How to Calm a Hyper Dog

 

Having a hyper dog is a dog problem with many possible causes and solutions. Many hyper dog problems stem from boredom and a lack of stimulation. So in order to address the dog problem, you have to assess the way you are interacting with your dog and the kind of activity your dog gets on a daily basis. We cannot stress enough the importance of basic puppy training classes and regular obedience training for dogs 6 months and up. Trainers will help you with problems and are the extra “eyes” to assist you in proper reward and discipline techniques.

Here are some simple suggestions that you can try at home to help calm your hyperactive dog:

Ignore the hyper dog behavior.

Dogs seek attention from you. By paying attention to the hyper dog during outbursts, you’re reinforcing (rewarding) the problem behavior that you’re trying to eliminate. The next time your dog is jumping or nipping at you in an overexcited way, give it a try — no touch, no talk, no eye contact — walk on past and do not acknowledge the dog. You might be surprised how quickly the dog settles down.

Give your dog a job.

Having a task to focus on can help tremendously. Hyperactivity in dogs can come from psychological needs as easily as it can from physical needs. By giving your dog a job to do, you are redirecting his energy elsewhere. For instance, fetch games can be done in a small area.

Go for a walk to redirect dog’s high energy.

If your dog has a lot of built-up energy, a really vigorous walk is another excellent way to redirect it where YOU want it to go. Once you’ve burned that extra energy away, your dog should be pleasantly exhausted and too tuckered out to jump and nip. Without that frustration, he’ll find it much easier to relax.

Check your own energy.

Your dog is your mirror. Any energy you project, he will reflect back. Are you in a calm assertive state of mind? Are you projecting a confident pack leader energy? Are you stressing out over an argument, or burdened with the worries of the workweek? Nervous or anxious moods can translate into nervous or anxious body language or tones of voice, and can affect the energy of your dog. So be the pack leader and stay in tune with your energy.

Try out aromatherapy.

Don’t forget that dogs experience the world primarily by scent! Just as the smell of lavender is said to relax human beings, a soothing smell can also have a very calming effect on your pet. Talk to our office to find out what smells may work for your dog and which dispersal methods are the safest for him. We can order a pheromone based product that was developed especially for dogs

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Puppy and Kitten Proofing Basics

The day has finally arrived: Your new bundle of fur is coming home! After a long search, you found the right companion for you and your family — and now the preparation begins.

As a responsible pet PARENT, you will need to provide a safe environment for this little one. Preparing your home and yard for the new family member is similar to doing so for a curious toddler — you want to eliminate any and all dangers. Your puppy or kitten will want to investigate every electrical cord, every closet, and every plant in the house and yard. It’s up to you to make sure your new pet (and your stuff!) will be safe from temptations.

Before the new addition comes home, walk through your house from room to room, keeping an eye out for these possible hazards. Specifically for dogs: baby gates and dog crates are a great investment and help prevent many accidents by restricting the puppy’s access to certain areas. These tools also help in housetraining. Ask us for puppy training class information! Kittens generally do well confined to one room, with litter box and food. Puppies and kittens are social and thrive when they are a true member of the household. They need their own “special place” to sleep and have quiet time indoors (not the garage), and if you are diligent at the beginning, you will have a devoted companion!

In the Kitchen…

The kitchen contains all sorts of interesting drawers, cabinets, and cords, not to mention smells and tastes. If he/she can get into a cabinet or drawer, your puppy or kitten will explore everything inside. Childproof latches, which can be found at your local hardware store, prevent curious investigations, while keeping potentially dangerous foods and cleaning supplies out of reach.

Kitchen trash receptacles often contain food remains like bones and are particularly interesting. Spoiled or “old” foods are not safe for dogs either and cause serious illness.

Power cords look like fun chew toys to a teething puppy and kitten.  These hazards need to be hidden, covered or removed.

In the Bathroom…

The bathroom can be a dangerous place  too.  Razors, medications, cotton swabs, and soap left within  reach can be easily ingested — which can mean an emergency visit to our office.

Family members need to be conscientious about cleaning up after themselves in the bathroom. Put shampoos, soap, tissues, and accessories out of reach or inside a cabinet or high drawer.

Be sure to keep the toilet lid down at all times, or keep the bathroom door closed. A curious kitten or puppy could jump into the bowl and drown. In addition, use a trash can with a locking lid or stash it under the sink. Also install childproof latches on the drawers and cabinets, and be sure to tuck dangling cords away.

In the Bedroom…

Dogs are scent-oriented, so they gravitate toward anything that smells like you. Shoes, slippers, and clothing will quickly become toys if you don’t safeguard such items behind a closed closet door. Keep clothing picked up, store shoes out of reach, and put laundry in a tall, closed hamper. Store jewelry, hair ties, coins, and other small ingestible items in containers or drawers as these are especially enticing, and secure any exposed cords or wires. Many dogs like to den under the bed or wedge themselves behind furniture, so put up temporary blockades to prevent your puppy from hiding where he/she shouldn’t.

In the Living Areas…

Whether a living room or family room, these cozy gathering places often have pillows, shoes, magazines, iPods — all kinds of things that could tempt a curious and teething puppy.

Houseplants, either real or fake pose hazards. Many decorative plants are poisonous and the fake ones often contain toxic materials. And if it is floor planter, look out for it becoming an alternative litter box!

Stay vigilant about straightening up and putting away clutter, especially in those areas where you and your family spend the most time. Put loose items away, stow pillows and blankets in decorative bins, and keep cords and wires out of reach.

In the Garage and Yard…

When you look around your garage and yard, you’ll see many obvious and not-so-obvious dangers.  Paint, cleaners, insecticides, rat and rodent poison, snail poison, fertilizers, antifreeze, and gasoline represent a handful of poisons and chemicals that you may have in your garage or outdoor shed. Antifreeze, for example, has a sweet taste that attracts animals, but it can be deadly if ingested, even in small amounts. Secure all bottles, boxes, and containers of these substances inside a locked cabinet, or store them on high shelves.

Common plants, such as daffodils, foxglove, bird-of-paradise, and lupine,  are poisonous to your dog and cat and cause varied reactions, ranging from a rash to vomiting and diarrhea. You can find a list of the most commonly encountered toxic plants at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center website.

Better Safe than Sorry!

By taking some time to pet-proof your house,  you’ll give your new pet a good start and reduce worry with his/her new family. As he/she gets older, passes through  developmental phases, and learns basic obedience and manners, you won’t need to be so vigilant with your pick-up routine. Until then, however, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Be sure to contact us if your pet has been exposed to any household/yard chemical or plant. We will need to know the name and main ingredients of any suspected toxicity.

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Sand and Water Fun!

With the holiday weekend behind us, it might be a good time to start thinking about taking your dog to the beach for some sand and water fun!

A beach day is a great way for your dog to get some exercise, keep cool and have a blast but remember: anything that can harm you at the beach can also harm your dog, such as sunburn, riptides, jellyfish, broken glass, sharp shells and aggressive dogs so keep an eye out to be safe and avoid any trips to our office.

Be careful to avoid hazards like ingesting questionable objects, salty water, cuts and scrapes and even drowning.

Bring fresh water. Seawater is a gastrointestinal irritant that can work as a laxative or cause vomiting – please discourage your dog from drinking it and always have plenty of fresh water available as an alternative.

Keep a first aid kit in your car in case of cut paws or jellyfish stings.

If your dog is a puppy, small breed or hasn’t learned to swim well, consider giving him/her a doggie life jacket.

Salt water on a dog’s skin and paws can be irritating, so please rinse off to avoid any skin irritations

Make sure your dog responds to the recall command, as it is important for safety that your dog responds and comes back when called to avoid any injury.

Avoid sunburns by applying plenty of dog-safe sunscreen to the areas that are most affected by the sun like the nose, belly and the genital areas. Some dogs require more than others based on fur coverage, please check with our office if you’re not sure about the proper protection.

A hot summer day can cause overheating and dehydration so bring a towel you can wet for them to rest on (sand can get very hot), make sure there is shade to sit under and never leave them in the car, even for a few minutes cars overheat quickly.

Always make sure your dog is vaccinated, tagged, and courteous to others. Follow the basic rules and please clean up after your dog, whether that means making sure you carry doggie bags or fill in any holes your dog may have dug.

There is a Dog Beach in Del Mar and is easy to find. It is located 2.5 miles west of All Creatures Hospital at the intersection of Via de la Valle and Camino Del Mar (Coast Highway). Bring a leash because parking is on the street and dogs must be leashed from June 16th through Labor Day.

 

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Cool Cats Have More Fun!

Following our blog on how to keep your dogs cool during hot summer days, here are some tips on how to keep your outdoor cat friends well taken care of when the heat strikes. Cats can stay cool on their own if you give them the proper resources. Here are just a few ways to help your cat avoid the heat:

• Place a comfortable bed in a shaded area – use the one he/she is comfortable with and place toys/favorite things in it

• When temperatures reach over 90 degrees, you should refill the water bowls every couple of hours. If you are gone during the day and you have an outside cat, put out two bowls of fresh water. One bowl should be fresh and cool, and the other frozen. The frozen bowl will melt slowly and provide cool water later in the day

• To allow the air to move freely through its fur, brush your cat daily, particularly if your cat has long hair

• Do not tie or confine your cat to an area with asphalt or concrete because these surfaces really hold the heat on a sunny day.

• Wrap a towel around a bag of frozen peas and place it in your cat’s outdoor bed so it can lie on it to cool off

• Take a damp cloth and wipe it over your cat. If your cat will tolerate water, wet it with a spray bottle. Most cats will tolerate the damp cloth better 😉

• When possible, encourage your cat to come inside and enjoy the AC during the hottest part of the summer days or provide extra ways to cool off outside (ice, shade, mist, etc)

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Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day and remember: grill safely this Holiday Weekend! Please prevent your BBQ festivities from turning into tragedy by following these important safety tips:

Keep all pets at least 10 feet away from the grill. This will prevent sparks and fire from reaching your dog and also prevent your dog from getting burned or knocking over the grill.

Keep charcoal and lighter fluid out of reach. They are deadly substances!

Immediately collect garbage and throw it away in a secure trash bin. Bones, corn cobs and peach pits can easily get lodged in the intestinal tract of your dog, so quickly throw these items, as well as all other garbage, away!

Do not feed your dog raw meat and any part of your BBQ feast. Such food can upset your dog’s stomach and lead to diarrhea, vomiting and other digestive problems.

Have fun!

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Stay Cool & Have Fun

Summer is here and weather in Southern California is heating up – are you and your dog prepared? Here are some tips to stay cooler these summer months:

1. Walk your dog early in the morning or late at night – try to stay cool during the hottest part of the day. If you have to walk mid-day, see if you can find booties for your dog at your local pet store.

2. Keep your dog hydrated – carry enough water with you on walks and make sure you offer it to your dog often

3. Find innovative ways to cool your dog – fan, wet towel to lay on, kiddie pool, spray bottle, whatever works with your situation. Make sure to spray the paws and stomach, not just the top of the dog, when spraying it with water. A wet towel does more good on the bottom of your dog than when laid on the top of its coat.

4. Let your dog dig! Your dog may resort to finding his own way to avoid the heat. Dogs in nature dig their dens not out of frustration but to find food, hide, give birth or keep cool!

5. Let your dog check the weather. Dogs don’t know why they are being denied a long walk for the day. Allow your dog to step outside and feel for itself that it is too hot, too wet, or too cold to go on a long walk. Instinctually, the dog will understand that it has to shorten its walk, or simply come back inside where it’s safe.

6. Never leave your dog in a parked car. The car retains more heat than an open area, even if it is in the shade. Plus, a dog may get overexcited in the car due to passersby or panic from claustrophobia, making dehydration more likely. On longer trips, make sure you have water for the dog and keep the AC running.

7. Use hot weather as an excuse to swim more often! Have access to a pool? The best activity you can do on hot days is swimming. Instead of walking, take the dog on a swim!

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