If you have ever owned a dog who digs you will know how frustrating it can be!
Each year at Calgary Humane Society we get multiple calls from pet owners desperate to save their flowerbeds from curious digging paws. In addition to being destructive, digging can also become dangerous if your pet digs under a fence and escapes the back yard.
Solving problem digging requires you to understand why your dog is digging. Dogs may dig out of boredom, to create a cool area to lie down or even due to breed tendencies. Discovering the reason for the digging will help point you in the direction of an appropriate solution.
Why your Dog Digs
The bored digger. Dogs who are bored may choose digging as a way to pass the time and burn off energy. Increasing the frequency of walks, providing some high energy playtime and using interactive toys, like food puzzles, are good ways to help bored dogs expend extra energy. Taking your dog to an obedience class or teaching desired behaviours is a great way to add mental exercise into your pup’s routine.
The dog looking to keep cool. In hot weather many dogs will dig holes and lie in them to stay cool. Dogs may also dig holes to seek shelter from wind or to find water. You can make your dog more comfortable (and hopefully less prone to digging) by providing continuous access to fresh water and not leaving your dog outside for prolonged periods of time, especially during extreme weather. Ensuring your dog has access to shade and shelter from the elements while outside is also important, even if they will only be out for short periods of time.
The escape artist. If your dog is digging to escape the back yard you may need to reinforce the edges of your yard or deny your dog access to the spots they choose to dig in. Extending your fence boards 1-2 feet below the grass or lining the edge of the fence with large rocks can help ensure your dog is unable to dig out. Working on behaviour modification is another important method for stopping escapes. Call our free behaviour helpline to speak to one of our behaviour counselors about what strategies might work for your pup!
What else can I do?
Reshape your dog’s behaviour by choosing an alternative behaviour to digging and rewarding your dog for this behaviour.
If your dog is a determined digger you might consider having a dedicated ‘digging area’, like a child’s sandbox, full of loose sand or soil that your dog is allowed to dig in.
Not sure where to start?
Calgary Humane Society offers a free behaviour helpline to all pet owners. Call 403-723-6019 to speak with one of our skilled behaviour counselors.
Calling all kiddos! Looking for a fun way to spend your summer?
Join a summer camp with Calgary Humane Society!
Camp is a place where kids connect with animals. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for children to interact and learn about the animals that share our world. An enthusiastic staff of instructors and friendly animals give your child an enriching experience filled with hands-on animal encounters, fun activities, and crafts. As they have fun, campers learn respect, compassion, and how to provide a lifetime of care for animals.
In just one day hundreds of dogs and people will be gathered at South Glenmore Park to celebrate their fundraising efforts for the 18th Annual Dog Jog – a walk or jog to end animal cruelty.
We want to make this a fun and safe event for everyone participating. With the high temperatures predicted for Saturday, June 1st and the potential for air quality risks due to the High Level wildfires, we’re asking participants to stay mindful of your own (and your dog’s) health & safety.
Animals who suffer from respiratory, cardiovascular disease or eye conditions like dry eye may be more likely to show adverse effects from the poor air quality. Certain dog breeds that exhibit short, broad snouts (brachycephalic) would also be considered at risk of heat stroke and side effects from poor air quality (i.e., Pug, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Bulldog, etc.)
Please Remember To:
• Wear sunscreen and bring a hat.
• Keep an eye on the Government of Canada Air Quality Health Index so you can make an informed decision for you and your pet.
• Stay hydrated! We will have a water bottle re-fill station and many dog water bowls throughout the event.
Dog Jog is our annual walk or jog to bring an end to animal cruelty. As Calgary’s only open-admission shelter, this means one simple thing; we never say no, we never turn an animal away. When they need us, we respond.
Fundraising events like Dog Jog are vital to support the thousands of animals we take into our care every year. By investing resources into our Protection & Investigation Department Calgary Humane Society hopes to one day end animal cruelty.
Calgary Humane Society employs the only team of Provincially-appointed Peace Officers, whose mandate is to enforce the Animal Protection Act of Alberta, in the City of Calgary. An offense against the Animal Protection Act of Alberta is allowing an animal to be in distress.
Dog Jog is on Saturday June 1st which means you have one month to raise funds to help end animal cruelty. There is still plenty of time to start your campaign and get your friends and family fired up to help you. Below we have given you six steps to get you well on your way to crushing your fundraising goals. We hope that it will inspire you to share your story and lead to a successful fundraising campaign that will make you proud!
Join us on Saturday June 1st in South Glenmore Park as we walk and run to end animal cruelty
Dog Jog is the largest walk or jog in support of ending animal cruelty in Southern Alberta. Over 400 participants and 700 dogs take to the paths in South Glenmore Park to show their support. Every single year we have raised funds to help animals who have faced cruelty, neglect, and abuse live fuller and better lives.
This will be our 18th annual Dog Jog, which is always held on the first Saturday of June. Our family-friendly event raises vital funds to provide support, raise awareness, and fund much-needed resources for prevention, education, rehabilitation and, ultimately, a new beginning for animals in need.
A new fitness experience is taking the world by storm. It’s called MEOW-GA (it’s like regular yoga but with cats!). We decided to take two incredible things like kittens and yoga to create the ultimate exercise and relaxation experience. But that’s not all! This unique spin on meow-ga will offer complimentary wine and cheese after the class is finished and a shelter tour to add a little splash to your weekend.
Did you know that Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay.
Did you know that when conducting a task that’s stressful, people actually experienced less stress when their pets were with them than when a supportive friend or even their spouse was present!
The class itself will be a 60 minute All-Level Restorative yoga class taught by Sandra Escobedo followed by an hour to enjoy wine, snacks and a tour of Calgary Humane Society. 100% of proceeds will go to the animals!
Classes will be limited to 15 people. Due to the high level of interest, it is suggested that you register immediately to avoid F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out).
Look at how much fun we had when we hosted Calgary Stampeders Wide Receiver, Reggie Begelton, for a meow-ga session!
We all love our furry friends and want what is best for them, especially as they ease into old age. Sometimes we’ll notice shifts in their behaviour, their appetite, or the way they look as our pets get older. Are these things to be concerned about? Today on the blog we address some of these popular questions regarding senior pets.
Do I need to change my pet’s diet as they get older?
Animal’s nutritional requirements change as they age. Your pet may benefit from a more senior-appropriate diet. We recommend discussing your pet’s nutritional needs with your veterinarian so they can recommend the diet most suitable for your pet’s age and health requirements.
Weight loss is often a sign of an illness in all pets. Please contact your veterinarian if your pet is not eating or losing weight.
Will adopting a kitten/puppy keep my senior pet “young”?
This depends entirely on the animal you already own and the one you are looking at adopting. A high energy puppy or kitten may stress out your old friend, or if their personalities are a good match the new addition may be a fun companion. In these instances, we would suggest fostering an animal first in case the disruption to your senior pet’s routine is too much for them. If they get along with your foster pet, great! You can apply to adopt your foster pet if you’re fostering through Calgary Humane Society. If not, you’ve assisted an animal in need and helped them get ready for a new home. Either way a slow and appropriate introduction will help both animals put their best foot forward.
Can senior pets lose their eyesight?
Yes they can. Unlike humans, though, pets have other senses that are very strong, so you may not notice a change in your pet’s eyesight as quickly as you would if it were your own. Animals adapt well and may not show any signs that their vision is impaired. Keep an eye out for any cloudiness developing, or behavioural signs like bumping into furniture that has moved or hesitance walking in unfamiliar environments.
Should I be supplementing my senior pet’s diet?
A healthy senior on an age-appropriate, high quality diet may not require any supplements. Certain health conditions that may develop as an animal ages can benefit from nutritional supplementation. Your veterinarian can help you determine gaps in your pets nutrition and advise you on the best way to ensure your pet is getting everything they need from their food. Most pets, at a minimum, will benefit from a joint supplement as they start getting older. Always ensure your senior pet is getting enough fresh water too.
How can I keep my senior pet healthy?
Early intervention will go a long way in keeping your senior pet in their best health! We recommend getting bloodwork done when your pet is young and healthy to establish baseline values that you can compare to as they age. Consider yearly bloodwork and increasing exams with your vet to twice a year to catch changes early. Keep your friend at a healthy weight to avoid additional stress on joints. Pay attention to their dental health (even when they are younger!) as dental disease can cause pain, infections, difficulty eating, and could lead to more significant health problems like heart disease.
Will my dog or cat become incontinent?
Senior animals can sometimes start house soiling, but it is often due to a medical condition rather than just old age. Kidney disease, diabetes, certain cancers, urinary tract infections, spinal issues, arthritis pain and numerous other issues can cause a previously house-trained pet to start urinating or defecating in the home. If your senior pet starts having trouble making it outside or to the litterbox please make an appointment with your veterinarian.
My senior dog is not acting like himself. Are changes to behaviour a sign of old age?
The answer to this question varies depending on the animal and the changes you are seeing. It’s not uncommon for you to see a bit less enthusiasm and energy as animal ages. However, if your dog has become more aggressive or lethargic, for example, please speak to your veterinarian. You’ll know what is normal behaviour and what isn’t for your pet, and sudden changes could be a sign that they are sick. Also keep an eye out for gradual behavioural changes occurring over time. Cats and dogs can suffer from dementia (called cognitive dysfunction) much like their human counterparts. Certain conditions like hyperthyroidism or epilepsy can also cause changes in behaviour and require medical intervention.
Just like humans, pets change as they get older. The most important thing is to check in on your buddy and make sure they are still enjoying a good quality of life. Dogs and cats can live happily and healthily well into their senior years, even if they slow down a bit. Regular veterinary care and routine checks are especially important for our senior pets to ensure they live a long and happy life.