Storms and your Pets

From the WebMD Archives

It can be heartbreaking to watch: Even before the first clap of thunder, otherwise well-behaved dogs begin to pace, pant, cling to their owners, hide in the closet, or jam themselves behind the toilet. In severe cases, they’ll claw through drywall, chew carpets, or break through windows in their escalating panic.

Thunderstorm phobia in dogs is real, not uncommon, and shouldn’t be ignored, experts say.

“Most of the time they don’t grow out of it on their own, and many will get worse with time if nothing is done,” says Matt Peuser, DVM, a veterinarian at Olathe Animal Hospital in Kansas.

Why does storm phobia happen, and what can you do if your dog suffers from it?

Storm Phobia Triggers

Veterinarians don’t know all the triggers but suspect the dogs are set off by some combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static electricity, and low-frequency rumbles preceding a storm that humans can’t hear. According to one theory, dogs experience painful shocks from static buildup before the storm.

4 Quick Tips for Calming a Dog During Thunderstorms
  1. Don’t excessively coddle and comfort and over soothe your pet . Seriously. …
  2. Use a quiet spot in your home as a shelter of sorts. …
  3. Turn off the TV or radio — well, any loud noise. …
  4. Sounds ridiculous, but simply try to distract him.
  5. How does a ThunderShirt work for a dog?
    These snug-fitting shirts target various pressure points, creating a sensation similar to swaddling a baby. Veterinarians and dog trainers frequently recommend this drug-free option for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, fear of loud noises (thus the name “Thundershirt”) and travel anxiety.

    lightning strike on city
    Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

Best chew toys for puppies

What is good for puppies to chew on?
At a Glance: Our Choices for Best Chew Toys for Teething Puppies
  • Kong Puppy Toy.
  • N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring Chicken Flavor.
  • Nylabone Romp ‘N Chomp Bone Dog Treat and Chew Toy.
  • Nylabone Just For Puppies Ring Bone Puppy Dog Teething Chew Toy.
  • Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy.
  • VIP Products Tuffy’s ring tug.pexels-photo-248307.jpeg

Understanding your puppy: tips from American Kennel club.

pexels-photo-257540.jpeg1. Understand that a puppy is an infant dog – not a miniature adult. Adjust your expectations accordingly, considering his physical and mental limitations. Before you know it, he will be grown up!

2. Puppy-proof your house with baby gates, a crate, and/or a pen. Any time the puppy is not directly supervised, he should be in a safe place where he can’t get into trouble. Provide appropriate safe toys for him to chew. Nobody would think of giving a human toddler total freedom in a home, and puppies need the same careful supervision. Eliminating opportunities for accidents and destructive behavior will get you through the puppy phase with most of your stuff intact! This helps make sure that bad habits never get a chance to take hold.

3. Dogs are not born understanding English. The new puppy you brought home two days ago has no idea what the word “no” means. Instead of expecting him to drop whatever it is he’s doing, show him what you want him to do instead.

4. Learn about dog body language. Your dog may not be able to talk, but he can tell you how he feels. This is a good place to start learning what he’s saying: /content/entertainment/articles/how-to-read-dog-body-language/

5. Train with high-value treats. You will be amazed at how much harder your dog will work for a tiny piece of chicken breast, cheese, or liver, compared to even premium store-bought treats. Those may work in distraction-free settings, but when the job gets more difficult, you need to bring out the good stuff. Training treats should be soft, so you don’t have to wait for Rover to chew before continuing the lesson.

6. Catch your dog being good. It’s easy to get caught up in scolding when your puppy is getting into trouble, but rewarding him out of the blue for being good lets him know he’s doing the right thing.

7. He’s a dog, not a human. It’s their “doggyness,” not what we think of as their similarity to humans, that makes them so lovable. Dogs don’t think like humans. They do not plot acts of revenge; they are just trying to do what makes them feel happy or safe.

8. Dogs do the things that we reinforce. Those behaviors you don’t like? We usually have ourselves to thank. Owners inadvertently reinforce all kinds of undesirable things, from excessive barking at the doorbell to counter surfing. Keep leaving food within reach on the counter, and your dog will learn that it’s worth his while to check.

Happy Easter

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Easter safety for your dogs!

1: Say No to Easter Grass

Easter grass can make a basket really pretty but it’s irresistible for dogs and cats. They love to chew on it and if ingested it can be dangerous. Use tissue paper instead or if you do use Easter grass, keep those baskets out of reach of your pets.

2: Keep Chocolate Away From Pets

Chocolate contains theobromine and can cause hyperactivity, seizures, and an elevated heart rate in dogs. Keep the Easter stash hidden and away from your dog.

3: Sugar Substitute Xylitol is Toxic to Pets

Candy that has the sugar substitute xylitol, a sweetener, is toxic to dogs and cats. It’s often found in candy, gum, and some baked goods. If your pet ingests it, a drop in blood sugar can occur and cause problems such as seizures and liver failure. You may have to put your dog in another room while the kids celebrate Easter and dive into that basket of candy and chocolate.

Cat Facts!

1. Cats are the most popular pet in the United States: There are 88 million pet cats and 74 million dogs.

2. There are cats who have survived falls from over 32 stories (320 meters) onto concrete.

3. A group of cats is called a clowder.

4. Cats have over 20 muscles that control their ears.

5. Cats sleep 70% of their lives.

6. A cat has been mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, for 15 years. His name is Stubbs.

7. And one ran for mayor of Mexico City in 2013.Lincoln

8. In tigers and tabbies, the middle of the tongue is covered in backward-pointing spines, used for breaking off and gripping meat.

9. When cats grimace, they are usually “taste-scenting.” They have an extra organ that, with some breathing control, allows the cats to taste-sense the air.

10. Cats can’t taste sweetness.

11. Owning a cat can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by a third.

12. Wikipedia has a recording of a cat meowing because why not?

13. The world’s largest cat measured 48.5 inches long.