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SENSITIVE PAWS

If you walk your dog on concrete or pavers, be sensitive to your dog. Take a moment, bend down & touch the pavement. If it is too hot for your hand – it is too hot for your dogs feet! Try walking at a cooler time in the day.

Dealing with Storm Phobias

With the storm raging outside and a Storm Phobic dog beside me. It reminds me of  how easily and quickly a Storm Phobia can occur. Most of you know Kruger, robust and confident in ‘every’ situation – wrong! When a storm is raging he is a paranoid unconfident dog. It occurred smack bang in the middle of the Secondary Fear Period

(6-14 months); we had a storm, no more violent than previous ones, however this one differed in the fact that Kruger was ‘of age’ & when the wind caught an outside plastic chair – the chair appeared to chase him – he blamed the storm! Instantly a ‘Storm Phobic’ dog was borne!

What to do?

Do not pat your dog while he is exhibiting fear – storm or otherwise – you will only reinforce the fact that it is good to be fearful, & make the fear worse. Keep your dog safe; when a storm is forecast, ensure your dog is secure, if you are putting him in a shed, make sure the noise of the storm is not magnified! If you go outside,  attach a lead or your long line (even if your recalls are getting really good). Allow your dog to be close – Kruger gains comfort from being ‘around’, we allow him to sit next to us and press his body into our legs, we do not allow him to rest his head in our laps. We ignore him! He is neither good nor bad! This approach has enabled Kruger to overcome 80% of his fear. However he is not allowed to wander alone outside, all doors are securely shut. I would recommend if you have a Storm Phobic dog, follow the same guidelines.

Paralysis Tick Season

These ‘nasties’ are about again. Signs often only appear after the tick has been feeding on your dog’s blood for 3-5 days. Ticks can be picked up from long grass, bushland or thick vegetation. When checking for ticks, run your hands through the fur, ruffling the hair as you go, You are looking for any raised ‘bumps’ or ‘odd’ mounds (often called craters).

There are several signs of tick toxicity you should be aware of; signs can include any of the following;

  • Loss of coordination in the hind legs
  • A voice change – barking becomes quite muted
  • Vomiting, retching, regurgitation or coughing
  • Appetite loss
  • Anxiety, hypersensitivity and distress
  • Progressive paralysis of the body, starting at the hind legs
  • Noisy breathing, grunting, panting

If you suspect your dog has a tick, don’t delay seek veterinary advice quickly.

Kids, Dogs & Safety

With school holidays fast approaching, more people are out & about enjoying the summer with their dogs, it’s time to remind children (& adults) of some key safety elements:

  • Dogs have three ways to communicate they have had enough playing – moving away, feet or teeth.
  • Teach children ‘how’ to play ‘healthy games’ – and teach them when to stop!!
  • Never let children approach a strange dog without first asking permission from the owner
  • Never pat a dog in a car, that is not your own, even if you know the dog well.
  • Never pat a dog that is tied up, that is not your own, without the owner being present.
  • Always allow the dog to approach you (adults & children) – particularly if the dog appears agitated
  • Do not reach out to pat the dog
  • If you are unsure about a dog, follow your instinct and move away – slowly.
  • Teach children to NEVER look a dog in the eye – this also applies to adults!