lsquo;freeze&rsquo; is often seen by cats when they are overwhelmed and a fiddle is less common but often involves self-grooming including licking or scratching or whole body shaking (shaking off the anxiety) or playing with a toy.</p> <h2><strong>Pets are both similar and different to humans when it comes to moods and mood control.</strong></h2> <h3><strong>Similarities</strong></h3> <ol> <li>Humans and pets become emotional at times of duress</li> <li>The emotions can reach a state of chaos where</li> <ul> <li>humans yell, scream, cry and sometimes become violent</li> <li>Animals bark, meow, whine, growl, hiss, spit and often become aggressive</li> </ul> </ol> <h3><strong>Differences</strong></h3> <ol> <li>Humans can practice mood control and supress or reverse the cascade towards bad moods</li> <ol> <li>Even at a state of chaos the majority of people can inhibit their aggression and violence</li> <li>In many cases people can &lsquo;plan&rsquo; the solution to their own incorrect moods and work forwards to a solution by planning the solution when they are calm</li> </ol> <li>Animals are terrible at mood control! They &lsquo;wear their heart on their sleeve&rsquo;. While they can practice mood control they are not good at it.</li> <ol start="1"> <li>At a state of chaos an animal can&rsquo;t learn and can&rsquo;t listen &ndash; the are in flight fight mode</li> <li>They cannot plan the solution to their own inappropriate moods and cannot work towards a solution on their own</li> <li>They quickly worsen their own bad moods by &lsquo;predicting the doom&rsquo; of an event and expecting a similar event will result in similar outcomes.</li> </ol></ol>&nbsp; <h2><strong>What to do about a pet that&rsquo;s chaotic</strong></h2> <p>There are many potential strategies but let&rsquo;s pick out some important principles.</p> <ol> <li><address><strong>Avoid anxiety-inducing situations</strong></address></li> <ol> <li><address>While this may sound like &lsquo;wimping out&rsquo;, avoiding the &lsquo;dragons of discontent&rsquo; is really important.</address></li> <li><address>When a pet is traumatised by a situation, (e.g. being threatened by another dog) the next similar situation (the next challenge by a dog) is very likely to make his or her anxiety worse.&nbsp; Avoiding the dragon at least stops the behaviour worsening and slowly allows the mood to &lsquo;deflate&rsquo;.]</address></li> </ol> <li><address><strong>Work the time-line</strong></address></li> </ol> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Remember all behaviour has:-</p> <blockquote> <ul> <li>a beginning</li> <li>a middle-bit and</li> <li>an end</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>So using a strategy that hastens the &lsquo;end&rsquo; of the behaviour gets rid of the problematic &lsquo;middle bit&rsquo; where the anxiety is self-reinforcing.</p> <p>Better still, watch for the &lsquo;beginning of the behaviour&rsquo; where the mood decay is commencing and derail that early so the &lsquo;middle bit&rsquo; doesn&rsquo;t even occur.</p> <p>How do you know when your pet&rsquo;s mood is decaying? &nbsp;You need to know the &lsquo;signs of anxiety&rsquo; which his too complex for this article but yawning, lip licking and an increase respiration rate are early signs.</p> <p>But, for dogs on a walk, there&rsquo;s an easier way.</p> <p>During the walk, ask your dog to &lsquo;SIT&rsquo; every 20 metres or so.</p> <ul> <li>If your dog responds to SIT he or she is in &lsquo;emotional control&rsquo; and you can proceed on your walk.</li> <li>If your dog cannot SIT, his or her ability to respond to &lsquo;stupid English words&rsquo; is evaporating and you need to calm your dog &ndash; increasing distance from the challenge is often one way of doing that.</li> </ul> &nbsp; <p>Refer to the Sit-A-Lot routine for more detail but the simple summary is:-</p> <address><strong>Asking your dog to SIT regularly is by far the easiest and most exact means of determining how your dog is coping with his or her emotional load.&nbsp;</strong></address> <p>Teaching your dog to SIT reliably is easy for most dogs and the process is well described in our favourite routine called the Circle of Commands.</p> <h2><strong>Pulsing a calm state</strong></h2> <p>Another strategy we find very useful is to &lsquo;pulse&rsquo; a calm state after deliberately creating a state of chaos &ndash; but &lsquo;joyful&rsquo; chaos not anxiety-induced chaos.</p> <p>While that may sound confusing, an example will help.</p> <p>We mentioned earlier that the expectation of a ball being thrown or to play tug of war can be used therapeutically.</p> <p>Many dogs love &lsquo;tug of war&rsquo; games and will vigorously take up the challenge when their owners offer a tug toy (for instance) to set up a contest.&nbsp; By encouraging the &lsquo;rat shake&rsquo; of the tug toy you are creating a state of joyful chaos. Turning that off by using the Leave routine (elsewhere on this website) and then getting the dog to do a laser lock SIT for 5 seconds pulses the dog from a state of chaos, to a state of calmness.</p> <p>Generally the three-step &lsquo;tug the toy&rsquo; &agrave; &lsquo;leave the toy&rsquo; &agrave; &lsquo;Sit and be calm for 5 seconds&rsquo; is easy to teach a dog.</p> <p><strong>That three-step process is called a pulse.</strong></p> <p>That three step pulse can usually be repeated many times in quick succession.</p> <ul> <li>Let&rsquo;s say you complete 10 repetitions of that pulse.</li> <li>You do that twice daily.</li> <li>And for seven days</li> </ul> <p>The mathematics says you have pulsed a calm state from one of chaos 10 x 2 x 7 = 140 times in seven days.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s good &ndash; very good &ndash; and the graph below shows the process on a time line.</p> <p>Also view the video below for a demonstration of this technique - in the presence of an infant baby cats and confusion!!</p> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<img style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 5px;" title="chaostocalmpulse" src="http://www.pethealth.com.au/images/chaostocalmpulse.jpg" alt="chaostocalmpulse" width="468" height="295" /> <h2><strong><br /></strong></h2> <h2><strong><iframe style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UmOwnXWMvx4" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></strong></h2> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <h2><strong>Summary</strong></h2> <ol> <li><address>When a pet is in chaos, it cannot respond to word-based requests</address></li> <li><address>Don&rsquo;t yell, scream or hit &ndash; that creates more chaos</address></li> <li><address>Avoid the situation &ndash; run away from it!</address></li> <li><address>The solution comes from watching for the first stages of arousal (see graph above but remember the power of SIT) and resorting to a state of calmness from that.</address></li> <li><address>Reward a return to calmness using the Laser-Lock Sit (refer to the Leave routine for details)</address></li> </ol>