Cathy M. Rosenthal
Expensive Cathy, Patrick is a 90-pound, 3-year-old Lab combine rescue. He was born with out hip sockets and had two surgical procedures to take away the ball on prime of his femur in order that he may reside a standard life. The surgical procedures had been completed 4 months aside, starting when he was a couple of 12 months previous. He had bodily remedy for a number of months after every surgical procedure and is doing effectively. He’s a really candy and loving canine who lives with us and two different Lab mixes — 8 and 11 years previous. All three canines get alongside fantastic.
When Patrick was a pet, earlier than his surgical procedures, we took him for walks, and nothing bothered him. Now each uncommon sound he hears whereas exterior scares him, and he runs for the door to get inside. We’ve a fenced yard, and all three have the run of the yard when on the market. I feel one thing should have scared him whereas he was recovering after surgical procedure on the vet’s workplace; possibly a desk with steel devices or bowls fell whereas he was in restoration. We really feel dangerous for him. We tried a Thundershirt, however it didn’t assist. I hope you may present some concepts. — Ken, Granby, Conn.
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Expensive Ken: Whereas there isn’t any option to know the way I’ve developed this worry, I’ve seen canines develop fears and phobias after surgical procedures and surprising diseases or accidents. Because of this, they could be a little extra hesitant and reactive to their environment. You may assist your canine in two methods: Present reassurance, and construct his confidence in him.
Reassurance consists of utilizing a Thundershirt, Nervousness Wrap, over-the-counter anxiousness chew or pheromone collar to cut back his anxiousness. Confidence is constructed via accomplishments. Enhance his coaching past fundamental obedience, and take into account one thing like rally obedience so he learns it is OK to have new experiences. Rally obedience includes strolling your canine via a course with indicators that give directions on the following talent to be carried out. You may take a look at rally obedience expertise on-line and create your personal yard course.
Lastly, each canine ought to be skilled to chill out. If you see him in a relaxed pose or when he stays relaxed after listening to a brand new sound, say his distinctive marker phrase (ie, bingo) to mark the specified habits, and provides him a deal with. (Every canine ought to have their very own coaching phrase.) You normally have to mix a number of methods over time earlier than seeing outcomes.
Expensive Cathy, I’ve two 6-year-old parakeets, female and male. For the previous three years, the feminine has laid eggs however would not sit on them. That is not the issue. The issue is the cuttlebone that I put of their cage. I’ve had parakeets up to now the place it took them a couple of month earlier than they completed it. The parakeets that I’ve now end it in at some point. Through the pandemic, it was so onerous to search out cuttlebone, and it’s nonetheless onerous. I can not preserve changing it every single day. Is there something that may exchange a cuttlebone, or is it OK for them to not have it on a regular basis? — Lisa, Flushing, New York
Expensive Lisa, It is OK for them to not have a cuttlebone on a regular basis, however provided that their food plan offers for all their dietary wants. Cuttlebones are calcium dietary supplements, so their habits may point out a calcium deficiency. Dr. Robert Groskin, the chief director for the Affiliation of Avian Veterinarians, additionally says there might be parasites of their beaks or the feminine might be craving calcium as a result of she is about to put eggs. An avian veterinarian ought to evaluation your birds’ food plan to find out deficiencies and make dietary suggestions that may meet all their dietary wants.
One other factor to think about is that bored birds can develop into obsessive about sure issues. If it seems to be behavioral, you will want to offer extra stimulation. Place their cage close to a window (however not within the solar) to allow them to look exterior. Rotate their toys. Give them alternatives to forage for meals. There are forage toys on the market, however you may simply put their every day meals in tiny, separate bowls in order that they need to go to each bowl to get their every day meal. You can also cowl the bowls with small items of paper in order that they need to take away them to eat.
Coaching can also scale back boredom. Coaching a parakeet is like coaching another pet — repetition, marking the specified habits (with a clicker) and rewarding the right habits. You may prepare your birds to sit down in your finger, discuss and do some easy methods.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, writer, columnist and pet knowledgeable who has greater than 25 years within the animal welfare discipline. Ship your pet questions, tales and tricks to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please embrace your title, metropolis, and state. You may comply with her from her @cathymrosenthal.