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Stressed-out Dogs Now The Norm

June 25, 2012

Prozac for pooches coming soon.

Did you read the article in yesterday’s Edmonton Journal? Aparently 80% of dogs exhibit some sort of bahavioural problem. Rather than spending enough time with our pet, we are now turning to drugs that compare to human anti-depressants? Below are some suggestions to avoid the need for a “Pet-Prozac”:

Moving to a new home can and should  be an exciting experience for you and your family, filled with anticipation and plans for a new chapter in your life.

When it comes to your dog, acclimating him or her to their new environment can be very stressful.

Below are some tips on how to minimize the impact of your move and to help your pet become more comfortable within the new surroundings:

  • Create a dog-proofed room or area in your house. If the dog is already crate trained, this is where the crate should be, along with some fun toys and chews. This is very important as this is where you will keep the dog (at least initially) when you cannot keep an eye on him. He should be confined to this dog-safe area when you are not at home.
  • Take your dog outside often so he learns “where the bathroom is”. Dogs can be very particular about where they do their business, so be sure to give him a few extra bathroom trips each day as well as extra time during those trips. This will not only help him learn where “outside” is in this new environment, but will allow him time to sniff around to find his favourite spots.
  • Keep the dog with you around the house. When the dog is out of his dog-proofed room, be sure to monitor him. Things are likely to seem very new to him. He will be curious and may engage in unwanted behaviors, such as chewing, etc. Whatever room you are in, the dog should be in as well. When you are unable to physically manage the dog, he should be returned to his dog-proofed room/area with a nice stuffed animal or chew to keep him occupied.
  • Select feeding and sleeping areas and stick with them. Dogs are creatures of habit and routine. Creating familiarity with essential resources such as food, water and bedding is important.
  • As the dog gets used to his surroundings, you may begin easing his restrictions (ie: expand his dog-proofed area gradually, reduce the number of trips outside to a more normal amount, leave him unsupervised for longer and longer periods, etc.)
  • Most importantly, make your dog feel at home in his new surroundings. An abrupt change in living arrangements can be stressful for people and animals alike. Your dog depends on you to make this new home as friendly and safe as his old one.

Who Is Going To Protect Your Dog?

How often do I hear the proclamation: “We don’t need an alarm system in our new home. We have a dog.”
Dogs are excellent for security. They will risk their lives to protect you and your loved ones. Unfortunately, when intruders have been able to enter your home, their minds are already set on doing whatever they intended to do. Not much will stop them, not even your dog.
Your dog might bark at the stranger, hopefully even attack. You need to keep in mind that intruders are prepared for these types of encounter. Did you know that a can of oven cleaner can completely disable your dog?
Don’t take that risk. A monitored security system is such a small investment. Combined with proper signage and indication of a valid alarm permit, it will reduce your chance of a break-in tremendously and provide you with peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your family and pets.

Pets And Fire

Who is going to hear your regular smoke detectors going off when nobody is at home but your pets? monitored smoke detector will send a signal to the monitoring station. They will dispatch the fire department with instructions that there are animals in the home that have to be rescued. Monitored smoke detectors can be life savers not just for your family but for your pets as well.

Be Prepared

(Suggestions provided by the American Humane Association)

  • Plan a safe evacuation that includes your family and pets in advance.
  • Remember your pets’ usual hiding and sleeping places.
  • During a fire, your pets will be terrified, and are likely to hide in their favorite retreats.
  • If possible, escort your pets to safety on leashes, in crates or in cages.
  • Your cat can be safely carried inside a pillow case.
  • Obedience-trained dogs will be more likely to co-operate with their owner during an evacuation and ensuing chaos.
  • Include pet food in your family emergency kit.
  • Include your pets’ health records in your family emergency kit. Any boarding kennel will require these documents.
  • Always identify your pets with collars, current license and vaccination tags. Proper identification is crucial when pets and their owners are separated during or after a fire.
  • Take your pets to a vet as soon as possible. Keep in mind that animals suffer from serious smoke inhalation in a matter of seconds.
  • Have a pet-friendly security system with monitored smoke detectors.
If you don’t have a security system, if your current system is not monitored or if you are not happy with your current security provider, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation.
You will be glad you did!
Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986

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