According to the article, “7 Things You Should Never, Ever Do With a Shy Dog” at HealthyPets.Mercola.com, don’t tie your shy dog outside alone in public, don’t force her into fearful situations to desensitize her, don’t force her to work with an overbearing and dominant trainer, and don’t force her into noisy places with “unpredictable activity.”
There are naturally shy dogs and some who come from an abusive past. Socialization is very important for dogs and should occur between 7 and 14 weeks old. “This is the time period when part of the brain that builds associations is rapidly developing, and it is also the time when dogs can develop fears or phobias,” according to the article, “How Confidence-Building Exercises Can Help Timid Dogs,” at petMD.com.
Confidence building exercises can help timid dogs by retraining their brain along with removing “the fear stigma attached to various situations or things,” the petMD article said.
Start desensitizing with a good training reward treat to use only during the exercises, the petMD article said:
• While on a leash, slowly introduce your dog to the fearful stimulus at a distance to avoid a fear response.
• Your dog should know the scary thing is near but not show fear, and have your dog sit and pay attention. Praise and give treats.
• Get closer next time and repeat. Do this once or twice a day while getting closer each time.
“Your dog will start to build a positive association in his mind between the scary thing and his favorite thing, and pretty soon, your dog may automatically sit and look expectantly at you, waiting for a treat whenever the scary thing is present,” the article said.
Ways to Introduce a New Cat to Your Present Cat at Home
Two cats are better than one, but what do you do when you have one and you bring home a new cat? There are ways to help introduce the two to make the transition go smoothly.
“Throwing two cats into one environment without proper consideration of their positions is just asking for trouble,” according to the article, “Simple Tips for Introducing Two Cats” at Petfinder.com. If done right, you may get two good friends.
According to the article, here are some tips:
• Keep the cats separated in the beginning and put the new cat in an isolated room.
• The room should be like “home” and include litter box, food and water, hiding places, toys, and a scratching post.
• Ensure the cats can smell and hear one another. Feed the cats near the door on either side.
• “After 2-3 days, some cat experts recommend switching the cats’ locations so they can get used to each others’ smells,” the article said.
• Mix their scents by rubbing them with the same towel.
• After a couple more days, play with the cats near the door to build positive associations.
• If all goes well, after a week, have them see each other using a screen door or high baby gate. “Continue feeding, playing with and giving the cats treats within view of the other cats, but don’t force it!” the article said.
• The final step is a supervised face-to-face introduction.
“Once the cats are face to face, though, there will be some kinks for them to work out,” according to the article, “Introducing your new cat to other pets,” at The Humane Society of the United States.
With luck, the cats slowly will find their way together. If you see any aggression you may want to call an animal behaviorist or your vet.
How to Keep Your Pet’s Paws Safe When It’s Over 100 Degrees
When summer comes, temperatures rise, and sometimes the heat makes it dangerous for humans as well as animals. That can make it unsafe to walk your dog or cat on hot pavement. It can be detrimental to your pet’s paw pads causing severe burns.
There are things you can do when you take your pet for important daily walks to keep your pet safe.
According to the article, “Paw Pad Burns on Dogs: What to Do” at petMD.com, when it’s especially hot outside, keep daily walks short “not only to ensure that he doesn’t get overheated, but to avoid painful burns to his paw pads.”
While a dog’s paw pads are meant to be pretty strong, hot concrete can do a number on them. A dog with burns on his paws may limp or cry out. Blisters on burned paws can occur as well.
It’s also very important to take the time of day into consideration when walking your pet. “Take walks in the cooler part of the day — the early morning and evening,” according to the article “How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer” at WebMD.com. “And carry enough water for both of you.”
Additionally, check the pavement yourself before you even think of heading out. As the saying goes, “If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paw pads,” the WebMD article said. Try to find grass to walk your dog, and avoid concrete and asphalt. If you haven’t yet, you can try dog booties as well. If you can find shade to walk under, such as trees, do that as well.
Keep these tips in mind to ensure both you and your pet are safe on your daily walks, and that your pet’s paws stay in tip-top shape.