- My Dog Has Wind - How To Help Flatulence In Dogs - Peak Pets

My Dog has Wind – How to Help Flatulence in Dogs

My Dog has Wind – How to Help Flatulence in Dogs

Wind is a normal bodily function in both humans and dogs. A build-up of gas in the intestine causes flatulence, usually occurring whilst the body is trying to break down food.

Gas, although unpleasant, is usually not a cause for concern in our pets. However, if it becomes a persistent issue, there are many home remedies that should ease your dog’s discomfort.

A small number of medical conditions are associated with flatulence in dogs; which may indicate your dog is actually in pain. Although this is very unlikely, it is worth bearing in mind should the flatulence persist. If the wind is accompanied by prolonged sickness and diarrhoea, you should seek assistance from your vet immediately.

The Signs of Flatulence in Dogs

  • Excessive rumbling or sounds from the abdomen
  • Swollen stomach and bloating
  • Regular expulsion of gas from the anus

The Causes of Flatulence in Dogs

There are a variety of causes of flatulence in dogs.

The least sinister reason may simply be that they are inhaling too much food as they are eating. This is likely to be because they are giddy and excited to get their food; and can be resolved by feeding your dog smaller portions more often throughout the day.

This can also be helped by investing in a specifically designed bowl to ensure your dog eats more slowly. If flatulence is caused by your dog inhaling air, the wind should be relatively odourless.

Alternatively, flatulence may be due to certain foods that are making their way into your dog’s diet. There are many foods that dogs will struggle to digest, including peas, beans, and milk, causing your dog to expel excess gas.

Many budget dog foods will use milk and other dairy products to thicken the gravy, and many dogs are lactose intolerant. So, switching to a more premium dog food may be a quick fix to your flatulence issues.

Keep a close eye on any snacks and treats your dog is being fed throughout the day, which may be causing excess gas. Additionally, if you have recently switched your dog’s food, and have noticed a considerable increase in wind, then you will have likely found a quick and easy fix to your issues.

There are also a few, uncommon, more sinister reasons for flatulence in dogs, including viral infections, parasites, and bowel disease.

Some Breeds will have More Wind

Flatulence is much more common among certain breeds of dog. Short-nosed dogs such as bulldogs and boxers suffer greatly from excess gas, as the nature of their face means they inadvertently inhale excess gas during dinnertime.

How to Know if the Wind is Causing Pain

If the gas is prolonged or excessive, it is likely your dog is suffering from at least a small level of discomfort. However, unlike humans, dogs do not have the power to communicate this verbally, so the discomfort or pain often shows itself in the dog’s behaviour.

Often dogs will become lethargic and sleep more, showing little interest in things they usually love. However, some dogs show increased irritability and aggression and can begin chewing furniture and other objects in a bid for attention.

Treatments for Flatulence

The most straightforward fix for your dog will be to ensure they have no access to any scraps or excessive treats. On the most part, dogs should not be consuming food made for humans, especially those that are heavily seasoned. Restricting them to their dinner bowl should help resolve your dog’s flatulence issues. Foods such as vegetables present no serious dangers for your dog, but can have stinky repercussions.

If this is not effective, you may want to consider changing up their diet. As mentioned, cheaper dog foods often bulk their meat out with wheat or milk, both of which dogs cannot usually digest. Do not assume that just because a food is labelled as hypoallergenic, it will cure your dog’s flatulence issues; it entirely depends on your pet’s circumstances.

Consider adding probiotics into your dog’s daily routine to help their digestive system function fully.  Probiotics will help support good gut health in your pet.

Increase your dog’s activity level. Dogs may suffer from digestion problems, which lead to excessive wind if they are not getting enough exercise. Stick to a regular walking routine with your pet to ensure everything is working as it should.

It may be the case that your dog was born with or has developed a food allergy which is causing the flatulence, and undoubtedly a great deal of discomfort. Your vet should be able to run routine tests for this simply, and if this is the case the issue should be quickly resolved by eliminating the food.

One Step at a Time

When making dietary changes or adding in supplements to your dog’s diet and routine, make sure you make one change at a time.

This way, you will be able to see the reason for any changes in your pet, helping to develop long lasting habits that prevent the flatulence reoccurring.

When to See a Vet About Wind

When your dog has flatulence, it can be difficult to know when to visit your vet.

You should have already tried everything mentioned above, such as changing their diet. You should also ensure they have not had any ‘treats’, have no access to any scraps from the dinner table, and have a regular exercise routine. If you have implemented these changes but the wind continues, it is time to see a vet.

A vet will diagnose any possible allergies or anything more sinister that may be lying beneath. They may also simply be able to assure you that what you are experiencing is entirely normal.

Your vet will more than likely ask you for a sample of the dog’s stool, as well as details of their current diet and exercise regime.

If flatulence is paired with vomiting or diarrhoea, it is always best to seek a vet’s advice.

 

- Hypoallergenic Dogs – Fact Or Fiction? - Peak Pets

Hypoallergenic Dogs – Fact or Fiction?

Hypoallergenic Dogs – Fact or Fiction?

Hypoallergenic; ‘relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction’.

Hypoallergenic dogs are hugely sought after across the UK and throughout the world. With so many of us being allergic to dogs, the prospect of a fun family pet that does not cause allergy flare-ups is extremely inviting.

There appears to be a myth that dogs who do not shed hair are hypoallergenic, and therefore will not cause your allergies to spike.

Whilst short-haired dogs may cause slightly more tame reactions; they will inevitably still affect those who are allergic. This is because it is not just shedding hair that causes reactions in people. Urine, saliva, and dead skin can all irritate humans, causing severe allergy flare-ups.

Choosing a dog that suits your tastes and your family needs is difficult at the best of times. Throw allergies into the mix, and the task can seem almost impossible.

But fear not, you can have a happy family life with a dog without the need to sacrifice your ability to breathe. Although no fully hypoallergenic dog exists, there are many steps you can take to allow you and the pup to live together happily.

Why People are Allergic to Dogs

Many humans are allergic to a protein that is found in dogs saliva and urine. As a dog naturally grooms themselves, they will lick their body, and so the protein will attach itself to the hair and skin.

As the hair sheds, the allergens can quickly spread throughout the home, increasing human reactions. Additionally, your dog will naturally shed dead skin, which will almost unnoticeably be dispersed around the house, causing your allergies to flare.

This explains why, although shorter-haired dogs are generally kinder on allergy sufferers, there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog.

The Best Dogs for Allergies

Whilst no single breed of dog is 100% hypoallergenic; there are undoubtedly breeds which are less likely to cause you a reaction. These include the Maltese, Miniature Schnauzer and Poodle.

Yet, every person, every allergy, and every pet are different, so be sure you spend some extensive time with the pup before committing to bringing them home. Otherwise, it can lead to an abundance of disappointment for yourself, your family, and the dog.

The size of the dog will certainly make a difference purely down to its surface area. A large dog will naturally shed more skin and hair, resulting in your allergy reaction being more significant.

Beware of Marketing Ploys

In the past 20 years, the world has seen a boom in ‘designer dogs’.

With changing trends, these dogs are crossbred to look a certain way to meet today’s societal standards. However, as well as looking the part, many breeders also promise an allergy-free life with your new pet.

As stated above, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, so beware of these fraudsters. What they are promising is not only wrong but profoundly unethical and unfair on both you and the puppy!

Those with Allergies who Still Want a Dog

Whilst there is no guarantee that you will be allergy-free around a pet, there are plenty of steps you can take to make life more comfortable if you are sure that being a dog owner is for you.

Try Before You Buy

If you have any family members or friends with a breed you are hankering after, ask if you can dog sit for a few days, or at least spend a few days around their home. This will get you used to the dog and how your allergies react. If you only experience mild symptoms, you will likely be able to live simultaneously with your new pet and your allergies.

If you are adopting, the shelter will generally be more than happy for you to take the dog for the day to see how your relationship blossoms. This is an excellent opportunity to see how your allergies hold up.

Hard Floors

Carpets are notoriously difficult to clean. They can easily trap dog hairs which can be very difficult to remove. Wooden or tiled floors mean you can get a more in-depth and effortless clean, quickly removing skin and hair which could lead to an allergy flare-up.

Air Purifiers

These are a great addition to the home to help clean the air. They can help remove particles from the atmosphere leaving the home feeling and smelling great. However, please be aware these only clean the air and are not a substitute for regular cleaning and vacuuming.

Clean, Clean, and Clean Some More

Allergies aside, cleanliness is essential, but even more so in this circumstance.

It would be best to regularly clean your pets bed, blankets, and soft toys, which harbour bacteria such as saliva. Be sure you use chemical-free cleaners around the home, especially on the floors and surfaces that your pup is likely to lick.

It would help if you also shampooed your dog once per week, in order to remove any shedding hair and to keep them smelling great. Be sure to use gentle shampoo, particularly important for puppies.  

No Licking

As mentioned, allergies are often caused by dog saliva. Whilst it is a common, yet quite annoying habit of many dogs, you must train your dog not to do this.

No Bedroom Policy

If possible, implement a strict no bedroom policy for your dog. This allows you to create a haven where you can almost guarantee an allergy-free relax.

You may choose to take this one step further and not allow your pet on some furniture items such as the sofa, limiting the chances of your allergies flaring.

Final Thoughts on Hypoallergenic Dogs

Promoting overall wellness in your dog will help reduce the reaction of your allergies. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and the incorporation of multi-vitamins will help encourage healthy skin and hair in your pet.

The main takeaway should be that this is not a one size fits all solution. Your situation will ultimately depend on the level of your allergies, the individual dog, and your home. Just be sure to make a well-rounded and informed decision before taking the plunge.

Remember, allergies do not mean it is the end of your dog-owning dream.

- How To Treat A Dog For An Upset Stomach - Peak Pets

How to Treat a Dog for an Upset Stomach

How to Treat a Dog for an Upset Stomach

When your dog has an upset stomach, it can be challenging to know what to do for the best.

Upset stomach presents itself in various ways, ranging from fatigue and irritability through to vomiting and diarrhoea. An upset stomach can often be treated at home, but if the symptoms are prolonged and you are concerned about your pet’s safety, seek assistance from a vet as soon as possible.

The Symptoms of an Upset Stomach

It is crucial that you first establish that it is an upset stomach that your dog is suffering from. Whilst this might sound straightforward, there are many more symptoms associated with an upset stomach in dogs than you might initially assume.

The most common symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, and significant changes in appetite. However, your dog may also be licking the floor, eating grass and drooling, which are all also signs of an upset stomach.

First, Determine if You Should Treat at Home

There are also many severe symptoms and side effects associated with an upset stomach in dogs. If your dog is continuously vomiting, is dry retching, has ongoing diarrhoea, or bloody stool, you should immediately contact a vet.

Ensuring that your dog has a regular worming treatment will help prevent any added stomach issues. Additionally, if your dog is a regular scavenger, ensure they don’t have access to anything that could be toxic if it falls into their mouth.

Find the Culprit

Most people are aware of the common allergies dogs have. Chocolate, grapes, and onions are all well-known toxins to dogs. But there are plenty of other household items that you should also keep out of reach of your pets.

For example, many house plants can be hazardous. If you have plants in the home, it is worth investigating if you have any missing leaves, which would be a clear reason for the upset in your pup. 

You should also look in your rubbish bags to see if your pet has stolen something you were not aware of.  

Hydrate Your Pup

Once you have determined that your dog’s condition is treatable at home, the first step is to rehydrate them. If your dog has had diarrhoea and vomiting, it can only take a couple of hours for them to become severely dehydrated.

It is likely that they will not be inclined to go near their water or food due to the upset stomach, so you should feed them ice chips every 1-2 hours. The crunchy texture may make them more motivated to eat and is a great way to add hydration back into the body.

Ice chips also discourage your dog from gulping vast amounts of water too quickly, which can lead to further vomiting. Once your dog has kept down the ice chips for a few hours, you may consider reintroducing water.

Fast the Dog

Many pet owners feel terrible doing this but have to learn it is for the greater good. Restricting access to food for 12-24 hours gives time for your dog’s stomach to empty. If your dog is still vomiting and yet continues to eat, the sickness will likely continue.

12 – 24 hours should give the stomach plenty of time to empty, and for the dog to take on ample fluids to rehydrate. It would help if you then reintroduced small amounts of bland food to see how your dog reacts. If the sickness or diarrhoea starts again after the fast, you should contact your vet for urgent assistance.

Consider Changing Your Dogs Diet

If stomach upset is a regular occurrence, it might be time to change your pet’s diet.

This could be due to an allergy your dog has developed or an intolerance to the food. Place the dog on a bland diet for a while, before introducing different food and seeing how they react. A bland diet of plain rice and boiled chicken, with no seasoning, is a great place to start. It might be a case of trial and error for a few days, while you reintroduce pet food back into their regular diet.

As always, if vomiting or diarrhoea persists, contact your vet who will be able to assist with curating an ideal diet for your dog.

Introduce Probiotics

When reintroducing food to your dog’s diet after an episode of upset stomach, make sure you choose small bland meals, spread throughout the day.

You may also want to consider introducing probiotics into your dog’s feeding routine, which can help digestion, reduce bloating, and decrease gas. As a bonus, they also help with any bad breath your dog may be susceptible to.

Rest and Recover

Although exercise is great for your dog’s overall health, it is worth laying off the walks for a few days until their stomach settles.

Ensure they have regular access to the garden as they will likely need to use the bathroom more often than usual. But for now, avoid strenuous walks which will upset their already tired stomach further.

A few good night’s sleep and plenty of hydration should see your dog back to their usual happy self in no time.

Upset Stomach in Puppies

In puppies, an upset stomach is much more common, because puppies can be very greedy, often eating large portions at a blistering pace. This can be resolved by feeding your puppy smaller amounts throughout the day, preventing their bodies from having to digest significant quantities at once.

Additionally, puppies get very bored and often decide to eat unassuming items around the house. Small objects can be difficult for them to pass and can result in very upset stomachs. Try to keep any little items out of reach and if you suspect your pet has accessed something toxic in the bathroom or kitchen, call your vet immediately.

In puppies, most stomach upsets will be cured by rehydrating and limiting food for a short period. However, if the issues are prolonged, such as a bloated abdomen, vomiting, or even seizures, you should immediately contact a vet.

- How To Know If Your Dog Is Lonely - Peak Pets

How to Know if Your Dog is Lonely

How to Know if Your Dog is Lonely

Whilst most of us would love to stay at home enjoying the company of our pup, the reality is that modern life does not always grant us this pleasure.

Whether you work a 9-5, are going for a night out with friends, or simply need to run some errands, having the confidence that your dog is safe and comfortable is essential.

Do Dogs Feel Lonely?

Any dog owner will appreciate the spectrum of emotions that our pets feel.

Dogs will show us when they are excited, happy, and even express mischievous feelings. Unfortunately, that means they can powerfully feel loneliness.

Expectedly, loneliness and boredom often fall hand in hand. If your dog is left on their own for large parts of the day, they will likely experience both of these emotions.

How Will Your Dog Show They are Lonely?

Your dog does not understand where or why you are going when you leave the house.

Although you should aim for your pet to get used to your regular comings and goings, it can often throw them off and leave them distressed when they see you heading out for the day.

Dogs cannot tell us how they feel, so often their emotions shine through in various other ways.

Destructive Behaviour

Destructive behaviour is often the upset and frustration of your pet presenting itself. As difficult as it is, you should try to refrain from punishing your pet for this behaviour, which will usually only make the situation worse.

Reduced Appetite

If your dog feels lonely or even depressed, they will likely be off their food. If you find that you are returning from work and breakfast is still sitting in the dog bowl, this might cause concern.- How To Know If Your Dog Is Lonely - Peak Pets

Accidents

Loneliness is a strong emotion, and it can have a variety of side effects. It can leave your dog feeling agitated and can result in them having accidents around the home. If accidents begin to happen seemingly out of the blue, it is common that your dog is experiencing loneliness or anxiety.

Lethargic and Sleeping More

Similar to humans, dogs that are lonely or anxious may sleep more. As a coping mechanism to deal with their emotions, they turn to their bed more often.

They will also be less enthusiastic about playing and walking, even when you have returned home from your day out.

How to Help Ease the Loneliness

Whilst tips such as ‘pop home during the day’, ‘work from home where you can’, or ‘take your dog to work’ are all great ideas, they are simply not possible for every person.

Here are some simple techniques you can implement immediately to make your dog feel less lonely whilst you are away.

Create a Safe Place

Whilst some dogs can be trusted with free reign of the whole home all day, others cannot cope with this. Creating a designated dog zone in the home not only helps prevent damage to your belongings but makes your dog feel more comfortable.

A safe zone in the home with your dog’s favourite things such as toys and blankets will help them enjoy their solo time rather than spending the day pining for your return.

Baby gates are an easy and inexpensive way to cordon off parts of the home where you are happy to leave your pet.

Calming Supplements

If your dog is showing anxious tendencies such as destructive behaviour, introducing calming supplements could be beneficial. Calming supplements should be taken daily, and within a few weeks of regular consumption you should see a drastic reduction in your pets anxiety. 

Don’t Rush Your Dog in the Morning

Spend some quality time with each other before you leave for work each day. Ensuring that your dog has had a decent walk before you leave them alone makes it more likely they will enjoy a snooze and relax whilst you are away.

Additionally, make sure they have eaten their breakfast and had plenty of time to do their business. Dogs get restless and destructive because they are uncomfortable. If they have messed in the home, they will undoubtedly become agitated, which can lead to further destruction.  

Keep the Blinds Slightly Open

Although you will unquestionably value the privacy of your home, allowing your dog to get a glance of the great outdoors will help ease their boredom and possible anxieties whilst you are away.

However, be aware that if your dog is a regular barker, this may cause a nuisance to your neighbours, as your dog is likely to be more vocal whilst you are out of the home.

Provide Distractions

As humans do, your dog will inevitably feel lonely if they have nothing, and no one to occupy their time alongside.

KONG toys are a great tool which should keep your dog occupied for long periods, with the bonus of a treat upon completion. If your dog finds the KONG toy easy, try freezing for added difficulty. Chews will also keep them distracted for a while but be sure to choose something with no choking hazards.

There are many pet puzzles on the market, which should keep your pet busy on the days you cannot be at home. Providing plenty of treats, toys, and distractions will help prevent your dog from being lonely.

TV and Radio

Leaving on the television or radio, on a low volume all day, will provide your dog with a distraction and help ease loneliness. It can also help drown out any noises that might be going on outside, making your dog feel less agitated and decreasing the chances of them barking.

Camera in the Home

Although an extreme measure, a camera in the home can give you a glimpse into your dog’s day. Particularly beneficial if your dog is destroying things in the house.

Cameras will give you a glimpse into your dog’s life when they are alone and can give you some indication of how to ease their anxieties and loneliness.

Take-Aways

If you believe your dog is lonely, do not be too hard on yourself.

Lifestyle changes can be made to ease the burden on your pet, as you have seen. Loneliness is a normal emotion that many dogs and humans face at periods in their lifetime.

- 10 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe On Bonfire Night - Peak Pets

10 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe on Bonfire Night

10 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe on Bonfire Night

Bonfire night is a dreaded night for many pet owners.

The sensory overload for your dogs can cause a multitude of problems. It can often lead to days of anxiety, messed up eating habits and refusal to engage with walks and exercise.

Although bonfire night is hardly going to be your dog’s favourite night of the year, there are numerous small changes you can make to ensure the night is as comfortable as possible for your companion.

There are many clear signs that your dog is distressed, which can be particularly prominent on bonfire night. These signs include:

  • Shaking and trembling
  • Refusing to eat
  • Pacing and panting
  • Cowering and hiding, attempting to reach places in the home they usually would not
  • Soiling or having accidents in the house

Play the Long Game

It is no quick fix, but giving your pet exposure to loud sounds can help on overwhelming nights such as bonfire night.- 10 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe On Bonfire Night - Peak Pets

Playing the sounds of fireworks or thunderstorms, initially on a low volume, will help your pet get used to loud sounds that they otherwise would not have heard. You need to be extremely careful to gradually build up the sounds to prevent overwhelming your pet.

This is a long term solution, which can greatly help your pets tolerance to loud sounds.

Consider Your Own Energy

Dogs feed off our energy and emotions. If they feel that you are anxious about the night, they probably will be too. Try to remain calm and follow their lead as much as possible. If you can keep the night to as similar as possible to any other night, it will help relax any pets you have in the home.

Allow your dog to cuddle you if they should wish and enjoy some time relaxing together.

Keep Them Inside

Although it might sound obvious, many dog owners simply leave the back door open or even use a dog flap. This gives their dog independence to use the garden as they please and reduces the chances of accidents happening in the home. Some owners even choose to have kennels outside, where the dog will happily spend most of their time.

However, on bonfire night it is important that you keep a close eye on your pet and keep them indoors as much as possible. Even if the noise does not seem too loud near your home, a single loud bang can spook your pets and leave you with days of anxiety to deal with.

Use Other Sounds to Distract

Using other sounds, such as the television or radio can be great if the fireworks are not too loud. The familiar noises of the home will help them feel relaxed and hopefully help block out some of the explosions.

There are many playlists across all popular streaming platforms catering specifically for soothing nervous dogs.

Another distraction tactic is to use their favourite toy and involve them in a game inside the house. This will help with tiring them out as well as providing a distraction.

Shift Everything Earlier

On bonfire night, it is important that you both feed and walk your dog earlier than you usually would. This is because once the fireworks start, it is likely your dog will begin to feel anxious and will be reluctant to go outside. They may then not get the opportunity to relieve themselves after dinner.

Anxiety can also often put dogs off their food, which may result in them missing their evening meal altogether.

Additionally, a long walk before the fireworks begin will hopefully tire them out and result in a more peaceful sleep that night.

Calming Supplements

Calming supplements may be a worthwhile investment if your dog displays particularly anxious tendencies, especially around bonfire night. They can be added at mealtimes in the lead up to bonfire night to reduce the stress that your dog endures.

Create a Safe Haven

It is important to create a safe den in the home where your dog feels protected.

Create this den a while before bonfire night and encourage the dog inside as regularly as you can, rewarding them for doing so, yet making them feel as relaxed as possible.- 10 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe On Bonfire Night - Peak Pets

If possible, make the den somewhere in the centre of the home, away from doors and windows. This will limit the amount of noise the dog can hear. Using a large crate is ideal and cover with blankets to allow an extra level of noise protection.

Having a safe place to take refuge will work wonders for calming their nerves.

Invest in an Anxiety Coat

There is evidence to show that dogs find gentle pressure soothing, and it can help with anxiety, especially on hectic nights such as bonfire night. You can purchase shirts, coats and even head wraps that apply a small amount of constant pressure to your dog.

Give Them Space

It may be that your pet hides themselves away from the rest of the household out of fear of the strange noises. It is important not to try to force the dog out from the safe space they have created. This will only increase anxiety and massively decrease the chances of the dog settling down.

Black out the windows

It is not only the loud sounds that spook our dogs but the intense flashes of light also. Drawing the curtains and using blackout blinds in the room your dog will be in, is a great simple way to shield them from the light.

Seek Professional Help

Dog phobias are very real.

If you suspect your dog has moved past anxiety and has a clear phobia of the loud noises then it may be time to seek professional help. Your vet should be able to put you in touch with an animal behaviourist in your local area.

Anxiety in dogs can present a huge array of problems, not only on bonfire night.

- Reducing Separation Anxiety In Dogs - Peak Pets

Reducing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Reducing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Despite our best intentions, it’s simply not possible to spend every minute of every day with our beloved pets. However, for some dog owners, leaving their pet alone results in more than just a reproachful stare.

Some dogs suffer from extreme distress when left alone. This is known as separation anxiety, and can affect many areas of our lives and daily routine. Necessity requires that our pets will be left alone for at least short periods of time, so separation anxiety can be problematic.

If your dog suffers from mild, moderate, or even severe separation anxiety, don’t worry. There are steps you can take to alleviate their distress.

Recognizing the Signs of Separation Anxiety

Not all symptoms of separation anxiety are immediately obvious. Here are a few to keep an eye out for:

  • Destructive behavior

You might return to find shoes chewed, furniture and décor shredded, with your dog having destroyed everything they can get their paws on. Often, your dog will be trying to surround themselves with your scent, to make themselves feel safe. However, this isn’t much comfort when you arrive home to find your favorite pair of shoes utterly destroyed.

  • Signs of distress when you leave

This is possibly the sign that is most associated with separation anxiety. When you leave the house, your dog may become very distressed. They may pant, whine, salivate excessively, chew or scratch, or maybe even tug at your legs and feet as you try to walk out the door.

  • Barking while you’re gone

Your neighbors might complain about your dog barking, whining, or howling during your absence. This can be your dog trying to convince you to come back!

  • Pre-emptive distress

Whenever you prepare to leave the house, your dog might figure out what’s up and start to get distressed, knowing that you plan on leaving. They also could get clingy, following you around the house everywhere you go.

It’s worth noting that dogs are sensitive to our moods and emotions. So, if you’re worried about your dog being anxious while you’re gone (or about any destruction, barking, or accidents) your dog will sense your tension, and get even more anxious themselves.

Make Your Dog Comfortable

The first step is to make your dog feel safe while you’re out. If they’re likely to chew or scratch, try putting them in a secure environment, where they can do minimal damage to themselves or their surroundings.

Make sure your dog has somewhere comfortable to sleep. It’s a good idea to leave an item of clothing for your dog to cuddle. The piece of clothing will smell like you, and can go a long way to reassuring an anxious dog. Leaving on the radio can also help. Leaving a snack or treat can also reinforce the idea that you leaving isn’t all bad!

Of course, you should always make sure your dog has access to fresh water, and has been to the toilet before you leave. This reduces the chance of bathroom accidents. You could also try taking your dog for a walk beforehand, to help burn off frenetic energy and encourage them to sleep while you’re gone.

Proper Training

If possible, train your dog from its youth to be comfortable being left alone. Of course, puppies can’t be left alone as long as adult dogs, but early training can help you avoid problems later on. The key is to teach your dog that being left alone isn’t scary, it’s a time to relax and maybe have a nap.

Start by leaving your puppy alone for just fifteen minutes at a time, while you do something else in the house. Make sure they’re in a comfortable, secure environment, with food, water, and toys available. If they seem distressed, come back and reassure them, then try again.

Gradually build up the time you spend away from your puppy. Then, when you need to actually leave them alone in the house, your dog will be comfortable and relaxed when left alone. This training process can take time, and some dogs may take longer to learn that others. Be patient, and persevere.

These training methods are good basic steps to teach any dog of any age that being left alone isn’t something to dread.

Use Calming Supplements

There are many reasons why a dog might suffer from separation anxiety. In adult dogs with severe anxiety, the symptoms can be much harder to deal with. If that’s the case, you may want to try a calming supplement.

These supplements are tablets that you can administer to your dog before you leave, to help them relax. They reduce stress, meaning that your dog is less likely to whine or destroy their surroundings. You can get a variety of flavors, and if you have difficulty feeding your dog a tablet, try wrapping the tablet in a tasty treat. A slice of ham or a modest amount of peanut butter always goes down well!

Get a Dog Sitter

If a long absence is unavoidable, try hiring a professional dog sitter, or ask a friend or neighbor to watch your dog.

Do….

  • Stay calm when you leave the house. Your dog can sense if you’re stressed or anxious. Then your dog might feel that they’re right to be worried when you leave!
  • Make sure your dog is comfortable and safe.
  • Leave plenty of fresh water and possibly a treat.

Don’t…

  • Punish your dog. Even if you return to find bathroom accidents or destroyed items, don’t shout or punish your dog. This will only reinforce your dog’s idea that you leaving is something to be dreaded. Remember, your dog likely won’t connect the punishment with the mess, so it isn’t going to be helpful.
  • Leave your dog for a long time. While each dog is different, it’s generally not good to leave your dog alone for more than a few hours. Puppies require a lot more supervision. If you can, don’t leave your dog alone during thunderstorms or when fireworks are being released. Loud noises like these can easily scare a nervous dog.

When we bring a new dog home, it’s so much more than getting a new pet. We’re welcoming a new member of our family. Dogs give us loyalty and undying love, and we love them right back. You might personally have been considering getting a new dog.

Some people search out puppies and pedigrees, but is that really the best – or kindest – way to choose our new addition?

More and more dog owners are choosing to adopt their dogs, for a myriad of reasons. Adopting a dog can be rewarding beyond your wildest dreams.

Why Should You Adopt a Dog?

You might have heard that adopting a dog from a shelter can be challenging. While some dogs might have special requirements, that doesn’t change the fact that these dogs deserve a loving home. Adopting a dog can change their lives – and yours.

1.     You Could Save a Dog

Simply put, many dogs in shelters end up being euthanized or spending the majority of their lives in the shelter. Shelters are often overcrowded because of the sheer number of dogs. While most dog owner are loving and responsible, too many people buy puppies on whims; for special events, for surprise gifts, and so on. Then, when they get bored or frustrated, or their pet outgrows its cute puppy stage, they put the dog in a shelter.

Older dogs often end up at shelters, and can be passed over in favor of younger dogs. It’s worth remembering that while everyone loves puppies, older dogs love everyone.

“We rescued my greyhound when he was 8 years old, and he has been my best friend ever since. He has been by my side through thick and thin. My parents moved away and he would not leave my side and was always there for me. My nan passed away and he would be there for me to give me a cuddle, he really is the best dog in the world.”

2.     A Dog Might Save You!

We know that dogs provide love and companionship. In fact, a dog might get you through the hardest and most challenging periods of your life. An adopted dog does not mean a host of behavioral problems. In fact, it means love, gratitude, and a lifelong friend. Especially for those with health problems – emotional, physical, or mental – adopting a dog is definitely recommended.

A dog rescued from a shelter can give you the kind of love that money simply can’t buy.

“It probably sounds super stupid and cliche but Ted has literally saved my life. Without him, I wouldn’t be here today. I suffer from suicidal depression, and have for years. Nothing was really working nor helping: tablets, therapy, routine. Dogs were the only thing that could put a smile on my face. After a lot of struggling, I managed to get Teddy. He’s completely turned my life around. I still suffer, life is still hard, but just having Ted here makes things a bit more bearable!! I was very lucky with Ted; he’s been an absolute dream to own. Some days have been hard, but overall, he’s been amazing. He’s more than just a dog to me, he’s my best friend, family, my safety blanket, my world revolves completely around him. When he’s sad, I’m sad, when he’s happy, I’m happy, I cannot imagine life without him. He’s made my dark little world so much brighter just by existing.”

3.     Adopting a Dog Brings Amazing Rewards

Some of the dogs in shelters have experienced a lifetime of neglect and poor treatment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be the one to give that dog a loving, happy home? Many dog owners who adopt talk about how they gradually eased a dog out of their nervousness and fear, showing them what it really feels like to be loved. You may need to go slowly and carefully when training your adopted dog. Remember, we all make mistakes, and your dog will likely need some time to adjust to their new life. Be patient.

We all want to be loved, to feel safe. Dogs are no exception.

“When it comes to tips for owning a rescue, all I can say really is don’t rush them, don’t push for training right away or socialization. While both are important, pushing them in the deep end can make them much worse before they even have a chance to get better. You want to work with your dog, do things at their pace, it’ll be much more rewarding in the end if you work with your dog; seeing that first wag of the tail or them playing with a toy. I remember how happy I got the first time Ted fully snuggled with me, it took time and was totally worth every second of it all! So yeah, patience is incredibly important!!”

What If You Can’t Adopt?

Despite the best of intentions, it might not be possible for you to permanently adopt a dog. If that’s the case, there are still plenty of things you can do to help.

1.     Foster A Dog

If you can’t give another dog a permanent home, you could consider fostering. This gives dogs a comfortable, loving home to stay in while they wait for their forever home. Financial support will be given, and if you already have pets of your own, you can foster a dog that suits your needs.

Experienced dog owners make good foster homes, as they can help with training and socializing a dog.

2.     Volunteer at Your Local Shelter

If you have a few hours a week to spare, you could give valuable time to helping out your local shelter. New volunteers are always needed! This is a fun and rewarding job for any dog lover.

3.    Give a Financial Contribution

Running a pet shelter is a very expensive job. If you can, any financial contribution will be welcomed. Every little helps. If you want to donate, there are so many local shelters to choose from.

“You always hear people say about giving rescue dogs a second chance at life. Well, my rescue gave ME a second chance! I wouldn’t be here today without her, she’s everything to me.”

- Changing A Pet’s Life: Why You Should Consider Adopting Your Next Dog - Peak Pets

Changing a Pet’s Life: Why You Should Consider Adopting Your Next Dog

Changing a Pet’s Life: Why You Should Consider Adopting Your Next Dog

When we bring a new dog home, it’s so much more than getting a new pet. We’re welcoming a new member of our family. Dogs give us loyalty and undying love, and we love them right back. You might personally have been considering getting a new dog.

Some people search out puppies and pedigrees, but is that really the best – or kindest – way to choose our new addition?

More and more dog owners are choosing to adopt their dogs, for a myriad of reasons. Adopting a dog can be rewarding beyond your wildest dreams.

Why Should You Adopt a Dog?

You might have heard that adopting a dog from a shelter can be challenging. While some dogs might have special requirements, that doesn’t change the fact that these dogs deserve a loving home. Adopting a dog can change their lives – and yours.

1.     You Could Save a Dog

Simply put, many dogs in shelters end up being euthanized or spending the majority of their lives in the shelter. Shelters are often overcrowded because of the sheer number of dogs. While most dog owner are loving and responsible, too many people buy puppies on whims; for special events, for surprise gifts, and so on. Then, when they get bored or frustrated, or their pet outgrows its cute puppy stage, they put the dog in a shelter.

Older dogs often end up at shelters, and can be passed over in favor of younger dogs. It’s worth remembering that while everyone loves puppies, older dogs love everyone.

“We rescued my greyhound when he was 8 years old, and he has been my best friend ever since. He has been by my side through thick and thin. My parents moved away and he would not leave my side and was always there for me. My nan passed away and he would be there for me to give me a cuddle, he really is the best dog in the world.”

2.     A Dog Might Save You!

We know that dogs provide love and companionship. In fact, a dog might get you through the hardest and most challenging periods of your life. An adopted dog does not mean a host of behavioral problems. In fact, it means love, gratitude, and a lifelong friend. Especially for those with health problems – emotional, physical, or mental – adopting a dog is definitely recommended.

A dog rescued from a shelter can give you the kind of love that money simply can’t buy.

“It probably sounds super stupid and cliche but Ted has literally saved my life. Without him, I wouldn’t be here today. I suffer from suicidal depression, and have for years. Nothing was really working nor helping: tablets, therapy, routine. Dogs were the only thing that could put a smile on my face. After a lot of struggling, I managed to get Teddy. He’s completely turned my life around. I still suffer, life is still hard, but just having Ted here makes things a bit more bearable!! I was very lucky with Ted; he’s been an absolute dream to own. Some days have been hard, but overall, he’s been amazing. He’s more than just a dog to me, he’s my best friend, family, my safety blanket, my world revolves completely around him. When he’s sad, I’m sad, when he’s happy, I’m happy, I cannot imagine life without him. He’s made my dark little world so much brighter just by existing.”

3.     Adopting a Dog Brings Amazing Rewards

Some of the dogs in shelters have experienced a lifetime of neglect and poor treatment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be the one to give that dog a loving, happy home? Many dog owners who adopt talk about how they gradually eased a dog out of their nervousness and fear, showing them what it really feels like to be loved. You may need to go slowly and carefully when training your adopted dog. Remember, we all make mistakes, and your dog will likely need some time to adjust to their new life. Be patient.

We all want to be loved, to feel safe. Dogs are no exception.

“When it comes to tips for owning a rescue, all I can say really is don’t rush them, don’t push for training right away or socialization. While both are important, pushing them in the deep end can make them much worse before they even have a chance to get better. You want to work with your dog, do things at their pace, it’ll be much more rewarding in the end if you work with your dog; seeing that first wag of the tail or them playing with a toy. I remember how happy I got the first time Ted fully snuggled with me, it took time and was totally worth every second of it all! So yeah, patience is incredibly important!!”

What If You Can’t Adopt?

Despite the best of intentions, it might not be possible for you to permanently adopt a dog. If that’s the case, there are still plenty of things you can do to help.

1.     Foster A Dog

If you can’t give another dog a permanent home, you could consider fostering. This gives dogs a comfortable, loving home to stay in while they wait for their forever home. Financial support will be given, and if you already have pets of your own, you can foster a dog that suits your needs.

Experienced dog owners make good foster homes, as they can help with training and socializing a dog.

2.     Volunteer at Your Local Shelter

If you have a few hours a week to spare, you could give valuable time to helping out your local shelter. New volunteers are always needed! This is a fun and rewarding job for any dog lover.

3.    Give a Financial Contribution

Running a pet shelter is a very expensive job. If you can, any financial contribution will be welcomed. Every little helps. If you want to donate, there are so many local shelters to choose from.

“You always hear people say about giving rescue dogs a second chance at life. Well, my rescue gave ME a second chance! I wouldn’t be here today without her, she’s everything to me.”

- Things To Do With Your Dog During The Lockdown - Peak Pets

Things to do with your dog during the lockdown

Things to do with your dog during the lockdown

Peak Pets

Lockdown has meant huge changes for people’s lives and their pets.  The upside is that you may be spending more time at home with your dog but the downside is that some of the usual activities you might have taken part in – dog agility, dog training, even just walking with friends – are all currently on the banned list.

Fortunately, with a little bit of creativity and imagination, you can keep your dog amused during lockdown outside of his daily walk and you don’t need a huge amount of space either or a big budget.

Here are some quick and easy things you can do with your dog during the lockdown.

  • Treat him to some screen time, there are lots of films on YouTube designed to act as doggy television, just remember to keep hold at first or protect your television or laptop as these clips can create a pretty spectacular response!
  • Treasure hunts and search games are a great and occupying activity for the house or the garden.  Hide treats or favourite toys around the house and use the ‘sniff and search’ techniques to encourage your dog to find them
  • Make sure your dog has plenty of chew toys.  Chewing is a natural activity for dogs and can keep your dog occupied for hours as well as keeping their teeth clean
  • The shell game will provide hours of endless fun.  Place three large plastic cups upside down on the floor and hide a treat under one of them.  Move the cups around each other whilst your dog watches and then see if he can select the correct cup with the treat underneath which is his reward
  • This could be the time to refine your dog’s training or start even start some basic command activities  – this takes time which you may have plenty of.  Use clicker trainer which is a type of reward-based training which uses a clicker to tell your dog that he has done the right thing
  • Change your dog’s usual feed bowl for a snuffle mat or a puzzle feed to make mealtimes a bit more interesting
  • Spend time grooming your dog – this is a great way to improve your bond as well as good for his skin and coat
  • Make an obstacle course in the house or garden, like mini dog agility but using everyday household objects.  Children will love creating this and it can be incorporated with elements of training such as sitting and waiting.  Make sure it is safe and there are no sharp corners or items which can be knocked over if you build one in the house and ensure that the floor is not slippery
  • I’m forever blowing bubbles – use the pet-friendly bubbles which are flavoured and will entertain your dog as he chases after them
  • If you are working from home then place their bed next to your desk or work station.  Your dog will love your company and a selection of toys can keep him amused

It is important to keep to a routine with your dog and this may be quite a different regime than the one you had pre-lockdown.  A change of routine to a new order during lockdown won’t upset your dog but a routine that changes every day will make him unsettled.

Don’t do too much with your dog either via over-exercise or over-stimulation particularly if your dog is elderly or has underlying health conditions.  It is important not to walk him too much if you head out once for daily exercise just because you have been cooped up inside and want to go for miles.  A second exercise session can take place in the house or garden and involve low key activity if your dog has already had a good walk earlier in the day.

Remember your dog should have some quiet time particularly if the household is busy all day with children who would usually be at school and adults who are normally at work.  Create a quiet area for your dog with a den where he knows he can remain undisturbed so he has his own allocated time out to rest and sleep in peace.

Lockdown can be great for your dog as he may get to spend more time with you than he did before.  Just remember, animals thrive on routine so try and keep his schedule the same every day.  Dogs require both mental and physical stimulation so it doesn’t have to be all exercised based.  The greatest boon for your dog is you and most dogs are thrilled to spend more time with their families during the lockdown.