Tips for Coping with Holiday Stress

News

Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. We are in the festive holiday season, which can mean guest & family possibly arriving. This is probably not part of your good dog or cool cat’s routine. On top of that, the humans seem more stressed than usual. Extra shopping, parties to attend & preparing the home for guests is a lot of work. We dogs are very sensitive to our human’s emotions.

What I’m getting at is this, the holidays can be stressful for us four leggers. In my case, living with canine idiopathic epilepsy, stress & excitement can trigger a seizure so it’s extra important for my huMom to keep things calm around this time of year.

For some good dogs & cats having company over is no big deal. But some, like myself can be reactive. For them I have a few suggestions if you plan on having guests.

Prepare a dim lit room or go to space for your pet with favorite toys, some treats. Calming music might help. If your dog feels secure in a crate, move it away from the activity so your good dog can retreat there.

Wearing a thundershirt can help some good dogs. I have one that I wear if guests are coming.

Adaptil is a non-medical solution for helping dogs feel more relaxed & secure. It synthetically mimics the natural appeasing pheromones that mother dogs use to comfort & reassure their puppies. It comes in a spray or with a defuser you plug into the wall.

Extra play time or an extra walk can burn off any anxiety or pent up energy we may have about all the unusual activity at home.

There are also natural approaches such as melatonin or CBD oil, both can have a calming effect.

OmegaAlpha has two formulations for coping with stress. E-Z Rest has a calming effect & promotes relaxation. EnduraStress helps the body cope with stress while also providing a calming effect. Either of these can be added to meals for a few days before a big day to help your good dog or cool cat.

The most important thing is to consider your four legger’s needs when planning your festivities. It should be a happy time for everyone.

Do you have any tips for reducing holiday stress? Please bark out about it, I want to know.

CEO Olivia

Fireworks? No Thank You

News

Hello, Olivia here. July 1st is Canada’s birthday & July 4th is The United States’ birthday. Humans like to celebrate national birthdays with fireworks. They can be beautiful to behold but we dogs really don’t like them. In fact, a lot of us are down right terrified.

Fireworks are very loud & sound like thunder to us. It’s a fact that pounds & shelters get a lot of “strays” right after a local firework display. A terrified dog will run away given the chance. Running away from the noise is a survival instinct. We just want to get away from those awful sounds.

If you are celebrating with fireworks I would like to suggest you keep your good dog home & inside where it will feel safe; preferably not alone. Be sure to close the windows to lessen the sound. If your dog feels safe in a covered crate or under the bed, then by all means give them the option. My late furriend Micky Moo used to hide in the bathtub. Putting your good dog in it’s Thundershirt before the fireworks begin is a good option too. Lavender oil waived under the nose or in a diffuser can have a calming effect. You could also use Adaptil to calm your good dog.

Stay safe this holiday weekend.

CEO Olivia

Anxiety Disorders & Aggression in Good Dogs

News

Did you know that anxiety or uncertainty can trigger aggressive behavior in a good dog. This can be a big problem if a dog has an anxiety disorder. Punishing the dog will only make it’s anxiety worse. Besides, punishing a dog only addresses the behavior & not the cause. That’s a recipe for disaster.

When dog aggression is suppressed, but the root anxiety is not treated, it can manifest in different behavior.  Obsessive-compulsive behavior like obsessive licking for example.

The first step is seeing a vet. If it’s determined that your dog has an anxiety disorder, medication may bring relief. It may even be necessary to have the dog calm enough to work with. Another possible option would be a Thundershirt. A Thundershirt applies gentle, constant, similar to swaddling an infant human & has been proven to calm anxious dogs.

Having an Adaptil D.A.P.  diffuser in the home can help too. The diffuser releases a synthetic pheromone (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) that has a calming effect on dogs. You can also get D.A.P. infused collars or D.A.P. spray. My huMom used the spray for me after the fire. She felt it worked quickly if I was anxious. The people who make the Thundershirt also have a spray, but we haven’t tried it.

Once the dog is reasonably calm either through medication or by wearing a Thundershirt you can begin working with the dog in dealing with the sources of it’s anxiety through behavior modification & pawsative reinforcement.

A key component in behavior modification is understanding that we come to be anxious about the fear or the anxiety itself. Exposure to a cause of anxiety must start at the lowest levels so the dog learns that at low levels, they can cope with the anxiety. This is the only way the dog can get used to both the “stimulus” (the thing that triggers the anxiety) & the anxiety itself.

With luck, over time the dog will no longer be triggered. That doesn’t mean it’s anxiety is cured, but it is now manageable. Working with your good dog will benefit you both. Remember, an aggressive dog may just be anxious & frightened. Don’t react with anger even though that may be a challenge some times. Try to find the cause & work from there.

CEO Olivia