Why Are People Using CBD Oil for Pets?

Overview of Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil for Pets

Marijuana, also known by the common term “pot”, is a psychoactive drug derived from the Cannabis plant that has been around for thousands of years. The recent legalization of marijuana for human medicinal treatments has increased interest in the properties of the Cannabis plant and has led to a substantial increase in marijuana (pot) exposure and toxicity in pets. In fact, according to the Pet Poison Helpline, there has been approximately a 450% increase in calls to animal poison hotlines due to marijuana exposure or toxicity.

The Cannabis plant contains approximately 483 known chemicals and over 80 cannabinoids. A cannabinoid is a class of chemicals isolated from Cannabis that can cause various effects on the body. The amount and concentration of each cannabinoid varies with the different plant and strain of plant. The two most studied and available cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being the most potent and psychogenic. It is used medically to treat nausea, muscle spasms, seizures, anxiety as well as other medical problems. Learn more about the ingestion and toxicity of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). (INSERT LINK).

The focus of this article is on ingestion and toxicity of CBD oil in pets.

What is the Difference between Marijuana, Hemp, THC and CBD?

These terms can be confusing and are often mistakenly used in the media. The term Marijuana most commonly refers to the tobacco product made from Cannabis leaves. THC and CBD are both cannabinoids derived from the Cannabis plant. The difference between the THC and CBD is that THC causes psychotropic effects (affects mentation) while CBD is felt to have limited toxicity and is not psychotropic.

Hemp is a type of Cannabis plant that is known to have more CBD than THC. CBD is often extracted from the plant and sold as an “oil”. Cannabidiol is thought to decrease anxiety, decrease nausea and vomiting, decrease seizures and have anti-inflammatory properties. It is increasingly being used in both humans and dogs.

There are HUGE differences in the quality and purity of CBD (more below).

CBD Oil for Pets: Can Dogs Get CBD Toxicity?

CBD is not approved by the FDA for use in dogs. The true safety of CBD in dogs has not been researched. We do not know how it may interact with other medications or treatments.

However, CBD is not psychotropic and appears to have limited toxicity in dogs and cats. As with any supplement or medication, there is a risk of adverse effects. In people, the most common side effects of CBD are a dry mouth, drop in blood pressure, and drowsiness.

Many CBD products are oil based and have the potential to cause nausea and vomiting in some dogs. The risk of toxicity will depend on the dose given to your dog, the quality of the product, preservatives or additives present, and the potency of the product. Overdoses with impure products can lead to symptoms of THC toxicity. Pets may be lethargic, listless, stumble, have glazed over eyes, and be incontinent of urine.

If you are giving your dog CBD oil and you have any concerns, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can CBD Oil Help Your Dog?

CBD is most commonly being used in dogs for pain relief, treatment of seizure disorders such as epilepsy, and for anxiety-related issues. There are no formal research studies about the use of CBD in dogs. Much of the use and information is extrapolated from human studies. With that being said, many veterinarians have found positive effects from using CBD in their canine patients.

The most common uses of CBD in dogs include:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety and fear problems including noise phobia and separation anxiety
  • Cancer treatment (some CBD is thought to have anti-tumor properties)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Glaucoma
  • Immune system stimulation
  • Inflammatory problems such as those associated with inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis
  • Nausea, especially nausea associated with side effects to drug therapy
  • Neurologic diseases such as degenerative myelopathy or canine cognitive dysfunction
  • Pain relief from arthritis
  • Seizures such as epilepsy

The AKC Canine Health Foundation with Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is currently conducting research to determine the usefulness of CBD in dogs with epilepsy.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD is legal in most states however new rulings have changed this in states such as Ohio. As a veterinarian in Ohio at the time of this writing, it is illegal for veterinarians to sell or prescribe CBD oil. However, it is available in some states over-the-counter without a prescription.

How Do You Pick a Good CBD Oil for Your Dog?

Discuss the use of CBD oil with your veterinarian. Because of the popularity in this product, there are many products on the market. Some may have pesticides, some have small levels of THC, and the amount of CBD actually in the product varies greatly and may be as little as none.

Should You Use Pet Sitting During the Holidays?

Where’s the Best Place for Your Pet to Stay During the Holiday Season?

Traveling with your pets is one option for where your pets can spend the holidays, but if you’re heading to a home that doesn’t allow dogs, or your dog doesn’t do well with new people (or new dogs) what can you do? Boarding is one option, but kennels often fill up weeks in advance before the holidays. If you feel like you’re out of options, the best thing you can do is turn to a person you can trust.

A pet sitter can be anyone from a professional to a neighbor who you and your dog have known for years. What matters is that this is someone your dog can be comfortable with while you’re away.

Don’t feel like you have to cancel your holiday travel plans because there’s nowhere for your dog to go. Here are four reasons you should use a pet sitter.

Four Reasons to Consider Hiring a Pet Sitter This Holiday Season

1. Having a Pet Sitter Helps Maintain Routine

If you’ve ever had your dog bark at you when the hour of lunch is near, you understand how crucial a dog’s routine is. Significant traveling during the holidays makes it easy to break this routine, which can cause stress and confusion for your dog. A pet sitter makes it easy for your dog to keep their routine, even if you’re not there.

2. Save Money and Stress

With a pet sitter, you’ll also be able to save a significant amount of money compared to boarding your dog for a few days. Which is crucial, especially if you’re working with a tight holiday budget. Since your dog will simply be staying at home, you don’t have to pay for your dog to stay anywhere and instead only have to worry about paying for your sitter’s services.

3. Keep Peace of Mind While You Travel

The last thing you want to do is spend your entire holidays worrying about how your dog is doing. A pet sitter will be able to ensure that your dog is eating the right amount of food at the right time of day, monitor for any health issues, distribute medication, and reinforce rules like keeping off the couch. You can even ask your pet sitter to send you text updates so you have physical proof that your dog is doing well.

4. TLC

If your dog has a pet sitter, you can rest assured that every day you’re away, your dog will receive the same excitement, love, and attention that you provide. You won’t have to worry about your dog being neglected because the pet sitter will only be there to focus on your dog and his needs.

Could Dogs Help Find a Cancer Cure?

Dog Cancer Research Could be Leading to a Breakthrough

Every dog owner can agree that their canine feels like they’re part of the family. Dogs and humans have relationships that go back thousands of years, and it’s easy to see why when you look at all the things that dogs and humans are able to share. Unfortunately, not everything that we have in common with dogs is positive, and diseases are one of those things.

While no one wants to think about their dog getting sick, there is a recent silver lining that has emerged for dogs, and humans, who are suffering from cancer. At the Penn Vet Cancer Center symposium this year, one of the topics was the discovery of the similarities between cancer in humans and cancer in dogs. The way that dogs develop cancer is extremely similar to the way that we do, which means that treatments can work for both. If a cure is found for dogs — a cure could be found for humans.

Most cancer research is done by studying the effects of treatment in mice, but because dogs are so much more similar to us, it’s much more beneficial to look at how treatments can aid a dog suffering from cancer than a mouse. The majority of breakthroughs that have occurred in cancer research have come due to animal research, and by looking at dogs, we can attempt to learn even more.

It’s important to note here that no dogs are given cancer for the sake of research. Dogs already diagnosed with some form of cancer are being seen at research centers as patients.

The reason this research is so promising is due to the fact that dogs develop cancer naturally, just like we do. Human cancer typically develops over several years, and in dogs, it does the same.

Along with that, there are so many different breeds of dogs — about 400 — that researchers are able to identify which breeds are predisposed to certain types of cancer. For example, Golden Retrievers are more likely to be genetically disposed to types of lymphoma. Their research has also shown that squamous cell carcinoma often occurs in standard poodles, but only if they have black fur. What researchers are able to do with this information is further break down the links to complex cancers and identify how individual genes are contributing to different forms to develop more effective treatments.

How does this help humans? The other information that their research is showing, is that specific breeds that get specific cancers also affect specific humans. For example, osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer, specifically affects children — and large dog breeds like German Shepherds and Great Danes. The similarities here are key to identifying a treatment that can help both dogs and humans recover.

In fact, some of this research is already in progress and working. At the Penn Vet Cancer Center, Dexter, an Old English Sheepdog, was treated with a new type of immunotherapy that taught his immune system to seek out and destroy anything that looked like bacteria, including his tumor cells. More than five years later, Dexter is still alive and cancer-free.

The success of this specific immunotherapy has shown that dogs that received it were more than twice as likely to survive at least two years compared to dogs that received standard treatment. The success from this treatment can now be used to see if it will work in children.

This is just one of many ways that successful cancer research in dogs is helping to advance human treatments. And one day, if and when researchers are able to discover a cure, we might just have man’s best friend to thank.

Get a Deal to Bring a New Pet Home for the Holidays

Give a New Friend a Forever Home This Season

The holiday season is all about coming together, and what better way to embrace the holiday spirit than by opening your home to a new furry friend? If you’ve been thinking about adopting a dog or cat, there’s no better time than the holidays.

Shelters tend to fill up during the holiday season, so there are plenty of pets looking for a new place to call home. Many shelters will be looking for a way to find homes for all the additional pets, especially since many are already housing more pets than they can handle. Because of that, holiday pet adoption events are popping up around the country.

Holiday pet adoptions are ways to inspire prospective pet adopters to take the plunge, and also to help shelters manage such a busy time of year. One thing that many holiday pet adoption events are offering deals on fees to help make the decision a little easier. While adopting a pet instead of buying from a breeder is already a great way to save money, many shelters are trying to make an effort to make room.

You can find a shelter local to you here.

Adoption events are also great because you can meet and interact with the furry face you fell in love with online, and see if they are the perfect fit for your family. Of course, you should always think hard about adopting a pet and make sure that you’re completely ready to take on the responsibility.

While holiday adoption events are exciting and great ways to get an affordable pet, you should never do it if you’re not ready. Many families are driven to adopt a dog or cat for the holidays as a gift, but this often goes differently than people plan. For one, the holidays are a very busy time, and a new pet will need time to relax and adjust to their new space, as well as get comfortable with you and your family. The hectic nature of holiday dinners and events can easily stress out a pet and make them react in ways that they normally wouldn’t.

The worst thing you can do is take a pet home, and then decide that the commitment just isn’t for you. If you want to give a pet as a gift, remember that it’s a gift for the whole family, or everyone in the home, not just one person.

So, if you’re looking for a new dog or cat this holiday season, take a look around your local shelters! You just might find a local event that’s offering a special deal just for the holidays. Support your local shelters and give a pet who really needs it the perfect forever home.

Tips for Bringing Your Dog to Thanksgiving

How to Make Your Holiday Stress-Free and Safe for Your Pup

Thanksgiving is a time for everyone to come together and celebrate the things that you’re thankful for — so your dog should definitely be involved! However, with the holiday season comes a lot of commotion and chaos that can easily overwhelm you and your dog.

There are a number of things that can harm a dog during the holidays, from food on the counter to decorations. You’ll also want to make sure he’s on his best behavior — especially if you’re taking him to someone else’s home. Having your dog at Thanksgiving can make your holiday a fun time for your entire family. Here are tips to help ensure everything goes as planned.

1. Make Sure Your Dog is Allowed to Attend

If you are heading to a family’s or a friend’s house for Thanksgiving, make sure they’re okay with your dog coming first. The host might not be prepared to have a dog in their home, or they might have concerns that their own pets and yours might not get along. It’s better to check in and make sure your dog will be welcomed beforehand to make thing easier.

2. Have Some Fun Before Dinner is Served

Take your dog for a long walk or spend some time playing together to tire your dog out before you head in for a dinner. A lot of people in one place can create a lot of hectic energy which can cause your dog stress. The last thing you want is for your dog to be over-stimulated, so wearing him out before dinner is served can help him stay relaxed.

3. Make Sure Your Dog Looks His Best

You want to look your best for Thanksgiving, so don’t leave your dog out! Take a fresh trip to the groomers or make time for a bath to make sure your dog is looking (and smelling) his best.

4. Keep Your Dog Away From the Food

Don’t recreate a scene from the movies. Keep your dog out of food by making sure dishes are placed well out of reach, or even use a gate to ensure that he stays out of harm’s way. With things coming in and out ovens and off of stoves, the kitchen can be a dangerous place. There are also foods that can be dangerous to your pet, so watch what you hand him under the table.

5. Bring Along Something Familiar

Bring a toy or a bone, or even a blanket that your dog uses frequently to give your dog a comforting item in a new place. Your dog might even be able to find a comfortable space in their crate if you travel with it. Otherwise, ask your host if there’s a space where your dog can relax, that way if things start to get overwhelming you can have a plan B to keep things from getting out of control.

6. If it’s Better to Keep Him at Home, Keep Him at Home

Some dogs just don’t do well in high-stress situations or around large groups of people. If you know your dog gets anxious or stressed, don’t force him into a situation he’s not prepared to handle. There are plenty of options for dogs who aren’t able to attend Thanksgiving, from finding a pet sitter to boarding your dog for the day.

Having a dog at Thanksgiving can be fun for everyone, as long as you’re prepared! You can learn more about planning for a great Thanksgiving for your dog here.

Florida Votes to End Dog Racing — What Now?

The Change Will Affect Thousands of Dogs in Florida

Voters in Florida have passed an amendment that will end dog racing in the state by 2020. Amendment 13 to the Florida Constitution was put on the ballot for November to phase out greyhound racing tracks around the state.

The amendment needed 60 percent approval to pass, and it received 69 percent, which came as a surprise to both sides of the ballot. The group that pushed for the amendment cited mistreatment of animals as a key reason to support the approval.

There are a total of 17 dog racing tracks in the United States, and 11 of them are in Florida. Before the amendment passed, the state was one of six states that still allowed dog racing in the United States. Now that 11 of the tracks will be closing, that means that thousands of greyhounds around the state will soon be in need of homes.

There are around five to seven thousand greyhounds currently in Florida’s dog racing industry, and as the tracks close over the next two years, they’ll all need to find a place to go. Adopting retired racing greyhounds isn’t a new thing, either. The National Greyhound Association says that around 98 percent of retired racing greyhounds find forever homes and the remaining two percent work on farms as breeders. But with so many more greyhounds on their way, people are concerned that they’ll end up overflowing shelters.

What Can You Do to Help?

Since the amendment was just passed, pet owners who are interested in some of these dogs should be patient. The tracks are going to close over a period of time, and most haven’t announced their intentions yet. Since they have a little over two years to shut down operations, the retired greyhounds will likely be released over a period of time.

Keep an eye on your local greyhound rescue organization. More information about the fate of the dogs will likely be available later in 2019. Chances are these greyhounds will be headed to groups all around the country, and there are plenty of groups that you can find one near you! You can look through agencies in your state here.

People who want to adopt greyhounds also need to be aware of what it’s like to bring a retired racing dog into their home. They’re not for everyone, but the homes and families that they do fit with, they make wonderful, loving, lifelong companions.

Here are some quick facts on adopting retired racing greyhounds:

  • Racing Greyhounds are frequently handled and trained, so they’re familiar with people. This makes them very sociable dogs. They often have experience with children as well, which makes them suitable for families.
  • Racing Greyhounds are often shy and gentle dogs. They’re highly intelligent and independent.
  • Greyhounds retire from racing anywhere from 2 to 5 years old, and they can live for 12 years.
  • Racing Greyhounds are bred to be highly-trained athletes, so physical and temperamental problems have been avoided.
  • Racing Greyhounds only know other Greyhounds. They’ve never been around other breeds, and they’ve never encountered a cat. Some retired racers can do well in a cat household, but many cannot. If you have a cat, your organization can help you find a dog that can handle felines.
  • Some racing Greyhounds love to run after they retire, some don’t. Greyhounds can reach speeds up to 45 mph for a short period of time.
  • Although racing Greyhounds are trained, it’s not in the way you think. Most retired Greyhounds don’t know how to sit, play games, or climb stairs because they’ve never had a reason to learn. With patience and time, they can learn.
  • Racing Greyhounds have a strict schedule, and once they retire it helps to keep a steady routine with feeding and walking.
  • When you first bring a retired racer home, it might be a little strange for your new dog, because he’s never been in a house before! He might be scared, stressed, or confused but will adjust over time.

While retired racers need a little more effort at first than other rescues, they can still make a great companion. Often referred to as couch potatoes, Greyhounds like to sleep for up to 18 hours a day! Retired racers seem to truly embody the definition of “retirement,” but they’ll still enjoy a run or a walk every day. You can learn more about the Greyhound breed here.

What Is Dog Digging Repellent?

If you have a dog that digs, you may have asked yourself, “What is dog digging repellent?” A dog digging repellent is a product that is designed to deter a dog from digging. Some of these dog digging repellents are effective, while some dogs aren’t bothered by them in the least.

If it rains, a dog digging repellent must be reapplied.

Dog Digging Repellents You Can Buy

There are many types of dog digging repellent that you may purchase from pet retailers:

  • Liquid repellents – If you are having issues with your dog digging in your yard, consider using a liquid repellent. This ready-to-use spray repellent can be sprayed on your lawn to deter your dog from digging. (Some brands also offer a granulated formula that you can spread on your lawn.) One application lasts up to 30 days, but if it rains significantly, it is advised that your reapply the repellent. This liquid repellent repels animals with its odor and taste. Biodegradable sprays containing citronella repel many dogs but won’t hurt the greenery. They also help to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away. You can also look for sprays containing garlic oil, clove oil or pepper extract. After applying the spray, wait until it dries before letting your dog go outdoors. This is important because some ingredients like hot pepper can be irritating to the skin and eyes.
  • Water sprinkler repellents – This harmless deterrent simply frightens off animals using a stream of water. The motion activated sprinkler repellent system senses animal movement up to 35 feet away. There are no chemicals and nothing to clean up because this system relies on the most natural substance in the world – water.
  • Ultrasonic animal repellents – This type of animal repellent scares away unwanted animals, including dogs, by emitting ultrasonic waves and flashing LED lights. This eco-friendly repellent is harmless to animals, humans and the environment. Simply hang it on a fence or wall, or plug it into the ground.

Homemade Dog Digging Repellents

While you have a large selection of dog digging repellents available in the marketplace, you want to be careful about using any products that contain chemicals that can harm your dog. A better option may be making your own dog digging repellent at home. Here are a few homemade dog digging repellents you can try:

  • Cayenne spray – Add one part cayenne to 10 parts water and spray the liquid mixture over the problem areas on your lawn. Do not make the mixture too concentrated as cayenne can harm your dog’s sensitive nose and irritate the eyes, nose and throat.
  • Your dog will stay away from areas treated with this mixture so that it will not irritate his delicate senses.
  • Vinegar – Dogs have very sensitive noses and they will not forget the locations of irritating substances. Dogs hate the smell of vinegar. You can soak cotton balls in vinegar and spread them over the problem areas. Just be careful not to spray vinegar directly over your plants or grass as it will kill them.
  • Essential oils – Essential oils like eucalyptus, cinnamon or sour apple can be mixed with water and sprayed over areas where you do not want your dog to go.
  • Chili powder – Chili pepper is a very effective dog repellent. The capsicum in the pepper is very irritating to the area around the dog’s nose. Sprinkle some chili powder around your plants or problem areas of the lawn. This will deter your dog from digging in that area.
  • Ammonia – The smell of ammonia is a powerful dog digging deterrent. Soak cotton balls in ammonia and place them in problem areas to keep your dog away. If your dog is digging along the fence line, soak some wood chips in ammonia and place the wood chips all along the fence line. The wood will hold the scent of the ammonia for quite a while. Eventually, your dog will associate the fence with the smell of ammonia and will give up digging there.
  • Citrus – Cut citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and limes and spread them around in problem areas to keep your dog away.
  • Dog poop – If your dog is digging in your yard, place his poop in the problem areas.
  • Dogs do not like to dig their poop out, and they will stop visiting that area to dig. Once your dog’s interest in this spot has faded you can discard the poop and fill the hole with soil.

To learn more about digging behavior in dogs, go to How to Stop a Dog from Digging.

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?

Why do dogs dig holes? The most common reason for digging is boredom. Many dog owners underestimate the amount of exercise and activity a dog needs each day. For some dogs, one 20-minute walk each day is enough, but for some breeds, two daily walks are needed. Remember, if your dog does not get enough exercise doing acceptable activities such as walking, he will find other destructive outlets for that energy, such as digging holes.

When we ask, “Why do dogs dig holes?” we must also consider another very important reason. Some dog breeds are naturally predisposed to digging. It’s in their nature to dig. Breeds like terriers and dachshunds are bred to dig for badgers, so they are predisposed to digging.

If you have a breed that is naturally predisposed to digging it can be very hard to curb their digging behavior. For these dogs, try creating a safe digging zone where digging is permitted. Petition a section of the yard using rocks or boards. In this area, bury things your dog will want to dig up, like treats and bones. When you see your dog digging in that area, reward and praise him. You can even take the dog over to the safe digging zone and start digging yourself to show the dog that this is acceptable behavior.

While creating a safe digging zone is important, it is just as important to make the rest of the yard unappealing to your dog. When you are filling existing holes, try putting lava rocks or your dog’s stool in these holes about an inch above the surface.

How to Stop Your Dog from Digging Holes

Start by reinforcing good behavior. When you see your dog in the yard and he is doing appropriate activities, remember to praise him. When you increase your praise when your dog is chewing on a toy or getting some sun, you will increase the chances that your dog will continue to do these activities.

Next, you must make the yard less appealing to your dog. Try filling established holes with rocks, your dog’s stool or an inflated balloon. Dogs like to go back to the same place to dig again, so when he does, he will find it unpleasant. If your dog starts to dig in a new spot, continue to fill in those holes as well. But, it is very important that your dog does not see you filling in the holes. If he does, he will assume that since you can play in the dirt it is also acceptable behavior for him.

If your dog has centered his digging on one particular area, plant chicken wire about an inch from the surface. Even if the grass grows over the wire it will continue to be effective, making it uncomfortable for your dog to dig in that area.

If digging has become habitual for your dog, you should interrupt his digging behavior with a correction technique. It is important that your dog relates the correction to the digging, not to your presence, so don’t let him see you do the correction. You can startle your dog with a squirt of water from a squirt gun. Use a loud noise, an air horn, or a pet correction spray to stop the digging behavior.

Most importantly, be consistent. Make sure that the whole family remains consistent in deterring your dog’s digging behavior. Dogs like to dig, and it can be difficult to change your dog’s behavior, but it can be stopped with a consistent effort from you and your family.

Tips to Stop Your Dog’s Digging

Here are some ideas to help you put an end to your dog’s digging:

  • Give your dog more play time and exercise. The main cause of digging is boredom and lack of exercise. Your dog needs a way to work of his energy. For some dogs, one daily walk is enough, but some breeds will need two walks a day. Spend more time with your dog by walking and doing other activities.
  • Give your dog more chews and toys to keep him busy. If you want to stop your dog from digging in the yard, you must give him a distraction. Consider tennis balls, rope toys, treat toys, bones, and dental chews. Your dog may even respond well to a sandbox.
  • Help your dog cool down. In hot weather, your dog may dig to create a cool spot to cool off. Make sure there is a safe shady area in your yard where your dog can stay cool.
  • Designate an area of the yard for acceptable digging and discourage your dog from digging in off-limits areas. You may want to use a sandbox as a safe digging area, or use rocks or edging to create a safe digging area in your yard. Praise your dog when he digs in this area and use deterrents to keep him from digging in unacceptable areas of the yard.
  • Add digging deterrents. Dogs like to return to the same areas to dig, so try to discourage digging in these areas by adding digging deterrents. You may want to bury deterrents with a strong odor or an uncomfortable feel to deter your dog’s digging. You can partially bury rocks or bury chicken wire just under the surface. Try putting citrus peels, cayenne or vinegar in that area. Plant rose bushes or thorny shrubs. Lastly, consider getting a motion detector for your sprinkler system.
  • Get rid of rodents in your yard. You may have gophers, rats or squirrels that leave trails or scents that will cause your dog to dig. This is especially common when the digging occurs near trees and plants. If you have rodents or burrowing animals in your yard, call an exterminator or use safe methods to keep animals away.

To learn more about digging behavior in dogs, go to How to Stop a Dog from Digging. (Link to pillar article.)

How to Stop a Dog from Digging Under a Fence

In this article, we’re going to take a look at how to stop a dog from digging under a fence.

Even a well-trained dog can exhibit this problematic behavior. If a dog gets anxious he may dig under the fence to get out. Your dog may try to escape by digging under a fence when he is bored. Or, if it is a male dog, he may smell the scent of a female dog and dig his way out under the fence to find a mate. Regardless of the reason your dog is digging, it is a very bad thing because when the dog escapes from the yard he can get lost or get hit by a car. That’s why it’s so important to know how to stop a dog from digging under a fence.

Why Do Dogs Dig?

Your dog may be digging for a variety of reasons. If your dog is digging because of boredom, make sure that he gets enough exercise every day. Your dog may be digging to hunt down burrowing animals or insects. If so, you need to find safe ways to eradicate them. (Remember that toxic or harmful chemicals can hurt your dog.) If your dog is digging for comfort or protection from the elements, your dog may be too hot and perhaps he is seeking water. Make sure that you provide adequate shelter and shady areas in your yard, in addition to plenty of water and see if the digging stops.

Digging for Escape

If your dog digs under or along the fence, he may be digging for escape. A dog may try to escape something, to get somewhere, or to get away from something. Regardless of the reason, escape can be dangerous – your dog may get lost or injured when he escapes from your yard. Try to figure out why your dog is trying to escape and remove those incentives. Make sure that your outdoor environment is a safe and happy place for your dog.

Let’s look at how to stop a dog from digging under a fence. Here are some ways to help keep your dog from escaping:

  • Supervise your dog. Many times your dog will not engage in digging if you are around. If your dog starts digging while you’re in the yard, use training techniques to stop the behavior as soon as you see it. Try teaching your dog the command, “Leave it!”
  • Make a safe digging pit in your yard where your dog is allowed to dig. If he has a designated area where digging is permitted, he may stop digging under the fence.
  • Use a deterrent spray. Try sprinkling capsicum pepper, black pepper or Tabasco sauce around the perimeter of your fence, especially on the digging spots. While this will not work for all dogs, it may stop your dog from digging. Re-apply the deterrent every two weeks and after rainfalls.
  • Bury chicken wire at the base of the fence, with the shard edges pointed away from your yard. The chicken wire should stop your dog’s digging attempts.
  • Bury the bottom of the fence 1 to 2 feet below the surface of the ground.
  • Try installing reinforced ground fencing. This bottom fence includes upright rods that are spaced out according to your dog’s size. These prefab pieces are perfect for fencing that may have gaps at the bottom.
  • Place large rocks or cinder blocks that are partially buried along the bottom of the fence.
  • Place chain-link fencing on the ground anchored to the bottom of the fence.
  • Add shrubbery like roses to your fence line (thorns will deter your dog’s digging).
  • If you have a chain link fence, your dog can see through it and he might spot something outside of the fence that grabs his attention, causing him to dig. Put up a barrier that will block your dog’s view. You can buy rolls of plastic or other materials that can be threaded through the fence so that it will not longer be see-through.
  • An electric fence (also called an invisible fence) in another good digging solution. The electric fence will either employ a light shock to your pet’s collar or emit a high pitched sound that can only be heard by your pet. Usually the shock or the noise will cause enough discomfort to discourage your pet from going near it. While an electric fence is meant to cause some discomfort to deter your pet, it will not harm your pet.
  • Use an exercise playpen or dog gate to keep your dog safely contained in your yard.
    Redundant fencing may be used as a last resort. The double fencing creates an additional barrier for your pet.

If you must leave your dog outside, try installing a small kennel in the yard that is dig-proof. It may have buried fencing or concrete under the fence perimeter. To give your dog privacy, surround the kennel with shrubs and trees. This will help your dog to feel safe because he cannot see or be seen by passersby. To keep your dog entertained while inside the outdoor kennel, provide him with plenty of chew toys or food puzzles.

How Can I Stop My Dog from Digging on his Bed?

Dog digging bed – do you have this problem? If your dog is digging on his bed, he is not misbehaving. The behavior could be habitual, instinctive, or temperature related. When a dog is digging his bed it is actually called “denning”. In the wild, dogs will instinctively hide and sleep in areas that are comfortable and protected. They may dig holes in the soft ground to create a safe and comfortable place where they can hide out of sight of predators during warm and inclement weather. In the summer, a den can help a dog stay cooler, protecting him from the harsh sun.

Indoors, your dog may dig his bed or blankets. Dogs may also try to dig into their owner’s bed. This can be a problem as your dog’s nails can cause holes in the bed or blankets.

Here are some of the reasons for dog digging bed:

  • Your dog’s body temperature (too hot or too cold) – Digging the bed may be an attempt to create a cooler or warmer place to rest.
  • A desire to mark the bed as his territory – Your dog’s foot pads have glands in them that emit a scent that is unique to your dog. So when your dog digs or scratches the area where he is going to sleep, it allows him to mark that area with his scent.
  • An attempt to hide – Instinctively dogs dig dens to hide in, to help keep themselves safe in the wild. It would allow him to create a resting place that is comfortable but that allows him to be hidden from other animals. When living inside a home, this behavior is no longer necessary, but the instinct still remains and causes a dog to dig at his bed.
  • For a female dog, it could be an attempt to create a nest for her puppies – Whether they are pregnant or not, a female dog may dig to make a nest for her puppies.
  • For comfort – When we go to bed, it’s only natural that we fluff our pillows and adjust our bedding in a certain way. It makes us more comfortable. The same is true for your dog when he is digging at his bed. If the dog has arthritis, he may circle and dig at the bed in an attempt to help lessen the pain.

When living in the wild, dogs instinctively hide in areas that are comfortable and protected when they go to sleep. The dog may dig a hole to create a comfortable space to hide from predators. Digging a hole can also help keep them cool in the summer heat. In the winter, digging a hole will help protect them from the elements, keeping them warm and dry.

When a dog lives indoors, this instinctive behavior is still present. This can lead to your dog digging his bed to create a protected space.

How to Prevent Dog Digging Bed

Digging is a natural instinct for your dog – it does not mean that he is misbehaving, although it may damage bedding or floors. Because this behavior is instinctual, it can not necessarily be prevented, but it can be redirected.

To prevent your dog from destroying your bed, do not allow your dog to get into your bed (or only allow him access while he is supervised). Instead, create a designated spot for your dog to sleep and rest where he can dig and do as he pleases. You can use a dog bed, old blankets or rugs – or any combination of these items – to create a comfortable resting place for your dog. You can also use a box or an open crate as a designated resting spot. Encourage your dog to use this designated area to rest and sleep, giving him praise and treats when he chooses to use this area.

To help keep your dog off your bed, always keep your bedroom door closed when you are not there to supervise your dog. When you are supervising your dog and he jumps on the bed, shout “no!” as many times as necessary to get your dog off the bed. As you continue to do this it will teach your dog that this behavior is not allowed. If you allow your dog to go on your bed while supervised, shout “no!” when he starts digging to help deter this unwanted behavior. If you are unable to deter the behavior, you may decide to prohibit your dog from sleeping on your bed.