If you have been working from home and your dog is used to constant company, starting to work outside the house is a huge change. Following these 5 steps on how to reduce separation anxiety in dogs, you can help your pooch transition smoothly into this new lifestyle.
If you don't prepare your anxious dog for longer days alone at home, you might experience a variety of "behavioral problems" due to them trying to cope with the stress of your absence.
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Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Do you know how to spot the behaviors that express your dog’s anxiety of separation? It is quite clear whether your dog is happy or upset, however identifying when canine behavior is stress based versus general mischievousness can take some practice.
If you already have an anxious pup, and you are struggling with any of the below behaviors, it is time to help them reduce their separation anxiety:
1. Get Your Dog Used to a Routine
Dogs feel safe with routines. When the day proceeds in the same order, they know what to expect. If the routine involves you leaving the house and then returning later, they will learn that you will always come back because it's part of the routine. When helping your dog work through their separation anxiety, it is super important to transition into a routine.
A sample routine could be: wake up, feed breakfast, go out for walk, some snuggles, get ready to leave the house, dog walker comes midday to take your dog out, you return to feed dinner, your dog is taken out one last time before bedtime, bedtime snuggles.
Consider that a routine does not require exact times, instead the order of events is what's important. For example, decide if your dog gets fed first or taken out first and stick to that sequence.
2. Practice Leaving the House
Once you have decided on the sequence of your dog's daily routine, practice leaving the house. Start with short periods of time (even as little as 15min) and increase the time daily. The stretches of time you leave the house depends on your pup's personality and what your end goal is.
If you are unsure how Fido is doing when you are out, get a pet cam to check in on his activity when home alone. You might even realize that once gone, your dog stops behaving in a stressed manner and actually settles down for a nap, or to chew one of their favorite toys. It can give you a peace of mind.
3. Don't let Fido Feed off Your Stress
Dog's get anxious in their own right. Some breeds are predisposed to getting anxious, while others have undergone a traumatic experience such as a loss or being maltreated.
As our dog's companion and leader of the pack, we also have a role in their anxiety based on the message we send to our pets. If you are anxious and stressed over leaving the house (this might be a big change for you as well), it's possible to inadvertently signal to your dog that this new routine is scary and dangerous.
4. Make Leaving and Returning a Positive Experience
Getting excited upon returning home to your pooch is a natural reaction for us and our dogs, however leaving can sometimes take on a different tone. Especially if you live with a nervous nancy.
If your dog has separation anxiety, practice on changing the experience of your departure by leaving the house happy and excited. Think about that happy energetic energy you bring upon returning home and act the same way when you are leaving.
Treats can be a helpful tool for food motivated dogs, but overall your body language and tone of voice is the most important part of teaching your dog that leaving is not scary.
5. Hire a Dog Walker
Hiring a regularly scheduled dog walker to come spend time with your dog will make the longer hours at work more bearable. Dog walking has added benefits beyond that of allowing your pup to relieve himself midday. It allows for additional stimulation for your dog, who will look forward to their assigned dog walker to come play with them.
Have your dog walker start a few weeks before going back to work to ensure the relationship is working and that your dog is used to the new routine. That way transitioning out of the house during the day will feel less dramatic of a change when you know the dog walker will be there a few hours later.
Schedule a free consultation with Chicago Urban Pets.
Take it Slowly
It's easy to want our dogs to "go with the flow" and adjust to our life changes on a whim. Just like us humans, dogs have their own personalities and quirks therefore we have to be mindful of the effects of those changes on their wellbeing.
If you have a dog with separation anxiety, it is worth investing time in getting them used to a new schedule. Create a consistent routine, practice leaving the house for periods of time and hire a dog walker who can help you make your dog feel happy and safe when you are at work.
It’s summertime, and that means lots of outdoor fun. But it also means paying close attention to your family dogs to ensure they stay safe in the heat. Keep reading for a quick primer on how to make this summer healthy and comfortable for the various non-human members of your family.
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Keeping Your Dog Safe In The Summer Heat
Dogs love to be outside, but they also get overheated quickly in temperatures in excess of 80°, particularly when humidity is high. And, if you live in the city, temperatures can get even hotter than what the weatherman scrolls across the screen.
Keep an eye on your pet, particularly when the sun is blazing. If you don’t have time to monitor their outdoor activities, Chicago Urban Pets can walk them for you so you don’t have to worry about heatstroke or other sun-related injuries.
Offer Lots Of Water For Hydration
How much water does your dog need during the summer? As much as he wants! According to Just Right, dogs need a minimum of one ounce of water for each pound of their weight. In other words, a 90-pound boxer needs at least 90 ounces of water. If they are super active, particularly when they are outdoors, they may consume one and a half to two times as much.
Steer Clear Of Pavement To Protect Dog's Paws
When you live in the city or suburbs, pavement is part of the package. But if possible, keep your dog’s delicate paws off of non-grassy areas. If you absolutely must expose them to asphalt, concrete, or aggregate, Shallowford Animal Hospital notes that there are many ways to keep them from experiencing a burn, including using paw wax or dog shoes.
Do Not Leave Your Dog (or other pet) In A Hot Car
Need to run an errand but your pup can’t go into the store with you? Leave them at home! Your car heats up much quicker than you think, and it only takes half an hour — even on a mild, 70° day — for your car to reach temperatures in excess of 100°. Each year, many otherwise responsible pet owners lose their beloved companions to heatstroke thinking that a cracked window is enough.
Don’t Shave Your Pet At The Groomers (before consulting your vet)
Dogs, cats, and other animals have fur for a reason. It keeps them warm during the winter but also serves as a way to protect them from the heat during the summer months. Furthermore, shaving your dog may leave them susceptible to sunburn. Talk to your veterinarian about whether cutting down their coat will provide relief or cause more harm than good.
Summer With Your Dogs Can Be So Much Fun!
Summer is a time for fun, but your pet won’t feel that way if they get overheated. The tips above, from hydrating your dog, to keeping your animal’s fur intact, are hot tips for a cool summer. If you still have questions, remember that your veterinarian is the best person to ask about issues specific to your pet.
Chicago Urban Pets is your personal dog walking, cat sitting, overnight-visiting pet care service. If you live in the City of Chicago, CUP has you covered summer, winter, spring, and fall.
Check out pricing here.
Guest Post: Nick Burton
There are two important factors to consider when taking a dog out for a walk. First, that they can go potty and second, to get exercise. As a city pet, our dogs are often constrained to the perimeter of our apartments. Going out often means taking your dog for a walk which can have you wondering how long should dog walks be?
The length of your dog walks depends greatly on the breed, age and health of your dog as well as their personality. Active breeds such as retrievers and hounds can benefit up to 2 hours of dog walking daily (not necessarily all at once), while smaller breeds such as bull dogs or terriers could be happy with 30 minutes of exercise daily.
It's important to remember that going outside doesn't' necessarily mean walking. You can take your smaller dogs to the park or outdoor café and simply hang out. Fresh air is good for both body and soul, even when it comes to our pooches.
Is 30 Minutes Enough For A Dog Walk?
Dog walking services are often at least 30 minutes, including getting your pup geared up and dropping them off. 30 minutes can absolutely be enough time for a midday dog walk, but you need to consider the full day. If you have an active breed that could benefit from more exercise, a 30-minute midday walk will not be enough unless you are taking them on a longer walk in the morning and evening.
Playing fetch at a nearby park or letting them run at a dog park are other ways to get that needed exercise. It's also a perfect solution if you are tiered upon returning from work.
If neither of these options fit your current schedule, hiring a dog walker to come walk your dog for an hour instead of 30min can make a real difference for your mental health and that of your pooch.
Get an idea of what dog walking costs in Chicago by checking out Chicago Urban Pets' Rates.
Can You Walk A Dog Too Long?
Just like the reality of under exercising our pets, walking your dog for too long is a real thing. As a dog owner, you need to ensure that you pick a breed that fits your energy level. A dog that is physically exerting itself can develop injuries and anxiety. Check out this cool Excersice Calculator from barkercise.com.
If you have a dog walker, make sure you communicate with them the length of walks your pup is used to having. For example, if your chihuahua normally only takes 10 min walks then hangs out in the park for the rest of the time, you don't want someone suddenly pushes Mr. Pickles to walk 30min. Instead, share what their routine is so that the dog walker can do the same things.
When hiring a dog walker you should be offered a complimentary meet&greet. At Chicago Urban Pets, the dog walker will take notes that are later input to your client portal for reference. Those notes can be updated at any time. Check out a visual of our client portal here.
How Often Should A Dog Be Walked?
If we are considering walking as a means to go potty, dogs 6 months and older normally need to go out 3x/ day. Mornings between 7am-9am, midday between 12pm-2pm and at night between 6pm-8pm. It is recommended that dogs don't go more than 12 hours at night between potty breaks so if needed, you might consider a quick potty before bedtime if their normal evening walk is on the earlier side.
Some families with smaller dogs choose to have an indoor potty area as well. This can include potty pads or a potty that has either AstroTurf or fresh grass. Indoor potty options for dogs though are often treated as a safety net rather than a status quo. Unlike cats, dogs have not been accustomed to being indoors all day. Taking your pooch out of the house is really important.
The Benefit Of Hiring A Dog Walker
As a dog walker I have firsthand experience to the benefits giving your dog more outdoor time during the weekday. If you work full time, it can be challenging to give your furry family member the attention they oh so greatly deserve.
Here are the benefits I've witnessed families experience by hiring Chicago Urban Pets:
If you have any questions about what it's like hiring a dog walking service feel free to contact us here.
All Sizes And Ages Of Dogs Love Attention
Having a dog when living in the city carries huge benefits for us and is often a mutually beneficial relationship. The challenge of it lies in exposure to outdoor time and exercise. Many of us work full time jobs, and although coming home to our pooch makes it all worth it, hiring a dog walker can really improve your dog's quality of life and health when spending many hours indoors.
So how long should dogs walks be when living in the city? This depends on many factors and is something you will have to consider for your dog. Whether your pup needs a short walk or a long one, all sizes and ages love attention and snuggles. Set up an initial consultation with Chicago Urban Pets to see if we are a good fit for you and your family.
Neglected and abused pets rely on local animal welfare organizations to get them safe, healthy, and into a loving home. However, shelters can’t manage everything on their own. Here are a few ideas from Chicago Urban Pets for ways you can do your part and help all pets find the place where they’re loved:
Start a Nonprofit
Your hard work can help ensure that more animals get the care they need.
Foster Pets in Need
Opening your house to a furry friend, even temporarily, can make a world of difference.
Volunteer With Local Shelters
Shelters are often on the hunt for volunteers for all sorts of work.
We hope this article gives you the inspiration you need to make a change for abandoned and neglected pets in your area. If we all come together, we can move toward a future where every pet gets the love and care it deserves.
Have you recently fostered or adopted a pet and need help with their temporary care? Look no further than Chicago Urban Pets! We offer a variety of services, including dog walking, cat sitting, and overnight visits in the city of Chicago. Set up your appointment online or give us a call at (872) 529-PETS (7387) to connect with one of our compassionate pet caregivers!
Photo Credit: Pexels
written by: Cindy Aldridge
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written by: Carly Lou
The SARS-CoV-2 virus or popularly known as the coronavirus doesn’t seem to stop impacting our life any time soon. Even with the first-generation vaccine out there, some parts of the world, for example, the UK, are still under a strict lockdown to limit the spread. During these weirdly tough times, staying safe from the virus COVID-19 is paramount. This raises some questions; can your pet get the disease? If yes, should you get your pets tested for coronavirus?
COVID-19 in pets has been a subject of research and concern since the first case of the disease caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus was reported in a non-human animal. Well, the short answer to the questions is yes, animals can contract the virus responsible for COVID-19 and no, you don’t have to get your pet tested for Coronavirus. Read on to know why.
Coronavirus Test in Dogs and Cats
Let’s understand what experts have to say about the Coronavirus tests for animals. The lab tests that are done on pets are the ones used for humans. And the problem is there’s a short supply of it. Well, that shouldn’t be a problem if testing pets for coronavirus can aid in stopping the spread and save more lives.
Veterinarians prefer species-specific COVID tests, in fact, some labs have developed species-specific testing methods but they have not been administered broadly yet. So what’s the real deal? Why aren’t there any guidelines on getting your pet tested and quarantine them upon tested positive?
There’s no significant evidence that suggests pets and dogs spread the disease in humans. Also, there are no deaths recorded in pets, especially dogs and cats due to COVID-19.
With that being said, It’s quite clear that testing pets for coronavirus at this point is not going to help in tackling the pandemic but can induce fear among pet owners. Many pet parents have abandoned their pets as well in fear of contracting the virus.
There’s no need to abandon or surrender your pets if your pet has contracted the virus. Tests are available for most types of pets but they are recommended only when your pet is showing any symptoms of COVID-19 and has been exposed to a person with the disease.
What Should You Do When You Feel Your Pet Has COVID-19?
Don’t panic if your dog or cat has symptoms. There are very thin chances of the virus jumping to you from your furry friend. However, you should be more cautious (will discuss it later in this section).
The COVID-19 symptoms are more or less the same for the dogs and cats: vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, lethargy, eye discharge, sneezing, and runny nose.
Clara Lou, the chairperson of CatLovesBest and DogLovesBest advises, “If you observe any of these symptoms in your pet, talk to your vet first. You shouldn’t go to their office without talking to them first over a call as going directly there can expose many people and other animals to the virus.“
Your veterinarian will be able to tell you whether the COVID-19 test for your pet is required or not. As I’ve already mentioned vets usually recommend a test when the pet has symptoms and was exposed to a human with COVID-19.
Here are some pointers for you to consider:
There are cases of Coronavirus reported for dogs and cats. Most of them have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Also, there are no deaths reported in cats or dogs as well. It’s evident that animals in the zoo or pets that tested positive for the coronavirus were in contact with the caretakers with COVID-19.
In a nutshell, there is evidence of a human to animal transmission of the virus but no evidence for an animal to human transmission. Keep all the precautions and pointers in mind when dealing with your pet’s illness or yours.
Conclusively, your pets are not recommended to go through a COVID-19 test. However, you should seek your veterinarian’s help as soon as possible and follow all the instructions strictly.
About the Author:
Clara is a co-founder and the marketing head at Petlovesbest.com. She happens to be an active animal activist in her town who has done a few notable works for the welfare of animals, especially pets. She loves to enjoy writing about pets and animals