Delving into the Depths of Fish Evolution

Fish were the first ever vertebrates on our planet, without them, we wouldn’t even exist. The first fish provided the basic body plans and shapes for millions of future species of animals. We pretty much owe our success to these early fish.

The earliest fish didn’t look much like the fish we know in today’s world. They first appeared after the Cambrian explosion which started around 542 million years ago. Before this explosion, most organisms were really simple cells.

These early fish had no backbones, and no jaws. They were small and worm-like and are known as Agnatha. Agnatha literally means ‘no jaws’ in Greek.

There are only two jawless fish which still exist; they are the Hagfish and the Lamprey. The Lamprey gives us a good idea of what these early fish would have looked like.

 

Towards the end of the Cambrian period, which lasted for around 50 million years, other eel type fish known as Conodonts, and small bony plated fish known as Ostracoderms, began to evolve and appear.

Conodonts had a notochord (a flexible rod) running through their body, similar to cartilage and were anywhere from 1 to 40cm in length. Ostracoderms were around 12 inches long and had gills designed specifically for breathing. Before this species, gills were used both for breathing and feeding.

The Pikaia was one of the next heavily studied fish, through its fossils. This fish like creatures has four essential features which are thought to be the prerequisite for vertebrates as we know them today. This leaf-shaped animal had:

– A head (obvious head, separate from the tail)

– Bilateral symmetry (same shape either side)

– V-shaped muscles

– A nerve cord running throughout its body

It is the nerve cord that laid the foundation for all future vertebrates. The cord in the Pikaia was not surrounded by a bone or tube so this fish cannot be considered a vertebrate, but instead was a chordate.

It is thought that the first true vertebrates were the Haikouichthys, and the Myllokunmingia, however – they still didn’t have jaws.

The jaw was an essential development which allowed fish to feed more easily, and become predators. Given that almost all of jawless fish are now extinct – it’s obvious to see why this was a crucial development for them.

The first jaw is thought to have evolved during the Silurian period around 430 million years ago, in Placoderms and spiny sharks. Placoderms were heavily armoured fish with bony plates; they ruled the waters during their short time. They were mostly small in size, but some reached lengths of 3-4 metres. They became extinct during the end of the Devonian period, around 80 million years later. Spiny sharks were only around 20cm in length and whilst they didn’t evolve and diversify as much as the Placoderms, they did survive for longer. They became extinct during the Permian period, 290 million years ago.

Also during the Silurian period, Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish) and Osteichthyes (bony fish) developed.

The Devonian Period stretched from 358-719 million years ago, and is also known as the age of the fish. This period saw a huge increase in diversification of fish as they evolved and developed into many different shape and sizes.

The Osteichthyes developed during this period into two main groups:

1. Ray finned (Actinopterygii)

2. Lobe-finned (Sarcopterygii)

Tetrapods (vertebrates with true legs) evolved from the lobe-finned fish, and they are the ancestors to all land-dwelling creatures.

Earth then experienced another mass extinction – the largest in the Earth’s history during the Permian-Triassic periods. It wiped out around 96% of marine species, but they bony fish were able to recover and diversify again.

Wrap Up

With over 29,000 species of bony fish currently alive, they make up around 95% of all fish and form the most diverse group of vertebrates on the planet.

The fish that we see in the oceans today are a result of millions of years of fascinating evolution.

Infographic link: https://www.fishkeepingworld.com/evolution-of-fish/

 

About the Author: 

Rob Woods is a third generation fish keeper and has raised freshwater fish since childhood. He currently has a 150 gallon freshwater tank and has educated over 250,000 people through his blog Fishkeeping World.

The Ultimate Deck Safety Guide

Did you know that over 45,000 adults and children are injured on decks every year? While it seems like an absurdly high number, it doesn’t even include pets! Decks that are old, rotten, damaged, or otherwise faulty can pose a hazard to your friends and family members, including furry ones.

To prevent deck-related accidents, the International Residential Code sets minimum requirements for safety when constructing a deck. They specify that a deck must have a guardrail if it is over 30” higher than the ground, and the guardrail must be at least three feet or 36”. Balusters must be able to resist 125 lbs of pressure applied horizontally and vertically. Openings in railings must be spaced under 4” so nobody – human or animal – can fall through. Stairs are required to have handrails. All this to say that the proper construction of a deck is paramount to its safety.

Check out this infograph to give you more deets on what’s considered safe for your pup to walk on:

 

It’s important to consider that since decks are outside, they are subjected to the elements and all sorts of wear and tear. However, some weak points can’t be ignored. If parts of your deck are decaying or you see piles of sawdust falling out from underneath, it could be due to pests (carpenter ants, termites, etc). Look out for large cracks in the wood or patches of discoloration that could signal rot or structural problems. Mold and mildew can cause wood to become slippery and lead to accidents, and can also indicate structural problems. If you see rust on the fasteners, give the deck a thorough inspection, as rusty fasteners can snap and cause accidents. Any wobbling of the deck or the rails should be inspected by a professional, before someone goes to lean on it and they break. A deck can hold up for many years, but it needs to be maintained regularly to be safe.

Pets and kids should generally be supervised when playing outside on the deck. Consider blocking off the stairway with a dog or baby gate. In the summer months, the surface of a deck can heat up just like a sidewalk, so make sure you check the temperature with the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws! If you have a grill, empty the grease trap to deter dogs. Make sure to leave water out for your pets, but note that anything more than 2 inches deep can be a drowning hazard for small children. Finally, get down on your hands and knees and check the deck for splinters, raised nails, and other objects that can snag and cause injury.

Having a deck is an awesome way to enjoy the summer months with friends, family, and pets. Deck accidents are all too common, but you can take measures to keep everyone safe. By following building codes, performing regular inspections, and supervising deck time, you’ll be able to enjoy many more outdoor get-togethers, and make sure no one falls through the cracks.

About the Author: 

Real estate company Redfin came up with the Ultimate Deck Safety Guide for maintaining the safety and integrity of your deck for years to come. Read on to learn how to ensure your deck is up to safety code, how to perform a deck inspection, and tips for keeping kids and pets safe while maintaining the life of your deck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Ways to Kill Fleas

Let’s face it, using spot-on flea treatments is the easiest method in eliminating fleas. A few drops each month is all you need to keep pesky parasites at bay. Flea collars are also popular and easy to use, just slip it onto your dog’s neck.  However, the chemicals present in these products could be taxing your dog’s health since some dogs are more sensitive than others. What is more, it could also harm the environment.

Needless to say, choosing natural ways to kill fleas is the way to go. You don’t have to hunt for rare plants or make putrid concoctions. You can actually eliminate fleas by simply grabbing a few items found inside your home or outside your backyard. Here we look at naturally the best flea treatments for your dog and cat.

Natural Home Remedies For Killing Fleas

1. Pantry Staples

Yes, you read it right. You can kill fleas using normal everyday pantry staples such as the following:=

Apple Cider Vinegar

Fleas (as well as ticks) cannot stand the smell of vinegar. Make a diluted solution and use it to rinse your dog after each bath. Allow your pet to dry au naturel. The water and vinegar solution will kill existing fleas and repel new ones. Vinegar also deodorizes your dog and gives a sheen to his coat.

Moreover, add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl. When your dog drinks his vinegar-infused water, his blood and skin will turn too acidic for fleas to feed on. You may also sprinkle a few drops of vinegar to your pet’s belongings to ensure great success.

Baking Soda
Lay down a generous amount of baking soda on your carpeted floor. Using a broom or brush, make sure to rub it down deep into the fibers of your carpets and rugs.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate works by burning adult fleas. However, you need to make this a weekly habit in order to kill the new generation of fleas.

Salt

To further boost the effects of baking soda, pair it with finely ground salt. Salt works as a dehydration agent; thus, drying up adult fleas. Combine salt and baking soda and sprinkle it all over your carpeted floors. With this combination, you can also target flea eggs and larva. Leave the mixture for two days before you vacuum.

2. Citrus Fruits

Fleas can’t tolerate citrus smells as much as vinegar. Why not make your own dog cologne? Combine 150 ml of witch hazel, 250 ml of lemon/grapefruit/orange juice to a ½ liter of vinegar and water solution to boost its effects.

If making such is too much a trouble, simply rub a freshly squeezed citrus fruit on your dog’s fur. As an added bonus, your dog will smell fresh all day long!

3. Rosemary Herbs

Rosemary can be made into a rinse water for your dog’s next bath. This woody perennial herb features antiseptic properties that will ward off fleas and leave your pet’s coat silky and smell sweet.

Likewise, you may grind rosemary to create your own homemade flea powder. You may also add other herbs such as peppermint, fennel, wormwood, and rue to strengthen its effects.
Massage the powder on your dog’s coat and sprinkle some of his belongings. You may also sprinkle some on your furniture and carpeted floors.

4. Botanical Plants

Another great way to keep fleas away is to grow a few plants around your house. Some plants secrete natural oils that effectively repel fleas. This includes the following:

Citronella
Citronella is a grass-like plant that could grow up to 6 ft. tall. Its extracts and oils are used as a bug repellent in numerous commercial products such as lotions, shampoos, and sprays.

Catnip
Allow your dog to play and roll in your catnip bushes to ward off fleas naturally. According to research, catnip is actually more efficient than Deet.   

Basil
Plant basil in small pots and place it indoors. Its leaves expel certain compounds in the air that deter fleas and other insects.

Lavender
Lavender is an aromatic plant with lovely purple flowers. The relaxing scent it gives off is troublesome for fleas.

Thyme
Grow thyme in shady areas, especially those places where your dogs usually hang out.

Neem
Make a warm aromatic bath using boiled neem leaves. Neem leaves deter fleas in all life stages. You may also burn neem leaves to repel fleas outside your yard.

Peppermint
Peppermint wards off fleas due to its scent. Its leaves can be used to relieve itchy flea bites.

Pennyroyal
Pennyroyal is another member of the mint family, which has been used as a natural repellent for many centuries.

You may also keep small pots of these plants inside your house as well. Just make sure to expose them to sunlight from time to time.

5. Nematode

Nematodes are your best friends during flea season. Don’t forget to add nematodes to your yard, particularly in areas where your pets usually hang out. Nematodes are parasitic roundworms that love to feed on fleas.

6. Light Trap

Drown fully grown fleas by setting up a light trap. Combine a tablespoon of liquid dish washing soap into a small bowl of water. Next, place the bowl in the areas of your house where fleas are rampant. Place a desk lamp right or a candle right above the bowl to attract fleas.


7.  Weekly baths
Make a habit of bathing your dog at least once a week. As much as possible, use an organic dog shampoo but if you need to be frugal, know that lemon-scented liquid dish washing soap also does a good job. 


8. Thorough Cleaning

Grab the most powerful vacuum you can find and start vacuuming your house. A vacuum cleaner with powerful suction power ensures no flea egg or larva remains hidden.

You need to get rid of every single flea in order to eradicate them from your household. This includes flea eggs that are well concealed in the fibers of your carpets and rugs.

Pay close attention to areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight such as underneath furniture, behind doors, etc. Make sure you hit all the nooks and crannies inside your house. You should vacuum your house at least once a week and don’t forget to throw away the vacuum bag after each use. It is best to use your homemade anti-flea sprays right after you vacuum.

Also, don’t forget to wash your dog’s belongings using the hottest water and dryer temperatures to kill fleas lurking inside the corners of his bed cover, pillow, toys, etc.

Dangers of Fleas and Their Bites

According to Dr. Adam Denish of Rhawnhurst Animal Hospital in Pennsylvania, fleas cause a wide range of problems to our dogs beyond the obvious truth that a single flea bite is absolutely irritating. The tiny flea also poses big health risks to you and your canine companion. This includes the following:

1. Flea Allergic Dermatitis
Flea allergic dermatitis is characterized by severe itching, as well as excessive scratching and chewing that leads to crusty lesions and hair loss. Some pets are more sensitive than others; thus, a few flea bites could easily escalate into this condition.

Bear in mind that open wounds could lead to bacterial skin infections. Therefore, treat the problem as soon as possible to avoid further complications.

2. Tapeworms
Tapeworm infection is the second medical issue caused by fleas. These segmented parasites resemble maggots and can grow up to 12 inches long inside your pet’s intestines. Nevertheless, humans can also contract tapeworms from fleas.

Fleas are carriers of tapeworm eggs. When accidentally ingested, the egg within the infected flea will grow inside the host’s body. Tapeworm causes weight loss and an itchy rear.

Although contracting tapeworms is unlikely in adults, small children are at a greater risk since they often play outdoors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children pass proglottids (segments of tapeworms) during bowel movements.

Go to your veterinarian or healthcare provider as soon as you suspect your pet or child has contracted tapeworms.

3. Flea bite anemia
Another problem involving fleas is flea bite anemia, which can be fatal in small dog breeds, puppies, and senior dogs. Nonetheless, even large dogs can fall prey to flea bite anemia, especially if your dog is having a heavy flea infestation. Pale gums, lethargy, and low body temperature are symptoms of low red blood cell count.

Conclusion


Fleas cause distress to your dog and bring a lot of stress for you, too. Once they decide to take residence in your house, they can drive your entire family nuts due to their itchy bites. To make matters worse, these tiny parasites also have the power to bring medical problems as well.

Since eradicating pesky fleas demand a lot of time and effort, many pet owners resort to chemical applications. However, it doesn’t always have to be like this. When it comes to eliminating fleas, nature has a bounty of ways to help.

So before it escalates to a heavy flea infestation, get rid of fleas as soon as possible. You may have to do some of these tips several times over. Nevertheless, using natural remedies to kill fleas guarantees your family’s safety. Plus, you are helping Mother Nature by doing so!

About the Author

Lisa Jennings is an editor for DogBedZone.com a dog blog that provides helpful tips and guides for dog owners. Lisa enjoys writing, hiking, and surfing the California coast in her free time with her chihuahua Maxx.








 

 

7 Steps to Bringing A New Puppy Home

Bringing a new puppy into your home is a new and exciting experience. There are a lot of things you need to consider to better prepare yourself for a new journey with your four-legged companion.

Our experience showed us that there are some essential steps to take before taking your pup home. So, you must consider puppy proofing your home, medicine and food selection, and preparing your puppy’s first toys. If you are a first-time dog owner, you’ll need more time to get ready for this experience. If you have kids, you need to take special measures to ensure your puppy will be safe.

Source

  1. Puppy-proof Your Home

In order to puppy proof your house, you need to keep your trash in covered and secured cans. This will keep your puppy away from consuming toxic substances, swallowing objects that cause internal obstruction or being at risk of suffocation if he catches his head in a bag.

Remove all cord covers, batteries, electric cords, chargers, power cables, and deterrent sprays that may expose your pup to accidental shock or burns to his mouth.

Keep all your bags out of reach to avoid poisoning from toxic substances. Store the bags in a closed area where your puppy cannot reach.

Store your medications in a secure place, separately from pet medications, where your pup doesn’t have access. Most of human drugs are poisonous to dogs.

Make sure you don’t have toxic plants as they can cause severe issues, being even deadly for your puppy. Some of the most dangerous and common plants are the American Yew, Autumn Crocus, Sago Palm and Castor Bean.

Keep all household cleaners, detergents, and other toxic substances in a secured place, out of your puppy’s reach.

Create a safe space for your pup to play and rest. A good idea is to put him in a crate where he may stay whenever you are not home.

Set up baby gates to limit your puppy’ access to places you don’t want them to go. Puppies are curious and playful, and they tend to explore all the places they can reach.

Remove all other small objects that can be swallowed or chewed by your pup. Walk through all areas to make sure there are no dangerous objects in his way.

  1. Supply your Stock with Pet Friendly medicine

In order to be well-prepared to receive your puppy in a secure environment, you should also have some medications at hand in case you need them. Buy some heat discs from a pet supply outlet. Put them in the microwave before using them.  

If your pup won’t eat well, you can give him Karo Syrup to energize him. For vomiting or diarrhea, you can use Kaopectate, Pepto Bismol or Benadryl. In case of a high temperature, you can measure it with the aid of a rectal thermometer.

Complete your stock with disposable syringes, 3cc & 10cc sizes, that you can use for giving liquid medications and a nozzle-tipped syringe that you can use for giving liquid food, as well as isopropyl alcohol, 3% hydrogen peroxide, diphenhydramine, triple antibiotic ointment, bandages, and tape. They are helpful in case of injury or emergency.

  1. Select Your Pup’s Food Carefully

Due to the transition to his new home, your puppy may lose his appetite. An important aspect to get on the right track is give him the same food he was eating before the adoption. If you desire to change up his current diet, it’s important to do so for a period of 10 days, and slowly work the new food into his remaining kibble.

It is recommended to select premium canned dog food to ensure he receives all the nutrients he needs to stay healthy.

You can also go for meat baby foods, yogurt, eggs, beef, chicken, turkey. Serve the meat boiled, baked or steamed.

  1. Keep Your Puppy’s Prior Routine

A good way to make the transition easier is to be well-informed regarding your puppy’s previous routine for playing, feeding and sleeping.

Leaving your puppy alone for more than 4 hours in a row decreases his adaptability to learn new things. To avoid negative effects on your puppy, make sure to get him a companion to play with or look for a pet sitter to take care of him. 

  1. Careful If You Have Children or Other Pets

If you already have other pets or if you have children, it is recommended to carefully supervise your puppy in the first weeks or until there is no danger for him. He can be easily hurt by adult pets or by small children that don’t know how to approach him.

Instruct your children to treat your puppy gently and slowly introduce him to your pets so they become accustomed to his presence. Extra care is needed if there are important differences in the size of your pets or if your pets display signs of aggression.

  1. Create a Safe Area for Your Puppy

Your pup feels comfortable in a secure and quiet place where he can sleep, rest, and play whenever he wants. A good idea is to use a crate or secure an area in the room where he can feel comfortable. 

Duplicate the sleep environment he had before the adoption. Keep in mind that secureness should be your priority when it comes to creating a room for your puppy. Keep a proper temperature in his room. Your puppy’s body temperature is warmer than yours, so set a higher temperature for him.

When choosing n area for your puppy, make sure it is near to yours, so you can check him regularly, including during the night. This enhances his feeling of security.

  1. Select Your Puppy’s Toys

Your puppy needs some cool toys to play with and entertain himself. Choose toys that seem indestructible and don’t put your pup in danger. Thin rubber or cloth toys contain squeakers that can be swallowed, so avoid them. Dogs explore with their teeth, so chewing and biting is a natural reaction to him. Get him teething toys like Puppy Kong or teething bones to relieve any discomfort they might be feeling during this stage of puppyhood. 

Dogs perceive their toys the way wolves perceive their prey, that’s why they like most toys that taste like food or that make a noise. They are interested in new things and, once they became familiar with their toys, they tend to lose their interest. Be careful when picking your puppy’s toys because they may harm him if they are made of small pieces or if they are a source of bacteria. These types of issues may need surgery or more aggressive treatments.

Puppy’s Arrival

After traveling home by car or by plane, your puppy needs to rest. Prepare to greet your puppy accordingly and keep at hand a clean towel, some disposable wipes, a container of food including yogurt, boiled chicken, and water.

If you bring him home by car, take 15-20 minute stops every two hours for exercise, elimination, and feeding or drinking water. Take some extra time if your puppy wants to eat or to drink water. Make sure you avoid public areas to prevent risk of disease.

Keep your puppy beside you or on your lap to make him feel comfortable. This also helps strengthen the bond between you. It is possible to deal with car sickness, so it is better to avoid feeding your dog until you arrive at your destination.

Once you are home, take your pup to the outdoor area you plan to use for elimination and stay there for at least fifteen minutes. As soon as you are inside, introduce your puppy to all the family members, including your other pets. Allow them to meet and play for a few minutes.

Make sure your puppy has enough water and food and establish a feeding routine to develop healthy behaviors.

Check your pup’s food, water, exercise, and elimination every two hours during the day and every 4 hours during the night. Avoid leaving him alone for more than 4 hours as he may develop separation anxiety. When he wakes up, take him out for bathroom break and then offer him food and water. Plan an appointment for a health check at the vet to make sure everything is in order. 

#Pro Tip: Take your puppy’s age in months plus one hour to better help you figure out bathroom breaks. Meaning, if they are 2 months old, they can hold their bladder for 3 hours max. Around the time they turn 4 months old, they’ll have more control of their bladder and reach full control by the time they reach one year.

About the Author

Dr. Gary Rybka has a bachelor of science degree from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He studied at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He graduated from the Auburn School of Veterinary Medicine in 1977 as a member of Phi Zeta, the National Veterinary Honor Society.

He has a particular interest in pediatric medicine and surgery and has developed effective preventive and therapeutic programs for multiple animal rescue organizations. He provides medical care and mentors medical staff for over 35 years. He works closely with Premier Pups, an organization that delivers small breed puppies (Yorkie puppies, Cavachon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cavapoo, Havanese, Maltese, Pomsky, Morkie, Teddy Bear) to their new homes. He also owns DoctorPup.com, a website that provides dog owners with valuable information related to dogs.

 

The 5 Best Fish Oils For Dogs

Fish oil has garnered lots of attention in the last few years due to the benefits it can offer for both humans and pets. There are thousands of products on the market today for dogs– so sifting through them is no easy task. Even fish based dry dog foods have made a hit with dog owners everywhere. Fish oil supplements are popular for good reason, since it can give more benefit in its pure form than simply adding fish to your dog’s diet.

The Benefits Of Fish Oil

Fish oil is widely known for improving joint health, brain function, skin and coat condition, and the overall health of dogs. Two of the Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are found in fish oil. These provide anti-inflammatory properties, and deliver various benefits for brain and heart health. The Omega-3’s are found primarily in cold water fish such as cod, herring, salmon, and mackerel.

Here’s a list of what DHA & EPA can do for your canine:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties to reduce allergies, arthritis and inflammation
  • Restoring gleam to the coat and skin, and reducing shedding
  • Aiding weight management
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing cholesterol
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Improving cognitive function
  • Supporting heart health  

When And Why To Use Supplements

Senior dogs can benefit greatly from fish oils, as it can ease some of the inflammation and swelling in their arthritic joints, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This is especially helpful to larger breeds like Labradors, and German Shepherds who often have joint health issues in their later years.

Puppies also need certain essential oils in the diet to aid in developmental growth stages. In fact, DHA is known to play an important role in cognitive development. Another great point is that it adds a boost to a puppy’s young immune system, giving them a better chance to fight off any infection or diseases during this vulnerable life stage.

Dogs with skin conditions can attain much needed relief with the addition of fish oil to their diet. Not only can skin conditions be improved, but your dog’s coat will start to shine, too. Dogs with certain food allergies may also benefit, but in the case of severe allergies discuss with your vet before using any supplements.  

Types Of Fish Oils & Quality

  • Liquid – Comes in a bottle, and is usually poured on kibble in small doses.
  • Tablet – Can either be punctured and squirted on kibble, or swallowed whole. Most dogs won’t do this, though.
  • Chews – Made specifically for dogs as a chewable treat. Usually flavored.

There are two types of fish oil, and it depends on which fish they were sourced from. There is fish oil, and there is salmon oil. Fish oil is made from various cold water fish species, while salmon oil is only made from salmon.

Look for quality when buying fish oil supplements for your pup. Look at the back label to see if any filler or preservatives were added. You should only be looking for pure 100% fish oil, as this is its most natural state and will yield the most benefits. Do understand that better quality products will be pricier, but well worth your time. You don’t want filler and preservatives going into your dog’s diet, you want them to remain healthy.

The 5 Best Brands

Zesty Paws Pure Salmon Oil

Containing up to 120 milligrams of EPA and 130 milligrams DHA per gram, Zesty Paws’ Pure Salmon Oil packs a double punch with those Omega – 3’s. It also only lists one ingredient on its back label : salmon oil. Great news for owners looking for pure sources of fish oil for dogs more sensitive to any added ingredients that may trigger allergies. This brand makes their product available in liquid form, chewables, and gel caps. Zesty Paws offers a helpful guide on daily dosage, depending on weight on each package.

Zesty Paws Pure Salmon Oil has a solid balance of fatty acids for dogs, along with being reasonably priced. Owners also have the added benefit of choosing what form to give the supplement whether in liquid, chewable, or gel tab.      

Grizzly Salmon Oil for Dogs (16 oz)

Grizzly Salmon Oil

Grizzly Salmon Oil is a popular supplement that carries excellent amounts of EP and DHA, along with 13 other fatty acids not found in other fish oil products. This product is sourced from wild Alaskan salmon known for their high amounts of essential fatty acids that contribute to overall health including cardiovascular, central nervous, and immune systems. Take note of the salmon’s higher concentration of EPA, which can deliver observable results for inflammatory conditions. Undoubtedly, your dog’s skin and coat will be thanking you.    

Grizzly’s Salmon Oil has been used by a wide number of pet owners with high marks in product reviews. With the extra 13 fatty acids in this formula, it’s possible that the benefits will be farther reaching for your pet, whether young or old.

 

Nordic Naturals Omega-3

This company makes both pet and human grade products, all sustainably-sourced and non-GMO. Using sardines and anchovies as sources for the fish oil, Nordic Naturals Omega-3’s formula also contains no added ingredients such as rosemary oil, or any flavorings. Nordic Naturals offers their fish oil products in the triglyceride molecular form—the form naturally found in fish, and the form your body most easily absorbs.

Nordic Naturals Omega-3 supports brain function, cardiovascular system, and eye development and overall health. There is also a suggested daily use guide according to your pet’s weight. The Omega-3 line comes in liquid and soft-gel forms, and is also within reasonable prices ranges for most owners.

Sea Pet Omega-3 Fish Oil

Sea Pet offers their Omega-3 fish oil line in both liquid and capsule forms. This brand uses human grade, biologically-available concentrated omega-3’s in its formula. The product boosts the immune system, and promotes the health of your pet’s skin and coat. The company states that results can be seen within 2-3 weeks, and that after 4-5 weeks pet owners should gradually lower the dose they give down to the maintenance level.

Sea Pet sells various amounts of this product, going from reasonably priced 8 ounce bottles to a one gallon jug that will cost about $80. Depending on your dog’s needs, or how many extra pups you have at home, you might find it more economical to buy the jug just to have on hand. Once opened, it does need to be refrigerated. Sea Pet also offers a similar product with added vitamin E, which may have further benefits for your pets. Take a look, it might just be that something extra you need.   

    

Alaskan Naturals : Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil

Only available in liquid form, Alaskan Naturals’ Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is a worthy addition to the list. Made in the USA, and a sustainable source from wild Alaskan salmon with high concentrations of EPA and DHA to promote healthy brain, cardiovascular health, immunity, skin and coat. Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil has no added artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Another key point to note is the extended shelf life by the company’s nitrogen-purging to remove oxygen from each bottle.

Alaskan Naturals provides an affordable fish oil product that is free of any potentially allergy-causing added ingredients. The Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil product line can be purchased in small 8-12 once bottles, and the larger 32 and 64 ounce bottles.    

Conclusion

Ultimately, fish oil supplements can be beneficial to many dogs in various conditions and life stages. Now that you are aware of the qualities and benefits of these supplements, you have a better idea of what may work for you and your pup. Always remember to check with your dog’s vet before starting any supplement regimen in case of any drug interactions or adverse side effects.

To buy any of the brands you see listed in the article, visit https://www.healthypets.com/

About the Author

Angela DeRiso is a freelance writer creating content on the husbandry, behavior, and experiences with pets of many kinds. If you would like her to write for your website or blog, contact her at angela.deriso-writer@outlook.com To find out more about her work, and what she can offer you, please visit https://angelawritesstuff181441467.wordpress.com/

 

6 Special Dog Senses That Could Save Your Life

Dogs are amazing and complex creatures that never cease to amaze us. Their behaviors and abilities may be diverse, unpredictable and hard to explain rationally. Scientists have conducted many studies to find out more information about dogs and their particularities, most importantly their extraordinary senses that can save our lives.

Dogs are appreciated for what they’ve done for humans, saving their lives and alerting them of danger. They have been proved to be good at sensing medical issues that people cannot identify by themselves as well as changes in the environment and natural disasters.

If well-trained, dogs can become real heroes and extraordinary companions. They have soft skills that can develop through consistent training sessions. Some breeds are engaged in social activities dedicated to saving lives and alerting people of danger.

At Premier Pups Reviews, our customers share with us their experiences related to happenings they went through with their four-legged companions, some of them really fascinating. Customers relate to their dogs’ capabilities to sense illnesses, emotions and different events that are about to happen. We’ve created a list with the most frequent situations.

  1. Dogs can sense when someone is about to have a seizure

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Trained dogs are able to warn people that they will have an attack minutes or hours before it happens. Dogs can predict an epileptic seizure on an average of forty-five minutes before it happens because they are capable of smelling the changes that happen in the human body. Dogs also notice behavioral changes that humans are not able to identify in such situations.

  1. Dogs can predict environmental changes

Dogs are also gifted to predict environmental changes such as tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis and other types of natural disasters before they happen. They usually warn people some minutes before such phenomena occur. They behave unusually, they start barking excessively, biting, whining or pacing back and forth.

Stanley Coren, an author of books about dogs’ intelligence and behavior, explains that dogs’ ability to sense earthquakes is related to their keen hearing. That means that dogs hear the movements of rocks underground before an earthquake.

Dogs hear four times as far as humans. They are able to hear higher pitched sounds and detect a frequency range of 67 to 45.000 hertz, which is considerably higher than the human range which falls between 64 to 23.000 hertz. This means that dogs can hear sounds that are four times farther away than humans can. Furthermore, research shows that dogs with erect ears are able to hear earthquakes sooner compared to dogs with floppy ears.

Dogs have sharper senses than humans and they also feel the changes in barometric pressure and in the static electricity in the air. That’s how they are able to predict a snowfall or rain. They sense thunderstorms by smelling the ozone of lighting in the air before the flash appears in the sky.

Furthermore, when a tornado is about to come, dogs tend to become distressed and they hide in various places.

  1. Dogs can identify various types of cancer

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Due to their excellent sense of smell, dogs can detect extremely subtle scents in the human body simply by sniffing a person’s breath. Because cancer cells produce different waste products than normal cells, they create chemical traces so significant that dogs can detect cancer cells even in the early stages of it. Dogs are also able to identify changes that occur in the skin chemistry where wounds appear.

Furthermore, well-trained dogs can detect a skin cancer called melanoma by sniffing a skin lesion and detect if it is cancerous or not. By smelling urine samples and volatile organic compounds, dogs can detect the difference of prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.

  1. Dogs can identify dramatic changes in blood sugar

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The subtle sense of smell of the dogs can also identify low blood sugar in people. They can alert them if their sugar dropped or is about to drop by sensing the scent of sweet or acidic fluctuation. Diabetics who are insulin-dependent can have very dramatic changes in their blood glucose levels and can collapse  without warning. In these situations, trained dogs can alert them to take the necessary measures and save lives. 

Even untrained dogs are able to alert their diabetic owners. Dogs can sense when their blood-sugar levels are low or when they are about to decrease considerably. This is because dogs are able to smell the chemical changes in a person’s breath and skin that appear as a result of accelerated changes in blood sugar levels.

  1. Dogs are able to sense human emotions

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Studies conducted by Harvard scientists concluded that over the years, living in the company of humans, dogs have adapted genetically, and they’ve formed special abilities to decode human emotions and intentions. Beyond their abilities to sense humans’ energy and emotions such as fear, sadness, and nervousness, dogs tend to mimic their owners’ behaviors and moods.

A popular known fact is that dogs can sense when someone is afraid so their reactions is to behave aggressively in order to protect their owner. This is because dogs have more scent receptors in their nose and can smell the substances that human body releases when experimenting with fear. Generally, a stressed person tends to sweat and his body releases adrenaline. The blood starts pumping faster and releases pheromones that float through the air. Pheromones can be easily sniffed by dogs’ noses, some of the dogs taking advantage and becoming aggressive.

Another interesting fact is that dogs notice details that humans don’t. They detect tensing, facial micro-expressions, and other types of behaviors and signals that announce the fear.

Dogs are also very good detectors of sadness and they try to comfort their humans. Usually, a dog that notices his owner is sad, tend to put his head on his owner’s knee, snuggle up, whine or give him a lick.  

Studies in canine neuroscience revealed that dogs’ brains have a small part dedicated to detecting emotions in human and dog voices. Therefore, dogs are able to identify if a person is sad by the sound of his voice.

  1. Dogs sense when a woman is pregnant

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Another amazing ability of dogs is that they know when a woman is pregnant because they can smell hormonal changes in her body. They can notice even the different way a woman moves later in her pregnancy. They are subtle observers of the changes that appear in a pregnant woman’s emotions.

Furthermore, when a woman’s water breaks, dogs can smell the amniotic fluid and they are aware of what is about to happen. They tend to become protective or anxious some hours before a woman goes into labor. Dogs also sense emotional changes when a woman’s labor is about to begin and can also detect physical movements that a woman may not be conscious of.

Conclusion

These are some of the most important and appreciated abilities of dogs that can change people’s lives. Science has an important contribution to the development and research of these specific capabilities. But, beyond all these scientific arguments, dogs are empathetic beings that truly care for their owners. They are amazing companions that aim to adjust themselves to better fit in their families.

Author Bio

Troy works as a Marketing Executive for PremierPups and Premier Pups Reviews. He is passionate about animals and loves to help people find the right dog for them. In addition to reading and writing about animals and psychology, Troy enjoys spending quality time with his beloved dog.

 

7 Tips to Stop Your Puppy From Chewing

Puppies are playful, cute and can be the greatest addition to your household. Their positive outlook can warm your heart and make you want to let them get away with almost anything, right? Not necessarily. Puppies can also be a big handful. They are curious creatures and can be prone to biting and chewing, even with the best intentions at heart.

The worst thing is coming home and expecting all of your belongings to be intact. This may not always be the case. You may find that your new puppy has gotten a hold of your expensive pair of shoes that no longer resemble themselves

Before you get extremely upset with your pet, take a deep breath and remember that material things can always be replaced. Next, remember that this is a learning process for both you and your pet and you’re simply going through a growing pain. There is a lot that should be considered when determining the cause behind your puppy’s chewing.

Gathered are 7 tips to stop your puppy from chewing and how you can move forward with your bond.

  1. Figure out the root of the problem.

Puppies aren’t vindictive and don’t choose to chew on your things out of spite. For every chewing puppy, there is a reason, valid or not, to why they are doing it. The most important step you can take is trying to identify the root cause of the problem and starting from there.

Some of the most common reasons behind a puppy’s chewing behavior include:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Learned habit
  • Coping mechanism for fear
  • Seeking attention
  • Growing teeth

Pinpointing the problem will help you determine your next steps towards alleviating and eventually, getting rid of the issue altogether. If the problem is from separation or fear, provide your puppy with other ways to bring down his stress levels. This might be in the form of crating or a safety blanket. If the problem comes from habit, attention seeking or boredom, then it’s time to help train him with new habits and chances to relieve his tension. A dog is never too young or old to learn new tricks or habits.

If he’s starting to grow teeth, then you can look into getting your puppy to chew on toys that are specifically designated for this and prevent him from getting his hands on your personal property.

  1. Train your dog to chew on particular things.

Chewing is a part of their natural habitat. So, it doesn’t make sense to have your dog stop chewing entirely. Instead, you can train him to chew on friendlier things such as bones or toys made for dogs to chew.

As you allow him things to chew on, he will learn the difference between your approved and non-approved items. He will also begin to associate things like chew toys with playtime so he can engage in more pet-owner friendly play. Helping your puppy distinguish between your socks and his toy will definitely prevent him from tearing up your things indeed.

If he’s teething, you can help him with reducing his discomfort by placing his toys in the freezer. The cold will help him with any pain or numbness he may be feeling when he chews on the toy.

  1. Give your puppy ample time for exercise.

Physical activity is extremely important for any species. It helps to release tension built up inside as well as endorphins that promote happiness hormones. Plus, it also gives your puppy the chance to be healthy from a physical standpoint.

Recommended time is anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes each day. Make sure that when you take him outside for walks, secure him with a harness. A small dog harness is important for keeping your dog safe and by your side at all times. There are many options that cater to a dog’s size, pull strength and color preferences. Using a puppy harness is a great way for you to train him with obedience properly. 

Taking your puppy out for regular walks will help him expend his energy in a positive way and keep him from chewing on things inside your home. It might even tire him out to where he will lounge when he gets home rather than rummaging through your things. Plus, you both would’ve gotten some Vitamin D from being outside, so it’s definitely a win-win.

  1. Promote positive reinforcement and consequences when necessary.

At times, you will need to punish your puppy. He will not always be the innocent angel he perceives to be and this is where you will need to punish accordingly. One of the best forms of teaching your puppy is by offering him positive reinforcement.

For instance, if he goes outside to pee instead of on your house carpet, give him a treat or shower him with praise him immediately following the act. He will soon equate that doing things your way will result in great things for him as well.

You can apply this same mindset with chewing as well. Give him a bone to chew on and when he has finished, tell him, “Good, boy.” Opposite to this, if he gets a hold of your shoes and chews on those, come up with a verbal sign that lets him know to stop (for example, “Oops!”), then either leave the room or put him in an area that separates him from everyone else (crate training is a great way to do this!). Soon enough, he will begin to associate what is allowed and what isn’t, resulting in fewer items of yours in his mouth.

  1. Challenge and play with your puppy regularly.

Along with physical activity, it’s important to help keep your puppy challenged from a mental capacity. If your puppy tends to get bored easily, it’s a great idea to add in mental challenges on a regular basis. This means you can schedule some play time with him to keep him engaged consistently.

You can also use this time to teach your dog current or new tricks. They love being able to learn new things, especially if it means that you praise them with treats or confidence. Breaking up the routine where he sleeps and eats all day will help keep him healthy both physically and mentally.

It might also be helpful to take your dog out to be with other people or dogs. Puppies thrive on social interactions. They love being around other creatures, exploring and learning from them. The more opportunities you give your puppy to do this, the more it will continue to utilize his mind, keeping him mentally stimulated.

  1. Set realistic expectations.

From this point, it’s essential that you understand you need to set realistic expectations. Just as when you were a child, you cannot expect your puppy to learn and stick with something overnight. Some things will come easier than others and he won’t always meet your expectations.

As long as you set something much more realistic, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you may even be more pleasantly surprised depending on how your puppy reacts to your new endeavors. In other words, be smart and don’t leave trash bags on the floor if you know that your puppy will most likely get into it. Know his habits and anticipate what to do and not to do. Give him a chance to do what you would want him to do but in a more practical and realistic setting.

  1. Be patient and loving to your puppy.

The one and best thing you can do for your puppy is to give him all the love that you possibly can. All he wants is to spend time with you and help keep you happy. The moment you become impatient and hostile, he will soon pick up on that tension and may lash out even more.

Will things become frustrating? Yes. Will you feel like giving up? Of course. But, will it all be worth it? Absolutely. The true test is determining just how patient you can be. Patience is certainly a virtue, especially when dealing with an animal that can’t speak back to you. Things aren’t going to be perfect but that’s perfectly okay. You will both get to learn a lot about each other through the process and the journey is just as important as the destination.

The more patience and love you exhibit, the more the learning process will seem much more manageable and enjoyable. Teaching a puppy to develop positive habits that meet your needs will be a challenge but certainly not impossible. You both will grow throughout the entire experience and learning in general, is never a bad thing.

Chewing doesn’t always have to be associated with being bad. In fact, with the right mindset and training, your doggie can actually have a happy chewing life after all. In doing so, save your personal items and your relationship with your new puppy. It is absolutely possible to stop him from chewing on your most beloved things and promoting good behavior overall. Follow these 7 tips to stop your puppy from chewing and you will find that you won’t be disappointed.

About the Author:

Stef is the owner of www.porkypaws.com – a dog enthusiast website that provides helpful tips and tricks for looking after your fur baby.

How to Help Prevent Your Cat from Getting Depressed

Cats are sensitive creatures, so it makes sense they can get depressed under certain circumstances too. It’s important to keep a lookout on those symptoms.

Addressing Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Like human beings, dogs have an inherent need for social interaction and companionship. As pack animals, they have an instinctive desire to form tight-knit groups; which explains why they are able to form close relationships with other highly social animals like horses, sheep, and of course human beings. When you decide to adopt a pet dog you’re essentially accepting them into your pack, and assuming the position of leadership.

As a pack leader you have the responsibility of providing clear, consistent guidance to your pet. If you aren’t able to fulfill this expectation, then your dog may become unsure of its position within your social group. This can lead to a number of behavioral problems including separation anxiety.

What is Separation Anxiety?

Your dog does not instinctively understand the concept of being alone. Whether you’re heading out for work or rushing to the store to pick up some milk, it doesn’t understand the nature of your departure, which would explain the overjoyed reception you receive when you finally return home. For most dogs, the period before and after their owner leaves home is a time of considerable stress. Unless you take clear steps to reassure your pooch, it may become anxious and agitated, and it may express this discomfort in a number of ways.

At the lower end of the scale, your dog might act out in the hopes of gaining your attention or controlling your reactions. This is known as learned separation anxiety, and it is purely a sign of negative reinforcement or boredom. In other words, your dog has learned that by chewing furniture, barking or generally misbehaving it can grab your undivided interest once more. You can usually resolve these issues by providing appropriate leadership and making sure that your dog gets the proper amount of exercise, entertainment and training while you’re at home.  

On the other hand, separation anxiety usually manifests in far more extreme responses. Dogs that experience separation anxiety are truly fearful about the prospect of being away from their owners, and as a result they can easily work themselves into a panic if they are left alone. Separation anxiety can stem from a variety of factors.

  • Your pet might have experience trauma during puppyhood which makes it insecure about being abandoned.
  • There may have been sudden changes in the family structure or home environment which causes the dog to lose its sense of routine and consistency.
  • Your dog may feel responsible for your safety and feel it can’t keep it’s eye on you when you leave. This results in the dog “demanding” your return so that it can one again keep it’s eye on you.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

Destroying Property: If your dog chews on furniture and damages other household items in your absence then this might be a sign of separation anxiety. In this case, your dog will only exhibit these behaviors when you’re not at home.

Constantly Attempting to Escape: In an attempt to reunite with you, your dog might try to scratch its way through doorframes or force its way through the windowsill. In extreme cases of separation anxiety, dogs have even been known to throw themselves through plate glass windows. Your dog could easily end up injuring itself if this behavior is left unchecked.

Urination or Defecation: If your dog only has accidents when you’re out of the house, then you may be seeing signs of separation anxiety. If this behavior has only started recently then check that your dog is not experiencing any medical issues that may be causing incontinence. Involuntary bowel movements can be a side effect of certain medications so you might need to run the situation by your vet in order to make ensure that your dog is being treated correctly.   

Barking and Howling: If you receive complaints about your dog’s persistent barking whenever you come home then your dog could have separation anxiety.

Excessive drooling and sweating in your absence: Your dog might also drink excessively to make up for the lost fluids.

Pacing and Panting: This behavior is usually displayed when your dog suspects that you’re getting ready to leave the house. Some dogs can also show signs of depression during the pre-departure period.

Extreme Excitability When you Return Home: While everyone loves a warm welcome from their four-legged friends this might be more than a show of affection. If your dog is barking, shrieking and jumping excessively when you return home then it’s a good sign that they were extremely stressed out in your absence. Your dog might also become extremely clingy from the moment you arrive to ensure you don’t leave again.

Separation Anxiety Training

In order to effectively treat separation anxiety, you need to assert your position as leader of the pack. Rather than indulging your dog’s whims you must begin to set clear boundaries inside the house. For example, you can no longer allow your dog to dictate when it’s petted or at what times of the day it’s let out.

While it’s tempting to indulge your pup in these instances, you’re actually setting a precedent which will affect the power dynamics between you and your pet moving forward. If your dog begins to see you in a subservient role then it will be far more difficult for you to instill good behavior later on.  Conversely, strong leadership provides dogs with a sense of balance and security which in turn gives them the confidence to stay calm when they’re left alone.

Bark Busters’ in-home dog trainers on Florida’s Treasure Coast use an intuitive behavior modification system to assess and resolve even the most difficult cases of dog separation anxiety. Here are a few key recommendations for any dog owner that wants to try separation anxiety training on their own.

Start While They’re Puppies

It’s far easier train a dog when it’s still integrating into your household. Of course, at this early stage young pups will whine when they’re left alone for even a moment. This is a natural survival instinct, as puppies in the wild would not survive very long without constant parental supervision. Your job at this point, is to get your puppy used to being on its own for short periods of time. The intention here, is to teach your puppy that alone time can be relaxing and enjoyable as well.

Puppy Crate Training

To accomplish this objective, you need to create a safe, comfortable environment where your puppy can feel completely secure. Crates naturally lend themselves to this type of separation anxiety training. Make sure that your crate is large enough to allow the dog to stand up, turn around and sit with ease. But make sure that it is not too big, because your puppy may use the extra room as a toilet.

Position your crate in quieter section of the house that’s free from foot traffic and loud noises.  This should allow your puppy to rest and relax without any disturbances. Make the crate a welcoming environment by putting in a comfortable bed, some toys, treats and a soft, familiar-smelling blanket. Cover the crate to make it feel enclosed and safe lika a “Den” with only the door uncovered. Leave the crate door open initially, and allow your pop to explore the space on its own. Once your puppy becomes used to spending time in the crate, you can start to shut to door for short periods of time. Be careful not to leave puppies inside crates for more than a couple of hours at a time, as younger dogs need more frequent toileting breaks.

Once the puppy crate training has advanced to this point, you can begin to mix in some elements of separation anxiety training. At random points throughout the day and night, put your puppy in the crate with its favorite toy. Initially, you should make sure to stay within the general vicinity of the crate so that your puppy is able to maintain a visual connection. When you’re sure that your puppy has become accustomed to maintaining physical distance, you can start to move out of sight completely. While you might need to monitor your puppy’s behavior regularly to being with, in time you should be able to complete your chores as normal without disturbing your puppy.

Leaving the House

By this stage, your puppy should have no trouble spending time alone in its crate without you. Now, you can start to leave your dog alone for short periods of time. Once you have prepared the crate, let your dog go inside as usual and shut the door. Then, begin to quietly make preparations to leave the house. Get dressed, apply makeup, get the car keys and head out to the car door.

Make sure not to acknowledge your puppy during this time. Your dog should realize that it does not need to be involved in everything you do. This will also help to reduce the contrast between periods when you’re at home, and when you’re getting ready to leave. Extend this philosophy to greetings and farewells. Instead of making a big show about leaving, acknowledge your dog with a pat on the head and some affectionate words.

To start with you should only leave the house for short periods of time. Once you come back, check up on your puppy if it’s still comfortable then you’re doing great. If your dog becomes anxious and agitated then you might need to go back and repeat a few steps. Remember, the key here is to gradually acclimate your dog to being alone. Pay specific attention to whether you dog becomes agitated after certain pre-departure cues. For example, if your dog starts to bark and whine as soon as you jingle the car keys then you need to desensitize it to this sound.

To get around this pre-departure anxiety you need to teach your dog that certain cues are not always associated with you leaving the house. Throughout the day you should make a point to pick up the keys without leaving the house. You can follow the same strategy for other potentially anxiety inducing triggers. For example you could get dressed and sit on the couch, instead of leaving the house. These techniques will only work if you commit to them for weeks on end, your dog may have learned to associate certain sounds with separation anxiety for years.  

Most of your dog’s anxious responses will take place within the first 40 minutes of being left alone, so your separation anxiety training should be focused on getting your puppy over this hump. Once you’re sure that your pet can comfortably deal with your absence over this period, you can safely extend your absences to more than a couple of hours with ease.

Additional Tips for Dog Separation Anxiety

Bark Busters has a few extra tips for dog owners that are struggling to establish these training techniques.

  • Try to exercise your dog more frequently. This will help to get them tired out and ready for rest.
  • Give your dog a few special treats when you’re about to leave. Make sure to remove these toys as soon as you return home. This will get your dog to associate your departure with pleasurable sensations.
  • There’s no point in punishing your dog for bad behavior when you come home. Dogs relate punishment to their current behavior so they will be unable to link your actions to their previous misdeeds.
  • Give your dog some much-needed rest between training sessions, and try to take at least one day off per week. About 15-20 minutes per day should be adequate.
  • Try not to put an already anxious dog in a crate, as this will only exasperate their anxiety.

 

Marc Deppe
Master Dog Behavioral Therapist & Trainer
Bark Busters Treasure Coast
Phone: 877-500-BARK(2275)Email: treasurecoast@barkbusters.com
Web: https://dogtrainingtreasurecoast.com/Blog: https://dogtrainingtreasurecoast.com/category/blog/

Third Wheel: Sleeping With Your Pet

Climbing into bed at night with your partner is the perfect time to chat about the day, catch up on tomorrow’s plans, or even have a late-night giggle fest over inside jokes before dozing off to dreamland. These late-night moments are special, and can often lead to a natural romantic interlude… unless your pet is on the bed. Your furry friend is the third wheel when it comes to nocturnal romps, and one of you may have to be the bad guy who kicks the kitty or pup out of bed and out the door. Interruptions can kill anyone’s mood. Dealing with co-sleeping pets takes effort on both you and your partner’s part to ensure that your pup doesn’t put a strain on the relationship.

Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd

The American Kennel Club reported that around 45% of dog owners welcome their pup into bed at night. The benefits of sharing the bed with a canine or feline companion are noted for reducing stress and creating a stronger emotional bond with your fur baby. A warm dog or cat snuggling up to you can help make cold nights cozy. But the benefits may not outweigh the risks when your pet interferes with quality time between you and your partner. A partner may feel neglected if the pet  takes precedence in the bedroom, as if the animal’s presence is more important. If the dog or cat has been in your life prior to your partner, it can sometimes be hard to balance the attention between a new romance and your four-legged best friend. Your pet cannot be neglected, but neither can crucial alone time with your paramour. Make it a priority to spend time with your dog or cat and with your partner. Find ways you, your partner, and your pet can spend time together during the day, so that you two can be alone together at night. Like any relationship stumbling block, communication is the key to negating potential and current conflicts.

The Bed Is Your Territory

Dogs have a natural tendency to be territorial. Making the bed part of their territory can be problematic, if not dangerous. Even the tamest dogs can become aggressive if they feel their territory is threatened. New partners brought to the bed can be seen as a threat to their vulnerable sleeping master. Behavioral trainers note that the dog should be trained to wait to come onto the bed until commanded, establishing the bed as the owner’s, not the dog’s. The dog should stay on the floor while you and your partner are in bed for at least 10 minutes before allowing them to join. This will make it easier to move the dog out of the room when it comes time for people-only snuggles. If the dog has not been invited to the bed for sleeping yet, they will be content to wait outside the door until you are ready for them to come in for the night. If your dog suffers from behavioral issues like stress or anxiety, consider calming supplements as a safe and effective way to calm your pet’s nerves.

Pets and Pest Control

Inviting your dog or cat into bed also has a potentially itchy side effect: fleas. These pests can carry from your pet to you, making your dreamy bed a nightmare. No one will feel in the mood for romance or even have a quiet conversation when being bitten or scratching irksome red bumps. House Method offers a list on how to kill fleas that pets have already brought into bedding, including washing everything from sheets to towels and in between. Washing all linens that may have been exposed to fleas will kill any remaining bugs or larvae. Keep your pet well groomed, and talk to your vet about flea and tick prevention medication like Frontline, K9 Advantix, or Advantage II. Nothing can affect your relationship like the misery of multiple bug bites. Take steps to prevent fleas in your bed and on your pet to avoid the problem altogether.

Caring Is Sharing (Your Pet)

Chances are your dog or cat has a few friends. There may be a “grandma” or neighbor who loves your pet and the chance to dote on them. Many cities have day-cares for active pets to make new pals and play with other animals. When your pet is a third wheel at night, there is a chance they aren’t getting enough exercise, attention or releasing enough energy. To keep your pet on their own bed for an evening that’s guilt-free, take your fur baby to daycare for a day. Or meet a fellow dog-mom or dog-dad at a local dog park, and let your babies get their energy out running leash-free. When your dog is wiped out from a day spent playing, set their favorite toy on their dog bed in a space close to their water bowl, and close the bedroom door. Even the clingiest dogs will be content to nap while you and your partner have alone time in the bedroom. For special date nights or long evenings away from the house, consider hiring a pet sitter to engage your pup or kitty while you are out, or arrange for a night stay at an animal daycare. This way, your pet isn’t sleeping the whole time you are out and waiting to play when you get home. When your furry friend has the attention they need and an outlet for their energy, they won’t demand attention when it’s time to settle down and sleep on their own. This will allow you and your partner the intimate time to make late-night moments happen.

 

Written by Lauren Hailey 06/11/2018