This has been a challenging week so far. On Monday morning, Recycla was sad to read this article about the summer ice melt in Antarctica being at its worst in 1,000 years. On Monday afternoon, well… we all know what happened Monday afternoon. Bombs in Boston pushed thoughts of Antarctica from Recycla’s mind.
Dogs can also get stressed if left alone too long during the day, with unhappy results for owners and pets: without socialization, exercise or mental stimulation, you are apt to get develop a dog whose patience for entertaining himself runs out and George becomes anxious waiting for you to arrive home.
Canine experts say dog anxiety falls into three categories: noise anxiety, separation anxiety, and social anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety can include excessive barking, pacing, panting, trembling, excessive licking, hiding, climbing up onto the owner, exhibiting destructive or aggressive behavior.
Noise anxiety is just what you think: the dog reacts to thunderstorms, fireworks, sometimes even vacuum cleaners. Our Spinone, Radar, a jolly fellow most days, was in his pen one evening when a flash storm arrived. Lightning hit a tree near his doghouse. At night he still won’t run down into his pen without encouragement–and this is three years later.
Separation anxiety occurs when owners are absent and the dog destroys objects in his immediate area; they can even hurt themselves.
Social anxiety happens when a pup hasn’t received enough socialization at an early age. Rather than exhibit curiosity to new circumstances, these dogs become fearful of people, which can lead to aggressive behavior, usually a sign of fear.
What are natural remedies to relieve these symptoms and make life easier for Rufus and you? There are plenty of options, once you decide which kind of anxiety has your pup in its grip.
First off, exercise your dog more. This is especially key for separation anxiety. Increase walk time and include tossing a ball or stick. Find out what kind of play your dog likes and give her a daily session in addition to walks. A tired dog is less likely to be destructive.
Next, increase training. Stressed dogs often lack enough mental stimulation. Dogs like to have “work” that translates to obedience or agility training. Find out what your breed’s natural inclination is and highlight that. Our Spinone is a bird retriever with webbed feet for water retrieval, so he swims almost daily in our river, and has been known to chase ducks away!
Herbal supplements. Some dogs do well with calming herbal supplements, such as chamomile, passionflower, skullcap, or valerian root. There are over-the-counter formulas available and may help noise stress and social anxiety. These often work for dogs getting used to car travel, too, without resorting to prescription medications.
Nutritional supplements such as melatonin, a sleep aid in humans, and tryptophan, an amino acid, have been shown to decrease dog aggression without the same effects they have in humans. Always consult your vet before adding anything to your dog’s diet. Never give your dog a human product without consulting your vet for proper dosage.
Try relaxation techniques. Ever think you’d give your dog a massage? Let that big hunk of love loll on his side and rub his back along with the spine, massage those hind quarters, rub his neck. Some dogs love Epsom salt baths. Water and touch can be calming.
Pheromones are available as sprays and plug-ins and mimic a scent from a mother dog in puppies. Available online and in pet stores, these may reduce behaviors in all categories.
Finally, pressure garments, which have been getting a lot of press lately, are used to give a dog the same swaddling effect we use on infants. These work especially well on noise anxiety, as when you hear a thunderstorm approaching, or for those dogs who lick excessively. They look like tee shirts the dogs wears at pertinent times that put pressure on acupressure points on her body.
Reducing owner anxiety can be helpful, too, as dogs empathize with their owners’ mood. But it’s crucial that as a responsible dog owner, you create a friendly atmosphere for your dog, one filled with exercise and stimulation.
A stressed dog needs a patient owner, willing to find the right combination of training, exercise and natural remedies to find relief. However the most important ingredient in your pet’s life? Quality with time with you, his human owner.
Majestic animals are being hunted and killed for their ivory. Killing for profit. So what’s new? Not much. But we can’t let ourselves become immune by desensitization. The Battle for the Elephants gives these beautiful beasts a voice.
Poaching is creating a dramatic effect on the elephant population in Africa. Humans are harmful in lots of ways but merely encroaching on the elephants territory is not the biggest concern. People are poaching the tusks for the valuable ivory. It’s a crying shame in Tanzania. The animals are being brutalized for their tusks.
It would be similar to people being brutalized for their skin. If you take this commodity away from the living, breathing creatures, they’ll die. People can’t live without their skin and elephants can’t survive without their tusks. It’s horrible.
So, what can we do about it?
Awareness is the beginning. And, maybe think twice before buying anything with ivory in it.
Since Enviro Girl had a great post on Easter baskets on Monday, Recycla thought she would continue the Easter discussion by talking about different ways to dye eggs without using those dye kits that we all grew up with. Why spend money on a kit when you probably have everything you need right at home?
St. Paddy’s Day is just around the corner. Here are a few ways you can go green and celebrate.
1) Plant some Irish Bells in your yard.
2) Add some green food coloring to mashed potatoes for dinner
3) Eat spinach and broccoli today – it’s good for you and it’s green
What ways can you think of to go Green and celebrate at the same time?
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and we might all be looking for a little “green” love to share this holiday.
The Green Queen has a few pinspirations to share that might be just the ticket to get you going toward recycling, repurposing and reusing.
Do you have a stack of books sitting around the house that you just can’t part with but you’ve read one too many times to put the time back into them? Well here’s a way to have them help put time back into you. Simply turn your books into a shelf. This green bookshelf will end up helping you in more ways than one. By getting organized with the help of these old books, you just might find that you have a few more minutes in your day to do the things you’ve been putting off, like reading a new book.
And, if that’s not enough to get you reusing your old materials laying around your house, how ’bout this craft?
You can make scratch paper from recycled books. If you want to find out how, just pop over here.
With the new year upon us, are you making efforts to declutter your home? Is it possible that you have old electronics taking up space and collecting dust? You should definitely get rid of the junk, but don’t throw anything in the garbage.Beyond just keeping junk out of landfills, you need to know that electrical components contain a variety of toxins and heavy metals that can leak into the environment.
Like so many other people, Recycla has been thinking about the old year and pondering the new one. She doesn’t tend to make resolutions, but usually focuses instead on goals. For the past couple of years, she has been setting small monthly ones, but this year she is pondering three or four large ones that she will focus on all year.
A lot of people hibernate in winter–they renew health club membership or invest in a treadmill for their basement. They forgo the fresh air and sunshine to get their heart rate up in climate controlled space under fluorescent lights. Environ Girl encourages you to EMBRACE the silent season–snow and ice can be your friend and the best thing about winter sports? They’re mostly cheap or free! Once you give them a try, you’ll be WANTING the weather forecast to tell you more flakes are in the forecast! Continue reading
Not even a mountain of discounted dark chocolate truffles and half-price cashmere sweaters, could induce Enviro Girl to go shopping on Black Friday. The latest predictions she read indicated 147 million people planned to shop Black Friday weekend. And it’s doubly distressing when the day after Thanksgiving (and in some cases, the night of), most of these shoppers plan Continue reading