886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Back to School! How do changes in routines affect pets?

8/20/2018

Back to School

It’s almost that time again where the kids are heading back to school, leaving the house empty all day. But that’s not completely true if you have a furry little friend at home who is going to be waiting for someone to return. When the back to school seasons comes around, you need to be thinking about how this change in routine is going to affect your pets.

You may notice that when you leave your pet alone, he or she may start to cry, chew things other than their toys or even try to escape the house. It is possible that your pet just needs to be trained a little more. However this behavior may also indicate distress, especially if your pet starts acting this way as you are preparing to leave the house. This may indicate that your pet is suffering from separation anxiety.

Signs Of A Problem

Some of the common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs will include:

  • Urinating/defecating
  • Barking/howling
  • Chewing of furniture 
  • Digging 
  • Trying to escape the house

They may target points in the houses like doors or windows and jump for them when they are left alone or when they think you are preparing to leave.

It is likely that during the summer stretch as well as for holidays throughout the year that your kids have been home for a large portion of the day with your pet and they have become used to this routine. Once it’s time for your kids to go back to school, this can trigger an emotional reaction in your pet, leading to separation anxiety. You need to keep this in mind when your kids are heading off to school. Separation anxiety in pets can be a serious problems but there are ways to help your pet so that they are not in so much distress.

What Should You Do?

The first thing that you should do if you notice any of these signs is to take your pet to come see us at Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic so that they can receive a check-up and the best possible veterinary care. This is so you can rule out any physical medical conditions, such as a urine infection, and make sure that your dog is healthy. If our veterinarians do not find any physical problem with your dog you should then make sure that it is not the result of boredom in the dog, scent marking or just general destructive chewing.

If there is no physical problem found by our veterinary team and none of the other reasons apply, it may be worth looking into consulting a veterinary behaviorist. A veterinary behaviorist is trained to help people who have problems with separation anxiety in pets. This type of veterinary care will help you by training your dog using methods such as desensitization and counterconditioning the dog into being left alone. These methods are used to make the process of leaving the dog alone less intense and make sure the dog is happy and relaxed when left alone. This way, you can ensure that your pet is not in distress every time you leave them alone in the house.

If you have concerns about separation anxiety in your pet, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via phone, 715-463-2536, or our website.

Photo Credit: alkir / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Benefits of Grooming Your Dog

7/14/2018

Benefits of Grooming Your Dog

Grooming your dog is about more than making him look more attractive. While that’s an obvious benefit, regular grooming offers many health benefits as well. For starters, it reduces the grease level in your dog’s fur. When grease builds up too much, it blocks pores and can cause your dog to develop cysts. Brushing his coat often also helps to improve the proper circulation of blood.

Many dogs shed, leaving loose hair all over the house and their own bodies. Unfortunately, the loose hair can also cause your dog to develop mats. This pulls the skin down and can cause significant skin problems. When mats develop between your dog’s paw pads, it makes it difficult for her to walk comfortably because of the accumulation of grease and dirt.

Although your dog might protest your grooming efforts initially, he will come to accept it if you’re persistent and offer lots of praise. He will also enjoy the extra attention from you. This is just one way that you can deepen the bond you have with your dog.

Tools for Home Grooming

You will naturally complete some grooming tasks more than others. For example, you might brush your dog daily and clip her nails once a month. We encourage you to establish a schedule for grooming to encourage your dog to get used to it and to keep these items in a central location:

  • Coarse metal comb
  • Ear and eye wipes
  • Fine comb
  • Non-slip rubber mat
  • Shampoo made especially for his breed
  • Soft slicker brush

You can bathe smaller breed dogs with shampoo and a damp washcloth, but larger breeds will need to go in the bathtub or you can use a hose outside. This bathing process loosens your dog’s fur and makes it easier to comb. We recommend purchasing a grooming comb based on whether your dog has coarse, curly, straight, or thick fur.

Trimming the nails is the most challenging part of home grooming for many dog owners. In fact, some skip this task altogether and schedule an appointment with our grooming salon instead.

You will need to use a hypo-allergenic wipe to clean your dog’s ears and eyes. This is better than using a Q-tip for the ears because you may push dirt and wax further into his ear canal. Dogs typically don’t require ear drops unless they have a diagnosed infection.

If you don’t have the grooming supplies you need at home, check out the skin and coat category in our online store. You can even set up automated shipments so you never run out.

Professional Grooming is Also Important

Regular professional appointments help to complement the care you give your dog at home. Our groomers will let you know about specific concerns and can also work with you go achieve better cooperation from your dog when it comes to home grooming. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in Grantsburg, Wisconsin at 715-463-2536 or Pine City, Minnesota at 320-629-7474 if you have additional questions.

Photo Credit: Chalabala / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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