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What to do For a Dog With Separation Anxiety
by Amy Nutt

Just like people, dogs have separation anxiety. As for what causes it, there are many. As a result, the dog and the owner can have quite the difficult experience. Overcoming the separation anxiety can be work, but it pays off for both the dog and the owner in the end because it is healthier and makes the overall environment more bearable.
However, you have to determine that what your dog is suffering from is really separation anxiety. Separation anxiety can mimic a number of other issues. Just because your dog may chew things, tear things up, and have accidents in your house when you're gone, that doesn't mean your dog has separation anxiety. These are non-anxiety issues that need to be addressed. Excessive barking does not indicate separation anxiety because barking can sometimes mean the dog is just bored. Sometimes the way to remedy this is by incorporating more exercise.

The sure fire sign of separation anxiety

The number one way to determine if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety is to look at your dog when you're leaving. If your dog seems nervous as you leave, that is the anxiety kicking in. These nervous symptoms include pacing, trembling, a wild look in their eye, and panting. After you leave, there are things that are going on that you don't know about. Your neighbors may know more about what your dog is doing than what you do because they may hear your dog bark and howl continuously. A dog without separation anxiety will whine, bark, and howl for about five to ten minutes. A dog with separation anxiety will do these things for hours on end.

When a dog has separation anxiety, he or she may try to hurt themselves by trying to jump out windows, get out of their crate, etc. Their entire focus is on areas in which you can exit the house because they want to find you.

The treatment

How fast treatment works depends on the severity of the separation anxiety. If you can figure out how to calm down the reaction, then you can start to deal with the problem itself. If the dog is whining before you leave, try to calm that instead of standing there and worrying. It is hard to know what to do, but try to calm it.

You can also talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication. In addition to the medication, you can work on training. Counter conditioning is commonly used in combination with medication because counter conditioning takes the negative experience and turns it into a positive one. For example: Simply putting on your shoes may make your dog nervous. However, do something positive. Give the dog a treat when you put on your shoes, it's ideal for puppy training as well.

The most effective way of treatment is prevention. This usually starts with crate training and spending time away while in the crate. Each time you leave you can leave them with a treat so that the experience is a positive one from the beginning. Even if you're always home with your dog, make arrangements to leave and leave them with a treat because you never know what's going to happen in the future that is going to take you away.

Another effective way to help a dog with separation anxiety is to know that it isn't your fault. Abuse before you owned the dog, being left alone a lot as a puppy, a naturally nervous personality, not being socialized, and simple moving to a new home can be triggers. By not feeling guilty, you can initiate the most effective treatment possible for your puppy training.

About the Author
Dog training company offers in-home obedience to create happier dogs and happier families. When looking for puppy training and dog obedience services, consider Bark Busters.

Housebreaking You're a Dog
by Kelly Marshall

Most puppies that are born in a nest have a natural desire to move leave the nest to alleviate themselves. Pups will do this without being trained as soon as they are able. At the age of three weeks, puppies will start to leave their bed to relieve themselves. The dog owner just has to train them that a home is our nests, and that they have to step outside when they want to urinate. Take your dog outside to the exact spot in your yard at these times:
* Immediately after each meal, playing and exercise. * Shortly upon waking up from sleep * In the morning * At night * One time hourly

It is imperative to remain outside with your dog patiently. When he begins, say a phrase such as "Be clean!" When he has stopped, praise him excitedly and play a game with him. Make sure that you keep the area clean by picking up any waist and flushing it down your toilet.

Dogs can be distracted easily when outside. This is why having the patience to stay with him until he has settled down is very important. If you allow him to do it alone, he will more than likely run to the back door and his time trying to get back in the house with you. When you let him in the house, the pressure of being apart, together with the amplified excitement and exercise, will make your dog want to go. You will be left with a huge mess inside the house and a miss-educated puppy.

There is no need to stay outdoors forever, waiting for him to release. Simply wait for a few minutes, and if he doesn't go, bring him inside the house and try again a few minutes later. If you notice your dog sniffing the floor and circling or getting ready to crouch, take him outside right away. Allow him walk. Avoid picking him up, otherwise he will not grasp the most important connection in the process, which is: "When I need to go to the bathroom, I need to get to the back door and into the yard."

If you ever catch your dog in the act of going into your house, yell! What you yell out is unimportant, but it has to be loud enough to get his attention right away and to hinder him mid-flow, but not so noisy that he runs to hide. Never chastise or get angry; the anguish this can cause your dog will slow down the learning process. Your dog will also not want to go to the bathroom in your presence because he will know it makes you irritated and will sneak away to use the bathroom. This will make it very hard for you to train him the correct way.

Immediately after you have shouted, run from him, toward the back door. Then call his name in a friendly tone and encouraging him to follow with enthusiasm. Go outside and just wait until he relaxes and complete what he started before. Say your select phrase as he goes to the bathroom. Then praise him, and play with him for a while. Then bring your puppy back into the house and place him in a different room while you clean up his mess.

About the Author
Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies, check for current specials on raised dog bowls online.


Fun Tricks to Teach Your Puppy
by Kelly Marshall

After your puppy has learned the basics of dog training, you can now turn your practice sessions into fun. For instance, put your puppy in a Sit-Stay position, back off a foot or two, show him a toy and throw it to him. Try to avoid going for a catch that requires a super hero leap into the air. The idea is to have him actually catch it!
Put your puppy in a Sit-Stay position and let him watch you hide the toy under the edge of a couch. Make sure that he stays in this position for a moment more, perhaps as you wonder out loud "Where is Teddy?" Then give him the cue, "Okay - find Teddy!" If he doesn't understand what to do, help him search for it, but let him discover where it is.

Stepping back to the "as" routine, you can teach your dog any trick that he can execute by himself just by giving that action a command. Puppies like to roll over onto their backs and squirm, especially on a comfy thick rug! Rotate this back-scratching into a trick by catching Rex as he starts and say, "Rex, roll over. Good boy."

As your dog develops and grows, he'll understand your language more frequently and you'll be able to use words that have great influence as tricks. For instance, rather than saying "roll over," say, "Rex, can you do your rollover exercises?" to bring on a squirming, leg-flailing routine that is worthy of praise. For the beginning, keep it simple as possible.

When Rex has finally gotten to the stage of being able to hold a still Sit-Stay, you can add a new trick. Balance a dog biscuit on top of his nose as simply say, "On trust." If your dog is wiggling his head you might have to hold his head still the first few tries. When Rex has held it for a second, give him the release signal ("Okay" or "Take it") as you softly, yet fast, lift his chin up, which will throw the biscuit into the air so he can actually catch the biscuit.

Children and pups love to play hide & seek, but any person can get in on the game. Puppies seek by scent, so at the beginning kneel down to be closer your dog's level. Place Rex in a Sit-Stay and let him see you hide, kneel down and then call out "Okay!" Make certain he finds you even if it means you must call out to Rex a few times. Make a huge deal of it when he does find you - and then play the game over again. Just don't make it more difficult until he is able to find you right away at the first level.

Reward your puppy often with a little treat and make finding you the most exhilarating part of the game. This means you will advance slowly from hiding where he can see you, to hiding in another section of the home and sooner or later the back of a wardrobe closet where your scent will be hidden. Remember, your dog won't be interested in playing if it isn't fun, so make certain he does find you each time you play.

Shaking hands with your dog is fun and easy to teach. Simply touch the toes and many dogs will raise that paw. Lift it with ease and say, "Shake hands" or "Give me a paw" as he gives it to you. When that has been achieved, you can develop this into a paw raised higher, and without shaking it, say, "Wave goodbye!" This is great for later on; a friendly dog handshake is fine for the moment. The reverse of "Off for jumping up is two paws raised in a jump-up welcome, only on a command of "High-5!"

About the Author
Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies, your top spot to purchase raised dog feeders online.

A Detailed Guide to Grooming your Cat
Author: Andrew Mcgregor

To keep your cat happy, healthy and clean it is essential to properly groom your cat. By reading this section you will learn how and when to groom your cat and also what equipment to use. You will learn how to brush your cat, bath your cat, how to clean your cats ears and how to look after your cats teeth.

Brushing and combing your cat

Cats spend 10 percent of their waking hours grooming themselves by licking dirt and excess fur of their coat but this is not enough to properly keep them clean and some cats do not clean themselves properly. You should brush and comb your cat on a regular basis. Short-hair cats are much easier to groom than long-hair cats. If you are unsure of what your cat is, visit the breeds section. When you are grooming your cat you should be alert and checking for fleas, scars, wounds and lumps.

The first thing you need to know is the difference between a cat comb and a cat brush. A cat comb is used to remove excess hair, remove knots and to remove dirt. A cat brush is to fluff up the fur and make it smooth and look good. If you own long-hair cat I would recommend buying both a comb and a brush as you will learn later on, if you own a short-hair cat it is not as important but you can if you want.

You could alternatively choose to buy a cat grooming kit which includes a comb, brush and everything else you need. You can buy the right equipment from your local pet shop but you could also consider buying online. There are many different combs and brushes to choose from and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages. If you want to get the best results and not spend a fortune you should buy a wide toothed comb, a brush and a flea comb. This should all cost under $10 USD.

It is a waste of time brushing your cat with a normal comb/brush. The advantages of using a cat brush is that it shelters the natural body oils, the bristles gently remove tangles and after brushing your cat it will have a shiny, good looking and healthy coat. But most importantly it is designed to remove excess hair, then in future when your cat cleans itself it does not swallow as much hair, preventing it from having a hairball.

If you have a kitten, it should be brushed from an early age so it becomes accustomed to the process and doesn't find it a scary and distressing experience. It will enjoy the grooming procedure but most of all you will not have to train it later on in its life. If you have an adult cat that does not like to be brushed and finds the experience frightening, introduce grooming slowly and do not make the sessions more than five minutes. If this does not work you could try ending the grooming session with playtime so your cat will look forward to it each day. One of the most important things to remember is that a short session each day is better than a long session each week.

As I briefly mentioned before, short hair cats are easier to groom than long-hair cats, it is a bit more difficult and the process can take a bit longer. If you own a short-hair cat you should groom it on a weekly basis or every few days and it should take from 5 to 10 minutes. If you own a long-hair cat grooming should be done everyday or every two days and it should take about 10 to 20 minutes. By now you are probably thinking 'how can you brush a cat for 20 minutes'. The grooming process is not just brushing but is also cleaning nose and ears if necessary and sometimes brushing your cat's teeth. For more information about these, read on.

To groom your cat, follow these easy steps:

-Place your cat on a bench or table. It depends on what your cat is most comfortable with; some owners brush their cat on their laps.

-Gently brush from head to tale using short and gentle strokes with your comb to remove knots, do not pull hard otherwise it will hurt and distress your cat, making the experience unpleasant and enjoyable. For best results also brush under its neck and stomach. If you have a flea comb, brush again from head to tale.

-Use a brush to fluff up the fur, if you are unsure of what brush to use ask your local pet shop. A cat brush is good for your cat's appearance and health and can be brought from a number of different places.

Bathing your cat

It is not necessary to bath your cat unless it becomes very dirty. Most people who have prize-winning cats bath their cat on a regular basis. Many cats do not like water and find a bath a frightening and traumatic experience. If you ever need to bath your cat, the below information will tell you how. The first thing you need to do is to brush your cat to remove excess hair and dirt. Talk to your cat with relaxed voice to keep it as calm as possible and do no make quick movements. Have everything ready before you start which should consist of 4-6 towels, shampoo, a hair dryer and cotton balls. You can use special cat shampoo or you can use regular shampoo but it really doesn't make a difference.

Use cotton balls to protect water from getting into your cats ears. If your cat has smaller ears use only half or even a quarter. If you have a bathroom or laundry hose, use it because it makes it much easier. If you don't have a hose use a cup or plastic container. You should not wear good clothes because the chances are that you will end up as wet as your cat. Wash your cat in a bath or a laundry sink. Start by wetting it with warm water. Avoid wetting its eyes and ears as much as possible unless it particularly dirty.

Hold your cat firmly because it will try to escape and probably bite and scratch you. Once the cat is wet apply shampoo and gently massage. If your cat is really dirty you can shampoo twice. Rinse your cat from top to bottom and make sure you get all of the shampoo out. Use the towels to dry your cat as best as you can then finish the job off with a hairdryer.

Cleaning your cats ears

Cleaning your cat's ears should be a part of your grooming routine. To get rid of the dirt and wax, use a cotton swab but never go deeper than you can see because it can cause permanent damage to your cats hearing. It should be done every month.

Dental Care

Many people do not brush their cats teeth often enough, some have never done it. If your cat's teeth are not brushed, bacteria will build up and could result in loss of teeth. You should brush your cat's teeth every week. If you have a kitten you should start brushing when all of its 36 teeth have grown which is around 6 months of age. If you have an adult cat, introduce slowly and keep the sessions short.

You can buy special toothbrushes designed for cats but a child's toothbrush will be just as good, just make sure the bristles are soft so they do not cut the gums. Do not use normal toothpaste because it will cause digestive problems and make your cat sick. You can buy special cat toothpaste from your pet shop, vet or online.

To properly brush your cat's teeth start by gently brushing the outer surface of the teeth. Do not brush the inside of the teeth until your cat is used to the process. Brush in a circular motion from the bottom of the gum to the tips of the teeth. Some cats require professional cleaning when there is a severe build up of tartar. When brushing your cat's teeth note the condition of your cat's gums.

Consult your vet if the gums are swollen, if there is any bleeding, bad breath, drooling, dark spots, sores, refusal to open mouth or reluctance to eat. If your cat has any of these symptoms there is a chance that it has gum disease. Gum disease is common in cats and can be fatal unless treated. It begins with the build up of plaque and tartar which causes the roots to become infected. This can be prevented by regular brushing.

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Important Cat Care News
Author: Jim Moore

You've brought your kitten home. You've got her set up with all her needs. Now, you're faced with some of the more puzzling aspects of cat care. You're wondering about declawing. And that's just for starters. Not to worry.

First and foremost, realize that the first step to successful cat ownership is to love your cat. Filling in the blanks on the information you don't know yet will come. And here's some information and knowledge to get you started. Of course homeopathic care for cat is something that is all over the news right now, but there's actually a lot more to know then that.

Yes, cats shed. And the shedding of a long-haired cat is more noticeable than that of a short haired feline. Expect your cat only to shed at the change of the seasons. That's not so. Because of his exposure to a constant temperature and continual artificial light, your indoor cat sheds year round. But it's not nearly as bad as it sounds.

Here's a good piece of important cat care information, cats take care of a lot of their shedding on their own. They are fastidiously clean animals. You'll discover they are constantly cleaning themselves with their rough, sandpaper-like tongues. The very mechanism, though, that helps them to control shedding also contributes to one of their health problems, hairballs. Hairballs are a very real threat to your cat's digestion. They can block the food that's already been digested from traveling through his intestines.

So how can you tell when your cat is experiencing hairballs? You'll be able to recognize them if he coughs them up - as cats are prone to do. If you find cigar-shaped masses of some indistinguishable matter on the floor or on your furniture, you've discovered a hairball.

Sometimes, though, a cat will expel them along with his feces in the litter box. If you find that your cat's bowel movements have hair on them, that means he's got hairballs. Another symptom your feline may exhibit is dry coughing or a hacking. This will especially occur after he's eaten. In fact, if your cat has a sudden, unexpected loss of appetite, you may suspect a hairball is at the root cause.

So how do you prevent hairballs? Take matters in your own hands, literally! Brush! Brush! Brush! Groom you kitty often. Most cats find it most enjoyable and it builds a marvelous bond between you and your feline.

If you discover that your kitten may need more aid than this, there are many effective hairball remedies on the market today. They come in a variety of forms, from granules you sprinkle inconspicuously on his food to gels.

Thinking about declawing?

If you haven't heard, declawing your cat so he doesn't ruin your furniture or accidentally seriously scratch an individual is controversial. A generation ago, this operation was routine, many times performed at the same time the kitten got spayed or neutered.

The public today, though, is more widely educated on exactly what surgery for declawing entails. It's not just a matter of pulling the claws out of the kitty. To remove a cat's claws, a veterinarian must actually amputate the cat's paws at the first joint. This would be the equivalent you getting your knuckles amputated right below your finger nails. Ouch!

In order to perform the surgery, your veterinarian will anesthetized your cat as well as give him pain medication. He will literally cut the first section of your cat's paw off, since the claws are intricately intertwined in the first "knuckle."

Following the surgery, your cat's paws are carefully bandaged. Your cat will undoubtedly spend the night at the animal hospital. The following day you'll be able to bring her home.

Be prepared! Your cat - understandably - will be distinctly uncomfortable for several days following the surgery. (Actually, she'll probably be in great pain. But felines are wonderful actors. Cats hate to show that they're in any type of pain.)

Considering, though, the extent of the surgery, your cat heals quite quickly. You'll notice that your pet walks around the house rather gingerly. That'll last for about a week. After that she'll back to her old self.

To help prevent infection, you should replace her litter with some shredded paper. This avoids getting granules of litter in his already very tender paws.

Declawing your cat does more than just eliminate the problem of scratching. Her claws -and that portion of the toes that are removed, are valuable to her in another vital way. Removing her claws may throw her entire system of natural balance off.

A cat, you see, is classified as a "digitigrade." It's a strange label, but essentially it means that she walks on her toes. But, a cats toes are used for so much more! Her entire balance and form are based on the length of her digits. Nature, it seems, designed the cat's body - including her back, shoulders, paws, leg joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons and even her nerves! - based on walking on her toes. Because of this, her weight is distributed across its toes as it walks, runs and climbs.

That means a cat's claws are absolutely essential for her balance as well as for her ability to exercise effectively. Not only that, her toes - and especially her claws are vital aspects of her stretching. Notice when your cat scratches at a post (or, yes, your furniture!). We all assume she's just sharpening her claws. Not so! She is really stretching her entire body. When you declaw your kitten, it throws her entire body alignment off.

Hairballs and declawing. Not usually subjects that come up in everyday conversations, now are they? But these are only two of the important bits of information that every cat owner needs to know in order to give Fluffy the best of care. That, and your love, will help your kitten live a long and healthy life.

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