Monthly Archives: November 2014
Dr. Doris Calloway of Craig Road Animal Hospital in North West Las Vegas in the second part of a two part article discusses excessive barking due to separation anxiety. Part one on general tactics to help when your dog barks more that you think they should can be found here.
By Doris Calloway, DVM
Dogs that are barking due to separation anxiety are usually dogs that don’t start their barking until you leave the house.
They will often bark continuously the entire time you’re gone, or for the first few hours. Dogs with separation anxiety are barking because they are scared and anxious, not because they are willfully misbehaving. Punishing these types of dogs only adds to their anxiety and fear. Would you punish your daughter because she cries when you drop her off at preschool? I could devote multiple blog posts to separation anxiety, but I will just touch on a few things that you can try before involving a veterinarian or a behaviorist.
I recommend crate training dogs with separation anxiety.
Dogs like to have a safe space to retreat to when they are anxious, and a crate provides this space. My dogs often go and hang out in their crates when my toddler has become too much for them to handle. A crate should NEVER be used for punishment. When you ask your dog to go into their crate they should always be rewarded. Crating your dog when you’re not home helps prevent your dog from hurting themselves and has the added benefit of not coming home to chewed up baseboards or kitchen trash everywhere.
Dogs with separation anxiety may benefit from a super special treat that they get only when you leave the house, such as a Kong stuffed with frozen peanut butter.
Adaptil is a product that greatly helps dogs with anxiety.
It is a synthetic version of a pheromone that a mother dog releases when she’s nursing her puppies; it causes an overall calming effect. In my estimation, about 70% of my clients who use this product for stress – thunderstorms, new animals in the house, etc- feel it helps tremendously and helps them avoid medicating their pets. It comes as either a plug in device similar to an air freshener or a collar that your dog wears that releases the pheromone gradually. Many clients at Craig Road Animal Hospital will also place the collars onto their dogs while they are boarding with us. Adaptil products can be purchased through your veterinarian.
If crate training and Adaptil don’t work, the next step may be medication. Have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian, she or he will discuss the medication options available after a thorough physical exam and analysis of your dog’s behavior problems.
What happens if someone reports your dog to Animal Control for barking?
You may get a visit from an Animal Control officer! Try not to worry – It is highly unlikely that your dog will be taken from you. The officer’s goal is really to make sure your animals are safe and well cared for i.e. not barking because they’re left outside all day without water or shelter. Make sure your dogs are licensed with the city – here in Las Vegas or North Las Vegas that requires that they have been spayed or neutered and are up to date on their Rabies vaccine. If your dogs are repeatedly reported, or found to be unlicensed, you may be faced with a fine.
But that’s not going to happen, is it? Because now you know what to do!
Have you successfully trained your dog not to bark excessively? Tell me how in the comments below!
Dr. Doris Calloway, of Craig Road Animal Hospital in North West Las Vegas, in the first of two articles discusses what to do when your dog barks more that you think they should.
By Doris Calloway, DVM
I have a Chihuahua, I know all about living with a dog that barks.
For the most part, I don’t mind it. In my opinion, a dog that barks when a stranger approaches the front door, or if there is a stray animal in the yard, is doing their job. But what about when they are just standing outside barking at nothing? Or if they won’t stop barking at a friend who’s come over for dinner?
The first thing to sort out is whether or not your dog’s barking is excessive “normal” barking or if it’s due to something else, such as physical discomfort or separation anxiety. Are the dog’s physical needs being met? Do they have enough food and water? Are they trying to tell you that they need to go outside to go the bathroom? If they are outside, is it too hot or cold for them to be out there? Some dogs who spend the day outside simply want to be in the house when you’re not home. If you’re concerned about your dog soiling or being destructive in the house, then consider keeping him crated when you’re not home. I highly recommend crate training, as it provides a safe place for your dog inside your house. I will touch more on the benefits of crate training in part two.
If your dog’s barking is a fairly regular occurrence, happens whether or not you are home, and seems to be triggered by the door bell ringing or company at your house, your dog is doing their job. They just don’t know when they have gone too far. I call this type of dog an “excessive normal barker”. Try blocking your dog’s visual barking triggers. Keep the blinds closed to the street, move the couch away from the front window, and place a board across your fence so that they can’t watch the street. If this doesn’t work, it’s time for behavioral training!
I keep a loaded squirt gun in most of the rooms of my house. If George (the aforementioned Chihuahua) starts into one of his barking fits, he gets squirted with water.
However, this method does require you to be home. Another tool I keep in my anti-barking arsenal is a citronella spray bark collar. This is an electronic collar that senses when your dogs barks and sprays a burst of citronella in their face. Dogs hate the smell of citronella and it is an excellent deterrent without using harsher methods, such as electronic shocks. I use a citronella spray bark collar on occasions, like Halloween, when the doorbell rings constantly and there are a lot of people out on the street. I also use the collar when I have company over and he won’t calm down after a few minutes. George is so familiar with this collar that at this point all I have to do is get it out and show it to him and he scurries off to his crate.
If these methods don’t work, it may be helpful to have a trainer come to your house to help you. Your veterinarian will be able to give you recommendations for trainers.
Have you successfully trained your dog not to bark? Tell us how in the comments below!
Luke was a rescue dog from Las Vegas Labrador Rescue.
Luke is an amazing ambassador for any dog owner with his kind nature, level of obedience, as well as ability to make everyone love him. He is well know here at Craig Road Animal Hospital as “the dog that sits in a chair without moving”. His family loves him so much and are amazed that even with Luke’s high level of training, he is still a wonderful family member that has never lost his personality.
Luke’s credentials include:
1. Professionally Trained Demo Dog
2. Dog Blood Donor with his brother, “Mack” on 24/7 Emergency call.
3. On his way to Therapy Dog with Nathan Adelson Hospice Center.
Luke is our Pet of the Month for November 2014!
Osteoarthritis is a common problem in dogs. Dr. Mychajlonka, also known as Dr. Mych – a veterinarian at Las Vegas’s own Craig Road Animal Hospital, in this third and final post in the series, discusses the various pharmaceutical options, and types of treatments that are available to treat this debilitating disease. Part one of this series on Osteoarthritis can be found here and part two which discusses nutraceuticals can be found here.
By Kurt Mychajlonka, DVM
5: Why does my vet wants to give my dog multiple injections over an extended period?
Adequin is an Injectable medication that is labeled as a chondroprotectant – meaning that it prevents, delays, or repairs degenerative joint injuries. Research suggests that Adequin also has pronounced pain relieving qualities. Adequin injections are given once or twice a week for six to eight weeks.
6: Can I use Aspirin, or another human NSAID, instead of one made specifically for dogs?
Your veterinarian is concerned about the possible side effects of NSAIDs specifically made for dogs. With Aspirin and other human NSAIDs the side effects can be significant: mucosal damage, toxicity, and blood loss. In addition, Aspirin is chondrodestructive meaning that it can actually damage the material in the joints that most Nutraceuticals are trying to protect.
7. How can a laser help my dog get around?
Laser therapy stimulates the body to heal from within. It reduces pain and inflammation and accelerates the healing process. Your veterinarian will recommend a series of treatments that will only take a few minutes each time.
8. What are these other medications?
Tramadol, Gabapentin, and Amantadine are all medications that can help relieve the pain of Osteoarthritis. They will often be used in conjunction with NSAIDs and other treatments to help with chronic neuropathic pain.