Why Dogs Bark and Growl

 

Does your dog growl or bark when a stranger approaches your house or when something goes bump in the night? If so, you’re not alone.

Most dogs will vocalize when they are exposed to new or different situations, including strange people or animals entering their territory; being separated from their pack, mother or even your family members; or new or alarming sounds. Dogs may also bark or growl when they see prey, such as squirrels, and they may bark for attention, food or if they are anxious. Dogs often growl when they are fearful or trying to assert themselves in a situation. If the dog’s fear or assertiveness is alleviated by growling or barking, the dog will learn that his behavior is acceptable and the behavior may become more frequent or severe. Some medical problems may cause growling or barking and older pets experiencing senile changes may have barking problems. Intense and continuous barking may be considered compulsive. Check with your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s barking or growling problem. Behavior training and drug therapy may be helpful in reducing barking for pets with medical, geriatric and compulsive disorders.

Socializing your puppy can help

Acclimate your puppy to a variety of different people, environments, situations and noises to help lessen anxiety as your puppy grows. Make sure your puppy spends time alone so that he doesn’t develop separation anxiety while you are away from him. Proper training is essential to preventing behavior problems, such as growling and barking. Ask you veterinarian for more information about puppy training. **

Correcting a barking or growling problem

Correcting a barking or growling problem first requires that you have effective management of your dog. Once you have achieved this, you can begin to train your dog to lessen his barking or growling behavior by using rewards for quiet behavior. The reward should be something that the dog really likes such as a favorite treat, tummy rubs, or a favorite toy. Punishment is generally ineffective in correcting barking problems. Too much punishment may even exacerbate the behavior and cause the dog to be fearful or aggressive.

Begin your training with situations that you can easily control (such as a family member making a noise that causes the dog to bark) before moving on to difficult situations (such as a strange animal in your yard). When your dog barks at the stimuli (for instance, a doorbell ring), immediately interrupt the barking. When the dog is quiet offer the dog a reward for their behavior. Without the reward there is no incentive to remain quiet.Reward your dog when, at your request, he has stopped barking. Only reward the dog when he is quiet and gradually increase the amount of time that the dog needs to be quiet for him to receive a reward.

As the barking or growling problem decreases, make sure to direct your dog to more appropriate behavior, such as play, and the problem should lessen over time. Don’t forget to discuss training options with your veterinarian to find the one that will work best for your pet.

Source: http://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/dog_care/behavior/barking_and_growling.aspx

 

Labor Day Safety Tips for Pets

1. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.

2. Always assign a dog guardian. No matter where you’re celebrating, be sure to assign a friend or member of the family to keep an eye on your pooch-especially if you’re not in a fenced-in yard or other secure area.

3. Made in the shade. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water, and make sure they have a shady place to escape the sun.

4. Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of paws’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing-or even kidney disease in severe cases.

5. Keep your pet on his normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea.

6. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingesting any of these items can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression in your pets, and if inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia.

7. Never leave your dog alone in the car. Traveling with your dog means occasionally you’ll make stops in places where he’s not permitted. Be sure to rotate dog walking duties between family members, and never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.

8. Make a safe splash. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers.

Source: http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/labor-day-pet-safety-tips

What Would You Do If….

…your dog ate the bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips that was left out on the kitchen counter?

 …your cat had a seizure right in front of you?

 …your dog fell down the stairs and started limping?

 …your cat was overheating on a hot summer day?

To avoid the feelings of panic that may accompany these situations, we recommend the following steps to better prepare you for a pet medical emergency. The following links summarize the basics you need for giving first aid care to your pet.

Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until it receives veterinary treatment.

First aid supplies
Our handy checklist tells you all the supplies you should have on hand for pet first aid. Print out a copy to use for shopping, and keep a copy on your refrigerator or next to the first aid kit for your family, for quick reference in emergencies.
How to handle an injured pet
Knowing how to comfort an injured pet can help minimize your pet’s anxiety and also protect you and your family from injury.
Basic pet first aid procedures
Read our simple instructions for providing emergency first aid if your pet is suffering from poisoning, seizures, broken bones, bleeding, burns, shock, heatstroke, choking or other urgent medical problems. Print out a copy to keep with your pet emergency kit.
First aid when traveling with your pet
A few simple steps can better prepare you to help your pet in first aid situations while you are traveling. Remember: pet medical emergencies don’t just happen at home.
Pets and disasters
Whether confronted by natural disasters such as hurricanes, or unexpected catastrophes such as a house fire, you need to be prepared to take care of your animals. A pre-determined disaster plan will help you remain calm and think clearly.

Additional pet first aid links

Adapted by an article posted by the AVMA.

Pets & Truck Beds

You may sometimes see dogs riding in the beds of pick-up trucks, and it may look like they’re having fun, but it’s extremely dangerous. As pet owners, it’s our job to set boundaries for our pets to ensure their safety. We advise all pet owners to NEVER allow their pet to ride in the back of a pick of truck, as the result could be seriously injury or even death. Be safe! Let your pet ride in the cab with you.

Pets & Camping Safety

Camping with your pet can be a fun adventure, but also a dangerous one! It’s important to be fully prepared for bringing a pet with you into the woods BEFORE you go. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all parasite prevention, and be sure to pack plenty of food and water. If you’re filtering your water, don’t forget your pet needs filtered water too! And most importantly, check campground rules where you’ll be staying, because some campgrounds don’t allow pets because of the danger of large wild animals, like bears! Make sure you keep your pets and family safe, and have a great trip!

Pets In Cars

During the hot, summer months, please consider the safety of your pet when you take them for a ride in the car. Remember that even if you’re planning on running into a store for just a minute, it’s too dangerous to leave your pet in the car. Just a few minutes in a car during the summer months can raise the temperature to unbearable levels. Exposure to such extreme heat can result in heatstroke, which can cause brain damage or even death. Leave your pets at home in the air conditioning this summer if it gets too hot.

Pet of the Month: Pebbles

Pebbles is an 81/2 year old Shar Pei that was unfortunate to have a severe disagreement with her housemates. Pebbles was brought to us in shock, severe multiple bite wounds and not using her left hind leg. Pebbles’ bite wounds required intensive care and because of the severity for the wounds the tissue became necrotic and had to be removed. After extensive treatment and a prolonged stay in the hospital Pebbles is making a remarkable recovery thanks to the dedication of her owner. Pebbles is such a trooper and a sweetheart. 
She has been steadily and quickly healing and progressing, with fewer bandages and more activity all the time. She has continued to amaze us, and is jumping up on her bed on her own!  Now, she is bandage-free! Her wounds are healing well, and even those that were down to the bone have almost filled in completely. She is playing with toys and rolling in the grass (I’ve attached pics and a video!), and loving life! 

Mobilize the Earth for Earth Day 2012

The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life to speak out against the deterioration of the environment and demand change. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency was created, the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed,and the modern environmental movement was born.

Today, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. This year, in the face of global inaction on pressing environmental problems, we must harness that power.

Earth Day Network is calling upon individuals, organizations, businesses and governments to Mobilize the Earth™ and demand that environmental issues become a top priority.