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Humane Society of Greater Dayton
Oct 2

Prevent Separation Anxiety While You're Away

DogSeparationAnxietyThe whimpers and barks you hear as you lock the door, the sad puppy dog eyes looking at you through the window – leaving your dog at home can be difficult for not just your pet but you too.

However, separation anxiety, also called SA, is a very common issue many puppies and pet owners deal with on a regular basis. Whether your dog chooses to bark continuously, chew up furniture or use the restroom on the floor, there are ways to train them to not fear being alone in your home. Here are just a few ways to ease the pain when you have to leave your pet alone.

Train Your Pet to Feel Comfortable in a Crate

Open up your dog’s crate and play games where you throw treats in and out of the crate. Repeat this exercise several times each day and gradually close the door of the crate with your puppy inside for increments of time. Start slow but the longer you do this, the longer increment of time you keep your puppy in his or her crate. Also, when your dog is napping place him in his crate. You are helping your dog associate the crate with comfort, safety and positive things.

As your puppy becomes more and more comfortable with spending long times in the crate, give him or her a toy such as a stuffed Kong or a chew to work on. Before they can finish, take the toy away calmly. If your dog howls or barks for you to return it, leave them in the crate until they quiet down. Once calmed down, return the toy. This will show them you return when they are quiet and also rewards them for their good behavior.

Teach that it is OK to be Alone

Each day, allow some time for your puppy to be alone. Whether in a crate or in a quiet room by himself, this alone time will help your pet feel comfortable being alone. Even if you are retired, work from home or are a stay-at-home mom, this alone time for your pet is crucial to help them feel less stress once you do have to leave them alone.  They won’t fear quiet alone time, but instead expect it as a normal part of their day.

Stay Calm When Leaving

When you leave the house, don’t make a big fuss over your pet. The more excited energy you project onto your pet the more anxious they will feel once you leave the house. Over time, this pattern of excitement followed by you leaving can increase the anxiety levels in your pet and make it harder and harder for your dog to handle being alone.

Give Your Pet Plenty of Exercise

Burning off energy through playtime, walks or games is a great thing to do with your dog before you leave the house. Not only does this give you some great bonding time with your pet, but it also lowers their energy level while you are away.

Yes, working with your pet on separation issues may seem like a lot of work at first, but in the long run, your neighbors will thank you, your furniture and home will thank you and most importantly, your dog will thank you for taking them time to do this.


Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 113 years ago, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call (937) 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org

Sep 25

Protect Pets from Everyday Risks in Home

You’ve heard of baby proofing your home, but how about pet proofing? Animals can be naturally curious and typically want to explore areas where they should not go in your home.

When pet proofing your home get down to your pet’s level. When you are on your hands and knees you will have a better view of your house from your pet’s perspective. You may find cords that you thought were tucked away but peek through behind a couch or an area where your vacuum can’t reach but your pet can.

With this in mind look around your house and take notes of areas that could be dangerous to your animal or that need to be changed to better protect them from harm. Here are just a few tips on how to protect your pets in some of the common areas within your house.

Living Room/Family Room

  • Put away any decorations on  your table that can easily be knocked over and broken by a curious cat
  • Cover all heating and air vents
  • Place dangling wires out of reach of your pets
  • Move houseplants out of reach so your animals don’t chew or digest something that can harm them
  • Pick up childrens’ toys and games so no small pieces or other objects are digested by your pet
  • Use special vented lids on candles to avoid your pet interacting with an open flame

Kitchen

  • Make sure trashcans are covered or in cabinets out of paws reach
  • Use childproof latches to stop any curious pet from opening cabinets
  • Keep all foods, even those not harmful, out of reach of your pets

Bathroom

  • Place medicines, cleaners and other chemicals in a secure cabinet away from pets
  • Keep toilet lid closed to prevent drowning or drinking harmful chemicals
  • Keep all small items such as hair ties, ribbons or other accessories in a closed container or drawer
  • Make sure items such as curling irons can cool down in a safe space away from your pet

Bedroom

  • Keep shoes and laundry secure behind closed doors so pets don’t eat buttons or strings
  • Move medications, lotions or cosmetics away from readily accessible areas such as a nightstand
  • Keep wires out of reach to avoid chewing or electrical burns

Garage

  • Move all chemicals to high shelves or place in closed cabinets
  • Clean all antifreeze from the floor and driveway because this is highly poisonous and can be lethal for your animals
  • Keep all sharp tools out of reach to avoid accidental cuts or lacerations

With just a few adjustments to your regular routines, you and your pets can feel safer and happier in your home.

 


Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 113 years ago, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call (937) 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org

Sep 19

Avoid the Stress of a Messy Pet

DogBathYour pet may have free roam of your home but let’s face it, if you have a puppy or dog you have probably spent some time running around your home cleaning up messes from wet paws or hair. Keeping your dog clean can cut back on some of these messes. Here are just a few simple ways to keep man’s best friend squeaky clean and keep some of the messes at bay in your home.

Brush them regularly

To cut down on the hair you find on your floors or on your furniture, try and brush your dog on a regular basis. By brushing, you can loosen hair and dirt from your pet. When you brush, make sure and use the proper tools, too. If your pet doesn’t like being groomed, try to use a rubber brush, which is easier on them. If your dog has a heavy undercoat, use a shedding blade to get to all of the hair below the top surface.

Bathe your dog

After a while, dogs can start to get an odor to them. To cut down on the smell of your dog, try to bathe them at least once a month. Bathe them yourself using a mild shampoo to minimize any irritations and to maintain your pet’s natural oils. If you are not comfortable bathing your dogs, take them to a groomer to freshen up and stay nice and clean.

Use proper feeding supplies

For better hygiene, feeding your dogs out of either ceramic or stainless steel bowls will keep your pets healthy. These types of bowls can be thrown into the dishwasher and can be sanitized much easier than other types. Avoid feeding your pets on carpeted areas. This can be harder to clean up and after time can leave an odor to your home.

Keep your dog entertained

If your pets are bored or not getting the exercise they need on a regular basis they can look for other ways to stay entertained. From scratching walls to chewing furniture, dogs need some outlet to get rid of their energy and if they are cooped up all day in a house they may make more of a mess than needed unless properly exercised.

Think washable

Before buying toys or bedding for your dog, think about how washable it is. Just like you, your dog prefers to lay his head on some nice clean, comfy bedding. By purchasing items that can be placed into the washer, you not only provide clean toys for your pets to play with but you also get rid of odors that can accumulate on these items.

 


Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 113 years ago, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call (937) 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org

Aug 22

Safely Take a Dip During the Dog Days of Summer

dog-in-poolWhat better way to cool off these dog days of summer than with a dip in the pool? On a hot day, your dog may agree that the pool is the best activity for both of you to stay refreshed. Whether you have a pooch who loves to dive right in or one that may be apprehensive about the water, with these four easy tips, you can ensure that man’s best friend will stay cool and safe this summer. 

Keep Your Eyes on Your Dog

Although your dog may seem fine in the water, in a matter of seconds something could go wrong and he or she may not be able to bark or alarm you to an emergency. Keep close to your pets and make sure that you are monitoring their activity in the water. Do not let your pet swim alone in the pool.

Take Baby Steps

Even a natural-born swimmer may be a bit hesitant near a pool for the first time. If you want to have your dog in the pool with you then start working with them slowly. Make sure to take them to a shallow area and remember to praise them continuously throughout your interaction in the water. With time, you dog will be hopping right in for some R&R in your pool. Remember, although this is a great exercise for you and your pet, your dog can easily get worn out. Just like with any other exercise, you need to start slow and work up your pet’s endurance in the water. They are using muscles they might not usually use and can easily get tired in the beginning.

Plan an Exit

Using a pool ladder can be a new and intimidating task for your dog. It is not a natural thing for them to use. You will need to take time to practice using the ladder with your pet. This will help them feel more comfortable in the pool and will also allow them to exit more safely.

Rinse and Dry Dog

After exiting from the pool, it is important to rinse off your dog with some fresh water. This will help wash the pool chemicals off your dog and will prevent any skin irritation to your pet. It is also important to dry your dog off, especially their ears. Too much moisture or dampness in your pet’s ears can lead to ear infections. Use a towel or place your hair dryer on the “cool” setting and gently dry your dog’s ears to help prevent any problems down the road.


Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 113 years ago, it is the largest and most established “no-kill” animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937- 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org

Jul 25

Protect Yourself from a Dog Bite

Protecting people and pets is a top priority for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. We don’t want to see anyone get hurt, especially when it comes to dog bites. To help lower your risk of a dog bite, you need to understand warning signs the dog may be giving you. When you first encounter a dog, whether you know it or not, you need to be polite and respect the personal space of the dog. Never rush up to an animal or startle them. Let them see you and become aware of you before you pet any animal. In addition, here are four things you need to know before interacting with any dog. 

Assess Their Body Language

If you are face to face with a dog who is illustrating to you that he may attack, the safest bet is to put as much space between you and the dog as possible. If the dog appears to have a tensed body, stiff tail, pulled back ears, flicking tongue, intense stare or is backing away then you need to be on high alert. Also, while putting the space between you and the dog, never turn your back on the animal. If they see you turn and run, their first instinct will be to chase and catch you.  

Evaluate Your Risk

If a dog is approaching you and it appears to be in attack mode there are certain things you should do to protect yourself. You must first and foremost resist the urge to run away screaming. Instead stay very still with your hands on your sides and avoid any direct eye contact with the dog. Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly begin to back away from the animal until you are completely out of his sight.

Protect Yourself if Bitten

If you have evaluated your risk and remained motionless, but the dog is still in attack mode then you want to put anything you can between you and the dog. Use things such as your purse, coat or other items in your hands and “feed” it to the dog so that it puts more distance between your body and the dog. If the dog knocks you to the ground, your safest bet is to curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Although you may be scared, try not to scream or roll around because this will only keep the dog interested in you.

Taking Care of a Bite

If you are bitten by a dog try not to panic or scream. Once you are safe and the dog has moved on, immediately wash the wound thoroughly with warm water and soap. You will need to contact your doctor immediately to ensure you are safe and don’t require any additional medical attention. You should also report the dog bite to your local animal control agency. For residents in Montgomery County, this means you should contact the Animal Resource Center at (937) 898-4457.


Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 113 years ago, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937-268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.