Helping Your Pet Cope with Thunder and Firework Phobias


By Karen Fazio, CDBC, Director of Training and Behavior

Almost all pets are uncomfortable with sudden or loud sounds. Most cope with their discomfort by hiding or seeking out comfort from owners or other animals living in the home. For those classified as phobic, nothing quite compares to the intense level of fear and anxiety such pets experience when exposed to thunderstorms or fireworks.

Sound-phobic dogs and cats present certain symptoms that earn them this classification. Some include pacing, excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, trembling, house soiling, aggression, over-the-top vocalizing or attempts to escape the home. In some cases, symptoms persist long after the event has concluded.

Luckily, there are a number of ways an owner may help their pets prepare for and cope with thunderstorms and firework displays. Continue…

Dog Parks: 5 Reasons to Reconsider the Trip

By Karen Fazio CDBC, Director of Training & Behavior

Some dog parks are a place where highly socialized and well-behaved dogs gather; or they are the equivalent of entering a prison yard. The biggest challenge in that? Not knowing whether you are entering a good dog park, or one of the prison yard variety.

Beyond the overall quality of the dog park, however, are other reasons responsible dog owners should skip the dog park. Here are five dog park facts you may not have considered:

1. Age Is the Most Overlooked Factor

The biggest flaw of dog parks is that most of the focus is on separating dogs by size. However, we feel that age is the most overlooked and important factor in separating pets from one another.

Puppies, adolescent dogs, and adult dogs have much different play styles and energy levels. For example, a 5-month old Lab playing with a 4-year old dog of similar size is the equivalent of a toddler child engaging in tackle football with a 16-year old.

While dogs may be similar in size, it’s not a reliable indication that they’re in any way mentally or physically well-matched. Continue…