Thursday, June 25, 2009
Although most of us love the pyrotechnics (the bigger the better!) on the 4th of July, most of our canine companions (and some of our feline ones, too) get anxious, stressed, and just plain terrified.
With training we can remedy or prevent this stressful day for our loved ones.
But conditioning them to be relaxed while the sky suddenly explodes can take several months.
Here are some helpful tips for this year's celebration to keep you, your house, and most importantly your pet safe.
1)- If they haven't had a physical exam in a while- at least a week before the day you know fireworks will be set off- take your pet to the vet for a physical and discuss anxiety medications.
2) Stay home with your pet. If you are planning on leaving- don't make a big production out of it, this may alert you pet that something is up and make them more stressed.
3) Stay inside.
4)If you are going out (and maybe even if you are staying in ) Crate your pet. In a panic your pet may try to escape and destroy any number of things in the house in their pursuit of safety. Also they may potentially escape the house.
5) Mask the noise by turning on the radio or t.v
6) Stay calm yourself. If you stay calm it will help reinforce the concept that everything is ok.
6)Give them a toy or a Kong filled with cheese or peanut butter (anything they love). This will keep them distracted (if you freeze the kong several hours before, it may even distract them longer).
7) You can also distract them by playing a game they love to play. Again, it's best if this is an activity that can be done indoors.
Good luck and have a safe and wonderful Independence Day from all of us here at KAH!
Monday, June 22, 2009
Dr. Cardella examines a fawn for injuries. The fawn was found by herself and seemed wobbly. It turns out she was an uninjured newborn and was returned to the area she was found, where her mother was looking for her. At the last sighting, mother and fawn were doing well.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Pictured above is Nora's daughter Harmony holding Howard the duck.
This is the time of year when wildlife is reproducing and babies are abundant. The thing to remember is that housing and attempting to rehabilitate wildlife that is either injured or orphaned is illegal if you are not a certified rehabilitator. There are many helpful resources if you find yourself in a situation where you have an animal you feel is in danger in its present situation. Here are some numbers you can call if you need assistance:
Department of Natural Resources wildlife hotline 1-877-463-6497
Gimme Shelter Wildlife Rehab. Union Bridge 301-538-2488
Second Chance Gaithersburg 301-926-9453
Frederick County Animal Control 301-600-1546
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Does your pooch bury his head into your side every time it thunders out? Does he dive under the bed whenever rain starts to fall? From your point of view, this may seem like cute and endearing behavior but it's a sign that your dog is terrified of storms. Some owners are willing to simply put up with symptoms of storm phobias like hiding, trembling, whining, drooling and pacing. In more severe cases, panicking dogs have been known to chew furniture, tear drapes, break windows and cause themselves harm during thunderstorms. In either case, the behavior is a sign of a terrified, unhappy dog.
Storm phobias are one of the most common behavioral problems dog owners face but their cause is not entirely clear. Behaviorists are not yet sure what part of the storm frightens dogs most, whether they're reacting to lightning flashes, the sound of thunder, wind blowing around the house or the sound of rain hitting the roof. Some dogs even start to pace and whine half an hour or more before a storm. They may be reacting to a sudden drop in air pressure, sounds of thunder that we can’t hear yet, or the electrical charge of the air.
What to do?
Talking to your veterinarian is the first step to helping your pup overcome his thunderstorm fears. Your veterinarian can help you develop a program to gradually retrain your dog by gradually and gently helping him adjust to storms through behavior modification. Technically called "systematic desensitization," this procedure involves exposing the storm-phobic dog to some gentle reminders of a thunderstorm, such as a very soft tape recording of thunder or a flashing light. The dog is rewarded with lots of treats, attention and other positive reinforcement only if there is no evidence of anxiety. Over time, the intensity of the stimulus is increased and only calm behavior rewarded (get profession guidance, either from a veterinarian or a veterinary behavior specialist, before you begin this process). If you introduce frightening stimuli too quickly or don't see signs of fear your dog may be showing, you could possibly end up making the phobia worse.
If gentle, patient retraining doesn't help your pooch, there are some prescriptions that can. Your veterinarian can prescribe an anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication to help your dog remain calm during storms. You can also make sure your dog has a warm, safe "den" to retreat to when the weather gets too scary. Try padding a crate with blankets or clearing a space underneath your bed. Just make sure that it's somewhere your pup can get out of whenever he wants. A panicked dog can do a lot of damage to his crate and himself if he's confined.It is very important that you remain calm when your dog is afraid. Don't cuddle and reassure him, because it will reward his fearful behavior but don’t punish him for it either. Instead, just be calm and provide him with a safe, familiar place where he can feel secure and ride out the storm.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
A good time was had by all at the Frederick County Humane Society's Walk-N-Wag last Saturday. Above are two participants that look vagely famililar. The terrier is Eileen and she is most commonly seen, sans fur coat, at the reception desk. The pug is Ranee, one of our six registered veterinary technicians.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Animal shelters are vibrant and exciting places to go; barking, bustling, and busy. You'll find wonderful animals, many choices for your new companion. Our shelter employees have a wealth of information and experience to offer you about selecting the right pet for your family. You'll also find a pet adoption process that's designed to find a good home for our pets and a good pet for your home.
Our shelter employees will ask a number of questions about you; your pet experience and what you expect from the pet; questions you may not have expected. Some people feel that it's harder to adopt a pet than a child, but we want to insure our pets find good homes and our citizens find the right pet. So hang in there; adopting a pet is worth it.
If you are ready to make a commitment to the right pet, not only will you save a life, you'll enhance your own. People with pets live longer and recover from illness faster than people who have none. Kids with pets learn empathy earlier than other kids. Research suggests that kids with pets handle family tragedy, such as divorce, better, too and may have fewer problems with allergies.
The Frederick Animal Control Center (FCAC) cares for abandoned and relinquished animals through funding from Frederick County Government. Each year, several thousand animals come into the shelter. While a few hundred of these pets are eventually reunited with their owners, the remaining thousands need new homes. Because the FCAC accepts all unwanted, injured, stray and sick animals in the County, we are often unable to find homes for all the pets in need.
How to Adopt
Find the pet of your dreams, bring your family to the shelter to meet the pet and fill out an application to adopt.
Make an appointment with an adoption counselor the following day. In the meantime we check references you provide.
Our adoption counselors will give you information on integrating your new pet into your household. If we've found a good match, you will pay adoption fees and take your pet home. If your pet is not yet altered, our vets will perform the surgery here at the shelter BEFORE you take your pet home.