August 13, 2014
Today’s podcast issue is well, just that...behavioral issues. We’re looking at behavioral modification from both the medical and training angles.
Some of the common concerns Dr. Patrick Mahaney and I tackle are:
- Separation anxiety:
Separation anxiety is frustrating and there's often no easy fix. What really works? What are the current medication recommendations when training and other behavioral methods don't work. Are there really more anxious pets or are pet anxiety issues just more often diagnosed than they were 10 years ago?
- Litterbox issues:
With inappropriate urination and defecation being the leading causes of cats being surrendered to shelters, any special tips or tricks you can recommend to owners struggling with litterbox problems?
- Canine inappropriate behaviors:
What trends are you finding helpful in the management or correction of inappropriate canine behaviors like excessive barking, chewing, digging, scratching, etc?
- Finding a trainer:
Do you have any "must-have" recommendations for pet parents that are looking for a trainer or behaviorist? What sorts of professionals do you recommend and who should we avoid? (link mentioned: American College of Veterinary Behaviorists)
Click on the link below to hear the audio:
Podcast: Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney Problem Behavior 2014
Congratulations to Dr. Mahaney's dog, Cardiff, on his 9th birthday and chemo completion! For additional information on the Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research Foundation, visit their website.
August is Solving Problem Behavior Month
Other posts by Dr Patrick Mahaney
August 06, 2014
It wasn’t until we started talking about the idea of “problem behaviors” here in the office that I realized I’ve chalked a lot of my dog Kayden’s behavior issues up to personality quirks. From fear-motivated barking to submissive urination, I’d just shrugged these issues off as “eh, could be worse. Not worth worrying about.”
A “wanted” poster was made by a fellow Embracer after Kayden peed on our office yoga instructor. That’s the definition of embarrassing behavior.
But, at best, problem behaviors are an annoyance to me and everyone around my pet. At worst, problem behaviors can be dangerous for person and pets alike. That’s why we’re dedicating August to addressing these idiosyncrasies that all of our pets have and looking at solutions through management, training and even medication.
Ready to help your pet mind their p’s and q’s? We’ve got a foundation of great resources on pet behavior and training, with more to come this month.
July 28, 2014
As they say, it takes a village to raise a baby, or in this case, a blog. My good friend, Embracer Lea
, is going to help out with the Embrace blog so you'll be seeing more of her excellent posts here to keep our content fresh and relevant.
I can't think of anyone more qualified at Embrace to help out with the blog than Lea. She was hired at my kitchen table back in early 2006 when we didn't have an office to speak of (I'm pretty sure my cat Barnes sat on her lap to give encouragement during the interview). She then started off in the Contact Center selling many of you early Embrace family your policies - she really knows our policies from the ground up.
Over the years since, she has gained a husband, a degree, two dog's, a house, a daughter, and has another child on the way. She's also used her Embrace pet insurance policy a lot. And she's been helping us with our web content over most of that time in one form or another, starting with the Embrace Pet Community blog to helping out with the Water Bowl and now sprucing up the Embrace blog. We're lucky to have her.
Make sure to give Lea a warm welcome to the Embrace blog - I know I am!
July 16, 2014
Today’s podcast topic is pet safety, which can cover a multitude of areas. Safety in the home, safety interacting with other people and dogs, safety in different environments.
The questions Dr Patrick Mahaney and I tackle are:
- Recently a friend told me that it was OK to leave his dog in the car if it was in the shade with the windows down a crack. Can you give us some facts on internal/external temperatures of a car so show that’s just not going to help
- Can you talk about the Yellow Dog Project? It’s big out in Colorado
- Any suggestions on important first aid type items to keep on hand for your pets? [link mentioned http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pet_first_aid_kit.html] Can you do the Heimlich Maneuver on your dog?
- Where’s an official place to get alerted about pet food recalls? Often the press releases are put out late Friday afternoon and I might miss an important one (fda site) [link mentioned www.thetruthaboutpetfood.com]
- I have big dogs so don’t crate them in the car. What do you suggest for car safety while traveling? [link mentioned
The most frequent accident claim we see at Embrace is swallowing of a foreign object. Can you go over how to prevent and what to do if your dog or cat swallows something he/she shouldn’t
- What guidelines do you suggest for dog chew toys to stay safe?
Click on the link below to hear the audio: Related Posts July is Pet Safety Month at Embrace Guest Post: dog walking safety by Dr Rex Riggs Podcast: considering pet safety by Dr Patrick Mahaney Other posts by Dr Patrick Mahaney
Podcast: Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney Pet Safety 2014
July 07, 2014
Yea it is summer! Wow, was that the worse winter you can remember? Well, now we all are doing as much as possible outside as we can, and that includes doing a lot of those things with our dogs. Taking a walk with a dog is one of the best therapies I know to wind down after a hard day at work. The serene evening hours, to me, is the best time to take a stroll. But….be aware, danger may be right around the corner.
Many of us live in areas that have no sidewalks, so we often use the streets. I am an avid cyclist, so I know all too well, of the dangers on the road. People really don’t pay that much attention while they are driving. You need to be visible, even in daylight and almost to the obnoxious extreme, to make sure people know you are there. I have 2 lights in the front, two in the back on my bike and I dress head to toe in dayglow green cycling gear (sorry for the mental image!). You can definitely see me!
The same thought for safety should be on your mind for you and your dog. There is a plethora of reflective dog accessories out there. A reflective leash is a great thing to have. It moves as you walk and therefore really catches the attention of drivers. My favorite tool is a small “blinky” light that can be attached to the collar. A flashing red or white light is the most effective way to tell people you are there. You can find these inexpensive lights at your local bike shop and some pet stores. They are great!
One item I think people often forget is to put something on the “rear bumper” of your dog. I recommend the reflective pant leg wrap people who commute to work on their bike use, to keep their pant legs out of their chain. These work great and most dog don’t mind them.You may need to modify them, but it easily done with some self-adhesive Velcro and scissors. Perhaps even a reflective vest for your dog; just make sure it is made of a breathable fabric.
Remember your dog thinks you are wonderful and will do anything for or with you for as long as you want to do it, even on hot and/or humid days so please be aware of the potential for your dog overheating. The dog tongue is a radiator of sorts, and is the only way a dog can cool itself. When temperatures get in the 80 to 90s, panting becomes pretty inefficient. So pay attention to the amount of panting your dog does and if he looks thirsty, he is. Another thing I learned from cycling, if you wait to drink when you are thirsty, you already are dehydrated. So make sure you dog stays well hydrated.
Make sure you also pay attention to the dog’s feet. If you can walk on grass instead of asphalt, do it. Remember we have shoes on. Our dogs don’t. Asphalt and concrete are very abrasive and can wear pads down. Again, remember, you are the king or queen of the universe to your dog and they will not stop until you do. I had a client training for a marathon and ran on a bike path. Her dog would go a short distance with her. One day she noticed her dog, a lab, limping after a run and notice some bloody foot prints. Being a loyal lab, he had completely worn off the pads on all 4 paws. I just want you to know, this person was a very conscientious dog owner and didn’t go a distance that any one of us would not have gone, so just be aware.
So enjoy the summer and get outside, but pay attention to your dog's safety and comfort. Don't let your daily stroll turn into a visit to the veterinary emergency room.
Related Posts July is Pet Safety Month at Embrace Guest Post: dog walking safety by Dr Rex Riggs Podcast: considering pet safety by Dr Patrick Mahaney Other posts by Dr Riggs