Many pets start getting anxious about thunderstorms hours before they actually happen. Changes in atmospheric pressure, the smell of rain coming in, wind, humidity and that electric feeling happens well in advance of most storms and dogs are extremely sensitive to those changes. We strongly recommend having a flower essence like Rescue Remedy or Green Hope’s Anxiety in their water or in their mouth the minute you hear the morning’s weather forecast for storms, because by the time you’ve heard the thunder yourself, they’ve had plenty of time to get themselves worked up. Some pets get so scared, it’s a good idea to keep it in their water daily to take off the edge. Flower essences are totally safe and you can’t do them wrong. We also have very effective homeopathic remedies and essential oils which we sometimes will use in combination depending on how severe the anxiety presents itself in your pet. So if your dog is acting like a scardey cat, better come see us and we’ll select just the right thing to help your pet!
It’s time for our annual food drive for the dogs and cats at Caring For Creatures in Palmyra, Va. If you are purchasing products for us to donate to them, we’ll offer 20% off on any of those items and we’ll handle the delivery to the rescue. They particularly need Honest Kitchen and Rad Cat products for felines recovering from urinary tract issues. On the dogs’ wish list is Annamet kibble and any of our canned foods. They can also use treats, flea/tick products, toys and litter. If you would prefer to donate money, we’ll purchase things for them on their wish list. Please consider donating at this time. They get many offerings at Christmas but supplies run low during the summer so this is a great time to make a difference to the 2oo or so animals to which they offer sanctuary.
Have you noticed your dogs eating grass lately? Eating grass is a fairly common behavior for dogs, but the truth is that no one knows exactly why dogs eat grass. However, there are some pretty strong hypotheses out there about what causes this strange behavior.
Top Four Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass
Here are four well-accepted explanations for why you may see dogs and puppies eating grass.
As we domesticated dogs, we changed their eating habits and their diets. The food that we feed our dogs today is pretty different from what they would eat in the wild. Dogs are actually omnivores and scavengers, meaning that they are willing to eat all sorts of different foods.
It’s possible that dogs eating grass are just following their natural instinct to scavenge. Wild dogs today will eat vegetation including fruits and grass, so our domesticated dogs may eat grass to satisfy the same natural instinct.
Dogs may have an alternative motive to eating grass: Soothing an upset stomach. The grass is tickly, and it can make a dog throw up. Dogs who eat grass may be attempting to relieve an upset or gassy stomach. While the end result isn’t at all fun for us to clean up, it’s possible that our dogs know what their bodies need and are eating grass as a way to make themselves feel better.
Grass eating in dogs can be a sign of anxiety. This behavior can be compulsive, and if a dog gets worked up or upset, he may turn to eating grass to help soothe his nerves. If you notice that your dog is highly anxious or upset when he eats grass, it is likely that anxiety is at the root of his grass eating, rather than one of the other possible causes.
If you suspect that your dog is eating grass because of anxiety, there are a number of ways that you can help to treat the anxiety. Consult with your vet about holistic treatments that may help your dog. It may take some time to pinpoint the source of your dog’s anxiety, but taking the time to get to the root of the issue can allow you to better help your dog.
It’s also possible that some dogs just like grass. Dogs may like the taste or texture of grass. Even if grass may make dogs vomit, it’s possible that dogs enjoy eating it so much that the end effect isn’t enough to convince them to stop. Some dogs may just see grass as a special, delicious treat.
The Best Grass for Dogs to Eat
Now that we’ve established that it’s pretty common for dogs to eat grass, let’s talk about how to keep your dog safe when he decides to chow down on the lawn. The best grass for dogs to eat is grass that has not been treated with chemicals or pesticides. Never let your dog eat grass when you’re out at the park or in an unfamiliar place since you don’t know how the grass has been maintained.
You may want to create a safe patch of grass just for your dog to eat. Maybe you want to grow a tray of grass within your home, or in your yard so that you know your dog isn’t at risk of ingesting pesticides or other chemicals.
Keep an eye on your dog when he eats grass. This is particularly true for puppies eating grass, since ingesting too much grass or pieces of grass that are too large may cause an intestinal blockage in a puppy.
Grass eating is one of those behaviors that we don’t yet fully understand. If you’re struggling with grass eating in your dog, then our Behavior Consulting or Nutritional Consulting services may be just right for you.
If you’re lucky enough to spend your work day with your dog, this event is for you! Send in your photos of “what your dog does at work” June 19-23. The winner will be announced Friday, June 23 and will receive a $100 Gift Certificate and a briefcase of goodies to enjoy at your workplace! There will be a special prize for the “dog who looks the most like his person,” too! Entries can be submitted by email (TalkToUs@animalconnectionVA.com) or on our Facebook page.
Do you shop for your family pets at the farmer’s market? We do… and you should too… it’s so easy to make fresh organic meals or food toppers your dogs and cats will just love! Downtown Charlottesville, Meade Park, Crozet, Nelson and Stonefield markets have a great selection of fresh meats and veggies. Get shopping…. then come see us and we’ll show you how to balance your recipes for the perfect pet meals. We also have signed copies of Dr. Judy Morgan DVM’s book “What’s For Dinner Dexter,” a great resource of recipes and holistic pet info you’ll want to know about. Plus lots of yummy dog and kitty treats for sale!
Join us for a neighborhood play date with your dog at CROZET’S NEW OFF LEAD DOG PARK on Sunday, June 25th from 2-4. Your dogs will enjoy amazing treats and play with some very fun toys. Plus there will be refreshments while you’re mingling with old and new friends. We’ll have tables of info from Animal Connection, Animal Wellness Center, Countryside Grooming and local dog walkers, pet sitters and other services you’ll want to know about. Weather related decisions will be posted on our Facebook page by 1:00 pm if thunderstorms are in the forecast. Other Yappy Hours are currently scheduled for August and September (not July, too hot for the dogs). Dates and times will be advertised in the Crozet Gazette, on our Facebook and on this web page. Hope to see ya’ll there!
Wednesday, May 17 found Animal Connection and a whole pack of dogs and families at the Keswick Hunt Club for our annual fun dog show. Hundreds of spectators enjoyed watching the dogs and when we passed the hat for donations to the Charlottesville SPCA, it was full of generous contributions. It was hard for the judges to make decisions from so many great entries, but here’s a list of our winners. Beginner’s Agility – Luna, Jordan Atwell Purcell. Costume Class – “The Hungry Catepillar,” Maizey and Madeline Stone. Musical Chairs – Lizzy and Serah Montminy. Family Class – “The Dachsunds” a joint entry by the Matheson and Mascotte family. Best Rescue and Best In Show, Lizzy and Serah Montminy. (Note: Get your costumes ready for Dog Fest, Sunday, October 29 – this year bigger and better at Ix Art Park!)
Flowers, weeds, grasses, leaves… and that yellow pollen is in the air. Your pet may already be showing signs of discomfort, including scratching, itching, inflammation, red skin, teary eyes… and we’re here to help! We strongly recommend feeding a raw or gently cooked diet of whitefish or pork and dark, leafy green vegetables to support the immune system during this season. These cooling proteins and vegetables lower the “heat’ in the body, reduces the inflammation, and strengthens the immune system. For more relief, pair our Spring diet selections with our Quercetin supplements — noted holistic experts (like blogger, Rodney Habib) call quercetin “nature’s Benedryl.” It has anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties designed for quick relief. It’s easy to give your pet in a tablet or soft chew and it does the trick. So fear the great outdoors no more! We’re here to help!
With the warmer temps come all the insect critters. We’re fully stocked with shampoos, sprays, diatomaceous earth, essential oils, herbal collars and monthly spot-ons that are safe for your dog and for your family, and made in the USA! From noted holistic vet, Dr. Peter Dobias DVM, here are “Eight Steps To Choosing A Safe Flea Product For Your Dog” (for the full blog article, please visit peterdobias.com for this and other great information)
- Choose a topical product over oral treatment
- Choose a residual wash or and spray product used together over a highly concentrated spot treatment that absorbs and stays in the body for a month
- Choose a natural product over chemical ones
- Read reviews of other dog lovers before you purchase a new product
- Pick a product that is not preserved with artificial chemicals
- Go with brands not manufactured in China to avoid poor quality or tainted ingredients
- Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website to see if there are any reports of fatalities related to the product. If there are reported fatalities, do not risk your dog’s life by using such product.
- Go for a product that is guaranteed to work so you do not waste your money and can help your dog promptly. (and we’ll add 9.) If the product says “use gloves to apply” you can bet you won’t want it around your children or on your pet. So, come see us for better choices that really work!
It might be in the 60s in Virginia, but the Almanac says to watch for late February-early March snow and ice. Come in now for 20% OFF DOG WEAR, including Foggy Mountain, Pendleton, Teckle dog coats or Chilly Dog and Fab Dog woolen sweaters. Be prepared!