Pets Scared of the Vet

Pets Scared of the Vet

How can I help my pet when they are terrified of the vet?

If your pet is terrified of going to the vet, you are not alone. There are plenty of pet owners who dread every time they have to drag their pet into the vet’s office as their pet pulls back, quivers, or even becomes more aggressive when they get inside the clinic doors.  On top of that you just feel guilty putting your pet through that. You probably intentionally miss necessary vet visits just to avoid having to put your pet and yourself through this agonizing process. 

Rest assured, there are some things you can try that may help make the process a bit smoother and easier on both you and your pet. We’ll talk about some things you can do on your own, as well as some things you can implement working in collaboration with your veterinarian and their clinic staff.

Desensitization Techniques

It is completely normal for pets to be scared of the vet clinic. They are very good and making associations and associate the vet clinic with bad things happening to them, such as being poked with a needle, having a stranger touch them, and even being sick. Additionally, fearful pets give off fearful pheromone smells, so that other pets who come into the clinic begin their visit there uncertain and unafraid, on high alert.

Desensitization is the process of getting your pet comfortable with something they don’t like by exposing them to it in frequent, low, non-harmful doses and by pairing a lot of good stuff with it. In this case, it involves getting your pet used to everything involved in going to the vet- from the car ride to the vet’s office, to the smells and sounds of the vet’s office, to the equipment that is used during the veterinary exam.

Therefore, the first thing you can do is take your pet on car rides regularly, at random times, and to places they enjoy. This may mean taking them to a dog park, a pet store, a friend’s house, or to a drive-through to get some treats. Mix it up and do it often so they don’t think every time they get into the car they must be going to the vet.

The second thing you can do is take your pet to the vet just to hang out, without even needing anything to be done to them. Some veterinary clinics offer what we refer to as “happy visits”. These consist of scheduled times when you can bring your pet into the clinic, just for them to get used to be there without getting poked and prodded. They won’t have anything done to them and the veterinary staff will just offer your pet treats and love to help them become more calm in the environment. They may just sit and eat treats in the lobby, or they may go into an exam room and continue to get treats. They key here is slow, gradual, and making it fun and exciting.

Pheromones & Calming Tips

For some pets, such as cats and dogs, there are pheromone collars and sprays available to help relieve anxiety your pet may be feeling. “Dog Appeasing Pheromone” comes in sprays and collars, while “Feliway” for cats (https://www.feliway.com/us) comes in sprays that you can use on collars, carriers, leashes, bandanas, or blankets for your pet to breath in and feel calmer.

For cats, you can also sprinkle some catnip on a towel and put in your cat’s carrier to help them feel more at ease, and even playful. 

Calming supplements, such as “Composure”, can also be helpful. They are little treats that contain anxiety-relieving ingredients, such as colostrum and theanine. You can give them to your pet to eat prior to coming into the vet and they are very safe to use. Some people have also found CBD oils that are specifically made for pets to help a little with vet-associated anxiety. Just make sure to read the label and give the appropriate dose to your individual pet. You may also want to call your vet’s office ahead of time to make sure it’s okay to give.

There is also a product called a “Thundershirt” that your pet may benefit from. It is made to fit snuggly around your pet, helping endorphins to be released into their bloodstream, calming their anxieties. It’s sort of like receiving a long, snug hug from someone. These Thundershirts can help your pet feel more calm and relaxed, easing some of the tensions of going into the clinic. 

If your pet is very visual and over-reactive to all the visual stimuli within the vet clinic, they may benefit from the use of a “Calming Cap”.  Calming caps are little hood-like caps you can put on your pet before you bring them in to the vet. They cover the eyes so your pet can’t see everything going on around them. It’s best to get them used to these ahead of time at home and have them wear it at other times also so they don’t only associate it with going to the vet clinic. Partnering it’s application with yummy treats is a good way to get your pet okay with having it put on.

Here is a link to more information on Calming caps and Thundershirts:

Treats, yummy yummy treats!

Don’t feed your pet before bringing them in to the vet so that they are hungry and hopefully food motivated when they get there. This can help them be more able to focus on food if the vet staff offers them food and treats, allowing them to not think about their anxieties.

Something else you can do is set aside a certain treat or food that your pet absolutely loves. Only give them this treat or food when it is time to go to the vet. This gets them to think of the vet as a good thing as they get their favorite food only when they get to go to the vet!

Medications or sedation

For some pets, no matter what you try on your own, nothing will help. And that’s okay. There are certain medications available that your veterinarian can prescribe for you to give prior to bringing your pet into the vet. These medications are safe and will wear off after a few hours. The main side effects are they may make your pet drowsy and sleep for most of the day. If they are prescribed for your cat, you may need to be cautious and keep your cat confined to a small room for the remainder of the day after your vet visit so they don’t try to go down the stairs or jump up on something, falling off.

You may also consider looking for a veterinarian who does house calls. Some pets who are terrified at the vet’s office actually do just fine if the vet is brought to them where they are at ease and comfortable, not feeling threatened. There are more and more vets of all kinds offering at-home services these days. Even if your vet’s office doesn’t have it advertised as a service, go ahead and ask your vet if they would consider doing a house call for your pet or if they know of any nearby vets who can.

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

If you’ve ever seen your dog rummage the yard for pieces of poop, you’ll understand how frustrating and stomach turning it can be. Rest assured, this actually is a normal type of behavior for dogs, even if it disgusts us. Even though it can be normal, it’s best to try to deter this sort of behavior as it can lead to continued reinfection of parasites and cause intestinal disturbances. There are some actions you can take to try to break this habit, which we’ll discuss below.

What is so enticing about the Poop?

Coprophagy is the term used to describe the act of eating poop. Although it’s common for people to think a dog eats poop because they have some sort of nutrient deficiency, this is usually not the case. Poop scavengers are typically eating poop as a sign of dominance, indicating to others that they are in charge. When puppies eat poop, it’s more so out of curiosity and play. Other dogs may eat poop merely because it tastes good to them and is extremely malodorous. We all know how dogs love to chew on things that smell bad, such as worn socks, shoes, and dirty laundry (including underwear- that’s a common cause of intestinal obstruction in dogs). Finally, some dogs eat poop merely out of boredom or frustration.

What can I do to stop my dog from eating poop?

Getting your dog to stop eating poop (stool) will take a combinations of deterrence, training, and quick movement on your part. We’ll break these down below.

Deterrence:  

This is the act of making eating the poop less attractive, rewarding, and enticing for your dog. There are actually products made specifically for this reason- to get your dog to stop eating their stool or the stool of another pet. There are a few options out there, but the oldest and most effective one is called For-Bid (https://www.for-bid.com/)

For-Bid is a highly purified edible protein that comes in powder form. When eaten, it causes the dog’s stool to taste very bad. It’s important to note that even though we as humans may think stool already tastes bad, this is not necessarily the case for dogs, but the For-Bid powder causes the stool to be distasteful to dogs’ taste buds.

If your dog is eating their own stool, you sprinkle the powder into your dog’s food daily until your dog stops eating their poop. If the behavior begins again, you start the process over. If your dog is eating another dog’s poop, then you sprinkle the powder into the other dog’s food daily until your dog stops eating the other dog’s poop. You can also give this to your cats to eat if the problem is that your dog is getting into their litter box and eating their poop.

Behavior Training:

If your dog is eating their own poop or other dogs’ poop as a sign of dominance, out of frustration or boredom, or due to another behavioral issue, it is a good idea to seek out the help of either a certified dog trainer or a veterinary behaviorist. They can come to your home and spend some time with your dog and other pets in the home.  They can get an idea of the social hierarchy and any stressors that may be present, while working with you to provide recommendations and changes in the environment. 

Make sure your dog has lots of toys and enrichment to keep their body and mind entertained. If your schedule allows, try to play with them regularly and take them on daily walks. If your budget allows, taking them to regular dog training classes, dog parks, or agility courses will also help keep them stimulated and less inclined to eat their poop. 

Quick Movement:

Remove their poop as fast as you can from the ground. This is the number one best way to prevent them from eating their poop. If it’s not there, they can’t eat it! This, of course, means that you have to go outside with them during each potty break, take a glove and a bag, and scoop up their poop right as they are laying it down. This takes much more work on your part, but is the best preventative measure you have. 

Every dog is different and these measures may or may not work completely for your individual dog. If you are worried your dog is eating poop because of something painful in their mouth or a medical condition, it’s also always a good idea to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian so they can do a thorough examination on your dog and discuss if bloodwork may be needed.

Answers To Every Question You Ever Had About Baby Chicks

Answers To Every Question You Ever Had About Baby Chicks

If you just got chicks for the first time, you probably have a million questions. Last year, I did a free YouTube series that answered the most common questions I get about raising baby chicks. Below, I’ve compiled all those videos into a single easy-to-use resource!

This page is easy to use. Just use the table of contents to scroll to the best spot, and watch the video that answers your specific question!

If you have a question that hasn’t been answered yet, please reach out to us at [email protected] and I’ll make a video especially for you!

Feeding Baby Chicks

Can My Chicks Eat…..

Giving Water To Chicks

Nutritional Supplements For Chicks

Brooders & Keeping Chicks Warm

Common Health Questions

When Can Chicks Go Outside With Adult Hens?

Are My Chicks Male Or Female?

How To Raise People-Friendly Chickens

Protecting Chickens From Predators

When Do Chicks Start Laying Eggs?

Where To Buy Baby Chicks

FAQ


Black Sex Link Chickens: Buyer & Care Guide

Black Sex Link Chickens: Buyer & Care Guide

Ever heard of black sex link chickens, but aren’t sure what they’re like? Thinking of adding them to your flock and need more info? In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about this type of chicken!

Pure breed chickens have long been the way to go to add consistency in a home flock of chickens. Pure breeds have some amazing benefits: you can scratch the competition itch by entering them in shows, you are guaranteed registration with the American Poultry Association, and the genetic quirks from long generations are guaranteed to appear in their chicks, leading to generations of consistency within the particular breeds. Yet for all the perks that come from genetic purity, there are just as strong cases of bucking the trend and breeding hybrid chickens. Hybrid chickens are not breeds of chickens, but rather mixes that produce very specifically desired chicken results. One of the most popular of these types of hybrid is the Black Sex Link Chicken. 

What Are Black Sex Link Chickens?

Black sex link chickens are a hybrid mix that results by crossing a pure-bred barred hen and a pure-bred non-barred rooster. For example, crossing a Barred Plymouth Rock hen with a Rhode Island Red rooster will result in sex-linked chicks. When these parents mate, the pullets do not receive a barring gene because the barring gene is only on the male chromosome. Because of this, the sex of their chicks is immediately recognizable through its color. From birth, Black Sex Link pullets are all black, and the males are identifiable by a white spot on their heads. The link here is an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to know the ins and outs the genetics behind sex link chickens.

What Are Sex Link Hybrids? 

In a nutshell (or an eggshell, as the case may be), a sex link hybrid is NOT an official breed of chicken. They retain many of the more positive qualities of their parent chickens’ breeds but are specifically bred for the uniqueness of their coloring. 

Perhaps the most common and popular example of a sex link hybrid is also the most prominent example of the Black Sex Link. If you cross two popular American chicken breeds – a Rhode Island Red male and a Barred Plymouth Rock female – you will get sex linked chicks. The gender of the resultant chicks will be immediately recognizable upon hatching. 

Why Breed Black Sex Link Hybrids?

In the above example (the Rhode Island Red male and a Barred Plymouth Rock female), the goal is to produce females that can be immediately separated from the males. Then, once these females come of age, they will be some of the best egg-layers around. With good care, they have been known to produce 300 eggs per year. 

An added bonus of this particular pairing of chicken is the size. The Black Sex Link results of this pairing is large enough to serve as meat chickens. Once your Black Sex Link hens have exhausted their eggs, they will make a sizable addition to your dining needs. 

Breed Description FAQ

What Do Black Sex Link Chickens Look Like? 

Black Sex Link pullets are instantly recognizable when they hatch by their pure black down. You can easily recognize male chicks because they have a distinguishable white spot on their heads. At maturity, Black Sex Link hens are usually black with gold hackle and breast feathers. Roosters, on the other hand, have banding across their bodies. Both male and females have red combs and wattles.

So, how large are they? On average, the hens weigh 6-7 pounds. Cockerels weigh around 8-9 pounds. Some hatcheries advertise their black sex link chickens a little lighter: with the hens being only a touch over five pounds and the roosters being about 6 pounds. 

Are they friendly? Black Sex Link Chickens are sometimes described as skittish, curious, energetic, and friendly. Many of their owners love them, but there are some exceptions to the rule. Some Black Sex Link Chickens have been known to be noisy or aggressive to other breeds. This is especially true with the roosters. Some of this could be explained away as an alpha-bird attitude in that they occasionally enjoy being at the top of the pecking order. You might wonder if the hens are broody: we’re happy to share that black sex link hens are not known for their broodiness. 

How long do black sex link chickens live? They live as long as any normal chicken. Rhode Island Reds – one of the parent breeds – are generally known to live into their eighth year. If you’re worried about them surviving the winter, don’t fret: The two parents of the average Black Sex Link Chicken are the Rhode Island Red and the Barred Plymouth Rock. Considering that both of these breeds are very cold hardy, Black Sex Link Chickens breed true in this regard; they are very cold hardy and are ideal for colder environments.

black sex link hen in grass

Are Sex Link Chickens An Accepted Breed By The American Poultry Association?

No, they are not and never will be. One important requirement for chickens to be accepted breeds is that they have to actually be breeds. A breed is a type of chicken that, as defined in the American Poultry Association’s list of breeds, breeds true. A standard is a definition of a breed that each subsequent generations of the breed can be compared to. The APA doesn’t want to disqualify breeds, and offer a means of applying for the entry of new breeds of chicken into the registry but each applicant must have a standard. Because Black Sex Link Chickens are hybrids, they will not breed true. This means that the resultant offspring will not conform to any standard, and they might display a number of deviations from either parent.

Do Black Sex Link Chickens Breed True?

For a chicken to breed true, there must be some genetic consistency within the breed. With Black Sex Link Chickens, the father cockerels share two color genes that might match inconsistently with the single-color gene of the mother hens. The inconsistency of the result could produce variations like heavy banding, or alternative coloring. Because of the roulette matching of genes, Black Sex Link Chickens cannot breed true. As a result, most Black Sex Link Chickens are not bred past the first generation. 

How Often Do Black Sex Link Chickens Lay Eggs?

Black Sex Link Chicken hens thrive at egg production and can produce about 300 eggs in a single year with proper care and if they are in good health. They start laying at 18-20 weeks on average, but have been known to start laying at 16 weeks or as late as 26 weeks. They usually maintain optimum egg development through about their fifth year, when they begin waning in egg production. Their eggs are brown.

What Kind of Health Issues Do Black Sex Link Chickens Have? 

Black Sex Link Chickens suffer from the same health issues that most other chickens endure. As far as external threats, ticks, mites, lice, worms, and other parasites are all dangerous to them. Because Black Sex Link Chickens are so important for egg production, you’ll want to minimize their potential danger. A great way to beat the bugs is by boosting your chickens’ immune systems with apple cider vinegar and crushed garlic. 

black sex link rooster in grass

Where To Find Black Sex Link Chickens?

Black Sex Link Chickens are quite a popular hybrid for their impressive egg production and good size for dining purposes. As a result, they are fairly easy to find in a number of commercial locations around the USA. 

  • Tractor Supply 
  • McMurray Hatchery, based in Webster City, IA
  • Cackle Hatchery, based in Lebanon, MO (Read our review of Cackle here).
  • Purely Poultry, located in Fremont, WI
  • Townline Hatchery, from Zeeland MI

A common question is “Are black sex link chickens and black star chickens the same?” – and it’s because sometimes, hatcheries want to distinguish their hybrids from other, similar, chicks. But ultimately, Black Sex Link Chickens and Black Star Chickens are the same. A simple way to look at it is to think of “Black Star Chickens” as a specific designer name for the hybrid. There might be some minor differences between the one and the other, but all Black Star chicks possess black as their primary color and can be sexed from hatching.

10 Beautiful Winter Window Boxes for Your Coop

10 Beautiful Winter Window Boxes for Your Coop

Window boxes give every chicken coop a beautiful look.

You can have a lot of fun decorating your chicken coop, especially in the winter. Here are some ideas for a beautiful winter window boxes for your chicken coop!

 

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Well this right here makes cold fingers and toes all worth it! If you’ve followed along the last few days in my stories..I’ve been sharing how I go about filling my windowboxes and porch pots..well I finished them up today! ~Can you believe some of the mums in there still looked good?! Crazy!!🤷🏼‍♀️ Next up.. garland and lights! I just love how the house looks when it’s all lit up and decked out for the Holidays! ✨ . . #homefortheholidays #winterwindowboxes #christmaswindowbox #happyholidayhome #mycountryhome #cozycottagefarmhouse #howiholidayhome #fabfloralsinbloom #seasonalspaceswelove #blessedhomestyle #simplefarmhousestyle #betterhomesandgardens #countrylivingmagazine #americanfarmhousestyle #realsimple #crazy4christmasdecor #bhghome #christmasinspiration #christmasjoy #deckthehalls #farmhousechristmas #merryandbright #holidaycheer #bhgcelebrate #buffalocheckchristmas #buffalocheck #buffaloplaid

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Sneaky Peak Behind The Scenes #31

Sneaky Peak Behind The Scenes #31

Hey y’all! Here’s this week’s sneaky peek photos of life on our farm!

These images also appear on my Instagram account where I share MANY more photos and stories from the farm!

If you aren’t yet following me there, you can right here.

Enjoy the photos & be sure to share some of yours with me!

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I shared this DIY raised bed video this week and I'm happy you guys liked it. It's available in youtube now. Show your support here: https://youtu.be/WaoN-iyJexY . ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ If you like the video, please leave a thumbs up and a comment (even if it's just an emoji!). This lets YouTube know people like our videos, and helps other gardeners and chicken owners find us! Thank you! . . . . #farmlife #farmhousechic #hobbyfarm #homestead #homesteadinglife #farmerslife #farmhousedecor #homesteaders #farmer #farmhouseliving #farmher #homesteading #farmhouse #farms #instagramhomesteaders #homesteadliving #modernfarmhouse #homesteadersofamerica #farmergirl #farmerlife #farminglife #homesteadlife #smallfarm #farmgirl #farmerswife #farmliving #womenwhofarm #farmlifebestlife #homesteadersofinstagram #farmhousestyle

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The ducklings spent ALL day yesterday outside – and they loved it! It's amazing to think in just a few short weeks, they'll grow as large as these ducks (in photo) who are GIANTS compared to these hatchlings. . They had a blast pecking at the grass, laying in the sun, and exploring their new world. It was 75 degrees out yesterday, and in the sun, even warmer, so they had a ton of fun! . I use an old rabbit cage as a tractor. The holes are small enough that the ducklings and predators can't fit through, and light enough that it can be moved around the property. . Assuming it's warm enough, they'll go out again today! . How are your flock doing today? . . . #petducks #farmanimals #cuteanimalspage #babyducks #cuteanimalslifestyle #duckling #cuteducks #petducksofinstagram #cuteanimalsofig #cuteanimalsclub #cuteanimalshare #farmanimalrefuge #ducklove #petduck #ducks #farmanimal #cuteanimalsofinstagram #farmanimalsofinstagram #cuteduck #cuteanimalsco #ducksofinstagram #cuteducklings #cuteanimalshow #ducksunlimited #ducklings #cuteanimals #farmanimalsanctuary #cuteanimalshot #ducklife

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New video out now! https://youtu.be/y7RGQrRIyJs . If you like the video, can you please give it a thumbs up and leave a comment. It lets YouTube know people like our videos, and helps other chicken owners find us! THANK YOU!) . . . #homesteadingit #farmhousedecor #homesteadgoals #homesteadmom #homesteadinglife #farmliving #homesteaders #homesteadlife #farmlife #homesteadgardens #homesteadliving #instagramhomesteaders #homesteadfarm #farmerswife #homesteadingmama #homesteadersofinstagram #backyardhomestead #offgridhomestead #farmerlife #homesteadersofamerica #homesteadmama #homesteader #farmhousechic #urbanhomesteader #modernhomestead #homestead #farmacia #homesteadfarms #homesteading #farmlifebestlife

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