Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bombs Bursting in Air…

Independence Day can be a stressful holiday for dogs due to the noise of fireworks going off. While there is little you can do to prevent the cause of the anxiety, there is much you can do to help manage your dog’s reaction.

• Be proactive. Find out when towns in your area will be having their official celebrations. As that time approaches, close your windows to reduce the noise, and turn on the TV, radio, or A/C to create background sounds.
• Consider a calming product that can be given ahead of time. Bach’s Rescue Remedy for Pets is one option. Your vet may prescribe something stronger if it is warranted.
• Consider an anxiety wrap. Dogs are comforted by the light pressure the coat provides.
• If your dog heads for a safe haven during the fireworks, let him stay. Dogs may be comforted by hiding under the bed, in the tub, or in cabinets. As long as that spot is safe and you can keep an eye on him, let the dog stay.
• Most importantly, resist the urge to cuddle, pet, or comfort the dog while he is expressing signs of anxiety. Attention to the dog while he is in this state is a reinforcement of the behavior, and may make future anxious reactions even worse.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What is the ADA?
When discussing the rights of service dogs to accompany their owners into the wider world, the ADA is often cited. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. The goal of the legislation was to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.
To this end, persons with disabilities are permitted to bring their service animal with them anywhere the general public is allowed. The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
Business owners may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability. An animal may only be excluded if that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
Not everyone you encounter will be familiar with the ADA. It is helpful to have the text of the law readily accessible on a card you carry, or on your service animal’s ID badge. These products are available at Working Service Dog.