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

 

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.

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! 

Pets & Easter Egg Hunts

Easter egg hunts are so much fun for kids, and sometimes even for adults! Finding that brightly colored egg stuffed with a surprise is exciting! But don’t forget the dangers of failing to find an egg that’s been stuffed with candy. Your dog leads with their nose, and if you don’t find it, your pet might! Consider stuffing your eggs with something safe for pets this year. If Fido finds them, he’ll be less likely to break them open and eat what’s inside.

NATIONAL SENIOR PET MONTH


November is Senior Pet Month. Do you have an older cat or dog sharing your home? If so, you know the joys of pets who might have less spunk but more soul. Here are five reasons to love a senior pet.

1. Distinguished look
You know how as we age, we are said to look distinguished? The same is true for our pets. I think senior cats project an air of peaceful dignity. And who can resist the precious gray muzzle of an older dog?
2. Laid-back lifestyle
For kittens and puppies, most any time is play time. Older pets, however, don’t need to release all that youthful energy. They are quieter and often content to just watch what’s going on in the living room or outside the window. Cuddling next to you takes precedence over most anything else.
3. Fewer demands
Older pets still need love and attention, but they don’t require babysitting like a frisky puppy or curious kitten. Some older pets have special medical needs, but after all they’ve given us through the years, it’s an honor to take care of them in return.
4. Wisdom of the ages
When I look into the eyes of a senior dog, I see a world of experience and wisdom. Older pets know what to expect, and are generally reliable and even. They require little training since they already know the rules.
5. They might be just like you!
As we get older, our needs and routines change. We might prefer quiet evenings at home rather than going out on the weekends. We still like to exercise, walk, or even run—but sometimes we go at a different pace. We might even nap in our chair occasionally. If you have a senior dog, you might find that he’s just like you!

Thank You LetterTo the Entire Staff of the “Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas”

To the Entire Staff of the “Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas”
I wanted to thank each and everyone of you for the excellent care you gave to Molly, the Eclectus.
She was near death and because of all of you, she’s healthy active and still with us.  This picture was taken on Thursday (10/20) (just 4 days after her hospitalization).
I’d especially like to thank Dr. Blackmon for her insightfulness and sensitivity to the situation and her wonderful honesty.
I’d also like to thank Dr. McGee for her continued sensitive care towards Molly.
Also, to the ENTIRE STAFF who were so genuinely concerned.
I’m convinced she wouldn’t be here with us now had we not brought her to your facility.
My HATS OFF and GREAT RESPECT to ALL OF YOU!!!!
P.S.  Also, I don’t know the name of the individual that told us she’d passed the egg, but I really wanted to hug her…..

Lisa Culhane