Friday, December 28, 2012

Soothing Lovable Lexi: Week Four - Our Conclusions

Throughout the past four weeks, Lexi has continually worn the Sentry Calming Collar to see if there would be a decrease in her anxiety. Lexi's family noticed that while she wore the collar, she experienced some amounts of time without anxiety. Along with the use of the Sentry Calming Collar, Joanne used a variety of training techniques to help with Lexi’s anxiety. Together these tools help give her something else to focus on.

We've concluded that the Sentry Calming Collar has the potential to decrease stress and anxiety in animals. It is difficult to measure a considerable decrease in anxiety and perhaps with a longer trial period, a more significant change can be identified. Also, more positive changes may be seen when the Sentry Calming Collar is used in conjunction with distractive toys and training. Joanne feels Lexi’s continued training along with her family’s love and support will lead to greater successes in this lovable lab’s future.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Soothing Lovable Lexi: Week 3 - A Holiday Hobby

Lexi resting during group play.
Lexi's second week wearing the Sentry Calming Collar has proven to be an interesting one! She is receiving many compliments on how she and her stylish new collar smell terrific! She's even been showing off her collar during group play at Morris Animal Inn. Lexi seems to enjoy wearing the Sentry Calming Collar and has made no effort to take it off. 

This lovely Lab has shown some progress this week with her anxiety. Joanne was able to leave Lexi at the house this past weekend while she did some Christmas shopping. When she arrived home three hours later, she found no damage from scratching, digging or urinating. This is a great step for Lexi because in the past, she usually does some type of destruction when she is left alone.

Lexi has a new hobby – redecorating the house. The items she moves range from small portable lamps to empty shopping bags but the destination never changes; they end up on Joanne’s bed. Maybe she is so excited for the holiday season that she’s presenting her gifts early! Her favorite items to ‘gift’ are her toys: a rubber ducky, Kong and rope toy... OR… Perhaps she’s hoping for some extra playtime by making her toys easily accessible! 

Stay tuned next week for our conclusions on Lexi and the Sentry Calming Collar!

Dogtime Media has a special offer to share! At the end of this trial, if you believe in this product, feel free to spread the word about the Sentry Calming Collar and one lucky reader will win a $50.00 donation from DogTime Media to the non-profit 501c3 shelter or rescue of your choice.
There are three ways to qualify:
 1) Adding a comment to your blog post on the Sentry Calming Collar that tells you of any experience they've had with the calming collar or why they would want to try this product
2) Tweet about this blog post and leave the URL to that Tweet in a comment on your post
3) Blog about your blog post and leave the URL to their post in a comment on your post
If any of these three ways of spreading the word takes place, we will announce a winner on our blog at the end of the experiment which will be December 24.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Soothing Lovable Lexi: Week 2 of the Sentry Calming Collar Trial

It’s time for a follow up with Joanne Morris to see how Lexi is doing with her new Sentry Calming Collar. Let’s see how it is going so far…

We still don’t know what has caused Lexi to have separation anxiety. Maybe it was being lost and abandoned at a shelter or it could have been the long trip from Kentucky to Pennsylvania and then finally settling in NJ. Regardless, she has turned out to be a wonderful pet, and we are fortunate she can go to doggy daycare each day so she doesn't have to be left home alone. When our family is home and Lexi is not at daycare, we do our best to make arrangements for one of us to stay home with her or she comes along for a ride with us in the car.

Lexi seems more comfortable when she is in the car. This might be because she can easily watch for us through the windows. We are committed to her health and happiness and this is why we are happy to try the Sentry Calming Collar to see if we can help Lexi relax when things get tense.

It has only been a week and the instructions did indicate it could take some time before we see any difference. That seems to be the case with us so far, although we have left her for short periods of time with the new Sentry Calming Collar with little evidence of destruction. We give Lexi a puzzle treat to keep her occupied for those times when she is left alone for a little while. When we do arrive home she has eaten through it, seems very wound up, panting and stressed (this is not her normal behavior when we are home). In the past, she has scratched and dug at the door which doesn't seem to be the case this week. She did manage to find goodies on the counter to enjoy and ripped several papers but that is minimal compared to some of her past escapades.

As previously stated, the collar is a pretty color, matching her holiday themed collar and it has a pleasant somewhat fruity smell to it. We are committed to keep trying and looking forward to progress next week. 

Stay tuned for updates on how Lexi is doing!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Not Just Another Day, Another Collar

We know that the holiday season can make even the most serene person anxious. So…with the holidays right around the corner, between shopping and holiday parties, pet owners have a lot on their plate. Did you know this busy time of year can affect your pets too? Did you know there are natural products available to aid pets in overcoming stress?

Morris Animal Inn is participating in a product review program to share our experience and observations of the Sentry Calming Collar on one of our own pups. This collar produces the naturally occurring pheromones that mother dogs produce to calm and soothe their puppies. There are no toxic substances in this collar making it even more appealing. The manufacturer states that this unique collar has been shown to reduce or eliminate stress-related behavior problems in dogs such as scratching, whining for attention, fear while separated from owner and many more.
Lexi, anxiously awaiting Joanne's return

Morris Animal Inn’s Vice President, Joanne Morris’ rescue, “Lexi” is a dynamic Labrador Mix and perfect to try this new collar. Lexi joined the Morris Family in July 2012 just after being rescued from a high-kill shelter in Kentucky. Lexi is very close with her canine sister, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel “Tori” and has bonded with her human companions quickly. She loves to cuddle and is a very active dog – she recently ran a 5K and didn’t even break a sweat!

19-month-old Lexi is as sweet as can be but does experience anxiety when left alone... She is often seen looking out the window when members of her family leave – even for only a couple of minutes. Once they are out of site she will resort to digging and scratching at doors and chewing up items that may have been left around, all things she would never do when someone is present.

We look forward to providing more information and “Lexi’s” experience after wearing the Sentry Calming Collar. Lexi is wearing the collar today and it is a pretty light blue color…stay tuned!

Do you have a pet that shows sign of stress or anxiety like Lexi? Share your stories with us!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dogs Open Their Paws to Returning Soldiers

For the men and women coming home from defending their country, the hardships of adapting back to their everyday lives can be more difficult then some may think. While having to suffer through endless tours of duty, soldiers long for a final trip back to what they once remembered as their home. But for many veterans, home can feel like a foggy memory of how life used to be. Feeling like a stranger in the place you once felt most comfortable can be an unbearable burden for someone who has already gone through such turmoil and despair. Studies show that “an estimated one in five veterans deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 has or will develop post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression.” Without any true way of relating to these heroes, the average person will find it nearly impossible to come up with a solution to the horror which they now live. Symptoms like flashbacks, upsetting dreams, increased anger or irritability, and anxiety are things that veterans need help to control. And in some cases, the best way of servicing these issues will not come from doctors or medication, but from the most unexpected place: man’s best friend.

Service dogs are used traditionally for blind, deaf or physically disabled patients, but an article in explain that recently they have been trained to perform tasks that can improve PTSD symptoms, such as create a buffer in public places or wake a veteran from a nightmare. These dogs are individually trained to perform tasks for a specific person, surveying darkened rooms, turning on lights, re-orienting their owner during nightmares or flashbacks, detecting anxiety, navigating through crowds, enforcing boundaries for personal space. Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are ideal service dog companions for veterans because of their temperament and sociability.

Service dogs evoke a confidence in veterans that they may have lost as a result of their time spent overseas. In addition to the postwar related help they give veterans, dogs also allow for normalcy to be restored to the lives of these men and women. With service dogs, veterans step out of their comfort zone and forget about their troubles, even if just for a moment, and socialize with their community as they try to gain back feelings of comfort.

Funding is still being collected for research to see the impact service dogs have on veterans. Since owning a service dog can be extremely expensive, foundations are attempting to work with other groups in order to get funding for someone they think can benefit from owning these extraordinary pups. The power a dog can have in a person’s life is something that can not be found anywhere else. And for the brave Americans who risked everything for their country, a chance to heal and take back their own lives is something they deserve.

We are pleased to have Vin, as a contributing writer for If They Could Talk. Vin is a passionate dog owner. We look forward to sharing his contribution on interesting and educational pet topics.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Gifts for Fido

While making your holiday gift list this year, don't leave out your precious pets! With the love your pets provide you all year long, they deserve a new treat this holiday season. To relieve some gift giving stress, we've put together some helpful gift ideas for your giving pleasure!

These unique and technologically advanced pet tags come equipped with a QR code on the back of each tag which links to a profile with information such as contacts, medical information and much more. Some services included with the PetHub Pet Tag are access to a 24/7 Found Pet Hotline number and Email Notification with GPS Mapping.

Available in the Morris Animal Inn Lobby, the Thundershirt provides calming, gentle pressure to ease anxiety in pets. Between guests, parties and general holiday mayhem, the Thundershirt can provide your pet with the comfort they need.

Puzzle toys are a great way for your pet to work for their treat while also exercising both mind and body.

Why not treat your furry friends to a new chew toy, leash or collar for the winter season? Many companies tailor designs specifically for the holidays. These fancy accessories are available for purchase in the Morris Animal Inn Lobby.

5. Pet Electronics
Pet electronics are on the rise this year. Some examples of these items include electronic doggie doors and pet pedometers with up-to-the-minute updates on weight, temperature and more. Treat your four-legged family member like the king or queen they are with these luxury pet electronics.
6. Fashion for your Furry Friend
You want to look your best for the holidays, so why not deck out your pet as well. Keep your canine looking chic with unique styles for winter! A festive bow tie or a charming scarf can be an accessory to remember for holiday pictures. A cheerful hat, cute hair bows or cozy sweater are some other fun pet styles to try. For pet coats, look no further than the Morris Animal Inn Lobby.

This super-absorbent mat is perfect those pets who track their wet and dirty paws inside. It is fast-drying, comes in a variety of colors and sizes and absorbs five times more water than an ordinary doormat.

Looking for a toy for your canine companion to play with that will actually be intact this holiday season? Look no farther than Udder Tugs! Whether your dog loves to fetch or tug, this durable toy is designed with a special handgrip for hours of fun and exercise.

Have a great idea for a pet gift? Share it with us!

Disclaimer: Suggestions are based upon the product description. Morris Animal Inn is not endorsing these products.

               Blogpaws. "Holiday gift Guide 2012." High paw Media. Web. 4 Dec 2012. <>.