“From Fearful to Fear Free:” Written by Marty Becker, DVM, Lisa Radosta, Mikkel Becker, Wailiani Sung.
Almost every dog owner has a pet who suffers from fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS). They are the underlying cause of many concerning behaviors such as excessive barking, aggression, destructive behaviors, and house-soiling. They are also the source for deterioration of the human-animal bond, and can make a trip to the veterinarian, pet groomer, or boarding facility miserable for pet and owner alike. Left untreated, these negative experiences can lead to devastating consequences and permanent damage. Unfortunately, many well-meaning owners misinterpret or overlook the often subtle signs of emotional injury and turmoil, or think that the pet will simply “outgrow” it. This leads to unnecessary trauma and suffering.
Common FAS triggers include:
- Trips to the veterinarian (even for routine services such as vaccinations and nail trims)
- Bath time, brushing, or cleaning ears.
- Loud noises; thunderstorms; fireworks; the vacuum cleaner; construction; gunshots; or even buzzers on appliances.
- Less-familiar people or animals encountered on walks or near the home.
- Being left alone during work hours or even for short errands.
- Travel, including car rides.
- The most effective prescription sedatives for keeping dogs calm and happy during thunderstorms, fireworks, and other stressful events.
- The positive steps you can take to keep your pet occupied, calm, and content while you’re away at work or play.
- Simple, practical tactics for helping your dog learn to love going to the veterinarian’s office—literally pulling you into the practice instead of avoiding it!
- How to easily groom your dog and give him medication.
- Tips to tame the chaos when guests arrive in your home or when your dog encounters other dogs and people on walks.
- Ways to tackle some of the common behavior issues that often have a root cause of FAS, while also improving your communication and bond with your pet.
The three veterinary coauthors and one highly respected pet trainer have a combined 88 years of experience in the trenches of veterinary medicine, with specialties in behavior and training. By using their cutting-edge techniques, you’ll have pets that are happier, healthier and live a longer, fuller life.
Dog Smart Card Game: The Dog Smart Card Game teaches kids of all ages dog bite prevention and safety through dog body language. This 108 card deck focuses on 5 core areas of a dog’s body, including eyes, mouth, tail, ears, and whole body, and includes quiz cards. Cards are color coded in green (Go), yellow (Caution), red (Stop), and grey (self-checking cards) to warn players how to deal with a dog exhibiting these signs. Dozens of games can be played including memory, matching, math, and classic card games. Visit our Dog Smart page to see all the ways you can play.
Foundation of the Game: Teaches dog safety and dog bite prevention through the use of dog body language pictures. Each picture has been color coded in either green (Go), yellow (Caution), or red (Stop), and uses stoplight graphics to warn how to deal with a dog exhibiting these signs.
Game Highlights: Dozens of fun games can be played including memory games, matching games, dog safety games, math games (Kim was a homeschool Mom so she stuck math in there too), and classic card games. Kim included a Montessori based self checking system that allows card use and learning by children who can not yet read. Everyone can play!