As reactive dog parents, we need to ask ourselves questions constantly that many other people don’t even take a second to think about.
- Should I take my dog to the party?
- How can I avoid that dog/person/bike/etc as I’m walking so that my dog doesn’t get over threshold?
- How can I bring my dog to the vet without causing too much stress?
- What will I do with my dog when I have people over?
- Should I consider anxiety medicine for my canine?
- Do I need window film so my dog doesn’t bark out the window all day?
- What do I have to cover the car windows so my dog doesn’t lose it?
- Did I remember dog treats on my walk?
The questions could go on forever and we are always asking them. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as any dog owner will ask and remind themselves of various things from time to time. However, we are often on high alert for things that stress out our dog, especially when there is change or they are outside their normal environment. I wanted to take a minute to thank all of the pet parents out there dealing with reactive dogs. It definitely isn’t easy and we are very stressed at times, but remember you are saving a dog’s life, your dog. You are taking the time to train your dog or manage the surroundings so your dog can have a happy life, even if your dog doesn’t get to go with you everywhere.
Sometimes we forget to appreciate all of the work we do until someone points it out. Recently I was at the vet and got an amazing compliment. My vet told me how amazing of a job we (my husband and I) have done with Oreo. She said it’s made such a difference and Oreo doesn’t need to be muzzled or anything during her vet exam. Furthermore, she told me without us, she knows Oreo would’ve been dead in another family and we have saved her life.
Life is crazy and there’s always things to worry & stress about, but little reminders of why we do what we do (help reactive dogs) make it all worth it. Okay, the dog kisses, happy wagging tails, and smiles also help!