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6 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe on Halloween

 

halloween pumpkin witch dog

It can be very fun for children to dress up as ghouls and goblins. But, dogs don’t understand the concept and can be very fearful of people wearing masks and costumes. And the huge number of children ringing the doorbell yelling “Trick or Treat” can cause excessive barking and put many dogs into sensory overload.

In my early adult years, I had a small dog with a heart murmur that had a heart attack on Halloween and died. The constant activity was too much for him. If I knew then what I know now, I would have kept him away from the stress of all of the noisy activity and immersed him with canine sound therapy.

keeping dogs safe on halloween

1. Keep Your Dog from Turning Into Houdini

Outside of July 4th in the U.S., Halloween is the most popular night for pets to escape their homes. Keep your dog in a quiet back room with some soothing music playing. Or if Buster is near the front door,  make sure he’s on a leash held by another family member. Praising and rewarding him for calm, quiet behavior is also invaluable. It will help inspire him to choose to stay inside. For precautionary measures, it’s best to make sure that all of your pets are wearing IDs.

dogs and halloween

2. Keep All Candy Out of Reach Of Your Pets

Many treats can be harmful for your pets, including chocolate. Laura Cross from Vetstreet tells us, “Sugar-free candy is also a risk, as it may contain xylitol, which can cause low blood sugar and liver damage in dogs.”

keep candy away from dogs on halloween

3. Watch Out for Lit Jack-O-Lanterns

While a small amount of pumpkin is healthy for dogs and cats, consuming an entire raw pumpkin can make them sick. And, if it’s a lighted Jack-O-Lantern, you run the risk of your pet knocking it over and starting a fire. Best to go with the battery operated ones this year.

rsz_catwoman_and_batdog_cropped

4. Pets in Costumes

Some dogs can tolerate wearing costumes. But, many can’t. If your dog wants to get out of his costume, let him. Make sure all costumes are comfortable and that accessories or buttons are not chewable. Gina tolerated her batdog costume because she was very well paid when I put each piece of it on her when we entered the USDAA Cynosport World Games costume contest.

 

5. Tire Her Out

Make sure you get your dog out for a good romp during the day and tire her out. Frequent games of fetch along with some extra training sessions can also help  her be less reactive during the evening festivities.

6. Put Her In A Quiet Room with Soothing Canine Music 

In my early adult years, I had a small dog with a heart murmur that had a heart attack on Halloween and died. The constant activity was too much for him. If I knew then what I know now, I would have kept him away from the stress of all of the noisy activity and immersed him with canine sound therapy.

How do your pets do during Halloween? Thanks for sharing your experiences in a comment below.

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Can Music Really Heal Your Dog?

sanchez-upside-down-icd3

Four years ago, Sanchez was experiencing intense neck pain. My holistic veterinarian doesn’t have x-ray machines, so I took him to a neighboring clinic that does. I was told he would need to be sedated unless he could lay completely still on his back for the x-ray.  Not only was this a clinic that was new for him, but the veterinarian didn’t exactly have a calming presence. And, I wasn’t allowed to go into the x-ray room with Sanchez.

Fortunately, I had Through a Dog’s Ear downloaded on my iPhone. So, I asked if I could send in Sanchez’s calming music with him on my phone. The vet gave me a strange look, and then said, “well…. ok.” About 10 minutes later, he walked Sanchez out of the x-ray room and said, “We’re done. No need to sedate, he laid still and listened to the music. By the way, what is that magical music anyhow?”

I then realized the need for portable calming canine music and that experience planted the seed for iCalmDog. The clinically tested music in CD format was already calming hundreds of thousands of dogs at home and in shelters. What if dogs had a device that played their own music and could be taken anywhere? After all, people listen to their music on their mobile devices. What if Buster had his own specialized music on a player designed for him… sort of like an iPawd for dogs?

sanchez-acupuncture-icd3

It turned out Sanchez was diagnosed with a slipped disc in his neck. Fortunately, he responded very well to acupuncture treatment, and it literally saved his life. Little did I know then how much I would need him to lay still during treatment. Taking iCalmDog to the vet clinic became a routine for us. Well, until my vet supplied iCalmDogs in all of her treatment rooms, so I didn’t need to bring my own.

sanchezfluids

More recently, Sanchez was recovering from E. coli. It was really touch-and-go for awhile, and I feared I was going to lose him. During that time, I was giving him subcutaneous fluids daily, cooking all his meals, and trying to never leave home alone. I was worried sick. My 13 and 1/2 year old Labrador seemed suddenly very old and frail. listening to calming canine music For a 3-week period, I was playing his favorite calming music, Elderly Canine on his iCalmDog almost around the clock. The soothing sound tracks were such a comfort to us both, I’m not sure who it helped more. And while he wasn’t up for his nightly bonding time through training, we shared some very tender moments together listening to music.

Sanchez Calm Dog

I’ll never know the full impact of music in his healing process, I’m just so grateful that Sanchez is just about back to his normal old self. And while we’re again training every night with yummy treats, we’ve also been enjoying some cuddle time together in the evenings while listening to his favorite music.

Has music helped heal your dog (or you)? Thanks for sharing your experiences in a comment below.

(Aside note: I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to walk into a very quiet vet clinic, see calm pets, and hear nothing except music especially designed for dogs and cats. I gave up my concert career to create music for our beloved 4-leggeds, and this is one of the ways I’m reminded that it was worth it.)

 

 

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10,000 Facebook Fans Rock… Calmly!

dogsear_instagram

I am so grateful to connect with 10,000+ dog lovin’, sound aware Facebook fans. I love hearing all about your dogs through this virtual space. And even better when I meet fans IRL (In Real Life). That happened last week, and it was all about a dog, actually this time about my dog…

Guide Dogs S and G

I was visiting the Guide Dogs for the Blind national headquarters in San Rafael, CA. Sanchez and Gina were both born there and it was a nostalgic day. It brought back cherished memories of meeting them there for the first time. I was getting ready to take the picture above when someone said, “Is that Sanchez?” It turns out, she recognized him from Facebook! Wow, I didn’t know I have a celebrity dog. Even Sanchez was smiling before he signed his pawtograph.

GDB pups

Don’t tell Sanchez and Gina, but while I was there, I met a litter of 8-week old Lab pups. I instantly fell in love with them. The only thing better than puppy therapy is puppy therapy with service dog pups.

Sanchez as a puppy in training for Guide Dogs
Puppy Sanchez listening to Calm Your Canine

When Sanchez was a puppy in training, he was known as a little bit of a rascal in my Guide Dog group. Little did I know then that his rambunctious behavior would actually become the inspiration behind Through a Dog’s Ear. This short video tells a little bit of that story…

12 years later, and he’s calmer, but still quite the ham.

Sanchez Tade jacket

S & G 10K bubble

Sanchez is retired from all of his previous careers:

  • Guide dog pup in training
  • Agility competitor
  • Canine Musical Freestyle
  • Actor (Helen Keller’s dog in The Miracle Worker)
  • Greeter of students at my music school

But, as long as he is still feeling up to it, he still has the job of mascot for Through a Dog’s Ear. And, trust me, he is very well paid for his work!

It’s Time to Celebrate You!

Are you interested in meeting Sanchez, along with Gina and me? To celebrate reaching 10,000 Facebook fans, I’d love to connect through a live simulcast directly on the Through a Dog’s Ear Facebook Page. I can answer your questions about canine and feline sound therapy and even include some live demos of me playing my 9 foot Steinway at home. If you and your dogs are interested, thanks for joining the discussion below and letting me know in a comment.

 

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Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe on Halloween

Sanchez Great pumpkin

It can be very fun for children to dress up as ghouls and goblins. But, dogs don’t understand the concept and can be very fearful of people wearing masks and costumes. And the huge number of children ringing the doorbell and yelling “Trick or Treat” can cause excessive barking and put many dogs into sensory overload. In my early adult years, I had a small dog with a heart murmur that had a heart attack on Halloween and died. The constant activity was too much for him. If I knew then what I know now, I would have kept him away from the stress of all of the noisy activity and immersed him with canine sound therapy.

Tips for providing a safe canine Halloween:

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.

2. Keep your dogs inside while trick or treaters are out, preferably with human companionship.

3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat, away from the front door. If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option.

4. Keep the curtains and windows closed.

5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar (especially if they have access to the front door).

6. Leave your dog something fun to do – like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

7. Add some Canine Sound Therapy: Through a Dog’s Ear available on iCalmPet.com is specially designed classical music clinically demonstrated to calm canine anxiety issues. Options for listening: Free listening samples, downloads, CDs, iCalmDog.

Gina the Rabbi and Sanchez the Bumblebee
Gina the Rabbi and Sanchez the Bumblebee

Should I Dress My Dog in a Halloween Costume?

While it can be very fun for humans to dress up their dogs, many dogs don’t prefer it, and some hate it. Please don’t force your dog to wear a Halloween costume if they don’t enjoy it. And, certainly, don’t dress your dogs in a costume that restricts their breathing or movement. While Sanchez and Gina don’t love wearing costumes, they are always extremely well paid for doing so. In addition to their favorite treats, when they dressed in costume for my annual student Halloween recital, they also received tons of affection from my piano students, something they absolutely loved.

Do your dogs enjoy wearing costumes? Thanks for sharing your stories and adding any safety tips of your own in a comment below.

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the iCalmPet / Through a Dog’s Ear newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

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Nightly Rituals with Dogs

Truth be told, I am a late night owl and Sanchez and Gina aren’t. They usually go to sleep hours before me. By the time I retire, I listen to Through a Dog’s Ear music to help me fall asleep, not them.

However, our nightly ritual involves me playing the piano last thing every night, just before I go up to bed. While they have a choice of several dog beds, they always choose to sleep on their beds under the piano when I am playing music from the Through a Dog’s Ear 7-CD series.

I hope you enjoy a segment of our nightly ritual. The music is one of my personal favorites from our Calm your Canine series, Schumann’s “Kind im Einschlummern” from Kinderscenen (Scenes from Childhood). While the German really translates to “Child Falling Asleep”, I’d like to title it “Hunde im Einschlummern” or “Dogs Falling Asleep”.

Do you have a nightly ritual with your dogs? If you haven’t slumbered off into all zzzzzzzz’s watching the video, thanks for sharing your ritual in a comment below.

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from our Calm your Canine Companion music series  when you sign up for our newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

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If Our Dogs Made Our New Year’s Resolutions

I decided to let my dogs, Sanchez and Gina, make my new year’s resolutions for me this year. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Take more walks (with us).
  • Play the piano every day. (We love sleeping under it while you play.)
  • Remember to make time to play (especially with us)
  • Perform more concerts for dogs 
  • Be patient with me in my senior years (from Sanchez). I’m giving you an opportunity to slow down and remember that every moment in life is a gift.

If your pets made your new year’s resolutions, what would they say? Thanks for telling us in a comment below.

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Through a Dog’s Ear

Calm your Canine Companion Music Series

Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.

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Healing with Holistic Veterinary Care

Sanchez was experiencing neck pain a few months ago. When I first noticed the problem, the symptoms were acute, appeared very suddenly after little activity, and were very worrisome. At the worst flare-up one weekend, pain management was so challenging that I didn’t know if I could keep him alive for the weekend. He had nerve pain going down his leg and both of us slept very little in a 48 hour period.

That Monday he was at Coastal Holistic Complementary Veterinary Services, where both of my dogs are patients. While Dr. Molly Rice and Dr. Kari DeLeeuw are both DVM’s, they are also certified veterinary acupuncturists and chiropractors. He responded extremely well to acupuncture treatments, even when he went into the office crying in pain. Their holistic treatments literally saved Sanchez’s life and I am grateful beyond words.

In the above picture, Sanchez is receiving electrostimulator acupuncture treatment, a form of acupuncture in which a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles. This form of treatment is particularly helpful in treating pain, in this case quite severe pain. An X-ray read by a radiologist revealed that he had a slipped disc in his neck and joint mice in his shoulder area.

Rehab was pretty intense. During the initial stages, when he was essentially on bed rest and pain management was challenging, I played Music to Comfort your Elderly Canine almost around the clock. Both of us benefited. The soothing sounds were so helpful when his meds started to wear off every few hours. The added component of frequency modulation – the addition or subtraction of targeted frequency ranges – makes assimilation easier for an already stressed, or weakened elderly canine nervous system. 

A few months have passed, and I’m happy to say that Sanchez is off all medication (except for an herbal supplement) and is showing signs of acting like a puppy again. He is nine years old and there are some ongoing lifestyle changes to consider. I’ll never attach a leash to his neck (only to a harness), he’ll always have to do a 15 minute warm-up walk on leash before he gets let off-leash, and he now uses a ramp to avoid jumping out of the car. But, that’s a small price to pay for having a healed, healthy, vibrant dog.

Both Sanchez and Gina also receive canine massage treatments from Dr. Cindy DiFranco. With the help of her instructional canine massage DVD, I’ve even been able to do a bit of canine massage myself with them.

I am grateful beyond words that Sanchez didn’t need surgery to recover. And this scare was also a reminder that every day he has left with me is a gift. I’m counting my blessings!

Have you ever sought holistic veterinary care and alternative treatments for your pets? If not, would you consider it in the future? Thanks for sharing your experience in a comment below.

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Calm your Canine Companion Music Series

Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.

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The Story Behind Through a Dog’s Ear

Have you ever noticed that the best conversations happen around the kitchen table? Joshua Leeds and I were recently sitting at my kitchen table having lunch. We started reminiscing about how our meeting nearly 10 years ago inspired us to create Through a Dog’s Ear, music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. We decided to turn on the video camera and make the conversation public. Sanchez and Gina get in on the action and, of course, steal the show!

Have your dogs taught you any life lessons? Thanks for sharing them in a comment below.

     Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Through a Dog’s Ear

Calm your Canine Companion Music Series

Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

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Creative Uses of Sound Therapy for Canine Anxiety Issues

Charlie Snoozing to Through a Dog’s Ear music

People often ask me why a concert pianist with a Juilliard degree is performing and recording music for dogs. Wouldn’t I prefer to have a concert career and be playing in Carnegie Hall? Believe it or not, the answer is no. Although I still love performing, recording music for the intentional purpose of improving the sound environment for dogs and their people, relieving canine anxiety issues, and creating a bonding experience between humans and their dogs is a remarkable and unmatchable feeling.

Clinical research tested whether classical music arranged according to psychoacoustic principles would have an effect on specific anxiety issues in dogs, such as excessive barking, fear of separation, thunderstorms, and fireworks. However, even though 15 common canine anxiety issues were tested, my favorite stories involve how dogs respond to Through a Dog’s Ear music with additional anxiety issues that weren’t even tested. The music is helping thousands of fearful and reactive dogs, because it is clinically tested to calm the canine nervous system, regardless of what is triggering the stress. Quite honestly, it’s helping in ways that I couldn’t even have imagined. I love the creative ways people are using canine sound therapy to help their dogs. When I read the story below about Charlie via an email from his person, Tamara Power-Drutis, it reminded me why I continue to do this work instead of performing in Carnegie Hall.

“Lisa, I have to tell you what an incredible impact Through a Dog’s Ear has had on my dog Charlie. We moved from a house in Greenlake to an apartment in Capitol Hill two months ago, and faced an immediate change in Charlie’s behavior. He became terrified of all the activity, the noises, our neighbors, children, and even other dogs. Suddenly he had separation anxiety. All the activities we used to do together became difficult. It was hard on both of us and I began trying everything to help.

We met with Kathy Sdao who had expert insight into what he was dealing with, and was able to help direct our training so that Charlie began to react in a more productive way to the things that frighten him. I also tried a DAP plugin, crate training in the car, thunder cap, creating background noise with fans, calming dog candles, chill pills, noise work – all to varying degrees of success. I came across Through a Dog’s Ear in the process of hunting down the illusive silver bullet to solve our issues. I purchased Calm your Canine Companion along with another CD claiming to do the same thing from another artist. I actually enjoyed listening to the music on your CD, so it ended up being played almost around the clock for the first week. I didn’t truly realize the effect it had on Charlie until the following experiences:

We went camping a couple weeks ago to a spot that (on the campsite map) appeared to be secluded and separate from the rest of the site. In actuality, it was right up next to the bathroom on one side, had the water spicket on another, and then a two family reunion with at least six children and their toys and bikes on the other. In short, it was Charlie’s worst nightmare. After he had barked at everyone on their way to the bathroom and lunged at someone coming to get water with their child, I began to consider canceling the trip altogether and going home. In a last ditch effort, I suggested we put Charlie in the car while we set up our tent, and see if he did any better in the tent where he couldn’t see everyone. In the car, I turned on Music to Calm your Canine, gave Charlie a couple treats, and then left him to listen to your music. Within a minute he went from barking anxiously to curled up on his dog bed resting. I could have cried I was so relieved. Through a Dog’s Ear actually saved my weekend. We played it for him in our tent throughout the night as well. If I could fashion Charlie a headset he could wear around and listen to your music all the time, I would.”

Have you used canine sound therapy in creative ways? Thanks for sharing your story in a comment below.

     Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Through a Dog’s Ear

Calm your Canine Companion Music Series

Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

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Concerts for Dogs? Seriously?

Has my performing life gone to the dogs? You bet! I’m loving it, and dogs are barking for more! Combining my love of dogs with my music talent inspired the creation of Through a Dog’s Ear, music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Now, I’m combining my love of performing to a cross-species audience.

As a concert pianist with a music degree from Juilliard, why am I playing concerts for people and their dogs when I could be filling concert halls with more traditional classical music? Because I REALLY love dogs! And I have chosen to dedicate my career to improving their lives by creating music that improves the quality of their life and provides them with sound therapy for improved health and behavior.

We love our dogs. We bring them into our human world and we expect them to adjust. But the truth is the human world can be very confusing for dogs. And our human soundscape is filled with chaotic sounds that they can’t orient. They are always on alert, wondering if any new sound is safe or not. Part of Through a Dog’s Ear mission is to provide dogs and their people with beautiful psychoacoustically-designed music that creates a healthy sound environment for dogs and their people. The concerts do that, and also offers a bonding experience between the two- and four-leggeds.

It’s an opportunity to share a deeply satisfying musical experience with your dog! Has your dog ever heard Chopin performed live? Have you and your dog ever listened to Bach together in a concert setting?

If you reside in the San Francisco Bay Area, I hope you can make it to one of my upcoming Canine Classical Concerts on October 6th and 7th. And you can meet my own dogs, Sanchez and Gina. As you can see from the photo above, Sanchez is practicing to be the page turner.

Have you ever bonded with your dog by sharing music together? Thanks for sharing your experiences in a comment below.

Have you tried Sound Therapy for your dogs? Through a Dog’s Ear is the only music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system.

     Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Through a Dog’s Ear

Calm your Canine Companion Music Series

Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!