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Monthly Archives: August 2020

Does Separation Anxiety Exist in Dogs and How to Ease Separation Anxiety

How to Help my Dog with Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can be a serious problem for pups and their owners. This issue goes beyond the regular little whimpers and whines as owners get ready to leave the house. Destructive behavior can result from separation anxiety, leaving parts of the house torn up, as well as can be potentially dangerous for the dog. Being able to properly recognize true separation anxiety symptoms early on will ensure your furry friend can get the proper help and training that they need in order to overcome it.

However, it can be difficult to tell whether or not your companion is suffering from separation anxiety or if it is just bad behavior. A good indicator is if your pup still exhibits similar behavior when you are around. If so, this is probably just due to a lack of training and not separation anxiety. If you are still uncertain, consider setting up a video camera in your home to record how your pup reacts when you are away.

What Causes Separation Anxiety?

It isn’t clear why some dogs suffer from separation anxiety over others. There can be a number of experiences that trigger separation anxiety, including being abandoned at a shelter, losing a loved one, change in routine, moving to a new place, and experiencing a traumatic event while being left alone.

Due to there being a number of factors that can contribute to a pup’s separation anxiety, it’s important to be able to recognize and help ease your dog’s separation anxiety early on before it gets worse.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

There are a number of symptoms and indicators that your pup may be experiencing separation anxiety when they are alone. These indications of extreme stress can include:

  • Excessive howling or barking
  • Trying to escape
  • Having “accidents” inside despite being potty trained
  • Chewing, tearing, and digging
  • Pacing
  • Excessive drooling and panting

How to Ease Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Depending on the severity of the situation, there are a number of ways to treat separation anxiety. All possible solutions do require lots of patience and a persistent mindset, as it will take time for your furry friend to overcome their separation anxiety.

Potential treatments to help ease your dog’s separation anxiety include:

  • Counterconditioning: Counterconditioning takes a negative experience or feeling and turns it into something positive. One way to do this is to give your pup some delicious food or treats to enjoy while you are away. This turns a negative experience (being left alone) into a positive one (receiving tasty food). By doing this enough, your dog will be able to associate being alone with a more positive experience. A great tip is to fill a KONG toy with their favorite food or treat. You can even freeze the toy the night before to make it last longer.
  • Gradually accustom your dog to being alone: This is a more time-consuming treatment and requires great patience for it to be successful. To help ease your dog’s separation anxiety, practice having them stay in one room and leaving the room for a short period of time. You don’t need to leave the house but simply be out of sight. As your dog becomes more comfortable, slowly work your way up to leaving the house for a few minutes at a time.
  • Avoid exciting your dog when you come/go: When you are leaving your house, avoid exciting your dog any further or encouraging anxious behavior. When you are getting ready to leave, don’t give your pup too much attention or make your departure a bigger deal. Simply pat them on their head and go on your way. Likewise, when you return home, give them a few minutes to calm down before giving them any attention.
  • Medications and over-the-counter supplements: If necessary, consult your veterinarian regarding medications to help your pup overcome anxiety and panic disorders. Depending on the situation, your vet may prescribe medication or can direct you toward natural supplements.

Being able to recognize the early signs and symptoms of separation anxiety is key to helping your dog overcome these negative experiences. The course of treatment is not a one-size-fits-all case and it may require several attempts and lots of patience. If you need an extra hand, consider reaching out for professional help. A professional can assist you in helping your dog with separation anxiety and give you the tools you need to help your furry companion get on the right path.

[Disclaimer] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Tips To Get Your Dog More Active

How You Can Make Your Lazy Dog Active

It is a common misconception that all animals should be active and playful, and for some breeds, exercise comes more naturally to them than it does to others. Regardless of your dog’s breed, however, your animal should be exercising consistently and regularly. As pet owners, it’s a responsibility to find activities that are fun and comfortable for your four-legged friend.

Not only is exercise typically enjoyable for most dogs, but it also reduces the likelihood of obesity which can lead to further health complications. Along with other behavioral issues that can arise as a result of a lack of exercise, including excessive licking, anxiety, drooling, digging and chewing, there are many reasons why animals should stay active. In addition, there may be underlying reasons as to why your dog is so lazy.

Why Is My Dog So Lazy?

There are many reasons why a dog may be inactive or lazy. Here are a few reasons why your pet may be sluggish:

  • Breed: If your dog is typically lazy, it’s likely that this is a result of their breed. Specific types of dogs, like Bulldogs, Saint Bernards, and Basset Hounds, are particularly known for their lackadaisical demeanors. Despite certain breeds’ affinities for nap time, it is imperative that owners take initiative and walk these dogs at least once a day.
  • Age: Older dogs with joint and hip problems may also be reluctant to exercise because it can be painful.
  • Weight: For dogs with severe obesity, a sedentary lifestyle is common; however, pet owners can break this cycle and work with their dog – and veterinarian – to find alternative exercise routines that are manageable and gradual.
  • Underlying Health Condition: For dogs that are typically energetic, laziness can be an indication of a poor diet or a more pressing health concern. A common symptom expressed by sick dogs, lethargic behavior can suggest a medical health condition. If accompanied by other sickness-related symptoms like vomiting, loose stools, lack of appetite, minimal drinking, and persisting laziness, pet owners should contact a veterinary clinic immediately.

How Can I Get My Dog To Be More Active?

Different dogs enjoy different types of exercise, and there are plenty of enrichment activities for dogs to encourage their athleticism. For breeds that are more active and who need more exercise, long hikes outdoors are ideal. Finding an off-leash trail or dog park (weather permitting) where dogs can run free is sure to wear them out.

Older dogs who are experiencing pain are often limited in their movement. Introducing new chew toys to get them excited can be a great way to initiate playtime. New toys stimulate curiosity and can inspire interaction with other humans or animals in the house.

A few other fun activities for dogs include scheduling a playdate with another neighborhood dog or exploring a new dog park. For breeds that lack enthusiasm about exercising, try some different motivating tactics to get them moving. A play pal or a new environment with new smells are both alternatives to traditional walks around the block that may incentivize your pet and pique their curiosity.

Encouraging activity or making a lazy dog playful isn’t as difficult as you think, but pinpointing the cause of their laziness can be challenging. If you’re curious to learn more about why your dog may be acting lethargic and sluggish, or if you suspect your pet may have an underlying medical condition that is affecting their activity, a veterinarian can provide insight into potential causes. The team at AZPetVet is available 7 days a week to help you ensure your pet is active and healthy.

[Disclaimer] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Adopt a Homeless Animal on International Homeless Animals Day

Young woman with worker choosing which dog to adopt from a shelter.

The Benefits of Adopting vs. Buying a Pet

When you are ready to bring a loving, sweet, and loyal companion into your home, there are a lot of factors to consider. With International Homeless Animals Day on August 15, this provides the perfect opportunity for individuals to learn and understand the value of adopting your next pet and giving that animal a second chance at life in a new, forever home.

Benefits of Adopting a Homeless Animal

There are countless benefits to adopting your next pet. One of the biggest benefits is knowing that you are potentially saving a life. Although no-kill shelters are on the rise, there are still thousands of animals that are euthanized each year due to lack of resources, space, and funding. By choosing to adopt, you are providing this animal with a new and better life by bringing them into your loving home.

In addition, adopting a dog or cat is often less expensive. Although costs vary state-by-state and depending on the shelter, adopting will likely still cost significantly less than purchasing a pet from a store or breeder. Shelters often will also spay and neuter the animals, as well as even provide you with microchips. All of this saves you a lot of money when it comes to adding a furry friend to your household.

Where to Adopt a Pet

If you are ready to start the search for your next best friend, there are plenty of great shelters in the Valley for you to choose from. One organization to consider is Helping Hands for Homeless Hounds (HHfHH). This non-profit provides support and resources to homeless pet owners so they can properly care for their furry companions. If they become unable to care for their animals themselves, HHfHH can also take in any surrendered pets and help them find a great home. Another great Valley organization to consider adopting through is LovePup. This mission-driven group takes the homeless dogs into their own home, allowing them to socialize with their pups and family. This socialization helps to prepare the dogs for adoption, ensuring they are ready to be a loving friend and new family member in their forever home. Their effective and simple adoption process also helps to ensure the pup’s overall success in their new home.

At AZPeVet, we understand the power of the human-animal bond and have partnered with many rescues and adoption organizations throughout the valley. If your new pet was adopted through one of our approved rescue partners, be sure to reach out to the AZPetVet nearest you to schedule your *FREE Post Adoption Health Exam and Fecal Testing.

Making the decision to bring a furry friend into your home is a big choice to make. When you know that you are ready and can provide a comfortable, warm, and welcoming environment for your next companion, consider the option of adopting a homeless animal. This International Homeless Animals Day, as well as throughout the year, you can help homeless animals in need in more ways than one. If you are unable to adopt at this time but still want to find a way to give back, be sure to visit your local animal shelter’s website for volunteering opportunities and donations.

[Disclaimer] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

International Assistance Dog Week | Better Understanding Service Dogs

Service Dogs: Common Breeds and Training Programs

Guide dog helping blind man in the city.

While all dogs are good dogs, some pups are trained to be especially good to serve individuals in need. Assistance dogs, or service dogs, are specially trained to assist individuals with disabilities and special needs in order to help them live a more independent lifestyle, as well as to keep them safe, happy, and healthy — overall improving their general quality of life. With International Assistance Dog Week coming up on August 2-8, now is a great time to recognize and honor the good girls and boys that are dedicated to helping others.

There are several types of assistance dogs out there, including guide dogs, seizure response dogs, hearing dogs, medical alert dogs, therapy dogs, psychiatric service dogs, and others. These trained pups can accomplish a number of tasks, including answering the door, helping their owner get around, alerting others of issues, and more.

Common Service Dog Breeds

Almost any dog can be a service dog with proper training. However, certain breeds are better suited to excel as a service dog. Typical service dog breeds include:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Poodle
  • Great Dane

Traits of Good Service Dogs

There are a number of indicators and characteristics that create the ideal assistance dogs, this includes:

  • Friendliness
  • Calm nature
  • Intelligence
  • Dedication

Assistance Dog Training

For those who are interested in training their dog to be an assistance dog, individuals can look into assistance dog organizations or can train them themselves with the help of a professional trainer. For those who are seeking to train their pup on their own, owners should start to work on solidifying the basic skills first. On top of this, individuals should expose their pup to new places with new people as building confidence with being in unfamiliar places will help your furry friend to remain calm in new situations. Along with these foundational skills, pups must be able to master a skill that assists a specific disability.

For those who are interested in seeking an assistance dog organization to train their pup, there are a number of organizations in the Valley that offer this service. AZ Dog Sports in Phoenix offers an affordable assistance dog training program that is specifically designed for handlers who want to train the dog themselves. In Tempe, All 4 Paws Training gives individuals with disabilities the tools they need in order to train their own pups.

With International Assistance Dog Week approaching, now is the perfect time to recognize and appreciate the service dogs in your community that are helping individuals to live a happier, more independent life.

[DISCLAIMER] Any information obtained from this blog in reference to a specific product, process, business, or service, does not constitute or imply an endorsement by AZPetVet or its affiliates. Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.