Warren Eckstein: NOISE PHOBIAS – Stop the Suffering!

Fourth of July is scary for pets

If your pet suffers from noise phobia, you probably cringe every time thunder­storms are forecast. Instead of celebrating the Fourth of July, you probably dread this firecracker-filled holiday.

Dogs in particular, with their keen sense of hearing, often suffer from noise phobia and their frightened behavior can be stressful for their owners as well. As if your pet’s trembling and barking weren’t bad enough, you probably have to deal with the dirty looks of your neighbors who have to endure Fido’s barking, whining, and howling when a truck backfires or a thun­derstorm develops. You may also find your home destroyed by his neurotic reaction – chewed furniture, dirtied carpeting, and shredded tissues.

Both cats and dogs may become nervous and desperately try to escape under the couch or hide anyplace where they feel they can seek refuge. Dogs may try to soothe themselves by chewing on household items or even on themselves. Cats may scratch anything available, in­cluding your sofa or wallpaper. If your pet’s extremely nervous, he may even vomit or suffer from diarrhea. So don’t jump to the conclusion that your pet is simply being spiteful when you return home to find the house in disarray. It may be that he was traumatized by noise. If you four-footed best friend occasionally causes such de­struction when left alone, think about it. What was the weather like during your absence? Check with you neighbors to see if they heard anything unusual (i.e. firecrackers, a car backfiring) while you were gone. Don’t blame your pet for being spiteful – he just might be suffering from noise phobia.


If you’re the owner of a new puppy or kitten, it’s up to you to prepare your pet for the noises in our human world. The best method of noise training is to gradually introduce your young pet to unexpected noise. He might be surprised if you clap together two pieces of wood, but if it’s followed by a great deal of praise and a short play period, he’ll become more con­fident and be less apprehensive the next time he hears this sound.

After your pet reacts calmly to the noise of the wood, gradually increase the noise level by hitting the wood harder until no visible signs of fear are noticed. He’s now ready to graduate to the clanging of pots and pans. Here, again, start at a low level, then gradually progress to a louder level until you don’t see any reaction. This exercise is not as time-consuming as you might think. After all, banging pots and pans is easy when you’re in the kitchen preparing meals.

By properly exposing your pet at a young age, normal fears that could create a neurotic or even psychotic animal may be avoided. Owners of puppies should also incorporate trips to the park, to shopping centers, and to schoolyards into their pet’s socialization program. This early sociali­zation will help build your pet’s confidence.


If your pet already suffers from noise phobia, know that this problem can be resolved – and without the use of tran­quilizers. Tranquilizers simply mask the problem instead of correcting it. And remember, you may not always be there to administer them when a sudden storm (or any noise) occurs.

Instead, turn your radio on at a reasonably high volume (without disturbing your neighbors). This constant noise level during a thunderstorm (or any noise) will help drown out the sound, thus calming your pet. If you must be away from home and thunderstorms are predicted, be sure to leave your radio on when you leave the house.

If you’re home during a storm (or any other noise), soothe and reassure your pet when he’s frightened or divert his attention by playing his favorite game. Don’t go overboard with the attention, though. After all, you won’t always be able to be around to soothe him. It’s best to act reassuring yet behave as if nothing is wrong. And don’t act anxious – our pets are quick to pick up on our own anxieties!

If you have a particularly nervous pet, use a recording of a thunderstorm or fire works (or whatever noise sets him off) to desensitize him. Sound effects records and tapes are available at most larger record stores or online. Start off by playing the recording at a low volume. Once your pet shows no reaction to the recording, you may gradually increase the volume. Play it every day at this volume until he shows no visible reaction. Again, increase the volume and follow the same procedure. Continue to do this each day, until you’re playing the recordings at full volume and your pet is paying absolutely no attention to the sound.

The key to relieving your pet’s sen­sitivity to outside noises is to do it very gradually. Don’t rush, for if you do, you may seriously traumatize him and create a much worse neurosis. Through patience and consistency you can overcome your pet’s anxiety. It may take several weeks or even months, but isn’t being able to alle­viate your pet’s suffering worth it?

Warren-Eckstein-cats-fbWarren Eckstein, host of The Pet Show, is an internationally known pet and animal expert. Warren has devoted over thirty years to teaching both pets and their people to live happily together through his unique “Hugs and Kisses” approach to animal behavior, care and training. 

Warren has worked with more than 40,000 pets including those of many well-known celebrities. David Letterman, Cheryl Tiegs, Lily Tomlin, Geraldine Ferraro, Al Pacino, Rodney Dangerfield, and Phylicia Rashad are just a few of many whom Warren has helped with pet problems.

Halo Pets

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Rough draft

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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The Humane Society of The United States: Urine-marking


Halo is proud to work together with The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for animals, to help ALL animals!

You mark your stuff by putting your name on it; your dog marks their with urine. We’ve covered why dogs mark territory, now here’s how to prevent urine-marking behaviors before they happen in your house.

Before doing anything else, take your dog to the veterinarian to rule out any medical causes for the urine-marking behavior. If they get a clean bill of health, use the following tips to make sure they don’t start marking their territory.

Spay (or neuter) first
Spay or neuter
 your dog as soon as possible. The longer a dog goes before neutering, the more difficult it will be to train them not to mark in the house. Spaying or neutering your dog should reduce urine-marking and may stop it altogether.

But if they ha been marking for a long time, a pattern may already be established. Because it has become a learned behavior, spaying or neutering alone won’t solve the problem. Use techniques for housetraining an adult dog to modify your dog’s marking behavior.

More tips

  • Clean soiled areas thoroughly with a cleaner specifically designed to eliminate urine odor. Read more about removing pet odors and stains
  • Make previously soiled areas inaccessible or unattractive. If this isn’t possible, try to change the significance of those areas to your pet. Feed, treat, and play with your pet in the areas where they mark.
  • Keep objects likely to cause marking out of reach. Items such as guests’ belongings and new purchases should be placed in a closet or cabinet.
  • Resolve conflicts between animals in your home. If you’ve added a new cat or new dog to your family, follow our tip sheets to help them live in harmony.
  • Restrict your dog’s access to doors and windows so they can’t observe animals outside. If this isn’t possible, discourage the presence of other animals near your house.
  • Make friends. If your pet is marking in response to a new resident in your home (such as a roommate or spouse), have the new resident make friends with your pet by feeding, grooming, and playing with your pet. If you have a new baby, make sure good things happen to your pet when the baby is around.
  • Watch your dog when they are indoors for signs that they are thinking about urinating. When they begin to urinate, interrupt them with a loud noise and take them outside. If they urinate outside, praise them and give them a treat.
  • When you’re unable to watch them, confine your dog (a crate or small room where they ha never marked) or tether them to you with a leash.
  • Have your dog obey at least one command (such as “sit”) before you give them dinner, put on their leash to go for a walk, or throw them a toy.
  • If your dog is marking out of anxiety, talk to your vet about medicating them with a short course of anti-anxiety medication. This will calm them down and make behavior modification more effective.
  • Consult an animal behaviorist for help with resolving the marking issues.

What not to do
Don’t punish your pet after the fact. Punishment administered even a minute after the event is ineffective because your pet won’t understand why they are being punished.

If you come home and find that your dog has urinated on all kinds of things, just clean up the mess. Don’t take them over to the spots and yell and rub their nose in them. They won’t associate the punishment with something they may have done hours ago, leading to confusion and possibly fear.

Halo Pets

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BRAVO Bad Rap! Thank you for always being the voic…

BRAVO Bad Rap! Thank you for always being the voice and heart of reason, compassion and justice! So love that you consistently lead the way…. excellent piece!

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Great article! Everyone should read it. I am proud…

Great article! Everyone should read it. I am proud to call Farah a friend and my family is proud to call a Vafa dog a member of our pack. I pray that Trump's executive order is found unconstitutional by the higher courts as it helps no one and impacts so many in such a negative way.

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Recently Ginger & I + Fuzzybutts were in Indiana and Chicago on business and he couldn’t help but pen another haiku.  Here it is:
Hello Chicago.
Oh No H20! Won’t Go!
Hello Hotel Room.  
Those who know him well know he absolutely hates even the thought of his paws touching water and I think our walk at Montrose Beach on Lake Michigan scared the crap outta him.  And so he saw Chicago from the window of Red Roof Inn in Willowbrook.  
Team Chicago
We’re hosting our first #PuppyUp walk in Chicago Proper and partnering with #PremierVeterinary in what we hope will be a successful collaborative platform for us to launch in other cities. Here’s a video recap while on my drive back to Memphis.  I’ll be posting more about #TeamChicago soon.  

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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Thanks, once again, BADRAP for reminding us that c…

Thanks, once again, BADRAP for reminding us that civil rights strongly parallel and affect animal rights. You know you have always been my heroes, and were once the only voice of reason ringing in the wilderness for me battling it out in the late 90s advocating for our dogs. So many people have chanhed their opinions of Blocky Headed Dogs. In no small part, to you. I don't know what I would have done without you. Great blog post! I have quite a few Pitbull loving Iranian friends whom I'll share your message with.
Always. Gemma

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Last Few Days to Use Halo June Coupons

Halo Pet food
For blog readers, newsletter subscribers and Halo social media fans only, we’re happy to offer this month’s printable store coupons for Halo products!

Remember, these coupons are only valid at stores where Halo is sold.

For Halo store locations, enter your zip/postal code here. Products sell out fast, so please call ahead to make sure your nearest retailer has what you need (if not, they can usually order it for you quickly).

Halo Pets

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Westie Dog and Walker Find Missing Woman

hazel the westOften when people walk their dogs, they’re in a hurry and wish that their dogs were a little bit less interested in everything off the path. Sara Wilce isn’t one of those people. She’s grateful that her dog, Dougal, has a keen interest in his surroundings. Recently the Westie became a hero when, during his morning walk, he spotted an elderly woman and her dog who had been missing for four days!

According to the Stroud News and Journal, Hazel Denham had last been seen at 1:20 the previous Tuesday afternoon as she headed out to walk her Poodle-Yorkshire Terrier mix, Bertie. Her husband, Richard Denham, reported her missing at 5:17 that evening when she and Bertie still hadn’t returned home. Richard is 85 and his wife is 71 with mild dementia. The Denhams live in Minchinhampton, an ancient hilltop town in the Cotswolds of England. When people learned that Hazel was missing, the community sprang into action. Volunteers and professionals with a number of agencies and services coordinated searching for the woman. Police officers and other officials gave out maps of areas where people should search. The National Police Air Service used thermal-imaging cameras to look for signs of Hazel and Bertie. The Search & Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) South Wales also participated in the search.

Read the complete story.

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DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace

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DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace

Essley’s current favorite television show is Sofia the First on Disney Junior. She loves Sofia’s spunkiness, the music in the show (she dances to and acts out the opening theme, every time), and, more than anything, all of the fantastic adventures Sofia experiences. And I love that she’s a fan, because Sofia is a great role model – she embraces her uniqueness, breaks traditional gender stereotypes, and encourages kindness. It’s a wonderful show for us to watch together, and it genuinely makes me happy that Essley enjoys it so much. Now that Essley is out of school for the summer we’ve been trying to work more on craft projects at home, and I decided it would be fun for us to make something together inspired by Sofia. While we both love to create, we’d never made jewelry together – and Essley had never made it at all. One of the things I most adore about Sofia is her consistent drive to try new things, which motivates Essley to try new things too. So in honor of this, we set aside an afternoon to make our own personalized necklaces inspired by Sofia’s Amulet of Avalor. Sofia’s amulet is pretty awesome – it rewards her with special powers (like the ability to communicate with animals) for doing good deeds, and does less fun things (like makes her temporarily croak like a toad after boasting) as a means to teach important lessons. After making our special matching necklaces, we could wear them for the FriYAY premiere of Sofia the First this week. Essley absolutely loved this idea, and we had so much fun. And today I’m teaming up with our pals over at Disney Junior to show you how we made them, so you can create them with your little one too!

DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace
DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace
DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace

Makes 2 necklaces.

2 purple faux gem pendants
Plastic purple, lavender and pink beads in a uniform size with large holes (we used about 70 medium beads per necklace)
Variety of 4-10 decorative beads
8 letter beads (4 for each necklace in first letter of wearer’s name)
Elastic beading string
Optional: toggle clasps (we didn’t use these, but if you have older kids you may want to beading wire and clasps instead of elastic string)

If your little one has never strung beads before, I recommend starting out by just letting them play around and practice for a while. That’s what we did, until Essley got the hang of doing it herself. Next, arrange your beads in the order you’d like them to appear on each necklace. Or it can also be fun to simply let your daughter or son choose how they want them to be arranged as they go – it allows them to express themselves and their creativity, even if it’s less than “perfect.” (I arranged mine in advance, and Essley made hers up as she went, with a little guidance from me.) Next, cut two pieces of string (about 22-24 inches long), one for each necklace. Slide your pendant over the string so it’s centered, then add two of the decorative beads on either side of it, followed a mixture of the rest of the beads evenly on either side until there is only an inch of two of string remaining on each side. (Tip: Be sure to include your letter beads in the bottom half of the necklace design so they’re not hidden behind the neck when being worn.) When the necklace is complete, tie the ends together with several knots, trim the excess string, and slide beads over the knot to hide the knots. That’s it! We made Essley a matching bracelet with the leftover beads too.  It’s an easy project but can still fill up an afternoon, especially if you and your little one go shopping at the craft store beforehand (one of Essley’s favorite parts).

DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace
DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace
DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace
DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace
DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace

Essley is all sorts of excited to wear her own handmade Sofia necklace for the premiere of the new season (in four days – June 30th at 9 AM on the Disney Channel – but who’s counting) – and I’m pretty stoked to wear mine too, if we’re being honest here. Disney Junior actually has all new episodes of a bunch of our favorite shows this summer, every FriYAY (get it? get it?) morning on Disney Channel (from around 6-10 AM), including Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Puppy Dog Pals, Lion Guard, Elena of Avalor (another of our favorites), and, of course, Sofia the First. We love having these Friday morning shows to look forward to – it’s a fun, educational way to start the morning in the summertime before we head out to play at the park or pool. I always take Fridays off work to spend with the kids, and kickstarting the day with Disney Junior FriYAY programming makes the day feel special, and reminds us that the weekend is about to begin. When my husband is off the road with the band on Fridays, it’s something we can all do together as a family, with shows we all enjoy (yes, even the adults).

You can find Disney Junior shows are on two different television channels: Disney Junior (a dedicated channel that runs Disney Junior shows all day long), and Disney Channel (which airs Disney Junior shows during the morning block). New episodes, like our FriYAY faves, usually air first on the Disney Channel. We hope you enjoy the premiers coming up as much as I know we will! You can also find Disney Junior goodness on their Facebook page and on their YouTube.

DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace
DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace
DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace
DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace

What is your little one’s (or your!) favorite Disney Junior Show? Have any of you made jewelry with your kids?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Disney Junior. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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