Here are the 5 Solutions for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Like us humans, dogs are prone to experience separation anxiety when their favorite companion leaves them for a while. One of the most common characteristics of dogs when experiencing separation anxiety is that they become disruptive, destructive, or upset. This can lead to lots of problems for both the canine and the pet owner.

According to ASPCA.org,

Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.

 

Experts and dog trainers suggest that treating a dog with separation anxiety is the same as training a new dog. When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to resolve their underlying anxiety by teaching them to enjoy their own company or become tolerant when being left alone.

There are multiple reasons for a dog to experience separation anxiety which may include:

the sudden change of guardian or family

change in their usual schedule

Change in residence

Change in household

Common Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

These are the common symptoms shown by dogs who are experiencing separation anxiety.

Urinating and Defecating

Dogs including puppies often urinate or defecate when left alone or separated from their owner. Although there are many reasons for dogs to loosen their bowel, one of the most common reasons is separation anxiety.

Barking and Howling

Although it’s common for dogs to bark, it’s still uncommon for them to bark persistently when left alone. This could mean they’re missing their human companion.

Chewing, Digging and Destruction

Many dogs going through anxiety tend to bite or chew on stuff such as a couch, cushion, door frames, windows sills, clothes, etc. If you notice these unusual activities when you get back home then you must consult with your Vet or trainer to check if your dog’s experiencing any form of anxiety.

Escaping

Dogs are fine until they’re with their owners, the moment they are kept in confinement they immediately escape. A dog with separation anxiety might try to escape from an area where they’re confined when they’re left alone or separated from their guardian.

In such a case, dogs might want to chew their way out of a kennel, door, or window, which can be fatal to their health.

Coprophagia

Dogs experiencing separation anxiety often defecate and consume their own feces. If a dog eats excrement because of separation anxiety, he probably doesn’t perform that behavior in the presence of its guardian. You should be wary about this because many dogs eat their own feces because of medical problems that result in a decrease in the absorption of nutrients.

How to treat Dogs with Separation Anxiety?

Here are some of the proven methods and preventive measures to treat separation anxiety in dogs.

Training and Counterconditioning

Deploying the trainers to curb separation anxiety and anxiety disorder in dogs is common. Specific training and counterconditioning are one of the most effective ways to treat separation anxiety in canines.

There are several training strategies owners can deploy to treat their dog’s anxiety. Counterconditioning programs help to condition your dog’s response to the stimuli responsible for anxiety, usually by replacing the anxious or aggressive behavior with a more desirable behavior, like sitting or focusing on the owner. Another related practice is to desensitize the dog to their anxiety. It involves introducing your do the source of anxiety, preferably in small doses and at a decreased intensity. Repeated exposure and rewarding positive behavior can help curb anxiety.

Anxiety Medications for Dogs

Anxiety medication is recommended for canines developing a serious anxiety disorder. We suggest you not to take up antibiotics until you’ve tried alternative methods such as training and counterconditioning.

A veterinarian may recommend medications or natural therapies. SSRIs and antidepressants are occasionally prescribed for dogs with anxiety, including fluoxetine and clomipramine in conjunction with an antidepressant to help your dog cope with the stress.

Using CBD Oil for Dog Anxiety

Cannabidiol Oil or CBD Oil is an alternative medication administered to dogs experiencing anxiety. CBD is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Many down owners and humans themselves have found using CBD Oil effective in curbing anxiety. Although there is currently no scientific data to prove that CBD oil is effective in treating anxiety in dogs, many dog owners believe it works wonder. Consult with your veterinarian before using CBD Oil. Your veterinarian can help you determine if it might be a good alternative treatment for your dog’s anxiety.

Body Language

This is more of a preventive or a precautionary measure. You can start by learning your dog’s body language. Knowing when your dog feels uncomfortable or scared such as during thunderstorms, loud noise, outdoor visits, night time, etc, can help determine the reason or their anxiety. It can help you avoid negative experiences and instead use them as a positive training moment. Dogs with anxiety have noticeable physical gestures.

Socialization and Obedience

Socialization is the key to avoid separation anxiety. When your dog is used to seeing new faces including both humans and animals, they’re more likely to enjoy other companies. You can start by taking them to the doggy daycare where they can socialize with other dogs.

Note: Getting your dog a companion usually doesn't help an anxious dog because their anxiety is the result of their separation from you, not just the result of being alone.

Obedience training is another essential tool to prevent or manage dog anxiety. A well-trained and behaved dog is easier to socialize than a dog without training. Obedience classes run by professional trainers can help to desensitize dogs to the situations leading to separation anxiety.

What NOT to Do

You should be careful when you deal with your dog’s separation anxiety. Experts suggest that dog owners must not:

Scold or punish their dog. Anxious behaviors are not the result of disobedience or spite and negative discipline can lead to different behavioral problems in dogs.

Anxiety is caused because they’re upset and trying to cope with a great deal of stress. If you punish them, they are more likely to become upset.

Here is the quick infographics about the solutions for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale to help with dogs experiencing separation anxiety. Our doggy daycare is well equipped with qualified professionals to help train and groom your dogs.

Zoonotic Diseases Facts [Infographic]

Did You Know? Urban slums have the highest cases of zoonotic infection. Most of the zoonotic diseases are caused by pet animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses.

Scientists in the US estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals, and 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in humans spread from animals.


What is Zoonotic Disease?

Zoonotic disease or zoonoses are terms used to describe an infection or disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human being. In general, these diseases normally exist in animals but can affect humans through different forms of contact.

The zoonotic disease can be caused by a range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Of 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans, 61% are zoonotic in nature.

zoonotic historical image

How is the Zoonotic Disease Transmitted to humans?

Zoonotic diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans through four major channels.

i. Direct contact

In the direct zoonosis, the disease is directly transmitted from animals to humans through media such as air (influenza) or through bites and saliva (rabies). Zoonosis can also occur from contact with blood, urine, mucus, feces, or other body fluids of an infected animal. Petting or touching an animal, and scratches can also account for zoonosis through direct contact.

ii. Indirect contact

In Indirect contact, the zoonosis takes place through a secondary medium with any direct contact with the infected animals. This can occur at places or areas where animals live and roam, or objects or surfaces that they were in contact with. Indirect contact can occur from pet habitats, animal shelter, and contaminated pet food or utensils.

iii. Vector-borne

Vector-borne diseases are transmitted by vectors such as mosquitos, fleas, and ticks. The vectors become a host for infection after they have bitten the infected animals. Then they are carried to human beings through the bite.

iv. Foodborne

Consuming contaminated food is another major concern for zoonotic disease. Although foodborne diseases are more common in third world countries, every year one in six Americans gets sick from eating contaminated food. Unpasteurized milk, undercooked meat or eggs, or raw fruits and stale vegetables can cause foodborne zoonotic diseases.


Who is more prone to Zoonotic Diseases?

Some people are more at risk of zoonotic diseases than others. The fitness, age, and medical condition of a person may determine the chances of transmitting zoonotic disease.

These groups of people include:

  • Children younger than 5
  • Adults older than 65
  • People with weakened immune systems

The risk may be slightly higher in people with a compromised immune system from disease or medication which includes;

  • people with AIDS/HIV.
  • people on chemotherapy or receiving radiation therapy.
  • people who are elderly or have chronic diseases.
  • people with congenital immune deficiencies.
  • people who have received organ or bone marrow transplants.
  • pregnant women (the fetal immune system is not fully developed, and the pregnant woman's immune system is altered during pregnancy).

People who fall into these categories must be extra careful when they are around animals. Take basic precautions such as washing hands after petting or touching the animal, and avoiding secondary contacts such as staying away from contaminated food or pet shelters.

What Zoonotic Diseases does a Dog Carry?

Most of the zoonotic diseases in humans are transmitted from pet animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), these are the most common zoonotic diseases found in the US. These can be prevented by implementing the best doggy daycare in Des Moines.

a. Ringworm

The symptoms of ringworm in dogs include dandruff-like scaling in the depths of the coat, red lesions on the head, chest, forelegs and the ridge of the back.

b. Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is a symptomatic infection caused by bacteria of the Salmonella type. It usually results in symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

c. Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and animals. It is transmitted from infected animals to humans through bite or saliva. Rabies vaccination is the best way to avoid rabies infection in the future.

d. Leptospirosis

A leptospirosis is a common form of infection in dogs that is caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira. Signs of leptospirosis include fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite.

e. Lyme disease

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which is spread by ticks. Lyme disease can cause kidney failure and death in severe cases.

f. Campylobacter infection

PetMD reports that up to 49 percent of dogs carry campylobacteriosis, shedding it into their feces for other animals to contract. Humans can easily contract the disease if they fail to practice proper hygiene after coming into contact with an infected animal. The signs of Campylobacter infection in dogs include watery to mucoid diarrhea, abdominal cramping or pain, lethargy, and fever.

g. Roundworms

Roundworms can infest the dog digestive tract. The signs of roundworm in dogs include colic, lethargy, vomiting, abdominal swelling, abnormal feces, etc. Coming in contact with contaminated soil or infected dog feces can result in human ingestion and infection.

h. Scabies

Sarcoptic mange or Scabies in dogs is caused by the Sarcoptes scabies mite, a highly contagious skin parasite. The mites burrow into their skin and cause severe itching that can result in the formation of scabs and hair loss.

zoonotic diseases facts

Prevention from Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic diseases are reported to be one of the most common diseases contracted by humans worldwide. To prevent zoonotic diseases, you should adopt the following measures.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

  • Wash hands before and after handling or petting animals.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything close to the pet’s shelter.
  • Wear preventive overalls when handling farm animals.
  • Avoid handling sick animals or animals with lesions without wearing any gloves and masks.
  • Always wear a mask while entering pet shelters such as dog kennel and animal farms.
  • DO NOT enter the agricultural animal facilities when you are sick!
  • Use preventive gear while cleaning any animal area.
  • If you notice any sign of illness, contact your medical personnel ASAP.

ENVIRONMENTAL MAINTENANCE

  • Keep animal shelters such as kennel and cattle farm organized and regularly cleaned.
  • It’s important to clean any urine and fecal build-up. Dry feces result in fecal dust which may be inhaled. Most bacteria reside inside the fecal build-up.
  • Clean rooms have a lower likelihood of horizontal or zoonotic transfer.
  • Build animal housing areas away from the house or in an isolated area unless you’re building a dog kennel.
  • Quarantine the animal’s housing area with the help of experts when you notice the sign of any major infection or diseases.

HERD/FLOCK MAINTENANCE

This is more applicable if you own or handle a large number of animals such as cattle flock.

  • Observe animals for health status on a daily basis.
  • Report sick or dead animals.
  • Note health problems such as diarrhea, difficulty breathing, depressed, immobile.
  • Take extra caution in cleaning the areas around ill animals. Don’t spread possible pathogens.
  • Isolate affected animals as appropriate.
  • Record history or progression of animal disease.

Preventive Takeaways from Urban Pet Hospital and Resort

Urban Pet Hospital and Resort is a premier Doggy daycare in Urbandale that ensures the prevention of any infection or disease caused by animals. Here are four preventive takeaways that you should always keep in mind.

  1. Properly wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
  2. Prevent contamination of water sources.
  3. Undertake pet vaccinations.
  4. Avoid contact with wild animals.

10 Marine Mammals You Should Know About!

Marine mammals are probably the most exotic animals that have excited and fascinated human imagination. Most of these animals can surprise us with their remarkable intelligence and artistic ability. Unfortunately, most marine mammals have landed up in a zoo and amusement centers to please the crowd.

Pizza, a three-year-old polar bear, was kept inside an aquarium in a Chinese Mall for 2 years until the activists and millions of supporters signed a petition against the Chinese mall. ~NatGeo

Marine mammals are the aquatic species that rely on the ocean and other marine ecosystems for survival. Unlike fish, marine mammals are obligate water dwellers.

They belong to Mammalia genus and share several similar characteristics with all other mammals, like;

  • They breathe air for Oxygen
  • They are Warm-blooded animal
  • They give a live birth
  • They possess mammary gland.

Some sea mammals are semi-aquatic such as walrus and seals who dwell on land for mating, breeding, and molting, while few others are complete-aquatic such as whales and dolphins.

23% of marine mammal species are currently threatened.


10 Marine Mammals

Polar Bear

The polar bear is the largest terrestrial predator in the Arctic that depends on the marine ecosystem for survival. Although they are birthed on land, they spend most of their time on the sea ice. It is closely related to the brown bear (Ursus arctos). Adult polar bears can weigh over 1500 pounds (700 kg). Due to habitat loss caused by climate change, polar bears are classified as vulnerable species.

Dolphin

Dolphins are one of the aquatic mammals that depend on the marine ecosystem for survival. They belong to the Cetacea genus. Dolphin sizes may range from 1.7m (5.6ft) to 9.5m (31ft) and can weigh up to 11 short tons. Most dolphins face threats from climate change, habitat loss, marine pollution, and capture.

Thousands of dolphins are hunted in Japan and served as delicacy despite being banned by animal welfare society. Bottlenose dolphins are the most common species which are kept in captivity.

Blue Whale

Blue Whale is the largest known animal and the largest mammal in the world. They can reach a length of at least 110m (33m) and weigh up to 209 tons. Blue Whales are the most hunted animal in the world. They were prized hunt for most hunters in the twentieth century.

A 2002 report estimated there were 5,000 to 12,000 blue whales left in the world.

Bearded Seal

The bearded seal, also known as square flipper seal, is one of four Arctic seals that reside in and around the Arctic Ocean, as well as the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas in Alaska. The largest northern phocid, they can weigh up to 300kg. They prey on clam, squid, and fish.  As members of the “true seal” family, the bearded seal is closely related to the gray seal and harp seal.

Narwhal

The Narwhals are probably the most majestic marine animals. They are a medium-sized toothed whale found mostly in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The tusk is actually one of two teeth in the upper jaw and only reaches full length (over 6 feet/2 m) in sexually mature males. It is used to attract females and to fight off other males.


Some of the other marine mammals include Walrus, Sperm Whale, Dugong, Humpback Whale, Marine Otter, and Hourglass Dolphins.

Animal Pain Awareness Month

September is celebrated as the Animal Pain Awareness month by International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) to coincide with Human medicine’s pain awareness month. IVAPM is an independent body which educates and informs about pet health, awareness and pain management.

In animals, especially dogs and cats, pain can come in many ways; surgical pain, arthritis, skin related disease and cancer, just to name a few.  For most pets, old age can be a result of intense physical pain, however, most causes of pain can be prevented if pet owners are aware about their pet’s health and need.


Animal pain awareness is a campaign targeted to inform all the people about how to care best for the animals in their surroundings.

Animal Pain Awareness

  • Unlike humans, animals cannot report their feeling or pain, hence, most pet owners remain unaware about the ailing condition of their pets.
  • Alike humans, animals account for living organisms in the world who play important role in the cycle of ecosystem.
  • Most of the people in the civilized world still remain unaware about animal rights.
  • Animal Pain has always remained a nonchalant subject as most societies around the world used to believe that ‘animals lack consciousness.’
  • The ailing condition of an animal can sometimes be contagious which can affect animals and humans alike.

How to Encourage Animal Pain Awareness

  • By educating the veterinary community to recognize and treat pain in all animal species.
  • By recognizing that treating pain in animals requires an interdisciplinary approach.
  • By encouraging open communication on topics related to the treatment of pain in animals.
  • Supporting standards of care for animals in pain.
  • Promoting pain management instruction for all veterinary students.
  • Promoting humane, scientific investigation in the field of veterinary pain management.
  • There are many options to treat the various causes of pain in animals including pain medications, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, laser therapy, and therapeutic massage.

 

To learn more about animal pain awareness, consult with the experienced veterinarian.