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Posts Tagged ‘dog anxiety’

Life With Desmond – A blog to follow

December 18, 2012 15 comments

DesmondToday, I thought I would do something a little unusual and highlight another blogger, someone I admire.

We bloggers used to do this quite often a few years ago. We would read another blogger’s post, be inspired, and feel the need to expand upon the topic or share our own  experience. As life has gotten busier, I have found myself less able to read all the blogs I would like, but there is one blog I like to visit (and one Instagram feed I like to follow) because I always feel like I learn something new and because I admire the blogger.

So let me tell you a little something about Lauren Forge, the author of Life with Desmond.

  1. Lauren has one of the coolest and cutest dogs around – his name is Desmond.

  2. She is studying to be a professional dog trainer (Did I mention that I happen to love dog trainers?)

  3. She is editor and a manager who has quite a talent for writing.

  4. She has shared some of her personal challenges with her lovebug Desmond, including anxiety, leash reactivity, and Canine Esophageal Stricture.

  5. She has been through some pretty tough times lately. Hurricane Sandy destroyed her home and she has had to live in her parent’s home, in a hotel and an apartment with her husband, Joey, and Desmond.

  6. She manages to keep her sense of humor despite the challenges. (I love the pictures and captions in this post!) In the meantime, Desmond has learned to dance Gangnam Style.

  7. She has lots of give-aways (Worth checking out of you like to win stuff!)

These are among some of my favorite posts by Lauren:

I hope you will take the time top say hello to Lauren and Desmond and maybe even offer her a few words of encouragement as she and Joey and Desmond try to put their lives back together, post Hurricane Katrina.

Photo Credit: Lauren Forge, Life With Desmond.

Dealing with Dogs and Thunderstorms

June 7, 2012 17 comments

Over Memorial Day weekend, the dogs and I spent a great deal of time inside due to extreme heat and thunderstorms.

Comforting Daisy was one of my most important tasks at that time.  As she shivered and panted through the boomers, I played music from Through A Dog’s Ear and put her in her Thundershirt.

As we face another round of storms coming up this weekend, I thought I would share some great tools, tips and links that were recently shared by Minnesota Sheltie Rescue. If you have a dog who suffers and shakes in fear during thunderstorms (and fireworks), you may want to check these out.

Create a safe place – The safe place should preferably be sound insulated (soundproof wallboard is an option) and have small or no windows, or covered windows.

Have super yummy treats handy (not day-to-day treats, something exceptional, human foods work well) After every boom, offer a piece of treat. Give the treat instantly, as soon as the noise is heard, but not before. For dogs who don’t eat, just offer the treat after every boom, making a (quiet) big deal out of it (“oooh, look what mommy’s got…!”).

Thundershirt– the best solution for dog anxiety

Thunderstorm cape – A cape to help calm your dog’s anxiety

Calming Cap – worn over the eyes

Mutt Muffs – Protects your dogs ears and can drown out the sound

Comfort Zone D.A.P. plug-in diffuser/collar/spray

TTouch – Use touch to help calm your dog

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Through a Dog’s Ear – calming music

Essential oils (therapeutic grade) diffused or applied, Young Living Peace & Calming

Hug therapy: Yes, it’s o.k. to hold your dog if your dog seems to find comfort in that! Fear is an emotion, not a behavior. Good things as perceived by the dog lessen fear, bad things intensify fear.

Please consult your vet when using the following:

Melatonin, 1.5 mg tablets (not capsules, not time-released, not sublingual, without extra ingredients). The dose is given either at first evidence of storm or prophylactically when storms are predicted. Dose may be repeated up to 3 times daily.

Optibalance Pet

Composure (also available in liquid)

Stress Free Calmplex

Herbal Calm

Skullcap & valerian

Homeopathy, consult a veterinarian who practices homeopathy on animals, to make sure you are using the right remedies

Flower essences: www.petessences.com, www.bachflower.com, www.greenhopeessences.com, you can combine up to 7 essences at once, dosing at 4 drops 4 times a day

Medication is NOT A LAST RESORT! Storm phobias tend to only get worse – the sooner you address your dog’s anxiety, the more successful you will be and the sooner relief is found. DO NOT use ACEPROMAZINE with herding breeds. (Update: Based on feedback from several sources, I would NOT use Acepromazine with ANY FEARFUL dogs.)

Dog Anxiety Medications – Information on various medications for dogs.

Some additional information on how to cope with your dog’s anxiety:

Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. – Thunder Phobia in Dogs

Fearfuldogs.com – Storm and Sound Phobias

Shy K9s Yahoo Group

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