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How International Relocation Triggered Moving Stress for Celebrity Dogs @oscarfrenchienyc & @irresistiblecharlie

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How International Relocation Triggered Moving Stress for Celebrity Dogs @oscarfrenchienyc & @irresistiblecharlie
Written by Andre Falcao, Pet Parent & Guest Blogger 

Oscar and Charlie are our two French Bulldogs who hail from New York City and became stars on social media with their fashionable photos, funny viral videos and several publicity campaigns. Oscar is seven years old. A few years ago, Charlie joined our family and is our youngster at three years old. They’re both incredibly sweet dogs, very affectionate and we treat them like spoiled kids. That’s no joke!

  

Oscar has always been a very social and chill dog. He loves playing with other dogs and humans, he gets along very well with kids and everybody loves his adorable, warm and inviting personality. Charlie, as a puppy, was very social as well, we used to bring him to NYC Frenchie meet-ups and he got along with other dogs really well during his first year of life.

 

In 2018, my husband, Sebastian, and I decided to move to London – yes the one in the UK (not Kentucky) – all the way across the pond! It was a big move that we had to quickly organise (or is that organize?). Moving internationally is hard enough and with two pets there are so many details. See our tips here. The traveling-with-the-dogs part went seamlessly. They are good travelers – in cars, on planes and trains -- and for our international flight they were both allowed to sit right next to each of us in the cabin. What we didn’t expect was the long-term effects such a big move would cause on our dogs. 

   

@irresistiblecharlie continues to become more anxious triggered by multiple moves, urban wildlife of the London landscape such as foxes, squirrels and feral cats. The stress is real and there is stress-transfer to typically chill @oscarfrenchienyc.

 

International Differences

Once we arrived in London, we stayed for a few weeks at a friend’s house, before we moved into our first London home. We were lucky to get the help of HGTVs House Hunters International where were featured on the episode Famous Frenchies in London (sorry, they charge for that episode, but it’s only $2.99 and fun to watch!).  The crew filmed us looking for our London-based flat across a whole week.  We had a lot of fun with this limelight opportunity, the dogs were part of every scene and we found our first London home.

 

So, we moved into our first flat.  Once things started to settle down, we noticed Charlie becoming increasingly anxious and protective. We thought it would go away once he would get used to our new digs, but in fact he started to become less tolerant to other dogs on the streets -- aggressively and relentlessly barking at them. Our dogs are neutered, but differently than in NYC, neutering isn’t a common practice in London. We believe this also impacted Charlie’s anxiety. And here in London, there are foxes, cats and squirrels reeling around the streets all across the city, also triggering Charlie’s anxiety. 

 

New stress symptoms and protection behaviors are presenting and @irresistiblecharlie now barks incessantly at the virtual animals and @oscarfrenchienyc tries to save the animals from Charlie by getting to the TV set first. While a somewhat humorous scene, these new behaviors troubled pet parents Andre and Sebastian.

   

Another new stress symptom in Charlie also started up.  He now barks at the TV when he sees other animals on the screen. Oscar is very tolerant, relaxed and very smart. He observed Charlie’s new behavioral pattern and now, when an animal appears on the screen, Oscars runs to the front of the TV to virtually protect animal from Charlie. It’s actually kind of funny to see it, but the truth is that Charlie’s anxiety has been transferring to Oscar, our typically always-chill dog.

  

Another Move and a Pandemic 

After about two years, we moved to another home in London which caused stress triggers for Charlie -- again. The dogs had to adjust to a new environment, and we had to control their anxiety and their protective behaviors. On top of it all, the pandemic hit forcing us on lockdown and so like household across the planet, we were both home at all times with the dogs, for many months (and still are!). They say it takes only three weeks to create habit in humans – good or bad. That’s so true of our pups too!  Oscar and Charlie got so used to us being at home 24/7, they—both of them – started experiencing separation anxiety when we had to leave to shop for groceries or grab other necessities.

 

As I said earlier, we treat our two dogs like spoiled children. We absolutely adore our dogs and our bond and relationship with them. Sebastian and I have slightly different connections, but both are equally as rich and deep. These new stressors and all the anxiousness was driving a wedge in our relationship with our dogs, and we were continually worried about them, too, adding to the stress in the entire household.   As pet parents, all we want is to have our loyal, loving dogs safe, happy and healthy, right?

 

Andre took to online research, looking for a calming solution for his dogs’ stress and protection behavior considering everything from a doggie psychiatrist and socialization classes to natural products like Kradle CBD calming solutions for dog.

 

CBD is Not THC

I think this is a common stigma. I am here to tell you – So. Not. True.  THC and CBD are compounds found in the hemp plant and so, they have that in common. But they are different and you can get pure CBD formulated to help with a dog’s anxiety (for people too, BTW).  CBD is a natural solution and it interacts with your dog's endocannabinoid system, and is not psychoactive in any way.

 

So, that’s what I learned, but then I needed to find a good CBD product. That’s when we found American-brand Kradle. We decided to try it out, since their formulations combine pure hemp-derived CBD compounds and other natural ingredients, it’s safe and easy to use. What I really liked was that the products are specifically formulated as calming solutions for dogs (not cats…and other “pets”). Plus, for ease and convenience, they dose by weight and they have three product deliveries chews, toppers and melts so it’s very easy give to your dog. Strangely enough – Oscar likes the chews and Charlie the toppers!  Melts are great to address quick triggers, like if we have to abruptly leave the home, or we have fly-by guests.

 

As the brand mentions, it takes a few days to notice a change in your dog’s behaviour (or is that behavior?). It’s a process and it works continuously with each daily dose. After two weeks, we started to notice big improvements. 

  

Oscar and Charlie have been using Kradle products for two months and pet parents Andre and Sebastian are seeing positive results.

  

Both our dogs have been using Kradle for a couple of months now. Charlie seems more relaxed when he’s about to leave home and doesn’t pull the leash when walking on the street like before. When he sees dogs passing by, even though he might still try to bark, his reactions appear more tempered and we are able to manage and control his behaviour better than before. His anxiety level has lowered and therefore, ours as well!

 

Plus, when we leave the dogs alone at home, now they can finally relax and stay comfortable, while we are away, even for many hours. We often watch them our a doggy cam and they sleep throughout the entire time they’re home alone without us.  Seeing this give us great calm too.

 

Stress in dogs can be triggered by lots of things. As their loving pet parents, we feel it too! Whether your dog is encountering stress due to a move (or in our case, multiple moves), the pandemic, or age, de-stressing your dogs is a work-in-progress, and we’re very excited about these positive effects we are seeing with Kradle. Not only the dogs can have a calmer, relaxed routine, but we do too!  And since dogs absorb their owner’s energy, it all works as a full cycle. We now have harmonious calm.

 

Soon we will also put Charlie into socialising (or is that socializing?) classes and when the time comes, with the help of Kradle, we believe he will be more prepared and we will be more confident.

  

We are very thankful to Kradle’s formulas. Oscar and Charlie have been calmer, relaxed, but keeping their own personalities, which we love about them.

 

See more about London pet lifestyle with our pups @oscarfrenchienyc and @irresistiblecharlie. Drop me a comment or question in the comments section below too.

 

Thanks for reading our Kradle story!

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

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