Note: the first part of this article appeared in the September edition of Tigard Life. You can find the full article at tigardlife.com/featured/pet-questions.
5). I’m looking for (pick one) a veterinarian, groomer, dog daycare, dog trainer, etc. Who do you suggest?
Yes, we can help you with that! We get to know our professional animal community and would love to connect you.
6). I have a new puppy….H.E.L.P! I don’t know where to start!
We empathize with the excitement and nervousness that comes with being a new puppy owner! We’ll break it down with you, going over products you might need, help you pick foods, training treats and connect you with training gear such as harnesses, leashes, collars and crates.
7). My dog has a lot of anxiety, I don’t know what to do, what do you have?
A lot of dogs show behaviors that we label as “anxious” that are actually normal canine behavior. Think about what you’re noticing and try to think about it from their perspective. Does your dog bark at strangers entering the home? Does your dog get nervous when left alone? Does your dog seem antisocial at the dog park? These types of behavior are actually quite normal. Dogs are pack animals and their genetics requires them to need to keep their pack safe. It’s quite distressing to a dog to have a stranger enter their home, have their people leave for the day, or have to keep their person safe at the dog park while sniffing the surroundings for who has been there. Of course, there will be variances within the breeds, but generally speaking, dogs are happiest and at their best when their people are together with them at home.
This is not to confuse normal behavior with true anxiety. Just like with people, there are many reasons for anxiety. Trauma, such as having to get a new home, can lead to some anxiety especially at first. Dogs are such pack animals, having their pack taken away and a new pack is a big responsibility and confusing. It’s very important to instill calmness and consistency in their day and routine. It’s amazing, really, how well they manage this type of stress. If it’s been several months and your new dog is experiencing what you feel is more than normal stress, it’s likely time to get some help. A good, positive-reinforcement dog trainer who can help with confidence building. Find a trainer who only uses positive reinforcement. We don’t believe in trainers recommending citronella, shock or prong-collars in their training, as it can set your pup back and reinforce fear. Many pet owners tell us they feel their dog does better on these types of products, however, we believe they have raised a very compliant dog who isn’t able to express themselves properly, which then can create other types of anxiety.
8). I need help finding food for a specific health condition. What do you have?
These requests are our forte, however, please know we’ll never want to take the role of your veterinarian. If, however, we believe we can work within the guidelines of what your veterinarian is requesting, we are happy and generally able to do so!
9). My cat is having litter box issues. Why?
There are many reasons for this. First, it’s important to rule out a urinary tract infection. If this has been ruled out, here are other factors to consider:
a) New litter or new litter box can cause stress to the cat. If you are using a new litter, change it out gradually by mixing with the old litter over the course of several days.
b) Placement of the litter box can cause stress. Is it near a high traffic area? Consider moving it to a more secluded space.
c) Did something stressful happen, such a loud noise, even once, while your cat was in the litter box? Sometimes cats will associate that stress with what they were doing at that time and then become scared.
d) Do you have a cat that has a hard time getting into the box or to where the box is due to injury or old age? You might need to move the box to an easier location or get a box that is easier to get in to.
When all else fails, there are products that can help attract your cat to their box and/or products that can help with stress.
I hope that you have found some value in this article if you are experiencing any of these concerns with your pet. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns and I am always willing to do my best to help!