The Pet Collective Podcast Episode 1: CBD, Health and Wellness

The Pet Collective Podcast Episode 1: CBD, Health and Wellness

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Alison Sieke: We at the Pet Collective Podcast are not medical professionals. We do offer advice, but please always consult your veterinarian before making any medical decisions. This week we're talking about CBD products for your pets, how they're used, do they work. We're also discussing health and wellness for your dogs and cats, what supplements to use, what to avoid, and some tips for reducing separation anxiety. 

Alison Sieke: Hey, I'm Alison Sieke.

Kyle Kittleson: And I'm Kyle Kittleson.

Alison Sieke: Welcome to the Pet Collective. This is podcast for pet parents and the pet obsessed. So, since this is a new show. I just want to explain to the listeners what to expect. Each week on the show, we're going to cover one or two topics, might be something that's making headlines in the pet world, or it might be something evergreen, like training tips. Then, at the end of every episode, we'll answer some audience questions from the Pet Collective community. I am so excited about this new podcast because I am pet obsessed, and you are too, right, Kyle? Will you tell people a little bit more about you if they don't know?

Kyle Kittleson: I am also pet obsessed. I'm an animal behaviorist. I worked with a few dozen species of animals including domestic and exotic animals. Of course my heart will always be with the dogs of the world. I'm really excited to partner with you because as an animal behaviorist, I know the behavior part, but sometimes I forget, oh I already know all this stuff, you know?

Alison Sieke: Yeah, you forget what it's like to be flawed and not be a perfect pet parent, oh?

Kyle Kittleson: Hardly, hardly. I am incredibly flawed, and we don't even have enough time to go into that. But, why don't you discuss your background with these amazing pets.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, Kyle, don't take my flaws away from me, okay, because that's what I have here. You might be the expert, but I am the parent who's trying my best. And you know what? Sometimes failing, okay? But, I do have a lot of pet experience. I've had a dog most of my life. Actually, before I even had my first dog, I got a picture of someone else's dog screen printed onto a t-shirt with the name Skittles under it so I could pretend that was my dog and tell people about it. But, I also am a pet sitter, so I have had the privilege of pet sitting pigs, possums, cockatoos.

Kyle Kittleson: Oh, I thought we were going with a p thing.

Alison Sieke: Oh, yeah, no.

Kyle Kittleson: Parrots.

Alison Sieke: Sure, turtles, rats. So, I feel like I have a lot of very informal little tips to add, and also probably some bad examples that we can work on together because I have.

Kyle Kittleson: I love it.

Alison Sieke: Some of them, I feel like I could improve upon, some of them feel like it's ingrained in just me and my dog, Peach's routine. She's over there sleeping behind me. But, I'm hoping people can find little grains of knowledge, to learn from my mistakes.

Kyle Kittleson: Okay, so lets talk about CBD products for your pets. Okay, so you have given your dog CBD oil.

Alison Sieke: Yeah.

Kyle Kittleson: I'm going to read... I have given CBD just as a test. My personal opinion, I don't think it had a huge effect on her behavior, her demeanor, or her overall quality of life, and I have another supplement I'll say right after I read this list that I think is actually better. What is CBD used to treat in animals? Arthritis, pancreatitis, asthma, intestinal inflammation, neuropathy pain, nerve related pain, inflammation on oxidative stress.

Alison Sieke: And no chill.

Kyle Kittleson: And that. Now, I only know what maybe half of those things are, but if your vet has told you any of those, maybe you should ask about CBD. Callie was on a different raw food diet than she was on currently, and part of that included her drinking a very small bowl of fermented goat's milk.

Alison Sieke: Oh.

Kyle Kittleson: What I noticed was that at night when I'd give it to her, about 20 minutes later, she was calm, she went to her bed, she stretched, she rolled up in a little ball, and she just went into this deep sleep. So, I reached out to the company and said, "What's the deal? Am I-"

Alison Sieke: Magic milk, yeah.

Kyle Kittleson: Yes, is this a correlation or a causation, and they said, "Probably causation because the milk has a very, very little bit of alcohol in it.

Alison Sieke: To ferment it?

Kyle Kittleson: Yeah, and so when she gets that, it calms her down. The alcohol didn't have any negative effect and it was wonderful. So, for people who are transitioning their dog to a raw diet or their dog is already on a raw diet, I would look into... They have goat's milk, they have cow's milk, kefir, cow's milk, if I'm saying that right, kefir?

Alison Sieke: Kefir?

Kyle Kittleson: Kefir?

Alison Sieke: I believe it's kefir.

Kyle Kittleson: All of those are great pronunciations, but look into that because I've had great, great experiences with that.

Alison Sieke: Wow. Here I was thinking you weren't supposed to give alcohol to your dogs. I mean, you're not, you're definitely not.

Kyle Kittleson: Definitely not, yeah. So, why did you do start putting Peaches on this CBD?

Alison Sieke: I started it because of the separation anxiety that we were talking about. So, because Peaches has a history of kicking her face until it bleeds it I leave her alone for too long, I thought maybe this will calm her nerves, maybe this will soothe her anxiety. I think what it does is it kind of knocks her out. She just gets sleepy and forgets to worry that I'm not there. So, it seems to be helping, but I wouldn't say it's a miracle cure.

Kyle Kittleson: Well, yeah, it certainly boomed, as a dog trainer, I noticed maybe, I don't know, six years ago. It really started to take off. CBD was at every pet fair I went to. Every pet festival, every dog thing that I attended, there was some vendor there trying to sell it. We know now that the market for supplementation for pets, specifically the population of aging and overweight dogs has now reached more than a billion dollars. In fact, it's a multi billion dollar industry at this point. But, like you said, Alison, a lot of people are assuming that this supplement is going to be the miracle cure, it's a fix all. I feel like especially our generation, we want things fixed quickly, yesterday, and with minimal work from us.

Alison Sieke: Totally.

Kyle Kittleson: When it comes to your dogs, it's just not always that easy. I have seen people claim to treat every behavioral problem with CBD, and while maybe it could be a nice addition to proper training, I have yet to see a case where a dog truly has separation anxiety and it is completely extinguished because they put a few drops in their kibble before they leave.

Alison Sieke: Totally. It's all about setting my dog up for a positive experience, and then I find that this just helps ease her into it.

Kyle Kittleson: Yeah. How much is it?

Alison Sieke: It's not cheap, the one that I get, but again because marijuana products, whether they're psychoactive or not, are so unregulated, it's important to me to get a product that is transparent and I know what's in it. So, I think my thing of it, I went for the big one because I knew I was going to be using it, I wasn't just trying it out, and it was like 80 bucks.

Kyle Kittleson: Oh, and how long did that last you?

Alison Sieke: Well, right now I haven't been leaving the house very much, so I haven't been using it. This transcript was exported on Aug 12, 2020 - view latest version here. 

Kyle Kittleson: Right.

Alison Sieke: So, I've still got it. Yeah, but I think that would last me two, three months.

Kyle Kittleson: Okay, that's a pretty good deal. But, with quarantine going on and on and on, I am anticipating that whenever we get back to whatever the new normal is and people are leaving their houses more regularly, we are going to see an increase in behavioral problems from, not just our dogs, but perhaps all of our pets. It might not be full blown separation anxiety. A lot of people think if their dog barks for three minutes after they leave, they have separation anxiety, and that just means your dog barked for three minutes after you left and then calmed down and went about their day. But, I think we will see an increase in those behavioral problems, and people are going to be looking for quick fixes. The quick fix of a CBD oil by itself, I personally, as a dog trainer, would not recommend. But, if you want to use that in conjunction with other best practices, then yeah, do that. And if you want best practices, maybe we can hit that at the end of the episode, because a lot of people, even if their dog doesn't have full blown separation anxiety, they do want to make the departure experience a little more reinforcing for their pets.

Alison Sieke: Totally, and I feel like there are things that you can do, like a week or two before you go back to work or resume whatever your routine is going to be, that can help your dog up for success.

Kyle Kittleson: Okay, so you're the expert when it comes to administrating... administrating? Administering CBD to your pet, so how should they do it, and what are different ways your dog or cat can get CBD?

Alison Sieke: Yeah, okay, so CBD comes in a couple different forms, and in my opinion, the most effective one for your pet is going to be the oil, the tincture.

Kyle Kittleson: Yes.

Alison Sieke: Okay, and that comes in a little dropper. It's got the highest concentration of CBD. Again, if you can find one that has a full spectrum, which just has a little tiny hint of THC, there's no psychoactive properties, but it just helps activate the CBD, I would go with that one. This one also lasts the longest, when it's in that form. Now, you can also find capsules. Capsules are great. For me personally, there's no way that I could get my dog to swallow that capsule. You could try breaking it up and putting it over food, but that's a good option too. Also, there are creams. They are the least effective, but I would recommend a cream if your dog is not going to ingest something that tastes like a hemp plant or if they have muscle pain. You could use the cream as a little bit, massage it in there, and that might help that specific targeted area. 

Kyle Kittleson: Yeah, and creams, for obviously most dogs and cats, they're covered in fur, they're hard to put on there.

Alison Sieke: Yeah.

Kyle Kittleson: I don't think, and this is not for sure, but I don't think there's any issue if they lick a little bit of the cream wherever you put it, but I would still place it somewhere where they couldn't get it. For example, when Callie gets her tick medicine, I put it in between her shoulders on her back. There's no way she's going to be able to lick that because you just don't want them doing that. So, I would try to put the cream somewhere where they wouldn't lick, be able to get at it because dogs and cats will do that.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, and the way that it's going to be absorbed through their digestive system is going to be different than it is on your skin. If it's a cream, it's meant to be on their skin, not in their mouth. All right, let's get into supplementation for your dogs and cats.

Kyle Kittleson: So, do give Peaches any supplementations?

Alison Sieke: I do. So, I used to get her Omegas, but it was literally... I think it was Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, and I had a lot of complaints from people who were like, "Yo, your dog's breath just smells like fish."

Kyle Kittleson: Yeah.

Alison Sieke: So, I stopped giving her that, and now I give her CBD tincture actually when I leave her alone for more than three hours.

Kyle Kittleson: There are some basic supplements to consider for all doggie parents out there. Dog multivitamins can be a good supplement if you're making your dog's food yourself to ensure the vitamin levels are met. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help keep their coat shiny and healthy. I tend to just put a couple raw eggs. I include the shell in Callie's breakfast and dinner. I don't do it every time, but if I feel like she needs a little, a little extra.

Alison Sieke: I love that. Wait, so that's..

Kyle Kittleson: Because I gave her fish oil

Alison Sieke: For the Omegas? Okay.

Kyle Kittleson: Yes. Yeah, I gave her fish oil. She didn't smell bad, but I smelt bad. I was like, "God, I don't want to smell this twice a day, it's disgusting," and I used to work with marine animals so I smelled like fish all the time. I have done my dues, now I'm ready to not smell like fish. So, I just use an egg. It seems to work great. Now, Callie is my eight year old yellow lab. She is taking... She started last year because the vet says she has pre-arthritis and it's so sad to me. So, she's on some.

Alison Sieke: Oh no. How can they tell? Could you tell?

Kyle Kittleson: I didn't tell, and actually here's how embarrassing this was, because everyone assumes I just can predict my dog's future because of my background. I'm a normal dog parent like everybody else. I just go to my vet when I have questions. But, what the vet noticed was that her finger nails were curving a little bit. It was very subtle, but the curve could be an indication of pre-arthritis. When she pointed it out, it was very clear, and I noticed it. So, I put her on Cosequin, which is one of my favorite. I've used them with animals I've worked with professionally, and now Callie is on it, and I noticed a huge difference in her activity level. So, I think she was actually hurting a little bit. But, she gets this pill once a day, no problem. She eats it right up. I use them as treats. She gets so excited to take them, so it's great.

Alison Sieke: That is great. So, what is the active ingredient in that? It's the..

Kyle Kittleson: Oh, it's glucosamine. They have different ways you can administer it. This one is just a chewable tablet, so you don't have to... You know how some dogs you've got to really have them swallow that pill and it's so frustrating and people use peanut butter or rub their nose, or do all these things

Alison Sieke: Or like a piece of cheese that you mush around it.

Kyle Kittleson: Yeah.

Alison Sieke: It's horrible, yeah.

Kyle Kittleson: I thought of you yesterday because I went outside to go feed her and I opened the beef pack. She has three different flavors, and last night, Callie enjoyed some beef. As I put it in the bowl, it smelled like beef, and I was like, "Oh, this kind of smells good." I was like, "This is appetizing." Remember when we were talking about, could you live on dog food or whatever, and I was like..

Alison Sieke: So, you tried it?

Kyle Kittleson: "If could fry this up and put some A1 sauce on it, I would be probably fine."

Alison Sieke: Which you could, nobody's looking.

Kyle Kittleson: Which I could. If someone wants to PayPal me to do it.

Alison Sieke: You don't have to tell us.

Kyle Kittleson: I'll video tape it and do it.

Alison Sieke: Oh my gosh, okay, great. Done, next week. Seriously.

Kyle Kittleson: I'm cheap, 10 bucks, I'll do it. Now, in addition to glucosamine, there's another supplement. I had to look up how to say it, and I love the Google pronunciation tool, because how they say all the words is just so perfect, and this is Chondroitin.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, that sounds like a planet.

Kyle Kittleson: Chondroitin, so if you aren't into glucosamine, ask your vet about chondroitin. It's apparently great for dogs who are predisposed to hip dysplasia. Have you ever done one of those blood tests where you figure out the different breeds your dog is?

Alison Sieke: I did one that was a swab, like a saliva swab. I did it for Christmas last year, and I found out that Peaches is a Shih Tzu, Mini Poodle, Pomeranian, and then 25% question mark.

Kyle Kittleson: Oh, 25% question mark?

Alison Sieke: Yeah, so who knows, but it's nothing like what they told me when I rescued her. So, who knows who's right.

Kyle Kittleson: What about some supplements to consider when it comes to taking care of cats?

Alison Sieke: Little kitties. Oh, that was a really bad British accent.

Kyle Kittleson: I liked it.

Alison Sieke: Thank you. There are some essentially fatty acids that can be really great supplements for cats, like Omega 3s, Omega 6s. They're touted for their ability to keep a cat's coat shiny and prevent shedding. They also protect a cat's immune system, their liver, their eyes, their brain, their joints. You want to make sure that your cat is getting enough of these fatty acids, whether it's supplements or in their food.

Kyle Kittleson: Okay, so, look, probiotics, do you take a probiotic personally?

Alison Sieke: Yes, I do.

Kyle Kittleson: Oh, good for you. I need to.

Alison Sieke: I have three different kinds and I rotate them, because you never know.

Kyle Kittleson: You are a fancy, fancy woman.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, it's Hollywood.

Kyle Kittleson: I do hear a lot from my friends who have cats that their cats have liver problems and their vet often recommends milk thistle. It's not a milk thistle that you have to get prescribed from... It's just your go to milk thistle, and so you may want to ask you vet if you're a cat owner who you think might have some problems with their liver to see if that's something you want your cat to go on. 

Alison Sieke: That's so great, because if your cat is experiencing an overflow of toxins, the last thing you want to do is throw more chemicals in there. So, that's awesome.

Kyle Kittleson: Now, you and I, I feel like live in the supplement capital of the world, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Southern California.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, I took some before bed last night. Yeah.

Kyle Kittleson: I mean, we are injecting kale right into our bloodstream, we've got crystals under our bed, we are putting moon powder under our eyes. It is just like, whatever we can get to look, feel better, we do it. But, when it comes to our dogs, you can't go overboard. There are some supplements to avoid. Alison, what supplements should we be careful of overusing for our cats and dogs?

Alison Sieke: Yeah, I just want to also give a great example of that. So, you know how the human multivitamins that are gummies taste amazing?

Kyle Kittleson: Yes, because I just stole some from my dad. They're so good. I eat them like candy.

Alison Sieke: That's the thing. I've actually read about cases where people have gotten really sick from doing that. So, in the same way, you don't want to do that with your dog. You don't want to give him a ton of treats that have all of these different supplements in them, and different health benefits, because it's just going to be too much for their little system to process all at once. You got to space them out. So, in particular, if they have too much calcium in their diet, whether it's supplemented or in their food, it can cause skeletal problems especially in large breed puppies. So, just got to watch out for that.

Kyle Kittleson: Yeah, and all of this too is, if your dog has a well rounded diet... Where I spend a lot of money on my dog is on diet. I do spend money on toys, but a lot of the purpose of toys is just mental enrichment, and you can accomplish that in lots of other ways than buying a $95 toy. But, when it comes to their health and nutrition, that's where I spend my money. So, people who are using supplements are probably using it because their dog for whatever reason can't eat a certain type of food or can't get the type of nutrition or nourishment that they need, and so supplements come into place. What other supplement should we avoid?

Alison Sieke: Yeah, it's definitely... Supplements are not a substitute for having a good, well rounded diet for your dog or cat. 

Kyle Kittleson: Yes.

Alison Sieke: We have to make sure that we're not giving our babies too much vitamin A because it can harm their blood vessels and cause dehydration and joint pain, which are really hard to detect.

Kyle Kittleson: I have to watch that.

Alison Sieke: Especially dehydration, so yeah, you definitely have to watch out for that. Then, too much vitamin D can also prompt your dog to stop eating. It can harm their bones and it can cause their muscles to atrophy. That's another one that you think is your friend, but you just don't want to overdo it.

Kyle Kittleson: I am not a cat parent. I have never grown up with cats. I have worked with cats, I've trained cats. So, there is some good general supplementation when it comes to cats that you should know. Most cats, if fed the correct portions, already get most if not all of their daily vitamins and nutrition requirements from that food alone because they are carnivores. Most cats eat a healthier diet than the average human. If you've seen most cat food out there, it's pretty legit.

Alison Sieke: It's lean.

Kyle Kittleson: It's lean, yes. It's important though to remember that giving them too many supplements, not a good idea. I know we're going to belabor this point, but talk to your veterinarian. You've got to be really on this. What was most... To illustrate this point, earlier I was talking about giving Callie Benadryl, and my doctor said, "Give her some Benadryl," so I gave her one, maybe two, pills, and the recommended dose for a human was about the same. I thought, well, my dog's 50 pounds, so that should be more than enough. My veterinarian said, "No, the way your dog process Benadryl means you could give them four or five times the recommended human dose because they require so much of it." On the flip side, if you give your eight pound cat a little bit of calcium, for them, it could be way, way, way too much.

Alison Sieke: Totally.

Kyle Kittleson: You can't just assume that because it's smaller, they get a smaller dose because they might actually need more, and you can't assume that what you're giving them won't be too much because these are very, very tiny animals. So, I said at the top that I'd give some quick tips for separation anxiety. I feel like most of the clients that are contacting me with separation anxiety are really excited to CBD. If you are, great, continue to use it. But, in addition to that, here are some quick tips that should give you pretty. The first one is to increase the amount of exercise and mental stimulation your dog is getting.

Alison Sieke: Yeah.

Kyle Kittleson: A lot of people think they're getting their dog a lot of exercise because they took them on a walk, but if your dog's heart rate did not get up, it may not be enough to calm them down later when you leave. Alison made a great point earlier about pretending to leave or leaving only for a few moments and then coming back, while at the same time, not making it a big deal. How many of you out there, when you leave the house, make it a huge parade? You go, "All right, well I'm going to go, but I'll miss you. I'll miss you and I'll be back later, and you protect this house, okay? This is your..." and it's just on and on. The whole time, your dog is getting revved up like, oh my gosh, something's going on.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, it's building it up. It's building up into an event, yeah.

Kyle Kittleson: Yes, and same thing happens when you come home. You say, "Oh-"

Alison Sieke: I missed you so much. Yeah.

Kyle Kittleson: Yes, and your dog's like, well this must be a big deal that you're back, so I'm going to make this a big deal. Just be a cool person, your dog will be a cool person. Leave your dog with stuff to do. We're going to talk in future episodes about toys, puzzle toys and what not. But, frozen Kong with some frozen peanut butter in it is a great thing that will keep most dogs occupied when you leave. And how you leave is you give them that frozen Kong, maybe the TV's on, you're in the kitchen, cleaning up your last bit of dishes, and then you grab your keys and you walk out the door with no goodbyes. By the time your dog realizes you're gone, the dog's like, I just ate a whole bunch of peanut butter, probably time for a nap anyway. You're good to go. You can leave your dog, if you do crate your dog, leave your dog with stuff to do in the crate. You can also leave your dog with a shirt or some pajamas that smell like you. Sleep in them for three days or something, and then leave it in your dog's crate. Sometime that will calm them down. Yes, okay, this is the answer to the question, is that dog TV thing for real? Have you guys seen that? TV for dogs?

Alison Sieke: I have a DVD. Yeah, I still have DVDs. I have a DVD that is called Dog Sitter, and it's just a bunch of dogs barking, and it actually prompts my dog to bark more.

Kyle Kittleson: Yeah, I can't believe they have dogs barking on that. That seems not great. 

Alison Sieke: Oh, it's awful. I will definitely show it to you sometime.

Kyle Kittleson: Please do. But, dog TV, or you can go on YouTube and find videos made for dogs, I'm telling you guys, they really research this stuff and found whatever piques a dogs interest.

Alison Sieke: Oh.

Kyle Kittleson: It is incredible. I mean, I have watched my dog be totally asleep, and I'm flipping through the channels and I stop on NBC, she doesn't wake up, I stop on Bravo, she doesn't wake up, I stop on Dog TV, all alert.

Alison Sieke: Wow.

Kyle Kittleson: What is this?

Alison Sieke: Okay.

Kyle Kittleson: I'm like, it's just incredible. So, you can look into that. Sometimes it's simple as just leaving some music or a TV on. Separation anxiety can be very difficult, stay patient. I can't overemphasize exercise enough, but be consistent with your training. If you try this once and it doesn't work, it doesn't mean it doesn't work, it means you tried it once. Of course it doesn't work. I don't go to the gym one time and then wake up with muscles, you have to go a gazillion times. Well, I would have to go a gazillion times. But, you know what I mean. So, you have to continue on with this and you can train it and do it, because if your dog truly is suffering, and I mean that word, I chose that word on purpose, suffering from separation anxiety, you need to address it. If you need to work with a positive reinforcement trainer, make the investment because it's worth it. Do we have any questions from the Pet Collective community?

Alison Sieke: You know, I believe that we do. Oh, this one comes from YouTube. Valencia asks, "Are pet supplements more effective in pill form or liquid form? And how do I trick my 14 year old ginger cat into taking them?"

Kyle Kittleson: Ginger cats. Well, Alison, you know the answer to the first one.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, I do. Supplements come in all kinds of forms, and depending on what the supplement is, different forms are more effective. So again, sorry, ask your vet. Ask your vet based on the supplement that you're looking for. And how do you trick your cat into taking them? Try and cover that up in some food.

Kyle Kittleson: Yeah, and one thing you can do if they're being a little picky, because dogs and cats, I have seen them eat around an almost microscopic pill because they just know, is you can reward them for taking the pill by then giving them their food. So, instead of saying here's the whole farm, there's a pill in there, just say, look, if you can get this pill, then I'll give you your food. It may take a couple times for them to understand what's going on, but sometimes that can be effective.

Alison Sieke: I love that.

Kyle Kittleson: Yeah, and I would also look into adding... If you're going to add especially a liquid supplement or medication, adding something that you know your pet loves with it. For example, Callie loves peanut butter. If I get out a jar to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, she just thinks heaven opened up. So, if I want to trick her, I'm going to give her that extra treat. You might think, well, they eat their kibble. It's like, yeah, but they get kibble every day. Give them something that they don't get every day so it makes the pill a little more tolerable.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, and then maybe they'll be excited to take it.

Kyle Kittleson: Yes, exactly.

Alison Sieke: Sadie Jim on Instagram is asking, "What would you recommend giving a dog who has horrible anxiety due to fireworks?" Oh my gosh, every single night in Hollywood, they have been setting off fireworks, for the last two months. I am not kidding. There are multiple neighborhood forums about this, and people have been freaking out because their dogs are having panic attacks every night.

Kyle Kittleson: So, I get this question twice a year. I get it on Fourth of July and on New Year's Eve. My first response to this is, do not focus on what you can give your dog from a supplement base initially. We will get there. Instead, think about how much you want to spend, how much time you want to spend addressing this behavioral issue. You can address it, but it's very difficult because most people aren't getting fireworks blown up every day. Now, you are Alison, so you'd be in a perfect position to start addressing this.

Alison Sieke: Maybe I will. Maybe I'll offer some services to the neighborhood, because I feel bad for these dogs.

Kyle Kittleson: Yes, but for most people, it's just one day. So, instead of going through the rigamarole and likely weeks of training that it would require, I suggest setting your dog up to be as comfortable as possible during this time. So, because we know when fireworks are going to happen, Fourth of July, New Year's Eve, we can prepare accordingly. The first thing we do is on Fourth of July, we are going to give our dog a huge day. That dog's going to be at the barbecue, that dog's going to run around, play with toys. I don't want this dog napping, I don't want this dog chilling during the day, I want this dog to have a very busy, busy day for him or her, okay? The second thing I would do is look into some sort of blanket or some sort of jacket that you can put around your dog. There's lots of different products out there, but you don't have to buy one, you can also just use your own clothes, maybe a tight fitted t-shirt or something. One that I really like is called the Thunder Jacket, and it's a jacket that you put around your dog and it tends to calm them down. A lot of people out there use the weighted blanket to calm them down, eases their anxiety, so this is the weighted blanket of the dog world. They're also really useful to have during loud thunderstorms too. That for a lot of dogs, calms them down almost immediately. In my experience, I'd say clients who incorporate that type of technique, 50% of the time, the dog becomes immediately calm and then there are no other issues. Now, for the other 50%, it doesn't work, but it might help decrease some of that anxiety. The biggest thing I want people to understand is that if the fireworks go off and your dog start whining or barking or shaking, your instinct is to go to the dog and pick them up and say, "It's okay, I got you, yada, yada, yada." While that might make us feel good, it doesn't necessarily make the dog feel good. If it does and you see that the anxiety goes away, then I might say, "Go for it." But, what's more likely to happen is that you end up reinforcing this undesirable behavior. You're essentially telling your dog, "Good job. I'm glad you're scared. That's for pointing this out to us." You're not really taking ownership of that. So instead, I would set them up with a lot of exercise, have that comfort shirt on, give them plenty of things to do to occupy their mind. Maybe they're in a back bedroom where it's not as loud. They've got some frozen Kongs and peanut butter in there, they have some puzzle toys, maybe you have some music going, and let them ride it out. There are dogs where it'll be too extreme and you might have to be with them, but for most dogs they're like, this is really uncomfortable, the noise is too loud, it hurts my ears, just give me my space and they'll work through it. Again, it's happening twice a year so it's hard to train in advance, but I think if pet parents follow the tips I just gave, at the very least you're going to see a decrease in anxiety behavior, and at the very most you'll have a dog who's like cool, show me the fireworks.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, absolutely. Do you think that's a thing too? I've always wondered about this, and I'm so glad it's coming up. If I took my dog outside where there was another dog being super chill and my dog was freaking out, do you think my dog would be able to register, oh I can be calm in this situation?

Kyle Kittleson: Possibly. If your dog was to calm down, we would call that modeling. With exotic animals, modeling actually has a pretty high success rate. For example, you might see a chimpanzee who's already been trained to tap its head and get an apple, and another chimpanzee can watch that and go, oh, I got it. I'll just tap my head and get an apple. So, they learn from modeling the other chimpanzee. Dogs aren't as intelligent so modeling doesn't always work as quickly or as effectively, but there is a type of mentality where they go, oh everyone's cool, everyone's cool, so I guess I can be cool too. But, you bring up actually a even better point, which is I would ask the pet parents, "How are you responding to the fireworks?" Are you anticipating your dog being anxious and going, "Phi Phi come here, it's okay," and the dog goes, oh I guess I need to be anxious right now. If you said nothing, Phi Phi would've been cool.

Alison Sieke: Yeah.

Kyle Kittleson: So, watch how you're responding. Your dog is watching you. Your dog is watching you for how you respond, how you react, how you look. They read your facial expressions. We know that dogs can pick up our facial reactions and they use that to make decisions. So, watch how you're behaving, okay? For all the parents out there to children, first of all, good job, and second of all, you know that if your kid falls and you go, "Are you okay?" the kid's going to start crying. But, if the kid falls and you say, "You're good, get up," the kid's like, oh I guess I am good. So, practice that same behavior with your pets.

Alison Sieke: Yeah, it's like the separation anxiety, if you make it a big deal then it is a big deal, and if you try and play it down... No, you coined it, you said, "Be cool and your dog will be cool."

Kyle Kittleson: There you go. There you go.

Anosh McAdam: Hey, I actually have a question for you guys before we go.

Alison Sieke: Okay.

Anosh McAdam: This is the producer. My name's Anosh for the listeners. So, you guys might not know this about me actually, but I have a 19 year old daughter. Yeah, I had her when I was 14 I guess, and she wanted to go on this big Europe trip last year with her friend, and I didn't really approve, but I was going through divorce at the time with her mother so I wanted to seem like the cool understanding dad who let her go to Europe and have fun. Anyway, so she got to Paris and was immediately abducted by Eastern European human traffickers, but luckily I used my experience with my years in the CIA. I used my very special skills to kill a bunch of bad guys and I got her back home, and she is safe now. I know you're thinking, Anosh, isn't that just the plot to the movie Taken. But, it's not, and here's why. Because when my daughter got home, she was very traumatized so we decided to get her a therapy puppy, right? Yeah, and this puppy loved to tear up dog bones, and he had this really strong bite, right? But then, when I put my hand in his mouth, he wouldn't bite down, he would just gently gnaw in a playful way. So, my question is, do dogs and cats understand their own strength, because they never seem to hurt me even though they could?

Kyle Kittleson: Well, it's certainly Taken me a lot of time to find the answer to these types of questions. So, puppies do not actually. Most kittens do not either, and in fact that's one of the important reasons you want your puppies and kittens to socialize with other puppies and kittens if you can find a safe way to do that. When they socialize, that's how they start to learn their own strength, or in the case of these young animals, the fact that their teeth are like needles and razor blades. So, although they might not have the power to chomp down through your hand, just a little bit of pressure is certain to cause some discomfort or pain. For families out there who have a puppy and you have children or you are planning on having children, I want you to take some time and go educate yourself on a term called bite inhibition, okay? Bite inhibition. You may want to consider working with a professional trainer on this, but what it's going to do is hopefully save you some heartache in the future if your puppy turns into a grown dog and accidentally bites somebody. For example, if you are cooking and you drop a pan, the dog may hear that sound and react instinctively, and turn around and bite you or a child nearby. It's not biting you or the child to get back at you or angry at you. It might not even have been done intentionally in the way that you and I think of intentional behavior. But, if the dog has not been trained on bite inhibition, then that bite, that initial bite can turn into a strong grip, maybe even some tearing or ripping back and forth before they let go. That's how people get injured. A dog who's been trained on bite inhibition however, will still turn around and put their mouth around the person's arm or leg, but then they've been trained to go, whoops that's arm or leg, I'm going to now let go. So, that contact with the skin means let go. For example, Callie, and you can only do this as a puppy by the way. I'm actually not even sure that it's even possible to do for a full, like a one or two year old dog. But, for example, Callie, I trained her on this. So, if my hand goes in her mouth, if a kid's hand goes in her mouth, she immediately drops the ball, drops the toy, backs up. She knows that's not okay. So, bite inhibition is something that I wish all new puppy parents would train. But, to get back to your question, Anosh, no they don't understand. They don't understand, and that's what they're doing. They're putting their mouth on your hand to explore that, to see whet that is, and if you reinforce it, guess what they're going to do? They're going to do more of it. Reinforcing it might be playing with them with your hand in their mouth which I do not recommend. It might be even you saying, "Uh, uh, uh, we don't bite." They don't know English. All they heard was yes, yes, yes, keep doing more of that. So, you want to make very clear distinctions that biting is not something we do in this household. So, if I am playing with a new puppy, we're playing on a rope, I keep playing with them because that play is reinforcing them playing with the rope. I might even have some treats and say, "Hey, as long as you keep playing with this rope, I'm going to feed you treats." But, as soon as they leave the rope and go to my hand, I take the rope, I stand up, I walk away, they lose me, they lose the treats, and they lose playtime. Very quickly, they'll learn, oh, if I want to interact with mom and dad and I don't want them to leave, I just got to avoid their hand and play with these toys. That's how you raise a responsible adult dog.

Alison Sieke: Boom, baby, mic drop.

Anosh McAdam: Oh, that's good.

Alison Sieke: Henny.

Anosh McAdam: That's good. Well, that's helpful, and I'm certainly never letting my daughter go back to Europe again, I'll tell you that much.

Kyle Kittleson: And well done, for getting her back. I mean, you did it. I remember you telling me the story, it only took you 90 minutes to do it.

Anosh McAdam: It was. I was very quick. I took out like 200 bad guys in 90 minutes. I mean, they train you very well in the CIA, so luckily I had that particular set of skills to help me.

Kyle Kittleson: Oh, very good. Well, Alison and I love hearing from you, so you can hit me up @KyleKittleson all over the internets.

Alison Sieke: You can find me @AlisonSieke mainly on Instagram, but hey, if you find me somewhere, follow me, do it.

Kyle Kittleson: Hey, if you find her somewhere else, send it to me too. I want to stay up... I only know your Instagram.

Alison Sieke: Kyle, that sounds dirty. You're not going to find anything dirty on me, guys, promise.

Kyle Kittleson: Make sure you guys go to my

Alison Sieke: Really?

Kyle Kittleson: No.

Alison Sieke: Not yet, maybe next month.

Kyle Kittleson: First of all, I don't judge anyone who has an OnlyFans. If that's how-

Alison Sieke: No, I have thought about it. I'm not

Kyle Kittleson: A pandemic.

Alison Sieke: Yeah

Kyle Kittleson: If someone wants to pay me 50 bucks for a picture of my feet, hit me up on Instagram. So, we also want to hear from you. Send us your pet related questions and we'll answer them right here on the show, and check out the Pet Collective store, at It's for tons of amazing things for you and your furry family. See you guys next week. Bye.

Alison Sieke: Bye.

The Pet Collective Podcast is produced by Jukin Media and The Pet Collective. Head Producer, Anosh McAdam, Associate Producer, Brandon Kendall, and our original score is composed by Cory Celeste.

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