September is a month of changing routines, and pets across the country are adjusting to new schedules as their family members go back to work or school. Unfortunately, some dogs may have trouble adjusting and start acting disruptive or destructive when left home alone. They may resort to urinating and defecating in the house, howling, chewing, pacing or trying to escape from the house or yard. When these issues are accompanied by signs of panic, distress or depression, they may indicate that your pet suffers from separation anxiety.
But we’re here to help! When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to resolve the underlying issue by teaching him to enjoy—or at least tolerate—being left alone. Our experts have put together a list of top tips for helping your pooch overcome separation anxiety. Here’s a sneak peek at their advice:
Doctor Knows Best: The first step in tackling behavior issues is to rule out any underlying medical problems that might be causing your pet’s behavior. For example, if your pet is urinating in the house, he might be suffering from a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, diabetes or kidney disease—all of which can cause urinary incontinence in dogs.
Conquer the Fear: If your pup suffers mild separation anxiety, counter conditioning—or helping your dog associate being alone with something good, like a tasty treat—might reduce or resolve the problem. To develop this kind of association, offer your dog a food dispensing toy (like a Kong) stuffed with food every time you leave the house.
Dogs Need Jobs: Providing lots of physical and mental stimulation is a vital part of treating many behavior problems, especially those involving anxiety. Exercise can enrich your dog’s life, decrease stress and provide appropriate outlets for normal behavior. Plus, a tired dog doesn’t have much excess energy to burn when he’s left alone!
September is Puppy Mill Awareness Month—and we’re gearing up for a really cool event. With Pet360 and Catster, we’re co-hosting a Puppy Mill Twitter Chat to answer ALL of your puppy mill questions. Where do pet store puppies come from? What really happens to mill dogs when they can no longer breed? Is my dog from a puppy mill? How can I help?
In addition to spreading awareness, we’ll be giving away lots of really cool loot—like our puppy mill message tee and tote bag! So join us on Wednesday, September 12, from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. Use hashtag #EndPuppyMills to join the conversation.
As the Southeast continued to cope with flooding in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, ASPCA responders spent Labor Day weekend knee-deep in floodwater saving lives. Because of the efforts of ASPCA responders and others, hundreds of animals—dogs, cats, horses and even deer—are now safe.
In Mississippi, an ASPCA team worked to rescue stranded animals, including a young fawn in Harrison County who became trapped on a small piece of high ground after her mother swam to safety. Just as her patch of land was submerged, our responders arrived to take her to safety. She is now with the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Preservation Society of Long Beach, Mississippi.
Meanwhile in Louisiana five teams—comprised of responders from the ASPCA, Louisiana State Animal Response Team, Texas State Animal Response Team and Calcasieu Parish—together handled search and rescue requests.
A team of responders assisted the coastally situated St. John Parish Animal Shelter in LaPlace, Louisiana, purchasing equipment to deep-clean the kennel after flooding robbed it of most of its space for dogs. St. John’s is getting back on its feet but has severely limited space. In response, the ASPCA transported nearly 70 dogs and cats from St. John’s.
To help local shelters find space to accept animals rescued from flooding, our Animal Relocation team also moved 80 adoptable cats and dogs from Plaquemines Parish and 20 from Jefferson Parish. In total, the ASPCA relocated 90 dogs and 84 cats to shelters with space to care for them: the generous Humane Society of North Texas, SPCA of Texas and the Atlanta Humane Society. (Thank you!)
Our work is not yet complete. If you’re seeking a way to help, you can make a gift to the ASPCA here. The ASPCA relies on the support of compassionate people like you to conduct rescues like this one and to assist animals facing other crises.
Guest blog written by Annette Vivian, author of Snoopy’s Dogblog.
I used to think that in order for my dog to work as a therapy pet he would have to be the most perfect pooch! That was until my mischievous little pup, Snoopy, passed his therapy dog assessment test with flying colors.
Turns out, Snoopy’s playful personality didn’t mean he couldn’t be a great therapy dog. I trained Snoopy to be sociable with children, adults and other dogs from the time he was a puppy. I also took him with me everywhere I went to help him get used to new environments. This allowed him to become relaxed on car rides. Now he loves going out on adventures!
As a therapy dog, Snoopy goes mainly to retirement and convalescent homes. The moment Snoopy walks into the homes, he is greeted with smiles and questions from the residents and staff. Some people just want to sit and pet him, and he would stay all day if he could—he just loves the attention. It really makes my day seeing all the joy he brings to others.
Join the Pet Therapy Twitter Chat! Is your pet perfect for animal-assisted therapy? Join our Therapy Pet Twitter Chat from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. on Thursday, September 6, and find out! Use hashtag #TherapyPets.
If you’ve visited NoPetStorePuppies.com, you already know that Larry the dog, the No Pet Store Puppies campaign mascot, is serious about ending puppy mills.
This October 28, Larry’s going to step up his game and take some real action for dogs in puppy mills. He’s going to raise money for animals, increase awareness about puppy mills, and work off the weight he put on over the summer by running the Los Angeles Rock N Roll Half Marathon as part of Team ASPCA.
Don’t think our giant dog has what it takes to run a half-marathon? Look, we’re not saying it’s going to be easy. Not every canine is cut out for running long distances, especially six-foot-tall spokesdogs who walk on two legs. But Larry’s going to give it his best shot, and now’s your chance to support him.
Larry needs your help to stay focused on the finish line. To see Larry’s video announcement about joining Team ASPCA and to support him in his efforts, visit Larry’s Team ASPCA page.