Archives for 2018

Pet Care Tips During Fireworks

Dogs & Fireworks Pet Safety Tips

Does your pet cower, quiver, behave frantically or become destructive in response to noise? Noise phobia triggered by fireworks, garbage trucks, and thunder storms need behavior modification. You can temporarily address these problems quickly with a few pet precautions.

Pets exhibit noise phobia differently and so while some critters might just hide under furniture, many may become destructive to the environment and often injure themselves as well. All negative responses come from diverse triggers and the age of your pet, socialization, experience, and breed can also influence their reactions.

Accidental reinforcement can escalate the symptoms of this pet problem so avoid cuddling, petting, holding, and attempting to physically relieve the stress. Good verbal reassurance is okay as it doesn’t usually reinforce stress behavior.

Generally, animals with an established history of problems will likely worsen while elderly animals may get better simply because they lose their hearing. There are ways to work through noise phobia exhibited before and during thunderstorms or throughout firework displays, but it takes time and preparation. In the meantime use some quick tips and tools to address the problem behavior prior to any holidays or events where fireworks are prevalent.

Quick Tips:
• Keep your animals inside during the fireworks event and for a few days to a week prior to the holiday.
• Make sure you have a tag with current information on your pet during this time.
• If you take your animal outside for toileting or any other activity, make sure he or she is under physical restraint via a collar and leash.
• Leave your pets safely at home instead of taking them to picnics or other holiday events.
• Play music or turn on a radio station with soothing music to help mask outside noises.
• Buy a plug-in Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) dispenser. This permeates the air and helps reduces fear and anxiety.
• Keep your pet busy with activities or chew items before the height of noise making occurs.
• Create a safe haven. If your animal is habituated to a crate, you may want to provide access for security. Some animals want to hide and will feel safe in a favorite spot, like under the bed. You can create sleeping bag tunnel or similar option for them.
• Plan a party and play instead of participating in other events. Making new traditions can be fun and helpful for your pet.
• Consider boarding your pet at a professional kennel for the holiday.
• Be sure to also watch guests–an open door or gate can provide an opportunity for animals to bolt outside.
• When you can, hire a behavior professional to help you solve noise phobia for the long term.
• Pet owners should always check with their veterinarian or behavior specialist before using any drugs or tranquilizers. Ask your veterinary medical professional for his or her recommendation about melatonin, an oral neurohormone, or additional suggestions on psycho-pharmaceuticals which might provide help for sensitive animals.
• If you prefer alternative therapies, don’t just decide to do it on your own as animals are sensitive. For best advice, contact a holistic veterinarian about flower remedies or essences. Five Flower® or Rescue Remedy® are two essences often used to help reduce anxiety and when properly used, some essential oils may be helpful.

Questions? Click here to leave your question now.

About ARKlady: Diana L Guerrero (aka ARKlady) lives on the Central Coast of California by the sea. An author, animal whisperer and wildlife interpreter, her first word was “fish.” Known locally as “DGinPG,” she is a friend of the furred, feathered and finned. With a goal of enriching the lives of animals (both wild and tame) and empowering the humans that love them, she shares a lifetime of professional experience and specialty training with animal lovers–who are not only passionate about animals but that want to make a difference in their lives and in the world in which they live. Is that is you? Consider this an invitation to join Diana for a new type of animal adventure–those designed to change animal lives and to change yours in the process.

Service Dog Fraud

Service Dog Book

Service dog fraud and other bad behavior are on the rise and I’ve been meaning to write about the service dog issue for a while.

The original thought was triggered by a phony “service dog trainer” here in my area and the many “service dogs” that she was churning out.

Dogs that growled and lunged aggressively at other animals and at people.

In case you don’t know, service dogs don’t usually misbehave because they are highly trained and socialized working animals–but nobody around these parts seems to care.

The final straw on this camel’s back was the “service dog” I encountered at my favorite coffee house.

It was a chow fully outfitted in a mail order jacket and patch–wearing a muzzle because it was unsafe in public.

It also wasn’t doing its owner any type of service at all–the paraphernalia the dog wore was fraudulent.

Now I am not the only one whose hackles were raised by this topic.

Earlier in the summer (2010) the bloggers at Pet Connection (now defunct) tackled the subject of service dogs and also fake service dogs.

Then I stumbled upon two posts having to do with service animals on Dog Spelled Forward (also now defunct)  that opened up a discussion on this topic as did The Horseand so I took it as a sign that it was time to do a short rant on this topic.

Today it is February 6, 2018 and this topic has hit the news triggered by some beastly behavior of pet owners who don’t get why their pets are not really service animals.

A few snippets in the new included:

Because there are a lot of people who claim to have service dogs that don’t. They feel like they can be the exception to the rule.

Fake documentation exists and so people try and get away with claiming this all the time.

In fact, someone I know just complained to me that when she tried to get her doctor to give her a note so she could get her dog into public places without an issue, he refused.

Thank goodness for integrity from someone!

Now, if you don’t know much about this topic, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 with the goal of alleviating discrimination against individuals with physical or mental disabilities and part of that act included allowances for specially trained dogs and other service animals–but lots of things were not super clear.

In fact, there were some things in the ADA that needed change, and over time, a few edits have happened.

The most recent occurred in July of 2010 when a series of changes were made to existing regulations that will take effect in 2011.

Among the changes is a more restrictive definition of “service animal.”

The new regulation states, in part, that:

“service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.”

So crime fighting animals or those mistakenly listed under the “provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship” are not acceptable or qualifying tasks for a service animal.

That helps and was discussed further here–but not being able to ask for proof that an animal is a service dog will still remain a problem.

The upside at least is that some of those people can be asked to leave:

Places of public accommodation may ask individuals seeking to be accompanied by an animal: (i) if the animal is required because of a disability; and (ii) what task or work the animal has been trained to do. Places of public accommodation are prohibited from requiring proof of service animal certification or licensing. Places of public accommodation may remove a service animal if it is “out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it” or the animal is not housebroken.

For those who have asked, here are some of the groups that do supply support, guidance and referrals to trainers and evaluators for specific service dogs.

So, now it is time for you to chime in–what do you think about all this?

This article first appeared September 7, 2010. Latest update February 6, 2018. Please leave your comments over on the ARKlady page.