Understanding Your Dog’s Bark

Dogs have been best friends to humans for many years, and when I say many I mean thousands. In 2015 Smithsonianmag.com posted an article which stated that, “instead of pinning domestication at about 11,000 to 16,000 years, new genetic evidence suggestions they may have split from wolves 27,000 to 40,000 years ago”. Even though they have been domesticated for so long, there are still things that dogs will do, because they are animals. Barking is an example of one of those things. Some dogs bark incessantly, and well, it can be annoying. There is the possibility that those dogs are not trained well, but in some cases, it is just the breed of dog. I found this article from Reader’s Digest on breeds that bark the most. There are other reason for barking too, fear, anxiety, loneliness, attention seeking, and protection to name a few.

 

We can’t and should not just punish a dog for barking. There are several things you can do to help prevent the problem, provided you know the issue is occurring, before your neighbors complain. I found the following helpful tips on the Stanislaus County Animal Services website:

 

-Increase your dog’s aerobic activity, such as walking and playing fetch.

-Providing your do with toys while alone to keep them occupied.

 

-Leaving a radio or TV on.

 

-Keeping your dog away from traffic and other distractions.

 

-Install a doggie door so it can go in and out.

 

-And if your dog is a night barker, give them a late-night meal, to help make it drowsy, allowing it to sleep more during the night.

 

While we don’t want our dogs to stop barking all together, we do want them barking for the right reasons. Here is an article on the one and only Ceasar Millan, The Dog Whisperer’s, website to help train your dog on barking for the right reasons. Bottom line, you need to make sure you are the leader of the pack with your dog. That has been the common thread with everything I have read. Speak to your dog calmly, and appreciate the protection your dog is providing for you.

Dog’s Need Warmth Too

We all know what heat can do to people and animals, especially dogs left in parked vehicles.  Have you considered what the cold does? Tufts University put out this handy dandy chart that helps to illustrates what type of weather is acceptable to have your dog outside. The chart is done by breed, making it easier to read and figure out. We see from this chart that sometimes it’s just too cold to have your dog outside.

animal-chart-how_cold_is_too_cold

If you do have to wander out in that freezing cold weather, and you must take your furry friend, make sure they are bundled up too. If you encounter a pet suffering from hypothermia while you are out in the elements, there are steps to take. First, call a vet and move the animal to a warm area, then cover the pet with warm water bottles, blankets or towels. Heating pads can burn animals, so put layers between the animal and the electric heating source. Transport the animal as soon as possible.  Read more here.

What You Should Avoid Giving Animals To Eat

Don’t Feed Ducks Bread, Dogs Garlic, Onions or Chocolate. It’s that time of year when the animals in our lives actually get more than normal as they benefit from our “too loving” way. But are they really benefiting?

Innocently enough, much out of habit, and emulating, we humans have been feeding ducks bread for decades. In England and Wales alone, they feed 6 million loaves of bread per year.  The reality is feeding ducks bread is like feeding them junk food. In fact, it causes a debilitating disease known as “angel wing” which doesn’t sound bad, does it?  It’s bad, really bad ,“Angel Wing” is when a ducks wings point out laterally, making them unable to fly. There is much more information on this that can be found here. What should you feed them, here is a short list of alternatives:

  • Can (canned, fresh or frozen)
  • Lettuce, or other greens torn into small pieces
  • Frozen Peas that have been defrosted
  • Oats, either rolled or instant
  • Seeds
  • Duck Pellets

While we’re on the subject of what not to feed animals, did you know dogs can’t digest garlic or onions?  Neither did I.  So I found this handy-dandy list of all the things you should not feed your dog (and most of the time cats too).  This list should be taken very serious. Are you curious what you should do if your dog accidentally eats something they shouldn’t, here’s a good article from a veterinarian that is helpful too!

whatdogscaneat