The Morning Call
Siren-howling dog keeps owner up at night
DearCathy: I have a howler, Roxy, a gentle and mellow chow chowmix. Almost every time she hears a siren, she goes into howl mode. It’s not so bad whenshe’s outside, but whenshemakes this dreadful noise at 3 a.m. in the bedroom she shares with meand a second dog, Joey, it becomes a problem.
I can’t use anything that makes a sudden noise, like a shaker can, because I fear that it will punish Joey, whostays quiet. Hehowled once and I said a stern, “No!” and he hasn’t howled indoors since. Saying no does not work with Roxy, however. Neither does ignoring or distracting her, or a commandto sit. She obeys meandsits and keeps right on howling. I thought dogs weren’t supposed to be able to do two things at once. Help!
— Eileen, Tucson, Arizona DearRoxy: There are a few ways to address this issue. First, you can get noise-reducing curtains for your windows (and walls) and a white sound machine to help mask outside noises. This maynot remove the siren sound completely, but it should greatly reduce it.
Thesecond thing is to try to shush her. Whenshestarts to howl, say “Roxy, shhh.” The “shhh” should be a short, staccato, but airy, snake-like sound, which gets their attention. By saying Roxy and then issuing this command, Joey will knowyou’re not correcting him.
If these things don’t work, the next step is training her to “leave it,” since you want her to “leave/ ignore” the sound. Ask her to sit and drop a dog treat on the floor. If she bends downtosniff or eat it, say “leave it.” She should respond by looking at you, at which time you can say a reward word, like “Bingo,” and give her a treat. She will eventually learn that “leave it” means to leave
things alone. Once you’re sure she understands, try it on her whenshewails at night to see if she stops.
DearCathy: I adopted a 40-pound (current weight) 2-year-old beagle mix that had been starved he was so thin.
I’ve been feeding himtwice a day to put a few pounds on him, but nowthat he has put on the weight, I’m wondering just howmuchheshouldbefed. I called myvet but couldn’t get an answer I understood. I searched the internet for an answer, but answers seem to be all over the board. Canyouhelp? He gets walked two to three times a day for a total of one hour. I feed himtwoto three heaping tablespoons of Pedigree Choice Cuts in gravy with beef and two to three heaping tablespoons of Pedigree Chopped ground Chicken & Rice dinner both twice a day, along with a handful of dry food at each meal.
— Tom, Jamesport, NewYork DearTom: Your veterinarian can calculate exactly howmuch food your dog should eat based on the type of food you’re feeding him. So, don’t be afraid to call back and ask your vet to do the math for you. They knowhow to do it.
In the meantime, check the
pet food feeding guide on your dog’s dry food bag or on the pet food company’s website. These feeding guides will recommend howmuchto feed your dog daily based on your dog’s weight and explains howtomixwetanddry food together.
For the Pedigree adult dry food, the website recommends feeding a 40-pound dog 2 ¼ cups (18 ounces) of food daily. It actually recommends 400to 450 grams of food (which only makes things harder since that is not our country’s measuring system), but a quick gram to cup calculator online confirms it’s about 2 ¼ cups of food. Split that amount into two feedings, twice a day.
In your case, the recommendedamountis a little over a cup of dry food at each meal. If you want to add wet food, just knowthat a half can of wet food is equivalent to three-fourths dry food.
Since you’re probably feeding about one-fourth of a can of each of the wet foods (half can), you would only need to add ¼ cup of dry food to each meal. This is a guideline as every dog’s appetite and exercise are a little difference. You can adjust the dry food ¼ cup at a time based on his activity level and if you think he needs it.