(BPT) - For millions of pet parents, their beloved dog is more than just a four-legged friend — he’s a member of the family. When looking at products for their pet they are willing to explore all options to ensure they provide the very best items like organic foods, therapeutic bedding, unique and innovative toys, on-trend collars and leashes, electronic feeding and watering items and more.
Although our pets are treated as family members there is one issue that is often overlooked and undertreated in dogs — anxiety.
After all, we can’t ask our animals how they’re doing. Nonetheless, 75 million dogs in the U.S. experience anxiety, stress or fear at some point in their lives, and about 24 million of them regularly suffer from these potentially debilitating issues.
In some instances it’s genetics. But for many dogs, anxiety often arises as a result of a change in routine such as a thunderstorm, fireworks, encounters with strangers, travel and other loud noises. Any of these can trigger an anxiety event.
Dogs show signs of anxiety or fear in many different ways. Sudden barking, hiding, inappropriate urination, digging, chewing, panting and excessive lip licking are the most common signs of emotional stress.
While it may be challenging to identify the triggers, it’s important to understand the science of anxiety in order to best alleviate it.
Stress does more than just make for an unpleasant few hours; it can have long-lasting physiological effects that can be extremely detrimental.
During periods of anxiety, stress or fear, a dog’s brain releases an increased amount of adrenaline and cortisol, which decreases the amount of blood flow to the frontal cortex of the brain. This means less oxygen is flowing to the frontal cortex. With prolonged anxiety or fear, the increase in cortisol levels can weaken the dog’s immune system, leading to increased incidence of sickness or stress.
To avoid long-term health problems, it is important to be aware of the common signs and symptoms and to treat anxiety when it occurs in companion animals.
Some drugs, like sedatives, mood modifiers and anxiety medications have been recommended in extreme cases, but the results have been mixed. Wishing to avoid pharmaceuticals, some owners opt for more natural solutions containing chamomile, passion flower, valerian root, poppy or hops.
One of the most effective treatments doesn’t involve drugs at all, but rather, focuses on behavior modification to soothe dogs and calm their senses.
At the forefront of this innovative approach is the new Calmz(R) Anxiety Relief System for dogs that combines high-tech innovation with acupressure in a revolutionary non-invasive, drug-free treatment that soothes anxiety. The innovative system comes complete with an adjustable Comfort Fit Vest that cradles a device over specific acupressure points on the dog’s spine. When the device is activated, the clinically proven NeuroSync Technology(R) takes over. The dog will hear and feel a therapeutic blend of classical music, tones and vibration.
This cuts to the physiological root of the stress, reducing adrenaline and increasing blood flow to key areas of the brain.
Because anxiety, stress and fear are so common in dogs and can cause so much harm, it’s important to visit a veterinarian or a pet behaviorist to rule out any underlying medical conditions and to utilize the experts to help create a plan to treat the issue at hand.
Anxiety is a serious disorder and it is best to get it under control early on. Treatment will improve quality of life for not only the dog but for the pet parent as well.
Manage Your Pet’s Diabetes with Home Care
The 2016 State of Pet Health report from Banfield Pet Hospitals found the number of dogs with diabetes rose 80 percent from 2006-2015, while diabetes in cats increased by 18 percent. The report looked at data from more than 900 Banfield hospitals nationwide and covered 2.5 million dogs and 500,000 cats.1
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body cannot process glucose (sugar) into cells, resulting in too much glucose in the blood and not enough glucose in the cells for energy.
Untreated, diabetes can be fatal in dogs and cats, but veterinary care and at-home blood glucose monitoring can help you manage the disease in your four-legged friends.
The first step is identifying warning signs. Certain risk factors may increase the chances of your pet getting diabetes. In both dogs and cats, these include age, obesity and breeds with a genetic predisposition. Dog breeds prone to diabetes include the Australian Terrier, Keeshond and Yorkshire Terrier; Burmese cats also have a genetic predisposition to diabetes.
Signs of diabetes in pets are often similar to those in humans and include fatigue or weakness, increased hunger, weight loss, increased thirst and increased urination. If you observe one or more of these signs, consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause.
If your veterinarian diagnoses diabetes, he will create a management plan that addresses your pet's dietary and dental care needs. The plan may call for monitoring blood glucose levels and may also include a prescription for insulin.
At-home monitoring systems for pets are different than at-home monitoring systems for humans and should not be used interchangeably. You actually can use the same at-home monitoring system that your veterinarian uses, such as AlphaTRAK® 2, which is available through your veterinarian. Specifically calibrated for dogs and cats, it is easy to use and priced affordably to make at-home monitoring convenient and economical.
There are also a variety of free tools available designed to help pet owners manage their dog's or cat's diabetes. For example, diabeticpetconnection.com provides a veterinary discussion guide and emails with tips for pet owners. The PetDialog app, available for download on iTunes and in the Google Play Store, allows pet owners to quickly and easily report a diabetic pet's blood glucose directly to their veterinarian.
Successful diabetes management is possible when you work together with your veterinarian to follow your pet's prescribed plan, including at-home blood glucose monitoring, consistent communication and follow-up appointments. Visit AlphaTRAKmeter.com to learn more about diabetes management.
1DVM360.com. Banfield 2016 report shows increase in diabetes, dental disease; decrease in heartworm. May 17, 2016. http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/banfield-report-shows-increase-diabetes-dental-disease-decrease-heartworm?pageID=2. Accessed November 21, 2016.
All trademarks are the property of Zoetis Services LLC or a related company or a licensor unless otherwise noted. © 2016 Zoetis Services LLC. All rights reserved.
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Because the symptoms of canine motion sickness can mimic several other problems, many pet owners may not realize their dogs suffer from this condition. If you determine that your pet is indeed suffering from motion sickness, you can take several steps to make your next trip together more comfortable.
Smooth the Ride for Dogs with Motion Sickness
(Family Features) Because the symptoms of canine motion sickness can mimic several other problems, many pet owners may not realize their dogs suffer from this condition.
However, a recent study conducted on behalf of Zoetis found that up to 23 percent of dogs experience motion sickness. The study also found that some pet owners feel that motion sickness weakens their relationship with their dog because it often forces them to leave their dog at home. Recognizing the symptoms and understanding treatment options can help ease your dog’s discomfort and ensure a smoother ride for the entire family.
Motion sickness may at times be difficult to recognize, but it is a real medical condition that affects the centers of the brain that control balance and motion. This condition may also be exhibited as fear and anxiety about car rides. Dogs suffering from motion sickness may show a variety of signs, including drooling, dry heaving, excessive lip licking, excessive panting, inactivity, pacing, restlessness, shaking, vomiting, whining or yawning.
However, especially during warmer months, some of these signs, such as excessive panting and whining, can mistakenly be attributed to other things, such as overheating. That’s why it is important to pay close attention to the onset of signs that could indicate motion sickness and note any correlations with travel, including anxiety or avoidance behavior like resistance to getting in the car. Sharing this information with your veterinarian can help isolate the cause.
If you determine that your pet is indeed suffering from motion sickness, you can take several steps to make your next trip together more comfortable:
Find more resources for traveling with a dog that has motion sickness at cerenia.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
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All trademarks are the property of Zoetis Services LLC or a related company or a licensor unless otherwise noted. ©2016 Zoetis Services LLC. All rights reserved. CER-00218
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