Affordable Ways of Taking Care of Your Dog’s Dental Health

Every February, we celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month to highlight the significance of taking care of our pet’s pearly whites. Appropriate oral care is also important to their general health and joy! Honestly, I don’t brush my pet dog’s teeth every day. Veterinarians advise everyday brushing, however only 2% of animal owners do that.

If you overlook your animal’s teeth, they will struggle with a great deal of canine oral issues such as halitosis, teeth and gum infections, gum disease, and even missing teeth. A number of these problems have uncomfortable signs. The pain can become excruciating and you’ll have no choice but take them on a costly trip to the veterinarian’s.

What can you do to avoid these problems? Let me count the methods.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Daily

It’s the most standard thing you can do to avoid pricey dental treatments. Use a dog-specific toothbrush instead of utilizing simply any human tooth brush you can discover in your home. If your pet does not like brushing, you can still make it a positive experience for them. We laid out the actions on how to train your dog to enjoy brushing in our post 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Dental Care.

Prevent utilizing human tooth paste too. Some human-grade components are not safe for our furkids. Human tooth paste normally includes fluoride that’s not indicated to be swallowed. Lots of people tooth paste also consists of xylitol, a sweetening agent, that’s poisonous to our pets. Pet toothpaste is specially formulated for them and generally comes in various flavors such as chicken, beef, or seafood.

Usage Dog Dental Wipes

Experts recommend dry kibble over damp food because kibble partially scrapes away a bacterial movie that forms on their teeth. If left unattended, this bacterial film becomes a compound covering teeth and we understand this as plaque. Yes, that frustrating off-white sticky compound that can develop into tartar and can’t be brushed away.

Who wants to enter into a wrestling match with a canine while trying to brush their teeth? Not me! Pet Dog Dental Wipes are easier to use, particularly if you have an animal who can’t tolerate brushing. They will not be as reliable as utilizing a tooth brush on those concealed crevices, but it’s better than doing nothing at all for your animal’s oral health.

Enhance Oral Care With Dog Dental Chews and Treats

So, what’s so great about oral chews? Well, you can give them to your furkid in between brushings to keep their teeths in tiptop condition. Pawstruck Daily Dental Chew Brush, for instance, has unique ridges that gently scrape versus your pup’s teeth– a big aid when you’re trying to manage plaque buildup and keep nasty pet breath at bay. It’s likewise gluten, wheat, and corn-free!

Aside from checking your furkid’s teeth once a week and brushing their teeth, letting them munch on treats can do marvels for his dental health. Provide treats that are good for dental health. We advise Beef Tendon Chews, Esophagus Straps, Animal Ears, and Bully Sticks to keep their mouth clean and help eliminate that nasty pet breath.

Start Dental Care Early

< img src= “https://blog.pawstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/dog-4633734_640.jpg”alt =”” class =”wp-image-8045″srcset=”https://blog.pawstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/dog-4633734_640.jpg 640w, https://blog.pawstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/dog-4633734_640-300×200.jpg 300w “sizes =”(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px “/ > A sad fact about our dog’s oral health is that 80 % of canines are showing signs of gum illness by the time they’re 3 years old. And much like with a lot of, if not all, health concerns, prevention is much better than cure. A good young puppy dental care routine is perhaps the very best way to ensure your puppy’s oral health remains in tip-top condition.

Begin brushing your pup’s teeth when they have all their adult teeth. By 6 months, all their baby teeth have actually fallen out and permanent teeth are now in place. You can begin rubbing your young puppy’s gums with your finger so they get used to it. Massage the gums routinely, then start using a soft rubber brush that fits your fingertips. Include dog tooth paste and gradually reduce your puppy into the routine with a weekly brushing and working your way as much as 3 to 4 times a week. You can give them deals with to chew on but avoid very tough chews like cow hooves and antlers.

Opt For Professional Cleaning

Professional pet dog oral cleaning expenses anywhere from $300 to $700, and that’s not precisely low cost. But going for routine professional oral cleansing can conserve you thousands of dollars in the long run. Brushing, dental chews, and deals with can help keep your pet dog’s mouth in exceptional shape. A professional oral cleansing might lead to discovering problems that can go undetected even by knowledgeable owners. It’s undeniably the very best method to maintain your furkid’s dental health.

As dog owners, we should be proactive when it comes to our pet dog’s oral health. Disregarding their teeth will lead to more problems, consisting of behavioral problems, and impact their lifestyle.

The post Low-Cost Ways of Taking Care of Your Dog’s Dental Health appeared initially on Pawstruck Press.

Join the National Park Service’s Park– or Rather– B.A.R.K. Rangers

The post Join the National Park Service’s Park– or Rather– B.A.R.K. Rangers by Bridget Shirvell appeared initially on Dogster. Copying over entire posts infringes on copyright laws. You might not know it, but all of these short articles were designated, contracted and spent for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the post and would like it if you continued sharing simply the very first paragraph of a short article, then connecting out to the remainder of the piece on Dogster.com.

Opportunities are, as a kid, teen or grownup, you questioned what it would resemble to be a Park Ranger at one of America’s National Parks: enjoying the great outdoors, maintaining history and sharing your knowledge with visitors. However it just might be that your dog has actually been daydreaming of being a “bark ranger.”

Well, that canine dream might become a reality the next time you go to a National Park. The National Park Service (NPS) uses lots of opportunities for pets and their human buddies to take pleasure in the landscapes, routes and environments of our country’s most beautiful and historic places with its more than 420 national parks. The “B.A.R.K. Ranger” program provided at a number of the parks allows dogs to have some family fun without being overstimulated or risky.

National Park Service Ranger Daniel Willner hosts a Grand Canyon National Park B.A.R.K.

  • Ranger hike. Picture: Dr. Stephenie Slahor What is the B.A.R.K. Ranger program”B.A.R.K. “is in fact an acronym for the four principles involved in the NPS’s Healthy People, Healthy Parks effort: B is for bagging your animal’s waste and disposing of it in a public garbage receptacle, never leaving it on a path, path or in the woods or wild lands. A is for always keeping your family pet on a leash no longer than 6 feet so that you have control of
  • your pet. R means appreciating the park’s wildlife.
  • K is for knowing which areas of the park are dog-friendly websites where your pet is welcome or where your family pet can hike with you.

How does the B.A.R.K. Ranger program works?

Grand Canyon National Park is simply one National Park where the complimentary B.A.R.K. Ranger program is offered. Park Ranger Daniel Willner organizes a pets-and-humans walk along among the canyon’s rim trails that is open to family pets.

Not all of the parks have a B.A.R.K. Ranger program. “When creating a B.A.R.K. Ranger program, some factors to consider, among others, include the area, safety, logistics, authorizations (if essential), the function of the program and the takeaways you would like the participant to experience,” he says.

When a park establishes the program, it is time to get the word out to the guests at the lodges, the campers and the day-use visitors.

Ranger Willner discusses, “There are various ways to market a B.A.R.K. Ranger program; nevertheless, the platforms that I have actually found to be most effective have actually been publishing fliers in the various contact stations and campgrounds, including the program in the Ranger Talks schedule (of lectures and presentations), as well as the park site.”

Inspect all of these platforms to see if the park you are visiting presently has the program.

B.A.R.K. Ranger

< img aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-392418 “loading =”lazy”class =”wp-image-392418 size-full”src =”http://www.dogster.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CatoctinMountainPark.png”alt =” B.A.R.K. Ranger” width=”780″height =”520″ srcset=”https://www.dogster.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CatoctinMountainPark.png 780w, https://www.dogster.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CatoctinMountainPark-600×400.png 600w, https://www.dogster.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CatoctinMountainPark-768×512.png 768w, https://www.dogster.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CatoctinMountainPark-160×106.png 160w”sizes =”( max-width: 780px)100vw, 780px”/ > Rangers posture with a Catoctin Mountain Park B.A.R.K. Ranger. This Western Maryland national forest has 25 miles of hiking tracks. Picture: NPS.gov Participate the fun

To participate, all prospects for the honor of being a B.A.R.K. Ranger need to have 2 of the essential characteristics of the human park rangers: getting along and being friendly. The animal moms and dads who would accompany the family pets on the two-hour interpretive walk are asked to bring along water and snacks on their own and their dog, waste bags, sun block and the B.A.R.K. Ranger booklet offered to individuals.

As soon as the family pet parents and canine finish a B.A.R.K. Ranger program, the activity card or booklet can be required to a park ranger to verify. The canine then earns the right to wear the sought after B.A.R.K. Ranger canine tag, bandana or both. Some National Parks provide them free of charge and others have a minimal expense.

Discover a B.A.R.K. Ranger Program

Here’s a list of a few of the existing sites however, as in lots of things, it goes through alter depending on having staff to carry out the program, budget plan, time and other factors. Talk to that park near your house or at your vacation destination to get the latest info about bringing your family pet.

Start with nps.gov/ subjects/pets/visit. html to see a map of parks. The ones marked in red prohibit animals, however the ones in green will have the “welcome” mat out. Just be sure your animal is on a leash and that the mat has no “deposits!” By the way, felines are likewise included as animals for the purposes of the map. B.A.R.K. Ranger programs:

  • Yosemite National Park, California
  • Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
  • North Cascades National Park, Washington
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
  • Massive Cave National Park, Kentucky
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  • Acadia National Park, Maine (considered one of
    the most dog-friendly)

Remember, too, that the National Park system has lots of other websites for history, culture, lakes, canals, islands, terrain, etc.

. Here are some that use special considerations for animals:

  • The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, North Carolina
  • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Florida Fort Matanzas, Florida
  • Relationship Hill National Historic Site, Pennsylvania
  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Iowa
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
  • Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona

And, associated to the love of dogs is Denali National Park, Alaska, the only National Park with working sled pet dogs. The kennels are open to park visitors. Demonstrations and tours are more regular in summertime, however the kennels are open all year

Fur household fun

States Ranger Willner, “I discover that the most fulfilling element of creating and providing B.A.R.K. Ranger programs is seeing the visitors and their our-legged family members be able to respectfully take pleasure in the resource together. Pets have a considerable result on our natural areas, as they are ‘visitors’ to these wild lands and, as visitors, there are house rules that they need to follow that, in the grand scheme, will benefit them in addition to the park.”

With pets an important part of household activities, constantly review the safest ways to enjoy our National Parks when our canines are along for the enjoyable. The B.A.R.K. Ranger program offers pet dogs and their human beings a renewed understanding of how to be great good example for responsible and safe check outs at our National Parks. And, besides, it’s a fun activity!

Read Next: Hiking With Dogs: A Guide to Safely Taking a Hike With Your Dog

The post Join the National Park Service’s Park– or Rather– B.A.R.K. Rangers by Bridget Shirvell appeared initially on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not understand it, but all of these short articles were assigned, contracted and spent for, so they aren’t thought about public domain. Nevertheless, we value that you like the post and would love it if you continued sharing just the very first paragraph of a short article, then linking out to the remainder of the piece on Dogster.com.

Dog Breed Selector: Tips on Choosing the Right Dog Breed For You

Getting a new dog is a huge choice, and the obligation doesn’t start the minute you bring house your brand-new pup. It begins way prior to that– when you’re picking the pup who will match your lifestyle and requirements.

Pet moms and dads must always make it a top priority to match their requirements to their prospective furkids’ requirements. Why is this important? Well, it’s the fact that 3.3 million pet dogs are given up every year to shelters across the United States. It’s also because around 670,000 shelter pet dogs are likewise euthanized each year. These things take place since a great deal of reckless canine owners do not believe thoroughly when picking a brand-new pet.

According to ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, the most common factor owners rehome their family pets is since of pet issues such as hostility, behavioral problems, health concerns, and yes, growing bigger than expected.

It’s time we put a stop to this problem and end up being more responsible fur moms and dads. So, prior to heading to the shelter or pet breeder to bring a pup house, take a minute or more to read the list in this post to make sure you’re selecting the very best pet breed for you.

Lifestyle

Making an impulsive choice because you discovered a charming dog and want so terribly to embrace them can trigger pet concerns and differences with member of the family, and even your next-door neighbors. For example, it’s regular for canines to bark. Some bark less than others. However others bark because it’s ingrained in their DNA to do so. A Siberian Husky, for instance, likes to vocalize their sensations and can interrupt a peaceful community with their howls.

Likewise, if your existing way of life doesn’t really fit the type you’re thinking of adopting, are you ready to make adjustments? Do you work far from house full time? Then think about pet breeds that are independent and low maintenance. You can leave dogs like Shar Pei, Basset Hound, Maltese, and Whippet alone while you work. They’ll be perfectly great enjoying birds, sniffing around your apartment or condo, and snoozing.

You also have to think about if there are children and older relatives in the house. Large pet dogs like Rottweilers, Alaskan Malamute, and Huskies are gentle when coupled with the right owners, but they can get incredibly spirited and overturn frail senior citizens and small children. If you have older family members in your home, examine our post Best Dog Breeds for Seniors and Retirees to discover which canine breeds are best matched for them.

Activity and Energy Level

Oh, to have the energy of a Border Collie, Siberian Husky, or a German Shepherd! These pet dog breeds can definitely keep you on your toes. If you’re seeking to adopt from the shelter or purchase a canine from a credible breeder, it’s crucial to know how energetic specific breeds are. If you’re not athletic or can’t devote to long walks daily, a pet with a lower energy level would be a much better suitable for you.

Excess energy normally causes behavioral problems in pet dogs. A lot of times, unforeseen behavior like incessant barking, digging up your treasured flowers, chewing on your couch or shoes, and ruining doors and barriers implies they require more activities to amuse them and burn all that excess energy.

Size

When size comes to mind, we always think about big dogs that are not suited for house living. It’s a given that a lot of big canines require a lot of area to walk around. They would require a huge backyard or yard to let out their pent up energy. The greater their energy level is, the bigger your space must be to keep them delighted and problem-free.

Tiny pups like Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, and Miniature Schnauzer usually do well in restricted spaces like condominiums and homes. However these small doggos likewise like to follow their fur parents around. Since of their size, they’re rather delicate and can easily get stepped on, causing major injuries. So, if you have kids who like to play rough, it’s finest to get a medium-sized dog like a Beagle rather.

A lot of lap dogs likewise have big personalities to most likely make up for their little size! Yorkies and Shih Tzus, for example, are good watchdogs and will quickly bark if there’s anything strange in your house. And by odd we suggested smaller animals, weird crawlies, and everything that captures these really singing puppies.

When we discuss size, we’re likewise speaking about materials, food, supplements, and treatments. Big pets consume more food and are more prone to health issues such as developmental disorders, tumors, and other illness. Most likely, it’s the outcome of sped up growth and selective breeding for their size.

Physical Maintenance

All canines, despite type and size, require standard grooming. However some breeds need more than simply the weekly brushing because of their fur coat type. Maintenance for both the double coat (such as that of a Newfoundland) and long coat is more rigid. Animal owners should be prepared to brush their animals’ fur more frequently than those pet dogs with smooth coats.

Thinking of getting a furkid with long, floppy ears such as cocker spaniels? You require to keep an eye out for ear infections. 20 percent of pets have ear illness, but it’s constantly the breeds with floppy ears and hairy ear canals that are vulnerable to infections.

Other grooming needs that you need to think about before getting a pet dog are drooling potential and quantity of shedding. If you’re a dog owner, there will always be canine hair in your house or car. However some pets shed more than other breeds; others shed entire year round, while some hardly shed at all.

Pure-blooded Dog Versus Mixed Breed Dogs

We can’t deny it. Pure-blooded pet dogs are popular among pet enthusiasts, and there are several reasons why. Some choose them since they matured or have lived with the exact same type for many years. Others prefer purebreds because of the dog’s character and looks. When you choose them, you’ll have the advantage of understanding their full grown size, behavior, and potential health problems. You can discover pure-blooded pet dogs in rescue groups or regional shelters. But a lot of purebred puppies are normally purchased from dog breeders, so buy from responsible breeders just.

Then, there are combined type enthusiasts who gush over their furkids because they believe that their pet dogs have a great deal of advantages over purebreds. For example, mixed breeds can adapt to their environment quickly and have better health. Some blended breed fur parents likewise believe their dogs have a much better personality, as they might not have inherited the personality of the breeds they are descended from. Since of lack of education about spay and neuter, mixed type dogs are likewise frequently discovered in shelters. So, when you embrace one, you may in fact save one from euthanasia!

Is there a specific type that you’re thinking about getting? Tell us about it in the remarks section below.

The post Dog Breed Selector: Tips on Choosing the Right Dog Breed For You appeared initially on Pawstruck Press.

Why your dog ought to eat fruits and veggies

Most individuals think about pet dogs as meat-eaters — — and of course meat requires to make up a big percentage of their diet. However fruit and veggies are likewise advantageous to canine health and wellness.

When it concerns including vegetables and fruit in the canine diet, individuals have various opinions. Some think it’s unnecessary; others feed percentages (up to 10% to 15% of the total diet plan); while still others provide their canines plentiful quantities. While veggies and fruit may not be categorized as “essential” for dogs, they’re plainly extremely useful. Proof recommends they can supply the exact same benefits to canines as they do to people, and can help prevent cancer, cardiovascular problems, autoimmune illness, metabolic problems, and more. Veggies and fruit contain an abundance of important nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

Let’s look at the function of veggies and fruits in the canine diet, and how you can include them to your own dog’s meals.

Canines are “facultative predators”

Although canines are usually acknowledged as predators, like their wolf ancestors, they are in fact what are called “facultative predators”. This implies they can and will utilize plant matter as part of their mainly meat-based diet. A study on wolf scats collected in between 1992 and 2005 reported a content of as much as 7.8% plant matter during the summertime. This plant matter consisted of vegetation and berries and was thought to come from intentional consumption.

Including fruits and veggies to your pet dog’s diet

While canines can’t absorb cellulose, the primary compound in plant cell walls, they do absorb veggies and fruit and will easily eat them. And the advantages of the phytonutrient antioxidants offered by these foods are significant. Research studies have revealed that dogs with particular cancers have decreased antioxidant levels. Antioxidants have likewise been found to prevent cognitive decline in aged dogs. In addition, phytonutrients can decrease oxidative damage and other effects of aging.

All this suggests that veggies and fruit (ideally fresh and organic) are a vital addition to a pet’s predominantly meat-based diet plan. Quantities will depend upon the specific pet, his breed, and specific health concerns. Start with percentages and try out different fruits and veggies to see which ones your pet dog likes best.

  • Vegetables can be fed raw, however I normally advise gently steaming them, especially when it comes to cruciferous vegetables, which include goitrogenic compounds that may interrupt thyroid hormonal agents. Lightly steaming these veggies assists deactivate these substances.
  • It is recommended to remove pips and pits from fruit, and caution is likewise encouraged with some of the skins or tough skins found on some fruit and vegetables. Always keep in mind that not all veggies and fruit are safe for canines. In particular, onions, grapes, and raisins must be avoided.

Leading 8 veggies and fruits for dogs

1. Broccoli

A cruciferous vegetable, packed with phytonutrients such as sulforaphane and isothiocyanates, yielding cancer preventive residential or commercial properties. Rich in vitamin C, also consists of vitamins A, B complex, K, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, and manganese.

2. Asparagus

A perennial plant, and a moderate source of fiber. Includes vitamins A, B complex, C, E, K; and minerals, particularly copper and iron, lesser quantities of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.

3. Purple sweet potato

A root veggie, and a good source of fiber, abundant in vitamin A, and also consisting of vitamins C and B6. Rich in potassium; other minerals consist of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Includes flavonoids such as anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventive residential or commercial properties.

Constantly remember that not all veggies and fruit are safe for pets. In specific, onions, grapes, and raisins need to be prevented.

4. Kale

Leafy green veggie from the cruciferous family. Good source of fiber, and packed with phytochemicals such as sulforaphane, in addition to indole-3-carbinol, which can exert anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventive homes. Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and also contains some B complex vitamins. Mineral-rich, particularly in copper, and likewise provides good amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorous and manganese.

5. Blueberries

Packed with antioxidant phytonutrients, including anthocyanidin substances, chlorogenic acid, tannins, myricetin, and quercetin. The benefits of this fantastic fruit abound, and it provides preventive properties for many illness, including cancer. Good source of minerals and vitamins including vitamins A, B complex, C, K, and manganese.

6. Apples (avoid core and pips)

Antioxidant, phytonutrient, and flavonoid-rich, consisting of quercetin and epicatechin. Excellent source of vitamin C, likewise containing A, B complex, E, and K. Mineral content consists of iron and phosphorus.

7. Pineapple

Phytonutrients include bromelain a proteolytic enzyme with anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, and cancer-preventive properties. Rich in Vitamin C, also containing B complex and E. Mineral content consists of a great quantity of manganese, copper, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

8. Pear

Good source of fiber, and rich in antioxidant phytonutrients and flavonoids for illness prevention. Excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, and copper. Among the least allergenic fruits.

While great quality entire meats should continue to form the basis of your canine’s diet plan, including these vegetables and fruits– and others! — — will offer him an important boost of additional nutrition, assistance prevent illness, and go a long method toward keeping him in ideal health.

The post Why your canine ought to consume fruits and veggies appeared initially on Animal Wellness Magazine.

Does Your Dog Have an Anxiety Issue?

The post Does Your Dog Have an Anxiety Issue? by Jill Breitner appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.

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Dogs are emotional beings with different personalities and temperaments, telling us how they feel through their own language — body language. If we don’t know how to read dogs, we can miss their communication, forcing them to get bigger and bigger with their body language, so that we have no choice but to finally hear them.

What is dog anxiety?

Let’s first define anxiety, so we know whether to even treat it. Anxiety is …

• a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome

• desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease

• a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

The third definition is the one we would label anxiety and would need to treat by helping our dogs feel less anxious about whatever triggers them. The first two are opportunities for us to help them before it turns into a disorder needing to be helped via positive reinforcement training through counter condition or desensitization methods.

dog anxiety

Photo: MivPiv | Getty Images

What are the signs of dog anxiety?

Signs of anxiety can be subtle or grand. Grandiosity in dogs shows up in obvious behaviors, such as:
➻ barking
➻ lunging
➻ biting
➻ hyperactivity
➻ being destructive

Displacement behaviors often go unnoticed because they aren’t understood as signs of anxiety. These not-so-obvious behaviors are:
➻ scratching, when they don’t have
an itch
➻ lip licking, when they haven’t just eaten
➻ panting, when they’re not hot
➻ yawning, when they’re not tired.

If we miss noticing these anxiety communications, it forces our dogs to tell us in a bigger and bigger way how they’re feeling. When this happens, there is a lot of unlearning to do to change the behavior, which fits into the last definition of anxiety.

When dogs are behaving “badly,” they aren’t being bad — they are expressing anxiety and this “bad” behavior helps them feel less anxious. Relieving their anxiety goes a long way to mitigating an unwanted behavior rather than correcting an already anxious dog.

dog anxiety

Photo: Eva Blanco | Getty Images

What are the causes of anxiety?

Some common anxieties in dogs are:
➻ separation anxiety
➻ anxiety at the vet’s office
➻ anxiety in training
➻ anxious around kids, cats, horses
➻ anxious around cars; getting in or chasing them
➻ noises like thunder, trains, etc

Build trust not anxiety
Whatever the anxiety or however deep-seated it is, relieve your dog’s anxiety, don’t correct him. Do this by changing the association to the trigger that causes the anxiety by pairing something good with the trigger before your dog gets over the threshold and too anxious.

Some anxieties aren’t really anxiety at all. Balking at a statue on a walk when your pup is 14 weeks old isn’t anxiety —it’s caution when faced with something new. How we handle the reaction can either cause anxiety or build trust.

If your dog balks, barks, lunges or pulls away:
➻ stay put and talk in a soothing voice.
➻ allow your pup time to adjust to the new object or person.
➻ When your dog’s body has relaxed, move forward offering treats by luring him toward the object of anxiety.

Throw treats on the ground, getting closer and closer to the object until your dog realizes that it’s not going to hurt him.

Use these as opportunities to learn that life is fun, not scary.

Photo: gollykim| Getty Images

How to manage your dog’s anxiety

Let’s look at four common ways we think dogs are behaving badly when they are just expressing anxiety.

Anxiety barking — First, ensure your dog’s basic physical and mental needs have been met. Next, manage the environment by creating a quiet place where the dog feels safe: Put something over the windows like an opaque, removable film, leave the radio or TV on a classical music station, block off areas that trigger anxiety. Then, work with a trainer to use positive reinforcement to desensitize your dog to whatever triggers his anxious barking.

Lunging — Lunging is a manifestation of your dog’s emotional state. Don’t focus on stopping the behavior but on decreasing the anxiety to help mitigate lunging.

First, create more distance between your dog and the trigger to help keep your dog under the reactive threshold. If your dog is so caught up that he isn’t able to hear you or take treats, then you’re too close to the trigger. Either remove your dog or create more distance. Next, work with a positive reinforcement trainer to help desensitize your dog so that you can decrease the distance, while keeping him under threshold.

Biting — Dogs rarely bite out of the blue. First signs often go unnoticed, because they are subtle — looking away, lip licking, yawning, scratching and sniffing. When these signals are missed, the dog needs to get bigger in his communication: showing teeth, air snapping, growling, or hiding behind or under furniture. When these bigger signs go misunderstood, dogs are left with no alternative but to bite. (Although they did try to tell you.) Learn to read these signs with the Dog Decoder app (On Google Play and Apple app store).

Destruction — When dogs are destructive when left alone, it’s because they have separation anxiety. First, ensure your dog’s physical and mental needs are met. Second, establish a place where your dog feels safe — this place should be determined by your dog, not you.

Experiment with different places: the office, the kitchen or family room, wherever you spend much of your time. Block off that area with a puppy gate, like this extra-wide one from FRISCO ($34.99, Chewy), and practice leaving for short periods (and I mean short). Get something out of another room while your dog is calm and relaxed.

Some dogs feel safe in an even smaller place like an exercise pen or crate. Once you find the safe place, get help from a positive trainer to teach you how to lengthen the time away from your dog so you can help him feel less anxious about being alone.

When your dog shows displacement behaviors like scratching, panting, yawning and lip licking — and they happen out of context (he doesn’t really have an itch, he isn’t really smelling something or he’s not tired but is yawning) — these are signs that he feels some discomfort. When you notice these signs, pay attention to what’s happening at the moment and help him feel less anxious.

Can you move a bit farther away from the trigger? Can you soothe your dog with a gentle calming voice and touch? If your dog is playing with other dogs, remove him and come back another day. If your dog is anxious at the vet clinic, go for daily, non-vet, friendly visits to get treats and go home.

Work with a trainer who specializes in low-stress handling to help your dog not fear being handled, having his nails trimmed, ears touched and temperature taken.

Understanding and management are critical to help any dog feel less anxious about whatever triggers them. Use positive reinforcement to change the association from fear or anxiety to relief. Build up your trust account and be your dog’s best advocate.

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