Pet Advice - Pet News

Coping with Separation Anxiety
by Sharda Baker

Welcome! Do you have problems with your dog missing you too much when you must be away due to work or other activities? It is actually not that uncommon of a problem, although it can certainly be distressing for both dogs as well as their owners.

This issue is known as separation anxiety and there are ways to effectively cope with it and make it easier for your dog to deal with those times when you must be away.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

There are many signs of separation anxiety including: barking, chewing, defecating, digging, excessive salivating, scratching, and urinating. Chewing, digging, and scratching are signs of your dog trying to "escape." Barking, defecating, excessive salivating, and urinating are signs of anxiety and fear.

Causes of Separation Anxiety

Such causes of separation anxiety include genetics, lack of socialization, lack of training, lack of confidence, mistreatment by a previous owner, extensive confinement, and too much bonding with the owner. As you can see, most of these are the owner's responsibility.

Treatment of Separation Anxiety

There are things that you can do to prevent separation anxiety. When you put your dog in his crate, don't have a long, emotional good-bye. Simply, walk away. It is even a good idea to ignore your dog 5 minutes before you leave. If you draw attention to your departure, your dog will worry when the love and emotion is suddenly stopped.

Also try and teach your dog not to associate certain behaviors of yours with your leaving the house and being away for hours. Dogs, as we have learnt in Chapter 1 are good at associating certain actions with certain outcomes. You may have noticed for example that as dress for work, or pick up your car keys, your dogs begins to get anxious.

Try changing your dog's negative associations to your behaviors to positive ones. For example, on a weekend, dress for work, pick up the car keys and go outside for a few minutes only, then come back inside and give your dog a treat. You dog will eventually begin to associate you getting ready for work as a positive association rather than a negative one.

Make sure you have plenty of treats and toys in your dog's crate to keep him entertained while you are away. If your dog always knows that he'll have treats when you leave, it won't be as traumatic for him.

Before you leave, turn on a radio or television so your dog has some noise. A talk station is more effective than music, because the sound of human voices could comfort him. You could even tape your own voice.

When you return home, don't give your dog any emotion or attention when you let him out of his crate. This will reinforce that being outside of the crate is better than being inside the crate. Let him outside to eliminate immediately.

In extreme causes a calmative type medication may be prescribed for you dog by your Vet.

Separation anxiety is something that should improve over time. However, if it does not, or if your dog shows signs of extreme aggression when he is let out, seek a professional trainer and/or see you Vet for further assistance.

When you pay close attention to your dog's behavior, you are better able to identify his bad behaviors and correct them through training exercises. Your dog wants your attention and love, so when use this to your advantage when you are training. Keep in mind that good quality dog training resources can help with this issue.

Sharda Baker

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios. Click Here! for more dog training help and advice.

For More articles by Sharda Check the DIY pet training page at

About the Author
Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios. Click Here! for more dog training help and advice.


Litter Training My Kitten: When And How Do I Start To Train My Kittens?
by Katherin Towers

Are you wondering when is the best time to start litter training your kitten, and how to go about doing it? Fortunately, cats and kittens are naturally fastidious creatures, and they have a natural tendency to use the litter box. Unfortunately, if they start doing it in the wrong spot, it can be difficult to get them to move their activities to the litter box.
Why? Because your kitten thinks that the place to pee is the place where she smells her urine. So, if the first place she went was someplace inconvenient like your pillow...

This is the reason you should always have a good way to completely get rid of cat urine smells. An enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle is very handy when you start litter training a kitten. Sprinkle cat litter over the soiled spot then wipe it up with damp tissue paper. After that, use the cleaner to thoroughly clean the area where your kitten did its business.

You do not want to immediately throw away the soiled litter. Place the cat poop/pee in your kitten's litter box, then bring her to it. Do not rub her nose in the soiled litter. However, use her paws to gently dig at the litter to show her how to bury her poo. Just be patient and she will eventually get the idea.

The best cat litter to use at this stage is probably sand or a non-clumping clay cat litter. Some cat owners say they have good results with crystal litter, but some people are a bit nervous about using this type of litter for kittens.

When Do You Start Kitten Litter Training?

Generally, you can start to litter train your kitten once she is 4 to 6 weeks old. In most cases, her mother will teach her how to use the litter box. Your kitten might be a fast learner, and learn to use her litter box in just a week. Or she might take more than a month. This is one reason why you should not adopt a kitten less than 3 months old. Her litter training and socialization is not yet complete, and she will likely show other behavior problems in the future.

Of course, you do not always have a choice. For example, if you adopt an orphaned kitten, you may have to take the place of her mother. It helps a lot if you already have an adult cat who is already litter trained. Your kitten will tend to follow the older cat's example.

If you bought your kitten from a breeder, you should ask for some of your kitten's poop and soiled litter. Although it sounds gross, this can be really helpful in litter training a kitten. You also need to get the same kind of cat litter the breeder uses as well as the same kind of litter box. These are just some shortcuts to speed up the kitty litter training process.

Litter training your kitten need not be difficult. However, you do need to be loving and patient with your kitten. You also need to immediately and thoroughly clean up any accidents.

About the Author
Do you want to learn more about kitty litter training? Click here to learn more about litter training.

Pets for Kids – “10 Essential Reality Checks!”
Author: Lesley Munnings

Essential Reality Check No. 1 – The Type of Pet for kids

The type of pet you can take into your household will depend on a whole host of things such as follows: How much will the pet costs be - not just to buy - but to care for on a daily basis? The ages of your kids - a two year old child will probably not be able to handle a pet gently and certainly won’t be able to care for the pet….. What size of pet does your child want? - What space will be needed? A hamster does not take up much space but guinea pigs, ferrets and rats need much larger cages. How much time do your kids and you as a family have to give to the pet? Will your family be safe with the pet?

Will the pet be safe with your family? If you have a larger pet such as a dog, cat, or goat what effects will it have on your family, friends and neighbours? How will your pet be cared for during your holidays. Will your family be able to cope with the eventual death of a pet? Some pets will sleep most of the day and be awake at night. Hamsters can be very noisy at night! If your child wants a dog you will need to look into the breed, size and exercise needs of the dog. Do you already have another pet, what effect will it have on that pet. For instance will your dog be ok with a cat or rabbit or bird? .

Essential Reality Check No. 2 – True Costs of Pets for Kids

Some pets are very cheap to buy for instance hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish. gerbils, fancy rats, fancy mice and rabbits and even ferrets. You will still need to consider: The cage set up ( this can be very expensive when looking at the cage sizes that most pets need) in fact they need the largest cage you can manage Food costs per week Bedding Vets bills if your pets become ill. e.g. Ferrets need a yearly injection against canine distemper. Holiday care - you will need to pay for this of course if you cannot rely on friends and family.

Bigger pets such as goats, and dogs and pedigree cats are far more expensive to buy initially, some costing hundreds of pounds. You will need to consider: Bedding and a cage (if buying one for your dog or cat) Leads and collars for dogs. Food bills Vets bills (dogs should have yearly check ups with a vets) Toys Holiday care (kennels can be very expensive) Flea treatment Ongoing veterinary costs if your pets becomes chronically ill.

Essential Reality Check No. 3 – Ages of your Kids

As the parent or carer you will need to decide if your child is old enough to handle and care for a pet. How often have parents heard the cry “oh but we promise we’ll take it for walks everyday” Or “we’ll clean it out mum, we promise”. How will you feel in a years time when you find yourself caring for the pets because the kids are busy with friends or away on a school trip or inundated with homework or just plain bored with the poor thing You will need to decide on a pet that is suitable for the age of your kids. For instance in most cases it would not be wise to buy a hamster for a two year old child who is still adapting to the world around them and may not know or be able to handle the hamster gently.

Do you want to give your kids some responsibility in caring for an animal. Some kids are very responsible and will be able to manage this. Other kids, well the sight of a baby animal is just too appealing, after all who can resist a cute puppy or kitten or baby hamster? At first you may need to help your kids, as caring for a pet is a very responsible job. As a parent or carer you will always need to oversee a pet’s care.

,Essential Reality Check No. 4 – The Space Required

Even small pets for kids such as guinea pigs, fancy rats and ferrets need a lot of cage space for a happy life. They will need the biggest cages you can find space for. These pets also need space to exercise out of the cage. Cats take up very little space, as do small breeds of dogs. Dogs will need a decent sized garden as well as walks to keep them well exercised.

Essential Reality Check No. 5 – Time for your Pets

Do you and the family have time for a pet. For smaller pets for kids you will need to have them out of the cage and being handled daily for at least 2 hours a day. Do you have time to clean out your pet at least once or twice a week, or even daily? Some pets will certainly need the toilet corner of their cage cleaned more often to avoid a foul smelling cage and pet. Water bottles and food bowls will need cleaning and refilling every day.

Will you be able to walk your dog at least once a day? - dependent on the breed some need more! Are you willing to look after your pets for the many years some can live? (From 18 months to 2 years for a mouse up to 15 years for a dog) If you are out at work all day and the kids are at school all day your pets will need and will demand attention when you return home

Essential Reality Check No. 6 – Your Pet and Family Safety

You will always need to ensure your kids safety when they are spending time with any pets for kids. Even little pets can bite and leave a wound. Dogs should not be left unattended with your kids as they are unpredictable. Even a faithful dog will bite and even attack a child if they are in pain or afraid. It happens rarely - but it does happen. You will also need to ensure your pets safety: Is your child able to handle a pet safely without hurting it. Is your pet safe with any other pets in the home? - if you have young children and a dog …. you will need to make sure the dog cannot escape because a door is accidentally left open.

If you have a dog you need to ensure visitors safety as you can be sued if your dog bites someone on your property (or even off your property) Make sure that when pets are having free time out of cages that: Other pets cannot hurt them They cannot chew electrical leads They cannot fall into toilets or baths of water. They cannot escape through gaps in walls or floors They cannot get outside without supervision

Essential Reality Check No. 7 – Effects on Family and Neighbours

The whole family needs to be in agreement if you are getting pets for kids. Pets can be noisy and messy having an effect on family living. What effect will a pet such as a dog have on Granny who suffers with an allergy - will that mean she cannot come to visit anymore? If you get a dog will it bark and howl when you leave them for any length of time and will this annoy your neighbours. Will the dog bark when your neighbours are in their own garden. How will your neighbours take to having your pet cat mess in their garden? You will need to keep your yard free of dog mess to ensure it does not smell -particularly in summer months.

Essential Reality Check No. 8 – Holidays and Care for Pets

If you have pets for kids what will happen to them during your holiday times. Do you have family or friends who can care for your pets while you are away. If not you will have to pay for your pets care. This will be expensive for dogs, cats and larger animals. Even for little pets, holiday care can be expensive.

Essential Reality Check No. 9 – Loss of a Pet and Grief

Some children are really sensitive and will be distraught when their beloved pet eventually passes away, or is lost in some way. This is especially distressing if the pet has died as a result of an accident or illness. How will you manage this? The kids will need to grieve, grieving is a healthy part of a loss reaction. We can suffer losses every day in a small way such as not getting something we want, this causes a loss reaction and part of the healing for this is grief. If your child or other family member struggles with the grieving then look at the following and see if it applies. The grieving process has seven stepping stones through which people move. Your family member may not go through them in order or spend long on any one.

The stepping stones are: Shock, Denial, Guilt, ,Anger, Depression Bargaining, Acceptance Your child may want another pet this is called bargaining and is one of the stepping stones through the grief process. If your child cannot have another pet, break down the hidden losses that the death of their pet has caused. Could there be a loss of your child’s self worth or self esteem. Have they lost their only companion. Has your child lost the only one who listened to them. By chatting try to find out how your child is feeling and help them to work out their losses and then work through to acceptance by doing some healthy bargaining.

Would your child be able to regain their sense of worth or self esteem another way? Perhaps helping out with a friends pet for instance. For some children it may be helpful to have a burial service, so they can say goodbye properly. (My son kept some hair from his beloved dog) Our kids have managed the deaths of their pets really well and have gone on to have other pets, for other kids though it has more of an effect so you will need to decide when or if to replace your child’s pet.

Essential Reality Check No. 10 – Pets for Kids are GOOD FUN!!!

Pets for kids are for the most part a great addition to the family.. They are often good company for your kids especially if the kids are lonely. Kids can learn a lot from caring for pets and by having pets even when they are lost naturally. Dogs can encourage the family out to get exercise as they walk the dog. All our kids love their pets and they are an important part of the family. So whatever pet you decide upon have fun and enjoy

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Pet Trusts: How Does a Pet Trust Work?
Author: Kevin Von Tungeln

When hotel heiress and billionaire Leona Helmsley died in 2007, her pet Maltese, Trouble, became the beneficiary of a $12 million pet trust that Helmsley had established as part of her estate plan. Mrs. Helmsley cared very deeply for her animal companion. Although she left money in her will for Trouble, she failed to secure a legally enforceable pet trust to ensure that her beloved Trouble would be provided for even after her death.

Most pet owners won't have the resources available to provide for their pets to the extent that Mrs. Helmsley did. In fact, according to Lawyers Weekly USA, the average amount left to pets is closer to $25,000. But, like Mrs. Helmsley, most pet owners are concerned about providing long-term care for their pets, and want to make sure that their wishes are carried out in the event of their death or disability.

As a pet owner in California, you can create a pet trust that will provide for the care of your "beloved pet" when you are no longer able to care for the pet yourself. Pet trusts are more secure than simply leaving money in your will, and provide specific instruction for the caretaker and beneficiary of the trust. To begin planning for the care of your pet, you should identify a family member or friend who you would trust to care for your pet and who would be willing to provide for the animal's care. A pet trust allows you to designate this trusted person as your pet's trustee. In California, your trustee will be legally obligated to make arrangements for the proper care of your pet, according to your instruction. They will also hold the money and/or property that you transfer to the trust for the benefit of the pet. In addition to the pet's trustee, you may also designate a caregiver, or beneficiary, who will be responsible for caring for the pet over the lifespan of the animal.

Because California pet trusts are legally enforceable arrangements, as a pet owner, you can be assured that the instruction you provide regarding your pet's care will be carried out. A trust can be very specific, so it is important to discuss your pet's health needs, care, and routine with your designated caregiver. For example, if your cat is allergic to a particular brand of food, or your dog needs to be bathed once a week, this can be specified in the trust agreement.

As a pet owner, you know your pet's particular habits and needs better than anyone else. With a pet trust, you can describe the kind of care your pet should have, and you can list the trusted people who would be willing to provide that care. If you are a pet owner who wants to establish a pet trust, or otherwise provide long-term care for your pet, a qualified estate planning attorney who has experience creating pet trusts in California will be able to help you understand your pet trust planning options, and will be able to assist you in designing a pet trust that meets your needs and those of your pets.

Franklin Pet Memorials
Contact: Cynthia Linnon
191 Howard Street Franklin, PA 16323
814-346-7205 ph 814-346-7047 fax

Dealing With an Aggressive Dog
By CS Swarens

Although dogs are among the most beloved pets in the world, some do suffer from serious aggression problems. In fact, experts estimate that approximately 2% if the United States population is bitten by a dog each year, which equals about 4.3 million people. Although these statistics sound a bit frightening, the reality is that many dog bites can be avoided if you understand the causes of dog aggression and how to avoid putting yourself in a bad situation.

Types of Aggression

There are many different causes, or types, of aggressive behavior. These include aggression that is based upon:

• Dominance - Since dogs are naturally pack animals, it is also natural for them to want to be the leader of the pack. In some cases, this desire to be the leader can be directed toward humans and even toward the dog's owner.

• Fear - When a frightened dog is approached by a person or an animal, it may act in an aggressive manner if feels cornered and there is no way of escape.

• Female Dominance - Two female dogs may show aggression toward each other, particularly if they live in the same household.

• Pain - If a person or an animal causes a dog pain, such as when touching a painful area or when giving injections, the dog may exhibit what is called induced aggression.

• Male Dominance - It is not uncommon for two male dogs to exhibit aggression toward each other as they battle for territory.

• Maternal - A female dog that is pregnant or that has recently had puppies can become quite aggressive in an attempt to protect her pups.

• Predatory - Dogs are natural predators, meaning they will exhibit aggression toward anything they consider to be prey. This can be other animals, but can be anything else that moves quickly, such as a bike, a car or a scared person running away.

• Territorial - Dogs are also very territorial animals, meaning they will do whatever it takes to protect their property. A dog's home, room and yard are all part of its territory, which the dog will fight to protect.

Treating Aggression

If your dog frequently exhibits aggressive behavior, you should discuss the problem with your veterinarian. In some cases, there may be a medical reason causing the aggressive behavior. For example, your dog may have an unknown health issue that is causing it to feel pain, which is making it overly sensitive and aggressive when touched.

If your veterinarian has determined that there is no medical reason for the aggressive, he or she may recommend seeing a behavioral therapist who can help you treat your dog's aggressive behavior. Even if the therapy appears to be successful, it is important to continue implementing the steps prescribed by the behavior therapist in order to make certain aggressive behaviors do not reappear. In addition, if your dog is dangerously aggressive, you may need to seriously consider removing the dog from your home in order to keep yourself, your family and your friends safe.

CS Swarens is the CEO of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065

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