Does Your Dog Hate the Vet? Get Quick Solutions Now!

My Dog Hates My Vet

. . . well, my first dog hated the visit, anyway, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more of your dogs feel the same way. Magical-Dawg at least loves his veterinarian, but any kind of angst can get a dog’s tail in a twist.

We want to provide the best care possible for our beloved dogs, but what do you do when your dog becomes a howling mess at the vet? Fearful dogs visit veterinarians less often because their owners hate to see them upset and afraid of the carrier, car ride, and stranger handling.

I wrote about Seren’s very very VERY bad day here–cats are even worse patients than dogs are. That’s why I wrote the Quick Tips Guide for cats, and now have released a companion Quick Tips booklet especially for dog lovers.

Puppies that experience a scary vet visit or car ride may thereafter turn into scaredy-dogs at the mere mention of a vet visit.

VETS & FEAR: BAD FOR DOGS & CATS

My first German Shepherd turned into a puddle of trembling fur at mention of a car ride. He’d cry and shiver during the drive to the boarding kennel or the veterinarian, and then slunk around like he’d been beaten and expected worse. He suffered excruciating skin allergies that required a LOT of time at the vets. Those were the days pets had to shut up and put up with less than gentle handling, and it wasn’t a happy time.

Once I started working as a vet tech, things got better for my dog. He still hated the car ride, but started to enjoy spending time at the vet (because DUH! he hung out with me and got treats and sniffs of other pets). Gosh, he loved meeting other pets. My boy was the reason I became a pet writer….but that’s another story. *sniff*

Much later, of course, after he’d gone on to Rainbow Bridge, we adopted Seren-Kitty. In a memorable episode that will live in infamy, Seren was diagnosed with a potentially devastating illness — BECAUSE OF STRESS AT THE VET! Yes, her tests came back as a false-positive and for several days, I was a basket case. I was anguished not only by the diagnosis, but by how Seren was handled that elevated her angst. *shudder* No, you’ll have to read the gruesome details in the cat version of the MY CAT HATES MY VET! quick Tips Guide. She’s fine now, but I know that experience worsened her expectations of vets.

Older dogs may develop more fears as they age…

FEAR FREE PETS RULE!

Anyway, as a result of those experiences with my own fur-kids (and hearing from YOU through the years), imagine my delighted at the advent of veterinarians advocating for Fear Free Veterinary Visits. The cat version really struck a chord, and so now I’m pleased to offer the canine version. It’s a fast read, barely 50 pages, but packed full of how-to tips for helping to overcome doggy dread and get the veterinary care needed. Hey, your veterinarian will appreciate you, too!

It’s available as a trade paperback now ($6.99) and releases August 1st in all Ebook channels for only $2.99 (you can pre-order now if you wish).  Here are the details:

fear free dogs

“Amy has been educating and advocating for kinder, gentler dog and cat handling procedures for decades. This powerful booklet is like canine Cliff Notes for pet parents and their dog’s emotional well-being. It contains proven techniques, practical methods, and is filled with passion. I’m going to recommend this book for all my dog owning clients.” —Dr. Marty Becker, America’s Veterinarian and the father of the Fear Free veterinary visit movement

HALT THE HOWLS!

MY DOG HATES MY VET! packs prescriptive advice into a short how-to guide that offers step-by-step instructions to help your dogs learn to LOVE the vet, accept the carrier, and tolerate car rides–and get the medical care they need and deserve. This is your definitive guide for foiling canine fear. From one of America’s best known pet care authorities, you’ll learn:

•7 Reasons Dogs HATE The Vet
•19 Ways to Soothe Fear
•Best Carriers & 8 Crate Training Tips
•7 Calming Car Ride Techniques
•5 Ways to Soothe Car Sickness
•How to Choose the Best Veterinarian
•What are Fear Free Clinics
•Ways to Stop Aggression After Vet Visits

With a fun conversational tone and easy proven techniques, MY DOG HATES MY VET! helps ensure your loving bond remains strong and intact.

YOUR TURN!

So…does YOUR dog hate the vet? Are you ready to continue 2017 off on the right “paw” for your pets? I hope so! I’m doing things sooo much better with Magical-Dawg (and the cats are better, too). Bless the veterinarians making a difference, but us pet parents gotta do our part, too!

P.S., Subscribers to my Pets Peeves Newsletter were offered an advance copy of this booklet for free. Have you subscribed? 🙂

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Note: Upon occasion, affiliate links to books or other products may be included in posts, from which I earn a small amount with each purchase from the blog. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Summer Pet Safety & How to Find Lost Pets

It’s the time of the season for summertime fun, so of course we want to include our fur kids. Nothing stops the fun faster than lost pets, so it’s vital to create a pet safe summer. Thanks to the ASPCA for the fun infographic (and a cool free app!) that can save you heartbreak. Read on!

WHY LOST PETS RUN AND HIDE

Happy 4th of July! I suspect that the fireworks may have already begun, and that’s great fun for us—and not so much for the pets. In fact, you can go to this blog for a tips post about dealing with fireworks fears in pets. But what happens if your scaredy cat or dog has already taken off, and gotten lost? A safe enclosure and proper fence (learn more here) can help, but fireworks almost always are followed by a rash of lost pets.

lost pet

Panic leaves no room for thinking. A terrified dog may run for miles, while a cat may hide nearby under the back porch–but remain frozen, unable to cry for help. Pets that may be friendly around you and the house may become so scared, they refuse to come to strangers–or respond to you, because they’re so darned scared.

How can you find lost pets if your dog or cat does the door-way dash or escapes the back yard fence? Even experienced pets may not have a clue how to find their way home, and puppies and kittens are at even greater risk for being injured by cars or picked up by well-meaning people who find them. According to the ASPCA, nearly one-in-five lost pets go missing after being scared by fireworks.

lost pet

IDENTIFY YOUR PETS!

Identification is vital for happy reunions. Thankfully, today there are may options for providing identification for your pets. In addition to microchips (my Magical-Dawg and Karma-Kat have microchips), you can also invest in tracking collars to keep tabs on your pets. You can learn about one such service on this blog post. That technology had a big role in my pet-centric thriller series, to track down lost animals.

Microchips contain detailed information about your pet in a tiny rice-size surgical glass capsule. It’s placed beneath the pet’s skin in a similar fashion to a vaccination. Most pets don’t even notice. Once the dog or cat details are registered to that specific microchip, pet parents can access the information. That’s invaluable should your pet be lost or stolen, because shelters, veterinarians and rescue organizations can “scan” for the chip to reunite you. Some of the best known microchip sources include HomeAgainAKC Reunite and Avid.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT…

The ASPCA also has a free interactive mobile app for pet owners, tailored to your specific circumstances and each pet’s individual personality. That can help you know how and where to search if they go missing, build a digital share-able lost pet flyer that can be instantly posted online. The app includes advice for pet safety before, during and after a major storm or natural disaster. If your pet ever does go astray, follow these tips to help you find your lost buddy.

lost cat

HOW TO FIND LOST PETS

VISIT THE SHELTER. People often take strays to the local shelter. Don’t call and ask about a missing Great Pyrenees puppy. Baby dogs often look different than adults of the breed, and the shelter staff may not always know recognize your verbal description. You should visit several times to see if somebody has turned him in, and don’t take the staff’s word for it–insist on eyeballing the dogs. Your white fluffy baby may have rolled in the mud and now look brown, and you’re in the best position to recognize your furry wonder.

ID YOUR PET. July 1st is ID YOUR PET DAY…but this is important all year long. It’s ideal to have your pet wear some type of identification. Up to seventy percent of animals that arrive at shelters have no identification, and as a result a great percentage are euthanized. A metal or plastic tag with your contact information attached to the dog or cat’s collar offers the simplest method of identification. A rabies tag serial number with clinic contact information also helps. People can call the clinic, where they look up the serial number to identify the pet and his owner. Tattoos and microchips are also common and effective forms of pet identification.

BE SPECIFIC. Avoid describing pets as a Labradoodle or “whatever” cross when the combination can vary. Will other folks know what a “silver shaded tabby cat” looks like? (HINT: that’s my Karma-Kat…) Offer specifics: curly chocolate color fur, one ear up and one down, 45 pound neutered male, floppy (or erect) ears, docked tail — answers to “Spiffy” and dances and spins when you say “wanna cookie?”

lost pet cryingTELL THE WORLD

VISIT THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Alert your neighbors to be on the lookout for a lost pet. Kindly pet lovers may take in a friendly stray and watch for “lost” ads in the newspaper before taking them to the shelter. Go door to door, and ask permission to check outbuildings, under porches where frightened dogs or cats might hide or become trapped in an infrequently used garage. Holidays when neighbors leave town may mean the pet becomes trapped and not noticed for days or weeks.

ADVERTISE. Make posters or fliers to leave with neighbors or at the shelter that includes several photos documenting a close up of the face, full body shots from both sides and the back, and any distinguishing marks. Lots of folks have a Labrador or Golden Retriever or calico cat but yours may be the only one with three pink freckles in a triangular pattern on a white tummy. Check with local newspapers about posting “lost pet” notices–often they do this for free. Use social media. Many lost pets are reunited because Facebook friends and twitter followers organized to spread the word about a lost furry wonder.

TRACKING SERVICES

TRACK HIM DOWN. Search and rescue dogs have been trained for years to find missing people lost in disasters, or that have wandered off due to illness or simply becoming confused. Today, specially trained dogs also are available to track down missing pets. One example is Dogs Finding Dogs, but you may find similar organizations in your neck of the woods. One time when Karma-Kat got out (EEEEEK!) and he wouldn’t come to us, we put his best friend on a leash, and Magical-Dawg used his excellent tracking skills to find his cat-buddy.

Because a pet’s scent can fade over time, it’s important to contact a tracking dog organization for help as soon as possible. You’ll be asked to provide the pet’s favorite toy, a blanket or brush that smells like him for the tracking dog to scent and know what he’s looking for.

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. NOTE: Bling, Bitches & Blood sometimes shares affiliate links to products that may help you with your pets, but we only share what we feel is appropriate.

Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Help for Pet Firework Fears: 10 Tips For Your Scared Dog & Fraidy Cat

Pet noise phobias include being scared of thunderstorms and–of course pet firework fears. Many of the tips for noise fears apply, no matter the cause. Thunder can be hard to predict, though, and at least with pet firework fears, we know in advance that July 4 and New Years fireworks will be an issue.

Trembling, crouching, and lip licking can be signs of fear.

Trembling, crouching, and lip licking can be signs of fear.

PET FIREWORK FEARS

I write about pet firework fears every year at this time. But each of these 10 tips for your scared dog or cat can make a positive difference in your best friend’s life. It HURTS to be frightened, and makes us feel bad when pets are upset.

Fireworks from July 4th celebration may be festive to you, but can turn your pets into nervous wrecks. More cats and dogs—and even livestock like horses—become lost on this day than any other when pets panic, go through windows, break tethers and leap fences.

scared cat

Scared cats crouch and may hide under the bed.

Even safely contained pets shiver, moan, and feel worse with each noisy boom. You may not see quivering scaredy-cats but the stress from noise phobia increases risk of hit-or-miss litter box behavior.

It can take weeks or even months for desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques to teach fearful pets that noises won’t hurt them. With July 4th right around the corner, refer to these 10 tips for more immediate help.

pet fireworks fears

Throw a “thunder-party” with treats for each “boom.”

10 Tips For Pet Fireworks Fears

  • Scared animals calm themselves down by squeezing into tight spots and hiding their eyes. For instance, your dog wriggles between the sofa and wall, while kitty hides her face in your armpit. Offer your pets safe hiding place and let them be.
  • Avoid sympathetic baby-talk that rewards the fear. When you get upset or coddle your cat and dog during fireworks, you tell them they have good reason to be scared. Instead, be matter of fact. When it “booms” you can acknowledge the noise, “That was loud. But it doesn’t bother me, see? It shouldn’t bother you.”
  • Anti-anxiety training tools can help. Anxiety Wrap and Thundershirt are types of dog “vests” the pet wears that apply pressure to his body, and seem to calm fear in pets. They have Thundershirt for cats, too.
  • Cover up the sound with white noise. Use a white noise machine or a radio tuned to static works well.
  • Play soothing music. Harp music has a unique sedative effect on pets, because the rhythms and sounds mimic brain waves and help calm the fear. Harp music may prompt you to nap, too. I’m a fan of PetPause.
pet fireworks fears

Get kitty “drunk” on catnip…

  • Pheromone products also relieve fear and anxiety in pets. Comfort Zone with DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) works well for noise-phobic dogs—it’s produced by mom-dogs when they nurse pups and sooths dogs of any age. The product for cats, Feliway, relieves the cat’s anxiety about her territory because it’s similar to the cheek-pheromone that relieves kitty stress. Both DAP and Feliway come as sprays or plug-in diffusers and the dog product also comes as a collar. The spray can be used every one to two hours on bedding or a bandana the pet wears. You can also get the Sentry Calming Collars for both dogs and cats that also use the mother’s pheromone.
  • Just as human babies may be soothed by a car ride, a road trip may soothe pets that enjoy the car and take their mind off the noise. Just be sure your cat or dog LIKES car rides, and is safely secured in a carrier or restraint in the back seat during the ride.
  • The brain can’t think when in a state of panic. But the opposite holds true as well—when thinking, the brain won’t go nutso and turn your pet into a shrieking escape artist. So just before the fireworks start, drill your dog—or your cat—on favorite commands and tricks with lots of special yummy rewards or games. Continue the games throughout and throw a happy-dance party for him staying calm.
  • Whatever you do, be sure that your precious pet stays safe. Bring outdoor pets inside the garage or the house during the July 4th Provide a crate or confinement in a pet-proofed room.
  • Move horses into secure fenced areas—or better—barns that will safely contain a frantic animal without chance of injury. And just in case, be sure all your precious pets are microchipped or have other permanent and reliable identification for recovery if they do the desperado dash when the rocket’s red glare fill the sky.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have a dog or cat that hates fireworks? How do you manage the angst? Any stories you can share about a July 4th pet fiasco? Please share!


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. NOTE: Bling, Bitches & Blood sometimes shares affiliate links to products that may help you with your pets, but we only share what we feel is appropriate.

Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Take Your Dog (And Cat) to Work Day!

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Magical-Dawg and Karma-Kat wear themselves out, they work so hard!

I’m incredibly fortunate that I get to share my office space every day with my cats Seren-Kitty, Karma-Kat and Magical-dog every day all year long. When I’m having a particularly hectic day, getting a purr fix, or doggy wag of encouragement does wonders. Surveys indicate that one in five companies allow pets in the workplace. People who bring their pets actually work longer hours! You can get started on this pet-revolution this Friday.

2017 marks the 19th annual celebration of Take Your Dog To Work Day and event creator Pet Sitters International reflects on the growth of pet-friendly policies and encourages companies to “make it their business” to help pets in need on June 23.

TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY!

Pet Sitter’s International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day® (TYDTWDay) was created to spotlight what terrific companions dogs are, and encourage adoptions. The annual event encourages employers to experience the benefits and value of pets in the workplace, and to support and celebrate the pet community. Pet Sitters, animal shelters, and business of all kinds join in this fur-tastic Friday event.

 

KarmaChairSleep

“Testing your office chair…it’ll take a while to be sure it’s okay.”

WHY PETS AT WORK?

When PSI created Take Your Dog To Work Day® in 1999, PSI President Patti Moran says the day was initially met with skepticism. For nearly two decades, however, large, small and mid-sized companies have answered the call, celebrating dogs at work and often also raising money for local pet-rescue organizations and animal shelters.

This year, PSI is also using the campaign to raise awareness and funds for Pet for Patriots, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that helps veterans and military members adopt the most overlooked shelter pets, offering them a second chance at life through adoption. Pet lovers are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation to Pets for Patriots through the Take Your Dog To Work Day online donation page.

PURINA PETS AT WORK REPORT

In celebration of National Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 23, Purina launched the first Pets at Work Report, examining pet owners and their attitudes around having pets in the workplace, and the benefits it brings to employers and employees.

I’ve visited the folks at Purina, and have been impressed for years that the company actually encouraged bringing pets to work. So I was thrilled to receive this new information from the company, along with comments from Purina’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Kurt Venator.

“Pets bring a wealth of benefits – both physical and emotional – to pet owners and their families, so it’s no surprise those same benefits also apply to the workplace and employees,” said Dr. Venator. “Whether a pet helps provide a calming sense during a challenging situation or encourages employees to take a walk during their lunch break, here at Purina, we experience the benefits of pets at work every day and want others to as well.” Check out the report here.

ALTERNATIVE CELEBRATIONS

Even if you can’t have dogs in the workplace, consider alternate celebrations such as having employees bring photos of their pets. How about asking your company to host a fundraiser for an animal shelter in your community? Think about hosting contests, such as best pet outfit or owner/pet look-alikes (for pictures) or best trick (if dogs get to attend). Maybe a hot dog luncheon or a Pet First Aid “Lunch and Learn” session would be appropriate. It doesn’t have to happen today–pets provide us with their furry gifts 365 days a year.

Ask a local shelter or rescue organization to join your event. Invite them to bring adoptable pets or information to your workplace. Maybe you could hold a silent auction or other fund raiser to benefit the shelter—or set up a “Good Samaritan” fund for people unable to afford emergency pet care during these times of financial challenge.

TYDTWDay is the perfect opportunity to educate employees about all things pets. Maybe a local veterinarian, PSI member or other pet professional could present a pet care session or offer dog-walking service during the event. Visit PSI to find a member in your area.

If you’re fortunate to be able to bring pets on Friday, be sure to handle the pet situation responsibly. Dogs should be kept on a leash, or otherwise confined in the employee’s office or area. Baby gates work well to cordon areas to keep pets confined. You can also designate “pet free zones” such as the lunch room or bathrooms.

For more tips how to convince your boss, set up a program, and celebration ideas, visit TakeYourDog.com. Now excuse me…I’ve got to go consult with my furry office mates.


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Dog Book Library Give-Away! ENTER NOW & Share for Your Chance to Win

Last week, I posted tips on how to adopt a perfect kitty, in honor of National Adopt A Cat Month. But this month I’ve also been writing about puppy and dog care–and of course I love canines as much as felines. So here’s your chance to win a 3-book dog care library–puppy-to-adult-to-senior care! Enter for your chance to win paw-tograph copies for yourself, for friends, or for your favorite rescue group.

Enter and share multiple times to increase your odds to win. Deadline for entering is June 30.

Oh, and I’m equal opportunity so there’s also a CAT BOOK LIBRARY GIVE-AWAY! 

Yes, these are PHYSICAL/PRINT COPIES of the three books, available to those in the United States. Since it’s cost-prohibitive to ship elsewhere, I’m happy to instead deliver Ebook versions of the three books if the winner lives outside the U.S. Here are the details.

DOG BOOK LIBRARY GIVE-AWAY