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Pets Reduce Stress at Work… More Companies, Citing Benefits, Allowing Pets at Work

Recent study shows pets in the workplace can reduce employee stress… Hmmm, most pet owners knew that years ago without studies!

gan-pets-at-workUSAToday: INDIANAPOLIS — Employers and employees are acknowledging the advantages and benefits of a growing office trend that allows pets in the workplace. And now there’s research to support what some have known for years.

According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, employees who bring their dogs to work produced lower levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol.

Published in spring 2012, the study, led by Randolph Barker, a professor of management, was conducted at a dinnerware company in North Carolina, which sees 20 to 30 dogs a day on its premises. As the workday went on, research found average stress level scores fell about 11% among workers who had brought their dogs to work, while they increased 70% for those who did not.

"When I’m stressed, I usually call Zoe (a chocolate Labrador retriever) over and rub her ear. That’s my therapy," said Ann Marie DeLa Rosa, 26, who works at software design company Inverse-Square in downtown Indianapolis and appreciated the company’s pet-friendly policy.

Not only does Zoe, who could be mistaken for a small grizzly bear with a smile, alleviate her stress, DeLa Rosa said, the dog also forces her owner to take a lunch break.

"Zoe gets me out," she said. "Otherwise, I tend to power through lunch when I want to get something done. Taking a 15-minute walk with her refreshes me, and I can focus easier."

According to a 2008 national poll of working Americans 18 and older by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 17% reported their company permits pets at work. In 2012, the group reported in a separate study that workers surveyed brought their dogs with them to work 22 times in 2012, compared with 17 times in 2008.

Deb Havill, a clinical social worker and therapist, conducts client sessions along with her two rescue dogs. But David and Jai aren’t trained therapy dogs; they just accompany their owner during therapy sessions.

"Dogs were domesticated to be attentive to us," said Havill, who keeps two couches in her Indianapolis office — one for clients and one for the dogs. "It is natural for us to be around them, so to not be around them would be unnatural. We would be in an unnatural state."

Havill explained that touching or petting an animal has been shown to lower the galvanic skin response much like the science behind the polygraph test, when measuring feelings such as fear, stress or anxiety.

"Reaching down and petting a dog is an easy way to ratchet things down when you need to."

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Ann Marie DeLa Rosa is shown with her dog, Zoe, a chocolate Labrador retriever as Hoagey, a yellow lab that belongs to fellow worker, noses in for a little TLC. (Photo: Frank Espich, The Indiapolis Star)

Janet Myers travels all over the country with her Bernese mountain dog, advocating the benefits of pet therapy and animal-assisted activities in health care.

A nurse as well as the director of risk management at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Ind., Myers founded the hospital’s pet-therapy program and next year will speak at the National Pediatric Nurses conference.

Bentley, her dog, is a popular therapy dog with his own children’s book and schedule of special appearances. But his main job is still to be with his owner in her office at least three times a week.

"It’s been proven that people are always more productive when they are happy," Myers said. "If Bentley is by my side, I am not thinking of needing to be home to care for him or that he’s lonely. I often stay late at work with him snoozing away under my desk. He is a big part of my life."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites dozens of animal experts who report that pets can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as increase opportunities for exercise and socialization.

Commercial developer Turner Woodard knows this better than anyone. He’s the man who made it possible for employers at The Stutz business center in Indianapolis to have pet-friendly office policies — and about 25% of the tenants take advantage of the perk.

"We know it’s a positive," he said. "We need to see more of it in the world."

However, if you’re looking to implement a formal policy, there are several factors to consider, Barker said.

"You have to think about employee health (allergies), minimizing disruptions and keeping pets safe," he said.

Amazon and Purina, cited as two of the most pet-friendly companies in the country, don’t allow pets because many factories and distribution centers can be dangerous workspaces.

Bob Baird, who brings his two dogs, Ruby and Hoagey to work, knows that when he makes a new hire at Inverse-Square, he might be excluding or discouraging potential applicants who might not like dogs.

"But having dogs here is indicative of our culture," said Baird, whose dog Hoagey, a 110-pound yellow Labrador retriever, is notorious for snoring too loudly during conference calls.

"For us, having dogs in the office is out of necessity," Baird said. "We love having them around because this is (a) home away from home. We work long hours, and it’s nice to have them with us."

Related:

Dogs at Work Can Alleviate Employee Stress, Study Shows

Pets reduce stress at work

Video:  Study – Pets in the Work Place Reduce Stress

12 companies that let you bring your dog to work

Chapman University Hosts ‘Furry Friends For Finals’

Londonderry School Uses Therapy Dog in Classroom

Collar to Keep Track of Dogs’ Temperature is in the Works

Pet Therapy

Pets are way better than Therapy!

Can the U.S. Become a No-Kill Nation?

The Difference Between No Kill Nation & Other Animal Advocacy Groups

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Take the Stress Out of Car Trips with Your Dog

Dog in car

Safe Car Trips with your Dog are Paramount

Image by The Consumerist via Flickr

With the increasing number of travel and holiday destinations accepting dogs, the need for
safe (and fun) car trips with your dog becomes a top priority.

The first thing to be aware of when it comes to dogs and cars, is that for many dogs, the feelings associated with going for a ride in the car are not good.  Others love to go along for a ride from day one. The negativity often occurs because the only time that they often go in the car, is to the vets, which is not necessary a good thing in their opinion. For your dog to want to go for a car ride, they will need to be able to associate a good experience with it.

Preparing For Successful Car Trips with Your Dog

  • It is best to get your dog used to the car at an early age. Start by placing your puppy in the back of the car with the engine off. Ensure that you place a sheet or blanket in the backseat first, to catch dog hair and other messes that they might make. Now give them a treat. You will need to repeat this several times before you even go for a car ride.
  • Once your dog begins to associate the car with a good experience (the treat), start the engine while your dog is sitting in the car. If they seem comfortable, go for short 5-minute car trips with your dog.
  • Please note it is important for any dog to be secured when riding in a car. There are many products for this purpose, such as dog car seat belts, dog car safety seats and carriers. What ever device you intend to use, get your dog used to it before going for a drive.
  • If short car trips with your dog are working successfully, it is time to extend the drive. Make sure that you choose a destination the your dog will like. Remember, we want them to associate the car with a good experience. For example take them to the local dog park. Never take your dog someplace where you will have to leave them unattended in the car. Even with the window partly down, it can get extremely hot in a car and it is not uncommon for pets to suffer heat stoke and death.
  • Finally, don’t let your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window. This can lead to eye injuries.

Guidelines for Longer Car Trips with Your Dog

  • Get a health check at your vet before going on an extended trip. Make sure all their vaccinations are up to date
  • To avoid your dog throwing up in the car, do not feed them for several hours before your journey. Make sure they have access to plenty of water at all times. Ginger is also a good holistic remedy… in capsule form or even a few ginger snap cookies. (Car Sickness in Dogs).
  • Make sure your dog goes to the bathroom before any long trips.
  • As a precaution, in case your dog runs away while you are traveling, make sure that your dog has a strong collar, carrying an identification tag with the dog’s name, your name, and your home/mobile phone number. Include any other important tags, such as a rabies vaccination tag and your dog license. Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.
  • Leaving your pets in the car is never a good idea!  Not only because of heat and cold, but also because people steal them.  Try to take a second person with you on an extended trip and if you must stop somewhere make sure it is only for a minute or two and try to park your vehicle where you can see it and your pets.
  • Keep the car well-ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate.
  • Never let your dog ride in the back of an open vehicle. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injuries or death.
  • Stop frequently for drink, exercise and potty breaks. Please clean up after your dog.
  • To keep your dog healthy and happy, bring along a supply of their regular food and some local, or bottled water. Be sure to bring any medications they need.

Mother's Day - 24 Days Old First Ride In A Car

What to do if your Dog is a Nervous Traveler

  • Give Them a Familiar Object – Bring their favorite toy or blanket. These familiar items help them to deal with the unfamiliarity of the car.
  • Talk to Your Dog – Some dogs are soothed by hearing your voice while others can get more excited. Try both talking and silence to see which works best for your dog. It is best not to scold your dog, but to use positive reinforcement. If you are talking to your dog to calm them, do not allow this to distract you from driving. Similarly, petting a dog while driving can be a distraction and they will only pester you for more.
  • Play Music – Turn the radio on. Soothing music can have a calming effect on some pets. The sound will help cover the loud and unfamiliar sounds of the road.
  • Open a Window – By opening one of the windows near them, you can provide a distraction through new and interesting scents for your dog.

By applying these guidelines, you will be well on your way to having successful car trips with your dog.

Leaving CA  - We Are Sooo Ready to Leave

Images by the UCLA Shutterbug

We recently had to relocate and ended up driving a small U-haul with a few of our belongings that we would need until having our pod delivered, so decided to rent a 10-ft truck and a car hauler for our car.

Our four pups were our most important and prized concern.  After pretty much everything was packed up and the pod was off my husband went to pick up the truck.  When he pulled up I almost fell over.  The truck came with two bucket seats.  I had only ever seen or rented a U-haul with a bench seat.  There was a big enough area between the two seats to stack the cushions 4 high from the couch that we had no sold.  Things always end up happening for a reason…  It was a big enough area for all four of our Chihuahuas and Chiweenies to lie down at the same time and it put them up high enough so they could see and extended the area by stuff a sweatshirt or two over the drink holder area.

Our greatest fear was how the trip would be for our one who was now four and had suffered from car sickness since he was a puppy.  I was prepared with bags and clean stuff.  He never got sick once on the trip or since.  We think being higher up helped him and maybe seeing cured some anxiety that he had?

We made regular stops and had water and snacks for in-between, and we just ate fast food or stopped at markets or road stands for some fresh fruits and veggies along the way.  We stayed in pet friendly motels along the way.  It really turned out to be a great experience for six of us!!

Related: 

Stress in Dogs (Pets)

Pet Car Sickness and Fear of Riding in Cars

Orange County Sheriffs Ask People To Buckle Up Their Pets

Cruelty Alert:  Pets Suffering from Heatstroke in Parked Cars

Don’t think for a Minute that Dogs Can Survive in a Hot Care

Temperatures Are Rising: Be a Dog Defender: Help Save Animals This Summer!  Cool Ideas for Hot Dogs -  Please be proactive and vocal… you could be saving a life and definitely saving animals of a lot of suffering!!

Honda’s Dog Friendly Element Revealed – Gets Humane Society Approval

Honda’s Dog Friendly Element

Source:  Just One More Pet

Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA Petbook

Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems

Vacationing with Your Pet

April 2, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, animals, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet and Animal Training, pet fun, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Stress in Dogs (Pets)

Angelina Not A Chocolate Bunny Pup - 2009

Sometimes the question can be… is it stress or is it fun?  And was it caused by my Pet-Parent? Winking smile h/t to the pet stress blog for photo 1 & the  UCLA Shutterbug Photo 2

Stress in Dogs (Pets)

Stress is one of greatest factors affecting the behavior of both humans and animals, and they both react to each other’s stress.  Stress levels of dogs or their humans, as well as most other animals, can completely change the dynamic or the relationship the behavior of both, which unfortunately only makes the stress worse.

Stress is the cause of many aggressive behaviors (such as barking, lunging, biting or nipping… especially around food or toys).  You can prevent these behaviors by monitoring your dog’s level of stress.  And you can monitor your dog’s level of stress, by reading your dog’s stress signals. Removing your pet from the situation that is causing them stress is always the best suggestion and remedy, but understandably, not always possible.

The following behaviors usually signal stress in dogs and most pets:

Slow Tail Wag.  A slow tail wag is NOT friendly.  It is a sign of stress.

Tail tucked between hind legs.  This behavior probably signals fear.  Fear is an extreme form of stress.  

Being unable to eat.  If your dog took food a moment ago, and abruptly will not take food, evaluate the dog’s environment and see what maybe causing stress.  Immediately move the dog away from the source of stress, to prevent triggering of possible aggressive behavior.  

Being unable to play.  If your dog is normally playful and suddenly can’t play, it is likely that your dog is stressed.  Again, immediately remove your dog from the situation he or she is in.  

Low ear carriage.  Scan the area for a probable source of stress, if you find the source, move away from it and watch how your dog’s ears respond.  If they lift, then you have done a great job protecting your dog from stress and helped her feel better.  This will increase your dog’s ability to trust you and will deepen your bond with your dog (or cat). 

Blinking of eyes.  Deliberate eye blinking can be a sign that your dog is experiencing stress.  

Squinting of eyes.  Again, this can be a sign of mild stress.  

Holding Breath.  Breath holding can be a precursor to aggressive behavior.  If you notice your dog holding her breath, rapidly remove her from the source of stress in her environment.  

Puffing.  Puffing is when the dog rapidly exhales a small amount of air, that causes her cheeks to puff out.  Puffing is a precursor to aggression.

Stiffness.  Also a precursor to aggression.

Staring.  Another precursor to aggression. 

Panting.  If you notice your dog panting and she is in a potentially stressful situation she may need to be moved away from the stressor.

Urinating. Controlled or uncontrolled urination can be caused by stress.  It is the same dynamic as with young children who wet the bed, soil their pants or withhold voiding.  It is something they can control and get attention for, even if it is negative.

Seizures.  Stress can absolutely cause seizures in dogs.  It is a sign of severe stress or could be Canine Stress Syndrome or one of several other more serious conditions or illnesses.  And yelling at a dog that is already stressed to the point of seizures will only bring them on and make them worse.

Loss of fur, feathers or scales.  Many animals begin to shed or molt when under stress.

Hiding.  Both dogs and cats will hid to avoid stressful situations.  So will some pocket pets if they can move around freely.

Below are SOME of the situations that create doggie stress:

Travel.  Air flight, train travel or extended car trips if it is not something your pet is used to.

New environment. Some dogs hardly notice, but many have a hard time.

New people. Some dogs, like some people, are more sociable than others, but many have a hard time, especially with lots of new people added to a new environment

Feeling that they are not liked or welcome.  God created dogs to please humans.  They have feeling and become aggressive or retreat into themselves if they feel unwanted.  Dogs can become depressed and some will act out, only making the situation worse.

New Home.  Moving to a new home can be traumatic for some dogs and create no problem for others.  If possible, letting them visit their new home before moving there is helpful and advisable.

New or different routine.  Most dogs love a new adventure, but they are also creatures of routine.

The introduction of an additional dog, pet or small child.  A new pet, visiting animal or a new small child or children can be threatening or scary for pets in general.

Changes in food or feeding.  Food is one of the mainstays of a dog’s (pet’s) life.  Changing their type of food, schedule to eat, or having to share food with additional pets can be a very stressful situation.  Occasionally dogs can develop stress from reactions to a new or different food or feeding schedule… or something they ate that they shouldn’t have.

Schedule Changes.  Changing more than one schedule at once, like eating, walking, sleeping, playing or whatever they are used to in their routines can case stress.

Noise. Loud noises, loud voices, new sounds and noise can all be threatening and stressful to dog (pets).

Yelling or Anger, especially unwarranted or unfair corrections. Because the dog’s need and want to be loved and pleased yelling and perceived anger can cause stress along with negative behaviors.

New training. Training can be fun for some dogs and very stressful for others, especially when it doesn’t go well or the dog is not rewarded for its efforts.

Loss of family member:  human or animal.  Dogs and pets in general grieve just like humans and especially grieve for the loss of their human(s).

Illness of Pet.  Illness causes a myriad of side affects for pets, just like for humans.

Illness of Pet Parent or family member.  Illness of a pet parent or family member can cause severe stress in dogs (pets)!

Perceived inequitable treatment of Pet. Dogs like children and most creatures react negatively to inequitable treatment.  If you have more than one dog or more than one dog is living or present in your situation, it is the smart and right thing to do to treat them equally.  Feed them the same.  Take then out and play with them all, etc.  Feeding one dog while other watch is like feeding or sharing with one child and not the others.

Fear. Dogs (pets) like humans have fears that run the gamut and their level of fear cannot be judged by their size, age, situation, or your perception of how they should feel or react… or what they should do.

Anxieties. Like with fears, dogs (pets) like humans have fears that run the gamut and their level of fear cannot be judged by their size, age, situation, or your perception of how they should feel or react… or what they should do.

Unknown or unfamiliar animals or people entering your pet’s perceived territory.  Dogs perceive their house, yard, space outside their car and familiar places as their territory.  It is their natural instinct to protect their property, themselves, other pets (especially dogs because the for a pack) and their humans or family.)

Over-reaction to behaviors.  Over-reacting to negative behaviors or if your dog is acting out, usually produces the opposite affect that you want.  (Also scolding a dog or any pet after the fact… a while after they did something wrong or if you did not see who did it if you have more than one pet is fruitless, unfair and could create greater problems.  A pet cannot connect what they did wrong with the scolding for something they did earleir, even if you take them to the site and point at it.)

New attention or reactions… to good or bad behavior.  laughing at a behavior good or bad, is attention and sometimes will the cause the recurrence because of your reaction.

Lack or exercise.  Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do do for your pet for many reasons, including their health, stress level, behaviors, and boredom level.

Boredom.  Dogs, like all creatures, suffer from boredom and some tend to act out when they are bored.  Exercise, preferably regular walks, as well as one on one time, training, playtime and rides in the car are positives and will help manage their stress… and yours!

Lack or attention or play time.  Lack of interaction or playtime with their or a human or other dogs and pets can create stress because of boredom, inactivity and lack of one on one time.  Because of their nature, dogs need regular interaction more than most pets.

Loss or change of their belongings and space.  Dogs are territorial so they protect their space, belongings and food.  Losing their special niche, pillow, toy. ball or place on the bed or in your life can create stress in most dogs and most other types of pets and animals to some degree.

Extended time without their human(s) or alone time if it is a change.  Dogs and other pets, although unusual, have been known to pine away or even die after the loss of their human or family.  Even temporary, but extended  time away from their pet parents or humans can cause stress in some dogs.  Others adjust just fine.  But for this reason, keeping your dog with a pet sitter is always better than a kennel!

Medications, lack of medication and medical conditions.  Medication, lack of medications or ongoing medical conditions can cause stress in dogs and pets in general, like in humans.  A change in meds can often cause that temporarily. (A relatively unknown fact this that dogs can suffer from ADHD, ADD and other like conditions.  Those pets/animals can portray the same conditions and behaviors as the human counterparts.  And it really must be remembered that they cannot help their behaviors and reactions.)

Even drastic weather or climate changes.  Drastic weather conditions can cause stress because it can cause the inability for them to go outside, or go out often, or to get their regular exercise.  Lightening and thunder can cause fear and stress in animals.  And in some pets dampness, extreme heat or extreme cold can cause the flare up of health problems like arthritis, rheumatism, heat exhaustion, etc as well as stress.

Abuse.  It goes without saying that abuse… physical, emotional, verbal, lack of food and clean water, over-crowding or abuse of any kind causes dogs, humans and all creatures stress and need to be stopped and/or reported immediately!!  Silence and non-action makes us all accomplices!

Reaction to pet-parent’s stress.

If you notice your pet exhibiting any of the stress indicators, try to remove them from the situation. And if your pet experiences more than three of these at a given time and you cannot change the situations or remove your pet, it might take a good while for them to adjust or re-adjust.  It could even require a behaviorist if extreme or undesirable behaviors manifest or persist.  Try to remember that you could be the reason for your pet’s stress!

Remember, the average dog has he mental and emotional capacity of between a two and three year old human child, depending on the individual dog and the breed, but they lack the ability to reason.  Plus you obviously cannot explain to them why things have changed, nor can they communicate what is bothering them.

Let us also remember that barking is a dog’s way of talking… communicating and although too much can be aggravating, it is natural for them to bark!

Patience, love and positive reinforcements are always the best reaction.  Yelling, punishment and anger only confuse them more and add to their stress.

Dogs have the intelligence of a 2 to 3 year old toddler, depending on the breed and the individual dog.  But they lack the power to reason and have no conception of time. Although when you read an article like the one about the Commuting Dogs in Moscow, you gotta wonder!  And, dogs and other animals do have other abilities and intelligence or intuition that we people don’t!  They also have enemies all over the world (Man’s Best Friend in Shariah’s Cruel Crosshairs)

Being a pet parent is like being the parent of a perpetual toddler and some need more patience, understanding and love than others.  Loving the good or perfect ones is easy.  Loving the ones who aren’t so perfect or have special needs is the true test of your love and parenting skills.  It really is a test of your character not their abilities.  Try to remember, the ones that need the most love usually love you back the most if you let them.

Source: Courteous Canine, Inc. 2006   No Force, Just Fun! 

clip_image001

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Tails of Love

GoD and DoG

Dogs and Heaven

On the First Day God Created the Dog!

Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened

My Goal in Life

The No Kill Movement

*Birds tend to suffer from more stress than most and the holidays provide stress for most pets!

By Marion Algier  -  h/t to the pet stress blog for photo 1 & the  UCLA Shutterbug Photo 2

April 1, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health | , , , , | 11 Comments

Harmony and Health – Creating Wellness for Your Pet

Most of us understand the basics of creating wellness. Health begins with a sound diet, exercise, and having fun with our loved ones. Our pets are important family members, like us in many ways, but with their own unique animal needs and abilities. Our pets give us so much – the unconditional love, joy and pleasure they offer us through their loving companionship enhances our lives and makes us healthier people. But it’s easy in the hectic nature of our lives to take our pets for granted and miss opportunities to nurture them for their optimal wellness. Creating wellness requires that we meet the basic needs we all share, and to honor the special needs of our pets. We Are One, but We Are Not the Same   

Pets have special nutritional needs, and are far more limited in their physical ability to deal with a poor diet and the toxins in our environment. With shorter life spans and smaller organ systems, its important to give them the best diet we can that suits their animal physiology and to limit their exposure to toxic chemicals in their food, and in so many household products we use.  Consider choosing non-toxic cleaners and cat litter. Limiting your pet’s exposure to toxic materials is to be considered.

From the holistic perspective, the foundation of good health is a good diet. Dogs and cats need different food from what we eat, and many pets, particularly cats can have trouble digesting the grain-based fare (like that found in most commercial pet foods) that humans can tolerate. When their nutritional needs are met, pets have great vitality and abundant energy, and have better digestion and can maintain their appropriate weight, which are both causes of so many health problems of pets today. 

A good diet provides energy for a healthy activity level, meaning daily exercise. It’s easy to neglect the exercise and play needs of our pets, but the consequences can be severe. Beyond the impact on their health, too little physical activity can create a host of inappropriate behaviors and creates a great deal of stress for our pets. Dogs need daily cardiovascular exercise in the form of a walk or run. 

Emotional Stress and Illness

Beyond a good diet, exercise, and reducing exposure to toxins, the single best thing we can do for our pets (and ourselves) is to minimize the stress they experience. The mind-body connection has been well researched in human health, and emotional stress has a well-documented impact on our well-being. This is no less true for our pets, though the idea is not generally taken into account from the traditional veterinary perspective. Taking steps to reduce your pet’s stress can go a long way to creating wellness.

Some pets seem to be more naturally “high-strung,” which may be a breed specific quality or may result from their life history – a common story with rescued companions. Stress comes in many forms, including major life changes, stressful situations, and daily stress in our home and relationships.

Major life events like the addition of new pets or human family members, death of loved ones, house renovations, or moving can trigger stress in many pets, and the impact can be felt for many months after the change occurs. Cats can be particularly sensitive to these changes – even getting new carpet can cause a strong stress response in cats. Dogs are often particularly sensitive to events that cause shifts in relationships. It’s important to provide the “security blankets” our pets need during these times. Make sure the cat’s favorite pillow or blanket isn’t packed in a box when you move, and be sure each pet has their favorite toys available. When introducing new family members, spend extra time with your dog to confirm their continued high status with you and to insure that they don’t feel neglected.

The Ultimate Wellness Builder – Reducing Daily Stress for Your Pet

While stressful major life changes and trips to the vet (we hope!) are few and far between, one of the most profound sources of stress for your pet is perhaps the easiest to overlook – the stress that our pets absorb from us on a daily basis. One of the greatest gifts our pets give us is the comfort they provide to us every day. People with pets are generally healthier and live longer, because our pets not only provide companionship, but they literally absorb our stress.

Our pets are quite emotionally sensitive and are highly attuned to our moods. Animal communicators tell us that part of our companions’ “spiritual mission” is to help us cope with our emotions. It’s important to recognize that our own stress level is very obvious to our pets and can impact their wellness greatly. Many pet owners report that their pets share their emotional stress, and often share the same physical symptoms that stress creates for their own health. With that in mind, making a commitment to reducing your daily stress level is one of the best things you can do for your pet’s health.

Wellness is the result of many factors, and especially for our pets, nearly every one of those factors is under our control. Making sound decisions for our pets with regard to diet, exercise, and activities creates the foundation for vibrant health. Adding the essential element of reducing stress can help you give your pet a more joyous, healthier and longer life. With everything our pets do for us and our well-being, we owe it to them to return the favor and create harmony for them in every way we can. The time we have with our animal companions is precious in so many ways, and we have it in our power to honor that special bond through our commitment to harmonious living.

Courtesy Only Natural Pet LLC. 2008 by Cynthia Holley-Connolly

 

 

 

November 19, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

13 Halloween Safety Tips To Prevent Scardy Cats & Pups

 

Halloween Safety Tips

No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 13 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.

  • Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate—and even seizures.
  • Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.
  • Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are swallowed.  (As we head toward decorating for Thanksgiving or Christmas… some popular plants used are much more toxic and hazardous).

3. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets, and can be fun and great with others!! Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams and some are pretty neutral!).  Some even love going out with the family in costume for trick or treating.  But for pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.  For some pets walking with the adult who is supervising the trick or treating is better than leaving them home, but don’t send your pets out with your children.  It can end up being traumatic for both the kids and the pets.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night (at least during the day today, if you haven’t already). If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au natural or donning a festive bandana.  Also, if you are one to dress up to give out candy, make sure your pets are comfortable with your costume or mask.  And make sure that your pets are either their to watch you and kids dress up or remove the masks and scary parts before they see you, after coming home.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.  Another option is to put up a baby gate in front of the door, so you don’t have the constant ringing of the door bell.  Many pets do much better with that because they feel part of the activities without the noise.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside, another plus for using the baby gate idea.  Make sure that birds, exotics, and pocket pets, etc are in their cages or in restrained areas as well.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification, and today is definitely a day when they should be wearing them!  If for any reason your pet escapes and become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.  And if you are taking your pet trick out trick or treating with the family, ID’s and leashes are a must!

11.  Do not leave your pets at home alone during peak trick or treating hours, (or during ‘trick or treating hours’ at all if you can help it).  The noise of children running, the strange sounds, and the doorbells can be very stressful and even traumatic for pets.  If you can’t be home, get a pet sitter or drop them off with someone who will be home.  For most of us, someone can stay behind to give out candy and be with the pets or if you are going to a party, they usually start, or at least get going, long after the trick-or-treaters have gone.

 

12. If you are Having a Halloween Party or Going to One, take your pets to a friends’ or family member’s house, board them, or take them to a sitter.  Large amounts of people, lots of costumes and scary noises, doors opening and closing where they can get out and lost, and dropped food or food and alcohol given them by unknowing or drunk friends can mean disaster for your pets!!

 

13. Be a responsible pet parent, companion and animal caretaker and use your common sense like you would with your small children to keep your pets’ safe and stress free!  If you do suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Source: ASPCA & Common Sense

 Happy Howl-oween!!


October 31, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment