Five Stressors for Dogs

We humans are extra stressed during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's important to check in with our precious pooches. Our dogs can pick up on our stress which can amplify their every day stressors. Below are some common stressors for dogs we should all be aware of.

//1// Using multiple verbal cues to indicate the same behavior.

There are many ways to tell your dog to quit a behavior, such as barking. We often use "shh!", "stop!", and "quiet!" Dogs get confused when more than one word is assigned to the same behavior, and will continue that behavior out of confusion. It's best to come up with one specific word to apply to a command.

//2// Saying "it's okay" to calm a dog's anxiety.

When our dogs are anxious we often say "it's okay" to comfort them. Instead, we're actually training them to think the opposite. If we use this phrase in conjunction with something they don't like - thunderstorms, going to the vet - they learn to associate the phrase with things that aren't okay. Saying "it's okay" comes to mean something bad is about to happen and can make a dog even more anxious.

//3// Restraining a dog to give him affection.

Each dog has a different threshold, and most dogs do not understand hugs. A dog who does not like hugs may still love to snuggle. Snuggling is often on their terms and can feel less restrictive. Respect your pet's personal boundaries.

//4// Having a lack of rules and boundaries.

Dogs thrive on consistency and routine and find great comfort in it. Scolding a certain behavior one week and letting it slide the next can be very confusing for a pup. The next time the animal will not be able to anticipate the human's reaction to the behavior which can be really stressful. If your dog is not allowed on the couch, then he's not allowed on the couch.

//5// Making eye contact with a dog you don't know.

Dogs view loving gazes shared with their humans and being stared at by a stranger differently. Some dogs consider extended eye contact from a stranger to be a challenge which increases their stress response. Try to avoid eye contact when meeting a new dog and give him time to get to know you.

Easy Ways to Save Money NOW

A record number of Americans have filed for unemployment as all non-essential businesses have closed around the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There are simple ways to save money until we go back to work.

//1// Eat in. Eating out/picking up food can get pricey. Start by eating out fewer times per week and then discontinue the practice all together. Depending on how often you eat how you can save more than $30 per week!

//2// Declutter. Now is the prefect time for Spring cleaning! Gather all your gently used clothes and households items that you don't need/want anymore. List the items on an app such a LetGo, Poshmark, or OfferUp. That sweater you haven't worn in a year and that unused picture frame could put extra cash in your pocket.

//3// Get fit for free. Cancel you gym membership and any overpriced fitness streaming platforms you may subscribe to. Find free workouts on YouTube or Instagram!

//4// Mind your medications. If you require a prescription ask you doctor for the generic. Generic drugs often cost up to 85% less than the name brand. Shop around between pharmacies. Often pharmacies often differing prices for the same medication. You can save by buying generic over the counter medications too!

Stay at Home Update

First, I hope you and your loved ones are all staying healthy! Second, before my riveting update let's do something fun! At the end of the post I'm going to link some of my blog posts that I worked really hard on and I'm really proud of. In the comments link a few favorites from your blog that I can go and read them!

On Monday our governor gave us our Stay at Home order which didn't change too much for me because my work had closed the week prior. The order is for three weeks!

I work in healthcare, in dermatology. Our office is closed for patient visits and we have limited hours everyday to answer phones and keep on paperwork. I'm only going to in to the office one day a week for about 3-6 hours and trying to do work from home whenever the opportunity presents itself. I filed for underemployment. So my 40+ hour work weeks seem like a thing of the distanct past!

Nick, Scout, and I are all staying healthy. We're not getting outside much because it's been pretty cold and gray. It even snowed! If it gets above 50 I try to go out for a small amount of time. I've been doing a lot of cooking, a lot of cleaning, some reading (American Royals by Katharine McGee), and binge watching including Ozark on Netflix.

This whole COVID-19 thing is crazy, uncertain, and can get scary! Following orders such as social distancing. The more we distance the faster we can stop the spread and get back to normal. Don't hoard or panic!

Here are those posts I talked about at the beginning. Don't forget to show me some of yours!