Is the change in season making your dog irritable?

Is the change in season making your dog irritable?

Our brief moment of winter has come to an end in The Woodlands — spring time is officially here! After a week of lagging following Daylight Saving Time, you may be eager to spring forward and switch gears.

However, the change in your behavior could be making your pet a little agitated.

According to LiveScience.com, pets may perceive their owner is acting strangely when their pet parent changes their schedule for Daylight Saving Time. Household animals can become irritable when they show up to an empty bowl at their normal dinner time, or pets can become anxious waiting an extra hour for their owner to come home.

The Pet Health Network says the shift in scheduled rituals can be abrupt and unexpected for most dogs since humans set the routine for the animals living with them.

Some pets are so tuned in with their owners’ schedules that a one-hour time difference can cause psychological and physical stress in pets. PetTime.com says nervousness can lead to various unwanted behavior including potty accidents and destruction of items inside the home.

Also similar to humans, all animals have an internal clock — which doctors call a circadian rhythm — that tells the animal when to eat, sleep and wake up. This biological timekeeper is controlled by natural sunlight, which is why most dogs tend to wake when the sun rises and sleep after sunset. Brighter mornings and longer days could throw this clock off for a few days.

Some dogs operate like clockwork — napping, eating and going to the restroom at the same time every day. Since dogs have to depend on an internal clock versus a face clock like their owners, the shift can appear unwarranted to dogs.

Many dogs make the adjustment with little to no problems — while others not so much. If your pet is still struggling to sleep or is extremely sensitive to time changes there several methods available that may help.

Ask a veterinarian about using nutritional supplement such as melatonin or relaxing scents.

Increase your dog’s physical activity with longer walks or playtime. Camp Bow Wow offers a great dog day care program that can make adding more playtime easier if you have a busy schedule.

It also helps to serve your pet meals around the same time each day throughout the year.

PetTime.com says be sure to pay extra attention to your pet’s needs during this transition, offering him or her extra comfort if they show signs of anxiety. One way is two reward your dog with small treats as they make positive changes toward the new schedule.

Remember all animals are creatures of habit. If your dog is sleeping in pass his normal schedule — Dogster Magazine says let him sleep!

The switch to spring weather should be a great experience for you dog above all. It could mean more playtime, warmer naps and extra time with you.

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We want your feedback! Let us know if you have any tricks to help pets with seasonal adjustment anxiety or about other topics you would like to see on the blog. You can reach us through email at ntwa.scout@campbowwowusa.com or message us on Facebook.

6 Tips: Keeping dogs calm during thunderstorms

6 Tips: Keeping dogs calm during thunderstorms

Hurricane season begins in June — so you know what that means? Thunderstorms!

Experts say up to 30 percent of dogs experience storm anxiety (also known as astraphobia) with symptoms ranging from nervous moaning to destructive behavior. Here are some great tips for keeping your furniture in one piece and your dog calm during a storm.

1. Don’t comfort your dog when he acts afraid

According to Pedigree, giving your dog hugs or special attention can actually reinforce his fearful behavior. They suggest focusing more on speaking to your pet in a happy, playful voice to give him confidence. And remember: Never punish fearful behavior. If you can get your dog to play with you during a storm — that’s all the better, Pedigree said.

2. However, do make your dog comfortable

Petful.com recommends finding a comfortable place — a ridiculously plush dog bed, a rug, a crate or space under a bed, even in the bathtub — that the pet thinks of as a safe haven. Offer a few reassuring words. You might want to remind your pet that a cherished toy is still here, just waiting to be played with. While you’re trying to cuddle your dog, you are trying to keep them happy.

3. Bring your dog inside

PetHealth.com says the best place for your dog is the most sound-proof area of your house. Dogs left outside during a thunderstorm are affected more than dogs that are inside, according to PetHealth.com. Some dogs will attempt to escape from your yard or fight to get into your home. While damage to your property can be extreme and costly, it’s the damage your dog could do to itself that is dangerous – or deadly.

4. Turn down the noise, Turn up the music

Multiple sources recommend playing calming, soothing music for your dog during a thunderstorm. It’s a common form of pet therapy that is has proven to be highly effective. Another common approach that utilizes sound is desensitizing your dog — especially you ones— by playing a thunderstorm soundtrack when it’s not so gloomy outside.

Several websites provide thunderstorm soundtracks to help dogs with astraphobia. Of course, nothing is better than free in this case. YouTube has hundreds of soundtracks available for free use, some of which go for as long as 10 hours.

5. Don’t lock your dog up

The Human Society strongly suggests to not put your dog in a crate to prevent her from being destructive during a thunderstorm. Your pet will still be fearful when she’s in the crate and is likely to injure herself, perhaps even severely, while attempting to get out of the crate.

6. Go space age with electromagnetism

PetMD.com said your dog can become sensitized to the electromagnetic radiation caused by lightning strikes. One great way to shield your dog from these potentially fear-provoking waves is to cover their crate with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

In the end, if your dog has severe astraphobia and you’re unable to achieve success with the tips we’ve outlined here, we strongly recommend consulting a veterinarian.

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We want your feedback! Share your dog daycare experiences with us or recommend new topics you would like to see on the blog. You can reach us through email at ntwa.scout@campbowwowusa.com or message us directly on Facebook.